Sunday, January 22, 2006

NYT: "Broad Survey of Day Laborers Finds High Level of Injuries and Pay Violations" (Steven Greenhouse)

The first nationwide study on day laborers has found that such workers are a nationwide phenomenon, with 117,600 people gathering at more than 500 hiring sites to look for work on a typical day.
The survey found that three-fourths of day laborers were illegal immigrants and that more than half said employers had cheated them on wages in the previous two months.
The study found that 49 percent of day laborers were employed by homeowners and 43 percent by construction contractors. They were found to be employed most frequently as construction laborers, landscapers, painters, roofers and drywall installers.
The study, based on interviews with 2,660 workers at 264 hiring sites in 20 states and the District of Columbia, found that day laborers earned a median of $10 an hour and $700 month. The study said that only a small number earned more than $15,000 a year.
The professors who conducted the study said the most surprising finding was the pervasiveness of wage violations and dangerous conditions that day laborers faced.
"We were disturbed by the incredibly high incidence of wage violations," said one of the study's authors, Nik Theodore of the University of Illinois at Chicago. "We also found a very high level of injuries."

The above is from Steven Greenhouse's "Broad Survey of Day Laborers Finds High Level of Injuries and Pay Violations" in this morning's New York Times and Erika and Phil both pick it as "a must read."

Our other article of note in this morning's paper proves that Denises stick together. Member Denise picks Denise Grady's "Struggling Back From War's Once-Deadly Wounds:"

It has taken hundreds of hours of therapy, but Jason Poole, a 23-year old Marine corporal, has learned all over again to speak and to walk. At times, though, words still elude him. He can read barely 16 words a minute. His memory can be fickle, his thinking delayed. Injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, he is blind in his left eye, deaf in his left ear, weak on his right side and still getting used to his new face, which was rebuilt with skin and bone grafts and 75 to 100 titanium screws and plates.
Even so, those who know Corporal Poole say his personality - gregarious, kind and funny - has remained intact. Wounded on patrol near the Syrian border on June 30, 2004, he considers himself lucky to be alive. So do his doctors. "Basically I want to get my life back," he said. "I'm really trying."
But he knows the life ahead of him is unlikely to match the one he had planned, in which he was going to attend college and become a teacher, get married and have children. Now, he hopes to volunteer in a school. His girlfriend from before he went to war is now just a friend. Before he left, they had agreed they might talk about getting married when he got back.
"But I didn't come back," he said.

Seriously, it is an article worth reading and the above is the opening. Consider it the tight show before the camera pulls back to view the landscape. Not a lot worth noting in the paper this morning. In fact more e-mails complain about the paper than anything else this morning.

Somini Sengupta provides the usual inhouse poet style and, thanks to Reuters, is able to "report" on Nepal from New Dehli. Too harsh? Check out the second paragraph:

The police said 200 people had been detained for curfew violations, and armored personnel carriers mounted with machine guns were posted on the streets of the capital, Reuters reported from Katmandu. The leaders of the country's major political parties, which had called for the rally, were placed under house arrest, Reuters said.

Does the Times think that readers don't know their geography? That we'll read two places starting with "N" and mistake them for the same? There's a byline for this sort of "reporting" that's industry standard and it reads "From wire reports."

(Sengupta's sole contribution appears to be quoting Nicholas Burns from New Dehli and summarizing an Associated Press report.)

Francisco notes "the littlest Judy Miller" is back in the paper, Juan Forero, with assist from Larry Rohter, contributes "Bolivia's Leader Solidifies Region's Leftward Tilt:"

When Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian and former head of the Bolivian coca growers union, is sworn in as president on Sunday, it may be the hardest turn yet in South America's persistent left-leaning tilt, with the potential for big reverberations far beyond the borders of this landlocked Andean nation.

Francisco: Why do all of the pieces by our littlest Judy Miller read like op-eds as opposed to reporting?

