Skip to main content

Tidbits – May 25, 2023 – Reader Comments: GOP Default Disaster; Child Labor Laws GOP Solution in Red States: Gun Deaths Still Climb, Uvalde Anniversary; Sartre; Welcome-This Week in People’s History; Ukraine Peace Appeal; Cartoons; More…

Reader Comments: GOP Default Disaster; Child Labor Laws GOP Solution in Red States: Gun Deaths Still Climb, Uvalde Anniversary; Sartre; Welcome-This Week in People’s History; Ukraine Peace Appeal; Cartoons; more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - May 25, 2023,Portside


Deficit Attention Disorder  --  Cartoon by Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson
May 22, 2023

Re: Obey the Constitution (Before the Supreme Court)  

The national debt is not a true static debt. It is an amount that reflects the size of the economy and its goods and services. It is a promise to pay, ,but in an economy as big as the US, money comes and goes on a regular basis. There may be a surplus as taxes come in, and a deficit as large payments go out. As long as there is faith that the US intends to pay, nothing else matters.

There is not a one time, this amount is due tomorrow situation. Instead, we pay tomorrow, and if there is not enough cash on hand, we borrow. Plenty of entities are willing to lend (for interest), banks, countries, corporations, individuals. This whole discussion is silly. Now if nobody will buy US bonds, then we could not pay.

The Republicans are basically saying that there is a limit to the total amount they are willing to pay. It is a silly self imposed limit (no, I won't buy more groceries, you can't make me). It is an excuse to not spend money in ways they don't want to (education, health, helping the poor, aid for elders and children). They are basically saying to lenders, we won't pay you back because we don't want to. This would destroy the entire economy, and at some point the Chamber of Commerce would come to its senses and send them all to Guantanamo Bay! LOL.

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.)

Charles Patrick Lynch
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Wingman  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich
May 24, 2023
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Re: Bernie Sanders: It’s Time To Guarantee Healthcare to All Americans as a Human Right  

Embarrassment is not a motivator for the elite who consign and confine the US population to social and economic mediocrity and austerity. Their quest for profit is not deterred by such things as feelings, ethics or morals. Business is business and no cost, including human, is too high to pay for the sake of profit.

Max Mastellone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: To Protect Our Children, Let’s Tax Our Rich  

Easiest way to make a fair tax system is this. The first $50k you earn is tax free. Every dollar you earn over $50k gets taxed at the current rate for earnings over $50k. Where this works is you have to tax ALL forms of income at this rate and close the bazillion loopholes. You want to talk about growing the economy?

Imagine all of the middle income and low income families suddenly having that tax money back in their pockets. Do you think they will squirrel it away and invest it off shore like the rich do? No! They will spend every dollar of it on better healthcare, education, renovations, vacations, dinners out etc. The rich, won't even feel a difference in their lifestyle.

Robert Laite
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Wisconsin Teacher To Be Fired After Complaining About “Rainbowland” Song Ban  

A teacher is fired for calling out censorship in the classroom after she’s corrected for using a “ controversial “ song in a concert. It’s a Dolly Parton song about choosing love over hate, so of course it’s deemed “ controversial “. Conservatives have lost their damn minds.

E Beth Davis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Red States Are Now Weakening Child Labor Laws  

Do they also want abortion abolished to increase births so there are more children available?

Gina Klein
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The photographer's name is Lewis Hine, not Hines (see for more century-old child labor. Who is photographing today's outrage?

Julia Van Haaften

Choose Wisely  (Uvalde: One Year Anniversary)  --  Cartoon by David Whammond

David Whammond
May 26, 2022

Durham Report  --  Cartoon by Bob Englehart

Bob Englehart
May 16, 2023
Tampa Bay Times

Re: The UAW Is Right To Withhold Its Endorsement of Joe Biden

(posting on Portside Labor)  

Thanks for the good article!  I am glad at least the UAW has gotten up off its chair.  Now if someone can light a fire under the Am. Fed. of Govt Employees to fightback against VA privatization hard it will help.


Buzz Davis
Vets for Peace in Tucson

McCarthy Cares --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson
May 25, 2023
Pen Strokes

Re: Kissinger’s Bloody Paper Trail in Chile  


Aileen Gribbin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Nobel Peace Prize!

Don Pollock
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Contemporary Pundits Need a Refresher on Populism’s History

Congratulations to Steve Babson on receiving some high profile recognition for his recent book Forgotten Populists: When Farmers Turned Left to Save Democracy. History News Network ran the author's opinion piece and Portside picked it up. You can check out both articles here:

Mission Point Press
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Condemned to Freedom, Sartre Sought Existential Rescue  

He had his flaws, but unlike his rival Camus, Sartre supported the revolutionary movements of the Global South.

Paul Buhle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Solidarity with national liberation followed directly from antifascism

Ethan Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"The Outsider" A Review of Ronald Aronson's Camus & Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel that Ended It. University of Chicago Press, 2004. 291 pp.

Reconstruction 8.1 (2008)
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture

Graham Barnfield
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: FBI for Abuses Surveillance Tool 278,000+ Times  

When Edward Snowden decided to go public, he decided to use a mainstream reporter, Barton Gellman, as well as Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, to get his story out.  Last week I finished Gellman's Dark Mirror, which considers the whole field of electronic surveillance as well as Snowden's life story and Gellman's interactions with him.

The National Security Administration (NSA) administers the collection of electronic data outside the US.  (Domestic data collection is illegal.)  However, anyone who appears in a data transmission intercepted on foreign soil is considered to be a non-US person, 'inadvertent' data collection IS legal, and hence data on almost everyone appears in the NSA database.

David Richardson

Re: This Week in People’s History  

I'm happy to have just discovered Portside.

Is "This Week in People’s History" a new feature? When I do a search for it within Portside, it only yields two results--May 23 and May 16, 2023.

It would be helpful if your homepage indicated that you do have archived material.

Thank you.

Steve Brown


Moderator's Response:

Yes, This Week in People’s History is a new feature.

On the Portside homepage, in the left column of our most recent posts, if you scroll to the bottom there is Read more - that is where the archive is of all past Portside posts.

Ukraine Peace Appeal: Towards a More Informed Solidarity

Ukrainian Civil Society Organisations to Pacifist and Peacebuilding Movements Worldwide

1. We, Ukrainian civil society activists, feminists, peacebuilders, mediators, dialogue facilitators, human rights defenders and academics, recognise that a growing strategic divergence worldwide has led to certain voices, on the left and right and amongst pacifists to argue for an end to the provision of military support to Ukraine. They also call for an immediate cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia as the strategy for “ending the war”. These calls for negotiation with Putin without resistance are in reality calls to surrender our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

2.    We ask for nothing less than the full respect for internationally agreed humanitarian and human rights law and the UN Charter and the practical means to defend ourselves, our popular sovereignty and our territorial integrity, to resist the Kremlin’s expansionist and imperialistic attempts to re-colonize its neighbours. Yes, we need diplomacy, and yes, we need humanitarian aid, but make no mistake, Ukraine needs to continue to be supported with modern weaponry and other military assistance and strict economic and legal sanctions on the Kremlin.

3.   Stopping weapon deliveries to Ukraine now would not lead to “peace by peaceful means” but offer a pause for Putin’s authoritarian regime to renew its aggression against Ukraine. It is a dangerous call for appeasement. We have documented how the Kremlin treats prisoners of war and civilians in the occupied areas. We have seen how it treats its own legal political opposition. This is not peace. We believe that a strong defence and sustained resistance with steady and informed global solidarity for the Ukrainian people is the best incentive in such a radically asymmetric conflict for a cessation of violence and a negotiated withdrawal of Russian forces. 

4.   Acceptance of Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territories and resulting impunity would set a dangerous precedent for other authoritarian regimes wishing to revise international borders. It would also lead to an increase in the proliferation of nuclear weapons globally, as it would signal to others a destructive idea that possession of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee of one’s security.

5. We ask that international organisations and movements respect the right of Ukrainians to be at the front and centre of determining how to make their peace and how to defend themselves and their rights. We ask for respect for our calls for inclusion and that when it comes to determining our future there should be “nothing about us without us”. We object to conferences and marches for “peace in Ukraine” where Ukrainians are neither meaningfully involved nor fairly represented.

6.   We find the language on the right and left that Ukrainian soldiers are somehow fighting as proxy’s for the West deeply offensive. This argument denies us our humanity and diminishes Ukraine’s history of hardwon independence and the legitimacy of the peoples’ choice of their democratically elected government. This is deceptive and harmful political rhetoric. Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine in 2014 was a result of Russian aggression and expansionism and was not a response to any credible threat.

7.    We appreciate continued international mediation and mediation support for humanitarian negotiations calling for Russian withdrawal and on the exchange of prisoners of war, return of deported Ukrainian children, eliminating the nuclear threat and for the free transport of grain. These are hugely important, should be sustained and developed further.

8.    We ask for your continued international understanding and informed solidarity. This needs to be done with a new imagination and a new approach to working internationally for peace with mutual respect, understanding our complexities, sustaining, and not breaking social connections and networks of the global constituency for justice, peace and democracy.

9.    We believe in the face of this resistance, and with your support, over time, we will overturn Russia’s unsustainable occupation, and they will lose this brutal and illegal war of attrition. We hold them to account for what they have done. We know that solidarity comes at a price, and this price is shared across many shoulders. We choose to live in a world where human lives matter, where democracy matters, where international law matters, and we have not given up on fighting for the world we want to see for our children and their children.

10.   We thank the international community for standing beside us and for sharing this painful price for peace.

Read more here: