Tuesday, January 03, 2006
  Where are the Unions when you need them?!
I've been watching the progress of the WV mine rescue (which looks at this point like it is going to be a recovery of remains, rather than life-saving operation) with anguish and anger. Anguish for the poor men who appear to have perished, and for their families, their children, their friends. Anger because the mining company had 208 safety violations in the past year, nearly half of them substantial. And according to US gov officials, it is not the worst among the safety records of mines. Indeed, they are saying it's fairly typical for mines of its size.

"Federal regulators' allegations against the Sago Mine included failure to dilute coal dust, which can lead to explosions, and failure to properly operate and maintain machinery, according to the U.S. Labor Department," reports AP news. "Ninety-six of the citations were considered "significant and substantial" by inspectors." And the average fine -- $250. That's gotta got hurt.

Where the heck are our unions -- insisting on decent working conditions? Where are our government oversight agencies whose job it is to protect workers? I feel like I'm living back in the 1880s.
In some ways, we are living in the 19th century, Pamela. As the divide grows wider every day between the top earners and even the middle ones in America, it's like a giant step backward for our whole culture. The gains of the early twentieth century are being systematically--and perhaps deliberately?--wiped out by those in power, beginning with Reagan, and getting worse now. I share your anguish!

And to add insult to injury -- the mine officials "made a mistake" and told families that 11 of the 12 had survived, when actually 1 of the twelve had survived. What a total disregard for these people's emotions!! What makes me most ill is all the spin -- rather than an apology. If you make a mistake, especially an egregious one like this, own up to it. That is the way to make ammends, not to back pedal and make excuses.

May God bless the souls of those who died doing honest work, and grant peace to the hearts of their loved ones.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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