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Tidbits - Dec. 20, 2018 - Reader Comments: Green New Deal; Nuclear Disarmament Movement; GM, Amazon; Teachers Win; Universal Health Care; Today in History - U.S. Invades Panama under George H.W. Bush; and more....

Reader Comments: Green New Deal; Trump as Grifter; Nuclear Disarmament Movement Today; GM and Amazon; Chicago Teachers Win Charter Strike; Universal Health Care; Today in History - U.S. Invades Panama under George H.W. Bush; and more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Resources - Dec. 20, 2018,Portside

Re: This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal’ Just Might Work (Ronald K Tobin; Daniel Perry; Eric Ebel)
Re: 12 Reasons Labor Should Demand a Green New Deal (Daniel Millstone)
Re: Trump Is Being Exposed for the Grifter That He Is (Peter McCutchen; Carmen Sola; Priscilla Willame; Barry Cuthbert)
Re: Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: A Practical Proposal (Anthony Donovan)
Re: Why Voting for Immigration Reform Is Critical for Korean Americans (Maureen Johnston)
Re: Florida Is Thwarting the Vote to Restore Felons' Rights (Ed Griffin)
Cohen Plea  -- cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: 10 of the Best Political Albums You'll Hear This Year (Marlena Santoyo)
Re: Bonuses Are Up $0.02 Since the GOP Tax Cuts Passed (David Kane; Mike Bies; Leanna Noble)
Re: GM Oshawa: Making Hope Possible (Philip Specht; Lorraine De Castro)
Re: Hundreds March on Amazon Fulfillment Center in Minnesota (Rich Mullen)
Re: Chicago Teachers Win First Charter Strike in History (District Council 1707, AFSCME; Ana M. Serrano-Reyes)
Re: Democrats’ 8 Plans for Universal Health Care (Gregory Wonderwheel; Laurel MacDowell; Marilyn Albert)
Government Crisis  --  cartoon by Jerry Holbert
Re: Top 6 Reasons Dems Shouldn’t Allocate a Single Cent for Trump’s Idiotic Wall (Per Fagereng; Judyth Hollub)
Re: The Public Ownership Solution (William Leffingwell)
Re: Revolution in the Air: Lessons from the 1960s (Jason Schulman)
Re: Dispatches - Dec. 18 - A Conservative's 60s Blues (Juanita Rice; Moderator response)
Appreciate Being Able to Print Portside Posts (Elinore Krell)
Gee Thanks Portside (Dieter Sauerwald)


Today in History - 1989 - U.S. Invades Panama (Howard Zinn)


Re: This Radical Plan to Fund the ‘Green New Deal’ Just Might Work

At least they are proposing something and thinking out of the box. Let's see how it goes.

Ronald K Tobin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


If they sold something like US savings bonds, or Green New Deal Bonds I would love to buy them.

Daniel Perry
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Think big.

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

Eric Ebel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: 12 Reasons Labor Should Demand a Green New Deal

Can we create a community-labor coalition for a Green New Deal? Deep in my heart, I do believe we can. But so far as I have seen, labor unions have not joined the effort the lobby and street campaigns. (By contrast, labor union participation in the People's Climate March of a few years ago was quite visible) Here, via Portside, Jeremy Brecher and Joe Uehlein make a case that unions should become involved. Are these arguments that union leaders will find compelling?

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Trump Is Being Exposed for the Grifter That He Is

Peter McCutchen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone to shut down his "charitable" organization . I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking about that place of his and his children 

Carmen Sola
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


And he promised to run the government the way he runs his business. What could go wrong?

Priscilla Willame
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


He did not agree he had no choice it was ordered by the courts, stop trying to spin for this racist traitor

Barry Cuthbert
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: A Practical Proposal

Thank you so much for all you do and put out, daily. 

Lawrence [Wittner] has done a great work chronicling much of the anti-nuke movement in the past. Unfortunately he is not in touch with the realities that many have not tired of trying to connect the silos he speaks of. Most all the groups mentioned worked together for the Ban Treaty and were part of it. We have a media that no longer reports on the subject of nuclear disarmament. We have so few champions in Congress, and they get no coverage for the little they say about the current movement. The Sane Act authored by Bernie and Markey, and co-signed by 40 others, never gets to the floor for discussion for the Chair denies it from the start. Their attempt was in 2012 and again in 2017. Not a mention. 

It's a different world from the one Lawrence and we knew in the Freeze years. Methods of information control have been well honed. Our small social media networks have been vocal, but yes, it's mostly preaching to the choir and our own FB lists. All worthy. A number of us, me included, have been calling, writing, showing up and meeting many in the Climate and Environmental movement to get nuclear weapons more in inclusion with them, as we always include them in our nuclear weapons activism. They remain quiet. He could help by contacting, Bill G. and others like we have. Keep working on it. 

And yes, the Ban Treaty is something many of us not only long worked on getting through, but have tirelessly advocated and communicated to all and any. Just last week in Sen. Gillibrand's office, we gave them a copy - they say they did not know of it - despite the many calls (of me alone) during the process and since. So it's daily education... over and over. The Treaty has been personally handed to several military Base commanders, overseas and here at home.... none of them had heard of it. It's been brought into Federal Courts in Georgia by our colleagues the Kings Bay Plowshares 7. I wonder if he knows of this current direct challenge and great sacrifice. He wouldn't for there is no mainstream coverage. We've some U.S. Catholic Bishops who are now trying to jump start another conference around nuclear weapons, the way the Bishops did in 1983.... an excellent well researched document and serves well today. The Nobel Peace Prize of 2017 called out to the whole world. Our Pope Frances and our Dalai Lama have called out to the world...clearly....loudly.... in writing, in speech, in holding international symposiums around it. Press? nope. Many of us show up at all rallies we can, for Yemen, for Black Lives, for Fair Housing, to Candidate rally's, of course Climate, and on and on..... and bring with us the news of nuke weapons....

Public opinion used to shape the news which effected our elected officials. That has changed. Corp. Money has significantly changed this. Hence a serious Divestment movement has been growing, something Lawrence also doesn't mention.... several great recent successes, and the moves of city and state legislatures with new Resolutions is growing.... but again, with very little acknowledgement. Is Lawrence aware of these? The are all encouragements to shout out behind. This is how the movement gets going again, by recognizing what is going on, and has been going on all along under the media radar. Presently it seems one person and his tweets get all the news.... you know that. 

So, it's good Portside is helping with the Call, and good that Lawrence is still at it.... but a little more research into what is going on today, and supporting that, would be very helpful.

Onward, together 

Anthony Donovan

Good Thinking, The Documentary
Those Who've Tried to Halt Nuclear Weapons


Re: Why Voting for Immigration Reform Is Critical for Korean Americans

Obviously, from today's rantings from trumpilstitskin, all Vietnamese also, now need to be afraid

Maureen Johnston
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Florida Is Thwarting the Vote to Restore Felons' Rights

Proving that Republicans don't actually like democracy.

Ed Griffin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Cohen Plea  -- cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
December 14, 2018


Re: 10 of the Best Political Albums You'll Hear This Year
(posting on Portside Culture)

Artists as activists!

Marlena Santoyo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Bonuses Are Up $0.02 Since the GOP Tax Cuts Passed

Inflation is up more than that, thanks to tariff war

David Kane
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This is a bit long but an informative read.

Mike Bies
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


And love that GREAT Fred Wright cartoon -- he was cartoonist for my union UE!!

Leanna Noble
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: GM Oshawa: Making Hope Possible

"The experience of the past few decades suggests the general dilemma of working class life under capitalism: no matter what workers do, how good their work, how restrained their demands, and how much they accept in terms of work pressures, they will always remain vulnerable in a system geared to profits, competition and the priorities of stockholders and senior executives. There will always be someplace cheaper to run to, and as corporations restructure to address technological and market changes, workers are treated as little more than ‘collateral damage’.

Philip Specht
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


They will inherit the earth because we are doomed to die if we don't get rid of the lot of them. Its them the money hoarding greedy corporations or us!

Lorraine De Castro
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Hundreds March on Amazon Fulfillment Center in Minnesota
(posting on Portside Labor)

I lived in Shakopee while doing some telecom engineering.
Cool place.
Turtles was a bar and restaurant with good draft beer, separated smoking sections and the first fried Walleye I ate.
NASCAR short track down the road.
A good place, then.

Rich Mullen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Chicago Teachers Win First Charter Strike in History
(posting on Portside Labor)

All over the country

District Council 1707, AFSCME
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Bravo for the Chicago Charter School teachers!!!! Only those who fight back have the opportunity to win

Ana M. Serrano-Reyes
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Democrats’ 8 Plans for Universal Health Care

The introduction to this article was so bad that I was very reluctant to read it.  First, "Medicare 4 All" is NOT a proposal for "government run healthcare." It is a proposal for universal government administered healthcare insurance.  
Second,  saying "Democrats are considering to insure all (or at least a lot more) Americans." shows that the proposals that do not include "all Americans" are not in fact "universal health care" proposals as the headline misleads. Plans that only promise "to create an insurance system that does better" are not universal plans, period.

Third, the introduction misses the essential point of "single payer" in the idea of universal healthcare insurance, so in fact only three of the eight could be called universal health care plans because they are the only ones that eliminate the private for-profit insurance companies with single payer proposals.

Basically, what this article does is create the smokescreen that the Establishment Corporate Democrats want to create in order to confuse people about single payer universal healthcare, such as Medicare4All. The Democratic Party leadership will do everything it can to kill single payer universal plans in committees. This article aides and abets them. 

Gregory Wonderwheel
Santa Rosa, California


How hard can it be? The next election in Canada will discuss adding pharmacare and dental care to our medicare system. It is about time. So for any medical need you show your health card, not your credit card.

There is so much wealth at the top in your society that using some of  it to provide medical services for all Americans would be worthwhile and not difficult. It might give the Koch  brothers heart attacks and that would be another plus.

Laurel MacDowell


Article not good enough - it talks about elimination of premiums, deductibles, copays, etc. but does not explain at all that the savings these eliminations generate will go far to pay for the universality of the single payer proposals. It undermines the arguments for single payer by repeating that the two single payer proposals will be paid for by increased taxes. It does not make the connection of no out of pocket payments, premiums, etc, in exchange for small tax increases.

Marilyn Albert
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Government Crisis  --  cartoon by Jerry Holbert

Jerry Holbert
December 18, 2018


Re: Top 6 Reasons Dems Shouldn’t Allocate a Single Cent for Trump’s Idiotic Wall

Humpty Trumpty built a great wall, Humpty Trumpty will have a great fall.

Per Fagereng
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


#s 1, 2, & 4 are the same thing.

Judyth Hollub
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Public Ownership Solution

I think worker ownership can be even better.

William Leffingwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Revolution in the Air: Lessons from the 1960s

While I agree with much of what Max Elbaum has to say in "Revolution in the Air: Lessons from the 1960s," I do wish he'd retire the term "Third World Marxism" for good, and for very specific reasons. 

"Third World Marxism" -- or, as Max more accurately puts it at times, "Third World Marxism-Leninism" -- refers only to those who called themselves Marxist *and led revolutions that led to "Marxist" states.* The "Marxism" of these revolutionaries was defined by a plethora of ideas -- the internally-authoritarian, theoretically and politically monolithic party; the "people's front"; "national roads to socialism"; the building of "socialism" in single (predominantly peasant!) countries -- that had little to do with Lenin and nothing to do with Marx.

The New Communist Movement of the 1970s, to which Max belonged, had no knowledge of Third World Marxists whose political perspectives were far closer to those of Marx and Engels (and Lenin): Chinese Marxists like P’eng Shu-tse, Ch’en Pi-lan and Zheng Chaolin or Vietnamese Marxists like Ngo Van, Tạ Thu Thâu, Tran Van Thach and Phan Van Hum. Or, I suppose, if NCM members were aware of these Marxists, they were happy that theses "Trotskyites" had been
imprisoned. (Ho Chi Minh, hero to many New Leftists and Marxist-Leninists, murdered many Vietnamese Trotskyists.) Even the Peruvian Marxist José Carlos Mariátegui, whose writings have been favorably compared with those of Gramsci, seems to have been unknown to the "Third World Marxists" of the 1970s, at least in the U.S. 

very phrase "Third World Marxism" is problematic anyway. Marxism is universal; its concepts apply to the entire world, no matter what corner. There were and are Marxists in the Third World, now the Global South -- but "Third World Marxism" was (and is, for its remaining adherents) an ideology for the official Communist societies of China, Vietnam, North Korea, etc. just as much as commodity fetishism is ideology for the capitalist "West." I don't mean to hammer Max about this. But talk of "Third World Marxism" is mystification and the phrase should be dropped.

Jason Schulman


Re: Dispatches - Dec. 18 - A Conservative's 60s Blues
[see Dispatches]

Dear friends at Portside:  I do NOT support you in order to find the bias of the Hoover Institution smuggled in as a ‘left’ contribution.  Hanson’s cute piece follows the old ploy:  “The King is dead. Long live the king.”  He claims that TV and the NFL show that the 60s won the “Culture War.”  Meanwhile the class and economic and material struggles have been nearly strangled in the last fifty years.  And even the cultural improvements I acknowledge, he deplores.  This piece from a “classicist” should not be thought “of interest to people on the left.”

Juanita Rice


We posted the Hanson piece not to influence the discussion of the 60s, but to make a point about the conservative side of the culture wars. Reagan went to war against the New Deal, with success. Trump is bringing back overt white supremacy which was exposed by the freedom movement. Hanson is pointing out that some progressive cultural norms established in that period are still entrenched - and suppressing them won't be so easy. This is news to a lot of younger activists. Actually good news - we hope it gives the Hoover boys ulcers. But we should take note of how far the right will go to achieve the Margaret Atwood version of "Father Knows Best" they call "America Great Again."



Appreciate Being Able to Print Portside Posts

I just want to mention how much I appreciate Portside's options for printing articles.  I sometimes save articles to look at later, and often would rather read printed ones than reading them onscreen. I just printed out five Portside articles I had saved in my email to read later.  Many websites don't have a 'printer friendly' option but are cluttered with moving ads etc. that interfere with getting a decent printout.  Portside is democratic in the sense of giving people this option, which is an additional and important way of spreading the information and education around.

Elinore Krell


Gee Thanks Portside

In short words - and the best English that I'm capable of - I try to express why I contributed with joy and why I appreciate your work so much:

  • It helps to establish international communication and solidarity
  • It helps never to be become anti-American (other people like Trump and Clinton "work" much to become that...)
  • Your articles are trustworthy (don't underestimate this quality: I'm unionist since 50 years and I have studied chemistry and political science. I know what about I speak...)

Finally another thing: Maybe you have good contact to groups near to Bernie Sanders. And maybe it is even allowed to give a humble advice from another continent: He should start his next bid to presidentship already with the beginning together with a fellow with those two qualities united in one person:

  • a woman
  • black person

It is not because I think blacks and women are the better part of the world - they are good and bad like anybody else. But:

  • He lost against Hillary Clinton because the blacks supported in big majority her and not him. (I suppose reminders of white males in slave-holder times are still lurking in the background of blacks.)
  • Trump lost most among women...

Michelle Obama would be ideal - but apparently not available. Maybe somebody else?

With my best wishes your

Dieter Sauerwald from Germany


Today in History - 1989 - U.S. Invades Panama (Howard Zinn)

[Excerpt from Chapter 21 of A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.]

posted December 3, 2018 by Howard Zinn Website

A U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25 in Panama


As if to prove that the gigantic military establishment was still necessary, the Bush administration, in its four-year term, launched two wars: a “small” one against Panama and a massive one against Iraq.

Coming into office in 1989, George Bush was embarrassed by the new defiant posture of Panama’s dictator, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega’s regime was corrupt, brutal, authoritarian, but President Reagan and Vice-President Bush had overlooked this because Noriega was useful to the United States. He cooperated with the CIA in many ways, such as offering Panama as a base for contra operations against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and meeting with Colonel Oliver North to discuss sabotage targets in Nicaragua. When he was director of the CIA in 1976-1977, Bush had protected Noriega.

But by 1987 Noriega’s usefulness was over, his activities in the drug trade were in the open, and he became a convenient target for an administration which wanted to prove that the United States, apparently unable to destroy the Castro regime or the Sandinistas or the revolutionary movement in El Salvador, was still a power in the Caribbean.

Claiming that it wanted to bring Noriega to trial as a drug trafficker (he had been indicted in Florida on that charge) and also that it needed to protect U.S. citizens (a military man and his wife had been threatened by Panamanian soldiers), the United States invaded Panama in December 1989, with 26,000 troops.

It was a quick victory. Noriega was captured and brought to Florida to stand trial (where he was subsequently found guilty and sent to prison). But in the invasion, neighborhoods in Panama City were bombarded and hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians were killed. It was estimated that 14,000 were homeless. Writer Mark Hertsgaard noted that even if the official Pentagon figure of several hundred civilian casualties was correct, this meant that in Panama the U.S. had killed as many people as did the Chinese government in its notorious attack on student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing six months earlier. A new president friendly to the United States was installed in Panama, but poverty and unemployment remained, and in 1992 the New York Times reported that the invasion and removal of Noriega “failed to staunch the flow of illicit narcotics through Panama.”

The United States, however, succeeded in one of its aims, to reestablish its strong influence over Panama. The Times reported: “The President [of Panama] and his key aides and the American Ambassador, Deane Hinton, have breakfast together once a week in a meeting that many Panamanians view as the place where important decisions are taken.”

Liberal Democrats (John Kerry and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, and many others) declared their support of the military action. The Democrats were being true to their historic role as supporters of military intervention, anxious to show that foreign policy was bipartisan. They seemed determined to show they were as tough (or as ruthless) as the Republicans.

But the Panama operation was on too small a scale to accomplish what both the Reagan and Bush administrations badly wanted: to overcome the American public’s abhorrence, since Vietnam, of foreign military interventions.

Two years later, the Gulf War against Iraq presented such an opportunity. Iraq, under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, had taken over its small but oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait, in August 1990.