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Tidbits – Jan. 25, 2024 – Reader Comments: GOP Winner of Iowa Caucus -Total Loser Election Day; Military and Climate Crisis; Looking to CIO – “Forgot” Left Leaders of Auto Strike; Learn Revolutionary Medicine – In Cuba; Global Protests for Palestine

Reader Comments: GOP Winner of Iowa Caucus Has Been Total Loser Come Election Day; Military and Climate Crisis; Looking to CIO - Post "Forgot" Left Leaders of Auto Strike; Learn Revolutionary Medicine - in Cuba; Global Protests for Palestine; more..

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Jan.25, 2024,Portside





Re: Military Emissions Are Too Big To Keep Ignoring

To be sure, it is imperative to confront the challenge of military GHG emissions, still not included in the COP process. Nevertheless, these emissions are likely no more than 5% of the global total, with the best estimates closer to less than 1% (see documentation in my article at (

Most of this article focuses on military emissions, ending with a rather non-committal mention of the more than $2 trillion global military budget with the U.S contributing about one half of this total.: "The idea of diverting military budget into climate funds might be appealing if you believe that an expansive military apparatus does more harm than good.

But if you believe that global stability hinges on an expansive military, the question of how to reduce its contribution to the destabilizing force of climate change is thornier." But as an April 2022 Science Editorial put it "To solve climate, first achieve peace". This Editorial pointed to the imperative need of U.S./China collaboration, now being undermined by the U.S. new cold war on China. And as we said in our book "The Earth is Not for Sale", "Military spending and the MIC's [Military Industrial Complex] Imperial Agenda are the critical obstacles posed by the MIC, not the sizable, but widely exaggerated greenhouse gas emissions of the Pentagon itself." Ongoing wars driven by this Imperial Agenda are the critical obstacle to the near future cooperation necessary to take action to prevent climate catastrophes much worse than now witnessed, to be triggered if the warming target of 1.5 deg C is exceeded for a few decades in the future (see my article at

David Schwartzman

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Iowa's Caucus History  --  Cartoon by Gary Varvel


Gary Varvel
January 16, 2024
The Journal Times (Racine, Wisc)


Re: How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them

(posting on Portside Culture)

A great book, especially for people without a lot of history background.

You can critique it all you want - but it is a "plus" and does a lot to rid people of their ignorance factor on this topic.

Jerry Steele
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Oath Breakers  --  Cartoon by Matt Wuerker


Matt Wuerker
January 5, 2024


Re: Without a Healthy Democracy, None of the Other Issues Matter

Capitalism in its monopoly stages is not capable of delivering or sustaining democracy in any sense of value to working people. In fact, its NORMAL operation undermines it daily. A more accurate expression might be: "If monopoly capitalism's dictatorship is not overthrown from its dominating position, 'democracy' is a fraud.

John Case


Re: The Scary Third Meaning of Freedom


It’s a historical look at Barbour County, Alabama—the birthplace, as it happens, of segregationist Governor George Wallace—and how the white people there imposed their will on Native and Black Americans. We know the two standard definitions of freedom or liberty—“negative” freedom (the right to be left alone) and “positive” freedom (affirmative rights guaranteed by the state). Cowie identifies in Barbour County’s history a chilling third definition: the freedom to oppress and dominate. Its relevance to our time should be obvious.

Dave Lott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: An Unequal Tax Trade

Why would this have surprised anyone?

Remember what happened with the "Debt Ceiling 'Compromise'" "They" presented a list of expenses that could be taken from those with the lowest incomes. Biden negotiated from that list and "saved" some of the benefits/costs for those most affected. This was called a "compromise" and Biden was lauded for it.

He never suggested a single item that would negatively affect even slightly people with wealth. They were talking "money" and there was no suggestion of making taxes more equitable; there was no suggestion of saving money on the military and war and killing; expenses they continued to call "defense" despite the fact that it made us all less safe despite saving the standard of living for people like me.

But he "saved" money on the backs of the lowest-income people. And he raved about what great negotiations there had been.

This is the pattern and this will remain the pattern until those who have been "benefitting" the most financially stop playing games. Until everyone recognizes that ultimately our children and grandchildren will benefit more from an equitable financial system than from more wealth, this horror will continue.

Arlene Halfon


Re: For a Model of Working-Class Mass Organizing, Look to the CIO: An Interview With Steve Fraser

(posting on Portside Labor)

For the record:

Roosevelt did not say "A plague on both their houses." John L. Lewis, Pres. of the UMWA, said he said it, but he was paraphrasing. And I do remember (or think I remember) the Republicans in my home town getting their knickers in a twist because, they claimed, that FDR, before signing some important bill, said "Clear it with Sidney".

