Saturday, February 25, 2012

BAUAW NEWSLETTER - SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012


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Workers occupy factory in Chicago
By Juan Conatz

Workers with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America have occupied Serious Materials (formerly Republic Window & Door) in Chicago. The company had said it is closing operations at its Chicago plant due to "ongoing economic challenges in construction and building products, collapse in demand for window products, difficulty in obtaining favorable lease terms, high leasing and utility costs and taxes, and a range of other factors unrelated to labor costs[...]"

In response, the union countered that it wanted time to attempt to find a new buyer or figure out if they could raise the money themselves to purchase the factory and keep it running, possibly as a cooperative. Around 65 workers are occupying the building right now to back up that demand.

In 2008, UE workers occupied the same factory, then operated by Republic Window & Door, in protest of Republic's violation of federal labor law not giving the workers 60 days notice prior to the announcement of closure. The six-day occupation ended in a settlement that amounted to $1.75 million.

-libcom.org, February 24, 2012
http://libcom.org/news/workers-occupy-factory-chicago-24022012

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Free Bradley Manning! Call in to the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

Call the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Sign the petition. Ask him to Free Bradley Manning!

Every week from now until the court martial the Bradley Manning Support Network will be asking supporters to write or call a person influential to the trial.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is the highest ranking civilian leader of the military, aside from President Obama in his role as Commander-In-Chief. As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he worked for civil rights issues, and there is hope he will listen to our concerns about Bradley. He is also relatively new to the trial, and in a position of influence to allow United Nations requests for a special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, to have access to confidentially meet with Pfc. Bradley Manning. It is unconscionable that anyone would block a UN observer to investigate serious allegations of prisoner abuse. It is particularly unusual that a President would allow one of his own soldiers to be treated so indecently.

A visit by a UN observer could be a first step towards a fair trial for Bradley Manning. However, the administration has so far persisted in staging a show trial -- one where they'd already declared the defendant guilty before he'd been charged.

Call the Secretary of Defense. Let him know this court martial is a sham. Tell him to drop these ridiculous charges and pursue those who have abused Bradley Manning's rights. If Secretary Panetta is unable or unwilling to hold military officials accountable for the criminal and improper behavior that has been exposed, then we will hold him responsible too.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
(703) 692-7100

If the number stops answering, you can also pressure his institute for public policy, which should certainly be educating people on the importance of whistle-blowers and fair justice.

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy
100 Campus Center, Building 86E
California State University, Monterey Bay
Seaside, California 93955
Phone 831-582-4200
Fax 831-582-4082
Email: info@PanettaInstitute.org

Call the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. Share your concerns about Bradley's brutal confinement and unjust prosecution.

Ask him to drop all the charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning.

Allow the defense to present its case! Including, all of its evidence and witnesses.
Prosecute war criminals not whistle-blowers.

Stop denying the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture access to visit Bradley Manning.
Recognize that Bradley is an honorable person & give him a medal. Free Bradley Manning!
Once you call, sign this petition sponsored by Occupy and anti-war protester, and Veteran, Scott Olsen. It asks Leon Panetta to allow UN Special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, access to visit with Bradley Manning so that he can properly investigate and report on the abuse. The petition already has 17,800 of the 25,000 needed signatures. Please add your voice.

http://www.change.org/petitions/secretary-of-defense-grant-un-rapporteur-on-torture-juan-mendez-access-to-bradley-manning

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

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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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LYNNE STEWART WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2012 HEARING AND 24-HOUR VIGIL ALERT:

Ralph Poynter updated his status: "GREETINGS FAMILY/COMRADES/SPIRIT WARRIORS- BE SURE TO PLACE OUR 'OCCUPY THE COURTS' EVENT IN YOUR CALENDAR. THE EVENING OF TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2012 IS THE DATE OF THE ALL NITE VIGIL PRECEEDING THE HEARING FOR LYNNE STEWART AT 500 PEARL STREET NEW FEDERAL COURT ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 29TH IN NYC. THE ALL NITE VIGIL WILL TAKE PLACE IN TOM PAINE PARK BESIDE THE COURT HOUSE. COME WITH YOUR DRUMS - YOUR SLEEPING BAGS - YOUR BANNERS SUPPORT LYNNE STEWART, LEORNARD PELTIER, MUMIA, BRADLEY MANNING AND ALL OF OUR FREEDOM FIGHTERS UNJUSTLY INCARCERATED IN THE TORTURE CELLS OF USA INJUSTICE SYSTEM."

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#F29 - Occupy Portland National Call To Action To
Shut Down the Corporations FEBRUARY 29, 2012
by OccupyWallSt
http://occupywallst.org/article/f29-occupy-portland-national-call-action-shut-down/

via Occupy Portland & Portland Action Lab:

"Occupy Portland calls for a day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society's obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.

We call on the Occupy Movement and everyone seeking freedom and justice to join us in this day of action.

There has been a theft by the 1% of our democratic ability to shape and form the society in which we live and our society is steered toward the destructive pursuit of consumption, profit and greed at the expense of all else.

We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country.

In doing this we begin to recreate our democracy. In doing this we begin to create a society that is organized to meet human needs and sustain life.

On February 29th, we will reclaim our future from the 1%. We will shut down the corporations and recreate our democracy.

Join us! Leap into action! Reclaim our future! Shut down the corporations!

*This action received unanimous consensus from the Portland General Assembly on Sunday January 1st, 2012."

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Join Us on March 1 Day of Action
To Demand that the California Government:

Fully fund public education, which is a public good and is the cornerstone of a democratic society, a vibrant economy, and the social and intellectual development of every individual.

Fully fund social services, which to a large part provide a crucial safety net for the most vulnerable members of society and therefore serve as a measure of society's moral standard.

Tax the rich, pass the Millionaires Tax, pass the Oil Tax to Fund Education, and reject regressive taxes.

In the state of California working people with the lowest income pay a higher rate (11%) of state and local taxes than the rich (8%). This tax inequity has contributed to an 81 percent growth in the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Californians between 1978 and 2008, while during the same period the income of the poorest 20 percent dropped by 11.5 percent.

We refuse to pay for the crisis created by the 1 percent. If we make the rich and the corporations pay, we can fully fund public education and social services and reverse the budget cuts, tuition hikes, and attacks on jobs. Join us in this peaceful demonstration.

Endorse our rally and mobilize your members to attend.

Send endorsements to: occupysfMarchfirstrally@gmail.com

Location: San Francisco Civic Center
(Polk and Grove)
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Partial List of Endorsers of March 1-5 Statewide Actions: AFT Local 1078 (Berkeley Federation of Teachers); AFT Local 1481 (Jefferson Union High School); AFT Local 1493 (San Mateo Community College Teachers); AFT Local 61 (San Francisco Federation of Teachers); AFT Local 1603 (Peralta Federation of Teachers); AFT Local 2121 (City College of San Francisco); Alameda Labor Council Executive Board; Berkeley Faculty Association; California Faculty Association (Cal State East Bay); California Faculty Association (San Francisco State University); California Federation of Teachers; California Teachers Association; Chinese Progressive Association; CODEPINK Bay Area; Council of UC Faculty Associations; Davis Faculty Association; Faculty Association of CA Community Colleges (FACCC); International Socialist Organization; Jobs with Justice; Labor for Peace and Justice; La Raza Centro Legal; Oakland Education Association; NYC All City Student Assembly; Occupy Bernal; Occupy Cal; Occupy Chico State; Occupy City College; Occupy Education Northern California; Occupy the Hood Oakland; Occupy Humboldt State; Occupy Oakland; Occupy Palo Alto; Occupy Redwood City; Occupy SF; Occupy SFSU; Occupy Stanford; Occupy UC Davis; Old Lesbians Organizing for Change SF Bay Area Chapter; Riverside Faculty Association; Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America; Sacramento Progressive Alliance; San Francisco Labor Council Executive Committee; San Francisco Occupy Solidarity Network; San Lorenzo Education Association; San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers; SEIU Local 1021; Socialist Organizer; Solidarity (East Bay chapter); Students for a Democratic Society; UAW Local 2865 (Graduate Student Employees of University of California); UC Santa Cruz General Assembly; University of California at San Diego Faculty Association; UPTE (University Professional and Technical Employees) CWA 9119; Workers Action.

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Montes Court Hearing to Uncover FBI Lies Friday, March 2. Organize or join a local solidarity protest!

Friday, March 2, 2012:
Montes Court Hearing to Uncover FBI Lies

Call to Organize Local Protests at Federal Buildings or FBI Offices

Protest the FBI Frame-up of Carlos Montes!
Drop the Charges Now!

Organize a solidarity protest on March 2!
Demand, "Drop the Charges!
No FBI Frame-up of Carlos Montes!"

Send your event announcement to info@StopFBI.net for posting.

The FBI is relentlessly persecuting Carlos Montes. At his next court hearing on March 2 in Los Angeles, Carlos Montes' lawyer will make discovery motions on how FBI special agent Matt Weber worked with L.A. Sheriff Detective Don Lord and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in this frame-up attempt. Last May, the Los Angeles Sheriffs smashed down Carlos' door at 5 a.m., waving automatic weapons, ransacking his home, and carting away his life's work of notes and papers. A FBI agent attempted to question Carlos about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization while he was handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.

Chicano leader and long-time activist Carlos Montes is one of 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists hit by FBI and grand jury repression since Sept. 24, 2010. Like others caught up in this witch hunt, Montes of Los Angeles was one of the organizers of the massive protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, Minnesota. When the FBI raided the Minnesota Anti-War Committee (AWC) office, Carlos Montes' name appeared on the warrant for investigation. An undercover law enforcement officer "Karen Sullivan" lied about her identity and spied on the AWC, including Carlos Montes, for two years.

Repression of the '60s Is Back

Carlos Montes is well known as a co-founder of the Brown Berets and for leading the immigrant rights mega-marches in L.A. The FBI is trying to railroad Carlos for his political organizing.

Montes' defense is challenging the state's claim that he has a felony record from his 1969 arrest for leading a student strike that demanded Chicano, Black and Women's Studies at an East Los Angeles college. Also, the legal record does not support the claim of a past felony, thereby ruling out the District Attorney going ahead with this case. Nevertheless, the government is alleging it was a crime for Montes to buy several guns at a local sporting goods store over a ten-year period, because of the (nonexistent) felony record. The FBI are relentless in their frame-up.

The prosecution is basing their evidence on this 42-year-old incident, where, during the 1969 student strike and rally, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department invaded the East Los Angeles college campus, beating and arresting student protesters. In the aftermath of the turmoil, Montes was arrested while driving home with a fellow activist and family. He was charged with assaulting a Sheriff's Deputy. Just like today, the Sheriffs targeted Montes because of his politics - he was a leader of the La Vida Nueva on campus and the Brown Berets in the community.

Support Grows! Solidarity Will Bring Victory!
Support for Montes and the other activists under attack by the FBI and U.S. Federal grand jury is growing. Recently, Montes received a letter of support from the 350,000-member California Teachers Association and the 40,000 members at LAUSD United Teachers of Los Angeles and the UAW local at UCLA.

Facing up to 18 years of prison time, Carlos Montes is preparing to go on trial. Here is what you can do:

1. Organize a solidarity protest and demand, "Drop the Charges! No FBI Frame-Up of Carlos Montes!" on March 2, 2012. Send your announcement to info@StopFBI.net for posting.

2. Pass a resolution in solidarity with Carlos Montes or write a letter.
3. Sign the petition at http://www.stopfbi.net/petition/national
4. Sign the Pledge at http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/pledge-of-resistance
5. Donate to the Legal Defense http://www.stopfbi.net/donate
follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | forward to a friend
Copyright (c) 2012 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Happy Birthday Jamie Dimon: A National Call to Action.

Public Event for Occupy Atlanta ·

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12:00am until 11:30pm

At a Chase Bank near you.

Invite everyone on your friends list. Lets give him a birthday party
he'll never forget.

We, Occupy Atlanta and the occupiers of Glen Iris, are asking everyone
locally and nationally to take action in Solidarity with us as we
fight Chase Bank. Since this bank is a behemoth, we cannot defeat it
only in Atlanta, we need to bring the fight everywhere. We are calling
a day of action against Chase on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, to demand a
moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. March 13th is the birthday
of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase Bank.

JPMorgan Chase, doing business as Chase Bank, through a series of
recent mergers and acquisitions has become the largest banking
institution in the United States. This expansion has been fueled to a
great degree by its extensive investment in the two main subprime
mortgage originators, not to mention nearly $25 billion in bailout
funds that rewarded the bank for its criminal swindling of millions of
American families.

A spotlight has been shined on the nefarious deeds of Chase and other
big banks since the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The time
has come to take a step further in the struggle. The rich and their
mouthpieces roar with outrage at any criticism of those responsible
for the economic crisis. Throwing millions of working families out of
their homes - is this not class warfare against the 99%? We need to
strike back with a show of resistance nationwide.

Chase, the largest bank in America, is an ideal target to focus such a
campaign. The Pittman family here in Atlanta has boldly defied
intimidation and threats from Chase Bank, as well as the police, in
defending their home side by side with hundreds of Occupiers and
supporters. Through a unified display of action across the country, by
shutting down a Chase Bank branch in your neighborhood, we can
demonstrate the power of the people. Join in the national effort
against the biggest bank in America: we are taking back our homes and
building a future worth fighting for.

On March 13th, demand a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions!

The Occupiers of Glen Iris and Take Back the Block

Contact Us

Twitter: @OccupyGlenIris

Email: takebacktheblock@gmail.com

Facebook: Occupy Glen Iris
Share:Post

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Occupy St.Patrick's Day! Saturday, March 17

Once again the San Francisco Bay Area comrades of the International Republican Socialist Network are reaching out to socialists, syndicalists, anarchists, and Irish, Scottish, and Welsh republicans to join them in marching in this year's San Francisco St. Patrick's Parade.

For the first time in the nearly three decades that local comrades have marched in the parade under the auspices of the H-Block/Armagh Committees, Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America, and the International Republican Socialist Network the parade will actually take place on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17th.

As usual, the parade will begin at Market and Second Streets and our assembly point will no doubt be somewhere on Second Street and the time will be approximately 10:30, though details are not yet known.

As has been the case for many years, the IRSN will have a decorated truck--this year dedicated to the proud history of Irish Republican Socialism--but that entry will be joined by the Anti-Imperialist Contingent, composed of revolutionaries from many different organizations, united by their opposition to both British and American imperialism and their support for an independent, 32-country Irish socialist republic.

Participants in the Anti-Imperialist Contingent are welcome to bring their own identifying banners, as well as to join in carrying IRSC-supplied banners, raising slogans in opposition to imperialism and in support of the struggle for socialism in Ireland. The IRSN appreciates it when comrades who will be joining in march with the Anti-Imperialist Contingent let us know of their intent to do so in advance, as it helps us to better plan the organization of the contingent; the earlier you are able to do so, the more we appreciate it. For additional information, or to notify us of you or your organization's participation, please e-mail: irsp@netwiz.net.

As has long been our tradition, the IRSN will be welcoming all those who join us in marching in this year's parade to join in a post-parade party, featuring the very traditional combination of nachos and Margaritas (well, traditional for us anyway).

So mark your calendars and get your marching shoes ready, and come and join the International Republican Socialist Network in once again ensuring that St. Patrick's Day in the San Francisco Bay Area has a proudly visible representation of the Irish Republican Socialist tradition.

Only you can prevent the St. Patrick's Day Parade from becoming a green beer, ROTC, and Hooters-dominated event!

Come out to show your solidarity with the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland and to help reclaim the revolutionary tradition of St. Patrick's Day in the US.

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Attend the United National Antiwar Coalition National Conference
March 23-25, 2012 at the Stamford CT Hilton (one stop from Harlem/125th St. on Metro North commuter line)

Say No to the NATO/G8 Wars & Poverty Agenda

A Conference to Challenge the Wars of the one percent Against the 99 percent at Home and Abroad

The U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the G-8 world economic powers will meet in Chicago, May 19-22, to plan their financial and military strategies for the coming period. These elites, who serve the one percent at home and abroad, impose austerity--often by the use of drones, armies, and the police--on the 99 percent to expand their profits.

Join activists from the antiwar, occupy, environmental, immigrant rights, labor, and other movements at a conference from March 23-25, 2012 to learn more, to plan a May 19 "No to NATO/G8" demonstration in Chicago, and to democratically develop a program of action for the months to follow.

Special guest speakers include:

• Xiomara Castro de Zelaya is currently a presidential candidate in Honduras and the partner of Manuel de Zelaya, the former president displaced by a U.S.-backed coup in 2009.

• Bill McKibben is the founder of the grassroots global warming group 350.org and the architect of the successful campaign to defeat the XL pipeline.

• Glen Ford is the executive editor of Black Agenda Report, a ground-breaking site that covers U.S. wars abroad and wars at home from the perspective of the African American community.

• Lamis Deek is a Palestinian organizer and attorney who is the chair of Al Awda NY

• Richard Wolff is the author Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

• Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid is the founder of the Muslim Peace Coalition

• Vijay Prashad is the author of The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World

• Andrew Murray is a member of the UK Trades Union Congress General Council and head of UK Stop the War coalition from 2001-2011

• Colonel Ann Wright was a central Gaza Boat organizer and the editor of Dissent: Voices of Conscience

• Medea Benjamin is the founder of Code Pink

• Jared Ball is the author of I Mix What I Like.

• Clarence Thomas is an Oakland ILWU activist with Longview WA Longshore fight

• Scott Olsen is an Iraq war veteran and Occupy victim of Oakland police violence

• David Swanson is author and editor of War is a Crime.org

• Pat Hunt is a founding member of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 Wars & Poverty Agenda

• Fignole St. Cyr is a leader of the Haitian Autonomous Workers Confederation

For more information:
United National Antiwar Coalition
UNACpeace@gmail.com
www.UNACpeace.org
(518) 227-6947
P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054
https://nationalpeaceconference.org/Conference.html

Send donations to: UNACpeace@gmail.com or to use a credit card, go here: https://nationalpeaceconference.org/Donate.html

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NATO/G8 protests in Chicago.
United National Antiwar Committee
UNACpeace@gmain.com or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054
518-227-6947
www.UNACpeace.org

UNAC, along with other organizations and activists, has formed a coalition to help organize protests in Chicago during the week of May 15 - 22 while NATO and G8 are holding their summit meetings. The new coalition was formed at a meeting of 163 people representing 73 different organization in Chicago on August 28 and is called Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANGATE). For a report on the Chicago meeting, click here: http://nepajac.org/chicagoreport.htm

To add your email to the new CANGATE listserve, send an email to: cangate-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

To have your organization endorse the NATO/G8 protest, please click here:

https://www.nationalpeaceconference.org/NATO_G8_protest_support.html

Click here to hear audio of the August 28 meeting:

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/54145

Click here for the talk by Marilyn Levin, UNAC co-coordinator at the August 28 meeting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1tHQ7ilDJ8&NR=1

Click here for Pat Hunts welcome to the meeting and Joe Iosbaker's remarks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoNGcnBGGfI

NATO and the G8 Represent the 1%.

In May, they will meet in Chicago. Their agenda is war on poor nations, war on the poor and working people - war on the 99%.

We are demanding the right to march on their summit, to say:
Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Housing and the Environment, Not War!

No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers!

No to War and Austerity!

NATO's military expenditures come at the expense of funding for education, housing and jobs programs; and the G8 continues to advance an agenda of 'austerity' that includes bailouts, tax write-offs and tax holidays for big corporations and banks at the expense of the rest of us.

During the May 2012 G8 and NATO summits in Chicago, many thousands of people will want to exercise their right to protest against NATO's wars and against the G8 agenda to only serve the richest one percent of society. We need permits to ensure that all who want to raise their voices will be able to march.

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stonewalled repeated attempts by community organizers to meet with the city to discuss reasonable accommodations of protesters' rights. They have finally agreed to meet with us, but we need support: from the Occupy movement, the anti-war movement, and all movements for justice.

Our demands are simple:

That the City publicly commit to provide protest organizers with permits that meet the court- sanctioned standard for such protests -- that we be "within sight and sound" of the summits; and

That representatives of the City, including Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, refrain from making threats against protesters.

The protest movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), has the support of a majority of the American people. This is because people are suffering from the economic crisis brought about by Wall Street and big banks. As the OWS movement describes it, the "99%" see extreme economic inequality, where millions are unemployed without significant help while bankers in trouble get bailed out.

In Chicago and around the country, the Occupy movement is being met with repression: hundreds have been arrested, beaten, tear gassed, spied on, and refused their right to protest.

The Chicago Police Department and the Mayor have already acknowledged that they are coming down hard on the Occupy movement here to send a message to those who would protest against NATO and the G8.

We need a response that is loud and clear: we have the right to march against the generals and the bankers. We have the right to demand an end to wars, military occupations, and attacks on working people and the poor.

How you can help:

1) Sign the petition to the City of Chicago at www.CANG8.org You can also make a contribution there.

2) Write a statement supporting the right to march and send it to us atcangate2012@gmail.com.

3) To endorse the protests, go to https://nationalpeaceconference.org/NATO_G8_protest_support.html or write to cangate2012@gmail.com

4) Print out and distribute copies of this statement, attached along with a list of supporters of our demands for permits.

4) And then march inChicago on May 15th and May 19th. Publicizethe protests. Join us!

Formore info: www.CANG8.org or email us at cangate2012@gmail.com

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Occupy Oakland Call for Participation in a May 1, 2012
Global General Strike

Occupy Oakland decides to participate in the Global General Strike on May Day!!!

Posted January 30, by ragtag

Categories: Front Page, GA Resolutions, Notice

The Occupy Oakland General Assembly passed the proposal today!

Occupy Oakland Call for Participation in a May 1, 2012
Global General Strike

The general strike is back, retooled for an era of deep budget cuts, extreme anti-immigrant racism, and massive predatory financial speculation. In 2011, the number of unionized workers in the US stood at 11.8%, or approximately 14.8 million people.

What these figures leave out are the growing millions of people in this country who are unemployed and underemployed. The numbers leave out the undocumented, and domestic and manual workers drawn largely from immigrant communities. The numbers leave out workers whose workplace is the home and a whole invisible economy of unwaged reproductive labor. The numbers leave out students who have taken on nearly $1 trillion dollars in debt, and typically work multiple jobs, in order to afford skyrocketing college tuition. The numbers leave out the huge percentage of black Americans that are locked up in prisons or locked out of stable or secure employment because of our racist society.

In December of 2011,Oakland's official unemployment rate was a devastating 14.1%. As cities like Oakland are ground into the dust by austerity, every last public dollar will be fed to corrupt, militarized police departments in order to contain social unrest. On November 2 of last year, Occupy Oakland carried out the first general strike in the US since the 1946 Oakland general strike,shutting down the center of the city and blockading the Port of Oakland. We must re-imagine a general strike for an age where most workers do not belong to labor unions, and where most of us are fighting for the privilege to work rather than for marginal improvements in working conditions. We must take the struggle into the streets, schools, and offices of corrupt local city governments. A re-imagined general strike means finding immediate solutions for communities impacted by budget cuts and constant police harassment beyond changing government representatives. Occupy Oakland calls for and will participate in a new direction for the Occupy movement based on the recognition that we must not only find new ways to provide for our needs beyond thestate we must also attack the institutions that lock us into an increasingly miserable life of exploitation, debt, and deepening poverty everywhere.
IF WE CAN'T LIVE, WE WON'T WORK.

May Day is an international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police defending, as always, the interests of the 1% attacked and murdered workers participating in a general strike and demanding an 8-hour workday. In the 21st century, despite what politicians tell us, class war is alive and well against workers (rank-and-file and non-unionized), students, people of color, un- and underemployed, immigrants, homeless, women, queer/trans folks, prisoners. Instead of finding common ground with monsters, it's time we fight them. And it's time we make fighting back an everyday reality in the Bay Area and beyond.

On May Day 2012, Occupy Oakland will join with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world around the world in a global general strike to shut down the global circulation of capital that every day serves to enrich the ruling classes and impoverish the rest of us. There will be no victory but that which we make for ourselves, reclaiming the means of existence from which we have been and continue to be dispossessed every day.
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING

STRIKE / BLOCKADE / OCCUPY

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Occupy the PGA in Benton Harbor, MI May 23-27, 2012
http://wibailoutpeople.org/2011/12/29/occupy-the-pga-in-benton-harbor-mi-may-23-27-2012/

A personal invitation from the President of the NAACP , Benton Harbor
Chapter:

It is our distinct honor and privilege to invite you on behalf of the
NAACP-BH , the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO)
and Stop The Take Over in Benton Harbor, Michigan to an event
scheduled for May 23-27, 2012 .

Occupy the PGA
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Senior PGA Golf Tournament

We are committed to escalating the Occupy Movement to support human
rights in housing in addition to the push back against bailouts for
fraudulent banks. They are stealing our homes and lives. Democracy is
non-existent here in Benton Harbor. Joseph Harris, the Emergency
Manager must go! With pride, he called himself a "dictator."

The PGA will be played on a $750 million dollar, 530-acre resort near
the lakeshore with $500,000 condominiums. We can not forget the three
golf holes inside Jean Klock Park that were taken from the Benton
Harbor residents.

If your schedule does not permit your attendance on May 26, 2012,
alternative action dates are May 23-25, 2012. Please let me know if
you can accept the invitation to participate in Occupy the PGA. We
eagerly await your response. If you have any questions or concerns,
feel free to contact me directly at (269-925-0001). Allow me to thank
you in advance.We the residents of Benton Harbor love you!

President/NAACP/BANCO
& Stop The Take Over
Benton Harbor
Rev. Edward Pinkney
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI

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B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:
[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website:
http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]

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

Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbQxnb4so3U



This video shows the early stages of the growing Chicago movement against the newly minted extraordinary police powers ordinance (dubbed the "sit down and shut up" laws). We go to one of the many actions around the city directed at Chicago aldermen who were about to vote on these new laws (designed by Democratic Party Mayor Emanuel to crush any dissent against the NATO/G8 summits he is hosting here in May). Richard de Vries, Union Representative for IBT 705, tells a story about when he and Danny Solis were students at University of Illinois-Chicago campus back in the early 70s and they both participated in a student protest/occupation of the campus. If the ordinance under consideration (which now Alderman Solis finally approved of) were in effect then, "we wouldn't even be on the street today." We also visit the press conference at City Hall given by an impressive coalition of neighborhood and labor organizations on the eve of City Council committee meetings and final vote. The draconian measures, only marginally tweaked, passed overwhelmingly by the all-Democratic Party Council. The video is also a useful primer on what NATO is and some of its criminal record, from the bombings of civilians in Yugoslavia in the late 90s to NATO's recent killings of civilians in Libya and Afghanistan. In January of this year the Arab Organisation for Human Rights together with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights announced that there is evidence that NATO has committed war crimes. "My estimate: it's Military Murder Inc.," states Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO web site, as he provides extensive background information. Includes interviews and comments from numerous labor and community leaders. Length 25:37. 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: mail@laborbeat.org, www.laborbeat.org. 312-226-3330. For other Labor Beat videos, visit YouTube and search "Labor Beat". On Chicago CAN TV Channel 19, Thursdays 9:30 pm; Fridays 4:30 pm. Labor Beat has regular cable slots in Chicago, Evanston, Rockford, Urbana, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Princeton, NJ; and Rochester, NY. For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.


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Anti-War Demonstrators Storm Pentagon 1967/10/24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDiFkckszCw


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Liberal Hypocrisy on Obama Vs Bush - Poll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl_HGEXq_aM&feature=player_embedded


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Greek trade unionists and black bloc October 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHMLD_Vql0o&feature=player_embedded#!


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The Battle of Oakland
by brandon jourdan plus
http://vimeo.com/36256273

On January 28th, 2012, Occupy Oakland moved to take a vacant building to use as a social center and a new place to continue organizing. This is the story of what happened that day as told by those who were a part of it. it features rare footage and interviews with Boots Riley, David Graeber, Maria Lewis, and several other witnesses to key events.

The Battle of Oakland from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.




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

Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces
By ANDY NEWMAN
February 1, 2012, 10:56 am
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/officers-pulled-off-street-after-tape-of-beating-surfaces/?ref=nyregion



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Save the Rich by Garfunkel and Oates
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M8fOwHnwg0&feature=player_embedded



Riki "Garfunkel" Lindhome and Kate "Oates" Micucci sing about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Shot by Raul Fernandez.

LYRICS:

Everyone knows these times are really tough
And we need to band together say we've had enough
All the jobless people need to learn to be content
Cause what we need to do is protect our one percent

Save the rich
Let them know you care
Don't leave to languish
In their penthouse of despair

Save the rich
Let their bonuses be swollen
And let them keep it all tax free
Even if it's stolen

Save the rich

Let's give our job creators
More than their fare share
So they can go to Asia
And create jobs over there

There's loopholes and exemptions
And children to exploit
So give them special tax breaks
Go fuck yourself Detroit

And those who don't create jobs
Really need help too
Cause without their 7th home
How will they make it through

It's not time for complaining
Not the time for class war
It's time sacrifice yourself
To give them more and more and more
And more and more and more

Save the rich
America's built on corporate greed
It's not Wall Street's fault
If you can't get what you need

Save the rich
Don't go crying to mommy
Cause if you don't agree
Than you're socialist commie

Save the rich

Blame yourself for your problems
Not the bad economy
So what if those who have the most
Are the ones who put it in jeopardy

Fuck your student loans
Fuck your kids and their health care
It'll only take 10,000 of your jobs
To put another private jet in the air

Save the rich
It's so easy to do
Just let yourself be ignorant
To what's been done to you

Save the rich
By doing nothing at all
Deny all sense and logic
And just think really small
You should think really small
Or just don't think at all
And save the rich

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On Obama's SOTU:GM is a Terrible Model for US Manufacturing
Frank Hammer: GM was rebuilt by lowering wages and banning the right to strike
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=7847


More at The Real News


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Defending The People's Mic
by Pham Binh of Occupy Wall Street
The North Star
January 20, 2012
http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=53
Grand Central Terminal Arrests - MIRROR
Two protesters mic check about the loss of freedom brought about by the passage of the NDAA and both are promptly arrested and whisked out of public sight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7Tj7tEVx8A&feature=player_embedded



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"Welcome to Chicago! You're under arrest!"

"Under the new ordinance: Every sign has to be described in particularity on the parade permit. ...If there are signs not on the parade permit, police can issue an ordinance violation. What does that ordinance violation allow? It allows for every sign, the organizer ... can face $1000.00 fine--that's for every un-permitted sign--plus up to ten days in jail...."

Chicago City Hall Press Conference Against NATO/G8 Ordinance

YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYQfJcRNwqM



An impressive coalition of organizations -- unions, anti-war, human rights, churches and neighborhood groups -- held a press conference today (Jan. 17, 2012) at Chicago's City Hall. They were protesting the proposed new ordinances against demonstrations targeting the upcoming spring NATO/G8 meetings here, but now possibly to become permanent laws. The press conference took place right before two key City Council committees were to meet to consider whether to endorse the proposed new ordinances, prior to their going to a vote before the full City Council tomorrow. In this excerpt from the press conference, speakers include Eric Ruder, Coalition Against NATO/G8's War & Poverty Agenda; Erek Slater, ATU 241 member speaking for ATU International Vice Presidents; Talisa Hardin, National Nurses United; Wayne Lindwal, SEIU 73 Chicago Division Director; Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union.

For more info on fight against ordinance: (http://bit.ly/AntiLibertyOrdinance).

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This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!
Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political strategy behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown people in the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P75cbEdNo2U&feature=player_embedded



If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing voters.

This speech took place at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on January 12, 2012.

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NATO, G8 In Chicago: More Details Released, City Grants First Protest Permit
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
January 12, 2012
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/12/nato-g8-in-chicago-more-d_n_1203429.html



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Release Bradley Manning
Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)
Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYG7yJpBbQ&feature=player_embedded



Locked up in a white room, underneath a glaring light
Every 5 minutes, they're asking me if I'm alright
Locked up in a white room naked as the day I was born
24 bright light, 24 all alone

What I did was show some truth to the working man
What I did was blow the whistle and the games began

Tell the truth and it will set you free
That's what they taught me as a child
But I can't be silent after all I've seen and done
24 bright light I'm almost gone, almost gone

Locked up in a white room, dying to communicate
Trying to hang in there underneath a crushing wait
Locked up in a white room I'm always facing time
24 bright light, 24 down the line

What I did was show some truth to the working man
What I did was blow the whistle and the games began

But I did my duty to my country first
That's what they taught me as a man
But I can't be silent after all I've seen and done
24 bright light I'm almost gone, almost gone
(Treat me like a human, Treat me like a man )

Read more on Nash's blog - grahamnash.com

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FREEDOM ROAD - A Tribute to Mumia sung by Renn Lee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC27vzqxSCA&feature=youtu.be



FREEDOM ROAD

(written by Samuel Légitimus- adapted in english, sung and arranged by Paris-Sydney)

They've taken all you had away
And what's left, still they can't bend
To find you guilty was their way
Yet here I am and you're my friend.

Your writing's proof enough for me, Mumia,
You place honor and law
Above all, till the end.

Thirty years gone by
On death row, we never knew
Anything of the weight
You had to carry while you grew.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.

(Instrumental)

Like Jimmy (1) and Bob (2) you've lived to see the light:
Believing that all men
Can stand up for their rights.

Accusing you of crime
From behind their scales they hide
It makes them scared deep down inside
To know that truth is on your side.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no,
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.

(Instumental)

Those thirty years gone by
On death row, we never knew
Anything of the weight
You had to carry while you grew.

We've named a street for you, Mumia
A lovely rue in Saint-Denis
By joining hands we're showing you
Proof of our strength and peace.

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no,
We won't let them ever win
Won't let you bear such a heavy load
While walking down the Freedom Road.X2

But they won't get you, no, Mumia, no
We won't let them ever win
Won't let them block you from getting in,
Into your home on Freedom Road.

But they won't get you no Mumia,
We will win, we'll never bend
For thirty years you've shown us all
Just how to fight until the end.

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School police increasingly arresting American students?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-efNBvjUU&feature=player_embedded



Uploaded by RTAmerica on Dec 29, 2011

A new study shows that by age 23, 41 percent of young Americans were arrested from the years 1997-2008. The survey questioned 7,000 people but didn't disclose the crimes committed. Many believe the arrests are related to the increase of police presence in schools across America. Amanda Petteruti from the Justice Policy Institute joins us to examine these numbers.

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

"The mine owners did not find the gold, they did not mine the gold, they did not mill the gold, but by some weird alchemy all the gold belonged to them!" -- Big Bill Haywood

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1293. Big Coal Don't Like This Man At All (Original) - with Marco Acca on guitar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljtxjFKB718&mid=574



This song is a tribute to Charles Scott Howard, from Southeastern Kentucky, a tireless fighter for miners' rights, especially with regard to safety, and to his lawyer, Tony Oppegard, who sent me this newspaper article on which I based the song: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/14/charles-scott-howard-whistleblower-m...

The melody is partly based on a tune used by Woody Guthrie, who wrote many songs in support of working men, including miners.

My thanks to Marco Acca for his great guitar accompaniment at very short notice (less than an hour).

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=142068

To see the complete lyrics and chords please click here: http://raymondfolk.wetpaint.com/page/Big+Coal+Don%27t+Like+This+Man+At+all

You can see a playlist of my mining songs here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CF909DA14CE415DF

You can hear a playlist of my original songs (in alphabetical order) here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B9F8E3B7A8822951

For lyrics and chords of all my songs, please see my website: http://www.raymondcrooke.com

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FYI:
Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are plotted visually and audibly on a world map.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk&feature=share&mid=5408


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Lifting the Veil
Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. --HELEN KELLER



Suggested slogan for the 2012 elections:

DON'T VOTE FOR THE ONE PERCENT!
We working people--employed, unemployed, partially employed or retired--can't get any economic justice by voting for the One Percent! We need to occupy the elections with our own candidates of, by and for working people! --Bonnie Weinstein

Keep Wall Street Occupied (Part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JlxbKtBkGM


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

We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?

OccupyWallSt.org
Occupytogether.org
wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com
http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

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Drop All Charges on the 'Occupy Wall Street' Arrestees!
Stop Police Attacks & Arrests! Support 'Occupy Wall Street'!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT:
http://bailoutpeople.org/dropchargesonoccupywallstarrestees.shtml to send email messages to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC City Council, NYPD, the NY Congressional Delegation, Congressional Leaders, the NY Legislature, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, members of the media YOU WANT ALL CHARGES DROPPED ON THE 'OCCUPY WALL STREET ARRESTEES!

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We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools

YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAOJsBxAxY



This video begins with Professor of Education Pauline Lipman (University of Illinois-Chicago) briefly recapping the plans hatched a decade ago in Chicago to replace public schools with private charter schools. Then Chicago Public Schools head Arne Duncan implemented those plans (Renaissance 2010) so obediently that President Obama picked him to do the same thing to every school system in the country. So Chicago's growing uprising against these deepening attacks against public education has national importance. Here is a battalion of voices from the communities and the teachers union, all exposing the constantly changing, Kafkaesque rules for evaluating school turn-arounds and closings. The counter-attack from the working people in the city is energized and spreading, and is on a collision course with the 1% who want to take away their children's futures. Includes comments from Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, teachers and parents from targeted school communities. Length - 24:40

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

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Documentary Footage (1963)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL2mU029PkQ&feature=fvsr



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

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' - Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the strike was really won!

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike
http://links.org.au/node/2681
--Inspiring

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Busby: Fukushima 'criminal event' calls for investigation
Uploaded by RussiaToday on Dec 27, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F0uFAWV7uc&feature=player_embedded%23!

A newly released report on the Fukushima nuclear crisis says it was down to the plant's operators being ill-prepared and not responding properly to the earthquake and tsunami disaster. A major government inquiry said some engineers abandoned the plant as the trouble started and other staff delayed reporting significant radiation leaks. Professor Christopher Busby, scientific secretary to the European Committee on Radiation Risks, says health damage after contamination will be more serious than Japan announced.



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

HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0WSNRpy3g



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

ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C-qIgbP9o&feature=share&mid=552



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

ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JUpBpZYwms

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to
http://www.facebook.com/groups/256313837734192/
For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3fE-Vhrw8&feature=youtu.be
Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org



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

Lifting the Veil
"Our democracy is but a name...We choose between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee" --Helen Keller, 1911

"It is naive to expect the initiative for reform of the state to issue from the political process that serves theinterests of political capitalism. This structure can only be reduced if citizens withdraw and direct their energies and civic commitment to finding new life forms...The old citizenship must be replaced by a fuller and wider notion of being whose politicalness will be expressed not in one or two modes of actibity--voting or protesting--but in many." --Sheldon Wolin
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/lifting-the-veil/

This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the graveyard of social movements, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.

Lifting the Veil is the long overdue film that powerfully, definitively, and finally exposes the deadly 21st century hypocrisy of U.S. internal and external policies, even as it imbues the viewer with a sense of urgency and an actualized hope to bring about real systemic change while there is yet time for humanity and this planet.

Noble is brilliantly pioneering the new film-making - incisive analysis, compelling sound and footage, fearless and independent reporting, and the aggregation of the best information out there into powerful, educational and free online feature films - all on a shoestring budget.

Viewer discretion advised - Video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war.

Lifting the Veil from S DN on Vimeo.



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Frida Kahlo Diego Rivera y Trotsky Video Original
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Z0keLaGhQ



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

Toronto Emergency Public Warning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iiGTGwQ9HM&feature=player_embedded



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Tom Morello Occupy LA
Uploaded by sandrineora on Dec 3, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChicrlyeKhg&feature=player_embedded

The Nightwatchman, Tom Morello, comes to lift the spirits of Occupy LA the evening after the raid on November 29, 2011.



*---------*

UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
19 November 11
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8485-uc-davis-police-violence-adds-fuel-to-fire

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4&feature=player_embedded


Police PEPPER SPRAY UC Davis STUDENT PROTESTERS!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I&feature=player_embedded


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=player_embedded


*---------*

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CZ0t9ez_EGI#!



Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIyE_JlJzw&feature=related



*---------*

THE BEST VIDEO ON "OCCUPY THE WORLD"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S880UldxB1o



*---------*

Occupy With Aloha -- Makana -- The Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-M07v8N_eU&feature=channel_video_title



We Are The Many -- Makana -- The Song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq3BYw4xjxE&feature=relmfu



We Are The Many
Lyrics and Music by Makana
Makana Music LLC (c) 2011

Download song for free here:
http://makanamusic.com/?slide=we-are-the-many

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

Rafeef Ziadah - 'Shades of anger', London, 12.11.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2vFJE93LTI



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

News: Massive anti-nuclear demonstration in Fukuoka Nov. 12, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aq_xKEWuj1I&feature=player_embedded



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

Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pX9LeE-g8&feature=player_embedded



*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrvMzqopHH0



*---------*

Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tu_D8SFYck&feature=player_embedded



*----*

Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoiisMMCFT0&feature=player_embedded



*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfzUOx53Rg&feature=player_embedded



G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ7aU-n1L8&feature=player_embedded



*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPs-REyl-0&feature=player_embedded


Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27kD2_7PwU&feature=player_embedded


Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpO-lJr2BQY&feature=player_embedded


Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&feature=player_embedded


KTVU TV Video of Police violence
http://www.ktvu.com/video/29587714/index.html


Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMUgPTCgwcQ&feature=player_embedded


Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU4Y0pwJtWE&feature=player_embedded


Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStWz6jbeZA&feature=player_embedded


*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY8isD33f-I



*---------*

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA48gmfGB6U&feature=youtu.be



Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjKZpOk7TyM&feature=related



*---------*

#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziodsFWEb5Y&feature=player_embedded



*---------*

#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street
By adele pham
http://vimeo.com/30146870

@OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street from adele pham on Vimeo.



*---------*

Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yULSI-31Pto&feature=player_embedded



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FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!
http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/index.php

Free Them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmS4kHC_OlY&feature=player_embedded



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The Preacher and the Slave - Joe Hill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca_MEJmuzMM



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Visualizing a Trillion: Just How Big That Number Is?
"1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years."
Digital Inspiration
http://www.labnol.org/internet/visualize-numbers-how-big-is-trillion-dollars/7814/

How Much Is $1 Trillion?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPfY0q-rEdY&feature=player_embedded



Courtesy the credit crisis and big bailout packages, the figure "trillion" has suddenly become part of our everyday conversations. One trillion dollars, or 1 followed by 12 zeros, is lots of money but have you ever tried visualizing how big that number actually is?

For people who can visualize one million dollars, the comparison made on CNN should give you an idea about a trillion - "if you start spending a million dollars every single day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spend a trillion dollars".

Another mathematician puts it like this: "1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years".

Now if the above comparisons weren't really helpful, check another illustration that compares the built of an average human being against a stack of $100 currency notes bundles.

A bundle of $100 notes is equivalent to $10,000 and that can easily fit in your pocket. 1 million dollars will probably fit inside a standard shopping bag while a billion dollars would occupy a small room of your house.

With this background in mind, 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) is 1000 times bigger than 1 billion and would therefore take up an entire football field - the man is still standing in the bottom-left corner. (See visuals -- including a video -- at website:
http://www.labnol.org/internet/visualize-numbers-how-big-is-trillion-dollars/7814/

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One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3R1BQrYCw&feature=player_embedded

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson



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Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)
Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ&feature=player_embedded



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FREE BRADLEY MANNING
http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/national-call-in-for-bradley

I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov.

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the specific case raised in this petition...

"This email was sent to giobon@comcast.net
Manage Subscriptions for giobon@comcast.net
Sign Up for Updates from the White House
Unsubscribe giobon@comcast.net | Privacy Policy
Please do not reply to this email. Contact the White House

"The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111"

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about Bradley:

BRADLEY MANNING "BROKE THE LAW" SAYS OBAMA!

"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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfmtUpd4id0&feature=youtu.be



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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
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSNUSIGZCMQ



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Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVGqE726OAo&feature=player_embedded

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Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7h-DNvwx4&feature=player_embedded

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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Justice for Rahmarley Graham
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/jusice-for-Ramarley-Graham/

* Target: New York Police Department
* Sponsored by: Susan V and Concerned Citizens

NYPD police followed 18-year-old Rahmarley Graham to his grandmother's Bronx apartment, broke down the door, entered, and shot him dead. Graham was unarmed.

The attorney for Graham's mother, Jeffrey Emdin, said the officers broke down the door illegally, entered the home illegally and used illegal force. They had no warrant.

The killing has sparked street protests and candlelight vigils in Graham's low-income, minority neighborhood, and the incident is being linked to a NYPD tactic called "stop-and-frisk," which targets such areas. With 85 percent of its search subjects from Latino and Black minorities last year, the program is a clear example of racial profiling.

Donna Lieberman of New York Civil Liberties Union told the Huff Post that this is more than "just collateral damage of policing in a big city." The public has every right to question if this shooting is a product of NYPD's "hyper-aggressive stop-and-frisk program..."

Demand Justice for Rahmarley Graham!

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Mumia Abu-Jamal Transferred Out of Solitary Confinement, Into General Population
Posted on January 27, 2012
prisonradio
http://prisonradio.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/mumia-abu-jamal-transferred-out-of-solitary-confinement-into-general-population/

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections tells Democracy Now! it has transferred Mumia Abu-Jamal out of solitary confinement and into general population. The move comes seven weeks after Philadelphia prosecutor Seth Williams announced he would not pursue the death penalty against the imprisoned journalist. Abu-Jamal's legal team confirmed the move in an email from attorney, Judy Ritter. "This is a very important moment for him, his family and all of his supporters," Ritter wrote.

Supporters of Abu-Jamal note prison officials just received more than 5,000 petitions calling for his transfer and release. Superintendent John Kerestes has previously said Abu-Jamal would have to cut short his dreadlocks, and meet several other conditions, before a transfer would be allowed.

While on death row at SCI Green, Abu-Jamal made regular phone calls to Prison Radio in order to record his columns and essays, but prison officials revoked his phone privileges after he was moved to SCI Mahanoy, the Frackville, PA prison in which he's currently being held. Prison Radio has since announced it will continue to record and distribute Abu-Jamal's essays as read by his well-known supporters.

Write to Mumia

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, PA 17932



From: "Litestar01@aol.com"
To: Litestar01@aol.com; nattyreb@gmail.com; pamafrica@gmail.com
Sent: Fri, February 3, 2012 6:39:49 PM
Subject: !*Mumia Photo off Death Row/Mega Bus Update from Sis. Ramona Africa

from sis Marpessa

Thank you all, FREE MUMIA!!!!

From Sis. Ramona at ONAMOVELLJA@aol.com - 2/3/2012 5:27:24 P.M. - Subj: Mega Bus

ONA MOVE! This is to inform folks that if there is not a chartered bus leaving from your area going to the "occupy for Mumia" action in DC. on April 24th, you should check out Mega Bus at www.megabus.com .
They have very reasonable fares and the sooner you reserve a seat, the cheaper it is, so don't delay. The fares have gone up a bit just today. Hope to see you in DC on the 24th---Ramona (more info at www.freemumia.com)

From: National Lawyers Guild

SCI Mahanoy, February 2, 2012. Mumia Abu-Jamal celebrates his move off of death row with Heidi Boghosian and Professor Johanna Fernandez. This was Mumia's second contact visit in 30 years. His transfer to general population comes after a federal court ruled that instructions to jurors during his trial influenced them to choose death. A broad people's movement secured this victory, and it can now refocus on the goal of freedom. Join us on April 24, Mumia's birthday, as we Occupy the Justice Department in Washington, DC!

DREAD TIMES - Dedicated to the free flow of information - http://www.dreadtimes.com/

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "Litestar01@aol.com"
To: Litestar01@aol.com; nattyreb@gmail.com; pamafrica@gmail.com
Sent: Fri, February 3, 2012 6:54:13 PM
Subject: Our Contact Visit w Mumia

from sis Johanna Fernandez

Comrades, Brothers and Sisters:

Heidi Boghosian and I just returned from a very moving visit with Mumia. We visited yesterday, Thursday, February 2. This was Mumia's second contact visit in over 30 years, since his transfer to General Population last Friday, Jan 27. His first contact visit was with his wife, Wadiya, on Monday, January 30.

Unlike our previous visits to Death Row at SCI Greene and to solitary confinement at SCI Mahanoy, our visit yesterday took place in a large visitor's area, amidst numerous circles of families and spouses who were visiting other inmates. Compared to the intense and focused conversations we had had with Mumia in a small, isolated visiting cell on Death Row, behind sterile plexiglass, this exchange was more relaxed and informal and more unpredictably interactive with the people around us...it was more human. There were so many scenes of affection around us, of children jumping on top of and pulling at their fathers, of entire families talking intimately around small tables, of couples sitting and quietly holding each other, and of girlfriends and wives stealing a forbidden kiss from the men they were there to visit (kisses are only allowed at the start and at the end of visits). These scenes were touching and beautiful, and markedly different from the images of prisoners presented to us by those in power. Our collective work could benefit greatly from these humane, intimate images.

When we entered, we immediately saw Mumia standing across the room. We walked toward each other and he hugged both of us simultaneously. We were both stunned that he would embrace us so warmly and share his personal space so generously after so many years in isolation.

He looked young, and we told him as much. He responded, "Black don't crack!" We laughed.

He talked to us about the newness of every step he has taken since his release to general population a week ago. So much of what we take for granted daily is new to him, from the microwave in the visiting room to the tremor he felt when, for the first time in 30 years, he kissed his wife. As he said in his own words, "the only thing more drastically different than what I'm experiencing now would be freedom." He also noted that everyone in the room was watching him.

The experience of breaking bread with our friend and comrade was emotional. It was wonderful to be able to talk and share grilled cheese sandwiches, apple danishes, cookies and hot chocolate from the visiting room vending machines.

One of the highlights of the visit came with the opportunity to take a photo. This was one of the first such opportunities for Mumia in decades, and we had a ball! Primping the hair, making sure that we didn't have food in our teeth, and nervously getting ready for the big photo moment was such a laugh! And Mumia was openly tickled by every second of it.

When the time came to leave, we all hugged and were promptly instructed to line up against the wall and walk out with the other visitors. As we were exiting the prison, one sister pulled us aside and told us that she couldn't stop singing Kelly Clarkson's line "some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this." She shared that she and her parents had followed Mumia's case since 1981 and that she was overjoyed that Mumia was alive and in general population despite Pennsylvania's bloodthirsty pursuit of his execution. We told her that on April 24 we were going to launch the fight that would win Mumia's release: that on that day we were going to Occupy the Justice Department in Washington DC. She told us that because she recently survived cancer she now believed in possibility, and that since Mumia was now in general population she could see how we could win. She sent us off with the line from Laverne and Shirley's theme song - "never heard the word impossible!"- gave us her number, and asked us to sign her up for the fight.

We're still taking it all in. The journey has been humbling and humanizing, and we are re-energized and re-inspired!!

In the words of City Lights editor, Greg Ruggiero:"

"Long Term Goal: End Mass Incarceration.

Short Term Goal: Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!"

--Johanna Fernandez

Facebook Link to Photo

http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Lawyers-Guild/338038119888

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ACLU: SAY NO TO INDEFINITE DETENTION!

He signed it. We'll fight it.

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. It contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision.

The dangerous new law can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. He signed it. Now, we have to fight it wherever we can and for as long as it takes.

Sign the ACLU's pledge to fight worldwide indefinite detention for as long as it takes.

The Petition:

I'm outraged that the statute President Obama signed into law authorizes worldwide military detention without charge or trial. I pledge to stand with the ACLU in seeking the reversal of indefinite military detention authority for as long as it takes.

And I will support the ACLU as it actively opposes this new law in court, in Congress, and internationally.

Signed,
[your name]

https://secure.aclu.org/site/SPageServer?emsrc=Nat_Appeal_AutologinEnabled&s_subsrc=120103_NDAA_GOL&pagename=120103_NDAAGOLAsk&emissue=indefinite_detention&emtype=pledge&JServSessionIdr004=d90jai6lu1.app224a

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Urgent Appeal to Occupy and All Social Justice Movements: Mobilize to Defend the Egyptian Revolution
Endorse the statement here:
http://www.defendegyptianrevolution.org/2011/12/19/defend-the-egyptian-revolution/

In recent days, protesters demanding civilian rule in Egypt have again been murdered, maimed and tortured by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Interior Security Forces (ISF).

The conspiracy, being brutally implemented in Egypt, is part of a global conspiracy to suffocate mass movements for socio-economic justice and is being done with direct assistance of the American government and the private interests which direct that government. We have word from friends in Egypt that SCAF, ISF and their hired thugs - armed by ongoing shipments of $1.3 billion in weapons from the U.S. government - plan to execute one by one all the leaders of the revolution, and as many activists as they can.

Accordingly, we need to ensure that people and organizers in the US and internationally are involved in closely monitoring the events unraveling in Egypt. By keeping track of the atrocities committed by SCAF and ISF, keeping track of those detained, tortured or targeted, and continuously contacting officials in Egypt and the US to demand accountability, cessation of the atrocities and justice, we can add pressure on SCAF, ISF and the forces they represent. In this way we may be able to play a role in helping save the lives of our Egyptian brothers and sisters.

Evidence of the conspiracy to execute the leaders and participants of Egyptian freedom movement, includes in very small part the following:

* Sheikh Emad of Al Azhar was killed by a bullet entering his right side from short range. This was seen at first hand by witnesses known to members of our coalition. Sheikh Emad was one of a small number of Azhar Imams issuing decrees in support of the revolution. His murder was no accident.
* Sally Tooma, Mona Seif, Ahdaf Soueif, and Sanaa Seif, all female friends and relatives of imprisoned blogger and activist Alaa abd El Fattah, and all known internationally for their political and/or literary work, were detained, and beaten in the Cabinet building.
* A woman protesting against General Tantawi, head of SCAF, was detained and then tortured by having the letter "T" in English carved into her scalp with knives.
* Detainees are being tortured while in courtroom holding pens. Two men (Mohammad Muhiy Hussein is one of them) were killed in those pens.These are only a small number of the horror stories we are hearing. And we continue to receive reports from Cairo about a massive army presence in Tahrir Square and the constant sound of gunshots.These are only a small number of the horror stories we are hearing. And we continue to receive reports from Cairo about a massive army presence in Tahrir Square and the constant sound of gunshots.

In every way, Egypt's fight is our fight. Just like us, Egyptians are the 99%, fighting for social, political and economic justice.

The same 1% that arms the Egyptian dictatorship commits systematic violence in this country against the Occupy movement; antiwar and solidarity activists; and Arabs, Muslims, and other communities of color.

As the US Palestinian Community Network recently observed, "the same US-made tear gas rains down on us in the streets of Oakland, Cairo and Bil`in."

Because of Egypt's key strategic location, the fate of its revolution echoes across the world. Its success will bring us all closer to achieving economic and social justice. But its defeat would be a major blow to social justice movements everywhere, including Occupy.

In short, Egypt is key to the continued success of the Arab Revolution, and movements she has inspired.

For all these reasons, we ask Occupy and all U.S. social justice activists to join us in mobilizing to defend our Egyptian brothers and sisters by immediately organizing mass convergences on Egyptian embassies, missions, consulates, and at U.S. government offices, to demand:

* Cancel all US aid and shipment of military and police materiel to Egypt!
* Stop the murders, tortures and detentions!
* Release all detainees and political prisoners!
* Immediate end to military rule in Egypt!

Please endorse and circulate this appeal widely. Please send statements with these demands to the bodies listed below. By endorsing, your organization commits to making these phone calls and following up continuously for the next week.

www.defendegyptianrevolution.org and defendegyptianrevolution@gmail.com

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Tarek Mehanna - another victim of the U.S. War to Terrorize Everyone. He was targeted because he would not spy on his Muslim community for the FBI. Under the new NDAA indefinite military detention provision, Tarek is someone who likely would never come to a trial, although an American citizen. His sentencing is on April 12. There will be an appeal. Another right we may kiss goodbye. We should not accept the verdict and continue to fight for his release, just as we do for hero Bradley Manning, and all the many others unjustly persecuted by our government until it is the war criminals on trial, prosecuted by the people, and not the other way around.

Marilyn Levin

Official defense website: http://freetarek.com/

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Free Tarek
Date: Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 3:41 PM
Subject: [Tarek Mehanna Support] Today's verdict

All who have followed Tarek's trial with a belief in the possibility of justice through the court system will be shocked to learn that today the jury found him guilty on all seven counts of the indictment. In the six weeks that the prosecution used to present its case, it presented no evidence linking Tarek to an illegal action. Instead, it amassed a large and repetitive collection of videos, e-mails, translated documents, recorded telephone conversations and informant testimony aimed at demonstrating Tarek's political beliefs. The core belief under scrutiny was one that neither Tarek nor his defense team ever denied: Muslims have a right to defend their countries when invaded.

The prosecution relied upon coercion, prejudice, and ignorance to present their case; the defense relied upon truth, reason and responsibility. The government relied upon mounds of "evidence" showing that Tarek held political beliefs supporting the right to armed resistance against invading force; they mentioned Al-Qaeda and its leadership as often as possible while pointing at Tarek. It is clear they coerced Tarek's former friends and pressured them to lie, and many of them admitted to such. There is a long list of ways this trial proceeded unjustly, to which we will devote an entire post. The government's cynical calculation is that American juries, psychologically conditioned by a constant stream of propaganda in the "war on terrorism," will convict on the mere suggestion of terrorism, without regard for the law. Unfortunately, this strategy has proved successful in case after case.

Tarek's case will continue under appeal. We urge supporters to write to Tarek, stay informed, and continue supporting Tarek in his fight for justice. Sentencing will be April 12th, 2012. We will be sending out more information soon.

A beacon of hope and strength throughout this ordeal has been Tarek's strength and the amount of support he has received. Tarek has remained strong from day one, and even today he walked in with his head held high, stood unwavering as the verdict was read to him, and left the courtroom just as unbowed as ever. His body may be in prison now, but certainly this is a man whose spirit can never be caged. His strength must be an inspiration to us all, even in the face of grave circumstances. Before he left the courtroom, he turned to the crowd of supporters that was there for him, paused, and said, "Thank you, so much." We thank you too. Your support means the world to him.

You are here: Home » ACLU | "Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security" by Christopher Ott

ACLU | "Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security" by Christopher Ott

Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security

Submitted by Online Coordinator on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:31 First Amendment National Security

Decision today threatens writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CONTACT:

Christopher Ott, Communications Director, 617-482-3170 x322, cott@aclum.org

BOSTON - The following statement on the conviction today of Tarek Mehanna may be attributed to American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts executive director Carol Rose:

"The ACLU of Massachusetts is gravely concerned that today's verdict against Tarek Mehanna undermines the First Amendment and threatens national security.

"Under the government's theory of the case, ordinary people-including writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers-could be prosecuted for researching or translating controversial and unpopular ideas. If the verdict is not overturned on appeal, the First Amendment will be seriously compromised.

"The government's prosecution does not make us safer. Speech about even the most unpopular ideas serves as a safety valve for the expression of dissent while government suppression of speech only drives ideas underground, where they cannot be openly debated or refuted.

"The ACLU believes that we can remain both safe and free, and, indeed, that our safety and our freedom go hand in hand."

The ACLU of Massachusetts has condemned the use of conspiracy and material support charges where the charges are based largely on First Amendment-protected expression.

In Mr. Mehanna's case, the charges against him have been based on allegations of such activity, such as watching videos about "jihad", discussing views about suicide bombings, translating texts available on the Internet, and looking for information about the 9/11 attackers. Historically, government prosecutors have used conspiracy charges as a vehicle for the suppression of unpopular ideas, contrary to the dictates of the First Amendment and fundamental American values.

After the ACLU of Massachusetts submitted a memorandum of law in support of Mehanna's motion to dismiss the parts of the indictment against him that were based on protected expression, U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole denied permission for the memorandum to be filed with the court. A copy of the memorandum is available here.

For more information, go to: http://aclum.org/usa_v_mehanna

via Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security | ACLU of Massachusetts.

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MUMIA HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO SCI MAHANOY!
From: info@freemumia.com
December 14, 2011

Greetings all,

Just verified with Superintendent John Kerestes that Mumia Abu-Jamal is being held in Administrative Custody at SCI Mahanoy, Frackville, PA until he is cleared to enter general population within a few days.

We need phone calls to the institution to let them know that the WORLD is watching Mumia's movements and ask general questions so that they know that nothing they are doing is happening under cover of darkness.

Please also send cards and letters to Mumia at the new address so that he begins receiving mail immediately and it is known to all of the people there that we are with him!

PHONE NUMBER: 570-773-2158

MAILING ADDRESS:

Mumia Abu-Jamal, #AM8335
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, PA 17932

CURRENT VISITORS on Mumia's list will allegedly be OK'd to visit once their names are entered into the computer at Frackville. NEW VISITORS will have to receive the pertinent forms directly from Mumia.

DIRECTIONS TO THE PRISON are available at http://www.cheapjailcalls.com/correctional-facility-directory/state-prison-directory/item/sci-mahanoy

PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!!!

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HANDS OFF IRAN PETITION
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/hands-off-iran/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend

The Petition

To President Obama and Secretary Clinton:

At no time since the Iranian people rose up against the hated U.S-installed Shah has a U.S./Israeli military attack against Iran seemed more possible. Following three decades of unrelenting hostility, the last few months have seen a steady escalation of charges, threats, sanctions and actual preparations for an attack.

We, the undersigned demand No War, No Sanctions, no Internal Interference in Iran.

(For a complete analysis of the prospects of war, click here)
http://nepajac.org/unaciran.htm

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"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship" book
https://www.mecaforpeace.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=25

A Child's View from GazaA collection of drawings by children in the Gaza Strip, art that was censored by a museum in Oakland, California.

With a special forward by Alice Walker, this beautiful, full-color 80-page book from Pacific View Press features drawings by children like Asil, a ten-year-old girl from Rafah refugee camp, who drew a picture of herself in jail, with Arabic phrases in the spaces between the bars: "I have a right to live in peace," "I have a right to live this life," and "I have a right to play."

For international or bulk orders, please email: meca@mecaforpeace.org, or call: 510-548-0542

A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship [ISBN: 978-1-881896-35-7]

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It's time to tell the White House that "We the People" support PFC Bradley Manning's freedom and the UN's investigation into alleged torture in Quantico, VA

We petition the obama administration to:
Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.
https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/free-pfc-bradley-manning-accused-wikileaks-whistleblower/kX1GJKsD?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

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Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests
http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/nato-g8-police-repression

The CSFR Signs Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The CSFR is working with the United National Antiwar Committee and many other anti-war groups to organize mass rallies and protests on May 15 and May 19, 2012. We will protest the powerful and wealthy war-makers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Group of 8. Mobilize your groups, unions, and houses of worship. Bring your children, friends, and community. Demand jobs, healthcare, housing and education, not war!

Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

We, the undersigned, demand that your administration grant us permits for protests on May 15 and 19, 2012, including appropriate rally gathering locations and march routes to the venue for the NATO/G8 summit taking place that week. We come to you because your administration has already spoken to us through Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. He has threatened mass arrests and violence against protestors.

[Read the full text of the letter here: http://www.stopfbi.net/get-involved/nato-g8-police-repression/full-text]

For the 10s of thousands of people from Chicago, around the country and across the world who will gather here to protest against NATO and the G8, we demand that the City of Chicago:

1. Grant us permits to rally and march to the NATO/G8 summit
2. Guarantee our civil liberties
3. Guarantee us there will be no spying, infiltration of organizations or other attacks by the FBI or partner law enforcement agencies.

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Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/justice-for-albert-woodfox-and-herman-wallace

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WITNESS GAZA
http://www.witnessgaza.com/

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Hundreds march, rally at Fort Meade for Bradley

Courage to Resist, January 5, 2012

December 16-22, the world turned its eyes to a small courtroom on Fort Meade, MD, where accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Army PFC Bradley Manning made his first public appearance after 18 months in pre-trial confinement. The "Article 32" pre-trial hearing is normally a quick process shortly after one is arrested to determine whether and what kind of court martial is appropriate. Bradley's hearing was unusual, happening 18 months after his arrest and lasting seven days.

Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network organized two public rallies at Fort Meade to coincide with the beginning of the hearing, and there were about 50 solidarity rallies across the globe. We also sent representatives into the courtroom during all seven days of the hearing to provide minute-by-minute coverage via bradleymanning.org, Facebook, and Twitter.

"No harm in transparency: Wrap-up from the Bradley Manning pretrial hearing" includes our collection of courtroom notes
"Statement on closed hearing decisions" covers how even this hearing was far from "open"

Article and photos by John Grant
A message from Bradley and his family

"I want you to know how much Bradley and his family appreciate the continuing support of so many, especially during the recent Article 32 hearing. I visited Bradley the day after Christmas-he is doing well and his spirits are high."
-Bradley's Aunt Debra

Write to Bradley
http://bradleymanning.org/donate

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:
I am Bradley Manning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P3OXML00s

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610
510-488-3559
couragetoresist.org

"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."

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/update-42811

This is also a Facebook event

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=207100509321891#!/event.php?eid=207100509321891

Courage to Resist needs your support
Please donate today:
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

"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.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

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.
http://ymlp.com/forward.php?id=lS3tR&e=bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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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!

STOP THE FBI CAMPAIGN OF REPRESSION AGAINST CHICANO, IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, ANTI-WAR AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ACTIVISTS NOW!
Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression stopfbi.net stopfbi@gmail.com

http://iacenter.org/stopfbi/

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
at stopfbi.net
stopfbi@gmail.com

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY -- ANY DAY
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

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

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

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

Please make a donation today at stopfbi.net (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

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The Battle Is Still On To
FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610
www.laboractionmumia.org

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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....

ANY DAY NOW . . . IN THE EVENT THAT THE U.S. INDICTS JULIAN ASSANGE

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:

HANDS OFF WIKILEAKS! FREE JULIAN ASSANGE! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

Join the HUMAN CHAIN AROUND THE FEDERAL BUILDING!
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:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/mannings-message-christmas-eve-i-gr/

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
415-864-5153
sf@worldcantwait.org

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DEFEND LYNNE STEWART!
http://lynnestewart.org/

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.

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT! FREE KEVIN COOPER!

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/13/EDG81GP0I7.DTL

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

http://www.savekevincooper.org/
http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/essays_content.html?ID=255

URGENT ACTION APPEAL
- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=15084

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to
http://www.amnestyusa.org/iar/success

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):
http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa25910.pdf

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

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

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

Thank you for your generosity!

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D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)

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1) Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
By NICK WINGFIELD and SOMINI SENGUPTA
February 17, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/technology/drones-with-an-eye-on-the-public-cleared-to-fly.html?ref=business

2) Lights, Camera, Drones!
By NICK WINGFIELD
February 18, 2012, 9:00 am
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/lights-camera-drones/?src=busln

3) Obama's War on Pot
By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
February 18, 2012
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/316-20/10038-obamas-war-on-pot

4) At Funeral of a Teenager Shot by the Police, Demands for Accountability
By TIM STELLOH and AL BAKER
February 18, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/nyregion/at-funeral-of-a-teenager-shot-by-the-police-demands-for-greater-accountability.html?ref=nyregion

5) Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 28%
By JACKIE CALMES
February 22, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/business/economy/obama-offers-to-cut-corporate-tax-rate-to-28.html?hp

6) Palestinian on Hunger Strike to Be Freed Without Court Ruling
By ISABEL KERSHNER
February 21, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/world/middleeast/palestinian-on-hunger-strike-to-be-freed-without-court-ruling.html?ref=world

7) Guantánamo Suicide Suit Disallowed
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 21, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/guantanamo-suicide-suit-disallowed.html?ref=us

8) 'I Confess!' Why Do People Admit to Things They Haven't Done?
By DAVID K. SHIPLER
February 23, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/why-do-innocent-people-confess.html?hp

9) U.S. Bachelor Degree Rate Passes Milestone
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
February 23, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/education/census-finds-bachelors-degrees-at-record-level.html?ref=us

10) Report from Bradley Manning's Arraignment
By Bradley Manning Support Network
February 24, 2012
http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/notes-from-bradley-mannings-arraignment

11) Why We Must Occupy Our Food Supply
By Willie Nelson and Anna Lappe
ReaderSupportedNews
February 24, 2012
http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/441-occupy/10133-focus-why-we-must-occupy-our-food-supply

12) Auto Workers Tap Network for Obama
By JEREMY W. PETERS
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/us/politics/uaw-tries-to-help-obama-win-working-class-voters.html?hp

13) U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb
By JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html?ref=world

14) Branding a Soldier With 'Personality Disorder'
By JAMES DAO
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/us/a-military-diagnosis-personality-disorder-is-challenged.html?ref=world

15) Somalia: Drone Strike Kills 4 Militants
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/africa/somalia-drone-strike-kills-4-militants.html?ref=world

16) Rents Keep Rising, Even as Housing Prices Fall
"Eager to capitalize on the trend, investors are scooping up some houses at a deep discount and leasing them to tenants who have lost their own homes. Several prominent hedge funds and private equity firms have recently announced plans to invest in distressed properties and convert them to rentals. And earlier this month, the government solicited applications from investors interested in buying pools of foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration."
By MOTOKO RICH
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/business/homes-arent-selling-but-its-an-apartment-landlords-market.html?ref=us

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1) Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
By NICK WINGFIELD and SOMINI SENGUPTA
February 17, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/technology/drones-with-an-eye-on-the-public-cleared-to-fly.html?ref=business

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - Daniel Gárate's career came crashing to earth a few weeks ago. That's when the Los Angeles Police Department warned local real estate agents not to hire photographers like Mr. Gárate, who was helping sell luxury property by using a drone to shoot sumptuous aerial movies. Flying drones for commercial purposes, the police said, violated federal aviation rules.

"I was paying the bills with this," said Mr. Gárate, who recently gave an unpaid demonstration of his drone in this Southern California suburb.

His career will soon get back on track. A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors - from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones.

But while businesses, and drone manufacturers especially, are celebrating the opening of the skies to these unmanned aerial vehicles, the law raises new worries about how much detail the drones will capture about lives down below - and what will be done with that information. Safety concerns like midair collisions and property damage on the ground are also an issue.

American courts have generally permitted surveillance of private property from public airspace. But scholars of privacy law expect that the likely proliferation of drones will force Americans to re-examine how much surveillance they are comfortable with.

"As privacy law stands today, you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out in public, nor almost anywhere visible from a public vantage," said Ryan Calo, director of privacy and robotics at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University. "I don't think this doctrine makes sense, and I think the widespread availability of drones will drive home why to lawmakers, courts and the public."

Some questions likely to come up: Can a drone flying over a house pick up heat from a lamp used to grow marijuana inside, or take pictures from outside someone's third-floor fire escape? Can images taken from a drone be sold to a third party, and how long can they be kept?

Drone proponents say the privacy concerns are overblown. Randy McDaniel, chief deputy of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department in Conroe, Tex., near Houston, whose agency bought a drone to use for various law enforcement operations, dismissed worries about surveillance, saying everyone everywhere can be photographed with cellphone cameras anyway. "We don't spy on people," he said. "We worry about criminal elements."

Still, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups are calling for new protections against what the A.C.L.U. has said could be "routine aerial surveillance of American life."

Under the new law, within 90 days, the F.A.A. must allow police and first responders to fly drones under 4.4 pounds, as long as they keep them under an altitude of 400 feet and meet other requirements. The agency must also allow for "the safe integration" of all kinds of drones into American airspace, including those for commercial uses, by Sept. 30, 2015. And it must come up with a plan for certifying operators and handling airspace safety issues, among other rules.

The new law, part of a broader financing bill for the F.A.A., came after intense lobbying by drone makers and potential customers.

The agency probably will not be making privacy rules for drones. Although federal law until now had prohibited drones except for recreational use or for some waiver-specific law enforcement purposes, the agency has issued only warnings, never penalties, for unauthorized uses, a spokeswoman said. The agency was reviewing the law's language, the spokeswoman said.

For drone makers, the change in the law comes at a particularly good time. With the winding-down of the war in Afghanistan, where drones have been used to gather intelligence and fire missiles, these manufacturers have been awaiting lucrative new opportunities at home. The market for drones is valued at $5.9 billion and is expected to double in the next decade, according to industry figures. Drones can cost millions of dollars for the most sophisticated varieties to as little as $300 for one that can be piloted from an iPhone.

"We see a huge potential market," said Ben Gielow of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a drone maker trade group.

For Patrick Egan, who represents small businesses and others in his work for the Remote Control Aerial Photography Association in Sacramento, the new law also can't come fast enough. Until 2007, when the federal agency began warning against nonrecreational use of drones, he made up to $2,000 an hour using a drone to photograph crops for farmers, helping them spot irrigation leaks. "I've got organic farmers screaming for me to come out," he said.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department in Texas bought its 50-pound drone in October from Vanguard Defense Industries, a company founded by Michael Buscher, who built drones for the army, and then sold them to an oil company whose ships were threatened by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The company custom-built the drone, which takes pictures by day and senses heat sources at night. It cost $300,000, a fraction of the cost of a helicopter.

Mr. McDaniel said his SWAT team could use it for reconnaissance, or to manage road traffic after a big accident. He said he regretted that he didn't have it a few months ago, to search for a missing person in a densely wooded area.

Mr. Buscher, meanwhile, said he was negotiating with several police agencies. "There is tremendous potential," he said. "We see agencies dipping their toes."

The possibilities for drones appear limitless. Last year, Cy Brown of Bunkie, La., began hunting feral pigs at night by outfitting a model airplane with a heat-sensing camera that soared around his brother's rice farm, feeding live aerial images of the pigs to Mr. Brown on the ground. Mr. Brown relayed the pigs' locations by radio to a friend with a shotgun.

He calls his plane the Dehogaflier, and says it saves him time wandering in the muck looking for skittish pigs. "Now you can know in 15 minutes if it's worth going out," said Mr. Brown, an electrical engineer.

Earlier this month, in Woodland Hills, Mr. Gárate, the photographer, demonstrated his drone by flicking a hand-held joystick and sending the $5,000 machine hovering high above a tennis court. A camera beneath the drone recorded lush, high-definition video of the surrounding property.

Bill Kerbox, a real estate agent in Malibu who hired Mr. Gárate for several shoots before the L.A.P.D. crackdown, said that aerial video had helped him stand out from his competitors, and that the loss of it had been painful.

Mr. Gárate, for now, plans to work mainly in his native Peru, where he has used his drone to shoot commercials for banks. He said he was approached by paparazzi last year about filming the reality television star Kim Kardashian's wedding using a drone, but turned down the offer. "Maybe the F.A.A. should give a driver's license for this, with a flight test," he said. "Do a background check to make sure I'm not a terrorist."

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2) Lights, Camera, Drones!
By NICK WINGFIELD
February 18, 2012, 9:00 am
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/lights-camera-drones/?src=busln

No group is likely to be more thrilled by the opening of the skies to commercial uses of drones than cinematographers.

As Somini Sengupta and I wrote in an article in Saturday's Times, the new funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration contained language that requires the agency to develop a plan for allowing a wide variety of drones - also known as unmanned aerial vehicles - in United States airspace by September 2015. Since 2007, the F.A.A. has prohibited the commercial use of drones, frustrating a broad array of companies and entrepreneurs - from photographers of high-end real estate to law-enforcement agencies. Some people, nonetheless, disobeyed that rule or said they had never heard of it.

Cinematographers were among the people most disappointed by the old F.A.A. rule. They said drones could help them get a lot of different shots that would normally require more expensive or complicated pieces of equipment, including dollies for tracking shots, Steadicams, cranes and traditional piloted helicopters. A skilled drone pilot could begin filming indoors, then send the bird out a window and soaring into the sky for an aerial view, providing a continuous shot that would be very difficult to get other ways.

Russell Freeman, an aerial cinematographer with Mi6 Films in Southern California, was using remote-controlled helicopters to shoot music videos, scenes for reality television shows and surf competitions. But then he said he was contacted by the F.A.A. last year and told to stop flying his drone. He's still using unmanned helicopters to shoot commercials and television shows outside the United States, but he says many of his competitors are ignoring the ban.

"Unfortunately there are hundreds of other companies still flying every day, and we're not," he said. "They went underground."

Some movie industry organizations also started discouraging filmmakers from using drones last year because of the F.A.A. rule. Last May, the California Film Commission warned moviemakers that it would no longer issue permits to use drones for shooting films on beaches, state parks and other state properties. Last year, Film L.A., an organization that handles film permitting in Los Angeles, issued a similar warning to productions in that city.

Tabb Firchau, a drone cinematographer for Free Fly Cinema in Seattle, said he stopped working for hire in the United States because of the F.A.A. restrictions. Since then, he has been shooting commercials and films in Dubai, New Zealand and other countries.

"There's an entire industry sitting on the fringes, just waiting," Mr. Firchau said.

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3) Obama's War on Pot
By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
February 18, 2012
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/316-20/10038-obamas-war-on-pot

In a shocking about-face, the administration has launched a government-wide crackdown on medical marijuana.

Back when he was running for president in 2008, Barack Obama insisted that medical marijuana was an issue best left to state and local governments. "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue," he vowed, promising an end to the Bush administration's high-profile raids on providers of medical pot, which is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

But over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multiagency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst."

The federal crackdown imperils the medical care of the estimated 730,000 patients nationwide - many of them seriously ill or dying - who rely on state-sanctioned marijuana recommended by their doctors. In addition, drug experts warn, the White House's war on law-abiding providers of medical marijuana will only drum up business for real criminals. "The administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again," says Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a former Republican senator who has urged the DEA to legalize medical marijuana, pulls no punches in describing the state of affairs produced by Obama's efforts to circumvent state law: "Utter chaos."

In its first two years, the Obama administration took a refreshingly sane approach to medical marijuana. Shortly after Obama took office, a senior drug-enforcement official pledged to Rolling Stone that the question of whether marijuana is medicine would now be determined by science, "not ideology." In March 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder emphasized that the Justice Department would only target medical-marijuana providers "who violate both federal and state law." The next morning, a headline in The New York Times read OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO STOP RAIDS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSERS. While all forms of marijuana would remain strictly illegal under federal law - the DEA ranks cannabis as a Schedule I drug, on par with heroin - the feds would respect state protections for providers of medical pot. Framing the Obama administration's new approach, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske famously declared, "We're not at war with people in this country."

That original hands-off policy was codified in a Justice Department memo written in October 2009 by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden. The so-called "Ogden memo" advised federal law-enforcement officials that the "rational use of its limited investigative and prosecutorial resources" meant that medical-marijuana patients and their "caregivers" who operate in "clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law" could be left alone.

At the same time, Ogden was concerned that the feds not "be made a fool of" by illegal drug traffickers. In that vein, his memo advised U.S. attorneys to focus on going after pot dispensaries that posed as medicinal but were actively engaged in criminal acts, such as selling to minors, possession of illegal firearms or money-laundering. The idea, as Holder put it, was to raid only those hardcore traffickers who "use medical-marijuana laws as a shield."

The Ogden memo sent a clear message to the states: The feds will only intervene if you allow pot dispensaries to operate as a front for criminal activity. States from New Mexico to Maine moved quickly to license and regulate dispensaries through their state health departments - giving medical marijuana unprecedented legitimacy. In California, which had allowed "caregivers" to operate dispensaries, medical pot blossomed into a $1.3 billion enterprise - shielded from federal blowback by the Ogden memo.

The administration's recognition of medical cannabis reached its high-water mark in July 2010, when the Department of Veterans Affairs validated it as a legitimate course of treatment for soldiers returning from the front lines. But it didn't take long for the fragile federal detente to begin to collapse. The reversal began at the Drug Enforcement Agency with Michele Leonhart, a holdover from the Bush administration who was renominated by Obama to head the DEA. An anti-medical-marijuana hard-liner, Leonhart had been rebuked in 2008 by House Judiciary chairman John Conyers for targeting dispensaries with tactics "typically reserved for the worst drug traffickers and kingpins." Her views on the larger drug war are so perverse, in fact, that last year she cited the slaughter of nearly 1,000 Mexican children by the drug cartels as a counterintuitive "sign of success in the fight against drugs."

In January 2011, weeks after Leonhart was confirmed, her agency updated a paper called "The DEA Position on Marijuana." With subject headings like THE FALLACY OF MARIJUANA FOR MEDICINAL USE and SMOKED MARIJUANA IS NOT MEDICINE, the paper simply regurgitated the Bush administration's ideological stance, in an attempt to walk back the Ogden memo. Sounding like Glenn Beck, the DEA even blamed "George Soros" and "a few billionaires, not broad grassroots support" for sustaining the medical-marijuana movement - even though polls show that 70 percent of Americans approve of medical pot.

Almost immediately, federal prosecutors went on the attack. Their first target: the city of Oakland, where local officials had moved to raise millions in taxes by licensing high-tech indoor facilities for growing medical marijuana. A month after the DEA issued its hard-line position, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag warned the city that the feds were weighing "criminal prosecution" against the proposed pot operations. Abandoning the Ogden memo's protections for state-sanctioned "caregivers," Haag effectively re-declared war on medical pot. "We will enforce the Controlled Substances Act vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana," she wrote, "even if such activities are permitted under state law." Haag's warning shot had the desired effect: Oakland quickly scuttled its plans, even though the taxes provided by the indoor grows could have single-handedly wiped out the city's $31 million deficit.

Two months later, federal prosecutors in Washington state went even further, threatening state employees responsible for implementing new regulations for pot dispensaries. U.S. attorneys sent a letter to Gov. Christine Gregoire, warning that state employees "would not be immune from liability under the Controlled Substances Act." Shocked by the threat - "It subjected Washington state employees to felony criminal prosecution!" - Gregoire vetoed the new rules. A similar federal threat in Rhode Island forced Chafee to follow suit, putting an indefinite hold on the planned opening of three state-licensed "compassion centers" to distribute marijuana to seriously ill patients.

In isolation, such moves might be seen as the work of overzealous U.S. attorneys, who operate with considerable autonomy. But last June, the Justice Department effectively declared that it was returning to the Bush administration's hard-line stance on medical marijuana. James Cole, who had replaced Ogden as deputy attorney general, wrote a memo revoking his predecessor's deference to states on the definition of "caregiver." The term, Cole insisted, applied only to "individuals providing care to individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses, not commercial operations cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana." Pot dispensaries, in short, were once again prime federal targets, even if they were following state law to the letter. "The Cole memo basically adopted the Bush policy," says Kampia, "which was only that the Justice Department will not go after individual patients."

In reality, however, the Obama administration has also put patients in the cross hairs. Last September, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms moved to deprive Americans who use medical marijuana of their gun rights. In an open letter to gun sellers, the ATF warned that it is unlawful to sell "any firearm or ammunition" to "any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for me dicinal purposes." If your doctor advises you to use medicinal pot, in other words, you can no longer legally own a gun. Hunting advocates were outraged. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, wrote a furious letter calling on the Justice Department to reassess its "chilling" policy, declaring it "unacceptable that law-abiding citizens would be stripped of their Second Amendment rights."

Since the federal crackdown began last year, the DEA has raided dozens of medical-cannabis dispensaries from Michigan to Montana. Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, claims the federal action is necessary because the state's legalized pot dispensaries have been "hijacked by profiteers" who are nothing more than criminals.

It's true that California has no shortage of illegal pot dealers. Nonmedical marijuana is the state's largest cash crop, raking in an estimated $14 billion a year. And demand is growing, in part because former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger thwarted a ballot measure aimed at full legalization in 2010 by removing criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of pot. But instead of focusing limited federal resources on off-the-grid growers in places like Humboldt County, who are often armed and violent, Haag targeted Matthew Cohen, a medical-marijuana farmer in Mendocino who was growing 99 plants under the direct supervision of the county sheriff. As part of a pioneering collaboration with local law enforcement, Cohen marked each of his plants with county-supplied tags, had his secured facility inspected and distributed the marijuana he grew directly to patients in his nonprofit collective.

Cohen appeared to be precisely the kind of caregiver that the Ogden memo advised should be given safe harbor for operating in "clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law." But last October, DEA agents stormed Cohen's farm in the middle of the night and cut down his crop. Sheriff Tom Allman, who learned of the raid on his turf only an hour before it was executed, was outraged. "Matt Cohen was not in violation of any state or local ordinances when federal agents arrived at his location," Allman says. In January, Haag took the fight to the next level, threatening county officials like Allman with federal sanctions. Three weeks later, county supervisors voted to abandon the program to license and monitor Mendocino's legal growers. "This is a huge step backward," says Allman.

Haag's treatment of urban dispensaries has been equally ham-handed. She recently shuttered one of the oldest dispensaries in the state, a nonprofit that serves a high percentage of female patients in Marin County, which has the nation's highest rate of breast cancer. She has threatened to seize the properties that landlords rent to legal pot dispensaries. And in San Francisco, she targeted Divinity Tree, a cooperative run by a quadriplegic who himself relies on prescribed cannabis for relief from near-constant muscle spasms. At a time of high unemployment and huge budget deficits, the move killed more than a dozen jobs and deprived the state of $180,000 in annual tax revenue. In San Diego alone, the feds have shut down nearly two-thirds of the county's dispensaries. Statewide, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union estimates, the federal crackdown has destroyed some 2,500 jobs in California. It also sent street prices soaring by at least 20 percent, putting more money in the hands of actual criminals.

In addition, the federal war on medical marijuana has locked pot dispensaries out of the banking system - especially in Colorado, home to the nation's second-largest market for medicinal cannabis. Top banks - including Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America - are refusing to do business with state-licensed dispensaries, for fear of federal prosecution for money-laundering and other federal drug crimes. In a House hearing in December, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado warned Attorney General Holder that strong-arming banks will actually raise the likelihood of crime. If pot dispensaries have to work outside the normal financial system, Polis told Holder, "it makes the industry harder for the state to track, to tax, to regulate them, and in fact makes it prone to robberies, because it becomes a cash business."

The IRS has also joined in the administration's assault on pot dispensaries, seeking to deny them standard tax deductions enjoyed by all other businesses. Invoking an obscure provision of the tax code meant to trip up drug kingpins, the IRS now maintains that pot dispensaries can deduct only one expense - ironically, the cost of the marijuana itself. All other normal costs of doing business - including employee salaries and benefits, rent, equipment, electricity and water - have been denied.

The agency has used the provision to go after Harborside Health Center, one of the largest and most respected providers of medical cannabis in California. Its Oakland branch, serving 83,000 patients in conforming with state law, paid more than $1 million in city taxes last year - placing it in the top 10 percent of local businesses. "It's incredibly tightly run and very, very professional," says Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. "But it's also big - and it may be that big is bad as far as the feds are concerned." Slapped with an IRS bill for $2.5 million in back taxes, Harborside now faces bankruptcy. "It's profoundly inaccurate to characterize us as a 'drug-trafficking' organization," says Harborside president Steve DeAngelo. "We are a nonprofit community-service organization that helps sick and suffering people get the medicine they need to be well. This is not an attempt to tax us - it's an attempt to tax us out of existence."

Supporters of medical marijuana are baffled by Obama's abrupt about-face on the issue. Some blame the federal crackdown not on the president, but on career drug warriors determined to go after medical pot. "I don't think the federal onslaught is being driven by the highest levels of the White House," says Nadelmann. "What we need is a clear statement from the White House that federal authorities will defer to responsible local regulation."

The White House, for its part, insists that its position on medical pot has been "clear and consistent." Asked for comment, a senior administration official points out that the Ogden memo was never meant to protect "such things as large-scale, privately owned industrial marijuana cultivation centers" like the one in Oakland. But the official makes no attempt to explain why the administration has permitted a host of federal agencies to revive the Bush-era policy of targeting state-approved dispensaries. "Somewhere in the administration, a decision was made that it would be better to close down legal, regulated systems of access for patients and send them back to the street, back to criminals," says DeAngelo. "That's what's really at stake."

The administration's retreat on medical pot is certainly consistent with its broader election-year strategy of seeking to outflank Republicans on everything from free trade to offshore drilling. Obama's advisers may be betting that a tough-on-pot stance will shore up the president's support among seniors in November, as well as voters in Southern swing states like Virginia and North Carolina that are less favorable to drug reform. But the president could pay a steep price for his anti-pot crackdown this fall, particularly if it winds up alienating young voters in swing states like Colorado, where two-thirds of residents support medical marijuana. In November, Colorado voters will likely consider a referendum to legalize all pot use for adults - and undercutting enthusiasm for the issue will only dampen turnout that could benefit the president. "Medical marijuana is twice as popular as Obama," notes Kampia. "It doesn't make any political sense."

The sharpest and most surprising rebuke to the administration has come from centrist governors who are fed up with the war on medicinal pot. In November, Gregoire and Chafee issued a bipartisan petition to the DEA, asking the agency to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, the same as cocaine and meth - one with a recognized medicinal value, despite its high potential for abuse. "It's time to show compassion, and it's time to show common sense," says Gregoire. "We call on the federal government to end the confusion and the unsafe burden on patients."

A petition by two sitting governors is historic - but it's unlikely to shift federal policy. Last June, after a nine-year delay, the Obama administration denied a similar petition. An official at the Department of Health and Human Services left little hope for reclassification, reiterating the Bush-era position that there is "no accepted medical use for marijuana in the United States."

For law-enforcement officials who handle marijuana on the front lines, such attitudes highlight how out of touch the administration has become. "Whether you call it medical or recreational, the marijuana genie is out of the bottle, and there's no one who's going to put it back in," insists Sheriff Allman of Mendocino, whose department had been targeted by federal prosecutors for its attempts to regulate medical pot. "For federal officials who plug their ears and say, 'No, it's not true, it's not true,' I have some words for them: You need to get over it."

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4) At Funeral of a Teenager Shot by the Police, Demands for Accountability
By TIM STELLOH and AL BAKER
February 18, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/nyregion/at-funeral-of-a-teenager-shot-by-the-police-demands-for-greater-accountability.html?ref=nyregion

More than two weeks after an unarmed teenager was fatally shot by a police officer in the Bronx, hundreds of friends, relatives, activists and elected officials packed a church for his funeral.

The service on Saturday morning at Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church on White Plains Road was held as the family and their representatives continued to call for further investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of the young man, Ramarley Graham, who was 18.

From behind the white casket, which was decorated with white roses, many speakers criticized the police.

"This is an unnatural and inexcusable occasion," said the Rev. Al Sharpton. "Because this young man was killed in an unjust way."

On the afternoon of Feb. 2, officers in a narcotics unit spotted Mr. Graham and, believing that he had a gun, followed him into his family's home in Wakefield.

Minutes later, one of the officers, Richard Haste, encountered Mr. Graham in the bathroom of his apartment, where, the authorities said, he might have been trying to flush marijuana down the toilet. With Mr. Graham's grandmother and 6-year-old brother nearby, Officer Haste shot and killed Mr. Graham.

After the shooting, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that Officer Haste and his sergeant, Scott Morris, had been stripped of their guns and badges. Mr. Kelly also ordered an internal review of operations involving low-level narcotics transactions.

Steven Reed, a spokesman for the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, declined to say on Saturday whether a grand jury had been impaneled in the case because such proceedings are secret.

"It is still under investigation," Mr. Reed said.

Jeffrey L. Emdin, a lawyer who is representing the Graham family, said that Mr. Graham's grandmother, Patricia Hartley, 58, as well as his 6-year-old brother, would be crucial witnesses in the case since both were inside the apartment at the time of the shooting.

"I think both the grandmother and the little boy are excellent witnesses in that they, unfortunately, saw everything that happened," he said. "They are both, unfortunately, scarred by what they saw."

At the funeral, some speakers evoked the memory of Amadou Diallo, an African immigrant who in 1999 died in a fusillade of 41 police bullets in the Bronx. Others focused on the specifics of Mr. Graham's killing.

"Why go into the home without a warrant?" asked the Bronx borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr., adding that city officials must answer that question and others.

During the eulogy, Kirsten John Foy, a Pentecostal minister and an aide to Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, and who was detained by the police himself during last summer's West Indian Day Parade, offered a warning: If the coming mayoral election is not about police accountability, he said, "We will be here again."

After the service, as Mr. Graham's casket was loaded into a hearse, expletives were shouted at several police officers across the street.

Rosemarie Melbourne, 52, carried a handwritten sign that asked the police to stop "terrorizing" children.

"We want the same respect they give other communities," she said.

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5) Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 28%
By JACKIE CALMES
February 22, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/business/economy/obama-offers-to-cut-corporate-tax-rate-to-28.html?hp

WASHINGTON - President Obama will ask Congress to scrub the corporate tax code of dozens of loopholes and subsidies to reduce the top rate to 28 percent, down from 35 percent, while giving preferences to manufacturers that would set their maximum effective rate at 25 percent, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Mr. Obama also would establish a minimum tax on multinational corporations' foreign earnings, the official said, to discourage "accounting games to shift profits abroad" or actual relocation of production overseas.

With the framework for changes that the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, will outline on Wednesday, Mr. Obama will enter an election-year debate with Republicans in Congress and in the presidential race who seek even lower taxes for businesses. But an overhaul of the corporate code is unlikely this year, given that political backdrop and the complexity of an undertaking that would generate a lobbying frenzy as businesses vie to defend old tax breaks or win new ones.

The campaign of Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate for president, signalled that he would outline on Wednesday an expanded version of his own tax proposals, which he said on Tuesday would call for a "flatter, fairer, broader-based tax system" that would do more to encourage economic growth. The various Republican candidates, who are scheduled to debate on Wednesday night, have called for cutting the corporate income tax, differing somewhat in the details.

The administration plan to revamp a corporate code that is widely derided as inefficient and anticompetitive has been in the works at Treasury for two years, and is a priority of Mr. Geithner. Yet he has been preoccupied with crisis management, and is unlikely to see the project through since he plans to leave office after this year.

The proposed overhaul "will help level the playing field for businesses and allow the government to collect needed revenue while promoting economic growth," Mr. Geithner told a Congressional committee last week, without details.

Republicans and business groups complain that the 35 percent corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world, leaving American companies at a competitive disadvantage. They typically seek a 25 percent rate, with many of them saying that the current tax breaks should be kept in place as well.

Nonpartisan tax analysts consistently find that corporations here on average pay just slightly more than their competitors in other developed countries after exploiting the many tax breaks and loopholes. Recent news accounts have highlighted the low effective rates paid by companies like Google, Boeing and General Electric.

One analysis concluded that 115 of the 500 companies in the Standard and Poor's stock index paid a total corporate tax rate - federal and otherwise - of less than 20 percent over a five-year period. A study by the Government Accountability Office in 2008 found that 55 percent of American companies paid no federal income taxes during at least one year in a seven-year period it studied.

"Under the current tax system, the United States will soon have the highest statutory corporate tax rate among developed countries, within a system that features a large number of tax expenditures for special interests," said a senior administration official, who did not want to speak ahead of Mr. Geithner except on condition of anonymity.

"This puts American businesses - especially those in areas like manufacturing that are subject to more intense international competition - at a disadvantage. And this system is also unnecessarily complicated for America's small businesses."

Earlier this year, Mr. Obama proposed to end tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas and to create new breaks for those that bring jobs back.

Corporate taxes make up an increasingly small share of the federal government's revenue, in part because of tax-avoidance maneuvers by businesses.

Mr. Obama is proposing that the simplification of the corporate code should not add to the deficit, and that most or all revenue raised by closing tax breaks should be used to lower rates or offset the cost of new or existing tax breaks favoring manufacturing, clean energy, and research and development activities, according to administration officials.

Mr. Obama is not proposing to overhaul the tax code for individuals, though he was spoken of it as a goal. Both codes were last revamped a quarter-century ago and the accretion of tax breaks in recent years has given rise to widespread calls, including from Mr. Obama's 2010 Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission, to overhaul the tax systems in a way that raises enough revenue to both lower rates and reduce annual budget deficits.

But every tax break has its defenders, from homeowners who want their mortgage-interest deduction to corporations protective of depreciation tax breaks.

In October, Dave Camp of Michigan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, proposed a 25 percent corporate rate without saying how he would offset the sizable revenue loss.

An analysis in November from Congress's nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which was requested by House Democrats, reported that even if every corporate tax break were scrapped, the 35 percent corporate rate could not be reduced below 28 percent without adding to deficits. Republicans disputed that, citing a group of relatively obscure tax breaks that the Congressional analysts did not count.

Even so, the administration and Congress would have a political and mathematical challenge in eliminating or reducing tax breaks enough to lower corporate rates as they propose to do without adding to deficits. Underscoring the difficulty, just two popular tax breaks - for accelerated depreciation of businesses' capital investments and write-offs of research and experimentation costs - account for the bulk of the revenue the government foregoes to benefit corporations.

Not only are those two provisions unlikely to be repealed; the Obama administration and both parties in Congress also support making a separate research credit permanent.

While Mr. Obama has emphasized federal policies to help manufacturers since he took office at the height of the recession - most prominently by rescuing the auto industry - his attention has become even more pronounced as he seeks re-election in battleground states like those in the Midwest where manufacturing is a mainstay.

For tax purposes, however, the administration would have a challenge in defining manufacturing to determine what companies would benefit from a lower rate.

While details were sketchy, an official said Mr. Obama's tax framework would "refocus the manufacturing deduction and use the savings to reduce the effective rate on manufacturing to no more than 25 percent, while encouraging greater research and development and the production of clean energy."

For multinational corporations, officials say the administration will oppose any shift to a territorial system of taxing offshore profits, which could exempt most of corporations' foreign earnings from American income taxes. Mr. Camp and many other Republicans and corporations favor such a change, and are certain to oppose Mr. Obama's proposal for a minimum tax on foreign earnings.

While the United States is virtually alone in taxing multinational companies' foreign earnings, it allows the companies to avoid taxes indefinitely by keeping profits overseas. But that encourages accounting schemes and offshore investments, critics say.

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6) Palestinian on Hunger Strike to Be Freed Without Court Ruling
By ISABEL KERSHNER
February 21, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/world/middleeast/palestinian-on-hunger-strike-to-be-freed-without-court-ruling.html?ref=world

JERUSALEM - A Palestinian who fasted for 66 days to protest his detention without charge ended his hunger strike on Tuesday after the Israeli authorities agreed to release him in mid-April, if no major new evidence is brought against him.

In making the deal, Israel averted the possibility of widespread unrest that many expected if the detainee, a 33-year-old member of Islamic Jihad, had died, as medical experts had determined was an imminent danger. More important, it forestalled an emergency hearing at the High Court of Justice that could have set off a broader review of Israeli military courts' practice of administrative detention, which has been used against thousands of Palestinians over time.

Palestinian rights activists and other supporters of the detainee, Khader Adnan, insisted that the outcome remained a victory, though the case had failed to force any fundamental change in Israeli policy.

"In the end Khader's life was saved and his message, raising awareness about administrative detention, got out to the world," said Shawan Jabarin, director of Al Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization based in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Mr. Jabarin added that Mr. Adnan was "a hero, a champion," and compared him to Bobby Sands, the Irish Republican Army member who died in 1981 after an equally long hunger strike.

Qadura Fares, the president of the nongovernmental Palestinian Prisoners Society based in Ramallah, said that in any case, the issue of administrative detention had come to the Israeli High Court a number of times in the past and that the judges had always accepted the arguments of the Israeli security establishment.

"We have been in that movie several times before," said Mr. Fares, who was involved in the negotiations for the deal, communicating with the Israelis through Mr. Adnan's lawyer.

The court had scheduled an emergency hearing for Tuesday in the case of Mr. Adnan after his condition was judged critical, but the sides canceled the petition after the deal was signed by Mr. Adnan's lawyer, Jawad Boulus, and a lawyer for the state prosecution.

The Israeli Justice Ministry said in a statement that the deal had been reached after Mr. Adnan's case was brought before Israel's attorney general, attesting to the concern at the highest levels of the Israeli government about Mr. Adnan's fate and the potential consequences. The Palestinian Authority minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, told the Palestinian news agency Maan that the Palestinians had asked Jordan to intervene to help save Mr. Adnan.

Palestinians have been holding demonstrations in support of Mr. Adnan throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian prisoners refused meals on Tuesday in solidarity.

The issue of administrative detention touches many Palestinian families. Israel has used the measure over the decades for periods ranging from a few months to several years. About 310 administrative detainees are in Israeli jails, down from more than 800 in January 2008.

The father of two young girls, Mr. Adnan has worked as a baker, but is also known as a leader of Islamic Jihad, an extremist organization that has carried out suicide bombings and fired rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. He has been detained several times before, mostly by Israel but also by the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Adnan began his hunger strike on Dec. 18, a day after he was taken from his village, Arraba, in the northern West Bank, and it lasted longer than any other Palestinian hunger strike. A medical report prepared last week by an Israeli-accredited doctor on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and filed along with the petition to the High Court, stated that Mr. Adnan was "in immediate danger of death" and that "a fast in excess of 70 days does not permit survival."

Israel defends its use of administrative detention as necessary for national security, and says it is used when a case is based on informants or intelligence material that cannot be revealed. Critics say the secret evidence makes it impossible for administrative detainees or their lawyers to mount a proper defense.

Administrative detention orders can be issued for a maximum period of six months, but can be renewed indefinitely. Mr. Adnan was issued a four-month detention order on Jan. 8, and it was confirmed by a military judge a month later. A first appeal was rejected on Feb. 13.

Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Adnan will be released on April 17 instead of May 8. The three-week reduction is to take into account the time that Mr. Adnan spent in interrogation after his arrest.

Israel has pledged not to renew his detention if there is no new, weighty evidence against him.

Mr. Adnan is hospitalized in northern Israel. A physician visited him after the deal was reached and confirmed that he had ended his hunger strike, Physicians for Human Rights said.

An Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, called the deal over Mr. Adnan "a workable arrangement" since ultimately he will be almost completing his four-month term of detention.

"We faced a dilemma," the official said. "On the one hand we did not want any harm to come to him, or the wider danger in that. On the other hand it is not healthy to set a precedent that every time a Palestinian terrorist goes on hunger strike, he gets a get-out-of-jail-free pass."

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7) Guantánamo Suicide Suit Disallowed
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 21, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/guantanamo-suicide-suit-disallowed.html?ref=us

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the families of two detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who the government says hanged themselves cannot sue for damages in United States courts. The families of the detainees, Yasser Al-Zahrani and Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed Al-Salam, claimed that they died after being subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, violations of the Geneva Conventions and cruel and unusual punishment. But three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that federal courts do not have authority over lawsuits related to treatment of Guantánamo detainees.

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8) 'I Confess!' Why Do People Admit to Things They Haven't Done?
By DAVID K. SHIPLER
February 23, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/why-do-innocent-people-confess.html?hp

SEVERAL months after Antonio Ramirez was shot seven times in Oakland, Calif., the police picked up a frightened 16-year-old named Felix, isolated him in an interrogation room late at night without a lawyer, rejected his pleas to see his mother, and harangued him until he began to tell them what he thought they wanted to hear.

They wanted a diagram of the crime scene, he later told his court-appointed lawyer, Richard Foxall, but whatever he drew was so inaccurate that the police never produced it. When he described escaping in one direction after the killing, they corrected him, because they knew from witnesses that the shooter had gone the opposite way. When he didn't mention an alley nearby, they told him about it, and he incorporated it into his statement. "Now we're getting somewhere," said one officer, as Felix recalled to his lawyer.

So, they demanded, where was the gun? Felix denied having a gun. "That's when they really got out of control and started yelling at him," Mr. Foxall said. "He started to feel personally threatened." Slyly, he made up something demonstrably untrue: that he had left the gun with his grandfather. "I thought this was brilliant," his lawyer said, because it discredited the tale he was concocting. "He doesn't have a grandfather. Both grandfathers are dead."

Once the police had badgered a rough murder confession from Felix, they taped it. Yet the confession lacked a critical detail - one that officers neglected to feed to him. Felix learned it three days later in court when he was handed the charge sheet and saw the date of the crime. He stared at the document and realized that he had the perfect alibi: On the day that Antonio Ramirez was gunned down, Felix had been locked up in a juvenile detention facility for violating probation in a case of theft.

The murder charge was dropped, of course, and Mr. Foxall was greatly relieved. "I would have hated to have had to try the case," he said. "It would have been very scary. Juries don't want to believe that somebody will confess to a crime he didn't commit." Judges don't want to believe this either. In fact, the judge in Felix's case said, "Well, I don't understand - why would he confess?"

If you have never been tortured, or locked up and verbally threatened, you may find it hard to believe that anyone would confess to something he had not done. Intuition holds that the innocent do not make false confessions. What on earth could be the motive? To stop the abuse? To curry favor with the interrogator? To follow some fragile thread of imaginary hope that cooperation will bring freedom?

Yes, all of the above. Psychological studies of confessions that have proved false show an overrepresentation of children, the mentally ill or mentally retarded, and suspects high on drugs or drunk on liquor. They are susceptible to suggestion, eager to please authority figures, disconnected from reality or unable to defer gratification. Children often think, as Felix did, that they will be jailed if they keep up their denials and will get to go home if they just go along with the interrogator. Mature adults of normal intelligence have also confessed falsely after being manipulated.

False confessions have figured in more than 20 percent of the approximately 289 convictions reversed by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project. Considering that DNA is available in just a fraction of all crimes, a much larger universe of erroneous convictions surely exists. If one in five overturned convictions involves a false confession, police interrogations are creating an epidemic of injustice.

Officers are taught to use all the tricks and lies that courts permit within the scope of the Fifth Amendment's shield against self-incrimination. John E. Reid & Associates, which has trained more than 200,000 interrogators, suggests that a suspect be induced to waive his constitutional rights to silence and counsel by giving him the famous Miranda warning "casually" and not immediately after arrest when he is "defensive and guarded" and "more likely to invoke his rights." When a skilled questioner splices it nonchalantly into conversation, the warning's empowering message of choice can be lost on a suspect. Felix and other false confessors have been routinely Mirandized in this perfunctory manner.

To get people talking, the Reid training also recommends questions that imply leniency without making explicit promises and that reduce moral responsibility by blaming peer pressure: "Was this your idea or did your buddies talk you into it?" Interrogators are advised to pretend to have evidence but not to fabricate it. A suspect can be shown a card bearing a latent fingerprint and be told: "This is your fingerprint. We found it inside that stolen car." That's been allowed by courts if the police officer puts his or her own print on the card but not if the officer fakes it with the suspect's print. Admissions produced by these tactics may be true or untrue.

A cunning lie generated a false confession from Martin Tankleff, 17, who found his parents one morning in their Long Island home slashed and stabbed, his mother dead, his father barely alive. The boy called 911 and was taken for questioning. Getting nowhere, Detective K. James McCready decided on a trick. He walked to an adjacent room within hearing distance, dialed an extension on the next desk, picked up the phone and faked a conversation with an imaginary officer at the hospital. He went back to the son and told him that his father had come out of his coma and said, "Marty, you did it." In fact, Seymour Tankleff never regained consciousness and died a month later.

In experiments and in interrogation rooms, adults who are told convincing fictions have become susceptible to memories of things that never happened. Rejecting their own recollections through what psychologists call "memory distrust syndrome," they are tricked by phony evidence into accepting their own fabrications of guilt - an "internalized false confession."

That is what happened to a shaken Martin Tankleff, and although he quickly recanted, as if coming out of a spell, he was convicted and drew 50 years to life. He spent 17 years in prison before winning an appeal based on new evidence that pointed to three ex-convicts. But they were never tried. The killers of the Tankleffs remain at large, as do other criminals who have been spared by the clever police interrogations that imprison innocents.

The author of the forthcoming "Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America," from which this article is adapted.

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9) U.S. Bachelor Degree Rate Passes Milestone
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
February 23, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/education/census-finds-bachelors-degrees-at-record-level.html?ref=us

More than 30 percent of American adults hold bachelor's degrees, a first in the nation's history, and women are on the brink of surpassing men in educational attainment, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.

The figures reflect an increase in the share of the population going to college that began in the mid-1990s, after a relatively stagnant period that began in the 1970s. They show significant gains in all demographic groups, but blacks and Latinos not only continue to trail far behind whites, the gap has also widened in the last decade.

As of last March, 30.4 percent of people over age 25 in the United States held at least a bachelor's degree, and 10.9 percent held a graduate degree, up from 26.2 percent and 8.7 percent 10 years earlier.

For many years, colleges have enrolled and graduated more women than men, and a historic male advantage in higher education has nearly been erased. In 2001, men held a 3.9 percentage-point lead in bachelor's degrees and 2.6 percentage points in graduate degrees; by last year, both gaps were down to 0.7 percent.

Among Hispanics, the share of adults holding bachelor's degrees grew from 11.1 percent in 2001 to 14.1 percent last year, and among blacks it climbed from 15.7 percent to 19.9 percent. But the distinction rose even faster among non-Hispanic whites, from 28.7 percent to 34 percent.

Asian-Americans remain the nation's best-educated racial group, with 50.3 percent having bachelor's degrees, and 19.5 percent holding graduate degrees.

The figures come from the Census Bureau's annual Current Population Survey, and were released along with a series of reports taken from another ongoing canvass, the American Community Survey. One of those, examining major fields of study, shows that taken together, engineering and science are the most common areas for bachelor's degrees, representing 34.9 percent of the total.

The persistence of men in those fields is waning, a significant trend given that engineers and people with science backgrounds tend to be in high demand, and have above-average incomes. Among college graduates 65 or older, only 23 percent of those with degrees in science or engineering majors are women; among people 40 to 64, the proportion of women rises to 36 percent; among those 25 to 39, 45.9 percent are women.

The same report also found that engineers and science majors are most heavily concentrated on the East and West Coasts, with the highest percentages in the District of Columbia, California, Washington and Maryland, and the lowest in Southern and Plains states.

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10) Report from Bradley Manning's Arraignment
By Bradley Manning Support Network
February 24, 2012
http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/notes-from-bradley-mannings-arraignment

Yesterday's arraignment [February 23, 2012] for Bradley Manning lasted a little under an hour, as expected. Replacing the Investigating Officer from the Article 32 hearing is military judge Denise Lind. After members of the prosecution and defense declared their certifications and qualifications, the judge addressed Pfc. Manning directly, asking if he understood that a military counsel is available to him at no cost, or a civilian counsel is available at no cost to the government. "Yes, your honor," Manning replied. She then asked who he wished to represent him, and he replied that he wanted to keep Mr. Coombs and the rest of the defense team with him.

Then the prosecution and defense were allowed to question the judge. The prosecution declined, but Coombs stood for the defense. He asked her what prior knowledge she had of Manning's case. She responded, "I knew there was a case, that it involved classified information. I knew the case involved someone named Pfc. Manning."

Coombs asked if the judge had made any impressions with her knowledge of the case, and she replied that she'd made none. She said she'd had no discussions of the case that she could recall. When asked, she said, "I have formed no opinion" about Pfc. Manning or the leaked information.

Then Coombs asked about her background, to determine her experience with national security and classified documents. The judge said she had dealt with classified information on at least two cases as a military judge, and that she was "sure" there had been others where classified information was involved. Asked if she'd received training in classified information, she said there were "short classification classes" as part of her training, but she didn't remember if she'd attended a full week of those classes.

Coombs pressed her to remember. Between 2007 and 2009, he asked, had she taken any short courses on classified information? She replied that between '07 and '08 she hadn't taken any, but that she had between '08 and '09. Coombs, ready for the answer, asked, "Do you recall me teaching?" The judge replied that yes, she had thought he looked familiar, and that she had taken his class. Asked if she'd had any impression of Coombs from that class, the judge replied she had not.

The arraignment proceeded, with Ashden Fein of the prosecution reading all 22 of the charges against Pfc. Manning aloud. Then the judge read Manning his rights, notifying him that if a jury found him guilty, it would need at least a two-thirds majority to agree on sentencing, and if the sentence exceeded ten years, the jury would need at least a three-fourths majority. She asked Manning if he'd like a trial by judge or by jury, and Coombs stood to announce that Manning would defer that decision.

Next the judge brought up a previous RCM-802 telephonic conference, which is a phone call between the judge, prosecution, and defense to discuss scheduling and logistics of court proceedings. The judge reviewed the contents of the call before asking Coombs and Fein to supplement her summary if necessary.

First, the judge mentioned the defense's proposal to compel discovery and deposition. What came after that was revealing. There had been a series of email communications between the court, the prosecution and the defense team as part of the RCM-802 process. One of the items at issue involved something the judge referred to as a "bill of particulars." The judge said that she had set a deadline of February 21, 2012 for the prosecution, acting on behalf of the government, to produce these materials. The government had asked for an additional three-week delay beyond the 21st of February. On February 15, 2012, according to the judge, she had notified the prosecution via email that the request for the delay had been denied. Today in court, Fein responded by saying "we have not received that email." David Coombs then followed him up by noting that, in a subsequent email from the prosecution dated on February 21, 2012, they had in fact referenced the earlier decision. This fact appeared to expose Fein's claim as being false.

The judge moved on, to announce that tentatively, the next hearing date would be March 15th or 16th, to discuss remaining unsolved issues. She asked if either counsel wished to address something else from the RCM-802, and Fein announced that the prosecution "saw spillage" in something the defense filed, implying some classified material was leaked, and sought to deal with that. Fein said that "two out of three filings" contained, in his view, an issue with spillage. Coombs stated that it was the defense's position that there was no spillage and requested a protective order, so that the "government can't unilaterally declare spillage." Coombs also noted that experts that had been provided to the defense team had seen no spillage.
The defense raised another complaint with the way the prosecution was handling the case: when referring to certain documents, Coombs said, the prosecution referred to a "range of bates numbers" it had assigned to the pages, instead of to the content therein. Fein responded that with 41,000 documents already gone through, with different cable numbers there were far too many to reference easily without bates numbers. The defense disagreed, but the judge told Coombs he should raise the issue again at a later date.

Further supplementing the judge's review of the RCM-802, Coombs reminded the court that Pfc. Manning has been detained for 635 days, and that that number will be over 800 by the time we get to the court martial if it starts at the prosecution's preferred date in August. He reminded the judge and prosecution that he's repeatedly entered speedy trial requests, the first of which is dated January 9, 2011. The prosecution had responded that the complexities of this case had warranted a delay, but Coombs, prepared for that reply, remarked that when necessary the prosecution has acted very quickly, and there was no need for any more delays. For example, he noted that at one point in this process, a security clearance had been provided to an individual within 48 hours.

To conclude the arraignment, the judge asked Pfc. Manning how he wished to plea. Once again, Coombs stood to announce that the defense would defer on entering a plea. Court was declared in recess, and before we had the chance to stretch our legs, a white-suited man from CodePink jumped up to ask aloud, "Judge, isn't a soldier required to report a war crime?" The judge gave no response, and we walked back outside as stern-faced security personnel began forming a barrier between us and those on the other side of the bar.

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11) Why We Must Occupy Our Food Supply
By Willie Nelson and Anna Lappe
ReaderSupportedNews
February 24, 2012
http://www.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/441-occupy/10133-focus-why-we-must-occupy-our-food-supply

Our food is under threat. It is felt by every family farmer who has lost their land and livelihood, every parent who can't find affordable or healthy ingredients in their neighborhood, every person worried about foodborne illnesses thanks to lobbyist-weakened food safety laws, every farmworker who faces toxic pesticides in the fields as part of a day's work.

When our food is at risk we are all at risk.

Over the last thirty years, we have witnessed a massive consolidation of our food system. Never have so few corporations been responsible for more of our food chain. Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just ten corporations. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS. More than 90 percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. And one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart.

What does this matter for those of us who eat? Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water, and health epidemics including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain forms of cancer. More and more, the choices that determine the food on our shelves are made by corporations concerned less with protecting our health, our environment, or our jobs than with profit margins and executive bonuses.
This consolidation also fuels the influence of concentrated economic power in politics: Last year alone, the biggest food companies spent tens-of-millions lobbying on Capitol Hill with more than $37 million used in the fight against junk food marketing guidelines for kids.

On a global scale, the consolidation of our food system has meant devastation for farmers, forests and the climate. Take the controversial food additive palm oil. In the past decade, palm oil has become the most widely traded vegetable oil in the world and is now found in half of all packaged goods on U.S. grocery store shelves. But the large-scale production of palm oil-driven by agribusiness demand for the relatively cheap ingredient-has come at a cost: palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia are razing rainforests, releasing massive quantities of greenhouse gases and displacing Indigenous communities.

From the global to the local, nothing is more personal than this threat to our food. And nothing more inspiring than the movement that is fighting back. On Monday February 27, tens-of-thousands of people-including farmers and food workers, parents and students, urban gardeners and chefs-will participate in a Global Day of Action to Occupy our Food Supply.

Occupy our Food Supply is a day to both resist Big Food and highlight sustainable solutions that work for all of us. On February 27, more than 60 Occupy groups as well as environmental and corporate accountability organizations are joining together. From Brazil, Hungary, Ireland, Argentina, the United States and beyond, people will be reclaiming unused bank-owned lots to create community gardens; hosting seed exchanges in front of stock exchanges; labeling products on grocery store shelves that contain genetically engineered ingredients; building community alliances to support locally owned grocery stores and resist Walmart megastores; and fighting back against industrial giants Monsanto and Cargill.

The call to Occupy our Food Supply, facilitated by Rainforest Action Network, is being echoed by prominent thought leaders, authors, farmers and activists including the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, Food Inc.'s Robert Kenner, and authors Michael Pollan, Raj Patel, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Marion Nestle, among others.

As Michael Ableman, farmer, author, and founder of the Center for Urban Agriculture puts it: "We need to focus on what we are for as much as what we are against; occupying our land, our soils with life and fertility, our communities with good food. We need to work to rebuild the real economy, the one based on seeds and sunlight and individuals and communities growing together."

If you eat food, grow food, love food, join us to Occupy our Food Supply.

Anna Lappé is author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork (Bloomsbury USA) and a board member of Rainforest Action Network. Willie Nelson is founder and president of Farm Aid.

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12) Auto Workers Tap Network for Obama
By JEREMY W. PETERS
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/us/politics/uaw-tries-to-help-obama-win-working-class-voters.html?hp

DETROIT - The United Automobile Workers union, a primary beneficiary of President Obama's decision to rescue domestic carmakers, is now trying to return the favor.

As Mitt Romney prepared to deliver an economic address here on Friday declaring Mr. Obama's three years in office a "failed presidency," hundreds of union members gathered on the top level of a parking deck as a freezing drizzle fell.

"Thank you, President Obama!" shouted the union's president, Bob King. He gripped a bullhorn as he exhorted the crowd, "Everyone!" They roared back, "Thank you, President Obama!"

It was the beginning of an effort by the U.A.W. and others in the labor movement to put their vast political organizations into motion behind Mr. Obama, testing their power in a difficult economy after years of declining membership. This is an election that both parties say could turn on their ability to win over working-class voters in the industrial Midwest, where battlegrounds like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin could determine the outcome.

Mr. Obama will meet in Washington next week with 1,700 U.A.W. leaders to talk about steps to ensure that the economic recovery lasts and to signal to them that he shares their concerns about income inequality and preserving the middle class, the White House said on Friday.

One of organized labor's motivating issues in the election is addressing disparities in wealth, a topic that Mr. Romney, whose worth is estimated at as much as $250 million, inadvertently drew more attention to Friday when he said in his speech that he and his wife owned four American cars, including two Cadillacs. And Mr. Romney has criticized the auto bailout as "crony capitalism" that benefited "union bosses" at the expense of taxpayers, a position that has left him battling to win working-class voters in the face of union opposition.

In an attempt to outnumber Republicans at the polls in November, union officials are getting an early start with voter registration drives in their plants. Successful efforts to curb collective bargaining rights in neighboring states like Wisconsin and Indiana are adding to a sense of urgency already heightened by the steep decline in ranks. The union has about 400,000 members - less than a third of its size 30 years ago.

Mr. King has told local chapter officials they should aim to have conversations with every member they oversee about the importance of voting in this election. Other officials are busy raising money for the U.A.W.'s political fund.

And a new online organizing network for the union, called Gimme Five, is constantly adding new members, who are notified by text message and e-mail about events like Friday's protest, a joint effort planned with a local Democratic Party group.

"We plan to be very active in this election," Mr. King said in an interview. "We're building a broad coalition that we hope will help President Obama get re-elected."

The U.A.W.'s efforts come on the heels of activities by other large unions that have rallied to the president's side, like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Last month it spent $1 million on advertising attacking Mr. Romney in Florida. Now it is preparing another round of advertising in Ohio, which will hold its primary on March 6.

The "super PAC" supporting Mr. Obama joined forces with the Service Employees International Union to run commercials mocking Mr. Romney for saying that he pays an income tax rate of only about 14 percent.

While the federal loan package to General Motors and Chrysler, which cost about $80 billion, is hailed by the U.A.W. and other unions as a success, Mr. Romney and many other Republicans see it as an example of government meddling at its worst.

In the industry restructuring that followed the auto rescue of 2009, the U.A.W., long a major contributor to Democrats, was given an ownership stake in Chrysler and became one of G.M.'s largest shareholders. Pensions of some union members and retirees were left intact, while salaried, nonunion employees took big hits.

The fight over the role of organized labor in American business is likely to be one of the more divisive of the election, with Republicans arguing that unions harm competitiveness in a global economy and Democrats saying that they are necessary to preserve a middle-class way of life.

That debate is already playing out in Michigan. In an appearance before a supportive Tea Party crowd north of Detroit on Thursday night, Mr. Romney committed himself to rolling back the rights of unions in a state-by-state effort to end mandatory enrollment at companies where a union has formed. "It is extraordinary that we force people to join a union whether they want to do it or not," said Mr. Romney, who was born and raised in Michigan and is the son of a former governor and auto executive.

In Michigan, which is slowly adding jobs after losing more of them in the last decade than anywhere else, it may be harder for Republicans to argue that unions are a drag on business.

The assembly lines here are rolling out more cars. Parts makers are setting up booths at job fairs in search of new engineers. And factory workers at General Motors will soon receive $7,000 bonuses.

Unemployment is still high. But at 9.3 percent, a percentage point higher than the national average, it is nearly two percentage points lower than it was last summer.

Eric Watters, 41, a chief steward at the Chrysler assembly plant in Sterling Heights, said it still distressed him to think about the day in 2009 when his supervisor announced that the factory was shutting down. They were told to cover all the equipment as if they were never coming back. "It was an eerie feeling," Mr. Watters said. "Your entire life is hanging at the very end of the string."

But about three years later, the plant has added a shift and is bringing in new workers - workers whom Mr. Watters and his colleagues are now trying to register to vote.

"Being a union man, you have to be politically active, because our strength is in numbers," he said.

At the rally on Friday, many U.A.W. members said that the near-death experience of American carmakers had energized them in a way they did not expect.

"We've been threatened with losing our jobs," said Percy Johnson, a tradesman who works at the General Motors factory that produces the Chevy Volt. "That's what this is about. And we're motivated like never before."

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13) U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb
By JAMES RISEN and MARK MAZZETTI
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html?ref=world

WASHINGTON - Even as the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America's 16 intelligence agencies.

At the center of the debate is the murky question of the ultimate ambitions of the leaders in Tehran. There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead - a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon. David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.

"They are certainly moving on that path, but we don't believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon," Mr. Clapper told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Critics of the American assessment in Jerusalem and some European capitals point out that Iran has made great strides in the most difficult step toward building a nuclear weapon, enriching uranium. That has also been the conclusion of a series of reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspectors, who on Friday presented new evidence that the Iranians have begun enriching uranium in an underground facility.

