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Tidbits - February 19, 2015 - Vietnam War, Chapel Hill Murders, Radical Change, Adjunct Profs, Coal Miners, Water, and more...

Reader Comments - Vietnam - What Really Happened?; Chapel Hill Murders - Honor Their Memory; Chocolate, Mayan civilization; Ukraine; How Radical Change Occurs; Adjunct Profs; Teacher Unions; West Virginia Coal and Blood; Public Pensions; Water Privatization; Save the Postal Service; Timbuktu; UMass Backs Down on Iranian Student Ban; Artistic Expression; Support the Greek People; Announcements; Today in History - FDR Signs Order for Internment of Japanese Americans

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Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - February 19, 2015, Portside

Re: Why Don't Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam?

This is a long article but worth the time reading. About how a now accepted idea about this war became a way to accept all war, endless war, and about how the equation of military service and heroism serves the bland acceptance of war.

Eldred Fuchs
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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The military industrial complex sure made a lot of money. Cheney got rich because of this war.

Fernando Chacon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I would give those years back. I lifted silver boxes with body bags. I handled human remains. I smelled and heard and felt the mess. I informed myself and came to the conclusion that if we confronted the falsehoods we at least could sleep at night.

John-David Hughes
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Read Nick Turse's book, "Kill Anything That Moves - The Real American War in Vietnam". This is not some fly by night fiction. He has 87 pages of documentation....."

Takes us from the archives filled with Washington's long suppressed war crimes investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to blood thirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Press, in which a general obsessed with body counts led soldiers to commit what one participant called "a My Lai a month".

Maggie Richards
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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War is about two things: money and the power it buys...If the old men fought their own battles, there would be no war.

David Erickson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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War is young men dying and rich old men making more money. We all know this. Imagine if these old men fought their own battles. Wouldn't that be a sight?

Alberto Flores
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Last time I taught the class, was the best, given the fact that I had former Iraqi war vets and parents of Iraqi/ Afghan war vets. They *knew* we had been lied to, our troops had been betrayed by the criminal class of Rumsfeld, Cheney and "W"--at least these people shed no alligator tears or wrapped themselves in the flag...Millions of Vietnamese and Lao people died under our "protective containment" of communism. And about 20% of the land remains unproductive or habitable due to the herbicide poisoning. We should be ashamed of ourselves but never will be.

Jeff Kleiman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Part of our mythology of denial of an evil history...As bad as the deaths of 56,000 plus many more maimed was, it is nothing compared to the genocide inflicted on those brave Viet, Lao and Cambodian people. That is the point of the article, and how we now go on and on "thanking" those who serve in our wars of aggression. Guys in Vietnam mostly knew they were lied to as well.

Charles Berthold
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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A generation, of young men and families destroyed. Now here we go again. The poor become the cannon fodder, for the rich. The difference, this time, is that the caskets, suicides and lives destroyed are unseen, from view, of the general public.

Ralph Hunt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Can't we see that the epoch of colonial wars has had it's day...

Leonard Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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How else could the government be able to repeat the same faulty policies over and over again

Thi-Bay Miradoli
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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The evidence, at this point, seems pretty clear: JFK was determined to withdraw all US forces from Viet Nam after the `64 elections (he was, as Democrats frequently were, sensitive to the charge of being soft on communism). It's one of the most depressing might-have-beens in the dark, sorry history of the 20th century. The tragedy was both needless and foreseeable. I was 2S until Richard Nixon's draft lottery; with number 342, I went 1A for a full year. They never came close to my number and, after that, I never looked back. I spent a couple of my undergrad years as a part-time counselor for the Wisconsin Draft Resisters Union -- explaining the law and the available options to my draft-eligible and soon-to-be-draft eligible peers. I made up my mind, in 67-70, that I'd go to Canada rather than let myself be drafted or become a fugitive in my own country. It's a decision I'm still comfortable with (and proud of) -- but I'm glad I never had to act on it.

Marc Webbles
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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no surprise that people don't know about history when the Iraq war, abu ghraib, guantanamo bay, drones and the endless war in middle east is not understood or talked about except as a flag waving banner of grotesque nationalism. also i am so sick of republicans talking about the troops when it is pretty clear they hate the troops and just use them for their own ends.

Frank Taylor
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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...we learned really nothing from Vietnam and got lied into Iraq and still, even today, we spend more- -far, far more- -than any other nation on war. We, the US, are the world's warmonger, without question. While it isn't only Americans who delude ourselves about history, I think we do, in fact, allow our government and representatives to wage war in our name and do nothing about it.

Kevy Cat
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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So will future generations be saying the same thing about the wars is Iraq and Afghanistan? Yeah, probably. In the words of Pete Seeger, "When will they ever learn?"

Ron Gletherow
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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If we had learned from Vietnam, we wouldn't have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq!

Joseph A. Clore
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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This brought back so many memories about my youth. So many. And the actual history behind the wars is astonishingly sad.

M David Rodriguez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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From the fall of Saigon in April 1975 on, there has been a concerted campaign on the part of both parties and a large segment of the corporate/right-wing community to forget the war, misreport the war, distort the war, and bury the war. This is why, Pres. Obama, when massive wrong has been done (Cheney, Bush, Afghanistan, Iraq) you don't say "it's time to move forward." Which means: forget, misreport, distort, and bury. Those of us in the VCW -- Veterans of Civil Wars -- remain stunned that this ten-year war crime has resulted in more militarism, imperialism, and the proliferation of Fox Fascist News.

Doug Paterson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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read the transcript of the Nixon tapes and prepare to be shocked - let the words sink in when Nixon cheerfully discusses using nuclear force as though he was talking about nothing more serious than going on a picnic

[Read New York Times article here.]

LaVonne E. Bray
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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A Vietnam Veteran .... its obvious that the Vietnam War was a mistake. It should have never happened. The nightmare is that 58000 americans lost their lives in vain. That's hard to take. How do you reconcile that with a family member or friend who perished during that conflict. Its tough to think about, tough to deal with. And at least three times that number were terribly wounded. Since recorded time we've found lots of reason to hate, kill and maim each other. Maybe , if we survive for the next 10000 years , people will look back and ask what the hell were they thinking; either that or the world will be in its last gasps of life as we know it.

Louis Fornicola
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Americans were genuinely terrified of Soviet-style communism back then, especially after China went communist. Plus there was the arrogant belief that the mighty US military could never be defeated by a bunch of skinny Asian guys in black pajamas. Some insist to this day that the US didn't really lose that war -- that it was "sold out" by "traitors." (C.f. Germany post WWI.)

Bruce Miller
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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we dropped 19 million gallons of agent orange on our troops and this poor country.....not to mention opium selling for 65k per metric ton bought there, 65 million dollars retail in USA, you tell me what the war was about?

Gary Replogle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Admiral Zumwalt unknowingly ordered the later death of his own son by ordering Agent Orange dropped, while his son was fighting below. I have particular disdain for McNamara when he was confronted the whole reasoning for going to war was a lie said, "oops!" This is why elections matter. Are we ready for another protracted war abroad when that money is sorely needed here at home? All in favor, immediately sprint to your nearest recruiting station, ensuring you have in tow all like minded family and friends so all of you can go fight this one together. All us old vets will be cheering loudly for you...

Tony Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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By not coming to terms with the bull-headed "Cold Warrior" bullying by the far Right of our government which rushed through the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, a BS lie giving us the Pearl Harbor moment for that decade.

The truth as to what the Vietnamese really wanted, complete independence from all foreign control and interference, was obscured by Cold War fears and rhetoric. Since 1919, a clear seeking for a free Vietnam was the goal. Just read the correspondences between Ho Chi Minh and our Sec. of State under Wilson and Ho's Declaration of Independence made on Sept. 2, 1945. More Jefferson than Uncle Joe!

They lost trust and faith in our professed principles. Pres. Roosevelt was clearly in favor of breaking the old European colonial strangle hold on their pre-WWII colonies but he died and his desire for indigenous people's right to determine their own political destinies died with him.

I never dreamed in my lifetime that this playbook would be dusted off and used again this time over Iraq, twice, and now it's morphing into ISIS. No WMD? Really? Such since lying before Congress, the UN, and WE the People! "Whoever planned and got us into this mess needs to have their heads examined," a quote from former Defense Sec. Robert Gates about sums it up....

Ernie Colonna
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Don't we know who got us into this? When are we going to prosecute people in this country for being war criminals?

Natalie Turner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Code Pink attempt to place Henry Kissinger under a Citizen's Arrest for War Crimes at U.S. Senate hearing.

Jo Kreworuka
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Thank you Lyndon Baines Johnson A DEMOCRAT for getting us into Vietnam in the first place! It wasn't until a Republican named Richard M. Nixon got us out!

Justin Mattes
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Wrong it was the protesters that got us out of Nam. Nixon would have let the war drag on Eisenhower was the first to send troupes to Nam. both parties were guilty of keeping this war going. We need to bring back the protesters that we had then.

Robert Dixon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I remember 1967 best. MLK's speech and some older "kids" coming home with a different look about them. Simon and Garfunkle's Silent Night/Six O'Clock News when former VP Richard Nixon said unless we increase our troop levels, the US could look forward to 4 more years of war. Absurd. No Way. Frightening to think. Then there I was four years later. When will we ever learn?

Kieran E. Kilday
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I was drafted in 1967. I was not the standard draftee. Here's a link to blog posting of mine about my basic training:
Independent Broad Minded Centrist: A Few Basic Training Stories
 
I eventually connected up with the War Resisters League. They were a big help for me and others.

Chuck Divine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Thank you! That was interesting! I was stationed with my husband, an MP at the time. 1969 it was an eye opener for me. We did not stay together. I was his excuse for not having to go. It was a most frightening experience. Later while attending college I remember the riot cops at the University in all their gear. Scared the bejesus out of me! All those who served, that I knew, came back a different person!

Kathy Goodwind
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Wow! Now that's war journalism!
Don't forget the effect of the "cleanliness and precision" of the first Gulf War" in altering national opinion of foreign military adventures.

William Reyes
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Chapel Hill Murders: Why Muslim Lives Don't Matter

There was an incredible turn out at the vigils and there were and still are postings of people in solidarity

Mary Francis Galloway
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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This was a hate crime and they were hated by this wingnut because of how they looked. Parking disputes don't end with execution style murders in ones own home.

Deanna Grenier-Mullins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Feed Their Legacy Food Drive - Honor Their Memory / Continue Their Legacy - New York - Feb. 13 - Mar. 6

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha (21) and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) were found shot and killed in their apartment in Chapel Hill, NC. The loss of Deah, Yusor & Razan was devastating not just to their community in North Carolina but to the nation, as these three activists continuously gave selflessly to their community and were exemplar models. Whether it be the homeless community of Durham, NC or the Syrian refugees based in Turkey, these three leaders were coordinating ways to help and serve.

Deah's last Facebook post, dated January 29th, was of an evening where he and other selfless individuals gave food and free dental supplies to over 75 homeless people and he used the hashtag: #Downtownsmiles. In honor of and to continue their legacy of feeding those in need, there will be a National Canned Food Drive where all collected food donations will be given on behalf of Deah, Yusor & Razan. Through this coordinated national service effort & drive, we hope to #FeedTheirLegacy.

Muslim Community Network and Judson Memorial Church will be collecting canned goods as part of the New York City Chapter of the National #FeedTheirLegacy Campaign whose goal is to collect 100,000 food items nationwide.

FEED THEIR LEGACY FOOD DRIVE - New York City

Date: February 13th through March 6th

Drop-Off Information:
Tuesdays & Thursdays between 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Friday 2/27 between 2:00 - 3:30 pm
Friday 3/6 between 2:00 - 3:30 pm
*If you are unable to make these times, please contact Christina to arrange an alternate drop-off time.*

Drop-Off Location:
Judson Memorial Church

239 Thompson Street
NY, NY 10012 (across the street from the ICNYU)

Contact: Christina Tasca at christina@mcnny.org

The drive will benefit the Muslim Women's Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) food pantry in the Bronx.

Re: What We Know About the Earliest History of Chocolate

Thank you for this very informative piece of information on the history of chocolate and Mayan civilization.

Mark Bailey

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All I know is that "cocolate abuelita" (NOT with two "ts") in my neighborhood coffee house is a great way to sip, slow down and contemplate more ways to make ours a better world.

Leanna Noble

Re: Who Won and Who Lost at the Minsk Talks on Ukraine

Another difference is that the Right Sector and other neofascist militias have declared they will not observe the ceasefire, new that western media are not reporting.

Michael Munk

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total ignorance about what is happening in ukraine.  maybe worse, disinformation

Carlos Sa

Re: How Radical Change Occurs: Eric Foner

Just finished (yesterday) his latest book. Eric is a terrific fellow and perhaps our most important living historian now that Al Young has passed away. This is real history, people. The victors don't write the history; historians do.

Kenneth Burchell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I think the presence of his lectures online will be a great resource. Reading DuBois now, and then his Reconstruction book. Our task in America in the coming decades is essentially the same as faced the South after the Civil War. We need to reconstruct democracy. Let's hope we succeed this time.

Walter Kloefkorn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Wow! I read Foner back in graduate school. Thanks for sharing!

Lorne Steedley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I have never heard of this historian, but these three online courses look fascinating. But then again, I majored in American History.

Richard Short
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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A great historian, from a family of wonderful labor historians. worth looking into his lectures if you are so inclined.

Carole Travis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Adjunct Professors get Poverty-level Wages. Should their pay quintuple?

When I worked in Higher ED, the Adjuncts were the hardest workers

Lynn Ferguson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Yes. Even better they should be given real jobs, with the respect due professors. Enough of this adjunct nonsense.

Margaret White
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Absolutely. And they should get benefits, too. I have been an adjunct during many years of my life, and it was hell.

Georgia NeSmith
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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...I'm just particularly irked by the idea of an adjunct being paid dirt while the students are paying a fortune and the college is making a huge profit.

Daniel Senie
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I don't think parents have any idea of the working conditions adjuncts endure, and most adjuncts I know provide the same quality of teaching that full-time faculty provide. Students aren't suffering because they're being taught by adjuncts; adjuncts are suffering. I think change will come only if adjuncts unionize, but it would be risky for those whose jobs are already so tenuous...

before I lucked out and found a full-time position, I taught as an adjunct at a community college in Illinois. When I held conferences with students, I had to meet with them in the cafeteria because I didn't have an office. I wasn't included in many department events because I was an adjunct, invisible and devalued. For example, the department chair organized a poetry reading but did not invite me to participate even though I'd published more than he or the other readers. I could have made more money per hour by stocking shelves at WalMart. I was lucky that my experience as an adjunct eventually led to a full-time job when I moved to North Carolina. Many are not so fortunate.

Beth Copeland
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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I was getting a measly $2000 per course for endless research, faculty meetings, student meetings, etc., etc., till I realized I was getting less than minimum wage when you added up all the hours.

Genevieve Lim
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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As an adjunct I get paid about half the rate (per credit hour) that the full-timers get, not 1/5. Naturally, no benefits and one shared desk for all of us in the dept. So a doubling would be fair IMO. College's liberalism stops at the campus gate.

Albert Kirsch
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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We pay for what we value and in this country education lags. Pitiful truth.

Al Bush
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Why not just get them hired and offer tenure, everything else is bandaid strategies...make them into employees with benefits and so on...eliminate the adjunct status except for newbies as an apprenticeship maybe at human wages...

Maria Lisella
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: How teachers unions must change - by a union leader

While I sometimes cling to my faith in teachers' unions when I read of unrealistic demands and other shenanigans it will take more to disturb my belief that the working world would be worse without them.

Richard G. Freeman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Teachers are putting up with more than ever in their quest to educate.
These attacks are nothing more than the push for private companies to take over public schools. And what motivates corporations? Money.
The unions stand in their way to suck up the public coffers.

Tom Conroy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Bob Peterson and the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association have done amazing things in the past several years.

Rebecca Kemble
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Long read, but worth the read. Other union groups...take heed...there is a strong, very strong drive to eradicate unions & it is for corporate greed and control. There were a lot of good and eye opening points in this article. Change must happen and the people at the center of it must see the light and join progressive change.

Tamanika Howze
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: West Virginia Coal Mine Owners Have Blood on Their Hands
(posting on Portside Labor)

That could go for most companies in the U.S. Most cities have clinics for industrial accidents where those injured on the job are hauled to. These places are there to protect companies so they will not be held responsible for accidents that occur. In the city of Tulsa it is Glass Nelson clinic and there are people arriving there all day.

Robert Dixon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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If you have to work in a nonunion mine you have to sign a yellow dog contract, its been illegal since the 1950,s but they do it any way.

Tommy Ashton
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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see Hazel Dickens, Coal Tattoo, from Coal Mining Women


 

Marian Paroo

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Bless you - we're with you all the way. I'm a Progressive Democrat living in Upstate New York, and we care greatly about Coal Country and what it means to be a coal worker and family there, where the mining industry has exploited its workers for generation after generation - probably more than any industry in U.S. history.

I remember the explosion and horror of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in 2010 which was PREVENTABLE but the steps weren't taken by Don Blankenship and Massey Energy. I remember Blankenship's directive: "run coal." As I see it, the only person or industry that benefited from the 2010 BP disaster were them, as the BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster, just 15 days after Upper Big Branch disaster, disappeared from the news replaced by the 'new disaster." With you forever.

Sandy Porter
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: As Public Pensions Shift to Risky Wall Street, Local Politicians Rake in Political Cash

remember, this is what Dubya Bush wanted to do with our Social Security money.

Thomas Turner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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And this is why we must demand that "Big Money" be thrown out of politics at any level, from all candidates

Tommy Mc
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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in indiana the repubs and insurance lobby sold our pension to insurance ..what was once a 7% money stream for life is now 3.2 after assholes siphon off their share...bought and sold politicians are doing this.. at this pt i hate both parties

Mike Caldwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: 24 Democrats Who Are Refusing to Attend Netanyahu's Speech to Congress

I am so-o-o very proud of these Representatives. I'm in a district without a voting representative, but as US citizen, I can still voice my opinion! I trust many others will join this protest by our legislators.  Boehner is setting a dangerous precedent.

Velva Spriggs

Re: Surviving the Nazis, Only to be Jailed by America

...The US treated the people they liberated as the Nazis had minus the exterminations. They continued to employ Nazi guards. Not mentioned here but in the author's book he confirms the little publicized fact that the CIA was smuggling captured Nazi officers to the US in violation of US immigration laws while dragging its feet on letting camp survivors into the country.

Nabeel Abraham
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Water Privatization: "Notoriously At Odds With Democracy"

Excellent article on privatization of water

Renny Golden
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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ALL PRIVATIZATION IS BAD FOR THE REAL PEOPLE! BUT WATER PRIVATIZATION IS PARTICULARLY EVIL!

Olivia Booth
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Without water you die in 3 days...keep that in mind..did you know that the CEO of Nestle said water is not a human right? Can you add 1 +1?

Thea Girard Marshall
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Water is a necessity of life and should be protected and distributed as a common good; not a profit-making private enterprise.

Barbara Tutor
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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it's an important issue nation wide but especially out west. too much fooling with damming rivers, creating reservoirs and other questionable practices by the army corps of engineers. now privatization. big problems on the horizon.

Jim Bruns
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Water is the new gold! This sucks!

Jolivette Anderson-Douoning
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Water and air should be free.....corporate ownership of both should be treated as treason!

Michael A Brito
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: A "Grand Alliance" To Save Our Public Postal Service

The Post Office is a major employer of minorities and African-Americans. As the victim of a manufactured crisis (forced by law to pay health care costs 75 years in advance), the Post Office is being set up for privatization maniacs. Cooperation and competition always depend on each other. All personal achievement depended on state investment in roads, schools, hospitals, airwaves, food safety and water quality. The Post Office can't simply say to 600,000 hard working people "you're on your own"!

Marc Batko
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Very true except the 'deciders' keep saying it! How about postal workers running the post office!

Ken Parks
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: "Timbuktu": A Timely African Film on Islam - and a Spectacular Breakthrough

Loved the review...until the reviewer chose to make a tasteless comparison between Timbuktu and Selma. THEY ARE NOT IN COMPETITION! We can't have TWO powerful films about Black experience/perspective?! Shame. Selma got robbed because white folks are 'tired' of thinking about racism and what it takes for reconciliation. Timbuktu is bringing forth the Islamic pushback against extremists who are only hiding behind the shield of integrity of Islam ...not actual followers of Mohammed, blessed be his name.

But Black peoples are the 'flavors' of each movie, so there's a comparison and a slam on Selma? Selma is a HUGELY powerful film of our time. DO NOT try to downplay it to boost another hugely powerful film of our time.

(Dualistic thinking. Sheesh! When will westerners let go of that dead perspective?!)

Constance McIntosh
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Lost Counterculture

For some of us - the dream never ended.

Lloyd Hauskins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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There were times, when you could see fellowship. The peace movement, free schools, communes - of course there were poseurs who only draped the hair the clothes over their redneck or bourgeoisie attitudes. But when we asked what "side" are you on... War/Peace, Life/Death, radiance/shadow, freedom/slavery, racism/brotherhood - those who knew - Knew - I was there, I still have brothers and sisters from then - they still get it!

Rick Spisak
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: UMass Restrictions on Iranian Students Draw Fire from Rights Groups

this is a disgrace! that the venerable Massachusetts institution would take such measures is about as discriminatory as you can get. awful!

Bonnie J. Caracciolo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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UMass reverses its policy on grad students from Iran, showing that pressure can work especially when the policy makes no sense and is discriminatory.

Judy Atkins

Re: LBJ Doesn't Deserve the Credit for Selma

LBJ did not provide protection for James Meredith or the Selma marchers. Yes, he was the president responsible for a Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Bill. But the impetus for those bills came from the mass Civil Rights Movement. Kennedy, contrary to legend, was lukewarm on Civil Rights. He tried to get King to call off the March on Washington. Both presidents, rather than dealing with the Movement, would much rather have wheeled and dealed.

David Berger
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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LBJ was not responsible for the Civil Right and Voter Rights acts - millions of black, white and Raza who organized, and marched, and died for them were them were.

Jim Soliz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: South's Unique Immigration Trends Shape Region's Response to Deportation Relief

anyone who thinks that the border will be permanently closed has no clue of reality....i did ammonia refrigeration in many meat packing houses over the years....immigrants are the skilled labor that does a lot of the maintenance in these jobs....the corporations decide when the border is open....and the contrabandistas in prisons know day by day if the border is open or closed....it is always temporary....i do know if the borders are closed up for a long period of time...many service industries in america will be forced to close...it is the reality.....these immigrants only want the work....they are skilled for the most part....and companies like not having to pay any benefits....america loves keeping these free tax dollars.....and it is the reality,,,,

Rolland Mousseaux
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Responsibility in Artistic Expression

Where is the line between freedom of expression and when that expression becomes destructive? Satire and caricature are as old as art itself, and revered as a means of exposing hypocrisy and repression. By their very nature they stir up popular resentment and anger against their targets. Goya, Moliere, Swift, Nast, et al, were masters of these forms, and certainly were influential in helping to alter their socio-political landscapes.

But what of the insidious caricatures of Jews that proliferated in Nazi Germany? And the degrading portrayal of African-Americans and Native Americans in early Hollywood films?

Artists, whether graphic or literary, however free they should be to express themselves through their art, are as bound to questions of morality no less than the general public <more so because of their influence on popular thinking.

While defending artistic freedom, we must question caricatures that are racist, anti-Semitic, and, yes, anti-Muslim. Portraying Muhammad as a dog is not only insulting to the Islamic faith, it is misdirected. The fanatics of ISIS and al Qaeda are perverting their professed religion, as well as the teachings of Muhammad. One might assume, for example, that the suicide bombings carried out ostensibly in the name of Allah were inspired by the Koran, allegedly the word of God delivered by Muhammad. But it was Muhammad who said, 3The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.² Hardly a call for self-explosion.

The fatwa against Salman Rushdie or the barbarity of Islamic extremism cannot be excused, nor can behavior or expression < artistic or otherwise < which degrades or oppresses people or their religious faith. When taking up their brush to target cruelty or violence, artists must make sure their aim is accurate.

Seymour Joseph

WE SUPPORT THE GREEK PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE AGAINST AUSTERITY - Sign-On Statement by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy

We applaud the Greek peoples' courage in defying the threats and pressure applied by EU leaders and financial circles to influence the election. Greeks want to wrest control of their economy from local and foreign elites and to democratically determine their own destiny. Now that they have brought Syriza to power, this fight is far from over; it must continue on the streets, as well as in parliament. We pledge to defend the right of the Greek people to escape from the bondage of harsh neoliberal austerity and we offer our steadfast support and solidarity today and for the struggles that lie ahead.
 
Syriza's electoral triumph was prepared by six years of grassroots resistance, including dozens of general strikes, the movement of the squares, mobilizations against the neo-fascist Golden Dawn, and the valiant struggles of teachers, cleaners, transport workers, media workers, and many others. During those six years, and now more than ever, Greeks have fought back with great determination, offering an inspiring example to all those, throughout the world, who are being strangled by the neoliberal agenda -- a brutal program aimed at crippling unions, especially unions of public employees, reducing workers' living standards, cutting public services, drastically redistributing wealth upward, and securing the overwhelming domination of corporate and financial elites. This agenda is grinding down the vast majority of the population and fueling the rise of the far right - not only in Greece but throughout Europe.

see full statement here.

To add your name now, go to the Campaign for Peace and Democracy website.

An Appeal to Help a Friend - Rob Murray Needs Your Help

From the Left Labor Project

Our friend and longtime union organizer, Rob Murray, needs your support.

The New York County District Attorney claims that Rob Murray was involved in an incident on the Brooklyn Bridge on Dec 13, 2014 while he was at a demonstration against police brutality. On December 18, 2014 Rob Murray was charged with assault in the second degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and resisting arrest.

We are raising funds to cover the legal costs of Rob's case in order to make sure he receives fair representation.

It is our goal to help Rob, who has spent nearly his entire adult life organizing to improve the lives of working people, obtain the resources for a fair and strong defense. We urge you to contribute to the Rob Murray Legal Defense Fund to cover costs related to his defense so Rob can get back to his important work of organizing for economic and social change.

We would like to thank you all for the overwhelming support you have expressed over the last two months.

Please click the link below to find out more about Rob, the case and to make a donation. Please share this link with friends and allies.

Thank you,

Mario Dartayet-Rodiguez
(On behalf of the Rob Murray Legal Defense Trustees)

Read more here. Rob Murray Defense Fund

To Write in the Light of Freedom
(letter to SNCC-List)

Dear activists, organizers and scholars,

I am writing to announce the publication of an edited collection of Freedom School Newspapers produced by the African American youths who attended Freedom Schools during the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer. This project has been a longtime in the making and I am thrilled to announce its publication.

For the past several years, William Sturkey, a historian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and I have collected all of the known newspapers published in the Freedom Schools during the 1964 Summer Project. We found these newspapers in archives across the country and in several cases through generous donations from former civil rights activists, including members of this listserve. We have transcribed each newspaper and provided brief vignettes that contextualize the historic significance of each of the locations that published newspapers (including but not limited to Meridian, Hattiesburg, Benton County, and McComb). We hope that these powerful essays, poems, stories, and testimonials will help offer a more complete vision of Freedom Summer by highlighting the perspectives of the young African American Mississippi activists who attended Freedom Schools. Their inspirational words will make you smile, bring tears to your eyes, warm your heart, and offer many with a new way to think about the transformative effects of Freedom Schools and the Civil Rights Movement on young people.

This edited collection, published by the University Press of Mississippi, is now available on Amazon .

Thank you to all of you who helped us produce this collection. We hope it will help inspire young people and educators to continue the courageous forms of activism, protest and critical thinking that the Freedom Schools cultivated over 50 years ago. Please share with your colleagues and those interested in the Freedom Schools as a model of quality education.

Yours in Freedom,

Jon N. Hale, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Educational History
Department of Teacher Education
College of Charleston
86 Wentworth St., Room 235
Charleston, SC 29401


Application available for Student Activist Scholarships

ATTENTION STUDENT ACTIVISTS!

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund has applications available for student activists who are organizing for social change and building  progressive movements and will be enrolled in school during the 2015/16 academic year. Our website provides answers to questions about the Fund, the application process, and the students we support.  If you know of students working for peace and justice, or if you have a list of activist contacts, please send this announcement along and refer potential applicants to the Fund's website .

Since 1961 the Davis-Putter Fund has provided need-based grants to students who are able to do academic work at the college level and are involved in building movements for social and economic justice.  Grantees are both graduates and undergraduates enrolled in accredited schools for the period covered by their grant.  Although citizenship is not a consideration, applicants must be enrolled in an accredited program in the US in order to qualify.

The maximum grant is $10,000 and may be considerably smaller depending on the applicant's circumstances and the funding available.  All the funds come from individual donors and there are 25-30 grants awarded each year. Grants are for one year although students may re-apply for subsequent years.

Applications and the supporting documents -- transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, a photograph, financial aid reports -- must be postmarked by April 1.  Those selected to receive a grant will be notified in July.

In solidarity,

Carol J. Kraemer, Director
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 7307
New York, NY 10116
davisputter@davisputter.org
www.davisputter.org

Spring Into Action to Raise Wages Film Series - Workers Unite! Film Festival - New York - May 2 - 24

Workers Unite Film Festival is pleased to announce our collaboration with The Workmen's Circle, the NYC based 100 year old Jewish progressive social organization, on a labor film series called: Spring Into Action to Raise Wages. This film series will start on February 13th and run through April, leading up to the full Workers Unite Film Festival in May.

This year The Workers Unite Film Festival will run from May 2nd through May 24th, at a variety of locations throughout NYC.

Check our website frequently for updates and more films for the festival month of May.


Hold the date - Left Forum 2015 - New York - May 29 - 31

Left Forum 2015
May 29th-31st:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The City University of New York
524 W. 59th Street, NYC

leftforum.org | leftforum@leftforum.org

Register for the conference here while early discounts last
Call for panels/workshops: Download or forward here

Sad Day in History - Roosevelt signs Executive Order resulting in internment of Japanese Americans

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the Secretary of War and U.S. armed forces commanders to declare areas of the United States as military areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded." This paved the way for the internment of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans. Here are films, lessons, and books on the internment and seldom taught stories of resistance: http://zinnedproject.org/tag/japanese-internment/
 
Here is the document and more info at the National Archives.

Photo source: National Archives.

Zinn Education Project