Saturday, November 22, 2008



Resister Tony Anderson sentenced to 14 months
The 14 month sentence is one of the longest given to a U.S. military serviceperson for refusing to fight in Iraq.
Read More at:


The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations:
Call for Unity

Dear Antiwar Organization/Activist,

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations was founded in June 2008 in Cleveland , Ohio at an open national antiwar conference attended by more than 400 activists from 26 states. Our central purpose was to foster the coming together of the broad antiwar movement in massive national demonstrations in the spring of 2009 to call for an immediate end to all U.S. wars and occupations, and money for social needs, not bloated Pentagon spending. We believe that a broad and unified antiwar movement is the best way to achieve these goals.

Last week, our Continuations Body representing some 40 organizations, hailed the recent initiatives by UFPJ and the ANSWER coalition regarding projected March 2009 antiwar actions. (See the National Assembly's October 23rd statement below.) We support both initiatives!

We urge unity in support of the mobilizations in Washington , D.C. called by UFPJ during the week of March 19, culminating in the massive united demonstrations called for by ANSWER for Saturday, March 21, in D.C., Los Angeles , San Francisco , Chicago , Miami and other cities marking the sixth year of the U.S. invasion of Iraq . There should be no conflict or competition between the two calls. ANSWER has urged formation of a broad, united, ad hoc national coalition to make the March 21 action the property of the entire movement. We believe that is the way to go and we will do everything in our power to make these actions in March a success.

Below is our "Open Letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement" adopted on July 13, 2008 spelling out the price the movement pays for remaining divided. That letter, with the latest list of endorsing organizations and individuals, states in part:

"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."

With these national calls for action, we have the first opportunity in years to bring the entire movement together in a show of strength and determination to end these brutal military interventions.

We hope that you and your organization agree that unified national March actions are sorely needed in these times of military and economic crises. We ask that you:

1. Sign the Open Letter to the U.S. Antiwar Movement.

2. Urge all local and national organizations and coalitions to join in building the mobilizations in D.C. in March and the mass actions on March 21.

3. Support the formation of a broad, united, ad hoc national coalition to bring massive forces out on March 21, 2009.

You can sign the Open Letter by writing [if you are a group or individual. (Individual endorsers please include something about yourselves.)] or through the National Assembly website at [if you are a group endorsement only]. For more information, please email us at the above address or call 216-736-4704. We greatly appreciate all donations to help in our unity efforts. Checks should be made payable to National Assembly and mailed to P.O. Box 21008 , Cleveland , OH 44121 .

In peace and solidarity,

Greg Coleridge, Coordinator, Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC); Economic Justice and Empowerment Program Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Member, Administrative Body, National Assembly

Marilyn Levin, Coordinating Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace; New England United; Member, Administrative Body, National Assembly

On behalf of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations

October 23, 2008
For more information please contact: or call 216-736-4704

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations welcomes the ANSWER Coalition's call for UNITED mass mobilizations in Washington , D.C. and other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami, on March 21, 2009 to mark six years of war and occupation and to Bring the Troops Home Now! We also welcome UFPJ's call for a week of Washington, D.C. mobilizations during the same period to demand an end to the war in Iraq now.

These actions are necessary and need not be contradictory as long as there is unity in supporting them. However, a divided movement is a weakened movement. At this time, more than ever, the movements for peace and social justice must work in concert to bring the full force of opposition to the government's criminal and destructive policies into the streets. It would be a tragic setback if all organizations and constituencies do not come together to act in a unified show of strength and determination in March.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations was formed to promote a united, democratic, independent and mass action antiwar movement to bring the troops home now. Our objective was to do all in our power to achieve this by the Spring of 2009. It now appears that this critical objective is within reach.

We strongly urge and will participate in the formation of an ad hoc national coalition to make the March 21 actions a true expression of the opposition of this country's majority to U.S. wars and occupations. The National Assembly will make every effort to bring such a coalition into fruition and to urge all Assembly supporters to actively participate in the process.


Mass Actions on the 6th Anniversary of the Iraq War -- March 21, 2009
Bring All the Troops Home Now -- End All Colonial Occupations!
Fund People's Needs, Not Militarism & Bank Bailouts!

Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, thousands will take to the streets of Washington D.C. and other cities across the U.S. and around the world in March 2009 to say, "Bring the Troops Home NOW!" We will also demand "End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere," and "Fund Peoples' Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts." We also insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran.

The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is organizing for unified mass marches and rallies in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Months ago we obtained permits for sixth anniversary demonstrations. ANSWER has been actively involved with other coalitions, organizations, and networks to organize unified anti-war demonstrations in the spring of 2009. ANSWER participated in the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations that was held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28th-29th and attended by 450 people, including many national and local anti-war coalitions. The National Assembly gathering agreed to promote national, unified anti-war demonstrations in the Spring of 2009.

The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly a third of Iraq's 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The cost of the war is now running at $700 million dollars per day, over $7,000 per second. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.

The war in Afghanistan is expanding, and both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops. Both have promised to increase the size of the U. S. military. Both have promised to increase military aid to Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinian people, including the denial of the right of return.

While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars, $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people's needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Federal bailouts of the biggest banks and investors many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $2.5 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.

Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, March 21, 2009 will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding justice.

Click this link to endorse the March 21 Actions

If you're planning a local March 21 anti-war action, let us know 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



March 19, 2009 will mark the 6th anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" campaign that launched the US war and occupation in Iraq . Six long years of a war based on lies, a war that never should have happened. Six long years of death and destruction, of human suffering and economic waste.

United For Peace and Justice calls on people throughout this nation to join us in a national mobilization against this war. On the occasion of this horrendous anniversary next March, we will gather in massive numbers in Washington , DC to say enough is enough, this war must end, it must end now and completely!

We issue this call now, before the critically important election in just a few weeks, because it is vital that the antiwar movement make it clear that our work is far from over and we are not going away. We issue this call now as a way to send a strong message to all those who seek to represent us in Washington : the people of this nation want our troops to come home now -- not in 16 months and not in 100 years!

The war in Iraq has taken too many lives - Iraqi and US - and has taken a tremendous toll on our economy. While we are glad to see some candidates saying they want the war to end, we know this will only happen because the people of this country keep raising their voices, keep taking action, keep pressuring their government to end this nightmare.

Between now and next March much will happen here at home and around the world. We will have elected a new President and a new Congress and the political landscape the antiwar movement works in will have been altered. No one knows where our economic crisis is headed or how exactly it will affect the lives of millions of people in our communities. At the same time, there is danger of escalation of military action in Afghanistan , Pakistan , Iran and other places - and the possibility of a dangerous new arms race with Russia .

As we plan for the March mobilization we will take these critically important issues into account. We know that all of the issues our nation needs to address are impacted by the continued war and occupation in Iraq , and that no real progress will be made on anything else until we end this war.

In the coming weeks and months, United For Peace and Justice will be discussing the plans for the 6th anniversary national mobilization with our partners and allies in the peace and justice movements around the country. As the details of our activities in Washington , DC come together we will get word out far and wide. Now, we ask you to take note of this call, mark your calendars for the whole week, and start making plans for your community's participation in what will surely be a timely and necessary mobilization.

From the UFPJ National Steering Committee
Issued on October 18, 2008


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


Hard Times in Philadelphia
The hardships of the current financial meltdown are expected to hurt the working poor more than any other group. Here are the voices of five young job seekers who are struggling in Philadelphia.
November 9, 2008


"Justice is a word that resides in the dictionary. It occasionally makes its escape, but is promptly caught and put back where it belongs." --Jack Black




1) Jobless Claims Reach a 16-Year High
November 20, 2008

2) The Lame-Duck Economy
Op-Ed Columnist
November 21, 2008

3) Thousands in Baghdad Protest U.S. Troop Accord
November 22, 2008

4) Sci-Fi Ray Gun Debuts in Iraq
By John Tierney
A Flash Gordon ray gun from the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. (Gary Settle for The New York Times)
November 21, 2008, 11:40 am

5) Tough Choices for Tough Children
By Judith Warner
November 20, 2008, 9:00 pm

6) C.I.A. Withheld Data in Peru Plane Crash Inquiry
November 21, 2008

7) M.T.A. Warns of Service Cuts and Fare Increases
November 21, 2008

8) The Food Chain
Fields of Grain and Losses
November 21, 2008

9) Gulf War Illness
By M.J. Stephey
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008,8599,1860619,00.html

10) Obama Vows Swift Action on Vast Economic Stimulus Plan
November 23, 2008

11) If Bankruptcy Hits Detroit
November 22, 2008

12) Airstrike Kills Militant Tied to Al Qaeda in Pakistan
November 23, 2008

13) Holiday Spending Polls
By Catherine Rampell
November 22, 2008, 2:26 pm

14) New Fears in Michigan, Where the Hard Times Started Years Ago
November 23, 2008


1) Jobless Claims Reach a 16-Year High
November 20, 2008

WASHINGTON — New claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, the Labor Department said Thursday, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening job market expected to get even worse next year.

The government said new applications for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week. That was much higher than Wall Street economists’ expectations of 505,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The department said that was also the highest level of claims since July 1992, when the economy was coming out of a recession.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, was even worse: it rose to 506,500, the highest in more than 25 years.

In addition, the number of people continuing to claim unemployment insurance rose sharply for the third straight week to more than four million, the highest since December 1982, when the economy was in a painful recession.

Those figures partly reflect growth in the labor force, which has increased by about half since the early 1980s.

The figures will probably cause some economists to increase their projections for the unemployment rate this year. Many already expect unemployment to reach 7 percent by early next year and 8 percent by the end of 2009.

The rate in October was 6.5 percent, and last year the rate averaged 4.6 percent.

The Federal Reserve released projections on Wednesday that the jobless rate will climb to 7.1 percent to 7.6 percent next year, according to documents from the Fed’s Oct. 29 closed-door deliberations on interest rate policy.

Initial claims have been driven higher in the last several months by a slowing economy hit by the financial crisis, and cutbacks in consumer and business spending.

Economists consider jobless claims a timely, if volatile indication of how rapidly companies are laying off workers. Employees who quit or are fired for cause are not eligible for benefits.

In another economic report, a private research group says the economy’s health declined further in October as stocks, building permits and consumer expectations all fell.

The Conference Board says its monthly forecast of future economic activity declined 0.8 percent in October, worse than the 0.6 percent decrease expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The index, which weighs indicators like manufacturers’ new orders and supplier deliveries, has fallen four of the last six months. It rose slightly in September, thanks to federal interventions that increased the money supply.


2) The Lame-Duck Economy
Op-Ed Columnist
November 21, 2008

Everyone’s talking about a new New Deal, for obvious reasons. In 2008, as in 1932, a long era of Republican political dominance came to an end in the face of an economic and financial crisis that, in voters’ minds, both discredited the G.O.P.’s free-market ideology and undermined its claims of competence. And for those on the progressive side of the political spectrum, these are hopeful times.

There is, however, another and more disturbing parallel between 2008 and 1932 — namely, the emergence of a power vacuum at the height of the crisis. The interregnum of 1932-1933, the long stretch between the election and the actual transfer of power, was disastrous for the U.S. economy, at least in part because the outgoing administration had no credibility, the incoming administration had no authority and the ideological chasm between the two sides was too great to allow concerted action. And the same thing is happening now.

It’s true that the interregnum will be shorter this time: F.D.R. wasn’t inaugurated until March; Barack Obama will move into the White House on Jan. 20. But crises move faster these days.

How much can go wrong in the two months before Mr. Obama takes the oath of office? The answer, unfortunately, is: a lot. Consider how much darker the economic picture has grown since the failure of Lehman Brothers, which took place just over two months ago. And the pace of deterioration seems to be accelerating.

Most obviously, we’re in the midst of the worst stock market crash since the Great Depression: the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has now fallen more than 50 percent from its peak. Other indicators are arguably even more disturbing: unemployment claims are surging, manufacturing production is plunging, interest rates on corporate bonds — which reflect investor fears of default — are soaring, which will almost surely lead to a sharp fall in business spending. The prospects for the economy look much grimmer now than they did as little as a week or two ago.

Yet economic policy, rather than responding to the threat, seems to have gone on vacation. In particular, panic has returned to the credit markets, yet no new rescue plan is in sight. On the contrary, Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, has announced that he won’t even go back to Congress for the second half of the $700 billion already approved for financial bailouts. And financial aid for the beleaguered auto industry is being stalled by a political standoff.

How much should we worry about what looks like two months of policy drift? At minimum, the next two months will inflict serious pain on hundreds of thousands of Americans, who will lose their jobs, their homes, or both. What’s really troubling, however, is the possibility that some of the damage being done right now will be irreversible. I’m concerned, in particular, about the two D’s: deflation and Detroit.

About deflation: Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s taught economists that it’s very hard to get the economy moving once expectations of inflation get too low (it doesn’t matter whether people literally expect prices to fall). Yet there’s clear deflationary pressure on the U.S. economy right now, and every month that passes without signs of recovery increases the odds that we’ll find ourselves stuck in a Japan-type trap for years.

About Detroit: There’s now a real risk that, in the absence of quick federal aid, the Big Three automakers and their network of suppliers will be forced into liquidation — that is, forced to shut down, lay off all their workers and sell off their assets. And if that happens, it will be very hard to bring them back.

Now, maybe letting the auto companies die is the right decision, even though an auto industry collapse would be a huge blow to an already slumping economy. But it’s a decision that should be taken carefully, with full consideration of the costs and benefits — not a decision taken by default, because of a political standoff between Democrats who want Mr. Paulson to use some of that $700 billion and a lame-duck administration that’s trying to force Congress to divert funds from a fuel-efficiency program instead.

Is economic policy completely paralyzed between now and Jan. 20? No, not completely. Some useful actions are being taken. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the lending agencies, have taken the helpful step of declaring a temporary halt to foreclosures, while Congress has passed a badly needed extension of unemployment benefits now that the White House has dropped its opposition.

But nothing is happening on the policy front that is remotely commensurate with the scale of the economic crisis. And it’s scary to think how much more can go wrong before Inauguration Day.


3) Thousands in Baghdad Protest U.S. Troop Accord
November 22, 2008

BAGHDAD — More than 10,000 supporters of the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr gathered in Baghdad’s Firdos Square on Friday to protest the Iraqi government plan to sign a security agreement which would maintain American troops in the country for up to three years.

With powerful symbolism, demonstrators hanged an effigy of President Bush from the plinth that once supported the statue of Saddam Hussein that was toppled after Baghdad fell to American troops on April 9, 2003.

Preachers and political leaders supporting Mr. Sadr, along with some Sunni opponents of the pact, erected their podium in the same colonnaded traffic circle. The Iraqi crowd applauded the downfall of Mr. Hussein’s regime, and also placed a black hood over the effigy of President Bush. They put a whip in the effigy’s right hand and, in its left, a briefcase on which were written the words “the security agreement is shame and dishonor.”

Chanting “God is great” and “No, no to America; no, no to Israel,” the protesters sat in rows of 50 stretching back more than half a mile.

The rally came on the Muslim holy day as the Iraqi Parliament took time off from discussing the controversial status of forces agreement which Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has negotiated with the Americans and for which he is now trying to secure parliamentary approval in Baghdad.

Protesters arrived overnight to get in place in case Mr. Maliki’s government blocked the central Baghdad square. The crowd was allowed to assemble, but Iraqi Army snipers and machine-gunners took up positions on rooftops overlooking Firdos Square. There was no sign of American forces and the protest appeared peaceful.

A spokesman for Mr. Sadr in Baghdad said his followers opposed the security agreement because they did not believe assurances that the Americans would leave.

“In this protest we want to show the Parliament that the popular resistance to this agreement is far bigger than that which has appeared in the last three or four days,” he said. “There is no guarantee that what has been written and the promises the prime minister has made will be practical — for example, the withdrawal.”


4) Sci-Fi Ray Gun Debuts in Iraq
By John Tierney
A Flash Gordon ray gun from the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. (Gary Settle for The New York Times)
November 21, 2008, 11:40 am

I tremble to type this, but here goes: The ray gun has finally become a reality.

At least that’s what the Economist reports. It says a “directed-energy weapon” named Zeus (presumably because of his fondness for hurling lightning bolts) has been deployed in the back of a Humvee in Iraq. It’s being tested by soldiers who are using its laser beam to detonate roadside bombs from a safe distance of 300 meters.

This is astonishing news, at least to those of us who have been following the ray gun’s history since it was popularized by H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, “The War of the Worlds.” From the ray guns of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon to the phasers and blasters of “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” the weaponry of the future was conspicuously bullet-free. Among futurists purporting to be writing non-fiction, ray-gun technology always seemed to be just around the corner without ever arriving.

Yet now, if the Zeus prototype works in Iraq, a dozen more will introduced within a year, according to the Economist, and bigger versions of the ray gun are in development. There’s the Laser Area Defence System (LADS — for once, a good military acronym) for blowing up incoming shells and rockets with laser beams. Boeing is working on a similar weapon, and a consortium of companies is developing an airborne laser strong enough to disable missiles from several hundred kilometers away.

And there’s also been testing of a smaller, non-lethal weapon using a “a focused beam of millimeter waves to induce an intolerable heating sensation on an adversary’s skin,” as my colleague Tom Zeller Jr. reported in The Lede.

I asked my colleague Bill Broad, our high-tech weapons expert in the Times science department, for some perspective on ray guns and lasers. “We’ve been quietly using lasers for decades — for instance, atop Mt. Haleakala in Hawaii — to illuminate Russian satellites,” he told me. “And pilots have engaged in various laser-blinding incidents. But this battlefield use sounds quite different and cooler. The future approaches!”

If the ray gun works, it will have joined the self-driving car in the ranks of fulfilled sci-fi. And we’ve just seen reports of the “world’s first practical jetpack,” although its immediate practicality seems debatable, to judge from my colleague John Schwartz’s flight.

Can the the time machine be far behind? I welcome your predictions on the next sci-fi gizmo to become reality.


5) Tough Choices for Tough Children
By Judith Warner
November 20, 2008, 9:00 pm

It was disturbing to read in The Times this week that the “atypical” antipsychotic Risperdal, a tranquilizing whopper of a drug with serious, sometimes deadly side effects, is now being widely prescribed to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This despite the fact that Risperdal, which is used in children mostly to treat bipolar disorder, isn’t approved for A.D.H.D., and apparently doesn’t work for treating it at all.

So why, according to new Food and Drug Administration data on doctors’ prescribing practices, were 16 percent of the pediatric users of Risperdal over the past three years children with A.D.H.D.?

The simple answer is to point fingers at the drug companies, whose aggressive efforts to promote off-label use of this problematic new class of drugs have resulted in a spate of lawsuits, including one recently filed by the Arkansas attorney general that accuses Risperdal’s manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, of having “engaged in a direct, illegal, nationwide program of promotion of the use of Risperdal for non-medically necessary uses” — like the treatment of A.D.H.D..

But I think the truth is more complicated than that. I think that what’s happening is that children with big problems are being given big, bad drugs because no one really knows what to do with them.

The biggest controversy in the controversial field of psychiatry these days (“the only field where the doctors are more stigmatized than the illness,” as Thomas R. Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, described it to me last week) is the issue of pediatric bipolar disorder, which many child psychiatrists now say is being grossly overdiagnosed, with a spike in incidence that dovetails suspiciously well with the introduction of atypical antipsychotics in the early and mid-1990s. At the heart of that controversy — the human heart, you might say — is a group of children who are really difficult: chronically irritable, extremely aggressive, prone to explosive outbursts and out-of-control rages.

Many doctors, influenced by the work of Dr. Joseph Biederman at Harvard Medical School (whose ties to industry were detailed in The Times in June), say these symptoms are signs of mania, and call these children bipolar. Others label them with “extreme A.D.H.D.” or Oppositional Defiant Disorder or “severe mood dysregulation,” a diagnosis that’s been proposed by Dr. Ellen Leibenluft, chief of the section on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health.

For the past five years, Dr. Leibenluft has been tracking 100 children she believes have severe mood dysregulation, studying the course of their illness and the outcome of their treatment.

Sixty percent of these children were diagnosed with bipolar disorder — mistakenly, she believes — before she met them. Ninety percent of them meet the criteria for diagnoses of A.D.H.D. or O.D.D. Sixty percent suffer from serious anxiety. Twenty-five percent had an episode of major depression before they turned 12.

“The severely mood dysregulated children are as sick as the bipolar children. They’re severely impaired,” she told me this week. “You can see easily why people would feel you need to use medication. But what medication? We don’t have the data to see what medication because we don’t yet know how to think about these children diagnostically.”

It may well be these kinds of children — these diagnostic orphans — who, at least in part, are showing up now as the “A.D.H.D.” patients being treated with Risperdal.

The issue of what to call these children is a hot one and will heat up further in the near future as discussions take place over whether a new or changed diagnostic category for them should be put in the D.S.M.-V, the long-awaited updated version of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual.

And it isn’t just a matter of semantics.

Category change could mean treatment change. Children who are diagnosed as bipolar, even if they have attention issues, anxiety or depression, often aren’t treated with stimulants (the first-line treatment for A.D.H.D) or antidepressants, because some prominent child psychiatrists have argued that they make bipolar children much worse. So physicians who suspect children are bipolar instead try the much more powerful atypicals, which have much more serious side effects. But severe mood dysregulated children wouldn’t necessarily have to go the atypical route. And there is also data to indicate a real role for non-drug therapy.

In other words, thinking hard about these kids — instead of merely moralizing about them and their psychotropic drug use — may well lead to a situation in which atypical use can be greatly reduced.

This will not satisfy the critics of today’s biological psychiatry for whom no drug use is good drug use, nor the critics of today’s culture of parenting who are sure that all the aggression, irritability and out-of-control behavior that psychiatrists call mental illness is actually nothing more than a state of “toddlerhood in perpetuity” caused by ineffective parenting practices, as the conservative family psychologist and writer John Rosemond and his coauthor have asserted in his new book, “The Diseasing of America’s Children.”

It won’t solve the problem of the drug companies’ predatory marketing practices, or of thought leaders in psychiatry renting out their minds for the sake of fancy vacations and top-flight meals. But the fact that efforts are being made, in a concerted way, to figure out what lies behind the scary-sounding statistics about drugs like Risperdal argues, I think, for hope. After a period in which drug companies have had way too much power in determining how children with psychiatric issues are treated, the pendulum may be swinging back.


6) C.I.A. Withheld Data in Peru Plane Crash Inquiry
November 21, 2008

WASHINGTON — An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that the agency withheld crucial information from federal investigators who spent years trying to determine whether C.I.A. officers committed crimes related to the accidental downing of a missionary plane in Peru in 2001.

The August 2008 report by John L. Helgerson, the C.I.A.’s inspector general, could lead the Justice Department to reopen its investigation into the shooting, examining in particular whether senior C.I.A. officers obstructed justice or lied to Congress by burying details about the episode and the C.I.A.’s broader counternarcotics program.

A C.I.A. surveillance aircraft mistakenly identified the plane as a drug-smuggling aircraft, and a Peruvian military jet shot it down, killing an American missionary and her 7-month-old daughter. The Justice Department closed its investigation into the matter in 2005, declining to prosecute agency officers for any actions related to the episode.

But Mr. Helgerson’s report, parts of which were made public on Thursday, said that the Justice Department investigators and Congress were never allowed access to internal C.I.A. reviews that portrayed the downing as one mistake among many in the agency’s counternarcotics program in Peru. The report said the agency routinely authorized interceptions of suspected drug planes “without adequate safeguards to protect against the loss of innocent life.”

The counternarcotics program was begun under President Clinton in 1994. The report said it had operated for years outside legal boundaries set by the White House.

In releasing unclassified parts of the report on Thursday, Representative Peter J. Hoekstra of Michigan, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was asking the Justice Department to consider whether the C.I.A.’s actions after the incident amounted to obstruction of justice. “This is about as ugly as it gets,” said Mr. Hoekstra, who added that the Justice Department had closed its investigation based on a review of “incomplete information.”

The missionary family that was aboard the aircraft when it was shot down came from Mr. Hoekstra’s district in Michigan.

Paul Gimigliano, an agency spokesman, said that Mr. Helgerson’s report had been delivered to the Justice Department, and that Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, had yet to decide what internal actions to take.

“C.I.A. takes very seriously questions of responsibility and accountability,” Mr. Gimigliano said. “The only accountability process worthy of this agency is one conducted with care, candor and common sense. That’s the single goal here.” A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

The fatal episode occurred in April 2001 over the remote Amazon forest of Peru. The C.I.A. had been operating in the region as part of a joint counternarcotics mission with the Peruvian Air Force, which had the authority to intercept or shoot down planes that did not comply with orders to land. Government reports after the shooting attributed the accident in part to language barriers that prevented the pilot from understanding the orders.

The plane was carrying two missionaries, Veronica Bowers and her husband, James Bowers, their two children, and a pilot. Ms. Bowers’ husband and the couple’s son survived the crash, along with the pilot. Any decision to re-examine the matter could be an early test for the Justice Department under an Obama administration. If the Justice Department determines there was wrongdoing, it may have no choice about whether to pursue a prosecution. At the same time, a lengthy investigation into C.I.A. wrongdoing could immediately chill the relationship between the White House and the spy agency at a time when the C.I.A. is central to the American campaign against terrorism.

According to Mr. Helgerson’s report, C.I.A. officials “within hours” of the downing explained the accident as a one-time mistake in an otherwise sound counternarcotics program.

“In fact, this was not the case,” the report said. It said that the C.I.A. repeatedly misled the White House and Congress between 1995 and 2001 about the Peru operation.

The inspector general’s report said that after the downing of the missionaries’ plane, the C.I.A. had conducted internal reviews “that documented sustained and significant violations of required intercept procedures.” But it said that the agency had denied Congress, the Department of Justice and the National Security Council access to these findings.

Mr. Hoekstra said Thursday that the inspector general’s investigation specifically named C.I.A. officials responsible for the alleged cover-up, but he declined to name those officers. The Justice Department and the C.I.A. inspector general had been investigating the roles played in the incident by the agency’s field officers in Latin America as well as senior officials at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia.

It is also possible that C.I.A. lawyers could face scrutiny if the Justice Department decides to reopen the Peru investigation. The report by Mr. Helgerson says that C.I.A. lawyers from the office of the general counsel “advised agency managers to avoid written products lest they be subject to legal scrutiny” in connection with the downing of the plane.

The intensity of Mr. Helgerson’s investigations of this and other C.I.A. programs rankled many in the C.I.A.’s clandestine branch, as those officers under suspicion saw legal bills mount.

Earlier this year, Mr. Helgerson agreed to a series of changes to inspector general investigations, including the creation of an ombudsman position to hear complaints from C.I.A. officers being scrutinized by the inspector general.

Before the Justice Department decides whether to reopen a criminal investigation, prosecutors are likely to carefully review the inspector general’s report to determine whether the allegations are credible.

If the criminal inquiry into possible obstruction of justice is reopened, the case would probably be handled by the office of the United States attorney in the District of Colombia, which conducted the initial criminal investigation.

Asked Thursday why he waited until now to release the report, Mr. Hoekstra explained that it took several weeks for the document to make its way to Capitol Hill and that this was the first week members were back in session since it arrived.

David Johnston contributed reporting.


7) M.T.A. Warns of Service Cuts and Fare Increases
November 21, 2008

Deep cuts in subway, bus and commuter rail service could come as early as spring, followed by a double-digit rise in fares and tolls in June, transportation officials said on Thursday as they revealed a gloom-and-doom budget that came with a “cry for help” to elected officials to bail the authority out of its financial crisis.

But elected officials said they had no money to give and would wait to hear the proposals of a state commission that was seeking new revenue, which may include tolls on East River bridges and higher taxes, for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“Neither the city nor the state has any money,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking at an event on Staten Island. “There’s not enough money to go around, and we’re all going to have to work together.”

In a statement issued by his office, Gov. David A. Paterson cited the state government’s vast budget problems and signaled that he was waiting for the recommendations of the commission, which is led by Richard Ravitch, a former authority chairman. The commission is expected to make a report in early December.

But Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he believed the Legislature would act to try to avoid the cuts, probably in line with Mr. Ravitch’s recommendations.

“Clearly, he will be talking about ways to raise revenue,” Mr. Silver said in an interview. “I’m not afraid of reasonable, responsible tax policy, plain and simple.

“I think that both the residents and the businesses of the city of New York, understanding the significance of mass transit in the city, would be understanding of some revenue raises to continue affordable mass transit.”

He said he was “optimistic” that a solution would be found to head off the dire cuts.

H. Dale Hemmerdinger, the current chairman of the authority, speaking at a meeting of its board, said, “We don’t want to raise fares, we don’t want to cut service.”

He said the service cuts and fare and toll increases were scheduled so that lawmakers would have time to come to the authority’s rescue.

“I hope that all the elected officials heard this board’s cry for help,” he said.

Perhaps the most eye-catching number in the 584-page, two-volume $11 billion budget and the accompanying 19-page PowerPoint presentation was this: If the budget is approved as is, subway riders next year would pay 83 percent of the cost of operating the system, up from 69 percent this year. In other words, public subsidies would pay for only 17 percent of the costs.

Riders on New York City Transit local buses would pay 48 percent of bus operating costs, up from 39 percent today.

Those levels would be far higher than those of other public transit systems in the country, most of which receive much greater levels of public subsidy when measured as a percentage of operating costs.

“There’s a redistribution going on here, putting more of these expenses on the riders and less on the sectors that benefit from the transit system,” said Gene Russianoff, the staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, a transit rider advocacy group.

He said that as the economy sours and taxes on the real estate and corporate sectors shrink, riders are being asked unfairly to take up the slack.

The authority said that to plug a $1.2 billion budget gap next year, it must increase fare and toll revenues by 23 percent, which would raise an additional $670 million if the increase goes into effect in early June.

While officials refused to say exactly how much each fare would increase, it seemed likely that the base subway and bus fare would rise to at least $2.50 from the current $2.

And the authority called for budget cuts of about $400 million, which would mean cutbacks in many types of bus, subway and commuter rail services. That would include the elimination of 2,800 jobs, many of them through layoffs.

Two subway lines, the Z and the W, which overlap with other lines, would be eliminated, and two others, the G and the M, would be truncated. Many station booths would be closed, and off-peak service on buses and subways would be reduced. On the commuter lines, fewer trains would run and fare booths at many stations would close.

Some riders would be hit harder than others. Long Island Bus, which operates in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and eastern Queens, would see a fare increase of 43 percent.

Riders who use the authority’s Access-a-Ride service for the disabled would pay more than double what they now pay. The Access-a-Ride fare is now equivalent to the base subway and bus fare of $2. It would be increased to double the new base fare.

The authority’s revised 2009 budget was presented to the authority’s board in a packed meeting room on the fifth floor of its headquarters on Madison Avenue, near Grand Central Terminal.

At one point, as the authority’s executive director, Elliot G. Sander, was addressing the board, a man in the audience shouted at him. The police took the man out of the room and gave him a summons for disrupting the meeting.

Mr. Sander described the package of cuts as “very severe, very harsh” and “extremely painful.” But he said the authority would not make any cuts that would affect the safety of passengers. The cuts come as the system is experiencing its highest ridership levels in decades.

The authority’s board has until the end of December to adopt a balanced budget for next year. Mr. Sander said that he expected the governor and the Legislature to take up the issue of the authority’s financing early next year and that he hoped that new financing sources would be passed into law quickly. He called March “a drop-dead time,” and said that if no action had been taken by then, the authority would have to begin making the service cuts. Fares and tolls would rise in June.

Mr. Sander said that the cuts included reductions in administrative jobs. But Andrew M. Saul, a board member, said that more should be cut at the top.

“We need to do everything we can in our power to make sure this organization is really slimmed down,” Mr. Saul said.

Another board member, Norman I. Seabrook, called for a 30 percent “sin tax” on cigarettes and alcohol to help finance mass transit.

State Senator Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader, and Senator Malcolm A. Smith, the minority leader, both said in statements that they were awaiting the recommendations of Mr. Ravitch, the state commission head.


8) The Food Chain
Fields of Grain and Losses
November 21, 2008

WALTERS, Okla. — The farmers said it would not last, and they were right.

When the price of wheat, corn, soybeans and just about every other food grown in the ground began leaping skyward two years ago, farmers were pleased, of course. But generally they refused to believe that the good times would be permanent. They had seen too many booms that were inevitably followed by busts.

Now, with the suddenness of a hailstorm flattening a field, hard times are back on the American farmstead. The price paid for crops is dropping much faster than the cost of growing them.

The government reported this week that the cost of goods and services nationwide fell by a record amount in October as frantic businesses tried to lure customers. While lower prices are good for consumers in the short run, a prolonged stretch of deflation would wreak havoc as companies struggled to stay afloat.

In this lonesome stretch near the Texas border, farmers are getting an early taste of a deflationary world. They have finished planting next year’s winter wheat, turning the fields a brilliant emerald green. But it cost about $6 a bushel in fuel, seed and fertilizer to put the crop in. That is $1 more than they could sell it for today, and never mind other expenses like renting land.

This looming loss sharpens their regret that they did not unload more of this year’s crop back when they harvested it in May. They knew the boom would end, but not so soon.

“I waited all my life for wheat to go from $4 to $5,” said Jimmy Wayne Kinder, a fourth-generation farmer. “Then it hit $10, and we were all asking, ‘What are we going to do?’ ”

Mr. Kinder, who farms about 5,000 acres with his father, James Kinder Jr., and his brother, Kevin, held onto much of his wheat, hoping that prices would go still higher. Instead, they plunged. “I lay in bed at night kicking myself,” Mr. Kinder said.

The farmers in Walters still have to worry about drought and floods and grain bugs and army worms, as they have for decades, but they have new anxieties beyond their control: Manic commodity markets. A rising dollar that makes their crops more expensive overseas. And — an urgent new concern this fall — the solvency of their banks.

In September, when banks began failing at the height of the credit crisis, Mr. Kinder called Mickey Harris, his banker at the First State Bank of Temple. “Are we going to be O.K.?” he asked.

Mr. Harris offered reassurances that the privately owned, one-location bank was fine, but he feels the fate of farmers, until recently one of the strongest sectors in a slumping economy, is less certain.

Unless wheat stages an unexpected recovery, Mr. Harris said, “a year from now these farmers’ net worth will surely be less.”

Oklahoma exports two-thirds of its wheat, more than the country as a whole. That worked to the state’s advantage in 2007 and the first half of 2008, as a combination of bad harvests in Australia, the cheap dollar and rising Asian consumption created intense international demand.

The state’s farmers responded, naturally enough, by ramping up production. Because of better weather and therefore a better yield, 166.5 million bushels of wheat were harvested in Oklahoma this spring, a 10-year high. And because of the high prices, the crop was valued for the first time at more than $1 billion, nearly twice as much as 2007 and nearly three times as much as 2006.

“They made a killing,” said Kim Anderson, a grain economist at Oklahoma State University.

Assuming, that is, they sold. The farmers who cashed in at the right moment are acquiring legendary status. “I know a fellow that sold some wheat for $12 a bushel. That was almost beyond belief,” said James Kinder, 74.

But his son suspects that most were like the Kinder family: they either did not sell or did not sell enough.

The Kinders still have about 40 percent of their wheat, stored on the farm and in commercial grain facilities. “Farmers are terrible marketers,” said Jimmy Wayne Kinder, 50. “We fall in love with our crop.”

It was the same misguided optimism that caused homeowners to think their houses would always keep increasing at a 20 percent annual clip. Farmers across the country fell prey to it.

David Kanable at the Oregon Farm Center, a mill near Madison, Wis., was paying $7.25 a bushel for corn in June. “We never had a farmer lock in at that price. They wanted $8,” Mr. Kanable said. On Thursday, the mill was paying $3.17 a bushel.

When commodity prices were feverish, the price of good farmland exploded, too. Cropland values rose about 20 percent in the Midwest farm belt last year, capping a multiyear rise, according to the Agriculture Department. Walters and other areas southern Oklahoma, where the land is not as rich and the crops have to be coaxed from the soil, were swept up in the excitement.

The previous land boom around Walters was in the late 1970s, a reaction to the high commodity prices of that era. Land went for as much as a thousand dollars an acre.

“Doctors and lawyers were buying the land from farmers,” said the senior Mr. Kinder. “Then prices fell, and those same doctors and lawyers were begging the farmers to take it off their hands.”

Prices dropped to $500 an acre. Only in the last few years did they begin to approach the records set three decades ago.

On a recent sparkling Saturday morning, two dozen farmers showed up for an auction of 160 acres owned by a Kansas woman whose family had held it for decades. The farmer who worked the land, Russ Scherler, brought his checkbook but little hope that he would be top bidder.

Rick High, the auctioneer, chatted up the farmers from the back of his pickup, saying that credit was tight but land was a safe haven. His opening demand: $150,000. Not a farmer moved. “How about 120?” Mr. High asked. No luck. And so the price sank to $60,000, where the first bid was made.

From there, it slowly climbed back up, finally going for $122,000 — about $760 an acre — to a farmer who had sold some land earlier and now needed to buy to avoid tax charges.

Mr. Scherler was disappointed, but not surprised. “Missed me by about $30,000,” he said.

A half-mile up the road, a parcel the same size that was deemed slightly inferior had sold a few weeks earlier for $128,000. The market for land is definitely weakening.

One reason is that the investors and part-time farmers are once again dropping away. Jim Mumford, an equipment dealer in Walters, says demand for small tractors has dried up. Where part-timers might once have put in a small crop, there are only weeds. “They’re holding off till things get better,” Mr. Mumford said.

The Kinders are making their own adjustments.

“The market says, ‘Here’s the price. You want to make any money, get below it,’ ” said Jimmy Wayne Kinder.

One way to do that is by diversifying, so they bought 2,000 head of cattle. This has its own risks: a hard winter will mean less grazing for the cattle, which translates into buying more feed. It is also a gamble that cattle prices will rise instead of sinking, as they have been all fall.

Another way to get under the market price is by trying to do more with less. The Kinders are practically spoon-feeding nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers onto their wheat.

It is a queasy time. “Given the current economic environment, I don’t think anyone can predict commodity prices,” said Mr. Anderson, the economist.

If production costs do not fall or wheat prices do not rise by next spring, he said, farmers will be contacting their representatives in Congress and requesting higher price supports.

The elder Mr. Kinder, who is pessimistic enough to think land values will once again fall 50 percent, is taking it philosophically.

“People have great prosperity and everyone gets spoiled,” he said. “Then there are times of great hardship and everyone learns patience.”


9) Gulf War Illness
By M.J. Stephey
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008,8599,1860619,00.html

Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
465 pages

The Gist:
If you don't want your kid to join the military, have them read the latest report on the health of Gulf War veterans, released by a congressionally mandated panel earlier this week. The 465-page study details how the U.S. military mistakenly poisoned its own soldiers with two chemicals during Operation Desert Storm that have led to a number of debilitating symptoms — from chronic muscle pain and digestive problems to memory loss and persistant skin lesions — now collectively known as "Gulf War Illness" (GWI). Worse still, the panel found that millions of dollars in funding for GWI research had been misappropriated, despite the fact that the illness afflicts nearly 25% of the 700,000 soldiers who fought in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia 17 years ago. (See TIME's A-Z Health Guide.)

Highlight Reel:
1. On GWI's elusive nature: The illness has confounded scientists since 1991, when an unusually large number of Gulf War veterans began reporting a bizarre range of symptoms. As the Committee explains, "Gulf War illness does not fit neatly into our current concepts of disease. The underlying pathobiology of Gulf War illness is not apparent from routine clinical tests, and the illness appears not to be the result of a single cause producing a well-known effect." While the military insisted for years that GWI was another form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the panel concluded that there is no link between the two conditions. In fact, studies have shown that Gulf War veterans have lower rates of PTSD than veterans of other wars.

2. A veterans's description of GWI: "During official visits to strategic military cities there were frequent SCUD attacks during which I heard chemical alarms sound. When I asked if these alarms meant chemicals had been detected, I was told that the chemical alarms had malfunctioned. I became ill and was treated for nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and high temperature. Rashes I had all over my body I thought were normal and expected since I spent most days in the sand, wind and sun with all the attendant fleas, flies and desert parasites. Headaches I attributed to fatigue and lack of sleep. The symptoms ... continued after I returned home and got progressively worse."

3. On the complicated web of factors and likely causes: The panel determined that two chemicals are likely responsible for GWI, both of which were administered by the U.S. military to its own soldiers: the drug pyridostigmine bromide (PB), given to troops to protect against nerve gas, and pesticides sprayed around barracks, dining halls and uniforms to protect against insects. But the panel did not rule out the myriad other toxic chemicals that soldiers faced on the ground, including "hundreds of burning oil well fires that turned the Kuwaiti sky black with smoke, dramatic reports of uranium-tipped munitions, sandstorms, secret vaccines, and frequent chemical alarms, along with the government's acknowledgement of nerve agent releases in theater ... Studies have also indicated that Gulf War veterans developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) [also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease] at twice the rate of nondeployed veterans, and that those stationed downwind from the Khamisiyah munitions demolitions have died from brain cancer at twice the rate of other Gulf War veterans."

4. On the lack of research and the misuse of federal funds: Since 1994, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have spent nearly $440 million on Gulf War research, or so the agencies said. The panel found that much of the money had been used to fund research wholly unrelated to GWI. In fact, much of the DOD's "Gulf War portfolio" consisted of projects for currently deployed soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the DOD has slashed funding for Gulf War research from nearly $30 million annually to less than $5 million in 2006. "Consequently," the panel writes, "federal Gulf War research programs have not, as yet, succeeded in achieving the primary objective of Gulf War research, that is, to improve the health of Gulf War veterans."

The Lowdown:
This report is not for the faint of heart — and not just because of its length. It serves as a grim reminder that sometimes a soldier's greatest enemy is the government he or she is fighting for. As the panel notes, it took nearly 20 years before the U.S. admitted that its use of Agent Orange had adversely affected soldiers during Vietnam, and it's taken just as long for Gulf War veterans to get GWI recognized as an actual medical condition. As the report's authors state, "addressing the serious and persistent health problems that affect Gulf War veterans as a result of their military service remains the obligation of the federal government and all who are indebted to the men and women who risked their lives in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia 17 years ago. This obligation is made more urgent by the length of time these veterans have waited for answers." One can't help but wonder what challenges lie ahead for the thousands of men and women who are currently fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. And one can only hope that, this time, history won't repeat itself.


10) Obama Vows Swift Action on Vast Economic Stimulus Plan
November 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday signaled that he would pursue a far more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts than anything he outlined on the campaign trail, setting the tone for a recovery effort that could absorb and define much of his term.

In the Democrats’ weekly radio address, Mr. Obama said he would direct his economic team to design a two-year stimulus plan with the goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs, “a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face that I intend to sign soon after taking office” on Jan. 20, an indication that he would begin pushing his plan through Congress even before taking office. Mr. Obama is coordinating with the Democratic leaders of Congress, who have indicated they will begin work in December.

With the worsening economic turmoil certain to mark Mr. Obama’s first year in office, his advisers say they are intent on trying to use the crisis as an opportunity to act on many of the issues he emphasized in his campaign, including tax cuts for lower- and middle-class workers, addressing neglected public infrastructure projects like roads and schools and creating new “green jobs” through federal business incentives for energy alternatives and environmentally friendly technologies.

