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Tidbits - February 15, 2018 - Reader Comments: Trump Budget - Military Spending Up, Social Safety Network Slashed; Iraq Wrong Then, Iran Wrong Now; Sustainability, Saving Our Earth; Announcements: Washington, DC, New York, and nationwide on Feb. 24 .....

Reader Comments: Trump Budget - Military Spending Goes Up, Social Safety Network Slashed; Taxation -Devotion to Privatization Will Cost Us; Iraq Wrong Then, Iran Wrong Now; If We Bring The Good Life To All, Will We Destroy The Planet?; Announcements: Feb. 20 - 24 in Washington, DC, New York, and in cities across the country .....

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Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - February 15, 2018, Portside

Re: $700 Billion For What? How Runaway Military Spending Keeps Us from Meeting Our Real Needs (Cliff Gulliver; Howie Leveton)
Re: Extreme Poverty in the US Is A Political Choice of the Powerful (Leanna Noble; Hilda Marshall)
Re: I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again. (Now with Iran) (Everett Tims; Jay Schaffner; Bob Johnson; Scott Banks; Roberto Latorre Cruz; Pete Àrtis; Jose Rinaldi Jovet; Jose A. Caraballo)
Re: The War That Never Ends (for the U.S. Military High Command) (Dan Laurier Beaulieu)
Re: Taxation by Another Name: Our Devotion to Privatization Will Cost Us (Dan Jordan; Matt Smith; Robert Bridger Adams)
Re: Oldest Briton's Lessons Are More Than Skin Deep (Fred C Schaffner)

I Support Abusers - cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: Going on Offense During Challenging Times (Tony Chezzi)
Re: Here’s How a Supreme Court Decision To Gut Public Sector Unions Could Backfire on the Right (Capn' Steve Krug; Elena Marcheschi)
Re: Internal Analysis Revealed Trump Plan Would Cost Workers Billions, So Labor Dept Buried Study (Ilia Pagan Rivera)
Re: Justice on the Job for Nail Salon Workers (CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative)
Gerrymandered State - cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: California Police Worked With Neo-Nazis (Lydia Brady; William Delaney)
Re: ‘Babylon Berlin’ Is A Big-Budget Cautionary Tale Against Bigotry and Excess (John Van Eyck)
Gramsci's lesson about Portside (Ken Lawrence)
Re: If We Bring The Good Life To All, Will We Destroy The Planet? (Michael Dover)
Re: China Seeks to Become a "Socialist Country" by 2050 (Stan Nadel)

Announcements:

Peoples Climate Movement 2018 Kick-off Event - New York City - February 20
Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics - Book Talk and Panel Discussion - Washington, DC - February 23
Marilyn B. Young Memorial Lecture - The Korean War Today - New York City - February 23
Working People's Day of Action - Actions Nationwide - February 24

 

Re: $700 Billion For What? How Runaway Military Spending Keeps Us from Meeting Our Real Needs

It’s just a big payoff of taxpayer dollars to a few wealthy interests. Nothing to do with defense zero to do with our vets...

Cliff Gulliver

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

They need to have an enemy to keep us scared and money rolling into defense contractors!

Howie Leveton

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Extreme Poverty in the US Is A Political Choice of the Powerful

Keep ripping back the curtain so we can identify the myth-writers of "mysteries of the economy" and see the actual criminally violent decision-makers who attack us as workers, people of color, students and children, immigrants, etc. every damn day. Armed with names of the rich, corporations, govt. stooges AND our own organizations we can and will build the power to win a new world of REAL justice and peace!

Leanna Noble

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Poverty doesn't Just Happen. It is imposed.

Hilda Marshall

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again. (Now with Iran)

We knew when they started the war that it was BS as all of our wars have been during my lifetime, starting with the Korean War!!! Throughout history we have attacked countries that have not attacked us and the are always small country that make us look like the bullies we are!!!

Everett Tims

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Confessing - to crimes, to murder, to lying to Congress. And now Henry Kissinger, another war criminal from the time of Nixon (remember impeachment), advises Trump to use nuclear option on the Korean peninsula.

Jay Schaffner

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Trump is wanting and trying for war and Congress scare the hell out of us. Our ass are not safe in the U.S., any more. We can hope it is the White House and Congress that get hit first so we see the results of their actions. It is going to be no where in this country is safe in these dirty wars.

Bob Johnson

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Americans were stupid to believe that Iraq posed a threat 15 years ago. I would have thought they’d gotten smarter by now. Maybe not.....

Scott Banks

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Siguen saliendo a la luz las verdaderas verdades de crear guerras con falsas informaciones, más de 200 guerras.

[The real truths of creating wars with false information, more than 200 wars continue to come to light.]

Roberto Latorre Cruz

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Idiocy. Learned nothing in Vietnam. Failure to know their adversary, failure to know themselves. Colin Powell knew. Answer was in Sun Tzu's Art of War. If only W had listened. By that time Powell was gone. These fools still believe technology win wars. Mao and Ho Chi Minh used Sun Tzu. Outcome never in question.

Pete Àrtis

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

When Powell spoke at the UN with "evidence" of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the progressive press showed evidence that proved him wrong, while the so called liberal media ignored the evidence and became cheerleaders for the warmongers. These same people, politicians and reporters, are still, shamelessly, pundits and advisers.

Jose Rinaldi Jovet

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

There is a big difference between defense and agression.USA is practicing aggression all over the world and we are going to pay a big price, we will pay with our lifes.STOP these stupid politicians.

Why do we have to live under the threat of a nuclear bomb.Right now a bomb is pointing over our heads because we have an stupid government. Stop this stupidity.

Jose A. Caraballo

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The War That Never Ends (for the U.S. Military High Command)

Colonial democracy has always operated under the assumption that little brown natives are simply not fully human, and as such do not care how badly they are treated.

The empire assumes that the natives they stomp on, wont remember what was done to their loved ones... and indeed that they have no loved ones.

They treat every act of defiance and resistance as being unconnected to any past events.

Dan Laurier Beaulieu

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Taxation by Another Name: Our Devotion to Privatization Will Cost Us

Privatization = taxes + profits forever. Do not be fooled, it is a scam, and we get screwed.

Dan Jordan

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I was hoping this article was satirical but the more I read it the more I found the writer is adamant about their feelings on this matter. On that note, to say having a small government is against the ideals our founding fathers designed our Constitution around is to have no scope of why they fought for independence from England.

Matt Smith

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Actually they fought so that they would be listened to and have sway with the government. They all so fought to rid themselves of the class system with its elites that controlled so many things and had such sway with and over the government (that's why nobles are not allowed). Among its many purposes a government in a democracy is there to keep any one group from gaining dominance over another. At the moment, and not just in the US, more and more control is being lost to the wealthy.

Additionally, some things do not work well under privatization and are best left to the government. The US Health Care system is a perfect example.

People have forgotten why many things that were once in private hands no longer are or are being taken back. Privately owned and operated toll roads use to be fairly common however, where as a government would set a toll (if needed) to pay for and maintain the road, private investors would milk it for every penny they could get - the busier it got, the more they charged (in England there is a least one, former, major industrialized city that all but disappeared because of that: the steel industry of the industrial revolution was forced to move - in Canada an extension to a privately run toll road will not be privatized). In both the US and through out Europe Utility's are being made public again because, as usual, for the private sector profits always comes before quality, dependability and safety.

Government is not there to become bigger or smaller. It is there to run the country in the best way possible. Sometimes that means the government does something, other times its the private sector. And the government's job is to also set standards and regulations. And thank gawd for that - remember all those "inconvenient", "unnecessary" and "interfering" regulations came into existence as the result of something some one or some company did.

Robert Bridger Adams

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Oldest Briton's Lessons Are More Than Skin Deep

This is a really cool article. Read it completely.

Fred C Schaffner

Posted on Portside's Facebook page
 

 

I Support Abusers - cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz

February 12, 2018
 

 

Re: Going on Offense During Challenging Times

Amazing what happens when people come together for the common good.

Tony Chezzi

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Here’s How a Supreme Court Decision To Gut Public Sector Unions Could Backfire on the Right

It was with great delight i read Richman's article on Janus v. AFSCME. Aside from the lemons-lemonade argument i think it was the first time i ever burst out laughing while reading an article on a  Supreme Court case....and, hooray for Local 150

Capn' Steve Krug 

     =====

Sometimes the law of unexpected consequences can be used to advantage.

Elena Marcheschi

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Internal Analysis Revealed Trump Plan Would Cost Workers Billions, So Labor Dept Buried Study

Tips are anachronistic labor practices that should be eliminated at all. Employers must be required to pay decent salaries and provide their employees with adequate fringe benefits.

Ilia Pagan Rivera

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Justice on the Job for Nail Salon Workers

(published on PortsideLabor)

Great interview on Portside by our partner Narbada Chhetri, former nail salon worker and director of Organizing and Advocacy at Adhikaar 

CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Gerrymandered State - cartoon by Rob Rogers

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the GOP-led state legislature to redraw the state congressional map. The current districts are the result of much partisan gerrymandering. The GOP appealed their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, who refused to hear it. Now they have to change it.

Rob Rogers

February 12, 2018
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

Re: California Police Worked With Neo-Nazis

Shameful, I did not expect this from California.

Lydia Brady

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

California racism was so obvious to me and so oblivious to those who have been there most of their lives. Black self-hate, gate keeping and go along to get along was rampant.

My circle became so small that I chose to try police departments in other states.

William Delaney

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: ‘Babylon Berlin’ Is A Big-Budget Cautionary Tale Against Bigotry and Excess

(published on PortsideCulture)

Recommend!

John Van Eyck

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Gramsci's lesson about Portside

It's ironic but true that Portside's obsessions with contrived news fads (Mueller investigation, Nunes memorandum, Trump and his echo chamber, Democrats' posturing in opposition, allegations of Russian intervention in United States elections) demonstrate the formidable degree that bourgeois cultural and ideological hegemony, the subject of Antonio Gramsci's lesson, has deeply infected this constituency. Indeed, Portside's implicit cheerleading for the CIA, the FBI, and the Democratic Party tend to strengthen popular respect for the most dangerous institutions that serve as barriers to human liberation — the world's most shameless liars, manipulators of foreign elections, sponsors of assassinations and coups d'état, and authors of false propaganda. Our task ought to be demonstrating why these infatuations are distractions that narrow people's visions and aspirations, and why none of the media-projected outcomes will serve our interest. 

Ken Lawrence

Spring Mills, Pennsylvania

 

Re: If We Bring The Good Life To All, Will We Destroy The Planet?

It is important to ask this kind of counterfactual question about the future.  The 2013 book Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill, was praised by Noam Chomsky, and makes a valuable contribution to understanding how to plan to produce “enough” to meet basic human needs, and to do so in a sustainable manner.  However, Dan O’Neill and his co-authors just-published an article in Nature Sustainability, linked to in the NPR piece and freely available here. The article applies important new methodological approaches to the study of meeting basic human needs in the social and natural environment.

Clearly, it is valuable to ask if we can bring the good life to all, and this requires this kind of research, which asks if humankind can meet basic human needs without frying the planet.  That takes solid theory and research and planning based on it, or we are doomed to failure.  Some of that theory has been extant for some time, and O’Neill and his colleagues draw on it extensively, including A Theory of Human Need, Len Doyal and Ian Gough (1991). That theory has recently been used at book length in Gough’s Heat, Greed and Human Need: Climate change, Capitalism and Sustainable Wellbeing. Also, a compatible post-Maslowian humanistic psychological theory of human needs is also now available in one comprehensive summary: Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness.  I highly recommend reading these important new books, if one is intrigued by the questions raised by the 2/12 posting.

These two theories don’t evade the question of the good life.  However, Gough’s primary focus is on a needs approach which advocates a “principle of sufficiency” (2017: 60). Gough basically argues that the requirements for sufficient meeting of basic human needs are so central that we must fully analyze their implications. I agree.  But Gough also recognizes the value of other conceptualizations of human well-being.  Also, both of the above theories of human need also theorize the requirements for what I call enhanced autonomy, which is necessary for achieving human liberation (the good life?).

Arguably, such enhanced autonomy does not necessarily require more resource intensive levels of material well-being. As theorized, it requires enhanced levels of human rights and the improved degree of cross-cultural education required to freely choose our way of life, i.e. the life we feel is good, without harming others.  In order to organize social struggles to ensure we can meet basic human needs in the decades to come, however, it is valuable to further theorize injustice in terms of human need.  In this way, we can better understand how it is that the social systems of oppression, dehumanization and exploitation combine to produce systematic inequality in our opportunities to address our human needs in our culturally preferred and environmentally constrained manners, thus producing wrongfully unmet needs and serious harm.  Such theory can inform class, organizational and institutional analysis of what set of democratic social institutions and the mix of public, nonprofit and market sector organizations regulated by them are required to dismantle human injustice, ensure basic human needs are met, and strive for human liberation.

Michael A. Dover

 

Re: China Seeks to Become a "Socialist Country" by 2050

Lots of economic development and poverty reduction in recent decades, and more may be on the way-- but what makes 21st century China socialist? The workers sure as hell don't control the means of production--some are owned by the party/state and others are privately owned, but the workers no more own them in China that the US & Europe.

Stan Nadel

 

Peoples Climate Movement 2018 Kick-off Event - New York City - February 20
 


 

The NYC climate movement can rightfully claim a victory with the recent announcements of the City’s commitment to divest $5 billion from the fossil fuel industry. At the same time the climate crisis goes from bad to worse. Now is the time for our movement to demand bolder, faster action!

Come to the city-wide organizing meeting on Feb. 20th to learn how you can get more involved in climate campaigns. Hear from activists that are leading the charge:

  • NY Renews (state-wide coalition, 100% renewable energy, polluters penalty)
  • Climate Works for All (city-wide coalition, mandatory large building energy efficiency)
  • Infrastructure (city, state & national, opposing fossil fuel pipelines and nuclear plants, advancing wind and other renewable energies)
  • Divestment (city & state, divest and re-invest in a just transition to a renewable energy economy)
  • Federal Legislation (national backing for a clean energy revolution and continuing our international commitment to reducing greenhouse gases)
  • Puerto Rico Recovery (rebuilding PR with a renewable energy economy and a just transition)

Join the celebration of our recent victory and help move the strongest policies possible.

Will you join us? Click here for details and to RSVP
 

February 20, 2018 -- 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South

New York , NY 10012

For more information: peoplesclimatenyc@gmail.com

 

Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics - Book Talk and Panel Discussion - Washington, DC - February 23

Author Kim Phillips-Fein and Distinguished Panel Discussion 

Friday, February 23 - 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Snacks and refreshments will be served

RSVP

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies

Room C204

640 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20001 

Who makes the major decisions that define the life of a city? The communities that live there? Elected officials? Or financiers and investors? These are among the questions that will be debated at the LABOR Book Symposium when we welcome Kim Phillips-Fein, Professor of History at New York University, as she presents Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics.

In Fear City Phillips-Fein takes us to the heart of the 1975 fiscal crisis. With New York City facing bankruptcy and President Gerald Ford looking to teach a lesson to the country's most developed social democratic system of government, the new form of austerity politics was born, shaping the trajectory of municipal governance to come.

A panel of expert readers will be providing commentary and debate.

  • Bill Fletcher, Jr. - Racial justice, labor and international activist and scholar
  • Michael Kazin - Professor of History, Georgetown University
  • Suleiman Osman - Associate Professor of American Studies, George Washington University
  • Lane Windham - Associate Director, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor & the Working Poor

Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor 

Georgetown University 

Maguire Hall 209

37 and O Streets, NW

Washington, D.C., 20057

 

Marilyn B. Young Memorial Lecture - The Korean War Today - New York City - February 23

The New York University Department of History presents: 

The Korean War Today:  A Roundtable on the U.S. and the Two Koreas

Please join the New York University Department of History for the Marilyn B. Young Memorial Lecture, "The Korean War Today: A Roundtable on the U.S. and the Two Koreas," which will take place on Friday, February 23 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at the following address: 

D'Agostino Hall

NYU Law School

108 West 3rd Street

New York, NY 10012

A reception will follow the lecture. For more information, please contact 212.998.8600.

Sponsored by:

Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

70 Washington Square South

10th Floor

New York, NY 10012

 

Working People's Day of Action - Actions Nationwide - February 24

On February 24, join thousands of working people and our allies standing up for our freedoms and demanding an end to a system that’s rigged against us. We will rise up and fight.

  • Fight for the freedom to come together in strong unions.
  • Fight for equitable pay.
  • Fight for affordable health care.
  • Fight for quality schools.
  • Fight for vibrant communities.
  • Fight for a secure future for all of us.

When we join forces and stick together, we are unstoppable.

Search for an event near you and join us.

Don't see an event near you or can't attend an event? Click here.

Stand in solidarity with the Working People's Day of Action.

For more information about the Working People’s Day of Action, click here.  

#UnrigtheSystem

On Saturday, February 24, stand with thousands of working people and our allies as we unite for our freedoms and demand an end to a system and an economy that’s rigged against us by the wealthy and powerful.

Where will the Day of Action take place?

Thousands of people will gather in cities across the country, including San Diego, CA, Washington, DC, Miami, FL, Detroit, MI, St. Paul, MN, New York City, NY, Columbus, OH, Philadelphia, PA, Memphis, TN, and Chicago, IL.

Because when we join forces and stick together, we are unstoppable.

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined striking sanitation workers in Memphis as they fought for the freedom to join together in a strong union and achieve dignity and respect at work. Fifty years later, our struggle continues. For far too long, a handful of corporate CEOs, extremists and corrupt politicians have rigged the rules in their favor: making us work harder for less, taking away our health care, stripping away our voting rights, defunding our schools and polluting our air and water. And now the same forces are behind Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 — a case that the Supreme Court will hear in February, which is meant to weaken our power in numbers to speak up for ourselves, our families and our communities.

Enough is enough.

Rise with us as we reclaim our freedom to come together in unions and fight for decent and equitable pay for our work, affordable health care, quality schools, vibrant communities and a secure future for all of us.