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Tidbits - Sept. 16, 2021 - Reader Comments: 9/11 Failed Policy; Medicare Advantage for Profit Scam; Myth of Robert E. Lee; We Remember Birmingham Church Bombing; Chile; Resources - Jobs Report; Climate Change; Lots and lots of Announcements...

Reader Comments: 9/11 Failed Policy; Medicare Advantage for Profit Scam; Myth of Robert E. Lee; We Remember Birmingham Church Bombing; Chile; Resources - Jobs Report; Climate Change; Lots and lots of Announcements...

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Sept. 16, 2021, Portside

Re: On 9/11, It’s Time for a Reckoning and Reflection of Decades of Failed U.S. National Security Policy (Felice Sage)
Re: The Decline and Fall of the Roman… Whoops!… American Empire - What Really Matters in the U.S. of A. (Joe Maizlish; Charles Ford)
Manchin Machinations  --  cartoon by Kevin Siers
Re: Medicare Advantage Is a For-Profit Scam. Time to End It (Jerry Neal; Judyth Hollub; Lillian Gorman; Joseph Ferguson; Bob Greene; Bill Shortell; Marilyn Albert)
Warning...Unless You Feel...
Re: The Myth of the Kindly General Lee (Lee Zaslofsky; Jack Radey; Peter DeHoff; Richard Henrickson; Peter Gilmore; Howard Scott)
Traitorous Loser  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Critical Race Theory Bans are Making Teaching Much Harder (Todd Allen)
We Remember - Fifty-Eight Years - 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing - September 15, 1963 (The King Center)

Resources:

Chart of the Week: Jobs report shows millions are still hurting (Economic Policy Institute)
Book exposes what they knew about climate change (The Democracy Collaborative)
Victor Jara  --  September 28, 1932 – September 15, 1973 (Mike Glick)

Announcements:

"Occupy Wall Street's Legacy: 10 Years Later" - September 17 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)
45th Anniversary Sheridan Circle Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Program - September 19 and October 13 (Institute for Policy Studies)
20 Years of the War on Terror: Imperialism, Islamophobia and US Defeat in Afghanistan - September 23 (The Havens Wright Center - University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives Live Online Event! - September 26
Yes! Fest - A Better World Rising - October 7 & 8
“Combating Antisemitism" webinar - October 14th (Showing Up for Racial Justice)

Re: On 9/11, It’s Time for a Reckoning and Reflection of Decades of Failed U.S. National Security Policy

It might help if we weren't always propping up hated kleptocracies throughout the Cold War to today. I get the whole real politik the enemy of my enemy is my friend thing for specific, limited short term goals but of course it's not sustainable. Of course these regimes can't stand after we get tired and go home, in Afghanistan's case after 20 years of supporting corruption and graft on a scale that OF COURSE made it impossible for them to ever stand up a competent government or military. Besides the fact that Afghanistan has never been a country in the way we understand it and we thought we could make it a nice democratic one from scratch? Seriously? Intel failure? Nobody could have foreseen it? Easily predictable with no "intel" at all. Just a minimal knowledge of Cold War era history.

Felice Sage

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Decline and Fall of the Roman… Whoops!… American Empire - What Really Matters in the U.S. of A.

The empires rarely -- if ever -- retreat gracefully. 

This U.S. one didn't even after the Vietnam slaughter/debacle.

They have a zombielike way of arising to resume their work, their necessarily counterproductive attempt to find a life free of the fear that's natural for an entity which has wrought such destruction and robbery.

The only life-saver I can imagine is for the populace, or a sufficiently large piece of it, to become resistant to the efforts of those whose only goal is to retain control to rouse enough thoughtless panic among the public and the political culture to allow the continuation of the imperial or neo-imperial project.

Joe Maizlish, Los Angeles

      =====

Britain lost America and Afghanistan, but it gained a world empire in the meantime. It only lost that empire from being exhausted from victories in two world wars. So, is this debacle in Kabul our own Yorktown or Suez for the United States?

Charles Ford

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Manchin Machinations  --  cartoon by Kevin Siers

Kevin Siers

September 8, 2021
The Charlotte Observer

Re: Medicare Advantage Is a For-Profit Scam. Time to End It

Medicare Advantage Plans can bankrupt sick people while making others extremely rich. During the Trump administration these plans were actively pushed. This strategy was to increase the costs of Medicare. The intent was to eliminate Medicare in favor of privatization. A lot of money made for a very few while most of us were getting ripped off. In so many ways a vote for the far right agenda is to cause financial ruin. Have doubts? Do your homework before you vote!

Jerry Neal

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

I'm all for Medicare for All, or Universal Healthcare. But until that happens, Advantage plans cover more than original Medicare does. Medicare leaves large chunks of medical expenses to the patients.

I am impatient for Universal Healthcare. (I hope Medicare for All will cover more than Medicare does now.) So what do you propose instead of Advantage in the meantime?

Judyth Hollub

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

I have a supplemental plan - a bit under $3,000 yearly. After that - no costs or co-payments. I consider it a bargain. Too, I have a pharmaceutical - one of my medications has a list price of over $2,000 - Top cost for that med is $20 or $27 - most of my meds come in about $3.00. Last med cost to me $1.27.

Lillian Gorman

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Excellent article.

Joseph Ferguson

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

YES it is and seniors are scammed everyday by the likes of Wellcare and United Healthcare. Big profits and nothing for the seniors. Stay with original Medicare.

Bob Greene

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

It was almost killed, but it came roaring back. Such a nasty scam on the elderly

Bill Shortell

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

also Medicare Disadvantage has narrow provider networks!

Marilyn Albert

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Warning...Unless You Feel...

Re: The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

As always, Adam Serwer writes in the tradition of the great truth tellers of American journalism, with insight, clarity, and well marshalled evidence.

Lee Zaslofsky

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

A quibble and an additional item.

The author credits Lee with tactical acumen. It is true, Robert E. Lee was the only cadet to ever graduate West Point without a single demerit, graduating first in his class, and gaining a commission in the engineers.

He performed well in the war with Mexico. But while he had a dominance over the minds of the Union Army of the Potomac, where they would march out to fight him, fully expecting to get beat. He had good fortune to be up against military boobs like Pope, McClellan, Burnside, and "Fighting Joe Hooker", but even against McClellan he showed in the Peninsula Campaign an itch to send his troops into charges against dug in Union soldiers with artillery support, a costly tactic in the best of circumstances. He was outmaneuvered and nearly crushed at Antietam, saved from destruction by McClellan's timidity. He advocated the invasion of the north again the next year, and stumbled into contact with Meade's Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg. By good luck, he won the first day's fighting. The second day he attacked both Northern flanks and suffered repulses in both. The third day he could think of no better tactic than to throw his remaining troops against the Northern center on Cemetary Hill. Again, he threw away two divisions for no gain and lost the battle, saved by Meade's slow pursuit.

Lee could inspire his troops, but was far too enamored with the dream of the Decisive Battle. He was no military genius.

Now the information. Before I read Allen Guelzo's "Gettysburg" I hadn't realized the following, you never otherwise read of it in any book on the US Civil War. When Lee marched north into Pennsylvania, his army was accompanied by its logistics train. Its medical service (such as it was), its supply wagons, horse remounts, its cooks, laborers, teamsters, laundresses. And who were they? 15,000 of them were slaves. Whoa, when have we ever seen them in a movie, or read of them in a book? Never. Someone had to guard them, they needed their own food and water, and Lee's army would have needed to have a lot of its troops detached to prevent them from escaping into the countryside at every chance, as no doubt they did.

Someone needs to tell their story.

Jack Radey

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Also. Lee was a TRAITOR

Peter DeHoff

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

And Erwin Rommel was Hitler’s favorite general who had no problem with the Holocaust.

Richard Henrickson

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

This is a keeper.

Peter Gilmore

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

many after the war felt he deserved the noose

Howard Scott

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Traitorous Loser  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers

September 15, 2021
robrogers.com

Re: Critical Race Theory Bans are Making Teaching Much Harder

(posting on Portside Labor)

Can you imagine?

Being so ashamed of your

History! You won't tell your kids.

Todd Allen

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

We Remember - Fifty-Eight Years - 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing - September 15, 1963 (The King Center)

We remember… Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley

The King Center

449 Auburn Avenue, NE

Atlanta, Georgia 30312

Phone: (404) 331-5190

Chart of the Week: Jobs report shows millions are still hurting (Economic Policy Institute)

A disappointing August jobs report showed jobs growth cooling thanks to the Delta variant causing caseloads to surge. Down significantly from June and July, only 235,000 jobs were added in August and segments of the U.S. workforce still face health and safety risks by going to work in person.

EPI experts have analyzed the data and released this updated chart, which shows just how many U.S. workers are still suffering from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic—18.7 million U.S. workers still need our help. 

There’s more to the story than the 8.4 million people classified as officially unemployed. The true magnitude of COVID-19’s lasting effects on U.S. workers includes another 3.2 million people who are unemployed but have been misclassified as employed or out of the labor force. 4.2 million have dropped out of the labor force altogether, and 3.0 million people are still employed but have suffered pay cuts or loss of hours, resulting in a net loss in take home pay. That means a whopping 18.7 million U.S. workers are still in need, highlighting how crucial it is to continue safety nets like the federal pandemic unemployment insurance benefits that were allowed to expire this Labor Day. 

Economic Policy Institute

1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-775-8810 • epi@epi.org

Book exposes what they knew about climate change (The Democracy Collaborative)

 

Imagine if US government leaders knew more than 40 years ago what they know now about how our current climate crisis is rooted in our dependence on fossil fuels.

In fact, they did. James Gustave (“Gus”) Speth compellingly documents that in his latest book, They Knew: The Federal Government’s Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis.

By the end of the Carter administration in 1980, Speth writes, “the federal government had the basic information about climate science and the link between fossil fuels and climate change [and] abundant recommendations for reducing fossil fuel use.” Nevertheless, “the federal government continued to foster a fossil-fuel-based energy system.”

This book, writes author Naomi Klein, is “a damning record” of governmental inaction “that will become a potent tool for justice.” Climate activist Bill McKibben says, “Gus Speth has documented precisely what we knew and when we knew it” in a book that is “a spur to finally move with the vigor the climate change demands.”

You can get this book today at a 20% discount, and have it shipped free, with discount code “TheyKnew20.”

Get your copy now  

Speth was tapped as an expert by a group of 21 young people who in 2015 filed suit against the federal government. In Juliana v. United States, they alleged their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property were violated by policies that promoted climate catastrophe. Speth’s book contains the rigorous research and first-hand knowledge he presented in federal court, updated to cover the egregious behavior of the Trump administration and where we are today.

“This national energy policy of the last four decades is, in my view, the greatest dereliction of civic responsibility in the history of the Republic,” Speth writes. “And it is worse today than ever.”

Nature magazine writes that even as we focus on the actions we must take today, “Speth’s book reminds us that major questions about historic responsibility cannot be ignored.” 

“Wondering how in the world the catastrophe of climate change could be happening and whom to hold responsible?” asks author and CNN commentator Van Jones. “Look no further than They Knew—Gus Speth's enlightening and infuriating new book.”

Remember, you can get this book today for 20% off and free shipping. Just enter code “TheyKnew20” at checkout.

Purchase your copy now

Democracy Collaborative

1200 18th Street NW

Suite 1225

Washington, DC 20036

Victor Jara  --  September 28, 1932 – September 15, 1973

Victor was one of ours, a singer/songwriter and theatre director. A Chilean socially-committed activist who was taken from us by the dictator Pinochet who overthrew the legally elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. He was one of those who created the Chilean New Song movement based on the indigenous music of the Chilean people.

After the September 11 coup he was rounded up with thousands of others into the Chile Stadium in Santiago. He was tortured, and they broke his hands and mocked him by asking him to play the guitar. Instead he sang the Chilean protest song “Venceremos” (We Will Win). Then they murdered him and tossed his body into the street.

With such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson, Phil Ochs and many others he will always be remembered for his songs and his commitment to justice and peace for a better world. Victor Jara Presente!

My song “The Dream” is about Victor Jara (and Paul Robeson). In part, it says:

    “The singer is gone, but he left us his song,

    Though they battered his hands took his life, his spirit lives on

    He is there in the songs that we sing, in the air that we breath

    In both pain and in joy, in the lives that we lead.”

You can find “The Dream” on my most recent album “Alternative Facts and Other White Lies.”

Mike Glick

www.generations-music.com

"Occupy Wall Street's Legacy: 10 Years Later" - September 17 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)

Occupy Wall Street's Legacy: Ten Years Later?

Friday, September 17

12:00pm - 1:30pm (ET)

Click here to R.S.V.P.  

Ten years ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement began its occupation of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan.

Although no one realized it at that moment, this action was the start of a new wave of protest in the United States and around the world, which continues to this day. Occupy also thrust the issue of growing inequality into the center of the political conversation, where it remains.

This forum features four prominent Occupy Wall Street activists, who will reflect on the legacy of the movement:

  • Michelle Crentsil is the Political Director of the New York State Nurses Association.
  • Lisa Fithian is an activist and the author of SHUT IT DOWN: STORIES FROM A FIERCE, LOVING RESISTANCE (2019)
  • Sandy Nurse is a builder, organizer and the Democratic nominee for the 37th District of the New York City Council. She is a co-founder of the Mayday Space and BK ROT in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
  • Jonathan Smucker is a co-founder of Pennsylvania Stands Up, Beyond the Choir, and Common Defense, and the author of HEGEMONY HOW-TO: A ROADMAP FOR RADICALS (2017)

The forum will be moderated by SLU Professor Stephanie Luce, co-author of CHANGING THE SUBJECT, a study of Occupy Wall Street released in 2013.

CUNY School Of Labor And Urban Studies

25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor

New York, NY 10036

5th Anniversary Sheridan Circle Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Program - September 19 and October 13 (Institute for Policy Studies)

45th Anniversary Sheridan Circle Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Program Sunday, September 19, 10 am EASTERN

In-person, outdoor program at Sheridan Circle, 23rd and Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Join us to remember Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, who were assassinated on this site in 1976 by agents of the Pinochet dictatorship. Please RSVP.

Featuring:

2021 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awardees:

  • Léonce Byimana, Executive Director, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC).
  • Carla Garcia, New York representative of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), which defends the rights of the Garífuna, Indigenous and Afro-descendent people under threat from destructive corporate activities.
  • Gabriel Kornbluh
  • Isabella Dorfman, American University student and IPS Next Leader
  • Ariel Dorfman, Argentine-Chilean-American novelist, playwright, and human rights activist.

Music: Patricio Zamorano

EmceesTope FolarinJohn Cavanagh, and Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies.

Background:

On September 21, 1976, agents of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile detonated a car bomb on Washington, DC’s Embassy Row, taking the lives but not the memory of Institute for Policy Studies colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt.

Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador to the United States, had become one of the most outspoken critics of the Pinochet regime. Moffitt was a 25-year-old IPS development associate. For more than four decades, the pursuit of justice for their murders has been a symbol of hope for victims of tyranny everywhere.

Every year, human rights activists, friends, family, and colleagues gather in remembrance of Letelier and Moffitt and to reflect on the ongoing struggle for human rights around the world.

This program will take place in person, outdoors at the site of the assassination and end with a laying of flowers on the Letelier-Moffitt memorial across the street from Sheridan Circle.

The Institute for Policy Studies also invites you to the 45th Annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards October 13, 7 PM EST. While the Sheridan Circle program will be held in person, the awards ceremony will be held virtually.

Awards will be presented by Kerry Kennedy, President, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Martin Sheen, Actor and Activist and Opal Tometi, co-founder, Black Lives Matter

Institute for Policy Studies

1301 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20036

202-234-9382

20 Years of the War on Terror: Imperialism, Islamophobia and US Defeat in Afghanistan - September 23 (The Havens Wright Center - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Thursday, September 23ed, 12 noon US Central Time/1pm US ET/6pm UK time

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE

A panel analyzing the meaning and implications of US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and all aspects of the two decade long "War on Terror"

Speakers:

  • Tariq Ali, activist, co-founder of the UK anti-war movement, and author of numerous books, including Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (Verso, 2003), Bush in Babylon: The Recolonization of Iraq (Verso, 2004), Conversations with Edward Said (Seagull, 2005), and The Duel: Pakistan on the Flightpath of American Power (Simon and Schuster, 2015)
  • Anand Gopal, journalist and author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes
  • Deepa Kumar, award-winning scholar and activist, and Professor of Media Studies at Rutgers University. She is the of author of the newly released Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (Verso, 2021)
  • Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror (Verso, 2015) and former editor of the journal Race and Class.

The Havens Wright Center

Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI 53706

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives Live Online Event! - September 26

Sunday, September 26 at 5 PM EDT | 2PM PDT

A Legacy of Hope and Activism

Broadcast Live from ALBA's Facebook Page

No Facebook Account Required For Access

The event lineup will include: 

  • Legendary folk singer Barbara Dane, in conversation with former San Francisco Mime Troupe musical director and Spanish Civil War bard Bruce Barthol, talking about music as a force for activism.
  • Robin D.G. Kelley on the Spanish Republic and the United Front, and what they mean for today's activists.
  • June Gipson and Deja Abdul-Haqq of My Brothers Keeper, on health care activism and community organizing
  • Footage from our recent Gathering at the Monument to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade on the Embarcadero

More details to be announced soon

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives

PO Box 1245

New York, NY 10113

Email: info@alba-valb.org

Phone: 212-674-5398

Yes! Fest - A Better World Rising - October 7 & 8

Get Your Ticket for Our 2-Day Festival!

Oct 7-8, 2021 — 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. ET

Join Vandana ShivaAlicia Garzaadrienne maree brownFania DavisDallas GoldtoothRev. Dr. Liz TheoharisAmanda AlexanderMariah Parker, YES! co-founders Sarah van Gelder and David Korten, and more for a special two-day online festival to support YES! on our 25th anniversary. You’ll hear lively discussions about the solutions and ideas that go into building a more equitable and sustainable world, and learn how you can help us advance solutions for the next 25 years.

This event will be recorded and a recording will be sent out to everyone who registers.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can.

Register now at yesmagazine.org/yesfest

“Combating Antisemitism" webinar - October 14th (Showing Up for Racial Justice)

In the midst of the Jewish High Holy days- the most sacred holidays on the Jewish calendar- we are deepening our commitment to combating antisemitism in ourselves and in our movements. As Jews and non-Jews at SURJ, we know that challenging antisemitism is critical to undermining white supremacy and white nationalism. 

Going deeper on understanding how antisemitism works also builds our capacity to be in stronger solidarity with fights for Palestinian self-determination and freedom. Here are ways you can join us this month to learn from Jewish folks in our SURJ network and the broader movement about how you can show up in bold solidarity with Palestine and with fighting antisemitism: 

“Combating Antisemitism'' webinar on Thursday October 14th at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET  

We’ll break down how antisemitism upholds white supremacy historically and today, and how, in light of that connection, we can all show up more powerfully in combating antisemitism and fighting for the rights and dignity of Palestinians. We’ll be joined by Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg from Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council, Dove Kent, USA Director of Strategy and Outreach at Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Project, and Enzi Tanner, LSW, from Jewish Community Action Community Safety Organizer.

          Monthly 3-part caucus series for white Jews active in SURJ, starting Sep. 30 

For anyone who identifies as Jewish, of any or no denomination, religious or secular, by lineage or by choice who is active in the SURJ network. We’ll meet together to build relationships and support each other to show up fully as Jews with a deep commitment to racial justice work, we’ll deepen our analysis and understanding of our collective stake in SURJ's work on abolition, economic justice and ending white supremacy; address our particular position as people both privileged by white supremacy and marginalized by antisemitism and Christian dominance; and create brave space to engage in dialogue on Israel/Palestine and the necessity of Palestinian liberation.  

Spend time with these resources from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice:

Earlier this summer in the midst of the violence and repression in Palestine and Israel, we hosted a webinar to discuss Palestine as a racial justice issue. We have been in conversation with our Jewish members at SURJ about the ways in which that webinar did not adequately hold the complexity of Jewish people’s current and historical relationship to Israel and Palestine. We’re excited to be offering these additional resources as a way to continue to be engaging in the work of fighting antisemitism across our organization. 

Showing Up for Racial Justice

PO Box 1376

Buffalo, NY 14205