June 13, 2008 archive

Good News! Court orders Largest Living Wage Award in U.S. History to Workers

I’ve written about Uniform Justice before.  An earlier diary I wrote that about  Uniform Justiceyou may recall is Did Eleazar Torres-Gomez Lose his Life for Company Profits?  

Today, I have good news.  A panel of the California Court of Appeal ordered the Cintas Corporation to pay more than $1.18 million in back wages and interest to hundreds of Northern California workers for violating the city of Hayward’s Living Wage Ordinance.  This judgment likely is the largest living wage award in U.S. history.

“Cintas had a moral and legal obligation to pay workers a living wage, but they ignored it.” says UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor.  “The company would rather fight workers tooth and nail than pay them what they deserve.”


They fought tooth and nail, but lost to 219 workers.  It’s a great victory for working people.

More, after the fold.

Also on Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

Docudharma Times Friday June 13

Friday The 13th

Do You Feel Lucky?

Friday’s Headlines:

‘Uncharted territory’ as city floods in Iowa

The obliteration of Balkan history

Russian buyer snaps up £2.7m decoration that was worn by the tsar

Opposing Robert Mugabe is now ‘treason’ in Zimbabwe

Africa: Lessons for Continent From Obama’s Historic Success

Japan to lift N Korea sanctions

Nations offer Afghanistan aid, demand accountability

Iran’s nuclear program: will more sanctions work?

Israeli envoy returns without Gaza truce deal

In a Rio slum, armed militia replaces drug gang’s criminality with its own

In Myanmar, a Times reporter worked in secret to cover the story

From a Times Staff Writer

June 13, 2008

KONG TAN PAAK, MYANMAR — From the far side of a murky brown river, the only moving thing visible on the ravaged landscape was a tattered maroon cloth, fluttering listlessly atop a tree stripped of its branches.

Two Buddhist monks had torn it from the only material they had, one of their own coarse robes. Its message was just as plain: “Alive! Please help.”

Tropical Cyclone Nargis killed 300 people in this village, wiping away almost every trace of the people, their homes and a monastery. Surviving monks went to a relief camp, but after nearly three weeks, they figured that what they had fled couldn’t be much worse.

So they took some of the meager rice rations they received from the military, came back and made themselves a tent by stretching tarps over a frame of fallen trees.

In the two days they had been living in it, our riverboat was the first to stop. My interpreter went ashore first.

News Analysis

Detention Camp Remains, but Not Its Legal Rationale


Published: June 13, 2008

The Guantánamo Bay detention center will not close today or any day soon.

But the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday stripped away the legal premise for the remote prison camp that officials opened six years ago in the belief that American law would not reach across the Caribbean to a United

States naval station in Cuba.

“To the extent that Guantánamo exists to hold detainees beyond the reach of U.S. courts, this blows a hole in its reason for being,” said Matthew Waxman, a former detainee affairs official at the Defense Department.

And without that, much will change.


Earmark Spending Makes a Comeback

Congress Pledged Curbs in 2007

By Robert O’Harrow Jr.

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, June 13, 2008; Page A01

More than a year after Congress pledged to curb pork barrel funding known as earmarks, lawmakers are gearing up for another spending binge, directing billions toward organizations and companies in their home districts.  

Earmark spending in the House’s defense authorization bill alone soared 29 percent last month, from $7.7 billion last year to $9.9 billion now, according to data compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group in the District. The Senate bill has not been approved, but the proposal includes an increased number of earmarks, although for a slightly lesser total cost.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

State of the Onion VII

Cheers to the art and the poem being created synergistically (not a word I like to use, but use ’em or lose ’em).  When I look back on it, I consider the time around the creation of this to be one of my most creative periods.

Art Link


The Whittlers

All it took

was for me

to become different

They jumped

at the chance

they sit around

waiting for

to grab their knives

and carve away

at my reputation

my physical body

my possessions

my dignity

my humanity

but inside

I was resolute

tougher than

I would have thought

stubborn to the core

The pain sliced

at the surface

of my soul

but deep inside

I was free

and they were chained

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 22, 2006

Please join us on the inside to celebrate, venerate, regenerate and/or motivate our muses.  Currently mine is a little constipated when I would prefer it be syncopated.

The Weapon of Young Gods #27: Starting Fires

Olivia tasted like addiction, like she was trying to absolutely submerge me in narcotic sensuality. I was just getting used to the idea of life as a casual victim of overwhelming seduction when she seemed to really start pouring it on, and my brain blazed with the red light of no return. The video hadn’t even finished before she’d slid away to kill the lights, chattering happily about the movie in giggly Spanglish, and then crept back around the television’s blue glow to sit in my lap. She didn’t need to say anything after that, because she knew it would be indecent-crass, even-for either of us to spoil her triumphant homestretch with dumb, stumbling speech. She’d invested a lot in this operation, and it was good, for a change, to feel like I was something worth savoring that way.

Previous Episode

Raytheon 6 Acquitted

On August 9, 2006, during the waning days of Israel’s offensive military operations in Southern Lebanon, a group of anti-war protesters from the Derry Anti-War Coalition occupied the Raytheon Munitions Plant in Northern Ireland.

OUR MOTIVATION was to prevent war crimes. Israel’s bombardment was causing carnage and destruction in Lebanon, and we knew they were using Raytheon manufactured bombs.

We were particularly outraged by the bombing of the town of Qana. Israel dropped a bomb on one complex there, killing 28 people, the majority of them women and children, crushed and suffocated beneath the rubble.

We believed this required an immediate response. We decided to take action to disrupt, delay and hamper Raytheon’s ability, in whatever way possible, to deliver weapons of mass destruction to Israel and participate in war crimes.

The civil disobedience of the anti-war activists shut down production at the Raytheon plant for three crucial days near the end of the offensive.

The “Raytheon 9” were eventually arrested and charged with Criminal Damage.  Six of those nine protesters were finally put on trial in May of this year.

During their three-week trial in Belfast, the Defendants argued that it is not a crime to resist a war crime. On Wednesday, the jury agreed.

Some Smart Person?

But if I did, well really, what’s it to you? (reprise)

Here I go. Hot button item. Why am I repeating myself?  

Why open up wounds and unanswered questions and misunderstandings and anger, to throw it all into the arena again for debate? Women’s rights are human rights everywhere.

There is one thing that should be perfectly clear. If you understand that women’s bodies are their own, do not vote for John McCain.

It goes like this

the fourth the fifth,

the minor fall and the major lift…

(Normally, I don’t like to retrace old ground. But the topic of human rights, women’s rights, pro-choice, pro-life, whatever your favorite tagline – is such a godd**m muddle for so many voters who don’t have the time, the backstory on the candidate, or the inclination to understand who it is they are voting for. So I’m throwing up an issue I’ve written about before, just a hair over two years ago to this day, revised it and dusted it off a bit, and added some newly relevant links. Will it add clarity? I don’t know. But thanks for reading.)

Writing in the Raw:You Can Either Laugh or Cry

I’ve always thought of my Dad as two different people.  There was Dad during his drinking years, and Dad after he quit.

He grew up with alcoholic parents.  His father would send him to buy bread, and his mother would make him take it back so she would have money for booze.  He didn’t talk much about his early family life, only about the times he would live with his grandmother on the farm.  Those were happy times for him.  His grandmother loved him well.

My Dad was a real charmer.   Six foot two, sparkling blue eyes, dark hair, and a wicked sense of humor, and grin.  During one period when he was dating my Mom, they had a fight and broke up.  Dad asked another girl to a dance during this time, and then him and Mom got back together.  So Dad, being the honorable soul that he was, took them both to the dance.  🙂

Not long after my 20 year old Dad married my 16 year old, five foot two Mom they moved up to Michigan so he could get into the pipefitters union.   Pretty soon my oldest sister was on the way, and Dad started drinking.  Once he passed out in the hall in front of their apartment.  Mom didn’t want the neighbor kids to see him in the morning, so she kicked the shit out of his ribs to get him up and inside.  He woke up the next day not knowing what he had done to his sides, but they sure hurt.  When they had 3 kids he blew out the pilot light on the oven trying to gas everyone.  Mom packed up the kids and went to the train station.  He came after her, and quit drinking for a little while.

McCain Visited by Andrew Jackson

“You introduced legislation (S1973-1 and S.1003) and claimed that legislation was justified by a non-existent range war between the Dineh and the Hopi,” Andrew Jackson said –


– to McCain.

What the Huck?

This will be really short.  The Boston Globe reports:

Mike Huckabee, whose quips and one-liners livened up the Republican nomination race, has a new gig: political commentator for Fox News Channel.

Huckabee will regularly contribute to the “America’s Election HQ” coverage, the network announced this afternoon.

“Governor Huckabee’s campaign experience and knowledge of politics makes him a great addition to our ongoing election coverage,” Bill Shine, Fox senior vice president of programming, said in a statement.

Huckabee’s humor and homespun turns of phrase won’t hurt either. One recent joke fell flat, however, when at the National Rifle Association conference last month, he quipped about Barack Obama ducking for cover when a loud bang sounded offstage while Huckabee was speaking.

Pardon me while I barf.

Pony Party…T.I.T.S.,A.S.S.

Thursday,  I  Think  Seriously,  About  Stupid  Shit


Load more