Tidbits - December 29, 2016

Tidbits - December 29, 2016 feature image
December 29, 2016
Reader Comments: Calling Working People of All Colors; The Scandal of Vast Inequality in Retirement Pay; Ohio Factory Workers Fight for a Union; No Rockettes Will Be Required to Perform at Inauguration; 25 Places That Raised the Minimum Wage in 2016; The UN Security Council Resolution; Israeli Hysteria Over UN Vote; Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy; History, Political Strategy - for the Future; Resources; National Single Payer Strategy Conference; and more...
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25 Places Where the Minimum Wage is Going Up

25 Places Where the Minimum Wage is Going Up feature image
December 28, 2016
There were the most minimum wage victories in 2016 of any year since Fight for $15 began. Campaigns are underway in more than a dozen additional jurisdictions to continue movement’s winning streak in 2017 and 2018.
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The Anti-Russia Media Frenzt

The Anti-Russia Media Frenzt feature image
December 28, 2016
Progressives who treat anti-Russia propaganda spin as fact, in order to weaken Trump, are encouraging a kind of McCarthyism. Of all the good reasons to “delegitimate” Trump, alleged Kremlin intervention in the election should rank low. Focus should instead be on his greed, pathological lying, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.
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N. Carolina Fight for Public Education

N. Carolina Fight for Public Education feature image
December 28, 2016
The lesson for Democrats from the Republican coup in North Carolina is that public education is a cornerstone of our democracy, and closely related to the fight for voting rights, racial justice, and a more equal society.
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Telling Local People's History

Telling Local People's History feature image
December 28, 2016
Steve Thornton has been an activist in Hartford since moving there in the 1970's after graduating from the University of Connecticut. He worked for many years for the Hartford-based health care workers union, New England District 1199, and has been involved in many organizations and campaigns there over the last 40 years. He also has a keen interest in local people's history, and some years ago started a website, shoeleatherhistoryproject.com, to popularize...
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Puerto Ricans Push Obama to Free Oscar López

Puerto Ricans Push Obama to Free Oscar López  feature image
December 28, 2016
Over 100,000 people have signed a petition urging President Obama to grant clemency to Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who has been imprisoned for about 35 years, much of the time in solitary confinement.
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Trump’s Frightening Picks for MidEast Policy

Trump’s Frightening Picks for MidEast Policy feature image
December 27, 2016
Among the many disturbing appointments by President-elect Donald Trump are the people charged with conducting U.S. policy in the Middle East. Trump’s ignorance of the region will make him even more dependent on his advisers than most Presidents. And that’s not good news.
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Dispatches From the Culture Wars

Dispatches From the Culture Wars  feature image
December 27, 2016
Teen Vogue Spreads Terror; Sounds of Silence; War and Hanukkah; Make way for the alt-center; Mad City Rumble
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Israeli Hysteria Over UN Vote

Israeli Hysteria Over UN Vote feature image
December 27, 2016
President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years.
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Bangladesh Garment Factories Sack Hundreds

Bangladesh Garment Factories Sack Hundreds  feature image
December 27, 2016
Tens of thousands of workers walked out of factories this month in the manufacturing hub of Ashulia which make clothes for top western brands such as Gap, Zara and H&M, prompting concerns over supply during the holiday season. The protests were sparked by the sacking of 121 workers, but soon evolved into a demand for the trebling of workers’ pay from the current monthly minimum of 5,300 taka (£54).
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Pages

Portside Culture

My Mother Explains Why She Never Voted

Meryl Stratford
Rattle Poets Respond
"Imagine--a woman in the White House." As Florida poet Meryl Stratford implies about her pre-feminist mother--"It wasn’t worth the argument"-- of just how hard it is to change someone's mind when it comes to voting!

The Captive Aliens Who Remain Our Shame

Annette Gordon-Reed
New York Review of Books
The author argues that a key factor in unifying the fractious 13 colonies in opposition to British rule during the Revolution was the patriots' effort to link British oppression to extant colonial fears about insurrectionary slaves and homicidal Indians.

Art in the Age of Masculinist Hollywood: Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”

Morgan Lee Davies
Los Angeles Review of Books
La La Land is not, in the end, so very different from Whiplash (an earlier Chazelle film) for all their tonal differences. Above all, the vision they paint of the artistic life is masculine. In Damien Chazelle’s movies, men have power, and they get (almost) everything they want... And women? All they get to do is listen.

The gluten-free diets: Fad or fact?

Dr Shona Jacobsberg
New Food Magazine
With coeliac disease and wheat allergy affecting only 1.2% of the population, why is it that an estimated 15% of UK adults and an astonishing 29% of US adults are trying to avoid gluten?

The Troublesome Women of Sherlock

Sophie Gilbert
The Atlantic
The BBC show seems to have difficulty fitting female characters into its universe. But it isn’t Arthur Conan Doyle’s fault.

Portside Labor

Universal Basic Income Experiment Begins in Finland

William Rogers
Left Labor Reporter
When masses of workers start to lose their jobs to automation, workers will find it even more difficult to pay for the social insurance that provides them with a safety net. Therefore says Varoufakis we need another way to protect workers and another way to pay for it.

What Labor Should Learn from Trump’s Victory

Michael Hirsch, Saulo Colon, Murray Schneider, Lois Weiner
New Politics
The form of political action that Clinton defenders in labor advocate is a suffocating loser. It seeks accommodation when confrontation is required. It is more concerned with the longevity of the union as an institution – an important consideration for labor, but one that demands a more courageous vision – than with the overall strength of its members vis a vis their employers, which in fact is the only guarantor of institutional survival.

AFSCME To Accept Wage-Freeze, Higher Health Costs

Doug Finke
Gatehouse Media Illinois
According to the article AFSCME would agree to a four-year wage freeze in an attempt to get get the Rauner administration back to the bargaining table". AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said, "Employees would pay more for health insurance in three of the four years...".

Donald Trump Collected a Massive $168,000 Union Pension. Will He Fight for Yours?

Andrew Joyce
Policy.Mic
As recently as 2015, Donald Trump was still collecting a $168,000 pension — and maybe more — from the Screen Actors Guild for playing himself in The Apprentice. Now that Trump is about to be president, the most important question is: What is Trump's plan to save the system that is designed to protect millions of union pensions like his own?

Local 150 Lawsuit Strikes Down Local "Right to Work" Law

IUOE Local 150
IUOE Local 150
In a decision issued on January 7th, United States District Judge Matthew Kennelly found that the local "right to work" law passed by the Village of Lincolnshire, Illinois in 2015 is pre-empted by federal law, and that only states and territories have the authority to such laws.

When George Wallace Came to Town

Joe Allen
Jacobin
The notorious southern bigot George C. Wallace came hunting for votes and found a ready-made audience among blue-collar workers.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Chris Hayes examines the parallels between Donald Trump and Nixon with the author of Nixonland.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

"A Better Man" video recorded and filmed live outside on Keb' Mo's back porch.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Baba Brinkman and Greydon Square rap about how to approach the world morally without religion.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Is cloning possible? Not cloning as in Dolly the sheep, but cloning as in a Star Trek transporter? Here is the real science of it.

Posted by Portside on December 30, 2016

Tay Zonday's take on the Seuss classic has obvious relevance this holiday season.

Posted by Portside on December 24, 2016

A two-minute guide to President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed cabinet. Already the richest in modern history, his picks include an array of the super wealthy, big business executives and climate change deniers

Posted by Portside on December 23, 2016

 

 

Patti Smith is overcome with emotion singing It's a Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall at the Nobel ceremony