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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

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

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. 34008

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. 24189

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

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. 17513

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 14126

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? 12158

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. 11953

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. 7589

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. 7265

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.'" 7471

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. 7338

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. 6497

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? 6392

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. 6379

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... 5735

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 5545

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. 5063

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. 5061

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