Saturday, December 08, 2007



*** Please spread widely ***

The bulldozers are revving up in New Orleans to demolish the homes of 4,600 Black families. The Stop the Demolition Coalition is calling for a mass mobilization – meaning everybody who can, pack up and go to New Orleans – for Human Rights Day, Monday, Dec. 10, to try and head off the bulldozers, which are set to roll on Dec. 15.

Read all about it at For the holidays, HUD sends bulldozers to demolish 4,600 New Orleans families’ homes by Bill Quigley (if it’s by Bill Quigley, you know it’s got to be good!), For the latest updates, check


HAITI ACTION alert: Rally for Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine,
Tuesday, Dec. 11th - 4:30 pm in San Francisco
Montgomery & Market, San Francisco [Montgomery BART stop]

Where is Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine?

Human Rights Advocate DISAPPEARED in Haiti

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is a grassroots leader, member of the Lavalas
party, and the head of Fondayson Trant Septanm, a Haitian organization
that advocates for victims of the 1991 and 2004 coup d'etats against
the democratically-elected governments of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He
was last seen on the evening of Sunday, August 12, 2007 after meeting
with a US human rights delegation visiting Haiti. The December 11th SF
rally marks four months since the disappearance of Brother

In conjunction with International Human Rights Day,
Join Haiti Action Committee

Rally Tuesday, Dec. 11th - 4:30 pm
Montgomery & Market, San Francisco [Montgomery BART stop]

March w/African drums to Brazilian consulate, 300 Montgomery -
Demand action from Brazil, which commands the UN military mission in

If you haven't sent a letter to René Préval on behalf of Lovinksy
Pierre-Antoine, please do so. Express your concern that all efforts
are being made to facilitate the safe return of Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine. For more information about the international effort to
bring Lovinsky safely home, visit ; thanks for
all your support.

Please write Haiti's President Rene Préval, urging him to ensure that
his government does everything it can to investigate Lovinsky's
disappearance and ensure his safe return. A sample letter is below,
please customize and personalize it if you can. You may send your
letter directly to President Préval by regular mail (.69 postage in
US, $1.55 in Canada), or to us by fax: (206) 350-7986 (a U.S. number)
or email:, who will ensure that they are delivered.


December __, 2007
His Excellency René Préval
President of the Republic of Haiti
Palais National
Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Re: Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine's Disappearance

Your Excellency:

I am writing because I am extremely concerned about Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine, the human rights activist kidnapped more than three
months ago. I sincerely request that you do everything in your power
to ensure that your government takes every possible step to ensure Mr.
Pierre-Antoine's safe return to his family.

Mr. Pierre-Antoine is important to people all over the world who care
about Haiti [Please personalize here: mention how Lovinsky has
touched, inspired or educated you ]. His safe return is essential to
show that Haitians can participate effectively and lawfully in Haiti's
democratic process, without fear.

I am concerned about reports from Mr. Pierre-Antoine's organization,
Fondasyon 30 Septanm, that the Haitian police are not zealously
investigating this case. Please demand that everyone working for your
government- from the Ministry of Justice to police leadership to
investigators- immediately take every possible lawful step to
investigate Mr. Pierre-Antoine's disappearance, pursue the
perpetrators and return Mr. Pierre-Antoine safely.





555 Franklin Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
415/241-6427 or (415) 241-6493
(To get on the speaker’s list, call the Monday before the meeting from 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM or Tuesday, the day of the meeting from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM. You will get at most, two minutes and most probably only one minute to speak. BRING SIGNS!


The U.S. military has been busy organizing to overturn the Boards decision to phase out JROTC. It is imperative that we show that the people of San Francisco support the Board's decision to phase out JROTC by 2008. That is why we are asking that as many letters as possible be sent to all the Board members ASAP.

For regular mail send letters to:

555 Franklin Street, Room 106
San Francisco, CA 94102

For email, addresses are listed below.


Dear San Francisco School Board Member,

I strongly support the San Francisco School Board’s resolution to phase out JROTC in SF high schools. San Francisco schools can and must do better for young people than a program designed and directed by the Pentagon, which does not meet many important city and state standards.

I am outraged at the aims and conduct of those working against the school board, students, and community activists to reverse that decision. It is my understanding that JROTC instructors (all paid, retired military officers) and participants have engaged in a campaign that has involved actively undermining a school board established committee, and directing slander, intimidation and death threats against board members, students and activists. This behavior is unacceptable and some of it is illegal.

I strongly support those standing up against demonization and threats by the Pentagon-run JROTC and who are, instead, truly working in the interest of youth in San Francisco, across the country, in Iraq and around the world who deserve better than what the Pentagon has to offer. I plan to attend future school board meetings to stand up for the Board’s decision to phase out JROTC in San Francisco.

[NAME--if student or parent please indicate school name]


From Cristina in English and Spanish:

Dear Members of the School Board of Directors,

I am a parent that believes that our children should not receive classes geared toward war and the military. The JROTC class is clearly orientated to offer our children a career in the military as an option. This is a form of indoctrination. We minorities are more susceptible to such offers since we do not have many alternatives for our youth.

That is why we ask you to not reinstate JROTC classes and to give our youth the opportunity to have careers with out converting them into canon fodder.

Do Not Reinstate JROTC!



Queridos Miembros de la Mesa Directiva Escolar,

Yo soy un padre de familia que creo que nuestros hijos no deben recibir ninguna clase de educación sobre Guerra o militares. La clase de JROTC es claramente una clase orientada a ofrecer a nuestros hijos la carrera militar como una opción. Esto es una forma de indoctrinacion. Las minorías somos más susceptibles a esos ofrecimientos pues no tenemos mucha alternativa para nuestras jóvenes.

Por eso les pido a ustedes que no reinstituyan la clase de JROTC y que le den la oportunidad a nuestros hijos de tener carrera son necesidad de convertirse en carne de canon.

No A La Reinstitución de JROTC.



Send letters to:

Mr. Carlos Garcia, Superintendent of Schools

Mr. Mark Sanchez, President

Mr. Norman Yee, Vice President

Ms. Jane Kim

Mr. Eric Mar, Esq.

Ms. Kim-Shree Maufas

Ms. Hydra Mendoza

Ms. Jill Wynns

Also See:

JROTC Campaign: Fight to Win?
by Marc Norton, 2007-12-04

JROTC-Perpetrator of Jane Kim Death Threat Identified
November 29, 2007
The original version of this article
was published in Beyond Chron
on November 29, 2006.
Copyright © 2006 Marc Norton

JROTC Supporters Threaten JROTC Opponents
by Marc Norton‚ Nov. 22‚ 2006

Here's what Wikipedia says about JROTC:

There is a wealth of information at this site. Pay special attention to
those quotes from the Generals below!

Ain't the internet great!





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


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

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


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

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

Day-after demonstrations are also planned in:

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

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

For more information, contact: International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal,;
Partisan Defense Committee,;
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC),;


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

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




In 1995, mass mobilizations helped save Mumia from death.

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

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

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


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


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

To sign the appeal or for more information:

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

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


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

The OCT. 27 COALITION met Saturday, November 18. After a long discussion and evaluation of the Oct. 27 action, the group decided to meet again, Sunday, January 6, at 1:00 P.M. at CENTRO DEL PUEBLO, 474 Valencia Street, SF (Near 16th Street) to assess further action.

Everyone felt the demonstration was very successful and, in fact, that the San Francisco demonstration was the largest in the country and, got the most press coverage. Everyone felt the "die in" was extremely effective and the convergence added to the scope of the demonstration.

Please keep a note of the date of the next coalition meeting:
Sunday, January 6, 1:00 P.M.


The regional antiwar demonstrations on October 27th were a great success.. The Boston mobilization organized by New England United (NEU) drew about 10,000 people, including many new activists and young people. Nationally, tens of thousands demanded an end to war and occupation now.

The NEU-sponsored action on October 27 was endorsed by a broad range of over 200 organizations. At a follow-up meeting, many members of NEU believed that we should build on this momentum by bringing together the antiwar movement in unified national protest in the spring for the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war.

Reasons given included: 1) March will be the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and the antiwar movement must come together to demand an end to this war now; 2) The war plans against Iran are intensifying, and we have to fight now to stop a war on Iran before it's too late. At the same time, it was recognized that successful national action in the spring would require a broad base of support from antiwar organizations around the country. Therefore, NEU decided to create a working group to assess the level of support for such an action, and report back to our next general meeting in December with both an assessment of support, and a detailed proposal for a unified national mobilization in the spring. As an indication of growing interest in national action, Cindy Sheehan is convening a peace summit in San Francisco in January to help develop a unified strategy for the peace movement and to develop a plan for a unified national mobilization in DC during the March anniversary of the Iraq war.

A strong base of support from the grass-roots organizations around the country will be necessary to make unified national action a reality. If your organization is interested in planning for unified national action in March, please contact us as soon as possible at the following email address: . Thank you. Spring Mobilization working group New England United




1) Chavez Calls to Continue Strengthening Socialism in Venezuela
December 4, 2007
Walter Lippmann

2) Will Defeat Alter Chávez's Path?
Venezuela Leader's Failure
To Cement Power Expected
To Embolden Opposition
December 4, 2007; Page A4

3) What's next for Venezuela?
An analysis of the referendum setback
By: Gloria La Riva
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

4) Supreme Court Hearing Guantánamo Cases
Filed at 12:41 p.m. ET
December 5, 2007

5) Guantánamo Prisoner Cuts His Throat With Fingernail
December 5, 2007

6) Abu Jamal backers say new evidence merits retrial
By Jon Hurdle
Tue Dec 4, 2007 6:41pm EST

7) CIA destroyed video of 'waterboarding' al-Qaida detainees
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday December 7, 2007

8) The Mandate Muddle
Op-Ed Columnist
[“Mandate” means everyone uninsured must buy health insurance. If you can’t afford it the government will subsidize it—if they have the money, that is. This is what they mean by “universal healthcare”—everybody’s gonna pay or not get treated, or, even get fined for not carrying insurance!…bw]
December 7, 2007

9) Early Copy of Magna Carta on Sale in New York
Filed at 8:54 a.m. ET
December 7, 2007

10) Many Children Struggling After ’05 Storms
December 7, 2007

11) Recorded on a Suspect’s Hidden MP3 Player, a Bronx Detective Faces 12 Perjury Charges
December 7, 2007

12) Spies Like You and Me
Op-Ed Columnist
December 8, 2007

13) Britain to Take Back 3 From Guantánamo
December 8, 2007

14) Settlement for Torture of 4 Men by Police


1) Chavez Calls to Continue Strengthening Socialism in Venezuela
December 4, 2007
Walter Lippmann

CARACAS, December 3.- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Monday
that he would continue to raise the banner of socialism in his
country, waiting for the day when history would allow it to reach its
greatest height.

Chavez spoke on the Dando y Dando Venezuelan TV program, reflecting
on the close defeat Sunday of his constitutional reform proposal.

"Let's rally; let's study more to better understand socialism," said
Chavez after analyzing the reasons why his initiative was defeated.
He said that his initial conclusion after hearing the results was
that the people were not ready to take such a big leap towards this

Chavez noted that abstention proved the greatest enemy of the
reforms, "We didn't even get the number of votes of all the members
of the United Socialist Party." He said the experience merits a
reflection on what went wrong and why three million followers of his
government stayed home instead of going to the polls.

President Chavez was buoyed up by the fact that nearly 50 percent
voted YES for socialism, and three million people who abstained
didn't say NO, "We are going to convince them that this project is
for them."

Chavez said that while an opportunity had been lost, "the rhythm and
the government program will continue on course."

"Beyond the media bombardment and our shortcomings -our inability to
properly explain and coming up short in our communications strategy-,
I might have chosen the wrong moment to put forth this proposal,"
said Chavez.

Nonetheless, he said his government would continue to make social
reforms where permitted by the constitution and will prepare to
present the proposal again when the right conditions for doing so

Chavez concluded his statements saying, "We didn't fail with this
proposal, nor do we have to find another. The proposal is there, and
it is positive, even for many who voted against it." (PL)


2) Will Defeat Alter Chávez's Path?
Venezuela Leader's Failure
To Cement Power Expected
To Embolden Opposition
December 4, 2007; Page A4

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's defeat in a
referendum on changing the country's constitution will energize the nation's
opposition, but the leader is likely to continue his quest to remain in
power and turn the country into a bastion of what he calls 21st-century

Mr. Chávez's defeat in Sunday's vote shows a growing impatience among
Venezuelans, including surprising numbers of Mr. Chávez's supporters, about
his inability to substantially improve their lives, despite near-record-high
oil prices and the fact that he has governed the country for nearly a
decade. Mr. Chávez sought to amend the constitution of the world's
ninth-largest oil producer to allow him to concentrate nearly all power,
including scrapping limits on re-election.

Mr. Chávez's defeat will ripple across Latin America, hurting allies in
countries like Bolivia and Ecuador and boosting moderates in Brazil and
Chile. For the U.S. and Europe, a weaker Mr. Chávez is welcome news. The
former military officer has been increasingly hostile to Western interests
in the past few years, nationalizing key areas of the economy like the oil
industry, telecommunications and utilities.

Despite the result, Mr. Chávez will remain a major force. He still enjoys a
deep reservoir of support among the country's majority poor and working
class. He controls the country's courts, most of its media, the congress and
almost all local and state governments. He is also a recognized comeback
king. In 2002, he was knocked out of power for two days but came back. And
in 1998, only four years after being released from prison for his
unsuccessful 1992 coup attempt, Mr. Chávez was elected president of
Venezuela for the first time.

"He is wounded, but he's still very dangerous," says Fernando Ochoa, a
former defense minister. Now that the constitutional referendum has failed,
Mr. Ochoa warns that Mr. Chávez may try to keep pushing his agenda, perhaps
by calling for a constitutional convention.
[Hugo Chavez]

The main lesson for Mr. Chávez from the vote could be that he needs to focus
on issues of popular concern such as the economy and crime. His ideas about
so-called 21st-century socialism and performances on the international
stage, including his gibes at President Bush, didn't help him much with

"People are tired of his bombast after nine years of nearly constant
mobilization," says Peter Hakim, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a
Washington think tank. "His magic and charm are wearing thin next to the
still poor quality of government services."

Mr. Chávez has used oil money to direct billions of dollars in health and
food subsidies. The spending has created make-work jobs and put money in
people's pockets, but other economic policies like price controls have
backfired. Basics like rice, sugar, milk and chicken are sometimes hard to
find in a country where the economy is booming from oil wealth.

Crime is another problem area. While Mr. Chávez gives Venezuela's oil money
to allies around Latin America, violent crime is rising in Venezuela's
cities. The poor -- Mr. Chávez's base -- suffer the most because the rich
insulate themselves behind bodyguards and high walls.

