Syria: A Multi-Sided Chess Match

 A Multi-Sided Chess Match feature image
April 1, 2013
In some ways the Syrian civil war resembles a proxy chess match between supporters of the Bashar al-Assad regime— Iran, Iraq, Russia and China—and its opponents— Turkey, the oil monarchies, the U.S., Britain and France. But the current conflict only resembles chess if the game is played with multiple sides, backstabbing allies, and conflicting agendas.
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Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Three Strikes

 Three Strikes  feature image
April 1, 2013
Despite the passage in late 2012 of a new state ballot initiative that prevents California from ever again giving out life sentences to anyone whose "third strike" is not a serious crime, thousands of people – the overwhelming majority of them poor and nonwhite – remain imprisoned for a variety of offenses so absurd that any list of the unluckiest offenders reads like a macabre joke, a surrealistic comedy routine.
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Undermining Economic Mobility in America

Undermining Economic Mobility in America feature image
March 31, 2013
A host of indicators show that the middle class is struggling-and worse, shrinking-and that upward mobility is elusive for many Americans. Meanwhile, evidence abounds that the U.S. political system is increasingly dominated by wealthy interests . . . What is less understood, though, is the interplay between these two problems-the way that a tilting of political life toward business and the wealthy has served to undermine economic mobility.
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Antibiotic Resistance: Livestock to Humans

 Livestock to Humans feature image
March 31, 2013
If the analysis is correct, then it represents several kinds of potential trouble. First, it reinforces the argument for animal-to-human transmission of resistant bacteria. Second, it emphasizes that such bacteria can be picked up and transmitted even by animals that are not routinely receiving antibiotics . . . And third, it raises the question of how much more resistant bacterial traffic is out there that we are not detecting.
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Food for Peace or Food for Profit?

Food for Peace or Food for Profit?  feature image
March 31, 2013
Food for Peace ends up looking a lot more like Food for Profit. The letter ends with one final truth, declaring that food aid programs are "some of our most effective, lowest-cost national security tools." By handicapping local food markets across the world, food aid keeps poor countries poor and compliant, and provides US-based companies with dependable markets for the dumping of surplus food commodities.
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Unions and Inevitability of Class Struggle

Unions and Inevitability of Class Struggle feature image
March 31, 2013
There are those who suggest that the current union movement cannot sustain itself and that out of its ashes will arise something new and better. Such views are at best wishful thinking and at worst irresponsible . . . Unions, as they are currently constituted, organized and theorized, are not up to the challenges of the 21st century. The existing union movement, however, can play a role in the building of that new labor movement for the not-so-new 21st century.
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Long-Term Health Risks Fester

Long-Term Health Risks Fester feature image
March 31, 2013
“If the cost of compliance to our rules outweighs the penalties for breaking them, companies just take a ‘catch me if you can’ approach to worker safety and health,” he said. And serious violations of the rules should not be misdemeanors, he said, but felonies, much like insider trading, tax crimes and antitrust violations. -- David Michaels, OSHA director
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REWIND - March 30, 2013

REWIND - March 30, 2013 feature image
March 30, 2013
capitalism, Marx, neo-liberal snake oil, intergenerational contact and more
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BRICS

BRICS feature image
March 30, 2013
Western elites - even mired in stagnation and bankruptcy - won't let any of their privileges go without a fierce fight.
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Honduras

Honduras feature image
March 30, 2013
Is the US state department misleading Congress about possible US funding for Honduran death squads?
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Pages

Portside Culture

Day Beginning with Seeing the International Space Station And ...

Jane Hirshfield
New York Review of Books
The full title of prize-winning poet Jane Hirshfield's poem, "Day Beginning with Seeing the International Space Station And a Full Moon Over the Gulf of Mexico and All its Invisible Fishes," reveals the contingency of the natural world and the human imprint upon it, for better and for worse.

The Black Novelist History Forgot

Robert B. Stepto 
The Washington Post
Himes was a pivotal and versatile post WW II-era American novelist whose work influenced several generations of African American and other writers. A new biography of the novelist is drawing national attention.

"Roman J. Israel, Esq." Review – Denzel Washington Captivates In Unusual Legal Drama

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian
The film is a haunting and timeless American tragedy that feels ever prescient given the current administration’s foggy understanding of morality. It might prove to be a tough sell thanks to an awkward title and a strange plot trajectory, but Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a richly rewarding drama blessed with one of the best, most lived-in performances of the year. 

Shh! These Quiet Food Videos Will Get Your Senses Tingling

Clare Leschin-Hoar
The Salt
A whole new genre of food videos, focusing on specific intense sounds like crinkling, chopping, sautéing and stirring, is becoming popular. These eating sounds trigger pleasing tingling sensations in the brains of viewers who experience ASMR, which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

Portside Labor

Striking Miners Remain Resilient And Strong

William Rogers
Left Labor Reporter
Recently, the Spokane, Washington Spokesman-Review reported that with Hecla supervisory personnel working the mine, Lucky Friday silver production between July 2017 and September 2017 is 90 percent below its production for the same time period in 2016.

Canadian, U.S. Unions Push for Wage Hike Amid NAFTA Talks

Ginger Adams Otis
New York Daily News
Labor leaders in the U.S. have made it clear they are supportive of a NAFTA overhaul — but only if it helps eliminate the wage gap with Mexico and includes Canada’s long-shot demands for labor reform.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on October 20, 2017

White House Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, put his credibility on the line for President Donald Trump, and now he is mired in controversy many find grotesque. Christina Greer, Tim O'Brien, and James Peterson join Ari Melber to discuss.

 

Posted by Portside on October 20, 2017

U.S. Homeland Security has informed jazz great Alvin Queen that he will not be able to enter the country to perform at a concert in Washington, D.C. next month because of a brush with the law over 50 years ago, when Queen was a minor. Here is Queen on the drums in Oscar Peterson's C Jam Blues.

Posted by Portside on October 20, 2017

Immigrant detention centers have grown into a highly privatized, lucrative and abusive industry that profits off the misery of immigrants awaiting deportation. 

Posted by Portside on October 20, 2017

Two black holes, each about 30 times as massive as our sun orbited each other for millions of years. An instant before they collided they sent a gravitational shiver across the universe. LIGO scientist Amber L. Stuver explains. Animation by Eoin Duffy. 

Posted by Portside on October 20, 2017

Generation Revolution is a feature-length documentary film that brings to screen the powerful story of London’s new generation of black and brown activists who are dead set on changing the social and political landscape in the capital and beyond.

Posted by Portside on October 13, 2017

 

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying,” featuring a variety of artists, was written and recorded to benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico with proceeds benefiting The Hispanic Federation's Unidos Disaster Relief Fund. Download and stream here.

Posted by Portside on October 13, 2017

Seth takes a closer look at how powerful men in entertainment and politics - from Harvey Weinstein to Donald Trump - abuse their power to silence, bully or coerce.