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Tidbits - April 13, 2017 - Reader Comments: White House Explains the Holocaust; Trump and Syria - What We Know...and Don't - Take Action Now; Free Resources - Resources: Mapping the Left in EU, Canada and USA; Announcements; and more....

Reader Comments: White House Explains the Holocaust - Just in time for Passover and Easter; Trump and Syria - What We Know...and Don't - Take Action Now; A Nation Made By War - A Veteran's commentary; the Frayed Alliance Between Unions and Progressives; Sanders Bill To Make Public Colleges Tuition-Free - San Francisco's Example; Free Resources - Resources: Mapping the Left in EU, Canada and USA from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office; Announcements; and more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - April 13, 2017,Portside
OK Mr. Spicer, we got it wrong. It was not Death Camps that Nazis ran, but Holocaust Centers. People who entered were greeted by uniformed servants and asked if they liked the accommodations, had need of Kosher food or was regular cooking good enough. Then, since they had traveled many hours in crowded railroad cars, families were asked to please take showers to insure lice did not accompany them to their new quarters. Children were handed candy and apologies were made for the scant menu choices -- after all there was a war going on.
Also, as Hitler made clear, these were not really German citizens, but "Untermenchen" or "enemies of the people" since as leftists, union leaders, and other fanatics rejecting Christianity, they opposed violence and war. Nor was the Zyklon B gas that killed millions intentional, but a coffee brewed for SS guards that had turned putrid, and had seeped into the water supply at Holocaust Centers.
Thank you Mr. Spicer for clarifying the Holocaust. Let's see how you do on slavery, lynching, torture  rape and other misunderstood issues.

Gary Huck
April 13, 2017
[Gary Huck, retired as the political cartoonist for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), in 2015. Gary succeeded the great Fred Wright after Fred’s death in 1984. His work has appeared in Business Week, the Washington Post, and The Center for American Progress and a wide range of other publications. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including the 1199 Gallery, New York City, The Salon of Cartoon Art, San Antonio, Cuba, The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, PA and The Museum of Cartoon Art, San Francisco, CA. Huck and Mike Konopacki’s original cartoons are in the permanent collection of New York University’s Tamiment Institute Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.]
Oh, it is those babies. The ego-maniac got the mad dog to start bombing and the Exxon guy called Goldman Sachs to buy "long."
Reuven Kaminer
Givatayim, Israel
But it takes the heat off of the Trump/Russia investigation and serves as a warning to North Korea!
Aaron Libson
Of course it's bad. Of course it won't bring back the children killed by chemical weapons. Of course it's an illegal escalation lacking Congressional authority (which the so-called president as candidate demanded). Will it prop up sagging poll numbers? Will we fall for Trumped up cries for war again? Here, via Portside, Phyllis Bennis reports
Daniel Millstone
Why is an arms embargo not suggested by MoveOn,org? 
Edgardo Lander
Just an update, BBC has reported that victims moved to a Turkish hospital have been diagnosed as suffering from Sarin poisoning and autopsies of some who died in the Turkish hospital have confirmed the Sarin poisoning.  Assad and Putin denialist apologists don't seem to have any credibility on this.  That, of course, doesn't answer the real question: What is to be Done? if anything, and who should do it, if anyone.
Stan Nadel
Why do most of you believe, without any question, anything we are told by our government, through "state" controlled media. Congress, and our international partners, sit on the sidelines and shout "go get em', USA"!
George Minor
I salute Jeffrey Sachs for this wise review of US imperial history, with all its failures and destruction. One day after what would have been her 97th birthday, I lovingly remember Fannie Eisenstein, a fierce activist for peace and justice, who always warned that US intervention was everywhere a disaster and should always be opposed. We must not be fooled by Pres. Trump's crocodile tears--conveniently forgetting all the drone attacks and bombings by US military and CIA in Iraq and Syria and support for Saudi bombing in Yemen, all the thousands of civilians and "beautiful babies" killed there and all those turned away from refuge by his Islamophobic ban. And we must take a clue from NBC pundit Brian Williams waxing ecstatic over our "beautiful bombs": this new bombing is another example of masculinist militarism, testing weaponry, parading imperial might, with absolutely no benefit--and surely worse destruction and death--for the Syrian people. Stop all wars! US out of Syria and the entire Middle East/Western Asia!
