'저는 그들의 땅을 지키기 위하여 싸웠던 인디안들의 이야기를 기억합니다. 백인들이 그들의 신성한 숲에 도로를 만들기 위하여 나무들을 잘랐습니다. 매일밤 인디안들이 나가서 백인들이 만든 그 길을 해체하면 그 다음 날 백인들이 와서 도로를 다시 짓곤 했습니다. 한동안 그 것이 반복되었습니다. 그러던 어느날, 숲에서 가장 큰 나무가 백인들이 일할 동안 그들 머리 위로 떨어져 말과 마차들을 파괴하고 그들 중 몇몇을 죽였습니다. 그러자 백인들은 떠났고 결코 다시 오지 않았습니다….' (브루스 개그논)





EMERGENCY IN GANGJEONG ON SEPT. 2! (See the below blog)

URGENT PLEA: DEAR FRIENDS of JEJU ISLAND, ISLAND OF WORLD PEACE (Click!)

Please check HERE(Click) for continuous updates of emergency in
Gangjeong, Jeju Island since Aug. 24, 2011 and site links on the struggle against Jeju naval base construction !

8월 24일 및 이후 제주도 강정 마을 긴급 관련, 계속되는 영문 업데이트 및 국문 사이트, 링크들은 여기(클릭)를 보세요!

RELEASE Kang Dong-Kyun(Gangjeong village mayor, 54), Kim Jong-Hwan(villager, 54), and Kim Dong-Won(photographer, 25)! (Facebook: Click HERE)

강정 마을회 까페 사이트(클릭) 강정 마을회 웹사이트(클릭)


Monday, January 31, 2011

[Jeju Update] Quietness before a storm

As the navy has completed its field office, it is planning to set up the construction on bay and harbor from February. It has installed security system (Samsung-made) in front gate of the site and was shown to install internet cable on Saturday. The navy is also told to consider an opening ceremony of field office soon. If then, its ceremony is expected to be right before or after the New Year (in lunar calendar) holidays (Feb. 2 to 6).

During the two days of weekend, snow was constantly falling in the Gangjeong village. The excavations on the cultural properties have been posed during the weekend. Carrying on excavations are being done not necessarily same with the original registration map by the Jeju Cultural Heritage Institute. See the map here. The excavation team director has said to the villagers that he could only report the results on excavations to them, neither changed plans nor process on them and that the foundation had made a contract with the navy that all the contents on contract between the both would be classified, which really infuriated the villagers. The villagers are told from him that they can only visit and observe the excavation sites. So far, no relics were discovered but people need to watch the site by the end of excavation research days (which were counted 54 days starting from Jan. 25). If any remains, not relics are discovered, the navy should stop the construction.

On Sunday, snow was falling on the sites that would be continued with excavation works tomorrow as well.

During the weekend, excavation reserach on cultural properties were also posed. (Jan. 29, 2011)

주말에는 문화제 발굴 조사가 중단이 되었습니다. (2011년 1월 29일)
Jan. 30, 2011 (2011년 1월 30일)
Snow in an excavation trench. 발굴 갱도의 눈
Strings as the marks for excavations for this week. 이번주 발굴들을 위한 줃 표시
Way to the Joongduk coast : The red letters on the road read, 'No U. S. base'


A navy construction mark. Whenever the villagers see the navy construction marks on the rocks in the Joongduk coast, they erase them and the navy mark them again. Then the villagers would do erase again.


A Samsung-made security system(SECOM) is shown in front gate of the navy field office on Jan. 30, 2011. CCTVs have been also installed as well.
* Image source: Seogwipo Daily News paper, Jan. 30, 2011 서귀포 일간 신문, 2011년 1월 30일
The City of Seogwipo and headquarter of the Jeju Defense Command, navy held an Olle-cleaning event on Jan. 29. This kind of civilian-military services seem to appease the villagers and Island people who are opposing naval base construction. A villager says the city and military should rather remove the currently completed navy field office in the Gangjeong village. The planned Jeju naval base is faked as the civilian-military complex tour beauty harbor, after all.






Snow in Gangjeong
It was snowing in Gangjeong village, Jeju Island on Jan. 30, 2011. The scene is the Joongduk coast where artists installed various art works to protect the village from the naval base construction. The sea is where the UNESCO designated soft coral inhibits and the rocky coast is told to be the only rocky wet land area in Korea as the underground water springs from the lava-molten rocks and meets with sea water. Dolphins come to this sea every June ~November in their migration.

강정의 눈
2011년 1월 30일 강정 마을에 눈이 왔습니다. 예술가들이 해군 기지 건설로부터 마을을 구하기 위해 다양한 예술 작품들을 설치한 중덕 해안입니다. 바다는 유네스코 지정 연산호가 군락하는 곳이며 용암이 녹은 바위들 밑에서 지하수가 올라와 바닷물과 만남에 따라 한국에서 유일한 바위 습지 지대라 말해집니다. 돌고래들이 매년 6~11월에 회유중 옵니다.
_______________________________________

The below is the partial translation of the opinion column by the editor of the Jeju Domin Ilbo on Jan. 30, 2011. He is reputing the address by Woo Keun-Min, the Island governor who said that the Island of Peace and Jeju naval base could go together on his Jan. 26 speech upon the 6th anniversary of the Jeju being designated as the Island of Peace. See Woo’s speech in video (Korean)

'In October, 2003, Roh Moo-Hyun, ex-President, officially apologizing to the Jeju Island people for April 3 [massacre and uprising event in 1948] which was defined as ‘the infringement on the human rights by the state power,’ through government truth investigation, suggested that “by subliming the important lesson of April 3, let’s extend the universal human values of peace and human rights, end all the divisions and confrontations through reconciliation and cooperation, and open the way for peace in the Korean peninsula and further in northeast Asia and the world.”

Following it, it was natural conclusion for the [Roh] government to designate and issue the Jeju as the World Peace Island on January [27], 2005. In 2007, Lee Hae-Chan, then the prime minister of ‘real power’ has said, “establishment of peace system in the northeast Asia’ is the completion of the Jeju as the World Peace Island.”

What is national security? The April 3 event in which innocent Island people have been sacrificed without knowing reasons, the Lee Seung-Man dictatorship regime, and the Yushin–military dictatorship regimes were those ghosts of the national security.

Is really the large-size construction of naval base with a maneuvering war unit including high-tech Aegis ship, 2 submarine war units and land support war unit(s), a business for national security and establishment of peace system in the northeast Asia? Why do you close your ears to such ‘uncomfortable truth’ that the Jeju, the World Peace Island dreaming an international freedom city is ‘at the risk to be the 2nd Okinawa’ with a naval base construction by being incorporated into the United States strategy of ‘ crescent siege ‘ against China, linked in Japan-Korea-India and being fallen amidst the world powers’ domination competition in the Northeast Asia, which has been told by the overseas media, domestic & foreign specialists, civic organizations and religious fields?

I ask and ask you again whether it is truly the way for the Jeju and Jeju Island people to say it is possible that naval base and World Island Peace can stand together, while you affirming your ‘loyalty’ to the unverified national logic and to the navy’s greed for oceanic power. '

Text Fwd: 5 Somali under investigation

* Image & caption source: Korea Times, Jan. 30, 2011
'Somali pirates Sunday enter the South Regional Headquarters of the Coast Guard in Namhae, South Gyeongsang Province, where an investigation team has been set up. They were taken into custody after a medical checkup./ Yonhap'
_________________________________________
The articles show South Korean racism and militarism seen through the arrest and investigation of Somalis...

Five Somali pirates arrested in S. Korean ship hijacking
2011/01/30 17:01 KST

Deny shooting ship's captain
By Kang Hyun-kyung

Five Somali pirates that have been brought to Seoul partly admitted their involvement in the hijacking of the 11,500-ton Samho Jewelry in the Arabian Sea on Jan. 15. But they denied shooting the ship’s captain, investigators said Sunday.

“We showed the pirates the ladder and speed boat that were used in hijacking the freighter. We asked them whether they used them, and they replied they did,” an official of the special investigation team led by the Korean Coast Guard was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

The development came hours after the team began questioning the pirates on charges of hijacking the chemical carrier, holding the crew hostage and shooting the captain Seok Hae-kyun.
The five men are reportedly cooperating with the probe but are adamantly denying the charges of shooting the captain.

Earlier, a Busan court approved the arrest of the pirates, who were captured during the recent rescue operation of the freighter in the Arabian Sea. The five were brought to the southern port city at 4:18 a.m. on a royal jet belonging to the United Arab Emirates.

The 58-year-old captain was seriously wounded and is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Suwon, south of Seoul. The ship’s other 20 crewmembers were rescued unscathed, while the remaining eight Somali pirates were killed.

The pirates, whose ages range between 19 and 25, entered the court dressed in winter clothes wearing sneakers provided by the Korean Navy.

The names of the five Somali nationals are Serum Abdullah, Ali Abdullah, Ali Abukad-Aeman, Brallat Aul and Arai Mahomed, according to Yonhap.

Despite the beginning of Korea’s first prosecution of suspected Somali pirates, there was skepticism about penalizing them due to the complex legal process and language barrier.

If the five pirates are found to be guilty of the attempted murder of the captain, the hijacking and holding the 21 sailors hostage for ransom, the court could sentence them to life in prison.

Coast Guard investigators said they had already secured enough evidence, including seven Korean sailors’ statements and video clips capturing the entire military operation that can be used to prove the pirates’ guilt.

If the pirates are not cooperative, they plan to dispatch a team of investigators to Oman to question the Korean sailors aboard the chemical carrier to get further evidence. The latter are still aboard the Samho Jewelry as the Omani authorities will not let the ship dock as it still has the bodies of the eight dead pirates on board.

The language barrier is widely cited as a primary setback to the prosecution. The Coast Guard hired a Somali interpreter who can also speak English fluently and a local national to translate Korean into English, and vice versa to facilitate the investigation.

Experts pointed out that the consecutive interpretation during the investigation and trial may make it difficult for investigators to effectively interrogate the Somali men.

Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, sovereign nations are entitled to seize and prosecute pirates. But many governments send the pirates to a third country such as Kenya because of difficulty in prosecuting them.

The nations that signed the agreements for bringing pirates to justice in the African nation on their behalf include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China and Denmark. These nations are committed to giving financial support to Kenya to cover the costs needed for the investigation and trial.

Last year, Kenya announced that it would no longer take on any more prosecution of pirates as some nations have failed to keep their word.

__________________________________
See also
Yonhap News
Five Somali pirates arrested in S. Korean ship hijacking
2011/01/30 17:01 KST
Five Somali pirates arrested in S. Korean ship hijacking

Text Fwd: S. Korea seeks to deploy stealth fighters in 2015

Korea Times
01-30-2011 16:10
S. Korea seeks to deploy stealth fighters in 2015
By Lee Tae-hoon

South Korea is seeking to purchase its first stealth fighter jets at an earlier date to replace aging Air Force fighters and to secure capabilities to counter North Korea's increasing provocations, government sources said Sunday.

Initially, the Air Force sought to launch the third and final phase of the F-X fighter acquisition program this year with the aim of obtaining fifth generation combat aircraft to be commissioned in 2016.

The sources said Seoul is now seeking to introduce and weaponize next generation stealth fighters ahead of schedule to enhance combat readiness to counter possible North Korean attacks.

"There is a growing consensus within the government that the third phase fighter acquisition program should be launched at the earliest date possible," a defense official said asking for anonymity.

"It usually takes about four years for the first shipment of aircraft after a contract is signed, which means the new fighter jets can start to be deployed as early as 2015."

He noted that there has been a growing call to speed up the fighter program since Pyongyang’s string of armed provocations last year near the maritime border in the West Sea.

The North’s March 26 torpedoing of the South’s warship Cheonan killed 46 of the sailors onboard and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island killed four people, including two civilians, on Nov. 23.

Some, however, remain skeptical about the move, given that the National Assembly has already slashed the Ministry of National Defense’s request for some 15.7 billion won ($14 million) to launch the new jet procurement program this year, granting only 300 million won.

"There is only 300 million won to fund research this year,” another official said.

He noted that the government will need to allocate additional funds from its defense budget if it wants to accelerate the project.

South Korea has purchased 60 F-15K fighter jets from U.S. manufacturer Boeing under an earlier program.

Sources say Seoul is also considering purchasing fighter jets with partial stealth capabilities, such the semi-stealth version of Boeing's F-15 aircraft, the Silent Eagle (SE).

The new fighter jet program is expected to be worth some 10 trillion won with potential candidates for jets include the F-15SE, Lockheed Martin's F-35 and Eurofighter’s Typhoon.

한국, 스텔스 전투기도입 조기추진

한국이 노후 기종을 대체하고 점증하는 북한의 도발에 대처하기 위해 스텔스기 도입을 추진하고 있다고 정부소식통이 30일 전했다.

공군은 당초 2016년에 제5세대 전투기를 획득한다는 목표를 가지고 제3차 차세대 전투기 사업을 금년에 시작할 방침이었다.

이 소식통은 한국은 북한의 공격에 대처하기 위한 전투태세 강화를 위해 차
세대 스텔스기 전투화 사업을 예정보다 앞당기는 것을 모색하고 있다고 말했
다.

“정부 내에서 3차 차세대 전투기 사업을 빨리 추진해야 한다는 공감대가 형성되고 있다"고 익명을 요구하는 국방부의 한 관계자가 말했다.

이 관계자는“전투기사업의 첫번째 선적은 계약 체결 후 통상 4년이 걸린다”며 “이는 새로운 전투기가 빠르면 2015년부터 배치될 수 있다는 것을 의미한다”고 설명했다.

________________________________

See also Yonhap News
S. Korea seeking early purchase of stealth jets: sources
2011/01/30 14:36 KST

[ROK MND News] Korea and U.S. Navy discuss to boost joint operation


* Image source: same as the link

Ministry of National Defens, Recent News No. 705
Korea and U.S. Navy discuss to boost joint operations
Jan. 19, 2011 (uploaded on Jan. 26, 2011)

Naval Force Operations Command of South Korea and U.S. 7th Fleet held Flag Officer Talks at the command on Jan. 18 and reaffirmed joint principle of strong retaliation from further attacks by North Korea.

Ten senior naval flag officers, including Vice Adm. Hwang Gi-cheol, commander of Naval Force Operations, and Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, had a meeting at the command and discussed in-depth how to strengthen joint operational capabilities aimed at deterring the North's military provocations and maintaining peace on Korean Peninsula.

Vice Adm. Hwang Gi-cheol, far right, commander of South Korea Naval Force Operations, and Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, second from left, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet discuss measures to reinforce joint operations capabilities at the command on Jan. 18.

In particular, the meeting was the first major military talks for operations command in both countries this year.

During the talks, six detailed agenda were on the table : assessment and development measures for South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, measures to improve joint C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) operations, developing defense plan for islands on the Yellow Sea, assessment of lessons from the Cheonan sinking and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling, ways to improve intelligence sharing and assessment of maritime training with aircraft carrier on the Yellow Sea.

Both sides agreed to manage and control pending issues in the navy of two countries and planned to keep on carrying out major agenda.

