Tuesday, September 30, 2008

440 Workers Stay Home

Don't mess with mine workers!

Blacksville #2 Mine Idle After 440 Workers Stay Home

Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 ; 06:20 PM
Updated Monday, September 29, 2008 ; 07:07 PM

BLACKSVILLE -- Coal production at a mine in Monongalia County came to a halt today when every union miner stayed home, as part of a political protest.

It was an idle day Monday at the Blacksville #2 Mine.

More than 440 workers who are members of the United Mine Workers of America took what's called a Memorial Day instead of going to work.

Union officials say they took the day to protest after a film crew from the National Rifle Assocation showed up at the Consol mine last week to interview union workers.

They say the crew tried to get union coal miners to speak out against Barak Obama.

The UMWA has endorsed the democratic presidential nominee.

"This was a surprise visit," explained VP Local 1702, Safety Chairman Eric Greathouse, "and a lot of the miners felt this was a direct slap in the face of the union because they were trying to coerce our people into saying things against Barck Obama."

"Consol doesn't let anybody on their property - never," said Safety Committee Member Mark Dorsey, "And for them to let the NRA come on the property and solicit our membership was totally uncalled for. We made our endorsement to our political process and we didn't bother them and they shouldn't be harassing our membership over this."

The workers will return to work at 12:01 Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for Consol said the company is not issuing any comment on the day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Happy Punctuation Day!

My favorite candidate was on a malt shop in St. Paul many years ago:


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sound Familiar?

From The Seminal:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson Jr. is the United States Treasury Secretary and member of the International Monetary Fund Board of Governors. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Latest fliers

TakeTheStreets - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

DefendRNC8 - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RIP Peter Camejo

I met Peter Camejo while sitting in a coffeehouse in Berkeley the one year I spent living in Sunnyvale. I introduced myself and we chatted for a while. I remember nothing of the conversation. What I do remember is that people who knew him in his prime were mesmerized by his speeches and motivated by his activism. That is an important legacy to be emulated.

For more:

The Angry Arab writes about him.

Two speeches he gave while participating in the Berkeley, California, Free Speech Movement.

Counterpunch obituary.

Edited to add more tributes:

The City Project: Camejo wrote a book during this period about the civil war and was keenly interested in rooting left politics in the “American experience” in the same way that the FSLN did through Sandino in Nicaragua, the FMLN through Farabundo Marti in El Salvador, and Hugo Chavez through Simon Bolivar in Venezuela.

American Leftist: "Having worked for Merrill Lynch and, later, as an independent investment advisor, he was able to strongly advocate for universal health care, the living wage and farmworker rights within the framework of his financial expertise."

Louis Proyect: The Unpretant Marxist: " considered Peter to be a very good friend. More importantly, he was the one person who helped me understand a revolution could be made in the U.S. notwithstanding American Trotskyism’s tendency to create all sorts of obstacles in the way to that understanding."

Links including two articles by Camejo: "How to Make a Revolution in the United States" and Liberalism, Ultraleftism or Mass Action.

Ha Ha Ha!

This image was posted on reddit, apparently because it is hilarious:

Did you ever - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

I suppose it is funny in a self-referential way. Generally, I love self-reference. Here is one of my favorite self-referential limericks (from Scientific American magazine years ago):

There was a young man from Japan,
Whose limericks never would scan.
When someone asked why,
He said with a sigh,
"It's because I always try to get as many words into the last line as I possibly can."

Ba dum bum.

So, this silly little image got me thinking. The vast majority of workers deal with inanimate machines every day. The only folks who think they may some day have a career that does not involve dealing with one inanimate machine or another, are those folks who plan to become bosses, capitalist, exploiters, etc. The rest of us are going to be slogging away at one thing or another, facing idiotic machines and unreasonable requests and doing the best that we can to get by.

Recently, I got involved in a heated discussion in which I called someone out on their classism. The person I called out said she couldn't possibly be classist because she had no money. She completely missed the point. Classism is the idea that your work life would involve doing something other than working with inanimate machines. Classism is when you tell somebody that everybody else understands and agrees on something and that if you don't, you are fundamentally flawed. Classism is when you can seriously look someone in the face and say that being smart is more important than getting a degree or degrees from a university.

Classism is a lot of other things, too. Which I've written about before. To pretend that classism is solely about how many digits are in your bank account is ignorant. I am happy that we are learning more about how to respond when being called on our racism, our homophobia, our anti-trans assumptions, our anti-crip assumptions.

I am unhappy that this knowledge does not apply to classism. So back to the work of an activist. More on this to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Typography on TV

I managed to make it through only the first 15 minutes of the new TV show "Fringe." However, the typography was awesome. Take a look:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Welcome" to the Twin Cities

Sept 1 rally - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

You can also view on line the entire rally as covered by C-SPAN. There were wonderful speeches from a wide variety of activists who are doing everyday on the ground work to end this crazy war.

I begin with this picture. It's meant to show something important. There are hundreds if not thousands of people in this photo. They are marching through St. Paul expressing their anger and determination to end the war against Iraq. That is a huge number of people and they have something important to say. I got that image off flicker. Here's the image I got from my local newspaper, the StarTribune:

Children's museum - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

By Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Caption: Police officers, dressed in riot gear, gathered outside the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul on Monday. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman praised the officers’ overall performance.

Now tell me, which one of these is spectacle?

To follow events in the police state of Minnesota, please check often to the following websites:

Twin Cities Indymedia

The Uptake videographers

The Minnesota Independent

Cold Snap Legal

Lindsay Beyerstein is blogging the RNC.

Nezua from The Unapologetic Mexican is blogging the RNC.

And for some AWESOME! commentary of the acceptance of violence in our society, please check it this post and the comments from the always interesting Brownfemipower. She riffs off a post by Cara of The Curvature who comments on the video of Amy Goodman getting arrested and says the following:

...the simple fact is that she didn’t do anything to deserve arrest. And yet, at the RNC, arrested she was.

THAT right there is important. Over and over again in the last few days I have watched video after video showing indivudals who have done absolutely nothing wrong getting arrested. How does that happen? Well maybe it happens because of what the StarTribune photographer chose to see in that photo above. Maybe the glorification of police power leads to the over-application of police power.

Although I gotta admit I like the stripe of pink hanging below the female cop's jacket on the right. Is it a hidden message that she's actually a member of Code Pink?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Forum flyer

My flyer for tomorrow night's event on Georgia:

08 09 03 08 Georgia - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

September 1 march

Highlight 4:10: "Yah! Ya betcha! We say no to war!"