More Sweatshops than Starbucks in Chicago

More Sweatshops than Starbucks in Chicago feature image
May 21, 2017
A bill recently introduced in the state legislature by the Illinois AFL-CIO could address some of the problems around reprisals. The Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act, supported by Raise the Floor Alliance and NESRI, would force employers to provide fired workers with a clear and legitimate reason for the discharge, essentially proving that it was not done in retaliation.
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Extreme Maps

Extreme Maps feature image
May 21, 2017
To gauge where this type of gerrymandering is taking place and its magnitude, this report used election results [from 2012, 2014, and 2016] in states with six or more congressional districts to assess the extent and the durability of “partisan bias” — the degree of systematic advantage one party receives over another in turning votes into seats . . . It also looked at the relationship between the body that drew the maps and the degree of bias observed.
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Black/Hispanic Pockets of Unemployment Left

Black/Hispanic Pockets of Unemployment Left  feature image
May 21, 2017
The African American unemployment rate is at or below its pre-recession level in 11 states: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina. However, a return to pre-recession levels in these states is barely a recovery: in all of these states, black unemployment rates were above 8.0 percent before the recession.
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Oscar López Rivera Returns Home to Chicago

Oscar López Rivera Returns Home to Chicago feature image
May 21, 2017
My brother, who is coming home almost 36 years after being incarcerated, will come out becoming the emblematic figure of Puerto Rican unity in a country that has historically experienced deep political divisions that have totally torn families apart. My brother is coming out where every political party and every political tendency [supports him].
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Sanders Urges Workers To Seize Means of Produ

Sanders Urges Workers To Seize Means of Produ feature image
May 20, 2017
The first, the WORK (“Worker Ownership, Readiness and Knowledge”) Act, would direct more than $45 million in funding to state-level employee ownership centers, aimed at providing training and technical assistance to current and prospective worker-owners. A second piece of legislation would establish something called the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank, via $500 million in funds for low-interest rate loans and financial assistance for workers who want to buy out the business
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Remeasuring Stephen Jay Gould

Remeasuring Stephen Jay Gould feature image
May 20, 2017
Fifteen years after his death, Stephen Jay Gould’s ideas have never been more vital.
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Major Decisions Face Québec Solidaire

Major Decisions Face Québec Solidaire  feature image
May 20, 2017
Of particular interest is adoption of a proposed international policy for Québec solidaire based on the principles of opposition to imperialism and solidarity with the exploited and oppressed around a global justice (altermondialiste) agenda. The resolution has been debated for more than a year by the QS membership.
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Paranoid After Watching The Handmaiden's Tale

Paranoid After Watching The Handmaiden's Tale feature image
May 20, 2017
The TV show is striking a chord that the novel and movie did not. Maybe it’s because we’re starting to see bits of Gilead all around us.
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The Mexican Journalist Who Said No to Silence

The Mexican Journalist Who Said No to Silence feature image
May 20, 2017
On May 15 crusading Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas was gunned down in the streets of Culiacán, the capital of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was the sixth journalist murdered in Mexico in 2017. Valdez reported on life under the rule of the drug cartels and the collusion between government authorities and organized crime. His final article was on the deadly attacks on teachers working in Sinaloa’s dangerous neighborhoods, six of which were killed this year.
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Friday Nite Videos -- May 19, 2017

Friday Nite Videos -- May 19, 2017 feature image
May 19, 2017
Fox News Doesn't Get the Comey Memo. Comedians Have Figured Out the Trick to Covering Trump. Watergate Prosecutor: Well on Our Way to Impeachment of President Trump. The Activists: Documentary. How to Close Guantanamo Under Trump.
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Pages

Portside Culture

The Superfood Gold Rush

JAMIE LAUREN KEILES
New York Times Magazine
The latest entrant to the superfood contest is Brazilian açaí, a purplish, antioxidant-rich stone fruit — though most call it a berry — foraged from trees in the Amazon River basin.Surprising parties become heroes and scoundrels as the coveted berry changes hands in different ways. Global consumption has further increased demand, but because of the high value of good vibes, some superfood exporters have an incentive to hew to best practices.

Call Me By My Name

Jamaica Baldwin
Rattle
The poet Jamaica Baldwin writes, “This piece was written in response to the daily lies espoused by the new president and his administration, the emergence of the phrase ‘alternative fact’ in the political lexicon, and the simple fact of Trump’s presidency.”

Why Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder?

Marshall Steinbaum
Boston Review
Piketty's radical and largely on-target critique of contemporary capitalism, the reviewer says, was mostly greeted with hostility by the economics establishment, when not simply ignored, stonewalling Capital in the Twenty-First Century, so it would not have the impact on economics research agendas that it merits, particularly in explaining inequality — in effect a dead zone in mainstream economic analysis.

Freestyle Marxism

Max Holleran
The New Republic
This new collection of essays offers an interesting glimpse into the work of this consistently interesting Marxist thinker and cultural critic.

Portside Labor

AT&T Workers Start 3-Day Strike in Contract Impasse

Noam Scheiber
N.Y.Times
Workers are also frustrated that they are being asked to pay more of their health-insurance costs, he added, and that changes in retail workers’ commissions have limited or reduced their take-home pay. As part of its next contract, the union wants to bar AT&T from changing its commission structure unilaterally.

Reactionary Working Class?

Asbjørn Wahl
Spectrezine
That millions of workers worldwide become "losers" in the process of globalization, should not surprise anyone. Nor that many react with mistrust and blind rebellion. That part of the working class – lacking left political parties with strategies to address this crisis -- are attracted by the extreme right’s verbal anti-establishment rhetoric, is against this background understandable. To understand, however, is not the same as to accept, let alone support.

White Working-Class Voters and the Future of Progressive Politics

Michael Zweig
New Labor Forum Blog
The working class constitutes roughly 63 percent of the U.S. labor force. Crucially, it consists of both men and women and is multiracial and multiethnic.2 White people are, of course, a big part of the working class, but if we settle on “the white working class” as a class in itself, and with the force of white supremacy, even a class for itself, we lose track of the role blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other non-whites play in the working class.

NLRB files complaint against VW over practices at Tennessee plant

Nick Carey
Reuters
The complaint is part of a lengthy battle over the NLRB's recognition of the vote by roughly 160 skilled workers at VW's Chattanooga plant in Tennessee to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. The German automaker has argued against allowing a small group within the plant to have union representation, maintaining that all 1,500 hourly workers should be treated as one unit.

Interview: The Pitfalls of 'Buy American'

Chris Brooks
Labor Notes
What is the impact of “Buy American” fervor? Chris Brooks interviews Dana Frank, author of Buy American: The Untold Story of Economic Nationalism, about the history and impact of these campaigns.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

The Trump-Russia probe gets a special prosecutor, and Fox News downplays a purported memo from James Comey suggesting Donald Trump may have committed obstruction of justice.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

 

 

Jill Wine-Banks, Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and former U.S. prosecutor Paul Butler discuss the revelations that have come to light from the Comey memo

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

THE ACTIVISTS: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets is a documentary film that brings to life the stories of ordinary people who tried to stop and end the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Are we going to pretend they’re less than men and walk away?

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren says nobody believes Trump fired the FBI director because he was 'mean to Hillary Clinton.'

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

This song written and performed by bluesmaster John Lee Hooker was first released in 1965, performed here for the Seattle Folklore Society.