New Science Shows How Maggots Heal Wounds

New Science Shows How Maggots Heal Wounds  feature image
April 7, 2013
From ancient times until the advent of antibiotics, physicians used maggots to help clean injuries and prevent infection. Because the maggots feed solely on dead flesh, doctors did not have to worry about bugs feasting on healthy tissue. The arrival of antibiotics relegated medical maggots to an ancient artifact. Widespread antibiotic resistance, however, rekindled interest in the use of medical maggots, and in 2004 the FDA approved them as a valid “medical device."
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How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel

How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel feature image
April 7, 2013
Conceived of as a field of battle, the symbolic meaning of the game changed as it gained popularity. The original chessmen, known as counselor, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, became the queen, pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.
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Labor Party Time? Not Yet.

Labor Party Time? Not Yet.  feature image
April 7, 2013
The US working class has not succeeded in developing a class-based political party to contend for political power, making working people particularly vulnerable. Wealth and power are concentrated increasingly in the hands of a globalized elite. It's hard to identify a period of US history where the need for a labor-based political party was greater than now. Yet the short-term prospects of an independent, pro-worker political movement emerging are virtually...
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Immigration Reform and American Workers

Immigration Reform and American Workers feature image
April 7, 2013
Employers hope the guest-worker program will prevent low-wage Americans from getting a raise. With any increase in demand, employers can claim a "labor shortage" allowing in more guest workers, driving wages down. Because some 11 million undocumented workers are here, doing much of this work, the only way these undocumented workers can become organized -- and not undercut attempts to unionize legal workers -- is if the undocumented workers also become legal.
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Why Unemployment Hit Black Households Hardest

Why Unemployment Hit Black Households Hardest feature image
April 7, 2013
The average black household that experienced unemployment had zero cash to fall back on. The history of our latest economic recession is full of stories of families who had to cash out their retirement accounts or savings for a child's education to make regular payments on rent and bills. But what about families that didn't even have those options?
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Rewind - April 6, 2013

Rewind - April 6, 2013 feature image
April 6, 2013
Social Security, March Madness, McDonald's and more
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British Unions to Strike

British Unions to Strike feature image
April 6, 2013
Unite and Unison back mass action for the first time since 1926
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World Social Forum - Tunisia

World Social Forum - Tunisia feature image
April 6, 2013
It came at a time when the world has been rocked by grassroots uprisings in the Arab world, but also increasing mobilizations to counter the climate crisis, and massive economic protests from southern Europe to “Occupy” groups in the United States to student movements from Quebec to Chile.
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Latin American Integration

Latin American Integration feature image
April 6, 2013
"We need to mentally define what kind of integration we want. Is it to copy the model of the European Union? Is it to build something new? What does every leader have in mind?"
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NCAA - Edge of Sports

NCAA - Edge of Sports feature image
April 6, 2013
No non-profit does buccaneer profiteering quite like the NCAA.
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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