Friday, July 30, 2010

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. VIDEOS
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. ARTICLES IN FULL

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Dear Berkeley Community Member,

We are writing to ask you to join us on Thursday, August 5th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the steps of the BUSD Administration Building (2134 MLK Jr. Way) for a candlelight vigil protesting the Governor's proposed elimination of child care funding for low-income families. As you may know, the Governor has proposed devastating cuts to state support for childcare. In Hayward programs are already closing and in Berkeley and neighboring communities the programs will close as of August 31st. We must send a message to our Governor that these cuts are inhumane and unwise. Families will not have vital child care services, and programs and school districts do not have funds to operate while there is no signed California state budget!

Our State needs more childcare and support for preschool, not less!

At this event you will have a chance to write letters to the Governor and to make strategic phone calls to legislative leaders. Parents, teachers, classified staff, Berkeley leaders and others will speak briefly about the devastating impacts these proposed cuts are already having.

To help us plan, please send an email to bft4tchr@lmi.net to let us know if you and your family can attend. This will help a great deal in organizing materials.

Thanks very much.

Beatriz Leyva-Cutler; Cathy Campbell; Maria Carriedo; Exec. Director, BAHIA; BFT President; BUSD Preschool Principal

Cathy Campbell
President, Berkeley Federation of Teachers
2530 San Pablo Avenue, Suite A
Berkeley, CA 94702
Phone: (510) 549-2307
Fax: (510) 549-2308

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Rally at Livermore Against Nuclear Weapons
Friday, August 6th, 8:00 A.M.
Meet at Vasco Rd. and Patterson Pass Rd., Livermore, CA.

Gathering to pledge to never again use nuclear weapons, on this 65th anniversary
of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tri Valley CARES and other groups will rally near the West Gate of Lawrence Livermore Lab. Norman Solomon will speak. Call East Bay Peace Action at 925-443-7148 for more information.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Progressive Film Festival Aug. 7-8
A fundraiser for the ANSWER Coalition
at ATA, 992 Valencia St. at 21st St., San Francisco

$6 admission for each screening
Light refreshments. Wheelchair accessible.

Sat. August 7
7pm - Maquilapolis (City of Factories)
Documenting the struggle of women workers in Tijuana.

"Many consider the U.S.-Mexico border to be 'the laboratory of the future.' In Maquilapolis the border is also the site where global capitalism is facing profound resistance. The maquiladora workers are neither helpless victims nor dupes of neo-liberal capitalism, but rather social actors in the full sense of the word" -Rosa-Linda Fregoso, UCSC

Carmen Durán works the graveyard shift at one of Tijuana's 800 maquiladoras; she is one of millions of women around the world who labor for poverty level wages in the factories of transnational corporations. When the plant where Carmen worked for six years moved to Indonesia, they try to avoid paying the legally mandated severance pay to which they were entitled by law. Carmen becomes a promotora, a grassroots activist, challenging the usual illegal tactics of the powerful transnationals.

The filmmakers gave several women workers in Tijuana video cameras to make a record of their struggles, giving the film the intimate feel of video diaries. Spanish with English subtitles, 68min., 2006

8:30pm - 9 Star Hotel
A story of Palestinian workers struggling for survival under Israeli occupation.

This unflinching documentary follows Ahmed and Muhammad, two of the many Palestinians who illegally cross the border into the Israeli city of Modi'in in search of work. Together they share food, belongings and stories, and live under the constant threat of imprisonment from Israeli soldiers and police. With raw, handheld images, this disconcerting yet touching film documents friendship, nostalgia and the uncompromising urge to survive. 2007, 78min., Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.

Sun. August 8
Cuba: An African Odyssey
Documenting Cuba's role in the African Liberation struggles of the 60's & 70's.

5pm - Part 1: Congo and Guinea Bissau

7:30pm - Part 2: Angola

In this ambitious and revealing documentary, Egyptian-French filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri traces the history of Cuban solidarity with African liberation movements in the 1960s and 70s. It begins in 1965 when Che Guevara led a group of Cuban revolutionary fighters in an unsuccessful attempt to support the struggle for true independence in the Congo. It then moves to Cuban's role in the struggles against Portuguese/NATO colonialism in Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

Cuba: An African Odyssey combines remarkable archival footage-much of it never before seen in the U.S.-with an amazing cast of participants showing Cuba's pivotal role in the liberation movements in Africa. Over 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries, one of many examples of Cuba's true internationalism. Spanish and English with English subtitles, 2007, Part 1 - 130min., Part 2 - 60min.

If you cannot attend, but would like to make a much-needed donation to the ANSWER Coalition:
https://secure2.convio.net/pep/site/Donation?ACTION=SHOW_DONATION_OPTIONS&CAMPAIGN_ID=1443&JServSessionIdr004=q6a1fcbds2.app213b

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org http://www.answersf.org
answer@answersf.org
2489 Mission St. Rm. 24
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

MASS DEMONSTRATION

Benton Harbor, Mich. - August 10, 2010

STOP WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION FROM STEALING LAND FROM THE RESIDENTS OF BENTON HARBOR

PROTEST THE OPENING OF THE JACK NICKLAUS
SIGNATURE GOLF COURSE FOR THE RICH.
JACK NICKLAUS, ARNOLD PALMER, TOM WATSON,
AND JOHNNY MILLER WILL ALL BE THERE!
BRING YOUR GOLF CLUBS TO PROTEST
THE "CLUBBING" WHIRLPOOL
HAS BEEN GIVING BENTON HARBOR FOR TOO LONG!

BENTON HARBOR CITY HALL
200 WALL ST.

Aug. 10, 10:30am

Questions: Contact Rev. Edward Pinkney, 269-925-0001
bhbanco.org

YOUR CITY COULD BE NEXT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Longshore workers call for labor/community rally for:

Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops!

The next labor/community organizing meeting will be:

7 PM, Tuesday August 31, 2010
Longshore Hall - Henry Schmidt room
400 North Point St @ Mason
near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco

You are urged to attend!

A broad group of labor and community organizers met Tuesday, July 27 to help organize a mass demonstration demanding Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops! to take place Saturday, October 23 in Oakland. Committees were set up and organizing has begun involving people from the Bay Area and coordinated nation-wide. Bay Area United Against War Newsletter encourages everyone to become involved in organizing and building this very urgent event. We can't allow the police to have a license to murder the innocent and unarmed with a slap on the wrist. We demand the maximum for Johannes Mehserle!

Oscar Grant was murdered in cold blood!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

SAVE THE DATE: JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT -- October 23, 2010

ILWU Local 10 Motion on the Verdict in the Oscar Grant Case
Whereas, Oscar Grant's killer, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle received a verdict of involuntary manslaughter on July 8, 2010; and

Whereas, video tapes show clearly that Oscar Grant was lying face down on the Fruitvale BART platform, waiting to be handcuffed with another cop's boot on his neck posing no threat when he was shot in the back and killed in cold blood by Mehserle; and
Whereas, this is just another example in a racist justice system where police officers go free for killing young black men; and

Whereas, the Contra Costa Times reports that police are holding a rally in Walnut Creek on July 19, 2010 to show support for the killer cop so his sentence will only be a slap on the wrist; and

Whereas; the ILWU has always stood for social justice;

Therefore be it resolved that the labor movement organize a mass protest rally October 23, 2010 with participation from community groups, civil rights organizations, civil liberties organizations and all who stand for social justice demand jail for killer cops.

THAT LOCAL 10 DELEGATES TO THE BAY AREA LABOR COUNCILS ARE DIRECTED TO RAISE THE ABOVE MOTION AT THEIR NEXT MEETING

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Education 4 the People!
October 7 Day of Action in Defense of Public Education - California

http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

MORE THAN 100 activists from across California gathered in Los Angeles April 24 to debate next steps for the fight against the devastating cutbacks facing public education.

The main achievements of the conference were to set a date and location for the next statewide mass action-October 7-and for the next anti-cuts conference, which will happen October 16 at San Francisco State University. The other key outcome was the first steps toward the formation of an ad hoc volunteer coordinating committee to plan for the fall conference.

These decisions were a crucial step toward deepening and broadening the movement. For example, the fall conference will be the key venue for uniting activists from all sectors of public education, and especially from those schools and campuses which saw action on March 4, but which have yet to plug into the broader movement.

This will be crucial for extending the scope and increasing the strength of our movement, as well as for helping us strategize and prepare for what is certain to be a tough year ahead. Similarly, the fall mass action will be crucial to re-igniting the movement following the summer months.

http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference at SFSU on OCT 16th
Posted on May 24, 2010 by ooofireballooo
Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference
@ San Francisco State University on October 16th

MORE THAN 100 activists from across California gathered in Los Angeles April 24 to debate next steps for the fight against the devastating cutbacks facing public education.

The main achievements of the conference were to set a date and location for the next statewide mass action-October 7-and for the next anti-cuts conference, which will happen October 16 at San Francisco State University. The other key outcome was the first steps toward the formation of an ad hoc volunteer coordinating committee to plan for the fall conference.

These decisions were a crucial step toward deepening and broadening the movement. For example, the fall conference will be the key venue for uniting activists from all sectors of public education, and especially from those schools and campuses which saw action on March 4, but which have yet to plug into the broader movement.

This will be crucial for extending the scope and increasing the strength of our movement, as well as for helping us strategize and prepare for what is certain to be a tough year ahead. Similarly, the fall mass action will be crucial to re-igniting the movement following the summer months.

Proposal: Form a conference organizing listserve immediately!

Please join the google group today.

* Group home page: http://groups.google.com/group/fallconferencesfsu

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

NOVEMBER 2010 - CONVERGE ON FORT BENNING, GEORGIA
November 18-21, 2010: Close the SOA and take a stand for justice in the Americas.
www.soaw.org/take-action/november-vigil

The November Vigil to Close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia will be held from November 18-21, 2010. The annual vigil is always held close to the anniversary of the 1989 murders of Celina Ramos, her mother Elba and six Jesuit priests at a the University of Central America in El Salvador.

ORGANIZE YOUR COMMUNITY FOR THE 2010 VIGIL!

November 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the vigil that brings together religious communities, students, teachers, veterans, community organizers, musicians, puppetistas and many others. New layers of activists are joining the movement to close the SOA in large numbers, including numerous youth and students from multinational, working-class communities. The movement is strong thanks to the committed work of thousands of organizers and volunteers around the country. They raise funds, spread the word through posters and flyers, organize buses and other transportation to Georgia, and carry out all the work that is needed to make the November vigil a success. Together, we are strong!

VIGIL AND RALLY AT THE GATES, NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION, TEACH-IN, CONCERTS, WORKSHOPS AND A ANTI-MILITARIZATION ORGANIZERS CONFERENCE

There will be exciting additions to this year's vigil program. Besides the rally at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia with inspiring speakers and amazing musicians from across the Americas, the four day convergence will also include an educational teach-in at the Columbus Convention Center, several evening concerts, workshops and for the first time, the Latin America Solidarity Coalition will stage a one-day Anti-Militarization Organizers Conference on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

SHUT DOWN THE SOA AND RESIST U.S. MILITARIZATION IN THE AMERICAS

Our work has unfortunately not gotten any easier and U.S. militarization in Latin America is accelerating. The SOA graduate led military coup in Honduras, the continuing repression against the Honduran pro-democracy resistance and the expansion of U.S. military bases in Colombia and Panama are grim examples of the ongoing threats of a U.S. foreign policy that is relying on the military to exert control over the people and the resources in the Americas. Join the people who are struggling for justice in Honduras, Colombia and throughout the Americas as we organize to push back.

Spread the word - Tell a friend about the November Vigil:
http://www.SOAW.org/tellafriend

For more information, visit:
www.SOAW.org.

See you at the gates of Fort Benning in November 2010

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

B. VIDEOS:

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Feds think public can't HANDLE THE TRUTH about toxic dispersants says EPA Sr. Analyst
July 28, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN4MJFeEYuE&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Breathing Toxic Oil Vapors??? vid
http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?read=179134

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Black Rain By Mob Rules
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkQLJCggRLQ&feature=related

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

TOXIC RED ALERT! - Oil and Benzene RAIN is NOW FALLING!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbjKH_mC_8A

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops!

Mooncricket: When Two Worlds Collide-The Mehserle Rally Raw & Uncut-Race Does Matter...
Posted on July 25, 2010 by Davey D

Big shout out to film maker Mooncricket who captured not only the rally that took place for killer cop Johannes Mehserle in Walnut Creek but also caught the ignorance and huge disconnect that many have when it comes to dealing with issues of race and police brutality..

In the clip below you hear the confrontations but more importantly you hear how deeply embedded racial perceptions are. pay close attention to the woman who wants to lecture one brother about genocide in Rwanda and then tells him about OJ Simpson.. It was a constant theme repeated over and over again which suggested that revenge from the OJ trial was sitting on everyone's mind.

In this video listen to the other woman who attempts to tell us why people get pulled over and profiled and finds it hard to believe the police are doing anything wrong...This same woman is later caught on film yelling that mexicans should go back to Mexico.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE2N1B_K2sg&feature=related

This is an intense confrontation and highlights what's far too often typical when dealing with issues of police brutality which is a variation of blaming the victim. 'How come you aren't here protesting when 'Blacks are killing Blacks' is usually the retort one hears from both whites and blacks when police brutality issues come up. It's a misplaced argument on a number of levels. First, many organizers are involved in programs, vigils, marches, churches etc about violence in their communities. For example, today Saturday June 24th there was a big Silence the Violence Rally in San Francisco that deals with urban crime. There are dozens of organization in Oakland that were started and still around to help foster conflict resolution and provide alternatives. They range from Youth Uprising to Love Life Foundation, Nation of Islam, Omega Boys Club to Urban Peace Movement etc..Such outlets under different names exist in every city around the country.

The second question that usually pops up is 'Well if you have so many organizations why is there still crime in the hood?' The question is a disingenuous one. My experience shows that most who ask those questions have not been involved in many of the community efforts to help push back on crime, yet they're expecting miracles. The fall back answer that many like to give is that they push back on crime by supporting the police. But even the police are looking for both volunteers and funds for their own programs like PAL and DARE... Those same people asking all these hard questions aren't involved in those outlets.

Lastly one can look at the huge array of tough 3 strike type laws, harsher sentencing guidelines, zero tolerance directives, higher budgets, new training and weaponry given to the police over the past 15-20 years and yet crime still persists. Should we not change some things about their approach?

With that being said, protesting Black on Black crime is not a criteria for addressing police misconduct. One has nothing to do with the other. The thug on the corner committing crimes is not a public servant. The police are. The thug on the block has not been granted a badge, a license to carry a gun, received months of training and given the trust and duty to protect and serve the citizens of various communities. The police have been given that which means they are directly accountable to the community. The thug has not made that contract with the community and so its bit unreasonable to expect folks to openly confront a criminal the way they would the police to seek redress.

One could easily ask that question to citizens in Walnut Creek or neighboring Concord if they are outside with signs protesting in front of meth houses which exist out there? Are they in front of the homes of people who commit domestic violence or any other number of crimes? ...Most aren't yet they wish to ask all these questions. There's an old saying don't ask of others what you aren't doing yourself?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFtjO91dW9g&feature=related

In the scenes below you see some more intense arguments and some of the blatant racism that folks in the crowd are will to shout out at those who support Oscar Grant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgsWpQijbsk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWdvhXifyM8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzmiTiEwdyc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4C8J4mVj7E&feature=related

Below we see the Peaceful ending to rally in Walnut Creek ..As marchers leave and head toward the BART station they come top find the gates have been shut closed on the Grant protesters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2NqeNqI8yA&feature=related

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Innocence Lost: Ethan McCord recounts aftermath of Iraqi civilian massacre | UNPC 7/24/2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ihPGtcHjNk&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BP OIL SPILL HEALTH EMERGENCY! DIRE! MUST BE WATCHED! Corexit Being Sprayed From Coast Guard Planes!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FxfYqnlQ50&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BP SPRAYING POISONOUS GAS ON PEOPLE IN GULF! MUST SEE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exaGh3SWTLs&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Papantonio: BP's Floating 3rd World Death Trap
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUmkxR6TY_Y&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Mexican kindergarten kids vs racist white minutemen
Little kids stand up for their parents after the minutemen go harass migrants at the Mexican Consulate in the city of Santa Ana.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7YrkpKNB7M&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

HEALTH ALERT: Toxic Rain In Miami From Gulf Oil Leak, Plants & Trees Dying
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSvHho90O3g

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Sarah Kruzan: Sentenced to Life Without Parole at Age 16
http://media.causes.com/595178?email=true

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Make A Living With My Own Two Hands/ Hell It's Part of Being Who I Am
by Abby Zimet
July 14, 2010
http://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/07/14

After two days of often emotional testimony from Gulf Coast residents, the White House oil spill commission heard Louisiana native, crawfisherman and singer-songwriter Drew Landry sing it like it is in a newly, sorrowfully minted lament for a way of life he fears has been destroyed. From "The BP Blues": "Kickin mud off up a crawfish hole/ barefooted with a fishin pole/ went to workin in the oil fields/ that's the only way to pay our bills..."

After the song, Landry told the hearing: "It feels like BP is in control of this deal, and the Coast Guard does what they want...More importantly, it feels like the people don't have a voice in this thing. It just sucks. Let's just do the right damn thing. It shouldn't be this hard. It shouldn't take a committee to listen to people."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

The Gulf 20 years from now
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/895.html

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BPMakesMeSick.com
Tell President Obama to demand that BP stop blocking
clean-up workers from using life-saving respirators:
http://bpmakesmesick.com/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

"Corporations don't mind if we repeat history--it's cheaper that way." --Keith Olberman

Gulf's Human Health Crisis Explodes -- Countdown with Keith Olberman
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677//vp/38175715#38175715

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

COREXIT is Eating Through Boats in the Gulf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLvNqlVNMh0&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Gulf toxicologist: Shrimpers exposed to Corexit "bleeding from the rectum"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1mI-DJII1U&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BP Makes Me Sick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m5MeqlETpY

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Tar ball clean up in Cocoa Beach -- East Coast of Central Florida
http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/brevard_news/070710-Cocoa-Beach-tar-balls

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Tar ball clean up in Cocoa Beach
Oil/Water samples from Gulf...VERY TOXIC
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/07/08/independent-water-samples-of-the-bp-gulf-oil-spill-contradict-epa-samples-and-found-to-be-highly-toxic/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

YouTube - Obama admin bans press from filming BP oil spill areas in the Gulf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpJBsjKhRTo&feature=player_embedded#!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Police State Canada
http://tv.globalresearch.ca/content/police-state-canada

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BP Death Clouds Already Onshore! Benzene-3400ppb Hyrdrogen Sulfide-1200ppb TOXIC AIR ALERT.flv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dngpCYgKxZ0

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Kid with oil stuck on her! Destin Beach, Fl. June 23rd, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QwsCHd7Lcg&feature=player_embedded#

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Is it raining oil
in Metro New Orleans?
River Ridge, LA
Just south of the airport
[The question mark isn't appropriate in this title. The video clearly shows that it's raining oil in River Ridge--no question about it...bw]
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/874.html
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

G20 Police Accused of Rape Threats, Strip-Searches
29 June 2010
http://readersupportednews.org/video/4-video/2323-g20-toronto-police-rape-threats-women-strip-searched

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

BP Slick Covers Dolphins and Whales.mov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxDf-KkMCKQ

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Licence to Spill
Posted on 06.30.10
http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/06/licence-to-spill-full-report/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Two Pensacola Beach Scenes: Dying Baby Dolphin and Ocean "Water Bubbling "...Like It's Got Acid In It. God Help Us All"
opednews.com
For OpEdNews: theWeb - Writer
Two scenes from Pensacola--one of a dying baby dolphin, the other of water bubbling like there's acid in it.
A dying, oil-covered baby dolphin is taken from Pensacola waters. It died shortly after being discovered.
http://www.youtube.com/user/pcolagregg
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Video-Pensacola-Ocean-Wa-by-the-web-100624-933.html

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

THE SHORT FILM BP DOESN'T WANT YOU TO SEE ABOUT WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING TO THE PEOPLE IN THE GULF
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRl6-o8CpXA

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

ROV films oil leak coming from rock cracks on seafloor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2RxIQP0IBU

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Oil Spill Threatens Native American "Water" Village
The town of Grand Bayou, Louisiana, has no streets and no cars, just water and boats. And now the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the very existence of the Atakapa-Ishak Indians who live there. "We're facing the potential for cultural genocide," says one tribe member.
(c) 2010 National Geographic; videographer and field producer: Fritz Faerber
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/06/100608-us-oil-gulf-indians-video/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Roger Waters - "We Shall Overcome" for Gaza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnMMHepfYVc

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Rachel Maddow: Disgraceful response to the oil itself
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#37563648

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

It Ain't My Fault by Mos Def & Lenny Kravitz | stupidDOPE.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnR1BrGgRVM

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Gulf Oil Spill?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAHS5z6QKok

Dear Readers,

If you are wondering why an antiwar newsletter is giving full coverage to the oil spill, it's because:

(1) "Supplying the US army with oil is one of BP's biggest markets, and further exploration in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico is part of its long-term strategy."*
(2) "The Senate on Thursday, [May 27, 2010] approved a nearly $60 billion measure to pay for continuing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq..."**

The two are inextricably entwined and interdependent.

--Bonnie Weinstein

*The black hole at the bottom of the Gulf
No one seems to know the extent of the BP disaster
By David Randall and Margareta Pagano
Sunday, 23 May 2010
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-black-hole-at-the-bottom-of-the-gulf-1980693.html

**Senate Approves Nearly $60 Billion for Wars
By CARL HULSE
May 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/us/politics/28cong.html?ref=us

Watch BP Live Video Webcam Camera Feed of Gulf Oil Spill Here! (Update 7)
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/05/20/live-video-feed-webcam-gulf-oil-spill/

What BP does not want you to see:
ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as "one of the most horrible things I've ever seen underwater."

Check out what BP does not want you to see. And please share this widely -- every American should see what's happening under the surface in the Gulf.
http://acp.repoweramerica.org/page/invite/oilspillvideo?source=sprd-fwd&utm_source=crm_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=oilspillvideo20100527&utm_content=link1

Live BP Gulf Oil Spill Webcam Video Reveals 5 Leaks
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/05/24/live-bp-gulf-oil-spill-webcam-video-reveals-5-leaks/

Stop Shell Oil's Offshore Drilling Plans in the Arctic
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/308597489?z00m=19844689

Sign the Petition to Ban Offshore Drilling Now!
http://na.oceana.org/en/stopthedrill?key=31522015

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Please sign the petition to release Bradley Manning

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html (Click to sign here)

To: US Department of Defense; US Department of Justice
We, the Undersigned, call for justice for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, incarcerated without charge (as of 18 June 2010) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded, as well as potentially other material. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name "Collateral Murder".

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

Simultaneously, we express our support for Mr. Manning in any case, and our admiration for his courage if he is, in fact, the person who disclosed the video. Like in the cases of Daniel Ellsberg, W. Mark Felt, Frank Serpico and countless other whistleblowers before, government demands for secrecy must yield to public knowledge and justice when government crime and corruption are being kept hidden.

Justice for Bradley Manning!

Sincerely,

The Undersigned:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?manning1

--
Zaineb Alani
http://www.thewordsthatcomeout.blogspot.com
http://www.tigresssmiles.blogspot.com
"Yesterday I lost a country. / I was in a hurry, / and didn't notice when it fell from me / like a broken branch from a forgetful tree. / Please, if anyone passes by / and stumbles across it, / perhaps in a suitcase / open to the sky, / or engraved on a rock / like a gaping wound, / ... / If anyone stumbles across it, / return it to me please. / Please return it, sir. / Please return it, madam. / It is my country . . . / I was in a hurry / when I lost it yesterday." -Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

http://couragetoresist.org/donate

Dear Gio,

Thanks again for supporting military war resisters. We do this work because it is a tangible contribution to a future without empire and war. With your help, we've won a number of victories recently--you might have read about "Hip Hop" stop-loss soldier Marc Hall, or single mom, and Afghanistan deployment resister, Alexis Hutchinson in the news.

Now, intel analyst Bradley Manning is in the headlines and facing decades in prison for leaking a video of a massacre in Baghdad. If Pfc. Manning is the source of the video, then he did what he had to do to expose a war crime. Regardless, he's wrongly imprisoned and we are doing everything we can to support him. Keep an eye out for action alerts in the coming days on how to support Bradley!

If you have not yet had a chance to make a donation recently, I'm asking that you please consider doing so now so that together we can step up to support Bradley Manning and all GI war objectors!

http://couragetoresist.org/donate

Jeff Paterson,
Project Director, Courage to Resist

p.s. Our new August print newsletter is now available:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/aug10-newsltr.pdf

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Please forward widely...

Lynne Stewart Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison
By Jeff Mackler
(Jeff Mackler is the West Coast Director of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee.)

The full force of the U.S. criminal "justice" system came down on innocent political prisoner, 30-year veteran human rights attorney and radical political activist Lynne Stewart today, July 15, 2010.

