Women in Black Annual Black Friday Action.

Friday, Nov. 29, 11:45:  Meet at Powell St. BART station. 
12:00:  March to Union Square for one hour vigil, chants and "anti-carols".

1:00 return to Powell St.
SFPD will escort us.

Please join them if you can,  
Toby     (We'll be out of town)

Dear all,

Please join Bay Area Women in Black for our annual Black Friday march and vigil in San Francisco. Our fliers and signs will carry the message, on the most profitable shopping day of the year in the US, that people's purchases may be contributing to the illegal and deadly Israeli occupation and colonizing of Palestine.  We will name specific products to be boycotted, explaining the rationale of each call for boycott. We will also urge people to remind their elected representatives of the role of US taxpayers in the increased violence of the Israeli military government toward Palestinian civilians, particularly children,  and in the official steps that Israel is taking, with US support, toward a state worse than apartheid South Africa.

Please dress in black.  Drums are welcome. Let us know if you are willing to wear a "puppet" (see attached photo by Phil Pasquini). And please pass this message along to allies.ro

Peace and be well,
Judith and BAWiB



Save The Date: Black Lives Matter at School Week, February 3-7, 2020.

Mark your calendar! The Black Lives Matter at School national week of action will be held from February 3-7th, 2020–and educators from coast to coast are organizing to make this the biggest coordinated uprising for racial justice in the schools yet. 
Black Lives Matter At School is a national coalition educators, parents and students organizing for racial justice in education.  We encourage community organizations and unions to join our annual week of action during the first week of February each year. To learn more about how to participate in the week of action, please check out the BLM@School starter kit
If you or your organization would like to support or endorse the week of action, please email us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail.com.  
During the 2018-2019 school year, BLM@School held its second national week of action in some 30 different citiesaround the country. During the nationally organized week of action, thousands of educators around the U.S. wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school and taught lessons about the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, structural racism, intersectional black identities, black history, and anti-racist social movements. 
In addition to centering Blackness in the classroom, BLM at School has these four demands:
1) End "zero tolerance" discipline, and implement restorative justice
3) Mandate Black history and Ethnic Studies in K-12 curriculum
The lessons that educators teach during the week of action corresponded to the guiding principles of Black Lives Matter:
Monday: Restorative Justice, Empathy and Loving Engagement
Tuesday: Diversity and Globalism
Wednesday: Trans-Affirming, Queer Affirming and Collective Value
Thursday: Intergenerational, Black Families and Black Villages
Friday: Black Women and Unapologetically Black
With your help, this year's BLM at School week of action can continue to grow and provide healing for Black students.  Learn more about how to participate by visiting our website, www.BlackLivesMatterAtSchool.com. Let us know what you are planning for BLM at School week this school year or ask us how to get involved with the action by emailing us at: BlackLivesMatterAtSchool2@gmail.com.





Federal Executions Put On Hold

Late last night, a U.S. district judge halted four federal executions scheduled for this December and January — the first executions by the federal government set to take place in 16 years. Of course, this is welcome news and an answer to our prayers.
The court's decision, although subject to appeal, prevents the federal government from resuming the practice of executing its citizens and perpetuating a culture of death.
Find more information here:
At the moment, CMN is working to determine next steps to ensure the 16-year hiatus from federal executions becomes permanent. 
Please join me in holding in prayer all those who sit on federal death row, the victims of the crimes which put them there, and the members of our federal government with the power to choose hope over death.
In solidarity,

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy
Executive Director

Contact Us

Catholic Mobilizing Network

415 Michigan Ave. NE, Suite 210

Washington, DC 20017
(202) 541-5290
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View it in your web browser



Stop Kevin Cooper's Abuse by San Quentin Prison Guards!


On Wednesday, September 25, Kevin Cooper's cell at San Quentin Prison was thrown into disarray and his personal food dumped into the toilet by a prison guard, A. Young.

The cells on East Block Bayside, where Kevin's cell is, were all searched on September 25 during Mandatory Yard. Kevin spent the day out in the yard with other inmates. In a letter, Kevin described what he found when he returned:

"This cage was hit hard, like a hurricane was in here . . . little by little I started to clean up and put my personal items back inside the boxes that were not taken . . . I go over to the toilet, lift up the seatcover and to my surprise and shock the toilet was completely filled up with my refried beans, and my brown rice. Both were in two separate cereal bags and both cereal bags were full. The raisin bran cereal bags were gone, and my food was in the toilet!"

A bucket was eventually brought over and:

"I had to get down on my knees and dig my food out of the toilet with my hands so that I could flush the toilet. The food, which was dried refried beans and dried brown rice had absorbed the water in the toilet and had become cement hard. It took me about 45 minutes to get enough of my food out of the toilet before it would flush."

Even the guard working the tier at the time told Kevin, "K.C., that is f_cked up!"

A receipt was left in Kevin's cell identifying the guard who did this as A. Young. Kevin has never met Officer A. Young, and has had no contact with him besides Officer Young's unprovoked act of harassment and psychological abuse.

Kevin Cooper has served over 34 years at San Quentin, fighting for exoneration from the conviction for murders he did not commit. It is unconscionable for him to be treated so disrespectfully by prison staff on top of the years of his incarceration.

No guard should work at San Quentin if they cannot treat prisoners and their personal belongings with basic courtesy and respect. Kevin has filed a grievance against A. Young. Please:

1) Sign this petition calling on San Quentin Warden Ronald Davis to grant Kevin's grievance and discipline "Officer" A. Young.

2) Call Warden Ronald Davis at: (415) 454-1460 Ext. 5000. Tell him that Officer Young's behaviour was inexcusable, and should not be tolerated.

3) Call Yasir Samar, Associate Warden of Specialized Housing, at (415) 455-5037

4) Write Warden Davis and Lt. Sam Robinson (separately) at:

Main Street
San Quentin, CA 94964
5) Email Lt. Sam Robinson at: samuel.robinson2@cdcr.ca.gov



Sign Global Petition to Dismiss Charges Against Anti-Nuclear Plowshares Activists Facing 25 Years


This is an urgent request that you join with distinguished global supporters including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, other Nobel laureates and many others by signing our global petition to dismiss all charges against the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (KBP7). They face 25 years in prison for exposing illegal and immoral nuclear weapons that threaten all life on Earth. The seven nonviolently and symbolically disarmed the Trident nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, GA on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (View KBP7 reading their statement here.)

This petition is also a plea for us all to be involved in rebuilding the anti-nuclear weapons movement that helped disarm the world's nuclear arsenals from 90,000 down to 15,000 weapons in the 1980s. We must abolish them all. The KBP7 trial is expected to begin this fall in Georgia. Time is short. Please sign the petition and visit kingsbayplowshares7.org. Help KBP7 by forwarding their petition to your friends, to lists, and post it on social media.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have offered us their prophetic witness. Now it's up to us!

In peace and solidarity,

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Committee



Vote Socialist 2020!
Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier announce presidential run



Support the return of Leonard Peltier's Medicine Bundle

November 1, 2019

Dear Friends and supporters,
We need your help in getting Leonard Peltier's- (89637-132) Medicine Bundle returned to him. His Medicine Bundle includes: Pipe bowel, Pipe stem, Eagle feathers, sage and cedar. Leonard is at USP Coleman1, in Coleman FL. which has been locked down since mid-July. This lockdown has led to many "shakedowns" that is where the guards go in to a cell and check it for weapons. Leonard said in a legal letter,  that on"10/22/2019 the shakedown crew came to his cell and destroyed itThey came in and tore apart everything and threw out everything they couldjust because they couldThe most painfuland what caused me the most anger was when they took my religious itemsmyPipe (Chunapain myMedicine Bundleuse in my prayers."
Leonard's lawyer was immediately on top of the situation and asked us to hold off until he could reach Leonard's counselor and get the Bundlereturned.  I heard from the attorney last night and he said the prison has not returned Leonard his Medicine Bundle nor give them any reason for itbeing taken. 

Leonard Peltier as a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewaa federally recognized American Indian Nation is afforded all the legalprotections and rights pursuant to the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act codified at Title 42 United States Code 1996 et.seq.

I am asking if today you would send e-mails to Coleman I SR. Attorney J.C. DiNicola jcdinicola@bop.gov, public relations officer-COA/Publicinformation@bop.gov and to thenBOP-Southwest Regional office SERO/ExecAssistant@bop.gov requesting the return of Leonard Peltier 89637-132, Medicine Bundle

This lockdown has been extremely hard on Leonard and his Medicine Bundle is his way to help him maintain his relationship to his Creator!

Paulette Dauteuil ILPDC National Office
Sheridan Murphy- President of the ILPDC Board
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/



Courage to Resist

Reality Winner, a whistleblower who helped expose foreign hacking of US election systems leading up to the 2016 presidential election, has been behind bars since June 2017. Supporters are preparing to file a petition of clemency in hopes of an early release. Reality's five year prison sentence is by far the longest ever given for leaking information to the media about a matter of public interest. Stand with Reality shirts, stickers, and more available. Please take a moment to sign the letter

Vietnam War combat veteran Daniel Shea on his time in Vietnam and the impact that Agent Orange and post traumatic stress had on him and his family since. Listen now
This Courage to Resist podcast was produced in collaboration with the Vietnam Full Disclosure effort of Veterans For Peace — "Towards an honest commemoration of the American war in Vietnam." This year marks 50 years of GI resistance, in and out of uniform, for many of the courageous individuals featured. If you believe this history is important, please ...

484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland, California 94610 ~ 510-488-3559



New Evidence of Innocence Spurs two Court Filings for Mumia Abu Jamal

Press Release


September 9, 2019 Philadelphia—The struggle to free unfairly convicted Mumia Abu-Jamal took a significant step forward on September 3, 2019, when his attorneys submitted two documents to Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judith L Ritter, Widener University-Delaware Law School, and Samuel Spital, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. released this statement: 
"This week, Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a brief in Pennsylvania Superior Court to support his claim that his 1982 trial was fundamentally unfair in violation of the Constitution. For example, he argues that the prosecution failed to disclose evidence as required and discriminated against African Americans when selecting the jury. And, his lawyer did not adequately challenge the State's witnesses. 
"Mr. Abu-Jamal also filed a motion containing new evidence of constitutional violations such as promises by the prosecutor to pay or give leniency to two witnesses. There is also new evidence of racial discrimination in jury selection."
Abu-Jamal has always said he is innocent and the new documents go a long way in supporting his case, undermining police and prosecution claims of how Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner was killed.
The filings are in response to the December 27, 2018 decision by Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker reinstating Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petitions for the defendant. Tucker ruled Justice Ronald Castille unconstitutionally participated in deciding the appeals in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after denying Mr. Abu-Jamal's motions asking for his recusal, creating an appearance of judicial bias.
The "Brief For Appellant" in support of his struggle to gain his freedom after 37 years in Pennsylvania prisons re-opens the PCRA petitions as ordered by Tucker.
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" ask the Superior Court that the case be sent back to the Court of Common Pleas "so that he may present newly discovered evidence."
Among the arguments resubmitted in the "Brief For Appellant:"
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to make right argument because counsel did not know the law.
Brady Violation—District Attorney Withheld Evidence:Namely that Prosecutor said that he would look into reinstating the driver's license of key witness, Robert Chobert;
Rights Violation of fifth, sixth, and 14th Amendments:District Attorney manipulated key witness to falsely identify Abu-Jamal as the shooter.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:Failure to retain ballistics expert when the trial counsel knew Officer Faulkner was killed by a .44 caliber bullet even though it was known Abu-Jamal's firearm was not a .44 weapon.
Batson:Discrimination in jury selection that kept Black jurors from being sworn in.
Juror Misconduct:Several jurors violated court rules by conducting premature discussions, creating potential for prejudgment of evidence.
Basym Hassan, Philadelphia political activist, said: "The district attorney clearly violated Mumia's constitutional rights by withholding clear evidence that should have been exposed from the beginning. Throughout the entire process of Mumia's approaching the scene up until today's current developments, the law has not been applied as it was created—to get to the truth of a matter. Hopefully, Mumia will get a re-trial and the truth will finally get told. We await his release from hell."
Cindy Miller, Food Not Bombs, Solidarity and Mobilization for Mumia reminds us: "Does everybody remember on December 28, when current Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and his staff happened to find six boxes of evidence that had not beforehand been shown? That evidence is partly the reason for this new motion."
The "Appellant's motion for remand to the court of common pleas to consider newly discovered evidence" Miller refers to, includes the suppression of evidence of improper prosecutorial interactions with the state's main two witnesses that were instrumental in ensuring Abu-Jamal's conviction. The motion charges that "Abu-Jamal's capital trial was fundamentally unfair and tainted by serious constitutional violations. Mr. Abu-Jamal respectfully requests that this Court remand the case to the Court of Common Pleas so that Mr. Abu-Jamal may litigate the claims arising from this new evidence."
Pam Africa: "Here's another example of why Mumia shoulda been home—an example of police and prosecutorial misconduct. That evidence has been there for years. It shoulda been in trial records but it was hidden. What else is hidden besides the few things that we have right here."
MOVE 9 member, Eddie Africa said: "If they deal with this issue honestly, they'll have to release him because they know what they did was wrong."
Mumia, 65-years-old, remains in SCI Mahanoy in poor health, suffering from severe itching and cirrhosis of the liver. He recently had cataract surgery in his left eye and is awaiting surgery in his right eye. He also has glaucoma. 
Janine Africa, from the MOVE 9, said: "I just got released from prison after 41 years in May. I want to say, everyone work hard to bring Mumia home so he can be taken care of and get proper medical care, and he don't deserve to be in jail from the beginning."
Mike Africa Jr. added: "The pressure of the people, and of the power of the people is squeezing the evidence of Mumia's innocence out. We shall win."

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The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home


As many of you know, Jalil has been to the parole board twelve times since 2002, when he first become parole eligible.

Jalil has been denied each time for a variety of reasons, all of which are tantamount to the nature of the crime—something that will never change.

Pursuant to NYS Constitutional Article IV, Section 4, Jalil has filed an Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served with NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has the authority to grant the Application and order Jalil's immediate release from NYS DOCCS custody.

Since the Application's submission it has been revealed that the NYS Board of Parole had a "secret deal" with the NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA), permitting them to submit opposition letters directly to the Board of Parole from their website. These opposition letters negatively influenced the decision-making process, ensuring Jalil would not receive a fair and impartial parole hearing. During Jalil's 2014 parole hearing, he was told that "current and former members of law enforcement" were parole commissioners, many of whom decided to deny his release.

On December 4th & 5th, 2016, The New York Times published an extensive exposé entitled "The Scourge of Racial Bias in New York States Prisons" that informed: "The racism can be felt from the moment a black inmate enters New York's upstate prisons." This implacable racism has been institutionalized in the entire parole system, permitting subjective biases of parole commissioners to influence parole decisions.

Since the submission of the Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served, Governor Cuomo has received many letters and communications urging him to grant Jalil's Application. However, due to the revelation of political collusion between the Board of Parole and the PBA, and the PBA/media backlash and scrutiny of the Parole Board's release of Jalil's co-defendant, it has become necessary to launch this initiative in support of Jalil's Application.

Jalil exceeds all requirements for release. His release on parole has been supported by activists, academics and community leaders from across the country and around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the family of one of the victims. The political nature of his conviction has prevented parole commissioners from giving fair and impartial consideration to his release, despite the overwhelming community support.


During his 48+ years of his imprisonment, Jalil has accomplished the following: Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Certificate of Architectural Drafting, Certificate of Computer Literacy.

He has established many programs, such as the first Men's Group for therapeutic training in the NY State prison system, an African/Black Studies program, a computer literacy class, a Sociology class and a poetry class. He has received two commendations for preventing prison riots. He has raised money for the children's fund, was office manager of the computer lab and a teacher's aide for GED classes.

Jalil is also the recipient of several certificates for rehabilitation programming, and is a published author, poet, educator and blogger.

As a human rights advocate, he had the first U.S. prisoners national petition heard and recorded by a Special Committee at the United Nations on U.S. prisons and the existence of U.S. political prisoners. He has litigated several civil rights complaints on behalf of prisoners. In 2000, Essence magazine featured an article on father-daughter relationships. The article, entitled "Daddy Says," quoted Jalil stressing the importance of maintaining these relations even during incarceration.

We request that people do the following for Jalil throughout the months of November and December:

We are requesting that Friends and Supporters call, tweet, email and write NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office and appeal to him to grant Jalil's Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served.

We also request that this initiative be widely posted on social media platforms, encouraging freedom loving people around the world to join in this initiative.

Since this will be ongoing throughout the months of November and December, we propose that people tweet and/or email Governor Cuomo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and call and write the Governor every Tuesday and Thursday.

Communications to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office must refer to Jalil as: ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, New York 12733-0115.

Write the Governor:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber
State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224

Call the Governor: 1-518-474-8390

Tweet the Governor: @NYGovCuomo

Email the Governor: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form

For more information concerning Jalil's case, check his website: www.freejalil.com and https://thejerichomovement.com/

Click here to download a pamphlet to distribute to your family, friends, neighbors, faith group, etc.



"There is no time for despair, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal."

-Toni Morrison



Board Game


Solidarity against racism has existed from the 1600's and continues until today
An exciting board game of chance, empathy and wisdom, that entertains and educates as it builds solidarity through learning about the destructive history of American racism and those who always fought back. Appreciate the anti-racist solidarity of working people, who built and are still building, the great progressive movements of history. There are over 200 questions, with answers and references.
Spread the word!!
By Dr. Nayvin Gordon



Action Alert for Shaka Shakur

Urgent Action Alert: Stop Prison Officials from Blocking Shaka Shakur's Access to Educational and Vocational Services

Shaka Shakur is a politically active, incarcerated, New Afrikan who was transferred on December 18th, 2018, from the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) to the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) as part of campaign to neutralize his activism by prison officials. This transfer was done in violation of his due process rights as a prisoner. He is currently incarcerated at the Sussex 1 State Prison in Waverly, Virginia. His VA DOC # is 135647.  Since being held there, his right to access educational and vocational programs has been violated. Below is a summary of these violations in Shaka's own words:

"1) i was moved out of the state of Indiana against my will in violation of Indiana Code and due process. i was never afforded any form of hearing where i was informed as to why i was being shipped out of state nor allowed to present evidence challenging the decision to move me.

2) Upon my arrival to the prison system in Virginia, i was never given any form of orientation. I've never been informed as to what my rights are, nor informed as to how i can go about challenging any decision made by the state of Va. I've only been informed that the state of Va has custody of my body and that all decisions pertaining to my classification, security level and placement was being determined and controlled by the state of Indiana and its Department of Corrections (IDOC).

3) There is supposed to be an IDOC liaison that oversees my placement in Va and communicates with an official in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) named Ms. Collins. She has refused to respond to any and all efforts to contact her by myself or any outside sources. Any questions i've had pertaining to video visits, security level, placement, and classification have gone unanswered except for being told that it is up to Indiana.

4) Per Indiana Code i am supposed to be afforded the same rights and privileges as if i was still in Indiana. That includes jobs, programming, religious services etc.s To deny me such is a const violation and discrimination. In fact, it denies me equal protection under the law. I am not being allowed to find a job outside of the housing unit. i'm being told that i'm not going to be allowed to drop my security level even though my points will drop as low as 10 points in Va and less than 15 in indiana. Both of which would qualify me for a level 3 security level placement.

5) The counselor Ponce falsified my classification review/progress report by lying and saying that i had assaulted a staff member within the last 12 months. This was in order to justify my continued placement at a level 4/5 prison. When this was brought to her attention, she pretended that she had corrected it and instead further falsified the report and then blamed it on Indiana. i have copies of these documents and my lawyer have the originals [see images posted in event below]."


6) The doctors at Sussex 1 have not been provided with Shaka's medical records past 2014. Shaka experiences nerve and other issues due to a degenerative disc on which he has been operated. Without these records he cannot be provided with the necessary care for his chronic condition.

7)There is no appeals process available to Shaka or any other out-of-state inmate. Indiana code establishes the sender state [Indiana] as having unchallenged authority in cases of interstate transfer. Having access only to internal grievance procedures in Virginia, Shaka is unable to appeal decisions made in Indiana

You can read about Shaka's long history of activism and rebellious activity in Indiana prisons here and here.

What You Can Do to Support Shaka:

On Monday, 11/11, call  the Indiana DOC Executive Director of Classification Jack Hendrix at (317) 232-2247. Leave a message with whoever you are able to speak to, or a voicemail. You can also email Jack Hendrix at jdhendrix@idoc.in.gov.

Please tell them to drop Shaka's  security level dropped to a level 3 for which he qualifies so that he can access vocational and educational programs, or to authorize Shaka's lateral transfer to a facility where he can be allowed to participate in vocational and educational programs.

As Shaka stated:

"How am i supposed to work my way back to Indiana if i'm not being allowed to participate in anything positive or constructive?"

To make a donation to Shaka Shakur's legal defense fund and for more info on his case, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/shaka-shakur-legal-defense-fund

For more information, contact Seth Donnelly at sethdonnelly2000@yahoo.com.


50 years in prison: 

FREE Chip Fitzgerald 
Grandfather, Father, Elder, Friend
former Black Panther 
Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald has been in prison since he was locked up 50 years ago. A former member of the Black Panther Party, Chip is now 70 years old, and suffering the consequences of a serious stroke. He depends on a wheelchair for his mobility. He has appeared before the parole board 17 times, but they refuse to release him.

NOW is the time for Chip to come home!

In September 1969, Chip and two other Panthers were stopped by a highway patrolman. During the traffic stop, a shooting broke out, leaving Chip and a police officer both wounded. Chip was arrested a month later and charged with attempted murder of the police and an unrelated murder of a security guard. Though the evidence against him was weak and Chip denied any involvement, he was convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1972, the California Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty. Chip and others on Death Row had their sentences commuted to Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. All of them became eligible for parole after serving 7 more years. But Chip was rejected for parole, as he has been ever since. 

Parole for Lifers basically stopped under Governors Deukmajian, Wilson, and Davis (1983-2003), resulting in increasing numbers of people in prison and 23 new prisons. People in prison filed lawsuits in federal courts: people were dying as a result of the overcrowding. To rapidly reduce the number of people in prison, the court mandated new parole hearings:
·        for anyone 60 years or older who had served 25 years or more;
·        for anyone convicted before they were 23 years old;
·        for anyone with disabilities 

Chip qualified for a new parole hearing by meeting all three criteria.

But the California Board of Parole Hearings has used other methods to keep Chip locked up. Although the courts ordered that prison rule infractions should not be used in parole considerations, Chip has been denied parole because he had a cellphone.

Throughout his 50 years in prison, Chip has been denied his right to due process – a new parole hearing as ordered by Federal courts. He is now 70, and addressing the challenges of a stroke victim. His recent rules violation of cellphone possession were non-violent and posed no threat to anyone. He has never been found likely to commit any crimes if released to the community – a community of his children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues who are ready to support him and welcome him home.

The California Board of Parole Hearings is holding Chip hostage.

We call on Governor Newsom to release Chip immediately.

What YOU can do to support this campaign to FREE CHIP:

1)   Sign and circulate the petition to FREE Chip. Download it at https://www.change.org/p/california-free-chip-fitzgerald
Print out the petition and get signatures at your workplace, community meeting, or next social gathering.

2)   Write an email to Governor Newsom's office (sample message at:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iwbP_eQEg2J1T2h-tLKE-Dn2ZfpuLx9MuNv2z605DMc/edit?usp=sharing

3)   Write to Chip: 
 Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald #B27527,
P.O. Box 4490
Lancaster, CA 93539

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/



Political Prisoners and Assange: Carole Seligman At S.F. Assange Rally
As part of an international action to free Julian Assange, a rally was held on June 12, 2019 at the US Federal Building in San Francisco and Carole Seligman was one of the speakers. She also speaks about imperialist wars and  the cases of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Fumiaki Hoshino.
For more info:
Production of Labor Video Project



One Democratic State of Palestine

Why One Democratic State of Palestine

The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture.  We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation.  We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system.  This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who were forced out of the country and its current citizens.  This is the key to a 'fair and permanent resolution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause.  Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.

Call for a Palestine Liberation Movement

Call initiated by the One State Assembly, February 9, 2019
We are calling for signatures on the statement to create national and global public opinion specially among Palestinians, Arabs and international supporters about the genuine, just and long lasting solution to the seven decades of the ethnic cleansing war and catastrophe of 1948. The One Democratic State  of Palestine (ODSP) initiative stands in opposition and objection to the dead solution of the two states, the Oslo Accords and exposing the latest racist Nation-State Law that was issued by the apartheid state of Israel which emphasizes the real nature of this manufactured colonial state.
This is a crucial time in the history of our struggle, which needs all activists, individuals and organizations, to consolidate and coordinate their efforts in an organized manner to make an impact, make a difference towards the only solution that guarantees the right of return and deals with our people as one united nation on one united homeland: the One Democratic State of Palestine.
Signatories include: Richard Falk, Alison Weir, Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Tariq Ali, Paul Larudee, Kevin Zeese, Joe Lombardo, Tim Anderson, Amal Wahdan, Judith Bello, Ken Stone, Issa Chaer,  Ali Mallah, Alicia Jrapko …..
Endorsers: Free Palestine Movement, Palestine Solidarity Forum (India), Syria Solidarity Movement, International Committee for Peace Justice and Dignity, Hands Off Syria Coalition, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, United Front Against Facism and War (Canada), Communist Reconstruction (Canada), Palestine Solidarity Association/University of Western Cape (South Africa), India Palestine Solidarity Forum, Venezuela Solidarity Network, Free Palestine Movement, Akashma News, Media Review Network,  Solidarity Net, Kenya, Human Rights in the Middle East, Cleveland Peace Action, Interfaith Council For Peace In The Middle East Northeast Ohio, Pax Christi Hilton Head, Portsmouth South Downs Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Call for A Palestine Liberation Movement and One Democratic State of Palestine

We say YES to the just national struggle for our rights, which unifies the living energies of our people. We are inspired by our glorious history, our great leaders and their decisive battles, our martyrs, our prisoners, our restless youth and those in refugee camps, waiting on the realization of their inalienable right of return. We say NO to begging at the doors of the occupiers in pursuit of crumbs. This has led Palestinians and will lead them to more division and bloody infighting
Palestine was colonized for strategic, imperial reasons: it is at the junction of three continents, with key transport links and easy access for the hegemonic powers on their way to the oil wealth of the Arab nations. But the colonists could not evacuate the Palestinian people, who have lived here for more than 6,000 years.
After a century of dealing with the European colonial states and American imperialism, our Arab nation has been betrayed, and is still being betrayed, by the terror of these countries.
The illusion that Zionists want peace must be confronted. When will we wake up? We cannot speak of a national state for the Palestinians if we do not liberate ourselves from our petty differences while under siege and occupation. We have to recognize reality: that we continue in a period of national liberation, not in a period of state building.
For this reason we believe in the need to withdraw completely from farcical negotiations with the colonial entity. These only cover up and legalize the occupation. They suggest fair solutions which don't exist, deepening Palestinian conflicts and leading to bloody infighting.
The national liberation stage must precede the construction of the national state. Recognizing this provides a compass to guide us in our national priorities and relations with others. This means no more agreements with the occupiers. They will not commit to agreements, and experience shows they are part of a great deception, falsely called a 'peace process'.
This 'Peace Process' became a façade for the colonial entity to proceed with a so-called 'political solution'. Really, they needed Palestinian participation to pave the way for the oppressive Arab regimes to end the boycott and 'normalize' relationships with the entity.
As Arab markets were closed to the Zionist entity by a blockade, it was necessary to find ways to open them through 'normalization'. But Palestinian resistance had generated popular sympathy in the Arab and Islamic world, and formed a major obstacle to this 'normalization'. Zionist leader Shimon Perez admitted: "The main goal of the Oslo conventions was not Palestinians, but rather normalization with the Arab world and opening its markets."
Yet national liberation requires confronting, not submitting to, foreign hegemony. We say that the leadership of our national movement has ignored this, and has instead engaged in binding relations with the occupying entity and its patrons.
The history of the colonial entity in Palestine is nothing more than a history of the destruction of the Palestinian people and their civilization. Two thirds of our people have been displaced and more than 90% of our land has been stolen. Our land, water and houses are stolen and demolished every day, while apartheid walls are built and the racist nation-state law is being enforced by Israeli legislators. There is also a permanent aggression against the peoples of the region, to subjugate them through Salafist terrorism and economic siege.
The USA supports the Zionist entity with money, weapons, missiles and aircraft, while protecting it from punishment at the UN, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, abolishing its financial support for the United Nations Refugees and Work Agency (UNRWA) and halting its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. How can the USA or its regional puppets ever be 'honest brokers' for the people of Palestine?
The invaders falsely used divine religion in attempts to destroy the indigenous people and their cultures. They said this was an 'empty land', available for another people with no land, but with the 'divine promise' of a religious homeland. Yet hiding settler colonization behind the banner of Judaism wrongly places responsibility on religion for the crimes of the colonizers.
We have no problem with 'Jewish' people in Palestine. That problem emerged in capitalist Europe, not in our countries. We are not the ones to create a solution to Europe's 'Jewish problem'. Rather, we have to deal with colonization and foreign hegemony in our region.
The colonial entity and its imperial patrons have brought the people of Palestine to a historic juncture. We, the residents of historic Palestine, must dismantle the terms of our collective extermination so as to set up relations which reject racial segregation and mutual negation. We must dismantle the closed structure and replace it with an open, non-imperial and humane system. This can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State of Palestine for its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens. This is the key to a 'fair and permanent solution of conflict' in the region, and to a 'just solution' for the Palestinian cause. Failing this, war and mutual destruction will continue.
Yet the old Palestinian leadership has presided over regression. They make agreements for the benefit of the colonial entity and its patrons. They abandon 1948 Palestine and the refugees. They collaborate with our enemies while delivering no tangible benefit for our people.
For these reasons we say that this leadership has become a real obstacle to any future development or advancement for our people. This leadership has lost its qualifications to lead national action. It looks to its own benefit and is too weak to learn the lessons of the anti-colonial movements of the peoples of Asia, Africa and the Americas. It does not see the advances elsewhere in challenging US hegemony. It does not even see the resistance in the Arab and Muslim World, when they manage to foil US and Zionist projects.
Our movement must be an organic part of the Arab Liberation Movement, putting an end to foreign hegemony, achieving national unity and liberating Palestine from the current apartheid system. Yet this great humanitarian goal directly clashes with the interests of the dominant triad - the forces of global hegemony, settler apartheid and the comprador Arab regimes.
We warn all against chasing the myth of 'two contiguous states' in Palestine. This is a major deception, to portray ethnic enclaves within Palestine as an expression of the right to popular self-determination. The goal must be to replace apartheid with equal citizenship and this can only be achieved by establishing One Democratic State in historic Palestine for all, including its indigenous people, the refugees who we were forced out of the country and its current citizens, including those who were drawn into the country as settlers through the Zionist project.
Palestinian parties negotiating for unity and reform should focus on restoring liberation to the core of the Palestinian National Charter. The Arab homeland will never be liberated and unified by subordination to the USA! It will only be liberated by confronting and ending colonial and imperial dominance.
We say YES to national unity in the framework of our Palestinian Liberation Movement, freed from deceptive agreements which only serve the hegemonic powers and comprador regimes.
LONG LIVE PALESTINE, liberated from racial colonization and built on the foundations of equality for all its citizens, rejecting segregation and discrimination by religion, culture or ethnicity; friends with its regional neighbours and with all progressive forces of the world!
**Your Signature**




Support Chuck Africa for Parole

Michael Africa Jr. started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

Charles Sims Africa #AM 4975 has been in prison since age 18. He is now 59 years old and a recovering cancer patient. He has been eligible for parole since 2008 but continually denied because of  his political views.
Charles has 8 codefendants. Two has died in prison, four has been released from prison onto parole. Chuck's sister Debbie Sims Africa is one of the four codefendants released onto parole.
Since coming home from prison, Debbie is thriving. Our community of support has supported Debbie to excel and we are committed to do the same for Chuck so that he can excel as well. 



