Skip to main content

Tidbits - July 26, 2018 - Reader Comments: Young Voters, New Voters; Obama Nelson Mandela Speech; Uranium Danger, Tar Sands Explosion; Julian Assange; Immigrants, Deportations; Kavanaugh; Israel's Jewish 'Nation State' Law; Cuban Revolution; and more...

Reader Comments: Young Voters, New Voters; Barack Obama Nelson Mandela Speech; Uranium Danger, Tar Sands Explosion in West Virginia; Julian Assange; Immigrant Hunger Strikes; Kavanaugh; Israel's Jewish 'Nation State' Law; Cuban Revolution; and more..

printer friendly  
Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - July 26, 2018, Portside

Re: New Young Voters May Decide Florida in 2018 (Dave Bell; Gwen Andrews)
Cherish the memory (Michael Eisenscher)
16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture - Former President Barack Obama
Re: The 90 Million Gallon Nuclear Tragedy That Nobody Knows About (Gigi Morales; Pedro A Figueroa; Lorelei Kay; Reber Boult; Caroline Specht; Fred Niles)
From Berlin To The American Southwest - The International Uranium Film Festival - Arizona and New Mexico (Window Rock; Flagstaff; Albuquerque; and Santa Fe) - November 29 - December 9 (Norbert Suchanek)
Re: Ecuador Will Imminently Withdraw Asylum for Julian Assange and Hand Him Over to the U.K. What Comes Next? (Jenny Kastner; James E. Vann)
Re: Rebuilding the Working Class (Daniel Millstone)
Re: Detaining Immigrant Kids Is Now a Billion-Dollar Industry (Lucy Rosado)
Re: Immigrant Mothers Are Staging Hunger Strikes to Demand Calls with Their Separated Children (Carole Thomas Dubniczky; Jack Brown; Jay Schaffner)
Re: Did You Feel Betrayed by Trump's Press Conference With Putin? That's a Taste of How Black People Feel Every Day. (Mary Anne Merrill-Ramirez; Rich Crawford)
Re: The Kavanaugh Nomination and Labor (Randall Lewis; Robbie Wayne Bush)
Facts Do Matter
Re: We Know Protests Work. So Why Aren’t We Protesting? (Leonard J. Lehrman; Shortbus Ed; Jay Reagan; Sammy Russo)
Re: Israel Adopts Controversial Jewish 'Nation State' Law (Howie Leveton; Lisa Bilander-Gray; Nick Unger; Dorothy Dobbyn; Jim Crotty)
Re: American Arithmetic - Portside Culture postings (Leanna Noble)

Resources:

The Unequal States of America (Economic Policy Institute)
The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts (Next System Project)

Announcements:

Solve at Standing Rock - Fort Yates, North Dakota - August 12 & 13
Dissident Arts Festival - Cabaret of Dissent - Brooklyn - September 8

Today in History:

65th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, which began the Cuban Revolution

 

Re: New Young Voters May Decide Florida in 2018

Time for a competition. Let's see voter registration go up in all states

Dave Bell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Voices of the future. Voices of reason. They can change the world.

Gwen Andrews
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Cherish the memory 
 

If you have forgotten what it is like to hear a US president speak in complete sentences for longer than allowed by a Tweet about important political, philosophical and moral issues, without insulting anyone, set aside some time to listen to Barack Obama speaking to an audience of thousands at a celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Even if you disagreed with Barack Obama about fundamental political issues, you can understand what a threat to our constitutional democracy the present occupant of the White House presents and long for restoration of a presidency like Obama's. I know I do! Take the time to listen to the whole thing.

Michael Eisenscher

16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture - Former President Barack Obama
 

Former President Barack Obama delivers his first major speech since leaving office, addressing inequality and other issues at the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Listen here.

 

Re: The 90 Million Gallon Nuclear Tragedy That Nobody Knows About
 

"small Native American farming community". That says it all to me.

Gigi Morales
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

THAT WASNT AN ADCIDENT

Pedro A Figueroa
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

A few short miles from where I live. People lost their livelihoods, their land, and their health in an instant. Not cleaned up.

Lorelei Kay
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

This article says almost nobody knows of the huge spill of nuclear waste (mostly contaminated water) in New Mexico. My brother-in-law, Nacho Salazar, knows. Nacho was an up-and-coming young operator in the drilling business. He was being groomed by the big guys, e.g., the power company, to be "their" Mexican, to be put out front to defuse environmental difficulties. As Nacho tells it, when the spill occurred, about 80 miles west of Albuquerque, the big guys had a meeting to decide what to about it. Nacho, who at that point seems to have fallen for their propaganda, suggested to the assembled big dogs that, since it can't hurt us, let's go out there with earth moving equipment and clean it up ourselves, this'll show people that it's harmless. The lack of enthusiasm in the room was massive--all those big dogs had some excuse to not participate. Nacho, by then not "their" Mexican, left the drilling business and started working with Zapatistas, environmentalists, and various other leftist endeavors. I guess this confirms Trump's opinion that he doesn't want Mexicans around. 

A relative of mine says environmentalists are liars. Really. A few days ago I sent an email to several people, telling some of this tale. I said I had , at a party in the area in sight of one of the places where we could see the aftermath of an attempt to neutralize uranium mining waste, a discussion with a resident there. I asked what people around there thought about it. Her answer started "Well, my cancer . . . ." 

Reber Boult
Albuquerque, NM

      =====

Perhaps you’ll also remember the practical use of yellowcake processing waste sand that was used in concrete to construct foundations for houses, schools etc. in Grand Junction, CO, in the 1960s, all of which was subsequently torn up when they realized what the source was ... right down the road from Gunnison, where there is still a pile of yellowcake processing waste southeast of the town, covered by a layer of clay 

Caroline Specht
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

TransCanada Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia

A newly installed TransCanada natural gas pipeline exploded early Thursday in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County in West Virginia.

No injuries were reported but flames and smoke from the blast could be seen as far as 20 miles away, residents told local media. Area police told CBS News the fire was "very large—if you can see it from your house, evacuate."

Read full story here.

Fred Niles

 

From Berlin To The American Southwest - The International Uranium Film Festival - Arizona and New Mexico (Window Rock; Flagstaff; Albuquerque; and Santa Fe) - November 29 - December 9
 

Film festival about uranium risk: The International Uranium Film will travel this year to the Southwestern United States from November 29th through December 9th 2018.

From Berlin To The American Southwest - The International Uranium Film Festival

Norbert Suchanek
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Ecuador Will Imminently Withdraw Asylum for Julian Assange and Hand Him Over to the U.K. What Comes Next?
 

Lillian Hellman on the HUAC/McCarthy era: 

“We, as a people, agreed in the Fifties to swallow any nonsense that was repeated often enough, without examination of its meaning or investigation into its roots.” (Substitute any decade here.) 

“Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels."

Jenny Kastner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

A despicable injustice in the making ... 

James E. Vann

 

Re: Rebuilding the Working Class

(part of Dispatches From the Culture Wars - July 17, 2018)

I think, feel, that Karen Nussbaum is on the right track here. Her intuitions and mine mesh well (which is not surprising, perhaps, since I have admired and supported her work for decades). My experiences canvassing in areas like those she describes here are not so uniformly encouraging but I think her approach is one that can move us on to sorely needed victory. Thanks to Portside for the link.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Detaining Immigrant Kids Is Now a Billion-Dollar Industry
 

This is becoming perhaps a permanent business like the incarceration system. Since jails were privatized, inmates have multiplied. Sometimes a person is arrested and he/she is lost in the system and they aren't brought before a judge until long months later. At times the stay in jail surpasses the meritted jailtime, if any. At times the offense should be NO JAILTIME AT ALL.

Lucy Rosado
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Immigrant Mothers Are Staging Hunger Strikes to Demand Calls with Their Separated Children
 

Atrocities against humanity is what it is. The new America.

Carole Thomas Dubniczky
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Sad but they dragged their children through danger and little to no food to enter illegally. They can apply for asylum at many places in Mexico and stay with their kids. This is on them. They are certainly given food as good as inmates and I bet they have ac. Inmates don’t

Jack Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Jack Brown you are wrong. You can only apply for political asylum once you are physically on the soil of the United States. So, all the people that everyone says are "illegal" are in fact just following the law of the land - the laws of our country.

Jay Schaffner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Did You Feel Betrayed by Trump's Press Conference With Putin? That's a Taste of How Black People Feel Every Day.
 

No. I live in Puerto Rico. Trump, the U.S. government and the Republican party left us for dead and are now in the process of making us disappear. The U.S. wants our beautiful islands not the people.

Mary Anne Merrill-Ramirez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Trump just tweeted that "your favorite president did nothing wrong". Boy, was he right! President OBAMA didn't! Trump, on the other hand, directly colluded with Vladimir Putin during the campaign and also continues to do so now - both of which are treasonous acts. THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!

Rich Crawford
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Kavanaugh Nomination and Labor
 

Lawmakers must reject this conservative racist nominee Brett Kavanaugh from the supreme Court to save the Voting Rights Act from him.

Randall Lewis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

What other views can you expect from someone who says “the POTUS is above constitutional law” (above prosecution) and should be treated as a “God ordained” ruler. He is the guy on the SCOTUS who will likely say the POTUS “does not” have to obey the Constitution (can set it aside) in a national emergency. Yes, unless stopped, some whites want to toss the whole concept of democracy aside (look at the facts).....

Robbie Wayne Bush
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Facts Do Matter

 

Re: We Know Protests Work. So Why Aren’t We Protesting?
 

The correct quote, at the end of this article, was, as I remember it was not

"My feet are tired, but my soul is rested."

but rather:

"My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest."

Makes a bit more sense, grammatically or not!

Leonard J. Lehrman

      =====

The last 30 years of squeezing the American middle class has made it much more difficult for Millions to find the economic Breathing Room needed to take the time for protest

Shortbus Ed
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

because the people has been forced to see protests as something only hippies do. We have been forced to see protests as something that happens but has no real bearing on the outcome of political decisions. as a result, people choose not to protest, even though they agree with the cause, because they believe it will have no consequence.

Jay Reagan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

I think part of it's that the population is much older now. In the 60's, and 70's, the majority of people were younger The issues directly affected them. In this period, Social Security and Medicare are top priority.

I always protested and marched, when I was young. However, age has slowed me down, so I protest via social media.

Sammy Russo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Israel Adopts Controversial Jewish 'Nation State' Law
 

So your only orthodox belief matters!

Howie Leveton
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

This is why my husband never went back. He had a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. He was not considered a Jewish child, so he didn't have access to a free education after a certain time. His parents brought him here.  His parents had fled for their lives across the European continent, spent 2 years in a Russian refugee camp and settled in Israel.

This is despicable.

Lisa Bilander-Gray
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

It is biblically horrible.  It is plague-worthy.  It's time for some righteous political smiting.

Nick Unger
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Horrible and so wrong! How quickly Jews have forgotten the discrimination and worse perpetrated against them!!!

Dorothy Dobbyn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

The change in the law was imposed by the radical Zionists legislative majority, not by all Israelis or all Jews.

Jim Crotty
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: American Arithmetic - Portside Culture postings

(posting on Portside Culture)

I really appreciate the poetry and Culture postings that often make my day live-able providing slower moments with politics!

Leanna Noble
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

The Unequal States of America
 

Income inequality is on the rise.

Even as incomes of the bottom 99 percent improve with a strengthening economy, the gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else continues to grow.
 
EPI is out with a new report, “The new gilded age,” which shows that income inequality is not just a problem in big cities and coastal states. The report breaks down what it takes to be in the top 1 percent in every state, county and metropolitan area—and shows that income inequality is a problem throughout the country.
 


Click here to share this map on Facebook, which shows the level of inequality in each state.

From 2009–2015, the incomes of the top 1 percent grew faster than the incomes of the bottom 99 percent in 43 states and the District of Columbia. And in nine states the top 1 percent captured at least half of all income growth.
 
Nationally, in 2015, families in the top 1 percent made 26 times as much as the bottom 99 percent.
 
Click here to view the state-by-state interactive feature and see how the average income of the bottom 99 percent in your state compares with the average top 1 percent income. These data are also broken down by county and metropolitan area.

 
Since the 1970s, income inequality has risen in every state. But this trend can be reversed if we begin making different policy choices, such as raising the minimum wage, strengthening collective bargaining, and providing paid sick leave.
 
Together we can rebuild the middle class and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.
 
Thank you,
 
Dan Crawford
Media Relations Director, Economic Policy Institute

Economic Policy Institute  
1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-775-8810 -- epi@epi.org

 

The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts
 

The next financial crisis is all but inevitable. While its exact timing and severity cannot be predicted, both the accelerating frequency of crises in recent decades and the continued consolidation of the banking sector in an increasingly financialized economy suggest that we should be prepared for a crisis sooner rather than later.

In the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, the US federal government intervened at an unprecedented scale to bailout our largest commercial banks after they became entangled in the mess of risky financial products built on top of an unsustainable housing bubble. The effect of these massive bailouts was, in the end, to preserve the status quo: the modest attempts made to regulate the financial sector to protect consumers and avert further devastating financial crises have largely been rolled back, and the banks that were then “too big to fail” are today even bigger.

Viewed in historical perspective, the ability of the financial sector to use its concentrated wealth to escape or subvert regulations by influencingthe political process should come as no surprise; indeed, the sector’s long-term success in lobbying for “deregulation” created the conditions of the 2007-2008 crisis by gutting the safeguards put in place after the crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression. Similarly, as the disappointing recent track record of anti-monopoly enforcement has shown, attempts to dismantle powerfully consolidated industries are incredibly difficult and at best a temporary fix, with eventual reconsolidation likely to follow any successful attempts to “break them up.”

During the next crisis, a robust policy response can and should convert failed banks to permanent public ownership, rather than merely using public money to make corporate America whole again.

This working paper presents another way forward, grounded in long-term public ownership of financial institutions. While de-facto temporary nationalization was a key tool in the federal government’s bailout toolbox, at no point during the response to the Great Financial Crisis was the idea that the government should use public ownership for the long-term stability of the financial system and the public good seriously entertained by policymakers. Given the robust success of publicly owned banks both around the world and in the US itself, this was an incredibly misguided decision, one that testifies to the power the big banks have not only over our economy, but over our own imaginations.

During the next crisis, a robust policy response can and should convert failed banks to permanent public ownership, rather than merely using public money to make corporate America whole again, setting up the dominoes for yet another destructive crisis down the road. This working paper sketches the basic contours of legislation that would establish the legal pathways for such conversions, and explains how the resulting public financial system could be structured to meet the financial needs of ordinary Americans and their communities while incorporating innovative processes of decentralization and democratic participation.

As the clock ticks towards the next crisis, it is imperative to begin the conversation now about what is possible besides another round of Wall Street bailouts. Public ownership, for the long-term, is a credible path forward, and should by no means be left out of the conversation this time.

Read full report here.

The Next System Project is an initiative of The Democracy Collaborative aimed at bold thinking and action to address the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Deep crises of economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change—to name but three—are upon us, and systemic problems require systemic solutions. Working with a broad group of researchers, theorists and activists, we are using the best research, understanding and strategic thinking, on the one hand, and on-the-ground organizing and development experience, on the other, to promote visions, models and pathways that point to a “next system” radically different in fundamental ways from the failed systems of the past and present and capable of delivering superior social, economic and ecological outcomes.

 

Solve at Standing Rock - Fort Yates, North Dakota - August 12 & 13
 

Solve at Standing Rock is a two-day gathering to celebrate and uplift the innovative sustainability work currently being done in Indian Country. This event will highlight the 2018 Oceti Sakowin | Solve Fellows and their projects, which bring renewable energy and food accessibility to the community and contribute to economic prosperity and sovereignty.

Join MIT Solve, Oceti Sakowin members, corporations, foundations, NGOs, government officials, and academics on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Over these two days, we will focus on how native lands hold huge potential for indigenous people to lead the environmental movement, from solar panel installations to sustainable community housing and from renewable energy building audits to agriculture technique courses.

This event is free and open to all members of Oceti Sakowin. To learn more, get in touch with Solve at ocetifellows@solve.mit.edu.

 

Dissident Arts Festival - Cabaret of Dissent - Brooklyn - September 8
 

Will you help us spread the word about an exciting event in Brooklyn on September 8th, that will benefit the Rosenberg Fund for Children?

Cabaret of Dissent at 17 Frost will be an underground review of protest song, revolutionary music and radical poetry celebrating the fight for social justice and the lives of political prisoners. (See https://www.rfc.org/cabaretofdissent for more details.)

And be sure to mark your calendar and plan to join me and the generous activist artists of Cabaret of Dissent on September 8th, for what's sure to be an uplifting evening in support of the children of resistance.

We're looking for assistance promoting the event at cafes, bookstores, cultural events, or anywhere else that left-leaning art lovers gather. If you'd be willing to put out palm cards in your area, please email info@rfc.org and we'll send some to you

Jennifer Meeropol

 

July 26 Marks the 65th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, which began the Cuban Revolution
 

BAYAMO, Granma.– Yesterday Cubans of several generations began celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons here, honoring martyrs and heroes of the simultaneous revolutionary actions of July 26, 1953.

Thousands of people attended the event here in Ñico López Park, where Federico Hernández, first secretary of the Party in the province, recalled the pivotal event as “a declaration of war against an oppressive regime the dictator Batista” intended to “change the course of an enslaved society to a nation in which all are equal, a perfectible society with capacity to improve itself legitimately only in the hands of its people,” while emphasizing the importance of the constitutional reform process underway and the upcoming popular discussion.

Read more here.