Saturday, July 28, 2007



This is a modern day lynching"--Marcus Jones, father of Mychal Bell


P.O. BOX 1890
FAX: (318) 992-8701


Sign the NAACP's Online Petition to the Governor of Louisiana and Attorney General

TIME: 9:00AM
MONROE RESIDENTS: 318.801.0513
JENA RESIDENTS: 318.419.6441
Send Donations to the Jena 6 Defense Fund:
Jena 6 Defense Committee
P.O. Box 2798
Jena, Louisiana 71342


Young Black males the target of small-town racism
By Jesse Muhammad
Staff Writer
"JENA, La. ( - Marcus Jones, the father of 16-year-old Jena High School football star Mychal Bell, pulls out a box full of letters from countless major colleges and universities in America who are trying to recruit his son. Mr. Jones, with hurt in his voice, says, “He had so much going for him. My son is innocent and they have done him wrong.”

An all-White jury convicted Mr. Bell of two felonies—aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery—and faces up to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. Five other young Black males are also awaiting their day in court for alleged attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder charges evolving from a school fight: Robert Bailey, 17; Theo Shaw, 17; Carwin Jones, 18; Bryant Purvis, 17; and Jesse Beard, 15. Together, this group has come to be known as the “Jena 6.”
Updated Jul 22, 2007

My Letter to Judge Mauffray:

P.O. BOX 1890


Dear Judge Mauffray,

I am appalled to learn of the conviction of 16-year-old Jena High School football star Mychal Bell and the arrest of five other young Black men who are awaiting their day in court for alleged attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder charges evolving from a school fight. These young men, Mychal Bell, 16; Robert Bailey, 17; Theo Shaw, 17; Carwin Jones, 18; Bryant Purvis, 17; and Jesse Beard, 15, who have come to be known as the “Jena 6” have the support of thousands of people around the country who want to see them free and back in school.

Clearly, two different standards are in place in Jena—one standard for white students who go free even though they did, indeed, make a death threat against Black students—the hanging of nooses from a tree that only white students are allowed to sit under—and another set of rules for those that defended themselves against these threats. The nooses were hung after Black students dared to sit in the shade of that “white only” tree!

If the court is sincerely interested in justice, it will drop the charges against all of these six students, reinstate them back into school and insist that the school teach the white students how wrong they were and still are for their racist attitudes and violent threats! It is the duty of the schools to uphold the constitution and the bill of rights. A hanging noose or burning cross is just like a punch in the face or worse so says the Supreme Court! Further, it is an act of vigilantism and has no place in a “democracy”.

The criminal here is white racism, not a few young men involved in a fistfight!
I am a 62-year-old white woman who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Fistfights among teenagers—as you certainly must know yourself—are a right of passage. Please don’t tell me you have never gotten into one. Even I picked a few fights with a few girls outside of school for no good reason. (We soon, in fact, became fast friends.) Children are not just smaller sized adults. They are children and go through this. The fistfight is normal and expected behavior that adults can use to educate children about the negative effect of the use of violence to solve disputes. That is what adults are supposed to do.

Hanging nooses in a tree because you hate Black people is not normal at all! It is a deep sickness that our schools and courts are responsible for unless they educate and act against it. This means you must overturn the conviction of Mychal Bell and drop the cases against Robert Bailey, Theo Shaw, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, and Jesse Beard.

It also means you must take responsibility to educate white teachers, administrators, students and their families against racism and order them to refrain from their racist behavior from here on out—and make sure it is carried out!
You are supposed to defend the students who want to share the shade of a leafy green tree not persecute them—that is the real crime that has been committed here!


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War


Youtube interview with the DuPage County Activists Who Were Arrested for Bannering
You can watch an interview with the two DuPage County antiwar activists
who arrested after bannering over the expressway online at:

Please help spread the word about this interview, and if you haven't
already done so, please contact the DuPage County State's attorney, Joe
Birkett, to demand that the charges against Jeff Zurawski and Sarah
Heartfield be dropped. The contact information for Birkett is:

Joseph E. Birkett, State's Attorney
503 N. County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630) 407-8000
Fax: (630) 407-8151
Please forward this information far and wide.

My Letter:

Joseph E. Birkett, State's Attorney
503 N. County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630) 407-8000
Fax: (630) 407-8151

Dear State's Attorney Birkett,

The news of the arrest of Jeff Zurawski and Sarah Heartfield is getting out far and wide. Their arrest is outrageous! Not only should all charges be dropped against Jeff and Sarah, but a clear directive should be given to Police Departments everywhere that this kind of harassment of those who wish to practice free speech will not be tolerated.

The arrest of Jeff and Sarah was the crime. The display of their message was an act of heroism!

We demand you drop all charges against Jeff Zurawski and Sarah Heartfield NOW!


Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War,, San Francisco, California


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


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

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

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

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

Progress Unity Fund/Oct. 27

and mail to:

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

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

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

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

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


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


at ILWU Local 6
99 Hegenberger Rd, Oakland, CA

Bay Area Trade Unionists and Supporters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please make your contributions to:

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

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

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



YouTube clip of Che before the UN in 1964


The Wealthiest Americans Ever
NYT Interactive chart
JULY 15, 2007


New Orleans After the Flood -- A Photo Gallery
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1) Young Black males the target of small-town racism
By Jesse Muhammad
Staff Writer
Updated Jul 22, 2007, 08:47 pm News

2) Colorado Regents Vote to Fire a Controversial Professor
July 25, 2007

3) Ford Swings to Profit in 2nd Quarter
July 27, 2007

4) Bechtel Meets Goals on Fewer Than Half of Its Iraq Rebuilding Projects, U.S. Study Finds
July 26, 2007

5) British Leader Seeks New Terrorism Laws
July 26, 2007

6) Levin/Reid, The Withdrawal Amendment That Wasn't
[upj-bayarea] [Fwd: [eb-cossi]
"Carolyn S. Scarr"

7) Bases Bill: Meaningless Rhetoric
25 Jul 2007 21:25:17 -0400
From: Bob Witanek

8) Who Runs the CIA? Outsiders for Hire.
By R.J. Hillhouse
Sunday, July 8, 2007; B05

9) Of 'White Trees', Black Boys and Jena, Louisiana
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Howard Keylor

10) Raúl Castro takes stage at July 26 parade
July 26, 2007

11) Eight Americans graduate in boost for Cuban health care
-Students plan to use skills to treat poor people
-Public relations coup for Castro government
Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
Thursday July 26, 2007

12) The Sum of Some Fears
Op-Ed Columnist
July 27, 2007

13) Cuba’s Revolution Now Under Two Masters
July 27, 2007

14) Court Upholds Curbs on Signs in New Jersey
July 27, 2007

15) Martial Law is Now a Real Threat
Declaring the US a Battlefield
July 27, 2007

16) Humanity v. Hazleton
NYT Editorial
July 28, 2007

17) British Pullout Presages U.S. Hurdles in Iraq
July 29, 2007


1) Young Black males the target of small-town racism
By Jesse Muhammad
Staff Writer
Updated Jul 22, 2007, 08:47 pm News

JENA, La. ( - Marcus Jones, the father of 16-year-old Jena High School football star Mychal Bell, pulls out a box full of letters from countless major colleges and universities in America who are trying to recruit his son. Mr. Jones, with hurt in his voice, says, “He had so much going for him. My son is innocent and they have done him wrong.”

An all-White jury convicted Mr. Bell of two felonies—aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery—and faces up to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced on July 31. Five other young Black males are also awaiting their day in court for alleged attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder charges evolving from a school fight: Robert Bailey, 17; Theo Shaw, 17; Carwin Jones, 18; Bryant Purvis, 17; and Jesse Beard, 15. Together, this group has come to be known as the “Jena 6.”

“This town has always had a history of racism towards the Black man,” said Mr. Jones to the Final Call. “I am going to continue to fight for justice for my son.”

Jena, a small town still considered segregated in rural Louisiana, is the largest in LaSalle Parish with a population of nearly 3,000. Of that number, 85 percent are White, while there are only 350 Blacks in the entire area.

The trouble surrounding this case began in September 2006. At Jena High School, Black and Whites sit separately from one another outside during their school breaks—Whites under the shaded “White tree,” and Blacks on worn out benches. One day, Black student asked permission from a school official to sit under the “White tree,” and the official told them to sit wherever they wanted, so the Black student did. The following day, three nooses were seen hanging from the “White tree,” which upset the Black students who make up only 20 percent of the school’s population.

The school principal found the three White students responsible and advised that they were to be expelled from school permanently. The White superintendent of LaSalle Parish schools, Roy Breithaupt, overturned the principal’s decision and instead gave the White students a three-day suspension. In statements made to the media, Superintendent Breithaupt said “Adolescents play pranks. I don’t think it was a threat against anybody.” Black parents, students and residents disagreed and became upset.

“That’s a federal hate crime when those White students hung up those nooses. I don’t care what anybody says,” Mr. Jones told The Final Call. “A three-day suspension was a slap in the face of us as Blacks in this town.”

Students began to voice their disgust and protest against the “slap on the wrist” the three White students received for what many are calling a hate crime. According to the parents of the Jena 6 and a testimony given in Mr. Bell’s trial, White District Attorney Reed Walters then visited Jena High School to address a school assembly, making remarks directed at the Black students that if they didn’t stop making a fuss about this “innocent prank,” he could take their lives away with the stroke of his pen. As a result of a fire that burned down the main building where clases are held ast Jena High School on November 30, 2006, Whites in the community started to blame the Blacks students of the school as the casue of the fire.

But the racial tensions at the school would spill over into the community and erupt into a series of incidents that led to the charges against the Jena 6:

On the night of December 1, 2006, Robert Bailey and his friends went to a party at Jena Fair Barn. Once inside the party, Robert was approached by a White male named Justin Sloan, who asked him “Is your name Robert Bailey?” When Robert said yes, Mr. Sloan, along with his sister Jessie, began to hit Robert, and from there, he was also attacked by several other White men before his own friends came to assist him in the brawl.

According to Robert’s mother, Caseptla Bailey, the police who came on the scene told the Black youth that they need to get back to their side of town. The next day, on December 2, Robert and two of his friends were at the local Gotta-Go convenience store. They spotted Matt Windham, one of White males who attacked Robert the previous night. An altercation started and Mr. Windham ran to his truck and pulled out a sawed-off shot gun, which Robert was able to wrestle away from him. The fight ensued and eventually all involved left the scene running.

Two days later, on December 4 at Jena High School, a White male student by the name of Justin Barker had been allegedly making racial taunts at the Blacks, which included calling them “n-----s” and expressing support for the noose hanging, as well as the attack made on Robert Bailey at Fair Barn. Right outside the school auditorium, Mr. Barker was suddenly knocked down, punched, beaten and kicked by Black students. According to interviews with The Final Call, parents of the Jena 6 stated that school officials randomly pointed out White students to write statements describing what they saw, as well as identify what Black students were involved in the fight or were just standing around during the fight. Moments later, after several statements were collected, six Black males were taken out of their classes, arrested and charged.

Many of the Jena 6 remained in jail for several months due to the high bails set between $70,000-$140,000 on them. All are talented athletes with what their families called “bright futures.”

“We had to put up property to bail out my son,” stated Ms. Bailey. “My son is innocent. This is a disgrace and it only manifested the racism that has always existed in this town and this country. They are attacking our young Black males so we have to fight.”

Tina Jones, the mother of Bryant Purvis, agreed. “My son was not involved in this fight. This is pure racism.”

Mr. Bell’s family was unable to bail him out and his father believed that is the reason his son’s case went to trial so quickly. A Black court-appointed attorney, Blaine Williams, represented Mr. Bell, pressuring him to plead guilty, but Mr. Bell refused. His attorney then gathered a list of proposed witnessed which included his father and mother, Michelle Bell. The judge put a gag order on all witnesses in the case and refused to allow his parents to be present in the court during the trial because they were potential witnesses although the victim, who was a witness, was allowed to stay inside the entire time.

When Mr. Bell’s father asked the defense lawyer to appeal the gag order so they can be inside the courtroom with their son, the lawyer replied “The best thing for you to do is to get the hell out of my face.”

“At that point I smelled a rat and I knew my son was being set up,” stated Mr. Jones to The Final Call. He also shared that the jury was all White, and that members of the jury were friends with the District Attorney as well as family members with the victim. The prosecution brought forth 17 witnesses of whom many stated that they did not see Mr. Bell hit Mr. Barker. The victim himself even testified that he did not know if Mr. Bell hit him or not. The defense lawyer did not call any witnesses and rested his case. After three hours of deliberation, Mr. Bell was convicted and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Members of the Houston Millions More Movement Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Muhammad’s Mosque No. 45 Fruit of Islam visited the families of the Jena 6 on July 14 to conduct an fact-finding mission along with The Final Call.

“Our mission to Jena made clear to me that the “old south” is not so old that it is not without a pulse and heartbeat,” stated Deric Muhammad, Houston MOJ Spokesman. “The U.S. congress and Black America doesn’t have to strain its eyes toward Darfur or South Africa to see apartheid and/or genocide. We need look no further than Jena, Louisiana.”

The Black residents have been mobilizing the last few months with protests, organizing meetings, developed a NAACP branch headed by Secretary Catrina Wallace and created the Jena 6 Defense Fund Committee. They are planning a major protest on the steps of the Jena courthouse on the day of Mr. Bell’s sentencing and are calling on everyone to support.

(For more information on the Mychal Bell’s case call Marcus Jones at (318) 316-1486. People interested in supporting the Jena 6 Defense Fund: Jena 6 Defense Committee can write to P.O. Box 2798, Jena, LA 71342, or email MMM LOCs interested in supporting the July 31st protest please email

© Copyright 2007 FCN Publishing,


2) Colorado Regents Vote to Fire a Controversial Professor
July 25, 2007

BOULDER, Colo., July 24 — After more than two years of public tumult, the University of Colorado Board of Regents voted Tuesday to fire a professor whose remarks about the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks led to a national debate on free speech. But it was the professor’s problems with scholarship that the board cited as the cause for his termination.

The professor, Ward L. Churchill, was dismissed on the ground that he had committed academic misconduct by plagiarizing and falsifying parts of his scholarly research.

The board voted 8 to 1 to dismiss Professor Churchill.

“We wanted to do what was right for this university,” the board chairwoman, Patricia Hayes, said after the vote. “We did not address Professor Churchill’s freedom of speech as part of our discussion.”

The university president, Hank Brown, who recommended that the board fire Professor Churchill, said he deserved to lose his job because he had “falsified history” and “fabricated history.”

At a news conference after the decision, Professor Churchill, who cut a dramatic figure with his mane of gray-black hair, towering frame and dark sunglasses, criticized the process by which he was fired.

“I am going nowhere,” Professor Churchill said. “If there is a question in anyone’s mind to the political nature of the Regents, this should resolve it.”

He continued, “All this did was confirm what it was in the first place about the nature of the academic process and lack of integrity within this institution as a whole.”

Professor Churchill, a tenured faculty member at Colorado since 1991 who became chairman of the department of ethnic studies, caused an uproar when he criticized United States foreign policy in a 2001 essay written shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, characterizing some of the office workers killed in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns,” a reference to the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who helped carry out the Holocaust.

Police officers guarded the entrance to the University Memorial Center, where the board met, and people filtered in through metal detectors. A university spokesman, Ken McConnellogue, said the board had received an anonymous death threat via e-mail this month.

Outside the center, more than 50 people, flanked by journalists, rallied in support of Professor Churchill. Among them was a former leader of the American Indian Movement, Russell Means, who said that he understood “the dangers of totalitarianism” and that he had rushed to Boulder to support his old friend.

University officials said it was Professor Churchill’s academic impropriety, nothing more, that was at stake. After the initial fallout over his essay, which came to light in 2005, the university determined that Professor Churchill’s statements indeed constituted free speech. But accusations that he had plagiarized other scholars and fabricated parts of his research began to emerge.

It was on this basis, not Professor Churchill’s criticism of American foreign policy, Mr. McConnellogue said, that the university began a faculty investigation into his work.

In May 2006, a faculty committee found that Professor Churchill’s research, which focused on persecution of American Indians, was seriously flawed. Among suspected inaccuracies and fabrications confirmed by the panel, it charged that Professor Churchill had misrepresented sources to support his argument that Capt. John Smith intentionally introduced smallpox to the Wampanoag Indians in the 17th century.

Colorado’s interim chancellor at the time, Phil DiStefano, subsequently recommended that Professor Churchill be fired, and he was placed on paid administrative leave.

In June 2006, Professor Churchill filed an appeal with the university’s Privilege and Tenure Committee, three of whose members recommended that he be suspended without pay for a year and demoted to assistant professor, while two others thought he should be fired. Soon after, Mr. Brown, the president, recommended that the board dismiss Professor Churchill.

Throughout the controversy, Professor Churchill and his lawyer, David Lane, maintained that the professor’s comments about Sept. 11 were the true driving force behind the investigation and that his fate had been sealed since.

Mr. Lane said he would file a lawsuit on Wednesday in State District Court in Denver, saying the university had violated Professor Churchill’s First Amendment rights by using his political views to fire him.


3) Ford Swings to Profit in 2nd Quarter
July 27, 2007

DEARBORN, Mich., July 26 — The Ford Motor Company today reported its first quarterly profit in two years, surprising Wall Street. But its losses continued in North America, and its chief executive warned of “substantial losses” coming in the second half of 2007.

The company also confirmed that it is reviewing bids for its remaining British marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, saying in a statement that it is “in discussions with selected parties who have expressed interest.” Ford’s chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, said this morning that there was a “greater than 50” percent chance that the two brands would be sold.

Ford said it was “conducting a strategic review of Volvo,” the Swedish carmaker, the strongest indication to date that it wants to sell that brand, too. It said the Volvo review would most likely finish by year’s end.

“Clearly, the real opportunity going forward is to integrate and leverage our Ford assets around the world,” Mr. Mulally said this morning. “It was just clear to us that it was a good time to review our portfolio and decide the best thing for our brands going forward.”

The Texas Pacific Group, led by the investor David Bonderman, is among the investment groups interested in Jaguar and Land Rover, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions said today. Others include Cerberus Capital Management, which is buying the Chrysler Group. Texas Pacific’s interest was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Premier Automotive Group, which comprise the three European brands, earned $140 million in the second quarter, compared with a $162 million loss a year ago, potentially increasing its appeal in the market.

For the second quarter, Ford earned $750 million, or 31 cents a share, a swing of more than $1 billion from the loss of $317 million, or 17 cents a share, in the period a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $44.2 billion, as improvements in currency exchange rates, sales mix and net pricing overcame a decrease in overall sales.

Excluding special items like a gain from the sale of the British luxury sports car brand Aston Martin, Ford earned $258 million, or 13 cents a share. Analysts had expected a loss of 37 cents, although the company no longer provides financial guidance.

Ford posted a profit in all regions except North America, where it lost $279 million; that number is an improvement from a $789 million loss in the second quarter of 2006. The company has said it will not be profitable in North America until at least 2009.

Revenue declined in North America, to $18.8 billion from $19.1 billion, as sales of trucks and sport-utility vehicles declined amid high gasoline prices.

“We are encouraged by improved results in North American auto, but Ford will need to accelerate its cost- reduction activities,” Jonathan Steinmetz, an auto analyst with Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note to clients this morning.

The overall profit is the first under Mr. Mulally, who became chief executive last fall, and comes after seven consecutive quarterly losses. Peter Nesvold, an auto analyst with Bear Stearns, relayed the results to clients under the heading, “You’re Not Going to Believe This But.”

Ford shares were up more than 3 percent to $8.23 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Our plan is taking hold and producing results, but we have a long way to go,” Mr. Mulally said on a conference call with reporters and analysts. A few minutes later, he added, “We will incur substantial losses in both the third and fourth quarters, primarily in North America.”

For the full year, Mr. Mulally said Ford will lose money but less than the $3.1 billion it lost last year, excluding special items. In April, the company had said this year’s pre-tax loss from continuing operations would be worse.

Over all, Ford lost $12.6 billion in 2006. Through the first six months of 2007, it has earned $458 million.

