Hunter Gray | 1 Jan 01:27 2003

Navajo Nation formally insists on traditional values in its justice system

Note by Hunterbear:

The Navajo [Dine'] Nation numbers about 250,000 members and the reservation
is bigger than the state of West Virginia -- encompassing Northeastern
Arizona, Northwestern New Mexico, a slice of Southeastern Utah, and a bit of
Southwestern Colorado.  Having recently passed the Fundamental Laws of
Dine', the Nation is now formally committed to the substantial inclusion and
basic primacy of traditional Navajo values in its tribal justice system:
e.g.,"look[ing] more at restitution and coming up with ways to deal with the
underlying cause of the crime and not the crime itself."

Although overcrowded jails have been a factor in this, the basic reasons go
far deeper. The Navajo, much committed to the maintenance of the Dine'
culture and its primary emphasis on Harmony, have been actively discussing
this approach to justice for some time . An earlier step a few years ago saw
the Navajo tribal courts return to the "old way" of emphasizing
reconciliation between the victim and offender families.

Some other Native tribes have been moving on this traditional trail -- but
Navajo Nation has now formally and  very broadly mandated it.  Hopefully,
other tribal nations -- "large" and "small" -- will follow its visionary
lead in their tribal court systems.

The Federal government under the Major Crimes Act [1885] -- and, in a
minority of instances, state governments under Public Law 280 [1953] --
continue to maintain a heavy "justice" presence [essentially felony crimes
jurisdiction] in Indian Country.  Hopefully the time is coming relatively
soon that all tribal nations will regain full sovereignty over their lands
and affairs and all peoples thereon -- but always with full treaty and
related rights vis-a-vis the Federal government. [Those treaties are part of
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ProLibertad Campaign | 1 Jan 06:51 2003

Happy New Year 2003!!

Check out the ProLibertad Web site:

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign wishes our allies and supporters, 
nationally and internationally, a Happy New Year of organizing, educating 
and mobilizing in 2003.

As we enter another year of work, victories and opportunities, We in 
ProLibertad, feel it is important for us to remind people that there are 
STILL five Puerto Rican Political Prisoners in U.S. jails.  Imprisoned for 
their actions and politics as freedom fighting revolutionaries, it is 
important to remember the sacrifice they have made for La Patria (The 
Country of Puerto Rico)and do whatever we can to support the movement for 
which they have been incarcerated.

Below are their addresses; we urge you to write to them and to create a 
relationship with them.  It is our letters, post cards and donations of 
money that show the prisoners that we are thinking of them and support our 
National Liberation struggle.

Write to them:

Oscar Lopez Rivera
P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808

Haydee Beltran Torres
SCI Tallahassee
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ProLibertad Campaign | 1 Jan 17:10 2003

3 Kings, 10 Political Prisoners, and 1 Struggle

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is making a call to all progressive
organizations; ProLibertad and The Venceremos Brigade (the oldest solidarity 
organization around Cuba that goes to Cuba annually to work on civic 
projects in support of the revolution)are organizing a special fundraiser 
for the Cuban Five and the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners.

In order to endorse, we ask organizations to donate $25 as a special
commissary gift for the Cuban Five. We are trying to raise $2500 for the 
Cuban Five as a special Three Kings Commissary Gift.

If you are interested in endorsing please email ProLibertad
(ProLibertad <at> with your response so that we can add your name to 
the announcement emails and to the special Three Kings activity webpage on 
the ProLibertad website.

Please send your endorsement fee to:

IFCO/ProLibertad/Cuban Five
402 w145th St.
New York, NY 10031

Three Kings!! 10 Political Prisoners!! 1 Struggle!!

A special Three Kings CELEBRATION/ Night of Poetry for the Puerto Rican and 
the Cuban Political Prisoners!! Sponsored by the Venceremos Brigade and The 
ProLibertad Freedom Campaign!!

Saturday January 4th, 2003 At 6:30pm
St. Mary's Church 521 W126th St.(between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)
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Jonathan Michael Feldman | 1 Jan 20:54 2003

C. Wright Mills, the New Left and Intellectuals

Dear List and  Mr. Lacny,
Happy New Year and thank you for your email.

“Oppostion to established culture and politics often consists of scattered 
little groups working in small circulation magazines, dealing in unsold 
cultural products.  Outsiders, however, may also be members of an opposition 
of their very own.  Sometimes such ‘Left’ establishments have been as 
confining in their values, as snobbish in their assignment of prestige as 
any national establishment.  In fact, they may seem more restrictive because 
of their usual pretensions not be be; and because dogmatic gospel is 
frequently needed more by minority circles than by those who are secure in 
major institutions and who readily borrow prestige from indubitable 
authority.” C. Wright Mills, “The Decline of the Left.”

Statement: Is all the money spent on marches really enough to do something 
like this?
Could we please have some specifics? And by specifics, I mean a concrete
proposal of how left and popular organizations -- with the resources they 
currently have -- would put something like this into operation.

Reply:  The basic structure for doing this involves the creation of a new 
kind of network. This network would require some intellectual clarity which 
is obviously now lacking.  It is not just about finding a good model, but 
establishing also a way to view the "problem."
This network would require an alternative to that involving the Ramsey Clark 
faction and the established peace movement faction that also sidesteps more 
long term organizing.  In response to the big convocation in Europe 
involving 10,000 persons or so, some world peace convocation, I wrote a long 
letter that various persons signed (e.g. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Seymour 
Melman, Sharon Welch, etc.) that spelled out a new kind of programmatic 
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Dennis O'Neil | 1 Jan 23:22 2003

new year's message

revolutionary new year's greetings to beloved founder john lacny, 
dear successor hunter bear, and esteemed comrade listmates!

actually it looks like a bit of a stinker coming up as years go, 
though we tried to put a limited positive spin on things on the frso 
new year's message (appended below). the one definite bright side is 
that i think it will be an enormous aid to my aging memory. for a lot 
of the 80s and 90s, i can't remember the specific year of personal or 
political events with any accuracy. lately, things have taken a turn 
for the better, with the new millennium full of convenient markers--

2000--bush steals election
2002--building the anti-war movement

so it'll be like the '60s for me. i use things like mississippi 
summer, the detroit riot, the pentagon demo, mlk's assassination, 
tet, the sds break-up as so many handy temporal bookmarks. music 
plays the same associative dating role for me for the '60s through 
the punk era (rest in peace, joe), but not really since.


from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization

Freedom Road has not made a habit of issuing New Year's statements. 
Fact is, we'd rather not be doing this one, but 2003 is shaping up to 
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Macdonald Stainsby | 2 Jan 01:20 2003

Call for papers: Socialism and Democracy

Hi Macdonald,

would you post the following message on your lists and any other lists you
happen to be on? thanks.

I am on the editorial board of a Marxist journal called Socialism and
Democracy. we are looking for a good article on the crisis in Venezuela for
the summer issue. if anyone  has such an article or is interested
in writing one, I can be contacted at
snedeker <at>
we are looking
for an analytic piece, something which is more than mere journalism. what
are the class forces at play in this crisis? how is it an expression of
imperialistic hegemony by the U.S.? how does this crisis express the global
politics of oil? is there a connection to the war on Iraq? these are merely
some of the kinds of questions we are interested in. for more info on
Socialism and Democracy, you can go to our web page. I also have a few
sample copies if anyone is interested in receiving one.

George Snedeker

Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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John Lacny | 2 Jan 15:41 2003

Re: new year's message

Dennis O'Neil writes (forwarding the FRSO New Year's statement):

> We should avoid the two major 
> mistakes of the 1991 Gulf War 
> -- US chauvinism and 
> catastrophism. We cannot again 
> center opposition to a war on 
> the prediction of massive 
> casualties among US troops. 

Absolutely; I remember flinching every time someone said that Afghanistan
would be a death-trap for the US.  Most astute left-wing observers knew that
the Taliban -- deprived of support from their only real source of sustenance,
Pakistan -- would fall quickly.  Hopefully people in the antiwar movement have
finally learned that massive U.S. casualties -- at least at the outset -- are
unlikely.  On the other hand, occasionally there now ARE some U.S. casualties
in Afghanistan, as the project of stabilizing the country under imperialist
tutelage is proving more difficult.

(Parenthetically, we should not forget that the U.S. casualties of the Persian
Gulf War were much higher than the government admits.  Staggeringly so, in
fact -- out of 700,000 Gulf War troops, there are over 100,000 cases of Gulf
War syndrome -- )  

As for Iraq, the Ba'athist regime's base of support is also pretty narrow, and
it seems likely that Saddam Hussein will fall within a few months or so --
maybe even a few weeks -- of any U.S. invasion determined to oust him (as
opposed to a U.S. military action determined NOT to oust him, as in 1991).  It
is then, though, that the real difficulties for the U.S. will begin.  Ahmed
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John Lacny | 2 Jan 15:03 2003

Re: C. Wright Mills, the New Left and Intellectuals

Jonathan Michael Feldman writes:

> In response to the big convocation 
> in Europe involving 10,000 persons 
> or so, some world peace convocation, 
> I wrote a long letter that various 
> persons signed (e.g. Noam Chomsky, 
> Howard Zinn, Seymour Melman, Sharon 
> Welch, etc.) that spelled out a new 
> kind of programmatic activity for 
> the peace movement. 

Could we see this letter?  Even if it's lengthy, is it at least shorter than
the other lengthy pieces you refer to -- short enough to be forwarded to the
list, for example?  Is it a recent letter or did it refer to an event in the
'80s, say?

> My basic disagreement with others 
> is that I think we need to build 
> up an independent media network 
> and supporting economic process 
> before we build up third parties 
> as we have seen them in the U.S.A. 

I DEFINITELY agree with that one.

> I think in principle that one 
> should shy away from age-ist type 
> descriptions. The real issue here 
> is what defines “serious”? I 
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Hunter Gray | 2 Jan 21:53 2003

The Wild West Ethic and the Crucible of Paranoia

January 2, 2003


I'm a radical.  Been one most of my life.  Socialist democracy is just fine
with me.  But my view of that Beulah Land is that it had better provide a
full measure of bread-and-butter -- and a full measure of liberty.  I like
the idea of a maximum number of reasonable choices -- and I don't
cotton to the idea of living in a rabbit hutch.  Or even a corral.

And also, as someone who grew up in rural Northern Arizona -- with a
full-blooded Native father and a mother from an old Western "frontier"
family -- I also hold to an Ethic coming jointly from each of those
not-always-congenially-together perspectives: don't ask personal questions
outside your circle of family and friends -- and, unless it's a distress
situation, mind your own damn business.

Here's a recent and relevant tale for you all:

Coming back about high noon from my several daily hours in the far-up rugged
and high country, early November-cool and with our Shelty named Hunter on
leash, I had just topped out on the final ridge before starting down the
very long
and steep sage-brush and juniper covered slope. As the land below me plunged
sharply down, for me at least a ten minute final junket from where I stood,
it was slowly narrowed by two boundary canyons -- right into the scattered
residential area, bordering the wild country, where our family has our

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Hunter Gray | 2 Jan 23:37 2003

WINS: Workers Independent News Service [from Frank Emspak]

WINS    The Workers Independent News Service
Airing the issues and concerns of America's Working Families

Dear Education Director:

We all know the damage to our labor movement caused by the Taft- Hartley
Act. Last October, this piece of U.S. labor history resurfaced when George
W. Bush became the first president since Jimmy Carter to invoke the Taft
Hartley Act to end a labor dispute. The order ended a management lockout of
dockworkers on the West Coast and briefly brought the 1947 labor law into
the public spotlight; but labor historians say the impact of Taft Hartley
is felt by working Americans every day. The law bans secondary boycotts and
unions of supervisors, it provides for anti-union "right to work laws," and
for a time the act forced union officers to sign "non-Communist"
affidavits. When the bill was enacted over Harry Truman's veto in 1947,
Phil Murray President of the CIO called it the "Slave Labor Act." Today, it
is not viewed in much more esteem.

In a piece of journalistic sleuthing, WINS- the Workers Independent News
service located and interviewed an author of the Taft-Hartley Act.  J. Mack
Swigert  was interviewed by WINS producer John Hamilton.

J. Mack Swigert knows a thing or two about the Taft Hartley Act. He wrote
it. As a partner at the conservative Cincinnati law firm Taft, Stettinius,
and Hollister, Swigert drafted the act in 1947. Now ninety-five years old,
Swigert is still with the law firm; and John Hamilton of the Workers
Independent News Service caught up with him for this exclusive interview.
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