Saturday, June 02, 2007

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2007

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URGENT: PLEASE READ "ARTICLE IN FULL" NUMBER 1, BELOW:

1) What Should the Anti-War Movement Do Now?
A Proposal from the ANSWER Coalition
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org http://www.actionsf.org
sf@internationalanswer.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
[Please note: I endorse this call wholeheartedly and
encourage everyone to sign on! --Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org]

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SAN FRANCISCO

FREEDOM NEXT TIME: AN EVENING WITH JOHN PILGER

Pilger will discuss his new book, Freedom Next Time
(Nation Books) and show his film Breaking the Silence:
Truth and Lies in the War on Terror. This film, set
in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Washington, looks at President
Bush's "war on terror" and the "liberation" of countries
where bloodshed and repression continue. Followed
by audience dialogue and a book signing.

Wednesday, June 13- 7 PM
Doors open 6:00 PM

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (http://www.ybca.org/)
YBCA Theater
700 Howard St. at Third

$15 general, $5 students

A book signing of Freedom Next Time and other books
by John Pilger will follow the event.

Presented by The Center for Economic Research and
Social Change, The Nation Institute, and KPFA, with
support from the Wallace Global Fund.

For ticket information, call 415-978-2787 or order
online at http://www.ybca.org/. In person tickets
at YBCA Box office located inside the Galleries and
Forum Building, 701 Mission Street at Third.
(Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: noon - 5 pm;
Thu: noon - 8 pm.)

For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or ruth@thenation.com.

For more information, email pilgersf@gmail.com

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ARTICLES IN FULL:

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1) What Should the Anti-War Movement Do Now?
A Proposal from the ANSWER Coalition
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org http://www.actionsf.org
sf@internationalanswer.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
[Please note: I endorse this call wholeheartedly and
encourage everyone to sign on! --Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org]

2) U.S. Strikes at Militants in Somalia
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
June 3, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/world/africa/03somalia.html?hp

3) Sweep at School Turns Up a Trove of Electronic Contraband
By JULIE BOSMAN
June 1, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/nyregion/01school.html

4) Poisonous Police Behavior
By BOB HERBERT
Op-Ed Columnist
June 2, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/opinion/02herbert.html?hp

5) A Legal Debate in Guantánamo on Boy Fighters
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
June 3, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/us/03gitmo.html?hp

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1) What Should the Anti-War Movement Do Now?
A Proposal from the ANSWER Coalition
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org http://www.actionsf.org
sf@internationalanswer.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

[Please note: I endorse this call wholeheartedly and
encourage everyone to sign on! --Bonnie Weinstein, www.bauaw.org]

It is an absolute responsibility of the anti-war movement
to make an honest and straightforward assessment of the
current situation and to craft a strategy that can really
make a difference. Every serious organization, and especially
those with the greatest mobilizing reach, must be asked
to avoid posturing, make an assessment and develop an
action plan that will change the political landscape
in a decisive way.

This document does not seek to address or detail the
political differences between organizations and groups.
They exist and they have been detailed often. At this
moment, there needs to be an effort at clear perspective
that focuses on one simple question: What will end the
war and occupation of Iraq and what should the US anti-
war movement do?

It is clear that the anti-war movement is not sufficiently
strong at the moment to bring this criminal and despised
war to an end. Every organization must ask why is this
so and most importantly what can be done to change the
situation immediately.

The first question to ask and answer is: Can a people's
movement in the United States overcome the commitment
of the White House, Congress and the Pentagon to authorize,
extend and finance the war and occupation in Iraq?

If you or your organization answers the question negatively
then the rest doesn’t really matter. Perhaps, individuals
can bear witness and continue to protest, but it will
be little more than an individual statement.

If the answer to the question is yes, however, we must
assess various factors and craft a strategy that will be
fundamentally different from the current path of the
anti-war movement.

Historically, wars come to an end either because one side
wins and one side loses, or the people rise in revolution
(usually as a result of a military defeat or pending defeat),
or both sides exhaust each other over a protracted period.

What is the military situation in Iraq? The US cannot
achieve military victory in Iraq. Its multiple opponents
in Iraq are not militarily strong enough to decisively
defeat the US military in the short term. If the Iraqi
population, however, were able to overcome sectarian
divisions introduced with the US occupation it is possible
that Iraq could witness a repeat of a nationwide uprising
such as the 1958 Revolution that drove the British military
out of Iraq. But the flames of division are being whipped
up every day and function as a deterrent to such a spontaneous
national uprising against the occupiers. Finally, the
US military is stretched thin but is clearly able to
continue the occupation for some time, and the anti-U.S.
opponents in Iraq are not exhausted yet by the protracted
conflict. If anything they are gathering strength and
energy as the occupation forces cannot take the strategic
initiative away from guerrilla forces.

Given this complex reality, or realities, we believe that
the U.S. antiwar movement must take strategic and bold
initiatives that change the political climate in this
country. To succeed, these initiatives must be based
on a correct assessment of where we are.

The ANSWER Coalition wants to offer its own brief assessment
of the political equation in the United States. We are
also offering a proposal to all of the major anti-war
coalitions and groups and to all of those organizations
that function on a local level

Assessment of the political situation as it regards
the Iraq war

1) The people of the country have turned decisively against
the continuation of the war. Most recognize that the war was
based on lies and most no longer believe the president and
the generals when they assure them that victory is still
possible.

2) The military situation is worsening rather than improving
in light of the so-called surge. The number of US war dead
in May 2007 spiked to the third highest month since the
initial invasion in 2003. The numbers of Iraqi dead is about
3,000 each month. Two million Iraqis have fled the country
and another two million are internal refugees.

3) The US is unable to secure its political control over
the region as is evident by what is happening in Lebanon,
Iran and Syria and its intensified destabilization campaign
towards the Palestinian people.

4) The Bush administration is increasingly isolated, at home
and abroad, because of its failure in Iraq and its inability
to regain the military initiative even with tens of thousands
of more troops. The Pentagon anticipates occupying Iraq for
decades, as it has Korea and other countries.

5) More and more U.S. soldiers, marines, veterans and the
families of service members are either disillusioned or
completely opposed to the continuation of the war and
occupation.

6) The Democratic-controlled Congress voted overwhelmingly
to extend and finance the war and occupation. The calculation
of the Democratic Party leadership and the vast majority
of its elected officials in Congress is based on avoiding
at all costs taking responsibility for a pullout from Iraq
which will be perceived as a defeat for the United States
in this strategic oil-rich region. They believe that they
can secure an electoral advantage in 2008 by having the war
drag on and have the public hold the Republicans responsible
for the war. Moreover, the Democratic Party is feeding from
the same corporate financing trough as the Republicans and
they share the Bush government’s broad objective of U.S.
domination in the Middle East. Congress, under the current
circumstances, is completely committed to not ending the war
in Iraq in the next two years and probably for much longer
than that.

Assessment of the weakness and strength of the antiwar
movement:

1) There have been a growing number of anti-war protests
on the national, regional and local level during the past
six months.

2) The antiwar protests are being joined and, in some
cases, initiated by the people who have not been involved
in past demonstrations.

3) A growing sentiment of opposition and disgust to the war,
occupation (and the politicians) is building among rank and
file service members and some officers.

4) A large amount of energy and activity was directed at
Congress with the hope that the Congress would heed their
constituents' desire to end the war. When the Congress
instead voted against its constituents and with Bush
to extend the war there was a huge wave of anger, frustration
and desperation but with few available or recognized channels
for effective action.

5) Although the antiwar sentiment is growing among the
general population, the size and intensity of the
demonstrations, protests and acts of resistance does
not at all measure up to the vast magnitude of feelings
against the Iraq war among the general population.

6) The single biggest reason for this dichotomy is the
fact that the anti-war movement is badly splintered rather
than working together or in a united fashion so as to marshal,
stimulate and mobilize a truly massive outpouring of the people.

Proposal to build a truly mass outpouring of the people

If every anti-war coalition and organization came together
on a particular day, and with enough advance notice, under
the simple demand End the War Now it would be easily possible
to mobilize one million people. The political mood in the
country exists to make this happen.

So as to facilitate the greatest degree of coordination between
organizations to build a massive outpouring, the ANSWER Coalition
is not unilaterally setting a date for this potentially million-
strong march and rally. However, we recommend holding it sometime
in November of 2007, or on March 22, 2008--the fifth anniversary
of the war." In order to have such a huge demonstration, enough
time must be given to allow the organizations and coalitions
to come together and for intensive national outreach and
organizing.

This period of time between now and the demonstration would
not be a period of quiet, it would be a time of intensifying
anti-war activity and education at the local and regional level
culminating in this mass action. Unfortunately, unless the
political relationship of forces changes inside the United
States or in Iraq, the war and occupation will continue
through November and beyond. We are proposing a specific
tactic that can contribute to shifting the equation.

The aim is not just one more demonstration but the largest
antiwar demonstration in US history.

A mobilization of one million people marching on Washington
DC would be the best possible trigger for an avalanche
of grassroots organizing throughout the country and among
service members and their families and veterans. It is time
for something bold and broad. Something that sends an
unmistakable message to the powers that be that the people
of the United States have entered the field of politics in
such a way as to become an irresistible force.

Each group and movement should maintain its political
independence. Each group can inscribe on its banners
a variety of slogans or ideas or demands but what will allow
us to unite for the largest mobilization of all the people
is the simple unifying demand. Whatever differences that
exist between groups, and there are many and they are important,
are not sufficient justification for preventing us from coming
together in a show of force that will change the direction
of this country. The lives of too many people, all victims
of a criminal war, are too precious for our movement to tolerate
anything that prevents us from reaching our potential
to end the war in Iraq. With determination, maturity and mutual
respect our diverse anti-war movement can unite.

We would like to hear from everyone in consideration of this
proposal. If you, your friends, or your organization support
the proposal for a unified mass demonstration aiming to bring
1 million people onto the streets of Washington DC, please
join with us and sign on, which you can do by clicking
this link or visiting http://www.answercoalition.org/.
This movement has grown strong because of its grassroots
base. Let’s hear from everyone who supports this exciting
possibility.

During the next week, people like you and thousands of others
can circulate this proposal, discuss it with your organization,
family and friends, and be part of the effort to make it
a reality. We look forward to hearing from you and working
together.

Proposal by the A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism)
Coalition, May 31, 2007

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2) U.S. Strikes at Militants in Somalia
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
"On Saturday, Bryan Whitman, a Defense Department spokesman,
said in an e-mail message, 'This is a global war on terror
and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist
capabilities when and where we find them.'”
June 3, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/world/africa/03somalia.html?hp

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 — American forces struck inside
Somalia on Friday, bombarding a mountainous area where
suspected militants were hiding out, Somali officials
said Saturday. It was the third known American strike
on Somali soil this year.

According to Somali security forces, an American warship
fired cruise missiles into the area after two boatloads
of heavily armed gunmen landed at Bargal, a small fishing
village on the north Somali coast, and then escaped into
the mountains.

Hassan Dahir, the vice president of Puntland, a semiautonomous
region of Somalia, said that eight Islamist militants
were killed, including one who was an American citizen,
according to documents found on his body.

Mr. Dahir also said that three American Special Operations
soldiers were on the ground, helping Somali security forces.

“Three Americans came into the mountains with us,”
Mr. Dahir said. “They are counterterrorism experts and
they are investigating the computers that the militants
were carrying.”

American officials declined to comment on this information.
But the operation Mr. Dahir described was congruent with an
attack in early January in which American forces bombed an
area in southern Somalia and then sent in a small contingent
of Special Forces soldiers to investigate the remains of
suspected militants. A few weeks later, American forces
struck again, trying to kill a militant Islamist leader.

On Saturday, Bryan Whitman, a Defense Department spokesman,
said in an e-mail message, “This is a global war on terror
and the U.S. remains committed to reducing terrorist
capabilities when and where we find them.”

The statement went on to say, “The very nature of some of
our operations, as well as the success of those operations,
is often predicated on our ability to work quietly with our
partners and allies.”

Mr. Dahir said the militants, thought to number around 15,
were from Somalia’s recently ousted Islamist administration
and that they had come by boat to northern Somalia in an
attempt to cross the Gulf of Aden and escape the country.

Among the eight killed, he said, were men from Eritrea,
Yemen, England and Sweden. He said that Somali officials
contacted American officers in Djibouti, where there is
a large American military base, after a gun battle on
Friday evening in which the militants wounded four Somali
security agents and then melted into the mountains. He
said that an American destroyer moored off Bargal fired
the cruise missiles into the area.

The strike fit a pattern of a broader American strategy
to hunt down Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa,
especially Al Qaeda operatives. American officials have
accused Islamist clerics in Somalia of sheltering Al Qaeda
agents, including the mastermind of the American Embassy
bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

American forces played an influential but behind-the-scenes
role in helping overthrow the Islamist movement that
controlled Somalia for six months last year. In late
December, Ethiopian troops, aided by American satellite
imagery and battlefield intelligence, routed Islamist forces.
That paved the way for Somalia’s internationally recognized
but weak transitional government to take loose control
of the capital, Mogadishu, for the first time.

Since then, American warships have been patrolling Somalia’s
1,880-mile coastline. American officials say that several
Qaeda suspects are still inside the country.

The attack on Friday punctured what had been a relatively
peaceful period for Somalia. Over the past several weeks,
life in Mogadishu, the scene of intense fighting in March
and April, has been improving, with policemen patrolling
neighborhoods and sanitation crews lifting enormous amounts
of garbage from the streets. The transitional government
said security was finally good enough to hold a major
reconciliation conference in mid-June, though there were
still some concerns about how to pay for the conference.

Mohammed Ibrahim contributed reporting from Mogadishu.

Related:

Somalia: The Other (Hidden) War for Oil
by Carl Bloice; Black Commentator
May 07, 2007
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=12768

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3) Sweep at School Turns Up a Trove of Electronic Contraband
By JULIE BOSMAN
June 1, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/nyregion/01school.html

When Olivia Lara-Gresty saw the metal detectors at the
entrance of Middle School 54 on the Upper West Side,
she turned around and ran home to ditch her contraband
before joining her sixth-grade class.

The cellphone police had arrived.

Not everyone was so savvy. The Police Department was there
to carry out a random sweep for prohibited items, requiring
all 900-plus students at the school to walk through metal
detectors before entering.

Their total haul included 404 cellphones, 69 iPods, 23 other
electronic devices, two knives and one imitation gun.

“People were crying,” said Samantha Haber, 14, an
eighth grader.

Officially, the X-ray scans are meant to catch dangerous
items. But since the unannounced sweeps began in April 2006,
they have mostly detected cellphones, infuriating parents
who see them as lifelines and have loudly opposed the checks.

The Education Department first banned “communication devices”
around 1988, when the electronic toy of choice was a beeper.
But the rule was not strictly enforced until last year,
when the Bloomberg administration took action to prohibit
cellphones in schools.

The sweep yesterday was one of the biggest so far since the
crackdown. An unannounced visit to a Queens school on
Wednesday yielded only 40 cellphones, 16 iPods and 33
unspecified electronic devices. The police collected only
83 cellphones during a sweep at a Bronx school a week ago,
but also took 37 items like headphones, batteries and can
openers — all forbidden.

According to rules set by Middle School 54’s principal,
Elana Elster, the items confiscated yesterday could be
picked up only by parents, and no earlier than Tuesday.
But she later amended those instructions in an e-mail
message to parents, saying that students could take home
the cellphones and other items at the end of the day
on Friday.

The initial instructions left hundreds of students leaving
school yesterday at a loss.

“I feel naked,” said Krystal Corchado, 15, an eighth grader
whose phone was seized. “I feel like I lost something very
important to me.”

Around the corner from the school, a group of six students
who had managed to hold onto their phones discussed their
narrow escapes.

Ian Newcomb pulled his blue Samsung phone from his pocket
to demonstrate how it evaded capture. “It’s nearly all
plastic, so the metal detectors didn’t pick it up,” he
said. “It was in my pocket the whole time.”

Maybe the metal detectors were not even turned on, suggested
Axel McFarland, 11. “They didn’t even beep,” he said.

One furious parent, Leslie Lyons, whose eighth-grade daughter
had taken Ms. Lyons’s cellphone to school, threatened to call
the police after exchanging a few sharp words with an assistant
principal. “I haven’t talked to our lawyer yet,” Ms. Lyons
said. “I’m filing a criminal complaint that they stole
my phone.”

Still, the high drama of the cellphone sweep appeared to provide
a few teachable moments. In one humanities class, the children
wrote strongly worded letters to Mr. Bloomberg, said David
Garfinkel, 12. Other students taped homemade signs reading
“No Phones, No School” to their backs in protest, said
Athena Buckley, a sixth grader.

Ms. Elster, the principal, stood wearily on the front steps
at 3:30 p.m., after the students had dispersed. “I’m not
going to talk,” she said, shaking her head.

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4) Poisonous Police Behavior
By BOB HERBERT
Op-Ed Columnist
June 2, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/opinion/02herbert.html?hp

You most likely have no idea of the abusive treatment that
students and teachers at many of New York City’s public
schools are enduring at the hands of overly aggressive
police officers and security aides assigned to the schools.

Students are being belittled, shouted at, cursed at,
intrusively searched and improperly touched by cops and
security aides who answer to the Police Department, not
school authorities. In many cases, the students are roughed
up, handcuffed, arrested and taken off to jail for behavior
that does not even begin to approach the criminal. Teachers
and administrators who have attempted to intervene on the
behalf of students have themselves been abused, and
in some cases arrested.

This poisonous police behavior is an extension into the
schools of the humiliating treatment cops have long been
doling out to youngsters — especially those who are black
or Latino — on the city’s streets.

In January, a 15-year-old girl at Samuel J. Tilden High
School in Brooklyn was manhandled for no discernible reason
by an armed police sergeant. The sergeant had grabbed her
book bag and ordered her into a school detention room. When
the girl replied, “That’s where I’m going,” the sergeant
is alleged to have pushed her. The girl then said she was
going to take down his name and badge number.

When she said that, according to a new study of police
practices in the public schools by the American Civil
Liberties Union, the sergeant jerked the girl’s left arm
behind her back at a painful angle. The girl’s right hand
slammed against a wall and she began to cry.

Students inside the room cried out in protest, but to no
avail. The girl was taken to the police station and given
a summons. That night the school’s assistant principal called
the girl’s home and apologized to her mother for the incident.

One morning last fall a large contingent of police officers
arrived unannounced at Wadleigh, a high school for the
performing arts in Harlem, to do a spot check for weapons
by herding students through portable metal detectors. One
of the students, the vice president of the school government
association, was afraid his cellphone would be confiscated
so he called his mother and asked her to come get it. He
waited outside the school for her to arrive.

When police officers approached him, he explained that his
mother was coming to meet him and would be there in just
a few minutes. The police, according to the report, called
him a smart-aleck, seized his cellphone, handcuffed him,
took him to the local stationhouse and put him in jail.

Unaware that her son had been arrested, the mother was frantic
when she couldn’t find him at the school. The charges against
the boy were later dropped.

There is nothing unusual about this type of activity. A math
teacher at the Urban Assembly Academy of History and Citizenship
rushed outside the school one day last fall when he heard that
a student was being assaulted. He saw a police officer slam
a boy against a car. Explaining that the boy was his student,
the teacher said, “He’s just a kid.”

According to the report, the police officer then hit and
shoved the teacher. People in a group that had gathered
cried out: “He’s a teacher! He’s a teacher!”

A second officer reportedly grabbed the teacher from behind
and threw him onto the sidewalk. The teacher’s head bounced
against the pavement. While on the ground, the teacher was
handcuffed as students and school staffers looked on. He
was arrested and taken off to jail.

The report, a must-read for anyone interested in the reality
of public school life in New York, is titled “Criminalizing
the Classroom” http://www.nyclu.org/policinginschools/
and was released jointly by the New York Civil
Liberties Union and the Racial Justice Program of the
national A.C.L.U.

“Girls,” the report said, “are particularly targeted for
intrusive searches. Girls whose underwire bras set off
metal detectors must lift up their shirts so (security
aides) can verify that they are not concealing metal
objects. Many girls reported that officers ordered
them to unbuckle and/or unzip their pants for the
purpose of verifying that the students were not
concealing cellphones.”

There is no excuse whatever for this systematic mistreatment
of New York City students. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in
charge of the school system, and he and Commissioner Ray Kelly
run the Police Department. Parents across the city should
demand that they step in and bring this cruel madness
to an end.

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5) A Legal Debate in Guantánamo on Boy Fighters
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
June 3, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/us/03gitmo.html?hp

The facts of Omar Ahmed Khadr’s case are grim. The shrapnel from the grenade he is accused of throwing ripped through the skull of Sgt. First Class Christopher J. Speer, who was 28 when he died.

To American military prosecutors, Mr. Khadr is a committed Al Qaeda operative, spy and killer who must be held accountable for killing Sergeant Speer in 2002 and for other bloody acts he committed in Afghanistan.

But there is one fact that may not fit easily into the government’s portrait of Mr. Khadr: He was 15 at the time.

His age is at the center of a legal battle that is to begin tomorrow with an arraignment by a military judge at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, of Mr. Khadr, whom a range of legal experts describe as the first child fighter in decades to face war-crimes charges. It is a battle with implications as large as the growing ranks of child fighters around the world.

Defense lawyers argue that military prosecutors are violating international law by filing charges that date from events that occurred when Mr. Khadr was 15 or younger. Legal concepts that are still evolving, the lawyers say, require that countries treat child fighters as victims of warfare, rather than war criminals.

The military prosecutors say such notions may be “well-meaning and worthy,” but are irrelevant to the American military commissions at Guantánamo. Mr. Khadr is one of only three Guantánamo detainees to face charges under the law establishing the commissions, passed by Congress last year.

“International law,” the Justice Department asserted in a court filing in the case last week, “does not prohibit an individual under 18 from being prosecuted for war crimes.” Even so, prosecutors said that if they won a conviction, they would seek something less than a life term, given Mr. Khadr’s age. He is 20 now.

Whatever the outcome, his case seems destined to become a landmark, though some scholars say not enough attention has been given to its importance. “What is the precedent that we are setting with this unique step?” asked Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written about child fighters.

Mr. Khadr’s case offers a snapshot of relatively new questions surrounding the legal treatment of child fighters globally, though advocates for children have tended to focus less on young terrorists and more on children who fight in civil wars, like Ishmael Beah, whose best-selling memoir, “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier,” recounts his bloody days as a child soldier in Sierra Leone’s civil war.

Mr. Khadr may not be the most sympathetic figure for those pressing for the more forgiving interpretation of international law. He was born in Canada to a family with such deep Al Qaeda ties that some newspapers there have called them Canada’s first family of terrorism.

He is the youngest detainee at Guantánamo Bay, nearly blind in one eye from injuries sustained during the July 2002 firefight in which Sergeant Speer was mortally wounded and another American soldier was severely injured. Last week, Mr. Khadr said he wanted to fire all of his American lawyers, and some of them said they understood why he might distrust Americans after five years at Guantánamo.

Still, they argue that war-crimes prosecutors should focus on the adults who press children into service, not on the children themselves. The charges against Mr. Khadr, they said in a recent court filing, cross a line in the treatment of children that no other country has crossed “in modern history.”

The prosecutors, they say, included in their charges acts that occurred when Mr. Khadr was younger than 10. Mr. Khadr “was subject to undue adult influences,” said Muneer I. Ahmad, an associate professor at the American University Washington College of Law, who has represented Mr. Khadr.

“If Omar had had his free choice,” Professor Ahmad said, “what he would have chosen to do is ride horses, play soccer and read Harry Potter books.”

It is an appeal to emotion that the prosecutors are likely to meet with their own. Sergeant Speer left a wife and two small children. His widow, Tabitha, said in an e-mail exchange with a reporter last week that Mr. Khadr’s youth entitled him to no special consideration.

“Given the opportunity, he would do it all over again,” she wrote. “He was trained to do exactly what he did, regardless of his age.”

To the prosecutors, Mr. Khadr is the essence of a young man who should be held to adult standards. American officials say his father, Ahmed Said Khadr, who was killed in a shootout with Pakistani forces in 2003, was a senior deputy to Osama bin Laden.

One of Mr. Khadr’s brothers is in a wheelchair as a result of that 2003 shootout; another told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation “we are an Al Qaeda family.” Ahmed Khadr traveled internationally from Canada under the auspices of handling charity money for Muslims. In the mid-1990s, he was held for a time in Pakistan on suspicion of helping finance the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad.

After he was released, the Khadrs and several of their six children moved from Canada to Afghanistan, where they lived at times in the same compound as Osama bin Laden, officials have said. “All of the children were indoctrinated into the Al Qaeda way of thinking,” said the chief military prosecutor at Guantánamo, Col. Morris D. Davis of the Air Force.

After Sept. 11, Mr. Khadr made deliberate choices to join Al Qaeda and eventually to kill Sergeant Speer, Colonel Davis said in a recent interview. “There is a difference,” Colonel Davis said, “between a 15-year-old who makes a spur-of-the-moment decision and someone who made a long-term choice.”

Captured bloody and bullet-riddled after the firefight that killed Sergeant Speer, Mr. Khadr has been held at Guantánamo since 2002. At least three other juveniles, perhaps as young as 12, were also held there for a time. But they were released in January 2004, the military said.

Mr. Khadr’s lawyers have said in court that he has been subject to physical and psychological torture that exploited his youth, another example of what they say is a violation of international principles that children be accorded special protections.

In legal filings, the lawyers have asserted, for example, that an interrogator at Guantánamo told Mr. Khadr when he was 17 that if he did not cooperate he would be sent to Egypt where he would be confronted by “Soldier No. 9,” a man who the interrogators said would be sent to rape him.

Asked about the accusations, a Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, said they “may be raised by counsel during the course of the trial” but he would not discuss the specifics of the accusations. Commander Gordon added that detainees “have frequently made allegations of abuse while in detention in order to garner public support.”

In their filings, the prosecutors concede that some treaties require special treatment of children caught in warfare. Some of those treaties, they noted, have not been ratified by the United States, and others do not specifically ban prosecution of combatants who are 15 or older.

Some legal experts acknowledge that it is difficult to define precisely what international law requires in the treatment of child fighters. It is a fluid discipline, with few enforcement mechanisms, and there are inconsistent precedents and treaty provisions.

But even those who say there is no bar to the war crimes prosecutions of youthful fighters say the growing use of child fighters around the world means that Mr. Khadr’s case could become pivotal.

“More and more child soldiers are being recruited, and they are committing heinous crimes. This is an issue the international community is going to have to confront,” said Michael A. Newton, a former military prosecutor and expert on the law of war who teaches at Vanderbilt University Law School.

The two sides in the Khadr case interpret some international legal documents differently. One subject on which they differ is a treaty to which the United States is a party, a 2002 United Nations agreement dealing with child fighters.

The defense notes that the agreement requires countries to demobilize captured child fighters and to provide assistance for their physical and psychological recovery “and their social reintegration.”

The defense lawyers say that means sending them home. That would be inconsistent with the potential life term Mr. Khadr faces on charges of murder, attempted murder, spying, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism.

But government lawyers note that the child-soldier treaty does not expressly rule out war crimes prosecutions for juveniles. Another international child-soldier provision that has become a central issue in Mr. Khadr’s case is a law approved by the United Nations for the prosecution of war crimes after the Sierra Leone civil war in the 1990s. It specifically provides that “persons of 15 years of age” and older can be charged with war crimes.

Colonel Davis said that was a significant precedent. “If the United Nations has signed on to the principle that people who are 15 can be prosecuted for war crimes,” he said, “the notion that we’re blazing a new trail with Mr. Khadr is a false assumption.”

But the former chief war crimes prosecutor for Sierra Leone, David M. Crane, said in an interview that soon after he was appointed by Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations in 2002, he announced that he would not prosecute anyone under 18.

Mr. Crane, a former senior Pentagon legal official who is now a professor at Syracuse University Law School, said the Sierra Leone civil war included a catalogue of horrific acts by teenagers and children. But he said he concluded that warriors under 18 did not have the intellectual and emotional maturity to be prosecuted for war crimes.

“I called them as much victims as the people they raped, maimed and mutilated,” he said.

One person who has reached a different conclusion about the culpability of child fighters is Layne Morris, a housing administrator in a Salt Lake City suburb. Mr. Morris is a former Army Special Forces sergeant, who, like Mr. Khadr, is half-blind because of the firefight that day outside Khost, Afghanistan.

On a recent day, Mr. Morris remembered the stream of shots from AK-47s inside a compound a coalition patrol had surrounded. He remembered the hand grenades that kept coming over the wall. And he described the feeling of the shrapnel that took half his sight.

He said the battle did not unfold quickly, as it sometimes seems in the retelling. American forces surrounded the compound. And then they waited. Some women from the compound emerged and were allowed to leave, Mr. Morris said. A boy fighter would have had the chance to walk out of the gate, too, he said.

There were shots. And more waiting, as the Americans called for air support.

Anyone who was inside had a choice of fighting or surrendering, he said, including Mr. Khadr.

“There is just no way you can say this is a poor befuddled, brainwashed kid,” Mr. Morris said. “This is a kid who made a whole lot of decisions on his own.”

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LINKS AND VERY SHORT STORIES

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Somalia: The Other (Hidden) War for Oil
by Carl Bloice; Black Commentator
May 07, 2007
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=12768

Interview With Cindy Sheehan: "We'll Come Back Stronger"
"Prominent anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan tells NOW's David
Brancaccio that she plans to rest, spend time with her family,
and then continue her struggle against the Iraq war. "We're
going to pull back and regroup and figure out a better way
to come at this," Sheehan said in a NOW on the News web-
exclusive audio interview."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060107R.shtml

Pentagon IG Report Details Central Role
of Psychologists in Detainee
Interrogations and Abuse
Shrinks and the SERE Technique at Guantanamo
By STEPHEN SOLDZ
May 29, 2007
www.counterpunch.org

Inuit leader: stop expansion of Stansted airport
By Cahal Milmo
"One of the most prominent members of the Inuit community
will today plead for an end to the expansion of Stansted
Airport and deliver a devastating critique of the link
between Britain's cheap flights culture and the effects
of climate change on his people.
Aqqaluk Lynge will present evidence of the increasing
loss of Inuit villages and hunting grounds across the
Arctic. His testimony will be given to the public inquiry
opening today into plans to dramatically increase the
number of passengers using London's third airport."
Published: 30 May 2007
http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2594163.ece

Andrew Sullivan: American interrogation techniques
borrowed from Nazis
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/verschfte_verne.html

Overhaul of Immigration Law Could Reshape New York
By NINA BERNSTEIN
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/nyregion/30families.html?ref=nyregion

Los Angeles Police Chief Notes Failures of Command at Rally
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/us/30LAPD.html?ref=us

Mexico: Migrant Jumps to His Death in Immigration Sweep
By MARC LACEY
A raid by the authorities on a train carrying undocumented
Central American immigrants in southern Mexico ended in
tragedy on Monday as a man jumped to his death from
a moving rail car and a boy had his leg severed by the
train’s wheels. “We were all on top of the train when
the police began chasing us,” the boy, Luis Carlos
Hernández, 14, from Honduras, told The Associated Press
from a hospital in Veracruz, where he was recovering
from an amputated right leg. The unidentified man who
jumped fell onto the tracks and was decapitated, officials
said.
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/world/americas/30briefs-migrant.html

Site Pulled Calling Anti-War Advocates Terrorists
Anti-Abortion, Gay-Rights Groups Also Included
http://www.nbc6.net/news/13398523/detail.html?taf=ami

Stun gun use on mentally ill questioned
© 2007 The Associated Press
May 28, 2007, 12:28AM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/4840930.html

As Allies Turn Foe, Disillusion Rises in Some G.I.’s
By MICHAEL KAMBER
May 28, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/world/middleeast/28delta.html?ref=world

Wealthy Enclave Offers Windfall for Candidates
By ALISON LEIGH COWAN
"GREENWICH, Conn., May 25 — Senator John McCain made his
pitch to this gilded shoreline suburb back in April.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts came on May 7,
followed one night later by former President Bill Clinton
on behalf of his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Last weekend, it was back-to-back appearances by Senator
Barack Obama, topped off on Sunday with a visit from
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor.
With the mansions along its winding back roads now awash
in hedge fund money, Greenwich has joined New York,
Los Angeles and Silicon Valley as must stops on the
presidential fund-raising tour, with prominent locals
now boasting of candidate scuff marks on their basketball
courts, Secret Service T-shirts in their closets and framed
pictures of their children with the candidates on their
mantels. For a town that has wealth and corporate clout
to spare, the fund-raisers fill a void: access to a potential
White House resident."
May 28, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/us/politics/28greenwich.html?hp

Site Pulled Calling Anti-War Advocates Terrorists
Anti-Abortion, Gay-Rights Groups Also Included
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Homeland
Security has taken down a Web site it operated that
included gay rights, anti-war and anti-abortion organizations
in a list of groups that could include terrorists.
The site included the groups under a description of what
it called "single-issue extremists." The Web site says
such groups include people who feel they are trying to
create a better world.
The director of the department said his agency received
a number of calls and e-mails from people who said they
felt the site unfairly targeted certain people just
because of their beliefs. He said he plans to put the
Web site back on the Internet, but will no longer
identify specific types of groups.
POSTED: 10:27 pm EDT May 27, 2007
UPDATED: 10:28 pm EDT May 27, 2007
http://www.nbc6.net/news/13398523/detail.html?taf=ami

INTERVIEW: AS'AD ABUKHALIL ON THE NAHR AL-BARED SIEGE
By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Lebanon, 24 May 2007
"Thousands of Palestinian refugees are fleeing from Nahr
al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon as five days of
fighting by the Lebanese army and a militant group known
as Fath al-Islam has left dozens of soldiers and fighters
and an unknown number of civilians dead. As the situation
of these Palestinian refugees worsens, 59 years after they
were first expelled from their homeland into Lebanon, the
world looks on in silence. Electronic Intifada co-founder
Ali Abunimah spoke with As'ad Abukhalil, the creator of
the Angry Arab News Service blog on the origins of Fath
al-Islam, the events that led to the violence and what it
means for Lebanon and the region."
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6945.shtml

US Show of Force in Gulf "Greatly Alarming"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/052607A.shtml

Federal agents arrest over 100 for immigration violations
in Missouri raid
Michael Sung
JURIST@law.pitt.edu
5/23/2007
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/05/federal-agents-arrest-over-100-for.php

Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Hurt at Pump
By JAD MOUAWAD
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/business/24refinery.html?ref=business

For the First Time, New York Links a Death to 9/11 Dust
By ANTHONY DePALMA
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/nyregion/24dust.html?ref=nyregion

$5 Million Settlement in Boot Camp Death
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 23 (AP) — The family of a teenager
who died after being roughed up by guards at a juvenile boot
camp last year will receive $5 million under a bill signed
Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Crist.
The teenager, Martin L. Anderson, 14, died in January 2006
shortly after being kneed and struck and having ammonia
tablets held to his nose at the military-style facility
run by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in Panama City, Fla.
Mr. Crist and several lawmakers pushed for the settlement
this spring despite the Legislature’s general distaste
for claims measures.
The state has already paid Martin’s parents $200,000, the
most allowed by law without legislative approval. The bill
signed by Mr. Crist pays the remaining $4.8 million.
The sheriff’s office has separately settled with the Anderson
family for $2.4 million. Seven guards and a nurse employed
at the camp face manslaughter charges.
An initial autopsy said Martin died of complications from
sickle cell trait. But a second autopsy said the death
was caused by suffocation resulting from being forced
to inhale the ammonia.
Martin entered the camp for a probation violation for
trespassing at a school after he and his cousins were
charged with stealing their grandmother’s car.
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/us/24florida.html

ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
http://electronicIntifada.net

ONGOING SPECIAL COVERAGE OF SIEGE OF LEBANON REFUGEE CAMP:
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/674.shtml

ONGOING SPECIAL COVERAGE OF RENEWED ISRAELI STRIKES ON GAZA:
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/672.shtml

Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill
By CARL HULSE
May 23, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/washington/23cong.html?ref=world

Film Offers New Talking Points in Health Care Debate
By MILT FREUDENHEIM and LIZA KLAUSSMANN
May 22, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/business/media/22react.html?ref=business

Kentucky: Families Sue in Mine Blast
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The sole survivor of a mine explosion last year and relatives
of four of the five miners killed sued the coal company,
saying it had put production over safety. The suit cited
safety violations against the company, Kentucky Darby;
a supervisor, Ralph Napier; and Jericol Mining, which
provided management, planning, engineering and safety
training to the mine, Darby Mine No. 1. The plaintiffs
also seek damages against the manufacturer of the emergency
air packs that the victims used.
May 22, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/us/22brfs-FAMILIESSUEI_BRF.html

IRAQ: Educational standards plummet, say specialists
http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=72168

Exclusive: Secret US plot to kill Al-Sadr
By Patrick Cockburn In Baghdad
Published: 21 May 2007
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2565123.ece

What's Next in Iraq? Juan Cole Interviews Ali A. Allawi
"Will a surge of U.S. troops make
a difference in Iraq? How viable is
the current Iraqi government? Will
an American withdrawal lead to
all-out civil war?
May 25, 2007
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i38/38b00601.htm

Black Media Delegation Returns from Darfur
Final Call, News Report, Jehron Muhammad,
Posted: May 20, 2007
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=b4a5f713b944aebb26047375d0629bf7

Soldier’s Smallpox Inoculation Sickens Son
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
"A 2-year-old boy spent seven weeks in the hospital
and nearly died from a viral infection he got from
the smallpox vaccination his father received before
shipping out to Iraq, according to a government report
and the doctors who treated him."
May 18, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/18/health/18smallpox.html?ref=health

My Dear Fellow Species
By MARY JO MURPHY
"THE Origin of Species” is almost 150 — a fit survivor
of the science canon even if not everyone has seen fit
to jump from the Ark to the Beagle on the matter of
evolution (three Republican presidential candidates,
for example). But Darwin himself was slow to come to
his ideas, and slower still to disclose them to
a skeptical public. Last week, the Darwin Correspondence
Project, based at Cambridge University, put about 5,000
letters to and from Darwin, some of them previously
unpublished, online at darwinproject.ac.uk, with thousands
more to follow. The searchable database lets anyone track
the painstaking development of his research and thinking
— on all kinds of topics, personal and professional,
and with a huge array of correspondents." MARY JO MURPHY
May 20, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/weekinreview/20word.html?ref=science

The Closing of the University Commons
by Michael Perelman
May 19, 2007
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/perelman190507.html

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS AND INFORMATION

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LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/qws/ff/qr?term=lapd&Submit=S&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Search&st=s

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Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo9ewi/proudtobeblack2/

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"We are far from that stage today in our era of the absolute
lie; the complete and totalitarian lie, spread by the
monopolies of press and radio to imprison social
consciousness." December 1936, "In 'Socialist' Norway,"
by Leon Trotsky: “Leon Trotsky in Norway” was transcribed
for the Internet by Per I. Matheson [References from
original translation removed]
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/12/nor.htm

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Wealth Inequality Charts
http://www.faireconomy.org/research/wealth_charts.html

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MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmzaaf-9aHQ

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ADDICTED TO WAR
Animated Video Preview
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Is now on YouTube and Google Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZwyuHEN5h8

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

In Peace,

Frank Dorrel
Publisher
Addicted To War
P.O. Box 3261
Culver City, CA 90231-3261
310-838-8131
fdorrel@addictedtow ar.com
fdorrel@sbcglobal. net
www.addictedtowar. com

For copies of the book:

http://www.addictedtowar.com/book.html

OR SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:
Frank Dorrel
P.O. BOX 3261
CULVER CITY, CALIF. 90231-3261
fdorrel@addictedtowar.com
$10.00 per copy (Spanish or English); special bulk rates
can be found at: http://www.addictedtowar.com/bookbulk.html

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

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DEMAND THE RELEASE OF SAMI AL-ARIAN

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!

See:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/16/1410255

ACTION:

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
Email: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

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

3- Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202)224-4242
senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

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 given...bw]

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)
http://www.arab-american.net/

Criminalizing Solidarity: Sami Al-Arian and the War of
Terror
By Charlotte Kates, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2007
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6767.shtml

Related:

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. co.uk/world/ fisk/article2430 125.ece

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[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51bsCRv6kI0
...bw]

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Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez
http://www.borev.net/2007/03/what_you_had_something_better.html

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Which country should we invade next?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3g_zqz3VjY

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup
http://www.myspace.com/thecoupmusic

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeOaTpYl8mE

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LsGoDWC0o

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfCjfod8yuw

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'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
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2042968,00.html

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Introducing...................the Apple iRack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KWYYIY4jQ

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

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THIS IS AN EXCELLENT VIDEO DESTRIBUTED BY U.S. LABOR AGAINST
THE WAR (USLAW) FEATURING SPEAKERS AT THE JANUARY 27TH
MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOCUSING ON THE DEMAND - BRING
THE TROOPS HOME NOW.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6935451906479097836&hl=en

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Defend the Los Angeles Eight!
http://www.committee4justice.com/

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George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcJoJZIcQW4&eurl_

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Iran
http://www.lucasgray.com/video/peacetrain.html

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Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran
http://d3130.servadmin.com/~leeflash/

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Petition: Halt the Blue Angels
http://action.globalexchange.org/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=458
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/289327

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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
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1091431409617440489

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Film/Song about Angola
http://www.prisonactivist.org/angola/

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"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
Venceremos
View sign at bottom of page at:
http://www.cubasolidarity.net/index.html
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending this...bw]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

The trailer can be viewed and the film can be ordered for $24.95 plus
$4.95 for shipping and handling at http://www.fullduck.com/node/53.

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

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

Contact:

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Don
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

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A NEW LOOK AT U.S. RADIOACTIVE WEAPONS
Join us in a campaign to expose and stop the use
of these illegal weapons
http://poisondust.org/

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You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle
Che:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqcezl9dD2c
Leon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukkFVV5X0p4

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FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein
http://www.walterlippmann.com/sylvia-weinstein-fightback-intro.html

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[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
http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret]

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END ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL!
Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
https://secure2.convio.net/pep/site/Advocacy?
JServSessionIdr003=cga2p2o6x1.app2a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=177

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Sand Creek Massacre
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

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.

You can help. The 22-MINUTE SAND CREEK MASSACRE
DOCUMENTARY PRESENTATION/EDUCATIONAL DVD IS
READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (dvasicek@earthlink.net, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Don
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

SHOP:
http://www.manataka.org/page633.html
BuyIndies.com
donvasicek.com.

Friday, June 01, 2007

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2007

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SAN FRANCISCO

FREEDOM NEXT TIME: AN EVENING WITH JOHN PILGER

Pilger will discuss his new book, Freedom Next Time
(Nation Books) and show his film Breaking the Silence:
Truth and Lies in the War on Terror. This film, set
in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Washington, looks at President
Bush's "war on terror" and the "liberation" of countries
where bloodshed and repression continue. Followed
by audience dialogue and a book signing.

Wednesday, June 13- 7 PM
Doors open 6:00 PM

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (http://www.ybca.org/)
YBCA Theater
700 Howard St. at Third

$15 general, $5 students

A book signing of Freedom Next Time and other books
by John Pilger will follow the event.

Presented by The Center for Economic Research and
Social Change, The Nation Institute, and KPFA, with
support from the Wallace Global Fund.

For ticket information, call 415-978-2787 or order
online at http://www.ybca.org/. In person tickets
at YBCA Box office located inside the Galleries and
Forum Building, 701 Mission Street at Third.
(Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun: noon - 5 pm;
Thu: noon - 8 pm.)

For media inquiries, contact (212) 209-5407 or ruth@thenation.com.

For more information, email pilgersf@gmail.com

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ARTICLES IN FULL:

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1) Trust and Betrayal
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Op-Ed Columnist
May 28, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/opinion/28krugman.html?hp

2) Cuba’s Cure
Why is Cuba Exporting Its Health Care Miracle
To The World’s Poor?
By Sarah van Gelder
Cubans say they offer health care to the world’s
poor because they have big hearts.
But what do they get in return?
May 25, 2007
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/25/1458/

3) Who killed the honeybees?
"A round table of experts answer all our pressing questions about the
sudden death of the nation's bees. What they have to say has a bigger
sting than we ever expected."
By Kevin Berger
May. 29, 2007
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/05/29/missing_bees/print.html

4) Small Incidents Are Creating a Big Problem With the N.Y.P.D.
By BOB HERBERT
Op-Ed Columnist
May 29, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/opinion/29herbert.html?hp

5) Justices’ Ruling Limits Suits on Pay Disparity
By LINDA GREENHOUSE
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/washington/30scotus.html?hp

6) Lawyer Seeks Bias Inquiry Into City Police
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/nyregion/30police.html

7) Immigrants and Prison
By DAVID LEONHARDT
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/business/30leonside.html

8) Turning Off Suspect Gene Makes Mice Smarter
By REUTERS
May 29, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/health/29mice.html

9) A retiree healthcare deal astir in Detroit
Detroit automakers, hit with huge losses, may spin
responsibility off to the labor union during contract
talks this summer.
By Mark Trumbull
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
May 29, 2007
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0529/p01s02-usec.html

10) Another Immigration Myth Bites the Dust
"By now, the vast majority of states in the nation have considered or have
passed legislation targeting undocumented immigrants living and working
within their city limits."
(Source: Angus Reid Global Monitor)
http://www.latinalista.net/palabrafinal/2007/05/by_now_the_vast_majority.html

11) DEFEND CINDY SHEEHAN
http://troopsoutnow.org/

12) Venezuela responds to UK' National Union of Journalists
From: WALTER LIPPMANN
Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
writer - photographer - activist
http://www.walterlippmann.com

13) Venezuela National Assembly asks for the expropriation
of Sanitarios Maracay
By Jorge Martin
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
http://www.marxist.com/nat-assembly-expropriation-sanitarios.htm

14) The Despair of Cindy Sheehan and Andrew Bracevich
Appropriate Disillusionment
By GARY LEUPP
May 31, 2007
http://www.counterpunch.com/leupp05312007.html

15) An Open Letter to Ms. Oprah Winfrey
On Her Invitation to My Palestine
Ali Baghdadi
arabjournl@aol.com

16) Injustice 5, Justice 4
Editorial
May 31, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/opinion/31thu1.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

17) Judge Orders Detainee’s Release
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 31, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/washington/31release.html

18) Poor-Washing, the Gates Foundation & the
‘Green Revolution’ in Africa
By Bruce Dixon
May 31, 2007
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=236&Itemid=40

19) Chávez Looks at His Critics in the Media and Sees the Enemy
By SIMON ROMERO
June 1, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/world/americas/01venez.html

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1) Trust and Betrayal
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Op-Ed Columnist
May 28, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/opinion/28krugman.html?hp

“In this place where valor sleeps, we are reminded why
America has always gone to war reluctantly, because we
know the costs of war.” That’s what President Bush said
last year, in a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington
National Cemetery.

Those were fine words, spoken by a man with less right
to say them than any president in our nation’s history.
For Mr. Bush took us to war not with reluctance, but
with unseemly eagerness.

Now that war has turned into an epic disaster, in part
because the war’s architects, whom we now know were
warned about the risks, didn’t want to hear about them.
Yet Congress seems powerless to stop it. How did it
all go so wrong?

Future historians will shake their heads over how easily
America was misled into war. The warning signs, the
indications that we had a rogue administration determined
to use 9/11 as an excuse for war, were there, for those
willing to see them, right from the beginning — even
before Mr. Bush began explicitly pushing for war with Iraq.

In fact, the very first time Mr. Bush declared a war
on terror that “will not end until every terrorist group
of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,”
people should have realized that he was going to use
the terrorist attack to justify anything and everything.

When he used his first post-attack State of the Union
to denounce an “axis of evil” consisting of three
countries that had nothing to do either with 9/11
or with each other, alarm bells should have gone off.

But the nation, brought together in grief and anger over
the attack, wanted to trust the man occupying the White
House. And so it took a long time before Americans were
willing to admit to themselves just how thoroughly their
trust had been betrayed.

It’s a terrible story, yet it’s also understandable.
I wasn’t really surprised by Republican election victories
in 2002 and 2004: nations almost always rally around their
leaders in times of war, no matter how bad the leaders
and no matter how poorly conceived the war.

The question was whether the public would ever catch on.
Well, to the immense relief of those who spent years trying
to get the truth out, they did. Last November Americans
voted overwhelmingly to bring an end to Mr. Bush’s war.

Yet the war goes on.

To keep the war going, the administration has brought
the original bogyman back out of the closet. At first,
Mr. Bush said he would bring Osama bin Laden in, dead
or alive. Within seven months after 9/11, however, he
had lost interest: “I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at
the center of any command structure,” he said in March
2002. “I truly am not that concerned about him.”

In all of 2003, Mr. Bush, who had an unrelated war to
sell, made public mention of the man behind 9/11 only
seven times.

But Osama is back: last week Mr. Bush invoked his name
11 times in a single speech, warning that if we leave
Iraq, Al Qaeda — which wasn’t there when we went in —
will be the winner. And Democrats, still fearing that
they will end up accused of being weak on terror and
not supporting the troops, gave Mr. Bush another year’s
war funding.

Democratic Party activists were furious, because polls
show a public utterly disillusioned with Mr. Bush and
anxious to see the war ended. But it’s not clear that
the leadership was wrong to be cautious. The truth is
that the nightmare of the Bush years won’t really be
over until politicians are convinced that voters will
punish, not reward, Bush-style fear-mongering. And that
hasn’t happened yet.

Here’s the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says
that Iran, which had nothing to do with 9/11, is part
of a “movement” that “has already displayed more aggressive
tendencies by coming here and killing us,” he should
be treated as a lunatic.

When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of “Shia and Sunni
and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and
Al Qaeda” wants to “bring down the West,” he should be
ridiculed for his ignorance.

And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn’t in Iraq,
will “follow us home” if we leave, he should be laughed at.

But they aren’t, at least not yet. And until belligerent,
uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt
it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will
keep sending other people’s children to graves at Arlington.

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2) Cuba’s Cure
Why is Cuba Exporting Its Health Care Miracle
To The World’s Poor?
By Sarah van Gelder
Cubans say they offer health care to the world’s
poor because they have big hearts.
But what do they get in return?
May 25, 2007
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/25/1458/

They live longer than almost anyone in Latin America. Far
fewer babies die. Almost everyone has been vaccinated, and
such scourges of the poor as parasites, TB, malaria, even
HIV/AIDS are rare or non-existent. Anyone can see a doctor,
at low cost, right in the neighborhood.

The Cuban health care system is producing a population
that is as healthy as those of the world’s wealthiest
countries at a fraction of the cost. And now Cuba has begun
exporting its system to under-served communities around
the world—including the United States.

The story of Cuba’s health care ambitions is largely hidden
from the people of the United States, where politics left
over from the Cold War maintain an embargo on information
and understanding. But it is increasingly well-known in the
poorest communities of Latin America, the Caribbean, and
parts of Africa where Cuban and Cuban-trained doctors
are practicing.

In the words of Dr. Paul Farmer, Cuba is showing that
“you can introduce the notion of a right to health care
and wipe out the diseases of poverty.”

Health Care for All Cubans

Many elements of the health care system Cuba is exporting
around the world are common-sense practices. Everyone has
access to doctors, nurses, specialists, and medications.
There is a doctor and nurse team in every neighborhood,
although somewhat fewer now, with 29,000 medical professionals
serving out of the country—a fact that is causing some
complaints. If someone doesn’t like their neighborhood
doctor, they can choose another one.

House calls are routine, in part because it’s the responsibility
of the doctor and nurse team to understand you and your health
issues in the context of your family, home, and neighborhood.
This is key to the system. By catching diseases and health
hazards before they get big, the Cuban medical system can
spend a little on prevention rather than a lot later on to
cure diseases, stop outbreaks, or cope with long-term disabilities.
When a health hazard like dengue fever or malaria is identified,
there is a coordinated nationwide effort to eradicate it. Cubans
no longer suffer from diphtheria, rubella, polio, or measles
and they have the lowest AIDS rate in the Americas, and the
highest rate of treatment and control of hypertension.

For health issues beyond the capacity of the neighborhood doctor,
polyclinics provide specialists, outpatient operations, physical
therapy, rehabilitation, and labs. Those who need inpatient
treatment can go to hospitals; at the end of their stay, their
neighborhood medical team helps make the transition home.
Doctors at all levels are trained to administer acupuncture,
herbal cures, or other complementary practices that Cuban labs
have found effective. And Cuban researchers develop their own
vaccinations and treatments when medications aren’t available
due to the blockade, or when they don’t exist.

Exporting Health Care

For decades, Cuba has sent doctors abroad and trained international
students at its medical schools. But things ramped up beginning
in 1998 when Hurricanes George and Mitch hammered Central America
and the Caribbean. As they had often done, Cuban doctors rushed
to the disaster zone to help those suffering the aftermath.
But when it was time to go home, it was clear to the Cuban
teams that the medical needs extended far beyond emergency
care. So Cuba made a commitment to post doctors in several
of these countries and to train local people in medicine
so they could pick up where the Cuban doctors left off. ELAM,
the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine, was born,
and with it the offer of 10,000 scholarships for free medical
training.

Today the program has grown to 22,000 students from Latin
America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the United States
who attend ELAM and 28 other medical schools across Cuba.
The students represent dozens of ethnic groups, 51 percent
are women, and they come from more than 30 countries.
What they have in common is that they would otherwise be
unable to get a medical education. When a slum dweller
in Port au Prince, a young indigenous person from Bolivia,
the son or daughter of a farmer in Honduras, or a street
vendor in the Gambia wants to become a doctor, they turn
to Cuba. In some cases, Venezuela pays the bill. But most
of the time, Cuba covers tuition, living expenses, books,
and medical care. In return, the students agree that,
upon completion of their studies, they will return to
their own under-served communities to practice medicine.

The curriculum at ELAM begins, for most students, with
up to a year of “bridging” courses, allowing them to
catch up on basic math, science, and Spanish skills.
The students are treated for the ailments many bring
with them.

At the end of their training, which can take up to eight
years, most students return home for residencies. Although
they all make a verbal commitment to serve the poor, a few
students quietly admit that they don’t see this as
a permanent commitment.

One challenge of the Cuban approach is making sure their
investment in medical education benefits those who need
it most. Doctors from poor areas routinely move to
wealthier areas or out of the country altogether. Cuba
trains doctors in an ethic of serving the poor. They
learn to see medical care as a right, not as a commodity,
and to see their own role as one of service. Stories
of Cuban doctors who practice abroad suggest these lessons
stick. They are known for taking money out of their own
pockets to buy medicine for patients who can’t afford
to fill a prescription, and for touching and even
embracing patients.

Cuba plans with the help of Venezuela to take their
medical training to a massive scale and graduate 100,000
doctors over the next 15 years, according to Dr. Juan
Ceballos, advisor to the vice minister of public health.
To do so, Cuba has been building new medical schools
around the country and abroad, at a rapid clip.

But the scale of the effort required to address current
and projected needs for doctors requires breaking out
of the box. The new approach is medical schools without
walls. Students meet their teachers in clinics and hospitals,
in Cuba and abroad, practicing alongside their mentors.
Videotaped lectures and training software mean students
can study anywhere there are Cuban doctors. The lower
training costs make possible a scale of medical education
that could end the scarcity of doctors.

U.S. Students in Cuba

Recently, Cuba extended the offer of free medical training
to students from the United States. It started when
Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi got curious
after he and other members of the Congressional Black
Caucus repeatedly encountered Cuban or Cuban-trained
doctors in poor communities around the world.

They visited Cuba in May 2000, and during a conversation
with Fidel Castro, Thompson brought up the lack of medical
access for his poor, rural constituents. “He [Castro] was
very familiar with the unemployment rates, health conditions,
and infant mortality rates in my district, and that surprised me,”
Thompson said. Castro offered scholarships for low-income
Americans under the same terms as the other international
students—they have to agree to go back and serve their
communities.

Today, about 90 young people from poor parts of the United
States have joined the ranks of international students
studying medicine in Cuba.

The offer of medical training is just one way Cuba has
reached out to the United States. Immediately after
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 1,500 Cuban doctors volunteered
to come to the Gulf Coast. They waited with packed bags and
medical supplies, and a ship ready to provide backup support.
Permission from the U.S. government never arrived.

“Our government played politics with the lives of people
when they needed help the most,” said Representative
Thompson. “And that’s unfortunate.”

When an earthquake struck Pakistan shortly afterwards,
though, that country’s government warmly welcomed the Cuban
medical professionals. And 2,300 came, bringing 32 field
hospitals to remote, frigid regions of the Himalayas. There,
they set broken bones, treated ailments, and performed
operations for a total of 1.7 million patients.

The disaster assistance is part of Cuba’s medical aid
mission that has extended from Peru to Indonesia, and
even included caring for 17,000 children sickened by
the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in
the Ukraine.

