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Tidbits – Aug.10, 2023 – Reader Comments: Ohio Voted!; Hiroshima – Nagasaki – Never Again!; VFX Workers Unionizing at Marvel Studios; How Policy Has Shaped Racial Economic Disparities; Films: Sacco and Vanzetti; King Coal; Cartoons; More; …

Reader Comments: Ohio Voted!; Hiroshima - Nagasaki - Never Again!; VFX Workers Unionizing at Marvel Studios; How policy has shaped racial economic disparities; Film Discussion on Sacco and Vanzetti; New Film: King Coal; Cartoons; more; ....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Aug. 10, 2023,Portside



Hiroshima - Nagasaki - Never Again!



Re:  A New, Chilling Secret About the Manhattan Project Has Just Been Made Public  

Newly declassified documents reveal that Gen. Leslie Groves—director of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret operation that built the atomic bomb during World War II—misled Congress and the public about the effects of radiation. He did so initially out of ignorance, then denial, and finally, willful deception.

The documents also show that some scientists in the project, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos lab where the bomb was first tested, kept mum about Groves’ lie rather than dispute him or confront the general directly.

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The cache of documents—the latest in a series of once secret and top-secret material about the A-bomb obtained over the years by the National Security Archive, a private research organization at George Washington University—was released on Monday

Lorraine Suzuki
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Electoral Harbinger -- The Ohio Vote and the Future  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Tuesday's defeat of Issue 1 in Ohio, widely seen as a proxy vote on abortion, is yet another warning to the Republican Party on their extremist abortion views. The American people have consistently demonstrated support for some reasonable limits on abortion access. But the anti-choice in the Republican party will not stop until all abortion access is outlawed in the "land of the free.”

Nick Anderson
August 10, 2023
Pen Strokes

Re: Using the Klu Klux Klan Acts To Indict Trump Is the Most Significant Aspect of This Case  

Whoa. So it is the "Klu Klux Klan"???

Michael Yates


Make that Ku Klux Klan

Herb Boyd


It is so awful to think about a man like Trump that using the Klu Klux Klan to indict him is really an adnominal solución.

Monika Riesenberg

Re: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Other Progressives to Visit Left-Ruled Latin American Nations  

It should be a very educational trip, especially with Nydia Velazquez along.



Add Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the itinerary, the major targets of Yankee imperialism.

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

The Iceberg  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

For most of his term as Trump's attorney general, Bill Barr was Trump loyalist. He ran interference for Trump after the Mueller Report was published, falsely claiming that there was no evidence of obstruction of justice; that “the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims.” In fact, this directly contradicted the Muller Report.

Nick Anderson
August 4, 2023
Pen Strokes

Second Prison  --  Poem by Seymour Joseph  

Hard Time Blues

I done some hard time —
fifteen years upstate.
But hard time there ain’t so hard
you do it straight.
You leave them bars behind
the hard time free’s the hardest kind,
doing for yourself when you been a con.
Ain’t nobody treats you right.
Lucky you even get a job.
And if you do the boss got you in his sight.
Screw up once you on your ass,
peckin’ with the pigeons in the grass.
Hard to get a damn room anywhere.
The landlord don’t want no ex-con —
    ’specially black —
mixing with the decent folk he got up there.
Make me sometime wanna go back.

I do the best an ex-con can.
But after that hard time I done —
paid my dues, took it like a man —
you’d think I’d have a little fun.
I still can’t get those bars offa me,
but now they bars that you can’t see.
Lord amighty, I might never be
a man who’s really Freedom Free.

Seymour Joseph

Rudy Giuliani on 5th Avenue  --  Cartoon by Jeff Danziger


Jeff Danziger
July 31, 2023
The Rutland Herald

VFX Workers Unionizing at Marvel Studios

FX crews at Marvel are organizing with IATSE! Avengers, assemble! The labor movement has your back, VFX Union!

August 7, 2023
post on Facebook

Re: White Minority Locks Out First Black Mayor of Newbern, Alabama  

They are shameless. Elections need to be improved, but they are the essential component of a democracy.

Sonia Cobbins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

I'm Coming After You  --  Cartoon by Jesse Duquette

Jesse Duquette
August 6, 2023

DeSantis Campaign  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
August 8, 2023

Re: Oppenheimer and the Birth of the Nuclear-Industrial Complex  

much good has been written on the film and topic; Toms Dispatch is one of the best.

Paul Buhle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

When One Door Closes  -- Meme

Re: The Elephant in the Room  

There cannot be democracy for Jews in Israel as long as Palestinians live under a regime of apartheid, as Israeli legal experts have described it.

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

Re: The 'Socialism of Fools' of the 'Anti-Imperialist' Left  

[Moderator's note: Originally posted as: The Unbearable Manicheanism of the 'Anti-Imperialist' Left on… ]


Are you going to print a response to William Robinson?

I almost always share Portside with all of my lists, but in this case i will do so only if i have a response to his diatribe to run side by side with it

Karen Lee Wald


There is no equivalence between Chinese and possibly Russian capitalism and US capitalism. The goal of US capitalism is to continue to work for the establishment of the form of the kings of lands that preceded the US establishment of a democracy, as it calls itself.

China and maybe Russia continues to work for the communist government, even though it has been forced to employ the tactic of capitalism in the process.

Norma J F Harrison


I think Robinson's analysis is right on target.

He said: "We may support the (mildly) redistributive policies at home and dynamic foreign policy abroad of governments such as Lula's.  All capitalist states are not the same and it matters a great deal who is in the government."

Every antiwar struggle must be grounded in a class analysis of the combatant countries.  This is as true for Ukraine and Russia as it is for the US and UK.  The same approach applies to class struggle within a country.  It matters who is in charge, even if that person is thoroughly aligned with perpetuating the capitalist enterprise.  The difference between Bolsonaro and Lula matters, but so too does the difference between Trump and Biden.

Every systemic stage of the economic order has within it conflicts within classes as well as between them.  It is not heretical either to observe that capitalism represented an advance over feudalism and slavery, even though both were rooted in class exploitation.  It is equally true that these intra-class conflicts as well and inter-class conflicts will vary from country to country, and between the early and late stages of their systemic development.  Saying that those differences matter is not denial of the class struggles contained within them.  Class analysis only becomes a guiding beacon if it is pointed in the right direction.

Michael Eisenscher

Re: Kohei Saito’s Marx in the Anthropocene - Global Left Midweek – Climate Movement All Over  

Here readers can find my more critical assessment of Kohei Saito''s book

In a nutshell: Grow the good, Degrowth the bad starting with the Military Industrial Fossil Fuel Complex.

David Schwartzman

Re: US Leaders Split on China Policy  

A case of two rival capitalisms, if you ask me, a university economics major and graduate (Indiana University-Bloomington). Both have festering class struggles below the surface that are breaking out into the open, and both strive for economic hegemony. But one, China, calls itself "socialist" when it is not, when it is but a state ownership-private ownership hybrid with an authoritarian, dictatorial government at the helm.

George Fish,
Indianapolis, Indiana

Re: This Week in People’s History, August 8 – 14  

The article about face masks during the flu pandemic of 100 years ago reminded me of the history of socialism in Milwaukee.  The socialists made Milwaukee the safest city in the States (in terms of deaths from the flu) by empowering the health department to promote and enforce healthy behavior to slow the spread of the flu. A start contrast to the libertarian philosophy...

Cap'n Steve


So where is Aug. 9 in your account of peoples' history? Were there not people in Nagasaki? 

Paul Lauter

Re: Liberation Statement on the Situation in Niger  

Are we actually referring to some of Niger's mixed population as Arabs, honestly? Part of the problem, mon frere.

Ironically when Spain and Portugal are discussed, never have I read of their mixed ancestry dating back to the 7th century.

Al Jackson from a similarly mixed society African, French and Spanish in La Nouvelle Orleans. Lol

Competing Perspectives On Ukraine  

That portion of US voters who attempt to follow foreign affairs can be, I think, divided these days into two groups. The first, by far the biggest, believe that US involvement outside our borders, be it military, diplomatic, or in the form of aid, is carried out for charitable reasons. This  huge group can be further divided, between those who support international charity, and those who oppose it.

They all think that the US is trying to "help" Ukraine. The one side, spurred on by the corporate media, see Ukraine as the noble victim, fighting for justice and national integrity. The other side is the isolationists, who have a long US history, dating back to George Washington, who urged us to avoid "entangling alliances." The second side believe our tax money is better spent at home, privately, not converted into taxes, at all.

Neither side of this dominant group has any appetite for the details of this war. They have no notion of what is the Donbas, or the Minsk Accords. They are barely aware of the significant neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine, at best they think it a figment of the heated imagination of Vladimir Putin.

In opposition to this big majority, those for or against "charitable" foreign policy, is half the traditional Left. We see the war as a product of grand plans of NATO, the CIA, the State Dept., the military industrial complex (MIC), and US commercial corporate interests, especially the oil companies. The other half of the Left have forgotten their anti-imperialist roots, forgotten that we hate NATO and love peace, and have slipped into liberalism on this issue. Many are too young even to remember our last big imperial adventure: Iraq.

That puts a big burden on the small, but growing fraction of us who try to have an impact on foreign policy, and have managed to hold on to our class consciousness. We are in the uncomfortable position to share a stage with the right wing, against the liberals. This is not the first time. We were also there with them in the battle against unfair trade deals.


The liberal supporters of NATO, are, ironically, by and large, enemies of white racism at home. They would never let the n-word slip their lips. They have an understanding of the effects of being a victim of discrimination, even as they barely value the virtues of oppressed groups. They fill the emotional need for racism among citizens of capitalism, however, with the international variety: They especially subscribe to Russophobia. Sinophobia is not far behind.

They hate Russia. They hated the Soviet Union. They cannot see the complexities of the electoral scene in Russia thru the oversimplification of their Russo-phobic racism. Their prejudice denies them the ability to recognize the real reasons for the war. Racists are impatient of the details of history and thus ignorant of the effect on the complex Russian character of being 1) In transition from an earlier Cultural Stage from us; 2) Buffeted for centuries between central Asian imperialism and European imperialism.

Russo-phobes swallow eagerly the corporate media portrayal of Russia as a tyrannical, imperialistic, homophobic backwater. Overwhelmed by these prejudices, they automatically believe that in any international dispute, Russia is in the wrong. They don't bother looking at the details, i.e., the truth.

Russophobia, and disrespect for Slavs in general is a dominant feature in US and western European foreign policy, and is fed in order to open the door for the demands of the MIC and predatory investment capital. There was a brief period of détente when Americans and Russians could intermingle and get to know each other. That door has been slammed shut, enabling the new Cold War, hot wars on the borders, threatening Russia, and flirting with the horror of Nuclear holocaust.

How long will it take for the truth of the Ukraine War to penetrate the general awareness? We can't predict, but it's our part to keep on slugging.

Bill Shortell

Chasing the dream of equity  -- How policy has shaped racial economic disparities  (Economic Policy Institute)  

By Adewale A. Maye • August 1, 2023

Economic Policy Institute


 • Read the Report

Summary: In the 60 years since the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, little progress has been made in removing barriers to the full equitable integration of Black Americans into the U.S. economy.

Key findings

  • Post–civil rights era legislation has largely failed to address widening racial disparities in wages, wealth, and homeownership for Black Americans.

  • During the past 50 years, the annual Black unemployment rate has often exceeded 10%, while even during the worst economic downturns, the annual white unemployment rate has never exceeded 10%.

  • The typical white family has eight times as much wealth as the typical Black family. This racial wealth gap is a long-standing vestige of centuries of government policies that explicitly denied African Americans the opportunity to build wealth.

Why this matters

Many associate the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. What is forgotten, however, are the marchers’ urgent calls to raise the minimum wage, build affordable housing, and strengthen voters’ rights—sweeping reforms that could transform American lives. Although we have made strides in racial equity, there are miles to go before King’s dream is a reality.

How to fix it

Federal policy is essential to demolishing the structural barriers created by discriminatory laws and statutes. Lawmakers should stop relying solely on race-neutral policies, which don’t adequately address problems rooted in racism. They must also craft race-conscious policies with equity as a clearly defined and measurable policy goal.


The Civil Rights Movement ushered in a new chapter in American history. The combined efforts of many moved the U.S. Congress to pass sweeping civil rights legislation to reverse oppressive Jim Crow laws and broadly combat discrimination against people of color.

While this movement succeeded in removing key barriers to equal rights under the law, many economic demands were left unmet. Failure to address these has adversely impacted the economic security of people of color and exacerbated many of the long-standing racial disparities in economic outcomes present today.

This report examines the difficult relationship between public policy and racial inequality in the United States. First, the report briefly outlines the history and evolution of structural racism from Reconstruction to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. Next, the report explores the policy demands the Civil Rights Movement championed through the March on Washington and the Kerner Commission. Then, the report examines whether federal policies implemented since the civil rights era have supported or undermined the demands from that period and the effects that those policies have had on the economic status of Black Americans. Finally, the report outlines ways in which policymakers can improve the lives of Black Americans and fulfill the civil rights era promise of racial equity.

