When Large Birds Disappear-Rainforests Suffer

When Large Birds Disappear-Rainforests Suffer feature image
June 2, 2013
By the time people realized there was value in keeping the forest around, nearly 90 percent of it had been lost. Much of what remains today occurs in isolated, random pockets. For those smaller jungle patches the choices long-dead humans made may lead to complete collapse of some of the world’s most diverse sections of rainforest. Like a real-life game of Jenga, birds could prove to be the key piece that causes the entire jungle system to fall down.
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Registering Millions

Registering Millions feature image
June 2, 2013
The United States is one of only a few democracies that places the responsibility of registering primarily on each individual voter, rather than making government accountable for ensuring that eligible persons are registered. Not surprisingly, obstacles to registration result in fewer people who are registered to vote. Disparities in voter registration rates directly result in disparities in who votes in any given election, leaving many voices unheard.
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Ten Ways New Chemical Bill Marks a Retreat

Ten Ways New Chemical Bill Marks a Retreat feature image
June 2, 2013
The new bill marks a significant retreat from the Safe Chemicals Act. Missing are dozens of critical provisions designed to protect the public, especially vulnerable groups such as unborn babies, infants and children. These flaws raise this question: “Where exactly was the compromise”? This looks more like an industry bill than a law that will ensure that chemicals in commerce, many of which are polluting our bodies, are safe for all of us – especially kids.
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100-Year-Old Idea Could Transform Labor

100-Year-Old Idea Could Transform Labor feature image
June 2, 2013
With the traditional union model and its emphasis on bargaining by representatives exiting the stage, working people are urgently searching for a new way to challenge corporate power and win a better life for their families. One hundred years later, the road not taken—represented by Local 8—represents one model.
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REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons

REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons feature image
June 1, 2013
March Against Monsanto. Social justice in Sweden. Make a Wall Street banker squirm. Unemployment rates among the youth. Challenging Detroit’s creditors. The ugly, destructive war against food stamps. Pathway to citizenship.
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Unions, Computerization and Profits

Unions, Computerization and Profits feature image
June 1, 2013
This huge amount of money did not go to the workers ...
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Nader on Kerry and Mideast Peace

Nader on Kerry and Mideast Peace feature image
June 1, 2013
The problem is that almost nobody in Israel - hawks, peace advocates, or those in the middle - believes anything will come out of Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy.
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Afghanistan: Is it really the end game?

 Is it really the end game? feature image
June 1, 2013
There is no need for a chaos-engulfed finale to the Afghan War, no reason to continue the bloodshed
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Time for Bold US Mideast Move - Barghouti

Time for Bold US Mideast Move - Barghouti feature image
June 1, 2013
In an exclusive, written interview, jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti warns that the alternative to a two-state solution is a conflict "with no middle ground."
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At Universities, Too, the Rich Grow Richer

At Universities, Too, the Rich Grow Richer feature image
May 31, 2013
According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, thirty-five private university presidents and four public university presidents topped $1 million in total earnings during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. On university campuses, it seems, everyone is equal. But some are much more equal than others.
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Pages

Portside Culture

Suffer the Children, Forbid Them Not

J. David Cummings
portside
"a mirror/ if our eyes are strong enough," so the poet J. David Cummings evokes the death of children: at Hiroshima, on the Mediterranean today.

Terror in the French Revolution and Today

Samuel Farber
International Socialist Review
The author argues that the Terror of the French Revolution was a price worth paying, and that the lessons from overthrowing the old regime should temper today's trend of maligning oppressed people's resort to violence as itself a rationale for ongoing class injustices. The reviewer, no critic of revolutionary struggle, argues that the author overemphasizes the pursuit of vengeance then and now involved at the expense of politics and a weighing of class forces.

The Book Beneath the Noise

Jennifer Helinek
Open Letters Monthly
In these early days of the Age of Trump, there is an upsurge of interest in Margaret Atwood's 1985 harrowing dystopian novel. Jennifer Helinek reminds us why this book has become a modern classic.

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.

Portside Labor

In Grim Times, Brazil Young Workers Take Charge of Future

Tula Connell
Solidarity Center
U.S. and Brazilian union activists joined May Day celebrations in São Paulo. More than 14.2 million Brazilians were without a job in March. With young workers and workers of color especially hard hit by rising unemployment and proposed legislation that would undermine fundamental worker rights, they are standing up for the their future by mobilizing in the streets, through their unions and other associations.

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.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

Stephen's stance on the White House's proposed slashing of the food stamp program and children's health insurance program is somehow radical in 2017.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

What does it sound like when three guitar greats "take a break"? Epic, as you can experience in this outtake from the movie Hail Hail Rock n Roll. 

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

The former president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, explains what it means to be president and why Donald Trump is doing it wrong.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

A true story of resistance to Nazism based on the diaries of Antonina Żabiński, now in theaters. A review and comment on its relevance to Israel/Palestine here.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu powerfully explains why the Confederate statues had to go. 

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