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Tidbits - August 25, 2016 - Reader Comments: Gabby Douglas and Ryan Lochte; Temp Organizing Gets Big Boost; Black Lives Matter; Progressive Groups Demand Clinton Publicly Oppose Lame-Duck TPP Vote; and more...

Reader Comments: Douglas and Lochte- Tale of Black and White; Temp Organizing Gets Big Boost; New Memorial Will Honor Victims of Lynching; Black Lives Matter; Progressive Groups Demand Clinton Publicly Oppose Lame-Duck TPP Vote; Henry Kissinger; More response to Portside post on Syria; Announcements: Labor Journalism Award-Apply Now; Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center; Peace in Colombia - What Can I Do?; Faculty Condemn New McCathyite Canary Mission Blacklist

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - August 25, 2016,Portside
How many fans hold their hands over their hearts during the playing of the National Anthem at a baseball game? A few, perhaps, but not most. Are they disrespectful? One of my joys at watching the current Olympics is the camaraderie displayed by our women's gymnastic team. That means something.
Seymour Joseph
Indeed, what is patriotism, and who is a patriot? One verse of a great American song tells us:
O Beautiful for patriots' dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America, America, God mend thine very flaw;
Confirm thy good with brother[sister]hood,
Thy liberty in law.
[Especially international law]
Not a surprise that this, the very best verse of America the Beautiful, is the one most rarely sung in public.
Shalom, salaam, peace, Earth!
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
i had no idea that the wonderful Gabby Douglas was the target of such attacks! Shame on the attackers
Martha Bragin
my favorite part of the Lochte story is that a 32 year old man was afraid to tell his mom what actually happened
Jim Price
Great column about white male privilege and white supremacy and misogyny
Sheila Parks
A very big deal. We were just talking about the possibilities opened up by this. 
How long has it taken to turn the NLRB around? Too long! Nonetheless this decision brushing aside pro form fictions about who is the boss (in this case a "temp" agency or the actual business in charge of the workplace?) takes a big step forward. Looming? Similar cases about franchisee and franchisor (MacDonald's or individual store owners). The new look at the joint employer doctrine opens up big possibilities for union campaigns. Amazon and others with faux arms-length but actually captive "contractors" will be especially vulnerable. Thanks to Portside for the link
Daniel Millstone
Absolutely. And it is past time to build a Civil Rights Museum in Gary, focused on community and labor struggles in the Midwest, destinations of the Great Migration, and home today to displacement development, mass incarceration and police murders of blacks.
Ruth Needleman
It's about time!
Diane Fentress
It should be kept in mind that millions of blacks in nations outside the US suffer greatly under our nation's practice of genocidal imperialism. Our nation is in its third  genocidal movement;  against native American, then under slavery and now in practice heavily tinged with racism, against various peoples in the world.
Jim Lucas
Great program!  Especially the domestic policy agenda.  I do object to the singling out of Israel for boycott-divestment-sanctions, when countries such as Syria are killing hundreds of thousands of their own people and exiling millions.  I do object to the fact that the people who wrote this program are wearing clothes made in China, which gunned down her people at  Tiananmen Square, imprisons dissidents, and commits actual genocide against minorities such as Tibetans...I could go on and on.  Why do they single out Israel, in a world populated by countries that are even worse?
Keith Kessler
I am as critical as anyone of the state of Israel and its practices and policies, but it's hard to understand why a manifesto that is otherwise singularly focused on internal U.S. issues should single out only one foreign country for particular condemnation. Is Israel the only example of ethnic apartheid or colonization in the world? It is this singular calling out of Israel that allows opponents of the just cause of M4BL to use an implication of Jew hatred to discredit the movement. PS: I also am not Jewish.
David Worley
(Photo taken of a lawn sign in Louisville, KY by a Portside reader)
A major worry for me with progressive supporters of Hillary Clinton is that the only focus they have is on defeating Trump. I have yet to hear anything regarding their opinion on Salazar's anti-environment positions and Kaine's voting for Fast Track.
With the appointment of Ken Salazar who's anti-environment, pro-TPP positions and Tim Kaine's pro Fast Track vote, I am very concerned that Ms. Clinton will slowly slip to the right. Progressives who supported her must keep the pressure on to make sure she makes good on her promises on TPP, fracking, and other environmental issues. Your support is more than the simply the vote.
Andrea Jacobs Talbutt

A vote in Congress after the election 'would send an unmistakable signal that the game is rigged in favor of elites and against everyday Americans'
By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
August 25, 2016
Heavy-hitting progressive groups have sent a letter to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, urging her to make "a clear, public, and unequivocal statement opposing any vote on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the post-election, 'lame-duck' session of Congress."
"Allowing a lame-duck vote would be a tacit admission that corporate interests matter more than the will of the people, relying on members of Congress who will be less accountable to voters."
Read the full letter here
Groups signing the letter are:
Communications Workers of America
Democracy for America
350 Action
Demand Progress
Fight for the Future
Friends of the Earth Action
Public Citizen
(posting on Portside Labor)
Here is a short article on how what seems to be a capitalist tool against workers, a lockout, can be turned to the advantage of workers. More great reporting from Portside
Great advice on how to handle a lockout from Portside.
Thank you Portside,
This article hits to the mind like a knife and to the heart like a hammer.
Fred Hirsch
Of course there are still plenty of people who think getting rid of leftists, no matter how, no matter what it takes, is not only just okay, it is desirable. Is Kissinger a parable for a true believer? Would any detached observer of his history not call him a war criminal?
Steve Krug
Henry and Hillary...known by the company they keep.
Cathy Deppe
This piece ignores Sanders's efforts during the campaign to criticize Kissinger and especially Hillary Clinton's reliance on him.
Mike Munk
Henry Kissinger is mentioned in the texts of two songs of mine:
Leonard J. Lehrman
Could it be that the corporate news media misunderstood what prompted the rise of Trump because it has become wholly disconnected from the daily economic reality of people who continue to struggle?
After all, reporters traditionally belonged to the working class. It was not until the advent of television that some journalists began receiving massive compensation that put them in the ranks of the privileged.
Today the journalism profession, which provides the political class their situational awareness, reflects the same kind of lopsided pyramid structure that defines the rest of our economy - huge compensation at the top, and a vast army of marginally compensated workers at the bottom.
Robert Hennelly
[Read full column here.] 
Very confused and reactionary article by Terry Burke re-posted from In These Times. She comes up with Left-sounding reasons to support a US war of aggression.
Joe Jamison
Here is a strongly worded reply to the article Portside published. I urge Portside to publish this rebuttal.
U.S. Peace Council's response to the August 15 article by Terry Burke in In These Times.
Bahman Azad
Organizational Secretary
U.S. Peace Council
he NY Labor History Association is sponsoring a prize for labor journalism, an award for great writing about work and workers. Do you know a journalist who writes about historical events or about current issues (work, housing, organizing, health, education) using historical context?  Tell them soon.  The deadline is September 1, 2016.  Details at
The 2015-2016 winner will be announced at a forum at NYU's Tamiment Library on Thursday October 13, 2016, 6-8pm.  Columnist and broadcast journalist Juan Gonzalez joins historian Kimberly Phillips-Fein for a discussion about using history to improve reporting on current labor issues, with Tom Robbins returning as moderator.  RSVP strongly recommended, e-mail with guest names and title of event.
Preview reception on Saturday, September 10, 2016, 1-4 PM or the opening reception on Monday, September 12, 2016, 5:30 PM of Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center
About the Exhibit
In 2013, Brenda Berkman began to create original small edition lithograph prints documenting the rise of One World Trade Center.  Three years later when the new 1WTC opened, she completed the thirty-sixth print in the series (the only one with color) showing the twin blue lights beamed each year on the anniversary of 9-11.  Each image contains an "iconic" view of the new One World Trade Center at various points in its construction and, as such, is a historical record of the building.  Views from all five boroughs of New York City and from New Jersey are included.  One World is pictured in all four seasons and with elements (animals, prominent trees) that reference earlier Japanese and French print icon series of Tokyo (Edo), Mt. Fuji and the Eiffel Tower.  1WTC is shown not only from the Memorial Plaza but also from other 9-11 Memorials in New Jersey and Staten Island.  Workers and first responders are included as part of the images.  All of the images can be viewed at
About the Artist
In 2006, after 25 years as a firefighter and fire officer for the New York City Fire Department, Brenda Berkman retired to pursue a life-long desire to create art.  Having no formal training, she began to draw and paint, trying out different media.  In 2008, Brenda began studying printmaking at the Art Students League.  Most of her current work is in lithography (drawing on and printing off a stone).  Ten years after 9-11, Brenda organized "The 9-11 Decade," a collaboration of fourteen artists from many different backgrounds exhibited at Westbeth.  From 2013-2015, she created the series of 36 stone lithograph prints "Thirty-six Views of One World Trade Center."  For 8 years, Brenda has volunteered for the 9-11 Families Tribute Center as a walking tour guide for the 9-11 Memorial Plaza.  Since 9-11, she has continually looked for ways to honor those who were lost on 9-11 as well as try to help other communities in the United States and abroad who have suffered catastrophic losses from natural and man-made disasters. 
Thanks to District Council 37, AFSCME AFL-CIO for sponsoring this exhibit.
More about the artist can be found at the Makers website; The Women You Should Know website; and in the Emmy-award winning documentary about the Art Students League.

Have you heard the news!? The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) finalized peace accords in Havana, Cuba on Wednesday to end 52 years of war. There is one step left before the accords become law-they must pass a national plebiscite. Colombians will go to the polls October 2nd. But even while the country thirsts for peace, assaults on popular movements and rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian activists are rising. Extreme right wing paramilitary troops are planning to intimidate peace supporters and disrupt voting. In an August 12 press release, Colombian authorities said there are 243 municipalities at risk of violence and fraud on election day.
The threat is very real and the National Unitary Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions (Fensuagro) and the Marcha Patriótica popular movement have both asked the Alliance for Global Justice to send a delegation of accompaniment to Colombia for October 2nd so that voters can participate in this historic plebiscite as free from threat as possible. Send an email to for more information.
Imprisoned unionist and Fensuagro Organizational Secretary Hubert Ballesteros told AfGJ that, "Peace for Colombia will be the most important achievement on the American continent in years. The plebiscite on the Havana accords will give us the possibility to implement and build the peace. International accompaniment of unionists and human rights defenders is a crucial contribution."
Will you help us respond to this request for solidarity? There are two things you can do.
1) Consider joining the Alliance for Global Justice's WE STAND FOR PEACE delegation, September 29 through October 4, 2016. Costs for the delegation are still being worked out and will depend on what part of the country we travel to.
For more information, send an email to DELEGATIONS@AFGJ.ORG .
2) We need contributions for those who are willing to go but cannot afford the trip. Because this is being organized on short notice, it's very likely some people will be available but lacking in funds. The more people we can bring, the greater our impact. Click here to make a contribution, and be sure to write "Colombia Peace" in the space marked Designation Code.


Credit: Getty Images Hulton Archive //
As faculty who serve, have served, or are likely to serve on an admissions committee at graduate and undergraduate university programs across the country, we unequivocally assert that the Canary Mission website should not be trusted as a resource to evaluate students' qualifications for admission. We condemn Canary Mission as an effort to intimidate and blacklist  students and faculty who stand for justice for Palestinians.
Canary Mission is a website and social media initiative designed to slander student, faculty, and community activists for Palestinian rights as extremist, anti-Semitic, and sympathetic to terrorism. By publicizing the names, social media accounts, employment history, and other personal information about student activists, Canary Mission mobilizes a small online community of pro-Israel advocates to harass and threaten these activists. Over the past six weeks, the now two-year old Canary Mission site has added over 100 new students to its blacklist [1]. As of this writing, in the first half of 2016, Canary Mission has on over 30 occasions tweeted the names of employers in order to rally their followers to intimidate students [2]. In a few cases, Canary Mission also has contacted the prospective graduate schools of these students, claiming without evidence that the students are anti-Semites, terrorists, or both [3]. The goal of their campaign is to use fear and intimidation to pressure activists to cease their human rights advocacy. Though the creators of Canary Mission remain anonymous, it has been linked to, and utilized by, such well-known individuals as Daniel Pipes [4] and David Horowitz [5], who have been labeled as purveyors of hate speech by the Southern Poverty Law Center [6] [7]. 
Although, as individual faculty, we hold a range of viewpoints on Israel-Palestine, we recognize that student advocacy for Palestinian human rights is not inherently anti-Semitic, and that such advocacy represents a cherished and protected form of free speech that is welcome on college campuses. We reject the McCarthyist tactics used by Canary Mission. Canary Mission's aim is to damage these students' futures, and to punish them for their principled human rights activism. We urge our fellow admissions faculty, as well as university administrators, prospective employers, and all others, to join us in signing below and standing against such bullying and attempts to shut down civic engagement and freedom of speech.
[1] On June 13, the site had listed 426 students on its blacklist. By July 28, the number had risen to 539.
[2] Sourced from Canary Mission's Twitter and substantiated by accounts from students.
[3] Sourced from personal account to the organizers of this sign-on letter.
To sign, or for more information, click here