Rosalind Petchesky
[Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian freelance political cartoonist. His works deal with an array of themes, including anti-Zionism, anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, and anti-U.S. military intervention.]
No draft, no way!
We had the draft during Korea and Vietnam and lost them both.
The rich, like Donald Trump, discovered a bone spur to avoid serving.
The middle class went to college, taught school, and avoided serving.
The upper middle class had lengthy shrink histories to avoid serving.
The working class, then as now, bore the brunt of the wars. Also, those from right-wing military families, regardless of class, volunteered and made up the bulk of the NCOs and even officers.
Stop pushing this stuff about how great the draft was because it mobilized us into protests.
Would you bring back slavery because it would bring back slave revolts?
Use your memory. And if you're too young to remember before 1973, ask those who were there.
Elliot Markson
Vets for Peace, chapter 34
New York City
Former LT USMCR 1962-1965
and later a draft resister in Canada
Let those who preach war suit-up and fight it.
Nat Dargana
Destroying defenseless people for oil: repulsive!
Patricia Fornera
America needing oil is ten years out of date. US and Canada do not need any foreign oil, Canada has 3d largest oil reserves in the world. US is currently an *exporter* of oil and petroleum products.
Lizz Ross
This is the beginning of the third war world.
Gloria Echevarria
Stock in Raytheon (the company that builds the Tomahawk missiles used to bomb Syria) surged after the attack, adding $1billion in market value. Trump is personally invested in Raytheon, and he profited directly from the attack. Has anyone heard this reported on any news? Amy Goodman reported it on DemocracyNow this morning. Usually she's right on.
Maria Filippone
Reports are coming out that the poseur commander Trump and his pompous staff (including Ivanka) used these Syrian acts of war for press coverage. That is a crime, a pathetic war crime.
Blowback: Macho Trump fools please recall Reagan's attack in Libya that killed Gaddafi's daughter, and two years later the bombing of the Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.
A real leader doesn't need press coverage. Bashar al-Assad and Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are now guilty of war crimes in Syria.
IN A RELATED TWEET i learned that it didn't help my approval ratings enough, i may bomb north korea and see if that works @TheRealDonaldTrumpski
Marty Comroe
Peter Broelman
The Mercury News / Australia
[Peter Broelman's editorial cartoons are seen daily in regional newspapers across Australia. Peter started creating editorial cartoons full time in 2003 with APN News & Media. Today he is seen in a stack of regionals in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.]
What is written in this article is true but it lacks analysis and ignores a major reality.
The article discusses the lack of planning, the resultant civilian deaths and utter chaos; ie, destruction of stable societies.  But it also implies a lack of planning or focus on the part of the govt. I maintain that with all the history, all the minds involved in numerous govt agencies, all the analysis behind closed doors, that what we see is intention chaos and terrorism.  The goal of this is not about democracy--it never was.  As Madalein Albright said some years ago, those deaths are just collateral damage. No worry, no concern, no ethics, no morality involved. Terrorism is a useful tool, not only for the Nazis and neo fascists but for all the oligarchs.
It is a very weak liberal position to stay focused on what looks like failures.  It is time to detach from the propaganda mantra and take an independent look at what is going on. Behavior tells us quite clearly what the goals are and they have nothing to do with what is pumped out to the media or in tweets.  The goals are clear.  They are hegemonic.  The NWO is very clear on its entitlement to control the world and own all its resources.  People are expendable, especially people of color.  The NWO finds it audacious that people, kept poor by the US and its allies, should sit on coveted land for resources and political desired real estate.
I think you should be writing articles that are not liberal, but progressive.  People need to hear a different idea, a different paradigm.
tanya marquette
A nation that continually cuts its dense budget will soon cease being a nation.
Donald Fitzsimmons
We in Canada seem to have fared well as Nation without spending 60 billion annually messing with other countries and attempting to over throw governments.
Tom Lowes
He increased it because he wants to start a war. He said he likes to win. At the expense of the American people's lives and welfare
Kenneth Rogers
Max Elbaum had an excellent analysis of the state of the Resistance and the left. I disagree on a few points (he does not mention Russia's aggression against Ukraine but he encapsulates well the moment.
Lew Grupper
It is important to look at who has controlled congress and the White House and who has appointed whom to the Supreme Court and then look at the laws passed that have or have not benefited the average citizen before deciding who as screwed over the unions. The downward spiral started with Ronald Reagan and his firing striking air traffic controllers and other unions did nothing to support them.
Please remember the congress was dominated by republicans during Clinton's administration. I do agree Nafta was not good for many, especially when the rules were not enforced. It was beneficial for agriculture but not for other industries. Corporate dems are certainly not helpful but overall dems are more concerned about the working man than the republicans who use the working class by focusing on hot button issues.
Nancy Deatrick Jones
Let me remind you that it was Clinton who worked very hard to pass NAFTA, which the unions, excepting the trucking unions, whose members were the only unionists to benefit from NAFTA, opposed. The rest of the unions were opposed to NAFTA. We all know that the Republicans are out to screw over working people, Nancy, that is a given. However, the corporate Democrats care little about working people.
Charles Decelles
In San Francisco, it is completely paid for by taxes on property valued over $5,000,000.
And the plan is working, so I'll bet a modification of this model might be a blueprint.
Naomi Zemont
Restaurants are one of the most thoroughly 'privatized' workplaces, with nearly all profits going to the restaurant owners, who increasingly are investors who don't do any of the actual work of preparing food.  Most of the cooks, even in Asian restaurants, are actually Hispanic...and the servers are, as this article points out, mostly very low paid, and while many are male,  I'm sure a significant majority are female, particularly in lower priced restaurants
Martin Pereira
(posting on Portside Labor)
Let's see, Jaime Dimon makes $23, 000 an hour (assuming he works 2,080 hours a year), what has he ever done besides crashing the World Economy, and Rigging the LIBOR? But, NO! We can't pay workers a living wage. When we become a two class Socio-economic nation, violent Revolution will ensue...
Garold Haynes
No one working at a full time job should have to take on other jobs just to pay for the basic necessities. Do not expect others to win the fight for you and yours. Get involved and take ACTION. Posting, letters, calls, demonstrations draw attention and make wishes known. Everyone needs to know what the elected people have historically done and if they are not representing the people ... VOTE THEM OUT and Vote in people who will represent people and not campaign donors. If you don't get involved. If you don't vote. Then who is there to blame? Only ourselves.
Aprl Churchill
Those who oppose single-payer healthcare apparently approve of paying lifelong subsidies to insurance companies and big pharma to guarantee they retain their largest profit margins in the world. It's commensurate with the U.S. paying retail, and the rest of the far-smarter world paying wholesale. Genius.
Suzann Ellingsworth
The pro-life executioners of the Bible Belt state of Arkansas.
Carl Stilwell
Don't believe in the death penalty, not because I don't believe that evil people should be allowed to live but because if the police can build a case against you, they will, even if they don't believe you're guilty. That being said, a full life sentence should suffice
Scott Banks
Robert Coe, Sr.
What a distorted interpretation of so-called "nationalist" organizations of the late 1960s and 1970s, and in general. Same old tired "good Sixties/bad Sixties" trope, especially downplaying the white backlash that helped get Nixon elected in response to some progress on the racial equality front being made. Same old tired straight white male analysis here
Aaron Bae
Our grandson Hugo is a supporter of Melanchon. i do not pretend to know all the issues, but I have a lot of faith in the current generation.
Sonia Collins
I liked the piece but the first couple sentences are a problem for me.
1) There is a burgeoning school of professional Cuba bashers, including some self-proclaimed leftists, who in effect seek the overthrow of the Cuban Revolution. Apparently expecting perfection, they tend to see ONLY the failures of the Cuban Revolution and its historical leaders.
Who are the people the author is arguing against?
Jim Price
Having just returned from Cuba and seen the many ways Castro's Revolution failed I am still trying to recoup my energies.  I am sad and disappointed.
Deborah Nagle-Burks, PhD
(posting on Portside Culture)
This author gets it WRONG it is NOT Ernest Everhard, but AVIS Everhard (whom the story is really about) a FEMALE. Even the Johns Hopkins writer seems to have some misogynistic tendencies.
Denise Gerdes
Canada has an international reputation for being friendly. Its foreign policy seems to be rooted in cooperation and human rights while social-democratic policies and values reign at home. This reputation may have something to do with the long shadow cast by its decidedly less friendly neighbor to the south, but history reveals a more complicated reality. From its treatment of the First Nations and migrant workers to its addiction to the extraction of natural resources at home and abroad, Canada hasn’t always been so friendly for all its inhabitants or for the earth we share.
Stephen Harper’s nine long years as prime minister added a new chapter of destruction and suffering to the country’s history and marked a notable shift rightward. The election of Justin Trudeau—the boyish and mediagenic scion of Canada’s most famous Liberal dynasty—has obscured this passage for many international observers. And while Trudeau does represent a kinder neoliberalism—particularly around issues of gender and sexuality—his recent decision to approve two major pipeline projects leaves little doubt about the extent to which his administration is continuing business-as-usual.
The European party system is changing rapidly. As a result of the ongoing neoliberal attack, the middle class is shrinking quickly, and the decades-old party allegiance of large groups of voters has followed suit. The European far right has been able to capitalize on this development; in many countries, populist and radical right-wing parties have experienced an unprecedented boom.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the electoral victory scored by the Greek “Coalition of the Radical Left”—better known as SYRIZA—in January 2015 has galvanized the European Left, which had previously comforted itself by standing on the oppositional sidelines. Still rubbing their eyes in disbelief, the Left in Europe realized that they could not only conquer “respectable” positions, but could, in fact, become the leading force in government. The European and international Left was enthused.
Occupy Wall Street arose like a force of nature over the landscape of the U.S. Left. Only a year after its birth, there are hardly any left institutions or tendencies that it has not in some way influenced. The inclination, then, may be to allow its influence to color our memories of the U.S. Left as it stood pre-September 2011.
To be sure, it was a barren landscape. The U.S. Left has no central political vehicle and only a very small and tenuous hold within the Democratic Party. The broader cultural memory of left social movements was obliterated with the rise of the Reagan Republicans in the 1980s, while the fall of the Soviet Union devastatingly reinforced the neoliberal formulation that “There Is No Alternative”, leaving the U.S. Left permanently weakened and seemingly shorn of its past victories. The following decades were characterized largely by fragmentation and low-key public visibility.
But nonetheless, the Left does have a place in U.S. history and society. Its activism has played a crucial part, from the abolitionist movement and the socialist movement to the creation of Roosevelt’s New Deal to a string of civil rights and environmental gains in the 1960s and 1970s. However unsuccessful at times, it most certainly has played a role in exposing and opposing the various contradictions and scandals of American capitalism. And on the eve of Occupy the U.S. Left was present, in all its fragmented and dysfunctional glory, but present nonetheless.
All literature is free from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office
For more information click here or email here.
275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2114
New York, NY 10016
Tuesday, April 25 at 7 PM - 9 PM
6422 Main Street 
Union, IL 60180
University of Tennessee historian Ernest F. Freeberg will mark America's entry into World War I by revisiting one of its greatest opponents: Socialist and one-time McHenry County prisoner, Eugene Debs. Freeberg's lecture, titled “Eugene V. Debs and the Fight for Free Speech in World War I,” is rooted in his award-winning book, Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, The Great War, and the Right to Dissent. His 2010 effort was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and winner of the David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Legal History and the Eli M. Oboler Award from the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable.
The talk explores an important legacy of World War One, the fight for civil liberties waged by those who worked to free American socialist leader Eugene Debs from prison. In 1919 Debs was sentenced to 10 years in prison for speaking against the U.S. decision to join the fighting in Europe. The incident sparked a national debate over the meaning of the First Amendment and the government’s power to silence its critics. The fight to free Debs raised fundamental questions about the balance between individual liberty and national security, and helped to expand the right to protest against war ever since.
Two years later Debs ran for president and won over a million votes without ever leaving his Atlanta jail cell. Most cast their vote for him not in support of his politics, but of his right as an American to speak freely, even in time of war. Though eventually pardoned, Debs’ imprisonment sparked an argument that still rages: is protest in times of war a democratic right or an act of treason?
Freeberg, who chairs the university's history department, was educated at Middlebury College and received his doctorate. from Emory University. He is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, has served on the editorial board of the History of Education Quarterly, and has produced a number of public radio documentaries on historical themes.
Doors to the McHenry County Historical Society Museum, 6422 Main St., Union, open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door. The lecture is being co-sponsored by the McHenry County Historical Society, Woodstock Celebrates and the Illinois Labor History Society.
The only organization where professionals interested in all aspects of industrial relations and human resources come together to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues and practices in the field. 
The DC LERA Board of Governors cordially invites you to the monthly luncheon meeting  --  Muslim Americans in the Workplace: Melting Pot or Boiling Cauldron? 
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 |  11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Whittemore House (Woman's National Democratic Club)
Registration is required 
with guest speakers Meira Neggaz and Qasim Rashid
Since 9/11, Islamophobia in the U.S. has grown more pervasive. Muslim Americans face increasing employment discrimination and more hostile workplaces. The debate over Muslim Americans' rights has reached a fever pitch in the national political discourse. Please join us for lunch to hear Meira Neggaz and Qasim Rashid, Esq., address Islamophobiaand describe efforts to create rational national discussions to secure the rights of all Americans.
Meira Neggaz is Executive Director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which conducts research that empowers American Muslims to develop their community and contribute to democracy and pluralism in the United States. It aims to educate the general public and enable community change agents, the media, and policymakers to make evidence-based decisions. Ms. Neggaz holds a Masters from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.
Qasim Rashid, Esq. is Director of Civil Rights and Policy at Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. To advance the cause of Muslim women's rights, this organization, also known as KARAMAH, works to create a global network of people knowledgeable on the gender-equitable principles of Islam to advocate for the rights of Muslim women. Mr. Rashid has a JD from the University of Richmond School of Law and is a visiting fellow at Harvard University's School of Islamic Studies. He has published in the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today and appeared in CNN and NPR, among other outlets.
Please register and join the discussion...
Time: Sign-in begins: 11:30; Lunch: 12:00; Presentation and Q&A: 12:45 - 1:30
Delicious Lunch: Buffet with salad, choice of two entrees, vegetarian options, sides, choice of dessert, plus coffee or iced/tea. Cash wine service.
Price: DC LERA Members $25, DC LERA Member Special Guest Rate $25, Non-members $30, Students $15
Venue:  Woman's National Democratic Club, located in the historic Whittemore House at 1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20036, just one block from Dupont Circle and its Red Line Metro station.
Mayor Ras J. Baraka invites you to the 2017 Newark Cooperative Conference!  Hear from a panel of leading experts as we explore
national cooperative models and discuss the future of Newark’s worker-owned
Panel Topics:
  • Housing Cooperatives
  • Worker Cooperatives
  • Food Cooperatives
  • National Worker Cooperatives/Art Cooperatives
  • State and Federal Policy
Now in its 13th year, Left Forum has grown into one the largest annual convergences of the left. The 2016 conference featured over 350 workshops/panels, multiple musical performances and film screenings, a comedy show, and a large grassroots-organization/book fair. In 2016, over 4000 people - including artists, activists, and great thinkers from around the globe - were drawn to NYC to engage in critical discussions and debates, build coalitions, socialize with new friends and long-time allies, learn, reflect, and strategize for a new future.
Building our collective strength as a movement and as a community committed to social justice is more important than ever. Join us for Left Forum 2017
Join these speakers and many others at Left Forum 2017!
Left Forum
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CUNY Graduate Center
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New York, NY 10016
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