Wednesday, March 26, 2008




[The catch is, that while it's true that the landlord can increase rents to whatever he or she wants once a property becomes vacant, the current rent-control law now ensures that the new tenants are still under rent-control for their, albeit higher, rent. Under the new law, there simply will be no rent control when the new tenant moves in so their much higher rent-rate can increase as much as the landlord chooses each year from then on!!! So, no more rent-control at all!!! Tricky, huh?...BW]


"- Government may not set the price at which property owners sell or lease their property.

The provisions of this Act shall become effective on the day following the election ("effective date"); except that any statute, charter provision, ordinance, or regulation by a public agency enacted prior to January 1, 2007, that limits the price a rental property owner may charge a tenant to occupy a residential rental unit ("unit") or mobile home space ("space") may remain in effect as to such unit or space after the effective date for so long as, but only so long as, at least one of the tenants of such unit or space as of the effective date ("qualified tenant") continues to live in such unit or space as his or her principal place of residence. At such time as a unit or space no longer is used by any qualified tenant as his or her principal place of residence because, as to such unit or space, he or she has: (a) voluntarily vacated; (b) assigned, sublet, sold or transferred his or her tenancy rights either voluntarily or by court order; (c) abandoned; (d) died; or he or she has (e) been evicted pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4) or (5) of Section 1161 of the Code of Civil Procedure or Section 798.56 of the Civil Code as in effect on January 1, 2007; then, and in such event, the provisions of this Act shall be effective immediately as to such unit or space."


San Francisco Calendar

March 26, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
65 9TH ST. SF San Francisco Friends Meeting House
Contact: Sandra Schwartz
Sponsors: AFSC, Women For Genuine Security

IT"S MY LIFE- A guide to Alternatives After High School

-(Re)Collection e-newsletter
-Building Relationships
-Inter-organizational Collaborative Projects
-Presentations by BAY PEACE YOUTH
-Spoken Word & Music
-Opportunities to Network

FREE and OPEN to the public


Gaza's lost childhood - 23 March 08

Mike Prysner (Part 1 and Part 2 -- please watch both parts. Wow! This is powerful testimony. Thank you, Mike Prysner!
Winter Soldier Testimonies
or try:

Winter Soldier Mike Prysner testimony, Pt1
Winter Soldier Mike Prysner testimony Pt2

Tent Cities, USA


"What are they recruiting for?
Murder, rape, torture, war!"

2017 Mission St (@ 16th), San Francisco
For more information on how you can become involved contact:
Bonnie Weinstein, (415) 824-8730
Nancy Macias, (415) 255-7296 ext. 229
Contact JROTC Must Go!
(415) 575-5543

Join with parents, teachers, students, and anti-war activists who demand that schools are for teaching about life skills, not military careers. Together we must demand that the San Francisco school board end JROTC at the end of this current school year, as they originally voted to do in 2006, but then, this year, caved in to Pentagon pressure and voted to extend JROTC for another year—reversing their original, well thought-out decision.

When in 2006, San Franciscans voted overwhelmingly to get the military out of our schools, the school board followed through with a strong resolution stating in part:

"The SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) has restricted the activities of military recruiters on our campuses...JROTC is a program wholly created and administrated by the United States Department of Defense, whose documents and memoranda clearly identify JROTC as an important recruiting arm; and...JROTC manifests the military's discrimination against LGBT people..."

It is legally and morally repugnant for the school district to continue to facilitate the military’s access to our students and become fixtures in our schools! As this illegal war in Iraq enters its 6th year, and a war with Iran looms ahead, JROTC must go NOW!


California Assembly Bill Number 2429.
Bill Number 2429 was introduced by Assembly member Strickland on February 21, 2008 in the California Legislature. "This bill would require that a school district that prohibits JROTC programs from being established or conducting activities on its campus or campuses, or that prohibits or hinders its pupils from participating in an off-campus JROTC program, be prohibited from expending state funds on any extracurricular activity, as defined." For more information see

JROTC Must Go! - (415) 575-5543 -


Call for an Open U.S. National Antiwar Conference
Stop the War in Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now!
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.


For Immediate Release
Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim South, 11767 Harbor Boulevard,
Garden Grove, California, 92840
May 16-18, 2008

The 6th Annual International Al-Awda Convention will mark a devastating event in the long history of the Palestinian people. We call it our Nakba.

Confirmed speakers include Bishop Atallah Hanna, Supreme Justice Dr. Sheikh Taiseer Al Tamimi, Dr. Adel Samara, Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Dr. Ghada Karmi, Dr. As'ad Abu Khalil, Dr. Saree Makdisi, and Ramzy Baroud. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Salim El Hos and Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar have also been invited.

Host Organizations for the sixth international Al-Awda convention include Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Palestinian American Women Association, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab-Americans, Middle East Cultural and Information Center - San Diego, The Arab Community Center of the Inland Empire, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid - Southern California, Palestine Aid Society, Palestinian American Congress, Bethlehem Association, Al-Mubadara - Southern California, Union of Palestinian American Women, Birzeit Society , El-Bireh Society, Arab American Friends of Nazareth, Ramallah Club, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, International Action Center , Students for Justice in Palestine at CSUSB, Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, Students for Justice in Palestine at UCR, Students for International Knowledge at CSUSB, Muslim Students Association at Palomar College, Muslim Students Association at UCSD, and Muslim Students Association at Mira Costa.


In May of 1948, with the support of the governments of the United States, Britain, and other European powers, Zionists declared the establishment of the "State of Israel" on stolen Palestinian Arab land and intensified their full-scale attack on Palestine. They occupied our land and forcibly expelled three quarters of a million of our people. This continues to be our great catastrophe, which we, as Palestinians with our supporters, have been struggling to overcome since.

The sixth international Al-Awda convention is taking place at a turning point in our struggle to return and reclaim our stolen homeland. Today, there are close to 10 million Palestinians of whom 7.5 million are living in forced exile from their homeland. While the Zionist "State of Israel" continues to besiege, sanction, deprive, isolate, discriminate against and murder our people, in addition to continually stealing more of our land, our resistance has grown. Along with our sisters and brothers at home and elsewhere in exile, Al-Awda has remained steadfast in demanding the implementation of the sacred, non-negotiable national, individual and collective right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands.

The sixth international Al-Awda convention will be a historic and unique event. The convention will aim to recapitulate Palestinian history with the help of those who have lived it, and to strengthen our ability to educate the US public about the importance and justness of implementing the unconditional right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. With symposia and specialty workshops, the focus of the convention will be on education that lead to strategies and mechanisms for expanding the effectiveness of our advocacy for the return.


We invite all Al-Awda members, and groups and individuals who support the implementation of the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin, and to reclaim their land, to join us in this landmark Sixth Annual International Convention on the 60th year of Al-Nakba.


The convention will culminate in a major demonstration to mark 60 years of Nakba and to call for The RETURN TO PALESTINE. The demonstration will be held in solidarity and coordination with our sisters and brothers who continue the struggle in our beloved homeland.


Organizational endorsements welcome. Please write to us at convention6@

For information on how to become part of the host committee, please write to convention6@

For more information, please go to http://al-awda. org/convention6 and keep revisiting that page as it is being updated regularly.

To submit speaker and panel/workshop proposals, write to
info@al-awda. org or convention6@

Until return,

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568
E-mail: info@al-awda. org
WWW: http://al-awda. org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) is the largest network of grassroots activists and students dedicated to Palestinian human rights. We are a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3) organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations to PRRC are tax-deductible.


Call for an Open U.S. National Antiwar Conference
Stop the War in Iraq! Bring the Troops Home Now!
Join us in Cleveland on June 28-29 for the conference.
Crown Plaza Hotel
Sponsored by the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation
P.O. Box 21008; Cleveland, OH 44121; Voice Mail: 216-736-4704; Email:

List of Endorsers (below call):

Endorse the conference:


2008 has ushered in the fifth year of the war against Iraq and an occupation "without end" of that beleaguered country. Unfortunately, the tremendous opposition in the U.S. to the war and occupation has not yet been fully reflected in united mass action.

The anniversary of the invasion has been marked in the U.S. by Iraq Veterans Against the War's (IVAW's) Winter Soldier hearings March 13-16, in Washington, DC, providing a forum for those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to expose the horrors perpetrated by the U.S. wars. A nonviolent civil disobedience action against the war in Iraq was also called for March 19 in Washington and local actions around the country were slated during that month as well.

These actions help to give voice and visibility to the deeply held antiwar sentiment of this country's majority. Yet what is also urgently needed is a massive national mobilization sponsored by a united antiwar movement capable of bringing hundreds of thousands into the streets to demand "Out Now!"

