Trump Riding Obama Shoulders: Central America

 Central America feature image
May 1, 2017
Trump’s policies against immigrants are an intensification of the Obama administration’s targeting of Central American refugees through raids going after women and children in January 2016 as well as using large scale family detention as a deterrence mechanism aimed at stopping others fearing for their lives from fleeing to the US. The Trump administration is flagrantly exacerbating harmful U.S. immigration and foreign policies implemented for over a century.
Read More »

When Plans for Sea-Level Rise Turns to Play

When Plans for Sea-Level Rise Turns to Play feature image
April 30, 2017
Marin County’s “Game of Floods” teaches citizens how to make tough decisions for the future.
Read More »

A Special Obscenity

A Special Obscenity feature image
April 30, 2017
Picasso painted Guernica eighty years ago this spring. It still stands as a searing protest against the brutality of war and fascism.
Read More »

Into the Meat Grinder with `Beyond Caring'

Into the Meat Grinder with `Beyond Caring' feature image
April 30, 2017
Three women, all clearly desperate for jobs, arrive for "orientation" at the work room of a meat processing plant. They have been sent by an employment agency as "temporary workers" - a euphemism for low wages, no benefits, short-term contracts with uncertain payroll dates and the most appalling work conditions. So begins Alexander Zeldin's remarkable "immersive" soul-stripping production of "Beyond Caring."
Read More »

State Corporate Tax Avoidance in Fortune 500

State Corporate Tax Avoidance in Fortune 500 feature image
April 30, 2017
Few state tax trends are as striking as the rapid decline of state corporate income tax revenues. As recently as 1986, state corporate income taxes equaled 0.5 percent of nationwide Gross State Product (GSP) (a measure of statewide economic activity). But in fiscal year 2013 (the last year for which data are available), state and local corporate income taxes were just 0.33 percent of nationwide GSP- representing a decline of over 30 percent.
Read More »

When White People Leave Jobs Tend to Follow

When White People Leave Jobs Tend to Follow feature image
April 30, 2017
Chicago area municipalities that witnessed sharp declines in white population between 2000 and 2010 have continued to lose population, lose jobs or lose both since 2010, particularly majority-black and majority-Latino suburbs
Read More »

A Tough-Love Letter to the Left

A Tough-Love Letter to the Left feature image
April 29, 2017
A new book urges activists to avoid insularity and purism--and to focus on winning.
Read More »

Brazil Paralyzed by Nationwide Strike

Brazil Paralyzed by Nationwide Strike feature image
April 29, 2017
In other words, Brazilian elites – having plundered the country to the point where it was close to collapse – decided that the only viable solution was to force the country’s already-suffering population of workers and the unemployed poor to suffer further, by taking from them the meager protections and safety net they enjoyed. They engineered the cataclysmic impeachment of the country’s president to achieve this.
Read More »

100 Days Of Trump

100 Days Of Trump  feature image
April 29, 2017
We have entered a period of deep political crisis in the US, and both dominant parties stand on treacherously shifting sand. They are confronted by the exhaustion of the campaign models that brought them success since 1948. Hints of Trump's victory can be found in Nixon's "silent majority" as well as the subsequent Reagan Revolution, the current circumstances represent a sharp break from "business as usual."
Read More »

Climate March Draws Thousands of Protesters

Climate March Draws Thousands of Protesters  feature image
April 29, 2017
Billed as the Peoples Climate March, the demonstration here in Washington, and hundreds of smaller events like it across the country, had long been planned to mark the 100th day of the new president’s term. What organizers did not know, at least initially, was that that president would be Mr. Trump.
Read More »

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

Mothers Are Paid Less Than Fathers in Every State and at Every Education Level

Dayna Evans
New York Magazine
Mothers who work full-time and have a high-school degree make 67 cents for every dollar made by a dad with a high-school degree. More staggering is that mothers have to earn a bachelor’s degree or more in order for their earnings to outpace fathers with only high-school degrees. At every education level and in every state, mothers are paid less than fathers. On average, a mother makes about 71 cents to a father’s dollar.

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.

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.