The outcome of the vote shows that Mr. Chávez is more out of touch with his
supporter base than his man-of-the-people image would suggest.

Mr. Chávez had predicted a 10-percentage-point victory in the referendum and
was seemingly unaware that many of his supporters could defect. One
explanation is a heavy travel schedule that leaves him less time for
domestic affairs. Another is the isolation that comes with power.

"Strongmen often surround themselves with sycophants who tell them what they
want to hear," said Riordan Roett, director of Western Hemisphere Studies at
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "They get carried away by the
soothing tones of their advisers."

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Chávez, whose political style has been one
of confrontation rather than conciliation, will heed the wake-up call he has
received. If he doesn't, Venezuela could face unrest as Mr. Chávez's
emboldened opposition presses for more space.

Jerrold Post, the head of George Washington University's Political
Psychology Program, recently completed a psychological study of Mr. Chávez
for the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Chávez, says Dr. Post, is "immensely
narcissistic" and "enormously self-absorbed."

Mr. Chávez's defeat should give succor to his opponents. One of the biggest
challenges for the middle- and upper-class leaders of the opposition parties
will be figuring out how to cross class lines and compete for the votes of
disillusioned Chávez supporters in working-class neighborhoods. While many
of these voters opposed the referendum, they also have a deep mistrust of
Venezuelan elites who governed the country for generations.


3) What's next for Venezuela?
An analysis of the referendum setback
By: Gloria La Riva
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

[A nice companion piece to read is FAIR's reminder, written on August 18, 2002,
of how U.S. newspapers hailed the 2002 coup:]

The defeat of Chávez’s proposed constitutional reforms in the Dec. 2 referendum
does not signify by any means that the struggle for socialism is over.

It only shows there is an urgent need for a renewed drive to organize the people
to defend their gains and to build the Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela
(PSUV) on the basis of fighting for socialist revolution.

It is true that supporters of the Bolivarian revolutionary process have suffered
a setback, but lessons can be learned from the experience to strengthen the

It is understandable that millions of Venezuelan people who believe in the
socialist vision of Chávez’s leadership might be temporarily demoralized by the
referendum’s defeat.

The fact that 5.7 million Venezuelans have signed on to become members of the
Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela shows that they share that vision of
reorganizing society to meet people’s needs.

The defeat shows that the people’s struggle and organization is more necessary
than ever. The counter-revolutionary forces, emboldened by its narrow victory,
have already gone on the offensive.

The U.S. imperialists have pumped tens of millions of dollars into Venezuelan
counterrevolutionary groups. That figure will surely be multiplied in the coming
period with the intention of reversing the Bolivarian gains already won, and to
promote student, military, corporate and worker opponents.

For instance, the former general Raúl Baduel, who on Nov. 5 defected to the
opposition and slandered the proposed reforms as a “coup,” is now announcing a
campaign to “reform” the 1999 popular Bolivarian constitution.

Baduel’s denunciation of the referendum was not a surprise. As the revolutionary
process advances, the more liberal elements among the former Chávez backers
inevitably fall away and turn actively against the process.

But an inexcusable betrayal of the masses was the action of a smaller group of
so-called socialist elements (those trying to find a “third road” between
revolution and counter-revolution) like Orlando Chirino, of the “Movement to
Build a Workers’ Party,” who urged a “null” vote, abstention, before the
referendum, or Heinz Dieterich, a petty-bourgeois intellectual who had proposed
“conciliation” between Baduel and Chávez.

These so-called supporters of the Bolivarian revolution who called for “no”
votes and abstention only helped confuse Chávez supporters. Regardless of any
differences they had with the proposed reforms, Chirino and Dieterich played the
role of strike-breakers. But their betrayal was on a much larger scale than a
union fight, for U.S. imperialism is leading the other side.

The 50.7 percent vote against the constitutional reforms does not invalidate the
progressive changes embodied in the 69 articles of reform, including the 6-hour
workday, social security for the marginalized sector of informal workers, a
prohibition on any type of discrimination, and an increase in institutional
power for local community entities.

Nor does it mean that the vast majority of people oppose those changes.

The referendum results point to the fact that socialism, a new social system,
cannot be achieved through elections alone.

While a referendum proclaiming socialism could conceivably win, getting the
capitalists to peacefully agree to give up their wealth and power is quite
another thing.

Why did the referendum lose? In absolute terms, compared to Chávez's landslide
presidential victory a year ago, the opposition only increased its vote by about
100,000. On the other hand, around 2.8 million people who voted for Chávez last
year abstained this year. What explains the abstentions?

For one, the capitalist class still possesses powerful instruments for shaping
public opinion, and organized a massive misinformation campaign full of
hysterical anti-communist lies. A CIA communiqué discovered only a few days
before the referendum, reveals that Washington played an active part in this
campaign. The U.S. government engineered a multi-pronged destabilization effort
that included falsifying poll statistics, claiming fraud after the referendum,
and potentially launching a military coup in the days after Dec. 2.

The newly formed PSUV still contains a non-revolutionary wing that in some areas
did not launch an aggressive offensive to counter the opposition. In addition,
the capitalists have organized wide-scale economic sabotage, which have led to
shortages of goods as basic as milk and eggs. Unemployment and poverty remain,
despite the many advances and mobilizations of the Bolivarian revolution. The
defection of Baduel and the social-democratic party Podemos—both of which
campaigned in the name of “21st century socialism” against the reforms—added to
the confusion.

A protracted year’s long political mobilization that seeks to incrementally move
a country in the direction of socialism entails the inevitable risk of creating
a degree of exhaustion, at least in some sectors of the working class. Over such
a long period of time, consciousness invariably ebbs and flows. The over 4
million people who voted for the 69 reforms consciously voted for socialism.
This in itself represents an enormous advance in class consciousness compared to
a few years ago. But other Chávez supporters undoubtedly will only mobilize in
the name of socialism once it has provided a concrete remedy to the economic

How will socialism come about?

A virtual dual power exists in Venezuela, with a revolutionary government headed
by Hugo Chávez, which has loosened the grip of international and Venezuelan

With the nationalization of Venezuela’s oil reserves, the foreign oil companies
lost their longstanding control of the petroleum resources. Those that have
remained in Venezuela have been forced to pay higher royalties to the state.

The hundreds of billions of dollars in extra government funds, coupled with the
legislative moves of the pro-Chávez National Assembly, have allowed the
Bolivarian government to launch great changes in people’s lives.

Healthcare is now free to millions on demand, with the invaluable contribution
of 14,000 Cuban doctors, and the virtual replacement of the private-sector
capitalist healthcare system.

Private university education, another institution of the capitalist system, has
been supplemented by the creation of 14 popular universities providing free
education. In this way hundreds of thousands of working-class and poor youth are
being prepared for vital economic, social and administrative futures in a new
revolutionary society.

Significant progress has been made in the countryside where peasants have
mobilized to take advantage of their newly-won rights to confiscate land from
the wealthy.

The capitalists’ influence has been eroded, but tremendous power still remains
in the hands of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie.

They retain the right of private property, which is the right to own the means
of production, to hire and fire workers, and to shut down a workplace. This is
not to be confused with the right to personal property, which includes home
ownership. The landlords still have the right to throw tenants from their homes
and into the streets.

Chávez’s presidency and the many tremendous social and economic gains of the
Venezuelan people have defied the capitalists’ longstanding control of the
system and society, but the capitalists have not been vanquished.

The struggle, not elections brought Chávez to office

Notwithstanding Chávez’s election as president in 1998, it was in reality the
open struggle that brought Chávez to prominence. And it was this struggle that
propelled him to the presidency.

Chávez was swept into office by the Venezuelan people in December 1998 not
because he had money or a political machine that could deliver votes in the way
of traditional bourgeois elections.

It was not because Chávez had served as a congressman or senator previously and
thus had some traditional electoral sway; he never held public office before 1999.

Chávez was completely unknown to the population, until two seminal events
propelled him from anonymity into the spotlight, and launched the Venezuelan
masses onto the stage of history.

First was the 1989 Caracazo, a spontaneous rebellion of tens of thousands of
Venezuela’s poorest and most downtrodden. Although Venezuela is one of the
richest oil-producing countries in the world, 80 percent of the country suffered
in a desperate situation of poverty. In 1989, the poor came into the streets to
protest the country’s widespread poverty and the government’s food and energy
price hikes. The military killed thousands before suppressing the uprising.

The Caracazo was the people’s response to the country’s objective conditions.
What awoke the people’s struggle was not a convincing electoral campaign by
Chávez. The struggle came first. It is the struggle that has sustained the
revolutionary process to the present.

On Feb. 4, 1992, Chávez led a revolt by progressive forces in the military
against the rightwing government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. Though it failed,
millions of Venezuelans were deeply inspired by Chávez’s fighting spirit.

Chávez’s first electoral victory in 1998, when he was elected president, and the
subsequent electoral victories, have been products of struggle.

In April 2002—just three years into his administration, before today’s social
projects had been fully developed—Chávez was overthrown by elements in the
military. Then too it was the hundreds of thousands of the poorest and most
exploited people in society who spontaneously came into the streets, prepared
for battle, and restored their president.

As one young man I interviewed in 2004 said, “We came from Caricuao, Catia, from
all the neighborhoods, to bring Chávez back. Either we were going to bring back
our president, or we were going to die doing so. And we brought back our president.”

When the oil managerial class sabotaged Venezuela’s oil industry, shutting it
down from Dec. 2002 to Feb. 2003, the Bolivarian workers rescued it by
restarting the industry, and supporting the ouster of the saboteurs. It did not
require a referendum to justify their actions but they succeeded in regaining
control of the country’s oil.

The capitalists will not be dislodged by elections

In a society where the capitalists hold power, socialism will not be built by
electoral mobilizations—regardless of how popular some of the referenda have
been in the past.

As long as the capitalist class is not expropriated, it will continue to
mobilize, spread misinformation, prepare for counter-revolution and function as
a conveyor belt for U.S. imperialist aggression.

Many commentaries from pro-Chávez forces—in Venezuela and abroad—have been
issued in the hours since the defeat of the constitutional reform. Some have
lauded the “institutional maturity” of the elections, and assured the rightwing
that the Bolivarian masses and leadership, by respecting the outcome, hope that
in the future, the opposition will also abide by any future Bolivarian victory.

This argument is deeply flawed. Formal democracy is a false issue raised by
bourgeois' propaganda only when it fits into their plan to discredit the
revolution. The revolutionaries gain nothing by adopting the arguments of the
counter-revolution. The working people more than ever need a consistently class
conscious explanation of the referendum setback.

The opposition has no interest in any kind of democracy. It has learned time and
time again in the past nine years that its future as exploiters of the
Venezuelan people is threatened.

It is not even interested in preserving the bourgeois democracy that it used to
control society before 1999. If the U.S. imperialists and rightwing were to
succeed in overpowering the Bolivarian dual-power government, it would
immediately turn to violent counter-revolution, to crush the popular
organizations and the millions of working people who have awakened to political

In the bourgeoisie’s 48-hour experiment during the short-lived April 2002 coup
that overthrew Chávez, Pedro Carmona, head of the country’s Chamber of Commerce
and the two-day coup “president,” annulled the constitution, dissolved the
National Assembly and Supreme Court and declared martial law. The police began
to round up known pro-Chávez activists. If not for the overturn of the coup,
there would have soon followed severe repression and killing of revolutionary

All pretenses of democracy were instantly abolished. This provides a glimpse of
what Venezuela will look like should the opposition regain political power.

Although the right wing is howling that Chávez threatens "democracy,” what they
really fear is a workers’ democracy which necessarily includes nationalization
of the economy -- unfolding before their eyes. They fear a social system that
aims to do away with exploitation, misery and oppression.

The United States ruling class is determined to see that the revolutionary
vision of Chávez and the people is not only defeated but annihilated. The impact
of Venezuela’s revolutionary struggle, as well as Cuba’s, is reaching virtually
every corner of Latin America.

What is at stake is either socialist revolution or fascist repression. For the
Bolivarian masses, there can be no hesitation going forward.

Strengthening of the popular organizations and defense preparedness is critical.
The dangerous U.S. destabilization plots entailed in the Nov. 20 CIA memorandum,
if the referendum had passed, are only the tip of the iceberg. There can be no
vacillation or middle ground for the people of Venezuela.

It is critical to recognize that while the revolution has been dealt a setback,
it has not been defeated, and therefore can recover and carry the revolutionary
process forward. No true revolution has gone from success to success; all have
suffered setbacks.

December 2, 2007 is not like September 11, 1973, when the U.S.-backed coup led
to the physical destruction of the revolutionary and progressive forces in Chile.

The duty of progressive-minded people the world over is to defend the Venezuelan
revolutionary process and to demand the end of U.S. intervention.


4) Supreme Court Hearing Guantánamo Cases
Filed at 12:41 p.m. ET
December 5, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration argued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have sufficient opportunities to challenge their confinement, the third round of high court review of the detentions.

The measures set out in U.S. law for the 305 men to contest their detention is a ''remarkable, remarkable liberalization'' of the protections historically afforded foreigners held by the United States somewhere other than on U.S. soil, said Solicitor General Paul Clement.

But attorney Seth Waxman, representing the detainees, portrayed the case as a fundamental test of the U.S. system of justice. Many of the prisoners ''have been held ... for six years,'' he said.

Under the current system, ''they have no prospect'' of being able to challenge their detention in any meaningful way, said Waxman, who held Clement's job during the Clinton administration.

The justices, who ruled for the detainees in two prior decisions, subjected both Clement and Waxman to a barrage of questions.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia pressed Waxman on whether the detainees are entitled to hearings in civilian courts.

''Show me one case'' down through the centuries where circumstances similar to those at Guantanamo Bay entitled an alien to challenge his detention in civilian courts, said Scalia.

Roberts challenged Waxman's argument that the duration of detention is important.

But most questions from the justices seemed to accept that the detainees have some rights and focused on whether procedures in place are adequate.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a pivotal vote in the case, raised the possibility of returning the issue to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where the detainees' status as enemy combatants is undergoing a highly restrictive form of review.

Waxman argued that such a move would simply cause more delays in deciding the prisoners' fate. Clement said the appeals court would be an appropriate forum for resolving the issue.

Lawyers for the foreign detainees contend the courts must get involved to rein in the White House and Congress, which changed the law to keep the detainee cases out of U.S. courts after earlier Supreme Court rulings. The most recent legislation, last year's Military Commissions Act, strips federal courts of their ability to hear detainee cases.

Waxman, the top Supreme Court lawyer during the Clinton administration, said that ''after six years of imprisonment without meaningful review, it is time for a court to decide the legality'' of their confinement.

