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December 5, 2003 | Issue 478

FRONT AND BACK PAGES

Bush's cynical Thanksgiving stunt in Iraq
What a hypocrite!
The man who hasn't attended a single funeral among the hundreds of troops killed in his war for oil and empire got himself smuggled into his new colonial possession last week.

Washington's fake "reform"
Wrecking Medicare for profit
Some 40 million seniors and disabled had high hopes that a sweeping Medicare "reform" bill would bring them relief from high prescription drug prices. But reality will be a bitter pill.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Report from the anti-FTAA protest
Defying the police state in Miami
"Welcome to the police state of Miami." That's Florida AFL-CIO President Cynthia Hall's greeting to thousands of union members arriving for a protest against the FTAA.

Why the Democrats aren't the antiwar alternative in 2004
The other war party
George Bush's policies are a logical extension of U.S. foreign policy dating back before September 11--when the Democrats controlled the White House.

WHAT WE THINK

Giving Bush the margin of victory on Medicate "deform"
Why did the Democrats cave again?
Votes in Congress last week over Medicare and energy policy showed which party, Republican or Democrat, spouts rhetoric about helping ordinary people, but comes down on the side of corporate interests. Both of the above.

Real target of the FBI's new powers
After months of a White House campaign to expand the USA PATRIOT Act, Congress gave the political police another set of tools to attack anyone who opposes their agenda.

NATIONAL NEWS

Politicians exploiting tragedy to further their careers
Race to execute in sniper trials
The trials of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad and juvenile suspect Lee Malvo are about politics, not justice.

Green Party's Matt Gonzalez:
A left alternative in S.F. election
Opinion polls show the Green Party's Matt Gonzalez and Democrat Gavin Newsom running neck and neck going into the run-off election for San Francisco's new mayor.

Meeting to plot theft of oil canceled, but...
Corporate vultures eye Iraq
The corporate invasion of Iraq hit a snag this month when the University of Maine's "Doing Business in Iraq: The Private Sector" conference was postponed.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

GEORGIA
Rebellion in a former USSR republic
Mass protests topple U.S. ally
Celebrating protesters choked the streets of Georgia's capital after demonstrations brought down the corrupt 11-year rule of Eduard Shevardnadze.

BRITAIN
A proper greeting for Bush
George W. Bush got the welcome he deserved during his trip to Britain last month--a massive antiwar protest in the streets of London.

EGYPT
Socialists on trial for opposing the regime
The Egyptian regime of President Hosni Mubarak plans to put five socialist activists on trial for the "crime" of organizing against human rights abuses and war.

COLUMNS

READING BETWEEN THE LINES
The Democrats' Medicare disaster
Why hand George Bush a victory on a "Democratic" issue, especially when the bill is a fraud that will undermine Medicare?

WHAT DO SOCIALISTS SAY?
Behind the furor over gay marriage
While several states are moving in the direction of the state Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts, no fewer than 37 states, and the federal government, have passed laws banning same-sex marriage.

ON THE PICKET LINE

Teamsters honor pickets at grocery warehouses
Grocery strike heats up
The 70,000 striking and locked-out grocery store workers in Southern California got a huge boost when the International Brotherhood of Teamsters declared that 8,000 drivers will refuse to cross picket lines at distribution centers.

Why did Chicago teachers accept weak deal?
By a close vote, the Chicago Teachers Union approved a new contract, ending the threat of a strike.

On the picket line
Sterling Cleaners; University of California graduate student employees; National Writers Union elections; Madison, Wis., minimum wage

NEWS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Army reservist defends his rights
An Army reserve officer with a 25-year military career was charged with being "insubordinate" for refusing to sign away his rights at the request of his superiors.

News and reports
U.S. out of Iraq; Shut down the School of Assassins; Justice for Ryan Matthews

OUR READERS SPEAK OUT

Chicago teacher explains opposition to new deal
"I'm sick of settling"
Chicago teacher Jesse Sharkey distributed this open letter to his fellow teachers explaining why he was voting "no" on a new union contract.

Letters to the editor
How war and globalization go hand in hand; A fighter for those society cast aside; Can they find a proxy in Iraq?

REVIEWS

Historical epic film Master and Commander
An ode to empire
Master and Commander has been embraced by many right-wing columnists for promoting such "morally serious" and "war-clarifying" notions as duty, honor and Franco-phobia.

Angels in America's spirit of resistance
If Angels in America gets the audience it deserves when it debuts on HBO, some right-wing buffoons may be wishing they hadn't hounded CBS's The Reagans off the air.

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