It isn’t only in times of disaster that Cuban health
care workers get involved. Some 29,000 Cuban health
professionals are now practicing in 69 countries—mostly
in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. In Venezuela,
about 20,000 of them have enabled President Hugo Chávez
to make good on his promise to provide health care to
the poor. In the shantytowns around Caracas and the
banks of the Amazon, those who organize themselves
and find a place for a doctor to practice and live
can request a Cuban doctor.

As in Cuba, these doctors and nurses live where they
serve, and become part of the community. They are
available for emergencies, and they introduce
preventative health practices.

Some are tempted to use their time abroad as an
opportunity to leave Cuba. In August, the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security announced a new policy that makes
it easier for Cuban medical professionals to come
to the U.S. But the vast majority remain on the job
and eventually return to Cuba.

Investing in Peace

How do the Cuban people feel about using their country’s
resources for international medical missions? Those
I asked responded with some version of this: We Cubans
have big hearts. We are proud that we can share what
we have with the world’s poor.

Nearly everyone in Cuba knows someone who has served
on a medical mission. These doctors encounter maladies
that have been eradicated from Cuba. They expand their
understanding of medicine and of the suffering associated
with poverty and powerlessness, and they bring home the
pride that goes with making a difference.

And pride is a potent antidote to the dissatisfaction
that can result from the economic hardships that continue
50 years into Cuba’s revolution.

From the government’s perspective, their investment in
medical internationalism is covered, in part, by ALBA,
the new trade agreement among Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua
and Cuba. ALBA, an alternative to the Free Trade Area
of the Americas, puts human needs ahead of economic growth,
so it isn’t surprising that Cuba’s health care offerings
fall within the agreement, as does Venezuelan oil, Bolivian
natural gas, and so on. But Cuba also offers help to countries
outside of ALBA.

“All we ask for in return is solidarity,” Dr. Ceballos says.

“Solidarity” has real-world implications. Before Cuba sent
doctors to Pakistan, relations between the two countries
were not great, Ceballos says. But now the relationship
is “magnificent.” The same is true of Guatemala and El
Salvador. “Although they are conservative governments,
they have become more flexible in their relationship
with Cuba,” he says.

Those investments in health care missions “are resources
that prevent confrontation with other nations,” Ceballos
explains. “The solidarity with Cuba has restrained
aggressions of all kinds.” And in a statement that
acknowledges Cuba’s vulnerabilities on the global stage,
Ceballos puts it this way: “It’s infinitely better
to invest in peace than to invest in war.”

Imagine, then, that this idea took hold. Even more
revolutionary than the right to health care for all
is the idea that an investment in health—or in clean
water, adequate food or housing—could be more powerful,
more effective at building security than bombers and
aircraft carriers.

Sarah van Gelder, executive editor of YES!, was in Cuba
(legally) in December 2006 visiting medical schools,
clinics, and hospitals. Her travel was supported by The
Atlantic Philanthropies, and MEDICC provided program
consulting.

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3) Who killed the honeybees?
"A round table of experts answer all our pressing questions about the
sudden death of the nation's bees. What they have to say has a bigger
sting than we ever expected."
By Kevin Berger
May. 29, 2007
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/05/29/missing_bees/print.html

The buzz about the alarming disappearance of bees has
been all about people food. Honeybees pollinate one-third of the fruits,
nuts and vegetables that end up in our homey kitchen baskets. If the
tireless apian workers didn't fly from one flower to the next,
depositing pollen grains so that fruit trees can bloom, America could
well be asking where its next meal would come from. Last fall, the
nation's beekeepers watched in horror as more than a quarter of their
2.4 million colonies collapsed, killing billions of nature's little
fertilizers.

But as a Salon round table discussion with bee experts revealed, the
mass exodus of bees to the great hive in the sky forebodes a bigger
story. The faltering dance between honeybees and trees is symptomatic of
industrial disease. As the scientists outlined some of the biological
agents behind "colony collapse disorder," and dismissed the ones that
are not -- sorry, friends, the Rapture is out -- they sketched a picture
of how we are forever altering the planet's delicate web of life.

The scientists constituted a fascinating foursome, each with his own
point of view. Jeffrey Pettis, research leader of the USDA's honeybee
lab, told us the current collapse is one of the worst in history. Eric
Mussen, of the Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of
California at Davis, maintained that it may only be cyclical. Wayne
Esaias, of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, an amateur beekeeper,
outlined his compelling views about the impact of climate change on
bees. And John McDonald, a biologist, beekeeper and gentleman farmer in
rural Pennsylvania, reminded us, if at times sardonically, of the poetry
in agriculture.

First things first. The Internet, as you know, loves a rumor. Are
cellphones killing the bees?

JEFFREY PETTIS: All the explanations that bees became disoriented by
cellphone radiation, or this, that and the other thing -- there is zero
evidence for any of it. All we know is we lost the worker population and
they died away from the hive. What's unusual is they died over a short
time period. Are they flying off to Nirvana? Who knows where they are?
They are just dying away from the hive, which is normal.

ERIC MUSSEN: It's important to look at what's normal. In the summer,
bees go through a six-week life cycle: three inside the hive, three
outside it as foragers. Then they die of old age. When bees are coming
to the end of their life for whatever reason, they just fly off and
don't come back. They fly out to die because flying out and dying is
what they do. The question is, Why are we seeing bees with such a
shortened life cycle? Well, now we're talking about winter bees. As you
move into fall, the colony is supposed to be rearing bees that have a
long life expectancy -- from about October to March of the next year.
The problem is the winter bees aren't making it. Everything just sort of
fell apart near the end of this summer and those bees that were supposed
to live up to six months didn't come close.

JOHN McDONALD: That cellphone thing is a major source of irritation to
me. If it were true, I suspect about 10,000 people at Penn State would
be lying on the street dead now. And yet you see them walking around and
talking on cellphones. My son explained to me that cellphone radiation
puts out a wavelength of about three inches. A honeybee is
three-quarters of an inch long and so the bee is going to create
virtually no shadow in that wavelength. That's one reason why I look
askance at that theory. The other is where I live, in the middle of
Appalachia, the bees are disappearing and there are virtually no cellphones.

One scientist has said solving the bees' disappearance is like "CSI" for
agriculture. What's the latest word from the lab?

PETTIS: The latest word is we're working on a lot of different samples
we've collected throughout the year. We're working under the idea that
bees have suffered a one-two punch. The first is a primary stressor --
poor diet, mites, or low-level pesticide exposure. That puts them in a
compromised or weak state, and then a secondary pathogen takes over.
Because of how quickly the bees are dying, it seems most likely a
pathogen would be involved. So we're looking for a secondary pathogen
that might be unique or novel.

Are pesticides a major culprit?

MUSSEN: Perhaps 10 percent of commercial bee colonies in any given year
are either severely damaged or die on contact with agricultural
pesticides. But there's no reason to believe the exposure this year is
any different from last year or any other year.

John, you wrote a pretty strong opinion piece that fingered Bt crops,
which have been genetically modified to control insect pests. Based on
your experiences as a beekeeper, how did you come to that conclusion?

McDONALD: My first collapse started last summer when a powerful colony,
in a manner of a week, went downhill. The drone cone sort of cascaded
down over the foundation like ice on a mountain. In another hive that
was equally strong, the bees ended up lying dead on a mat that extended
about six feet. That didn't happen with the other hives, which is
indicative of agricultural poisoning. Also, the drones hung around until
snowfall, which is unusual, indicating some kind of kind of behavioral
dysfunction with the worker bees.

I did a little research and found two studies about the Bt phenomenon.
When you look at the action of Bt gene proteins taken up in the gut of
insects, including bees, you find an enzyme that gobbles its way through
any protein there and affects the insects. And bees are known to forage
on corn flowers to get pollen to rear their young brood. I'm not saying
Bt is the sole cause of collapse, only that I would like to have it
investigated.

Is there any evidence, Jeff or Eric, of Bt crops killing bees?

MUSSEN: When Bt crops were being used in the fields to control
lepidopteron insects, or butterflies, there were a significant number of
studies run to try to determine whether or not incorporating Bt into the
food of the adult bees, or the larvae, would hurt the bees. And the
answer was no.

PETTIS: I contributed to a recent study where we directly fed the Bt
toxin to whole bee colonies and could demonstrate no effects on them.

MUSSEN: There was a study, and perhaps this is the one John is referring
to, that showed the active chemical in these Bt cultures is a protein
crystal that develops in organisms. For four years in a row, an
institution fed that protein to honeybees at 10 times the amount that
they would ever encounter in the field if they were feeding on pollen.
In three of the four years, they saw nothing out of the ordinary. In the
fourth year, a parasite showed up, and the bees that had been consuming
the protein appeared to suffer more. The experiment didn't say the Bt
protein gave the bees the "disappearing" disease, or that it killed all
of them; it just said the bees that came in contact with the crops
appeared to be more negatively affected by the parasite.

Can you tell us about your experiences with colony collapse, Wayne, and
your studies to understand wider ecological causes?

WAYNE ESAIAS: Sure. I'm a small beekeeper. I have about 15 colonies and
have experienced some loss. I realize there are many symptoms involved.
Still, there are one or two I'm puzzled about. I keep records of when my
bees collect pollen and nectar in my backyard. I weigh the hive and I
have a time series that goes back to 1992. What I've seen over the
course of that time is due to local warming: The pollen and nectar flow
come almost a month earlier than they did in the 1970s. This is
coincident with the urbanization of the D.C.-Baltimore area, causing
temperatures to rise.

I'm also using data from NASA satellites to address how global warming
or environmental change might be impacting our honeybee populations, and
even the spread of the African honeybee. We see plants blooming at
different times of the year, and that's why the nectar flows are so much
earlier now. I need to underscore that I have no evidence that global
warming is a key player in colony collapse disorder. But it might be a
contributor, and changes like this might be upping the stress level of
our bee populations.

One new study suggested the collapse might be the result of a rare spore
called Nosema ceranae.

MUSSEN: If you get enough Nosema ceranae, yes, a colony will die. If you
get enough viruses, the colony will die. If you get enough mites, the
colony will die. If you get exposure to insecticides, the colony will
die. So all these things that we are looking at are capable of doing in
a colony. There's no doubt about it. So could a true lack of food.
Literally, you could starve the bees to death. Beekeepers have
accidentally done that many times. What you're going to find is that in
most cases there is not going to be one factor that did them in; it's
going to be a combination. This is the perfect storm for honeybees.

Millions of bees in California alone are trucked around from town to
town to be used as pollinators on farms. That's got to be awfully
stressful on them, right?

MUSSEN: Yes, it's a stress. But commercial beekeepers have been moving
substantial numbers of colonies on trucks for decades. I'm not convinced
that they're being moved more, or that it beats them up any worse that
it did ten years ago. California beekeepers have told me that in a
course of moving the colonies around in the back of the truck, they tend
to lose 10 percent of the queens with each move. Some feel it's that
high. But that doesn't meant that 10 percent of your bee colonies died;
many of them will come back and you will still have a colony.

One researcher has said that the competition for food among the millions
of bees used to pollinate almond trees in California could, essentially,
be working them to death. Do you agree?

MUSSEN: Almond trees aren't the problem. It's what happens after the
bees are done with the trees and are brought back to the holding yards.
In late fall, there is basically no food -- after the almonds -- so the
bees have to fend for themselves. Besides eucalyptus trees, there's a
bunch of weeds that the bees can feed on. They don't get heavy and fat
but they've got some food available.

PETTIS: Beekeepers are always looking for what they call "good pasture,"
places they can put the bees and not have to feed the bees themselves.
Florida has an abundant and diverse set of floral plants, so the bees
are not suffering. What's interesting is that there's a number of
government control programs for invasive weeds. Beekeepers love invasive
weeds. Most produce a lot of nectar for the bees. So there's been
competition in some cities over getting rid of the noxious weeds and
keeping them for beekeepers. But California is unusual in that
beekeepers are doing what we are starting to call "feedlot beekeeping,"
where we are having to provide resources because there is just not
enough food out there. And this is just to meet the almond-pollination
demands.

MUSSEN: The real problem in California is that we've only had half a
normal rainfall this year. So after the almonds, when the bees went out
to find other things, there was barely anything there. What was really
interesting was some of the bees looked like they were well on their way
to establishing good colonies. They looked like they could live on the
stored almonds they had picked up in the late summer and fall. But this
time they collapsed. So that's the question: Why?

And what's your answer?

MUSSEN: I'm probably the strongest advocate in the United States
suggesting that malnutrition was the underlying thing that set up our
bees to be whacked by everything else researchers are looking at.
Honeybees rely on pollen for protein, vitamins, fats and minerals.
That's where their major "health food" comes from. If we are having a
typical year, and the rains come, there aren't too many places in the
United States where the bees cannot find their mix of pollens to meet
their dietary needs and get them through a normal life cycle.

The question is, What happens when things don't go like that? Well, you
get this blast of hot temperature, which is about the time the flower
buds are forming and the pollen grains are beginning to form. What does
that do? You get sterile pollen. A beekeeper could look into the hive
and say, "I've got all kinds of pollen in there and the bees
disappeared." Well, right, you've got pollen grains, but do they have
any nutrition in them?

Anything that interferes with the availability of food, or the quality
of the food, is going to be detrimental to the bees. They don't have
much of an immune system, so the only way that they can resist being
infected by a lot of things is when they have their innate resistance
up, and the best resistance is when they're best fed. So my feeling is
that their nutrition just wasn't what it was supposed to be, and they
were susceptible when they should have been resistant. I think something
happened at the end of last year in many places in the temperate climate
around the world, not just here, and fouled up the bees' food supply.
Unless somebody tells me differently, I'm blaming it on the weather.

ESAIAS: One of the things that I've noticed in my short little time
series in my backyard is that I could pick out every El Niño and La Niña
effect. These are normal. These short-term climate changes are normal,
and our bee population and our natural pollinator population have seen
them, and they can probably handle them. What is disturbing is the
long-term trend. Maybe years of severe climate impact are going to be
more frequent and it's going to be really difficult to pick them out as
causative factors unless we have a coherent way of studying each one.

Could the bees be dying because once they are sent out to do their work
as pollinators on farms, they can't find their way back to their
colonies? Sometimes it seems like there are more mini-malls in America
than flowers, and maybe the bees can't navigate urban land patterns.

MUSSEN: Land patterns would be the least of their problems. When a
honeybee transitions from an in-hive bee to an outside bee, it flies
back and forth around the hive for a few minutes. Then it backs off and
goes further away. In the process, it is taking a bunch of snapshots.
That's how it's going to navigate from that time on -- through those
snapshots. It's going to learn the roads, the trees, the houses, and the
part of the hive with the entrance it uses. Bees use those landmarks to
determine where they are and where they are going. That's another reason
why cellphone communication is not going to rattle them unless it
completely fries their brains so they can't see anymore. But when you
put them into the environment where they have been flying, they'll
follow their landmarks home. So I don't think we have to worry about that.

McDONALD: I'm not sure. I've been thinking about the size of the current
soybean and corn crop, which I think impacts on this. When we fly over
the fields in a jet, we look down and think we see some pastoral idyll.
But the truth of the matter is, we may be looking at a slow-motion
ecological train wreck. I made some calculations, and the total soybean
and corn crop, including genetically modified seeds, is in a
neighborhood of 102 million acres. After a little basic arithmetic, that
would be a strip of crops running from Pennsylvania to the Rocky
Mountains. It would be 100 miles wide, and if you were flying over in a
plane, it would take you four hours. When you look at that thing at that
magnitude of disruption, you can't help but suspect that maybe there's
more to the picture than meets the eye, when you consider the absolute
scale of things, compared with natural environments where you still have
weeds and flowers.

ESAIAS: Land use has changed drastically in the past 100 years. There's
no question that urbanization is increasing at a fantastic rate. I was
thinking, as I was listening to John, that a lot of these concerns apply
to our native pollinators -- the things that live in the hedge rows and
the woods -- much more so than to our managed bee colonies, which are
generally cared for by beekeepers. Crops are a significant source of
pollen and nectar for our bees and our pollinators, and there is no
doubt in my mind that the flora quality is changing, even if we can't
say whether it's for the better or worse just now.

McDONALD: You know, I was looking at my flowering trees the other day. I
have a beautiful weeping crabapple, and my grandson, while standing
under the tree, which was just heavy with blossoms, said spontaneously,
"Last year that tree was humming with bees." Now there was one bumblebee
on it. The small nascent bees and other little bee types are absolutely
missing. Near that tree I've got acres of dandelions and you cannot find
one of the native pollinators. And it's not just the honeybees; it's
other pollinators like moths and butterflies. In many ways, their loss
is probably more alarming or indicative of a deep problem.

PETTIS: We rely on honeybees for agriculture because we can move them in
large numbers. And we know how to manage them. But the National Academy
of Sciences recently published a study that showed that all pollinators
-- which rely on a diversity of flowers -- are in decline. Whether it's
urbanization, habitat fragmentation, or an increase in agricultural land
use, something is severely impacting the native pollinators.

Colony collapse disorder was reported by commercial beekeepers. Is it
also happening to bees in the wild?

PETTIS: There's very few places where we actually monitor the feral
population. I know of a group in Texas that was following some wild
populations of bees, and a Cornell researcher has found a group around
Ithaca, New York. But it's often hard to sample those bees. We know that
wild bee populations were decimated by parasitic varroa mites over time,
and they've rebounded, probably due to natural selection for natural
resistance. But I'm not familiar with data coming in from feral populations.

McDONALD: A few years ago, in a very remote part of the state, I found
thriving bee populations that I assumed were feral. To help them along,
I set up bait boxes and put in anti-mite strips. I slipped them in seed
oil and made little puddles so the bees had to walk through the oil in
this experiment I called "remote medication." But as the summer went on,
the bees collapsed in spite of my attempts to help them. The feral
population is just getting so hard hit that I suspect it's virtually
gone by now.

Are scientists looking at how the climate affects the bees' favorite
flowers and food sources?

ESAIAS: That's a good question. Most of the nectar sources in Maryland,
my state, come from trees -- tulip poplar, black locus, and holly trees.
There has been a great deal of research on plants and increased CO2 and
warming. I tried to find out how temperatures would affect blooming
dates, and there is virtually no information in the literature on how
temperature affects blooming dates of our trees and how increased CO2
concentrations affect blooming dates. There's lots of research that says
it makes plants grow faster, and some of them, like poison ivy, become
more toxic. But ecologists in general have not paid attention to the
timing of blooming and nectar availability and quality of pollen.

McDONALD: That is so true. The only number that I go on is that an apple
tree will bloom after 40 days in 40-degree temperatures. That boils down
that simple formula.

ESAIAS: As a kind of a climatologist, I'm getting paid to study the
impact of potential global warming scenarios on our ecology. There's a
lot of research being done on carbon cycling, but without information
about when the plants bloom and how the quality of the flora changes, we
are in a poor position to asses the effect of changes in temperature and
rainfall on our ecosystems.

Can bees survive climate changes?

MUSSEN: I can tell you that beekeepers take their honeybees north to the
upper Canadian border and all the way down to the equator. If they're
warm, they cool themselves by evaporating water, and if they're cold,
they heat themselves by sucking up a little bit of extra carbohydrate
and rattling their muscles.

So they're great adapters?

MUSSEN: They're going to handle it. The honeybees are not the ones I'm
concerned about. I think Wayne will back me up on this: Historians have
said that thousands of years ago, there were some pretty nasty
fluctuations in the earth's weather. And through this period of time, we
became and continue to be very good farmers. But for whatever reason, we
are beginning to kind of move into a cycle where we are going to find
more extremes than we used to have. The droughts may be hotter and
longer, the storms and floods may be more severe. Things aren't going to
be so nice in the future. But again, I think the honeybees are more
likely to handle that as long as they've got some food available to
them. But with some of these other pollinators, which we rely upon to
keep the environment going for us, well, if they get knocked around too
much by the weather, then that's going to be really consequential.

What do you think the disappearance of the bees teaches us about ecology?

ESAIAS: If I can go back to what Eric was saying, I too don't doubt the
survivability of the honeybee. On average, it's going to do fine. But
what we are dealing with now is a series of local effects. That doesn't
mean we aren't going to see an average global increase of temperature in
the future, if you believe the predictions.

What does it tell us about our native pollinators and ecology? That's
such an exceedingly complex question that I don't know. It just puts me
in awe of earth's complexity. If you ask scientists to predict what
global warming will do to an ecosystem, and they don't throw up their
hands and say, "Beats me," then it shows we have a lot of work to do to
understand the complexity and responses of all of these insect and plant
interactions, when they occur, and will they get out of phase.

McDONALD: I think there is a cautionary tale here. Look at the
progenitors of the maize, the corn which was developed in Mexico. It
took a long time for environmental researchers to find the original
plant because as the maize became dependent upon cultivation, a lot of
those genes from the wild corn had died off. There used to be 1,000
small meat-packing plants, and if a problem arose at one, it was not
particularly important to the other 999. But now with all these together
as one vast factory, any problem that arises has instant implications
everywhere. We're at the mercy of assembly-line farming and high-speed
distribution, and maybe no accountability as far as the quality of the
food. But I don't know how you do it. How do you get more people to go
back to smaller farms? It's practically utopian to bring that up anymore.

It's amazing that an esoteric subject like beekeeping has erupted in the
mass media. Do you think that's been beneficial?

ESAIAS: I think the media coverage is wonderful. I think we are facing a
series of problems like this, problems that are environmental in nature,
and this has been a real eye-opener for me as to how poorly prepared
this country and countries around the world are in taking note of how
climate change or global change will impact our ecosystems. Humanity is
affecting our ecosystems, and it's very complex to determine whether
this is due to environmental change or some disease. You can see now
that it is very difficult to pull these things apart.

McDONALD: The media has done a very good job of telling all sides. But
the problem is, how do you motivate people to change the way they are?
Where I live, I try to live pretty low on the food chain and avoid the
temptation of most of the things that people have. People are just
incredible consumers and runners of fuel and buyers of gadgets. How do
you change that? It's as if there's an ethical or a moral blank spot
there. I don't like to preach, but it's pretty obvious: When you're
killing the corn belt by growing fuel to run SUVs, there's a very bad
disconnect somewhere along the line.

MUSSEN: Bees are a necessary part of our food production. If we don't
grow our own cherries and apples, can't we just buy them somewhere else?
The answer is yes. But do we want to become as dependent on foreign
nations for our food as we are dependent on them for fuel? I would
certainly hope the answer is no. I believe that the amount of food we
exported to other countries last year was less than the amount of food
we imported for our consumption. We use to be the breadbasket of the
world. Now we're just one of the breadbaskets.

McDONALD: The basket case.

MUSSEN: [Laughs.] So to keep our industry healthy, we certainly have to
keep our pollinators healthy.

In the end, are we the people the ultimate cause of the bees' collapse?

PETTIS: We're the ultimate cause in that we've changed the planet to
suit our needs. We're running it to suit our needs and not the benefit
of all the organisms around us. Honeybees aren't totally domesticated,
but we have tried to domesticate them. We've tried to make bees more
gentle and make more honey. In enhancing certain traits, we make the
bees more susceptible to other things.

Do you think the bees will be back?

PETTIS: I do. I don't think we've gone that far in domesticating them.
The bee population is very diverse and can withstand an onslaught of
different things -- including beekeepers.

Research assistance by Jonathan Vanian.

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4) Small Incidents Are Creating a Big Problem With the N.Y.P.D.
By BOB HERBERT
Op-Ed Columnist
May 29, 2007
http://select.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/opinion/29herbert.html?hp

These are small incidents, but they are accumulating by the
tens of thousands, and someday New Yorkers are going to be
shocked by the power of the anger that these seemingly
insignificant incidents have generated.

The principal of Bushwick Community High School in Brooklyn
told me about a student who was gratuitously insulted by
a police officer at a subway station the other day. The girl
had lost her MetroCard and was carrying a note on the school’s
letterhead asking that she be allowed to ride the train. This
was fine with the token clerk, but the clerk told the girl
to show the note to a cop on duty at the station.

The cop, in front of several onlookers, told the girl she
was the oldest-looking high school student he had ever
seen. He demanded that she tell him the square root of 12.
He loudly declared that she was stupid and refused
to let her board a train.

The girl left the station devastated and in tears.
No big deal. Certainly not newsworthy. Just another
case of cops being cops.

Several students from Bushwick Community High were among
the three dozen or so who were swept up by the cops last
week as they were walking toward a subway station
on their way to a wake for a teenage friend who had
been murdered. For black and Hispanic youngsters,
grieving can be a criminal offense.

One of those arrested was 16-year-old Lamel Carter, the
son of a police detective. I interviewed him after he
had spent a night in jail.

“It was pretty nasty,” he said. “There were five of us
in each cell. One of my friends was throwing up, and
another had an asthma attack. The police said they
got us for unlawful assembly.”

[I asked the police captain who ordered the arrests,
Scott Henderson, to explain the offense of unlawful
assembly. He couldn’t. “If you would like the exact
definition,” he said, “I would have to look that up.”]

Fifteen minutes after I interviewed Lamel, he was stopped
again by two police officers. They asked him where he was
going, ordered him to spread-eagle himself against a patrol
car, searched him and then him let go.

He was just another black kid (now with a brand-new arrest
record) on the streets of Brooklyn. No big deal. Just one
of hundreds of similar stops each day.

One of the youngsters arrested while trying to attend the
wake was Aliek Robinson, a 17-year-old who had come up
from Baltimore. He had known the slain youth, Donnell
McFarland, whose nickname was Freshh, since he was 6 years
old. When I interviewed him, Aliek told me how one of the
cops had gone out of his way to mock his dead friend.

“After we got arrested, the cops were questioning us one
by one,” he said. “This one cop had a smile on his face
and he said, ‘Your man, Freshh, he was babbling like
a little girl when he died.’ And then he started giggling.
I don’t know why he said that. He didn’t have to say that.”

Just cops being cops.

The important thing to remember here is that this behavior,
in neighborhoods where the majority of the residents are
black and Hispanic, is often the norm. This is not unusual
police behavior. There is a huge percentage of cops on
patrol whose knee-jerk approach to policing is to treat
all young blacks and Hispanics as potential criminals.

All high-ranking public officials in the city are aware
of what is going on. I asked a black official, who asked
not to be identified, why more minority officeholders
aren’t objecting publicly to the way minority youth are
treated by the police. He said no one wants to be
responsible for challenging the cops and then being
blamed if crime statistics start to go back up.

The two individuals most responsible for this sorry state
of affairs are Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner
Ray Kelly. All it would take is a directive from them to bring
the ugly harassment under control.

A big gang problem has quietly developed in New York, and
there are fears in the neighborhoods of a troubled summer.
The response to this very serious situation should not be
to treat all kids like criminals, which is both wrong and
self-defeating.

The police need the confidence and cooperation of law-
abiding young people. Systematically demeaning them
is hardly the way to achieve that.

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5) Justices’ Ruling Limits Suits on Pay Disparity
By LINDA GREENHOUSE
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/washington/30scotus.html?hp

WASHINGTON, May 29 — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it
harder for many workers to sue their employers for
discrimination in pay, insisting in a 5-to-4 decision
on a tight time frame to file such cases. The dissenters
said the ruling ignored workplace realities.

The decision came in a case involving a supervisor at
a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., the only woman
among 16 men at the same management level, who was paid
less than any of her colleagues, including those with
less seniority. She learned that fact late in a career
of nearly 20 years — too late, according to the Supreme
Court’s majority.

The court held on Tuesday that employees may not bring
suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination
law unless they have filed a formal complaint with
a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was
set. The timeline applies, according to the decision,
even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act
were not immediately apparent to the worker and even
if they continue to the present day.

From 2001 to 2006, workers brought nearly 40,000 pay
discrimination cases. Many such cases are likely to be
barred by the court’s interpretation of the requirement
in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that employees
make their charge within 180 days “after the alleged
unlawful employment practice occurred.”

Workplace experts said the ruling would have broad
ramifications and would narrow the legal options of
many employees.

In an opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the majority
rejected the view of the federal agency, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, that each paycheck that reflects
the initial discrimination is itself a discriminatory act
that resets the clock on the 180-day period, under a rule
known as “paycheck accrual.”

“Current effects alone cannot breathe life into prior,
uncharged discrimination,” Justice Alito said in an
opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and
Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas once headed the employment
commission, the chief enforcer of workers’ rights under
the statute at issue in this case, usually referred
to simply as Title VII.

Under its longstanding interpretation of the statute, the
commission actively supported the plaintiff, Lilly M. Ledbetter,
in the lower courts. But after the Supreme Court agreed to
hear the case last June, the Bush administration disavowed
the agency’s position and filed a brief on the side of the
employer.

In a vigorous dissenting opinion that she read from the bench,
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the majority opinion
“overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.”
She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about
salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days
that they had received a lower raise than others.

An initial disparity, even if known to the employee, might
be small, Justice Ginsburg said, leading an employee,
particularly a woman or a member of a minority group “trying
to succeed in a nontraditional environment” to avoid “making
waves.” Justice Ginsburg noted that even a small differential
“will expand exponentially over an employee’s working life
if raises are set as a percentage of prior pay.”

Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Stephen G.
Breyer joined the dissent.

Ms. Ledbetter’s salary was initially the same as that of her
male colleagues. But over time, as she received smaller raises,
a substantial disparity grew. By the time she brought suit
in 1998, her salary fell short by as much as 40 percent;
she was making $3,727 a month, while the lowest-paid man
was making $4,286.

A jury in Federal District Court in Birmingham, Ala., awarded
her more than $3 million in back pay and compensatory and
punitive damages, which the trial judge reduced to $360,000.
But the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit,
in Atlanta, erased the verdict entirely, ruling that because
Ms. Ledbetter could not show that she was the victim of
intentional discrimination during the 180 days before she
filed her complaint, she had not suffered an “unlawful
employment practice” to which Title VII applied.

Several other federal appeals courts had accepted the employment
commission’s more relaxed view of the 180-day requirement.
The justices accepted Ms. Ledbetter’s appeal, Ledbetter v.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, No. 05-1074, to resolve
the conflict.

Title VII’s prohibition of workplace discrimination applies
not just to pay but also to specific actions like refusal
to hire or promote, denial of a desired transfer and dismissal.
Justice Ginsburg argued in her dissenting opinion that while
these “singular discrete acts” are readily apparent to an
employee who can then make a timely complaint, pay
discrimination often presents a more ambiguous picture.
She said the court should treat a pay claim as it treated
a claim for a “hostile work environment” in a 2002 decision,
permitting a charge to be filed “based on the cumulative
effect of individual acts.”

In response, Justice Alito dismissed this as a “policy argument”
with “no support in the statute.”

As with an abortion ruling last month, this decision showed
the impact of Justice Alito’s presence on the court. Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor, whom he succeeded, would almost certainly
have voted the other way, bringing the opposite outcome.

The impact of the decision on women may be somewhat limited
by the availability of another federal law against sex
discrimination in the workplace, the Equal Pay Act, which
does not contain the 180-day requirement. Ms. Ledbetter
initially included an Equal Pay Act complaint, but did not
pursue it. That law has additional procedural hurdles and
a low damage cap that excludes punitive damages. It does not
cover discrimination on the basis of race or Title VII’s
other protected categories.

In her opinion, Justice Ginsburg invited Congress to overturn
the decision, as it did 15 years ago with a series of Supreme
Court rulings on civil rights. “Once again, the ball is in
Congress’s court,” she said. Within hours, Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton of New York, who is seeking the Democratic
nomination, announced her intention to submit such a bill.

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6) Lawyer Seeks Bias Inquiry Into City Police
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/nyregion/30police.html

A lawyer representing the estate of Sean Bell, the Queens
man who was fatally shot by the police after leaving his
bachelor party in November, has called for a federal
investigation of the New York Police Department for
possible civil rights violations.

The lawyer, Michael A. Hardy, said in a letter Monday
to Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan,
that the Police Department had a history of using excessive
force in minority communities.

The recent shootings and the history of fatal shootings,
Mr. Hardy wrote, “certainly suggest that the N.Y.P.D.
is engaged in a pattern and practice of continuous and
systemic violations that have, at minimum, a disparate
impact in black and Hispanic communities.”

He is also representing the family of Fermin Arzu, who
was fatally shot by an off-duty officer in the Bronx
on May 18.

“While all agree that the job of New York City police
officer is a dangerous and difficult one, and most people
have the highest regard and for members of the department,”
the letter said, “something is terribly wrong within the
department which is having a fatal and disproportionate
impact within the New York City communities of color.”

The United States attorney’s office had no comment on
the letter yesterday.

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne,
said there was no discrimination, “considering the
descriptions of suspects provided by victims of crime.”
He added that the shooting of Mr. Arzu was being
thoroughly investigated.

In the Bell case, a grand jury indicted two officers on
manslaughter charges and a third officer on a misdemeanor
endangerment charge.

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7) Immigrants and Prison
By DAVID LEONHARDT
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/business/30leonside.html

Near the start of his Nov. 4, 2003, program on CNN, Lou Dobbs
said, “One-third of the inmates now serving time in federal
prisons come from some other country — one-third.” Later,
he offered more details: “Coming up, we’re going to take
a further look at the impact of illegal aliens. And it is
an expensive proposition, particularly in our nation’s
prisons. Illegal aliens, those citizens — noncitizens
taking up a third of the cells in our federal
penitentiaries.”

He also said that illegal immigrants were “an increasing
part of America’s prison population.”

Here are the facts, according to the Department of Justice:

-In 2000, 27 percent of the inmates in federal prisons were
noncitizens. Some of these noncitizens were illegal immigrants,
and some were in this country legally. In 2001, this percentage
dropped to 24 percent, and it continued dropping over the
next four years, falling to 20 percent in 2005.

Bottom line: illegal immigrants make up significantly less
than a third of the federal prison population, and the
share has been falling in recent years.

-The share of state prison inmates who are noncitizens
is much lower. (This is largely because immigration violations
themselves are federal crimes.) In 2000, 4.6 percent
of inmates in state prisons were noncitizens. This number
remained quite steady over the next five years, right
around 4.6 percent.

-Over all — combining federal and state prisons — 6.4 percent
of the nation’s prisoners were noncitizens in 2005. This
is down from 6.8 percent in 2000.

-By comparison, 6.9 percent of the total United States
population were noncitizens in 2003, according to the
Census Bureau.

Anne Morrison Piehl, an economist at Rutgers, says there
are a number of reasons that immigrants have a lower crime
rate than the native-born population. (To read a paper by
Ms. Piehl and Kristin Butcher on immigrants and crime,
go to: http://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedhwp/wp-05-19.html.)

For one thing, the consequences of being arrested can be
enormous for illegal immigrants, which is an obvious
deterrent to crime. For another, immigrants, as a group,
aren’t typical of the population. The fact that they have
picked up and moved to another country suggests that they
have more ambition, and perhaps even more skill, than the
average person. This could help explain why the United
States, a nation of immigrants, is such an economic
powerhouse.

E-mail: Leonhardt@nytimes.com

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8) Turning Off Suspect Gene Makes Mice Smarter
By REUTERS
May 29, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/health/29mice.html

CHICAGO, May 28 — Turning off a gene that has been
associated with Alzheimer’s disease made mice smarter
in the lab, researchers said Sunday.

The finding adds insight on learning and may lead to
new drugs. The researchers said the mice were far more
adept at sensing environmental changes than other mice.

“It’s pretty rare when you can make an animal smarter,”
said Dr. James Bibb, assistant professor of psychiatry
at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center,
who led the study published in the journal Nature
Neuroscience.

Professor Bibb and colleagues used genetic engineering
to breed mice that could be manipulated to switch off
the gene, Cdk5, which controls a brain enzyme linked
to diseases signaled by the death of neurons in the
brain like Alzheimer’s.

“Any time we’re losing neurons, Cdk5 may be contributing
to that process,” Professor Bibb said in a telephone
interview. “That has made it an area of great interest.
We have shown that we can turn off a gene in an adult
animal. That has never been done before.”

When they tried to breed mice that lacked the gene,
the pups died at birth. Professor Bibb said they tested
the mice and found that the altered mice fared better
than normal mice.

“Everything is more meaningful to these mice,” he said.
“The increase in sensitivity to their surroundings seems
to have made them smarter.”

Professor Bibb said the mice were better at tasks based
on associated learning, adding:

“It’s the most important kind of learning in the animal
kingdom. It’s how we know where our car is and that is
our wife or our husband and that’s our kids. It’s how
we connect things.”

The smart mice performed better at learning to navigate
a water maze and remembering that they were given shocks
when they were in a certain cage.

“It was very clear right off the bat that the loss of
Cdk5 made them have a much stronger associative memory,”
Professor Bibb said.

He said his work was inspired by the discovery in 1999
of Doogie mice, a smarter breed of mice developed at
Princeton University named after the television program
“Doogie Houser, M.D.,” which featured a child prodigy.

Those mice were bred by manipulating NR2B, a gene that
also has a role in associative memory.

“It turns out Cdk5 was controlling the regulation of
NR2B,” Professor Bibb said. “Maybe by finding these new
mechanisms we can find new drugs that improve the
cognitive performance of people who have deficits.”

He and colleagues are working on developing drugs that
could create the same effect without needing genetic
alteration.

But he said it was not clear what the long-term effects
might be if such a drug were developed, adding:

“If all of your synapses were magically strengthened all
the time, that might be good for the short term. But I’m
not sure if it would be good all the time.”

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9) A retiree healthcare deal astir in Detroit
Detroit automakers, hit with huge losses, may spin
responsibility off to the labor union during contract
talks this summer.
By Mark Trumbull
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
May 29, 2007
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0529/p01s02-usec.html

There's a silver lining in the Detroit automakers' financial
distress. Things appear so bad that the companies and their
main labor union might agree to something radical.

Right now, a growing burden of retiree healthcare costs
is one of the biggest challenges facing Ford, General
Motors, and a soon-to-be-independent Chrysler.

That liability – one not shared by competitors like Toyota
and Honda – goes a long way toward explaining why German-
based DaimlerChrysler views its Chrysler Group as a clunker
to be sold no matter the price. And it explains why the
private investment firm Cerberus had to offer so little
this month to become the buyer.