"The meeting was a great opportunity for two countries to strengthen South Korea-U.S. alliance as well as reaffirm solid joint combat capabilities by seeking detailed measures," said a naval officer under the command.
_________________________________

See also

Ministry of National Defense, Recent News No. 704
Kim and Gates agree to continue joint drills
Jan. 17, 2011 (2011-01-26)

EXCERPT

Gates said that South Korea and the United States need to continue joint maritime military drills on all seas around the Korean Peninsula to deter additional attacks by the North.
[..]

The defense official added that the two discussed responses to attacks from the North and touched on various military topics, especially joint training drills and the ROK-U.S. Strategic Alliance 2015.

Video Fwd: REMEMBER THE HISTORY

Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes
Saturday, January 29, 2011
REMEMBER THE HISTORY


Sites Fwd: Oppression on the struggle in Henoko, Okinawa

* Caption by Peace Philosophy Center
Photo from "Henoko hama tsushin" blog. 14 US tanks landed on Henoko beach on the early morning of January 27. Dogongs move around in the reef at night, so landing before dawn poses great danger to them, according to the blog.
_____________________________________

Ten Thousand Things
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Henoko, Okinawa: 14 U.S. Marine amphibious assault tanks crush coral and anemone; trample sea grass; & disturb dugongs during feeding hours

A Henoko blogger posted this Jan. 27:

When I went to the beach after dawn today, I saw fourteen U.S. Marine amphibious assault tanks lined on Henoko beach which we Okinawans cherish so much.

According to a local witness, the tanks left dock landing ship(s) offshore. In the dark, with glaring searchlights on, the tanks disembarked moved towards the beach, in the direction of Camp Schwab.

These amphibious assault tanks have caused many accident; crushed coral; and trampled down the sea grass that the Okinawan Dugongs eat. The assault tanks disperse oil, soot, noises around the coral.

What a violent act to set fourteen tanks with their weaponry in the sea during the hours (rather than another time) when Okinawan Dugongs are active! Usually, the dugongs that live offshore of Henoko are active at night, inside the coral reef.

Therefore, even the adamant Okinawa Burea of Defense Policy could not make their environmental assessments until one hour after dawn to assess the serious impact the ecosystem of the sea where the dugongs live.

* Many thanks to M. Sato for this translation

_____________________________________
Peace Philosophy Center
Ministry of Defense files complaint against Nago
Jan. 29, 2011

On January 28, the Japanese Ministry of Defense filed a complaint against Nago City for their refusal to allow them to conduct a survey on the inhabitation of animals and plants off the coast of Henoko, Nago, on the basis of the Administrative Appeal Act. Nago's mayor Inamine Susumu has made his position clear that he opposes the US/Japan plan to build a new Marine base in place of Futenma Air Station over the cape of Henoko. Inamine disallowed such survey because it would be done on the premise that a new base would be built. Ryukyu Shimpo expects that if Inamine dismisses this complaint, the Ministry of Defense may file an administrative lawsuit against Inamine.

According to Nakachi Hiroshi, professor (administrative law) of the University of Ryukyus, the intent of the Administrative Appeal Act was to provide an opportunity for ordinary citizens to complain against deeds of administrative entities, and should not be applied to the state. Nakachi wonders if this is a political performance by the central government to indicate that they are making efforts to build a base despite the local opposition, but such performance should bring no political benefits to the government, Nakachi says. Nago will probably dismiss the complaint, and in that case, it is unknown whether the state will file a lawsuit against them. If they do, it will be reminiscent of the 1995 lawsuit by then Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi against then Governor of Okinawa Ota Masahide, who refused to sign the contract to renew land lease for US military use, after hundreds of Okinawan military landowners refused to sign and their municipal leaders refused to sign on their behalf.

Okinawa's Governor Nakaima Hirokazu avoided stating a clear opinion on this issue. Nakaima won the election on the platform that he would call for Futenma Air Station to be moved outside the prefecture, but he failed to clearly express his opposition to the plan to build a replacement base in Henoko. With Nago and the state at the stalemate, Nakaima will have to make his position clear, sooner or later.

(In summary of discussion on Ryukyu Shimpo, pp. 1-2, on January 29, 2011)

Text Fwd: Hawaii fights release of details on drone contracts

DMZ Hawai'i
Hawaii fights release of details on drone contracts
January 29, 2011 by kyle

Jim Dooley wrote an interesting article on watchdog.org about the proposed use of aerial drones to monitor harbors in Hawai’i as part of no-bid contracts awarded to Hawaiya Technologies. Hawaiya is a military technology company owned by Paul Schultz. Schultz, formerly a Rear Admiral and commander of a fleet stationed in Okinawa, was demoted to captain when he retired from the Navy. He had come under investigation for allegations of adultery and fraud tied to a Navy research contracts scandal at the University of Hawai’i and the Pacific Missile Range Facility.

While in the Navy, the married Schultz allegedly had an affair with an Office of Naval Research program manager Mun Won Chang Fenton who helped to steer research funds and technology to Schultz’s ships outside of normal procurement channels. Fenton later awarded several grants to University of Hawai’i professors for research related to missile defense systems. She directed the UH researchers to hire technical personnel under the grant. These “directed hires” took their orders from Chang Fenton. Chang Fenton directed these personnel to write a large net-centric warfare technology contract proposal under the auspices of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i (RCUH) and submit the proposal to Navy research programs that Chang Fenton helped to manage. The Navy awarded RCUH a contract for its proposal named “Project Kai e’e”, to establish a military Pacific Research Center to serve as a conduit for federal military high technology funding.

Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) documents and other sources allege that the Schultz and Chang Fenton tried to use government funds to create jobs for themselves in the new Pacific Research Center. The job announcement for Executive Director of the Pacific Research Center was posted on the bulletin board in the RCUH office for a few minutes. After Schultz submitted his application the job announcement was taken down. RCUH staff were directed by Chang Fenton to rate the applicant favorably. Schultz was offered the job, but he never formally accepted it. RCUH Executive Director Harold Masumoto suddenly sent a letter to the Office of Naval Research canceling the contract award.

Naval investigators were closing in. My theory is that someone may have tipped off Schultz and his co-conspirators, sending them scurrying for cover.

The Project Kai e’e scandal morphed into the proposed University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), a military classified research lab that met fierce protest by students, faculty and community groups in 2004 – 2006. The really interesting part of the this sordid tale is that the various projects were earmarks from Senator Inouye. Sources familiar with the scandal told me that the investigation went nowhere because it could have implicated four admirals and a senator.

As Dooley’s article suggests, Schultz seems to have found a new niche in the homeland security gold-rush. But the proposed use of unmanned aerial drones to monitor harbors raises many issues of civil liberties, safety and propriety. The contracts were awarded without any bidding. The plans for aerial drones are proceeding without approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. And details about the project are being kept from the public.

Could the no-bid contract have been awarded via Aina Kai, a Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO) established by Schultz and Chang Fenton (who are now married) in partnership with former Hawai’i governor John Waihe’e? NHOs are given special preferences for federal contracting to receive contract awards without competition and without a limit on the size of the award.


High stakes government funding, exotic and dangerous military technologies and secrecy are a recipe for corruption. The tsunami of military spending that was unleashed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks have brought with it a flood of corruption. Such is life in the military-industrial-political complex.

>><<
http://watchdog.org/8124/hawaii-fights-release-of-details-on-drone-contracts/
Hawaii fights release of details on drone contracts
Posted on January 28, 2011

BY JIM DOOLEY — The state and a private contractor are installing extensive new security and surveillance measures at harbors and shorelines that include planned use of unmanned aerial drones, according to public records.

Neither the contractor nor state officials have applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for necessary permission to deploy the unmanned aerial vehicles in civilian air space here.

Repeated requests for details about the plans and their status made to the state and its contractor have not been answered for more than a month.

Paul Schultz, chief executive of Hawaiya Technologies, the company installing the new security measures, refused to discuss his company’s shoreline security plans in general or the use of UAV’s in particular.

“You can go find out your story on your own,” Schultz said.


“This is not a friendly story,” Schultz continued. ”You’re coming after me. You can come after me by yourself. But don’t call me looking for information.”

State Department of Transportation and harbors division personnel did not respond to repeated requests for comment submitted by email, telephone and in-person since late last year.

Glenn Okimoto, nominated by Gov. Neil Abercrombie as director of the Transportation Department, and his harbors division deputy director, Randy Grune, have said a department response was being prepared.

Okimoto was head of the harbors division in 2007 and personally recommended award of the original $1.46 million non-bid Honolulu harbor security contract to Hawaiya Technologies, according to state purchasing records.

Some $1 million of the contract is paid with federal grant money and the remainder comes from the state.

Grune said three weeks ago the department was still researching “technical issues” about non-bid security contracts awarded to Hawaiya.

The UAV’s are described as an anti-terrorism tool in documents describing new security measures at Honolulu and Kalaeloa Harbors on Oahu under a 2009 contract awarded to Hawaiya Technologies.

Another non-bid contract award worth nearly $1 million to Hawaiya is planned for Kahului harbor on Maui and the contractor has proposed installing the same system on Kauai and the Big Island.

The jobs would include use of UAV’s to conduct surveillance flights in the congested skies above state harbors, which abut two international airports, a general aviation airfield and Hickam Air Force Base.



The drones can’t fly without an FAA “certificate of authorization” and the state has not applied for one, said Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman.

The drones cost $75,000 each, according to purchasing records posted at the state procurement office website.

The type of drones – there are many different designs being marketed now – and the number to be purchased are details that the state has redacted from contracting files.

Only two civilian government agencies in the country – one in Texas and one in Kansas – have applied for and received necessary certifications for use of the drones, which must be operated by licensed pilots from ground control stations, said Gregor.

The Texas aircraft would be used to patrol remote sections of the Mexican border and the Kansas drones would be flown at a UAV testing and training facility 30 miles outside of Wichita.
The FAA requires that civilian-operated airborne drones must also be tracked by either a ground spotter vehicle or a manned chase plane.

The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern about invasion of privacy issues raised by use of surveillance drones in other states and is monitoring the Hawaii plans.

“Use of ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ or ‘drones’ by law enforcement has a vast potential for abuse,” sad Daniel Gluck, senior staff attorney for ACLU Hawaii.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Sunday, January 30, 2011

[Jeju Update]Fwd: Four videos on Gangjeong

Save the Gangjeong Stream from the naval base construction plan
제주 해군 기지 건설 계획으로부터 강정천을 지킵시다.


Gangjeong Stream, Gangjeong, Jeju Island
Video taken by Go Gwon-Il, Gangjeong villager, Jan. 29, 2011
The Gangjeong stream is the biggest spring water from underground in the Jeju Island. It also boasts its 1st class cleanest water where the sweet fishes and pigeon wheat (kind of moss) inhibit. In the downstream, it falls down like a fall due to sudden geographical slope and meets with sea water. With the construction of naval base in the Gangjeong village, this stream is in the fate of being greatly contaminated.
For more see:
Why the annulment on the cancellation of the absolute preservation area has to be done?

제주도 강정, 강정천
2011년 1월 29일 강정 주민 고권일 찍음

강정천은 제주도에서 가장 큰 지하로부터의 용천수입니다. 또한 은어들과 솔이끼들이 군락하는 가장 깨끗한 물이기도 합니다. 하류에서 지리학적 급격한 경사로 인해 폭포처럼 떨어져 바닷물과 만납니다. 이 천은 강정 마을 해군 기지 건설과 함께, 크게 오염될 운명에 처해 있습니다. 더 많은 내용은 아래 링크들 클릭
강정의 호소문: 군사기지 없는 제주 평화의 섬을 함께 만들어 주세요 (2010년 2월 5일, 강정 마을회 자료)
제주도정과 도의회는 강정 절대보전지역 해제를 취소하라!
.................................................................................................

Save the Joongduk coast and sea from the naval base construction plan
제주 해군 기지 건설 계획으로부터 중덕 해안과 바다를 지킵시다.



Joongduk coast and sea, Gangjeong, Jeju Island
Video taken by Go Gwon-Il, Gangjeong villager, Jan. 29, 2011
With the Jeju naval base plan of which the construction on bay and harbor construction starts in February, 2011, this beautiful rocky coast and sea where the UNESCO designated soft coral inhibits are in danger of being covered with concrete. Numerous lives of creatures among those rocks will be killed as well with construction. The struggle against the Jeju naval base plan is also to protect the nature, our friend.
For more see:
Why the annulment on the cancellation of the absolute preservation area has to be done?

제주도 강정, 중덕 해안과 바다
2011년 1월 29일 강정 주민 고권일 찍음
제주 해군 기지 계획상, 항만 공사가 2011년 2월에 시작되며 이 아름다운 바위 해안들과 유네스코 지정 연산호가 군락하는 바다는 콘크리트로 뒤덮일 위험에 처해 있습니다. 바위들 속 무수한 생물들도 이 건설과 함께 살해될 것입니다. 제주 해군 기지에 반대하는 투쟁은 또한 우리의 친구 자연을 보호하는 것입니다. 더 많은 내용은 아래 링크들 클릭
강정의 호소문: 군사기지 없는 제주 평화의 섬을 함께 만들어 주세요 (2010년 2월 5일, 강정 마을회 자료)
제주도정과 도의회는 강정 절대보전지역 해제를 취소하라!
,.......................................................................................................
The pain of broken rocks: No Jeju naval base!
깨어진 바위의 아픔: 제주 해군 기지 반대!



'The rocks in the Joongduk coast that is the 1st class scenery area have been formed from lava and originally were of one single broad and flat rock that is more than 600 meter in length. Also with its rocks' very intimate round appearances shaven by sea waves for a long time and by which one does not hurt even with bare foot, the coast is also the place where its geographical feature is that of the only rocky wetland area in Korea, because of underground water underneath rock(s), which springs at every hole. Therefore, the Joongduk coast is of a rocky geographical shape, which is like a treasure that provides a small paradise of ecology system in which endangered species of animals and plants such as Sesarma intermedium (red claw crab) and Cladium chinense Nees(Cheungcheung Goraengii) inhibit along with other 180 species of wild flowers. It is truly exasperating to see those rocks cruelly being crushed and broken.
(Translation in part from the Gangjeong Village People's Council statement on Jan. 22, 2011; to see the whole of original Korean language statement, see the bottom of the link)
For more info, see
Emergency: Crane entered the Joongduk coast on Jan. 20

'자연경관1등급지역의 중덕 해안가 바위들은 용암으로 형성된 길이 600미터가 넘는 단일 형상의 너럭바위이다.
오랜 세월동안 파도에 깍여 둥글둥글한 형상으로 맨발로 걸어도 상처를 입지 않는 참으로 친근한 모습으로 틈틈이 솟아나는 지하수로 인해 우리나라에서 유일하게 바위습지지대를 이루는 지형이기도 하다.
그리하여 중덕 해안가는 180여종의 야생화와 함께 붉은발 말똥게, 층층고랭이와 같은 멸종위기동식물이 다량 서식하는 생태계의 작은 낙원을 제공하는 보물과도 같은 바위지형이다. 이런 바위들이 무참하게 으깨지고 부숴진 것을 보고 있자니 참으로 분통 터지는 일이 아닐 수 없다.
(강정 마을회 1월 22일 해군의 도발적 공사감행에 따른 성명 중에서,
전문은 아래 링크의 밑을 보시길. )
더 자세한 내용은 긴급: 1월 20일, 굴삭기, 중덕 해안 침입
........................................................................................................
Gangjeong village map: No Jeju Naval Base
강정 마을 지도: 제주 해군 기지 반대



A map drawn in the Joongduk coast. The Gangjeong villagers have fought near four years to save their village from the Jeju naval base construction which will destroy the Jeju, the Island of Peace.

중덕 해안에 그려진 지도입니다. 강정 주민들은 평화의 섬, 제주를 파괴할 제주 해군 기지 건설로부터 그들의 마을을 지키기 위해 4년 가까이 싸워왔습니다.

Text Fwd: Pacific Command Chief Speaks Of U.S.-Japan-S. Korea Exercises

* Text sent from Rick Rozoff on Jan. 28, 2011


Arirang News
January 28, 2011
US PACOM Commander: "Good Chance" for Korea-US-Japan Military Exercises

The US commander in charge of the Asia Pacific region has expressed a view that there is a "good chance" of a combined military exercise between Korea, the US and Japan being held in the future.

Speaking with reporters at the US embassy in Tokyo on Thursday, the commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, said this new joint effort could come some time in the future.

Willard cited that Korea and Japan are both allies of the US, and have "natural interoperable capability," but left the decision to participate in the combined exercises to Seoul and Tokyo.
....

Text Fwd: Korean National Assembly Members’ Caucus Against the Korea-US FTA

* Text fwd by Steve Zeltzer on Jan. 29, 2011

Korean National Assembly Members’ Caucus Against the Korea-US FTA
Korean Alliance Against the Korea-US FTA

For Immediate Release: Contact: Heesob Nam - +82-10-9981-1180, hurips@gmail.com

Jan. 27, 2011 Mi-kyung Ryu - +82-10-9279-7106, inter@kctu.org

Joint Statement of Korean lawmakers, labor unions, farmers and civil society groups on the proposed Korea-U.S. FTA

We, the Korean National Assembly members’ Caucus Against the Korea-US FTA and the Korean Alliance Against the Korea-US FTA, a coalition of over 300 labor unions and civil society groups, have organized a delegation to Washington, D.C. this week, January 24-28, 2011. We have come here to tell American policymakers and civil society that many Korean people oppose the proposed Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KorUS FTA). During our visit, we were shocked to hear that many U.S. politicians believe that the KorUS FTA is a gift to the Korean people and will be beneficial to the relationship between both countries. In reality, many Korean people consider that the KorUS FTA will be detrimental to the lives of the Korean people, is biased in favor of the narrow interests of multinational corporations and contains numerous damaging provisions that would destroy our jobs in both countries and undermine our rights as citizens, the environment and health, and the practice and principles of democratic governance.

We came to Washington to share our strong view that the proposed KorUS FTA should not enter into force for the following reasons:

First, the proposed KorUS FTA shrinks the policy space available to our governments to promote the public interest and endangers our governments’ ability to protect public services and advance public health, food safety, workers’ and small farmers’ rights, and environmental preservation. Numerous provisions contained in the KorUS FTA conflict with the public interest policies upon which the general public relies while providing new rights and powers to a narrow class of large multinational corporations in each of our countries. While there could be a good agreement between our countries, this agreement undermines the broad interests of the people of the U.S. and the people of Korea in favor of promoting the interests of a narrow band of big corporations. In particular, the investor-state dispute procedure allows private corporations, even third-party corporations doing business either in Korea or the U.S., to bring our government to the foreign arbitration tribunals to demand compensation over public policy standards, even those that apply to domestic and foreign corporations alike. We do not understand why such a provision would be included in the KorUS FTA, given both countries have well-established rules of law and well functioning courts. Such provisions were not included in the U.S.-Australia FTA.

Second, we do not support a deal that only encourages growth-without-employment in both countries. The proposed deal pursues the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-plus model. Yet, the U.S.’s experience with NAFTA is instructive and should not be repeated. Since NAFTA went into effect, the U.S. has experienced massive job loss in the manufacturing sector and numerous laws were challenged before foreign tribunals. Provisions of the proposed FTA will weaken the social safety net in both countries and strip crucial safeguards in a time of global economic instability and high unemployment. In addition, the proposed KorUS FTA, with its low Rules-of-Origin standards, incentivizes the off-shoring of manufacturing—and jobs. Up to 65% of products can be produced in foreign countries and exported as U.S. or Korean products, killing jobs and destabilizing the labor market in both countries.

Third, the proposed agreement promotes reckless deregulation. This agreement was negotiated prior to the financial crisis that hit the world several years ago. It promotes the very practices of financial deregulation that have so damaged the U.S. and Korean economy. The agreement conflicts with regulations that our two governments have put in place to stabilize their financial markets, posing a threat to our countries, our economic partners, and eventually to the global economy. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, certainly we must ensure that all policies, including our “trade” agreements must preserve our governments’ authority to control and regulate investment and financial markets. However, both governments simply ignored the lessons we learnt a few years ago even when they re-negotiated the deal last year and did not alter these provisions to reflect the post-crisis lessons.

Finally, the proposed agreement has the potential to bring about an unintended harmful effect on the relationship between the U.S. and Korea. While proponents claim that the proposed agreement will strengthen our countries’ relationship, it carries the potential to have the opposite effect. Many in Korea view the agreement as having been pushed not only for economic relations. Geopolitics played a great role. The supplemental deal of the last year was struck when the military tension between the South and North Koreas was at its highest since the 1950s’ Korean War. The vast majority of Korean people believe that the outcome of the supplemental deal is an unacceptable humiliation and an overly high price to pay for the Americans’ role in providing national defense. Furthermore, if the KorUS FTA results in restricted to access to public service, job loss, deterioration of quality of life and intensified social polarization as have taken place with NAFTA in North America, the anger over the damage will be directed at the other country. When this happens, the KorUS FTA would bring conflict rather than strengthening the sense of friendship towards the other country among the ordinary people of both countries.

We appreciate the time and effort the citizens of both countries are giving to make this visit successful in preventing the negative consequences that the Korea-US FTA will have on both of our countries.
###
· Jung Bae Chun, Jong Kul Lee, and Ki Kab Kang, representing the Korean National Assembly Members’ Caucus Against the Korea-US FTA

· Heesob Nam, Hae-Young Lee, and Won Suk Park, representing the Korean Alliance Against the Korea-US FTA

· Hui-seong Jung, Mi-kyung Ryu, Ja-O Koo, Sang-je Kim, and Joo-ho Lee, representing the Korean Confederation of Trade Union

· Kwang Seok Lee and Hye Sook, representing the Korean National Small Farmers’ Group
--
Heesob Nam
Patent Attorney
Chief Member of Policy Committee
Korean Alliance against KorUS FTA
www.nofta.or.kr/en/
Email: hurips@gmail.com
Mobile: +82 10 9981 1180
Office: +82 2 3476 6002

Video Fwd: MADE IN USA

Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes
MADE IN USA
Saturday, January 29, 2011




Egypt brings in the military to now try to do what the police could not - suppress the population.

I read one news story that reported a young man picked up a tear gas canister and saw it was made in the USA. That pretty much sums it all up for me.

The government of Egypt owes its power to the U.S. military industrial complex.

Something is sweeping the world....real hope and change. It's time for it to hit the USA.

