Bruce Blog

Honoring Edward Kennedy for defying and defeating political censorship in WWII

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The campaign to award a posthumous Pulitzer Prize to Edward Kennedy, the Associated Press reporter who defied political censorship to break the story of the German surrender on May 7, 1945, was given a historic boost at the 135th annual meeting of the California Press Association on Dec. 7, 2012 at the Marines Memorial Building in San Francisco.

See the video of the Cal Press panel on Kennedy after the jump. Read more »

Dick Meister: Michigan is just the beginning

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By Dick Meister
Bay Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.

Be alert, American workers: The passage of right-to-work legislation in Michigan means serious trouble for unions and their supporters everywhere. Yet there's legitimate hope that it also could lead to a revitalized labor movement.

You can be sure the action by Michigan, long one of the country's most heavily unionized states, home of the pioneering and pace-setting United Auto Workers and iconic labor leader Walter Reuther, will inspire anti-labor forces in other states to try to enact right-to-work laws. Read more »

Louis Dunn comments on the shootings in Newtown

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"Pupils were all shot multiple times with a semiautomatic, officials say."  New York Times Sunday edition (December 16, 2012).  Guardian artist Louis Dunn comments. Click on the artwork to view the full-size image.

Dick Meister: Home care workers need presidential help

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By Dick Meister

Bay Guardian columnist Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.

The country's 2½ million home care workers have been waiting a whole year now for President Obama to make good on his promise to grant them the federal minimum wage and overtime pay protections they so badly need.

The need for immediate presidential action was made abundantly clear in a letter to the White House on Dec. 13 that was released by the National Employment Law Project – NELP, as it's called. The signers include people who are receiving home care, those who employ them and those who provide the care.

NELP's figures show that the average national wage of home care workers, including those working at for-profit home care agencies, is $9.40 an hour. Which means that one in five caregivers live at or below the poverty level, even in the 21 states with minimum wage and overtime laws that cover them. Read more »

Louis Dunn: So long, Spain!

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Guardian artist Louis Dunn salutes Manuel "Spain" Rodriguez, the iconic underground artist who died of cancer at his Bernal Heights home on Nov. 28 with his daughter and wife at his bedside.  He was 72.

Spain, as he was known and as he signed his work, did 12 or so front page graphics for the Guardian, each one a gem.  Editor Tim Redmond wrote in Spain's obituary that working with Spain was a pleasure and that he "was just a wonderful guy who happened to be one of the most talented artists of his generation."

He ran his "Flashman" comic strip in the early Guardian and then in the 1980s his comic strip "Factwino V. Armageddon Man," which also became a Mime Troupe play.

Tim wrote that when he went to see his wife Susan Stern, to get some pieces of art to run with his Guardian obit, Susan showed Tim the amazing unfinished mural he was doing

on the wall of his studio.  "He worked on it every day," she said.  "It was as if he had to draw or die." Read more »

Calvin Trillin: A short message to those who have signed petitions asking to secede from the union

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We do respect your point of view.

We're glad to see the end of you.

Calvin Trillin. Deadline Poet. The Nation (17/12/2012)

Media Alliance SOS: Fight the FCC rush to more media consolidation (again)!

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The Media Alliance, a local media watchdog group leading the media consolidation battles,  says in an SOS message  that the Federal Communications Commission is once again trying to jam through new rules during the Christmas rush to facilitate more media consolidation.  The FCC, the Alliance points out, "touts localism, competition and diversity as the hallmarks of a healthy media ecosystem. This rule change guts all three." Here is the Alliance's  action alert (b3):

New proposed rules relax media cross-ownership rules (again) paving the way for more media concentration and polishing the path for the Rupert Murdochs of the world to buy up everything that's left. 

In the now-familiar holiday season hurry-up employed by federal agencies when they want to sneak something through before the public has a chance to get outraged about it, FCC commissioner Julius Genachowski has proposed a relaxation of the media cross-ownership rules remarkably similar to Kevin Martin's try at increasing media consolidation several years ago. Read more »

FAIR: The press turns its back on Private Bradley Manning

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FAIR, the national media watchdog organization, has written an excellent critique of the coverage of the Bradley Manning case, one of the more shameful episodes in U.S.military and journalism history.  KPFA's "Democracy Now" radio program headed by Amy Goodman  (9-10 weekdays) has also  done regular superlative coverage.  Here is FAIR's report (B3):

Turning Their Back on Bradley Manning: Whistleblower speaks but press doesn't listen

As the alleged source of many of the most vital WikiLeaks reports of the past several years, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning shed considerable light on how the United States has prosecuted the Iraq and Afghan wars. Other State Department cables reportedly leaked by Manning conveyed vital information about U.S. foreign policy.

Manning has, in other words, been connected to a lot of news (FAIR Media Advisories, 4/7/10, 12/16/10, 7/30/10): the video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed several civilians (two Reuters journalists died in the attack); the revelation that hundreds of U.S. attacks on civilians in Afghanistan had been recorded by the military-- but were unreported elsewhere; the cache of diplomatic cables that uncovered U.S. efforts to stymie legal investigations into torture, U.S. involvement in airstrikes in Yemen; and much more. Read more »

Calvin Trillin: Mitt Romney explains why he lost

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Obama was clever as clever could be;

To targeted groups he gave gifts that were free:

Say, healthcare for free until age 26, 

And free contraceptives (for sex just for kicks).

Debates in the primaries left our team bruised

From harsh accusations the White House then used.

Whatever the reason for losing might be,

Of one thing I'm sure: it could not have been me.

I'm perfect.

Calvin Trillin. Deadline Poet. (12/10/2012 The Nation)