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Tidbits - September 15, 2016 - Reader Comments: Standing Rock; Trump Supporters; GOP Voter Suppression; Saudi Arabia; Women's Boat to Gaza; data crunching tool; sex; and more.....

Reader Comments: Standing Rock - Protest, Solidarity and Pension Funds; Hillary Right About Trump Supporters; GOP Manipulation and Voter Suppression; Class War by Other Means; Saudi Arabia; Women's Boat to Gaza Sets Sail; Facts and Numbers to Fightback With - EPI's new data crunching tool; Announcements: Virtual Book Discussion about `Because of Sex; 50-Year Rag Reunion & Public Celebration - Austin, Texas

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - September 15, 2016, Portside
An extremely frightening article.
Nina Udovicki
Byron Buck, Peter Yarrow, Pamela Smith and I spent a joyful week in traditional prayer and drumming and singing with hundreds at the Unity Concert in support of the water protectors at Standing Rock. At Wounded Knee and the Crazy Horse Monument the Sprits were strong and visible attesting to the fact that something is happening of extreme importance in our wounded country.
Bob Zellner
This article says so much, so well. One thing it explains is that Obama pushed the Pause button, not Eject, on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Lucy Oppenheim
PENNSYLVANIA TAXPAYERS......did you hear about what's going on in North Dakota? Native Burial land is being stolen from the Tribe, and GIVEN to a private energy company to Dig for a PIPELINE....the native AMERICANS are protesting (along with much support coming from allover the country) NOW LOOK AT HOW THIS EFFECTS you...the Pennsylvania TAXPAYER...
ALL I can say is WHAT IN THE HOLY F*&%?
A big chunk of money coming out of Pennsylvania is financing the dog siccers and the pepper sprayers -- including tax dollars. It turns out that one of the major investors in Energy Transfer Partners is...the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Records show that as of this June, the commonwealth -- through its pension funds -- owned some 5 million shares of ETP -- valued at some $192 million. That's more than any other governmental or quasi-governmental agency.
Tina Downer
Who are these humans handling the dogs? Are you SO desperate for work?
Maureen OKeefe
Louisiana Public Service Commission member and candidate for Congress in Louisiana's Third Congressional District Scott Angelle is a member of the board of directors in one of the partners in the Dakota Access Pipeline. 
Mike Stagg
" ....... I don't want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is" --sounds like Nixon in 1968
Steve Krug
Why shouldn't HRC (or anyone else) call racists deplorable? If polling told us that relatively few Trump supporters believe black people are lazy and criminally-inclined, if only a tiny minority of Trump supporters believed that Muslims should be banned from the country, if birtherism carried no real weight among them, then what she said would be wrong. Shouldn't real journalists point the facts behind the comment out? What is this nonsense about form while completely ignoring the FACTS. It's TRUE!
Patricia Dowling
This article is well-thought-out and solidly supported with data. I don't know how it cannot but lead to pessimistic conclusions, given that voter dilution and voter suppression overwhelmingly favor the Republican Party.
My experiences in various national, state and local elections reveal that many Democratic Party supporters-excluding the most well-informed trade unionists, civil rights-minded activists, etc.-are woefully uninformed relative to their Republican counterparts on the topic of civics. (I suppose many will argue that large numbers of Republican voters are uninformed to the point of voting for the GOP, but that is another issue.)
In places in New York State, by the time people vote November 8, there will have been six elections this year. Confusing? To all but political scientists and perhaps readers of websites such as Portside. Turnout for the state's Democratic Party primary for governor in 2014 was less than 10 percent. Primaries for the state senate and assembly tomorrow, Tuesday, September 13, will no doubt be even lower.
I keep active in spite of all this, but it tough. My life would be much easier if I simply made musical playlists and watched movies.
Michael Arney
Regardless of where you stand on strategy, this "curriculum" can help individuals and groups of all sizes to analyze critical elements of the 2016 elections AND help build plans for collective ACTION. Use this tool!
Leanna Noble
This story about Woody Guthrie and Donald Trump's father is quite amazing
Alita Letwin
This should have been clearly labeled as satire in the title, not just implied in the footnote.  It could be copied and used without the footnote.  Some people do not know who Andy Borowitz is and what he does.
Dave Ecklein
I watched this.  I don't remember him saying this.  Maybe it was in part that wasn't broadcast.
Pam Wright
I feel like I'm posting a bad cartoon
Jim Price
(Posting on Portside Labor)
need to get Hillary in the White House to put a stop to this. Schumer, you're slipping. (none of them have done shit for unions)
William Stribling
(Posting on Portside Labor)
Portside republished my piece for Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics analyzing how companies like Volkswagen have come to continually dominate our economy and communities while reducing the quality of work:
Following the Great Recession, voters were desperate for jobs. Politicians, campaigning on bringing jobs to voters, are willing to provide massive subsidies to companies willing to locate in their voting districts. The union, desperate to organize new bargaining units from which to collect dues and to be seen as a legitimate partner with corporate and political elites, actually agrees to "maintain" and "enhance" the competitive advantages corporations gain by pushing private business costs off onto the public while providing jobs with lower wages, reduced benefits, and deteriorating working conditions. Meanwhile, the public believes they are getting "good jobs," while the actual quality of those jobs continues to decline. The companies laugh all the way to the bank.
Chris Brooks
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases that - as far as federal labor law is concerned - charter schools are not public schools. but are private corporations.
Charter school advocates have long argued that charters are public schools because they are tuition-free, open-enrollment institutions funded primarily with tax dollars. Union leaders and other critics have contended that charters as private entities that supplant public schools, which are run by elected officials, with nonprofit and for-profit corporations that are run by unelected boards that are unaccountable to voters.
The NLRB's decisions mean that the charter school employees must organize under the National Labor Relations Act, which applies to private-sector employees, rather than under state laws that apply to public-sector employees.
James E Vann
Oakland, California
A bill that exposes US officials to lawsuits for violating international law and human rights is a good thing, and is to be desired.
John Woodford
As the head of Families United for Justice Against Terrorism, Terry Strada, replied to that legal argument:
"If we're not funding terrorist organizations and killing people, then we don't have anything to worry about."
But I suspect that's exactly why the "critics" claim they worried.
Mike Munk
This whole article is written as if there are "U.S. interests," as if "we. collectively" elect the presidents we task with foreign policy "on behalf of all Americans." As if states, in general, didn't represent particular hegemonic class interests, and as if the U.S. political system in particular weren't completely broken, a widely recognized plutocracy.
"We," never "tasked" Nixon with overthrowing Allende, or Reagan with invading Grenada, or Obama with setting drones on Middle Eastern and North African populations (they don't call him "O'Bomb-a" for nothing) - to name only a very few of the too-many-to-list instances of illegal acts of U.S. foreign policy. We didn't even elect Bush, let alone task him with invading Iraq. The U.S. government is guilty of numerous, repeated, on-going, international crimes at every scale from the assassination and torture of individuals to the mining of harbors to the environmental destruction of huge expanses of territory of peoples in the way of particular or general U.S. corporate interests to the full-fledged invasions and long-term occupations of foreign territory.
And why should citizens not influence foreign policy? Citizen diplomacy has often proved a positive force for peace and justice, helping to end the Cold War, for instance, or supporting the oppressed and repressed populations of Central America.
"Backfire?" Backfire on whom?
Putting the U.S. government at risk of foreign prosecution for its numerous acts of terrorism over the span of more than a century would be a good thing.
Blair Sandler
"Defense contractors", cute word for mercenaries.
Julio Cesar Toruño Rivas
A parent abusing any family member will cause mental anguish and disturbance particularly to those who are young and constantly seeing this type of thing going on. Interesting that if it was a white child it would have been mentally evaluated and, perhaps, had a lighter or suspended sentence!
Ibukunoluwa Ayanfe Ozioma
I am moved by the narrative of Lindsey E. Jones' challenges in the justice system.  What can I do to support her claim to a just response to her abuse and the limitations of the judicial systems' lack of response to her claims.
Claudia Isaac
September 15, 2016
Two boats with all-women crews set sail Wednesday for the Gaza Strip from Barcelona, Spain. They are planning to travel across the Mediterranean and break the Israeli blockade on Gaza by delivering much-needed medical supplies to the people of Gaza.
The participants in the siege-breaking boat hail from fifteen different countries and include members of Parliament and other dignitaries.
From Barcelona, the boats will travel to France, and one other port before heading to Gaza. This is just the latest of a series of boats that have tried to break the blockade on Gaza since Israel imposed the air, sea and land blockade in 2006.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, arrived at the port on Wednesday along with hundreds of supporters, to offer her support for the mission of the Women's Boat to Gaza trip.
The two boats have been named the "Amal", which means `hope' in Arabic, and "Zaytouna", which means `olive' in Arabic.
The list of passengers includes Tunisian MP Latifa Habashi; Malin Björk, a Member of European Parliament from Sweden; Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq; and Dr. Fauziah Modh Hasan, a Malaysian physician who has participated in many humanitarian missions with the Malaysian Medical Relief Society.
The Chairman of the Popular Committee to Support Gaza, Essam Youssef, said in a statement that the Women's Boat to Gaza is "a humanitarian cry in the face of an illegitimate siege imposed on an innocent people that has been calling for years on the international community for help."
He added, "Palestine will remain the axis of struggle not just in the Middle East but also in the world. Achieving justice for Palestine is the key to stability in the region and the world."
Wednesday's launch of the Women's Boat to Gaza came just as the U.S. Congress authorized an unprecedented $38.5 billion aid package to Israel, despite acknowledging in the same session that Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank has violated all signed agreements and international law.
Women's boat to Gaza: a message of hope and solidarity
The Women's Boat to Gaza (WBG) is a Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC)* initiative. By launching a women's boat, women from all over the world aim to highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line and in the diaspora.
Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade, during which time Israel has also launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning their life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions, we have brought international attention to their suffering and their resistance.
The WBG seeks not only to challenge the Israeli blockade, but to also show solidarity and bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.  With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups and from women's collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.
*FFC is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.
Are you a data nerd like me? If so, EPI's new State of Working America Data Library is for you.
The Data Library is a clearinghouse of EPI's best data for use by researchers, journalists, policymakers, and the general public. It provides easily accessible, up-to-date, and comprehensive historical data on the American labor force, compiled from EPI's unique analysis of government data sources.
Click here to check out EPI's new State of Working America Data Library
  • Data on wages is reported by decile, sex, race, and education, and will be updated annually.
  • Employment data is updated monthly and includes the unemployment rate, the long-term unemployment rate, the underemployment rate, the labor force participation rate, and the employment-to-population ratio-with previously not publicly accessible demographic data.
  • The Data Library also contains EPI's unique wage gap analyses-such as the black-white wage gap and the college wage premium.
  • The data goes back to the 1970s and will help you answer labor force questions, ask new ones, and find solutions to the most pressing issues of our time: stagnant wages, and income and wealth inequality.
Thank you,
Elise Gould
Senior Economist, Economic Policy Institute 
Rewire invites you to a virtual book club event on Thursday, September 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Joining host Jodi Jacobson will be Gillian Thomas, senior attorney at the ACLU Women's Rights Project and author of Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made it illegal to discriminate "because of sex." That simple phrase didn't mean much, though, until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job-and some of them took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court.
"Because of Sex goes beyond cases that helped shape workplace anti-discrimination policies, focusing on ten key women whose own lives changed the law," writes Jessica Mason Pieklo, Rewire Vice President of Law and the Courts.
Click here to RSVP and receive call information. 
  • Jodi Jacobson, Rewire President and Editor in Chief
  • Gillian Thomas, author of Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work
  • Jessica Mason Pieklo, Rewire Vice President of Law and the Courts
  • Imani Gandy, Rewire Senior Legal Analyst
To submit questions for the speakers, email by Wednesday, September 28 at 5:00 p.m. ET, and/or follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #RewireBookClub.

Former staffers and followers of The Rag, Austin's iconic underground newspaper of the '60s and '70s, will be joined by students, historians, activists, journalists -- and those who want to pay homage to the paper that helped make Austin weird -- at a four-day reunion and public celebration, October 13-16, 2016.
There will be a series of educational events, exhibits, and workshops; informal gatherings and concerts, including a vintage rock show at the storied music venue, Threadgill's; a Gentle Thursday Reunion -- with an outdoor stage for music and spoken word -- commemorating the legendary happenings on the UT campus; a Rag Radio keynote interview with historian Doug Rossinow before a live audience; and the premiere of a documentary film, made by People's History in Texas, about The Rag and its remarkable legacy.
A 300-page book, Celebrating The Rag: Austin's Iconic Underground Newspaper, will be released at the event. It includes more than 100 articles from the original Rag, contemporary essays providing history and context, and lots of amazing art like Jim Franklin's surrealist armadillos, Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Trudy Minkoff's whimsical drawings, and Alan Pogue's acclaimed documentary photography.
The Rag was an underground newspaper published in Austin, Texas, from October 1966 to May 1977. It was one of the earliest and most influential of an explosion of newspapers that grew out of the era's revolutionary ferment. The Rag has been singled out by historians for its unique blend of thoughtful political radicalism and world-class countercultural art, all with a large dose of Texas humor and a democratic decision-making style. The paper is also noted for its lasting effect on the Austin community and for its digital-age rebirth as The Rag Blog and Rag Radio.
To learn more about The Rag and the October events go to the Rag Reunion page.