Read the full report here

Economic Policy Institute
1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-775-8810 •

Webinar - Art vs. Capitalism with Stephanie McMillan - August 13  (System Change Not Climate Change; the Ecosocialist Network)

Webinar with artist, political cartoonist, and creative whiz Stephanie McMillan, Sunday, August 13, 2023, beginning at 10 am PT, 11 am MT, noon CT, 1 pm ET (US/Canada). (Find the time in any time zone here.)

We will stream live via Zoom and Facebook simultaneously. The first 100 registered participants to log in via Zoom will be able to join the Zoom meeting and participate in the Q&A. If you arrive too late to join on Zoom, just watch on our Facebook page. Soon after the event we will post an archival copy of the video to our YouTube channel.

Heavens know we need more joy and positive reinforcement as we face the most challenging time in human history. Stephanie McMillan has brought us both, inspiring ecosocialists and environmental/social justice activists for many years with her sometimes-playful, always on-point messages that center the ECO in SOCIALIST. In recent years she has been focusing more on drawing and painting the vanishing natural world in her Southeast Florida area that she calls home.

Stephanie will give a presentation about her work and then engage in conversation with guest host Edie Pistolesi, retired professor of art and art education from California State University Northridge, a longtime ecosocialist artivist and educator.

Their conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, so you'll get a chance to ask Stephanie more about her work and the critical role of love-infused arts and whimsy in our activism work.

Register here  

System Change Not Climate Change

Interactive Film Discussion on Sacco and Vanzetti - August 23  (Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) in partnership with the Democratic Socialists of America Fund)

A Film Screening and Interactive Discussion on

Sacco and Vanzetti

A Film by ALBA Board Member Peter Miller

With Special Guests Molly Crabapple and Ashik Siddique

Moderated by Brandon West of The DSA Fund

Wednesday, August 23, 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT

Register Here

Join us for a discussion on the film and its parallels to the movements and struggles of today

Sacco and Vanzetti brings to life the personal, political and legal aspects of the heartbreaking story behind Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian immigrant anarchists who were accused of a murder in 1920, and executed in Boston in 1927 after a notoriously prejudiced trial.

The ordeal of Sacco and Vanzetti came to symbolize the bigotry and intolerance directed at immigrants and dissenters in America, and millions of people in the U.S. around the world protested on their behalf.  Nearly eighty years later, the story continues to have great resonance, as civil liberties and the rights of immigrants are again under attack.

The powerful prison writings of Sacco and Vanzetti are read by actors John Turturro and Tony Shalhoub.  A chorus of passionate commentators propels the narrative, including Howard Zinn, Arlo Guthrie, Studs Terkel, and a number of older people with personal connections to the story.  Artwork, music, poetry, and feature film clips about the case are interwoven within the narrative.

Through the tragic story of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the inspiring images of those who keep their memories alive, audiences will experience a universal – and very timely – tale of official injustice and human resilience.

Learn More About The Film Here

Watch here

Register Here

Register now to ensure your participation!
Attendance is free but registration is required!

Once registered, you will receive a link to watch the film before the event.
If you have any issues or questions, please contact

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA)  
PO Box 1245
New York, NY 10113

Phone: +1 (212) 674-5398

Film Showing - King Coal - Sidewalk Film Festival - King Coal - Atlanta - August 27

"Alabama friends anywhere near Birmingham: A beautiful, must-see film is coming to you on Sunday afternoon, August 27. Please help spread the word, and do enjoy this beautiful film."

Kipp Dawson
Post on Facebook

A lyrical tapestry of a place and people, KING COAL meditates on the complex history and future of the coal industry, the communities it has shaped, the myths it has created. While deeply situated in Central Appalachia, the film transcends time and place, emphasizing the ways in which all are connected through an immersive mosaic of belonging, ritual, and imagination. Emerging from the long shadows of the coal mines, KING COAL untangles the pain from the beauty, and illuminates the innately human capacity for change.

Get tickets here  

About Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema

We produce the nationally recognized Sidewalk Film Festival; organize a wide variety of educational programs for filmmakers and hold other events that create interest in and enthusiasm for independent film. To expand on this work and better serve our mission we have opened the Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema, a two-screen independent movie theater in the heart of Birmingham’s historic theatre district.