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Tidbits - August 10, 2017 - Reader Comments: Korea; Nagasaki; Nuclear Weapons; NAACP Warns Black Travelers When Visiting Missouri; Medicare March; Healthcare and Democrats; UAW-Nissan Election Defeat; Venezuela; Hard-Line Catholics; KXL; and more...

Reader Comments: Korea; Nagasaki; Nuclear Weapons; NAACP Warns Black Travelers When Visiting Missouri; Medicare March; Healthcare; How Democrats Can Win - How They Must Fight; UAW-Nissan Election Defeat; Venezuela; Vatican and Hard-Line Catholics; Last Chance to Comment Against KXL; Announcements: Zapatista Music Celebration; Feminist Organizing School; and more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - August 10, 2017,Portside
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By Camila Domonoske
August 3, 2017

The Missouri state chapter of the NAACP had issued an advisory of its own in June, urging travelers to "pay special attention while in the state of Missouri and certainly if contemplating spending time in Missouri."
It's the first time the national civil rights organization has issued a travel warning for an entire state, the Kansas City Star reports
The group warns "African American travelers, visitors and Missourians" to "exercise extreme caution" in the state.
The state NAACP first issued an advisory in June. It described "looming danger" and recommended that "each individual should pay special attention while in the state of Missouri and certainly if contemplating spending time in Missouri."
Nearly three years ago, racial bias in Missouri seized national headlines after Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., prompting widespread protests.
The Missouri NAACP focused on more recent deaths and incidents of harassment in its advisory, including death threats toward students at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It also noted that, according to the state's own attorney general, black drivers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely last year to be stopped and searched than white drivers. (The same report says black drivers are less likely to be found with contraband — but more likely to be arrested — than white drivers.)
Black travelers in the state are "subject to unnecessary search seizure and potential arrest," the Missouri NAACP warned.
Read full story here.
Am currently reading "The Color of Law" by Richard Rothstein and am glad that others are writing on similar topics documenting and reminding us the US government at ALL levels deliberately structured racism and segregation into our cities, schools, etc. under the myth of "zoning" and other euphemisms. Colluding with the rich and their banks and corporations our government has ALWAYS stood and acted against the rights of people of color and workers.
Leanna Noble
If we don't show the broad support across political lines, Congress will continue to try to dismantle Medicare to cut taxes for the rich.
The article shows that for those who say the marches are outdated tactics that can't change what they're protesting. They will not produce direct changes but if it has positive effects. The major impact is first spread and exposure in the media, the second development and the intensification of the fight in the awareness of those who March, which allows them to remain in struggle and in the long term and for dessert to develop more Militants like strikes and paros. The obvious article that the rights acquired from working hours of 8 hours or less, and the treatment of employees has been achieved with the fight on several fronts, from the street, the Laws and the judiciary. And these two last respond and react to the pressure of fighting movements. To show a recent fight button in Puerto Rico, we have the exit of the marina of Bequest and that will be amended or amended by law 160 And today we go back to the street. (Google translation)
Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime
And Clinton lost because NC, FL, MI and PA had inaccurate vote counts:  the Trump "victory" was outside the margin of error of the exit polls, which showed that Clinton won.  In countries and counties where ballots are hand counted, Edison is perfectly capable of exit polls accurate to within 1%.  But not here, where computers rule.
Julie Weiner
As someone who is 65 and has considered herself a person of the left since the age of 16, I am accustomed to hearing or reading arguments occasionally from other leftists that are designed to fulfill political fantasies or justify impractical positions.  It comes with the territory. But I can’t believe you circulated that absurd story claiming that Hillary lost Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin because she was too hawkish. Hillary was certainly too hawkish, but that’s also certainly NOT why she lost those states, and insisting on that can blind us to much more significant factors, including racism and sexism. 
In the 16 years since 9/11, fewer than 7,000 US servicepersons have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. That comes to about 435 a year. Even if we agree that the number of deaths in certain areas of those states were three times the national average, that would be between 30 and 40 people a year in very large and populous states. In the same 16-year period, about 650,000 people have died in vehicular accidents, and in 2015 alone  more than 50,000 people died of drug overdoses, mostly from opioids. In other words, someone who commutes to work by car at night probably is at greater risk of death or injury than the average soldier. 
It is ludicrous to think this RELATIVELY (note that word) tiny number of US deaths due to war would be the decisive factor in Hillary’s loss. Moreover, had Hillary been less hawkish, she undoubtedly would have been denounced as too soft and weak by many who ended up voting for Trump. 
I think it is extremely important for those on the left to understand that an “America First” worldview is not a path to pacifism; on the contrary.  Precisely because it enables US citizens to develop a sense of entitlement as “Americans” and to nurture grievances against foreigners (i.e. they’re taking advantage of us), it also legitimates the worst kind of aggressive behavior in our foreign policy. 
Finally, let me be clear: I have actively and vocally opposed US military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan for a variety of reasons, including that they have produced a horrible death toll. But the vast majority (many hundreds of thousands) who have died in these wars have been Iraqis and Afghanis, not our troops. Hillary lost for a lot of reasons, some of her own making, but this wasn't one of them.
Barbara Weinstein
Hard to tell without more data. But many friends and acquaintances of mine here in Canada, normal liberals, certainly saw Hillary as hawkish. I am inclined to belief that this was at least a part of her problem.
Brian O'Boyle
I have this great idea! Why don't you endorse single payer and work hard to pass it, as if you were actual Democrats!
Richard Cole
And this is why the Democrats will not win...
George Auerbach
(posting on Portside Labor)
Joe Allen here tells half the story. Yes, it's the half the left needs to hear, because we can be proactive about it, as he says. But the other half is the unholy war Nissan waged against its own workers in aborting the campaign. Nissan used every anti-union trick in the book, from isolating workers with management, disciplining militants, calling mandatory company-led discussions, banning leafleting and all the other anti-union gimmicks the NLRA outlaws but doesn't penalize for (when it even does)  until long after the fact. Allen should at least mention them; it's not a given, and also worth asking the UAW what they did or should have done to stem the mgmt offensive, besides filing complaints with the NLRB.
Mike Hirsch
Joe Allen's account of the background to the Nissan defeat contains a lot of truth in a brief space, going back to the rot that crept into the CIO movement in the 1940s: the anticommunist campaign and resulting accommodation, cowardice, and complacency under the patriarchal  and hierarchical "labor statesmen" of the Cold War leadership and many of their successors.(Okay, he should have given a nod to the effects of the Taft-Hartley Act as retribution for labor militancy, but time and space are limited).
The defeat in Mississippi is sobering and should inspire a deep search among  labor organizers.  Let's hope that we hear from a lot of them, including worker-organizers, soon.
Jim Young
Harrisburg, PA

Gary Larson
(posting on Portside Culture)
Trump’s Disgusting Behavior Is Inspiring Others To Be Obnoxious Pigs

Watch here.
By John Dean
August 9, 2017
David A Woolsey
something we don't talk about all that much
Jim Price

Rob Rogers
August 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
August 6, 1945 ushered in the nuclear age with the destruction of Hiroshima.Today we have lived so long with nuclear weapons that we have grown used to them. But then, in the first days of that August, a special terror struck the world. For the first time in human history the future had become "evitable". Always before, no matter how terrible the war, the human race would pull itself together and go on. Ghastly as World War I, or the horrors of World War II, we - the collective human race - was still here.
But suddenly, in the blazing hot days of early August, we used a weapon which could  close the book on human history. When we ask where the "beat generation" came from, part of it was that youth, for the first time in history, had no guarantee that the poems they wrote might survive into the future, or that Bach, the blues, and jazz might never have an audience We lived in "the end of time" and that had an impact on a younger generation.  The rejection of material values that characterized the beat generation reflected an awareness that the material world had shown it could vanish in a flash.
There was also a growing awareness that, unknown to the general public at the time, the Japanese government had been seeking the terms of surrender before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. My father, who served as a Lt. Col. in the Army Air Force intelligence division, working out of India, checked the photographs of the Japanese cities after the B-29 raids. (He had been assigned to the B-29 forces and had gone on the first B-29 raid, over Bangkok). He told me, when he came home at war's end, that the atomic bomb was not needed, that Japan's transportation had been destroyed, its great cities in ruin from fire storms.
So why was the bomb dropped? We know now that Hiroshima was, in some ways, the first shot fired in the Cold War - a warning to the Soviet Union. Seen from that viewpoint, Hiroshima was clearly criminal, used when we knew Japan was suing for peace. But that ignores the nature of war, and how total it had become. There was the sheer hatred for the Japanese - the dehumanization which is part of war. And while Japan was seeking the terms of surrender, it had not yet surrendered and might not do so. The terrible cost in the long slog of the island war, as the US had fought its way ever closer to the Japanese mainland, made an invasion of Japan itself a chilling thought. We knew that the Japanese troops had fought to the end, rarely surrendering. What would the invasion of Japan be?
We forget what had happened to us as the world war destroyed our moral values  When the war had begun, the Nazis had bombed Rotterdam, despite the fact it had been declared an "open city". We were all horrified. But by war's end we had dehumanized the Germans, terming them "Huns", the Japanese had become "Japs", and the destruction of civilian targets had become routine. We had destroyed Dresden, a non-military target, in a fire storm.
But Nagasaki? That was unique. Nagasaki was the base of Christianity in Japan. Catholic missionaries had won converts (many of which were then murdered by the Japanese emperor in an effort to stamp out this "Western religion"). So it was by "the accident of war" that the second nuclear bomb was dropped on the one Japanese city which could lay special claim to a role in Christianity in Japan.
Much worse, and what made the bombing of Nagasaki by far the more serious war crime, was that the destruction of Hiroshima had proven the bomb worked. It was certainly an act the Soviet Union noticed. It had effectively marked the end of the war. We knew what the bomb could do.
One can make an excuse for Hiroshima on the grounds it happened in the terrible fog of war, but there can be no excuse for Nagasaki. If I choose to make my views on the start of the nuclear age on August 9th, it is because it was a crime that cannot be excused. As Trump talks about raining death and fire on North Korea, let us remember Nagasaki. As we remember the darkest days of World War II - the Holocaust - let us realize that the talk of destroying North Korea would be as criminal as the Nazi murders in World War II.
David McReynolds
Besides all the other considerable pollution caused by the unnecessary wars and military operations,...
Paula Meyer
This blatant case of environmental racism taking its toll on the small Black community is just the latest outrage in the vicinity of Colfax, LA that experienced one of the worst racist massacres of the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.
Read story here at Smithsonian Magazine
John Jernegan
View here.
“What happened is a lesson that is not only the Flint, Michigan. Many communities have been neglected and the common denominator is that the poor get the shaft.”
Fayette County is a poor, rural, white community in West Virginia. Residents are fighting against the legacy of PCB contamination and new forms of contamination like the disposal of toxic fracking waste.
Executive Producer: Michelle Nash
Producers: Lena Jackson and Miguel Endara
Cinematographer and Editor: Miguel Endara
Editor: Sara Wasserman
Production Assistant: Elisa Gutierrez
Graphics and Title Designer: Angelica Baini
After so long because they lied to us about Vietnam?
Jose Andres Delgado
Another brick in our society devoted to militarism
A. Crew

Clay Jones
August 1, 2017
I think that's what the American Oligarchy wants.
Joe Elegua
I am so sorry for Venezuela.
Suzette Cullen
China is going to buy Both Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
Jimmy R. Jiménez
Leave them alone.! Let them decide their own fate.!
Joseph LaRosa
"Under U.S. law, the president’s executive order has to state an obvious falsehood, that there is “a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States caused by Venezuela. And the sanctions clearly violate the Charter of the Organization of American States (Chapter 4, Article 19), as well as other international treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory."
Pat McLaughlin
(posting on Portside Culture)
I hope my friend Michael will forgive me for sending his piece on to a wider list of mine.
It is because in this anniversary year we need - if we are to understand Russia, or what happened to the socialist movement - to grasp, to try to grasp, the enormity of October, 1917.
Some of today's left insists on seeing that event through the lens of the writings of Lenin and Trotsky (part of the answer).  Too many see it in terms of what happened in the following years.
But we need to see October as it really was then, the first "worker's state" in history.  If we look at October 1917 from THEN, from September, 1917,  we might grasp what it meant to Asian radicals, to workers in Seattle or London or Helsinki.  As the left too often (usually, in fact) ignores the power of the American Revolution - the end of the divine right of kings, the empowerment of mankind as a whole - instead seeing its faults from here--the lack of women's rights, the fact of slavery, the limits of which men could even vote - and thus missing the power the events of 1776 had around the world. . . so we can miss how important October, 1917 was.
As a cultural note (since culture is always linked to politics) look at the music and poetry and art which blossomed in the early days of the revolution. And Ten Days That Shook The World is an introduction to that fact.
David McReynolds
Some American Quakers were evangelicized with disastrous results. Indiana is a good lens to focus through. The Walnut Ridge Meeting House was burned.
Andrew Huddleston
What the American Catholics that side with evangelicals and with Trump fail to understand (maybe they probably can't even wrap their minds around it) it that on the context of a church that has 1.2 billion members, their obsessive fixation on the US cultural wars might be small potatoes for a leadership that has to deal with change in a way that will preserve the core of the spiritual teachings as opposed to the superficial trappings. What use is the tridentine mass if it is given in an empty church?
Ricardo Valentin
Week-long hearings in Nebraska that could decide the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. After Trump rubber stamped this project just days after he took office, a five person commission will now decide if TransCanada can get a permit through the state.
This is a crucial moment, which is why hundreds of people, including ranchers and Indigenous leaders, marched at the Nebraska State Capitol yesterday. The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) will use this hearing and public comments to decide whether or not to approve the final permit.
Stand in solidarity with the pipeline fighters on the ground by submitting a comment to the Nebraska PSC before the comment period closes this week. 
Our team is here in Lincoln, Nebraska this week as official intervenors in the hearings – and to deliver your comments in person to the PSC’s headquarters.
People from across North America joined the march yesterday, including Indigenous leaders from South Dakota who will never let this pipeline go through their land.
We can’t afford any new polluting fossil fuel projects like Keystone XL, which is why last month we launched Solar XL – a campaign to build the renewable energy future we need directly in the path of the proposed pipeline. The first of three solar installations in the route is up and running, with the next two sites going up on August 19.
We have a real chance to stop Keystone XL once and for all. Click here to submit your comment to the Commission urging them to reject the pipeline. 
TransCanada is having trouble securing oil contracts for the project, so we can’t let up - instead now is the time to turn up the heat. Every new comment submitted builds the case against the pipeline and proves that this project is not in the public interest.
People power stopped Keystone XL before – and we can do it again.
To stay up-to-date on what’s happening on the ground this week, follow along on 350’s Instagram and watch the live stream from the march on Facebook.
Thanks for your support,
Kendall Mackey -
The Korean Peninsula is rapidly approaching the boiling point.
Yesterday, North Korean officials released a statement through the Korean Central News Agency, a state-run media outlet, in response to the U.N. Security Council's unanimous approval of sanctions on Aug. 5 to penalize the isolated regime for its nuclear and missile programs.
“Packs of wolves are coming in attack to strangle a nation,” the North Korean statement said. “They should be mindful that the D.P.R.K.’s strategic steps accompanied by physical action will be taken mercilessly with the mobilization of all its national strength,” it added, using the initials for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea said it was "carefully examining" plans to strike the US territory after Donald Trump launched a furious tirade at Kim Jong-un, warning that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if the rogue state continued to threaten America.
North and South Korea have lived in a perpetual wartime mobilization for decades, with the presence in the South of 83 US bases and nearly 30,000 US troops.
The Solidarity Peace Delegation, concluding their July 23-28 visit to South Korea, called for immediate US-South Korean action to de-escalate growing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  The delegation was composed of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault of US Labor Against the War, Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace, and recent Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. It was sponsored by The Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation and the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia (STIK). US Labor Against the War created new connections with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU,) forging what we hope will be a lasting bond between organizations.
In times like these it is important for us to show that our bond is more than mere words, so we ask that you do the following:
  • Join the emergency overnight vigil at the White House. It starts at 5 PM and will go until the following morning.
  • Ask Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reopen the lines of communication. If you want to do something immediately but don't live in DC this is a good option. A petition is being circulated through CodePINK. Please take the time to fill it out and share with others.
  • Follow us as we continue to talk about our efforts in Korea on our blog. For information about labor in the Korean Peninsula and Reece’s recent trip, go to as we will continue to post every day. It's important that we know more about the struggle of our brothers and sisters so that we can be informed allies ready to answer the call when they need us. Moments like this one illustrate just how critical this connection can be.
