Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Denial Card Trumps Race Card

From Counterpunch, April 24, 2006.

The Absurdity (and Consistency) of White Denial
What Kind of Card is Race?


...Asked about the tendency for people of color to play the "race card," I
responded as I always do: First, by noting that the regularity with which
whites respond to charges of racism by calling said charges a ploy,
suggests that the race card is, at best, equivalent to the two of
diamonds. In other words, it's not much of a card to play, calling into
question why anyone would play it (as if it were really going to get them
somewhere). Secondly, I pointed out that white reluctance to acknowledge
racism isn't new, and it isn't something that manifests only in situations
where the racial aspect of an incident is arguable. Fact is, whites have
always doubted claims of racism at the time they were being made, no
matter how strong the evidence, as will be seen below. Finally, I
concluded by suggesting that whatever "card" claims of racism may prove to
be for the black and brown, the denial card is far and away the trump, and
whites play it regularly: a subject to which we will return.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's devastating evidence against the WHITE HOUSE credibility on a slew of levels.

None of this stuff has yet been investigated by anyone whose principal goal is not covering for the White House.

When no weapons of mass destruction surfaced in Iraq, President Bush insisted that all those WMD claims before the war were the result of faulty intelligence. But a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller — a 26-year veteran of the agency — has decided to do something CIA officials at his level almost never do: Speak out.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


THE DAY RED TURNED TO GREEN. Because boy, wouldn't life be terrible if red turned to green? Well, if you must know, the story has a completely rational explanation, see? It's uh, aliens... with a sponge.

Joe Hill Watch at Union Librarian

Joe Hill Watch is a new component of Union Librarian. Librarian deaths in union actions have been infrequent --actually I've not been able to identify any. But we librarians can provide the long memory on issues of social justice, human rights and fairness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Absurd Reclassifications by National Archives

"This secret agreement reveals nothing less than a covert operation to white-out the nation's history, aided and abetted by the National Archives," said National Security Archive executive director Thomas Blanton."

Washington, D.C., 11 April 2006 - The National Archives and Records
Administration secretly agreed to a covert effort, led by the Air Force,
the CIA, and other still-hidden intelligence entities, to remove
open-shelf archival records and reclassify them while disguising the
results so that researchers would not complain, according to a previously
secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The secret agreement, made
between the Air Force and the National Archives, was declassified pursuant
to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive
and posted on the NARA website yesterday.

The heavily excised MOU, signed by assistant archivist Michael Kurtz in
March 2002, reveals that the National Archives agreed that the existence
of the program was to be kept secret as long as possible: "it is in the
interests of both [excised] and the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA) to avoid the attention and researcher complaints
that may arise from removing material that has already been publicly
available," states the MOU. NARA agreed that the withdrawal sheets
indicating the removal of documents would conceal any reference to the
program and "any reason for the withholding of documents."

NARA also agreed to conceal the identities of the intelligence personnel
who were reviewing and removing the documents, according to the agreement,
including from NARA's own staff. "NARA will not disclose the true reason
for the presence of [deleted agency] AFDO [deleted] personnel at the
Archives, to include disclosure to persons within NARA who do not have a
validated need-to-know."

The National Security Archive first learned of the existence of the
agreement, classified SECRET/[codeword deleted], earlier this year, when
Archive staff accompanied historian Matthew Aid to a meeting at NARA to
complain about absurd reclassifications such as 50-year-old documents that
had been widely published. On February 1, Archive analyst William Burr
filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the document. NARA and
Defense Department officials acknowledged the existence of the MOU at the
March 14, 2006 hearing of a House Government Reform subcommittee chaired
by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Ct), but refused to discuss the substance of
the MOU in public session.

During the hearing, Archivist of the United States Alan Weinstein suffered
persistent questioning about the MOU from Chairman Shays and other members
of the Committee, to which Dr. Weinstein could only reply "it's

"This secret agreement reveals nothing less than a covert operation to
white-out the nation's history, aided and abetted by the National
Archives," said National Security Archive executive director Thomas

The excised portions of the MOU released yesterday apparently still hide
other intelligence entities involved with the Air Force and the CIA in
reclassifying public records. The MOU was originally classified at the
codeword level, but the codeword itself remains classified, according to
the markings on the released MOU.

The reclassification activities at NARA began at the end of the Clinton
administration. So far, more than 55,000 pages of declassified documents,
dating back to the World War II era, have been removed from the open
files. During the March 14 hearing, Congressman Shays noted that the
reclassification program was not in the national interest. "This absurd
effort to put the toothpaste back into the tube persists despite the
growing consensus - supported by testimony before this Subcommittee - that
from fifty to ninety percent of the material currently withheld should not
be classified at all," Shays stated in his opening statement.

According to National Security Archive historian William Burr, concern
over references in some declassified records to various aerial
reconnaissance systems that Air Force has used over the years, such as the
U-2 and the earlier GENETRIX balloon program, may have triggered the
reclassification project. Censored sections of the MOU, he noted, could
refer to operations of the National Security Agency. If the NSA was
involved, then perhaps the re-review referenced in the MOU focused on
specialized intelligence activities.

In February 2002, a recruitment notice shows that the Raytheon Corporation
received a contract from the Air Force to conduct the reclassification
review and that the project team would include at least 20 people.


Friday, April 07, 2006

The Working Class in American History: Bridgeport's Socialist New Deal, 1915-36

Bridgeport's Socialist New Deal, 1915-36
Cecelia Bucki
On November 7, 1933, the Socialist Party of Bridgeport, Connecticut, won a stunning victory in the municipal election, garnering 48 percent of the votes cast in a three-way race and putting Jasper McLevy in the mayor's seat. Probing the factors that coalesced to bring about this third-party success story, Cecelia Bucki provides a discerning portrait of how industrial cities functioned in the early twentieth century and how working people affected urban politics.
Bridgeport's Socialist New Deal, 1915-36 explores how labor gained a foothold and then a stronghold in local politics as broad debates over taxes, budgets, city services, and the definition of public good pitted previously unengaged working-class citizens against local business leaders and traditional party elites. Representing the concerns of ethnic working-class communities only weakly allied to the mainstream American parties, the Bridgeport Socialists rode into office on a wave of popular antibusiness anger and New Deal enthusiasm.
Once in office, McLevy and his party were hamstrung by legislative measures that gave substantial control of finances to local business leaders. Bucki details the compromise politics of Bridgeport and shows how the local party, after splitting from the Socialist Party of America in 1936, became more narrowly focused and reformist, though still serving as the voice of the working class.
The Bridgeport Socialist party's remarkable move from outsider critic to occupant of City Hall illustrates the volatility of politics in the early depression years. It also reveals the curbing influence of conservative business and political interests, not only on the Bridgeport Socialists, but also on the more radical prongs of the New Deal.
Cecelia Bucki is an associate professor of history at Fairfield University, Connecticut.
A volume in the series The Working Class in American History, edited by David Brody, Alice Kessler-Harris, David Montgomery, and Sean Wilentz
Supported by a grant from Fairfield University
Awarded the Homer D. Babbidge Prize of the Association for the Study of Connectict History

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jeb Bush (FL Gov.) and Judy Ring (his appointee) FAILED to close the State Library of Florida.

Jeb Bush (FL Gov.) and Judy Ring (his appointee) FAILED to close the State Library of Florida in 2003.

It's National Library Week 2006 and a time to be thankful that JEB BUSH and his appointeed as State Librarian, JUDITH RING, FAILED to close the state library of Florida.


Jeb Bush Proposes Eliminating
the State Library of Florida

Fifty-five employees of Florida’s state library have been told their jobs will end July 1, if Gov. Jeb Bush’s 2003–2004 budget proposal goes through. Submitted January 21, the budget recommends the transfer of the state library’s collection of nearly 1 million books, microfilms, and documents to Florida State University at Tallahassee in order to trim $5.4 million from state expenses.

Florida House Derails State Library Move

The Florida House voted April 4 to reject Gov. Jeb Bush’s plan to transfer the state library’s circulating collection from Tallahassee to Nova Southeastern University and eliminate 55 of the library’s 120 positions. Since the Senate's budget includes no funding for the move, the governor’s proposal, which drew angry opposition from library supporters across the state, appears to be off the table.