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April 29, 2005

WILPFer on Democracy Now! Today

Rhianna Tyson, the Project Manager of the Reaching Critical Will project, of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom will be on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman today. Rhianna will be discussing the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty review conference and WILPF's activities around the conference.

You can check this page for a local broadcaster of Democracy Now!

Posted by cj at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2005

The Sitemeter Rabbit Hole...

Yes, I use javascript enabled Sitemeter. Which means unless you block Sitemeter's ability to check up on you, I can read up on what page referred you to Chicken Foot Stew and what things you looked at while you were here. For example, I now know that mi chavo accounts for the vast majority of my readership since he faithfully checks for new postings on my blogs even when I haven't IMed him to tell him I blogged.

I've also been able to find some interesting reads from recent readers. Bombs and Shields is a fascinating anarchist blog that actually links directly to me. While I don't agree with all of the blog's politics (I don't think destruction of personal property is how to engage people in political discussions), I am fascinated by what I've found on their site. I'm very interested to find out about the pink crosses at Ciudad Juarez and the fact that the revolution is still brewing in Krgyzstan.

Shining Light in Dark Corners is another interesting blog, albeit one with a default text size that is way too small for the average person. I enjoy the Federal Blogger Application.

Someone also happened upon me via
Watching the Watchers
Shameless Agitator - a blog I definitely need to check out more.

if only I didn't have to work during the day and could spend my time surfin the net....

Posted by cj at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Announcing the new WILPF Blogs

I'd like to let y'all know that the U.S. Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom now has two blogs!

The WILPF Membership Blog at wilpf.blogspot.com is a project of the National Membership Committee. In WILPF's 90th year, we'd like to expand our visibility and encourage the blogosphere, regardless of gender, to join WILPF.

The staff in our Philadelphia national office are writing at Peace Rave. Since working for our national section takes up so much time, they aren't able to update as frequently as some bloggers. Nevertheless, you should read their thoughts because they provide insight from experienced peace and justice activists.

Posted by cj at 4:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Women's Rights Activist and Iraqi Legislator Lamia Abed Khadouri Sakri Killed

According to Juan Cole, Lamia Abed Khadouri Sakri was a women's rights activist in addition to being a member of the Iraqi National Assembly. The Washington Post fails to mention the relevance of her gender in their coverage of her assassination. Instead, she's described as a political activist and member of a secular political bloc.

I don't have any more information on Ms. Sakri's political work, other than this graph from WaPo:

Sakri, the slain lawmaker, belonged to Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party before resigning in the mid-1970s and going into exile, colleagues said. After U.S. forces toppled Hussein in early 2003, she returned as part of Allawi's coterie.
I believe the fact that the first member of parliament to be killed was female is significant and look forward to reading about increased security measures for all members of the Iraqi government, not just those who can afford to personally pay for it.

Further reading:
"Iraqi Legislator Slain, Underscoring Danger," by Ellen Knickmeyer

Posted by cj at 12:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 27, 2005

Gannon/Guckert Security Breach Continued

Found via South Knox Bubba:

"EXCLUSIVE: Secret Service records raise new questions about discredited conservative reporter," by John Byrne, The Raw Story

Posted by cj at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scrutiny of Bolton's Nomination Continues

John Bolton's nomination for Ambassador to the UN is under fire. As many as two dozen people will be interviewed in the next ten days regarding his pathetic record in government. The NYT names names and says the full transcripts from the interviews will be available to the public via a website.

"Senate Panel Is Widening Its Review on U.N. Nominee," by Douglas Jehl

Posted by cj at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2005

More to Come...

Apologies for the sporatic nature of this blog recently. Work has kept me very busy and I haven't had time to update this blog.

I'm starving, but just to fill you in on what I'll be blogging about later today:
-- Shrub met with Crown Prince Adbdullah of Saudi Arabia yesterday and didn't bother him to increase oil production immediately despite the ridiculous price of gas for the last few months.
-- Folks from the C.I.A. are speakin up to bash John Bolton, the most ridiculous Shrub nominee for Ambassador to the UN

Posted by cj at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2005

No Privacy Left in the United States

William Safire wrote "Goodbye to Privacy," the cover book review in Sunday's New York Times. He reviewed two new books on the subject, No Place to Hide by Robert O'Harrow, Jr. and Chatter: Dispatches From the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping by Patrick Radden Keefe.

