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Tidbits – July 27, 2023 – Reader Comments: Climate Disaster-Record Heat Wave; Oppenheimer, Nuclear War Danger-Still; SAG/AFTRA & WGA Strikes; Israel; Remembering Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz; Forgotten History of March for Jobs and Freedom; More…

Reader Comments: Climate Disaster-Record Heat Wave; Oppenheimer, Nuclear War Danger-Still; SAG/AFTRA & WGA Strikes; Israel; Sinead O'Connor; Remembering Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz; Forgotten History of March for Jobs and Freedom; more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - July 27, 2023,Portside



Record Climate  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
July 13, 2023

Re: Amid a Record Heat Wave, Texas Construction Workers Lose Their Right To Rest Breaks

(posting on Portside Labor)  

Some businesses, though, would rather have as little regulation as possible, which is fine for their profits, but not good for their workers or the communities where they operate, since those are the businesses that we clean up after when they leave behind one or another kind of mess.

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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When does this madness stop?

David Newby
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


when workers organize unions, vote union, buy union, and quit believing the propaganda coming out of their Electronic Lie Boxes.

Pete Formiller
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

How to beat the heat – Lone Star style  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz


Lalo Alcaraz
July 20, 2023

Re: The Manhattan Project Scientist Who Quit  

To your post about Joseph Rotblat, "The Manhattan Scientist Who Quit," should be added this important revelation, which is especially important but was omitted from the new motion picture Oppenheimer:

In his article "Leaving the Atomic Bomb" in the August 1985 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Rotblat wrote,

“In March 1944 I experienced a disagreeable shock. At that time I was living with the Chadwicks in their house on the Mesa, before moving later to the ‘Big House,’ the quarters for single scientists. General Leslie Groves, when visiting Los Alamos, frequently came to the Chadwicks for dinner and relaxed palaver. During one such conversation Groves said that, of course, the real purpose in making the bomb was to subdue the Soviets. (Whatever his exact words, the meaning was clear.) Although I had no illusions about the Stalin regime—after all, it was his pact with Hitler that enabled the latter to invade Poland—I felt deeply the sense of betrayal of an ally. Remember, this was said at a time when thousands of Russians were dying every day on the Eastern Front, tying down the Germans and giving the allies time to prepare for landing on the continent of Europe. Until then I had thought that our work was to prevent a Nazi victory, and now I was told that the weapon we were preparing was intended for use against the people who were making extreme sacrifices for that very aim.”

Ken Lawrence
Spring Mills, Pennsylvania

Re: Close to 100,000 Voter Registrations Were Challenged in Georgia — Almost All by Just Six Right-Wing Activists  

Are they coming for YOUR right to vote?  Is this Southern White “reconstruction” revisited?

Gina Klein
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Chicago Has a Pension Crisis, but It’s Not Progressives’ Fault  

Dean Baker left out the fact that public workers were covered by Social Security in 1953. All public governments were allowed to "opt in "the system. Many public employers opted in but some did not. Please correct this item!

Thanks and Peace,

Ronald Kent,
Editor, International Labor history Association, Madison, WI.

Re: Political Monocultures Weaken Resistance to the GOP and Big Business  

Excellent article.
Your points are well-stated.

Best, Lynn
Keep the Ethical Light Burning, Kelb, Inc.

Gutting the Industry   --  Decoding Fox News

Post on Facebook

Striking Back  --  Cartoon by Jen Sorensen  

This week’s comic was largely inspired by Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comments on the writers’ strike during a lengthy interview on CNBC last week. He absolutely stepped in it when the subject of the WGA came up, calling the strike “very disturbing” and “very disruptive.” What wasn’t mentioned in the conversation is that Iger stands to make some $54 million over the next two years while writing and acting jobs have been so degraded that they’re no longer sustainable. Residuals from streaming are often miniscule, with payments in the pennies. Media companies are deleting their own shows from streaming platforms so they no longer have to pay residuals at all. The amount of spec work has grown, leaving writers without income for long periods of time, sometimes never to be paid a cent. The fact is, it’s not the creators who are the aggressors here. To the extent that they are being “disruptive,” they are responding to how their jobs have been destroyed.

Jen Sorensen
July 19, 2023

[Jen Sorensen is a cartoonist seen on Daily Kos, The Nib, and in magazines and newspapers throughout the US. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.]

Re: Why It Feels Like the 1850s  

If you're not scared, you're not paying attention. On a happier note, your neighbours to the north would like to invite the best and brightest of you who are genuinely scared of the direction things are headed to immigrate here! We'd love to have you.

Robert Laite
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


All you smarmy Rational Centrists who think they aren't coming for you? They're coming for you.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Crimes and Dangers of Elliott Abrams: Why Biden Should Not Appoint Him  

Damn, this vampire has risen again?!?



an important essay

Paul Buhle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Why isn’t he in jail?

Harlan Gradin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Waning Days of the ‘Special Relationship’  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu becomes more like a petty dictator daily. His actions are counter to democratic values, and the U.S. should make it clear to the world he does not have the Biden Administration's support.

Rod Umlas
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Vast Majority of House Dems Back GOP Resolution Saying Israel Isn’t an Apartheid State  

I'm too furious to even write a response to the I-P vote in Congress.

It's time to recognize that we recommend to battered women that it's time to get out of the relationship and take a chance it could get better. If you don't get out, it just gets worse.

Let's face it. If Biden had (what he called) "megotiation" to a debt ceiling Bill, who would have lost the most? Not the "have nots" who were the only ones to lose anything more in the deal when they had little left to lose. The "haves" who lost nothing in the deal, but actually won additional benefits would have been the big losers if the economic system fell apart. So, the "have nots" contributed to keep the "haves" happy.

It is the same with I-P. Biden never even mentioned not sending the more than $10M/day ($3.6 Billion /year) we give to Israel to commit genocide against Palestinians, as a possible reduction in expenses. That never comes up as a serious consideration. Just take more from the Americans who have nothing. The Dems go along with it.

It's time to say "I'm outta here. I'm only voting my ethics from now on, not the lesser of two evils." The "lesser" keeps getting worse and worse as they just encourage the "morer" to keep getting worse. The only way to start going up will be to hit rock bottom. Let everyone lose equally. The "more thans" have more to lose.

Arlene Halfon


Still bipartisan, but the tide is slowly shifting...

Tom Gogan

Re: Wagnerization: How Putin Degraded the Russian State  

I don't think this is a very good analysis - as I thought I would think

Rob Prince

Re: Hollywood on the Picket Line – 5 Unsung Films That Put America’s Union History on the Silver Screen and Tidbits – July 20, 2023 – Reader Comments: Hollywood Labor Films; 

Ethan Young: The original version of my article had 10 films, but it was cut for length. The 5 films that were cut included "The Killing Floor," "Matewan," "Blue Collar," and two non-American films, "The Organizer" (Italian) and "Pride" (UK). If I could have added still one more, it would be "The Garment Jungle," a 1950s film that doesn't get much attention but is a film noir about garment workers fighting against the a corrupt boss who hires thugs to intimidate the workers. I didn't include any documentaries on my list, there are many great pro-union documentaries.

Peter Dreier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Thanks for the opportunity to hype TKF!

Ethan Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: How Jeremy Corbyn Was Toppled by the Israel Lobby

(posting on Portside Culture)  

Asa Winstanley is not just a long standing opponent of Israeli policies, he is also someone who has a long history of antisemitism on his record.  This book is just an extended example.  His use of "Israel Lobby"  is simply a euphemism for "Jewish conspiracy" and his thesis is that British Jews, many of whom were lifelong socialists, conspired to bring down Jeremy Corbyn only because they opposed his pro-Palestinian politics and his socialism--and not because they could possibly be concerned about the noteable (and by now well documented) explosion of antisemitic incidents in the Labour Party after he became party leader.

For Winstanley and his like, the Jews are always lying if they point out antisemitism on the part of anyone on the left because no real leftist could possibly be antisemitic and because the Jews are always liars (an ancient anti-Jewish theme with deep roots in Christian antisemitism). That Mondoweiss is enthusiastic about this book is no surprise, but that Portside reproduces this praise for it uncritically is disappointing.  A more critical review should be in order.

Stan Nadel
Salzburg, Austria


How the Rich and powerful use the Tory Party and money to bring down any Labour Party opposition to the Billionaire Capitalists..

Moff Kay
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Sinead O'Connor - Rest in Power  -- Meme by Dr. James MacLeod

Dr. James MacLeod
July 26, 2023

Remembering Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz  

On July 11th a tribute was held in NYC to remember and celebrate the work of Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz who had died five years earlier. A prolific writer, over the course of a lifetime of activism, artistic work and teaching Melanie wrote poetry, fiction and analytical material. Her fervent, lifelong anti-racist activism grounded all of her work, and her articulation of Diasporism as a conscious alternative to Zionism has had a deep impact in the Jewish left. Melanie's work on gender and sexuality has touched the lives of women since the early 1970s.

Reading from her varied work, Leslie Cagan, Barbara Smith, Esther Kaplan, Aurora Levins Morales, Jenny Romaine, Kathy Engel, Roni Natov, Alisa Solomon, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Helena Lipstadt and Megan Madison brought energy and excitement to the material - bringing it to life and reminding us of the powerful artistic and intellectual contributions Melanie made to our movements for social change, and to everyone she and her work touched.

Watch here

SAG-AFTRA On Strike! — Poster of the Week  (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)


SAG-AFTRA On Strike!
Michael Gurka, Andrea Lang
Printing: Harman Press
Offset, 1980
Los Angeles, CA

Last Friday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike, uniting with the two-month-old strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA). This is the first joint strike between writers and actors in 63 years, and is a powerful demonstration of solidarity, as the two unions come together to secure improved contracts in the face of significant opposition from the studios.

The historical significance becomes apparent when looking at the successful joint strike of 1960. Actors and writers went on strike in response to the rise of reruns on television, demanding to be paid for this new production and distribution model. This resulted in the establishment of enhanced residual payments, health insurance plans, and pension funds. Additionally, the 1980 SAG-AFTRA strike—which produced the poster of the week— is a notable milestone where negotiations were conducted to improve profit sharing arrangements during the rise of the home video cassette market.

The current SAG-AFTRA strike's purpose is to secure improved working conditions and enhanced compensation for its members. The key areas of concern are fairer wages, improved residual payments, better healthcare benefits, and increased job security. Actors and performers are determined to address the evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, which has experienced significant transformations due to the growing dominance of streaming platforms and the emergence of AI technology.

Common misconceptions regarding fair compensation for actors are often based on A-List actors who receive substantial pay. However, the primary focus of this strike is to lend support to the non-A-list actors, many of whom encounter significant financial challenges. These actors are grappling with the difficulties of making ends meet, and it is crucial for us to stand in solidarity with them, championing their cause and advocating for improved contracts that will empower them to sustain their livelihoods in the entertainment industry.

To get involved:


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

Haymarket Books for $10 (or less)!

Check out these recently released and classic Haymarket Books you may have missed, each currently available for under $10 as part of our Summer of Struggle: 40% Off sale!

$10 or less books include: Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò’s Elite Capture, Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua’s Not Too Late, Lorgia García Peña’s Community as Rebellion, the Debt Collective’s Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, and many more!

Haymarket Books for $10 (or less)!  

Haymarket Books  
P.O. Box 180165
Chicago, IL 60618

Tel: 773-583-7884

Celebrate the July 26, 1953 Attack on the Moncada Barracks of the US-Backed Batista Dictatorship! The Beginning of the Victorious 1959 Cuban Revolution - New York City - July 29 (US-Cuba Normalization)

Saturday, July 29th at

Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz
Memorial and Educational Center
3940 Broadway @ 165th Street in Manhattan NYC

Reception: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Program: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Afterparty: 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Donation Range $5 - $20


Keynote Speaker: Gerardo Peñalver Portal, Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations

Co-Chairs: Nancy Cabrero, Casa de las Americas; Joan Gibbs, Longtime activist-attorney, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), New York-New Jersey Cuba Si Coalition Legislative Committee Message from Charles Barron and Alegna Cruz, Secretary Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, New York Junta

Poem: “Red Star”
by Zayid Muhammad
Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, People’s Organization for Progress

We are requesting donations on a sliding scale depending on organizational size

From $5 - $25 (or more!)

Our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor for the Conference is the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO).

>Donations can be made via:-
Credit/debit card donation via the IFCO website
Please specify on their donation form that it is for this event

We look forward to your promotional and financial support


Virtual Panel Discussion: The Forgotten History of the March for Jobs and Freedom - August 2, 2023  (Center for Economic and Policy Research)

The Relevance of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Today: A Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the March

August 28, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It is often forgotten that Dr. King’s dream was not only to have legal civil rights for African Americans but also economic justice for all poor, marginalized groups in the United States.

One of the demands of that march was for “[a] massive federal program to train and place all unemployed workers — Negro and white — on meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages.” 

As the historian Michael K. Honey states, in the last year of King’s life:

He sought an Economic Bill of Rights for Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and poorer whites, as well as for blacks. He sought to create a nonviolent army of poor people in jobless inner cities and barrios and in reservation and rural areas. He challenged the country to create an economy of full employment.

Six decades have passed since that historic convening, and chronic joblessness remains as much a problem today as it was then. Even as the national economy booms, pockets of high joblessness persist all across America. Additionally, many of our nation’s civil rights victories are under threat or are being overturned. Now is the time to renew and rejuvenate our commitment to jobs and freedom. 

The Full Employment for All coalition has organized four-panel discussions on jobs and freedom throughout August. The panels will draw lessons from the past and gather insights from the present to help the country move toward a better future for all people, regardless of race.

Register for one or all upcoming discussions each Wednesday in August:

August 2 | August 9 | August 16 | August 23

The Forgotten History of the March for Jobs and Freedom

Wednesday, August 2 @ 1 PM ET

Sixty years ago this summer, hundreds of thousands of Americans convened in Washington, DC to advocate for civil and economic rights for all. While best known for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream Speech,” the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom originally positioned securing employment for all as a central rallying point.

While much has changed for Black families in America in the intervening years, employment disparities remain a persistent problem. On August 2, join some of the nation’s leading experts in a lively historical discussion of the labor and economic roots of the march… and its lessons for today.

This is the first in a four-part series of virtual panel discussions for CEPR’s Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom throughout the month of August.

William P. Jones is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, where he teaches and researches the history of race and class in the United States. He has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Nation and other publications, and is author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights.

Tanya Wallace-Gobern, Executive Director of the National Black Worker Center. She moved to the deep south in 1991 to launch an organizing career empowering women and people of color. As Executive Director of the National Black Worker Center (NBWC) she lives out her lifelong passion of serving a movement of Black people who have long been ready to be the leaders of their own liberation.

Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, Vice President of Religious Affairs and External Relations of the National Action Network and Pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, America’s first private HBCU. Rev. Rivers served at every level of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1976 until 2014. His civil rights work led to the election of more than 300 new black elected officials in South Carolina from 1986 to 1994.

RSVP here

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives.

CEPR was co-founded by economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot in 1999. CEPR's Advisory Board includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Janet Gornick, Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Luxembourg Income Study; and Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)  
1611 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 293-5380

City Life / Vida Urbana Presents: A 50th Anniversary Celebration - October 13 - Boston


For 50 years, City Life/Vida Urbana has been a grassroots community organization committed to fighting for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power. On Friday night, October 13th 2023 (6PM-11PM), we celebrate our 50th anniversary with our beloved community at the House of Blues, Boston! Food, beverages and music (TBA) will make for a festive and joyous evening.

There are four ticket support levels available; please choose the level of support that is right for you. Grab your tickets, tell your family + friends and come celebrate with us!

City Life / Vida Urbana Presents: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, October 13

Citizens House of Blues Boston
15 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

Click here for Tickets

City Life/Vida Urbana  
284 Amory Street, First Floor
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
tel (617) 524-3541 fax (617) 524-3555