Tidbits - July 7, 2016 - Reader Comments: Bernie and What Next; Indigenous Peoples; Hawaii; Dominican Republic; Tair Kaminer; Israel; Elie Wiesel; Socialism; Resources; Announcement; and more...

Reader Comments: Bernie, Endorse?, What Next?; Dominican Republic; Indigenous Peoples in US; Hawaii; Tair Kaminer - Israeli Political Prisoner - Inspiring People Worldwide; Elie Wiesel - Responses to Max Blumenthal; Austrian Election Update; On Socialism; on the IWW; Angry response to post about Viet Thanh Nguyen; Resources: The Invention of the White Race; Mining and Resistance in Dinétah; Announcement: From Sanders to the Grassroots: National Student Conference
July 7, 2016
Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - July 7, 2016
Portside

 

 
Resources:
 
Announcements:
 
 
 
 
Here is the Low Down on the major differences in the on-going negotiations between Clinton's and Sanders' aides over the final positions in the DNC's Party Platform as reported in Portside.
 
Larry Aaronson
 
     ====
 
While HRC's people wish we would just give up and go away, then vote with them for HRC! I think that is a lot to ask of progressive minded people!
 
William Proctor
 
 
 
 
 
Coming from The Nation magazine, the country's oldest consecutively published liberal-left publication. Gives us all something to think about, especially after what happened in Congress today. The action of those who are elected to represent all the people, or at least all Democrats was despicable. Their action was no way to build unity against Trump.
 
Jay Schaffner
 
     ====
 
 
 
 
     ====
 
I say, when he is good and ready to-not before.  Millions of us expect him to stay the course.  Besides, one never knows what might happen between now and the convention for the Democrats.  As that sage fellow said years ago:  "It is not over until its over!!"
 
Joe Grogan
 
     ====
 
When should Bernie endorse Hillary?  I hope never!  Hillary has gotten where she is by exaggerating her own sagacity and diminishing that of her opponents.  With the help of Wall Street money and the most undemocratic and hawkish elements in her party - even some major Republican figures are endorsing her. She may be worse than Donald.  As Green Party candidate Jill Stein has said, what people are afraid Trump may do, Clinton has actually done.
 
Bernie extracting concessions?  What a laugh!  That the Democratic Party will voluntarily adopt anything but a shadow of the Sanders program is a pipe dream, like the "public option" that was dangled before progressives to quiet them about the ACA.  Bernie can endorse her if he really chooses, but the movement is bigger than he is. The rank and file in the Sanders campaign will part company with him on this if he does.  They will not be quieted by artful triangulation from the party elite.
 
The trust and judgment deficits of both Clinton and Trump affect not only US citizens, but people (including leaders) around the world.  Clinton's neocon policies in particular could lead to unfortunate international consequences.  We need to build bridges, not bomb them.
 
Bernie has already endorsed a candidate other than Hillary. Himself.  He began his candidacy well after Clinton began hers. Why endorse somebody else just because Clinton supporters want him to?
 
Reports of the death of the Sanders campaign are greatly exaggerated.  Fate and party rules have it that the choice of Democratic Paladin is now in the hands of the superdelegates.
 
Bernie has beaten Donald by a larger margin than Hillary in every major poll.  If the superdelegates do not swing over to Bernie in Philadelphia, they will have only themselves to blame for the election of Donald Trump in November.  This situation is precisely the rationale envisioned by the creation of superdelegates - to avert disaster when an unworthy person takes the helm through falsification and chicanery.   Sticking with Hillary at this point may be political suicide, just when we need the Democratic Party most.
 
Our country cannot afford four years or more under either presumptive "major candidate".  Presumption is the right word for both of them, all right!
 
Dave Ecklein
 
 
 
 
 
Does Portside accept comments from readers?  I don't know, but I want to give it a try.
 
As a Sanders supporter and a member of Democratic Socialists of America, I'm glad to see the article:  "What Comes After the Sanders Campaign? -- Three Views," and I have a lot of respect for all 3 contributors to it.
 
Yet I have to wonder:  why are American socialists -- including myself, I have to admit -- so frigging long-winded?  As a DSA member of some years, I'm used to arguing with Joe Schwartz, and I think I probably prefer the approaches that Mark Solomon usually takes to socialist politics.  But Mark Solomon's piece looks as if it will take weeks to read, and it starts not with the immediate challenges raised by the Sanders campaign, but with a LONG analysis of exactly where we are at this point in history.  Couldn't this have been rewritten to be snappier, livelier, and easier to read?  Ditto with regard to Wilson's piece, although to a lesser extent.  Not to damn any of these three writers - but please, try to write so your stuff is more readable for the masses!
 
Andy Feeney
 
     ====
 
meant to say that my summer issue Democratic Left piece (and postscript) on need for post-Sanders movement to work consciously to expand its racial base and take more of a coalition form around racial justice work got 1.5K likes on Portside, alongside 2 other "where does Sanders movement" go essays...share if you like.
 
Joseph M. Schwartz
 
 
 
 
 
Could you forward this to author of the article.
 
I was really impressed with this article. However I think it stops short of one important issue - a consideration of how things got to be this way. In a way, the article seems to be blaming the victims - us. The system as described exists because it preserves the status quo and benefits the capitalists. Over the many decades (and probably centuries) our thinking and doing has been shaped by a culture intent on its self perpetuation. The rich can afford to hire the best minds and best research to find better and better ways to shape our culture and our minds. I suggest involving the minds of Anthropologists to help dig out the methods for shaping and control. There are probably several but one comes to mind - David Graeber who I understand was involved in "Occupy Movement". He wrote Debt: The First 5,000 Years among others.  I have never met him but he might be a good place to start.
 
Claire O'Connor
 
 
 
 
 
In addition to the century since the occupation of the Dominican Republic, there is the figure, Uranio Gilbert (largely forgotten) who fought a guerrilla war against the US occupation. He escaped capture. Gilbert went to Central America. He fought with Augusto Sandino and Farabundo Marti against US backed forces in Nicaragua and El Salvador. He survived and returned to the Dominican Republic to be an elder in the fight against US Marines in 1965, when Dominicans tried to bring back democracy against another US invasion.
 
Just thought people would like to know about Gilbert. There is a famous picture in a Spanish language biography of Farabundo Marti that has a picture of Gilbert, Marti and Sandino together. A splendid example of Dominican internationalism, like Gregorio Luperon, Maximo Gomez, and Uranio Gilbert.
 
Melvin Hugo Carlos Pritchard, 
History Instructor, West Valley College, Saratoga, CA
Chief Steward, ACE/AFT Local 6554  
 
 
 
 
 
Especially true for LEONARD PELTIER !!!!
 
Aaron Libson
 
     ====
 
"The Anglo-American settlers' violent break from Britain, from 1775 to 1783, paralleled a decade of their search and destroy annihilation of Delaware, Cherokee, Muskogee, Seneca, Mohawk, Shawnee, Miami and other nations' villages and fields, slaughtering the residents without distinction of age or gender and overrunning the boundaries of the 13 colonies into unceded Native American territories.
 
July 4 symbolizes the beginning of the "Indian wars" and "westward movement" that continued across the continent for another century of unrelenting U.S. wars of conquest. That was the goal of independence for both the seasoned killers of the so-called "revolutionary army" and the militias using extreme violence against Indigenous noncombatants to subjugate and expel."
 
Kalama O Ka Aina
Facebook posting to the group Aha Aloha 'Aina
 
     ====
 
With deep sorrow for native North American brothers and sisters, I read this. If not for the wisdom of Liliuokalani we maoli would have had a similar story. Long live the admiration for and memory of our Queen!
 
Isaac Harp - Paka
 
     ====
 
Our King new about the First Nation's land being raided. It's no doubt that he thought of us to be protected through the Great Mahele issue.
 
M Ewalani Manuel-Coats
 
 
 
 
 
"According to data compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there's not a state or county in the country where the average price of housing is affordable to a person working full-time for minimum wage."
 
 
 
 
 
 
Is there an address we can all individually write to her to tell her how wonderful she is?  Can someone also compose a petition we can sign letting the IDF know how we feel about this? 
 
Judith Ackerman
 
     ====
 
Moderator's Note:
 
Letters to Tair Kaminer can be addressed to her, in care of her grandfather, Reuven Kaminer.
 
Reuven Kaminer
Metsulot Yam 7
Givatayim 5348804
Israel
 
     ====
 
Tair Kaminer and the Conscientious Objection Movement in Israel
 
Not sure if you got this press release and lawyers' letter from another source, but just in case you didn't, thought this would be of interest.
 
Joanie Calem
Sing Along
Folk Music for All
 
     ====
 
Excellent article on Tair Kaminer in the Forward. Please distribute far and wide!
 
 
 
 
Reuven Kaminer
 
 
 
 
July 2, 2016
 
 
In anticipation of the decision of the IDF Conscience Committee regarding Tair Kaminer's request:
 
Dozens of Senior Legal Experts In An Urgent Appeal to the Chief Military Advocate: "Tair Kaminer's imprisonment is an unacceptable policy."
 
Amongst the signatories: Prof. Barak Medina, Prof. Yuval Shany, Prof. Mota Kremnitzer, Prof. Yuval Elbashan, Prof. Orna Ben Naftali, and Dr. Ilan Saban.
 
Dozens of lecturers from the academic and clinical faculties of Israeli law schools sent an urgent letter on Friday, July 1, 2016, to the chief military advocate, in which they argued that Tair Kaminer's imprisonment of 170 cumulative days is not proportionate. The letter was sent immediately following Kaminer's meeting with the IDF Conscience Committee, in pursuit of her request to receive an exemption to regular army service on the grounds of being a conscientious objector and to do alternative civil service, and in anticipation of a decision in her case.
 
In their letter, the legal experts wrote:
 
"An individual's refusal to serve in the IDF, because s/he believes that serving in the army would force him/her to act in such a way that would deeply compromise his/her basic concepts of morality, is the realization of a person's right to the freedom to follow their own conscience. Punishing this person damages this basic right, and is permissible only if this punishment meets the criteria of proportionality. There is a distinction between refusal to serve in the IDF because one's definition of morality opposes all use of force (pacifism), and refusing because one's moral stance prevents one from serving because of a certain government policy. This can be expressed as refusal to serve, and is differentiated from the mere recognition that one has the right to the freedom to follow their own conscience... In this light, we are of the opinion that the case of Tair Kaminer is an example of an inappropriate policy."
 
Read full text here
 
 
 
 
 
Good reporting.
 
Neal Freedman
 
 
 
 
 
Unspeakable describes your "perspective!"
 
Mike Burst
 
     ====
 
Congratulations. Excellent bit of work. Clear-headed, sharp-eyed analysis. Wiesel served an important purpose. His story and his telling of it provided a perspective that the world needed to hear, despite his own ethical shortcomings later in his life. The full story of Wiesel's life and his desire to look the other way when it came to the Israeli government's (and its military's) shortcomings deserves to be told.
 
Thank you for your well written, thoughtful piece.
 
Luís Torres
 
     ====
 
As Portside has posted Max Blumenthal's intemperate screed against Wiesel you might consider posting the following defense of Wiesel. The man was no saint and wasn't always on the right side of every issue to put it mildly, but the attacks by Blumenthal and others is unwarranted and often full of malice.
 
In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech text, he said:
 
"There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: victims of hunger, of racism, and political persecution, writers and poets, prisoners in so many lands governed by the Left and by the Right. Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. And then, too, there are the Palestinians to whose plight I am sensitive but whose methods I deplore. Violence and terrorism are not the answer. Something must be done about their suffering, and soon."
 
Wiesel was also a public supporter of the Oslo peace agreements in the Clinton years, not exactly the position of an anti-Palestinian extremist. In one book, he wrote, "I have never concealed how much the human dimension of the Palestinian tragedy affects me."
 
Stan Nadel
 
 
 
 
 
Basketball was my life as a youngster, the only time and place I felt fully free was on court with my team
 
Cynthia Cuza
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Austrian Supreme Court has just ruled that the run-off election for President has to be redone. The far right Austrian Freedom Party challenged the result after a very narrow loss based on the counting of absentee ballots. After extensive questioning of witnesses the court ruled that while there was no indication that the results were manipulated, there was so much evidence of minor improprieties that the election would have to be redone. Even the Freedom Party poll watchers said that the count had been accurate, but in a significant number of cases it became clear that the rules about not opening or counting the absentee ballots before 9:00 on the day after the election had been violated-in some cases by beginning at 8:00 rather than 9:00 and in some by opening the ballots, or even counting them, on the night of the election. It seems that this has been common practice for decades and even the Freedom Party poll watchers participated in this, but the court ruled that rules are rules and the violations did open the possibility of someone manipulating the count (though there was no evidence that anyone had done so) and now the Presidential election run-off will have to be re-run in the Fall.
 
So once again Austria runs the risk of electing a President from a very far-right party founded by Nazis and with a significant neo-Nazi participation in its leadership. Hofer has promised that if elected he will take advantage of so far unused Presidential powers to transform Austrian politics and the Austrian form of government. He has also called for a referendum on withdrawing Austria from the EU (as was just done in Britain). Hofer's extreme political leanings are demonstrated by the fact that on his Facebook site he recently promoted the singing of a song at Summer Solstice fire celebrations that was popular with the Hitler Youth at their bonfires and book burnings.
 
Stan Nadel, 
Salzburg Austria
 
 
 
 
 
The flaws in the Austrian elections process seem to be what American lawyers would call "harmless errors," meaning that they had no evident effect on the outcome.  Re-voting might still seem like an equally harmless result - why not re-vote when there have been problems? - but there is no reason to think that the second election will produce a more democratic result than the first one.  A second election will privilege voters who have more free time and are more motivated, and it will privilege the party with more money and better organization.  Re-voting is also potentially endless, with each successive election no more democratically accurate than the previous one.
 
This decision is up to the Austrians, of course, but I don't think it is necessarily a model for anyone else.
 
Bush v. Gore was different, of course, because there was substantial evidence that the outcome would have changed if there had been a statewide recount, as ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.  I am not sure what Stan means, however, by a "clear constitutional way" to handle the dispute.  If he means sending the decision to the House of Representatives, which is required when no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, then Bush would have won anyhow, as Republicans controlled the most state delegations.  That itself is undemocratic, however, as each state gets one vote in those circumstances, meaning that Wyoming (with one representative) would have had the same weight as California (with around fifty in 2000).
 
Steven Lubet
Williams Memorial Professor
Director, Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
 
 
 
 
 
Relating to the piece by Geoffrey Jacques on the struggle for socialism, there are two aspects I1d like to deal with < one of which was in his article and one wasn1t. Both, however, are related.
 
In dealing with the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath Jacques isolates this earth-shaking development from its environment. Nowhere does he mention the attempt by the world's leading capitalist nations to, in Winston Churchill1s words, "strangle the baby in its crib." Thus, military attempts were made from within and without to defeat the fledgling Bolshevik state. However one judges what came to be called the "dictatorship of the proletariat," one must acknowledge the context in which extreme measures were taken to defend the new state. (Similarly, the crisis of our own Civil War prompted Lincoln to suspend habeas corpus.)
 
In dealing with these extreme measures, Jacques repeatedly uses the words "criminality" and "criminal ethos." No one doubts or excuses the abuses that came to pass (especially under the leadership of Stalin) but the measures taken in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution do not deserve those broad pejoratives.
 
Seymour Joseph
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Cole found it "especially interesting that Dolgoff's time in [the IWW] began in the early-mid 1920s. ... after the rise of the Soviet Union and Communist Party (CP) that did all in its power to undermine, co-opt, and destroy the IWW for presenting an alternative view of what socialism looked like." This is an ambiguous and questionable statement. If his argument is that the CP opposed the IWW's vision of anarcho-syndicalism - which prevailed after socialists like Debs and DeLeon left it... that's indisputable. But the implication is that the CP gave great attention to the influence of the IWW in the late 20s, even through violence. Many Wobblies switched to the CP for two reasons: they were attracted to the Russian revolution as a living model, and the IWW never recovered from state repression and vigilante violence in the 20s. The CP did engage in violence against political rivals - particularly Trotskyists - but mostly their direction took them further from the IWW's organizing arenas, and they did not consider the Wobs an obstacle to the party's work.
 
Ethan Young
 
 
 
 
 
East Side Freedom Library is developing "courses" (pun?) using food as a doorway into our understanding of each others' cultures. Stay tuned.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am disappointed that 'Portside' chose to promote the turncoats of Vietnam in is featured review of "For Viet Thanh Nguyen, Author of `The Sympathizer,' a Pulitzer but No Peace".
 
"The Sympathizer," which is narrated by the unnamed spy, begins with the Communist takeover of South Vietnam in 1975 and then continues in Southern California among a group of die-hard exiles whose motto is "Always resent, never relent."
 
The writer is among the turncoats who fought with, and conspired with the US in the illegal war that killed a million Vietnamese warriors fighting to preserve their country in a senseless war that wantonly destroyed Vietnam.
 
These renegades do not deserve to be honored by progressives who stand with freedom, democracy, and self-determination.
 
James E Vann
Political-Housing-Community Activist
Oakland California
 
 
 
 
 
This slide presentation/talk on "Theodore W. Allen and `The Invention of the White Race'" by Jeffrey B. Perry was presented on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at a "Multiracial Organizing Conference" on "Organizing Poor and Working Class Whites: The Challenge of Building a Multiracial Movement," at the Beloved Community Center, 417 Arlington St., Greensboro, NC.
 
The two-day conference pulled together a "multiracial" group of mostly young organizers from the South, who are doing work among poor and working people, and who oppose class exploitation and oppression and emphasize the centrality of struggle against white supremacy to efforts at social change.
 
Organizer Ben Wilkins coordinated the two-day conference and other speakers included long-time activists Joyce Johnson, Rosalyn Pelles, Bob Zellner, Al McSurely, Leonard Zeskind, and Devin Burghart.
 
Special thanks go to Eric Preston (and Fusion Films) for help in the preparation of this video.
 
Please share this video with others! The struggle against white supremacy is central to efforts at social change!
 
For the video see
 
 
 
Jeffrey B. Perry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Listen here.
 
A special episode-length documentary filmed on location in Dinétah; the name of the land of the Navajo people, spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. 21 Billion tons of coal, the largest deposit in the US with an estimated value of 100 billion dollars, lay untouched in Dinétah until 1966. In that year, Peabody Coal Company (now Peabody Energy) leased the land in an agreement with a Hopi tribal council they helped to form.
 
In 1974, Congress passed the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act, commonly known as "the relocation law." It divided about 2 million acres of land previously shared between Diné and Hopi tribes. Nearly overnight, the homes of tens of thousands of Diné and several hundred Hopi were now illegal.
 
On the anniversary of the founding of the United States, we visit with Diné (Navajo) youth and elders coming together to fight for the survival of their culture, fighting against displacement caused by US government policy, as well as exploitation caused by the mining industry.
 
For additional information and resources, see the following organizations: To Nizhoni Ani, Black Mesa Indigenous Support, Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Diné C.A.R.E., and Cultural Survival. #PayUpPeabody
 
 
Copyright c 2016 The Laura Flanders Show, All rights reserved.
 
Our mailing address is:
The Laura Flanders Show
#325 Centre for Social Innovation
601 W 26th Street
New York, NY 10001
 
 
 
 

 
A rare presentation first edition of Karl Marx's seminal work, Das Kapital, sold for o218,500, with an estimate of o80,000-120,000.
Photo: Bonhams.
 
 
A rare presentation first edition of Karl Marx's seminal work, Das Kapital, inscribed by the author and given to Johann Eccarius, the close friend with whom he fell out and who may have betrayed him, sold at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on June 15 for o218,500. It had been estimated at o80,000-120,000. This is a new world record for a copy of Das Kapital at auction.
 
Bonhams senior book specialist Simon Roberts said, "This was a very important copy of one of the world's most influential books and not surprisingly the bidding was extremely keen - presentation copies are extremely scarce. I suspect the irony that a devastating criticism of capitalism should sell for such a huge sum would have caused Marx a wry smile".
 
The copy was signed and dated on 18 September 1867, four days after its publication, and is among the very few presentation copies known to have survived. Das Kapital consists of three volumes but this first part is the only one published during Marx's lifetime. The others, edited by Friedrich Engels from Marx's notes, appeared in 1885 and 1894.
 
Johann Georg Eccarius (1818-1889) was a German tailor and labour activist who joined the English branch of the League of the Just, a group of German artisans and professionals who had fled from Paris after the failure of the 1839 uprising. In 1846 Marx and Engels, then living in Brussels, were invited to join the League, which was in the process of evolving into the Communist League. The following year they attended its second congress in London when Eccarius and Marx are likely to have met for the first time.
 
A friendship quickly developed between the two men. Eccarius became one of Marx's strongest supporters. In 1848 he was elected as member of the new three-man Central Committee of the Communist League and year later he co-opted Marx onto the same Committee. Marx, in turn, encouraged Eccarius in his journalistic ambitions and, with great tact, provided financial assistance after his friend lost his tailoring job through illness. At one point Marx even pawned his wife's coat to raise money to help Eccarius when the tailor suffered a bout of consumption. Marx once described Eccarius as one of `my oldest friends and adherents" and chose him as one of the handful of people to be shown extracts from Das Kapital as it neared completion.
 
In 1864 Eccarius attended the first meeting of the International Workingmen's Association, the First International, and in the year Das Kapital was published, he became the organisation's General Secretary, a position he held until 1871.
 
Read more here
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Join us for our unique summer gathering of young socialist activists and Bernie Sanders supporters this August 5-7, 2016, just 10 minutes outside of Washington, DC. The conference, "From Sanders to the Grassroots: Continuing the Political Revolution Among the Student Left," will be held at the National 4-H Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
 
REGISTER HERE!  (This includes housing, meals, and conference materials)
 
 
 
 
 
Sponsors
 
 
 
Political Context
 
Joint Statement by College Students for Bernie and the Young Democratic Socialists
 
To the surprise of millions, the Democratic presidential primary produced a candidate worthy of your vote. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, had laser focus on economic inequality and political corruption. He was able to connect with the American working class, environmentalists, electoral reform activists, and, of course, students and millennials. He also was open to being pushed by Black Lives Matter unlike other politicians.
 
The Democratic primary produced exciting and progressive candidates, while the country's social and economic inequalities fostered scary and reactionary politicians in the Republican field. In both primaries, millions of voters rejected establishment candidates, which is a credit to both the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street. How do we, as progressives and socialists, reclaim the bipartisan anger away from the right-wing into a meaningful transformation of the electoral process, economic system and social fabric?
 
College Students For Bernie and the Young Democrats Socialists are uniting in Washington, DC, the most politically corrupt city in the nation. Our goal is to strengthen the left and advance towards a more progressive and brighter future. As students across the country watch the primaries end, we need a space to strategize how to promote social and electoral change regardless of who is in the White House. This convergence of like-minded students and youth gives participants the opportunity to mix their ideas, their stances, and learn in-person from one another to continue the Political Revolution in our campuses and communities in the Fall.
 
More information here
July 7, 2016