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Tidbits - Mar. 12, 2020 - Reader Comments: Coronavirus Pandemic and GOP Attack on Social Security, Medicare, CDC; Three-Fourths of Democratic Delegates Still to be Voted On; Sanders, Biden, Warren; Coronavirus Factsheet in 20 Languages; more....

Reader Comments: Coronavirus Pandemic and GOP Attack on Social Security, Medicare, CDC; Three-Fourths of Democratic Delegates Still to be Voted On; Sanders, Biden, Warren; Coronavirus Factsheet in 20 Languages; more resources, announcements;

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons - Mar. 12, 2020,Portside

Re: Make a Hard-Nosed Assessment, Adjust Strategy, and Fight (Richard Butsch; Meredith Lee Schafer-Garza; Harry Targ; Nikos Evangelos; Alan Hart)
Re: Team Warren for Bernie Sanders (Carolyn Toll Oppenheim; Doug Sertl; Emory Thompson; Susan Vago Webb; James Counts Early; Win Heimer; Marguerite Horberg; Marta Mangan Lev; Eva Zucker; Raul Hinojosa)
Four Hoursemen  -- cartoon by Theo Moudakis
Re: Donald Trump Is Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Attack Social Security (Ralph G. Brown; Justine Medina; Seth Pierson; Rosemary A. Barbera; Bob DeGuire; Louise Parker; Denise Young)
Re: Nurses Said They Can't Protect Themselves And Hospitals Are Unprepared For Coronavirus, Survey Reports (Patricia Schneider; Pamy Amante; Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime)
Re: A Health Emergency Demands Treatment Not Tax Breaks (Gavrielle Gemma; Velva Spriggs)
Testing Kit -- Cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Rainbow Coalition Comes Full Circle as Jesse Jackson Endorses Bernie Sanders (John Woodford; Paul Buhle)
Re: Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden (Dave Ecklein; Richard Hutchinson; Christie Turner Hicks; Maria Juanita del Cáñamo; Alex Wyatt Meseck; William Leffingwell)
Re: The Elizabeth Warren Example (Dave Lerner; Laurel MacDowell; Peter J. Nickitas; Robert Politzer; Anna Avgerinou)
Elizabeth Warren says the fight’s not over  -- cartoon by Kevin Siers
Some observations and remarks from a German unionist regarding the present primaries (Dieter Sauerwald)
Re: Bernie vs. Biden: When Will Unions Show Solidarity With Sanders? (Marc Auerbach)
Re: Joe Biden Is No Friend of Public Education (Charlie Daniel; Sadie Spence Price)
Re: The Political Elite vs. Bernie (Robert Knapp)
Re: How Socialism Became Un-American Through the Ad Council’s Propaganda Campaigns (Stan Nadel; Bruce Smith; Eleanor Roosevelt)
Letters to the NY Times -- Defending Bernie Sanders’s Sister-City Efforts in the U.S.S.R. (Jack F. Matlock Jr.; Barbara Keys)
Re: Bernie Sanders Was Right About the Cuban Literacy Campaign (Gene Glickman; Charles Laurence; Miriam Haiman-González; Nelson Morales; Rosalina Rosario Melendez; Maria Minguela; Bob Feb; Ed Griffin)
Re: “Supreme Inequality”: Author Adam Cohen on the Supreme Court’s 50-Year Battle Against Justice (Terry Reed)
Tax the Monkey  --  cartoon by Clay Jones
Re: Rudy's Coup at Foggy Bottom (Barb Steiner)
Re: How the UAW Went From a Militant, Trailblazing Union to a Corrupt, Dealmaking One (Mike Liston)
Re: “The Labor Movement Needs to Learn Its History” (Hollis Stewart)
Re: Loach’s “Sorry We Missed You” is a Scathing Indictment of Ultra-Flexible Work Arrangements (Sionna Breasal)
Re: The Labor Strike That Shut Down San Francisco and Kicked Off the City’s Counterculture (Audra David)


Coronavirus Factsheet - in more than 20 languages (NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene)
New Report - Building a Cross-Racial Working Class Coalition (The Century Foundation)
New Books on Women's History and Movements (Facing History and Ourselves)


Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) National Briefing Call - March 19
84th Annual Celebration Honoring the Abraham Lincoln Brigade - New York - May 17


Re: Make a Hard-Nosed Assessment, Adjust Strategy, and Fight

Simple: Bernie's platform, in terms recognizable to most Americans is to Bring Back the New Deal, Plus.

So chuck the words "socialism" and "revolution" into the trunk of the campaign car. Up front of the campaign put in big bold letters * "Bring Back the New Deal and Make It Green."* That will bring a groundswell of support all on its own. Then also put AOC and some major figures who appeal to blacks to work 24/7 stumping for this.

Richard Butsch
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, American Studies and Media Studies
For my publications, find me through Google Scholar


Some of this is good. I would have liked a more nuanced analysis than the excerpt below of the black vote. The stats about black voters being more progressive are only true when you look nationally. I don't believe that southern voters in Virginia, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas are as progressive as black voters in the midwest, CA, etc. This is not to say that voters should be blamed, but this was a big factor in 2016 and it is not easy to change. But also, we don't really know what progressive means, and it's likely they are like many voters conservative on some issues and not on others. But it seems to me that if they are not voting based on platforms that will matter in the general, but voting for some kind of safe choice that has tacit Obama backing, then the degree to which they are progressive might not matter. But I think it does for the younger black voters.

"African Americans are the most consistently progressive sector of the U.S. electorate. Recent polls show 51% of Americans have a “somewhat” or “very” positive view of socialism, it is 42% of whites and a whopping 81% of Blacks (Stark partisan divisions in Americans’ views of ‘socialism,’ ‘capitalism’) Blacks have been a key component of both the big-D and small-d democratic coalitions in this country going back to the New Deal. Black voters anchored the coalitions that brought us the most progressive elected leaders and administrations in modern U.S. history from Maxine Waters to Ron Dellums to Harold Washington to John Conyers to Barbara Lee. So there should be no questioning of Black people’s progressive bona fides."

Meredith Lee Schafer-Garza
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


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.)

I have the uncomfortable feeling that 1)left commentaries always end up sounding self-serving and 2)not enough attention was paid over the last several months to building a progressive coalition. I am reminded of a friend who was head of our AFT local who jokingly proclaimed one day: "Follow me. I am ready to lead."

Harry Targ
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Be it known that while these comments are useful, the results of Tuesday aren't even in yet.

Nikos Evangelos
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Some good news from Pittsburgh: Our great progressive champion (despite facing opposition to her re-election from the Democratic county committee and the central labor council) has endorsed Bernie.

State Rep. Lee says she will endorse Bernie Sanders

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Team Warren for Bernie Sanders

A day late and a dollar short.

Carolyn Toll Oppenheim
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Nooo, get a grip and support Biden...

Doug Sertl
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We lost. It's heartbreaking. I hope Biden picks Warren as VP.

Emory Thompson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi voters have blown Bernie out of the running. It's time for Bernie and supporters to bow out graciously and focus on unifying Democrats, independents and moderates to accomplish the main and urgent goal (literally life or death) of defeating Trump and Republicans in November. I say this as an ex Warren supporter.

Susan Vago Webb
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


“Unifying Democrats” is not the goal of the presidential election. Nor is electing Sanders or Biden the individual. Defeating Trump and advancing a progressive as possible agenda is. Don’t overlook the intra-Democratic struggle against progressive policy and candidates. A principled policy unity can and will be achieved to defeat Trump around a progressive policy compromise, but not to unify-pave over the real policy splits in the Establishment corporate Democratic Party. I will vote against Trump realistically “using” available candidate means but not with the articulation “for Biden”.

James Counts Early
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


As a Bernie supporter I say that if in fact it is over for him (which I don't believe it is since he'll stay into the convention) it should be up to Biden people to reach out to Bernie supporters to unify the party...

Win Heimer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I still care about voter suppression and theft. One polling place in Fargo? Hours to vote in college towns/ exit polls not jibing w vote counts in SD - not good

Staying Bernie till end

Marguerite Horberg
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What was really a shortcoming was Sanders deciding to run against Warren in the 1st place instead of supporting her.

Marta Mangan Lev
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Would so appreciate your forwarding my comments to those workers from Elizabeth Warren's former campaign who will now work for the Sanders campaign:



Eva Zucker
One of the 99%


Yes Folks, keep your eyes on the prize! Bernie and Biden voters and issues together Crush Trump!

Raul Hinojosa
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Four Hoursemen  -- cartoon by Theo Moudakis

Theo Moudakis
March 11, 2020
Toronto Star


Re: Donald Trump Is Using the Coronavirus Crisis to Attack Social Security

'...there might be something to this...

Ralph G. Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


“The proposal to cut the payroll contribution rate would either undermine Social Security’s financing or employ general revenue, both of which would set the stage for future demands to cut Social Security. And it likely would not be temporary.”

Justine Medina
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I’m sure Democrats will stand very strongly against this attempt to cut Social Security, since they have *never* supported those cuts before or several times in the past few decades!

Seth Pierson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page



Rosemary A. Barbera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Yep, that’s what the payroll tax reduction is all about. He’s using this pandemic to achieve his goal of reducing or eliminating social security.

Bob DeGuire
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"The proposal is a Trojan horse. It appears to be a gift, in the form of middle-class tax relief, but would, in the long run, lead to the destruction of working Americans’ fundamental economic security. While the goal of the proposal is stated in terms of fiscal stimulus, its most important impact, if not its intent, is to do what opponents of Social Security have been unable to do—end Social Security as we know it.”

Louise Parker
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Keep Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” thèmes running through your mind as these things unfold. That’s while fighting back, of course.

Denise Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Nurses Said They Can't Protect Themselves And Hospitals Are Unprepared For Coronavirus, Survey Reports

(posting on Portside Labor)

One of the first to succumb was the Chinese doctor who blew the whistle. Healthcare workers are most vulnerable.

Patricia Schneider
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"Meanwhile, another nurse who is sick and in quarantine after treating a patient with COVID-19 at a hospital in Northern California said in an anonymous statement provided by the union that the CDC has not approved requests from her doctor and county health officials to test her for the virus.

'"They said they would not test me because if I were wearing the recommended protective equipment, then I wouldn’t have the coronavirus,' she said. 'What kind of science-based answer is that?'

"The nurse said she volunteered to care for a patient who tested positive because she had all the recommended protective gear and training to do so.

"The last she heard from the CDC was that it needs an "identifier number" to initiate her testing and that it was prioritizing testing for people with more severe illness. Only so many samples can be tested each day, the nurse said she was told.

Pamy Amante
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


A survey conducted by the National Nurses United reports that nurses can't protect themselves and hospitals from coronavirus. "When nurses are not protected, the community is not protected," one California nurse said.

Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: A Health Emergency Demands Treatment Not Tax Breaks

the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Alliance is fighting for the following

In the Interest of Public Health

The city and state government has said if we are sick to stay home.  But without providing emergency measures it will be impossible.. Therefore not to take these measure s is negligence by officials to the public health, workers, families and communities.

The city and state have broad  powers to declare an emergency to do the following

1.  Set up a registration for all workers staying home due to illness or their child or elder being sick

2.  Order that no workers be fired for staying home.

3.  Issue immediate food stamp cards to those registered or increase amount.

4.  Order that employers pay sick pay and if not  order the expansion of unemployment insurance enough to sustain a family.

5.  Order a halt to evictions, water or electric cut off for those registered

6.  Waive citizenship requirements for these to ensure all workers can stay home.

7.  Suspend the city charter giving $180 million in tourists taxes to private companies, suspend the $300 million dollars in public funds to building  private convention center hotel and use the money for the emergency.

The rich will be protected and able to stay home.  We workers, cannot allow ourselves to be treated as if our lives are unimportant.

All these measures are absolutely doable.  But we will have to fight for them.  Join us in the movement.

Gavrielle Gemma


I understand Cuba has a vaccine (interferon) which does not cure the illness, but is effective in strengthening the immune system so that the host can endure treatment and improve. America evidently wants nothing from Cuba, even if it serves to save American lives - Katrina repeated all over again. I recall that Fidel Castro offered to send doctors and other health personnel to assist Katrina victims and the US refused their help.  China, on the other hand, is accepting Cuba's assistance with the coronavirus. That might explain why the numbers of the dying are beginning slowly to decrease.  Please check this out.!

Velva Spriggs


Testing Kit -- Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
March 11, 2020


Re: Rainbow Coalition Comes Full Circle as Jesse Jackson Endorses Bernie Sanders

Jesse Jackson is from South Carolina. Why not discuss why he would wait till after the South Carolina primary to make his endorsement????

John Woodford


We historians will find this of lasting interest, no matter what happens in the next several weeks.....Gene Debs, Bob La Follette, Henry Wallace, George McGovern and Jesse Jackson were all lambasted as Bernie is today. Sad to say, the mainstream of the Democratic Party did more than a little of the lambasting. In 2020, the Dems are likely to bail out Wall Street! and make the rest of us pay for it. A great plan to lose an election but...they never learn.

Paul Buhle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden

Typical of the NY Times, like the rest of the corporate media, to promote Biden.  While relating some known history of US racism, the article correctly reports that the African American community is alarmed about Trump, and like others who favor Biden, believe he is the best choice to beat Trump in 2020. Including, evidently, the belief advanced by the writer of this pro-Biden screed.  Another NYT left-handed Biden promotion is the way Derrick Bryson Taylor reports Mayor de Blasio's remarks:… - de Blasio had endorsed Sanders.  There is an effort in these articles to treat this minority community as unified around the idea that anyone gets a pass who served with Barack Obama, not always true among the younger, less conservative set - as primary experience outside the South has subsequently indicated.

Dave Ecklein


I understand, but I don't think Biden is "more electable." I fear what will happen in November if he is the Democratic candidate.

Richard Hutchinson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I think Biden is the best Democratic candidate for nominee. Trump is certainly concerned about him which is what caused his impeachment. If Sanders wins the nomination Democrats are doomed for sure. Great article!!

Christie Turner Hicks
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


So they backup a segregationist to escape segregationism?

Maria Juanita del Cáñamo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The shadow of segregation, yet vote for the candidate who compromised his beliefs for segregationists and racists throughout history.

Alex Wyatt Meseck
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We need to keep this in mind. It’s fine to go boldly forward when starting from a solid if deficient base, but Trump has eroded the base of relative safety and must be restored first.

William Leffingwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Elizabeth Warren Example

My apologies for not sharing articles supporting her campaign before it was too late.

Dave Lerner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


It is a shame Warren is out of the race. Clearly Americans are not willing to elect a woman for President, even a brilliant, committed, activist woman like Warren. It is a loss. It would be nice to think the eventual male contender would ask her to run as Vice President but that seems unlikely. I looked forward to seeing Warren debating Trump, showing up his lies, lack of knowledge and punching holes in his vanity. It doesn't really matter who she endorses or if she endorses. She is out now and that is a loss for everyone, especially women and girls.

It is amazing that in the early 21st century women are not treated equally in the most technologically advanced society in the world. It is pathetic that in that same society universal health care would be seen as "socialist" when every other western industrial nation has adopted such a system for over 60 years as a right of citizenship.

It is troubling that the inequities among Americans increase. All of these issues troubled Warren and her approach was to deal with them.

I hope Bernie wins because he has built a movement. Biden hasn't and is very status quo.

If Trump is re elected he will corrupt the government completely.   A sad tale.

Laurel MacDowell


I find it insulting that the author disrespected Rep. Tulsi Gabbard by intentional omission.

Rep. Gabbard stands as a veteran, unlike the female candidates who folded.

Rep. Gabbard supports Medicare for All, enforcement of antitrust law, and tax policy that curbs oligarchy.  Sen. Warren concurred.  Sens. Klobuchar and Harris disagreed; they received considerably more media attention than Rep. Gabbard before they folded.

Rep. Gabbard stands as the only remaining anti-imperialist candidate.  Her principled consistency has induced Sen. Sanders to detail military spending cuts to make reality of the democratic socialist program of whose movements he is only one member.  Her principled, anti-imperialist consistency challenged the entire imperialist oligarchy.

She is the only candidate— and that includes every failed female candidate to raise such a challenge.  And for that, Rep. Gabbard suffers the same isolation as Rep. Kucinich, Sen. Gravel, and Sen. Fulbright before her. 

She could have put her military decorations on her sleeve, “played ball,” and attained worldly fame and fortune beyond the failed women candidates.  She chooses principle over expediency, and values over money.

Sen. Sanders is one in a democratic socialist movement that will change the nation.  So is Rep. Gabbard—a non-interventionist, anti-imperialist movement that has a longer journey—and one with much in common with democratic socialists’ projects.

Peter J. Nickitas


I love her. She is so damn smart and compassionate and savvy. She absolutely must play a major role in the next Dem Administration.

Robert Politzer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


author of beautifully written but totally tone deaf article has not listened to one sanders speech....for him its-progressive fabulous warren and.....2 old doddering white men. which we know, tho he doesn't seem to know or care--one of which would never adopt warrens platform and one whose platform she basically co-opted and slightly adapted. this is an op ed not journalism. oh yes, and she's a woman. another inaugural January without a woman prez. ---- as women take leads (which we fought for for years and amazingly enough are STILL fighting for) WHICH THEY ARE DOING NOW-- that will soon be a thing of the past.---- HOPEFULLY with a progressive female not a Thatcher. i fought with my liberal political friends in my politically active youth that women's rights were part of our struggle--(''after, we will deal with that after") now i fight with the opposite end. glass ceiling woman prez etc 

the best woman man or freeking aardvark gets my tattered little vote. and yes i like much about warren-just not as much as sanders. not nearly enough. he compromises to get things done. in my op she doesn't have a very clear line of demarcation between compromise and being compromised- dangerous when supposedly pushing progressive policies and changes. i'm sorry she's out of the running tho her running was too good for the DNC's fear of sanders....which translates into divide thereby conquering progressives--but i don't think she would have been able to get the numbers needed to beat cheetolini.

Anna Avgerinou
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Elizabeth Warren says the fight’s not over  -- cartoon by Kevin Siers

Kevin Siers
March 5, 2020
The Charlotte Observer (NC)


Some observations and remarks from a German unionist regarding the present primaries

Dear friends,

Since many years I'm a German unionist and nearly of the age like Bernie Sanders. And I should like to share some observations and remarks regarding the current primaries and the politics connected with them. Maybe some of you think: What the heck has this German guy to do with us here in the USA? First: I think solidarity is international - or it isn't at all. And second believe me: When you would comment some important political issues about Germany - I would be eager to read it. Sometimes a look from a distant place can be useful to understand things nearby.

And now to the issues:

1) I think it wouldn't have been so difficult for those folks who support Biden to come along with the social and political project of Bernie and his supporters (except the establishment - to that I come later): You know the list better than me. (Medicare for All, Tax for the rich, free college, raising minimum wage etc. etc.)

But it is nearly impossible for Sander's supporters to come along with the world of Wall-Street-backed establishment. Therefore, it is quite understandable that their anger is big and that hundreds of thousands of them will not vote for a Democratic Wall-Street-backed establishment candidate when it comes to the final shootout with Trump.

2) The establishment representatives - Biden, Bloomberg, the Clintons and others - can't be blamed generally for what they are doing to stop Bernie: They would lose power, influence and money. Therefore, they fight like hell to keep their privileges. But in several cases, it is even more than the expected class-fight: What the Clintons for example said about a decent, honest and friendly person like Bernie Sanders - that was simply a shame!

3) The least understandable of all the basic groups that support Biden for me is the Black vote of the middle-aged and older people. They would have been biggest winners of new policies and social changes wanted and planned by Bernie Sanders and his supporters. I would understand their hesitation in supporting Sanders if Sanders would have been a newcomer - and nobody knows how he really is. But Bernie is well known since a long time as such a trustworthy guy. The black vote of the older ones is a riddle for me.

4) Elizabeth Warren is a tragic figure in this big game. On the one hand she stands for good positions. On the other hand, what happened when she saw that she wouldn't be the preferred candidate? First, she played the gender card claiming Sanders was a sexist and then - when it had been clear that even in her home state, she had no chance to win - she had not enough character to step back and support Sanders. Loyalty to her own world of ideas would have imposed it. Amy Klobuchar of the corporate part of the Democrats did it - Warren didn't. This kind of egocentric behaviour is a character fault.

5) Many times, there have been openly discussed all the reasons why Trump should be removed from office. And all those arguments are true. But there is a big argument too why a Wall-Street-backed Democrat shouldn't win the presidential office as well: That establishment has to learn the hard way that they can't win without changing their positions towards social justice as there are represented by Bernie and his supporters. True, the latter ones have to learn something too: Such a great change like intended can't be done in one step. Maybe in the future it would be possible to find a compromise candidate as an intermediate step that can be accepted by both sides: the Bernie-oriented and the basic groups that favour Biden. I say "basic groups" - and that means of course excluding the greatest part of all those Wall-Street-establishment people.

6) When one goes always on the same tracks then one will normally end in the same stations. Why not try new ways? Examples:

- When this time Sanders would have done this: To choose a woman of colour as a running mate before the race in February had started. Of course, someone who could convince the public that she should and could be his successor in the presidentship. In my opinion it would have drastically improved his chances.

- When both parts of the party would agree on a few very good candidates before the primaries and then the people's vote is coming. That present wild race in this year in big numbers led only to that: Deep wounds in the files of the Democratic party and Trump as a possible winner.

Maybe you will smile now and say: But this isn't our way. Maybe - but when one goes always on the same tracks then.

7) I think that probably Trump will be the next president too. But if - against the odds like I see them - Biden should win there might come an offer to Bernie Sanders to take part in Biden's team somehow. Bernie refuse to do so! You will be obliged then to loyalty to decision you basically disagree to. Bernie: You will be needed as an ikon in your big movement. Your mission is to help this movement to become stronger and stronger. Then others will take the torch and carry it on. One is already there: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Others will come - and hopefully work together in solidarity.

8) For now: Don't give up and fight for every delegate. Every delegate more is a little step to a better future!


Dieter Sauerwald


Re: Bernie vs. Biden: When Will Unions Show Solidarity With Sanders?

(posting on Portside Labor)

We won't reduce inequality without strong unions.

Bernie has a great labor policy, and he also has a lifelong record of standing with workers.

Biden talks a lot and then takes $$ from union-busters.

Marc Auerbach
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Joe Biden Is No Friend of Public Education

Let's get real. The prize is to bet Donald Trump. There is no evidence that Joe Biden does not support public education, especially since he is a product of public schools. We need to keep our eyes on the prize and defeat Donald Trump and then, only then, can we make inroads to better America for all.

Charlie Daniel


You know Trump is terrible for public education. Vote for the best candidates for the Senate and House to support public education.

Sadie Spence Price
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Political Elite vs. Bernie

To say that today’s corporate power equals that of the past is shortsighted. To say voters today blindly follow the “establishment” is insulting. I will support the Democratic nominee, whether it’s Sanders or Biden, but I deplore the types of attacks that will make Trump’s job easier in November.

Robert Knapp
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: How Socialism Became Un-American Through the Ad Council’s Propaganda Campaigns

This is true enough as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. Large scale well funded anti-socialist campaigns date back to the last third of the 19th century, going back at least to the anti labor, anti 8 hour day, anti socialist campaigns of the 1870s.

Stan Nadel


Speaking to a group of graduate students in the fall of 1966, Norman Thomas told us that after FDRs first election he called Dr. Thomas into see him in the While house. There President Roosevelt thanked Thomas and the socialists for ideas like Social Security which Roosevelt was proud that his administration could get passed into law.

Bruce Smith
Retired Teacher
Wooidbridge, Virginia


Capitalism, with uncontrolled concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, millions without affordable healthcare, a military deployed as an instrument of global imperialism, an environmental policy that's destroying the planet, and a system of government that's an utterly corrupted parody of democracy, stabs its fat finger in the air and calls socialism a failure.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Letters to the NY Times -- Defending Bernie Sanders’s Sister-City Efforts in the U.S.S.R.

Defending Bernie Sanders’s Sister-City Efforts in the U.S.S.R.
A former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union notes that sister-city programs were strongly supported by the U.S. government.

March 6, 2020

To the Editor:

Papers Detail Soviet Hopes for Sanders” (front page, March 6) is a distortion of history. The truth is that Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vt., opened a sister-city relationship with Yaroslavl in 1988 with the encouragement and strong support of the United States government.

The visit was not used as propaganda by the Soviet Union. I know because I was U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R. at the time and gave strong official support to Mayor Sanders’s effort, along with those of other American mayors, to establish ties with cities in the Soviet Union.

Expanding people-to-people ties was one of the important goals of President Ronald Reagan’s policy toward the U.S.S.R., a policy that was continued by President George H.W. Bush.

The explanation the Soviets gave to local Communist officials in Yaroslavl — that sister-city relationships are useful for “carrying out information-propaganda efforts” — was actually an effort to justify Mikhail Gorbachev’s new openness to people who had no contacts with Americans and were trained to see all Americans as spies.

In fact, the contacts played an important role in opening up Soviet society and facilitating Mr. Gorbachev’s reforms.

Jack F. Matlock Jr.
Durham, N.C.
The writer is the author of “Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended.”

To the Editor:

In 1985, three years before Mayor Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vt., visited the Soviet Union to set up a sister city link, The Times reported that President Ronald Reagan was urging “bold new steps to open the way for our peoples [Americans and Soviets] to participate in an unprecedented way in the building of peace.” Sister cities were among the initiatives he promoted.

This call came despite the fact that, as your article claims, the Soviet Union was “a country many Americans then still considered an enemy.” Will you next publish an article about how President Reagan was the tool of a Soviet propaganda effort?

Barbara Keys
Durham, England
The writer is a professor of history at Durham University.

Re: Bernie Sanders Was Right About the Cuban Literacy Campaign

Thank you for reprinting this article. It warmed the cockles of my heart to read something unalloyedly positive about Cuba.

As the article described, without overstressing it,  the Volunteer Literacy Program accomplished a great deal more than its stated purpose. For instance, it played an important role in the liberation of Cuban women. This occurred both through the negotiations between female Volunteers and their parents, whose signatures were needed for them to apply, and also in situations where male Volunteers, whose very presence in some areas forced discussions between husbands and wives and between fathers and daughters, when the female members of a household wanted to study with this male Volunteer to overcome their illiteracy.


Gene Glickman


He sure was. And Cuban health care, too. And a far, far, far smaller proportion of their population descended from the enslaved are held in prisons! Think about that one.....

Charles Laurence
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


And so beautifully put . "...The movement Sanders has helped to build—a multiracial, multiethnic movement of working-class women and men, people of all ages, all faiths, gay, straight, and trans, veterans and pacifists, teachers, farmers, bus drivers, nurses, and postal workers coming together to demand justice and redeem the endlessly deferred promise of America—deserves our enthusiastic support. Most crucially at this point in the 2020..."

‘The Nation’ Endorses Bernie Sanders and His Movement

We are proud to endorse Sanders, a democratic socialist with a program both realistic and radical enough to meet the challenges of our time.
By The Nation
March 2, 2020

Miriam Haiman-González
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


They fear sanders because they are afraid, that he is going to do what he says

I'm not going to waste my time reading a statement that sanders made in 1980..

Nelson Morales
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We still have a lot to learn from Cuba.

Rosalina Rosario Melendez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


My next door neighbor in Houston was a wonderful Cuban lady. Her sister came to visit from Cuba and I was impressed by all the accomplishments of the Government that she mentioned. The success of the literacy campaign, or the fact you could get an eye exam and glasses for the equivalent of $3.00 U.S.dollars.(Back in 1993.)

My interest subsided when she told me $3.00 could also buy a cat in the black market to supplement the diet that was practically meatless. The trade off didn't impress me though.

Maria Minguela
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Knowing a few Cubans through out my years, not all of them are saying that Bernie was wrong about what he said. The problem is that the MSM took it to a different level, because they are afraid of Bernie winning and they could lose their jobs, because the multibillionaire companies will stop supporting the MSM with commercials.

Bob Feb
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I would rather go to Cuba again than go to a Trump rally.