Now Francisco, you know if Forero actually reported he couldn't be known as the littlest Judy Miller. Seriously, Forero's got an agenda that no one even attempts to conceal anymore. You'd think echoing the writer of a Los Angeles Times piece would have resulted in some sort of fall out but apparently that only happens to Jayson Blair. Forero clues readers in on what Morales' biggest "crimes" are:

He has disparaged American-backed free trade policies, and seems certain to stand as the southernmost outpost of a new anti-American nexus with Cuba and Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, has become among the Bush administration's most ardent critics.

Free trade for whom, Forero? Maybe just for those who feel this is the "hardest turn"?

Dexy Filkins shows up fat and happy from the Green Zone which may be why the paper's only Iraq article today by a Times writer shows no concern for (or even mention of) Jill Carroll. Is the paper trying to be deliberately insulting or do they think running the Associated Press piece covers their bases (if not their own butts)? From the AP:

Two members of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad on Saturday to seek the release of Jill Carroll, a 28-year-old freelance writer for The Christian Science Monitor who was abducted Jan. 7 in Baghdad.
The delegation had hoped to meet with Iraqi Muslims to explore ways to win Ms. Carroll's freedom. But the representatives were unable to obtain safe transportation into the city and spoke instead by telephone with Iraqi figures.
They planned to return to neighboring Jordan on Sunday, but a sandstorm threatened to stop all flights and leave them stranded.

[. . .]
Ms. Carroll has since been seen only in footage broadcast by Al Jazeera television on Tuesday.

Finally, David E. Sanger drives home the problems with the paper in his article entitled "Why Not a Strike on Iran?". Did we miss the news article (not editorial, not op-ed) where the paper wondered "Why A Strike on Iran?" No, we didn't. And we're also not missing the voice of any non-hawk in Sanger's piece, none are noted. What we get is that people in favor of war have some level of reluctance to go to war with Iran (for a variety of reasons). This is the paper's idea of "balance." Balanced in that what Cokie Roberts might term "those that mattered" got covered and the rest of the voices were ignored.

Now for an e-mail. If someone repeatedly sends the same e-mail after no reply, you'd think they'd get the message. That is not the case. So here is an e-mail that has been sent to this site repeatedly (I'm leaving out the name of the sender):

Although I agree with you on some of your thoughts about the war (I am absolutely opposed and I do believe that Bush lied), I cannot understand why you tried to gain access to her office to call her. Since she wasn't there, this seems to me to be just asking for trouble. You must have know that you wouldn't get in. If you really wanted to call her, then you should have found a phone and called her.
This kind of unruly demonstration didn't win you any points with the public or Senator Snowe and was totally unproductive. I lived through the 60's and demonstrated a lot against the Viet Nam war and I developed a distaste for those who spent their time on fruitless demonstrations and occupations, rather than work productively to end the war.
Just some thoughts.

"Just some thoughts" back at you and, warning, I'm tired and not in the mood for nonsense. I wasn't at a protest at Snowe's office, "unruly" or otherwise. ("Fruitless" or otherwise.) I've never attempted to gain access to Snowe's office in Maine. Nor have I ever written that I have. You're confusing an article we noted here (and possibly the piece at The Third Estate Sunday Review calling the refusal, by many elected officials, to meet with constituents the "trend story" of 2005). I know what I wrote here and what I helped write at The Third Estate Sunday Review. You write: "Since she wasn't there, this seems to me to be just asking for trouble." To which I reply: "Since I've never stated that I'd participated in a protest outside Snowe's office, this seems to me to be just flaunting your lack of comprehension." This isn't a matter of a difference of interpretation, which would be fine, this is an issue where you believe, apparently honestly believe, that you've read something here that wasn't here.

I'm glad to know someone has a cause. Apparently the person above has made it their cause to defend Olympia Snowe from "protesters" (also known as the voters she represents). Lots of luck with that but quit wasting Jess, Ava and my time with your e-mail. I am developing "a distaste for those" who can't comprehend what they think they're reading.

I saw this and mentioned it to Jess who stated it had come six times now at the public account. Seven is your lucky number, ____, that's when you get your reply. Here and only here. Go away now.

(Reporters who e-mail, that aren't members, should not be worried that their e-mails will be posted. Even without a name attached, certain qualities and topics would prove revealing. In terms of the person above, not a reporter, they have repeatedly sent the same message and I'm tired of them clogging up the account with useless comments that have no bearing on on reality.
Kat quoted an e-mail to this site at her site yesterday. The person was wanting to be sure something was getting out -- that Bully Boy said in 2004 that he only did wiretaps with court orders. I've got Beth on the phone and did run it past her, the site's ombudsperson, and she said print it and put the person's name in. I'll print it but I won't make a point to embarrass the person by calling them uninformed and running their name. Beth's on the phone, by the way, because there's some problem with the round-robin being bounced back this morning. If you don't receive it, e-mail Beth, Gina or Krista. Beth wanted that noted.)

I went to the public account to find two things that Ava and Jess had mentioned and am only finding one. Still owning the Able Danger beat is Rory O'Connor whose most recent piece is entitled "Able Danger and the USS Cole" (Media is Plural, Rory O'Connor's blog,

Is Kirk Lippold, commander of the ill-fated USS Cole, the latest career military officer to be victimized by the political miasma now surrounding the controversial Able Danger intelligence program?
Lippold was in charge of the Cole on October 12, 2000 when the guided missile destroyer was attacked in the harbor of Aden, Yemen by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Suicide bombers Ibrahim al-Thawr and Abdullah al-Misawa approached the port side of the Cole in a small craft laden with explosives and blew a 40-by-40-foot gash in the destroyer's port side. Seventeen sailors were killed and 39 others were wounded in the blast.
The official Navy Judge Advocate General Manual (JAGMAN) investigation of the incident concluded that Lippold "acted reasonably in adjusting his force protection posture based on his assessment of the situation that presented itself" when the Cole arrived in Aden to refuel. The investigation further concluded that "the commanding officer of Cole did not have the specific intelligence, focused training, appropriate equipment or on-scene security support to effectively prevent or deter such a determined, preplanned assault on his ship."
Although Lippold lacked "the specific intelligence" to prevent the attack on the Cole, his superiors did not.

Analysts associated with the secretive Able Danger program, including Army Reserve Lieutenant Commander Anthony Shaffer and Navy Captain Scott Phillpott, who say they identified Mohamed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers a year before the Al Qaeda-connected terror attacks on America, also say their team passed on warnings about al Qaeda activity in Aden before the attack on the Cole to high officials at both Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM).

Somewhere in the folder Jess and Ava created for "must reads" was someone wanting a link (not the one I just replied to telling them that I needed to know something about their site and didn't have time to go surfing; this one came in Wednesday or Thursday, Ava believes). To those e-mailing the public account, if you asked members, they'd tell you that many things are being postponed because the focus is on Alito currently. My apologies to whomever was asking for a link in a post. I'll try to find that later in the week and provide it. (Provided it's appropriate to this site.)

The Third Estate Sunday Review is waiting for me to post something before they can begin posting. It's Isaiah's latest, yes, it's a new The World Today Just Nuts and it will go up shortly.
If you're someone who doesn't receive your gina & krista round-robin this morning, contact Beth, Gina or Krista. It looks like it's just one grouping that got bounced back, according to Beth. And thank you to Gina, Krista and Beth for all their hard work on those round-robins.
Today's contributions include Brenda, Tori, Zach and a crossword created by Lloyd. (Isaiah has a new comic exclusive to the round-robin today as well.)

And remember, Elizabeth Holtzman ("The Impeachment of George W. Bush") is one of the guests on today's RadioNation with Laura Flanders.

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