>Howard Zinn — You Can’t Be Neutral

>For Memorial Day 2008, we went shopping. We wandered up and down the dusty paths at the local flea market looking at antique bottles and bookcases, homemade knick-knacks, and Amish rugs. We neither bought nor sold.

Then we came home and finished watching a documentary about Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on Moving Train. Interviews with Zinn are interlaced with archival footage, commentary from his colleagues, and readings from his various books by Matt Damon. While documentaries like The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Why We Fight are more engaging (entertaining? up tempo?), this one is still enlightening and well worth watching.

The dialogue and readings are full of excellent quotes, and I’ll finish this post with the one Matt reads as the film comes to and end:

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

“And if we do act in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents. And to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

>Wal-Mart Workers Win $62 Million (AP)

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For those who saw Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, today’s headline is especially encouraging–Wal-Mart Workers Win $62 Million (AP) for working off the clock.

This decision (which only results in roughly $500 per person in the class-action lawsuit) follows others in California and Colorado.

>Agricultural Workforce in Colorado

>Tonight I listened to Jim Lehrer discuss the lack of agricultural workers here in Colorado. Some farmers only planted half of their fields because they anticipated a 50% reduction in labor. Others went as far as to not plant in Colorado.

Farmers who did plant are facing labor shortages despite advertising and recruiting in local job markets. How are they filling these gaps? Inmates.

Maybe we’ll start to wake-up to the need for foreign workers. Maybe we’ll even learn to give a little more respect. And remuneration.

Related Articles: The Denver Post, IndyStar, High Plains Journal.