I flew back from Boston on Monday and have been tied up in work and recovery every since.
First, I need to mention what an amazing thing the world of typography is. Over the past week I have met many wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful and generous people. Typography is a weird combination of working class craft combined with aesthetic vision. It has the mystery of the old-time guild system combined with the solidarity of working class unionism. I have yet to meet a typographer who isn't interested in helping others to achieve their goals. Sometimes I am amazed that I somehow happened upon this craft and thereby have the privilege to meet and interact with such wonderful people.
If I can give even half of what has been given to me, I will be happy.
In that spirit, let me introduce you to Susan Vass. Today, she is a comedienne working as a successful speaker at all kinds of events. But when I met her, she was a typesetter. I was working at Graphtronics, a subsidiary company of Dahl & Curry, for something like $5 an hour. The Typesetters Union sent Susan in to see if she could stir up some organizing activity. She was the one who informed me that union scale for people with my skills was $13 an hour. Inspired by her agitating, I walked into my supervisor's office and demanded a raise. And I got it.
It is things like this that make a profound difference. Never doubt that you can change someone else's life for the better. Susan did so for me. I've done my best to pass it on.
- capitalism sucks
- mayday books
- women of color
- book review
- antiwar sign
- women friends
- stuff about me
- st. paul
- working class
- immigrant rights
- gay pride
- native americans
- 1934 strike
- Sami Rasouli
- book group
- march 20
- Northern sun news
- allied media conference
- capitalis sucks
- health care
- marge piercy
- mayday parade
- Cindy Sheehan
- Doris Lessing
- Iris Murdoch
- Nice Guy Syndrome
- barbara smith
- disability rights
- fbi harassment
- food not bombs
- latin america
- lee maracle
- march 18
- news release
- radio flyer KFAI
- renegade evolution
- teach in
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- Home I flew back from Boston on Monday and have b...
- Boston How odd to be in a wonderful new city, but...
- Boston Tomorrow I fly to Boston for work. Bloggin...
- Literal Biblical Horrors Every time I hear someon...
- Updated flyers Going to a demonstration against t...
- Selective Memory A great article from FAIR about ...
- ▼ August (6)
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Friday, August 18, 2006
Posted by Ravenmn at 11:38 PM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
How odd to be in a wonderful new city, but so impressed by the conference that I'm spending most of my time inside learning more and more. Opening ceremonies begin in a moment.
Posted by Ravenmn at 7:11 PM
Monday, August 07, 2006
Tomorrow I fly to Boston for work. Blogging will resume when I return.
Posted by Ravenmn at 11:26 PM
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Literal Biblical Horrors
Every time I hear someone ranting about violence in the Koran, I wonder whethery they've ever actually read the Bible! Artist Dread Scott has an exhibit that makes it quite clear:
Literal Biblical Horror is a phantasm that envisions the punishment and death repeatedly called for in the bible and which would be mandated by a literal and fundamentalist application of it. It consists of 11 hooded bound and covered representations of people embedded in the ground up to their waists, piles of rocks, and bibles on lecterns. The bibles and figures will weather and age over time. Each bible is open to a passage prescribing for death for violation of its codes or laws.
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. Leviticus 20: 9
Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, "Naboth has cursed both God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 1 Kings 21:13
O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.-
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
The passages are highlighted in blood.
The work is installed at Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, Minnesota
Posted by Ravenmn at 10:41 AM
Going to a demonstration against the U.S./Israel attack on Lebanon today so I updated the fall actions flyers. See them here:
As always, anyone who wants to use portions of these flyers for their own events is more than welcome!
Posted by Ravenmn at 10:34 AM
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A great article from FAIR about how coverage of the current bombing of Lebanon by Syria is framed:
Down the Memory Hole
Israeli contribution to conflict is forgotten by leading papers
In the wake of the most serious outbreak of Israeli/Arab violence in years, three leading U.S. papers—the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times—have each strongly editorialized that Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon were solely responsible for sparking violence, and that the Israeli military response was predictable and unavoidable. These editorials ignored recent events that indicate a much more complicated situation.
Beginning with the Israeli attack on Gaza, a New York Times editorial (6/29/06) headlined "Hamas Provokes a Fight" declared that "the responsibility for this latest escalation rests squarely with Hamas," and that "an Israeli military response was inevitable." The paper (7/15/06) was similarly sure in its assignment of blame after the fighting spread to Lebanon: "It is important to be clear about not only who is responsible for the latest outbreak, but who stands to gain most from its continued escalation. Both questions have the same answer: Hamas and Hezbollah."
The Washington Post (7/14/06) agreed, writing that "Hezbollah and its backers have instigated the current fighting and should be held responsible for the consequences." The L.A. Times (7/14/06) likewise wrote that "in both cases Israel was provoked." Three days and scores of civilian deaths later, the Times (7/17/06) was even more direct: "Make no mistake about it: Responsibility for the escalating carnage in Lebanon and northern Israel lies with one side...and that is Hezbollah."
As FAIR noted in a recent Action Alert (7/19/06), the portrayal of Israel as the innocent victim in the Gaza conflict is hard to square with the death toll in the months leading up to the current crisis; between September 2005 and June 2006, 144 Palestinians in Gaza were killed by Israeli forces, according to a list compiled by the Israeli human rights group B'tselem; 29 of those killed were children. During the same period, no Israelis were killed as a result of violence from Gaza.
In a July 21 CounterPunch column, Alexander Cockburn highlighted some of the violent incidents that have dropped out of the media’s collective memory:
Let's go on a brief excursion into pre-history. I’m talking about June 20, 2006, when Israeli aircraft fired at least one missile at a car in an attempted extrajudicial assassination attempt on a road between Jabalya and Gaza City. The missile missed the car. Instead it killed three Palestinian children and wounded 15.
Back we go again to June 13, 2006. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a van in another attempted extrajudicial assassination. The successive barrages killed nine innocent Palestinians.
Now we're really in the dark ages, reaching far, far back to June 9, 2006, when Israel shelled a beach in Beit Lahiya killing eight civilians and injuring 32.
That's just a brief trip down Memory Lane, and we trip over the bodies of twenty dead and forty-seven wounded, all of them Palestinians, most of them women and children.
On June 24, the day before Hamas' cross-border raid, Israel made an incursion of its own, capturing two Palestinians that it said were members of Hamas (something Hamas denied—L.A. Times, 6/25/06). This incident received far less coverage in U.S. media than the subsequent seizure of the Israeli soldier; the few papers that covered it mostly dismissed it in a one-paragraph brief (e.g., Chicago Tribune, 6/25/06), while the Israeli taken prisoner got front-page headlines all over the world. It's likely that most Gazans don’t share U.S. news outlets' apparent sense that captured Israelis are far more interesting or important than captured Palestinians.
The situation in Lebanon is also more complicated than its portrayal in U.S. media, with the roots of the current crisis extending well before the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah. A major incident fueling the latest cycle of violence was a May 26, 2006 car bombing in Sidon, Lebanon, that killed a senior official of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group allied with Hezbollah. Lebanon later arrested a suspect, Mahmoud Rafeh, whom Lebanese authorities claimed had confessed to carrying out the assassination on behalf of Mossad (London Times, 6/17/06).
Israel denied involvement with the bombing, but even some Israelis are skeptical. "If it turns out this operation was effectively carried out by Mossad or another Israeli secret service," wrote Yediot Aharonot, Israel’s top-selling daily (6/16/06; cited in AFP, 6/16/06), "an outsider from the intelligence world should be appointed to know whether it was worth it and whether it lays groups open to risk."
In Lebanon, Israel's culpability was taken as a given. "The Israelis, in hitting Islamic Jihad, knew they would get Hezbollah involved too," Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a professor at Beirut’s Lebanese American University, told the New York Times (5/29/06). "The Israelis had to be aware that if they assassinated this guy they would get a response."
And, indeed, on May 28, Lebanese militants in Hezbollah-controlled territory fired Katyusha rockets at a military vehicle and a military base inside Israel. Israel responded with airstrikes against Palestinian camps deep inside Lebanon, which in turn were met by Hezbollah rocket and mortar attacks on more Israeli military bases, which prompted further Israeli airstrikes and "a steady artillery barrage at suspected Hezbollah positions" (New York Times, 5/29/06). Gen. Udi Adam, the commander of Israel’s northern forces, boasted that "our response was the harshest and most severe since the withdrawal" of Israeli troops from Lebanon in 2000 (Chicago Tribune, 5/29/06).
This intense fighting was the prelude to the all-out warfare that began on July 12, portrayed in U.S. media as beginning with an attack out of the blue by Hezbollah. While Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers may have reignited the smoldering conflict, the Israeli air campaign that followed was not a spontaneous reaction to aggression but a well-planned operation that was years in the making.
"Of all of Israel’s wars since 1948, this was the one for which Israel was most prepared," Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, told the San Francisco Chronicle (7/21/05). "By 2004, the military campaign scheduled to last about three weeks that we’re seeing now had already been blocked out and, in the last year or two, it’s been simulated and rehearsed across the board." The Chronicle reported that a "senior Israeli army officer" has been giving PowerPoint presentations for more than a year to "U.S. and other diplomats, journalists and think tanks" outlining the coming war with Lebanon, explaining that a combination of air and ground forces would target Hezbollah and "transportation and communication arteries."
Which raises a question: If journalists have been told by Israel for more than a year that a war was coming, why are they pretending that it all started on July 12? By truncating the cause-and-effect timelines of both the Gaza and Lebanon conflicts, editorial boards at major U.S. dailies gravely oversimplify the decidedly more complex nature of the facts on the ground.
Posted by Ravenmn at 11:45 AM