“The news this week has only reinforced the fact that we are facing an economic crisis of historic proportions,” Mr. Obama said. “We now risk falling into a deflationary spiral that could increase our massive debt even further.”

Mr. Obama’s address, a video of which was made available on YouTube, was the keynote of an effort to calm tumultuous financial markets roiled by an apparent leadership vacuum in Washington before he takes office in two months. On Monday, Mr. Obama plans to announce some top players on his economic team. The leak on Friday that he will name as his Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, sent the stock market up nearly 500 points after days of sharp losses.

Those market declines and the prospect of automakers and other storied companies near collapse last week had sparked growing criticism that Mr. Obama was sitting on the sidelines. His statements about “one president at a time,” the critics said, ignored the facts that President Bush has been ineffectual in dealing with the crisis, and Congress proved unable to do much in its quick one-week session.

The economic team will also include Peter R. Orszag, head of the Congressional Budget Office, who will be the next White House budget director. Transition officials said the economist Lawrence H. Summers, who was a senior economic adviser to Mr. Obama during the campaign, is also likely to be named to a senior White House role, but that remained unclear on Saturday. Mr. Summers served as secretary of the Treasury in the last 18 months of the Clinton administration and was a contender for the same job in the Obama administration.

Mr. Summers has advocated for a forceful government stimulus plan in recent newspaper columns, saying the federal government should be doing more, not less, in areas like health care, energy, education and tax relief. Mr. Obama seemed to echo those thoughts in his radio address.

“We’ll be working out the details in the weeks ahead, but it will be a two-year, nationwide effort to jump-start job creation in America and lay the foundation for a strong and growing economy,” Mr. Obama said. “We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.”

Though advisers say they have not begun to fill in the details, Mr. Obama’s proposal would most likely require the new administration to go back to Congress for approval of a significant jobs and infrastructure program beyond the money it has already authorized for the bailout of financial institutions. Democratic leaders have been calling for a robust economic recovery initiative of up to $300 billion, including large spending on infrastructure to create jobs. President Bush has refused to consider a package so large, yet even some conservative economists have said $300 billion is the minimum needed to spur the economy.

“There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making,” Mr. Obama said. “And it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. But January 20th is our chance to begin anew, with a new direction, new ideas and new reforms that will create jobs and fuel long-term economic growth.”

The 2.5 million jobs that he promises to save or create over two years is a gross number. With about 1.2 million jobs lost this year, and more expected to be lost in 2009, Obama advisers expect that the net number of jobs created next year will be negative — that is, job losses will outnumber new jobs. For 2010, the advisers are going to project a positive net number, with more new jobs than jobs lost.

Nearly every spending program and tax cut that Mr. Obama proposed during the campaign could well end up in the package, perhaps expanded and expedited, advisers indicated. For example, Mr. Obama’s proposals in his energy plans for the government to invest in energy alternatives and environmentally advanced “green” technologies will most likely be part of the stimulus package, rather than proposed later in his administration as originally anticipated.

In effect, the stimulus will be seen by the new Obama administration as “a down payment,” as one adviser put it, on Mr. Obama’s entire domestic platform, allowing him to try to take maximum advantage of the first year of his presidency. Traditionally, the first year is the one in which modern presidents have achieved most of their major victories.

Mr. Obama’s plans track with those of Democratic leaders, with whom he has been consulting in hopes that Congress could take action even before he is inaugurated.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a news conference on Friday after the lame-duck session, said Democrats would work “on a recovery package — we are not using the word ‘stimulus’ — a recovery package to be introduced in January.”

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, in a statement after Mr. Obama’s radio address, said, “We will soon finally have a leader and partner in the White House who recognizes the urgency with which we must turn around our economy, and I look forward to working with him and the new Congress to do so.”

While Mr. Bush would be out of office, Congressional Republicans could still block a big stimulus package in the Senate, as Mr. Obama seemed to recognize. “I know that passing this plan won’t be easy,” Mr. Obama said. “I will need and seek support from Republicans and Democrats, and I’ll be welcome to ideas and suggestions from both sides of the aisle.”

“But what is not negotiable,” Mr. Obama said, “is the need for immediate action.”


11) If Bankruptcy Hits Detroit
November 22, 2008

Congress has given Detroit’s flailing automakers less than two weeks to come up with a restructuring plan that would justify giving them tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and ensure that they have a reasonable path back to profitability. We hope it is a good plan, because the lame-duck Congress does not have a choice.

Michigan’s three car manufacturers have said that they would go bankrupt this year without an infusion of taxpayers’ money. Failing to provide it would be a truly irresponsible act that could obliterate one or more companies, potentially causing other bankruptcies and costing many hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Unpalatable as it seems to underwrite the proven record of failure of Detroit’s automakers, Congress must provide sufficient money to shore them up until the Obama administration takes office. Then, the new president and new Congress can decide how to manage either a rescue package with tight strings attached or a bankruptcy process that ensures the fallen companies have a reasonable shot at picking up the pieces.

Bankruptcy proceedings are designed to allow ailing companies to be restructured into profitable businesses, but that is by no means guaranteed — and it requires infusions of credit.

In the current financial environment, where even the soundest companies are having trouble getting loans, the government would have to guarantee that financing is available so that any car company under bankruptcy protection could keep operating and paying its workers and suppliers while it is restructured.

A bankrupt carmaker would face another tricky problem: how to keep consumers from shunning its cars out of fear that it might not be around to honor its warranty. Any bankruptcy financing given to a car company should be enough to buy warranty insurance to cover its fleet.

None of this guarantees an orderly restructuring. A company in bankruptcy proceedings could try to avoid making tough choices and coast through on the government dime. Insuring warranties might create an incentive for the company and its workers to relax on quality control. But these concerns might be addressed by tying worker and executive incentives to car quality and establishing a ceiling for government bankruptcy credit.

To get America’s carmakers back on their feet, difficult choices will have to be made — including cutting labor costs and the cost of health insurance. That is likely to mean selling off some product lines, laying off workers and closing the least productive plants. It could mean renegotiating the deal with the auto workers’ union to pay billions into a fund to cover retiree medical costs.

Taxpayers will end up with a big liability even if the company turns around and is able to repay its debt to the government. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is required to cover a substantial portion of the underfunded pension liabilities of any bankrupt company.

Economists Luigi Zingales and Joshua Rauh of the University of Chicago estimated that if General Motors were to collapse, underfunded pension liabilities would cost taxpayers roughly $23 billion.

It would still be our choice that the restructuring of blundering auto companies occur in an orderly way and be combined with a national strategy to deliver more fuel-efficient cars. Congress, so far, has failed in its duty to help make that happen. What must be avoided at all costs is for a big car company to spiral into liquidation.


12) Airstrike Kills Militant Tied to Al Qaeda in Pakistan
November 23, 2008

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A British militant who was a liaison to Al Qaeda and was a main suspect in the plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners in 2006 was killed Saturday in a missile strike by an American aircraft in northern Pakistan, senior Pakistani and American officials said.

The militant, Rashid Rauf, was among the five people killed in the attack by a remotely piloted aircraft in North Waziristan, close to the Afghan border, the officials said. He is perhaps the best-known of the figures killed in an American airstrike campaign there that has intensified since August and has caused increased strains between the United States and Pakistan.

In August 2006, Mr. Rauf, a Briton of Pakistani descent, was detained in Pakistan, triggering the arrest of 25 suspects in Britain in connection with what prosecutors said was a plot to destroy seven airliners headed for the United States and Canada. This September, a British jury convicted three of eight defendants of conspiracy to commit murder, failing to reach verdicts on the more serious charge of using beverage bottles filled with liquid explosives to blow up the aircraft.

But Mr. Rauf was not among those defendants. All terrorism charges against him in that case were dropped in December 2006. A year later, he slipped out of his handcuffs and ran from his guards after a court hearing in Islamabad, Pakistan, on a separate case in which he faced extradition to Britain.

Pakistani officials confirmed on Saturday that Mr. Rauf was the main target of the American missile strike, with Abu Zubair al-Masri, an operative of Al Qaeda. “Rashid Rauf and al-Masri were the targets and have apparently been killed in the missile strike,” a senior government official said.

In Washington, an American official confirmed the death of Mr. Rauf. “There are good reasons to believe, as the Pakistanis have said, that this major terrorist is gone,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Residents in the village of Alikhel, in the Mirali area of North Waziristan, said two missiles hit the well-guarded compound of a Taliban commander, Maulvi Khaliq Noor, Saturday morning. Three children were wounded in the attack, the residents said.

Brought up in Britain by parents who were Pakistani immigrants from Kashmir, Mr. Rauf, 27, settled in southern Punjab Province in Pakistan in 2002. He married into a family at the center of the Army of Muhammad, an outlawed Islamist group.