In this climate, a once-unthinkable idea is being seriously
discussed: In effect, spin the healthcare problem off
to the labor union. The automakers would each agree to
pour billions of dollars into a trust fund to help provide
for the retiree insurance. But with that one-time payment,
the carmakers would win a cap on their future liability.

"That [liability] will be part of the upcoming negotiations
for sure," says Tony Faria, an automotive expert at the
University of Windsor's Odette School of Business, just
across the Canadian border from Detroit. "The unions fully
realize these companies are in trouble."

Unloading healthcare on the union is far from assured.
Historically, the radical ideas in auto-industry labor
contracts have been concessions to the United Auto Workers
(UAW), not by them.

But the current crisis is arguably the toughest in Detroit's
history, making possible an experiment that could become
a model for other industries.

"The auto companies would provide some major amount of
funding," Mr. Faria says. "From there on, they'd be paying
at a known rate, rather than an ever escalating rate."

The arrangement, known as a "voluntary employee beneficiary
association" (VEBA), is not a new idea. A number of state
governments use so-called VEBA trusts to provide benefits
for current workers such as teachers, for example. Ford
and General Motors already use VEBAs for some retiree
health costs.

But the idea of turning to a VEBA as an escape hatch for
a full-scale retiree health plan is still novel.

In 2006, a major supplier to the auto industry, Goodyear
Tire & Rubber Co., reached such an accord with the United
Steelworkers.

Goodyear agreed to put $1 billion into the trust. The amount
falls a bit short of the estimated liability. But it's enough
that the union saw a fighting chance that the new trust will
be able to provide for the beneficiaries.

The steel union doesn't directly control the trust fund,
but it plays a guiding role through the appointment of
trustees.

"We needed to get a billion dollars for this to be feasible
at all," says Wayne Ranick, a spokesman for the United
Steelworkers International in Pittsburgh.

That same kind of arithmetic will be at work when the Big
Three bargain with the UAW this summer and beyond.

Workers will want to find a balance between preserving
benefits and preserving jobs, striking a deal that allows
for a healthy company to move forward.

At Goodyear, Mr. Ranick says a key element of the deal was
a measure of job security. The tiremaker pledged to invest
$550 million in plants and to operate them at a certain
manpower level.

For the Detroit automakers, the cost of retiree healthcare
isn't the only problem, but it is a major one. The liability
totals about $100 billion by some estimates, an amount
more than double the stock-market value of the three firms.

Such a number is guesswork, because the future cost
of healthcare and the longevity of retirees are uncertain.
But the scale, coupled with uncertainty, weighs on the
companies and their shareholders.

In announcing the deal to sell Chrysler on May 14,
DaimlerChrysler chairman Dieter Zetsche breathed an audible
sigh of relief in unloading this liability. It was "especially
important," he said, that the retiree costs would be borne
by the new Chrysler Corp., not shared with Daimler, which
had managed Chrysler since a 1998 merger.

Now, tackling the liability will be crucial for the new
owners, helping to determine whether their $7.4 billion
investment to buy Chrysler succeeds or fails.

The finances and demographics at the Big Three are scary
for workers and management alike.

Their pensions are generally well funded, but the healthcare
is not, and the ranks of retirees already outnumber current
workers.

Moreover, autoworkers stop young, based on a "30 and out"
system in place since 1970, which allows full retirement
benefits after 30 years on the job. Such bargaining
victories by the UAW, starting in the years right after
World War II, helped set a tone for an era in which
factory jobs nationwide became tickets to middle class
living and secure retirements.

Now UAW bargaining could again help set the tone, this
time during an era when unions are struggling to maintain
their place amid global competition and a less-friendly
policy environment that took root in Washington since
the 1980s.

"Corporations really do mimic what other corporations
do," says Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist
at Notre Dame University in Indiana, who serves
as a trustee on a GM VEBA.

In that light, she says it's significant that the big
three are not opting for bankruptcy as a route out
of their current crisis.

The union workers of some airlines have lost their
retiree health plans during bankruptcy proceedings
(where those liabilities can be discarded).

For the automakers, bankruptcy is less of an option.
Where consumers will buy a $400 plane ticket from
a bankrupt company, a $25,000 car with years of use
ahead is a different matter.

The Big Three also have a tradition of finding common
ground, sometimes after hard battles, with the UAW.

Cerberus, the private equity buyer of Chrysler, is
expected to push hard for concessions.

But it has made early overtures that its cost-cutting
won't become an all-out war on union jobs and benefits.

"John Snow [the Cerberus chairman] is from Toledo.
He probably has some credibility when he says he wants
to work successfully with unions," says John Paul
MacDuffie, a management expert at the University
of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Mr. MacDuffie points to the success of Wilbur Ross,
an investor who has revived battered American steel
factories, as an example of how buyouts can involve
both profitability and good labor relations.

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10) Another Immigration Myth Bites the Dust
"By now, the vast majority of states in the nation have considered or have
passed legislation targeting undocumented immigrants living and working
within their city limits."
(Source: Angus Reid Global Monitor)
http://www.latinalista.net/palabrafinal/2007/05/by_now_the_vast_majority.html

The driving force to get this legislation passed has always been the
accusations that undocumented immigrants are costing taxpayers money and
taking advantage of such programs as welfare, food stamps, etc.

The funny thing is that the politicians and pundits who are making these
accusations never fully explain how this is happening. They just have
repeated it so often that people are duped into thinking it must be fact.

At least, that's what happened in Alabama and now they're learning a hard
truth.

Alabama politicians, wanting to jump on the bandwagon to show their
constituents that they can act faster than Congress when it comes to
meting out Amerian justice to undocumented immigrants, are having to eat
their words because they were too busy trying to be first.

In a move to ferret out all those undocumented immigrants Alabama
politicians just knew were loitering on the state's Medicaid rolls and
using precious Alabama taxpayer money, they passed a bill called The
Deficit Reduction Act.

Among other things, the bill required a birth certificate or other proof
of citizenship from people before they could qualify to continue or begin
receiving Medicaid.

What better way to expose illegal immigrants, right? They're the only ones
who don't have US birth certificates ˜ or so thought the wise politicians
in Alabama.

It seems there are a lot of people who don't have the proper paperwork to
show they are citizens.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that, More than 5,000 people have lost
their Medicaid coverage for failing to provide a birth certificate or
other proof of citizenship, according to data from the Alabama Medicaid
Agency.

Children were the largest group affected: 2,081 black children and 1,213
white children were removed from Medicaid.

The ironic thing is that Latinos comprised only 2% of the people dropped
from the rolls, whereas Blacks accounted for 60% of those who were
dropped.

But, the most telling thing about this sad fiasco is that Alabama Medicaid
Commissioner, Carol Steckel, went on the record to say that Alabama
doesn't have a large problem with illegal immigrants trying to cheat the
state out of Medicaid dollars.

The good news for the poor people, and they were mostly low-income, is
that they are now back on the rolls after Medicaid officials realized what
was happening.

Yet, all of this could have been avoided, and in other states where this
could happen, if the people, politicians and constituents, had done their
home work to know that no undocumented person in their right mind would
sign up for government assistance and draw that kind of attention to
themselves.

In fact, in a 2004 Executive Summary published by the Center for
Immigration Studies, it was found that:

With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree,
the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education
levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal
status or heavy use of most social services.

On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal
coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax
payments are only one-fourth that of other households.

But even with their low educational levels, thus not able to pay higher
taxes (what a vicious cycle that's been created for them), they still
don't use most, if any, social services.

Latinos who do use those social services, and there are too many, are not
the ones who are illegal, but the ones who are citizens ˜ 2nd, 3rd, 4th
generation Latinos.

Politicians and pundits who refer to the high "Hispanic" welfare, food
stamps and Medicaid rolls are getting their Hispanics mixed up ˜ which
goes to show that in the minds of these politicians the terms "Hispanic"
and "illegal" are synonymous.

And that's disturbing news for the rest of us.

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11) DEFEND CINDY SHEEHAN
http://troopsoutnow.org/

Cindy Sheehan made public two letters this weekend.
The first letter announced her resignation from the
Democratic Party over the agreement by the Democratically-
controlled Congress to unconditionally fund the criminal
and colonial war in Iraq that killed her son Casey and
hundreds of thousands of others, mostly Iraqis.

In the second letter, coming a day after the first, Sheehan
announced that she would no longer be active in the peace
movement. The reason for her first letter is self-evident.
Why did she feel compelled to write the second one?

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Sheehan has
been the target of endless threats and attacks by pro-war
groups, right-wing talk radio, and the corporate media.
But they haven’t been the only attackers. As Sheehan has
stepped up her criticism of the Congressional Democrats'
complicity in the war, she has come under attack, some
as venomous and personal as any right-wing Republican
attack, by some who insist that the antiwar movement must
be limited to protesting against Bush and the Republicans.
Some of the same forces, who are closely tied to the Democrats,
were happy to use Sheehan as long as she limited her criticism
to Bush, but then viciously turned on her after she announced
her resignation from the Democratic Party over the war.

Cindy Sheehan has come to the conclusion that she has been
pushed out of the antiwar movement and it’s not hard to
understand why she feels this way. She feels pushed out
by the betrayal of the Democrats on the war funding. She
feels pushed out by the isolation and hostility not only
from the “right,” but also from many in the orbit of the
Democratic Party that Sheehan had once considered allies.
She feels pushed out be the failure of the various coalitions
in the antiwar movement to put aside egos and narrow agendas
in the interest of forging an independent and militant mass
movement powerful enough to shut the war down.

Some good can come from this, if the antiwar movement
takes this as a turning point. Many of us made a struggle
to demand that Congress cut off all war funding and end
the war a priority this spring. Some of us did this,
not based on any expectation that Congress would actually
end Bush’s war, but to clearly expose the Democratic Party
and to demonstrate that they are as much of a pro-war party
as the Republicans. If the antiwar movement can absorb
this reality, as painful as it is, than it will be all
the much harder for the movement to be pulled off the
streets and made an appendage of the Democratic Party.

The movement owes a debt to Cindy Sheehan for striking
a blow against those who plan to mislead the antiwar
movement and tie it to the pro-war Democratic Party.

The rank and file of the antiwar movement stands in
solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, not with those who are
beholden to the Democratic Party. It takes courage for
a mother, catapulted into the world spotlight after camping
out in Crawford Texas two summers ago to protest the death
of her son in Iraq, to stand up to and openly break with
powerful politicians who would be all too willing to provide
her a platform with all the perks if she simply toed the line.

It is our hope that after Cindy Sheehan had taken the time
to re-unite with her family, and do whatever she feels
necessary to repair the toll that all of this has taken
on her family and herself, that she will once again be
a leading voice against war, against empire, and for
justice at home and abroad.

The Troops Out Now Coalition
http://www.troopsoutnow.org

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12) Venezuela responds to UK' National Union of Journalists
From: WALTER LIPPMANN
Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
writer - photographer - activist
http://www.walterlippmann.com

Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
London
22nd May 2007


Mr. Jeremy Dear
Secretary General
National Union of Journalists
308-312 Greys Inn Road
London W1C1X 8DP


Dear Mr. Dear,


It has been raised to the attention of the European Parliament,
the case of the Venezuelan private TV channel RCTV, which has
been wrongly presented by some euro parliamentarians as
a manifestation of the violation of freedom of expression
in my country.

In relation to this case I would like to present you with
the following facts:

1. The case has been shown as the closure of the TV channel
RCTV, when the reality is simply the non-renewal of its
license to broadcast on public airwaves.

2. Venezuelan Legislation does not establish automatic
renewal of public airwaves licenses. Article 113 of the
Venezuelan Constitution and Article 73 of the Organic
Law on Telecommunications state the need for license
renewal.

3. Public airwaves licenses have a duration period of
20 years, according to Article 210 of the Organic Law
on Telecommunications and Decree No.1577 (Concession Rules
for Television and Radio Stations).

4. On 29 March 2007 the Venezuelan Ministry of
Telecommunications replied negatively to the formal
request presented by RCTV on 24 January 2007 in relation
to the renewal of its license.

5. The non-renewal of the license only affects RCTV
broadcasting on public airwaves, but it does not affect
the TV station's liberty to broadcast in Venezuela through
Cable or Satellite. Neither does it affect the possibility
of RCTV producing material for domestic or international
TV programming

6. The reasons of the non-renewal are directly related to
RCTV's non-abidement of the requirements established by
the Venezuelan Constitution and the Law of Social Responsibility
for Radio and Television, for public airwaves licensees,
to not incite political violence and civil unrest. Such
violations correspond to conspiracy to bring down the
Constitutional Government of Venezuela on the occasion of
the coup of April 2002 that provoked several deaths, and the
active promotion of the oil sabotage of December 2002, which
caused the country more than US$10 billion in losses. It
also relates to a long history of sanctions against RCTV
imposed by previous governments for reasons oscillating from
pornography, violations of laws prohibiting publicity of Smoking
and Alcohol drinking to transmissions of false information.
In that last sense reference should be made to sanctions
against RCTV dated 1976, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1989, and 1991.

7. The non-renewal of RCTV license is not an expression
of censorship on private media. It must be noted that
79 of 81 TV stations and all 118 newspapers in Venezuela
are privately owned. A overwhelming majority of them are
vehemently opposed to the democratically elected Government
of President Hugo Chavez. Nonetheless, RCTV is unique in its
excesses and its history of violations of the legal norms.

8. RCTV broadcasting airwaves license will be assigned,
upon expiry, to a public broadcasting service that will
present programmes by independent operators and producers.


Enclosed please find a sample of the film
(DVD format) "The Revolution
will not be Televised" produced by
the Irish Film Board, and broadcasted
several times by the BBC where the
evidence of conspiracy by RCTV in the
April 2002 coup against President Chavez,
is clearly demonstrated.


Sincerely yours


Alfredo Toro Hardy
Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
to the United Kingdom

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13) Venezuela National Assembly asks for the expropriation
of Sanitarios Maracay
By Jorge Martin
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
http://www.marxist.com/nat-assembly-expropriation-sanitarios.htm

A delegation of Sanitarios Maracay trade union representatives
headed by Humberto Villegas, organisation secretary and
member of the Factory Committee, went to Caracas on Monday
May 28, to meet with the Social Affairs commission of the
National Assembly.

After meeting with the workers, the Permanent Commission on
Social Affairs agreed to send a petition to the president
of the Republic for the expropriation of Sanitarios Maracay.

The factory, which makes bathroom ceramics, has been occupied
by the workers for more than six months, and they have
maintained production and sales for the whole period,
organised in regular mass workers’ assemblies and an
elected and recallable Factory Committee. After a number
of conflicts with the employer, coup-plotter Alvaro Pocaterra,
over health and safety and trade union recognition, he decided
to abandon the factory and it was at this point that the
workers decided to occupy.

More than 550 of the Sanitarios Maracay workers, who are
part of the Revolutionary Front of Occupied Factories FRETECO,
have been struggling for the expropriation of the factory
and that it be run under workers’ control.

On May 22 there was a region-wide day of action in Aragua,
where Maracay is based, in which 3,000 workers from 120
different workplaces set up 19 road blocks from 5 am until
11 am, blockading the whole of the region. The action was
organised by the regional UNT and the Sanitarios Maracay
workers to demand nationalisation under workers’ control,
but also to protest at the repression the workers had
suffered at the hands of regional police and national
guard forces when they were on their way to a national
demonstration organised by FRETECO on April 23.

Undoubtedly, the action in Aragua served to put pressure
on the National Assembly to pass this resolution which
is also going to be sent to the Ministry of Light Industry
and Commerce for endorsement. So far the position of the
Ministry of Labour has not been favourable to the
expropriation of the factory, and the minister, Ramon
Rivero, publicly expressed his view that the factory
is not “of national interest” and therefore should not
be nationalised. To this the workers have replied that
Sanitarios Maracay should be included in a national plan
of housing projects to solve the housing crisis affecting
millions of poor people. Sanitarios trade union leaders
have also accused the Ministry of negotiating a settlement
of the dispute only with a small group of administrative
staff which are not part of the workers’ assembly.

The decision taken by the National Assembly is seen by
the workers representatives as the first real step towards
expropriation of the factory, their main demand. If this
expropriation went ahead, this would be a further important
step forward for the workers movement in Venezuela and would
put the expropriation of other occupied factories (SelFex,
Gotcha, INAF, etc) on the agenda.

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14) The Despair of Cindy Sheehan and Andrew Bracevich
Appropriate Disillusionment
By GARY LEUPP
May 31, 2007
http://www.counterpunch.com/leupp05312007.html

I have in front of me two documents of despair, of
disillusionment with the American political system that
allows this criminal war to continue. Andrew J. Bacevich
in his Washington Post op-ed column and Cindy Sheehan
in her statement on her blog express despair over the
failure of the Democrats placed in power by an antiwar
electorate to take firm measures to end the war in Iraq.
Sheehan declares, as she announces her departure from
the spotlight that "hundreds of thousands of people are
dying for a war based on lies that is supported by
Democrats and Republican alike," adding, "It is so
painful to me to know that I bought into this system
for so many years."

Professor Bacevich, now sharing Sheehan's personal
grief, calls his earlier hopes that he and others
might force the country to change course "an illusion,"
noting that "responsibility for the war's continuation
now rests no less with the Democrats who control Congress
than with the president and his party." "Money," he
notes bitterly, "maintains the Republican/Democratic
duopoly of trivialized politics. It confines the debate
over U.S. policy to well-hewn channels It negates
democracy, rendering free speech little more than
a means of recording dissent. This is not some great
conspiracy. It's the way our system works."

If there is a positive aspect to this despair, it is
this very realization: the system is the problem. It
has not so much "failed" us as we have failed to
understand what Sheehan and Bacevich are concluding:
it isn't designed to work for us but for but for them.

For those who can't bring themselves to say that the war
is not a "mistake" but a crime. For those who can't call
for immediate withdrawal in accordance with the wishes
of the American and Iraqi people but talk about "benchmarks"
for a gradual withdrawal. For those who want to shift the
onus of the U.S. failure in Iraq to Iraqi politicians for
their delays and bickering, and the Iraqi people for their
bewildering Islamic sectarianism.

It serves those who vote in bipartisan fashion to further
vilify and isolate Syria and Iran---the fools who do not
know the first thing about Islamic history and the divisions
between Shiites and Sunnis, secularists and Islamists.
It serves those lining up to embrace the fear-mongering
Islamophobic neocon agenda for more confrontation with
the Muslim world. It serves those who fear AIPAC more
than the consequences of a strike on Iran. It serves
the Democrats who want to keep an attack on Iran on the
table, but assure President Bush that his impeachment
is off the table because it's just too radical a prospect
for them to consider.

This is indeed the way the system works.

"I am deemed a radical," writes Sheehan, "because I believe
that partisan politics should be left to the wayside" Having
seen Sheehan speak on several occasions, I think rather
she's been deemed radical because her understanding of
the war is too honest for the system's hacks and political
opportunists (including some who affect a liberal antiwar
posture) to endorse. They cannot.

Nancy Pelosi cannot say, "This is an imperialist war to
reconfigure the Middle East, allow the U.S. to control
the flow of oil from the region, dot it with huge permanent
U.S. military bases, advance Israeli aims in the region,
and intimidate all potential rivals for decades. It is wrong,
a clear violation of international law." Harry Reid can't say,
"The lies of these war planners are so obvious. We need
hearings now about the Office of Special Plans. We need
to find out who forged the Niger uranium documents and who
undercut our intelligence professionals in pushing that
completely false case presented by Colin Powell to the U.N.
We need to move on impeachment of both Bush and Cheney."

That sort of honest talk is not normally allowed by the
system to the "loyal opposition."

Only under circumstances of extraordinary duress, when
it feels its very existence threatened, does the system
make some concessions to the people it doesn't work for.
In the early '70s our outrage over the war in Vietnam,
compounded by disgust about the evolving Watergate Affair,
forced Congress to cut off war funding (through the Case-
Church Amendment passed on June 19, 1973), produced a wave
of investigations that exposed the vicious Cointelpro Program,
and produced the Freedom of Information Act.

We're not yet back to that level of outrage, but the
number of people questioning the system itself---the
money-driven "Republican/Democratic duopoly of trivialized
politics"---is growing. As the Democrats drag their feet,
ignore their mandate to end the war, and collude with moves
against Iran and Syria bound to produce disastrous
repercussions, disillusionment will no doubt mount,
as it should.

"To be radical," wrote Marx, "is to grasp the root of
the matter. But for man, the root is man himself." In
other words, radicalism means thinking clearly about how
and why people in general are oppressed by the "money"
to which Bacevich alludes. By those who use their
unconscionable wealth (= political power) to pursue
their boundless "interests"---sacrificing other people's
children to do so. But Marx in the same work notes how
people oppress themselves with delusional thinking. He
refers to religion but might as well be speaking of
delusions about contemporary American "democracy" when
he writes, "The demand to give up illusions about the
existing state of affairs is the demand to give up
a state of affairs which needs illusions."

Sheehan's disillusionment need not lead to a dead end.
It could be the premise for appropriately deeper
radicalization.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University,
and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the
author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the
Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction
of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial
Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women,
1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch's
merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and
Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu

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15) An Open Letter to Ms. Oprah Winfrey
On Her Invitation to My Palestine
Ali Baghdadi
arabjournl@aol.com

Dear Oprah,


I am so glad that you will be visiting my country, Palestine. I wish
I could be there to greet you. Certainly, despite the genocide and
ethnic cleansing they face every hour of the day, my people will be
there. They will be happy to see you and will receive you with open
arms.

Unfortunately, I cannot be there! My family tree and my roots in
Palestine go back to time immemorial, long before Islam, Christianity
and Judaism came into being. Last July, I was given entry to my
homeland only as a tourist, with an American passport and a Japanese
camera. Though I am 70 years old, I had to stand at the Israeli
immigration window at Sheikh Hussein entry point on the Jordan River
for over seven hours before I was allowed in to visit my home and
family. Months earlier, Canadian Jews were processed and given
Israeli citizenship to my land while they were 35,000 feet high over
the Atlantic.

Arabs, throughout history, are known to be hospitable to their guests.
You will be no exception. For many centuries, Jews escaped the
discrimination and death they were subjected to in Europe, and found
safety and refuge among us. Muslims believe in Christianity and
Judaism. The Quran states there is no distinction between Muhammad,
Jesus and Moses. Therefore, according to our Islamic teachings, all
are prophets of God and all must be honored and respected.

You must know that Zionist Jews from all over the world, particularly
Europe, came to my Palestine, not as guests, but as settlers and
occupiers in the early part of the 20th century. The natives were
referred to as "snakes" from which the land must be cleansed. In
1948 they occupied 72% of my land and emptied out over 500 Arab
(Christians and Muslim) towns and villages. In 1967 they occupied the
remaining 28%. Six million of us have been living in refugee camps in
Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon for the last fifty nine years, even though
the United Nations ordered the Israeli government to allow us to
return (1948 UN resolution 194).

Our Palestine is so beautiful. You will enjoy it. It is a museum.
So many civilizations have mixed and melted there. Throughout
history, invaders came and finally left. We remained. We survived.
As we offered the Crusaders who occupied our holy lands for two
hundred years, Jews can stay and share our land, if they wish to live
in a free and democratic Palestine that respects the rights of all,
regardless of their religion, race, or ethnicity. Those who refuse
and insist to live in an apartheid state will inevitably pack up and
return to their native lands.

Please, visit Java, Haifa, Acre, and Nazareth within the so-called
green zone. Take pleasure in the aroma of our orange orchards on the
Mediterranean coast. Drive to the top of the Mount of al-Carmel and
enjoy its beauty and the splendid view.

However, don't forget to visit Gaza and the West Bank where over three
million of us still live. All attempts made to force them leave and
run for their lives have failed. Take pictures of the 700 kilometer
apartheid wall and reflect on the political messages of the graffiti
it displays. I was struck by one of these messages at the entry to
Bethlehem. "Thou not steal." Confiscation of our lands, however,
continues until this day.

Experience some of the military check points where our people have to
stand in line for hours before they are allowed to cross. Witness the
harassment and degradation my people are subjected to. A 20 minute
journey from a village to another takes 7 hours. Many pregnant Arab
women have lost their babies while waiting for clearance on their way
to hospitals. There are over 550 of these checkpoints that divide our
land into ghettos in the West Bank alone. Though the water we get
does not meet our basic needs, notice the swimming pools Israelis
enjoy in settlements built on our stolen lands.

Of course, the highlight of your trip will be the performance of
pilgrimage in Jerusalem, the city of Jesus. It is also the city of my
birth. The school I attended is the site of the palace where he
received his death sentence. My home is only a couple of blocks away
from the Via Dolorosa, the path he took to his crucifixion. Walk
through the narrow and curved alleys where he walked. I did that
without interruption for 23 years. Those days are gone.

Oprah, stand on top of the Mount of Olives, as I often did, and
experience the glory and majesty of Jerusalem, its al-Aqsa Mosque, the
Dome of the Rock, the Holy Sepulcher, and other houses of worship.
Observe the magnificence of the ancient wall built by Muslims to
defend and protect these priceless treasures. Hear al-azan, the
Muslim call for prayer, as it joins in unison with bells coming from
Christian churches. What an eternal symphony!

Please proceed to the village of Bethany, three miles to the east. Go
down the steps of the cave that leads to the tomb of Lazarus, whom
Jesus raised from the dead. The small dark room on top of the cave
was the shelter my mother, my three younger sisters, and I took after
we escaped the carpet bombing of the old city of Jerusalem in 1948.
My Muslim cousin is the custodian of the holy cave, a great honor that
his family inherited from a generation to a generation. His father,
an illiterate, was able to recite to Christian worshipers the story of
Lazarus, in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Greek, and
other foreign languages.

Don't miss the opportunity to drive five miles south to Bethlehem.
Feel the ecstasy of entering the most dramatic cave in which the
Virgin Mary delivered her beautiful Palestinian baby. During the
Second Intifadah, the uprising against Israeli occupation, Muslim and
Christian activists, chased by the Israeli death squads, were given
refuge in the church.

You may go and see the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, only a
thirty minute drive. Beware; don't plunge into the dirty and polluted
waters. The river is almost dry. Its waters were diverted by the
Israelis. Five miles west, near Jericho, you will pass by the Mount
of Temptation where Jesus fasted for forty days. I can no longer walk
up the steep mountain and pay respect to the Greek monks who chose to
dedicate their lives to their Lord at their ancient and lonely
monastery at the summit.

I do know that Mr. Mandela, who is probably the most respected man on
Earth today, is your friend and hero. He is also mine. I met him in
Chicago; and I had the honor of visiting him at his home in South
Africa, years back. You are also a friend and a great admirer of
Cape Town Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize dignitary, a man who
has stood against injustice and racism almost his entire life. Both
men describe Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, the natives of
the land, as worse than apartheid. Recently, Israel prevented Bishop
Tutu from coming to Gaza to investigate and report Israel's war crimes
to the United Nations.

I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White
Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to
test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis
were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and
did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb
that kills Blacks and Arabs.

Arabs have always supported the dismantling of this racist government.
In 1962, African-Arab Sudan granted Mandela a passport to travel with
to gain international support in his struggle to free his people.
Libya, among other Arab states, provided Mandela and other African
leaders, political as well as material support. As a result, Libya
was designated by the White House as a terrorist rogue state.

Four days ago, Amnesty International' s annual report was released.
The report slams Israel's conduct in the occupied territories. It
documents some of the "serious human rights abuses" Israel commits
daily. It also spoke of the "war crimes" that Israel had committed in
Lebanon.

Arnold Toynbee, the world renowned historian, stated that what the
Zionist Jews did to the Palestinians is worse than what the Nazis did
to the Jews, because, as he stated, Jews should have learned from
their tragic experience.

Dear Oprah, I do understand the enormous pressure you are subjected
to. But I am encouraged by your speech to Howard University
graduates. "My integrity is not for sale.… Do not be a slave to any
form of selling out", you remarked.

When you return, may God of the Universe grant you the courage to tell
the world of what you actually witnessed. Judging from the terrible
attacks and insults former President Jimmy Carter has recently
experienced for his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, I do not
claim that the task is easy. However, it would be an unforgivable
crime for those who have suffered from slavery and are still suffering
from discrimination, to ignore the suffering of others.

With Peace and Love,

Ali Baghdadi
arabjournl@aol.com

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16) Injustice 5, Justice 4
Editorial
May 31, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/opinion/31thu1.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

The Supreme Court struck a blow for discrimination this
week by stripping a key civil rights law of much of its
potency. The majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito,
forced an unreasonable reading on the law, and tossed
aside longstanding precedents to rule in favor of an
Alabama employer that had underpaid a female employee
for years. The ruling is the latest indication that
a court that once proudly stood up for the disadvantaged
is increasingly protective of the powerful.

Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Company in Gadsden, Ala., sued her employer for paying her
less than its male supervisors. At first, her salary was
in line with the men’s, but she got smaller raises, which
created a significant pay gap. Late in her career,
Ms. Ledbetter filed a complaint with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission. A jury found that Goodyear violated
her rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Goodyear argued that she filed her complaint too late and,
by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court agreed. Title VII
requires employees to file within 180 days of “the alleged
unlawful employment practice.” The court calculated the
deadline from the day Ms. Ledbetter received her last
discriminatory raise. Bizarrely, the majority insisted
it did not matter that Goodyear was still paying her far
less than her male counterparts when she filed her complaint.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that there
were strong precedents supporting Ms. Ledbetter. The Supreme
Court ruled in a similar race discrimination case that
each paycheck calculated on the basis of past discrimination
is unlawful under Title VII. The courts of appeals have
overwhelmingly agreed. So did the E.E.O.C., the agency
charged with enforcing Title VII.

In addition to interpreting the statute unreasonably and
ignoring the relevant precedents, the majority blinded
itself to the realities of the workplace. Employees
generally do not know enough about what their co-workers
earn, or how pay decisions are made, to file a complaint
precisely when discrimination occurs. At Goodyear, as
at many companies, salaries were confidential. The court’s
new rules will make it extraordinarily difficult for victims
of pay discrimination to sue under Title VII. That is not
how Congress intended the law to be enforced, merely how
five justices would like it to be.

It is disturbing that Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing
justice, cast the deciding vote in favor of gutting
a key part of the Civil Rights Act. Fortunately, Congress
can amend the law to undo this damaging decision. It should
do so without delay.

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17) Judge Orders Detainee’s Release
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 31, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/31/washington/31release.html

NORFOLK, Va., May 30 (AP) — A Middle Eastern man jailed for
nearly four years must be released by June 8 because the
government, which wants to deport him, has taken too long
to find a country that will take him, a federal judge
has ruled.

The judge, Jerome Barry Friedman of Federal District Court
here, said in an order issued on Friday that the government
violated the constitutional rights of the man, Majed T. Hajbeh,
and that he must be released within 14 days.

“The court finds it difficult to conceive how his continued
confinement remains reasonable,” Judge Friedman wrote.
“There is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably
foreseeable future.”

Mr. Hajbeh was arrested and detained in 2003 in a sweep
of people suspected of immigration violations. An immigration
judge ordered him deported, reasoning that Mr. Hajbeh entered
incorrect information on papers when entering the United States
in 1993. Mr. Hajbeh said he had made a mistake and checked
“single” instead of “married.”

The judge did not take into account that Mr. Hajbeh had been
acquitted in federal court of a criminal charge of falsifying
the document.

The government first tried to deport Mr. Hajbeh to Jordan,
where he was convicted in absentia in 1999 of plotting
several bombings. The Jordanian government later overturned
the convictions of his co-defendants, but Mr. Hajbeh’s
stands because he has never returned to Jordan.

Mr. Hajbeh has argued that the conviction was invalid.
The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security fought
to keep him in jail, however, contending he is a danger
to the community based on the conviction.

The deportation order was suspended because of evidence
that Mr. Hajbeh would face torture if returned to Jordan.

Lawyers for the federal government said officials had been
trying to get Israel to take Mr. Hajbeh, a Palestinian
by birth who was raised in Jordan. Mr. Hajbeh was a soil
engineer before his detention. He had been living in
Woodbridge, Va., with his wife and seven children.

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18) Poor-Washing, the Gates Foundation & the
‘Green Revolution’ in Africa
By Bruce Dixon
May 31, 2007
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=236&Itemid=40

Genetically altered crops will rescue Africa from endemic
shortfalls in food production, claim corporate foundations
that have announced a $150 million “gift” to spark a “Green
Revolution” in agriculture on the continent. Of course,
U.S.-based agribusiness holds the patents to these wondercrops,
and can exercise their proprietary “rights” at will. Are
corporate foundations really out to feed the hungry, or
are they hypocritical Trojan Horses on a mission to hijack
the world’s food supply—to create the most complete and
ultimate state of dependency.

“Poor-washing” is the common public relations tactic of
concealing bitterly unfair and predatory trade policies
that create and deepen hunger and poverty with clouds
of hypocritical noise about feeding the hungry and
alleviating poverty. It’s hard to imagine a better case
of media poor-washing than the hype around the recently
announced $150 million “gifts” of the Gates and Rockefeller
Foundations to the cause of reforming African agriculture,
feeding that continent’s impoverished millions and sparking
an African “Green Revolution”

For ADM, Cargill, Monsanto and other agribusiness giants
farming as humans have practiced it the last ten thousand
years is a big problem. The problem is that when farmer’s
plant and harvest crops, setting a little aside for next
year’s seed, people eat, but corporations don’t get paid.
That problem has been so thoroughly solved in U.S. food
production that chemical fertilizers and pesticides create
a biological dead zone of hundreds of square miles in the
Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi, draining much of the
continent’s richest farmland, empties into it. U.S. law
requires the registration all crop varieties, and makes
it extraordinarily difficult for farmers to save and plant
their own seed year to year without paying royalties
to corporations who “own” the genetic code of those crops.

But until recently in the developing world, farmers still
planted, plowed and harvested without paying American
agribusiness anything. The first attempt to “monetize”
food production took place a generation ago in Southeast
Asia and India. Called the “Green Revolution” its public
face was a masterpiece of pious poor-washing. A thin layer
of native academic “experts” and local officials were bought
off, and slick ad campaigns told local farmers that the
road to prosperity was with the use of vast quantities
of pesticides, herbicides, and high-yield crops grown
for international markets, instead of feeding local
populations.

The “Green Revolution” in India worked out well for the
middlemen who sold the chemicals and lent poor farmers
money to buy them, and for its wealthiest farmers. But
when millions of farmers, on the advice of foreign and
domestic “experts” produced cotton, sugar and export
crops for the world market instead of food to feed
their neighbors, several nasty things happened. The
prices for those export staples went down, so poor
farmers wound up without the cash to repay loans for
the year’s seed and chemicals. Food, which used to be
abundant and locally grown, became scarce, expensive
and had to come from other regions or overseas. The
chemicals killed many beneficial plants and insects,
and promoted the emergence of newer, tougher pests and
diseases. Export crops needed more water than traditional
ones; so wealthy farmers monopolized what water there
was to feed their export crops. Man-made famines occurred.
People starved or became dependent on imported foreign grain.
Millions of farmers were forced to sell their land
(or sometimes their children) to pay off their debts,
and move to the cities.

In the tradition of the European explorers unleashed on
the rest of humanity, with letters from their kings entitling
them to claim and seize the lands, treasure and inhabitants
of all places not under the rule of white Christian princes,
the U.S. patent office began in the 1990s, granting American
corporations exclusive “patents” for varieties of rice
produced in Asia for thousands of years, for beans grown
in Mexico centuries before Columbus, and for all the products
which were or might be made from trees, plants, roots and
molds growing in the rain forests of Africa and Asia. Indian
courts, under pressure from their citizens, rebuffed for
now American attempts to collect royalties for the production
of basmati rice, which farmers in India and Pakistan have
cultivated for centuries. But what every developing country
can’t bring to the table against the U.S., is the power
that India, with a fifth of the world’s population can.

In the U.S. media this privatization of nature is called
“the biotech industry.” Most of humanity outside the U.S.
call it “biopiracy.” In the last decade, corporate “life
scientists” in the biotech industry have invented, and the
U.S. Department of Agriculture has patented, a perverse
but profitable technology which prevents a current year’s
crop from producing usable seed for next year’s planting.
These “terminator seeds” will force farmers to return to
corporate seed suppliers every year.

For the last 20 years, the U.S. has, with varying degrees
of success, bullied, bribed and threatened governments on
six continents to enforce its skull-and-crossbones patent
laws through bilateral trade agreements—think NAFTA and
CAFTA—through World Bank and International Monetary Fund
dictates, and the World Trade Organization. Today UN bodies
and dozens of individual countries are under pressure to
allow the introduction of genetically modified crops and
terminator seed technologies into their food chains. Despite
their poverty and need for development aid, African countries,
informed by the world media (outside the U.S.) have been
forced by their own citizens, scientists and farmers to
stoutly resist Western efforts to undermine their food
security. But the slick and shiny PR campaign around the
Gates and Rockefeller initiatives, supposedly addressed
at alleviating world hunger seem to mark a new stage in
the continuing scramble for African resources.

Last year, the Gates Foundation hired former Monsanto VP
Robert Horsch as senior program officer for Africa.
Monsanto is the company that invented “biotechnology”
and the patenting of life forms by corporations. This
is the context for the “philanthropy” of the Gates and
Rockefeller Foundations, and their expressed concern
for foisting a “Green Revolution” upon Africa. Will African
farmers and their governments be forced to pay American
corporations to cultivate the crops they have cultivated
for centuries? Global capital and competition to control
the world’s remaining energy have put Africa’s oil resources
in the sights of America’s strategic planners. If the Gates
and Rockefeller Foundations, along with Monsanto, Cargill,
ADM and other agribusiness and biotech and “life science”
players have anything to say about it, Africa’s food supply
is up for grabs too.

Bruce Dixon is Managing Editor of Black Agenda Report (BAR)
http://www.blackagendareport.com

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19) Chávez Looks at His Critics in the Media and Sees the Enemy
By SIMON ROMERO
June 1, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/world/americas/01venez.html

CARACAS, Venezuela, May 31 — “Sound the alarm in the hills, slums and
towns to defend our revolution from this new fascist attack,” President
Hugo Chávez said in a nationally televised speech this week as his
government was under siege by student protests over his decision to take
a dissident television network off the air. “We are waiting for you.”

