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Tidbits - May 31, 2018 - Reader Comments: Roseanne; NFL #TakingaKnee; Jewish anti-Zionism; Iran sanctions; Federal workers; privatization of food policy; Resources: Black women leaders; GI resistance to Vietnam war; and more.....

Reader Comments: Roseanne; NFL Support Taking a Knee; Jewish anti-Zionism; Iran sanctions; When the Mailmen Rebelled (struck) and Trump clamp-down on Federal workers; privatization of food policy in Africa; Resources: New video series on Black women leaders; GI resistance to the Vietnam war; and mo

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - May 31, 2018, Portside

Re: This Time, the Joke Was on Roseanne Barr (Ethan Young; Jay Schaffner)
Ambien maker to Roseanne Barr: 'Racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication'
Re: The NFL’s “Take a Knee” Ban Is Flatly Illegal (David Denson; Carmen Gonzalez; Howie Leveton; Marty Comroe; Randall Lewis)
Re: NFL Owners Seek to Outlaw Protest - Shortsighted Anthem Policy Spits in the Face of American Ideals (Richard Swift)
Abandon All Your Rights - cartoon by Matt Wuerker
Re: For NFL Players, Civil Disobedience Is the Only Option (Charles Black; Vivian Marquez)
Re: Nine Stops on a Long Road: One Jew’s Journey (Anna Paidoussi; Carmen Roman; Elena Marcheschi; Susan Collier Lamont)
Re: Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are an Obvious Prelude to War (Alan Hart; Ed Griffin)
Re: Dems Help Pass Huge Military Budget (Cher Lunn; Laura Lynch)
Re: The Best Way to Honor Our Vets and Protect Americans? End the Wars (Michael Charland; Carmelo Gonzalez)
We Honor the Countless Lives Lost - cartoon by Robert Ariail
Re: The Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Re: When the Mailmen Rebelled (Mike Mauer)
Re: White House Aims to Strip Federal Workers of Right to Representation (Daniel Millstone; Tom Caves)
Re: It’s Time to Crack Down on the Toys ‘R’ Us Vulture Capitalists (William Delaney; Peter A. Rolland; Carmelo Gonzalez)
Re: The Case for Delegitimizing the Police (Jack Radey; Judith Ackerman; David Peterson)
Re: Why Millennial Precarity Should Change The Way We Think About Class (Dennis Brasky)
Re: Top Republican Plans to Use Fossil Fuels to Make Puerto Rico “the Energy Hub of the Entire Caribbean” (Joan Rodriguez)
Re: An Artist Is Helping Incubate More Resilient and Fertile Chickens for Ethiopia (Rob Prince)

Resources:

New video series on Black women leaders in the progressive movement (MoveOn)
GI resistance to the Vietnam war (Working Class History)

Announcements:

Together We Rise: The Struggle for Collective Justice from the US to Palestine - US Campaign for Palestinian Rights National Conference - Twin Cities - September 28 - 30

 

Re: This Time, the Joke Was on Roseanne Barr

Roseanne was a cutting and cunning standup comic, and created a series that was much more empathic than All in the Family. It had a feminist sensibility and argued that working class people have more in common with each other than with anyone in any other social position, regardless of race or ideology. After the success of the show, which lasted beyond several shark-jumpings, she basically came apart, eventually embracing Ron Paul, then Trump. Now she's really screwed herself, and her colleagues. Can't feel sorry for her. But she actually played an important and positive role in the post-Reagan cultural period.

Ethan Young

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Immediate reaction by most television networks that racist rants are unacceptable.

Could this be foretelling what voters will do to racist GOP legislators and candidates in November?

Jay Schaffner

 

Ambien maker to Roseanne Barr: 'Racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication'

CNBC

 

Re: The NFL’s “Take a Knee” Ban Is Flatly Illegal

Trump just killed the NFL. The owners were stooges. They fell for Trumps "revenge best served cold" ploy. Trump has been trying for decades to punish the NFL for their rejection of his attempts to muscle in on the game. The kneeling on the field in a legitimate protest was Trumps sledgehammer to open the way to play out his revenge.

A long read but you might learn something.
You and every other Trump supporter have been duped. And you don't know it.

How Donald Trump Destroyed a Football League

David Denson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Asking the players to stay in the locker rooms is like asking you to hold your placard in your bathroom during a manifestation. Who will you make aware of the situation in your country doing that? Your toothbrush?? Kneeling is a democratic protest . It Must to be seen.

Carmen Gonzalez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Trump has hated the NFL for years, ever since they blocked him when he tried to force his way into the league years ago.
He won his lawsuit but was only awarded $1.
He’s just a small petty man!

Howie Leveton
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Marty Comroe
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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The greatness of America is the Right to protest for RightsThe greedy and selfish NFL#45 should be ashamed of themselves for putting money and racism before Justice and lives.NFL player's keep taking a knee, and we must take a knee with them and anything else we can do for change and for the good of America.

Randall Lewis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: NFL Owners Seek to Outlaw Protest - Shortsighted Anthem Policy Spits in the Face of American Ideals

Its all about the big subsidies the NFL gets from the Pentagon to pay for the patriotic hoopla that happens at half time and before games.

see:  
How the NFL sold patriotism to the U.S. military for millions
Standing for the national anthem is a new concept that may have coincided with a government marketing campaign.
By Melanie Schmitz
Sep 25, 2017
Think Progress

Richard Swift
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Abandon All Your Rights - cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Matt Wuerker
May 30, 2018
Politico

 

Re: For NFL Players, Civil Disobedience Is the Only Option

As much as I love NFL football, it may be time for a nationwide boycott of all games (and their sponsors), until owners and the commissioner have a chance to read the First Amendment.

Charles Black

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Kneeling is profoundly humble, a non-violent statement of protest against violence.

Vivian Marquez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Nine Stops on a Long Road: One Jew’s Journey

Beautiful poignant and exactly how I feel as well.
And yes it's not the easiest way....
One will be called a self hater by ones "own"
Ones beliefs may be misunderstood and abused by anti-Semites for their own heinous hate......
But this is the larger truth, brava.
NEVER AGAIN!!!! To anyone!!!!

Anna Paidoussi
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Am not Jewish or my girlfriend and we both wear the Star of David.And it's nobody's business what I wear around my neck.It was giving to me in 1963 by my Jewish friend and I wear it with pride.

Carmen Roman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Incredibly powerful and moving. I had to read it twice.

Elena Marcheschi
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Excellent piece - took me (a non-Jew) through so many things I remember = my great-aunt saying "They made the desert bloom!" - Is that a good thing? My first argument with a Jewish college friend during the '67 war. My writing about Dorothy Naor and New Profile. I remember writing for the Peace & Justice Center about the Israeli bombing of Lebanon and of Gaza - which led to the resignation of Jewish members of the Peace & Justice Center, who believed in nonviolence except for Israelis.

Susan Collier Lamont
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are an Obvious Prelude to War

What Trump thinks doesn't matter all that much. This policy is being driven by John Bolton and Bibi Netanyahu, and their goal is war.

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Bolton is in charge now and he LOVES war - as long as someone else is doing the actual fighting.

Ed Griffin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Dems Help Pass Huge Military Budget

As a Canadian, why does the US want more nuclear weaponry, but expect other countries to de-nuclearize their country? . And why do you need sooo many nuclear weapons. Won't take many to totally demolish mankind, flora, and fauna in the whole world! And we only have one earth.

Cher Lunn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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LISTEN UP! DEMOCRATS HELP PASS HUGE MILITARY BUDGET -- 131 House Dems Help GOP Pass Massive Pentagon Budget – the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019 – $717 billion Pentagon spending bill that includes massive expansion of the U.S. #nuclear arsenal. "Instead of a blueprint for peace and security, this NDAA continues the practice of endless war with no input or oversight from our congressional leaders," lamented Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) On Thursday, anti-war activists and lawmakers shamed the Democrats who voted with the GOP to approve the military spending bill, and warned of its consequences. Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif.), according to Politico, said the measure "pushes us even further and faster down the path to war, toward a new nuclear arms race."

Laura Lynch
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Best Way to Honor Our Vets and Protect Americans? End the Wars

American wars are all about making a profit. Follow the money. More than half our annual budget goes to the Military Individual Complex. Eisenhower warned us after WW II.

Michael Charland
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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The cost of militarism is creating a national moral crisis, where our priorities are thrown aside, our vulnerable communities are threatened, and our veterans do not honor them. This year we will honor them with action. We're gonna end the wars. [translation]

Carmelo Gonzalez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

We Honor the Countless Lives Lost - cartoon by Robert Ariail

Robert Ariail
May 26, 2018
The State (Columbia, South Carolina)

[Robert Ariail is the editorial cartoonist for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina. His work is published in over 600 newspapers through United Features/Universal Uclick syndicate. Ariail is a Columbia, S.C. Native and University of South Carolina graduate. In 1985 he was given the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University. In 1992 Ariail was honored with the Ambrose Hampton Award for distinguished service to The State. He appeared in and drew cartoons for Hemdale Motion Picture’s “The Boyfriend School” filmed in Charleston, S.C. in 1990.]

 

Re: The Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

George Seldes was onto this eighty years ago with his investigation of the National Association of Manufacturers. But did anybody listen?

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: When the Mailmen Rebelled
 

This piece tells the important story of how "living outside the law" can be the key to winning, including that acting in violation of the law is sometimes exactly what's needed to change the law. The characterization of the postal workers' union rights isn't quite accurate, though. 

Under an executive order issued by President Kennedy, federal employees generally (including postal workers) had a legally-protected right to engage in collective bargaining. One of the accomplishments of the illegal 1970 strike was to force the government to move postal workers unions out from under the terms of that executive order, and to include them in the coverage of the National Labor Relations Act. This was a significant improvement, enabling the postal worker unions to bargain over a far greater range of issues. This indeed is a lesson worth keeping in mind today. 

The postal workers strike brought about two significant changes: it won immediate improvements in working conditions (pay) and it also forced longer term changes in the power relationship between the workers and the employer (recognition of expanded collective bargaining rights.)

Mike Mauer

 

Re: White House Aims to Strip Federal Workers of Right to Representation

(posting on Portside Labor)

The Trump war on workers now focuses on federal sector. These "executive orders" are intended to weaken federal unions, scare employees and allow Trump-allies to fill federal jobs with supporters. Noam Scheiber reports on yet another bad consequences of the 2016 election.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Even though federal workers can be represented by a Union, it is meaningless. The only things granted to the federal unions is what management wishes. They have no right to strike.

Tom Caves
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: It’s Time to Crack Down on the Toys ‘R’ Us Vulture Capitalists

A lot of white folks need to wake up and recognize the upper crust see them as fools, tools and expendables.

William Delaney
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Not just the guys who ru(I)n Toys are Us-- what about the guys who killed Sears and other firms and screwed their workers.

Peter A. Rolland
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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We the masses need to look at the root of problem. Is this system running the economy that allow things like this to happened to the workers. Time to change the system, read the book of Peter Joseph "The New Human Rights Movement". https://www.amazon.com/New-Human-Rights-Movement-Reinventing/dp/1942952…

Carmelo Gonzalez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Case for Delegitimizing the Police
 

I'm sorry.  I have paid attention to the police all my adult life, and I think it fair to say that for at least part of it they were paying fairly close attention to me.  The horrors of policing in America are very evident, far more so to the general population since the advent of the cell phone video camera, the internet, and police dashboard and body cams. Those who had never seen officers going berserk are now able to watch a new video of it nearly daily.  One who has never seen this in person is now exposed to it.

This has brought about much widened consciousness about police and their misconduct.  One group who have noticed have been law enforcement professionals.  Several conferences of police chiefs towards the end of the Obama era got together to discuss the subject, and it can be summed up in expressions from several chiefs.  One said, to kick off the discussion, "We've all seen the videos.  We can't defend that."  Several discussed building trust in communities, only for another to reply, "Its not a question of rebuilding trust.  In some communities there has NEVER been any trust of the police, because of the consistent mistreatment of these communities at the hands of the police."

Several other points were made as well.  One was, "Organizational culture eats policy for lunch."  Which is to say, you can send every cop on the force for retraining, de-escalation training, crisis intervention training, racial and gender sensitivity training, and all you may produce are a lot of rolled eyeballs and bad jokes in the police locker rooms.  Policy is on paper, actual policing is done in the field, usually without any supervision.  The basic attitude in police culture tends towards, "us against the world,"  and any attempts at reform are attempts to leave the police vulnerable to violence in the interests of being nice.  These reform attempts are often driven by people who have not taken the time to understand what the police job consists of, and how it can be changed in order to better serve the communities that pay for it, and how we can put a stop or at least curb to all the violence against civilians carried out by police.

The author is dead right, training is not the issue.  The culture of the police needs to change.  There are several things that have to be understood about this.  We're not going to change it from the outside.  We can put on some pressure, (some kinds of pressure are counterproductive I'm afraid), but fundamentally three things will change police practices.

1) Policy.  Policy is words, written down somewhere, telling cops what they can and cannot, should and should not, do.  These need to be reworked to emphasize avoiding the use of force and violence.

2) Leadership.  If you have a chief who winks when officer Gilhooley kicks some kid's face in, because the kid was mouthing off, these damn kids today... you won't reduce police violence.  You need police leadership who makes it crystal clear to his cops - if you do this I will be on you like yellow jackets on dog shit.  No tolerance, no protection, no second chances.  Assaults will be cause for immediate arrest, killings the same. On the other hand, the same chief must make clear that in those circumstances where use of force was actually required to prevent loss of life or harm to civilians or officers, he/she will back their officer all the way.  You also need a chief who makes an open breast of it with the public, "We have not always acted correctly, legally, or properly.  We intend to change this.  Please help us."  This also means that departments stop protecting their bad and dangerous apples.  And by leadership, I mean the police unions as well.

3) Consequences.  It must be clear that violations of law by officers will be a top priority for enforcement by other officers and by the DA's office.  Once everyone knows you will get hammered if you act the thug, it will diminish.

There are cops who would like to serve and protect.  There really are. There are probably more of them than the adrenaline and steroid crazed, stressed out, sometimes drooling racist bullies we have come to assume all officers are.  They aren't.  But one son-of-a-bitch taking one action means 100 professional and kind acts by officers will be ignored, and when people see that uniform coming they won't think, "Oh good, its the police." They'll think, "Oh shit, here come the pigs."

The notion of doing away with the popo has been circulated amongst some. But I would suggest this is silly, with no indication of thought behind it.  Shots in the house next door.  Who you gonna call, your local progressive coalition?  BLM?  Antifa?  Your local well organized militia? Your car has been stolen.  Some fool just ran his truck into my car.  That young and apparently deranged girl in the neighborhood seems to be visiting a house down the block, and she apparently walked back to her house because asking neighbors it is clear the trashing of mailboxes and puncturing of tires went in chronological sequence from up the block to down to her house.  Who am I supposed to call?  (I'm less interested in the minor vandalism as about the guy who lives up the block and entertains 13 year olds at 5 in the morning?)  Hey, someone has fired a shot into the synagogue.  Now it would be grand if we spent enough money to take care of our mentally ill, but in fact, this job is often left to the cops.  In the absence of a mental health service when dealing with some guy roaming the streets threatening people and busting windows, who you gonna call? Several girls from the school report that a teacher seems to be getting awful "friendly" with some of his cuter students.  Who should investigate? A bunch of whackos are holed up in a wildlife reserve, armed to the teeth and threatening people.  Who gets to deal with 'em?

Be serious.

Harder, start talking to cops.  And listening to them too.  It will make it easier to talk to them next time if you have some glimmering of their perspective.  Remember, only police are likely to have much real effect in police reform.  You won't convince many of them by yelling at them.  Just a suggestion.

Jack Radey

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The whole police system needs a grand overhaul. If I were in charge, police would require a master degree in social work with a great deal of sensitivity training and character screening.  I should not have to consider policemen to be my enemies, racist killers and terrorists.

Judith Ackerman

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The function of the police is to protect the propertied classes, economic sectors, and businesses from we the people!

David Peterson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Why Millennial Precarity Should Change The Way We Think About Class

(posting on Portside Labor)

Every President – Democrat or Republican – proves the old adage that “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure” when they talk about “economic recovery” excerpt - These are supposed to be the good times—with our current economic expansion poised to set a record as the longest in US history. Yet, according to the Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of US Households in 2017, forty percent of American adults don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency expense such as an unexpected medical bill, car problem or home repair. And, as illustrated in the figure below, twenty-seven percent of adult Americans skipped necessary medical care in 2017 because they were unable to afford its cost. The table that follows shows that “dental care was the most frequently skipped treatment, followed by visiting a doctor and taking prescription medicines.” [see: Living On The Edge: Americans In A Time Of “Prosperity”]

Dennis Brasky
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Top Republican Plans to Use Fossil Fuels to Make Puerto Rico “the Energy Hub of the Entire Caribbean”

Well after almost nine months without any electricity, I am interested to know what options we have... I know there is plenty of sun, plenty of wind, plenty of water...and plenty of bla,bla,bla,... I am tired and frustrated..and MAD!

Joan Rodriguez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: An Artist Is Helping Incubate More Resilient and Fertile Chickens for Ethiopia

(posting on Portside Culture)

Interesting article but something is left out...many African countries had government sponsored and funded projects to raise chickens and then sell them to poorer rural areas to raise protein levels through both the raising of eggs and chicken meat. Was quite common and seemed to produce positive results both diet wise and economically. They were cost efficient and frankly rather cheap for the most part. It is EXACTLY this kind of project which IMF/WB structural adjustment programs closed down in many countries (the example I know best is Morocco but I know it happened extensively throughout Africa). So now these projects are being reintroduced by private elements, NGOs, foundations and the like. Just another example of the privatization of public/state activities. No evidence NONE, that the private sector does this better than the state.

Rob Prince
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

New video series on Black women leaders in the progressive movement

Yesterday, MoveOn launched a new video series: “In Formation: Black Women Building the Progressive Future,” which is focused on Black women leaders and the progressive movement. The series is a partnership with Color of Change, Demos, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Sapelo Square.

The goal of the series is to show how Black women are the vanguard of a multiracial coalition transforming the progressive movement and America. By highlighting these particular voices and the voices of Black women generally, we can help spotlight leaders who are showing us a way forward.

The first video, released yesterday, features Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer breaking down how images of Black and Muslim people depicted on TV and in movies lead to the formation of dangerous stereotypes that affect the everyday reality of people of color.

Upcoming videos will including Alicia Garza from National Domestic Workers Alliance and Black Futures Lab on building Black political power, Heather McGhee from Demos on multiracial populism and Arisha Hatch from Color of Change on media representation and the importance of telling Black stories, among others.

The series includes six videos and we will be releasing a new video roughly each week. Michael Crawford and Elsie Lejano of MoveOn are the producers.

You can watch (and share — if so moved!) the first video here.

 

GI resistance to the Vietnam war

A short video history of resistance to the Vietnam war by US troops. Listen here.

Please support our work on patreon. This is a history of GI resistance to the war.
Video edited by Joanne Ball, animation by Firas Kabous

Working Class History
Published on Apr 9, 2018

 

Together We Rise: The Struggle for Collective Justice from the US to Palestine - US Campaign for Palestinian Rights National Conference - Twin Cities - September 28 - 30

As we continue to mobilize to demand accountability for Israel's murder of 112 Palestinians over the last six weeks, most of whom were participating in the Great Return March, we know you're probably eager to take action.

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights national conference this fall is a place where you can find the answer to the question so many are asking: where is my place in the movement for freedom, justice, and equality?

You and hundreds of others, from activists to students to laypeople to community organizers and academics, are all coming together with that question and for the same goal: justice for the Palestinian people.

Journalists Mariam Barghouti and Marc Lamont Hill, human rights lawyers Noura Erakat and Hassan Jabareen, and Indigenous rights activists Waziyatawin and Coya White Hat-Artichoker, along with others, will be sharing their knowledge and experiences with us all at Together We Rise: The Struggle for Collective Justice from the US to Palestine. We hope you’ll join them. 

The program includes sessions such as Resilience Across Movements, Updates from Palestine, Intersectional Feminism and Gender Justice, Palestine in US Politics, and Global Struggles for Collective Liberation. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect, network, and learn, making our conference a great event for everyone, from those just learning about Palestine to seasoned organizers.

See you in the Twin Cities!

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
PO Box 3609
Washington, DC 20027
(703) 312-6360