75 MetaFilter comments by Babylonian (displaying 1 through 50)

Today is May 1st, also known as International Workers Day. International Workers Day began when 340,000 in Chicago, Milwaukee and other cities struck for the eight-hour day in 1886. Flash forward to today where for many workers in the I.T. industry, years of 60-hour weeks and taking classes on your own dime to keep up with technology leave you in the unemployment line, after being laid off with no notice. For years, people have been calling for the I.T. Workers of the world to unite and form a unified labor union. I.T. workers should form a union for the same reason that workers have always formed unions: together we have more power to improve the terms and conditions of our employment than we do as individuals. This is an announcement and a call to action to the world-wide IT worker community to become involved in the development of a new resource — The International I.T. Workers Union that will represent the interests of I.T. Workers around the world.
comment posted at 2:57 PM on May-1-07
comment posted at 3:52 PM on May-1-07

My National Security Letter Gag Order "Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case -- including the mere fact that I received an NSL -- from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been. I hide any papers related to the case in a place where she will not look. When clients and friends ask me whether I am the one challenging the constitutionality of the NSL statute, I have no choice but to look them in the eye and lie."
comment posted at 10:49 AM on Mar-24-07
comment posted at 10:51 AM on Mar-24-07

Barbara Bush insults Katrina survivors. Said today while visiting relief efforts at the Houston Astrodome: "Almost everyone I've talked to said we're going to move to Houston. What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. (Said with concern.) Everybody is so overwhelmed by all the hospitality. And so many of the peoples in the arena here, you know, they're underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them." I'd be curious what she'd think after after living there for just a week, much less for months on end, before being sent off to somewhere even further from their homes, friends, and relatives. Please note: This woman raised our president. Did the acorn fall far from the tree?
comment posted at 5:44 AM on Sep-6-05

A toxic landfill site on which low-income housing was built in central New Orleans is now under floodwaters with the potential to pollute and contaminate portions of the Gulf Coast. In the 1940s and 1950s, the site was routinely sprayed with DDT, but in 1962 some 229,300 cubic metres of excess fill was removed because subsurface toxic fires kept erupting (and got the site known as "Dante's Inferno"). According to the editor of Hazardous Waste magazine, the site -- now under water -- will almost inevitably leach toxic effluent into the floodwaters, with the potential of inflicting unpredictable damage on the coast, and those that live there -- a possible environmental catastrophe. Tests by the EPA in the 1980s and 90s found 149 chemicals - 44 of which are known carcinogens. Among the toxic substances found were arsenic, lead, mercury, barium, and other organic compounds that are associated with pesticides and the burning of waste. Finally, what is the status of the Waterford 3 nuke plant just north of New Orleans, and what is the status of that plant's nuclear waste ? News reports say it sustained damage to 'off-site buildings' but what does that mean? Were those waste containment facilities?
comment posted at 12:46 AM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 1:55 AM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 3:57 AM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 6:16 AM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 6:58 AM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 5:31 PM on Sep-6-05
comment posted at 6:09 AM on Sep-7-05

Google News has reportedly confirmed they have removed Indymedia from their list of news sources. Why you ask? Apparently Google bowed to pressure brought upon them by an email campaign organized by people who disagree with some of what gets posted under IndyMedia's policy of allowing anyone to post to the newswire, and not exerting editorial control. People are claiming IndyMedia is "anti-semitic", because of trolls who sometimes post hateful posts on the unedited, user-supplied newswire. Check out the thread on Little Green Footballs or Silent Running or this one at Yourish.com. Inexplicably, Yourish points to this mailing list posting as proof of IndyMedia's "anti-semitism". If you go to Google news and search for indymedia sorted by date, nothing after May 16th comes up. Now in their effort to remove truly anti-semitic material from Google News, they've removed all the legitimate stories of IndyMedia from Google News as well.
comment posted at 7:16 PM on May-19-03
comment posted at 8:56 PM on May-19-03
comment posted at 10:20 PM on May-19-03
comment posted at 11:01 PM on May-19-03
comment posted at 7:05 AM on May-20-03
comment posted at 7:53 AM on May-20-03
comment posted at 11:07 AM on May-20-03
comment posted at 4:12 PM on May-20-03
comment posted at 9:08 AM on May-21-03

Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura? The image of a boy shot dead in his helpless father's arms during an Israeli confrontation with Palestinians has become the Pietà of the Arab world. Now a number of Israeli researchers are presenting persuasive evidence that the fatal shots could not have come from the Israeli soldiers known to have been involved in the confrontation. The evidence will not change Arab minds—but the episode offers an object lesson in the incendiary power of an icon
comment posted at 1:14 PM on May-14-03
comment posted at 1:53 PM on May-14-03

Stip Naked and Walk, Thief. On the chests of the men had been scrawled an Arabic phrase that translates as "Ali Baba - Thief."
comment posted at 4:07 PM on Apr-29-03
comment posted at 4:56 PM on Apr-29-03

Peter Yarrow's daughter confronts the new police state. Notes from the peace rally in NYC last weekend. Is the next generation ready to stand up for its rights?
comment posted at 4:49 PM on Feb-19-03

Live from New York "None of our little group were, as one of us put it, 'into the Mumia scene.' But really, most of the people around us today were like us: regular folks, average, thoughtful, middle- and working-class Americans fed up with a war-obsessed government that won't listen to the world or to its own citizens." With pictures of some cool signs that weren't shown on TV ("NY Loves Old Europe," "Draft the Bush Twins"). Any other eyewitness accounts of protests from anywhere in the world today?
comment posted at 4:59 PM on Feb-19-03

The Political Graveyard -- It all started innocently enough.....I was reading a piece by a professor of media and journalism studies who wondered: Was Paul Wellstone murdered?" and cited an unusual number of democrats who had died in plane crashes. Was it true, I wondered? -- My search led me to The Political Graveyard, with it's endless categorizations of the details in the deaths of US politicians. Deaths by religious affiliation, politicians killed by poison or gunfights, opium overdoses or car crashes. But was it true? Yes, the site seemed to confirm the deaths (for the last 3 decades or so) of a statistically anomalous number of national democratic politicians (sitting or running for office) in plane crashes....but the site just grabbed me and wouldn't let me leave: Charles Tillinghast James (1805-1862): died while making his own cannon, Richard Ellis (1781-1846): died when his clothes suddenly caught fire, Thomas Caute Reynolds (1821-1887): killed himself by leaping down an elevator shaft, Sidney Theodore Roebuck (1901-1982): died from RAT poison, and MY FAVORITE, Elmer Severson (1922-1999), who died from spinal cord injuries he lost a "tussle with a cow"
comment posted at 9:19 PM on Nov-1-02

"Dear policeman, I am God" found inscribed on a Tarot card. This latest clue in the Maryland sniper case will no doubt be tested and thoroughly investigated, although it was reported that it could be the work of prankster. If you have read the interesting post below by stevis ("I am who I am") of a Florida man who was legally denied the right to call himself "God", doesn't it make you wonder if the human desire to personify or impersonate God is a manifestation of the desperation for control over others, but not for the better? God, after all, wants you to surrender your life to the almighty. Or (mental illnesses aside) is it much more complex than that?
comment posted at 4:54 PM on Oct-9-02

Taticular Nucyoular Weapons Dubya mispronounced the word "nuclear" "\nu"cle*ar\" in his speech 17 times this evening (take your own tally here). Wait. That's not a simple mispronunciation. It's a "folk etymology." Thanks, Ike. (Thanks, Homer.) Thanks also to Merriam-Webster. Apparently, this scourge of English is in the dictionary.
comment posted at 8:58 PM on Oct-8-02

Today is the day when massive war protests are scheduled to appear throughout the U.S. Are you going? Are you completely against them? Was the one near you bigger/smaller than expected? And remember, MetaFilter is fun, but like the war or hate it, this is your last chance to register to make your opinion really count if you haven't already. The election is officially 30 days away. The war.... we'll get back to you on that.
comment posted at 9:32 PM on Oct-8-02

Fight of the Century? Bush and Hussein 1 on 1? This isn't the first time it's been suggested that state/world leaders just leave their populations out of it and go at it one on one, but this is the first time I've heard it specifically suggested. What'll you bet the majority of both populations would really be curious to see this duel? What'll you bet that even George's richest friends might sell him out for the pay-per-view rights?
comment posted at 3:25 PM on Oct-4-02

Canada Customs & Revenue Agency detains pro-Israel papers. Newsletters, from the California-based Ayn Rand Institute, defending "Israel's moral right to exist" that were destined for the University of Toronto, were confiscated so that the newsletters can be determined whether they constitute hate propaganda. The newsletter in question [pdf] was to be handed out at a at a meeting on Sunday. Dr. Brook, author of the newsletter, admits it is "radical" but isn't this censorship?
comment posted at 3:41 PM on Oct-4-02

The 6th Largest Nuclear power in the world refuses UN arms inspections and has indicated that it may be prepared to use their nukes. This threatening tone has some experts feeling worried that the nuclear weapons taboo may be broken soon. Once again the UN and the USA are being accused of double standards in terms of the treatment of Israel versus other countries. Does this amount to Nuclear Apartheid ?
comment posted at 5:35 AM on Oct-4-02
comment posted at 7:11 AM on Oct-4-02
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comment posted at 12:29 PM on Oct-4-02
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comment posted at 3:13 PM on Oct-4-02
comment posted at 4:34 PM on Oct-4-02
comment posted at 7:04 PM on Oct-5-02

Osama bin Laden hasn't been mentioned in a presidential speech in seven months.
comment posted at 8:33 AM on Oct-3-02

The president's real goal in Iraq Assumption is that this is to be an undeclared true beginning of American imperialism, as America takes on role of the policeman of the world. Overwrought or spot on?
comment posted at 8:44 AM on Oct-3-02

'One Bullet' Less Costly Than War, Bush Spokesman Says dangerous talk? especially coming from the office of a man who is less popular with much of the worlds population than the man in question.
comment posted at 2:27 PM on Oct-2-02

"The 9-28-01 Critical Mass bike ride in Austin generated some controversy when a jeep driver intentionally ran over a cyclist and crashed into another car."
comment posted at 7:08 PM on Oct-1-02
comment posted at 7:24 PM on Oct-1-02

Quitting Kyoto Though I too was angry when Bush end gang refused to get involved with Kyoto (environmental treaty), I might have let my ant-Bush feelings take over my "better self." Here an expert argues that all the world but the EU knows that the Kyoto treaty is worthless.
comment posted at 11:15 AM on Oct-1-02

Was Jeb Bush fed the Florida Grubernatorial debate? The governor addresses random voter "Sylvia" in regards to her question. The problem is that the moderator didn't say a woman named Sylvia has a question until three minutes later. (More inside)
comment posted at 11:18 AM on Oct-1-02

Poetry or propaganda? Gov. James E. McGreevey [of New Jersey] has called for the resignation of the state's poet laureate, citing a poem critical of Israel that Amiri Baraka read at a festival earlier this month. "Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed," read a line from the poem, which was cited by the Jewish Standard weekly newspaper. "Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day? Why did Sharon stay away?" Read the poem in question here.
comment posted at 5:07 PM on Oct-1-02

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