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Tidbits - August 11, 2016 - Reader Comments: Elections, Supreme Court, Defeat Trump; Nagasaki; A.J. Muste; Jews Support #BlackLivesMatter; Rock Against TPP Concerts; more...

Reader Comments: 2016 Elections, Supreme Court, All In To Defeat Trump; Nagasaki - The World Did Not Need US's Experiment; A.J. Muste - An Inspiration for Today; Labor Must Take on Capital; Black Lives Matter takes on Education and Police Unions; Jewish Support for #BlackLivesMatter; Palestine Removed from GoogleMaps - What You Can Do; Announcements: New Book - Women Fight the Islamic State;Rock Against the TPP Concerts - Seattle, Portland and San Francisco; and more.

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - August 11, 2016,Portside
This article is utterly ridiculous. It relies on the premise that nothing the government does matters, because it is merely ratifying reality. By the author's logic, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was meaningless because the civil-rights movement had already won black people the right to vote.
"In 1973, Roe v. Wade ruled that abortion was legal," it says, but in 2016, "Legal abortions are as difficult to get today as ever. Maybe more so." My girlfriend, who was a 22-year-old mother when the Court handed down that decision, nods vigorously when I say, "Are you fucking kidding?"
Steven Wishnia
New York City
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Author Frank Joyce helps us think about history and power.  But paragraph 5 almost implies that "... the original intent of the wealthy slave owners who devised our government to protect their power and property..." were the only founders protecting their property interests.  What about the non slave holding northern racists?  They also designed a protection system.
Ed King
"I am not voting for candidates... I am voting for terrain." 
Great formulation.
Jeff Juris
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Good news.
Ray Markey
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Stop harping about defeating Trump!!
Start tying Trump to the Republican Party that created him, in order to defeat Republican Congressional candidates!!
A Republican Congress is as bad as a Trump presidency. Nothing will get done unless that changes!!
Richard Butsch
Admiral William Halsey, Commander of the Third Fleet, in 1946: "The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment.It was a mistake to ever drop it." And before Congress in 1949, he testified that "bombing-especially atomic bombing-of civilians is morally indefensible."
In memory of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Never again!
Edward Kale
Madeline Island, Lake Superior, Wisconsin
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I had two uncles fighting in Europe who were slated to be transferred to the Pacific to invade Japan. They only had two bombs available and both were experiments. Even dropping the first bomb did not stop the war. The Japanese finally threw in the towel after the 2nd bomb, with a huge minority against surrender. Hirohito finally spoke out for surrender which tilted the balance. Truman did the only thing possible to save countless American and, in the long run, Japanese lives.
Skip Waterhouse
I have been following for years how the US has been building toward a warlike footing with both Russia and China. This has been going on with little or no public scrutiny nor debate.
Eugene Flynn
(Posting on Portside Culture)
...I never knew A.J. Muste but I did know a number of older people -- of varying persuasions -- who thought highly of him.  A.D. Beittel, president of Tougaloo when we were there, a Congregational minister who was a Quaker at heart, had worked with him on peace issues.  Mrs Beittel, a very nice lady who looked for all the world like a "missionary lady" on an Indian reservation, became excited when I mentioned Muste's name.  "Oh, do you know A.J?" she asked.  I told her I didn't but wished I did.  When Muste led the San Francisco to Moscow peace trek into Arizona, I was in Wisconsin but our good friend, John Beecher, left his poet-in-residence post at ASU and just walked off with them.  A few months later, when Eldri and I had gotten to Tougaloo in the summer of '61, Muste people had begun working with Tennessee sharecroppers in the western part of that state - Haywood and Fayette counties.
His efforts to bring left radicals together in the American Socialist Union project --  1957 with the Red Scare in full swing -- brought him heavy criticism from some quarters since he invited representatives from the CP.  Muste didn't waver and the Communists came.  Bert Cochran was active in this, noting in his American Socialist magazine that, despite differences, the Communist leaders rose one by one to shake Muste's hand and greet him warmly.
