The Deal That Could’ve Given Us Single Payer

The Deal That Could’ve Given Us Single Payer feature image
December 9, 2013
It’s not so much that Obama “sold us out” to a powerful constituency as that he picked the wrong powerful constituency. A quick look at the financial details reveals that health insurance nationalization was always the real “path of least resistance.”
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Europe's Deadly Border

Europe's Deadly Border feature image
December 9, 2013
Malta's prime minister, Joseph Muscat, exclaimed to journalist Gwynne Dyer that "we are building a cemetery within our Mediterranean Sea.” An NGO, Fortress Europe, says 6,450 died in the channel between Sicily and North Africa between 1994 and 2012. This figure is similar to the 5,570 people found dead in the desert between Mexico and the United States from 1998 to 2012, and has earned the Mediterranean the nickname “sea of death.”
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State, Local Action on Minimum Wage

State, Local Action on Minimum Wage feature image
December 9, 2013
With Washington tied up on other issues, states and municipalities are handling minimum-wage increases on their own. Legislators and voters in five states — California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island — and in four local governments this year approved measures raising the minimum wage above the current national rate of $7.25 an hour, in one case as high as $15 an hour.
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The Fault That Caused Japan's 2011 Earthquake

The Fault That Caused Japan's 2011 Earthquake feature image
December 8, 2013
What made the 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake possible, and could it happen again? An international group of scientists that drilled miles beneath the Pacific Ocean and into the earthquake fault now have answers to these questions. The answers lay the foundation for a better understanding of earthquakes and, ultimately, a better ability to identify earthquake hazards.
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Lies, Damn Lies, and Retirement Savings

Lies, Damn Lies, and Retirement Savings feature image
December 8, 2013
The sad reality is that the only households with any 401(k) savings to speak of are white non-Hispanic, college-educated, married couples. Even within this narrow demographic, all but the wealthiest who use retirement accounts as tax shelters, would be better off under a more egalitarian and efficient system.
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Pardoning Turkeys, Not People?

Pardoning Turkeys, Not People? feature image
December 8, 2013
President Obama has pardoned two birds each Thanksgiving for the past five years. In both 2009 and 2012, he pardoned more turkeys than people. Overall, Obama has granted clemency to just 39 people.
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Solar Would Be Cheaper

Solar Would Be Cheaper feature image
December 8, 2013
It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976. The supreme tragedy is that the US has bankrupted itself ensuring military security for the oil-producing nations of the Gulf when oil production is destroying the world.
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Nelson Mandela: Union Man

 Union Man feature image
December 8, 2013
Unlike so many leaders who rise of power with the support of organized labor but then distance themselves from the movement, Mandela never broke the bond.
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REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons

REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons feature image
December 7, 2013
Nelson Mandela, Pensions, fast food workers, drone, Elizabeth Warren
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Pages

Portside Culture

Palestinian -Themed Films Draw Plaudits

Bill Meyer
There were three exceptionable and rewarding Palestinian themed films at the Toronto Interrnational Film Festival this year, and Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult has been selected to represent his home country of Lebanon at the Oscars. A more timely film could not have been made and selected, seeing that this film addresses most every area of conflict possible.

The Sad, Sexist Past of Bengali Cuisine

Mayukh Sen
Food 52
Party line suggested that widowhood made a woman’s sex drive fickle and vulnerable. A woman’s libido was a site of such agita that she couldn’t be trusted to keep it quiet, and so her body needed to be governed. The alienation imposed upon high-caste, Hindu Bengali women was meant to act as a hormonal suppressant, silencing the desire more dangerous than hunger for fish or meat: sex.

Anna Mae

Marsha de la O
Antidote for Night
Marsha de la O, a southern California poet, depicts most tenderly the hard wages of environmental pollution.

Trump's Itchy, Twitchy Finger

Scott McLemee
Inside Higher Ed
Focusing mainly on Trump's first year in office, the authors emphasize what they call a pattern of systematic reaction, where growing voter frustration regularly drives each party in and out of control. Trump arrived with scant political capital, amassed little and appears to have no strategic competence going forward. While the authors believe Trump can develop one, the essayist faults the authors for offering nothing but wishfulness to back up the assumption.

Yanis Varoufakis’s Doomed Fight Against Austerity

Emmett Rensin
The New Republic
This volume is an insider's account of Greece's recent struggle to preserve the general welfare of its people in the fact of the belt-tighening demands of the managers of the international financial system. Reviewer Rensin offers an assessment.

Portside Labor

Number of Women, Minorities in Labor Leadership Called Dismal

Jaclyn Diaz
Bloomberg Law/ Daily Labor Report
Leaders must also know when it’s time for a new person to take the helm. To keep new blood flowing through the labor movement, older leaders have to make room for their successors, RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, said. “You have to get out of the way. You can’t just talk about it,” she said. “If you’re a leader, a strong leader, you step down and open that up to someone you believe reflects where this union needs to be.”

50 Years On, Steinbeck’s Classic Still Packs a Punch

Barry Healy
Green Left Weekly
This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s great mythic novel of alienation under US capitalism, Of Mice and Men. The story is of lonesome labourers, reeling from the Great Depression, wandering from farm to farm seeking respite from their endless oppression.

Iowa Workers Defy Attempt to Weaken Their Unions

Bill Knight
Pekin Daily Times
Under a new anti-union law, public-sector unions must re-certify each time they’re scheduled to bargain new contracts, every two or three years. Right-wing backers of the law hoped it would weaken unions by forcing them to devote time and resources to the recertification process and lead workers to drop their membership. But the members of the state's 468 union locals voted overwhelmingly to stick with their union.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

One year after the presidential election, John Oliver discusses what we've learned so far and enlists our catheter cowboy to teach Donald Trump what he hasn't.

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

"Down on Me" is a traditional freedom song from the 1920s or earlier that became popular following its remake 50 years ago (1967) by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company. (Wikipedia)

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

Charles Dickens connected Scrooge, greed and redemption to Christmas in a book that changed the holiday forever.
Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

The Paradise Papers exposed an unseen world of offshore accounts, hidden money and financial maneuvering at the highest levels of politics, business and finance.

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

The Senate holds a hearing to debate President Trump's power to use nuclear weapons without congressional approval.

Posted by Portside on November 10, 2017

Is there one person who can save us from Donald Trump. Schneider-man, maybe? Eric Schneiderman doesn't think so.

Posted by Portside on November 10, 2017

Music, where cultures meet and perform mad dances. Arabic, Spanish and Russian influences power this mashup.