Such a mobilization, in our opinion, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the war -- and held on a day agreeable to the IVAW -- could have greatly enhanced all the other activities which were part of that commemoration in the U.S. Indeed, a call was issued in London by the World Against War Conference on December 1, 2007 where 1,200 delegates from 43 nations, including Iraq, voted unanimously to call on antiwar movements in every country to mobilize mass protests against the war during the week of March 15-22 to demand that foreign troops be withdrawn immediately.

The absence of a massive united mobilization during this period in the United States -- the nation whose weapons of terrifying mass destruction have rained death and devastation on the Iraqi people -- when the whole world will mobilize in the most massive protests possible to mark this fifth year of war, should be a cause of great concern to us all.

For Mass Action to Stop the War: The independent and united mobilization of the antiwar majority in massive peaceful demonstrations in the streets against the war in Iraq is a critical element in forcing the U.S. government to immediately withdraw all U.S. military forces from that country, close all military bases, and recognize the right of the Iraqi people to determine their own destiny.

Mass actions aimed at visibly and powerfully demonstrating the will of the majority to stop the war now would dramatically show the world that despite the staunch opposition to this demand by the U.S. government, the struggle by the American people to end the slaughter goes on. And that struggle will continue until the last of the troops are withdrawn. Such actions also help bring the people of the United States onto the stage of history as active players and as makers of history itself.

Indeed, the history of every successful U.S. social movement, whether it be the elementary fight to organize trade unions to defend workers' interests, or to bring down the Jim Crow system of racial segregation, or to end the war in Vietnam, is in great part the history of independent and united mass actions aimed at engaging the vast majority to collectively fight in its own interests and therefore in the interests of all humanity.

For an Open Democratic Antiwar Conference: The most effective way to initiate and prepare united antiwar mobilizations is through convening democratic and open conferences that function transparently, with all who attend the conferences having the right to vote. It is not reasonable to expect that closed or narrow meetings of a select few, or gatherings representing only one portion of the movement, can substitute for the full participation of the extremely broad array of forces which today stand opposed to the war.

We therefore invite everyone, every organization, every coalition, everywhere in the U.S. - all who oppose the war and the occupation -- to attend an open democratic U.S. national antiwar conference and join with us in advancing and promoting the coming together of an antiwar movement in this country with the power to make a mighty contribution toward ending the war and occupation of Iraq now.

Everyone is welcome. The objective is to place on the agenda of the entire U.S. antiwar movement a proposal for the largest possible united mass mobilization(s) in the future to stop the war and end the occupation.

Join us in Cleveland on June 28-29 for the conference.

List of Endorsers

Join us in Cleveland on June 28-29 for the conference.
Sponsored by the National Assembly to End the Iraq War and Occupation
P.O. Box 21008; Cleveland, OH 44121; Voice Mail: 216-736-4704; Email:





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


Center for Labor Renewal Statement and Call for the Elimination of Two-Tier Workplaces

On Saturday, January 26, 2008, over 80 U.S. and Canadian auto industry worker/activists met in Flint, Michigan, birthplace of militant unionism in the Auto Industry in the late 1903s. The agenda was how to measure and respond to the crippling impact of the 2007 auto industry collective bargaining agreements. The daylong discussions led to the issuance of the following Statement and Call for a:

Campaign to oppose two-tier wages

The United States has never been an equal opportunity society. During periods of intense collective struggle workers made economic gains, but sustained progress in equity distribution has not been achieved. Capital’s effort to exploit labor is never put on hold for long. Over the past 30 years corporate America, often supported by government, has engaged in an all-out assault on working people. That relentless campaign has increased and extended social inequality to levels many had not thought possible without triggering a concerted rebellion from the ranks of labor. Such an upsurge of resistance has not yet coalesced but there are indications that worker anger and disillusionment is rising.

Corporate aggression, particularly in historically well-organized, higher wage industries is increasingly tied to capital’s global restructuring agenda, which is capitalizing on the low standard of living prevalent in impoverished countries and regions around the world. The rising demand for U.S. worker concessions in such sectors as auto, metalwork, electronics, communications, etc. is part of that restructuring process and, unchallenged, sweeps all workers into a downward spiral of wage and working conditions. Employer claims that competition necessitates wage and benefit reductions in order to save jobs has become the weapon of choice. Workers are told they have to choose between massive reductions for future generations of workers or no job at all.

That this is happening in the most heavily unionized industries reveals the effectiveness of the corporate strategy to both disarm and attract many union leaders and some portion of the base to accept the proposition that pursuing their agenda of “competitiveness” is in our mutual interest. The U.S. labor leadership has not put forward any meaningful alternatives to global corporate restructuring. Embracing the companies’ “competitiveness” agenda is a flawed, if not fatal strategy.

The corporations are demanding, and the unions are accepting, permanent two-tier wage schemes whereby new hires work side by side with workers earning substantially higher wages for the same tasks. This new, generalized wage retreat comes after years of unresolved wage inequities that have disproportionately affected women and workers of color in U.S. workplaces. The introduction of both two-tier and “permanent temporary” workers in auto plants adds more layers of blatant discrimination. We must continue to fight against all forms of discrimination in two-tier wage structures, whether directed at workers of color or women, or now “the new hire” and the defenseless temp workers.

Our acceptance makes us an accessory to corporate divide and conquer schemes

Allowing the employers to expand inequality, rather then resolve it fosters additional resentment among workers and recklessly severs solidarity between generations. Two-tier wage agreements and the use of permanent temporary workers make the union partners in the business of exploiting workers.

Big Three auto contracts institutionalize second-class workers

In the 2007 Big Three auto negotiations the UAW, a once powerful wage and benefits pacesetter, agreed to a radically reduced two-tier wage and benefit package. The Big Three auto agreement cuts wages for new workers by up to 50 percent (67 percent if you include benefits) for doing the same work as current workers. The need to help the companies be more “competitive” to insure “job security” was the advertised selling point. The 25-year history of concession bargaining in auto has not stopped the massive decline in the ranks of the Big Three from 750,000 in 1979 when the concession era began to 170,000 today. Yet contract after contract during that period were heralded as “historic job security” agreements.

In 200 the UAW negotiated a Supplemental Two-Tier Wage Agreement for new hires at Delphi Corporation, a former GM Parts division, which had been “spun-off” as an independent parts supplier in 1999. Members of one UAW-Delphi Local, Local 2151 voted to appeal the International Union’s decision not to permit the thousands of Delphi union members to vote on the Supplemental Two-Tier Agreement, which affected them. In defense of their decision to evade ratification the UAW International Executive Board argued that the “future hire group is a null class.”

The segregation of future union members into a “null class” is a ruthless act of discrimination against an entire generation, and another example of the failure of competitiveness to secure jobs. Delphi subsequently used bankruptcy as a strategy to further restructure and destroy jobs and incomes. Within four years 27,000 out of 33,000 union members were eliminated at Delphi and the remaining workers were brought down to the lower wage and benefit scale.
Wage costs are not the problem

Wages and benefits of assembly workers account for less than 10 percent of the cost of a car and differentials between companies are not significant, especially since GM, Ford, and Chrysler’s competitors are primarily building cars inside the U.S. Furthermore, productivity in the auto industry has been rising rapidly: real output per worker has more than doubled since 1987. Even the Harbour-Felax Report—which analysts consider the industry bible on productivity—has acknowledged that: the Big Three has now largely eliminated the productivity gap with Japanese manufacturers.

In a globally restructured auto industry, it was inevitable that the Big Three would not sustain their monopoly control of the domestic market. Their arrogance toward foreign producers is only matched by their greed and arrogance toward consumers. This resulted in decades of marketing second rate, unimaginative, and shoddily engineered products at the same time union workers were making concessions allegedly to help them be more competitive. Yet, coming on the heels of the Delphi bankruptcy, the 2007 negotiations were pitched as if the sacrifices of workers was the only thing that could help the domestic auto manufacturers out of the “competitiveness” hole they’d dug themselves into. Making workers pay for the bosses’ mistakes is as much a national pastime as baseball.

The new-hire wage rates in UAW contracts with the Big Three automakers are now set below the average industrial wage in the U.S. which is already below that of other major developed countries. The competitive spiral will accelerate as foreign transplants are relieved of the pressure to match union wages. The failure to protect wages, benefits, and working conditions means that it will be even more difficult for the UAW to organize new workers. Yet the real answer to the “competitiveness” question lies in organizing the workers employed by the anti-union foreign owned producers and taking wages, benefits, and working conditions out of competition through solidarity-unionism.

