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Tidbits – June 9, 2022 – Reader Comments: Uvalde School Shootings – Ban Assault Weapons; High Rents; Latin America Summit; Medicare Advantage; 2022 Elections; Thomas Piketty; 40 Years – June 12, 1982 Anti-Nuclear War Protests; More…

Reader Comments: Uvalde School Shootings - Ban Assault Weapons; High Rents; Latin America Summit; Medicare Advantage; 2022 Elections; Thomas Piketty; 40 Years - June 12, 1982 Anti-Nuclear War Protests; more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - June 9, 2022, Portside

When the Second Amendment Was Passed  --  cartoon by Chan Lowe
Only a Few More Weeks of School  --  Tim Dolighan cartoon
Re: Trailer Park Residents Take On Venture Capitalists—And Win (Elizabeth Kelly; Patty Conner Krockel; Jennifer Nouri; Mariam Alunkal)
Re: We Must Fight White Supremacy With Solidarity: Jews Respond to the ADL’s Harmful Campaign (John Ebel)
Re: Mexican President Boycotts Summit Over Us Exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela (John Aldis)
Re: Elon Musk and Smell of BS (Howard Harawitz; René Finnie; Earl Marty Price; Eleanor Roosevelt; Jack Radey)
Re: Polls Show Progressive San Francisco DA Could Lose His Job in Blow to National Movement (Sal Mangiagli; Lawrence Rockwood)
Workers Voting Conservative
Re: The Latest For-Profit “Advantage” Assault on Medicare Exposed (Gina Klein; Miriam Haiman-González
Re: Russian ‘Left’ Split Over Ukraine War (Activists)
Re: Comrade Thomas Piketty, Welcome to the Socialist Movement (Sal Mangiagli; David Berger; John Case)
Re: A Real Jubilee: A Mass Write-Off of Debts (Timothy Page)
Re: The Circus Was Televised (Miriam Haiman-González; Marianne Brucker)

Resources:

I swore an oath — An oath to do no harm.  - Dr. Roy Guerrero, Uvalde's only pediatrician

 

Announcements:

Earth to Europe and US: End COVID Monopolies - New York City - June 10 (New York Trade Justice Coalition, Health GAP and Metro New York Health Care for All)
Inspired By Our Past, Organizing for Our Future  --  The Commemoration of the Historic June 12, 1982 Demonstration for Nuclear Disarmament and Human Needs - Sunday, June 12
Rally to Cancel Medicare Advantage Plan for NYC Retirees - June 16 (Cross-Union Retirees Organizing Committee)

 

When the Second Amendment Was Passed  --  cartoon by Chan Lowe

 

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Chan Lowe

June 13, 2016
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Only a Few More Weeks of School  --  Tim Dolighan cartoon

Tim Dolighan

May 26, 2022
Toronto Sun

Re: Trailer Park Residents Take On Venture Capitalists—And Win
 

"In the meantime, Chavez offers this encouragement to other trailer park residents interested in buying their parks: ​“Look out for each other. Ask your community for help. If we did it, I’m pretty sure others can.”

Elizabeth Kelly
Portside's Facebook page

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See what happens when people unite! 👍

Patty Conner Krockel
Portside's Facebook page

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This how you control rent.

Jennifer Nouri
Portside's Facebook page

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The greed of venture capitalists knows no bounds. Good for the park residents.

Mariam Alunkal
Portside's Facebook page

Re: We Must Fight White Supremacy With Solidarity: Jews Respond to the ADL’s Harmful Campaign

The Anti-Defamation League does not speak for us, and we will not allow them to divide and defame our communities and movements, including the movement for Palestinian human rights. Jewish communities must embrace anti-Zionist and non-Zionist voices, along with all other voices for justice.

John Ebel
Portside's Facebook page

Re: Mexican President Boycotts Summit Over Us Exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela 

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

I really wonder what sort of advice my State Department is giving to my president. You might not LIKE some of those countries, but banning them from such a meeting has some serious and predictable down-sides.

John Aldis
Portside's Facebook page

Re: Elon Musk and Smell of BS
 

We live in a condo apartment building with 201 units and several big garages. We'd like to get an electric car but have no reasonable way to bring power to our parking space. It will cost $6,000+.

Howard Harawitz
Portside's Facebook page

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Son of Apartheid

René Finnie
Portside's Facebook page

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Shithead Afrikaner

Earl Marty Price
Portside's Facebook page

      =====

I can't wait for the day that this boob is as forgotten as Jay Gould.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Boring, Boorish, Boer.