[Site Fwd: Ten Thousand Things]Makishi Osamu: Photographs of Blue Coral & Clown Fish in Oura Bay off beautiful Henoko, Okinawa

Clown Fish

Blue Coral

Clown Fish(Photos originally posted at the Network for Okinawa website)


Saturday, January 29, 2011
Makishi Osamu: Photographs of Blue Coral & Clown Fish in Oura Bay off beautiful Henoko, Okinawa


More photos by Makishi Osamu of Blue Coral and adorable Kumanomi (Clown Fish) in Oura Bay off beautiful Henoko, Okinawa...


Video Fwd: Hafa Na Liberasion #19: Reoccupation Day

Minagahet Chamorro (No Rest for the Awake) blog
Hafa Na Liberasion #19: Reoccupation Day
Jan. 27, 2011




______________________________________________
Also in Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notes blog

LIBERATION WORDS FROM GUAM
Jan. 28, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Text Fwd: Okinawa Assembly Vice-Speaker: Okinawa & Guam have much in common

* Text fwd by J. D. on Jan. 29, 2011


KUAM NEWS
Okinawan officials on fact-finding mission
Posted: Jan 27, 2011 1:16 AM Updated: Jan 27, 2011 3:04 AM
by Nick Delgado

Guam - Another delegation with the Okinawa Prefecture Assembly is on island. As a matter of fact, this is Assembly vice speaker Yoshikazu Tamaki's third visit to find out the specific issues surrounding the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

Yoshizaku says Japan still hasn't received the more than $400 million in funding from the U.S. Government. He added like Guam communication is a problem. "It's basically we can say that Guam's peoples voice is not heard to the federal government and Okinawa's voice is not heard to the Japanese government, that's the one of common ground both Guam and Okinawa have," he explained.

In the meantime, Speaker Judi Won Pat tells KUAM News they learned that more than 75% of the people of Okinawa don't mind the Marines that are anticipated to relocate actually staying in their country, however she says they still have reservation about the Futenma base remaining there. (Okinawans want Futenma to close and no new construction at Henoko).

The delegation met also with Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio.

Pacific News Center

Calvo, Tenorio Talk Buildup with Okinawa Assembly
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 January 2011 21:06

Written by News Release Thursday, 27 January 2011 17:50
Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Talks to turn the military buildup into a Guam buildup continued this afternoon, with a meeting between five members of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly and Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio.

The delegation was led by Vice Speaker Tamaki Yoshikazu.

“We have come to realize we have lots of similarities. There are similar problems in the relationships between Okinawa and Japan and Guam and the United States,” he said.

The assembly members discussed issues surrounding the relocation of Marines to Guam, including timelines, Pagat village, and public sentiment.

“I will continue to push for a mutually beneficial conclusion between the U.S., Japan, Okinawa, and Guam,” Governor Calvo told the delegation. “To be clear, I will also remain firm on keeping the federal government responsible and accountable to the promises it has made to improve the quality of life for Guamanians, return land to our people, and respect the sanctity of our ancestors.”

Text Fwd: Washington Intensifies Push Into Central Asia


Stop NATO blog
January 29, 2011
Washington Intensifies Push Into Central Asia
Rick Rozoff


A recent editorial on the website of Voice of America reflected on last year being one in which the United States solidified relations with the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

One or more of the five nations border Afghanistan, Russia, China and Iran and several more than one of the latter. Kazakhstan, for example, adjoins China and Russia.

The U.S. and Britain, with the support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, invaded Afghanistan and fanned out into Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in October of 2001, less than four months after Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to foster expanding economic, security, transportation and energy cooperation and integration in and through Central Asia. In 2005 India, Iran and Pakistan joined the SCO as observers and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has attended its last five annual heads of state summits. [1]

Now the U.S. and the NATO have over 150,000 troops planted directly south of three Central Asian nations.

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are also on the Caspian Sea, a reservoir of oil and natural gas whose dimensions have only been accurately determined in the past twenty years and where American companies are active in hydrocarbon projects.

After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Pentagon and its NATO allies deployed military forces to, in addition to Soviet-constructed air bases in Afghanistan, bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The first two countries border China.

As of last March the U.S. military confirmed that a monthly average of 50,000 American and NATO troops passed through Kyrgyzstan's Transit Center at Manas as part of the war in Afghanistan. Also last year, U.S. officials mentioned building new military training centers in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The Voice of America feature mentioned above cited a speech by U.S. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake, Jr., who two years ago succeeded Richard Boucher in that role.

The State Department's Blake delivered a speech at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston, Texas entitled "The Obama Administration's Priorities in South and Central Asia."

Shorn of superfluous banter and obligatory diplomatese, his address accentuated American geopolitical designs in an area which Blake highlighted as being of vitally important interest to Washington:

"Central Asia lies at a critical strategic crossroads, bordering Afghanistan, China, Russia and Iran, which is why the United States wants to continue to expand our engagement and our cooperation with this critical region." [2]

In furtherance of U.S. designs in an area that not only abuts the four nations named, but if controlled by the U.S. would prevent regional cooperation between them except insofar as it is mediated by an outside power, Washington, Blake listed the three priorities for the region as being to:

Support international efforts in Afghanistan

Build a strategic partnership with India

Develop more durable and stable relations with the Central Asian countries


Friday, January 28, 2011

[Jeju Update] What will happen to farmers' vinyl houses?/ The Navy Ceremony is expected soon/ Excavation on cultural properties going on

____________________________
*Bruce Gagnon, thanks very much for blog(click)
*브루스 개그논, 블로그를 실어 주셔 감사합니다(클릭)
____________________________
Jan. 27, 2011

The Ministry of National Defense has forcefully expropriated farmers’ lands last July, 2010, despite the fact that more than 60% landowners who had their lands in the Gangjeong village opposed to sell their lands to the navy. It is expected that the navy would enforce to remove farmers’ vinyl houses in coming April. Some vinyl houses that seemed to have been sold to the navy are in contrast to the others that are owned by the farmers who still oppose the naval base plan. The yellow flags of no naval base are still fluttering at the top of their vinyl houses.

The buildings of the navy field office site on the top of Metboori were lit till evening.

The navy field office site in the Metboori, in the evening.


An artist art work painted on an oil tank beside a tangerin vinyl house. The work satires the idea of naval base that would punish everyone who trespasses it.

_________________________________________
Jan. 28, 2011


Otherwise, the Jeju Cultural Heritage (foundation) that started excavation on cultural properties on Jan. 25, has continued its works. If any remains more than relics are discovered in the planned naval base area, the navy should stop the construction on naval base. Even though such possibility is very little, the villagers hope something can be found in the researched areas. It is told that the Gangjeong village was the site where the palace of the Tamra Kingdom existed according to a legend. Some say there might be some remains of the Bronze Age in the village.

The naval base business committee moved its office into the currently completed navy field office site on Jan. 28. It is told that about 100 personnel including 20 Samsung and Daerim construction supervisors got their office in the site today. The navy is currently considering opening ceremony of its field office right before or after the New Year, which is Feb. 3 in lunar calendar.

The Gangjeong village appealed to Koreans nationwide to help them for coming struggle from February. The Joongduk coast would be dangerous from February when the navy would plan to start the plant construction under the sea.


A power shovel is working in an area of excavation on the cultural properties.










A sign post at the site of excavation on the cultural properties:

''This area is the planned Jeju naval base (civilian/ military complex style tour beauty harbor) area and land owned by the Ministry of National Defense therefore activities of farming, planting trees, installing facilities, littering trash, and using without the approval by the Ministry of Administration are prohibited and in case of violation, we inform you that you would get the prison disposal of less than two years or of fine less than 10million won, according to article 7 and 82, of the estate law on the state-owned land.

