Extinction Paved Way For Dinosaurs

Extinction Paved Way For Dinosaurs feature image
March 24, 2013
A mass extinction caused by volcanic activity wiped out some of the dinosaurs' competitors, allowing them to assume ascendancy. Of course, another mass extinction, caused by a meteor impact caused their demise. Earth is not as hospitable to life as we might like to think.
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Wikileaks Was Just a Preview

Wikileaks Was Just a Preview feature image
March 24, 2013
In all of these cases, the government pursued maximum punishments and generally took zero-tolerance approaches to plea negotiations. These prosecutions reflected an obvious institutional terror of letting the public see the sausage-factory locked behind the closed doors not only of the state, but of banks and universities and other such institutional pillars of society. This is a Wizard of Oz moment, where we are being warned not to look behind the curtain.
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Scuttling Obama's Progressive Cabinet Nominee

Scuttling Obama's Progressive Cabinet Nominee feature image
March 24, 2013
If Republicans block Obama's Labor Secretary Nominee Thomas Perez over his actions in the St. Paul case, it won't be because of corruption or ethics. It will be because he rescued a civil rights law they oppose from almost certain death at the hands of the Roberts court.
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Shot, Then Shut Out

Shot, Then Shut Out feature image
March 24, 2013
The cascade of trauma center closures around the country epitomizes the challenges to combating healthcare inequities in a for-profit system. In the absence of federal or state regulations mandating the availability of trauma care, hospitals in high poverty areas have found that simply closing their trauma units improves their bottom line.
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Medical Device Tax-How Not to Close Loopholes

Medical Device Tax-How Not to Close Loopholes feature image
March 24, 2013
As the medical device tax saga shows, cutting loopholes is really hard to do in practice. They were likely put there to benefit specific industries, which can often be quite powerful and influence even stalwart liberal Senators who claim to want new revenue sources. Many progressives thus fear that the loopholes most likely to be closed are the ones that benefit people without lobbyists—middle-class wage earners and homeowners, students, and the very poor.
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Rewind 3.23.13

Rewind 3.23.13 feature image
March 23, 2013
Bradley Manning, Cyprus, peace movement and more
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Rachel Corrie

Rachel Corrie feature image
March 23, 2013
US peace activist was killed by Israeli bulldozer in Gaza as she tried to block the demolition of a Palestinian home.
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Iraq War anniversary

Iraq War anniversary feature image
March 23, 2013
A crucial lesson as we stand up to the escalation of Obama’s drone war and continue to challenge those who call for war against Iran.
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Back to Work Budget

Back to Work Budget feature image
March 23, 2013
It is very important for progressives to keep building a movement to demand a plan for jobs – like the Back to Work Budget.
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Ken Loach, Left Party in Britian

Ken Loach, Left Party in Britian feature image
March 23, 2013
Where can we turn politically? Who is on our side, to fight for an alternative?
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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