Tidbits - December 4, 2014

Reader Comments- Race inequality...by the Numbers; Darren Wilson Acquittal; Workers and Students Leave Jobs, Classes in Nationwide Walkout for Ferguson; Thanksgiving; Univ of Virginia Finally Confronts Its Rape Problem; Madison Teachers Recertify Union; Walmart Black Friday Protests; Price of 13-Year War on Terror; Chile; Israel's Jewish State Bill; 2014 and Future Elections; ALEC Blueprint for 2015; Wanted: A Challenge to Clinton; Chicago's Mayoral Race (correction)
December 4, 2014
Tidbits - Reader Comments - December 4, 2014
Portside

 

Re: Race inequality between US Whites and African-Americans by the Numbers (Again)

Study the numbers and be more knowledgeable and become much more enabled to counter all the "urban myths" about racial and social inequalities and the color of American poverty.

Larry Aaronson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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This is an excellent article, as far as it goes. I think it would be better if Prof. Cole were to include wealth by education, as well as unemployment and income by education, in his presentation. Please take a look at http://www.demos.org/blog/9/23/14/white-high-school-dropouts-have-more-w....

(This was my comment to that article: "Bingo. I think this is the real legacy of slavery and slavery-by-another-name and Jim Crow. In a capitalist society, if you don't have capital it's very hard to "get ahead" no matter how hard you work and no matter how much education you get. Like wealth, poverty is inherited, down through the generations.")

Ted Cloak

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You can't help but see color when all our black young men are getting killed by the police, have a much harder time getting a job and the list goes on. I would love to look at it as one race but that's not how the world view black and white

Lynn Westry
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: When Racism Wears a Badge

There is an epidemic of police shooting unarmed African Americans, and it is intensifying. In Utah, police are responsible for a shocking 15 percent of all homicides in the state. The Ferguson grand jury decision to not indict Darren Wilson will give cover to police across the country to continue killing unarmed African Americans--unless we take the guns out of their hands.

Amy Gottlieb
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Reader Responses to Acquittal of Darren Wilson - Tidbits - Nov. 27, 2014

Ms. Merida of Colorado asked where is the statement of condemnation of the Grand Jury in Ferguson, MO from AFT or NEA? I do not know about NEA, but AFT and CFT have come out with statement.

If you go to the CFT President's (Joshua Peschalt) blog on the CFT website, he has very strong statement of condemnation of the decision not to indict but also the failure of racial justice in US society at all levels. Randi Weingarten's statement for AFT, makes a similar but a weaker condemnation, due her echoing the condemnation of violence on the part of demonstrators. This sounds like mainstream media's demonization of protest when it's people of color.

Just thought you all would like to know.

Mel Pritchard, History Instructor, West Valley College member of the AFT/CFT Organizing Committee of the West Valley-Mission Community College District

Postscript: We just affiliated our independent union to create a new local for AFT/CFT


Re: Making Sense of Darren Wilson's Story

That at least one member of the St. Louis County grand jury itself is apparently "under protection" by the same local prosecutor seems like yet another reason calling for an independent prosecutor and actual trial(s) in a court of law, perhaps including federally charging the DA with obstruction of justice. Will it happen? I honestly am not optimistic, but I find the manner in which this proceeding offensive and rightly an embarrassment to America and anyone anywhere who genuinely supports the rule of law.

Tom Rue
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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If Mike Brown actually was guilty of stealing wouldn't confronting the cops be the last thing a "criminal" does? Let's be logical- if you steal you do what? Run! This was a set up. There was no crime previous the cops crime.

Heather Wright
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I don't know if he was lying or not, but this clearly should've gone to trial. In a case this volatile and complex, a grand jury should not have the final say.

Patrick L. Courts
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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trying to parse his language, he says his pistol misfired? Do I get this right? And he pulled the trigger again and it clicked? Am I getting this right? Then he pulls the trigger AGAIN and it fires? Well, he had a semi auto pistol. What he describes is impossible. It simply does not work that way. Or maybe I'm misreading this punk....

Nick Velvet
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Police Violence Is Not Inevitable

This is a very hopeful report.  Thank you.

Clare Rosenfeld

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Very informative. Who knew about this? Did you know when you moved there?

Frank Emspak

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An example of how enlightened police officers can change a city where I never wanted to stop for any reason. I have lived here most of my life and did not know how it has changed.

Ethel Kirk
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: NLG Stands with People of Ferguson

The National Lawyers Guild was responsible for changing the rules about taking a loyalty oath to get a Passport.

Penelope Foran
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: LOOK: Workers And Students Leave Jobs And Classes To Participate In Nationwide Walkout For Ferguson

You could also catch one of the rotating photos on the homepage at http://www.jsums.edu/

Jan Hillegas

Re: The Other America - A Riot is the Language of the Unheard

This is a great speech.  I particularly like the passage:

on some positions cowardice ask the question is it safe? Expediency asks the question is it politics? Vanity asks the question is it popular? The conscience asks the question is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politics nor popular but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.

Perhaps I'll set it to music, as part of our "Songs of Conscience" next year. But Dear Portside, please take a good look at the transcription, which contains quite a few errors, I think.  "succor" not "sucker"?  "It's not to know" not "Ask not to know"? etc.

Thanks

Leonard J. Lehrman

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A timely message from a speech made over 46 years ago. When you have a few minutes, please read it. Are conditions that much different today?

Margaret Shelleda
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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The words of Rev. Dr. King ring as true as ever and constitute as eloquent a repudiation of people who are quick to blame the victims of an unjust society when they lose their tempers but slow to oppose the injustice of the society itself. (Note that the transcription of his speech linked to here has some obvious glitches, but it's well worth reading.)

Daniel Rosenblum
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Thanksgiving 2014 - Reality of History and Today's Meal

Was Squanto the first Ferguson?

Richard Levins

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What a great day to read Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's latest book "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" to strengthen our on-going work for REAL justice and peace.

Leanna Noble

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Sharing thanks today to all of you who do so much to share the real stories and struggles of our people everywhere. To those who come here to FB and other social media to read and write the realities which the one-per enters and their "major media" and "education reformers" do so much to keep from us, or to distort into untruths. To the bloggers, the activists, the Zinn Education Project and Portside and activists and just-plain-people who build those connections among us which will make it possible for us to remake this world. Here's an example. Thank you, all.

Kipp Dawson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Stop Propagating/Exploiting the Myth of Thanksgiving to Make Points About Immigration Today!

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of many US Americans; unlike the rather boring or divisive holidays that honor Columbus, http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2014/10/change-the-columbus-hol... Presidents, Martin Luther King, Jr., Independence, veterans and war, the birth of a religion, and a new year, Thanksgiving is centered on sharing food with family and friends. Individuals and families travel long distances at great expense to be with one another. It might be surprising to learn that the cherished tradition of Thanksgiving is, in fact, the most nationalist of all holidays because it narrates the national origin myth. The traditional meal, as we know, consists of the foods cultivated by Indigenous farmers-corn, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and turkey.

The US origin story of a covenant with God goes back to the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony. It is named for the ship that carried the hundred or so passengers, half of them religious dissidents, to what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in November 1620. This compact marked the beginning of settler democracy, which from its inception sought the elimination of the Indigenous. Behind the black clothed and solemn "Pilgrims," was a corporation of shareholders, the Virginia Company, accompanied by armed and seasoned mercenaries on a colonizing project ordered by the English King James. If any local Natives were present at a colonizers' celebratory meal, they were surely there as servants, and the foods were confiscated, not offered as a gift.

"Thanksgiving" became a named holiday during the Civil War, but neither Pilgrims, nor Indians, nor food, nor the Mayflower-all essential to today's celebration-were mentioned in Lincoln's 1863 proclamation.

see more - The Myth of Thanksgiving by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

November 2014
Beacon Broadside

[Professor Dunbar-Ortiz has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, and is author or editor of seven books including the recently published An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States.]

Re: The University of Virginia Finally Confronts Its Rape Problem

this was horrible and unfortunately the norm...they need to set up something outside of the college system...

Jason Haldeman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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It's still a man's world ... the good ol'boys club is alive and well .... women and young girls need to be trained in the art of self-defense.. .. understand that there are predators who will always see them as prey and nothing more .... we are seriously neglecting the education of young women and girls ...

Julie Cochran
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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All of these young women should do a "Bill Cosby" on the UVA, them sue the crap out of the administrators who chose to cover up these horrendous crimes. The Catholic Church, the NFL, the military... When will this misogyny end?

We are seriously neglecting the education of young boys, teaching them the difference between right and wrong and the consequences for immoral/illegal and outrageous behavior!

Monroe Mishawaka
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Madison Teachers Vote Overwhelmingly To Recertify Their Labor Union
(posting on Portside Labor)

That tactic might even make the union stronger!

Lucila Conde
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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This is so great Governor Walker didn't squelch this union! Good going guys!

Beverly Burk
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Blessings to all who are members of unions. Kudos to the Madison teachers!

Karen Furr
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Good, but still don't understand why walker won, he didn't deserve to....

Candida Riley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Some Low-Paid Workers Will Not Have a Happy Thanksgiving
(posting on Portside Labor)

Retail workers know what they're getting into when they apply...

Jim Finnen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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People accept rotten, poverty-waged jobs because there are no other jobs available to them, and they desperately need jobs. It's better than starving.

"Know what they're getting into"? As if we all have good options to choose from. (Privilege never recognizes itself. Arrogance neither.)

Diane Laison
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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some of these stores being open on thanksgiving is a recent decision. So--anyone working at the stores for more than a year or two "Most certainly DID NOT know what they were getting into"!

David Oldham
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
 

Re: Walmart Black Friday Protests Hit Major Cities With Calls for '$15 and Full Time'

We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.......employees standing up for their rights as working human beings

Jb Christensen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Organize! Collective bargaining still counts!

Joyce Thatcher
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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These workers will eventually win their struggle, so let's do everything we can to help them in solidarity!

Ken Luckhardt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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As long as people are afraid to lose their jobs, walmart won't give in. A complete nationwide strike will do the trick. Nobody work.

L S Charles
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Staggering Price of the 13-Year War on Terror

War on ANYTHING is useless.

Chris Henricks
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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We're the ones paying the price.

Phil Valenti
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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And we are all another day older and deeper, deeper, deeper in debt.

Phyllis Mandel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Fossil-fueled Republicanism

This interesting article is also chilling. The Republican approach sounds like something out of Alice in Wonderland. They are so off the beam. They have an ally in PM Stephen Harper in Canada, who shares the same views, uses the same money to get elected, and endorses and passes the same policies. North America is not in good hands. The sooner most voters realize it the better. Meanwhile the rest of us will be going through very turbulent weather. It should be stated as well that rich Republicans like rich Tories assume that as climate change wreaks havoc on the world, they will be protected by their wealth. Therein lies their escapism from reality!

Laurel MacDowell

Re: Chile's Journey Towards A Constituent Assembly

The main points of the article on Chile's Constituent Assembly (Portside 24 November)are correct, but some important details were not included.  Because of the present balance of political and parliamentary forces, it does seem unlikely that a Constituent Assembly will be held to change the constitution under this government.  That does not mean that progress will not be made.

After intense negotiations, there is an agreement between the 'New Majority' government coalition and two of the right-wing parties to end the binominal voting system and move to a 'moderated properional' one.  Recent questioning of the agreement threaten to delay or even block it, but there are real hopes of its approval early next year.  A parliament elected under this system should make progressive constitutional changes, even a Constituent Assembly, more likely.

All the pressure from the people, the AC campaign etc. for other progressive changes to the constitution are helping but these probably will be limited - as the article points out, the right-wing Christian Democrats still have much power within the governing coalition.

Before there is enough pressure to call a Constituent Assembly, and for that Assembly to draft a really democratic constitution, I believe that popular organizations, particularly trade unions, would have to become stronger.  The damage done by 17 years of dictatorship is proving slow to mend.  Another reform promised by the Bachelet 2.0 government is a labor reform, which could help strengthen trade unions.  This need for stronger popular organizations, before a really democratic constitution could be guaranteed, lies behind the Communist Party's reluctance to put its weight behind the AC campaign at the moment.  There are now 7 Communist deputies in Congress, and they are working within the New Majority coalition to obtain the best reforms possible at the moment.

Dan Morgan, Chile

Re: Israel's Jewish State Bill: Assessing the Wider Impact

Jonathan Cook at his best! His analysis of the new Israeli State Bill, Israel's latest attempt to enhance its discriminatory, apartheid, society.

John Roberts
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Thank you for this article. It breaks my heart. When I was a socialworkerdancetherapist in Israel in the 70's, I met good Arab nurses, care takers, keeping the mental hospitals and nursing homes running. Some were heads of nurse departments. They lived in villages in the Emik and the Gallili, in beautiful homes which the community helped each other build. Back in '48 they had welcomed the Israeli statehood, happy with indoor plumbing and public schools. They quickly became fluent in Hebrew and integrated into the new country while continuing to practice their religion, without problems. Some had doctorates in agriculture and other high degrees, teaching and  working along side everybody else. So what is going to happen to them now?  

Judith Ackerman

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The State of Israel's policies are looking more & more like Nuremberg Laws of 1935. What a disgrace.

Lauren Russell-Pank
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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This is disgusting. Perfect example of a right-wing - fundamentalist take-over of a government. ..watch out U.S. you're on your way to this horrid new fascism as well. Did I say DISGUSTING? ...

Sarah Bishop Valentine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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How ironic! Jewish leadership acting like fascists! The once oppressed are now the oppressors. U.S. tax dollars at work. Very sad.

James M Grose
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Hard to "like" something so divisive.

Pamela Altmeyer Alvey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I would suggest that it is a tactical error to lay this at the feet of Netanyahu. This is a fundamental problem of Zionism. How can any decent leader even rise up in a country governed by a racist, colonialist ideology? How can any government based on such an ideology ever behave with fairness and justice for all? Zionism is the problem, and it simply must end. A single, secular, democratic state with equal rights for all is the only just solution.

Jenny Kastner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Please, tell me how israel is not an apartheid state.

Stefanie Levi
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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700 members of the faculty in Israeli universities and colleges (15% of the total) have signed a petition against the "Israel Jewish State Bill." Contra Jonathan Cook, this bill was not passed, was not even submitted to the Knesset, was not even formulated in a final form yet. All that has happened was that a draft of the bill was approved by the cabinet.

The text of petition and a website that has the names of those who signed will be sent to you if you are interested.

Prof. Yoav Peled
Tel Aviv, Israel

2014 and Future Elections

Keep me up to date. I am interested in organizing issues that involve what I will call pre-party organizing. That is raising money for state ballot initiatives that will make it possible foe an alternative party to qualify for the ballot, run candidates and get elected. Two obvious initiatives to work on are proportional representation (where if a party get 50% of the vote it gets 50% of the seats and if a party or independent candidate get 10% of the vote it gets 10% of the seats. That protects the majority and gives voice and representation to minorities) and clean money type of public funding dispersed equally among all ballot qualified parties and candidates. Those two reforms would blow the system wide open. So, why doesn't the left work on a system that allows them to create a national alternative party that starts off winning elections.

CT Weber
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Buoyed by Election Results, ALEC Lays Blueprint for 2015

Alicelaw.org is an incredible progressive portal with over 1000 bills and laws including the Vermont Green Mountain Health law

Marc Batko
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Here is a link to an article examining ALEC bills on public education and teachers.

Ellen Dannin

Re: Wanted: A Challenge to Clinton

Bernie and Elizabeth

Kenneth Little
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Want war with Iran? Vote for Hillary, Wall Street and Netanyahu will thank you.

Andrea Houtman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I agree that a serious primary challenge can push Clinton to the center-left. What it will hopefully do is to replace the party's heir apparent (again) with a more progressive candidate. The real question is: will the progressive or pushed centrist remain steadfast? The only way for that to happen is for progressive movements to continue pressurizing and mobilizing after the ballot box day has passed.

Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie


Re: The CIAs Student-Activism Phase

Once the realities of the Vietnam War were clear the level of recruits available to the CIA must have dropped even further.

John Talbutt

Re: Can Chuy beat Rahm in the Race for Mayor?

The Reader does not authorize reposting of material that it publishes. They have requested that Portside take this post down.  Portside has complied with their request, in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Portside readers can view the original post on The Chicago Reader website.

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December 4, 2014