The company said it expects to spend $15 billion to $16 billion in cash between 2007 and 2009, down from its early forecast of $17 billion.
In recent months, some analysts have suggested that among the Detroit companies, Ford was in the most danger of seeking bankruptcy protection if the auto market were to significantly decline amid a broader economic downturn.

But Mr. Mulally said Ford was not considering a Chapter 11 filing. “We aren’t talking about that, and I can understand from the history why some people would, but we are very, very encouraged by the progress we are making on this plan,” he said.

It has been 18 months since Ford began a turnaround program in North America called The Way Forward. It accelerated the plan last fall, shortly after Mr. Mulally joined Ford from the Boeing Company. He has not made significant changes in the restructuring program, but has pushed Ford to focus on its basic automotive business.

In that time, more than 30,000 hourly workers have voluntarily left their jobs in the last year after accepting a buyout or early retirement package. The company also cut about one-third of its salaried positions, or about 14,000 jobs.

The second-quarter profit came in what is traditionally a good season for auto companies, before they roll out big rebates and lease discounts in the third quarter, when they change to a new model year. Ford dealerships already sell several 2008 models and began a model year-end clearance sale in June, two months sooner than usual.

Sales for the period were lower, but reduced discounts on larger, more expensive vehicles allowed Ford to make more money on them. The average incentive on Ford’s pickups and sport-utility vehicles was about $1,000 less in June than a year earlier and incentives on all sizes of vehicles were $81 less, according to the Autodata Corporation, an industry statistics firm, at a time when other carmakers increased discounts.

The profit could work against Ford’s efforts to cut labor costs during contract negotiations with the United Automobile Workers union this summer. Talks between the U.A.W. and all three Detroit automakers formally began within the last week, and the union’s current contract expires Sept. 14.

But Mr. Mulally said the results show that U.A.W. factories continue to lose money.

“We still lost $279 million in North America,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do to get back to profitability. Long term, we need to work on every element of our competitive so we can get back and compete with the best in the world.”

Earlier this week, the union’s president, Ron Gettelfinger, declined to comment on how Ford’s $12.6 billion loss in 2006 would affect talks, before adding, “They have a lot of cash, by the way.”

Indeed, Ford has more than $37.4 billion in cash on hand, but company executives note that most of it is borrowed. The company raised $23 billion last year by mortgaging most of its North American assets, from factories to its blue-oval logo.

General Motors plans to report its second-quarter earnings July 31. Chrysler’s parent, the German automaker DaimlerChrysler, said Wednesday that profits for its Mercedes division nearly doubled, to $1.65 billion, but it did not report earnings for Chrysler.

DaimlerChrysler is selling Chrysler for $7.4 billion, in a deal expected to close in early August.


4) Bechtel Meets Goals on Fewer Than Half of Its Iraq Rebuilding Projects, U.S. Study Finds
July 26, 2007

One of the largest American contractors working in Iraq, Bechtel National, met its original objectives on fewer than half of the projects it received as part of a $1.8 billion reconstruction contract, while most of the rest were canceled, reduced in scope or never completed as designed, federal investigators have found in a report released yesterday.

But the report, by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent agency, places a large share of the blame for the failures on the government overseers at the United States Agency for International Development who administered the contract. The aid agency assigned just two people in Iraq to oversee the giant contract, which included some 24 major projects and 150 subcontractors and stipulated that all invoices be approved or denied in just 10 days.

The report is the first of a planned series of audits of Western contractors that have received large slices of the roughly $40 billion in American taxpayer money that has been spent on the troubled program to rebuild Iraq. Previous audits have looked at individual projects but never the performance across Iraq of a single contractor.

Stuart W. Bowen Jr., who heads the special inspector general’s office, said the United States government clearly shared responsibility with the company for the project failures.

“I would say there’s fault on both sides,” Mr. Bowen said in an interview yesterday. He added that neither the aid agency nor the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which also oversaw aspects of the contract, ever came close to filling all their staff positions in Iraq.

“This isn’t so much an indictment of Bechtel as it is a criticism of the system,” said Stephen Ellis, a vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense in Washington. “Those two individuals overseeing over a billion dollars in contracting — it seems to me they may deserve a medal, but they shouldn’t have had to do that,” Mr. Ellis said.

While the new audit is a sometimes scathing look at landfills that were never dug, fiber-optic networks never completed and sewage treatment facilities that never worked as designed, there is also praise for the work Bechtel did complete, including the installation of two huge electrical generators at the Baghdad South Power Plant and the rehabilitation of a sewer system in the Zafaraniya section of the capital.

“It’s actually quite positive, looking at it from a Bechtel perspective, in a lot of cases,” said Bill Shoaf, program director for the company’s Iraq infrastructure program. Although only 10 of the 24 job orders met their original objectives, Mr. Shoaf said, “Conditions change and priorities change and customers want change.”

Bechtel was one of the first American contractors working in Iraq after the invasion, and it received an early reconstruction contract worth about $1 billion in April 2003. Later that year, Congress approved a much larger reconstruction program, worth $18.3 billion, to rebuild Iraq’s water, sanitation, electrical, oil, transportation and telecommunications sectors. In January 2004, the company received a contract for $1.8 billion of the rebuilding project to carry out some of that work.

But by April of 2004, the main Iraq insurgency had broken out, greatly complicating reconstruction efforts. And at the same time, American government agencies overseeing the effort struggled to fill staff positions. The aid agency filled only 170 of 251 authorized positions in Iraq, the inspector general’s report says, while the Army Corps filled just 18 of 37 positions it had created to support the agency in the country.

Adding further turmoil to the program was the decision by the United States to shift billions of dollars from reconstruction to arming and training Iraqi security forces, causing dozens of projects to be cut back or canceled. Even on the projects that survived, contractors like Bechtel subcontracted much of the work to companies that in turn subcontracted parts of the work to other companies, and so on, making oversight of progress in a dangerous, war-torn country nightmarish at times.

The inspector general’s report is careful to point out that even under these conditions, Bechtel was successful on a number of projects, and a few — including a $22 million water plant — actually came in at under the expected cost. “In other instances, however,” the report says, “millions of dollars were spent and requirements were not met, reduced or clearly established.”

Among the work that failed was a huge project to add desperately needed electrical output to the Musayyib power plant, south of Baghdad. Originally budgeted at $23 million, the project ran into problems with American subcontractors, the Iraqi Electricity Ministry and deteriorating local security. Finally, only $6.6 million was paid out before the project ended, and even then, the report says, there is no clear indication of whether anything actually improved at the plant.

“Thus, it is difficult to establish the value of the product received for the $6.6 million cost of this job order,” the report says.

Perhaps even more telling was a Baghdad landfill project originally budgeted at $14 million but never dug, even after $4 million had been spent on the project. Highly trumpeted by the American authorities in Iraq, the project was to be something entirely new for a country never known for the quality of its sanitation facilities. The report says in dry language that the project was canceled after three sites were considered and rejected “because of land ownership issues and security concerns.”

Mr. Shoaf, of Bechtel, said the history of the project was considerably more colorful. The first site considered was near Abu Ghraib, an area that turned out to be a cauldron of insurgent activity, in addition to containing a notorious prison. The site also happened to be riddled with unexploded military ordnance and was abandoned, Mr. Shoaf said.

Work began on a second site on the outskirts of Baghdad, but the local Iraqi governing council ordered that the landfill be moved elsewhere, he said. Finally, the project turned to a third Baghdad site where, as it happened, the water table was too high for a landfill to be excavated.

So, Mr. Shoaf said, the project was dropped and the equipment that had been purchased was turned over to the Iraqi government. By that time, according to the inspector general’s report, $4 million had been spent.

Army Major Faces Bribery Charges

An Army major is facing federal charges that in 2005 he accepted millions of dollars in bribes from contractors doing business with the Pentagon in Iraq and Kuwait.

The Justice Department said yesterday that the major, John Cockerham, 41, of San Antonio, either awarded or controlled the contracts. He has been charged with bribery, money laundering and conspiracy.

He and his wife, Melissa, were charged Sunday. His sister Carolyn Blake, 44, of Sunnyvale, Tex., was charged Tuesday. His wife and his sister were charged with conspiracy.


5) British Leader Seeks New Terrorism Laws
July 26, 2007

LONDON, July 25 — Taking an early firm stand on terrorism, Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Parliament on Wednesday that his government would establish a highly visible border police force that would patrol airports and seaports, a proposal that the opposition Conservatives have long supported.

In a wide-ranging package of anti-terrorism measures that stressed security over winning the hearts of Britain’s Muslim population, Mr. Brown said he wanted to extend the period that terrorism suspects could be held for questioning without charge.

In the longer run, he said, Britain would require all visa applicants to have “biometric” screening after March 2008.

A screening system, to be introduced as soon as possible, he said, would enable border officials to check passports of people entering and leaving Britain in real time against a database.

“Our country — and all countries — have to confront a generation-long challenge to defeat Al Qaeda-inspired terror violence,” Mr. Brown said in the House of Commons. He said there had been 15 efforts to attack Britain since Sept. 11, 2001. Some of the government’s proposals, in particular the extension of time for questioning suspects held without charge to 56 days from 28 days, had been discussed as possibilities before the Wednesday speech.

But the plan for the border patrol police, which would combine immigration and customs officers, came as a surprise. It appeared intended to show that Mr. Brown meant business in reinforcing Britain’s security measures and that he, a member of the Labor Party, was willing to include something from Conservative Party policy.

The Conservative Party spokesman on security, David Davis, in an op-ed article in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday criticized Labor for what he called its plans to introduce new laws rather than carry out current antiterrorism measures more effectively.

The Conservatives proposed a border police force five years ago. The new border patrol, Mr. Brown said, will be fully in place “very soon,” after a report is delivered to the government about how to coordinate the various services that will make up the force. But visitors to Britain will start seeing the new patrols next month, he said.

Longer periods for interrogation of terrorism suspects is a hot-button issue in Britain, where some people believe such measures recall the policy of internment by the British security forces against the Irish Republican Army and its sympathizers.

In explaining his decision to call for a longer period of detention for terrorism suspects held without charge, Mr. Brown said that in the past year six suspects had been held for 27 days or the maximum 28 days.

Three of those suspects were charged in connection with the plot last year to bring down trans-Atlantic airliners heading for the United States. Three others were released.

The complexities of terrorist plots, which often involve multiple identities and the need for investigators to look at thousands of phone records and analyze computer hard drives, justified an extension to 56 days, Mr. Brown said. The airline plot involved 200 cellphones, 400 computers and 8,000 CDs, DVDs and discs, which together contained 6,000 gigabytes of data, he told Parliament.

Civil liberties groups, defense lawyers and British Muslim organizations oppose the extension of time for questioning, on the grounds that it would seriously erode individual rights.

“Twenty-eight days is already too long,” said Louise Christian, a senior partner in Christian Khan, a law firm that specializes in defending terrorism suspects. “It should never have gone to 14. It used to be 7 days.”

She accused the British police, whose main lobbying organization has called for indefinite detention for questioning of terrorism suspects, of being “allowed to play an undemocratic lobbying role.”

Figures released by the Home Office recently showed that between Sept. 11, 2001, and March of this year, 1,228 people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses. Of those, 669 were released without charge.

The data also showed that only 241 had been charged with offenses under terrorism legislation.

In outlining his plans for the longer period for questioning, Mr. Brown also said that he would consider an extension of the detention period to as long as 90 days, but that he preferred the period he was proposing.

Mr. Brown also said his government had set aside $144 million, for local councils to set up programs to teach citizenship skills and English to Muslim clerics, many of whom come from Pakistan to take those positions.

The prime minister said that the government would finance a BBC Arabic-language channel. Similarly, he said the government would finance an editorially independent Persian-language station for Iranians.

Failed terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow marred Mr. Brown’s first days in office as prime minister.

Seven people living in Britain were detained for questioning in those failed bombings. Three were charged, three others were released, and one man remains hospitalized with severe burns from the failed attack.

Ariana Green contributed reporting.


6) Levin/Reid, The Withdrawal Amendment That Wasn't
[upj-bayarea] [Fwd: [eb-cossi]
"Carolyn S. Scarr"

OK, so the the Levin/Reid Amendment - the so-called "withdrawal" amendment that was the center of attention at last week's Senate sleepover party never even got to a vote. It's moot. The Democrats tried, the Amendment at least served a domestic political purpose, next subject.

But wait a minute. Weren't we told that this amendment was about withdrawing troops from Iraq by April of next year? Or was it combat troops within 120 days, and all troops by next year? Or was it only combat troops? Or was it "most" combat troops by some time in some future year? Or was it........well, anyway, it was about a significant withdrawal of combat troops intended to lead to an end to the debacle in Iraq, right?

Probably not.

And how many of us, myself included, actually bothered to - well, read? - the amendment in question, let alone analyze it? I did not trust what I was hearing from some mainstream U.S. media - that it really did call for full withdrawal by April of next year. I did trust what I was hearing from progressive media - that it would mean at least the withdrawal of "most" combat troops by April of next year (still too little too late, but better than nothing, I guess). Then I actually read the Amendment.

But the whole thing is moot now, so why waste more time on it? Well, because it tells us something about what the Democrats really have in mind, which is, as far as I can tell, not all that different from what the neocons of the Bush administration have been trying to accomplish. Levin/Reid looks to me a lot like an attempt to appear to be changing direction while in reality taking only a slight detour on the route to the same destination.

But here it is verbatim, so judge for yourself. You may take my analysis, imbedded below, with as many grains of salt as you like, but the plain language of the Amendment is pretty clear - or rather it is significantly vague.


Note, first of all, the words "reduction" and "transition".

"(a) Deadline for Commencement of Reduction.–The Secretary of Defense shall commence the reduction of the number of United States forces in Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.”

- This clearly refers to the commencement within 120 days of whatever is to take place, and not the completion of anything at all. That allows the U.S. military, of course, to continue to do whatever it wants to do, including adding additional forces, and including excalating its attacks against Iraqis, for another four months. Why? If the objective is to end the occupation, or to significantly reduce it, or even to "change direction", why wait four months to make any change at all? Unless, of course, the idea is to buy time.

- It does not specify or imply that it is combat troops that are to be reduced. They could reduce the number of Army mechanics, or truck drivers, and that would satisfy this provision (I understand that not ALL the mechanics and truck drivers are outside contractors - yet).

- It does not specify the size of the reduction. So, they could send, say 100 Army mechanics or truck drivers home, and still satisfy this provision.

“(c) Limited Presence After Reduction and Transition.–After the conclusion of the reduction and transition of United States forces to a limited presence as required by this section, the Secretary of Defense may deploy or maintain members of the Armed Forces in Iraq only for the following missions:”

Limited presence of an unspecified number of troops is, unfortunately, not a full withdrawal. It need not even be a significant withdrawal. In fact, withdrawal of ten troops would technically satisfy this amendement.

And this puts the power to decide how many troops to “deploy or maintain” right back into the hands of the Bush Administration and its generals. There is also nothing here to prevent the Administration from having another lovely “surge” - that is, increasing the number of troops after withdrawing an unspecified number who are fulfilling unspecified funcions - as long as they manage to technically stay with the prescribed “missions”.

So what, exactly ARE those "limited" missions?

“(1) Protecting United States and Coalition personnel and infrastructure.”
That means protecting the Regional Imperial Command and Control Center - aka “mega embassy” in Baghdad. It also means protecting those permanent military bases that they have been busily building, and that were one of the main goals of the invasion from the beginning. In other words, it means continuing the agenda of establishing a permanent, and controlling presence in Iraq.

Protecting United States personnel and infrastructure would most likely also include something that looks, walks, and quacks an awfully lot like combat.

“2) Training, equipping, and providing logistic support to the Iraqi Security Forces.”

Logistic support certainly does not close the door to a combat role. On the contrary, it all but guarantees it.

“3) Engaging in targeted counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, al Qaeda affiliated groups, and other international terrorist organizations.”

What is that, if not combat? Same old gun fights, same old aerial bombings, same old“house to house”, same old checkpoints, same old patrols, same old aerial attacks, just with an unspecified reduced number of forces. And same old mass detentions, same old “enhanced interrogation techniques”, aka torture.

And same old pissed off Iraqis struggling to expel the occupier, aka “insurgents”.
“(d) Completion of Transition.–The Secretary of Defense shall complete the transition of United States forces to a limited presence and missions as described in subsection (c) by April 30, 2008.”

This is obviously not a complete withdrawal. It is, in fact, an unspecified reduction - realistically it could be no more than a minuscule, symbolic reduction.- which could very well be followed by an unspecified increase since the Amendment contains a loophole that would actually allow an increase in troops at the will of the Administration or its generals.

The takeaway lesson from this is that the Democrats do not necessarily have significantly different long-term goals in Iraq. It does appear for all the world as if they are attempting to win at the game of U.S. domestic politics while achieving the same ends in Iraq as the neocons by only slightly different means,


7) Bases Bill: Meaningless Rhetoric
25 Jul 2007 21:25:17 -0400
From: Bob Witanek

Some are heralding a bill passed today by Congress as some sort of victory (while Congress is actually debating a large Pentagon bill to which Murtha says he wants to attach a non-binding clause that the US has to move some US troops around (redeploy) in Iraq in 6 months.

What the bill actually states:

No funds made available by any Act of Congress shall be obligated or expended for a purpose as follows:
(1) To establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq.
(2) To exercise United States economic control of the oil resources of Iraq.

Passed the House of Representatives July 25, 2007.
Why is this bill non-binding and chiefly rhetorical?

Any subsequent act of congress would supercede this act of congress. This bill does not prevent any future bill to expend funds to do these things. Such a bill would just cast this act aside.

The bases already being built in Iraq and that have been built and fully funded by this same congress are of permanent capability. As long as they get funded year to year, this bill is a joke. Just because they do not call them “permanent” (calling them that would be stupid from every diplomatic angle), does not mean that they are not defacto of a permanent nature.

The same holds true for the second part. The US presence – fully funded by the Democratic Party that controls Congress – does serve the purpose for economic control of Iraq – not only of resources but every other economic way including fuel availability, water, electricity, reconstruction – everything. The US is occupier. The oil law which privatizes and invites foreign companies to control Iraqi oil fields was insisted upon as a benchmark by the Democratic Party controlled congress. That is the actual policy.

Again, explicitly stating “we are funding bases for the purpose of controlling Iraq’s oil” would again be stupid. Much smarter to say – we’re not going to do that when in actual fact that is precisely the policy. Kind of like: “We’re not funding another $100 billion for the war with the oil law bench mark to get our tentacles into that oil – heck – we even passed a bill that says we’re not doing that – heh heh heh!”

This bill is more blowhard pap from a pro-war congress. The victory is for the Democratic Party that they have hoodwinked some into marketing this rhetorical non-binding and ineffective bill as if it is some tangible victory for a movement that in actual fact has been routed in vote after vote (the votes that count – for funding). We have had no victory. The Democratic Party keeps the war machine fully oiled with billions and with occupying soldiers.


8) Who Runs the CIA? Outsiders for Hire.
By R.J. Hillhouse
Sunday, July 8, 2007; B05

Red alert: Our national security is being outsourced.

The most intriguing secrets of the "war on terror" have nothing to do with al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers. They're about the mammoth private spying industry that all but runs U.S. intelligence operations today.

Surprised? No wonder. In April, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell was poised to publicize a year-long examination of outsourcing by U.S. intelligence agencies. But the report was inexplicably delayed -- and suddenly classified a national secret. What McConnell doesn't want you to know is that the private spy industry has succeeded where no foreign government has: It has penetrated the CIA and is running the show.

Over the past five years (some say almost a decade), there has been a revolution in the intelligence community toward wide-scale outsourcing. Private companies now perform key intelligence-agency functions, to the tune, I'm told, of more than $42 billion a year. Intelligence professionals tell me that more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service (NCS) -- the heart, brains and soul of the CIA -- has been outsourced to private firms such as Abraxas, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

These firms recruit spies, create non-official cover identities and control the movements of CIA case officers. They also provide case officers and watch officers at crisis centers and regional desk officers who control clandestine operations worldwide. As the Los Angeles Times first reported last October, more than half the workforce in two key CIA stations in the fight against terrorism -- Baghdad and Islamabad, Pakistan -- is made up of industrial contractors, or "green badgers," in CIA parlance.

