In Defense of Playing Defense

December 11, 2017
Yes, we do need a vision of future possibilities, but right now we live in a moment where the other side has so much power, we must apply ourselves to effective defense. I am growing weary of the deprecation of "just playing defense". Every sports fan knows that championship teams are built on sound defense.
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Not Just Flint: Problems Elsewhere

 Problems Elsewhere feature image
December 11, 2017
“This is a real tragedy, and it’s one that’s backed up by sound statistics and sound science that lays out how important of a calamity it is."
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Elections in Cuba: Like Nowhere Else!

 Like Nowhere Else! feature image
December 11, 2017
The 2017 elections to Cuba’s National Assembly was the first without Fidel Castro.
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Illegitimate Capital: State of No Legitimacy

 State of No Legitimacy feature image
December 11, 2017
It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump has declared that the US is recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For seasoned US-Israel watchers, it merely confirms what we have been saying for decades: Washington is no honest broker in negotiations to end the Palestine-Israel conflict.
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China's 19th Communist Party Congress

China's 19th Communist Party Congress feature image
December 11, 2017
China's communist party held its nineteenth congress which adopted Xi Jinping Thought and inspirational plans to build a modern socialist country by mid-century. Western capitalist press accounts were generally negative and focused on Xi's consolidation of power. However successful implementation of the program despite difficulties will have great bearing and positive impact on the global balance of forces between socialism and capitalism and prospects for...
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The Election Is Being Stolen

The Election Is Being Stolen feature image
December 10, 2017
A lot of the good English language coverage of Honduras has stemmed from the murder of renowned environmental rights activist Berta Cáceres in May of 2016. Her assassination reverberated around the world and led to a tremendous amount of education about not only the corruption within the Honduran government, but also the role of Honduran military and elites in allegedly committing her assassination.
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Daniel Ellsberg: Nuclear War Planning in USA

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December 10, 2017
Few know Ellsberg was also a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. His new book, published Tuesday, is titled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”
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GOP Tax Plan Is Igniting a Movement

GOP Tax Plan Is Igniting a Movement feature image
December 10, 2017
On December 4, prominent faith leaders announced plans for one of the largest waves of civil disobedience in U.S. history. Dubbed the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival,” this effort will mark the 50th anniversary of a similar initiative in 1968 that was undercut by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.
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Red Velvet

Red Velvet feature image
December 10, 2017
London’s Theatre Royal in the mid-1800s. Edmund Kean, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his age, collapses on stage while performing the lead in Othello. He is replaced by a young, black actor, Ira Aldridge—a first for the role on London’s West End. As a bill in Parliament promoting the abolition of slavery sends shock waves through the streets, how will London react to his performance?
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The Geometry Vanishes

The Geometry Vanishes feature image
December 10, 2017
Magicians have long taken advantage of obscure mathematical principles in creating interesting puzzles and illusions.
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Pages

Portside Culture

West Africa steams over jollof rice war

Anisa Subedar & Iqbal Ahmed
BBC News
Jollof rice is a dish hugely popular in countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon. Somehow, Mark Zuckerberg got into the fray about which country's recipe is best.

Outlander Introduces Slavery Into Its Narrative So Claire & Jamie Can Make Heart Eyes in Jamaica

Princess Weekes
The MarySue
The moral of the story is “don’t tell stories about these big topics if you can’t do it well.” And by “well,” I don’t mean create a post-racial utopia. I mean have the ability to give that story its own weight and importance beyond what it does for your two white leads. I mean the very least you can do is not make Jamie and Claire white saviors. At the very least. But that isn’t possible because they are the people this story is about.

Anonymous

Peter Neil Carroll
Chiron Review
"Oral history we call it: I want his past, he hopes/ for my future." So poet/historian Peter Neil Carroll traces the story of a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought the good fight, stuck to his principles to the end.

We Know About Bad Books, But Are There Bad Readers, Too?

Merve Emre
Boston Review
The author queries the existence of bad readers, linking causes not to illiteracy or injuries of class or the diffusion of mass culture, but to a Cold War literary trend sporting "an abundance of paraliterary works," such as memoirs, diaries, biographies, diplomatic studies, and feature reports as primers for engaging with literary texts as seemingly historically accurate yet stressing outcomes and expectations consonant with systemic social ends.

Acting Natural

J. Hoberman
The New York Review of Books
The camera, just by its presence, altered human behavior. The motion picture camera changed the nature of acting. Among other things, it created that apparent oxymoron, the non-actor, the subject of an unusually rich and stimulating series now at the Film Society of Lincoln Center entitled "The Non-Actor".

How Food Packaging Claims Can Fool You

Sally Wadyka
Consumer Reports
Food manufacturers use language to magnify the desirability of a product and can lead you to believe it’s something to make you healthier—even though what’s inside that box may not be all that good for you.

Portside Labor

Leaving the Fortresses: Between Class Internationalism and Nativist Social Democracy

Gareth Dale
Viewpoint Magazine
The left often falls victim to the myth that globalization and migration pose big threats to jobs and wages. This is a mistake. International migration is high, but not significantly so. And the idea that labor market competition can be overcome by raising borders, defending the “nation,” and excluding immigrants is a Sozialismus der dummen Kerle [a socialism of chumps, of numpties].

Where to Begin? Lessons from the Fight for $15 Beyond North America

Jonathan Rosenblum Interviewed By Yuri Lobunov
Socialist Project
Jonathan Rosenblum lives in Seattle, Washington, and is a member of UAW 1981/National Writers Union. He is the author of Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement (Beacon Press, 2017). More about him can be found at jonathanrosenblum.org. The interview was counducted by Yuri Lobunov, editor-in-chief of socialistalternative.ru, where this interview was published in Russian.

#MeToo Solidarity

Lane Windham
Working-Class Perspectives
Many women aren’t surprised by the accusations that dominate news headlines. What’s new is that we are openly recognizing and naming the hidden dangers that women have long navigated at work wordlessly and alone. The question is whether women will be able to turn their solidarity into an inclusive movement that can transform the workplace.

Fordham Adjuncts, Instructors Vote Union Yes

The Catholic Labor Network
The Catholic Labor Network
In an election concluded in November, contingent faculty at Fordham University have voted overwhelmingly to form a union and bargain collectively.

As The Gig Economy Grows, Advocates Raise Concerns About Workers' Safety

Samantha Raphelson
Here & Now, NPR
"Workers who work in the gig economy are making money but missing out on other standard benefits of having jobs: health care primarily but also paid sick leave and worker's compensation," says Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. "It's essentially the Tinder economy. When a temp worker is done with his or her shift, the boss swipes left and claims to have no further obligation."

A Plan To Win The Socialism Sweden Nearly Achieved

Peter Gowan
People's Policy Project
The status quo is both undemocratic and morally repugnant. The only long-term alternative is to take control of our economy — and the moral imperative is to do so as soon as possible. Here is a plan to do that.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on December 8, 2017

Former President Barack Obama urged voters this week to stay engaged in democracy, warning that complacency was responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany.

 

Posted by Portside on December 8, 2017

Preacher Celebrates his 69th birthday at the Granite Rail in Quincy MA (2011)!

 

Posted by Portside on December 8, 2017

Russian cyber experts were arrested for treason a year ago because they helped the U.S. figure out who was responsible for the DNC hack.

Posted by Portside on December 8, 2017

Republican women are divided on Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race following sexual abuse allegations against Moore.

Posted by Portside on December 8, 2017

Washington Post reporters detail how they broke the story that multiple women accused Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore of pursuing, dating, or sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers.

Posted by Portside on December 1, 2017

Rachel Maddow looks at the warnings Donald Trump received about Mike Flynn and the inexplicable way Trump held Flynn in favor even after he left office.

Posted by Portside on December 1, 2017

Struggling to survive, two families work the same land in the Mississippi Delta but live worlds apart. Directed by Dee Rees, Mudbound | A Netflix film, now streaming on Netflix.