This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Progressive News and Views November / December 2006
By Gail Ryall
Over 200 union hotel workers and their supporters
from many Sacramento unions, community organizations
and churches, participated in a spirited picket line out-
side the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento
recently, chanting and singing to the accompaniment of
drums and noisemakers.
Te UNITE HERE Local 49 “Hotel Workers Ris-
ing” campaign, to gain better union contracts for hotel
employees in Sacramento, has been escalating this fall. In
support, a coalition of local clergy, community leaders,
elected ofcials and even some small businessmen have
been sending delegations to meet with the management
of the Sheraton Grand Hotel to urge better health care and
working conditions for their employees.
Te Stonewall Democratic Club sponsored a commu-
nity support event, featuring Cleve Jones, national found-
er of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Jones is
spearheading a national campaign
called “Sleep With the Right People”
Te Sheraton Grand is the largest
and newest of the fve union hotels in
Sacramento. Negotiations have been
underway for several months. Work-
ers have been doing informational
leafeting outside the hotel.
At a Sacramento community
meeting in August, hotel workers
described the physical drudgery and
speed-up that they endure. Christine
Troughton, a cook at the Sheraton
Grand, told of lifing heavy pots and
50-pound sacks of onions or pota-
toes. She needs surgery and therapy
for her shoulders, but can’t aford it,
so she takes Tylenol or Motrin to keep
going. “I have to get my paycheck to pay my bills, so I keep
working through the pain,” Troughton said.
Eva Tuaga, who has a sick husband, has worked for
16 years as a hotel maid, earning $8.50 an hour. She pays
$156 every two weeks for health insurance. In an 8-hour
shif she is required to clean 16 messy rooms, including
making two luxury beds with heavy mattresses, thick cov-
ers and several pillows in each room. “Many people clock
out at the end of the day and then go back to fnish their
rooms on their own time,” Tuaga told the audience.
UNITE HERE labor contracts, expiring across the US
this year, provide a key opportunity to raise workers’ liv-
In San Francisco, UNITE HERE Local 2 has just
won a contract struggle with 13 of the city’s largest hotel
corporations. In addition to gains in health care, wages,
pensions and workload protections, the fve-year contract
gives workers the right to remain union when a hotel
changes hands. In Chicago, hotel workers have ratifed a
new contract with the Hilton Hotels, raising wages nearly
21 percent and cutting workloads.
In both cities, the unions will
now call on other major hotels to
sign similar agreements.
Half of the recent increase in US
service jobs is in hotel maintenance,
in hotels owned by large national and
international companies. Most hotel
workers are women and people of
color, and many are immigrants.
Te hotel workers’ struggle
requires them to confront interna-
tional companies on a national level.
Vivian Rothstein, deputy director of
the Los Angeles Alliance for a New
Economy, spoke at the Sacramento
community meeting in August. “All
of us need an economic and social
justice movement,” Rothstein said.
Trough the process of confronting poverty, clergy and
communities can strengthen their own organizations,
while helping to rebuild the labor movement, she added.
“Te “Hotel Workers Rising” campaign is fundamen-
tally about raising the working poor out of poverty,” said
Sherry Chiesa, UNITE HERE international vice president.
“What the auto workers union did in the private sector in
the last century is what we have to do for the service sec-
tor now,” she said.
For more information about the “Hotel Workers
Rising” campaign in Sacramento, contact UNITE HERE
Local 49 at (916) 564-4949 or Josh Eidelson at jeidelson@
Gail Ryall is a long-time labor activist, and a delegate to
the Sacramento Central Labor Council from the California
Capital Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
Sacramento Backs Sheraton Grand Hotel Workers
Seeking higher wages and lower workloads
“Many people clock out at the end of
the day and then go back to fnish their
rooms on their own time.” Eva Tuaga,
hotel maid at the Sheraton Grand.
Freedom From War
David Dionisi’s work for a
by Tom King
“Tey also serve who only stand and wait.” Tis
famous sentence from the pen of John Milton, himself a
passionately politicized writer, might just be the maxi-
mum encouragement to us who stand with our signs at
intersections promoting the dream of peace. Sometimes
we grow discouraged out there when it seems the weeks
pass without evidence of sufcient change. Tat’s why,
when something remarkable does happen, right in
Sacramento’s backyard, it’s so inspiring.
Sacramento’s backyard? No ofense, Davis, but that
means you! What has come forth in Davis is a world-
beating organization with a world-beater at its helm! Tis
is Freedom From War, created by David Dionisi, who in
less than a year afer its founding has already made it an
international organization active in four countries.
Tis man Dionisi is many admirable things. In 1985,
while an army intelligence ofcer in Korea, he frst began
to question this country’s foreign policies. A book he’s
written to reawaken our sleep-walking world to the all-
too-real nightmare of nuclear weapons, American Hiro-
shima, is translated and available even in Korea, and the
source for a motion picture being made in England. His
fund of information on world afairs, much of it gathered
as an intelligence community
insider, is prodigious.
Dionisi will address the
public wherever they’re will-
ing to listen, and as a speaker
he’s not just good, he’s formi-
dable. More than just a highly
talented tongue, however, he’s
a humanitarian who organizes
and serves orphanages in third
world countries. In fact he’s taken all
his inordinate capabilities and trained them upon
one objective: to rescue the world from the terminal
disaster that appears about to swallow it.
Now I come to one fnal talent of this man: his
genius for organization, with its fruition in the rapidly
swelling membership of Freedom From War.
So what distinguishes FFW? Te paramount dis-
tinction must be Dionisi’s vision of a peace movement
sweeping up all the little “pieces of peace” into a strong,
unifed force feld. “Our open source peace model and
sharing of best practices,” he writes, “has the potential
to change the insular and ofen inefective eforts of
many peace organizations.”
In terms of community service, its umbrella covers
world-beating undertakings, some of them truly heart
lifing. Umbrella is the operative word here: Dionisi is
the systemic unifer, administrator and servant to other
folks’ independent projects.
One of the most impressive of the projects being
advanced is the efort by FFW member Nadia McCaf-
frey to create homes to care for soldiers shattered to the
point of dysfunction. Now in the process of becoming
a separate organization, the homes for veterans pro-
gram, while so far only a concept, illustrates how FFW,
disapproving of war, reaches out to the victims of war.
Te fnal good news bulletin: FFW will soon have a Sac-
ramento chapter! To learn more about Freedom From
War, visit www.freedomfromwar.org. You can reach
David Dionisi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tose
interested in purchasing his book can visit www.
Tom King is a retired college professor who lives
and writes in Sacramento.
Above and left: drums and bullhorns, and cans flled with
peas accentuated a sea of signs, as over 300 workers and
community supporters wearing Hotel Workers Rising t-
shirts marched in front of the Sheraton Grand Oct. 19.
photos: Ellen Schwartz
Inside this issue:
Botling Public Water......................... 6
The White House &.
Hurricane Katrina........................ 8
Hugo Chavez: Hero........................... 13
“A peace movement sweeping up
all the little “pieces of peace” into a
strong, unifed force feld.”
2 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
Volume 15, Number 6
Published Bi-Monthly by the
Sacramento Community for
Peace & Justice
P.O. Box 162998, Sacramento,
(Use addresses below for
Editorial Group: Jacqueline
Diaz, JoAnn Fuller, Seth
Coordinating Editor for
this Issue: Seth Sandronsky
Design and Layout:
Ellen Schwartz and
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Manager: Edwina White
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For the Jan./Feb, 2007 Issue:
Articles: December 1, 2006
Calendar Items: Dec. 10, 2006
Cultural events welcome!
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On the cover
On October 19, outside the
Sheraton Grand hotel in down-
town Sacramento, as over 300
union hotel workers and their
supporters marched in a spirited
picket line, four clergymen, rep-
resenting Catholic, Protestant and
Jewish faiths, attempted to deliver
a statement to the hotel manage-
ment called “On Hospitality and
Human Dignity”, signed by 47
local Catholic, Protestant, Jewish
and Muslim clerics. They were
told none of the managers were
Before the demonstration broke
up, the participants outside the
hotel chanted to the manage-
ment that wasn’t there, “We’ll be
back, we’ll be back,” promising
to return in even larger numbers
on November 2.
See story on Page 1.
photo: Ellen Schwartz
Seth Sandronsky, Coordinating Editor for this issue
Free Trial Offer!
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Mail to: BPM, 403 21st Street, Sacramento,
o you like shorter days and longer
nights? Whatever your answer, fall is
here. And winter is fast upon us. It is
a fne time to look back and catch your breath.
What a year 2006 has been, full of perils and
promises. Tis mix can and does spur regular
people to use their creative energies to try to
solve some of our pressing issues and problems.
BPM is a progressive voice in these struggles.
In this edition of the paper, our writers ofer
analysis, artwork, events, news, poetry, and more
to help you better understand our world, and to
get a glimpse of what ordinary folks are doing to
try and make it better. Your participation in these
eforts is most welcome. In fact, it is necessary to
create the progressive change we so dearly need
Mazda Majidi decodes the schemes of the
Bush White House over Iran’s presumed mili-
tary threat to the US. Once again, he notes, the
administration is trying to make the American
people fear a foreign government. Sound famil-
iar? Te same president and his (wo)men made
the case for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction
(still missing!) as an excuse to invade that nation
in March 2003.
Tom King and Jeanie Keltner (BPM editor
at-large) join Majidi in critical thought about war,
focusing on local people laboring for peace and
understanding. Bob Richards discusses a very
famous social activist, Jesus, in relation to the
violent empires of Rome and US.
Violence in war cultures is both global and
local. Rhonda Erwin details who is mobilizing
to address Sacramento’s awful crisis of teen and
youth violence, and why.
A.J. Crisostomo reports on a new student
group struggling to improve the Multi-Cultural/
Women’s Resource Center at CSU Sacramento.
Enjoy the poetry of Felicia Martinez and Shayana
Mendes about Mexico and the US.
Dan Bacher lauds Hugo Chavez, president
of Venezuela, who recently criticized President
Bush’s concern for the freedom of foreign peo-
ples. How can the White House with Democrats’
backing export freedom while crushing human
rights here in the name of security?
On that note, Kevin Wehr has a major piece
in our centerfold (pages 8 and 9). He argues that
impeachment of the president and vice president
for what they did not do to help innocent Ameri-
cans during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and
food is a punishment that fts their crimes.
Water is where all life began and what life
itself requires. Nancy Price explains the corporate
privatization of that natural resource, and what
people can do to stop it.
I consider some press coverage of the US
health care system. Te rising price of health care
has propelled the recent walkout of thousands of
Sacramento County workers. Gail Ryall reports
on some hotel workers in the city struggling for
better health care and pay from their employers.
Mary Bisharat and Leon Lefson review books
penned by journalists of diverse eras. Charlene
Jones reviews a volume of news analysis by Proj-
ect Censored, based at Sonoma State University.
Elbert “Big Man” Howard of the Black Pan-
ther Party brings us a bit of hidden history from
the 1960s. Ten, Panthers were on the move,
bringing various peoples together for the com-
Ten and now, as 2007 approaches, overcom-
ing our divisions of class, gender and race is a
big key to creating a better society. BPM is part
of this freedom movement, which has its unique
strengths and weaknesses.
Please join us to help strengthen BPM, to
keep it going as a voice in struggle. Does that
interest you? On behalf of the many volunteers
who produce and distribute this paper, we look
forward to working with you.
Seth Sandronsky is a co-editor with Because
“Please join us to help
strengthen BPM, to keep it
going as a voice in struggle.”
Perils and Promises
By Jeanie Keltner
Khaled Umbashi was worried. Afer 9-11, his
wife had been harshly insulted at a gas station,
and at school his 10-year-old son Mohamed had
been accused of being a terrorist because of his
name. And now here was a textbook from the
boy’s school—World Geography by McDougal
Littell—that seemed to Khaled to portray Mus-
lins and Arabs as terrorists. Tis could only make
things worse for Muslims.
Umbashi is an activist—we’ve worked togeth-
er on several issues over the years—so he went to
Te Bee and the Sacramento News & Review, both
of which published thoughtful articles about his
concerns. And the text’s publishers, Houghton
Mifin, agreed to take Umbashi’s objections into
account when they put out a new edition.
But that is hardly the end of the story. Khaled
is right to worry.
A recent report by the nation’s largest Muslim
organization, the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), says complaints of discrimina-
tion, harassment, and violence against Muslims
in the US jumped over 30% from 2004 to 2005.
One fourth of respondents to a CAIR survey
believed stereotypes such as “Muslims value life
less than other people” and “Te Muslim religion
teaches violence and hatred.” Over four in 10 said
they associated fanaticism with Muslims (www.
antiwar.com/lobe/?articleid=9716). Recent polls
by Gallup and the Washington Post/NBC show
46% holding a negative view of Islam. Obviously
all these stereotypes make it easier to victimize
Yet nearly 60% of US citizens say they have
never met a Muslim—so these opinions are creat-
ed by political discourse and by the media—from
Mohamed’s textbook to the networks to the news
to the rightwing shock jocks who specialize in
riling up anger.
Interesting and alarming proof that media
images and info work on the mind below the
level of consciousness and rationality is the Uni-
versity of Michigan study reporting that although
most non-Muslims feel the media depicts Arabs
unfairly, they still hold negative opinions (Wash-
ington Post 3-9-06)!
Anti-Arab/Muslim feeling is not new.
Michael Parenti showed in Make-Believe Media:
Te Politics of Enter-
Publishing, 1991) that
Hollywood felt free to
slur Arabs as a group
when other subgroups became protected by polit-
ical correctness. Now, however, Islamophobia is
an essential strategy in the Bush/Cheney regime’s
move to control the mineral/oil/gas wealth of the
Middle East and Central Asia. As we are seeing
(with war on Iran looming on the horizon), this
entails war on many Muslim nations. And to
make the massive killing and brutalizing accept-
able to the US public, the targets must frst be
Tus Islamophobia is cultivated con-
stantly—from Bush’s initially entitling the attack
on Iraq a crusade and his current reiteration of
Islamofascism as the enemy to the Pope’s recent
attack on Islam as violent and irrational (when
in fact Islamic societies historically have actu-
ally been more tolerant of other religions than
Anti-Arab/Muslim sentiment is being
encouraged since this regime needs every dis-
traction it can muster to defect a populace that
seems to be rousing itself to opposition. Hatred
of the Other is such a convenient and blinding
distraction that racism is a necessary part of all
fascist regimes—a way to focus anger created
by one’s oppression away from the tyrant above
toward the Other below.
Tis has happened, perhaps, to a greater
extent and intensity with Muslims than with
previous US enemies—maybe because the Bush/
neocon imperial project is so grandiose, requir-
ing not only harsh aggression abroad but also
harsh repression at home, that the enemy must
be big to justify it. Immediately afer 9-11 Bush
introduced the concept of evil into the discus-
sion: the evil-doers, the axis of evil. Tis moves
the discussion from the political to the meta-
physical. Evil: “Te force of nature that governs
and gives rise to wickedness and sin,” associated
with Satan (Random House Dictionary).
We see this magnifcation clearly in the
textbook: “Te tradi-
tional motives, such as
or changing society,
still drive various terrorist groups around the
world…. But other kinds of terrorists, driven by
radical religious motives, began to emerge in the
late 20th century. Te goal of these terrorists is
the destruction of what they consider the forces
of evil. Tis evil might be located in their own
countries or in other parts of the world. Tese
terrorists ofen threaten to use weapons of mass
destruction, such as chemical, biological, or
See Umbashi, page 14
“Stereotypes make it easier
to victimize Muslims.”
Demonizing Arabs and Muslims
Strategic Islamophobia and the US imperial project
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 3
Send calendar items
to Gail Ryall,<gryall
By Rhonda Erwin
ur community is responding to teen and
youth violence. Why do we need to rec-
ognize these community members?
Te frst reason is to destroy the myth that
we don’t care. We are not motionless in address-
ing the violence within our communities.
Recently, I saw the Nation of Islam men doing
foot patrol in heavy violent crime areas of both
Meadowview and Valley Hi. As members of the
community, the deeds and labor of the NOI are
not going unnoticed, and they are appreciated.
Tese men come in peace,
stand for peace and leave
Secondly, we need
to help teens, youth and
families involved and afected by violent crime,
to transcend their collective sufering. Recently, I
spoke by phone with Reynaldo Placencia (the 22-
year-old brother of Robert Placencia, a 17-year-
old killed this summer in south Sacramento).
Reynaldo participated in a revival for teens from
Sacramento, Modesto and Stockton who were
coming together to address youth violence. Rey-
naldo is using his brother’s tragic death to reach
out to teens involved in or afected by violence.
Finally, we need to prevent teens and youth
from aping gang culture/membership as a mas-
querade for youth leadership. Te Zeta Beta
Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,
in partnership with Consumes River College and
the Greater Sacramento March of Dimes, is coor-
dinating the Alpha Academy workshop, held one
Saturday a month. Te workshop brings adult
professionals together with middle school and
high school teens (12 to 18 years old), with the
focus being to improve academic performance,
prevent teen pregnancy and enhance career goals.
In early fall, several school children were
maimed and murdered in school shootings
across the US. I cried for the school teens as I
have cried a river of tears for teen and youth
murder victims in Sacramento.
President Bush spoke out about ways to pre-
vent future youth murders. I watched news media
reports on the teens who witnessed the school
killings. Teens and families afected by the school
shootings were given support and helped to move
on. Our children, on the other hand, have died
senseless deaths for decades, and until recently
our sufering was not very newsworthy.
Meanwhile, our teens and youth are killing
one other. One shooting is copying the other.
One funeral copies a funeral the day before. Te
government has been slow to respond to families’
cries and pleas for teens and youth of color dying
these violent and senseless deaths.
In early fall, media reported high-school
shooting stories, acknowledging the emotions
of the teens and youth involved. In contrast,
news coverage for the violent deaths of our teens
and youth is sensationalized. Our children are
Current news coverage
of our sufering from vio-
lent crime comes packaged
with what the Sacramento
County Sherif’s Depart-
ment, Department of Justice and Sacramento City
Police Department are doing to round up crime
suspects. I question these law enforcement priori-
ties. Why is all the emphasis on apprehending
suspects? Where is the money and time for pro-
viding solutions to preventing more crime that, in
turn, creates, more sufering?
Where are the crime prevention policies based
on research into the violent deaths of our teens and
youth? Why is the solution to our community’s
pain the building of more jails and prisons? Why is
a blanket pulled over our sufering? Why is it con-
tinuously assumed that we human beings of color
feel no pain for the violent deaths of our children
and the separation of our families?
We’re on our own, saving our own. Just as
with Hurricane Katrina, the government that col-
lects our taxes, who calls us all Americans, claims
we are all equal, will force some to save ourselves,
but reach out to lif others from feeling pain. Why
does our government think the color of your
skin makes you immune from the pain of violent
Te sad thing is that our government won’t
see our sufering and continues to build more jails
and prisons. Tis is not a policy to prevent future
teen and youth violence. We know that. Tat is
why we are mobilizing to save our daughters and
sons from the violence which disproportionately
afects underprivileged communities of color.
Tis movement has been stalled. Why? Te
answer in part is the news media. It fosters false
images of people afected by teen and youth vio-
lence. Tus this media bias makes it hard to rally
JUVENILE CLASS ACTION STRIP SEARCH SETTLEMENT
IF YOU WERE BOOKED, ASSIGNED TO A UNIT, AND STRIP SEARCHED AT
THE SACRAMENTO COUNTY JUVENILE HALL BETWEEN JANUARY 1, 1998,
AND OCTOBER 1, 2004, YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO MONEY UNDER A
STRIP SEARCH CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
There is a proposed Settlement of a Class Action lawsuit, Robinson, et al. v. Sacramento
County, et al. and Kozlowski, et al. v. Sacramento County, et al., pending in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of California. The lawsuit concerns the strip
search policy and practices of the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall.
What is the Litigation About?
Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants violated various federal and state laws by strip searching
juveniles booked at the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall between January 1, 1998, and
October 1, 2004.
Who is Involved?
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you were booked, assigned to a unit and strip
searched at the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall between January 1, 1998, and October 1,
2004. To see if you qualify for a payment you should check the website or call the toll free
What are the Terms?
If you were a juvenile booked and assigned to a unit at the Sacramento County Juvenile
Hall and strip searched during the class period (January 1, 1998, through October 1, 2004),
you will be entitled to compensation depending on the number of times you were booked
and assigned a unit, the charges on which you were booked, and your probation status at the
time of booking.
Up to $4.0 Million will be available to satisfy claims under this settlement. Class Counsel
will apply to the Court for an agreed fee of $1.5 Million for reimbursement for attorneys’
fees and reimbursement of costs and expenses. Representative plaintiffs will collectively
share $280,000 (Two Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars), and $500,000 (Five Hundred
Thousand Dollars) will be reserved for Claim Administrator expenses, for a possible total of
$6,280,000 (Six Million, Two Hundred Eighty Thousand Dollars).
For more information or to receive a claim form, consult the website or call the toll free
How Much Will I Get?
If 25% of those entitled to share in the settlement submit Claim Forms, the average payout
will be $2,000 per person. You may be entitled to more or less than this amount.
What are My Legal Rights?
If you wish to share in the Settlement Fund you must file a claim as discussed below. If the
Court approves the Proposed Settlement, you will receive a payment if you qualify. You
will also be bound by all of the Court’s orders. This means you will drop any claims you
may have against the Defendants covered by this Settlement.
If you wish to file a claim you must complete a Claim Form. You can get a Claim Form by
contacting the Claims Administrators, in writing, at the address given below, or by calling
the toll free number. Claim Forms must be signed and post-marked no later than January 8,
If you do not wish to be a member of the Settlement Class, you must sign a Request for
Exclusion letter as outlined in the Stipulation of Settlement and Notice which you can
download from the website or get from the Claims Administrator. Your Request for
Exclusion must be filed with the Court no later than February 16, 2007.
When Will the Settlement be Approved?
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California will hold a Fairness
Hearing to decide if the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate at 10:00 a.m.
on March 2, 2007, at the United States District Court, 501 I Street, Courtroom 2,
Sacramento, California 95814. At the hearing the Court will also consider whether Class
Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs are fair, reasonable, and adequate.
If you remain a member of the Settlement Class you or your counsel have the right to
appear before the Court and to object to the Settlement. However, in order to object, you
must file a written objection, as outlined in the Stipulation of Settlement and long form
notice. Objections must be filed with the Court by January 8, 2007.
FOR INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT,
YOUR RIGHTS, AND A COPY OF THE NOTICE:
VISIT: www.robinsonvsacco.com or Call: 1-800-401-0541 or
Write: Sacramento County Juvenile Strip Search Class Action,
c/o Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 1110 Corte Madera, CA 94976-1110
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT
— Legal Notice —
Responding to Teen and Youth Violence
Community versus government solutions
“We are mobilizing to save
our daughters and sons.”
feel that we
pain and sor-
row. In spite of
is creating crime
Tere are many events being planned to
address teen and youth violence. While our gov-
ernment shows its lack of concern towards our
sufering, many citizens are rising to the call to
show support towards the families whose hearts
have been broken and who drown in sorrow and
tears. We are mobilizing to save our daughters
Rhonda Erwin is a violence prevention activ-
ist and mother who lives in Sacramento, and
welcomes those who can help <amomscry@yahoo.
Peace Arts Xchange 2007 calendar now available
Peace Arts Xchange (PAX) presents Children’s Art about Peace, its 2007 calendar. The color-
ful wall calendar is now available at The Avid Reader, East West Books, Sacramento Area Peace
Action, and the UNICEF Store, all in Sacramento. The artwork above is a detail from June 2007,
by Kindergartner Ariana Mirmobiny. To see images from the works of Sacramento area students,
or for a full list of outlets, go to www.sacpeace.net. More Info: 736-1678 or 393-7676.
This project is funded in part by the ArtScapes Grant Program of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission with
support from the City and County of Sacramento.
4 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
Justice on earth
By Bob Richards
esus lived at the height of the most dominant,
hierarchical, militaristic empire in ancient
history. Romans completely lorded over
the Mediterranean world and parts of the Mid-
East with their military, engineering, and eco-
nomic empire. Jesus grew up four miles from the
Roman-Greek center of Galilee, where the Herod
dynasty exploited the region.
Unlike his cousin, John the Baptist, who
focused on “goodness” and future salvation, Jesus
focused on present day life, healing and build-
ing community among the poor. He walked the
back roads with the homeless, with dispossessed
farmers and frustrated fshermen. Jesus ate with
people and taught about what he surely deliber-
ately called, “Te Kingdom of God”—meaning a
diferent kind of political organization. His teach-
ings—based on Torah, prophetic, and wisdom
writings—were thoroughly the opposite of impe-
rialism: “Te land belongs to God” and we share
it fairly, and take care of relationships with our
workers and animals, and the earth. All people
deserve Sabbath (rest, peace, healing). “Love your
neighbor” comes from Leviticus. Injustice and
violence of any kind toward anyone were heavily
Jesus and his followers met the Samaritans
(a hated enemy among Jews). He related to
By Shayana Mendes
When Cheney’s in-
When Cheney’s in
Surely, there will be
Ruckus- all around.
Because we will
We will unravel
We are the people.
We hold the power.
In we go into the
The tower of light,
Love, and peace.
Time to make the
Oh look, at the
Vivid, magenta hue.
I pause as I stare
What a breathtak-
As I gaze into
You’re eyes, I’m
The tsunami- blue
Of us who are
Out here to speak
our voice, we will
Oh look at the fut-
Wings of the dove.
From its wings,
People can stare,
And be hypnotized
11th, I will
I’ll show them that
We won’t let this
War last. No, I won’t
I won’t give them the
Time of day.
I refuse to sit
Silent as the power-
Hungry men have
I won’t do it!
I won’t give them
The time of day!
Why should I?
When many inno-
People have died?
It enrages and sad-
dens me that Bush
How dare he take
Advantage of the
Innocent youth’s vul-
Being out here is
So, I treat it
The pain hurts
Oh, the aching
A hole in my chest.
I feel the pain,
Deep within my
I am sensitive,
So sometimes I
Can feel other
They’re only feeling
All Bush wants to
Do is gain,
Care that others are
He is such an
Ughh, people like
This, I just
It makes me
Want to go on
It makes me
Rip this page.
The morose, riveting,
I am drowning in the
That’s what’s hap-
To people fghting
They don’t know
The real reason of
What they’re fght-
For the rabid, tumul-
The waves of sorrow.
Makes me wish it
The poison that is
As well as from
That’s what poison
It is a venom to
It’s this same venom,
That has those
Soldiers chained, it
Has them bind.
They are chained
They are thrown to
As the ropes tighten,
It pulls deep within
It controls outside
When will people
Learn that war scars
One for life?
It doesn’t make
You think it’s a
Do you fnd
Well, too bad
Because I’m not toy-
ing. I wish I
Swings by in
Everything is blurry.
Time to tell you all
A story of peace,
Love, and hope.
At one time,
I too was guillable.
I too was naïve.
I didn’t know what to
Nor what to per-
So, certain people
They started toying
They thought that
I’d never open
Up my eyes, to the
But, I have, you
So truly, I tell
Don’t let them brain-
Or, you’ll become a
I’m being dragged
By the rabid- tide.
I’m being told to
Come along for the
It’s as Martin
Luther King Jr. once
That which you
Don’t fght to
To accept or
Now, do you see
why my anger doth
It is our destiny.
It is our fate.
Lets spread love and
Shayana Mendes is a
community college stu-
dent in Sacramento.
Roman soldiers and curious Pharisees. But Jesus
denounced puritanical, self-righteous, hypocriti-
cal legalistic busy-bodies—and also the Zealots,
who continually planned for and awaited the
time of armed resistance—and who eventually
brought on the complete Roman destruction of
Jewish organization in Palestine.
When Jesus and his large group went to Jeru-
salem just before his death, in stark contrast to
the Roman military contingent out in full force,
they entered Jerusalem with symbols of peace,
humility, and poverty. Te next day he called the
temple, where the poor and “unacceptable” were
not allowed, a “Den of Robbers.” Treatened by
Jesus’ messages, the priests sought to get rid of
Jesus but couldn’t because of the crowd’s support.
Jesus’ teaching and example remain at the
heart of so much of what our struggle is about.
Jesus’ followers, such as Martin Luther King,
Jr. and myriads of justice workers, named and
unnamed, have given their lives in non-violent
protest, working to end child labor and unjust
working conditions. Teocracy periodically has
raised its ugly exclusivity within Christianity, but
Jesus was entirely inclusive, without any barriers
for gender or difering groups, especially for the
outcast, the poor, and the marginalized.
Now the empire is again in full swing. Te
past trend in the US toward more and more
social/political justice is being pushed back by
consumerism and social control. Our govern-
ment vilifes enemies and emphasizes power,
competition, wealth, global control. We see more
and more breakdown in justice, in good teaching
and in equity-producing social, economic, and
political organization. And so many of us seem
ignorant or unconcerned about this drif.
Te history of Christianity as an institu-
tionalized religion is a long history with many
and frequent divergences into its own terrible
injustices, domination, and hierarchy. But for
centuries, Jesus’ true followers have struggled
against empire and worked to build a humane
global community. And, importantly, those who
practice non-violence, community building, and
just and loving relationships—even when seem-
ingly unsuccessful in the short term—always fnd
a basic meaning in life!
Bob Richards is a retired junior high school
teacher, a bible and theology student, and social
For further reading: How Jesus’ Apostle
Opposed Rome’s Empire with God’s Kingdom by
John Dominic Crossan, 2004.
Jesus: Social Activist
“Jesus’ true followers have
struggled against empire and
worked to build a humane
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 5
to the Movies
the Central America
videos on social
struggles, and so
much more! Call to
see what’s playing
WE ALSO HAVE A
VIDEO LIBRARY YOU
CAN CHECK OUT.
1640 9th Ave (east
off Land Park Dr)
We’re the perfect
bookstore if your
idea of “book
collecting” is by
Te Book Collector
“Books for readers and collectors.”
1008 24th Street
(Between J & K Streets)
Unity in the Community! Black Power to Black
People! White Power to White People! Brown
Power to Brown People! Yellow Power to Yel-
low People! Red Power to Red People!
Tese cries emanated from black communi-
ties throughout this nation in 1968, initiated by
the Black Panther Party. Many organizations were
formed afer hearing those calls.
Who were these groups and how did they
come into existence? Te Patriots were a group
of poor young white working-class people, many
from street-turf gangs, originally formed in
Chicago. Teir chapters and Ten Point Program
were modeled afer the Black Panther Party’s. Te
Patriots supported and closely followed the BPP’s
example and dedicated themselves to serving the
basic needs of their communities, such as free
breakfast programs, free health clinics and other
services. Te Patriot Party, like the Panthers, pub-
lished a newspaper.
Te Young Lords also followed, in purpose
and actions, many of the examples set by the BPP.
Tese young Puerto Ricans formed chapters in
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Mas-
sachusetts, and Puerto Rico. Teir female leader-
ship strongly pursued the fght for women’s rights
and formed prison solidarity groups for incarcer-
ated Puerto Ricans. By 1976, the Young Lords
had been all but destroyed by the FBI. However,
other groups formed and continued to pursue
San Francisco’s Red Guard was patterned
closely afer the BPP. In 1969, the federal govern-
ment wanted to shut down a tuberculosis testing
center in San Francisco’s Chinese community. At
the time, Chinatown had the highest TB rate in
the country. Te young Asians in the Red Guard
organized the community and staged successful
demonstrations to keep that TB testing center
open. Trough these protests and the programs
that the Red Guard initiated, Chinatown’s citizens
were enlightened and became open to more
progressive politics. In 1970, members of the Red
Guard were part of a delegation invited to join
the Panther’s Minister of Information, Eldridge
Cleaver, in a visit to China, North Korea, and
North Vietnam. Afer about two and a half years,
due to political and police repression, such as
ofce raids, arrests without warrants, false arrests,
and armed stand-ofs with police, the organiza-
Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers
brought attention to the plight of Hispanic and
Filipino farm workers in this country. Because
of his infuence, and that of the Black Panther
Party, young Chicanos from the barrios came to
realize that struggle against oppressive conditions
was necessary for change, and the Brown Berets
organization was formed in 1967, with a 13-Point
Party Platform similar to that of the BPP. In the
summer of 1968, the Brown Berets marched
with the Rainbow Coalition in the Poor People’s
Campaign in Washington, DC. Among their
many contributions, they organized Vietnam War
protests, exposed police brutality, and started
the Chicano movement for self-determination.
Unfortunately, this organization met with a simi-
lar fate to that of the BPP—police infltration and
Te American Indian Movement (AIM)
was organized in the summer of 1968 when
approximately 200 members of the Native Ameri-
can community met to discuss various critical
issues in their communities—police brutality,
slum housing, 80% unemployment, and racist
and discriminatory government policies. Today,
despite many legal battles and repressive actions
on the government’s part, including the impris-
onment of leaders such as Leonard Peltier, AIM
has grown and still continues to serve its com-
munity from a base of Native American culture.
In Minnesota, AIM’s birthplace, organizations
have developed to institute schools, housing and
employment services. In November of 1969, the
world took notice when young Bay Area Native
American students and urban Indians occupied
Alcatraz Island for 19 months, claiming it in the
name of Native Nations.
In the 1960s and 1970s these diverse groups
formed strong bonds with the Black Panther
Party. We came to understand that we had com-
mon problems; our communities were sufering
from similar social and economic conditions. We
were being oppressed and exploited by the same
perpetrators. Tese groups met with the BPP and
discussed and set forth plans to resolve some of
these issues. Te Panthers’ 10-Point Platform and
Program was a basic plan of action spelling out
clearly what we wanted and what we believed.
Tis program and platform was so powerful
and so on-target that many of those solidarity
groups drew up similar programs tailored to their
Because of strong solidarity with these many
diferent groups, the BPP was able to amass great
numbers of people to participate in demonstra-
tions such as Free Huey Newton (BPP co-found-
er), stop the military draf, and end the Vietnam
War rallies, which occurred all over the country.
Included among these supportive organiza-
tions were many splinter groups such as the Gay
Liberation Front, the Peace and Freedom Party,
the woman’s liberation movement, the Yippies,
the Gray Panthers and groups that formed for
the rights of disabled people. Tese solidarity
groups did not go unnoticed by the FBI and
were also subjected to the FBI’s dirty tricks and
Cointelpro program. For example, the groups’
ofces and residences were bugged; they were
infltrated by government spies, and set-up for
frame-ups and false arrests. Although the other
groups were harassed and brutalized, only the
Black Panther Party was singled out for complete
Many members of the Black Panther Party
were tortured, murdered, and/or locked away in
dungeons, where many still remain. However,
they did not get us all. We, the survivors, have a
duty and a responsibility to continue to fght for
those same 10 Points, for what we want and what
we believe <www.itsabouttimebpp.com/home/
Elbert” Big Man” Howard went to Merritt Col-
lege in Oakland with Huey Newton, co-founder of
the Black Panther Party. Howard joined the Pan-
thers at the very beginning. He was the frst editor
of the Panther newspaper. Later, Howard became
the Panthers’ deputy minister of information and
Remembering the Black
A catalyst for solidarity and unity
By Elbert “Big Man” Howard
“In the 1960s and 1970s diverse
groups formed strong bonds
with the Black Panther Party.”
Angela Davis and Elbert “Big Man”Howard meet
before the BPP Reunion.
Photo: Billy X. Jennings 2006
6 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
on the Web
Keep up to date
on peace activism
Outreach for a
11:30am to 1:30pm.
L Street at 11th.
We bring petitions,
literature and banners.
You bring yourselves.
Cafe nearby for coffee
after the vigil.
By Nancy Price
Bottled water is a private diversion of our
public water commons. An intense 15-year public
relations campaign has turned bottled water into
a multi-billion dollar-a-year business. Bottled
water sales outpace all other beverages except
soda pop. At the same time, beer, cofee and milk
sales are fat.
Consumers now want bottled water at any
time and place. What’s more insidious, we have
been convinced that our tap water is not safe, and
that buying bottled water up to 1,000 times the
cost of water from a municipal system–that we
have already paid for with our tax dollars–makes
We are being conditioned to look for and
accept individual, private, and costly solutions to
local water problems. Instead, we should work
with public ofcials and others on communal
strategies. Te strategies are: testing water, iden-
tifying and stopping pollution, and adequately
funding our public water works.
Three bottled water giants:
Coca Cola with its Dasani brand and Pep-
siCo with Aquafna both contract with local gov-
ernments and pay pennies to just turn on the tap
to “make” plain bottled water, with some added
fltration. Nestlé Waters North America, an afli-
ate of Nestlé, SA, the number one Swiss food
and beverage multinational, taps directly into
our fresh springs and aquifers and dominates
the spring water market hiding behind regional
brand names, such as Arrowhead and Calistoga
Northern California a target
In 2003, Nestlé signed a 50-year contract, renew-
able for 50 years, with the McCloud Community
Services District to build a 1-
million square-foot bottling/
distribution center in this rural
community. Te center is just
south of Mt. Shasta on Route 89
of I-5, and is similar to centers
in Michigan and Maine.
Nestlé will use 1,800,000
gallons of spring water per day,
with access to unlimited ground
water and 8,500 acre-feet annu-
ally of water from the McCloud
River upon purchase of the old
Cal-Cedar Mill property. Nestlé
will pay only .000087 cents per
gallon for the water it takes from
McCloud’s springs, or only 8.7
cents for 100,000 gallons. A 16-
ounce bottle of the same water
sells for around $1.29, or $10.32 per gallon. At
a shelf price of $10.32 per gallon, 1600 acre-feet
would gross $5,380,451,712 dollars. If Nestlé nets
1/5 of what that water sells for it would make
over $1 billion a year.
Already, Crystal Geyser bottles water in
Weed, northwest of Mt. Shasta, and Coca-Cola
has just purchased a Mt. Shasta plant that uses
500 gallons of water per minute in a 150,000-
square-foot building. Nestlé and Coca-Cola are
also bottled water partners in Indonesia.
What is our public water commons worth?
Groundwater is pumped 24 hours, 7 days-
per-week from surrounding wells and habitats.
Tis process creates a staggering depletion of
water supply that scientists have documented. Yet
industry disputes it, repeatedly.
Just as important, petroleum and natural
gas are used to make the multi-billions of plastic
bottles that contain water. Plastic water bottles
(and their later disposal) leave a world-wide
toxic trail of land, air and water pollution. Tis
petroleum-fueled trail from plastic bottles begins
at manufacturing centers and travels to wholesale
and retail outlets. Tis transit mode contributes
to global warming, and air and water pollution.
Less ofen mentioned is the contamination
of our bodies by even trace amounts of pollu-
tion. Tis has serious health consequences for all
ages. See “Water for Life Not Corporate Proft”
in the Alliance for Democracy’s newsletter
Justice Rising: www.thealliancefordemocracy.
To get involved, support the McCloud Water-
shed Council efort to stop the Nestlé/McCloud
project. Learn more about this campaign at www.
and national mobilization has generated over
2,000 expert legal, scientifc and citizen com-
ments, which were received by the Siskiyou
County Planning Department on the Draf
Environmental Impact Report. Finally, join the
Women’s International League for Peace and
Freedom’s “Save the Water Campaign” at www.
wilpf.org/campaigns/water. To order Tap Into It
bumper stickers (see top of page) call 530-758-
0726 or email@example.com.
Nancy Price is co-chair, Alliance for Democ-
racy and Western Coordinator of the Defending
Water for Life Campaign; member, leadership
team of Save the Water Campaign of the Women’s
International League for Peace and Freedom.
on Bottled Water versus cleaning up the drinking water supply
Members of the United Nations estimate that if the world took half of
what it currently spends on bottled water ($100 billion annually) and invest-
ed it in water infrastructure and treatment, everyone in the world could have
access to clean drinking water.
But bottled water is cleaner, right? Actually, the U.S. EPA sets more strin-
gent quality standards for tap water than the FDA does for bottled beverages,
and roughly 40% of bottled water is actually just tap water.
1.5 billion barrels of oil are consumed each year to produce the plastic for
water bottles, enough to fuel 100,000 cars.
According to the Container Recycling Institute, only 14 percent of plastic
water bottles are recycled.
A water bottle in a landfill or lying around as litter will take over 1,000
years to biodegrade.
In 2003, Nestlé signed a 50-year contract, renewable for 50
years, with the McCloud Community Services District to build a
1-million square-foot bottling/distribution center just south of
Bottling Public Water
Selling nature for proft
“We are being conditioned to
look for and accept individual,
private, and costly solutions
to local water problems.”
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 7
By Charlene Jones
roject Censored celebrates 30 years of
digging up what was buried by corporate
newsmakers with the September release
of Censored 2007. Each year the media analysis
project, headquartered at Sonoma State Uni-
versity, publishes research and exposes stories
overlooked or under-covered by mainstream
news. Tis year’s anniversary edition features a
bounty in addition to
its annual top 25-cen-
the project’s mission,
the No. 1 censored
story for the 30th
year focuses on
and media, titled Future of Internet Debate
Ignored by Media. It alerts readers to the largely
underground debate regarding the future of the
Internet as Congress sets its sights on re-writing
the nation’s sweeping telecommunications laws.
Referred to as “network neutrality,” ensuring the
Internet remains open to all voices and ideas
became a ferce contest among telecommunica-
tion companies, public interest groups and Inter-
net service providers. Meanwhile corporations
pour millions into public relations and political
cofers, insisting web access and its worldwide
content must come only at a price, their price.
Te next 24 censored stories are an assort-
ment of disturbing disclosures including: Oceans
of the World in Extreme Danger, US Operatives
Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and
Iraq, Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in
US Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Informa-
tion Act and Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary
Research Partner. In addition to regular yearbook
features such as Junk Food News and News
Abuse, the expanded volume adds chapters on
corporate media cross-ownership, media activist
groups and bias by the Associated Press.
In the AP chapter corporate media malfea-
sance is illustrated by a broadcast blackout of an
American Civil Liberties Union press release,
containing American military sources, which
announced dozens of deaths from US torture.
Te ACLU posted to their website 44 autopsy
reports of civilians who had died while in US
military prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan from
widespread torture by
Te AP wire ser-
vice made the story
available to US media
research showed 95
percent of the daily
papers in the United States did not carry the
story nor did AP conduct follow-up coverage.
Censored 2007 also gives readers a glimpse
at 29 years of No. 1 censored stories with an
update on each and a retrospective by project
founder, Carl Jensen, Ph.D. Teaching at Sonoma
State in 1976, Jensen produced a cablevision pro-
gram titled “CENSORED: Te Great American
Media Mystery.” It revealed mainstream media
gave little coverage to important consequential
news and Project Censored was launched.
From 1977’s No. 1 Jimmy Carter and the Tri-
lateral Commission to last year’s Bush Adminis-
tration Moves to Eliminate Open Government,
Project Censored has provided original research,
vital information and commentary from a
broad selection of non-conformist reporters and
No. 1 stories from past and present have
addressed the investigative theme of news and
eforts by corporate interests to curb and contain
it. Tree decades of Project Censored publica-
tions fnd corporate media has not been the
First Amendment’s friend—2003, FCC Moves to
Privatize Airwaves; 1996, Telecommunications
Project Censored, 30 years and counting
Covering what big media covers up
“No. 1 stories from past and
present have addressed the
investigative theme of news
and eforts by corporate
interests to curb and contain it.”
Deregulation: Closing Up America’s “Market-
place of Ideas; 1993, Te Great Media Sell-Out to
Reaganism; 1992, CBS and NBC Spiked Footage
of Iraq Bombing Carnage; 1991, Te Gulf War:
Truth was the First Casualty; 1990, Global Media
Lords Treaten Open Marketplace of Ideas; and
1988, Te Information Monopoly.
For 30 years students and faculty, com-
munity experts, research interns, guest writers
and national evaluators have assisted Project
Censored, which remains critical to the public
dialogue that underpins US democracy. Pick up
the book or a few of them for those who read and
those who desperately need to do so. Contact
www.projectcensored.org or (707) 664-2500.
Charlene Jones is a member of the Sacra-
mento Media Group and writing team for Project
Useful Web Sites
Institute for Middle East
Union for Radical Political Economics “Political
Economy of the Iran Crisis”
8 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
By Kevin Wehr, Ph.D.
he US Constitution provides for the
removal of an authority from a position
of power—impeachment—based on
“high crimes and misdemeanors,” including
treason, perjury, and abuse of power. In the case
of the Bush administration, mishandling of one
of the most crucial issues of our time—global
climate change—constitutes a clear and danger-
ous case of the abuse of power. Further, the
administration’s stunning incompetence and
in the face of Hurricane
Katrina and decades of
foreknowledge of the
dangers of storms to New
Orleans also constitutes a
sufcient justifcation for
the removal of Bush and
Cheney from any position of authority.
A human-made disaster: predictable
Tere are really few totally “natural” disas-
ters. It was a social decision to build a city in
the way of a natural, predictable (if very pow-
erful) storm. Social disasters don’t just come
about from the ignorance of where a city grew
up, but also from the actions of the state (poor
planning, cronyism, and ideologically-motivat-
ed politics) and the needs of capital (on whose
behalf action is ofen undertaken by the state).
What caused Hurricane Katrina’s dev-
astation? First, the natural waterways of the
delta were reconstructed, canals were cut and
dredged, the river was re-routed, and levees
were built, all of which denied the delta the
natural changes it needs, allowing the city to
Ten the wetlands were drained to make
room for subdivisions. Tis, too, is not separate
from the racialized and class-based character
of the tragedy: capitalism requires a continual
and stable use of natural resources, but it also
requires laboring bodies, and the most easily
dominated groups are those that are most mar-
ginalized. White fight to the suburbs on those
drained wetlands lef the city under-funded
in terms of taxation, and with concentrated
communities of color and poverty. Te rural
outlying areas are also subject to this urban
and classist framing of the disaster. While
New Orleans gets the lion’s share of money
and media attention in the post-disaster scene,
whole (poor, rural) towns in Mississippi were
literally wiped of the map and got almost no
Blind emphasis on pro-business and anti-
environmental policies, such as the refusal to
negotiate or ratify the Kyoto accord (on cli-
mate change), the promulgation of inefectual
voluntary pollution control measures, broad
development policies based on market needs,
and privatized solutions to public problems all
add together to constitute an abuse of power in
the face of scientifc consensus on global climate
change. Virtually all credible scientifc stud-
ies now agree that the earth is warming due at
least in part to anthropogenic (human-induced)
An important outcome of global warming
is an increase in the power of hurricanes. MIT
Professor Kerry Emanuel, in several papers
published in Nature between 1987 and 2005, has
demonstrated that “in most cases, the evolu-
tion of hurricane intensity depends mainly on
three factors: the storm’s initial intensity, the
thermodynamic state of the atmosphere through
which it moves, and the heat exchange with the
upper layer of the ocean under the core of the
hurricane.” Te warmth of the ocean is directly
afected by global climate change: the warmer
the globe, the warmer the ocean, the stronger the
Te Bush administration must be held
accountable for denying global climate change
and for not taking appropriate actions. Tis
abuse of power connects to the fury of Hurricane
Katrina as it destroyed New Orleans and much
of the Gulf Coast. Katrina could not have been
stopped—if we put cities in the way of nature, we
have to expect to be slapped. But the power of
Katrina was fueled by global warming, and action
should have been taken years ago to reduce the
probability of such supercharged storms. Tese
conditioning factors are ideologically-driven, and
refect a gross incompetence by those in power.
And yet even the solutions to Katrina’s devasta-
tion are similarly ideological: large private frms
have benefted from no-bid contracts (just as in
Iraq), pollution controls were “temporarily” put
on hold, a gulf opportunity zone is established
similar to export zones in developing nations
(not subject to normal state controls), and
money has been thrown at a problem rather than
employing careful thought and analysis.
Fiddling while New Orleans foods
Te president’s response to Katrina was crim-
inally delayed, indiferent, and inept. As Kanye
West’s public comment exhibits, many observers
concluded that “George Bush doesn’t care about
black people.” Just after the disaster in New
Orleans Bush spoke of “taking aggressive action
against deep and persistent poverty with roots in
a history of racial discrimination.” In the span of
about two weeks, however, the Republicans were
busy blaming the victims themselves, saying that
the poverty of the evacuees was clear evidence
that the last three decades of governmental pov-
erty alleviation programs had clearly not worked.
Such comments denigrated the people of New
Orleans, suggesting that entitlement programs
were at fault for creating dependency amongst
the destitute. And yet the most damaging form of
entitlement is the gif of a political ofce based on
political connections rather than ability, and this
cronyism contributed directly to the devastation.
In the year before Hurricane Katrina hit, the
Bush administration continued to cut budgets
and deny grants to the Gulf Coast. In June of
2004, the Army Corps of Engineers levee budget
for New Orleans was cut. It was cut again in June
of 2005, this time by $71.2 million or 44% of their
budget. Adding insult to injury, in 2004 FEMA
denied a Louisiana disaster mitigation (reduc-
tion) grant request. Bush, in other words, did
worse than nothing. Te administration slashed
budgets for levee restoration, downgraded FEMA
from a cabinet position, and considered privatiz-
ing the entire agency.
Since Watergate, the classic question has
become “What did they know, and when did
they know it?” Te answer, in this situation,
is they knew it all, and they knew at least 24
hours in advance. Te White House was given
multiple warnings that Hurricane Katrina had
a high likelihood of causing serious damage to
New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. At 10 am on
Sunday 28, August 2005, the day before the storm
hit, the National Weather Service published an
alert under the title “DEVASTATING DAMAGE
Te Homeland Security Department also
briefed the White House on the scenario,
warning of levee breaches and severe fooding.
According to the New York Times, “a Homeland
Security Department report submitted to the
A Case for Impeachment
The White House and Hurricane Katrina
response to Katrina was
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 9
White House at 1:47 am on Aug. 29, hours before
the storm hit, said, ‘Any storm rated Category 4
or greater will likely lead to severe fooding and/
or levee breaching.’” Tis document, made public
by a Senate investigation, clearly contradicts the
statements made by both President Bush and
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertof,
immediately afer the storm, that such devasta-
tion could not have been predicted. On Septem-
ber 1, 2005, President Bush said “I don’t think
anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.” But
the devastation was predicted, and both Bush
and Chertof were informed. And then they lied
So the weather service told them it was
coming. So did the only FEMA agent on the
ground. So did members of the DHS itself. What
was it that administration ofcials did while
New Orleans fooded? Bush, Cheney, and other
members of the cabinet were not inconvenienced
by the Gulf Coast disaster. Te President gave
an unrelated speech at a Naval air station in San
Diego, comparing himself favorably to FDR, with
a media photo-op of him strumming a guitar
(not fddling, as Nero did). Te vice president
remained fy-fshing on vacation in Wyoming.
What did people do in response to this gov-
ernment bungling, this death, and destruction?
Tey organized themselves so as to overcome.
What is most brilliant in this disaster is the ability
of the people themselves to solve the problems
that the authorities cannot solve or will not face.
Te people of New Orleans did not all act with
integrity—that much is clear—but most of them
did, most of the time. While race and class clearly
constructed the chances of individuals to get out,
these same folks responded to such indignities
by developing the types of systems that actually
solve problems, rather than denying disaster and
then merely giving lip-service, as those of the
Bush administration did.
A New Orleans hurricane survivor, Denise
Moore, was evacuated to the Ernest Morial Con-
vention Center. Tere she and family members
found a nightmare. Tey were there for two days
without food or water. Shelter was not conducive
to human existence; she thought she was in hell,
and that the authorities had lef her and her fam-
ily (including a 63-year-old and a 2-year-old)
there to die. When authorities did come, they
came only to drop of more and more people,
people who had been rescued from roofops.
Tey arrived delirious from dehydration and
sunstroke. Te authorities said that the bus-
ses would come, but they did not, not for days.
Denise reported that the “police drove by, win-
dows rolled up, thumbs up signs. National Guard
trucks rolled by, completely empty, soldiers with
guns cocked and aimed at them.”
But those in the Convention Center were
not entirely dispirited. Denise reported that there
were young men with guns there, but they were
the ones who organized the crowd:
Tey went to Canal Street and “looted,” and
brought back food and water for the old people
and the babies, because nobody had eaten in
days. When the police rolled down windows
and yelled out “the buses are coming,” the young
men with guns organized the crowd in order: old
people in front, women and children next, men
in the back. Just so that when the buses came,
there would be priorities of who got out frst.
She also saw some men shoot at the police,
because afer some time “all the people thought
the cops were coming to hurt them, to kill them
all.” Tey all believed they were sent there to die.
“If it wasn’t for them,” she said “we wouldn’t have
had the little water and food they had found. I
will never look at thugs and gangsters the same
Kevin Wehr is an assistant professor of sociol-
ogy at California State University Sacramento.
Wehr’s article is adapted from his essay in a col-
lection of essays titled Impeach the President: Te
Case Against Bush and Cheney edited by Dennis
Loo and Peter Phillips, (Seven Stories Press, 2006).
This image shows two curves. One
curve (white dots) is a histogram
of hurricane intensities for current
climate conditions. The second
curve (black dots) is a histogram
of intensities for warm climate
(high CO2) conditions. The warm
climate curve (intensities) is shifted
toward lower central pressures
(higher intensities) compared to
the present climate curve. The
caption above provides details on
the experiments that produced
This year, the hurricanes took a break. But what will happen in the future?
“The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even
more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth’s climate is warmed
by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at
present whether more or fewer hurricanes will occur in the future with global warming,
the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger
and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions.
This expectation (Figure below) is based on an anticipated enhancement of energy
available to the storms due to higher tropical sea surface temperatures.”
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. www.gfdl.noaa.gov/~tk/glob_warm_hurr.html
10 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
Tis “unauthorized memoir” is the biting, yet
delightful, story of the author’s 30 years in the
early network news era of TV. It was a time in the
50s, 60s and 70s when the three great conglomer-
ates—NBC, CBS, and ABC—were organized and
ruled the roost. It was a heady period of business
expansion in the communications feld, as well
as in the cultural realm, whose full potential was
yet to be tested. Much of what occurred during
those years had promising intervals of cultural
enhancement that provided opportunities for
talented, creative people to work in the new
booming communications industry. And it was
a period as well of vast changes and advances in
technology that made possible today’s CNNs,
HBOs, C-SPANS, and Clear Channels.
During those years, the evolving techniques
and methodology for deeply infuencing the
thinking of Americans about all aspects of our
daily lives took a quantum jump. Brainwashing
through advertising and public relations became
perhaps America’s biggest industry. Everything
with the potential for commodifca-
tion—for being turned into a saleable
product—was (and is) grist for the
market economy. Today it’s called
Stephen Fleischman is one of the
great talents and unsung heroes as a
writer, director, producer, and much
else in the feld of media. Unknown to
his bosses, he was from his early years a
Marxist who understood the inner work-
ings and dynamics of the capitalist system.
Tat knowledge pulled him through many a
difcult phase in his working career. Miracu-
lously, he managed to escape the ravages of
the McCarthy period (of anti-communist
witchunts), or so it would appear from his
In the course of three decades in network
news, Fleischman encountered and worked with
some of the bright stars in network news: Walter
Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly, Dan
Rather, Howard K. Smith, Eric Sevareid, Peter
Jennings and others. On a personal note, in my
very early years, I worked for a period of time in
the US post ofce in New York City and delivered
mail to some of these notables.
For people of Fleischman’s generation, these
names will live longer in history than the Lim-
baughs, Hannitys and the George Wills of our
time. From the moment I started reading this
book I couldn’t put it down. For this reviewer,
much of it is déjà vu, reliving a segment of histo-
ry that, with all of its negatives, stands as a lode-
star compared with the dolorous times in which
we live today. I highly recommend A Red in the
House as an informative and stimulating read.
Leon Lefson is a veteran political activist
and retired state worker who lives and writes in
Sandy Tolan, international journalist, documen-
tary producer, and current I.F. Stone Fellow at
UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, has woven
together thousands of elements of the complex
historical realities of Palestine and Israel, based
on reporting, research, interviews, and archival
documents, both published and unpublished.
Some eight years in process, Te Lemon Tree
displays with great richness of understanding
and skill the human complexities in the story of
“An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle
East”—a story of one house and 2 families.
Te Khairis are a large and prosperous
Palestinian Arab family from the ancient city of
Al Ramla. Since CE 714, Al Ramle had been an
exclusively Arab town, but when Israel was being
created in 1948, all its citizens were expelled by
the order of young Yitzhak Rabin (the late Israeli
Prime Minister). Tey fed to Ramallah, a 20-
mile walk under the hot sun with their children,
among whom was six-year-old Bashir. Many
Palestinians died in such marches.
Te other family, the Eshkenazis, are descen-
dants of Sephardic Jews expelled from Christian
Spain in 1492, but welcomed into the Muslim
Ottoman empire—Bulgaria. Frightened by the
horrifc events in Europe and the roundup of
Jews in Bulgaria, the Eshkenezis started a new life
in Palestine in 1948, when Israel was declared a
state for Jews. Tey brought with them their tiny
Te narrative describes the
experiences of Dalia, an Israeli
Jewish woman, and Bashir, a dis-
posessed Palestinian, over a 40-year
period. In 1967, Bashir goes to Israel
to search for his lost home in Ramle.
Dalia opens the door and invites him
in. Tey tour the house, Bashir fnds
out his old room has become Dalia’s
room, and also fnds the lemon tree his
parents had planted long ago.
Tolan switches back and forth
between the histories of the two families,
giving a context for what happened to
Dalia’s family—“the essence of secular
Zionists.” When Dalia wondered who had
lived in the house, she was told the Arabs
“preferred to leave.” But why, she wondered,
would anyone leave so willingly?
Dalia learned to live a life of discernment,
to see the whole and not judge solely by sur-
faces. And on the intuitive level, she must have
been aware of that history, for she remembered
it when she opened the door, she thought “Wow!
It’s them! It’s as if I’d always been waiting for
them.” When they lef, she felt welling up inside
her a sense of akhrayet—an ability to respond to
Meanwhile, Bashir matured and specialized
in labor matters. He became an Arab nationalist.
He reasoned, “force expelled us, and only force
would get the land back.”
It is impossible to read this book without
developing strong ties to these two individuals
caught in a moral dilemma. When Dalia visited
Bashir’s family in Ramallah, he showed her a
cabinet containing a lemon, now shriveled, which
she had given him from the tree. He says, “Tis
lemon is more than fruit. It is land and history.”
She replies “We can see ourselves in you, Bashir.
We can remember our own history of exile over
thousands of years.”
Tey were residing within a contradiction:
they were enemies and they were friends. Te
ensuing chapters are gripping. Bashir was impris-
oned for 15 years and brutally tortured. Dalia felt
her “spirit was being crushed by an historic wheel
Dalia’s parents passed away and she
approached Bashir about what she should do
with her house. She ofered Bashir reparations,
which he quickly rejected, suggesting instead that
Dalia and her husband Yehezkel Landau make
the house into a pre-school for the town’s Arab
Te original lemon tree had died—but a new
one was planted and is growing.
Mary Bisharat is a human rights activist and
retired social worker in Sacramento.
A Red in the House: The Unauthorized Memoir of S.E. Fleischman
by Stephen Fleischman
Paperback: iUniverse, February 25, 2004. 382 pages.
Reviewed by Leon Lefson
“Unknown to his bosses, he
was from his early years a
Marxist who understood the
inner workings and dynamics
of the capitalist system.”
The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan
Hardback: Bloomsbury Publishing (May 2, 2006). 304 pages.
Reviewed by Mary Bisharat
“The narrative describes the
experiences of Dalia, an Israeli
Jewish woman, and Bashir,
a disposessed Palestinian,
over a 40-year period.”
Some of the
Places You Can
Dimple Records, Arden
Galleria (29th & K)
Hart Senior Center
Luna’s Cafe & Juice Bar
Mercy Hospital, 40th/J
Mother India Restaurant
Pancake Circus, 21st/
Franklin Blvd, Watt
Ave., 29th St.
Queen of Tarts
Library (Main & many
Starbucks (B'wy & 35th)
Time Tested Books
Tower Theater (inside)
Tupelo (Elvas & 57th)
(35th St. near B'way)
Espresso Cafe Roma
Davis Natural Food
US Post Offce
Where would you like
to see BPM? Let Paulette
Cuilla know, 422-
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 11
he cost of US health care has climbed 43
percent over the past nine years, accord-
ing to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tis
price jump is close to
double the over-all
rate of infation (price
increases) of 26 percent
in the same nine years.
David Leonhardt, in the
New York Times of Sept.
27, wrote that the spiral-
ing prices for the US
health care system “are
slowly creating a crisis.”
However, he continued, we fool ourselves
if we think that American health care is over-
priced. In fact the nation’s health care is priced
right for what the American people get. We are
living longer and as a result are paying more for
health care that includes “defbrillators, chemo-
therapy, cholesterol drugs, neonatal care and
other treatments that are both expensive and
I have a question for Leonhardt. If US health
care is such a great deal for what it provides the
people of the world’s best democracy—please
explain how is it that Canada spends less per per-
son for health care than the US, while Canadians
have longer life expectancies than Americans?
Total health expenditure per person for 2004
was $6,102 in the US versus $3,165 in Canada,
according to the Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development. As of two years ago,
Americans were paying 45 percent more than
what Canadians pay for health care.
Spending on health care per person in the
US was $1,776 versus $1,264 in Canada in 1985.
Health care spending was $2,752 for the US and
$1,737 for Canada in 1990. By 1995, US health
care spending per person was $3,670 compared
with $2,055 in Canada. US health care spending
per person reached $4,588 as Canadian spending
was $2,503 per person in 2000. Canada’s per per-
son health care costs went from 71 percent of US
spending levels in 1985 to 55 percent in 2004.
Meanwhile, Canadians can expect to live
longer than Americans. Life expectancy was 79.3
years for Canadians versus 76.8 years for Ameri-
cans in 2000, according to the OECD. Canadians
could expect to live 75.3 years compared with
Americans’ 73.7 years in 1980. Canadians’ life
expectancies were 77.6 years versus life expec-
tancy of 75.3 years in the US in 1990.
As US per person health care spending rose
relative to Canada’s expenditures, Canadians’ life
expectancies increased faster than Americans’.
How can that be? Te OECD does not provide
that answer. What we do know is that Canada
provides its citizens with universal health care. In
other words, health care is the right of all Cana-
dians. Te US has gone in a diferent direction
with health care provision for its populace.
Leonhardt does not consider universal health
care for Americans. Tus his column echoed con-
ventional thinking on
our system. Consider
this: Te day afer
workers walked out,
in no small part due
to management push-
ing them to pay more
for health care, Cali-
fornia Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger vetoed state Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s
(D-Santa Monica) Senate Bill 840 to provide all
Californians with high-quality, comprehensive
“SB 840 relies on the failed old paradigm of
using one source—this time the government—to
solve the complex problem of providing medical
care for our people,” the governor said in a press
Without a mention of this vetoed universal
health-care bill, an unsigned Sacramento Bee edi-
torial of Sept. 7 urged county workers to get used
to health-care costs, rising for “everyone.” It is
worth noting that Sen. Kuehl’s universal health-
care bill would have done away with a main force
driving up the costs of medical care—private
health insurance. Tese same insurers such as
Blue Cross/Blue Shield are also a source of ad
revenue for media such as Te Bee and campaign
cash for the political system.
Seth Sandronsky is a co-editor with Because
US Health Care in Crisis
“How is it that Canada spends
less per person for health
care than the US, while
Canadians have longer life
expectancies than Americans?”
Eight students in C-COLORS (Coalition
for Cultural Opportunities in Leadership and
Overall Retention of Students) rallied with six
faculty members at California State University,
Sacramento in mid-October to voice concerns
about the direction of the Multi-Cultural/
Women’s Resource Center.
Students frst introduced themselves at a
press conference. Later, they submitted over
a dozen completed job applications for a new
clerical position in the Center.
C-COLORS wants more employment
diversity in the Center. Tere are many stu-
dents who have the drive and qualifcations to
work with various ethnic groups on the CSUS
C-COLORS’ goals include efectively
boosting the retention rates of CSUS students.
Te group suggested mentoring and tutoring
outreach as two methods for the Center to use
to improve student retention.
Also, C-COLORS wants the Center to
bring in more cultural organizations on cam-
pus, and to actively afrm diversity. Tis is only
the frst step for C-COLORS.
For more information, contact (916)
Anthony “A.J.” Crisostomo is a second
year student at CSU, Sacramento, and actively
involved with the local Pilipino community.
Students, Faculty Rally for Change at CSUS
By Anthony “A.J.” Crisostomo
Peace in the Precincts volunteers working to elect Dr. Bill Durston to Congress and Jim Cook
to the State Assembly. Durston and Cook teamed up to support each other’s campaigns. They
have many enthusiastic supporters. For more information about Peace in the Precincts and to
volunteer, go to www.ippcampaign.blogspot.com, or call 225-5670.
Photographer: Harold Fong
05/08/2006—California Nurses march on
Sacramento, demanding clean money, fair
elections, and healthcare for all. Shown here with
state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, author of SB840.
photo: California Nurses Association
12 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
ohammed el-Baradei, International
Atomic Energy Agency director, issued
a report to the IAEA Board of Gov-
ernors and the UN Security Council on August
31, 2006. Te report contained the obvious truth
that Iran had not halted activities related to ura-
nium enrichment. But another part of the report
received far less coverage in the corporate media.
Inspections “have not uncovered any concrete
proof that Iran’s nuclear program is of a military
nature,” the report stated. In other words, as the
IAEA has consistently reported, there is no evi-
dence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.
Te UN Security Council passed Resolu-
tion 1696 on July 31. Te stated objective of the
resolution is to halt the development of Iran’s
progress in uranium enrichment, an important
phase in nuclear technology.
In late May, a ministerial meeting of the
Non-Aligned Movement—which includes over
100 states—defended Iran’s right to develop its
peaceful nuclear program. Te NAM views the
pressures on Iran as another example of the
major capitalist powers stifing independent tech-
Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad-
Javad Zarif, agreed with the NAM’s view. “To
demonstrate the peaceful nature of its program,
Iran submitted its nuclear facilities to an unprec-
edented inspection by the IAEA in the preceding
years,” Zarif said, “which enabled the agency to
organize the most robust inspection it has ever
carried out. It included more than 2,000 inspec-
tor-days of scrutiny in the past three years.”
John Bolton is the US ambassador to the UN.
He indicated that the US will pursue an “inde-
pendent” coalition for penalizing and sanction-
ing Iran,” reported the Aug. 26 LA Times. “You
don’t need Security Council authority to impose
To the extent that the US can use the cover of
the UN Security Council to advance its objective
of “regime change” in Iran, a diplomatic, multilat-
eral approach is, of course, desirable. If and when
that ceases to serve the US purpose, or becomes
irrelevant, then the US will act unilaterally.
UN Security Council Resolution 1696 is
unfair and baseless from the standpoint of inter-
national law. Iran is a signatory of the Treaty
on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT). Te other nuclear-armed countries in
the region—Israel, Pakistan and India—have
refused to sign that treaty, with no threats or
Originally signed in 1968, the NPT entitles
its signatories to the peaceful development
of nuclear energy. Further, the NPT obligates
nuclear-armed nations to dismantle their nuclear
weapons and provide technical assistance to non-
Te US, Britain and France have no inten-
tion of dismantling their huge arsenals of nuclear
weapons. US threats of direct military interven-
tion and the possibility of sanctions against Iran
have no more to do with nuclear arms in Iran
than the invasion of Iraq was about weapons of
mass destruction. Washington’s strategy in the
Middle East has long consisted of bringing down
independent states and breaking down mass
resistance. Recent events in Palestine and Leba-
non are two examples.
Sanctions and wars, in addition to diplomatic
maneuvers, are all at the service of this strat-
egy. When 12 years of Washington’s genocidal
sanctions against Iraq failed to bring about the
desired regime change, invasion became the best
imperialist option. Recall the imperialist dream
that Condoleezza Rice recently termed the “new
Middle East”—a region where no independent
state or popular resistance movement exists.
Meanwhile, transnational corporations control all
the key resources.
With the majority of Arab governments
beholden to Washington or in shambles, the two
states that now stand in the way of a “new Middle
East” are Syria and Iran. Tis is the essence of
the current confict. Te Iranian nuclear issue
only serves as a convenient pretext for the US
Given the array of forces lined up against
Iran and the possibility of a devastating US mili-
tary attack, it would be understandable for Iran
to bow to such pressure and abandon its pursuit
of nuclear technology for the sake of self-pres-
ervation. According to this view, whatever gains
that could be made from nuclear technology are
more than ofset by the devastation that would
result from sanctions and war.
Te Iranian leadership is keenly aware, how-
ever, that the abandonment of their nuclear pro-
gram would not put an end to the relentless drive
for regime change. At best, it would only force
the White House to fnd a diferent pretext.
In the buildup for the invasion of Iraq, the
Bush administration used a multitude of pretexts,
from Iraq’s supposed development of weapons of
mass destruction to its alleged connections to the
Sept. 11 attacks to Saddam Hussein’s repression
of Iraqi Kurds.
Similarly, the Bush White House has opened
various propaganda fronts against Iran. Besides
the nuclear question, there is Iran’s support for
“terrorism”—meaning the liberation forces in the
Middle East. Unable to squash Iraqi resistance
and unwilling to admit its widespread support
within the Iraqi population, the Bush administra-
tion has pulled out the bogey man of the “foreign
“Iran is responsible for training, funding and
equipping some of these Shia extremist groups”
in Iraq, said US Brig. Gen. Michael Barbero. Te
irony is, of course, is that the foreign agitator
interfering in Iraq is the US military!
Yet another pretext that the US government
routinely uses is the defense of ethnic and reli-
gious minorities. Tis was the main justifcation
used for the US attack on Yugoslavia in 1999.
Te population of Iran—which is majority Per-
sian—also has Kurds, Azeris, Baluchis, Arabs
and others. Alongside the majority Shia Muslim
population, there are Sunni Muslims, Christians,
Zoroastrians and Jews.
Any outbreak of ethnic conficts in Iran
could provide a suitable pretext for US interven-
tion in defense of these minorities. Of course,
these ethnic and religious conficts could also be
orchestrated if necessary. Recently, Iranian of-
cials accused British and US ofcials and agent
provocateurs of backing the riots and bomb-
ings in the oil-rich, majority Arab province of
Mazda Majidi is an Iranian-American activist
and member of the Northern CA chapter steer-
ing committee of the ANSWER Coalition. He is a
regular contributor on Iran and the Middle East
for Socialism and Liberation magazine and the
web site www.pslweb.org.
“There is no evidence of a
nuclear weapons program
in Iran.” International
Atomic Energy Agency.
The US Threat To Attack Iran
Bush White House Pounds Its War Drum Again
By Mazda Majidi
IAEA Director Mohammed el-Baradei.
Sacramento Area Peace Action is an all-volunteer organization that
works to educate and mobilize the public to promote a non-interven-
tionist and non-nuclear US foreign policy and to promote peace through
international and domestic economic, social, and political justice. Join us!
Send your check to: sacramento area peace action (sapa) 909 12th street, #118, sacramento,
ca 95814. or call us! 448-7157, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, web: www.sacpeace.org
JOIN SACRAMENTO AREA PEACE ACTION
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November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 13
Progressive Talk Show
with Jeanie Keltner &
Monday, 8pm, Tuesday
noon, Wednesday, 4am.
Now in Davis, Channel
15, Tuesday, 7pm.
By Dan Bacher
Hugo Chavez, the feisty
lefist president of Venezuela,
delivered one of the most
electrifying speeches ever
given to the United Nations,
when he called US President
G.W. Bush “the devil,” before
the General Assembly on
Te great speech, com-
bined with Chavez’s previ-
ous history of making fun
of Bush and Condoleezza
Rice in his speeches and his
commitment to serving the
poor of Venezuela and the world,
makes Chavez my number one
hero in the world during a time when heroes are
hard to fnd.
“Yesterday the devil came here,” said Chavez.
“Right here,” crossing himself. “And it smells of
sulphur still today.”
Chavez accused Bush of “talking as if he
owned the world,” and said, “we could call a psy-
chiatrist to analyze yesterday’s statement made
by the president of the United States,” referring to
Bush’s speech before the UN the day before.
In contrast with his ridiculing of Bush,
Chavez openly praised Noam Chomsky, whom
he described as “one of the most prestigious
American and world intellectuals.” He urged
everybody to read Chomsky’s latest book Hege-
mony or Survival: the Imperialist Strategy of the
United States, as he held a copy of the book and
waved it in front of the General Assembly.
“As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth,
the American empire is doing all it can to con-
solidate its system of domination. And we cannot
allow them to do that. We cannot allow world
dictatorship to be consolidated.”
As a result of Chavez’s recommendation, the
book rocketed on the bestseller lists nationwide,
becoming the number one paperback on amazon.
In Chavez’s fery address, he cited not only
Chomsky on US imperialism, but Aristotle on
the nature of democracy. Chavez blasted the US
for harboring a terrorist, Luis Posada Carrilles,
responsible for the bombing of a Cubana Airlines
plane in 1976.
He also castigated the US and Israel for their
aggression in the Middle East. “Tis is imperial-
ist, fascist and genocidal, the empire and Israel
fring on the people of Palestine and Lebanon,” he
Chavez outlined his four-point plan for mak-
ing the United Nations more democratic and
• Expansion of the Security Council.
• Development of “efective methods to
address and resolve world conficts, transparent
• Immediate suppression of the “anti-demo-
cratic mechanism” known as the veto of the
• Strengthening the role and the power of the
secretary general of the United Nations.
Te members of the Assembly applauded
wildly throughout the speech, particularly when
Chavez described Bush as “el diablo.”
As he wrapped up his speech, Chavez
exhorted the Assembly, “We want ideas to save
our planet from the imperialist threat. And hope-
fully in this very century, in not too long a time,
we will see this new era, and for our children and
our grandchildren a world of peace based on the
fundamental principles of the United Nations, a
renewed United Nations.”
He quipped, “And maybe we have to change
location. Maybe we have to put the United
Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the
south.” We’ve proposed Venezuela.
On the following day during a visit to a Har-
lem church accompanied by actor Danny Glover,
Chavez further made fun of Bush, calling him an
“alcoholic” and a “sick man.” In previous speech-
es, Chavez has called Bush “the king of vacations”
and “mister danger.”
Unfortunately, while the Bush administration
declined to comment on Chavez’s speech, two
House Democrats, incredibly, castigated Chavez
for comparing Bush to “the devil” and defended
Bush. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called
Chavez an “everyday thug.” Congressman Charlie
Rangel, a persistent critic of the Bush administra-
tion, while praising the government of Venezuela
for providing heating oil to low-income people
in the United States, also chastised Chavez for his
comments about Bush.
“It should be clear to all heads of government
that criticism of Bush Administration policies,
either domestic or foreign, does not entitle them
to attack the president personally,” said Rangel.
“George Bush is the President of the United
States and represents the entire country. Any
demeaning public attack against him is viewed by
Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans,
as an attack on all of us.”
I absolutely disagree with Pelosi and Rangel
and consider Chavez’s address to be one of the
most humorous, riveting and refreshing speeches
by a political leader that I’ve ever heard or read.
Chavez is describing Bush as how most of the
world sees him – and Pelosi and Rangel somehow
believe that criticism of Bush should be an exclu-
sive right of US residents and political leaders.
Tis is incongruous when you consider how
the Bush administration and the Republicans
have continuously attacked Chavez for being a
“dictator” and “despot” when, unlike Bush, he
was elected democratically by a majority of the
Venezuelan people in open and fair elections, in
contrast to the stolen US elections of 2000 and
2004 in the US.
Not only has the Bush regime constantly
personally attacked Chavez, but Bush and the
Republicans also engineered a coup attempt in
Venezuela in 2002 to oust the democratically
elected Chavez. However, because of massive out-
pouring of support for Chavez in the streets, the
coup failed. Since that time, the US government
has funded the opposition in Venezuela in an
attempt to bring the Chavez government down.
Afer what the Bush regime has done to
Chavez and the people of Venezuela, Chavez
is entitled to call Bush “the devil,” “a sick man,”
“mister danger,” or whatever insulting term he
feels like. Unlike Rangel and Pelosi, I don’t see
Chavez’s ridiculing of Bush, the worst president
in US history and a war criminal, as an attack on
“all Americans.” Bush is not my president – and I
applaud Hugo Chavez for exposing Bush and his
henchmen for the evil folks that they are!
Dan Bacher is an outdoor writer, alternative
journalist and satirical songwriter in Sacramento.
sister city, San Juan de
by purchasing organic
whole bean coffee
grown in the rich
volcanic soil on the
island of Omotepe,
Thanks to the efforts of
Sister Island Association
in Washington, we are
able to bring you this
wonderful medium roast
Your purchase helps the
farmers on the island
and helps support
relationship with San
Juan de Oriente.
All profts go directly
back to the Nicaraguan
$9.00 a pound.
Available in Sacramento
The Book Collector,
1008 24th St.
Time Tested Books
is now buying
Political posters, handbills & pamphlets
Books on history, labor, & politcs
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 hours are 11 – 5:30 M-Sat. (but please call for appt. if selling).
t01t 0 8t. #t00
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avallaLlC ln LOOk dCµalLmCnL
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Why Hugo Chavez is My Number One Hero
The Venezuela president who roared
“I applaud Hugo Chavez
for exposing Bush and
his henchmen for the evil
folks that they are!”
Hugo Chavez takes on Bush at the UN and the next day at a Harlem church
14 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER November / December 2006
Te Marxist School of Sacramento
P.O.Box 160564 Sacramento, CA 95816
September–October 2006 Activities
Point of View Speaker Series
Lectures are held in Sierra 2 Ctr, Green Room, 2791 24th St., 7–9pm
Tursday, Nov. 16: Doug Orr, PhD., Prof. of Econ., Eastern Washing-
ton U. “Te Attack on Retirement Income: class war in slow motion.”
Tuesday, Dec. 12: David Bacon, photo presentation on NAFTA and
Immigration. Bacon is a photojournalist and writer based in San Fran-
cisco, who documents labor, migration and globalization issues.
Book discussions are held in Sierra 2 Ctr, Rm. 11, 2791 24th St.,
Tuesday, November 7: “Electoral Politics” Discussion led by Jackie
Tuesday, December 5: “Perspectives on Anarchism” Discussion led by
Tuesday, December 19: Reform or Revolution, by Rosa Luxemburg.
Discussion led by Ellen Schwartz.
“Capital” Reading Group
Still on chapter 1! Extended book discussion, Vol. 1 of Capital, by Karl
Marx. will meet 7-9pm, 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting Sep-
tember 6 through December 20, at SMUD, 6301 S St. (the new building!),
Timberline Rm. 3, 3rd Floor. Any edition of Capital will do; we will read to-
gether and discuss at each class. It’s not too late to join!
INFO: <www.marxistschool.org>; <email@example.com>; 799-1354.
All activities are free and open to the public.
nuclear weapons, to kill their enemies.”
Such rhetoric transforms the enemy from
beaten down survivors of colonial exploitation
and greedy autocratic rulers to malignant associ-
ates of the power of the Evil One. Muslims, in
this view, are not struggling against injustice;
they are innately bad, irrationally, irremediably
And here we come to the problem at the
core of Islamophobia, the problem at the core of
US policy in the Middle East. One sees it in this
superfcial, misleading, disingenuous explanation
of the Israeli-Palestinian confict in the World
Geography text: Some terrorist groups want
territory, like Palestinian extremists who use
violence trying to gain a homeland in Southwest
Asia.” Before the Iraq war, most US people got
their mental pictures of Arab/Muslims from the
heavily biased mainstream media accounts of
Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel. Obviously,
if you can’t speak the true facts about Israel’s
historic and on-going seizure of Palestinian land
and daily violence against Palestinians and other
Arabs—and in the US corporate media you
can’t—Muslim anger seems unmotivated, irratio-
nal, and fanatical.
In the years since the frst Gulf War the US
has transformed Iraq, a relatively advanced,
functioning nation, to smoking rubble and just
since March 2003 has brought violent death to
Umbashi, from page 2
It is an old story
classrooms without chairs
teachers without housing
children without breakfast
make your demands
The governor will respond
no money no funds
he’ll release helicopters
clear the streets
for the elders tear gas
for students pepper spray
a knight stick will fall
a woman and the little
rebel in her womb
to Radio Plantón
guerillas can be poisoned
from the inside
unleash on the plaza
But the people barricade
with what they have
face to face
tonight the plaza
1 million people
is one hundred
thousand ten times
in the streets
Oaxaca has no governor
we can trust
the people will rule
with the people
the assassin government
in t-shirts and jeans
remember to quell
the reckless ones
no one can name
remember protest songs
when they cuff you
remember women enraged
will take anything
the state TV
to the capitol
carry our demands
to the president’s door
he must halt the navy
that circles our plaza
Now we bury teachers
who will not return
now we bury fear
now we caravan
to the capitol
fy our banner
in town after town
cry with the people
sing with the people
make ourselves strong
no way to eat
port towns report
ships fll the water
let the word travel
faster than the tanks
all revolutions begin
Make your demands
Felicia Martinez has been involved
in local immigrant rights organizing
and is pursuing a master’s degree in
creative writing at Mills College.
Iraqis. And the
the beatings, the sod-
omizings and other sexual humiliations
and tortures, the attacks with dogs, the rockets
and the giant bombs, the little bodies laid out in
bits of blankets and tablecoths. If all those bod-
ies* had had blond hair and white skin, would
there have been the same public (non)reaction?
What the Bush regime has done in Iraq, what
it’s doing in the US, would not have been possible
without this consciously cultivated Islamopho-
bia. In that sense, Khaled and his family, like
hundreds of thousands of other Muslim families,
are tragic collateral damage of the Bush/neocon
*And of course if you’re not tuned into the independent
news—like Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now (see BPM’s
progressive media listings )—you’re not seeing any Muslim
bodies at all!
Jeanie Keltner is BPM editor at-large.
On Line Petition
Therapists for Social Responsibility has created a petition on
line calling on our public leaders “To Support Policies, Legisla-
tion And Programs That Reflect The Core Principles And Values
of The Mental Health Profession And to Oppose Those That Do
If you are in the Mental Health or Social Services fields or an
Affiliate please go to www.petitiononline.com/8values/petition.
html and sign the petition now and forward this information to
colleagues and professional organizations throughout the country,
with your personal note, as well as to your general e-mail lists.
We anticipate that by collecting thousands of signatures, a
resounding statement can be made by the mental health commu-
nity that is heard by our public leaders, the press and the general
More information can be found on our web site
Interested in joining
a writing group?
Many people begin new activities in the autumn,
and this is not just a new season, but a new loca-
tion for the Writers of the New Sun / Escritores del
The group, founded in 1993, will keep its affiliation
with La Raza Galeria Posada (LRGP), newly locat-
ed at 1024 22nd Street, in midtown Sacramento.
The philosophy of the writing group is similar to
the philosophy of LRGP, which serves to foster ,
preserve and present the best of Chicano/Latino
and Native American culture.
Membership is open to all who sincerely wish to
develop more quality to their writing, whether
poetry, fiction, or nonfiction.Some members write
only in Spanish, some only in English, some write
bilingually. The group is considering adding a sec-
ond, Spanish-only, group of writers.
Typical meetings are the first Saturday of each
month, 11 AM, and include work on a writing
exercise, sharing of members’ writings for critical
feedback, and a potluck. The final 2006 meetings
are November 4, and December 2.
The group also sponsors a series of special read-
ings during the year, usually scheduled at LRGP.
The next one will be in early November, the an-
nual reading that celebrates Day of the Dead/Dia
de los Muertos, honoring those who have passed
but are not forgotten.
For more information on activities and member-
ship, call 456-5323 or check the web site: www.
This Time Oaxaca
By Felicia Martinez
November / December 2006 BECAUSE PEOPLE MATTER 15
November / December Calendar
Center hosts poetry
readi ngs. 7:30pm.
1631 K St. INFO:
441- 7395; <www.
s a c r a m e n t o
Organic Sacto: Coun-
ter ongoing threats
to our food. 6:30pm.
2nd & 4th MoNDAyS
UUSS/SAPA Peace and
mittee. 6-8pm. INFO:
Peace Action, 448-
Capitol Outreach for
a Moratorium on the
Death Penalty. 11am
–1pm, L Street @ 11th.
Sacr ament o Ar ea
Peace Action Vigil. 4-
6pm. 16th & J Sts.
Amnesty Int ’l, Da-
vis Chapter Meeting.
(10 College Park).
7pm. Free Pizza. In-
vited speakers. INFO:
Gray Panthers. 2–4pm.
Hart Senior Ctr., 27th
& J St. INFO: Joan,
Amnesty Int’l. 7pm.
Sacto. Friends Meeting
House, 890-57th St.
Peace and Justice Films.
7pm. Peace Action of-
fice at 909 12th Street.
Christ Unity Church:
Speakers and Music.
7pm. Cost: Donation.
9249 Folsom Blvd.
Peace & Freedom Par-
ty. 7pm. INFO: 456-
Sacto 9/11 Truth:
Questioning the “War
on Terror.” 6–8pm. Juli-
ana’s Kitchen, 1401 G
Street, at 14th. INFO:
CAAC Goes to the Mov-
ies. 7:15pm. INFO:
Daddy’s Here (Father
Men’s support group;
info on custody, di-
vorce, raising children.
7-8:30pm. Free! Ctr for
Families, 2251 Florin Rd,
Ste 102. INFO: <terry
com>. 424-3237x 205.
House of Spoken
Words. 7–10pm. Co-
lonial Café, Stockton
Blvd. & Broadway. $5.
for Women (NOW).
7pm. I NFO: 443-
Shiny Object Digital
tion Film Series. Weekly
7pm. 1025 19th St.
$5. INFO: 484-0747or
tango class. 8-9pm.
Social tango dancing.
17th & L, Sacto. $10
for lesson and social
dancing. INFO: <Ken-
dr a. k ambe s t ad@
com> or <www.tango-
Communi t y Con-
tra Dance. 8-11pm;
7:30pm begi nners
lessons. Clunie Audi-
torium, McKinley Pk,
Alhambra & F. INFO:
Dances of Universal
Sierra 2 Ctr, 2791- 24th
St., Rm. 10. $5–$10.
Pr ogr es s i ve Fr ee
Discuss topics of in-
t erest t o at hei st s,
agnosti cs, human-
ists. INFO: <pfxofsac
Workshops at La Raza
Galleria Posada. 1–
3pm. 1421 R St. Under
18, $1; Students over
18, $5; Adults, $10.
Health Care for All.
10am. Hart Senior Ctr,
27th & J. For universal
access to health care.
Sacr ament o Ar ea
Peace Action Vigil.
den and Heritage (en-
trance to Arden Mall).
2nd & 4th SAtS
Dance. 8-11pm; 7:30
lessons. YWCA Audito-
rium, 17th & L Street.
Sacr ament o Ar ea
Peace Action Vigil.
11: 30am-1: 30pm.
Fulton and Marconi.
Sacto Food Not Bombs.
1:30pm. Come help
distribute food at 9th
and J Streets.
PoemSpirits. 6pm. Re-
freshments and open
mic. Free. UUSS, Rm.
7/8, 2425 Sierra Blvd.
INFO: 481-3312; 451-
909 12th St. INFO:
Atheists & Other Free-
thinkers. 2:30pm. Si-
erra 2 Center, Room
10, 2791 24th St.
Send calendar items for the Jan.–Feb. 2007 issue to <firstname.lastname@example.org> by Dec.
10, 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. Price. INFO: phone#; <email>.
For online calendars of progressive events, go to www.sacleft.org and
Peace Action Vigils
tUESDAyS: 4-6pm. 16th and J Streets. Be
Visible For Peace.
1 s t S At Ur DAy S : 1 1 : 3 0 a m-
1 : 3 0 p m. Ar d e n & He r i t a g e
(entrance to Arden Mall).
3rd SAtUrDAyS: 11:30am-1:30pm. Ful-
ton and Marconi.
The Freedom Equity
Poetry Series with live band LSB. Sacramento’s
biggest poetry event featuring poets from
around the world!
Last Saturday of every month. 7-9 PM,
Wo’se Community Center, 2863 35th Street
(just south of Broadway). oNLy $5.00!
Saturday, November 25
Divine from Phoenix, Arizona
Talaam Acey from Baltimore, Maryland (In-
ternational Slam Champion)
Saturday, December 30
Red Fox poet Brigit Truex
LSB (live band jam session)
The “UNDERGROUND POETRY SERIES”
Every third Saturday. Come on out!
7-9 p.m. Underground Books, 2814 35th Street
(at Broadway). $3.00. 737-3333
Saturday, November 18
Saturday, December 16
Jamie Kilstein from NYC
Born 2B Poets
INFO: T.Mo at 208-POET,
ALL AGES ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND!
Sunday, November 5
PoemSpirits Series. Fatherhood and maleness
themes recur in the latest poetry reading by Sac
State Professor Joshua McKinney. Tom Goff will
also present an overview of the work of Marie
Ponsot. 6 pm. Unitarian Universalist Society of
Sac., 2425 Sierra Blvd. Free. Open mic. INFO:
481-3312, or 451-1372.
tuesday, November 7
Marxist School of Sacramento, Book Discus-
sion. “Electoral Politics” discussion led by Jackie
Carrigan. 7-9 pm. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th
St, Room 11. Free. INFO: 799-1354, or info@
Saturday, November 11
El Dorado Peace and Justice hosts “Empty Bowls”,
fundraiser to raise funds to feed hungry people,
raise awareness about the issues of hunger and
inequality, and remind us that through art, we
can create positive social change. Local potters
donate handmade bowls. Guests donation $15-
$50 for their meal of soup, bread and beverage
and keep the bowl as a reminder that hunger
exists all year long. Proceeds go to The Upper
Room, an El Dorado County food kitchen, and
Mercy Corps Hunger Relief Fund for relief to
Lebanon. 5-8pm. Placerville Shakespeare Club,
2940 Bedford Ave., Placerville. INFO: 530-622-
6900, 530-622-9569, or 530-642-1120.
Monday, Nov 13
Depleted Uranium and U.S. Weapons of Mass De-
struction. Presentation by international expert on
radiation and public health issues, Leuren Moret.
7pm. Newman Center, 5900 Newman Ct.
Monday, Nov 13
Elk Grove Peace and Justice Forum: “Needed:
Living Wages & Benefits”, Katy Rose-Hodess and
Josh Eidelson, union organizers with Blue Dia-
mond workers and hotel workers who are in the
midst of contract negotiations. 7pm. Elk Grove
United Methodist Church, 8986 Elk Grove Blvd,
Elk Grove, Info: 689-6943, or 685-3612.
tuesday, November 14
Video Presentation. David Ray Griffin’s “9/11 The
Myth and the Reality”, enhanced with graphics
and video clips, will be shown by Ken Jenkins,
activist and videographer; powerpoint presenta-
tion to follow film. 7 pm. 909 12th St. Free. INFO:
Wednesday, Nov 15
CAAC Goes to the Movies: Fidel, the Untold Story.
7:15pm 1640 9th Ave. INFO: 446-3304.
thursday, November 16
Marxist School of Sacramento. Doug Orr, PhD.,
Prof. of Econ., Eastern Wash. U.. The Attack on
Retirement Income: class war in slow motion. 7-9
pm. Sierra 2 Ctr., 2791 24th St, Green Rm. Free.
INFO: 799-1354, or email@example.com.
thursday, November 16
Lecture. “Labor in the 21st Century”, by Allan
Benjamin, Editor, Newspaper and Labor Party Or-
ganizer. Presented by the Sac. Community Forum
& Not in Our Name. 7pm. Coloma Community
Center, 4623 T St. Free, donations accepted.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Sierra College Veterans Club Road March to
honor our fallen service members by raising
scholarships for children who have lost a parent
in war. All are invited to join! March starts 10am
from Johnson/Springview Park to Memorial Park
in Rocklin. INFO: Catherine Morris, Sierra College
Veterans Counselor, (916) 789-2879; cmorris@
Saturday November 18,
Peace Pyramid convocation, highlighting World
Service Corps and the Dept. of Peace. Includes
Open Forum. 5 pm. Home of Zohreh Whitaker,
2041 Campton Circle, Gold River. INFO: Tom and
Dar King, 916-728-2391, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shadow Company—documentary invesigating
the mercenaries in Iraq. 7pm. Crest Theater,
1013 K St, $10 benefit for Soapbox and Media
Edge. (see Announcement page 16)
Friday, Dec 1
Sir! No Sir! The Suppressed Story of the GI
Movement to End the War in Vietnam. 6:30pm.
Hinde Audit., Univ Union, CSU Sac, 6000 J St,
Friday, December 1
Concert. Brian McNight. Opening acts are
LaToya London and Sacramento’s own poet
Terry Moore. 7pm. Memorial Auditorium 1401
J St, Sacramento. INFO: www.iSoundTracks.net
or 1-800-225-2277 to purchase tickets.
Sunday, December 3
PoemSpirits Series, poetry reading. Albert Gar-
cia, Dean of the English Dept., Sacramento City
College. 6 pm.,Unitarian Universalist Society of
Sacramento, 2425 Sierra Blvd. Free. Open mic.
INFO: 481-3312, or 451-1372.
Sunday, December 3
Book Award Ceremony. A.D. Winans has been
awarded the PEN Josephine Miles Literary
Achievement Award for his book, This Land Is
Not My Land. Book award ceremonies will be
held at 3pm at the Oakland Main Library. INFO:
tuesday, December 5
Marxist School of Sacramento, Book Discussion.
“Perspectives on Anarchism” discussion led by
Kevin Wehr. 7-9 pm. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th
St, Room 11. Free. INFO: 799-1354, or info@
tuesday, Dec. 5
Annual Candlelight Vigil for Peace & Justice.
4-6pm. 16th & J Streets. After the vigil, gather
at Juliana’s Kitchen, 1401 G Street (vegetarian
Middle Eastern food available). Bring signs and
a flashlight or windproof candle. Only severe
weather cancels. INFO: 448-7157; sypeaceact@
tuesday, December 12
Marxist School of Sacramento, photo presentation
on NAFTA and Immigration, by David Bacon, San
Francisco-based photojournalist. 7-9 pm. Sierra 2
Center, 2791 24th St, Green Room. Free. INFO:
799-1354, or email@example.com.
tuesday, December 19
Marxist School of Sacramento, Book Discussion.
“Reform or Revolution” by Rosa Luxemburg,
discussion led by Ellen Schwartz.7-9 pm. Sierra
2 Center, 2791 24th St, Room 11. Free. INFO:
799-1354, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, December 23
Intergenerational, Interfaith Winter Solstice
PEACElebration. 3pm-5pm: Labyrinth walk;
5-6pm: pot luck dinner (main dish provided);
6-8pm: ritual with pagan carols and Dances of
Universal Peace. Unitarian Universalist Society
of Sacramento, 2425 Sierra Blvd (1 block N of
Fair Oaks Blvd between Howe and Fulton) . Free
- donations. INFO: Laurie Jones, 743-0459, or
Wednesday, December 27
Sac. Area Black Caucus, the Black United Fund
of Sac. Valley and the All African Peoples’ Revo-
lutionary Party co-sponsor the Annual Kwanzaa
Celebration. This year’s principle is Kujichagulia
(Self-Determination), to define ourselves, name
ourselves, create for ourselves & speak for
ourselves. Please bring a dish to share. 6-8pm.
Jamieson Washington Collins Multipurpose
Ctr, 2821 29th Ave. Free. INFO 453-0190,
email@example.com, 484-5025, or fayek@
(The Military Commissions Act)
Saturday, Nov. 11
North side of Capitol Park (“L” Street side)
The Military Commissions Act denies all non-US citizens detained in the
USA the right of habeas corpus, meaning that they may be detained indefnitely
without the right to challenge their imprisonment.
The Military Commissions Act intentionally makes the defnition of “enemy
combatant” extremely vague.
The Military Commissions Act modifes the war crimes Act so that if any
US offcials have recently violated international human rights laws (e.g., the Ge-
neva Convention), they can no longer be accused in court of having committed a
war crime. It also allows our current president to decide what interrogation methods
should be allowed, thus potentially legalizing the abuse of prisoners taking place at
Guantánamo Bay detainment facility and permitting it within the USA.
“Enemy combatants” may be tried in special courts set up by President Bush,
courts which would allow the prosecution to use evidence that would not hold up in
other courts, as well as not requiring the defendants to be told what evidence was
being used against them.
INFO: firstname.lastname@example.org; get fyers at: www.fearchar.net/cal-mca-fiers/
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 2668
Access Sacramento tV
Cable Channels 17 and 18
Sacramento Soapbox: Progressive Talk Show
w/ Jeanie Keltner & Ken Adams. Mon 8pm, Wed
4am. (In Davis: Channel 15, Tues, 7pm.)
Being Gay today: Thurs 6am, 10pm, Sat
Democracy Now!: Weekdays 6pm, 12mid-
Media Edge: progressive documentaries,
including local productions.Sundays 8–10pm
other sources for Media Edge
Davis, Channel 15, Sundays, 8–10pm.
Nevada County, Channel 11, Mondays,
10:30pm –12:30am. West Sacramento,
Channel 21, Mondays, 9–11pm.
Dish Network Satellite tV
▼ Channel 9415, Free Speech TV.
Democracy Now!: News and Analysis. Mon-
day–Friday: 8am, 12pm, 7pm ET.
▼ Channel 9410, Link TV
Democracy Now!: Monday–Friday, 11am.
Mosaic—World News from the Middle East:
Tues–Saturday, 4:30am and 10:30am; 4:30pm
▼ KVMR 89.5 FM
BBC News, M-F 6, 7, 8am;
News & Attitude with travus t. hipp, M-F
7:30am; KVMr Morning News, M-F 8:05am;
Stories & Songs with U. Utah Phillips, Sun
11am; Soundings (Science), Tues noon;
rabble rousing, Wed noon; Full Logic
reverse, Thu noon; Who Cares? (health),
Fri noon; KVMr Evening News, 6pm daily;
Democracy Now!, Mon-Thu 7pm; Women’s
Show, Mon 8pm.
▼ KCBL Cable 88.7 FM
▼ KYDS 91.5 FM
Saturdays, approx. 3–4 pm., followed by Coun-
ter Spin from the media watch group FAIR:
▼ KDVS 90.3 FM
Democracy Now!: Mon–Fri noon.
Free Speech radio News (FSRN) Mon–Fri
Printed Matter on the Air (interviews with
local writers) alternating with
Panic Attack (attorneys and guests discuss
what makes people panic): Mon 5pm.
Making Contact (int’l radio seeks to create
connections): Tue 8am.
Proletarian revolution (focusing on politi-
cal, social, and economic issues) alternating
with the Simple Show (talk show on human
rights): Wed 8am.
Speaking in tongues (labor, environmental,
social, and political topics. Callers welcome,
interviews frequent): Fri 5pm.
Memo Durgin and Eddie Salas (Public
affairs and music of the Chicano/Mexicano
people): Sat 6–8pm.
▼ KPFA 94.1 FM Berkeley
Democracy Now!: Reports on US and world
news. M–F 9am.
Living room: Chris Welch. M–F Noon.
Seven Generations: M–F 1pm.
New Directions: including visionary astrolo-
ger. Thur 2pm.
Flashpoints: News and analysis. M–F 5pm.
▼ KSQR 1240 AM (TalkCity Radio Sacramento)
Progressive talk radio all day long with
Christine Craft, Thom Hartman and others.
▼ KCTC 1320 AM (AirAmerica Radio)
Progressive talk radio all day long with Randi
Rhodes, Al Franken, and others.
▼ KZFR 90.1 FM Chico
People Powered Radio! managed and operated
by volunteers, provides mostly locally produced
and community oriented programs.
Sacramento and Central Valley INDyMEDIA: <www.sacindymedia.org>.
Chew On This!
“Chew on This!”, a monthly progressive
TV show, can be seen on these cable
Access Sacramento Channel 17 (Com-
cast, SureWest) and Davis Community
Television Channel 15 (Comcast) the frst
Sunday of the month at 8pm.
West Sacramento Community Access
Channel 21 (Charter) the frst Monday
of the month at 9pm
Nevada County Television Channel 11
(Comcast) frst Mondays at 10:30pm.
Check out our Web site <www.pcwp.
org> and click on “ChewOnThis!” We
need volunteer help in many ways. If
you have video production skills, or-
ganizational skills, writing or research
ability, or if you just have ideas to share,
please email us at <chewonthis@pcwp.
Soapbox and Media Edge, Sacra-
mento’s own progressive TV shows,
invite you to see the hard-hitting docu-
mentary, Shadow Company. Tis flm
investigates the mercenaries who are
doing so much of the fghting in Iraq
today—with interviews with former
mercenaries, private military contrac-
tor owners, staf, lobbyists, academ-
ics, and journalists. Te flm explores
the moral and ethical issues private
military solutions create for Western
governments and addresses the risks
of allowing proft-motivated corpora-
tions into the on-the-ground business
Tuesday November 21, 7pm
Crest Teater 1013 K
$10 to beneft Soapbox and Media