Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Workers Memorial Day is April 28th

Workers Memorial Day is April 28th
A Prayer for the Fallen

We remember those we have lost with great fondness.
They gave much to the world; as individuals, family members, friends and work colleagues.
We remember their families in their enormous sadness.
For those who have died at work building a better place for the rest of us.
Those who died while constructing our buildings and expressways, hospitals and schools.
For those who have died young and innocent, victims of avoidable accidents
May we learn from this loss, honour the memory of those lost
And work towards a safer work place for all people
Where the rights and dignity of all workers are upheld above all else

- Rev. Ian Lawton

The first Workers Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada. Every year, people in hundreds of communities and at worksites recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job. Trade unionists around the world now mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning. A proclamation can be seen here (pdf).

You can honor the workers by checking the listings of events in your own city or town.

In my own city of Syracuse on April 28 at 4pm, there will be a press conference at Fireman's Memorial Park - Fayette and State Streets. (See Syracuse Progressive blog for details).

Here are some other ways that workers who have been killed or injured on the job have been honored:

* A Collection of Workers' Memorials and
* Workers Memorial Day poems and tributes.

Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

Who is a journalist?

• In a blogpiece which starts off by discussing the web killing newspapers in classified advertising, along with reference to Jay Rosen's recent interview with Bill Grueskin on PressThink, Josh Shear turns his thoughts back to the question on many minds lately: "Who is a journalist?" Josh writes:
"The discussion has taken a bit of a different turn..toward the question of whether newspapers are on their way to becoming buggies, and if journalism students are currently being trained to make buggy whips."
Josh says that there are "a couple of things that need to be ironed out, and soon", and they are the questions regarding:
1. Should information be free? (To which he says 'no')..and
2. What will be the roll of traditional media journalists? (to which he comments that "it's easy to self-publish and to sell advertising for revenue. If some traditional media outlet is just not cutting it, good journalists have a venue to point out the shortcomings of traditional media, and if they have strong enough support, they can turn their web-only publication into a traditional, ad- and reader-driven hardcopy publication that people can actually get their hands on."

I think about the new "101" web media created and designed by Roch Smith Jr. - which originated with Greensboro 101 and is beginning to spread to cities such as Charlotte and Nashville.

At Raw Story Today: Slim FBI File on Bush; New Revelations about Jeff Gannon

• At Raw Story, there is a developing story about requests from an activist blogger with the result of the FBI releasing a 'slim file' on President Bush.

• Also, at Raw Story, Secret Service records have raised new questions about discredited conservative reporter Jeff (Guckert) Gannon.

Nick Lewis Catches a CNN Viral Marketing Campaign

Nick Lewis reports, in a story called "CNN: Guerillas in the Midst- A Viral Marketing Campaign is Exposed", that CNN has developed and is using viral marketing techniques which affect the blogosphere. The story is spreading like spam wildfire.

Medicaid Cuts Hurting the Poor

• From America, the Catholic weekly magazine: Editorial: Medicaid Cuts Hurt the Poor

Howie Takes the Subway

Howard Dean practices what he preaches. He could take a limo, but he chooses the subway instead.

Bill Gates - Ralph Reed Connection

• Was Ralph Reed, in any way, involved with Microsoft's recent decision to abandon its decades-long support for gay civil rights in order to curry favor with anti-gay bigots of the radical right?

No WMDs - As if we hadn't figured that one out yet

• Final word from CIA: No WMDs. But we knew that already.

Thou Shalt Not Wal Mart

Deliver Us From - Wal Mart? (Christianity Today)
"The devastating spiritual effect of unemployment is one reason the authors of Christian Ethics in the Workplace (Concordia Publishing House, 2001) argue that business owners have a moral responsibility to control expenses and to succeed. Raymond L. Hilgert, Philip H. Lochhaas, and James L. Truesdell (business professor, Lutheran minister, and businessman, respectively) add, however, that Christian ethics require employers to consider:

-- whether employees have options to work elsewhere (a "semblance of equal bargaining power");
-- whether the wage is significantly below the market for similar jobs of similar skills;
-- whether the employer regards workers as human beings or as tools;
-- whether the employer offers the employee a sense of partnership in the enterprise;
--whether the employer is treating the worker according to the Golden Rule."

CEO Pay Gushes at Obscene Rate

• From Nathan Newman's Labor blog: "You'd think post-Enron and post-WorldCom, corporate American would be toning down the excessive pay for its CEOs, but sadly the executive payoffs continues to gush at an obscene rate, as the newest update of the AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch shows."

Paleface Scalp

• Trouble staying awake during class? Here's what you need.

"Almost" Counts...

• "Almost" counts in catching al-Zarqawi and horseshoes.

Open Media Network Launches Today

• The Open Media Network, a free public service network, has launched its operations online. Known as OMN (www.omn.org), the site lets users easily access movies, music, video blogs, podcasts and public television and radio programming offered by producers for Internet distribution. The Open Media Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation founded in 2005 by Internet and media pioneers who believe Internet users deserve a better, simpler and free way to get video and music programs that are authorized by their producers for Internet distribution. It is powered by grid delivery technology from Kontiki. Open Media Network (OMN) was founded by Internet pioneer and Netscape veteran Mike Homer and includes Marc Andreessen as an advisor and board member.

FBI Protects Bin Laden's Right to Privacy?

• The Alpha Liberal reports that the FBI is protecting Osama bin Laden’s “Right to Privacy” in a document release from a Judicial Watch investigation, which uncovers FBI documents concerning the Bin Laden family and post 9/11 flights.

Karl Rove Interview

• There are many other current headlines at the Alpha Liberal blog, including an interview with Karl Rove, who says he expects that John Bolton will be confirmed as ambassador to the U.N. He also believes that Tom DeLay will continue, unscathed, as an effective and strong leader. I think Karl's whistling past the graveyard on that issue. DeLay may not lose his position because of President Bush's "I'll support you if you stroke me - no matter how irresponsible and criminal you are" attitude, but DeLay's taken on the shrapnel of revealed corruption, and the results of his political wounds are already showing.

C.S. Lewis on Death

• After his wife Joy's passing, C.S. Lewis talked about the scope of death's meaning.
"It is hard to have patience with people who say "There is no death" or "Death doesn't matter." There is death. And whatever is, matters. And whatever happens has consequences, and it and they are irrevocable and irreversible. You might as well say that birth doesn't matter. I look up at the night sky. Is anything more certain than that in all those vast times and spaces, if I were allowed to search them, I should nowhere find her face, her voice, her touch? She died. She is dead. Is the word so difficult to learn?"

~C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, Chapter 1 (1961)

Congressional Ethics in Disgrace

Congressional Ethics in Disgrace

This Washington Post story, while needing to be told, is just plain ugly and I, for one, am sick of seeing ethics rules [on gifts, travel, campaign activity and outside employment] being used as another excuse for partisan Congressional in-house fighting. This country is in big trouble, and I know that a large part of it is because of the base corruption that goes along with the territory of reciprocal political lobbying and pandering.

We know there are many Representatives appearing in the pages of the same dirty little book in which power-addict Tom DeLay is merely the pull-out centerfold. (I hear there are wicked track marks on his wallet).

These people seem to have completely forgotten how to get the work of the American people done. It's their sworn duty, and they are failing us. We are living in a world rife with hatred and violence; more and more Americans are sinking into poverty while economic policy favors the wealthiest; Republicans want to privatize everything - our Social Security - even the air we breathe - and all we get to hear about are the millions spent on their frivolous political whoring activities.

I'm so sick about it, and I would imagine most Americans feel the same way.

This story is a showcase for shame and disgrace.

Stalking the Filibuster: Trent Lott Uses Inflammatory Terrorist Jargon

Stalking the Filibuster: Trent Lott Uses Inflammatory Terrorist Jargon

"I'm for the nuclear option, absolutely," [Sen. Trent] Lott has said. "The filibuster of federal district and circuit judges cannot stand. ... It's bad for the institution. It's wrong. It's not supportable under the Constitution. And if they insist on persisting with these filibusters, I'm perfectly prepared to blow the place up. No problem."

I think it was in extremely poor taste for Senator Trent Lott to discuss Congress in terms of "blowing it up." There has been enough sorrow, fear, and death associated with words like this, especially since 9/11. What on earth could this man be thinking by using such language?

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - worse, to my way of viewing the essence of our Constitution, than to remove a parliamentary tool which ensures the checks and balances that are guarding against the tyranny of the majority.

It's sad to think about the narrow regard the GOP must have for the intellect of the American citizenry. I believe that they are banking on the ignorance of American citizens by thinking they can succeed in killing off the judicial filibuster by appealing to raw emotion - sticking their ugly claws into the heart of fundamental Christianity.

The Wizard of Baas hangeth out mit der sheep

This is a time to be true and loyal Americans by being "bigger" than the radical right. Citizens need to shame these ugly panderers with the strength of our intelligence and conviction. We must not allow theocratic interests to suck the rational life out of our Judicial Branch.

Write and/or call your Congressional representatives and tell them you are against this nuclear option.

Joe Gandelman has a story about a possible Frist-Reid justice-approval compromise. If that happens, I'll be surprised. I don't believe these people know how to work together anymore. I don't sense that that WANT to work together. We can only hope.

Hunter [a main-page contributor to Daily Kos] doesn't think it will happen, either.

UPDATE 5pm: Frist says he isn't interested. My, how shocking (not).


"I think the Republican leaders have promised leaders of the Christian right that, in return for their unflinching support, Bush will replace a Supreme Court justice who supports Roe with someone who will vote to reverse it, if he gets the opportunity. The Christian right may have even presented a list of acceptable replacements. The Republicans feel they must repay their political debt to the Christian right and they can only make it happen with the nuclear option, which Senator Robert Byrd has called "a legislative bomb that threatens the rights to dissent, to unlimited debate, and to freedom of speech." Dick Cheney, president of the Senate, has vowed to support the nuclear option in case of a 50-50 tie. The Republicans are willing to mortgage the future, if necessary, to repay this debt."

- Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. truthout


Jim Wallis appeared on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now show today and said:
"You know, I have looked through my Bible, and I can’t find filibuster anywhere. I really looked hard. But it's not there.

A bit of historical perspective, after he was arrested once, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a very famous letter from a Birmingham jail to white clergy who opposed him, and it was about racial segregation and violence against black people. Never once did he say they weren't people of faith. He challenged their faith. He wanted them to go deeper with their faith, but he never said my opponents are not people of faith. That's what they're saying. Now, if King wouldn't say his opponents weren't people of faith over racial segregation and violence, how can the right do this over a filibuster? There's something crossing a lot of boundaries here."

Huffington Invites Her Friends to Blog

Arianna Huffington Invites Her Friends to Blog

The lovely and witty Arianna Huffington is promoting the art of blogging, and I can't wait to hear what her friends have to say on her new group blog, The Huffington Post, scheduled to premiere on May 9. Some of the contributing bloggers will be Walter Cronkite, David Mamet, Nora Ephron, Warren Beatty, James Fallows, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Maggie Gyllenhaal, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Diane Keaton, Norman Mailer and Mortimer B. Zuckerman.

According to Arianna, the blog "won't be left wing or right wing; indeed, it will punch holes in that very stale way of looking at the world."

Here's to hole-punching.