Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Negotiating Like It's 1999

The AFL-CIO has a new, informative, clever website on Collective Bargaining. It features three entertaining, funny videos by director/writer Negin Farsad, producer Justin Krebs, writer Lee Camp and punchup artist Katie Halper of Vaguely Qualified productions. Here's  the first one.  Others will follow in coming days.

Blues on a Saturday: Otis Rush and Eric Clapton--"Double Trouble"

Performing Rush's classic "Double Trouble" --the song that Stevie Ray Vaughn named his band after.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Surveying the Democratic Left

Judie Newman "Bellow and Trotsky"

The later Bellow’s reputation as a neoconservative has obscured the centrality of his early enthusiasm for Trotskyism to his life and writings. The 2010 publication of a selection of his letters opens with Saul Bellow aged 17 writing to Yetta Barshevsky, a fellow high school student who introduced him to Trotskyism, and for whom he wrote a eulogy more than sixty years later. Bellow was still thinking about Trotsky in the 1990s as his correspondence with Albert Glotzer, his lifelong friend and (at one point Trotsky’s secretary) indicates.

Gus Tyler--Labor Activist and Forward Columnist, Is Dead at 99"

Commemorating the Forward’s 110th anniversary in 2007, Tyler, in this column, recalled his mother’s anger when a fishmonger handed her a purchase wrapped in the newspaper. “My mother literally threw the package back at the fish handler. Startled, he said, ‘What’s the matter, lady?’ ‘It’s the Forward,’ she shouted. `If you have to wrap the fish in a paper, use The Times.’”
Bill Fletcher Obama, Progressives, and the White Nationalist Backlash




To borrow from a comment offered by television commentator Tavis
 Smiley, the 2012 elections are likely to be the most racist that most
 of us have seen in our lifetimes. Given this, what are the
 implications?

 It has been striking that many progressives, particularly those who 
have not only written off President Obama but also written off all
 those who offered critical support to the Obama campaign in 2008, have 
said so little about race, racism, and the discourse of right-wing
 populism in the context of the upcoming elections.
  ...
Despite our knowledge of history and awareness of the antics of white
 right-wing populism, few progressives are discussing the implications 
of any of this for the 2012 elections. The implications, it would seem
 to me, are quite profound, and range from what this means about HOW to
criticize the Obama administration, to how to ensure that the
 elections are not outright stolen by the white Right.

Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind , Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions

     Prepared for the  NAACP, an excellent website, and a 94-page PDF report here for those so inclined.
Must reading.

Matthew N. Lyons, "Liberalism’s Limits: A review of Burghart and Zeskind’s Tea Party Nationalism " Three Way Fight

Political Research Associates, "


Jon Stewart on Fox bias

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blues on a Saturday: Jimmy Rushing--"I Let My Baby"

The great Kansas City blues shouter Jimmy Rushing at the 1957 CBS "Sound of Jazz" television special. It is a great CD and DVD. Shouter is the traditional way to describe Rushing and Big Joe Turner, but it is not adequate. Towards the end of this cut, catch how Rushing sings back to back verses, boldy and then gently. Wow!



How many greats can you identify? Here is who I noticed. Count Basie, Freddie Green, Ben Webster (first tenor solo), Coleman Hawkins (second tenor solo), Jo Jones (drums--not Phiully Joe, but Jo), Stan Getz. Who else?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

We've got a winner: LabourStart Video of the Year contest

From the IBEW



LabourStart is one of the best sites around,anyone interested in unions, workers struggles, and solidarity should take a look.