For Canadian Auto Workers whose collective agreements with the same Big Three companies expire in September of 2008, the reduced new worker hire rate and permanent two-tier precedents set in the U.S. will represent a huge challenge. CAW members have traditionally resisted the concession patterns of their neighbors to the South; their continued resistance in their negotiations this Fall would be reinforced by a rising tide of opposition from U.S. auto workers to slashing wages and attacks on worker dignity.

The Japanese companies have already introduced the two-tier half-wage system in Japan. The threat of unionization had, until now, blocked their trying it here. But with the implementation of two-tier in the Big Three plants, they can now do the same in this country. Net result: no shift in relative competitiveness, but a destructive further lowering of wages for all auto industry workers.

Furthermore, now that the new hire wage rate is set below the industry average for the Big Three, workers in the auto parts supply industry will be confronted with a stark choice: accept lower wages or their jobs will be outsourced, or more correctly “re-insourced,” to the big auto companies at the radically reduced new lower tier wages. Once again the net result is zero security for workers and a further collapse in living standards. As part and parcel of the concessions mentality, the auto union failed to pursue its own longstanding demand for single-payer national healthcare (for all). Instead, they agreed to relieve Big Three automakers of billions of dollars in legacy costs for retiree healthcare protection by accepting responsibility for future coverage through an under-funded Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA.

The UAW is not the only union that has bargained away equality within the workforce. This trend is the deathwatch for the labor movement in our era. Union collaboration in wage discrimination for the sake of competitiveness is the counsel of despair. The future of active and retired workers is inextricably bound with the future of new workers. The segregation of future union members into a “null class” is an invitation for “payback” at some future time. If new hires are treated as a “null class,” one day they will in turn classify senior workers and retirees as a “null class.” There is no seniority date for dignity and should be no retirement from solidarity.

The corporate blitzkrieg on working people is subsidized with tax abatements while health, education, and social programs are slashed to the bone. The parrots of the status quo insist there is no alternative to an economic system that degrades workers, deprives the unfortunate of health care, undermines the security of the elderly, and desecrates the environment. It’s a lie. The degradation of the working class is chronic and contagious. We need strategic collective action with allies here and around the world.

History suggests that UAW members would have followed the lead of a progressive leadership to militantly resist the destruction of wage parity and other hard won gains in the workplace. But nearly 30 years of concession bargaining and yielding to the “logic of the competitiveness agenda” produced an opposite result.

Workers throughout all employment sectors face this same assault on wages, benefits, and working conditions in one form or another. It is time for all workers to reject the false logic of corporate competitiveness and reinvigorate the logic of solidarity.

Today, we stand at the crossroad knowing full well where both roads lead. One road leads to division, despair, and social isolation, and the other road points to hope, solidarity, and the dignity of collective struggle.
Call for national campaign

In conjunction with the Center for Labor Renewal, participants at the Flint, January 26, 2008 meeting issue the following Call:

In the face of the continuing assault on worker wages, benefits, and the quality of work life where rising economic injustice is destroying the stability and hopes of an increasing numbers of workers and their families, here and around the world; and where inequality and income discrimination are celebrated by a protected few at the desperate expense of so many others; we call on all workers of conscience everywhere to join a campaign to bring our collective strength and renewed solidarity to the struggle against the agenda of social devaluation and despair.

Workers in the auto industry have a critical role to play in this campaign given the destructive events in that industry which now, more than ever, seeks to validate the pitting of workers against workers, and communities against communities, and the glorification of the false dog-eat-dog, workplace agenda of the corporations today. In that world its “winner-take-all,” and the winner has been pre-determined. We call on all auto workers to reject all forms of wage discrimination and renew the fight for industrial democracy through worker solidarity, and to:

• Build within our workplaces, a movement against two-tier wages, and a renewal of solidarity unionism by means of varied communications vehicles including the internet; web sites; newsletters and plant gate handbills, etc.

• Promote crosscurrents of opposition against the creation of second-class workers in all workplaces.

• Where a two-tier system is in place, concretely demonstrate to the new workers that there is a strong base of resistance against the discrimination they face, and that we all need to remember the lesson that “an injury to one, is an injury to all.”

• Within the Big Three, or any auto workplaces, target the rejection of future agreements (2011 in the Big Three ) if they do not reverse the two-tier system.

• Promote internal democracy to encourage the inclusion and participation of the second tier workers alongside the entire rank and file to change the concessionary path followed by the current leadership.

Such a campaign will need mechanisms to facilitate links, exchange information, and assist in the coordination of future actions. Coming out of a meeting organized by the Center for Labor Renewal (CLR) of 80 activists in Flint, Michigan, the CLR commits to:

• Collect and develop material for building the necessary base in the workplace and its electronic dissemination. Assist in the development and proliferation of additional vehicles of communication.

• Develop an information clearinghouse to gather and disseminate reports and updates on local struggles and developments.

• Support regional forums to assist activists in developing the arguments and organizational capacities to build the solidarity program at the base

• Facilitate national meetings through which local activists can assess the campaign and collectively strategize on further events and actions.

• Promote the development of the analytical tools required by union activists to successfully integrate this campaign with a workers’ struggle that is increasingly global in dimension.

This fight is winnable. The U.S. working class needs a victory and it needs this victory in particular. The one-sided class war against workers has gone on far too long. The defeat of the two tier system is a crucial step in the struggle to address broader inequalities in our society. It’s time to draw the line.

—Center for Labor Renewal/

—Future of the Union/

—Factory Rat/

—Soldiers of Solidarity



For 35 years, Jim Crow justice in Louisiana has kept Herman Wallace
and Albert Woodfox locked in solitary confinement for a crime
everyone knows they didn't commit.

Despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence, the "Angola 3",
spend 23 hours each day in a 6x9 cell on the site of a former
plantation. Prison officials - and the state officials who could
intervene - won't end the terrible sentence. They've locked them up
and thrown away the key because they challenged a system that deals an
uneven hand based on the color of one's skin and tortures those who
assert their humanity.

We can help turn things around by making it a political liability for
the authorities at Angola to continue the racist status quo, and by
forcing federal and state authorities to intervene. I've signed on
with to demand an investigation into this clear case
of unequal justice. Will you join us?

When spoke up about the Jena 6, it was about more
than helping six Black youth in a small town called Jena. It was about
standing up against a system of unequal justice that deals an uneven
hand based on the color of one's skin. That broken system is at work
again and is joining The Innocence Project and
Amnesty International to challenge it in the case of the Angola 3.

"Angola", sits on 18,000 acres of former plantation land in Louisiana
and is estimated to be one of the largest prisons in the United
States. Angola's history is telling: once considered one of the most
violent, racially segregated prison in America, almost a prisoner a
day was stabbed, shot or raped. Prisoners were often put in inhumane
extreme punishment camps for small infractions. The Angola 3 -
Herman, Albert and Robert - organized hunger and work strikes within
the prison in the 70's to protest continued segregation, corruption
and horrific abuse facing the largely Black prisoner population.

Shortly after they spoke out, the Angola 3 were convicted of murdering
a prison guard by an all-white jury. It is now clear that these men
were framed to silence their peaceful revolt against inhumane
treatment. Since then, they have spent every day for 35 years in 6x9
foot cells for a crime they didn't commit.

Herman and Albert are not saints. They are the first to admit they've
committed crimes. But, everyone agrees that their debts to society
for various robbery convictions were paid long ago.

NBC News/Dateline just aired a piece this week about the plight of the
Angola 3. And it's time to finally get some justice for Herman and
Albert. For far too long, court officials have stalled and refused to
review their cases. Evidence of prosecutorial misconduct and
constitutional violations have not swayed them.

It's now time for the Governor of Louisiana and the United States
Congress, which provides the funding for federal prisons like Angola,
to step in and say enough is enough. Please join us in calling for
Governor Bobby Jindal and your Congressperson to initiate an immediate
and full investigation into the case of the Angola 3.




1) Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation
March 23, 2008

2) 17-year-old dies after shock from police Taser gun
A 17-year-old died at Carolinas Medical Center Thursday after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shocked him with a Taser during a confrontation at a grocery store in northeast Charlotte.
"Around lunchtime, Turner had come home to eat and told his mom that he had stolen a couple of Hot Pockets from the store. A supervisor planned to get a district manager involved and he feared disciplinary action, she said.
She said she told him to go back to the store and face up to what happened."
Posted on Fri, Mar. 21, 2008

3) 17-Year-Old Killed by Taser Over Shoplifted Hot Pockets
By Pam Spaulding, Pandagon
Posted on March 23, 2008, Printed on March 24, 2008

4) Winter Soldiers Sound Off
Dahr Jamail
The Progressive
April 2008 Issue
Order /Beyond the Green Zone/ today!

5) Pain at the Pump and Beyond
March 25, 2008

6) Exxon Sets Profit Record: $40.6 Billion Last Year
February 2, 2008

7) Some Inhaled. Some Didn’t. One Ate It With Beans.
By Sewell Chan
March 25, 2008, 12:18 pm

8) Iraqi and U.S. Forces Battle Shiite Militia
March 26, 2008

9) Skipping Cereal and Eggs, and Packing on Pounds
March 25, 2008

10) Brain-damaged woman at center of Wal-Mart suit
By Randi Kaye


1) Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation
March 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — New government research has found “large and growing” disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the last two decades.

Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and this, in turn, has caused a widening gap.

One of the researchers, Gopal K. Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said “the growing inequalities in life expectancy” mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers.

The gaps have been increasing despite efforts by the federal government to reduce them. One of the top goals of “Healthy People 2010,” an official statement of national health objectives issued in 2000, is to “eliminate health disparities among different segments of the population,” including higher- and lower-income groups and people of different racial and ethnic background.

Dr. Singh said last week that federal officials had found “widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy” at birth and at every age level.

He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups of equal population size.

In 1980-82, Dr. Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years), and it continues to grow, he said.

After 20 years, the lowest socioeconomic group lagged further behind the most affluent, Dr. Singh said, noting that “life expectancy was higher for the most affluent in 1980 than for the most deprived group in 2000.”

“If you look at the extremes in 2000,” Dr. Singh said, “men in the most deprived counties had 10 years’ shorter life expectancy than women in the most affluent counties (71.5 years versus 81.3 years).” The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years (66.9 years vs. 81.1 years).

The Democratic candidates for president, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, have championed legislation to reduce such disparities, as have some Republicans, like Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

Peter R. Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office, said: “We have heard a lot about growing income inequality. There has been much less attention paid to growing inequality in life expectancy, which is really quite dramatic.”

Life expectancy is the average number of years of life remaining for people who have attained a given age.

While researchers do not agree on an explanation for the widening gap, they have suggested many reasons, including these:

¶Doctors can detect and treat many forms of cancer and heart disease because of advances in medical science and technology. People who are affluent and better educated are more likely to take advantage of these discoveries.

¶Smoking has declined more rapidly among people with greater education and income.

¶Lower-income people are more likely to live in unsafe neighborhoods, to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior and to eat unhealthy food.

¶Lower-income people are less likely to have health insurance, so they are less likely to receive checkups, screenings, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs and other types of care.

Even among people who have insurance, many studies have documented racial disparities.

In a recent report, the Department of Veterans Affairs found that black patients “tend to receive less aggressive medical care than whites” at its hospitals and clinics, in part because doctors provide them with less information and see them as “less appropriate candidates” for some types of surgery.

Some health economists contend that the disparities between rich and poor inevitably widen as doctors make gains in treating the major causes of death.

Nancy Krieger, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, rejected that idea. Professor Krieger investigated changes in the rate of premature mortality (dying before the age of 65) and infant death from 1960 to 2002. She found that inequities shrank from 1966 to 1980, but then widened.

“The recent trend of growing disparities in health status is not inevitable,” she said. “From 1966 to 1980, socioeconomic disparities declined in tandem with a decline in mortality rates.”

The creation of Medicaid and Medicare, community health centers, the “war on poverty” and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 all probably contributed to the earlier narrowing of health disparities, Professor Krieger said.

Robert E. Moffit, director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said one reason for the growing disparities might be “a very significant gap in health literacy” — what people know about diet, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Middle-class and upper-income people have greater access to the huge amounts of health information on the Internet, Mr. Moffit said.

Thomas P. Miller, a health economist at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed.

“People with more education tend to have a longer time horizon,” Mr. Miller said. “They are more likely to look at the long-term consequences of their health behavior. They are more assertive in seeking out treatments and more likely to adhere to treatment advice from physicians.”

A recent study by Ellen R. Meara, a health economist at Harvard Medical School, found that in the 1980s and 1990s, “virtually all gains in life expectancy occurred among highly educated groups.”

Trends in smoking explain a large part of the widening gap, she said in an article this month in the journal Health Affairs.

Under federal law, officials must publish an annual report tracking health disparities. In the fifth annual report, issued this month, the Bush administration said, “Over all, disparities in quality and access for minority groups and poor populations have not been reduced” since the first report, in 2003.

The rate of new AIDS cases is still 10 times as high among blacks as among whites, it said, and the proportion of black children hospitalized for asthma is almost four times the rate for white children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month that heart attack survivors with higher levels of education and income were much more likely to receive cardiac rehabilitation care, which lowers the risk of future heart problems. Likewise, it said, the odds of receiving tests for colon cancer increase with a person’s education and income.


2) 17-year-old dies after shock from police Taser gun
A 17-year-old died at Carolinas Medical Center Thursday after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shocked him with a Taser during a confrontation at a grocery store in northeast Charlotte.
"Around lunchtime, Turner had come home to eat and told his mom that he had stolen a couple of Hot Pockets from the store. A supervisor planned to get a district manager involved and he feared disciplinary action, she said.
She said she told him to go back to the store and face up to what happened."
Posted on Fri, Mar. 21, 2008

An autopsy will determine how Darryl Wayne Turner died.

Turner had worked as a cashier and bagged groceries at the Food Lion at 3024 Prosperity Church Road, where the incident happened.

Officers responded to a disturbance call at the grocery store about 1:15 p.m. When they arrived, they saw Turner throwing something at a store manager, according to a CMPD news release issued Thursday night. The release does not say what the object was, and a police spokeswoman could not be reached.

According to the release, Turner appeared to be agitated, refused all commands and advanced toward the police officer. The officer then used his Taser to get Turner under control, the release said.

The release does not say whether Turner was armed.

Turner's mother, Tammy Fontenot, said she couldn't see her son throwing something at someone during an argument.

"He had manners," she said. "But he did have a temper."

A preliminary check of N.C. criminal records did not turn up any criminal convictions for the teen.

Turner graduated from Crossroads Charter High School last year, his mother said. He had wanted to go to Central Piedmont Community College and be a personal trainer. He didn't have any health problems and had never been in trouble, she said.

Except on Thursday.

Around lunchtime, Turner had come home to eat and told his mom that he had stolen a couple of Hot Pockets from the store. A supervisor planned to get a district manager involved and he feared disciplinary action, she said.

She said she told him to go back to the store and face up to what happened.

It wasn't long after lunch she got a call from one of her son's co-workers, who told her about the incident, she said.

After Turner was hit, police called the Charlotte Fire Department and paramedics, department policy anytime an officer uses a Taser gun, the release said.

Homicide detectives are investigating Turner's death and will present their findings to the district attorney, the news release said.

The Police Department also will conduct its own investigation into the incident. A review board, made up of the officer's chain of command, internal affairs and a member of the city's community relations committee, will review evidence and interview witnesses to determine whether the officer followed all the department's policies, the news release said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have used Tasers or similar weapons since 2004 and said in their release that they have had no deaths associated with their use. Last year, officers used Tasers 138 times. Officers are to use them to prevent, whenever possible, the escalation to the use of deadly force.

Victoria Cherrie: 704-358-5062

-- Staff research Sara Klemmer contributed.


3) 17-Year-Old Killed by Taser Over Shoplifted Hot Pockets
By Pam Spaulding, Pandagon
Posted on March 23, 2008, Printed on March 24, 2008

More Taser insanity. The mounting incidents of violence being perpetrated by the inappropriate use of Tasers is unnerving. The stories from readers keep flooding into my inbox.

Here’s one from my state that will turn your stomach (h/t n8nyc and Virginia F.). Darryl Wayne Turner was a cashier and bagged groceries at a local Food Lion. He lifted a couple of Hot Pocket lunches and his mother told him to do the right thing — go back to the store and fess up. Then something went horribly wrong.

A 17-year-old died at Carolinas Medical Center Thursday after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shocked him with a Taser during a confrontation at a grocery store in northeast Charlotte.

…Around lunchtime, Turner had come home to eat and told his mom that he had stolen a couple of Hot Pockets from the store. A supervisor planned to get a district manager involved and he feared disciplinary action, she said.

She said she told him to go back to the store and face up to what happened.

It wasn’t long after lunch she got a call from one of her son’s co-workers, who told her about the incident, she said.

After Turner was hit, police called the Charlotte Fire Department and paramedics, department policy anytime an officer uses a Taser gun, the release said.

Homicide detectives are investigating Turner’s death and will present their findings to the district attorney, the news release said.

Turner had no criminal record and no health problems.

Not to be topped, read what happened in the case of a Matteson, IL man, who was on the wrong end of a Taser — he has been acquitted of assaulting an officer.

Read that, and see a video about the use of Tasers in Eugene, Oregon, after the jump.

(Southtown Star):

A Matteson man cleared by a jury Wednesday of assaulting a police officer plans to sue Posen police for what he alleges was a case of racially-motivated police brutality, his attorney said.

Julius Little, 44, was pepper-sprayed, bitten repeatedly by a police dog and shot with a Taser by police outside his mother’s home near the intersection of 145th Street and Richmond Ave. on June 22, 2006.

A Markham courthouse jury took little more than an hour to clear him of aggressively approaching Cpl. Bill Alexander, clenching his fists and threatening to punch him.

“The police were just trying to cover up for what they did to him,” juror Maud Powell told the SouthtownStar after the verdict was announced, “It was obvious from what the officers said in court that they were lying.”

During the two-day trial, Little testified that he was taking out the trash at his mother’s home when he saw police questioning his son.

When he asked the officers what was going on, he was told, “get your black ass out of here,” and then attacked by three white cops and a K-9 officer, he alleged.

…Several eyewitnesses corroborated Little’s account, contradicting the officers’ claims that Little was the aggressor, and the officers’ claims not to have used racially-charged language.

Take a look at this short doc, Tazing Eugene, about the adoption of Tasers by police officers in Eugene, Oregon. Nezua of The Unapologetic Mexican has the reaction on the street.


4) Winter Soldiers Sound Off
Dahr Jamail
The Progressive
April 2008 Issue
Order /Beyond the Green Zone/ today!

Jason Moon suffers from persistent insomnia as he wrestles with memories of his time in Iraq. “While on our initial convoy into Iraq in early June 2003, we were given a direct order that if any children or civilians got in front of the vehicles in our convoy, we were not to stop, we were not to slow down, we were to keep driving,” says the former National Guard and Army Reserve member. “In the event an insurgent attacked us from behind human shields, we were supposed to count. If there were thirty or less civilians we were allowed to fire into the area. If there were over thirty, we were supposed to take fire and send it up the chain of command. These were the rules of engagement. I don’t know about you, but if you are getting shot at from a crowd of people, how fast are you going to count, and how accurately?”

Moon is taking part in Winter Soldier. This is public testimony organized by the Iraq Veterans Against the War about the human consequences of failed U.S. policy in the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group takes its name from the Winter Soldier testimony by Vietnam Vets, including John Kerry, in 1971, which played a part in turning public opinion against that war.

“We’ve heard from the politicians, from the generals, from the media—now it’s our turn,” said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Dougherty, who served in Iraq in 2003 as a military police officer, said, “It’s not going to be easy to hear what we have to say. It’s not going to be easy for us to tell it. But we believe that the only way this war is going to end is if the American people truly understand what we have done in their name.”

When I was reporting from Iraq for eight months on and off between November 2003 and February 2005, Iraqis told me of atrocities U.S. soldiers were committing. The accounts now from soldiers themselves confirm an awful picture.

“An Iraqi was once selling soda out of a motorcycle to soldiers in a waiting convoy,” says Moon. “In the side-car was his seven-to-eight-year-old child. When the man refused to go away, the MP on patrol put him to the ground with a gun to his head and started stripping his vehicle and searching it. They then took the child, picked it up into the air, and threw it full force onto the ground. I didn’t see the child get up.”

Moon says soldiers devised cruel tricks to play on Iraqi kids. “Whenever we arrived in an area, we did so along with support vehicles with the radios, tractor trailers, bulldozers, and graters,” he says. “So we would park those in a circle with yellow police tape around. Iraqis had to stand outside that tape as we stood inside the tape, armed and ready. That was our little base of operations. Soldiers would place a $20 bill in the sand with a little bit showing and walk over to the other side of the vehicles and wait for a kid to charge under the tape to try to get the bill, which was equal to an average monthly salary there. If some kid was stupid enough to take the bait they would chase him, trying to hit him with the end of their bayonet or the butt of their rifle.”

Moon says his section sergeant would rally the troops every day in the motor pool with, “I hope I get to kill me a haji today. I hope I get to shoot somebody today.”

Moon tells me of a soldier in his tent who used to boast of swerving intentionally to hit the kids that rushed to pick up the food tossed by patrol members and to run over the food so the kids couldn't get it.

“It was a game,” Moon said. “When the soldier who had thrown the food asked him why he had done it he said, ‘Yeah, I want to hit one of them. I want to kill one of those kids.’ ”

Moon brought back a video that shows his sergeant declaring, “The difference between an insurgent and an Iraqi civilian is whether they are dead or alive.”

Moon explains the thinking: “If you kill a civilian he becomes an insurgent because you retroactively make that person a threat.”

Following a long family tradition, Cliff Hicks joined the military at seventeen in 2002 because “we had been attacked, so it seemed like the right time.”

He served from October 2003 to August 2004. He admits that he and other soldiers with him have been physically abusive towards Iraqi civilians.

“Hell yeah, that happened,” he says. “That was extremely common. My platoon leader, a lieutenant, broke the arm of an old man because he was being difficult.”

Hicks tells one story of how he himself beat up an Iraqi detainee.

“One night on a foot patrol in Baghdad, we found a thirty-year-old Iraqi who we were told had an attitude,” he says. “He acted like he wanted to fight with us, so we all jumped on him and beat the shit out of him. I zip-stripped him with plastic handcuffs behind his back, dragged him to a pole and tied him to it, guarding him while the rest of my platoon ran into his house to raid it. He was yelling and screaming and talking to the crowd. I’m eighteen years old and alone, guarding this guy in downtown Baghdad late at night. He’s talking to this massive crowd behind me. I couldn’t get him to shut I just beat the shit out of him. The whole time it freaked me out: He’s a prisoner, totally defenseless, you’re not supposed to beat up prisoners, but for all I knew this guy was telling his friends to kill me.”

Living under daily threat took a psychological toll. “Insane driving was even more common than beating people’s asses: 99 percent of the time you drive around in Iraq, and 99 percent of the way you get killed in Iraq is driving your vehicle into something that blows up,” Hicks says. “So you’re driving, scared to death, pissed off, you have a vehicle commander who’s looking at a map, yelling at a radio, being an asshole, and criticizing everything you do. He’s freaked out because he doesn’t want you to do anything stupid, and you don’t want to do anything stupid. Our tanks weigh seventy tons, our Humvees six tons, and we drove as fast as we possibly could.”

The temptation to misuse their powerful vehicles sometimes got the better of the soldiers. Iraqis “have these stands where they sell kebabs, motor oil, gas, and stuff, and one time we just got off the road and plowed through a whole row of these things,” he says. “We would just cruise through, make everybody run away. We would run over empty cars. I remember one time I saw a really shiny Mercedes. I asked my tank commander, ‘Sir, can I crush that car?’ He didn’t say yes, but he said, ‘I didn’t see anything.’ So I ran over the car.”

The language barrier also contributed to the abuse, Hicks says. “We didn’t have interpreters half the time when I was there,” he says. “We couldn’t communicate. They are not doing what you need them to do, so you freak out and beat the crap out of people all the time over there. It happened so much it’s not even worthy of note. People are just constantly getting their asses kicked over there, for no reason.”

What’s going on in Iraq seems to reflect what the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton calls “atrocity-producing situations.” He used this term first in his book The Nazi Doctors. In 2004, he wrote an article for The Nation applying his insights to the Iraq War and
occupation. “Atrocity-producing situations,” he wrote, occur when a power structure sets up an environment where “ordinary people, men or women no better or worse than you or I, can regularly commit atrocities....This kind of atrocity-producing situation...surely occurs to some degrees in all wars, including World War II, our last ‘good war.’ But a counterinsurgency war in a hostile setting, especially when driven by profound ideological distortions, is particularly prone to sustained atrocity-all the more so when it becomes an occupation.”

Moon and Hicks testify to that. Their stories were vetted by Iraq Veterans Against the War, and the dates they served, and the units they served with, all checked out. While their service in Iraq was several years ago, other accounts from soldiers who have been there more recently bear out their experiences.

Hicks confirms reports of illegal detention of innocent Iraqis and willful destruction of their property. “You drive around Baghdad and most of these houses don’t have numbers, none of the streets are named, all the houses and streets look the same, and the interpreters, half the time they don’t even know where the hell they are,” he says. “So we’re always raiding the wrong house but you still have to bring in some prisoners. You can’t come back without prisoners. So we just rounded up any fighting-aged male we could find.”