Jack Radey
Portside's Facebook page

Re: Polls Show Progressive San Francisco DA Could Lose His Job in Blow to National Movement
 

Progressive AG's are being targeted

Sal Mangiagli
Portside's Facebook page

      =====

California is a hell hole that can't be fixed without overturning prop 13.

Lawrence Rockwood
Portside's Facebook page

Workers Voting Conservative

Re: The Latest For-Profit “Advantage” Assault on Medicare Exposed
 

“There are things government (“public”) should do, and things that should be done by private industry.  The variable that differentiates them is determining when and where the profit motive will help or hurt society.”

Gina Klein
Portside's Facebook page

      =====

That's why straight up, Original Medicare best.

Miriam Haiman-González
Portside's Facebook page

Re: Russian ‘Left’ Split Over Ukraine War

Opposition current in the Communist Party of the Russian Federation

by Activists

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article62725

Appeal to members of the CPRF and LKSM, deputies and candidates for deputies at various levels from the CPRF, political and trade union activists, and citizens who voted for the CPRF, to members of the CPRF and deputies from the CPRF at all levels.

Comrades, members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and deputies of the CPRF, we address you with a friendly request. We ask you to publicly demand an immediate end to the fratricidal war between the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, and to come up with a transitional programme to change post-war Russia and the world. And also to take this position in intra-party discussions.

We are convinced that you and I have no right to remain silent during the catastrophe that is unfolding in the former Soviet Union. A catastrophe that has had no precedent since the Great Patriotic War. Especially when the deaths of children and adults in Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa or the crimes of the Ukrainian ultra-right cannot be tolerated as a justification for Putin’s military adventure.

This war is blatantly imperialist [1]. The ideologues of imperial nationalism, who dream of decommunization according to their own script, are behind it. Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, mostly from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, die in it, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes and millions live in fear of bombing and shelling. The war will hit the workers of both countries, it is they who will have to pay for this bloody bacchanalia. If Ukraine needs “denazification”, this task can only be solved by the Ukrainians themselves. On the contrary, the Kremlin’s aggression will only lead to the rise of far-right and anti-Russian sentiments, legitimizing in the eyes of many the previous crimes of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis. Today, hundreds of thousands, millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who have nothing to do with neo-Nazism, call Russia an occupier and the events taking place the Ukrainian Patriotic War. Do we like such analogies? Any brotherly relations or alliances with the Ukrainians after this adventure of the Putin regime can be forgotten forever.

Russia will not be the same after this one anyway. But it depends on you and me, on our actions or our inaction, what these changes will be.

By supporting the war, we will disgrace ourselves, the Party and the whole Communist idea for decades. But by making use of the emerging anti-war consensus in society to bring about a radical change in the interests of the majority, we will raise the Communists’ credibility enormously. To do this we need to wrest power from an entrenched handful of oligarchs and militarists so that such a tragedy will never again be possible. Such wars happen because of glaring inequalities. Because a tiny percentage of people living in luxury and security behind the walls of their palaces and bunkers can arbitrarily make decisions that make the lives of hundreds of millions a living hell and a bad dream. Under any sanctions, the elites will find a way to keep their money and property - at the expense of the people.

As the largest opposition parliamentary party in Russia, the CPRF, which received public support in the last Duma elections, must take an active part in the anti-war protest and combine it with demands for socio-economic restructuring of the country.

State Duma deputies from the KPRF Smolin, Markhaev, Matveev, Moscow City Duma deputy Stupin, a number of regional Komsomol organizations and many others have already advocated an immediate end to this war, an initiative “KPRF/MLKSM members against the war” has emerged. [2], but this is not enough.

We urge you, our comrades, Party and Komsomol members, CPRF deputies at all levels to take steps:

  1. Openly support and disseminate information about the appeal on your resources.
  2. Write or call your fellow CPRF deputies and personally ask them to join the appeal.
  3. Discuss the appeal at meetings and gatherings of their party organisations, CPRF meetings in parliaments at all levels, and adopt resolutions based on these discussions.
  4. Using any tribune, including the parliamentary one, as well as street meetings with voters, demand a simultaneous end to the war between fraternal nations and social transformation in our country.

Click here to subscribe to ESSF newsletters in English and/or French.

P.S.

The Telegram channel of this opposition current (https://t.me/kprfstoptwar) disappeared on March 12.

Footnotes

[1] “The European and world war has the clearly defined character of a bourgeois, imperialist, dynastic war. The struggle for the markets and plunder of foreign countries, the desire to suppress the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and democracy within countries, the desire to fool, divide and slaughter the proletarians of all countries by pitting the wage slaves of one nation against the wage slaves of another in favour of the bourgeoisie - this is the only real content and meaning of war”.

V.I. Lenin, “Tasks of Revolutionary Social-Democracy in the European War” (PSS, vol. 26, p.1)

[2] “Members of the KPRF and LKSM RF from different regions, oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now it is very important to unite efforts and show that there are many of us. Join us!”
 

Re: Comrade Thomas Piketty, Welcome to the Socialist Movement
 

Yet for Piketty, like countless others across the world, the past three decades of what he calls “hypercapitalism” pushed him to question accepted truths about the prevailing economic system. And while the author still shied away from advocating socialism at the time of the publication of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, his 2013 best-selling magnum opus on inequality, he’s now come to embrace the term — arguing that despite the baggage of its connotations of Stalinism, “It remains the most appropriate term to describe the idea of an alternative economic system to capitalism.”

Sal Mangiagli
Portside's Facebook page

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Social democracy is the future? Really?

David Berger
Portside's Facebook page

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I am a great admirer of Thomas Piketty. His research on inequality has had the biggest ideological impact on economic macro analysis of any economist since Paul Samuelson, or maybe Keynes. And in a positive direction. Lately he has been blogging more on politics. His "socialism" is not new. It differs little, for example, from Karl Kautsky, the German socialist, and renegade from Communism, except Piketty never mentions class struggle. Like many previous social democrats, he rejects the revolutionary path to socialism.  Interestingly, this means he rejects the socialism of every country that actually calls itself socialist. Furthermore, his reforms, which are based on his monumental history of capital, and include an "incremental" but aggressive expansion of the "welfare state" into the realms of wealth, are exactly the reforms that ruling classes have, without exception, drowned in blood, and are exactly the reforms that revolutions -- a change in the ruling social classes -- are needed to implement. For an example in a different era, consider the goal of an incremental end to colonial taxes on tea founded on pleas to a colonial regime. I submit Piketty's reforms presume an utterly unrealistic measure of respect for democracy on the part of capitalists; a "respect" that would permit them to accede to the voters voting away most of their private wealth -- without resort to violence, or destruction of the democracy.  Absent such capture of wealth, Piketty's own math shows that capitalist wealth will continue to concentrate and accumulate, along with the vast political corruption of the public interest such concentration incentivizes.

I do not disagree in principle that there can be peaceful paths to socialism -- which in reality does not actually wipe out capitalism, because only relative and advancing abundance can truly accomplish that. But the revolutionary path does permit the establishment of a different ruling class coalition in which bourgeois interests are not dominant. Most likely, however, only the increasing strength of existing socialism, not denouncing it, can effect a global balance of forces where progressive and peaceful transitions are possible. My two cents.

John Case

Re:  A Real Jubilee: A Mass Write-Off of Debts
 

The crowds are huge and they love their monarchy. Remind me what they do. Just receive their paychecks from the government? Anything else? The queen seems nice, but her sons are a mess. I guess his sons got their good genes from Princes Di.

Timothy Page

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Circus Was Televised

(posted on Portside Culture)
 

But it was a jury who ultimately judged him. And people who write pieces like this are old school #metoo that don't get he was me too too.

Miriam Haiman-González

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Nope.

Marianne Brucker

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

I swore an oath — An oath to do no harm.  - Dr. Roy Guerrero, Uvalde's only pediatrician 

Testimony before Congress - June 8, 2022


 

Listen here

My name is Dr. Roy Guerrero. I am a board certified pediatrician and I was present at Uvalde Memorial Hospital the day of the massacre on May 24th, 2022 at Robb Elementary School. 

I was called here today as a witness. But I showed up because I am a doctor. Because how many years ago I swore an oath — An oath to do no harm.

After witnessing first hand the carnage in my hometown of Uvalde, to stay silent would have betrayed that oath. Inaction is harm. Passivity is harm. Delay is harm. So here I am. 

Not to plead, not to beg or to convince you of anything. But to do my job. And hope that by doing so it inspires the members of this House to do theirs.

I have lived in Uvalde my whole life. In fact, I attended Robb Elementary School myself as a kid. As often is the case with us grown ups, we remember a lot of the good and not so much of the bad. So I don’t recall homework or spelling bees, I remember how much I loved going to school and what a joyful time it was.

Back then we were able to run between classrooms with ease to visit our friends. And I remember the way the cafeteria smelled lunchtime on Hamburger Thursdays.

It was right around lunchtime on a Tuesday that a gunman entered the school through the main door without restriction, massacred 19 students and two teachers and changed the way every student at Robb and their families will remember that school, forever.

I doubt they’ll remember the smell of the cafeteria or the laughter ringing in the hallways. Instead they’ll be haunted by the memory of screams and bloodshed, panic and chaos. Police shouting, parents wailing. I know I will never forget what I saw that day.

For me, that day started like any typical Tuesday at our Pediatric clinic - moms calling for coughs, boogers, sports physicals – right before the summer rush. School was out in two days then summer camps would guarantee some grazes and ankle sprains. Injuries that could be patched up and fixed with a Mickey Mouse sticker as a reward.

Then at 12:30 business as usual stopped and with it my heart. A colleague from a San Antonio trauma center texted me a message: 'Why are the pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists on call for a mass shooting in Uvalde?'

I raced to the hospital to find parents outside yelling children’s names in desperation and sobbing as they begged for any news related to their child. Those mother’s cries I will never get out of my head.

As I entered the chaos of the ER, the first casualty I came across was Miah Cerrillo. She was sitting in the hallway. Her face was still, still clearly in shock, but her whole body was shaking from the adrenaline coursing through it. The white Lilo and Stitch shirt she wore was covered in blood and her shoulder was bleeding from a shrapnel injury.

Sweet Miah. I’ve known her my whole life. As a baby she survived major liver surgeries against all odds. And once again she’s here. As a survivor. Inspiring us with her story today and her bravery.

When I saw Miah sitting there, I remembered having seen her parents outside. So after quickly examining two other patients of mine in the hallway with minor injuries, I raced outside to let them know Miah was alive. I wasn’t ready for their next urgent and desperate question: 'Where's Elena?'

Elena, is Miah’s 8-year-old sister who was also at Robb at the time of the shooting. I had heard from some nurses that there were “two dead children” who had been moved to the surgical area of the hospital. As I made my way there, I prayed that I wouldn’t find her.

I didn’t find Elena, but what I did find was something no prayer will ever relieve.

Two children, whose bodies had been so pulverized by the bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been so ripped apart, that the only clue as to their identities was the blood spattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them. Clinging for life and finding none.

I could only hope these two bodies were a tragic exception to the list of survivors. But as I waited there with my fellow Uvalde doctors, nurses, first responders and hospital staff for other casualties we hoped to save, they never arrived. All that remained was the bodies of 17 more children and the two teachers who cared for them, who dedicated their careers to nurturing and respecting the awesome potential of every single one. Just as we doctors do.

I’ll tell you why I became a pediatrician. Because I knew that children were the best patients. They accept the situation as it’s explained to them. You don’t have to coax them into changing their lifestyles in order to get better or plead them to modify their behavior as you do with adults.

No matter how hard you try to help an adult, their path to healing is always determined by how willing they are to take action. Adults are stubborn. We’re resistant to change even when the change will make things better for ourselves. But especially when we think we’re immune to the fallout.

Why else would there have been such little progress made in Congress to stop gun violence?

Innocent children all over the country today are dead because laws and policy allows people to buy weapons before they’re legally even old enough to buy a pack of beer. They are dead because restrictions have been allowed to lapse. They’re dead because there are no rules about where guns are kept. Because no one is paying attention to who is buying them.

The thing I can’t figure out is whether our politicians are failing us out of stubbornness, passivity or both.

I said before that as grown ups we have a convenient habit of remembering the good and forgetting the bad. Never more so than when it comes to our guns. Once the blood is rinsed away from the bodies of our loved ones, and scrubbed off the floors or the schools and supermarkets and churches, the carnage from each scene is erased from our collective conscience and we return once again to nostalgia.

To the rose tinted view of our second amendment as a perfect instrument of American life, no matter how many lives are lost.

I chose to be a pediatrician. I chose to take care of children. Keeping them safe from preventable diseases I can do. Keeping them safe from bacteria and brittle bones I can do. But making sure our children are safe from guns, that’s the job of our politicians and leaders.

In this case, you are the doctors and our country is the patient. We are lying on the operating table, riddled with bullets like the children of Robb Elementary and so many other schools. We are bleeding out and you are not there.

My oath as a doctor means that I signed up to save lives. I do my job. And I guess it turns out that I am here to plead. To beg. To please, please do yours.

Earth to Europe and US: End COVID Monopolies - New York City - June 10  (New York Trade Justice Coalition, Health GAP and Metro New York Health Care for All)

START:

Friday, June 10, 2022  --  12:00 PM

Grand Central Plaza

END:

Friday, June 10, 2022  --  1:00 PM

622 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017

SPECIAL REQUEST: WE ASK ALL ATTENDEES TO DRESS ON BLACK

Join with health and social justice activists worldwide as we collectively undertake Global Days of Actions being organized by the People's Vaccine Alliance during early June to demand the US and European countries to “end COVID monopolies” and “vaccinate and treat the world now!” Here's where to find an event near you around the world.

These events are being held prior to the the upcoming annual Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that begins on Sun. June 12 in Geneva. The issue of the WTO adopting a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 and future pandemics will be one of the top agenda items.

Here in NYC, groups leading the #EndVaccineApartheid NYC campaign and our allies will be gathering in midtown Manhattan and marching to the UN Missions of Switzerland, European Union, United Kingdom, Germany, and US to call them out for not taking the necessary steps to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and save millions of lives, and deliver a letter of demands to each country’s UN Ambassador.

Since the fall of 2020, these five Western nations have stood in the way of efforts to temporarily waive international intellectual property rights so that COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines can be immediately mass produced and used everywhere around the world, particularly in the Global South. As a result, millions get sick and many die, the pandemic keeps spreading, and new viral variants emerge that threaten all of us everywhere.

Instead of protect everyday people everywhere, these countries are protecting #BigPharma's pandemic profiteering. Over 120 nations are supporting a proposal from India and South Africa for the WTO to adopt a comprehensive "TRIPS waiver" to end the global pandemic as quickly as possible.

Schedule of event components:

12 noon -- Gather in Grand Central Plaza, 622 Third Ave. (NW corner of East 40th St.)

12:05 -- Swiss Mission to UN, 633 Third Ave. (NE corner of East 40th St.)

12:15 -- European Union Mission to UN, 666 Third Ave. (NW corner of East 42nd St.)

12:25 -- Die-in outside Pfizer World Headquarters, 235 East 42nd St. (NW corner of 2nd Ave.)

12:35 -- United Kingdom Mission to the UN, 885 2nd Ave. (NW cor. East 47th St.)

12:45 -- Germany Mission to the UN, 871 1st Ave. (SW cor. East 49th St.)

12:55 -- US Mission to the UN, 799 First Ave. (SW cor. 45th St.)

Here is the Facebook event to share.

List of participating organizations [list in formation]:

Center for Popular Democracy and CPD Action

Health Global Access Project (HealthGAP)

Housing Works

Metro New York Health Care for All

New York Trade Justice Coalition

Physicians for a National Health Program, NY Metro Chapter

Public Citizen Global Trade Watch

Rise and Resist

Showing Up for Racial Justice NYC

For more information and to have your own group become a co-sponsor, contact metrohealth@igc.org

Inspired By Our Past, Organizing for Our Future  --  The Commemoration of the Historic June 12, 1982 Demonstration for Nuclear Disarmament and Human Needs - June 12

June 12, 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the largest peace demonstration in United States history. On this historic day, one million people marched from the United Nations, filled the streets of New York City, and rallied in Central Park to demand an end to the nuclear arms race.

While the June 12th demonstration anchored the efforts, many other important parts of the mobilization occurred before and after that historic day, including the nonviolent civil disobedience actions at each of the five nuclear nations' missions to the UN on June 14th; a major international conference; an interfaith religious service; and scores of cultural and educational activities.

Throughout these days, people from all over the world spoke with one voice to say "No More Hiroshimas," paving the way for a future without nuclear weapons. Forty years later, we invite you to join us for a series of virtual events to learn from those who organized the June 12th, 1982 demonstration, as well as current activists who continue to work for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. 

Register Now  

June 12, 2022 12pm-4pm-EST

Supporters

Arms Control Association

Back from the Brink

Brooklyn for Peace

Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, and Common Security

Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility 

Fellowship of Reconciliation

HDGM- Saving the Planet, Saving the People

Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York

Hibakusha Stories

Hiroshima/ Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area

ICAN The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Long Island Alliance

Massachusetts Peace Action

New Japan Women's Association

New Jersey Peace Action

New York City Metro Raging Grannies

North Country Peace Group

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Nukewatch

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Peace Action Bay Bridge

Peace Action Maine

Peace Action New York State

Peace Action Wisconsin

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Prospect Hill Foundation

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Reverse the Trend

San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility

South County Peace Group, Inc.

Stand With Okinawa, NY

Staten Island Women Who March

Syracuse Peace Council

The Nuclear Resister

The Ribbon International

Union of Concerned Scientists

United for Peace and Justice 

Upper Hudson Peace Action

Veterans for Peace, NYC Chapter 34

War Resisters League

Western New York Peace Center

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Women Cross DMZ

World Beyond War

World Can't Wait

...And Growing! Check Back Soon

CONTACT US

For questions and comments email June12Legacy@gmail.com
June 12 Legacy Committee

Rally to Cancel Medicare Advantage Plan for NYC Retirees - June 16 (Cross-Union Retirees Organizing Committee)

Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee CROC