What Made the Great Recession ‘Great’?

What Made the Great Recession ‘Great’? feature image
February 3, 2017
New research holds inequality directly responsible for the crushing depth of the Great Recession.
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Trump Is Voldemort. Learn From Harry Potter.

Trump Is Voldemort. Learn From Harry Potter. feature image
February 3, 2017
Voldemort is ultimately defeated not by Harry alone, but by the collaboration between the characters who oppose him.
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Bush Hit 50% in 3 Years. Trump, in 8 Days.

Bush Hit 50% in 3 Years. Trump, in 8 Days. feature image
February 3, 2017
Trump reached majority disapproval faster than any president in modern history.
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Trump Scares Scientists. So They're Running.

Trump Scares Scientists. So They're Running. feature image
February 3, 2017
Because politicians are messing with science, scientists have decided to mess back. A new organization, 314 Action, wants to help them get elected—starting right now.
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Investing in the Military (and Little Else)

Investing in the Military (and Little Else) feature image
February 2, 2017
Last Friday, Donald Trump made his first visit to the Pentagon where he spoke of signing an order to begin "a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States." This will mean a massive surge in federal dollars pouring into the abyss of the Pentagon, which has shown itself quite capable of absorbing such moneys in the past and seems to lack the slightest ability to account for what's done with them. (The Pentagon has never even managed to pass...
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California Threatened To Stop Paying Taxes

California Threatened To Stop Paying Taxes feature image
February 2, 2017
The State of California's elected officials are exploring ways to combat President Trump's Executive Order cutting off funding to sanctuary cities. National legal experts say that Trump's sanctuary cities order is unconstitutional because, at its core, the order is an attempt to commandeer state and local officials in violation of the 10th Amendment.
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School Choice Hasn't Improved Performance

School Choice Hasn't Improved Performance feature image
February 2, 2017
The experience of other countries suggests Betsy DeVos' voucher vision falls flat. Research led by an Indiana University professor confirms what school voucher critics have long argued: Voucher programs receive public funding yet discriminate on the basis of religion, disability status, sexual orientation and possibly other factors. Democratic political participation requires access to information, engagement in discourse and electoral activity to be effective.
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Tidbits - February 2, 2017 - Reader Comments

Tidbits - February 2, 2017 - Reader Comments feature image
February 2, 2017
Reader Comments: Whither the Resistance - Senate Dems Need Spine; Open Letter to Historic Women's March; And this is Just the First Two Weeks; Readers respond to Bhaskar Sunkara, "Our Alternative"; Union Membership Continues Decline, Building Trades Leadership Makes Deal, Undercuts Rest of Labor; Resources - How to Resist, What to Do;Announcements - Vito Marcantonio Forum; Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump; Never Forget the Japanese...
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Thank you, dear Portside reader!

Thank you, dear Portside reader! feature image
February 2, 2017
We Portside moderators send you our heartfelt thanks for responding generously to our annual appeal. You are one of nearly 350 people who contributed $26,000+. We don't do a lot of fundraising - just this once-a-year request - so your response to this appeal is our life blood. It not only supports us financially, but energizes us to continue to bring you critical reporting, analysis and discussion from a left perspective across the country and around the globe.
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Why Millennials Aren't Afraid of Socialism

Why Millennials Aren't Afraid of Socialism feature image
February 2, 2017
It's an old idea, but the people who will make it happen are young - and tired of the unequal world they've inherited. I will come of age in the era of Trump. It's a bleak generational landmark, but ideological capitulation and despair are not the answer. In the 1930s and 1940s, many of the most dedicated antifascists were communists. The antidote to radical exploitation and exclusion is radical egalitarianism and inclusion.
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Pages

Portside Culture

Remembering Martin Luther King's Last, Most Radical Book

Peter Kolozi and James Freeman
New Politics
Martin Luther King's last book was downplayed when it was first published in 1967; even radicals thought it passe. On the 50th anniversary of its first publication--it is still in print-- the reviewers find much of value here for contemporary readers.

When Stuart Hall was White

James Vernon
Public Books
Stuart Hall, the Jamaican immigrant who became one of the premier left wing intellectuals in the United Kingdom during the last half century, was a pioneering theorist on the rise of the right wing in modern politics, an major exponent of postcolonial theory, and a founder of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline. In this ironically titled review of two new important books of Hall's writing, Vernon offers a compelling portrait of this important figure.

‘The Salesman’: Will Academy Members Give it an Oscar To Protest Trump?

Anne Thompson
Indiewire
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won an Oscar in 2012 for “A Separation” and whose second Oscar-nominated film, “The Salesman” is playing on more than 65 screens and could pass the $1 million mark this weekend, grabbed a lot of press when he canceled his plans to attend the February 26th Oscars ceremony following President Donald Trump’s 90-day visa ban for citizens from seven Muslim countries, including Iran.

The New Deal Meal

Rachel Laudan
Wall Street Journal
During the Depression, a loose coalition of Progressives set out to remake the American diet. Milk was regarded as the perfect food. This tension between scientific advice and traditional preferences can be traced back to the Great Depression, suggest Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe in “A Square Meal.”

FX’s Taboo Is More Fun to Think About Than to Watch

Matt Zoller Seitz
Vulture
Taboo is about the return of the repressed, but also the suppressed, with the protagonist serving as a vessel for social commentary about the species-wide violence and corruption wrought by imperialism, racism, and capitalism.

GREED, Exercising Noblesse Oblige

Rebecca Foust
Paradise Drive
Tongue-in-cheek, Marin poet Rebecca Foust offers a sonnet about the seven deadly sins, and rich people who have their trickle-down rationalizations.

Politics, Aesthetics and the War Against "Perfectionist Ideology" in Orwell in Orwell

David Trotter
London Review of Books
Much Orwell criticism centers on his politics, not surprising given how it was his predominant subject. The books under review take a slight detour, viewing his work as he frequently judged others. Orwell's writing is chockablock with sensuous material, such as how class discriminations determine not just life chances but personal hygiene, or how bathos in an otherwise serious tract humanizes the literature and guards against "perfect" politics.

Portside Labor

Remembering Bob White

Herman Rosenfeld
rankandfile.ca
Bob White played an historic role in building working class understanding of key principles: the need for workers to control their own class institutions; the need to maintain an understanding of the conflict of interests between workers and employers, the need to maintain a capacity to collectively struggle and resist, a rejection of competitiveness as a goal or concessions as a strategy, and the need for unions to develop an independent political capacity.

Union Sues Over Iowa's New Collective Bargaining Law

Grant Rodgers and William Petroski
The Des Moines Register
The new law bans public employee unions in most cases from negotiating over issues such as health insurance, evaluation procedures, staff reduction and leaves of absence for political purposes. Police officers and firefighters are exempted from that portion of the law, a move that AFSCME argues in the lawsuit violates the Iowa Constitution by creating "favored" and "disfavored" groups of government workers.

Workers, Businesses Back Proposal to Stop Wage Theft

Barb Kucera
Workday Minnesota
About 39,000 Minnesota workers suffer from wage theft each year, resulting in $11.9 million in wages owed, and that's only what goes reported. The union-backed Wage Theft Initiative proposes policy changes to give the state Department of Labor and Industry more enforcement tools and an increased budget.

Bank Workers Will Protest to Form Their First US Union — And The Whole World Is Watching

Jack Smith IV
.mic
On Tuesday, over 15,000 U.S. bank workers with the Spain-based bank Santander will declare their intent to establish this country's first bank workers' union. They'll deliver petitions, take over corporate lobbies and begin the long struggle to bring collective bargaining to an industry with predatory practices and lots of low-wage workers.

We Can Resist Trump’s Immigration Orders

Duane Campbell
Democratic Left
Immigrant rights activists have developed a strategy to defeat deportations. Those arrested are encouraged to refuse to sign the “voluntary departure," and insist upon having legal counsel. All persons inside the U.S. have a right to counsel (not only citizens). If some 20%- 30% of those arrested begin to refuse to sign, the jails will fill within days – even the private prisons. If those arrested insist on legal counsel, the courts will be overloaded.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

During a no-holds-barred press conference, President Trump lashes out at the media, pushes lies about his Electoral College victory and boasts that he's not anti-Semitic. 

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

This song expresses the urgency we all face and offers us wisdom with the words, "War, children, it's just a shot away... Love, sister, it's just a kiss away".

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

President Donald Trump's chief strategist believes the West is at war with Islam.

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

This is madness that we’re witnessing here

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

Donald Trump spreads a lot of false information thanks to his daily consumption of morning cable news. If only we could sneak some facts into the president’s media diet.

Posted by Portside on February 10, 2017

Six New England Patriots are sitting out a visit with Trump after their Super Bowl win. “I just don’t feel welcome in that house. I’m going to just leave it at that.” Supportive fans want the boycott to grow bigger.

Posted by Portside on February 10, 2017

 

 

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded / Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed