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Tidbits - June 20, 2013

Bertolt Brecht on whistle-blowers, those who oppose their own governments immoral activities; Reader Comments on NSA Spying; Civil Liberties Suit; Edward Snowden; Angela Davis; Undercounting the Poor; Syria; The Rosenberg Case ; Paleo Diet; Announcements - Meeropol, granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; Manifesto and Petition in Support of the Monument to the International Brigades in Madrid - Help by signing.

New wave of massive demonstrations in #Brazil tonight, Extending the protests that have sent hundreds of thousands of people into the streets since last week to denounce poor public services and government corruption. Photo from Recife, about 4:30 pm EST,#ProtestoBR
"General, your tank is a powerful vehicle
It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.
General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an
But it has one defect:
It needs a mechanic.
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think."
Support the ACLU in its suit against government surveillance!
Roderick Stackelberg
Saddest of all was Brooks' categorization of Snowden as a high school dropout. Much of our genius and heroism has come from high school dropouts, eg M. Twain & A. Lincoln. An education can be marvelous for an individual, crucial in the development of genius and a mature sense of social responsibility. With Brooks, especially, I sense a college degree is seen mainly as an entitlement to membership in an entitled guild and for all his status as a leading journalist was really wasted on him.
Richard Rosenthal
For those of us viewing the Angela Davis documentary in Charleston last night, and others who are reminded of the ongoing nature of political oppression meted out through the prison system and its appendages; this book may well be the needed back-up and reference for continuing these conversations. We are getting older, but the issues are not going away, regardless of how hard we try to ignore the bitter realities.
Millicent Brown 
Those in power want to keep us ignorant....
Francesca Palazzolo Ochoa 
.... food for thought .... !!!
Ruth Martin 
Dear Robert, Michael and Jenn, I cheer you for all you have done and what you pulled yourselves out of to be giving, caring human beings, and to get your revenge your own way. I stood on street corners and knocked on doors from age 10-13 1/2 getting petitions signed to save Ethel & Julius. I walked with the NYC demonstrators on the day of their death, and have never forgotten for a moment, the anguish and sadness I felt that we who cared, were unable to save them. I am outraged, as much now as I was then, that our government is once again trying to use the "conspiracy to commit" law with Bradley Manning, cause they really don't have anything else they can use. The McCarthy period took it's toll on me too, not my life, though.
Phyllis Mandel
I was younger but I remember it well - will never forget that day.
Liz Elkind
A very timely reminder. thank you.
Rachel deAragon
My family aspires to eat paleo.  We often deviate and eat junkier food but when we try to eat healthy we eat paleo. When my daughter says "I want something healthy to eat," she means "I want steak and skinless potatoes. "
I was surprised to see it attacked on the Portside list.  I normally wouldn't bring this issue up because I think food choices are an entirely private matter.
But here is a defense of the style of eating by an able fellow
Keith Joseph
I read through this briefly and a bit bemused since one of the things about human beings is that they have eaten almost anything - and survived. I'm sure some survived better than others, and very few of us would welcome the blubber diet of the Eskimos.
Some years ago when the area in the Soviet Union where nuclear testing was taking place - near Mongolia, and I can't think of the name now - and things were starting to loosen up in the USSR, a journalist from that area, who was involved in the "stop testing " movement there, visited the US to meet with peace folks and coordinate opposition to nuclear testing.
When he got to New York he should have been put up in a decent upper east side apartment but sometimes things slip through the cracks and at the last minute I was asked to host him. This is a lower east side studio apt. which had a small very decrepit bed but there was nothing for it but to host him (my honor, in fact - and shame on the richer folks near the UN).
When I asked him what he would like to eat, he asked for some meat. It seems the poor fellow had been in the hands of good peace folks all the way from Seattle to New York, and had nothing but vegetarian pot lucks.
His people basically live on meat. Not healthy, but that is what they have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I happily made sure he got meat - I'm not a vegetarian.
The point is that somehow the bodies there in Alma Ata - ah the name comes to me - get the vitamins from the meat. I don't know how it works, but it does.
I'm sure the poor fellow was glad to get back to Alma Ata and some decent food.
David McReynolds
The film "Heir To An Execution" will be showing on June 26 at 6:30 PM at the Walter Reade theater, 165 W. 65th street. Tickets can be purchased at
Special retrospective screening with filmmaker Ivy Meeropol and her father Michael Rosenberg (the Rosenberg's eldest son) in person!
We all know the story: On June 19th,1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the U.S. Government for "conspiracy to commit espionage." They were traitors to some and heroes to others. They left two young sons who were adopted and grew up as Michael and Robert Meeropol. Fifty years after the Rosenbergs were put to death in Sing Sing Prison, their eldest grandchild, Ivy Meeropol, created a film (Heir to an Execution) focusing on the context of the times, and the legacy of the execution for the family and for the country. On the 60th anniversary of the Rosenbergs' deaths, the Film Society is proud to present a special screening of Ivy Meeropol's film as part of our monthly documentary series, Art of the Real.
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, film critic Kenneth Turan has called Heir to an Execution "a compelling emotional narrative laced with explosive political material." Meeropol goes beyond the rhetoric of the times to understand her grandparents as people, not political symbols. In interviewing friends and family of the Rosenbergs, Meeropol evokes a world of activists dedicated to social justice. The filmmaker will be present, along with her father Michael Meeropol (the Rosenbergs' older son), and other guests to take questions from the audience.
(petition in Spanish)
(as of June 20, there are already 13,026 signatures - add your name now)
Manifesto in support of the permanence of the monument to the International Brigades on the campus of the University of Madrid.
We, the undersigned, show our adherence to the petition to not remove the monument which honors the International Brigades from the campus of the University of Madrid. Given the recent ruling of the High Court of Justice of Madrid requiring the immediate removal of the monument which the Association of Friends of the International Brigades (AABI) erected in the Fall of 2011 on the campus of the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) to honor the International Brigades, the undersigned express our most vigorous rejection of this judgment and trust that the UCM will appeal it and under no circumstance remove the monument.
We believe that by means of a legal ruse the intent is an attack on the memory of the International Brigades, who represent the utmost example of international solidarity and dedication to democracy, freedom and social justice.It is only fair to remember that the financing of this monument was an initiative of the AABI and that the UCM authorized its installation on its Campus since the International Brigades had their baptism of fire there in the Battle of Madrid, and to provide evidence that this is the only monument to the International Brigades in Madrid.
We protest against the comparative unfairness that occurs in Madrid, since more than five years after the entry into force of the Historical Memory Law the city street guide still lists many streets, squares, avenues, etc. which honor the Franco dictatorship.It is also important to note that the financing of the monument was covered by public voluntary contributions, contributions from organizations and associations from Spain and other countries, as well as from foreign embassies in Madrid, and by the Ministry for the Presidency of the Government of Spain.
Therefore, we give our support to a monument that, beyond the current legal handling, deserves to stay in its current site in order to remember those members of the International Brigades who came to defend democracy and freedom in a country which was threatened by international fascism.
Manifiesto en apoyo a la permanencia del monumento a las Brigadas Internacionales en la Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid.
Los abajo firmantes mostramos nuestra adhesión a la petición de no retirar el monumento en honor a las Brigadas Internacionales en la Ciudad Universitaria de Madrid.
Ante la reciente decisión judicial del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid que exige a la Universidad Complutense (UCM) la inmediata retirada del monumento que la Asociación de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales (AABI) erigió en el otoño de 2011 en el Campus de la Ciudad Universitaria en honor a las Brigadas Internacionales, los abajo firmantes expresamos nuestra repulsa más enérgica ante tal sentencia y confiamos en que la UCM la recurra y en ningún caso retire el monumento.
Creemos que bajo una argucia legal se quiere cometer un atentado a la memoria de las Brigadas Internacionales, máximo ejemplo de solidaridad internacional y entrega por la democracia, la  libertad y la justicia social.
Es de justicia recordar que la financiación de este monumento fue una iniciativa de la AABI y que la UCM autorizó su instalación en su Campus, ya que las Brigadas Internacionales tuvieron allí su bautismo de fuego en la Defensa de Madrid, así como dejar constancia de que éste es el único monumento que hay a las Brigadas Internacionales en Madrid capital. Protestamos frente al agravio comparativo que se da en Madrid, ya que tras más de cinco años de la entrada en vigor de la Ley de Memoria Histórica el callejero de la ciudad sigue lleno de calles, plazas, avenidas, etc en honor a la dictadura franquista.
También es importante conocer que la financiación de dicho monumento fue cubierta por suscripción popular, por aportaciones de entidades y asociaciones españolas y de otros países, así como embajadas extranjeras en Madrid y por el Ministerio de la Presidencia del Gobierno de España.
Por todo ello damos este apoyo a un monumento que, más allá de la tramitación legal existente, merece seguir en su lugar actual para recordar a aquellos brigadistas que vinieron a defender la democracia y la libertad en este país amenazado por el fascismo internacional.