Archive: January, 2011

Labor’s Big Role in Cairo

When Egyptian protest leaders this morning called for a “million man march” tomorrow in Cairo and an “indefinite general strike,” they not only raised the bar in their challenge to the Mubarak government, they tied their movement back to its deepest roots, a struggle in which more than two million workers have staged an estimated 2,000 strikes since 2004, most of them in the country’s textile industry.  Their gains have been incremental, but their willingness to risk their jobs and their lives to defy authority paved the way for the “spontaneous” demonstrations that erupted on January 25th in Cairo, Suez, Alexandria and in dozens of countries around the world. (More)

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Live! From Cairo ….

4:15 PM EST. I’m glued to the tube watching the Egyptian revolution, the ultimate television reality show, play-by-play by MSNBC’s Richard Engel from Cairo, commentary live from the White House via Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.   Gibbs finishes his daily press briefing saying, “The government of Egypt is a subject for the people of Egypt.”   Cut to Engel holding an empty tear gas cannister.  The legend on the can reads: “Continental Technical Assistance, Jamestown, PA.”  Who the hell are we kidding? (More)

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I’m OK, You Stink

From a speech I gave on Monday to the Made in America Conference in Las Vegas:

People often ask what I mean by “From the Left Bank.” Well, if you’re paddling downstream on the river, the left bank is Washington, D.C., and that means I’m coming from a liberal viewpoint — you know,  big government good, civil rights good, labor unions good. On the other hand, if you’re paddling upstream on the Potomac, the left bank is Arlington, Virginia, and that could mean that sometimes, although not very often, I’m coming from a conservative viewpoint  — small town values, God and country. There are those of course who are paddling neither upstream nor downstream. Take President Obama, for instance. He seems to be always paddling around in circles, so it’s hard to tell exactly where he’s coming from. (More)

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January 7, 2011

1961: Race Mixing at UGA

(The following is excerpted from “Pete and Max Take a Walk,” a new novel I finished writing just yesterday.  The main character and the narrative are fictional; the events of 50 years ago this week are not.)

            It had taken an angry wind of history to rip Pete Gammon from his small town roots in Atlanta and drop him goodness-gracious, single-suitcase and all on the steps of Harvard Law School.

            Nursing his fourth draft Budweiser and nibbling absentmindedly on a second pickled egg, Pete looked up from the econ textbook he was reading on the bar counter as John Barnett, the ancient anchorman on the local TV news, began nervously breaking the biggest story ever to hit the University of Georgia.

            “A federal district court judge today issued an order clearing the way for two nigras to register for classes at the university on Monday morning.  Hamilton Holmes, a pre-med student now at Morehouse College, an all-nigra college in Atlanta, and Charlayne Hunter, who is currently enrolled at Wayne State University, a mixed-race college in Detroit, are attempting to become the first coloreds ever to attend the university. Both are graduates of nigra high schools in Atlanta.” (More)

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