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Tidbits - November 19, 2015 - Paris, Beirut, Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Palestine; Sanders and Labor; Reader Exchange with Author; Democratic Campaigns To Join Black Lives Matter Forum...

Reader Comments: Paris, Beirut, Yemen, Turkey, Syria, Palestine; Postal Workers Endorse Bernie Sanders; Left Activists and Popular Opinion; Southwest Airlines - Reader Strong Criticism; Saudis Stumbling - Reader Exchange with Author; Young Adults Love Walking, Biking, and Buses Need for consideration of older population, those with disabilities, children; Democratic Campaigns To Join Black Lives Matter Forum

Tidbits, Reader Comments, and Shorts - November 19, 2015,Portside
Guess isn't about YOU and it isn't about YOUR AGENDA!
"Atrocity demands solidarity. Absolute sympathy for the victims; for all victims. To insist on having an opinion, not the knowing sneer of someone who was right all along, but undiminished solidarity in the face of devastation. To fight against those who attack concerts and cafes, those who bomb cities with fighter jets and with their own bodies, those who abandon migrants to the cold outside their borders and those who sent them fleeing. To struggle: the common struggle of all who suffer, against suffering."
Randy Gould
I don't share meme as any kind of justification of the vile attacks in Paris, in Beirut, in Nigeria, in Syria, Iraq, Tunisia. It isn't. The reasons these images and the acts that produced them are vile are the same reasons Daesh terrorism is vile.
Nor will I vouch for the numbers claimed. I don't know about them.
But I do post it to complicate the narrative that Daesh terrorism or even its ideology is in any uncomplicated way "medieval," and simply opposed to modernity.
In fact it is wholly modern. The same modernity that produced the colonial war cited in the meme in Algeria. The same modernity that produced the tens of millions of deaths of The Great War a century ago, and flowing in substantial measure from the post-war colonial settlement dismembering the Ottoman Empire. The same modernity that produced the photo that was the frontispiece of my grad school teacher Tim Weiskel's book on the Baulé people of Cote d'Ivoire showing two French military men in crisp white uniforms and pith helmets standing with the head of an African man on a pike; Tim captioned it "pacification atrocity." The same modernity that produced the Nazis and their genocides against Jews, Roma, mass murders of homosexuals, and others, and the mass deaths and casualties of World War II, even greater than The Great War. The same modernity that produced the fire-bombings of Dresden, Tokyo, and dozens of other cities, the Japanese atrocities in Nanking, the German "Blitz" against civilians in London and the bombing of Coventry, the use of atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same modernity that produced carpet bombing in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the mass murders of the Khmer Rouge (like Daesh atavistic, and modern all the same). The same modernity that produced Cold War "proxy wars" inflaming local conflicts and arming them for Great Power imperial ends, in Central and South America, in Africa, in East Asia, and not least in West Asia. The same modernity that produced the Iraq's invasion of Kuwait under Hussein, and the anti-civilian mass murderous sanctions against Iraq led by the U.S. from 1991-2003, and the U.S. war of choice and aggression against Iraq in 2003. The same modernity that produce Al Qaeda terrorism.
The terrorism is awful. We should reject it.
But we should not tell stories about it being part of a war of a good, secular, modern West vs. Medieval Islam or Islamists.
Terrorism is thoroughly modern.
We should reject and oppose this modern phenomenon wherever it crops up. We should not allow our rulers to to carry it out in our names, even in the name of counter-terrorism.
Chris Lowe
(posted on Facebook, cross-posted with permission of the author)
(posting on Portside Labor)
An endorsement befitting the country's oldest public employees' union!
Jim Young
Harrisburg, PA
The bottom line is, what will they do with their vote.
Maria Lydia Spinelli
(posting on Portside Labor)
Why is Portside sending out an article from Fortune magazine that accepts Wall Street's definitions, assumptions, analyses, language, and characterizations of "productivity"? The article puts the burden on pilots'" out of date" "work rules" as the cause of SWA's inability to compete against airlines now owned and run by hedge funds.  You can find that point of view any where in the press.  It's Portside's job to present the pilots' point of view.
Bob Muehlenkamp
How can anyone, especially the esteemed Conn Hallinan, write an entire article on Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud without even mentioning the position of over half the population there, women. I look for an amended version.
Joe Berry
Author's response: The purpose of the article was to catalog some of the missteps by Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis its foreign policy, and the fact that the kingdom has deep internal problems. I did not cover the routine use of torture. I did not cover the use of corporal and capital punishment. The way the Kingdom treats women is barbaric, but you can't put everything in a column, and it wasn't the angle of the piece in any case.
Conn Hallinan
There is an error in the article, by a factor of 100.  The transaction tax proposed by Bernie Sanders is one one-hundredths of one percent, NOT one percent.
Diana Murdoch
I'm all for public transportation. I'm all for a few fossil fuel consuming vehicles on the road as possible. I also get really tired of articles that talk about walking and biking being good for "everyone." 
There are a significant number of people, including young adults, who have disabilities or illnesses that make walking and biking impossible, and a lot of public transportation remains marginally accessible or inaccessible. I was part of a recent user-expert evaluation of the Boston T. I have chronic pain and fatigue. It's hard for me to stand for long periods, and depending on the day, it may be hard for me to walk more than a short distance. The T had elevators at some stations, but they are at the far end of long platforms from transfer points, train stops, and ticket machines. T designers, when they thought about access, thought only about people in wheelchairs for whom the distance isn't a problem, not people on canes, or with other mobility issues. 
Buses often start moving before people with balance problems have a chance to sit down, resulting in falls. Ticket machines often have confusing instructions. Stations are poorly lit, with a lot of glare, and inadequate signs. My 85 year old father gave up on public transportation because of access issues. 
We live in a culture that exalts youth and fitness even while it places obstacles in the way of health and well being. Walkable Urban Places need to be inclusive of people who can't walk, not all of whom use wheelchairs. Public transportation systems should be developed using universal design principles, to make them useful to the widest possible range of people.  There are days when I drive a car four blocks to the grocery store. It's not from a lack of motivation or ecological consciousness. Some days my fatigue is extreme and all I can manage is to walk around the store, held up by a shopping cart. Some days my post-stroke legs are spastic, and walking hurts. 
These conversations about how we design our cities, and how we move around are really important for all the reasons the author cites, but we need to make sure that we aren't designing in more ways of isolating people who can't walk, bike or use buses as they are currently built and used.
Aurora Levins Morales
"Alive as you and me..." I LOVED The Joan Baez version of this!!
Dana Cochrane
(posting on Portside Culture)
Hmmmm. OK, I thought I wanted to see this. Guess not. I think the movie I want to see is Red Emma, unfortunately no one has made it yet.
Susan B. Jones
Henry at Nuremberg, ready the noose! (but I'm not Dr. Kisofdeath so better remaining life service recovering the mass graves of his victims in Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam, Chile, Brazil and on and on...How does it sleep?) By the way, Henry, please be sure to travel abroad as much as you can, see the world! Meet people! We're all waiting to welcome you most heartily, 
Mike Liston
Random murders of Jews by Palestinians inflamed by religious hatred propaganda is not a response to "Israeli Oppression" and is not a progressive cause.  Basic Marxism 101 folks.  This is the "socialism of fools" morphed into the "anti-imperialism of idiots."
Stan Nadel
Top staffers from the Clinton, Sanders and O'Malley campaigns are confirmed to attend a forum on the role of the Black Lives Matter movement in Washington on Dec. 3.
By Darren Sands, BuzzFeed News Reporter
November 19, 2015

#BLM activists question Hillary Clinton during campaign speech earlier this fall.
photo:  Tami Chappell / Reuters // BuzzFeed
Staffers from all three Democratic campaigns for president will participate in a panel discussion the role Black Lives Matter has played the 2016 election cycle, organizers of the event told BuzzFeed News.
LaDavia Drane, Hillary Clinton's black outreach director, as well as Yvette Lewis, Martin O'Malley's campaign co-chair, and Symone Sanders, Bernie Sanders' national press secretary, will participate.
The event is being hosted by Democratic GAIN, a recruiting and development organization that places diverse political operatives inside progressive campaigns. The event will take place on Dec. 3 in Washington at the National Education Association.
"In light of growing concerns regarding racial justice policies and economic empowerment, we can think of no more appropriate time for a serious conversation about what this all means to our movement and to our country, especially as we approach a presidential election year, where so much is at stake," Kouri Marshall, Democratic GAIN's executive director, told BuzzFeed News.
The organization is also encouraging the operatives to collect resumes of people who want to work in the 2016 election cycle.
Derrick Robinson of the political and public affairs consulting firm Smoot Tewes will moderate the panel.
"I think at the beginning of this movement people didn't quite expect Black Lives Matter to be where it is now," Robinson said. "I think their impact in this election speaks a lot to their effectiveness in ensuring that certain conversations are happening among our elected officials and now our presidential candidates.
[Darren Sands is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Contact Darren Sands at ]