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VOLUME 2, NUMBER 21    <>  MONDAY, MAY 28, 2001

this & that

chinga.jpg (118476 bytes)¿Habla usted español? A new bit of artwork is decorating the walls of the Mission these days, unsigned and mysteriously placed there. Not quite the language they teach you in high school, nevertheless its message is clear.


circus.jpg (10549 bytes)How sweat it is. The Maquila Solidarity Network announces that the balloting has begun for its Second Annual Sweatshop Retailer Awards. The bestowal of these coveted prizes on a worthy corporation in Toronto on June 18 will coincide with the presentation of the “Excellence in Retailing Awards” by the Retail Council of Canada. Your vote counts. See the network’s website for details.

Conversion experiences. First, Bernie Sanders; now, James Jeffords. Last week the soap opera in D.C. rivaled our melodramatic doings on the West Coast. M. Dennis Sanders summed it up: “I feel that somebody with more words than I and hope and honesty in their heart should thank Senator Jeffords for daring to doing what he feels and knows what is right for the nation!”

Meanwhile, Dubya was busy demonstrating the compassionate side of his conservatism, (mis)quoting Dorothy Day in a Notre Dame commencement address. The May 22 issue of Salon speculates on the reason for the citation, and its sloppiness: “Worse still would be if Bush and his staff knew and cared so little about poverty they didn’t know or care anything about Day or what she stood for, beyond the fact that she was a Catholic and they need more Catholic votes. Given the fact that Bush's proposed budget gives unprecedented tax breaks to the richest of the rich and crumbs to the poor, the smart money has to be on the last explanation.”

Way to glow! The irreverent environmentalist magazine Grist reports that an exuberant Nuclear Energy Institute showered Vice President Dick Cheney with party favors at a recent conference — super balls that glow in the dark. Crowed nuclear power executive Christian Poindexter, “In my wildest dreams, when I was over at the White House in March, I couldn’t imagine them getting so behind us.”

Grist awards a few glowing balls of its own to the Save Our Environment Action Center for its silly video that urges the man in the White House to “stop monkeying around with the country’s energy policies.”

Grounded. American Airlines is a major sponsor and supporter of groups like GLADD, the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the AIDS Action Foundation, DIFFA, AmFAR, and scores of community-based groups representing gays and lesbians. It is also the first airline to adopt a written non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation in its employment practices.

In an unusual joint letter released to the media on March 14 by the Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, American Family Association, and Coral Ridge Ministries, American Airlines was openly criticized for its policy. Radical right leader Beverly LaHaye also went on Christian “talk radio” to blast American Airlines on the grounds that the airline’s sponsorship of homosexual “pride” events constitutes an open endorsement of “promiscuous homosexuality.” She and the other groups have written Bob Crandall at American Airlines to complain that the airline has “gone beyond mere tolerance” of gays and lesbians. American Airlines’ switchboard and emails are being bombarded now by homophobic and hateful callers who have been urged by LaHaye and others to demand the company terminate its gay-friendly policies.

The following petition is being circulated on the internet. Send it to American Airlines Corporate Communications Department, MD 5575, P.O. Box 619616, D/FW International Airport, TX, 75261-9616; or email amrwebmaster@amrcorp.com.

To American Airlines:

We, the undersigned, support your gay/lesbian rights policies and commend you for your efforts in ending discrimination. Thank you for your dedication to such issues and please continue to remain active in the struggle to end discrimination.