June 1, 2010
Chairman of The Jeju naval base business committee' (translated)




Workers from the Jeju Cultural Heritage (foundation) were setting up a signpost on the excavation notice beside an Olle (* meaning a narrow path from one's home to the outside world) to the Sea.

Text Fwd: 1/29 SF Stop KORUS March and Rally-Another NAFTA Type Agreement With Korea

* Text fwd by Steve Zeltzer on Jan. 28, 2011

1/29 SF Stop KORUS March and Rally-Another NAFTA Type Agreement With Korea

From Congresswomen's Pelosi's Home To The Korean Consulate-Stop This Anti-People Trade Deal!
Protest the Korean-US KORUS Free Trade Agreement
Saturday Jan 29, 2011 11:00 AM 2740 Broadway St Assemble
with March To 3500 Clay St. /Laurel St. Korean Consulate
San Francisco

Although Obama promised he would not push another NAFTA
type agreement with South Korea, the recently negotiated
agreement does nothing to defend labor rights in either
Korea or the US. It will allow further outsourcing and more
temporary and part time workers in Korea and the US through
the deregulation of the labor market. In Korea today 50% of
the workers have now been forced into the temporary workforce.
It will also destroy the economic lives of tens of thousands of Korean farmers.
Today in Korea, dozens of trade unionists are also in jail
for labor activity including striking.
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_opinion/460093.html
Public workers are also not allowed to unionize and the Teachers Korean Union
KTU was raided by the police for lobbying against legislation that would
hurt education.
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/06/117_67120.html
At the same time this agreement will force privatization of the
Korean national healthcare system in part by forcing high drug
prices on the Korean healthcare system. This is why Pfizer and other big
Pharma multi-nationals have fully backed this agreement along
with other multi-national food and auto companies who will benefit.
We are calling on Congresswomen Pelosi to vote NO on this
agreement. She voted yes on NAFTA and that agreement
has harmed the people of Mexico and the US lowering wages
and destroying communities and jobs. We can't afford more
deregulation, privatization and union busting from KORUS.
http://www.fairtrademinnesota.org/Summary%20of%20Korea%20FTA%20Supplemental%20deal.pdf

This event has been sponsored by California Fair Trade Coalition, United Public Workers For
Action http://www.upwa.info , The No On KORUS Coalition, San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party
For information phone (415)282-1908 or (415)987-4870

San Francisco Labor Council Resolution Opposing Korea-US Free Trade Agreement

1/24/2011

Resolution Opposing the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement
http://sflaborcouncil.org/#sub-fragment-3

Whereas, the proposed KOREA US KORUS Free Trade Agreement will be coming before Congress early this year and,

Whereas, this agreement is modeled on the NAFTA agreement that has led to the loss of jobs for millions of US workers and Mexican workers, privatization, deregulation and repression of unions in Mexico and,

Whereas, this KORUS agreement will also push privatization and deregulation of the US and Korean economy and,

Whereas, dozens of members of the Korean Teachers Union KTU have been jailed for lobbying against legislation in Korea which is illegal under the law and,

Whereas, Korean public workers do not have the right to bargain and strike which are basic labor rights and,

Whereas, as a result of labor deregulation of the Korean economy today nearly 50% of Korean workers are part time and temporary and,

Whereas, the KORUS agreement will also restructure the Korean National Healthcare System resulting in a privatized healthcare system in part by forcing Korean hospitals to purchase high priced medicines from Pfizer and other multi-national Pharma companies that also fight unionization and,

Whereas, there is no serious ability for trade unionists and labor to protect their rights to organize and for democratic union rights within the KORUS agreement and,

Whereas the KORUS agreement is being pushed by major multi-national corporations who have used these Free Trade Agreements FTA to eliminate unions, destroy health and safety protections and pit workers of the US against workers in other countries and,

Whereas, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KCTU, all Farmers organizations, civil and human rights organizations in Korea are opposing this agreement as well as the AFL-CIO and the KCTU and other civic organizations have a delegation visiting Washington D.C. this week to urge opposition to this agreement,

Therefore be it Resolved the San Francisco Labor Council calls on Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier and US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer representing San Francisco to publicly oppose this agreement and,

Be it Further Resolved this Council will support and participate in a march to the Korean Consulate at 3500 Clay/Laurel in San Francisco on Saturday January 29 11:00 AM and,

Be it Further Resolved this Council supports a Labor Community Educational conference on “KORUS, Another NAFTA?” on Sunday February 27, 2011 at the University of San
Francisco from 9:00 AM To 5:00 PM sponsored by the California Fair Trade Coalition, UPWA and other organizations and,

Be it Finally Resolved that this Council will send letters to all Congressional and Senate representatives asking them to oppose this KORUS agreement and ask for their concurrence with this action by all affiliated bodies including the California AFL-CIO.

Submitted by Tom Lacey, OPEIU 3, and adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on January 24, 2011.
Respectfully, Tim Paulson Executive Director
OPEIU3 AFL-CIO 11

Korean Teachers Union KTU
http://english.eduhope.net/
President-elect Lee Myoung-bak's policy proposals threaten education

1. President-elect Lee Myoung-bak has presented his education policies to the media before the National Assembly convenes. Clearly, he is already attempting to direct policy, when the president's office is supposed to follow the direction of the people and their lawmakers. With these policy proposals, he obviously wants to turn the education system into one of competing hagwons, where education operates as a "free market." He intends to erase the one advantage of the CSAT, which is that it allows relatively equal opportunity of access to top universities. High schools are to be ranked by "student performance" levels, and yet more specialist high schools are to be opened.

2. Lee wants students to compete for selection to schools throughout their schooling years, from elementary schools through to universities. At present, students are ranked by schools themselves, and schools are not compared. Lee wants to allow universities to implement their own "ranking criteria" for admissions, such that unversities may soon be examining not only students' elementary and middle school assessments, but the "rank" of the elementary and middle schools that they attended as well!

When universities are given complete freedom in admissions policies, not only will high schools be ranked, but middle and elementary schools will be ranked as well. Soon every school in the country will be in competition. This is not the purpose of an education system.

3. Superintendents plan to implement a national standardized test for middle school students. Soon, education will consist of testing and nothing else. Averages are to be compared, in order to encourage competition among provinces. It is policies like this that Lee supports, and soon superintendents will do anything, even encourage private education, in order to improve these test scores and get themselves re-elected.

4. About the one area that most demands attention from the government, Lee has nothing to say: outside the Seoul-Gyeonggi area, provinces collect 20% less per capita for use in education. Provincial Offices of Education are six trillion won in debt. Lee has refused to address the underfunding of education in the provinces.

5. For Lee, education (and everything else) is business. His plans focus on the appearance of quick results, and they are not up for discussion with stakeholders. If he is allowed to make the radical ideological changes to education that he seeks, Lee will destroy education in Korea. The KTU will not allow this to happen.

english.eduhope.net

KTU submits complaint to ILO

The Korean Teachers Union submitted a complaint to the International Labour Organization this week, charging the government with failing to consult with teacher organizations before implementing important labor reforms, and with attempting to restrain the lawful activities of teacher unions.

The ILO will ask the government to respond to the KTU's complaint in June.

South Korea has not ratified ILO Convention 87, on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, or ILO Convention 98, on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining.

Text Fwd:Fr Jack McCaslin - Omaha priest, P&J advocate, friend of the poor and CWers diagnosed with cancer - needs your prayers

* Text fwd by Jerry Ebner on Jan. 27, 2011

Fr Jack McCaslin - Omaha priest, P&J advocate, friend of the poor and CWers diagnosed with cancer - needs your prayers

Dear Friends of the Omaha Catholic Worker:
FR. JACK MC CASLIN NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS


Fr. Jack McCaslin is an 82 year old priest from Omaha, NE. He is
veteran of the civil rights movement since 1965, the peace movement
almost forever, and has been a voice for the poor and voiceless in
Nebraska and the halls of D.C. all of his life. He was instrumental in
starting and supporting several Catholic Worker communities in the
Omaha area. He is currently a major supporter and mentor for the folks
at the Omaha CW. He has served jail time for crossing the line at
StratCom, demonstrated at SOA, recently he has been ministering to the
elderly in nursing homes. He's been a strong advocate for reform in
the Catholic Church and a member of Call To Action. He loves being a
priest, administering the sacraments and serving people, especially
the poor. All his life he has been a person who puts the teaching of
the Gospel into action.

Fr Jack last crossed the line at StratCom on Aug 9th last year. See:
http://groups.google.com/group/offitt-list-one/browse_thread/thread/79d2c2aff901ba82/dd48566dc14c3b32?lnk=gst&q=mccaslin#dd48566dc14c3b32

These days he visits death row inmates regularly and lobbies for an
end of the death penalty.

Fr Jack recently learned that he has lung cancer. He is at Bergan
Mercy Hospital Rm # 386 in Omaha NE to determine what kind of
treatment he will receive. He is facing this recent challenge with
courage and a strong faith. We ask you to remember him in your
prayers and know that as you participate in actions for social
justice, he is offering his suffering in solidarity with you.


Letters and cards can be sent to Fr, Jack McCaslin home address at:

7323 Shirley Street # 305,
Omaha, NE 68124


For updates on Fr Jack people can contact:

Omaha Catholic Worker
Jerry Ebner, Mike Brennan
1104 N. 24th St. Omaha, Nebraska USA 68102
www.no-nukes.org/cwomaha
Email: cwomaha@gmail.com
402- 502- 5887

[Site Fwd: Peace Philosophy Center] V-22 Osprey "extremely noisy with a horrific racket"

V-22 Osprey "extremely noisy with a horrific racket"
Jan. 27, 2011
Okinawan newspapers on January 27 reported that the residents of Brewton, Alabama complained about the noise caused by the V-22 Osprey used in the US Air Force training mission at their municipal airport, and the Air Force offered apology and told the local airport authority that the squadron will not come back. “Those aircraft are extremely noisy with an horrific racket," the airport director is quoted in the local news (see below).
It is disturbing news for Okinawa, as USMC is planning to deploy Ospreys in Henoko and Takae, two places in Northern Okinawa where military expansion is planned despite the opposition from local residents. Okinawans are worried, not just about their noise, but about the reported risk of accidents by Ospreys. A recent Pentagon report (below) also indicated the continuing unreliability of the aircraft due to "cracking or prematurely failing hinges and access doors, engine and drive components within the nacelle structure, flight control system failures, wiring and swashplate actuators." The aircraft killed thirty people during the course of development, and killed four in a crash in Afghanistan in April 2010.
In late December, a US helicopter hovered over and damaged the protesters' tent in Takae, where US/Japan are planning to build six new helipads (Osprey-capable) surrounding a residential area, but the authorities have not even confirmed that it was a US Marine helicopter that did it. It is unacceptable that a plan to use noisy and dangerous aircraft like V-22 Osprey is not properly disclosed to local residents and there has been no assessment of risks associated with Ospreys in the environmental assessments on both places.

READ MORE

Text Fwd: Okinawan Prefectural Assembly Delegation tells Speaker Judith Won Pat they are still v. opposed to mega-base at Henoko

* Text Fwd by J. D. on Jan. 27, 2011

Pacific News Center
Okinawan Prefectural Assembly Delegation Visits Lawmkaers
Written by Clynt Ridgell Thursday, 27 January 2011 17:04
Guam News - Guam News

Guam - A delegation of Okinawan prefecture members is on Guam as part of a fact finding mission.

The delegation met with lawmakers this afternoon in speaker Judi Wonpat's conference room. According to Speaker Wonpat the Okinawan legislators told her that Okinawans are still very opposed to the movement of the Futenma marine air base to the northern part of Okinawa. She says they indicated that progress on that move may be stalled. "They're saying that as things slow there they will definitely slow down here as well,” said Speaker Wonpat.

The move of Futenma has been called the lynchpin the the japan us realignment agreement that would send 10 thousand marines and their families to Guam.

Text Fwd: Remembering Howard Zinn

* Text fwd from Corazon Valdez Fabros on Jan. 28, 2011

Remembering Howard Zinn
by Abby Zimet

Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of historian, author and activist Howard Zinn. We miss his passion, compassion, eloquence, insight and unwavering belief that life can be better if we work at making it so. In his honor, the Middle East Children's Alliance has announced a new water purification campaign for the children of Gaza. The Zinn Education Project urges more actions. For inspiration, hear Zinn interviews here.


From the final paragraphs of Zinn's autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train:
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
"What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.


"And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
--
Corazon Valdez Fabros
Ph:+63-2-9311153 FAX:+63-2-4330899
CP:+63-917-8871153 Skype: corafabros
Email: corafabros@gmail.com

Small acts, when multipled by millions of people, can transform the world (Howard Zinn)

Text Fwd: U.S., Japan Drill For Missile Attacks, Guerrilla Warfare, Full-Scale Invasion

* Texts fwd by Rick Rozoff on Jan. 27, 2011

Google
Canadian Press
January 27, 2011
Japanese, US forces hold war games in Japan simulating missile attacks, full-scale invasion
By Eric Talmadge

-Japan has grown increasingly concerned about its defences in its southwest, and particularly around the Okinawan islands, because of a number of incursions into its sea lanes by Chinese warships, including the movement of a Chinese flotilla through the Miyako Strait last April.
In response, the government has announced that it will bolster its monitoring capabilities in the region, and is reportedly considering boosting its submarine fleet.


CAMP KENGUN, Japan: Several thousand American and Japanese troops simulated missile attacks, guerrilla warfare and a full-scale invasion of Japan as part of a major war games that began Thursday.

The exercises, called "Yama Sakura," involve about 1,500 U.S. troops and 4,500 Japanese military personnel. Yama Sakura, being held on the southwestern island of Kyushu, is the biggest annual joint manoeuvr held with Japan's army.

Lt. Gen. Shunzo Kizaki, the commander of the Japanese troops in the exercises, said they involve simulations of ballistic missile attacks, special forces warfare and an invasion of Japan's southernmost main island. He said further details are classified.

Yama Sakura, a command post exercise, is mostly done around computer simulations conducted at established bases, rather than real-world deployment of troops.
....
Japan has grown increasingly concerned about its defences in its southwest, and particularly around the Okinawan islands, because of a number of incursions into its sea lanes by Chinese warships, including the movement of a Chinese flotilla through the Miyako Strait last April.

In response, the government has announced that it will bolster its monitoring capabilities in the region, and is reportedly considering boosting its submarine fleet.

Japan is ***also*** concerned over possible aggression from neighbouring North Korea.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of the U.S. Army Pacific, said the exercises are designed to enhance the troops' ability to fight together, and demonstrate the U.S. resolve to support the security interests of Washington's allies.

"Many countries throughout the region face increasing security challenges and transnational threats," he said.

Under a mutual security treaty, about 50,000 U.S. troops are deployed throughout Japan, including major Air Force, Marine and Navy units. The U.S. Army component is smaller, but trains intensely with its Japanese counterpart.


__________________________________
See also
Stars and Stripes

January 25, 2011
Annual U.S., Japan exercise kicks off this weekBy Charlie Reed