Teacher boycott of standardized test spreads

Teacher boycott of standardized test spreads feature image
January 28, 2013
A boycott of Washington state’s mandated standardized test by teachers at a Seattle school is spreading to other schools and winning support across the country, including from the two largest teachers’ unions, parents, students, researchers and educators.
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Nonprofit Spends Big on Politics Despite IRS

 Nonprofit Spends Big on Politics Despite IRS feature image
January 28, 2013
A cadre of wealthy business executives and conservative groups tried to sell California voters on new campaign finance reforms.Couched in lofty rhetoric about the importance of cutting off money from special interests to politicians and other regulations favored by reformers, their proposal sought to ban the practice of using payroll deductions for political expenditures — a popular method of union fundraising: The story of the American Fund and Proposition 32.
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Egypt Aflame Over Protests

January 28, 2013
Late this evening, President Mohammad Morsi declared Emergency Law in three provinces around the Suez Canal that are ablaze in protests. He frankly conceded the government was losing control. ... there is absolutely no doubt that both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood government were caught completely off guard by angry, increasingly intense protests, immediately following what were already massive anti-government actions in Tahrir Square and elsewhere.
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The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy

The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy feature image
January 28, 2013
Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. How did we arrive at this state of affairs?
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Walmart and Fast Food Unions' Strategy

Walmart and Fast Food Unions' Strategy feature image
January 28, 2013
Small but highly publicized strikes by Walmart retail and warehouse workers last fall set the labor movement abuzz and gained new respect for organizing methods once regarded skeptically.
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Origami: A Blend of Sculpture and Mathematics

 A Blend of Sculpture and Mathematics feature image
January 27, 2013
The shape of a Pringle, mathematically speaking, is called a hyperbolic paraboloid. Artists have been folding paper into this shape for years. The twist? Hyperbolic paraboloids shouldn’t exist in origami—it’s impossible to make such a 3D shape using only the creases pressed into paper by hand. By that logic, some of Erik Demaine’s artwork shouldn’t exist either.
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The Myth of Living Beyond Our Means

The Myth of Living Beyond Our Means feature image
January 27, 2013
The richest 1 percent now own more than 35 percent of all of the nation’s household wealth, and 38 percent of the nation’s financial assets – including stocks and pension funds. The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together. 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than bottom 33 million American families combined. So why are we even contemplating cutting programs the middle class and poor depend on, and raising raising their taxes?
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Voices of Protest from Tahrir

Voices of Protest from Tahrir feature image
January 27, 2013
The Brotherhood, the military and the property class are increasing their stranglehold on society, but the spirit of revolution, two years on, is undiminished. The youth, women and workers have not been defeated, and they want their voices heard.
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Big Banks and Income Disparity

January 27, 2013
When banks complain that regulations stifle innovation or profit potential or that business may be driven offshore, the answer may well be “so what.” The startling truth may be that the elimination of most of the financial innovations of the last 35 years would be the best job creator ever considered.
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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.