HUNTER GRAY [HUNTER BEAR/JOHN R SALTER JR] Mi'kmaq / St. Francis Abenaki / St. Regis Mohawk
Protected by Na'shdo'i'ba'i'
and Ohkwari' . Check out our massive social justice website
Member, National Writers Union AFL-CIO
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I remember reading Liberation when I was young, and learning a tremendous amount from it. In a used bookstore recently I found a copy of the mag's fabulous anthology, Seeds of  Liberation (1964), edited by Paul Goodman. It has three articles by Muste, plus pieces by Nelson Mandela, Albert Camus, Kay Boyle, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Deming, James Baldwin, Diane Di Prima, Bayard Rustin, David McReynolds, Gary Snyder, Robert F. Williams, Bertrand Russell, Dave Dellinger, and others. Though I get why Lynd and Piascik found it important to deal with the "Left alternative to the CP" angle, this focus comes at the expense of a consideration of Muste's broader contributions, especially to the civil rights and anti-war movements from the 1950s to today.
Geoffrey Jacques
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The authors got Muste right--it's how I remember him from the 1960s--, though I think they're a tad harsh on Comrade Trotsky. Not wrong, but too harsh. The merger of the Workers Party into the SPUSA was more than just a bad-faith maneuver, but part of the "French Turn" that the French Trots, at Trotsky's urging, did in France. Made sense in France, I think. The authors' twinning of sub rosa  motives between Stalin (based largely on Russian state and great power priorities) and Trotsky (at least grounded in the needs of the Western working class)   is inexact, though better I guess than the fawning attitude Trotsky usually gets from we lefties, including me at times.  As I say, Lynd and his co-author are mostly on target, and as a young 1960s New Leftie I was in thrall to the then octogenarian Muste, not least for his work in the Toledo Auto-light strike of his youth and his visible leadership in NYC's peace movement of the 1960s. And his 1928 essay for a J.B.S. Hardman - edited collection -- though not available in Nat Hentoff's collected Muste-- likening a union of necessity if tenuously to both a town hall meeting and a military operation was genius, and is still worth reading. I have it. Wonder if it's still copyrighted? And by whom? For Portside Labor, maybe?
Mike Hirsch
I support Black Lives Matter and I wrote The Jobless Future, 2nd edition.
William Difazio
The plan, which lambasts the "privatization" of education by foundations that wield fat wallets to shape policy and criticizes charter-school networks for decimating black communities and robbing traditional neighborhood schools of resources, drew immediate criticism from education reformers who see charters and groups like Teach for America (the plan calls for its demise) as providing badly needed services to students of color.
Cindy Beringer
More on the super exploitation of Latinos...that can only get worse with Trump...
(Posting on Portside Labor)
This is a fascinating article that deserves to be read, studied and shared widely with many union activists and state and local candidates for office and office holders to encourage them to adopt this approach in their work.
Leonard Polletta
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As my good buddy Phil Rizzuto would say, "Holy Cow"!
Jim Price
(Portside posting from April 20, 2015)
Adelia Israel
I remember when Mandela said at a conference we were at in SA - if we're not doing the right thing for the people, vote us out. Of all the things Mandela said at that conference with 900 anti-apartheid activists from around the world, that was the most important. 
I remember when Pres. Obama was elected and many were rejoicing. Many groups promptly canceled their anti-war vigils around the country. Some people were critical of our weekly Teaneck Peace Vigil for continuing our vigil. We never stopped. In fact, we will mark 11 years of consecutive Wednesday vigils on August 17, 4-5 pm at the National Guard Armory in Teaneck, NJ. If the movement doesn't continue to organize and fight, no president, no member of Congress, no town or city councilmember can accomplish any of the goals we want to achieve.  
Paula Rogovin
The American Civil Liberties Union and its affiliates across the country have uncovered evidence of spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined by FBI, federal intelligence agencies, the military, state and local police, private companies, and even firemen and emergency medical technicians, through new institutions like Joint Terrorism Task Forces, fusion centers, and public-private partnerships. And this surveillance often takes place in secret, with little or no oversight by the courts, by legislatures, or by the public. The ACLU will be actively uncovering these secret surveillance network's so Americans can protect their rights and demand accountability from these law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and from their elected representatives. See here.
James Wellman
I want to know if the unions have training sessions for the officer to use tactics on the street. I think that is why they are so voracious in their defense.
John-Jack Holland
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I think that this piece conflates two different roles that police unions play. The standards for judging these unions' actions should be different for each of the roles.
One thing that (some) police unions do is to resist socially useful changes in how cops should do their jobs: wearing body cameras, demilitarizing the ways in which police departments operate, and so on. When these unions stand in the way of progress, they are to be condemned.
But police unions, like all labor unions, serve a second, different function. The American labor relations system, for better or worse, is set up to function in a similar way to how our criminal justice system functions. Both rely on an adversary system of justice, where one side's role is to try and prove that an individual acted improperly, and the other side's role is to present evidence and argue against a finding of improper behavior. The process, at least in theory, relies on an impartial person or body to reach a final decision. In criminal law, that's a judge, in labor relations it's an arbitrator.
Many of us think that there are better truth-finding mechanisms than this kind of adversary system, but as it stands, this is how things work. Most of us don't criticize criminal defense lawyers for not screening potential clients and determining who the innocent ones are, in order to decide whether to take each case. We expect public defenders and others to present an accused's case, and let the chips fall where they may. Particularly in the event of an egregious lack of due process (things like a discriminatory stop and frisk, or beating a confession out of an arrestee) we're grateful that there's an advocate for the principles at stake (regardless of the "guilt" or "innocence" of the accused.)
It's the same for police officers and their union representatives. If a cop is accused of improper behavior, the union ordinarily provides representation, to ensure that due process is followed. We shouldn't push for a system where an individual is determined to be "guilty" without first having the opportunity for a "day in court" to establish that.
Michael Mauer
Also true for Gaza !!!
Aaron Libson
Please read and add your comments of support here for the two young women who are standing up to the official Jewish (pro-Zionist) establishment in the U.S., in support of Black Lives Matter: 
Here's what I wrote:
At the risk of further exacerbating the vitriol exhibited by many of the commenters here, I want to express my support and admiration for Ally Little and Michelle Weiser, and for the Black Lives Matter movement in general.
Some of the mainstream Jewish organizations object to the term "genocide" being applied to the state of Israel's policies directed at the Palestinian people (who, by the way, many officials in mainstream Jewish organizations say doesn't even exist). And somehow, by some sleight of hand, this gets re-translated as hostile to Jews. No, it's hostile to the very real and horrifying policies of the state of Israel, not to Jews. Those who portray Israel as synonymous with Jews are the ones creating the equivalence, not Black Lives Matter and not the Movement for Black Lives platform.
Many in those Jewish organizations are using the application of the term "genocide" to the state of Israel as a rationalization, an excuse, to attack Black Lives Matter and to withdraw their support from that movement .... as though they actually did much to support it in the first place. If the platform had used a more gentle term -- say, "building a wall around Palestinian communities," "controlling Palestinians' drinking water and irrigation," "establishing checkpoints everywhere," "shooting at ambulances," "razing apartment buildings," "imprisoning thousands of Palestinians," and a lot more, the same members of official Jewry in the U.S. would find other reasons to attack Black Lives Matter.
This issue is not about the correct use of the term "genocide"; it's about cowards inventing phony reasons to puff up their chests and "break with" the most important civil rights movement in the U.S. today, while whining that by condemning Israel's policies Black Lives Matter is attacking the Jewish religion and culture. What nonsense!
Israel purports to speak for all Jews and gets paid a few billion dollars each year in our tax dollars. Well, it doesn't speak for me, nor for many, many other Jews who see through the ruse and are sick of it. Palestinian Lives Matter. Say it! I dare you! Go on, say it: Palestinian Lives Matter.
What, couldn't get the words off your tongue? Phonies. Hypocrites.
Thank you Ally and Michelle for courageously standing up for real Jewish ideals, and the best of what we are.
Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party
August 8, 2016
Google's decision to wipe Palestine from its map app and portray the occupied territories as Israel sparks online protest campaign. 
Journalists and activists have excoriated Google for wiping Palestine completely off its map app, depicting the entire occupied Palestinian territories as part of the state of Israel. 
The Palestinian Journalists' Forum initiated an online campaign to pressure the internet giant to reconsider its stance. The organization accused Google of being "part of the Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come and abolish Palestine once and for all."
"The move is also designed to falsify history, and geography as well as the Palestinian people's right to their homeland, and a failed attempt to tamper with the memory of Palestinians and Arabs as well as the world," the statement continued. 
In response, critics on Twitter have used the hashtag #BoycottGoogle to condemn the company. A petition on urging Google to put Palestine back on the map has garnered 147,402 signatures as of Monday, just shy of its 150,000 goal.
"The omission of Palestine is a grievous insult to the people of Palestine and undermines the efforts of the millions of people who are involved in the campaign to secure Palestinian independence and freedom from Israeli occupation and oppression," reads the petition. 
"Whether intentionally or otherwise, Google is making itself complicit in the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing of Palestine," it continues.
In 2013, hackers replaced the homepage on Google's local domain in Palestine with a message calling for the company to remove the name Israel from its map app and replace it with Palestine, arguing that the state of Israel is illegal.
Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, which forcibly displaced more than 750,000 Palestinians, Israel has further shrunk Palestinian territories by seizing vast swaths of land. Israel has expanded illegal settlements on tens of thousands of hectares since occupying the West Bank and Gaza in 1967.
The United Nations recognizes the state of Palestine with the status of a non-member observer state.
Sign the Petition
The country of Palestine does not appear on Google maps. Why not? Israel, established on Palestinian land, is clearly designated. But there is no mention of  Palestine. According to Google, Palestine does not exist.
The omission of Palestine is a grievous insult to the people of Palestine and undermines the efforts of the millions of people who are involved in the campaign to secure Palestinian independence and freedom from Israeli occupation and oppression.
This is an important issue, as Google Maps are now regarded as definitive by people around the world, including journalists, students and others carrying out research into the Israel-Palestine situation.
Whether intentionally or otherwise, Google is making itself complicit in the Israeli government's ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Please join us in calling on Google to recognize Palestine in Google Maps, and to clearly designate and identify the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.
Please remember to share this petition with your social media contacts.
Thank you.
as usual, native americans are ignored (in the list below).
i think you should have a policy to erode this settler mentality.
the word you're looking for is exacerbates. exasperates is a common misuse of the word in your use case. And please don't tell me you're gonna use it irregardless of what i say because the correct word there is regardless or perhaps irrespective, as irregardless is a double negative.
Lizzi Azalia Swane
The U,S, is waging an economic war in Venezuela to destroy its govt and pillage its assets like we did in Iraq, minus the bombing. We suck.
Linda Read
I am writing to tell you about the publication of my new book A ROAD UNFORESEEN: WOMEN FIGHT THE ISLAMIC STATE.

The official pub date is Aug. 23 but it is already available online and should be in bookstores any minute. It is already at Book Culture in NY.  I have set up a website for the book and here are links to some prepublication reviews and interviews:
I wrote this book because I think the subject is desperately important and would appreciate any opportunity to talk about it or write about it. And hope others will do so as well. It is easy for a small press book to get lost in the shuffle, especially during election season, so any help you can give would be much appreciated. And feel free to share this email and forward it.
best wishes,
Meredith Tax
Video: Tom Morello + all-star lineup Rock Against the TPP
Watch here:
The growing movement against the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been vocal, now we're getting musical and loud with Rock Against the TPP. This free national concert tour is stopping in Seattle August 19th and Portland August 20th. With your help, Rock Against the TPP will ignite the next swell of anti-TPP resistance before corporate profiteers try to sneak it through congress in the period after the election, their final push before the next administration.
We're especially excited for our friends Taina Asili, Ryan Harvey, and Evan Greer to join the stage with renowned hip hop lyricist Twalib Kweli, awe-inspiring slack key guitarist and Occupy anthem writer Makana, the activist punk band Anti-Flag (acoustic) and more.  
Tickets are free, but get them before they run out. Here's how you can get in on the fun:
  • Second, RSVP and invite your friends to Rock Against the TPP on Facebook in Seattle or Portland
  • Third, we'd especially appreciate your help volunteering at the Anti-TPP activation stations!  At the Rock Against the TPP shows, there will be a host of people who haven't yet been engaged in opposition to the TPP and we need your help to inspire them to join the global uprising in defense of people and the planet.
The most powerful force in any room is not the person standing on stage, but the mass of people in the audience: the crowd. A skeptical crowd can intimidate. A angry crowd can terrify. An ecstatic crowd can elevate. In a democracy, the crowd is the electorate. An uninformed electorate can be duped. A disengaged electorate can be ignored. But an engaged, informed electorate can determine the path that its leaders must take."
- Rock Against the TPP artist Johnny 5 of The Flobots
1. Get Your Free Tickets
Fri, August 19th, 2016.
@ Showbox SoDo, 
1700 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA
Teach-in at 5pm hosted by Evangeline Lilly
Concert 6pm - midnight.
All ages. Wheelchair accessible.
FREE! RSVP required, click here
Saturday, August 20, 2016 
@ Director Park 
815 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
Concert 5pm - 10pm.
All ages. Wheelchair accessible.
FREE! RSVP required, click here
September 9-10
@ Regency Ballroom 
1290 Sutter Street, San Francisco
Friday, September 9: Rock Against the TPP rally & concert. Gather outside Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter Street, at 5:00pm for a rally. Doors open at 6pm, show runs until 11pm. RSVP with the form above. Invite friends on Facebook
Saturday, September 10: How to Fight the TPP: Teach-In & Training Time & location TBA.
All events are free, all ages, and wheelchair accessible. Contact with any questions.
Want to volunteer? Click here.  
2. RSVP and Invite your friends to Rock Against the TPP on Facebook
RSVP and Share the Seattle Facebook event HERE 
RSVP and Share the Portland Facebook event HERE 
3. Sign-up to volunteer HERE 
This is the moment to deal the TPP it's final defeat. The deep-pocketed transnational corporatations and their 600 corporate advisors who had a hand in crafting it are pulling out all the stops to ratify it before the next administration. We need new friends and allies to amp up the resistance to this toxic deal at this crucial time. This is our best opportunity. Volunteer for setup, breakdown, or at the Rock Against the TPP activation stations during the show! 
Rock Against the TPP: A nationwide uprising to stop the biggest corporate power grab in history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Full tour line-up:
  • Talib Kweli (Seattle) - Internationally acclaimed hip hop emcee known as one of the world's most accomplished lyricists, has collaborated with Kanye West, Pharell Williams, J Dilla, and more.
  • Anti-Flag (acoustic) - Legendary political punk band from Pittsburgh
  • Evangeline Lilly - Golden Globe nominated Actress, known for her roles in Lost, The Hobbit, Hurt Locker, and Ant-Man
  • Hari Kondabolu - "One of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today." -New York Times
  • Downtown Boys - Bilingual dance party dubbed 'America's Most Exciting Punk Band' by Rolling Stone.
  • Makana - Slack Rock guitarist renowned for punking world leaders and corporate media. Penned "Occupy" anthem (Rolling Stone). Hawaiian cultural ambassador.
  • Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba - Founding member of Chumbawamba continuing the punk folk tradition as singer, performer and author for most of the last decade in the Pacific North West.
  • Naima Penniman of Climbing Poetree - Half of the Brooklyn-based, internationally-acclaimed duo Climbing PoeTree, joined by bassist/guitarist/vocalist Ganessa James.
  • Taina Asili - Puerto Rican singer, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice.
  • Sihasin - Brother and sister duo known as the drummer and bassist of legendary indigenous Navajo Nation punk band Blackfire.
  • Bell's Roar - NY-based Firebrand Records multi-instrumentalist and producer blending synth-pop, rock, and soul.
  • Son of Nun - Activist, organizer, and hip hop MC who doesn't just entertain, he empowers. "More than relevant" according to Chuck D of Public Enemy.
  • Ryan Harvey - Baltimore-based activist folksinger and co-founder of Firebrand Records.
The Rock Against the TPP Tour is being organized by Fight for the Future, the viral Internet freedom group best known for organizing the largest online protests in history against online censorship and in favor of free speech and privacy. Firebrand Records, the new social justice infused record label co-founded by Tom Morello and Ryan Harvey, is acting as the tour's artistic partner. The roadshow is sponsored and co-organized by a diverse coalition of groups fighting against the corporate power grab that is the TPP, including Citizens Trade Campaign, Backbone Campaign, Washington Fair Trade, Communications Workers of America, CREDO, Demand Progress, the International Labor Rights Forum, Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, and the Teamsters and more!
See you at the show!
PS: Don't forget to join the Rock Against The TPP activation station stage crew!
PO Box 278
Vashon, WA 98070
AFSCME, American Federation of Musicians, Avaaz, Backbone Campaign, Break the Chains, CREDO, CWA, Care2, Center for Media Justice, Citizen's Trade Campaign, Coalition for Better Trade, Corporate Accountability International, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, EFF, ExpressVPN, FairWorldProject, Fight for the Future, Flush the TPP, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, International Brotherhood of Carpenters, International Labor Rights Forum, Internet Archive, Jobs With Justice, Just Foreign Policy, National Farmers Union, National Lawyers Guild, National Nurses United, Openmedia, Other98, Popular Resistance, Presente, Private Internet Access, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, SumOfUs, Teamsters, Top Secret Plans, United Steelworkers