Intelligence insiders say that entire branches of the NCS have been outsourced to private industry. These branches are still managed by U.S. government employees ("blue badgers") who are accountable to the agency's chain of command. But beneath them, insiders say, is a supervisory structure that's controlled entirely by contractors; in some cases, green badgers are managing green badgers from other corporations.

Sensing problems -- and possibly fearing congressional action -- the CIA recently conducted a hasty review of all of its job classifications to determine which perform "essential government functions" that should not be outsourced. But it's highly doubtful that such a short-term exercise can comprehensively identify the proper "blue/green" mix, especially because contractors' work statements have long been carefully formulated to blur the distinction between approvable and debatable functions.

Although the contracting system is Byzantine, there's no question that the private sector delivers high-quality professional intelligence services. Outsourcing has provided solutions to personnel-management problems that have always plagued the CIA's operations side. Rather than tying agents up in the kind of office politics that government employees have to engage in to advance their careers, outsourcing permits them to focus on what they do best, which boosts morale and performance. Privatization also immediately increased the number of trained, experienced agents in the field after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Even though wide-scale outsourcing may not immediately endanger national security, it's worrisome. The contractors in charge of espionage are still chiefly CIA alumni who have absorbed its public service values. But as the center of gravity shifts from the public sector to the private, more than one independent intelligence firm has developed plans to "raise" succeeding generations of officers within its own training systems. These corporate-grown agents will be inculcated with corporate values and ethics, not those of public service.

And the current piecemeal system has introduced some vulnerabilities. Historically, the system offered members of the intelligence community the kind of stability that ensured that they would keep its secrets. That dynamic is now being eroded. Contracts come and go. So do workforces. The spies of the past came of age professionally in a strong extended family, but the spies of the future will be more like children raised in multiple foster homes -- at risk.

Today, when Booz Allen Hamilton loses a contract to SAIC, people rush from one to the other in a game of musical chairs, with not enough chairs for all the workers who possess both the highest security clearances and expertise in the art of espionage. Some inevitably lose out. Any good counterintelligence officer knows what can happen next. Down-on-their-luck spies begin to do what spies do best: spy. Other companies offer them jobs in exchange for industry secrets. Foreign governments approach them. And some day, terrorists will clue in to this potential workforce.

The director of national intelligence has put our security at risk by classifying the study on outsourcing and keeping the truth about this inadequately planned and managed system out of the light. Much of what has been outsourced makes sense, but much of the structure doesn't, not for the longer term. It's time for the public and Congress to demand the study's release. More important, it's past time for the industry -- an industry conceived of and run by some of the best and brightest the CIA has ever produced -- to come up with the kind of innovative solutions it's legendary for, before the damage goes too deep.

R.J. Hillhouse writes the national security blog the Spy Who Billed Me and is the author of the espionage thriller "Outsourced."


9) Of 'White Trees', Black Boys and Jena, Louisiana
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
Howard Keylor

If you asked me two weeks ago if I've ever heard the name of a little town in Louisiana called “Jena”, I would've drawn a blank.

Jena? Never heard of it.

It made me think of the ill-fated Palestinian village called Jenin that Israel crushed into oblivion several years ago.

I think the incumbent president's daughter has that name (with and additional 'n').

But, that's it.

When a friend sent me several Internet articles about recent events there, I was, quite frankly, flabbergasted.

I was astonished to learn that today, in the first decade of the 21st century, in Jena High School, there is still a “white tree”—called that not because the leaves are white—but because it is a generous giver of shade, and only white students sit under it.

In Sept. 2006, a young student named Kenneth Purvis asked the school principal for permission to sit under the “white tree.” The principal answered that he could sit where he liked.

So, they did.

The next day, the “white tree” was festooned with three nooses, in school colors.

In the South (or the North, for that matter), nooses have one clear meaning—they are threats of death.

People naturally got riled up, angry, or scared.

Jena's High School principal looked into the matter, found the three white students responsible, and recommended that they be expelled.

The school superintendent felt otherwise, rescinded the expulsion, and instead recommended a 3-day suspension. Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, the superintendent said, "Adolescents play pranks. I don't think it was a threat against anybody."

(Perhaps he meant anybody important—or white)

For Jena's Black community, this was but the latest slap in the face.

Black students at the high school decided to resist by holding a sit-in under the “white tree” to protest the light suspensions given to the three white noose-hangers.

When word got out about the pending sit-in, the local DA came to a Jena school assembly, with several cops to threaten the students who dared to think they could do what people did some 40 years ago throughout the South (before the so-called “New South”). He told them if they didn't stop making a fuss about this “prank” he could be "your worst enemy." To make the point plain, he told the teen gathering, "I can take away your lives with a stroke of a pen."

Several days later, a white Jena student, who reportedly made racist taunts, including calling Black students “niggers”, got knocked down, punched and kicked. The boy was taken to the hospital, treated and released. That very night, he was well enough to attend a public event.

Within days six Black Jena students were arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder. All six were also immediately expelled.

The six teens were given bails set from $70,000 to $139,000.

Bail at these ranges could've just as easily been set at $1 million, for they were at rates that none of the local parents could afford. That meant, of course, that all of the accused were held in jail for months, awaiting trial.

And if money for bail was out of reach, what about money for attorneys?

Again—out of the question.

That meant that public defenders were appointed by the court.

For one of the accused, Mychal Bell, this meant little better than no counsel at all, for his trial was soon decided by an all-white jury, who promptly convicted him of aggravated second degree assault, battery and conspiracy.

Bell now awaits sentencing, which may put the teenager in prison for the next 22 years.

The public defender never challenged the all-white jury pool, put on no evidence, and didn't call a single defense witness.

The law of aggravated assault requires the use of a deadly weapon. What was the weapon? Tennis shoes.

Families and friends of the Jena 6 are organizing against this case, and are also being threatened by the local establishment. One woman told Louisiana ACLU member, Tory Pegram, "We have to convince more people to come rally with us...What's the worse that could happen? They fire us from our jobs? We have the worst jobs in the town anyway. They burn a cross on our lawns or burn down my house? All of that has happened to us before. We have to keep speaking out to make sure it doesn't happen to us again, or our children will never be safe."

To contact the Jena 6 Defense Committee, write:

P.O. Box 2798, Jena, Louisiana 71342

Or on the web:

[Sources: Quigley, Bill, "Injustice in Jena: Black Nooses Hanging From the 'White' Tree", July 3, '07;; Mangold, Tom, " 'Stealth racism' stalks deep South", BBC News, 5/24/07 online]

July 21, 2007


10) Raúl Castro takes stage at July 26 parade
July 26, 2007

Thursday's July 26 revolutionary party had all the markings of Cuba's annual revolutionary celebration: the flags, the music, the chanting crowds.

But this year the roar of the masses recited a different name: ''Ra-ul! Ra-ul!'' Marking the end of an era and the start of new one, for the first time in 48 years -- but for an enormous billboard -- the comandante en jefe Fidel was nowhere to be found. In his place was his brother, Defense Minister and interim President Raúl Castro, who stood before tens of thousands of people in the central city of Camagüey and offered to negotiate with whoever wins the 2008 U.S. elections.

'I tell whoever the next group of leaders is: `If you are ready to talk in a civilized manner, we are prepared to do so,' '' Castro said. ``If not, we're ready to confront your policy of hostility for another 50 years if necessary.''

Viva! The crowd shouted.

Castro took a shot at George Bush, saying the U.S. president is fixated on putting an end to the Cuban revolution. Fidel's illness last year gave the Cuban military the opportunity to prepare for a U.S. attack, leaving it more prepared than ever.

''It would be interesting to ask him how he plans to stop it,'' Castro said. ``How little they have learned from history.''

Castro also blasted Washington for its decades old embargo against Cuba and for violating the 1994 migration accords that guarantees Cubans 20,000 visas a year. The United States has not just stalled visas for immigrants, Castro said, but also for athletes, scientists and artists who refuse to renounce Cuba's form of government.

Raúl Castro, 76, took over the reins of power nearly a year ago when his brother Fidel was struck by a serious intestinal illness, which required several surgeries.

Fidel was last seen in public in Holguín at last year's July 26 parade, held each year to celebrate the 1953 attack on the Moncada barracks. The attack on Fulgencio Batista's army was considered the start of the revolution, which did not triumph until 1959.

The annual event is a trademark affair for Fidel, who used it as an opportunity to make hourslong speeches. It's a role Raúl has traditionally shunned.

In a one hour speech Thursday, Raúl Castro called for increased discipline by Cuban workers and vowed to address woeful food production. Calling for a reduction in food imports, he said Cuba's food production is ``far from satisfying our needs.''

He promised to boost it using anything from tractors to oxen. He denounced Cuba's long-standing policy of offering milk only to people younger than 7, saying the nation needs to drastically increase its milk production so that anyone can drink milk ``whenever they want.''

Castro said there would be no magical solutions but called for an increase in foreign investments while not ``repeating the mistakes of the past.''

''Raúl converses well with the people and that gives us a special lift,'' Gilberto Guerrero, a retired 74-year-old sugar cane worker, told the Associated Press. ``There's so much happening in the world, but Raúl speaks directly to the people of Cuba.''

Candida Alvarez, a 76-year-old retiree who put up a string of paper Cuban flags at the door of her home near Camagüey's historic center, said the nation is ready for its new leader.

''I am certain Fidel is recovering, but there's no problem because we have Raúl,'' Alvarez told the AP. ``Fidel will always be the boss, but now Raúl is the boss, too. He's been there for a year and has gained popularity, earned the warmth of the people.''


11) Eight Americans graduate in boost for Cuban health care
-Students plan to use skills to treat poor people
-Public relations coup for Castro government
Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
Thursday July 26, 2007

Eight American students have graduated from a Cuban medical school after six years of free tuition, giving a fresh boost to the reputation of the communist government's health care system.

The first class of US graduates from the Latin American School of Medicine, a Fidel Castro brainchild on Havana's outskirts, plan to return home and take board exams for licenses to work as doctors in US hospitals.

The Americans were among more than 2,100 students from about 25 countries who received diplomas this week in a high-profile ceremony at Havana's Karl Marx theatre. The six women and two men, all from US ethnic minority backgrounds, said they would use their skills to treat poor people, in keeping with the humanitarian ethos of the school.

"Health care is not seen as a business in Cuba," Kenya Bingham, a 29-year-old Californian, told the Associated Press. "When you are sick they are not going to try to charge you or turn you away if you don't have insurance. We have studied medicine with a humanitarian approach."

The school on a former naval base, opened by President Castro in 1999, offers scholarships to students from around the world and is intended to showcase the island's commitment to universal health care. To boast graduates from the US, an arch-foe which has imposed a decades-long economic embargo, was another public relations coup for a government already basking in the glow from Michael Moore's documentary Sicko. The film contrasts expensive profit-driven health care in the US with free treatment in Cuba.

The first class of US graduates, which started the course in 2001, has been followed by about 90 other Americans. A further 18 are due to enrol next month, making the Americans a small but high-profile minority among the more than 5,000-strong student body.

The communist authorities rely on the US Congressional Black Caucus and a non-profit group, Pastors for Peace, to select candidates. Washington's embargo bans most Americans from travelling to Cuba but an exemption has been made for the medical students.

The diploma is recognised by the World Health Organisation but it is not clear if the US graduates will be eligible to sit the two exams necessary to apply for residency at American hospitals. "Do I think there will be prejudices against us when we go back to the States and are looking for residences? Yes, it's inevitable," said Ms Bingham.

However she was hopeful, given that the first US graduate, Cedric Edwards, is now working at Montefiore hospital in New York's Bronx borough. Unlike this week's graduates Mr Edwards started medical studies in the US and later switched to Havana, graduating two years ago as the sole American.

If they make it the graduates will be part of just 6% of practising doctors from ethnic minority backgrounds, according to the US Association of American Medical Colleges.

Conditions at the Latin American School of Medicine are basic. Students share dormitories, eat beans and rice, and use ancient equipment.

Mr Castro, 80, did not attend Tuesday's graduation ceremony. His last public appearance was at last year's anniversary of the July 26 1953 attack on the Moncada military barracks which launched the revolution. Raul Castro, who is standing in as president while his brother convalesces from surgery, is expected to address today's anniversary celebrations.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


12) The Sum of Some Fears
Op-Ed Columnist
July 27, 2007

Yesterday’s scary ride in the markets wasn’t a full-fledged panic. The interest rate on 10-year U.S. government bonds — a much better indicator than stock prices of what investors think will happen to the economy — fell sharply, but even so, it ended the day higher than its level as recently as mid-May, and well above its levels earlier in the year. This tells us that investors still consider a recession, which would cause the Fed to cut interest rates, fairly unlikely.

So it wasn’t the sum of all fears. But it was the sum of some fears — three, in particular.

The first is fear of bad credit. Back in March, after another market plunge, I spun a fantasy about how a global financial meltdown could take place: people would suddenly remember that bad stuff sometimes happens, risk premiums — the extra return people demand for holding bonds that aren’t government guaranteed — would soar, and credit would dry up.

Well, some of that happened yesterday. “The risk premium on corporate bonds soared the most in five years,” reported Bloomberg News. “And debt sales faltered as investors shunned all but the safest debt.” Mark Zandi of Moody’s said that if another major hedge fund stumbles, “That could elicit a crisis of confidence and a global shock.”

I saw that one coming. But what’s really striking is how much of the current angst in the market is over two things that I thought had been obvious for a long time: the magnitude of the housing slump and the persistence of high oil prices.

I’ve written a lot about housing over the past couple of years, so let me just repeat the basics. Back in 2002 and 2003, low interest rates made buying a house look like a very good deal. As people piled into housing, however, prices rose — and people began assuming that they would keep on rising. So the boom fed on itself: borrowers began taking out loans they couldn’t really afford and lenders began relaxing their standards.

Eventually the bubble had to burst, and when it did it left us with prices way out of line with reality and a huge overhang of unsold properties. This in turn has caused a plunge in housing construction and a lot of mortgage defaults. And the experience of past boom-and-bust cycles in housing tells us that it should be several years at least before things return to normal.

I’ve written less about oil prices, so let me emphasize two points about the oil situation. First, we’re now in our third year of very high oil prices by historical standards — prices as high, even when adjusted for inflation, as those that prevailed in the early 1980s, after the Islamic revolution in Iran. Second, unlike the energy crises of the past, this price surge has happened even though there hasn’t been any major disruption in world oil supply.

It’s pretty clear what’s happening: economic development is colliding with geology.

The “peak oil” theorists may or may not be right in asserting that world oil production is already as high as it will ever go — anyone who really knows what’s going in Saudi Arabia’s fields, please drop me a line — but finding new oil is getting a lot harder. Meanwhile, emerging economies, especially in Asia, are burning ever more oil as they get richer. With demand soaring and supply growth sluggish at best, high prices are what you get.

So why did people seem so shocked by a few more bad housing and oil numbers? What I guess I didn’t realize was how deep the denial still runs.

Over the last couple of years a peculiar conviction emerged among some analysts — mainly, for some reason, among those with right-wing political leanings — that the housing bubble was a myth and that the real bubble was in oil prices.

Each new peak in oil prices was met with declarations that it was all speculation — like the 2005 prediction by Steve Forbes that oil was in a “huge bubble” and that its price would be down to $35 or $40 a barrel within a year. And on the other side, as recently as this January, National Review’s Buzzcharts column declared that we were having a “pop-free” housing slowdown.

I didn’t think many people believed this stuff, but the market’s sudden freakout over housing and oil suggests that I was wrong.

Anyway, now reality is settling in. And there’s one more thing worth mentioning: the economic expansion that began in 2001, while it has been great for corporate profits, has yet to produce any significant gains for ordinary working Americans. And now it looks as if it never will.


13) Cuba’s Revolution Now Under Two Masters
July 27, 2007

CAMAGÜEY, Cuba, July 26 — For the first time, Raúl Castro, the acting president, gave the traditional revolutionary speech during Cuba’s most important national holiday on Thursday, deepening the widespread feeling that his brother Fidel has slipped into semi-retirement and is unlikely to return. Yet Cuba continues to live in a kind of limbo, with neither brother fully in control of the one-party Socialist state.

Last year, Fidel Castro, the once all-powerful leader, led thousands of Communist Party faithful in cheers to celebrate the guerrilla attacks on army barracks that set off his revolution a half century ago. It was the last time he was seen in public.

That night, after two long speeches, the gaunt Mr. Castro, now 80, suffered an acute infection and bleeding in his colon from which he has yet to recover. Five days later, he handed over power to his brother Raúl, now 76, and a small group of cabinet officials on a temporary basis.

Since then, Cubans have lived under two masters, the elder Castro, ailing but still very much alive, and his younger brother, the longtime defense minister, who is not yet free to make significant changes.

“The question is why hasn’t there been more dramatic changes,” said Manuel Cuesta Morúa, a moderate opposition leader. “The answer is Fidel Castro continues to govern.”

Since the Communist Party has yet to officially replace Fidel Castro as the head of state, his presence in the wings and his towering history here continue to exert a strong influence in Cuban politics. That has made it difficult for Raúl Castro to shake up the island’s centralized Soviet-style economy, experts on Cuban politics said, though Raúl’s public remarks on Thursday made it clear he would like to.

He scolded the nation for having to import food when it possessed an abundance of rich land and vowed to increase agricultural production. He also said Cuba was seeking ways to secure more foreign investment, without abandoning Socialism.

“No one, no individual or country, can afford to spend more than what they have,” he said. “It seems elementary, but we do not always think and act in accordance with this inescapable reality. To have more we have to begin producing more.”

Mr. Castro spoke before a subdued crowd of about 100,000 people. The holiday commemorates the July 26, 1953, attack by the Castros and a ragtag group of guerrillas on the Moncada army barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The attack ended in disaster, but it was the birth of the rebellion that eventually ousted Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Raúl Castro’s hourlong speech was studded with references to his charismatic brother’s sayings. He ended the talk with one of Fidel Castro’s more famous quotations about the nature of a Socialist revolution, a passage the crowd mumbled along with him, like a prayer.

Indeed, at times, it seemed almost as if Mr. Castro were eulogizing his brother. “Not even during the most serious moments of his illness did he fail to bring his wisdom and experience to each problem and essential decision,” he said. “These have truly been very difficult months, although with the opposite effect that our enemies expected, those who dreamed chaos would erupt and Cuban Socialism would end up collapsing.”

Since Fidel Castro fell ill, he has had several operations and has said that at least one went badly. He will be 81 next month and gives no sign that he is in a hurry to return to office.

Cuban authorities periodically have released photos and videos showing Mr. Castro looking first gaunt, then later more robust. The last of the images appeared on Cuban television in early June.

Mr. Castro spends most of his time writing essays for the Communist Party newspaper on a variety of topics, from the Iraq war to the defection of Cuban boxers during the Pan-American Games in Brazil this month. He recently blamed the use of dollars and remittances from Cubans in the United States for “irritating inequalities and privileges.”

The columns are rambling and sometimes humorous. “I don’t have time now for films and photos that require me to constantly cut my hair, beard and mustache and get spruced up every day,” he grumbled in one of his essays, titled “Reflections of the Commander in Chief.”

Raúl Castro has taken several small but meaningful steps over the last year that suggest that he wants to open up Cuban society and perhaps move to a market-driven system, without ceding one-party control, not unlike what has happened in China. During the 1990s, he supported limited private enterprise and foreign investment, reforms his brother reversed four years ago.

Since becoming acting president, the younger Mr. Castro has twice offered to enter negotiations with the United States to end a half-century of enmity and sanctions. He repeated that stand on Thursday, noting that President Bush would soon be leaving office “along with his erratic and dangerous administration.”

“The new administration will have to decide whether it will maintain the absurd, illegal and failed policy against Cuba or if it will accept the olive branch that we offered,” he said. Mr. Castro has taken other small steps away from the rigid Communist line his brother follows. Fewer dissidents have been arrested this year than in the past and cadres of party militants have stopped harassing critics, Mr. Cuesta Morúa, the opposition leader, said.

On the economic front, Raúl Castro has allowed the importation of televisions and video disc players. He has told the police to let pirate taxis operate without interference. He pledged to spend millions to refurbish hotels, marinas and golf courses. He even ordered one of the state newspapers to investigate the poor quality of service at state-controlled bakeries and other stores.

Perhaps his most important step, however, was to pay the debts the state owed to private farmers and to raise the prices the state pays for milk and meat. Cubans still live on rations and cope with chronic shortages of staples like beef. Salaries average about $12 a month, and most people spend three-quarters of their income on food, according to a study by Armando Nova González, an economist at the Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy in Havana.

“What a person makes is not enough to live on,” said Jorge, a museum guard who asked that his last name not be used because he feared persecution. “You have to resort to the black market to get along. No, not just to get along, to survive.” He said he and his wife together made about $30 a month, just enough to support their family of four.

But Raúl Castro has disappointed many Cubans who had expected significant changes once he took power. He has always deferred to his brother, and he seems to lack the political power to take major actions until Fidel either gives up total control or dies, experts on Cuba said.

“I would say what is remarkable over the last year is how little has changed,” said Robert A. Pastor, a former aide to President Jimmy Carter and a political scientist at American University. “People have been calm, but of course, big brother has been watching.”

Fidel Castro’s influence extends beyond his new role as columnist in chief. Even as Raúl Castro appears headed toward consolidating his rule, leaders seem reluctant to roll back the elder Mr. Castro’s decision in 2003 to centralize the economy again and restrict the small-scale private enterprises that emerged in the 1990s after the fail of the Soviet Union, several economists and political scientists say.

Fidel Castro’s “main impact on Cuba is not his writings but that he’s alive, and it means Raúl and the others are reluctant to take major initiatives,” said Jorge I. Dominguez, a Harvard professor and Cuba expert.

In his speech, Raúl Castro acknowledged the stubborn problem of low wages and the lack of productivity, saying the economic problems were eating away at the social fabric. He urged Cubans to be patient.


14) Court Upholds Curbs on Signs in New Jersey
July 27, 2007

NEWARK, July 26 — In a ruling that could have implications far beyond New Jersey, the State Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the right of homeowners’ associations to restrict the posting of political signs and other forms of constitutionally protected speech, as long as the restrictions are not “unreasonable or oppressive.”

“We conclude that in balancing plaintiffs’ expressional rights against the association’s private property rights, the association’s policies do not violate the free-speech and right-of-assembly clauses of the New Jersey Constitution,” the court ruled unanimously.

The case is rooted in the lawns of Twin Rivers, a planned unit development of apartments, condominiums, town houses and single-family houses that is home to about 10,000 people in the central New Jersey township of East Windsor. Margaret and Haim Bar-Akiva challenged whether the Twin Rivers Homeowners’ Association could restrict their putting political signs on their lawn.

The homeowners’ association rules in Twin Rivers did not forbid all political signs, but allowed signs only in flower beds and windows.

Like many big developments around the country, Twin Rivers is run by a homeowners’ board, and some residents there objected to the restrictions on the political signs as well as restrictions on the use of community rooms for meetings and the publication of dissenting views in the homeowners’ association newspaper.

A state judge supported the association’s contention, ruling that people who moved to the development were aware of the rules and had to abide by them. But last year a state appeals court reversed that ruling, finding that residents of Twin Rivers were entitled by the State Constitution to express themselves as they wished.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated the trial court’s decision.

The ruling could affect about 1.3 million New Jersey residents — nearly 40 percent of all private homeowners — and more than 50 million people around the country whose homes are part of an association.

Experts said that a case exploring the ability of an association to regulate free speech had never before reached the high court in any state.

“The significance of the decision is that it is the first time that a state supreme court has really head-on confronted this issue,” said Robert M. Diamond, a lawyer in Falls Church, Va., who has tracked the case closely.

Because Thursday’s ruling concerns an interpretation of the New Jersey Constitution, over which the State Supreme Court has ultimate authority, there are no other avenues for appeal. While the ruling has no force outside New Jersey, it could serve as a powerful example for other state courts.

Not surprisingly, lawyers for the association lauded the court ruling.

“The Twin Rivers rules that were at issue all were reasonable in scope,” said Barry S. Goodman, a lawyer for the association. “I think this entire lawsuit was unnecessary.”

But in a telephone interview, Mr. Bar-Akiva said that he was “somewhat disappointed” in the ruling. “That’s the way it goes,” he said.

Frank Askin, who argued the case before the Supreme Court for the Bar-Akivas, said that he was encouraged because while the court found that the Twin Rivers rules were not unreasonable, it left open the possibility that other guidelines by other associations might not meet that standard.

“This is really a mixed decision,” said Mr. Askin, a member of the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers University School of Law. He said the ruling was a signal to homeowners’ associations across the state that although they are empowered to regulate certain forms of expression, that authority must be exercised with caution.

Thursday’s ruling drew the attention of lawmakers, including State Senator Ronald L. Rice, a member of the Community and Urban Affairs Committee, who has long been an advocate for the rights of homeowners.

“Certainly, the Legislature should acknowledge and consider the court’s opinion,” he said. “There are numerous issues which impact on owners in these communities, which are the main form of ownership for newly constructed housing in New Jersey.”


15) Martial Law is Now a Real Threat
Declaring the US a Battlefield
July 27, 2007

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it my be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim-improperly, but so what? -that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."

The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program that is clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the administration's political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised no objections to spying on potential terrorists. (And it, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government's having a list now of some 325,000 "suspected terrorists"!)

The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government-within-a-government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called "Continuity of Government" protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the "government" functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months.
It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge-mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens-and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

The following year, Attorney General John Ashcroft began his program to develop a mass network of tens of millions of citizen spies-Operation TIPS. That program, which had considerable support from key Democrats (notably Sen. Joe Lieberman), was curtailed by Congress when key conservatives got wind of the scale of the thing, but the concept survives without a name, and is reportedly being expanded today.

Meanwhile, last October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states even over the objections of the governors of those states.

Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way--courtesy of a $385-million grant by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc--of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing "insurgency" within the U.S, and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.

As we go about our daily lives--our shopping, our escapist movie watching, and even our protesting and political organizing-we need to be aware that there is a real risk that it could all blow up, and that we could find ourselves facing armed, uniformed troops at our doors.

Bruce Fein isn't an alarmist. He says he doesn't see martial law coming tomorrow. But he is also realistic. "Really, by declaring the US to be a battlefield, Bush already made it possible for himself to declare martial law, because you can always declare martial law on a battlefield," he says. "All he would need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack on the U.S."

Indeed, the revised Insurrection Act (10. USC 331-335) approved by Congress and signed into law by Bush last October, specifically says that the president can federalize the National Guard to "suppress public disorder" in the event of "national disorder, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident." That determination, the act states, is solely the president's to make. Congress is not involved.

Fein says, "This is all sitting around like a loaded gun waiting to go off. I think the risk of martial law is trivial right now, but the minute there is a terrorist attack, then it is real. And it stays with us after Bush and Cheney are gone, because terrorism stays with us forever." (It may be significant that Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, has called for the revocation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, but not of the earlier 2001 AUMF which Bush claims makes him commander in chief of a borderless, endless war on terror.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has added an amendment to the upcoming Defense bill, restoring the Insurrection Act to its former version-a move that has the endorsement of all 50 governors--but Fein argues that would not solve the problem, since Bush still claims that the U.S. is a battlefield. Besides, a Leahy aide concedes that Bush could sign the next Defense Appropriations bill and then use a signing statement to invalidate the Insurrection Act rider.

Fein argues that the only real defense against the looming disaster of a martial law declaration would be for Congress to vote for a resolution determining that there is no "War" on terror. "But they are such cowards they will never do that," he says.
That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our "heroes" in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to "uphold and defend" the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves-especially mid-level officers.
If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it's broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.
He can be reached at:


16) Humanity v. Hazleton
NYT Editorial
July 28, 2007

A federal judge has dealt what we can only hope is a decisive blow against a dangerous trend of freelance immigration policies by local governments. Judge James M. Munley of the central Pennsylvania district, struck down ordinances in the town of Hazleton that sought to harshly punish undocumented immigrants for trying to live and work there, and employers and landlords for providing them with homes and jobs.

The ruling was a well-earned embarrassment for Mayor Louis J. Barletta and his proclaimed goal of making Hazleton “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal immigrants. In doing so, Judge Munley laid down basic truths that every American should remember.

First, immigration is a federal responsibility. State and local governments have no right to usurp or upend a vast, “carefully drawn federal statutory scheme” that governs who enters the country and the conditions under which immigrants stay, study, work and naturalize. Congress may be botching the job, but it has not delegated it.

Second, the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection applies to all persons, not just citizens. The presumption that the 14th Amendment can be set aside while immigrants are hunted down and punished is widespread but false. The judge wrote: “We cannot say clearly enough that persons who enter this country without legal authorization are not stripped immediately of all their rights because of this single illegal act.”

It is not yet clear when or whether Hazleton’s vigilantism will finally be stifled. Mr. Barletta says he will appeal. He and others across the country can be expected to keep concocting ever-more-inventive strategies to deliver pain to immigrants.

But that is a legal and moral dead end. As long as people like Mr. Barletta persist in misusing the law to serve their prejudices, they will make the immigration system an ever more incoherent muddle. They will thwart reasonable efforts to grapple with the opportunities and problems borne in with the influx of newcomers. And they will continue to dehumanize not only their victims, but themselves.

Mayor Barletta says he is angry at the federal failure to control immigration. Good for him; he should join the club. But he should realize that it was his side — his restrictionist soul mates in the United States Senate — that last month took the most ambitious attempt in a generation to restore lawfulness and order to immigration, loaded it with unworkable cruelties, then pushed it into a ditch. They celebrated their victory, but their shortsighted insistence on border enforcement above all else will leave places like Hazleton to grapple with a failed immigration policy for years to come.


17) British Pullout Presages U.S. Hurdles in Iraq
July 29, 2007

BASRA, Iraq — As American troop levels are peaking in Baghdad, British force levels are heading in the opposite direction as the troops prepare to withdraw completely from the city center of Basra, 300 miles to the south.

The British intend to pull back to an airport headquarters miles out of town, a symbolic move widely taken by Iraqis as the beginning of the end of the British military presence in southern Iraq.

The scaling down by America’s largest coalition partner foreshadows many of the political and military challenges certain to face American commanders when their troops begin withdrawing.