When Pakistani authorities arrested him in August 2006, the interior minister at the time, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, called him “a key Al Qaeda operative.” Mr. Rauf was described at the time as being instrumental in devising the airline plot.

The British police, who had the group in Britain under surveillance at the time, complained that the Pakistani police arrested Mr. Rauf too early and forced them to round up the suspects in Britain before enough incriminating evidence had been gathered.

Mr. Rauf’s escape was an embarrassment to the government because it showed police laxity a day after Pervez Musharraf, who was president then, had announced that the security forces had thwarted militantism and that stability was returning to Pakistan.

Mr. Rauf was wanted in Britain as a suspect in the murder of an uncle who was stabbed in Birmingham in April 2002.

The missile strike in North Waziristan on Saturday was the third by the Americans in almost three days. Since August, there have been more than two dozen strikes by remotely piloted aircraft, including one last week that hit a settled area in the North-West Frontier Province outside the tribal region.

American military commanders have declared the strikes successful in eliminating important Qaeda and Taliban figures.

But the Pakistani authorities have protested that the strikes are an infringement of national sovereignty and harm the government’s efforts to persuade the Pakistani public that the war against the militants is in the country’s interest.

Many Pakistanis argue that the American missile strikes are responsible for the suicide bomb attacks that have struck law enforcement targets, funerals and politicians in the North-West Frontier Province and in Islamabad, the capital.

After the strike on Saturday, a Taliban spokesman, Ahmadullah Ahmadi, said that no foreigners had been killed.

“Americans have killed innocent people and none of them were foreigners,” he said in a statement issued on behalf of a top militant commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, in Miram Shah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Mr. Ahmadi said the militants would seek revenge. “We will avenge the death of innocent people by striking in settled areas” against security forces, he said.

Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington.


13) Holiday Spending Polls
By Catherine Rampell
November 22, 2008, 2:26 pm

Dalia Sussman, of The Times’s polling unit, has written up a nice summary of what Americans expect to spend this holiday season:

Amid the current financial crisis and weak consumer confidence, two new polls on Americans’ spending plans this coming holiday season offer a bleak outlook for retailers.

A Gallup poll and an ABC News poll released this week both find Americans planning to substantially cut back on the amount of money they will spend on gifts for the holidays this year. The amount respondents in both polls predict they’ll spend is the least in either poll’s history of asking the question (Gallup since 1999, ABC since 1989).
Source: Gallup

Close to half of respondents in both polls, moreover, say they will spend less than they did last year on gifts – the most that have said so in Gallup polls dating back to 1990, and matching the most in ABC News polls since 1985. Fewer than 1 in 10 in each poll plan to spend more.

The ABC News poll finds children’s retailers in particular could be hit: 56 percent of parents in the poll say they’ll spend less this holiday season, up especially sharply from a year ago. But it also suggests that even high-end retailers might feel the pinch. Nearly half (46 percent) of people in households earning more than $100,000 plan to cut back.

Along those lines, more than two-thirds of respondents in the ABC News poll say they’ll likely wait for items to go on sale even if that means they may not get exactly what they want.

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 13-16 with 1,009 adults nationwide. The ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Nov. 12-16 with 1,002 adults nationwide. Each has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

For a look at the relationship between holiday spending expectations and actual holiday spending, go here.


14) New Fears in Michigan, Where the Hard Times Started Years Ago
November 23, 2008

FENNVILLE, Mich. — The bad news keeps coming to Michigan, a state long stuck in recession and at ground zero in the national economic downturn. But unlike in months and years past, there are no exceptions to the despair, not even here among the bucolic resort communities along Lake Michigan.

The flailing auto industry is important here, but so is furniture building, tourism, the retail trade and construction — pieces of the economy long buffered from the downturn in Detroit. Now waves of layoffs are sweeping towns around here in wine country and elsewhere across the state, swelling the ranks of the unemployed just as tens of thousands of those already out of work fear running out of unemployment benefits.

“You just sit and you worry,” said Pat Weber, a construction administrator in Fennville who was laid off more than a year ago. “In the last year, I’ve put in for more than 100 jobs. I stopped counting after 110. It’s just so defeating.”

All around Fennville and its neighbors here in southwest Michigan, front lawns are peppered with for-sale signs and merchants complain about slow days. But while this remains a beautiful place with none of the obvious blight of Detroit on the other side of the state, residents say the hardship beneath the surface is very real.

It is the same story in other parts of Michigan, as the state’s already entrenched recession — in at least its fifth year, according to economic experts — digs deeper as a result of the recent global financial crisis.

New data show the state’s unemployment rate crept up to 9.3 percent, almost three times what it was in 2000, and, along with Rhode Island, the highest in the country. Just last week, Herman Miller Inc., an office furniture company based in Zeeland, Mich., announced that it would eliminate or lay off 400 to 650 workers, many of them in western Michigan. SKD Automotive, an auto parts manufacturer in Jonesville, Mich., where it is the largest employer, indicated it would eliminate 300 jobs.

As a result of the steady job losses that began in the summer of 2000, 1.82 million Michigan residents, or close to 20 percent of the population, are now on some form of public assistance, including food stamps and home heating credits, a record for the state.

“It is really hard not knowing if you aren’t going to be working the next day,” said Wendy Einhardt, 47, who spent 16 years making plastic car parts before being laid off in August in Sebewaing, on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. “You worry a lot about what is coming.”

Around the state, home foreclosures are commonplace, the trust fund that pays unemployment benefits is millions of dollars in debt, food banks are struggling, and health agencies are reporting an uptick in people with symptoms like anxiety and depression. Suicides were up in recent years, although officials caution against drawing any direct links between deaths and the economy.

In one sign of distress, in the first nine months of this year, some 130,000 Michigan residents who had lost their jobs remained out of work so long that they ran out of regular unemployment benefits. By the middle of this month, 63,000 people (who had already run out of their ordinary maximum benefit — as many as 26 weeks, at as much as $362 a week) also ran out of an extension authorized by Congress. Without a second extension of benefits, signed by President Bush on Friday, tens of thousands of others had been expected to run out each month.

Sandra Peavley, 54, who lives in Warren, near Detroit, and had worked at a bank for 18 years before losing her job, ran out of unemployment last month. Ms. Peavley, who is divorced and had grown accustomed to earning more than $60,000 a year — plus health benefits, an annual bonus and a thriving 401(k) — said her unemployment checks were what had allowed her to stay afloat.

“There was never anything left over, but it kept my household running,” she said.

Ms. Peavley said she could not afford health insurance anymore, and has come to ration the antistress pills her doctor prescribed. She has not paid debts she owes on credit cards, and says she changed her phone number only to have creditors, to her mortification, call her neighbors, even distant relatives, trying to track her down.

“I don’t have the money,” Ms. Peavley said quietly. “I’m out of work. What am I supposed to do?”

Back near Fennville, Kevin Charak is concerned about the future, too. He is the owner of the Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast in Douglas, a lakeside town known for its charm. “Things have gotten worse in the past six months to a year,” Mr. Charak said. “And I’m not the first guy to feel the pain; I’m the last guy to feel the pain. The phone’s just not ringing.”

Interviews in several towns with residents, elected officials and economic experts show that Michigan is straining under the weight of the prolonged hard times. And it is anxious about a future that could look even worse, particularly if any of the Big Three automakers should collapse.

“There’s this feeling that we’ve been in the trough long before anyone got there,” said Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Human Services. “It’s been a long spiral downward since 2000, really. We’ve never experienced any economic recovery.”

Ms. Weber, 58, the unemployed construction administrator here, tried to sell the two-bedroom home she designed on six acres abutting a forest in the early 1990s so she could move away from Fennville to find work, but the house languished on a weak market for months and, finally, dejected, she gave up.

She is not sure how much longer she will be able to pay her mortgage. She fears the solidly middle-class life she built for herself over decades is within a whisker of disappearance.

“The worst that will happen is that I will lose my home,” Ms. Weber said gazing around her living room, her golden retriever at her feet.

Rick McHugh, a lawyer who focuses on Michigan for the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers, has even seen his job change. “A year ago, I felt like I could help people, give people advice or send them to a program that would help them,” he said. “Now, I say, ‘I hope you have a relative with a house that’s paid off so you’ll have a place to live.’ ”

Many of the state’s unemployed are hoping to go back to school to be trained for technical, medical or so-called green jobs — areas that seem to be more in demand than old-style manufacturing.

But one barrier, some experts say, is the high number — some 1.7 million residents — who have “basic skill challenges,” like poor English or no high school diploma. As far as higher education, the state ranks 35th, below the national average, in college graduates.

Some of the newly poor were homeowners not long ago. According to state figures, 7 percent of families who are foreclosed on these days end up homeless. And Michigan’s foreclosure rate is among the top five nationwide, with the highest concentration in Wayne County, home to Detroit and some suburbs.

