Saturday, September 27, 2008



Witness Against War
Kathy Kelly and Activist Poet, David Smith-Ferri

Tuesday, September 30. 7-9 pm, Room 831
City College of San Francisco,
4th and Mission Street

Saturday, September 27, 7-9 pm
Friends Church
Sacramento at Cedar, Berkeley

$5-15 (sliding scale) donation requested but no one turned away for lack of funds.
(510) 263-5303 or (San Francisco)
(510) 527-8370 or (Berkeley)


The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal presents
J. Patrick O'Connor author of the new book, “The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal”

J. Patrick O'Connor is the editor & publisher of Crime Magazine. He was a reporter and Bureau Manager for United Press International, editor of Cincinnati Magazine, associate editor of TV Guide & editor/publisher of the Kansas City New Times.
San Francisco: Friday, Oct. 3
5:30 - 7:15 pm, Golden Gate Law School
536 Mission St.
(between 1st and 2nd Street), San Francisco, Room 3214, $10.
Oakland: Saturday, October 4, 2-5 pm.
Special reception/luncheon at the home of Jeff Mackler with Patrick O'Connor and friends, Lynne Stewart, Barbara Lubin and KPFA's Walter Turner, Kris Welsh & Nora Barrows Friedman. Call: 510-268-9429 to attend. $15.00

“Patrick O'Conner's new book, ‘The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal’ is based on a meticulous review of 12,000 pages of court transcripts, legal briefs, police records and an exhaustive examination of the constitutional violations perpetrated by America's criminal “justice” system. His evidence makes a powerful case that Mumia Abu-Jamal should be granted a new trial, and having been cruelly kept on death row for 26 years, he should be immediately freed.” --Howard Zinn, author, “People's History of the United States.”

Patrick O'Connor Bay Area Tour Schedule
--Fri., Oct. 3: 5:30 pm, Golden Gate Law School, SF (See above)
--Fri., Oct. 3: 7:30 pm: Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave, Oak. (bet. Alcatraz & 66th St.)
Sponsor: Labor Action Comm. to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
--Sat., Oct. 4, 2-5 pm: Special reception/luncheon at the home of Jeff Mackler and Carol Kummer, (See above)
--Sun., Oct. 5: 4-6 pm: College of Marin/Kentfield: Patrick O'Connor with Lynne Stewart: Call 510-268-9429 for room & details.
--Mon., Oct. 6, 1pm, Stanford University Radio; Noon, Stanford Law School (tentative)
--Tues., Oct. 7: 12 Noon, Golden Gate Law School, 536 Mission, SF (bet. 1st & 2nd Sts., Rm. 3216
--Tues., Oct. 7: 7 pm SHARP, Community Media Center, 900 San Antonio Rd (near Charleston), Palo Alto. This will be a live TV program followed by Q&A & reception sponsored by the Peninsula & Justice Center
--Wed., Oct. 8, 7:30 pm, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, 467 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa
Sponsor: The Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal,,, 510-268-9429, P.O. Box 10328, Oakland, CA 94610


From: Radical Women, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Contact: Anne Slater: office 206-722-6057; cell 206-708-5161; home 206-722-3812


Radical Women Conference Aims to Expand and Embolden Feminist Movement
October 2 - 6
Women's Building
3543 18th Street,in the Mission District, near the 16th Street BART stop.
Wheelchair accessible.
Registration is $15 per day; students and low income $7.50 per day.
Register at
For more information, phone 206-722-6057.

Radical Women Conference Aims to Expand and Embolden Feminist Movement

Optimistic rebels from all walks of life are invited to participate in a national Radical Women conference, "The Persistent Power of Socialist Feminism," to be held at the San Francisco Women's Building, October 3-6, 2008. The major goal of the four-day public event is to produce a concrete education and action plan to focus and strengthen the feminist movement. Speakers include activists and scholars from Central America, China, Australia and the U.S.

Highlights on Friday, Oct. 2 include a 9:30am keynote address by Nellie Wong on "Women and revolution--alive and inseparable." Wong is an acclaimed Chinese-American poet, whose works include Stolen Moments, the Death of Long Steam Lady, and Dreams in Harrison Railroad Park. A former Senior Analyst of Affirmative Action, she is also a founding member of Unbound Feet, an Asian American writers group. Afterwards, Laura Mannen will present proposals and spearhead a discussion on how to build a strong, independent, grassroots U.S. feminist movement. Mannen is a bilingual teacher, mother of two and seasoned antiwar organizer from Portland, Oregon. The afternoon will feature a roundtable of female unionists on "Standing our ground on labor's frontlines."

At 7:30pm Friday evening Lynne Stewart will address "Radical dissent: The righteous response to an unjust system." Stewart, embattled human rights attorney, was convicted in 2005 of providing support for terrorism by delivering a handwritten press release to Reuters from a client. Though prosecutors sought a 30-year prison term, Stewart was sentenced to serve 28 months. The shorter sentence, the judge said, was in recognition of her "service to the nation" as a representative of the poor and unpopular. The government is appealing her shorter sentence. Stewart is appealing the conviction.

"Magnificent warriors: female leadership in the global freedom struggle," a panel presentation on Saturday, October 4 at 9:00am, will include Debbie Brennan, workplace delegate for the Australian Services Union and Melbourne RW president; Dr. Raya Fidel, an Israeli-American feminist and supporter of Palestinian rights; Patricia Ramos, a Costa Rican labor lawyer and leading organizer against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); and Wang Zheng, a University of Michigan Women's Studies professor and co-chair of the U.S. based Chinese Society for Women's Studies.

Christina López, Chicana-Apache advocate for reproductive justice and frontrunner in the battle for rights for undocumented workers, will present her paper "Estamos en la lucha: Immigrant women light the fires of resistance" at 11:30am.

Interactive workshops in the afternoon include Challenging the Minutemen; ABCs of Marxist feminism; Women's stake in the struggle for union democracy; Federally funded childcare NOW; End the war on women--in Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S.; On the barricades for reproductive justice; Confronting movement sexism; Free trade is a feminist issue; and Young queer radical--what are we fighting for?

Sunday, Oct. 5 begins at 9:00am with a panel on "The galvanizing impact of multiracial organizing in a society divided by racism." Sharing first-hand experiences will be author Christina López of Seattle, reproductive rights activist Toni Mendicino of San Francisco, and campus organizer Emily Woo Yamasaki of New York City.

The remainder of Sunday will be devoted to issues and skills workshops. Topics include Power to the poor!; Radical campus organizing; For affirmative action not "civil wrongs"; Alternative feminist radio; Radical youth and rebel elders; Disabled rights activists on RX for toxic healthcare. There will also be sessions on getting media attention, confident speaking and writing, knowing your rights as a worker, and producing effective fliers and banners.

The conference concludes on Monday, Oct 6, 10:00am with a National Organizer's report and action plan presented by Anne Slater, veteran campaigner for queer rights, the environment and women's equality.

All sessions will be held at the Women's Building, 3543 18th St., in the Mission District, near the 16th Street BART stop. Wheelchair accessible. Registration is $15 per day; students and low income $7.50 per day. Register at For more information, phone 206-722-6057.


Keep Military Recruiters OUT of our Schools!





It was on October 11, 2002 that a bi-partisan Congress approved the “Iraq War Resolution” granting the Bush administration authorization to invade Iraq. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2008--exactly six years after Congress unleashed the dogs of war on Iraq--we will be launching a campaign to label San Francisco an antiwar city again this November, 2008.

In 2004 we voted Yes on N to bring the troops home from Iraq Now; in 2005 we voted Yes on I, College Not Combat, to get military recruiters out of our schools; this year we will vote NO on V, to get the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) military training and recruitment program out of our schools.


Proposition V, is a pro-JROTC, pro-military training and recruitment program that is currently being phased out of our schools. Proposition V--a non-binding initiative designed to put pressure on the Board of Education to keep the program in the schools--has been put on the ballot with the financial contributions of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Party among many other pro-war contributors with big bucks!



We will assemble at 11:00 A.M. At 24th and Mission Street where flyers and posters for NO on V will be available for city-wide distribution. We will fan out across the city to distribute the material and talk with our fellow neighbors in the streets about how important it is to defeat Proposition V. And we will keep this campaign going each week until election day.


The issues surrounding Proposition V have been made less clear by the lies their campaign is telling about the program, i.e., that JROTC does not recruit students to the military, that it teaches leadership skills, that it keeps children from gang activity and that students should have a "choice" to enroll in JROTC at their school.

But, we don't want the schools used to recruit our children for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!

JROTC is a military recruitment program that has already been scheduled for phase-out by June 2009 by the San Francisco Board of Education.

JROTC doesn’t teach students the realities of war: that they are likely to kill civilians, or that they are more likely to die or return from war with devastating mental and physical disabilities than earn college degrees.

Proposition V argues that students should have a “choice” to enroll in JROTC, but if they join the military they have no choice about killing or dying. JROTC is a military recruitment program, and it does not belong in our schools!

JROTC is not the way to keep kids away from gangs. There are peaceful ways to keep kids safe. JROTC is not a leadership program. It teaches unquestioning obedience in preparation for military service.

The San Francisco School Board's decision to end JROTC has set a precedent for communities nationwide. Let’s not allow it to be reversed!

We will be outside in the streets October 11 to encourage a resounding NO vote on Proposition V and to join with parents everywhere trying to save their children from being sent to fight these unjust and illegal wars!


We want funding for education, healthcare, the environment, and jobs, not war! U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan now!

Join us in community outreach against the war and for NO on V, Saturday, October 11, 11:00-3:00 P.M., 24th and Mission Streets, San Francisco

For information on other actions taking place on October 11 around the country against the war go to:

Bay Area United Against War
P.O. Box 318021, San Francisco, CA 94131-8021, 415-824-8730,



International Indian Treaty Council and American Indian Contemporary Arts present:
International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples 2008 Celebrating our Survival and Challenging the Myth of Columbus and “Doctrine of Discovery”

Everyone is invited to attend the annual Sun-Rise Gathering at Alcatraz Island on Monday, October 13th, 2008 (State Holiday) on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, to commemorate 516 years (1492-2008) of Indigenous Peoples Resistance to Colonization in the Americas!

Support Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for Self-Determination, Land and Treaty
Rights, Protection of Sacred Sites, Cultures and Ways of Life. Say “No” to War and
Racism, “Yes” to a Culture of Peace, Human Rights, and Respect for Mother Earth!

Honor those who sacrificed their lives for us to be here, and who stood up for our Peoples.

Tobacco and prayers will be offered to the fire for the Earth and coming generations.

Meeting Place: Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier # 31 in San Francisco

Tickets: $ 11.00 (children under 5 free)

Time: Ticket booths open at 5 AM, last boat departs at 6:00 am, and all return by 9 AM.

Featuring: The All Nations Drum, Traditional Aztec and Pomo Dancers, and updates
and solidarity with special guest speakers. MC: Lenny Foster, Dineh, Alcatraz
Veteran and member of IITC’s Board of Directors. Special Honoring for
Participants of the Long Walks 1 & 2, Alcatraz and Wounded Knee Veterans.

Wheel chair accessible, minimal parking, wear something warm.
For More information call IITC at 415-641-4482 or email AICA:
Websites: and
Purchase advance tickets at, or call 415-981-7625.


Protest at mortgage bankers associates annual conference in SF

No foreclosures - No evictions
No bank bailouts - Housing is a right!

Sun. Oct. 19, 3pm Protest at opening ceremony of conference, Moscone West, 4th St. and Howard, SF

Mon. Oct. 20, 8am - Protest during Opening General Session, Moscone West, 4th St. and Howard, SF

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Chairmen headline Opening General Session and Annual Business Meeting from 8:30am-10:30am.

Initiated by ANSWER Coalition. To co-sponsor, please reply to this email or call 415-821-6545.

By George Harrison

Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse,
Always having dirt
To play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt,
Always have clean shirts
To play around in.

In their sties, with all their backing,
They don't care what goes on around.
In their eyes, there's something lacking;
What they need's a damn good whacking!

Everywhere there's lots of piggies,
Living piggy lives.
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives,
Clutching forks and knives
To eat their bacon.


Bring the Anti-War Movement to Inauguration Day in D.C.

January 20, 2009: Join thousands to demand "Bring the troops home now!"

On January 20, 2009, when the next president proceeds up Pennsylvania Avenue he will see thousands of people carrying signs that say US Out of Iraq Now!, US Out of Afghanistan Now!, and Stop the Threats Against Iran! As in Vietnam it will be the people in the streets and not the politicians who can make the difference.

On March 20, 2008, in response to a civil rights lawsuit brought against the National Park Service by the Partnership for Civil Justice on behalf of the ANSWER Coalition, a Federal Court ruled for ANSWER and determined that the government had discriminated against those who brought an anti-war message to the 2005 Inauguration. The court barred the government from continuing its illegal practices on Inauguration Day.

The Democratic and Republican Parties have made it clear that they intend to maintain the occupation of Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and threaten a new war against Iran.

Both Parties are completely committed to fund Israel’s on-going war against the Palestinian people. Both are committed to spending $600 billion each year so that the Pentagon can maintain 700 military bases in 130 countries.

On this the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we are helping to build a nationwide movement to support working-class communities that are being devastated while the country’s resources are devoted to war and empire for for the sake of transnational banks and corporations.

Join us and help organize bus and car caravans for January 20, 2009, Inauguration Day, so that whoever is elected president will see on Pennsylvania Avenue that the people want an immediate end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and to halt the threats against Iran.

From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund Peoples Needs Not the War Machine!

We cannot carry out these actions withour your help. Please take a moment right now to make an urgently needed donation by clicking this link:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311


National Assembly

UPDATED: September 26, 2008

The following “Open Letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement” was adopted by the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations on July13, 2008. We urge antiwar organizations around the country to endorse the letter. Please send notice of endorsements to

Open Letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

In the coming months, there will be a number of major actions mobilizing opponents of U.S. wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to demand “Bring the Troops Home Now!” These will include demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican Party conventions, pre-election mobilizations like those on October 11 in a number of cities and states, and the December 9-14 protest activities. All of these can and should be springboards for very large bi-coastal demonstrations in the spring.

Our movement faces this challenge: Will the spring actions be unified with all sections of the movement joining together to mobilize the largest possible outpouring on a given date? Or will different antiwar coalitions set different dates for actions that would be inherently competitive, the result being smaller and less powerful expressions of support for the movement’s “Out Now!” demand?

We appeal to all sections of the movement to speak up now and be heard on this critical question. We must not replicate the experience of recent years during which the divisions in the movement severely weakened it to the benefit of the warmakers and the detriment of the millions of victims of U.S. aggressions, interventions and occupations.

Send a message. Urge – the times demand it! – united action in the spring to ensure a turnout which will reflect the majority’s sentiments for peace. Ideally, all major forces in the antiwar movement would announce jointly, or at least on the same day, an agreed upon date for the spring demonstrations.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations will be glad to participate in the process of selecting a date for spring actions that the entire movement can unite around. One way or another, let us make sure that comes spring we will march in the streets together, demanding that the occupations be ended, that all the troops and contractors be withdrawn immediately, and that all U.S. military bases be closed.

In solidarity and peace,

National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations

National Assembly’s Continuations Body (in formation):
Beth Adams, Connecticut River Valley Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Zaineb Alani, Author of The Words of an Iraqi War Survivor & More; Alexis Baden-Mayer, Grassroots Netroots Alliance; Steve Bloom, Solidarity; Michael Carano, Progressive Democrats of America/Ohio Branch; Jim Ciocia, AFSCME Staff Representative; Colia Clark, Chair, Richard Wright Centennial Committee; Grandmothers for Mumia Abu-Jamal; Greg Coleridge, Coordinator, Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC) and Economic Justice and Empowerment Program Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Victor Crews, Wasatach Coalition for Peace and Justice (of Northern Utah); Alan Dale, Iraq Peace Action Coalition (MN); Donna Dewitt, President, South Carolina AFL-CIO*, Representing U.S. Labor Against the War on the Continuations Body; Jamilla El-Shafei, Founder, Kennebunks Peace Department; Co-Founder and Organizer, Stop-Loss Congress; Mike Ferner, Secretary, Veterans for Peace; Paul George, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center; Jerry Gordon, Former National Co-Coordinator of the Vietnam-era National Peace Action Coalition (NPAC) and Member, U.S. Labor Against the War Steering Committee; John Harris, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition; Jonathan Hutto, Navy Petty Officer; Author of Anti-War Soldier; Co-Founder of Appeal for Redress; Tom Lacey, California Peace and Freedom Party; Marilyn Levin, Coordinating Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace, Middle East Crisis Coalition; Joe Lombardo, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Northeast Peace and Justice Coalition; Jeff Mackler, Founder, San Francisco Mobilization for Peace, Jobs and Justice; Christine Marie, Socialist Action; Logan Martinez, Green party of Ohio; Fred Mason, President, Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO and Co-Convenor, U.S. Labor Against the War; Atlee McFellin, Students for a Democratic Society, New School University Chapter, New York; Mary Nichols-Rhodes, Progressive Democrats of America/Ohio Branch; Northland Anti-War Coalition; Bill Onasch, Kansas City Labor Against the War; John Peterson, National Secretary, Workers International League; Dan Piper, CT United for Peace; Millie Phillips, Socialist Organizer; Thea Paneth, Arlington/Lexington United for Justice with Peace; Andy Pollack, Adalah/NY; Adam Ritscher, United Steelworkers Local 9460*; Vince Scarich, Los Altos Voices for Peace; Carole Seligman, Active in Campaign to Get Junior ROTC Out of San Francisco Schools; Peter Shell, Thomas Merton Center Antiwar Committee, Pittsburgh; Mark Stahl, Rhode Island Mobilization Committee to Stop War and Occupation; Lynne Stewart, Lynne Stewart Organization/Long Time Attorney and Defender of Constitutional Rights; Bonnie Weinstein, Bay Area United Against War

Other endorsers (list in formation):
Haidar Abushaqra, Palestine American Congress,* CT; Adalah-NY; Campus Antiwar Network; Andy Anderson, Veterans for Peace, Duluth, MN; Jeff Anderson, Duluth, MN City Councilor; Kathy Anderson, Cuba Solidarity Committee, Duluth, MN; Arlington/Lexington (MA) United for Justice with Peace; Bay Area United Against War; Prof. Hal Bertilson, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Network of Spiritual Progressives; Scott Bol, Northeast Minnesota Citizens Federation; Heather Bradford, Co-Founder, College of St. Scholastica Students Against War, Superior, WI; Chicago Labor against the War; Coalition for Justice in the Middle East; Connecticut Coalition for Peace and Justice; CT River Valley Chapter, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; CT United for Peace; Duluth Area Green Party; Every Church a Church of Peace; Sharla Gardner, Duluth, MN City Councilor; Sam Goodall, Positively 3rd Street Bakery, Duluth, MN; Grandmothers for Peace, Duluth, MN; Greater Boston Stop the War Coalition; Sadie Green, Teamsters Local 391, Duluth, MN; Jeannie Gugliermino, Middletown Alliance for Peace,* Middletown, CT; Rose Helin, Founder, University of Wisconsin-Superior Students Against War; Melissa Helman, former School of the Americas (SOA) protest prisoner of conscience, Ashland, WI; Donna Howard, Co-Chair, Nonviolent Peaceforce; Iraq Peace Action Coalition (MN); Jeni Johnson, former news editor, Promethean newspaper, Superior, WI; Laurie Johnson, AFSCME Council 5 Business Representative, Duluth, MN; Kansas City Labor Against War; Lake Superior Greens, Superior, WI; Joan Linski, UNITE HERE Local 99; Loaves and Fishes, Catholic Worker Community; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO; Dorotea Manuela -- Chair, New Mission High School Governing Board*, Co-Chair Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Committee*; Co-Coordinator Rapid Response Network/Boston May Day Coalition*; Ronald Miller, Progressive Action; Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal/Northern California; Tess Moren, University of Wisconsin -Superior International Peace Studies Student Association; Michelle Naar-Obed, Christian Peacemakers Team; Network of Spiritual Progressives, Duluth, MN Chapter; Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC); Northland Anti-War Coalition, Duluth, MN; Frank O'Gorman, People of Faith,* Hartford, CT; Ohio State Labor Party; Cheryl Olson, Grandmothers for Peace, Superior, WI; Lyn Clark Pegg, Witness for Peace, Duluth, MN; Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Palo Alto, CA.; June Pinken, Manchester Peace Coalition,* Manchester, CT; Helen Raisz, Womens' International League for Peace and Freedom,* Hartford, CT; Rhode Island Committee to Stop War and Occupation; Lorena Rodriguez, International Partnership Coordinator of the Student Trade Justice Campaign, Chicago, IL; Mike Rogge, Co-Founder, College of St. Scholastica Students Against War, Superior, WI; Lucy Rosenblatt, We Refuse to Be Enemies,* Hartford, CT; Arielle Schnur, Students for Peace; Ahlam Shalhout, author, Recovering Stolen Memories, New London, CT; Socialist Organizer; Socialist Party of Connecticut; Solidarity; Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC); U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW); Veterans for Peace, Chapter 80, Duluth, MN; Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice of Northern Utah; Steve Wick, President, University of Minnesota- Duluth Students for Peace; Mike Winterfield, We Refuse to Be Enemies,* Hartford, CT; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom/Pittsburgh; Workers International League

* indicates for identification only

National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations


The NO on Proposition V website is now up and running, at:


San Francisco Proposition U is on the November ballot.

Shall it be City policy to advocate that its elected representatives in the
United States Senate and House of Representatives vote against any further
funding for the deployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq, with the
exception of funds specifically earmarked to provide for their safe and
orderly withdrawal.

If you'd like to help us out please contact me. Donations would be wonderful, we need them for signs and buttons. Please see the link on our web site.

Thank you.

Rick Hauptman
Prop U Steering Commiittee

tel 415-861-7425


Wanda Sykes on Jay Leno: Bailout and Palin


Stop the Carnage, Ban the Cluster Bomb!

Only 20 percent of the hundreds of thousands of unexploded cluster munitions that Israel launched into Lebanon in the summer of 2006 have been cleared. You can help!

1. See the list of more than thirty organizations that have signed a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calling for Israel to release the list of cluster bomb target sites to the UN team in charge of clearing the sites in Lebanon:

2. You can Learn more about the American Task Force for Lebanon at their website:

3. Send a message to President Bush, the Secretary of State, and your Members of Congress to stop the carnage and ban the cluster bomb by clicking on the link below:

Take action now at:



U.S. Supreme Court stays Georgia execution
"The U.S. Supreme Court granted a last-minute reprieve to a Georgia man fewer than two hours before he was to be executed for the 1989 slaying of an off-duty police officer.
"Troy Anthony Davis learned that his execution had been stayed when he saw it on television, he told CNN via telephone in his first interview after the stay was announced."
September 23, 2008

Dear friend,

Please check out and sign this petition to stay the illegal 9-23-08 execution of innocent Brother Mr. Troy Davis.

Thanks again, we'll continue keep you posted.

The Death Penalty Abolition Campaign
Amnesty International, USA

Read NYT Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert's plea on behalf of Troy Davis:

What’s the Rush?
Op-Ed Columnist
September 20, 2008


New on the Taking Aim Program Archive:

"9/11: Blueprint for Truth: The Architecture of Destruction" part 2 is
available on the Taking Aim Program Archive at




1) Shell Opens an Office in Baghdad After a 36-Year Absence
September 23, 2008

2) Housing Experts Say Bailout Proposal May Do Little for Homeowners
September 23, 2008

3) Ex-bankers on pushing customers to rack up debt
By Deborah Feyerick
CNN Correspondent
September 25, 2008

4) Guantánamo Prosecutor Is Quitting in Dispute Over a Case
September 25, 2008

5) As Homes Are Lost, Fears That Votes Will Be, Too
September 25, 2008

6) Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations
September 25, 2008

7) Taser Use in Man’s Death Broke Rules, Police Say
September 26, 2008

8) Crisis of a Gilded Age
By Doug Henwood
September 24, 2008

9) What About the Rest of Us?
September 26, 2008

10) Detroit Police Lab Is Closed After Audit Finds Serious Errors in Many Cases
September 26, 2008

11) Cuba at UN: ‘The Very Existence of the Human Species is at Risk’
September 25, 2008


1) Shell Opens an Office in Baghdad After a 36-Year Absence
September 23, 2008

BAGHDAD — Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, completed a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal with the Iraqi government on Monday and said it had established an office in Baghdad — the first foreign petroleum giant to do so since Iraq nationalized its oil industry more than three decades ago.

The company described its decision to open an office here as a milestone that partly reflected the vast improvement in Iraq’s stability compared with conditions during the worst years of the war. But in a sobering reminder of the underlying dangers of doing business here, the company would not disclose the location of its office, and the senior Shell official who announced the gas deal was accompanied by a phalanx of armed guards.

“We are ready to establish a presence,” the official, Linda Cook, executive director of the company’s gas and power unit, said during a news conference in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone.

Ms. Cook, who oversaw the signing of the gas deal with the Iraqi government, appeared with Iraq’s oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani.

The joint venture — to recapture gas that now goes to waste during oil extraction in Basra, in southern Iraq — is the company’s official return to Iraq after 36 years. Shell, along with the predecessors to BP, Exxon Mobil and Total, was among the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company before the companies lost their concessions to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose in the 1970s.

Much of the recaptured gas will go to power stations and industrial sites like petrochemical and fertilizer plants, Mr. Shahristani said.

The signing of the deal was expected; Shell is one of more than 30 foreign companies bidding on long-term contracts for six important oil fields. The winners are to be announced in 2009. A condition for any winning bid set by the Iraqi government is that the company be willing to establish a presence in Baghdad.

Shell was also among a smaller group of Western companies negotiating no-bid contracts to help Iraq increase production from existing oil fields, but the process was suspended earlier this month following criticism from several United States senators.

Mr. Shahristani praised the gas joint venture, which will be 51 percent owned by the Iraqi government through the South Oil Company and 49 percent by Shell, as a step to address Iraq’s chronic and crippling power shortages.

Besides their economic implications, the power problems have become a highly charged political and emotional issue for Iraqis.

The deal with Shell came on the heels of a $3 billion agreement with China to develop the Ahdab oil field in the south, which was signed last month.

Eleven people died in violence on Monday, and the American military said a soldier had been killed by small-arms fire in Baghdad on Sunday.

In Diyala Province, two people were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated near the car they were driving in, according to police officials in Baquba, the provincial capital.

In Hamam al Alil, a town about 10 miles south of Mosul, five children were killed and three were wounded when their soccer ball hit a roadside bomb on the street where they were playing.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his car at midday near a Shiite mosque in the busy Karrada neighborhood, killing himself and two passers-by and wounding nine people. A mortar shell killed one person in the Tobchi neighborhood, on the west side of the Tigris.

Alissa J. Rubin and Atheer Kakan contributed reporting from Baghdad, and Iraqi employees of The New York Times from Baghdad, Mosul and Diyala.


2) Housing Experts Say Bailout Proposal May Do Little for Homeowners
September 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — Even if the Treasury Department reaches agreement with Democratic leaders in Congress on its $700 billion proposal to bail out for the mortgage industry, housing experts warned on Monday that the plan might do little to help troubled borrowers stay in their houses.

As House and Senate lawmakers struggled to reach a deal with the Bush administration, one of the most vexing battles was how much the plan should balance a rescue of financial institutions with a rescue of homeowners facing foreclosure.

Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary, has put top priority on bailing out financial institutions by buying up soured mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, so banks and other lenders can clean up their balance sheets and get back to normal lending.

But Democrats are insisting that the Treasury Department also help restructure many of those loans, by lowering the interest rate or the loan amount, to make the mortgages affordable and reduce the number of people who lose their homes through foreclosure.

The Bush administration has been lukewarm to that idea, but many housing and mortgage experts say the government would have a difficult time modifying mortgages even if it were eager to do so.

The vast majority of subprime mortgages — 90 percent or more, by some estimates — are inside giant pools, or trusts, which have in turn sold bonds with different levels of seniority to institutional investors around the world.

Even if the government acquires hundreds of billions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities, finance experts say, the Treasury Department would be unlikely to acquire all the bonds tied to a particular mortgage pool. And if the government did not own all those bonds, it might not have the power to demand changes in the underlying mortgages.

“We are literally spending hundreds of billions of dollars on subsidies for financial institutions,” said Christopher Mayer, a professor of real estate finance and vice dean at the Columbia School of Business. “This won’t do anything to help the housing market. This plan is about buying mortgage-backed securities, not mortgages, and there is a big difference.”

Amanda D. Darwin, a partner at the law firm of Nixon Peabody who specializes in both bankruptcy and securities law, said the Treasury Department was likely to become bogged down in legal problems if it tried any relief more radical than the cautious framework adopted earlier this year by the American Securitization Forum, an industry group.

“In order to modify loans beyond that framework, you have to have the consent of 100 percent of the holders of the affected securities,” Ms. Darwin said. And some of those investors, especially those holding senior securities that are shielded from many of the losses, may not want to sell out or make concessions.

Because of that problem, House and Senate Democrats are also demanding that the final bill change the bankruptcy law to give troubled homeowners more bargaining power with their lenders.

Proposals put forward by Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, chairman of the Senate banking committee, would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce a person’s loan amount or interest rate in much the way that bankruptcy judges decide how much money most other creditors receive.

Under current law, bankruptcy courts have long been prohibited from touching the terms of mortgages on a person’s primary residence.

Community advocates and consumer groups have argued for months that changing the law would cut through the tangle of legal conflicts involving most mortgages and give borrowers a big increase in their bargaining power with lenders.

“That is by orders of magnitude the best thing that can be done to keep people in their homes,” said Eric Stein, senior vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group based in North Carolina.

On Monday, 30 community and consumer groups from around the country sent an open letter to lawmakers to press their case.

“It is an illusion to assume that bailing out financial institutions is the same thing as providing relief to foreclosure-plagued American homeowners,” said the groups, which included the Consumers Union, the National Council of La Raza and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. “The only way to make sure that relief is achieved is to give Main Street Americans what they need: Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief.”

But Mr. Paulson and the Bush administration remain firmly opposed to the proposal, known informally as a “cram-down,” saying it would frighten even more investors away from the mortgage market.

The banking and securities industries, meanwhile, are fighting the change with all their might, as they did when it came up with the housing bill that was adopted in July.

“Authorizing write-downs of mortgages by bankruptcy judges will increase the risks of mortgage lending at a time when the market is already struggling, and this will harm consumers,” wrote Floyd E. Stoner, a top lobbyist for the American Banking Association, in a statement on Monday.


3) Ex-bankers on pushing customers to rack up debt
By Deborah Feyerick
CNN Correspondent
September 25, 2008

BELFAST, Maine (CNN) -- As an account manager for credit card giant MBNA, Cate Colombo spent four years speaking to customers, answering questions about interest rates and waiving late fees.

Cate Colombo and Kathy Elllingwood say they were told to use agressive selling tactics to push cash advances.

Kathy Ellingwood did the same. She lasted only a year and a half before quitting this summer.

The women worked in different departments at the sprawling customer call center in Belfast, Maine, yet they share similar stories about aggressive selling tactics they claim they were told to use to push cash advances, sometimes getting customers to max out their credit cards.

"Every customer who calls in is a mark. It's a great big con," said Colombo, who estimates that she alone sold almost a quarter of a billion dollars in the four years she worked for MBNA before it was bought in 2005 by Bank of America.

Americans now carry $850 billion in credit card debt. Consumer groups are lobbying Congress to include better protection for credit card holders, demanding legislation to prevent what they call unjustified interest charges and deceptive practices, especially in light of the massive financial bailout now being considered.

Colombo and Ellingwood said that within seconds of a customer's call, they would have his or her entire credit history on screen, and they were trained what to say to sell people money. Video Ex-bank employees spill secrets »

"I would say 90 percent of the time, people were pragmatic. They would say, 'I don't need $100,000,' and we would find a way to convince them they needed the money," Ellingwood recalled.

She said they would look for trigger words like, "I'm in financial difficulty" or "I can't make my payments." Colombo said other triggers were, "I have to send my son to college. My car is not running. I'm moving."

Colombo said some people even asked about getting a $50,000 cash advance -- usually at zero percent interest -- for a down payment on a house. And although that's illegal, the former employees say they were trained to get around it by saying, "I cannot give you money to use as a down-payment on a home. However, what I can do is, I can deposit some money into your checking account, and once it's there, the funds are there, it's yours to do with what you please."

Bank of America told CNN, "Only customers in good standing and with good payment history are able to access cash up to available credit line."

But Colombo and Ellingwood say they were told to sell hard to everyone. Once the customer agreed, they say, they would speed through intricate disclosure notices. Among the details, how a zero-percent or low interest rate could convert to as much as 28 percent if a payment was even a day late.

"You're basically looking at people who need the money most, who may not be able to afford it," Ellingwood said.

Colombo remembers having a conversation with one man in his 90s.

"He had all this available credit, maybe $100,000. I have my manager screaming, 'Colombo, you need to sell. You need to sell. You need to sell,' " she said.

Bank of America calls its terms "clear and transparent." But credit card lending practices have now gotten the attention of Congress. Consumer groups support a bill to curb what they call predatory lending.

The American Banking Association opposes it, saying, "Consumers have benefited from a competitive marketplace that allows for pricing based upon risk."

Americans for Fairness in Lending, which put CNN in touch with Colombo and Ellingwood, wants deceptive credit card practices included in the financial bailout legislation that is now before Congress.

Its director, Jim Campen, said, "We haven't identified any illegal practices. What we've seen are practices that are highly unethical. It's extraordinarily common."

The two women say their conversations were monitored, and the more they sold, the bigger their salaries.

"If you didn't do it, you got yanked off the phone," Colombo said.

She said a manager once yelled, "You let your team down. You let the bank down. You let the stockholders down!"

Bank of America said it does not talk about individual cases but calls the allegations by the former employees "incorrect."

Spokeswoman Betty Reiss said, "Our call center associates are focused on serving customer financial needs and responding to questions about their accounts."

But Colombo said her performance reviews -- which she provided to CNN -- tell a slightly different story about selling tactics. In one, she is told by supervisors to be more aggressive: "You cannot sell what you don't offer." Another reads, "Understand the importance of selling at the highest possible rate."

CNN asked whether the customer call center in Belfast was perhaps operating independently; both women shook their heads and described an environment in which call centers across the country would compete with one another.

"I worked four 10-hour shifts. The goal was to make $25,000 an hour, which is $250,000 a day, which is $4 million a month," Colombo said.

Although Colombo does not know whether the practices were widely known at Bank of America headquarters in Delaware, she said this about her immediate managers: "Everyone on that level knew what we were doing. We were being told to do what we did."

Do the women feel guilty about what they did?

"Yes, without question," Colombo said.

"Absolutely," Ellingwood added.

Americans for Fairness in Lending said it wants the Senate to ensure that consumers are protected from what it describes as the deceptive practices of many of the same financial institutions likely to benefit from the $700 billion bailout.

The Credit Card Bill of Rights passed the House this week. But it's opposed by the banking industry and the White House, which said it would lead to less access to credit and higher interest rates for consumers.

For its part, Bank of America would not talk about individual cases or provide a copy of the disclosures that its accounts managers read to customers over the phone. It also refused to answer questions about training procedures for account managers at call centers across the U.S.

However, the spokeswoman said the bank "has nothing to gain by extending credit to people who do not have the ability to pay back."


4) Guantánamo Prosecutor Is Quitting in Dispute Over a Case
September 25, 2008

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — A military prosecutor is stepping down after a disagreement with his superiors that defense lawyers described as a dispute over the ethical handling of a war crimes case here.

Officials confirmed that the prosecutor, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, an Army Reserve officer, had asked to terminate his one-year duty with the Guantánamo military prosecutor’s office and return to civilian status.

The defense lawyer in the case, Maj. David J. R. Frakt of the Air Force Reserve, said Colonel Vandeveld “could no longer continue to serve ethically as a prosecutor.” He said Colonel Vandeveld had had disputes with his superiors about whether to give him information that might help the defense.

The chief prosecutor, Col. Lawrence J. Morris of the Army, said Colonel Vandeveld had asked to leave the prosecutor’s office for personal reasons and said, “there are no grounds for his ethical qualms.”

The dispute is the latest to stir up the war crimes system here, which has been plagued with prior defections from the prosecution office, judicial rulings that there was unlawful command influence over some cases and assertions of political influence from a former chief prosecutor.

Colonel Vandeveld did not respond to a call to his home and military public affairs officers said he did not wish to comment publicly. Prosecutors and defense lawyers said he had made his assertions in a filing in the Guantánamo tribunal that, like all filings here, can be released only by a military judge.

Major Frakt said Colonel Vandeveld had been troubled by the way he was directed to handle the case at the center of the controversy, which involves accusations against a Pakistani-born Afghan detainee, Mohammed Jawad. He is charged with attempted murder, accused of throwing a hand grenade in Afghanistan in 2002 at a jeep carrying two American servicemen and an Afghan translator.

Mr. Jawad was a teenager at the time, and Major Frakt has asserted that he was mistreated here, including being subjected to a program of sleep depravation.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, Major Frakt said that one point of contention had been Colonel Vandeveld’s recommendation for a plea deal that would have set Mr. Jawad free soon. The colonel’s superiors said no to that deal.

In denying there was any substance to the ethical dispute claims with his former employee, Colonel Morris indicated that there had been a disagreement over the handling of the case. “All you have,” he said, “is somebody who is disappointed that his superiors did not agree with his recommendation in a case.”

The latest dispute to rock the long-troubled war crimes tribunal came during a week of pretrial hearings in the biggest case here, the prosecution of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed terrorism mastermind and four other detainees for planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Like most cases here, that one had settled into something of a routine, which in Guantánamo almost always means an assertion from defense lawyers that there are fundamental flaws in the system that the Bush administration has been struggling to get going for nearly seven years.

At Mr. Mohammed’s case this week a theme was that the Pentagon’s courtroom translators are so unskilled that some of the five men charged in the Sept. 11 plot understand only a fraction of the courtroom arguments.

But that was a backdrop to what have become attacks by Mr. Mohammed himself that the system is rigged against him. He asserted Wednesday that the military judge was biased and would help the prosecutors get the death penalty.

“You could have simply killed us years ago, instead of simply holding us for years under torture and delaying the process,” Mr. Mohammed said at the first table in the cavernous courtroom.

The judge, Col. Ralph H. Kohlmann of the Marines, turned aside Mr. Mohammed’s accusations, with a stiff declaration that he was “completely wrong.”

Twenty-one detainees are facing charges, and the prosecutors regularly insist that they will get the system moving faster, no matter what challenges appear.

In the meantime, it was another remarkable Guantánamo week. There was talk of C.I.A. agents in the courtroom and descriptions of detainees being hooded and chained when they go to meetings with their lawyers. Courtroom comments were censored as classified, and there was a battle about whether guards should forcibly drag from his cell one of the men charged with Mr. Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

Mr. Mohammed was almost always at the center of the action, his face was framed by a black turban and a bushy beard, demanding that Judge Kohlmann explain how a marine could be fair to a Muslim.

“Well,” said Judge Kohlmann dryly, “my assignment is as a military judge.”


5) As Homes Are Lost, Fears That Votes Will Be, Too
September 25, 2008

More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure in the last two years, and many of them are still registered to vote at the address of the home they lost. Now election officials and voting rights groups are struggling to prevent thousands of them from losing their vote when they go to the polls in November.

Many of these voters will be disqualified at the polls because, in the tumult of their foreclosure, they neglected to tell their election board of their new address. Some could be forced to vote with a provisional ballot or challenged by partisan poll watchers, a particular concern among Democrats who fear that poor voters will be singled out. That could add confusion and stretch out lines that are already expected to be long because of unprecedented turnout.

Federal election officials say they are concerned that voters are not being properly informed of how to update their addresses.

“Our biggest concern is that many of these voters will stay home or that poll workers will give misinformation,” said Rosemary E. Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, which oversees voting.

Todd Haupt, a home builder, lost his home in Josephville, Mo., to foreclosure last year, and said he had since become much more interested in politics. But asked whether he had remembered to update his voter registration information when he moved into his parents’ home in St. Charles, Mo., Mr. Haupt, 33, paused silently. “Is that required?” he said. “I had no idea.”

“I’ve moved three times in the past two years,” he added. “Keeping my voter registration information was not top on my mind because I figured it was all set already.”

Ms. Rodriguez said the commission issued a notice this month encouraging voters to update their registration information before the Oct. 6 cutoff date imposed by many states for new voter registrations. She added that the commission considered issuing a notice this month informing local officials how to handle these voters, but in the end decided not to give poll chal-lengers any ideas on new tactics for singling out voters.

Many of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates are also in crucial swing states like Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Ohio. Because many homeowners in foreclosure are black or poor, and are considered probable Democratic voters in many areas, the issue has begun to have political ramifications. Political parties have long challenged voters with expired registrations, but the possible use of foreclosure lists to remove people from the rolls — though entirely legal — has become a new partisan flashpoint.

Last week, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to prohibit the Michigan Republican Party from using foreclosure lists to single out and challenge voters. The state Republican Party has denied having any such plans.

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, sent a letter last week along with a dozen other Democratic senators to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey asking him to ensure that voters facing foreclosure are not harassed or intimidated at polling places.

In Ohio, liberal-leaning groups are planning to help people in foreclosure and families who are homeless to vote by using a five- to seven-day window starting Sept. 30 when state residents are permitted to register and cast an early ballot simultaneously. The Republican Party has filed a lawsuit in state court to block registering and voting on the same day, arguing that state law forbids it.

Asked whether his party planned to use foreclosure information to compile challenge lists, Robert Bennett, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said the party did not discuss its election strategies in public.

[After this article was published, Mr. Bennett sent an e-mail message adding that the Ohio Republican Party condemns "any effort to challenge the eligibility of voters based on home foreclosures."]

Similar questions were raised two years ago over how to deal with more than a million people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Some of these voters were never found, while others were able to vote with absentee ballots or at satellite locations outside New Orleans.

“Foreclosure victims are distinctly vulnerable because they are not officially recognized as a group needing voting help,” said Robert M. Brandon, president of the Fair Elections Legal Network, a liberal-leaning voting rights group.

Last month, his organization sent letters to the secretaries of state in Arizona, Florida, Missouri and Ohio, asking them to better educate foreclosure victims on their rights. The letters argued that the laws in these states do not bar such voters from voting in their former jurisdictions if their intent is to move back as soon as circumstances allow.

On Wednesday, Jennifer L. Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state who is a Democrat, sent out an advisory to all local officials instructing them what to do if anyone who has lost a home to foreclosure shows up at the polls. If the address listed for such voters is no longer valid, and they moved outside the precinct, Ms. Brunner said, poll workers are instructed to send the voter to the polling place that corresponds to the voter’s new address. The voter will then be given a provisional ballot — special ballots that can be counted only after the voter’s eligibility is verified — at the proper polling place, the directive said.

The state requires that election officials send a notice to all registered voters verifying their address 60 days before an election to check the accuracy of the voter rolls. This month, Ms. Brunner ruled that an undeliverable notice will not be grounds enough on its own for a voter to be removed from the registration lists.

So far, election officials in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio have sent out notices to residents in select counties who have filed for a change of address but who have not updated their voter registration.

But the number of people who have moved, through foreclosure or for any other reason, far exceeds the number of people who have notified their election boards. In Ohio, 375,000 people filed change-of-address forms with the Postal Service, but when state officials sent them cards asking for updated registration information, only 24,000 responded. In Missouri, where 250,000 people notified the Postal Service of their move, only 22,000 told the election board.

Robin Carnahan, the Missouri secretary of state, and a Democrat, said that she is trying to get local election officials to increase the number of poll workers to deal with any confusion or challenges of voters.

In 2004, a Republican Party official challenged a large number of voters at a largely black precinct in Boone County, Mo., causing a backup. Such challenges can cause long lines at polling places if there are not enough poll workers to pull challenged voters out of line, or if the workers have to consult with higher-level election officials for each challenge.

State political parties have traditionally used the mail to determine which voters to challenge. By sending out mailings to voters likely to be of the opposite party, and then seeing which mailings are returned as undeliverable, they know whom to challenge at the polls for not living at their registered address. Using public lists of foreclosed homes, however, can save money by allowing a party to avoid sending out mailings.

William Nowling, a spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, said that Democratic complaints about foreclosure victims being singled out were baseless.

“We are not using foreclosure lists in any way,” Mr. Nowling said, accusing Democratic groups of engaging in fear-mongering by spreading rumors of such plans. “Our voter integrity efforts are solely designed to fight voter fraud perpetrated by the Democrats, of which there is ample proof and examples, including previous elections where the F.B.I. had to seize and secure ballots in Detroit because ballot boxes were being stuffed.”


6) Bush Aides Linked to Talks on Interrogations
September 25, 2008

WASHINGTON — Senior White House officials played a central role in deliberations in the spring of 2002 about whether the Central Intelligence Agency could legally use harsh interrogation techniques while questioning an operative of Al Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah, according to newly released documents.

In meetings during that period, the officials debated specific interrogation methods that the C.I.A. had proposed to use on Qaeda operatives held at secret C.I.A. prisons overseas, the documents show. The meetings were led by Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, and attended by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top administration officials.

The documents provide new details about the still-murky early months of the C.I.A.’s detention program, when the agency began using a set of harsh interrogation techniques weeks before the Justice Department issued a written legal opinion in August 2002 authorizing their use. Congressional investigators have long tried to determine exactly who authorized these techniques before the legal opinion was completed.

The documents are a list of answers provided by Ms. Rice and John B. Bellinger III, the former top lawyer at the National Security Council, to detailed questions by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is investigating the abuse of detainees in American custody. The documents were provided to The New York Times by Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the committee.

ABC News first reported on the White House meetings in a broadcast earlier this year. Ms. Rice’s answers to the questions shed some light on the internal deliberations among senior officials but do not present a clear picture of the positions taken by participants in the debate.

Some of the techniques proposed by the C.I.A. — including waterboarding, which induces a feeling of drowning — came from a program used by the Pentagon to train American pilots to withstand the rigors of captivity.

“I recall being told that U.S. military personnel were subjected in training to certain physical and psychological interrogation techniques and that these techniques had been deemed not to cause significant physical or psychological harm,” Ms. Rice, now secretary of state, wrote in response to one question.

Still, Ms. Rice wrote that she asked Mr. Ashcroft personally to review the program and “advise N.S.C. principals whether the program was lawful.”

Gordon D. Johndroe, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on which officials attended the meetings in 2002. He said Vice President Dick Cheney often attended meetings of the National Security Council’s principals committee, a group of senior officials who advise the president on national security.

The new documents do not specify dates for the White House meetings. Current and former officials have said that the C.I.A. began using harsh interrogation methods on Mr. Zubaydah in Thailand weeks before the Justice Department formally authorized the interrogation program in a secret memo dated Aug. 1, 2002.

The officials said Justice Department lawyers gave oral guidance to the C.I.A. before the secret memo was completed. But at one point during the summer of 2002, current and former intelligence officials have said, C.I.A. lawyers ordered that the use of the harsh techniques by C.I.A. personnel be suspended until they were formally authorized by the Justice Department.

Mr. Bellinger, the former National Security Council legal adviser, wrote in a separate document released on Wednesday that during the White House meetings, Justice Department lawyers frequently issued oral guidance to the C.I.A. about the interrogation program. One who did was John Yoo, the principal author of the August 2002 memo, Mr. Bellinger said.

A fierce dispute erupted between the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. during the spring and summer of 2002, as F.B.I. officials objected to the harsh treatment and ultimately withdrew from Mr. Zubaydah’s interrogation.

Ms. Rice said she did “not recall any specific discussions about withdrawing F.B.I. personnel from the Abu Zubaydah interrogation.”

Mr. Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said the new documents showed that top Bush administration officials were more actively engaged in the debate about the limits of lawful interrogation than the White House had previously acknowledged.

“So far, there has been little accountability at higher levels,” Mr. Levin said. “Here you’ve got some evidence that there was discussion about those harsh techniques in the White House.”


7) Taser Use in Man’s Death Broke Rules, Police Say
September 26, 2008

The firing of a Taser stun gun that led a man to fall from a building ledge to his death on Wednesday in Brooklyn appeared to have violated departmental guidelines, the police said on Thursday.

The department said in a statement issued by the chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, that according to policy, a Taser should not be used when a person could fall from an elevated surface.

The lieutenant who gave the order was placed on modified assignment, the statement said, while the officer who fired the device was given administrative duties.

The statement said that the officers at the scene had called by radio for an inflatable bag as the events unfolded, but it had not yet arrived when the man, Inman Morales, 35, was struck with the device and fell.

“None of the E.S.U. officers on the scene were positioned to break his fall, nor did they devise a plan in advance to do so,” the statement said, referring to the Emergency Service Unit.

The officers went to the building, at 489 Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, just before 2 p.m. to respond to a call that there was an emotionally disturbed person there, the statement said. Witnesses said Mr. Morales’s mother had made the call.

Fleeing the officers, Mr. Morales went out of the third-floor window of his apartment to the fire escape and tried to enter an apartment on the fourth floor, it said. Unsuccessful, he then fled to the second floor-fire escape and from there jumped down to the security gate housing for a ground-floor storefront, which was more than 10 feet from the sidewalk.

As an officer was securing himself on the second-floor fire escape, Mr. Morales jabbed at him with an eight-foot-long fluorescent light, the statement said.

Under orders from a lieutenant, the officer on the sidewalk used the Taser on Mr. Morales, according to the statement, and he fell to the sidewalk, hitting his head.

Mr. Browne’s statement said that the “order to employ the Taser under these circumstances appear to have violated guidelines, reissued June 4, 2008, which specifically state that ‘when possible, the C.E.D. should not be used ... in situations where the subject may fall from an elevated surface.’ ” C.E.D. refers to a conducted energy device, of which Taser is a common brand.

Mr. Browne said that the Brooklyn district attorney’s office had asked the department not to interview the two officers while it investigates the events of Wednesday afternoon. While Mr. Browne did not elaborate, such a request is routine because the officers could possibly incriminate themselves and make themselves immune from any prosecution.

Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said in a telephone interview that the Police Department was conducting an investigation and it would likely make a referral to the district attorney’s office. “So we are monitoring it now,” he said. Mr. Morales’s death was another episode in the controversial history of Taser use in the city. While Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has looked cautiously on the use of stun gun technology by the Police Department, he recently said he was open to broadening the use of the weapons after a city-commissioned study on police shooting habits urged the department to consider using Tasers more frequently instead of deadly force when applicable.

A video taken by a witness and posted on the Web site of The New York Post on Wednesday shows Mr. Morales naked on the ledge, waving a long light bulb over the heads of officers as onlookers screamed, in an eerie soundtrack to what soon followed.

“It was a dead man’s fall,” said a witness, Charlene Gordon, the property manager for the four-story brown-brick building.

Trymaine Lee and Karen Zraick contributed reporting.


8) Crisis of a Gilded Age
By Doug Henwood
September 24, 2008

It looks like someday finally arrived.

For the past two or three decades skeptics watched as deregulated finance got ever more reckless, as the gap between rich and poor widened to a chasm not seen since the turn of the last century, and they said, "Someday there's going to be hell to pay for all this." But despite a few nasty hiccups every few years--the 1987 stock market crash, the savings and loan debacle of the late 1980s, the Mexican and Asian financial crises of the mid-1990s, the dot-com bust of the early 2000s--somehow the economy regained its footing for another game of chicken. Has its luck finally run out?

It might seem odd to link the current financial crisis with the long-term polarization of incomes, but in fact the two are deeply connected. During the housing bubble, people borrowed heavily not only to buy houses (whose prices were rising out of reach of their incomes) but also to compensate for the weakest job and income growth of any expansion since the end of World War II. Between 2001 and 2007, homeowners withdrew almost $5 trillion in cash from their houses, either by borrowing against their equity or pocketing the proceeds of sales; such equity withdrawals, as they're called, accounted for 30 percent of the growth in consumption over that six-year period. That extra lift disguised the labor market's underlying weakness; without it, the 2001 recession might never have ended.

But that round of borrowing only extended one that had begun in the early 1980s. At first it was credit cards, but when the housing boom really got going around 2001, the mortgage market took the lead. Now households are up to their ears in debt, and the credit markets are broken.

Borrowing is only one side of the story. As incomes polarized, America's rich and the financial institutions that serve them found their portfolios bulging with cash in need of a profitable investment outlet, and one of the outlets they found was lending to those below them on the income ladder. (That's one of several places where all the cash that funded the credit card and mortgage borrowing came from.) They also poured their money into hedge funds, private equity funds and just plain old stocks and bonds. That twenty-five-year gusher of cash led to an enormous expansion in the financial markets. Total financial assets of all kinds (stocks, bonds, everything) averaged around 440 percent of GDP from the early 1950s through the late 1970s. They grew steadily, breaking 600 percent in 1990 and 1,000 percent by 2007. With a few notorious interruptions, it looked like Wall Street had entered a utopia: an eternal bull market. Regulators stopped regulating and auditors looked the other way as financial practices lost all traces of prudence. No figure embodies that negligence better than Alan Greenspan, who as chair of the Federal Reserve dropped the propensity to caution and worry characteristic of the central banking profession and instead cheered the markets onward. As he said many times in the 1990s and early 2000s, who was he, a mere mortal, to second-guess the collective wisdom of the markets? He seemed to have no sense that markets embody no collective wisdom and often act with all the careful consideration of a mob.

So while the proximate cause, as the lawyers say, of the current financial crisis is the bursting of the housing bubble and the souring of so much of the mortgage debt that financed it, that's really only part of a much larger story. And while it's inevitable that the government is going to have to spend hundreds of billions to repair the damage over the next few years, there's a lot more that needs to be done over the longer term.

This is the point where it's irresistibly tempting to call for a re-regulation of finance. And that is sorely needed. But we also need to remember why finance, like many other areas of economic life, was deregulated starting in the 1970s. From the point of view of the elite, corporate profits were too low, workers were too demanding and the hand of government was too heavy. Deregulation was part of a broad assault to make the economy more "flexible," which translated into stagnant to declining wages and rising job insecurity for most Americans. And the medicine worked, from the elites' point of view. Corporate profitability rose dramatically from the early 1980s until sometime last year. The polarization of incomes wasn't an unwanted side effect of the medicine--it was part of the cure.

Although we're hearing a lot now about how the Reagan era is over and the era of big government is back, an expanded government isn't likely to do much more than rescue a failing financial system (in addition to the more familiar pursuits of waging war and jailing people). Nothing more humane will be pursued without a far more energized populace than we have. After this financial crisis and the likely bailout, it looks impossible to go back to the status quo ante--but we don't seem ready to move on to something appealingly new yet, either.


9) What About the Rest of Us?
September 26, 2008

Lawmakers were still wrangling Thursday night about the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout of the financial system. Political theater was mainly responsible for the delay, but it will be worth the wait if lawmakers take the time to make sure that the plan includes real relief for homeowners and not only for Wall Street.

The problems in the financial system have their roots in the housing bust, as do the problems of America’s homeowners. Millions face foreclosure, and millions more are watching their equity being wiped out as foreclosures provoke price declines.

The problems became even more evident Thursday night with the federal seizure and sale of Washington Mutual to JPMorgan Chase.

It’s unacceptable that lawmakers have yet to come out squarely in favor of bold homeowner relief in the bailout bill. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the biggest advocate of bailing out Wall Street, is also a big roadblock to helping hard-pressed borrowers. He wants to keep relying on the mortgage industry to voluntarily rework troubled loans, even though that approach has failed to stem the foreclosure tide — and does a disservice to the taxpayers whose money he would put at risk in the bailout.

Many of the assets that Mr. Paulson wants to buy with the $700 billion have gone sour because they are tied to mortgages that have defaulted or are at risk of default. Unless homeowners get some help — and its a pittance compared to what Mr. Paulson wants to give to bankers — the downward spiral of defaults, foreclosures and tumbling home prices will continue, which could push down the value of those assets even further.

We could make a strong moral argument that the government has a greater responsibility to help homeowners than it does to bail out Wall Street. But we don’t have to. Basic economics argues for a robust plan to stanch foreclosures and thereby protect the taxpayers’ $700 billion investment.

Mr. Paulson has long opposed what is probably the best way to help Americans stay in their homes: allowing a bankruptcy court to reduce the size of bankrupt borrowers’ mortgages. Unfortunately, but predictably, drafts of the bailout plan circulated late Thursday do not mention that relief.

It is simply outrageous that every type of secured debt — except the mortgage on a primary home — can be reworked in bankruptcy court. The law was designed to protect lenders, who have obviously and disastrously abused that protection. There would be no favors dispensed in bankruptcy proceedings. Lenders would have to accept less of a payback and borrowers would have to submit to the oversight of the bankruptcy court for years.

But the bankruptcy process would mean many fewer foreclosures. And that would halt the downward slide in home prices, reduce the number of vacant homes — and the blight that comes with them — and help preserve equity for all homeowners. It would cost the taxpayer nothing.

Arguments against bankruptcy relief for mortgages have all been raised and refuted in Congressional hearings and debates over the past year.

There should be no more balking. Any bailout bill must allow struggling homeowners to modify their mortgages in bankruptcy court. Mr. Paulson should drop his opposition now. If he won’t, Congress should insist on the bailout for homeowners. Americans’ $700 billion investment needs to be protected.


10) Detroit Police Lab Is Closed After Audit Finds Serious Errors in Many Cases
September 26, 2008

DETROIT — The Police Department here shut down its crime laboratory on Thursday after an audit uncovered serious errors in numerous cases. The audit said sloppy work had probably resulted in wrongful convictions, and officials expect a wave of appeals in cases that the laboratory processed.

The interim mayor, Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr., and the new police chief, James Barren, ordered the laboratory closed; Mr. Cockrel called the audit’s conclusions “shocking and appalling.” Pending and future cases will be sent to the Michigan State Police, which operates seven laboratories.

Officials from the Detroit Police Department, the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and the State Police will try to determine whether the errors resulted in guilty verdicts against innocent people.

“We do not want any of our activities to result in someone being imprisoned that doesn’t belong there,” the Wayne County prosecutor, Kym L. Worthy, said at a news conference with Mr. Cockrel and Mr. Barren. Ms. Worthy said the mistakes also might have let violent criminals remain at large.

David E. Balash, a retired State Police official who consults on firearms cases, said the audit’s findings could lead to payouts of hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits.

“I would have never anticipated that it would have been this systemic,” Mr. Balash said. “It’s almost incomprehensible.”

The audit, conducted by the State Police, was initiated in May by Ella Bully-Cummings, the Detroit police chief at the time. Ms. Bully-Cummings, who retired this month, had halted firearms work at the laboratory after questions were raised about the handling of evidence in one of the city’s most notorious unsolved murder cases, the 2003 killing of an exotic dancer. The inspection found that the laboratory’s firearms unit was in compliance with just 42 percent of “essential standards,” which are criteria that fundamentally affect the outcome of work there. Accreditation requires 100 percent compliance. In addition, auditors re-examined 200 randomly selected shooting cases and found serious errors in 19. The laboratory handles about 1,800 shooting cases a year, they said.

“If this 10 percent error rate holds,” the report said, “the negative impact on the judicial system would be substantial, with a strong likelihood of wrongful convictions and a valid concern about numerous appeals.”

The auditors said that officers at the laboratory often cut corners and that in many instances “an assumption was made to the entirety of all items based on the analysis of only a few.” Technical reviews of the work were “almost nonexistent,” they wrote. Factors that contributed to the problems, they said, were a heavy workload, a lack of training and “the deplorable conditions of the facility.”

The report issued Thursday outlines the auditors’ preliminary findings. The finished report is expected to be released next month.

The closing of the laboratory came less than a week after Mr. Cockrel took office in the wake of Kwame M. Kilpatrick’s resignation. Among Mr. Cockrel’s stated priorities is restoring residents’ faith in the city’s leadership.

Mr. Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to assaulting a police officer.


11) Cuba at UN: ‘The Very Existence of the Human Species is at Risk’
September 25, 2008

Speech by Esteban Lazo, the head of the Cuban delegation to the general debate of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 2008, —Granma

Mr. President:

We are living a decisive moment in the history of humankind. The threats looming over the world put the very existence of the human species at risk.

The promotion of peace, solidarity, social justice and sustainable development is the only way to ensure the future. The prevailing world order, unjust and unsustainable, must be replaced by a new system that is truly democratic and equitable, based on respect for International Law and on the principles of solidarity and justice, putting an end to the inequalities and exclusion to which the great majorities of the population of our planet have been condemned.

There are no alternatives. Those responsible for this state of affairs, the industrialized nations and, in particular, the sole superpower, have to accept their responsibilities. Fabulous fortunes cannot continue to be wasted while millions of human beings are starving and dying of curable diseases. It is not possible to keep on polluting the air and poisoning the oceans; this destroys the living conditions of our future generations. Neither the peoples nor the planet itself will permit this without great social upheaval and extremely serious natural disasters.

Mr. President:

The wars of conquest, the aggression and illegal occupation of countries, military intervention and the bombing of innocent civilians, the unbridled arms race, the pillage and usurping of the Third World’s natural resources and the imperial offensive to crush the resistance of the peoples who are defending their rights, constitute the greatest and most serious threats to peace and international security.

Concepts such as limitation of sovereignty, pre-emptive war or regime change, are an expression of the desire to mutilate the independence of our countries.

The so-called war on terrorism or the false promotion of their freedoms, are an excuse for aggression and military occupation, for torture, arbitrary arrests and the denial of the right of self-determination of peoples, for unfair blockades and unilaterally imposed sanctions, for the imposition of political, economic and social models that facilitate imperial domination, in open disdain for history, cultures and the sovereign will of the peoples.

The gap between the rich and the poor widens with every passing day. The very modest Millennium Development Goals constitute an unreachable dream for the vast majority.

While a trillion of dollars is spent on weapons in the world, more than 850 million human beings are starving; a 1.1 billion people don’t have access to drinking water, 2.6 billion lack sewage services and more than 800 million are illiterate.

More than 640 million children lack adequate housing, 115 million do not attend primary school and 10 million die before the age of five, in most cases as the result of diseases that can be cured.

The populations of the South are suffering with increasing frequency from natural disasters, whose consequences have been aggravated by climate change. Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and other Caribbean countries are examples of that. Let us make a plea for solidarity especially for our sister country of Haiti as it faces its dramatic situation.

The rise in oil prices is the result of irrational consumption, strong speculation and imperial war adventures. The desperate search for new sources of energy has pushed the criminal strategy driven by the United States government to transform grains and cereals into fuel.

Mr. President:

For a large part of the Non-Aligned countries, the situation is becoming unsustainable. Our nations have paid, and they will continue to pay the cost and the consequences of the irrationality, wastefulness and speculation of a few countries in the industrialized North who are responsible for the world food crisis. They imposed trade liberalization and the financial prescriptions of structural adjustment on the developing countries. They caused the ruin of many small producers; they denied, and in some cases destroyed, emerging agricultural development in the countries of the South, turning them into net food importing countries.

They are the ones who maintain obscene agricultural subsidies, while they force their rules on international trade. They set prices, monopolize technologies, impose unfair certifications and manipulate the distribution channels, the financing sources and trade. They control transportation, scientific research, genetic banks and the production of fertilizers and pesticides.

Mr. President:

We have not come here to complain. We have come, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned countries, to demand and defend the vindication of thousands of millions of human beings who claim justice and their rights.

The formula is not difficult nor does it require great sacrifices. All we need is the necessary political will, less egotism and the objective understanding that if we do not act today, the consequences could be apocalyptic and would affect the rich and poor alike. For this reason, Cuba once again calls on the governments of the developed countries, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned countries, to honor their commitments and, in particular, Cuba urges them to:

• Put an end to the wars of occupation and to the plunder of the resources of the Third World countries and to free up at least a part of their millions in military spending to direct those resources towards international assistance for the benefit of sustainable development.

• Cancel the foreign debt of developing countries since it has been already paid more than once, and with this, additional resources would be released that could be channeled to economic development and social programs.

• Honor the commitment of directing at least 0.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product for Official Development Assistance, unconditionally, so that the South countries would be able to use those resources for their national priorities and promote access of poor countries to substantial sums of fresh financing.

• Direct one-fourth of the money that is squandered each year on commercial advertising to food production; this would free up almost 250 billion additional dollars to fight hunger and malnutrition.

• Direct the money being used for the North’s agricultural subsidies to agricultural development in the South. By doing this, our countries would have about a billion dollars per day available to invest in food production.

• Comply with the Kyoto Protocol commitments and set commitments to reduce emissions more generously starting in 2012, without wanting to increase restrictions for countries that, even today, maintain per capita emission levels that are much lower than those of the North countries’.

• Promote the access of the Third World to technologies and support the training of their human resources. Today, in contrast, qualified personnel from the South are subjected to unfair competition and incentives presented by discriminatory and selective migratory policies applied by the United States and Europe.

• And something that is today more urgent than ever, the establishment of a democratic and equitable international order, and a fair and transparent trading system where all States will participate, in sovereignty, in the decisions that affect them.

Moreover, it is our deepest belief that solidarity between peoples and governments is possible. In Latin America and the Caribbean, ALBA and PETROCARIBE have demonstrated this.

Mr. President:

The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has remained faithful to its founding principles.

We support the cause of the Palestinian people and their inalienable right to self-determination in an independent and sovereign State, with its capital in East Jerusalem.

We support the cause of all those other peoples whose sovereignty and territorial integrity is being threatened, like Venezuela and Bolivia, and we endorse the right of Puerto Rico to be independent.

We condemn the imposition of unilateral coercive measures in violation of International Law, and attempts to implant a single model for a political, economic and social system. We object to the negative practices of certifying countries according to the patterns and interests of the powerful. We strongly oppose political manipulation and the application of double standards in the matter of human rights, and we reject the selective imposition of politically motivated resolutions against the member countries of the Movement.

The establishment of the Human Rights Council gives us the opportunity to open up a new era in the promotion and protection of all human rights for all, on the basis of international cooperation and constructive dialogue. Those who caused the demise of the old Human Rights Commission are now trying to disqualify the Council because they have not been able to bend it to serve their own self-interests. They refuse to participate in its work to escape the scrutiny of the international community in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism.

The legitimacy of the Council does not depend on the perception that the Empire has about its work, but on its capacity to discharge its mandate with the strictest adherence to the principles of universality, objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity in the treatment of human rights issues.

The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries will continue to defend the interests of the Third World and promote the building of a world which is more just, more democratic and with more solidarity.

Mr. President:

Cuba has had to pay a very high price for the defense of its independence and sovereignty.

The heroic people of Cuba have endured the longest and cruelest blockade in history, imposed by the most powerful nation on Earth. Despite the fact that this Assembly has repeatedly and resoundingly pronounced itself in favor of ending this genocidal policy, the United States government has not only ignored the will of the international community, but in marked disregard of the same, has gradually intensified its economic war against Cuba.

Never has the foreign policy against a country been armed with such a broad and sophisticated arsenal of aggressive measures in the political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, military, psychological and ideological domain.

Cuba has just been lashed by two intense hurricanes, which have devastated its agriculture and seriously affected part of its infrastructure and damaged or destroyed more than 400,000 homes.

Allow me to take advantage of this opportunity, on behalf of the Cuban government and people, to thank all those countries, organizations and persons who in one way or another have honestly and sincerely contributed with resources or moral support to the reconstruction efforts undertaken by my country.

That stands in contrast with the position of the United States government, which continues to ruthlessly apply their blockade.

Cuba has asked for no gifts from the United States government. It has simply asked and asked again that it be allowed to purchase in the United States the materials that are indispensable for the reconstruction of homes and power grid and that U.S. companies be authorized to grant Cuba private commercial credits to buy food. The answer has been negative, and it has been accompanied with an attempt to manipulate information in such a manner that the government of the United States seems to be concerned for the wellbeing of the Cuban people while the government of Cuba is perceived to be turning down their offer.

If the United States were really so concerned for the Cuban people, the only moral and ethical behavior would be to lift the blockade imposed on Cuba for the last five decades, in violation of the most elemental rules of International Law and the Charter of the United Nations.

This irrational policy has a clear aim: to destroy the process of profound revolutionary transformations undertaken by the Cuban people from 1959, in other words, trampling on its right to self-determination, wresting away its freedom and its political, economic and social conquests and plunging it backwards to its former neocolonial status.

The Bush administration intends to justify the intensification of its policy against Cuba by turning once more to fraud and deceit, with the cynicism and hypocrisy that characterizes it. Its determination to dominate and re-colonize Cuba is being presented, no less, like an endeavor to liberate and democratize.

Who, other than its accomplices, recognizes that the United States government has any authority in this world in the matter of democracy and human rights? What authority would such a government claim, one that hunts down and cruelly mistreats the illegal migrants at its southern border, that legalizes the use of torture and keeps in concentration camps, such as the one installed in the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. base at Guantánamo, people who have not been proved of or even charged with any crime?

What respect is due to a government that attacks the sovereignty of other States using the excuse of the fight against terrorism, while at the same time guaranteeing impunity to anti-Cuban terrorists?

What kind of justice can be promoted by an administration that illegally keeps imprisoned five Cuban patriots who were only seeking information to prevent the actions of the terrorist groups operating against Cuba from the United States?

Mr. President:

Cuba appreciates the solidarity, which it has received from this General Assembly in its fight against the blockade and the aggressions, which it has had to confront for almost five decades.

Cuba reaffirms its unyielding decision to defend its sovereignty and independence.

Cuba reaffirms its will to carry on, together with members of the Movement for Non-Aligned Countries, in the battle for a better world, where the rights of all peoples for justice and development are respected.

To conclude I would like to recall the words of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, comrade Fidel Castro Ruz: “A world without hunger is possible … A just world is possible. A new world, which our species eminently deserves, is possible and will become reality.”

Thank you very much.

—Granma, September 25, 2008




Army Unit to Deploy in October for Domestic Operations
Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

Wisconsin: A Gloomy Assessment for Milwaukee Public Schools
National Briefing | Midwest
Members of the Milwaukee Public Schools board passed a resolution to explore dissolving the school system, but state education officials said the board did not have the authority to actually do so. The board’s 6-to-3 vote to research the possibility came after Superintendent William G. Andrekopoulos described the city’s school financing structure as “broken,” painting a bleak picture of steep property tax increases and deep budget cuts. But dissolving the public school system would require action in the Legislature, or else the City Council would have to change Milwaukee’s city classification, sparking other changes in governance, said Patrick Gasper of the Wisconsin Department of Education. While the full nine-member school board voted, it was a committee vote, and the proposal faces a final vote on Thursday.
September 20, 2008

California: Chief Wants Officers Fired for Misconduct
National Briefing | West
Police Chief William J. Bratton of Los Angeles has recommended that four officers be fired for misconduct when force was used to clear a park in a 2007 immigration rally. He also recommended that 11 other officers face discipline ranging from reprimands to suspensions of up to 10 days without pay. The rally ended when the police formed a skirmish line and swept through the crowd in MacArthur Park. Some officers struck peaceful rallygoers and journalists with batons and bean-bag rounds. A personnel investigation led to 80 accusations against 29 officers. The chief sustained 31 accusations against 15 officers.
September 17, 2008

Health Costs: More Burden on the Worker
The Count
Don’t cheer when you hear that health care cost increases are expected to ease slightly for employers in 2009. This is not a sign that medical costs are beginning to stabilize. Rather, it means that businesses are moving aggressively to shift the burden to their employees.
Mercer, the consulting firm, expects employers’ health benefit costs to rise 5.7 percent in 2009, based on preliminary results of a survey. Increases have hovered at about 6 percent a year since 2005.
If you are on your company’s health plan, you might want to brace yourself for higher deductibles, as well as higher co-payments, higher premiums or both. You might also end up joining a consumer-directed plan, in which, for example, you would pay a lower premium in exchange for a higher upfront deductible.
Businesses also say they intend to improve their health and wellness programs so that their employees don’t stay sick as long and — in the best-case situation — don’t become sick in the first place.
September 14, 2008

Bishops Want Immigration Raids to End
National Briefing | Immigration
Roman Catholic bishops urged the Bush administration to halt workplace immigration raids, saying the “humanitarian cost” was “unacceptable in a civilized society.” Speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, John C. Wester, the bishop of Salt Lake City said that the escalating number of worksite raids over the past year had spread fear in immigrant communities and had made it difficult for detained immigrants to obtain legal representation. Bishop Wester also called on the Department of Homeland Security to refrain from conducting raids in churches, health centers and schools.
September 12, 2008

Mississippi: Conviction Overturned
National Briefing | South
A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of a reputed Ku Klux Klan member serving three life sentences for his role in the 1964 abduction and killing of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi. The man, James Ford Seale, 73, was convicted in June 2007 on kidnapping and conspiracy charges related to the abductions of the teenagers, Charles E. Moore and Henry H. Dee. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the statute of limitations for kidnapping had expired in the decades between the crimes and the charges.
September 11, 2008

Utah: Mine Collapse Case Goes to Prosecutors
National Briefing | Rockies
Federal mining officials have asked prosecutors to decide whether criminal charges are warranted in the deaths of nine people in last year’s collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine. The Mine Safety and Health Administration has been investigating two cave-ins at the mine in August 2007 that killed six miners and three rescuers. The safety agency has already fined the operator $1.34 million for violations that it says directly contributed to the deaths. Richard Stickler, an acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said the mine’s operator and its engineering consultants demonstrated reckless disregard for safety. Mr. Stickler said the safety agency had referred the case to the Justice Department for possible criminal charges.
September 4, 2008

National Briefing | Immigration
Rabbis Endorse Certification Plan
The organization of Reform rabbis endorsed a movement led by Conservative Jews to create an additional certification for kosher food that would show that the producer met ethical standards for the treatment of workers. In a resolution, the Central Conference of American Rabbis promised to work cooperatively with the movement known as Hekhsher Tzedek, meaning “justice certification,” to develop the new seal of approval, which would be applied only to food certified as kosher according to traditional Jewish dietary laws. It would confirm that the producer met certain standards for wages and employee safety. The resolution was evidence of a new interest in kosher practice by Reform Jews, who do not generally follow strict dietary laws. The Reform rabbis said reports of “abusive and unethical treatment of workers” at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa, were “particularly distressing.”
September 4, 2008

Illinois: School Financing Protest
National Briefing | Midwest
More than 1,000 Chicago public school students boycotted the first day of classes in a protest over school financing and instead rode buses more than 30 miles north to try to enroll in a wealthy suburban district. About 1,100 elementary students and 150 high school students from Chicago filled out enrollment applications in the New Trier district in Northfield, said the New Trier superintendent, Linda Yonke. Boycott organizers acknowledged the move was largely symbolic: Students would have to pay tuition to attend a school outside their home district. In Illinois, property taxes account for about 70 percent of school financing, meaning rural and inner-city schools generally end up with less to spend per student than suburban schools.
September 3, 2008




Labor Beat: National Assembly to End the War in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Highlights from the June 28-29, 2008 meeting in Cleveland, OH. In this 26-minute video, Labor Beat presents a sampling of the speeches and floor discussions from this important conference. Attended by over 400 people, the Assembly's main objective was to urge united and massive mobilizations in the spring to “Bring the Troops Home Now,” as well as supporting actions that build towards that date. To read the final action proposal and to learn other details, visit Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is affiliated with IBEW 1220. Views expressed are those of the producer, not necessarily of IBEW. For info:, 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit Google Video or YouTube and search "Labor Beat".


12 year old Ossetian girl tells the truth about Georgia.



Despite calling itself a "sanctuary city", S.F. politicians are permitting the harrassment of undocumented immigrants and allowing the MIGRA-ICE police to enter the jail facilities.

We will picket any store that cooperates with the MIGRA or reports undocumented brothers and sisters. We demand AMNESTY without conditions!

project of BARRIO UNIDO


Canada: American Deserter Must Leave
August 14, 2008
World Briefing | Americas
Jeremy Hinzman, a deserter from the United States Army, was ordered Wednesday to leave Canada by Sept. 23. Mr. Hinzman, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, left the Army for Canada in January 2004 and later became the first deserter to formally seek refuge there from the war in Iraq. He has been unable to obtain permanent immigrant status, and in November, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of his case. Vanessa Barrasa, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said Mr. Hinzman, above, had been ordered to leave voluntarily. In July, another American deserter was removed from Canada by border officials after being arrested. Although the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not backed the Iraq war, it has shown little sympathy for American deserters, a significant change from the Vietnam War era.

Iraq War resister Robin Long jailed, facing three years in Army stockade

Free Robin Long now!
Support GI resistance!

Soldier Who Deserted to Canada Draws 15-Month Term
August 23, 2008

What you can do now to support Robin

1. Donate to Robin's legal defense


By mail: Make checks out to “Courage to Resist / IHC” and note “Robin Long” in the memo field. Mail to:

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610

Courage to Resist is committed to covering Robin’s legal and related defense expenses. Thank you for helping make that possible.

Also: You are also welcome to contribute directly to Robin’s legal expenses via his civilian lawyer James Branum. Visit, select "Pay Online via PayPal" (lower left), and in the comments field note “Robin Long”. Note that this type of donation is not tax-deductible.

2. Send letters of support to Robin

Robin Long, CJC
2739 East Las Vegas
Colorado Springs CO 80906

Robin’s pre-trial confinement has been outsourced by Fort Carson military authorities to the local county jail.

Robin is allowed to receive hand-written or typed letters only. Do NOT include postage stamps, drawings, stickers, copied photos or print articles. Robin cannot receive packages of any type (with the book exception as described below).

3. Send Robin a money order for commissary items

Anything Robin gets (postage stamps, toothbrush, shirts, paper, snacks, supplements, etc.) must be ordered through the commissary. Each inmate has an account to which friends may make deposits. To do so, a money order in U.S. funds must be sent to the address above made out to "Robin Long, EPSO". The sender’s name must be written on the money order.

