Tidbits - December 1, 2016 - Reader Comments: Fidel Castro, Cuba, Socialism and Solidarity; Resisting the Trump Presidency; Debating workers vote and "Russian fake news; Announcements, Resources; and more....

Reader Comments: Fidel Castro's Impact; New York Activists to Gather in Tribute Sunday at Cuban Mission; Resisting the Trump Presidency - No to Muslim Registry; Yes to Women's March on Washington; How Did Workers Vote; Needed a History of Beer and the Socialist Brewers; About the so-called Russian fake news - readers don't agree; Resources for Immigrants; Labor Scholarships Available at UMASS; Trump World Order - NYC forum; and more ....
December 1, 2016
Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - December 1, 2016
Portside

 

Resources: 
Announcements:
 
 
 
 
 
Yesterday, in 340 cities across the country, we put it all on the line - and hundreds of us were arrested. We made it clearer than ever:
 
We. Won't. Back. Down.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Workers are taking a stand against low pay. Stand with us by adding your name to our petition today: www.fightfor15.org
 
 
Get the latest updates, breaking news by clicking here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for this.  We were on the 1964 student trip to fight the travel ban.  Fidel played baseball with us, had to pitch for both sides as we had  no good pitchers.  I met my husband on that trip.  He was born on  Fidel's birthday, and died this year too.  What a terrible year, and  possible terrible 2 to 4 years for this country and the world coming.
 
Thanks for your work.
 
Anne Johnson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sisters and Brothers:
 
Cuba Solidarity forces will gather Sunday, December 4 from 3:00-5:00 PM at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations, 315 Lexington Avenue (between 39th and 38th Streets in Manhattan) to honor the life and memory of our dear brother Fidel Castro.
This is the day Fidel's remains will be buried in Santiago de Cuba.
 
From Monday, November 28 through Sunday, December 4 (9:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 3:00 - 6:00 PM daily), there will be a Condolence Book at the Cuban Mission that will be available for people to sign. (A photo ID is needed to enter the Cuban Mission)
 
 
 
 
 
 
In Africa, Cuba's first support went to Algerian freedom fighters. See Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa,1959-1976, by Piero Gleijeses.
 
Mike Munk
 
 
 
 
 
He was a lover of Palestine, God rest his soul.
 
Ragda Mohammed
 
 
 
 
 
Thank god for the perseverance of the abolitionists--and these lessons of history. I found this piece from the Washington post quite inspiring.
 
Jan Haaken
 
 
 
 
 
Let's merge!! In Washington, Berlin and everywhere!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
President Obama must immediately revoke the regulatory framework of the Bush-era registry program called National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which predominantly targeted Muslim immigrants based on their countries of origin. In the hands of Donald Trump, this program can potentially be used to target, register, and deport Muslims--on a much larger scale than previously implemented. This is the moment to shut this program down once and for all and to resist any new effort.
 
HOW DO WE COUNTER THE MUSLIM REGISTRATIONS?
 
As an organization that led the NYC efforts against NSEERS Special Registration in the aftermath of 9/11, lost hundreds of members to subsequent deportations, and still have members who survived, we know that we cannot wait till the new administration is in power to fight back.
 
Instead of waiting to see if a Muslim registry is re-instituted, we demand President Obama revoke the still existing regulatory & administrative framework of the existing registry program. We've already seen the damage NSEERS caused and the huge failure that it was. We can't hand this program to Donald Trump or his administration.
 
President Obama has the power to do this!
 
If Donald Trump wants to start a registry program that predominately targets Muslims, let him start from scratch. Our job will always be to resist his efforts. But we need an upper hand going into this fight and this is one way to get there.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trump's campaign speech "make America great again" was understood by many on the left to mean "make America white again." But no one was asking him what is it that makes America great. I think what make America great is the multiculturalism and that's never going to go away.  
 
In Solidarity,
 
Katie Miranda
PO Box 25643
Portland Oregon 97298
 
 
 
 
 
It is important not to use words such as "alt-right" to conceal overt racism or white supremacy. Refuse to use the word "alt-right"; rather use the correct descriptive term: white supremacy or racist for groups such as KKK and the white supremacy group National Policy Institute. One of Trump's top advisers is able to proudly take on the brand of "alt-right" with CNN and New York Times (NYT) giving legitimacy to the term. I have canceled my subscription to NYT and drastically reduced my viewing time of CNN.
 
Carole Kennerly
 
 
 
 
 
I agree with some of this author's criticisms of the corporate Democrats' abandonment of working-class issues, but this sentence really put me off:  "Even Trump's critiques of bankers and elites (in his effective closing advertisement) was recoded as the reincarnation of anti-Semitic tropes, i.e. the Neoliberals will use accusations of anti-Semitism as a way to blacklist deconstructions of class and elites."
 
That ad had coded but distinct Jew-hating overtones, as did the Trump ad featuring Clinton, dollar bills, and a Star of David. Anti-Semites have denounced Jews as scheming international-banker overlords since the 19th century, much as their medieval predecessors condemned Jews as usurers. That's the attitude that put the "socialist" in the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartie--and what August Bebel called "the socialism of fools."
 
Trump's campaign reeked of Jew-hating, from the conspiracy theories about Jews published on key adviser Stephen Bannon's Breitbart website to the glee with which white supremacists and neo-Nazis greeted it, and the concentration-camp memes his supporters used to spam journalists who criticized him.
 
This article also utterly ignores the reality that Trump's economic policies are likely to be far worse for working people than those of the neoliberal Democrats. His administration so far prospectively includes three of the most anti-labor figures in American politics (Mike Pence, Betsy DeVos, and Scott Walker ally Reince Priebus), along with the former mine owner whose flouting of safety regulations killed 13 miners in 2006.
 
Steven Wishnia
New York City
 
 
 
 
 
Do Black Votes Matter? Not that much if one compares the immense attention paid to what happened to the votes of white workers in the Rust Belt with the relative indifference to what happened to all the Black votes suppressed and stolen. Even devoting 3/5 as much attention to racially based voter suppression would be a big step forward in the 2016 election autopsies.
 
Focusing mainly on the reasons many white workers in the Rust Belt voted for Trump and paying almost no attention to how so many Black votes were suppressed guarantees that the lessons learned will not be accurate. Race in America is not something to get to after dealing with the economy. We have 400+ years of evidence. Let's not keep making the same mistake.
 
Many forces are at work. Many things were happening. This was a very close election. Yes, Clinton lost the election and yes, the election was stolen, and yes, misogyny played a role and yes, neoliberalism played a role, and yes, the Christian fundamentalist leadership of the FBI found a way to play a role and the list goes on.
 
Saying, "It's the economy" is of course important and necessary. But ending the discussion there is just another way to ignore race. It means we can't learn what happened or figure out what to do about it.
 
Nick Unger
 
    ====
 
I am annoyed on a continuing basis that somehow "analysis" of the election does not even raise the issue of gender.  Many voted for Trump because he was a man and Clinton was a woman.  There's some studies and anecdotes to support this, but the vitriol that was unleashed against her speaks for itself.  I am not a thoughtless supporter of hers.  I think much of her policy is pro business and pro Israel etc. and a lot of the article is well said.  But ignoring gender makes the whole impact less credible. 
 
Maria Brown
 
 
 
 
 
It was, until the modern Democratic Party / Bill Clinton and the triangulationists sold it out.
 
Jerry Steele
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Yes, the Dems have taken the votes of organized labor for granted (for years, really). But let's not kid ourselves about somehow winning back the mostly white working class folks who voted for drumpf -- they (or their parents) turned their backs on their labor brothers and sisters a long time ago, when they all voted for the union-buster-in-chief Reagan. They have willingly surrendered the power of the union in exchange for empty promises of retaining white privilege. I refuse to see them as "victims" given that they have been knowing agents in creating their own predicament.
 
Timothy Feeman
 
 
 
 
 
"The hope is to understand that the Democratic party has stumbled very significantly in the last number of decades. It's not just this election, Spike, as disastrous as it has been. It is the fact that the Republican party controls the Senate, controls the US House, controls something like two-thirds of the governor seats in this country, and that the Democrats have lost over 900 state legislature seats in the last eight years. What that tells me is that the Democratic party has got to very fundamentally rethink who it is and where it goes. It has to shed the current situation where it's a party of the liberal elite, a party of wealthy people who give substantial sums - we can use that money, that's fine, but it must reidentify itself as a party of working people. Whether you're black, white, Latino, there are millions of people today who are working longer hours for lower wages, and they're seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1%. The Democratic party has got to say we are on the side of the 99%. Our party is not about having fancy fundraisers, it's about going into union halls, veterans' halls, farm communities, the inner cities. It has to bring people together around the progressive agenda and make government work for all of us and not the 1%. "
 
Christine Thomas
 
    ====
 
Spike and Bernie discuss supporting Keith Ellison for DNC Chair and converting the Democratic Party back into the party of the working class. Spike Lee has been working on making a movie from my memoir THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER CREEK. I worked for Bernie in the primary and Hillary in the general. Now we must organize poor and working class Americans black and white. We don't need two elitist parties. 
 
Bob Zellner
 
 
 
 
 
Trump's apparent reversal of his anti-climate statements... was nothing but "a bunch of empty rhetoric." Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for NASA to do what he has previously described as "politically correct environmental monitoring."
 
Diane Laison
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Culture)
 
I posted this to the Smithsonian Facebook site for this article, but for Portside too:
 
I certainly hope that this research project will not ignore the men and women who worked in the breweries and actually made the beer--and their socialist union, International Union of United Brewery Workers of America. The Brewery Workers' Union was a very important socialist and industrial union at a time when the AFL was composed almost entirely of trade unions. You could start with Hermann Schlüter's 1910 history of the movement.
 
I find the Smithsonian story and the sponsored project to be very dubious and expected a more critical approach from Portside.
 
Stan Nadel
 
 
 
 
 
I never ever thought I wish we could get back the likes of Arnie Duncan! Just sayn
 
"Her brother, Erik, founded Blackwater, the security firm involved in the controversial Nusoor Square shooting in Iraq in 2007. She is the daughter of Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, who donated $450,000 to a 2008 campaign that opposed same-sex marriages in California.
 
Net worth
 
Betsy and Dick DeVos come from a family with a $5.1 billion net worth. Dick's father, Richard, is the co-founder of Amway and considered the 88th richest man in the United States by Forbes. In 2014, Mother Jones called the DeVos clan "the new Kochs," as they have sought to "defund the left and bring down labor in Michigan."
 
Larry Aaronson
 
 
 
 
 
Call me a "useful idiot," but I'm disgusted that you're highlighting the neo-Cold War propaganda piece from the Washington Post, about Russian hackers destroying our democracy. The only bright spot in the Trump Horror is that we might not actually start a war with Russia. Why are you pandering to the neocon-hawks?
 
Laura Kelber
Sanders/Stein voter
 
    ====
 
Maybe instead of carrying this, you should have carried Max Blumenthal's Alternet Response? 
 
 
 
    ====
 
One of the core functions of PropOrNot appears to be its compilation of a lengthy blacklist of news and political websites which it smears as peddlers of "Russian propaganda." Included on this blacklist of supposed propaganda outlets are prominent independent left-wing news sites such as Truthout, Naked Capitalism, Black Agenda Report, Consortium News and Truthdig.
 
Meredith Schafer
 
    ====
 
This is a B.S. story, esp. about Propornot and it has no place on Portside.  See Washington Post Promotes Shadowy Website That Accuses 200 Publications of Being Russian Propaganda Plants
 
Paul Lauter,
Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature (Emeritus)
Trinity College
 
    ====
 
I visit Portside to see left analysis and opinion about the burning questions facing Americans. As an American living abroad, it is even more critical to stay abreast of what's going on back home. I live in the PR of China, from here it looks like the US is moving towards confrontation with Russia and China, prodded on by yellow journalism peddled by news media such as the neo-liberal neo-com  Washington Post. I guess [Portside] is merely the left wing of the neo-liberal intelligentsia and trade union apparatchiks both very much interested in having a nice big war to spread Western universal values.
 
Stephen C. McClure
 
    ====
 
Why would you all post this story? Timberg is no reporter. All he's done is regurgitate vague claims from unverifiable sources. Some of this might be interesting if he had actually done an investigation, but as it is, it's just propaganda of the sort the Washington Post specializes in.
 
Don't waste your bandwidth on such crap.
 
David Worley
 
 
 
 
 
Brazil may not mean much to most of my FB friends, but it means a lot to me. I lived there six years, and love that country. The recent "impeachment" of Brazil's liberal president by a right-wing legislature (does this sound familiar?) wasn't an act of justice, but a coup d'etat. Which appears to be happening in a lot of places lately, doesn't it.
 
Richard Cole
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Culture)
 
So true. Even as a kid I wondered "where do these people get their money?" Nobody seems to spend time working for it or worrying about it. A good writer could make work and family interesting. The nearest to that I can remember may be "Malcolm in the Middle", And even though "Good Times" had some clownishness, it still had two dignified parents, until the father was, inexplicably to me, written out. That was sad, since I liked seeing a show about an intact family and hard working people from the projects.
 
Sonia Collins
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anti-Fracking Measure Z in Monterey County -- Chevron/Aera Energy had spent $5.5 million to defeat Measure by Oct 30, and are expected to spend over $8 million by the final report.  Measure Z won 56-44%.
 
Jim Eggleston,
Protect Monterey County
 
 
 
 
 
Love the ideals you are promoting against the terrible bigotry of Mr. Trump. However I totally disagree about your views on Homeopathy. Big Pharma would love to get rid of homeopathy because it is a cheap, safe and very effective form of healing that Big Pharma and the people who support it cannot make huge profits from. 100,000 doctors in India use it, 40% of French doctors use it and Switzerland have it as part of their health system. Here in the UK we have homeopathic hospitals who get great results where conventional medicine has failed. Please don't support Big Pharma and big business but stick to the ideals you have laid down. Thank you.
 
Veronica Walton
 
 
 
 
 
William Marx "Bill" Mandel (born June 4, 1917 in New York City) is a former American broadcast journalist, left-wing political activist and author, best known as a Soviet expert, died this morning Thanksgiving, 1:15am.  Bill was 99. His books, including "Soviet Women," and the latest, his autobiography, "Saying No to Power (1999)."
 
Considered a leading Sovietologist during the 1940s and 1950s, Mandel was fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, but lost his position there due to the political pressures of the McCarthy era.He is perhaps best known for standing up to Senator Joseph McCarthy during a televised 1953 Senate committee hearing in which Mandel pointedly told the senator, "This is a book-burning! You lack only the tinder to set fire to the books as Hitler did twenty years ago, and I am going to get that across to the American people!"
 
In 1960, Mandel was again subpoenaed, this time by the House Un-American ActivitiesCommittee. He testified on May 13 in a hearing held at the San Francisco City Hall. Outside the hearing, hundreds of protesting Bay Area college students were blasted with firehoses and dragged down the marble steps by police officers, leaving some seriously injured.[3] Newsreel cameras recorded Mandel's scathing response to the question posed by Lead Counsel Richard Arens, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?":
 
Mandel replied: "Honorable beaters of children, sadists, uniformed and in plain clothes, distinguished Dixiecrat wearing the clothing of a gentleman, eminent Republican who opposes an accommodation with the one country with which we must live at peace in order for us and all our children to survive. My boy of fifteen left this room a few minutes ago in sound health and not jailed, solely because I asked him to be in here to learn something about the procedures of the United States government and one of its committees. Had he been outside where a son of a friend of mine had his head split by these goons operating under your orders, my boy today might have paid the penalty of permanent injury or a police record for desiring to come here and hear how this committee operates. If you think that I am going to cooperate with this collection of Judases, of men who sit there in violation of the United States Constitution, if you think I will cooperate with you in any way, you are insane!"
 
For over 10 years, Mandel hosted a weekly radio program on KPFA-Berkeleyuntil 1995 as commentator and interpreter on Soviet affairs.  He died peacefully at his home in Kensington.
 
James E. Vann
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am writing to share a new community resource: www.InformedImmigrant.com. Created by several organizations, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, Center for Community Change, FWD.us, National Immigration Law Center, SEIU, United We Dream and others, InformedImmigrant.com features guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and legal resources to help immigrants and their families during these uncertain times. The site will be continuously updated with additional guidance and information as it becomes available.
 
What you'll find:
- Legal information/FAQs in English & Spanish;
- A list of over 600 immigrant rights/immigrant-serving organizations and their donation links for when allies are looking for places to volunteer/donate;
- A legal resource pdf with known and regularly used legal services look up tools;
- Know your rights materials.
 
How you can help:
- If you notice missing organizations, please submit in the form at the top of the organizations page.
- If you are getting frequently asked questions from community members that are not addressed, please let us know.
 
Coming soon:
- know your rights video tutorials
- full site in Spanish & Korean
- toolkit on creating healing spaces tool-kit from UWD
 
Click here to share InformedImmigrant.com to help immigrants and their families find the information they need in this critical moment. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These FAQs provide information and recommendations that may help you prepare once President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20, 2017. The information in this based on what we know today. We will continue to update it with more information once we have it.
 
Please note that the information in this FAQ is not legal advice. Every person's situation is different, and you should talk to a qualified immigration lawyer or a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative so that you can make the most informed decision for yourself.
 
Have FAQ suggestions? Email us via info@informedimmigrant.com
 
Site translation in Korean coming soon
 
 
Avideh Moussavian,
Policy Attorney
National Immigration Law Center
1121 14th Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 621-1031
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Monthly Review and Monthly Review Press are proud to salute the life and legacy of our longtime friend, Fidel Castro. Our 1960 special edition of Monthly Review, "Cuba: Anatomy of a Revolution,"  was one of the earliest reports on the fledgling revolution, and in the intervening years, we've published dozens of articles and books on Cuba. For those who would like to learn more about Cuba, Fidel's revolution, and this amazing history, Monthly Review Press is offering a 30% discount on six of our recent books about Cuba, from now until midnight, Friday, December 9.
 
Please note that this discount applies only to paperback and eBbook versions, except for One Day in December, which is available only as a hardcover and eBbook. Just click on the cover images below for book descriptions. When ordering, enter the coupon code 201611fidelpresente at checkout to receive 30% off.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The UMass Amherst Labor Center is announcing an exciting new scholarship program for their limited residency Master's degree program in Labor Studies (ULA). Designed for union officers, staff and activists, participants attend 5 ten-day sessions held in January and July and receive their Master's degree in three years. Click here for more information about the program. 
 
This new scholarship program will cover the tuition costs for up to ten (10) new students to start in the ULA session January 8-18, 2017. Students would only need to cover their travel and a meal/facility charge.
 
Want to apply? Find out more here.
 
 
ULA: The Master's Degree Program for people with full-time jobs
 
The Union Leadership and Administration (ULA) program is an innovative limited-residency Master's degree program in Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, designed for union members, officers, staff, and activists who work full-time. Our students come from all over the U.S. and Canada.
 
Courses are taught during ten-day residencies in January and July. Participants take two intensive three-credit courses during each session, complete writing assignments at home in consultation with the faculty, and finish the degree in three years. Experienced trade unionists and activists are enrolled in the program, creating intellectual stimulation, camaraderie and solidarity. Our faculty members are respected scholars in their fields, and have union experience that allows them to create courses that are both academically strong and practically based.
 
The only non-residential graduate program in Labor Studies of its kind, the ULA program offers working people and unionists the opportunity to study and explore the labor movement - where we've been, where we are today, and where we need to be. The program provides the leadership and skills necessary for today's union officers, staff, and activists to confront the changing world and to make our unions prosper and grow.
 
 
UMass Amherst Labor Center
Thompson Hall, 200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9277
 
tel: (413) 545 4875 -- fax: (413) 545 3204
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
With Medea Benjamin, Vijay Prashad, Jillian Schwedler, and Ingar Solty
 
Friday, December 9, 2016 -- 4-7pm, with reception following
 
The Asian American Writers' Workshop
110-112 W. 27th Street - Sixth Floor
New York City
 
Free and open to the public. RSVP here
 
 
Donald Trump's shocking election victory presents itself not only as a national catastrophe for the American people, but as a threat to the entire globe. On December 9, RLS-NYC will host a panel discussion on future President Trump's impact in the global arena. Focusing on different regions, we will look at what to expect in terms of strategic alliances, shifting partnerships, conflict resolution, multilateralism, environmental policies, and more.
 
All around the globe, the news of Trump's triumph has provoked distress. While Trump's views on foreign policy are usually described as ill-informed and plagued with contradictions, he has consistently supported a global role for the United States completely different from the bipartisan consensus that has dominated US foreign policy for at least 60 years.
 
This panel will bring together international and American experts who will try to explain how the new administration might reshape the current world order, and what the progressive global community should expect in coming years.
 
Medea Benjamin will lead the discussion, providing an overview on the potentially radical shifts expected in US foreign policy. Ingar Solty will then discuss impacts on Europe. Jillian Schwedler will tackle the challenges facing the Middle East under this new administration, and Vijay Prashad will close by analyzing the implications of a Trump presidency for the global South. Afterwards, the speakers will sit together for a more open-ended discussion of US foreign policy under Trump.
 
Triggered by the unpredictability of a Trump administration, this event will seek to offer a peek toward the deeply difficult years ahead of us. It will also try to provide tools to help us make sense of the world we live in and to understand how the struggle for a new system of global governance is more relevant today than ever.
 
Speakers:
  • Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. She is the author of the RLS-NYC report War on Demand: The Global Rise of Drones.
  • Jillian Schwedler is a professor of political science at Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center. She is a member of the editorial committee of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), publishers of the quarterly Middle East Report.
  • Ingar Solty, of RLS's Institute for Critical Social Analysis in Berlin, focuses on peace and security issues. His article on the Quebec student strike, Canada's "Maple Spring", is available on the RLS-NYC website.
 
Free and open to the public. RSVP here.

 

December 1, 2016