Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Get ready for World Cup mania...

Light blogging today because of personal commitments.

A little news on the sports front. The staff of the New York Times are publishing this blog to keep fans up-to-date on World Cup mania. In the meantime Red Sox fans are coming to terms with the news that Roger Clemens will not be coming to Boston this season. He'll stay in his hometown of Houston and play for the local team for $3 million a month.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A mother grieves for her son...

This photo published by Truthout this past weekend left me thinking about the people who really pay the price for war. Photo shows Shellie Starr dropping off birthday ballons at the gravesite of her son, Jeff, at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetary. On Thursday, Starr would have turned 23. He was killed last year on Memorial Day, just two days before he would have returned to civilian life. The war has taken an enormous and under-reported toll on military families at home.

(Photo: Karen Ducey / The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Memorial Day thought...

While we remember our fallen heroes on this Memorial Day it is important not to glorify war. This video provides food for thought.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Confused by all this talk of "net neutrality?"

Read this article in today's New York Times by Adam Cohen. A very good update on this important issue.

The Saints coming back to New Orleans...

This photo shows construction crews repairing the Superdome.

After Hurricane Katrina many feared that the Superdome would be abandoned and the Saints football team would relocate to San Antonio or some other city. The good news is that the Saints will be back for the coming season...and repairs on the Superdome are ahead of schedule.

There is actually considerable excitement over the upcoming football season. Most games are almost sold out. Of course much of the city is still an abandoned wasteland. Hopefully, the return of the Saints will be a psychological boost.

Photo: Matt Rose / Times-Picayune

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Haditha Massacre...

We are only becoming aware of what happened last November when 24 Iraqi civilians, including young children, were murdered by the Marines in an act of revenge. Today's Washington Post has this story providing some of the details.

It is likely that the Haditha massacre would not have come to light if it had not been for the fact that one of the survivors was able to provide photographic evidence.

As Maureen Dowd points out in this morning's New York Times (Times Select), one of the reasons for going into Iraq was to stop Saddam from killing innocent people. And now this accusation against the U.S. military.

I have lots of different feelings about this terrible tragedy but the predominant one is of sadness. I feel sadness for the innocent victims. But I also feel some empathy for the young men and women that we train to fight war...and then put them in dreadful situations.

Any thoughts that would make sense out of this incident?


Some interesting comments over at Steve Gilliard's blog.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Bush/Blair news conference...

As I'm writing this new post I'm listening to George Bush on national television with Blair making his defense for the invasion of Iraq. The same old BULLSHIT!

This past weekend I recommended that readers take note of articles on Iraq in the Independent (UK) and the Guardian (UK). Both articles describe what's happening outside the Green Zone. Bush and Blair talk about a view from within the Green Zone. What they have to say has nothing to do with what is really happening in Iraq.

As I listen to the press conference in the background I realize that Blair is telling us we should move beyond the arguments about the pro's and con's of the Iraq invasion. Again, I say bullshit. Let's not forget...the people who got us into this war are responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 people. They should be held accountable.


I was not the only one unimpressed with the performance by Bush and Blair. Wolcott has this comment.

The return of Al Gore...

The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" chronicles Al Gore's effort to bring greater attention to the dangers of climate change. I understand George Bush doesn't plan to see the film. Gore has offered to come to the White House any time, any day to show Bush either the documentary or a slide show on global warming that he's presented more than 1,000 times around the world. Won't happen.

Yesterday morning Gore was on the Today Show to talk about his new documentary. Katie Couric asked him if he had plans for 2008. He gave his usual response: "I don't intend to be a candidate ever again." Despite his protestations there is momentum building in support of a Gore candidacy.

A few days ago Daily Kos conducted a conducted a "fantasy"poll of preferences. Out of ten thousand who voted in the course of a few hours 68% selected Al Gore as their preference. Compare this with less than 1% for Hillary Clinton. Of course the folks over at Daily Kos are progressive Democrats somewhat left of center.

What do you think? Will Gore run in 2008 or will he be drafted by supporters?

Photo: Eric Lee / Paramount Classics. (Courtesy of Truthout)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Remembering the families of our fallen heroes...

4-year-old William Deem shows off his medal at "A Time of Remembrance" ceremony on the National Mall in Washington. William's father, Army Spc. Michael Deem, died in Baghdad in February 2005. US service members are dying this month at a rate of at least two per day.

Regular readers will note that I occasionally publish photos that remind us of the sacrifices made by the families of our fallen heroes. With war fatigue setting in it would be easy to gloss over the extraordinary sacrifices these families are making.

Photo: Nikki Kahn / The Washington Post. (Courtesy of Truthout)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not ready to make nice!

Three years ago they were branded as traitors because they dared to speak out against Bush during the weeks leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Now the Dixie Chicks are back and they are "not ready to make nice." Here is the link for one song from their new album.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Why Mayor Nagin won re-election...

Many political pundits from outside New Orleans predicted that Mayor Ray Nagin would be turned out of office because of his many "failures." His reference to New Orleans as a "chocolate city" had led to a chorus of complaints about the insensitivity of the mayor.

So why did the mayor win re-election?

The people who voted in Saturday's runoff election have lots of reason to be angry. And yet it appears they didn't take it out on their mayor. Here's what a lot of people outside New Orleans don't understand. For people who lost their homes the biggest "failure" was the breaks in the levees that caused the drowning of the city...and the failure of the levees was a failure of the federal government.

Mayor Nagin was responsible for a number of failures, including an inadequate evacuation plan to deal with a major hurricane. But none of Nagin's failures compares with the failure of the federal government to provide levees that would protect the people of New Orleans.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Inside Iraq's hidden war...

Read this story in today's Guardian (UK) to find our what is really happening in Iraq. Scary stuff. Why does the American media refuse to publish this kind of information?


For more insight into what is happening in Iraq read this article by Patrick Cockburn in the Independent (UK). Cockburn may be the best journalist covering Iraq.

Mayor Nagin re-elected

Photo: Michael DeMocker / Times-Picayune

Photo shows Ray Nagin celebrating re-election as mayor in a very close runoff election yesterday. Nagin won 52% to 48% over Mitch Landrieu. The Times-Picayune story can be found here.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Joining the military: A good job opportunity?

Photo shows marine Corps Lance Cpl. Blake Miller (right), counting pull-ups by a young man at a Marine Corps recruiting booth set up for the annual Hillbilly Days festival in Pikeville, Kentucky. While battling post-traumatic stress, Miller, 21, helps the Corps with local recruitment efforts because he thinks the military provides good job opportunities for the youth of Eastern Kentucky, a region where most people make a living mining coal.

I wonder how many sign-up for the military simply because it is the best option available. My guess is that most of the recruits come from poorer communities. Kids from more affuent communities go to college.

If you were faced with the choice of making a living mining coal or serving in the Marine Corps which would you choose?

Photo: Luis Sinco / The LA Times. (Courtesy of Truthout)


Just heard that five miners were killed in a mine explosion in Eastern Kentucky last night. It is dangerous work.

Friday, May 19, 2006

President Bush goes to Arizona...

President George W. Bush rides in a U.S. Border Patrol dune buggy during a tour of the Yuma sector near the U.S. Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona, Thursday, May 18, 2006.

Can you suggest an appropriate caption for this photo?

White House photo by Eric Draper

Funeral of another fallen hero...

The mother of a fallen staff sergeant cries as she is presented a medal during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Fifty-four coalition soldiers have been killed in the first 16 days of May alone, a trend that could make May the deadliest month of the occupation for coalition forces so far.

I occasionally publish a funeral photo to remind us of the extraordinary sacrifices that many American families are making. Regretfully, funerals of fallen heroes are generally not covered in the mainstream media.

Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP. (Courtesy of Truthout)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fritzgerald getting ready to indict Rove?

Some in Left Blogistan are saying that Rove will be indicted tomorrow. Maybe all this talk about "Fritzmas" is just a lot of hype. Any predictions?

Photo courtesy of TalkLeft.

Reconstruction is slow in New Orleans...

Photo shows weeds flourishing around this Lower Ninth Ward home in New Orleans.

Disparities in wealth and in the distance of evacuees from their ruined houses dictate in many cases which neighborhoods will be part of the city's future and which will be consigned to its history.

The impression I get is that not much progress has been made in any of the destroyed neighborhoods. Hopefully, after the mayoral election this coming weekend we will begin to see signs of progress.

Photo: Nikki Kahn / The Washington Post. (Courtesy of Truthout)

My apologies...

My post on Katherine Harris a few days ago was intended to bring a little humor to this blog. A couple of people were offended and pointed out that it was sexist and in bad taste. My apologies.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A new front in the war against terrorists...

Photo shows a US border patrol agent driving along the steel wall separating the US from Mexico in Nogales, Arizona.

President Bush plans to send thousands of troops to patrol the Mexican border and to augment detention centers for illegal immigrants. News analysts see Bush's latest plan as a diversion intended to secure an increasingly disaffected Republican base.

Anyway, it seems we're opening up a new front in the "War against Terror."

Bad news for Bush. We are learning that the wingnuts are not too happy with what he had to say Monday night. They want a Berlin-style wall that will keep the Latinos out...and they want a "final solution" (Nazis-style?) to the problem of illegal immigrants. Am I the only one that believes these zenophobic racists are doing a big favor for the Democratic Party? What do you think?

(Photo: Jeff Topping / Getty Images)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

On a less serious note...

Interesting (fake) poster! Can you come up with an appropriate caption? I assume it is was on Jesus' General blog.

Bush calls for compromise on immigration...

According to this article on today's New York Times, neither side was happy with what Bush had to say last night.

What I've come to understand recently is the intensity of the feelings of people who are angry about Latino immigration. They want to send these peope back. Period. I'm not sure Bush could do anything that would satisfy this group.

I believe the issue of immigration will have serious implications for the fall elections. If Latino's who have the right to vote go to the polls the Republicans may have to pay a price. What do you think?


For insight into the mind of those who want to deport brown people read this post by Steve Gilliard in the News Blog.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Water, water everywhere...

Here in the City of Haverhill on the North Shore it has been raining for the past 48 hours...and it's still raining. A state of emergency has been declared. The schools are closed. The downtown section of our neighboring City of Peabody is under water.

We're told this is the worst flooding in this area for over 100 years.

Of course this is nothing like what happened in New Orleans. I've been telling my friends about this animated graphic that appeared in the Times-Picayune. Actually I posted a note about this graphic yesterday. It really is worth checking out to see the succession of "disasters" that led to the flooding of the city. What it brought home to me is the fact that different levees in different parts of the city failed. The cause of the flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward was different than the cause of the flooding in the Lakeview area.

Anyway, our flooding problems here on the North Shore this morning are relatively mild compared to those experienced by the residents of the Big Easy last August. Of course that is of little consolation to someone who has four feet of water in his or her basement!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hurricane Katrina graphic animation...

Check out this graphic animation in today's Times-Picayune. A really informative illustration of how Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans.

Rove Indicted...

Truthout has this story by Jason Leopold claiming that Karl Rove has been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators. Don't know if it is true. Has not been confirmed by other sources. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

No surprise!

Who in the Administration promoted the program of eavesdropping on the telephone calls of all Americans? You guessed right! It was Dick Cheney. Tomorrow's New York Times has this story describing how Cheney and his legal advisor pushed the idea. Seems Cheney is still pissed over some of the protections of personal privacy that were put in place in response to Watergate.

Troops to stop Mexicans on the border...

President Bush is going on national television during prime time on Monday night to propose putting National Guard troops on the U.S./Mexican border.

I see this as an attempt by Bush to shore up his base which has been shrinking in recent months. Several polls have his job approval ratings at 29%.

Some members of the National Guard have already had three tours of duty in Iraq. That's more front-line duty than they bargained for. With such a long border it's going to take a lot of troops. Maybe they'll bring home some troops from Iraq and redeploy than for border duty.

I had been under the impression that the National Guard could not be used for police work. I guess we'll find out more on Monday night.

Bagdad residents look through a locked gate...

Baghdad residents look through the locked gate of a petrol station as others wait in line to get fuel. The amount of fuel is limited to 8 gallons per person bi-weekly, and due to recent electricity cuts, petrol is mostly used for powering generators. A US congressional inspection team set up to monitor reconstruction in Iraq published a scathing report of failures by contractors, mainly from the US, to carry out projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The bad news keeps coming...Americans dying every day. Today, one of my neighbors, a young man from Salem, New Hampshire, was buried after a funeral service in Methuen, Massachusetts. Of course his family celebrated his heroism and patriotism. What else would you expect? It's the only way they could possibly deal with their terrible loss.

Photo: Karim Kadim / AP.

Friday, May 12, 2006

In defense of personal privacy...

General Michael Hayden, President Bush's nominee for CIA Director, headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005. As NSA Director, Hayden oversaw the agency's domestic phone record collection program, which has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.

Photo: Roger Wollenberg / Getty Images. (Courtesy of Truthout).

At a personal level I am not really upset that Uncle Sam has a record of the phone calls that I've been making over the last few years. When I was involved as a social activist in the Deep South in the late Sixties I assumed that the FBI had a tap on my phone.

What bothers me about NSA's phone record collection program is that it is just another way to use the tragedy of 9/11 to wage a fake war on terrorism. Why not go after the fuckin' guys who were responsible for 9/11? What the Administration has done is create a "culture of fear" to do whatever they want to do.

As Americans we value our personal freedom. Of course we want the government to protect us from the bad people. What happened on 9/11 was used as an excuse for regime change in Iraq. Now it is been used to undermine the personal privacy we all value as Americans.

Quote from Senator Leahy:

"Are you telling me that tens of millions of Americans are involved with Al Qaeda?"


After reading Georgia 10 over at Daily Kos I realize that NSA considers all of us potential terrorists.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

An excavator is used to demolish the first St. Bernard Parish home in Meraux. On their own some residents have already torn down their houses but these houses are the first to be torn down by the parish with FEMA funds.

Photo: Ellis Lucia/Times-Picayune

Two casualties of the Iraq war...

The front page of today's Independent (UK) suggests that both Bush and Blair have paid a heavy price for the Iraq war. My friends in the UK tell me they expect Blair to stand down sometime within the next year. In the meantime Bush will have a difficult time regaining the support of the American people. Even an attack on Iran is not likely to give him a boost at this stage.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Holy shit, here we go again...

As an American citizen I get scared everytime I hear the BushCo people talk about keeping "the military option on the table" in regard to Iran. Last Sunday John McCain was on one of the shows essentially expressing support for military action. Oh yes, he did mention that we should try diplomacy first. I'm thinking, "Holy shit, here we go again!" This was the script that McCain used three years ago when he advocated regime change in Iraq. And this guy wants to be our next President.

Condi Rice was on the Today show this morning giving the usual lip service to diplomacy but reminding everyone that the military option was on the table. This is scary stuff. The President has a 31% job approval rating and he's considering getting us into another disastrous war.

Now here is what really pisses me off. Not one prominent Democrat leader has spoken out against this madness. Are they all so intimidated by the NeoCons that they are afraid to speak out? What do you think?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

News from New Orleans...

The rains did not dampen the spirits of this young girl and many others who attended the final day of Jazz Fest on Sunday. Photo: Jennifer Zdon, the Times-Picayune.


The Jazz Fest was a big success despite the fact that Fats Domino was not able to perform on Sunday as expected. He was not feeling well but he did make an appearance. You can read the story here.

Today's Times-Picayune is reporting that part of the Lower Ninth Ward has been opened to residents. This means people will be able to set up FEMA trailers. Read the story here.

Monday, May 08, 2006

U.S. Immigration Debate is a Road Well Traveled...

This article in today's Washington Post puts the current immigration debate into historical context. Incidentally, when my father came to this country in 1921 all that was required was to have a relative claim you at Ellis Island.

Tony Blair on the way out?

These are not the best of times for Tony Blair. He has reshuffled his cabinet but there is a growing movement within the Labor Party calling for him to step down.

In the meantime things are not going well for the Brits in Iraq. An article in today's Independent (UK) describes how the troops in Basra are in virtual lockdown as a result of the shooting down of a helicopter last week. Five British soldiers lost their lives.

I would not be surprised to see a new Prime Minister by the end of this year.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A memorial to immigrants...

Yesterday morning I attended the dedication of a memorial in the nearby city of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Here is a short description that I wrote for a local publication. Somehat different than what I usually post.


Between the years 1845 and 1850 over one million Irish people died as a result of the Great Potato Famine. During this five year period two million left Ireland to avoid starvation. Some of these people were part of the first wave of immigrants to settle in Lawrence, Massachusetts. On a beautiful sunny morning, last Saturday, hundreds of Irish-Americans and their friends gathered in “the Immigrant City” to dedicate a monument honoring those who died, suffered from and survived the Irish Potato Famine. I was privileged to be part of that celebration.

The setting was a hillside in historic Immaculate Conception cemetery. Various speakers recalled the heroism and generosity of those original immigrants as the flags of the United Stated, Ireland and the Vatican fluttered in the background. One speaker recalled how those original immigrants made huge personal sacrifices so that they could send support to their families left behind in Ireland. It was an inspiring ceremony.

The memorial is a project sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish Foundation of Lawrence, Massachusetts. It is one of four memorials to the Great Famine throughout the United States dedicated in recent years. One of these has become a “must visit” site for many visitors to downtown Boston.

The tone for Saturday’s gathering was set by keynote speaker, former U.S. Ambassador Ray Flynn. Flynn pointed out how his own empathy for the underdog grew out of his roots as a descendent of Irish immigrants and his own religious convictions. He pointed out that the people of Ireland today are extraordinarily generous when it comes to providing financial support to people experiencing starvation in other parts of the world. He suggested that that this generosity is a legacy of the suffering of the Irish people during the Great Famine.

What I found interesting was the fact that Ambassador Flynn, a former Mayor of Boston, tied the plight of the Irish who fled starvation in Ireland and came to Lawrence and other New England cities in the 1840’s with the plight of the latest wave of immigrants now struggling for a place in American society. He said, "As we remember the past, we should become sensitive and empathetic to the new immigrants and those who will follow in the future." It was a theme picked up by several speakers.

Much has been written about the suffering of those who fled the Great Famine to find survival in the New World. We know that many thousands died on ships en route to the United States and Canada. The memorial in Lawrence, called “An Gorta Mor” (“the Great Hunger”), will serve as a reminder of that sad chapter in Irish history. But in a larger sense it will serve as a tribute to all who have come as immigrants to America. And at this critical time, it will serve as an inspiration to those who are now seeking a place in our American society.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Why Did Peter Goss resign?

Light blogging this morning because of travel plans.

Lots of speculation about why Peter Goss resigned as CIA chief. I lean towards the theory that it has something to do with "Hookergate." I expect we'll find out something sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, more bad news from Afghanistan and Iraq as we hear of more American soldiers killed. Ten killed in a helicopter crash. Our thoughts are with their families.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Strong Rebuke for the Kremlin from Cheney...

Photo: Mindaugas Kulbis/Associated Press

Vice President Dick Cheney joined other world leaders, including, in the front, Presidents Lech Kaczynski of Poland, left, and Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania, at a conference on democracy in the former Soviet republics.

Seems like the Russians are pretty pissed off with what Cheney had to say. Here is part of what the New York Times is reporting this morning:

MOSCOW, May 4 — Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday delivered the Bush administration's strongest rebuke of Russia to date. He said the Russian government "unfairly and improperly restricted" people's rights and suggested that it sought to undermine its neighbors and to use the country's vast resources of oil and gas as "tools of intimidation or blackmail."

"In many areas of civil society — from religion and the news media, to advocacy groups and political parties — the government has unfairly and improperly restricted the rights of her people," Mr. Cheney said in a speech to European leaders in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius. "Other actions by the Russian government have been counterproductive, and could begin to affect relations with other countries."


Cheney talking about a "government that has unfairly and improperly restricted the rights of her people." That's interesting! He was talking about Russia...not the Bush Administration. Maybe he is just angry with Putin because the Russians are not supportive of our plans for Iran. Do you have any theories about what's going on? Post your comments.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The victims of war...

Saleh lost an eye, his right hand, and most of the fingers on his left hand in a bomb explosion in Baghdad almost two years ago. Yesterday in Baghdad authorities found the bodies of 37 people shot to death in six different locations, and in Fallujah 17 were killed by a suicide bomber.

Photo: Deanne Fitzmaurice / Chronicle (Courtesy of Truthout)


This is a difficult photo to look at. Conjures up images of innocent people caught up in the tragedy of war. Unfortunately, the sanitized version of the war that we get in the newspapers rarely shows the human suffering involved. One is left to wonder what Saleh will think of America when he grows up.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Day New Orleans drowned...

U.S. Senate committee's final report includes some of first images of the 17th St. Canal breach. Photo courtesy of National Geographic.

Statements by the Army Corps of Engineers that the New Orleans area was protected against the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane were "at best a rough estimate and at worst simply inaccurate," according to a Senate committee's final report on Hurricane Katrina released yesterday. The Corps claims that weakness in the levees was the direct result of a lack of funding.

As the finger-pointing continues there is a real concern over whether the repaired levees will be able to withstand a strong hurricane. The hurricane season begins in June.

In the meantime, Mayor Nagin announced yesterday a plan to get people out of the city when the next hurricane strikes. The Superdome will not be used.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Workers taking to the streets: An American tradition...

Ralph Fasanella Great Strike -- Lawrence 1912

"It was a wonderful strike, the most significant strike, the greatest strike that has ever been carried on in this country or any other country. And the most significant part of that strike was that it was a democracy. The strikers had a committee of 56, representing 27 different languages. "

Bill Big Haywood Description of the 1912 Lawrence millworkers strike

Yesterday as I heard reports of the various demonstrations I found myself thinking about how much this outpouring in the streets is in line with the tradition of American workers fighting for their rights. I was thinking in particular of the Great Strike in Lawrence in 1912. I should add that the City of Lawrence (Massachusetts) is just a 15 minute drive by car from the City of Haverhill where I live.

The quote by Big Bill Haywood (courtesy of Billmon) highlights the fact that the strikers, mostly women, were immigrants who spoke 27 different languages. Many were brought from Europe by the owners of the woolen mills to provide cheap labor.

The strikers were dealt with viciously with two teenagers killed by police in the streets. It is worthy to note that these poor exploited women received little support from the media or the politicians at the time. They were completely demonized by the Boston newspapers.

Each year on Labor Day Weekend the people of Lawrence remember their ancestors who fought successfully in the streets for fair compensation and safe working conditions. Their story should inspire those who are currently working for the rights of those who are more recent arrivals in the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

The Great Strike is memorialized in the painting by Ralph Fasanella shown above. This painting is on display in the Heritage Museum in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day 2006: "A Day Without Immigrants"

Historically, around the world May Day (May 1st) has been the day when working people took to the streets demanding their rights. May 1st is a holiday in many countries.

Today, millions of immigrants across the United States will take a sick day from work or school to peacefully march in protest of Congress' ill-conceived and overly punitive immigration reform proposals and to demand the recognition that is due them as an indispensable part of our labor force. This is not unprecedented in our country's history.

On May 1, 1886, workers in the U.S, many of them immigrants, took to the streets to protest oppressive working conditions. Over the course of the next several days, there was bloodshed and repressive police tactics, but thereafter, all worker's in the U.S incurred the benefits of an 8 hour, five day work week, the right to unionize and other needed protections.

Today there will be rallies, boycotts and work closures. Marchers are demanding recognition as indispensable members of U.S society, with the right to living wages, safe working conditions and protections. The want the same rights as any other member of the U.S: the right to travel, work, live, study and worship freely and safely,and reunite their families without discrimination and violence.

We need immigration reform. But the new policies must be humane and provide equality. Sensenbrenner's H.R. 4437, a bad bill, must go down to defeat. We do not want legislation that creates a "permanent criminalized underclass" or one that would split up families and not provide for a clear path to legalization.

There is some disagreement among pro-immigrant activists about the wisdom of today's marches. What do you think? Your comments are welcome.