Once Iran takes further steps to actually enrich weapons grade fuel - a feat that the United States does not believe Iran has yet accomplished - the critics believe that it would be relatively easy for Iran to engineer a warhead and then have a bomb in short order. They also criticize the C.I.A. for being overly cautious in its assessments of Iran, suggesting that it is perhaps overcompensating for its faulty intelligence assessments in 2002 about Iraq's purported weapons programs, which turned out not to exist. In addition, Israeli officials have challenged the very premise of the 2007 intelligence assessment, saying they do not believe that Iran ever fully halted its work on a weapons program.

Yet some intelligence officials and outside analysts believe there is another possible explanation for Iran's enrichment activity, besides a headlong race to build a bomb as quickly as possible. They say that Iran could be seeking to enhance its influence in the region by creating what some analysts call "strategic ambiguity." Rather than building a bomb now, Iran may want to increase its power by sowing doubt among other nations about its nuclear ambitions. Some point to the examples of Pakistan and India, both of which had clandestine nuclear weapons programs for decades before they actually decided to build bombs and test their weapons in 1998.

"I think the Iranians want the capability, but not a stockpile," said Kenneth C. Brill, a former United States ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency who also served as director of the intelligence community's National Counterproliferation Center from 2005 until 2009. Added a former intelligence official: "The Indians were a screwdriver turn away from having a bomb for many years. The Iranians are not that close."

To be sure, American analysts acknowledge that understanding the intentions of Iran's leadership is extremely difficult, and that their assessments are based on limited information. David A. Kay, who was head of the C.I.A.'s team that searched for Iraq's weapons programs after the United States invasion, was cautious about the quality of the intelligence underlying the current American assessment.

"They don't have evidence that Iran has made a decision to build a bomb, and that reflects a real gap in the intelligence," Mr. Kay said. "It's true the evidence hasn't changed very much" since 2007, he added. "But that reflects a lack of access and a lack of intelligence as much as anything."

Divining the intentions of closed societies is one of the most difficult tasks for American intelligence analysts, and the C.I.A. for decades has had little success penetrating regimes like Iran and North Korea to learn how their leaders make decisions.

Amid the ugly aftermath of the botched Iraq intelligence assessments, American spy agencies in 2006 put new analytical procedures in place to avoid repeating the failures. Analysts now have access to raw information about the sources behind intelligence reports, to help better determine the credibility of the sources and prevent another episode like the one in which the C.I.A. based much of its conclusions about Iraq's purported biological weapons on an Iraqi exile who turned out to be lying.

Analysts are also required to include in their reports more information about the chain of logic that has led them to their conclusions, and differing judgments are featured prominently in classified reports, rather than buried in footnotes.

When an unclassified summary of the 2007 intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear program was made public, stating that it had abandoned work on a bomb, it stunned the Bush administration and the world. It represented a sharp reversal from the intelligence community's 2005 estimate, and drew criticism of the C.I.A. from European and Israeli officials, as well as conservative pundits. They argued that it was part of a larger effort by the C.I.A. to prevent American military action against Iran.

The report was so controversial that many outside analysts expected that the intelligence community would be forced to revise and repudiate the estimate after new evidence emerged about Iran's program, notably from the United Nations' inspectors. Yet analysts now say that while there has been mounting evidence of Iranian work on enrichment facilities, there has been far less clear evidence of a weapons program.

Still, Iran's enrichment activities have raised suspicions, even among skeptics.

"What has been driving the discussion has been the enrichment activity," said one former intelligence official. "That's made everybody nervous. So the Iranians continue to contribute to the suspicions about what they are trying to do."

Iran's efforts to hide its nuclear facilities and to deceive the West about its activities have also intensified doubts. But some American analysts warn that such behavior is not necessarily proof of a weapons program. They say that one mistake the C.I.A. made before the war in Iraq was to assume that because Saddam Hussein resisted weapons inspections - acting as if he were hiding something - it meant that he had a weapons program.

As Mr. Kay explained, "The amount of evidence that you were willing to go with in 2002 is not the same evidence you are willing to accept today."

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14) Branding a Soldier With 'Personality Disorder'
By JAMES DAO
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/us/a-military-diagnosis-personality-disorder-is-challenged.html?ref=world

Capt. Susan Carlson was not a typical recruit when she volunteered for the Army in 2006 at the age of 50. But the Army desperately needed behavioral health professionals like her, so it signed her up.

Though she was, by her own account, "not a strong soldier," she received excellent job reviews at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where she counseled prisoners. But last year, Captain Carlson, a social worker, was deployed to Afghanistan with the Colorado National Guard and everything fell apart.

After a soldier complained that she had made sexually suggestive remarks, she was suspended from her counseling duties and sent to an Army psychiatrist for evaluation. His findings were shattering: She had, he said in a report, a personality disorder, a diagnosis that the military has used to discharge thousands of troops. She was sent home.

She disputed the diagnosis, but it was not until months later that she found what seemed powerful ammunition buried in her medical file, portions of which she provided to The New York Times. "Her command specifically asks for a diagnosis of a personality disorder," a document signed by the psychiatrist said.

Veterans' advocates say Captain Carlson stumbled upon evidence of something they had long suspected but had struggled to prove: that military commanders pressure clinicians to issue unwarranted psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of troops.

"Her records suggest an attempt by her commander to influence medical professionals," said Michael J. Wishnie, a professor at Yale Law School and director of its Veterans Legal Services Clinic.

Since 2001, the military has discharged at least 31,000 service members because of personality disorder, a family of disorders broadly characterized by inflexible "maladaptive" behavior that can impair performance and relationships.

For years, veterans' advocates have said that the Pentagon uses the diagnosis to discharge troops because it considers them troublesome or wants to avoid giving them benefits for service-connected injuries. The military considers personality disorder a pre-existing problem that emerges in youth, and as a result, troops given the diagnosis are often administratively discharged without military retirement pay. Some have even been required to repay enlistment bonuses.

By comparison, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is usually linked to military service and leads to a medical discharge accompanied by certain benefits.

In recent weeks, questions about whether the Army manipulates psychiatric diagnoses to save money have been raised at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., where soldiers undergoing medical evaluations before discharge complained that psychiatrists rescinded PTSD diagnoses, leaving the soldiers with diagnoses like personality disorder that did not qualify them for medical discharges.

In a memorandum, an Army ombudsman wrote that a doctor from the base hospital, Madigan Army Medical Center, said that one diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder can cost $1.5 million in benefits over a soldier's lifetime. The doctor also counseled his colleagues to be good stewards of taxpayer money by not "rubber-stamping" such diagnoses.

In the wake of those complaints, the Army has removed the head of Madigan and suspended two doctors at a special forensic psychiatric unit. It has also reviewed the cases of 14 soldiers and reinstituted PTSD diagnoses for 6 of them.

Some senior military officials have raised concerns that PTSD is overdiagnosed. Still, the Defense Department has denied that it uses psychiatric diagnoses either to weed out injured or low-performing troops, or to save money.

"Our goal is to provide the most accurate diagnosis," said Maria Tolleson, a spokeswoman for the Army Medical Command.

On Captain Carlson's case, the Colorado National Guard declined to comment. Officials at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., said the psychiatrist who evaluated Captain Carlson in Afghanistan, Maj. Aniceto Navarro, was not available for an interview.

But in a statement, the hospital said: "No commander may order a credentialed clinician to make a particular diagnosis. Dr. Navarro did not feel he was being ordered by the service member's command to make a particular diagnosis. The sentence referenced was written in terms of the commander asking to evaluate for a personality disorder, i.e. asking if one existed, not ordering to diagnose a personality disorder."

Though it is impossible to know how many veterans are disputing their personality disorder discharges, Vietnam Veterans of America, an advocacy group, with help from the Yale veterans legal clinic, has sued the Defense Department seeking records they say will show that thousands of troops have been unfairly discharged for personality or adjustment disorder since 2001.

"We believe that many of the people who received personality disorder discharges were wrongly diagnosed and that in fact they were suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injury," said Thomas Berger, executive director of Vietnam Veterans of America's health council.

Although the number of personality disorder discharges is small relative to the total number of troops who have served since 2001, Congress was concerned enough about the issue to hold hearings in 2007 after reading reports that troops with post-traumatic stress and other combat-related injuries were being discharged for personality disorder.

The Defense Department then tightened its requirements, partly to ensure that troops who had served in combat zones and had PTSD were not discharged for personality disorder. Personality disorder discharges subsequently declined, to 1,078 in 2010 from 4,264 in 2007, data obtained by Vietnam Veterans of America show.

But the Government Accountability Office said in 2010 that the Defense Department had not proved that it was in full compliance with its rules. And Captain Carlson's case shows that the military continues to issue personality disorder diagnoses in questionable ways, according to veterans' advocates and her lawyers, Stephen H. Carpenter Jr. and Daniel C. Russ.

Unlike the soldiers at Madigan, Captain Carlson has not been given a diagnosis of PTSD. But the personality disorder diagnosis could complicate her ability get a medical discharge for a back injury and other problems. Perhaps more significant, the diagnosis will be listed on her discharge papers, which employers typically review when they are considering veterans for a job.

"It may have a significant impact on her ability to find employment," Mr. Carpenter said.

Captain Carlson, now 55, signed up with the Army after a co-worker at a Milwaukee trauma hospital, a surgeon in the National Guard, told her that the Army badly needed therapists and social workers. Intrigued, she got an age waiver and joined through a program that commissions officers based on their specialized training.

At Fort Leavenworth, where she served for three years, supervisors called her "highly talented," "outstanding" and "a dedicated officer," according to a 2008 evaluation.

After leaving active duty, Captain Carlson moved to Colorado Springs in 2010 to take a civilian job as a substance abuse counselor at Fort Carson. But she soon learned that the Colorado National Guard, which she had just joined, would deploy to Afghanistan in early 2011. She told her commander she wanted to go.

"I wanted to experience what soldiers experience," she said in an interview.

But her problems began soon after she arrived in Afghanistan last February. She got lost outside a combat outpost and wore shorts when she should have been in combat uniform. Then a junior enlisted soldier accused her of sexual harassment, citing an off-color remark she made during a game of Scrabble with several soldiers at a combat outpost.

Captain Carlson contends the remark was innocent, but the Army sent her back to Bagram Air Base near Kabul and opened an investigation. A major general eventually gave her a memorandum of reprimand, a potentially career-ending action. But she says it was the psychological evaluation she received at Bagram that upset her the most.

In notes from that evaluation, Dr. Navarro wrote that "it is very difficult to draw absolute conclusions for a personality disorder." But he noted that her command had asked for the diagnosis and, in his final report dated three days later, Dr. Navarro did just that.

Captain Carlson has "a very dramatic style" and "chronic difficulty in adjusting," Dr. Navarro wrote in that report, concluding that she had "personality disorder NOS" - not otherwise specified - "with histrionic traits." He recommended that the Army move swiftly to discharge her if she did not comply with counseling from her commander.

Experts say personality disorder is generally evident in a person's youth, leaving a telltale pattern across failed jobs and broken relationships. For that reason, they generally recommend that diagnoses include reviews of patients' medical records and interviews with people who have known them for years. Dr. Navarro says in his notes that he did not have access to her records.

Dr. Andrew E. Skodol, research professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona and an expert on personality disorder who was not familiar with Captain Carlson's case, said it would not be surprising for a person who entered the Army in middle age to have trouble adapting to the stresses of military life and deployment. But that would not necessarily qualify as a personality disorder, Dr. Skodol said.

After leaving Afghanistan last year, Captain Carlson went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where a psychiatrist gave her a diagnosis of adjustment disorder, her lawyers said. That psychiatrist has since been suspended as part of the Army's investigation into Madigan.

It will be up to the Colorado National Guard to decide how Captain Carlson will be discharged, a process that could take months. At the least, Captain Carlson wants the personality disorder diagnosis removed from her record.

"It's a bad label," she said. "I'm a broken soldier. I'm old. And they just want to get rid of me."

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15) Somalia: Drone Strike Kills 4 Militants
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/africa/somalia-drone-strike-kills-4-militants.html?ref=world

A United States military drone strike aimed at a militant in southern Somalia killed four Shabab fighters, officials said Friday. An American official in Washington confirmed the attack was carried out by a United States drone. A second official said an "international" member of the Shabab was the target of the strike.

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16) Rents Keep Rising, Even as Housing Prices Fall
"Eager to capitalize on the trend, investors are scooping up some houses at a deep discount and leasing them to tenants who have lost their own homes. Several prominent hedge funds and private equity firms have recently announced plans to invest in distressed properties and convert them to rentals. And earlier this month, the government solicited applications from investors interested in buying pools of foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration."
By MOTOKO RICH
February 24, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/business/homes-arent-selling-but-its-an-apartment-landlords-market.html?ref=us


The housing market remains a potent drag on the economy as home prices continue to slip, foreclosed homes fill some neighborhoods and millions of construction workers scramble for jobs.

But one group is sitting pretty: landlords.

Unlike home prices, rents have been rising, up 2.4 percent in January from a year earlier, according to recent data, not adjusted for inflation, released by the Labor Department.

With few rental buildings erected over the last few years, available units are going fast. Nationwide, the apartment vacancy rate is down to 5.2 percent, its lowest level in more than a decade, according to the research firm Reis Inc.

Rent increases are greatest in places like San Francisco, Austin, Tex., and Boston, where technology companies in particular are hiring, as well as in New York City and the District of Columbia. But cities like Chicago and Seattle, where house prices are still declining quite sharply, have had rental increases, too.

"We are more of a renter nation than we have been for a while," said Christopher J. Mayer, a professor of real estate at the Columbia University Business School.

Economists suggest favorable conditions for landlords will continue for at least a year, with employment gradually rising and construction of new apartments remaining constrained.

As job growth has begun to accelerate in recent months, young people are starting to move out of their parents' homes or away from shared rooms and into their own rentals.

Families who might previously have bought homes are also staying in rentals longer. They may be waiting for the housing market to hit bottom or finding it difficult to qualify for a mortgage. Many others remain uncertain about their job prospects and wary of the obligations of ownership.

When Charles Griffith moved with his wife and two children to Orlando, Fla., last fall, they chose a new two-bedroom apartment for $1,140 a month. They left a four-bedroom house they had bought a decade ago in Antioch, Calif. His brother-in-law has moved in and taken over the mortgage payments.

Mr. Griffith, who works as a supervisor for Southwest Airlines, and his wife, a customer service representative for the airline, are enjoying the flexibility and convenience of renting, as well as amenities like a pool. "We kind of like the situation now of not having to be under so much pressure," said Mr. Griffith, 40, adding that the family may eventually buy in Orlando. But "with the economy and the airline industry, that factors into us thinking maybe we should hold off for a while."

The home ownership rate has been falling from its peak of 69.4 percent in 2004, according to census data. By the fourth quarter of 2011, it was down to 66 percent. That means about two million more households are renting, said Kenneth Rosen, an economist and professor of real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Not all those people are choosing apartments, of course. Some are moving into single-family homes left vacant by foreclosures. Eager to capitalize on the trend, investors are scooping up some houses at a deep discount and leasing them to tenants who have lost their own homes.

Several prominent hedge funds and private equity firms have recently announced plans to invest in distressed properties and convert them to rentals. And earlier this month, the government solicited applications from investors interested in buying pools of foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.

Still, it is in apartments, not houses, where renters are feeling the most competition.

Although many families crushed by the recession have doubled up and plenty of underemployed 20-somethings are living with their parents, some young people are finally getting their own space. Nearly 60 percent of job gains in the last two years have gone to people who are 20 to 34, a crucial rental group, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by G. Ronald Witten, a consultant to apartment companies.

During the economic downturn, apartment developers retrenched. The number of new apartments completed fell from 284,200 in 2006 to less than half that number in 2011, according to census data.

The limited supply is pushing up prices in some markets. In San Francisco, rents jumped close to 5 percent last year, according to Reis, and increases averaged 3 percent in Austin and New York. Landlords have also been withdrawing incentives like a free month's rent.

Liz Brent and Matt Mochizuki moved into a studio apartment a year ago in the Mission District in San Francisco for $1,395 a month. Now they want more space.

Ms. Brent, 26, makes costumes and is working as a barista at a cafe where customers leave big tips. Mr. Mochizuki, 27, has a steady job making custom metal work for a design studio. They are budgeting $1,800 a month in rent.

But at an open house for an apartment billed as a one-bedroom, they found a studio with an awkward layout and bad light. More than 40 people were in line, many ready to hand over a check.

"That's what the market is like now," Ms. Brent said of their fruitless search. "That's how many people showed up for this tiny apartment with no windows."

Some rental markets remain soft, like Atlanta and Las Vegas, the epicenter of the housing bust. Orlando, too, might seem an unlikely place for rental strength. The unemployment rate, at 9.7 percent, is higher than the national average, and home prices slipped 4.6 percent last year, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price index.

Yet Ric Campo, chief executive of Camden Properties, a real estate investment trust that owns apartment buildings, said rental business was brisk at its LaVina development. Since the office for the 420-unit complex opened last summer, more than half the apartments have rented.

That's "a faster rate than we've ever seen in Orlando," Mr. Campo said. The company has raised the base rent on a two-bedroom apartment to $1,080, from $995 a month.

Many now wonder about a more profound shift among future buyers. Matt Byford, a 24-year-old litigation consultant in Chicago, acknowledges that low interest rates and low prices favor buying. But he says he is renting and in no hurry to buy, because he doesn't expect much to change soon.

Brad Forrester, chief executive of the ConAm Group, which manages about 50,000 apartments in the western United States, says, "I think it's going to be interesting to see whether there's been a fundamental sociological shift in that 20- to 35-year-old cohort, where they literally say 'this American dream just doesn't work for me.' "

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