Saturday, July 09, 2011



Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:




Shut down the Murderous, Inept, Corrupt BART Police Department
Monday, July 11 at 4:30pm
Location: Civic Center BART - On the Platform

Last Sunday night, BART Police attacked and essentially executed a man so drunk he could barely stand! 2 BART Police officers responded to a call of a homeless man with an open container of alcohol described as stumbling and wobbling around civic center platform. Within 60 seconds of getting out of the train and onto the platform, these cops managed to shoot the man 3 times in the chest and kill him.

The BART police chief is... claiming he is 'comfortable' with this behavior. There is video that they are refusing to release. There are witnesses that contradict the police story (the lies they are using to try to cover this up). History does repeat itself, until we get angry enough to do something about it.

Join us to THIS MONDAY. ON THE CIVIC CENTER PLATFORM (yes, in the BART!). We will participate in a collective act of civil disobedience to demand:

1. The BART Board of Directors must shut down the corrupt, inept, disgraceful, and murderous BART police department, PERMANENTLY AND TOTALLY.

2. Both officers must be fired, and we demand an independent, PUBLIC investigation of this killing, and all applicable charges filed and prosecuted against the killers.


July 12-22
THE UNIMAGINABLE JOURNEY of S. Brian Willson an American Peacemaker
TUESDAY JULY 12 • SANTA ROSA 7:15pm - Santa Rosa Friends House, 684 Benicia Dr.
WEDNESDAY JULY 13 • WALNUT CREEK 7:00pm - Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, 55 Eckley Ln.
THURSDAY JULY 14 • SEBASTOPOL 7:00pm - Community Church of Sebastopol, 1000 Gravenstein Hwy North (sponsored by Copperfields)
FRIDAY JULY 15 • SAN RAFAEL 7:30pm - First United Methodist Church, 9 Ross Valley Dr. (at Third)
SUNDAY JULY 17 • SAN FRANCISCO 12:30pm - First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin St. (at Geary)
MONDAY JULY 18 • BERKELEY 6:00pm (talk begins at 7) - Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St. (at Bonita)
TUESDAY JULY 19 • SAN JOSE 7:00pm - San Jose Peace AND Justice Center, 48 S. 7th St.
WEDNESDAY JULY 20 • CAPITOLA 7:30pm - Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola
FRIDAY JULY 22 • SEASIDE 5:00pm - Peace Resource Center, 1364 Fremont Blvd.
BLOOD ON THE TRACKS is available for purchase from your favorite bookseller or from PM Press: (ISBN 978-1-60486-421-2)• For more information: • "Like" the book page on Facebook!
Follow Brian's journey...from high school Viet Nam peace activist...seeking right livelihood...and now...cycling to your town with his new book!
Global Exchange
Joanna Macy
Unitarian Universalists for Peace, San Francisco
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarians
Veterans For Peace San Francisco
Mt. Diablo Peace Center (Walnut Creek)
ANSWER - SF Bay Area
Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition (BALASC)
Peaceworkers (San Francisco)
Marin Task Force on the Americas
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Buddhist Peace Fellowship (Marin County)
School of the Americas Watch West (SOAWW)
The Metta Center
Pace e Bene
San Francisco Friends Meeting - Peace Committee
American Friends Service Committee Pacific Mountain Region
Progressive Democrats of America- San Francisco (PDA-SF)
Western States Legal Foundation
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center (Palo Alto)
VFW Bill Motto Post 5888
Veterans For Peace Santa Cruz
People United for Peace of Santa Cruz County
Resource Center for Nonviolence
GI Rights Hotline, Santa Cruz Node
Ecumenical Peace Institute (Berkeley)
Marin Friends Meeting


Physicians for a National Health Program California is having our 2nd annual California Single-Payer Health Care Summer Conference at USC's Tutor Campus Center Ballroom on Saturday, July 16th, 2011 from 9am - 5pm.

Summer Conference 2011 is designed to teach attendees about just, guaranteed, comprehensive health care for ALL who live in California. We are gearing this conference toward professionals working in health, policy, advocacy, education, and organizing arenas.

This year's conference will feature Dr. Carmen Rita Nevarez, Immediate Past President, American Public Health Association as our keynote speaker, plus three Leadership Institutes that will help you develop your skills to build the movement through public speaking, coalition building or grassroots advocacy.

Ticket prices are on a sliding scale, and people who are "new to the movement" receive a discount.

For more information and to register, go to Please also download our flyer here. Please help us spread the word!
If your organization would like to sponsor this event, you can download our sponsorship form here.

Hope you can join us this summer in Los Angeles. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Molly Tavella, MPH
Shearer Student Fellow
Physicians for a National Health Program California
2344 6th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 665-8523 office
(408) 892-1255 mobile
(510) 665-6027 fax



July 21st, Thursday, 4:00pm
Grand Hyatt Hotel (Stockton and Sutter Streets)
San Francisco


On May 10th, Hyatt offered to sign the Hilton deal. However, for the previous 19 month since our contract expired, Hyatt had been insisting on ripping off our medical benefits, freezing our pension, eliminating the room service bussers, and keeping us in a recession with their cheap wage proposal.

Ever since our contract expired on August 2009, Hyatt joined with other Class A (bigger) hotels to refuse a new, fair Union Contract. Had it not been for the Hilton which took the lead in signing the deal, Hyatt would still be offering the garbage they were offering before the Hilton signed.

Hyatt is notorious nationally for its attacks on its immigrant work force.

In August 2009, Hyatt fired its entire housekeeping department in Boston. Women, mostly immigrants (many of whom had been working for Hyatt for more than 20 years) were fired and replaced by a subcontractor company which pays its workers close to minimum wage. Read more about the Boston housekeepers.

Hyatt has also distinguished itself as the company which loads more and more work on room cleaners, often resulting in high levels of worker injuries. Hyatt has been cited by the government for unsafe working conditions in housekeeping. Read more on housekeepers' injuries, click here.

Join us for a nationwide protest against Hyatt's anti-worker actions on July 21st, Thursday, 4:00pm in front of the Grand Hyatt hotel on Stockton and Sutter Streets, San Francisco.


Millions March In Harlem
Against the Attack on African People

the Bombing of Libya
the Illegal Sanctions in Zimbabwe
Bloomberg's Destruction
of Education, Housing, Health Care, Jobs and more!

Saturday, August 13, 2011
Pan Africanism Rising Against Imperialism!

Assemble at 10 AM
110th Street and Malcolm X Blvd
Harlem New York

Pan Africanism or Perish!
For more information and participation call (718) 398-1766
Forward to all your contacts and let us know how many will be attending!


Saturday, August 20 at 2:00pm
Location: In front of SF City Hall, Polk Street side, between Grove & McAllister

On the 34th Birthday of Idriss Stelley, Killed by SFPD on 6-12-01 at the Sony Metreon Complex,

The event is meant to launch a citywide police accountability and transparency COLLECTIVE comprised of socially mindful grassroots entities , social/racial Justice activists, and "progressive "city officials, as well as mayoral candidates, HOLD THEM TO THEIR PROMISES!

Performances, music, spoken word, and speakers.

If you would like to speak or perform,
please contact Jeremy Miller at 415-595-2894,,
or mesha Monge-Irizarry at 415-595-8251

Please join our facebook group at
Idriss Stelley Foundation !


Protest, March & Die-In on 10th Anniversary of Afghanistan War
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, 4:30-6:30pm
New Federal Building, 7th & Mission Sts, SF

End All the Wars & Occupations-Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya, Haiti . . .
Money for Jobs, Healthcare & Schools-Not for the Pentagon

Friday, October 7, 2011 will be the exact 10th anniversary of the U.S./NATO war on the people of Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of Afghani people have been killed, wounded and displaced, and thousands of U.S. and NATO forces killed and wounded. The war costs more than $126 billion per year at a time when social programs are being slashed.

The true and brutal character of the U.S. strategy to "win hearts and minds" of the Afghani population was described by a Marine officer, quoted in a recent ANSWER Coalition statement:

"You can't just convince them [Afghani people] through projects and goodwill," another Marine officer said. "You have to show up at their door with two companies of Marines and start killing people. That's how you start convincing them." (To read the entire ANSWER statement, click here)

Mark your calendar now and help organize for the October 7 march and die-in in downtown San Francisco. There are several things you can do:

1. Reply to this email to endorse the protest and die-in.
2. Spread the word and help organize in your community, union, workplace and campus.
3. Make a donation to help with organizing expenses.

Only the people can stop the war!

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
2969 Mission St.


(Please forward widely)
Save the dates of October 6, 15 to protest wars; and May 15-22, 2012--Northern California UNAC will be discussing plans for solidarity actions around the Chicago G-8 here.

United National Antiwar Committee or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054


On June 22, the White House defied the majority of Americans who want an end to the war in Afghanistan. Instead of announcing the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, contractors, bases, and war dollars, Obama committed to removing only one twentieth of the US forces on the ground in Afghanistan over the next eight months. Another 23,000 will supposedly be withdrawn just in time to influence the 2012 elections. Even if the President follows thru on this plan, nearly 170,000 US soldiers and contractors will remain in Afghanistan. All veterans and soldiers will be raising the question, "Who will be the last U.S. combatant to die in Afghanistan?"

In truth, the President's plan is not a plan to end the war in Afghanistan. It was, instead, an announcement that the U.S. was changing strategy. As the New York Times reported, the US will be replacing the "counterinsurgency strategy" adopted 18 months ago with the kind of campaign of drone attacks, assassinations, and covert actions that the US has employed in Pakistan.

At a meeting of the United National Antiwar Committee's National Coordinating Committee, held in NYC on June 18, representatives of 47 groups voted to endorse the nonviolent civil resistance activities beginning on October 6 in Washington, D.C. and to call for nationally coordinated local actions on October 15 to protest the tenth anniversary of the US war in Afghanistan. UNAC urges activists in as many cities as possible to hold marches, picket lines, teach-ins, and other events to say:

· Withdraw ALL US/NATO Military Forces, Contractors, and Bases out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya NOW!
· End drone attacks on defenseless populations in Pakistan and Yemen!
· End US Aid to Israel! Hands Off Iran!
· Bring Our War Dollars Home Now! Money for Jobs and Education, Not for War and Incarceration!

Note these dates of upcoming significant events:
· November 11-13 UNAC National Conference - a gathering of all movement activists to learn, share, plan future actions.
· May 15-22, 2012 International Protest Actions against war criminals attending NATO meeting and G-8 summit in Chicago.

Challenge the NATO War Makers in Chicago May 15-22, 2012
NATO and the G8 are coming to Chicago - so are we!

The White House has just announced that the U.S. will host a major international meeting of NATO, the US-commanded and financed 28-nation military alliance, in Chicago from May 15 to May 22, 2012. It was further announced that at the same time and place, there will be a summit of the G-8 world powers. The meetings are expected to draw heads of state, generals and countless others.

At a day-long meeting in New York City on Saturday, June 18, the United National Antiwar Committee's national coordinating committee of 69 participants, representing, 47 organizations, unanimously passed a resolution to call for action at the upcoming NATO meeting.

UNAC is determined to mount a massive united outpouring in Chicago during the NATO gathering to put forth demands opposing endless wars and calling for billions spent on war and destruction be spent instead on people's needs for jobs, health care, housing and education.


Whereas, the U.S. is the major and pre-eminent military, economic and political power behind NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), and

Whereas, the U.S. will be hosting a major NATO gathering in the spring of 2012, and

Whereas, U.S. and NATO-allied forces are actively engaged in the monstrous wars, occupations and military attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, the Middle East and elsewhere,

Be it resolved that:

1) UNAC, in conjunction with a broad range of groups and organizations that share general agreement with the major demands adopted at our 2010 Albany, NY national conference, initiate a mass demonstration at the site of the NATO gathering, and

2) UNAC welcomes and encourages the participation of all groups interested in mobilizing against war and for social justice in planning a broad range of other NATO meeting protests including teach-ins, alternative conferences and activities organized on the basis of direct action/civil resistance, and

3) UNAC will seek to make the NATO conference the occasion for internationally coordinated protests, and

4) UNAC will convene a meeting of all of the above forces to discuss and prepare initial plans to begin work on this spring action.

Resolution passed unanimously by the National Coordinating Committee of UNAC on Saturday, June 18, 2011

click here to donate to UNAC:

Click here for the Facebook UNAC group.


[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website: or]


Food, Inc

Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner uses reports by FAST FOOD NATION author Eric Schlosser and THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA author Michael Pollan as a springboard to exploring where the food we purchase really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations. By exposing the comfortable relationships between business and government, Kenner gradually shines light on the dark underbelly of the American food industry. The USDA and FDA are supposed to protect the public, so why is it that both government regulatory agencies have been complicit in allowing corporations to put profit ahead of consumer health, the American farmer, worker safety, and even the environment? As chicken breasts get bigger and tomatoes are genetically engineered not to go bad, 73,000 Americans fall ill from powerful new strains of E. coli every year, obesity levels are skyrocketing, and adult diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps if the general public knew how corporations use exploited laws and subsidies to create powerful monopolies, the outrage would be enough to make us think more carefully about the food we put into our bodies.


CPS takes custody of 6 kids living with parents in storage shed


Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class [Full Film]

Narrated by Ed Asner

Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Featuring interviews with media analysts and cultural historians, this documentary examines the patterns inherent in TV's disturbing depictions of working class people as either clowns or social deviants -- stereotypical portrayals that reinforce the myth of meritocracy.

Class Dismissed breaks important new ground in exploring the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class, offering a more complex reading of television's often one-dimensional representations. The video also links television portrayals to negative cultural attitudes and public policies that directly affect the lives of working class people.

Featuring interviews with Stanley Aronowitz, (City University of New York); Nickel and Dimed author, Barbara Ehrenreich; Herman Gray (University of California-Santa Cruz); Robin Kelley (Columbia University); Pepi Leistyna (University of Massachusetts-Boston) and Michael Zweig (State University of New York-Stony Brook). Also with Arlene Davila, Susan Douglas, Bambi Haggins, Lisa Henderson, and Andrea Press.

Sections: Class Matters | The American Dream Machine | From the Margins to the Middle | Women Have Class | Class Clowns | No Class | Class Action


Daily life in Fukushima: 'It was like visiting another universe'

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Jul 3, 2011

Jan Beranek, who is with a team of Greenpeace activists investigating the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, says Japanese are encouraged to return to their normal lives unaware of the dangers they face in the contaminated area. "I personally find it very disturbing, because on the one hand you see the Japanese authorities forcing people and society to get back to normal... And yet at the same time there are still extremely high levels of radiation and the contamination of the soil, and also potentially in the food," the activist told RT. "This is just unbelievable because at those levels of exposure it certainly poses a risk to the lives and health of the people. If you draw a parallel to the Chernobyl disaster, then actually the Soviets decided to evacuate everyone living in the place, where radiation was three or four times lower than what we see in Fukushima City today," added Beranek, who personally visited the Chernobyl area after the 1986 disaster. Greenpeace is putting pressure on the Japanese government to gather and provide more information about the contamination in addition to doing its independent effort, Beranek said. "We've actually forced the government to, for example, extend the monitoring of the sea. And we also hear that the government is now revising at least some of the protective measures for children, which is definitely good to see. Yet the government is too slow and doing too little actually [compared to] what the situation would deserve," he said. The activist hopes the consequences of the Fukushima disaster will make Japan and other nations change their stance on nuclear energy and phase it out. There is such change already in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. "Nuclear power, as we have seen, is inherently unsafe. There is always an unpredictable combination of natural catastrophe, technological failure, human error that can result in a situation when a reactor gets out of control very fast. It's a question of a few hours before full meltdown happens. It's unsafe to take the bets and continue with nuclear power," Beranek believes.
RT on Facebook:
RT on Twitter:


New Analysis of Unit 3 Fuel Pool Video Reveals Top of Fuel Bundle

New Analysis of Unit 3 Fuel Pool Video Reveals Top of Fuel Bundle from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

A video first released by TEPCO in April has been re-analyzed by Ian Goddard and appears to reveal a handle found atop a single nuclear fuel bundle. This raises more questions about the condition of any fuel still remaining in the Unit 3 fuel pool.

Hi I'm Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds.

If you have been watching the site lately, it has been about 3 weeks since we have updated a video. During that time, Maggie and I have been on the road making a couple of presentations in Massachusetts, a couple of TV shows and some radio and print. That will be on the site over the next couple of weeks to inform you of what we have been up to. But something happened last night that I really wanted to share with you right now.

I got an email last night from Ian Goddard. And Ian is a long time watcher of this site and has done some really great analysis in the past as well. He took a look at an old TEPCO video. And Tokyo Electric had gone into the Unit 3 fuel pool just once. You remember that Unit 3 is the reactor that is blown to smithereens. The video showed a lot of damage. But Ian Goddard was able to find one spot where there is clearly something that appears to be discernible. It looks like the handle of a BWR fuel bundle.

Ian compares that bundle to other bundles which were looked at over in Unit 4 and it is pretty clear to me and a couple of other nuclear engineers I have shown it to, that this might be a single nuclear fuel bundle in the Unit 3 fuel pool.

It raises more questions than it answers. First of all, there should be a lot of bundles there. Yet, obviously, there is only one in this picture. Where are the other bundles? The other part of the question is, this should be under about 25 feet of water. It is not, it is very near to the surface. So what has happened to that particular bundle, or to the water level in the pool that caused it to come in such close contact with atmosphere?

Like I said, it raises more questions than it answers, but I really do want to thank Ian Goddard for discovering this. If you have any comments or questions or thoughts on what you think it might be, please send in through the comments section on the website.

Thanks, we will get back to you soon.


Arnie Gundersen Discusses Situation at flooded Ft. Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Power Plants.

Gundersen Discusses the Situation at the flooded Ft. Calhoun and Cooper Nuclear Power Plants. from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.


Las Conchas fire, evening flames threatening Los Alamos

Uploaded by MichaelZeiler on Jun 29, 2011

On this fourth day of the devastating Las Conchas fire which is threatening Los Alamos, New Mexico, the night sky finally cleared enough to see the flames licking all around the labs and the city.

This time-lapse video is comprised of 113 photographs taken 30 seconds apart. Each photograph is shown for one second. My vantage point is from my home on a ridge just to the north of Santa Fe.

You can see quick changes in the fires, stars in the sky, and emergency vehicles making their way on fire duties. The brightest lights are the headquarters of the Los Alamos labs and other technical areas are to the left. To the right is the Los Alamos town site. Below the headquarters is the suburb of White Rock.


Let's torture the truth out of suicide bombers says new CIA chief Petraeus


Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant Main Building Underwater, 10 Mile Mandatory Evacuation Area


Gundersen: Intake Structure that cools reactor and spent fuel pool is probably most vulnerable part of Ft. Calhoun nuke plan - Critical that it stays dry (VIDEO)
June 28th, 2011 at 06:26 PM

Arnie Gundersen on Five O'clock Shadow with Robert Knight, WBAI, June 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm EDT:

* Intake structure probably the most vulnerable, not auxiliary and containment buildings...
* Intake structure draws in river water that cools reactor and spent fuel pool... critical that it stay dry...
* If gets water in it and emergency service water pumps fail then you've got a case where you're going to cause fuel damage...
* Probably the most vulnerable at Ft Calhoun...


Black Agenda Report Morning Shot 6.21.2011: Defying The Tomb


Labor Beat: Give It Back!

The Executive Summit of CEOs and CFOs at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on June 14, 2011 was the target of a broad coalition of community and labor organizations, put together by Stand Up! Chicago. Several thousand protesters successfully pulled off 3 coordinated feeder marches (housing, jobs, education) that transformed the hub of corporate Chicago at Michigan and Wacker into protest central. We begin with the small band of movement artists (teachers, students and activists) as they plan the visuals and create the huge puppets (Kings of Corporate Welfare) which became the visual rallying points of the Give It Back march and rally. We show the process of how the big march came together and how working people were able to appropriate Chicago's showplace of big business and convert it into a movement theatrical backdrop. The CEOs at the Hyatt went on with their meeting, and a city-wide movement gained confidence in its organizing skills. Rod Wilson of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization observed: "This is definitely the beginning, not the end, not the culminating, but the beginning." Length - 18:33. Produced by Labor Beat. Labor Beat is a CAN TV Community Partner. Labor Beat is a non-profit 501(c)(3) member of IBEW 1220. Views are those of the producer Labor Beat. For info:, 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit Google Video, YouTube, or and search "Labor Beat". Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; St. Louis, MO; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at


Japanese Anti-Nuc Song Gone Viral

Kazuyoshi Saito On Ustream 2011/04/08
Song and Lyrics: Kazuyoshi Saito

"You have been telling a lie"

When we walk around this country,
we can find 54 Nuke power plants

My text book and CM always told me,
"It's SAFE"

You have been telling a lie,
then your excuse is just "UNEXPECTED"
I remember the clear sky,
but now, it turns black rain

You've been telling a lie,
it was exposed after all, I know
Yeah, it was a lie, "Nuke is completely safe"
You've been telling a lie,
I just wanna eat such a delicious spinach once again.

Yeah, it was a lie,
You should have noticed this ball game

We can't stop the contaminated wind anymore
Do you accept if you find it about how many people would be exposed by the radiation?
How do you think? I'm asking you, Jap Gov.

When you leave this town,
Could you find delicious water?
Tell me, whatever, there's no way to hide

They are all suck, Tepco, Hepco, Chuden and Kanden
We never dream a dream anymore
But they are all suck
They still keep going
They are truely suck
I wanna take action, how could I handle this feeling?

They are telling a lie....
We are all suck....


Flood Alert: Brownsville,NE Levee Breach- Cooper Nuclear Plant
Jun 20, 2011

Brownsville NE levee is breaching at Brownsville Bridge -
Brownsville is where the Cooper Nuclear Plant is located


Dr Helen Caldicott - Fukushima Nuclear Disaster- You won't hear this on the Main Stream News.


Choosing a Profession

An old country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young Men his age, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it. One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects...

1. A Bible.....?
2. A silver dollar.....?
3. A bottle of whisky......?
4. And a Playboy magazine.....?

'I'll just hide behind the door,' the old preacher said to himself. 'When he comes home from school today, I'll see which object he picks up.

If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be!

If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a business man, and that would be okay, too.

But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunken bum, and Lord, what a shame that would be.

And worst of all if he picks up that magazine he's going to be a
skirt-chasing womanizer.'

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's foot-steps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room.

The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table..

With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired this month's centerfold.

'Lord have mercy,' the old preacher disgustedly whispered.
'He's gonna run for Congress.'


Stop Police Brutality: Justice for Eric Radcliff

22 year old Eric Radcliff was shot and killed by police officers from the 35th district on the morning of Saturday May 21st, 2011. According to witnesses he was unarmed. The incident took place on the 5800 Block of Mascher Street in the 5th and Olney Section.

1. Open An Investigation Into the May 21st Shooting Death of 22 year old Eric Radcliff by officers of the Philadelphia Police Department's 35th District.
2. End Police Brutality! Serve and Protect, Not Disrespect and Victimize!
3. LETS GET OUR HOUSE IN ORDER. Let's Unite for Real Security and To Build a Better Future for Ourselves

Please come Join in UNITY AND LOVE! God is Good, We ARE winning!
215-954-2272 for more information
VIA Justice for Eric Radcliff


Stop Police Brutality: Justice for Albert Pernell Jr.


*High Alert* - Fire -Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant near Omaha Nebraska- Flooding Missouri River
\Five O'Clock Shadow" with Robert Knight and Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds Associates

Fire knocks out spent fuel cooling pool at nuclear plant near Omaha - Operating under heightened alert level because of nearby flooding on Missouri River.

On June 6, 2011, the Fort Calhoun pressurized water nuclear reactor 20 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska entered emergency status due to imminent flooding from the Missouri River. A day later, there was an electrical fire requiring plant evacuation. Then, on June 8th, NRC event reports confirmed the fire resulted in the loss of cooling for the reactor's spent fuel pool.


Empty Chairs


Hot Particles From Japan to Seattle Virtually Undetectable when Inhaled or Swallowed

Original estimates of xenon and krypton releases remain the same, but a TEPCO recalculation shows dramatic increases in the release of hot particles. This confirms the results of air filter monitoring by independent scientists. Fairewinds' Arnie Gundersen explains how hot particles may react in mammals while escaping traditional detection. Reports of a metallic taste in the mouth, such as those now being reported in Japan and on the west coast, are a telltale sign of radiation exposure.


'Fukushima media cover-up - PR success, public health disaster'
June 11, 2011

Residents of the Fukushima district, and those who lived near-by have not only faced radiation exposure but also social exclusion... That's according to Dr. Robert Jacobs, Professor of nuclear history, at the Hiroshima Peace Institute.


QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.
Official Film Website:


Autopsy Released in Police Shooting of Man Holding Nozzle
Douglas Zerby was shot 12 times, in the chest, arms and lower legs.
Watch Mary Beth McDade's report,0,2471345.story



I Wanna Be A Pirate


Detained for photography in Baltimore Parts 1 and 2:

Part 1:

Part 2:


Arrested for Filming Police in MD?


Woman 'detained' for filming police search launches high court challenge


Adam Kokesh body slammed, choked, police brutality at Jefferson Memorial


Kim Ives & Dan Coughlin on WikiLeaks Cables that Reveal "Secret History" of U.S. Bullying in Haiti


Operation Empire State Rebellion


20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know
Click an image to learn more about a fact!


ustogaza1's Channel


Licensed to Kill Video

Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.


Gundersen Gives Testimony to NRC ACRS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) held a special ACRS meeting Thursday May 26, 2011 on the current status of Fukushima. Arnie Gundersen was invited to speak for 5 minutes concerning the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident as it pertains to the 23 Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactors (BWR's) in the US and containment integrity. Mr. Gundersen was the first engineer to brief the NRC on the implication of Main Steam Isolation Valve (MSIV) Leakage in 1974, and he has been studying containment integrity since 1972. The NRC has constantly maintained in all of its calculations and reviews that there is zero probability of a containment leaking. For more than six years, in testimony and in correspondence with the NRC, Mr. Gundersen has disputed the NRC's stand that containment systems simply do not and cannot leak. The events at Fukushima have proven that Gundersen was correct. The explosions at Fukushima show that Mark 1 containments will lose their integrity and release huge amounts of radiation, as Mr. Gundersen has been telling the NRC for many years.


Guy on wheelchair taken down by officers


Paradise Gray Speaks At Jordan Miles Emergency Rally 05/06/2011

Police Reassigned While CAPA Student's Beatdown Investigated

Pittsburgh Student Claims Police Brutality; Shows Hospital Photos

Justice For Jordan Miles
By jasiri x

Monday, May 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Even though Pittsburgh Police beat Jordan Miles until he looked like this: (Photo at website)

And even though Jordan Miles, an honor student who plays the viola, broke no laws and committed no crimes, the Federal Government decided not to prosecute the 3 undercover Pittsburgh Police officers who savagely beat him.

To add insult to injury, Pittsburgh's Mayor and Police Chief immediately reinstated the 3 officers without so much as a apology. An outraged Pittsburgh community called for an emergency protest to pressure the local District Attorney to prosecute these officers to the fullest extent of the law.

Below is my good friend, and fellow One Hood founding member Paradise Gray (also a founding member of the Blackwatch Movement and the legendary rap group X-Clan) passionately demanding Justice for Jordan Miles and speaking on the futility of a war of terror overseas while black men are terrorized in their own neighborhoods.

For more information on how you can help get Justice For Jordan Miles go to


Tier Systems Cripple Middle Class Dreams for Young Workers


Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing, Discusses Global Radiation Exposures and Consequences with Gundersen
Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing and nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, discuss the consequences of the Fukushima radioactive fallout on Japan, the USA, and the world. What are the long-term health effects? What should the government(s) do to protect citizens?

Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing, Discusses Global Radiation Exposures and Consequences with Gundersen from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.


New Video - Lupe Fiasco ft. Skylar Grey - 'Words I Never Said'
Thu, Apr 28 2011

Lupe Fiasco addresses some heavy issues in the latest video for his new single, 'Words I Never Said,' featuring Skylar Grey. In the 5 minute and 45 second dose of reality, Lupe tackles issues such as the war on terrorism, devastation, conspiracy theories, 9/11 and genocide. From the opening lyrics of "I really think the war on terror is a bunch of bullsh*t", Lupe doesn't hold back as he voices his socio-political concerns.

"If you turn on TV all you see's a bunch of what the f-ks'
Dude is dating so and so blabbering bout such and such
And that ain't Jersey Shore, homie that's the news
And these the same people that supposed to be telling us the truth
Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist
Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say s-t
That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either
I'm a part of the problem, my problem is I'm peaceful."

Skylar Grey (who also lends her vocals to Dirty money's 'Coming Home' and Eminem's 'I Need A Doctor') does an excellent job of complementing the Alex Da Kid produced track.


Union Town by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman



"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action.


W.E. A.L.L. B.E.: Miss. Medical Examiner Dr. Adel Shaker On Frederick Carter Hanging (4/19/2011)


Max Romeo - Socialism Is Love


Cuba: The Accidental Eden

[This is a stunningly beautiful portrait of the Cuban natural environment as it is today. However, several times throughout, the narrator tends to imply that if it werent for the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Cuba's natural environment would be destroyed by the influx of tourism, ergo, the embargo is saving nature. But the Cuban scientists and naturalists tell a slightly different story. But I don't want to spoil the delightfully surprising ending. It's a beautiful film of a beautiful country full of beautiful, articulate and well-educated]

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.


VIDEO: SWAT Team Evicts Grandmother

Take Back the Land- Rochester Eviction Defense March 28, 2011


B. D. S. [Boycott, Divest, Sanction against Israel]
(Jackson 5) Chicago Flashmob


The Kill Team
How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses - and how their officers failed to stop them. Plus: An exclusive look at the war crime photos censored by the Pentagon
Rolling Stone
March 27, 3011

Afghans respond to "Kill Team"


BP Oil Spill Scientist Bob Naman: Seafood Still Not Safe


Exclusive: Flow Rate Scientist : How Much Oil Is Really Out There?


WikiLeaks Mirrors

Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.

In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, you will find below a list of mirrors of Wikileaks website and CableGate pages.

Go to


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.
"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."
"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union


Oil Spill Commission Final Report: Catfish Responds


Domestic Espionage Alert - Houston PD to use surveillance drone in America!


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale


Flashmob: Cape Town Opera say NO


"Don't F*** With Our Activists" - Mobilizing Against FBI Raid





On June 27, Leonard Peltier was removed from the general population at USP-Lewisburg and thrown in the hole. Little else is known at this time. Due to his age and health status, please join us in demanding his immediate return to general population.

Thomas Kane, Acting Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Web Site:
Phone: (202) 307-3198
Fax: (202) 514-6620
Address: 320 1st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534

Launched into cyberspace by the
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee
PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106


(Please post widely)

-- Introduction
-- Campaign to End the Death Penalty Solidarity Statement
-- CEDP Statement of Solidarity with Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers
-- Solidarity Statement from Corcoran State Prisoners
-- Take Action!


Prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of California's Pelican Bay state prison have announced that they will begin an indefinite hunger strike on July 1. Although prison officials aim to keep prisoners silenced and divided, the hunger strike has shown solidarity across racial, ethnic and religious lines and demands improvements in cruel and inhumane prison conditions.

In his statement "Why Prisoners are Protesting", prisoner Mutop DuGuya states, "Effective July 1st we are initiating a peaceful protest by way of an indefinite hunger strike in which we will not eat until our core demands are met.....we have decided to put our fate in our own hands. Some of us have already suffered a slow, agonizing death in which the state has shown no compassion toward these dying prisoners. Rather than compassion they turn up their ruthlessness. No one wants to die. Yet under this current system of what amounts to intense torture, what choice do we have? If one is to die, it will be on our own terms."

Prisons in this country stand as silent tombs. Millions are warehoused in "correctional" facilities that serve only to punish and dehumanize. These prisoners in Pelican Bay are standing bravely against tortuous conditions and those of us on the outside must stand with them and shine a light into the dark cages that politicians want us to forget.


The Campaign to End the Death Penalty (CEDP) stands in solidarity with the prisoners of Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) who will be engaged in a hunger strike on July 1 in protest of their deplorable conditions.

The prisoners at Pelican Bay prison in California live in a world in which collective punishment is common, sunlight is rare, and food is used as a tool of coercion. They live in a world that is so unlike the world that most of us take for granted that it strains our comprehension. The world of the prisoners has one goal, to create passive, compliant prisoners; prisoners who will not clamor for more; prisoners who will not rock the boat; prisoners who will not threaten to expose just how rotten the prison system is.

This world has failed. While these demands show us a world turned upside down, they also show us a prison population that is fighting back against their appalling conditions. The prisoners have stated that their hunger strike will be indefinite until their demands are met. This means they could face serious health issues or even death. For them, a fighting death is preferable to the hell they are living.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty supports the Pelican Bay hunger strikers and stand with all prisoners who seek to better their lives. We stand in solidarity with these brave fighters in their quest for justice and humanity.

The demands of the prisoners clearly show the capricious and dehumanizing conditions in which they the prisoners are calling for:

1. Eliminate group punishments. Instead, practice individual accountability. When an individual prisoner breaks a rule, the prison often punishes a whole group of prisoners of the same race. This policy has been applied to keep prisoners in the SHU indefinitely and to make conditions increasingly harsh.

2. Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria.
Debriefing produces false information - wrongly landing other prisoners in SHU, and can endanger the lives of debriefing prisoners and their families.

3. End long-term solitary confinement. Segregation should be used as a last resort and prisoners require access to adequate healthcare and natural sunlight.

4. Provide wholesome, nutritious meals and access to vitamins.

5. Expand and provide constructive programming such as photos of loved ones, weekly phone calls, extension of visitation time, calendars, and radios, etc.

You can read the prisoner's full text of their demands here:


Statement of Solidarity with the Pelican Bay Collective Hunger Strike on July 1st.
From: the N.C.T.T. Corcoran SHU

Greetings to all who support freedom, justice, and equality. We here of the N.C.T.T. SHU stand in solidarity with, and in full support of the July 1st hunger strike and the 5 major action points and sub-points as laid out by the Pelican Bay Collective in the Policy Statements (See, "Archives", P.B.S.P.-SHU-D corridor hunger strike).

What many are unaware of is that facility 4B here in Corcoran SHU is designated to house validated prisoners in indefinite SHU confinement and have an identical ultra-super max isolation unit short corridor modeled after corridor D in Pelican Bay, complete with blacked out windows a mirror tinted glass on the towers so no one but the gun tower can see in [into our cells], and none of us can see out; flaps welded to the base of the doors and sandbags on the tiers to prevent "fishing" [a means of passing notes, etc. between cells using lengths of string]; IGI [Institutional Gang Investigators] transports us all to A.C.H. [?] medical appointments and we have no contact with any prisoners or staff outside of this section here in 4B/1C C Section the "short corridor" of the Corcoran SHU. All of the deprivations (save access to sunlight); outlines in the 5-point hunger strike statement are mirrored, and in some instances intensified here in the Corcoran SHU 4B/1C C Section isolation gang unit.

Medical care here, in a facility allegedly designed to house chronic care and prisoners with psychological problems, is so woefully inadequate that it borders on intentional disdain for the health of prisoners, especially where diabetics and cancer are an issue. Access to the law library is denied for the most mundane reasons, or, most often, no reason at all. Yet these things and more are outlined in the P.B.S.P.-SHU five core demands.

What is of note here, and something that should concern all U.S. citizens, is the increasing use of behavioral control (torture units) and human experimental techniques against prisoners not only in California but across the nation. Indefinite confinement, sensory deprivation, withholding food, constant illumination, use of unsubstantiated lies from informants are the psychological billy clubs being used in these torture units. The purpose of this "treatment" is to stop prisoners from standing in opposition to inhumane prison conditions and prevent them from exercising their basic human rights.

Many lawsuits have been filed in opposition to the conditions in these conditions ... [unreadable] yet the courts have repeatedly re-interpreted and misinterpreted their own constitutional law ... [unreadable] to support the state's continued use of these torture units. When approved means of protest and redress of rights are prove meaningless and are fully exhausted, then the pursuit of those ends through other means is necessary.

It is important for all to know the Pelican Bay Collective is not (emphasis in original) alone in this struggle and the broader the participation and support for this hunger strike, the other such efforts, the greater the potential that our sacrifice now will mean a more humane world for us in the future. We urge all who reads these words to support us in this effort with your participation or your voices call your local news agencies, notify your friends on social networks, contact your legislators, tell your fellow faithful at church, mosques, temple or synagogues. Decades before Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Pelican Bay and Corcoran SHUs were described by Congressman Ralph Metcalfe as "the control unit treatment program is long-term punishment under the guise of what is, in fact, pseudo-scientific experimentation."

Our indefinite isolation here is both inhumane and illegal and the proponents of the prison industrial complex are hoping that their campaign to dehumanize us has succeeded to the degree that you don't care and will allow the torture to continue in your name. It is our belief that they have woefully underestimated the decency, principles, and humanity of the people. Join us in opposing this injustice without end. Thank you for your time and support.

In Solidarity,
N.C.T.T. Corcoran - SHU
4B/1C - C Section
Super-max isolation Unit


Pelican Bay Prisoners Go On Hunger Strike to Protest Grave Conditions July 1, 2011

Lawyers, Advocates, Organizations Hold Press Conference, Voice Prisoner Demand

Press Contact: Isaac Ontiveros
Communications Director, Critical Resistance
Office: 510 444 0484; Cell: 510 517 6612

The Hunger Strikers need support from outside of prison bars. Here are a few things you can do:

Sign the Petition.

Get the word out about the hunger strike and the prisoner's demands to your family, friends, church, community groups, and over social networking sites.

Attend protests in solidarity. Rallies planned in San Francisco, Eureka, CA, Montreal, Toronto and New York. Send protest info to: to be listed!
Stay informed. Check the blog regularly for updates


Keep the Arboretum Free
Dear Arboretum Supporter,

It's been a few months since the Board of Supervisors extended the non-resident fee at the Arboretum until September 30th, 2013. Such policy and ongoing decisions are continuing to greatly impact our neighborhoods and city resources and out of this widespread concern a new coalition has formed - Take Back Our Parks. Community and park advocates have joined together from across the city, including representatives from Keep Arboretum Free, with the common goals of keeping parks and recreation facilities open and accessible to all, stopping privatization of public park properties, protecting the natural character of our parklands and ensuring inclusive community input in planning and decision-making.

This past week a key effort was made towards some of these goals when four City Supervisors placed a measure on the November ballot to put a moratorium on fees for park resources and the long-term leasing of club-houses to private organizations. The Parks For The Public measure can be an important step towards ending the loss of access and growing privatization that is a fallout of the Recreation and Park Department's strategy of using parks as a revenue source and which has imposed policies such as the Arboretum fee.

Please visit the TBOP website to learn more about the Parks For The Public ordinance available for voters on the ballot this fall:

It is vital that the public have a chance to shape the issues regarding our parks. We encourage you to write to the four sponsoring Supervisors (Avalos, Campos, Mar and Mirkarimi) to thank them for introducing Parks For The Public and let them know that you support limiting the privatization and unwarranted commercialization of our parks.

Please help spread the news about this measure to your community in the city and thank you very much for your continued support.


The Campaign to Keep The Arboretum Free


Supporter of Leak Suspect Is Called Before Grand Jury
June 15, 2011

A supporter of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, who is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, was called before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, but he said he declined to answer any questions. The supporter, David M. House, a freelance computer scientist, said he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, because he believes the Justice Department is "creating a climate of fear around WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning support network." The grand jury inquiry is separate from the military prosecution of Private Manning and is believed to be exploring whether the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, or others in the group violated the law by acquiring and publishing military and State Department documents.


Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

For nearly four decades, 64-year-old Albert Woodfox and 69-year-old Herman Wallace have been held in solitary confinement, mostly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison). Throughout their prolonged incarceration in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have endured very restrictive conditions including 23 hour cellular confinement. They have limited access to books, newspapers and TV and throughout the years of imprisonment they have been deprived of opportunities for mental stimulation and access to work and education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

Louisiana prison authorities have over the course of 39 years failed to provide a meaningful review of the men's continued isolation as they continue to rubberstamp the original decision to confine the men in CCR. Decades of solitary confinement have had a clear psychological effect on the men. Lawyers report that they are both suffering from serious health problems caused or exacerbated by their years of close confinement.

After being held together in the same prison for nearly 40 years, the men are now held in seperate institutions where they continue to be subjected to conditions that can only be described as cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Take action now to demand that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be immediately removed from solitary confinement

Sign our petition which will be sent to the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, calling on him to:

* take immediate steps to remove Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from close confinement
* ensure that their treatment complies with the USA's obligations under international standards and the US Constitution.




Stop Coal Companies From Erasing Labor Union History


One year after Bradley's detainment, we need your support more than ever.

Dear Friends,

One year ago, on May 26, 2010, the U.S. government quietly arrested a humble young American intelligence analyst in Iraq and imprisoned him in a military camp in Kuwait. Over the coming weeks, the facts of the arrest and charges against this shy soldier would come to light. And across the world, people like you and I would step forward to help defend him.

Bradley Manning, now 23 years old, has never been to court but has already served a year in prison- including 10 months in conditions of confinement that were clear violation of the international conventions against torture. Bradley has been informally charged with releasing to the world documents that have revealed corruption by world leaders, widespread civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces, the true face of Guantanamo, an unvarnished view of the U.S.'s imperialistic foreign negotiations, and the murder of two employees of Reuters News Agency by American soldiers. These documents released by WikiLeaks have spurred democratic revolutions across the Arab world and have changed the face of journalism forever.

For his act of courage, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison-or even death.

But you can help save him-and we've already seen our collective power. Working together with concerned citizens around the world, the Bradley Manning Support Network has helped raise worldwide awareness about Manning's torturous confinement conditions. Through the collective actions of well over a half million people and scores of organizations, we successfully pressured the U.S. government to end the tortuous conditions of pre-trial confinement that Bradley was subjected to at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia. Today, Bradley is being treated humanely at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. T hanks to your support, Bradley is given leeway to interact with other pre-trial prisoners, read books, write letters, and even has a window in his cell.

Of course we didn't mount this campaign to just improve Bradley's conditions in jail. Our goal is to ensure that he can receive a fair and open trial. Our goal is to win Bradley's freedom so that he can be reunited with his family and fulfill his dream of going to college. Today, to commemorate Bradley's one year anniversary in prison, will you join me in making a donation to help support Bradley's defense?

We'll be facing incredible challenges in the coming months, and your tax-deductible donation today will help pay for Bradley's civilian legal counsel and the growing international grassroots campaign on his behalf. The U.S. government has already spent a year building its case against Bradley, and is now calling its witnesses to Virginia to testify before a grand jury.

What happens to Bradley may ripple through history - he is already considered by many to be the single most important person of his generation. Please show your commitment to Bradley and your support for whistle-blowers and the truth by making a donation today.

With your help, I hope we will come to remember May 26th as a day to commemorate all those who risk their lives and freedom to promote informed democracy - and as the birth of a movement that successfully defended one courageous whistle-blower against the full fury of the U.S. government.

Donate now:

In solidarity,

Jeff Paterson and Loraine Reitman,
On behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee

P.S. After you have donated, please help us by forwarding this email to your closest friends. Ask them to stand with you to support Bradley Manning, and the rights of all whistleblowers.

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

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


Drop the Charges Against Carlos Montes, Stop the FBI Attack on the Chicano and Immigrant Rights Movement, and Stop FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!Call Off the Expanding Grand Jury Witchhunt and FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!

Cancel the Subpoenas! Cancel the Grand Juries!
Condemn the FBI Raids and Harassment of Chicano, Immigrant Rights, Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists!

Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression


Mumia Wins Decision Against Re-Imposition Of Death Sentence, But...
The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610


Abolish the Death Penalty Blog

Abolish the Death Penalty is a blog dedicated to...well, you know. The purpose of Abolish is to tell the personal stories of crime victims and their loved ones, people on death row and their loved ones and those activists who are working toward abolition. You may, from time to time, see news articles or press releases here, but that is not the primary mission of Abolish the Death Penalty. Our mission is to put a human face on the debate over capital punishment.
You can also follow death penalty news by reading our News page and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Million Tweets for Troy!

Take Action! Tweet for Troy!

When in doubt, don't execute!! Sign the petition for #TroyDavis!

Too much doubt! Stop the execution! #TroyDavis needs us!

No room for doubt! Stop the execution of #TroyDavis . Retweet, sign petition

Case not "ironclad", yet Georgiacould execute #TroyDavis ! Not on our watch! Petition:

No murder weapon. No physical evidence. Stop the execution! #TroyDavis petition:

7 out of 9 eyewitnesses recanted. No physical evidence. Stop the execution of Troy Davis #TroyDavis


Exonerated Death Row Survivors Urge Georgia to:
Stop the Execution of Troy Davis
Chairman James E. Donald
Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
May 1, 2011

Dear Chairperson Donald and Members of the Board:

We, the undersigned, are alive today because some individual or small group of individuals decided that our insistent and persistent proclamations of innocence warranted one more look before we were sent to our death by execution. We are among the 138 individuals who have been legally exonerated and released from death rows in the United States since 1973. We are alive because a few thoughtful persons-attorneys, journalists, judges, jurists, etc.-had lingering doubts about our cases that caused them to say "stop" at a critical moment and halt the march to the execution chamber. When our innocence was ultimately revealed, when our lives were saved, and when our freedom was won, we thanked God and those individuals of conscience who took actions that allowed the truth to eventually come to light.

We are America's exonerated death row survivors. We are living proof that a system operated by human beings is capable of making an irreversible mistake. And while we have had our wrongful convictions overturned and have been freed from death row, we know that we are extremely fortunate to have been able to establish our innocence. We also know that many innocent people who have been executed or who face execution have not been so fortunate. Not all those with innocence claims have had access to the kinds of physical evidence, like DNA, that our courts accept as most reliable. However, we strongly believe that the examples of our cases are reason enough for those with power over life and death to choose life. We also believe that those in authority have a unique moral consideration when encountering individuals with cases where doubt still lingers about innocence or guilt.

One such case is the case of Troy Anthony Davis, whose 1991 conviction for killing Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail rested almost solely on witness testimony. We know that today, 20 years later, witness evidence is considered much less reliable than it was then. This has meant that, even though most of the witnesses who testified against him have now recanted, Troy Davis has been unable to convince the courts to overturn his conviction, or even his death sentence.

Troy Davis has been able to raise serious doubts about his guilt, however. Several witnesses testified at the evidentiary hearing last summer that they had been coerced by police into making false statements against Troy Davis. This courtroom testimony reinforced previous statements in sworn affidavits. Also at this hearing, one witness testified for the first time that he saw an alternative suspect, and not Troy Davis, commit the crime. We don't know if Troy Davis is in fact innocent, but, as people who were wrongfully sentenced to death (and in some cases scheduled for execution), we believe it is vitally important that no execution go forward when there are doubts about guilt. It is absolutely essential to ensuring that the innocent are not executed.

When you issued a temporary stay for Troy Davis in 2007, you stated that the Board "will not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused." This standard is a welcome development, and we urge you to apply it again now. Doubts persist in the case of Troy Davis, and commuting his sentence will reassure the people of Georgia that you will never permit an innocent person to be put to death in their name.

Freddie Lee Pitts, an exonerated death row survivor who faced execution by the state of Florida for a crime he didn't commit, once said, "You can release an innocent man from prison, but you can't release him from the grave."

Thank you for considering our request.

Kirk Bloodsworth, Exonerated and freed from death row Maryland; Clarence Brandley, Exonerated and freed from death row in Texas; Dan Bright, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Albert Burrell, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Perry Cobb, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Gary Drinkard, Exonerated and freed from death row in Alabama; Nathson Fields, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Gary Gauger, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Michael Graham, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Shujaa Graham, Exonerated and freed from death row in California; Paul House, Exonerated and freed from death row in Tennessee; Derrick Jamison, Exonerated and freed from death row in Ohio; Dale Johnston, Exonerated and freed from death row in Ohio; Ron Keine, Exonerated and freed from death row in New Mexico; Ron Kitchen, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; Ray Krone, Exonerated and freed from death row in Arizona; Herman Lindsey, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Juan Melendez, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Randal Padgett, Exonerated and freed from death row in Alabama; Freddie Lee Pitts, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Randy Steidl, Exonerated and freed from death row in Illinois; John Thompson, Exonerated and freed from death row in Louisiana; Delbert Tibbs, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; David Keaton, Exonerated and freed from death row in Florida; Greg Wilhoit, Exonerated and freed from death row in Oklahoma; Harold Wilson, Exonerated and freed from death row in Pennsylvania.
-Witness to Innocence, May 11, 2011


"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=207100509321891


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

The Grand Jury is still on its witch hunt and the FBI is still
harassing activists. This must stop.
Please make these calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300 . Then dial 0
(zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

Suggested text: "My name is __________, I am from _______(city), in
______(state). I am calling _____ to demand he call off the Grand Jury
and stop FBI repression against the anti-war and Palestine solidarity
movements. I oppose U.S. government political repression and support
the right to free speech and the right to assembly of the 23 activists
subpoenaed. We will not be criminalized. Tell him to stop this
McCarthy-type witch hunt against international solidarity activists!"

If your call doesn't go through, try again later.

Update: 800 anti-war and international solidarity activists
participated in four regional conferences, in Chicago, IL; Oakland,
CA; Chapel Hill, NC and New York City to stop U.S. Attorney Patrick
Fitzgerald's Grand Jury repression.

Still, in the last few weeks, the FBI has continued to call and harass
anti-war organizers, repressing free speech and the right to organize.
However, all of their intimidation tactics are bringing a movement
closer together to stop war and demand peace.

We demand:
-- Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International Solidarity
-- Support Free Speech!
-- Support the Right to Organize!
-- Stop FBI Repression!
-- International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!
-- Stop the Criminalization of Arab and Muslim Communities!

Background: Fitzgerald ordered FBI raids on anti-war and solidarity
activists' homes and subpoenaed fourteen activists in Chicago,
Minneapolis, and Michigan on September 24, 2010. All 14 refused to
speak before the Grand Jury in October. Then, 9 more Palestine
solidarity activists, most Arab-Americans, were subpoenaed to appear
at the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011, launching renewed protests.
There are now 23 who assert their right to not participate in
Fitzgerald's witch-hunt.

The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, with no judge, and
no press. The U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings and hand
picks the jurors, and the solidarity activists are not allowed a
lawyer. Even the date when the Grand Jury ends is a secret.

So please make these calls to those in charge of the repression aimed
against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity
Email us to let us know your results. Send to

**Please sign and circulate our 2011 petition at

In Struggle,
Tom Burke,
for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

FFI: Visit or email or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After" demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to mobilize - or write your own....


An emergency public demonstration THE DAY AFTER any U.S. criminal indictment is announced against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Spread the word and call people to come out, across the whole range of movements and groups: anti-war, human rights, freedom of information/freedom of the press, peace, anti-torture, environmental, students and youth, radicals and revolutionaries, religious, civil liberties, teachers and educators, journalists, anti-imperialists, anti-censorship, anti-police state......

At the Federal Building in San Francisco, we'll form ourselves into a human chain "surrounding" the government that meets the Wikileaked truth with repression and wants to imprison and silence leakers, whistleblowers and truthtellers - when, in fact, these people are heroes. We'll say:


New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic Center)
4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

Those who dare at great risk to themselves to put the truth in the hands of the people - and others who might at this moment be thinking about doing more of this themselves -- need to see how much they are supported, and that despite harsh repression from the government and total spin by the mainstream media, the people do want the truth told.

Brad Manning's Christmas Eve statement was just released by his lawyer: "Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him. 'I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time,' he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer...." Read more here:

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too.
Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay



Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TEXAS 76127

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list; wait til she or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of you.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for email. Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries" (pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money, you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to Federal Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa 50947-001 (Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days. Western Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information:
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.


In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:



Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's death row!

- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):


Free the Children of Palestine!
Sign Petition:

Published by Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition on Dec 16, 2010
Category: Children's Rights
Region: GLOBAL
Target: President Obama
Web site:



"Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority, which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests."..."Publishing State Secrets" By Leon Trotsky
Documents on Soviet Policy, Trotsky, iii, 2 p. 64
November 22, 1917


To understand how much a trillion dollars is, consider looking at it in terms of time:

A million seconds would be about eleven-and-one-half days; a billion seconds would be 31 years; and a trillion seconds would be 31,000 years!

From the novel "A Dark Tide," by Andrew Gross

Now think of it in terms of U.S. war dollars and bankster bailouts!


Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution."
-Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq
Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might
also be interested in supporting GI resisters.


Add your name! We stand with Bradley Manning.

"We stand for truth, for government transparency, and for an end to our tax-dollars funding endless occupation abroad... We stand with accused whistle-blower US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning."

Dear All,

The Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist are launching a new campaign, and we wanted to give you a chance to be among the first to add your name to this international effort. If you sign the letter online, we'll print out and mail two letters to Army officials on your behalf. With your permission, we may also use your name on the online petition and in upcoming media ads.

Read the complete public letter and add your name at:

Courage to Resist (
on behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network (
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610


Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Please make a donation today at (PayPal) on the right side of your screen. Also you can write to:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

This is a critical time for us to stand together, defend free speech, and defend those who help to organize for peace and justice, both at home and abroad!

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke


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.
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 and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


Support the troops who refuse to fight!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) How is Bradley Manning's Situation Reminiscent of the Rosenberg Case?
Support Bradley Manning
by Robert Meeropol Director's Blog - The Rosenberg Fund for Children
June 30, 2011

2) Make Some Noise: International Solidarity for Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!
Posted on July 4, 2011 by prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity

3) Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker's Collective Bargaining Law
[In a world where working people organize to fight back, the union would demand that the prisoners get union wages, benefits and union representation! Then the prisoners and the union workers would go out on strike until their demands are met! And, every week their demands are not met, another union would join the strike! An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our weakest link! Solidarity Forever! That's how the union marches on!]
By Alex Seitz-Wald
July 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

4) By the Numbers Wealth in America
July 7, 2011

5) What Obama Wants
July 7, 2011

6) Job Growth Falters Badly, Clouding Hope for Recovery
July 8, 2011

7) As Wall St. Polices Itself, Prosecutors Use Softer Approach
"The guidelines left open a possibility other than guilty or not guilty, giving leniency often if companies investigated and reported their own wrongdoing. In return, the government could enter into agreements to delay or cancel the prosecution if the companies promised to change their behavior." [Like an indulgent parent, "Okay..honey. Just promise not to do it again. ...Do you want some more tax breaks and bailouts--I mean, ice cream?"
July 7, 2011

8) U.N. Report Criticizes Israel for Actions at Border
July 7, 2011

9) Israel Blocks Flights to Protest Gathering
July 8, 2011

10) NATO Says Airstrike in Afghan Province Killed Women and Children
July 7, 2011

11) Mexican Citizen Is Executed as Justices Refuse to Step In
July 7, 2011

12) Hunger Strike by Inmates Is Latest Challenge to California's Prison System
"We believe our only option of ever trying to make some kind of positive change here is through this peaceful hunger strike," Todd Ashker, one of the Pelican Bay inmates who organized the strike, said in a statement conveyed through a lawyer. "And there is a core group of us who are committed to taking this all the way to the death if necessary."
July 7, 2011

13) Egg Producers and Humane Society Urging Federal Standard on Hen Cages
July 7, 2011

14) Questions Are Raised on Restraint Training
"Incidents of restraint (in which a child's movement is restricted), seclusion (in which a child is involuntarily confined alone in a room) and other behavioral episodes in California schools more than doubled to 21,076 between the 2005-6 and 2009-10 school years, according to California Department of Education figures."
July 7, 2011

15) Death Penalty, Still Racist and Arbitrary
July 8, 2011

16) Egypt's Tahrir Square Again Echoes With Cries for Justice
July 8, 2011

17) Georgia: Photographers Still Jailed
July 9, 2011

18) California Cuts Weigh Heavily on Its Colleges
"Tuition is expected to rise roughly 20 percent next year, just the latest in series of steep increases. Yearly in-state tuition at California State University will average about $5,500, while at the University of California, it is expected to be $13,200 if the increases are approved this month. Programs all over the state are being shuttered, star professors are leaving for colleges in other states, faculty positions are being left unfilled and class sizes are continuing to grow. While the state's spending on the system is down to a level not seen since the late-1990s, the campuses enroll tens of thousands more students."
July 8, 2011

19) Shutdown in Minnesota Ripples Out to Day Care
"Without that stipend, a parent with two children, for instance, would have to pay $300 or $400 a week, a significant amount for women who often work jobs that pay less than $10 an hour."
July 8, 2011

20) Somehow, the Unemployed Became Invisible
And with apologies to Karl Marx, the workers of the world, particularly the unemployed, are also no longer uniting.
July 9, 2011


1) How is Bradley Manning's Situation Reminiscent of the Rosenberg Case?
Support Bradley Manning
by Robert Meeropol Director's Blog - The Rosenberg Fund for Children
June 30, 2011

Last week I joined the Advisory Board of the Bradley Manning Support Network. I sought them out not only because it is a honor to join a Board that includes Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, as well as Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, and filmmaker Michael Moore, among others, but also because I believe it is imperative for as many people as possible to raise their voices in support of Manning.

Private First Class Manning is accused of being the source of the huge number of secret diplomatic cables, field intelligence reports, and at least one military video published by Wikileaks. He was held without charge for nine months in the brig at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, isolated for 23 hours a day in "Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury Watch." I believe that the conditions of his imprisonment, including the Abu Ghraib style humiliation of being forced to strip and surrender his clothing nightly, amounted to torture. Manning's rights were violated further when President Obama, the military's commander in chief, declared Manning guilty. Since Manning faces a possible court martial by military officers, all of whom are under Obama's command, this makes it impossible for him to receive a fair trial.

I have several reasons to aid Private Manning.

The first is my commitment to the concept of Freedom of Information. Bradley Manning has been imprisoned and threatened with death for providing the truth to the American people. In the words of Daniel Ellsberg: "If Bradley Manning did what he's accused of, then he's a hero of mine." The free flow of information is absolutely essential to a functioning democracy. Since 2001, the burgeoning "National Security State" has made it almost impossible for voters to make informed choices.

The people's right to know what their government is doing has been at the core of my activism for almost four decades. It was no accident that my brother and I chose to sue under the newly toughened Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) when we commenced our campaign to reopen our parents' case in 1974. Reporters asked if we were worried that the material in the government's files we sought would point to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's guilt rather than their innocence. We answered without hesitation that while we hoped the material would exonerate our parents, the public's right to know was more important than the vindication of our beliefs. My brother and I spent 10 years of our lives fighting that case in the name of the public's right to know. The attack on Bradley Manning is an assault upon this right and must be resisted.

Also, I am virtually certain that the cruel and inhumane conditions Manning was subjected to in the Marine Base brig were designed to coerce him into testifying against Julian Assange and the Wikileaks community. In other words, the government wanted Manning to become the David Greenglass of the Wikileaks case. In my parent's case the government offered David Greenglass a deal in return for falsely testifying that my parents engineered Greenglass's theft of what the government called "the secret of the Atomic bomb," even though my parents did not participate in that theft and there was no such secret. Similarly, the government sought to use Manning as a pawn to spark a conspiracy trail against Julian Assange and his associates in order to expand the security state and inflame public fear that hackers threaten our national security.

Finally, it is reported that Bradley Manning may be charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, and face the death penalty if he is convicted. That's the same penalty my parents received for violating that act.

Under such circumstances, how could I stay away! For more informative about the Bradley Manning support network go to:


2) Make Some Noise: International Solidarity for Pelican Bay Hunger Strike!
Posted on July 4, 2011 by prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity

The support for the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike is strong and expanding as people inside and outside prison all over the world are connecting the Pelican Bay Hunger strike to local struggles against powerlessness and inequality.

How have people been showing support for the hunger strike?

Inside Prison:

Prisoners across the US are showing their solidarity with the Pelican Bay SHU Prisoners by joining the hunger strike for varying lengths of time (like Corcoran, Folsom, CCI Tehachapi, Calipatria and Centinela State Prisons in CA and Ohio State Penitentiary), or by bravely writting statements, letters, or calling people outside to relay messages to the Pelican Bay hunger strikes. These messages will be delivered to the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay during the next round of visits.

Outside Prison:

Families and loved-ones of prisoners have been organizing outside of Pelican Bay, sharing information with each other before visiting with their loved ones inside. Danza Mexica Cuauhtemoc danzers from Los Angeles are up in Crescent City in front of the prison to support the hunger strikers with ceremony.

Outside Corcoran State Prison, where prisoners have joined the Pelican Bay hunger strike in solidarity, families and community members have been rallying to show their support, as well as sharing information before visiting their loved ones.

A growing number of supporters internationally are joining the prisoners on a hunger strike by fasting for various amounts of time.

In Seattle, Washington, a group of people equipped with a mobile sound system met in front of the King County Juvenile Detention Center in the Central District of Seattle. The group played music, banged on pots and pans, and made speeches (including the demands from Pelican Bay and how King County and Pelican Bay are connected) through megaphones in front of the prison cells. At one point, every occupant in the cells along the southern end of the Detention Center was banging on the walls and windows of their cells, responding to the cheers and words from outside. The event lasted for an hour and there were no arrests, despite a large police presence.

Prisoners at Collins Bay Federal Penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario began a work strike on June 28th demanding an end to overcrowding at the prison, and are protesting worsening conditions. The federal prison restructuring and increasing criminalization has caused double bunking at many prisons and is intensifying tensions inside and outside prisons.

Supporters in Ontario are linking the struggles at Collins Bay to prisoner's struggles at Pelican Bay. On the morning of Monday, July 4th, a banner was dropped off a building overlooking City Hall in downtown Kingston, Ontario.

Deaths in Custody Watch Committee in Western Australia also supports the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, dedicating an action in Perth on July 3rd for NAIDOC week (a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander survival).

Make sure to check out the actions page for upcoming rallies and events to show your support, help circulate the online petition, and call the CDCR and CA Elected officials and urge them to honor the prisoners' demands!

Actions Page:

OnLine Petition:

Call the CDCR and CA Elected officials:


3) Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker's Collective Bargaining Law
[In a world where working people organize to fight back, the union would demand that the prisoners get union wages, benefits and union representation! Then the prisoners and the union workers would go out on strike until their demands are met! And, every week their demands are not met, another union would join the strike! An injury to one is an injury to all! We are only as strong as our weakest link! Solidarity Forever! That's how the union marches on!]
By Alex Seitz-Wald
July 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it's helping a different group in Wisconsinites - inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, "Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a 'union-only' job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place." Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker's new law, they have no recourse. Watch a report from Fox6 in Green Bay:

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it's helping a different group in Wisconsinites - inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, "Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a 'union-only' job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place." Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker's new law, they have no recourse. Watch a report from Fox6 in Green Bay:

The Washington Examiner called Racine's move "another success story" and "all great news for Wisconsin taxpayers. Hopefully, we'll see more of it." So far, it appears no other jurisdiction has followed Racine's example - for now. It may just be a matter of time to allow existing union contracts to expire. The spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office of Dane County, which includes Madison, said, "Nobody in our jail will be this time" from the new law, but the left the door open for future changes.

While giving prisoners more work and activity options is generally positive, using free inmate labor to replace public sector workers is a disturbing trend.


4) By the Numbers Wealth in America
July 7, 2011

"Who gets what, when and how?" once was acknowledged as being the essence of politics. It still is - we just do not talk about it candidly. Questions of skewed income distribution somehow are deemed inappropriate for polite company. That includes political parties, Congress, Executive agencies, the media, and - yes - even the 'intelligensia' in the foundations, in the think tanks, in the universities. So the greatest wealth transfer in America history goes on - into the bank accounts of the nation's 2% upper crust from the increasingly threadbare pockets of the lower 85% - to the sounds of silence.

Here are the facts in digits. Numbers can obscure the truth. At times they can bring the truth starkly to our attention. Numbers are able to bring precision to rough, off the top of the head estimates. They also are able to shed a bright light on matters that are routinely obscured in our opaque public discourse. That opacity often is the intentional aim of self-interested parties - whether politically or financially or doctrinally motivated. Here are some numbers about the distribution of the nation's wealth that sharpen the distinction between how it currently is distributed and how it might be distributed were more equitable standards incorporated into public policy.

The economy of the United States as stated in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was approximately $15 trillion in 2010 - actually somewhat more*. Total expenditures by governments at all levels (federal, state and local) were approximately $5 trillion - actually somewhat less.. That does not include Social Security and Medicare expenditures since they are financed by outlays of dedicated Trust Funds that are solvent. Social Security receives more in FICA withholdings than it pays out to recipients.(The question of future solvency will be addressed below). The balance is approximately $10 trillion. Simple arithmetic tells us that per capita income is approximately $32,000 per capita - per every man, woman and child, not per worker. That is $32,000 per capita left over after all our governments pay their bills.

More simple arithmetic tells us, that the average income of a family of four is $128,000. The average family size, though, is 3.14 persons. The statistically average family's share of net (post-public expenditure) is $100,000+. The actual median family income is approximately $40,000.** (Median refers to the point midway between the upper half and lower half of the number - in this case, the number of U.S. households). We have to reduce that $100,000+ by the standard FICA withholding of 7.65, i.e. the wage-earner's obligatory contribution to the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. Let's raise that to 10% in anticipation of a shortfall in the two Trust Funds (the former funded to 2040 without an increase; the latter unsure). Such a steep increase, which should be accompanied by a raising of the ceiling on FICA withholding well above the current income cap of $105,000, would ensure the solvency of both programs for the foreseeable future. So we cut the statistically average family's income from $100,000+ to roughly $90,000.

Now comes the stunning reality: only 7% of American families earn that amount. Median family income is $50,000 lower than the adjusted statistically average family. There are approximately 105,000,000 household units in the United States. Of them, 93% have an income lower than the statistical median noted above. Multiply 105,000,000 (households) by $50,000 and you get $5.25 trillion. That is the difference between the total actual annual earnings of every household which receives less than the statistical median and what they would earn in aggregate if all national income were distributed equally. Or, to put it another way, $5.25 trillion is the income of the top 7% of households above and beyond what they would receive were national income distributed absolutely equally.

Of course, no society distributes wealth on a perfectly equal basis - nor should it. So let's conjecture a situation in which 25%, or one quarter of net national income or $2.5 trillion, goes to the top 7% households, i.e. 7 million households. That comes to $354,000 for each of those households. (That figure does not include any dividend, interest, capital gains earnings that were not reported fully/accurately to the Census Bureau - but was reported to the IRS which does not share that information with the Census Bureau). That would leave about $7.56 trillion per annum for the other 93% of households. A second scenario that is more generous to the rich assumes that 50% goes to the top 7% households. That would mean $531,000 for each of those households. In this latter scenario, that would leave $$5.02 trillion to raise the income of the 93% of American households. This second scenario is close to what actually occurs in Scandinavia. A third scenario that sees fully 75% of national income go to the top 7% of American households raises the income for each to $708,000. That would leave $2.48 trillion to raise the income of 93% of American households.

Any of these net sums buys a lot of groceries, pays a lot of utility bills, pays for a lot of college tuition, pays for a lot of vision and dental care, pays for a lot of uninsured medical costs, pays a lot of rent or mortgage. It also could pay for a lot of teachers, policemen and firemen's salaries. It could build a lot of mass transit. All that even without cutting our bloated military and intelligence budgets which amount nominally to $825 billion per annum; and with attendant follow-on costs more than $1 trillion per annum. Cut those expenditures by 25% and you add $250 billion per annum to funds available to pay for the good things in life whether distributed among income earners or applied to productive social expenditure or a combination of the two..

How is it that so many American citizens do without so much that the citizens of other wealthy developed societies enjoy - especially economic security? Just look at the numbers. The future? Watch the ripples. The ripples from the bipartisan campaign to cut Social Security (now with AARP connivance), cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid, cutting private pensions and health insurance, firing government workers, busting unions, the Bush/Obama tax cuts for the super-rich.

In short, economic life is too serious to be left to the economists.

Michael Brenner is a Professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.


*The question is raised whether aggregate national wealth should be the Bureau of Economic Statistics 'National Income' figure or its 'Gross Domestic product' figure. The former is lower than the latter. I do not believe that the distinction is significant for the purposes of this discussion. GDP and National Income are different accounting categories . The latter subtracts depreciation and the like. Depreciation is just a tax gift which, if accurate, simply indicates (possible) future capital expenditure. Those deductions do not change the aggregate value of real economic activity which is identical with GDP. So my numbers hold up. See for yourself from official NBS numbers. The BES also subtracts from GDP 'Government' activity ($606 billion). The justification for doing so is obscure; after all it is every bit as much a valuable service to the national economy as is inventing new derivatives.

Gross national product 14,637.6 TRILLION
Less: Consumptio n of fixed capital 1,852.4 1,860.6
Private 1,522.8
Domestic business 1,231.1
Capital consumption allowances 1,145.5
Less: Capital consumption adjustment -85.6 -

Households and institutions 291.7
Government 329.6

General government 276.5
13 Government enterprises 53.2 14

Equals: Net National Product 12,785.2 TRILLION

**There is no definitive method for calculating median household income. Hence, no consensus on the number. The OECD figures put it at $31,000 on a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis. The Census Bureau calculates it to be as high as $46,000. $40,000 is round number closer to the latter figure.


5) What Obama Wants
July 7, 2011

On Thursday, President Obama met with Republicans to discuss a debt deal. We don't know exactly what was proposed, but news reports before the meeting suggested that Mr. Obama is offering huge spending cuts, possibly including cuts to Social Security and an end to Medicare's status as a program available in full to all Americans, regardless of income.

Obviously, the details matter a lot, but progressives, and Democrats in general, are understandably very worried. Should they be? In a word, yes.

Now, this might just be theater: Mr. Obama may be pulling an anti-Corleone, making Republicans an offer they can't accept. The reports say that the Obama plan also involves significant new revenues, a notion that remains anathema to the Republican base. So the goal may be to paint the G.O.P. into a corner, making Republicans look like intransigent extremists - which they are.

But let's be frank. It's getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama's motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.'s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that's not a false impression; maybe it's the simple truth.

One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend's presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: "Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can't afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs."

That's three of the right's favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn't budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn't "put the economy on sounder footing." They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren't holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they're holding back because they don't have enough customers - a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts.

In his brief remarks after Thursday's meeting, by the way, Mr. Obama seemed to reiterate the Herbert Hooveresque view that deficit reduction is what we need to "grow the economy."

People have asked me why the president's economic advisers aren't telling him not to believe in the confidence fairy - that is, not to believe the assertion, popular on the right but overwhelmingly refuted by the evidence, that slashing spending in the face of a depressed economy will magically create jobs. My answer is, what economic advisers? Almost all the high-profile economists who joined the Obama administration early on have either left or are leaving.

Nor have they been replaced. As The Wall Street Journal recently noted, there are a "stunning" number of vacancies in important economic posts. So who's defining the administration's economic views?

Some of what we're hearing is presumably coming from the political team, whose members seem to believe that a move toward Republican positions, reminiscent of former President Bill Clinton's "triangulation" in the 1990s, is the key to Mr. Obama's re-election. And Mr. Clinton did, indeed, rebound from a big defeat in the 1994 midterms to win big two years later. But some of us think that the rebound had less to do with his rhetorical move to the center than with the five million jobs the economy added over those two years - an achievement not likely to be repeated this time, especially not in the face of harsh spending cuts.

Anyway, I don't believe that it's all political calculation. Watching Mr. Obama and listening to his recent statements, it's hard not to get the impression that he is now turning for advice to people who really believe that the deficit, not unemployment, is the top issue facing America right now, and who also believe that the great bulk of deficit reduction should come from spending cuts. It's worth noting that even Republicans weren't suggesting cuts to Social Security; this is something Mr. Obama and those he listens to apparently want for its own sake.

Which raises the big question: If a debt deal does emerge, and it overwhelmingly reflects conservative priorities and ideology, should Democrats in Congress vote for it?

Mr. Obama's people will no doubt argue that their fellow party members should trust him, that whatever deal emerges was the best he could get. But it's hard to see why a president who has gone out of his way to echo Republican rhetoric and endorse false conservative views deserves that kind of trust.


6) Job Growth Falters Badly, Clouding Hope for Recovery
July 8, 2011

For the second month in a row, employers added barely any jobs in June, showing that the economic recovery has hit a serious speed bump.

With all levels of government laying off workers, the Labor Department reported that employers eked out just 18,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs in June. The already low number created in May was also revised downward to a dismally small 25,000 new jobs, less than half of what was originally reported last month.

Although the government's survey of employers showed them adding jobs, a separate survey of households showed that more people were out of work than in the previous month, causing the unemployment rate to rise to 9.2 percent.

Economists were stunned since they had been expecting June to show stronger job creation as oil prices eased and supply disruptions receded in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake. Instead, the government's monthly snapshot of the labor market showed that several sectors, including construction, finance and temporary services, actually shed workers. At the same time, leading indicators like wages and the length of the average workweek, which tend to grow before employers begin adding more jobs, actually contracted.

"Even the wild-eyed optimists out there have nothing to grasp onto in this report except to say, 'Ah, this too shall pass,' " said Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist at MFR Inc.

Most analysts are not yet forecasting an outright slide back into recession, but at a time when President Obama and Congress are focusing on spending cuts, Europe is in financial crisis and even China's growth is slowing, there is little expectation of anything other than a prolonged slog for the United States economy.

"Stimulus is fading, and we still have plenty of problems left over from the popping of the bubble," said Mr. Shapiro. "So it's going to be a touch-and-go, or a very sub-par, situation for a very long time. The question is a matter of degree in terms of how soft or sub-par it's going to be, as opposed to whether it's going to remain that way."

In remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House on Friday, President Obama went beyond his usual remarks counseling patience on the economy's long return to health and urged Congress to extend the payroll tax cut passed last December. He also said that legislators should sign pending trade agreements and pass bills that would establish an infrastructure bank and reform the patent process, all measures that he said would help create jobs.

"There are bills and trade agreements before Congress right now that could get all these ideas moving," President Obama said. "All of them have bipartisan support. All of them could pass immediately, and I urge Congress not to wait."

Republicans blamed the president and congressional Democrats for the weak job market, with Speaker of the House John Boehner saying that ending the ban on drilling for oil and lifting regulations would spur hiring.

In June, virtually all the job growth came from private companies, which added 57,000 jobs, a striking retrenchment from the average of more than 200,000 jobs a month between February and April. The largest gains came from health care and leisure and hospitality, while manufacturing, which lost jobs in May, was able to add just 6,000 slots in June.

The economy needs to add at least 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with normal population growth. The protracted stretch of weak-to-moderate job creation over the last two years has left many of the people who lost jobs during the recession increasingly desperate. There are now 14.1 million unemployed, with 6.3 million of them having searched for work for six months or longer. Including those who are working part-time because they can't find full-time work and those who have stopped looking, the broader unemployment rate is now 16.2 percent, its highest level since December 2010.

Economists said that companies had been battered by a string of bad news throughout the spring and were reluctant to hire. "Sentiment for businesses is on a knife's edge," said Omair Sharif, United States economist for the Royal Bank of Scotland. "So that when you get a few negative data points, it's all doom and gloom."

Budget strains in the public sector were evident as the federal government slashed 14,000 jobs and state and local governments cut an additional 25,000. Nearly three-quarters of the job losses at the local level came in education.

The bleak Labor Department report gave little sign of a coming turnaround. Temporary help services, which tend to expand before employers hire permanently, fell back by 12,000 jobs.

Janette Marx, senior vice president at Ajilon Professional Staffing, a unit of Adecco, said that while companies in the accounting and finance sector had ratcheted down their requests for temporary workers, they were slowly recruiting permanent hires. Some economists pointed to more recent data showing a pickup in retail sales at chain stores and a rise in an index of business hiring intentions as an indication of future job growth.

In manufacturing, some analysts said that a pickup in auto production in the fall after the Japan-related slowdown, as well as steady growth in business equipment sales, could fuel job creation in the coming months.

Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist of the Manufacturers Alliance, a trade group, said that consumers who had been delaying purchases of cars, washing machines, refrigerators and other big equipment that breaks down over time would eventually start buying again as they paid down debts accumulated before the recession.

"Spending was severely cut during the recession," Mr. Meckstroth said. "Now, the longer you wait, the more pressure there is to make purchases. You can't postpone some things indefinitely." Mr. Meckstroth said he expected auto sales in particular to rise in the fall.

But with so many people still unemployed and private-sector wages declining somewhat, consumer demand is likely to remain weak. "Just because Toyota didn't sell the car in May or June doesn't mean that they're going to sell it in September," said Steve Blitz, a senior economist for ITG Investment Research. He added that consumers were already satisfying their need for autos by buying used cars.

Other signs of economic fragility have emerged in recent reports showing tepid consumer sentiment and factory sales and continued weakness in the housing sector. Economists have also brought down their forecasts for the overall growth of the economy, with some estimating an annual rate of about 2 percent or slightly more for the second quarter.

Mr. Blitz said he saw little sign that hiring would pick up any time soon as online job listings were still flagging. "We're looking for this type of weak employment numbers to continue through July, August and September," he said.

Christine Hauser contributed reporting.


7) As Wall St. Polices Itself, Prosecutors Use Softer Approach
"The guidelines left open a possibility other than guilty or not guilty, giving leniency often if companies investigated and reported their own wrongdoing. In return, the government could enter into agreements to delay or cancel the prosecution if the companies promised to change their behavior." [Like an indulgent parent, "Okay..honey. Just promise not to do it again. ...Do you want some more tax breaks and bailouts--I mean, ice cream?"
July 7, 2011

As the financial storm brewed in the summer of 2008 and institutions feared for their survival, a bit of good news bubbled through large banks and the law firms that defend them.

Federal prosecutors officially adopted new guidelines about charging corporations with crimes - a softer approach that, longtime white-collar lawyers and former federal prosecutors say, helps explain the dearth of criminal cases despite a raft of inquiries into the financial crisis.

Though little noticed outside legal circles, the guidelines were welcomed by firms representing banks. The Justice Department's directive, involving a process known as deferred prosecutions, signaled "an important step away from the more aggressive prosecutorial practices seen in some cases under their predecessors," Sullivan & Cromwell, a prominent Wall Street law firm, told clients in a memo that September.

The guidelines left open a possibility other than guilty or not guilty, giving leniency often if companies investigated and reported their own wrongdoing. In return, the government could enter into agreements to delay or cancel the prosecution if the companies promised to change their behavior.

But this approach, critics maintain, runs the risk of letting companies off too easily.

"If you do not punish crimes, there's really no reason they won't happen again," said Mary Ramirez, a professor at Washburn University School of Law and a former assistant United States attorney. "I worry and so do a lot of economists that we have created no disincentives for committing fraud or white-collar crime, in particular in the financial space."

While "deferred prosecution agreements" were used before the financial crisis, the Justice Department made them an official alternative in 2008, according to the Sullivan & Cromwell note.

It is among a number of signs, white-collar crime experts say, that the government seems to be taking a gentler approach.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also added deferred prosecution as a tool last year and has embraced another alternative to litigation - reports that chronicle wrongdoing at institutions like Moody's Investors Service, often without punishing anyone. The financial crisis cases brought by the S.E.C. - like a recent settlement with JPMorgan Chase for selling a mortgage security that soured - have rarely named executives as defendants.

Defending the department's approach, Alisa Finelli, a spokeswoman, said deferred prosecution agreements require that corporations pay penalties and restitution, correct criminal conduct and "achieve these results without causing the loss of jobs, the loss of pensions and other significant negative consequences to innocent parties who played no role in the criminal conduct, were unaware of it or were unable to prevent it."

The department began pulling back from a more aggressive pursuit of white-collar crime around 2005, say defense lawyers and former prosecutors, after the Supreme Court overturned a conviction it won against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. That ended an era of brass-knuckle prosecutions related to fraud at companies like Enron.

Another example of this more cautious prosecutorial strategy: Government lawyers now go to companies earlier in an inquiry, and often tell companies to figure out whether improper activities occurred. Then those companies hire law firms to investigate and report back to the government. The practice was criticized last year when the Justice Department struck a settlement with Beazer Homes USA, a home builder accused of mortgage fraud.

This "outsourcing" of investigations - as some lawyers call it - has led to increased coziness between the government and companies, some critics say.

In banking, the collaboration is even stronger, dating to the mid-1990s when banks were asked to regularly report suspicious activities to the Treasury Department, an effort that aimed at relieving regulators of some of their enforcement loads. But it gave regulators a false assurance that banks would spot and report all wrongdoing, former investigators say. Moreover, companies are not as likely to come forward with evidence related to senior executives or to widespread patterns of misbehavior, some academics say.

Intended to make the most of the government's limited investigative resources, the government's cooperation with corporations and industry groups can work well and save money when business hums along as usual. But some veterans of government prosecutions question such collaboration in financial crisis cases, and contend they should have been pursued more aggressively.

"Traditionally, a bank would tell the Department of Justice when an employee engaged in crimes, but what do you do when the bank itself is run by a criminal enterprise?" said Solomon L. Wisenberg, former chief of the financial institutions fraud unit for the United States attorney in the Western District of Texas in the early 1990s. "You have to be able to investigate without just waiting for the bank to give you the referral. The people running the institutions are not going to come to the D.O.J. and tell them about themselves."

A Clash of Agencies

Beazer Homes, based in Charlotte, N.C., became one of the nation's 10 largest home builders in the 2000s - in large part because of mortgage lending options that attracted buyers. But its mortgage business eventually attracted prosecutors, too.

In March 2007, the inspector general and officials of the Department of Housing and Urban Development began investigating claims that Beazer had engaged in mortgage fraud, causing losses to the Federal Housing Administration's insurance fund that covered mortgages when buyers couldn't pay.

Investigators found that Beazer had been offering a lower mortgage rate if buyers paid an extra fee, but then not giving them the lower rate. And it was enticing homeowners by offering down payment assistance, but not disclosing that it then raised the price of the house by the same amount.

The Beazer board's audit committee hired the law firm of Alston & Bird to conduct an internal investigation. Documents supplied to Congress by HUD show that Justice Department officials advised HUD investigators not to interview borrowers or former Beazer employees until Alston & Bird completed its review.

In April 2009, justice officials notified HUD that a deferred prosecution agreement with Beazer had been reached - the sort of deal that Sullivan & Cromwell had celebrated in its client memo a year earlier - essentially shutting down the HUD investigation.

Beazer agreed to pay consumers and the government as much as $55 million under the deal. It also paid approximately that amount to Alston & Bird, investigators found. While a member of the justice team told HUD that criminal proceedings would be forthcoming against individuals at Beazer, the documents show, there has been only one indictment: of Michael T. Rand, the company's former chief accounting officer, whose trial is to begin this fall.

A year after the settlement, Kenneth M. Donohue, the inspector general of HUD at the time, raised questions about its handling. He said he was disturbed by the interference by the Justice Department and its calls to stop pursuing Beazer executives so the deferred prosecution deal could be completed. "As a law enforcement official for over 40 years," Mr. Donohue wrote in a letter to Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, "I have never witnessed a like action in any of my varied dealings."

In a recent interview, Mr. Donohue, now a senior adviser at the Reznick Group, an accounting firm in Bethesda, Md., said of the Justice Department: "The most important point of this whole thing is the fact that they threatened the HUD office of the inspector general that we would not be allowed to go forward with our investigation of executives if we didn't agree to their settlement."

David A. Brown, acting United States attorney on the case, said: "What we do is work cooperatively as a team in conducting these investigations. We don't tell agencies to stand down when they are working as part of the team." He said that the investigation was continuing, and that the Justice Department was proud of the deferred prosecution agreement and the restitution Beazer paid, which more than covered the losses of the Federal Housing Administration fund.

Beazer did not respond to an e-mail, and Alston & Bird did not return a call seeking comment.

Ms. Finelli, the department's spokeswoman, said that deferred or nonprosecution agreements had led to charges against individuals in many cases; of the 20 companies she cited, three were financial companies. But none were cases related to the financial crisis.

Still, some lawyers applaud the closer relationship between the government and business. "Given the scanty resources that have been committed to corporate crime enforcement, I think the government's leveraging of its prosecution power from corporations and their lawyers has been critically important," said Daniel C. Richman, professor of law at Columbia and a former assistant United States attorney in New York.

But Professor Richman added that the government should have "a much more developed, funded and empowered S.E.C., Federal Reserve, E.P.A. and other agencies to do regulation, to do enforcement and feed cases where necessary to criminal prosecutors."

Changing Course

The names have become synonymous with corporate wrongdoing - and forceful prosecution: Not just Enron, but also WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, Rite Aid and ImClone. In the early part of the last decade, senior executives at all these companies were convicted and imprisoned.

But by 2005, a debate was growing over aggressive prosecutions, as some business leaders had been criticizing the approach as perhaps too zealous.

That May, Justice Department officials met ahead of a session with a cross-agency group called the Corporate Fraud Task Force. It was weeks after Justice Department lawyers had presented to the Supreme Court their case against Arthur Andersen, which was seeking - successfully, it would turn out - to overturn its criminal fraud conviction in a prominent case.

In the meeting, the deputy attorney general at the time, James B. Comey, posed questions that surprised some attendees, according to two people there who asked to remain anonymous because they were not supposed to discuss private meetings.

Was American business being hurt by the Justice Department's investigations?, Mr. Comey asked, according to these two people, who said they thought the message had come from others. He cautioned colleagues to be responsible. "It was a total retrenchment," one of the people said. "It was like we were going backwards."

Mr. Comey said recently that he did not recall this conversation.

Around the same time, the Justice Department was developing instructions on dealing with companies under investigation - particularly companies that work with the government. It issued a memo in 2003 that gave companies more credit for cooperating than in the past. That message was reinforced in another memo in 2006.

As the first memo put it, "it is entirely proper in many investigations for a prosecutor to consider the corporation's pre-indictment conduct, e.g., voluntary disclosure, cooperation, remediation or restitution, in determining whether to seek an indictment."

During this period, the Justice Department increased the use of deferred prosecutions or even nonprosecution agreements.

Many well-known companies have benefited. In 2004, the American International Group, the giant insurer, paid $126 million when it entered a deferred prosecution agreement to settle investigations into claims that it had helped clients improperly burnish financial statements.

Deals over accounting improprieties also were struck that year by Computer Associates International, a technology company, and in 2005 by Bristol- Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical concern. Prudential Financial entered into a deferred prosecution in 2006 over improper mutual fund trading.

No such prosecution deals for large banks have yet arisen out of the financial crisis. Some bank analysts say they may be coming. The government may eventually strike one with Goldman Sachs, which it continues to investigate for its mortgage securities dealings, Brad Hintz, a securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, wrote recently. "If an alleged violation is identified during a Goldman investigation, we expect a reasoned response from the Justice Department," he added.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

The S.E.C. can also file deferred prosecutions, and it sometimes issues reports about wrongdoing in lieu of litigation. It has been increasing the number of reports it files, and is considering issuing one about misleading accounting at Lehman Brothers, Bloomberg News has reported. The S.E.C. did something similar last year to resolve a credit ratings investigation of Moody's Investors Service. The reports from the commission are intended to give companies guidance on appropriate practices.

Such results provide bragging rights among corporate defense lawyers, according to longtime observers of the legal system.

"The corporate crime defense bar has this down to a science," said Russell Mokhiber, the editor of Corporate Crime Reporter, a publication that tracks prosecutions. "I interview them all the time, and they boast about how they've gamed the system."

Industry Advantage

Even as companies cooperate with the government, they also work closely with one another, creating industrywide strategies in response to investigations. Legal representatives for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and others talk regularly about what they hear from the government, according to lawyers in the industry. They have long held these conversations - known as joint-defense calls - but given the increased cooperation of the government with companies, lawyers can exchange more information.

Goldman's recent battle against the S.E.C. - in which it agreed to pay $550 million to settle claims that it had misled investors in a mortgage security it sold - was helpful to other banks, according to one lawyer who participates in these calls. On several occasions in 2009 and 2010, after Goldman and its law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, visited the S.E.C., lawyers representing other banks received intelligence on the government's areas of interest. The result has often been that banks walk into prosecutors' offices well-prepared to rebut allegations.

One assistant United States attorney, who requested anonymity because he is not allowed to speak with the news media, said many inquiries had been tabled because banks had such good answers.

"They'll hire a counsel who is experienced," said the assistant attorney, who has direct knowledge of cases related to the financial crisis. "They often come in and make a presentation: 'We've looked at this and this is how we see it.' They're often persuasive."

Some defense lawyers say it is easier to make a persuasive case because prosecutors, having becoming more dependent on companies for investigative legwork, are less knowledgeable and thus less likely to counter with evidence they have uncovered.

The process, in the end, is cloaked, some critics say. The Justice Department does not disclose any details about its decision-making in specific cases, such as why it did not charge individuals at a company.

"We will not get an explanation of why there haven't been prosecutions; at best, we will get a reference back to the Department of Justice manual that leaves the discretion to the prosecutors," said Professor Ramirez of Washburn University. "The legal representatives will argue that since recoveries can be had by using civil measures, even private litigations, there's no need to bring criminal measures. I disagree with that very much."


8) U.N. Report Criticizes Israel for Actions at Border
July 7, 2011

JERUSALEM - A new United Nations report that has been distributed to members of the Security Council strongly criticizes Israel for using live fire against unarmed demonstrators who tried in May to breach its border fence from Lebanon. Israel is planning to respond in detail shortly in a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, officials here said Thursday.

The United Nations has been a frequent battleground for Israel, whose diplomats are currently working to oppose a bid by the Palestinians for international recognition of statehood at the Security Council and the General Assembly this fall.

The report states that Israel first issued verbal warnings and fired into the air before directing live fire at the mostly Palestinian protesters, killing seven civilians and injuring 111. But other than firing in the air, it says, Israel did not employ "conventional crowd control methods or any other method than lethal weapons against the demonstrators."

More broadly, the report deals with violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, which underpinned the cease-fire in the summer of 2006 that ended a monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant organization.

Israel violated the resolution during the events on the border on May 15, the report says, noting the lethal force used by Israel was not commensurate to the imminent threat to Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The protesters also violated the resolution, it says, because of their provocative actions, including when about 1,000 of them broke off from the main demonstration and "threw stones and two petrol bombs across the fence and attempted to climb it and bring it down."

Up to 10,000 demonstrators arrived at the border area on May 15, which Palestinians have come to refer to as Nakba Day, marking the founding of Israel in 1948. Nakba means catastrophe. The protests were organized by Palestinian and Lebanese organizations, including Hezbollah.

Israeli officials have hinted anonymously that some of the casualties were caused by Lebanese Army soldiers who also opened fire. The United Nations report does not attribute any of the deaths to the Lebanese forces in the border area, saying the Lebanese Army attempted to control the crowd "using batons, tear gas and heavy firing in the air."

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, said Thursday that the Lebanese forces used live fire, but that it was impossible for Israel to determine the number or source of the casualties since the bodies were all on the Lebanese side of the fence.

A senior Israeli military official said Wednesday that since the May 15 border confrontation, and a subsequent deadly confrontation on June 5 along the frontier between Syria and the disputed, Israeli-held Golan Heights, Israeli forces had been provided with more nonlethal equipment in order to reduce fatalities in any future episodes of this kind.

The official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity in line with army rules, added that Israel was sorry for the loss of life.

Activists in Lebanon canceled plans to march to Israel's northern border again on June 5, on the anniversary of the start of the 1967 Middle East war, after Lebanese authorities declared the area a closed military zone.

Israeli anger over the new United Nations report seemed mostly directed against its author, Michael Williams, the United Nations special coordinator for Lebanon.

An Israeli official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue, said that Israel would not boycott Mr. Williams, who periodically visits here to meet with officials, but that Israel had decided "to take some distance from him for a while."

Tensions between Israel and Mr. Williams have been running high since May. Soon after the Nakba Day events, Mr. Williams was quoted during a visit to Beirut, Lebanon, as saying that he was "shocked by the number of the deaths and the use of disproportionate, deadly force" by Israeli soldiers against "apparently unarmed demonstrators."

Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said at the time that the "overhasty statements" by Mr. Williams were "aggravating." He added that Mr. Williams "would have been better advised to wait for the results of investigations conducted by Unifil," the peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

The new report was based on the findings of Unifil's investigation.

Dan Bilefsky contributed reporting from New York.


9) Israel Blocks Flights to Protest Gathering
July 8, 2011

BETHLEHEM, West Bank - Israel prevented a gathering of foreigners here on Friday by blocking, deterring or deporting hundreds of air travelers who had been invited by Palestinian activists to fly into Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport and then travel to the West Bank for a week of "fellowship and actions."

Israel has traditionally been welcoming of foreign tourists to the West Bank, including more than a million Christian pilgrims who visited this Palestinian city of the Nativity last year. But the Israeli authorities prepared for days to head off Friday's planned fly-in. The Israeli media added to the hype by dubbing it a "flightilla" - a reference to the flotilla of boats that was supposed to challenge Israel's naval blockade of Gaza last month, but has been stymied by Israeli pressure and by the cooperation of the Greek port authorities.

As a result, most of the foreigners who planned to fly to Tel Aviv and join the "Welcome to Palestine" initiative were either deterred from trying to come or were prevented from boarding flights to Israel by foreign airlines, on instructions from the Israelis.

The Palestinian hosts, who had invited foreign supporters for a week of "fellowship and actions" in the Palestinian territories, decried the Israeli measures, but also chalked up a small victory.

Fadi Kattan, a Palestinian organizer, said at a news conference in Bethlehem on Friday that he was "pleased - sadly pleased" that the episode had exposed what he described as Israel's draconian anti-Palestinian policies.

Many Israeli commentators, meanwhile, criticized the country's leaders for overreacting and for broadcasting an image of insecurity and panic.

Over the past few days hundreds of police officers were deployed in and around the airport near Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured the base of operations at Ben Gurion with his internal security minister, the police chief, security branch representatives and immigration officials.

There were persistent reports that the foreign visitors would try to create chaos and paralyze Ben-Gurion Airport, despite strenuous denials from the organizers of the campaign, who advocate nonviolence. They insisted that the foreigners only wanted to transit the airport and "go to Palestine." (The West Bank has no airport of its own.)

By Thursday, the Interior Ministry had sent letters to foreign airlines with a list of 342 passengers it described as "pro-Palestinian radicals" planning to "arrive on commercial flights from abroad to disrupt the order and confront security forces at friction points." Israel said people on the list would be refused entry, and it asked the airlines not to allow them to board flights, warning that if the listred passengers arrived at Ben Gurion they would be sent back again on the same aircraft. Several airlines, including the German Lufthansa, complied with Israel's request.

Several passengers at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris were barred from boarding a Lufthansa flight to Tel Aviv on Friday morning, and staged a protest. A total of about 50 people were turned away, according to Agence France-Presse. There were reports of a similar disturbance at the Geneva airport.

"Like any other airline operating internationally, Lufthansa has to comply with the immigration laws and administrative decrees of the country we are flying to," said Martin Riecken, a spokesman for the airline.

Such requests by national governments are not altogether uncommon, Mr. Riecken said, noting for example the United States's no-fly list, which includes several thousand names.

Malev, the Hungarian airline, denied boarding to about 10 ticket holders in Paris on Friday. The decision to deny passengers the right to board does not indicate that "the airline likes or doesn't like anyone," said Márta Róna, a spokeswoman for the airline. Rather, she said, Israel had made it clear that the return of blacklisted passengers would be the responsibility of the airline.

"It's our cost; it's our responsibility; it's our problem," Ms. Róna said.

At Ben-Gurion Airport, two American women were deported from Israel early Friday after flying in from Athens. By the afternoon, six Israeli left-wing demonstrators were detained for questioning after shouting pro-Palestinian slogans in the arrivals hall.

By evening another 69 foreigners had been refused entry and were awaiting deportation, said Sabine Haddad, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. They came in on five different flights and included Spanish, French, American, Belgian, Bulgarian and Dutch nationals, she said.

Israel's Internal Security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, had branded the potential visitors as "hooligans." Mr. Netanyahu said that every country has the right to block the entry of "provocateurs."

Still, Israeli commentators and some politicians have described the Israeli preparations as excessive and bordering on hysterical.

"The state of Israel has taken leave of its senses," wrote columnist Eitan Haber on the front page of the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper on Thursday. "Instead of welcoming these loony visitors, permitting them to sing, whistle and even raise signs, the world is liable to see the 'Zionist storm troopers' in action once again."

Brigitte Von Winterfeld, 71, from Germany, was one of a few foreigners who got to Bethlehem to join the Welcome to Palestine campaign. She said she flew in on Tuesday, chose a "smiley" immigration officer at the passport control booths and told him she was coming to visit friends. Ms. Von Winterfeld said she spent a while here last year with The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, a World Council of Churches organization that says it brings people from other countries to the West Bank to experience life under occupation.

A well-groomed retiree with dangly earrings, she said that she planned to take photographs and make short videos during this trip.

The Palestinian organizers of the week's program include well-known advocates of non-violent protest like Sami Awad of the Bethlehem-based Holy Land Trust and Mazin Qumsiyeh, a science professor at Bethlehem University. They said they were going ahead with the schedule as planned.

The itinerary includes visits to families in Palestinian refugee camps as well as demonstrations and unspecified events at various traditional Israeli-Palestinian flashpoints such as Qalandia, where the main checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem is located, and the Old City of Hebron.

Scott Sayare contributed reporting from Paris.


10) NATO Says Airstrike in Afghan Province Killed Women and Children
July 7, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan - NATO forces said Thursday that they had unwittingly killed several women and children a day earlier during an early morning air attack against militants in a remote corner of eastern Afghanistan. The American-led coalition also said it was investigating separate reports of civilian deaths in a nearby province.

The fatal airstrike on Wednesday in Khost Province, which Afghan officials say killed eight children and two women, ignited outrage in neighboring villages, and it could deepen tensions between the Afghan government and Western authorities here.

In late May, President Hamid Karzai gave a stern speech offering what he called his "last" warning about civilian casualties, long a source of acrimony between Afghan officials and NATO forces. Mr. Karzai told NATO to stop bombing Afghan homes, or else it would face "unilateral action" from the Afghan government, and that it risked being viewed as a trespasser and occupying force.

Mr. Karzai did not comment on the latest deaths, and his spokesman did not answer a phone call.

But in Khost, villagers angry over the deaths flooded into the streets. Hundreds of them blocked the main road to the capital and urged the Afghan government to investigate and punish those responsible. One of the villagers, Haji Mir Baz Khan, of the Dowamanda district, said that if the government could not prevent such attacks in the future, "this nation and tribe will announce jihad against them."

Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said the women and children killed in Wednesday's airstrike in the Shamal District of Khost were family members of militants who had been close by when the fighters attacked a combined Afghan-NATO patrol from behind a line of trees.

NATO forces, under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, fell back and called for air support as the militants continued firing, Captain Brockhoff said.

He did not say how many fighters or civilians had been killed, but he said the fighters were members of the Haqqani network, an insurgent group aligned with the Taliban that operates along Afghanistan's lawless eastern border.

The provincial police chief, Sardar Mohammed Zazai, said at least four fighters were killed, among them a prominent Haqqani commander. Mr. Zazai offered a slightly different account of the airstrike, saying that the NATO bomb had hit a home where the fighters had tried to take refuge.

In a statement, NATO forces also said they and Afghan officials were jointly investigating accusations of civilian casualties in Ghazni Province, also in the east, where an airstrike killed a militant who had been planting a roadside bomb. Captain Brockhoff said the military's early reports indicated that only the fighter had been killed.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, 14 police officers were killed in two roadside bombings. Six were killed in the central Oruzgan Province, and eight in the northern Jowzjan Province.

Sangar Rahimi and Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting from Kabul, and Enayat Najafizada from Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.


11) Mexican Citizen Is Executed as Justices Refuse to Step In
July 7, 2011

WASHINGTON - In a 5-to-4 decision that split along ideological lines, the Supreme Court on Thursday evening rebuffed a request from the Obama administration that it stay the execution of a Mexican citizen on death row in Texas. The inmate, Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., was executed about an hour later.

The administration had asked the court to delay the execution so that Congress might consider recently introduced legislation that would provide fresh hearings on whether the rights of Mr. Leal and about 50 other Mexican citizens on death row in the United States had been violated.

In his last moments, Mr. Leal repeatedly said he was sorry, and shouted twice, "Viva Mexico!" The Associated Press reported.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice in The Hague found that the inmates had been denied their rights under the Vienna Convention. The convention requires that foreigners detained abroad be told they may contact consular officials.

In 2008, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the international court's ruling was binding but said that the president acting alone could not compel states to comply with it. Congress also had to act, the court said.

On Thursday, in an unsigned majority opinion, the Supreme Court said that Congress had had plenty of time to act and that the court would not now "prohibit a state from carrying out a lawful judgment in light of unenacted legislation."

"Our task," the majority wrote, "is to rule on what the law is, not what it might eventually be."

The majority also noted that "the United States studiously refuses to argue that Leal was prejudiced by the Vienna Convention violation," suggesting that a fresh hearing would do Mr. Leal no good. He was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a 16-year-old girl.

"We decline," the majority wrote, "to follow the United States' suggestion of granting a stay to allow Leal to bring a claim based on hypothetical legislation when it cannot even bring itself to say that his attempt to overturn his conviction has any prospect of success."

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, in a dissent joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, wrote that the government's request was modest, given that allowing the execution to proceed would, in the solicitor general's words, "cause irreparable harm" to "foreign-policy interests of the highest order" and endanger Americans traveling abroad.

The court should defer to the executive branch's assessment, Justice Breyer wrote, as "the Court has long recognized the president's special constitutionally based authority in matters of foreign relations."

He proposed issuing "a brief stay until the end of September" to allow Congress time to act.

"In reaching its contrary conclusion," Justice Breyer wrote, "the Court ignores the appeal of the president in a matter related to foreign affairs, it substitutes its own views about the likelihood of congressional action for the views of executive branch officials who have consulted with members of Congress, and it denies the request by four members of the Court to delay the execution until the Court can discuss the matter at conference in September. In my view, the Court is wrong in each respect."


12) Hunger Strike by Inmates Is Latest Challenge to California's Prison System
"We believe our only option of ever trying to make some kind of positive change here is through this peaceful hunger strike," Todd Ashker, one of the Pelican Bay inmates who organized the strike, said in a statement conveyed through a lawyer. "And there is a core group of us who are committed to taking this all the way to the death if necessary."
July 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES - Thousands of inmates at prisons throughout California have been refusing state-issued food in a mass hunger strike to protest conditions at the state's highest-security prisons, where some inmates are kept in prolonged isolation.

The protest was organized by inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison's security housing unit, where prisoners are kept in isolation more than 22 hours a day. They stopped eating on July 1, and prisoners around the state have imitated their campaign. About 1,700 prisoners in all were continuing to refuse at least some state-issued meals on Thursday, down from a peak of 6,600 last weekend, according to the State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Although most prisoners have resumed eating, a group of at least two dozen at Pelican Bay, some of whom have been kept in the security housing unit for decades, said they were prepared to starve to death.

"We believe our only option of ever trying to make some kind of positive change here is through this peaceful hunger strike," Todd Ashker, one of the Pelican Bay inmates who organized the strike, said in a statement conveyed through a lawyer. "And there is a core group of us who are committed to taking this all the way to the death if necessary."

The hunger strike is only the latest problem for a state prison system that has lurched from one crisis to another in recent years. In May, the United States Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons by more than 30,000 inmates; and in 2005 a court appointed a federal administrator to take control of the faltering prison health care system.

Most of the prisoners who remain on hunger strike are in security housing units like the one at Pelican Bay, where they are kept alone in windowless, soundproof concrete cells. To communicate, they have to yell from one cell to the other, although prisoner-rights activists in contact with the prisoners did not know if this was how they had organized the strike. The lack of human contact often leads to depression and bouts of rage, psychologists say.

Prisoners and activists say that such conditions are cruel and unusual punishment. Most inmates end up in these extreme isolation blocks because of ties to gang activities. To get back into the general prison population, activists say, they are pressured to divulge information about other gang members in prison, a process known as "debriefing," which can jeopardize their safety.

"We do see this long isolation and debriefing process as torture," said Carol Strickman, a staff lawyer with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, an advocacy group in San Francisco. "These are inhumane conditions designed to extract information from someone."

But a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman, Terry Thornton, said that the restrictive conditions at Pelican Bay had been litigated numerous times.

A federal judge appointed a court monitor in 1995 to oversee changes at the security housing unit, including the removal of mentally ill prisoners from the block and an end to the use of excessive force. But he did not order changes to day-to-day conditions there.

Ms. Thornton said the department had received the prisoners' list of demands, which was being "reviewed and evaluated very thoroughly," and administrators met with Prison Focus, a prisoner-rights group, on Thursday. But she added that gang members were leading the hunger strike, which only showed the need to separate them from the general prison population.

"The department is not going to be coerced or manipulated," she said. "That so many inmates in other prisons throughout the state are involved really demonstrates how these gangs can influence other inmates, which is one of the reasons we have security housing units in the first place."

The hunger strike has transcended the gang and geographic affiliations that traditionally divide prisoners, with prisoners of many backgrounds participating.

But not all were prepared to take the protest as far as Mr. Ashker. All have continued to drink liquids, and some have refused to eat the state-issued food but have drunk Ensure or bought food from the canteen.

Still, if the strike continues - even if only among a handful of inmates at Pelican Bay - doctors may soon have to decide whether to force-feed protesters.

About 2,000 inmates are being medically monitored, with nurses conducting cell-to-cell rounds. At Pelican Bay, most prisoners have refused to meet with doctors.

Every inmate has the right to decline both food and medical care, and he can issue a directive to a doctor not to force-feed him even if he later becomes delirious from starvation. If he does not issue a directive, however, doctors must make judgment calls.

"Doctors have strict ethical guidelines they have to follow about making sure the patient has given informed consent," said Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the federal health care administrator. "But if they never said, 'Don't feed me,' they have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis."


13) Egg Producers and Humane Society Urging Federal Standard on Hen Cages
July 7, 2011

Two groups that are usually squawking at each other - egg farmers and animal welfare advocates - announced an unusual agreement on Thursday to work together to seek a federal law that would require larger cages and other improved conditions for the nation's 280 million laying hens.

The deal comes after the egg industry has been put increasingly on the defensive. Animal welfare groups have clandestinely recorded videos showing poor conditions on farms, and various states have sought to set more humane standards for hens. Egg producers have also been struggling to improve their image after tainted eggs from several farms in Iowa sickened thousands of people in a nationwide salmonella outbreak last year.

The agreement was announced by the nation's main egg industry group, the United Egg Producers, which represents farmers who own about 80 percent of the nation's laying hens, and the Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization.

The groups said they would ask Congress to pass a law enacting the new standards, which they said would be the first federal law addressing the treatment of farm animals and would pre-empt efforts in several states to set their own standards.

The proposed federal standards would include cages that give hens up to 144 square inches of space each, compared with the 67 square inches that most hens have today. They would also include so-called habitat enrichments, like perches, scratching areas and nesting areas, that allow the birds to express natural behavior.

"We always feel that if we can work with the folks who are handling the animals and get them to agree to improve standards, that's the best outcome," said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society. "We don't have to be locked in combat forever. That's not our goal. Our goal is the welfare of animals."

The industry said the changes, in most cases, would be phased in over the next 18 years at a cost of $4 billion.

It is far from clear whether such a law could be passed. One potential obstacle is opposition from other poultry or livestock farmers, who may be worried that similar laws could some day apply to them.

In a statement Thursday, the National Pork Producers Council said that a federal law regulating living conditions for hens "would set a dangerous precedent for allowing the federal government to dictate how livestock and poultry producers raise and care for their animals."

Robert L. Krouse, chairman of United Egg Producers, acknowledged the difficulties ahead.

"That's part of what we have to do, as United Egg Producers, is talk with these other groups and hopefully get them to see our point of view," said Mr. Krouse, an Indiana egg farmer. "We understand their concerns, but this is about egg producers, this is a solution that we've found for us."

Mr. Krouse said that the group would also have to persuade its members to support the plan, since the negotiations were kept secret until Thursday's announcement.

The egg producers said they wanted a federal law that would take the place of laws and regulations popping up piecemeal in several states, often with varying or inconsistent standards. One of the most significant state laws is a ballot measure passed in California in 2008, which says that laying hens, veal calves and pregnant sows must have enough room to stand up, turn around, lie down and fully extend their limbs.

For its part, the Humane Society agreed to give up on a push to ban cages entirely in exchange for the opportunity to work toward a single, nationwide standard mandating better conditions. The group also said it would shelve efforts to get initiatives onto the ballot in Washington and Oregon, and would agree not to conduct undercover investigations at large egg farms unless it was aware of especially egregious practices.

The groups said they had not yet sought to round up support in Congress for their proposal.

A federal law would be intended to pre-empt state laws. But the groups said it would have to include a faster transition timetable for California egg farmers to match the schedule approved in the ballot measure there, which requires larger cages by 2015.

Mr. Pacelle said that the activists' strategy of seeking to enact changes through ballot initiatives had limits because some of the biggest egg-producing states, including Iowa and Indiana, did not have a mechanism to submit proposed laws directly to voters.

Aaron S. Gross, the founder of Farm Forward, a farm animal welfare group that was not involved in the agreement, said it represented a landmark shift in thinking for a segment of the farming industry.

"The industry moving from saying anything goes to saying there should be legal limits at the federal level is an enormous difference," Mr. Gross said.


14) Questions Are Raised on Restraint Training
"Incidents of restraint (in which a child's movement is restricted), seclusion (in which a child is involuntarily confined alone in a room) and other behavioral episodes in California schools more than doubled to 21,076 between the 2005-6 and 2009-10 school years, according to California Department of Education figures."
July 7, 2011

Corporal punishment is illegal in California public schools, but physically restraining unruly students is not. As incidents of restraint, seclusion and other emergency interventions have soared in recent years, schools have relied on training programs and physical restraint protocols developed by private companies that in many cases appear to have few qualifications.

Although restraint training is directed at some of the most difficult and sensitive situations that school personnel encounter, the companies operate with little oversight. Federal law imposes strict rules on the use of restraints and seclusion in federally-financed hospitals and treatment centers, but the laws do not address their use in schools.

Restraint companies now work with dozens of school districts across California and elsewhere, training teachers and counselors to use controversial restraint maneuvers. Students involved in restraint situations usually have serious behavioral problems or developmental disabilities. More than half the incidents reported statewide in the 2009-10 school year occurred in the Bay Area, most of them in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco Counties.

"We don't know why this is happening," said Fred Balcom, director of the California Department of Education's special-education division.

The San Francisco Unified School District contracts with a company called Handle With Care Behavior Management System to train teachers and administrators - who then train their colleagues - on how to restrain students properly.

Bruce Chapman, the company's founder and president, is a onetime psychiatric-hospital technician who said he had developed his "take down" restraint during a confrontation with an aggressive patient and refined it as a martial arts devotee who earned a black belt.

The Oakland Unified School District and the Mount Diablo Unified School District are among those that work with Pro-ACT, a company founded in 1975 by Paul Smith, a psychologist. The program's methods are largely based on Mr. Smith's graduate-level psychology work more than 30 years ago, said Kim Warma, Pro-ACT's co-owner.

The San Mateo County Office of Education, for its part, works with the Crisis Prevention Institute to teach some staff techniques to handle problem students.

The company was founded in 1980 by AlGene Caraulia Sr., who has a background in martial arts, and Gene Wyka, who holds a bachelor's degree in psychology. They initially developed their program for psychiatric institutions, and it has changed little over the last 30 years, according to Randy Boardman, executive director of research and development at the company. It is now used by employees of group homes, prisons, elderly homes and schools.

Maggie Roberts, an associate managing attorney at Disability Rights California, a nonprofit advocacy organization for the disabled in Sacramento, said that school districts see the restraint training as a bigger need than ever because they have big class sizes and less money and are feeling overwhelmed. "I have certainly seen a number of situations where people clearly don't know what they are doing, where they weren't trained well enough," Ms. Roberts said.

Incidents of restraint (in which a child's movement is restricted), seclusion (in which a child is involuntarily confined alone in a room) and other behavioral episodes in California schools more than doubled to 21,076 between the 2005-6 and 2009-10 school years, according to California Department of Education figures.

Under state law, restraints and seclusion in schools are considered "emergency interventions" that can be employed to control spontaneous behavior that "poses clear and present danger" to the student or others. Educators are not permitted to lock children away in a room or use mechanical restraints.

School districts are required to have some kind of training program for the use of restraints, and state Department of Education policies specify that only properly trained personnel should use restraint and seclusion.

But there are no rules governing the training programs or what restraint techniques are recommended.

"Right now, there isn't any oversight of whether the districts are using a good company or they are following up on their training," said Connie Cushing, a special-education consultant for the Mount Diablo Unified School District.

Several recent incidents illustrate how efforts at restraint can go awry. Last year, at George Hall School in San Mateo, teachers restrained a first grader with an anxiety disorder who had wandered away from campus and returned him to school. He then climbed on top of a cabinet and refused to get down. Teachers called the police, who pepper-sprayed the boy in the face and had him involuntarily committed to the San Mateo Medical Center, court records show. A psychiatrist released the boy to his parents a few hours later.

The parents reached a settlement agreement with the school district and the county. Pamela Bartfield, George Hall's principal, did not return two telephone calls requesting comment.

Efforts to limit the use of restraint and seclusion in California schools have been met with resistance from powerful interest groups. Assemblyman Roger Hernández, Democrat of San Gabriel Valley, introduced a bill in February that would ban the use of isolation rooms and impose strict limits on how teachers use restraint. But the bill was tabled after running into stiff opposition from the California Department of Education, the California Teachers Association, the California School Boards Association and the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, which represents more than 130 foster homes and other agencies for troubled youth.

Federal legislation, prompted in part by fatalities in Texas and other states, has run into similar opposition, including that of Mr. Chapman of Handle With Care.

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives in February 2010, Mr. Chapman criticized federal legislation sponsored by Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, that called for limits on the use of physical restraint and encouraged restraint training for teachers.

Mr. Miller's legislation proposed that states approve only crisis intervention training programs that rely on evidence-based techniques that have been "shown to be effective." The programs would also have to train teachers in de-escalation practices, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The bill passed the House but never made it to the Senate floor. Mr. Miller reintroduced the bill in the spring.

"Tragically, we have seen that restraint and seclusion can get out of hand. Children have died and have been traumatized as a result of being locked away in a closet," said Mr. Miller, his party's ranking member of the House Education and the Work Force Committee. "Clearly, training is a very important component of this. I don't think that it is sufficient."

The programs typically run for several days, and teachers then return to their schools to train others.

Handle With Care, according to its literature, has "created safer human service environments in over 1,000 organizations and schools in all 50 states and internationally" since its founding in 1984. Aside from Mr. Chapman, the company has three full-time employees and roughly 20 "master instructors" who lead seminars.

Mr. Chapman got his start in restraint training after dropping out of community college. At age 20, he took a job as a psychiatric technician in the in-patient unit at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, where he "received a lot of in-service training in the form of practical experience," Mr. Chapman said during a deposition in a 1999 lawsuit.

Mr. Chapman said that a chance encounter with an aggressive psychiatric patient in 1974 helped him develop a maneuver that is now central to his training program. The man reached for a brick, and Mr. Chapman restrained him by grabbing his upper arms from behind.

"The hold just kind of came instinctively at the time," Mr. Chapman said in a telephone interview. "Any time I had to physically restrain a patient over the next seven years, I used this hold. It offers a tremendous mechanical advantage."

Mr. Chapman said he went on to refine his restraint technique through martial arts classes.

"There is no university-based program or academic program that will help you get someone to the ground safely," Mr. Chapman said.

Mr. Chapman is sought out for his training techniques. But a video that was posted on YouTube showing him firing a pistol while making anti-homosexual slurs raises questions about the school districts' association with him.

Mr. Chapman defended the video as "a funny vignette that I did for a production to entertain skydivers. It was a skit not unlike 'Saturday Night Live.' It does not reflect my feelings about gays or transgenders." He added, "That was a satire against homophobes." The video, which was available at least until August 2009, has since been removed.

Hilary Adler, Mr. Chapman's lawyer and vice president of Handle With Care, added in an e-mail that her client and Handle With Care "have been staunch supporters of gay, transsexual and transgender rights."

Handle With Care's literature says its restraint technique is "versatile, effective, painless, safe and easy to apply."

But at least one deadly incident raises questions.

A 14-year-old boy died in 1998 after being restrained by counselors at a Pennsylvania facility for children with emotional and behavioral problems. Staff at the facility, KidsPeace National Center for Kids in Crisis, had been trained to use Handle With Care techniques. The boy's mother and her lawyers were awarded a $1.2 million settlement in 2006 from KidsPeace. KidsPeace subsequently stopped using Handle With Care's training program.

Handle With Care, which was initially named as a defendant but later dropped from the suit, was not implicated. Mr. Chapman said his techniques were not dangerous, and his company was not responsible for what happened.


15) Death Penalty, Still Racist and Arbitrary
July 8, 2011


LAST week was the 35th anniversary of the return of the American death penalty. It remains as racist and as random as ever.

Several years after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, a University of Iowa law professor, David C. Baldus (who died last month), along with two colleagues, published a study examining more than 2,000 homicides that took place in Georgia beginning in 1972. They found that black defendants were 1.7 times more likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants and that murderers of white victims were 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks.

What became known as the Baldus study was the centerpiece of the Supreme Court's 1987 decision in McCleskey v. Kemp. That case involved a black man, Warren McCleskey, who was sentenced to die for murdering a white Atlanta police officer. Mr. McCleskey argued that the Baldus study established that his death sentence was tainted by racial bias. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that general patterns of discrimination do not prove that racial discrimination operated in particular cases.

Of course, the court had to say that, or America's capital justice system would have screeched to a halt. Georgia is not special. Nationwide, blacks and whites are victims of homicide in roughly equal numbers, yet 80 percent of those executed had murdered white people. Over the past three decades, the Baldus study has been replicated in about a dozen other jurisdictions, and they all reflect the same basic racial bias. By insisting on direct evidence of racial discrimination, the court in McCleskey essentially made the fact of pervasive racism legally irrelevant, because prosecutors rarely write e-mails announcing they are seeking death in a given case because the murderer was black (or because the victim was white).

In Texas, though, they do come close. In 2008, the district attorney of Harris County, Chuck Rosenthal, resigned after news emerged that he had sent and received racist e-mails. His office had sought the death penalty in 25 cases; his successor has sought it in 7. Of the total 32 cases, 29 involve a nonwhite defendant.

Since 1976, Texas has carried out 470 executions (well more than a third of the national total of 1,257). You can count on one hand the number of those executions that involved a white murderer and a black victim and you do not need to use your thumb, ring finger, index finger or pinkie.

Well, you might need the pinkie. On June 16, Texas executed Lee Taylor, who at age 16 beat an elderly couple while robbing their home. The 79-year-old husband died of his injuries. Mr. Taylor was sentenced to life in prison; there he joined the Aryan Brotherhood, a white gang, and, four years into his sentence, murdered a black inmate and was sentenced to death. When Mr. Taylor was executed, it was reported that he was the second white person in Texas executed for killing a black person. Actually, he should be counted as the first. The other inmate, Larry Hayes, executed in 2003, killed two people, one of whom was white.

The facts surrounding Lee Taylor's execution are cause for further shame. John Balentine, a black inmate, was scheduled to die in Texas the day before Lee Taylor's execution. Mr. Balentine's lawyers argued that his court-appointed appellate lawyer had botched his case, and that he should have an opportunity to raise issues the lawyer had neglected. Less than an hour before Mr. Balentine was to die, the Supreme Court issued a stay.

Lee Taylor's lawyers watched the Balentine case closely; their client too had received scandalously bad representation, and, they filed a petition virtually identical to the one in the Balentine case. But by a vote of 5-to-4, the justices permitted the Taylor execution to proceed. If there were differences between the Balentine and Taylor cases, they were far too minor to form the boundary between life and death. But trivial distinctions are commonplace in death penalty cases. Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., one of the five justices in the McCleskey majority, retired from the court in 1991. Following his retirement he said he had voted the wrong way. If Justice Powell had changed his mind a year sooner, Warren McCleskey, who was executed in Georgia in 1991, would still be alive.

And because of a vote from a single Supreme Court justice, John Balentine lives while Lee Taylor died. When capital punishment was briefly struck down, in 1972, Justice Potter Stewart said the death penalty was arbitrary, like being struck by lightning.

It still is, and it's the justices themselves who keep throwing the bolts.

David R. Dow, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, is the author, most recently, of a memoir, "The Autobiography of an Execution."


16) Egypt's Tahrir Square Again Echoes With Cries for Justice
July 8, 2011

CAIRO - One woman called for a new revolution. A man called for former President Hosni Mubarak to be executed. An angry crowd in an auditorium here on Thursday night listened to stories of protesters injured or killed during Egypt's revolution and in demonstrations since, and stood and applauded when a mother spoke of loss.

One of her sons was killed by a policeman's bullet in January, and another son sits in a military prison, after he was beaten and arrested in a protest last week. "I've grown tired," the mother, Amal Zine al Abadeen, told dozens who had gathered as a prelude to a rally of tens of thousands on Friday in Tahrir Square, where the uprising began.

"This revolution has done nothing for us," she said. "I don't want money. I don't want anything at all. All I'm asking for is justice."

For five months, Egyptians have shouldered a revolution's burdens - economic malaise, sectarian discord and fears of rising crime - and seen few of its rewards. Perhaps no issue has symbolized their disappointment or galvanized popular anger as much as the sluggish - some say empty - effort to punish those who attacked the protesters.

That anger forms the emotional, combustible core of a bigger complaint that sees a reluctance by the military rulers to seek the truth about crimes that occurred during Mr. Mubarak's rule, or to seek greater transparency, for instance, by lifting restrictions on televising trials.

Egypt's ruling military council has rushed to contain popular anger by arresting scores of public officials, including Mr. Mubarak. But protesters say the arrests are aimed at appeasement, not justice, and have blocked the kind of catharsis that would allow the country to move forward.

"The main reason we have not yet crossed into a new Egypt is because we haven't started dealing with past practices as a prelude to declaring, 'Never again,' " said Hossam Bahgat, the director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

Friday's rally in Tahrir Square, drew members of all the major political parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and showed little of the feuding about the constitution, elections and other wedge issues.

Dr. Sherine Ibrahim, 33, a pediatrician, said she felt compelled to attend the protest - her first since the revolution - "because nothing has changed."

"The justice system has not allowed any public access to the trials," she said. "Trial dates are being delayed, ex-ministers who are notorious for being corrupt are being acquitted, and we, the people, aren't allowed to be part of the process."

There have already been many high-profile arrests, including Mr. Mubarak's sons and many of his top officials: the country's hated interior minister, Habib el-Adly, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on corruption charges. Lawyers for some of the accused have blamed prosecutors for conducting a witch hunt. Other people counter with a sobering fact: Though at least 840 protesters died in the uprising, since then, only one person - a rank-and-file police officer - has been convicted, in absentia, of murder.

Mr. Adly's trial on charges of killing protesters has been delayed, a sign to some that the military council is unwilling to alienate Egypt's security services.

"They are trying to avoid doing this," said Hani Shukrallah, a political activist and the editor of Ahram Online, referring to the military council's attitude toward prosecuting ex-officials and police officers for killing protesters. "At a basic level, they are afraid that once they start punishing these people, the whole security apparatus is going to unravel. Parts of it will go rogue, which is something they have demonstrated that they are quite capable of doing."

Recent outbreaks of violence suggest the problems are getting worse. In Cairo, protesters, including relatives of people killed during the uprising, clashed with police officers in the worst violence since Mr. Mubarak's final days in power. And this week, there were further clashes after the release of seven officers on bail who are on trial in the killing of protesters in Suez.

In the calls for a "cleansing" in Tahrir Square on Friday, there seemed to be a recognition that Egypt's current rulers could not address past wrongs. "The army does not see Egypt as a country in need of transitional justice," Mr. Bahgat said.

The family of a protester who was killed said their efforts to find justice had been stymied by the same kinds of abuses that had fueled the revolution.

Relatives of Mohamed Sayed, who was killed on Jan. 29, said the trial in the case has been delayed three times, and several weeks ago, they said, a state security official offered them more than $16,500 to drop the case. Mr. Sayed's father, Sayed Abdul Latif, said they refused.

Mr. Abdul Latif took his anger to Tahrir Square, and camped out for a week. "We sleep in the street, and our children sleep in the dust, and the officer who killed my son is asleep in his house," he said.

Liam Stack and Dina Salah Amer contributed reporting.


17) Georgia: Photographers Still Jailed
July 9, 2011

Responding to concerns raised by local rights groups and photojournalists, President Mikheil Saakashvili's administration denied Friday that the arrest this week of a group of photographers on suspicions of spying was made in retaliation for their journalistic work. Manana Manjgaladze, Mr. Saakashvili's spokeswoman, said the case "is about a serious leakage of information from our institutions, not about journalism or media activities." A civil rights group, the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, asked the Interior Ministry to publicly justify the secrecy concerning the case. One of the four remaining detainees, Giorgi Abdaladze, a freelancer, has announced a hunger strike, according to his lawyer. The police released a fifth, a photographer for The Associated Press, early Thursday.


18) California Cuts Weigh Heavily on Its Colleges
"Tuition is expected to rise roughly 20 percent next year, just the latest in series of steep increases. Yearly in-state tuition at California State University will average about $5,500, while at the University of California, it is expected to be $13,200 if the increases are approved this month. Programs all over the state are being shuttered, star professors are leaving for colleges in other states, faculty positions are being left unfilled and class sizes are continuing to grow. While the state's spending on the system is down to a level not seen since the late-1990s, the campuses enroll tens of thousands more students."
July 8, 2011

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The doors to the state's newest medical school are already open, technically. A gleaming building with new labs is ready to house researchers and students. But when the state budget was approved last week, the plans to open the medical school at the University of California's campus here were shelved for at least another year.

The compromise to close the state's huge budget gap included cuts to state agencies of all kinds, but none were as deep as those to the state's public colleges and universities. The state's two systems were each cut by $650 million, and they each could lose $100 million more if the state's optimistic revenue expectations do not materialize. For both systems, the $650 million is roughly a 20 percent cut of operating money from the state.

This fall, for the first time, the University of California will take in more money from student tuition than from state finances.

The state's two-tier system has long been seen as a model of public higher education, with the University of California's 10 campuses as major research hubs and the California State University's network of 23 campuses graduating tens of thousands each year. But the cuts, which are the biggest in the state's history, threaten to erode the system's stellar reputation.

"There's no question that California has had the most emulated public universities in the nation, and for the rest of the world," said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education. "What we are seeing is the abandonment of the state's commitment to make California's education available to all its citizens."

Tuition is expected to rise roughly 20 percent next year, just the latest in series of steep increases. Yearly in-state tuition at California State University will average about $5,500, while at the University of California, it is expected to be $13,200 if the increases are approved this month. Programs all over the state are being shuttered, star professors are leaving for colleges in other states, faculty positions are being left unfilled and class sizes are continuing to grow. While the state's spending on the system is down to a level not seen since the late-1990s, the campuses enroll tens of thousands more students.

Schools, meanwhile, are stepping up their efforts to recruit students from other states, using their higher tuition payments to help fill the coffers at the expense of California applicants.

"The state has been a very unreliable partner in the last 20 years," said Mark G. Yudof, the president of the University of California. "We are losing sight of what we are supposed to be. The trends were bad before, and they are just abysmal now."

Last year, when budget cuts prompted a 26 percent tuition increase at the University of California, thousands of students protested, shutting down freeways and holding walkouts. The reaction this time has been more muted so far, partly because so many students are on summer break and the exact amount of the increases is still unknown.

An editorial this week in the Berkeley campus newspaper, The Daily Californian, however, placed the blame squarely on Sacramento.

"We cannot afford nor can we tolerate more cuts of this magnitude," the editorial read. "While recent efforts at protest have proved ineffective and disappointing, we hope that any efforts to express public anger is channeled at our state officials, not the regents. Tuition increases are a result of state disinvestment, and students must remember that."

While states across the country have tightened their belts, none of their higher education cuts have matched the severity of California's, Dr. Hartle said. Mr. Yudof said that he was comforted by knowing that hundreds of students still received millions of dollars in financial aid to help them pay for tuition.

To a large extent, the wealthiest and poorest students fare better, either because they can afford the hefty increases or because they have enough financial aid to cover them. But students from families with incomes in the low six figures often feel the biggest pinch, taking out more loans with each tuition increase.

"It starts to feel impossible really quick," said Alison Linton, 20, a sophomore at Riverside, who said she had taken out $30,000 in loans so far. "But there's nothing you can do besides say, 'I need more cash.' "

For the most part, students are paying more money for less service. In Riverside, the libraries close earlier, there are fewer teaching assistants and academic tutors, and it is often impossible to secure a spot in a class needed to graduate.

In some ways, the trouble is even more acute at the California State University system, which has historically been an attractive option for students who do not qualify for the more prestigious University of California. While getting into such schools was once taken for granted, all but a handful of the system's colleges now have a competitive admission process.

Officials once planned to enroll as many as 440,000 students at California State University campuses, but the cuts have scaled back those plans considerably, and next year's enrollment is expected to be 412,000 students. That is still 90,000 more students than were in the system in 1998, the last time the university had this level of financing.

"We're built for access, but there are students who we should be getting to come and we just can't afford for them to all come," said Charles B. Reed, the chancellor of the California State University system. "The worst thing we can do is admit students and not be able to serve them."

Each of the campuses is responsible for making its own cuts, which are based on the number of students enrolled. At Fresno State, 57 positions are going unfilled. In Long Beach, the mechanical engineering program may shut down because there are just a couple of professors still teaching.

Mr. Yudof and other administrators say that their biggest fear is that they will lose crucial faculty members - and not be able to hire anyone in their place. He said that the system had eliminated cost of living adjustments for faculty for the past four years and that faculty salaries were roughly 12 percent lower than at peer institutions.

Peter Wolynes went to the University of California, San Diego, in 2000, leaving his post at the University of Illinois for a chemistry department he thought would rapidly expand.

"It was an exciting time then; this was the place where you thought it would grow and you could have some influence," Dr. Wolynes said. But in recent years, he said, the number of support staff began to dwindle, making it hard for him to focus on his research.

Now, he is leaving for Rice University, one of a trio of engineering professors who are going to be getting more help with their laboratory work - along with bigger paychecks.

Last week, a medical accreditation board said that it could not grant the new school at the University of California, Riverside, accreditation without sufficient support from the state. Now, construction at the school continues, paid for by bond money and existing campus funds.

But Chancellor Timothy P. White is determined to buttonhole legislators and convince them that the medical school is sorely needed.

"Nobody says to me, 'Oh, I disagree!' " Dr. White said. "To say we need a medical school is as all-American as motherhood and apple pie. The problem is we have to pay for it."


19) Shutdown in Minnesota Ripples Out to Day Care
"Without that stipend, a parent with two children, for instance, would have to pay $300 or $400 a week, a significant amount for women who often work jobs that pay less than $10 an hour."
July 8, 2011

LEXINGTON, Minn. - Among the thousands of people struggling with the state government shutdown here, 14-year-old Skye might be among the most unlikely.

She is not a state worker, nor does she receive direct state aid. But because the shutdown has led Minnesota to cut her mother's child care subsidy, Skye has been drafted to be the family baby sitter. Afternoons formerly spent playing softball are now spent looking after two of her younger siblings.

"I mean, I went from seeing my friends every day and hanging out to being home every day to take care of my sisters - it's hard," she said. "It put a big down on the summer."

For more than a week, Minnesota has stopped performing all services not deemed critical because Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled Legislature have been unable to agree on a state budget for this fiscal year.

Though the shutdown meant that about 22,000 government employees became suddenly unemployed, the most significant impact so far for Minnesotans who do not work for the government appears to be in the sort of everyday thing, like child care for the poor, that had been easy to overlook for those not dependent on it.

About 21,000 families with a total of 37,500 children in Minnesota receive day care subsidies that pay about half of the cost of child care at centers or in private homes. An additional 4,000 families are on a waiting list.

"Of the things involved in the shutdown, this is the one that could grow into a crisis because of all the people who rely on it," said Senator John Marty, a Democrat who represents a suburban district north of St. Paul. "This program has done tremendous things for women who had been on welfare."

Mr. Dayton has also deemed the program to be critical enough to continue during the shutdown, and his request is being considered by Kathleen Blatz, a former Minnesota Supreme Court justice and the court-appointed monitor who has been deciding during the shutdown what services are essential.

The loss of the subsidy, even after only a few days, has had an outsize impact on some of the state's day care centers, parents and staff members say.

At Creative Kids Academy in Lexington, a Minneapolis suburb, the number of children in day care has dropped to around 30, from 70 before the shutdown.

"It's like a ghost town," Gretchen Raymer, 29, the center's director, said Friday in a room full of toys and buckets with children's names on them that far outnumbered the children present.

Though the center is privately operated, most of the parents who use it receive the state subsidy. Without that stipend, a parent with two children, for instance, would have to pay $300 or $400 a week, a significant amount for women who often work jobs that pay less than $10 an hour.

"Most are single mothers; lots don't have a lot of family in the state, and they've been coming here a few years," said Ms. Raymer, who said she had twice gone to the Capitol in St. Paul to testify against proposed budget cuts. "They have a limited support system."

The center estimates it will lose $4,000 a week without the stipends. Employees are being encouraged to take vacations, Ms. Raymer said, and she has already laid off a part-time worker.

But she said she was mostly concerned about the parents and the children, whom she considers her extended family.

"It's stressful," Ms. Raymer said. "We have a close relationship with families, and it's horrible to see what the families are going through. How long can they last?"

As for Skye, she is more interested in saving her summer than in budgets and politics.

Her mother, Keri Rosas, 35, a single mother of four, works the night shift at a group home and has depended on Creative Kids Academy to watch her younger children so she can sleep during the day. Ms. Rosas said Ms. Raymer had been very supportive, even providing updates on the shutdown for parents.

Ms. Rosas said that her younger children did not understand what was going on but were eager to be with their friends again, and that Skye, her oldest, was just ready to get back to being a teenager.

"She is extremely upset," Ms. Rosas said. "She doesn't understand why the government can shut down the way it is."


20) Somehow, the Unemployed Became Invisible
And with apologies to Karl Marx, the workers of the world, particularly the unemployed, are also no longer uniting.
July 9, 2011

GRIM number of the week: 14,087,000.

Fourteen million, in round numbers - that is how many Americans are now officially out of work.

Word came Friday from the Labor Department that, despite all the optimistic talk of an economic recovery, unemployment is going up, not down. The jobless rate rose to 9.2 percent in June.

What gives? And where, if anywhere, is the outrage?

The United States is in the grips of its gravest jobs crisis since Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House. Lose your job, and it will take roughly nine months to find a new one. That is off the charts. Many Americans have simply given up.

But unless you're one of those unhappy 14 million, you might not even notice the problem. The budget deficit, not jobs, has been dominating the conversation in Washington. Unlike the hard-pressed in, say, Greece or Spain, the jobless in America seem, well, subdued. The old fire has gone out.

In some ways, this boils down to math, both economic and political. Yes, 9.2 percent of the American work force is unemployed - but 90.8 percent of it is working. To elected officials, the unemployed are a relatively small constituency. And with apologies to Karl Marx, the workers of the world, particularly the unemployed, are also no longer uniting.

Nor are they voting - or at least not as much as people with jobs. In 2010, some 46 percent of working Americans who were eligible to vote did so, compared with 35 percent of the unemployed, according to Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University. There was a similar turnout gap in the 2008 election.

No wonder policy makers don't fear unemployed Americans. The jobless are, politically speaking, more or less invisible.

It wasn't always so. During the Great Depression, riots erupted on the bread lines. Even in the 1980s and 1990s, angry workers descended on Washington by the busload.

"There used to be a sense that unemployment was rich soil for radicalization and revolt," says Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of labor history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "That was a motif in American history for a long time, but we don't seem to have that anymore."

But why? It's partly because of the greater dispersion of the unemployed, and partly because of the weakening of the institutions that previously mobilized them.

Unemployment doesn't necessarily beget apathy, Mr. McDonald says. Rather, demographic groups that are more likely to be unemployed also happen to be the same groups that are less likely to vote to begin with, such as the poor and the low-skilled.

Even so, numerous studies have shown that unemployment leads to feelings of shame and a loss of self-worth. And that is not particularly conducive to political organizing. As Heather Boushey, an economist at the liberal Center for American Progress, puts it, rather bluntly: "Nobody wants to join the Lame Club."

That's not to say that disillusionment about the economy will just fade away. But unless something changes, the unemployed seem unlikely to gain real political potency soon.

"There's an illusion that grass-roots activity just begins spontaneously, that people get mad and suddenly say, 'I'm not going to take it anymore!' " says Michael Kazin, a historian at Georgetown University. "But that's not how it happens."

Intellectuals used to play a big role in organizing labor. In the 1930s, Communists and socialists were a major force. Later, labor unions stepped in.

But today's unions are not set up to serve the unemployed; they generally organize around workplaces, after all.

Just ask Rick McHugh, who worked in Michigan as an employment lawyer for the United Automobile Workers from the 1980s through the 1990s. He represented workers who were appealing denials of unemployment insurance benefits. The union footed the bill for people he represented who were not, and had never been, U.A.W. members.

Today, however, many unions are fighting for their own survival. They no longer provide such support for nonmembers. "They just don't have the staff and the resources to support these programs and the recipients like they used to," says Mr. McHugh, now a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project.

Workers have also become suburbanized. Back in the 1960s or even the 1980s, the unemployed organized around welfare or unemployment offices. It was a fertile environment: people were anxious and tired and waiting for hours in line.

"We stood outside of these offices, with their huge lines, and passed out leaflets that said things like: 'If you're upset about what's happening to you, come to this meeting at this church basement in two weeks. We'll get together and do something about this,' " recalls Barney Oursler, a longtime community organizer and co-founder of the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee in the early 1980s. "The response just made your heart get big. 'Oh, my God,' they'd say, 'I thought I was alone.' "

The Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, which is based in Pittsburgh, helped organize workers in 26 cities across five states, simply by hanging around outside t unemployment offices and harnessing the frustration.

Today, though, many unemployment offices have closed. Jobless benefits are often handled by phone or online rather than in person. An unemployment call center near Mr. Oursler, for instance, now sits behind two sets of locked doors and frosted windows.

In other countries, workers have mobilized online. Unions here, too, have reached out on the Web. They include groups like Working America (the community affiliate of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.) and UCubed (created by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers).

But many Web sites geared toward the unemployed aren't about mobilizing workers. Many instead provide guidance about things like posting résumés online, or simply offer the comfort of an online community.

It's not clear why this is the case, when social networks have been so essential to organizing economic protests in places like Britain and Greece, not to mention political movements in the Middle East.

"You have to remember that technology is not independent of social structures, motivations and politics," Mr. Kazin says. "People can feel like they have their own community online, which is useful emotionally, but they also have to have the desire and demand to do something about their situation first before they start using that online presence to organize anything in person."

To the extent that frustrations are being channeled at all, they are being channeled largely through the Tea Party. But the Tea Party is mostly against devoting government resources to helping the unemployed.

Tea Party activists, for example, are more likely to believe that providing benefits to poor people encourages them to stay poor, and to believe that economic stimulus has made the economy worse.

Why populist anger over the poor economy is leaning right, rather than left, this time around is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it is because Democrats, traditional friends of labor, control the White House and the Senate.

Mr. Lichtenstein, the historian, notes that it took awhile for the poor to mobilize in the Great Depression. Many initially saw President Roosevelt as an ally and only later became disillusioned. As Langston Hughes wrote in a 1934 poem, "The Ballad of Roosevelt":

The pot was empty,

The cupboard was bare.

I said, Papa,

What's the matter here?

I'm waitin' on Roosevelt, son,

Roosevelt, Roosevelt,

Waitin' on Roosevelt, son.

For the moment, jobless Americans are waiting on President Obama. If unemployment stays as high as many expect, and millions exhaust their benefits, they may just find their voice in 2012.