One particular incident stands out in Hicks’s mind. “There was a tall apartment complex, the only spot from where people could see over our perimeter,” he recalls. “There would be laundry hanging off the balconies, and people hanging out on the roof for fresh air. The place was full of kids and families. On rare occasions, a fighter would get atop the building and shoot at our passing vehicles. They never really hit anybody. We just knew to be careful when we were over by that part of the wall, and nobody did shit about it until one day a lieutenant colonel was driving down and they shot at his vehicle and he got scared. So he jumped through a bunch of hoops and cut through some red tape and got a C-130 to come out the next night and all but leveled the place. Earlier that evening when I was returning from a patrol the apartment had been packed full of people.”

Looking back on his time in Iraq, Hicks sees a hopeless situation. “You go out on your first mission and all the Iraqis think you’re a loser, they ignore you, or flip you off, or draw their finger across their throat, yelling obscenities,” he says. “Even though some were nice to us, you quickly lose any trust in them, and you lump them all together. The only way you can stay safe is to assume that outside the wire everybody wants to kill you. You don’t want to be there. And it comes down to, ‘Well fuck, I hate being here and I can’t go home…So I wake up every fucking day and I think, ‘The only reason I’m here is because you fucking people are forcing me to be here. I hate you fucking people, and you hate me, and that’s just how it is.’ And once you get to that place, it’s over.”


5) Pain at the Pump and Beyond
March 25, 2008

The surge in the price of energy couldn’t come at a worse time. The average price nationally of regular gasoline has shot up to a record $3.28 a gallon. Combine that with the collapse of the housing market and the seizing financial sector, and it is putting a boot to the gut of an economy that is either already in a recession or close to one.

The Bush administration can’t be entirely blamed for the pain at the gas pump. But its shortsighted energy policies — zealously focused on increasing the energy supply, with little attention paid to conservation and greater fuel-efficiency — means the country is far too dependent on oil that is both ruinously expensive and ruinous for the environment.

There are several reasons for oil’s dizzying price spiral. Soaring demand in fast-growing developing countries like China and India means there is little oil to spare. The turmoil in financial markets — the White House can take a good chunk of the blame for that — has driven prices even higher, as investors have bought oil and other commodities as stocks and the dollar plunge.

Meanwhile, President Bush’s strategy for ensuring that the nation’s energy security is focused on one thing: getting more oil by drilling in the Arctic and sending Vice President Dick Cheney to ask his Saudi friends to pump more. Neither could ever produce enough.

Not everyone is unhappy with oil at $100-plus a barrel. Authoritarian governments in Iran, Venezuela, Sudan and Russia are pocketing the profits and enjoying the political impunity that comes with such riches.

At home, the news is bad and getting worse. Consumer prices rose more than 4 percent in the past year, largely because of rising energy costs. Americans have started to reduce spending on other consumer goods, which is weakening the economy. The risk of inflation leaves the Federal Reserve with less room to maneuver.

If any good can come out of this mess, it would be an understanding — by corporations, consumers and government — that the era of cheap oil is truly over. With that, the country could finally focus on developing clean alternative energy sources and reducing oil consumption, a strategy that has served other countries well.

Take cars. Until last December, Republican and Democratic administrations had refused to raise fuel-efficiency standards for 30 years. And raising the puny gasoline tax remains a political nonstarter. By contrast, in Britain, gas at the pump costs around $7.70 a gallon, of which about $4.90 are taxes. In France, taxes account for about $4.60 of the retail price of $7.50 a gallon. Unsurprisingly, their cars get much better gas mileage than the guzzlers still popular in the United States.

Higher taxes on energy mean other rich countries are more energy-efficient across the board. The average German or Japanese uses little more than half the energy consumed by an average American. In Germany and Japan, per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide spewed by cars, power plants and other sources of energy are half those in the United States. In France, they are a third.

Americans are beginning to curb consumption. Gasoline demand declined in the first 11 weeks of the year for the first time since 1997. But it is far too little, and government policy is lagging far behind the problem.

The landmark energy bill passed in December tightened fuel standards for the first time since 1975 — demanding a 40 percent increase in cars’ and light trucks’ average fuel-efficiency by 2020. Still, the Department of Energy estimates that by 2022, the new standards would have reduced gasoline consumption by about only two million barrels a day, which amounts to a 17 percent cut in projected gasoline consumption.

A lot more needs to be done to prepare the American economy for a world of scarcer, more expensive energy. To start, the nation has to replace the oilmen in the White House with leaders who have a better grasp of the economics of energy and the interests of all Americans.


6) Exxon Sets Profit Record: $40.6 Billion Last Year
February 2, 2008

By any measure, Exxon Mobil’s performance last year was a blowout.

The company reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent, to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries.

Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.

The company also had its most profitable quarter ever. It said net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the last three months of the year. The company handily beat analysts’ expectations of $1.95 a share, after missing targets in the last two quarters.

Like most oil companies, Exxon benefited from a near doubling of oil prices, as well as higher demand for gasoline last year. Crude oil prices rose from a low of around $50 a barrel in early 2007 to almost $100 by the end of the year — the biggest jump in oil prices in any one year.

“Exxon sets the gold standard for the industry,” said Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Company in New York.

Oil companies have all reported strong profits in recent days. Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, said Friday that its profits rose 9 percent last year, to $18.7 billion; Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported net income for 2007 of $31 billion, up 23 percent and the largest figure ever for a British company.

The backlash against the oil industry, which has periodically intensified as gasoline prices have risen in recent years, was predictably swift on Friday.

One advocacy group, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, called the profits “unjustifiable.” Some politicians said Congress should rescind the tax breaks awarded two years ago to encourage oil companies to increase their investments in the United States and raise domestic production.

“Congratulations to Exxon Mobil and Chevron — for reminding Americans why they cringe every time they pull into a gas station,” said Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York.

Exxon vigorously defended itself against claims it was responsible for the rise in oil prices. Anticipating a reaction, Exxon has been running advertisements that highlight the size of the investments it makes to find and develop energy resources — more than $80 billion from 2002 to 2006, with an additional $20 billion planned for 2008. The company says that in the next two decades, energy demand is expected to grow by 40 percent.

“Our earnings reflect the size of our business,” Kenneth P. Cohen, Exxon’s vice president for public affairs, said on a conference call with journalists. “We hope people will focus on the reality of the challenge we are facing.”

Given the darkening prospects for the American economy, which may be headed toward a recession, some analysts said oil company profits might soon reach a peak. Oil prices could fall this year if an economic slowdown reduces energy consumption in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Such concerns have pushed oil futures prices down about 10 percent since the beginning of the year. Oil fell 3 percent, to $88.96 a barrel, on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Exxon shares fell a half-percent, to $85.95.

Some analysts said high oil prices, and the record profits they create, were masking growing difficulties at many of the major Western oil giants. Faced with resurgent national oil companies — like PetroChina, Petrobras in Brazil, or Gazprom in Russia — the Western companies are having a hard time increasing production and renewing reserves.

As oil prices increase, countries like Russia and Venezuela have tightened the screws on foreign investors in recent years, limiting access to energy resources or demanding a bigger share of the oil revenue. At the same time, many of the traditional production regions, like the North Sea and Alaska, are slowly drying up.

Western majors, which once dominated the global energy business, now control only about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Last year, PetroChina overtook Exxon as the world’s largest publicly traded oil company.

Recently, a quarrel over a major new field in Kazakhstan was resolved after an international consortium, which included Exxon, allowed the Kazakh national oil company to double its stake in the multibillion-dollar venture. In Venezuela, Conoco pulled out of a large heavy oil project last summer after failing to agree on new and much more restrictive terms with the government of President Hugo Chávez. Exxon has filed for arbitration in a similar case.

Speaking at an industry conference last month, Tim Cejka, the president of Exxon’s exploration business, acknowledged that access to oil fields was becoming increasingly challenging. But he said that the global oil industry has been through similar periods of restricted access.

“Access comes in cycles,” Mr. Cejka said, “and I have got to admit, it’s tough right now.”

Excluding acquisitions, Exxon was the only major international oil company with a reserve replacement rate exceeding 100 percent from 2004 to 2006, meaning it found more than one barrel for each barrel it produced, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service, the rating agency. Exxon said it would release its reserve replacement figures this month.

Exxon increased its hydrocarbon production in the fourth quarter by 1 percent, thanks to growing natural gas output from projects in Qatar. Natural gas production rose 12 percent in the fourth quarter, to 10.4 billion cubic feet a day. Oil production fell by 6 percent in the last quarter, to 2.5 million barrels a day. Because of the structure of some of its production-sharing contracts in Africa, Exxon is entitled to fewer oil barrels as prices rise.

Exxon also spent $35.6 billion for share buybacks and dividends last year, $3 billion more than in 2006.

The OPEC cartel, which was meeting in Vienna on Friday, left its production levels unchanged, resisting pressure from developing nations to pump more oil into the global economy.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet again next month, and the cartel signaled it would be ready to cut production then to make up for a seasonal slowdown in demand in the second quarter. OPEC’s actions mean the cartel is determined to keep prices from falling below $80 a barrel, according to energy experts.

OPEC said in a statement that the uncertainties in the global economy required “vigilant attention to their impact on key market fundamentals.”


7) Some Inhaled. Some Didn’t. One Ate It With Beans.
By Sewell Chan
March 25, 2008, 12:18 pm

When Gov. David A. Paterson told NY1 News on Monday that he had used marijuana and cocaine as a young man, he was joining a list of New York politicians who have answered such questions in recent years. Here is a guide to what they (and a few national figures) have said.

Name and Details of Drug Use, if Any

Michael R. Bloomberg
Asked during the 2001 mayoral campaign by New York magazine if he had ever used marijuana, said: ‘’You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.'’ Later said he regretted those remarks.

George W. Bush
Acknowledged in 1994 run for governor of Texas that he had abused alcohol, and decided to quit drinking when he turned 40. As candidate for president in 2000, refused to answer directly whether he had used marijuana, cocaine or other illegal drugs, but said that he could have passed a 15-year F.B.I. background check when his father became president — apparently ruling out drug use since 1974. As president, appeared to acknowledge past marijuana use in conversations with a family friend, Doug Wead. Aides have denied specific allegations of other drug use in a 2004 biography by Kitty Kelley.

Bill Clinton
As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in the late 1960s, tried marijuana. “I’ve never broken a state law,” he said. “But when I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale it, and never tried it again.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton
When running for Senate in 2000, said she had never used marijuana or cocaine.

Andrew M. Cuomo
As Democratic candidate for New York attorney general in 2002, said, “I have tried marijuana in my youth,” but refused to say whether he had enjoyed it.

Rudolph W. Giuliani
As mayor, expounded from a City Hall lectern about why he had not tried marijuana or cocaine. Later said he regretted even answering reporters’ questions about personal drug use, saying, “It’s none of their business.”

Al Gore
As Democratic senator from Tennessee, disclosed in 1987, when the Supreme Court appointment of Douglas H. Ginsburg was scuttled over the judge’s past marijuana use, that he had used marijuana in his youth.

John Kerry, John Edwards and Howard Dean
All admitted, in succession at a Democratic presidential debate in 2003, to having used marijuana in the past. The Rev. Al Sharpton and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman said they had not.

John McCain
As candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1999, was asked if he had ever tried marijuana and replied: ‘’No. Also remember my age: 63.'’ (Mr. McCain is now 71.) Explained at the time that drug use did not escalate among troops in Vietnam until after he had been taken prisoner.

Barack Obama
In his 1995 memoir, wrote that he indulged in marijuana, alcohol and sometimes cocaine as a high school student in Hawaii. But his account significantly differed from the recollections of others who did not recall his drug use.

George E. Pataki
In his autobiography, the Republican governor wrote that he experimented with marijuana when a law school friend at Columbia University cooked it into a pot of baked beans.

Charles E. Schumer
Said that as a college student at Harvard (where he graduated in 1971), never used marijuana. “It was illegal,” the Democratic senator explained.

Eliot Spitzer
In 2006 gubernatorial debate, admitted he had used marijuana in the past, as did his rival for the Democratic nomination, Thomas R. Suozzi. Friends reported that in his final months as governor, he began drinking more than his usual nightly glass of scotch.


8) Iraqi and U.S. Forces Battle Shiite Militia
March 26, 2008

BAGHDAD — Heavy fighting broke out Tuesday in Basra and Baghdad, after Iraqi ground forces and helicopters mounted a major operation in Basra against Shiite militias, including the Mahdi Army, whose months-long cease-fire is credited with reducing the level of violence during the troop surge. There were also serious clashes in the southern cities of Kut and Hilla.

In Basra, Iraq’s most important oil-exporting center, thousands of Iraqi government soldiers and police moved into the city around 5 a.m. and engaged in pitched battles with Shiite militia members that have taken over big swathes of that city.

What appeared to be American or British jets also soared through the skies, witnesses said, providing air support. The operation, which senior Iraqi officials had been signaling for weeks, is considered so important by the Iraqi government that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who went to Basra on Monday, intended to personally direct the fighting, several Iraqi officials said.

“The prime minister is keen to be on the ground near the operation, dealing closely with the issue rather than dealing with it through reports,” said Sadiq al-Rikabi, the prime minister’s political adviser.

Mr. Rikabi and other Iraqi officials said they did not know whether or how the unrest in Baghdad was related to the crackdown in Basra. Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who commands the Mahdi Army and initially called for a suspension of his militia’s activities in August, called on Monday called for a nationwide civil disobedience campaign, beginning in Baghdad, in response to what his followers say is an unwarranted crackdown.

The scale and intensity of the clashes in Baghdad kept many residents home. Schools and shops were closed in many neighborhoods and hundreds of checkpoints appeared, government-controlled in some neighborhoods and militia-run in others. Barrages of mortars and rockets pounded the fortified Green Zone area for the second time in three days.

Sadr City, the Baghdad neighborhood that is the center of the Mahdi Army’s power, was sealed off by a double-cordon of troops, some Iraqi, and others said to be American. A photographer who was able to get through the cordon found more layers of checkpoints, each one manned by about two dozen heavily armed Mahdi Army fighters clad in tracksuits and T-shirts. Tires burned in the city center, gunfire echoed against the shuttered stores and teams of fighters in pick-up trucks moved about brandishing machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket propelled grenades.

“We are doing this in reaction to the unprovoked military operations against the Mahdi Army,” said a Mahdi commander who identified himself as Abu Mortada. “The U.S., the Iraqi government and SCIRI are against us,” he said, referring to a rival Shia group. “They are trying to finish us. They want power for the Iraqi government and SCIRI.” But Basra has been riven by violent power struggles among the Mahdi Army and local Shiite rivals, such as one controlled by the Fadhila political party. In the weeks leading up to the operation, Iraqi officials indicated that part of the operation would be aimed at the Fadhila groups, who are widely believed to be in control of Basra’s lucrative port operations and other parts of the city.

Tuesday’s violence raised fears across Iraq that the cease-fire declared by Mr. Sadr was in danger of collapsing, erasing the security gains of the past six months. Officials from Mr. Sadr’s party said that while the cease-fire was still in effect, the crackdown on Shiite militias had made it more and more difficult to keep Mahdi commanders from fighting. Some of those commanders appealed to an edict by Mr. Sadr saying that if they were attacked, their militias had the right of self-defense.

At a checkpoint in downtown Baghdad, a policeman’s radio crackled the news of the sniper shooting of police officer in a nearby neighborhood. “We’ve heard that Sadr has canceled the cease-fire, is this true?” he asked motorists whose car he was searching.

Witnesses in Basra said that throughout the day, jets flew overhead as armored vehicles raced through the city and machine gun and canon fire reverberated through the streets. Civilians took refuge in their homes. Iraqi television showed images of civilian gunmen with rocket propelled grenade launchers taking up positions and ambulances ferrying the wounded to hospitals.

In Baghdad, the mood was tense and some areas were deserted as clashes broke out across the city. In downtown Baghdad, checkpoints blocked sparse traffic every 100 yards.

Saeed Ammar, a government employee, said that he was standing near policemen in the Huriya neighborhood this morning when he was approached by Mahdi Army members. “They told me not to stand near checkpoints. They said, ‘We are waiting for the word from Moktada al-Sadr to attack the checkpoints — it may come at any moment.’”

Despite the armed actions by many Sadr followers, members of his party said that the cease-fire was still in effect and said called for peaceful civil disobedience. In Najaf, hundreds of followers carrying Qurans and olive branches mounted a sit-in, chanting, “No to occupation, no to terrorism.”

Sadr officials said they were angry at the government’s offensive.

“We tried our best to open dialogue with the government and the security forces but they did not cooperate with us because they believe the dialogue language is over with the Mahdi Army,” said Hassan al-Rubaie, a member of parliament from Sadr’s block. “We’ll keep trying to solve everything by negotiations and political agreements to stop targeting Sadrists. But if they are going to keep targeting us like this, we’ll know how to respond.”

Sahar Gani, a teacher, was taking schoolchildren home along a nearly deserted Baghdad sidewalk. “The security situation is getting worse day by day,” she said. “The city is getting very bad now. We’ve been through this before, so we find it natural. But we don’t know what to do.”

Contributing reporting were Joao Silva, Anwar J. Ali , and Hosham Hussein from Baghdad, and employees of The New York Times from Baghdad, Basra, Hilla, Diwaniya and Kut


9) Skipping Cereal and Eggs, and Packing on Pounds
March 25, 2008

Researchers have found evidence that Mom was right: breakfast may really be the most important meal of all. A new study reports that the more often adolescents eat breakfast, the less likely they are to be overweight.

The researchers examined the eating and exercise habits of 1,007 boys and 1,215 girls, with an average age of 15 at the start of the five-year study — a racially and economically diverse sample from public schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The authors found a direct relationship between eating breakfast and body mass index; the more often an adolescent had breakfast, the lower the B.M.I. And whether they looked at the data at a given point or analyzed changes over time, that relationship persisted.

Why eating breakfast should lead to fewer unwanted pounds is unclear, but the study found that breakfast eaters consumed greater amounts of carbohydrates and fiber, got fewer calories from fat and exercised more. Consumption of fiber-rich foods may improve glucose and insulin levels, making people feel satisfied and less likely to eat more later in the day.

“Food consumption at breakfast does seem to influence activity,” said Donna Spruijt-Metz, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the study. “Maybe kids eating breakfast get less refined foods and more that contain fiber. The influence of that on metabolism and behavior is something we’re still trying to sort out in my lab.”

For the study, which appears in the March issue of Pediatrics, the researchers recorded food intake using a well-established food frequency questionnaire and added specific questions about how often the teenagers ate breakfast.

They also included questions to determine the behavioral and social forces that might affect eating. For example, they asked whether the teenagers were concerned about their weight, whether they skipped meals to lose weight, whether they had ever been teased about their weight and how often they had dieted during the last year. They were also asked how much exercise they were getting.

About half the teenagers ate breakfast intermittently, but girls were more likely to skip breakfast consistently and boys more likely to eat it every day. Girls who consistently ate breakfast had an overall diet higher in cholesterol, fiber and total calories than those who skipped the meal; the boys who were consistent consumed more calories, more carbohydrates and fiber, and less saturated fat than their breakfast-skipping peers.

At the start of the study, consistent breakfast eaters had an average body mass index of 21.7, intermittent eaters 22.5, and those who never had breakfast 23.4. Over the next five years, B.M.I. increased in exactly the same pattern. The relationship persisted even after controlling for age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, smoking and concerns about diet and weight.

The authors acknowledge that the study depends on self-reports of weight and eating habits, which are not always reliable, and that even though they controlled for many variables, the study was observational, showing only an association between breakfast eating habits and body mass, not a causal relationship.

Still, Mark A. Pereira, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, said that eating a healthy breakfast would “promote healthy eating throughout the day and might help to prevent situations where you’re grabbing fast food or vending machine food.”

Dr. Pereira added that parents could begin to set a good example by sitting down to breakfast themselves. “The whole family structure is involved here,” he said.


10) Brain-damaged woman at center of Wal-Mart suit
By Randi Kaye

JACKSON, Missouri (CNN) -- Debbie Shank breaks down in tears every time she's told that her 18-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed in Iraq.

The 52-year-old mother of three attended her son's funeral, but she continues to ask how he's doing. When her family reminds her that he's dead, she weeps as if hearing the news for the first time.

Shank suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident nearly eight years ago that robbed her of much of her short-term memory and left her in a wheelchair and living in a nursing home.

It was the beginning of a series of battles -- both personal and legal -- that loomed for Shank and her family. One of their biggest was with Wal-Mart's health plan.

Eight years ago, Shank was stocking shelves for the retail giant and signed up for Wal-Mart's health and benefits plan.

Two years after the accident, Shank and her husband, Jim, were awarded about $1 million in a lawsuit against the trucking company involved in the crash. After legal fees were paid, $417,000 was placed in a trust to pay for Debbie Shank's long-term care.

Wal-Mart had paid out about $470,000 for Shank's medical expenses and later sued for the same amount. However, the court ruled it can only recoup what is left in the family's trust.

The Shanks didn't notice in the fine print of Wal-Mart's health plan policy that the company has the right to recoup medical expenses if an employee collects damages in a lawsuit.

The family's attorney, Maurice Graham, said he informed Wal-Mart about the settlement and believed the Shanks would be allowed to keep the money.

"We assumed after three years, they [Wal-Mart] had made a decision to let Debbie Shank use this money for what it was intended to," Graham said.

The Shanks lost their suit to Wal-Mart. Last summer, the couple appealed the ruling -- but also lost it. One week later, their son was killed in Iraq.

"They are quite within their rights. But I just wonder if they need it that bad," Jim Shank said.

In 2007, the retail giant reported net sales in the third quarter of $90 billion.

Legal or not, CNN asked Wal-Mart why the company pursued the money.

Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley, who called Debbie Shank's case "unbelievably sad," replied in a statement: "Wal-Mart's plan is bound by very specific rules. ... We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank's case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and benefit from, the plan."

Jim Shank said he believes Wal-Mart should make an exception.

"My idea of a win-win is -- you keep the paperwork that says you won and let us keep the money so I can take care of my wife," he said.

The family's situation is so dire that last year Jim Shank divorced Debbie, so she could receive more money from Medicaid.

Jim Shank, 54, is recovering from prostate cancer, works two jobs and struggles to pay the bills. He's afraid he won't be able to send their youngest son to college and pay for his and Debbie's care.

"Who needs the money more? A disabled lady in a wheelchair with no future, whatsoever, or does Wal-Mart need $90 billion, plus $200,000?" he asked.

The family's attorney agrees.

"The recovery that Debbie Shank made was recovery for future lost earnings, for her pain and suffering," Graham said.

"She'll never be able to work again. Never have a relationship with her husband or children again. The damage she recovered was for much more than just medical expenses."

Graham said he believes Wal-Mart should be entitled to only about $100,000. Right now, about $277,000 remains in the trust -- far short of the $470,000 Wal-Mart wants back.

Refusing to give up the fight, the Shanks appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But just last week, the high court said it would not hear the case.

Graham said the Shanks have exhausted all their resources and there's nothing more they can do but go on with their lives.

Jim Shank said he's disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case -- not for the sake of his family -- but for those who might face similar circumstances.

For now, he said the family will figure out a way to get by and "do the best we can for Debbie."

"Luckily, she's oblivious to everything," he said. "We don't tell her
what's going on because it will just upset her."




North Carolina: Ministers Say Police Destroyed Records
National Briefing | South
Three ministers accused a Greensboro police officer of ordering officers to destroy about 50 boxes of police files related to the fatal shooting of five people at an anti-Ku Klux Klan rally in 1979. The Revs. Cardes Brown, Gregory Headen and Nelson Johnson said an active-duty officer told them he and at least three other officers were told to destroy the records in 2004 or 2005, shortly after a seven-member panel that had been convened to research the shootings requested police files related to them. The ministers did not identify the officer who provided the information. On Nov. 3, 1979, a heavily armed caravan of Klansman and Nazi Party members confronted the rally. Five marchers were killed and 10 were injured. Those charged were later acquitted in state and federal trials. The city and some Klan members were found liable for the deaths in civil litigation.
February 27, 2008

Gaza: Israeli Army Clears Itself in 21 Deaths
World Briefing | Middle East
The army said no legal action would be taken against military officials over an artillery strike in Beit Hanun in 2006 in which an errant shell hit residential buildings and killed 21 Palestinian civilians. An army investigation concluded that the shell was fired based on information that militants were intending to fire rockets from the area, an army statement said. The civilian deaths, it said, were “directly due to a rare and severe failure” in the artillery control system. The army’s military advocate general concluded that there was no need for further investigation.
February 27, 2008

World Briefing | Asia
Taiwan: Tons of Fish Wash Up on Beaches
About 45 tons of fish have washed up dead along 200 miles of beach on the outlying Penghu Islands after an unusual cold snap. News reports said 10 times as many dead fish were still in the water.
February 23, 2008

Zimbabwe: Inflation Breaks the Six-Figure Mark
World Briefing | Africa
The government’s statistics office said the inflation rate surged to a new record of 100,580 percent in January, up from 66,212 percent in December. Rangarirai Mberi, news editor of the independent Financial Gazette in Harare, said the state of the economy would feature prominently in next month’s presidential and parliamentary elections. “Numbers no longer shock people,” he said. Zimbabweans have learned to live in a hyperinflationary environment, he added, “but the question is, how long can this continue?”
February 21, 2008




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,]


"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]


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]


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])

SHOP: Articles at">


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