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Pueblo museum excises Mine Workers Union from Ludlow Massacre exhibit!

PUEBLO, COLORADO- 2014 marks one hundred years since the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. A variety of commemorations are planned before the formal anniversary on April 20. I attended one such event on Wednesday, a lecture by a CSU professor to footnote the "Children of Ludlow" exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum. I'm always excitied when attention is paid to Ludlow, a subject regularly left out of American schoolbooks, but I was disappointed to find key elements of labor history excised from the museum's narrative. Literally. The United Mine Workers of America, the organization central to the strike, which supplied the tent city, and which even today maintains the memorial site, was mentioned only once, IN FINE PRINT! The Ludlow miners voted to strike because the mining companies refused to recognize the UMWA. Unmentioned. The horrors of the atrocity were not tempered, in their explicitness perhaps we think them enough, but there was also the apologist suggestion that some culpability belonged to the miners. I questioned one curator who admitted they were at pains to keep the story "balanced" and that the squeakiest wheel thus far has been the National Guard. Apparently the Guard is offended that its role will be misconstrued. What balance do they want, I wondered. Had they lost children in the "battlezone" too? Children are at the heart of commemorating Ludlow and at the heart of this preversion of the massacre's memory. Were they recklessly endangered by their parents and union organizers? Were they dragged into a battlezone? The museum seems to suggest as much, highlighting the beligerence of the miners, mischaracterizing the soldiers, and leaving the union actions largely unexplained. First I'd like to declare how I tire of the objective irrelevance which results when academics seek the approval of government technocrats. I am also disturbed by educators who pretend blindness to subtle inferences which shape a political takeaway. To them, "remembering" Ludlow seems sufficient in itself. I can hardly see the point to remembering Ludlow unless we have discerned its lessons. Until we are remembering the LESSONS OF LUDLOW, our educators' self-proclaimed raison d'etre will be self-fulfilling: "history will repeat itself." This Pueblo exhibit suggests no lesson other than the exploitation of tragedy, and leaves me fearful about the Ludlow commemorations to follow. The anti-union, pro-military climate which prevails these hundred years since the massacre will make for a travesty of a remembrance unless someone with a worker's perspective speaks up. NOT BROUGHT TO YOU BY... Let's start with this exhibit, which alas has already escaped critique since September. Its full title, as evidenced in the photo above: "Black Hills Energy presents: Children of Ludlow, Life in a Battlezone, 1913-1914." I'll bet curators thought it a measure of truth and reconciliation that the Ludlow presentation was sponsored by a local extraction industry business. Black Hills Energy trades not in coal but natural gas. In fact they're among the frackers tearing up Southeastern Colorado. I think the irony more likely suggests how the UMWA's starring role was

De mortuis nil nisi bonum is well and good but upholds the victor’s narrative

It's probably older than Latin. "De mortuis nil nisi bonum" is a propriety imposed at death, as if to offer the deceased a false comfort that, however fraudulent the pretense of their reputation in life, they can take it with them. Well, most commonly, "Don't speak ill of the dead" is a reminder not to rehash petty grievances in the face of another's mortality, death being after all mankind's mutual adversary. It's a pact I suppose that's meant to benefit everyone equally. But the tradition does sort of cement history as written by the victor, where revisionists dare not speak truth to power while that authority is alive.   I saw the adage used in a disturbingly upbeat eulogy for Margaret Thatcher in this week's New Yorker. Disturbing because it was fair handed enough, but mired like New York City, insulated by the growing wealth and cultural disparity, in the Western master narrative. I find that not speaking ill of the dead is completely irresponsible with historic figures like Margaret Thatcher and Henry Kissinger. If we are prevented from hanging them to hasten their death, we must at the minimum garrotte their memory before it's set in stone. To beat a dead horse.

Gandhi as Jesus? A critique of this pacifist nonsense by a marxist historian is now getting published

In the US amongst pacifist Christian liberals, Gandhi is considered to be the son of Jesus almost. The following is a brief look at this mindset which is brewed in India itself by the Hindu Right Wing politicians governing there. ---An Interview With Perry Anderson on "The Indian Ideology" (of) Sentimentalizing Gandhi A brief excerpt below from the interview with marxist historian, Perry Anderson... 'he (Gandhi) did not want power for himself, as most politicians do. In his own way he was a great man. But that does not exempt him from criticism. He was gripped by a set of regressive personal fixations and phobias, had a very limited intellectual formation, was impervious to rational argument, and entirely unaware of the damage he was doing to the national movement by suffusing it with Hindu pietism as he reconceived it. He is to be respected, with all his blindness.' 'But there is no need to sentimentalize him. The complete latitude he gave himself to declare as truth whatever he happened to say at any time, and then change it from one day to the next, still as the word of God shining through him, set a disastrous example for his followers and admirers. Nowhere more so than in his inconsistencies on satyagraha itself. For when it suited him, he was perfectly willing to contemplate violence —not only to send Indian peasants to their death on the Somme in the service of their colonial masters, or applaud Indian bombers taking off to conquer Kashmir, but calmly to envisage communal slaughter—‘civil war’— in the subcontinent as preferable to expelling the British. As a historian, one has to take cool stock of all this, not skate over it as Gandhi’s apologists continually do.'

George Seurat’s afternoon on an island

CHICAGO- What's in a name? I expect its originator could explain. Do art collectors or curators have final edit over a famous painting's title? I can understand the Art Institute of Chicago nicknaming its familiar La Grande Jatte, but the first paragraph of the painting's gallery description has to explain that the iconic riverbank scene is named not for a tributary, but an island on the river Seine, because their slimmed translation of its full title now reads "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" à la Sunday in the Park with George. Gone are afternoon and island from Un dimanche après-midi sur l'Île de la Grande Jatte --you wonder why bother to keep "la"? I remember the original full English title from art history textbooks, whose color plates now seem like a greatest hits album of the Art Institute's collection. Did Chicago corner the market on Impressionist masterpieces, or did their image licenses determine which we're taught are representative? Reframing painting titles suggests to me there's more likelihood of the latter. Does great art jump out at you intuitively? I doubt we even know what we like. The above detail is not Seurat, but Gustave Caillebotte's Rainy Day in Paris and illustrates the difference it makes to see a painting in a gallery. High Def. Hopper's Night Hawks is just as stark in actual size, but Caillebotte's wet Parisenne has a lace veil which you'd never have noticed on a print.

Cartographic traces of Lake, Colorado

Maybe like me you're wondering how a landmark falls off the face of the earth, in particular Google Earth, assuming as we do that web crowdsourcing is archival, not perishable. A stagecoach watering hole in Kansas Territory, formerly Arapaho, was Hedinger's Lake, between present day Limon and Hugo. Like the history of Colorado's water, Lake became Lake Station, later a railway siding, today a creek. First some back-story: 1750. When gold looked to become the carrot to drive white man's Manifest Destiny, the Indian Territories of what would become Colorado were labeled simply the Gold Region. Back in 1815, the West was still La Louisiane, and place names were native, French and Spanish. Taos was one of the oldest Spanish settlements, site of the First American Revolution, against the Spaniards, and another revolt when the US invaded. Camp de Baroney sits on the Arkansas River, eventually resettled as El Pueblo. And there's La Fourche Republicaine, a fork of la Rivoire Missouri, soon to lead a prominent migration trail west. By 1848, St. Vrain's Fort and Grante Ft., Bent's Fort, were already protecting Anglo trading interests. (Note by the way, Old Park and New Park, eventually to be become the "North" to South Park.) By 1864, the Cheyenne and Arapaho found themselves bordered on the west by the "Military Department of Utah" and ceding their lands to the Kansas Territory. (On this map we can see Montana City, the original Denver City. Denver eventually overtook Auroria and the metropolis. Mineral Springs became Manitou and Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak.) Note the curiously singular representation of a "Kansas Lake" depicted at the tip of the south fork of the Republican River, whose waters will originate in the later to be named Lincoln County, at whose heart will lie Lake, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain region lost many lakes by the mid 1800s when beaver were hunted to near extinction and with them the beaver dams. Note just West of "Kansas Lake" lies Beaver Creek. With the gold rush, settler trails crisscrossed the West, for wagon trains, stagecoach and mail carriers. Lake was a stage at the convergence of the Butterfield Overland Dispatch and Republican Fork Trails, where they crossed the Big Sandy Creek to join the Smoky Hill South and North Roads (after similarly named rivers which were starting points in Kansas) or the spartan Starvation Trail to Denver. Today's I-70 follows Smoky Hill North. Was Hedinger's Lake the water which travelers sought at the end of the South Republican Fork Trail? This 1868 Union Pacific map predicted the stops heading eastward from Denver to be Parkhurst, Beaver, which later became Deer Trail, and Coon Creek, which became Kit Carson, opposite Sand Creek. By 1870, Kansas was a state and the Kansas Union Pacific RR reached Denver. (Beyond the mountains: North Park, Middle Park and South Park.) By 1873, leaving for Denver from Fort Wallace, there were stops at Kit Carson, Aroyo, Lake, Agate (pronounced "A-Gate") and Deer Trail. (Note: still no Colorado Springs.) A map circa 1880s,

Shit I learned in school

...because, really, I DO believe there's a deliberate sabotage of Public Education being done simply by handing a "liberal" program over to be administered by "conservatives". In 7th grade in Texas you're taught Texas History. Some of it would be almost unrecognizable from a Yankee point of view. For instance, we were taught that the Civil War wasn't about slavery, it was about State's Rights. State's Rights to spend civic money and exercise military and police powers to enforce slavery. We were also told, and I have reason to believe that it's gotten worse, we were told that the Slaves were well treated, given decent food and housing, and Medical Care. Happy Days on de ol' Plantation wif all de Darkies singin' and happy and de Massa jes' lubbin all of dem! O, de sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home it's summer and the darkies are gay... You smile and laugh and sing because the Massah would beat you and maybe have you killed if you indicated any dissatisfaction with the arrangement. It's that simple. The Slaves were all Happy and Content and Well Treated... so why do the Corporate Slaveholders of the Modern Plantation, the ones who advance this bald-face lie about how good slaves had it, refuse to provide health care and good nutrition and housing for their Debt-slaves? Is it only profitable to provide a decent standard of living if you outright OWN the workers? They don't make too much comment about how these Happy, Contented Slaves all smilin' and singin' and the Good Massah lubbin' every one of dem... why they would be forbidden to take any outside employment in their spare time, to perhaps earn enough money to buy their freedom? The Prison System uses a similar tactic to keep its slaves from escaping, if you're caught with money you're punished. Likewise the Slaves were forbidden Education, even so much as to teach a slave to read was punishable by death. And to BE that slave? Thus are the scions of the Debt Slaves treated now, public education being snatched away from our kids and allocated only to the children of the Merchant master class. And health care and nutrition... look to the TeaTards with their anger and hatred toward people who actually receive health care, which the TeaTard Hate Freak leaders say only the Wealthy deserve. Of course they will LIE and say they're only looking out for States Rights.... Corporate State rights to hold people in slavery. And threatening a new Civil War in which they'll kill a lot of Americans to keep things that way. Them Corporate Slaveowners sho' does love them the idea of Killing Americans. Why I believe the Texas History Textbooks are being slanted more to the right... Rick "GoodHair" Perry, fascist dictator of Texas, said the older textbooks were too Liberal WTF? And in Texas the Governor determines the curriculum for the schools in the entire state. So look for even MORE brainwashed morons who will grow up thinking that keeping human beings in bondage and Killing PEOPLE

Alfred Lownstein and Carrion Fowl Capital

We got our satellite TV today, and on History International there's "History's Mysteries". War Profiteer/Wall Street Weasel (ok, so the European version thereof) financier Lownstein is flying across the English Channel. End of life history is he's reported to go to the bathroom in his private plane and disappeared Found dead later. My thought, the crew took out the trash and jettisoned it over the Channel. Good riddance to bad rubbish. So why is an 80 year old murder important? The commercials. Borrow money from this start-up upstart bank that I've not heard of before. Buy gold. Sell your "unwanted" gold at a smaller price of course. Infomercials lately, and the regular 30 second spots, "Mortgages being defaulted and foreclosed, buy properties for as little as a thousand dollars" ... In other words, buy back into not Predatory Capitalism... but Carrion Fowl Capitalism. There's a big service industry boost in cleaning, appraising and repairing Foreclosed Properties. And Bill Collectors, one called me about a medical bill that wasn't even mine. I simply had said ummm... Yeah? and he launched into this spiel where in ten seconds he had called me "buddy" 4 separate times. But the Vulture Capitalists are touting this as a way to get rich... off the blood and similar misfortunes of Other Human Beings. Kind of like, oh, je-ne sais quoi, like the Same Kind Of Investment Strategies that got America, and the rest of the world, into this financial mess in the first damn place. People who would willingly and with full knowledge before the fact scavenge their own society, their neighbors and probably even FAMILY aren't exactly the type of people who should be trusted with the economy of the world. Although our Friends who come regularly to defend The Noble Free Market Profiteers will sharply disagree. I'll probably get called a Bolshevik again. By the way, that's a Russian word meaning "of the PEOPLE" so I guess that sets our critics apart from The People. Talk about your basic narcissistic thought patterns. Kind of like their use of the word "do-gooder" as what they perceive to be an insult. Not knowing or caring that the exact opposite of "do-gooder" is "Evildoer". That's truly amusing when used by people who consider themselves to be Jews or Christians. As Isaiah and Jesus put it "hypocrites who devour the houses of Widows and for a pretense make long prayers". Fitting that Monsieur Alfred is memorialized by such commercials.

Howard Zinn, historian of mainstream

"If you work through the existing structures you are going to be corrupted. By working through a political system that poisons the atmosphere, even the progressive organizations, you can see it even now in the US, where people on the “Left” are all caught in the electoral campaign and get into fierce arguments about should we support this third party candidate or that third party candidate. This is a sort of little piece of evidence that suggests that when you get into working through electoral politics you begin to corrupt your ideals. So I think a way to behave is to think not in terms of representative government, not in terms of voting, not in terms of electoral politics, but thinking in terms of organizing social movements, organizing in the work place, organizing in the neighborhood, organizing collectives that can become strong enough to eventually take over —first to become strong enough to resist what has been done to them by authority, and second, later, to become strong enough to actually take over the institutions." --Howard Zinn, Anarchist, in 2008 AK Press interview

Book burning is old hat for Kindle

Awww, the "Gift of Reading." Wasn't that something we gave ourselves for free in public school? And look at the e-book with which Amazon expects to separate readers from viewers --the latest movie.   Holy Schnikies Amazon picked a whopper of a name for its e-book reader! Is the "Kindle" supposed to inflame our gone-digital hearts to the warm fuzzies of reading? Because kindle wood and books have always been combustible dance partners. Firelight was something man used to have to read by, but kindling was also indispensable for book burnings. Which role most likely foreshadows this Kindle's potential? I think the answer lies not too far from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo's celebrated promise to never again remotely tamper with their readers' Kindle libraries. Earlier this year, online customers bought digital books to which Amazon then discovered its merchant partner didn't have the intellectual rights. Amazon refunded the purchases and erased the already downloaded files, revealing what technology experts already suspected, that the Kindle's software permitted more than a hands-on eavesdropping capability. In response to the outcry, Bezos promised never to do it again. Fine. His assurance is good enough for me. The truth is, Amazon won't have to. The burning of e-books will not be about destroying your and my electronic files. It will happen at the file's creation or un-creation. And I suspect the censorship will be a lot more clever than a publisher conspicuously sitting on its exclusive rights to release or not release a title. All that need happen to disenfranchise a public from a familiar inflammatory tome is to buy the publishing right and excise the offensive material. Why not-- it will be their right. And Jeff Bezos will probably be able to justify amending already sold copies under the guise of issuing corrections, or redistributing free updates to the original editions. Can you imagine a world void of its disturbing literature? That's the vision which has guided book burners. The only thing standing between mankind and the more equitable distribution of knowledge are the revolutionary armadas launched by Gutenberg. At which the Kindle is aiming its broadsides.

a respectable bird

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping and Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: the little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country. I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." --Ben Franklin in a letter to his daughter

UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

Wouldn't you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that any criticism of their actions can simply be dismissed as "anti-Semitic?" Photographs and confessions emerging from the IDF's atrocities in Gaza just beg comparison the German Einsatzgruppen in Poland. Earlier this year UC Santa Barbara professor William Robinson forwarded an email photo essay to a UCSB listserv, the already much-circulated side by side comparison to the WWII atrocities. Two students complained, plagiarizing stock IDF lingo. Now the Anti-Defamation League wants Robinson to recant. With IDF propagandists pouring on the bullshit, let's revisit the documents. As has already been noted, Professor Robinson is a harsh critic of US foreign policy, and already a likely target for the goon squad enforcers of Western Capitalism. Not many of America's actions are defensible, so Robinson has to be attacked by desperate means. Lucky for the lackey-jackals, Robinson chose to criticize Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians of Gaza. Bingo! The Israeli propaganda machine has armed aspiring Israel-defenders with a blanket rebuttal: just yell "ANTI-SEMITISM!" And what a load of crap that is. Much turns on the definition of "anti-Semitism." It packs the punch of meaning someone who hates Jews, but the advocates of Zionism have expanded the definition into 3-D! Zionist apologist Nathan Sharansky has coined the 3D definition of ant-Semitism: demonization of Israel, double standards, and delegitimization. You don't have to look closely to note that those points outline all the rebuttals of criticisms of Israel and any question of the legitimacy of the Zionist usurpation of Palestine. The criticisms posed by those concerned for the fate of Gaza are the same expressed by a large portion of the Israeli Jewish population as well. But the US Israeli lobby, militantly Zionist, has the complicity of the US war-mongering corporate media, thus the IDF Megaphone protestations get traction. These are the same cheap shots leveled against Ward Churchill. By flooding the internet to create the sensation that the indignation was shared, the IDF spammers have been successful in slandering these dissenting academics. Since we're seeing this technique being slopped unto our comment forums, let's examine the statement for which Robinson is being attacked. First we'll present Robinson's email. The next post will feature the ensuing letters of complaint, two from UCSB students, and third from the ADL. Original Email Here is Professor Robinson's original email, including his attachment of the Judith Stone article. This accompanied the aforementioned photo essay he forwarded. Subject: [socforum] parallel images of Nazis and Israelis From: "William I. Robinson" ... Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:00:05 ... If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities

US Army blankets are generic today

When I was assembling my dorm room kit for college, I wanted an army blanket as a bed cover. For reasons I must have understood better then, the heavy duty olive drab wool, emblazoned with a U.S. monogram, was inarguably cool. Its generic quality was iconic, thus it had a caché more authentic than a stack of Izods. I considered my Army blanket to be the No. 2 Pencil of bed linens. I forgot about that blanket until the Ward Churchill trial in Denver, when the contention arose whether the US army spread small pox to North Dakota Indians by means of infected blankets. Native American oral tradition has been retelling this tale, but the White Man's narrative is pushing back. The ignoble suggestion remains a penciled notation in American History texts, except by scholars such as Churchill, because anti-revisionists want to see more proof. Deniers seem to willfully overlook that perpetrators might have cloaked their trail, sooner than document their scurrilous coup. Where are the blankets, or invoices for the blankets? With only songs about the blankets, how is anyone to confirm their provenance? It's hearsay, the defenders say, bitter, vindictive slander to implicate the US Army for the 1837 small pox epidemic, just because the Red Man's comprehension could not attribute another cause. Although the Indian accounts aren't so pointed. They tell of an Indian chief who stole the blankets from the white soldiers, unwittingly bringing the outbreak back to his camp. Now I'll not assert that US Army blankets have always had a "U.S." stenciled on them, nor even that they were army-colored, as khaki wasn't on the uniform palette until the turn of the century. But governments have always needed to distinguish government property, to discourage their agents from divesting of their standard issue for personal gain. I will contend that it is only from the perspective of our contemporary culture of abundance, that we presume a blanket is nondescript without a trademark. In our overloaded consumer economy, it is not unreasonable to believe that an item without its receipt cannot be assumed to have come from a particular store. Indeed we need designer logos to differentiate products when we cannot assess the quality for ourselves. Today, even thread-counters are at pains to tell an Eddie Bauer from a CJ Crew by touch. But not so in the Wild West. The carpet-bagger mercantile purveyors of the West may have ushered in mass-produced dry goods, but I hardly think varieties were indistinguishable. Wanna bet there was quite a difference between blankets woven by Indians, blankets bartered from trading posts, and standard army issue?

Mother Jones: You Don’t Need a Vote

After the 1914 Ludlow Massacre and the later capitulation of the UMWA union, Mother Jones, by now 85 years old, toured the US to spread the word about what happened. She wrote in her autobiography, about a meeting in Kansas City: "I told the great audience that packed the hall that when their coal glowed red in their fires, it was the blood of the workers, of men who went down into black holes to dig it, of women who suffered and endured, of little children who had but a brief childhood. 'You are being warmed and made comfortable with human blood' I said. ... 'The miners lost,' I told them, because they had only the constitution. The other side had bayonets. In the end, bayonets always win.'" From The Autobiography of Mother Jones, Chapter 22: YOU DON'T NEED A VOTE TO RAISE HELL. Five hundred women got up a dinner and asked me to speak. Most of the women were crazy about women suffrage. They thought that Kingdom-come would follow the enfranchisement of women. "You must stand for free speech in the streets," I told them. "How can we," piped a woman, "when we haven't a vote?" "I have never had a vote," said I, "and I have raised hell all over this country! You don't need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!" Some one meowed, "You're an anti!" "I am not an anti to anything which will bring freedom to my class," said I. "But I am going to be honest with you sincere women who are working for votes for women. The women of Colorado have had the vote for two generations and the working men and women are in slavery. The state is in slavery, vassal to the Colorado Iron and Fuel Company and its subsidiary interests. A man who was present at a meeting of mine owners told me that when the trouble started in the mines, one operator proposed that women be disfranchised because here and there some woman had raised her voice in behalf of the miners. Another operator jumped to his feet and shouted, 'For God's sake! What are you talking about! If it had not been for the women's vote the miners would have beaten us long ago!'" Some of the women gasped with horror. One or two left the room. I told the women I did not believe in women’s rights nor in men's rights but in human rights. "No matter what your fight," I said, "don't be ladylike! God Almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies. I have just fought through sixteen months of bitter warfare in Colorado. I have been up against armed mercenaries but this old woman, without a vote, and with nothing but a hatpin has scared them. "Organized labor should organize its women along industrial lines. Politics is only the servant of industry. The plutocrats have organized their women. They keep them busy with suffrage and prohibition and charity."

Ludlow Massacre or unhappy incident?

COLORADO COLLEGE- CC is holding a symposium on the 1914 Ludlow Massacre. Actually, it's only called the Ludlow Symposium. True to Colorado Springs form, several among the audience want to call it an "incidence," instead of a "massacre." One of the participants, author Scott Martelle, is willing to oblige, explaining that if the militia hadn't known that women and children were taking shelter beneath the tents which they were putting to the torch, then the soldiers were guilty only of criminally negligent homicide. (*Note 4/12/09: this article has been revised in light of helpful comments offered by symposium participants. Also: Differences of opinion aside, I am remiss if I do not praise the scholars who were very generous with their time and encyclopedic memories to enrich this symposium. 1. CC's own Professor David Mason authored an evocative narrative of lives caught up in the 1914 events, written in verse, entitled Ludlow. 2. Journalist Scott Thomas researched the most recent definitive account to date, the 2007 Blood Passion: the Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West. 3. Thomas Andrews, Associate Professor at CU Denver, enlarged the context in 2008 with his award winning Killing For Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War. 4. Zeese Papanikolas represented his authorative Buried Unsung: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre, written in 1984.) Does it matter what it's called, or with what certainty? The symposium is filled with public school system educators looking for an angle with which to approach Ludlow with their kids. One of them expresses her doubt about teaching about Mother Jones, having just heard from the panelists a probably too-nuanced assessment of the labor hero's tactics. The political climate of our age can't find any purchase with moral nuance. I'm stuck thinking that in recording social history, scholars cannot avoid writing the victor's narrative. In particular as regards the history of labor, because neither academics nor even middle class hobbyists in the symposium's audience can look at the events from the perspective of the working class. Even the scholar's objectivity is middle class. The opinion was expressed by the panel that the Ludlow aftermath was one of the few occasions when the story was spun to the benefit of labor interests. But this does not account for why authors and educators find themselves having to resurrect the tale of Ludlow these many years later. When it occurred, Americans may have swallowed the hyperbole, but since that time they've internalized its internment, effaced by a corporate culture so as to have disappeared from even our school textbooks. I think this may have been something of the question posed by symposium organizer Jaime Stevensen to the panel, when she asked how the authors insulated themselves from the fictions woven into their own perspectives of history. She didn't get any takers. The very concept that history adds up to only so much trivial pursuit, is inherently a view from the ivory tower. Do the Ludlow scholars not recognize that common people today face the same foes

History Begins at Sumer

I'm reading about the Sumarians (5,300 - 2,000 B.C.) FROM THE TABLETS OF SUMER: 39 Firsts in Man's Recorded History. The Sumarians originated civilization as we know it, and their demise may look a lot like ours too. In case you missed the memo, Sumer was earliest Mesopotamia in southern Iraq. Until the mid 19th Century, we didn't know Sumerians from Adam. Their history is traced by now deciphered cuneiform writings on clay vessels. Now thanks to Bush's Folly, we may learn very little more. Until I have more to relate, I'll treat you to the table of contents, where Princeton Assyriologist Samuel Noah Kramer lays out his thesis. You might be surprised at which cultural themes are apparently elemental. From the Tablets of Sumer was published in 1956. The latest edition, History Begins at Sumer can be read online. Kramer also compiled an 18-volume Sumerian dictionary. Thirty-Nine Firsts in Man’s Recorded History 1.     EDUCATION: The First School 2.     SCHOOLDAYS: The First Case of "Apple-Polishing" 3.     FATHER AND SON: The First Case of Juvenile Delinquency 4.     INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: The First "War of Nerves" 5.     GOVERNMENT: The First Bicameral Congress 6.     CIVIL WAR IN SUMER: The First Historian 7.     SOCIAL REFORM: The First Case of Tax Reduction 8.     LAW CODES: The First "Moses" 9.     JUSTICE: The First Legal Precedent 10.   MEDICINE: The First Pharmacopoeia 11.   AGRICULTURE: The First "Farmer's Almanac" 12.   HORTICULTURE: The First Experiment in Shade-Tree Gardening 13.   PHILOSOPHY: Man's First Cosmogony and Cosmology 14.   ETHICS: The First Moral Ideals 15.   SUFFERING AND SUBMISSION: The First "Job" 16.   WISDOM: The First Proverbs and Sayings 17.   "AESOPICA": The First Animal Fables 18.   LOGOMACHY: The First Literary Debates 19.   PARADISE: The First Biblical Parallels 20.   A FLOOD: The First "Noah" 21.   HADES: The First Tale of Resurrection 22.   SLAYING OF THE DRAGON: The First "St. George" 23.   TALES OF GILGAMESH: The First Case of Literary Borrowing 24.   EPIC LITERATURE: Man's First Heroic Age 25.   TO THE ROYAL BRIDEGROOM: The First Love Song 26.   BOOK LISTS: The First Library Catalogue 27.   WORLD PEACE AND HARMONY: Man's First Golden Age 28.   ANCIENT COUNTERPARTS OF MODERN WOES:         The First "Sick" Society 29.   DESTRUCTION AND DELIVERANCE: The First Liturgic Laments 30.   THE IDEAL KING: The First Messiahs 31.   SHULGI OF UR: The First Long-Distance Champion 32.   POETRY: The First Literary Imagery 33.   THE SACRED MARRIAGE RITE: The First Sex Symbolism 34.   WEEPING GODDESSES: The First Mater Dolorosa 35.   AU-A A-U-A: The First Lullaby 36.   THE IDEAL MOTHER: Her First Literary Portrait 37.   THREE FUNERAL CHANTS: The First Elegies 38.   THE PICKAXE AND THE PLOW: Labor's First Victory 39.   HOME OF THE FISH: The First Aquarium

Bishop Williamson and Auschwitz 1.0

I am curious as to why a Roman Catholic bishop would risk a second excommunication over the historic particulars of the Holocaust. Bishop Richard Williamson is being labeled a "Holocaust Denier" because he questions the extent, and mechanism, of the official version of the Holocaust. Because Williamson is also criticized for his skepticism about the official 9/11 narrative, and for his praise for the Unabomber's manifesto, I want to take a closer look, and wonder what is he reading? Here's what the outspoken Williamson told Swedish SVT in a November 2008 interview, as transcribed by the BBC: "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler… I believe there were no gas chambers [during World War II]" First, I'm compelled to pose a naive question: If we can all agree that Jews died in huge numbers by incomparable horrors at the hands of the Nazis, would it matter what the exact death toll was, or which killing method predominated? Why? What is the need for laws to restrict historians who are trying to reconstruct the record from emerging facts? Must preemptive "anti-defamation" laws mandate that historians stick to the official "untold" number and "indescribable" evil? Even if we postulate, albeit cynically, that Holocaust reverence is critical to upholding American public support for Israel's "right to exist" in the Middle East, how could a revision of the casualties, in any case a horrific magnitude, make an difference? Millions of Jews fell victim to the Third Reich. No one is denying it, and historical revision is not trying to bring the Holocaust victims back to life. Holocaust Remembrance of the Jewish victims has remained a political priority around the world, advocating commemoration in education, literature, civic life, and pop culture. Why then, an aversion to scrutiny? Last week a fellow Society of St. Pius X member, Rev. Floriano Abrahamowicz was ejected from SSPX for coming to Williamson's and the Pope's defense. While the usual politicians and Jewish community leaders are voicing their indignation, can we ask, are the Bishop's beliefs really at odds with accepted orthodoxy? The media will reiterate that the Six Million figure has always been beyond dispute. All the while, official scholarship has been recording otherwise. In Germany, revisionist historians are jailed for Holocaust Denial. Yet bit by bit, mainstream historians have been able to publish divergent theses which withstand legal refutation. For the sake of argument, let's dismiss all the "deniers" as kooks, and look only at the traditionally vetted voices. On the subject of Auschwitz, where four million of the total six million Jews were believed to have perished, Der Spiegel managing editor Fritjof Meyer a continued critic of revisionism, summarized in Osteuropa 52, 5/2002, p. 631: “In 1945, the Soviet Investigatory Commission numbered four million victims in the National Socialist work and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a product of war propaganda. Under coercion, camp Commandant Höß named three million and recanted. Up until

Apres nous, le Depression

If it matters what to call this financial crisis, what is it? Is America in a recession? When does a deep recession approach a depression? When is an economic crash revealed to be a collapse? Before we can rename the Great Depression, as we did the Great War (WWI), in deference to this latest, we would do better to address the cataclysm which left this depression. It was not a meteor, not the foot of Godzilla, nor a collapsed salt mine. The scorched earth we see about us, this rapidly degrading economy, is the destruction wrought by a Norman raid; a blitz of rape and pillage with brutal indifference. It wouldn't matter what you call it except that the raiders are still among us. If your valuables are still intact, it's because they haven't yet been sacked. If you still have your house, it's not because the tethers aren't attached, it's that they haven't started towing it off. When you can see this robbery for what it is, you'll know that history can tell us that the barbarians do not leave even gold fillings unmolested. Do you doubt a viking analogy? Look at the economic news today. Over half a million jobs lost in January, over three million jobs lost already. On the same day, the stock market rallies upward. While you are losing your livelihood, those who invested in the long ships are heartened by the projected success of this raid.

Marianne Moore’s Utopian Turtletop

In the mid-fifties the newly-public Ford Motor Company sought a name for its soon-to-be-released experimental car, known in its design stage as the E-car. After in-house marketers came up with 300-odd names which were felt to be embarrassing in their pedestrianism, the company approached Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Marianne Moore, an icon of the popular culture, known as much for her wild passion for baseball and boxing as for her poetry... What Ford wanted was a car name that "flashes a dramatically desirable picture in people's minds," from a woman who seemed to know mainstream America. What they got was "Anticipator," "Thunder Crester," "Pastelogram," "Intelligent Whale," "The Resilient Bullet," "Mongoose Civique," "Andante con Moto," "Varsity Stroke" and then, as her very last try for the name magic, "Utopian Turtletop." Understandably disappointed by Moore's ideas, the company hired a marketing firm. When the agency forwarded a list of 18,000 possible names, it fell upon corporate executives to choose the best among them for final consideration. Every day an appointed panel of executives would assemble in an appointed projection room to watch as thousands of names were flashed across a screen in six-inch high letters, to oblivion unless someone shouted, "Stop!" and gave reasons for his enthusiasm. None of the final contenders, neither "Corsair" nor "Citation" nor "Ranger" nor "Pacer," made the grade in the end, and Ford returned to its earlier idea -- one that had been rejected for years by the Ford family -- and named the car after company scion, Edsel Ford. Of course, the Edsel was a spectacular failure on many levels, marketing most notably. Later consumer surveys revealed that the public strongly disliked the name, associating it with Edson tractors, dead cells (batteries) and weasels.

How the US helped out in Indonesia’s forgotten genocide of 500,000 dead

We get fed so much bullshit all the time about how supposedly the US has always been this great beacon of light in the 'civilized world'. But did you know that the US under Lyndon Johnson helped create a genocide that murdered at least 500,000 people in the island country of Indonesia? Yes, this was a MADE IN THE US genocide, People, and the Associated Press revisits the scene in this brief report online today. AP Exclusive: Indonesians recount role in massacre So the next time some anti-Communist fanatic starts off about how communists supposedly always kill people wholesale, remember capitalist Indonesia. Remember capitalist Nazi Germany and capitalist WW2 Japan, too. Millions of people were murdered in the fight of these capitalist dictators against Communism. And remember, too, the United States of America which also murdered millions of people in that same fight by the international Business community against their own workers all over the world. Capitalism is a murderous system of rule by the rich, over the many poor. Yes, the US has been involved in many, many genocides in fairly recent times, and not just in the distant past.

Shlomo Sand and shattering a national mythology

Shattering a 'national mythology' Shlomo Sand's book is titled "When and How the Jewish People Was Invented?" and you probably will not find it stacked up on tables for sale in Barnes and Noble or Borders. I don't expect it to be readily available for Colorado Springs librarian patrons either. Ask for it though. The Haaretz interview: Actually, most of your book does not deal with the invention of the Jewish people by modern Jewish nationalism, but rather with the question of where the Jews come from. Sand: "My initial intention was to take certain kinds of modern historiographic materials and examine how they invented the 'figment' of the Jewish people. But when I began to confront the historiographic sources, I suddenly found contradictions. And then that urged me on: I started to work, without knowing where I would end up. I took primary sources and I tried to examine authors' references in the ancient period - what they wrote about conversion." Experts on the history of the Jewish people say you are dealing with subjects about which you have no understanding and are basing yourself on works that you can't read in the original. "It is true that I am an historian of France and Europe, and not of the ancient period. I knew that the moment I would start dealing with early periods like these, I would be exposed to scathing criticism by historians who specialize in those areas. But I said to myself that I can't stay just with modern historiographic material without examining the facts it describes. Had I not done this myself, it would have been necessary to have waited for an entire generation. Had I continued to deal with France, perhaps I would have been given chairs at the university and provincial glory. But I decided to relinquish the glory." Inventing the Diaspora "After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom" - thus states the preamble to the Israeli Declaration of Independence. This is also the quotation that opens the third chapter of Sand's book, entitled "The Invention of the Diaspora." Sand argues that the Jewish people's exile from its land never happened. "The supreme paradigm of exile was needed in order to construct a long-range memory in which an imagined and exiled nation-race was posited as the direct continuation of 'the people of the Bible' that preceded it," Sand explains. Under the influence of other historians who have dealt with the same issue in recent years, he argues that the exile of the Jewish people is originally a Christian myth that depicted that event as divine punishment imposed on the Jews for having rejected the Christian gospel. "I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land - a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that

The Jewish Nation

Yes, there has already been the establishment of 'a Jewish nation' and 'Jewish Homeland' since the Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem after its siege in 70 AD. Most Christian Zionists (like Joseph Biden or Joe Lieberman, for examples) remain rather ignorant of this Jewish history though. The 'Jewish Homeland' was established not in Palestine, but in an area between the Black and Caspian seas, just north of what is today's far Eastern Turkey and far Western Iran. Surprise! Not Palestine at all. Like the Roman Emperor Constantine who made Christianity today's dominant religion, Emperor Bulan of Khazaria made Judaism the state religion in this 'Jewish Nation' 600 plus years after the sacking of Jerusalem by the Romans. Didn't know anything about that? Well, it does kind of conflict with today's mythology around Israel, does it not? Some might not want you to know much about real Jewish history, including Zionist Jews themselves! See this link for some information about Khazaria The fact that this area of Khazaria was right next to Persia might help explain some of the current President of Iran's (Ahmadinejad) differing ideas about the origins of the Jewish people, perhaps?

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