With such chilling threats of retribution, Mr. Chávez seems prepared to
harden his treatment of both the protesters and any media organizations
that oppose him, even as the demonstrations ebbed somewhat on Thursday.

Analysts say such statements reflect a savvy reading of Venezuela’s
polarized politics that has enabled him to withstand acute challenges to
his government, like the general strike that paralyzed the economy in
2002. Protests then were larger, and a plunge in oil exports wreaked
economic havoc, but Mr. Chávez emerged stronger than before.

“Chávez cannot appear to be weak among his own people, or to be another
Allende,” said Steve Ellner, a political scientist at Oriente University
in eastern Venezuela, referring to Salvador Allende, the Chilean
socialist toppled in a 1973 coup.

“Allende was a gentleman, but it didn’t get him anywhere,” Mr. Ellner
said. “Chávez is appealing to his base with aggressive language and a
refusal to compromise with the opposition, which is portrayed as the enemy.”

On Sunday, the government closed the dissident station, Radio Caracas
Televisión, or RCTV, describing the action as a regulatory decision
based on the network’s support for a brief coup in 2002.

Opponents say the decision is evidence that Mr. Chávez’s definition of
the enemy has been enlarged to include news media outlets that are
critical of his government. Otherwise, say detractors like Teodoro
Petkoff, the editor of the small opposition newspaper Tal Cual, Mr.
Chávez would have also decided not to renew the licenses of Venevisión
and Televen, networks whose coverage similarly supported the 48-hour
coup in 2002. Those networks have become far less critical of Mr.
Chávez, while RCTV has maintained its criticism.

Indeed, watching television here this week has become a lesson in how
Mr. Chávez is extending his control beyond political institutions to
include the broadcast media. It is a marked shift from the early years
of his presidency, when he faced vitriolic criticism from most news
organizations, which were owned by the country’s moneyed elite.

With Chávez loyalists controlling the National Assembly, the Supreme
Court and the federal bureaucracy, and with RCTV off the air, coverage
of the protests by every television broadcaster except a small cable
news network, Globovisión, fell into ideological step with the coverage
by Mr. Chávez’s expanding state-controlled broadcasting interests.

Venevisión, the largest private television network, showed soap operas
during many of the protests, largely ignoring them. And Venezolana de
Televisión, or VTV, the main government network, paid relatively little
attention to the protests, instead interviewing government officials and
pro-Chávez student groups at smaller counterprotests.

Mr. Chávez also urged legal action against Globovisión this week, the
only remaining network that is explicitly critical of him. Relying on
analysis by semioticians of video broadcast in recent weeks by
Globovisión of the shooting of Pope John Paul II in 1981, Mr. Chávez
said the images were an attempt to incite an assassination attempt
against him.

“Yesterday’s news,” Mr. Petkoff, the editor of Tal Cual, wrote in an
editorial on this latest assertion by Mr. Chávez that he is the target
of an assassination plot. “A cartoon rerun. Paranoia and manipulation.”

Meanwhile, even as Mr. Chávez’s supporters expressed optimism over the
future of TVes, the new state television network created to occupy
RCTV’s signal, bulletins on VTV, the main state network, reported on
vague accusations here that the Bush administration was plotting to
assassinate Mr. Chávez.

VTV also continued broadcasting La Hojilla, an opinion program that
pillories the president’s critics. Pro-Chávez cabinet officials and
lawmakers, in an illustration of how polarized Venezuela remains,
continued to deride the student protests as destabilization efforts.

“They came out because they’re looking for deaths to keep justifying
themselves,” Iris Varela, a member of the National Assembly, said of the
protesters.

Faced with mounting condemnations from international organizations like
Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to
Protect Journalists that say the RCTV decision was an effort to stifle
freedom of expression, Mr. Chávez’s government has shown no sign of
reconsidering the move.

Political analysts said this could be explained at least in part by what
they called the president’s “convoking power,” or his ability to rally
his supporters in times of distress.

While almost 40 percent of voters in last year’s election opted for Mr.
Chávez’s opponent, the president’s support topped 60 percent and he
still enjoys wide popular backing. This level of support is expected to
be on display Saturday, when Mr. Chávez has called for large
demonstrations in support of the RCTV decision.

Until then, however, the message from students is still being heard, if
not widely broadcast, in Venezuela. “They are taking our free speech
away,” said Sandra Bellizzia, a marketing student at Alejandro Humboldt
University who had “RCTV” painted in black on her face at a protest here
on Thursday. “If they closed any channel, it would mean the same thing.”

Jens Erik Gould contributed reporting.

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LINKS AND VERY SHORT STORIES

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Pentagon IG Report Details Central Role
of Psychologists in Detainee
Interrogations and Abuse
Shrinks and the SERE Technique at Guantanamo
By STEPHEN SOLDZ
May 29, 2007
www.counterpunch.org

Inuit leader: stop expansion of Stansted airport
By Cahal Milmo
"One of the most prominent members of the Inuit community
will today plead for an end to the expansion of Stansted
Airport and deliver a devastating critique of the link
between Britain's cheap flights culture and the effects
of climate change on his people.
Aqqaluk Lynge will present evidence of the increasing
loss of Inuit villages and hunting grounds across the
Arctic. His testimony will be given to the public inquiry
opening today into plans to dramatically increase the
number of passengers using London's third airport."
Published: 30 May 2007
http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2594163.ece

Andrew Sullivan: American interrogation techniques
borrowed from Nazis
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/verschfte_verne.html

Overhaul of Immigration Law Could Reshape New York
By NINA BERNSTEIN
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/nyregion/30families.html?ref=nyregion

Los Angeles Police Chief Notes Failures of Command at Rally
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/us/30LAPD.html?ref=us

Mexico: Migrant Jumps to His Death in Immigration Sweep
By MARC LACEY
A raid by the authorities on a train carrying undocumented
Central American immigrants in southern Mexico ended in
tragedy on Monday as a man jumped to his death from
a moving rail car and a boy had his leg severed by the
train’s wheels. “We were all on top of the train when
the police began chasing us,” the boy, Luis Carlos
Hernández, 14, from Honduras, told The Associated Press
from a hospital in Veracruz, where he was recovering
from an amputated right leg. The unidentified man who
jumped fell onto the tracks and was decapitated, officials
said.
May 30, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/world/americas/30briefs-migrant.html

Site Pulled Calling Anti-War Advocates Terrorists
Anti-Abortion, Gay-Rights Groups Also Included
http://www.nbc6.net/news/13398523/detail.html?taf=ami

Stun gun use on mentally ill questioned
© 2007 The Associated Press
May 28, 2007, 12:28AM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/4840930.html

As Allies Turn Foe, Disillusion Rises in Some G.I.’s
By MICHAEL KAMBER
May 28, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/world/middleeast/28delta.html?ref=world

Wealthy Enclave Offers Windfall for Candidates
By ALISON LEIGH COWAN
"GREENWICH, Conn., May 25 — Senator John McCain made his
pitch to this gilded shoreline suburb back in April.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts came on May 7,
followed one night later by former President Bill Clinton
on behalf of his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Last weekend, it was back-to-back appearances by Senator
Barack Obama, topped off on Sunday with a visit from
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor.
With the mansions along its winding back roads now awash
in hedge fund money, Greenwich has joined New York,
Los Angeles and Silicon Valley as must stops on the
presidential fund-raising tour, with prominent locals
now boasting of candidate scuff marks on their basketball
courts, Secret Service T-shirts in their closets and framed
pictures of their children with the candidates on their
mantels. For a town that has wealth and corporate clout
to spare, the fund-raisers fill a void: access to a potential
White House resident."
May 28, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/us/politics/28greenwich.html?hp

Site Pulled Calling Anti-War Advocates Terrorists
Anti-Abortion, Gay-Rights Groups Also Included
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Homeland
Security has taken down a Web site it operated that
included gay rights, anti-war and anti-abortion organizations
in a list of groups that could include terrorists.
The site included the groups under a description of what
it called "single-issue extremists." The Web site says
such groups include people who feel they are trying to
create a better world.
The director of the department said his agency received
a number of calls and e-mails from people who said they
felt the site unfairly targeted certain people just
because of their beliefs. He said he plans to put the
Web site back on the Internet, but will no longer
identify specific types of groups.
POSTED: 10:27 pm EDT May 27, 2007
UPDATED: 10:28 pm EDT May 27, 2007
http://www.nbc6.net/news/13398523/detail.html?taf=ami

INTERVIEW: AS'AD ABUKHALIL ON THE NAHR AL-BARED SIEGE
By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Lebanon, 24 May 2007
"Thousands of Palestinian refugees are fleeing from Nahr
al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon as five days of
fighting by the Lebanese army and a militant group known
as Fath al-Islam has left dozens of soldiers and fighters
and an unknown number of civilians dead. As the situation
of these Palestinian refugees worsens, 59 years after they
were first expelled from their homeland into Lebanon, the
world looks on in silence. Electronic Intifada co-founder
Ali Abunimah spoke with As'ad Abukhalil, the creator of
the Angry Arab News Service blog on the origins of Fath
al-Islam, the events that led to the violence and what it
means for Lebanon and the region."
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6945.shtml

US Show of Force in Gulf "Greatly Alarming"
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/052607A.shtml

Federal agents arrest over 100 for immigration violations
in Missouri raid
Michael Sung
JURIST@law.pitt.edu
5/23/2007
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/05/federal-agents-arrest-over-100-for.php

Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Hurt at Pump
By JAD MOUAWAD
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/business/24refinery.html?ref=business

For the First Time, New York Links a Death to 9/11 Dust
By ANTHONY DePALMA
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/nyregion/24dust.html?ref=nyregion

$5 Million Settlement in Boot Camp Death
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., May 23 (AP) — The family of a teenager
who died after being roughed up by guards at a juvenile boot
camp last year will receive $5 million under a bill signed
Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Crist.
The teenager, Martin L. Anderson, 14, died in January 2006
shortly after being kneed and struck and having ammonia
tablets held to his nose at the military-style facility
run by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in Panama City, Fla.
Mr. Crist and several lawmakers pushed for the settlement
this spring despite the Legislature’s general distaste
for claims measures.
The state has already paid Martin’s parents $200,000, the
most allowed by law without legislative approval. The bill
signed by Mr. Crist pays the remaining $4.8 million.
The sheriff’s office has separately settled with the Anderson
family for $2.4 million. Seven guards and a nurse employed
at the camp face manslaughter charges.
An initial autopsy said Martin died of complications from
sickle cell trait. But a second autopsy said the death
was caused by suffocation resulting from being forced
to inhale the ammonia.
Martin entered the camp for a probation violation for
trespassing at a school after he and his cousins were
charged with stealing their grandmother’s car.
May 24, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/24/us/24florida.html

ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
http://electronicIntifada.net

ONGOING SPECIAL COVERAGE OF SIEGE OF LEBANON REFUGEE CAMP:
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/674.shtml

ONGOING SPECIAL COVERAGE OF RENEWED ISRAELI STRIKES ON GAZA:
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/672.shtml

Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill
By CARL HULSE
May 23, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/23/washington/23cong.html?ref=world

Film Offers New Talking Points in Health Care Debate
By MILT FREUDENHEIM and LIZA KLAUSSMANN
May 22, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/business/media/22react.html?ref=business

Kentucky: Families Sue in Mine Blast
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The sole survivor of a mine explosion last year and relatives
of four of the five miners killed sued the coal company,
saying it had put production over safety. The suit cited
safety violations against the company, Kentucky Darby;
a supervisor, Ralph Napier; and Jericol Mining, which
provided management, planning, engineering and safety
training to the mine, Darby Mine No. 1. The plaintiffs
also seek damages against the manufacturer of the emergency
air packs that the victims used.
May 22, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/22/us/22brfs-FAMILIESSUEI_BRF.html

IRAQ: Educational standards plummet, say specialists
http://www.irinnews.org/PrintReport.aspx?ReportId=72168

Exclusive: Secret US plot to kill Al-Sadr
By Patrick Cockburn In Baghdad
Published: 21 May 2007
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2565123.ece

What's Next in Iraq? Juan Cole Interviews Ali A. Allawi
"Will a surge of U.S. troops make
a difference in Iraq? How viable is
the current Iraqi government? Will
an American withdrawal lead to
all-out civil war?
May 25, 2007
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i38/38b00601.htm

Black Media Delegation Returns from Darfur
Final Call, News Report, Jehron Muhammad,
Posted: May 20, 2007
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=b4a5f713b944aebb26047375d0629bf7

Soldier’s Smallpox Inoculation Sickens Son
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
"A 2-year-old boy spent seven weeks in the hospital
and nearly died from a viral infection he got from
the smallpox vaccination his father received before
shipping out to Iraq, according to a government report
and the doctors who treated him."
May 18, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/18/health/18smallpox.html?ref=health

My Dear Fellow Species
By MARY JO MURPHY
"THE Origin of Species” is almost 150 — a fit survivor
of the science canon even if not everyone has seen fit
to jump from the Ark to the Beagle on the matter of
evolution (three Republican presidential candidates,
for example). But Darwin himself was slow to come to
his ideas, and slower still to disclose them to
a skeptical public. Last week, the Darwin Correspondence
Project, based at Cambridge University, put about 5,000
letters to and from Darwin, some of them previously
unpublished, online at darwinproject.ac.uk, with thousands
more to follow. The searchable database lets anyone track
the painstaking development of his research and thinking
— on all kinds of topics, personal and professional,
and with a huge array of correspondents." MARY JO MURPHY
May 20, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/weekinreview/20word.html?ref=science

The Closing of the University Commons
by Michael Perelman
May 19, 2007
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/perelman190507.html

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GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS AND INFORMATION

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LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/qws/ff/qr?term=lapd&Submit=S&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Search&st=s

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Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007
http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo9ewi/proudtobeblack2/

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"We are far from that stage today in our era of the absolute
lie; the complete and totalitarian lie, spread by the
monopolies of press and radio to imprison social
consciousness." December 1936, "In 'Socialist' Norway,"
by Leon Trotsky: “Leon Trotsky in Norway” was transcribed
for the Internet by Per I. Matheson [References from
original translation removed]
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/12/nor.htm

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Wealth Inequality Charts
http://www.faireconomy.org/research/wealth_charts.html

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MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmzaaf-9aHQ

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ADDICTED TO WAR
Animated Video Preview
Narrated by Peter Coyote
Is now on YouTube and Google Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZwyuHEN5h8

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

In Peace,

Frank Dorrel
Publisher
Addicted To War
P.O. Box 3261
Culver City, CA 90231-3261
310-838-8131
fdorrel@addictedtow ar.com
fdorrel@sbcglobal. net
www.addictedtowar. com

For copies of the book:

http://www.addictedtowar.com/book.html

OR SEND CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:
Frank Dorrel
P.O. BOX 3261
CULVER CITY, CALIF. 90231-3261
fdorrel@addictedtowar.com
$10.00 per copy (Spanish or English); special bulk rates
can be found at: http://www.addictedtowar.com/bookbulk.html

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

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DEMAND THE RELEASE OF SAMI AL-ARIAN

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!

See:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/16/1410255

ACTION:

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
Email: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

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

3- Senator Patrick Leahy
433 Russell Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202)224-4242
senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

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 given...bw]

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)
http://www.arab-american.net/

Criminalizing Solidarity: Sami Al-Arian and the War of
Terror
By Charlotte Kates, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2007
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6767.shtml

Related:

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. co.uk/world/ fisk/article2430 125.ece

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[For some levity...Hans Groiner plays Monk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51bsCRv6kI0
...bw]

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Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez
http://www.borev.net/2007/03/what_you_had_something_better.html

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Which country should we invade next?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3g_zqz3VjY

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup
http://www.myspace.com/thecoupmusic

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeOaTpYl8mE

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LsGoDWC0o

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfCjfod8yuw

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'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
http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2042968,00.html

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Introducing...................the Apple iRack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KWYYIY4jQ

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

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THIS IS AN EXCELLENT VIDEO DESTRIBUTED BY U.S. LABOR AGAINST
THE WAR (USLAW) FEATURING SPEAKERS AT THE JANUARY 27TH
MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOCUSING ON THE DEMAND - BRING
THE TROOPS HOME NOW.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6935451906479097836&hl=en

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Defend the Los Angeles Eight!
http://www.committee4justice.com/

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George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcJoJZIcQW4&eurl_

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Iran
http://www.lucasgray.com/video/peacetrain.html

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Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran
http://d3130.servadmin.com/~leeflash/

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Petition: Halt the Blue Angels
http://action.globalexchange.org/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=458
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/289327

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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
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1091431409617440489

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Film/Song about Angola
http://www.prisonactivist.org/angola/

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"200 million children in the world sleep in the streets today.
Not one of them is Cuban."
(A sign in Havana)
Venceremos
View sign at bottom of page at:
http://www.cubasolidarity.net/index.html
[Thanks to Norma Harrison for sending this...bw]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

The trailer can be viewed and the film can be ordered for $24.95 plus
$4.95 for shipping and handling at http://www.fullduck.com/node/53.

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

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

Contact:

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
7078 South Fairfax Street
Centennial, CO 80122
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Don
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

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A NEW LOOK AT U.S. RADIOACTIVE WEAPONS
Join us in a campaign to expose and stop the use
of these illegal weapons
http://poisondust.org/

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You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle
Che:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqcezl9dD2c
Leon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukkFVV5X0p4

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FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein
http://www.walterlippmann.com/sylvia-weinstein-fightback-intro.html

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[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
http://web.mac.com/rolandgarret]

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END ALL U.S. AID TO ISRAEL!
Stop funding Israel's war against Palestine
Complete the form at the website listed below with your information.
https://secure2.convio.net/pep/site/Advocacy?
JServSessionIdr003=cga2p2o6x1.app2a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=177

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Sand Creek Massacre
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

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.

You can help. The 22-MINUTE SAND CREEK MASSACRE
DOCUMENTARY PRESENTATION/EDUCATIONAL DVD IS
READY FOR PURCHASE! (pass the word about this powerful
educational tool to friends, family, schools, parents, teachers,
and other related people and organizations to contact
me (dvasicek@earthlink.net, 303-903-2103) for information
about how they can purchase the DVD and have me come
to their children's school to show the film and to interact
in a questions and answers discussion about the Sand
Creek Massacre.

Happy Holidays!

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Vasicek,+Don
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net
303-903-2103

"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FEATURED AT NATIVE AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL:
http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/local/16035305.htm
(scroll down when you get there])
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING
WRITER/FILMMAKER DONALD L. VASICEK REPORT:
http://www.digitalcinemareport.com/sandcreekmassacre.html
"THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FINALIST IN DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL COMPETITION (VIEW HERE):
http://www.docupyx.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=41
VIEW "THE SAND CREEK MASSACRE" AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY
SHORT FILM MOVIE OF THE WEEK FOR FREE HERE:
http://twymancreative.com/twymanc.html

SHOP:
http://www.manataka.org/page633.html
BuyIndies.com
donvasicek.com.