GI SPECIAL 2#B90
Voting - It's Your
is a cartoonist and activist living in Philadelphia, USA. He can be
About The Lampin
A Letter Comes From
October 12, 2004
From: Soldier, Abu
I am asking you to have what I am
about to tell you posted on your news page.
This post pertains to Sergeant Lampin.
I am writing to you
in secrecy here at the Abu Ghraib Prison. I do not know if Sergeant
Lampin's wife knows about this yet, but in case she doesn't,
Sergeant Lampin is not being
treated fairly now more then anything.
There is another
Soldier here with a P2 (permanent medical profile), and that Soldier
is being sent home soon. If you recall in Sergeant Lampin's, wife's
letters, Sergeant Lampin has a P3 (permanent medical profile).
I know what is
going on around here, and it is not right. A great deal of the
officers here are saying that he should be redeployed, but whenever
Colonel Short, the commander of the 115th, starts asking questions,
they all shut up and tell him what he wants to hear. I have seen
and heard this with my own eyes and ears.
Just about everyday, I see Sergeant
Lampin go to sickcall with a very noticeable limp, and the sense of
pain in his face because of his knee. With all that has been going
on now, some of the doctors are not doing anything for him.
A lot of people
here read what you post on your site about Sergeant Lampin, and you
should here what others say.
I wish I could tell
you, but I don't think that is a good idea.
The only thing I
can tell you is that a great deal of the Soldiers here including
the Soldiers who are not part of this command believe that he
should be sent back.
That is all I will say.
I am so glad that
someone besides me has written GI Special giving their comment. I
just wish there were more. [Re: Letter in GI Special #87]
[Hey Brandie, you
just got your wish come true.
This is letter #2.]
The Lampin Case:
Vets, Activists Join The Fight
From: Ward Reilly, Vietnam Veterans
Against The War, Veterans For Peace
To: GI Special
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2004
I saw the piece you
did on Sgt. Lampin. We are working with Brandie Lampin here, and
have a meeting with Senator Landrieu Thursday, October 21 at 1 PM. a
delegation will meet with her aides to demand that Tony Lampin, and
all the troops, be sent home.
We formed two anti-war groups here in
Baton Rouge and New Orleans (CAWI and C3), and we have had 25+
street protests combined in our two cities.
C3 means Concern,
Community, and Compassion. It is, C3, our New Orleans based
anti-war group, that is sponsoring/organizing the Lampin action.
CAWI is the "Coalition Against War & Injustice" and is Baton Rouge
Beverly Rainbolt is the chief
organizer, and of course we are all helping...we have a pamphlet
being made with the facts of the case, and are flyering.
We coordinate all our activities, the
first demonstration being 6 months before the war started.
We have also started the Baton Rouge
Free Press newspaper a year and a half ago...I spoke at Tulane
University at a Forum last Tuesday, with the subject being the
Harrel-Miller has will feature the Lampin story on her cable-access
show Tuesday, October 19, at 9:30AM and C3 Rep. Beverly Rainbolt
will talk about the case and our Lampin event.
We meet once a week, and have since
the summer of 2002, to fight against the wars in the Middle East.
Do you have a
friend or relative in the service? Forward this E-MAIL along, or
send us the address if you wish and we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is extra
important for your service friend, too often cut off from access
to encouraging news of growing resistance to the war, at home and
in Iraq, and information about other social protest movements here
in the USA. Send requests to address up top.
Pfc. Dies Of Wounds
October 12, 2004 U.S. Department of
Defense News Release No. 1017-04
Pfc. Aaron J. Rusin, 19, of Johnstown,
Pa., died Oct. 11 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained on Oct. 10
when his military vehicle came under fire from enemy forces. Rusin
was assigned to the 44th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry
Division, Camp Howze, Korea.
From Ariz. Killed
Oct. 12, 2004 Charles Kelly, The
U.S. Army Pvt.
Carson Ramsey, 22, a personable young man from Winkelman who enjoyed
hunting, fishing and fast motorcycles, was killed Sunday in Iraq
when an improvised bomb exploded near his military vehicle.
When he came home on leave this
summer, he exhibited a workmanlike attitude to the dangers he faced,
his father, Cecil, said.
"When he went back,
I said, 'Aren't you worried about going back?' and he said, 'No,
it's my job,' " his father recalled.
A member of the 1st Cavalry Division
based in Fort Hood, Texas, Ramsey was planning to get out of the
Army in February when he returned from his tour of duty in Iraq, his
A 2001 graduate of Ray High School in
Kearny, Carson did well academically and loved the outdoors, his
father said. Kearny and Winkelman are about 90 miles southeast of
"He liked to hunt and fish," his
father said. "He was going to get a Harley when he got back. He
enthusiasm was bow hunting. He had gotten a compound bow and was
practicing with it in Iraq, his father said.
Carson was someone who
got along well with people. "He was really outgoing," his father
said. "Really friendly. He never got in any trouble."
Funeral arrangements are pending. In
addition to his father, Ramsey is survived by his mother, Elaine; a
brother, Bobby, 29; and two sisters, Irene, 24, and Sandy, 34.
Ramsey was the 34th
soldier with Arizona ties killed in Iraq. And two died in
Marine Wounded In
12 October 2004 AFP
In northern Babil province, south of
Baghdad, two suspected insurgents were killed and a marine wounded
as US troops continued their one-week joint operations with Iraqi
forces in the area, said the military.
SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN MORTAR ATTACK;
SAYS “NO REASON FOR ALARM”
12 October 2004 Novinite Ltd
The three Bulgarian soldiers in
Karbala, who were lightly injured by a mortar attack on the camp,
are in good condition.
Soldiers' life is not at risk,
announced Bulgaria's Defence Ministry Spokesperson Rumyana
The incident happened on Monday, at
about 11:20 pm Bulgarian local time, Defense Minister Nikolay
Svinarov confirmed adding that the three injured were immediately
rushed to the field hospital of the Kilo Base.
According to the
Chief of Army Staff General Nikola Kolev, appropriate measures for
tightening security at the base have been immediately taken
afterwards and there was no reason for alarm.
Copter Shot Down In Hibet
10.12.04 Pakistan Times
Some Iraqi insurgents fired down a US
helicopter in Hibet area of Iraq.
Mercenary Near Death
12/10/2004 ABC Radio Australia News
A former Fiji
soldier working as a security guard is reportedly fighting for his
life after being wounded in a bomb blast near the Iraqi city of
Nearly 500 former Fiji soldiers are
believed to be working in Iraq for private security organisations.
US Marines Raid
Seven Mosques In Ramadi;
Chief Cleric Taken
October 12, 2004 AFP & Reuters & By
Alexandra Zavis, Associated Press & Aljazeera
RAMADI - US marines and Iraqi forces
have kicked off pre-dawn raids on seven mosques in the rebel-bastion
of Ramadi, prompting firefights in the city that left two Iraqis
dead, say the military and hospital sources.
fired two mortars at the city hall and
neighbouring police directorate on Monday night, sparking
gunfire and rocket-propelled grenade exchanges, residents said.
forces Tuesday arrested the top cleric in Iraq's volatile western
Anbar province. in the regional capital of Ramadi, witnesses said.
Abdel A'leem al-Saadi, the top Sunni cleric in Anbar, and his
were arrested at a mosque in rebel-held Ramadi and
six other people were detained at other mosques, the witnesses
prominent cleric, Shaikh
al-Saadi, the provincial leader of the al-Anbar Scholars League,
were also detained,
There was no reason to
arrest Shaikh al-Saadi,
the spokesman said. He was in his mosque getting ready to perform
prayers, he said.
"This is not the first
shaikh the US forces have arrested," he
said. "Many others have been detained before, such as
Khalil Ata Allah and other imams, from
inside their mosques by US forces," the AMS
residents also accused US forces of breaking down doors and throwing
around furniture inside the mosques.
behavior cannot be accepted,” said cleric Abdullah Abu Omar of the
Ramadi Mosque. “The Americans seem to have lost their senses and
have gone out of control.”
[Busy winning more hearts
Marine Corps Claims
Resistance Now Has Combat Air Force
(Or This Is The
Most Witless Lie Of The War So Far This Year)
10.12.04 By Alexandra Zavis,
At least 15 people
were reported killed in an attack on an Iraqi National Guard outpost
near the Syrian border. Residents claimed an
American plane fired on
the compound but the Marine
Corps said insurgents staged the attack. [Either the
resistance now has an air force, a previously well-guarded secret,
or the “Marine Corps” has at least one lying stack of shit giving
out press statements who’s too stupid to live. Hello? It was an
air attack. You know,
things that fly through the air?
Get it? Air attack.]
The Iraqi National Guard outpost east
of Qaim was attacked in the early hours of the morning.
Residents said U.S. warplanes were
in action over the area, but the U.S. Marines said there were no
American operations there and insurgents staged the attack. Between
15 and 20 people were killed in the attack, according to
Hamid Ahmed Ali, a city hospital official.
The Marines sent a team to the outpost
to assess the situation and see whether any assistance was needed.
[Finding those deadly resistance
planes might be a place to start. Or assisting the liar who gave
out the press statement in removing his head from his ass.]
do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans,
are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
Welcome To Camp
Soldiers Weary Of
Baghdad Slum, Iraqis & Mission
Oct. 11, 2004 By Patrick Kerkstra,
Knight Ridder Newspapers
winning," the young officer replied. "It seems like it, sir. It
seems like they're outsmarting us.,"
FORWARD OPERATING BASE EAGLE, Iraq -
There's no shortage of dangerous,
austere and just plain miserable military postings in Iraq, but the
American soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division bunking at this base
just outside Baghdad's Sadr City slum might have drawn the shortest
straw of all.
insurgents have flung more than 800 mortar rounds at Eagle, turning
a walk to the mess tent into a life-and-death proposition.
On patrol, the soldiers routinely encounter roadside
bombs, small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
The constant combat and bleak camp
conditions have pumped up the pride of many. They've seen the worst,
and they have the swagger to show for it.
But seven grueling
months also have chipped away at the optimism many had when they
arrived, lending a jagged edge to their attitudes about Iraqis, the
war and the prospects for success.
"I used to want to be nice and
friendly with the Iraqis. Now I don't care. I'm all about getting
home. I got a wife and baby, and I'm not going to take a chance
that someone might be friendly and find out that they're not," said
Spc. Jarred Mafouz, who's part of a tank crew.
The Dirty Bird, as
Eagle is unaffectionately known, has none of the commodious lounges,
movie theaters, bicycle fleets and other amenities that U.S.
soldiers enjoy at other camps across Iraq.
"You hear people
griping about how the swimming pool isn't working, the chow hall is
too small, and I'm like, `We get mortared every night. What are you
talking about?'" Pfc. Jeremy Chapman said.
The Dirty Bird
convenience store consists of one small, dimly lit room lined with
half-empty shelves and bizarre items such as dusty tins of sardines
and just four magazine titles that were all, inexplicably, about
hair: Bridal Star Hairstyles, Short Cuts, Sophisticated Black Hair
and Celebrity Hairstyles.
depressing," Capt. Matthew Benigni said while
giving a visitor a tour. "If you
want something, call home. Care packages are very important here."
While troops at other Baghdad
installations have been treated to live performances by the likes of
the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, the only entertainers willing to
risk playing at Eagle were the members of ThundHerStruck, "the
ultimate all-girl tribute" band to rock group AC/DC.
But it's the pounding of mortar
rounds, above all else, that makes Eagle one of the worst.
everyone has had a close encounter with an incoming explosive.
They've killed one soldier and two contractors and injured about
120, all in a 60-acre camp with little more than 1,000 soldiers.
About 25 have been seriously injured, many of them losing limbs.
They grumble that
the insurgents time their attacks for the breakfast, lunch and
dinner hours, forcing the soldiers to don flak jackets and helmets
just to get fed. Morning runs are no longer mandatory, given all
"Everybody's had a
close call. I've had about a dozen or so. Everyone's got the same
story," said 2nd Lt. Brian Panaro. "Close isn't close anymore
unless you're covered in dust."
Mafouz remembers speaking to his wife
from the camp's phone center when a particularly fierce mortar
attack began. One round hit the building, wounding several soldiers
who also were trying to call family and friends.
"My wife's on the phone crying her
eyes out. The mortars are landing," Mafouz said. "I'm saying,
`Look, I got to go help these guys.'"
Some of the soldiers said they'd
become so accustomed to the explosions that they found them
"They rock you to sleep after a
while. Boom. Boom. Boom. You feel the building shake. Like your
mother rocking you to sleep," Chapman said.
Chapman, who's been sprayed with tiny
bits of shrapnel from a roadside bomb while on patrol, had an
equally close call on base when a mortar round landed right outside
the company headquarters.
"My bottle of water got a Purple Heart
that day," he said.
Given the conditions at Eagle - and
the maddening inability to respond to mortar attacks with artillery
for fear of hurting civilians - it's little surprise that the
soldiers there relish their chances to take the fight to the
insurgents' homes, instead of their own.
The day after a big operation in Sadr
City, Panaro gleefully described to other soldiers how a speeding
tank towing a disabled military vehicle demolished marketplaces,
sideswiped cars and crushed houses.
Asked later if the offensives were
wearing the enemy down, Panaro shrugged and said, "They're like
cockroaches. You kill one and there's three more right behind
Several doors down, a smiling Benigni
watched a video of a Predator drone wiping out a cluster of
insurgents with a Hellfire missile. He replayed it for passers-by.
"We're the tip of the spear, man," he told one of his men as they
celebrated and relaxed after the exhausting operation.
the mood is less jubilant. Later that day, Benigni worked to
raise the spirits of a young officer, likening the long fight with
insurgents to a chess match.
winning," the young officer replied.
not," Benigni said.
"It seems like
it, sir. It seems like they're outsmarting us," the young
lieutenant said. [Cool it, young officer. Your Captain is a
silly, happy-talking fool, and having no grip on reality, will
ignore everything you have to say. He gets off watching videos of
missiles butchering Iraqis. That should tell you something very
important right there. Going around babbling about being “the tip
of the spear” and such bullshit, he’s obviously got some pretty
serious issues. Maintain a safe distance. Do not try to reason
The next day, Benigni's company
continued the game, rolling outside the camp's gates to meet with
local sheiks and visiting schools to survey reconstruction needs.
It was a day of diplomacy and some small progress, the kind of work
Benigni said he wanted to focus on more.
But when the company returned to
Eagle, it had a new assignment, which had nothing to do with
reconstruction: Eight hours,
beginning at 1 a.m., of watching a long stretch of a crucial road to
prevent insurgents from planting any bombs, at least for one night.
Benigni and his Humvee crew shared
embarrassing stories and crude jokes and occasionally sang songs to
"The soldiers at this camp, they know
without a shadow of a doubt that they've been in some serious
combat, in some of the worst conditions," Benigni said. "When they
get back home they'll be proud of it."
[Yeah, right. The delusional system
"But," he added,
"you won't have any trouble finding people to complain about it
now." [And suddenly, reality.]
Call Takes An Armored Column:
Insurgents Rule The
(Washington Post, October 12, 2004,
Staff Sgt. Chris
Fritz set out for a meeting with the mayor of Musayyib to discuss
the needs of the city in a convoy of nine armored trucks equipped
with .50-caliber machine guns and Mark 19 automatic grenade
launchers. He was protected by three dozen
Marines wearing full body armor and carrying assault rifles and
assorted mortars and grenades.
Troops Want "Fahrenheit 9/11
(Chicago Tribune, October 11, 2004)
"Fahrenheit 9/11" may be one of the most-watched DVDs among the
troops in Iraq.
[Hey George, your war is fucked.]
Why Did My Son Die?
A Military Mom Demands An Answer
October 12, 2004 Common Dreams
"Mr. Bush is under
no obligation to answer Mr. Moore's charges, but he will have to
answer to Mrs. Lipscomb." The New York Times,
June 23, 2004.
WASHINGTON - October 11
- “How do you think it feels for
a grieving mother to hear Charles Duelfer, the top CIA weapons
inspector for Iraq, state last week that Iraq destroyed its weapons
of mass destruction years ago and had no ability to produce more,
How do you think it
feels to hear White House officials now admit that Saddam Hussein
had nothing to do with 9/11?
I want to know: did
Michael die for a lie?”
asked Lila Lipscomb, the military
mother from Flint, Michigan, who is featured in Michael Moore’s
“Fahrenheit 9/11” reading from the last letter her son, Michael,
sent home from Iraq before he died.
A Son's Fallen
MARTIN C. EVANS,
Newsday (New York) - October 11, 2004
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NEW YORK
- The little boy keeps the basketball trophy his soldier father won
in Kuwait on a shelf near his bed.
When it is time to
sleep, he snuggles in a beige blanket, a comforter his father gave
him to keep away the chill.
"They are going to
be special to me for the rest of my life," said Brandon Pettaway,
11, "because I don't have a father anymore."
a sixth-grade student at Southampton Intermediate School, buried his
dad, Staff Sgt. James L. Pettaway Jr. Pettaway,
37, an Army reservist who lived in Baltimore, died last Sunday at
the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, of wounds he
suffered in Iraq Aug. 27.
He was badly burned in Fallujah when
his truck was hit by a roadside bomb, which killed Pfc. Luis A.
Perez, of Theresa, N.Y.
Yesterday, the funeral for Pettaway
packed about 200 people -- including three Army generals and an
honor guard from the Maryland Division of Correction -- into the
sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton. More watched
from a television monitor in the church basement, where cupcakes and
coffee waited for a gathering planned for after the burial.
During the service, Lt. Gen. James R.
Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, approached Brandon and placed a
Bronze Star in his hands -- a medal that had been awarded to his
As he did, a falling tear traced a
crystal path from Brandon's face, gleaming for an instant.
Pettaway, who joined the Army three
years after graduating from Center Moriches High School in 1985 and
remained in the Army Reserve, was sent to Iraq for a second tour of
duty. He said goodbye to his son in early August.
At a wake for his father the night
before the funeral, Brandon approached a reporter and shared
memories of his dad.
"I thought he was
just playing with me," Brandon said, recalling the day his father
told him he had been called to the battlefield for the second time
in less than a year. "I didn't think he really had to go back until
he was getting ready to go. He is always joking around, so I didn't
"When I heard about the accident, I
Though Brandon's parents were divorced
when he was young, his father had remained a joyful presence in
Brandon's life. Pettaway, a Maryland correction officer who helped
run a prison "boot camp," taught the boy how to play basketball,
coaching him to dribble with either hand so defenders couldn't strip
"Once, I almost beat him," Brandon
said. "But I never did."
And always, he counseled his son to
avoid peer pressures that might lead him astray and to listen to his
own conscience instead. "He taught me to be a man," Brandon said,
"and to take care of my mom."
Pettaway's uncle, Winston Pettaway of
Southampton, said his nephew had gone off to war willingly, but
worried as he did.
who served with Pettaway during his first stint in Iraq said the
battlefield seems more dangerous now than it did in the early days
of the war. "The second time he went over there, you could tell he
was frightened, because he would always say, 'Pray for me,'" Winston
First Baptist, a modest church tucked
just north of Route 27, helps glue together a small community of
descendants of migrant workers and domestics -- African-Americans
who have helped define the Hamptons for generations.
Residents, who yesterday swayed in
rhythm to gospel hymns that filled the tiny sanctuary, then followed
Pettaway's hearse to Southampton Cemetery, say they lean on one
another to endure hard times.
First Baptist's former pastor, the
Rev. Henry Faison Jr., twice flew with members of Pettaway's family
to see him in Texas. Faison had been with Pettaway the day before he
In a eulogy, Faison urged the
community to look out for Brandon. "He's a young man who will have
to be raised without the loving care of his father. We have enough
fatherless homes. But we have enough good men to meet that
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK
OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth
- about the occupation, the cuts to veterans’ benefits, or the
dangers of depleted uranium - is the first reason Traveling
Soldier is necessary. But we want to do more than tell the truth;
we want to report on the resistance - whether it's in the streets
of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for
Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class
people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter
to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed
forces. If you like what you've read, we hope that you'll join
with us in building a network of active duty organizers.
And join with Iraq War
vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home
And Cops Killed In Mosul
Armed men in a car killed a local
council member as he drove to work in the northern Iraqi city of
Mosul on Tuesday, a local government spokesman said.
was shot dead at about 9.30am (0630 GMT) in an eastern district of
the city, 390km north of Baghdad. His bodyguards survived
Three policemen and a civilian were
killed, said Dr Dia
Abd al-Karim at the city
Oct 12, 2004 (Reuters)
Militants from the Army of Ansar
al-Sunna group said in an Internet statement on Tuesday it had
beheaded an Iraqi because he had been spying for U.S. forces, Al
Jazeera television said.
Najaf Destroyed In
Order To Save It;
A £280m Rebuilding
(London Daily Telegraph, October 12,
When U.S. officials view the broken
and pock-marked buildings of Najaf, they see an improbable success
story. In August American troops bombarded the city to drive out
militiamen loyal to the rebel cleric Muqtada Sadr.
They succeeded but caused آ£280
million worth of damage. Fighting highlighted the paradox underlying
American efforts to crush an insurgency while rebuilding the
John Kerry telling an audience October
11 in Santa Fe, New Mexico that on Iraq, he and Bush are only “about
this far apart.” “I will never let the sun never set on the
American Empire,” he said. He said he remains steadfast in his
commitment to keep U.S. troops in Iraq, and would recruit 40,000 new
troops to replace the ones he plans to kill and maim as the war
continues. (AFP/Luke Frazza)
Exceeds Fund Raising Goal
The Kerry Campaign press office
announced today their October fund raising goal had been exceed, as
banks, insurance companies, technology and other manufacturing
corporations and America’s wealthy and privileged showered money on
his campaign. “We need somebody who can invade more countries,”
said one major donor. “Bush is toast. Nobody would believe him.
Kerry can take out Venezuela, Iran, or anyplace else we decide to
grab. All those chumps out there will love him for it, and what
soldier wouldn’t want to die for a vet?” (AFP/File/Choi Jae-Ku)
uses rocks and other debris as barricades to block
one of the main entrances of the predominantly pro-Aristide slum of
Bel-Air, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004. (AP
BRING ALL THE
TROOPS HOME NOW!
CLASS WAR NEWS
Pigs On Top
Grabbing It All
Oct. 03, 2004 HOLLY SKLAR, Knight
Ridder/Tribune & Wall St. Journal 7.20.04 By Jon E. Hilsenrath And
The economy is booming again, if
you're a billionaire. The new Forbes list of the 400 richest
Americans has 313 billionaires -- up 51 billionaires from 262 last
What's a billion dollars anyway?
You'd have to rake in $1 million every day for 1,000 days to reach a
The $1 trillion
in combined wealth held by the 400 richest Americans is nearly as
much as the combined wealth of the more than 100 million
households in the less moneyed half of the population.
It's boom time for billionaires, not
for most Americans. The economy
is growing, but wages are falling, poverty is rising and the middle
class is shrinking.
As the Census Bureau reported
recently, the number of Americans below the poverty line grew by
more than a million people in 2003, reaching 36 million. The
official poverty rate rose to 12.5 percent -- up from 12.1 percent
in 2002, 11.7 percent in 2001 and 11.3 percent in 2000.
The poverty rate would be much higher
if the poverty line were adjusted to realistically reflect the cost
of minimally adequate housing, health care, food and other
necessities such as childcare for employed parents.
A family of four was not considered
poor unless their income was below $18,810 in 2003.
Median household income (half earn
below the median; half earn above it) dropped to $43,318 in 2003.
That's $1,604 less than it was in 1999, when the median was $44,922,
adjusting for inflation. The
share of national income going to the middle class last year was
nearly the lowest on record, with data back to 1967. The share going
to the bottom fifth of households was the lowest on record.
incomes above $1 million will receive tax cuts averaging $123,600,
in 2004, says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
That will cause their after-tax income to jump by more
than 6 percent -- widening the gap with those below.
Changes in federal tax policy
legislated between 2001 and 2003 "ended up transferring income share
from the bottom 99 percent to the top 1 percent," the Economic
Policy Institute reports.
“To date, the
recovery’s primary beneficiaries have been upper-income households,”
concludes Dean Maki, a J.P. Morgan Chase (and
former Federal Reserve) economist who has studied the ways that
changes in wealth affect spending.
In research he sent to clients this
month, Mr. Maki said, “Two of the
main factors supporting spending over the past year, tax cuts and
increases in stock wealth, have sharply benefited upper income
households relative to others.”
Longer-term issues are also at work.
Wage and income
disparities between the rich and poor have generally been widening
for nearly 20 years.
In 1980, the top
10% of households in income accounted for 33% of total household
income, according to economist Emmanuel Saez at University of
California, Berkeley. By 2000, that had risen to 44%. The figures
exclude capital gains.
More Pigs At The
9/29/2004 Jim Hightower, Hightower &
I bring you tidings of great joy!
At last, our congress critters have
done something tangible to lift people up from the economic doldrums
we're in. They've raised wages in America!
You're not silly enough to think for a
moment that congress would raise your wages, are you? No, no Nanette
– for the past several years they've kept the minimum wage in our
country stuck at the paltry poverty level of $5.15 an hour.
It's their wages
that they've just raised. Again. By "again," I refer to the fact
that this is the sixth pay hike that our lawmakers have bestowed
upon themselves in the past six years. This time, the members will
pocket an extra $4,000 each, raising their gross pay to about
$162,000 a year.
To The Streets
Thousands of Costa Ricans participate
in an anti-corruption march in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct.
12, 2004. (AP Photo/Al Dia/Albelardo Fonseca)
A clown holds a dog in a
dress during a march of striking government employees in Bogota
downtown, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2004. Thousands of workers, students and
Indians marched to protest government economic policies and ongoing
free trade negotiations between Colombia and the United States. (AP
People push a statue of Christopher
Columbus through the street after pulling it down from a plaza in
Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 12, 2004, to protest against Columbus Day,
known in Venezuela as 'Indigenous
Resistance Day.' (AP Photo/Luis Noguera, El Globo)
Sign The Petition
Help War Resisters
Stay In Canada
I am passing along this petition
urging the Canadian government to give refuge to Americans refusing
to participate in the US led war against Iraq. I hope you will add
your name to the petition at the link below.
Regina Peace Action
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