Skepticism is widespread in Basra, as in Baghdad, about whether Iraqi forces are ready to take over. Both the British and Americans will have to assuage the fears of Iraqis that they are being abandoned to gunmen and religious extremists. And both are likely to face intensified attacks from propaganda-conscious enemies trying to claim credit for driving out the Westerners.

As the British prepare for the withdrawal from the city center — and the wider transition of handing over Basra Province to Iraqi security forces during the coming months — Brig. James Bashall, commander of the First Mechanized Brigade, concedes that his men will almost certainly “get a lot of indirect fire as we go backward.”

It is no coincidence that he is reading up on Britain’s withdrawal from its former crown colony Aden in what is now Yemen, and lessons from other theaters, with the American experience in Vietnam as the “obvious parallel.”

Rear Adm. Mark I. Fox, an American military spokesman in Baghdad, parried any suggestion that Basra was a model for the Americans.

“I think that our focus right now is on the operations that we are conducting,” he said. “Certainly that’s the thing that is in front of us right now, and I wouldn’t characterize us as necessarily peeking over the shoulders of somebody else to see how they are doing it.”

The British commanders studiously avoid talk of dates for the same reason American commanders are resisting such pressure in Congress — they fear it would embolden insurgents. But it has escaped no one’s notice that Britain’s new prime minister, Gordon Brown, could score political points by withdrawing from an unpopular war.

The British pullback, and British commanders’ talk of moving toward “overwatch,” and intervening “in a limited sense” if requested by the Iraqis, is viewed with dismay by many Iraqis in the city.

Mustapha Wali, a 49-year-old teacher, was blunt. “If they withdraw, we will live in a jungle, like the early days,” he said. “The parties control the government, and the aim of officials is to fill their pockets with money, millions of dollars inside their pockets and nothing to the city.”

The educated and secular middle classes fear that the Iraqi security forces — particularly the police — are hopelessly infiltrated by the extremist Shiite militias and Iranian-backed Islamist parties competing, often murderously, for control of Basra’s huge oil wealth.

An overwhelmingly Shiite port city controlling Iraq’s gateway to the Persian Gulf, Basra is much less affected by the Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence plaguing Baghdad. But, as a June 25 report by the International Crisis Group concluded, it is virtually controlled by Shiite militias.

Since the 2003 invasion the British-led coalition forces have adopted a far less aggressive and interventionist stance than American troops have farther north. Some contend that this was the only realistic approach, with far fewer troops at their disposal and a more benign environment.

But critics accuse the British of simply allowing the Shiite militias free rein to carry out their intolerant Islamist agenda, which involved killing merchants who sell alcohol, driving out Christians and infiltrating state institutions and the security forces.

“The British are very patient, they didn’t know how to deal with the militias,” said a 50-year-old Assyrian Christian who would identify herself only as Mrs. Mansour. “Some people think it would be better if the Americans came instead of the British. They would be harder on the militias.”

The report by the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent or resolve deadly conflicts, while conceding that a recent British-led crackdown was a “qualified success” in reducing criminality, political assassinations and sectarian killings, nevertheless concludes that Basra “is an example of what to avoid.”

It said the British had been driven into “increasingly secluded compounds,” a result, the report said, was viewed by Basra’s residents and militia as an “ignominious defeat.”

British and Iraqi leaders point out that although there have been problems with intimidation and infiltration, particularly of the Iraqi police, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has appointed new police and army commanders in recent months to take charge of the city. And the officials claim that there are encouraging signs.

But certainly a city that was once relatively safe for British troops is no longer.

Where they once patrolled in soft hats and open-topped vehicles, soldiers now move in heavily armored vehicles and are regularly attacked with mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs.

This year is already the most deadly since 2003 for British forces in Iraq, with 36 killed as of Saturday. Sixty-one rockets and mortar shells rained down on the palace in one day last week, a record high.

In such an environment, say British commanders, removing the troops from the city center removes a “magnet” for attacks, and deprives the Mahdi Army, led by Moktada al-Sadr, and other Iranian-backed militias of a cause to justify their continued violence. Instead there will be a transition to control by Iraqis.

When the withdrawal from the palace is complete, there will be 5,000 British soldiers here, 500 fewer than before.

Although American commanders are sure to watch the British pullout closely, there are distinct differences between the military situations in the north and south.

“Basra is a totally different environment from what the Americans are facing,” said a British official in Basra. “The problem here is gangsterism, not violent sectarianism. And a foreign military is not the right tool for closing down a mafia.”

“A Baghdad-style surge would be 100 percent counterproductive,” he added.

Nevertheless, everyone expects attacks to intensify, and soldiers on the ground have cautionary tales for American generals looking ahead to an eventual drawing down of troop levels.

On May 25, Basra’s small Permanent Joint Coordination Center — a joint British-Iraqi base in the city’s center — came under sustained attack by militias enraged by the killing of a senior Mahdi Army commander that day.

The lesson drawn by soldiers inside was that the militias had carefully watched the reduced British troop movements around the city, noticed where they were no longer patrolling and prepared accordingly.

Cpl. Daniel Jennings, 26, said the Mahdi Army appeared to have stockpiled rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns in advance.

“What they did was very well planned,” he said. “They knew they could pre-dump weapons and ammo. They knew that if they hid R.P.G.’s under a bridge or a gun under a tree it wasn’t going to be found.”

During one army patrol in a village overlooked by the palace’s watchtowers from the era of Saddam Hussein, residents were confused to find themselves in the cross-fire between the Mahdi Army and the British.

Picking from his car shrapnel from what appeared to be an errant rocket fired at the palace, Mohammed, 20, said he was angry at the militias for using the villagers’ houses as cover to fire, but also at the British for firing back, damaging the homes.

“We are caught in the middle,” he said.” At the start the American and British forces came and the situation was much better, but now it is beginning to get worse.”

Another Iraqi youth, when asked what the Iraqi police were doing about roadside bombs intended for British troops, said, “The police are the ones who are doing it.”

In Basra itself one 26-year-old Mahdi Army fighter was unequivocal about what he wanted. “I hope to see them withdraw today, before tomorrow,” he said.

But for most, it is an issue heavily shaded in gray.

“Some people are asking, ‘Are we any longer part of the solution, or part of the problem?’ ” said Capt. Toby Skinner, 26, of the Fourth Battalion, The Rifles Regiment, in Basra. “An Iraqi told me: ‘You stay here for three years you will be our friend. You stay for four years, you will be our enemy.’ ”

Riyadh, a 22-year-old Iraqi and Basra native who is working as an interpreter for the British, expressed little confidence that the Iraqi Army was ready to take over from his paymasters, and none at all in the Iraqi police.

“Right now the militias are busy concentrating on getting the British Army out of Iraq,” he said. “After that is done they will turn on the people and try to control them in a very difficult way.”

“They will kill people who don’t do what they want,” he added. “There will be no punishment by courts; they kill people on the streets.”

But he acknowledged that if British troops stayed they would be sucked into further deadly confrontations with militias using civilians as cover, leading to inevitable innocent casualties and more hostility.

“If they leave, the militias will eventually fall apart,” he said. “There will be no reason to join them because they will not be fighting the British Army.”

This is what the British hope, but cannot guarantee, will happen.

At Basra Palace, the rocket attacks at all hours of the day and night have led soldiers to christen it, with characteristic dark humor, “probably the worst palace in the world.”

Despite the rocket-shredded roof and garden labyrinth of head-high sandbags, morale remains high. However, some soldiers question their continued presence in the city center.

“I don’t see the point,” shrugged Trooper Charles Culshaw, 21, an armored vehicle driver. “ We are training the Iraqi Army and doing a couple of bits and pieces that are useful, but I don’t think it’s worth it, to be honest with you.”

“All we are doing now is resupplying ourselves,” he said. “It’s going round in circles. People are getting killed for us to resupply ourselves, and if we weren’t resupplying ourselves, people wouldn’t be getting killed.”

Unsurprisingly, Lt. Col. Patrick Sanders, commander of the Fourth Battalion, The Rifles Regiment, has a different view.

“If that were true and that were all we were doing, then I would be saying the same thing, but it’s not,” he said, pointing to recent battles in which the British had killed at least 100 insurgents.

But while such raids will continue to be launched against wanted men, a speedy transition to a Basra run by Iraqis is the game in this town.

“I think that the route is one of reconciliation, and that means taking some risk,” Lieutenant Colonel Sanders said. “The other option is that we do what has been done in the past and what is being done elsewhere, which is to thrash around killing people by the dozen because they are attacking us. But I’m not sure that is constructive.”

Mudhafer al-Husaini contributed reporting from Baghdad.




California: Raids on Marijuana Clinics
Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided 10 medical marijuana clinics in Los Angles County just as Los Angeles city leaders backed a measure calling for an end to the federal government’s crackdown on the dispensaries. Federal officials made five arrests and seized large quantities of marijuana and cash after serving clinics with search warrants, said a spokeswoman, Sarah Pullen. Ms. Pullen refused to disclose other details. The raid, the agency’s second largest on marijuana dispensaries, came the same day the Los Angeles City Council introduced an interim ordinance calling on federal authorities to stop singling out marijuana clinics allowed under state law.
July 26, 2007

States Weigh Safety With Dog Owners’ Rights
July 23, 2007

Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Stay Defiant

Pentagon Extends Iraq Tours for 2,200 Marines

Bush Executive Order Targets Domestic Assets

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

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

Bush Denies Congress Access to Aides
July 9, 2007

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

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

New Scheme Preys on Desperate Homeowners
July 3, 2007

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

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

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

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




LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


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


Wealth Inequality Charts


MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate


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

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

In Peace,

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

For copies of the book:

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


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



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



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

Call, Email and Write:

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

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

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

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

National Council of Arab Americans (NCA)

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


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


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


Excerpt of interview between Barbara Walters and Hugo Chavez


Which country should we invade next?

My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup

Michael Moore- The Awful Truth

Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments

Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


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


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


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




Defend the Los Angeles Eight!


George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


Petition: Halt the Blue Angels


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


Film/Song about Angola


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


You may enjoy watching these.
In struggle


FIGHTBACK! A Collection of Socialist Essays
By Sylvia Weinstein


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays!

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

(scroll down when you get there])