The detainee case drew several hundred spectators who lined up outside the courthouse in a light snow. About 50 had camped out overnight for a chance to get inside to hear the arguments in the third case the Supreme Court has heard since 2004 on the administration's detention program.

Meanwhile, two dozen protesters, some in orange prison-like jumpsuits, chanted and waved signs.

''Restore habeas corpus!'' they intoned, referring to the right to court review of the legality of detention, the heart of the argument before the high court.

Clement said foreigners captured and held outside the United States ''have no constitutional rights to petition our courts for a writ of habeas corpus,'' a judicial determination of the legality of detention.

The case could turn on whether the court decides that Guantanamo is essentially U.S. soil, which would make the case for detainee rights stronger. Kennedy said as much in a concurring opinion in Rasul v. Bush, the 2004 case that was the court's first foray into the administration's detention policies.

''Guantanamo Bay is in every practical respect a United States territory,'' Kennedy said in the earlier ruling.

The administration also argues that panels of military officers that review the detainees' status as enemy combatants are adequate, even if the Supreme Court decides they have the right to contest their confinement.

The justices, however, decided to review the issue in June, after having turned down the detainees' appeal in April. They provided no explanation, but their action followed a declaration from a military officer who criticized Combatant Status Review Tribunals.

The United States has no plans to put most of those held at Guantanamo on trial. Just three detainees face charges under the Military Commissions Act and the military has said it could prosecute as many as 80.

The consolidated cases are Boumediene v. Bush, 06-1195, and Al Odah v. U.S., 06-1196.

Associated Press writer Natasha Metzler contributed to this report.


On the Net:

Supreme Court:


5) Guantánamo Prisoner Cuts His Throat With Fingernail
December 5, 2007

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba, Dec. 4 — A prisoner at the detention camp here cut his throat with his own fingernail last month, causing a substantial loss of blood, but was never at risk of death, military officials said Tuesday.

“He did in fact use a sharpened fingernail,” Cmdr. Andrew Haynes, the deputy commander of the guard force here, told reporters on a tour of the camp.

Commander Haynes said there had been four to six occurrences in the last two months in which detainees harmed themselves, a rate that he said was consistent with recent experience. Those instances show that a potentially deadly struggle between detainees and their jailers continues, largely out of public view. One detainee committed suicide in May, after three other suicides the previous June, and there have also been numerous suicide attempts.

Advocates for detainees describe such acts as signs of desperation born of indefinite detention and hopelessness. But camp administrators call them a tactic to draw publicity and provoke criticism of the government.

The self-inflicted harm involving the detainee with the sharpened nail occurred in early November but was not disclosed at the time. Responding to questions from reporters, Commander Haynes confirmed that the detainee had intentionally injured himself while in the shower, saying he had been stopped because of “the vigilance of the guard force.” He did not describe how the detainee had sharpened his nail.

Senior military medical officers said there had been “a lot of bleeding” from the wound, which one said had required stitches to close. They classified the occurrence as a “suicidal gesture,” a category that falls short of what they deem suicide attempts.

Officials here have described the recent months as a relatively calm period in the five-year history of the detention operation at Guantánamo, where about 305 detainees are now held. Guantánamo officials have emphasized recent efforts to reduce tensions, for instance giving some detainees the opportunity to see nature films. But it is also clear that some detainees remain locked in a long-term struggle with guards.

In interviews with reporters Tuesday, officials said nine detainees remained on hunger strikes and were being force-fed daily. The detainee engaged in the longest of the hunger strikes, the officials said, has been force-fed for 816 days.


6) Abu Jamal backers say new evidence merits retrial
By Jon Hurdle
Tue Dec 4, 2007 6:41pm EST

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Supporters of a Pennsylvania man condemned to death for the 1981 murder of a policeman released photographs on Tuesday that they said prove he deserves a new trial.

Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Philadelphia radio journalist and taxi driver, has been on death row for 25 years for the killing of officer Daniel Faulkner, a crime he says he did not commit.

Abu Jamal and his backers say he was framed by a police force and a judiciary tainted by racism. Even before the latest development, they had sought a new trial on grounds including a contention that too many blacks were removed from the jury.

Abu Jamal writes on current affairs from his prison cell in western Pennsylvania and has become an international cause celebre for the anti-death penalty movement, attracting supporters who include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The photographs depict aspects of the murder scene that his supporters say are inconsistent with evidence produced by prosecutors.

The pictures, by freelance photographer Pedro Polakoff, were published in the same week that Faulkner's widow Maureen published a book describing the shooting and its aftermath, and five days before the 26th anniversary of the policeman's death.

One photo shows another policeman holding two guns in his bare hand, contradicting that officer's trial testimony that he had preserved ballistics evidence, said Hans Bennett, co-founder of Journalists for Mumia, a support group.

Another picture shows Faulkner's hat on top of a parked car, contrasting with the official police photo of the crime scene in which the hat was on a sidewalk grating. The picture suggests the police were manipulating evidence to produce a more dramatic picture, Bennett told a news conference.

A third picture shows a blood-stained sidewalk where Faulkner was shot but lacks any sign of "divots" or marks in the concrete that would have occurred if the officer had been shot from above, as prosecutors contended, Bennett said.

"We are making the point that at a minimum, he needs a new trial," Bennett said.
(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Walsh)

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.


7) CIA destroyed video of 'waterboarding' al-Qaida detainees
Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday December 7, 2007

The CIA destroyed video evidence of the coercive interrogation of al-Qaida operatives held under its secret rendition programme in order to shield agents from prosecution, it was revealed yesterday.

The decision to destroy two videotapes documenting the use of waterboarding against Abu Zubaydah and another high-value al-Qaida detainee was made in November 2005 - as American media were just beginning to focus on the existence of the secret CIA prison network.

"The tapes posed a serious security risk," the CIA's director, Michael Hayden, told agency employees in a statement yesterday. "Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the programme, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaida and its sympathisers."

Hayden's message to CIA employees went out a day after he learned that the New York Times planned to publish an article today about destruction of the videotapes.

The revelation is bound to reignite debate in Congress about the use of torture in the war on terror. But far more seriously for the Bush administration, it raises the prospect that the CIA withheld information from and obstructed the work of the commission investigating the September 11 attacks as well as lawyers for Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 11th hijacker. Officials from the September 11 commission told the New York Times yesterday they had formally requested from the CIA evidence of interrogations, and had been informed that all materials had been handed over.

The Washington Post, which also carried a story on its website yesterday about the destroyed videotapes, reported that the order to destroy the tapes came from Jose Rodriguez Jr, then the director of the CIA's clandestine operations.

The leaders of the house and Senate intelligence committees - which were then under Republican control - were aware of the existence of the footage and the CIA's decision to destroy the material, Hayden said in his memo. However, Democratic committee members who had long demanded that such interrogations be videotaped, were not made aware of the existence of the tapes, the Times reported.

Hayden said the interrogations were filmed in 2002 after George Bush authorised the use of harsh interrogation, including the controversial practice of controlled drowning, known as waterboarding, against al-Qaida suspects.

"The agency was determined that it proceed in accord with established legal and policy guidelines," Hayden wrote. "So, on its own, CIA began to videotape interrogations."

However, the CIA soon discontinued the practice, and it is believed that only two detainees were filmed while undergoing interrogation. It has long been believed that Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi believed to be a close associated of Osama bin Laden, was subjected to harsh treatment following his capture in Pakistan in March 2002.

The footage would have clarified what practices such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation - both of which a gravely wounded Abu Zubaydah was subjected to - involve.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


8) The Mandate Muddle
Op-Ed Columnist
[“Mandate” means everyone uninsured must buy health insurance. If you can’t afford it the government will subsidize it—if they have the money, that is. This is what they mean by “universal healthcare”—everybody’s gonna pay or not get treated, or, even get fined for not carrying insurance!…bw]
December 7, 2007

Imagine this: It’s the summer of 2009, and President Barack Obama is about to unveil his plan for universal health care. But his health policy experts have done the math, and they’ve concluded that the plan really needs to include a requirement that everyone have health insurance — a so-called mandate.

Without a mandate, they find, the plan will fall far short of universal coverage. Worse yet, without a mandate health insurance will be much more expensive than it should be for those who do choose to buy it.

But Mr. Obama knows that if he tries to include a mandate in the plan, he’ll face a barrage of misleading attacks from conservatives who oppose universal health care in any form. And he’ll have trouble responding — because he made the very same misleading attacks on Hillary Clinton and John Edwards during the race for the Democratic nomination.

O.K., before I go any further, let’s be clear: there is a huge divide between Republicans and Democrats on health care, and the Obama plan — although weaker than the Edwards or Clinton plans — is very much on the Democratic side of that divide.

But lately Mr. Obama has been stressing his differences with his rivals by attacking their plans from the right — which means that he has been giving credence to false talking points that will be used against any Democratic health care plan a couple of years from now.

First is the claim that a mandate is unenforceable. Mr. Obama’s advisers have seized on the widely cited statistic that 15 percent of drivers are uninsured, even though insurance is legally required.

But this statistic is known to be seriously overstated — and some states have managed to get the number of uninsured drivers down to as little as 2 percent. Besides, while the enforcement of car insurance mandates isn’t perfect, it does greatly increase the number of insured drivers.

Anyway, why talk about car insurance rather than looking at direct evidence on how health care mandates perform? Other countries — notably Switzerland and the Netherlands — already have such mandates. And guess what? They work.

The second false claim is that people won’t be able to afford the insurance they’re required to have — a claim usually supported with data about how expensive insurance is. But all the Democratic plans include subsidies to lower-income families to help them pay for insurance, plus a promise to increase the subsidies if they prove insufficient.

In fact, the Edwards and Clinton plans contain more money for such subsidies than the Obama plan. If low-income families find insurance unaffordable under these plans, they’ll find it even less affordable under the Obama plan.

By the way, the limitations of the Massachusetts plan to cover all the state’s uninsured — which is actually doing much better than most reports suggest — come not from the difficulty of enforcing mandates, but from the fact that the state hasn’t yet allocated enough money for subsidies.

Finally, Mr. Obama is storing up trouble for health reformers by suggesting that there is something nasty about plans that “force every American to buy health care.”

Look, the point of a mandate isn’t to dictate how people should live their lives — it’s to prevent some people from gaming the system. Under the Obama plan, healthy people could choose not to buy insurance, then sign up for it if they developed health problems later. This would lead to higher premiums for everyone else. It would reward the irresponsible, while punishing those who did the right thing and bought insurance while they were healthy.

Here’s an analogy. Suppose someone proposed making the Medicare payroll tax optional: you could choose not to pay the tax during your working years if you didn’t think you’d actually need Medicare when you got older — except that you could change your mind and opt back in if you started to develop health problems.

Can we all agree that this would fatally undermine Medicare’s finances? Yet Mr. Obama is proposing basically the same rules for his allegedly universal health care plan.

So how much does all this matter?

Mr. Obama’s health plan is weaker than those of his Democratic rivals, but it’s infinitely superior to, say, what Rudy Giuliani has been proposing. My main concern right now is with Mr. Obama’s rhetoric: by echoing the talking points of those who oppose any form of universal health care, he’s making the task of any future president who tries to deliver universal care considerably more difficult.

I’d add, however, a further concern: the debate over mandates has reinforced the uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn’t that serious about achieving universal care — that he introduced a plan because he had to, but that every time there’s a hard choice to be made he comes down on the side of doing less.


9) Early Copy of Magna Carta on Sale in New York
Filed at 8:54 a.m. ET
December 7, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- In the year 1215, a group of English barons handed King John a document written on parchment. Put your royal seal on this, they said. John did, and forever changed the relationship between the monarchy and those it governed.

The document was the Magna Carta, a declaration of human rights that would set some of the guiding principles for democracy as it is known today.

While that original edict was initially ignored and John died the next year, its key ideas were included in other variations over the next few decades, most notably the right of Habeas Corpus, which protects citizens against unlawful imprisonment. More than 800 years later, about 17 copies survive, and one of those, signed by King Edward I in 1297, will go up for sale Dec. 18 at Sotheby's.

The document, which Sotheby's vice chairman David Redden calls ''the most important document in the world,'' is expected to fetch a record $20-30 million.

While earlier versions of the royal edict were written and then ignored, Redden said, ''the 1297 Magna Carta became the operative version, the one that was entered into English common law and became the law of the land,'' ultimately affecting democracies around the world.

Today, its impact is felt by perhaps a third of the world's people, he said. This includes all of North America, India, Pakistan, much of Africa, Australia and other areas that made up the British Commonwealth.

''When it's something as enormously important as this, you try to get a handle on it,'' he said. ''It is absolutely correct to say the Magna Carta is the birth certificate of freedom. It states the bedrock principle that no person is above the law -- that is the essence of it.''

Only two copies of the Magna Carta exist outside Britain, one in Australia and the one Sotheby's is auctioning off.

An earlier Magna Carta version was loaned by Britain to the United States for its bicentennial celebration in 1976, but suggestions that it be made a permanent gift were rejected.

The 1279 Magna Carta was forced on Edward I by barons unhappy over taxes imposed to pay for his military campaigns in France, Wales and against Scottish rebel William Wallace. The levies were approved in the king's absence by his 13-year-old son, Prince Edward.

Written in medieval Latin on sheepskin that after 710 years remains intact and legible, the 1297 Magna Carta was owned for five centuries by a British family that put it up for sale in the early 1980s.

From 1988 until a few months ago, it was exhibited in a custom-designed, gold-plated container at the National Archives in Washington, a few feet from its direct descendants, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

''As the only non-American document in there, many would love to see it go back'' on display, said Redden, who will wield the hammer. He said the auction will be open to the public, but being a single lot sale, might not take longer than five minutes.


On the Net:



10) Many Children Struggling After ’05 Storms
December 7, 2007

At least 46,600 children along the Gulf Coast are still struggling with mental health problems and other serious aftereffects of 2005 hurricanes, according to a new study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Children’s Health Fund.

Many of these children are performing poorly in school and have limited access to medical care, according to the study, which combines government statistics with data collected by a group of researchers that has been closely following about 1,250 families displaced by the storm.

The children most at risk are those who have returned to their home states of Louisiana and Mississippi but lack stable living situations, the study says.

They are children like Nicole D. Riley’s daughter Isis, who is about to turn 4. Her family left New Orleans the day before Hurricane Katrina and moved five times over a short period before ending up in the large government-operated trailer park in Baker, La. All those moves “really didn’t sit well with her,” Ms. Riley said of her daughter. “When we got out here to the park, she was out of control, out of hand. She was not like that before the storm.”

Although the uncontrollable temper tantrums have stopped, Ms. Riley said in a telephone interview, Isis remains worrisomely moody, and all three of her children have been suffering from rashes. And they are going to have to move again. The government plans to close the trailer park next spring, and Ms. Riley and her fiancé are already looking for a new place to live.

Doctors treating Isis and other children “have been reporting just tremendous problems, especially the mental health providers,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children’s Health Fund and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia. “We are alarmed at the continuing downward trend, the longer the state of limbo continues.”

Moving beyond anecdotal evidence is difficult, but the study tries to quantify the number of children who remain at risk. “It’s meant to answer the question, what is the magnitude of the problem here,” said David Abramson, the center’s research director.

Looking at federal census data, school enrollment statistics and figures from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the study concludes that about 163,000 children were displaced by the storms and that 81,000 to 95,000 have returned to Louisiana and Mississippi. An estimated 11,200 children were still living in FEMA trailers at government or private trailer parks at the end of September, according to the report, though that number has been dropping as the government begins closing the parks.

To determine how many of the returned children are likely to be experiencing problems, the researchers extrapolated from the findings of their continuing study of Gulf Coast families, which has found almost a third of the children examined have developed depression, anxiety or behavior disorders since the hurricanes.

In Louisiana, parents of about a quarter of the children reported that performance at school has slipped sharply since the storms; that has not been as much of an issue in Mississippi, where a bigger problem has been the loss of doctors or health insurance. While poor families fared far worse than wealthier ones in Louisiana, in Mississippi the results were similar for families with incomes of less than $10,000 and those with incomes of over $35,000.

Over all, the report concludes that 46,600 to 64,900 children are experiencing serious poststorm problems, though Dr. Redlener said he puts the number at about 55,000.

Roberta Avila, executive director of the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force, said that figure sounds right. “We still have a lot of families in trailers, and the stress of living in that situation is really tough,” she said. Despite strong community and volunteer efforts, she continued, she is hearing increasing reports of problems ranging from children having trouble doing homework all the way up to suicides.

In New Orleans, one of the biggest problems for children is that their extended families are no longer nearby, said David J. Ward, a health policy analyst and founder of the Louisiana Health Services Recovery Council. “The fabric of the family has splintered,” Mr. Ward said. “Who is going to take care of the kids after school, or draw them into becoming musicians?”


11) Recorded on a Suspect’s Hidden MP3 Player, a Bronx Detective Faces 12 Perjury Charges
December 7, 2007

A veteran New York City police detective was arraigned on perjury charges in the Bronx yesterday after a suspect in an attempted murder case secretly recorded his interrogation with an MP3 player.

Detective Christopher Perino is accused of lying 12 times during his sworn testimony in the April trial of the suspect, Erik Crespo, by saying that he did not conduct an interrogation of Mr. Crespo.

At yesterday’s hearing in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, Detective Perino, 42, a member of the department for 19 years, pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of first-degree perjury. He made no further comment during his court appearance. He has been suspended and has surrendered his badge and gun, the police said. He was released on $15,000 bail.

Each charge of perjury is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

“This indictment hopefully will send a strong message that anyone in law enforcement who engages in illegal conduct of this nature will be dealt with to the full extent of the law,” the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, said in a statement.

Mr. Johnson added that he did not believe that the problem of officers’ giving perjured testimony was widespread.

The detective’s lawyer, Steve Kartagener, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The perjury charges against the detective stem from the trial of Mr. Crespo, who was 17 at the time and accused of attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and other crimes for allegedly shooting a man in an elevator in an apartment building in the High Bridge neighborhood. The shooting occurred on Dec. 25, 2005.

Detective Perino, assigned to the 44th Precinct in the Bronx, was investigating the case. He interviewed Mr. Crespo at the precinct station house following Mr. Crespo’s arrest six days after the shooting.

During the trial, the detective testified that the only statement Mr. Crespo had made at the station house regarding the crime was to his mother, who had come to the precinct after her son’s arrest. “They want to know why I shot this guy,” the detective testified that Mr. Crespo told her.

The detective also said that he had not asked Mr. Crespo any questions.

But unknown to Detective Perino, Mr. Crespo had received an MP3 player for Christmas and had it in his pocket at the time of the interrogation, said Mark S. DeMarco, Mr. Crespo’s lawyer.

Because of his distrust of the police, Mr. Crespo pressed the record button before the interrogation began, Mr. DeMarco said.

The interview with the officer lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, and on it, the detective and the suspect talk about the shooting — which Mr. Crespo admitted committing, but in self-defense, according to a transcript of the interrogation.

The Bronx district attorney’s office, which was given the audio recording during Mr. Crespo’s trial, abruptly dropped the attempted murder charge against Mr. Crespo once they believed that the detective had lied under oath.

Mr. Crespo eventually agreed to a plea deal in which he would receive a seven-year prison sentence on weapons possession charges.

According to a transcript of the MP3 recording, the detective repeatedly tried to persuade Mr. Crespo to disclose how he had disposed of the gun, and to write a statement confessing to the crime. Otherwise, the detective told him, Mr. Crespo would not be allowed to tell his version of events at trial.

“I can make sure you don’t see the judge for three days,” Detective Perino told him, according to the transcript.

The detective also repeatedly tried to dissuade the suspect from consulting a lawyer, even though Mr. Crespo told him that he wished he had a lawyer to advise him, according to the transcript.

“I don’t know what to do, man,” Mr. Crespo said. “I wish I had some help. A lawyer or something. I don’t know what to do.”

At the end of the interrogation, before Mr. Crespo was placed under arrest, the detective allowed him to give his mother his personal possessions, including the MP3 player.

But during Mr. Crespo’s trial, Detective Perino repeatedly denied having asked Mr. Crespo any questions, according to a trial transcript.

“Now you said on direct examination that you never asked him any questions when you were alone with him in the room on Dec. 31, 2005. Isn’t it true?” Mr. DeMarco asked the detective during cross-examination at the trial.

“That’s correct,” replied the detective. “He wasn’t questioned.”

“Isn’t it true that you told him that if he didn’t tell you where the gun was, you would keep him from seeing a judge for three days?” the lawyer asked.

“No sir,” the detective said.

“Did you ever tell him in that room that evening that you had no problems with him carrying a gun?” Mr. DeMarco said.

“Never said it,” Detective Perino responded.

“Are you sure?” the lawyer asked.

“I never interrogated your client, sir,” the detective said.


12) Spies Like You and Me
Op-Ed Columnist
December 8, 2007

Let the witch hunt begin. Are you now or have you ever been an illegal immigrant?

Are any of your friends illegal? Relatives?

The last place you’d expect to encounter a chilling moment is at a presidential debate sponsored by National Public Radio. But on Tuesday, there was the NPR moderator, Steve Inskeep, asking the Democratic candidates whether American citizens have an obligation to turn in people they suspect are illegal immigrants.

It was not just a question asked in passing. Mr. Inskeep pressed the issue. He asked Senator Chris Dodd, for example, about the hypothetical situation of a “citizen” interviewing for a nanny.

“You interview a number of applicants,” Mr. Inskeep said. “They all seem very nice. They seem like they would take care of the kids. But it would appear that their documents may not be in order. What would you want an American to do?”

Their documents may not be in order.

Mr. Inskeep didn’t make clear what should trigger the suspicions of such oh-so-solidly American parents, causing them to scrutinize an applicant’s papers with a thoroughness worthy of Sherlock Holmes. Might it be a skin tone darker than Paris Hilton’s? Or maybe an accent, like that of my Aunt Lottie, who came here from Barbados?

You wouldn’t have wanted to face my family if you were some rat who tried to turn in my Aunt Lottie.

I have no idea how Mr. Inskeep feels about this issue. He was just asking questions. But the last thing in the world that the United States needs is a signal from presidential wannabes that it’s a good idea to turn ordinary American citizens into immigrant-hunting busybodies.

The Democrats did not rise to the bait. Senator Hillary Clinton was especially good. Mr. Inskeep said to her, “If a citizen witnessed some other kind of crime, wouldn’t you want them to report it?”

Senator Clinton replied: “It’s a very clever question, Steve, but I think it really begs the question, because what we’re looking at here is 12 to 14 million people. They live in our neighborhoods, they take care of our elderly parents, they probably made the beds in the hotels that some of us stayed in last night. They are embedded in our society.”

She warned that listening to the “demagogues and the calls for us to begin to try to round up people and turn every American into a suspicious vigilante” would do grave harm “to the fabric of our nation.”

She couldn’t have been more correct. Enlisting ordinary Americans in a nationwide hunt for so-called illegals is a recipe for violence and hysteria, a guarantee of tragedy.

We’ve already got radio-active talk show hosts spewing anti-immigrant venom from one coast to another. Media Matters for America, a monitoring group, has noted that Michael Savage, who has the third-most-listened-to show in the nation, said the following on his July 2 broadcast:

“When I see a woman walking around with a burqa, I see a Nazi. That’s what I see. How do you like that? A hateful Nazi who would like to cut your throat and kill your children.”

When a woman wears a burqa, said Mr. Savage, “She’s doing it to spit in your face. She’s saying, ‘You white moron, you, I’m going to kill you if I can.’”

That’s what’s already out there. We don’t need national leaders adding fuel to the fires of bigotry by calling for recruits to join in a national dragnet for people who look or sound a certain way.

That kind of insidious leadership helps drive people to irrational fury over neighbors speaking Spanish at a barbecue, or a Muslim co-worker competing for a coveted promotion, or a schoolteacher with a Hispanic surname who gives a failing grade to little Sally.

This country needs to cool it on the immigration front. Solutions to immigration problems need to come from rationally thought-out and compassionate government policies, not a witch hunt by all and sundry.

It was beyond ironic to listen Thursday to Mitt Romney as he went on national television to ask Americans to view his candidacy with a sense of tolerance. “We believe that every single human being is a child of God,” he said. “We are all part of the human family.”

At the same time, Mr. Romney’s political operatives were distributing campaign material (some of it inaccurate) beating up on his opponents for being insufficiently intolerant on the immigration issue.

The U.S. has a chance in this presidential campaign to emulate the best in its history, not the worst. I have a recommendation for anyone who thinks a witch hunt for undocumented immigrants is a good idea:

Don’t go there.


13) Britain to Take Back 3 From Guantánamo
December 8, 2007

LONDON, Dec. 7 — Three former British residents detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, whose release had long been negotiated by the governments of Britain and the United States, are about to be freed, their lawyers said Friday.

The British government had resisted taking the men, saying they were not British citizens, only former residents. In August, however, Britain reversed itself and requested their release. Their lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, said they would have to report to the police every 30 days and would have to notify authorities of any change of address or foreign travel.

Mr. Smith said the men — Jamil el-Banna, Omar Deghayes and Abdennur Sameur — would return to England. They had been held as enemy combatants, some for more than five years.

Cmdr. J. D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to comment, saying only, “We’ve been working with the international community for some time to reduce the numbers at Guantánamo.”


14) Settlement for Torture of 4 Men by Police

CHICAGO, Dec. 7 — The City of Chicago is preparing to pay nearly $20 million to four men who were once sent to death row after interrogations that they say amounted to torture by the Chicago police, the city’s law department said on Friday.

If the legal settlement is approved next week by the city’s aldermen, it will be a crucial first effort to put a painful, notorious chapter in the city’s history behind it, some officials here said.

The four men were among scores of black men who reported being tortured, beaten with telephone books, and even suffocated with plastic typewriter covers during police interrogations in the 1970s and 1980s, special prosecutors found last year. The four men were pardoned by Gov. George Ryan in 2003.

Of the proposed settlement, Flint Taylor, a lawyer for one of the men, Leroy Orange, said, “It speaks volumes about the seriousness of the systematic torture, abuse and cover-up that went on in the city of Chicago for decades.”

The settlement comes at a time of tense relations between the Chicago Police Department and the city’s residents, following a string of incidents — the beatings of civilians caught on videotape, a report showing a high rate of brutality complaints, a corruption investigation into an elite police unit. Only last month, officials announced they had selected a new police superintendent from outside the city ranks.

“This is an important step down the road,” Toni Preckwinkle, an alderman, said of the planned settlement. “We have to acknowledge first that terrible wrongs were committed, then begin to make amends to those who were wronged, then put a system in place to see that this doesn’t happen again.”

Monique Bond, a spokeswoman for the Police Department, called the settlement “a positive step forward as we make fighting crime and building community trust our No. 1 priority.”

Many of those who reported torture in police interrogation rooms pointed to a commander named Jon Burge, who was fired in 1993, and to those he supervised. Mr. Burge did not respond to a telephone message at his Florida home on Friday.

Advocates for some of the four men seemed relieved by the financial settlements, but emphasized that there were still others out there who had reported being similarly abused and tortured into confessing. Many were still behind bars, Mr. Taylor said.

Kurt Feuer, who represents Madison Hobley, another of the four men, criticized the city as taking too long.

“It shouldn’t have taken four and a half years and millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money spent on fighting us tooth and nail every step of the way,” Mr. Feuer said. “Whose interests were served by that?”

Since their pardons, Mr. Hobley, who had been convicted of killing seven people in a 1987 arson, and Mr. Orange, who was convicted in the 1984 stabbing deaths of two adults and two children, have been out of prison. Two others, Stanley Howard and Aaron Patterson, are behind bars now — Mr. Howard on an unrelated charge and Mr. Patterson on new drugs and weapon charges.

More recently, Mr. Hobley has been identified as the suspect in a federal arson and murder investigation, according to a news release from the city law department. If he is indicted and convicted in the federal case, the settlement says, a part of his money will not be paid.

Told of the settlement, Kevin Milan, a relative of Mr. Hobley, said, “They took long enough.”

“A human’s life was hanging in the balance,” Mr. Milan said. “I watched what it did to all of us — years were taken off of lives through this.”




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writers Set to Strike, Threatening Hollywood
November 2, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


Stop the Termination or the Cherokee Nation


We Didn't Start the Fire

I Can't Take it No More

The Art of Mental Warfare

http://video. videoplay? docid=-905047436 2583451279




Port of Olympia Anti-Militarization Action Nov. 2007


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

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

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

—MALCOLM X, 1965


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


LAPD vs. Immigrants (Video)


Dr. Julia Hare at the SOBA 2007


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


Wealth Inequality Charts


MALCOLM X: Oxford University Debate


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


YouTube clip of Che before the UN in 1964


The Wealthiest Americans Ever
NYT Interactive chart
JULY 15, 2007


New Orleans After the Flood -- A Photo Gallery
This email was sent to you as a service, by Roland Sheppard.
Visit my website at:


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


Which country should we invade next?


My Favorite Mutiny, The Coup


Michael Moore- The Awful Truth


Morse v. Frederick Supreme Court arguments


Free Speech 4 Students Rally - Media Montage


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




George Takai responds to Tim Hardaway's homophobic remarks




Another view of the war. A link from Amer Jubran


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


Film/Song about Angola


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



"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])

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