Gnome 2.26 can't write to vfat

I'm using Gnome 2.26 on openSUSE.  The new regime with PolicyKit seems
unduly restrictive: desktop users don't seem to be able to set power
management, write to or delete from mounted vfat formatted usb keys, or
(even when su root) do *anything* with the "Authorizations" module in
the Gnome Control Center.

I fixed the last with polkit-auth by just fooling around, but since the
man page for this assumes you know all about it already and just need to
be reminded of some of the more obscure arguments, I'm now terrified
I've done something stupid and left myself wide open.  

Three questions:

1. Is there any documentation for these changes in the default powers of
ordinary users from 2.2x to 2.26?  I couldn't find any mention of this
in the announcement and "Whats new" pages for 2.26.  The defaults seem
to be lunatic so there should be some easy way to understand and change

2. How do I enable ordinary users to write to their (almost invariably)
vfat formatted usb drives?

3. Who decided these things: what the hell is anyway and
why do they suddenly seem to control what I can and cannot do with my
computer?  What's the point of the "Authorizations" module in the
Control Center if *nobody* can do anything with it by default?


N. B. Day
39° 28.3964' North, 119° 48.6346' West, 1403m up
Aurelius up 8:49, 2 users, load average: 0.11, 0.16, 0.15 x86_64 GNU/Linux openSUSE 11.1 (x86_64)

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