Thursday, October 07, 2010

BAUAW NEWSLETTER-THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2010

Plese Fwd widely

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Tom Burke
Committee To Stop FBI Repression
www.stopfbi.net
773-844-3612

ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS: "WE HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO A GRAND JURY"

Chicago, October 5th, 2010, five anti-war and international solidarity activists from Chicago and Minneapolis announced they are invoking their 5th amendment right to not testify in front of a Grand Jury investigation. Stephanie Weiner, one of those raided and subpoenaed spoke to 150 supporters at a press conference outside the Dirksen Federal Building in downtown Chicago, "This is an attack on the anti-war movement, but the strong response of our movement, where more than 61 protests in cities across the country, makes it absolutely clear that this is about more than just 14 activists in the Midwest. It is an attempt to limit the voice of anti-war, peace, and international solidarity activists."

The five signed letters to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox. They informed him of their decision to invoke their 5th amendment rights to not testify. One of those subpoenaed to appear today, Meredith Aby of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, said, "Our opposition to U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, our scathing criticism of U.S. government support for repressive regimes and death squads in Colombia and Israel is well known and public. This attempt to criminalize the fourteen of us in the anti-war movement must be stopped. The Grand Jury should be ended. There should be no charges."

Joe Iosbaker stated, "We have nothing to say to a Grand Jury. Most people do not understand how secretive and undemocratic the Grand Jury is. I am not allowed to have my lawyer with me. There isn't even a judge. How strange is that? It is the U.S. prosecutor with 23 people they hand picked to pretty much rubber stamp whatever the prosecutor says. A person is defenseless in that situation."

Jim Fennerty an attorney working to defend the activists said, "Assistant U.S. Attorney Fox is cancelling the subpoenas for the five due to appear today. This does not put an end to the Grand Jury investigation however. Fox can reissue subpoenas for new dates or decide to arrest the activists and charge them with crimes."

Activists organized a successful National Call In Day yesterday, with thousands phoning to demand that President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder publicly call off the Grand Jury investigation.

For more information www.stopfbi.net
Call Tom Burke at 773-844-3612

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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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/

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

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The Freedom Archives presents the new documentary COINTELPRO 101

Sunday, October 10th - 4:00pm & 7:00pm - Mission Cultural Center

Film screening & program with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Soffiyah Elijah
suggested donation $10, youth $5

Tickets now available online for the 4 pm and 7 pm screenings of "COINTELPRO 101." Click here for tickets: http://missionculturalcenter.org/MCCLA_New/events.html#freedom

COINTELPRO 101 exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the US government in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. With rare historical footage and interviews with activists who experienced these government abuses firsthand, the film provides an educational introduction to a period of intense repression and draws relevant lessons for the present and future.

To view the Trailer and more details about the film

Sunday, October 10th at 4 & 7pm

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
2868 Mission Street
San Francisco

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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The Berkeley Says No to Torture Week Oct 10-16 has a new website, go to:

www.WeSayNoToTorture.net

and then from there, go to the Facebook page. Let this be your "go-to" site for all things regarding the Berkeley Says "No To Torture" Week. The Events Calendar is growing quickly (many not yet posted pending venue confirmation, etc.) We aim to have the best possible local week in Berkeley, AND to encourage and inspire even more resolutions like this all around the country -- any community could pull together around taking this stand, as people are doing here -- so could you please widely forward this new site and Facebook to all your friends and contacts?

TUESDAY Sept. 21, 7 PM: Be There!

Berkeley City Council will vote this week to declare "Berkeley Says No To Torture" Week an official civic week.

This will take our message to a whole new level, and Council needs to know they have wide public support in Berkeley -- and beyond -- to vote YES. Come to the meeting -- look for our contingent -- to show your support. (If you'd like to speak during Public Comment in support of the Resolution, please let us know here ahead of time -- we need a "wide representation" show of support especially speakers.)

And please take a few minutes to SEND City Council members and Mayor Tom Bates your personal or organizational support for the Resolution. (Please copy us here if you send emails). Here is the link:
www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=18496

Please forward this info widely, we hope to see a strong turnout at the Council meeting: Tuesday Sept. 21 7 PM, and please arrive early if you can, at Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

sf@worldcantwait.org (415) 864-5153 sfbaycantwait.org www.myspace.com/sfbaycantwait
World Can't Wait SF
2940-16th St., Rm. 200-6
San Francisco CA 94103

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The next meeting of the Bay Area United National Antiwar Committee will take place Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 1:00 P.M.
Location to be announced.

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Justice for Oscar Grant Rally
Saturday, October 23, 12:00 Noon
Frank Ogawa Plaza
(Oakland City Hall near 14th and Broadway)

Join family and friends of Oscar Grant, Labor and Community to demand:

--Maximum sentence for Johannes Mehserle!
--Stop police brutality! Jail racist killer cops!
--Expand jobs and education, not war and repression!

Stand up and make your voice heard! Johannes Mehserle was only arrested after people took to the streets to express their outrage. Without continuous labor and community action, Mehserle might have been acquitted. Together we can make sure that the killer cop gets the maximum sentence so other cops don't think they can get away with murder.

Sponsored by:

ILWU Local 10

Endorsed by other labor and community organizations.

For more information please contact:
Farless Dailey, Secretary Treasurer, 415-776-8100
local10secretarytreasurer@bayarea.net

---

Media/Publicity: Jack Heyman 510-531-4717, jackheyman@comcast.net

PLEASE ENDORSE OCTOBER 23 RESOLUTION BELOW:

[SEND ENDORSEMENTS TO: jackheyman@comcast.net]

Resolution in Support of October 23 ILWU Rally for Justice for Oscar Grant

Whereas, Oscar Grant's killer, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle received a verdict of involuntary manslaughter on July 8, 2010 and will be sentenced on November 5; 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, wherever employers try to break a strike, police are there to protect the scabs and attack workers, as we know from the 1934 West Coast Maritime Strike, to the Charleston Five longshore struggle in 2000; and

Whereas, black and brown racial minorities, and especially immigrant workers today, struggling for equal rights have borne the brunt of police violence; and

Whereas , Oscar Grant's killing is another manifestation of the same unjust system where the message for the poor, the working class, and people of color is submission or death; and

Whereas, ILWU Local 10 has initiated the call for a mass labor and community protest rally on Saturday October 23, 2010 in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza calling for justice for Oscar Grant in the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle,

Therefore be it Resolved, that (name of organization) endorses this rally along with other labor unions, community groups, civil rights organizations, civil liberties organizations and will help to mobilize for this rally for justice for Oscar Grant;

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All.

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STOP U.S. IMPERIALIST WARS!
VICTORY TO THE OPPRESSED PEOPLES IN THE U.S. AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2010
MARCH ON WASHINGTON
BLACK IS BACK
blackisbackcoalition.org

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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

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B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:

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Disclaimer

Dear readers,

There is something very ominous about the Fox News reporting of Israeli business in the U.S. I have seen such a Kiosk at the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco selling skin-treatment salts from the Dead Sea. The salesmen and women are well-dressed and groomed and young--in their twenties. But the presence of these Kiosks does not "prove" the presence of an "enemy Israeli spy ring." I figured it to be Israeli business interests in San Francisco and, of course, I would never purchase an Israeli product. I also must say, they are pushy sales representatives--they follow you for a few steps saying, "Excuse me, may I talk to you" and they repeated it several times until you answer "No" then they leave you alone.

But Israel doesn't control the U.S. It's the other way around:

"In an article in the March 1995 issue of The Middle East Forum Promoting American Interests entitled, "Jesse Helms: Setting the Record Straight," Helms, who was the senior senator from North Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time stated, "I have long believed that if the United States is going to give money to Israel, it should be paid out of the Department of Defense budget. My question is this: If Israel did not exist, what would U.S. defense costs in the Middle East be? Israel is at least the equivalent of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Middle East. Without Israel promoting its and America's common interests, we would be badly off indeed."
http://www.meforum.org/article/244

Israel's the equivalent to much more than that today to protect U.S. interests in the area. In fact, according to Wikipedia Israel is second only to Iraq as the largest recipient of U.S. aid to the tune of at least $3 billion dollars a year (a very modest estimate):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_%E2%80%93_United_States_relations

Of course, it doesn't include the amount of profits Israeli businesses are earning in U.S. malls and other financial investment interests. Don't buy Israeli products or services. Demand divestment in Israel. End All U.S. Aid to Israel NOW! End the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Colombia and everywhere under the U.S. or U.S. financed gun or drone!

But please, Israel is not policing or controlling the world, that is being carried out by the U.S. government backed up by its military, the biggest purveyor of violence in the world!

The Kiolsks in the mall? A little extra earnings for well-to-do Israeli youth. Another U.S. perk for apartheid Israel.

Twenty Plus Israeli Military Agents at San Francisco Mall Kiosk Front Companies 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmhL3QdbLHs&feature=player_embedded#

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Firefighters Watch As Home Burns:
Gene Cranick's House Destroyed In Tennessee Over $75 Fee
By Adam J. Rose
The Huffington Post -- videos
10- 5-10 12:12 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

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NOAA investigating husband & wife that were sprayed with dispersant while sleeping on boat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InnmBRL84Dw&feature=player_embedded

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Dangers Lurk Beneath the Surface of Gulf of Mexico
September 29th, 2010
In spite of what you might have read in the news, the oil in the Gulf of Mexico has not just disappeared. It's lurking on the bottom, destroying marine life and entire ecosystems. On top of that, we are now starting to see adverse health effects from BP's use of the toxic oil dispersant known as Corexit, which is being dumped into the Gulf as we speak. Mike Papantonio talks about some of the effects that we're now seeing as a result of BP's dispersant chemicals with Dr. Riki Ott, one of the leading experts on the impact of oil spills on human health.
http://www.ringoffireradio.com/2010/09/29/dangers-lurk-beneath-the-surface-of-gulf-of-mexico/

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Soldier Describes Murder of Afghan for Sport in Leaked Tape
By ROBERT MACKEY
September 27, 2010, 6:43 pm
http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/soldier-describes-murder-of-afghan-for-sport-in-leaked-tape/?ref=world

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"Don't F*** With Our Activists" - Mobilizing Against FBI Raid
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyG3dIUGQvQ

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Stephen Colbert's statement before Congress
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/39343087#39343087

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PcolaGregg Answers VisitPensacola.com With Truth And Reality
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtopYgl9h8Q&feature=player_embedded#!

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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Dear all,

As you know, I publish the Bay Area United Against War (BAUAW) newsletter that goes out to over 380 groups and individuals in the Bay Area (mostly individuals). While BAUAW used to be an activist group and is no longer a group, the newsletter remains active and, in fact has grown. I was able to give a similar, but much shorter message to the demonstration September 28 as the publisher of the BAUAW Newsletter and blog at bauaw.org
Clearly, and unfortunately, this will be an ongoing campaign.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein

REPORT ON DEMONSTRATION AGAINST OBAMA'S FBI RAIDS IN SF LAST EVENING, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28:

About one- to two-hundred people showed up at the Federal Building in San Francisco at 7th and Mission Streets, on barely 24 hour's notice, to protest Obama's FBI raids against peace and social justice activists. It was broadly attended by the major antiwar, social justice groups and the labor movement. Speaker after speaker spoke against the raids as a threat to all who protest injustice carried out by the U.S. government here and abroad.

But the raids have not stopped! The only way to stop them is to stand united behind all those who have and will be persecuted by Obama's administration. We have a right to protest injustice wherever we perceive it--especially if the crimes are being funded by the U.S. government (our tax dollars) as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia and Palestine and numerous other places around the globe. An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our weakest link. That is why we must stand together. Together, the weakest link becomes unbreakable.

The antiwar movement is obviously central to the defense of civil liberties and civil rights. That's why it's more important than ever for us to unite and call national and international actions against the wars, occupations and illegal military and police actions by our government here and everywhere--including these raids!

It's important first, to let the Obama administration know that this will not stop us from protesting, and second, to let this government know that we, the majority of people against the wars, being in the majority, have the right to dictate to them how our tax dollars should be spent.

We have the right to demand money for jobs, housing, healthcare, education and to life, liberty and peace of mind and body, not never-ending wars, occupations and prisons to preserve the wealth of the power elite. All human beings everywhere have these inalienable rights! We are citizens of the world and we all have these same common interests, human needs and wants.

If we don't stand together and demand them, we will not have them. More importantly, they are within our grasp if we stand united.

In solidarity,

Bonnie Weinstein, Publisher of Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, bauaw.org

--- On Tue, 9/28/10, Women Against Military Madness wrote:

From: Women Against Military Madness
Subject: [WAMM] WAMM Board Co-Chair Subpoenaed to Appear Before Grand Jury

The witch-hunt continues! I know you have heard that Freedom Road and the Anti-War Committee are being investigated by the FBI.

Yesterday, WAMM board co-chair and long time peace activist, Sarah Martin was also served with a subpoena. She is to appear before a grand Jury, in Chicago, on October 12, as part of the FBI investigation that is trying to tie local peace groups to terrorism.

Sarah is innocent of terrorism or connection to organizations that condone terrorism.

This is part of a nationally coordinated action, surely approved by the director of the FBI and probably at higher levels than that. There has been considerable national media attention. It appears that our Twin Cities peace community has been thrust into the middle of something much larger. The affected activists will need a lot of our support as they resist increasing repression and "terrorism" hype from the Obama Administration.

The people targeted have several things in common which give an insight to the nature of this investigation. Locally, all have been connected to the Anti-War Committee and/or WAMM. I believe all are connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization. All were deeply involved in organizing the mass marches at the RNC in 2008. I believe all have been involved in the efforts to stop the DNC from coming to Minneapolis in 2012. All or nearly all have traveled to Colombia and/or Palestine for international solidarity work.

Please join us at the first meeting of a new solidarity and defense committee, Thursday, September 30, 7:00 p.m. at Walker Methodist Church, 3104 16th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Feel free to invite friends, neighbors, lawyers, church members and leaders so that we can organize to keep this malignant FBI investigation from spreading further through out our community.

Democracy is indeed under a terrifying assault! Sadly enough, it is coming from the hands of our own government, directed at some of the best, brightest, and most conscientious of our own citizens. For those of us who hold the constitution and the Bill of Rights near and dear to our hearts, we must stand up to this new assault on American freedom.

Kim Doss-Smith, Executive Director, Woman Against Military Madness (WAMM), 612-827-5364.

Women Against Military Madness (WAMM)
310 East 38th Street, Suite 222
Minneapolis, MN 55409
612-827-5364 (phone)
612-827-6433 (fax)
wamm@mtn.org (email)
www.worldwidewamm.org (web site)

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Protest the Raids
By Gregg Shotwell, Soldiers of Solidarity, UAW
greggshotwell@aol.com

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/27/fbi_raids_homes_of_anti_war

Read or listen to the article linked above about raids on the homes of anti war activists.

Of course, most of us may say, "First they came for the anti war activists, but since I am not an anti war activist........" But you know where the story ends:
with you and me.

I know three of the people whose homes were raided.

I know them through my activism in the UAW.

All three are soldiers of solidarity, by that I mean, people who show up on the picket lines and who support solidarity wherever and whenever it is called for.

I attest to these allegiances without qualification.

All three are workers, parents, and people committed to peace, equality, solidarity, and justice.

They are friends not terrorists.

They are men and women of conscience and commitment.

If the feds can terrorize them, they can terrorize you and me as well.

Note in the interview the connection to Columbia, the most dangerous
country in the world FOR TRADE UNIONISTS. They don't fire union supporters in Columbia, they murder them.

Now the FBI is raiding the homes of people who work for the union movement
in the USA and who advocate for peace rather than war.

Pick up the phone or email Obama, go straight to the top and demand the feds stop terrorizing workers who are campaigning for peace, solidarity, and justice. Don't wait. Don't think for a minute that you can hide from the thought police. The intimidation won't stop at your door. What's to stop them? Your silence?

The only thing that can stop harassment is solidarity.

sos, Gregg Shotwell

To contact Obama:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

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San Francisco Labor Council Resolution

[Note: The following resolution -- submitted by David Welsh, NALC 214, and Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3 -- was adopted unanimously by the SFLC Delegates' Meeting on Sept. 27, 2010.]

Condemn FBI Raids on Trade Union, Anti-War and Solidarity Activists

Whereas, early morning Sept. 24 in coordinated raids, FBI agents entered eight homes and offices of trade union and anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago, confiscating crates full of computers, books, documents, notebooks, cell phones, passports, children's drawings, photos of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, videos and personal belongings. The FBI also raided offices of the Twin Cities Anti-war Committee, seizing computers; handed out subpoenas to testify before a federal Grand Jury to 11 activists in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan; and paid harassment visits to others in Wisconsin, California and North Carolina; and

Whereas, one target of the raid was the home of Joe Iosbaker, chief steward and executive board member of SEIU Local 73 in Chicago, where he has led struggles at the University of Illinois for employee rights and pay equity. Brother Iosbaker told the Democracy Now radio/TV program that FBI agents "systematically [went] through every room, our basement, our attic, our children's rooms, and pored through not just all of our papers, but our music collection, our children's artwork, my son's poetry journal from high school -- everything." He and his wife, a Palestine solidarity activist, were both issued subpoenas. The earliest subpoena dates are October 5 and 7; and

Whereas, the majority of those targeted by the FBI raids had participated in anti-war protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul MN, which resulted in hundreds of beatings and arrests [with almost all charges subsequently dropped]. Many of those targeted in the 9/24 raids were involved in humanitarian solidarity work with labor and popular movements in Colombia -- "the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist"-- whose US-funded government has been condemned by the AFL-CIO and internationally for the systematic assassination of hundreds of trade unionists; and

Whereas, the nationally coordinated dawn raids and fishing expedition marks a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act. The raids came only 4 days after a scathing report by the Department of Justice Inspector General that soundly criticized the FBI for targeting domestic groups such as Greenpeace and the Thomas Merton Center from 2002-06. In 2008, according to a 300-page report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI trailed a group of students in Iowa City to parks, libraries, bars and restaurants, and went through their trash. This time the FBI is using the pretext of investigating "terrorism" in an attempt to intimidate activists.

Therefore be it resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council denounce the Sept. 24th FBI raids on the homes and offices of trade union, solidarity and anti-war activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and elsewhere; the confiscation of computers and personal belongings; and the issuance of Grand Jury subpoenas. This has all the earmarks of a fishing expedition. The FBI raids are reminiscent of the Palmer Raids, McCarthy hearings, J. Edgar Hoover, and COINTELPRO, and mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act;

And be it further resolved, that this Council make the following demands:

1. Stop the repression against trade union, anti-war and international solidarity activists.

2. Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, personal belongings, etc.

3. End the Grand Jury proceedings and FBI raids against trade union, anti-war and international solidarity activists;

And be it further resolved, that this Council participate in the ongoing movement to defend our civil rights and civil liberties from FBI infringement; forward this resolution to Bay Area labor councils, California Labor Federation, Change to Win and AFL-CIO; and call on these organizations at all levels to similarly condemn the witch hunt;

And be it finally resolved, that this Council urge the AFL-CIO to ensure that denunciation of the FBI raids is featured from the speakers' platform at the October 2, 2010 One Nation march in Washington, DC, possibly by inviting one of those targeted by the raids, for example the SEIU chief steward whose home was raided, to speak at the rally.

*********

More Thoughts on the Division within the Antiwar Movement in the Bay Area
By Bonnie Weinstein and Carole Seligman

We agree with the demands adopted by the UNAC conference but disagree with organizing separately as is now the case [And now, especially, because of the horrendous assault on our civil liberties by the ongoing Obama/FBI raids.]

A way we can still work together would be to agree to accept all the demands and allow organizing under all of them. It is also clear to us that UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee) does not have the base on the West Coast as it seems to have East of the Mississippi. We don't think we could have organized such a conference out here. Not now. Not yet. It is also clear--as it has been for many years--that ANSWER is firmly established as the leadership of the antiwar movement here in San Francisco, at least, and probably in LA and DC. So, we can't build a separate and competing coalition nor do we want to if we want the movement to keep strong and united and to grow.

Unfortunately, it is clear that local labor organizations here in the Bay Area are focusing on getting out the vote for the Democratic Party this November and have rejected any other type of action here on the West Coast on October 2. This rejection of taking action has nothing what-so-ever to do with the demands voted upon by the 800 people at the UNAC conference and has everything to do with keeping the labor movement tied to the Democratic Party.

We have to be realistic when trying to work with organized labors' "leaders." They are failing miserably to protect jobs and working conditions in San Francisco, in the Bay Area and throughout California and, for that matter, across the country. They are selling their own workers down the river lock, stock and barrel! But we do need to organize working people who, we believe, are far to the left of organized labors' "misleaders." That's why a united antiwar movement with strong demands of its own that ties the war spending and banker bailouts to the miseries working people are facing today--here and in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine--is imperative now!

Our belief is that no matter what demands were voted on at the UNAC conference, it makes no difference to these "labor misleaders." They are fully entrenched in the Democratic Party and are doing what they always do in spite of the continual wars and the drastic assault on the living conditions of workers across the country. They have proven themselves incapable of doing anything else in recent history except for giving workers false hope that voting Democratic will make a difference--i.e., "bringing the change we want"--by voting for Democrats.

They failed to push for the Employee Free Choice Act or single-payer healthcare; they make no mention of the fantastic costs of the wars and how they are impacting the living standards of working people; and again, offered only a vote for Democrats as the answer.

It is just not realistic to think that the demands adopted by UNAC are what's keeping organized labor from the antiwar movement. It's the labor misleaders themselves that are keeping organized labor from the antiwar movement no matter what the demands.

It is very strange to us that one minute the San Francisco Labor Council will pass an antiwar resolution and the next minute hold an honorary banquet for the mass murderer and war monger, Nancy Pelosi. Or to continue their ongoing support to Obama who has escalated the wars and the attacks on the living standards of working people, undocumented workers, students, youth--especially Black youth--etc. Has massively bailed out the wealthy with trillions of our tax dollars. That in the middle of a horrific oil spill sent thousands of National Guard troops--not to clean up the spill--but to patrol the borders between Mexico and the U.S. while deploying other National Guard troops to help hide the effects of the BP spill in the Gulf by chasing away scientists who are trying to gather data about the spill and the dispersants being poured into the oceans we all depend upon.

We haven't the slightest hope that electing Democrats will will improve any of these conditions. Only mass action in the streets demanding the things we want--an end to the wars NOW; an end to the bailout of the wealthy NOW; and an end to the billions spent on defending Israeli Apartheid and the massacre of the Palestinian people--all to protect U.S. interests in Middle East oil and other natural resources throughout the world. This is what the Democratic and Republican parties are all about and what their military is all about.

Working people are doomed if they continue to support the lesser of two evils--the Democratic party. It only leads to more evil as is evident if one's eyes are open.

We can't convince working people to see the truth if we don't tell the truth. And supporting the Democratic Party as a way to resolve the problems of working people, or to end these murderous wars, is NOT the truth!

We can't raise the consciousness of working people if we water down our demands to agree with the labor fakers and the Democratic Party.

In all sincerity,

Bonnie Weinstein
Carole Seligman

Report on September 19th Antiwar Meetings and an Open Letter to the Antiwar Movement

Dear peace activist:

We went to both antiwar meetings Sunday, September 19th -- ANSWER and Bay Area UNAC (United National Antiwar Committee). Both were approximately equal in size, and not very large. Both were attended by several groups who are active in the antiwar movement. Together we would have had a good size meeting of about 80. Actually, together we would have had a much more substantial meeting, because several people stayed away when they learned that there were two meetings at the same time, 1/2 a block away from each other.

People want the antiwar forces to work together to struggle to end these wars. People are disgusted at the great unity shown by the war parties, the Republicans and Democrats--in carrying out these wars. We must demand that the antiwar organizers--ourselves--work together in greater unity than the war parties do. Where we disagree with demands or slogans, let's find a way to include all.

The UNAC meeting scheduled a follow up meeting for Sunday, October 17th. Let's make this meeting one that is co-sponsored with ANSWER and invite all to participate in planning the next series of educational events and actions. Let's create the broadest possible structure for involving the whole movement and inviting people who have not participated before. Let's find a way to organize together! The situation demands it.

Carole Seligman
Bonnie Weinstein

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Deafening Silence, Chuck Africa (MOVE 9)

Peace People,
This poem is from Chuck Africa, one of the MOVE 9, who is currently serving 30-100 years on trump up charges of killing a police officer. After 32 years in prison, the MOVE 9 are repeatly denied parole, after serving their minimum sentence. Chuck wanted me to share this with the people, so that we can see how our silence in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom is inherently an invitation to their death behind prison walls.

Deafening Silence
Don't ya'll hear cries of anguish?
In the climate of pain come joining voices?
But voices become unheard and strained by inactions
Of dead brains
How long will thou Philly soul remain in the pit of agonizing apathy?
Indifference seems to greet you like the morning mirror
Look closely in the mirror and realize it's a period of mourning....
My Sistas, mothers, daughters, wives and warriors
Languish in prisons obscurity like a distant star in the galaxies as does their brothers
We need to be free....
How loud can you stay silence?
Have the courage to stand up and have a say,
Choose resistance and let go of your fears.
The history of injustice to MOVE; we all know so well
But your deafening silence could be my DEATH KNELL.
Chuck Africa

Please share, inform people and get involve in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom! www.MOVE9parole.blogspot.com

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Say No to Islamophobia!
Defend Mosques and Community Centers!
The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!
http://www.petitiononline.com/nophobia/petition.html

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Kevin Keith Update: Good News! Death sentence commuted!

Ohio may execute an innocent man unless you take action.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-kevin-keith

Ohio's Governor Spares Life of a Death Row Inmate Kevin Keith
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/us/03ohio.html?ref=us

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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

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Please forward widely...

HELP LYNNE STEWART -- SUPPORT THESE BILLS

These two bills are now in Congress and need your support. Either or both bills would drastically decrease Lynne's and other federal sentences substantially.

H.R. 1475 "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act Amended 2009," Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat, Illinois

This bill will restore and amend the former federal B.O.P. good time allowances. It will let all federal prisoners, except lifers, earn significant reductions to their sentences. Second, earn monthly good time days by working prison jobs. Third, allowances for performing outstanding services or duties in connection with institutional operations. In addition, part of this bill is to bring back parole to federal long term prisoners.

Go to: www.FedCURE.org and www.FAMM.org

At this time, federal prisoners only earn 47 days per year good time. If H.R. 1475 passes, Lynne Stewart would earn 120-180 days per year good time!

H.R. 61 "45 And Older," Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (18th Congressional District, Texas)

This bill provides early release from federal prison after serving half of a violent crime or violent conduct in prison.

Please write, call, email your Representatives and Senators. Demand their votes!

This information is brought to you by Diane E. Schindelwig, a federal prisoner #36582-177 and friend and supporter of Lynne Stewart.

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

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GRAVELY CONCERNED THAT RULING PUTS TROY DAVIS ON TRACK FOR EXECUTION; CITES PERSISTING DOUBTS ABOUT HIS GUILT
"Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence."
Amnesty International Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Contact: Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

(Washington, D.C.) - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today expressed deep concern that a federal district court decision puts Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis back on track for execution, despite doubts about his guilt that were raised during a June evidentiary hearing. Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence.

"Nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. "The testimony that came to light demonstrates that doubt still exists, but the legal bar for proving innocence was set so high it was virtually insurmountable. It would be utterly unconscionable to proceed with this execution, plain and simple."

Amnesty International representatives, including Cox, attended the hearing in Savannah, Ga. The organization noted that evidence continues to cast doubt over the case:

· Four witnesses admitted in court that they lied at trial when they implicated Troy Davis and that they did not know who shot Officer Mark MacPhail.

· Four witnesses implicated another man as the one who killed the officer - including a man who says he saw the shooting and could clearly identify the alternative suspect, who is a family member.

· Three original state witnesses described police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder and was questioned by several police officers without his parents or other adults present.

"The Troy Davis case is emblematic of everything that is wrong with capital punishment," said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "In a system rife with error, mistakes can be made. There are no do-overs when it comes to death. Lawmakers across the country should scrutinize this case carefully, not only because of its unprecedented nature, but because it clearly indicates the need to abolish the death penalty in the United States."

Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me? The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution in Georgia, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial and clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from across the United States and around the world. To date, internationally known figures such as Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have all joined the call for clemency, as well as lawmakers from within and outside of Georgia.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.

Wende Gozan Brown
Media Relations Director
Amnesty International USA
212/633-4247 (o)
347/526-5520 (c)

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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/

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D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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1) Liberal Groups Rally in Washington, Offering a Challenge to the Tea Party
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
October 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/us/03rally.html?hp

2) U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 17 Militants in Pakistan
October 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/world/asia/03pstan.html?hp

3) UK Cuts Child Benefit Payments in Austerity Drive
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/10/04/world/europe/AP-EU-Britain-Spending-Cuts.html?hp

4) Case of Accused Soldiers May Be Worst of 2 Wars
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04soldiers.html?ref=world

5) When Home Has No Place to Park
By IAN LOVETT
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04rv.html?ref=us

6) Imam's Wife Tells of Death Threats
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/nyregion/04daisy.html?ref=nyregion

7) Lab Evidence Refutes BP's and Fed's Deceptions - They Are Risking America's Health
By Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 04 October 2010
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Lab-Evidence-Refutes-BP-s-by-Dahr-Jamail-101004-959.html

8) Mehserle Defense Asks For New Trial
KTVU.com
Posted: 12:30 pm PDT October 4, 2010Updated: 12:34 am PDT October 5, 2010
http://www.ktvu.com/news/25275460/detail.html

9) Gulf Oil Spill: Researchers say levels of harmful oil compounds jumped in gulf waters
By Bettina Boxall
October 1, 2010 | 5:04 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/gulf-oil-spill-researchers-say-levels-of-harmful-oil-compounds-jumped-in-gulf-waters-.html

10) U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
"The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel."
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/science/earth/05fossil.html?ref=world

11) Relatives Tell of Civilians Killed by U.S. Soldiers
By TAIMOOR SHAH and ALISSA J. RUBIN
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?ref=world

12) Drones Kill Westerners in Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and SOUAD MEKHENNET
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/asia/05drone.html?ref=world

13) In Haiti, Rising Call for Displaced to Go Away
By DEBORAH SONTAG
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/americas/05haiti.html?ref=world

14) Chilean Miners' Rescue May Happen Within Weeks, President Says
By PASCALE BONNEFOY
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/americas/05chile.html?ref=world

15) Anti-War Activists Whose Homes Were Raided To Refuse Orders To Testify
by Michael Tarm
Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by the Associated Press
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/10/05-8

16) Firefighters Watch As Home Burns:
Gene Cranick's House Destroyed In Tennessee Over $75 Fee
By Adam J. Rose
The Huffington Post
10- 5-10 12:12 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

17) Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The Face of An American Lost Generation
By Andy Kroll
Posted on October 5, 2010, Printed on October 6, 2010
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175304/

18) Report Criticizes Government Over Spill Estimates
By JOHN M. BRODER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/earth/07spill.html?hp

19) Ignominious Surrender on the Mall
By Glen Ford
Black Agenda Report, October 6, 2010
http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/ignominious-surrender-mall

20) Airstrikes in north, central Gaza injure 5
Ma'an News Agency
October 7, 2010
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=321624

21) No Groove, Just One Nation Under a Grip
By Jared A. Ball
Black Agenda Report, October 6, 2010
http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/one-nation-under-grip-not-groove

22) An Undemanding 'One Nation' Rally
Timidity on the Mall
By Stanley Heller
Counter Punch, October 7, 2010
http://www.counterpunch.org/heller10072010.html

23) Before Auction, Lennon Has Brush With the F.B.I.
By BEN SISARIO
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/arts/music/07lennon.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1286475179-UCmrIxuMXjNdeh22uapSlA

24) Fiscal Woes Deepening for Cities, Report Says
By MICHAEL COOPER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/07cities.html?ref=us

25) Report Slams Administration for Underestimating Gulf Spill
By JOHN M. BRODER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/earth/07spill.html?ref=us

26) Deportations From U.S. Hit a Record High
"Immigration authorities deported a record 392,862 immigrants over the last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday." [Obama's immigration reform...bw]
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/07immig.html?ref=us

27) Personal Income Drops in New York Region
By SAM ROBERTS
October 7, 2010, 12:07 pm
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/personal-income-falls-in-new-york-region/?ref=nyregion

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1) Liberal Groups Rally in Washington, Offering a Challenge to the Tea Party
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
October 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/us/03rally.html?hp

WASHINGTON - Tens of thousands of union members, environmentalists and peace activists rallied at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, seeking to carry on the message of jobs and justice that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. trumpeted at a rally at the same site 47 years ago.

More than 300 groups organized Saturday's march on Washington to build momentum for progressive causes like increased job-creation programs and to mobilize liberal voters to flock to the polls next month.

The rally's sponsors, including the N.A.A.C.P., the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the Sierra Club and the National Council of La Raza, said they also hoped to demonstrate that they, not the Tea Party, represented the nation's majority.

The rally's organizers called the Saturday march "One Nation Working Together," saying they hoped it would be an answer and antidote to what they called the divisiveness of the Tea Party.

"We believe that by working together we can build abundance to lift up everyone," said Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. "We can't do that through divisiveness. We believe that we have to rebuild a social movement in America."

As the spirited crowd spread out along both sides of the reflecting pool, demonstrators shouted "Yes, we can" and carried signs saying, "We March for Hope not Hate," and "N.A.A.C.P. Says Tell the Senate More (Good) Jobs Now."

Demonstrators flew in from Los Angeles and Denver, took buses from Oklahoma and Tennessee, and carpooled from New York and Massachusetts.

The rally was held on a clear, cloudless day, with American flags atop the Lincoln Memorial's stairs and a sea of yellow, red, blue and purple T-shirts stretching out below, worn by members of various civil rights, peace and union groups.

"I think we're all here because we want our voices heard in Washington," said Beverly Webber, a recently retired accounting specialist for Alaska Airlines who flew in from Seattle. "I want less defense spending and more spending on infrastructure and green jobs."

Jerry Richards, a worker at a Chrysler assembly plant, was carrying a sign saying "Good Jobs Now," after having grabbed a seat on a caravan of nine buses that left Warren, Mich., at 9 p.m. Friday.

"Our forefathers fought against the English, and if you're not fighting for something, you're just sitting on your couch," Mr. Richards said. Standing alongside a close friend who has been unemployed for two years, he said his top issue was job creation.

Noting that planning for the rally began in April, organizers said they were in no way responding to a march organized by Glenn Beck, which drew enormous crowds to the front of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28. But they acknowledged that their hope was to draw an even larger crowd to Saturday's event.

In broadcasts last week, Mr. Beck mocked the liberals' march, saying that his supporters paid their own way to drive to Washington, while labor unions chartered hundreds of buses to ferry demonstrators to Saturday's rally.

Considerably more than just one week ago, the organizers of the march were emphasizing that they were seeking to energize voters to elect candidates they believed would do more to reduce unemployment and raise taxes on the richest Americans.

"We want to send folks the message to get your friends and neighbors out to vote," said Benjamin T. Jealous, president of the N.A.A.C.P. He said "10-2-10," the shorthand for the Saturday march, "is very much connected to 11-2-10," which is Election Day.

"We've come too far to turn back now," he said. "We have to build momentum to create prosperity. Right now a lot of Tea Party folks are pushing for tax cuts for the top 1 percent. We have to focus on jobs for the other 99 percent."

In deriding the march, Mr. Beck in recent days said it included Marxist, Communist and revolutionary groups. Among the organizations endorsing the march were the Communist Party USA, the United Church of Christ, Jewish Funds for Justice, the National Urban League, the National Baptist Convention, People for the American Way and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"This is a big tent," Mr. Jealous said. "Anyone who wants to stand up to create jobs and defend the jobs of teachers, police officers, nurses, firefighters - I say come on and join us."

He said the rally's sponsors welcomed groups that endorsed its goals, including a higher minimum wage, immigration reform, improved public education and an end to the wave of home foreclosures. But that, he said, did not mean rally organizers agreed with all the policies of every group that endorsed the rally.

Sponsors said the rally was not vying with the "Rally to Restore Sanity" that Jon Stewart, the host of "The Daily Show" has scheduled for Oct. 30 in Washington.

The Rev. Leah Daughtry, the coordinator of Saturday's march, said the rallies shared many goals. "We want to help make sure there is an energized and educated electorate," she said.

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2) U.S. Drone Attacks Kill 17 Militants in Pakistan
October 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/world/asia/03pstan.html?hp

Two attacks by United States drones killed 17 militants and wounded three in northern Pakistan on Saturday, a Pakistani intelligence official said, after recent NATO helicopter strikes raised tensions with Pakistan, a country that is crucial to Washington's war effort in Afghanistan.

Repeated attacks by NATO helicopters last week angered Pakistan, which says the strikes undermine efforts to deal with militants because civilian casualties inflame public anger and bolster support for the insurgents.

Pakistan responded to a helicopter strike on Thursday that killed three Pakistani soldiers in the northwestern Kurram region by blocking a route in southern Pakistan used by convoys carrying fuel and other supplies for coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Three dozen vehicles in a fuel convoy stopped along the route were set on fire on Friday. A Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, said the Taliban carried out the attack to avenge NATO raids. The insurgents will attack more tankers on all roads used to transport NATO supplies, Mr. Tariq said.

Border attacks and disruptions in NATO supplies underline growing strains in the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, a crucial ally as American forces struggle to contain the Taliban in Afghanistan before the scheduled start of their withdrawal in July 2011.

Saturday's first drone attack, which occurred at 10 a.m. in the town of Datta Khel in the critical North Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border, killed nine militants from the Badar Mansur group, which is closely affiliated with Al Qaeda. Four were foreigners. The second attack, at 2:45 p.m., was in the same area and killed eight militants, the Pakistani official said.

Datta Khel is a stronghold of local and foreign insurgents who use it to stage attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan. The area is controlled by Hafiz Gul Bhadar, who is affiliated with the militant Haqqani network. The Pakistani government and Mr. Bhadar have agreed not to attack each other's forces, despite American pressure on the Pakistanis to begin an offensive there.

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3) UK Cuts Child Benefit Payments in Austerity Drive
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/10/04/world/europe/AP-EU-Britain-Spending-Cuts.html?hp

Filed at 10:41 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) - Britain will cap payments to jobless families and scrap child benefits for high earners in a sweeping overhaul of the country's welfare system, Treasury chief George Osborne said Monday.

Osborne, who is seeking to save about 86 billion pounds ($135 billion) in government spending over the next five years, said the cost of welfare payments was out of control - and rewarding some people for staying out of work.

At an annual rally of his Conservative Party, Osborne said Britain's coalition government would introduce a new welfare cap to make sure families in which both parents are unemployed do not receive more in benefits than an average family earn in wages.

Osborne also announced parents who earn more than 44,000 pounds ($70,000) per year will lose child benefit payments from 2013. Currently, all families are paid 20 pounds ($32) a week for their eldest child and about 13 pounds ($20) for other children. The benefits continue until the children are 19, if they stay in full-time education.

There would be welfare payments "to families who need it - but not more money than families who go out to work," Osborne told activists at the rally in Birmingham, central England.

"That is what the British people mean by fair - and we will be the first Government in history to bring it about," he said.

Since the coalition took office in May, Osborne has already announced a multibillion pound package of spending reductions and tax hikes, including a two-year pay freeze for most public sector workers, a new levy on banks and a rise in a tax on goods and services.

He will set out detailed plans for spending cuts over the next five years in an address to Parliament on Oct. 20, aiming to all but clear Britain's deficit by 2015.

Osborne said the government's austerity measures would bring prosperity in the future. He dismissed plans from the main opposition Labour Party to cut the deficit at a slower rate, saying that would only prolong the period of budget restraint.

"The hard economic choices we make are but a means to an end, and that end is prosperity for all," he said.

On Sunday, about 7,000 labor union members - including teachers and health service workers - staged a march outside the Conservative convention, to protest at planned spending cuts. Labor unions plan further protests to coincide with Osborne's announcement to Parliament.

"Everyone can agree that we need a fairer economy built on higher, better balanced growth. But the spending and benefit cuts will do the opposite - pushing many people into poverty, hitting middle income Britain hard and threatening growth," said Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress.

Yvette Cooper, a Labour lawmaker and the party's spokeswoman on work and pensions, said the government should increase its levy on banks, rather than cut child benefit payments.

Osborne said the Conservative-led government would prioritize spending on education and improvements to Britain's infrastructure - including a new high-speed railway network.

"Britain has no divine right to be one of the richest countries in the world. As economic power is shifting to the east, there is nothing automatic about our prosperity," he told the rally. "If our skill base continues to decline, there will be no growth. If our infrastructure remains poor, there will be no growth."

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4) Case of Accused Soldiers May Be Worst of 2 Wars
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04soldiers.html?ref=world

WASHINGTON - Over the last nine years, as the Army has cycled hundreds of thousands of soldiers through combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has also court-martialed 34 on murder or manslaughter charges in the killings of civilians in those conflict zones. Twenty-two were convicted, and 12 acquitted.

Some cases gained a measure of notoriety, including a rape and multiple killing in Iraq in 2006 that resulted in lengthy sentences for several soldiers. The Marine Corps, too, has dealt with high-profile cases, like the killing by Marines in 2005 of 24 Iraqis in Haditha - though prosecution efforts in that case largely collapsed.

But a case being heard before a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle could surpass all that have come before in the two wars: an investigation into accusations that a drug-addled Army unit formed a secret self-described "kill team" that repeatedly killed Afghan civilians for sport, posing for pictures with victims and taking body parts as trophies.

The particularly chilling and gruesome details of the accusations make the case different in many ways from the broader universe of publicly known civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, said military law specialists and human rights advocates who track such killings.

"This is a magnitude escalation above anything that has ever happened before" in Afghanistan or Iraq, said Thomas J. Romig, a retired major general who oversaw the Army's court-martial system as judge advocate general from 2001 to 2005.

The majority of civilian-killing cases that have arisen until now have been connected to combat in some way: soldiers accused of using excessive force or firing indiscriminately when responding to an attack, or who killed prisoners shortly after a bombing or a firefight, when emotions were still raging.

The Haditha killings, for example, followed a bombing that killed one Marine and severely injured two others. Several defendants later claimed that they were shot at after the blast. (Though most of the case collapsed, one defendant still faces a trial on manslaughter charges.)

Similarly, in 2008, the military decided not to bring charges against two Marines who commanded a unit accused of indiscriminately firing on vehicles and pedestrians along a 10-mile stretch of road in Afghanistan. The shootings began after a suicide bomber attacked the unit's convoy.

An Army investigation later concluded that 19 people were killed and 50 were injured. But the Marines said they had taken hostile gunfire after the explosion and had fired to defend themselves from perceived threats. The case was closed without any prosecution.

It can be difficult to win a conviction, specialists in military law said, when defendants can make a plausible claim that they believed, in the confusion of the "fog of war," that their lives were in danger and they needed to defend themselves.

"You often see cases of kids who just make dumb decisions," said Gary Solis, who teaches the laws of war at Georgetown University. "But killings in the heat of the moment, they don't usually try those guys. The guys you try are the ones who have an opportunity to consider what they are doing."

Last year, for example, five Army soldiers were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges related to the killings of four blindfolded and handcuffed detainees. The victims were shot in the back of the head and dumped into a Baghdad canal in 2007.

In that case, the soldiers had captured the prisoners shortly after somebody had shot at the soldiers. They were frustrated because they believed their prisoners were insurgents who would be released because the evidence against them was deemed to be too weak.

The accusations in the most recent case are even further removed from the high emotions of combat. In a videotaped interrogation that was leaked to the news media, one defendant said that they would kill civilians without provocation after making it seem as if they were under attack.

Military investigators and prosecutors have faced challenges in assembling evidence in conflict zones, said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School. In many cases, he said, months have passed by the time an accusation surfaces, and so units have rotated back from the tour of duty, records are poor, and it is difficult to find witnesses.

Moreover, in the Muslim world investigators are deeply reluctant, for cultural reasons, to exhume bodies and perform autopsies. Still, he noted, in some cases troops have taken digital photographs recording their deeds. (Both factors are present in the most recent case.)

Several military lawyers and human rights groups said that of all the known cases that have previously arisen in Iraq and Afghanistan, the current matter most closely resembles a gang-rape and murder in Mahmudiya, Iraq, in 2006.

In that case, soldiers raped a 14-year-old girl and killed her and her family, then set their house on fire. Like the accusations in the current Afghan case, that incident was unconnected to combat: the family lived near a checkpoint staffed by the unit, which conspired ahead of time to undertake the assault and blame insurgents, the trial showed.

By the time that rape and killings came to light, one of the soldiers had already been discharged from the Army. He was tried in civilian court and received life without parole, while several others were convicted in a court-martial and received sentences of 90 and 100 years.

Still, the ability to compare and contrast the present case with others has limits, Mr. Romig and several human rights groups said. It cannot be known whether other questionable civilian killings failed to come to light. Moreover, because the military justice system is decentralized, there is little comprehensive information available about its investigations.

The Marine Corps, for example, was unable to provide numbers about prosecutions and acquittals of its service members for killing civilians in the two wars. The numbers supplied by the Army for its murder and manslaughter cases do not cover other incidents that were labeled with a lesser charge, like negligent homicide or aggravated assault - nor those punished administratively with reprimands.

And many civilian deaths have arisen in contexts - like shootings of cars that failed to stop as they approached checkpoints - that rarely result in criminal charges or any public records.

"The large majority of civilian harm in both Iraq and Afghanistan takes place during legitimate military operations," said Sarah Holewinksi, executive director of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict. "But because of very poor record keeping on the part of all the warring parties, we really don't know who has been harmed, how many have been harmed and how they have been harmed."

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5) When Home Has No Place to Park
By IAN LOVETT
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04rv.html?ref=us

LOS ANGELES - Every day, Diane Butler and her husband park their two hand-painted R.V.'s in a lot at the edge of Venice Beach here, alongside dozens of other rickety, rusted campers from the 1970s and '80s. During the day, she sells her artwork on the boardwalk. When the parking lot closes at sunset, she and the other R.V.-dwellers drive a quarter-mile inland to find somewhere on the street to park for the night.

Their nomadic existence might be ending, though. The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.'s from beach lots - regulations that could soon force Ms. Butler, 58, to leave the community where she has lived for four decades.

"They're making it hard for people in vehicles to remain in Venice," she said.

Southern California, with its forgiving weather, has long been a popular destination for those living in vehicles and other homeless people. And for decades, people living in R.V.'s, vans and cars have settled in Venice, the beachfront Los Angeles community once known as the "Slum by the Sea" and famous for its offbeat, artistic culture.

Yet even as the economic downturn has forced more people out of their homes and into their cars, vehicle-dwellers are facing fewer options, with more communities trying to push them out.

As nearby neighborhoods and municipalities passed laws restricting overnight parking in recent years, Venice became the center of vehicle dwelling in the region. More than 250 vehicles now serve as shelter on Venice streets, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

"The only place between Santa Barbara and San Diego where campers can park seven blocks from the beach is this little piece of land," said City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice. "Over the years, it's only gotten worse, as every other community along the coast has adopted restrictions."

In the past, bohemian Venice was tolerant of vehicle-dwellers, but, increasingly, the proliferation of R.V.'s in this gentrifying neighborhood has prompted efforts to remove them.

"The status quo is unacceptable," said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, a group of residents devoted to removing R.V.'s from the area. "It's time to give us some relief from R.V.'s parking on our doorsteps."

A bitter debate has raged between residents who want to get rid of R.V.'s and those who want to combat the problems of homelessness in the community by offering safe places to park and access to public bathrooms. Last year, residents voted to establish overnight parking restrictions, but the California Coastal Commission twice vetoed the plan.

However, a recent incident involving an R.V. owner's arrest on charges of dumping sewage into the street has accelerated efforts to remove vehicle-dwellers. Starting this week, oversize vehicles will be banned from the beach parking lots; an ordinance banning them from parking on the street overnight could take effect within a month.

While Mr. Rosendahl supported parking restrictions, he has also secured $750,000 from the city to pay for a pilot program to house R.V.-dwellers. Modeled after efforts in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., the Vehicles to Homes program will offer overnight parking for vehicle-dwellers who agree to meet certain conditions, with the goal of moving participants into permanent housing.

"For people who want help, we'll support them," Mr. Rosendahl said. "The others can take their wheels and go up the coast or somewhere else, God bless them. It's not our responsibility to be the only spot where near-homelessness is dealt with in the state of California."

While some have expressed interest in the program, many said they did not want to subject themselves to curfews and oversight or had no means or desire to return to renting. Mr. Ryavec believes few will participate.

"I will not debate that some people are mentally ill, indigent or drugged out," Mr. Ryavec said. "But my stance is that the bulk of these people are making a lifestyle choice."

Still, according to Gary L. Blasi, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an activist on homeless issues, most people choose to live in vehicles only when the alternative is sleeping in a shelter or on the street.

"The idea of carefree vagabonds is statistically false," Professor Blasi said. "More often, these are people who lived in apartments in Venice before they lived in R.V.'s. The reason for losing housing is usually the loss of a job or some health care crisis."

Even if all the vehicle-dwellers in Venice wanted to participate, the pilot program will accommodate only a small fraction of them. In Southern California, though, there may not be anywhere else R.V.'s can legally park. According to Neil Donovan, executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, ordinances banning R.V.'s have spread from metropolitan areas into the suburbs as vehicle-dwellers venture farther afield in search of somewhere to sleep.

"Communities are now forming a patchwork of ordinances, which virtually prohibits a geographic cure to the situation," Mr. Donovan said. "If you're in a community and they tell you to leave, you can't just go to the next community, because they establish similar ordinances, especially in California."

Mr. Donovan said vehicle-dwellers often end up on the street after their vehicles are towed or become inoperable. When his organization surveyed tent camps in California, they found that many residents had come from R.V.'s.

Vehicle-dwellers in Venice are now considering their options, but few expressed any intention of leaving.

"They can keep throwing more laws at us, but we're not just going to go away," said Mario Manti-Gualtiero, who lost his job as an audio engineer and now lives in an R.V. "We can't just evaporate."

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6) Imam's Wife Tells of Death Threats
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
October 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/nyregion/04daisy.html?ref=nyregion

One of the people behind the proposal to build a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan said on Sunday that death threats had been made against her and her husband.

Daisy Khan, the wife of the center's imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, mentioned the threats during a heated town hall discussion on the ABC News television program "This Week."

The plans of Ms. Khan and Mr. Abdul Rauf to build the center, Park51, blocks from ground zero have drawn vituperation and ignited national debate.

"For the record, my life is under threat," Ms. Khan said in the discussion, hosted by Christiane Amanpour.

"My husband's life is under threat. We do not walk around with bodyguards because we love this country. We don't walk around with big bodyguards because we don't want to use taxpayers' money."

Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman, confirmed that the couple had alerted the police to telephone threats, which he said had been investigated by the hate crimes task force.

Organizers of a summit of Islamic groups held in New York two weeks ago said Mr. Abdul Rauf did not attend because of security concerns.

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7) Some 175,000 union members and human rights, faith and workers' rights activists rallied in Washington, D.C., as One Nation Working Together for jobs, education and economic justice. Speaking from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, "We come together today because America needs jobs. Good jobs, jobs that support families-all families."
From: aflcioblognews@aflcio.org
Subject: We Are One Nation
Date: October 4, 2010 8:55:24 AM PDT
'America Is One Nation and We Signify that Nation'
by Mike Hall
October 2, 2010
http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/10/02/america-is-one-nation-and-we-signify-that-nation/

Karen Bright got on a bus a little after midnight in Syracuse, N.Y., and rolled down the East Coast for seven hours because she had a message she wanted to deliver to America.

Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall as tens of thousands of union members and our allies in the human rights, faith and workers' rights communities began filling up the wide banks of the Reflecting Pool, Bright said:

"It's important that we make jobs the priority in this country and not all of the other issues that are dividing us. I think that's the one issue that's important to all of us."

On an absolutely gorgeous fall afternoon Bright, a member of CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000, and all of the nearly 200,000-strong crowd at the One Nation Working Together march and rally, were a living example of what one sign seen throughout the crowd said.

"We March for Hope, Not Hate!"

Speaking to the crowd that spread from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka surveyed the vast crowd of women, men, people of color and white, gay and straight, all ages and creeds and ethnicities, and told marchers that

"America is here today. America is One Nation and we signify that nation."

Behind the voices of fear and hatred that have risen to dominate our national conversation, Trumka said, are the forces of

"greed, the moneyed powers that put us in the economic mess we're in today. And we've got a lot of work to do to repair the damage that greed did to our country.

"Sisters and bothers we come together today because America needs jobs. Good jobs, jobs that support families-all families. Jobs that give our young people paths of opportunity, not obstacles. Jobs that allow people to retire with dignity."

While the Republican/Chamber of Commerce/Tea Party forces claim the mantle of small business advocates, small business owner Diana Ortiz, who introduced Trumka, said it's the progressive principles of the union movement and One Nation that will help revive small business. The owner of a Pueblo Colorado catering company said "small business create jobs. Period."

"We need help to create those jobs. Wall Street got help. We need help for Main Street. I believe our movement here today will help lead America to a better future."

Not only do we have to create jobs to rebuild the economy, those jobs must be good jobs, and jobs where workers have a voice, said Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen. But today, workers face aggressive and intimidating anti-union campaigns from management.

"Workers' rights have been all but crushed since Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here 47 years ago...Workers should not need courage to have a union in America. It should not be a fight. It should be a right."

Jobs were on the minds of hundreds of the members of the Machinists' UCubed network for unemployed workers. At a pre-rally gathering in an RFK stadium parking lot, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said that One Nation was not a partisan event or political rally.

But I have to speak the truth here. What we've been seeing recently on Capitol Hill has been partisan-partisanship at its very worst. One party-the minority-has formed a solid bloc to fight and stop every attempt by President Obama and the Democratic leadership to create jobs...to stop outsourcing...to help unemployed workers like you...and to get America back on track.

Carlos Grcia, a member of the New York State Public Employees Federation, an AFT affiliate, said he was moved to take part in the One Nation march because the pillars of today's event-jobs, education and immigration-"are critical for this nation's future prosperity."

America has got to wake up and realize without real education reform we as nation will not prosper.

As AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd:

A good education is the foundation for everything else we seek today. Excellent public schools are the cornerstone of our democracy.

Delta flight attendants Sherry Eubanks, Simone Cerasa and Josh Zivick are fighting for a voice at work with Flight Attendants/CWA (AFA/CWA). At a young workers' rally headed by Shuler on Freedom Plaza along Pennsylvania Ave., Eubanks said Delta was notorious for its unilateral changes in work rules. Without a contract, Eubanks said, workers have no say.

While the company claims to have an "open door" policy for worker input, Eubanks, an AFA member from her days at Northwest before the merger with Delta, said Delta management has created a climate of fear and flight attendants are afraid to speak out. She says it's a "fake door."

We are fighting to win representation, to have a voice with management and win a collective bargaining agreement.

Shuler told the young workers crowd:

While everyone has suffered in the economic disaster Wall Street brought us, young workers are facing outrageous odds. And I'm not talking about the problems every generation of young people has getting a foot in the door. I'm talking about long-term, structural economic problems that can lower your living standards for decades.

She congratulated the crowd being motivated and mobilized to travel to the nation's Capitol on 10-2-10.

I hope you'll pledge to march again on 11-2-10-to the voting booths-and take your friends. And cast your ballots for the economic patriots who believe America's best days are ahead, not behind us. Who believe in you. Who will invest in good jobs, in your future. Who will fight for you. For us.

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7) Lab Evidence Refutes BP's and Fed's Deceptions - They Are Risking America's Health
By Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld
t r u t h o u t | Report
Monday 04 October 2010
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Lab-Evidence-Refutes-BP-s-by-Dahr-Jamail-101004-959.html

In August, Truthout conducted soil and water sampling in Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi; on Grand Isle, Louisiana; and around barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana, in order to test for the presence of oil from BP's Macondo Well.

Laboratory test results from the samples taken in these areas show extremely high concentrations of oil in both the soil and water.

These results contradict consistent claims made by the federal government and BP since early August that much of the Gulf of Mexico is now free of oil and safe for fishing and recreational use.

The samples taken were tested in a private laboratory via gas chromatography.

The environmental analyst who worked with this writer did so on condition of anonymity and performed a micro extraction that tests for total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH). The lower reporting limit the analyst is able to detect from a solid sample is 50 parts per million (ppm).

Pass Christian, Mississippi

A water sample from inside Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi, taken on August 13, contained 611 ppm of TPH. Seawater that is free of oil would test at zero ppm of TPH.

A soil sample containing tar balls from the beach on Grand Isle, Louisiana, taken on August 16, contained 39,364 ppm of TPH.

Casse-Tete Island, Louisiana

A water sample taken on August 16 from a pool of water on Casse-Tete Isle contained 57 ppm of TPH. The GPS coordinates for this and the following samples are 2907.603N, 9020.395 W.

Several soil samples were tested from an oil-covered beach on the island.

A sample of soil taken from this area contained 40,099 ppm of TPH. Much of the marsh grass was stained black and brown with oil.

A sample of marsh grass in this area of Casse-Tete Isle contained 144,700 ppm of TPH.

West Timbalier Isle, Louisiana

A water sample taken from a tide pool on West Timbalier Isle on August 16 contained 11 ppm of TPH. The GPS coordinates for this and the following samples are 2903.389N, 927.033W.

Disturbingly, despite these results and a continuance of fish kills along the Louisiana coast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently partnered up with BP to send personnel into middle schools in Louisiana in order to convince school children that Gulf seafood is safe.

Meanwhile, several recent massive fish kills continue to occur in other areas of Louisiana.

A water sample taken from an inland lagoon on West Timbalier Isle contained 521 ppm of TPH.

Sampling was also conducted on beach areas of West Timbalier Isle on the same day.

A soil sample containing tar balls contained 40,834 ppm of TPH.

A soil sample taken near a layer of tar on the beach of West Timbalier Isle contained 60,068 ppm of TPH.

A soil sample taken from another inland lagoon on West Timbalier Isle contained 4,506 ppm of TPH.

Open Water in Gulf of Mexico

After leaving the area, Truthout came across a large area out in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately five miles from shore, where emulsified white foam covered the surface.

Fishermen and other journalists across the Gulf have reported to Truthout that this phenomenon is what is left after dispersants have been used to sink surface oil.

A water sample from surface of this area contained 11ppm of TPH. It was taken from an open water area between Timbalier Isle and Port Fourchon at 3:00 PM, on August 16 and the GPS coordinates for the sample are 2902.871N, 9017.421W.

The US Coast Guard claims that no dispersants have been used since mid-July.

Jonathan Henderson, with the nonprofit environmental group Gulf Restoration Network, was on board to witness the sampling, as well as to conduct his own sampling and document what he found.

The hydrocarbon tests conducted on the samples taken by this writer only represent a tiny part of the Gulf compared to the massive area that has been affected by BP's oil catastrophe. A comprehensive sampling regime across the Gulf, taken regularly over the years ahead, is clearly required in order to implement appropriate cleanup responses and take public safety precautions.

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8) Mehserle Defense Asks For New Trial
KTVU.com
Posted: 12:30 pm PDT October 4, 2010Updated: 12:34 am PDT October 5, 2010
http://www.ktvu.com/news/25275460/detail.html

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III, has asked the court for a new trial, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Mehserle's defense team claimed during his trial that he mistook his revolver for his yellow X-26 Taser moments before fatally shooting Grant has he laid on the Fruitvale BART station platform in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2009.

In his closing argument and during cross-examination of Taser experts, prosecutor David Stein repeatedly told the jurors there had never been such a mishap in the millions of times Tasers had been discharged by police officers nationwide.

The 100-page document, filed by Mehserle's attorney Michael Raines late Friday, the defense claims the prosecution was convincing but incorrect when telling jurors that such an accident had ever happened.

Raines cited the case of Kentucky police Lt. Billy Jones who mistook his revolver for his Taser and accidentally shot a suspect in 2008.

"Five times Mr. Stein told the jury that in a million Taser draws, an accident like the on Mehserle claimed had occurred here had never happened.

The DA placed particular emphasis on the color, asking the jurors why the manufacturer made the Taser yellow, and then answered his own question: 'They make it this color so that the officers can distinguish between the two," the filing claimed.

Raines called Stein's argument extremely convincing and added that he did not believe the prosecution knew about the Kentucky case.

The defense claimed if the jurors had known of the case at least one may have voted for an acquittal.

Deputy District Attorney David Stein, who is prosecuting the case, did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

Mehserle is set to appear in court for sentencing on Nov. 5 and could face between two and 14 years in prison, Rains said. He said the judge would likely rule then on the motion for a new trial.

Mehserle was convicted by the jury of involuntary manslaughter in Grant's fatal shooting. The jurors had rejected the prosecution's claim that the slaying was murder. He is currently being held without bail pending his sentencing.

Perry has a tremendous amount of discretion in handing down punishment against Mehserle anywhere from probation to 14 years. There's also the possibility he could get probation for time served.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of two to four years, but since jurors found guilty on an extra gun charge, three to ten years could be added to the sentence.

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9) Gulf Oil Spill: Researchers say levels of harmful oil compounds jumped in gulf waters
By Bettina Boxall
October 1, 2010 | 5:04 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/gulf-oil-spill-researchers-say-levels-of-harmful-oil-compounds-jumped-in-gulf-waters-.html

Levels of some cancer-causing oil compounds rose significantly in the waters off the Louisiana coast during the BP spill, according to Oregon State University researchers.

"It's an incredibly huge jump in concentration in a natural environment," said OSU environmental toxicology professor Kim Anderson, who found a 40-fold increase in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, from May to June.

Anderson and her research team started testing for the contaminants a few weeks after the April 20 well blowout, taking water samples at four near-shore locations along the gulf coast. Results from early August, after the BP well was capped and stopped leaking, continued to show elevated levels in the water.

The amount of PAHs in crude oil varies, as does does the toxicity of the compounds, which constitute a large class of chemicals. Some are carcinogenic, some are not and some are not toxic, Anderson said. Her gulf samples included PAHs of all three types.
Her team is using a sampling technique that involves suspension of a long, thin strip in the water for three to four weeks. The device mimics an organism and measures biologically available concentrations of PAHs that can be absorbed by marine life and make their way into the food chain.

Anderson is still anaylzing the results and was not prepared to say what, if any, threat the elevated levels posed to the gulf environment. "It's a huge increase that folks that deal with the more biologic side of it will have to address."

Lisa Faust, communications director for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said her agency did not have enough information on the research to comment. But she added that state testing of seafood harvest areas had not detected harmful levels of the pollutant.

"In all our samples of water we tested, at the most there were trace levels of PAHs -- and nothing at the level that poses risks to human health," Faust said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, continues to reopen federal waters in the gulf to commercial fishing. Last week Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft, who is taking over management ofthe federal spill response, said the government's extensive testing of gulf seafood has had "no detects whatsoever of any" PAHs.

In an e-mail, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the agency has "analyzed over 1,600 water and sediment samples alone" as part of its response to the BP spill "and found very few samples with chemicals at levels above concerns to aquatic life and no samples with chemicals at levels of concern to human health."

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10) U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
"The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel."
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/science/earth/05fossil.html?ref=world

With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.

Last week, a Marine company from California arrived in the rugged outback of Helmand Province bearing novel equipment: portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.

The 150 Marines of Company I, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, will be the first to take renewable technology into a battle zone, where the new equipment will replace diesel and kerosene-based fuels that would ordinarily generate power to run their encampment.

Even as Congress has struggled unsuccessfully to pass an energy bill and many states have put renewable energy on hold because of the recession, the military this year has pushed rapidly forward. After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies - which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years - as providing a potential answer. These new types of renewable energy now account for only a small percentage of the power used by the armed forces, but military leaders plan to rapidly expand their use over the next decade.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the huge truck convoys that haul fuel to bases have been sitting ducks for enemy fighters - in the latest attack, oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan were set on fire in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, early Monday. In Iraq and Afghanistan, one Army study found, for every 24 fuel convoys that set out, one soldier or civilian engaged in fuel transport was killed. In the past three months, six Marines have been wounded guarding fuel runs in Afghanistan.

"There are a lot of profound reasons for doing this, but for us at the core it's practical," said Ray Mabus, the Navy secretary and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who has said he wants 50 percent of the power for the Navy and Marines to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. That figure includes energy for bases as well as fuel for cars and ships.

"Fossil fuel is the No. 1 thing we import to Afghanistan," Mr. Mabus said, "and guarding that fuel is keeping the troops from doing what they were sent there to do, to fight or engage local people."

He and other experts also said that greater reliance on renewable energy improved national security, because fossil fuels often came from unstable regions and scarce supplies were a potential source of international conflict.

Fossil fuel accounts for 30 to 80 percent of the load in convoys into Afghanistan, bringing costs as well as risk. While the military buys gas for just over $1 a gallon, getting that gallon to some forward operating bases costs $400.

"We had a couple of tenuous supply lines across Pakistan that are costing us a heck of a lot, and they're very dangerous," said Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

Col. Robert Charette Jr., director of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office, said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Company I's equipment would prove reliable and durable enough for military use, and that other Marine companies would be adopting renewable technology in the coming months, although there would probably always be a need to import fuel for some purposes.

While setting national energy policy requires Congressional debates, military leaders can simply order the adoption of renewable energy. And the military has the buying power to create products and markets. That, in turn, may make renewable energy more practical and affordable for everyday uses, experts say.

Last year, the Navy introduced its first hybrid vessel, a Wasp class amphibious assault ship called the U.S.S. Makin Island, which at speeds under 10 knots runs on electricity rather than on fossil fuel, a shift resulting in greater efficiency that saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego, compared with a conventional ship its size, the Navy said.

The Air Force will have its entire fleet certified to fly on biofuels by 2011 and has already flown test flights using a 50-50 mix of plant-based biofuel and jet fuel; the Navy took its first delivery of fuel made from algae this summer. Biofuels can in theory be produced wherever the raw materials, like plants, are available, and could ultimately be made near battlefields.

Concerns about the military's dependence on fossil fuels in far-flung battlefields began in 2006 in Iraq, where Richard Zilmer, then a major general and the top American commander in western Iraq, sent an urgent cable to Washington suggesting that renewable technology could prevent loss of life. That request catalyzed new research, but the pressure for immediate results magnified as the military shifted its focus to Afghanistan, a country with little available native fossil fuel and scarce electricity outside cities.

Fuel destined for American troops in landlocked Afghanistan is shipped to Karachi, Pakistan, where it is loaded on convoys of 50 to 70 vehicles for transport to central bases. Smaller convoys branch out to the forward lines. The Marines' new goal is to make the more peripheral sites sustain themselves with the kind of renewable technology carried by Company I, since solar electricity can be generated right on the battlefield.

There are similar tactical advantages to using renewable fuel for planes and building hybrid ships. "Every time you cut a ship away from the need to visit an oiler - a fuel supply ship - you create an advantage," said Mr. Mabus, noting that the Navy had pioneered previous energy transformations in the United States, from sail power to coal power in the 19th century, as well as from coal to oil and oil to nuclear power in the 20th century.

The cost calculation is also favorable. The renewable technology that will power Company I costs about $50,000 to $70,000; a single diesel generator costs several thousand dollars. But when it costs hundreds of dollars to get each gallon of traditional fuel to base camps in Afghanistan, the investment is quickly defrayed.

Because the military has moved into renewable energy so rapidly, much of the technology currently being used is commercially available or has been adapted for the battlefield from readily available civilian models.

This spring, the military invited commercial manufacturers to demonstrate products that might be useful on the battlefield. A small number were selected for further testing. The goal was to see, for example, if cooling systems could handle the 120 degree temperatures often seen in current war zones or if embedded solar panels would make tents more visible to enemy radar.

This summer, renewable technologies proved capable of powering computers, residences and most equipment for more than a week at a test base in the Mojave Desert - though not enough to operate the most sophisticated surveillance systems.

Much more is in the testing stages: one experimental cooling system uses a pipe burrowed into the cool earth eight feet underground that vents into tents; a solar fan on the tent roof evacuates the hot air and draws cool air from underground. The Marines are exploring solar-powered water purification systems and looking into the possibility of building a small-scale, truck-based biofuel plant that could transform local crops - like illegal poppies - into fuel.

"If the Navy comes knocking, they will build it," Mr. Mabus said. "The price will come down and the infrastructure will be created."

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11) Relatives Tell of Civilians Killed by U.S. Soldiers
By TAIMOOR SHAH and ALISSA J. RUBIN
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/asia/05afghan.html?ref=world

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - It was difficult enough for the people of western Kandahar Province. They are beleaguered both by the Taliban, who control the roads, demand taxes and execute anyone suspected of disloyalty, and by the American military, who often show little regard for people and whose demands that locals stand up to the insurgents seem unreasonable.

Still, there was no reason to anticipate something far worse: American soldiers suspected of being a sadistic rogue band led by Sgt. Calvin Gibbs.

For Mullah Allah Dad, a poppy farmer and the mullah of a hamlet of just 15 homes in Kandahar Province, the end came quickly. He was sipping tea when he heard screams, and several of his children ran in. American soldiers in tanks were coming, they told him. Moments later, two young soldiers came in and grabbed him, his wife, Mora, said.

"In a minute I heard shooting," she said. "I saw my husband face down, and a black American stood next to him. Another soldier pushed me away. They pushed me back into the house and the interpreter made me go inside one of the rooms.

"Minutes after that I heard an explosion," she said. "I rushed out of that inner room and out the gate and the translator was telling me to stop, but I did not pay any attention, and then I saw my husband, my husband was burning."

According to court papers filed by the military, Mullah Allah Dad, 45, of the Kalagi hamlet, was the third victim of soldiers who killed Afghan civilians for no apparent reason.

Five of the platoon soldiers have been charged in at least three murders, one of them Mullah Allah Dad's, and seven other soldiers have been charged with crimes including assault, the use of hashish and attempts to impede the investigation.

The New York Times sent an emissary to Maiwand, the western district of Kandahar where the killings took place, to find the families of the three who were killed. Mullah Allah Dad's family was afraid to come to the provincial capital to meet with a Times reporter because they feared that coalition troops might again attack them or that the Taliban would stop them. They agreed to come only as far as a nearby village that had cellphone coverage, and they were interviewed by phone.

Mrs. Dad described how the soldiers searched the family's house, apparently trying to justify the killing. "They tore and broke everything," she said. "But they did not find a single bullet in my home."

Later, Mrs. Dad's father, Abdullah Jan, and two tribal elders listened in disbelief to an Afghan intelligence agent at the district governor's office as he related his conversation with American soldiers when they handed over Mullah Allah Dad's body.

"He told me that the Americans claimed that Allah Dad had a grenade and was going to attack them, and then the grenade went off and he was killed," said Mr. Jan. "I tried to explain his background, that he was a mullah in his village mosque, he had no link with the Taliban and he didn't want one.

"They put the grenade under his body," he said.

An hour later, Mr. Jan said, he picked up his son-in-law's body and was shocked to find that it was wrapped in a black plastic bag. "It was treated like garbage," he said.

Just a mile or two from Kalagi, near the village of Karez, another man died in almost the same way.

Gulbaddin, 37, was moving into his new home on a chilly January day when American soldiers came in several armored vehicles to the village, said Haji Abdul Qayoum, a neighbor and tribal elder there. "His son was crying, but the soldiers did not care," he said. "He was shot right before his home and with his son there."

Mr. Qayoum, at the request of The New York Times, went to ask Gulbaddin's father if he would discuss his son's death. His response was the cry of every father who has lost his child.

"Don't talk about my son," said Gulbaddin's father. "My mind is not ready even to hear his name. Even you mentioning his name makes me angry and puts my heart in pain. Please, please don't hurt my heart."

Local elders estimate that in the past eight months at least 42 civilians have been killed in Maiwand during American operations. The Taliban have also killed civilians in the district, but it is the 42 whose deaths are etched in local memory.

"I am from the area, and my family has been living here for centuries," said Haji Hayatullah, an elder from Maiwand District. "I know the people who are supporting the Taliban and the people who are not. But the Americans have killed many people who did not support the Taliban, which is painful for us and actually creates hatred toward Americans. And that is why there is little or no help to the Americans from the civilians here."

"For us, death is inevitable, but not in the way they have been killing."

The family of Mullah Allah Dad has received no apology and no compensation for his death, his father-in-law said.

A spokeswoman for the Army, Maj. Kathleen Turner, said she could not answer any questions about the case because of the continuing investigation.

Taimoor Shah reported from Kandahar, and Alissa J. Rubin from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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12) Drones Kill Westerners in Pakistan
By MARK MAZZETTI and SOUAD MEKHENNET
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/asia/05drone.html?ref=world

WASHINGTON - Drone aircraft operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed several militants with German citizenship in the mountains of Pakistan on Monday, according to Pakistani and American officials.

The missile strikes were part of an escalating barrage of attacks by the C.I.A. over the past month, and come amid tension in European capitals over the possibility that operatives of Al Qaeda who are based in Pakistan and North Africa might be planning terrorist attacks somewhere on the continent.

A small stream of German Muslims has traveled to Pakistan's mountainous tribal areas in recent years, part of what some European counterterrorism officials see as Al Qaeda's effort to recruit young Westerners who might be able to return to Europe or the United States to carry out attacks.

It was unclear whether the drone strikes on Monday were related to the suspected terrorist plots in Europe. News organizations in Pakistan reported that missiles struck a mosque in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan, the region where most of the drone strikes have occurred this year.

American officials offered few details about the strikes on Monday, and there were conflicting reports about the number of German militants killed in the attacks. A Pakistani official said 10 to 12 people were killed, at least four of them German.

Usually, it takes the C.I.A several days to analyze communication intercepts and other information to confirm the identities of those killed in airstrikes.

On Sunday, the State Department issued a vague travel alert to Americans in Europe, warning of threats to "tourist infrastructure," but not mentioning any specific countries that might be at risk. Over the past week, American officials have said they were gathering intelligence about multiple plots that could involve attacks in France, Germany and Britain like those two years ago in Mumbai, India.

Germany's top security official, Thomas de Maizière, on Monday played down concern that Al Qaeda was plotting attacks against some of Berlin's landmarks. "There is no concrete indication of impending attacks," Mr. de Maizière said in a short news conference in Berlin.

Mr. de Maizière, the interior minister, spoke Sunday night with Janet Napolitano, the United States secretary of homeland security, to discuss the American travel alert.

Security in Berlin has increased around government ministry buildings and political parties' headquarters and at the airport and major railway stations.

In recent years American and European intelligence officials have grown concerned about groups of young men from Germany and Britain who have been training in militant camps in Pakistan's tribal areas.

German security officials think this trend has been inspired in part by a proliferation of radical German-language videos on the Internet, including some made by a group called the German Taliban Mujahedeen.

Officials have said that the exact number of Germans traveling to Pakistan is hard to determine because of the route that many Germans take: leaving the country by car to elude airport security and then traveling to Turkey and ultimately Iran, where smugglers take them to Pakistan.

The C.I.A. carried out 21 drone strikes in September, the most in one month, and has already carried out several strikes in October. American officials said the escalation was the result of two factors: an attempt to disrupt militant networks that attacked American troops in Afghanistan, and efforts to strike militant cells in Pakistan that might be coordinating terrorist plots in Europe.

Most of the strikes have occurred in North Waziristan, a region abutting the Afghan border that has become a safe haven for Qaeda militants and operatives of the Haqqani network, a group responsible for a wave of violence in Afghanistan.

American officials have tried to press Pakistan's military to begin an offensive in North Waziristan, but the government has resisted, citing strained resources from military operations elsewhere in the tribal areas.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, and Souad Mekhennet from Frankfurt. Judy Dempsey contributed reporting from Berlin, and Eric Schmitt from Washington

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13) In Haiti, Rising Call for Displaced to Go Away
By DEBORAH SONTAG
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/americas/05haiti.html?ref=world

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - As tent camps go, the one on the 28-acre Church of God property overlooking the Valley of Bourdon is almost bucolic, with hundreds of canvas-draped shelters under leafy shade trees and a cohesiveness among residents. But panic is building there.

The Church of God is planning to evict the encampment in the near future. While the church relented on a Sept. 30 deadline under pressure from humanitarian officials, it still wants its Haitian headquarters rid of a population that church officials have come to see as a freeloading nuisance.

"This used to be a beautiful place, but these people are tearing up the property," said Jim Hudson, a Church of God missionary living at the site. "They're urinating on it. They're bathing out in public. They're stealing electricity. And they don't work. They sit around all day, waiting for handouts."

Increasingly, property owners here are seeking to dislodge tent camps, saying they are tired of waiting for the government to resettle the people or for the people to resettle themselves.

Almost nine months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, eviction threats have increased markedly and have become an urgent humanitarian concern, international groups say. Some 144,175 individuals have been subject to threats of eviction since March, and 28,065 have been actually evicted, according to data collected by shelter experts here.

Humanitarian officials have asked the government to consider a moratorium on evictions and to address the issue publicly, urging compassion. They worry that the evictions could increase conflict, lead to the mushrooming of smaller sites without services and force people into locations that are unsafe.

"It's a huge problem that could exacerbate lots of other problems," said Lilianne Fan, the housing, land and property coordinator for the multiagency shelter cluster. "The bottom line is that the vulnerable become more vulnerable, and you get into a situation of continual displacement without a long-term solution."

Many landowners, fearing that the tent cities will become entrenched slums, say that they need to reclaim their properties sooner rather than later for their intended uses.

Their eviction practices vary, from sudden and violent to mediated and planned. In some cases, landowners have sent thugs to slash or burn tents; in others they have offered cash payoffs to expedite expulsions.

But whatever the method, the evictions increase the instability of the displaced population for whom few alternatives exist, given the slow pace of the cleanup and reconstruction effort.

Humanitarian officials are working with the government to develop a comprehensive strategy for handling camp closings based on the now scattershot efforts to help people clean up and move back into their neighborhoods.

At the same time, they are mediating these tense situations case by case, seeking to buy time from landowners while they look for solutions for each family. Sometimes an inducement works - for example, the construction of permanent latrines on a property. Other times, a multipronged approach is needed - negotiations, cash and peacekeeping troops.

That was the case at the Palais de l'Art compound in the Delmas municipality this summer after a conflict between the landowner and a leader of the tent camp there built to a peak with mutual threats and reports to the police.

The owner, Joseph St. Fort, said hundreds of families had fled to his land on the day of the earthquake: "I said to myself right then, 'Uh-oh. You're in trouble.' I started feeling panic because I knew it would be very difficult to get rid of them."

Before the earthquake, Mr. St. Fort had rented out his large property for events. After, he himself moved into a tent inside the compound with the other displaced people. But by March, it was time to restart his business, he said, so he wrote the first of many letters to the government.

"Mr. Minister," he wrote to the interior minister, "the leadership of the Palais has to notify you that we will be obliged to evict the 320 families who have occupied this terrain since Jan. 12. The leadership regrets that it will not have the assistance of state authorities in evacuating the disaster victims."

The minister, writing back, requested Mr. St. Fort's patience - "knowing you are aware of the risks to public security of a premature expulsion."

Mr. St. Fort waited months, but tensions built with camp residents, who knew he wanted them gone, and especially with one man, a camp leader. In June, Mr. St. Fort ordered the man to leave, and the man refused. So Mr. St. Fort cut off water and sanitation services for the camp and locked the gates, shutting in - or out - the hundreds living there, including amputees and elderly people.

"We feel like prisoners," Jean Robenson, 17, said at the time as he tended to his grandmother in her wheelchair.

For weeks, AMI, a Portuguese humanitarian group, struggled to mediate. Finally, with the help of Haitian officials, the International Organization for Migration and United Nations troops, they persuaded Mr. St. Fort to let the tent camp remain if the leader was escorted to another site. In a tense meeting, a Haitian humanitarian official urged the camp residents to reject the leader, Reynald.

"Raise your hand if you don't want Reynald," the official said.

The crisis was averted, or deferred.

Interviewed in September, Mr. St. Fort said that the Haitian government had paid him $25,000 to let the people stay until December. But, he said, that was not enough. He maintained that he could have earned $150,000 over the same period from evangelical conventions and political party assemblies. "I don't intend to keep this arrangement going at the price the government is offering," he said.

At the Church of God site, church officials are also impatient. Where the people go next should be the government's concern, they say. The church's land - with a school, Bible college and air-conditioned houses under construction for the missionaries rebuilding churches in the disaster zone - is private property. The homeless are in the way.

Edner Villard, 33, a camp leader, knows that church officials feel that way, and he resents it. He said that he was shocked when he overheard a pastor, his voice raised in anger, tell United Nations officials about the camp residents: "They give me nothing but trouble!" Mr. Villard said his heart starting beating quickly. "We are so peaceful here!" he said. "I didn't challenge him, and say, 'You lie,' because he is the national representative of the Church of God in Haiti. Who am I? But he should have more compassion. He's a man of God, and a Haitian."

After the disaster, the church was providing meals to its neighbors, which drew thousands of people to the site. When the rainy season began, humanitarian officials moved those camping on the church site's steep slopes where landslides were a risk. Other families left of their own accord, renting new homes if they could afford it, or migrating to the countryside. "The people who are left here now are those who have no options," Mr. Villard said.

Mr. Villard, a former supermarket supervisor, was the only person to survive when the market collapsed in the earthquake, killing dozens. The two-story house he owns in the Valley of Bourdon crumbled, too, and he moved his family to a grassy hillock on the church estate because it was "the closest and most logical place." He would love to move back home, he said, but his house has been stamped red by government inspectors, meaning it is unsafe. He has no means to demolish it himself, and no materials with which to rebuild it.

"Can't they provide tools or some kind of assistance?" he asked. "What are we supposed to do? Move into the debris with our raggedy tents?"

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14) Chilean Miners' Rescue May Happen Within Weeks, President Says
By PASCALE BONNEFOY
October 4, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/americas/05chile.html?ref=world

SANTIAGO, Chile - The 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground in northern Chile may be rescued by Oct. 17, weeks before the government's original predictions, President Sebastián Piñera announced in a nationally broadcast radio interview Monday.

"I hope to rescue them before leaving for Europe," he said, referring to a trip scheduled for Oct. 17. "It is very important for me to share that moment not only with the 33 miners, with whom I have spoken many times, but also with their families."

If they are not freed before then, Mr. Piñera is considering postponing his trip to make sure he is at the gold and copper mine where the men are trapped on the day of the rescue. "Obviously, the trip will be adjusted to the rescue," he said.

The government is evaluating whether to fortify the shaft through which the miners will be lifted in a capsule that is already on location, said the mining minister, Laurence Golborne. Not casing the shaft would save several extra days of work.

When the men were first discovered to be alive in August, having survived a cave-in, the government said it could take more than three months to rescue them but vowed to get them out before Christmas. That timeline has been steadily compressed, and last week Mr. Golborne said the rescue would most likely take place during the latter half of October.

The 33 miners, who as of Tuesday have been underground for 60 days, have been working in shifts around the clock to remove the earth and rocks that fall as a drill widens the narrow shaft through which rescue workers first made contact with them on Aug. 22.

Health treatment units, where the miners will be immediately taken after the rescue, are being assembled at the site, while the miners are being coached on how to deal with the hundreds of reporters expected to cover the event.

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15) Anti-War Activists Whose Homes Were Raided To Refuse Orders To Testify
by Michael Tarm
Published on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by the Associated Press
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/10/05-8

CHICAGO - Anti-war activists whose homes or offices were raided as part of an FBI terrorism funding investigation will refuse to testify before a grand jury as ordered, in a show of defiance that could land them in jail.

[Polly Kellogg of Minneapolis held a sign during a rally to protest FBI searches conducted last week at her home and homes of several other anti-war activists, in Minneapolis Minn., Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)]Polly Kellogg of Minneapolis held a sign during a rally to protest FBI searches conducted last week at her home and homes of several other anti-war activists, in Minneapolis Minn., Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Attorneys for the 14 activists called to testify have coordinated their responses since the Sept. 24 raids and have agreed their clients won't testify, Melinda Power, an attorney for a Chicago couple whose home was searched, said Tuesday. Agents searched seven homes and one office in Minneapolis and Chicago.

"They feel grand juries are now, and have historically been, a tool of harassment against activists", Power said.

Some of the anti-war activists won't testify because they don't want to be complicit in what they see as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and assembly, said Jess Sundin, whose Minnesota home was raided.

"We feel like the reason we're being called and we're being looked into is because of our very legitimate and constitutionally protected work in the anti-war movement," she said.

About 50 peace activists protested Tuesday outside of the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, where the grand jury was to convene.

"We will not be silent," Stephanie Weiner told protesters. She and her husband, Joe Iosbaker, were the two activists whose home was raided in Chicago.

Some subpoenas ordered activists to appear before Oct. 5. Sundin, who was subpoenaed to appear on Oct. 12, said activists sent separate letters to prosecutors indicating they do not intend to testify.

Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago, declined to comment about the case.

Some legal observers say the activists could go to jail.

"There's no chance prosecutors will just let it slide if they keep refusing," said Gal Pissetzky, a Chicago attorney with no link to the case.

As a next step, the government could reissue subpoenas - possibly this time with an offer of immunity. If the activists decline to appear then, a judge could hold them in contempt.

A key issue is whether any of the activists are targets of prosecutors or whether prosecutors merely consider them witnesses against another primary target.

Just after the raids, FBI spokesman Steve Warfield said the bureau was seeking evidence related to "activities concerning the material support of terrorism."

But Sundin said no one has told activists who is or isn't the focus of the investigation. She said that puts them all in jeopardy of self-incrimination, she said.

"It's just you, and the prosecutor and the jury (at the grand jury proceedings)," Sundin said. "So it is a very precarious situation for anyone to put themselves in."

Meredith Aby, a Minnesotan who was subpoenaed to testify Tuesday but did not make the trip to Chicago, also said the grand-jury process was unfair.

"I think they are an incredibly repressive and undemocratic tactic," she said.

Someone who is a target can refuse to testify under their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination without risking a contempt charge, Pissetzky said. If they are granted immunity, however, a grand jury witness is required to answer questions, he said.

Activists who have spoken with reporters have denied giving money to terrorist groups.

The homes of two other longtime Minneapolis anti-war activists, Mick Kelly and Meredith Aby, were also among those searched last month.

The warrant for Kelly's home sought evidence on travel he did as part of his work for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and information on any travel to Colombia, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Syria or Israel.

Two groups use the name Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one based in Chicago and one in New York. They split several years ago, and the New York group said it was not targeted.

Kelly's subpoena also commanded him to bring records he might have relating to the Middle East and Colombia, along with records of any payment provided to Hatem Abudayyeh.

The subpoena did not further identify Abudayyeh, but FightBack! has interviewed and carried articles by a Hatem Abudayyeh who's the executive director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network.

Abudayyeh did not answer his office phone Tuesday and a recorded message said the voicemail was full. A message left on his cell voicemail was not returned. Several activists said their cell phones had been confiscated by the FBI.

Associated Press Writer Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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16) Firefighters Watch As Home Burns:
Gene Cranick's House Destroyed In Tennessee Over $75 Fee
By Adam J. Rose
The Huffington Post
10- 5-10 12:12 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

A smoldering rage may be all that remains after Gene Cranick's home burned to the ground last week in Obion County, Tennessee.

Firefighters are usually the bold "veni, vidi, vici" sort, but those from neighboring South Fulton could only say "veni, vidi." They came. They watched. That's it.

Cranick lives outside of the city limits and he admits that he forgot to pay a $75 annual service fee that would have provided him with fire protection. Firefighters wouldn't lift a finger, much less the hoses that might have saved the house.

The fire reportedly started in some barrels outside. As the flames crept closer to the home, Cranick says he offered to pay whatever it would take. The plea fell on deaf ears. Hours later, the home was gone.

So were three dogs and a cat.

"They coulda' been saved if they put water on it. But they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC.

The South Fulton firefighters did show up and managed to save a neighbor's field. The neighbor had paid the fee. But they would provide no heroics for the Cranicks. A local news report shows them climbing back on their trucks, flames still dancing over what was once the family's home.

The event was dubbed "pay for spray" by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. It's a chilling vision of what could play out in a third world America, where paying taxes isn't enough to cover basic services. Fire protection, it turns out, is a privilege in some communities. On Monday's show, Olbermann railed against the larger implications the incident, calling it "a look now into the America envisioned by the tea party ... just a preview of what would come in a kind of a la carte government."

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

Think Progress was equally incensed:

As ThinkProgress has noted, there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background.

The conservative vision was on full display last week in Obion County, Tennessee.

Cranick's wife, Paulette, doesn't blame the firefighters. "They're doing what they are told to do. It's not their fault," she told WPSD.

South Fulton Mayor David Crocker didn't exude compassion when interviewed for the same report, comparing the service to an insurance policy. "Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't."

A family in Tennessee didn't accept. They lost their home over a $75 fee.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/firefighters-watch-as-hom_n_750272.html

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17) Tomgram: Andy Kroll, The Face of An American Lost Generation
By Andy Kroll
Posted on October 5, 2010, Printed on October 6, 2010
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175304/

One strangeness of our moment is that any U.S. Army commander going into an Afghan village can directly pay locals to, say, fix some part of that country's destroyed infrastructure. That's considered a winning-hearts-and-minds counterinsurgency strategy. On the other hand, here in the U.S., it's other hearts and minds that are targeted. Our government has proven itself adept at handing untold sums over to failing banks, investment outfits, insurance firms, and auto companies, but remains allergic to handing significant dollars directly to out-of-work Americans, New Deal-style, to go back to work and help our aging infrastructure.

With the backing of the Nation Institute's superb Investigative Fund, TomDispatch has sent its associate editor Andy Kroll on the road to confront the reality of the meteoric growth of long-term unemployment, of what joblessness really means to hearts and minds in our country. This is the first result of his journalistic labors. To catch him discussing the jobs crisis on Timothy MacBain's latest TomCast audio interview, click here:
http://tomdispatch.blogspot.com/2010/10/brother-can-you-spare-some-time.html

or, to download it to your iPod, here:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tomcast-from-tomdispatch-com/id357095817

--Tom

Unemployed
Stranded on the Sidelines of a Jobs Crisis
By Andy Kroll

[Research support for this story was provided by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.]

Sometime in early June -- he's not exactly sure which day -- Rick Rembold joined history. That he doesn't remember comes as little surprise: Who wants their name etched into the record books for not having a job?

For Rembold, that day in June marked six months since he'd last pulled a steady paycheck, at which point his name joined the rapidly growing list of American workers deemed "long-term unemployed" by the Department of Labor. In the worst jobs crisis in generations, the ranks of Rembolds, stranded on the sidelines, have exploded by over 400% -- from 1.3 million in December 2007, when the recession began, to 6.8 million this June. The extraordinary growth of this jobless underclass is a harbinger of prolonged pain for the American economy.

This summer, I set out to explore just why long-term unemployment had risen to historic levels -- and stumbled across Rembold. A 56-year-old resident of Mishawaka, Indiana, he caught the unnerving mix of frustration, anger, and helplessness voiced by so many other unemployed workers I'd spoken to. "I lie awake at night with acid indigestion worrying about how I'm going to survive," he said in a brief bio kept by the National Employment Law Project, which is how I found him. I called him up, and we talked about his languishing career, as well as his childhood and family. But a few phone calls, I realized, weren't enough. In early August I hopped a plane to northern Indiana.

In job terms, my timing couldn't have been better. I arrived around lunchtime, and was driving through downtown South Bend, an unremarkable cluster of buildings awash in gray and brown and brick, when my cell phone rang. Rembold's breathless voice was on the other end. "Sorry I didn't pick up earlier, man, but a friend just called and tipped me off about a place up near the airport. I'm fillin' up my bike and headin' up there right now." I told him I'd meet him there, hung a sharp U-turn, and sped north.

Twenty minutes later, I pulled into the parking lot of a modest-sized aircraft parts manufacturer tucked into a quiet business park. Ford and Chevy trucks filled the lot, most backed in. Rembold roared up soon after on his '99 Suzuki motorcycle. Barrel-chested with a thick neck, his short black hair was flecked with gray, and he was deeply tanned from long motorcycle rides with his girlfriend Terri. "They didn't even advertise this job," he told me after a hearty handshake. Not unless you count the inconspicuous sign out front, a jobless man's oasis in the blinding heat: "NOW HIRING: Bench Inspector."

His black leather portfolio in hand, Rembold took a two-sided application from a woman who greeted us inside the tiny lobby. He filled it out in minutes, the phone numbers, names, dates, and addresses committed to memory, handed it to the secretary, and in a polite but firm tone asked to speak with someone from management. While we waited, he pointed out the old Studebaker factories in a black-and-white sketch of nineteenth century South Bend on the wall, launching into a Cliffs Notes history of industry in this once-bustling corner of the Midwest.

A manager finally emerges with Rembold's application in hand. Rembold rushes to explain away the three jobs he had listed in the "previous employers" section -- stints at a woodworking company, motorcycle shop, and local payday lender. They're not, he assures the man, indicative of his skills; they're not who he is. You see, he rushes to add, he's been in manufacturing practically his entire life, a hard and loyal worker who made his way up from the shop floor to salecs and then to management. That kind of experience won't fit in three blank spots on a one-page form. Unswayed, the manager thanks him formulaically for applying.

If the company's interested, the manager says -- and it feels like a kiss-off even to me -- they'll be in touch, and before we know it we're back out in the smothering heat of an Indiana summer. Rembold tucks his portfolio into one of the Suzuki's leather saddlebags. "Well, that's pretty standard," he says, his tone remarkably matter-of-fact. "At least I got to talk to somebody. You're lucky to get that anymore."

A Perfect Storm Hits American Labor

The numbers tell so much of the story. The 6.76 million Americans -- or 46% of the entire unemployed labor force -- counted as long-term unemployed in June were the most since 1948, when the statistic was first recorded, and more than double the previous record of 3 million in the recession of the early 1980s. (The numbers have since dipped slightly, with a total of 6.2 million long-term unemployed in August.) These are people who, despite dozens of rejections, leave phone messages, send emails, tweak their cover letters, and toy with resume templates in Microsoft Word, all in the search for a job.

Not counted in this figure are so-called "discouraged workers," including plenty of former searchers who have remained on the unemployment sidelines for six months or more. In August of this year, 1.1 million Americans had simply stopped looking and so officially dropped out of the workforce. They are essentially not considered worth counting when the subject of unemployment comes up. Nonetheless, that 1.1 million figure represents an increase of 352,000 since 2009. In effect, the real long-term unemployment figure now may be closer to 7.5 million Americans.

So who are these unfortunate or unlucky people? Long-term unemployment, research shows, doesn't discriminate: no age, race, ethnicity, or educational level is immune. According to federal data, however, the hardest hit when it comes to long-term unemployment are older workers -- middle aged and beyond, folks like Rick Rembold who can see retirement on the horizon but planned on another decade or more of work. Given the increasing claims of age discrimination in this recession, older Americans suffering longer bouts of joblessness may not in itself be so surprising. That education seemingly works against anyone in this older cohort is. Nearly half of the long-term unemployed who are 45 or older have "some college," a bachelor's degree, or more. By contrast, those with no education at all make up just 15% of this older category. In other words, if you're older and well educated, the outlook is truly grim.

As for the causes of long-term unemployment, there's the obvious answer: there simply aren't enough jobs. Before the Great Recession, there were 1.5 workers in the U.S. for every job slot; today, that ratio is 4.8 to one. Put another way, with normal growth instead of a recession, we'd have 10 million more jobs than we currently do. Closing that gap would require adding 300,000 jobs every month for the next five years. In August 2010, the economy shed 54,000 jobs. You do the math.

Worse yet, if you imagine five workers queued up for that single position, the longer you're unemployed, the further back you stand. Economists have found that long-term unemployment dims a worker's prospects with each passing day. "This pattern suggests that the very-long-term unemployed will be the last group to benefit from an economic recovery," Michael Reich, an economist at the University of California-Berkeley, told Congress in June.

But when you consider the plight of the long-term unemployed, don't just think jobs. The 2008 recession was a housing-driven crisis, thanks to the rise of subprime mortgage lending, government policy, and greed. As a result, 11 million borrowers -- or nearly 23% of all homeowners with a mortgage -- now find themselves "underwater": that is, owing more on their mortgages than their houses are worth. Negative equity at those levels creates what Harvard economist Lawrence Katz calls a "geographic lock-in effect," stifling jobs recovery. Typically, American workers are a mobile bunch, willing to bounce from one city to the next for new jobs, but not when homeowners are staying put to avoid selling their underwater houses for a loss.

Another factor in the explosion of long-term unemployment lies in a shift away from temporary layoffs. In the recessions of 1975, 1980, and 1982, 20% of unemployed workers had been only temporarily laid off; as of August of this year, just 10% had. In their heyday, automakers and steel companies laid off workers as demand dipped, but backstopped by powerful labor unions, those workers were regularly recalled as demand and production revved up again. No more. Now, if you're long-term unemployed, you're undoubtedly trying to find a new job with a new employer, a more daunting process. Add it all up and you have Rick Rembold.

"Feast or Famine" in RV Land

Rembold calls himself a Democrat -- "not the peace sign, hit-the-bong type," he hastens to add, but "a tear-off-your-head-and-shit-down-your-neck Democrat." He can't stomach Glenn Beck or talk radio here in the Land of Limbaugh, and with equal zeal he watches MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and FX's "Sons of Anarchy," a gritty, violent series about outlaw motorcycle gangs.

It was a Friday morning, and we were in Rembold's kitchen, drinking coffee and talking politics. He wore jeans and a black polo shirt, and paced as he spoke. Ideas and frustrations poured out of him like water from an open spigot; the man had a lot on his mind. The night before, I had asked him to show me around the area, especially the economic engine that sustains it: the recreational vehicle, or RV, industry. Once the coffee ran dry, we piled into my car and set off.

Cities such as Elkhart and Middlebury and Mishawaka and Wakarusa are the cradle of the RV industry. Headquartered here are major manufacturers like Jayco and Forest River. At its peak, northern Indiana churned out three-quarters of all RVs on the road -- motor homes and fifth-wheels, pop-up campers, travel trailers, and toy haulers. Producing them was grueling work, but you could fashion a middle-class lifestyle out of what it paid. "Workin' in the RV industry, they'll work you to death," Rembold said. "People would literally be sprintin' from one place to the next with power tools in their hands."

Then came "the Panic of '08," as one RV salesman put it to me. Teetering banks choked off consumer lending as credit markets froze. The downturn pummeled the industry. In 2009, sales of fifth-wheels, a smaller trailer you hitch to a truck or SUV, plummeted by 30%, travel trailers by 23.5%, campers by 28%. Manufacturers like Jayco, Monaco Coach, and others collectively laid off thousands, and the region's unemployment rate spiked by more than 10% in a year. When a newly elected Barack Obama arrived in Elkhart in February 2009 to tout his stimulus plan, the jobless rate was 15.3%; a month later, it reached 18.9%, more than twice the national rate. At one point, Elkhart County, with a population of 200,000, was shedding 95 jobs a day.

In the 1990s and first years of the new century, RV manufacturers couldn't hire enough workers. They ran ads in regional and national newspapers looking for more bodies. "We couldn't even get people to drive over from South Bend to work in Elkhart," a sales rep for Jayco told me.

By the time I arrived, though, the industry had left its feast years, hit the famine ones fast, and was showing the first signs of crawling back. Driving through Middlebury, a town of 3,200 east of Elkhart, I saw a few carrier trucks hustling in or out of plants, some full employee parking lots, and rows of gleaming new RVs dotting the green landscape like herds of boxy cattle.

Whether the industry will ever fully recover, however, is unclear. The manufacturers I spoke to were optimistic about future sales. "Despite the logic of what's going on in the economy, the buyers are still there," said Jerimiah Borkowski, a spokesman for Thor Motor Coach. But a 2009 analysis by Indiana University's Business Research Center projected that by 2013 annual RV shipments still won't have returned to their 2006 peak. "I personally don't think it'll ever rebound to pre-2008 levels," says Bill Dawson, vice president and general manager of Clean Seal Inc., a South Bend-based supplier of parts to the RV industry. Dawson points to industry contractions -- Thor's $209 million acquisition of Heartland RV, the Damon Motor Coach-Four Winds merger, as well as numerous factory closings -- and says, "Fewer players mean fewer units and fewer people making them."

Rembold knows the RV industry's ebb and flow all too well. He's lived in its shadow for the majority of his working career, including 18 years with Architectural Wood Company (AWC), an Elkhart-based manufacturer of wood products used to outfit RVs and conversion vans. He's made handcrafted tables, faceplates, valences, and overhead consoles, usually from oak or maple, finishing them with the gloss that gives Kimball grand pianos and Fender guitars their shine.

But by the 1990s and 2000s, his line of work looked to be headed the way of the 8-track tape. The conversion van industry was sinking. RV manufacturers had begun replacing wood with cheaper plastics and vinyl-wrapped plywood. (At an RV show we visited, Rembold could step inside a vehicle and determine by smell alone if the manufacturer used the real thing or not.) Orders plummeted at AWC. By early 2006, the company's financial health was so dire that the owner, a good friend of Rembold's, let him go. A few years later, the company itself folded.

Rembold then caromed from one job to the next: selling used cars and motorcycles, driving a semi truck, working behind six inches of bulletproof glass as a teller at Check$mart. He briefly ended up back in RVs, supervising employees sewing tents for campers, and then, last winter, temped at a struggling wood shop. That was his last job. After the holidays, he was never called back.

Like millions in his predicament, Rembold knows his chances of finding a decent-paying job doing what he loves decrease with each temporary, non-manufacturing job he's taken. What doesn't fit on a resume -- and so frustrates him most -- is his adaptability, if only he could convince an employer of it. College degree or not, certification or not, he insists, he's always adapted to new settings. "Could I do construction? Hell, yeah, I could do it. I could measure in metric, in standard; I'd correct cutting mistakes, do it all. I just can't get anyone to let me do it."

As we talked, the RV plants gave way to lush farmland and we found ourselves driving through Amish country, sharing quiet two-lane roads with horse-drawn buggies. By early afternoon we rolled into the town of Topeka (pop. 1,200), past the Seed and Stove store and the Do-It Better hardware shop. Then Rembold's cell phone buzzed, a rare break in the conversation. It was his daughter, Angie, 28, the youngest of his three kids.

He listened, then yanked off his sunglasses. "You what?"

Angie managed the Check$mart in Goshen, the check-cashing outfit Rembold once worked for, and she was good at her job, Rembold had told me earlier. Now she was agitated, talking so loudly that I caught bits and pieces of the conversation over the din of the radio. Something about a bonus owed that she didn't receive. When Rembold abruptly hung up, he muttered, "Jesus H. Christ."

Later, over lunch at what looked to be Topeka's lone diner, he explained that Angie planned to quit her job over the unpaid bonus. After a full morning telling me about the nightmare of being out of work, he looked stunned. "You'd think she'd have learned from my situation. I don't think she realizes how her life is going to change."

The Trauma of Long-Term Unemployment

It's hard, even for the long-term unemployed, to grasp just how drastically life can change without work. Studying past recessions to discover just what does happen, researchers often focus on the collapse of the steel industry in Pennsylvania in the late 1970s that would turn a once-thriving region into a landscape of shuttered factories and ghost towns. Eighty thousand people worked in steel in the 1940s; by 1987, 4,000 remained.

In one study, male Pennsylvania workers with high seniority experienced a 50% to 100% spike in mortality rate in the first year after job loss. The life expectancies of those laid off after age 40 decreased by one to one-and-a-half years. In the long run, these laid-off Pennsylvanians suffered a 15% to 20% reduction in earnings. Those hardest hit in terms of lifelong earnings, economists found, were not low-skilled laborers or highly skilled wealthy elites, but workers who had managed to forge a middle-class lifestyle.

Suicide rates also increase, researchers have found, when unemployment rises. (In Elkhart County, near where Rembold lives, suicides exceeded the annual average by 40% last year.)

The 1980s recession in Pennsylvania was no outlier either, economic researchers have discovered, and the effects of long-term unemployment spread well beyond directly afflicted workers. In the short run, for instance, a child whose parent loses his or her job is 15% more likely to repeat a grade year in school, according to University of California-Davis economists Ann Huff Stevens and Jessamyn Schaller. This is especially true for children with less-educated parents.

Over their lifetime, the children of jobless fathers earn, on average, 9% less each year than similar children without laid-off dads, and are more likely to receive unemployment insurance and social welfare support at some point in their lifetimes. New research also suggests that the children of laid-off parents may have lower homeownership rates and higher divorce rates.

"I'm Not Competing With Some College Kid"

In the early evening, Rembold and I holed up in his office, a small room off the main hallway with a computer, two desks, and countless framed photos. Rembold clicked open a folder on his Internet browser labeled "Careers" and walked me through his daily online job-hunting routine. He checks half-a-dozen job boards regularly, though openings tend to pay only in the $8- to $10-an-hour range. He rejects most of those out of hand.

"Wouldn't that be better than no job at all?" I ask.

Rembold gnaws on the question. "I can't afford my home at $8 or $10 an hour," he finally replies. Right now, he's getting by on unemployment checks, a small inheritance from his mother that's rapidly dwindling, and loans from family members. Still, he'd rather keep trolling the job boards in the hopes of finding something offering a living wage. "I've got a mortgage to pay, for Christ's sake," he told me. The few openings he sees with good pay, however, involve odd hours, dusk-to-dawn shifts that would mean he'd almost never see Terri, whose schedule at an aluminum company in Elkhart is early morning to mid-afternoon.

And then, under the dollar signs lurks something else: self-respect. Unlike his father, Rembold never went to college, and doesn't consider himself too good for service-sector jobs. But he visibly agonizes over the fact that, as a 56-year-old man with decades of experience, he's competing with people half his age for low-wage jobs. After all, as a machine operator fresh out of high school at White Farm Equipment, he earned $8.64 an hour. That was 1976. Adjusted for inflation, that's equivalent to $42.42 today. No wonder the man's reluctant to flip burgers or trim hedges for $9 an hour.

His friends have suggested selling his house and moving somewhere smaller and cheaper, maybe renting for a while, but that's the last thing he wants. It's that self-respect again. He's already sold off one motorcycle and various musical instruments, and he and Terri now skip the big vacations that were part of their past life. Which isn't to say that Rembold currently lives like a monk. He still has the big screen in the basement, the DVD collection, the video-game systems for when the grandkids visit, a life's worth of possessions from decades of earning good money. "Why should you have to give up your home?" he wanted to know. "It's so unbelievable to me that I don't even want to think about it. I'm in denial."

A Lost Generation?

What's to be done for people like Rick Rembold? As in most economic debates, the answer to this question divides economists and policymakers. On the left are those who lobby for more aid to jobless Americans, including another extension of unemployment insurance beyond the present cut-off date of 99 weeks. (In normal times, laid-off workers once got 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.) Some Democrats in the Senate had hoped to extend unemployment insurance by another 20 weeks up to 119 weeks, an effort spearheaded by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) that ultimately failed last week in the face of Republican opposition. That same camp supports a one-time "reemployment bonus," a lump-sum payment that unemployed workers would receive to reward them for finding a new job and leaving the unemployment rolls.

Another idea gaining traction in policy circles is "wage insurance," in which the government would supplement the income of workers rehired at lower-paying jobs. Consider Rembold who, in his prime, earned $25 an hour. He says can't live on a $10-an-hour job, but if that were to become $12 or $15 an hour, thanks to a government subsidy, he'd be much more interested.

More conservative voices believe cutting jobless benefits -- a bitter pill, to be sure -- will force people back into the workforce. The Rembolds of America will then scramble harder and take those low-wage jobs faster. Of course, those who can't find work at all will be left adrift with no safety net. What's more, the cost of such cuts to taxpayers might actually prove higher, economists note, because without those benefits the jobless might instead apply for disability or other support programs and give up the search altogether.

Ideally, of course, employers and governments should avoid widespread layoffs altogether. One option sometimes suggested would be a "work-share" program. Imagine a factory of 100 workers with a boss looking to cut costs. Instead of laying off 25 workers, he would reduce all of his workers' hours by 25%. The government would then step in to fill the earnings gap. Think of it as the equivalent of collecting unemployment before you're laid off, a preventive measure to avoid the trauma -- to income, health, family -- of job loss.

None of this is likely to happen soon which is little consolation for the long-term unemployed like Rembold. Unfortunately, there are few proven solutions to their situation. Job retraining programs for unemployed workers are all the rage these days, touted by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and President Obama as a transition to a new line of work. But a 2008 study commissioned by the Labor Department found minimal-to-no gains for 160,000 workers who went through retraining, concluding that the "ultimate gains from participation are small or nonexistent."

In the end, facing an economy that may never again generate in such quantity the sorts of "middle class" jobs Rembold was used to, what we may be seeing is the creation of a graying class of permanently unemployed (or underemployed) Americans, a genuine lost generation who will never recover from the recession of 2008. As Mike Konczal and Arjun Jayadev of the Roosevelt Institute, a left-leaning think tank, recently wrote, unemployed workers today are more likely to abandon the workforce than find work -- something never before seen in four decades' worth of labor data. "These workers need targeted intervention," they concluded, "before they become completely lost to the normal labor market."

"All I Need Is One Chance"

I first noticed Rembold's tic on Sunday, my last day in Indiana. Out of nowhere, without provocation, he'd suddenly say things like "Man, I just need a job," or "All I need is a chance," or "I wanna work, make stuff with my hands." He'd been filling the lulls in our conversations with these little outbursts, symptoms, I assumed, of the worry and anxiety that never left his side. Which is why I called a few weeks after my visit, hoping for good news.

And there was, after a fashion. Angie, his daughter, had ended up sticking with Check$mart, much to his relief. But for him, the leads were sparser than ever. "There's this neighbor here," he said, "her son's a shift manager at the Walmart, so he's gonna see what they might have." He also mentioned an electronic wire and cable manufacturer with openings in Bremen, a half-hour south. He'd recently applied there for the third time this year. This time around, he went on, he planned to march in and demand the interview he'd never gotten. "I mean, what's it take to get in to see someone there?" he asked me.

Rembold doesn't have time on his side. Unlike the now-famous "99ers," the folks who received nearly two years' worth of unemployment benefits, his will expire sometime this winter, short of the 99-week mark. He's not sure what he'll do by then if he can't find work. Maybe take one of those $8-an-hour jobs after all. For now, though, he's just checking the job boards each morning, shipping off resumes and cover letters, firing up the Suzuki, chasing leads.

I asked if he still had any hope left that something good would happen. "I don't know," he replied. " 'Course if ya don't go, ya don't know."

Andy Kroll is a reporter in the D.C. bureau of Mother Jones magazine and an associate editor at TomDispatch. He's always looking for new stories in this economic downturn, and you can email him at akroll (at) motherjones (dot) com. To catch him discussing the jobs crisis on Timothy MacBain's latest TomCast audio interview, click here or, to download it to your iPod, here. This story was written with research support from the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.

Copyright 2010 Andy Kroll

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18) Report Criticizes Government Over Spill Estimates
By JOHN M. BRODER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/earth/07spill.html?hp

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration repeatedly underestimated how much oil was flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the stricken BP well, contributing to public fear about the accident and a loss of faith in the government's ability to handle it, according to a sharply critical report from the presidential commission appointed to study the disaster.

The report, one of four made public on Wednesday, is sharply critical of senior administration officials for a series of inaccurate estimates of the amount of oil spewing from BP's Macondo well and how much of it remained in the Gulf of Mexico after the well was capped.

The initial figure, released shortly after the well blew out on April 20 was 1,000 barrels a day, which was viewed at the time as significant but manageable. Over the next four months, the government figure was continually revised upward, even as independent scientists using more sophisticated methods were estimating a discharge rate many times higher than the official numbers.

Ultimately, government and independent scientists established that the uncontrolled flow was roughly 60,000 barrels a day for much of the spill, discharging nearly five million barrels of oil into the gulf. The well was capped on July 15 and officially declared dead in late September, when a cement plug was fixed to the bottom of the 18,000-foot-deep well.

The continual upward revision of flow rate estimates "undermined public confidence in the federal government's response to the spill," the commission staff said in its report to the seven-member investigative panel appointed by President Obama.

"By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem."

Government officials, including senior White House aides, cabinet officers and the Coast Guard admiral in charge of the spill response have acknowledged that they miscalculated the amount of oil pouring into the gulf and, at least early on, relied on data from BP. But they said that they based their response not on those figures but on worst case estimates, including the figure of 162,000 barrels a day that BP used in its Macondo well drilling permit application.

The government deployed hundreds of vessels to try to collect and contain the oil and used nearly two million of gallons of dispersants to break it into small droplets to speed its degradation.

In August, top administration officials proudly proclaimed that 75 percent of the oil had evaporated, dissolved or been collected, implying that their efforts had been largely successful and that ecological damage had been limited. Carol Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, proclaimed on Aug. 4: "I think it's also important to note that our scientists have done an initial assessment and more than three-quarters of the oil is gone. The vast majority of the oil is gone."

But the commission staff said that the government's own data did not support such sweeping conclusions. A number of respected independent researchers have concluded that as much as half of the spilled oil remains suspended in the water or buried in seafloor and coastal sludge.

The report also says that about two weeks after the BP rig exploded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the White House for permission to make public its worst-case models for the accident. The White House Office of Management and Budget denied the request, according to government officials interviewed by the commission's staff.

The commission staff also released studies on the use of dispersants, government decision-making and the prospects for oil exploration in the waters off Alaska.

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19) Ignominious Surrender on the Mall
By Glen Ford
Black Agenda Report, October 6, 2010
http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/ignominious-surrender-mall

The Black misleadership class and their labor counterparts held a ceremony of surrender to the War Party and Wall Street, on the Washington Mall, this past weekend. After spending millions to assemble a multitude, big labor, the NAACP and the usual Black entertainers-Reverends Sharpton and Jesse Jackson-could not fix their trembling lips to utter one demand to the power in the White House, whose disfavor they fear even more than they dread the white nationalist hordes of the Tea Party.

Despite the constant references to Dr. Martin Luther King and the 1963 March on Washington, the weekend bus outing bore no resemblance to a "movement" of any kind that Chicago's Mayor Daley would not approve. Rather than building a popular platform to give voice to substantive demands-that Obama cease acting as Wall Street's philanthropist, call a halt to his wars, and spend the peace dividend on jobs and education-the weak and timid misleaders instead used October 2nd to transmit power's demands to the people. Vote for the Democrats! And under no circumstances, embarrass the White House! Then, after November 2, go home and await further orders.

The Black and labor misleaders have found that the best way to hide their own cowardice in the face of corporate power and its servants in the White House and Congress, is to vastly inflate the threat posed by the Tea Party. Indeed, the Tea Party has never had bigger boosters than the men and women on the microphone at the Mall on Saturday. Only by pretending that the Tea Party's legions are equivalent to the second coming of Genghis Khan, can big labor and Black Obamites justify their abject failure to fight for anything meaningful from Obama and the Democrats.

The truth is, a real people's movement could defeat the phony Tea Party "movement" and put fear in the hearts of corporate Democrats, too. But Saturday's charade was no threat to anyone, and all but guarantees a further strengthening of the Right through a bolder Tea Party and ever growing corporate domination of the Democratic Party.

With all its ostentatious, nervous patriotism and silly yammering about how Saturday's crowd was just as "American," if not more so, than the Tea Party, the "One Nation" event felt, in some ways, like a throwback to the days when Negroes were obsessed with proving to whites that they were also true blue for Uncle Sam. Ironically, one of the oldest speakers provided the only dignity to the occasion. Eighty-three year-old Harry Belafonte, alone among the main speakers, confronted President Obama directly on his wars. The famed entertainer, who spent freely of his own money to fund the Black Freedom Movement when it really was a movement, hoped that America "will soon come to the realization that the wars that we wage today in faraway lands are immoral, unconscionable and unwinnable."

That's as close to speaking Truth to Power as Saturday's event got-except for those of us lefties who went down to show that the movement was not yet dead. Unfortunately, our impact was minimal amid a sea of bodies bussed in with no mission other than to serve Barack Obama.

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20) Airstrikes in north, central Gaza injure 5
Ma'an News Agency
October 7, 2010
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=321624

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli warplanes fired on multiple sites in the central Gaza Strip early Thursday, witnesses said, with medics confirming five injured during the strikes.

Warplanes targeted what the Israeli military identified as security installations in northern and western Gaza City as well as a residential area in western Gaza.

Sources in Gaza said two militant training grounds were targeted, as well as Hamas government security buildings.

According to the Israeli military the targets were "two terror targets in the northern Gaza Strip."

Smoke was seen rising over the city as ambulances rushed to the bomb sites. Our correspondent described a scene of panic and fear among residents in the vicinity of the blasts.

A Health Ministry spokesman said there were no civilian casualties.

An Israeli military statement said the strike came " in response to the rocket that was fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in Eshkol Regional Council," earlier in the day. No armed group in Gaza claimed the launch.

The homemade projectile landed in the western Negev causing no injuries or damage.

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21) No Groove, Just One Nation Under a Grip
By Jared A. Ball
Black Agenda Report, October 6, 2010
http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/one-nation-under-grip-not-groove

A rally for jobs, justice and education that occurs only two years after the election of a president and party who apparently cannot deliver either and which blames not the party in power for those two years but only the fringe elements of the out-of-power right wing, is a rally that even with a George Clinton performance is One Nation under no groove only a grip. And this grip of the Democrats is no soft hold. It is a death grip. It is a strangle hold designed to squeeze the life out of progressive elements within their own party and throughout the rest of the country-indeed the world. In what is being heralded as a largely successful mobilization of a young, energetic, diverse movement led by unionized labor and civil rights organizations was really a carefully manicured slap in the face of those traditions of struggle. Rather than the traditions of each, which include bold, strong irreverent organized acts of disobedience today's versions are safely cajoled spokespersons of the liberal element of the ruling elite.

For those who have been coming to Washington, DC for decades to attend these kinds of rallies there was absolutely nothing new. First and foremost is that it was yet another march in DC that had nothing to do with the immediate concerns of most of the residents of DC. Secondly, there were the same tributes to organized religion, pledges of allegiance to the United States and a choir-styled national anthem meant to convey a fraudulent grassroots image and inclusion of the Black working class. But mostly it was the same in that it held out no real challenge to power, no threat of a push against liberalism or conservative Democratery. There were the regular co-opted calls of "power to the people," quotes referencing A. Phillip Randolph's that enemies of healthcare, education and jobs are "enemies of the Negro," comparisons made between the Tea Party and the old Dixiecrats and even an extended reading by several young people of Dr. King's, "I Have A Dream" speech. But there was only scant reference of King's own disillusion with his dream or the fact that the Dixiecrats of old are the Democrats of today and that these are still the "enemies of the Negro."

But worst of all was the consistent and clear message that the problems we face today are the result of "40 senators" and a rabid right-wing of the country whose persistent responses of "no" have held back our innocent, even heroic, current president. The calls for jobs, peace, healthcare and education were simply hollow given that the president all of these people elected has done nothing to advance any of these issues in ways that did not more so advance the interests of the very entities who benefit by the currently horrible conditions of each. The proud traditions of labor and human rights struggles in this country and around the world are disrespected by a leadership that simply says to vote for the Democrat who will beautify our oppression rather than end it. The argument coming loud and clear from the podium Saturday was simply that if you don't again vote for the Democrats and Obama then there was no point in having voted for them in the first place. There was no point then and there is no point now. A banker's party is a banker's party no matter the color or gender of the candidate.
There was one white man I heard this weekend who seems to have not completely lost his mind. David Swanson of the Progressive Democrats of America actually called for us to devalue the role of elections and the presidency itself by massive, even disruptive civil disobedience and grassroots organization. He is absolutely correct. Calls that we vote specifically because of the lives given toward achieving that right usually miss the point of what those fighting for the vote actually wanted that exercise to deliver. Marches that only belatedly call for the elected to deliver that which their benefactors have assured they cannot are simply foolishness. New directions with newly-developed methods of popular and public challenges are needed.

For in the end Dick Gregory was right. By consistently voting for the lesser of evil and by never seeking the truth about the assassinations of people we march in honor of we follow the path that leads us to Nazis.

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22) An Undemanding 'One Nation' Rally
Timidity on the Mall
By Stanley Heller
Counter Punch, October 7, 2010
http://www.counterpunch.org/heller10072010.html

The "One Nation Working Together" rally was billed as a chance to "demand the changes we voted for." That slogan was just for the suckers. There was barely any criticism of the Administration from the main stage, just bleats for jobs and justice.

You would think that up on the main stage there would be giant banners with progressive slogans, "Obama, Hire Millions Now;" "Defend Public Education from the Privatizers;" "Why are a Million Blacks in Prison?;" "Cut the Pentagon Budget in Half." But there were no banners at all. Instead there were flags, lots of American flags.

None of the rally speakers were announced beforehand. That's always a big draw. Was it stupidity or just an effort to avoid showing that "peace" would not be part of the demonstration. Bless his heart, rally speaker Harry Belafonte did vigorously denounce our wars and he actually condemned the Afghanistan/Pakistan surge saying, "The President's decision to escalate the war in that region alone costs the nation $33 billion." He didn't challenge the President to bring the troops home, but no one else on the main stage criticized Obama on anything.

I must confess I didn't try to hear much of the speeches that day in DC. I saw many of the CSPAN videos later on Youtube. I carefully watched AFL-CIO President Trumka's speech and was astounded how useless it was. He says we need jobs "good jobs." He could have said a sentence about the plague of part-time, no benefit jobs, but he didn't. He had no mention of any program on how to get those "good jobs" other than to say we have to "rebuild schools and roads," etc. He actually said, "we have to compete and win in the world economy." Yikes, that's the boss's argument. The boss is sorry, but he has to reduce your wage so he can compete with factory owners in Bangladesh and Upper Volta.

Trumka said workers should have "the freedom to make every last job a good job, by joining together in a union to bargain for a better life," but he didn't explain that we no longer have that freedom, how it's near impossible to organize under current laws. He was speaking to 125,000 people and CSPAN and could have taken three minutes to talk about what the card check legislation was and why we need it so badly. No, that might embarrass Obama who did squat for card check.

Ben Jealous, "CEO" of the NAACP told people to vote. He said the "strongest words" are, "Americans...Family...future." Our national destiny he said is to move "Ever forward, never backwards" and "Let us nurture the practice of family values, by policies that value families." "Most importantly ...let us come together in the name of God, of liberty and of country to insure that jobs, justice and education remain at the top of our agenda." And then he led a 60-second chant of "One Nation, One Nation" and ended asking God bless America, the NAACP and various other entities. No denunciation of racism, or the fact that a million Blacks are in prison. No mention of the usual demand for a "Marshall Plan for the Cities." Staggering. Maybe Jealous was really the final speaker from the Glen Beck rally.

Jesse Jackson's speech was a mish-mash of descriptions of the open sores of 2010 America, compliments to Michelle Obama for being on the "right side of history" and repeated praise for the power of the vote. He said "stop killing in Afghanistan" and cut the military budget, but then made the incredible statement that we can "end unnecessary wars with this vote." What? By voting for the same Democrats who repeatedly backed all of Obama's war budgets? With intentional or unintentional irony CSPAN cutaway to a "Bring U.S. Troops, Mercenaries and War Dollars Home Now," sign for five full seconds.

The rally was billed as a demand for "quality education." Need we say that it's this Administration that's at war with public education, determined to "reform" the public school teaching profession into a mass of low paid overworked drudges, teaching to the test and quivering because they have no job security? Did anyone raise that from the main stage? Don't make me laugh. The best that can be said was that the October 7 day of Rallies to Defend Public Education was mentioned in passing.

What's really pathetic is that with all the emphasis on "Vote, vote, vote," the liberals were afraid to bring their Democratic candidates to the podium (though Jesse Jackson did give a salute to the ethically challenged Charles Rangel). Did they even ask Obama to show up? He evidently didn't want the rally. He endorsed a different rally, the half serious John Stewart rally of "moderates" that will occur in a couple of weeks.

Instead of listening to the Obama apologists I concentrated on the peace contingent rallies beforehand, and the peace feeder march.
There was a formation called the Peace Table, led by the United for Peace and Justice. It sponsored a nice professional website which was designed to give the impression that peace was a serious part of the One Nation Working Together program. Too bad it wasn't.
The serious left which organized the United National Anti-War Committee (at an excellent July conference in Albany) held a peace rally on 14th and Constitution with its own speakers, like Noura Erakat and Abayomi Azikiwe, Nada Khader and Phil Waylato. A hundred yards away was the UFPJ stage and eventually the two groups merged their programs. Most impressive were Larry Holmes from "Bail Out the People" who talked about the FBI raids and how the victims were planning to go to jail rather than to fink on their friends and Glen Ford of "Black is Back" who was not shy about naming names. He said, "We are not here in general, that we hate war in general. We are against the people who perpetrate wars and we've got to say their names and especially the chief perpetrator at this moment in time and that is Barack Obama." Chantelle Bateman of Iraq Veterans Against the War spoke about their campaign to stop redeployments of soldiers suffering PTSD and other traumas. Omali Yeshitela gave a fiery speech and announced a Black is Back rally in DC for November 13 to denounce Barack Obama "for the fraud that he is."

The speeches were followed by a march around the Washington Monument. Most striking was the huge banner "Socialist Contingent" which was held in front of a hundred loudly chanting activists.

Groups had tables way back by the World War II memorial. Code Pink got a lot of attention with its "Bring the War Dollars Home" campaign. Peace Action handed out signs, which were gobbled up like hot cakes. My own group MECC ("The Struggle") unveiled its new "Unions, Dump Your Israel Bonds" banner and handed out brochures headlined, "Palestinian Workers are Getting Screwed," and "Why it Matters to Us." I also passed around mini-booklets produced for www.EconomicUprising.com calling for direct government funding of millions of new jobs, "public enterprise."

Was this whole thing worth going to? The peace rally couldn't have had more than 300 spectators. How many more even saw the peace march?

Still, there were one-hundred-thousand of our kind of folks in DC that day and we had to make the effort to reach them. I know that for thousands of union members it was an exciting event no matter how worthless the speeches. Labor never has huge rallies, maybe one a decade! And several thousands fiery leaflets were passed out. And CSPAN did show some of the anti-war signs.

If only Trumka had pointed overseas to France or Spain where they are fighting the cutbacks with general strikes of millions of workers, where they reject "One Nation" crap and understand that the exploiters and workers are engaged in class war, where they actually talk about doing away with the capitalist sweatshop casino.

I can't imagine that the "One Nation" rally will do much to rally the union faithful or damp down the fury of the electorate. After the Republican deluge on Election Day will lessons be drawn? Will working people reject the One Nation rally's warmed over 1950's liberalism? Will they reject their grossly overpaid leaders who have brought them defeat after defeat? We shall see.

Stanley Heller is host of the TV program "The Struggle," writer for Economic Uprising and a member of AFL-CIO unions for over 40 years.

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23) Before Auction, Lennon Has Brush With the F.B.I.
By BEN SISARIO
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/arts/music/07lennon.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1286475179-UCmrIxuMXjNdeh22uapSlA

John Lennon has been dead for 30 years, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still on the case.

On Wednesday morning a small pop-culture memorabilia shop in Midtown opened an 836-lot auction timed to what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday, which is Saturday. The prized item was a set of Lennon's fingerprints made in 1976 as part of his application for citizenship. Minimum bid: $100,000.

But after an hourlong standoff involving cellphone calls, faxes and meetings with an agent in a parked car outside the East 57th Street storefront, the F.B.I. served the shop - called Gotta Have It! - with a subpoena and seized the fingerprint card, which was made at a New York police station on May 8, 1976, and bears a signature and the name John Winston Ono Lennon.

Given Lennon's history with the F.B.I. - he was under surveillance in the early 1970s for his antiwar activism - the events were strange enough to make Peter Siegel, an owner of the store, wonder what the fuss was about. Since last Thursday, he said, the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and the United States attorney in Manhattan had asked about the card.

"I've been doing this 20 years and have never had this much government interest in something," Mr. Siegel said. "Here he is, one of our greatest musicians ever, and they just don't stop investigating this guy."

Jon Wiener, a history professor at the University of California, Irvine, who wrote the book "Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon F.B.I. Files," also noted that 1976 was a bit late in the F.B.I.'s Lennon timeline.

"As far as I know, the F.B.I. interest in Lennon was in the J. Edgar Hoover era," Professor Wiener said on Wednesday, "and his successors fairly quickly closed the books on the investigation." Mr. Hoover died in 1972.

Yet despite the display of federal investigative force, the interest in Lennon's fingerprint card may turn out to be prosaic, perhaps having to do with ownership of government property. On Wednesday an F.B.I. spokesman, James Margolin, said there was an "investigation into how that item came to be up for auction."

The card, Mr. Siegel said, was being sold for a private collector, whom he identified only as a former concert promoter who had bought the card at a Beatles convention about two decades ago.

It is not the first time a Lennon fingerprint card has been offered at auction. In 1991 Sotheby's sold a similar item for $4,125, without incident.

Leon Wildes, Lennon's immigration lawyer in the 1970s, offered a theory about the document's provenance.

During the summer of 1976, Mr. Wildes said on Wednesday, he had some of Lennon's paperwork with him, including a fingerprint form, while making a television appearance. "When I returned to where I was, from New York, it turned out it was missing," he said. "I was very upset. We called about it, and nobody seemed to know where it was."

At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, an F.B.I. agent appeared outside Gotta Have It!, parked in a blue Ford. Mr. Siegel said the agent lacked a proper subpoena. After a flurry of phone calls between the store owners and their lawyer, and many visits to the agent in the Ford, the store owners received a subpoena by fax that satisfied their lawyer, and turned over the document.

"If it was anybody else's fingerprint card," Mr. Siegel said, "I wouldn't hear from anybody."

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24) Fiscal Woes Deepening for Cities, Report Says
By MICHAEL COOPER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/07cities.html?ref=us

The nation's cities are in their worst fiscal shape in at least a quarter of a century and have probably not yet hit the bottom of their slide, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The report, by the National League of Cities, found that many cities, which are in their fourth straight year of declining revenues, are only now beginning to see lower property values translate into lower property tax collections, which are the backbone of many city budgets.

It can take several years for city assessors to catch up to real estate market conditions, and this year, for the first time since the housing bubble burst, cities are projecting a 1.8 percent decrease in property tax collections.

With sales tax collections still down, and unemployment and stagnant salaries taking a toll on cities that rely on income-tax revenues, cities are seeing their revenues drop even faster than many of them have been able to cut spending. They also face the additional burden of paying rising health care and pension costs for their employees.

"The effects of a depressed real estate market, low levels of consumer confidence, and high levels of unemployment will likely play out in cities through 2010, 2011 and beyond," the report said.

Cities around the country have made steep cuts to stay afloat, from layoffs of firefighters and police officers to turning off street lights. The report, which surveyed finance officers in 338 cities, found that two-thirds of them were canceling or delaying construction and maintenance projects, a third were laying off workers and a quarter were cutting public safety.

Christopher W. Hoene, one of the authors of the report, said in an interview that the length of the downturn had dealt cities an unusual blow: in most recessions, he said, sales tax collections start to improve by the time property tax collections drop to reflect lower home values.

"This time around, the recession has been deep enough that we have the two major sources of revenue down at the same time," Mr. Hoene said.

And cities have few places to turn for help, leaving tax increases and service cuts as their main options.

"Right now there isn't really anywhere to turn," Mr. Hoene said, noting that many states are now cutting aid to cities, not increasing it. "The state budgets are in a position where they are more likely to hurt than to help."

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25) Report Slams Administration for Underestimating Gulf Spill
By JOHN M. BRODER
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/earth/07spill.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration failed to act upon or fully inform the public of its own worst-case estimates of the amount of oil gushing from the blown-out BP well, slowing response efforts and keeping the American people in the dark for weeks about the size of the disaster, according to preliminary reports from the presidential commission investigating the accident.

The government repeatedly underestimated how much oil was flowing into the Gulf of Mexico and how much was left after the well was capped in July, leading to a loss of faith in the government's ability to handle the spill and a continuing breach between the federal authorities and state and local officials, the commission staff members found in a series of four reports issued Wednesday.

"By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the gulf," one of the reports stated, "the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem."

The reports also say that about two weeks after the BP rig exploded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the White House for permission to make public its worst-case models for the accident. The White House Office of Management and Budget initially denied the request, according to government officials interviewed by the commission's staff members.

The White House responded vigorously to the assertions on Wednesday, saying it never concealed its most dire estimates of the spill and quickly threw everything the government had at the problem. As for the NOAA report, White House officials said that it was a flawed and incomplete study and that they sent it back to the agency for more analysis. It was eventually released in early July.

The four reports, from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, make clear that the president-appointed panel does not intend to spare the administration as it prepares a final report on the accident to be delivered to the White House early next year.

It has not yet completed its work on the causes of the well explosion or the efforts to contain the oil, but the tenor of Wednesday's reports indicates that the White House, cabinet officers, Coast Guard commanders and senior government scientists will shoulder a fair amount of blame for the response to the accident.

The government stuck to its public flow rate estimate of 5,000 barrels a day for more than a month, even though BP officials and government scientists acknowledged that the rate could be as high as 110,000 barrels a day.

Ultimately, government and independent scientists established that the uncontrolled flow was roughly 60,000 barrels a day for much of the spill, discharging nearly five million barrels of oil into the gulf. The 18,000-foot-deep well was capped on July 15 and declared dead in late September, when a cement plug was fixed to the bottom.

Government officials have acknowledged that they miscalculated the amount of oil pouring into the gulf and, at least early on, relied on data from BP. But they said they based their response not on those figures but on worst-case estimates, including the figure of 162,000 barrels a day that BP used in its 2009 drilling permit application.

The government deployed thousands of vessels to try to collect and contain the oil and used nearly two million gallons of dispersants to break it into small droplets to speed its degradation.

In August, top administration officials said that 75 percent of the oil had evaporated, dissolved or been collected, implying that their efforts had been largely successful and that ecological damage had been limited. Carol Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, declared on Aug. 4: "I think it's also important to note that our scientists have done an initial assessment and more than three-quarters of the oil is gone. The vast majority of the oil is gone."

But the commission staff members said the government's own data did not support such sweeping conclusions, which were later scaled back. A number of respected independent researchers have concluded that as much as half of the spilled oil remains suspended in the water or buried on the seafloor and in coastal sludge. And it will be some time before scientists can paint an accurate picture of the ecological damage.

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26) Deportations From U.S. Hit a Record High
"Immigration authorities deported a record 392,862 immigrants over the last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday." [Obama's immigration reform...bw]
October 6, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/07immig.html?ref=us

Immigration authorities deported a record 392,862 immigrants over the last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.

About half of those deported - 195,772 - were convicted criminals, also a record, Ms. Napolitano said, and an increase of more than 81,000 deportations of criminals over the final year of George W. Bush's presidency.

As midterm elections approach, Obama administration officials are facing intense pressure to show they are tough on illegal immigration. States across the country have enacted laws to crack down, citing a failure of the federal government to do the job. An especially broad law adopted by Arizona drew a lawsuit from the federal government and an outcry from Latinos in the state, who said it could lead to harassment and racial profiling. A federal judge stayed central provisions of the law.

In some races for Congress, particularly in the Southwest, a candidate's position on the Arizona law has become a litmus test for many voters, especially among Republicans.

Ms. Napolitano said the deportation figures, especially the criminals figure, reflected the Obama administration's shift to focusing more closely on "removing those who pose public safety threats to our communities." The overall figures for deportations increased slightly from about 389,000 in the 2009 fiscal year, also a record at the time.

The surge in deportations of criminals came in part as a result of a program called Secure Communities, officials say, which allows local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of every person, including American citizens, booked into a county or local jail. The identity check is based on comparing fingerprints of people arrested against prints in Department of Homeland Security databases.

Initiated in 2008 in Harris County, Tex., which includes Houston, the program has grown to include about 660 counties and cities nationwide. Sheriff Adrian Garcia of Harris County said on Tuesday that since the start of the program officers there had identified more than 20,000 immigrants in the county jail system who were eligible for deportation.

Many immigrants in Houston who were identified for deportation "didn't come here to make a better life for themselves, they came to continue their criminal careers," Sheriff Garcia said.

About one-third of the criminals who were deported had committed the most serious crimes, including murder, rape and major drug offenses, according to the Homeland Security figures.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement also conducted more than 2,200 audits of hiring documents at businesses to check for unauthorized immigrant workers, the officials said, bringing criminal charges against 180 employers and levying more than $50 million in fines.

Officials said that many of the nearly 200,000 immigrants deported who had committed no crimes were fugitives from immigration courts or had recently crossed the border illegally.

Immigration lawyers questioned that portrayal. "Were they immigrants who were just caught in the web of a very dysfunctional system?" asked David Leopold, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He said that repairing the system would require a broader overhaul to provide channels for illegal immigrants to gain legal status.

"Everybody is behind smart enforcement," Mr. Leopold said. "But smart enforcement without a comprehensive fix to the system is not smart." Despite repeated pledges by President Obama, he has made no progress on persuading Congress to take up an overhaul.

Researchers who study federal statistics said they could not dig into the immigration figures to learn more about the deportees who were not criminals, because immigration authorities had blocked them for the first time from receiving detailed data.

"It is unprecedented what they are doing withholding data," said Susan B. Long, a co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a group that studies federal data.

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27) Personal Income Drops in New York Region
By SAM ROBERTS
October 7, 2010, 12:07 pm
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/personal-income-falls-in-new-york-region/?ref=nyregion

Driven by declines on Wall Street, total personal income earned by residents of metropolitan New York fell last in 2009 for the first time in 40 years - by 4.1 percent - according to the latest data from the government's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The decline was much higher than the national average of 1.8 percent, though income was shrinking in most other metropolitan areas. The decline in the city was smaller than in New York State, where, state fiscal officials said this week, conditions were "slowly improving." The drop in the New York area means that the region's 6.8 million households took in about $43 billion less from all sources.

The New York area ranked ninth in the nation in 2009 in per capita personal income, at $52,375, down 4.6 percent from a year earlier. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area in Connecticut came in tops in the nation, despite a 6.8 percent decrease in per capita income from 2008, at $73,720. San Francisco came in second, at $59,696.

That finding follows a report by the bureau in April that personal income in New York State dropped 3.1 percent in 2009 from 2008, in the first annual decline in 70 years. Figures for New York City will not be available until spring.

In the latest data set, released in August, the bureau found that net earnings in the region declined by 3.9 percent and income from dividends, interest and rent fell by 1.6 percent. The biggest drop-off, 2.7 percentage points of the 4.1 percent total, resulted from declines in the financial and insurance sectors, while education, health care and government jobs recorded some gains.

The overall decline would have been even higher, except for a 1.4 percent increase in unemployment, Social Security and other benefits.

A report this week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli found that by some measures, New York fared better than the rest of the country in weathering the recession. Foreclosures increased 30 percent from 2007 to 2009, but that jump was much lower than the national average. The comptroller also cited growth in employment in New York City and its suburbs (90,000 additional jobs since last December) and record profits on Wall Street.

"New York State's economy is slowly improving, but the recovery is fragile and setbacks can be expected," Mr. DiNapoli said.

Last week, the Census Bureau reported that the city generally fared better than the country as a whole in terms of household income and poverty rate from 2007 through 2009, although the number of New Yorkers dependent on food stamps has soared and within the past year homelessness has reached record levels.

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