On Abortion: From Facebook

Best explanation I've heard so far..., Copied from a friend who copied from a friend who copied..., "Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read:, , 'Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a "human life" - that's a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn't obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not., , Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child's life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn't matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint or anything else - the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person's body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save., , That's the law., , Use of a woman's uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life - it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one's uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman's choice to carry out the pregnancy., , She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.", , Feel free to copy/paste and re-post., y
Sent from my iPhone



Celebrating the release of Janet and Janine Africa
Take action now to support Jalil A. Muntaqim's release

Jalil A. Muntaqim was a member of the Black Panther Party and has been a political prisoner for 48 years since he was arrested at the age of 19 in 1971. He has been denied parole 11 times since he was first eligible in 2002, and is now scheduled for his 12th parole hearing. Additionally, Jalil has filed to have his sentence commuted to time served by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Visit Jalil's support page, check out his writing and poetry, and Join Critical Resistance in supporting a vibrant intergenerational movement of freedom fighters in demanding his release.

48 years is enough. Write, email, call, and tweet at Governor Cuomo in support of Jalil's commutation and sign this petition demanding his release.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
Executive Chamber State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224

Michelle Alexander – Author, The New Jim Crow; Ed Asner - Actor and Activist; Charles Barron - New York Assemblyman, 60th District; Inez Barron - Counci member, 42nd District, New York City Council; Rosa Clemente - Scholar Activist and 2008 Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate; Patrisse Cullors – Co-Founder Black Lives Matter, Author, Activist; Elena Cohen - President, National Lawyers Guild; "Davey D" Cook - KPFA Hard Knock Radio; Angela Davis - Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - Native American historian, writer and feminist; Mike Farrell - Actor and activist; Danny Glover – Actor and activist; Linda Gordon - New York University; Marc Lamont Hill - Temple University; Jamal Joseph - Columbia University; Robin D.G. Kelley - University of California, Los Angeles; Tom Morello - Rage Against the Machine; Imani Perry - Princeton University; Barbara Ransby - University of Illinois, Chicago; Boots Riley - Musician, Filmmaker; Walter Riley - Civil rights attorney; Dylan Rodriguez - University of California, Riverside, President American Studies Association; Maggie Siff, Actor; Heather Ann Thompson - University of Michigan; Cornel West - Harvard University; Institutional affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

Call: 1-518-474-8390

Email Gov. Cuomo with this form

Tweet at @NYGovCuomo
Any advocacy or communications to Gov. Cuomo must refer to Jalil as:
Sullivan Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 116,
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116



Funds for Kevin Cooper


For 34 years, an innocent man has been on death row in California. 

Kevin Cooper was wrongfully convicted of the brutal 1983 murders of the Ryen family and houseguest. The case has a long history of police and prosecutorial misconduct, evidence tampering, and numerous constitutional violations including many incidences of the prosecution withholding evidence of innocence from the defense. You can learn more here . 

In December 2018 Gov. Brown ordered  limited DNA testing and in February 2019, Gov. Newsom ordered additional DNA testing. Meanwhile, Kevin remains on Death Row at San Quentin Prison. 

The funds raised will be used to help Kevin purchase art supplies for his paintings . Additionally, being in prison is expensive, and this money would help Kevin pay for stamps, paper, toiletries, supplementary food, and/or phone calls.

Please help ease the daily struggle of an innocent man on death row!



Don't extradite Assange!

To the government of the UK
Julian Assange, through Wikileaks, has done the world a great service in documenting American war crimes, its spying on allies and other dirty secrets of the world's most powerful regimes, organisations and corporations. This has not endeared him to the American deep state. Both Obama, Clinton and Trump have declared that arresting Julian Assange should be a priority. We have recently received confirmation [1] that he has been charged in secret so as to have him extradited to the USA as soon as he can be arrested. 
Assange's persecution, the persecution of a publisher for publishing information [2] that was truthful and clearly in the interest of the public - and which has been republished in major newspapers around the world - is a danger to freedom of the press everywhere, especially as the USA is asserting a right to arrest and try a non-American who neither is nor was then on American soil. The sentence is already clear: if not the death penalty then life in a supermax prison and ill treatment like Chelsea Manning. The very extradition of Julian Assange to the United States would at the same time mean the final death of freedom of the press in the West. 
The courageous nation of Ecuador has offered Assange political asylum within its London embassy for several years until now. However, under pressure by the USA, the new government has made it clear that they want to drive Assange out of the embassy and into the arms of the waiting police as soon as possible. They have already curtailed his internet and his visitors and turned the heating off, leaving him freezing in a desolate state for the past few months and leading to the rapid decline of his health, breaching UK obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, our demand both to the government of Ecuador and the government of the UK is: don't extradite Assange to the US! Guarantee his human rights, make his stay at the embassy as bearable as possible and enable him to leave the embassy towards a secure country as soon as there are guarantees not to arrest and extradite him. Furthermore, we, as EU voters, encourage European nations to take proactive steps to protect a journalist in danger. The world is still watching.
[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/julian-assange-indictment-wikileaks.html
[2] https://theintercept.com/2018/11/16/as-the-obama-doj-concluded-prosecution-of-julian-assange-for-publishing-documents-poses-grave-threats-to-press-freedom/



Words of Wisdom

Louis Robinson Jr., 77
Recording secretary for Local 1714 of the United Auto Workers from 1999 to 2018, with the minutes from a meeting of his union's retirees' chapter.

"One mistake the international unions in the United States made was when Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. When he did that, the unions could have brought this country to a standstill. All they had to do was shut down the truck drivers for a month, because then people would not have been able to get the goods they needed. So that was one of the mistakes they made. They didn't come together as organized labor and say: "No. We aren't going for this. Shut the country down." That's what made them weak. They let Reagan get away with what he did. A little while after that, I read an article that said labor is losing its clout, and I noticed over the years that it did. It happened. It doesn't feel good."

[On the occasion of the shut-down of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant March 6, 2019.]



Get Malik Out of Ad-Seg

Keith "Malik" Washington is an incarcerated activist who has spoken out on conditions of confinement in Texas prison and beyond:  from issues of toxic water and extreme heat, to physical and sexual abuse of imprisoned people, to religious discrimination and more.  Malik has also been a tireless leader in the movement to #EndPrisonSlavery which gained visibility during nationwide prison strikes in 2016 and 2018.  View his work at comrademalik.com or write him at:

Keith H. Washington
TDC# 1487958
McConnell Unit
3001 S. Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78102
Friends, it's time to get Malik out of solitary confinement.

Malik has experienced intense, targeted harassment ever since he dared to start speaking against brutal conditions faced by incarcerated people in Texas and nationwide--but over the past few months, prison officials have stepped up their retaliation even more.

In Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at McConnell Unit, Malik has experienced frequent humiliating strip searches, medical neglect, mail tampering and censorship, confinement 23 hours a day to a cell that often reached 100+ degrees in the summer, and other daily abuses too numerous to name.  It could not be more clear that they are trying to make an example of him because he is a committed freedom fighter.  So we have to step up.

Who to contact:
TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier
Phone: (936)295-6371

Senior Warden Philip Sinfuentes (McConnell Unit)
Phone: (361) 362-2300



Major George Tillery
April 25, 2018-- The arrest of two young men in Starbucks for the crime of "sitting while black," and the four years prison sentence to rapper Meek Mill for a minor parole violation are racist outrages in Philadelphia, PA that made national news in the past weeks. Yesterday Meek Mills was released on bail after a high profile defense campaign and a Pa Supreme Court decision citing evidence his conviction was based solely on a cop's false testimony.
These events underscore the racism, frame-up, corruption and brutality at the core of the criminal injustice system. Pennsylvania "lifer" Major Tillery's fight for freedom puts a spotlight on the conviction of innocent men with no evidence except the lying testimony of jailhouse snitches who have been coerced and given favors by cops and prosecutors.

Sex for Lies and Manufactured Testimony
For thirty-five years Major Tillery has fought against his 1983 arrest, then conviction and sentence of life imprisonment without parole for an unsolved 1976 pool hall murder and assault. Major Tillery's defense has always been his innocence. The police and prosecution knew Tillery did not commit these crimes. Jailhouse informant Emanuel Claitt gave lying testimony that Tillery was one of the shooters.

In May and June 2016, Emanuel Claitt gave sworn statements that his testimony was a total lie, and that the homicide cops and the prosecutors told him what to say and coached him before trial. Not only was he coerced to lie that Major Tillery was a shooter, but to lie and claim there were no plea deals made in exchange for his testimony. He provided the information about the specific homicide detectives and prosecutors involved in manufacturing his testimony and details about being allowed "sex for lies". In August 2016, Claitt reaffirmed his sworn statements in a videotape, posted on YouTube and on JusticeforMajorTillery.org.

Major Tillery has Fought his Conviction and Advocated for Other Prisoners for over 30 Years

Major Tillery Needs Your Help:

Major Tillery and family

    Financial Support—Tillery's investigation is ongoing. He badly needs funds to fight for his freedom.
    Go to JPay.com;
    code: Major Tillery AM9786 PADOC

    Tell Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner:
    The Conviction Review Unit should investigate Major Tillery's case. He is innocent. The only evidence at trial was from lying jail house informants who now admit it was false.
    Call: 215-686-8000 or

    Write to:
    Security Processing Center
    Major Tillery AM 9786
    268 Bricker Road
    Bellefonte, PA 16823
    For More Information, Go To: JusticeForMajorTillery.org
    Kamilah Iddeen (717) 379-9009, Kamilah29@yahoo.com
    Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009, RachelWolkenstein@gmail.com




    On Monday March 4th, 2019 Leonard Peltier was advised that his request for a transfer had been unceremoniously denied by the United States Bureau of Prisons.