US Labor Against the War remains committed to standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the Korean Peninsula. Peace can’t just be hoped for, it must be worked toward. We in the labor movement are no strangers to hard work and will continue striving on. As our South Korean trade union allies taught us during our visit - No to war, yes to peace!
In Solidarity,
US Labor Against the War
2nd annual *CompArte Zapatista festival* with music, art, poetry and community gathering to celebrate our movements and struggles for justice and human rights. Join us at:
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 -- 1:00-10:00pm
Omni Commons
4799 Shattuck Ave
Oakland, California 94609*
CompArte 2 The Emiliano Zapata Community Festival is a cultural convergence to build vision & movements against capitalism and its walls of exploitation, racism & war with music, art, poetry, food & community.
If you can't attend, you can see the performances live-streamed on the Facebook page of the Chiapas Support Committee, Oakland! All times here PST.
Sponsored by the Chiapas Support Committee (CSC), 
CompArte 2 will be held at the Omni Commons in Oakland, CA, on Saturday, August 12, 2017, starting at 1:00 pm with a welcome by the CSC & an opening with Calpulli Huey Papalotl, offering danza mexica. Then:
1:30-3:30 pm: Workshops on:*
  • What is Zapatismo?
  • Son jarocho verse-making and dance
  • Learn the basics of danza mexica [aztec dancing]
  • From the Underground Railroad to the new codes & emblems of solidarity
3:30-4:30pm the first round of live music, art and poetry.
  • Francisco Herrera, Caminante Trabajo Cultural, new song & music justice
  • Poetry & hip-hop by Muteado Silencio, Cory Aguilar, PoesíaMaríaArte & uPakamile uMaDhlamini & others.
4:30-5:30pm Community Meal with tamales, Zapatista coffee and aquas frescas
6:00-10:00pm Performances with music, art, poetry and ending with a community dance!
  • DíaPaSon -- son jarocho music & dance from Veracruz, mexico
  • Black Fighting Formations -- South African & African American percussion virtuosos
  • Maluwa Williams-Myers liberation music band
  • Naima Shalhoub band, Lebanese American singer of redemption & justice
  • Los Nadie, justice music to dance from below
  • Poets!
  • Art on the walls by Eduardo Valadez Arenas, Cristián Muñoz, Jhovany Rodríguez, Rafael Sanhueza, Xochitl Guerrero, Roberto Guerrero, Tirsa Mercado & others!
I hope to see you at CompArte 2 in Oakland to celebrate, dream together and re-energize our commitment and visions to organizing for a better, more humane world. And if you can't come, the performances will be live-streamed on the Chiapas Support Committee's Facebook page
For poetry, bread, peace & community,
Arnoldo García
"The Feminist Organizing School focused on how patriarchy facilitates colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism. In addition, the school emphasized how feminism becomes imperative to the resistance and transformation of those systems.” - Zelene Pineda Suchilt, WE ACT
We are excited to announce dates for this year’s Feminist Organizing School! October 1 - 5. Those who attended last year’s Feminist Organizing School (FOS) know that this is an opportunity not to be missed! The application will be circulated next week. Space is limited, so mark your calendars today!
The Feminist Organizing School is a unique opportunity for our member organizations and allies to dive into the spectrum of feminisms and gender justice while examining the intersections with racial, economic and climate justice movements.
The current political climate demands a coming together of organizers and leaders who want to think about and build the kind of grassroots feminist movement we need to confront the onslaught of sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia.
Participants of last year's Feminist Organizing School (FOS) committed to deepening their understanding of the root causes of oppression of women and female identifying people. They asked themselves, “how do we create a Just Transition towards a future that values us?” As a response, participants immersed themselves into understanding a feminist economy, studying historical examples of a feminist economy, while envisioning what this means today for our communities. The school sparked excitement for the development of World March of Women branches held by GGJ member organizations, and solidified our commitment to gender justice work in our organizations.
This year's Feminist Organizing School will take place at the Pendle Hill retreat center in Wallingford, PA (half hour from Philadelphia, PA). Folks should plan to arrive no later than 5pm on October 1st and stay until the closing on October 5th at 1pm. Applications for the school will be out next week.
Feel free to contact me with any questions: 
Ana Orozco  -- 646-954-0172
P.O. Box 610663
North Miami, FL 33261-0663