Tidbits - Reader Comments/Announcements-Feb 5

Tidbits - Reader Comments/Announcements-Feb 5 feature image
February 6, 2013
CORRECTION: Savaging Primitives: Why Jared Diamond's `The World Until Yesterday' Is Completely Wrong; Reader Comments on Jared Diamond; Julian Assange; Henry Wallace; Mali; Announcements - Everybody Against Austerity; Rally for the Cablevision 22 - New York - Feb 6; Students are Crashing Fashion Week; Adidas Workers Speak Out at NYC Fashion Week! - New York - Feb. 10
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Media Bits and Bytes - Digital Divide Edition

Media Bits and Bytes - Digital Divide Edition feature image
February 5, 2013
Everything you wanted to know (this week) about the Digital Divide.
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Why Egypt's Revolution is So Different

Why Egypt's Revolution is So Different feature image
February 5, 2013
Who Will Fill the Political Void? Entering the third year of the revolt in Egypt, no amount of repression seems able to contain the swelling pressure exploding throughout the country the last several weeks. In fact, protests against the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohammed Morsi seem to be gaining support. The truth is, the revolution in Egypt is deeper and more profound than any of the other valiant examples of the Arab Spring.
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Attack on Academic Freedom - Brooklyn College

Attack on Academic Freedom - Brooklyn College feature image
February 5, 2013
Brooklyn College president stands firm, "Our commitment to the principles of academic freedom remains steadfast." At the same time, the New York City Council, has laid down a gauntlet: if this event goes forward, the Council will withdraw funds from CUNY and Brooklyn College. As Glenn Greenwald points out, this is about as raw an exercise of coercive political power - and simple a violation of academic freedom - as it gets.
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Literature for Labor Activists

Literature for Labor Activists feature image
February 5, 2013
Many activists rely on fiction for inspiration, new perspectives, and, of course, entertainment. For some of us, novels even helped start us down our paths of activism. Union density in United States has declined yet again - only 11.3% of American workers now belong to unions. Labor histories can play a key role in the education of a new generation of working people, and novels, can make the case for working people's rights.
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Rosa Parks' Stamp on American History

Rosa Parks' Stamp on American History feature image
February 4, 2013
Today, to honor the Feb. 4 centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks, the United States Postal Service has issued a Rosa Parks stamp. Yet these tributes to Rosa Parks rest on a narrow and distorted vision of her legacy. A more thorough accounting of Parks' political life offers a different set of reasons for the nation to honor her. A lifetime of steadfastness and outrage, tenacity and bravery, is what deserves national veneration.
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The True Cost of National Security

The True Cost of National Security feature image
February 4, 2013
The Pentagon and the White House focus on the core Defense budget, but that’s not the half of it. Much attention will focus on Social Security and Medicare, which have been flashpoints lately. Buy if coverage in years past is any guide, we can expect stories from many news outlets that will significantly understate a third huge slice of spending the real costs of military and other national defense spending.
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Sniper Shot Down at Shooting Range

Sniper Shot Down at Shooting Range feature image
February 4, 2013
When it comes to a timely reminder of how flawed the NRA and gun advocates argument that a gun offers a magical shield of self-defense is, the recent killing of a military sniper at a Texas gun range – glorified for his book detailing his alleged 150 "insurgent" kill total – offers it.
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Henry Wallace, America's Forgotten Visionary

Henry Wallace, America's Forgotten Visionary  feature image
February 4, 2013
One of the great "What if?" questions of the 20th century is how America would have been different if Henry Wallace rather than Harry Truman had succeeded Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. Filmmaker Oliver Stone has revived this debate in his current ten-part Showtime series, "The Untold History of the United States," and his new book (written with historian Peter Kuznick) of the same name.
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Europe’s Perpetual Crisis

 Europe’s Perpetual Crisis feature image
February 4, 2013
Why, given the failure of austerity economics, haven't we seen a policy shift to stimulation of the economy?...the push for yet greater austerity has less to do with a deep concern by Europe’s elites over debt—it is high but manageable—than as part of a stealth campaign aimed at dismantling rules and regulations that protect worker rights, unions, and the environment. Meanwhile Washington is concerned with the effect of the economic crisis on the viability of NATO...
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Pages

Portside Culture

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.

Call Me By My Name

Jamaica Baldwin
Rattle
The poet Jamaica Baldwin writes, “This piece was written in response to the daily lies espoused by the new president and his administration, the emergence of the phrase ‘alternative fact’ in the political lexicon, and the simple fact of Trump’s presidency.”

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 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

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

 

 

Jill Wine-Banks, Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and former U.S. prosecutor Paul Butler discuss the revelations that have come to light from the Comey memo

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

THE ACTIVISTS: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets is a documentary film that brings to life the stories of ordinary people who tried to stop and end the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Are we going to pretend they’re less than men and walk away?

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren says nobody believes Trump fired the FBI director because he was 'mean to Hillary Clinton.'

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

This song written and performed by bluesmaster John Lee Hooker was first released in 1965, performed here for the Seattle Folklore Society.