Tags >> Congress
Apr 20
2009

ICE suit

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Sonoma , rights , public safety , policy , nonprofit orgs , law enforcement , jail , immigration , government , Congress

Bruce Robinson

 The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department is charged with illegally overreaching in their support for immigration enforcement by federal officials. The ACLU suit also challenges the regulation upon which that cooperation is based.

 Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union of Northern  California (ACLUNC) is the lead attorney behind that group's suit  charging that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been collaborating beyond the law to target, arrest, and detain Latino residents of Sonoma County.

The rights embodied in the US Constitution are not there only for American  citizens, says Mass, but are explicitly applied to everyone, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

 

Even as the ALCU lawsuit unfolds, Mass says she sees some early hints that the new Obama administration may be moving toward a different stance on ICE enforcement usage of the disputed regulations.

 

 

 

 

Apr 15
2009

Employee Free Choice Act

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , rights , politics , legislation , jobs , government , finances , employment , economy , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Some proposed reforms to national labor law are finding broad support in Sonoma County

 

 

Ben Boyce,  Director of the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County, points to a case in Sonoma Valley that he says illustrates the need for the protections embodied in the Employee Free Choice Act.

Because there has been scant enforcement of violations of the national Labor Relations Act, Boyce says businesses have developed a "culture of impunity," where occasional fines for such violations are taken in stride.

There will be a public forum about the proposed law in Santa Rosa tomorrow from 10 am to noon at SRJC's Newman Hall, with multiple labor organizations and elected officials participating, including:

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

State Senator Pat Wiggins

Assemblyman Jared Huffman

Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Effren Carrillo, and

Santa Rosa City Councilman Gary Wysocky.

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly stated his support for the Employee Free Choice Act, a position he reaffirmed just before his innauguration in this meeting with the editorial board of the Washington Post.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_eR-b_n-Nc 300x350] 

Apr 07
2009

US-Cuba Policy

Posted by Bruce Robinson in veterans , tourism , speaker , politics , policy , peace , legislation , immigration , history , government , Congress , author

Bruce Robinson

After half a century of hostile relations, is it finally time to start talking-and trading-with Cuba again?

Cuba is not a high priority for the Obama administration, Erlich observes, but there is a considerable upside to taking action there.

s

 

 Under Raul Castro (left) , the Cuban government has instituted some reforms, but Erlich says many of them have little effect on the day-to-day lives of the Cuban working class.

 

Cuba's socialized medical care is sometimes cited as one of the country's main successes. Erlich agrees...up to a point.

 Reese Erlich is the author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and co-author of the best-selling Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, Latino USA, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and  CBC radio in Canada. He also writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, and Dallas Morning News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 26
2009

Come Home, America

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , rights , resources , politics , peace , news , media , legislation , justice , jobs , Ideas , history , government , finances , economy , Congress , climate change , business , budget , author

Bruce Robinson

What must America do to effectively respond to the multiple crises that confront us as a nation today? Political writer William Greider's answer can be summed up in two words:  Grow up!

 

A staunch critic of the economic establishment, Greider has his own, contrarian ideas of how government should move to reestablish credit and restore order to the American banking system.

 

 

A former managing editor for the Washington Post, Greider has contributed to six "Frontline" documentaries on PBS, and is now the National Affairs correspondent for The Nation. This first-hand experience has made him keenly aware of the role that consolidation of media ownership in this country has played in fomenting our current crises.  

 

In his newest book, Come Home America, Greider offers both an analysis of the cultural and political  missteps that have contributed to the current crises we face, as well as some no nonsense ideas for ways to recover and move forward. Here's an excerpt from the opening pages:

 

"I HAVE SOME HARD THINGS TO SAY about our country. Beyond recession and financial crisis, we are in much deeper trouble than many people suppose or the authorities want to acknowledge. Because I think Americans always deal better with adversity if they have a clear understanding of what they are confronting, this book will address the gloomy circumstances and rough passage I see ahead for the American people.

"Everything around us is changing, and Americans must change, too. First, we must be honest with ourselves, face the hard facts, and put aside some comforting myths. Then, we must find the nerve to take responsibility again for our country and democracy. Taking responsibility means having the courage to step up and reclaim our power as citizens. We have to relearn what many in earlier generations knew: how to assert our own ideas and values on what the future should look like, how to make ourselves heard amid the empty noise of politics, how to assert our convictions as aggressively as necessary to alter the course of history.

"Americans will get through this. Our country has been through far worse in the past. We can emerge from it in promising new ways, not necessarily richer, but wiser and joined more closely together as a people, more able to realize fulfilling lives. If we do the hard work. If we change.

"WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY where telling the hard truth with clarity has become taboo. Its implications are too alarming. Any politician who says aloud what some of them know or feel in their guts is vilified as defeatist or unpatriotic. Many are clueless, of course, and others are too scared to raise forbidden subjects. I understand their silence and I do not forgive them.

"This book is about hard truths that were mostly not addressed during the long and intensely reported campaign for the presidency. A few marginal candidates did challenge the orthodox version of American greatness, but their also-ran status ensured they would not be widely heard. Most politicians looked the other way and stuck to familiar themes of patriotic optimism. The news media did not help much, either, by generally adhering to conventional thinking and ignoring dissenting opinions. Under these circumstances, citizens are more or less on their own, and remarkably, they do often find their way to the truth about things. In these very difficult times, I hope this book will help them."

###

  William Greider's previous books include Who Will Tell the People:  The Betrayal of American Democracy, and Secrets of the Temple, an inside look at the Federal Reserve Board.

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