Tidbits - December 5, 2013

Tidbits - December 5, 2013 feature image
December 5, 2013
Reader Comments - Philippine Recovery and Climate Change; Human Origins; "Strange Fruit;" North Carolina; Delbert Tibbs; Adjunct Unions; Corporate Profits-great infographic; South Africa - COSATU-ANC-SACP Alliance; Education; Healthcare; ALEC; Occupy; Steve Kindred; Race and Cuba; Announcements - The Invention of the White Race; Celebrating the Life of Father Paul Mayer; Pete Seeger's new book
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Fast Food CEO Millionaire's Secret Subsidies

Fast Food CEO Millionaire's Secret Subsidies feature image
December 5, 2013
You are paying for the bloated salaries of fast food CEOs. McDonald's saved $14 million in taxes over the past two years using a loophole that lets companies deduct the costs of performance-based executive pay, according to a report released Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies.
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Celebrating the Life of Nelson Mandela

Celebrating the Life of Nelson Mandela feature image
December 5, 2013
South Africa and the world today mourn the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - leader in the fight against apartheid, head of the ANC and first president of a free South Africa. Statement by COSATU - The Congress of South African Trade Unions - "the greatest ever South African and most inspirational leader in our struggle for liberty and democracy..." Mandela's speech, "I Am Prepared to Die." from the dock in the Rivonia Trial in 1964 (full...
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Return of Military Rule in Egypt

Return of Military Rule in Egypt feature image
December 4, 2013
So, clearly, in the aftermath of the July coup, it is the military once again firmly in power for the second time in as many years. For Egyptians, this is déjà vu all over again. Only the second reincarnation of military rule is far different and far worse this time around, with repression extending far beyond the now-banned and much-besieged Muslim Brotherhood and their allies.
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Fast Food Strikes Spread

Fast Food Strikes Spread feature image
December 4, 2013
“I’m tired of working for $7.25, I can’t take care of my household, I can’t even take care of myself," says Mary Coleman,Mary Coleman, who works at a Popeye’s in Milwaukee for $7.25 an hour. Coleman, 59, lives with her daughter, who has a heart condition, and her two grandchildren. She also relies on food stamps to make ends meet and says she would gladly trade in her Qwest card for higher wages. Thursday marks Mary’s fourth strike.
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What ALEC Wants in 2014

What ALEC Wants in 2014 feature image
December 4, 2013
On ALEC's agenda for 2014 are the following priorities and bills (which will become official ALEC "models" once passed by the task forces -- with corporate lobbyists voting as equals alongside state legislators -- and approved by the board of directors):
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Guns or Butter

Guns or Butter feature image
December 4, 2013
As the December 13 budget deadline approaches, let us act together to demand a federal budget that reflects our values. We need a budget that lifts the quality of life for all of us. We don't need a war machine.
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More Clues to Human Ancestry

More Clues to Human Ancestry feature image
December 4, 2013
Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.
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Detroit Bankruptcy Bankrupts Democracy

Detroit Bankruptcy Bankrupts Democracy feature image
December 3, 2013
The city is being steered into a wrenching process of restructuring that—by all appearances—will be based on flawed math, flawed priorities and an exceptionally flawed understanding of how democracy is supposed to work.
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Hundreds Protest Israeli Naval Blockade

Hundreds Protest Israeli Naval Blockade feature image
December 3, 2013
'We want to say to everyone that enough is enough' - 200 people took part in the "reverse flotilla" which set off from Gaza City where a portion of the boats crossed the six-mile maritime boarder, which is enforced by Israeli Defense Forces, before returning to shore.
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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.