P. 1
2008 Nov Dec

2008 Nov Dec

|Views: 54|Likes:
Published by BPMStaff

More info:

Published by: BPMStaff on Aug 19, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

02/06/2013

pdf

text

original

Because People Mater

Progressive News and Views November / December 2008
Inside this issue:
Editorial.............................................. 2
Social.Studies.Famiy.Style................. 2
Giving.That.Helps.Others.................. 2
Too.Big.To.Fail.................................... 3
Male.Violence,.Financial.Terrorism.... 3
Kuehl.on.Schwarzenegger................... 4
Working Harder, Geting Nowhere .... 4
Georgia.on.My.Mind.......................... 5
Peter.Camejo.Remembered.................. 7
El Porvenir—Water for Nicaragua.... 8
Sacramento NOW............................... 8
Gimme Shelter—Afordable Housing.9
Free.Gaza.Movement........................ 10
Trends.in.the.Media.Marketplace..... 10
Nuclear Weapons Policy................... 11
Peace.Arts.Xchange.......................... 11
Sacramento.Area.Peace.Action......... 12
Global.Warming................................ 13
Book.Review:.Fidel.Castro,.My.Life.. 14
Something.Fishy.at.McClellan......... 14
Calendar............................................ 15
Progressive.Media............................. 16
By Paula Lomazzi and Patsy Byers
Relocalize Sacramento! is an imperative, and it’s also
the name of a grassroots group in Sacramento that’s part
of the movement away from globalization and towards a
more rational and rewarding use of
energy and other resources. Relo-
calization promotes the local pro-
duction of food, energy, services,
and goods, to meet primarily local
needs. It strengthens a community’s
economic and food security by
making that community more
self-reliant and less dependent
on dwindling oil supplies. It also
strengthens “community” and the sense of “belonging”
to the place where you live. It is a global movement that
is neither nostalgic nor isolationist. So very much of our
everyday lives depends on material inputs from outside
our region (such as chemicals that are used to purify our
everyday drinking water), and so much of our by-prod-
ucts and refuse is shipped away to become someone else’s
problem or proft (such as landfll “waste” trucked to
Nevada and recyclable paper going to China). We need
to close the loops!
Relocalize Sacramento! was formed in June of 2003.
We started by educating ourselves more about our
local resources and our region’s reliance on non-local
inputs. We had a water study group to explore this most
basic of all our survival needs, with feld trips to a water
intake facility and our region’s wastewater treatment
plant. We have hosted a series of Eat Local Potlucks
with guest speakers on sustainability, sharing delicious
stuf from the Sacramento “foodshed.” At the last two
Earth Day celebrations, we’ve had a table of free fruit
and vegetable “starts,” hoping to encourage recipients
to grow some of their own, and we also gave away “Stop
Junk Mail” postcard packets and
the notorious Sacramento seed
balls (like the ones made of clay and
compost in a workshop on alterna-
tives to biotech and corporate food
production during the 2003 Agri-
cultural Ministerial conference, and
then confscated as potential ter-
rorist projectiles by the Sacramento
Police Department).
We have become a local voice for local action. We need
more actual action and more people to act. We all must
adjust our lives to the new paradigm forced on us during
this very unique decade in human history. Please join us
in this endeavor, either by recommitting yourself to more
stringent conservation, recycling, and encouraging oth-
ers, or by joining our group or our activities.
We meet regularly on the frst Sunday evening of
each month. Keep abreast of our activities with our
website: www.relocalizesacramento.org. You can also
participate in our online projects via our wiki: www.
relocalizesacramento.wikispaces.com, where we seek
to educate each other about our most vital systems
and local resources, and maintain a calendar of local
sustainability actions and events.
Patsy Byers and Paula Lomazzi are among the found-
ing members of Relocalize Sacramento! who invite you to
join them.
By Bob Metcalf
Can cardboard, aluminum foil, and a clear plastic bag
be used to cook and bake as well as
your gas/electric stove and oven?
If you answered “yes,” you know
about solar cooking, something I’ve
done regularly during Sacramento’s
solar season ever since 1978.
If you answered “no,” consider
putting solar cooking on your list of
things to discover in 2009. You will
learn an amazing, environmentally friendly skill, and you
will also realize why this knowledge needs to be spread
to the 2.5 billion people in sun-rich developing countries
who are using wood for cooking at a non-sustainable
rate, and sufering respiratory and eye damage from the
smoke of fres.
Te repository of information on solar cooking is
found with Sacramento’s non-proft organization, Solar
Cookers International (SCI),
founded in 1987. Initially promot-
ing solar box cookers, in 1995 SCI
developed the ultra-simple CooKit
solar cooker. With a CooKit, a clear
plastic bag replaces glass as the
heat-trapping device, and a simple
panel replaces the box.
Using a CooKit is simple. Food is
placed inside a darkened, covered pot. Te pot is placed
inside a clear plastic bag and set in the center of the
CooKit facing the sun. CooKit panels direct sunshine
through the plastic bag to the dark pot, where light is
absorbed and converted to heat. Te plastic bag traps
much of the heat and facilitates cooking most foods in
2-3 hours, with no stirring needed during cooking.
Remove the pot with hot pads, take of the lid, watch
the steam roll out, and see the perfectly solar-cooked
food. It’s an experience that continues to delight me even
afer more than 6,000 solar-cooked meals.
Because no water is needed for vegetables, fruits, meat
and fsh that already have plenty of water, solar-cooked
foods have a great favor as foods cook in their own
juices. Bread and cakes can also be solar-baked with a
CooKit.
Go to a village in a developing country, and two
daunting challenges face families every day—the lack of
wood for cooking, and unsafe local water sources. SCI’s
CooKit can contribute signifcantly to solving both of
these problems, as it is doing in SCI’s Kenya projects near
Lake Victoria. Heating contaminated water in a CooKit
to 65°C pasteurizes it in a manner similar to milk pas-
teurization. To verify that 65°C has been reached, SCI
developed a reusable, wax-based water pasteurization
indicator (WAPI) that is included in the project.
Villagers also have been taught how to check their
water sources for contamination by testing for the fecal
indicator bacterium, Escherichia coli, using two simple
methods I’ve assembled into a Portable Microbiology
Energy Descent? Global Warming?
We need to relocalize, now!
Relocalization
promotes the local
production of food,
energy, services,
and goods, to meet
primarily local needs.
Solar Cookers International
Tapping into the sun for cooking in
Sacramento and worldwide!
…consider putting
solar cooking on
your list of things to
discover in 2009.
Relocalize Sacramento! members inside a pipe outside
the wastewater treatment plant on one of the group’s
feld trips.
Photo: RelocalizeSacramento!
A Relocalize Sacramento! potluck.
Photo: Relocalize Sacramento!
Woman and child with CooKit in Nyakach, Kenya.
Photo: Bob Metcalf
Bob Metcalf shows 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Wangari Maathai the Colilert test results from water
tested at the African Women and Water Conference,
Nairobi, Kenya, July, 2008.
Photo: Bob Metcalf
See Solar Cooking, page 13
Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
People Mater
Volume 17, Number 6
Published Bi-Monthly by the
Sacramento Community for
Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 162998, Sacramento,
CA 95816
(Use addresses below for
correspondence)
Editorial Group: Jacqueline
Diaz, JoAnn Fuller, Charlene
Jones, Jeanie Keltner, Rick
Nadeau
Coordinating Editors for
this Issue: Jacqueline Diaz
and JoAnn Fuller
Design and Layout:
Ellen Schwartz
Calendar Editor:
Chris Bond
Advertising and Business
Manager: Edwina White
Distribution Manager:
Paulette Cuilla
Subscription Manager:
Gordon Kennedy
How to ReacH Us:
Subscriptions, letters,
punditry:
403 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
444-3203
Ads or other business:
446-2844
All e-mail
correspondence:
bpmnews@nicetechnology.com
HaVe a caLeNDaR
IteM?
Send an e-mail with “calendar
item” in the subject line. Make
it short, and in this order,
please: Day, Date. Name of
event. Description (1–2 lines).
Time. Location. INFO: phone#;
e-mail.
HaVe a stoRY?
We start planning the next
issue of BPM the day the
current issue hits the streets.
Let us know by e-mail as soon
as you have an idea for a story
so we can consider it early in
the process.
HaVe soMe tIMe?
(HA HA HA!) Well, you might
have, and BPM always needs
help with big and small tasks.
Call 444-3203.
copY DeaDLINes:
For the Jan. / Feb. 2009 Issue:
Articles: Tell us about your
article by Nov. 15; article must
be received by Dec. 1, 2008.
Calendar Items: Dec. 10, 2008
Cultural events welcome!
For details, see our website,
www.bpmnews.org
BecaUse peopLe MatteR is an all-
volunteer endeavor to present
alternative, progressive news
and views in Sacramento. We
invite and welcome your re-
sponses. To discuss a proposed
article, or help distribute the
paper, inquire about ad rates,
or help out in some other way,
call or write using the phone
number and address listed un-
der ”How to Reach Us” above.
Please reproduce from any of
the written contents, but do
credit the author and BPM.
Printed at Herald Printing by
Graphics Communication Union
DC2 pressmen.
because
Editorial
On the cover
A Tulsi Solar Box Cooker being
used in Washington, DC to
cook pizza. See story on Solar
Cookers on page 1
Photo: Karyn Ellis
Jacqueline Diaz and JoAnn Fuller, Co-coordinating Editors for this issue
We appreciate your support! Please fll out this form and mail to:
BPM, 403 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
This is a great paper! I’ll gladly subscribe for a mere $20.
WOW! You sound desperate! I’m enclosing $ extra to
help out!
This is my opportunity to break into journalism and help get the
truth out! I’ll help: Writing, Editing, Distributing,
Proofreading, Anything!
Name .......................................................................................................................
Address ...................................................................................................................
City .............................. Zip ....................... Phone .................................................
Email .......................................................................................................................
Help keep BPM on the streets:
Subscribe today! Already a subscriber?
Buy a subscription to BPM for a friend
or family member!
Place an ad for your business or non-
proft group: continuing business card
size ads are only $30 per issue.
Volunteer! We need distributors to help
get the word(s) out!
Learn the true news and then
Teach Peace
Check out www.teachpeace.com the
website of the same-named organiza-
tion in Davis. If you’re a teacher, you’ll
be especially interested in their materi-
als for teaching peace to people of all
ages. But here we want to point out the
site’s other extensive resources. Along
with important articles from the world
press on crucial topics in the news (like
Russia, Georgia and Ossetia), there is
also an extensive library of all the latest
political documentaries to watch with a
click of your mouse.
Put Your Money
Where Your Mouth Is
Gift-giving that helps others
and the environment
By Dorothy L. Wake
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)—
www.unicefusa.org/shop
Heifer International—www.heifer.org;
Works with communities worldwide to end
hunger and poverty and care for the earth
through gifs and training that moves families to
self-reliance.
Sierra Club—www.sierraclub.org/store
MADRE—international women’s human rights
organization. www.madre.org.
The Breast Cancer Site—
www.thebreastcancersite.com
The Hunger Site—www.thehungersite.com
The Rainforest Site–
www.therainforestsite.com
The Animal Rescue Site–
www.theanimalrescuesite.com; great gifs for
kids, including fnger puppets
Note: You can sign up for daily reminders to
click onto the last four sites to help fund mam-
mograms for women in need, to help feed the
hungry, to help preserve rainforests around the
world, and to help care for rescued animals living
in shelters or sanctuaries.
Want your gift-giving to help locally?
Make donations to local organizations such as
food banks, Sacramento Children’s Home, and
WEAVE in the names of those you are gifing.
Many organizations send cards informing people
that donations have been made in their names.
And you can visit your local post ofce to ask
about participating in Operation Santa Claus,
which is a great way for families or work places
to collectively contribute to kids in need. Happy
Holidays!
We homeschool our daughters. Tere were many
reasons that led to this choice, but none that
really had to do with disliking school. I attended,
benefted and sometimes enjoyed my public
school experience. My husband’s experience
was similar. Yet when we weighed the possible
schooling options for our kids, continuing to
directly support our daughters’ learning beyond
the time they grew to “school age” seemed like
the best option for our family. And so far, we are
having a great time.
Many people think of homeschoolers and pic-
ture kids sitting at the kitchen table with work-
books, or think of homeschoolers as deprived of
social interaction. Certainly there must be some
families who are doing lots of workbooks or who
would just rather hang at home, but in our com-
munity there are many more families who are out
all the time, favoring experiential learning over
workbooks.
My daughter also takes classes with other
homeschoolers sometimes, and this is how I
discovered that there is one thing that bugs
me about traditional school—social studies.
I realized this when my daughter and I were
thinking over classes for her to take and I began
to begrudgingly read the descriptions for the
social studies ones so she could decide between
classes in various disciplines. Tese social studies
classes all seemed fne, but I was concerned about
perspective. Whose version of history would my
daughter be studying?
I just didn’t like the idea, and thankfully, she
didn’t pick a social studies class this year. Nev-
ertheless, this experience gave me fashbacks of
years of schooling where I wondered if I would
ever hear anything about myself as a Chicana and
of being the only kid on the lef side of the debate
in my less-than-diverse classes. But quickly I let
out a sigh of relief, thankful to be homeschooling.
Our social studies plan while our daughters
are still young is to share historical, cultural
and political information and experiences with
them. We won’t be plotting out goals or pulling
for them to make specifc discoveries through
critical thinking, but I can’t say they’ll go without
bias—without experiencing our own perspective
on things (which is what most school social stud-
ies classes pretend to do).
Our hope is that as they get older, they’ll con-
tinue to choose their own readings and fgure
out for themselves what seems most plausible
or “real” to them. Until then, I’d just as soon
skip getting to see them in cute little pilgrim or
Indian outfts in a Tanksgiving play or reciting
the “story” of Plymouth Rock. Instead, this year
our Tanksgiving plan is to participate in the
“Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering” at Alca-
traz, commemorating the island’s occupation by
American Indian activists in 1969. Luckily, you
don’t have to be a homeschooler to join us. Go to
www.alcatrazcruises.com/website/
sunrise-gathering.aspx.
Jacqueline Diaz is a mother, teacher and poet
living in Sacramento.
Te editors for this issue of BPM invite you
to read about the important issues of the day as
covered by folks who live and work in Sacramen-
to. Despair about global warming? Be inspired
by the work of Solar Cookers International, and
others who are working from here to make life
better everywhere. Need some good news about
the future of nuclear weapons? We have it. Won-
der what happened to the pollution at the former
McClellan base? Here’s an update. Confused
about the coverage on the fghting in Georgia?
We include information and places to get more
information.
Our writers cover many of the important issues
of the day, from healthcare to the fnancial crisis
to housing—all from an alternative and progres-
sive point of view, as usual. But we don’t stop
there, we also tell you who is working on these
issues locally and how you can get involved!
Plus we list ideas for where to buy your holiday
Social Studies, Family Style
No pilgrim costumes for this family!
By Jacqueline Diaz
gifs, such as the locally produced PAX peace
calendar or a “CooKit” solar stove.
Don’t forget, this paper is built on the volunteer
eforts of many folks. We need folks to write,
edit, and deliver the paper. Or you could help by
introducing others to BPM with a gif subscrip-
tion—only $20 a year!
Coordinating Editors,
Jacqueline Diaz and JoAnn Fuller
Make a Holiday Contribution to BPM
Mail donations to P.O. Box 162998, Sacramento,
CA 95816
Help sustain local, progressive print media!
Got time? Because People Matter is always in need
of distributors and other volunteers. Please email
bpmnews@nicetechnology.com or call Paulette at
422-1787 for more information.
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
By Roger White
O
ne question that hasn’t been asked much
about the current fnancial crisis that
could turn into a depression is who has
more of a moral claim on public dollars? Strug-
gling single moms on welfare? Or corporate
banking titans who
have been deemed
“too big to fail” by
Wall Street “analysts”
and corporatists in
Washington?
Looking at the
headlines over the last
few months about the
bailouts on Wall Street
brought me back to
1995 and the debate
over welfare reform. Back then, we heard a lot
of talk about dependency, the irresponsible life-
styles of single mothers on public assistance and
the sanctity of “middle class values.”
While much of this talk came from the con-
servative establishment, it was a Democratic
president along with a signifcant number of
Democrats in Congress that made the passage
of so-called welfare reform possible. In that case
the political class had come to a broad consen-
sus—the days of big government were over (at
least in service of the poor) and from now on
…it would take about 35
years of aid to poor folk on
welfare to match what just
this installment of Bush’s
bailout of Wall Street will
cost taxpayers”
Who’s Too Big To Fail?
Corporate welfare vs. poor people’s welfare
A
midst the worst fnancial crises in US
history, I recalled a book by June Ste-
phensen, Ph.D., published in 1991, Men
Are Not Cost-Efective. Dr. Stephensen, a research
psychologist and author of many other books,
demonstrates how
“men are bankrupting
our country.”
Stevenson nearly
two decades ago set
the annual cost of male
violence—everything
from murder to “white
collar” crimes—at $300
billion. Now, update that fgure (undoubtedly
threefold) and add what ended up being over
$800 billion the middle class is being forced to
“pony up” to bail out Wall Street and pay for deal
“sweeteners”—a bag full of goodies ranging from
tax breaks for NASCAR racetracks to children’s
wooden arrow makers. In an attempt to make
this bailout more palatable to Main Street, “con-
cessions” were made by lawmakers. For example,
we will get shares in these “toxic assets” that
the rich need to quickly dump and the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will
raise the insurance on our savings to $250,000.
(How many readers have $250K in the bank?)
Many don’t realize that the FDIC has up to 10
years to pay up on that insurance. Te taxpayer
“sugar daddies” and “sugar mommies” can no
longer aford these “kept men”—predators of all
stripes, from the Wall Street big boys, to the men
entrenched in warfare, to the common thugs who
are raping, murdering, robbing, and plundering.
Bush’s monstrous bailout plan gives broad
authority and a blank check to the tune of $700
billion to unelected appointee Treasury Secretary
Henry M. Paulson, Jr., raising the national debt to
$11.3 trillion. Additionally, Bush demanded that
the program be shielded from judicial review.
Interestingly, according to Hufngtonpost.com
(“China’s Investment House,” 12/13/2007), China
“purchased $700 billion in US long-term assets.
A huge and growing category of purchase has
been the agency bond. Tese are bonds made of
Male Violence, Financial Terrorism
Taxpayer “sugar daddies,” “sugar mommies” asked
to bail out “kept men” of Wall Street
By Dorothy L. Wake
“…a few members were
even told that there would
be martial law in America
if we vote ‘no.’”—Rep. Brad
Sherman, D-CA.
See Bailout, page 6
those seeking government help would be made
to work, and would be stripped of their privacy
and labor rights. Essentially, they would be made
wards of the state in exchange for the $300 or so
dollars they received every month. Tese people
weren’t like “us” and
really didn’t deserve
our compassion or
support. Tey were
“too small to matter,”
so to speak. Why worry
about them?
Now, when corporate
banks and investment
houses started drop-
ping like fies and
looking for handouts,
bailouts, “debt packages” and other confgura-
tions of tax-payer monies in the late summer of
2008, the talk coming from the responsible folks
was quite diferent. Instead of hearing about the
depravities of a permanent over-class that has
grown dependent on government contracts,
tax subsidies, and, when needed, bailouts, we
were told by people like Henry Paulson and Ben
Bernanke that companies like AIG and Bear
Stearns (etc.) were just too important to be lef
to the vagaries of the market and that the $700
billion was a rescue, not a bailout. Te nationally
syndicated conservative talk show host Hugh
Hewitt said it best, “Sure, we’re in favor of the free
market—except when we’re against it!”
Of course, the conservative House Republicans
and progressive House Democrats who voted
against the bailout were immediately admonished
by folks like the moderate Republican political
commentator and professional political class
superego David Gergan to “grow up,” but their
arguments for being against the bailout were
never seriously engaged. Instead, we all were fed
a steady diet of fear of what might happen if we
didn’t hand out public dollars to the rich. Eventu-
ally the propaganda campaign worked, and the
House voted in favor of the bailout. Whew. Tat
saved the day. Now we can sleep at night, right?
In all, the federal government spends about
$20 billion each year on the Temporary Aid to
Families with Children program. Tat’s $20 bil-
lion for poor, single women with children each
year compared with $700 billion for rich corpora-
tions and their stockholders for now. Put another
way, it would take about 35 years of aid to poor
folk on welfare to match what just this install-
ment of Bush’s bailout of Wall Street will cost
taxpayers.
And when we actually compare what single
mothers who are permitted to stay home with
See Corporate Welfare page 6
loans—ofen home mortgage loans—sold
to government sponsored enterprises, or
agencies, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In other words, they are US mortgages.” Is
it just a coincidence that the current bailout
amount is the
exact amount of
China’s purchase
of mortgage
loans? Answer:
Probably not.
It’s reasonable
to surmise that
the US would
want to cover China’s “purchase gone bad”
in order to continue receiving loans from
them to fund the Iraq war.
US Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
argued for an alternative plan to cope with the
collapse of fnancial institutions. Putting Main
Street before Wall Street, the plan included
imposing a surtax on the wealthiest 400 US fam-
ilies that garnered a $670 billion increase in their
wealth since President Bush has been in ofce.
Sanders and others argued that the middle class,
whose standard of living has declined, should
not be paying for these bailouts. Additionally,
Sanders called for stronger oversight of fnancial
institutions and an end to Bush’s deregulation
policies; a break up of huge businesses, like
Bank of America, that are swallowing up other
large corporations; and an immediate economic
stimulus package which would put people back
to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure
and moving us to energy efciency and sustain-
able energy. But unlike Sanders, most lawmakers
chose to “sell out” Main Street to proft Wall
Street.
I would have added to Sanders plan: No
chance for these criminals to receive “golden
parachutes,” obscene buyouts, or any other bene-
fts. Rather, charge these fnancial terrorists with
crimes—everything from domestic terrorism
against the people to fraud to infuence peddling
Man who requested anonymity protesting the $700 billion-plus bailout on
October 6 at the corner of Fruitridge Rd. and Freeport Blvd.
Photo by Dorothy L. Wake
Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
CAAC Goes
to the Movies
ALMoSt EVEry
MoNth
the Central America
Action Committee
shows interesting
and informative
videos on social
justice, labor
struggles, and so
much more! Call to
see what’s playing
this month…
WE ALSO HAVE A
VIDEO LIBRARY YOU
CAN CHECK OUT.
1640 9th Ave (east
off Land Park Dr)
INFo: 446-3304
Over the past several months, State Senator Sheila
Kuehl has posted a number of essays on her website
regarding current state governmental issues that present
information not usually available in newspapers. What
follows is from the recent Essay #14, Arnold “Sweeney
Todd” Schwarzenegger.
On September 30, the Governor fnished
wielding his veto pen and, in one sweeping move,
eliminated virtually every health reform measure
that would have regulated the health insurance
company monopoly.
Health reform was not alone, bill afer bill that
would have benefted consumers, drivers, people
who breathe, people who drink water, and just
people who rely on their state government to pro-
tect them, had its throat cut. Like the crazed and
vengeful barber in Sweeney Todd, Arnold slashed
away at bills in a frenzy that he said over and over
refected his anger at getting a late budget. Is this
any way to run a state? Te obvious answer is no.
To add insult to injury, his press release—
breathtaking in its hyperbole and misdirec-
tion—was titled (try not to laugh) “Gov.
Schwarzenegger Signs Urgently Needed Legisla-
tion to Protect Consumers from Unfair Health
Care Practices.” Tis title takes even his chutzpah
to a higher level. He protected no one except
the insurance industry. He chose a few bills that
didn’t really bother the industry and pretended
he had protected consumers. Nothing could be
further from the truth.
It’s important to understand that vetoes of
health reform legislation have very serious conse-
quences. Because of these vetoes, there will con-
tinue to be very little regulation of the runaway
health insurance market and no protections for
consumers.
Universal Health Care
Of course, everyone expected Arnold to veto
SB 840, the Universal Health Care Act. His own
plan, which failed to make it through the State
Senate Health Committee, which I chair, would
have provided a major give-away to the health
insurance companies by requiring every Califor-
nian to buy health insurance or face a penalty,
Arnold “Sweeney Todd” Schwarzenegger Slashes Health Reform
Don’t be fooled, this guy is not on your side
By State Senator Sheila Kuehl
He [Gov.
Schwarzenegger]
protected no
one, except
the insurance
industry.
By Charlene Jones
R
ecent events reinforce what many people
feel when paying bills these days, prosper-
ity has escaped most Americans. Increas-
ingly, federal policies strengthen an American
social order dominated by a wealthy aristocracy.
Currently, more than one-fourth of US workers
earn poverty wages. While their productivity
during the past several years grew by 11%, real
wage gains amounted to nothing.
In “Te End of the American Dream, Working
Harder; Falling Further Behind,” a September
www.Truthout.org posting, Lee Sustar summa-
rizes documentation from Te State of Working
America 2008-2009, published by the Economic
Policy Institute, and Te Big Squeeze: Tough
Times for the American Worker by New York
Times reporter Steven Greenhouse to underscore
his conclusion that living standards are declining
at a rapid pace.
For the frst time since the Census Bureau
began tracking such data, the real incomes of
middle-class families are lower at the end of this
business cycle than they were when it started. At
the other end, the richest 1% saw its annual earn-
ings almost double from 1979 to 2006. Te top
0.1% did far better with annual earnings increas-
ing 324%.
For most Californians, state budget policies
and practices have made this actuality no less
painful. In addition to what was slashed before
the state budget could be signed in September,
Schwarzenneger
penned over $500 mil-
lion in line item vetoes
to hobble basic services
and protections that
impact millions. As
Republican legisla-
tors pledged no new
taxes—which in efect
results in costing fami-
lies more, from parking
and garbage collection
to school lunches and
tuition—many, includ-
ing California county
governments, were hit hard again.
According to the California Budget Project,
multiple years of state funding reductions have
undermined critical human services programs.
Infation afects counties in the same way it
afects families, by eroding purchasing power.
Prices counties pay for fuel, utilities, employee
health coverage and other basic operating costs
rise. Nonetheless, the state has not funded coun-
ties for actual operating costs for most human
services programs since 2000-01, requiring
counties to do more with much less.
While the governor sustains this practice for
2008-09, the state’s chronic budget problems
continue to take a toll on human services pro-
grams. His line item cuts will also signifcantly
afect seniors, children
and adults with disabil-
ities, thousands with
mental health needs,
community organiza-
tions, facilities and
workers who provide
supports and services,
according to California
Disability Community
Action Network.
Some examples
include: Home
Delivered Meals,
Congregate Nutri-
tion Program, Senior Community Employment,
Longterm Care Ombudsman and Supportive
Services Program, Multipurpose Senior Services
Programs, Alzheimer’s Resource Centers, Link-
ages, Brown Bag Program, and the Senior Legal
Hotline. Te governor also reduced funding by
more than $11 million for Adult Protective Ser-
vices. Te APS reduction is especially signifcant
because of its impact on people with disabilities,
mental health needs, seniors and their families.
CalWORKS, California’s “welfare to work” pro-
gram that serves thousands of low-income chil-
dren and families, lost an additional $70 million
on top of what the legislature cut in its budget
with no caps on premiums, except for those who
make less than $25,000 a year. He has been con-
sistently hostile to the Medicare-like plan in SB
840 and vetoed it (for the second time), citing a
study that did not even relate to the bill.
Vetoes of Bills His Staf Worked
On With Members
Te Governor stunned most of the reform
advocates by also vetoing bills
his staf had been working on
with authors, and which refected
portions of his own bill. Tere
are several examples. Let me
begin with one of my own bills,
SB 1440. In 2006, I brought a bill
requiring health insurers to spend
at least 85% of their premiums
on care for their enrollees, which
garnered a frestorm of opposi-
tion from the insurance industry, and failed
in the Assembly. Late in 2007, the Governor
included this provision in his own bill, and, when
that failed, his staf and mine worked together on
a stand-alone bill. We took several amendments
at his behest, all favorable to the industry, but he
vetoed it anyway, as a part of his bloodbath of
health reform. Ten he had the audacity to write
a nasty veto message saying the bill was a “one-
sided, piecemeal approach to healthcare reform,”
and adding that his bill would have been a total
solution. Well, it would have been a total disaster,
but he’s still smarting from not getting it.
Veto of Policy Rescission
In another stunning defeat for consumers,
Arnold vetoed an important bill, AB 1945, that
would have banned rescissions by insurance
companies of policies when misrepresentations by
applicants were not intentional and companies had
completed their (very thorough) investigations of
the application. Instead of signing a bill that would
have actually done something, Arnold had the
temerity to tout his administration’s “agreements”
in which companies promised that they wouldn’t
do that any more…but his standards are much
weaker. Insurance companies can continue to
rescind your policies whenever they take a back-
ward look and “discover” a misstatement on your
application. Poof, you never had a policy and must
pay for all services rendered, yourself.
Veto of Balance Billing
He vetoed a bill that would have actually
afected the practice of “balance billing” under
which health care providers now
routinely bill patients when they
do not receive full amounts from
insurance companies with whom
they have not contracted. Te
bill would have required a partial
payment to the provider while
working it out between the doctor
and the insurance company. Te
patient would not have been
billed. As a consequence, balance
billing is allowed to continue.
Other Vetoes
He vetoed another important bill by that would
have improved access to the Major Risk Medi-
cal Insurance Program, the last chance option
for those unable to get insurance because of
serious medical disorders. He vetoed every bill
that would have added mandated coverage in
California policies (which insurance companies
said were Just Too Expensive), maternity services,
mental health services, hearing aids, inborn
errors of metabolism, HPV vaccinations, you
know, the sort of things you assume you might be
covered for.
Few Bills Signed But No Reform
Te Governor did sign a few incremental bills,
ones that would not shake up the industry too
much, and then, ballyhooed them as if he had
signed real health reform legislation. He signed
a bill, which, most amazingly, he claims ends
the practice of “balance billing” under which
healthcare providers, receiving only a pittance
See Schwarzenegger, page 6
See California Budget, page 7
Working Harder, Getting Nowhere
What California’s new budget really means
…line item cuts will…
signifcantly afect seniors,
children and adults with
disabilities, thousands
with mental health needs,
community organizations,
facilities and workers who
provide supports and
services.
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER
By Richard Nadeau
T
he song “Georgia On My Mind” has been
one of my favorites for many years. I have
several versions of the song on CD. But
lately it has been another Georgia on the far east-
ern shores of the Black Sea that I have been wor-
ried about. She does not bring me peace of mind.
Te worry emerged from hearing and reading the
ofcial American media and newspapers go into
one-sided rants about the “unprovoked” Russian
military attack on Georgia last August. Unpro-
voked? It was almost as if we were right back in
the middle of the Cold War again, and our old
nemesis, the growling Russian bear was back, and
the Americans and Georgians were the innocents
strolling in the woods.
Te Bush administration made hilarious hypo-
critical speeches about respecting other states’
territorial integrity in the 21st century. A slew of
hostile and alarmist American rhetoric from both
political parties was followed by the arrival of
American warships carrying aid to Georgia. A US
Navy warship anchored in the southern Georgian
port of Batumi. Later the heavily armed guided-
missile destroyer USS McFaul arrived. Te arrival
of the warships came afer a partial withdrawal
of Russian military forces from Georgia. Tis
afer a Russian military invasion of Georgia—but
only afer Georgia itself had launched a bloody
military incursion into Ossetia last month. Te
Georgian assault caused tens of thousands of
South Ossetians to fee into Russia. Some observ-
ers claim that Russian-US relations are at their
lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
Like every American of my generation, “I
learned to hate the Russians throughout my
whole life,” as Bob Dylan sang it in his song,
“With God on Our Side.” Te evil and godless
“communist” empire was seen as the source of all
evil in the world and conversely America was the
source of all good and light. In the face of such
an evil enemy, every American intervention on
every continent was blessed with the impeccable
label of defense. All North/South conficts were
dressed up as East/West conficts. American
defense spending grew rapidly.
From the end of World War II until the implo-
sion of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US pursued
a policy of “containment,” ofen using the very
existence of the Soviet Union to wage counterin-
surgency wars in the third world against popular
liberation movements. In the process, it turned
Latin America into what author Greg Grandin
called in his book An Empire’s Workshop—a dark
and violent history of the use of imperial power
and the reality of US sponsored coups, support
for Contra terrorists, death squads, and mas-
sacres. A sordid history indeed! Documents now
show that the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which
followed the botched CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs
invasion of Cuba in 1961, nearly caused a nuclear
war. We are lucky to be alive today because the
Soviet Union ultimately backed down from the
military confrontation.
In addition to numerous US foreign inter-
ventions (both covert and overt) and regime
changes, the Cold War containment policy
involved several components directed at the
Soviet Union—surrounding the Soviet Union
with US military bases and American friendly
states or client states, maintaining an ofcial “frst
strike” nuclear policy (and a concomitant “defen-
sive” anti-ballistic missile program known as Star
Georgia On My Mind
Georgia’s integration into NATO is at the heart of the crisis
With US encouragement
and direction, NATO
expanded into the Baltic
Region and the former
Soviet Republics who were
encouraged to join and
become part of the US
military alliance.
Wars), and last but not least, the development
and expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty
Organization) in Europe.
As author Steve Breyman pointed out in
an essay published in Counterpunch (Sep-
tember 22, 2008), the “benefts of NATO
membership include hundreds of thou-
sands of troops, thousands of tanks and
aircraf, hundreds of warships,” and “thou-
sands of American, British, and perhaps
French missiles and bombs” ready for
members collective defense. Breyman gets
to the heart of why Georgia is on my mind
with the following assertion: “Te threat
to use nuclear weapons frst in a confict
is the cornerstone of NATO defense doc-
trine.” Te end of the Cold War did not
bring an end to NATO’S horrid frst use
policy. If Georgia is integrated into NATO,
it automatically becomes part and parcel
of the American “frst strike” strategy.
One would think that NATO would
have been disbanded afer the breakup
of the Soviet Union, as occurred with the
Warsaw Pact. Instead, with US encourage-
ment and direction, NATO expanded
into the Baltic Region and the former
Soviet Republics who were encouraged to
join and become part of the US military
alliance. Te NATO military attack on
the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s
against strong Russian and UN objections
must have stimulated Russian national-
ism among ruling circles. Tey likely
perceived it as an expansion of an aggres-
sive American military power into their
former sphere of infuence. Additionally, it
is not inconsequential that NATO is now
heavily involved in America’s growing
commitment to the intensifying war in
Afghanistan.
Te recent US eforts to place 96 Patriot
Missiles in Poland (now a signed deal),
and attempts to place the accompanying
radar equipment in the Czech Republic,
have increased Russian fears of being surround-
ed and being vulnerable to a “frst strike” nuclear
attack. Both Poland and the Czech Republic are
members of NATO. Georgia’s integration into
NATO is at the heart of the crisis.
It is also important to note that the crisis has
occurred in the wider historical context of an
ofcial US policy of world domination and glob-
al military superiority, unilateralism, a loosely
defned “global war on terror,” and a declared
policy of the right to wage pre-emptive war and
engage in the “frst use” of nuclear weapons any-
where and everywhere.
It is the same historical context in which
See Georgia Crisis, page 6
GEORGI A
Map showing South Ossetia in black circle.
Map: www.nationslonline.org.
A refugee girl from the Georgian region of South Ossetia sits on a bed after
her arrival to Russian territory in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russian North
Ossetia early on August 4, 2008. Refugees have been leaving South Ossetia
for days now, anticipating possible heavy confict.
Photo: KAZBEK BASAYEV/AFP
Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
Some of the
Places You Can
Find BPM
Sacramento Area
Coffee Works
Crest Theater
Dimple Records,
Arden Wy
Flowers Restaurant
Galleria (29th & K)
Grinders
Hart Senior Center
Lido Cafe
Light Rail:
65/Folsom
4th Ave/Freeport
Los Jarritos
Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar
Mercy Hospital, 40th/J
Pancake Circus, 21st/
Broadway
Planned Parenthood:
Franklin Blvd, Watt
Ave., 29th St.
Queen of Tarts
Quick Market
Sacramento Bagel,
47th/H
Sacramento Natural
Foods Coop
Sacramento Public
Library (Main & many
branches)
Starbucks (B'wy & 35th)
The Beat
The Bread Store
Time Tested Books
Tower Theater (inside)
Tupelo (Elvas & 57th)
Underground Books
(35th St. near B'way)
Weatherstone Coffee
Chico Area
Davis
Bogey’s Books
Espresso Cafe Roma
Davis Natural Food Coop
Newsbeat
University Mall
Grass Valley
Briar Patch
Sacred Bee
Greenhaven area
Buckthorn’s Coffee,
7465 Rush River Dr
For a complete list, visit
our web site:
www.bpmnews.org.
Where would you like to
see BPM?
Let Paulette Cuilla know,
916-422-1787.
Bailout from page 3
their kids while receiving assistance do—raise
the next generation of children—to what bank
speculators and fnancial “engineers” do, it should
become clear that our next steps should be to let
market discipline work its will on the banking
industry, force those individuals in companies
looking for a bailout to fnd honest work before
they see a red cent from the public till, and bail-
out sub-prime victims and elderly retirement
investors who trusted Wall Street with their life
savings. While Congress is at it, they should also
get rid of the work requirement in the welfare
reform act. Tere is no bigger job than raising
kids. Child-rearing is the real institution that’s
too big to fail.
Roger White is a criminal justice researcher
with the Service Employees International Union.
He lives in Sacramento.
Corporate Welfare
from page 3
and bribery. One thing I’d gladly help pay for is
their nice long stays in the “big house!”
In the YouTube video, “Fear-mongering
exposed by Mr. Sherman on C-SPAN” (www.
youtube.com/watch?v=HaG9d_zij8), Rep.
Brad Sherman (D-CA) describes the panic tactics
used to scare legislators to pass the bailout bill:
“Te only way they can pass this bill is by creat-
ing and sustaining a panic atmosphere…. Many
of us were told in private conversations that if we
voted against this bill …that the sky would fall,
the market would drop 2-3,000 points the frst
day, another couple thousand the second day, and
a few members were even told that there would
be martial law in America if we vote ‘no.’”
Tere’s information to back up Representative
Sherman’s disclosures. Te Bush administration,
in violation of federal law strengthened in 1878
by the Posse Comitatus Act, is preparing to use
the US military to maintain order within our
borders (www.cnn.com/008/US/10/0/army.
unit/index.html). According to an Army Times
article, the soldiers could be called upon to quell
“civil unrest.”
Howard Zinn—historian, political scientist,
social critic, activist, and playwright—states,
“Tis current fnancial crisis is a major way-sta-
tion on the way to the collapse of the American
empire” (www.truthout.org, 10/02/08). David
Sirota, best-selling author of Te Uprising, wrote,
“We now face market forces uninhabited by
democratic governance…. Tis bailout, marketed
as a speed enhancer, is an aggressive attempt to
discard democracy’s checks and balances….”
(www.alternet.org, 10/04/08). An $11.3 trillion
defcit certainly is one way to erode or eliminate
Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” and more recent
social “safety nets”—Social Security and Medi-
Schwarzenegger from page 4
from an insurance company for services when
they don’t have a contract with such a company,
sends a bill to the patient for the “balance” of the
cost. Although there were several stronger bills,
he signed one that disallows such a practice only
for Healthy Families and Access for Infants and
Mothers programs, both of which are paid by the
state! So YOU can be “balance billed.” He doesn’t
care about that so long as the state can’t be.
www.sen.ca.gov/kuehl
Editors’ Note: Te veto of SB 840 brought to a
close six years of Kuehl’s authorship of the historic
legislation, but not the end of future attempts. SB
840’s passage by the legislature in 2006 marked
the frst time in US history that a single-payer
universal health care plan was brought to a gov-
ernor’s desk. Kuehl credited the bill’s success to its
widespread network of active supporters and the
deterioration of the fragmented health insurance
system. Proponents announced the legislation will
be introduced next year by Assemblymember Mark
Leno, who is expected to be elected to the State
Senate in November.
Georgia Crisis from page 5
care programs, etc.
Will the bailout help the system function more
smoothly? “Probably not,” stated John Pitney,
American politics professor, Claremont McKenna
College (Sacramento Bee, 10/05/08). Confrm-
ing Pitney’s prediction, on October 6, the Dow
dropped nearly 800 more points. Stay tuned.
Te “bully boys” have had a big party to which
we weren’t invited. But we’re being forced to pay
for their party and clean up aferwards. Te men
who have had it their way for way too long have
gone way beyond not being cost-efective. Tese
guys are virtually breaking our backs. Enough!
To track the US national debt and each citizen’s
share of this debt, visit brillig.com/debt_clock/.
Dorothy L. Wake is a Sacramento area writer
and poet, and author of Mother Jones, Revo-
lutionary Leader of Labor and Social Reform
www.xlibris.com or www.amazon.com.
the US has essentially abandoned the Geneva
Protocols, abolished the ABM treaty, tried to
block the establishment of the International
Criminal Court and refused to ratify its statute
afer it failed. Currently, the US is involved in two
bloody protracted and expensive “wars without
exits” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has been
threatening military action against Iran in spite
of Iran’s cooperation in stabilizing Iraq.
Some argue that Russia’s historical ties with S.
Ossetia are a factor. Others, like Michael Klare,
note that the eforts by the Georgian administra-
tion and Western oil companies to route the oil
routes from Azerbaijan and the gas lines from
Turkmenistan (which transits Georgia) through
Turkey instead of hooking them up with Russian
pipelines, played a greater role in generating the
strong Russian response. Competition over NRG
pipelines and delivery systems are a part of the
story.
Finally, the overstretched nature of US military
involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan may have
been a factor in the Russian decision to militarily
intervene in the Georgia/Ossetia crisis. America’s
convulsive domestic economic crisis and fnan-
cial meltdown on the home front, partly caused
by the long expensive wars, is another factor.
Te recent Georgia crisis during the China
Olympics showed just how shallow those old
“hate the Russians” prejudices that Dylan sang
eloquently about have been buried, and how
easily they can bubble to the surface with the
slightest stimulation. It is also relevant that the
crisis occurred in the context of the 2008 US
presidential election and brought many moldy
Cold Warriors to the surface yelping for McCain’s
election bid. Tey were all screaming for blood
and punishment. Te established media provided
the accompanying dramatic music and the dra-
matis personae. Nevertheless, it is important to
look at the historical contextual realities and the
power politics behind the crisis before passing
judgment.
Richard Nadeau has been a peace and envi-
ronmental activist since the 1960s. He lives in
Sacramento and is an editor with Because People
Matter.
Further Reading and References
• "Russia Never Wanted War" by Mikhail
Gorbachev, OP ED, New York Times:
August 18, 2008.
• “Russia and Georgia: All About Oil”
by Michael Klare, Foreign Policy in
Focus: August 13, 2008.
• “South Ossetians fee cellars for safety
in Russia” by Dmitry Solovyov Reuters,
August 11, 2008.
• “Russia Bashing Goes Prime Time:
Reinventing Te Evil Empire,” by Steve
Lendman, COUNTERPUNCH: August
25, 2008.
• “A Question For Candidates: Geor-
gia In Nato?” by Steve Breyman,
COUNTERPUNCH: September 12,
2008.
• “Ossetia-Georgia-Russia-U.S.A.—
Towards a Second Cold War?” by Noam
Chomsky, COUNTERPUNCH: Septem-
ber 12, 2008.
• “Te Georgian Dogs of August—Or
Smucks of Our Time” by Saul Landau,
ZNET: August 28, 2008.
• “How Te US Invited A War in South
Ossetia” by Eric Walberg, COUNTER-
PUNCH: August 12, 2008.
• “Bush’s War in Georgia” by Mike Whit-
ney, Information Clearing House: August
8, 2008, www.informationclearing-
house.info/article078.htm
Michael Klare notes
that the Georgian
administration and
Western oil companies to
route the oil routes from
Azerbaijan and the gas
lines from Turkmenistan
(which transits Georgia)
through Turkey instead of
Russian pipelines, played a
greater role in generating
the strong Russian
response.
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 7
Place an ad for
your business or
nonproft group:
Business card
size ads only $40
(or $30 if run in
multiple issues).
Call 446-2844 for
more info.
bill. Te funding would have gone to counties for
administration costs, employment-related ser-
vices and child care for CalWORKS recipients.
Te governor also made reductions of over $7
million to mental health community-based ser-
vices dealing with managed care and additional
reductions to the California Discount Prescrip-
tion Drug Program and several line item vetoes
to specifc programs overseen by the Department
of Public Health including public and ennviron-
mental health, Childhood Lead Poisoning Pre-
vention and Prostate Cancer Treatment Program.
Year afer year, state policymakers force service
providers to tighten their belts. In the short run,
this helps close chronic budget gaps. However,
there will be long term and more intractable con-
California Budget
from page 7
By Dan Bacher
Camejo, the son of a Venezuelan businessman
and a veteran of the anti-war movement as well
as numerous battles for social justice and human
rights, was one of the best political debaters I’ve
ever seen. Most recently, he became a nationally
known socially responsible investment planner.
He was a vociferous opponent of the Patriot
Act and other attacks on our civil liberties and
rights since Camejo was a leader in the Free
Speech Movement in the 1960s at UC Berkeley.
“I really think the Patriot Act violates our
Constitution,” said Camejo. “It was, it is, an illegal
act. Te Congress, the Senate and the president
cannot change the Constitution.”
He was also a great advocate of the need for
third-parties in a country dominated by a two-
party system that’s controlled by the rich corpo-
rate elite. Camejo was also a ferce fghter for fair
Peter Camejo speaking in Sacramento in 2003.
Photo: Jim Prigof
Peter Camejo, Green Party
gubernatorial and vice-
presidential candidate
and longtime progressive
political activist, passed
away in Folsom on Sep-
tember 13 at the age of
68 after a long battle with
lymphoma.
Peter Camejo Passes Away
Honoring a progressive political activist and leader
“Everyone who met Peter, talked with Peter, worked with Peter, or argued with Peter,
will miss the passing of a great American.” –Ralph Nader
election laws and practices in the US.
Afer Camejo ran as the Socialist Work-
ers Party’s (SWP) presidential candidate
in 1976, he continued to advocate for
third party participation by helping found
the Green Party. He was the Green Party
candidate for California Governor three
times, in 2002, 2003 and 2006. And in
2004, he ran for Vice President as Ralph
Nader’s running mate.
“Peter Camejo was a man of great pas-
sion and boundless compassion for the
poor, uninsured workers and for immi-
grant workers in their struggle for justice
and legalization,” said Mike Wyman,
2006 Green Party candidate for Attorney
General. “He became a leader in the envi-
ronmental justice movement and helped
organize communities of color around
environmental issues that afected them
directly.”
“Peter was a friend, colleague and
politically courageous champion of the
downtrodden and mistreated of the entire
Western Hemisphere,” said Ralph Nader.
“Everyone who met Peter, talked with Peter,
worked with Peter, or argued with Peter, will
miss the passing of a great American.”
Camejo was born in the US and grew up in
Venezuela. A man of many interests, he was also
on the 1960 Venezuelan Olympic team.
He was an author of books on investment and
history including Racism, Revolution, Reaction,
1861-1877, Te Rise and Fall of Radical Recon-
struction, California Under Corporate Rule, and
Te SRI Advantage: Why Socially Responsible
Investing Has Outperformed Financially.
Peter is survived by his wife Morella, his
daughter Alexandra, his son Victor, three broth-
ers Antonio, Daniel, and Danny, and three grand-
children Andrew, Daniel and Oliver.
sequences, both fscal and human. Failing to pro-
vide counties with funding, and continuing to cut
human services programs will likely contribute to
increased poverty and an escalated slide in stan-
dard of living. Te rising cost of food and fuel, the
disappearance of afordable health care and loss of
homeowners’ wealth in the mortgage crisis along
with a woefully under-funded safety net means
class inequality in California and across the US
will become even greater. California’s budget
action does little more than belie the American
myth of upward mobility—if only one works hard
enough. See www.cdcan.us and www.cbp.org.
Charlene Jones is a consultant who writes for
BPM.
Best  Burger
the burgers and fries are  described  as  legendary
Biting into this feast, the
frst thing you notice is that
you can taste the beef. Te
French Ground Steak Burger
w/cheese is the thing to order.
Tat is a mouthful to say,
and it’s defnitely more than
a mouthful to eat. Featuring
Harris Ranch Steak freshly
ground and formed into a
1/3 lb. patty. Stop by soon.
Nationwide Freezer Meats
1930 H Street, Sacramento
(H and 20th Streets) 444-3286.
Just remember H
2
0 stands for
H and 20th Street
««««
8 Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
By Hillary Hodge
Te National Organization for Women (NOW) is
known for its politics. Te president of the organization
at the national level, Kim Gandy, was recently a guest
on the Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report discussing
their endorsement of Barack Obama for president.
NOW’s signs can be seen in history books at rallies
for the passage and ratifcation of
the Equal Rights Amendment, as
well as for the legalization of abor-
tion, for pay equity, and for peace.
NOW has an infamous reputation
for being a group of loud and wild
women. Tat’s why the Sacramento
chapter might surprise you.
Sacramento NOW, currently
headed by myself and Heather
Minton, has its roots in com-
munity service in the River City.
For years, members of this political organization have
committed their time to projects at the local women’s
homeless shelter and to ending domestic violence. Te
chapter has done clothing drives to collect interview
suits for women entering the workforce. It has donated
time and money to Women Take Back the Night, an
annual demonstration and education project to raise
awareness about how violence permeates the lives of
women worldwide.
Recently, the television news media highlighted
Sacramento NOW’s response to a series of sexual
assaults that took place in downtown Sacramento. Te
women of the chapter organized and paid for a public
self-defense class in order to help women feel safe and
empowered in their community. NOW hosted world-
famous self-defense instructor, Midge Marino, and shut
down the street to symbolically and literally reclaim the
streets as safe. Te event was attended by a number of
women from many diferent backgrounds.
Sacramento NOW is involved
in a number of fundraising proj-
ects for a number of causes. Te
chapter recently participated in
the Sacramento AIDS walk. “I love
when my friends, family, com-
munity and beliefs come together,”
said Jennie Reiken the organizing
volunteer for NOW’s participa-
tion. “Te AIDS walk was another
heart warming event that we were
privileged to be a part of. It was
wonderful to gather, laughing together and walking for
a good cause.” Sacramento NOW also had members
walking to raise money in the American Cancer Soci-
ety’s Breast Cancer Walk as well as Sacramento’s walk
for mental health.
All of Sacramento NOW’s endeavors are organized
and participated in by volunteers and the chapter is
always looking for fresh faces and new ideas. Each one
of NOW’s front women has a day job and the women of
NOW have made their activism their paid work as well.
Te employment roles for the leadership vary as much
as much as the women in them but outline the progres-
sive and caring politics at the heart of the chapter.
By Virginia Wenslaf
W
hen JoAnn Fuller told a friend and me that
one of the focuses for the next issue of BPM
was going to be good news projects, we both
immediately agreed “you should include El Porvenir!”
Many BPM readers are already familiar with EP
because its “Founding Mother,” Carole Harper, is a
long-time Sacramento resident when she’s not living in
Nicaragua. But below is a brief summary for those not
familiar with this terrifc organization.
El Porvenir is a non-
proft organization whose
mission is to improve
the standard of living of
poor people in Nicaragua
through sustainable self-
help water, sanitation,
and reforestation projects.
In 1990, it was incorpo-
rated in California as a
nonproft organization eligible for IRS tax-deductible
contributions. Over the past 18 years, EP has grown
from an efort to provide clean water for one Habitat for
Humanity project village to an organization that sup-
ports self-help projects in many villages. Tese projects
utilize simple technology and locally available materials
and can be repaired and maintained by the community.
Now, EP has 13 staf in the feld, and carries out 70 or
more projects each year in 6 diferent regions. Teir
reforestation program has provided for the planting
of over 300,000 trees, and EP has served over 75,000
people in more than 380 villages!
As an example of the need for EP assistance, only one
of every eight families has potable drinking water in
Wiwili, Nicaragua, in the northern part, bordering on
Honduras where EP opened a new region in January
2008. It’s difcult to reach, and in an extremely poor
region, but that’s why it was chosen.
El Porvenir’s goals are to improve the health of poor
people, especially the children, and to reduce infant
mortality; to lessen the physical burden on women and
children of carrying water; to support self-help, com-
munity-initiated eforts in rural villages; to transfer to
the villagers skills which
they can use to improve
their lives; and to pre-
serve the watersheds on
which the water projects
depend.
How does EP work?
EP does not initiate
projects; they respond
to requests for assistance
from rural villages. Vil-
lage residents elect their
own water committee,
provide all labor on a
volunteer basis, and
take responsibility for
the long-term mainte-
nance of all projects. EP
encourages the commit-
tee to include women
among their members,
provides technical exper-
tise and education, and
funds the primary mate-
rials needed to complete
the projects. Staf visits the projects periodically afer
their completion, to verify that they are still in good
working order, are being maintained by the community,
and continue to provide for the community’s water and
sanitation needs.
Te Nicaraguan Director of Operations receives
project proposals and approves them. Te Board of
Directors, all of whom have either lived in Nicaragua
or traveled there to visit EP projects and staf, approves
funding, determines policy and budget for the orga-
nization, and provides administrative and fundraising
services on a volunteer basis. Carole Harper recently
retired from her long-time role as president for a very
well-deserved rest afer her years of dedication to EP. EP
recently moved its headquarters to an ofce in Denver
and also has an ofce in Managua.
How can you get involved or contribute to this great
organization? Donate money online at the website or
to the address below. Volunteer. Or travel with an EP
work tour—groups of 10-15 people who share life in a
Nicaraguan village and work with villagers on a water,
sanitation or reforestation project. Or join an educa-
tional tour of the projects. Or a special birding tour
to see Nicaragua’s splendid birds. If you’re 55 or older,
you can sign up for an Elderhostel Service Project trip
(www.elderhostel.org for costs and details).
One great suggestion: If you drink bottled water, fn-
ish of your last bottle. Ten keep reflling it with tap
water, and each time you refll it, donate the amount
you would have spent on bottled water to EP. You’ll help
both EP and the environment at the same time!
You can contact El Porvenir at info@elporvenir,org;
phone 303-861-1499; address 1420 Ogden St., #204,
Denver CO 80218. At the website www.elporvenir.org
you can donate directly or fnd out about upcoming
tours.
Virginia Wenslaf is a long-time activist and member
of the Central America Action Committee.
El Porvenir has
served over
75,000 people in
more than 380
villages!
…Sacramento
NOW’s endeavors
are organized by
volunteers and the
chapter is always
looking for fresh faces
and new ideas.
Between the work and volunteerism, one would think
that Sacramento NOW would have no time to party. On
the contrary, the chapter is very excited to be hosting an
Election Results Roll-in Party the night of November
4th at the Badlands night club. Te price of admission
is $25 per individual ticket and the party is open to the
public. Te proceeds from the event will go to facilitate
NOW’s dedicated and continuing community service.
Or join us for monthly meetings on 3rd Tursdays, 7
pm, at the Hart Senior Center at 915 27th Street (27th &
J Street). We discuss feminist news, actions, and oppor-
tunities. Te SacNOW board meets weekly on Tuesdays
at 6:00 pm. www.sacnow.org.
Hillary Hodge is a member of Sacramento NOW.
Sacramento NoW members in front
of the AIDS Quilt.
Photo courtesy Sacramento NOW.
A fnished well in Las Lajas, Nicaragua.
Photo courtesy El Porvenir.
El Porvenir
Providing clean water and better lives for rural Nicaraguans
Sacramento NOW
Bringing positive change to local women
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 9
By Rachel Iskow
B
eing homeless should not be a crime.
Having shelter should not be out of
reach for those who have few fnancial
resources. Parents should not have to stand by
as their children develop diseases due to the
unsafe homes in which they live. Racist neigh-
bors should not have the power to stop the con-
struction of developments which will provide
housing for low-wage workers. Housing has
long been a market commodity in this country,
with proft as the driving
force. As long as the price
of having a roof over one’s
head outstrips the ability
of households to pay for
it, housing will continue
to be an economic and
social justice issue.
What is our job as
progressives when it
comes to housing?
First, advocate for safe,
afordable housing in
our communities. Tere
is an insufcient supply
of housing afordable
to people of diferent
income levels. Communi-
ties need a larger supply
of multifamily housing
built for households of all sizes and types.
Show up at public hearings where approvals for
multifamily housing developments are being
considered. Write letters to the editor on the
need for housing that low-wage workers, low-
income seniors, and disabled people can aford.
In November 2006, California voters approved
Proposition 1C, which made available funding
for housing afordable
to low- and very-low-
income residents of
the state. In Novem-
ber 2004, voters
approved Proposi-
tion 63, the Mental
Health Services Act,
which made available
funds for services and
housing for mentally
disabled homeless
individuals. Te hous-
ing and homelessness
crisis had become real
for Californians, and
we all wanted to be
part of the solution.
Fast forward to today.
Financial subsidies
are available, advo-
cates and nonproft
developers are putting
housing deals togeth-
er, but the process
has slowed down and
many times stalls to a
halt because of racism
and fear. It is frequent
in our own region
that neighborhood
opponents of spe-
cifc housing develop-
ments show up at public hearings and sway the
vote of elected ofcials. It is critical that progres-
sives show up at these same hearings, focus on
the need for housing for low-wage workers, the
disabled and elderly. It is critical that we dispel
myths about who lives in afordable housing.
If there is a proposal to locate housing for the
poor in your neighborhood, get involved, turn
out to meetings, and then welcome your new
neighbors once the development is constructed.
Second, demand that owners of rental housing
be held account-
able for the physical
condition of their
properties. Owning
and renting hous-
ing is a business. It
should be regulated
as such. Restaurants,
barber shops and
nail salons are all
inspected regularly
for health and safety
violations. Tere is
no such proactive
inspection require-
ment for rental
housing in most
jurisdictions in this
country, in spite of
the fact that dete-
riorating housing conditions, such as mold and
water intrusion, is well documented to lead to
childhood illness such as asthma. Low-income
people in fear of eviction, especially non-Eng-
lish speaking immigrants who don’t know their
rights as renters, are forced to pay rent to live
in deplorable conditions. In Sacramento you
can fnd neighborhoods
with blocks and blocks of
homes in unsafe condi-
tions. Property owners
should not have the right
to be in business if they
don’t meet basic hous-
ing and safety codes.
No home or apartment
complex should get so
deteriorated that it has
to be demolished.
In the City of Sacra-
mento, housing activ-
ists, advocates for the
poor and neighborhood
associations lobbied for
a proactive rental hous-
ing inspection ordinance
for almost two years.
Earlier this year, afer
being stalled by elected
ofcials, the City Council
fnally voted to approve
a rental housing inspec-
tion program. All rental
housing will be inspected
once every fve years,
and if any part is found
unsafe, the owner will
have a limited amount
of time to fx the prob-
lem. If not, the owner
will no longer have the right to be a landlord.
All owners of rental housing will be required
to register a local contact with the city and the
renters. Tis helps put a stop to the common
problem faced by renters of properties owned
by out-of-area or out-of-state owners. Tere is
no such inspection program in most jurisdic-
tions in the region. Progressives are needed
to advocate for ordinances in Sacramento
County and elsewhere. See below on how to get
involved. Ordinances like these make a huge
impact on the quality of life for families without
resources and without other housing options.
Want to get involved locally? Tere are ample
opportunities. Email smha@mutualhousing.
com and the staf of the Sacramento Mutual
Housing Association will plug you in. We’ll
make you aware of public hearing dates, pro-
vide facts for letters to the editor, or help you
get involved in the struggle for rental hous-
ing inspection ordinances and policies that
support the homeless. Do you like to work
directly with people? We can hook you up
with volunteer opportunities in our housing
communities. We seek volunteers who under-
stand technology and can teach computer
use to low-income youth and adults, who can
staf homework clubs in our mutual hous-
ing community rooms; and who want to help
us get fresh, afordable produce to families.
With your help, we can put safe and afordable
housing and communities at the top of the local
agenda!
Rachel Iskow is the Executive Director of Sac-
ramento Mutual Housing Association (SMHA).
Te mission of SMHA is to develop housing that is
afordable to a diversity of households. Our hous-
ing builds strong and stable communities through
resident participation and leadership develop-
ment. SMHA is currently housing over 2,600 low-
income people in Sacramento and Yuba counties.
Find out more at www.mutualhousing.com.
Gimme Shelter
You can make a diference in our local community!
It is critical that we dispel
myths about who lives in
afordable housing.
Mutual Housing at Lemon Hill in South Sacramento, near
Highway 99 and Stockton Boulevard. Lemon Hill has
74 units made up of one, two, three and four bedroom
apartments and townhomes, serving families below
50% and 60% of area median income.
Photo: www.mutualhousing.com
Interior of a unit at Los Robles in South Sacramento, near
Highway 99 and Florin Mall. Los Robles has one, two
three and four bedroom apartments and townhomes
serving families below 50% and 60% of area median
income.
Photo: www.mutualhousing.com
Victory Townhomes, opened in 2003, is a community
of 21 three and four bedroom townhomes. It boasts a
computer lab, community room, beautiful grounds with
play equipment, and is the frst multi-family afordable
housing complex in Sacramento to use solar energy.
Photo: www.mutualhousing.com
Norwood Estates (opened in 1993) and Annex (opened in
2001) is located in Del Paso, near Highway 80 and Silver
Eagle Road, with 59 units made up of one, two and three
bedroom apartments. This propery serves families below
50% and 60% of area median income.
Photo: www.mutualhousing.com.
10 Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
Sacramento
Soapbox
Progressive Talk Show
Access Sacramento,
Channel 17 with
Jeanie Keltner.
Monday, 8pm, Tuesday
noon, Wednesday, 4am.
Now in Davis, Channel
15, Tuesday, 7pm.
Peace Action
on the Web
Keep up to date
on peace activism
in Sacramento.
Check out
www.sacpeace.org.
Noon Hour
Witness Against the
Death Penalty.
Tird Mondays
12noon to 1pm.
11th and L Streets
State Capitol
INFO: 455-1796
By Ron Cooper
Newspaper subscribers, TV viewers, and radio
listeners are struggling to understand many
trends in the media marketplace. Major news-
papers are teetering on bankruptcy. Corporate
consolidation impacts local stations. Questions
about digital television may cause millions of sets
to go dark by February.
Here are four major media related issues to
watch. All are in transition–stay tuned.
Additional Digital Television Chan-
nels: How will they be used? Te focus has
been on how consumers can receive local digital
channel broadcast signals afer February. But
the stations are quiet regarding their plans for
the new digital spectrum they were given by the
FCC. Tese new digital channels could be the
source of new local programming and other cre-
ative uses. Or the stations could fnd other, more
proftable uses of the spectrum granted to each
of them. Tese channels are the public airwaves
and would ofer communities the equivalent of
four to six additional digital TV channels for
every current analog channel assigned. Shouldn’t
the public know and be able to weigh in on what
their plans are?
AT&T U-Verse discriminates against
hearing and visually impaired! In 2006,
AT&T paid millions of dollars to lobby for leg-
islation promoting “U-Verse” as a competitor to
the cable industry. As the new digital technology
is made available in Sacramento and other cit-
ies, the U-Verse system discriminates against
the Public, Education, and Government Access
channels (PEG) they were mandated by law to
serve. Te PEG channels are delivered by AT&T
in such an inferior way that the CA Utility
Ratepayer Advocates produced a video warning
consumers to beware of the U-Verse product.
Because the screen size is reduced by two-thirds,
captioned programs are hard to see. To view the
PEG channels via U-Verse is a complicated pro-
cess taking more than 60 seconds. Te intent of
the AT&T discrimination against PEG channels
is to discourage their use and deprive thousands
of communities from using these local media
outlets. Expect cities throughout California to
fght back in the coming year.
Media Ownership Consolidation chal-
lenges Speaking Truth to Power! Now
that six corporations control more than 70% of
all primetime TV and radio content, concerns
about press censorship are rapidly becoming
moot. Tese major corporations are deciding
what news is ft to air and what isn’t–what news
serves their corporate interests and what does
not. “Censorship by omission,” is how Bill Moy-
ers (PBS) describes the many conficts of interest
he has observed. Embedded journalists tell the
point of view of the military but not of the many
victims of war. News department budgets are cut;
seasoned journalists are fred and complicated
stories of corruption and intrigue are lef untold.
Large metro newspapers are pushed into bank-
ruptcy by expected proft margins of 20-25%,
leaving journalism to inexperienced and unfund-
ed Internet “bloggers.” Ignored by the press
means government corruption, incompetence,
and propaganda go unchallenged. Candidates for
election cater to their media partners, each need-
ing the other and hiding the truth to the detri-
ment of an informed citizenry. Te journalists of
the past would be appalled by these trends. Who
will do the investigative digging in the future?
Can new technology and the Internet
insure fairness and fll the media void?
Newspapers going out of business? Don’t worry,
bloggers will pick-up the slack. PEG channels
going dark due to lack of funding by local gov-
ernment and the cable industry? Don’t worry,
YouTube to the rescue. Literacy rates falling and
the publishing industry on the wane? Never fear,
text and instant messaging is all the reading we
really require. Complex challenges reduced to
simplest power point terms? Not a problem, see
the world in “black and white” and simple solu-
tions are all that is required. Te complexity of
the human condition told in fve minute Internet
stories? Still too long; shorten it to 30 seconds.
Tese issues concern all advocates of true
democracy. We don’t lack information. We lack
understanding and analysis. If you’d like to be
kept up to date on these and other media issues,
contact the Sacramento Media Group at smg@
commoncause.org
Ron Cooper is the Executive Director of Access
Sacramento and a member of the Sacramento
Media Group. He can be reached at (916) 456-
8600 extension 112.
Trends in the Media Marketplace:
Is more becoming less?
Te Audacity to Help: the Gaza Boats
The Free Gaza Movement gets to Gaza
By Brigitte Jaensch
O
n shore, the cheering and banner-wav-
ing crowd welcomed the SS Free Gaza
and the SS Liberty. Why the heroes’ wel-
come? By coming to Gaza, the boats and their 46
passengers (private citizens from 14 countries) on
Saturday, August 23, 2008, broke through Israel’s
siege on Gaza.
Last December, we invited Paul Larudee and
Darlene Wallach to Sacramento to tell us about
the Free Gaza Movement’s project. Tey said they
would buy or lease a boat, then sail from Cyprus
to Gaza, defy the Israeli blockade and bring
supplies and hope to the people of Gaza. As we
listened, we were both intrigued and incredulous,
but we came to realize these folks knew what they
were talking about. Tey’d been to the occupied
Palestinian territories and were familiar with
Israeli intimidation. Tey’d been confronted by
those fanatical settlers and trigger-happy soldiers.
Larudee had been jailed. Yes, they were well
aware of the potential risks. And yes, they still
wanted to try to sail to Gaza to break the siege.
Afer months devoted to fund-raising, getting
the boats ready, working with Cyprus’s ofcial-
dom, protecting the boats from sabotage, the Free
Gaza boats lef Larnaca. Te Mediterranean was
stormy. An “unknown” entity “jammed” their
communications systems. But they did it. Te SS
Free Gaza and the SS Liberty broke the siege of
Gaza.
Te next week, they lef. Some passengers
stayed on, and seven Gaza residents lef on the
boats. Ten-year-old Saad was leaving to be ftted
with a prosthesis. One of his legs had been blown
of by an Israeli bomb. Leaving broke the siege as
much as arriving did.
Since 1993, when Israel built a prison-like wall
around Gaza, it’s been called “the world’s largest
open-air prison.” Inside are 1.5 million innocent
Palestinian children, women, and men. At Erez,
Karni and Rafah checkpoints, Israeli soldiers
decide if persons or items will be permitted to
come in or go out. Mostly the soldiers nix every-
thing and everyone. Inside Gaza, Israeli bombs
have done Hurricane Katrina-like damage—to
people like Saad, and to their homes and belong-
ings; to power plants, water treatment plants,
sewage treatment plants, and schools. Israeli
tanks and bulldozers plow through felds and
destroy crops. Soldiers nix materials so Gaza can’t
repair the power plant. Tere are electricity out-
ages. Suddenly power goes out at the hospital in
the middle of an operation. In homes and stores,
refrigerators stop and food spoils. Soldiers nix
medicine, food, and gas. Mothers don’t eat to save
the food for their children. People run cars on
cooking oil. Others resort to donkey carts. Te
United Nations calls the Israeli siege a “humani-
tarian crisis.” Paul Larudee and Darlene Wallach,
those who went to Gaza in August and those who
will make future journeys know when people
make cruelty; it’s up to other people to reject that
cruelty.
Tere will be more trips to Gaza. Larudee,
Wallach and the others with Free Gaza are rais-
ing funds, getting the word out, trying to lease
a more suitable boat—some entity seems to be
“jamming” their efort. And they’re providing
mail service for the people of Gaza! Tey have
the audacity to help. We cannot let the people of
Gaza be forgotten. We all need the audacity to
help.
Please go to www.freegaza.org to make a
donation and to see videos, photos, and articles.
Brigitte Jaensch is a Sacramento-based human
rights advocate.
The SS Free Gaza arriving, with the Gaza skyline shown behind it. Many small welcoming boats came
to greet the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty.
Photo: Free Gaza Movement
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 11
Peace Arts Xchange
Working for peace, one month at a time
By Cara Bautista
T
his year and the next have opportuni-
ties for nuclear disarmament the likes
of which we haven’t seen in decades.
With the 2008 elections behind us, and a new
administration scheduled to reevaluate nuclear
weapons policy in 2009, growing support for a
global efort to eliminate nuclear weapons, and
a Congress that has cut funding for new nuclear
weapons, we have a window of opportunity to
change US nuclear weapons policy.
Troughout its tenure, the Bush administra-
tion has reiterated a nuclear posture that neither
addresses our modern security needs nor is in
line with international non-proliferation senti-
ment. Te administration has proposed, time and
again, plans for a refurbished nuclear stockpile
and infrastructure that would support the most
ofensive US nuclear posture in the last 60 years
and encourage development of nuclear weapons
by other nations. Such plans would remove
nuclear war from the realm of the unthinkable,
and place it into the real world of tactical war
planning. Te last eight years have distorted the
world’s dialogue on nuclear weapons. Instead of
talking about when and how to make reductions,
we have been fghting back a new build-up.
Now is the time to call for US leadership
toward a nuclear weapons free world.
To do this, we are building on several oppor-
tunities. In January of 2007, four unlikely fgures
took up the cause of nuclear
abolition: former Senator Sam
Nunn, Clinton’s Secretary of
Defense William Perry, Reagan’s
Secretary of State George P.
Shultz, and last but not least,
Nixon’s right hand, former Sec-
retary of State Henry Kissinger.
Tese men authored an opinion
editorial that appeared in the
Wall Street Journal outlining steps the US must
take to lead the world towards total disarmament.
In their words, this would be “a bold initiative
consistent with America’s moral heritage,” that
“could have a profoundly positive impact on the
security of future generations.” Tese surprising
allies, with their weighty credentials, gave new
legitimacy to the cause of nuclear abolition in a
way that few could.
Te usefulness of the US nuclear arsenal is
increasingly in question. Nuclear weapons can
wipe out millions of people, millions of families,
in the blink of an eye. Fear of the terrible power
of nuclear weapons has defned US foreign policy
for too long, from the Cold War, to the war in
Iraq, and the threat of war with Iran. Enemies of
the past, such as the USSR, either no longer exist
or don’t pose an imminent threat. Furthermore,
our main security concerns don’t come from
nations with clear borders. Oversized and aging
nuclear weapons stockpiles are a liability to US
security, contributing to threats of accidental
launches, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear
weapons falling into the hands of terrorists.
We can turn the end of the Bush administra-
tion into a defeat of the Bush nuclear doctrine
and a referendum on the future of the US nuclear
arsenal. Will the next president’s nuclear weapons
policy defer to Bush’s reckless vision, embrac-
ing a new generation of nuclear weapons and
the doctrine of preemptive attack? Or, will the
next president reject the mistakes of the past
and advance a new agenda for a world without
nuclear weapons?
For the frst time in history, both presidential
candidates in the 2008 elections endorsed the
vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. Both
McCain and Obama sup-
port reductions to our
nuclear weapons arsenal.
Both supported a global
treaty to ban the produc-
tion of fssile material for
weapons. Tese areas of
agreement mean that there
will be a signifcant oppor-
tunity to restore American
leadership towards a nuclear weapons free world
in the next administration.
To truly make the world safer from the nuclear
threat, the next president and Congress will need
to quickly take concrete steps to back up this
vision:
• As the cornerstone Strategic Arms Reduction
Treaty (START) between Russia and the US
expires next year, work with Russia to ensure
verifable reductions in both nuclear arsenals.
• Take nuclear weapons off of hair trigger
alert.
• Secure loose nuclear material and weapons
throughout the world.
• End nuclear weapons testing by ratifying the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
US security interests lie in promoting global
stability and cooperation, something that can’t
be done with nuclear weapons. Te US does
not need nuclear weapons. In fact, America and
the whole world will be safer as we take steps to
achieve a nuclear-weapons -free world.
Peace Action West advocates for a foreign poli-
cy that embodies the best values of the American
people. As a membership organization with close
to 50,000 supporters, we foster broad-based civic
activism to create a strong voice for peaceful
and pragmatic solutions to global problems. Our
activities serve as a bridge between the public and
the ofcials who make decisions that afect the
lives of millions of people.
Cara Bautista is the Deputy Political Director,
Peace Action West
Contact Peace Action West:
www.PeaceActionWest.org
510-849-2272
New President, New Nuclear Weapons Policy?
Te door opens to a nuclear weapons free world
We can turn the
end of the Bush
administration
into a defeat of
the Bush nuclear
doctrine.
Cofee from
Nicaragua
Support Sacramento’s
sister city, San Juan
de Oriente, Nicaragua,
by purchasing organic
whole-bean coffee
grown in the rich
volcanic soil on the
island of Omotepe,
Nicaragua.
Thanks to the efforts of
the Bainbridge-Omotepe
Sister Island Association
in Washington, we are
able to bring you this
wonderful medium roast
coffee.
Your purchase helps the
farmers on the island
and helps support
Sacramento’s long
relationship with San
Juan de Oriente.
All profts go directly
back to the Nicaraguan
communities.
$9.00 a pound.
Available in Sacramento
at: The Book Collector,
1008 24th St.
The Agni II, capable of delivering nuclear
warheads, on display in New Delhi, India.
Photo Raveendran/AFP
818/111.tt88
t01t 0 8t. #t00
H|1tewä 8zcrzmcäte
bdreI2Ier@proteCtedInVe8tor8.Com
WWW.bobdreI2Ier.Com
Bob DreI2Ier
Ch3It8I8O Fln3nCl3l
CCn8Ult3nt
AUthCI Cf
T6ÐOIФ YOuI MOÐ6y CaIO6Ð
avallaLlC ln LOOk dCµalLmCnL
â||¶ä reär |ärcrtmcätr
w|t| reär rz|äcr
Kt)lt|trtl Ktãrtttã|t|lrt wl|l |rt|tt|tl |ãrtt|trt t| !mtrltt, Mtm|tr 1!¡K, ¡|||. |ãrtt|mtã|
!lrlttrr Ktãrtttã|t|lrt t| |lrt| !||lrmt|lrt |lãtãtltl 1t|wtrt, |||. |lrt| !||lrmt|lrt lt tã lãltãtãltã|
Kt)lt|trtl |ãrtt|mtã| !lrlttr rt)lt|trtl wl|l |lt ¡ttärl|ltt tãl |ttltã)t |tmmlttltã (ttt |llt
¡¡ê!·¡¡¡¡I). |lrt| !||lrmt|lrt lt ãt| t tä|tllltrr tr t||lllt|t t| |rt|tt|tl |ãrtt|trt t| !mtrltt.
|NV|8¡|N0
800|â||Y·00N80|008
Registered Representative for securities and
Investment Advisory Representative, Protected
Investors of America.
If you are a tenant and
you are worried that your
landlord has allowed the rental prop-
erty to go into foreclosure, see this
site for information that might help
you!
www.tenantsforeclosure.blogspot.
com/
Alison Brennan is a long-ago tenant
activist. She lives in Sacramento.
Peace Arts Xchange Presents
2009 Children's Peace Calendar
You can pick up your 2009 calendars
In Davis: Nestware at 204 G Street
Avid Reader at 617 Second Street
In Sacramento: Avid Reader at1600 Broadway
Sacramento Area Peace Action offce at 909 12th Street, #118
They make great holiday gifts.
Suggested donation: $12 each.
For more information on the calendars,
contact Janice Nakashima at (916) 393-7690
2009 is the ffh year the Peace
Arts Xchange (PAX) Calen-
dar Group has created a wall
calendar. For the third year, the
illustrations come from school chil-
dren, drawing and painting their
visions of peace.
In 2005, a SMAC ArtScapes grant
gave the project enough funds to
meet its costs, but it failed to gain
approval as a sanctioned Sacramen-
to Unifed School District activity.
With a quick glance at the PAX
website, the group was deemed “too
political!” Since then, sympathetic
teachers and parents have provided
the resources and support to enable
the children to make the art.
Selecting the work to be pub-
lished from the numerous submis-
sions has been the hardest part
of the project. Plans for the next
calendar are still incubating. It’s
an all-volunteer efort. If you’d like
to contribute to it, please contact
PAX@peacearts.net.
If you’d like to buy the 2009 cal-
endar, and have a daily reminder
to work for peace at home and in
the world, they are available at Te
Avid Reader, in both Sacramento
and Davis, Nestware in Davis, and
Sacramento Area Peace Action.
1 Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
Sacramento Area Peace Action (SacPeace)
916-448-7157 • sacpeace@dcn.org • www.sacpeace.org
Latin America: Unity on the Rise
By Gloria La Riva
Afer more than 60 years of US domination
post-World War II, with military coups, dictator-
ships and misery for hundreds of millions of
people in Latin America, the deepening resis-
tance to this domination has led to hope for real
change. A series of elections in the frst decade of
the 21st century has ushered in lefist and pro-
socialist governments throughout the continent.
It is a refection of the masses in motion, who are
demanding radical economic and social changes
in their homelands.
A turning point was Hugo Chávez’s election
in 1998 and the Venezuelan people’s adoption
of a new constitution in 1999, with its
guarantees of employment, housing, education,
social equality, and state control over Venezuela’s
vast oil resources. With oil resources no longer
siphoned into Wall Street cofers but instead used
for internal development, the Venezuelan people
are enjoying major improvements in housing,
jobs, universal education and healthcare.
To be expected, the “Bolivarian Revolution”
has incurred the wrath of the US government,
which has been intent on destroying Venezuela’s
progress. Te US engineered a coup in April
2002, and in December 2002, a sabotage of the
oil industry that crippled the country. Tere have
been several documented assassination attempts
on Chávez and the opposition is receiving mil-
lions of dollars in National Endowment for
Democracy (NED) funding.
Although the Venezuelan people proved their
power by returning Chávez to the presidency
afer the coup, and are the driving force of their
revolution, Venezuela could not have survived
Washington’s ofensive without the assistance of
Cuba.
Cuba’s and Venezuela’s alliance was formalized
in July 2004, by a groundbreaking pact called
the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or
ALBA, as it is known by its Spanish acronym.
Signed in Havana by Fidel Castro and Hugo
Chávez, the agreement is the antidote to the so-
called Free Trade Agreement of the Americans. It
provides for Cuba and Venezuela to marshal their
human and material resources for the beneft of
both peoples and also all of Latin America.
Tere are now 14,000 Cuban medical person-
nel in Venezuela, who provide free healthcare to
millions. Illiteracy was eliminated in a two-year
massive literacy campaign directed by Cuban
teachers.
Cuba and Venezuela formed Operation
Miracle, with the aim of curing six million blind
or severely-impaired people throughout Latin
America and the Caribbean. Te afected indi-
viduals are fown into Cuba where their vision is
restored by surgery and other treatment. Afer
several days, they return home, with their vision
intact. Already almost one million poor people
have been treated.
Is it any wonder that the people of Latin Amer-
ica and the Caribbean feel such solidarity with
Cuba and Venezuela? Bolivia, under Evo Morales’
presidency, and Nicaragua, under Daniel Ortega’s
presidency, have now formally joined ALBA. It
is safe to say that Morales’ and Ortega’s elections,
as well as that of Tabare Vásquez in Uruguay,
Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Fernando Lugo in
Paraguay, were inspired by Venezuela’s and Cuba’s
alliance, resistance and development.
A Long Way from Operation Condor
Tis progressive development
is remarkable when we review the
history of US imperialist policy
in Latin America, a region it has
long considered its “backyard.”
Te US has militarily intervened
in Latin America dozens of times
to repress popular resistance to
repressive governments, defend
US corporations, and overthrow
democratically elected govern-
ments including Guatemala’s
Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and Chile’s
Salvador Allende in 1973.
Using billions of dollars in mili-
tary and economic aid to right-
wing governments, Washington
sought to crush popular insurgen-
cies and revolutionary struggle
across Latin America. Trough a
US-directed policy of extermina-
tion, through mass disappear-
ances, kidnappings, and massacre,
in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil,
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay,
Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia
and Peru, tens of thousands of students, peasants
and workers were brutally murdered.
A return to civilian governments in the 1980s
and 1990s did little to alleviate the people’s suf-
fering. Instead, reactionary elected leaders, like
Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela, and Carlos
Menem and Fernando de la Rua of Argentina,
pursued economic policies in line with IMF and
World Bank demands. Teir disastrous neo-liber-
al policies embodied in Free Trade and Structural
Adjustment Programs largely bankrupted their
countries’ wealth.
While the US government continues to try to
overthrow progressive governments like those
of Chávez and Morales, our task as part of the
progressive, anti-war movement in the United
States is to demand the withdrawal of US military
in the region, and an end to US aggression in
Latin America. We cannot allow Washington to
turn back the clock in Latin America and the
Caribbean.
La Riva, who is a union activist, flmmaker,
presidential candidate, spoke in Sacramento
on September 7, 2008. She has met with Hugo
Chávez and Evo Morales and traveled extensively
to Cuba.
In the Military
& Need Help or
Want to Get Out?
GI Rights Hotline: 800-
394-9544; girights@
objector.org,
www.objector.org
Courage to Resist: 510-
488-3559,
www.couragetoresist.org
Book Review
Te Tyranny of Oil: Te World’s Most Power-
ful Industry—and What We Must Do to Stop It
by Antonia Juhasz
From Kirkus Reviews (Reprinted with permis-
sion of Kirkus.)
“Big Oil has turned our democracy into a
farce,” claims liberal activist and Institute for Pol-
icy Studies fellow Antonia Juhasz, author of Te
Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy
at a Time, in this timely, blistering critique of the
world’s most proftable industry.
Nearly a century afer the 1911 breakup of
Standard Oil Trust, notes the author, a recon-
structed trust comprised of a handful of powerful
oil companies formed through recent corporate
mergers—more than 2,600 in the US petroleum
industry from the 1990s to 2004—now dominates
much of the decision-making of the American
government. During the eight years of the Bush
administration, this “oiligarchy” of wealthy frms
has spent billions of dollars on political contribu-
tions and lobbying to ensure that it is “coddled,
subsidized, protected, and preserved by the US
government.”
Juhasz argues that oil companies have made
possible, and directly participate in, the unregu-
lated speculation in oil futures that has helped
drive oil prices upward (at a time when available
supplies in storage tanks exceed global demand).
Despite their assertions to the contrary, they
are not interested in green alternatives—most
invest less than 1% of total capital expenditures
on alternative energy—but only in fnding more
oil in places (tar sands, oil shale, oceans) where
extraction will be costly and harmful to the envi-
ronment. Further, says the author, their quest to
control world oil reserves was one of the causes
of the US invasion of Iraq and for a massive
ongoing realignment of the US military, with
bases and deployments following the world’s oil
supply and transportation routes.
Inspired by muckraker Ida Tarbell’s landmark
1904 book Te History of the Standard Oil Com-
pany, this white-hot polemic explores many
of the industry’s complex and secret practices,
including zone pricing, which sets wholesale and
company-owned gas-station prices according
to geographic zones (and explains why gasoline
prices can vary greatly among stations within a
few blocks). Juhasz believes a growing populist
movement will demand Congressional action
to break up the current “spawn of Standard Oil:
ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Mara-
thon, Valero, Shell-US, and BP America.”
Explosive fuel for the raging debate on oil
prices.
Antonia Juhasz spoke in Sacramento on Octo-
ber 30, 2008.
Bolivian public-works workers from oruro, protesting in La
Paz for better benefits and conditions, July 30, 2008.
Photo: Gloria La Riva
Get your STOP WAR
Lawn Sign!
Order from SacPeace,
916-448-7157
Sliding scale $5-10.
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 1
Time Tested Books
now buying
Political posters, handbills & pamphlets
books on history, labor, & politics
Records of blues, jazz, rock, punk, world, R&b, & spoken word.
And, of course, we are selling books & records, too!
we are located at 1114 21st Street, Sacramento.
our new hours are M–Sat: 11am–7pm, Sunday: 11am–3pm
(Please call for appt. if selling.)
916-447-5696.
www.timetestedbooks.net
By Rick Bettis
G
lobal Warming is at the top of the agenda
for most environmental groups, such as
the Sierra Club and the Union of Con-
cerned Scientists, as well as numerous other orga-
nizations and many nations, states and provinces
and local governments throughout the world. For
example, the League of Women Voters’ Agenda
for a New Administration calls for “…immediate,
highest priority comprehensive actions to combat
climate change.” It has been recognized as a seri-
ous threat not only to the natural environment,
but also to the economy and public health and
safety.
Global warming can occur in natural cycles;
however, research clearly demonstrates that it
is now being primarily caused by emissions of
human-generated greenhouse gases (GHG).
Tese emissions, of which 80% is carbon dioxide,
include methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor,
are thickening our atmosphere which traps out-
going refected infrared solar radiation, causing
warming.
Even though these facts are still not acknowl-
edged by a few, such as George W. Bush, the
scientifc community is in nearly unanimous
agreement that the looming crisis is largely man-
made. Following exhaustive studies, the United
Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), composed of 2,000 of
the world’s most respected scientistsm agreed.
Te IPCC was the co-recipient of the Nobel
Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore,
whose book, traveling presentation and flm, “An
Inconvenient Truth,” brought this issue vividly to
public attention.
Information predictive of this problem has
been available since the 1950s. During the Carter
Administration in the 1970s this writer partici-
pated in technical studies underwritten by the
US Agency for International Development esti-
mating the potential impacts of global warming
on water resources and agriculture productivity
worldwide. Al Gore’s widely acclaimed 1992 book
Earth in the Balance also extensively evaluated
this very serious problem.
Studies by the California Climate Change Cen-
ter indicate that the GHG sources in California
are: Transportation, primarily the automobile
41%; Industrial 23%; Electricity generation 20%;
Agriculture 8%; Residential 5%; and Commercial
3%. Deforestation increases warming, because
trees no longer sequester the GHG.
Te IPCC has projected warming of two to ten
degrees F by 2100. Impacts, some of which are
already occurring, include:
• Sea level rise of at least two to three feet by
2050 with melting of the ice in the Arctic,
Antarctic and Greenland; with a potential of
as much as 20 feet, by 2100 if GHG emissions
continue to increase at the current pace. Tese
increases could result in severe fooding in
coastal and low-lying areas, such as the Delta.
• Reduction of the California snow pack by
30 to 90%: this would severely reduce our
available water supplies since the snowpack
provides much of our critically needed water
storage. Winter recreation would also be dam-
aged.
• Increased energy demand up to 20% and
reduction of hydroelectric-generated energy
by up to 30%.
• Losses of forests and increases in wildfres,
increasing losses of lives and property and air
pollution.
• Losses in natural habitats and wildlife.
• Major losses in agricultural production due to
reduced chilling times needed for plant, fruits
and nut growth; the expansion of weeds that
are adaptable to climate change; and reduced
water supplies.
• Increased periods of extreme heat, with severe
health efects, especially on at-risk communi-
ties, such as the elderly and disadvantaged.
• Worsening of air quality, especially health-
damaging ozone, the formation of which is
increased by higher temperatures.
• Higher ocean temperatures causing more
intense storms and fooding. Te intensity of
hurricanes will increase as will the “Pineapple
Express” storms we experience in California.

Eforts to reduce emissions include:
• Te 1997 UN Kyoto Accords wherein 132
industrialized nations pledged to lower emis-
sions below 1990 levels by 2050. Only Austra-
lia and the US declined. Te Bush administra-
tion has stated that the negative economic
impacts of emissions reductions are excessive.
• California Governor’s Climate Action Team
2006 (CAT) report commits to reduce emis-
sions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
• In 2004 California passed AB1493 requiring
new automobiles to lower emissions by 80%
by 2050. Manufacturers have unsuccessfully
attempted to block this law. In 2006 California
AB 32 requires stationary sources to reduce
emissions to meet the CAT goals. Business
and industry had strongly opposed this bill.
Both of these bills were authored by Assem-
bymember, and soon to be State Senator, Fran
Pavley (D Agoura Hills), and were signed by
the Governor. Te California Air Resources
Board is responsible for implementing these
bills and is in the process of formulating poli-
cies and regulations.
• Sacramento’s Mayor Fargo signed a pledge,
along with over 400 other mayors, to reduce
emissions to below the Kyoto requirements.
Te city has also adopted a Sustainability Plan
that outlines their climate change reduction
policies.
• Specifc actions being pursued include:
1. Enhancing public transportation to reduce
driving and the development of more fuel-
efcient and more energy-efcient and
alternative fuel vehicles. Travel by transit
substantially reduces GHG emissions;
train travel is far superior to air travel with
respect to GHG emissions.
2. Design and development of communities
that are more compact and consist of an
integrated mix of uses, such as commer-
cial and residential within the same build-
ing. Tese communities will be oriented
towards the use of transit, walking and
biking.
3. Low or no emissions energy sources, such
as solar, wind, hydroelectric and geother-
mal.
4. More energy-efcient buildings and
homes, including better insulation, white
roofs, fuorescent lighting and other en-
ergy efcient appliances; and the planting
of more shade trees.
5. Water conservation, including low-wa-
ter-use landscaping. Te treatment and
pumping of water uses approximately 20%
of electrical energy.
6. Industry energy conservation motivated
by a “Cap and Trade” system, where more
efcient industries can sell or trade GHG
credits to less efcient businesses.
7. Enhanced use of the essential goals to
REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE all
resources, products and materials.
We should all determine our very revealing
GHG “footprint.” Tere are numerous websites
that provide a user-friendly means of making
this calculation such as www.climatecrisus.org
or www.ucs.org. We all have a responsibility to
change our lifestyles in a manner to combat this
serious threat to our earth and lives.
Rick Bettis is a water engineer and long-time
environmental activist in Sacramento.
Global Warming:
The “Incontinent” Challenge for
the New Millennium
Laboratory (PML). Tese innovative methods
are also being introduced to the Water Resources
Management Authority and the Ministry of Pub-
lic Health and Sanitation in Kenya, with a grant
to SCI from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman
Fund.
Congress recently passed, and President Bush
signed, a bill allocating $48 billion over the next
fve years to help treat and prevent AIDS ($38
billion), tuberculosis and malaria, tripling the
amount allocated in the previous fve years.
Tere’s not a dime for solar cooking or for
contaminated water, yet water-borne disease
accounts for 40% of hospitalizations in Kenya
and other developing countries.
When I walk in a sun-drenched village in
western Kenya, I’m struck by the fact that even
if AIDS, malaria and TB were eliminated, there
will be no future for the next generation unless
they discover an alternative to fre, tapping into
the only energy source they have in abundance—
sunshine. SCI knows how to do this!
Tanks to hundreds of Sacramento area SCI
donors and volunteers, SCI is positioned to trans-
form the lives of many millions of the poorest
people worldwide. SCI extends an invitation to
those of you who weren’t aware of SCI’s unique
work to learn about it and join us to make this
common knowledge worldwide.
Check out the SCI website: www.solarcook-
ers.org for solar cooking kits, cookbooks and
other products. And see a water-testing and
pasteurization album at: www.imageevent.
com/bobmetcalf.
Bob Metcalf is a Professor of Biological Sciences,
California State University, Sacramento, and
Board Chairman, Solar Cookers International.
Solar Cooking
from page 1
A CooKit being used in honduras
Photo: Luther Castillo
1 Because People Matter November / December 008 www.bpmnews.org
Your
subscription
keeps us going!
Have you
sent in your
subscription
form??
working for
PEACE & JUSTICE
and a proud sponsor of
“Because People Matter”
AUDIO-VISUAL & VIDEO
ALLIANCE
LCD COMPUTER &VIDEO PROJECTORS
SLIDE & OVERHEAD PROJECTORS
PA SYSTEMS – WIRELESS MICS – MIXERS
SCREENS – TV MONITORS – PODIUMS
AUDIO & DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDING
(916) 451-2658
offering a
30% to 50%
discount
<> <> <>
for Peace &
Justice events
Pizza by the slice
PIECES
“Te most delicious and
socially responsible
pizza in town”
—Jeanie Keltner
1309 21st St Between M and N
Of the many books written and published
about Fidel Castro since he came to power in
1959, Fidel Castro, My Life is unquestionably the
most defnitive and authori-
tative of one of the greatest
political fgures of all time
in Latin America.
Tis remarkable new
publication is a joint under-
taking of Fidel Castro and
a well-known French jour-
nalist, Ignacio Ramonet.
Teir collaboration lasted
three years during which
the most important facets of
Castro’s life are revealed or
otherwise touched upon. At
734 pages and $40 at your
nearest friendly bookseller,
the book is still a bargain
as a masterful specimen of
historical writing.
Te form of this spoken
autobiography is unusual:
it is almost entirely in ques-
tion and answer form. Tis
makes for easy reading and
concentration on develop-
ments that had major impact in the evolution
of Fidel’s historical and political thinking, the
people that grouped themselves around him
as the revolution took shape before and during
the years in the Sierra Maestra mountains, the
overthrow of the dictator, Batista, his triumphant
march into Havana and what has happened in the
years since.
Ramonet spent 100 hours with Castro, as he
explains in the introduction. During this time, we
learn much about his early life as the son of a rich
landowner with the views one would expect with
this kind of background. As he was preparing for
his professional training as a lawyer, the custom-
ary route for upper-class progeny, he began to
read Marx and Engels, the French writers of the
Enlightenment and others. Tese had a profound
impact on his political evolution as a Marxist
thinker and activist.
From the earliest days following the revolution,
as Castro began to implement the promises he
made to the Cuban people for their support, he
was faced with the implacable hostility of the US.
For example, most of the sugar mills in Cuba
were owned by Americans. One of Fidel’s frst acts
afer assuming the presidency was to nationalize
the sugar mills and large plantations with reim-
bursement to the owners. As the basis for deter-
mining their value, the Cuban authorities wanted
to use the data submitted by the owners for tax
purposes that greatly undervalued their properties.
Tis became a sticking point in the US’s refusal to
establish normal diplomatic relations with Cuba.
As a consequence, Cuba was forced to turn to
the Soviet Union for assistance which continued
until its collapse in 1991. To this day it would
appear to be a miracle that Cuba survived since
90% of its oil and other necessities came from the
USSR.
Treated at length in the book are most of the
historical watermarks during the 50 years of
Castro’s reign: Te Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile
crisis, the role of Che Guevara, Cuba in Africa,
the emigration crises, Cuba in Spain and France
and Latin America, among others.
Following Castro’s illness and his relinquish-
ment of power to his brother Raul, the Cuban
colony in Miami salivated at the prospect of
restoring capitalism and the free market system
to their native country. So far, there appears to be
little likelihood of this happening.
Te new generation that has grown up since
their departure has been imbued with vastly
diferent humanistic values, a vastly diferent cul-
ture, beyond the thirst for proft and wealth.
As poor as it is, Cuba has a major export to
third-world countries which the frst world can’t
match: doctors, nurses, educators and good will,
instead of money seeking proftable outlets at
whatever cost to the majority populations of
those countries.
So read this book and give yourself a shot of
hope and encouragement that the future can be
better than the times we are witnessing!
Leon Lefson is a longtime political activist who
is ever hopeful about the future.
Something Fishy
Local fshing group intervenes
in McClellan toxic waste disposal
fasco
By Dan Bacher
Te California Sportfshing Protection Alliance
(CSPA) is seeking status as a “designated party”
with state water quality ofcials to stop increased
discharge of toxic chemicals into Central Valley
waterways from the decommissioned McClel-
lan Air Force Base. Te chemicals would further
imperil collapsing populations of Central Valley
salmon, delta smelt, longfn smelt, theadfn shad,
striped bass and other species, as well as endan-
ger Sacramento area groundwater supplies.
In a strongly worded letter to the Central Val-
ley Regional Water Quality Control Board on
September 10, Bill Jennings, CSPA’s Executive
Director, formally requested status as a “designat-
ed party” in the McClellan Air Force Base toxic
waste disposal fasco. CSPA’s status as a “designat-
ed party” would allow the grassroots organization
direct input into the renewal permit process to
make sure that toxic waste is not discharged into
Central Valley waterways from the base.
Magpie Creek fows through McClellan and for
decades carried the efuents of the base’s domes-
tic and industrial waste treatment plants into the
Sacramento River through Steelhead Creek above
the mouth of the American River. McClellan is
located approximately seven miles northeast of
Sacramento in Sacramento County and covers
2,952 acres. Operations at the base involved the
use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials,
including industrial solvents, caustic cleaners,
electroplating chemicals, heavy metals, polychlo-
rinated biphenyls (PCBs), low-level radioactive
wastes, and various fuel oils and lubricants.
Opened in 1935, for the vast majority of its
operational lifetime, McClellan was a logistics
and maintenance facility for a wide variety of
military aircraf, equipment and supplies, pri-
marily under the cognizance of the Air Force
Logistics Command and later the Air Force
Materiel Command. Unfortunately, McClel-
lan also became a dumping ground for the Air
Force’s toxic waste.
“When the base was decommissioned in the
late 90s, it was found that the operations at the
facility had created a toxic wasteland,” said Jen-
nings. “A major cleanup of the facility was put
in place before large portions of the base were
leased out to commercial enterprises. Te base
received a waste water treatment discharge per-
mit as part of that clean-up efort.”
In reviewing the permits application for
renewal, CSPA has discovered that the require-
ments for discharge have been relaxed, allowing
for a backsliding in the treatment and isolation
of numerous harmful chemicals and other toxins
that would be discharged into the valley water-
ways. “Te discharges would be in violation of
numerous state and federal standards and would
put the valley fsheries at risk,” Jennings contends.
In his letter to Mr. Ken Landau, Assistant Exec-
utive Ofcer of the Central Valley Regional Water
Quality Control Board, Jennings documented a
plethora of violations of state and federal envi-
ronmental laws in the proposed permit.
For example, the proposed permit fails to con-
tain mass-based efuent limits for toxic chemi-
cals including Carbon Tetrachloride, Chromium
VI, Dichlorobromomethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane,
1,2- Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, Tet-
rachloroethylene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl Chlo-
ride and cis-1, 2-Dichloroethylene as required by
Federal Regulations 40 CFR 122.45(b).
Te proposed permit also contains an efuent
limitation for acute toxicity that allows mortality
to aquatic life that exceeds the basin plan water
quality objective and does not comply with fed-
eral regulations, at 40 CFR 122.44 (d)(1)(i) or the
Clean Water Act.
Nor does the permit contain efuent limita-
tions for chronic toxicity, as required for compli-
ance with federal regulations, at 40 CFR 122.44
(d)(1)i) and the Policy for Implementation of
Toxics Standards for Inland Surface Waters,
Enclosed Bays, and Estuaries of California (SIP).
Te release of more toxic discharges into Cen-
tral Valley and California Delta waterways would
only further imperil collapsing Central Valley
chinook salmon and Delta fsh populations,
along with impacting drinking water supplies.
Four species of pelagic fsh species, including
delta smelt, longfn smelt, threadfn shad and
striped bass, have declined to record low popula-
tion levels in recent years, due to increased water
exports from the Delta, increasing toxic chemical
discharges in Central Valley waterways and an
infux in invasive species.
Te last thing our collapsing public trust
fsheries need is for the water board to allow the
increased dumping of toxic chemicals into the
Sacramento River and Delta!
For more information about the CSPA, go to
www.calsport.org. For the complete letter by
Jennings, go to www.calsport.org/wq9-10-08b.
pdf.
Dan Bacher is a journalist, activist and satiri-
cal songwriter living in Sacramento.
Book Review
Fidel Castro, My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, transcribed by Ignacio
Ramonet, Scribner, 2006, 736 pages.
Reviewed by Leon Lefson
www.bpmnews.org November / December 008 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 1
November / December Calendar
ONGOING EVENTS
Send calendar items for the Jan. / Feb. 009 issue to bpmnews@nicetechnology.com
by Dec. 10, with “calendar item”in the subject line. Make it short, and PLEASE use this
format: Day, Date. Name of event. Description (1–2 lines). Time. Location. Price.
INFO: phone#; e-mail.
For the most current listing of Sacramento peace & justice events, go to www.sacpeace.org.
For weekly updates, email sacpeace@dcn.org and put SacPeaceUpdates in the subject.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR
11th OF EVERY MONTH:
Sacramento 9/11 Truth
Demonstration. 11th and L
Sts, (Nov 11 at 16 & J Sts).
INFO: www.truthaction.
org, 916-372-8433.
MONDAYS: Sacramento
Poetry Center hosts poetry
readings. 7:30pm. 1719
25th Street. www.sacra-
mentopoetrycenter.org.
1st MONDAYS: Organic
Sacr amento: Counter
ongoing threats to our
food. 6:30pm. INFO: www.
organicsacramento.org.
1st MONDAYS: Sac Media
Group. 6–8pm. Coloma
Community Center, 4623
T Street. INFO: 443-1792,
smg@commoncause.org.
3rd MONDAYS: Capitol
Outreach for a Moratorium
on the Death Penalty.
12 noon–1pm, 11th & L
Street. INFO: 455-1796.
3r d MONDAYS: SAPA
Peace and Sustainability
Committee. 6–8pm. INFO:
Peace Action, 448-7157.
3rd MONDAYS: Sacto
9/11 Truth:Questioning
the “War on Terror.” 6–
8pm. Denny’s 3rd & J St.
INFO: sac911truth@gmail.
com 372-8433.
3rd MONDAYS: Lesbian
Cancer Support Group.
6:30 Bring partners or sup-
port people with you. Open
discussions with everyone.
INFO: Roxanne Harden-
berg; ROXANNE1040@
aol.com.
TUESDAYS: Call for Peace
Vigil. 4–6pm. 16th and J
St. INFO 448-7157.
TUESDAYS: Improv work-
shop. Solve the world’s
problems through improv
games! 7–9:30pm. Geery
Theatre, 2130 L street,
Sac. $5.00, frst time free.
INFO: Damion, 916-821-
4533, dsharpeproduc-
tions@hotmail.com.
2nd TUESDAYS: Gray Pan-
thers. 1–3pm. Hart Senior
Ctr., 27th & J St.
2nd TUESDAYS: Peace
Network (speakers and
di scussi on), 6:30pm.
Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th
Street. INFO: Sac Area
Peace Action 448-7157.
4th TUESDAYS: Peace and
Justice Films. 7pm. Peace
Action, 909 12th Street.
INFO:448-7157.
4th TUESDAYS: (Odd num-
bered months) Amnesty
Int’l. 7pm. Sacramento
Friends Meeting, 890-
57th St. INFO: 489-2419.
1st WEDNESDAYS: Peace
& Freedom Party. 7pm.
INFO: 456-4595.
3r d WEDNESDAY S:
CAAC Goes to the Mov-
ies. 7:15pm. INFO: 446-
3304.
THURSDAYS: Urban Farm
Stand, 4–7pm, River Gar-
den Estates, 2201 North-
view Dr.
THURSDAYS: Daddy’s Here.
Men’s support group; info
on custody, divorce, raising
children. 7–8:30pm. Free!
Ctr for Families, 2251 Flo-
rin Rd, Ste 102. INFO: terry
@fathersandfamilies.com.
568-3237x 205.
1st and 2nd THURSDAYS:
Storytelling at the Hart
Senior Center, 27th & J
sts. 7pm. Free. INFO: 916-
362-9013, or PaulIdaho@
comcast.net.
FRIDAYS: Movies on a
Big Screen. Independent,
quirky movies and videos.
7pm. 600 4th St, West Sac.
INFO: www.shiny-object.
com/screenings/.
1st FRIDAYS: Community
Contra Dance. 8–11pm;
7:30pm beginners les-
sons. Clunie Auditorium,
McKinley Pk, Alhambra &
F. INFO: 530-274-9551.
2nd FRIDAYS: Dances of
Universal Peace. 7:30–
9:30pm. Sacr amento
Friends Meeting House
890 57th St. $5–$10
donation requested. INFO:
Joyce, www.sacramento-
dancesofuniversalpeace.
org, 916-832-4630.
4th FRIDAYS: Dances at
Christ Unity Church, 9249
Folsom Blvd. All Welcome
$5–$10 donation request-
ed. INFO: Christine 457-
5855, www.sacramento-
dancesofuniversalpeace.
org.
1st SATURDAYS: Health
Care for All. 10am–noon.
Hart Senior Ctr, 27th & J.
For single-payer universal
health care. INFO: 916-
424-5316; cnegrete@
comcast.net.
1st SATURDAYS: Sacra-
mento Area Peace Action
Vigil. 11:30am–1:30pm.
Arden and Heritage (en-
trance to Arden Mall).
INFO: 448-7157.
2nd & 4th SATURDAYS:
Community Contra Dance.
8–11pm; 7:30 lessons.
Coloma Center 4623 T
Street. INFO: 395-3483.
3rd SATURDAYS: Sacra-
mento Area Peace Action
Vigil. 11:30am–1:30pm.
Marconi & Fulton. INFO:
448-7157.
3rd SATURDAYS: Under-
ground Poetr y Series,
open mic plus featured po-
ets. 7–9pm. Underground
Books, 2814 35th Street
(at Broadway), Sacramen-
to. $3. INFO: 737-3333.
4th SATURDAYS: Sierra
Permaculture Guild gen-
eral mtg. 6:30–9pm. The
Sacred Bee, 1451 E. Main
St., Grass Valley.INFO: Si-
erraPermaculture.org
SUNDAYS: Sacto Food Not
Bombs. 1:30pm. Come
help distribute food at 9th
and J Streets.
1st SUNDAYS: Zapatis-
ta Solidarity Coalition.
10am–noon. 909 12th St.
INFO: 443-3424.
2nd SUNDAYS: Atheists
& Other Freethinkers.
2:30pm. Sierra 2 Center,
Room 10, 2791 24th St.
INFO: 447-3589.
This election season is producing some of the
BEST political satire EVER! Don’t miss out!
Now available only by subscription, the Humor
Times (formerly the Comic Press News) is
bigger and better than ever, with more pages
containing many hilarious new features!
Send a check or money order for $18.95 for
one year (12 issues) to: Humor Times,
Sacramento, CA 95816 P.O.B. 162429,
Or call 916-455-1217, or Save a Buck by ordering online!
/
Got Political
Humor?
w w w. H u m o r T i m e s . c o m
It’s an election year – arm yourself
with the world’s funniest paper!
they’re
published since
1991!
experienced!
it gives us
hope - and it’s
darn funny
too!
Resources for Enlisted
Personnel & Veterans
Discharges • DEP • Discrimination • Gay •
AWOL/UA • Harassment • Hazing•
Conscientious Objection
Free, confdential information from The GI Rights
Hotline, www.girights.org, 800-394-9544
Counseling: free & confdential: 916-447-5706;
www.therapistsforsocialresponsibility.org;
Saturday, November 8
K Fun Run and Walk. My Sister’s House hosts
“th Run for a Safe Haven.” All proceeds will go
towards My Sister’s House and its eforts to stop
domestic violence. 8-11am, William Land Park,
Sacramento. INFO: Nilda Valmores, 88-780.
Sunday, November 9
Concert. Sacramento Choral Society announces
the opening of their 1th Season featuring the
170 voice Chorus and full Symphony Orchestra.
7pm, Mondavi Center. Season and single tick-
ets are available from $110 - $1. INFO: (91)
-90, (scso00@yahoo.com) or visit www.
sacramentochoral.com.
Tuesday, November 11
Sacto 9/11 Truth demonstration. 1 & J Sts,
(combine with sacpeace). :0-PM. INFO: www.
truthaction.org, 91-7-8.
Tuesday, November 11
Discussion. The U.S. Empire Now. Mike Monasky
will lead a discussion of the book American The-
ocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion,
Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by
Kevin Phillips. 7-9pm. Marxist School of Sacra-
mento, Sierra Center, Room 11, 791–th
St, Sac. Free. INFO: info@marxistschool.org,
91-799-1.
Wednesday, November 12
Discussion. Doug Orr, “Where did the fnancial
crisis come from and where is it going?” How,
then can we get out of this crisis? Can New
Deal-style programs solve the problem? 7-9pm.
Marxist School of Sacramento, Sierra Center,
Curtis Hall, 791–th St, Sac. Free. INFO: info@
marxistschool.org, 91-799-1.
Saturday, November 15
Fundraiser. EMPTY BOWLS Supper Fundraiser
sponsored by the El Dorado Peace and Justice
Community. Proceeds beneft the Upper Room
Dining Room which feeds over 10 meals a day
to the hungry in Placerville and to Heifer Interna-
tional. Supper includes: soup in a handmade (by
local potters and school students) ceramic bowl,
bread, beverage and Music by Coloma Celtic.
:0-8:0pm. Suggested Donation is $1-$0
per person. INFO: Rich 0 900, Carla 0
99 or turofc@earthlink.net or Diana 0
110 or dianasum@directcon.net.
Thursday, November 20
Discussion. Jason Myers, “Public Good, Private
Freedoms: The Core Values of Social Egalitar-
ian Political Philosophy.” The role of political
philosophy in policy debates. 7-9pm. Marxist
School of Sacramento, Sierra Center, Garden
Room, 791–th St, Sac. Free. INFO: info@
marxistschool.org, 91-799-1.
Saturday November 22
Meeting. Sierra Permaculture Guild general
meeting. :0-9pm, The Sacred Bee, 11 E. Main
St., Grass Valley. INFO: SierraPermaculture.org
Saturday, November 22
Convocation. Peace Pyramid quarterly convoca-
tion. Tom Blees, author of Prescription For the
Planet, connecting the dots between controver-
sial solution to the energy crisis and peace.
pm, 009 Kifsia Way, Fair Oaks. INFO: Tom & Dar
King, tjking07@comcast.net; 91-1-919.
Tuesday, Dec. 9
th annual Candlelight Vigil for Peace and
Justice.1th and J St., rain or shine! Bring signs
and fashlights or windproof candles. –pm.
Gather after at Luna’s Cafe, 11 1th St. INFO:
91-8-717.
Thursday, December 11
Sacto 9/11 Truth Demonstration. 11th and L
Streets, facing Capitol north entrance. INFO:
www.truthaction.org, 91-7-8.
Saturday, December 13
Concert. Capture the holiday magic as the
Sacramento Choral Society spreads the spirit
of the season with candlelit processions, new
and familiar carols and good cheer at the annual
standing-room-only “Home for the Holidays.”
pm and 8pm, Mondavi Center. Season and
single tickets are available from $110 - $1
INFO: (91) -90, (scso00@yahoo.com)
or visit www.sacramentochoral.com.
Thursday, December 18
Film: Abolishing Corporate Personhood. 7-9pm.
Marxist School of Sacramento, Sierra Center,
Room 1, 791–th St, Sac. Free. INFO: info@
marxistschool.org, 91-799-1.
Saturday, December 20
Poetry. The National Champion Sacramento
Allstars will perform at the special “SHOW”
poetry series Christmas Jam. 7-9pm. Wo’se
Community Center, 8 th Street of th
and Broadway. $. INFO: lisacarrera@sbcglobal.
net, (91) 08-POET
Saturday December 27
Meeting. Sierra Permaculture Guild general
meeting. :0-9pm, The Sacred Bee, 11 E. Main
St., Grass Valley. INFO: SierraPermaculture.org
Tuesday, December 9, 4-6pm,
26th annual Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Justice,
an observance of International Human Rights Day
(Dec. 10)
16th and J St in Sacramento,
rain or shine! Bring signs and
fashlights or windproof candles.
Gather aferward at Luna’s Cafe,
1414 16th St.
Sponsored by Sacramento Area
Peace Action, Sacramento Valley
Chapter of Women’s International
League for Peace and Freedom, and Grandmothers
for Peace International. Information: 916-448-7157.
Tuesday, November 11—Te U.S. Empire Now. Mike
Monasky will lead a discussion of the book American
Teocracy: Te Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil,
and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips.
7-9pm. Marxist School of Sacramento, Sierra 2 Center,
Room 11, 2791–24th St, Sac.
Wednesday, November 12—Doug Orr, “Where did the f-
nancial crisis come from and where is it going?” How, then
can we get out of this crisis? Can New Deal-style programs
solve the problem? 7-9pm. Marxist School of Sacramento,
Sierra 2 Center, Curtis Hall, 2791–24th St, Sac.
Tursday, November 20, 7-9pm, Garden Room—Jason
Myers, “Public Good, Private Freedoms: Te Core Values
of Social Egalitarian Political Philosophy.” Te role of po-
litical philosophy in policy debates. 7-9pm. Marxist School
of Sacramento, Sierra 2 Center, Garden Room, 2791–24th
St, Sac.
Tursday, December 18, 7-9pm—Film: Abolishing Cor-
porate Personhood. 7-9pm. Marxist School of Sacramento,
Sierra 2 Center, Room 12, 2791–24th St, Sac.
INFO on other events: www.marxistschool.org; info@
marxistschool.org; 799-1354. All activities are free and
open to the public.
November / December 2008 Activities
Te Marxist School of Sacramento
My Sister’s House
is the only non-proft
organization in the
Central Valley which
specifcally addresses
domestic violence in
the Central Valley’s
diverse Asian/Pacifc Islander community.
My Sister’s House opened its shelter or “Safe
Haven“ in April 00. It can accommodate
up to six women and children and so far
has provided more than 000 bed nights
of shelter to Asian/Pacifc women and
children. Funding for My Sister’s House is
provided in part by its Run for a Safe Haven,
held this year on November 8.
INFO: 91-88-780 www.my-sisters-
house.org. /7 Help-Line: 91-8-71.
NON-PROFIT
ORGANIZATION
US POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 2668
SACRAMENTO, CA
Sacramento and Central Valley INDYMEDIA: www.sacindymedia.org.
Progressive Media
Online News Sources:
www.Truthout.org: essays on current events,
some videos, like Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC
Countdown shows.
www.CommonDreams.org News Center:
Breaking News & Views for the Progressive
Community.
www.Brasscheck.org: Progressive videos
on many subjects, from Steven Colbert’s
speech at the White House Correspondent’s
dinner and speeches by leftwing MP George
Galloway, to extensive information on 9/11
and the attacks on our civil liberties.
www.TheRealNews.com: a nonproft progres-
sive website ofering daily news videos
including interviews and debates. They plan
soon to expand to television.
www.GoLeft.tv: Progressive Online Television.
In the world of media monopoly, news has
been replaced with a new invention called
“infotainment.” GoLeft.tv is a progressive
political T.V. news source that flls that gap
between the media’s dumbed down info-
tainment and real news reporting.
www.innworldreport.net: Daily professional
viewer/listener supported journalism
available in over 0 million homes across
America.
www.whatreallyhappened.com: 9/11 and
other coverups.
Editors’ Picks!
ä Soapbox!—Jeanie Keltner talks with
activists and analysts from Sacramento and
beyond about the issues of the day.
Where to watch:
Access Sacramento cable channel 17.
Every Monday at 8pm. Call in comments
on nd and th Mondays. Repeats Tues-
day at noon, Wednesday at am.
In Davis, on channel 1, Tuesdays at pm.
ä Media Edge—Sacramento’s own
magazine format show, covering local
progressive events and speakers, as well as
internationally known commentators, with
clips from some of the best independent
political video being made now.
Where to watch:
Access Sacramento channels 17 and 18
and Davis Channel 1. Sundays 8–10pm
Nevada County channel 11 Mondays
10:0pm–1:0am,
West Sacramento channel 1 Mondays
9-11pm.
See scheduled segments at
www.wethemedia.org.
ä Democracy Now—Amy Goodman’s
award-winning magazine format show.
Where to watch:
Access Sacramento TV, Cable Channels 17
and 18, Weekdays pm, 1midnight, am.
Dish Network Satellite TV, Channel 91,
Free Speech TV, M–F: 9am, pm, 9pm,
am, Pacifc time. Link TV, Channel 910,
Monday–Friday, 8am, pm. KVMR 89.5 FM
Mon–Thu 7pm. KDVS 90.3 FM Mon–Fri noon.
KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley, M–F 9am
Don’t bitch at the media—
become the media!
Have you taken the TV production
training at Access Sacramento? Would
you like to learn or put your technical
talents to use? Soapbox! urgently needs
crewmembers to help set up, run cam-
eras, and take viewers’ phone calls on
the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month.
Call 444 3203 if you’re interested
in taking the training or joining us at
Soapbox! for fun—and the best pizza in
town, from Pieces.
Progressive Radio Stations
äKVMR 89. FM
ä The Voice, 88.7 Cable FM; and streaming
audio on www.Accesssacramento.org; SAP
Comcast Channels 17 & 18
ä KYDS 91. FM
äKDVS 90. FM
ä KPFA 9.1 FM Berkeley
äKZFR 90.1 FM Chico
People Powered Radio! managed and
operated by volunteers, provides mostly
locally produced and community oriented
programs.
(Other) Progressive Newspapers
ä The Flatlander: a free community newspa-
per of fun, opinion and politics in the Davis
Area. yolocats@yahoo.com. Publication
every months, next issue is April/May
The Flatlander
P.O. Box 779
Davis, CA 917
ä Likewise, we are greatly impressed with
the lively goodlooking Midtown Monthly.
It’s not political, but it has the kind of use-
ful and delightful info about life, art, food
and music in Sacramento and beyond
that creates the sense of community
needed for an uncertain future.
B
e
c
a
u
s
e

P
e
o
p
l
e

M
a
t
t
e
r
P
r
o
g
r
e
s
s
i
v
e

N
e
w
s

a
n
d

V
i
e
w
s

N
o
v
e
m
b
e
r

/

D
e
c
e
m
b
e
r

2
0
0
8
Here’s a hot tip! If you don’t have cable TV, and you do have a PC (doesn’t work on Mac), you can
watch Access Sacramento programs as they are being aired by going to www.accesssacramento.
org and clicking on the “Watch Channel 17” button at the top of the frst page.
Great Speeches and Interviews-Local
and national speeches and interviews
to challenge your thinking. An in-depth
radio program on the current issues.
Where to listen and/or download:
Listen Sundays -8pm on Comcast Ch. 17,
18, set your TV menu to SAP or listen on
The Voice www.AccessSacramento.org
Li sten or downl oad f rom www.
a r c h i v e . o r g / b o o k m a r k s / s g l
Blogged on www.SacramentoForDemoc-
racy.org
Look for the Rock Creek Free Press
in the back of some BPM stands and
other places you fnd BPM (always at
the downtown main library). It’s a great
progressive paper with emphasis on the
undernews.
And just like BPM it needs support from
the people who are sick of the disinfor-
mation news. Check it out and subscribe
(after subscribing to BPM).
I
n
S
I
D
e
:

A
r
t
i
c
l
e
s

o
n

t
h
e

b
a
i
l
o
u
t
,

t
h
e

C
a
l
i
f
o
r
n
i
a

B
u
d
g
e
t
,

G
l
o
b
a
l

W
a
r
m
i
n
g
,

l
o
c
a
l

g
r
o
u
p
s

w
i
t
h

i
n
t
e
r
n
a
t
i
o
n
a
l

i
m
p
a
c
t
,

a
n
d

o
f

c
o
u
r
s
e
,

m
u
c
h

m
o
r
e

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->