4. Send Robin a book

Robin is allowed to receive books which are ordered online and sent directly to him at the county jail from or Barnes and Noble. These two companies know the procedure to follow for delivering books for inmates.


Yet Another Insult: Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied Full-Court Hearing by 3rd Circuit
& Other News on Mumia

This mailing sent by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal


1. Mumia Abu-Jamal Denied Full-Court Hearing by 3rd Circuit
2. Upcoming Events for Mumia
3. New Book on the framing of Mumia

1. MUMIA DENIED AGAIN -- Adding to its already rigged, discriminatory record with yet another insult to the world's most famous political prisoner, the federal court for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia has refused to give Mumia Abu-Jamal an en banc, or full court, hearing. This follows the rejection last March by a 3-judge panel of the court, of what is likely Mumia's last federal appeal.

The denial of an en banc hearing by the 3rd Circuit, upholding it's denial of the appeal, is just the latest episode in an incredible year of shoving the overwhelming evidence of Mumia's innocence under a rock. Earlier in the year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court also rejected Jamal's most recent state appeal. Taken together, state and federal courts in 2008 have rejected or refused to hear all the following points raised by Mumia's defense:

1. The state's key witness, Cynthia White, was pressured by police to lie on the stand in order to convict Mumia, according to her own admission to a confidant (other witnesses agreed she wasn't on the scene at all)

2. A hospital "confession" supposedly made by Mumia was manufactured by police. The false confession was another key part of the state's wholly-manufactured "case."

3. The 1995 appeals court judge, Albert Sabo--the same racist who presided at Mumia's original trial in 1982, where he said, "I'm gonna help 'em fry the n....r"--was prejudiced against him. This fact was affirmed even by Philadelphia's conservative newspapers at the time.

4. The prosecutor prejudiced the jury against inn ocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, by using a slimy tactic already rejected by the courts. But the prosecutor was upheld in Mumia's case!

5. The jury was racially skewed when the prosecution excluded most blacks from the jury, a practice banned by law, but, again, upheld against Mumia!

All of these defense claims were proven and true. But for the courts, these denials were just this year’s trampling on the evidence! Other evidence dismissed or ignored over the years include: hit-man Arnold Beverly said back in the 1990s that he, not Mumia, killed the slain police officer (Faulkner). Beverly passed a lie detector test and was willing to testify, but he got no hearing in US courts! Also, Veronica Jones, who saw two men run from the scene just after the shooting, was coerced by police to lie at the 1982 trial, helping to convict Mumia. But when she admitted this lie and told the truth on appeal in 1996, she was dismissed by prosecutor-in-robes Albert Sabo in 1996 as "not credible!" (She continues to support Mumia, and is writing a book on her experiences.) And William Singletary, the one witness who saw the whole thing and had no reason to lie, and who affirmed that someone else did the shooting, said that Mumia only arriv ed on the scene AFTER the officer was shot. His testimony has been rejected by the courts on flimsy grounds. And the list goes on.

FOR THE COURTS, INNOCENCE IS NO DEFENSE! And if you're a black revolutionary like Mumia the fix is in big-time. Illusions in Mumia getting a "new trial" out of this racist, rigged, kangaroo-court system have been dealt a harsh blow by the 3rd Circuit. We need to build a mass movement, and labor action, to free Mumia now!


SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA -- Speaking Tour by J Patrick O'Connor, the author of THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, in the first week of October 2008, sponsored by the Mobilization To Free Mumia. Contributing to this tour, the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia will hold a public meeting with O'Connor on Friday October 3rd, place to be announced. San Francisco, South Bay and other East Bay venues to be announced. Contact the Mobilization at 510 268-9429, or the LAC at 510 763-2347, for more information.


Efficiently and Methodically Framed--Mumia is innocent! That is the conclusion of THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, by J Patrick O'Connor (Lawrence Hill Books), published earlier this year. The author is a former UPI reporter who took an interest in Mumia's case. He is now the editor of Crime Magazine (

O'Connor offers a fresh perspective, and delivers a clear and convincing breakdown on perhaps the most notorious frame-up since Sacco and Vanzetti. THE FRAMING OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL is based on a thorough analysis of the 1982 trial and the 1995-97 appeals hearings, as well as previous writings on this case, and research on the MOVE organization (with which Mumia identifies), and the history of racist police brutality in Philadelphia.

While leaving some of the evidence of Mumia's innocence unconsidered or disregarded, this book nevertheless makes clear that there is a veritable mountain of evidence--most of it deliberately squashed by the courts--that shows that Mumia was blatantly and deliberately framed by corrupt cops and courts, who "fixed" this case against him from the beginning. This is a case not just of police corruption, or a racist lynching, though it is both. The courts are in this just as deep as the cops, and it reaches to the top of the equally corrupt political system.

"This book is the first to convincingly show how the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney's Office efficiently and methodically framed [Mumia Abu-Jamal]." (from the book jacket)

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal has a limited number of THE FRAMING ordered from the publisher at a discount. We sold our first order of this book, and are now able to offer it at a lower price. $12 covers shipping. Send payment to us at our address below:

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610 • 510.763.2347 •


Sami Al-Arian Subjected to Worst Prison Conditions since Florida
Despite grant of bail, government continues to hold him
Dr. Al-Arian handcuffed

Hanover, VA - July 27, 2008 -

More than two weeks after being granted bond by a federal judge, Sami Al-Arian is still being held in prison. In fact, Dr. Al-Arian is now being subjected to the worst treatment by prison officials since his stay in Coleman Federal Penitentiary in Florida three years ago.

On July 12th, Judge Leonie Brinkema pronounced that Dr. Al-Arian was not a danger to the community nor a flight risk, and accordingly granted him bail before his scheduled August 13th trial. Nevertheless, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) invoked the jurisdiction it has held over Dr. Al-Arian since his official sentence ended last April to keep him from leaving prison. The ICE is ostensibly holding Dr. Al-Arian to complete deportation procedures but, given that Dr. Al-Arian's trial will take place in less than three weeks, it would seem somewhat unlikely that the ICE will follow through with such procedures in the near future.

Not content to merely keep Dr. Al-Arian from enjoying even a very limited stint of freedom, the government is using all available means to try to psychologically break him. Instead of keeping him in a prison close to the Washington DC area where his two oldest children live, the ICE has moved him to Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, VA, more than one hundred miles from the capital. Regardless, even when Dr. Al-Arian was relatively close to his children, they were repeatedly denied visitation requests.

More critically, this distance makes it extremely difficult for Dr. Al-Arian to meet with his attorneys in the final weeks before his upcoming trial. This is the same tactic employed by the government in 2005 to try to prevent Dr. Al-Arian from being able to prepare a full defense.

Pamunkey Regional Jail has imposed a 23-hour lock-down on Dr. Al-Arian and has placed him in complete isolation, despite promises from the ICE that he would be kept with the general inmate population. Furthermore, the guards who transported him were abusive, shackling and handcuffing him behind his back for the 2.5-hour drive, callously disregarding the fact that his wrist had been badly injured only a few days ago. Although he was in great pain throughout the trip, guards refused to loosen the handcuffs.

At the very moment when Dr. Al-Arian should be enjoying a brief interlude of freedom after five grueling years of imprisonment, the government has once again brazenly manipulated the justice system to deliver this cruel slap in the face of not only Dr. Al-Arian, but of all people of conscience.

Make a Difference! Call Today!

Call Now!

Last April, your calls to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail pressured prison officials to stop their abuse of Dr. Al-Arian after only a few days.
Friends, we are asking you to make a difference again by calling:

Pamunkey Regional Jail: (804) 365-6400 (press 0 then ask to speak to the Superintendent's office). Ask why Dr. Al-Arian has been put under a 23-hour lockdown, despite the fact that a federal judge has clearly and unambiguously pronounced that he is not a danger to anyone and that, on the contrary, he should be allowed bail before his trial.

- If you do not reach the superintendent personally, leave a message on the answering machine. Call back every day until you do speak to the superintendent directly.
- Be polite but firm.

- After calling, click here to let us know you called.

Don't forget: your calls DO make a difference.


Write to Dr. Al-Arian

For those of you interested in sending personal letters of support to Dr. Al-Arian:

If you would like to write to Dr. Al-Arian, his new
address is:

Dr. Sami Al-Arian
Pamunkey Regional Jail
P.O. Box 485
Hanover, VA 23069

Email Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace:


Video: The Carbon Connection -- The human impact of carbon trading

[This is an eye-opening and important video for all who are interested in our]

Two communities affected by one new global market – the trade in carbon
dioxide. In Scotland, a town has been polluted by oil and chemical
companies since the 1940s. In Brazil, local people's water and land is
being swallowed up by destructive monoculture eucalyptus tree
plantations. Both communities now share a new threat.

As part of the deal to reduce greenhouse gases that cause dangerous
climate change, major polluters can now buy carbon credits that allow
them to pay someone else to reduce emissions instead of cutting their
own pollution. What this means for those living next to the oil industry
in Scotland is the continuation of pollution caused by their toxic
neighbours. Meanwhile in Brazil, the schemes that generate carbon
credits give an injection of cash for more planting of the damaging
eucalyptus plantations.

40 minutes | PAL/NTSC | English/Spanish/Portuguese subtitles.The Carbon Connection is a Fenceline Films presentation in partnership with the Transnational Institute Environmental Justice Project and Carbon Trade Watch, the Alert Against the Green Desert Movement, FASE-ES, and the Community Training and Development Unit.

Watch at


On the Waterboard
How does it feel to be “aggressively interrogated”? Christopher Hitchens found out for himself, submitting to a brutal waterboarding session in an effort to understand the human cost of America’s use of harsh tactics at Guantánamo and elsewhere. has the footage. Related: “Believe Me, It’s Torture,” from the August 2008 issue.


Alison Bodine defense Committee
Lift the Two-year Ban

Watch the Sept 28 Video on Alison's Case!


The Girl Who Silenced the World at the UN!
Born and raised in Vancouver, Severn Suzuki has been working on environmental and social justice issues since kindergarten. At age 9, she and some friends started the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They traveled to 1992's UN Earth Summit, where 12 year-old Severn gave this powerful speech that deeply affected (and silenced) some of the most prominent world leaders. The speech had such an impact that she has become a frequent invitee to many U.N. conferences.
[Note: the text of her speech is also available at this]




"Dear Canada: Let U.S. war resisters stay!"

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]



"Award-Winning Writer/Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek Launches New Sand
Creek Massacre Website"

May 21, 2008 -- CENTENNIAL, CO -- Award-winning filmmaker, Donald L.
Vasicek, has launched a new Sand Creek Massacre website. Titled,
"The Sand Creek Massacre", the site contains in depth witness
accounts of the massacre, the award-winning Sand Creek Massacre
trailer for viewing, the award-winning Sand Creek Massacre
documentary short for viewing, the story of the Sand Creek Massacre,
and a Shop to purchase Sand Creek Massacre DVD's and lesson
plans including the award-winning documentary film/educational DVD.

Vasicek, a board member of The American Indian Genocide Museum
( Houston, Texas, said, "The website was launched
to inform, to educate, and to provide educators, historians, students
and all others the accessibility to the Sand Creek Massacre story."

The link/URL to the website is

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC