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Tidbits – July 6, 2023 – Reader Comments: Supreme Court: Return to Confederacy and Privilege; Voting Does Matter; Readers Respond to Elbaum, Gallagher and Feffer; Cartoons; Resources; Announcements; More; …

Reader Comments: Supreme Court: Return to Confederacy and Privilege; Voting Does Matter; Readers Respond to Elbaum, Gallagher and Feffer; Cartoons; Resources; Announcements; more; ....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - July 6, 2023,Portside



The Supreme Court Poses for End Term Portrait

Re: Cesspool of Corruption  

Term limits are a good long-term way to address the structural problems with the court, but meanwhile, we need to expand the court before the current majority facilitates the final slide into fascism.

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


FDR was right.

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(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Ladders for Some  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich
June 29, 2023
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Re: Slave Cases Are Still Cited As Good Law Across the U.S. This Team Aims To Change That  

Wouldn't it be enlightening to catalog how many of these slave related cases have been cited without reference by Supreme Court Justices or their clerks in the past?

Maxwell Shaw

Re: A Toxic Fog of Complacency…

(posting on Portside Labor)  

Why is the US not helping to put out these fires?

James H. Williams
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Student Debt...and Voting  --  meme  (


Affirmative Action  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
June 30, 2023

Re: Returning to Laurel  

Happy to see Portside has picked up my essay about the blockbuster tv show  "Home Town."

Jonathan Odell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page



Marian Allen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This probably is not the only town that has a past that was not pretty

Ruth Moody
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


A must read article!!

Elaine Bey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Anyone who (like me) watches lots of HGTV, should read this story by a native of Laurel, MS ... for a reality check.

Jane Gilman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Climate Catastrophe or Republican Bullshit  -- Cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod

Dr. James MacLeod
June 26, 2023

Re: Max Elbaum’s “Maga Authoritarian Rule..." and Tom Gallagher's "Cornell West: The primaries Call."  

We should heed Max Elbaum’s urgent warning on the neofascist threat. He writes “An authoritarian bloc with a fascist core is driving for control of all branches of the federal government; the rest is detail.” Brother Elbaum also stresses the particular and central importance of the struggle for racial equality, to the struggle for democracy in the US. He asks “Will the next chapter of US history be a reprise of the Confederacy and Jim Crow? Or will we be able to achieve a Third Reconstruction?”

But the “detail” I’m unclear about is highlighted indirectly by Brother Gallagher’s piece. Gallagher cites Peter Beinart’s May NYT editorial, that stressed the need for left electoral pressure due to Biden’s center-right foreign policy. He notes Biden’s “split personality. On domestic policy, he’s been the most progressive president since Lyndon Johnson.”

Beinart appears sanguine about Biden “twinning” support for Ukraine with resolve to avoid direct confrontation with Russia. (Though I wonder if his allusion to LBJ, is oblique reference to how the Vietnam war is gave us Nixon and torpedoed domestic progress.)

On the other hand - and unstated in Brother Gallagher’s piece - is that Cornell West has urged using considerable US pressure to force a ceasefire with respect to the proxy imperialist war taking place in Ukraine. West is harshly critical of Biden’s hawkish Ukraine policies, and simultaneously supportive of Russian peace activists resisting Putin’s militarism.

At least in my eyes, the war in Ukraine has empowered militarism and neofascism in Russia, Ukraine, and the EU. The "detail" I urge more consideration of is its corrosive impact on consistent defense of democracy in the US. This seems promised by Cornell West's candidacy.

Daniel Ashworth

Re: The Peace Movement and Ukraine: John Feffer Replies to Critics  

As a pacifist, I am alarmed at the dearth responses to John Feffer. His original article on the FPIF site was problematic in that it echoed the talking points of neoliberals and Military Industrial Complex apologists. And I am a critic who 1) has long liked Feffer and 2) have nothing but contempt for Putin.

Feffer to me is guilty in the interview and his original article of criticizing the anti-war left, painting with a broad brush:


While making some valid points, he repeats the attacks made on pacifists and those of us who believe military aid to Ukraine by the US and Nato will not stop Russian aggression but, rather, make things worse. Feffer joins both Dems and liberals who believe the US has suddenly found its moral center and leftists who support Ukrainian socialists and anarchists who want the weapons despite the hypocrisy of the US.

Unfortunately, the only critique I see of Feffer is by Medea Benjamin and friends. Which is fine insofar as it goes.

Their response:

Benjamin et al

And in fairness, they do seem a little tone deaf in claiming to listen to Ukrainian voices.

But also, they are the initial targets of Feffer and it would be good to see other responses that both argue with Feffer's pro weapons stance and also emphasize that Russia gets no sympathy. So far I have not seen any.

I know that Stephen Zunes, Joseph Gerson and others have more nuanced views. As a pacifist, it seems all too easy for fellow leftists like Eric Draitser or John Feffer to look the other way when US weapons kill Russian conscripts. Hopefully, Portside can find some non Putinista left voices to respond respectfully yet critically to Feffer and Shalom.


Paul Arenson

Voting Does Matter  

I am amazed and disappointed by the number of peers who dwell on Biden's age, yet never mention his incredible record of accomplishments -- accomplishments that benefit all Amerikans -- even with a fractured Congress.  Of course, there've been disappointments (viz, permitting new oil drilling in Alaska; refusal to expand the Supreme Court; upholding the Republican-privileged Senate filibuster ...), but considering his many successes, Joe has more than earned a second term.

VOTING DOES INDEED MATTER.  As strange as it seems, the 4-times impeached/indicted Trump -- who hardly qualifies as a legitimate human -- is still supported by 34% of voters and, unbelievably, by 61% of Republicans.  In his waning days in office, Trump ensconced a 6 to 3 reactionary Supreme Court majority that will reign unchallengeable for at least two generations into the future.  Trump's discredited Court has visibly demonstrated its primary objective:  Rolling back -- overnight -- every hard-won social advance of the last 60 years ... some of which took 40 years to achieve.

The successes of the Biden-Harris Administration are too numerous to list.  however, in just the first 2-1/2 years in the White House, it can be safely proclaimed that this Administration has produced more beneficial accomplishments than any administration in history ... including:

  •     The "Cares Act" (with $1400 cash stimulus to every Amerikan)
  •     The "Inflation Recovery Act" (formerly "Build Back Better Act") -- Grants to all states, local jurisdictions, and businesses to help recover from the Covid pandemic
  •     Passed the "Infrastructure Bill" (over 6,900 projects in 4000 communities in all 50 states, territories, tribal nations ... so far, 750,000 new jobs in just its first year
  •     Passed the "CHIPS & Science Bill" to invigorate, update and free the US semiconductor chips industry from foreign competitors
  •     Historical month-after-month creation of over 11MM total jobs (3.5% unemployment rate, a 50-year low)
  •     Record low unemployment for Blacks, Latinx, & people with disabilities
  •     Provided debt relief for 40MM student loans  [Rescinded 30 June 2023 by the Trump Supreme Court]
  •     Over 100 acts that lowered household energy costs
  •     Helped reduce artificially bloated gas prices
  •     Passed the most significant gun violence prevention legislation in 30 years
  •     Increased the value of Pell Grants for higher education
  •     Lowered health insurance costs by $800 for every Amerikan
  •     Expanded access to Health Care for 5MM new households
  •     Gained approval for Govt to negotiate with Big Pharma to lower drug prices
  •     Established $15 minimum wage for Federal workers and contractors
  •     Fully vaccinated 79% of Amerikans against the Covid-19 pandemic
  •     Restored US respect and leadership among world nations
  •     Achieved unity and financial and military contributions of world nations in assisting Ukraine's repelling of Russia's illegal invasion
  •     Established "Total Connectivity Program" to deliver hi-speed Internet to over 16MM households
  •     Rescued an economy wrecked by the Trump administration
  •     Protected LGBTQ+ legislation and rights  [Rescinded 30 June 2023 by the Trump Supreme Court officially authorizing segregation and discrimination as a "personal right"]
  •     Strongly supported "Affirmative Action" in college admissions  [Rescinded 30 June 2023 by the Trump Supreme Court]
  •     In 2021, achieved the lowest historical child poverty rate
  •     Reduced family hunger by 32%
  •     Confirmed the most judges (many are Black women) to lower courts since JFK
  •     Selecting and electing Kamala Harris, as the first Black-Asian Woman Vice President of the US
  •     Appointed the first Black woman, Ketanji Jackson Brown, to Supreme Court
  •     Appointed the first majority non-White Cabinet in history, including 1st LGBTQ as Transportation Secretary, 1st woman as Treasury Secretary, 1st Native American woman as Interiors Secretary, 1st woman Director of National Intelligence, and 1st Black Defense Secretary & Commander of the Pentagon
  •     Made the largest investments in history in clean drinking water, power grid, electric vehicle chargers, strongest vehicle emissions standards, and offshore wind & climate resilience projects
  •     Pledges -- as a priority of his second term -- to codify "Roe v Wade" (women's reproductive freedom) into the Constitution  [Rescinded 24 June 2022 by the Trump Supreme Court]

It is immediately obvious that permitting a rotted Republican government and majority White House-Congress-Supreme Court constituency means not only the death knell of a democratic civil society ... but can be the end of democracy itself.

James E. Vann,
Founding Member of the California Peace & Freedom Party, and
CoChair, with the esteemed Arthur Kinoy, Esq, of the former
National Committee for Independent Political Action (NCIPA)

Migrants Drown in the Mediterranean — Poster of the Week  (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)

Anti Racist Group of Rethymno Students
Offset, 2003
Rethymno, Crete (Greece)

Poster text: [English:] danger antiracist festival [Greek:] Third Anti-Racist Festival of Rethymno Municipal Garden of Rethymno Danger No Human Being is Illegal 27-28 September 2003 Home of Immigrants Anti-Racist Group of Rethymno Students

Nearly 700 people are missing or presumed dead after a large fishing boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this month. The passengers on board the Adriana included migrants and refugees from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Palestine who were attempting to cross from Libya to Italy – up to 100 children were below deck. To date, there are 104 survivors, 82 deaths, and hundreds still missing. 

Adriana is one of the deadliest migrant shipwrecks in the past decade but the scant news coverage would suggest otherwise. During the search for survivors of the Adriana, media coverage was focused on the search for the Titan, a 21-foot submersible, owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions, a private research and tourism company that conducted underwater trips to the wreck site of the Titanic. 

Migrants, like those on the Adriana, make the perilous journey out of desperation–fleeing economic crises and political instability–largely exacerbated by generations of colonization and environmental exploitation, U.S. foreign policy, and climate change. The infuriating reality is that these deaths were preventable. European immigration policies (or lack thereof) force hundreds of thousands of migrants each year into treacherous waters. Since 2014, 27,629 migrants have been recorded as missing during their journey across the Mediterranean Sea. The route from North Africa and the Middle East across the Mediterranean to Europe, is most often used by migrants without documentation. 

The disparity between the international efforts made to locate the five Titan passengers versus the 700+ plus refugees is stunning. The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, the French and Canadian government all combined efforts to locate Titan. Meanwhile, most of the Adriana’s survivors were aided by private yacht owners who responded to distress calls from the ship. Few were aided by the Greek Coast Guard.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week was made in Greece, but uses the immigrant crossing "Caution" sign first created by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) in San Diego in 1990. It has now become an internationally recognized icon for immigrant rights.

Progressive immigration policies now!


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

I Survived Reading  -- Meme

Fight Like Hell for the Living - Honor the Past: Fight for the Future - Philadelphia - July 7  (Mother Jones Museum)

Friday, July 07, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

1400 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19107

We will gather at the site of the March of the Mill Children to recognize the long fight against child labor. At the intersection of North Broad Street and JFK Blvd, at the site of the historic marker where Mother Jones began her march from Philadelphia to New York to protest child labor.

We are still in that fight.

Mother Jones Heritage Project  

The South-North Dialogue - Charting a path to a New International Economic Order - July 17  (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung)


Atelier 29
Rue Jacques De Laling 29
1000 Bruxelles


17.07.2023, 14:00 - 17:00 Hr

Fifty years ago, 27 nations from across the world gathered in Paris for the Conference on International Economic Co-operation (CIEC). Setting up special commissions on energy, raw materials, development, and finance, the Conference marked the highpoint of so-called “North-South Dialogue,” the debates of the 1970s that set out to restructure the relationships between liberated nations of the South and their former colonizers in the North.

Today, the economic relationship between the South and North is once again under severe strain. Yet we lack a common forum to facilitate the North-South dialogue that animated the debates of the 1970s. The result is not only the sustained domination of Northern interests in the international economic system, but also the absence of common vision to motivate allies across the North-South divide in their pursuit of economic cooperation, and the absence of a shared plan to build it.

Hosted on the occasion of the EU-CELAC Summit by the Progressive International and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the South-North Dialogue provides the ideal context to revive, relaunch and rejuvenate the these debates. Fifty years and 300 kilometres from the original CIEC, the new dialogue will invert the terms of its original: led from the South to dictate terms of cooperation to their Northern neighbours.

Convening parliamentarians, diplomats, scholars, and social leaders to the Cumbre de los Pueblos — running parallel to the EU-CELAC Summit 17-18 July — the South-North Dialogue will chart a path to a New International Economic Order fit for the needs of working peoples on both sides of the deepening geopolitical divide.


  • Jeremy Corbyn
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon
  • Cecilia Britto
  • Adriana Abdenur
  • Julia Perié
  • Guillaume Long
  • Vahini Naidu
  • Carolina Alves
  • Farwa Sial
  • Richard Kozul-Wright
  • Christian Rodriguez
  • Elena Corregido
  • Yuefen Li
  • Jorán Rodas

Sign up now  to support the South-North Dialogue and be the first hear from delegates as they set out a new vision for a just new world order.

Dr. Arif Rüzgar
Economy and International Trade Programme Director, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Regionalbüro Europäische Union, Brüssel


Socialism in Our Time - International Conference - Berlin - September 30 - October 1  (Jacobin magazine and transform! Europe)

Once again this year, Jacobin magazine and transform! europe are organising the International Conference "Socialism in Our Time" in Berlin from 30 September to 1 October. Join us for stimulating debates with numerous prominent left-wing voices as we take stock of the successes and failures of democratic socialism over the last decade.

Join Jacobin magazine and transform! europe for two days of engaging discussions and thought-provoking conversations. Esteemed intellectuals and thinkers from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Austria, Italy, and more will address, in both English and German, the contemporary significance of socialism.

"Socialism in Our Time" International Conference is coming to Berlin in September! While the exact dates are yet to be announced, you can start planning your participation now.

Mark your calendars and stay tuned for further updates, including the official dates and detailed information.

Don't miss out on this exciting event!

transform! Europe  
Square de Meeûs 25
1000 Brussels

Press Contact

Phone: +43 (0)1 504 66 86