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Tidbits - September 11, 2014

Reader Comments - Remembering September 11 and The Other 9/11; Fast Food Strikes; Retail Workers Find Better Deals With Unions; Justice Dept. to Probe Ferguson Police; Working Families Party; Death Row; Israel Confiscates More Palestinian Land; One-Third of Israelis Consider Emigrating; Wal-Mart-ization of Education; Wages for Housework; Gluten-free; Eugene Debs and Debs Museum; Charlie Haden; New resource - International Human Rights Law: Violations by Israel; more..

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - September 11, 2014 ,Portside

Remembering September 11

Orlando and Phyllis Rodriguez spoke out against using September 11, 2001 as a pretext for war. The Rodriguez's son, Gregory (pictured here), died when hijackers flew two planes into the World Trade Center. Gregory was thirty-one years old and working on the 103rd floor of one World Trade Center. The Rodriguez family sent an open letter titled "Not in Our Son's Name" to the New York Times and other papers after the attack. Read more and watch Benjamin Bratt read the Rodriguez's letter, from Voices of a People's History of the United States, here.

The Other 9/11: remembering Chile's descent into dictatorship

By Sarah Walsh
September 11, 2014
SBS (Australia)

In 1973, Chile's democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, was overthrown in a military coup. What followed were years of repression, torture, forced disappearance, fear and, for many Chileans, exile.

"2014 marks the forty-first anniversary of the coup and, for most Chileans, the 11th of September still has profound resonance in daily life. Many still remember where they were when the assault on La Moneda happened. Most had a family member who was affected by the political repression that followed. Torture, imprisonment, and disappearances have a place in many Chilean family histories. Even for those whose families escaped this treatment, an inescapable post-9/11 political reality besets the country."

Relatives of victims of the dictatorship visit the memorial 'The Disappeared-Detained' at the General Cemetery, in Santiago, Chile, 07 September 2014. (EPA)

Film documentaries about the U.S. organizing coup in Chile and the peoples' resistance to Pinochet fascism:
* La Batalla de Chile - Parte 1 - Patricio Guzman
* La batalla de Chile 2 - El golpe de estado.
* The Battle of Chile - part 3: The Power of The People

Solidarity stamp issued by the German Democratic Republic to raise funds, as part of an international solidarity campaign to support the resistance movement in Chile and those in exile. (Solidarity stamps were sold to the public for the price of regular postage plus a surcharge for the solidarity campaign.)
credit - Wikipedia

Re: Fast Food Sit Down Strike-Nationwide Arrests

Missed news tonight. Arrests? Why? Is it illegal to strike?

Jackie McElveny
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Support out sisters and brothers!

Howard Croft
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Over 400 around country-yes, there were arrests. Its part of a labor law even written into agreements that it is illegal to strike &, that if even a union.votes to strike, they loose days of pay. Why? Because this country doesnt support workers, whether theu are unionized or not. duh...

Rachel Barr
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What happened to the RIGHT to peacefully protest. The real criminals are the thugs arresting people for exercising their RIGHTS!

Jessie James Fink
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Some Retail Workers Find Better Deals With Unions
(posted on Portside Labor)

Working in retail sucks, but I've gotta say having a union makes it a heck of a lot better than doing it non-union; I earn a living wage, get four weeks vacation, have great healthcare, and a guaranteed pension; most non-union retail workers are lucky if they make $2 over minimum wage, have access to affordable healthcare [outside of Obamacare anyway], and I don't know of any who have a retirement plan that they don't have to pay for out of pocket. Again, I'm not gonna say I have a good job, I'm just saying I'm way better off with a union than I would be without one.

Jimmy Lappe
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Predictable schedules at $11 an hour at Macy's in New York - thanks to a union.

Indianapolis Worker Justice Center
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Justice Dept. to Probe Ferguson Police Force

DOJ to probe ferguson police force. Yea a big story in twitter.

Vik Chaubey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Interesting that this hasn't been more reported - the Obama Justice Department's having filed more than twice the number of investigations of police departments for abuse of force as any previous administration.

Alfred Rose
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: On Labor Day, A Working Families Party Strategy

WFP endorsed Cuomo and his running mate much too soon and for no good reason.  They should have waited for opposition to develop within the Democratic Party, which it did, and endorse the dissidents.  I have always  voted WFP, but NOT this year.

Shaurain Farber

Re: DNA Evidence Frees Two Men After 30 Years on Death Row

Good article about our imperfect and often unjust criminal system.

Wendy Berg
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Why the death penalty needs to be abolished! One mistake is too many mistakes!!

Connie Mastin Freeman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


When prosecuting African Americans and other people of color becomes part of career advancement we got issues. And for all these fools in the judiciary that's their measuring stick.

Roberto Carlos Garcia
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Israel Confiscates Another 1,000 Acres of Palestinian Land

Is this what happens when Israelites become Israelis? A total shedding of anything humane or compassionate; not only to emulate, but to go beyond the cruel excesses of their historical oppressors, which included the Nazis.

Furaha Youngblood
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Thanks for this.  I tried to look at the online presentation, but it is no longer there.  I don't know what you can do about it, but thought  you and Al Jazeera should know  you're being censored.

Ed Pearl


Sucks. Sounds like what the white man did to the Native Americans. It's a form of genocide.

Sebastian Milito
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: After Gaza War, One-Third of Israelis Consider Emigrating

Sad thing is the people who immigrate TO Israel are the orthodox fanatics from Brooklyn and such

Beth Rosenson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Thank you for this e-mail.  I think your observation about the value of a pluralistic society is very accurate.

Mark Bailey


I question this data. Plus saying 30-plus % are considering emigration.... What constitutes considering.... Given the demographics that are so critical to Israel's zionists for remaining a Jewish State I would think this would engender world wide discussion and it has not. Having said this... I am no supporter of zionism... in any way shape or form.

Larry Aaronson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Wages for Housework: Room for Debate

I think the argument about payment for housework is based on the incorrect assumption that (mostly) men should pay (mostly women) for the work that they do at home.  In my opinion, both for and against arguments are completely off track.  Men shouldn't "pay" women, and talking about it this way simply sustains an existing inequity.  The way I look at it, the money *already* belongs to the women, and we need to make sure they aren't cheated out of it.

In most states, income earned during the marriage is the property of both spouses, but this is largely unregulated except during divorce.  The lack of regulation means that the income earner has more day-to-day control over the money, may have the only access to it, and may also solely benefit from the marriage tax break, despite the fact that the money belongs to both partners. This is to the advantage of the higher wage earner, who can dole out money to his/her spouse as he/she wishes, spend it on whatever he/she wants, and hide it from the other spouse.

Why not simply require that income earned during marriage be paid, in equal amounts, to the accounts of both spouses, or to a joint account, unless they are legally separated?

Since the stay-at-home spouse presumably does the work that allows the go-to-work spouse to do his/her job more easily, this would effectively be a wage for housework.  It would also level the playing field within a marriage, so that the chief wage earner is not necessarily the lead decision-maker. (No more, "I earn more money, so I can tell you what to do!") This should apply to both common law and official marriages.

Theoretically things should already work this way, in the sense that the money already belongs to both of them, so paying it out to both of them conforms to the law.  In practice, I think men would be hanging from trees and shrieking about the idea that their wives are "entitled" to half of what they earn (even though that is what marriage means, in most states), while some women would protest that they don't want to give half their money to unemployed deadbeats who neither care for children nor clean the house. But if you believe in marriage, and believe that it should change the status of a couple in law, then this would be a real acknowledgement of a full partnership of equals.

Kali Tal


None of the commentators addressed the best solution to unpaid housework - socialize it! Socializing "housework" would free women to participate in society as the social equals of men.

Why should individual women have to duplicate in each household what women and men could accomplish more efficiently and pleasantly together?

When my grandchildren were young, my daughter and her (male and female) friends organized a cooking club. One day a week, each member prepared and delivered meals for all. The other days, they enjoyed the meals prepared by the other members of the club. When their families went camping, they collectivized their meals, and everyone (men, women and kids) pitched in on their night to cook or clean.

We already eat many of our meals outside the home. Why not set up collective "eateries" where we can all take turns cooking and cleaning, and we all get to eat?

We already have collective laundry facilities. Why not make them more fun and convenient by adding childcare spaces, eateries, and places to relax and socialize?

We already share books in libraries. Why not create lending libraries for tools and appliances we don't use everyday?

Most important - quality, 24-hour childcare would make a world of difference for stressed parents and for most children, who don't get enough quality time with caring adults. And it would enable those who don't want to be full-time parents, and those whose parenting days are over, to enjoy the company of children.

Socializing "housework" means re-thinking the concept of family and reconstructing society - how radical! How liberating!

Susan Rosenthal

Re: The Wal-Mart-ization of Education: Wal-Mart Wants Classrooms to Run More Like a Business, Teachers Are Fighting Back
(posted on Portside Labor)

No one should ever shop there, people are just giving them more power to do just this,and more. Boycott is a great power to the people.....

Candida Riley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Gluten-free does not equal healthy. But the food industry doesn't want you to know that

The article on "Gluten-free does not equal healthy" (Portside, Sept. 5) is quite misleading. Absolutely true, as the article states, that many "gluten-free" products are unhealthy.  But, the article fails to mention that there are numerous healthy gluten-free alternatives which in many cases are healthier than products containing wheat, barley, or rye.

Examples of healthy gluten free products: The grains Brown Rice and Amaranth and flours made from these **whole grains; the grain-like seed Quinoa; almond flour; nuts; beans; fruits and vegetables.  Properly applied, a gluten-free diet can be a healthier diet because, calorie for calorie, you can get more nutritional value from non-grain products. Also, unless you are eating a truly whole grain product there's not much nutritional value to gluten-containing products like most breads and pastas other than the vitamins corporations add to compensate for the loss of the nutritious part of the grain.  

Marc Beallor

Re: Growing Pressure on Obama to Do Something Stupid

It was Hillary Clinton who coined the phrase, McCain and Graham just repeated it.

Mike Munk


To McCain/Graham:  Stupid is as stupid does, and Fools rush in... Enter Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and Bob McDonnell.

Claire Carsman


Smart bombs sound stupid. It's not satire, either!

Ed Christwitz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Eugene Debs and Debs Museum in Terre Haute

Going over "drafts" of emails never sent I found this note I'd written after Portside carried a story on the Debs Museum.Readers may be amused at this footnote to history.I'm sure Debs would have been.

I assume the Debs Museum is the old Debs home in Terre Haute. Many years ago I was driven down there from Indianapolis by the late Don Anderson, active in the Socialist Party. It was a big event, as that was the official occasion of making this a national landmark.  Secretary Udall was there to read the proclamation.

After the dedication I thought we were going back to Indianapolis, but Don told me that we were staying for the annual Debs Day Banquet. I was hardly prepared for a banquet - just tennis shoes and a casual jacket. Don insisted, and so we ended up at the dinner. It turned out that the annual Debs Day Banquet was a major event. So major that every union leader in the state was there.

Don and I were seated at a table with - to my astonishment - the Republican candidate for Terre Haute. I don't know whether or not he won - but Debs was so revered in his home town that even a Republican candidate had to show up.

David McReynolds

Amazing interview with Charlie Haden! (on KPFA ARCHIVES)

I been listening tonight to an an incredible interview with the late, great bassist Charlie Haden by Bari Scott, which was recorded on June 8, 1985 at the KPFA studios.

Please do check this out since it will be off the KPFA website on 9/13.
Here's the link.

Tony Ryan

[originally posted to the list - reposted with permission from list owner.]

Call for Papers: Contingent Academic Labor

WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society (WUSA) is devoting a special issue to contingent academic labor in the USA, North America and throughout the world.  The journal encourages cross-disciplinary essays drawn from the social sciences and the humanities that examine the contemporary significance of contingent academic labor using a range of methods and empirical analysis.  Essays should focus on the study of work, labor, capitalism, the state, and bureaucracy.

The editors especially seek essays based on presentations and discussion group topics at the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor XI conference in August, 2014 in New York City. We encourage submissions by activists and organizers as well academic researchers. Articles can be case studies, memoirs, interviews or oral histories, if they also raise more general points of interest.

We encourage essays that include one or more of the following:

  • Reach theoretical insights in addressing the relevance of the status and experiences of contingent academic labor through comparative and historical perspectives.
  • Examine the conditions and experiences of adjunct laborers in the context of the political economy of knowledge.
  • Compare and contrast contingent academic laborers to analogous workers in the labor market that is referred to as "precarious work."
  • Examine the ways in which the political economy of contingent labor intersects with race, gender, ethnicity, and/or sexuality.
  • Provide theoretical insights on the potential for solidarity that increases rank-and-file power and stronger worker organizations.
  • Add to strategic discussions of organizing among contingent academics; including alliances, techniques, structures, and consciousness.
  • Compare and contrast collective struggles of contingent academics with other nations; especially Canada (including Quebec), Mexico.

Please submit papers by October 15, 2015.

The suggested submission length is 4000-7500 words for essays and 2500-5000 words for commentary.
All essay submissions are sent through a peer review process.  Please submit essays to editorial board members and guest editors.  For editorial formatting, check the website.

Joe Berry          
Marcia Newfield    
Polina Kroik     (Associate Editor)
Immanuel Ness
(all are members of the Editorial Board)

International Human Rights Law: Violations by Israel and the Problem of  Enforcement

Dear Friends,

Here is a link to a pamphlet that we have written called  "International Human Rights Law: Violations by Israel and the Problem of  Enforcement." 

United States law states that no military  assistance will be provided to any country that engages in a consistent pattern  of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Yet the United  States gives more military assistance to Israel than to any other country.

This pamphlet addresses the following  questions:

  • What are "internationally recognized human  rights"?
  • What constitutes "torture" or "other cruel, inhuman or degrading  treatment"?
  • What is "collective punishment"?
  • What evidence is there that  Israel has engaged in a consistent pattern of gross violations of  internationally recognized human rights such that the U.S. should not be  providing military assistance? 
  • What is our responsibility to ensure that  universally recognized humanitarian principles are applied?

Certain human rights are absolute. Certain  acts are violations of human rights no matter who is doing them.  But the  U.S. is providing military assistance to only one side, the side that has for  decades been in a position to impose disproportionate force.

We realize that these are controversial  issues and that feelings run high.  We also realize that we can do no more  than scratch the surface in a pamphlet of limited length.  We do not  attempt to explore the facts and dynamics involved in Operation Brother's Keeper  and Operation Protective Edge during the spring and summer of 2014 as the  situation was fluid during the time we were doing the research reflected in this  pamphlet.  We have cited primary sources to the extent that we could find  them.  We hope this pamphlet can be a resource for people who are concerned  about the issues presented.

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

Alice and Staughton Lynd

Justice in the Home: Domestic Work Past, Present, and Future - Oct 16 - 18 - New York

We would like to bring to your attention an exciting conference entitled  "Justice in the Home: Domestic Work Past, Present, and Future" that the Murphy Institute is pleased to co-sponsor with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Barnard Center for Research on Women, The Worker Institute at Cornell University, Labor Research Action Network,  UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Santa Barbara Department of Feminist Studies, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and the Roosevelt Institute.

The conference, which has lined up an impressive list of panels and panelists, will take place October 16-18, 2014 at Barnard Center, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.

Full information, including registration, can be found here.

Paula Finn,
The Murphy Institute - The City University of New York