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World Wide Work - October 2008
Source Matt Witt
Date 08/09/26/12:36

THIS EDITION OF the free bulletin, World Wide Work, is published by the American Labor Education Center, an independent nonprofit founded in 1979.

WORLD WIDE WORK - October 2008

Let's say you are for Barack Obama because you want affordable health care for all or an economy that works for working people, and you want a bumper sticker that promotes those issues to other voters -- but you can't find one online and the official campaign bumper stickers only give the candidate's name.

There's an innovative web site that meets your need. See You can order one or more of those stickers -- and the profits (22%) go to Gold Star Families for Peace, the organization of families who have lost someone in Iraq and are working to end the war and assure proper treatment of returning veterans.

Bumper Active allows individuals to submit their own bumper stickers which, once posted, can be ordered by anyone directly from the site. Profits go to whichever cause the sticker's designer picks from a list provided by the site. The site has many stickers supporting either Obama or McCain and on many other topics. The site's founder is its sole staff person, so for larger quantities requiring a union bug, you might have to take the concepts to a union printer.

New and worth noting...

*The Accidental American by Rinku Sen with Fekkak Mamdouh (Berrett-Koehler). Mamdouh is an immigrant from Morocco who worked at a restaurant atop the World Trade Center until it was destroyed on 9/11. A union steward before the tragedy, he is co-founder of a national network of restaurant workers and joined with his displaced co-workers to establish a cooperatively owned restaurant in New York. Sen skillfully integrates his personal story with a broader account of the debate over immigration in the U.S.
*The Way We Work edited by Peter Scheckner and M.C. Boyes (Vanderbilt University Press). A new anthology presents 42 short stories, poems, and personal accounts of experiences in today's American workplace. The jobs represented include office worker, police, firefighter, food processor, factory worker, stripper, construction worker, and many more. The overall impression these pieces leave is of an America where many people are working too many hours and finding it hard to maintain pride in their work as corporate employers treat them as disposable assets and put short-term profits above all else.
*When You Come Home by Nora Eisenberg (Curbstone). This novel deals with the devastating health effects of the first Gulf War on returning U.S. soldiers, generally avoiding polemics and drawing the reader into the lives of two young veterans and their lovers and families.
*Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar (Ibis Editions). This is the first English translation of a well known novel written in 1949 shortly after Israel was established. The author was a soldier in the army that evicted Palestinian families from their villages and burned their homes so they could not return. It describes his emotions and the reactions of other young soldiers as he comes to believe that the evictions are not morally right.
*Allensworth, The Freedom Colony by Alice C. Royal (Heyday). In 1908, a former slave established a town in California's Central Valley that soon attracted hundreds of African American families who established their own school, businesses, and local government. Today, some of the town has been restored as a state historic park. This attractive book combines photos and text to tell the townspeople's story in their own words.
*The Transitions Handbook by Rob Hopkins (Green Books/Chelsea Green). Some towns have begun to plan for climate change and a decline in the world's oil supply. This book defines the crisis, describes some of those towns' experiences, and suggests steps for starting a local transition initiative.
*Thrillcraft edited by George Wuerthner (Chelsea Green). The companies that profit from motorized recreational vehicles such as ATVs, dune buggies, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and jet skis have financed and organized political pressure groups to open up more public land and wild areas to be permanently sacrificed to that kind of activity. This large-format coffee table book uses big color photos and angry, well documented essays to argue for an uncompromising response.
*Beyond Bogota by Garry Leech (Beacon). An American journalist ventured into the most dangerous regions of Colombia to interview union organizers, poor coca farmers, guerrillas, and members of the military and provide a dramatic eyewitness account of the so-called "war on drugs" being waged there by the U.S. government.
*Obamanomics by John R. Talbott (Seven Stories). A former investment banker for Goldman Sachs and author of such books as the Coming Crash in the Housing Market explains why he supports what he calls Barack Obama's "bottom-up prosperity" alternative to trickle-down economics.

*August Evening ( This gorgeous independent feature about cross-generational relationships in a working class Mexican family in Texas has the authentic emotion and subtlety that is missing from most Hollywood blockbusters. Key roles are played powerfully by people from the area who never acted before.

*Johnny Cash Remixed (Compadre Records). Snoop Dogg and Johnny Cash's son, John, have co-produced a CD with 20 early Cash recordings remixed to add hip-hop era sound. Some tracks in particular benefit from the added energy and power.

WEB SITES is undergoing a redesign to make it more user friendly. Watch for an email announcing the changes. TheWorkSite provides free tools for effective grassroots organizing and communication, as well as back issues of World Wide Work. promotes the role of art and music in progressive campaigns. provides information and networking about campaigns to hold corporations accountable for their actions on a wide range of issues.

Tax-deductible contributions to the American Labor Education Center to support this bulletin are welcome and may be sent to 2721 Quail Run Rd., Talent, OR 97540. Thank you.

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