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Tidbits - July 3, 2014

Reader Comments - Detroit denied water access; Whither the Socialist Left? Round 2; Dead Young Men: Mississippi, Israel, Palestine; Music Changes the Way You Think; Whole Foods Busts Unions; SCOTUS; Harris v. Quinn; Education - Obama's Failed Approach; Karl Marx Is Making a Comeback; Verify Nuclear Weapons-With Math; Ruby Dee; Friday Nite Videos

Tidbits - Reader Comments - July 3, 2014,Portside

Re: Detroit Citizens Vow Direct Action to Protect Their Right to Water

Human rights take priority over profits. The basic human necessities for survival should be guaranteed by our society and so long as we are capable of producing drinking water, no one should be deprived of it. The citizens of Detroit are standing up for the priorities of a new world that needs to take the place of greed and worship of capital.

John Jernegan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Whither the Socialist Left? Round 2

No mention of Amiri Baraka's son Ras Baraka's historic victory last month as mayor of New Jersey's largest city, Newark?!
Who cares about these shriveled organizations?  The movement is in the streets!
Solomon references Bill Fletcher's emphasis on: "Social justice means a concrete labor movement strategy to address the special role and significance of African Americans..."  The next paragraph heralds: "Important advances for progressive policies and ideas have marked the electoral arena in the past year led by municipal victories for coalescing progressive forces New York, Boston and other locales. Further to the left, the election of Kshama Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternatives organization, to the Seattle City Council..."
Then summarizes: "Largely missing from the political landscape is that strong, unified left/socialist voice, well positioned to offer effective leadership to present struggles and that compelling vision of social change."
You don't see the insurgency under you nose.  Inauguration July 1!!!!

Ras UP!  Build the Peoples' Democratic Worker's Party!

Jubilee Shine


Portside's and Mark Solomon's contribution to the political dialog with "Whither the Socialist Left" just showed up on the Daily Links section of our website. The issues that you and raise regarding the viability of a left-leaning perspective are of fundamental importance to contemplate, which is why we have linked to your analysis. I belong to the National Writers' Union and help maintain the website for the At-Large Chapter.

We strongly uphold the idea that a union of writers needs to consider such topics as a furthering of social democracy or the possibility of world war, in addition to more 'bread-and-butter' or merely textual matters.  Your points of view must reach even more people than they already do.  In any event, here's the link where folks can find Portside's  citation (on July 1st Organizations section).

We are seeking to grow this writer's union to serve as a vehicle for social justice and people power, and showing others' writings is one small step toward those objectives. In that context, of course, we also require all the help we can to have the Union grow - which is why we're actively reaching out to a few of the writers and intellectual leaders whose work we acknowledge through the website.

Because of the alignment between y'all's thinking and that of many of our members, we would love to develop some sort of relationship.

Not only do I welcome any reply from this note, but the At Large Chapter chair, Jim Hickey, welcomes any & all correspondence at . Our FaceBook page is here. Even a cursory look at our website work in progress with a lot already up and running--will give any interested parties a further idea of what we're about.

Participatory democracy is the only way forward in our estimation. And that means making time to get to know each other and see what might be possible. Fresh, powerful ideas are germinating in the At-Large Chapter of NWU.  I and my colleagues hope to hear from folks as this process of growth and development unfolds.

Solidarity Forever, and thanks for your time

Alicia C. Araya

Re: Dead Young Men: Mississippi, Israel, Palestine

good article..........

Sabina Virgo

Re: Music Changes the Way You Think

Absolutely! Currently grooving to the music of Big Joe Turner-- "In the Evening," "Wee Baby Blues," "Chains of Love"--just samples of my eclectic taste in music, ranging from Bach to the Blues! So grateful to have access to all the world's wonderful music that expresses a culture.

Furaha Youngblood
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Artisanal Union-Busting

He also has spoken out against the Affordable Care Act.

Jo-Ann Demas
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Boycott Whole Foods - a pity because SOMETIMES I do like to shop there. But I also find their prices outrageous.

Phyllis Mandel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Waiting for SCOTUS

Waiting for SCOTUS--The most brilliant article about SCOTUS I have ever read.

Pat Maginnis

Re: The Supreme Court Has Created an Impossible Standard for Unions to Meet: The Harris v. Quinn decision may have done irreparable damage to a long-standing precedent

We need to have a serious discussion on the Labor Left of the strategic and the tactical pros and cons of a labor response that includes vigorous minority representation on the one hand and the ditching of non-members at majority representation "right-to-work" sites on the other hand.

James Young

Re: To Close the Achievement Gap, We Need to Close the Teaching Gap

A good article by a really good education scholar, whose advice to the Obama Administration, when she was on the transition team, was, unfortunately, ignored.

David Bensman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This article has a terrible headline that makes it sound like it is another teacher-bashing article. Understandable from the source (Huffington Post), but should not be reproduced by Portside. Change the title or add a comment right there. I almost did not read it.

Joe Berry

Re: Believe It or Not: Karl Marx Is Making a Comeback

Sean McElwee makes a number of telling points in his "Believe it or Not: Karl Marx is Making a Comeback," but when he says, "the fact that capitalism is based on a collective drawing upon our deepest desire: to exploit"  he presents only one side of what makes up a human being.  True, we have a side that seeks to exploit, to control, to fight, and so forth, but there is the other side which craves love, companionship, collective work, and peace.  Our desire to exploit is by no means our "deepest" desire.

David from New York

Re: A New Way to Verify Nuclear Weapons-With Math

Here's something for the Algebra Project to use to draw together again, peace and civil rights forces.

Howard M. Romaine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Ruby Dee, Leftist Activist

Brave folk!

Katy Sheridan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Friday Nite Videos -- June 27, 2014

This is great!!! :-) :-)! Thanks for sending.

Julie Matthaei