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Tidbits - October 30, 2014 - Two Week's Worth

Reader Comments- Ebola, Capitalism, Cuba, Disease Control; Elections- Black Vote, Voter Restrictions; War against Islamic State; Detroit; U.S. Jews Debate Israel; Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Education- Philadelphia and Common Core; Mexico, NAFTA; Wealth Inequality; New Voters in Ferguson; Announcements- Black & Brown Unity Event-Los Angeles-Nov 8; New York City Labor Chorus Honoring Pete Seeger-New York-Nov 15; SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY-New York showing-Nov 16

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - October 30, 2014,Portside

Re: What Cuba Can Teach the World About Disease Control

The fear mongering about ISIS and ebola that the Republicans and, frankly some of their "don't ask me" Dems, are contributing to the climate of fear that we seem to be living in.

As a Red Diaper Baby I know how fear traumatizes people - there's a monster under your bed and in your closet.
Total thanks and kudos to Cuba, a country that's dead-ass broke and still works in the name of its own people and the people of the world.

This message needs to be sent not only to we old lefty Portside readers but to all of those in these newly, hopefully burgeoning, left organizations that seem to appear on a daily basis.  It's time to either move the Democratic Party - to the Center would be not terrific but workable - or work for a party that truly represents working people, latino people, native Americans (an old friend of mine who was a Crow Indian preferred Indian, for what it's worth) and black people and women and LBGT people.

It seems to be about countering the anti-Communism that still exists and working for a united front.

So, point being Portside, stop only preaching to the choir.

Claire Carsman

Re: The Political Economy of Ebola

Because of Big Oil/Gas, Big Ag, the NRA, and Big Pharm, our planet is on a collision course, to destruction, unless we act together to stop them.

Furaha Youngblood
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Ebola, Capitalism and the Idea of Society

what a world of difference. or what a difference of world views!

Ken Luckhardt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The governments of the USA vs Cuba on responding to the Ebola breakout in West Africa. Socialism works wonders in socialized medicine

Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Not at all surprised. Three cheers for Cuba!

Carlos Munoz Jr
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Ebola Didn't Have to Kill Thomas Eric Duncan, Nephew Says; Statement by RN's at Texas Health Presbyterian

This is a sad story , for all involved, He didn't know he was exposed to ebola....stop watching fox news....

Candida Riley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


He came to the United States to see his son... He did not knowingly bring the virus here... He did tell the hospital when he first showed up... The doctor did not read the nurses notes from triage... They treated his lack of insurance, not him... Typical

Eden Williams
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Black Vote Last Hope for Dems to Hold Senate

Once again the Democratic party which does takes the black vote for granted, has elected local officials implicit in this national police brutality epidemic in our communities, turns a blind eye to the ravages of hyper-gentrification forcibly moving blacks out of most of our urban American cities, high unemployment, underemployment, poverty, growing social-economic inequality vexing and eating black America alive wants black folks to bail their asses out-AGAIN? Both parties are owned by the Wall Street mobsters and only take care of the most wealthy bastards in the country. The Democrats have lost their soul long ago to Wall Street money. When the Democrats had a majority the corporate Blue Dogs Democrats sabotaged what little progressive agenda the party had. Sadly, throughout his presidency, Obama has willingly thrown the left of his own party under the bus to cut deals with Republicans.

The party has practically laid down while the Republicans have even made a racist political issue of the Ebola hysteria. If I ran the party I would keep the republicans on the defensive by opening new hearings into the CIA, Contra crack-cocaine trafficking scandal of the 80"s using the release of the new film about it, "Kill The Messenger" as a backdrop. Someone must have known this movie was coming out just shy of the mid-term elections. The DNC is pathetic.

I won't hold my breath that hearings will ever be held because the Democratic Party is a bunch of gutless wonders. They didn't have the guts to prosecute the Bush Administration for lying about the Iraq War. So don't be upset if black America pulls a no show in the mid-terms. Who can blame them? The Democrats have been pathetically lame on issues confronting the black America and the working-class.

Kenneth Sullivan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The GOP Is Winning the War on Voting

THE GOP knows too well how to fight back the new demographics from seizing the time and the power. It is only a matter of time with this dog will come back and bite them in the behind. They are only fomenting the inevitable revolutionary zeal

Larry Aaronson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Texas' New Voter ID Law Is Racist

These voting situations are a flagrant challenge to democracy in America and it is disheartening that the courts are backing up the reactionaries. One hopes that Obama will be able to make a few progressive appointments to the supreme court before he leaves office. It gives new insight into FDR's court packing actions. He didn't mess around when reactionaries and big business challenged the New Deal.

Laurel MacDowell

Re: Here's Everything Wrong with the White House's War on the Islamic State

While I do not agree with all of Certo's conclusions and recommendations, I agree that our military response to ISIS is destined to fail (even if we engage ISIS with our ground forces). I commend Certo for recommending alternative strategies rather than just launching his criticism.

Michael Clift
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


If it weren't for George W. Bush and his idiotic idea of overthrowing the Iraqi Government there would be no ISIS and no need for what is happening today.

Mark Sinardi
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


... Well informed article! War is all about the military industrial complex.. War is very lucrative.. They want endless wars.. Our government does not call the shots.. Why do you think we've been fighting in the Middle East for so long through both dem and rep presidents!

Jon Lenzmeier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: One-Fifth of Detroit's Population Could Lose Their Homes

Criminally cruel.

Patricia Dowling
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: U.S. Jews Debate Israel and 'Open Hillel'

It was very encouraging to read this. It is so difficult for people to accept that you can criticize oppressive policies and tactics of the Israeli government and military WITHOUT somehow being branded as "anti Jewish."

More power to these young, thoughtful folks.

Luis R Torres

Re: An Israel Equal for All, Jewish or Not

Excuse me, but what the hell gives you or anyone else the right to tell another country what to do? Last I checked, the vast majority of people in that country want it this way. Period. What you say means nothing. It's not your country, it's not your government, mind your own damn business and keep your nose out of other countries.

Edward William Gray
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Sorry, Mr. Gray. But people through out the world have a right - an obligation to speak out when the policies of other countries are wrong. My parents spoke out against Hitler and Nazi Germany, and lived in the U.S. not Germany. I spoke out, demonstrated and was arrested, demanding an end to the fascist policies of Chile and the apartheid policies of South Africa. As a human being, as a Jew, I (and I hope others) have an obligation to speak out against the criminal policies of the current Israeli government.

Jay Schaffner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I think this is about right. The alternative is for the Israeli state to become more and more like other racist regimes that severely oppress a population based on their ethnicity, religion or race. That choose will be sad for all of us...

Doug Brugge
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Berkeley Free Speech Movement at 50 and Today

Mario Savio on the steps of Sproul Hall at the Berkley campus. I remember it well. I was a senior in high school in Calif. It was followed closely by the media at the time. It was like the declaration of engagement of the student movement.

Arden L Angell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This is why I am who I am!

Mario Lee
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Philadelphia Students Strike to Support Teachers

Sad ..proud of those students ...

Kent Adrian
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


When have teachers went on strike for our children? Who knows the history?

Reginald Carter
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Teachers have gone on strike for issues like smaller class size, because they know how too big classes hurt students.

Jenny Kastner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Science Of The Common Core: Experts Weigh In On Its Developmental Appropriateness

Need for play for younger children so beneficial for strong self esteem.

Paul Anderson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Protesters Burn City Hall in Mexico Town Where 43 Students Vanished

Of all the articles you could have chosen to cover the huge protests going on in Mexico over the killed and kidnapped students, I'm floored by your choice.  This article focuses exclusively on incidents of violence, allegedly by protestors, while for weeks there have been huge marches and mobilizations all over Mexico about this.  There is a growing political crisis in Mexico, linked to the neoliberal policies of successive administrations both PRI and PAN. The violence in particular owes a great deal to the U.S. policy of the "war on drugs" and is push for increasing militarization of Mexican society.  There is nothing in this article that gives the political context for the kidnappings and violence.  It's typical of the kind of stereotypical U.S. media coverage of Mexico that has no sense of politics, much less any partisanship for the social movements there.  I would think Portside would want to cover the social movements of Mexican people, and would exercise some skepticism of mainstream U.S. media coverage.

David Bacon


I know those towns well. This was bound to happen.

Howie Leveton
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Globalization and NAFTA Caused Migration from Mexico

Thank you for posting this

Kat Beckelhymer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Trade agreements are made for a few fat cats to be able to control international trade and the economy without interference from Governments..Period

Robert Litz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: What it's Like to Win a 19-Year Union Organizing Campaign in the South
(posting on Portside Labor)

This is what Democrats do , the work of the people.
My brother Eric Johnson (Democrat)

An Everyman Sticking Up for Mont. Workers

He may be a candidate for the Montana Senate, but Local 190 member Eric Johnson doesn't view himself any different than the UPS feeder drivers and mechanics he represents as shop steward. And that is part of the 29-year Teamster's appeal.
"I'm not a politician at all," he said. "I'm just a blue-collar guy who has answers to questions bureaucrats make too complicated."

Johnson, who is a Democrat seeking the Billings-area District 27 seat, says there is a lot wrong with government. It starts with big business being seen as more important than regular workers. While corporations get tax breaks, lawmakers refuse to raise the minimum wage. And families are struggling.

If wages were raised, he noted, people would have more money to spend on goods and services, which in turn would be a boost to the economy. But instead, billions sit in the bank accounts of companies and the wealthy, which does the country no good.
"As rich as any one person can be, they can't match the people who buy cars and build homes," he said.

If elected, he would also push for companies to pay their fair share of infrastructure costs resulting from a boom in the oil industry that is now making its way into Montana.

Shawn Johnson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: World's Richest Man Tries to Defend Wealth Inequality

Gates and Piketty both ignore (I believe) the "elephant in the room", namely, that the super-rich and wealthy corporations are able to, and many do, "invest" by using their money to influence (some say "buy") politicians, regulators, judges, etc.

The shenanigans these people perform to get favorable tax laws enacted and favorable regulatory and judicial rulings made (much of it legal in the USA, and these legal shenanigans generally called "lobbying" and "campaign contributing" and 'Citizens United" spending) show that concentrated wealth is used to change the rules which govern the acquisition of wealth -- in favor of ever greater concentration.

A rule (after a much needed new Constitutional Amendment) to forbid all political action (and political spending) by corporations and to limit annual aggregate political spending by individuals is the only path I can see to rectify this increasingly dangerous (we may thank the Supreme Court for much of this) distortion of democracy.

And we can probably chalk-up the 10 years lost in the fight against global warming (climate change) to this "elephant in the room".

Peter Belmont

Re: Ill Winds Drove Columbus

Meanwhile he and his soldiers bought a legacy of bringing European illness everywhere they went.

Agnes Johnson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: How Putin Became Central Figure in Texas Anti-Fracking Vote

Whatever the motivation, I'm fine with no fracking. Cool ploy to make the Russian the reason why people here should support fracking. If Putin is against it we should be for it, by all means. Right? The plot thickens.

Karyne Dunbar

Re: Eye in the Sky: The Art of Arnold Mesches

This is interesting to say the least!

Peter Arata

Re: More Than 3,000 New Voters Have Registered in Ferguson Since Mike Brown's Death

Interesting!! That's what we are all encouraged to do...REGISTER TO VOTE!! A BIG "YEA!!" FOR THESE FOLKS...NOW A 'REAL' PART OF OUR CITIZENS!!

Judie Oesterling Fling
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The election officials can just claim the influx was too big to handle and not process the registrations until after the midterm elections. That is what is happening in Georgia right now.

Barney C Black
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Even when people speak at the polls, democracy doesn't always work, because of all the lobbying and shenanigans that go on behind the scenes--but it's one if the few tools we have as individuals, and we should exercise it regularly.

Nola Krosch
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

"Democracy" - Leonard Cohen

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Joseph T. Stevens
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: A '60s Radical Comes Back with Conservative Allies

I think you should have advised readers that Howard Fuller was known in the movement as Owusu Sadaukai. Without that information, the review of his book may  not communicate effectively to Portside readers.

Ken Lawrence
Spring Mills, Pennsylvania


Which Mozambiquan independence movement was Howard Fuller connected with? I see online a reference to one called the African Liberation Movement (ALM) that the article said he was with. Who and what are/were they back then? It makes a difference. Some of the movements were essentially imperialist pseudo radical fronts that used ultranationalist verbiage.  The CIA helped arm, train and lead several such groups to combat the major movements such as Mozambique's FRELIMO and Angola's MPLA, for example.

John Woodford


A sell-out by any other name is still a sell-out.

Tom Gogan

Re: Your Nose Knows Death is Imminent

This article and the research on which it is based is an example of a form of pseudo-science that seems to be gaining in popularity. The journalist and apparently the researchers whose work he writes about assert that because they found an association between ability to identify smells and longevity in a human sample that relationship holds in the general human population. That is not how genuine science works. Among credible scientists the process described is often referred to as a "fishing expedition." One looks for relationships in a sample of the population in question and those found are asserted to be aspects of the population.

It is not science because a credible experiment requires a prior theory and a prior prediction. Any "fishing expedition" may yield relationships that appear to be plausibly related. But before any conclusion about the real relationships in the population is drawn, a prediction deriving from a credible theory must be made first. If a representative sample is then examined and the relationship confirmed, statisticians are able to specify how frequently the predicted relationship (of some specific strength) would occur by chance.

For example, were the researchers to predict that everyone who scored less than 50% on the hearing test would be dead in 5 years and everyone who scored more than 50% would still be alive and that prediction turned out to be 100% correct, the statistician might determine that such a relationship would occur by chance in no more that one representative sample in a thousand and so we are able to be quite confident that it is a real characteristic of the population.  In a "fishing expedition" no such claim may be credibly made, let alone one that implies the sample to be an exact replica of the population.

Portside might consider having someone well-trained and alert to pseudo-science preview articles otherwise planned for publication.

Roy J Adams

Re: Danny Casolaro Died for You

This article fails to include in its bibliography the major exposé by the FOIA release seeking National Security Archive: The Chronology: The Documented Day-by-Day Account of the Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Contras, Warner Books, 1987.  Its main editor, Malcolm Byrne, has just released another book about this topic: Iran-Contra: Reagan's Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power, University Press of Kansas, 2014. For more information about this and other document sets of the Archive go here.

Margie Bernard

A Black & Brown Unity Event with Dr. Gerald Horne - Los Angeles - Nov. 8

Holman United Methodist Church
3320 W. Adams
Los Angeles

Noon to 3:00 PM

For More Information Call: 818-985-2711818-985-2711 x 212

KPFK 90.7 FM is the Media Sponsor

New York City Labor Chorus Fund Raising Concert Honoring Pete Seeger - New York - Nov. 15

Ethical Culture Center
2 West 64th Street

November 15th, 2014 -- 7:30PM  

The New York City Labor Chorus will be holding a concert on Saturday, November 15th, 2014, 7:30PM at the Ethical Culture Center at 2 West 64th Street in Manhattan. The concert will be in honor of the people's troubadour, Pete Seeger. Brooklyn's political rapper, Professor Louie, will be our guest artist. Tickets are $25, general admission.

The New York City Labor Chorus is composed of 80 singers from 20 union locals in the metropolitan area. Our diverse repertoire gives voice to the power of song in working people's struggles for peace and justice. Pete Seeger was instrumental in the founding of our Chorus in 1991 and remained our friend and supporter. He will inspire us always.

New York City Labor Chorus
212 929-3232
NYC Labor Chorus c/o CWE
275 7th Avenue, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10001

SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY - New York showing - Nov. 16

She's Beautiful When She's Angry is playing in New York's Documentary Film Festival Nov. 16! Tickets now available, so hurry up & book before they're gone.
There will great speakers in the Q&A - join the FB event for updates.
SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women's movement from 1966 to 1971.   SHE'S BEAUTIFUL takes us from the founding of NOW, with ladies in hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women's liberation;  from intellectuals like Kate Millett to the street theatrics of WITCH (Women's International Conspiracy from Hell!).

Remarkably, there has never been a theatrical documentary about the early days of women's liberation. SHE'S BEAUTIFUL aims not to romanticize the early movement, but to dramatize it in its exhilarating, quarrelsome, sometimes heart-wrenching glory.

The film does not shy away from the controversies over race, sexual preference and leadership that arose in the women's movement.  SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY captures the spirit of the time -- thrilling, scandalous, and often hilarious.

Produced and Directed by MARY DORE, maker of the award-winning film The Good Fight-The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War and NY Film Fest premiere Children of Labor.

Produced and Edited by NANCY KENNEDY, editor of Sundance Grand Jury Winner Why We Fight, For the Bible Tells Me So, and Orchestra of Exiles among others.

Edited by KATE TAVERNA, editor of Pray the Devil Back to Hell  along with other award-winning films.