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Tidbits - Feb. 10, 2022 - Reader Comments: Russia, Ukraine And the U.S.; Free Leonard Peltier; Brian Flores Sues NFL; Unpaid Labor; Medicare for All - How; Ozark - new show; Cuban Blockade After 60 Years; resources, announcements, more....

Reader Comments: Russia, Ukraine And the U.S.; Free Leonard Peltier; Brian Flores Sues NFL; Unpaid Labor; Medicare for All - How; Ozark - new show; Cuban Blockade After 60 Years; resources, announcements, more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Feb. 10, 2022,Portside

Re: Should We Disrupt the Democratic Party or Try to Take it Over? (Carole Travis)
Legitimate Discourse  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Let's Not Allow the Great Powers to Destroy the World (Josh DB)
Re: Global Left Midweek - Ukraine and Russia (John Aldis)
Re: Memo to Congress: Diplomacy for Ukraine Is Spelled M-I-N-S-K (Stan Nadel)
Re: Brian Flores Sues the NFL. What Took So Long? (US Progressive Activists' Update; William Cutlip; Stephanie Chastain)
Can an orange man steal Olympic gold?  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle (Dave Lott)
We Voted  --  Mike Luckovich cartoon
Re: Workers Just Won a Rare Supreme Court Victory Against Wall Street (Carol Severson)
Re: In a Single Year, $1.78 Trillion Was Taken From the Working Class (Donna Fern; Steve Morse)
Re: On What Just Happened to Medicare for All in California—and the Organizing We Need to Win (Jim Coughlin; Walter Tillow)
Re: Mexican GM Workers Vote In an Independent Union (Joy Ann Grune)
Re: National Report on the Teaching of Reconstruction (Van Caldwell)
Re: Everything We See Is a Mash-Up of the Brain’s Last 15 Seconds of Visual Information (Joseph Kaye)
Re: Curtis Hayes Muhammad, Civil Rights Veteran and Grass Roots Organizer, Feb 24, 1943-Feb 1, 2022 (Carolyn Toll Oppenheim; Joseph G. Kaye; Daniel Millstone)
Re: After Electing New Leadership, the Possibilities for the Teamsters Are Enormous (Against the Current magazine)
Re: How Buddhism Has Changed the West for the Better (Jampa Lhundup; Ben Bath)
Re: Rockshelter Discoveries Show Neanderthals Were a Lot Like Us (Susan Dupont)
Re: Toward a New Political Journalism (Robert Supansic)
Re: Freud and the Miseries of Politics (Jessica Benjamin)
Re: Black Dinners Matter (Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)
Re: Ozark Might Be About How Getting A Promotion In America Can Suck (Renesia Jones; Chad Hunt; Margo Moen; Geoff P. Manion)

Free Leonard Peltier (Democratic Socialists of America)

Resources:

End the Embargo — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)
New E-Book Documents UE-FAT Cross-Border Alliance (United Electrical Workers - UE)

Announcements:

Valentine's Day rally: Mayor Adams, don't force us onto Medicare Advantage - February 14 (Physicians for a National Health Program – New York Metro)
Race, History, and Academic Freedom: A Teach-In - March 2 (National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions)

 

Re: Should We Disrupt the Democratic Party or Try to Take it Over?

We don’t think either is a current approach.  Right now we have to focus on holding back fascist white supremacy.  Think Germany pre Hitler and the mistakes of the Left.    If we can get to the other side of 2022 and 2024, then an evaluation of the situation and strategy will be appropriate.  Our job isn’t to be “correct” …..as Marx’s tombstone says “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.”

Carole Travis

Legitimate Discourse  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers

 

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.)

Rob Rogers
February 9, 2022
robrogers.com

Re: Let's Not Allow the Great Powers to Destroy the World

Come on, there's ONE "great power" threatening to destroy the world, and it has been that way for many decades. Don't play this false equivalency game

Josh DB
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Global Left Midweek - Ukraine and Russia

The son of a Russian diplomat in Beijing was kind enough to assist me as I traveled to Moscow->St. Petersburg -> Irkutsk -> Ulaanbaatar -> and back to Beijing so that my elderly parents could make that amazing trip. This was back in 1999.

When I said something to him about him being "Russian," he strongly protested. "I'm not Russian," he said, "I'm Ukrainian." He felt it was important for me to know that.

John Aldis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Memo to Congress: Diplomacy for Ukraine Is Spelled M-I-N-S-K

There is zero prospect of Ukrainian membership in NATO for the foreseeable future, so that is only hypothetical. Russia has already annexed part of the Ukraine and with 140,000 and more troops on the border it seems poised for an invasion--while there is zero chance of a Ukrainian invasion of Russia. The Russian arguments about the Russian minority in Ukraine are very similar to the German claims about the German minority in Czechoslovakia--the Sudeten Germans--and those in the West who advocated giving in to the German demands at Munich are rightly derided as "appeasers." Can anyone explain why that label wouldn't apply here too? A legitimate fundamental opposition to American imperialism shouldn't lead to a knee jerk defense of Russian imperialism. Anti-imperialists should oppose all imperialisms.

Stan Nadel

Re: Brian Flores Sues the NFL. What Took So Long?

Excerpt—

From College Football to the NFL, Blacks Aren't Treated as Management Material

Ah, you say, but don’t Black players dominate with 57.5 percent being Black and only 24.9 percent being White? That’s like saying a fast food chain isn’t racist because 57.5 percent of their fry cooks are Black. The issue isn’t how many Black fry cooks or baristas or halfbacks you have, it’s how many Blacks have the opportunity to rise into upper management.

In the case of the NFL, not many. Which is odd when you consider that the majority of players are Black and therefore offer a bigger pool of trained professionals from which to choose. As with most businesses, it makes sense to promote from within because employees have the experience and knowledge to manage.

US Progressive Activists' Update
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Remember the last Dolphins coach to sweep the Patriots in a winning season? Trick question, no one else has done it. Flores was screwed

William Cutlip
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Really. All I could think when I heard about this was- FINALLY!

Stephanie Chastain

Can an orange man steal Olympic gold?  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz
February 9, 2022
La Cucaracha

Re: Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle

The scope and speed of change during Reconstruction is hard to overstate. For the formerly enslaved, practically every sector of life was up for revision and reinvention. In his wonderful book, Black Power USA, Lerone Bennett Jr. describes a scene in which “76 Black men, many of them former slaves, and 48 white men, some of them former slaveowners” gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1868 to draft a new state constitution. Bennett writes: “A mood, frightening in its intensity, oozes up from the restless Black people . . . What shall we call this mood? Defiance? Desperation? Joy? The mood is made of all these, but most of all it is made of hope.” 

That hope fueled action. Even before abolition was affirmed by the law of the land, Black people got to work making freedom manifest. They built churches, mutual aid organizations — and hundreds of schools. The powerful drive toward literacy and education was, according to historian James Anderson, “an expression of freedom.” As the New Orleans Black Republican explained in 1865, “Freedom and school books and newspapers go hand in hand.” Formerly enslaved people reunited with stolen family cleaved by slavery, formalized marriages, and established households on their own terms. They negotiated for control over their own labor, sought access to land, and advocated for the right to vote and serve on juries, and for state-funded public education. They held conventions like the one so poignantly described by Bennett Jr., and ran for and held political office at every level of government. And they joined the political coalition that enacted the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, fundamentally changing the nature of U.S. citizenship and government.

Dave Lott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

We Voted  --  Mike Luckovich cartoon

Mike Luckovich
February 10, 2022
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Re: Workers Just Won a Rare Supreme Court Victory Against Wall Street

(posting on Portside Labor)

Thanks for publishing this article. It's great to hear of a right wing
Supreme Court majority holding on the side of workers and us old folks, too!

Carol Severson

Re: In a Single Year, $1.78 Trillion Was Taken From the Working Class

(posting on Portside Labor)

The wealth workers should have received has, arguably, instead been given to shareholders through dividends — a mechanism which functions like an upward distribution of wealth.

Donna Fern
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

This info is very useful; however, it understates the problem.   $1.78 trillion represents the amount stolen from the US working class through the INCREASE in the rate of exploitation of labor since 1979.  To get a truer picture, one could figure the dollar amount of exploitation of workers in the US at an earlier time (say 1979) multiply by the factor representing the increased numbers of US workers now, adjust for inflation, and then add $1.78 trillion to that.

Since we don’t really want to look at reality thru the lens of nation-states, we could think of the amount stolen from the working class on this planet, though I wouldn’t know how to start to get a figure for that. 

Steve Morse
Oakland, CA
Retired member - Sheet Metal Workers Local 104

Re: On What Just Happened to Medicare for All in California—and the Organizing We Need to Win

Too many people vote against their own best interests. The lazy and corrupt media pushes a false narrative that Republicans offer a credible alternative.

Jim Coughlin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

    Single Payer “State by State”? No. Here’s why…
    by Geoff Ginter
    January 4, 2022
    Real Progressives
    

Born out of the huge frustration with trying to get a National healthcare plan in the US, for well over a century there’s been a movement – sometimes strong, sometimes weak – to get to National Medicare For All (or Single-Payer plan) by enacting it in individual states first. While there are many reasons so many people might find this approach to be attractive, there are several serious flaws, problems, and misconceptions that need to be understood and dealt with...
    

Read more here 

Walter Tillow

Re: Mexican GM Workers Vote In an Independent Union

(posting on Portside Labor)

Terrific!!  Great news.  Thank you.

Joy Ann Grune

Re: National Report on the Teaching of Reconstruction

“The national report, “Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle: How State Standards Fail to Teach the Truth About Reconstruction,” was released in January of 2022 as part of our Teach Reconstruction campaign. We examined K–12 state social studies standards, interviewed educators, and concluded: State standards are awful; they misrepresent Reconstruction and need to be radically transformed.”

Van Caldwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Everything We See Is a Mash-Up of the Brain’s Last 15 Seconds of Visual Information

Very interesting.  But I would not say the brain sacrifices accuracy, for the world is actually not chaotic but law-governed -- and law-governed through the seemingly chaotic.

Joseph Kaye

Re: Curtis Hayes Muhammad, Civil Rights Veteran and Grass Roots Organizer, Feb 24, 1943-Feb 1, 2022

This generation of activists are walking off the stage.Let's remember their achievements and build on them.

Carolyn Toll Oppenheim
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

A great fighter who towards the end of his life despaired of this country and leaving it for a time before returning to pick up the fight here once again.

Joseph G. Kaye

      =====

More about Curtis & Hollis in '61

More than 100 high school students walk out in protest of Brenda Travis' expulsion for activism Seven Days of 1961 
 

Watch here

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: After Electing New Leadership, the Possibilities for the Teamsters Are Enormous

(posting on Portside Labor)

"Regardless of what O’Brien does or does not do, the ability to continue transforming the Teamsters depends on an active, organized rank and file. That’s where Teamsters for a Democratic Union comes in. It’s increased its credibility in recent years based on its leadership in organizing the 'vote no' campaign at UPS in 2018 and helping to deliver Teamsters United’s landslide election victory.

Still, cynicism remaining from the 2018 contract imposition specifically, and decades of Hoffa dealmaking and detachment more broadly, remain a major barrier to overcome. The opportunity for change in the Teamsters may be here, but the challenge the Teamsters now face is how to make that change a reality."

Barry Eidlin writes about what's next for the Teamsters after the O'Brien-Zuckerman/Teamsters United 2021 landslide victory in last year's leadership election, in this online article republished by Jacobin magazine and Portside.

Against the Current magazine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: How Buddhism Has Changed the West for the Better

ནང་ཆོས་ཀྱིས་ནུབ་ཕྱོགས་ལ་བཟང་ཕྱོགས་ཀྱི་འགྱུར་བ་བཏང་ཚུལ།
We are not who we were very long ago. A lot of new ideas have emerged from Buddhism and other traditions emphasizing compassion, equality, nonviolence and critical perspectives on materialism and capitalism

Jampa Lhundup
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Like any other religion, drenched in blood

see: Zen at War

Ben Bath
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Rockshelter Discoveries Show Neanderthals Were a Lot Like Us

Thank you greatly for this update on ancient civilization. Many thanks to all of the explorers who worked to provide this information.

Susan Dupont

Re: Toward a New Political Journalism

Years ago, Leslie Stahl of CBS News told the following story (paraphrased here from memory). During the 1984 Presidential campaign Reagan went to a senior citizens center in Buffalo to tout his efforts to aid them. The pictures showed the ever genial Reagan speaking on a sunny day, culminating in a drop of balloons over him and the crowd. Meanwhile Stahl’s voiceover detailed all of the cuts he had made to senior citizen programs.

The next day she got a call from Reagan’s Communications Director, Michael Deaver. Fearing the worst, she was shocked when Deaver thanked her for wonderful report. Confused, she pointed out that her commentary had criticized Reagan’s hypocrisy. “That’s OK,” Deaver replied. “It’s the pictures that count.”