For Ms. Weber, who is far from destitute, there is no more going out for dinner and very little driving. Her grocery list is shorn of extras. She is not sure that her car, which needs pricey repairs, will get her to Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Life looks different now.

“This is so debilitating, so humiliating,” she said. “I feel kicked to the curb. It’s been one defeat after another, seems like forever. I feel reduced to nothing.”

Michigan’s governor, Jennifer M. Granholm, a Democrat, says that her administration has made efforts to remake basic elements of state policy — tax structure, statewide school requirements, the economy itself — anything to turn things around. But she acknowledges the progress has been slow.

“These are all long-term strategies, I know,” Ms. Granholm said. “But we didn’t get here overnight so we’ve got to do a lot of things to get out of it.”

After six years of cuts in the state’s budget, more trims seem inevitable because of a shortfall this fiscal year, expected by one estimate to be $400 million.

As for more cuts, Ms. Granholm lamented, “people are used to it now.”

State officials see Michigan as being, at least in part, the victim of a globalized economy and an automobile industry that failed to keep up with consumer demand. But others see a much broader explanation rooted in the state’s inability to diversify its economy.

“We put all our chips on a poker hand called durable goods manufacturing, particularly the autos,” said Charles L. Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University. “In the middle of the 20th century, every time we turned over the hand it was four aces, a straight flush. If you have an undiversified economy based on a sector that’s booming, great.”

But that is not the case anymore.

In fact, more than half of the people employed nationwide by the Big Three automakers live in Michigan. And together, their market share has plummeted 30 percentage points to something approaching 44 percent of the overall auto market in the last 13 years. It has had a ripple effect across the state.

Steve Landaal, the president of Landaal Packaging Systems in Burton, Mich., said he had no choice but to begin a painful string of layoffs of his employees in April. In the end, nearly 70 have been laid off from the company’s packaging division, which once had 250 employees boxing and distributing products (plenty of them G.M. car parts).

“The hardest thing in my job I’ve ever had to do is lay people off,” he said. “At this point, around here, finding a job is like getting blood out of a stone.”

Susan Saulny reported from Fennville, and Monica Davey from Lansing, Mich.




Afghanistan: Gates Seeks More Troops
World Briefing | Asia
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday that he would like to add significant United States forces to the war in Afghanistan before national elections scheduled for next year. Mr. Gates, left, who was meeting in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, with the defense ministers of eight countries that have forces in southern Afghanistan, said the additional forces would give the elections greater security. He said secure, successful elections were probably the most important goal for Afghanistan next year, and he predicted that security conditions would “be under enough control to allow the elections to take place.”
November 22, 2008

Women Gain in Education but Not Power, Study Finds
GENEVA (Reuters) — Women still lag far behind men in top political and decision-making roles, though their access to education and health care is nearly equal, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday.
In its 2008 Global Gender Gap report, the forum, a Swiss research organization, ranked Norway, Finland and Sweden as the countries that have the most equality of the sexes, and Saudi Arabia, Chad and Yemen as having the least.
Using United Nations data, the report found that girls and women around the world had generally reached near-parity with their male peers in literacy, access to education and health and survival. But in terms of economics and politics, including relative access to executive government and corporate posts, the gap between the sexes remains large.
The United States ranked 27th, above Russia (42nd), China (57th), Brazil (73rd) and India (113th). But the United States was ranked below Germany (11th), Britain (13th), France (15th), Lesotho (16th), Trinidad and Tobago (19th), South Africa (22nd), Argentina (24th) and Cuba (25th).
“The world’s women are nearly as educated and as healthy as men, but are nowhere to be found in terms of decision-making,” said Saadia Zahidi of the World Economic Forum
Middle Eastern and North African countries received the lowest ratings over all. The rankings of Syria, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia declined in 2008.
The report said the inequalities in those countries were so large as to put them at an economic disadvantage.
“A nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent. To maximize its competitiveness and development potential, each country should strive for gender equality.”
November 13, 2008

Syria: Uranium Traces Found at Bombed Site, Diplomats Say
World Briefing | Middle East
Samples taken from a Syrian site bombed by Israel last year contained traces of uranium combined with other elements that merit further investigation, diplomats said Monday. The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because their information was confidential, said the uranium was processed, suggesting some kind of nuclear link.
One diplomat said the uranium finding itself was significant only in the context of other traces found in the oil or air samples taken by International Atomic Energy Agency experts in June. Syria has a rudimentary declared nuclear program revolving around research for medical and agricultural uses, and the uranium traces might have inadvertently been carried to the bombed site.
November 11, 2008

Italy: School Reforms Draw More Protests
World Briefing | Europe
Students and teachers took to the streets of Italy on Thursday for the third consecutive day to protest reforms and cutbacks by the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that would reduce the number of classroom hours and diminish the number of elementary school teachers. Elementary, middle and high schools were closed as union members went on strike and joined public marches that paralyzed Rome and other cities.
October 31, 2008

Wider Disparity in Life Expectancy Is Found Between Rich and Poor
World Briefing
The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor has increased to as much as 40 years within some countries, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. The disparity can be found not just within and between nations, but even within cities. In measurements of infant mortality, for example, the number of children who died in the wealthiest area of Nairobi, Kenya, was less than 15 per 1,000. On the other hand, in a poor neighborhood the death rate was 254 per 1,000, according to the report, which was released on Tuesday. Worldwide, average life expectancy was 81 years for people in the richest 10 percent of the population, while it was 46 years for people in the poorest 10 percent.
October 17, 2008




"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)
Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)"


Where we are at. An appeal for support
Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist Project Director
October 15, 2008

I'm proud to report that we have more than doubled the number of military objectors advised or directly supported since last year. To do this, our organizing collective has stepped up to the challenge in major ways, and we increased our staffing as well.

We're now attempting to do this work in the context of an unprecedented economic meltdown that financially affects every one of us in some way. Even prior to that, we were competing with a historic presidential election campaign for your donation. Of course we hold out hope for a new foreign policy not based on brutal occupations, but we're not holding our breath. If change does happen, it will take time for any new foreign policy to trickle down to the courageous men and women who are refusing to fight today.

Quick facts about our budget:

--86 percent of our entire budget has come directly from folks such as you.
--We currently rely on approximately 2,000 contributors across the U.S.
--The average donation we receive is just over $40.
--About half of our budget goes directly to supporting individual resisters.
--The remaining 14 percent of our budget comes from small grants made by progressive foundations.

Recently, we brought on board Sarah Lazare as Project Coordinator who has hit the ground running working with resisters, publishing articles, and collaborating with our allies in the justice and peace movement. Sarah is a former union organizer, Democracy Now! intern, and volunteer at a refugee camp in Lebanon.

Also new to our staff is our Office Manager Adam Seibert, who like me is a former Marine. Adam served in Somalia prior to going UA / AWOL under threat of another combat deployment.

I've never felt better about our staff and organizing collective. We're undertaking urgent and unique work that directly contributes to ending war. However, we are currently running a $4,000 monthly deficit. Whether we can move forward with our work to support the troops who refuse to fight is in large part based on your shared commitment to this project.

For a review of our current work with resisters Tony Anderson, Blake Ivy, Robin Long, and our women and men fighting to remain in Canada, please check our homepage. We have also posted an organizational timeline of action that details our work since 2003.

Today I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $100 or more, or become a sustainer at $20 or more a month. With your direct assistance, I'm confident we'll be able to move forward together in challenging our government's policies of empire. Together we have the power to end the war.

Jeff Paterson
Courage to Resist Project Director
First U.S. military serviceperson to refuse to fight in Iraq


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



The Battle Of Sadr City

Weaponry so advanced that it spots the enemy and destroys it from nearly two miles above the battlefield made the difference in the fight for Sadr City last spring. Lesley Stahl's report shows rare footage of the weaponry in action.

October 13, 2008


"Meditating on the current U.S. public debt-$10,266 trillions-that President Bush is laying on the shoulders of the new generations in that country, I took to calculating how long it would take a man to count the debt that he has doubled in eight years.

"A man working eight hours a day, without missing a second, and counting one hundred one-dollar bills per minute, during 300 days in the year, would need 710 billion years to count that amount of money." -Fidel Castro Ruz, October 11, 2008


Check out this video of the Oct. 11 protest in Boston:

Video: Peace Rally in Providence
October 11th, 2008
Rhode Island Community Coalition for Peace held an anti-war and pro immigration rally at Dexter Training Grounds, beside the Cranston Armory, followed by a march that ended up at Burnside Park around 4:30 p.m. There were 200 people at the rally and more joined the march along the way. Providence Journal video by Kathy Borchers


"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel."

- Abraham Lincoln, speech to Illinois legislature, January 1837


Subprime crisis explanation by The Long Johns

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


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