Wednesday, April 30, 2008

33 years

fall of saigon - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Photo by Hubert Van Es for The New York Times.

Vane Es wrote about the image:

Thirty years ago I was fortunate enough to take a photograph that has become perhaps the most recognizable image of the fall of Saigon - you know it, the one that is always described as showing an American helicopter evacuating people from the roof of the United States Embassy. Well, like so many things about the Vietnam War, it's not exactly what it seems. In fact, the photo is not of the embassy at all; the helicopter was actually on the roof of an apartment building in downtown Saigon where senior Central Intelligence Agency employees were housed.

I was working at a university newspaper when this happened and that day has always been important to me.

At the bookstore, tonight, we showed Hearts and Minds, an Academy-award winning documentary about the war in Vietnam. I had not seen this film before, even though I had lots of chances. Today I watched it with several veterans of many U.S. wars (one from WW II, one from Korea, four from Vietnam, one from Gulf War 1). It still affects me. I have a life-long hatred of General Westmoreland who was famous for lines like this:

"The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient."

And important lesson to be learned: even with the draft and all those dead and wounded soldiers, even with the nightly news full of gruesome photos of death and devastation, a surprising number of U.S. citizens were blissfully unaware of the war and could carry on their lives without a clue as to what was going on half a world away. Sound familiar?

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28 is Worker's Memorial Day

Artwork by Mike Konopacki, a great labor graphic artist.

huckkonopacki2006 April 28 workers day - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Friday, April 25, 2008


Via reddit and from the website of Mr Rush who is into cute and silly animals.

Birds - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Getting ready for the carnival

Alice Walker reading "Ain't I A Woman"?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do you speak English?

This is a skit from the British show, "Big Train"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Youngme – Nowme

This is a fascinating gallery of people who find pictures of their younger selves and then pose in the same way for a picture of themselves today.

But it gets better! Check out this video below. Here's the description: May 5th, 2006. "Does Not Work Well With Others" - dance and media by Lauren Thompson. Premier of "The Showtime Project" - me dancing with my four year-old self.!

Via reddit

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Let's hear from the real workers

I posted below about a bricklayer who was asked to place the first brick in the new U of Minn football stadium. It is so seldom that workers are listened to, much less held up as someone to honor. This unwillingness to focus on the worker or to listen to what workers say about their own lives, is rampant in the U.S. We're constantly talked to by so-called experts who have theories about what workers think, do, want and don't want. Which is just silly. Why not allow the workers to speak for themselves? Why not learn what their lives are like by listening to them and encouraging them to speak?

One worker who I've had the opportunity to listen to online in the last couple of years is Renegade Evolution (RE) a sex-worker and pornography actress. Now there's a point of view we don't hear very often. I've learned a lot from her. And I was pleased to find she had been invited to speak in a debate at William and Mary College. Two anti-porn speakers, two sex-worker advocate speakers in a public debate at a University. Cool, huh?

But wait! One of the invited debaters is trying to prevent RE from speaking as Ren talks about here. Apparently when Sam Berg heard that Ren had been invited, she contacted the organizers and asked to have Ren uninvited to the debate.

I've never understood this tactic. I have organized debates and discussions by people who disagree with each other for over 20 years. I am never impressed when one of the speakers tries to control who is allowed to speak for the opposing viewpoint.

This tactic makes Berg look stupid and weak. Is her point of view so easily destroyed if there are one or two sex workers in the room? This tactic makes Berg look arrogant. Does she expect event organizers to meet a series of her personal demands? This tactic makes Berg look less committed to her cause. Can she only fight for her political point of view in an environment that sees to her comfort? Should anyone rely on Berg as an ally if she can't even attend a public debate with someone she dislikes?

Mostly, This shows an incredible amount of disrespect for the organizers of the event. These people are usually not paid, have opened themselves up to risk and conflict by suggesting a controversial issue be addressed, and have neither the time nor the energy to deal with the personal problems of an invited speaker.

My sympathies go out to the college student who is trying to put this together. She does not deserve this carp.

My sympathies go out to Ren who doesn't deserve to have someone trying to undermine her before she gets a chance to make her point.

My sympathies go out to the people who saw Berg as a political ally, but cannot rely on her to fight for their point of view in an open, public debate.

If Berg cannot stand being in a public forum with Ren, then she should step aside and put forward someone else who can stand the heat and state her point of view.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Independent Publishers

This is a list of the independent publishers that our book store relies on for most of our book sales. These companies consistently publish good, reliable, left-wing materials that our customers love. Check them out. Buy books. Give them much love.

AK Press

Chelsea Green

City Lights

Haymarket Books

Insight Press

Interlink Books

Nation Books

New Press

Ocean Press

Olive Branch

Seven Stories Press

South End Press

Verso Books

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Credit to the workers

I don't care much about the fact that the University of Minnesota is building a new football stadium about a mile from my home. But I was tickled by the man they chose to lay the first brick. Here's his picture, taken by Matt Mead of the Minnesota Daily:

first brick - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

And here's a bit of the story, with the first paragraphs reprinted below:

As a high school sophomore, Hilding Mortenson laid bricks at Memorial Stadium. On Monday, 84 years later, he laid the first brick at the TCF Bank Stadium construction site.

The event marked the laying of the first of more than 500,000 bricks to be used in the stadium's construction.

It was the first ceremonial bricklaying in the history of Mortenson Construction, the company heading up the new stadium.

Hilding Mortenson, who turned 100 years old on April 2, spread a brick with mortar and then placed it on a ledge.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blame Daisy for this one


1. Go to
2. Type in your answer to the question in the “search” box.
3. Use only the first page.
4. Insert the picture into your Blog.

1. What is your relationship status?

2. What is your current mood?

3. Who is your favorite band/artist?

4. What is your favorite movie?

5. What kind of pet do you have?

6. Where do you live?

7. Where do you work?

8. What do you look like?

9. What do you drive?

10. What did you do last night?

11. What is your favorite TV show?

12, Describe yourself:

13. What are you doing today?

14. What is your name?

15. What is your favorite candy?

Animal Crossbreeds

Worth 1000 Words challenges guests to create photoshop montages. I particularly admire Animal Crossbreeds. These artists had to get the proportions, textures and colors just right. Nice job folks!

Cabbit by CJ:

bunnycat - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Walrot by Tedmus: - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Squaguar by Tedmus: - Photo Hosted at Buzznet