Since then I have seen no evidence that either Stahl or the network executives ever learned from the experience. In the 2016 campaign as the anchors offered their criticism of Trump, the pictures again and again were of empty tarmacs awaiting Trump’s arrival, as if it were the Second Coming. As Republicans claimed hordes of migrants were crossing the border, all the networks dutifully showed images of long columns marching toward the U.S. without any explanation of where the pictures were taken. During the current pandemic, with ten percent or more of the public deathly afraid of injections, all of the reports universally display images of people getting needles stuck in their arms while telling us to get vaccinated. Now in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis, the images are of Russian tanks moving through the countryside, firing shells at who knows what, creating the impression that full scale war has already broken out.

On the other hand maybe they really do know that it’s the pictures that count.

Robert Supansic

Re: Freud and the Miseries of Politics

It is striking that even now the most important feminist commentaries and arguments with Freud’s seminal (!) work are ignored. In 1976 Dorothy Dinnerstein published The *Mermaid and The Minotaur, *arguably a foundational text for second wave feminism owing much to De Beauvoir and reinterpreting the dilemma of civilization as one of male domination. In 1988 following Dinnerstein and De Beauvoir I published *The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis Feminism and the Problem of Domination *which among other things is a gloss on *Civilization and its Discontents *that offers a reinterpretation of his theory of  aggression and the Oedipus Complex.

Psychoanalysis is a discipline that owes much to its founder but has developed in manifold ways beyond his assumptions, including those regarding male superiority, to put it simplistically. The ignorance of these developments is seemingly due to the vicissitudes of our cultural life that places greater emphasis in literature and texts than on social theory. There is a world of demonstrations thought that opens up and resolved the questions Freud posed in vital ways. Vital because how we interpret the problem of authoritarianism, control over women, and the related issues of class and race oppression have never been more crucial. Time for at least Left academics and writers to catch up.

Jessica Benjamin

Re: Black Dinners Matter

(posting on Portside Culture)

After working in servitude, from sunup to sundown, enslaved Africans were further demeaned by slaveholders at mealtimes. Meals were served out of troughs, and those brought to the fields came in buckets filled with slop. There were no utensils, and eating and drinking water were both done by hand. The idea of eating together as a community, in leisure or with any sense of enjoyment, was completely unimaginable; it was survival. It is nothing short of miraculous that “Soul Food” — a byproduct of the Black liberation movement — exists at all. It is even more miraculous to know that Southern food, like jazz, is a defining American marker of culture, not just for African-Americans, but for all Americans. Though it has tried for 400 years, white supremacy has been unable to stifle the Black imagination.

Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Ozark Might Be About How Getting A Promotion In America Can Suck

(posting on Portside Culture)

Can't wait for part 2

Renesia Jones
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Please don’t turn this into some left wing propaganda. It’s a great show, nothing more, nothing less

Chad Hunt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

oh please, the wokeness!

Margo Moen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Not sure I wanted Ozark to be that deep...I just want to enjoy it and take it for what it is.

Geoff P. Manion
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Free Leonard Peltier (Democratic Socialists of America)


Demonstrators carry a banner during a rally for Leonard Peltier in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Feb. 7, 2022. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World  //  BuzzFeed News)

February 2, 2022
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

Democratic Socialists of America calls for the immediate release of political prisoner Leonard Peltier (Anishinaabe/Dakota) from the United States Penitentiary, Coleman, in Florida. Mr. Peltier is 77 years old and has been incarcerated by the United States Government for over 46 years, suffering under the interdependent cruelties of the settler-colonialist state and the prison-industrial complex.

Mr. Peltier tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, January 28, becoming one of millions of Americans suffering directly because of the malfeasance of the federal COVID response, but his position is particularly dangerous as a person with multiple cardiopulmonary health problems (diabetes, hypertension and an aortic aneurysm, among others), and the lack of adequate medical treatment that is available to incarcerated people.

It is an egregious human rights violation to keep an elderly, infirm person incarcerated, and it is particularly disturbing in Mr. Peltier’s case, as his imprisonment, which has now stretched nearly 30 years past his date of eligible parole, is purely a political matter, beginning with an illegal extradition and spurred on by Mr. Peltier’s tireless repudiation of the violent and dehumanizing conditions within the federal prison system as well as within the reservation system; two of the most shameful aspects of the US American empire. We stand in solidarity with the indigenous elected officials of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators, including DSA member Ruth Buffalo, North Dakota State Representative from District 27, in their call for the immediate release of Leonard Peltier through the granting of clemency by President Joe Biden. We see the fight for Mr. Peltier’s liberation as one part of a global movement that stretches from Chile to Indonesia, to end the criminalization of indigenous activism by neocolonialist powers, whether they be national governments or multinational companies. 

