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Tidbits - December 17, 2015 - Trump - Islamophobia, racism, anti-communism, fascism; Rahm Must Go; Jewish History; Barbara Ehrenreich, class, race, and privilege; Lincoln Brigade; Multicultural trip to Cuba; and more...

Reader Comments: Donald Trump - Anti-Muslim policies are steeped in racism, anti-communism and fascism; Chicago - CITYWIDE WALK OUT PART 2!! Rahm Emanuel & Anita Alvarez Must Resign - Friday, Dec. 18; End of Jewish History?; The Wal-Mart Effect; Kohler strike; Barbara Ehrenreich, working class, race, class, and privilege; Lincoln Brigade; Climate Change and Oil Wars; Cuba; The Big Short; Multicultural trip to Cuba; No Tidbits for next three weeks

Tidbits, Reader Comments, and Announcements - December 17, 2015,Portside
Trump keep citing all these polls that reputedly document opinion polls of Muslim Americans. Trump also boasts (correctly, we are to believe so far that this boast is in fact true) that he is entirely self-funded. However, he is drawing upon intelligence sources to describe the depth and breadth of Muslim American untrustworthiness, disloyalty, and avowed allegiance to the sovereignty of Sharia law over the US Constitution. Here is a Portside report on exactly who are these pollsters, and far more importantly who is funding them. 
The covert financing of this highly "sophisticated" Islamophobia is stunning, given these revelations. This is a systematic and savvy well funded campaign to vilify, demonize, and dehumanize Muslim Americans. The effects of this will reverberate throughout our body politic long after Nov 2016. Mark these words.
Larry Aaronson
Muhammad Ali Responds to Donald Trump's Denial of President Obama's Acknowledgement of Muslim Athletes
"I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.
We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody.
Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is."
Muhammad Ali is a long standing national treasure. Donald Trump is a long standing national shame.
James E. Vann
Trump and Neo-McCarthyism
Trump continues to stroke the flames of racism, Islamophobia, sexism, anti-immigration, homophobia.  His presentation of rabid Americanism presents pseudo-patriotism as it purports to fight terrorism, complacency, and duplicity.  In reality, Trump is reading from a script that was well rehearsed by Joseph McCarthy during at the beginning of the Cold War.  As we look at then and now the same threads of isolationism, paranoia, racial and homophobic hatred and bigotry, ethnocentrism and big brother-ism are all wrapped up in the American flag.  It was not only wrong then, but it is doubly wrong now.  For then, we might have said we were blinded by the aftermath of a World War, but now what is our excuse for failing to see the warning signs -train wreck up ahead.
Trump, using some of the same McCarthy tactics, would have us believe that any one who dares disagree with his stance or that of the U.S. is by definition committing both subversion or treason, by definition.  Such persons are not only likely to be harboring 'Anti-American" attitudes but are one step away from either being or supporting an act of terrorism on these shores.
Trump fanning the flames of our fears -both domestically and abroad, creates enemies out of strangers, manipulates crises out of confusion, and exaggerates threats out of disagreements.    In Trumps world, if you are different you are more than suspect, you are guilty of all of the worst sins that one could commit.  You are not a white, male, gun totting, flag waiving, righteously angry American.  In fact, unfortunately Trump gives white, males a bad rap.  And he only gives encouragement to the gun control lobby.  More than that, his constant and despicable dribble gives all the fodder needed by the real terrorists in the world. The message we need to send to the ISIS, Taliban, and other would be terrorists -that Trump does not speak for us or the U.S. But, in a free country, dedicated to liberty, free speech, and political democracy -even the extreme, racist, homophobic can express their warped view of the world without fear of sanctions.
Rodney D. Coates
[Coates is a professor of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University. He is entirely responsible for his views, these are his own and may not reflect the views of Miami University.]
Friday, December 18 at 3:16 PM in CST
Richard J. Daley Center
50 W Washington St, Chicago, Illinois 60602
On this day we are walking out of our jobs and schools in order to press our demand for the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, to resign. It is time to come together and amplify each other's voices in order to stress that we are completely done with the racist system that the mayor has so desperately pushed for. 16 shots, a murder, a cover-up, school closures, mental health clinic closures, and an angered city. Enough damage has been done to our city, and it's time to take it back. Rahm must resign. We won't stop until he does. #ResignRahm


Two girls wearing banners with slogan "ABOLISH CH[ILD] SLAVERY!!" in English and Yiddish, Probably taken during May 1, 1909 May Day labor parade in New York City.
Photo credit: Library of Congress
This is so spot on within my family and friends. The Imperial Zionist side colliding with the fear induced by a thousand years of history and the holocaust clouds anything clear. At the same time within our family are Jews of mixed black white heritage like me, who sympathize with the Palestinian community and yet wonder how whey they first came here showed my black community such stupid racial prejudice. Thankfully the second generation has gone way past this.
Earl Marty Price

It's more complex than this, of course but... Goods from factories in China and elsewhere sold at Wal-Mart destroy jobs in the US. The Economic Policy Institutes's Robert Scott estimates that 400,000 US jobs have been displaced by Wal-Mart. Here, via Portside, is the link to his essay.
Daniel Millstone
north of Illinois, the struggle continues...
Years ago I spent some time aboard with Mr. Kohler and eventually politics came up. The man loves the  Ayn Rand view that he was the creator of all the ideas that made the company prosper and the workers were just hands, and you could always find hands....If ever someone needed a reality check, it is he.
Capn' Steve Krug
I would call it the European-American Working Class.
Thomas Brown
The article makes an important point--Black "progress does not take away from white workers; in fact, it benefits the white working class"--but its understanding of class is problematic. White teachers are not "middle class white professionals." Like other workers, teachers have to sell their mental or physical labor power in order to survive. Teachers are part of the working class.
Kevin Lindemann
Why do discussions about longevity like this one overlook a very obvious fact: our environment is increasingly poisonous.  Poisons kill; longevity declines.  Duh.
Judy Brady
You neglected to add his antagonism to women's rights. 
Ed Felien
"Wilson doesn't deserve a school," by Chris Myers Asch is on p.C4 of the Dec. 13, 2015 Wash Post.  Wilson public HS is in NW Wash. Pls let Harvey Wasserman know of this, plus any others who might want to know.
Chester Hartman
Many of Netanyahu's supporters in the US don't realize how extreme his current government is --
Alfred Rose
On behalf of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) I extend a big thanks to David Bacon for his inspiring comments as well as to Portside for reprinting them. 
I was in the audience when he spoke in Berkeley last month and was impressed by his personal story and analysis. 
Peter N Carroll
Chair Emeritus, ALBA
This is just a terrific piece - thanks.
Jerry Lembcke
Important article. The 1953 coup in Iran mentioned here was engineered by the CIA under President Eisenhower to stop the Iranian people from controlling their own oil. Subsequent U.S. governments have intensified this battle on behalf of corporate oil profits, bringing us directly to the present.
Diane Laison
Another major effort is the destabilization through counter-insurgency against the Suez canal nationalization and the pan arabism by Nasser of Egypt. I think that would have had a bigger consequence in moving the middle east towards stability than the Iran coup, would you agree?... I am not arguing, just adding my thoughts. since you said, the Iran coup 'directly' brought us here, I thought defeating 'Nasserism' also had a major role in the whole middle east situation and so is worth a mention. ps. - It is not entirely without context in the article, they have hyperlinked the word "Iran coup" to a Guardian article, which tells the background.
Ram K Padmanaban
Ask that of Leonard Peltier after serving 45 years for defending Native American rights at Wounded Knee !!
Aaron Libson
(posting on Portside Culture)
worth looking at this:
Debunking "The Big Short": How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heros
by Yves Smith
December 13, 2015
I hate to give any attention to Michael Lewis' The Big Short, since the wildly popular book told a fundamentally misleading story of the crisis which sadly has become conventional wisdom. And it wasn't just harmlessly inaccurate; it directed public and even lawmaker attention away from the real drivers of this debacle.
Absent the actions of the subprime shorts that Lewis lionized, the US would have suffered a S&L-level housing crises (which at the time was seen as a serious blow to the banking system and the economy), not a global financial crisis that came perilously close to taking down systemically important capital markets firms around the world. And let us not forget that the way in which the financial system was rescued represented the greatest looting of the public purse in history. 
Read more here.
good news amidst the bad, from Portside.
Paul Buhle
(Portside post from April 17, 2015)
US denounces human rights violations only when you disobey
The United States (US) government's goal is global dominance. Noam Chomsky brilliantly explains this in his book, HEGMONY OR SURVIVAL.
The US must control countries to do this. It must rob them of their resources. A leader who is willing to do what the US government wants, will not only get its support, but it will also never accuse him of any crimes against citizens of his country. As long as US corporations can get huge profits out of that country, American democracy could not be working better!
But, as soon as the leader disobeys, Washington will quickly accuse him of horrible human rights violations and of being a dictator. The US government will quickly replace him with someone who will cooperate with Washington.
This is why President Eisenhower didn't meet with Fidel Castro after his revolution ousted Cuban dictator and US puppet Batista. US said nothing about Batista's atrocities against the Cubans. But, as soon as Fidel Castro became the leader that the Cuban People wanted, the US suddenly got very interested in the Cuban People's human rights, liberties, democracy, and justice for all!
Within 2 months, the US government started planning on how to remove Fidel Castro for somebody it could control. Chomsky's book goes into the details of that. And after more than 50 years, the US government is still trying to get Cuba under its control again.
Recently, the United Nations (UN) voted once again to lift the US blockade against Cuba. This time, only the United States and Israel want to continue to punish Cuba for not wanting to be controlled by the US government. How more obvious could it be that the US government is still determined to change Cuba's government to one that will serve US interest!
This is why Puerto Rico decolonization will never happen under US control. Puerto Rico is a colony, because the US government wants it that way. How could anyone realistically believe that the US would reverse something that it unilaterally installed?
To decolonize Puerto Rico, we would have to protest peacefully and permanently for a long time (remember the Cuban blockade) for the US government to respect our inalienable right to self-determination and independence under international law. We must protest tirelessly to insist that the US government comply with the 34 UN resolutions to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.
And when that day happens that we are finally for the very first time decolonized, Washington will be going all out to install a Puerto Rican president who will do exactly whatever the US government wants. If you doubt that, why do you think the US still has a naval station in Cuba?
Jose Lopez
This coming weekend marks a decade since the City of New York was brought to a standstill as a result of the first Citywide Transit Strike in 25 years. The strike started on Dec 20th, 2005 and lasted for 3 days.
A program marking the 10th Anniversary of the Dec 2005 NYC Transit Strike is being held on Sat. Dec 19th from 2pm to 6pm.
The program is free to the public and will be held in the:
'Founders Auditorium' at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1650 Bedford Ave in Brooklyn 
(Between Crown St  and Montgomery St).
The program is supported by the Medgar Evers College Department of Public Administration and is sponsored by a working committee of Transit workers, Community organizations, Activists, and experts from the Legal and Academic communities.
The program features displays, videos, slides about this historic 2005 strike. It includes a keynote address by Roger Toussaint, who led Transit workers during their strike and presentations from Journalists, Commentators, Legal and Academic experts as well as Social Justice Organizers from the Black Lives Matter and Domestic Workers Movements.
Take the IRT #2,3,4 or 5 train to Franklin Ave. The Bldg is two blocks from Empire Blvd.
Parking is also available in the rear of 1650 Bedford Ave.
I am very to announce a new Multicultural Cuba journey into the arts, history, and cultures of Cuba in the context of contemporary Cuban society. We will be in Cuba April 20-30-Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and environs. In a time of increased Cuba travel, it remains terribly important to offer a deeper look into Cuba, its past and present, and the complexity of its people.
Brochure with full information is here
Please share this news!
This is a People-to-People trip, no special license needed. Common Ground Travel is our travel services provider; and I have been working closely with my individual and organizational contacts in Cuba, including my collaborator at Casa del Caribe in Santiago, to offer you a deeper look at Cuba at a cost fair to you, and supportive of people at work on this in Cuba. (We will, by the way, be staying in casas particulares or bed and breakfasts in all 3 cities, making it possible to include many special activities in the cost of the trip, which may go up from the estimate on the brochure but not by much.)
If you're interested, please contact me immediately. I expect to fill the trip by the end of January. It is going to be rather marvelous! Packed with extraordinary meetings and activities, but also allowing for some actual free time for your independent studies. 
And thank you for sharing the news with your lists.
Anya Achtenberg
Get Brochure here.
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