Thursday, April 08, 2010


Here is the latest update on the whole grand jury/green scare/indcitment situation of Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth.

The following is from Support Carrie and Scott.

Legal Update on Scott, Fundraising Plea, & Upcoming Events!


Here is the latest update on the whole grand jury/green scare/indcitment situation of Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth.

The following is from Support Carrie and Scott.

Legal Update on Scott, Fundraising Plea, & Upcoming Events!

In this update:

1. Legal update on Scott’s case

2. Defense funds and fiscal sponsor still needed

3. April 9: Community Dinner in Minneapolis

4. April 9: Potluck in Rock Island, IL

5. April 12: Rally at the federal courthouse and come to court!

6. April 16: “The Green Scare: Targeting Environmental and Animal Rights Activism” at CUNY

7. April 24: Art auction


1. Legal update on Scott’s case

From the legal team: “Since our last hearing on February 23, we have been reviewing materials in preparation for trial, and have been filing motions to dismiss the government’s superseding indictment. We have moved to dismiss based on the language of the indictment being so vague and open-ended that it fails to state the scope of the alleged conspiracy or what supposed role Scott played in it. Another motion has been filed based on the statute of limitations, since the superseding indictment came over five years after the ALF action at Spence. We are also in the process of drafting additional motions, including others which will seek to dismiss the charge against Scott.

In addition, we filed a motion for Bill of Particulars, requesting that the government clearly state what criminal acts they are alleging Scott participated in. Along with this, we filed a motion for Rule 12 notice, requiring the government to state what specific evidence they intend to introduce at trial. The Magistrate Judge ruled against us on both these motions and we have moved for the trial judge to reconsider the Magistrate’s rulings.

Our next court date is a pretrial conference scheduled for Monday, April 12 at 10:30 in front of Magistrate Judge Shields, which will address open discovery matters and specifics regarding trial. The trial is set to begin on Monday, May 3 and we are preparing for it to start on schedule, even though we hope the trial judge rules in our favor and the case is dismissed before then.”

2. Defense funds and fiscal sponsor still needed

As we’ve known all along, Scott’s legal fees will increase considerably as we approach trial. We just got an estimate from his legal team about his expected expenses: $50,000! We need help raising this money!

Please consider donating to his defense through PayPal at, or by making a check out to Coldsnap Legal Collective with “EWOK!” in the memo line, and sending it to EWOK! c/o Coldsnap, PO Box 50514, Minneapolis, MN 55405. And please spread the word to all your loved ones!

We’re also still looking for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to act as our fiscal sponsor so that folks can make tax-deductible donations to the defense fund. If you have any leads, please email us at

3. April 9: Community Meal in Minneapolis, MN

* When: Friday, April 9th, 7:30-9:00

* Where: PPNA Building, 821 E. 35th St.

If you’re in the Twin Cities, come enjoy a free community meal. We’re getting together to share food, fun, and conversation as Scott prepares for his next pre-trial conference.

4. April 9: Potluck in Rock Island, IL

A few days before Scott’s next pre-trial conference, friends of SCSC will be hosting a potluck benefit to raise awareness of Scott’s and Carrie’s situations. If you’re in the Quad Cities area, come on by! The event will be fun and informal, and there’ll be updates from SCSC and information about resisting grand juries.

* When: Friday, April 9, 7pm

* Where: The Artery, 715 2nd Ave

5. April 12: Rally at the federal courthouse and come to court!

Scott’s next hearing is on Monday, April 12th, at 10:30 am at the federal courthouse in Davenport, IA. Join us for a rally at 9:30 am outside the courthouse! Show Scott and the Judge that he has a community of supporters behind him, and don’t let Cronk get away with this abusive prosecution! We’re asking as many people as possible to come to court on the 12th to watch the proceedings. Contact us at to carpool from Minneapolis.

6. April 16: “The Green Scare: Targeting Environmental and Animal Rights Activism” at CUNY

* When: Friday, April 16th, 4:15pm

* Where: The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 9204/9205

* Free and open to the public (with state issued ID for building access).

This event will explore the emerging use of the category of “eco-terrorism” to criminalize the work of environmental justice and animal rights activists, as well as its significance for academic research. Panelists will discuss the impacts of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) on civil rights and liberties; how the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and other laws have been used to quell animal rights litigation; and the case of Scott DeMuth, a University of Minnesota graduate student currently facing conspiracy charges under AETA for his research on the animal rights movement.

The event is part of the Third Annual Conference on “Rightist” Movements, this year focused on the production of “new enemies” in the name of security and the national interest in the post-September 11 context. A reception will follow.

Panelists include:

-Will Potter, Independent Journalist,

-Raphi Rechitsky and Meghan Krausch, University of Minnesota, Scholars for Academic Justice,

-Odette Wilkens, Executive Director, Equal Justice Alliance,

-Delcianna Winders, Animal Rights Attorney and Law Instructor

Moderated by Professor Michael Blim,

Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Co-sponsored by:

The Center for the Humanities, The Graduate Center, CUNY;

The Center for Place, Culture & Politics, The Graduate Center, CUNY;

Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, The Graduate Center, CUNY

7. April 24: “Supporting Earth Warriors Through Art”

* What: Supporting Earth Warriors through Art

* When: Saturday, April 24th, 2010, 6PM to 10PM (auction starts at 6 PM and ends at 9 PM)

* Where: Purity Bakery Building Art Gallery, 36th Ave and 5th St, Minneapolis

We will be having an Art Exhibition and Auction to help support our comrades Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth, two Minneapolis activists who were unjustly taken hostage by the state in November 2009, and Eric McDavid, who has been imprisoned since 2006 and is currently facing almost 20 years in prison for a crime that never happened.

For more information on Eric’s case and ways to support him, please visit:

Help be part of the creative resistance against state repression and send questions and/or the following details to


-Contact information

-Starting bid on the auction item

-A description of the piece you are donating

-When the item can be picked up or dropped off

*Any items being dropped off or mailed can be sent to this address:

Explosive Expressions Mpls. c/o Leigh

1909 Elliot Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55405

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


My old friend Bill Berkowitz has a post a Buzz Flash today about a controversy surrounding the Lilith Fair sending money to...pregnancy care centers. Those are the operations that pretend like that's what they are, but are really all about being anti-abortion. I would have never thunk it, would you?

By the way, I know I'm supposed to say anti-choice, but, come on folks, let's all get real, why be shy. To me saying anti-choice just gives credence to saying pro-life.

The following is from BuzzFlash Blog.

Lilith 2010 Runs Into a Headwind of Controversy Over On Again/Off Again Funding of Anti-Abortion Centers

By Bill Berkowitz

The appearance, and then disappearance, of crisis pregnancy centers on the list of Lilith-eligible charities sparks online dust-up.

In the middle of last year, Lilith Fair co-founder Terry McBride announced via Twitter that the all-female festival would make its return in the summer of 2010. Six months later, Lilith 2010 launched its website and announced that the tour would launch on June 27 in Calgary, Canada. An extraordinary array of artists including Erykah Badu, Heart, Indigo Girls, Kelly Clarkson, Loretta Lynn, Mary J. Blidge, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Selena Gomez, have already signed on.  

With so many culture war battles going on at once and Tea Party activities grabbing so much media attention these days, is it any wonder that the battle fought out around the revival of the Lilith Fair summer concert series, didn't appear on most radar screens?

I wouldn't have known anything about it if it wasn't for Jill Stanek bringing it to my attention via her weekly email alert. Stanek is the head of an organization called Born Alive Truth, a decidedly anti-abortion operation that became visible during the 2008 presidential campaign through its persistent attacks on Barack Obama. Stanek, a regular columnist for, also delights in attacking Planned Parenthood of America and all things pro-choice.

So why was she writing about Lilith 2010?

On March 31, in a piece titled "Pro-abort pressure fails: Lilith Fair keeps pregnancy care centers on list of charities,"  Jill Stanek pointed out that a press release issued just days before by Lilith 2010 tour organizers about how the charities that would receive donations would be determined, had engendered quite a "surprise." The "surprise" was that "several pregnancy care centers were included on the list." Stanek noted that it was "A surprise because back in the day Lilith Fair had the reputation of being a feminist and lesbian magnet, both groups being pro-abortion. Sarah McLachlan is also a pro-abort (ironically having previously performed in Rock for Choice concerts)."

A skirmish over which charities would receive funds was now taking place at Lilith 2010's Facebook page, where Lilith fans could nominate charities in their home towns and several at each tour stop would be chosen. (Lilith is scheduled to play in 36 cities across North America and $1 from each ticket will be donated to a local women's charity in each city.)

A few days later, however, Stanek was apparently not so surprised when she reported that Lilith 2010 organizers had dumped the pregnancy care centers (aka anti-abortion enterprises) as potential recipients while keeping maternity homes on the list.

Lilith 101

The Lilith Fair ("a celebration of women in music") was founded in 1997 by Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan, Nettwerk Music Group's McBride and Dan Fraser, and New York talent agent Marty Diamond. It featured only female solo artists and female led bands (both well-known and lesser-known musicians were included.) During its three-year lifespan it not only brought an eclectic mix of female musicians into the spotlight, it raised some $10 million for women's charities throughout North America.

In 1997, Lilith Fair garnered a $16 million gross, making it the top-grossing of any touring festival, and the 16th highest grossing amongst all concert tours that year. Main Stage artists included McLachlan, Tracy Chapman, Jewel, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Fiona Apple, Joan Osbourne, Cardigans, Emmylou Harris, Lisa Loeb, and the Indigo Girls.  There was also a Second Stage of artists, and a section called the Village Stage, which featured mostly local artists who performed at one or two venues.

McLachlan apparently took the name from the medieval Jewish legend that Lilith was Adam's first wife. There are more Lilith stories, however. According to "Tree of souls: the mythology of Judaism," by Howard Schwartz, Lilith appears as a night demon in Jewish folklore and as a screech owl in Isaiah 34:14 in the King James version of the Bible. In later folklore, Lilith is the name for Adam's first wife. Her story was greatly developed, during the middle-ages, in the tradition of Aggadic midrashim, the Zohar and Jewish mysticism.

The dust up

On March 29, a Lilith-sponsored press release announced that the 2010 Lilith Tour would partner with Involver, "the fastest growing social media technology platform .,. to launch 'Choose Your Charity,' an audience engagement campaign run exclusively through Facebook."

Thus began the Battle of the Charities.

According to the Chicago Reader's Jessica Hopper, fans in Minneapolis and Indianapolis were "given the option of supporting Metro Women's Center and Indianapolis Life Center, respectively—institutions whose approach to women's reproductive health services (especially birth control and abortion) is guided by an explicitly anti-choice agenda. Several other cities, including Atlanta and Seattle, have potential beneficiaries that offer so-called abortion alternatives and faith-driven pregnancy counseling."

When Hopper asked festival organizers to comment "about this apparent change in tack for the historically pro-choice Lilith Fair," Danielle Romeo, a spokesperson from Nettwerk, said: "The primary focus of the selection process will be on those organizations that provide shelter to women in need. We want the fans to have a voice in the selection, and we will strongly consider all feedback on these selected charities when making the final decisions."

Lilith cofounder Terry McBride told Hopper that "The seeding at the start was done with a basic digital search in each market of woman's charities. It's not perfect. Nor could it be, as we simply don't have the local expertise even within our own city of Vancouver." According to Hopper, "McBride insist[ed] that the intent of the contest is to have each community help Lilith select a worthy recipient. The 'seeding' he refers to, aka the initial vetting step, consisted of looking online for woman-focused organizations with federal tax ID numbers. He claims no other criteria were employed."

A few days after her initial report, the Chicago Reader's Hopper reported that the crisis pregnancy centers had been removed from the list of charities eligible for Lilith donations. At the same time, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina was also removed. Hopper noted that "Several anti-choice organizations—faith-based maternity homes, abortion-alternative advocacy centers—remain listed."

Rachel Larris of RH Realty Check pointed out that Becky Smith and Katie Blair, who founded the Facebook Fan page titled "Lilith Fair: No money for crisis pregnancy centers!", released a statement that thanked supporters for rallying "together so quickly around the grave women's rights issue of crisis pregnancy centers." Smith and Blair said that their Facebook page, which began right after the posting of the "Choose your Charities" ballot, "quickly mushroom[ed] to a fan base of over 1200 committed concerned advocates for women's rights. We are so grateful to everyone who wrote an article, an email, a tweet, and started conversations regarding CPCs. While we can claim this as a victory, CPCs continue to misinform women and provide medically unsound information. We urge everyone to continue their activism by spreading the truth about the anti-woman practices of CPCs. Finally, we would like to thank Terry, CEO of the Nettwek Music Group, for moving so quickly on this important women's rights issue."

On April 5, Rachel Larris reported that Lilith 2010 issued a set of criteria for which charities are acceptable to submit at its Facebook page:

Criteria for Candidate Submissions:

A Women's charity with a focus on at least one of the following:

    * Reducing violence against women
    * Providing safety, shelter or recovery to women
    * Helping women achieve independence through education and career development tools
    * Providing access to ensure women's emotional, mental, social and physical well-being needs are been met
    * Focusing on building women's girls, or teens confidence through experiences in volunteering, education, friendships, community involvement, peer support or drop-in services
    * Offering treatment for addiction
    * Offering STD and HIV education and support
    * Providing rape and sexual violence education and support

According to Larris, these "criteria do not explain why CPCs have been removed from the list. In fact, given the lack of guidance on values undergirding any of these services, it is really not clear how this changes things. Certainly, an anti-choice CPC providing misinformation could claim that it 'ensures women's emotional needs are met,' based on its own ideological positions of what those needs are and how to meet them.  Likewise, there is nothing about offering 'peer support' or 'drop-in' services that suggests whether these be accurate or not, ideologically anti-choice or pro-choice and fact-based.

"Confusion remains."

"And it is still not entirely clear why NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina doesn't meet those standards or if any other state NARAL organizations would be qualified. Emails sent to Nettwerk music group asking for clarification did not receive an immediate response."

Fortunately for Lilith 2010morganbizers, the deadline for submission is April 8.

According to some reports, the selection of the charities will ultimately be up to Lilith founders McLachlan, McBride, Dan Fraser, and Marty Diamond.

In light of the great many culture war battles taking place in cities and towns across the country, striking crisis pregnancy centers from Lilith 2010-eligible charities is a victory, albeit a small one. While crisis pregnancy centers were removed, several faith-based organizations remain. And why why NARAL dumped at the same time?

Then there's the question of whether anti-abortion activists will let the issue rest? As Lilith 2010 begins touring the issue of which charities it is supporting will no doubt be raised again, perhaps in the form of demonstrations outside concert venues and/or threatened boycotts. 


 But wait, now I run across another article that makes me wonder if the crisis pregnancy centers have been dropped or not?  It is from Crawdaddy. 

Update: Ambiguous Lilith Fair Nixes CPCs, NARAL; Leaves Other Anti-Choice Groups on "Choose Your Charity" Lists

by: Howard Wyman
[Via Daily Swarm]
After facing swift and substantial backlash for having included anti-choice organizations on its “Choose Your Charity” ballot lists, organizers of the historically pro-choice, all-woman music festival Lilith Fair have removed several crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) from the lists of charities eligible for the large financial donation Fair reps announced last week would be allocated from proceeds of the Fair to the winner of a Facebook-based election. And yet, as of Sunday night, several regrettable  ”abortion alternative”/ maternity homes remain eligible to receive festival funds, including unequivocally anti-choice, religious-right groups such as Our Lady’s Inn (of St. Louis, MS) and Maggie’s Place (on the Phoenix, AZ ballot). Adding to the confusion has been the Fair’s removal of NARAL Pro Choice North Carolina from the Raleigh, NC ballot.
A major voice in the opposition to the Fair’s inclusion of anti-choice groups has come in the form of the Facebook page Lilith Fair: No money for crisis pregnancy centers!, which sprang up shortly after the charity lists were first published. At present, the page has almost 1400 “fans.” On Sunday afternoon the page posted the following statement from Fair organizers regarding the removal of NARAL:
While we recognize and deeply respect the vital efforts NARAL
Pro-Choice Carolina provides regarding women’s voices on the matter of
reproductive rights, we realize that NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
has been dropped from the ballot because its mission does not fall in
line with the updated criteria of the “Choose Your Charities”
campaign, which primarily focus on direct essential services – this is
also why the amazing direct service provider of reproductive health
care, The Feminist Women’s Health Center, remains on the ballot.
A PDF of the updated official rules and criteria for “Choose Your Charity” campaign eligibility can be found here.

Commenters on the “Choose Your Charity” Facebook page have rightly pointed out that advocacy, fundraising and political engagement are absolutely critical to ensuring women’s access to a full spectrum of reproductive and contraceptive options, and that in our currently political climate, this is just as direct and important a service as those provided by any other groups on the ballot. The Fair’s reasoning for the removal of NARAL is specious at best, and they have yet to offer any specific justification for the continued eligibility of anti-choice groups. What I find strange is that, with over 50 artists slated to perform over the course of the Fair’s 36-city run, not one has apparently come out with any vocal recognition of the controversy either way.

In 1997, when Planned Parenthood was blocked from setting up its booth on the grounds of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (just north of Houston), Lilith cofounder Sarah McLachlan and fellow performer Joan Osborne rasied a major fuss, and won Planned Parenthood the access it deserved. Today, with its grand return and new-and-improved scheme to support pro-woman, pro-choice organizations directly, citing specific criteria that recipients of its support be providers of direct services to women, Planned Parenthood does not appear on a single ballot for any of the 36 cities. The charity nomination period goes until 10am this Thursday, April 8th, however, and so there’s still plenty of time to let your voice be heard — no purchase necessary.


At the University of Florida (Gainesville) the Coalition Against Police Brutality has placed demands on the table in regards to the shooting of graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong by police. The shooter was University Police Department Officer Keith Smith-who had previously been implicated in throwing eggs at African-A...mericans. Adu-Brempong was mentally-distressed, and the police were called in response to noise coming from his apartment at Corey Village on-campus. The shooting occurred less than a minute after the officers entered the apartment.

Yesterday students marched on campus in reaction to the slow University response. Last month students briefly occupied a building

Students for a Democratic Society organizer Justin Wooten says the university has been listening but they need to act faster on some key issues.

Demands in protest of shooting:

1. The dropping of criminal charges against Adu-Brempong.

2. An independent grand jury investigation into the shooting.

3. Implementation of independent review board for the UF Police Department.

4. Indefinite unpaid suspension of the shooter pending investigation.

5. Improvement of mental health and crisis services on campus to prevent further incidents.

6. Elimination of UF’s Critical Incident Response Team.

The following is from The Independent Florida Alligator.

250 protest shooting

Equipped with new chants but the same purpose, about 250 people crowded on Turlington Plaza Tuesday afternoon to protest the University Police Department shooting of a UF graduate student.

Kofi Adu-Brempong was shot by officer Keith Smith on March 2 at his Corry Village apartment.

Protesters gathered to inform people about the shooting and express concern about the administration’s response to the incident.

A similar rally was held March 16, when protesters marched from Turlington Plaza to Emerson Hall and Tigert Hall.

At Tuesday’s rally, marchers held signs reading “UF show you care for justice not for $$$” and “We came to study, not to get shot.” One sign, written in the Ghanaian-language Akan, read “we miss you Kofi, justice for Kofi.”

Valesca St. Cyr, a communication sciences and disorders senior, said she’s been reconsidering staying at UF for graduate school because she feels a similar incident could have happened to any student.

“It could happen to you if you stay here,” St. Cyr said.

The protesters marched to Tigert Hall to deliver a list of demands to the UF administration.

On the way, the protestors chanted, “Campus cops, it’s not your place to shoot a student in the face.”

They were met by Dave Kratzer, associate vice president of student affairs, who accepted their demands.

“I hear you loud and clear,” Kratzer said.

Kratzer helped schedule a meeting Thursday between rally organizers and Brian Beach, the senior vice president for administration and business ventures.

The protesters’ demands included dropping charges against Kofi and creating a civilian review board to oversee UPD force policy. A new demand added since the last protest calls for the liquidation of the Critical Incident Response Team, a group of regular officers equipped with assault rifles.

The crowd continued to UPD headquarters on Museum Road, taking up the right lane of Southwest 13th Street and holding back traffic as it marched down Museum Road.

Lt. Robert Wagner met the crowd there and handed out about 140 official complaint forms, which would allow protesters to express their concerns about the shooting.

Wagner said the complaints would more than likely be treated collectively because they deal with the same situation.

The complaints will be addressed formally after the release of the shooting investigation reports.

Before leaving, marchers were encouraged to call the state attorney’s office and the UF administration with their demands and to join the Justice for Kofi Facebook group or donate to the Justice for Kofi Fund.

Dave Schneider, the rally’s organizer, said he thought the protest went well but vowed not to decrease the pressure on UF until demands were met.

“We have to do this, there’s no choice,” he said. “We’ll drag the university through the mud.”

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Those squatters in San Francisco, reported on here yesterday, were removed from the empty building they occupied by police. Four men were cited for trespass.

Can't have anyone raising the notion that unused buildings could be used as homes for people living on the street. Wouldn't be prudent.

People from a group called Homes Not Jails hang banners f... Lacy Atkins / The Chronicle
People from a group called Homes Not Jails hang banners from the windows of a vacant home 
to draw attention to their cause Sunday in San Francisco.
The following is from

Protesting Squatters Removed From SF Mission District Home

On Monday afternoon, San Francisco police kicked out squatters who occupied a home in the city's Mission District over the weekend.

The activists are angry because they claim there are too many people living on the street given the abundance of housing in SF.

By Monday evening, there was little sign of the standoff at the home in the Mission that took place a few hours before. The homeowner had cleaned up the property, leaving very little evidence of the squatters who occupied the home here for nearly 24 hours.

Earlier Monday afternoon, San Francisco police made their way into the two-bedroom home on San Jose Street. Protesters had occupied the duplex since Sunday afternoon.

The incident started with a tenant's rights march through the Mission District Sunday. Protesters were angry over the eviction of an elderly tenant from the home 18 months ago.

The home has stood vacant since the eviction.

On Monday, the squatters said they occupied the home to make the statement that the eviction was unconscionable, especially after the owner subsequently left the home empty.

"Buildings are sitting vacant, people are … dying on the streets and for some reason the property owners are allowed to keep these buildings vacant and leave people on the streets," said protester Tim Maschok. "And we have an issue with that."

Monday afternoon, the home's owner Ara Tehlirian showed up-- and asked police to clear the squatters out of his duplex.

"There is this very small, vocal group of people that do the sort of tactics they've done now," said Tehlirian. "They're not representative of the majority of the tenants that live here in San Francisco or elsewhere."

The protesters cooperated with police and left the building, but they said this wasn't the end of their protest.

"I think as long as there's 15,000 people sleeping on the streets in the city … you can expect more people to take over houses," said protester Aaron Buchbinder.

The protesters were cited for misdemeanor trespassing and are due in court on May 8.


Is Temple University Hospital administration putting patients at risk? Striking nurses think the answer just may be "yes" and they want credentials of replacements checked out now.

Meanwhile, an interesting aspect of the strike is developed in a story by Monica Yant Kinney of the Philadelphia Inquirer who reports, "......the eye-gouging cost of college as a big reason they (nurses) dared to strike in the worst economy since the Depression."


For 25 years, Temple used tuition reimbursement to recruit and retain highly trained staff including nurses and other hospital workers. Now the University wants out of the university business. She writes, " abruptly canceled tuition reimbursement for dependents in March 2009 in the middle of the Pennsylvania Association for Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals' contract... Especially galling is the suggestion that hospital workers don't deserve what Temple professors and secretaries take for granted. 'It doesn't make sense," grouses Bill Cruice, Pennsylvania Association for Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals' director. "So
a library clerk can have this benefit, but someone extricating knives from the guts of patients in the ER shouldn't get it?'

Tom Geiger is the single father of two teenage daughters and a
respiratory therapist who came to Temple 10 years ago because of the
tuition reimbursement. Geiger, already struggling to support his girls, never dreamed he'd
gamble his tenuous financial stability by going on strike. "But if you
don't stand up for something," he figures, "you can lose everything."
And if a hardworking father can't afford to send his daughters to
college, at least he can teach them about valuing your job enough to
risk losing it."

The following is from

Striking Temple nurses question fill-ins' credentials
By Linda Loyd
Inquirer Staff Writer

Striking registered nurses and health professionals on Friday called on Temple University Hospital to document credentials of the 850 temporary workers recruited to tend to patients since the walkout began Wednesday.

(Below:Striking nurses Moon Chang (left) and Debora Harris help 
a man who collapsed on the sidewalk outside the hospital.) 
MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer
The union said it had received "dozens of reports" of "problems with patient care," Maureen May, president of the Temple Nurses Union, said at a briefing outside the hospital on North Broad Street.

"We want the Department of Health to investigate," said Patricia Eakin, registered nurse in Temple Hospital's emergency room and statewide president of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals union, PASNAP.

Later, Sandy Gomberg, Temple's chief executive officer, said that the hospital's 400 doctors and 3,000 nonstriking employees were caring for patients as always and that the union was attempting to "frighten" the public and distract the focus from the "real issues" of wages and benefits.

The union said hospital conditions posed a risk to patients, with reports of replacement nurses in some intensive-care units working 20-hour shifts, as well as delays in getting X-rays and lab reports.

Gomberg said Temple sent letters to all striking workers Wednesday inviting them to return to work under the university's latest offer. "A number of employees have chosen to come back to work," she said.

The hospital "continues to be very busy, and we continue to provide the same high-quality care," Gomberg said. "The hospital is fully open across all clinical services. We've reduced no services and closed no departments."

No negotiations have been scheduled by the state mediator.

"We urge Temple to transfer out all unstable patients and enable doctors to temporarily receive privileges to care for patients in other hospitals," said union president May, noting that Temple registered nurses were available to help, in "a genuine patient emergency," to stabilize patients.

PASNAP executive director Bill Cruice said replacement nurses in the respiratory intensive-care unit were working 20-hour shifts, with a nurse-to-patient ratio of one nurse for four patients, when the norm is one nurse for two patients.

"The emergency room has been on divert more in the last two days than it's typically on divert in two months," Cruice said.

Executive Chief Daniel Williams of the Philadelphia Fire Department said patients were diverted from Temple's emergency room Wednesday from 7 a.m., when the strike, began until 9 a.m., and again from 10:28 p.m. Thursday to 2:28 a.m. Friday.

The union wants Temple to document compliance with state laws and to verify that replacement workers are licensed with valid credentials. PASNAP contends the agency doing most of the strike hiring, HealthSource Global Staffing, of California, had submitted false payroll reports and failed to pay insurance premiums owed to a state compensation insurance fund, according to a complaint filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Want to see how Climate Deniers are connected? Want to see where a bunch of money is coming from? Want to learn more about the folks who could care less whether or not we pretty much wreck the world and make sure what future generations make it through get to have pretty much no fun as it were? Check out the information provided below by Greenpeace.  There is a nice interactive graphic that I can't copy but you can check out at HERE.

 The following is from Greenpeace.

Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine
Greenpeace report cover: Koch Industries
Download the report as a
Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is “the biggest company you've never heard of.” But the nearly $50 million that David Koch and his brother Charles have quietly funneled to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming is no joking matter.

Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in delaying climate action: they’ve made billions from their ownership and control of Koch Industries, an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in America (which also happens to have an especially poor environmental record). It’s time more people were aware of Charles and David Koch and just what they’re up to.

Greenpeace has released the report “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” to expose the connections between these climate denial front groups and the secretive billionaires who are funding their efforts. The Koch brothers, their family members, and their employees direct a web of financing that supports conservative special interest groups and think-tanks, with a strong focus on fighting environmental regulation, opposing clean energy legislation, and easing limits on industrial pollution. This money is typically funneled through one of three "charitable" foundations the Kochs have set up: the Claude R. Lambe Foundation; the Charles G. Koch Foundation; and the David H. Koch Foundation.

Download the report

You can use the interactive web tool above to explore Koch's Web of Dirty Money and Influence, or download the whole “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” report as a PDF:

Executive Summary - Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine (PDF)
Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine (PDF)

Case Studies: How Does Koch Industries Influence the Climate Debate?

The report also features several case studies on how the Kochs’ anti-climate propaganda is disseminated and echoed throughout its vast network of front groups. You can read those online as well:

How can you help?

By spreading the word to your networks on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can make more people aware of who the Kochs are and unmask the “experts” who take money from them to write reports and appear on TV questioning the wisdom of taking action to save the climate.


In San Francisco, a group organized by a tenant group called Homes Not Jails occupied an empty privately owned Mission District duplex yesterday. Spokesperson Ted Gullicksen says the group wants the city to take over vacant buildings and those where heftyback taxes are owed, and make the homes into affordable housing.

What a strange idea. Use empty buildings and homes to house people without
places to live. Who would have thought of such a thing?

The following is from The New School Reoccupied.

Public housing takeover in San Francisco
From Indybay:

    San Francisco, April 4-Housing activists and occupation minded activists gathered in the rain at noon today at 24th and Mission in San Francisco to rally against the crime of residential building left vacant while people are left out on the streets in the cold and rain.

    Homes Not Jails, a direct action nonviolent group that regularly opens up such buildings for people to live in, sponsored the rally. Periodically Homes Not Jails organizes a pubic action to highlight this tragic situation and take action to show how easily the problem could be remedied. Such was today's street action.

    After rallying in the inclement weather, the assembled marched down Mission Street, chanting "Homes Not Jails" as the Liberation Brass Band added vibrant musical riffs to the mix. The march, accompanied by a large SFPD presence, soon arrived at the former home of Jose Morales at 572 San Jose Avenue in the Mission District. There they were greeted by a group of occupiers who had taken over the building, hanging out banners as the crowd cheered them on. Police fanned out around the area, but took no further action.

A number of speakers, including SF poet laureate Jack Hirschman, articulated many of the reasons the action was necessary, specifically the failure of government on all levels to do a damn thing about houses sitting empty while people suffer and die trying to live outside.

    The final speaker was former resident Jose Morales himself. At first overcome with emotion, the Latino octogenarian passionately outlined his struggles to keep his home of 4+ decades, and his decade and a half resistance to eviction attempts by various landlords at his San Jose Avenue home. Morales explained that he was finally forced out illegally through the Ellis Act, a state law that allows property owners to empty buildings if they contend they are going out of the landlord business. Jose Morales was one of thousands in San Francisco booted out of their homes through the Ellis Act by unscrupulous speculators.

    The landlord said he was going to turn the property into condos, but when the economy tanked that plan went down the tubes too, and consequently Jose Morales' home has sat empty for over two years, while Morales himself became homeless.

    Meanwhile the mood turned festive at the occupation site. Banners waved in the rain and wind, the brass band funkified the street, and East Bay Food Not Bombs served scrumptious free food, as it had at the rally.

    The SFPD, for its part, stood idle. In order to legally take action to oust the squatters, the cops need the landlord to declare the occupiers to be trespassers. Evidently the police were having difficulty locating the (in name only) property owner, and as the afternoon went on, the cops withdrew until they had only a token presence.

    And so the occupiers prepared to spend a pleasant and peaceful evening at home,as the heavens poured down their approval.

Sunday, April 04, 2010


Usually there are no news posts here on Sundays or Saturdays.  However, I couldn't pass up the story below on the new fair and balanced Barnes and Nobles.  A picture is worth blah, blah, blah...

The following is from Trembling Indignation.

Fair and Balanced Barnes and Noble

Last night I was at Barnes and Noble with my family.  Specifically the Barnes and Noble in Appleton, Wisconsin.

As you may have guessed, in addition to novels and discounted books, my favorite sections are the social sciences and current affairs.  However, much to my chagrin I was met in the “current affairs” section by this:

Yes, you are seeing that right.  The authors include:
Bill O’Reilly
Karl Rove
Michael Steele
Glenn Beck
and, off to the side, Sean Hannity.

Then, to top it off, some of the other books are written about how liberals are destroying themselves (John Edwards).

To be clear, I have no problem with these books being featured at Barnes and Noble.  My problem lies in the fact that they are not balanced with an equal number of well-known progressive authors.  How blatant can the bias be?

(As an aside, having worked at a bookstore I know that the books that face outwards are the ones they are featuring – so this section is a featured section.  It is intentional.)

I was angry, and so were my parents, so I talked to an employee.  He was largely disinterested, and I can’t blame him given his minimum wage and likely disattachment to his job.  So, when I got home I wrote a letter to the customer service desk at the corporate headquarters. I’ll let you know how it goes.