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Tidbits - August 3, 2017 - Reader Comments: Memories of the Southern Freedom Movement; Right to Water; Keeping Public Services Public; Fight for Health Care Access Continues; Sen. Gillibrand Takes Name Off Anti-Boycott Bill; Crisis in Venezuela; CEO Pay;

Reader Comments: Memories of the Southern Freedom Movement - Mary Hamilton; The Right to Water - Trump Action Endangers Millions; Keeping Public Services Public; Fight for Health Care Access Continues; Sen. Gillibrand Takes Name Off Anti-Boycott Bill; The Crisis in Venezuela - U.S. Involvement, and The Left; Hate Speech; Questions about Israel and the U.S.; CEO Pay; Palestinian Rights curriculum; An American in China; Dissident Arts Festival; Next Up for Single Payer

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - August 3, 2017,Portside
The other night I was watching some cop show on TV where the crusty detective who brazenly violates all the norms of civil-procedure and defendant-rights scrupulously addresses the vile scumbag villain as "Mr. so-and-so." This morning I opened the paper to read that Il Duce Trump told NY police, "Don't be too nice" to people they're arresting.
It all brought back to mind the Southern Freedom Movement and a CORE field secretary named Mary Hamilton who had been arrested for protesting segregation in Gadsden Alabama in 1963. At that time cops, prosecutors, and judges throughout the land routinely addressed all whites with courtesy titles and surnames such as "Mr. Jones" or "Mrs. Smith," but all nonwhites -- Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans -- were addressed by their first name only.
Mary was called to the witness stand:
    Prosecutor: "What is your name, please?"
    Witness: "Miss Mary Hamilton."
    Prosecutor: "Mary, who were you arrested by?"
    Witness: "My name is Miss Hamilton. Please address me correctly."
    Prosecutor: "Who were you arrested by, Mary?"
    Witness: "I will not answer a question until I am addressed correctly."
    Judge: "Answer the question."
    Witness: "I will not answer them unless I am addressed correctly."
    Judge: "You are in contempt of court."
Without any trial or opportunity to defend herself on the contempt charge, she was immediately hauled off and thrown into the cells. For five days she endured threats, intimidation, and abuse as they tried to break her. They told her the abuse would stop if she agreed to answer questions without being addressed as "Miss." She didn't break.
Finally the Movement was able to get her out on an appeal that went all the way to Supreme Court in Hamilton v. Alabama -- a case known to law students today as the "Miss Mary" case. She won her case in a 1964 ruling that summarily overturned her contempt citation and eventually established precedent that unequal treatment, discourtesy, and gratuitous brutality were grounds for immediate dismissing charges against a defendant. A ruling that despite Trump's whining still governs police and judicial conduct.
Mary Hamilton -- Presente!
Bruce Hartford
[originally posted to the email list of SNCC veterans (Southern Non-Violent Coordinating Committee; re-posted in Portside Tidbits with the author's permission.]
Mary Hamilton was found in contempt of court in Alabama, when she refused to answer questions after the prosecution addressed her only by her first name. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled in her favor.
She was a teacher, a Freedom Rider and the first female field organizer in the South for the Congress of Racial Equality.
photo credit: AP // NPR
more here:
July 12, 2013
NPR - National Public Radio
I totally agree that Trump will not last. Of course he may have a stroke as he is under pressure but one way or the other he looks like a one term president. And it seems obvious that he is panicked by Mueller, who has integrity and is very smart. From the beginning he has been following the money, which is all Trump is about, and he is obviously finding out stuff Trump doesn’t want in the open. Trump is acting panicked, and there may be some baggage of his that is criminal. So not only might he be a one term president but he might also be on his way to jail.
Trump is a pretty good example of the billionaire class these days – entitled, isolated, with secret possibly criminal ties so that they can avoid taxes and make deals, and totally lacking in any social responsibility.
The only puzzle in this situation is why did American voters give Trump the job?
Laurel MacDowell
The more explosive stories get our attention while they are dismantling protections we have come to assume would always be in place.
Suzette Coates‎
Nestle probably bribed him so they can sell more bottled water.
André Ouellette
We cannot let this happen anywhere.
Jerre Madden Miller‎
General citizens don't deserve clean water, all these regulations reduce our profits.
Pat McLaughlin
Who needs clean water? After all, we elected dirty politicians.
Peter Freedman
In the '80s a neoliberal tide swept across the West with the idea that welfares states had become too expensive and that privatizing public goods was better for stimulating the economy. During this era of fiscal conservatism, Western governments basically confined themselves supervisory roles over the economy, reduced to watchdogs enforcing norms and standards. But research has shown that as the government progressively pulls out of public life, many people lose access or experience the deterioration of services that improve their quality of life such as affordable housing, education, public transportation and health care.
Now, cities across Europe are increasingly deciding to reclaim public services, spearheading a growing movement for "remunicipalization," meaning the return of public services from private to public. According to Sakoto Kishimoto Lead Researcher at the Transnational Institute (TNI) people are over the idea of privatization. "They're telling their citizens that they have to divest and squeeze budgets, but the feedback we're getting is that local populations found public services more efficient and less costly," Kishimoto said in a TNI report.
This week, faith and moral leaders rose up to resist the egregious assault on health care being led by extremists in the White House and U.S. Congress. While we came from many traditions, we spoke in one voice about the dignity of every human life and the fundamental moral principle that all should have access to consistent, affordable and quality health care.
I met many persons impacted by health care access. I want to especially thank disability justice activist who were the first to initiate civil disobedience, which inspired our activism in Washington.
For weeks Repairers of the Breach worked alongside impacted persons and D.C. moral activist to organize protest and rallies, which resulted in over 50 arrest.  I am writing to thank you for your support in Washington and across the country standing up for health care.
While extremists lost in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, this fight is not over. Until we have a single payer system with universal coverage for all we must keep organizing. The fight for access to care is a fight for the soul of America.
We cannot turn back now. Thank you for everything you do to support this movement.
Forward Together,/ not one step back!
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
President & Sr. Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach
Rekindling a Prophetic Moral Vision for Justice, Social Change and Movement Building
YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSS So many of us, including me, have already been talking about this with one another. We must do it. "What a Medicare March Could Do." "Decades of history has shown us what a national march can accomplish." We all know about the pooh pooh's. We need lots of yeah yeah's. Important article "Most importantly, the Medicare-for-All movement unites the most people while casting a harsh light on the center-to-far right, which wants to deny Americans basic health-care coverage. A successful march could build off the growing feeling of resentment and change the political landscape.
As the president’s various scandals preoccupy media attention, we should focus on an issue that responds to what people urgently need and want.
A successful march will demand careful groundwork and intense commitment from activists. It’s a big task, but it’s not like the Left hasn’t done it before." via Portside
Sheila Parks

Rob Rogers
August 1, 2017
McCain is no hero -- he is a CRIMINAL dating back to his bombing the people of Vietnam! The systemic corruption of internal Rep Party maneuvering, posturing and policies continues on with way too much collusion from Dems. Medicare for ALL! We as residents and workers of the USA are the ones with the power to win real justice and peace!
Leanna Noble
you do realize McCain voted NO on the skinny repeal, right?
Joseph Damiani
Very exciting news— in response to pressure from JVP members and other Palestine solidarity activists, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has now withdrawn her support for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
This is the first time a Member of Congress has taken their name off a bill targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Sen. Gillibrand is already taking heat for her decision, and AIPAC just sent an email to their members asking them to call and ask her to add her name back on as a cosponsor to the bill. It's important she knows she's doing the right thing and that we're behind her.
Click here to call Sen. Gillibrand and thank her for taking her name off of S.720, and ask her to continue to oppose unconstitutional legislation that infringes upon our right to boycott.
Thank you.
Rabbi Joseph Berman
You can read the introduction to 'Many Bridges, One River: Organizing for Justice in Vietnamese American Communities' online at Portside and learn more about the book and the intent behind it from the book's editors thuan nguyen and Vy Nguyen.
Hate crimes. Have black lives ever mattered? When is a child not a child? Answer: When it' is Black child. Questions addressed by Mumia Abu- Jamal.
Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime
US government support for the Venezuelan opposition is not about democracy.
Jim Price
Very interesting article which reveals how the US might begin the occupation of Venezuela through Oil. With Exxon Mobil initiating Petro projects in the Caribbean basin oil reserves in territory claimed and just north of Venezuela, both nations are squarely on a collision course. We'll see. Interesting days ahead.
Luis Nando Velez
This is why we were 'shown the door' during Pres. Chavez's term
Betsy Keith
I guess this is why in Europe they say, "America is an oil company with an army."
Bill Ralston
Don't agree with every point but an interesting, if very long, read
Gina Nicholson
exactly why my new media of choice is France 24.
Gwendolyn Ivey
Karma is a bitch.
Rosalina Rosario Melendez
In the U.S.civil libertarians remind us there is almost no hate speech exemption to the First Amendment.  Now, quietly flying under the radar is a financial crackdown on such speech as U.S. social medial companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $57 million if they do not delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts after a law prohibiting such messaging passed in July, 2017.
For months Facebook, Google, Twitter and others dragged their feet in screening such content, but now have come to their financial senses and will no longer post Nazi symbols, holocaust denial commentary, clearly inflammatory speech, or incitement to violence.  Facebook announced that it would nearly double to 7,500 the number of employees worldwide devoted to clearing its site of flagged postings.  The country is also improving the processes by which users can report problems. Failure to do so will result in fines that will increase with delay and new incidents.  Facebook and Google are taking steps even in the U.S. to limit the spread of extreme messaging.  It remains to be seen if these will be baby steps.
Germany has some of the most stringent anti-hate laws in the world.  They have apparently paid attention to their history.  Germany's justice minister said the new rules that currently apply offline would be equally enforceable online.
Moreover, the European Union ministers approved a plan this spring that will require social media platform and online video hosts to block and remove from their platforms hate speech, incitement to hatred and content justifying terrorism.
Canada, Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have singed international conventions banning hate speech.  The U.S. general mindset, deeply rooted in law and the culture, has an individualistic approach to this debate.  I'm an American and I can say what I want," is not an unfamiliar response when mentioning the arguable deficiencies of the First Amendment.  Moving forward, in California, the Department of Motor Vehicles screens out acronyms recognized as hate speech representations in applications for license plates.
In 1983 a New York judge dismissed a libel case brought by several Puerto Rican groups against a business executive who had called food stamps "basically a Puerto Rican program."  How far have we come in thirty-four years?  Well, in 2016, presidential nominee, Donald Trump loudly proclaimed Mexican immigrants a bunch of rapists and went on to win the presidency at lease in the anachronistic, slavery-based electoral college.
There can be no doubt that free speech is a cherished concept which must be defended.  On the other hand, given the enormous demographic changes in our country, isn't it time to rethink regulating hate speech?  Why in the 21st century can onerous speech still be directed at entire ethnicities, religions, nationalities, sexual orientations, women and the disabled?
Would it help advance our society by challenging "my freedom" being more important than the hurt and disrespect spewed at "the other?"   
Individual rights versus the free market place of speech must be weighted against the effects toxic speech has on immigrants, people of color, LGTBQ and women.  In other words, what about the victims' freedom to live without fear and insult?  Regulation of hate speech, as has been done in Europe, Canada and elsewhere, is not considered an infringement upon free speech.
No doubt that a challenge to the First Amendment on this subject is absent from the near calendar.  But, as noted, there is some cultural shift in how hate speech is viewed.  The stunning three million person march led by women in pink pussy hats last January had a visceral connection to Trump's hate speech.  Signs in Bay-Area store windows reading "hate-free zone," clearly applied to both acts of violence and speech.  Perhaps our nation of new immigrants will dramatically shake up patterns of behavior once found acceptable, to be, well, totally unacceptable.  Would it not be appropriate for us, given our checkered history, to move in the direction of being a kinder, gentler people by finding ways to eventually vanquish hate speech?
Kathy Lipscomb
1.  The US provides foreign aid to 130 countries, but what country receives more than 1/5 of total US aid dollars ?
2.  What country bullied Obama to increase its foreign aid from $30B to 38B (Billions) in the next 10 years ?
3.  What country after successfully bullying Obama then demanded more from Congress and received $600M more ?
4.  What country receives $3.1B in US aid each year ? which is now $3.7B each year ?
5.  What country secretly receives between $2B and $13B in additional "unreported" military intelligence aid ?   
6.  What country did Congress give additional $3.7B to install an anti-ICBM missile defense system ?
7.  What country receives $10.5M in US dollars 365 days each year; equal to $500 each for every man, woman, child ?
8.  What country receives $50 million for Palestine aid, but uses most of it to pay itself for providing services, like electricity ?
9.  What country approves of Palestine receiving a total of $0 direct US dollars ?
10.  What country receives massive US foreign aid and where its citizens receive free medical care ?
11.  What country receives massive US foreign aid where each citizen receives a subsidized college education ?
12.  What country's wealth is equal to that of South Korea and Spain but still gets increased US foreign aid ?
13.  What country does 62% of US residents feel receives much too much in US foreign aid dollars ? 
Answer ... WHY ?
James E Vann
Political-Community-Housing Advocate
Oakland, California
Report by Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder
July 20, 2017
What this report finds: This report looks at trends in CEO compensation using two measures of compensation. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2016 CEOs in America’s largest firms made an average of $15.6 million in compensation, or 271 times the annual average pay of the typical worker. While the 2016 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 271-to-1 is down from 299-to-1 in 2014 and 286-to-1 in 2015, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and the 59-to-1 ratio in 1989. The average CEO in a large firm now earns 5.33 times the annual earnings of the average very-high-wage earner (earner in the top 0.1 percent).
Because the decision to realize, or cash in, stock options tends to fluctuate with current and potential stock market trends (since people tend to cash in their stock options when it’s most advantageous for them to do so), we also look at another measure of CEO compensation to get a more complete picture of trends in CEO compensation. This measure tracks the value of stock options granted, reflecting the value of the options at the time they are granted. By this measure, CEO compensation rose to $13.0 million in 2016, up from $12.5 million in 2015.
By either measure CEO compensation is very high relative to the compensation of a typical worker or even that of an earner in the top 0.1 percent, and it has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits. The explanation for the falloff in CEO compensation associated with realized stock options is unclear: neither stock prices nor an accumulation of unexercised options provide an explanation. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
Why it matters: Regardless of how it’s measured, CEO pay continues to be very, very high and has grown far faster in recent decades than typical worker pay. Exorbitant CEO pay means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers, since the higher CEO pay does not reflect correspondingly higher output. CEO compensation has risen by 807 or 937 percent (depending on how it is measured—using stock options granted or stock options realized, respectively) from 1978 to 2016. At 937 percent, that rise is more than 70 percent faster than the rise in the stock market; both measures are substantially greater than the painfully slow 11.2 percent growth in a typical worker’s annual compensation over the same period.
Read more here
If you missed our "No Bans on Stolen Lands webinar," you can now see it online here
In line with this year's 100-70-50-10-year anniversaries, check out our new two-page fact sheet explaining and commemorating the four significant commemorations illustrating the 100+-year trajectory of Zionist settler colonialism. You can download it here for your own organizing. 
We've been busy fleshing out the "Not that Complicated" section with information, resources, projects, maps, videos, and more on Gaza, Refugees, Palestinian Citizens of Israel, Jerusalem, and more. 
Meanwhile, here's a sneak-peek at some of what we have planned next:
In August, we'll be adding many new resources to the Freedom Bound section including materials, webinars, and art around the Myth of Citizenship, Black-Palestinian Solidarity, and the U.S.-Israeli alliance.
We will also be announcing a day of action connecting the struggles against the Israeli apartheid wall and the U.S./Mexico border wall, and much more...
Thanks for your commitment to building skills, analysis, and cross-struggle connections to strengthen a united front against oppression from the U.S. to Palestine. Let's keep building together.
Ramah Kudaimi and Anna Baltzer
PO Box 21539
Washington, DC 20009
(Previously named “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation”)
Phone: 202-332-0994
My name is Mike Liston. A life-long Alaskan until 1999 when a desire to improve my Chinese language skills brought me to Beijing in 1999. I also speak Russian and have spent time teaching in the far east of Russia-Sakhalin Island-and I am proficient in ASL as my son is deaf. Sometimes I weigh in on Portside especially when it concerns China. I also give the NYT's a hard time when I get the rare chance. I've been a lefty since Reagan-you could say it was his fault.
I teach English in Beijing where I'm a permanent resident with the right to work freely and have Chinese public health insurance. I've been married to a Chinese citizen for almost 16 years. She is a PLA officer's widow with a son so we have two boys in the family and one granddaughter who is deaf like her dad. I teach English here, write, and paint. 
My first novel, Sylvia and Carl is like a modern day Grape's of Wrath, only more satirical and farcical, you know, like history. My second, I Love Chaoyang, is based on China and again satirical and under a pseudonym in order to avoid the wrath of you know who. If you're curious to read my work, Sylvia and Carl is shorter and free of charge on Smashwords under the name of Mike Liston. The second, author: Li Si Dun, will cost you but if you like the first, it would be worth it.  
As for China, the place is complicated so please don't believe everything  you hear from the US corporate propaganda network-but you know this. Good sources for news about China include the South China Morning Post and Asia Times Online, but of course all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Bloomberg is also not bad for a broad range of financial info. Come to China if you haven't, it's guaranteed to be interesting and if  you travel, use the high speed rail which is the best way to get around for trips of no more than five hours. Nice to have met you, 
Mike Liston
The overall theme of this year's Festival is the fight for free speech. It will be a loud and proud speak-out against the neo-fascist, coldly capitalist Trump administration and assorted brownshirt minions
DAY 1: Saturday August 19 at 5C Cafe and Cultural Center 68 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
7:00 - 11:00 pm
  • LINDSEY WILSON & the Human Hearts
  • Performance Artist CRYSTAL SHIPP
DAY 2: Saturday August 26, Henry Winston Unity Hall 235 W 23 Street, 7 floor, NYC. 
7:00 - 10:00 pm
Fused with the New Masses Nights series which is also produced by John Pietaro, this evening serves as a fundraiser for the family of the late guitarist BERN NIX, whose final performance was on the New Masses Nights stage in late May. Bern was a great friend to the series and it with this in mind that we pay him tribute. ALL PROCEEDS OF ADMISSION WILL BE DONATED TO HIS FAMILY'S FUNERAL EXPENSES.
  • THE BERN NIX TRIBUTE TRIO (3/4 of Bern's Quartet)
  • THE BEYOND GROUP (which Bern was a founding member of)
  • plus: various friends and comrades of Bern will offer remembrances
Originally based in the Hudson Valley city of Beacon NY and moving to New York City in 2010, the Festival’s performers and speakers over the years included actor/raconteur Malachy McCourt, late great trumpet player Roy Campbell, folk legend Pete Seeger, filmmaker Kevin Keating, spoken word artists Steve Dalachinsky and the late Louis Reyes Rivera, the late reeds player/composer Will Connell, political satirist/activist Randy Credico , multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, hip hop ensemble ReadNex Poetry Squad, labor leader Henry Foner, punk-folk artist Lach and many more. Films screened included ‘Giuliani Time’, ‘Cultures of Resistance’, ‘Salt of the Earth’, ‘Battleship Potemkin’ and ‘Metropolis’. Other special features were tributes to Paul Robeson, Bertolt Brecht, Woody Guthrie, and Phil Ochs. The Dissident Arts Festival has also offered a voice to progressive political candidates, the Occupy movement and radical labor organizations.
For more information, click here
Six months of heroic resistance by millions of Americans has brought the Republican Trumpcare juggernaut to a dead standstill.  This week, Senate leaders officially announced that they were taking a breather from their holy crusade to gut Medicaid and deprive over 20 million of their fellow citizens of healthcare in order to give a huge tax cut to the 1%.
The significance of this victory cannot be overrated. When politicians abandoned us, people power won the day.
We are not out of the woods yet. The political and financial stakes are too high for healthcare profiteers to just walk away from the table.  The fight is far from over. We've learned how to defeat our opponents.  Now we have to learn how to win.
Like never before, people are embracing expanded and improved Medicare for All as the long term solution to the healthcare crisis.  A recent AP-NORC poll shows that 62% of all Americans believe it is the federal government's responsibility to ensure that everyone has health care. This is a shift of ten percentage points in less than four months!
This sea change is reflected in a recent statement of the AFL-CIO Executive Council placing Medicare for All as the centerpiece of the Federation's healthcare policy: "Our core goal, however, is to move expeditiously toward a single payer system, like Medicare for All, that retains a role for workers' health plans and in which access to quality, affordable health care is indeed a right for everyone in the country."
And it is reflected in the 116 congressional co-sponsors of HR 676  -- The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act--more than at any other time in history.
Now is the time to pick up the pieces and move forward.  As the August congressional recesses begin, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) is coordinating a "turn up the heat for healthcare" grassroots campaign to attend town hall meetings and urge our Representatives to support HR 676.  You can sign up to work on this campaign in your congressional district here
In addition, registration is now open for Healthcare Now's National Single Payer Leadership Meeting September 30 in Las Vegas.  This important meeting will be an opportunity for us to begin to answer the important questions for our movement: where do we go from here and how to build the coalitions and consensus necessary to secure single payer healthcare for all.  Early bird registration for $55 is now open so register today
In the coming weeks, we will also be sending out information about exciting activities planned in connection with the AFL-CIO Convention in St. Louis, October 22-25.
We have won a great victory against overwhelming odds.  Join us now as we work to regain the offensive.
In Solidarity,
Mark Dudzic
National Coordinator