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To alleviate the problem of articles from other press sources being reposted on this IMC site, this section allows users to link to articles published elsewhere, and to contribute and read comments on those pieces. Have something interesting to post?


News :: Civil & Human Rights

Israel blamed for Christian exodus

The mayor of Bethlehem has blasted the Israeli occupation as an oppressive siege which is forcing Christians to leave the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ in ever increasing numbers. Hanner Nasir, the Christian mayor of this West Bank town, on Monday said living under an occupation was an offence to human dignity.

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News :: Labor & Class

US Airways Flight Attendants Authorize Strike

Date: December 13, 2004
Contact: David Kameras 202-434-0586

CHAOS™ Threatened if Contract is Abrogated

WASHINGTON -Flight attendants at US Airways overwhelmingly authorized their union to engage in CHAOS™ strike-related activities should a federal bankruptcy court permit management to abrogate its collective bargaining agreement with its employees.

"Our sisters and brothers have given voice to a clear and unmistakable message: 'Enough is enough,'" said Pat Friend, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. "We will not stand by while our employers destroy our careers in a desperate attempt to cover for their own mistakes."

Friend noted that by seeking to scrap its legally binding contract, terminate its pension plan, cut retiree health benefits and impose intolerable wage cuts and work rule changes, US Airways is forcing its employees to mobilize for CHAOS™ (Create Havoc Around Our System), AFA's trademarked tactic of surprise, intermittent strikes on flights, dates and locations chosen solely at the union's discretion.

Tomorrow, flight attendants will join with hundreds of fellow workers and supporters from throughout the labor movement for an AFA-sponsored rally in Washington's Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, to protest corporate America's assault on their livelihoods, and to promote an economic agenda to save America's middle class (sic). Similar rallies will be held at locations across the country.

More than 46,000 flight attendants, including 5,200 at US Airways, join together to form AFA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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Commentary :: Drug War & Pharmaceuticals

A New Opium War

Today, it is said that the global illicit drug trade involves "US$500 billion annually of which US$300 billion is laundered" (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Money Laundering"). That's about 5% of the GDP of the United States ($10.99 trillion), but don't think it's chump change. Consider this: the cost of the US war on Iraq is $150 billion (and counting). Imagine how many insurgencies and counter-insurgencies (using narco dollars in the name of fighting against "narco terrorists") $500 billion can buy, given that military and paramilitary soldiers' labor power in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East is incomparably cheaper than US soldiers'.

"Nervos belli, pecuniam infinitam [The sinews of war, unlimited money]." -- Cicero, "Phillipic against Marc Anthony," V.ii.5

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Commentary :: Peace & War

DNC, Iraq's Books, Guard Service, Iraqi Dead, Law Suit, Books

1) This is what I wrote as part of the Move-On
petition to get a good DNC chair. You too can write
the Democratic Party politburo:


Dear Party Leaders:

I don't know how you torpedoed Dean back in January,
but you did. Then you snookered us into backing the
more "electable" Kerry -- whose positions were barely
distinguishable from Bush's in terms of foreign
policy, whose campaign refused to fight in Ohio, and
whose "centrist" strategy was ultimately a bust. If
you put a DLC/McAuliffe party hack in the position of
party chair, if your party machinery inflicts another
"centrist" candidate on us in '08 -- I'm joining the
Green Party.

Yours sincerely,
Nabil Al-Tikriti
[Nader '00, Dean '04, Kerry '04 -- Nader '08?]


2) The Tale of Iraq's 'Cemetery of Books'

at: http://www.infotoday.com/it/dec04/eskander.shtml

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News :: Labor & Class : Protest Activity

Mobilization Against Verizon Wireless Spreads

CWA members across the nation are turning out in droves to fight union busting by Verizon Wireless. It began on Nov. 29 with a rally organized by Local 2202 in Chesapeake, Va. On Dec. 1, it was Local 2201 in Richmond. On Dec. 2, several upstate New York locals staged a rally in Buffalo, N.Y., and Locals 1101 and 1105 organized the largest rally so far, in New York City.

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

If You Read the Gospels, the Religious Right is Most Often Wrong

Commentary by Rick Mercier

Was Jesus a big winner in the last election?

You'd sure think so. If the pundits and Religious Right zealots are correct, the Son of God scored a knockout victory on Nov. 2. We've had it drilled into our heads that something known as "moral values" was decisive in the election. Some worked-up commentators have even said we're on the brink of a second Great Awakening.

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News :: Civil & Human Rights

Hate Crime Statistics

The FBI recently issued a press release on its annual compilation of hate crime statistics for 2003. There were 7,489 incidents reported against 9,100 individuals. According to the release:

A breakdown of the single-bias incidents by the type of bias revealed that 51.4 percent were motivated by racial bigotry, 17.9 percent were caused by religious intolerance, 16.6 percent were the result of a sexual-orientation bias, and
13.7 percent were triggered by an ethnicity/national origin bias.

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Commentary :: Miscellaneous

Dear President Bush

Dear President Bush,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and
support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said, "in the eyes of God, marriage is based between a man and a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind
them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination...end of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

>1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slavesboth male and
>femaleprovided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
friend of
>mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can
>clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
>2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned
in Exodus
>21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?
>3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is
in her
>period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is
how do I
>tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
>4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
creates a
>pleasing odor for the Lord Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim
>the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
>5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 35:2
>clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill
>him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
>6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
>abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I
>don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of
>7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if
I have a
>defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.
Does my
>vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
>8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the
>around their temples, even though Lev. 19:27 expressly forbids
this. How
>should they die?
>9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig
makes me
>unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
>10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
>crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two
>different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends
to curse
>and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the
>of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:14-16)?
>we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do
>people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?
>I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
>considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can
>Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and

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