Ted Cloak


i read thru your take on the Flint Sit Down Strike twice. Yet i didn't see anything about Bob Travis, who was the leader of the Flint Sit Down Strike. Not a word about him.

Did i miss something? I sincerely hope that i did because Bob Travis would be a person that would be almost impossible to ignore in that struggle. Pardon me. He would Be IMPOSSIBLE to ignore. Leaving the LEADER of the Flint Sit Down Strike entirely out of the picture  tells me is that you have your own version of history, some sort of ideological crap,  because  Bob Travis and W. Mortimer BOTH played a MAJOR role in the Flint Sit down strike. Why would you ignore them? The only possible reason is that they were socialist revolutionaries and not members of the orgs you worship or some such thing.

Very sad that it is so easy for you to rewrite history to fit with your belief system -- or whatever the hell it is that makes you, well, dishonest. You don't have to agree with the orgs that Travis and Mortimer belonged. No you don't have to idolize them. But if you don't at least recognize the MAJOR contributions they made then we the people cannot trust a word you say.

J.P. Bone


Re: At MLK Conference, Unionists Strategize on Organizing the South

(posting on Portside Labor)

I attended the first day. Personally, I felt that the impassioned speeches referencing Dr. King fell flat when paired with the gushing over the Biden administration. And of course, no mention of Palestine or any other aspect of militarism which Dr. King fought so hard against.

There was a lot I liked about the conference but that rubbed me the wrong way and surely I wasn't the only one (though the crowd trended older than the rank and file FWIW)

I would prefer union leaders have sober assessments about the lesser evil, not act like they work for them.

Adam Keller
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Even Without a Contest at the Top of the Ticket, Voting in the Democratic Primary Still Matters

Your support for the Democratic party is a real problem for me. Both parties have been captured by the ruling elites. I'm voting 3rd party, always have and always will!!!!!!

Patty Krockel


Re: Would-Be Assassins of Democracy, 2024

Thanks for your passion and truth-telling!  Trump is a dangerous demagogue when he says he wants to be "the shepherd of mankind"!

The Great Unraveling provokes the Great Refusal!

Check out the many English translations on!

Four years ago women like Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren were running for president. Did Trump's nonstop mud-throwing and name-calling frighten them away?

Biden isn't the only one who can cast out the fly that fell into the soup or the broken clock only right twice a day!!

Rejoicing in his very productive single-term is both a command of humility & a command of the hour!

Marc Batko


Re: Trump Allies Plot To Take Over the European Union

This article is so full of gaps and simply failures to acknowledge the history that led up to Russia's military action against Ukraine. It gives carte blanche to the neoliberals who've created this situation, the total and ugly obeisance of Europe to the US's failing attempt to hold on to it economic and military hegemony in the world, even to the de-industrialization of once-powerful Germany, which the U.S. actually desired and is now achieving. This failed writer addresses none of this and thus plays into the hands of the international corporatists who are desperately holding on to their control of the world. Thankfully the Global South is aware of this even if the West is not.

Joseph B. Atkins


Re: Why Conspiracy Theories Are Corrosive to Social Movements — And What To Do About It

When I first encountered your site it seemed your article writers were reasonably objective. The article by Shane Burley is a disgusting deviation.

Herb Davis


Deep Freeze  --  Cartoon by Walt Handelsman


Walt Handelsman
January 23, 2024
The Advocate (Baton Rouge. LA)


Learn Revolutionary Medicine: ELAM Scholarship Application Deadline Soon - February 15 - Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba  (IFCO / Pastors for Peace)


Request an Application  

Request Application Here!

Why Apply to the Latin American School of Medicine?

ELAM is more than a medical school. It trains students from over 120 different countries in the skills and expertise to become revolutionary doctors. This means a human first approach to practicing medicine with a focus on preventive healthcare and a commitment to growing global health infrastructure! Watch the video below to learn more about the world changing institute that is the Latin American School of Medicine.

Can one medical school change the world?

Watch video here  

This film tells the story of the largest medical school in the world, the Latin American Medical School (ELAM as it is known in Spanish) in Havana, Cuba through the eyes of US students who received scholarships with the commitment to practice medicine in under-served communities.

The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) has been working since 1991 on a variety of projects to bring about reconciliation and normalized relations between the United States and Cuba and to challenge the immoral US economic blockade of Cuba. Since 1999, IFCO has been working with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), organizing Congressional delegations to visit Cuba. It was during one of these delegations in May 2000 that Cuban medical school scholarships were first offered to US students.

IFCO / Pastors for Peace
212-926-5757 |


Global Protests for a Free Palestine

Voices are echoing worldwide as tens of thousands of people take to the streets to demand an immediate cease-fire and an end to Israel’s war on Gaza.

By Iman Mohamed
January 23, 2024
YES! Magazine

Protesters hold placards and flags as they chant slogans during a rally in support of Palestinians, outside of the Houses of Parliament in central London on November 15, 2023, to demand Members of Parliament vote for a ceasefire in Gaza. MP's gathered at the House of Commons to vote on the King's Speech amendment calling for Gaza ceasefire.  (Photo by Henry Nicholls/Agence France-Presse (AFP)  //  YES! Magazine)

It’s been more than 100 days since Israel declared war and began bombing Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023. In that time, the Israeli military has killed more than 25,000 Gazans, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. Many of these attacks—and the gruesome aftermath—have been captured and shared live on video, as journalists and residents of Gaza document the constant bombardment. As the world watches the horrors unfold, a surge of massive protests calling for a cease-fire spread across the globe, from Washington, D.C., to London, Tokyo, Karachi, Pakistan, and many more.

Despite claims that protest is ineffective, time after time, mass direct action has proved that it is a meaningful response to injustice. Since the start of Israel’s assault on Gaza, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to raise their voices and demand a free Palestine—even as global powers and mainstream media continue a near-blackout of Palestinian voices, instead amplifying Zionist and Israeli messaging.

Here are nine international protests demonstrating solidarity with the people of Gaza:

1. Days of action in San Francisco

2. Protesters march in London to call for permanent cease-fire

3. Protesters march for Palestine in Washington, D.C.

4. Indonesians rally in support of Gaza

5. South Africans demand cease-fire in Gaza

6. Protesters in Karachi protest on the 100th day of genocide in Gaza

7. Thousands rally in support of Palestinians in Berlin

8. Hundreds protest in Cyprus 

9. Protesters in Japan rally in support of Palestinians

[IMAN MOHAMED is the audience engagement manager at YES!, where she is in charge of the organization’s robust social media platforms and creating a strategy for YES! editorial content to deepen our relationship with the YES! community. A media enthusiast with a degree in journalism and international studies from the University of Washington, Iman specializes in digital storytelling and creative promotion of digital articles. She has reported for Seattle Globalist, The UW Daily, and interned at Real Change. In her free time, Iman likes to read mystery books, travel, and hang out with her friends.] 


Webinar: Our Healthcare System is Failing Us All  --  January 29  (New York State Poor People's Campaign, Make the Road New York, The Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee)


Hear about the growing threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and the challenges facing immigrant and low-income families, seniors and retirees.

As the healthcare profiteers line their pockets, more and more New Yorkers are uninsured, underinsured, and saddled with medical debt. While privatization grows, we are getting sicker.

RSVP - click here!  

Featuring Speakers from all three co-sponsoring organizations:
New York State Poor People's Campaign
Make the Road New York
The Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee

* New York Poor People's Campaign; Kelly J. Smith, Campaign Tri-Chair

    Hear about the challenge of Medicaid cut-offs and the growing denial of procedures and services.  Find out about the fight of the Non-Violent Medicaid Army.

*Make the Road NY; Arline Cruz Escobar, Director of Health Programs

    Hear about the challenges to healthcare access for immigrant New Yorkers, especially undocumented community members. Learn about the issues people face renewing coverage and staying enrolled in Medicaid and other public programs, as well as the #Coverage4All campaign.

* Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee; Sarah Shapiro, Retired NYC Teacher, United Federation of Teachers

    Hear about the fight against the privatization of traditional Medicare and corporate greed. Learn how Medicare Advantage is harming seniors and people with disabilities.

THE FACTS: More than half of New York State’s 19.8 million residents are enrolled in Medicare (3.8 million) or Medicaid (6.9 million), yet we still often fail to get the health coverage we need. Over 1 million residents have no health coverage at all. And many of the 8 million residents with private insurance are burdened with high premiums and medical debt.

RSVP - click here!  

CROCnyc · 30 Ocean Pkwy · Brooklyn, NY 11218-1548


Free Ocalan - End U.S, Complicity in Turkey's War on Kurds - Washington, DC  --  Rally  --  February 15 (Emergency Committee for Rojava)


Save the Date: February 15th Rally in Washington DC

With Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan entering his 25th year of imprisonment and Turkey escalating its war of aggression against North-East Syria, we call on people and organizations in the United States to join us in support of the International Freedom for Öcalan Campaign. Öcalan’s imprisonment, enabled by the US government’s ongoing political and military support for Turkey, is a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East. The time has come to #FreeOcalan and end Turkey’s ongoing war against Kurds and the peoples of North-East Syria. 

Join us in Washington DC for a public demonstration in front of the White House, on Pennsylvania Ave NW, on Thursday, February 15th, at 2pm. 

In solidarity,
- Emergency Committee for Rojava

If you'd like to support the Emergency Committee for Rojava, or to donate to Rojava directly, visit our website, To join our efforts or to start a chapter in your community, email us at