It's a great article and I encourage you to read it. In addition to all the info available in the books and review, today's WaPo features "LexisNexis Data Breach Bigger Than Estimated: 310,000 Consumers May Be Affected, Firm Says," by Jonathan Krim.

Apparently, data collection companies don't have to notify consumers when their personal info has been hacked into. Congresspeople are scrambling to write a bill to create a notification system. The Republicans, of course, are offering one with a major loophole - data companies wouldn't have to notify consumers if they (the companies) think the breach wont create identify theft. The Democrats want consumers notified immediately regardless of what's done with the hack.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this morning on the subject. They had two panels: one full of bureaucrats, the other with three executives from companies that make huge profits selling personal information and two folks who care about personal privacy. Links on the right of the hearing page go to people's testimony.

Posted by cj at 1:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That Deadly Flu Virus

I heard on the radio and t.v. this morning about a deadly flu virus having been shipped accidentally to laboratories around the world. Of course, my morning news sources being NPR and a local t.v. news program, neither one explained how the virus got shipped, only that the World Health Organization and the CDC wanted the labs to immediately destroy the samples. According to "Deadly Flu Strain Shipped Worldwide: Officials Race to Destroy Samples," by Rob Stein and Shankar Vedantam with contributions from David Brown and Lucy Shackelford in WaPo, the strains were mislabelled at Meridian Bioscience.

The problem arose when a private company, Meridian Bioscience Inc. of Cincinnati, sent a panel of virus samples to about 3,700 laboratories, some in doctors' offices, to be tested as part of routine quality-control certification conducted by the College of American Pathologists. An additional 2,750 laboratories, all in the United States, received the samples as part of other certification processes and were asked to destroy them, CDC spokesman Dan Rutz said.
It is not clear whether the label mistake was made at Meridian or at another company from whom the samples were bought.

Thanks goes to Canadians at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba who identified the deadly strain on March 25. Canadian officials notified WHO and the CDC last Friday. I'm unclear why it took them two weeks to get WHO involved, but there you go.

Posted by cj at 1:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bolton the Bully Soon to be Head US Diplomat at UN

At yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing, the former State Department intelligence chief testified that Shrub's choice for negotiating delicate issues with other countries at the United Nations treats subordinates like crap. From "U.N. Pick Called Bully Who Abused His Power," by Sonni Efron in today's LAT:

The State Department's former intelligence chief testified Tuesday that John R. Bolton was a "serial abuser" of underlings who tried to remove an intelligence analyst who disagreed with him and was "a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."

But it appeared that the testimony of Carl W. Ford Jr., former assistant secretary of State for intelligence and research, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had not changed any votes on Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Republicans control the panel 10 to 8 and were seen as likely to approve him.

Good to know that Republicans are willing to line up behind the president regardless of whether he's making good decisions. Nice to see that party affiliation is more important to some people than independent critical thinking. I now know why the Democrats are ineffective - too little group think and too much individual reasoning.

Posted by cj at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2005

Workers Screwed, Corporate Profits Soar

The LAT fronts "Wages Lagging Behind Prices: Inflation has outpaced the rise in salaries for the first time in 14 years. And workers are paying a bigger share of the cost of their healthcare." by Nicholas Riccardi.

As worker productivity increases, they're getting smaller raises (or none at all) while having to fork over more money for gas, healthcare, and other necessities.

For the first time in 14 years, the American workforce has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut. ...

This is the first time that salaries have increased more slowly than prices since the 1990-91 recession. Though salary growth has been relatively sluggish since the 2001 downturn, inflation also had stayed relatively subdued until last year, when the consumer price index rose 2.7%. But wages rose only 2.5%. ...

Meanwhile, corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay increases down. ...

"Healthcare has eroded the wage base," said Janemarie Mulvey, chief economist with the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded think tank in Washington.

"In the long run, we can't continue like this. If healthcare keeps crowding out wages forever, something's got to give."

The squeeze is especially intense on the 47% of the workforce whose employers don't directly provide their health insurance. For lower-income workers, who are more likely to be uninsured, the falling value of their wages is even more serious because they're more likely to live paycheck to paycheck. And rising food and energy prices take a proportionately higher toll on the poor than on the rich.

The poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer. This is not class warfare propaganda. This is the truth, in black and white, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times.

Posted by cj at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 9, 2005

NYT Researcher Held Incommunicado For Seven Months in China

The NYT reports in "China Opens New Inquiry of Times Researcher Held Incommunicado," by Erik Eckholm that researcher Zhao Yan has been held for seven months without access to a lawyer or his family on the suspicion of leaking state secrets. His lawyer was recently informed that the Chinese government is adding a fraud charge to the case, while still refusing to allow Zhao access to his lawyer.

The NYT and senior US officials, including SecState Rice, have protested the bogus incarceration, to no avail.

Posted by cj at 8:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 6, 2005

Sudanese War Criminals Will (might) Be Prosecuted by ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) accepted sealed names of 51 Sudanese suspected of war crimes. The Sudanese government is refusing to release people to "foreign courts" and the USG's stance that the ICC has no jurisdiction over US citizens buttresses their claim.

From "International War-Crimes Prosecutor Gets List of 51 Sudan Suspects," by Warren Hoge in the NYT:

The confidential list, said to include the names of senior Sudanese government officials, militiamen, army officers and rebel commanders, was compiled by a United Nations commission in January. It reported then that war crimes "no less serious and heinous than genocide" had been committed in Darfur, and it recommended trial by the international court.
It is highly disturbing that the only way the US agreed to start proceedings at the Hague against those responsible for genocide was to get American citizens specifically excluded from the inquiry. WHY??? What the hell are they so afraid of? What is up with this double-speak? Apparently the administration is for internationalism when it's convenient and strongly opposed to it when it might keep the USG in check. Ug.

More info:
"Sudan Darfur Trials Can Evade Hague Court: Egypt" by Reuters in Yahoo News

Posted by cj at 5:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 5, 2005

Gov. Blagojevich and Prescription Drugs in Illionois

Turns out my governor agrees that I have the right to unfettered access to prescription medication. Last Friday (while I was in Philly for a WILPF board meeting), the gov came to Chicago to announce an emergency rule he enacted to clarify previous legislation. Pharmacies must fill all prescriptions or send the script onto another pharmacy.

From "Illinois Pharmacies Ordered to Provide Birth Control," by Monica Davey in the NYT:

Governor Blagojevich, saying that his emergency rule clarified an existing state requirement, said he suspected that the pattern of complaints over the past year was no coincidence, but rather "part of a concerted effort" to prevent women from getting the birth control they wanted.

Under the emergency rule put in place in Illinois, pharmacies that do not have a particular prescribed contraceptive would be required to order some or to send the prescription to another pharmacy.

Thank goodness I live in a state that respects human rights, including the right to reproductive healthcare. Too bad the President and his cronies are systemically denying people's reproductive rights around the world and are trying to force their beliefs on the US as well.

For more on Shrub and his actions at the Commission on the Status of Women Beijing Plus Ten meeting, please see "Embarrased at the UN" on the US WILPF staff blog, Peace Rave.

Posted by cj at 5:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shoring Up Social Security: One Undocumented Worker at a Time

"Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions," by Eduardo Porter in today's NYT explains how "other-than-legal" immigrants are shoring up the Social Security System. By being forced to use false SS numbers, these workers contribute billions of dollars a year into Social Security and never receive a dime of that money in benefits. It's a disturbing trend in the US - to rely on undocumented immigrants and turn a blind eye to their falsified documents to exploit their labor and rob them of their earnings through taxes that will never directly benefit them. The question is - when will we truly accept that our economy relies on immigrant labor and stop criminalizing the desire to get live the American dream?

Posted by cj at 1:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 4, 2005

Corrupt Krgyz President Officially Resigning

After lengthy discussions over the weekend with a Krgyz delegation led by parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev, Askar Akayev formerly resigned as President of Krgyzstan. If you recall, Akayev was the corrupt leader who fled the country like a rat leaving a drowning ship when democratic protestors took over the presidential building on March 24. This will help solidify the legitimacy of the presidential election scheduled for June 26.

More info:
"President of Kygyzstan Signs Resignation Deal," by the Associated Press in the NYT
"Kyrgyz President To Resign: Interim Leaders, Akayev Set Deal," by Henry Meyer, Associate Press in WaPo

Posted by cj at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack