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Tidbits - October 20, 2016 - Reader Comments: Trump-A Setting Time Bomb; Help Protect Our Elections; Lift Us Up - A song for America; Thoughts on Syria; Announcements; and more ...

Reader Comments: Trump-A Setting Time Bomb; You Can Help Protect Our Elections; Inequality (and Climate Change) ARE Defining Issues of Our Time; Women Share Rape Stories; Paul Ryan's Fear - GOP Loss is Win for Bernie Sanders; Lift Us Up - A song for America (Sung by Bethany Yarrow; written by Peter Yarrow); Thoughts on Syria; Announcements: 70th Anniversary of Southern Youth Legislature; Justice for Laquan - Chicago; Book Talk: Women Fight the Islamic State

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Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - October 20,2016, Portside
Trump's unlawful incitement of violence, and his offer to pay the legal costs of those he incites, is nothing less than promotion of Domestic Terrorism. This federal offense should be called out for what it is.
Charles Black
On Wednesday night in the final Presidential debate, Trump ranted and raved about how the election is "rigged". But what he didn't talk about is how he's encouraging his supporters to harass voters at their polling places on Election Day, and how various GOP state legislatures have made it harder to register to vote in the first place.
You can help protect every voter's right to cast their ballot on Election Day. This year, the Election Protection Coalition is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to work as nonpartisan poll monitors to help our fellow Americans navigate the voting process and cast their votes without obstruction, confusion, or intimidation. If you don't already have plans on Election Day, will you sign up to be one of them?
Volunteers like you will be voters' first line of defense against suppression tactics, confusing laws, outdated infrastructure, and other impediments to making themselves heard.
Sign up here as an Election Protection volunteer (lawyers/law students/paralegals especially wanted, but everyone is needed) 
Thanks for protecting our elections,
P.S. Get more updates on voting rights issues via Facebook and Twitter.
Inequality is important but the defining issue is climate change. When will progressives wake up to the costs of wanton industrialization?
Stanley Aronowitz
The farmworkers who called the Driscoll's boycott have joined a union that specifically represents them as indigenous Central American farmworkers. They have officially called off the boycott but many supporters will continue to boycott Driscoll's to create pressure in support of a fair contract and to support workers in Baja who are also facing unacceptable working conditions.
Chelsea Earles
SHARE WIDELY! this is not only an assault on Amy Goodman but on a free press that's NOT Corporate!
Lydia Howell
I think most people are not aware of this. It seems a reincarnation of the old chain gangs.
Claire Carsman
I've been a subscriber for 15 or 20 years, but I am unsubscribing now. I can't stomach the media propaganda and lies against Trump. As a socialist I will probably vote for Stein unless a true socialist ends up on the ballot -- rather unlikely -- but I'd rather have Trump than Clinton and her WW3 against Russia which seems very likely, and will not be survivable for the species. Trump, as a realist, gives less of a chance for that, as dangerous as he is.
In any case, the massive Democratic/liberal propaganda and disinformation against Russia, Trump, and for the imperial aggressive wars and war crimes is as bad as anything the conservatives and Republicans do, not to mention the corruption.
To see Portside propagating this idiotic, Orwellian, deceptive trash is more than I can bear seeing now.
Blue Pilgrim
Chuckle.  I'm not a Trump supporter, but as a progressive person, how much credence is their in Teen Vogue and NY Times house feminists, who have a certain reputation of using false accusations against any male they don't like???
I'd say their credibility is on a level with Bill Clinton's.
Martin Pereira
I look forward to my portside dispatches. They are invaluable sources of hidden information. However, I feel portside has gone overboard with anti-Trump piling on. I am no fan of Trump, but there is something else behind this coordinated pillorying. In the spirit of balanced coverage, I ask that you consider the following as a corrective.
I am an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist, as well as the author of two books on the U.S. and the Middle East.
Thank, you.
Greg Felton
SHARE THIS!! Go out & Vote Blue so we can get both Hillary AND Bernie!!!!
Amber Isaac
VOTE to win the Senate; to win the House. sending love and peace.
Danajean Cicerchi
The Fight for $15 will be hosting a National Town Hall event in Kansas City focused on the issues facing the 64 million workers making less than $15/hour. Panelists will all be first-time voters from swing states organizing with the #FightFor15. We will cover the intersection between race, gender, immigration status and the poverty wage system that leaves 42% of U.S. workers struggling to survive.
The event will be streamed live on Facebook. RSVP here to get updates and confirm that you'll join us live! 
And we want you right there with us. RSVP to watch LIVE on Facebook right here
We'll cover the intersection between race, gender, immigration status, and the poverty wage system that leaves 42% of US workers struggling to survive.
Sign up here to get updates and confirm that you'll join us live. Here are the full details:
What:   Fight for $15 Town Hall on Election
Where:   Kansas City, MO - and streaming on #FightFor15 Facebook page 
When:   1Oct. 25, 2016 at 7pm CT / 8pm ET / 5pm PT.
  • Nando Vila, correspondent at Fusion
  • Terrance Wise, McDonald's employee and Fight for $15 leader
This is amazing. I wish I had been there!
Helena Harlow Worthen
Waldheim Cemetery has been an inspiration to trade unionists, progressives and radicals in Chicago, and around the world. I can remember as a kid being taken to the Haymarket Monument - little did we know what was buried underneath. And around the monument are buried working class heroes, socialists and communists - leaders and ordinary folk. This is where we buried my brothers' ashes 43 years ago; and then later where I buried the ashes of my mother, and then my father.
Jay Schaffner
Nice article on the Haymarket capsule, but one question.  ""Radical Row," nearby, is the gravesite of anarchists, labor activists and other hell-raisers, including Emma Goldman, Haymarket widow Lucy Parsons and Joe Hill."   Joe Hill?  Really?  I thought Joe Hill is buried everywhere.  He was cremated, and on his instructions, "I don't want to be caught dead in the state of Utah", his ashes were shipped to the IWW headquarters in Chicago, and then distributed in small envelopes to IWW chapters all over the nation and beyond.  Mark Cooper, local musician and Wobbly, notes that he was at one point the secretary of the Butte, Montana chapter of the IWW, and took a little of the ashes and taped them to the inside of his guitar, so, as he said at a recent concert, "Joe is here with us tonight."  In his last will and testament, Joe had asked "As for my body, let my ashes blow, to where some faded flower grows, and that faded flower then, might come to life and bloom again.  This is my last and final will, good luck to all of you, Joe Hill."
Jack Radey
"Woody Guthrie's musical democratic socialism..."
Huh? Woody's music didn't express social democratic platitudes. He was a Red, Communist or fellow traveler and no efforts to "prettify" his radical record should stand.
Mike Munk
The what? What is a Racial Imaginary Institute?
Rankine is part of a group of thinkers who are dreaming up a "presenting space and a think tank all at once" where artists and writers can really wrestle with race. She wants it to be a "space which allows us to show art, to curate dialogues, have readings, and talk about the ways in which the structure of white supremacy in American society influences our culture." 
These, it's safe to say, are not the organizing questions of most of the art spaces in New York City.
David J. Lott
Rankine says she understands why people don't want to focus on whiteness. "I think we've seen whiteness centralized forever, so they're no longer interested in making it the subject, putting it in the subject position. But I think that it's been centralized in order to continue its dominance, and it's never been the object of inquiry to understand its paranoia, its violence, its rage."
Lisa Husniyyah Owens
What is being called the radical left is not radical but what a working class party traditionally espouses. Britain, thanks be, has a working class what knows its a working class, much unlike the working class in the U.S. where the myth of the "middle-class" was developed after WWII to halt the growth of Labor, with the full cooperation of George Meany and the AFL-CIO.  Too bad for Britain was the "Hatchet Lady) Maggie Thatcher (Britain's first woman Prime Minister) which declared war on the two most powerful working class /socialist militant labor unions, the miners and the steel workers and decimated these vital industries.
(Do we see a ominous warning here about Hillary.) So I submit that what is called the "radical left" is merely the traditional left- pro worker, anti-war, socialist. Nothing new.
Lincoln Smith
As the White House days of the Obama's (and Biden's) invariably and rapidly close, and though I have deep pains and frustrations with certain policies or lack thereof, to my knowledge and memory, there has never been an administration that leaves the White house after 8 years with no hint of scandal, wrongdoing, malfeasance, criminal indictments, or manipulation of power for personal gain. No other president-first lady team has imbued the world with comparable intelligence, decency, dedication, and honor. They will be missed.
Today, the NYT publishes a segment titled: "To the First Lady with Love" consisting of 4 essays on Michelle Obama and her time in the White House. As of early morning, 338 readers had already posted congratulatory comments in response to the segment. These are three comments of readers.
I will reread Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's essay about the First Lady again tomorrow, and then keep it close for rereading at a moment's notice when beauty is needed.  Fleeting impressions of Michelle Obama through the years flashed before my eyes. Impressions that Ms Ngozi Adichie solidified into the beautiful portrait of an extraordinary intellect and personality. I'm not sure I'll see that kind of grace, intellect, elegance and strength again in the White House after 2016. Thank you, Michelle and Barack Obama. 
If there has been a hero and shining light during this horrible election campaign of hate, racism, misogyny, and intolerance, it's Michelle Obama.
She has been our North Star of dignity, decency, compassion.
Who knew when we elected our great president Barack Obama that his wife would make this stunning contribution to our pubic discourse at the exact moment we needed someone to step forward and speak the truth?
We've been so lucky to have the Obamas representing us to the world.
We can never thank them enough.
To one of the most beautiful women in the world -- perhaps in history -- deep in her heart and soul, as well as her mind and commitment, I give thanks with tears of gratitude.
James E. Vann
Longtime progressive political advocate
Oakland, California
Sung by Bethany Yarrow; written by Peter Yarrow
Published October 15, 2016

The color version:
The B& W version: (This one is "edgier" directed at a younger audience.)
I'm asking some folks who are prominent advocacy leaders and/or allies from the electoral political arena to help me get this video out to the public so that it can "do its magic". We need to not only help mobilize folks for Hillary but unify our hearts for what's ahead.
Where the song has recently been sung at rallies, it has inspired people in much the same way that "Blowing In the Wind" and "If I Had a Hammer" did many decades ago.
"Kill Assad and Save the Revolution"
A section of the left is advancing an interesting thesis. Bashaar Assad's regime is the exclusive cause of the war in Syria.  More than anything, Assad wanted to destroy the revolution in Syria. It appears as tensions rise that many of those supporting this thesis have come full circle and are prepared to support open US intervention to get rid of Assad. This section of the ultra (deluded) left would have us believe than once Assad is eliminated, the Revolution can be the successor to the throne.
It appear that some of these revolutionaries hope to enter Damascus via US tanks via Hilary's no fly zone. Those who advocate a realistic hope for a political settlement are accused of condoning murder, rape and destruction and being dogmatic for insisting that the US role is still basically informed by a burning desire to prove that regime change is the only acceptable option. It is the US insistence on eliminating Assad that prevents a peaceful, diplomatic solution of the crisis.
Question: Everyone recognizes the name Bashaar Assad. We get an hourly update on the Western media concerning his crimes. But we don't even recognize the names of the pro-US leaders in Saudi Arab, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, etc. It seems that they are not cruel dictators guilty of crimes against their own people.
First our friends criticized the "dogmatic anti-American" left for refusing to admit that Assad shared  blame for the crisis. Very subtly the line has changed. The crisis is all about Assad and getting rid of him is the critical issue. Of course, everybody understands that the US is the only force that can dislodge Assad.  Thus, the call for defending human rights morphs into the call for US intervention.
What has to be done immediately to save Aleppo? The former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford is quite clear on the issue. The international community must take steps to ensure granting safe passage to the Jihadist forces holding on to territory in the east of the city.
The only hope for the Jihadists is to mobilize western public opinion for US - NATO intervention. There are real problems and immense suffering among the civilians under Jihad rule in East Aleppo. They are  being used as a human shield. It appears that all sides disregard elementary respect for civilians.  However, the serious accusations against Syria and its allies are clearly being manipulated to pave the way to massive intervention. The Saudis are working the levers. Intervention is the chief danger today.
Reuven Kaminer

I'm writing you today with very exciting news. As you are receiving this we are making a very a big announcement at our Annual Conference taking place just outside Washington, D.C.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is changing its name! Moving forward, our organization will be known as the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Concurrent with this name change we are also overhauling our website and logo. 
I wanted to share this news with you and also share some of the thinking that went into this decision. You may know that our coalition, the largest in the United States working for Palestinian rights, determined several years ago through a voting process in our membership to change our name. We chose the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights for several important reasons.
While we of course continue to demand an end to Israeli Occupation, we wanted our name to encapsulate what we stand for, not just what we stand against. Additionally, we have long stood in support of the rights of Palestinians living under formal Israeli military occupation but also of course the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian refugees.
We believe this change compliments a burgeoning and necessary shift in the discourse on this issue away from a security-based framing and toward a rights-based one.
We  also felt it was important to highlight "Palestinian" because it is often this very identity that is the calculated target of Israeli policy. And we recognized that so many people refer to our organization simply as "The US Campaign" so we have decided it made sense to hold on to this part of the name for easy reference and continuity as we go through this change.  Last, our new name is more concise and easier to use.
Finally, I wanted to introduce you to our new logo. The image we chose is of a poppy surrounded by a traditional Palestinian embroidery pattern. The poppy is a flower that, like Palestinians themselves,  is native to Palestine and has roots throughout the country. Annually in springtime the poppies bring beautifully colored sights to the Palestinian landscape after the cold winter. It symbolizes a connection with the land and the triumph of hope and perseverance. 
The embroidery pattern, or tatreez, is Palestinian needlepoint that traditionally adorned bridal dresses and has been incorporated into many forms of clothing. The masterful products of hours upon hours of carefully crafted and organized design bringing together individual threads is a reminder of what can be achieved when we organize and act together.
As we continue down the path of working together for freedom, justice and equality we hope we can continue to count on supporters like you who have helped us elevate the advocacy for Palestinian rights to new heights over the past 15 years.
In Solidarity,
Yousef munayyer
Executive Director
P.O. Box 21539
Washington, DC 20009
(703) 312-6360
Friday, October 21, 2016
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT
Hilton Columbia Center Hotel
924 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
A symposium commemorating the 70th anniversary of a historic civil rights meeting in Columbia, attended by W.E.B. Du Bois and more than 700 young women and men.
Friday, October 21, 2016 (9:00 to 10:15)
Reflections on the Southern Negro Youth Congress: Columbia 1946
David Levering Lewis, Dorothy Burnham, Erik Gellman, Lena Jackson, Peter Lau
Friday, October 21, 2016 (10:30 to 12:00)
SNYC and Its Legacy: Civil Rights, Youth Activism, and Black Lives Matter
Margaret Burnham, Sekou Franklin, Maurice Jackson, Erik McDuffie, Cleveland Sellers
Justice for Laquan McDonald!
Community Control of the Police: #CPACNow
Protest and March
Saturday, October 22 at 7 PM in CDT
Millennium Park, Washington & Michigan Avenue
Two years ago, racist cop Jason Van Dyke murdered 17 year old Laquan McDonald.
To mark that anniversary, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the International League of People's Struggle - US Chapter (ILPS-US), is calling for a protest and march. Over the past year, there has been wave after wave of struggle against the Chicago Police Department, the mayor, and all levels of city government for their role in the cover-up. Beginning the day the video was released, through Black Friday, the high school Walk Out protests in December and January, and continuing until today in the fight for an elected, civilian police accountability council (CPAC), the people have demanded justice!
Join us in Millennium Park, and march with us to Tribune Tower, the foot of the Magnificent Mile, to send a message to the CPD, the mayor, and the rich class that they serve and protect. Until the people have justice, there will be no peace.
For more information go here.
Tuesday, October 25  at 7pm
Book Culture
536 W 112th St
New York, NY 10025
Join us for a reading and discussion with author Meredith Tax, from her new book, *A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State*.
In war-torn northern Syria, a democratic society-based on secularism, ethnic inclusiveness, and gender equality-has won significant victories against the Islamic State, or Daesh, with women on the front lines as fierce warriors and leaders. *A Road Unforeseen* recounts the dramatic, underreported history of the Rojava Kurds, whose all-women militia was instrumental in the perilous mountaintop rescue of tens of thousands of civilians besieged in Iraq. Up to that point, the Islamic State had seemed invincible. Yet these women helped vanquish them, bringing the first half of the refugees to safety within twenty-four hours. Who are the revolutionary women of Rojava and what lessons can we learn from their heroic story? How does their political philosophy differ from that of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Islamic State, and Turkey? And will the politics of the twenty-first century be shaped by the opposition between these political models?
Meredith Tax is a writer and political activist. Author, most recently, of *Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights*, she was founding president of Women's WORLD, a global free speech network of feminist writers, and cofounder of the PEN American Center's Women's Committee and the International PEN Women Writers' Committee. She is currently international board chair of the Centre for Secular Space and lives in New York.