Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Gift at New Ruskin College

Lecture Notes: The Gift

This is my gift for you.

I will demonstrate that the rich and powerful can not oppress us as they have me these fifteen years.

They think they have won. They think they have destroyed me. They are wrong. They have destroyed no one.

I pray that you will send them a message also. Take away their broadcast licenses. Make them adhere to a standard of decency. Make them obey the law.

Punish them, show them that they can not oppress us. Show them that they are not as powerful as they imagine.

Take care of each other.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina & the Terrorists at New Ruskin College

Army Navy Club
Item No.: 51

The hurricane Katrina is estimated to be over southern Louisiana for more than 24 hours.

Ironically the news, which normally hypes even rain showers has not fully informed public of size of impending disaster. Storm may alter entire national economy for months.

Terrorist action at this point is almost beside the point, would probably be lost in the enormity of calamity.

Then too the current enemy has been lackadaisical at best. For example there was no serious follow up to 9-11. (Why would you attack the worlds most powerful country and not have a set of attacks ready to go?)

Explanation lies in fact that for current enemy marshal terms are metaphors from their religion not actual military terms. For one thing the emphasis on suicide is example of amateurish or theological understanding of warfare. Suicide is used even when the attacker could strike and run and prepare for another strike. Suicide not technically important in war as greatest efficiency gained by repeated action with benefit of growing experience. But theologically martyrs are important in religion of Islam.

No follow up attacks because they are not really fighting a war. It is theology for them at best. Then too cultural differences put different emphasis on “efficiency” of “war” effort. Not exactly play acting but similar. Religious.

Anthrax attacks were thought to be a follow up to 9-11, a threat to scare nation into acquiescence. The sort of idea that college kids might come up with.

Yet clearly by now real anthrax attacks could have been carried out if enemy was seriously concerned with war making in Western sense.

The dikes of New Orleans are long term problem but explosives now planted in key locations, or vessel ladened with explosives allowed to crash ashore, would during peak tides guarantee what storm may on its own achieve.

Bio agents or even chemical agents in shelters or released during confusion and mixing of population during the recovery could now be devastating on entire East Coast region.

But due to enemies attitudes to war these attacks seem unlikely.

Good luck.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

FCC at New Ruskin College

Date: 07-26-05

F. C. C.Washington, DC 20003Email:

Plinio Designori
New Ruskin College .com

KQED, KGO, KSFO, KCBS, KNEW, ABC Network, PBS, Viacom, Michael Weiner aka Savage, Don Imus, Ron Owens, Mrs. Jack Swanson, and Michael Krasney

"I would encourage the FCC to take a very hard look at whether something that is this pervasive, something that is so corrosive to the integrity of the market place should not merely be investigated and pursued, but whether some of these stations deserve to have their licenses stripped," said Spitzer at the downtown Manhattan press conference trumpeting the settlement. "They know what the law is and they have been disregarding it willfully and pervasively."The FCC appears to be paying close attention.
Billboard Radio Monitor (

I have been the target of the above referenced people for the last fifteen years. I set up a web site,, to tell my story about how these rich powerful people have used their power, including their radio broadcasts, to oppress me over these years.

I came to their attention after conducting a letter writing campaign to the U. S. Senate about the importance of laser disks, computer aided instruction, in education. Out of envy or spite these people then began a program of harassment against me including using their radio broadcasts to let me know how they had interfered with my employment, or had me followed, etc.. Please visit my web site for the details.

I had hoped that those who have knowledge about what has been done to me would come forward and give evidence. No one ever came forward.

They have ruined me and driven me to my death. In a few days I will kill myself in front of the KQED building to protest them.

I ask that the FCC take away their broadcast licenses for their use of their broadcasts to harasse and oppress me.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

NY, NY at New Ruskin College

Army Navy Club
Item No.: 46
Operation New York, London is under attack.

The fact that one of the London bombers had on a shirt that had the words, “New York,” should be taken as a clue in as much as the bombers knew that they would be photographed by the London subway cameras.

This last attack reveals the falsity of the often heard admonition that : “We have to be lucky every time the terrorists only have to get lucky once.”

The reality is perhaps the opposite. The terrorists only have to make one mistake and we can identify and arrest them. One slip up might be enough.

For example Atta was said to have been a “professional” and that he had compartmentalized his operation. The facts are in the negative on both accounts: he made many amateurish mistakes, for example the repeated trips to Czechoslovakia, and he lived in the same house as one of the other pilots. If one or the other had been caught they both would have been caught.

The key to catching terrorists is to have lots of data points. Hopefully the first data point will not be them crossing the border, yet thanks to Mr. Bush’s open borders policy this is exactly the case, or rather even the border will not provide any information as they are not controled. At the port of entry the illegal is given a “notice to appear” at some future court date and they are gone, like the wind.

Yet even so, as the terrorist moves about we have hundreds of chances to catch him and we only have to be successful once, while he on the other hand must avoid our countermeasures successfully every time. But you are lied to about this because Americans hate defense. All the smart guys who want to lead you, lie to you because they only want to play on the offensive squad, they only want to be “the stars.” So they lie to you and tell you defense is futile. (It is not the only thing we should do but it is important in its own right.)

How do you know I am right? Just ask yourself do they care about you? If Mr. Bush cared about what happens to you would he be carrying out his open borders policy? Or for example, in Iraq the generals wanted more troops because they did not want to bother with, be bothered by, having to train and deal with Iraqi troops. They wanted another 100,000 troops so they could go on offense themselves, and “do the job” themselves, rather than “merely” supporting Iraqis.

Everyone has known about the movements over the Syrian border yet we can not control that border with double trenches protecting double fences with mobile remote controlled vehicles in the air and on the ground patrolling the no go zone. Why? How would it look for the US to guard the Syrian Iraq border while carrying out a open border policy in the US, because our borders are, as Mr. Bush says, “so big, our borders are big, they are just so big, . . . they are big . . .”? So our young people must die in Iraq because we do not want to admit that we can in fact control borders.

But I ask my self, just now hours from my own death, why should I care. What a foolish people. Not just the open borders, but the failure to control KWMD, (i.e. Knowledge of Weapons of Mass Destruction), the failure to put transponders on your cars so you can create a safety net, literally a network of sensors to warn of danger, the failure to use laser disk and computer aided instruction . . . on and on . . . the idiocy of “progressive taxation” . . . which causes you to think you are being “progressive” . . . well what is the use. I will protest open borders, and all the rest . . .

“Lord Stevens, a former head of Metropolitan Police who now serves on an advisory panel for Interpol's counterterrorism organization, said in an interview with the BBC: ''London is under attack. ... are working toward chemical or biological attacks. . .” (

Sean Hannity at New Ruskin College

Lecture Notes: 07-21-05

Hannity Responds:

Sean Hannity 07-21-05 went on the air and announced that he was “married” to his show and his audience.

I think he has been cheating on us.

For example, when introducing Dr. Hammesfahr as a “Noble Prize Nominee.” Didn’t Sean Hannity first consider that his audience would be able to see how dishonest he was? He did not care about our opinion of him or his credibility. We do not count in his estimation of the power situation.

Or when discussing the Bush open borders policy he said to an irate caller, “they are introducing technology to police the border. . . .” a line right out of the White House briefing instructions to stooges. Even Rush Limbaugh will criticize the Bush open border policy. But not Sean.

Or in discussing the Kelo decision he repeatedly claimed that the Supreme Court was taking, or seizing property, etc., instead of telling the truth that the court had permitted, or deferred to the elected officials, allowed that they should first decide what is a public purpose. Does he want only judges to decide what is a public purpose? Of course he was not himself proposing anything he has no ideas of his own.

Sean Hannity has recommended Michael Weiner’s books (“a great read”) and had him on his TV show. Weiner for his part now refers to Hannity as “that Irishman” or “Pawn Hannity” or “Mr.” --- well you get the idea.

Hannity is a suck up. He sucks up and kicks down.

He knows that Weiner and Mrs. Jack Swanson have used their influence to ruin my life. He knows about the burglary, about the stalking me from place to place, job to job . . . he knows and does not care.

He goes out of his way to show that he does not care, or even to let it be known that he enjoys the spectacle of his radio colleagues destroying another.

He delights in cruelty.

Sham Hannity.

And consider Al Franken recently going out of his way to show his enjoyment in another’s suffering, even suicide.

This is our society.

“Not bad for a homeless guy.”
---- Sean Hannity, 07-20-05, at the end of an “interview” with Senator McCain ( McCain see 4-28-05, Lecture Notes: 5-18-05, Lecture Notes: 07-18-05 Protest)

You see Sean, when you do things like this your business partners just don’t understand.

They are thinking: “We give him payola every week to mention Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, on the air, (how much do they give you Sean? all reported to the IRS is it Sean?), and now we have an IPO about to come out, an IPO for Christ sake! . . . and dis radio c___ s___ing dick is going ta screws it all up so he can f___ wit’ some guy in California? What a Long Island sack of s___.”

See Sean, your business partners have been working this scam for some time now. And you were just a part of it. To help with the buzz. Mention those delicious steaks, talk it up, get . . . what $10,000 a mention? Oh, $1,000? . . . cheap radio advertising . . . and this would help with the IPO, and God knows they need help with the IPO.

This pig needs a lot a lipstick: “debt load, which came in at $116 million as of March 27.”

They have not only cooked Sean Hannity some free steaks, they have cooked the books. They had to: “Revenue, which fell in 2001 and 2002, rose 14.6 percent last year and operating income climbed 50.6 percent from the year earlier.”

Sound impressive? How do you like that “.6%”? Not just “14%” but see that little something extra? Sean helped with that did you Sean?

Impressive? It is not until the end of the article that you will read: “Ruth's Chris didn't open any new restaurants last year and closed two locations, including one in Manhattan, as it overhauled its management, including hiring a new chief executive in March 2004.” (New chief executive? Gee I wonder why? Some problem with the books? Or . . .?)

Does ya sees? If you do not open any restaurants you do not have any of those “expenses.” Helps with the “balance sheet.” (Never mind that the business plan is to open 80 new restaurants with all those expenses.)

But the business “reporters” are all over the “trend in eating out” and how Sean’s favorite restaurant is free from any risk of a turn down in the economy. How so? Because it is so expensive! See? That is where the rich go to eat so, yas knows, the rich’s gota eat. Rich men like Sean, does ya sees?

But the reported did tell us who the players are, Sean Hannity’s business partners and why the IPO is so important to them: “Madison Dearborn could receive an additional payment from selling 1.7 million shares covered by the underwriters' over allotment option. . . . Other holders of junior and senior preferred stock are set to be paid a total of $20.6 million by Ruth's Chris.”

I wondered why Sean Hannity didn’t talk about how the IRS was auditing him. They even came to his studio to search for records. “I just never talk about it” is all he would say, on the air.

When I was targeted by the IRS (see The IRS and the Illegals from the North), I felt it was my duty to tell how, during the Clinton administration, the IRS revealed my name to the very people that they had asked me to help investigate, Crawford and Company, and told them that I had cooperated in the investigation. But not Sean Hannity: “I just never talk about it”. (Sees ya? Yas just gota dummy up. See? When das police are – ya know – questionings ya, you just gota dummy up. Right Sean?)

And for those of you who think the economy is an evenly rotating system of objective fixed relations here is an interesting example. Here at New Ruskin we have argued that, for example, the IRS tax tables do not accurately explain who actually pays the tax.

We have argued that the rich, (those who are making goods and services which are in high demand), pass on their taxes to their consumers in higher prices, (the price mechanism of tax transfer). This is why the poor have such a high “propensity to spend” they end up paying their own taxes, and all the other taxes, and all other expenses in the price of the goods they purchase. We have explained that both Democrats and Republicans misrepresent the situation, each for their own political calculation.

But let us now consider the true value of the payola paid by Ruth's Chris to Sean Hannity every time Sean mentions the steakhouse chain. How much is the under the table payment, (the tax free payment), worth to Sean given Sean’s tax bracket? For extra credit, Class, How much income must Ruth's Chris hide in order to pay Sean?

But now with the IPO, Sean, the stakes are much higher. How much is Sean getting out of the IPO? How much extra commission must the underwriters charge to pay Sean? (All reported is it, Sean?)

This is why yas “business partners” doesn’t understands yas Sean. Why would you mess with some guy in California right now, right when the IPO is coming out?

Now it is not just the IRS, and the FCC, but Sean wants to add the SEC!

See Sean? It is things like this that give good old boys from Long Island a bad reputation.

And “not bad for a homeless guy” didn’t even fit in the conversation with Senator McCain. You are supposed to at least try and work it into the conversation. See? That is what makes them covert.

Otherwise you just look like a dick.

ps Secrets and secrets. So many secrets. And this is the whole society. Top to bottom. Why didn’t socialism work. The economist say because it did not allow for “economic calculation” but really because people are so dishonest. My tormenters have stalked me for these fifteen years, brought me to the end, and Sean Hannity interviewing Senator McCain wanted to take a little poke. (In the middle of an IPO!) But this is just one small example. A world of hate, cruelty, . . .

Do but seriously consider how much more insupportable and painful an immortal life would be to man than what I have already given him. If you had not death, you would eternally curse me for having deprived you of it; I have mixed a little bitterness with it, to the end, that seeing of what convenience it is, you might not too greedily and indiscreetly seek and embrace it: and that you might be so established in this moderation, as neither to nauseate life, nor have any antipathy for dying, which I have decreed you shall once do, I have tempered the one and the other betwixt pleasure and pain. ----

LIBERAL ISLAM WEB SITES Collected by Charles Kurzman University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Islamic Statements Against Terrorism Collected by Charles Kurzman University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

International Tribunal For The Prosecution Of Terrorists Letter From Liberal Arabs & Muslims To The United Nations Security Council & The U.N. Secretary General

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Iraq at New Ruskin College Part II

Army Navy Club
Item No.: 45

“ First, the United States missed the opportunity before the war to train enough Kurds and other Iraqi exiles to assist the U.S. military, he said. "That didn't happen in the numbers we had hoped," he said.

“ A plan to train an estimated 5,000 Iraqi exiles in Hungary produced instead only a few hundred, in part because U.S. military leaders at Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, were uncomfortable with it. Training Iraqi forces has since emerged as the central thrust of the U.S. exit strategy for Iraq.

“ Even more important, Feith said, was the reluctance among some U.S. officials to transfer power early on to an Iraqi government and dismantle the U.S. occupation authority, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA),
headed by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer.”
---- Washington Post, Pentagon Official Admits Iraq Errors, By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer, July 13, 2005

“BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 13 - A suicide car bomber on Wednesday steered his sport utility vehicle toward a group of children who had crowded around a patrol of American troops and detonated his payload, killing as many as 27 people, nearly all of them children, government and hospital officials said. One American soldier was also killed.”
---- New York Times, Baghdad Bomb Kills Up to 27, Most Children, By
KIRK SEMPLE, Published: July 14, 2005

So we never learn. Why should anything be different now at the end than it was before?

Was the patrol worth the lives of 26 Iraqis and an American?

Did we even ask the question?

The American generals had permission, authorization, to train 5,000 Iraqi troops, before the war, and they only trained 500?

Remember in Falujha the Marines were said to be “frustrated” because the day before five Marines had been killed by a terrorist who had pretended to be dead?

First question: Why five? How many Marines does it take to check out a dead Iraqi?

Second: Why not leave the enemy dead and wounded to the Iraqi Red Crescent?

Because there was no Iraqi Red Crescent accompanying the Marines. Because the 5,000 troops that could have been trained, before the war, were not trained.

That soldier on the candy distribution mission might have been sent home had the troops been trained in 2002.

Had the . . .

Oh well, . . .

“ Iraq's government acknowledged that some of its new security forces could be resorting to the sort of torture and abuses of detainees seen under Saddam Hussein as they struggle to put down Sunni insurgents.
Responding to reports alleging the widespread use of irregular arrests and of violence against prisoners by Iraqi police and other security units, a government spokesman blamed it in part on the brutalizing of Iraqi society under Saddam and said ministers were addressing the problem.

“ "These things happen. We know that," Laith Kubba said in a news briefing after a report in Britain's Observer newspaper detailed allegations of death squads and secret torture centers.

“ Six months ago, New York-based Human Rights Watch documented what it called "routine and commonplace" abuse by Iraqi forces.” --- Iraqi government acknowledges torture of detainees, Spokesman attributes incidents of abuse in part to the brutalization of society under ousted regime of Saddam Hussein, Compiled by Daily Star staff, Monday, July 04, 2005

And so it goes. Of course our general in charge of prisons says she is not guilty of mismanagement because she never inspected the prisons. Such was the American example of how to handle prisoners.

“Accounts are common of people being seized by armed men in the uniforms of the police, army or special units like Baghdad's Wolf Brigade police commandos, and then disappearing without a trace or being found dead, sometimes showing signs of torture.”

See, this was the strategic objective. Not “kill them over there so we do not have to fight them here,” nor to “demonstrate our dominance”, nor to “rough up some rag heads.” The strategic objective was to deny the terrorists a state sponsor by creating a free Iraq, that could secure its sovereignty and not fall into civil war and genocide.

This was the objective. This was your job. What were you doing?

This is what all our billions were supposed to have bought us. Not just the billions for this war, I’m talking about all the billions. All the training. All the equipment. McCain has been an apologist saying “In North Africa we made mistakes but---” North Africa! That was an army that had been thrown together in two years! This army has had billons of dollars, decades to prepare. North Africa! What foolishness.

But when you entered the country you did not have even the puny 5,000 you were permitted. You did not accept the surrender of the old army. You did not even photograph and finger print them. Forget programs of indoctrination, civil reconstruction corps, training battalions. Not even a picture and a record of who they were, where they served . . . where they lived . . .

Did not care?

Painting classrooms was not the objective. Guarding gas stations and banks was not the objective. Giving out candy was not the objective.

Just secure the sovereignty of the new Iraq, prevent the new army from seizing control and prevent genocide . . .

But I have to let go. What a confusion. What turmoil.

When I was nine I was informed by my mother that the teachers had determined that I was retarded.

And given my personality, ah, you know, I ah, focus on life . . . and yet as I have grown older I have learned that I am not retarded. I look around at the rest of you and I am in disbelief . . . I am retarded?

So when things with Marlene started to go down hill, the more things fell apart the more I thought about a promise I had made to myself that when I grew up I would do something to help in education.

So I kept my promise to the unhappy child. I tried to get the government interested in the use of technology in education. Then I could die.

But I met Yvonne and perhaps all was not lost. Perhaps I could . . .

But then Yvonne betrayed me too . . .

I have continued on these last fifteen years as one after another of them, Weiner, Owens, Krasney, Imus, Swanson . . .

If you don’t take action against them it gets worse . . . if you do take action against them it gets worse . . . if you do or if you don’t . . .

What have you all been doing? You have destroyed my life . . . for what? Why?

I don’t understand what you are thinking. Are you thinking? You had the funding to train 5,000 and you only trained 500?

And I am retarded? I just wrote some letters to the Senate. Just a few letters. And for this you have followed me for fifteen years . . . destroyed my life for what?


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

V1 at New Ruskin College

Lecture Notes: 06-23-05

What Mr. Bush should say about the bombings of Baghdad and Iraq:

“From time to time the tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of Patriots and tyrants.”
---- Thomas Jefferson

We support the Free People of Iraq as they struggle for their freedom against the forces of evil and tyranny which hide in secret conspiracy in the dark, afraid to show themselves, because they fear Justice.

People of Iraq, know this, you are not alone.

America has sealed its bonds of friendship with the Free People of Iraq with the blood of our young people. We even now are at the side of the Iraqi People at this very moment as the ordeal to give birth to the New Iraq continues.

To the people of Iraq I say again, you are not alone.

Your ordeal today is the same ordeal all free people have had to endure to win their freedom. Recall London, 1942, as the Battle of Britain was fought over their very roof tops. Recall the Vergeltungswaffe weapons.

Vergeltungswaffe? Vergeltungswaffe? Forgive my German.

Revenge Weapons? Revenge?

Revenge for what? What had the British done to Mr. Hitler?

People of Iraq, don’t you know what the British had done?

Yes! They were free! That is all it takes to make mortal enemies! Simply being free causes the evil, disgustingly brutal, the hatful villains to set upon you. That is all it takes, simply being free, to make such enemies.

The V1s, the ‘buzz bombs’, rained down on London in the early 1940s. Whole families killed in an instant, in an explosion of a 1,000 pound bomb of high explosives. It was their darkest hour.

No, sadly, People of Iraq, I tell you that you are not alone, in your suffering, in your dying, in the daily bleeding ---- this all free people have known, have had to endure, we know your struggle, know your sorrow.

And I tell you that America is your true friend; we shall stand with you today, as we stood with our British friends in their darkest hour. (Mr. Churchill called it their finest hour.)

And we shall be there by your side tomorrow, and tomorrow, until the light of Justice is made to shine down on your tormenters.

People of Iraq, you are not alone.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Prisons at the Army Navy Club

Army Navy Club
Item No.: 44

And this is why we must arrest large numbers of suspects. This is the lesson of Kenya, Algeria, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, . . .

Because most of those arrested will be innocent they must all be treated well. Movies shown at night on out door screens, soccer, sun shelters with electric fans and misters, generators to avoid black outs, three meals a day, prayers five times a day . . .

Truly prison campuses.

But they must be arrested.

There crime? Being related to terrorists. Living next door to terrorists and not reporting it. Etc. etc.

They must be detained for a period of time. There must be courses of indoctrination. We must break the cycle of violence.

For if you do not get control of the situation there will be civil war.

I say again, perhaps for the last time, let the Iraqis do what is necessary, let them arrest the suspects, (treat them well), but arrest them.

But I do not expect to be heeded. Race and gender quotas. Open borders. Unbelievable deficits. Failure to institute vouchers or technology in education. No Quarantine Zones. Idiotic “biometric” identity . . . “We can not impose a government on the Iraqi people . . .” So no I do not expect the lessons will be learned now at this late stage . . . “We are American we do not just round up people . . .” hopeless

Shiite-Sunni tension rises anew in Iraq

By Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press Writer July 3, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq --The Shiite mourners were crying for blood, threatening to burn down a Sunni town where dozens of Shiite travelers had been slain. Their rage boiled over after a fresh spate of bombings killed nearly 40 people in Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad.

A senior Shiite politician, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, appealed for calm, telling the 2,000-strong crowd that Sunnis and Shiites must live in peace together. Yet he had sent a very different message just two days before, suggesting Shiites set up vigilante groups to track down "terrorists" in the Sunni-led insurgency and report them to security authorities, which are dominated by Shiites.

Tensions between Shiite Arabs and the Sunni minority are rapidly worsening, pushing Iraq closer to a civil war that could disrupt its young democracy and lead to its breakup.

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime more than two years ago, tensions have flared several times. But each time, historical ties binding the two groups and appeals for calm from religious leaders have averted conflict.

In the face of spiraling violence, however, anti-Sunni sentiments among Shiite leaders are being articulated publicly, with impunity and tacit approval from powerful political circles.

On Tuesday, a Shiite lawmaker joined al-Hakim's call for vigilante groups, finding so much support in parliament that some fellow Shiites forfeited their turn to speak so he could finish.

"The rage of our young people is putting pressure on us," said Khidir al-Khozai, who warned Sunni Arab political parties not to remain silent over the Baghdad bombings.
The bombings last week in the Shula and Karradah districts, and the killing Tuesday of a Shiite legislator in his 80s, have pushed anti-Sunni sentiments to levels never seen since Saddam's ouster. Beside making the rounds of parliament, the issue also had been discussed in the home of Shiite spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

"There is a terrifying amount of sectarian tension in Iraq these days," warned Adnan al-Janabi, a senior Sunni Arab legislator and a moderate.

Mohammed Abdul-Hassan al-Shammari, a 37-year-old tennis pro, was among the victims of the Karradah bombings. Mithaq Salem, his Sunni colleague and friend of 13 years, was with al-Shammari's family for four consecutive days to help with the funeral, sitting with family and friends under an outdoor tent drinking bitter coffee and listening to Quranic verses.

"Everyone was cursing the Sunnis and praying to God that He takes revenge on them," Salem recalled. "But what can I do? Not all of us are terrorists. Mohammed and his brother Fayez taught me everything I know. We are like brothers. This Shiite-Sunni thing never came up."

In Shula, storekeepers have taken matters into their hands, prohibiting parking in parts of the neighborhood by placing tires, metal containers and palm tree trunks alongside sidewalks.

There's virtually nothing in looks or speech to distinguish between ordinary Sunnis and Shiites, yet Salem Lazem Hussein, who runs an electrical supplies store by the site of one of last week's car bombs, said: "We have become so alert now that we can tell who is an outsider right away."

“I close the store when I hear the call to sunset prayers. You cannot see your enemy in the dark, so I stay home," said the 37-year-old father of six.

Shiite-Sunni tensions were most palpable at the June 26 ceremony marking the bombing deaths in Karradah and Shula. It was held at the offices of Iraq's biggest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Many in the 2,000-strong crowd cheered the Badr Brigade -- a Shiite militia associated with al-Hakim's party and which many Sunnis accuse of targeting their community.

Most of their ire was directed at sheik Harith al-Dhari, leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, an influential Sunni group known to have ties to the Sunni-dominated insurgency.

"Al-Sistani is the sword of the Shiites, if he gives the order we will burn down Latifiyah," they chanted, alluding to the Sunni town south of Baghdad notorious for killings of Shiites.

The mood of the crowd appeared to reflect the angry tone of al-Hakim's June 24 statement in which he called on Shiites to set up "popular committees" in their neighborhoods to "uncover terrorist cells" and report them to security forces -- most of which are Shiite-dominated.

The call for vigilante groups appeared to suggest a system very similar to what was used by Saddam's Baath party and security agencies to ferret out critics of the regime.

In a statement Saturday, al-Hakim warned against sectarian strife and called on the Iraqi government to step up efforts to fight with militants.

"We stress the importance of being alert and cautious not to be carried away toward the sectarian strife that our enemies want for us," he said. "We ask the Iraqi government, particularly the security apparatuses, to exert more efforts to strike these terrorist groups."
Shiite tribal sheiks, meanwhile, have been begging al-Sistani to issue a fatwa, or edict, permitting them to go after Sunnis who kill their fellow Shiites, according to Iraqis familiar with the meetings held at the cleric's home in the holy city of Najaf.

Al-Sistani, whose word is law for many Shiites, has refused to grant such permission, but has signaled his concern about the rising tensions.

He told Shiite and Sunni politicians who met him Monday at the holy city of Najaf that it was "unacceptable" from a religious viewpoint for Muslims to kill each other.

Over the past century, Iraq's Sunni Arab minority dominated the country -- pushing the Shiites and Kurds to the sidelines. That ascendancy ended with the ouster of Saddam, their last patron. The domination by Sunnis of the two-year insurgency, and the rise to power of a Shiite-Kurdish alliance after elections in January, have deepened the rift.

Sunni Arabs account for up to 20 percent of Iraq's estimated 26 million people. Their inclusion in the political process -- drafting a constitution, putting it to a vote in October and holding a general election two months later -- is essential for its credibility and success.

If Sunni-Shiite tensions burst into conflict, the process will be derailed, throwing the country's political future into doubt and possibly causing the breakup of Iraq.

Already, the process is troubled over problems of a sectarian nature -- Shiite opposition to come of the Sunnis on the committee drafting Iraq's constitution, and a growing desire in the oil-rich, mainly Shiite south of Iraq for autonomy modeled on Iraqi Kurdistan.

There, 14 years of self-rule have reduced Baghdad's authority to virtually nothing. Replicated in the south, it could spell the breakup of Iraq, a country that has existed in its present shape for less than a century.

For some, the marble plaza outside the Shiite Kazimiya shrine in northern Baghdad offered some respite from the mounting pressures. Here, large families of robed women, children and men picnicked on rice, lamb and vegetables as worshippers prepared for the sunset prayers.

"Peace and tranquility are found here," said Abu Bilal al-Basri, a silver-bearded man who came with a friend to pray. "For us, it's the only safe place in Baghdad."
Associated Press reporter Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed to this story from Baghdad.

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