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Flagrancy to Reason

"'check his sources': Alan Dershowitz and Noam Chomsky debated tonight on 'Israel and Palestine After Disengagement: Where Do We Go From Here?”"
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Flagrancy to Reason

"Ensuring a friendly government in Baghdad is an essential part of US security policy, even if this requires a permanent US military presence, because long-term access to oil from the region is essential to the US, given its increasing dependence on imported oil, says the report."
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Uncommon Thought Journal: Ridin' the Bus With Deborah

"Deborah, who commutes by bus in Denver, Colorado, had been asked to present her I.D. to a man in uniform. If she didn't, she was told, it would mean walking several miles to her job. So, she complied, but, it rankled. Deborah knew that, unless she was being a danger to self or others, behaving irrationally, or drunk and disorderly, no one had the right to ask for her identification. As long as she was sitting quietly in her seat, she could not be arbitrarily asked for ID. (She'd learned that in her 8th grade Civics class, where she had also been taught about police states, and how casually they usurped the rights of their citizenry.)

And so it went. For several weeks, when asked to show ID, Deborah refused, and, when asked if she were getting off at the Denver Federal Center she said, 'no' was left in peace, completing her bus trips right on schedule.

And then it happened: On September 26, 2005, when the bus reached its stop at the Federal Center, a guard got on the bus and confronted her. When Deborah insisted that she was under no obligation to show any ID whatsoever, the bus was halted, a supervisor climbed on, and demanded ID. This time, when she refused, a second cop arrived, and, when Deborah stuck to her guns, she was suddenly arrested.

And it was not a gentle arrest. As she relates on her website Papers Please "
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Washington Post: Labor's Lost Story

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Decades ago, Walter Reuther, the storied head of the United Auto Workers union, was taken on a tour of an automated factory by a Ford Motor Co. executive.

Somewhat gleefully, the Ford honcho told the legendary union leader: "You know, not one of these machines pays dues to the UAW."

To which Reuther snapped: "And not one of them buys new Ford cars, either."

The historian William L. O'Neill tells this story in "American High," his fine and appropriately titled book about the 1950s, a time when "autoworkers were the best-paid production line operatives in the world." It helps explain why General Motors' layoffs of 30,000 workers, announced last week, have become a new litmus test in American politics.

Almost everybody right of center sees the job losses as inevitable, the result of the American auto industry's failure to meet foreign competition and the "excessively" generous wages, health benefits and, especially, retirement programs negotiated by Reuther's union.

The believers in inevitability inevitably cite the economist Joseph Schumpeter to the effect that capitalism "is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is, but never can be, stationary." It is capitalism's gift for "creative destruction," Schumpeter argued, that guaranteed new consumer goods, new methods of production and new forms of organization.

A different story is told left of center, though it will come as no shock that progressives can't quite agree on a single narrative. The left is united in talking about rising health care costs and the fact that most of our foreign competitors have government-run health insurance systems that take the burden of health care off employers. The iconic number: providing health care for workers and retirees accounts for $1,500 in the cost of each American-made car.

Critics of globalization tell an additional story of how free trade is sending many of our best-paying blue-collar jobs offshore. There is also the decline of union membership, a chicken-and-egg tale, since private-sector unions historically were strongest in the older manufacturing industries such as steel and cars. The UAW's numbers tell the story: 1,619,000 members in 1970, 1,446,000 in 1980, 952,000 in 1990, 623,000 in 2004. Where have you gone, Walter Reuther?

The contrast between these two accounts explains why economic conservatives currently hold the upper hand in America's political debate. The conservatives have a single, coherent story and stick to it: Economic change is good for everyone, especially for consumers, who get better stuff at lower prices. The fact that "producer groups" (such as those unions) are losing their "monopolies" and their capacity for "rent seeking" is cheered as progress.

The left's narrative is less compelling not only because there is no single story but also because few on the left attack the current system with the same gusto the right brings to defending it. Gone, for good reason, is the time when significant parts of the left called for "government ownership of the means of production." Much of the left accepts a certain amount of creative destruction because, in Margaret Thatcher's famous phrase, there is no alternative.

But this muddle reflects a default on parts of the left and, especially, within the Democratic Party. Because so many Democrats fear that they might sound like -- God forbid! -- socialists, they are unwilling to challenge the right's core story. Capitalism, all by itself, would never have achieved the rising living standards that were the pride of the United States in O'Neill's 1950s and still are today. The rules enforced by the National Labor Relations Board made it possible for Reuther's union to organize by protecting workers' rights. Cheap 30-year mortgages, which became the norm because of Federal Housing Administration guarantees, created a nation of homeowners.

As medical costs rise, more Americans will need government help. More employers will need to offload the costs of medical insurance to avoid bankruptcy. Yes, that's "socialized medicine," just like Medicare. But don't tell anyone. The phrase plays terribly in focus groups.

For 60 years New Dealers and social democrats, liberals and progressives, turned Schumpeter on his head. They insisted that few would embrace capitalism's innovations if the system's tendency toward creative destruction was not balanced by public innovations to spread the bounty and protect millions from being injured by change. It's a compelling story. Walter Reuther knew it well. Too bad it isn't told very often anymore."

thanks dave
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The Raw Story | Anatomy of a peace movement part two: Labor unions add muscle to anti-war push

"For the first time in history, organized labor has taken a stance against a military conflict. At its recent convention, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) voted to support an immediate end to the Iraq War."
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ZNet |Labor | The Incredible Lightness of Vision In the US Labor Movement

"Whoopee! The Change to Win Coalition has established itself in the labor movement! Happy Days are here again! Andy Stern's going to lead us to the promised land!

And the overwhelming response by American workers: yawn.

At the time when American workers-indeed, US society as a whole-so much need a new labor center, to fight for economic and social justice, to challenge the policies of the Bush Administration, to challenge the worsening conditions for working people across the entire social order, and to challenge the US Empire overall, we get another AFL-CIO. Just under another name. Please excuse me while I am underwhelmed."
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Justice4BentonHarbor.2truth.com: Blogger Comments section

"I would like to thank Bernice Powell Jackson for writing those thoughtful words. (You can scroll up to read what she wrote.) Being an older person, I have had similar thoughts many times. How did the world get into this awful quagmire on so many fronts? You're right, we need to join with and support the younger generations to repair and rebuild to create the kind of world that really is possible.

Maybe if we begin thinking in terms of corporations being in control of almost every aspect of our lives, it could lead us to some answers and solutions.... Just a thought. Another way to say it is: follow the money.

Greed has caused our leaders to allow media to become gov. controlled; no minimum wage raise in decades; our food to become genetically engineered and put on grocery shelves when Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and others will not allow the stuff inside their borders; scientific research to be controlled by corporations (results are corrupt); corporations to make huge profits, not pay taxes, and have off-shore hidden accounts; give very large tax breaks - money WE have paid in taxes - to corporations who are making millions and billions in our country - this is called corporate welfare; allow predatory lending practices to flourish; shut down bankruptcy when the overwhelming majority of people who used the option did so because of necessary treatments for cancer and other illnesses that they could ill-afford; allow medical care to fall into disrepair so that soon only the wealthy will get proper treatment; allow corporate franchises who donated to the republican and demoratic parties move in anywhere they wished and flourish causing locally owned businesses and downtowns to die (WalMart, Target, Home Depot, and a relatively small number of others); Halliburton and some other giant, absurdly rich corporations to have NO-BID contracts for building in Iraq, New Orleans, wherever they wish; pass laws such as NAFTA, the weakening of anti-trust policies, and others which gave many, many companies the ability to outsource their work to foreign countries and downsize here - 30,000 more jobs just last week gone from the auto industry, and it will keep happening; allow our weapons and military industries (Dow Chemical in Midland for one....) to arm most of the countries of the world - even those fighting each other - the world is now at a point where serious thought needs to be put into how to cleanse the land in various parts of the world to rid it of landmines, bombs, chemicals, etc.; allow the US to imprison more people than any country and use these prisons for slave labor - google on 'corporate prisons'...; spend our gov. money (OUR taxes) on war and things mentioned above so that our roads cannot be repaired, schools cannot be improved, teachers don't get paid nearly what they deserve; etc.; promote MEAPS tests - standardized tests - designed to help public schools fail so that schools can become privatized with the idea that profit can be made; move towards privatizing as many things as possible (more profit for corporations); it goes on and on...

They need to keep us scrambling for money and scared in order to keep us in the dark, and it's working. If you're working 2-3 jobs or are homeless, chances are you're not going to have the time or energy to be researching for the truth.

We need to figure out how to get out of this giant mess being perpetrated on the world almost entirely by the US 'government'.

One helpful thing to do I guess is to spread the word. Most Americans don't know this is all going on.... I'm sure people will reply here stating they believe this to be all lies. They are misinformed. Unfortunately, none of the true news is at our fingertips.

Thanks again Ms. Jackson."
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Body and Soul: Humanitarian

"Finally the president does something for the poor people of this country."
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The missile is not invented that can kill an ideal.: Houston Janitors SEIU Victory
with Card Check Neutrality


"Congratz to the 5,000 Janitors in Houston."
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The Blog | Rep. Dennis Kucinich: To the Publisher of the LA Times | The Huffington Post

"We, as Members of Congress, object to the dismissal of Robert Scheer, a 32-year veteran of the LA Times with a long history of excellence in reporting and op ed pieces."
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unbossed.com � A Real Hero -- Finkel v. U.S. Department of Labor

"Adam Finkel is obsessed with beryllium exposure. Specifically, he is obsessively worried that workers are being exposed to beryllium and that OSHA is not taking action to protect them.

The workers Finkel is concerned with are OSHA's own inspectors. He has just filed his third lawsuit to get the information needed to protect them and us."
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unbossed.com � Your money or your employees' lives

"On March 23, British Petroleum's Texas City, Texas refinery exploded, killing and injuring the plant's workers. Confined Space tells more of the story.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is investigating the explosion that killed 15 workers and injured at least 80 more. The Boardhas taken the unusual step of releasing findings before completing their investigation, in the hope of averting such disasters at workplaces across the country."
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Woman GI Takes Stand Against War: Katherine Jashinski's Courage to Resist

"On November 17th, at the Front Gate of Fort Benning, Georgia, Army National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashinski announced her opposition to war and refused deployment to Iraq. She became the first women conscientious objector of the Iraq war to make a public statement against militarism. At her press conference, organized by Iraqi Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, Jashinski described her “slow transformation into adulthood. ”

At age 19 I enlisted in the Guard. Like many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through a period of growth and soul searching....I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught about war as a child. Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army contributes in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war. Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.”"
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God is for Suckers!: The Asshole Chronicles

"CHURCH leaders are encouraging families to see The Chronicles of Narnia over Christmas because of the new Disney film’s Christian message. The Walt Disney organisation has appointed Christian Publishers and Outreach, an evangelistic publishing company, to promote the Christian message behind the story in churches across Britain. […] The church has also set up a website aslanisJesus.co.uk to promote the Christian message of the film described as “Passion of Christ for kids”. […] A Methodist spokesman said: “Churches are encouraged to explore this theme by engaging with the journey of Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan, as through the wardrobe, they enter a world of ice and snow where it is always winter, but never Christmas. Congregations are asked to consider what the world would be like if Christmas never came and are reminded of the importance of the gift we are given at Christmas, past, present and future.”"
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weblog for labor listing on left...

Wade Rathke: Chief Organizer, ACORN, SEIU Local 100, AFL-CIO

"Wade Rathke is the Founder and Chief Organizer of ACORN and SEIU Local 100, AFL-CIO. The views expressed on this website are his own."
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Sketchy Thoughts: Three Important Essays About Iraq

"“In the late twentieth century, the greater number of the casualties and victims of war are not the military but ‘civilians’ – that is, overwhelmingly, women and children. In the late twentieth century, the greater number of casualties and victims of the market are not the workers but the “economically inactive” – that is, overwhelmingly, women and children.”
- Marilyn Waring

Gender, gender, gender… increasingly prominent in both imperialist and anti-imperialist politics… who is a woman, who is a man, and what that means you can or cannot do (and what happens to you if you disobey), these are questions that are stretching us, that we are being pushed to grapple with – ready or not!

For that reason, i would like to encourage you all to check out these three essays, dealing with the relationship between imperialism and patriarchy, between male violence against women and the war in Iraq:

* Why the War Is Sexist, by Huibin Amee Chew

* after Anti-War movements win or lose in Iraq... there’s still Women, by Butch Lee

* The Rape Movement in Iraq & Men's Anti-War Politics, by Butch Lee"
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The missile is not invented that can kill an ideal.: war and violence aren't natural

"The war is psychologically hard on our soldiers. And imagine what the Iraqis are going through"
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Don't Bomb Us - A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers
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Uncommon Thought Journal: Brownie Strikes Again

"It is bad enough that Michael Brown (ex-head of FEMA who reigned over the Katrina disaster) is still on the government payroll as a 'consultant.' That position has apparently given him an inflated perception of his own skill and ability. Brownie is going to start his own disaster planning firm. Yes fact is stranger than fiction, but what do you want to bet that he pulls in big bucks with government contracts? Afterall, what more credibility do you need on your resume than that you were the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency?"
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Think Progress � Fox News Host Chris Wallace Claims Bush “Never” Linked Saddam and al-Qaeda

"In a stunning display of historical revisionism, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace argued this morning that President Bush never tried to link al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein"
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mousemusings:

"Not because the bishops are finally speaking, but because Fox News reported it. From Fox News:
Ninety-five bishops from President Bush's church said Thursday they repent their 'complicity' in the 'unjust and immoral' invasion and occupation of Iraq.

'We would have made the statement regardless of who the president was. It was not meant to be either partisan or to single out any one person,' Carder said. 'It was the recognition that we are all part of the decision and we are all part of a democratic society. We all bear responsibility.'

Stith, who spent more than three years after his retirement working in East Africa -- including with Rwandan refugees -- said going to war over the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not solve the real problems behind them.

The real issues are that much of the world lives in poverty, desperation and depression, he said, while an affluent minority of the world often oppresses them. Americans need to take responsibility for their world, Stith said."
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As with radio, the internet is having a heyday of use within community building and sharing of information and resources. As with radio, the big boys aren't happy with this, and if we are unable to organize against them, we lose this battle...

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes | Linux Journal

"We're hearing tales of two scenarios--one pessimistic, one optimistic--for the future of the Net. If the paranoids are right, the Net's toast. If they're not, it will be because we fought to save it, perhaps in a new way we haven't talked about before. Davids, meet your Goliaths.

This is a long essay. There is, however, no limit to how long I could have made it. The subjects covered here are no less enormous than the Net and its future. Even optimists agree that the Net's future as a free and open environment for business and culture is facing many threats. We can't begin to cover them all or cover all the ways we can fight them. I believe, however, that there is one sure way to fight all of these threats at once, and without doing it the bad guys will win. That's what this essay is about.

Here's a brief outline of the article. If you want to go straight to the solution, skip to the third section:

* Scenario I: The Carriers Win
* Scenario II: The Public Workaround
* Scenario III: Fight with Words and Not Just Deeds"
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San Francisco Real Food Workers to be Rehired

"The union, not identified in this article, was the IWW. Details on this campaign are available here: http://www.iww.org/unions/iu660/realfood/

By Ryan Kim - San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 2005.

An administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board has ruled in favor of 31 employees of a San Francisco organic grocery store who were fired after they began union organizing efforts.

Judge James Kennedy ruled last week that Fresh Organics Inc. and its parent company, Nutraceutical International Corp., violated the law when they closed the Noe Valley Real Foods store in San Francisco in 2003 and fired all of its employees."
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AxisofLogic/ Workers & Labor

"The National Labor Relations Board has become a sick joke under President Bush. Although legally mandated to guarantee working people the opportunity to freely engage in union activities, the NLRB has been doing its best to deny them that vital right.

In their most outrageous decision, the Bush appointees who control the board ruled that an employer can order workers not to 'fraternize on duty or off duty, date or become overly friendly with the client's employees or with co-employees.' That's what a security guard company in San Francisco actually told its employees."
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BBC NEWS | World | Americas | No end to women murders in Mexico

"This year has been one of the worst for the murder of women in Mexico's Ciudad Juarez since a wave of killings started there in 1993, an official says.

Mexico's human rights ombudsman, Jose Luis Soberanes, said that 28 women had been murdered so far in 2005."
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Our Day Will Come - Plumbers wanted

"For anyone looking for work, the Plumbers and Pipefitters are looking for lots of new apprentices in the Gulf Coast.

Plumbers wanted

The Plumbers and Pipe Fitters union is seeking welders, plumbers and others to join the union’s expanded apprenticeship and journeyman training programs. Once trained, workers will help rebuild the Gulf Coast and fill a nationwide shortage of skilled workers in those occupations. For an online application, visit the union’s web site,www.ua.org/ua_application.asp."
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A Nation "Under God"? Hardly :: ILCA Online :: Making Labor Media a Force to Be Reckoned With

"Whatever happens, you can be sure our pious political leaders will remain steadfastly on the side of God, as they were after the 2004 decision. As
usual, they are bombarding us with religious propaganda, while allowing those who argue on the basis of religious faith to prevail in
debates on abortion, gay rights and other important secular matters.

The most recent surveys show that nearly 42 million Americans are atheists, agnostics or otherwise have no religion. Although many of them have a moral
code at least as strong as that of religious Americans, they are generally seen by government officials and others as immoral. They are consistently
treated as second-class citizens, their views -- their very existence -- barely even acknowledged.

The religious majority obviously cares not at all that its views are being imposed on others, thanks to the majority’s irrational certainty that its
views are correct. No proof, only blind faith, is offered as evidence that this is “one nation under God” – and none is required, because the majority
rules. "
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In Grand Rapids, help is needed to keep this info shop open.

Save Sabo's | coledorsey's blog | blogs | Industrial Workers of the World

"So in the center of conservative America, at the buckle of the bible belt, the literature committee of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) opened the first radical info. shop of Grand Rapids, Michigan."
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/spadassin/: Webmasters who didn't think when they registered their URL
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It's a start... | MetaFilter

"The world's first strike at a Starbucks reportedly occurred today in Auckland, New Zealand. Sure, it was only an hour-long wildcat strike; but like the multinationals keep telling us, it's a start."
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laura the tooth: zapping the problem at its source:

"check out this new form of male birth control--it is exploding in popularity in serbia, with men lining up at clinics for a periodic shock. i for one am very pleased with this development--i think it's a fun form of birth control with no side effects at all. unfortunately, no man in my immediate circle trusts me enough to let me zap their nutsacs in the name of population control."

hmm...
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Dirk Riehle: Athlete's foot in Copenhagen

"From the department of funny language bloopers: This shoestore in downtown Copenhagen, DK, goes by the name of 'Athlete's Foot', probably to attract all those American tourists that come by here and are in desperate need for a new pair of sports shoes..."
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"*Join the War against Militarized and Violent Language*

Quakers have an historic testimony that our language, the very words we use, should reflect our practice of faith. As a people committed to living "in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of war," Quakers should consider the growing use of language that has its roots in the military, weaponry, combat, warfare, or other acts of violence.

Friends should attack this problem in full force. Rather than take a shotgun approach, Friends should target particular words and expressions, then aim to zap them. If Quakers were to spearhead such a campaign, others would surely fall in step behind us.

The first salvo should be a barrage of letters to members of Congress and the Administration. Friends are likely to take some flak for such a witness, but should bite the bullet and not allow criticism to torpedo this effort. Friends cannot expect to shield themselves from negative feedback, but must always be on the front lines of the fight and in the trenches.

Friends will need to search diligently within our own speech and writing for landmines that might convey the impression that Quakers are loose cannons. Finding such words should trigger an immediate counter-offensive.

Friends throughout the U.S. must be mobilized for this battle. It will be a no-holds-barred match.

A mission as important as this requires a special taskforce. Enlist now! There is no deadline, so recruit your friends and families.

THE QUAKERS - MORE THAN JUST OATMEAL

At last some real kick ass peace people.

Peace,
Mike and Carmen"
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Dec. 10 ’Biggest Ever’ Mobilization for Workers’ Rights

Last week at a meeting of allied organizations to discuss planning for Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney declared that our nationwide mobilization will be “the biggest ever” for workers’ rights. Planning is under way around the country and around the world. Over the week of Dec. 5–10, tens of thousands of workers in 68 cities—and the number is growing daily—will take the fight to restore workers’ freedom to form unions to the White House, statehouses and front doors of employers that deny workers’ rights.

Dec. 10 marks the anniversary of the 1948 United Nations ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes workers’ freedom to form unions.

Speaking at the meeting, Clyde Rucker, a former Verizon Wireless customer service representative, said he was fired after he tried to form a union with the Communications Workers of America. “We have to fight everywhere for the right to join a union,” said Rucker. “We have to become more vigilant and continue to speak out. Corporate injustice anywhere is a threat to workers everywhere.”

American Rights at Work Chairman David Bonior said 23,000 people are fired each year or otherwise illegally discriminated against for trying to organize and bargain. In American Rights at Work’s recent “Workers Rights Are Human Rights” tour, more than 40 workers traveled to Atlanta, Austin, Texas, and Boston to tell their stories about being fired and harassed while trying to form a union. Bonior said human rights leaders from Canada, Mexico and Guatemala who joined him on the tour were “appalled by the stories of what is happening in U.S. workplaces.”

At last week’s meeting, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson urged all the groups to support the nationwide mobilization around International Human Rights Day, saying, “History will mark the passion and compassion of all of us.”

In response, several groups declared their support for the Dec. 10 mobilization. “Civil rights are labor rights and labor rights are human rights,” said NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary Shelton, who played a public service announcement from NAACP Chairman Julian Bond calling on all people to join the Dec. 10 mobilization. Sarita Gupta of Jobs with Justice told the audience about events her group is helping plan across the country and Kristy Sanford of Interfaith Worker Justice detailed her organization’s plans for services focusing on workers’ rights at churches and synagogues.

U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) called union membership “the ticket out of poverty.” The nation needs the Employee Free Choice Act, she said, because employers regularly threaten, intimidate and fire workers for trying to form unions. The Employee Free Choice Act would allow workers to avoid the current National Labor Relations Board election deathtrap by forming unions based on a majority of signed authorization cards. It also would increase penalties for illegal employer anti-union actions and provide first-contract mediation and arbitration.

Groups represented at last week’s meeting include American Rights at Work, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Center for American Progress, the American Constitution Society, the Campaign for Labor Rights, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Center for Community Change, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Americans for Democratic Action,
the Progressive Policy Institute, Interfaith Worker Justice, Jobs with Justice, the Sierra Club, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, United States Student Association, Human Rights Watch, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the Coalition on Human Needs, the United
Association for Labor Education, the National Baptist Convention USA, Pride At Work, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Japanese-American Citizens League, United Students Against Sweatshops, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Campaign for America’s Future, the United Nations Association, United for a Fair Economy, the National Council of Churches and the NAACP.

Dec. 10 Goes Global

Workers taking part in Dec. 10 actions in the United States will be joined by workers on six continents—from countries as diverse as Bosnia, Cambodia and Bahrain—who will hold events to support human rights, including workers’ freedom to form unions. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will join hundreds of other global union leaders in Hong Kong Dec. 10 for a rally to coincide with the meeting of the World Trade Organization. Reciprocally, workers from around the world will come to the United States to join workers at Dec. 10 events across the nation.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka has sent a letter to Polish labor leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa asking him to urge other Nobel Peace laureates to sign a statement of support for workers’ rights that would be released during the week before Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.

Reports from Dec. 10 Sites

Local union leaders and our allies across the country are in the process of planning events in more than 68 cities. A dozen of the largest affiliates in the AFL-CIO are taking the lead in different cities in what AFL-CIO Organizing Director Stewart Acuff calls “the most significant, deepest buy-in” for a major mobilization. Workers in Boston plan to march throughout the city, stopping at workplaces where workers are trying to form unions, before holding a rally at the state capitol. In Sacramento, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will focus on workers’ campaign at Blue Diamond Almond, where the company openly admits to conducting “an aggressive union avoidance campaign.” In St. Louis, the Mine Workers will call attention to anti-union Peabody Coal, which has systematically de-unionized their operations. In Portland, Ore., workers will join with other activists to protest the World Trade Organization and workers’ rights abuses around the world. In Washington, D.C., workers will rally in front of AFL-CIO headquarters, then march to the White House to demand that President Bush stop his assault on federal employees’ collective bargaining rights.

Along with these major events, teach-ins are scheduled at colleges in Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Seattle, New Jersey, New York, San Francisco, Cincinnati and at other colleges across the nation to inform students of the plight of America’s workers.

New Tools Online

A public service announcement from NAACP Chairman Julian Bond asking people to join with workers around Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, is now available for download on the AFL-CIO website. http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/d10_psa.cfm

Dec. 10 Events Calendar

A searchable calendar of events is available on the AFL-CIO home page. People can search for events in their state and site coordinators can post information about their events on this calendar. We are asking everyone coordinating sites to post information about them right away. Check back often, as more sites will be added every week. http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/calendar.cfm

Teach-In PowerPoint

Along with the Teach-In Toolkit, a PowerPoint presentation is available for use at Teach-Ins around Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.
http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/upload/teachins_d10.ppt

Dec. 10 Flier

Download this color save-the-date flier to publicize your Dec. 10 event.

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C. ) became the 205th Employee Free Choice Act (S. 842 and H.R. 1696) co-sponsor in the House of Representatives. We are now only 13 co-sponsors away from reaching a majority in the House and, with 41 co-sponsors, only 10 votes shy of a Senate majority. Dec. 10 offers a great opportunity to ask senators and representatives who have not yet signed on to mark International Human Rights Day by becoming co-sponsors of the Employee Free Choice Act.

Send letters to your senators and representative urging them to co-sponsor the Employee Free Choice Act by clicking on this link.

A list of co-sponsors and fact sheets on each provision of the legislation are available on the Voice@Work PrivateNet website

Press Clips of the Week

Time to protect unions,”: [New York] Daily News Op-ed by John Jordan, a former union organizer, about companies using bankruptcy court to void union contracts.

AFL-CIO Leaders Push for New Members,” The Washington Post
AFL-CIO met with allied organizations to ask for their help in our nationwide mobilization around Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.

Quote of the Week

“You practically have to kill someone.”
— Jack Haskell, of the anti-union firm Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan, quoted in the Connecticut Post talking about the kind of employer actions that might prompt the NLRB to overturn an election.

Please send story suggestions, event announcements, campaign reports, letters and other information to Kevin Byrne at kbyrne@aflcio.org

Thank you for all you do to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain collectively.

Together we will win.

In solidarity,

Andy Levin
Voice@Work Campaign
AFL-CIO
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Margaret Cho: Mapquest Equality

"On my book tour, I have to be very good natured about all the racism and ignorance that I encounter because if I got angry at every single incident, I would wear myself out. It is difficult enough just to keep up with the schedule, with no sleep and no time for regular meals between book signings and press appearances. My nerves are completely shot, I have no coat or hat, and I just broke a nail!

People ask me what it was like to make “Charlie’s Angels,” and I have to force a smile and remind myself that they don’t know better, and they are trying their best to be friendly. But it isn’t funny to me, and it is starting to make me very depressed. It is not enough that there are so few Asian American women working in the entertainment industry. There has to be veiled and outright hostility towards the ones who are here."
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The Uncommon Sense - Guerilla News & Views

"Rank & File auto workers from across the country gathered in Kokomo, IN on Sunday, November 13 to discuss strategy and the importance of their fight against corporate exploitation. Key topics included:
•The need to reach out to all union and non-union people in this country and around the world who are concerned about corporate disregard for working families.
•How to get that global group involved in the struggle.
•The work to rule strategy.
•Strike "

This site is new and not fine tuned yet, so this doesn't link directly to the post, anyone checking this out way after the date posted, may have to dig a little.
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Local 174 Launches Consumer Boycott to help Nuprecon Workers' Organizing Efforts | Teamsters Local 174

"Local 174 has launched a consumer boycott of Nuprecon in an effort to persuade the giant recycling and demolition firm to obey the law and stop violating the rights of its workers. When Nuprecon workers formed an organizing committee a few months ago with the goal of becoming Teamsters, company managers tried to intimidate union supporters, and threatened them with firing for supporting the union."
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Sutter Strikers Blog: Strike is settled!

NYU: Nerds on Strike!
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The Blackblog



"I have a ritual nearly every morning. Every morning I wake up and open my browser to the Boondocks comic. I love this comic. I even buy the books that he puts out on this comic. I have waited for years, literally, to experience the Boondocks Cartoon. Now that I've watched the cartoon twice, I have really mixed feelings. One possible reason is that I am a Boondocksphile (made that one up). I read the comic day in and day out, read interviews by McGruder, and all but have tattooed Huey on my arm (aight, I'm really not THAT into the comic but you know what I mean). So when I finally heard Cartoon Network picked up the show, I patiently waited. Maybe I'm too close to it to appreciate artistic variation. I think the cartoon is funny, not as funny as it could be, but definitely enjoyable. Most of the laughs come in a 'comic strip' form (short jokes or running gags)which is true to the comic. The one thing that has concerned me and many who watched and are discussing the show is the use of 'the n-word.' "
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From a friend:

"Notes from the strike

I spent the day on the picket line with some of our brothers and sisters at NYU and I was so inspired that I just wanted to pass along a bit of the experience. It's a long email so if you're not interested don't feel obligated...

First of all, I know most of you know this but the strike is indefinite - that's heavy, to say the least. It's also a strike for recognition - I mean, just to get a contract which is also incredibly daunting. But they have so much energy, it's really impressive. They're running two big pickets every day from 8-5 and all members do 3 five hour shifts a week. They are receiving strike pay fom UAW. Today was the 4th full day of striking.

I won't go into all of the details and news... many of you probably get the CGEU emails and are already familiar. But if you're interested there are a few blogs and websites detailing the situation. Some of the most amazing stuff has been the overwhelming faculty support - who were to some extent inadvertantly organized by the administration; on the first day of the strike a scandal also broke involving the administration's surveilance of professors' coursetools sites (blackboard is the program, officially). I'm including some links at the bottom for more info on all of this....

Let's see.. of course they were happy to have support from UofM and a number of folks asked me if I knew various people here. One woman in the Spanish department gave me an enormous hug when I told her that I knew Luis Cabrera- apparently she was his student as an undergrad. It's nice to see some of our undergrads growing into militant grad union members.

A GESO organizer from Yale seemed to not believe I was who I said I was - she thought I was masquerading as Urmila - we cleared that up, though.

The chants were good, though they didn't really take to "workers side/bosses side"... apparently Michigan chants don't fly in New York. And I had to curb my natural inclination to follow "3,5,7,9!" with "Michigan it's contract time!" - the right response, in this case was "come and join our picket line!" I've been trying to remember some of our other classic chants for tomorrow but I'm having a hard time recalling. If anyone wants to remind me that would be great.

I wish I could somehow instantly transport all of you out to New York tomorrow - it's been so great but it's a little sad without the familiarity of the GEO crew. Nonetheless, seeing so many people like us taking this huge risk - an open ended strike just for a basic contract - really renewed some of my own sense of what we all do this for, all the meetings, all the office visiting, etc. It really is important and it really is about something larger."

tx urs
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mousemusings

"During the Dalai Lama's 10 day visit to Washington, that was not without controversy, he wondered why a “small pocket” of people living in the world’s “champion of democracy, liberty and freedom” lacked full voting rights and representation in Congress.

“Quite strange, quite strange,” he remarked, drawing further laughter."

The concept of voting is pretty deep rooted though. When no one had a say in the matter, voting was seen as a way to get your voice represented. Now I don't think that is an honest reality of voting structures....
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All Facts and Opinions: Voting as Activism

"Did you know that when an informed person participates in voting, that person becomes an activist?"

hmmm.... no I didn't know that..... hmmmm....
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Boycott Thieves (Starting with Exxon Mobil)

"Given that I have been invited to participate in this blog, I try to do that - participate. :-D I was drawing a blank today so I simply goggled 'Boycott Exxon' and saw what hits were returned. Lo and behold, I found this brief article over at The Huffington Post posted last Wednesday on the very subject of Exxon:

After sixteen years, ExxonMobil has still not compensated Alaska fishermen five billion dollars for damages caused by the eleven million gallons of crude oil dumped in Prince William Sound during the 1989 tanker spill."
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Bombs and Shields



"Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. - Unrepentant animal-liberationist Peter Young was sentenced to two years in federal prison for freeing approximately 8,000 mink from Midwestern fur farms in 1997. He was also ordered pay $254,840 in restitution to the farmers, but has vowed not to pay them a cent. In court he taunted farmers present by stating 'It was an absolute pleasure to have visited your farms ... and I wish I could have put more of you in bankruptcy.' A raid Peter participated in forced at least one South Dakota mink rancher to go out of business and cost the others thousands of dollars in lost profits and new security systems."
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The Tufts Daily - Ooh baby, baby, it's a wiki world

"When junior Mickey Leibner went to see the movie 'Good Night, and Good Luck' last week, his curiosity about the movie's subject - CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow's fight against 1950s McCarthyism - was piqued. So when Leibner got home that night, he did something that has become a habit for him: he visited the free, interactive online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

"
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90% Crud: How Hollywood Manipulates Science

"There was a story on Slashdot this morning about new research involving a giant ape. It's awfully coincidental that this research came out 1 month before the King Kong movie. Think I'm being cynical? Listen to this NPR piece on how Hollywood manipulates science (8:54) to promote its movies.

Universal Pictures worked with paleontologists to ensure that dinosaur news would coincide with the release of each Jurassic Park movie. They even had one scientist lie about the discovery date of some fossils by a few weeks, in order to have the discovery date closer to Jurassic Park 3's opening. He was fine with it, since Universal paid for a lot of his research. Universal is also the studio that is releasing King Kong.

Still think I'm being cynical?"
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Vision Circle: Boondocks: The Series

"The show had 1 maybe 2 funny spots. I expected more 'ha ha'.

The satire/political commentary was in your face and showed no
ingenuity. To me, the best satire is subtle or so over the top it's
just shows how stupid the situation is; think George Carlin.

That's how I read the Boondocks comic strip. It hits you in 3 or 4 panels.

*BAM*

Right in the gonads.

I think the restraint and limited space does well to make McGruder hit it.

With the cartoon, he has less restraint and about 21 minutes to get
his points over. That may be too much. He gets 2 more looks for me, if it doesn't get better, that's it."
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An enemy of the state

via mousemusings
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Shameless Agitator

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funferal: Online communication Archives

"As if the annotated audio idea wasn't enough, today I got pointed towards details of the BBC's programme catalogue - a 7 million line database - which is being prototyped on a Rails framework. Of interest, of course, is that the database was developed and maintained by professional librarians, so it offers an interesting counterpoint to the distributed annotation model. Further fun, of course, from the fact that tagging, etc., is being layered on top of the professional annotation in this application. Now think about what happens when you link the programme catalogue and annotated audio-style tools."
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Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies - New York Times

"In Google, Wal-Mart sees both a technology pioneer and the seed of a threat, said Mr. Breyer, who is also a partner in a venture capital firm. The worry is that by making information available everywhere, Google might soon be able to tell Wal-Mart shoppers if better bargains are available nearby."
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Guilds' Actions Foster Strike Plans at Studios - Los Angeles Times

"Unnerved by mounting anger within the unions representing actors and writers, Hollywood studios are already girding for potential strikes two years before the first contract even expires.

Relations have become so frayed in the last two months with the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America, West, that studios recently began drafting strike contingency plans that could be finalized by early next year."
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Technology News: Commentary : The Most Powerful Labor Union in the World: Linux?

"For several years a number of us have been anticipating the emergence of a Software Labor Union. The argument has not been whether it will emerge but what form it will take. The conditions for forming technology unions have never been better."
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NewsKasso - English

"Working Class France...

For some days now, radio and television stations from around the world have been contacting me requesting interviews regarding the events that have been shaking up the suburbs of France.

Unfortunately, I cannot honor all of these requests and so I have decided to express myself through my website.

As much as I would like to distance myself from politics, it is difficult to remain distant in the face of the depravations of politicians. And when these depravations draw the hate of all youth, I have to restrain myself from encouraging the rioters. "
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AWESOME!!!

BlackBox Radio

"BlackBox Radio broadcasts from WCBN FM -Radio Free- Ann Arbor at 6pm on Tuesday, 9am on Friday, and 5pm on the last Saturday of the month as part of the Critical Mass Radio Network. BlackBox Radio produces original, independent news programming covering local, national and international issues."
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Confined Space

"Every once in a while industry associations slip up and reveal their true sociopathic colors.

Pat Cleary, who writes the "Manufacturers' Blog" for the National Association of Manufacturers has always been a bit of a joke -- a bad joke considering NAM's "contribution" to repealing the ergonomics standard in 2001 and generally weakening workers health and safety rights.

Now, however, he's gone over the edge, way beyond bad taste, all the way to dispicable:

Trial Lawyers and the Theory of the Lead Paint Diet

Great editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal entitled, "Paint by Lawyer" about the trial lawyers' assault on the paint industry because of people eating -- that's right, eating -- lead paint. If you're eating lead paint as you're reading this, please stop. Paint is a coating, not a foodstuff.


Since when is lead poisoning in children a joke?"
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Human Iterations

"If the Boondocks premier had any higher purpose it was as a tightly packed send-up of its most arrogant readership for Aaron's own amusement. And, given the timidity shown in the mainstream reviews it's received so far, one can only conclude that the joke was a roaring success.

Where he takes it from here, of course, is the big question. The first episode simply managed to put off the difficulties innate in the transfer from print to screen. Personally, I'd like to see complicated fleshing of politics and a focus on drama rather than situational boredom. But it's Aaron's show and if he wants to stick with the compressed meta-humor I suppose that's his own look-out."
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Screed: me, angry?

"talking to my roomie today and she said, dude, you have some serious anger about men.

i gave it some thought and agreed.

but tonight, after the episode with the guy and girl under my window, i revised my thinking. when he grabbed her i felt something jolt inside me. THAT was anger and that's not something i feel, or have felt, toward any of the men i've been with or have had in my life. this is what makes me angry: ignorance, arrogance and stupidly used power. blindly wielded authority. apathy. stupid teenagers and undergrads (see ignorance and arrogance above.)

but do i have anger toward men?

men i feel specific anger toward:
george w. bush & almost every single man in his cabinet who has not yet quit and who still supports this disaster-laden administration.
david brooks
the men who voted for bush. (fuckers)
bill frist, rick santorum, that pale weasly guy from connecticut...shit, what's his name?
the guy who plays horatio on csi: miami (fucking tool)
all the drunk buffoons who stumble from the sports bars and pee on the cars on my block. (fuckers)
the guy who took advantage of my friend when she was in no shape to fend him off (fucker and i hope you get hit by a taxi when you're crossing the street while talking on your cell phone)
carry lalabro (fucker fucker fucker)
chris nelson (yeah, i used your name, you bougie-hocky playing with the stars-date my sister-barely graduated college-asshole. fucker.)

men who merely frustrate me so much i can only talk to them in little chunks:
men who work in financial services
men who are 'born again'
the men in my dad's church
hipsters/guys who still go clubbing
MRAs
B-

the number of men at whom i've gotten angry but not for very long: 9

so when you think about it, that's actually not alot of anger floating around. i could be angrier.

(and am i angry at patriarchal discourse in popular culture, a system or at a whole gender? unfortunately, the majority of those who benefit from a patriarchal system are men, therefore, some men experience some blowback. ah, well.)"
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"International Terrorist George W. Bush"

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karmalised: Stop the MPAA and RIAA's Horror Triple Bill!

"On Thursday, November 3rd, the heads of the MPAA and RIAA presented to the House Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property their plans for the future of digital technology.

For high-definition television (HDTV), the MPAA demands every receiver must have, and obey, the broadcast flag. For new radio technologies, you'll be restricted to recording radio shows for a minimum of 30 minutes, for a maximum of 50 hours. And all analog to digital video conversions will be forced to watch for, and obey, a concealed copy restriction mark.

If any one of these provisions pass, it would be a disaster for you and for innovation.

There'll be no room for open source software here. All of these devices must be "robust" -- welded shut to prevent alteration by their owners.

There'll be no room for innovation without the say-so of Hollywood. And there'll be no fair use copying without breaking the law.

Let Congress know how preposterous the MPAA and RIAA's proposals are, and warn them that your technological future depends on their willingness to stand up for your rights."
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Fruits of Our Labour: Chavez Restyles Venezuela With '21st-Century Socialism'

""I'm not afraid of socialism and never have been," said Rivas Silvino, who works in a diaper factory run by workers and managers under a state co-management plan. "The world is afraid. I say, don't be afraid.""
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Fruits of Our Labour: Call Yourself an American Socialist?

"On January 3, 1991, when Bernie Sanders was sworn in as Vermont’s sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives, history was made. Sanders became the first Independent [Socialist] elected to Congress in 40 years. He has since been re-elected seven times and is the longest-serving Independent in the history of the House of Representatives."
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to the barricades

"Q. What does Iraq actually look like two and a half years after the U.S. invasion?

Most of Iraq is a disaster and in a state of complete chaos.

The security situation is more accurately described as a brutal, guerrilla war which spiraled out of control over a year ago. Attacks on US forces even now average over 70 per day, and are expected to increase in coming months."
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micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links: How many more elections before the U.S. doesn't run Iraq?

"As Juan Cole noted on November 2, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani recently said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat that he was opposed to the United States launching an invasion of Syria from Iraq, but that he couldn't really do anything to stop it. AFP (November 2) writes:

"I categorically refuse the use of Iraqi soil to launch a military strike against Syria or any other Arab country," Talabani told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published Tuesday.

"But at the end of the day my ability to confront the US military is limited and I cannot impose on them my will.""
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mousemusings

"declassified portions of the document were made available by Senator Carl M. Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

...) The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, "was intentionally misleading the debriefers" in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda's work with illicit weapons.

The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi's credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi's information as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons."
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Human Iterations
"(Washington Post Discovers FBI To Be Spying On Citizens, Citizens Sigh Exasperatedly)
"The fact is that this is only the smallest sign of a incredibly serious problem — systematic surveillance and unaccountable secret police are always toxic, and can be lethal, to anything resembling freedom. This is something that deserves a lot more than heaping facile sarcasm on it. But what else is there to say? It’s outrageous, but it’s not at all surprising. Those who rammed through measures like the USA PATRIOT act not expecting this to come are the worst sort of fools. Those who rammed through those measures not caring whether it came or not are the worst sort of criminals. And my lingering suspicion is that most of the folks in DC are both thoughtless enough, and ruthless enough, to be best described as both.""
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Sutter Strikers Blog: Open Letter from Closed Minds

"Thursday, November 3rd, was a another vibrant day on the line.

Unfortunately CPMC management chose to continue their lies instead of dealing with their workers and giving us a good contact.

In case you missed their "open letter" to Sal Roselli in the paper. They claimed that they had offered to meet all of the union demands and Sal was keeping us out on strike because of some secret power play. Funny, I seem to remember my coworkers and I voting to go out on strike.

I seem to remember being fed up with having 18 patients on evening shift when Catholic Healthcare West caps their evening shift aides at 8 patients.

While everyone on the line respects Sal, workers don't go out on strike for over 50 days unless they have strong personal feelings about their working conditions, benefits and wages.

Who made us strike?

Sal didn't make us do it.

The Devil didn't make us do it.

Management and its commitment to giving the workers more work and less pay than our competitors brought us to the ballot box. We voted to strike.

There isn't some phantom union boss pulling the strings and CPMC knows it.

They treated us as if we were invisible before the strike and now they spend their money on an "Open Letter" to Sal as if the workers didn't exist.

Today on the picket line we passed around copies of the Chronicle ad and everyone was disgusted.

Their claim that they agree to staffing arbitration is a lie. Any department that has government rules would be exempt. So because RNs have a legal ration CNAs would still be stuck with 18 patients on evening shift perhaps more if someone called in sick.

Their education "offer" of $1,000 is a joke. That will not pay for private school and City College nursing slots are so rare that they are distributed by lottery. If there isn't an opening, what good is the money.

The Unions vision of a giant education fund is what we need. By combining all of the workers education money into a Superfund, they could create classes so the money could actually be used. It is about the economies of scale being used to make sure the soon to retire Baby Boomers have enough health care workers when they need them.

CPMC could have saved millions of dollars on Security, Replacement workers & advertising by just communicating with their workers.

Listen to Us. Listen to the Federal Mediator's Proposal."
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Always Low Prices -- Always: Blog Reactions to the GI Conference

"Today we’ve chosen Dr. David Neumark, an economist with the Public Policy Institute of California who co-authored a paper for Wal-Mart’s self-funded academic conference today in Washington, DC. Neumark dared to challenge the company on its own dime, and presented a paper that contradicts today’s other rosy presentations. His study examined Wal-Mart’s effect on employment and earnings, and concluded that “Residents of a local labor market do indeed earn less following the opening of Wal-Mart stores.”"
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Workers not 'lawbreakers' | Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council

"I was a bit concerned yesterday after reading a Sunday article by Steve Urbon on the Fair Labor Standards Act ("Work week law changed Americans' lives," Page A2, Oct. 30) by what was obviously a misunderstanding of comments I made during a phone interview.

What I tried to express in that interview was that it is the employers who are the lawbreakers, employers who illegally refuse to pay overtime and who often apply illegal tactics to thwart the efforts of workers to stand up for their rights. As I mentioned, the penalty for such crimes is rarely a deterrent.

Many unions, mine included, continue to fight hard for the rights of immigrant workers, regardless of their classification as either documented or undocumented. As opposed to being ignorant of the law, as too often portrayed, they are regularly more vulnerable to the illegal actions of their bosses.

Finally, I did not ( or did not intend to) suggest that "the practice of hiring immigrants ... opened the door to flagrant disregard of the labor laws." That door was flung open some time ago by corporate greed aided by its political allies (remember PATCO, for instance). It remains opened today and can be closed only by a strengthened labor movement, a mobilization of workers and their allies. Such a mobilization is the only way to bring about workplace and political changes (including a true amnesty for undocumented immigrants and labor law reform) that will protect all workers."
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Remembering Rosa Parks | Autonomy & Solidarity

"By Leslie Cagan longtime US peace with justice activist

I woke up this morning to the news that Rosa Parks had died yesterday. She had lived a long, full life and had contributed to the struggle for human dignity, for freedom and justice more than most of us can even imagine doing. Nearly 50 years ago she took one seemingly small step that set off a campaign that shook the south and sent repercussions throughout the nation and around the world. Her refusal to go to the back of the bus was not, as some would tell the tale, because she was physically tired. No, on that day in Montgomery, Alabama Rosa Parks took an action that reflected just how sick and tired she and a whole generation was of being treated like second class citizens."

Leslie Cagan is an amazing person, I met her briefly at a ZMI event in 2000.
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F*CK - About the Film

"I was always intrigued with the word as a writer because it’s a word that you can use at any time in so many different ways. That’s really where it first started: it’s a verb, it’s a noun, and it’s an adjective. I’ve always loved words and I was always amused by the fact that the F-word can be used in so many different ways in so many different contexts"
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Plot Summary for The History of White People in America (1985) (TV):

"In ths "mockumentary," host Martin Mull discusses the contributions that white people have made to the U.S., visits the Institute of White Studies, and follows a typical white family as they go about their everyday lives."
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THE TEMPTATIONS - BALL OF CONFUSION LYRICS

1, 2... 1, 2, 3, 4, Ow!

People moving out, people moving in. Why, because of the color of their skin.
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Vote for me and I'll set you free. Rap on, brother, rap on.
Dennis: Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the...(preacher.)
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the...(teacher.)
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.
Ball of confusion. Oh yeah, that's what the world is today. Woo, hey, hey.

The sale of pills are at an all time high.
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky.
The cities ablaze in the summer time.
And oh, the beat goes on.

Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul.
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything.

And the band played on.
So, round and around and around we go.
Where the world's headed, nobody knows.

Oh, great GoogaMooga, can't you hear me talking to you.
Just a ball of confusion.
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today.
Woo, hey, hey.

Fear in the air, tension everywhere.
Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles new record's a gas.

And the only safe place to live is on an Indian reservation.

And the band played on.
Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors,
Mod clothes in demand, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills,
Hippies moving to the hills. People all over the world are shouting, 'End the war.'

And the band played on.

Great GoogaMooga, can't you hear me talking to you.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.
That's what the world is today, hey, hey.
Let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya, let me hear ya.
Sayin'... ball of confusion.

----
Love and Rockets does an excellent cover as well.
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Kathryn Cramer: Weaponizing Sound the Old Fashioned Way

"Further to the subject of sonic weapons, Noah Schachtman at Defensetech writes about how the Israeli military is blasting the old fashioned way: with sonic booms produced by jets: Israeli Jets in Gaza Soundclash (This is contrast to the newer, more, shall we say, energy efficient technique available: using sonic blasters, aka "Long Range Acoustic Devices.")"
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Natalia saw that I had posted about Tom Scribner and asked if I could let folks know about her work.

Natalia Paruz, musical saw and bells plus a variety of novelty musical instruments
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Blogthings - Your Linguistic Profile:

<table style="color: black;" width=400 align=center border=1 bordercolor=black cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2>
<tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#A8FFB3">
<h3>Your Linguistic Profile:</h3>
</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#D9FFD8">
75% General American English</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#A8FFB3">
15% Upper Midwestern</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#D9FFD8">
5% Dixie</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#A8FFB3">
5% Midwestern</td></tr><tr><td bgcolor="#D9FFD8">
0% Yankee</td></tr></table>

<div align="center">
<a href="http://www.blogthings.com/amenglishdialecttest/">What Kind of American English Do You Speak?</a>
</div>
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ChurchGal: feminist epistemology: from a guy!!:

"Hugo Schwyzer is someone i read every so often. you'll find him on my blogroll but i have to admit that the number of Men's Rights Activists (MRAs) on his site sometimes makes me puke.

anyway, when we talk about patriarchy, i like to read what hugo has to say about it. for one, he's a guy and when a guy takes the time to acknowledge patriarchy and actually unpack it regularly, well i take notice.

you should take notice, too. his recent posts on the parker and dowd articles are good, especially when he talks about our culture's inability to cultivate men who have the language and depth to explore their emotional terrain. classic. (and quite academic.)"
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Union president urges work slowdown to put pressure on Delphi:

"UAW chief Ron Gettlefinger called the idea of production-slowing "work to rule" actions a "good idea" during a meeting Wednesday with union officials, according to the newsletter.

Gettlefinger "stated that work to rule is a good idea, we should not do one thing more than what is required,""
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Flagrancy to Reason:

"Can we impeach CNN?"
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No Sweat:

"Freedom of Association and The Right to Collective Bargaining; A Clean Clothes Campaign Primer Focusing on the Global Apparel Industry, September 2005

Now available online at: Clean Clothes Campaign

This “primer” provides background on various aspects of freedom of association and collective bargaining, particularly in the context of multi-stakeholder initiatives that deal with codes of conduct."
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TPMCafe || Fighting Alito: Why Chittister is the Key Case:

"So this is my strategy memo, for what it's worth.

To build the case against Alito, we do need to document all the ways that Alito opposes the rights of the accused, threatens abortion rights, and endangers workers rights.

But we need at least one decision that encapsulates what's wrong with Alito's view of the law, unites the maximum voters against him, and divides the potential opposition.

And that case is Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, the decision where Alito ruled that the Family and Medical Leave Act did not apply to millions of state employees across the country. This was a decision that was overturned by the Supreme Court, in a decision written by Chief Justice Rehnquist."
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The Red and the Black: Why the Right is Winning:

"A good story by Nina Totenberg on why the Right is effective. They attack the president over thier issues and support him when he is their toady. Imagen a labor leader attacking ANY Democrat. The liberal social movement activists; labor, color, gender, environmental, have basically become water carriers for a party that actually defends Wall Street more than thier concerns. Because of this lcge has spent most of its time on electoral politics and raising money for losing candidates on all levels but particularly at the presidential level. Remember Sister Souljah v. Clinton? What did the civil rights community do in reaction to this? Call him the greatest president ever. Remember NAFTA and GATT? What did the labor and environmental community do in reaction to this? Give Clinton/Gore/Kerry more money and grass roots activism then ever. If these movements don't put more energy into organizing their won't be anything left to defend, particularly for the labor movement."
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Our Day Will Come - Liberation Theology:

"Currently reading:

The Anarchist Dimension of Liberation Theology

Good for countering the religious right, that's for sure."

Something I need to read...
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thedesertsun.com | 40-hour schedule a dying novelty?:

"People still talk about working 9 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.), but at this point people are working 8 (a.m.) to 6 (p.m.) - at least," says Gretchen Burger, program director for Take Back Your Time, a Seattle-based organization formed to raise awareness of the time poverty facing Americans. "We need to get back to the 40-hour workweek."
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POF:

"The Prewitt Organizing Fund is a self-funding non-profit with three primary missions: without regard to borders, we help our members and partners quickly add capacity for critical projects; without regard to traditional bureaucratic limitations, we recruit and deploy very good organizers and help them have real lives and family time; and, we invest surplus resources to create or drive unique, important or independent organizing projects."

Anyone have experience with these folks?
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unbossed.com » Social Justice . . . Bad . . . Very Very bad:

"social justice "reflexively denigrates the values and institutions of our society"? Have these folks heard of the Declaration of Independence or the Preamble to the US Constitution?"
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I know everyone is linking to this story...

Rhode Island’s Future » You have to read this.:

"This blows my mind. How anyone in their right mind could vote for a Republican after reading this, I just don’t know.

Here is a memo from (indicted) Rep. Tom DeLay aide Mike Scanlon:

“The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees,” Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.”"
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Bob's Links and Rants: Bienvenidos a la Argentina:

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New Poll: Majority of Americans Support Impeachment | AfterDowningStreet.org:

"The poll found that 53% agreed with the statement:

"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.""
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karmalised: SMEARING CHOMSKY - THE GUARDIAN IN THE GUTTER:

"medialens details a sloppy attack on Chomsky initiated by the Guardian when it published this "interview" by Emma Brockes, 'The greatest intellectual?' (The Guardian, October 31, 2005). There's much more to it and you can read about it here.

Prospect's poll asking who is the world's leading "public intellectual" was won by Chomsky and by a wide margin. The journal solicited Robin Blackburn and Oliver Kamm to write 'For and against Chomsky' in response to the results."
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Bob's Links and Rants: Bush is something special:

"President George W. Bush and the current Administration have now borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks than the previous 42 U.S. presidents combined.

Throughout the first 224 years (1776-2000) of our nation's history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions according to the U.S. Treasury Department. In the past four years alone (2001-2005), the Bush Administration has borrowed a staggering $1.05 trillion."
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Argentine Self Management | Autonomy & Solidarity:

"This October I spent a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina learning about Argentina's workers movement to recuperate factories.

During the recent corporate globalization inspired economic downturns in Argentina, workers confronted disaster when their capitalist workplaces often went bankrupt. To preserve income and avoid possible starvation, workers in failing plants in certain cases decided to recuperate their workplaces back into viable businesses despite the capitalist owner being unable to make a go of it."
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What's on Michele Malkin's iPod? | The Bellman:

"I'm sick of America getting a bad rap from miserable "artists" like Boots Riley. He belongs in a capitalism-free cave in Tora Bora, spewing his "poetry" around an al Qaeda campfire. But I'm even sicker of Riley's cultural defenders in the eilte [sic] media. Sept. 11 brought home the lesson that vile ideas have bloody consequences - no matter how "daggone funky" they may sound to mush-headed music critics."
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NYU | The Bellman:

"Graduate Employees at NYU have voted to authorize a strike. The issue is the university's decision to decertify the union in the wake of an NLRB ruling holding that private universities are not obligated to engage in collective bargaining with graduate employees. If no agreement is reached, the strike will begin on November 9.

Sean has a good post up at to the barricades and zach at Weapon of Class Instruction has been writing about these issues regularly, so I expect to see lots of high quality strike blogging.

The issues here are awfully familiar to me. I don't want to overstate the parallels between what's going on at NYU now and the fight we had at UIUC -- for one thing, they've already successfully negotiated a contract and lived under it for several years -- but in both cases the union's aim is to convince the employer to grant recognition even though the law doesn't require them to do so.

Clearly, the state of the law favors the employer here, but one notable fact about such a legal environment is that the union's choice of tactics is considerably less constrained than it would be otherwise. Which is to say that once the NLRB says you have no bargaining rights, the NLRB loses its authority to say that some tactics -- sit down strikes come to mind -- are out of bounds.

For what it's worth, at UIUC recognition was won by engaging in civil disobedience rather than through job actions. I can't guarantee that a similar action would work at NYU, or that it would have worked here if it hadn't come several months after a significant job action, but what I will say is that the Wobblies were right: Direct action gets the goods."
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The Sanders' Gallery :: WikiSym and WikiVanning 2005:

Pictures!!!!
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mousemusings:

""There will only ever be one Rosa Parks..."

And there will only ever be one John Conyers."
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to the barricades:

"Some classic union-busting propaganda sent to my inbox from some asshole who doesn't give two shits about education (the subject was "Vote by the UAW to Disrupt Classes")"
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Undertow - Brian's Blog:

"Now that Israeli "settlers" have been moved out of Gaza the Israeli government has begun unleashing new methods of punishment on the Palestinians who reside there. Methods of punishment that they could not have gotten away with while Israelis were living there.

Palestinians hit by sonic boom air raids"
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Windchime Walker:

"How can I do justice to what I saw, heard, felt and was part of at Rosa Parks' funeral today? Will you belive me when I say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience? When I say that I will never be the same again? When I say that when I look back on my life, this day will be somewere very near the top?"
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Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti:

ICPJ Update -- November 3, 2005

0. Opening Words
1. Promote Justice in the Americas-Close the School of Assassins
2. Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices -- Film Screenings
3. The color of success
4. Events Calendar
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LiveJournal:umstudents

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MichiganLiberal - SoapBlox MI:

"Tonight comes news that Major Gerald M. Bloomfield II of Ypsilanti died this week in a helicopter crash in Ramadi, Iraq. He is the 67th known member of the armed forces with Michigan ties to lose his or her life in Iraq."
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Terry Gilliam is Brilliant
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CNN.com - Report: CIA holds terror suspects in secret prisons - Nov 2, 2005:

"The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement, the Washington Post reported."
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Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler : They Lied To Us:

"The cry across the land grows increasingly shrill: "THEY LIED TO US!"

For going on three years, the American public, especially on the political left, has been complaining that the Iraq War was some kind of a shuck-and-jive. The Bush government pulled the wool over everybody's eyes. They ran a vicious propaganda operation. We were fooled by all those fairy tales about WMDs, Saddam and Osama, and African radioactive yellowcake.

Now, through the fog of the Valerie Plame affair and the indictment of Scooter Libby, the cry is reaching a crescendo: "THEY LIED TO US!"

Being a Democrat myself, and therefore nominally in opposition to Bush-and-Cheneyism, one has to contend with all sorts of embarrassing nonsense emanating from one's own side. In Sunday's New York Times op-ed section, for instance, Nicholas Kristoff wrote: "Mr. Cheney, we need a stiff dose of truth." I'm sorry to tell you this Nick (and the rest of my homies), but what Jack Nicholson's character said in that court martial movie some years back still applies: you can't stand the truth.

If the American public could stand the truth, we would stop calling it the Iraq War and rename it the War to Save Suburbia. Of all the things that Bush and Cheney have said over the last six years, the one thing the Democratic opposition has not challenged is the statement that "the American way of life is not negotiable." They're just as invested in it as everybody else. The Democrats complain about the dark efforts by Bush and Cheney to cook up a rationale for the war. Guess what? The Democrats desperately need something to oppose besides the truth. If they would shut up about WMDs for five minutes and just take a good look around, they'd know exactly why this war started.

When the American people, Democrat and Republican both, decided to build a drive-in utopia based on incessant easy motoring and massive oil dependency, who lied to them? When tens of millions of Americans bought McHouses thirty-four miles away from their jobs in Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Dallas, who lied to them? When American public officials adopted the madness of single-use zoning and turned the terrain of this land into a tragic crapscape of strip malls on six-lane highways, who lied to them? When American school officials decided to consolidate all the kids in gigantic centralized facilities serviced by fleets of yellow buses that ran an average of 150,000 miles per year per school, who lied to them? When Americans trashed their public transit and railroad system, who lied to them? When Americans let WalMart gut Main Street, who lied to them? When Bill and Hillary Clinton bought a suburban villa in farthest reaches of northern Westchester County, New York, who lied to them?

You want truth, Progressive America? Here's the truth: the War to Save Suburbia entailed an unavoidable strategic military enterprise. Saving Suburbia required that the Middle East be pacified or at least stabilized, because two-thirds of the world's remaining oil is there (and in case you haven't figured this out by now, Suburbia runs on oil, and the oil has to be cheap or we couldn't afford to run it). The three main oil-producing countries in the Middle East, going from west-to-east are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. We had serious relationship problems with all of them at various times, and they with each other, leading at frequent intervals to a lot of instability in that region, and consequently trouble for us trying to run Suburbia on cheap oil (which they sold us in large quantities).

After nineteen religious maniacs from the Middle East, mostly Arabs (though unaffiliated officially with any state in their actions) flew planes into our skyscrapers and a big government building, we had to kick someone's ass. We decided to start by kicking the ass of Afghanistan, where one particular mischievous maniac, Mr. bin Laden, had set up operations connected with 9/11. It wasn't enough. We never could find Mr. bin Laden, Afghanistan wasn't really in the Middle East, and whatever else they were, the Afghans weren't Arabs. We had to find somebody else's ass to kick to reinforce the idea that religious maniacs unaffiliated with any particular state could not pull off lethal stunts like 9/11 without bringing substantial pain down on their own home places. To put it plainly, we had to kick some Arab ass. We picked Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Not because he had anything to do with 9/11-- which we couldn't pin on any Muslim nation -- but because Saddam's Baathist regime was Arab, and the same general religious brand as the guys who did 9/11, Sunni Muslim, and because Saddam had already proven to be a freelance mischievous maniac quite in his own right over the years, worth getting rid of, and most of all (from a strategic point-of-view) because Iraq was the perfect place geographically to open a US police station in the Middle East. It was right between those two other troublemakers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and setting up an American military presence between them, it was hoped, would moderate and influence their behavior, and discourage them from doing anything to interfere with the indispensable supplies of oil that we desperately required to run our beloved, non-negotiable Suburbia. It was even hoped, by a band of extreme idealists in the US Government, that in the process of setting up a military presence in Iraq, we could convert this troubled, fractious nation into a peaceful, cohesive, beneficent democracy, establishing a shining example, blah, blah. . . . But such is the nature of idealism.

I apologize for taking two long paragraphs to tell you the true origins of the War to Save Suburbia, but it was, after all, only two paragraphs, and the truth is sometimes not so simple. The American people have gotten exactly the war that they bargained for. The outstanding obvious question is not by what wicked and recondite means the War to Save Suburbia got started, but how come once started, we did such a poor job of resolving it, specifically why, after nearly three years, our vaunted technological mastery couldn't get the electricity running more than a few hours a day in Baghdad, why we let squads of redneck moron enlisted personnel beat up on prisoners and videotape their own antics, and why we can't even get the oil equipment in good enough shape so the Iraqis can sell us the oil we still need to run our non-negotiable way of life?

So, as a card-carrying Democrat and as a Progressive who would like to see his country successfully adapt to the changing realities of the world, I propose we stop making ourselves ridiculous by whining about being lied to, because we've only been lying to ourselves. We walked into the War to Save Suburbia with, as the old saying goes, our eyes wide shut."
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Forging the Case for War:

"On Sept. 9, 2002, Ledeen set up a secret meeting between Pollari and Deputy National Security Adviser Hadley. Two weeks before the meeting, a group of documents had been offered to journalist Elisabetta Burba of the Italian magazine Panorama for $10,000, but the demand for money was soon dropped and the papers were handed over. The man offering the documents was Rocco Martino, a former SISMI officer who delivered the first WMD dossier to London in October 2002. That Martino quickly dropped his request for money suggests that the approach was a set-up primarily intended to surface the documents."
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UFT - Childcare workers rally for union rights:

"Family childcare providers packed Harlem’s Alhambra Ballroom on Oct. 26 for a union rally that had the clamor and fervor of an old-fashioned revival meeting.

“This is what we are fighting for,” said UFT President Randi Weingarten. “You deserve a living wage. You deserve health benefits. You deserve a pension. You deserve a vacation. If you are expected to teach children, why should you have to pay for educational supplies out of your own pocket?”"
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Tom Scribner: A Tribute to a Labor Organizer on Flickr - Photo Sharing!:



"This statue of Tom Scribner (1899-1982) was created in 1978 by artist Marghe McMahon. It is located right outside Bookshop Santa Cruz on the Pacific Garden Mall. In his older years, Tom made a practice of supporting buskers and street musicians by playing his saw on the Mall.

Tom had been a logger, and a labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (aka the Wobblies). The Wobblies were active from 1905 to WWI, and their aim was to organize unskilled workers all over the world into "One Big Union". "Solidarity Forever" was their slogan. He also editied a local newspaper called "The Redwood Ripsaw" during the 60's.

It is said that even though his skills at the musical saw were negligible, he did manage to play with the likes of George Harrison and Leon Russell. He was a raconteur and humorist, which I am sure helped his performances immensely. He also founded the annual Musical Saw Festival, which now takes place each year at Roaring Camp. Tom is rolling in his grave at that one, I am sure"
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