Literature for Labor Activists

Literature for Labor Activists feature image
February 5, 2013
Many activists rely on fiction for inspiration, new perspectives, and, of course, entertainment. For some of us, novels even helped start us down our paths of activism. Union density in United States has declined yet again - only 11.3% of American workers now belong to unions. Labor histories can play a key role in the education of a new generation of working people, and novels, can make the case for working people's rights.
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Rosa Parks' Stamp on American History

Rosa Parks' Stamp on American History feature image
February 4, 2013
Today, to honor the Feb. 4 centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks, the United States Postal Service has issued a Rosa Parks stamp. Yet these tributes to Rosa Parks rest on a narrow and distorted vision of her legacy. A more thorough accounting of Parks' political life offers a different set of reasons for the nation to honor her. A lifetime of steadfastness and outrage, tenacity and bravery, is what deserves national veneration.
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The True Cost of National Security

The True Cost of National Security feature image
February 4, 2013
The Pentagon and the White House focus on the core Defense budget, but that’s not the half of it. Much attention will focus on Social Security and Medicare, which have been flashpoints lately. Buy if coverage in years past is any guide, we can expect stories from many news outlets that will significantly understate a third huge slice of spending the real costs of military and other national defense spending.
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Sniper Shot Down at Shooting Range

Sniper Shot Down at Shooting Range feature image
February 4, 2013
When it comes to a timely reminder of how flawed the NRA and gun advocates argument that a gun offers a magical shield of self-defense is, the recent killing of a military sniper at a Texas gun range – glorified for his book detailing his alleged 150 "insurgent" kill total – offers it.
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Henry Wallace, America's Forgotten Visionary

Henry Wallace, America's Forgotten Visionary  feature image
February 4, 2013
One of the great "What if?" questions of the 20th century is how America would have been different if Henry Wallace rather than Harry Truman had succeeded Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. Filmmaker Oliver Stone has revived this debate in his current ten-part Showtime series, "The Untold History of the United States," and his new book (written with historian Peter Kuznick) of the same name.
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Europe’s Perpetual Crisis

 Europe’s Perpetual Crisis feature image
February 4, 2013
Why, given the failure of austerity economics, haven't we seen a policy shift to stimulation of the economy?...the push for yet greater austerity has less to do with a deep concern by Europe’s elites over debt—it is high but manageable—than as part of a stealth campaign aimed at dismantling rules and regulations that protect worker rights, unions, and the environment. Meanwhile Washington is concerned with the effect of the economic crisis on the viability of NATO...
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Will Deep-sea Mining Yield a Gold Rush?

Will Deep-sea Mining Yield a Gold Rush? feature image
February 3, 2013
As long as the promise of riches await, more firms and governments will be looking to join the fray. "It's economics that drive things," says the University of Tasmania's Coffin. "Tech boundaries are being pushed, and science just comes along behind it and tries to understand what the consequences are. Ideally, it should be the other way around."
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Italy Votes: Austerity, Social Justice—or Don

 Austerity, Social Justice—or Don feature image
February 3, 2013
Italy’s general election on February 24-25 comes at a decisive moment for this country and for Europe. The neoliberal consensus that has powered Germany’s (and Europe’s) mean and miserly response to the 2008 depression seems to be faltering. Italians have a chance to make a real choice. To put it in a nutshell: Is the answer to our present economic and social ordeal more fiscal probity, or is it more social justice?
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Why Jared Diamond is Completely Wrong

Why Jared Diamond is Completely Wrong feature image
February 3, 2013
Jared Diamond’s new book, The World Until Yesterday, is completely wrong, writes Stephen Corry. According to Diamond, they need, and welcome, state intervention to stop their violent behavior. Corry argues that this is merely a political opinion, backed by questionable and spurious data. He sees Diamond’s position as one of supporting colonial ideas about ‘pacifying savages’ and says it is factually and morally wrong.
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Equifax Knows Quite a Lot about You

Equifax Knows Quite a Lot about You feature image
February 3, 2013
Equifax knows quite a lot about you and so do Netflix and Google and Facebook and all kinds of political campaigns not to mention technology and marketing services conglomerates and . . . well you get the idea. Houston, we have a problem. -- moderator
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Pages

Portside Culture

My Mother Explains Why She Never Voted

Meryl Stratford
Rattle Poets Respond
"Imagine--a woman in the White House." As Florida poet Meryl Stratford implies about her pre-feminist mother--"It wasn’t worth the argument"-- of just how hard it is to change someone's mind when it comes to voting!

The Captive Aliens Who Remain Our Shame

Annette Gordon-Reed
New York Review of Books
The author argues that a key factor in unifying the fractious 13 colonies in opposition to British rule during the Revolution was the patriots' effort to link British oppression to extant colonial fears about insurrectionary slaves and homicidal Indians.

Art in the Age of Masculinist Hollywood: Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”

Morgan Lee Davies
Los Angeles Review of Books
La La Land is not, in the end, so very different from Whiplash (an earlier Chazelle film) for all their tonal differences. Above all, the vision they paint of the artistic life is masculine. In Damien Chazelle’s movies, men have power, and they get (almost) everything they want... And women? All they get to do is listen.

The gluten-free diets: Fad or fact?

Dr Shona Jacobsberg
New Food Magazine
With coeliac disease and wheat allergy affecting only 1.2% of the population, why is it that an estimated 15% of UK adults and an astonishing 29% of US adults are trying to avoid gluten?

The Troublesome Women of Sherlock

Sophie Gilbert
The Atlantic
The BBC show seems to have difficulty fitting female characters into its universe. But it isn’t Arthur Conan Doyle’s fault.

Portside Labor

Universal Basic Income Experiment Begins in Finland

William Rogers
Left Labor Reporter
When masses of workers start to lose their jobs to automation, workers will find it even more difficult to pay for the social insurance that provides them with a safety net. Therefore says Varoufakis we need another way to protect workers and another way to pay for it.

What Labor Should Learn from Trump’s Victory

Michael Hirsch, Saulo Colon, Murray Schneider, Lois Weiner
New Politics
The form of political action that Clinton defenders in labor advocate is a suffocating loser. It seeks accommodation when confrontation is required. It is more concerned with the longevity of the union as an institution – an important consideration for labor, but one that demands a more courageous vision – than with the overall strength of its members vis a vis their employers, which in fact is the only guarantor of institutional survival.

AFSCME To Accept Wage-Freeze, Higher Health Costs

Doug Finke
Gatehouse Media Illinois
According to the article AFSCME would agree to a four-year wage freeze in an attempt to get get the Rauner administration back to the bargaining table". AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said, "Employees would pay more for health insurance in three of the four years...".

Donald Trump Collected a Massive $168,000 Union Pension. Will He Fight for Yours?

Andrew Joyce
Policy.Mic
As recently as 2015, Donald Trump was still collecting a $168,000 pension — and maybe more — from the Screen Actors Guild for playing himself in The Apprentice. Now that Trump is about to be president, the most important question is: What is Trump's plan to save the system that is designed to protect millions of union pensions like his own?

Local 150 Lawsuit Strikes Down Local "Right to Work" Law

IUOE Local 150
IUOE Local 150
In a decision issued on January 7th, United States District Judge Matthew Kennelly found that the local "right to work" law passed by the Village of Lincolnshire, Illinois in 2015 is pre-empted by federal law, and that only states and territories have the authority to such laws.

When George Wallace Came to Town

Joe Allen
Jacobin
The notorious southern bigot George C. Wallace came hunting for votes and found a ready-made audience among blue-collar workers.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Chris Hayes examines the parallels between Donald Trump and Nixon with the author of Nixonland.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

"A Better Man" video recorded and filmed live outside on Keb' Mo's back porch.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Baba Brinkman and Greydon Square rap about how to approach the world morally without religion.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Is cloning possible? Not cloning as in Dolly the sheep, but cloning as in a Star Trek transporter? Here is the real science of it.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Tay Zonday's take on the Seuss classic has obvious relevance this holiday season.

Posted by Portside on December 24, 2016

A two-minute guide to President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed cabinet. Already the richest in modern history, his picks include an array of the super wealthy, big business executives and climate change deniers

Posted by Portside on December 23, 2016

 

 

Patti Smith is overcome with emotion singing It's a Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall at the Nobel ceremony