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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

September 19th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe Magazine

The kids are wrong.
The state reptile should be the gerrymander!

Case of Mr. Arar

September 19th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

As a transplanted Canadian I am proud of the forthright way in which the Canadian Government dealt with the case of Mr. Arar (Canadians fault U.S. for its role in torture case, New York Times, September 19th. 2006; pp: A1, A6.). His arrest In New York and rendition to Syria was subject to a full scale judicial inquiry which reported today that Mr Arar had no connection to al-Qaeda and that Canadian and American officials were negligent in their duties.

I wish I could be as proud of my adoptive country. The United States refused to co-operate in the Canadian inquiry despite the fact that the arresting officers were American and it was CIA officials who undertook the rendition to Syria where Mr Arar was tortured. In addition the United States government hid behind the dubious, in my view, doctrine of the States Secret defense in disallowing a lawsuit by Mr Arar against the United States government.

Mr Arar has received justice and due process from Canada. In the U.S. he has been denied due process and justice. Until he, and people like him including the detainees at Guantanamo, receive due process, the terrorists are winning.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

September 16th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe

I was horrified to read about the appalling misuse of high school student contact information by military recruiters outlined in David Goodman's piece (Reading, writing, and recruitment, Boston Globe, September 15th. 20006, A13) . Apparently a small number of recruiters have been using recruitment interviews to rape, seduce, or sexually harass the students who have expressed interest in a military career.

Horrified not only because this has happened but also because this is the first mention of the issue in the Boston Globe despite the fact that Associated Press released the story in late August. This appalling behavior by some military recruiters should have been front page news.

It seems to me that two procedural changes should be made. First, students should only meet with recruiters in the presence of a parent. Second, the law should be changed so that instead of parents and students opting out of having the information released they should have to opt-in to allow the military to receive the information.

And, of course, the Department of Defense should be vigilant in eradicating these abuses from the military recruiting offices of America.

And perhaps legislators should be a little more careful about adding unnecessary clauses to legislation. The requirement to send information to the military was part of the "No child left behind" legislation.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Home Grown Terrorits

September 14th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

I suppose we should be reassured that at least some of the terrorist cells uncovered by the FBI are not very bright.
One of those described by John Miller (Law enforcement, American Style, September, 14, 2006. A27) was a group of "three men who had conspired to travel to Iraq and attack American forces there."
I'd have thought the indigenous attackers in Iraq did not need much help from American sympathizers!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gender Bias in Story Placement

September 13th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe

Today's Globe has two important stories relegated to the light-weight Living Arts Section. I wonder whether this is because they are both headlined by women?

On your front page of Section C is a story about the upcoming international conference on youth employment to be held in Kenya. This was organized by Poonam Ahulwalia. An issue this important surely deserves placement in the Front section or the Business Section.

On the back page of Section C is a story about the opening of a school in Boston for children who are recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. This story headlined Lietenant Governor Kerry Healey.
Surely the problems of youth
addiction and their potential solutions deserve placement in the Front Section of the newspaper.

You have done a disservice to each of these important initiatives by including them witht the section that deals with gossip about film stars, pop music and movie reviews.

Thursday, September 7, 2006


September 7th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the Toronto Globe & Mail

The information cited by Virgina Galt (Bonuses no longer just for executives, Glonbe and Mail, Sept 6, 2006; Page: C7) is quite perverse. She states that top management bonuses average 20% of salary, those for middle managers are about 15%, those for professionals are about 10% and those for trades people are about 7% and for clerical workers they are a meagre 5% of salary.

First, a bonus of under 10% is not very meaningful. So the bonuses for trades people and clerical workers will not have much motivational impact.

Second, differentials in compensation should be established with base salaries. After that, everyone should get the same percentage of salary as bonus -- either 100%, or 59% or 12%. After all, each has contributed in his or her own way to the success of the firm. Each should share proportionately in the fruits of that success.