Tidbits - February 23, 2017 - Reader Comments: Iowa's Union-Busting Bill; Standing Rock; Peekskill Remembered; Trump Anti-Immigrant Policy and the Fightback; Healthcare Attacked - ACA, Medicare, Medicaid; Tom Hayden Remembered; and more...

Reader Comments: Iowa's Union-Busting Bill; Standing Rock; Peekskill Remembered; Trump Anti-Immigrant Policy and the Fightback; Healthcare Attacked - ACA, Medicare, Medicaid; Tom Hayden Remembered; Tidbits going on hiatus; Tell Sirius XM to Say No to White Supremacy; Humanité-in-English is looking for volunteer translators; and more...
February 23, 2017
Tidbits, Reader Comments and Shorts - February 23, 2017
Portside

 

 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Worse than Wisconsin!
 
 
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Republicans.... hard at work.... just not working for the people
 
Dan Thirnbeck
 
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Why we continue to fight!
 
John Yudelson
 
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The history of unions must be taught in the schools as well as in the home. It is one that is filled with the sacrifices of the working class of people to address grievances to their employers, which was not only all about salaries. So many have an unfavorable view of collective bargaining simply because of false information from those who have always wanted to keep the biggest part of the pie. Employers show no respect for the workers, who in reality are a major part of a company. Proud member of Operating Engineers local 835
 
Arvid Humphries
 
 
 
 
 
Under orders from President Donald Trump, the Army Corps of Engineers on February 7 approved a final easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Construction has restarted, and lawyers for the company say it could take as little as 30 days for oil to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline.
 
 
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Long but constructive article re Standing Rock
 
Carol Weinshenker
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Media Contacts:
Jade Begay, jade@ienearth.org, 505-699-4791
Nina Smith, nina@megaphonestrategies.com, 301-717-9006
 
CANNON BALL, N.D.-- At  2 pm CT on February 22, 2017, water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin camp were evicted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Despite efforts from camp leaders requesting more time to clean up the camp, the Army Corp remained firm with its plans to vacate the camp. The Army Corp claims jurisdiction of the land that the camp is located on even though the land is within the unceded Fort Laramie Treaty land and territories.
 
Individuals who voluntarily left camp prior to 2 o'clock had the choice to take a bus to be transported to an evacuation center, or relocate to other campsites outside of the eviction zone. Water protectors remaining in the camp now face risk of arrest.
 
There are three other campsites in the area for water protectors to relocate to: Sacred Stone, Cheyenne River, and 7th Generation camps.
 
Various law enforcement jurisdictions were on site including Morton County Sheriff's, North Dakota State Highway Patrol and the North Dakota National Guard and National Park Service Rangers. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement established a traffic checkpoint and barricade on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, on Highway 1806, to the south of the Cannonball River bridge.
 
The following is a statement by Tom Goldtooth, the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:
 
"We are appalled by today's forced evacuations of indigenous people at the Camp at Standing Rock, they are a violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech. It hinders the camp cleanup process and creates confusion and chaos that puts the Missouri River at risk of pollution from construction and camping debris.
 
"Today's expulsion is a continuation of a centuries old practice, where the U.S. Government forcefully removes Indigenous people from our lands and territories. We urge supporters of the water protectors to continue to resist this travesty by organizing mass mobilizations, distributed actions, speaking out against the violations of the Treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, and continuing to source up the capacity for litigation and grassroots organizing against the Dakota Access pipeline.
 
"Our hearts are not defeated. The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started. It burns within each of us. We will rise, we will resist, and we will thrive. We are sending loving thoughts to the water protectors along the banks of the Cannonball River, today. May everyone be as safe as can be. #noDAPL" .
 
PO Box 485
Bemidji, MN 56619
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fascinating article explores history, race, theater, music, and more, woven in a smart analytical framework.
 
 
 
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Paul Robeson (Born to be Free)--Black 47
 
 
Listen here.
 
 
Bill Nevins
 
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Hold the line, hold the line,
As we held the line at Peekskill we will hold it everywhere,
Hold the line, hold the line,
We will hold the line forever, 'til there's freedom everywhere...
 
Jack Radey
 
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My parents were there. My dad was on security and my mother on a bus attacked by a screaming, racist, bloodthirsty mob. The had been married the previous year. I was born three years after Peekskill.
 
David Kutzik
 
 
 
 
 
Could someone please explain to me how this does not constitute ethnic cleansing, because that is what it seems to me to be! The U.S. engaging in a sweeping policy of ethnic cleansing. I thought that was considered a crime against humanity. To me, and to millions of others, that is what it is: a crime against humanity.
 
Tom Potter
 
 
 
 
 
Mr. Lartey is incorrect in saying that the Seattle general strike was the last one.  San Francisco had a highly effective one led by Harry Bridges in 1934.
 
Nora Lapin
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
People didn't care when Mexican people were uncovering mass graves. They weren't raising their voices about the disappeared women in Juarez. They didn't care about the migrant workers being poisoned by pesticides in the fields that they worked. They didn't say anything when schools did not deliver needed curriculum to Spanish language students. They didn't say anything when US trade policies resulted in mass migrations and farmers going under in Mexico. They didn't say anything about Pena Nieto's collaboration with narco-traffickers or when the 43 normailistas were kidnapped and handed over to narco-traffickers by the government in Mexico. They didn't say anything about cash only and unfair labor standards and mass incarcerations of migrants. If Trump can sort through the mess let's make him deal with the abuses that poor and working people have endured and not just echo advocacy groups who are seeking to replace Trump with Pence. Is that really what you want?
 
Martin Zehr
 
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so the answer is do nothing???
 
Diane Gavlinski
 
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The answer is to give the people of Mexico some breathing room. How can we do this? Look for the answers and stop listening to those who have a script written by the oppressors. Avoid following the scripts and begin to think and fight on our feet. We can do more if we understand what is going on. Some key points: Globalization kills. Mass migrations are not a plus for Mexican liberation or working class struggle. Leadership really does make a difference in solutions. The beast has two heads- the narco-lords and the government.
 
Martin Zehr
 
 
 
 
 
This is troublesome for the obvious reasons, but it is clear that we are still acting in genocidal ways toward those who do not fit the WASPs with property (College of Electors) requirements of the original European settlers. It is what is being seen at Standing Rock with the eviction notice against Sacred Stone and with the "sorties" against water protectors even when they are praying or quite simply sleeping. It is how they were removed from their lands. It is what we have taught, again and again, our multiple accomplices in places such as the School of the Americas. It is no respecter of persons, no matter their age. And unless we ALL rise against it, it is the nation which will sooner or later perish from the earth. And the nation has beautiful things and beautiful people that do not deserve to be destroyed by the vile racist and imperialist minority. THEY ARE THE MINORITY, don't forget that.
 
Silvia Brandon Pérez
 
 
 
 
 
NO to block grants! The only improvement to the ACA is Medicare for All. That way everyone buys in.
 
Berma Matteson
 
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Do not allow them to repeal the affordable care act! Once they do they will be got your healthcare and give you a sub standard medical options. Pre-existing conditions are considered maternity diabetes immune disease ologies heart disease cancer the list goes... all these conditions would be subsequent to a high risk pool with unaffordable premiums. Do not allow them to repeal the affordable care act! They are looking to cut Medicare and Medicaid as well.
 
Gale Keeley
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Exciting article, but for the record Seattle First National Bank workers unionized in 1970.
 
"In 1970 [Seattle First National Bank] SeaFirst's employees chose the FirstBank Independent Employees Association ("the Independent") as their bargaining representative in a Board-conducted election. The Board certified the Independent; the Bank and the Independent entered into a collective bargaining agreement in 1971, which lasted until October, 1977. By the end of 1977, negotiations for a new contract were proving long and difficult, and the executive council of the Independent considered affiliation with an international union to strengthen its bargaining position. ..."
 
 
Henry Noble
IAM 751 retired
 
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Good article,. but this is NOT the first bank workers' union in the USA. See the movie, The Willmar 8, about an effort in Willmar, MN to form a bank workers union there in the 1977. As a historian, I know that when journalists say something is the FIRST, they are almost always wrong. This is not just an academic quibble. It keeps us from learning from our history here in the US. This does not seem to be such a problem in other countries, but here in the US we have the expression, "that's history", meaning that's irrelevant, an expression that I have never heard anywhere outside the USA. 
 
One lesson from the Willmar experience was that one of the key reasons for bank workers not having ben organized up to then (now?) was, possibly, that they were mostly women and most unions were not very interested in organizing workplaces where most workers were women, especially white collar.
 
Thanks for listening.
 
Joe Berry, crotchety old historian
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Unfair labor practices by Boeing. Republicans have likely silenced National Labor Relations Board.
 
Richard Steagall
 
 
 
 
 
Not just ignored, but actively suppressed.
 
What is becoming evermore apparent is a population of single issue oriented religious fanatics, and many others who feel threatened by issues and concepts they are hopelessly incapable of understanding.
 
What is needed by the current ruling aristocracy is a dumbed down, dependent population who can be easily swayed with simplistic emotional cues and blind devotion to the lowest possible common denominators of thought.
 
Current evidence strongly suggests they are succeeding, remarkably well.
 
nibbles for thought
 
Charles Ostman
 
 
 
 
 
Great inspiration to continue our struggles for peace, equality and justice.
 
Winston Simmonds
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Culture)
 
 
"1984" not withstanding, Orwell, and Howard Fast who followed him, were idealists and romantics. They believed the anti-fascist fight would win and the USSR world would then make the world a wonderful place. It didn't happen. The Republicans lost in Spain and the Fascists won. This is not to say that 1984 is not a  great book. It is. But he, along with many others, became disillusioned. They saw the bread and decided on which side they would butter it. We all, including Gorbachev, underestimated the power of the American ruling class. We're feeling and seeing it now with Donald Trump - a guy who is more brainless than the Scarecrow. He spends so much time in the mirror that he's walked thru it to create his own world. Orwell went into that mirror and didn't come out.
 
Claire Carsman
 
 
 
 
 
I missed Linda Gordon's important essay when it was first posted in Portside. You should not. 
 
Daniel Millstone
 
 
 
 
 
So, the author wants a reformist "third way" between communism and capitalism?
 
Also Norway did become a fascist state in 1940. More importantly, America in the 2010s isn't Norway in the 1930s.
 
Gregory A. Butler
 
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Remember that America was becoming socialistic in the early 1900's through the Knights of Labor- there were socialistic legislators ... however, capitalism fears a free market of any kind and created the Alien and Sedition Acts to jail protesters under the "fake law" (couldn't resist) ... Presidential contender Eugene Debs was imprisoned under said anti-capitalistic law but still received about 895,000 votes ... believe the new democracy is trying to find form now due to the absolute disregard of the masses ....
 
Robert O'Reilly
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear reader, Tidbits is taking a short break. This is the last weekly Tidbits until March 23.
 
Tidbits will skip the next three weeks (March 2, 9 and 16) and will return March 23.
 
Moderator
 
 
 
 
By Michael Finnegan
February 19, 2017
 
When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the senator's family picked Tom Hayden to be an honorary pallbearer at the funeral because the young antiwar activist embodied "the great hope that my father had in the future of our country," Robert Kennedy Jr. recalled Sunday night at a memorial for Hayden.
 
Hayden, who died in October at the age of 76, had been one of the first white students from northern states to join blacks in Freedom Ride protests against segregation in the South. He'd gotten beat up by police in Mississippi and "gone to jail for his beliefs in Georgia," Kennedy told the audience at UCLA's Royce Hall.
 
Now, he said, Hayden had joined those in heaven "who spent their lifetime fighting for justice, fighting for the poor."
 
"He's there with my father, and with Martin Luther King, and they are right now exhorting that when we leave this hall, we go out into the streets, and onto the barricades, and we fight to reclaim our country from these very, very bad people," Kennedy said to a round of applause.
 
Hayden died just over two weeks before Donald Trump was elected president. But none of the roughly 1,000 people who gathered to remember him doubted how vigorously he would have fought Trump's administration.
 
The service opened with one civil rights march song, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize," and closed with another, "Ain't Nobody Going to Turn Me Around." Joining a four-person choir in the final number were singers Bonnie Raitt, Holly Near and Barbara Williams, Hayden's wife, along with the couple's son, Liam Hayden, and Hayden's ex-wife, Jane Fonda.
 
Hayden was in the vanguard of the 1960s counterculture movement, a radical who led civil rights and antiwar protests and later became a prolific author and member of the California Legislature.  
 
Hayden was the lead author of the Port Huron Statement, a 1962 student manifesto that served as a foundation for protests against the Vietnam War.
 
President Nixon's Justice Department prosecuted Hayden in the raucous "Chicago 7" trial after violent clashes between police and protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (Two of his codefendants, Rennie Davis and John Froines, attended the service.)
 
Hayden and Fonda were a major force in California politics in the 1970s and '80s, and Hayden went on to represent the liberal Westside in the state Assembly and Senate for 18 years.
 
"Tom was our friend, and boy, could we use his voice right now," said Father Greg Boyle, the Homeboy Industries founder who worked with Hayden on efforts to rehabilitate gang members.
 
One former gang member, Alex Sanchez, paid tribute to Hayden for leading him away from a life of crime and violence.
 
"He believed in me," Sanchez told the audience as tears rolled down his cheeks. "He believed in change. He didn't see my tattoos. He didn't see that I was from the most infamous gang. He saw the real me."
 
Hayden's critics - and there were many - were given voice in a couple of video snippets, including one that focused on his three years of community organizing in poor black sections of Newark in the mid-'60s.
 
"He was a bum," Hayden critic Anthony Imperiale of the Newark Citizens Committee was shown saying to a burst of laughter and applause in Royce Hall. "He was a troublemaker, and to this day he's a troublemaker."
 
Troy Garity, the son of Hayden and Fonda, told the crowd it was "slightly difficult being the son of a communist radical and Hanoi Jane, and having our house lit on fire - well, not really, but almost."
 
He choked up about video  footage showing cops beating up his father and paid tribute to "everybody in the movement who lost somebody."
 
"Don't mourn," he said. "Organize."
 
Fonda recalled meeting Hayden at one of her slide presentations against the Vietnam War. His hair was braided down his back, and he wore a beaded headband and black rubber sandals that the Vietnamese had made out of the tires of a downed U.S. plane.
 
The next day, he showed her his own slide show, which focused on Vietnamese history. "He talked about how the villagers buried their dead in the rice fields so that generation after generation could be nourished by the bones of their ancestors," she said. "Bombing those fields took on a new meaning."
 
She recalled traveling to college campuses around the country with Hayden in the early 1970s in their campaign to end the war - and the homes of activists who let them spend the night. "God, I remember waterbeds," she said. 
 
Williams spoke just a few lines about her husband before singing a folk song about pushing a rock uphill. Hayden, she said, had been her teacher for 26 years.
 
"The most important lesson," she recalled, "was to never give up."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To sign petition, click here.
 
Donald Trump has waged war against our most fundamental human rights. Behind this white supremacist, xenophobic and dangerous agenda is Steve Bannon, founder, and the host of Breitbart Daily News, a show made possible with by profitable partnership with Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
 
 
 

 
 
Before Steve Bannon masterminded Donald Trump's way into the White House, he tried to get Sarah Palin elected in 2012. He used Sirius XM Patriot station to promote a documentary he made about her, going on air praising her for pushing the "death panel myth" in 2009- a blatant lie that the Affordable Care Act incentivizes doctors to encourage patients "not worthy of healthcare" to make plans for death. Bannon made the documentary to rehabilitate Palin's damaged reputation so that she could run for President. When that did not work, he set his sights on Trump, now equipped with a conservative radio enterprise to control the narrative.
 
SiriusXM Vice President for news and talk Dave Gorab called Steve Bannon's Breitbart News Daily "the conservative news show of record."
 
Sirius XM, Stop promoting racist lies and enabling Donald Trump's administration!.
 
Like all racists, Steve Bannon depends on lies to advance his agenda. Full of contradictions, Bannon portrays himself "a defender of working people against 'the corporate elites'", even though he is a corporate powerbroker with a Harvard Business School MBA and professional and personal ties to the likes of Goldman Sachs.
 
Anyone who is elected to serve in a position of political leadership must, as a standard, be honest and accountable. Liars need not apply. Accountability is also what we expect of companies who rely on monthly subscribers to report a profit to their shareholders every quarter.
 
We are demanding that Sirius XM shut down Patriot radio and cut ties with Steve Bannon. We refuse to be ignored, and like Uber, we can and will hold any for-profit entities enabling Donald Trump accountable to a new standard.
 
Join me in urging Sirius XM radio to shut down XM Patriot station and keep white supremacy off the air!
 
Thank you,
 
Chris Pearce, a Sirius XM subscriber 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear colleagues,
 
French>English translators and proof-readers, All who are interested in the idea of getting involved in an ongoing media translation project. Teachers of English as a second language, English teachers with a good knowledge of French, and many more...
 
Since January 2004, the French daily newspaper, L'Humanité has an on-line English language version of selected articles. We invite you to visit this English version. This project is produced by a team of translators from across the world (USA, Canada, UK, Cameroon, France, Japan, Russia, etc.) and a webmaster who is coordinating the process closely with L'Huma.
 
All of us who are working on this project are doing this as volunteers, with the desire to make L'Huma reporting available to English-speaking readers. In order for our project to continue to develop, we need to enrich our team with the active support of colleagues (volunteers) specialized in translation or revision of English - such as teachers of English as a second language, or as a mother tongue, if they also have a good knowledge of French). We also believe that this would be a valuable experience for those who are intending to pursue a career in media-translation.
 
Since 2004, we have developed a "community" of "friendly progressive translators", commenting on each other's translations, providing help when needed and actively revising each other's texts.
 
If you find this project potentially interesting, please reply by email to me at the address below.
 
We will get back rapidly to all who contact us to let you know more precisely how we operate, and the next step if you find out project tempting.
 
We thank you in advance for your interest in this democratic and voluntary collaboration in our project.
 
Sincerely
 
Hervé Fuyet,
Coordinator, 
 
Meanwhile, why not check though our site - we have published some thousands of articles on a wide variety of themes.
 
P.S. We are always looking for new translators!

 

 

 
 
 
Across the country, 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were repealed-more than doubling the number of people without health insurance. And 1.2 million jobs would be lost - not just in health care but across the board.
 
Losing health insurance
 
How many people would lose their health insurance if the ACA were repealed?
 
 
Click here to view map data.
 
 
 
Losing jobs
 
Losing health insurance would also be devastating for family finances and hurt the economy. By helping pick up the tab for individual insurance and expanding coverage on Medicaid, the ACA has helped millions of Americans afford their care. If this support were withdrawn, people would have less money to spend on other basic necessities like food and rent. Fewer dollars spent at grocery stores and other businesses means 1.2 million jobs would be lost.
 
 
Click here to view map data.
 
Source: Spending cut and coverage loss numbers are from Linda Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, and John Holahan, Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation, Urban Institute, 2016. The job loss analysis is from Josh Bivens, Repealing the Affordable Health Care Act would cost jobs in every state, Economic Policy Institute, 2017.
 
1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-775-8810 
 
February 23, 2017