    The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee appreciates and thanks the large number of his supporters who took the time to write, call, email, or fax the BOP in support of Leonard's request for a transfer.
    Those of us who have been supporting Leonard's freedom for a number of years are disappointed but resolute to continue pushing for his freedom and until that day, to continue to push for his transfer to be closer to his relatives and the Indigenous Nations who support him.
    44 years is too damn long for an innocent man to be locked up. How can his co-defendants be innocent on the grounds of self-defense but Leonard remains in prison? The time is now for all of us to dig deep and do what we can and what we must to secure freedom for Leonard Peltier before it's too late.
    We need the support of all of you now, more than ever. The ILPDC plans to appeal this denial of his transfer to be closer to his family. We plan to demand he receive appropriate medical care, and to continue to uncover and utilize every legal mechanism to secure his release. To do these things we need money to support the legal work.
    Land of the Brave postcard-page-0

    Please call the ILPDC National office or email us for a copy of the postcard you can send to the White House. We need your help to ask President Trump for Leonard's freedom.

    Free Leonard Peltier!






    1) After False Drug Test, He Was in Solitary Confinement for 120 Days
    Hundreds of New York State prisoners were locked in cells, denied release or removed from programs when tests erroneously showed they had used narcotics, according to a lawsuit.
    By Jan Ransom, November 20, 2019

    While incarcerated, a urine test falsely showed that Michael Kearney had used a painkiller. He was then held in prison beyond his release date.Credit...Bryan Bennett for The New York Times

    Michael Kearney could not understand how he had tested positive for drugs. He stared in disbelief at the corrections officers in an upstate New York prison where he was serving time. Though he had once been addicted to crack cocaine, he had been clean for two years.
    Yet the corrections officers had arrived with handcuffs, saying a urine test showed that Mr. Kearney had used a prescription painkiller. Prison officials gave him 120 days in solitary confinement just a week before he was supposed to be released. It took officials seven months to realize the test results were wrong, he said.
    "I think about it every day," Mr. Kearney, 50, said in a phone interview this week. "Where I could have been."
    Mr. Kearney is one of hundreds of New York State prisoners who say they were punished after tests falsely determined they had used drugs, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

    Many of the inmates spent months in solitary confinement or locked in cells. Others were denied release on parole, removed from programs, or held beyond their scheduled release dates after testing positive for narcotics, according to the complaint filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. 
    The plaintiffs, who include former and current inmates, claim that the manufacturer of the drug-testing equipment used in the prisons — Microgenics Corporation and its parent company, Thermo Fisher Scientific — failed to ensure that its devices produced accurate results. 
    State prison officials and the state inspector general are investigating the matter. 
    The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has begun reviewing tests taken this year that came back positive for the opioids Suboxone and buprenorphine, according to the lawsuit. 
    Thomas Mailey, a spokesman for the department, said the prisons had stopped using the Microgenics equipment after learning that results were inaccurate. They "immediately reversed any actions taken as a result of these tests, and restored privileges to any potentially affected inmates," he said, adding that prison officials were preparing a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
    Prisoner advocates said the prison system had reversed some guilty findings, reinstated educational and recreational programming for inmates who had been removed from it, and released some people who were being held longer because of faulty tests. Mr. Mailey declined to say how many findings were reversed, when the state stopped using the equipment, or how officials learned the tests were faulty.

    The Inspector General's Office began investigating Microgenics's drug-testing system two months ago, a spokesman, Lee Park, said. 
    Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the company that built and marketed the devices should be held accountable.
    "If you're producing these machines and selling this product, you know about the serious consequences that flow from a mistake on your part," said Matthew D. Brinckerhoff, a lawyer with Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady who is representing the plaintiffs. "You have an obligation to ensure they don't happen."
    Microgenics did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 
    The prison system has been using the Microgenics devices since 2018, when the state entered into a five-year, $1.6 million contract with the company to supply 52 prisons with its Indiko Plus "urinalysis analyzers," according to the lawsuit and public records. In brochures, Microgenics says its products "provide true operational reliability." 
    Inmates began to complain almost immediately. Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, a nonprofit that assists prisoners, received letters from 158 inmates with the same grievance: They had tested positive for drugs when they had not used any, and received harsh punishments. Many of the letters came from people with no disciplinary history. 
    Under state law, prisoners who are caught taking prohibited drugs can be sentenced to extra time, can be placed in isolation and can face other punishments after a hearing.
    One inmate said she was handcuffed while visiting with her family and sentenced to 60 days in solitary confinement after a positive drug test, the lawsuit said.

    "It's a civil rights issue. It's a justice issue," said Karen Murtagh, executive director of the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, which is also representing the plaintiffs. Even though the corrections department is "doing what it can to make people whole, it is not completely undoing or remediating the harm caused by putting someone in solitary confinement for weeks or months." 
    Mr. Kearney, who had been convicted on a burglary charge, had violated his parole and was sent back to prison in 2016 because he missed a curfew and took drugs. But he maintains he did not use drugs while incarcerated. 
    But after the test suggested that Mr. Kearney had used an opioid, he was held in prison beyond his release date of March 6. At his disciplinary hearing, prison officials dismissed his claims of innocence. He said he explained to them that he would have never used drugs knowing he was set to be released in a week. He also pointed out he had taken at least four other random tests in prison with negative findings.
    He was not freed until October, a month after prison officials learned that the results were inaccurate, he said. Mr. Kearney had served about a third of his 120 days of extra time in solitary confinement, he said. 
    "If you're going to arrest somebody and put them in the box and treat them like a locked-up dog, get the right results," Mr. Kearney said, adding that he had lost a construction job that he had waiting for him in March.

    Nadezda Steele-Warrick said she was stunned in April when a sergeant and an officer arrested her in her private cell at the Albion Correctional Facility, about 45 minutes west of Rochester. It was her day off from teaching classes in the gym. She had been in bed reading "Small Great Things" by Jodi Picoult.

    At first, she said, she thought the corrections officers were playing a bad joke. But they were not. When they accused her of using drugs, she told them she had never taken illicit drugs before. 
    Ms. Steele-Warrick, 36, had been a model prisoner since her conviction in 2015 on an assault charge, and prison officials had let her spend the weekend with her husband and 7-year-old son in April under a family reunification program. But she had to take drug tests before and after the visit. One of the tests came back positive. 
    Her husband testified on her behalf at a disciplinary hearing that he had not seen her use drugs during his visit with her. But she was sentenced to confinement in general population for 11 days. She was only allowed to leave her cell for 10 minutes each to day to shower.
    "All I was doing was crying," she said. "The turmoil I went through and the mental anguish — I wouldn't want it to happen to anyone again."
    Four months after Ms. Steele-Warrick was released from prison in May, the result of the hearing was overturned. The drug test was faulty, the lawsuit said.



    2)  As Rents Outrun Pay, California Families Live on a Knife's Edge
    The state's severe housing shortage is driving up rents, leaving many lower-income families struggling to stay in neighborhoods they once could afford.
    By Jill Cowan and Robert Gabeloff, November 21, 2019

    Priscilla Fregoso plays with her son Jared Coughran, 4, at their apartment in Los Angeles. A rent increase may soon force them to move out.Credit...Jessica Pons for The New York Times

    LOS ANGELES — When Priscilla Fregoso and her family moved into their apartment in Van Nuys, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, three years ago, she finally breathed a sigh of relief. 
    They had bounced from home to home in Long Beach and Orange County and then in Pacoima, long known as a diverse working-class area of the Valley. But when their rent there increased by $220 a month, they found themselves living in their car.
    In Van Nuys, they now have room for their two young boys. They have a small patio and big couches. Ms. Fregoso's husband, Ryan Coughran, owns a television for the first time in his life. 
    Recently, though, Ms. Fregoso said she received a notice from her landlord. The rent for the compact three-bedroom apartment, in a labyrinthine complex on a densely packed street in Van Nuys, was increasing from $1,236 to $1,456 a month.

    Which means that, with an annual income of about $40,000, her family is once again balancing on a financial knife's edge. And it may again come time to move.
    "It's a lot of unknown — that's the scariest part," she said. 
    Much attention has been focused on the more visible extremes of California's housing crisis: the $100 million mansions not far from where people live on the streets. But thousands of families like Ms. Fregoso's — working renters whose pay has inched upward while housing costs have rocketed — are barely hanging on in a housing market that has tipped further and further in favor of homeowners.
    As property values rise, the resulting rent increases have forced these tenants to move from home to home, sometimes pushing them into homelessness and often sending them far away from jobs and support networks.
    This, experts say, has caused housing shortages to ripple outward from the state's higher-cost regions, effectively destabilizing the lives of legions of workers who form the base of the state's economy.
    "That cuts across all industries," said David Garcia, policy director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

    The impact does not end with the economy, he added: There are downsides for the environment and the very social fabric of the state.
    "Where folks are being pushed further and further away and spend far too much time commuting," he said, "that has implications for family life."
    California lawmakers recently passed a milestone statewide rent cap, as part of a broader effort to protect renters, but many observers say the measure will not be enough to keep many lower-income renters in stable housing.
    Roughly one in three renters in Los Angeles report spending more than half their income on housing, census data shows. 
    The average apartment in the city goes for $2,517 a month, according to the research firm RENTCafe.com — $1,056 more than the national average. 
    The most basic form of affordable housing — a one-bedroom apartment renting for less than $1,000 — has become particularly scarce. Los Angeles County, with a population of more than 10 million, has 154,000 such units today, half as many as there were in 2010, according to census data.

    In Van Nuys, where the average rent has shot up by $300 a month since 2016, more than 35 percent of families in rental housing report paying at least half their income to live there.

    Such unsustainable rents have resulted in more lower-income people moving out of the Los Angeles area than are moving in.
    Not only are they being replaced by higher earners whose arrival pushes up housing costs in Los Angeles, but their relocation to less expensive areas of the state also tends to drives up costs in those communities.
    "We get a lot of spill-out that comes from the Bay Area and L.A.," said Amber Crowell, an assistant professor of sociology at California State University, Fresno. "And we expect it to get worse."
    This was not always the case.
    In Southern California, as the region's economy grew in the 1970s and 1980s, there was a symbiotic relationship between job growth and home construction. In those decades, the economy created a new housing unit for every three new jobs. The economy slowed down over the following 20 years, but the area still gained nearly a million more new homes.
    The recovery from the most recent recession has played out differently. The job market has churned to life, but housing construction has slowed to a trickle. These days only one new housing unit is being built for every eight new jobs, and supply has fallen short of demand.
    Mr. Garcia, of the Terner Center, said that in the years since the most recent recession, it had also become much more difficult to get a mortgage.

    "You're not seeing the same kind of lending, with no check on income or ability to pay, because of what happened 10 years ago," he said. "That's good on one hand."
    On the other, Mr. Garcia said, it is helping to increase pressure on renters, who are now at greater risk of being displaced than are their neighbors who own their homes. That is a reversal of the conditions during the recession, when underwater homeowners were among the most vulnerable.
    Home sale prices have risen sharply, and middle-class buyers are snapping up homes in neighborhoods they avoided in the past. 
    This has pushed many longtime residents — particularly renters — out of black and Latino neighborhoods, even as those who were able to purchase homes decades ago have seen their property values rise. 
    "What's causing displacement here in Inglewood is corporate speculation and increased perceptions of desirability," said D'Artagnan Scorza, a community advocate with the group Uplift Inglewood and a member of the city's school board. 
    Real estate has actually appreciated faster in working class sections of Los Angeles than in the city over all, an analysis of sales data provided by ATTOM Data Solutions shows. That trend translates into sharp rent increases in those areas.

    Still, the effects of the crisis are playing out across the region.
    When Catherine Butler, 55, arrived in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1999 from San Francisco, she paid $750 a month to rent a one-bedroom apartment. When she left that apartment in 2011 to get a bigger place to raise her daughter, the rent had risen to just under $1,000.
    Ms. Butler, who works as an archivist for a Hollywood nonprofit group, said she considered buying a house then. But many of the places she saw in her price range needed a lot of work. It made more sense to rent, she said.
    "I had friends who leapt and bought, and ended up losing," she said. 
    Ms. Butler eventually found a two-bedroom house to rent in Altadena, an enclave tucked between Pasadena and the Angeles National Forest. Her rent there has increased over the years to $2,200 a month.
    She has good benefits, a master's degree and makes a bit less than $70,000 a year — which fits squarely within what experts describe as middle class for the region — but she pays almost half of her take-home pay in rent, and she is anticipating another increase soon. That has her planning to move out.
    Leaving the region is a nonstarter. Ms. Butler has worked at her job, which she loves, for 15 years. Her daughter is in school.
    Which means she has been scrambling to figure out another solution. 
    "I've reached out to people on Facebook, like, 'Does anybody need help making their mortgage?'" she said. "It's all cobbled together. I'm not moving forward, I'm not succeeding."
    Although the crisis has been a consuming source of frustration for leaders across the state, current California laws provide little incentive for them to change local zoning policies to allow more development.

    New housing units raise the cost of government services, but strict caps on property taxes imposed under Proposition 13 limit the amount of money that would flow to local budgets to pay for expanded police, education and public works.
    And lawmakers, largely elected by homeowners, have little incentive to change existing law.
    That, Mr. Garcia said, is in no small part because homeowners, intentionally or not, benefit from a market in which scarcity is a driving force, which places their interests fundamentally at odds with those of renters.
    "Over all, they see greater increases in the value of their own property," he said. 
    A closely watched statewide proposal to relax zoning to allow for more multifamily housing development stalled this year in the California Legislature. Critics said the plan would lead to more high-end development and do little to address housing affordability.
    Proponents said it was one of the few proposals before lawmakers that could have made a serious dent in the shortage.
    "You have this attitude that high housing costs are a cross that California needs to bear, that it's just what it means to be California," said Christopher Thornberg, the founding partner of Beacon Economics, a consulting firm in Los Angeles. "What makes me crazy about that is it flies in the face of what's happening across the nation. We're turning California into Country Club California."
    A health care worker who makes $20.97 an hour, Ms. Fregoso said she and her husband have weighed leaving the state. They have considered living in Washington State or Arizona.
    But the heat in Arizona, she fears, would be more than her 4-year-old son could bear. He is autistic and sensitive to stimuli. She also worries that lower wages and fewer benefits there would cancel out any savings from cheaper housing.

    Ms. Fregoso's parents live in the Santa Clarita area north of Los Angeles, and she leans on them for help. 
    In other words, Ms. Fregoso said, the family is stuck where it is. And without any sliver of financial cushion, she said, "every day is a risk."



    3) The Jim Crow South? No, Long Island Today
    An investigation reveals widespread housing discrimination against blacks and other minorities in New York's suburbs, more than 50 years after the Fair Housing Act.
    By The Editorial Board, November 21, 2019

    An aerial view of Merrick, Long Island, where eight out of 10 residents are white.Credit...Johnny Milano/Bloomberg

    White Americans have long found comfort believing that racial discrimination is a thing of the past.
    Black Americans feel they know better, and a three-year investigation of Long Island real estate agents by the local newspaper Newsday provides the latest depressing evidence that they are right. 
    More than half a century after the great civil rights battles to end discrimination, the newspaper found that black home buyers are being steered to black neighborhoods and more closely scrutinized by brokers.

    Newsday sent white investigators posing as buyers to meet with 93 real estate agents about 5,763 listings across Long Island. Then, they sent a second buyer — either black, Hispanic or Asian — to meet with the same agents. The practice is a gold-standard methodology known as "paired testing," in which real estate agents are contacted by pairs of prospective clients with similar financial profiles.

    Black testers were treated differently than white ones 49 percent of the time. Hispanic buyers encountered unequal treatment 39 percent of the time and Asian buyers 19 percent of the time.
    Along with steering minority testers to majority-minority areas, and white testers to mostly white areas, some agents required black buyers to meet additional financial conditions that they didn't demand of white buyers with the same profile.
    Sometimes, in exchanges recorded by undercover cameras, agents would deter white buyers from house hunting in minority areas.
    "Follow the school bus, see the moms that are hanging out on the corners," Rosemarie Marando, a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent, told one buyer.
    In another case, Le-Ann Vicquery, then a Keller Williams Realty agent, extolled the virtues of the Long Island hamlet of Brentwood to a black buyer. But to a white buyer interested in Brentwood, Ms. Vicquery sent this text message: "You may want to look into recent gang killings in the Brentwood area online."

    The agents gave white buyers an average of 50 percent more listings than black buyers. Some declined to do business in areas with large minority populations.
    The discrimination found by Newsday flagrantly violates the Fair Housing Act, approved as part of the 1968 Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap or family status.
    The Fair Housing Act offered watershed relief to black, Jewish, and other Americans who had long been blocked — by the force of federal, state and local laws, as well as racial terrorism — from living in or buying homes in majority-white or non-Jewish neighborhoods.
    New York's suburbs were no exception. Levittown, the Long Island suburb of tidy homes whose name became synonymous with middle-class success in postwar America, was all-white, even as the development was only made possible because of federally backed loans.
    Those loans were administered by the Federal Housing Administration, which maintained color-coded maps of neighborhoods across the United States. Under a process known as "redlining," the federal agency marked off areas where black people lived, then refused to insure mortgages in those areas.
    Under the same federal rules, black Americans weren't able to buy homes in new developments like Levittown, even under the much-celebrated G.I. Bill that helped so many white Americans enter the middle class. 
    It is no longer 1949; explicit racism in real estate is no longer legal. But the Newsday investigation makes clear that the changes in the rules are greater than the changes in reality. Real estate agents will shake the hands of black buyers, and show them around, but those buyers are still being treated as second-class citizens because of the color of their skin.

    In a country where homeownership has long been the way to build wealth, discrimination in housing is uniquely harmful. It is the chief reason behind the deep segregation in New York's public schools, which is among the worst in the country. It also helps explain the startling racial gap in wealth in the United States. The median wealth of white Americans is $134,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The median wealth of black Americans is $11,030.
    Americans would find it unfathomable if schools or water fountains were labeled "White Only," as was commonplace across the South just several decades ago. They would be kidding themselves to think this kind of discrimination in housing, without the labels, is any less pernicious. 
    But there's plenty that can be done about it.
    The New York State attorney general, Letitia James, said on Tuesday that her office's Civil Rights bureau would investigate housing discrimination on Long Island. Officials said anyone with information about possible violations of the Fair Housing Act can call (212) 416-8250, or email civil.rights@ag.ny.gov.
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a former head of the federal housing department, said in February 2016 that New York would launch a "fair housing enforcement program," using paired testing and beginning in Buffalo, Syracuse and New York City's northern suburbs. But Newsday found that the state has not conducted any additional paired testing after that initial round of 88 tests. The Newsday investigation makes clear that the state needs to get up off the couch.
    The paired testing Newsday relied upon is expensive, but necessary. The Department of Housing and Urban Development conducts a national test every decade, which reliably findsevidence of discrimination. The most recent results were published in 2012.
    Taxpayers need not foot the bill. By licensing real estate agents, New York is conferring a valuable privilege. That license also comes with obligations and, evidently, a need for more supervision. The conclusion is straightforward: New York should impose a fee on real estate agents to fund a vigorous program of paired testing, and agents who are found to be discriminating against clients should face severe penalties.
    Yet the persistence of discrimination suggests the need for still stronger correctives.
    In Australia and the United Kingdom, home buyers rarely hire their own real estate agents. Instead, the agent selling a home handles the whole process. This is significantly cheaper for buyers and sellers, and it limits the opportunity for discrimination, since buyers decide which houses to visit on their own.

    The key difference is that buyers in those countries pay agents directly, whereas in the United States, the trade associations that control real estate listings require sellers to agree to pay the buyer's agent as a condition of listing a home.
    Consumer advocates have long attacked this "buyer broker rule" as a key reason agents still are able to command such high fees. That is reason enough for New York to end the practice. But reducing the reliance of buyers on real estate agents — or at least shifting the relationship so the agent is paid by the buyer — could also make a meaningful difference in reducing the practices uncovered by Newsday.
    More than 50 years after the Fair Housing Act, black Americans and other minorities are still waiting for the protection of full citizenship under the law, and in everyday life.
    Their fellow Americans may be shocked. But they can no longer say that they didn't know.



    4) Dogs Can't Help Falling in Love
    One researcher argues that a dog's ability to bond has more to do with forming emotional attachments than being smart about what humans want.
    By James Gorman, November 22, 2019

    Clive Wynne, a psychologist at Arizona State University, at home with his dog, Xephos, who loves him very much.Credit...Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

    TEMPE, Ariz. — Xephos is not the author of "Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You," one of the latest books to plumb the nature of dogs, but she helped inspire it. And as I scratched behind her ears, it was easy to see why.
    First, she fixed on me with imploring doggy eyes, asking for my attention. Then, every time I stopped scratching she nudged her nose under my hand and flipped it up. I speak a little dog, but the message would have been clear even if I didn't: Don't stop.
    We were in the home office of Clive Wynne, a psychologist at Arizona State University who specializes in dog behavior. He belongs to Xephos, a mixed breed that the Wynne family found in a shelter in 2012. 

    Dr. Wynne's book is an extended argument about what makes dogs special — not how smart they are, but how friendly they are. Xephos' shameless and undiscriminating affection affected both his heart and his thinking.

    As Xephos nose-nudged me again, Dr. Wynne was describing genetic changes that occurred at some point in dog evolution that he says explain why dogs are so sociable with members of other species. 
    "Hey," Dr. Wynne said to her as she tilted her head to get the maximum payoff from my efforts, "how long have you had these genes?"
    No one disputes the sociability of dogs. But Dr. Wynne argues against the scientific point of view that dogs have the ability to understand and communicate with humans. He thinks they have a unique capacity for interspecies love, a word that he has decided to use, throwing aside decades of immersion in scientific jargon. 
    "Dog Is Love" is one of several new books on dogs out this year, and one of a flood of such books over the last decade or so. Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist and researcher of dog behavior at Duke University, who founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center, recently wrote that there are 70,000 dog books listed on Amazon
    Since 2000, around the time dog research had a resurgence, a small but significant number of those books are written by scientists for a general audience. Like Dr. Hare's "The Genius of Dogs," published in 2013, the books address what is going on in a dog's heart and mind. Most emphasize the mind.

    Dr. Wynne's book runs counter to Dr. Hare's when it comes to the importance of dog's thinking ability, which Dr. Hare sees as central to their bond with humans. By using the L word, Dr. Wynne may well appeal to the many besotted dog owners. But he may also disappoint. The reason dogs are such "an amazing success story" is because of their ability to bond with other species, he said. Not just humans.
    Raise a dog with sheep and it will love sheep. Raise a dog with goats and it will love goats. Raise a dog with people … you know the rest. 
    Some now extinct wolves attached themselves to humans 15,000 years ago or longer because we had good leftovers, or so the dominant theory goes, although what actually happened is lost to time. Apparently, humans liked the renegade wolves quite a bit and eventually started controlling their breeding and letting them sleep on down coverlets. 
    Now, as Dr. Wynne said in a talk at the International Canine Science conference in Phoenix in October, dogs are an astonishing evolutionary success. Wolves, not so much. "For every one surviving wolf on this planet, there are at least 3,000 dogs." On the other hand, nobody puts a silly Halloween costume on a wolf.
    In the early 2000s, when Dr. Wynne began research on dogs, one of his experiments was a follow-up on the work of Dr. Hare who had concluded that dogs were better than wolves or other animals at following human directions. In particular, dogs followed human pointing better than other animals. Dr. Wynne and Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University, expected to confirm Dr. Hare's findings. 
    The wolves they chose to work with were hand-raised and socialized at Wolf Park, in Lafayette, Ind. Dr. Wynne said he found the wolves were as good at following human pointing as the best pet dogs. 
    Dr. Hare and his colleagues responded by questioning whether the experiments were really comparable, maintaining that dogs have an innate ability to follow human pointing without the special attention the wolves were given. The debate continues.

    The second part of Dr. Wynne's argument has to do with how social dogs are. There is no question that they bond with people in a way that other canines do not. Dr. Wynne recounted an experiment showing that as long as puppies spend 90 minutes a day, for one week, with a human any time before they are 14 weeks old, they will become socialized and comfortable with humans.
    Interestingly, the experiment found no genetic absolutism about the connection between dogs and humans. Without contact with humans when they are young, dogs can become as wary of humans as wild animals. Wolves are not so easily socialized. They require 24-hour-a-day involvement with humans for many weeks when they are puppies to become more tolerant of human beings. They never turn into Xephos.
    Admittedly, Xephos is at the tail-wagging, face-licking, cozy-cuddling end of dog friendliness. Anyone who knows dogs can call to mind some that are not friendly at all, or are friendly to only one person. But in general there is no comparison in friendliness between dogs and wolves.
    "O.K., she's not every dog, but she's not radically atypical," Dr. Wynne said of Xephos as she snuggled up to me. "Are you sweetie — you're not completely untypical of your kind?"
    Dogs, like Xephos, are such a success story because of their bond with humans, but they seem to bond with any species. Credit...Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

    The evidence of dog affection for humans goes beyond the observable actions of Xephos and those like her. Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, who himself was drawn into animal study by wanting to understand what his own dog, Callie, was thinking, used magnetic resonance imaging machines to watch what was going on in their brains.
    Among his findings is that the part of dogs' brains that light up when they hear their owners' voices is the same part of the human brain that lights up when we are fond of someone or something. His first book was "How Dogs Love Us."

    By looking at the lemon-sized dog brain, he has shown, for instance, that, based on how the reward center lights up, a dog likes praise as much as it likes hot dogs. In testing outside of the M.R.I., Dr. Berns has also found that, given a choice, some dogs prefer their owners to food.
    He agreed that the hypersociality of dogs is what makes them special rather than particular cognitive abilities. "It's hard to demonstrate any cognitive task that dogs are superior in," he said. But he pointed out that "ultimately the difficulty is in saying what is a cognitive function and an emotional function."
    Alexandra Horowitz, head of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, and a prolific writer on dogs, also addressed the question of love briefly in her new book, "Our Dogs, Ourselves."
    Without doubt, dogs have feelings, she wrote, but she cautioned that just as certainly, those feelings were not the same as humanfeelings. Nor, she argued, should we assume that dogs are in between robot and homo sapiens on an emotional spectrum. She wrote in her book, "For all we know, dogs' emotional experience is far more elaborate than ours."
    Central to that experience, although unknown in its complexity, is the pleasure a dog experiences in the presence of humans. The intensity of that pleasure and the ease of triggering it, Dr. Wynne said, is built into the dog genome.
    He found this in his research with Bridgett vonHoldt, a molecular biologist at Princeton University. She and a team of researchers identified genes in dogs that in humans are associated with Williams-Beuren syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. One of the many symptoms of the syndrome is indiscriminate friendliness. Dr. Wynne and Ms. Udell worked with Dr. vonHoldt on a subsequent study of wolves and dogs that tied behavior and genetics together. They concluded that the genes associated with Williams-Bueren syndrome in humans underlie the friendless of dogs compared to wolves.

    Humans, they suggested, may have selected friendly dogs over thousands of years of domestication and the Williams-Beuren genes may be one of the results. Other scientists have been cautious about the results, seeing the work as presenting an intriguing hypothesis that requires more research.

    Whether these are the genes involved, humans appear to have molded dogs to be friendly to other species beyond humans. Apparently, puppies introduced to any other species when they are young enough, form a strong bond with that species. 
    This hasn't been tested with all species, of course. But consider the sheep and goats. Ray Coppinger of Hampshire College, who died in 2017, had documented that puppies of certain breeds kept with sheep bond to the sheep. They stay with the flock and guard it. The same thing happens when puppies are kept with goats and other less likely creatures, like penguins
    Dogs have "an abnormal willingness to form strong emotional bonds with almost anything that crosses their path," Dr. Wynne said. "And they maintain this throughout life. Above and beyond that they have a willingness and an interest to interact with strangers."
    How and when this free love, or hypersociality evolved in dogs is up for debate. Dr. Wynne is betting that after some ancient wolves began to associate with humans 15,000 or more years ago and became dogs, and humans began to live in settlements and farming took off about 8,000 years ago, humans began to breed dogs for friendliness, causing the genetic differences that Dr. vonHoldt found. With luck, future research on modern and ancient dog DNA will show if he is right. 
    For now, we humans can at least enjoy the amiability of dogs. Looking at Xephos as we wrapped up our conversation, he said, "It's not strange that she wants to interact with me. What's strange is that she wants to be friends with you. Right?"
    Well, I don't know about that. I'm a pretty good ear scratcher. "Right, Xephos?"



    5) Colombians Fill Streets in Protest, Riding Region's Wave of Discontent
    Tens of thousands protested everything from economic inequality to violence against civic leaders, testing an unpopular government as unrest grips the region.
    By The Associated Press, November 21, 2019

    Protesters clashed with the police at Bolivar Square in Bogota on Thursday,Credit...Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

    BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America's wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation's recent history.
    Students, teachers and labor union organizers marched across the country protesting everything from economic inequality to violence against civic leaders, testing an unpopular government as unrest grips the region.
    Police estimated 207,000 people took part.
    "It's about time," said Julio Contreras, 23, a medical student. "No more of the same — lies, corruption. We're here to put up a fight."
    The protests were largely peaceful but by turned violent at night as demonstrators hurled rocks at riot police, who responded with tear gas. At one point, protesters tried to enter the nation's congress and tore down a part of black cloth protecting a historic building in Bolivar Square.

    Analysts were skeptical the march would generate the prolonged unrest seen in Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador, noting a lack of unifying factors in a divided country that is one of the region's stronger economic performers.
    "We're not in a pre-insurrectional climate," said Yann Basset, a professor at Bogota's Rosario University. "I'm not sure there's a general rejection of the political system."
    The protest nonetheless sent a resounding message to Mr. Duque, whose government deployed 170,000 officers, closed border crossings and deported 24 Venezuelans accused of entering the country to instigate unrest.
    "If the government doesn't make changes, next year will be very difficult," said Ariel Ávila, deputy director of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation.
    Mr. Duque, who has a lackluster 26 percent approval rating, went on a recent charm offensive, seeking to counter erroneous social media claims that he has proposed raising the retirement age and reducing wages for young workers.

    "I'm not here to talk about a garden of roses," he said in a radio interview before the protest. "I'm talking about a country that is recovering, an economy that is improving and is today one of the best in Latin America."
    Still, many Colombians say they have plenty of reasons to be angry.
    Despite the previous administration's 2016 peace accord with leftist rebels, much of Colombia is still engulfed in violence as illegal armed groups compete for territory where the state has historically been absent. Dozens of indigenous and social leaders have been killed in crimes that remain largely unsolved.



    6) Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Cancellation of Colin Kaepernick
    “Cancel culture” has always existed — for the powerful, at least. Now, social media has democratized it.
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates, November 22, 2019

    Credit...Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

    We are being told of the evils of “cancel culture,” a new scourge that enforces purity, banishes dissent and squelches sober and reasoned debate. But cancel culture is not new. A brief accounting of the illustrious and venerable ranks of blocked and dragged Americans encompasses Sarah Good, Elijah Lovejoy, Ida B. Wells, Dalton Trumbo, Paul Robeson and the Dixie Chicks. What was the Compromise of 1877, which ended Reconstruction, but the cancellation of the black South? What were the detention camps during World War II but the racist muting of Japanese-Americans and their basic rights? 
    Thus any sober assessment of this history must conclude that the present objections to cancel culture are not so much concerned with the weapon, as the kind of people who now seek to wield it.
    Until recently, cancellation flowed exclusively downward, from the powerful to the powerless. But now, in this era of fallen gatekeepers, where anyone with a Twitter handle or Facebook account can be a publisher, banishment has been ostensibly democratized. This development has occasioned much consternation. Scarcely a day goes by without America’s college students being reproached for rejecting poorly rendered sushi or spurning the defenders of statutory rape
    Speaking as one who has felt the hot wrath of Twitter, I am not without sympathy for the morally panicked who fear that the kids are not all right. But it is good to remember that while every generation believes that it invented sex, every preceding generation forgets that it once believed the same thing.
    Besides, all cancellations are not created equal. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Brett Kavanaugh at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings of sexually assault, was inundated with death threats, forced from her home and driven into hiding. Dave Chappelle, accused of transphobia, collected millions from Netflix for a series of stand-up specials and got his feelings hurt.

    It would be nice to live in a more forgiving world, one where dissenting from groupthink does not invite exile and people’s occasional lapses are not held up as evidence of who they are. But if we are to construct such a world, we would do well to leave the slight acts of cancellation effected in the quad and cafe, and proceed to more illustrious offices.
    The N.F.L. is revered in this country as a paragon of patriotism and chivalry, a sacred trust controlled by some of the wealthiest men and women in America. For the past three years, this sacred trust has executed, with brutal efficiency, the cancellation of Colin Kaepernick. This is curious given the N.F.L.’s moral libertinism; the league has, at various points, been a home for domestic abuserschild abusers and open racists.

    And yet it seems Mr. Kaepernick’s sin — refusing to stand for the national anthem — offends the N.F.L.’s suddenly delicate sensibilities. And while the influence of hashtags should not be underestimated, the N.F.L. has a different power at its fingertips: the power of monopoly. Effectively, Mr. Kaepernick’s cancellation bars him from making a living at a skill he has been honing since childhood.
    It is true that he has found gainful employment with Nike. But only so much solace can be taken in this given that Mr. Kaepernick’s opponents occupy not just board rooms and owner’s boxes, but the White House. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to, to say, ‘Get that son of a [expletive] off the field right now,’” President Trump said in 2017. The N.F.L. has since dutifully obeyed.
    Perhaps it is shocking for some to see the president of the United States endorse the cancellation of a pro football player, like he endorsed the cancellation of Hillary Clinton (“Lock her up”), and of Ilhan Omar (“Send her back”). But it is precisely this kind of capricious and biased use of institutional power that has birthed the cancel culture practiced by campus protesters and online. But whereas the wrongdoing of elite institutions was once hidden from public view, in the era of Donald Trump it is all there to be seen. 
    A sobering process that began with the broadcast beatings of civil rights marchers at Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965, then accelerated with the recorded police brutality against Rodney King, has achieved its zenith with the social media sharing of the executions of Walter ScottLaquan McDonald and Daniel Shaver.

    Mr. Trump’s boasting of sexual assault proved no barrier to the White House. Roger Ailes’s career as a media exec was but a cover for his true calling, sexual coercion. Bill Cosby, once exalted as America’s dad, was unmasked as a mass rapist.
    The new cancel culture is the product of a generation born into a world without obscuring myth, where the great abuses, once only hinted at, suspected or uttered on street corners, are now tweeted out in full color. Nothing is sacred anymore, and, more important, nothing is legitimate — least of all those institutions charged with dispensing justice. And so, justice is seized by the crowd.
    This is suboptimal. The choice now would seem to be between building egalitarian institutions capable of withstanding public scrutiny, or further retreat into a dissembling fog. The N.F.L. has chosen the latter option. First there was the notion that Mr. Kaepernick was not good enough to play in the league. When this fiction collapsed under the weight of injury and journeymen pulled off the streets, the N.F.L. conjured up a distraction. Whatever one thinks of Jay-Z’s partnership with the league, what it achieved was the replacement of the name of the N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell, by Jay-Z’s headlines. 
    And then last week there was the rushed “tryout,” the details of which are still murky. But what followed was a debate over Mr. Kaepernick’s comportment, attire and what he had to say. The debate helped obscure this central fact — a multibillion-dollar monopoly is, at this very hour, denying a worker the right to ply his trade and lying about doing so.
    It has been said that Colin Kaepernick missed an opportunity, that no matter how crooked the bargain, if he were truly serious about getting a job, he would have acceded to the N.F.L.’s demands. But Mr. Kaepernick is not fighting for a job. He is fighting against cancellation. And his struggle is not merely his own — it is the struggle of Major Taylor, Jack Johnson, Craig Hodges and Muhammad Ali.
    This isn’t a fight for employment at any cost. It is a fight for a world where we are not shot, or shunned, because the masters of capital, or their agents, do not like our comportment, our attire or what we have to say.
    Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of “Between the World and Me” and, most recently, “The Water Dancer.”



    7) The Moral Injury of Pardoning War Crimes
    The president may feel like he’s righting a wrong, but he’s damaging the nation’s moral compass.
    By The Editorial Board, November 22, 2019

    Mauricio Lima/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    Post-traumatic stress — the nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety set off by terrifying events — is a defining injury of the global war on terrorism. But in the past few decades, the mental health community and the military have come to understand that there is a related, intensifying phenomenon called moral injury.
    Moral injury doesn’t simply result from witnessing or participating in the horrors of war. Moral injury comes from participating in events that violate soldiers’ morality or, as the Department of Veterans Affairs describes it: “failing to prevent immoral acts of others, or giving or receiving orders that are perceived as gross moral violations.”
    A person suffering from moral injury may be unable to trust friends and family, or the society that enabled the immorality. The injured can question whether virtue exists. Moral injury is often described as a bruise of the soul.
    To avoid such injury, militaries long ago adopted procedures to ensure that those who don the uniform can do so with honor and then remove it with pride. One of the pillars of that framework is the military justice system; another is societal taboos against aberrant behavior.

    President Trump threatened both those pillars by pardoning Clint Lorance, a former Army officer serving a 19-year sentence for murdering two civilians, and Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, accused of killing an unarmed Afghan, and by reversing the demotion of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, the subject of a high-profile war crimes trial.
    Patrick Swanson, who was Mr. Lorance’s company commander in Afghanistan, told The Times: “The tragedy is that people will hail him as a hero, and he is not a hero. He ordered those murders. He lied about them.”
    That Mr. Trump would pardon men accused or convicted of war crimes should come as little surprise, given that he campaigned on promises to torture the nation’s enemies and kill their families. Mr. Trump in May became the first modern president to pardon a person convicted of war crimes, when he pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant, who had been convicted of killing a prisoner in Iraq.
    The president may think he’s supporting men and women in uniform. “When our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight,” he said in a statement issued by the White House. “We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” he said on Twitter last month.
    Whatever the reason, absolving people who commit war crimes does great harm to society in general, and the men and women who served honorably — as far more than “killing machines” — in the wars since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in particular.

    A nation has to know that military action being taken in its name follows morally defensible rules — that soldiers do not, for instance, kill unarmed civilians or prisoners.
    To excuse men who have so flagrantly violated those rules — to treat them as heroes, even — is to cast the idea of just war to the winds. It puts the nation and veterans at risk of moral injury, the shattering of a moral compass.
    One of the loudest groups pushing for Mr. Trump’s pardons was United American Patriots, a nonprofit organization that supportsnumerous soldiers accused of crimes, including Mr. Lorance, Mr. Behenna and Major Golsteyn. Last month, Chief Gallagher suedtwo of his former lawyers and United American Patriots, alleging that his lawyers tried to delay the case to increase fund-raising for the organization.
    Supporters of the pardoned men say the military justice system comes down too hard and too often on honorable soldiers fighting through the fog of war. That wouldn’t explain why United American Patriots has made a cause célèbre of Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in their homes during a one-man nighttime rampage in 2012.
    The president might truly believe these pardons won’t endanger soldiers by damaging allied support or emboldening enemies, and they’re probably unlikely to encourage future war crimes, though critics have raised such a specter.
    But the impact such formal absolution will have on the veterans of these murky wars and the society that they are working to rejoin will be lasting. Venerating these pardoned men will cause even greater damage.
    Mr. Lorance was a lieutenant with three days of experience leading his platoon when the murders occurred. His men testified that one of the first things he told the platoon was that they should conduct night raids to terrorize civilians, even children. When one of his men told him that there were three men on a motorcycle about 200 yards away, he ordered his troops to shoot them.

    “There was no threat from those guys whatsoever,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Williams told The Times. After his own men refused to fire, Mr. Lorance radioed a nearby truck to open fire. “This was straight murder,” Sergeant Williams said.
    After Mr. Lorance falsely told commanders that villagers had carried away the bodies before they could be identified, his own men turned him in. Nine of them testified against him.
    “I’m actually proud of everything that happened to me,” Mr. Lorance declared on Fox News’s 
    ”Fox & Friends” on Monday, his first media appearance since being pardoned by President Trump.
    “It is awesome to have you here,” said Pete Hegseth, a co-host of the show and an Iraq war veteran, slapping his guest on the thigh.
    “I’m so happy to be an American,” Mr. Lorance said.
    Chief Gallagher was charged after nearly a dozen members of his platoon demanded that action be taken against him, even though they were threatened with career retribution for doing so. Two SEAL snipers told investigators that Chief Gallagher shot a girl walking on a riverbank with other girls.
    He was charged with shooting indiscriminately at unarmed civilians and stabbing a prisoner in 2017. Chief Gallagher was found not guilty of those crimes. A military court did find him guilty of posing for photos with a teenage captive’s dead body. Mr. Trump reversed the demotion that resulted from that conviction.
    The president also pardoned Major Golsteyn of the Army Special Forces. In 2010, according to investigators, Major Golsteyn — then a captain — killed an unarmed Afghan detainee and buried his body in a shallow grave. He later returned to dig up the body so that it could be incinerated. He admitted to the killing on Fox News in 2016. The pardon ends any military investigation into what happened.

    “These are men who went into the most dangerous places on earth with a job to defend us, and made tough calls on a moment’s notice,” Mr. Hegseth said on Fox this year, before mentioning Chief Gallagher, Major Golsteyn and Mr. Lorance. “They’re not war criminals, they’re warriors who have now been accused of certain things that are under review.”
    Of course, all war criminals fancy themselves warriors who had to make tough calls, facing the judgment of people who couldn’t possibly understand their actions.
    The president has the undisputed power to pardon. Indeed, he should use it more often in cases where guilt or a fair trial are in genuine doubt. But that power cannot be exercised without a cost, in this case injury to the morality of a nation that once held its own to account.
    The commander of the Navy SEALs tried to salvage some honor by formally ousting Chief Gallagher from the elite unit and removing the iconic “Trident” pin from Chief Gallagher and three of the officers who oversaw him. Mr. Trump intervened again on Thursday to stop the ouster. The Navy, insisting that it has a responsibility to maintain professional and moral standards, is forging ahead to remove Chief Gallagher from the unit.
    The United States military — and its civilian commander — doesn’t have the luxury of simply asserting that it is morally superior to its enemies. It needs to be morally superior, which means abiding by the rule of law, not some sense of American exceptionalism that presumes that monsters cannot exist in our midst.



















    Working people are helping to feed the poor hungry corporations! 
    Charity for the Wealthy!


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