When Capitalists Go on Strike

When Capitalists Go on Strike feature image
February 7, 2017
Government officials know this power (capital strike) well, and invest great energy and public resources in staving off fits by malcontent capitalists. The profoundly rotten campaign finance system is just one manifestation of business’s domination over government policy. The real power resides in the corporate world’s monopoly over the flow of capital.
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Exploiting Black Labor After Reconstruction

Exploiting Black Labor After Reconstruction feature image
February 7, 2017
As W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, the “slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” According to Douglas Blackmon, author of “Slavery by Another Name,” the choices made by Southern white supremacists after abolition, and the rest of the country’s accommodation, “explain more about the current state of American life, black and white, than the antebellum slavery that preceded.”
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Betsy DeVos Comfirmed - Lessons Learned

Betsy DeVos Comfirmed - Lessons Learned feature image
February 7, 2017
1. 5 Lessons for the Trump Resistance from Betsy DeVos Contentious Confirmation by Jefferson Morley 2. Betsy DeVos Confirmed Despite Massive Protests! by Diane Ravitch
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In Trump’s World Saudi Arabia Gets Free Pass

In Trump’s World Saudi Arabia Gets Free Pass feature image
February 7, 2017
Protecting Saudi Arabia is not new; it has been US policy since the discovery of oil in the desert nation in the 1930s. Despite evidence that the Saudi government was supporting ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates, President Obama continued the cozy Saudi relationship, but when Obama signed the nuclear deal with Saudi’s nemesis, Iran, the relationship started to fray. It now appears that Donald Trump will be an even more staunch supporter of the Saudi regime.
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Auschwitz to Palestine, Ferguson to Juarez

February 6, 2017
Eight days after Donald Trump has been sworn into office, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) reflects on the significance of Holocaust Memorial Day. We hear echoes of the fascism and white supremacy of 1930’s Europe in the words and threatened actions of Trump’s administration. We see the racist, Islamophobic, anti-semitic, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist hate and violence Trump fuels and is fueled by.
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Our Cynicism Will Not Build a Movement.

Our Cynicism Will Not Build a Movement. feature image
February 6, 2017
No one is safe from the transition this country is undergoing. While many of us have faced hate, ignorance and greed in our daily lives, the period that we have entered is unlike anything that any of us has ever seen before.
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Muslim Ban and Beyond: Fighting White Power

 Fighting White Power feature image
February 6, 2017
Of the hatred and bigotry currently on display, Haitian-American physician Jonel Daphnis, said, “It’s always been like this. It’s just that instead of cursing us out quietly, now they’re emboldened to curse us out loud. Now we can’t keep up delusion as a way of maintaining our mental and spiritual well-being. It’s out in the open."
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The New Merchants of Death

The New Merchants of Death feature image
February 6, 2017
Social movements ought to place private military contractors at the center of a broader critique of authoritarian neoliberalism and America’s permanent war economy.
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Time for AFL and CIO to Part Ways Again?

Time for AFL and CIO to Part Ways Again? feature image
February 8, 2017
Now more than ever we need a strong united labor movement. We do not, however, have one. [Moderator's Note: An incorrect version of this article was previously posted. This is a corrected version. Portside regrets the error.]
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School Shootings Follow Trend in Unemployment

School Shootings Follow Trend in Unemployment feature image
February 5, 2017
A comprehensive database of events lets researchers explore potential causes.
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Pages

Portside Culture

Remembering Martin Luther King's Last, Most Radical Book

Peter Kolozi and James Freeman
New Politics
Martin Luther King's last book was downplayed when it was first published in 1967; even radicals thought it passe. On the 50th anniversary of its first publication--it is still in print-- the reviewers find much of value here for contemporary readers.

When Stuart Hall was White

James Vernon
Public Books
Stuart Hall, the Jamaican immigrant who became one of the premier left wing intellectuals in the United Kingdom during the last half century, was a pioneering theorist on the rise of the right wing in modern politics, an major exponent of postcolonial theory, and a founder of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline. In this ironically titled review of two new important books of Hall's writing, Vernon offers a compelling portrait of this important figure.

‘The Salesman’: Will Academy Members Give it an Oscar To Protest Trump?

Anne Thompson
Indiewire
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won an Oscar in 2012 for “A Separation” and whose second Oscar-nominated film, “The Salesman” is playing on more than 65 screens and could pass the $1 million mark this weekend, grabbed a lot of press when he canceled his plans to attend the February 26th Oscars ceremony following President Donald Trump’s 90-day visa ban for citizens from seven Muslim countries, including Iran.

The New Deal Meal

Rachel Laudan
Wall Street Journal
During the Depression, a loose coalition of Progressives set out to remake the American diet. Milk was regarded as the perfect food. This tension between scientific advice and traditional preferences can be traced back to the Great Depression, suggest Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe in “A Square Meal.”

FX’s Taboo Is More Fun to Think About Than to Watch

Matt Zoller Seitz
Vulture
Taboo is about the return of the repressed, but also the suppressed, with the protagonist serving as a vessel for social commentary about the species-wide violence and corruption wrought by imperialism, racism, and capitalism.

GREED, Exercising Noblesse Oblige

Rebecca Foust
Paradise Drive
Tongue-in-cheek, Marin poet Rebecca Foust offers a sonnet about the seven deadly sins, and rich people who have their trickle-down rationalizations.

Politics, Aesthetics and the War Against "Perfectionist Ideology" in Orwell in Orwell

David Trotter
London Review of Books
Much Orwell criticism centers on his politics, not surprising given how it was his predominant subject. The books under review take a slight detour, viewing his work as he frequently judged others. Orwell's writing is chockablock with sensuous material, such as how class discriminations determine not just life chances but personal hygiene, or how bathos in an otherwise serious tract humanizes the literature and guards against "perfect" politics.

Portside Labor

Remembering Bob White

Herman Rosenfeld
rankandfile.ca
Bob White played an historic role in building working class understanding of key principles: the need for workers to control their own class institutions; the need to maintain an understanding of the conflict of interests between workers and employers, the need to maintain a capacity to collectively struggle and resist, a rejection of competitiveness as a goal or concessions as a strategy, and the need for unions to develop an independent political capacity.

Union Sues Over Iowa's New Collective Bargaining Law

Grant Rodgers and William Petroski
The Des Moines Register
The new law bans public employee unions in most cases from negotiating over issues such as health insurance, evaluation procedures, staff reduction and leaves of absence for political purposes. Police officers and firefighters are exempted from that portion of the law, a move that AFSCME argues in the lawsuit violates the Iowa Constitution by creating "favored" and "disfavored" groups of government workers.

Workers, Businesses Back Proposal to Stop Wage Theft

Barb Kucera
Workday Minnesota
About 39,000 Minnesota workers suffer from wage theft each year, resulting in $11.9 million in wages owed, and that's only what goes reported. The union-backed Wage Theft Initiative proposes policy changes to give the state Department of Labor and Industry more enforcement tools and an increased budget.

Bank Workers Will Protest to Form Their First US Union — And The Whole World Is Watching

Jack Smith IV
.mic
On Tuesday, over 15,000 U.S. bank workers with the Spain-based bank Santander will declare their intent to establish this country's first bank workers' union. They'll deliver petitions, take over corporate lobbies and begin the long struggle to bring collective bargaining to an industry with predatory practices and lots of low-wage workers.

We Can Resist Trump’s Immigration Orders

Duane Campbell
Democratic Left
Immigrant rights activists have developed a strategy to defeat deportations. Those arrested are encouraged to refuse to sign the “voluntary departure," and insist upon having legal counsel. All persons inside the U.S. have a right to counsel (not only citizens). If some 20%- 30% of those arrested begin to refuse to sign, the jails will fill within days – even the private prisons. If those arrested insist on legal counsel, the courts will be overloaded.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

During a no-holds-barred press conference, President Trump lashes out at the media, pushes lies about his Electoral College victory and boasts that he's not anti-Semitic. 

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

This song expresses the urgency we all face and offers us wisdom with the words, "War, children, it's just a shot away... Love, sister, it's just a kiss away".

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

President Donald Trump's chief strategist believes the West is at war with Islam.

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

This is madness that we’re witnessing here

Posted by Portside on February 17, 2017

Donald Trump spreads a lot of false information thanks to his daily consumption of morning cable news. If only we could sneak some facts into the president’s media diet.

Posted by Portside on February 10, 2017

Six New England Patriots are sitting out a visit with Trump after their Super Bowl win. “I just don’t feel welcome in that house. I’m going to just leave it at that.” Supportive fans want the boycott to grow bigger.

Posted by Portside on February 10, 2017

 

 

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded / Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed