Casino Free Philadelphia rally, June 1, noon
Protest Proposed Delay of Working Families' Wage Tax Rebate- 9AM
Join the Wal-Mart Quarantine!
Minimum Wage Rally and Lobby Day
Support the Philadelphia Public School Notebook .
Free Rx Info Touring PA June 5- June 9*** Bus Available for "Help is Here Express"
NPower PA Training Calendar
Growing Vegetables & Flowers in Containers
ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ: the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
Buy Tickets to the anti-Santorum Musical
New Organization: SustainUS Philly (and monthhly meeting) (Jun 22)
"An Inconvenient Truth", the new film about global warming featuring Al Gore,
Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment
Tell EPA: stop pressuring scientists to allow dangerous pesticides
New Dialogue Opened with Iraqis- CODEPINK Women for Peace
High gas prices? Don't just complain, act!
* Globalization's Watchdogs
* This appeared in the Philadelpiha Daily News Friday
* Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America's War? As Many As 250,000
* Life Expectancy in Cuba Near 80 Years
* Block the Vote- New York Times
* War Crimes: My Lai is a Lesson from History (and more)


Casino Free Philadelphia rally, June 1, noon

The Citizens of Philadelphia have a right to plan the development of our
neighborhoods. We oppose casinos in our community and all communities in
Pennsylvania as they would be the result of legislation passed without
public involvement.
    Please join Neighbors Allied for the Best Riverfront (NABR)
(, the Multi-Community Alliance (,
and other groups from around the city and region at 12pm on Thursday, June
1, as we launch Casino Free Philadelphia (website coming soon at The noontime rally will take place at the
Pennsylvania State Building, 1400 Spring Garden Street (at Broad Street). As
you may know there are five casino operators competing for two licenses to
locate slots parlors in Philadelphia: 2 in Fishtown, 1 in Nicetown/East
Falls, 1 in Northern Liberties, and 1 in South Philadelphia. But make no
mistake: the casinos will impact all Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians. From
the beginning we have been kept out of the process by our elected
representatives in state government.

Thurs. JUNE 1, 9AM-Protest Proposed Delay of Working Families' Wage Tax Rebate

        Join us this Thursday, June 1 at 9 AM, in Room 400, City Hall, at a City Council hearing to protest the proposed delay of my father, the late Councilman David Cohen's, wage tax cuts for working families.  As it is, the law is not even scheduled to go into effect until 2010.  Now, Council proposes to further delay the law's starting date until 2013. This is an outrage!
        Just last week, Council passed more tax cuts for businesses.  The priorities of Council are clear:  tax cuts for business are OK; tax cuts for working families are not.
        Come to the hearing on Thursday and let your voice be heard!  The city's budget should not be balanced on the backs of working families!..... Please spread the word.        ... Sherrie Cohen [] 215-620-3396
PS: Stan Shapiro adds:
        The city is doing everything it can to cause real estate taxes to go up. Property taxes hurt residents in general much more than business, and poor residents much more than wealthy ones, particularly wealthy ones coming into the city buying properties with ten year tax abatements. So this battle over wage and business tax cuts is just the tip of an iceberg. The taxman is coming to price many of us out of our homes.
        So, what to do? Council will hold a hearing this Thursday on the virtual repeal of Councilman Cohen's working family tax cut this coming Thursday morning at 9 AM in Room 400 City Hall. You can sign up to testify by calling Sharon Ortiz at 215-686-3407. You don't need to present a complicated analysis of the legislation. Just let Council know you're outraged at any such repeal at a time of continuing business tax cuts. Or send a letter or fax to that effect. You can do that easily by going to the "Hallwatch" website fax tool at the following URL: Or you can phone Council at phone numbers you can find at this URL:


SUNDAY, JUNE 4 at 1:00 pm
BEGIN at AL-AQSA Mosque,  3rd & Jefferson (above Girard Ave.)
PROCEED to    St. Peter's Church,  5th & Girard -  to  Christ Church,  2nd & Market
                     to  Independence Mall,  6th & Market - to Society Hill Synagogue,  5th & Market

Speakers, music, prayers, entertainment - During the Peace Walk, buses and vans will be available to drive people who are physically unable to walk. The buses also will shuttle people to their cars. Food and drinks will be provided at each stop.
                        PLEASE WEAR WHITE (OR AT LEAST WHITE SHIRTS). Bring water or snacks.
 Banners/signs are limited to say the words:  "Salaam, Shalom, Peace" NO POLITICAL BANNERS  For info: 215-854-8038

 Please support the third annual June 6 fund-raiser for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook .

        June 6, 2006 , 4:30-7:00 PM
        University of Arts. Food, entertainment,networking, raffles etc..
For tickets  contact Sook Yung Oh at 215-951-0330 ext 107

 Philly for Change - Upcoming events

Philly for Change will be having its next monthly meeting on
Wednesday, June 7th at 7pm. Please RSVP if you haven't yet:

 Join the Wal-Mart Quarantine!
        Friday, June 2, 4pm
        South Philly Wal-Mart (Columbus Blvd)
While CEO Lee Scott is convening Wal-Mart's annual shareholders
meeting, thousands of concerned citizens dressed in hazmat suits and
armed with yellow caution tape will be putting Wal-Mart sites across
the country under "quarantine."  The purpose of the day of action is
to mobilize activists and to send a message to shareholders that there
continues to be great concern over Wal-Mart's corporate practices. 
RSVP: e-mail or call Eduardo 215-735-3615 or sign
up online at

 Minimum Wage Rally and Lobby Day
        Monday, June 5th
        Buses leave Philadelphia from 15th and JFK at 8:30am (approx return time 5:30pm).
Join folks from the Raise the Minimum Wage Coalition and travel to
Harrisburg to lobby state senators so that the minimum wage is finally
raised in PA! Rally at the Rotunda starts at 1:30pm. If interested, call 215-557-0822
                        .. Jen Murphy, Chair, Philly for Change,

Free Rx Info Touring PA June 5- June 9*** Bus Available for "Help is Here Express" event with Montel Williams June 5 Phila

******* If there is a large group interested in coming out to the bus on Monday, June 5th, I can arrange for a charter bus to pick them up and take them to City Hall.  Please let me know.*******

The bus will continue on through Pennsylvania with stops at the following locations:
Tuesday, June 6th
Lackawanna County Courthouse, Scranton- 10 AM -Noon

Wednesday, June 7th
Public Square, Wilkes Barre - 10 AM - Noon

Thursday, June 8th
Senator Jake Corman's office, Bellefonte- 10 AM - Noon

Friday, June 9th
Station Medical Center, Altoona- 10 AM - Noon
        Please feel free to contact me with any questions, 717-214-2200. 
        Fran Hazam [] Consumer Advocate, MHASP, 215-751-1800 Ext 272

NPower PA Training Calendar

Plan ahead for the hot summer and enroll in one of our cool technology training courses. Our current Training Calendar is now online! Our classes are affordable, nonprofit specific, and available at a discount to our members. To learn more about a FREE class or to register simply visit our website or call Lauren Cannon at 215-557-1559.
        When signing up for the classes please indicate in the payment section that you would like to be considered for a scholarship. If you qualify, you may be able to take the class for free. Please call Lauren Cannon at 215-557-1559 for more information.
June Classes:
· Excel Advanced, June 1st
· Nonprofit Website from Start to Finish, June 6 & 7 (VERIZON)
· Access Introduction, June 8th
· Access Intermediate, June 22nd
· Excel Introduction, June 29th
· Keep Your PC Running Smoothly, June 30th (VERIZON)
July Classes are available here:

 Growing Vegetables & Flowers in Containers (Jun 3)

Saturday, June 3rd  10:00-11:00 am
Pennsylvania Horiticultural Society City Gardening Series: Growing Vegetables & Flowers in Containers
Location: Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden at 421 N. 42nd Street

Horticultural Educator Janet Carter will demonstrate various aspects of gardening in containers, with tips on plant selection, design and maintenance. For more information or to register, contact Marilyn Reynolds at 215-988-8872.


ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ: the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Get beyond the media hype with images and stories that the news doesn't dare show you. Get the unvarnished story from filmmakers, soldiers, and bloggers who have witnessed and engaged in the struggle, including Colby Buzzell, author of My War: Killing Time in Iraq and activist Yasmine El-Shamayleh. The film Voices of Iraq will also be screened. Peter Lems, AFSC Program Associate for Iraq will lead the discussion. Sponsored by The Middle East Center at The University of Pennsylvania 
Visit and for more information on the participants.

        Thursday, June 8th 7 PM - 10 PM
        Arts Bank 601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA -  $15 per ticket, $7.50 First Person Members
Contact Us! . 267/402-2055.


Jump Into Summer Jazz Jam Featuring the Bayard Lancaster Quartet
with Singer Micha'l Beckam
        Friday June 2,  6 to 10 PM
        1199C 1319 Locust St. Philadelphia PA
All you can eat soul food buffet Tickets $25- $40 per couple
        Support PUP's work to organize and protect the unemployed and working poor of Philadelphia.
        Call 215-557-0822 for tickets or email to - (See you there..Marlene)

 Buy Tickets to the anti-Santorum Musical

        "The Teachings of Chairman Rick," on June 9th and 10th
        William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. Buy your $15 tickets to this show today: The Teachings of Chairman Rick takes you on a musical journey into the musings and thoughts of one of today's most polarizing and controversial politicians. Rick sings, speechifies, and is interviewed on such issues as abortion, gay marriage, faith-based initiatives, the Pope, and Terri Schiavo.

  New Organization: SustainUS Philly (and monthhly meeting) (Jun 22)

SustainUS Philly, the local chapter of the national, nonprofit group devoted to empowering young people and advancing sustainability, is having their next monthly meeting June 22nd at 7pm. This meeting will take place at Joe's Caffe on 11th and Walnut. If you are a student or young professional between the ages of 18 and 35 and are interested in making Philadelphia the Next Great Sustainable City, then you have to check us out! Some projects/issues that we are undertaking include:

* Holding a Forum to kick off efforts to make existing Philly building codes and zoning guidelines more green and sustainable
* Supporting the Recycle NOW campaign to bring a successful and working Recycling Program to  city and Greater Phila. Area.
* Creating a youth/student/young professional mentorship with business and nonprofit professionals and community leaders with the goal of keeping talented, dynamic youth here in Philly working towards sustainability
* Check us out at or you can check out our national organization at and then click on Philly to be redirected. To RSVP, please email Kat Harrison at

"An Inconvenient Truth", the new film about global warming featuring Al Gore

Opening in philadelphia on friday at the Ritz East.  An Inconvenient Truth

June 2   Ritz East Theatre (check which Ritz Theater)
near 2nd & Walnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106

June 9   Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 West Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

June 9   County Theater
20 East State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901



Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment

The politics ofpolarization and distraction are emerging once again as the November elections draw near, with congressional leadership poised to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) in early June.  The Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would limit the definition of marriage to only one man and one woman.  As a federal amendment, it would jeopardize state and municipal laws or ordinances currently in place which allow equal marriage rights for same-gender couples.  It could also endanger the extension of domestic partner benefits which many companies, cities and organizations, including the UCC, give to same-gender couples employed by them.
The religious leaders, representatives of Clergy for Fairness, a broad coalition of religious voices opposing FMA, which includes the UCC, contend that it is not the federal government's role to prefer one religious definition of marriage over another.  Rather, religious denominations should decide, based on their own doctrines and teachings, whether or not to sanctify marriages of same-sex couples.  Last year the UCC General Synod passed a resolution in support of equal marriage rights for all, which encouraged UCC members and congregations to oppose legislation which denies civil marriage rights to couples based on gender.       
                Click to contact your senators
                and urge them not to enshrine discrimination in the U.S. Constitution.
If your computer has trouble linking to the links above, please copy and paste the address into your browser.Visit your One-Stop UCC Advocacy Center at     Contact us at
If you are using a Spam-Blocker, please add to your list of approved senders.

Tell EPA: stop pressuring scientists to allow dangerous pesticides
From:  United Farm Workers []

According to last Thursday's Wall Street Journal, "Union leaders
representing Environmental Protection Agency scientists and
other specialists assert that agency managers and
pesticide-industry officials are exerting 'political pressure'
to allow continued use of a family of pesticides that might be
harmful to children, infants and fetuses."

Under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, the EPA must review
acceptable limits for residues of existing pesticides within 10
years. Organophosphates, pesticides that attack the nervous
system, were among the group given the highest priority for
testing. However the story pointed out in a report issued last
January EPA officials said they "still lacked a standard
evaluation procedure for testing the toxicity to developing nervous systems."

Farm workers and young children should not continue to
be put at risk to bail out the chemical industry.
Go to:


JOIN THE FUN AND SHOW OUR TEN-MINUTE ANIMATED VIDEO AT A "LEARN-IN" IN YOUR COMMUNITY. "Don't Be a Chicken" will open the discussion to help people understand the facts about the healthcare crisis and how to fight for the healthcare system we need.  We had 100 free copies. Most of them are gone. BUT, if you put in your order no later than THURSDAY noon EST, June 1st, it will be mailed to you free on or before June 5th by overnight mail. But you'll need to send Federal Express postage of $20 or send it by the internet link (See below). Also, please add a contribution to Healthcare-NOW if you can.
       You can see the trailer and also order a "Chicken" with your credit card by clicking the DONATE NOW button at Healthcare-NOW:
 PEOPLE FROM MANY ORGANIZATIONS ARE CALLING and E-MAILING US.  THEY WANT TO TAKE ACTION ON "National Healthcare Action Day" June 7th,  6-7-6. Many of the events are listed on our website.   COME JOIN US anytime during that week (or beyond) by showing the film, holding a learn-in, inviting a speaker, visiting your Congress Members and candidates for Congress and challenging them to support H.R. 676, the bill that supports national healthcare.    You can help build support for a real national healthcare system. You can provide materials for your church or union or City Council or send a letter to Congress or to the media by going to our TOOL BOX site on the Healthcare-NOW website. Healthcare-NOW will also have new "I Can't Afford to Get Sick" buttons available by the end of this week.  You can access these resources on our website or call our office. 1-800-453-1305.
If you can, PLEASE MAKE A GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION when you order the DVD, and do KEEP ON ORGANIZING.   We are convinced that we are closer to a national healthcare system than we have been in 50 years.   6/7/6 is a good place to start.         
CONGRESS MEMBERS  WILL BE WITH US --If you live in the area of Washington, D.C. please attend the event being held to launch a National Healthcare Caucus in the Congress on National Healthcare Action Day, June 7th -at 10:00 A.M., 2226 Rayburn Building. 71 Members of Congress now support H.R. 676. Check to see if yours is on the list.

 New Dialogue Opened with Iraqis- CODEPINK Women for Peace

While the U.S. government was threatening to bomb their country, the Iraqis were careful to make the distinction between the government and the people. Today, after this disastrous war has dragged on for over three years, that distinction is harder to make. Many Iraqis wonder why the U.S. people are not rising up en masse to oppose the occupation of their country.

Ads in Iraqi Newspapers
That's why, on Mother's Day, we not only held an amazing 24-hour vigil in front of the White House (, but we also reached out to Iraqis. In a ground-breaking campaign, thanks to the generosity of many of you, we took out full-page ads in eight Iraqi newspapers. The newspapers represented a cross-section of the Iraqi people, both ethnically and politically, and opened up an important dialogue with political and social groups in Iraq that we are now cultivating. We plan to take out more ads to let Iraqis know about other efforts to end the occupation, such as our upcoming hunger strike called Troops Home Fast ( Click here ( if you would like to contribute to this ad campaign that reaches out to the Iraqi people.

Troops Home Fast
In last week's alert, we announced the Troops Home Fast ( that will begin on July 4, and hundreds of you signed on to join at least one day of the fast. Our fasters now include Cindy Sheehan; environmentalist Diane Wilson; comedian Dick Gregory; singer Willie Nelson; Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; Dr. E. Faye Williams, National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women; Colonel Ann Wright; Iraq veteran Geoffrey Millard; Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women; and CODEPINK cofounders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans and Gael Murphy.

Click here ( for an interview with Diane Wilson on why we are doing this fast and what we intend to accomplish.
        If you haven't already signed on, please consider joining this historic fast for a day, a week, or more ( You can fast with us in Washington, DC in front of the White House, or in your own community. You can fast as an individual, or organize a rolling fast (each one taking one day) in a public place such as a congressional office, a recruiting station, a federal building or a church. And if you live outside the United States, we encourage you to fast on July 4th outside a U.S. Embassy or consulate. While the U.S. officials are enjoying their barbeques and festivities, we will be reminding them of the ongoing suffering of Iraqis and soldiers in this unjust war.
        Allison, Dana, Farida, Gael, Jodie, Katie, Medea, Nancy, Rae and Tiffany

P.S. In preparation for the summer hunger strike in front of the White House, and taking inspiration from the CODEPINK women doing daily actions in our nation's capitol this month (, we're opening an office in DC! We have lots of needs, from laptops to office supplies to interns. Click here to see our wish list ( Thanks so much for your help in growing CODEPINK!
        P.P.S. Click here ( to find out other
        exciting ways to join with CODEPINK this summer.

High gas prices? Don't just complain, act!

Traveling this holiday weekend?  You will likely pay $.75 cents more than last Memorial Day for a gallon of gas,  $15 dollars more to fill a 20 gallon tank. While the oil industry gouges consumers, it reports record profits. Enough is enough!
        Tell your member of the House of Representatives to raise gas mileage standards!

 Can a "good" person support Separation of Church and State?

Congresswomen Nita Lowey and Hillary Clinton have introduced a Congressional Resolution to Strengthen Family Planning Services for Women that will help provide access to reproductive health programs and help low income women prevent unwanted pregnancies.
        Low-income women, denied access to contraception, are having more unwanted pregnancies -- four times as many as those for higher income women. And almost half of all unwanted pregnancies end in abortions. If Congress is serious about reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions, they will support this Resolution that makes it easier for women of all incomes to obtain contraceptives and use them correctly. One of my favorite quotes is "A well-behaved woman rarely makes history." Don't sit quietly while a tiny minority dictates the direction of our country; stand up and make sure our representatives run our country the way we elected them to. Sign this petition here:

        Urge your Congresspeople to go on record with their position and ensure that women have access to contraceptives:         .....Hilary S.- Care2 and


* Globalization's Watchdogs
Railing against Bolivia's oil and gas nationalization,
the media's "free trade" ideologues value markets over democracy.
by Mark Engler, submitted by the author to portside,Foreign Policy in Focus - May 26, 2006

When Bolivian President Evo Morales announced plans to
nationalize his country's oil and natural gas resources
in early May, he did more than lay out a promising path
for development. He also provided an ideal opportunity
to illustrate how large segments of the U.S. and
British press have adopted roles as watchdogs for
corporate globalization. Since Bolivia's energy exports
go to Brazil and Argentina rather than the United
States, and since the nationalization is unlikely to
significantly alter the price of natural gas on
international markets, the direct impact on our country
is minimal. Yet in the weeks since Morales took action,
we have been treated to a wealth of hysterical commentary.

As Condoleezza Rice criticized South American
"demagoguery" and industry groups warned that Morales
was "embarking on a dangerous path," the editorial
pages charged to advance the front. The Wall Street
Journal predictably led the way, calling "abrogation of
contracts" the latest "Latin craze."It echoed The
Economist's warning from London that "Bolivia may be
moving backwards" and "its people are likely to grow even poorer."

These business-oriented publications actually sounded
subdued compared to some rival dailies. The Los Angeles
Times wrote,"Morales put his head in an oven this week
and turned on the natural gas. There are only two
likely outcomes: an explosion that ends his political
career--or a slow suffocation for his people."
    New York's Newsday also worked up a rabid editorial
assault.There, columnist James Pinkerton derided
Bolivia as "a country that is nationalizing, or, if you
prefer, stealing, foreign-owned assets." The paper's
editorial page then grouped Bolivia with Cuba and
Venezuela in an "Axis of Idiocy" and asserted that
"nationalization of major industries has proved to be a
road to economic ruin in an era of globalization."

Given that little nationalization of major industries
has occurred in this era of globalization, Newsday left
readers wondering about how this idea has been "proven"
-- at least to anyone who wants evidence instead of
just blind market ideology. Nor did the paper give any
indication why an increasing number of Latin American
countries are inviting sure "failure" by bucking the
policies of neoliberal globalization. For its part, the
Los Angeles Times gave some insight by remarking, "It's
true that[Bolivia's] resources have long been exploited
by foreigners with little benefit to the indigenous
population." But it never the less contended that
"sending in the army to take over the gas fields isn't
the answer to Bolivia's problems."

What the alarmist viewpoints lack most is context. In
predicting economic disaster for a re-nationalized
Bolivian energy sector, the editorials turn a blind eye
to the two-decade disaster known as neoliberalism. In
the 1980s Bolivia was on the cutting edge of the trend
toward privatization, adhering to an International
Monetary Fund(IMF) - recommended structural adjustment
program. The pro-corporatere forms proved profitable
for the multinational energy companies involved, but
they utterly failed to benefit the Bolivian people.
Today 64% of the population lives in poverty, with a
majority of people scraping by on less than $2 per day.
A March 2006 report by the Center for Economic and
Policy Research shows that, according to the IMF's own
data, real per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) in
Bolivia is lower now than it was 27 years ago.

Despite the general trend, there were some level headed
voices in the media. These exceptions went far in
debunking many of the Evo-bashers 'doomsday scenarios.
Usually a defender of "free trade"policies, The New
York Times ran an op-ed entitled, "All Smoke, No Fire
in Bolivia." It noted that foreign energy companies
will not be kicked out of Bolivia under Morales'
framework,but merely will have to cooperate with the
state on less lucrative terms than before. While
private partners will remain, Evo's plan will increase
state control of natural resources and force
renegotiation of the suspect corporate contracts signed
during privatization. As a result, a greater share of
the proceeds from oil and gas will be redirected to
benefit Bolivia's poor. "The companies will still
profit under the new rules," commentator William Powers
wrote; "they won't see the huge profits they enjoyed
under lax Bolivian control and the global rally in
commodities prices, but they will make money."

The London Independent observed, "Energy reserves are
national assets which the state has a right to control
and benefit from." And even the stodgy Financial Times,
while generally suspicious of Morales, conceded "there
is nothing intrinsically wrong in trying to maximize
royalties and taxes" from the use of a country's natural resources.
    Not all economists think that Evo's wager was a bad one
-- and somethink the gamble could pay off big.
Especially galling for critics has been Joseph
Stiglitz's public show of support this week for
Bolivia's re-nationalization. After meeting with
Morales on May 17, Stiglitz, a Nobel-prize winning
economist and former chief economist at the World Bank,
argued that Bolivia "felt all the pains [of neoliberal
structural adjustment] but has experienced no gains --
it's clear that it must have a change in its economic model."

Stiglitz also contended that the sale of Bolivian
hydrocarbons to private interests was illegal, since it
was never approved by the country's Congress. "When a
person was robbed of a painting and then it is given
back to him," Stiglitz argued, "we don't call it re-
nationalization, but return of a property that was his to begin with."

For all their professed concern about democratic
reform, this is a point that the critics consistently
miss. Morales was elected in a landslide on a platform
vowing nationalization. That he actually kept a
campaign promise may seem bizarre to the watchdogs of
corporate globalization, but it's something that should
be lauded. With their commentaries filled with alarm,
too few papers took note of a remarkable development:
This time, when democracy and neoliberal economics collided, democracy won.
    [Mark Engler, a writer based in New York City, is an analyst with Foreign Policy In Focus. He can be reached                                               
via the web site: Research assistance provided by Kate Griffiths.]

* This appeared in the Philadelpiha Daily News Friday, 5/26/06 Letters | U.S. FOREIGN POLICY & THE IMMIGRATION MESS

ONE OF THE factors in the immigration controversy that continues to be ignored is how this country's interventions in Latin America have contributed to the migration.  In the 1980s, overt and clandestine operations supported by the Reagan and Bush I administrations created a northward movement of thousands of immigrants trying to escape a hostile environment.

Later, the implementation of neoliberal policies in the region imposed cuts in social services. In 1994, NAFTA went into effect in Mexico, with devastating consequences for small farmers and manufacturers, indigenous people and the urban poor. The United States is, therefore, not totally blameless for the situation.

Instead of opposing attempts to bring about a more equitable economic climate in those countries, the United States should support regimes that work toward that goal, even if it means going against the interests of corporations and the national elites. The results may not be evident overnight, but it will be a more permanent solution than fences or criminalization.

Ada Bello, Philadelphia

Number Of Iraqi Civilians Slaughtered In America's War? As Many As 250,000

Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In Bush's War 2460

The War in Iraq Costs  $283,394,491,190
See the cost in your community
Why it's over for America  By Noam Chomsky
        An inability to protect its citizens. The belief that it is above the law. A lack of democracy. Three defining characteristics of the 'failed state'. And that, says Noam Chomsky, is exactly what the US is becoming. In an exclusive extract from his devastating new book, America's leading thinker explains how his country lost its way.

* Cuba-Donated Hospitals in Bolivia,  From: "Walter Tillow"

La Paz, May 30 (Prensa Latina) President Evo Morales is due to open
Tuesday in Escoma, on the border with Peru, the first of 20
top-technology hospitals donated by Cuba to Bolivia, the governmental
headquarters reported.

  Armando Garrido, coordinator of the Cuban medical brigade in Bolivia,
stated that the Aymara Hospital is provided with a medicinal gas
system, labs with gasometry and fixed and portable ray-x equipment.
The center, like the other 19, will have one intensive therapy room
with four beds, as well as services of obstetrics, neonatology,
digestive endoscopy and a fully-equipped operation room.

  Qualified Cuban staff and paramedics will work in the hospital and the
donation also includes maintenance of medical equipment, medicine and
materials, said Garrido.Cuba's ambassador to Bolivia Rafael Daussa stated the
20 hospitals will be working before the end of June.

* Life Expectancy in Cuba Near 80 Years
Prensa Latina, May 28, 2006

Life expectancy in Cuba is reaching 80 years, according
to health specialists in the 4th International
Conference on Satisfactory Longevity, which took place
this week here in the National Hotel.
Doctor Eugenio Selman-Houssein Abdo highlighted the
conditions developed in Cuba to maintain good quality
of life conditions, including nutrition, health,
physical activity, culture, motivation and the environment.
    "Cuba guarantees education and healthcare free of
charge, full access to sports and culture."

* Block the Vote- New York Times May 30, 2006, Editorial

In a country that spends so much time extolling the
glories of democracy, it's amazing how many elected
officials go out of their way to discourage voting.
States are adopting rules that make it hard, and
financially perilous, for nonpartisan groups to register
new voters. They have adopted new rules for maintaining
voter rolls that are likely to throw off many eligible
voters, and they are imposing unnecessarily tough ID
        Florida recently reached a new low when it actually
bullied the League of Women Voters into stopping its
voter registration efforts in the state. The Legislature
did this by adopting a law that seems intended to scare
away anyone who wants to run a voter registration drive.
Since registration drives are particularly important for
bringing poor people, minority groups and less educated
voters into the process, the law appears to be designed
to keep such people from voting.
        It imposes fines of $250 for every voter registration
form that a group files more than 10 days after it is
collected, and $5,000 for every form that is not
submitted - even if it is because of events beyond
anyone's control, like a hurricane. The Florida League
of Women Voters, which is suing to block the new rules,
has decided it cannot afford to keep registering new
voters in the state as it has done for 67 years. If a
volunteer lost just 16 forms in a flood, or handed in a
stack of forms a day late, the group's entire annual
budget could be put at risk.

* War Crimes: My Lai is a Lesson from History

* Lamont vs. Lieberman: Battle for Dem's Soul?

* Photos Indicate Civilians Slain Execution-Style

Ben Cohen has built a grassroots organization of half a million to fight the obscene size of the U.S. military
budget -- and he uses Oreo cookies to make the case.

From secret detention centers to warrantless wiretapping,
Bush and Co. give free rein to their totalitarian impulses.

While claiming that they must 'secure' America for a post-9/11 world, the BushCheney zealots are taking
us back to a pre-1776 world.

*THE GREAT IRAQ OIL GRAB Joshua Holland, AlterNet
The official reasons the U.S. invaded Iraq don't hold water. So, as the man said, follow the money ... straight
to the oil fields.

Author/activist Arundhati Roy discusses President Bush's embarrassing trip to India, the war in Iraq, and why she
avoids America.

* THE GUILTIEST GUYS IN THE ROOM Onnesha Roychoudhuri, AlterNet
The Enron verdict is a heartening chapter, but it provides the beginning, rather than an end of reckoning with a
culture of blame-dodging that bleeds far beyond Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling.

Another failed attempt by the neocons to compare Iran toNazi Germany suggests the public won't stand for another
propaganda campaign meant to drum up war fever.

Pat Robertson is up to his old tricks -- God has told him that a tsunami  will hit the Pacific Northwest. Luckily, a newscaster was able to get  his hands on a recording of the conversation.

* Israeli military says it is expanding four settlements in Qalqilia area
An Israeli military spokesperson says they are expanding four settlements in the northwestern occupied West Bank area, including Oranit Settlement south of Qalqilia, built on lands of Sineria and Azzun Atma villages. Settlers dredged 86 dunams of land belonging to farmer Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Sheikh.

* 18,000 Palestinians in W. Bethlehem villages about to be enclosed into a 'ghetto'
In West Bethlehem, between al-Khader and the villages to be isolated in a ghetto on the west side of the Wall, Israeli forces have begun building a tunnel under the settler-only road. This construction and the associated land devastation will finalize the isolation of the villages into a ghetto, completely surrounded by the Israeli Wall and isolated from the rest of Palestine.

* Collateral damage:Entire Gaza family By Gideon Levy
The entire family of Hamdi Aman, a 28-year-old Palestinian from Gaza who spent his youth in Tel Aviv's Carmel market, was hit in the assassination of Islamic Jihad operative Mohammed Dahdouh in Gaza a week and a half ago.
        Aman's 7-year-old son Muhand was killed; Naima, his wife, 27, was killed; his mother Hanan, 46, was killed. His three and a half year old daughter Mariya is lying in the pediatric intensive care unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, permanently paralyzed and on a respirator. Aman is not allowed to be with her.