This matter is urgent and cannot await bureaucratic maneuvers. Mr. Peltier is sick right now, and his community, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, has expressed a full willingness and desire to welcome him home, see to his immediate medical needs and provide him the support and care that an elder community member requires.

DSA further calls on all DSA members to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to co-sign the requests made by Senators Schatz and Leahy for Peltier’s release. We also call on DSA chapters to publish similar statements of support for the immediate release of Leonard Peltier. We further encourage our comrades to stand in solidarity with those seeking truth and reconciliation surrounding American Indian Residential Schools–forced re-education camps for children in which Leonard Peltier spent most of his childhood–as well as the crucial work of abolition. Socialists across the United States owe a historic debt and duty to those people whose land we occupy, and it is the responsibility of all of us to uplift the efforts of indigenous peoples in the United States and around the world in their fight for sovereignty, self-determination, freedom and land back. 

For Further Reading:

End the Embargo — Poster of the Week (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)


¡No Al Bloqueo Economico A Cuba! 
No To The Economic Blockade Against Cuba!
Gladys Acosta
Organización de Solidaridad de los Pueblos de Africa, Asia y América Latina (OSPAAAL)
Offset, 1992
Havana, Cuba

Oil / Foreign Exchange / Medicine / Imports / Exports

Today is the 60th anniversary of the US embargo against Cuba. Last year, for the 29th year in a row, 184 countries in the United Nations General Assembly voted to end the economic blockade against Cuba – only the United States and Israel voted no.

The Soviet Union collapsed more than 3 decades ago, but the embargo against Cuba continues. The US trades with Saudi Arabia, but the embargo against Cuba continues. Why are we so out of step with the rest of the world?

Sources:

Image courtesy of Lincoln Cushing

Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 103
Culver City, CA 90230

New E-Book Documents UE-FAT Cross-Border Alliance (United Electrical Workers - UE)

International Solidarity in Action, a new e-book written by UE’s retired Director of International Affairs Robin Alexander and published by UE, was released today. It provides an in-depth look at the decades-long relationship between the UE and the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), an independent Mexican labor federation.

Get the Book - click here

“Corporate globalization has destroyed millions of good jobs in the U.S. through trade deals like NAFTA. Robin Alexander’s book demonstrates that the most effective way for workers to fight back is by building links with workers in other countries,” said UE General President Carl Rosen. “Her account of our union’s alliance with the FAT shows how worker-to-worker exchanges can transform attitudes and lives, and how international solidarity can win real victories for working people.”

The book details the origins of UE’s relationship with the FAT in the fight against NAFTA, joint UE-FAT campaigns at companies including General Electric, Echlin, and DMI/Metaldyne, and exchanges between public-sector and co-op workers in the U.S. and Mexico. It describes the development of the International Worker Justice Campaign, which brought international attention to North Carolina’s denial of collective bargaining rights to public-sector workers. It ends with a description of the historic labor law reform enacted in Mexico in 2019, and the role of international solidarity in winning this critical victory for Mexican workers.

Throughout, Alexander highlights the role played by rank-and-file UE members in building solidarity with their counterparts in Mexico, and the pages are full of the names of local UE leaders from across the country.

International Solidarity in Action has also drawn praise from others around the labor movement.

“At a time when we need global unions perhaps more than we have ever before, the story of the UE-FAT cross-border relationship provides just the inspiration and model needed,” said Kate Bronfenbrenner, the Director of Labor Education Research at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

“Robin Alexander has written what is a political memoir, an analysis of the struggle for militant, democratic unionism in Mexico, and a strong argument for international working class solidarity,” said Bill Fletcher, Jr., who addressed UE’s 1999 convention. Fletcher is a long-time labor activist and author and former president of the TransAfrica Forum.

“This timely e-book builds up to the story of labor law reform in Mexico, getting there via micro-histories of some of the struggles to win against the corrupt charro unions, worker-to-worker exchanges among UE and FAT members, and cross-border cultural projects,” added Ashwini Sukthankar, former coordinator of the International Commission for Labor Rights and former director of global campaigns for UNITE HERE. “Consequently, the reform process really does come across as the culmination of real workers’ struggles, and not as an imposition from above, or the technical fiddling of lawyers.”International Solidarity in Action can be downloaded at internationalsolidarityinaction.org. There is little to no cost*, but UE is asking those who download the book to make a donation to support ongoing solidarity work with the FAT. (*Kindle users will need to pay a 99 cent fee to download the book from Amazon.)

UE International Department
international@ueunion.org | (412) 471-8919
4 Smithfield Street, 9th Floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Valentine's Day rally: Mayor Adams, don't force us onto Medicare Advantage - February 14 - (Physicians for a National Health Program – New York Metro)

Retirees opposed to the City's plan to switch their healthcare coverage will rally near City Hall on Valentine's Day, asking Mayor Eric Adams not to break their hearts by forcing them off traditional Medicare. The group staging the rally, Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee (CROC), is collecting valentine messages from retirees satisfied with their current plan, original Medicare plus a supplement. Thousands of city's 250,000 retirees are fighting the city's plan to automatically enroll them in a Medicare Advantage plan, which would restrict provider choice and demand prior authorization for scores of services. Retirees can opt out and maintain their current policy, but only by paying a punishing new monthly premium of $191 per person covered, unaffordable for many retirees. Speakers, songs and a valentine signing event will place the issue before the mayor, the public, and the media.

A court ruling has delayed implementation of the plan, initially set to take effect on January 1, until April 1 at earliest. A retiree group allied with CROC, the NYC Organization of Public Service Employees, sued the city, claiming that it lacked the authority to impose the new plan, called NYC Medicare Advantage Plus. Describing the implementation of the plan as "irrational," a state supreme court judge issued a temporary restraining order on enrollment. That order could be lifted in April, provided that the insurer - a joint effort of EmblemHealth and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield called the Alliance - corrects deficiencies. Among the court's criticism was inadequate communication between the insurer and providers, many of whom are still unclear about the new plan.

The judge is scheduled to hear arguments in late February about the underlying case. On January 30, lawyers for the retirees filed a memorandum of law stating, among other things, that the city has exceeded its authority in proposing the health care change.

Meanwhile, CROC is bringing the fight to the streets and soliciting the support of elected officials. State Assembly Member Robert C. Carroll of Brooklyn and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams have consistently supported CROC rallies, either speaking at them or sending representatives. In an "exit interview" with WNYC's Brian Lehrer, outgoing City Comptroller Scott Stringer said he thought the healthcare switch was "not necessary." The Daily News, which has been following the issue closely, has been told by City Hall several times that the mayor is actively reviewing the issue. CROC hopes the Valentine's Day rally will prompt the new mayor to take a stand against this change.

Update, Feb. 7: As a candidate, Eric Adams called the MAP a “bait and switch.” But today, Mayor Adams came out in support of the plan to change municipal retiree's traditional medicare into a Medicare Advantage plan, while still claiming that “the city has had, and will continue to have, your best interests at heart.” So it's crucial that you call 311 Online or email Mayor Adams https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/mayor-contact.page  Send an Online Message and tell him No! We want to keep our traditional medicare. And then get as many folks as you can and join us on Valentine's Day at City Hall, 12 Noon, Broadway and Murray Street.

Recent news accounts:

Mayor Adams approves controversial new Medicare plan for retired NYC workers despite lawsuit

Comptroller Lander vows to ‘carefully’ scrutinize new Medicare plan for retired NYC workers as deadline nears

Stay safe and keep acting for life-saving change,

Oliver Fein, MD
Board Chair, Physicians for a National Health Program – New York Metro

Physicians for a National Health Program – New York Metro
131 W 33rd St 4th floor
New York, NY 10001

Race, History, and Academic Freedom: A Teach-In - March 2 (National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions)

Register Now for the National Center's Webinar: Race, History, and Academic Freedom, A Teach-in - click here

March 2, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. EST

The webinar seeks to educate those working and studying on campuses throughout the country about the current attacks on the teaching and learning about race in American history.

The webinar has been endorsed by the African American Policy Forum, AAUP, NEA, Labor and Working Class History Association, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Pullias Center for Higher Education, USC, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, Southern Labor Studies Association, and UMass-Amherst Labor Center.

For more information:

Michelle Savarese 
National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions 
646-709-5338 
national.center@hunter.cuny.edu