29 March 2006

Undocumented? (2)

So, here are more of the no longer undocumented and their supporters from Los Angeles last Sunday. What happens to the economy if these folks or even some significant portion of them are magically transported to theeir homelands? What happens to their homelands? What of the right wing love of "free" markets? Seems secure borders trump that commitment every time.

A plausible scheme of legalization would make our own labor markets (which after all presuppose considerable levels of equality) work in the attractive ways economists suggest they might. It also would help set some threshold against which unionization (of both immigrants and native born workers) might operate more effectively. Hence the AFL-CIO simply is wrong on this one, Change to Win is right.

28 March 2006


On March 10th a march for immigration rights drew what police estimated was more than 100,000 people in Chicago. In Los Angeles on this past Sunday March 26th police estimated five times that many protested moves by the right wing in Congress to further make it a Federal felony to bein the country illegally. Smaller, but still substantial crowds (ranging from 10,000-50,000) have turned out to protest in cities such as Phoenix, Denver and Milwaukee.

You can read about the marches here and the draconian legislation that has passed the US House here. The picture at left is of the Chicago march. I have seen similar ones of the Los Angeles protest. It commonly is said that many of the marchers are here illegally. That may be so, but pictures like this one insure that they are no longer undocumented.

22 March 2006

On The Uses and the Uses of Photography

"Photography still connives in the fabrication of dictators'
absolute power, but it will also play a role in dismantling
that power, if only because revealing images can be
disseminated via the internet in less time than it takes
the authorities to suppress them."
~ Germaine Greer, "Illusions of Grandeur"


18 March 2006

Death and Grief trailing in the wake of lies and hypocrisy.

Photojournalist Todd Heisler captures this tragedy. Here is a sample from his series "Final Salute" showing a Marine Honor Guard loading the flag-draped coffin of an Iraq war casulty as cargo onto what, judging by the markings, I suspect is an American Airlines jet as the other passengers look on.

Thanks to Joerg Colberg at Conscientious for bringing this to my attention.

17 March 2006

Plugging Gomma 2

I recieved the following announcement (which I have rearranged slightly) from Alessia Bassani who is Co-Editor at Gomma Magazine . This is a very nice publication.

Gomma Issue 2 is out. Gomma is a unique photographic magazine published independently and without advertising. Gomma is daring, uncompromising and inspiring. It showcases both renowned photographers and promising and emerging talents. Daido Moriyama, Stephen Gill, Antoine d'Agata, Michelle Sank, Timothy Fadek and Ami Vitale are just a few of the 26 photographers featured in issue 2.


15 March 2006

Exhibition: Year Four, Day One - Photos from the War in Iraq

Late this afternoon I received this e-vite to the opening of this exhibition - "Year Four, Day One" - which is being held this evening. Unfortunately, I cannot attend. New York is a much bigger state than many people realize. Anyhow, if I went, who else would sit and listen to my 13 year old son Jeff practice his trumpet? So while I do that I can call the exhibition to your attention.

The exhibition is hung at The Photographic Gallery at 252 Front Street in lower Manhattan (next to the Fulton Fish Market). The opening is set to coincide with the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. It includes work by four photographers: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (Iraq), Rita Leistner (Canada), Thorne Anderson (USA) and Kael Alford (USA). Photos are selected from their joint book, "Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq" which I posted about here last November. The work by these photographers is terrific and only becomes more forceful over time as the administration pursues its bloody and deceitful and futile policy in Iraq. Go if you can. The exhibition is scheduled to run from 18 March through 30 April.


13 March 2006

Question: Should sex outside of marriage be a capital offense?

Apparently many on the right-wing in the US think so. This is the conclusion I draw from an essaay by journalist Michael Specter ("Political Science: The Bush Administration's War on the Laboratory") in the March 13th issue of The New Yorker. For an interview with Specter on the topic go here. What is the basis for my conclusion? Human papillomavirus (HPV), pictured here, is sexually tranismitted and not only causes gential warts but some strains are known to cause cervical cancer. Specter reports that there now is under review at the FDA a vaccine that promises to prevent transmission of the virus. The administration and its right-wing political-theological "base" oppose making vaccination against HPV mandatory (like vaccinations for other common contageous diseases such as measles). The reason the right is opposed to mandatory vaccination? Immunization will encourage young, unmarried girls to have sex! Let's leave aside the specious claim of moral hazard here. Let's also put aside the obvious fiscal question - would immunization be more cost effecttive that treating the STD and its consequences? Let's even set aside the ethically repugnant distributive implications of allowing the wealthy and well-informed among us to immunize our children against this risk while allowing the children of the poor and less informed to remain exposed. Let's instead ask what this tells us about the right in the US. Failure to immunize children against HPV will help keep the equation of sex and death a self-fullfilling prophecy. It seems simple - the American right wing would rather make itself right than prevent cancer.

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08 March 2006

Gordon Parks (1912-2006)

Listening to npr on my drive to work this morning I learned that Gordon Parks died yesterday at age 93. As a photographer, Parks is maybe most famous for this 1942 portrait of Ella Watson taken as part of a project for an, initially at least, very reluctant FSA.

Watson was at the time a cleaning woman in the building that housed the FSA offices in Washington. Parks, of course, went on to have a distinguished photographic career. And this was merely the begininng for a man who also became an accomplished film director (e..g., the original Shaft) , fiction writer and composer.


06 March 2006

Just when you thought ...

... that images had no power to stir up anything whatsoever, we get the tempset surrounding the video tape that AP released showing W being warned in a briefing by various FEMA folks that Katrina posed a serious threat to the Gulf Coast. Remember his denials after the fact that anyone might ever have anticipated the levees would breach? The video establishes (how, because seeing is believing?) that not only did someone anticipate that eventuality, but that they actually expressed their apprehensions to W. Everyone "knew" that Bush knew of the possibilities in advance. But the video seems to have riled people up a bit nonetheless. How does one explain that?