Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poking the Balloon

As Soon As Peace Is Called, I Get Leary:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/28/iraq-holiday-us-withdrawal
Some banners proclaimed the 30 June date as historically significant because it coincided with the Iraqi revolution of 1920, which eventually led to the British exit from Iraq.

Get the Copwatch from Jose Martin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7Kx1n039_E
TRT 10.00 min

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hits, Shits and Quits

It's the weekend:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_re_us/us_family_shot
"I've known them my whole life, even when I was in school," she said of the family "They've always been such nice, Christian people. Good people."

Tell It Like It Is, Ozzie:
http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports_hardball/2009/06/piniella-vents-about-clubhouse-leaks-and-sox-attendance-woes.html
So the Sox need the Cubs to help them draw fans? White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked why attendance was so low at the Sox-Dodgers series, and said: "Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans. They know we're (expletive)."

The Arrogance Is Incredible:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090629/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq
Privately, many U.S. officers worry the Iraqis will be overwhelmed if violence surges, having relied for years on the Americans for nearly everything.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Got JFK'd

It's VIDEO FRIDAY:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izk3zANO2XY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18mRE5sQrsM&feature=related


Poking along, lost in my own thoughts, enjoying the summer heat, riding my bike on the lakefront trail, as I passed the picnic area the walnut sized segment of my brain resting on my spinal column sensed danger.

Two assassins approached over my left shoulder (where death does appear according to Don Juan), and I received a perfect head shot and a lower blast in the abdomen, an insurance shot.

The weapon of choice wasn't a .38. The first thing I thought happened is I was hit with that snowball made in January, kept in the freezer for the hottest day of the year. Upon taking my sunglasses off, the yoke was on me and the angry youth had sped away, as if I was going to harm them.

This act of indiscriminate violence performed against me put all my training or study of the emotional into an instant test. I didn't do so well at first, even bringing up thoughts of getting a gun and shooting these punks (how to find them didn't matter at the moment). It made me speak unkindly to quite a few along the way home and it brought up the old bugaboo of racism, being as I see it a victim of it this time.

Couple miles down was a beach and I washed off and sat quietly for a while. I was telling myself not to relay their anger, but I may have been secretly wishing they had ridden farther away and I didn't want to run into them again on the way home. It's true, I didn't want it to consume me with anger. I have to live life without carrying a piece in my bike bag. I go this way often, now how will I cope in the future?

Cosmically, this episode may be another type of kick in the head. A signal to get my ass in gear and do something. I could take it as sign from the gods, a not-so-subtle message to wake up to my life. A return to the hockey dictum "Keep your head up", so to speak. Focus.

Back to earth, it is an indication of a Long Hot Summer in an urban center of uncertainty.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We Are Sick

Drugs, in order to Work:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/jun/21/mental-health-antidepressants-recession-prescriptions
Fears the recession is affecting the mental health of the nation appear to be borne out by new figures that show prescriptions of antidepressants are soaring.

Shows Weakness. All Mental, Must Move...:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090618&content_id=5400414&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

On Thursday, the Tigers placed the left-hander on the disabled list, retroactive to Monday, for the second time this season because of an anxiety disorder.


Meditation would tell these atheletes, it's only a game (or a job, or a parking ticket):
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Video-Glen-Big-Baby-Davis-lives-up-to-his-nic?urn=nba,127483

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Glory Be

... and give them a microdonation, too:

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/?q=node/332

Reports are starting to appear suggesting that laid-off or underemployed Americans, and the long-term unemployed, are losing patience with the Obama administration’s and Congress’ economic stimulus plan, which thus far has not done anything to arrest the growth of unemployment, now at close to 20 percent of the US workforce, at least as unemployment used to honestly be counted in the 1970s and early 1980s

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Suggestions/EWS

Stop kidding. Stop "just saying" the first thing that comes to mind and the listener has to deal with it. Control of the tongue is by far, is the lessen of the upcoming century. Our survival is at stake.


Be strong. Stand Tall. Have determined, calm eyes. You know a lot about life and are willing to share, kindly.

Have emotional intelligence and the wisdom to know anger is one state of being that will not help accomplish your goal. There are others as well, and not allow these more destructive forces in our makeup to darken human relationship.


Listen to your bowels and all of your physical make up. Eat little crap food. Exercise is overrated, just enough is all. Getting the toxins out is important, not putting them in even more.


Stress settles in your shoulders and shrinks you in your old age. Old people do not have the resiliency for stress, children have yet to adapt to it. Understanding stress and coping skills are all on your reading lists, I know. Essential study for this modern world.


A formal time of daily meditation, and I'm talking Old School, is essential to health. A quiet place to settle down, eyes closed, for a determined amount of time and place, everyday. Extra doesn't hurt either when life is getting rocky.

Be aware of that better person inside yearning to get out. Allow that person to emerge.

Always wear sensible shoes. You never know when you must run from the cops.

Living next to a large body of fresh water is a good idea.

Never allow a pencil to be alone, always pick it up if found on the sidewalk. Pencils brought down empires, a tool that gets my highest respect.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Listening to Your Medical Records

You don't want the Olympics in your town:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/olympics/london_2012/article6446271.ece
The report, marked “restricted”, reveals that among the “Big Brother” tactics deployed at last summer’s Beijing Games was the installation of miniature microphones in thousands of taxis.

Single Payer, Anyone?
http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/dont-let-third-way-ben-nelsons-or-repub
FierceHealthcare reports the following top 10 CEO salaries for 2008.
* Ron Williams - Aetna - Total Compensation: $24,300,112.* H. Edward Hanway - CIGNA - Total Compensation: $12,236,740.* Angela Braly - WellPoint - Total Compensation: $9,844,212.* Dale Wolf - Coventry Health Care - Total Compensation: $9,047,469.* Michael Neidorff - Centene - Total Compensation: $8,774,483.* James Carlson - AMERIGROUP - Total Compensation: $5,292,546.* Michael McCallister - Humana - Total Compensation: $4,764,309.* Jay Gellert - Health Net - Total Compensation: $4,425,355.* Richard Barasch - Universal American - Total Compensation: $3,503,702.* Stephen Hemsley - UnitedHealth Group - Total Compensation: $3,241,042.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nnxNItgTx0

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

To Serve and Protect:

http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/denver.police.suspension.2.1049330.html

A Denver police officer has been suspended after allegedly brandishing his gun at a McDonald's restaurant in Aurora after his order took too long to fill.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0%2C25197%2C25654540-601%2C00.html

QUEENSLAND police have admitted that evidence shows an officer last week fired a 50,000-volt Taser 28 times into a man who died minutes later.

http://www.newswatch50.com/news/local/story/Homeland-Security-drone-patrolling-NNY/8ujqf9M2YkCXVlOmBVxFOg.cspx

The aircraft is virtually identical to Predators used by the military, with the exception of lower-power engine and no weapons, he said.


... and it was a stirring tune, something between Clementine and La Cucuracha. The words ran:

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the golden future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon the day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well and spread my tidings
Of the golden future time.

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Japan Dispatch #4

Ames, author of Going Postal:
http://counterpunch.org/ames06122009.html
Every day, Americans play the role of Elmer Fudd to the oligarchy's Bugs Bunny--if you look at it from the oligarchy's point of view, at least.

Robber Soul? Creepy:
http://www.fox8.com/wjw-reincarnation-txt%2C0%2C1190900.story
It is being called the most documented case of reincarnation ever.A little boy is able to recall over 50 memories from someone else's life. A World War II Pilot's family believes it is their reincarnated brother based on the child's memories.The boy's story is so compelling, it has been published in a new book called "Soul Survivor"

How convenient:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c82cc49a-573d-11de-8c47-00144feabdc0.html
Mufti Sarfaraz Naeemi, a prominent Muslim cleric widely known in Pakistan for denouncing suicide bomb attacks, was killed on Friday when a young Taliban sympathiser blew himself up at Mr Naeemi’s mosque in Lahore, capital of the Punjab.

Japan Dispatch #4 May 23, 2009
I hope LB meeting went well.

I can only begin to describe how the last two days went. What an incredible experience.

Before we left Hiroshima, Mr Salih mentioned how the ruins of the atomic explosion reminded him of the state of Iraq today. No ill will intention on his part, but man, did that hurt.

I had a delightful conversation with Mr HINADA on the train back to Osaka. He teaches High School English and it was pleasurable speaking more freely. I`m sure his translation was excellent because we were entering a presentation I was not prepared to expect.

The auditorium had about 300 people. The organizers here were all college students and their energy was contagious. The program was put together with precision, many short rest periods breaking up the series of 3 minute video entries. Mr Salih and SANA video of hospital injuries was in the morning and Aaron in Erbil and my speech was in the afternoon. I covered counter recruitment in the Chicago Public Schools and IVAW. It went over quite well, the Japanese Peace Movement is on the ground running neutralising the growing militarization of this country. The slogan of the Japanese Teachers Union is `Never Again Will We Send Our Children Into Battle` and I asked Mr HINADA to have the JTU send a letter to Marilyn Stewart of the Chicago Teachers' Union, with that sentiment. I`m sure he will.

Everyone here is thoroughly impressed with Aaron Hughes. It was announced that he accepted an invitation to attend the ZENKO conference here on August 1 and a big roar from the audience went up. He deserves it.

All the videos were exciting, especially one about a sit down occupation in a WalMart type store in Korea 2007. I have DVD`s of the entire Festival and this one should be put on CAN ASAP language as it is. Visually does the trick on this one.

It was a joyous day and, again, we went to dinner afterwards and the students made this party great fun, but again again, I didn`t know what was coming next.

I overslept and had to hurry my sorry, tired ass to the train station with MR MORI, Kondo, the excellent Arabic translator and Mr Salih to go to Kyoto, about an hour train. I was beat, but once still again invigorated when we go to another beautiful venue and maybe 100 people to greet us. The structure of this day a little different, but many short breaks which was very nice to mingle. I had to get away for an hour before my talk because my thoughts were so overwhelmed, but I got it together. Salih and I have developed a splendid relationship. I`m very concerned about his safety. Maybe, I`ll have a cop knock me on the head with a stick at some demonstration, but he may very well be killed for his efforts. I say good bye to him today and must make it meaningful.

I talked about the dying, lying corporate media and how important it is to use the new technologies available to tell your own stories. I tried to encourage the videotographers because it seems most of them are fairly new to it.. All very creative, these video shorts were a treat to see and doubly so because the messages were all positive and show the better side of people. Very engaging in these struggle stories.

They presented us with several lovely gifts at the end. Everyone worked so hard on the preparation of this event and all thought it a great success.

Because it sure as hell created a splendid farewell party. What a tremendous good time of singing, laughing and fun. It was great to see Mr Salih laugh so much. We had a splendid rendition of the Internationale (I gotta learn the words, but I sang the chorus with robust cheer). It was blast. Pictures galore, I can`t wait to share with everyone.

This morning I`m training solo to Tokyo and that ought to be interesting. I`ll be met by someone to talk to another board. I`ll have a few hours of sightseeing beforehand.. I've running since I`ve arrived, literally, and it will be nice just to wander around for a while.

The next day I`ll flying to Seattle to spend some time with my daughter and some friends in Tacoma. Take a couple of days to unwind and get my thoughts together. LB has made many strong friendships through this endeavour. I just represented, it`s the body of work that sells itself and everyone should be very proud of our 22 year record. The people here sure appreciate it. What great hosts, they treated Salih and myself like kings and I have nothing but the highest regard for the Japanese people.

I`ll make some phone calls as soon I return to the States.

Take care, everyone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Japan Dispatch #3

The State of the Union:
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/09/new-video-shows-officer-shove-then-taser-72-year-old-grandmother/
McCain then tasers her. As Winkfein lies on the ground screaming, he orders, “Now put your hands behind your back. Put your hands behind your back or you’re going to be tasered again.”


May 21. 2009

Hello All,

Before we left Okinawa, we had an interview at the Shrimpo, the daily newspaper, one of two there. The Okinawa Times had an article and picture from our time on the rooftop of the school. The TV crew aired a 5 min news piece Friday on our visit. The interview went very well, the editorship is somewhat progressive and we expect good copy from this.

Before heading to the airport Professor Nobu, a great host, took us to the marketplace. Colorful, exotic and just amazing. The marketeers were most surprised to see an Iraqi and American travelling together and we received great respect and many free samples of food. Smoked pigs intestine, anyone?

We flew back to Osaka where Mr Sato met us and took us by train to Kyoto to address the staff of Japan Peace TV. At that point, KenJi took leave back to Tokyo and Mr MORI translated for me. They showed a Sana production of interviews of Baghdad school boy, aged 12-15, whose fathers have been killed or kidnapped. They also showed the LB piece on the Palestinian protest in front of the Israeli Consulate on Jan 9. My portion of the presentation centered how the war machine is trying to suppress both Mr Salih and my efforts to tell the story at ground level. He has to see the US Army destroy his camera and computers, I have to deal with lawsuits trying to take my raw footage of protest events. Not quite comparable, the point is it is the same source at work.

It went well, and dinner afterwards with another great host, Mr Sato, was lively and well attended. I was extremely tired afterwards, and dropped into my hotel bed.

The next morning, another exchange was made and Mr OgU, another student Arabic translator, took Mr Seiko-san's place and Osamu rejoined us at the newspaper office where we had another interview with the three dailies of Osaka. For an hour and a half, we made a truncated video presentation and spoke and answered questions to the half dozen reporters present. I tried to keep to the point of my attempted civil rights suppression in America and how the war is fought both abroad and at home. One question about Obama, I had to dump on him a little.

Next, we took the bullet train to Hiroshima, about an hour and a half. We were met by Mr Hinada, a high school teacher and two of his former students. He also became my translator. We went to the Peace Museum and I can't describe how moving it was. Every American school child should get a free trip to go there. We videotaped Mr Salih impressions afterwards in front of the ruins of the Atomic Dome on the grounds there. LB should really research getting an Arabic translator in the Iraqi dialect and use this piece and Sana images more.

We then had a forum in an auditorium which I assume was the public library. It wasn't all that well attended, but I got the feeling these were older, more long time peace activists. They showed Sana`s piece on the hospital injured and Aaron in Erbil. I talked on the theme of promoting international human compassion through the use of video images. Again, we went for dinner afterwards and I learned much more about Japan Peace TV, its funding and mission and I will share this with you when I return. Today we train back to Osaka and, I believe, address the University students there. This has been just a tremendous experience. I'm representin` the best I can. We are being treated and received extremely well, still, I look forward to returning, resting and getting back to work.

IS,
EWS

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Japan Dispatch #2

Tadpoles with face masks on:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5491846/Sky-rains-tadpoles-over-Japan.html
Clouds of dead tadpoles appear to have fallen from the sky in a series of episodes in a number of cities in the region since the start of the month.


May, 20, 2009

Hello All -

It`s morning here and at 9am we will be having a press conference with the two local newspapers in Okinawa. Then we fly back to Osaka city and quarantine conditions.

Yesterday went quite well, I thought. KenJi and I took an early morning flight, kicked around the marketplace, had a long talk over American coffee waiting for Mr. Salih, his translator Seika-san and Yoshi from ZENKO, the peace group here, to rent a car and arrive. They were a bit delayed, but it gave KenJi and I time to learn how to listen and talk to each other.

We all met up and drove to the Okinawa International University. We met our host, Professor Nobu, his student assistant Ishawa. She is also the chairperson for the Nokahoma, or community based union. They are currently attempting to get debt relief for college loans from the Education Ministry. We address Nobu`s peace studies class of 12-15 young students, also the local TV camera crew and two reporters were present. We started out with Iraq PeaceTV`s production of the situation of some Iraqi people living, surviving, in a garbage dump within site of the Green Zone compound in Baghdad. It was gut wrenching to watch and should be a piece on LB very soon. Next was Chicago Occupied, which was lame by comparison, but very important to be seen when discussion started. Mr. Salih, through Seika, had 15minutes and decried the occupation, what it was doing to his people and stating the past two production chiefs of Sana TV have been assassinated, one his uncle. Now the US military has destroyed his editing computers and other equipment, he has one camera to get the truth concerning current conditions in Baghdad.

It was a tough act to follow, I felt mortified. I spoke about the militarization of American society, my recent graduation ceremony experience at Marquette and the poverty draft. The students had seen in an earlier class JapanPeaceTV`s production of the Erbil conference, so that allowed me to talk about Aaron and IVAW and their situation within the peace movement in the US. I expressed my rage, representing millions of peace loving Americans and for Mr Salih`s behalf, at the military war machine and explaining our inability to stop the atrocities. 15 minutes went by too quickly, I could have kept rolling for 30 more.

A couple of questions followed, and the students were most respectful.

We then went on the roof of the building overlooking a US air base installation butted against University property. It seems quite a dangerous situation, as one helicopter has already crashed on the grounds in 2005. Ishawa explained the problem with noise and pollution it creates. We were interviewed by the TV crew, also.

Next, we drove to another lookout site to look at another US airbase, this one much larger with F15`s taking off and landing. This is the Air and War show 24/7. Ishawa informed us that heightened activity occurred two weeks before the invasion of Iraq and we should monitor such concerning Iran, or any other future action.

We all we then taken to Professor Nobu`s project of a monument dedicated to the 10-20,000 forced Korean laborers killed on Okinawa during WW2. It is a beautiful bronze relief and it`s mirror image is directly across the sea on the Korean peninsula. It shows the strength of the Korean laborer, the anguish of his mother and shame of Japanese military.

Later, we went to traditional dinner, all on our fine host Professor Nobu. He was quite animated and the time was festive. Mr Salih and I through the English/Japanese/Arabic/Japanese/English method did get to know each other a bit more.(He has 8 daughters and three sons!) He did state that he recognizes the difference between the American people and its government and that was a relief for me. I promised to do all I can to get him more cameras and equipment for his important reports from Iraq and maybe I could expect some help in this from my LB-istas? The good professor gave us a lot of Okinawan history and the parallels to Shock and Awe and the Iraq occupation were amazing. They called it the Iron Storm, a three month barrage of artillery, culminating in 60 years of occupation. He presented us with a book with the perspective of the Okinawans, using photos of US Army obtained through FOI Act. I was touched by the gesture and, of course, got a picture.

Dinner was fine time and my hosts were gracious beyond belief. Many connections were made and friendship was celebrated. We will be moving on today and my short stay in Okinawa has strong memories.

I`ll try to write from Osaka city tomorrow, maybe through blue gloves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Japan Dispatch #1

The War Monster is everywhere:
http://www.infowars.com/ruling-party-official-japan-should-attack-north-korea/
... if you’re wondering how North Korea got its nukes in the first place, look no further than the U.S. government itself.
Two years before North Korea was included in the “axis of evil,”
former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, during his time as executive director of ABB, signed off on a $200 million dollar contract to build light water nuclear reactors in North Korea.
Rumsfeld was merely picking up the baton from the Clinton administration, who in 1994 agreed to replace North Korea’s domestically built nuclear reactors with light water nuclear reactors.




May 19, 2009

Hello All,

The flight was uneventful, everything went smooth. I was greeted in Osaka by the bio-force in suits and masks, they checked us out thoroughly, got more fingerprints and pictures of our faces and let us in. Osamu, MR MORI and KenJi took me out to traditional Japanese dinner last night. We had a great conversation covering many topics of the coming week, LB and Peace TV. I didn:t realize they are on weekly, so they are always pressed. They are very ambitious and have 100 shows done so far.

This morning KenJi and I are to fly to Okinawa and I will meet Mr Shalah from SANA TV and we will address a class of social justice students at the University. I'll be showing Chicago Occupied and speaking for 30min, I find in my mind I have a lot to say, it's the stringing together that must be refined.

My son graduated Sunday from Marquette. I couldn't believe the militarization of his school's ceremony. The three branches lead the procession into the hall and during the diploma ceremony, the student who joined the military were announced to a disturbing round of applause. I started clapping loudly for the graduates who got a degree in Social Welfare and Justice, I'd like to believe people were joining in by the end. Marquette talks from both sides of their mouth and will be getting a pointed letter when I return.

I'll have to tie this all in when I speak. Osamu and Kenji opened my perspective on why they find this aspect so interesting. Japan is a de-militarized zone. They have gone a couple generations of no forced conscription or outward military presence until, of course, recently. The school teachers who won't stand for the recently (mid 80s) imposed playing of the WarSongs at ceremonies are leading the way to this discussion.

As I was talking this over with my son afterwards, he asked me Wasn't it always like this? You can see the insidious creep it has.

OK, I'll try to write everyday and keep you guys updated.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday in Detroit

http://www.moratorium-mi.org/
JOIN the TENT CITY near the NATIONAL BIG-BUSINESS GATHERING at the Renaissance Center

The Ford Hunger March of 1932
By Martha Grevatt
Published Mar 25, 2009 3:45 PM

March 7 was the 77th anniversary of one of the bloodiest chapters inDetroit labor history: the Ford Hunger March of 1932.The stock market crashed in October of 1929. By 1930 millions were without work. Nowhere was the pain felt more deeply than in Detroit, where the auto industry’s promise of prosperity had turned into its opposite. When the Trade Union Unity League, the Communist Party, theYoung Communist League and the newly formed Unemployed Councils called a coast-to-coast demonstration on March 6, among the millions of participants were 100,000 at a rally in the Motor City. Detroit police broke up the protest, clubbing and arresting scores of participants.Two years later the crisis had deepened; one statistic showed four Detroiters dying of hunger every day. Unemployment compensation did not exist. With two-thirds of his employees laid off, Henry Ford, then the richest man in the world, said the unemployed created their own misery by not working hard enough.

Detroit’s network of Unemployed Councils had grown into one of the strongest in the country, saving untold numbers of families from a life on the streets. A citywide meeting of the councils—there were more than 80 neighborhood-based chapters in metropolitan Detroit—decided to march on the Ford Motor Co.’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich.The march, called by the Unemployed Councils and the United AutoWorkers, had 14 demands: “Jobs for all laid off Ford workers; immediate payment of 50 per cent of full wages; seven-hour day without reduction in pay (bold by EWS); slowing down of deadly speedup; two fifteen-minute rest periods; No discrimination against Negroes in jobs; relief [welfare], ; free medical aid in Ford hospital for employed and workers and families; five tons of coal and coke for the winter; abolition of Service Men [Ford’s hated private army of spies and thugs, led by the notorious Harry Bennett]; no foreclosures on homes of Ford workers; immediate payment of lump sum of fifty dollars for winterrelief; full wages for part time workers; abolition of the graft system of hiring; and the right to organize.” (Philip Bonosky, Brother Bill McKee: “Building the Union at Ford”)

The protest brought out thousands of workers. Beyond the immediate 14 demands, signs connected issues affecting workers around the world. They called for freedom for the Scottsboro Nine, a group of Black youthsfalsely accused of raping two white women. They said “hands off China,”a reference to the sale of scrap iron to Japan, which used it inattacking the Chinese people.The march began and proceeded without incident in Detroit. Dearborn,however, was Ford’s personal fiefdom; his cousin Clyde Ford was the mayor. Marchers were attacked with tear gas at the city’s border, but forced police to retreat with a barrage of stones and clumps of frozen mud. Police regrouped, only to have the scenario repeated.

At the entrance to Ford’s complex, Dearborn police were reinforced by the Dearborn Fire Department, Detroit police, and Ford’s own “ServiceDepartment.” The firefighters turned their hoses on the unarmed marchers, while police fired a hail of bullets. Coleman (also spelled Kalman) Leny, Joe DiBlasio, and Joe York—the 19-year-old district leaderof the YCL—were killed. Fifty more were wounded. When Unemployed Council leader Alfred Goetz attempted to lead an orderly retreat, machine-gun fire, this time from Ford’s own finest, began anew. The auto magnate’s right-hand man, Harry Bennett, was immediately recognized and injured by stone-throwing workers. Bennett emptied hisown gun and then a police officer’s revolver into the workers. He and his goons killed 16-year-old YCL member Joe Bussel and left many more injured. Forty-eight workers, some in their hospital beds, were arrested. More repression followed, with hundreds fired if they possessed left-wing literature or donated to the martyrs’ funerals. Membership inthe CP was cause for arrest.At the funeral, Ben Bussel spoke loudly: “In the name of my murdered brother, I call upon you to organize and fight. Long live the workers of the world.”

As a band played the International—the lyrics “Arise, ye prisoners of starvation” particularly fitting—some 80,000 joined the march to the cemetery.In June a Black worker, Curtis Williams, died of wounds suffered during the march. Segregation policies kept him from being buried with his comrades; the funeral committee hired a plane and scattered his ashesover the cemetery—or by some accounts over the Rouge. Attorney Maurice Sugar had written two months earlier that police brutality “grows out of the institution of private property under which one class in society lives in luxury at the expense of the great mass of workers who are compelled to live in a state of poverty, wretchedness,and despair.” (EWS) (Christopher H. Johnson, “Maurice Sugar, Law, Labor and the Left in Detroit, 1912-1950”) Although Sugar was able to convince the grand jury not to indict any of those arrested, no one was ever indicted for the Ford massacre.

In 1941, after years of sacrifice and struggle, the Auto Workers union finally won recognition from the Ford dynasty. In 1992 UAW Local 600 retirees bought five headstones—including one for Williams—and placed them by the four graves. On each is carved the words, “He gave his life for the union.”As workers begin again to fight evictions, foreclosures and the layoffs that cause them, the unyielding courage of the Ford hunger marchers is an inspiration.

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Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Workers of the World, WTF?

We just do as we are told:
http://rense.com/general86/rat.htm
Here's the scheme: Rattner is demanding the bankruptcy court simply wipe away the money GM owes workers for their retirement health insurance. Cash in the insurance fund would be replace by GM stock. The percentage may be 17% of GM's stock - or 25%. Whatever, 17% or 25% is worth, well ... just try paying for your dialysis with 50 shares of bankrupt auto stock.

Honest, I didn't write this one, only wish I did:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/apr/28/alcoholics-anonymous-12-step-religion
Too often, meetings were infused with a rigidity, repetition and joylessness that I contrasted unfavourably with the fun-loving, flexible and empowering ambience I began to discover in Buddhism. Though they are by no means perfect, I was relieved to find that Buddhist communities take basic goodness rather than original sin as a fundamental starting point, and consider identity to be fluid rather than fixed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stress As Entertainment

Susan, don't ever change:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090605/en_nm/us_boyle;_ylt=Ar9iA22_jamr6InOAMRVG2p34T0D;_ylu=X3oDMTJjbXQ2cnU0BGFzc2V0Ay9ubS8yMDA5MDYwNS9lbl9ubS91c19ib3lsZQRwb3MDNgRzZWMDeW5fbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHNsawNzdXNhbmJveWxlbGU-The 48-year-old amateur singer from Scotland, whose performance on "Britain's Got Talent" in April was downloaded nearly 200 million times on the Internet, was admitted to the Priory clinic on Sunday amid concerns for her mental health.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Men, You Gotta Learn To Love Your Woman

I'll second this emotion:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/01/charlie-brooker-women-men-power