Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Real Hero

If you know someone in high school thinking about enlisting, do your part to make sure they know their options and the downsides of becoming fodder for the Bush war machine!

When military recruiters set up a table at a high school in Sonoma County, chances are Elizabeth Stinson is taking a seat right next to them, to try to urge youngsters not to enlist.

The director of the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County counts at least 400 people she's "de-recruited" from the military, a statistic that helped her win this year's Long Haul Prize, given to the most active activist in politically active Northern California.

"Teenagers are trying to separate from their parents as individuals, so they're vulnerable to a recruiter," said the 57-year-old Forestville mother of three, surrounded by posters of Malcolm X, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. in her Santa Rosa office.

"It's only fair we show them there are other alternatives," she said.

Stinson has trained task forces of teenagers at five Sonoma County high schools to set up their own counter-military recruitment tables.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Scanning Today's Bee

Federal judge overturns Bush plan for roads in wilderness. The judge said Bush broke the law (so what's new?) when he reversed Clinton's road ban without conducting the necessary environmental studies.

A different federal judge ordered Bush to release documents containing the identities of detainees at Guantanamo who were released or who suffered mistreatment.

In a recent poll, 65% of republicans said most members of congress had not done a good enough job to deserve reelection and that it was time to give someone new a chance.

The 9th circuit ruled that libraries can block religious groups from worshipping in public meeting rooms. Naturally, Bush filed an amicus brief on behalf of the religious groups!

Overall, it was a great day in the Bee!!

Air Controllers Chafe at Plan to Cut Staff

This is the same story we hear these days throughout the Bush administration. Its the same ole strategy of treating people like shit as shown by this line:

In an interview, the administrator of the agency, Marion C. Blakey, said the goal of the changes was to make the agency run more like a business.

When are these people going to get a clue and realize that government is NOT a business and the goal should not be to run it like one????

DALLAS, Sept. 13 — A drive by the Federal Aviation Administration to cut the number of air traffic controllers nationally by 10 percent below negotiated levels, and even more sharply at places like the busy radar center here, is producing tension, anger and occasional shows of defiance among controllers.

At the radar office that controls planes around Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and at a cluster of other airports where staffing levels are falling fast, unhappiness is usually not visible in the darkened radar centers where they work, except when it is glaringly obvious.

Like the recent day when a controller here went to work in lime green pants and a clashing brown jacket, along with hair dyed blue, to protest a new dress code. Elsewhere, male controllers have rebelled by going to work in dresses.

Most controllers here say they are far more concerned with workplace changes that do not involve wardrobe, including salary caps, lower pay for new hires and stricter control of vacation schedules and sick leave.

In an interview, the administrator of the agency, Marion C. Blakey, said the goal of the changes was to make the agency run more like a business.

“You can’t serve an industry that’s largely teetering on bankruptcy and ask for a bigger slice of the pie,” Ms. Blakey said last month in a speech. Explaining why the dress code matters, Ms. Blakey said there are “folks who push outside the norms of what is professional dress and what’s professional behavior.”

The dress code bans jeans, as well as T-shirts and shirts with big lettering and requires that controllers not appear “disheveled,” rules that are not onerous, she said.

I guess small lettering on their shirts would not be such a hazard to air traffic????

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oops....Sorry About That!

I guess Bush better get his torture legislation passed so that those responsible for things like this will be insulated from accountability!!

Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured, Probe Finds
Canadian Report Faults Mounties, U.S. for Deportation

Syrian-born Maher Arar was exonerated of all suspicion of terrorist activity by the 2 1/2-year commission of inquiry into his case, which urged the Canadian government to offer him financial compensation. Arar is perhaps the world's best-known case of extraordinary rendition -- the U.S. transfer of foreign terror suspects to third countries without court approval.
"I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada," Justice Dennis O'Connor said Monday in a three-volume report on the findings of the inquiry, part of which was made public.

Arar was traveling on a Canadian passport when he was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport on Sept. 26, 2002, on his way home from vacation in Tunisia.

Arar said U.S. authorities sent him to Syria for interrogation as a suspected member of al-Qaida, a link he denied.

He spent nearly a year in prison in Syria and made detailed allegations after his release in 2003 about extensive interrogation, beatings and whippings with electrical cables.
O'Connor criticized the U.S. and recommended that Ottawa file formal protests with both Washington and the Syrian government over Arar's treatment.

"The American authorities who handled Mr. Arar's case treated Mr. Arar in a most regrettable fashion," O'Connor wrote. "They removed him to Syria against his wishes and in the face of his statements that he would be tortured if sent there. Moreover, they dealt with Canadian officials involved with Mr. Arar's case in a less than forthcoming manner."

The U.S. is already under intense criticism from human rights groups over the practice of sending suspects to countries where they could be tortured.

U.S. and Syrian officials refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.

Monday, September 18, 2006



Women's pay vs. men's
Number of women owned businesses
Black poverty rate
Latino poverty rate
Senior poverty rate


Real income
Real manufacturing wages
Real income poor
Real income middle class
Real income householders under 35
Real family income
Real income of male workers
Real income of male workers under 35
Real income of male workers 35-44
Top 1% share of wealth
Top 1% growth in wealth
Income gap between rich and poor
Family indebtedness
Wealth of top 1%
Bottom 40% decline in wealth
Foreign debt as a percent of GDP
Federal debt
Older families with pensions
Workers covered by pensions
Workers covered by defined benefit pensions
Savings rate
Age at which one can receive Social Security
Use of soup kitchens
Personal bankruptcies
Housing foreclosures
Median rent
Yearly mergers
Annual personal savings rate of families
Poverty rate
Child poverty rate
U.S. auto industry relative to foreign car makers
US manufacturing jobs

Sunday, September 17, 2006

And this was the administration that was going to bring ethics back to Washington???

Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior. - Earl E. Devaney, the Inspector General of the Interior Department