In an obviously pre-prepared one hour and twenty minute technical tour de force designed to give legitimacy to a reactionary ruling Federal District Court John Koeltl, who in 2005 sentenced Stewart to 28 months in prison following her frame-up trial and jury conviction on four counts of "conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism," re-sentenced Stewart to 120 months or ten years. Koeltl recommended that Stewart serve her sentence in Danbury, Connecticut's minimum security prison. A final decision will be made by the Bureau of Prisons.

Stewart will remain in Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center for 60 days to prepare an appeal.

The jam-packed New York Federal District Court chamber observers where Koeltl held forth let our a gasp of pain and anguish as Lynne's family and friends were stunned - tears flowing down the stricken and somber faces of many. A magnificent Stewart, ever the political fighter and organizer was able to say to her supporters that she felt badly because she had "let them down," a reference to the massive outpouring of solidarity and defiance that was the prime characteristic of Lynne's long fight for freedom.

Judge Koeltl was ordered to revisit his relatively short sentence when it was overturned by a two-judge majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judges Robert D. Sack and Guido Calabresi ruled that Koeltl's sentence was flawed because he had declined to determine whether Stewart committed perjury when she testified at her trial that she believed that she was effectively operating under a "bubble" protecting her from prosecution when she issued a press release on behalf of her also framed-up client, the blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rachman. Rachman was falsely charged with conspiracy to damage New York state buildings.

Dissenting Judge John M. Walker, who called Stewart's sentence, "breathtakingly low" in view of Stewart's "extraordinarily severe criminal conduct" deemed the Second Circuit's majority opinion "substantively unreasonable." Walker essentially sought to impose or demand a 30-year sentence.

The three-judge panel on Dec. 20, 2009 followed its initial ruling with even tougher language demanding that Koeltl revisit his treatment of the "terrorism enhancement" aspects of the law. A cowardly Koeltl, who didn't need this argument to dramatically increase Stewart's sentence, asserted that he had already taken it under consideration in his original deliberations.

Government prosecutors, who in 2005 sought a 30-year sentence, had submitted a 155-page memorandum arguing in support of a 15-30 year sentence. Their arguments demonstrated how twisted logic coupled with vindictive and lying government officials routinely turn the victim into the criminal.

Stewart's attorneys countered with a detailed brief recounting the facts of the case and demonstrating that Stewart's actions in defense of her client were well within the realm of past practice and accepted procedures. They argued that Koeltl properly exercised his discretion in determining that, while the terrorism enhancement provisions of the "law" had to be taken into consideration, the 30-year-prison term associated with it was "dramatically unreasonable," "overstated the seriousness" of Stewart's conduct" and had already been factored into Koeltl's decision.

Stewart's attorneys also argued convincingly in their brief that the Special Administrative Measure (SAM) that Stewart was convicted of violating by releasing a statement from her client to the media was well within the established practice of Stewart's experienced and mentoring co-counsels- former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and past American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee president Abdeen Jabarra. Both had issued similar statements to the media with no government reprisal. Clark was an observer in Koeltl's courtroom. When he testified in support of Lynne during her trial one overzealous prosecutor suggested that he too be subject to the conspiracy charges. The more discreet team of government lawyers quietly dropped the matter.

At worst, in such matters, government officials refuse defense attorneys client visiting rights until an agreement on a contested interpretation of a SAM is reached. This was the case with Stewart and her visiting rights were eventually restored with no punishment or further action. Indeed, when the matter was brought to then Attorney General Janet Reno, the government declined to prosecute or otherwise take any action against Stewart.

But Koeltl, who had essentially accepted this view in his original sentence, reversed himself entirely and proceeded in his erudite-sounding new rendition of the law to repeatedly charge Stewart with multiple acts of perjury regarding her statements on the SAM during her trial.

Koeltl took the occasion to lecture Stewart regarding the first words she uttered in front of a bevy of media outlets when she joyfully alighted from the courthouse following the judge's original 28-month sentence. Said Stewart at that time, "I can do 28 months standing on my head." A few moments earlier Stewart, with nothing but a plastic bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and her various medications, had stood before Koeltl, who had been asked by the government to sentence her to a 30-year term, effectively a death sentence for Lynne, aged 70, a diabetic and recovering breast cancer victim in less than excellent health.

Koeltl dutifully followed the lead of the Second Circuit judges, who feigned outrage that Stewart could possibly appear joyful that her life was spared despite 28 months in prison. Koeltl insisted that Stewart's remark was essentially contemptuous of his sentence and insufficient to convince Stewart of the seriousness of her "crime." Lynne's defense was that while she fully understood that 28 months behind bars, separating from her "family, friends and comrades," as she proudly stated, was a harsh penalty, she was nevertheless "relieved" that she would not die in prison. Koeltl needed a legal brick to throw at Lynne's head and ignored her humanity, honesty and deep feeling of relief when she expressed it to a crowd of two thousand friends, supporters and a good portion of the nation's media.

The same Judge Koeltl who stated in 2005, when he rendered the 28-month jail term, that Lynne was "a credit to her profession and to the nation," clearly heard the voice of institutionalized hate and cruelty and responded in according with its unstated code. "Show no mercy! Thou shall not dissent without grave punishment" in capitalist America.

Lynne was convicted in the post-911 generated climate of political hysteria. Bush appointee, Attorney General John Ashcroft, decided to make an example of her aimed at warning future attorneys that the mere act of defending anyone whom the government charged with "conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism," could trigger terrible consequences.

On July 15 Judge Koeltl made the decision of his career. Known for his meticulous preparation in such matters, and already having enraged the powers that be with his "light" sentence of Stewart, he bent full tilt to the reactionary political pressures exerted on him by the court hierarchy. He had the option to stand tall and reaffirm his original decision. The "law" allowed him to do so. He could have permitted Lynne to leave prison in less than two years, recover her health, and lead a productive life. His massively extended sentence, unless overturned, will likely lead to Lynne's demise behind bars - a brilliant and dedicated fighter sacrificed on the alter of an intolerant class-biased system of repression and war.

Courage is a rare quality in the capitalist judiciary. For every defiant decision made, usually driven by a change in the political climate and pressed forward by the rise of mass social protest movements, there are thousands and more of political appointees that affirm the status quo, including its punishment of all who struggle to challenge capitalist prerogatives and power.

Lynne Stewart stands tall among the latter. We can only hope that the winds of change that are stirring the consciousness of millions today in the context of an American capitalism in economic and moral crisis keeps the movement for her freedom alive and well. The fight is not over! What we do now remains critical. Lynne's expected appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court cannot be written off as absurd and hopeless. What we do collectively to free her and all political prisoners and to fight for freedom and justice on every front counts for everything!

Write to Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
MCC-NY 2-S
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

For further information call Lynne's husband, Ralph Poynter, leader of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Send contributions payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11216

---

Listen to Lynne Stewart event, that took place July 8, 2010 at Judson Memorial Church
Excerpts include: Mumia Abu Jamal, Ralph Poynter, Ramsey Clark, Juanita
Young, Fred Hampton Jr., Raging Grannies, Ralph Schoenman
http://www.takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html

And check out this article (link) too!
http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2010/062210Lendman.shtml

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Requesting Your Support
By Dahr Jamail
July 12th, 2010
Dear Readers:

This morning we hired a flight out to the well site where the Deepwater Horizon sank. This environmental crime scene is now littered with boats and relief wells flailing to stop the flow of oil that has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for almost 3 months. Tomorrow, we are hiring a boat to take us to some of the most devastated coastline, which is still smeared in oil, causing harm to uncountable ecosystems and wildlife.

I have been on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana for two weeks now, and together with my partner, Erika Blumenfeld, we have brought you stories and photographs that document and archive the human and environmental impact of the historic and horrific disaster that is the BP oil catastrophe.

In our story, Fending For Themselves, we wrote about the growing crisis of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe being displaced by the encroaching oil, and showed you images of their dying marshlands.

We produced an original photo essay for Truthout, Mitigating Annihilation, which clearly depicts the futility of the booming efforts, and the resulting destruction of the local and migratory bird rookeries, along with South Louisiana's fragile and endangered coastline.

Our most recent post, Hell Has Come To South Louisiana, articulates the desperate situation of the shrimpers and fisher-folk whose livelihood that spans generations is threatened by extinction.

The complexity and breadth of this continued crisis is beyond what we could have imagined, and our questions have led us to dynamic and impassioned interviews with environmental philosophers, activists, scientists, sociologists, riverkeepers, bayoukeepers, indigenous tribes, and fisher people.

As a freelance team, we could not have produced this important work without your generous support. We are deeply grateful to those who were able to contribute to our efforts thus far.

Our work here is just beginning, and with so much of our investigation requiring that we be out in the field, I am humbly appealing for your continued support to help us extend our reporting, so that we may continue to bring you the unfolding events of this devastating issue that clearly effects us all.

Please support our work in the Gulf Coast by making a donation. There are several ways you can donate:

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, International Media Project (IMP) is providing fiscal sponsorship to Dahr Jamail.

Checks for tax-deductible donations should be made out to "International Media Project." please write"Dahr Jamail" in the memo line and mail to:

International Media Project/Dahr Jamail
1714 Franklin St.
#100-251
Oakland, CA 94612

Online, you can use Paypal to donate HERE.

Donations can also be mailed to:

Dahr Jamail
P.O. Box 970
Marfa, TX 79843

Direct links to our pieces produced thus far:

Living on a dying delta
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/living-on-a-dying-delta

Fending For Themselves
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/fending-for-themselves

No Free Press for BP Oil Disaster
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52082

Mitigating Annihilation
http://www.truth-out.org/mitigating-annihilation61145

Hell Has Come to South Louisiana
http://dahrjamailiraq.com/hell-has-come-to-south-louisiana

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

HE WAS MURDERED!
HE WAS MURDERED!
HE WAS MURDERED!
HE WAS MURDERED!

RIP Oscar!

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT
Victory for movement, but justice still needs to be won

Calling on all supporters of justice for Oscar Grant and opponents of racist police brutality:

The jury verdict is not justice for Oscar Grant - it is up to the new movement to use its power to win real justice. THIS IS THE TIME TO ACT.

DEMAND:

The maximum sentence for killer cop Johannes Mehserle.

Jail Officers Pirone and Domenici, the two police who were accomplices to murder.

Disarm and disband the BART Police.

Provide massive funding to Oakland for education and jobs for Oakland's black, Latina/o, Asian, and poor and working-class white youth.

Stop police/ICE racial profiling of Latina/o, black, Asian, and other minority youth with and without papers.

Furthermore, we call on Oakland Mayor Dellums and other governmental authorities in Oakland to declare that this verdict does not render justice to Oscar Grant and to act on the demands of the movement.

If you haven't already done so yet, join the JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT ACTION PAGE on Facebook at: http://www.causes.com/causes/188135

BAMN STATEMENT:

Oscar Grant Verdict Is Victory for the Movement,
But Justice for Oscar Grant Still Needs to Be Won

Today's [THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2010] conviction of Johannes Mehserle is a victory for the movement. Despite all the foot-dragging and machinations of the police, the justice system, the government, and the politicians, the movement secured the first conviction of a California police officer for the killing of a black man. This victory is important and provides some greater protection for black and Latina/o youth. However, this verdict does NOT constitute justice for Oscar Grant.

Tens of millions of people around the world saw the videotape and know that Oscar Grant was murdered in cold blood by Johannes Mehserle. And yet, because of the failure of the prosecutor's office to fight the change in venue, and because of the pro-police bias of the judge, the jury was deprived of even being able to consider convicting Mehserle of first-degree murder. The Los Angeles county jury which heard that case did not include a single black juror.

BAMN salutes the new civil rights movement for this victory. However, achieving justice for Oscar Grant requires that the movement continue to build and grow in determination, drawing in millions more black, Latina/o and other youth.

BAMN also salutes Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant's mother, for refusing to accept a civil settlement and for fighting to achieve justice for her son. We pledge to Wanda Johnson, Oscar's daughter Tatiana, her mother, and all family and friends that we will not rest until we achieve justice for Oscar.

We call on the movement to maintain the fight for justice for Oscar Grant by raising and fighting to win the following demands:

The maximum sentence for killer cop Johannes Mehserle.

Jail Officers Pirone and Domenici, the two police who were accomplices to murder.

Disarm and disband the BART Police.

Provide massive funding to Oakland for education and jobs for Oakland's black, Latina/o, Asian, and poor and working-class white youth.

Stop police/ICE racial profiling of Latina/o, black, Asian, and other minority youth with and without papers.

Furthermore, we call on Oakland Mayor Dellums and other governmental authorities in Oakland to declare that this verdict does not render justice to Oscar Grant and to act on the demands of the movement.

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)

(510) 502-9072 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (510) 502-9072 end_of_the_skype_highlighting letters@bamn.com BAMN.com
--
Ronald Cruz
BAMN Organizer, www.BAMN.com
& Civil Rights Attorney

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR TROY ANTHONY DAVIS - INNOCENT MAN ON DEATH ROW:
http://www.troyanthonydavis.org/call-to-action.html

Georgia: Witnesses in Murder Case Recant
By SHAILA DEWAN
June 23, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/us/24brfs-WITNESSESINM_BRF.html?ref=us

In an unusual hearing ordered by the Supreme Court that began in Savannah on Wednesday, several witnesses said they had concocted testimony that Troy Anthony Davis killed a police officer, Mark MacPhail, in 1989. Last August, the Supreme Court ordered a federal district court to determine if new evidence "clearly establishes" Mr. Davis's innocence, its first order in an "actual innocence" petition from a state prisoner in nearly 50 years, according to Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented. Seven of the witnesses who testified against Mr. Davis at his trial have recanted, and some have implicated the chief informer in the case. Mr. Davis's execution has been stayed three times.

For more info: www.iamtroy.com | www.justicefortroy.org | troy@aiusa.org Savannah Branch NAACP: 912-233-4161

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Mumia Abu-Jamal - Legal Update
June 9, 2010
Robert R. Bryan, Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117
www.MumiaLegalDefense.org

Dear All:

There are significant developments on various fronts in the coordinated legal campaign to save & free Mumia Abu-Jamal. The complex court proceedings are moving forward at a fast pace. Mumia's life is on the line.

Court Developments: We are engaged in pivotal litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia. At stake is whether Mumia will be executed or granted a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. Two years ago we won on that issue, with the federal court finding that the trial judge misled the jury thereby rendering the proceedings constitutionally unfair. Then in January 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that ruling based upon its decision in another case, & ordered that the case be again reviewed by the Court of Appeals.

The prosecution continues its obsession to kill my client, regardless of the truth as to what happened at the time of the 1981 police shooting. Its opening brief was filed April 26. Our initial brief will be submitted on July 28. At issue is the death penalty.

In separate litigation, we are awaiting a decision in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on prosecutorial abuses, having completed all briefing in April. The focus is on ballistics.

Petition for President Barack Obama: It is crucial for people to sign the petition for President Barack Obama, Mumia Abu-Jamal & the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty, which was initially in 10 languages (Swahili & Turkish have since been added). This is the only petition approved by Mumia & me, & is a vital part of the legal effort to save his life. Please sign the petition & circulate its link:

www.MumiaLegalDefense.org

Nearly 22,000 people from around the globe have signed. These include: Bishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa (Nobel Peace Prize); Günter Grass, Germany (Nobel Prize in Literature); Danielle Mitterrand, Paris (former First Lady of France); Fatima Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Colin Firth (Academy Award Best-Actor nominee), Noam Chomsky, MIT (philosopher & author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike Farrell (actor); & Michael Radford (director of the Oscar winning film Il Postino); Robert Meeropol (son of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953); Fatima Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Noam Chomsky, MIT (philosopher & author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike Farrell (actor); Michael Radford (director of the Oscar winning film Il Postino); members of the European Parliament; members of the German Bundestag; European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights; Reporters Without Borders, Paris.

European Parliament; Rosa Luxemburg Conference; World Congress Against the Death Penalty; Geneva Human Rights Film Festival: We began the year with a major address to the annual Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by the newspaper junge Welt. The large auditorium was filled with a standing-room audience. Mumia joined me by telephone. We announced the launching of the online petition, Mumia Abu-Jamal & the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty.

A large audience on the concluding night of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Geneva, Switzerland, February 25, heard Mumia by telephone. He spoke as a symbolic representative of the over 20,000 men, women & children on death rows around the world. The call came as a surprise, since we thought it had been canceled. Mumia's comments from inside his death-row cell brought to reality the horror of daily life in which death is a common denominator. During an earlier panel discussion I spoke of racism in capital cases around the globe with the case of Mumia as a prime example. A day before the Congress on February 23, I talked at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival on the power of films in fighting the death penalty & saving Mumia.

On March 2 in the European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, members Søren Søndergaard (Denmark) & Sabine Lösing (Germany) announced the beginning of a campaign to save Mumia & end executions. They were joined by Sabine Kebir, the noted German author & PEN member, Nicole Bryan, & me. We discussed the online petition which helps not only Mumia, but all the condemned around the globe.

Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense & Online Petition: The complex litigation & investigation that is being pursued on behalf of Mumia is enormously expensive. We are in both the federal & state courts on the issue of the death penalty, prosecutorial wrongdoing, etc. Mumia's life is on the line.

How to Help: For information on how to help, both through donations & signing the Obama petition, please go to Mumia's legal defense website: www.MumiaLegalDefense.org .

Conclusion: Mumia remains on death row under a death judgment. He is in greater danger than at any time since his arrest 28 years ago. The prosecution is pursuing his execution. I win cases, & will not let them kill my client. He must be free.

Yours very truly,

Robert
---------
Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
www.MumiaLegalDefense.org

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Lynne Stewart and the Guantanamo Lawyers: Same Fact Patterns, Same Opponent, Different Endings?
Lynne Stewart will be re-sentenced sometime in July, in NYC.
By Ralph Poynter
(Ralph Poynter is the Life partner of Lynne Stewart. He is presently dedicated 24/7 to her defense, as well as other causes.)
Ralph.Poynter@yahoo.com

In the Spring of 2002, Lynne Stewart was arrested by the FBI, at her home in Brooklyn, for materially aiding terrorism by virtue of making a public press release to Reuters on behalf of her client, Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman of Egypt. This was done after she had signed a Special Administrative Measure issued by the Bureau of Prisons not permitting her to communicate with the media, on his behalf.

In 2006, a number of attorneys appointed and working pro bono for detainees at Guantanamo were discovered to be acting in a manner that disobeyed a Federal Judge's protective court order. The adversary in both cases was the United States Department of Justice. The results in each case were very different.

In March of 2010, a right wing group "Keep America Safe" led by Lynne Cheney, hoping to dilute Guantanamo representation and impugn the reputations and careers of the volunteer lawyers, launched a campaign. Initially they attacked the right of the detainees to be represented at all. This was met with a massive denouncement by Press, other media, Civil rights organizations ,and rightly so, as being a threat to the Constitution and particularly the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

A second attack on the Gitmo lawyers was made in the Wall Street Journal of March 16. This has been totally ignored in the media and by civil and human rights groups. This latter revelation about the violations, by these lawyers, of the Judge's protective orders and was revealed via litigation and the Freedom of Information Act. These pro bono lawyers serving clients assigned to them at Gitmo used privileged attorney client mail to send banned materials. They carried in news report of US failures in Afghanistan and Iraq . One lawyer drew a map of the prison. Another delivered lists to his client of all the suspects held there. They placed on the internet a facsimile of the badges worn by the Guards. Some lawyers "provided news outlets with 'interviews' of their clients using questions provided in advance by the news organizations." When a partner at one of the large Wall Street law firms sent in multiple copies of an Amnesty International brochure, which her client was to distribute to other prisoners, she was relieved from her representation and barred by the Military Commander from visiting her client.

This case is significant to interpret not because of the right wing line to punish these lawyers and manipulate their corporate clients to stop patronizing such "wayward" firms. Instead it is significant because, Lynne Stewart, a left wing progressive lawyer who had dedicated her thirty year career to defending the poor, the despised, the political prisoner and those ensnared by reason of race, gender, ethnicity, religion , who was dealt with by the same Department of Justice, in such a draconian fashion, confirms our deepest suspicions that she was targeted for prosecution and punishment because of who she is and who she represented so ably and not because of any misdeed.

Let me be very clear, I am not saying that the Gitmo lawyers acted in any "criminal" manner. The great tradition of the defense bar is to be able to make crucial decisions for and with the client without interference by the adversary Government.

I believe that they were acting as zealous attorneys trying to establish rapport and trust with their clients. That said, the moment the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice tried to remove Julia Tarver Mason from her client, the playing field tilted. Ms Tarver Mason was not led out of her home in handcuffs to the full glare of publicity. There was no press conference. The Attorney General did not go on the David Letterman show to gloat about the latest strike in the War on Terror, the purge of the Gitmo lawyer...NO.

Instead an "armada" of corporate lawyers went to Court against the Government. They, in the terms of the litigation trade, papered the US District Courthouse in Washington D.C. They brought to bear the full force of their Money and Power-- derived from the corporate world--and in 2006 "settled" the case with the government, restoring their clients to Guantanamo without any punishment at all, not to say any Indictment. Lynne Stewart, without corporate connections and coming from a working class background, was tried and convicted for issuing, on behalf of her client, a public press release to Reuters. There was no injury, no harm, no attacks, no deaths.

Yet that same Department of Justice that dealt so favorably and capitulated to the Gitmo corporate lawyers, wants to sentence Lynne Stewart to thirty (30) YEARS in prison. It is the equivalent of asking for a death sentence since she is 70 years old.

This vast disparity in treatment between Lynne and the Gitmo lawyers reveals the deep contradictions of the system ---those who derive power from rich and potent corporations, those whose day to day work maintains and increases that power--are treated differently. Is it because the Corporate Power is intertwined with Government Power???

Lynne Stewart deserves Justice... equal justice under law. Her present sentence of 28 months incarceration (she is in Federal Prison) should at least be maintained, if not made equal to the punishment that was meted out to the Gitmo lawyers. The thirty year sentence, assiduously pursued by DOJ under both Bush and Obama, is an obscenity and an affront to fundamental fairness. They wanted to make her career and dedication to individual clients, a warning, to the defense bar that the Government can arrest any lawyer on any pretext. The sharp contrasts between the cases of Lynne and the Gitmo lawyers just confirm that she is getting a raw deal--one that should be protested actively, visibly and with the full force of our righteous resistance.

Write to Lynne:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
MCC-NY
150 Park Row
New York, New York 10007

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Bernadette McAliskey Quote on Zionists:

"The root cause of conflict in the Middle East is the very nature of the state of Israel. It is a facist state. It is a international bully, which exists not to protect the rights of the Jewish people but to perpetuate a belief of Zionist supremacy. It debases the victims of the holocaust by its own strategy for extermination of Palestine and Palestinians and has become the image and likeness of its own worst enemy, the Third Reich.

"Anyone challenging their position, their crazed self-image is entitled, in the fascist construction of their thinking, to be wiped out. Every humanitarian becomes a terrorist? How long is the reality of the danger Israel poses to world peace going to be denied by the Western powers who created this monster?"

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

POEM ON WHAT ISRAEL DOES NOT ALLOW INTO GAZA - FROM THE IRISH TIMES / CARDOMAN AS A BIOLOGICAL WARFARE WEAPON

[ The poem does not mention that the popular herb cardamom is banned from importation into Gaza. Israel probably fears that cardamom can be used as a biological weapon. Rockets with cardamom filled projectiles landing in Israel could cause Israeli soldiers 'guarding' the border to succumb to pangs of hunger, leave their posts to go get something eat, and leave Israel defenseless. - Howard Keylor]

Richard Tillinghast is an American poet who lives in Co Tipperary. He is the author of eight books of poetry, the latest of which is Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010 ), as well as several works of non-fiction

*

No tinned meat is allowed, no tomato paste,
no clothing, no shoes, no notebooks.
These will be stored in our warehouses at Kerem Shalom
until further notice.
Bananas, apples, and persimmons are allowed into Gaza,
peaches and dates, and now macaroni
(after the American Senator's visit).
These are vital for daily sustenance.

But no apricots, no plums, no grapes, no avocados, no jam.
These are luxuries and are not allowed.
Paper for textbooks is not allowed.
The terrorists could use it to print seditious material.
And why do you need textbooks
now that your schools are rubble?
No steel is allowed, no building supplies, no plastic pipe.
These the terrorists could use to launch rockets
against us.

Pumpkins and carrots you may have, but no delicacies,
no cherries, no pomegranates, no watermelon, no onions,
no chocolate.

We have a list of three dozen items that are allowed,
but we are not obliged to disclose its contents.
This is the decision arrived at
by Colonel Levi, Colonel Rosenzweig, and Colonel Segal.

Our motto:
'No prosperity, no development, no humanitarian crisis.'
You may fish in the Mediterranean,
but only as far as three km from shore.
Beyond that and we open fire.
It is a great pity the waters are polluted
twenty million gallons of raw sewage dumped into the sea every day
is the figure given.

Our rockets struck the sewage treatments plants,
and at this point spare parts to repair them are not allowed.
As long as Hamas threatens us,
no cement is allowed, no glass, no medical equipment.
We are watching you from our pilotless drones
as you cook your sparse meals over open fires
and bed down
in the ruins of houses destroyed by tank shells.

And if your children can't sleep,
missing the ones who were killed in our incursion,
or cry out in the night, or wet their beds
in your makeshift refugee tents,
or scream, feeling pain in their amputated limbs -
that's the price you pay for harbouring terrorists.

God gave us this land.
A land without a people for a people without a land.
--
Greta Berlin, Co-Founder
+357 99 18 72 75
witnessgaza.com
www.freegaza.org
http://www.flickr.com/photos/freegaza

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Please sign the petition to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and
and forward it to all your lists.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal and The Global Abolition of the Death Penalty"

http://www.petitiononline.com/Mumialaw/petition.html

(A Life In the Balance - The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, at 34, Amnesty Int'l, 2000; www. Amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/001/2000.)

[Note: This petition is approved by Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, San Francisco (E-mail: MumiaLegalDefense@gmail.com; Website: www.MumiaLegalDefense.org).]

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense in the U.S. Our legal effort is the front line of the battle for Mumia's freedom and life. His legal defense needs help. The costs are substantial for our litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court and at the state level. To help, please make your checks payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). All donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501c)3), and should be mailed to:

It is outrageous and a violation of human rights that Mumia remains in prison and on death row. His life hangs in the balance. My career has been marked by successfully representing people facing death in murder cases. I will not rest until we win Mumia's case. Justice requires no less.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT!
FLASHPOINTS Interview with Innocent San Quentin Death Row Inmate
Kevin Cooper -- Aired Monday, May 18,2009
http://www.flashpoints.net/#GOOGLE_SEARCH_ENGINE
To learn more about Kevin Cooper go to:
savekevincooper.org
LINKS
San Francisco Chronicle article on the recent ruling:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/13/BAM517J8T3.DTL
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and dissent:
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/05/11/05-99004o.pdf

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

COURAGE TO RESIST!
Support the troops who refuse to fight!
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/
Donate:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/21/57/

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

D. ARTICLES IN FULL

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

1) Containment Efforts Persist After Michigan Oil Leak
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/29michigan.html?ref=us

2) On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast; Concerns Stay
By JUSTIN GILLIS and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/us/28spill.html?ref=us

3) Picture This, and Risk Arrest
By JIM DWYER
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html?ref=us

4) Death Penalty Is Challenged Before a Trial in 3 Killings
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28cheshire.html?ref=nyregion

5) An Arizona Morgue Grows Crowded
"The bodies of 57 border crossers have been brought in during July so far, putting it on track to be the worst month for such deaths in the last five years."
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/29border.html?hp

6) The Ten Wealthiest Financiers in America Are Not Worth $900,000 an Hour
By Les Leopold
"On behalf of the 3 million young people who would have been their students, I have a proposition for you: Donate 50 percent of your 2009 earnings to keep those 150,000 teachers in their classrooms. Each of you, on average, still would net over $935 million dollars for the year (you should be able to scrape by on that) -- and the money you'd forgo would ensure that 3 million kids would get an education. That the ten of you personally received $18.7 billion (not million) from your hedge fund proceeds in 2009 is quite a feat, given that it was the worst economic year since the Great Depression. You each got roughly $36 million a week -- over $900,000 an hour! Meanwhile, as result of the Wall Street shenanigans you helped engineer, 29 million Americans are now without work or forced into part-time jobs."
May 28, 2010 07:26 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/an-open-letter-to-the-ten_b_593096.html

7) New York to Pay $7 Million for Sean Bell Shooting
By DAVID W. CHEN and AL BAKER
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28bell.html?_r=1&hp

8) Estimate Rises of Oil Spill in Michigan
"More than one million gallons of oil may have spilled from a pipeline into the Kalamazoo River this week, significantly more than the pipeline's owner initially estimated, federal officials said."
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30michigan.html?hp

9) When Unemployed Means Unhealthy Too
By DANIELLE OFRI, M.D.
July 29, 2010, 3:06 pm
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/when-unemployed-means-unhealthy-too/?hp

10) Greek Police Confront Protesting Truck Drivers
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/07/29/business/AP-EU-Greece-Financial-Crisis.html?ref=world

11) Leaked Afghan War Reports Heighten European Doubts
By JUDY DEMPSEY
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/world/europe/29iht-nato.html?ref=world

12) Congress Moves to Narrow Cocaine Sentencing Disparities
"A growing number of criminologists have concluded that the sentencing disparity is unjustified and has subjected tens of thousands of blacks to lengthy prison terms while offering more lenient punishment to users and sellers of powder cocaine, who are more often white."
By ERIK ECKHOLM
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/politics/29crack.html?ref=us

13) Bell Case Underlines Limits of Wrongful-Death Payouts
By A. G. SULZBERGER and TIM STELLOH
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/nyregion/29bell.html?ref=nyregion

14) Fed Member's Deflation Warning Hints at Policy Shift
By SEWELL CHAN
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/economy/30fed.html?ref=business

15) Higher Oil Prices Help Exxon Top Forecasts
"The Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its second-quarter income nearly doubled to $7.56 billion as oil prices increased from last year."
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/30oil.html?ref=business

16) Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been Dumping Site
"'You can fool people,' Mr. Pitre said. 'But you can't fool the fish.'"
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30gulf.html?hp

17) Back to a Summer Idyll, With New Anxieties
By TAMAR LEWIN
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30voices.html

18) Pentagon Report Places Blame for Suicides
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30suicide.html?ref=world

19) Taking Calls From Veterans on the Brink of Suicide
"Though suicides among active-duty service members is carefully tracked - they hit a one-month record, 32, in June - no reliable data exists for suicides by veterans. But estimates, while not universally accepted, seem alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans account for about one in five of the more than 30,000 suicides committed in the United States each year."
By JAMES DAO
July 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/us/31hotline.html?ref=us

20) Regulators Warned Company on Pipeline Corrosion
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30michigan.html?ref=us

21) Water Privatization Overview
Water Privatization Overview
http://www.citizen.org/cmep/Water/general/

22) 1 Soldier or 20 Schools?
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
"For the cost of just one soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we could start about 20 schools there."
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/opinion/29kristof.html?src=me&ref=general

23) With Recovery Slowing, the Employment Outlook Fades
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
July 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/business/economy/31econ.html?hp

24) US Peace Movement Adopts New Comprehensive Strategy
By David Swanson
Global Research, July 30, 2010
afterdowningstreet.org
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20363

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

1) Containment Efforts Persist After Michigan Oil Leak
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/29michigan.html?ref=us

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Response crews were working Wednesday morning to contain an oil spill in southern Michigan that flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a major waterway that pours into Lake Michigan only 60 miles away.

More than 800,000 gallons of oil spilled Monday from a leak in a 30-inch pipeline that carries about 8 million gallons of oil each day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario. The leak left fish and birds coated in oil.

Enbridge Energy Partners, of Houston, owns the pipeline. The cause of the leak was being investigated; the part of the pipeline in question had been recovered for examination, officials said.

Enbridge said the oil spilled into Talmadge Creek before its response team stopped the flow. Response efforts included oil collection skimmers, containment and absorbent booms, the statement said. Enbridge officials said at a news conference Wednesday morning that they were doubling the amount of boom on the river, to 28,000 feet.

Residents awoke to the smell of oil again Wednesday as black clouds of goop continued to stream down the Kalamazoo River, which snakes through downtown.

"It's the worst in the morning," said Larry Rizor, an architect who lives in Battle Creek. "It smells like oil, almost like a pumping station."

After touring the area by helicopter Tuesday night, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan called the response effort anemic. "There needs to be a lot more done," Mrs. Granholm said at a news conference.

Some reports said the oil had flowed 16 miles downstream, but officials said they did not expect the spill to move beyond a dam near Kalamazoo. The river empties into Lake Michigan in Saugatuck.

Enbridge officials said 819,000 gallons of oil had spilled, but other estimates had the total much higher. .

United States Rep. Mark Schauer, a Michigan Democrat, criticized Enbridge for what he considered a slow and undersized response. Ken Brock, Mr. Schauer's chief of staff, said "the volume is bigger than what they're saying," and that the amount of oil could be up to triple the amount estimated by Enbridge.

"Our main focus at this point is continuing the containment and beginning the cleanup process," said Patrick Daniel, the chief executive of Enbridge. "Our intent is to return your community to its original state and the waterways to their normal state. We do commit to doing that."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

2) On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast; Concerns Stay
By JUSTIN GILLIS and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/us/28spill.html?ref=us

The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected, a piece of good news that raises tricky new questions about how fast the government should scale back its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The immense patches of surface oil that covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the April 20 oil rig explosion are largely gone, though sightings of tar balls and emulsified oil continue here and there.

Reporters flying over the area Sunday spotted only a few patches of sheen and an occasional streak of thicker oil, and radar images taken since then suggest that these few remaining patches are quickly breaking down in the warm surface waters of the gulf.

John Amos, president of SkyTruth, an environmental advocacy group that sharply criticized the early, low estimates of the size of the BP leak, noted that no oil had gushed from the well for nearly two weeks.

"Oil has a finite life span at the surface," Mr. Amos said Tuesday, after examining fresh radar images of the slick. "At this point, that oil slick is really starting to dissipate pretty rapidly."

The dissolution of the slick should reduce the risk of oil killing more animals or hitting shorelines. But it does not end the many problems and scientific uncertainties associated with the spill, and federal leaders emphasized this week that they had no intention of walking away from those problems any time soon.

The effect on sea life of the large amounts of oil that dissolved below the surface is still a mystery. Two preliminary government reports on that issue have found concentrations of toxic compounds in the deep sea to be low, but the reports left many questions, especially regarding an apparent decline in oxygen levels in the water.

And understanding the effects of the spill on the shorelines that were hit, including Louisiana's coastal marshes, is expected to occupy scientists for years. Fishermen along the coast are deeply skeptical of any declarations of success, expressing concern about the long-term effects of the chemical dispersants used to combat the spill and of the submerged oil, particularly on shrimp and crab larvae that are the foundation of future fishing seasons.

After 86 days of oil gushing into the gulf, the leak was finally stopped on July 15, when BP managed to install a tight-fitting cap on the well a mile below the sea floor, then gradually closed a series of valves. Still, the well has not been permanently sealed. Until that step is completed in several weeks, the risk remains that the leak will resume.

Scientists said the rapid dissipation of the surface oil was probably due to a combination of factors. The gulf has an immense natural capacity to break down oil, which leaks into it at a steady rate from thousands of natural seeps. Though none of the seeps is anywhere near the size of the Deepwater Horizon leak, they do mean that the gulf is swarming with bacteria that can eat oil.

The winds from two storms that blew through the gulf in recent weeks, including a storm over the weekend that disintegrated before making landfall, also appear to have contributed to a rapid dispersion of the oil. Then there was the response mounted by BP and the government, the largest in history, involving more than 4,000 boats attacking the oil with skimming equipment, controlled surface burns and other tactics.

Some of the compounds in the oil evaporate, reducing their impact on the environment. Jeffrey W. Short, a former government scientist who studied oil spills and now works for the environmental advocacy group Oceana, said that as much as 40 percent of the oil in the gulf might have simply evaporated once it reached the surface.

An unknown percentage of the oil would have been eaten by bacteria, essentially rendering the compounds harmless and incorporating them into the food chain. But other components of the oil have most likely turned into floating tar balls that could continue to gum up beaches and marshes, and may represent a continuing threat to some sea life. A three-mile by four-mile band of tar balls was discovered off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday.

"Less oil on the surface does not mean that there isn't oil beneath the surface, however, or that our beaches and marshes are not still at risk," Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a briefing on Tuesday. "We are extremely concerned about the short-term and long-term impacts to the gulf ecosystem."

Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who leads the government's response, has emphasized that boats are still skimming some oil at the surface. Admiral Allen said the risk of shoreline oiling might continue for at least several more weeks.

"While we would all like to see the area come back as quickly as it can," he said, "I think we all need to understand that we, at least in the history of this country, we've never put this much oil into the water. And we need to take this very seriously."

Still, it is becoming clear that the Obama administration, in conjunction with BP, will soon have to make decisions about how quickly to begin scaling down the large-scale - and expensive - response effort. That is a touchy issue, and not just for environmental reasons.

The response itself has become the principal livelihood for thousands of fishermen and other workers whose lives were upended by the oil spill. More than 1,400 fishing boats and other vessels have been hired to help deploy coastal barriers and perform other cleanup tasks. Those fishermen are unconvinced that the gradual disappearance of oil on the surface means they will be able to return to work soon.

"Surface is one thing; you know that's going to dissipate and all," said Mickey Johnson, who owns a shrimp boat in Bayou La Batre, Ala., pointing out that shrimpers trawl near the sea floor.

"Our whole big concern has always been the bottom," Mr. Johnson said.

The scientific picture of what has happened at the bottom of the gulf remains murky, though Dr. Lubchenco said in Tuesday's briefing that federal scientists had determined that the oil was primarily in the water column and not sitting on the sea floor.

States have been pushing the federal authorities to move quickly to reopen gulf waters to commercial fishing; through most of the spill, about a third of the United States part of the gulf has been closed. The Food and Drug Administration is trying to speed its testing, while promising continued diligence to be sure no tainted seafood gets to market.

Even if the seafood of the gulf is deemed safe by the authorities, resistance to buying it may linger among the public, an uncertainty that defies measurement and is on the minds of residents along the entire Gulf Coast.

"How do we get people to buy our food again?" Mr. Johnson asked.

While leaders on the Gulf Coast would welcome moves by the federal government that could put residents back to work, they are also wary of any premature declaration of victory. Officials in Grand Isle, La., met with the Coast Guard after the well had been capped to insist that no response equipment be removed until six weeks had passed.

Rear Adm. Paul F. Zukunft of the Coast Guard, coordinator of the response on the scene, said any decisions about scaling down the effort would be made only by consensus, and only after an analysis of the continuing threat from oil in each region of the gulf.

"I think it's going to happen one day at a time," Admiral Zukunft said.

John Collins Rudolf contributed reporting.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

3) Picture This, and Risk Arrest
By JIM DWYER
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html?ref=us

One afternoon, Duane P. Kerzic was arrested by the Amtrak police while taking pictures of a train pulling into Pennsylvania Station. At first, the police asked him to delete the images from his camera, but he refused. He ended up handcuffed to the wall of a holding cell while an officer wrote a ticket for trespassing.

Mr. Kerzic, a semiprofessional photographer, proceeded to describe his detention on his Web site and included images of the summons. He also hired a lawyer to sue.

In due course, Stephen Colbert of "The Colbert Report" arrived to sound the gong. He turned the Kerzic story into a segment called "Nailed 'Em." It mocked Amtrak without mercy.

"Finally," Mr. Colbert reported, "Kerzic cracked and revealed the reason he was taking his terrifying photos."

Mr. Kerzic appeared on the screen.

"The reason I was taking photos of trains is that every year Amtrak has a contest; it's called 'Picture Our Train,' " he explained.

Soon after the show was broadcast, a strange thing happened. The section of Mr. Kerzic's Web site that dealt with Amtrak all but vanished. His lawsuit was settled, and as a condition of the deal, he had to remove his writings about the episode. Now his page on Amtrak - at duanek.name/Amtrak/ - contains two words: "No Comment!"

Mr. Kerzic and his lawyer, Gerald Cohen, both said they couldn't talk about what had become of the Web pages describing the arrest and his commentary about it. Carlos Miller, a photographer and blogger who followed the case, reported that Mr. Kerzic received a "five-figure" settlement.

But how could Amtrak - the national railroad, whose preferred stock is owned by the American public and whose chief executive and board of directors are appointed by the president and confirmed by Congress - require that a Web site criticizing the railroad be shut down as a condition of settling a lawsuit for wrongful arrest?

What qualifications does Amtrak have to function as a censor?

"Our policy has been and continues to be that 'Amtrak does not comment on civil case settlements,' "Clifford Cole, an Amtrak spokesman, said in an e-mail message. "We would not have any more to say on this matter."

Since 9/11, a number of government bodies have sought to limit photography in railroad stations and other public buildings. One rationale is that pictures would help people planning acts of mayhem. It has been a largely futile effort. On a practical level, decent cameras now come in every size and shape, and controlling how people use them would require legions of police officers. Moreover, taking photographs and displaying them is speech protected by the First Amendment, no less than taking notes and writing them up.

LAST year, a man named Robert Taylor was arrested on a nearly empty subway platform in the Bronx, accused of illegally taking pictures. For good measure, the officer threw in a disorderly conduct charge, on the grounds that Mr. Taylor was blocking people's movement, even though it was the middle of the afternoon, the platform was about 10,000 square feet and there was hardly anyone around. The charges were dismissed, and the city paid Mr. Taylor $30,000 for his trouble. The city had already paid $31,501 to a medical student who was arrested while he was shooting pictures of every train station in the city.

After Mr. Taylor's case, the New York Police Department reminded officers that there was no ban on taking pictures in the subway system.

In November, Antonio Musumeci, a member of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, was given a ticket while videotaping a political protest in the plaza outside the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. Citing a federal regulation that dates to 1957, agents of the Federal Protective Service gave Mr. Musumeci a summons as he recorded a man who was handing pamphlets to potential jurors. The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on Mr. Musumeci's behalf, arguing that the rules that govern photography on federal property were vague and unconstitutional. The lawsuit says people routinely take pictures on the plaza after new citizens are sworn in at the courthouse.

Since Mr. Kerzic's run-in with the police at Penn Station, Amtrak has dropped its Web page on the "Picture Our Trains" contest.

Mr. Colbert wasn't standing for it.

"This photography contest," he said, "is Amtrak's cleverest ruse since their so-called timetable."

E-mail: dwyer@nytimes.com

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

4) Death Penalty Is Challenged Before a Trial in 3 Killings
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28cheshire.html?ref=nyregion

NEW HAVEN - The defense in the Cheshire triple-murder case made a broad challenge to Connecticut's death penalty law on Tuesday, but the judge indicated that he would reject it and that the trial of one of the parolees charged in the killings would begin as scheduled in September.

Lawyers for the parolee, Steven J. Hayes, who is facing capital charges in the attack on the Petit family of Cheshire, Conn., three years ago this month, argued that the death penalty is unconstitutional. They said a legislative vote to repeal it in Connecticut last year showed that "an evolving standard of decency" meant that capital punishment is now viewed as cruel and unusual. Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, vetoed the repeal.

Patrick Culligan, one of Mr. Hayes's lawyers, acknowledged during a hearing here that the death penalty remained on the books and that the concept had been upheld by the United States Supreme Court and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

But Mr. Culligan argued that the judge, Jon C. Blue of State Superior Court, should "take a fresh look." He argued that the failed move to abolish capital punishment in Connecticut showed that "the death penalty no longer comports with the legislature's understanding of contemporary moral values."

Judge Blue is to preside at the trial of Mr. Hayes scheduled to start on Sept. 13. He did not rule, but he repeatedly made clear that he was unlikely to strike down capital punishment.

"My perception of the duty of a lower court judge is to follow higher court precedent," he said.

Mr. Hayes, a repeat thief, and another long-time criminal who is to be tried separately next year, Joshua Komisarjevsky, both confessed to taking part in a home invasion in Cheshire that included the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.

Dr. William A. Petit Jr. was badly beaten but survived. He was in court on Tuesday, as he often is, with a small group of relatives.

After the hearing, Dr. Petit said he was annoyed "when the defense gets up and talks about decency." He reminded reporters that his wife, who had multiple sclerosis, was strangled and that his two daughters were tied to their beds in their house, which was set on fire.

In the courtroom, Mr. Hayes, wearing beltless khaki pants and a gray shirt, listened quietly. He exchanged a few words with one of his lawyers after seeming to search the courtroom's gallery briefly for someone.

Experts on capital punishment said that the attack on Connecticut's death penalty law that seemed unlikely to persuade Judge Blue reflected a central defense strategy in many capital cases. They said death penalty lawyers, often confronted with overwhelming evidence of guilt, focused on one goal: keeping their clients from being executed.

In Mr. Hayes's case, his lawyers are expected to work to persuade jurors to impose a sentence of life in prison without release. But if that fails, they will have peppered the record of the case with legal arguments that an appeals court might someday seize upon to reject a death sentence.

"They are planting a seed for the future," said Eric M. Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University who was a defense lawyer in another Connecticut death penalty case.

Professor Freedman said the new challenge to the Connecticut capital punishment law was textbook defense strategy in death penalty cases.

Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that is critical of capital punishment laws, said capital trials were often different from most others.

Lawyers familiar with capital punishment say that there are often few real mysteries about the crime in death penalty trials. Instead, defense lawyers work to humanize people charged with heinous acts. And if that fails, they plan appeals stretching out over years trying to undermine capital punishment itself.

"The real battle in 90 percent of these cases," Mr. Dieter said, "is over avoiding the death penalty."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

5) An Arizona Morgue Grows Crowded
"The bodies of 57 border crossers have been brought in during July so far, putting it on track to be the worst month for such deaths in the last five years."
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/29border.html?hp

TUCSON - Dr. Bruce Parks unzips a white body bag on a steel gurney and gingerly lifts out a human skull and mandible, turning them over in his hands and examining the few teeth still in their sockets.

The body bag, coated with dust, also contains a broken pelvis, a femur and a few smaller bones found in the desert in June, along with a pair of white sneakers.

"These are people who are probably not going to be identified," said Dr. Parks, the chief medical examiner for Pima County. There are eight other body bags crowded on the gurney.

The Pima County morgue is running out of space as the number of Latin American immigrants found dead in the deserts around Tucson has soared this year during a heat wave.

The rise in deaths comes as Arizona is embroiled in a bitter legal battle over a new law intended to discourage illegal immigrants from settling here by making it a state crime for them to live or seek work.

But the law has not kept the immigrants from trying to cross hundreds of miles of desert on foot in record-breaking heat. The bodies of 57 border crossers have been brought in during July so far, putting it on track to be the worst month for such deaths in the last five years.

Since the first of the year, more than 150 people suspected of being illegal immigrants have been found dead, well above the 107 discovered during the same period in each of the last two years. The sudden spike in deaths has overwhelmed investigators and pathologists at the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office. Two weeks ago, Dr. Parks was forced to bring in a refrigerated truck to store the remains of two dozen people because the building's two units were full.

"We can store about 200 full-sized individuals, but we have over 300 people here now, and most of those are border crossers," Dr. Parks said. "We keep hoping we have seen the worst of this, of these migration deaths. Yet we still see a lot of remains."

The increase in deaths has happened despite many signs that the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally has dropped in recent years. The number of people caught trying to sneak across the frontier without a visa has fallen in each of the last five years and stands at about half of the record 616,000 arrested in 2000.

Not only has the economic downturn in the United States eliminated many of the jobs that used to lure immigrants, human rights groups say, but also the federal government has stepped up efforts to stop the underground railroad of migrants, building mammoth fences in several border towns and flooding the region with hundreds of new Border Patrol agents equipped with high-tech surveillance tools.

These tougher enforcement measures have pushed smugglers and illegal immigrants to take their chances on isolated trails through the deserts and mountains of southern Arizona, where they must sometimes walk for three or four days before reaching a road.

"As we gain more control, the smugglers are taking people out to even more remote areas," said Omar Candelaria, the special operations supervisor for the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. "They have further to walk and they are less prepared for the journey, and they don't make it."

Mr. Candelaria said the surge in discoveries of bodies this year might also owe something to increased patrols. He noted that some of the remains found this year belong to people who died in previous years. But Dr. Parks said that could not account for the entire increase this year. Indeed, the majority of bodies brought in during July, Dr. Parks said, were dead less than a week.

Human rights groups say it is the government's sustained crackdown on human smuggling that has led to more deaths.

"The more that you militarize the border, the more you push the migrant flows into more isolated and desolate areas, and people hurt or injured are just left behind," said Kat Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the Coalición de Derechos Humanos in Tucson.

At the medical examiner's office in Tucson, Dr. Park's team of five investigators, six pathologists and one forensic anthropologist face an enormous backlog of more than 150 unidentified remains, with one case going back as far as 1993.

Every day, they labor to match remains with descriptions provided by people who have called their office to report a missing relative, or with reports collected by human rights groups and by Mexican authorities.

Since 2000, Dr. Park's office has handled more than 1,700 border-crossing cases, and officials here have managed to confirm the identities of about 1,050 of the remains.

Investigators sift through the things the dead carried for clues - Mexican voter registration cards, telephone numbers scrawled on scraps of paper, jewelry, rosaries, family photographs. Often there is precious little to go on.

"We had one gentleman who came in as bones, but around his wrist there was a bracelet from a Mexican Hospital that had his picture," said David Valenzuela, one of the investigators.

If no documents are found, the task becomes harder. Many of the deceased immigrants were too poor to have visited doctors or dentists on a regular basis, so dental or medical records may not exist. Sometimes, a family photograph of the deceased smiling widely is all investigators have to document dental work.

On a recent morning, Bruce Anderson, the forensic anthropologist in the office, was examining the skeleton of an adolescent boy, whose age was somewhere between 14 and 17. His mummified remains were found on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation west of Tucson on July 15. The only lead to his identity was a missing front tooth and the neighboring teeth crowded together in the space.

Dr. Anderson called the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, who had a report of a 13-year-old who had been reported missing this year after crossing the border near Sonoyta, Mexico.

The charity immediately contacted the boy's family to see if he had lost a permanent tooth. Dr. Anderson was still waiting for a reply.

The process takes time, and remains keep piling up. On Monday, Mr. Anderson faced a backlog of 14 new skeletons, in addition to the 40 active cases he is investigating, he said. "One person can't keep up with this load," he said.

The pathologists are also under strain. One day last week, Dr. Cynthia Porterfield did five autopsies, on remains of border crossers who died in the desert.

Dr. Porterfield was able to identify one: Jesse Palma Valenzuela, 30, who died on July 12. Three of his travel companions had tried to carry his body back to Mexico but became tired and abandoned him, wrapped in a blanket and positioned off the ground in a tree to keep animals from eating him. Then they crossed back into Mexico and notified the Border Patrol.

Agents discovered Mr. Valenzuela's body on July 17, right where his friends said it would be, about two-and-a-half miles east of Lukeville, Ariz., not far from the border. Though decomposed, he was still recognizable.

"He's got quite a few tattoos," Dr. Porterfield said. "It is how the family ID'd him."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

6) The Ten Wealthiest Financiers in America Are Not Worth $900,000 an Hour
By Les Leopold
"On behalf of the 3 million young people who would have been their students, I have a proposition for you: Donate 50 percent of your 2009 earnings to keep those 150,000 teachers in their classrooms. Each of you, on average, still would net over $935 million dollars for the year (you should be able to scrape by on that) -- and the money you'd forgo would ensure that 3 million kids would get an education. That the ten of you personally received $18.7 billion (not million) from your hedge fund proceeds in 2009 is quite a feat, given that it was the worst economic year since the Great Depression. You each got roughly $36 million a week -- over $900,000 an hour! Meanwhile, as result of the Wall Street shenanigans you helped engineer, 29 million Americans are now without work or forced into part-time jobs."
May 28, 2010 07:26 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/an-open-letter-to-the-ten_b_593096.html

Dear Messrs, Tepper, Soros, Simons, Paulson, Cohen, Icahn, Lampert, Griffin, Arnold and Falcone,

It's now estimated that about 150,000 teachers will lose their jobs next year because of the financial crisis touched off by your industry.

On behalf of the 3 million young people who would have been their students, I have a proposition for you: Donate 50 percent of your 2009 earnings to keep those 150,000 teachers in their classrooms. Each of you, on average, still would net over $935 million dollars for the year (you should be able to scrape by on that) -- and the money you'd forgo would ensure that 3 million kids would get an education.

That the ten of you personally received $18.7 billion (not million) from your hedge fund proceeds in 2009 is quite a feat, given that it was the worst economic year since the Great Depression. You each got roughly $36 million a week -- over $900,000 an hour! Meanwhile, as result of the Wall Street shenanigans you helped engineer, 29 million Americans are now without work or forced into part-time jobs.

While you may not feel personally responsible for the crash, you do bear some responsibility since you are major players in the financial industry. (Funny how no one is accepting responsibility for the financial crisis.) As Leo Hindery Jr. put it, your industry is a "profit-driven, greedy, selfish institution that, with its unbridled compensation practices and current light-touch regulatory regime is, I truly believe, behind almost every major societal and economic ill that has befallen the United States since 1980."

As you know, you probably would have earned little or nothing in 2009 if the American taxpayer hadn't bailed out the entire financial system. That $18.7 billion you collected didn't fall from the sky. Fearing another great depression, we poured nearly $10 trillion into the financial sector in the form of loans, liquidity programs, asset guarantees and the like. Those taxpayer subsidies should have gone to enhancing the public good, not pumping up obscene levels of private gain. Instead the net result of our mammoth rescue effort is that 150,000 teachers are laid off while you collect more than $36 million a week.

It's a troubling saga of public decay: Your high-flying financial manipulations helped bring down our economy. Millions of people lost their jobs and were no longer able to pay taxes; businesses everywhere went under. And now state and local governments are going broke and slicing their budgets. Tens of thousands of teachers are losing their jobs. (Those of you who live in New Jersey are watching this play out with a vengeance, as school programs are slashed to the bone.) Meanwhile, you walk away with billions, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

I challenge you to explain this story to your children or to anyone else who isn't on your payroll. How can you justify making more than $900,000 an hour in an industry that is essentially responsible for the loss of 150,000 teachers?

Not to pick on you, Mr. Tepper, but you led the list by earning $4 billion in 2009. That's more than $1.9 million an hour, or $32,000 per minute. You earn more in one minute than the average entry-level teacher earns in one year! Please explain.

You personally can do something about this insanity. You can prevent the further deterioration of our public educational system. You can let America know that you are willing to right a wrong.

You know better than anyone else in the country how truly fortunate you are. And you know that you can easily afford to put thousands of teachers back to work, shoring up the public educational system that is at the core of our democracy. And let's be honest, you can cough up $9 billion and still be wealthier than the pharaohs.

In a saner world, we would have placed a 50 percent windfall profits tax on all financial earnings in 2009. That would have helped compensate for the massive public subsidies we provided to your industry. It would have replenished our local, state and federal coffers. But as a nation we are cowed by financial power. We simply do not have the will to challenge our distorted distribution of wealth -- at least not yet. However, with the stroke of a pen, you can help rebalance the scales.

In truth, I don't expect you to rise to this challenge. I suspect that if you see this letter, you will come up with a thousand and one reasons to dismiss my request. Some of you might point out that you are already giving hundreds of millions to charities and educational institutions. Or maybe you'll just be miffed that someone like me has the gall to make such an outrageous proposition. But it's not me that you need to think about. You need to think about those 150,000 teachers and the 3 million kids who won't be learning from them next year. Your wealth will have little value if the society around you crumbles.

The time may come when the American people demand a modicum of financial justice and economic sanity. This would require something far beyond the current financial reform, which is basically a gift to Wall Street and your hedge funds. (After all, under this legislation, you'll still be able to pay only 15 percent tax on your earnings, which is virtually criminal given our revenue shortfalls.)

The time may come when we stop allowing financiers to earn billions while we gut our public infrastructure. I don't know when that will be or how we'll get there. But if you keep piling up your billions with no concern for the American people, you might just hasten the day when an angry and determined public comes knocking on your door.

Better you should put our teachers back to work. No?

P.S. If you employ those 150,000 teachers, I'll donate the royalties from my latest book, The Looting of America. After all, you're part of the reason the book keeps selling.

Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

7) New York to Pay $7 Million for Sean Bell Shooting
By DAVID W. CHEN and AL BAKER
July 27, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28bell.html?_r=1&hp

Closing a key chapter in one of the most controversial police shootings in recent memory, New York City agreed on Tuesday to pay more than $7 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the family and two friends of Sean Bell, a 23-year-old black man who was fatally shot by the police in 2006 on what would have been his wedding day.

The decision by the city came after two days of intense negotiations in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. The children whom Mr. Bell had with his fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, will receive $3.25 million, and two friends of Mr. Bell's who were injured in the episode will also receive payments, with Joseph Guzman getting $3 million, and Trent Benefield $900,000.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007, accused the police of wrongful death, negligence, assault and civil rights violations. But it had repeatedly stalled as the state and federal governments and city police officials investigated the shooting.

The case, whose settlement ranks among the biggest in recent years involving the city's police, set off a raw debate over the use of deadly force and prompted the city to change some of its policing procedures. Those include alcohol testing for officers in any shooting in which someone is injured, as well as improved firearms training.

On Nov. 25, 2006, five police officers - three of whom were black and two white - fired 50 shots into the Nissan Altima that Mr. Bell was driving outside a strip club in Queens. The car struck a detective in the leg and hit a police van just before the officers began firing.

None of the three men in the car had guns, although the officers apparently believed at least one did.

Three of the officers were acquitted of manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges in State Supreme Court in Queens in 2008. The other two officers who opened fire did not face criminal charges.

Federal prosecutors declined in February to file civil rights charges against the officers, citing insufficient evidence.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, said the department could now proceed with its administrative case against the eight officers with some involvement in the episode. Mr. Browne had no comment on the settlement.

At the federal courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn, Ms. Bell, 26, emerged from a courtroom looking weary after two days of negotiations, arm in arm with Mr. Bell's mother, Valerie. Ms. Bell said the settlement was fair but not a victory. "No amount of money can provide closure, no amount of money can make up for the pain," she said. "We'll just try to learn how to live with it and move on."

The money will go to her two children with Mr. Bell, Jada, 7, and Jordyn, 4; she will not receive a share because she was not married to Mr. Bell (she took his name legally after his death). Ms. Bell promised to keep pushing for the passage of police reforms intended to prevent a similar episode.

Standing beside her, Mr. Guzman, 34, said he was sure that something similar would happen again. "I don't think a black or Hispanic man's life means much in this city," he said.

Mr. Guzman had walked out of the courtroom with a noticeable limp. "My injuries are my injuries," he said. "I've got a metal rod in my leg. I've got four bullets still in me. I've got one pushing out my back right now."

Mr. Benefield, 26, was not present, but he is expected to join Ms. Bell and Mr. Guzman at a news conference Wednesday at the Brooklyn offices of one of their lawyers, Sanford A. Rubenstein. "It's a fair and reasonable settlement," Mr. Rubenstein said.

Michael A. Cardozo, the city's corporation counsel, said: "The Sean Bell shooting highlighted the complexities our dedicated officers must face each day. The city regrets the loss of life in this tragic case, and we share our deepest condolences with the Bell family. The city is also settling claims with Mr. Guzman and Mr. Benefield. We hope that all parties can find some measure of closure by this settlement."

But Michael J. Palladino, the president of the Detectives Endowment Association, criticized the settlement as "laughable."

"I think there is something seriously wrong with the entire picture," Mr. Palladino said, "because if you take a look at the situation in its entirety, it's that the police were there performing their lawful duty; Bell was intoxicated and he tried to run the police down."

"If you take a look at the whole situation," he added, "the settlement is absurd, for that amount of money, when Bell was responsible for the entire incident."

Albert W. O'Leary, a spokesman for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, declined to comment on the settlement. The five officers who fired the shots and were named in the lawsuit will not have to contribute to the settlement.

The five officers who opened fire - Detectives Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver, Marc Cooper and Paul Headley and Officer Michael Carey - were part of a unit investigating the strip club. All are on modified assignment, with no gun and no shield, Mr. Browne said. Officer Headley is on military leave.

Lt. Gary Napoli, the supervising officer that night, is also on modified assignment, Mr. Browne said, facing internal charges of failing to supervise the operation. Two other officers, Detective Robert Knapp and Sgt. Hugh McNeil of the Crime Scene Unit, were also internally charged, the detective with failing to thoroughly process the crime scene, and the sergeant with failing to ensure that thorough processing was done, Mr. Browne said.

The settlement was among the largest in recent years involving the police. In 2004, the family of Amadou Diallo agreed to a $3 million settlement after Mr. Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from West Africa, died in a hail of 41 police bullets in the Bronx. In 2001, Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was tortured with a broken broomstick in a Brooklyn police station in 1997, was awarded a total of $8.75 million in a settlement with the city and the police union.

Last month, the city agreed to pay $9.9 million, the largest personal settlement in its history, to a man, Barry Gibbs, who served almost two decades in prison but was released after evidence surfaced that he had been framed for murder by a corrupt detective.

Paul P. Martin, a lawyer for Detective Cooper, said, "On behalf of Marc Cooper, he understands no amount of money can console the family of Sean Bell and Trent Benefield, and we'd hope that this action, on behalf of the city, will put some closure to the Sean Bell family and to Mr. Benefield."

Asked how Detective Cooper was doing, Mr. Martin said: "I saw him last Sunday in church. He is in decent spirits; still haunted by this whole situation but trying to move on with his life."

A. G. Sulzberger contributed reporting.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

8) Estimate Rises of Oil Spill in Michigan
"More than one million gallons of oil may have spilled from a pipeline into the Kalamazoo River this week, significantly more than the pipeline's owner initially estimated, federal officials said."
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30michigan.html?hp

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - More than one million gallons of oil may have spilled from a pipeline into the Kalamazoo River this week, significantly more than the pipeline's owner initially estimated, federal officials said.

Response crews worked to contain the oil as officials from the Environmental Protection Agency released their estimate of the size of the spill. After the pipeline began leaking on Monday, its owner, Enbridge Energy Partners, put the figure at about 800,000 gallons.

"The Kalamazoo River is a fast-moving river, and E.P.A.'s focus right now is on preventing oil from the Enbridge spill from affecting sensitive shorelines and, ultimately, keeping the oil out of Lake Michigan," the E.P.A. said in a statement.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm expressed growing worry on Wednesday that the oil spill, believed to be among the largest ever in the Midwest, might reach Lake Michigan if containment efforts were not strengthened.

"It would be a tragedy of historic proportions if this reached Lake Michigan," Ms. Granholm said.

She said Enbridge's response to the spill had been "wholly inadequate."

The leak came from a 30-inch pipeline that carries millions of gallons of oil each day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

The cause of the leak was being investigated. Patrick Daniel, the chief executive of Enbridge, said he did not think the oil would reach the Great Lakes.

Enbridge is Canadian owned, but based in Houston.

On Wednesday, Enbridge officials said they were doubling the amount of boom on the river to more than 28,000 feet. They also planned to double the number of workers responding to the spill to more than 300.

The pipeline remained closed as officials examined the piece of the pipeline where the leak occurred. Federal regulators issued an order on Wednesday saying the company could not reopen the pipeline without approval.

Representative Mark Schauer, a Michigan Democrat, said he was angry that it took Enbridge several hours on Monday to report the leak after it was discovered. He said he feared that the leak may have started earlier on Sunday and that the amount of oil in the river could be much more than the company's estimate.

Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency said they were investigating the timeline of events surrounding the oil spill. They said Enbridge could be fined if it did not complete the containment and cleanup work.

In this city of about 54,000 people that is best known as the global headquarters of the Kellogg Company, residents could smell oil on Wednesday as black masses of goop streamed down the river. Chris Simmons, the vice mayor who had been leading the city because the mayor was out of town, called the spill "a horrible disaster."

The city had worked hard over the years to restore the once dirty river, he said.

"This river has bounced back from being mistreated in decades past," he said. "We even had bald eagles come back. Now this is such a setback."

Officials have opened a rehabilitation center for birds and other wildlife.

Some people have been sickened by the strong fumes.

Enbridge has paid for at least 30 families to stay in hotels after they reported concerns about air quality and other problems after the spill. Rachel Campbell said the smell of oil woke her up at 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

Ms. Campbell, who is pregnant, lives about six blocks from the river in Battle Creek, and she said she had trouble breathing.

"My eyes were burning, and my nose was burning," she said. "It smelled like a diesel tanker had turned over in front of my house."

Enbridge paid for Ms. Campbell, her husband and their two children to stay at a hotel downtown.

But others were worried about whether the company would follow through with all their promises. David Pike, a 52-year-old auto mechanic who is building a home on the river, had his doubts.

"How long is it going to take them to clean it up?" he said. "Right now, I'm frustrated. If they don't fix this, it will turn to anger."

Environmental groups were frustrated as well to see another oil spill after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Danielle Korpalski, a regional coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, said the group would watch to make sure the company restored the environment.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

9) When Unemployed Means Unhealthy Too
By DANIELLE OFRI, M.D.
July 29, 2010, 3:06 pm
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/when-unemployed-means-unhealthy-too/?hp

"I used to have a doctor," she said, matter-of-factly, "but when I got laid off six months ago I lost my insurance." Ms. C. shifted in her chair while I took notes during our first medical visit. "So I didn't do anything about my knee, but when it got so painful that I couldn't walk, I had to go to the emergency room."
Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times Dr. Danielle Ofri

Then she gave a wan smile. "Cost me $400 to learn that I just have arthritis and that I need to take Tylenol."

As a primary care doctor in a city hospital clinic, I see patients from all cultures, speaking all languages. But lately there have been patients from a new culture - the recently-laid-off-now-without-insurance culture.

Ms. C. was emblematic. Employed her entire life, for the past decade at the same bank, she was fired along with her entire division at age 52. She'd never been to a public hospital before.

I asked her about her screening tests - Pap smears, mammograms. "Sure, I had them every year with my regular doctor..." Here her voice trailed off, almost wistful, as though she were watching her previous life melt away.

Then I asked her about her life during the past six months.

"Stressful," she said. "And when I'm stressed, I eat. I've gained more than 20 pounds." She looked ruefully down at her midsection, grasping a handful of her waist. "I didn't have any of this when I was working."

Ms. C. had always been healthy, but now unemployment was taking its toll. The increased weight had put stress on her knee joints, causing a flare of osteoarthritis. Her blood pressure was now elevated - something she'd never had before. And when I checked her labs, her glucose was elevated. The extra weight had pushed her across the line to prediabetes. And without insurance, she could no longer afford physical therapy for her knee.

A study in the journal Demography last year documented what physicians continue to observe and what everyone seems to know in their gut: that losing a job is bad for our health. People who were laid off suffered more adverse health events, many of which persisted even after they were rehired, if they were lucky enough to get another job.

The proposed reasons included loss of insurance, lack of income to attend to medical issues, and increased stress which could lead to poorer eating and exercise habits as well as increased stress hormones that could worsen blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Ms. C. seemed to fit this to a T.

The best thing for her health would be to get her back on track as quickly as possible. If she were fully employed and not chronically stressed it would certainly be easier to nip the hypertension and diabetes in the bud. But there was no way, obviously, to prescribe employment, no easy medical intervention that would eliminate the pervasive anxiety and stress that accompanies such an upheaval in life.

It seemed like an unfair double-whammy. Dealing with unemployment and its attendant financial worries is difficult enough. Being dealt an additional hand of medical problems feels like an insult added to injury.

But this was what circumstances had delivered, and there was no way around it. Ms C. took the news of her new health conditions grimly, head bowed. I went through my standard discussion about cutting down on salty and sugary foods, increasing fruits and vegetables, starting an exercise program, but my words felt brittle. I couldn't help feeling that I was just heaping on more pain instead of trying to relieve pain.

As she gathered her things to leave, I thought about the larger implications of Ms. C.'s situation. Nearly 15 million Americans were in the situation she was in - unemployed, uncertain financial future, under stress and likely to face more medical problems.

In terms of public health, this is like a natural disaster wreaking havoc on society. The fallout could be as calamitous as that seen with hurricanes, floods or earthquakes, but all the more insidious because of how quietly and individually this disaster is taking place. There were no flames as Ms. C. made her way to the door, no collapsing buildings or surging levees, but the devastation was obvious.

Danielle Ofri is an internist in New York City. Her newest book is "Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients." Dr. Pauline Chen's Doctor and Patient column will return in two weeks.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

10) Greek Police Confront Protesting Truck Drivers
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/07/29/business/AP-EU-Greece-Financial-Crisis.html?ref=world


Filed at 4:37 a.m. ET

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek police used tear gas Thursday to disperse protesting fuel-truck drivers, whose strike is hurting tourism and industry, after the government issued an emergency order to force them back to work.

The scuffles occurred as some 500 drivers gathered in protest outside the transport ministry, but the incident ended quickly.

Most gas stations around the country remained closed after a crippling three-day strike that has hit Greece's tourism industry and led to some factory closures and fresh food shortages in parts of the country.

Fuel-truck drivers oppose plans to liberalize their tightly regulated profession -- part of major reforms required for Greece to receive rescue loans from European countries and the International Monetary Fund.

The reforms will mean the drivers will no longer be able to sell their business licenses privately, sometimes for as much as euro150,000 ($195,000), devaluing the initial investment they'd made.

Facing prosecution unless they return to work, the drivers say they will not directly defy the emergency civil mobilization order, but will continue their protest with various forms of disobedience.

''We came here to talk to the (transport) minister and look how they are treating us. We are hard working people and we want a solution to our problems,'' striking union leader Giorgos Tzortzatos said.

IMF and European auditors are in Athens to inspect the progress of the belt-tightening reforms that have already seen pensions and civil servants' salaries slashed and the welfare system tightened.

The inspection is required before Greece receives in mid-September the second installment of loans from the rescue fund worth up to euro110 billion ($142 billion) from the IMF and the 15 other EU countries using the euro.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

11) Leaked Afghan War Reports Heighten European Doubts
By JUDY DEMPSEY
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/world/europe/29iht-nato.html?ref=world

BERLIN - The revelations contained in newly released U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan have led to parliamentary demands in Berlin and London for expanded inquiries into the war that some analysts say could increase pressure in Europe for accelerated troop withdrawals.

But there were signs on Wednesday that the secret military documents might not have any immediate impact on a war that the major parties appear resigned to pursue, at least in the short term: Lawmakers in Washington vigorously debated the documents on Tuesday but then voted to continue financing the Afghan and Iraq wars.

Still, with European publics largely opposed to the Afghan war, the documents - with their grim and granular picture of the war's ground-level challenges - appear certain to exacerbate deeply held doubts, the analysts said.

"The documents show a disconnect between what is happening between the government debate, the people in the field and the public narrative," said Lisa Aronsson, a trans-Atlantic specialist with the Royal United Services Institute in London. "The leaks could accelerate the process of withdrawal."

"This is not welcome news for the allies," she added.

The documents, provided by the WikiLeaks Web site and reported Monday by The New York Times, The Guardian of London and Der Spiegel of Germany, contain suggestions of at least semiofficial Pakistani support for the Taliban and describe the covert and highly targeted efforts of U.S special forces to eliminate enemy figures.

Stephen Flanagan, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said some details of special forces operations would add to European doubts on NATO strategy.

"The Europeans, for example, are queasy about these special operations, as if the troops are involved in a kind of dirty war," he said.

In one early tangible sign that the leaks will heighten scrutiny of the Afghan conflict, a parliamentary panel in London, the House of Commons' defense select committee, decided this week to widen its inquiry of the war.

Britain, with 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, has said it will end its combat mission by 2015.

The Guardian quoted Whitehall sources as saying that the widened inquiry was likely to examine whether that timetable was realistic and whether it should begin next year.

In Germany, the opposition Left Party on Wednesday renewed its call for the government to withdraw all its 4,665 troops from Afghanistan. "The documents make clear why we should not have any part in this war," said Wolfgang Gehrcke, the party's foreign affairs spokesman.

Other lawmakers, citing the WikiLeaks disclosures, have demanded a review of the parliamentary mandate for the German troop presence.

"What the documents show is that the German government has never been prepared to tell the truth about Afghanistan, particularly the civilian deaths and the use of special forces to target insurgents," said Hans-Christian Ströbele, a Green Party member who serves on the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. "That was not the mandate for our troops."

The leaked documents suggested that there has been close collaboration between Task Force 373, an elite U.S. combat unit trained to kill Taliban and insurgents who attack allied forces, and Task Force 47, an elite unit of the German Army.

When lawmakers asked the government recently about the two elite forces, it played down the sensitivity of the American unit's role, saying that the "core mission" of Task Force 373 was to "conduct reconnaissance and identify individuals who are part of Al Qaeda or the Taliban leadership."

The role of Task Force 47 is highly sensitive, potentially conflicting with the parliamentary mandate for German troops that speaks vaguely only of providing stability in Afghanistan.

"No one in the government has shown any leadership in explaining the real nature of this war," Mr. Ströbele said. "I hope the leaked documents will change that."

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the German defense minister, was criticized this week for his reluctance to explain the role of Task Force 47.

German press accounts said the documents disclosed that the Americans' Task Force 373 was stationed in the German-controlled Mazar-i-Sharif camp, which could provoke attacks on the camp and might violate the German mandate.

Some documents' depictions of fierce fighting in areas of German deployment go far beyond the scant detail on the war the German public normally hears.

But reaction in France, another key member of the NATO coalition, has been much more muted, said Justin Vaïsse, director of research for the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

"It's nothing in magnitude compared with what happened two years ago, in August '08, when 10 French soldiers were killed in a firefight with the Taliban," Mr. Vaïsse said. That, he said, had "really prompted soul-searching about the French presence in Afghanistan and also prompted debate in the National Assembly. Here we have nothing of the sort."

James Carafano, a foreign policy specialist at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, said the WikiLeaks story had fed into existing views.

"I don't think it's going to be a game-changer in European opinion," he said.

NATO spokesmen declined to comment on Wednesday on the leak of the secret military reports, which were compiled between January 2004 and December 2009.

In Washington, the leak was mentioned repeatedly in a vigorous debate in the House of Representatives on a bill to provide $37 billion for the Afghan and Iraq wars. Democrats revealed deepening anxiety over the course of the Afghan conflict.

Still, the measure passed, by 308 votes to 114, with strong Republican support.

Administration officials said the bill's passage showed that the document leak had not jeopardized congressional support for the war.

Brian Knowlton and Carl Hulse contributed reporting from Washington.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

12) Congress Moves to Narrow Cocaine Sentencing Disparities
"A growing number of criminologists have concluded that the sentencing disparity is unjustified and has subjected tens of thousands of blacks to lengthy prison terms while offering more lenient punishment to users and sellers of powder cocaine, who are more often white."
By ERIK ECKHOLM
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/us/politics/29crack.html?ref=us

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would reduce the disparities between mandatory federal sentences for crack and powder cocaine violations, a step toward ending what legal experts say have been unfairly harsh punishments imposed mainly on blacks.

The bill, which passed the Senate in March, was adopted by the House in a voice vote and now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Administration officials have described the sentencing disparity as "fundamentally unfair," and Mr. Obama said during the 2008 presidential campaign that it "disproportionately filled our prisons with young black and Latino drug users."

Under the current law, adopted in 1986 after a surge in crack cocaine smoking and drug-related killings, someone convicted in federal court of possession of five grams of crack must be sentenced to at least five years in prison, and possession of 10 grams requires a 10-year minimum sentence. With powder cocaine, the threshold amounts for those mandatory sentences are 100 times as high.

In the bill passed Wednesday, the amount of crack that would invoke a five-year minimum sentence is raised to 28 grams, said to be roughly the amount a dealer might carry, and for a 10-year sentence, 280 grams.

While crack use has declined since the 1980s, arrests remain common, and some 80 percent of those convicted on crack charges in recent years have been black. A growing number of criminologists have concluded that the sentencing disparity is unjustified and has subjected tens of thousands of blacks to lengthy prison terms while offering more lenient punishment to users and sellers of powder cocaine, who are more often white.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the new law, shorter sentences for possessors of small amounts of crack will save the federal prison system about $42 million over the next five years.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

13) Bell Case Underlines Limits of Wrongful-Death Payouts
By A. G. SULZBERGER and TIM STELLOH
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/nyregion/29bell.html?ref=nyregion

The $3.25 million settlement that the city announced this week with the estate of Sean Bell, who was shot to death by the police in 2006, serves as a reminder of a ruthless truth about calculating settlements: It is generally cheaper to settle a case in which there was a death than one in which there was a serious injury.

"Many times when people come into my office," said Susan M. Karten, a lawyer who has handled high-profile cases involving police misconduct, "I have to explain that when a person is shot and dies in some incident, their case is worth little under New York law, but if that same person who was shot lives and suffers some horrible injury, that can be worth millions."

"I hate to say it this way," Ms. Karten added, "but you're better off killing someone than maiming him."

The Bell settlement, for the two children he had with his fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, came six weeks after the city agreed to a record payout of $9.9 million to Barry Gibbs, who had been released after almost two decades in prison because of evidence that he had been framed by a corrupt police detective.

The police brutality case against Abner Louima resulted in an $8.75 million settlement. And in the crush of litigation over the 2003 crash of a Staten Island ferry, the largest settlement by far went not to the estates of any of the people killed but to a man, James McMillan Jr., rendered a quadriplegic.

In the Bell lawsuit, the settlements to be paid to two friends of his who were wounded in the episode totaled more than the payment to his estate. Joseph Guzman, a friend who was struck by 17 bullets, will receive $3 million; Trent Benefield, who was less seriously injured, will receive $900,000.

The plaintiffs' lawyers will receive one-third of the payouts, subject to court approval of the settlement. The money for Mr. Bell's children will be placed in a trust fund that will not be available to them until they are 18, though the family can apply to have the money released sooner, one of the lawyers said.

Mr. Bell's fiancée will receive nothing, because New York law does not permit such payouts to unwed partners. Mr. Bell was killed on the morning of the day he was to be married.

Richard D. Emery, a lawyer who works on police abuse cases, said the city's settlement probably reflected a desire to conclude a case that had brought continuing negative publicity, rather than any obligation under the law. The $3.25 million figure, he said, is "ridiculously high if you look at it in terms of wrongful death," but he added, "It's modest if you look at the egregiousness and outrageousness of the actions of the police."

The reason for what lawyers described as a fairly modest payout to the Bell estate was largely that compensation in wrongful-death cases is limited to the loss of financial support and future companionship suffered by a child or a spouse.

The result is a calculation in which the death of a middle-aged head of household with a steady income and children would result in a far larger payout than the death of, for example, an unemployed, unmarried teenager.

That partly explains why the family of another victim of a fatal police shooting, Amadou Diallo, refused for years to accept the city's settlement offers, said Anthony H. Gair, the lawyer who handled the case.

"He had no children, he had no next of kin, he was making no money selling things on the street," Mr. Gair said. "They were offering very little money - way under a million. They were arguing under New York wrongful-death law it wasn't worth very much. And they were right."

The city eventually increased its offer to $3 million, which the family accepted. Mr. Gair said the state's laws on the subject were "the most antiquated, backward wrongful-death laws in the United States." (The city's largest settlement in a wrongful-death case, $8.75 million, went to a high-paid lawyer and a father of four, John Healy, 44, who died in the ferry crash.)

Another factor is that wrongful-death cases typically carry limited damages for pain and suffering. One study found that the average payout for wrongful-death cases had been about twice as much as for herniated disc cases and a third as much as for cases involving brain damage, said Mark Geistfeld, who teaches civil litigation at New York University School of Law.

"Obviously a herniated disc isn't half as bad as wrongful death," Mr. Geistfeld said.

The settlement of the Bell lawsuit was reached on Tuesday at the end of two days of intense negotiations.

"At one point it seemed that both sides were going to walk away without a settlement," said Scott Rynecki, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers. "It wasn't until the last half-hour that we finally closed the gaps."

Joel Berger, a lawyer who worked for the city's Law Department from 1988 to 1996, said the Bell settlement appeared to be consistent with the city's typical strategy.

"The city always tries to get away with paying as little as possible," Mr. Berger said, "and in the end it always caves in and settles, because it fears what the jury might award in such a high-profile matter. Make it go away: that has been the policy of this administration."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

14) Fed Member's Deflation Warning Hints at Policy Shift
By SEWELL CHAN
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/economy/30fed.html?ref=business

WASHINGTON - A subtle but significant shift appears to be occurring within the Federal Reserve over the course of monetary policy amid increasing signs that the economic recovery is weakening.

On Thursday, James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the Fed's current policies were putting the American economy at risk of becoming "enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years."

The warning by Mr. Bullard, who is a voting member of the Fed committee that determines interest rates, comes days after Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, said the central bank was prepared to do more to stimulate the economy if needed, though it had no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Bullard had been viewed as a centrist and associated with the camp that sees inflation, the Fed's traditional enemy, as a greater threat than deflation.

But with inflation now very low, about half of the Fed's unofficial target of 2 percent, and with the European debt crisis having roiled the markets, even self-described inflation hawks like Mr. Bullard have gotten worried that growth has slowed so much that the economy is at risk of a dangerous cycle of falling prices and wages.

Among those seen as already sympathetic to the view that the damage from long-term unemployment and the threat of deflation are among the greatest challenges facing the economy, are three other Fed bank presidents: Eric S. Rosengren of Boston, Janet L. Yellen of San Francisco and William C. Dudley of New York.

As the Fed's board of governors shifts, the doves are getting more attention.

President Obama has nominated Ms. Yellen to be vice chairwoman of the Fed. The Senate Banking Committee voted 17 to 6 on Wednesday to confirm her, though the top Republican on the panel, Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, voted no, saying he believed Ms. Yellen had an "inflationary bias."

Mr. Obama's two other nominees, Peter A. Diamond and Sarah Bloom Raskin, who like Ms. Yellen are on track to be confirmed by the Senate, have also expressed serious concerns about unemployment.

Whether the Fed should take new and untested actions to support the economy is certain to be the top agenda item when the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, meets on Aug. 10. The committee includes the Fed's board of governors, along with the president of the New York Fed and a rotating group of the other bank presidents.

Mr. Bullard, in an conference call with reporters on Thursday, said he was not calling right away for the Fed to drop its position that interest rates would remain exceptionally low for "an extended period," or to resume buying long-term Treasury securities to stimulate the economy.

But both steps, he said, should be taken if any new "negative shocks" roil the economy.

"This is very significant," Laurence H. Meyer, a former Fed governor, said of Mr. Bullard's new position. "He has been one of the most hawkish members, but he is now calling for the Fed to ease aggressively. There seems to be no question he wants to do it sooner rather than later, and relatively forcefully."

Until now, Mr. Rosengren of the Boston Fed had been perhaps the Fed official most outspoken on the prospect of the economy getting mired in a deflationary cycle.

"While I am not anticipating we will be in a deflationary period, it's a risk that I do take seriously, and we should continue to monitor what's happening with prices," Mr. Rosengren said in an interview last week. "A heightened risk of deflation is something that we should react to."

That view is not universally held, however.

"I think the fear of deflation in and of itself is probably overblown, from my perspective," Charles I. Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed, said last week in an interview. He said that inflation expectations were "well anchored" and noted that $1 trillion in bank reserves was sitting at the Fed. "It's hard to imagine with that much money sitting around, you would have a prolonged period of deflation," he said.

Richard W. Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, said in an interview this week: "Reasonable people can argue that there's a risk of deflation, but we haven't seen it in the numbers yet."

These two regional bank presidents, along with Thomas M. Hoenig of the Kansas City Fed, are associated with the hawkish camp within the Fed whose focus is continued vigilance on inflation.

Starting in 2007, the Fed lowered the benchmark short-term interest rate all the way to zero and pumped some $2 trillion into the economy with an array of emergency loans and purchases of government debts and mortgage bonds.

Those purchases were phased out in March, but there is now talk within the Fed of resuming them. Doing so would further enlarge the central bank's balance sheet, which has more than doubled, to $2.3 trillion.

To buy all those assets, the Fed essentially printed money - the $1 trillion in reserves. If the reserves were withdrawn and lent out quickly, the supply of money in the economy could increase rapidly.

But right now there seems to be little threat of that happening. Bank lending has continued to contract. Big companies are in essence sitting on piles of cash, while many small businesses complain that getting a bank loan has gotten much tougher.

"The inconceivable is becoming increasingly conceivable," Mr. Rosengren said. "As a result, I think it has become clear that just the creation of reserves, in and of themselves, isn't going to become inflationary and shouldn't affect inflation expectations, unless you see a banking system that is growing rapidly and starting to increase lending."

He added: "At that point, we should start contracting both monetary and fiscal policy, and I would welcome when that occurs. But we're not at that point right now."

Inflation expectations can be as an important as inflation itself. Since May 2008, the Fed has been saying it would keep interest rates "exceptionally low" for "extended period." The markets have over time interpreted that phrase to mean that the Fed will probably keep the benchmark federal funds rate at its current level - a target of zero to 0.25 percent - through 2011.

But in his article, Mr. Bullard warns: "Promising to remain at zero for a long time is a double-edged sword."

Mr. Bullard said that inflation expectations had fallen from about 2 percent earlier this year to about 1.4 percent now, as judged by one measure, five-year Treasury inflation-protected securities.

The outcome could be an "unintended steady state" like Japan's slow-growth economy. "The U.S. is closer to a Japan-style outcome today than at any time in recent history," he wrote.

Along with changing the "extended period" language and resuming asset purchases, the Fed could lower the interest it pays on excess reserves - the reserves the banks hold with the Fed in excess of what they are required to - from its current rate of 0.25 percent. It could also reinvest the cash it receives when the mortgages underlying its securities are prepaid.

Mr. Bernanke, in testimony to Congress last week, raised both of those possibilities. But he has been cautious about appearing to endorse any particular approach.

For all the talk of new asset purchases, Mr. Meyer warned that there were diminishing returns - a concern that is held by several of the governors in the Fed's headquarters.

"A new round of asset purchases would have a smaller effect than the first round," he said. "If the F.O.M.C. returns to asset purchases, to have a meaningful effect, they would have to purchase at least $2 trillion, doubling the balance sheet."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

15) Higher Oil Prices Help Exxon Top Forecasts
"The Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its second-quarter income nearly doubled to $7.56 billion as oil prices increased from last year."
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/business/30oil.html?ref=business

The Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that its second-quarter income nearly doubled to $7.56 billion as oil prices increased from last year.

It is Exxon's highest quarterly profit since the $7.82 billion earned in the last three months of 2008.

Exxon set a record for quarterly earnings in the United States of $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008 after oil prices spiked to nearly $150 a barrel that summer. Oil prices dropped dramatically as the global recession took hold, and Exxon's profits followed, hitting a six-year low in the second quarter of 2009.

Earnings rose to $1.60 a share in the second quarter, from $3.95 billion, or 81 cents a share, in the period a year ago.

Revenue increased 24 percent to $92.5 billion.

Analysts had expected quarterly earnings of $1.46 a share on revenue of $98.5 billion.

The company, based in Irving, Tex., increased profits across its exploration and production, refining and chemicals businesses.

Exxon increased production of oil and natural gas by 8 percent as prices for each rose. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the industry benchmark, jumped 31 percent in the second quarter to a daily average of $78.16 a barrel. Natural gas prices rose 14 percent to an average of $4.35 per million B.T.U.'s

During the period, Exxon completed the acquisition of natural gas producer XTO Energy. The deal, valued at $29 billion, immediately makes Exxon the largest natural gas company in the United States.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

16) Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been Dumping Site
"'You can fool people,' Mr. Pitre said. 'But you can't fool the fish.'"
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30gulf.html?hp

HOUMA, La. - Loulan Pitre Sr. was born on the Gulf Coast in 1921, the son of an oysterman. Nearly all his life, he worked on the water, abiding by the widely shared faith that the resources of the Gulf of Mexico were limitless.

As a young Marine staff sergeant, back home after fighting in the South Pacific, he stood on barges in the gulf and watched as surplus mines, bombs and ammunition were pushed over the side.

He helped build the gulf's very first offshore oil drilling platforms in the late 1940s, installing bolts on perilously high perches over the water. He worked on a shrimp boat, and later as the captain of a service boat for drilling platforms.

The gulf has changed, Mr. Pitre said: "I think it's too far gone to salvage."

The BP oil spill has sent millions of barrels gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, focusing international attention on America's third coast and prompting questions about whether it will ever fully recover from the spill.

Now that the oil on the surface appears to be dissipating, the notion of a recovery from the spill, repeated by politicians, strikes some here as short-sighted. The gulf had been suffering for decades before the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20.

"There's a tremendous amount of outrage with the oil spill, and rightfully so," said Felicia Coleman, director of Florida State University's Coastal and Marine Laboratory. "But where's the outrage at the thousands and millions of little cuts we've made on a daily basis?"

The gulf is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the hemisphere, a stopping point for migratory birds from South America to the Arctic, home to abundant wildlife and natural resources.

But like no other American body of water, the gulf bears the environmental consequences of the country's economic pursuits and appetites, including oil and corn.

There are around 4,000 offshore oil and gas platforms and tens of thousands of miles of pipeline in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, where 90 percent of the country's offshore drilling takes place.

At least half a million barrels of oil and drilling fluids had been spilled offshore before the gusher that began after the April 20 explosion, according to government records.

Much more than that has been spilled from pipelines, vessel traffic and wells in state waters - including hundreds of spills in Louisiana alone - records show, some of it since April 20.

Runoff and waste from cornfields, sewage plants, golf courses and oil-stained parking lots drain into the Mississippi River from vast swaths of the United States, and then flow down to the gulf, creating a zone of lifeless water the size of Lake Ontario just off the coast of Louisiana.

The gulf's floor is littered with bombs, chemical weapons and other ordnance dumped in the middle of last century, even in areas busy with drilling, and miles outside of designated dumping zones, according to experts who work on deepwater hazard surveys.

The likelihood of an accident is low, experts said, but they added that federal hazard mitigation requirements are not strong enough to guarantee the safety of drillers working in the gulf.

Even the coast itself - overdeveloped, strip-mined and battered by storms - is falling apart. The wildlife-rich coastal wetlands of Louisiana, sliced up and drastically engineered for oil and gas exploration, shipping and flood control, have lost an area larger than Delaware since 1930.

"This has been the nation's sacrifice zone, and has been for 50-plus years," said Aaron Viles, campaign director for the Gulf Restoration Network, a nonprofit group. "What we're seeing right now with BP's crude is just a very photogenic representation of that."

History of Neglect

All along the coast, people speak of a lack of regulatory commitment and investment in scientific research on the gulf by state and federal lawmakers.

They note, for example, that over the last decade, the Environmental Protection Agency's financing for the Chesapeake Bay Program, a regional and federal partnership, was nearly five times the amount for a similar Gulf of Mexico program, and a Great Lakes program was given more than four times as much.

"The funding had never been equivalent to other great water bodies," said Lisa Jackson, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. "That's absolutely true. But it's also absolutely true that this administration changed that long before the spill."

While the Gulf of Mexico program financing remains at roughly the same levels, Ms. Jackson pointed to other programs to address gulf health that have been created and received tens of millions of dollars in the last two years.

On July 19, the Obama administration announced the recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, a committee created in 2009 to coordinate governance over the country's major bodies of water.

The White House also announced the creation of a gulf restoration road map before the spill to address the long-term problems on the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

The details of some of these federal plans remain vague, and the financing is viewed as just a start, but they have raised hopes of a more effective federal approach to the gulf's problems - an approach that has long been missing, say scientists, lawyers and environmental advocates here.

Ms. Jackson added that it is not all about money. Some of the key coastal issues, like control of the Mississippi River, present thorny jurisdictional complications between the federal government and the states.

And while billions of dollars would be required to restore the coast - much more than has already been committed - the maintenance of a healthy gulf also demands rigorous enforcement of regulations.

Some of the strongest resistance to tough regulation, as well as the most permissive attitude toward industry and property development, has come from the Gulf States themselves.

While the states formed an alliance in 2004 to address the gulf's overall health, the group includes some of the poorest states in the country, and they are concerned that tighter rules could chase away jobs.

In a federal ranking of states for annual toxic release, 3 of the top 10 are along the gulf.

This has led to a cycle of lax oversight. Members of several national environmental groups said they had found much of the gulf a hostile fund-raising and political atmosphere - a point echoed by Paul Templet, a former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

"They don't have any support in state government," Mr. Templet said of the groups. "They do a cost-benefit analysis, and they decide to spend their money elsewhere."

A Regional Difference

But without the aggressive watchdog role played by well-financed environmental groups in places like California and the Mid-Atlantic, threats to the gulf have largely gone unmonitored.

Kieran Suckling, a founder of the Center for Biological Diversity, said he was shocked in the days after the Deepwater Horizon spill to discover the United States Minerals Management Service's lax oversight of the offshore drilling industry.

"The blatant, extremely public actions of the M.M.S. would not survive for 10 minutes if they were doing this very same thing in the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest," he said.

But his organization, like many others, did not have an office on the gulf.

"The environmental movement was either so far removed from it that it was unaware, or it was aware and afraid to challenge it because of local politics," Mr. Suckling said. "Or it was unwilling to challenge because it has written off the gulf as America's dumping ground."

By the time the environmental movement gained steam, in the 1970s, the Gulf of Mexico had already established a reputation as a place where the country did its dirty work.

Oil and gas companies have been drilling offshore in the central and western gulf for more than 60 years, providing tens of thousands of jobs for states with ailing agrarian economies.

In that time, only the Ixtoc I spill off Mexico in 1979 has come close to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But still, a report from the Ocean Studies Board and other federal scientific advisory groups found that the waters of the northwestern gulf take on more oil on average per year, from spills, natural seeps and land-based sources like coastal refineries and everyday transportation, than any other North American marine waters.

According to data from the Minerals Management Service compiled and analyzed by Toxics Targeting, a firm that documents pollution and contamination, at least 324 spills involving offshore drilling have occurred in the gulf since 1964, releasing more than 550,000 barrels of oil and drilling-related substances. Four of these spills even involved earlier equipment failures and accidents on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Thousands of tons of produced water - a drilling byproduct that includes oil, grease and heavy metals - are dumped into the gulf every year. The discharges are legal and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

But in the early 1990s, Robert Wiygul, an environmental lawyer who works on the Gulf Coast, brought at least a half-dozen lawsuits against companies that were found to be dumping produced water in shallow areas along the coast without any permit at all, citing little to no enforcement by the E.P.A. and little concern from regional politicians.

The E.P.A. later tightened regulations, including an outright ban on dumping produced waters near shore. But Mr. Wiygul described the situation as typical.

"If you'd had high-level politicians saying, 'Y'all need to do this, this needs to happen,' you would have seen a different situation there," he said.

A Double-Edged Sword

Some of the alternatives to oil and gas could present their own problems to the gulf. While many farm groups, along with the Obama administration, are pushing for an expansion of ethanol-based fuels, such an expansion could mean more corn grown in the Midwest. That in turn could mean more nitrogen-rich fertilizer pouring into the gulf from the Mississippi River.
[Why not demand they clean-up their sewage before releasing it???...bw]
The nitrogen discharged into the Mississippi - 1.5 million tons of it yearly, from fertilizer, as well as urban runoff and sewage plants - creates a feeding frenzy among the phytoplankton when it enters the gulf. When the phytoplankton decompose, oxygen in the water is reduced so significantly that little life can exist.

That man-made area of dead water, called a hypoxic zone, is second in size only to a similar zone in the Baltic Sea. And its source, for the most part, is in states hundreds of miles from the gulf.

"One of the problems with the gulf as an ecosystem is its insults come from so damn far away," said Oliver Houck, a lawyer at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic in New Orleans.

The Clean Water Act has been effective at regulating "point source" pollution from specific factories and waste plants. But the act leaves much up to the states when it comes to regulating more diffuse sources of pollution, like runoff. And agricultural runoff is explicitly exempt from regulation under the act.

That does not mean that the states and the E.P.A. are powerless to curtail upstream pollution, said Nancy Rabalais, an expert on gulf hypoxia and executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. They just have been reluctant to do so in the past.

She said some positive steps had been made recently, including a new four-year, $320 million federal initiative dedicated to substantially reducing the nitrogen coming into the gulf by working with agricultural states upriver. But the plan is only a start, she said, and she has not seen the states along the Mississippi, including those in the gulf, push for the financing needed to make a measurable difference.

Mr. Pitre is skeptical that anything will change, given the economic realities. The BP spill aside, much of the damage to the gulf has been gradual and piecemeal. And people still believe that the gulf is big enough to absorb it.

"You can fool people," Mr. Pitre said. "But you can't fool the fish."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

17) Back to a Summer Idyll, With New Anxieties
By TAMAR LEWIN
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30voices.html

PHOENIX, La. - At the Zion Travelers day camp here on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the morning begins with clap-and-stomp chants, two dozen children in an air-conditioned white trailer, shouting and shimmying and stamping their feet.

There is not a lot to do in this tiny rural town just over the levee from the river. And there are not many organized activities at the day camp. When the chants are over, some children play on computers. Some take the recycling items to the dump. Some get ready to go out in the sweltering heat and play with water balloons.

Dajayne (pronounced DAY-je-nay) Thomas, an 18-year-old counselor who lives in Chalmette but spends summers in Phoenix with her uncle, a fisherman, says she likes the safety, the calm and the everyone-knows-everyone feel of the town.

"I can tell you who lives in every door," Ms. Thomas said. "Around the corner, down the street, everyone's kin. It's peaceful. You don't hear about crime. You don't hear anything bad happening here. Except the oil spill. And hurricanes."

Phoenix, an African-American fishing community south of New Orleans, was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and rebuilt only slowly. Now, in more subtle ways, the oil spill is taking its own toll.

Ms. Thomas has seen no sign of the oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico for three months. No dead birds, no tar balls - nothing but what has been on the television news.

Still, the oil spill has made this summer different from last summer. Ms. Thomas's worries about the oil have made her stop drinking tap water and start cooking with bottled water.

Baths and showers have become a source of concern.

"When I run my bath, I think sometimes it might have oil in it, so I check it," she said. "I don't take showers any more either. I take baths so I can really see what I'm bathing in."

And when the leak has been permanently sealed?

"After they remove the oil, I'll probably still do it, because I don't think it's possible for them to get all the oil out the water," she said. "I don't know."

Even the seafood so central to life here - providing both food and work - is now contaminated with fear, even if not with oil.

"I haven't had any in a while; I don't think I will," Ms. Thomas said. "You don't know where it really came from, so you think it may be poisonous from the oil. I probably would eat it if I see it came from the store, like the filet fish."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

18) Pentagon Report Places Blame for Suicides
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30suicide.html?ref=world

WASHINGTON - At a time of record-high military suicides, commanders are ignoring the mental health problems of American soldiers and not winnowing out enough of those with records of substance abuse and crime, a United States Army report has concluded.

The report, released Thursday at the Pentagon, found that it was not only the stress of repeated deployments over nearly a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan that has driven the Army suicide rate above the civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War. Significantly, the report said that 79 percent of the soldiers who committed suicide had had only one deployment, or had not deployed at all.

"For us to blame this thing just on the war would be wrong," Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army, said at a news conference about the report. "That's not what we're trying to do here."

Nonetheless, General Chiarelli said that he believed - but could not prove statistically - that the overall Army suicide rate had been driven up by the 21 percent of suicides committed by soldiers with multiple deployments. "That has just always been my concern, that they may be it, that may be the reason," he said. "But I don't have any data that I can tie that to."

There were a record 160 active-duty Army suicides in the year from Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2009.

The report said that if the Army added in accidental deaths, which it said are often the result of high-risk behavior involving drinking and drugs, "less young men and women die in combat than die by their own actions." It concluded: "We are often more dangerous to ourselves than the enemy."

According to the Army, roughly 20 out of 100,000 soldiers have killed themselves, compared with a rate of roughly 19 out of 100,000 for the civilian population.

The report put a large part of the blame on commanders who either failed to recognize or disregarded high-risk behavior among their troops. "There are instances where a leader's lack of soldier accountability resulted in suicide victims not being found until they had been dead for three or four weeks," the report said.

In addition, the report said that the pace of constant deployments in two wars had forced a lowering of recruiting and retention standards. Many new recruits were granted waivers, it said, for behavior that would have kept them out of the service in earlier years. Of 80,403 waivers granted since 2004, the report found that 47,478 were granted to people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, misdemeanor crime or "serious misconduct," which it defined as felony.

At the same time, the report found that there was a decrease in soldiers forced to leave the Army for misconduct. "This has likely resulted in the retention of over 25,283 soldiers who would have otherwise been separated in previous years," the report said.

General Chiarelli said that the majority of Army suicides - 60 percent - are committed during a soldier's first enlistment, typically four years, and that the most dangerous year is the first. "We see more suicides in that first year than any other year," General Chiarelli said.

Most new recruits are 18 to 20 years old, a statistically high-risk group for suicide because of their age. But General Chiarelli said the suicide rate for soldiers who first entered the Army in their late 20s was three times higher than for those in the younger group.

General Chiarelli said he did not want to typecast, "but I think it's fair to say in some instances it would be a soldier that's possibly married, couple of kids, lost his job, no health care insurance, possibly a single parent." Such a soldier, General Chiarelli said, "is coming in the Army to start all over again, and we see this high rate of suicide."

Among the solutions, some of which have already been put in place, the report recommended tightened enlistment standards, expanded mental health screening, a confidential alcohol treatment program and better coordination between primary care physicians and mental health counselors.

Over all, General Chiarelli said, "The United States Army is a fully capable force comprised of 1.1 million men and women," and "we are in fact expending much, much effort on a very, very small portion of this population."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

19) Taking Calls From Veterans on the Brink of Suicide
"Though suicides among active-duty service members is carefully tracked - they hit a one-month record, 32, in June - no reliable data exists for suicides by veterans. But estimates, while not universally accepted, seem alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans account for about one in five of the more than 30,000 suicides committed in the United States each year."
By JAMES DAO
July 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/us/31hotline.html?ref=us

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. - Melanie Poorman swiveled in her chair and punched a button on the phone. The caller, a 30-something Iraq war veteran, had recently broken up with his girlfriend and was watching a movie, "Body of War," that was triggering bad memories. He started to cry.

And, oh yeah, he had a 12-gauge shotgun nearby. Could someone please come and take it away, he asked.

Ms. Poorman, 54, gently coaxed the man into unloading the weapon. As a co-worker called the police, she stayed on the line, talking to him about his girlfriend, his work, the war. Suddenly, there were sirens. "I unloaded the gun!" she heard him shout. And then he hung up. (He was taken to a hospital, she learned later.)

Ms. Poorman sat back and took a deep breath. "That was an easy one," she said. The hard ones are "angry, angry, angry - they have intent, they have a plan, and they have no desire for help," she said. But they call anyway.

"I think contact is important, even at the end of life," she said.

It was just an average night at the Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention hot line in central New York. Over here, Rebecca talked to a drunken man who was seeing people he had killed. Over there, Katie was on the line with a bipolar man having nightmares. Across the room, Virginia tried to calm a man who had refused to take his medication and was threatening to run headlong into traffic.

This is the front line of the government's expanding efforts to deter suicide among veterans.

Though suicides among active-duty service members is carefully tracked - they hit a one-month record, 32, in June - no reliable data exists for suicides by veterans.

But estimates, while not universally accepted, seem alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans account for about one in five of the more than 30,000 suicides committed in the United States each year.

Under growing pressure from veterans groups and Congress, the Veterans Affairs Department in recent years has hired more than 5,000 therapists and counselors and established a system of suicide prevention coordinators at more than 150 medical centers.

It also opened a research center here in Canandaigua associated with the University of Rochester, which already had one of the nation's largest programs for the study of suicide.

But the hot line has become the most visible facet of the government's attempts to prevent suicide among veterans, providing tangible examples of both successes and shortcomings in the campaign.

To critics, including some veterans advocates, the hot line is a necessary but last-ditch approach, a tourniquet for people with dire psychological wounds. Until the department develops more effective long-term programs to treat and prevent suicidal behavior, the numbers will continue to rise, they say.

"A veteran would have to have reached the point of actually considering suicide to actually call the suicide hot line," a veteran, Melvin Citron, testified before a House Veterans' Affairs subcommittee in a hearing on suicide this month. "I would submit that by then, for some, it could have been prevented."

But the department and its supporters say the hot line is much more than a Band-Aid. For many veterans, it has become a gateway into government services. About a third of callers are not in the veterans health system, so workers on the prevention hot line can steer them to programs they may not have known about.

The hot line is also clearly saving some people, if only for a day. In the 2007 fiscal year, when it opened, the center handled about 9,380 calls. Last year the number jumped more than tenfold, to nearly 119,000.

On a typical day, responders handle 250 to 300 calls from across the country and overseas. Not all are veterans, but the responders take all calls.

No one knows what ultimately happens to the callers, a vast majority of whom are men. Some probably overcome their impulse, but many eventually call back making new threats. And a few undoubtedly kill themselves.

One measure of effectiveness is known as a rescue: when emergency service workers are able to rush people threatening or actually trying to commit suicide to a hospital. The hot line has chalked up 10,000 rescues since 2007.

Benjamin Rowe, 24, had one such rescue a few weeks ago. A caller said he had tied a noose around his neck and was going to hang himself from a ceiling fan.

Mr. Rowe called the police, but before they arrived, the man, still holding the phone, stepped off his chair. Mr. Rowe could hear him gasping for air.

But the rope broke and the man fell to the floor, softly crying for help as the police finally knocked down the door.

"I couldn't disconnect, I had to listen," Mr. Rowe said. "Everyone who works here has had several calls like that."

Janet Kemp, the department's national mental health director for suicide prevention, said she was initially skeptical about the hot line. "I thought men wouldn't call," she said. "I was wrong. It's kind of blown me away."

The hot line is run in conjunction with the nation's largest network of crisis call centers, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Veterans who call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) are prompted to press 1 and are then connected to a bank of about 15 phones in a red brick building at the Canandaigua veterans medical center.

Recently, the center also began conducting online chats with suicidal veterans, as well as handling calls from homeless veterans seeking emergency housing.

Just about all of the 124 people on staff have degrees or experience in counseling, social work or therapy. Only about a third are veterans themselves, which has prompted criticism from some veterans groups.

Caitlin Thompson, the clinical care coordinator, said a vast majority of veterans simply wanted an empathetic ear. "The very act of picking up the phone is an attempt to reach out one last time," she said. "It's that ambivalence that we are trying to jump on."

Throughout the evening, Kevin Prenatt hovered near the responders, a clipboard in hand. His job was to hunt through databases and phone records for the addresses of callers who refused to give locations. Luck and hunches are sometimes his only tools.

In April, he was able to locate a man who had slit both wrists in a public park simply because the responder could hear a train in the background. As luck would have it, the town had just one park near the tracks.

"I know the residual effects of suicide," said Mr. Prenatt, a 52-year-old Navy veteran whose older brother killed himself at the age of 26. "It changed my mother forever."

He was soon hovering near Michelle Edwards as she talked to a despondent National Guard soldier who had just broken up with her boyfriend, was drinking heavily and had a 9-millimeter pistol nearby.

Ms. Edwards firmly tried to persuade the woman's mother to take her to a hospital. When that failed, she called the police.

"I lived all this stuff," Ms. Edwards said after hanging up. Her father, she said, was a veteran who returned from Vietnam with serious physical and psychological injuries. But he became a social worker and threw his energy into helping others. She learned from him, she says, to love counseling.

Within minutes, her phone rang again. She had forgotten to press a button that bounces calls to other lines - a system designed to give responders time to decompress before taking another call.

She answered, and a moment later, her voice lowered into a earthy calm.

"Slow down, sir," she said. "You say you're seeing people with guns?"

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

20) Regulators Warned Company on Pipeline Corrosion
By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS
July 29, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30michigan.html?ref=us

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - The company responsible for a massive oil spill here was warned in January by federal regulators about insufficient monitoring of corrosion on the pipeline that federal officials say leaked more than one million gallons of oil into a major waterway this week.

The owner of the pipeline, Enbridge Energy Partners, received several citations from federal regulators in recent years before the warning in January. Company officials said they had routinely tested the pipeline for corrosion.

"There was annual maintenance on 6B this year as with all of our pipelines," Patrick Daniel, the company's chief executive, said Thursday, referring to the pipeline that leaked oil into the Kalamazoo River.

Federal officials said the estimated amount of oil that spilled from the pipeline into the river on Monday was more than a million gallons, significantly more than the company's estimate of about 800,000 gallons. The leak was in a 30-inch pipeline that carries millions of gallons of oil each day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

Mr. Daniel said the company used internal inspection tools to determine the levels of corrosion or cracking on all pipelines. There had not been any repairs or replacements made to the part of the pipe where the spill took place, he said.

State officials here have expressed grave concern over the environmental impact if the spill reaches Lake Michigan, more than 60 miles away. Officials for the Environmental Protection Agency, which is leading the response efforts, said Thursday that they were confident that they could prevent that from happening.

Ralph Dollhopf, a federal coordinator for the agency, said efforts by response workers had so far stopped the oil from entering Morrow Lake, about 30 miles downstream from the site of the spill.

"We do not anticipate that Lake Michigan is at risk," he said at a news conference.

Still, officials said it could take months to clean up the spill, which was believed to be among the largest ever in the Midwest. Hundreds of response workers continued on Thursday to lay boom, skim the water and conduct flyovers to assess the damage.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm had expressed concern on Wednesday that the oil might reach Lake Michigan if containment efforts were not strengthened. Some state officials dispute the claim that oil has not reached Morrow Lake, saying they saw oil sheen there during a flyover.

The cause of the leak was being investigated. The pipeline remained closed and cannot be reopened without approval from federal regulators.

Local emergency officials said Thursday that they would evacuate 30 more families from homes near the spill site because of health risks. They also asked residents of about 100 homes along the river to use bottled water as a precautionary measure while they tested local water sources.

Wildlife officials said that they had opened a rehabilitation center for animals and that Canada geese, swans and turtles had already been rescued.

Mr. Daniel, the chief executive of Enbridge, apologized again on Thursday, saying the company took full responsibility for the spill. "We will spend whatever it takes to clean it up," he told reporters. "We have more than enough available for that."

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

21) Water Privatization Overview
Water Privatization Overview
http://www.citizen.org/cmep/Water/general/

A worldwide crisis over water is brewing. According to the United Nations, 31 countries are now facing water scarcity and 1 billion people lack access clean drinking water. Water consumption is doubling every 20 years and yet at the same time, water sources are rapidly being polluted, depleted, diverted and exploited by corporate interests ranging from industrial agriculture and manufacturing to electricity production and mining. The World Bank predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of the world's population will suffer from lack of clean and safe drinking water.

Rather than taking the dramatic action necessary to protect precious water resources, governments around the world are retreating from their responsibilities. Instead of acting decisively, they are bending to the will of giant transnational corporations that are poised to profit from the shortage of water. Fortune magazine has predicted that "water is the oil of the 21 century" and corporations are rushing to invest in the water business.

Giant water, energy, food, and shipping companies have plans to buy water rights, privatize publicly owned water systems, promote bottled water, and sell "bulk" water by transporting it from water rich areas to markets desperate for more water. At the same time, to ensure maximum profits, these companies are lobbying to weaken water quality standards, and pushing for tradeagreements that hand over the U.S. water resources to foreign corporations.

Right here in the United States, where some regions are already suffering from serious water shortages, corporations from Vivendi to Nestle are poised to make a profit on water. Some corporate interests even want to sell bulk water from the Great Lakes, the world's largest freshwater system. The Great Lakes have suffered from pollution, lost two-thirds of their extensive wetlands and experienced a catastrophic loss of biological diversity. Only 3% of the shorelines are suitable for swimming.

Water resources in Wisconsin and Michigan have been targeted by giant bottled water companies like Perrier. Selling bottled water is one of the most successful revenue generating schemes for private corporations. As drinking water has been degraded, the bottled water industry is promoting its expensive product as the solution.

Unfortunately, bottled water is not adequately regulated, and tap water is actually subject to more rigorous testing and safety standards. A 1999 study of bottled water found that bottled water is no safer than tap wader, and sometimes is less safe. Meanwhile, companies like Coca-Cola are selling purified tap water as a healthy option, and they believe that in the long run selling water will be more profitable than selling Coke.

* Why oppose privatization of water? Water privatization can foster corruption and result in rate hikes, inadequate customer service and a loss of local control and accountability:

Water privatization schemes throughout the world have a track record of skyrocketing prices, water quality problems, deteriorating service and a loss of local control.

Privatization advocates argue - usually without any supporting evidence - that switching from publicly owned and operated utilities to private sector firms will lead to greater economic efficiency, stabilized rates, reduced public debt and improved budgetary management.

In reality, privatization more often than not fulfills none of these promises, and instead creates a number of new problems. Vulnerable to corruption and operating according to a profit-driven corporate agenda fundamentally incompatible with delivering an essential service, private water companies are failing to provide citizens with safe, affordable water. Private corporations seek to increase profit margins by cutting costs; hence privatization is almost always accompanied by lay-offs.

* Who are the major water companies? A handful of global corporations, ranking among Fortune's Global 500 List and backed by the World Bank, are pushing governments to privatize water services and market water from the global commons:

The two largest water corporations in the world are part of French transnational Suez and German energy conglomerate RWE. Ranked 79th and 78th among Fortune's Global 100 List, these two water giants capture nearly 40 percent of the existing water market share. The French company, Vivendi, previously ranked 51st has dropped off the list, but remains a strong contender. These multinationals are now gaining a foothold in the United States, where they operate through a number of subsidiaries.

Suez operates in 130 countries and Vivendi in over 100; their combined annual revenues are over $70 billion (including $19 billion in water and wastewater services). RWE revenues are currently over $50 billion (energy included), having acquired British water giant Thames Water. After purchasing American Water Works, RWE gained control of the largest U.S. private water utility. This expanded its customer base from 43 million to 56 million people. Other major water corporations include Bechtel, Biwater plc, Bouygues/Saur, U.S. Water, Severn Trent, Anglian Water, and the Kelda Group.

NEWS ALERT: This just in! Insurance giant American International Group acquires small water utilities across the U.S.

Water for All initiated a new collaborative website to help coordinate our global campaign focusing on the water transnational, Suez. The website is tri-lingal and collects information regarding the abuses, problematic projects, community protests, and exploitative policies of Suez, Go to:
English - www.stopsuez.org
Spanish - www.fuerasuez.org
French - www.arretonssuez.org

* The U.S. Water Declaration: The declaration reaffirms that water is a common good that should not be privatized, commodified, or exported for profit. Add your organization!
http://www.citizen.org/cmep/article_redirect.cfm?ID=6249

* Turning Up the Tap: How the Private Water Industry Wants to Boost Profits - At the Expense of Taxpayers (pdf):

Public Citizen: 215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003 tel: 202-588 1000 fax: 202-547-7392

California Office: 1615 Broadway, 9th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 tel: 510-663-0888 fax: 510-663-8569

Turning Up the Tap
How the Private Water Industry Wants to
Boost Profits - at the Expense of Taxpayers

Every spring, executives from the largest water companies in the nation descend on Washington to suggest ways that Congress can make life easier for them and the private water industry. With fully 80 percent of water in the U.S. delivered by publicly owned systems, the stakes of these annual "Congressional Fly-Ins" are huge.

The way corporate executives see things, they're being shortchanged hundreds of billions of dollars a year because "subsidies" to public providers give them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. To level the playing field, lobbyists are shopping around Capitol Hill a wish list of "reforms" with a goal nothing short of dismantling public water systems. Translation: Turn water into a commodity to be sold for profit - like cheeseburgers, video games and SUVs.

For the public, the stakes are even higher. Most Americans prefer to receive their drinking water from government agencies, which are accountable to voters, not from corporations, which are accountable to stockholders. If the private water industry gets its way, public accountability will go down the drain.

Eminent Domain

In the words of the National Association of Water
Companies, the industry wants the federal tax code
changed to "discourage hostile takeovers of privately
owned water utilities."

What the NAWC is actually talking about is the
routine government practice of eminent domain,
which corporations want to block by banning
agencies from using tax-exempt financing to take
over water companies that are "successful in
meeting the needs of the community." Tax-exempt
bonds could only be used if residents support
eminent domain actions through a referendum, or
if the private utility has failed to meet drinking
water standards.

Naturally, the Association of Metropolitan Water
Agencies opposes this drastic, secretive proposal,
which has received very little attention, even in
industry publications.

Tort Reform

In one of the NAWC's top three initiatives, the
water industry wants protection from lawsuits filed
by people sickened by drinking water that is
ostensibly in compliance with quality standards.
The proposal comes in response to mass civil
lawsuits against a number of California and New
Jersey water suppliers (public agencies and private
companies) for allegedly delivering contaminated
water. One lawsuit involves more than 300
plaintiffs; another has nearly 200.

The industry's argument is that if sympathetic juries
find in favor of plaintiffs, the entire drinking water
regulatory regime will be threatened, in which case
everyone would suffer.

The industry is also worried because some of the
claims seek damages for contaminants
that could not be detected - and therefore not
treated - at the time people were sickened.

Public Citizen: 215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003 tel: 202-588 1000 fax: 202-547-7392

California Office: 1615 Broadway, 9th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612 tel: 510-663-0888 fax: 510-663-8569

Legislation to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act
would grant immunity for water companies that are
in compliance with EPA drinking water regulations;
cover unregulated contaminants by requiring proof
of negligence; and give deference to compliance
determinations by state agencies. The industry also
wants protection from "frivolous" lawsuits.
Infrastructure Financing

In another of the NAWC's top three initiatives, the
industry wants public providers and private
companies to be on equal footing regarding access
to federal funding, particularly by cutting grants to
local governments, which the NAWC claims
"reduce incentives for industry efficiencies and
creativity."

This issue has drawn hostile invective from the
NAWC toward what it views as complacent,
undeserving public providers: "We do not need the
federal government to subsidize the water industry
indefinitely with a massive, inefficient federal grant
program, as some advocate."

Additionally, the NAWC says that in order to avoid
"abuse" and assure the "most efficient use" of
taxpayer dollars, the program should allow
government funding only after all other sources
have been exhausted; make all utilities eligible
regardless of ownership; and to encourage "publicprivate
partnerships."

Revolving Funds

The industry wants states to be to required to issue
low-interest loans from the Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund based on infrastructure needs that
include the needs of all utilities, regardless of
ownership.

The industry claims that about 15 states that receive
revolving funds have excluded private companies
from eligibility. Additionally, the industry claims
that in about 20 states where private companies are
eligible for funds, no money has been given out.
So far, the news is good for public providers. The
EPA announced in 2001 that it will continue to
fund states based on each state's proportional share
of total need, rejecting NAWC arguments that the
formula should be changed to punish states that
withhold funds from private companies.

Private Activity Bonds

Industry lobbyists came up with a title for this
proposal they hope no one in Congress would dare
vote against: the "Investing in America's Water and
Wastewater Infrastructure Act."
The industry wants to remove the existing caps on
Private Activity Bonds for water and wastewater
infrastructure and repairs.

According to the NAWC, Congress has limited,
under "arbitrary" caps, the use of tax-exempt
financing by private companies that are "working
for the public good." These caps, the NAWC says,
have "the unfortunate effect of limiting the use of
private sector approaches for providing vital
services, such as water services."

Industry claims that allowing companies to borrow
as money as they want through bonds would cost
taxpayers "very little," while generating "huge sums
of private capital."

Procurement Practices

The industry wants the EPA to "educate" local
governments about "creative procurement practices"
to bid out contracts quicker by adopting
"compressed procedures." Under such a system,
designers, builders and operators would work
together under one contract, as opposed to the
prevailing model of bidding out these contracts
separately.

Like the eminent domain issue (see front page), this
is a bizarre proposal that has received very little
attention, even in the industry press.

Contributions in Aid of Construction

This industry proposal, nobly titled the "Lower
Regulatory Burden for Homeowners Act," is
another of the NAWC's top three initiatives. How
badly does the industry want it? Lobbyists were able
to find sponsors for the bill six days after a recent
Congressional Fly-In.

The proposal sounds obscure but it's a biggie. The
industry wants the federal tax code changed to exclude
customer connection fees from corporate income, by
including them in a non-taxable category called
"contributions in aid of construction." To the
industry's dismay, the IRS has rejected the NAWC's
argument that Congress intended to make customer
connection fees non-taxable.

* Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil (pdf)
a report by
Water Privatization Fiascos:
Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
Public Citizen

Case studies:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Manila, The Philippines
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Jakarta, Indonesia
Nelspruit, South Africa
The United Kingdom

Water Privatization Fiascos:
Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Public Citizen, founded in 1971, is a non-profit research, lobbying and litigation organization based in Washington. D.C. Public Citizen advocates for consumer protection and for government and corporate accountability, and is supported by over 150,000 members throughout the United States.

Photograph by Maj Fiil-Flynn
A special report by Public Citizen's
Water for All program.
March 2003
(c) 2003 Public Citizen. All rights reserved
This document can be viewed or downloaded
www.wateractivist.org
Water for All Campaign Water for All Campaign, California
215 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E 1615 Broadway 9th floor
Washington, D.C. 20003 Oakland, CA. 94612
tel: 202.546.4996 tel: 510.663.0888
fax: 202.547.7392 fax: 510.663.8569
cmep@citizen.org california@citizen.org
www.wateractivist.org www.citizen.org/california/water

A New Social Experiment?

The role of multinational corporations in providing
water and sanitation services is relatively new. In
fact, one could say water "privatization" is a global
social experiment. Historically, water has been viewed
as a public good, not a market commodity. Over the
last 200 years, most water utilities have been publicly
owned and managed. And, the vast majority of people
around the world receive water and sanitation
services from publicly owned and operated facilities.
Most countries have only recently begun to consider
privatization of their water utilities. Only 5% of the
world's water services are run by private companies.
Water and sanitation services have been publicly run
because private companies were not interested in
owning or managing water utilities. There was little
or no profit to be made. But, with the specter of
growing freshwater scarcity and the prediction that
water will be the oil of the 21st century, major global
corporations have been moving into the "water market."
Promises made. The multinational water corporations,
their government allies, the IMF, the World
Bank and the regional development banks have
claimed that water privatization (or public/private
partnerships) is the answer. They claim that bringing
the private sector into water and sanitation service
provision will ensure access to the more than a billion
people worldwide who lack clean and affordable
water, and the 2.4 billion who lack sanitation services.
The water corporations and their allies argue that
the private sector is more efficient, cost-effective and
competitive. And, the private sector can bring needed
financing. The cases presented below show that
very few of these claims are borne out in practice.
Water privatization fiascos. In recent years several
showcase water privatizations have suffered major
losses. Cases in Buenos Aires, Manila, Atlanta and
Cochabamba are presented below. Conflict-ridden
water privatizations in Indonesia, South Africa, and
the United Kingdom are also analyzed. What has
now become clear is that the major multinational
water corporations have no intention of making a significant
contribution to the capital needed to ensure
access to clean and affordable water. The rhetoric of
private sector financing is a myth. There is no commitment
to universal access to clean and affordable
water unless significant profit can be guaranteed.
These profit ratios have not been quickly nor easily
forthcoming in the developing world. Now the water
corporations are demanding new loans, guarantees,
and currency exchange insurance from governments
and the international financial institutions (IFIs).
And, in some cases, if they don't get it, they are
pulling out.

The claim that the multinational water corporations
will save government money by providing more efficient
and cost-effective operation, maintenance and
rehabilitation of water and sanitation services is also
not borne out in practice. Instead, the cases presented
below show increases in consumer water rates,
public health crises, weak regulation, lack of investment
in water infrastructure, jobs and trade unions
threatened, pollution and other environmental catastrophes,
secret deals and social turmoil.

Public water utilities in many countries have been
unable to provide universal access to water and sanitation
services. Two decades of IMF and World
Bank structural adjustment programs that cut government
budgets, including government subsidies to
water utilities, have worsened the problem. While it
is laudable that, in recent years, there has been new-
Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Page 1
Water Privatization Fiascos:

Broken Promises and Social Turmoil

found attention to the fact that millions go without
access to clean and affordable water, this new global
awareness should not provide profit-making business
opportunities for multinational corporations. Civil
society activists are clear that the solutions will not
come from the global water corporations, but rather
from grassroots democratic initiatives and increased
government accountability to the demands of citizens
and civil society organizations, including environmental
groups, women's groups, religious organizations,
trade unions, farmers' organizations, students and
many others.

Recent Contract Turmoil:
Buenos Aires, Atlanta, Manila
and Cochabamba
Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Buenos Aires privatization deal, consummated
in 1993, had been widely lauded by the World Bank,
the Argentine government and the water industry, as
an international success story. But, the success story
turned sour after the contractual clause that permitted
Suez to link water prices to the U.S. dollar, and
ensured hefty profits, was overruled by the Argentine
government's emergency decree.

During the first eight years of the contract, weak regulatory
practices and contract re-negotiations that
eliminated corporate risk enabled the Suez subsidiary,
Aguas Argentinas S.A., to earn a 19% profit
rate on its average net worth.i However, by 2002
Suez had to write off $500 million in losses because
of the Buenos Aires concession.ii What did the soaring
profits, sudden crash, and subsequent contract renegotiation
mean for the residents of Buenos Aires?

IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs
have long been squeezing social services and public
infrastructure in Argentina. The privatization of
water became an added burden on the general population.
According to Fernando de la Rua, one of
many presidents that have come and gone during the
Argentine crisis (speaking in March 1999 when he
was Mayor of Buenos Aires): "Water rates, which
Aguas Argentinas said would be reduced by 27%
have actually risen 20%. These price increases, and
the cost of service extension, have been borne disproportionately
by the urban poor. Non-payment for
water and sanitation are as high as 30 percent, and
service cut-offs are common with women and children
bearing the brunt with health and safety consequences."
iii

Union resistance to the privatization deal was
crushed by giving the workers 10% ownership in the
private company. This deal "purchased" the union's
consent to the 50% staff reduction policy that Aguas
Argentinas carried out later. The weak regulatory
agency, ETOSS, subordinate to both presidential and
corporate power, permitted constant contract modifications
and non-compliance with performance objectives.
These resulted in successive increases in consumer
water rates, modifications to the financing program
for the expansion of service, currency exchange
risk insurance for the company, and the indexation
of consumer water rates to the devaluation of the
peso exchange rate. For example, Aguas Argentinas
reneged on its contractual obligations to build a new
sewage treatment plant. As a result over 95% of the
city's sewerage is dumped directly into the Rio del
Plata river.

As Suez tries to recoup is losses, the government, and
the nation's taxpayers, will be left to clean up the
mess. Using an increasingly feared tactic of multinational
corporations, Suez will bring claims against the
Argentine government using the World Bank's
International Centre for the Settlement of
Investment Disputes (ICSID). The exact amount of
Suez's claims against the Argentine government are
"secret" but they are demanding compensation for
losses relating to water concessions in Buenos Aires,
Santa Fe, and Cordoba.

Page 2 Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

In January 2003, after ongoing contention between
the city of Atlanta and United Water, city officials
decided to terminate the largest water privatization
contract in the USA. In 1998, the city of Atlanta
signed a 20-year, $428 million contract with United
Water, a subsidiary of the French corporate conglomerate,
Suez. The industry held great expectations that
Atlanta would serve as the "model" for other communities
and open the door for private water companies
to do business in other major U.S. cities. Instead,
the fiasco in Atlanta serves as a model for what to
avoid.

United Water vastly overstated the amount of money
that it could save the city and vastly underestimated
the amount of work needed to maintain and operate
the system. Almost immediately after signing the
contract, United Water started hitting up the city for
more money, and tried to add $80 million to the
contract. The city refused. United Water came back
with charges of $80 million for additional expenditures.
Atlanta's Water Commissioner refused to
approve the payments, but in a bizarre twist, letters
authorizing the payments showed up with the signature
of former Mayor Bill Campbell. Campbell
denied he had ever signed the documents. The city
attorney ruled the authorizations invalid, and United
Water eventually backed away from pressing the
claim.

United Water was also improperly billing the city for
work it didn't do. The company billed an extra $37.6
million for additional service authorizations, capital
repair and maintenance costs, and the city paid nearly
$16 million of those costs. Pay was withheld for
the rest because the work either wasn't complete or
hadn't even been started. Routine maintenance was
billed as "capital repairs" and much-needed infrastructure
rehabilitation was neglected.

Desperate to cut costs, United Water more than
halved the number of employees, from more than
700 to just over 300. Still the much-vaunted savings
from privatization didn't materialize, and the promise
that a consumer rate hike could be averted through
savings turned out to be empty. Sewer bill rates went
up every year that United Water had the contract -
rising, on average, about 12% annually. Chris New,
the Deputy Water Commissioner in Atlanta said,
"My biggest concern is a lot of people have lost confidence
in the water itself. Over the past year, we've
had so many boil water advisories and discolored
water around the system."iv

Very soon trust in the company eroded to the point
that the city spent $1 million to hire inspectors to
verify United Water's reports. City officials concluded
it was time to end the relationship. Now Atlanta
faces the daunting task of taking back its water system
and performing the needed upgrades that were
neglected during United Water's tenure.
Manila, Philippines

In December 2002, after five years of controversy,
Maynilad Water (co-owned by Suez and a wealthy
Filipino family) threatened to terminate their water
contract in Manila. Maynilad was unable to pressure
the regulator to approve its requested rate increase.
Approval had been granted for six previous rate
increases and countless other contractual obligations
had been re-negotiated away since the contract was
signed. Debt-ridden and unable to raise more capital,
Maynilad Water's credit-worthiness was at stake.
The company's operating expenses were more than
40 percent higher than projected, although major
investment and performance targets were never met.
In the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, the
company repeatedly demanded coverage of its foreign
exchange losses. While a good many of Maynilad's
demands were granted, eventually the regulator said
"no" and Maynilad Water, assessing their rates of
return to be inadequate, began threatening to pull
out.

Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Page 3
The 25-year lease agreements in Manila were the
biggest water privatizations in the world when they
took place in 1997. The Metropolitan Waterworks
and Sewerage System (MWSS) granted the rights to
operate and expand water and sewerage service to
Manila Water (co-owned by Bechtel and the Ayala
family) and Maynilad Water (co-owned by
Ondeo/Suez and the Lopez family). Government
elites and the World Bank have been determined to
tout the privatization as a success story. After five
years, the two companies claimed that more than 2
million more people were connected to the water system.
Government regulators dispute that number.v
Civil society groups have criticized the non-democratic
and non-transparent nature of the privatization
process, the rate hikes (which include an adjustment
tied to exchange rate losses), the unmet promises of
rehabilitation and expansion of water services (especially
to the urban poor), and weak regulatory and
oversight practices.

Advised by the International Finance Corporation
(IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World
Bank, Manila sought to privatize MWSS in the mid
1990's. When Suez entered Manila in 1997 it was
with a promise to lower rates and expand the infrastructure
for the 7.5 million households the concession
covered. The promise was to provide water for
4.96 pesos. While the government claimed this price
was guaranteed until 2007, in reality the contract had
several mechanisms permitting "extraordinary price
adjustments." Other promises included 100% infrastructure
coverage by 2007, US$7.5 billion new
investments over 25 years. Unaccounted water would
fall to 32% in 2007 and the city would save US$4 billion
over 25 years.vi

Only a year into the contract, Maynilad asked for the
first rate increase. In 2001, the price rose to 6.58
pesos with subsequent hikes to 10.79 pesos, 11.39
pesos and 15.46 pesos. In a Christmas press release,
the Asian Labor Network stated the following:
The additional cost of water will ensure a bountiful New
Year to Maynilad and Manila Water. But, an ordinary
Filipino family will now have to forego an additional 87 to
147 pesos a month. In effect, Maynilad and Manila
Water with the full blessing of MWSS have deprived the
Filipino family of three full meals or three kilos of rice. The
ordinary vendor will now have to surrender one full day of
income to pay for the cost of water. To poor families who
can only afford instant noodles the water increase might
mean they cannot eat for two days."vii

Shortly before Maynilad took control MWSS retired
almost 2,000 workers to lower costs and 6 months
into the contract 750 workers were laid off. The
Lopez family, whose business empire extends to the
major media, ensured that propaganda favored
Maynilad.

But, Maynilad continued to seek contract re-negotiations,
including continual rate increases, postponement
of its obligations to meet investment targets
beginning in the fifth year and postponement of targets
to decrease unaccounted for water. Technically,
this should have caused Maynilad to forfeit its performance
bond, but the company used legal action in
local courts to block the government's access to the
performance bond. Probably the most controversial
contract re-negotiation involved the pass through to
consumers of foreign exchange losses. This ensured
that Suez could continue to use its major foreign corporate
suppliers and consultants (rather than local
sources) while billing consumers to cover for the
effects of peso devaluation.viii

Maynilad threatened to cancel the contract when the
regulatory commission rejected an additional rate
increase to 27 pesos. If Maynilad decided to exit, control
of the waterworks reverted to MWSS. Maynilad
claimed that the city had not met its obligations and
brought the dispute to the International Chamber of
Commerce. Maynilad is seeking US$303 million in
compensation from the government. In addition,
MWSS will now have to take on $530 million in loan
payments to creditors. The residents of Manila will
pay the costs of these additional debts.

Page 4 Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
Cochabamba, Bolivia

In April 2000, after seven days of civil disobedience
and angry protest in the streets, the president of
Bolivia was forced to terminate the water privatization
contract granted to Aguas del Tunari, subsidiary
of the giant Bechtel corporation. The Bolivian government
had granted a 40-year contract to Aguas del
Tunari in 1999. But the terms were so draconian
that within months the entire region rose up and
drove them out.

Water rates increased immediately - by 100 to 200
percent in some cases. Small farmers and the selfemployed
were especially hard hit. In a country where
the minimum wage is less than $100 per month,
many families were paying water bills of $20 or higher.
ix Unable to survive under the burden of the new
water prices, the citizenry began a campaign to drive
out the private water company. In January 2000, a
four-day general strike over the water price hikes,
organized by a coalition of community, labor and
human rights leaders, left the city at a total standstill.
The strike culminated with a mass march to the city's
central plaza where protest leaders and city officials
were negotiating. It soon became clear that the negotiations
were moving nowhere. In February, the
Bolivian government sent a thousand army and
police officers from outside Cochabamba, declared
the protest marches banned and illegal, and imposed
a military takeover of the city. During the ensuing
protests, strikes, and marches 175 people were
injured, two youths blinded, and one killed. Finally
government officials promised a full rate rollback and
a review of the water company contract. But, the
movement leaders held fast to their demand to have
the contract terminated. Protests continued and in
April the government finally agreed to terminate the
contract.

The privatization of water was the latest scheme in a
long series of World Bank-backed proposals to sell
Bolivian public enterprises to foreign private
investors - including the airline, the train system,
and the electric utility. Cash-strapped and indebted
countries like Bolivia rarely reject IMF and World
Bank advice, because they don't want to risk being
denied future loans and international aid.
Privatization deals, while making fast cash for the government
- money usually used to pay debts to the
IMF, World Bank and other foreign creditors - are
generally a bad deal for the public and rift with secrecy
and corruption. In this case, Bechtel and the
British-led consortium of investors put up less than
$20,000 of up-front capital for a water system worth
millions. Consumers suffered rate increases, while
the company was expected to earn an annual income
of $58 million.

The Bolivian water privatization fiasco holds another
warning for governments considering similar
schemes. Bechtel is determined to make the government
of Bolivia pay for canceling the water contract.
In 2001, Bechtel filed suit against the Bolivian government,
demanding $25 million in compensation
for lost future profits resulting from the cancellation
of the company's contract. Unfortunately the laws of
international trade and investment, becoming more
stringent and widespread with WTO and GATS
negotiations, are rigged to place corporate needs and
profits above sovereignty and democracy. If the
World Bank arbitration court decides to take $25
million from one of the poorest and most indebted
countries in the Western hemisphere and award it to
the corporate coffers of Bechtel, it may be a warning
signal to governments around the world to beware of
signing such contracts in the future.

Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Page 5

More Water Privatization
Controversy: Indonesia, the
United Kingdom and South Africa
Jakarta, Indonesia

Water privatization in Indonesia is a story of how the
interests of global water corporations, corrupt dictatorships
and World Bank loans pushing privatization
worked together to rob the public resources and
assets of Indonesian citizens. Today, most of the
poor in Jakarta remain without piped water services.
In the early 1990s when the World Bank agreed to
provide a $92 million loan for water infrastructure,
Bank officials were already advising the Suharto government
to privatize. With key multilateral (World
Bank) and bilateral (Japan) loans in place, the major
corporate conglomerates Suez and Thames, began
making moves to takeover the public water system.
Under Suharto's dictatorship, doing business in
Indonesia meant partnering with a local firm. And,
most major business corporations were controlled by
the Suharto family. Thames formed an alliance with
the Sigit Group, controlled by Suharto's eldest son,
Sugit Harjojudanto. Suez worked with a Suharto
business crony, Anthony Salim, CEO of one of
Indonesia's largest companies, the Salim Group.
There was no open and transparent bidding process,
although the World Bank and the Asian
Development Bank claims they promote "good governance"
and transparent privatization transactions.
Instead, in 1997, after protracted private negotiations,
the contracts were simply awarded to the two
new entities. Thames' partnership with Sigit Group
was called PT Kekar Pola Airindo and the Suez partnership
with Salim Group became PT Garuda Dipta
Semesta. The fact that national law and local regulation
prohibited foreign investment in drinking water
delivery and precluded private sector involvement in
community drinking water supply was, apparently,
irrelevant.x

The new 25-year contracts with PAM Jaya, the municipal
water supplier, were expected to be lucrative for
both the international and local partners. One prediction
set Thames pre-tax profits at $25 million by
the tenth year of the contract.xi The new companies
immediately moved into posh new offices in Jakarta's
business district rather than using the older office
space where PAM Jaya had operated. The salaries
paid to the foreign executives, who lived in the
wealthiest neighborhoods, were much higher than
those paid to PAM Jaya officials causing much resentment
among the employees. The contracts required
the new companies to not only manage the system,
but in the first five years to expand the existing
pipeline, invest $318 million, add 1.5 million customers,
service 70 percent of the population, increase
water supply, and reduce "unaccounted-for" water.xii
PAM Jaya agreed to force businesses and private
homes to shut down private wells and buy their water
from the companies. (In 1997, about 70 percent of
water used in Jakarta came from private wells.)
Payment to the companies was not linked to revenue
collected, but rather each company was paid a fee by
PAM Jaya based on water supplied. In this way, the
companies de-linked their profits from the risks and
problems of cost recovery. Initially, the companies
demanded to be paid in dollars, since they borrowed
in dollars, but when the governor of Jakarta threatened
to resign over the issue, Thames and Suez
agreed to accept rupiah. However, they insisted that
payments in local currency be pegged to the US dollar
to protect them against currency devaluation.
There was no formal regulatory or oversight mechanism.
PAM Jaya had no right to see financial reports
of the companies and there was no clear sanction for
non-compliance with performance targets.

In 1998, the Asian financial crisis and the downfall
of Suharto changed the political landscape. Fearful
of protest in the streets, major company executives
from Suez and Thames fled to the safety of
Singapore. Faced with an immediate water crisis,
Page 6 Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
Jakarta's new governor ordered PAM Jaya to fill the
vacuum and take back the operation. After intensive
lobbying, including intervention by French and
British diplomatic officials, and a statement from the
British Embassy that "breaching of the contract
would weaken confidence in Indonesia as a place to
invest," the agreement was made to let Suez and
Thames return, but the contract would need to be renegotiated.
xiii Since Suharto had fled, and the former
president's family and business partners were targets
of public anger, Thames and Suez agreed to buyout
the local shares of their business operations in
order to remove the tarnish of the Suharto family
connections.

Once the companies were back in charge, there was
substantial foot-dragging on the contract re-negotiation.
The financial crisis brought dramatic devaluation
of the rupiah, which meant that revenues from
customers fell while the payments to the private companies
(pegged to the dollar) forced PAM Jaya into
ever-deeper debt. Given the tense political situation
in Indonesia, consumer rate increases were repeatedly
delayed. Eventually an agreement was reached which
provided for the establishment of a regulatory body
and enabled PAM Jaya to have access to company
financial records.

As might be imagined, investment and expansion targets
were never met, but there was also no reliable
mechanism for verification of company reports. Suez
claimed it had increased connections 50%, falling
short of the 70% target. Investment was about $200
million short of the target. Water services in Jakarta's
rich, middle-class and industrial areas improved.
However, most poor communities remain without
piped water due to unaffordable connection charges,
informal tenure arrangements, and lack of incentives
for PAM Jaya or the companies to service these areas.
Customers must still boil their water to ensure its
safety for drinking.

According to PAM Jaya engineer Feri Watna, "the
companies...just came in and robbed everything that
we had. We already had the distribution networks,
all those pipes, the water installations, the consumers
and everything else."xiv

Nelspruit, South Africa

In 1999, the British water multinational, Biwater, was
awarded a 30-year water concession in Nelspruit,
South Africa. Ever since, the community has complained
of rising prices and poor service.

The privatization of water in Nelspruit was initially
proposed in 1997, but the South African Municipal
Workers Union (SAMWU) challenged the bid and
stalled the process for almost two years. In 1998, a
compromise was reached. The South African government,
led by the African National Congress (ANC),
promised to assess the possibility of a public alternative.
But, this never happened. Instead the concession
was awarded to the Greater Nelspruit Utility
Company (GNUC)-a joint venture between Biwater
and a black empowerment group, Sivukile.

The ANC argued that the new private concession
would be able to attract much-needed sources of private
finance. The ANC wanted to depend less on
international loans in a period of currency fluctuations.
South African municipalities have a limited
ability to make large infrastructure investments and
are thereby indirectly encouraged to look for private
sector solutions. But Biwater had great difficulty in
raising the money and has depended on finance from
the public sector. In July 2000, nearly two-thirds of
the total finance (R195m) for the project was finally
obtained in the form of a R125 million loan from
the state-owned Development Bank of South Africa
(DBSA).xv

GNUC has been criticized for not increasing access
to water. But while access hasn't been greatly
increased, rates have. The concession has nearly
tripled service fees and been quick to cut off service
for those who can't afford to pay. The price hikes,
Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Page 7
and persistent complaints that Biwater is failing to
provide service to poor areas, have prompted consumers
to boycott paying their skyrocketing water
bills.xvi Biwater officials claim that expanded access
is being hampered by a lack of revenues and a credit
crunch. As a Biwater senior manager explained,
"What is the point of pumping money in while we
are not sure of cost recovery?"xvii

Even in those areas where water service is available, it
is often provided only intermittently and sporadically.
The metering system charges people for water even
when the water isn't there, however, with the result
that customers have to pay for up to 90 minutes of
"air time" while they wait for water to come out of
the tap once it's been turned on.xviii In some townships,
Biwater was switching water on only for three
hours a day or less-and for a good portion of that
time, taps were on but no water came out. "Yet during
this period, household meters run, so it seems
that people are being charged for air," SAMWU
observed.xix Other problems identified included:

* People cannot use their toilets at night because the
water is switched off.

* When communities report broken water pipes, it
takes Biwater more than four days to repair them.

* Water bills are grossly inflated and inaccurate.

* White areas in Nelspruit are getting much cheaper
water than the townships.

* There has been an increase in disconnections.
Disconnections are being performed illegally with no
notices to households prior to disconnection.

* Communities are not getting the 6000 litres of free
water they are entitled to under national law.xx
United Kingdom

In what was arguably the most massive privatization
deal in recent history, in 1988 the Thatcher government
transformed its 10 regional water authorities
(RWAs) into private profit-making ventures. The
RWAs were sold as 25-year concessions by issuing
shares on the stock market, creating private monopolies
in 10 regions of the United Kingdom - only
Scotland and Northern Ireland were excluded.
These new private monopolies were granted a range
of government subsidies, at the expense of taxpayers
and consumers, to boost corporate profitability.
* The Thatcher government wrote off all the debt of
the water companies before privatization (about
US$8 billion).

* The government granted the private companies
what they called a "green dowry" of US$2.6 billion.

* The government offered the companies for sale at a
substantial discount - about 22% of the stock market
value (measured as the difference between the issue
price of the water companies' shares and the share
price after the first week of trading).

* The companies were given special exemption from
paying taxes on their profits.

There was soon a sharp public outcry as consumer
water prices rose. On average, prices rose by over
50% in the first 4 years. The first 9 years produced
price increases of 46% in real terms (adjusted for
inflation).xxi The public was further outraged when
information was released about director's pay and the
profits of the 10 water companies. The real value of
the fees, salaries and bonuses paid to the director's
increased between 50% and 200% in most of the
water companies. The profits of the 10 water companies
rose 147% between 1990 and 1997.xxii Profit
margins in the UK are typically three or even four
times as great as the margins of water companies in
France, Spain, Sweden or Hungary. This could
explain why most of the 10 UK companies were
quickly purchased (after the 5-year "protection" period)
by the big corporate water multinationals -
including Suez, Vivendi and RWE.

As might be expected, the rise in customer water
prices was followed by an increased rate of household
disconnections for non-payment. The disconnection
Page 8 Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
rate tripled in the first five years, with 18,636 households
disconnected in 1994.xxiii Again, there was a
broad public outcry arguing that cutting off people's
water endangered public health. A 1994 study
showed rates of dysentery rising in most major urban
areas. When disconnections for non-payment
became more controversial, the water companies
started using "pre-payment meters" for customers
unable to pay their bills. These meters only supplied
water when customers had paid money charged on a
plastic card. When the account was empty, the meter
cut-off water supply. The companies called these "selfdisconnections."
By 1996 over 16,000 pre-payment
meters had been installed. Public outrage grew until
Parliament passed a new public water law called the
Water Industry Act of 1999 that forbid disconnections
for non-payment and the use of pre-payment
meters.

There have been serious transgressions in the environmental
performance of the UK companies, such
as lack of basic conservation measures, sewer backflow,
waterway pollution, and poor drinking water
quality. In 1998, the major water companies in the
UK were ranked as the second, third, and forth-worst
polluters. The UK's Environmental Agency regularly
prosecutes the water companies for pollution offenses.
The ten water companies were prosecuted a total
of 260 times between 1989 and 1997.xxiv Paying the
fines was simpler than making the needed investment
in rehabilitation of infrastructure and treatment
plants. Since 1998, the situation has improved somewhat
and the water companies have been prosecuted
for a total of 22 water pollution offenses. Lack of
attention to maintaining the water and sewerage system
has contributed to wastage from leaks and poor
drinking water quality. The Drinking Water
Inspectorate (DWI) identified lack of compliance on
key parameters (excessive amounts of nitrite, iron,
lead, PAH and other pesticides) in more than 20% of
water zones.xxv

The 10 UK water companies have little incentive to
make capital investments to rehabilitate and improve
the water and sewer infrastructure. In fact, capital
expenditure starting accelerating before privatization
and peaked in 1991-92 and then began to fall in the
post-privatization period. It appears to be common
practice for the companies to budget large capital
expenditure needs (which are then used to calculate
the allowed price rises). But, rather than making the
budgeted infrastructure improvements, the companies
use the shortfall in expenditure to boost profits.
For example, Southern Water submitted plans for a
series of new sewage treatment plants that were never
built. Yorkshire Water "saved" on its capital expenditure
budget by getting a promise from government to
re-define coastal waters as sea waters instead of estuary
waters - permitting the company to dump raw
sewage instead of expanding treatment plants.xxvi
Perhaps the assessment of the British newspaper, The
Daily Mail, sums it up best.

...(T)he water industry has become the biggest rip-off in
Britain. Water bills, both to households and industry, have
soared. And the directors and shareholders of Britain's top
ten water companies have been able to use their position as
monopoly suppliers to pull off the greatest act of licensed
robbery in out history. (July 11, 1994)

Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil Page 9
NOTES

i Daniel Azpiazu and Karina Forcinito, "Privatization of the water and sanitation systems in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area: regulatory
discontinuity, corporate non-performance, extraordinary profited and distributional inequality," FLASCO, Buenos Aires.

ii David Hall, "Water multinationals in retreat: Suez withdraws investment," PSIRU, January 2003, www.psiru.org

iii Alexander Loftus and David A. McDonald, "Of liquid breams: a political ecology of water privatization in Buenos Aires," Environment & Urbanization, Vol. 13, No. 2, October 2001

iv Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 26, 2003.

v "Loaves, Fishes and Dirty Dishes: Manila's Privatized Water Utility Can't Handle the Pressure," International Consortium for Investigative Journalism, Febuary 7, 2003.

vi Freedom from Debt Coalition, Manila, March 2000.

vii Statement from Asian Labor Network, Philippine Chapter, December 2000.

viii Jude Esguerra, "A Critical Assessment of the Manila Water Concession," January 2001.

ix Jim Shultz, "Bolivians take to the streets over globalized water prices," The Democracy Center, Cochabamba, Bolivia, March 23,2000, www.democracyctr.org/waterwar/

x Law No. 1/1967, Ministry of Home Affairs Decision No. 3/1990 cited in Argo and Firman "To privatize or not to privatize," Built Environment 27(2).

xi Karen Bakker, "Urban governance, urban services, and private sector partnerships: the case of water supply in Jakarta," Dept. of Geography, University of British Colombia, August 2002.

xii "Water and Politics in the Fall of Suharto," International Center for Investigative Journalism, February 10, 2003, www.icij.org.

xiii International Consortium for Investigative Journalism. According to ICIJ, the companies threatened to sue the government if the contract was not honored.

xiv ICIJ

xvSee list of private sector projects supported by DBSA at www.dbsa.org/PrivateSector/PrivateMain.htm.

xvi Nick Mathiason, "Turning off the tap for poor," The Observer, Aug. 18, 2002.

xvii Simon Zwane, "Move to rescue privatized water," (South Africa) Sunday Times, Dec. 2, 2001.

xviii Mathiason.

xix "Nelspruit communities forces to pay for air? British trade unions to investigate," SAMWU press statement, Jan. 11, 2002.

xx Ibid.

xxi OFWAT memorandum, March 18, 1998, in House of Commons Research paper.

xxii Company Annual Reports, presented in House of Commons Research paper, December 1998.

xxiii David Hall and Emanuele Lobina, "U.K. water privatization - a briefing," Public Services International Research Unit, February 2001, www.psiru.org.

xxiv U.K. Environmental Agency, cited in "U.K. water privatisation - a briefing."

xxv "U.K. water privatisation - a briefing."

xxvi Jean Shaoul, "Water Clean-Up and Transparency: The Accountability of the regulatory process in the Water Industry," Dept. of Accounting and Finance, Manchester University, 1998.

Page 10 Water Privatization Fiascos: Broken Promises and Social Turmoil
Public Citizen
Water for All
215 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC 20003 Ph. 202.546.4996
1615 Broadway 9th floor, Oakland, California 94612 tel. +1.510.663.0888
www.wateractivist.org
e-mail: cmep@citizen.org

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

22) 1 Soldier or 20 Schools?
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
"For the cost of just one soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we could start about 20 schools there."
July 28, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/opinion/29kristof.html?src=me&ref=general

The war in Afghanistan will consume more money this year alone than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War - combined.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service finds that the war on terror, including Afghanistan and Iraq, has been, by far, the costliest war in American history aside from World War II. It adjusted costs of all previous wars for inflation.

Those historical comparisons should be a wake-up call to President Obama, underscoring how our military strategy is not only a mess - as the recent leaked documents from Afghanistan suggested - but also more broadly reflects a gross misallocation of resources. One legacy of the 9/11 attacks was a distortion of American policy: By the standards of history and cost-effectiveness, we are hugely overinvested in military tools and underinvested in education and diplomacy.

It was reflexive for liberals to rail at President George W. Bush for jingoism. But it is President Obama who is now requesting 6.1 percent more in military spending than the peak of military spending under Mr. Bush. And it is Mr. Obama who has tripled the number of American troops in Afghanistan since he took office. (A bill providing $37 billion to continue financing America's two wars was approved by the House on Tuesday and is awaiting his signature.)

Under Mr. Obama, we are now spending more money on the military, after adjusting for inflation, than in the peak of the cold war, Vietnam War or Korean War. Our battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The intelligence apparatus is so bloated that, according to The Washington Post, the number of people with "top secret" clearance is 1.5 times the population of the District of Columbia.

Meanwhile, a sobering report from the College Board says that the United States, which used to lead the world in the proportion of young people with college degrees, has dropped to 12th.

What's more, an unbalanced focus on weapons alone is often counterproductive, creating a nationalist backlash against foreign "invaders." Over all, education has a rather better record than military power in neutralizing foreign extremism. And the trade-offs are staggering: For the cost of just one soldier in Afghanistan for one year, we could start about 20 schools there. Hawks retort that it's impossible to run schools in Afghanistan unless there are American troops to protect them. But that's incorrect.

CARE, a humanitarian organization, operates 300 schools in Afghanistan, and not one has been burned by the Taliban. Greg Mortenson, of "Three Cups of Tea" fame, has overseen the building of 145 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and operates dozens more in tents or rented buildings - and he says that not one has been destroyed by the Taliban either.

Aid groups show that it is quite possible to run schools so long as there is respectful consultation with tribal elders and buy-in from them. And my hunch is that CARE and Mr. Mortenson are doing more to bring peace to Afghanistan than Mr. Obama's surge of troops.

The American military has been eagerly reading "Three Cups of Tea" but hasn't absorbed the central lesson: building schools is a better bet for peace than firing missiles (especially when one cruise missile costs about as much as building 11 schools).

Mr. Mortenson lamented to me that for the cost of just 246 soldiers posted for one year, America could pay for a higher education plan for all Afghanistan. That would help build an Afghan economy, civil society and future - all for one-quarter of 1 percent of our military spending in Afghanistan this year.

The latest uproar over Pakistani hand-holding with the Afghan Taliban underscores that billions of dollars in U.S. military aid just doesn't buy the loyalty it used to. In contrast, education can actually transform a nation. That's one reason Bangladesh is calmer than Pakistan, Oman is less threatening than Yemen.

Paradoxically, the most eloquent advocate in government for balance in financing priorities has been Mr. Gates, the defense secretary. He has noted that the military has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has diplomats.

Faced with constant demands for more, Mr. Gates in May asked: "Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?"

In the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama promised to invest in a global education fund. Since then, he seems to have forgotten the idea - even though he is spending enough every five weeks in Afghanistan to ensure that practically every child on our planet gets a primary education.

We won our nation's independence for $2.4 billion in today's money, the Congressional Research Service report said. That was good value, considering that we now fritter the same amount every nine days in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama, isn't it time to rebalance our priorities?

I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

23) With Recovery Slowing, the Employment Outlook Fades
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
July 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/business/economy/31econ.html?hp

There is no more disputing it: the economic recovery in the United States has indeed slowed.

The nation's economy has been growing for a year, with few new jobs to show for it. Now, with growth at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter, and federal stimulus measures fading, the jobs outlook appears even more discouraging.

"Given how weak the labor market is, how long we've been without real growth, the rest of this year is probably still going to feel like a recession," said Prajakta Bhide, a research analyst for the United States economy at Roubini Global Economics. "It's still positive growth - rather than contraction - but it's going to be very, very protracted."

A Commerce Department report on Friday showed that the economy had grown at a faster pace earlier in the recovery, expanding at an annual rate of 5 percent at the end of 2009 and 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Consumer spending, however, was weaker than initially believed.

Many economists are forecasting a further slowdown in the second half of the year, perhaps around an annual rate of 1.5 percent. That is largely because businesses have refilled the stockroom shelves that they had whittled down during the financial crisis, meaning there will not be much need for additional inventory orders.

Fiscal stimulus policies are also expiring, which may further drag on growth. And individual stimulus programs like expanded unemployment benefits have faced huge political battles each time they have come up for extension in Congress.

The approaching mid-term elections may further entrench the political stalemate after Congress returns from its August recess. As a result, pressure will probably increase on the Federal Reserve to use its tools to prevent a double-dip. Recent reports from Fed officials suggest the central bank has become increasingly worried about where the economy is headed.

American businesses, if not American households, seem to be hanging on.

The key driver of growth in the second quarter was nonresidential fixed investment, which covers items like office buildings and purchases of equipment and software. This sector rocketed up at an annual rate of 17 percent in the second quarter, compared with a 7.8 percent increase in the first. The equipment and software category alone grew at an annual rate of 21.9 percent, the fastest pace in 12 years.

"We're seeing a sort of handover from consumer spending to capital spending," John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, said "The consumer also looks to have saved more than we thought before, which means they're perhaps further on road to financial adjustment than we thought they were previously."

Growth in consumer spending, which is usually a leading indicator of a recovery and which accounts for most economic activity in the United States, has been leveling off. It grew at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter after an annual increase of 1.9 percent in the previous quarter.

The personal savings rate in the second quarter was estimated to have been 6.2 percent of disposable income, significantly higher than the 4 percent that had been estimated.

A separate report released Friday by the University of Michigan and Reuters showed that consumer sentiment tumbled in July.

The fact that businesses seem to be investing more in equipment than in hiring may be a reason why households have been reluctant, or perhaps unable, to pick up the pace of their spending.

"There are limits on the degree to which you can substitute capital for labor," Mr. Ryding said. "But you can understand that businesses don't have to pay health care on equipment and software, and these get better tax treatment than you get for hiring people. If you can get away with upgrading capital spending and deferring hiring for a while, that makes economic sense, especially in this uncertain policy environment."

Data revisions of covering the last three years were also released on Friday. These showed that overall 2009 and 2008 were slightly worse than previously reported, but that the first quarter of 2010 was better.

As the global economy recovers, America's trade activity has picked up. But imports once again grew faster than exports last quarter, presenting a drag on growth. Imports spiked at an annual rate of 28.8 percent, the biggest jump in a quarter-century, compared with an annual increase of 10.3 percent in exports.

Government spending shot up more than many anticipated, growing at an annual rate of 4.4 percent after a decline of 1.6 percent in the first quarter. Public spending was broad-based, with even state and local spending increasing for the first time in a year. This may be in part because of federal stimulus monies transferred to the states.

"You could see this in the monthly number for state and local construction spending," said Nigel Gault, chief United States economist at IHS Global Insight. "Construction slows down during winter months, so stimulus may not have been doing as much earlier this year."

Other policy initiatives, like the expiring homebuyer's tax credit, also appear to have lifted demand. Residential fixed investment spending on items like new homes grew at an annual pace of 27.9 percent in the second quarter, after falling 12.3 percent the previous period.

"This will almost certainly reverse hard next quarter," Jay Feldman, director of economics at Credit Suisse Securities, wrote in a note to clients.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

24)With Recovery Slowing, the Employment Outlook Fades
By CATHERINE RAMPELL
July 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/31/business/economy/31econ.html?hp

There is no more disputing it: the economic recovery in the United States has indeed slowed.

The nation's economy has been growing for a year, with few new jobs to show for it. Now, with growth at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter, and federal stimulus measures fading, the jobs outlook appears even more discouraging.

"Given how weak the labor market is, how long we've been without real growth, the rest of this year is probably still going to feel like a recession," said Prajakta Bhide, a research analyst for the United States economy at Roubini Global Economics. "It's still positive growth - rather than contraction - but it's going to be very, very protracted."

A Commerce Department report on Friday showed that the economy had grown at a faster pace earlier in the recovery, expanding at an annual rate of 5 percent at the end of 2009 and 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Consumer spending, however, was weaker than initially believed.

Many economists are forecasting a further slowdown in the second half of the year, perhaps around an annual rate of 1.5 percent. That is largely because businesses have refilled the stockroom shelves that they had whittled down during the financial crisis, meaning there will not be much need for additional inventory orders.

Fiscal stimulus policies are also expiring, which may further drag on growth. And individual stimulus programs like expanded unemployment benefits have faced huge political battles each time they have come up for extension in Congress.

The approaching mid-term elections may further entrench the political stalemate after Congress returns from its August recess. As a result, pressure will probably increase on the Federal Reserve to use its tools to prevent a double-dip. Recent reports from Fed officials suggest the central bank has become increasingly worried about where the economy is headed.

American businesses, if not American households, seem to be hanging on.

The key driver of growth in the second quarter was nonresidential fixed investment, which covers items like office buildings and purchases of equipment and software. This sector rocketed up at an annual rate of 17 percent in the second quarter, compared with a 7.8 percent increase in the first. The equipment and software category alone grew at an annual rate of 21.9 percent, the fastest pace in 12 years.

"We're seeing a sort of handover from consumer spending to capital spending," John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics, said "The consumer also looks to have saved more than we thought before, which means they're perhaps further on road to financial adjustment than we thought they were previously."

Growth in consumer spending, which is usually a leading indicator of a recovery and which accounts for most economic activity in the United States, has been leveling off. It grew at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the second quarter after an annual increase of 1.9 percent in the previous quarter.

The personal savings rate in the second quarter was estimated to have been 6.2 percent of disposable income, significantly higher than the 4 percent that had been estimated.

A separate report released Friday by the University of Michigan and Reuters showed that consumer sentiment tumbled in July.

The fact that businesses seem to be investing more in equipment than in hiring may be a reason why households have been reluctant, or perhaps unable, to pick up the pace of their spending.

"There are limits on the degree to which you can substitute capital for labor," Mr. Ryding said. "But you can understand that businesses don't have to pay health care on equipment and software, and these get better tax treatment than you get for hiring people. If you can get away with upgrading capital spending and deferring hiring for a while, that makes economic sense, especially in this uncertain policy environment."

Data revisions of covering the last three years were also released on Friday. These showed that overall 2009 and 2008 were slightly worse than previously reported, but that the first quarter of 2010 was better.

As the global economy recovers, America's trade activity has picked up. But imports once again grew faster than exports last quarter, presenting a drag on growth. Imports spiked at an annual rate of 28.8 percent, the biggest jump in a quarter-century, compared with an annual increase of 10.3 percent in exports.

Government spending shot up more than many anticipated, growing at an annual rate of 4.4 percent after a decline of 1.6 percent in the first quarter. Public spending was broad-based, with even state and local spending increasing for the first time in a year. This may be in part because of federal stimulus monies transferred to the states.

"You could see this in the monthly number for state and local construction spending," said Nigel Gault, chief United States economist at IHS Global Insight. "Construction slows down during winter months, so stimulus may not have been doing as much earlier this year."

Other policy initiatives, like the expiring homebuyer's tax credit, also appear to have lifted demand. Residential fixed investment spending on items like new homes grew at an annual pace of 27.9 percent in the second quarter, after falling 12.3 percent the previous period.

"This will almost certainly reverse hard next quarter," Jay Feldman, director of economics at Credit Suisse Securities, wrote in a note to clients.

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

24) US Peace Movement Adopts New Comprehensive Strategy
By David Swanson
Global Research, July 30, 2010
afterdowningstreet.org
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20363

Last week 700 leading peace activists from around the United States met and strategized in Albany, N.Y. ( http://nationalpeaceconference.org ). They discussed, debated, and voted for a comprehensive new plan for the coming months. The plan includes a new focus and some promising proposals for building a coalition that includes the labor movement, civil rights groups, students, and other sectors of the activist world that have an interest in ending wars and/or shifting our financial resources from wars to where they're actually needed. The full plan, including a preface, is available online.

The plan includes endorsements and commitments to participate in events planned for Detroit on August 28th, and Washington, D.C., on August 28th and October 2nd, as well as a national day of actions led by students on October 7th, and a week of anti-war actions around the country marking the start of Year 10 in Afghanistan on October 7-16. Dates to put on your calendar now for 2011 include mid-March nationally coordinated teach-ins to mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring demonstrations the following month, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles mobilizations on April 9, 2011, and blocking of ports on May Day.

Here is the full list of actions agreed upon:

1.The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the United Auto Workers (UAW) have invited peace organizations to endorse and participate in a campaign for Jobs, Justice, and Peace. We endorse this campaign and plan to be a part of it. On August 28, 2010, in Detroit, we will march on the anniversary of that day in 1963 when Walter Reuther, president of UAW, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders joined with hundreds of thousands of Americans for the March on Washington. In Detroit, prior to the March on Washington, 125,000 marchers participated in the Freedom Walk led by Dr. King. At the march, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first time before sharing it with the world in Washington. This year, a massive march has been called for October 2 in Washington. We will begin to build momentum again in Detroit on August 28th. We also endorse the August 28, 2010 Reclaim the Dream Rally and March called by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network to begin at 11 a.m.. at Dunbar High School, 1301 New Jersey Avenue Northwest.

2.Endorse, promote and mobilize for the Saturday, October 2nd "One Nation" march on Washington, DC initiated by 1199SEIU and the NAACP, now being promoted by a growing coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO and U.S. Labor Against the War, and civil rights, peace and other social justice forces in support of the demand for jobs, redirection of national resources from militarism and war to meeting human needs, fully funding vital social programs, and addressing the fiscal crisis of state and local governments. Organize and build an antiwar contingent to participate in the march. Launch a full-scale campaign to get endorsements for the October 2 march on Washington commencing with the final plenary session of this conference.

3.Endorse the call issued by a range of student groups for Thursday, October 7, as a national day of action to defend education from the horrendous budget cuts that are laying off teachers, closing schools, raising tuition and limiting access to education, especially for working and low income people. Demand "Money for Education, not U.S. Occupations" and otherwise link the cuts in spending for education to the astronomical costs of U.S. wars and occupations.

4.Devote October 7-16 to organizing local and regional protests to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan through demonstrations, marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, cultural events and other actions to demand an immediate end to the wars and occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and complete withdrawal of all military forces and private security contractors and other mercenaries. The nature and scheduling of these events will reflect the needs of local sponsors and should be designed to attract broad co-sponsorship and diverse participation of antiwar forces with other social justice organizations and progressive constituencies.

5.Support and build Remember Fallujah Week November 15-19.

6.Join the new and existing broad-based campaigns to fund human needs and cut the military budget. Join with organizations representing the fight against cutbacks (especially labor and community groups) to build coalitions at the city/town, state and national level. Draft resolutions for city councils, town and village meetings and voter referendum ballot questions linking astronomical war spending to denial of essential public services at home. (Model resolutions and ballot questions will be circulated for consideration of local groups.) Obtain endorsements of elected officials, town and city councils, state parties and legislatures, and labor bodies. Work the legislative process to make military spending an issue. Oppose specific military funding programs and bills, and couple them with human needs funding issues. Use lobbying and other forms of protest, including civil disobedience campaigns, to focus attention on the issue.

7.Mid-March, 2011 nationally coordinated teach-ins to mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring demonstrations the following month.

8.Bi-Coastal mass spring mobilizations in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles on April 9, 2011. These will be accompanied by distinct and separate non-violent direct actions on the same day. A prime component of these mobilizations will be major efforts to include broad new forces from youth to veterans to trade unionists to civil and human rights groups to the Arab, Muslim and other oppressed communities, to environmental organizations, social justice and faith-based groups. Veterans and military families will be key to these mobilizations with special efforts to organize this community to be the lead contingent. Launch a full-scale campaign to get endorsements for these actions commencing with the final plenary session of this conference.

9.Select a week prior to or after the April actions for local lobbying of elected officials at a time when Congress is not in session. Lobbying to take multiple forms from meeting with local officials to protests at their offices and homes.

10.Recalling that the West Coast Longshore Workers Union shut down the ports for May Day 2008, and noting the recent successful actions in Oakland to block the unloading of an Israeli ship in solidarity with Palestine, the National Peace Conference will join with immigrant rights and union organizers to plan for May Day actions that include picket lines at the ports in San Francisco and Los Angeles. A large portion of war materiel is shipped from West Coast ports. These areas are home to large number of immigrants, many of whom work as truck drivers. A picket line, with veterans in the forefront, provides an opportunity to unite broader sections of the people in action. It also generates the possibility of impacting the war by blocking shipments of war materiel, and provides further consideration for continuing direct actions of this kind.

11.National tours. Organize over a series of months nationally-coordinated tours of prominent speakers and local activists that link the demands for immediate withdrawal to the demands for funding social programs, as outlined above.

12.Pressure on Iran from the US, Israel and other quarters continues to rise and the threat of a catastrophic military attack on Iran, as well as the ratcheting up of punitive sanctions that primarily impact the people of Iran, are of grave concern. All peace activists and organizations should be organizing for a peaceful and just solution to the concern over Iran's nuclear program, including, but not limited to, supporting a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East (which would of course deal with Israel's nuclear arsenal) and insisting that diplomacy, not war or threat of war, is the only acceptable option.

13.In the event of an imminent U.S. government attack on Iran or such an attack, or a U.S.-backed Israeli attack against Iran, or any other major international crisis triggered by U.S. military action, a continuations committee approved by the conference will mount rapid, broad and nationally coordinated protests by antiwar and social justice activists.

14.In the event of U.S.-backed military action by Israel against Palestinians, aid activists attempting to end the blockade of Gaza, or attacks on other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, a continuations committee approved by the conference will condemn such attacks and support widespread protest actions.

15.Support actions to end the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestinians and the blockade of Gaza.

16.Support actions aimed at dismantling the Cold War nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. Support actions aimed at stopping the nuclear renaissance of this Administration, which has proposed to spend $80 billion over the next 10 years to build three new nuclear bomb making factories and "well over" $100 billion over the same period to modernize nuclear weapons delivery systems. We must support actions aimed at dismantling nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery systems. We must oppose the re-opening of the Iranian mining industry, new nuclear power plants, and extraction of other fossil fuels that the military consumes.

17.Work in solidarity with GIs, veterans, and military families to support their campaigns and calls for action. Demand support for the troops when they return home and support efforts to counter military recruitment.

18.Take actions against war profiteers, including oil and energy companies, weapons manufacturers, and engineering firms, whose contractors are working to insure U.S. economic control of Iraq's and Afghanistan's resources.

19.Support actions, educational efforts and lobbying campaigns to promote a transition to a sustainable peace economy.

20.Develop and implement a multi-pronged national media campaign which includes the following: the honing of a message which will capture our message: "End the Wars and Occupations, Bring the Dollars Home"; a fundraising campaign which would enable the creation and national placement and broadcast of professionally developed print ads as public service radio and television spots which communicate this imperative to the public as a whole (which would involve coordinated outreach to some major funders); outreach to sympathetic media artists to enable the creation of these pieces; an intentional, aggressive, coordinated campaign to garner interviews on as many targeted national news venues as possible which would feature movement voices speaking to the honed our nationally coordinated message; a plan to place on message op-ed pieces in papers around the country on a nationally coordinated schedule.

21.We call for the equal participation of women in all aspects of the antiwar movement. We propose nonviolent direct actions either in Congressional offices or other appropriate and strategic locations, possibly defense contractors, Federal Buildings, or military bases in the U.S. These actions would be local and coordinated nationally, i.e., the same day for everyone (times may vary). The actions would probably result in arrests for sitting in after offices close. Entering certain facilities could also result in arrests. Participants would be prepared for that possible outcome before joining the action. Nonviolence training would be offered locally, with lists of trainers being made available. The message/demand would be a vote, a congressional action to end the wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Close U.S. bases. Costs of war and financial issues related to social needs neglected because of war spending would need to be studied and statements regarding same be prepared before the actions. Press release would encourage coverage because of the actions being local and nationally coordinated.

22.We will convene one or more committees or conferences for the purpose of identifying and arranging boycotts, sit-ins, and other actions that directly interfere with the immoral aspects of the violence and wars that we protest.

23.The United National Antiwar Conference calls for building and expanding the movement for peace by consciously and continually linking it with the urgent necessity to create jobs and fund social needs. We call for support from the antiwar movement to tie the wars and the funding for the wars to the urgent domestic issues through leaflets, signs, banners and active participation in the growing number of mass actions demanding jobs, health care, housing, education and immigrant rights such as:

July 25 - March in Albany in Support of Muslims Targeted by Preemptive Prosecution called by the Muslim Solidarity Committee and Project Salam.
July 29 & 30 Boycott Arizona Actions across the country as racist Arizona law SB 1070 goes into effect, including the mass march July 30 in NYC as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Mets.

All the other mass actions listed above leading up to the bi-coastal actions on April 9, 2011.

24.The continuations committee elected at this conference shall reach out to other peace and social justice groups holding protests in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, where such groups' demands and tactics are not inconsistent with those adopted at the UNAC conference, on behalf of exploring ways to maximize unity within the peace and social justice movements this fall and next spring.

David Swanson is the author of "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union"

http://davidswanson.org
http://warisacrime.org

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*
*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam buy valium online no prescription - buy valium online usa cheap

Anonymous said...

ambien pills buy generic ambien cr - ambien side effects dreams

Anonymous said...

xanax generic xanax pills high - what is xanax 0.5mg

Anonymous said...

purchase valium buy valium online overnight delivery - valium 10 mg for sleep

Anonymous said...

xanax no rx 2mg klonopin vs xanax bar - buy alprazolam from india

Anonymous said...

xanax without a perscription xanax bars types - xanax vs klonopin

Anonymous said...

ativan online how to order ativan - treatment of ativan overdose

Anonymous said...

order soma order soma drug - will soma show up dot drug test

Anonymous said...

soma pain somanabolic muscle maximizer side effects - somanabolic muscle maximizer crack

Anonymous said...

soma sale somanabolic muscle maximizer free download mac - medication soma compound

Anonymous said...

buy somas carisoprodol dosage - carisoprodol 200 mg

Anonymous said...

cheap soma online soma online sale - carisoprodol 350mg street value

Anonymous said...

soma cheap dosage for carisoprodol 350 mg - buy soma online mexico

Anonymous said...

soma online drug test soma carisoprodol - order soma georgia

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online buy ambien sleeping pills - home drug test ambien

Anonymous said...

buy valium online valium dosage max - valium drug