Ed Griffin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: “Supreme Inequality”: Author Adam Cohen on the Supreme Court’s 50-Year Battle Against Justice

The third leg of government that is supposed to insure checks and balances on the legislative and executive branch is made up of political appointees from the two party system. The check and balance it has provided is on us! Check out Adam Cohen's book Supreme Inequality.

Terry Reed
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Tax the Monkey  --  cartoon by Clay Jones

There’s one thing Donald Trump fears more than anything and no, I’m not talking about stairs, rain, wind, or sharks. He’s afraid of it more than facts and even more than a pandemic killing his constituents. He’s even more afraid of it more than a giant gorilla climbing Trump Tower. The thing Trump fears the most is a recession.

No president wants a recession but it’s especially worse for Donald Trump because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

In the modern era, recessions cut short the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. George W. Bush managed to serve two terms but a recession helped his party lose the White House.  All three of these presidents were smarter and better than Donald J. Trump. Yeah, even George W....

Clay Jones
March 11, 2020


Re: Rudy's Coup at Foggy Bottom

I’m surprised that there are so many, swamp creatures, that are tools for satan, and either destroy are possessed the people that come in contact with them , may God keep us safe from their evil way , and please help the children and humans that this administration have locked in cages, this evil administration that serve evil , must be stop . in Jesus name we asked Amen

Barb Steiner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: How the UAW Went From a Militant, Trailblazing Union to a Corrupt, Dealmaking One

(posting on Portside Labor)

There's a fairly simple answer to the UAW's corruption, they kicked out the Communists who got the whole thing kickstarted; that's what happens when you murder Mom, Dad, and all your cousins for the sake of a couple of bucks

Mike Liston


Re: “The Labor Movement Needs to Learn Its History”

(Posting on Portside Labor)

Read for our history and about the need for a decent paycheck about us. My father was a farm worker on a combine crew during the late 20s and early 30s.

Hollis Stewart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Loach’s “Sorry We Missed You” is a Scathing Indictment of Ultra-Flexible Work Arrangements

(posting on Portside Labor)

So does that line refer to the way managers like to pretend they aren't abusive assholes, while actually being abusive assholes?

Sionna Breasal
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Labor Strike That Shut Down San Francisco and Kicked Off the City’s Counterculture

(posting on Portside Labor)

Just for the record, the bohemian culture of San Francisco started long before this strike. In 1872, Mark Twain and a bunch of "male artists, writers, actors, lawyers, and journalists, all of means and interested in arts and culture," founded the Bohemian Club.

Audra David


Coronavirus Factsheet - in more than 20 languages (NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene)

The New York City Health Department has info sheets in more than 20 languages:
click here  

Screenshots of what is available (& go to website, to obtain these & other resources & information)


New Report - Building a Cross-Racial Working Class Coalition (The Century Foundation)

Reclaiming Faith, Family, and Country as Progressive Values

What can progressives today learn from Robert F. Kennedy’s remarkable 1968 presidential campaign? The late senator was able to build a cross-racial working class coalition by communicating not only that he would fight for working Americans' interests, but that he respected and shared their values: faith, family, country, and respect for the rule of law.

In a new report, Simon Greer and TCF senior fellow Richard Kahlenberg bring together insights from RFK's 1968 campaign and modern-day social justice organizing to show how progressives can reclaim these deeply-held American values—values that are too often ceded to conservatives.

Read the Report
The report is accompanied by a foreword from civil rights lawyer John Brittain and an afterword from Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of Robert Kennedy and attorney and activist. Both Brittain and Kennedy Townsend reflect on the success that RFK had in connecting with Americans through values, and urge today's progressives to follow a similar strategy. 

The Century Foundation
One Whitehall St, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10004


New Books on Women's History and Movements (Facing History and Ourselves)

New Books on Women's History and Movements
by Kaitlin Smith
March 11, 2020
Facing History

Continue your own learning on women’s history with these five new books written by scholars and public intellectuals passionate about the experiences and contributions of women. Below, publishers provide a sense of what to expect from each title:

We are Feminist: An Infographic History of the Women’s Rights Movement
By Helen Pankhurst


“Celebrate the achievements of women and their fight for equality with this inspirational and insightful infographic history of the global women’s rights movement, from the mid-nineteenth century to present day… Honoring women’s collective and individual achievements, We Are Feminist is an accessible and fully illustrated book that serves as the perfect overview of modern feminism for anyone who doesn’t know much about the global women’s rights movement or wants to know more. Organized into feminist waves, We Are Feminist tells a visual story through graphically represented statistics, key dates and events, quotes, and facts about rights, campaigns, and the women who inspired them.” —Tiller Press | Simon & Schuster

Victory for the Vote: The Fight for Women’s Suffrage and the Century that Followed
By Doris Weatherford

“In her book Victory for the Vote, Women’s history expert Doris Weatherford offers an engaging and detailed narrative history of women’s seven-decade fight for the vote, and the continuing current-day struggle for human rights and equality. Victory for the Vote is an expansion and update of Doris Weatherford’s A History of the American Suffragist Movement, published in 1998 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, considered to be the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States.” —Mango Press

Our Voices, Our Histories: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women
Eds. Shirley Hune and Gail M. Nomura

“Our Voices, Our Histories brings together thirty-five Asian American and Pacific Islander authors in a single volume to explore the historical experiences, perspectives, and actions of Asian American and Pacific Islander women in the United States and beyond. This volume is unique in exploring Asian American and Pacific Islander women’s lives along local, transnational, and global dimensions. The contributions present new research on diverse aspects of Asian American and Pacific Islander women’s history, from the politics of language, to the role of food, to experiences as adoptees, mixed race, and second generation, while acknowledging shared experiences as women of color in the United States… Attending to the collective voices of the women themselves, the volume seeks to transform current understandings of Asian American and Pacific Islander women’s histories.” —NYU Press

Anonymous Is a Woman: A Global Chronicle of Gender Inequality
By Nina Ansary

"Award-winning author and women's rights advocate Dr. Nina Ansary takes readers on a 4,000-year global and historic journey exposing the repercussions of centuries of gender inequality...Anonymous Is a Woman. . .exposes the roots and manifestations of institutionalized gender discrimination; dismantles centuries of historical bias through biographical profiles of fifty remarkable, yet forgotten women innovators; and challenges ingrained stereotypical assumptions to advance an unconventional argument for equality and inclusivity.” —Revela Press

Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (20th Anniversary Edition)
By Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards

“In 2000, Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards’s Manifesta set out to chronicle the feminism of their generation. They brilliantly revealed the snags in various hubs of the movement...and showed that these snags had not imperiled the feminist cause. The book went on to inspire a new generation of readers and has become a classic of contemporary feminist literature. In the decades since Manifesta was published, the world has changed in ways both promising and terrifying. This twentieth anniversary edition of Manifesta features an updated bibliography, timeline, and resources, as well as a new introduction by the authors. Expertly unpacking both early women’s history and the Third Wave feminism that seeded the active righteous intersectionality we see today, Manifesta remains an urgent and necessary tool to make sense of our past, present, and future.” —Picador | Pan McMillan


Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) National Briefing Call - March 19

Join Lindsay Koshgarian of the Institute for Policy Studies and Bill Hartung of the Center for International Policy for the first of two national calls on Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS).  

Thursday, March 19, 2020  
8 – 9 pm EDT;  7 – 8 pm CDT;  6 – 7 pm MDT;  5 – 6 pm PDT  
Click here to register.  

Lack of preparedness for the COVID-19 epidemic reveals the potentially grave consequences of slashing social safety net spending while deluging the military-industrial complex with our tax dollars. Trump and the Pentagon are pressing yet another massive increase in military spending. Critics from Washington think tanks working with the Poor People’s Campaign, reinforced by grassroots activists across the country are demanding that money be moved from wars and preparations for wars to addressing our urgent human needs: health, climate, housing, education and more.

GDAMS 2020 will take place from April 10 - May 9.  We hope that you will consider organizing a local event. To help you prepare for this year’s GDAMS and for longer term efforts to change our national spending priorities, we have scheduled an inspiring briefing call featuring  these two leading authorities on military spending and alternatives.

Lindsay Koshgarian: Lindsay's work and commentary on the federal budget and military spending has appeared on NPR, the BBC, CNN, The Nation, U.S. News and World Report, and others. Now at the Institute for Policy Studies, her work is at the intersection of military and domestic federal spending. She got her start as a clinic worker and organizer at Planned Parenthood in central and suburban Philadelphia, and led economic development and affordable housing studies at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute prior to joining the National Priorities Project in 2014

Bill Hartung: Bill is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He has also served as a Senior Research Fellow in the New America Foundation's American Strategy Program and is former director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute. He specializes in issues of weapons proliferation, the economics of military spending, and alternative approaches to national security strategy. Hartung was the director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. Prior to that, he served as the director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute. He also worked as a speechwriter and policy analyst for New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams.

Ruth Benn, of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and the New York War Resisters League has prepared a fine short peace announcing this year's Global Days of Action on Military Spending along with background about this U.S. and international campaign. Click here to read the article.

Click here to register for the March 19 briefing call.  

84th Annual Celebration Honoring the Abraham Lincoln Brigade - New York - May 17

Please join us for our 84th Annual Celebration as we commemorate the courageous volunteers of the Lincoln Brigade and honor the remarkable humanitarian work of No More Deaths at the southern border in the face of state repression. ¡No Más Muertes!

The mission of No More Deaths is to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights.

Sunday, May 17, 2020  --  5:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Japan Society
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

Click here for tickets

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA)
239 West 14th St., Suite 2
New York, NY 10011