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Tidbits – Feb. 1, 2024 – Reader Comments: Chicago Now Largest City To Call for Ceasefire; Hawks Demand War With Iran; Texas Gov Abbott Encouraging Criminal White Extremists; New – Family Budget Calculator; Help UE Preserve the Solidarity Mural; More

Reader Comments: Chicago Now Largest City to Call for Ceasefire; Hawks Demand War With Iran; Texas Gov Abbott Encouraging Criminal White Extremists; New - Family Budget Calculator; Help UE Preserve the Solidarity Mural; Cartoons; more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Take Action, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons - Feb..1, 2024,Portside


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Chicago Now Largest City to Call for Ceasefire




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Signs Your Government is Committing Crimes Against Humanity  -- Cartoon by Jen Sorensen


Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir responded “Hague Schmague” after the world court allowed South Africa’s charges of genocide to proceed. Netanyahu’s Twitter account posted “Nobody will stop us – not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anybody else.” Whenever you hear government officials attempting to discredit The Hague, that is a huge warning sign that something has gone very wrong in that country. Yes, Hamas committed heinous crimes requiring a response, but Hamas is not the same as the whole population of Gaza, which is being indiscriminately slaughtered and starved to death. Journalists reporting on the carnage are being targeted as well.

For more background on the third panel about the State Department making human rights exceptions for Israel, see this Guardian article.

Help keep this work sustainable by joining the Sorensen Subscription Service! Also on Patreon.

Jen Sorenson
January 31, 2024


Re: US Hawks Demand War With Iran After Attack on American Troops in Jordan

I agree. Biden must have the courage to stop the violence. Excellent article.

Marcia Slatkin


Re: A Trump $$$ Mystery Is About To Be Revealed


Trump says he’ll appeal. He has few grounds to challenge the federal court judgment. But if Trump does appeal, it will open the curtain on his murky finances, where inflated valuations and concealed obligations are common.
Appealing will require Trump to either deposit the entire judgment amount with the court or obtain a bond covering 20% of the judgment, close to $17 million.

If you were in the financial business, would you loan any money to Trump? What if he offered to pay a fat fee upfront? A high-interest rate? What real estate would you take as collateral to back the bond, knowing that if the appeal fails, Trump will fight to keep you from collecting?

Lorraine Suzuki
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


DeSantis Ran for President  --  Cartoon by Mike Peters


Mike Peters
January 25, 2024
Mike Peters on X


Re: For 150 Years, Black Journalists Have Known What Confederate Monuments Really Stood For

When my father was the Methodist Minister in Provincetown MA, sixty years previously the Klan had split the church in half. He was sent there to unite the two factions which, he said, "were half a mile and three generations apart."  He succeeded.

John Whiting


Congress Debates Border Deal  --  Cartoon by Michael de Adder


Michael de Adder
January 31, 2024
Michael de Adder on X


Border Politics  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers


Rob Rogers
January 30, 2024


Texas Governor Abbott Is Encouraging Criminal White Extremists With A Hate Agenda


Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Issues Historic Warning of Looming Trouble Over Razor Wire at U.S. – Mexico Border

January 29, 2024
Contact David Cruz - (818) 689-9991

LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens, is issuing an immediate National Alert, only the second in the organization's nearly 100-year history.

"False and inciteful political rhetoric from Governor Greg Abbott is agitating people to possibly commit acts of violence and mass murder. We urge our members, especially those in Texas, to be on alert for armed out-of-state extremists with a hate agenda," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president. "We've seen death at the hands of shooters due to hate speech. We cannot forget what occurred at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, just a few years ago. Hate speech is being used yet again to rachet up anger and hatred that are putting Hispanic Texans, law enforcement, military service members, and innocent civilians in the crosshairs," says Garcia.

LULAC issued the first National Alert in May 2023, warning against traveling to Florida after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed Bill 1718, unleashing a wave of anti-immigrant measures against Latinos in that state. LULAC's no-travel advisory and community grassroots actions were patterned after steps the organization took when Arizona passed SB1070 in 2010.

"We need true bipartisan support for immigration reform. A multiprong approach to reforming our immigration system. Our focus needs to target drug cartels, human smugglers, and arms runners. Not families, women, and children. At the same time, we need to open legal immigration options for real refugees and provide legalization for those immigrants with no criminal record who pay a fine and pass a background check," urges Garcia.

LULAC remains focused on positive dialogue by all sides in Congress and urges Americans not to antagonize each other on the streets throughout the border regions. "I plead with our communities to remain peaceful and law-abiding and not get drawn into confrontations with those trying to provoke a fight. Instead, our strongest, most effective voice is our vote at the ballot box in 2024, where we are focusing all our energies," says Ray Mancera, LULAC national vice president for the southwest.

"These stunts by Abbott and others are encouraging lawlessness and do nothing to solve the broken immigration system. LULAC is committed to comprehensive immigration reform," says Lydia Guzman, LULAC's national immigration chair. "The Supreme Court ruled that erecting deadly barriers is illegal, and it is also inhumane to let women, children, and families die because of them," says Guzman.

A group claiming to be "God's Army" announced it will leave Virginia Beach, Virginia, in a convoy headed to Texas today, then straddle the U.S. – Mexico border. The group's statement said that it plans to "take our border back." Abbott signed a statement Wednesday, January 24, citing Section 4 of the Constitution, "which reserves the right of self-defense." Twenty-five Republican Governors have added their names.

"Abbott and his supporters are creating a media circus for political gain and to raise money. LULAC abhorrently condemns hate speech, actions, and lies that hurt human life, especially those coming to the United States to survive deplorable conditions and seek refuge. Let's see immigration for the good it provides our country rather than calling it a threat to divide and weaken us as a nation," says Garcia.


League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

National Headquarters
1776 Eye Street, NW; Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 835-9646
Fax: (202) 835-9685


The latest edition of the Family Budget Calculator is now available



What constitutes a living wage? 

More than 20 years ago, the Economic Policy Institute created the first version of the Family Budget Calculator.  This interactive tool estimates the income needed for families of different sizes and compositions to afford basic necessities in different parts of the country.

The new edition also describes how to use the FBC to calculate a living wage for every community.

Use the calculator

Summary: The Family Budget Calculator estimates the resources families need to make ends meet across the United States. This report explains how policymakers, employers, and advocates can set meaningful living wage standards using the calculator.

Key findings

  • EPI’s Family Budget Calculator determines the income needed for families to afford basic necessities such as housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation. 

  • This user’s guide helps policymakers, advocates, and employers turn our family budgets into living wage standards for their communities. 

  • When setting a living wage standard, various factors like work hours and family size need to be considered. For instance, a living wage for a family with two adults and two children is more than twice as large as a living wage for a family of one if there’s only one worker per family. 

  • Setting a living wage requires decisions about how much families should rely only on wages to make ends meet. For instance, if families have access to other resources like employer-provided health insurance or universal pre-K, it could lower the living wage required to meet their family budget.

Why this matters

There is no one-size-fits-all blueprint for setting a living wage standard.  Setting living wages and designing policies to help families meet their needs ultimately come down to political decisions.  Even so, the Family Budget Calculator can be used to inform local decisions about appropriate living wage standards. 

Read the Report - click here

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


Help UE Preserve the Solidarity Mural in Chicago



Fifty years ago, a team of artists led by John Pitman Weber and Jose Guerrero created the “Solidarity” mural in the lobby of the UE Hall in Chicago, at that time the center of a vibrant working-class neighborhood.

With the neighborhood gentrifying, UE is in the process of selling the aging building — but is working hard to preserve the mural for the Chicago community and future generations. Please sign on to this statement by January 31 to demonstrate to potential funders that there is widespread support for preserving this vital piece of history:

Show your support  -  Click here

The mural tells the story of UE, industrial unionism, and related social movements in the style of Diego Rivera. For 50 years, it has served as a visual narrative of the struggles and triumphs of the working class, capturing the spirit of solidarity, resilience, and the fight for workers’ rights.

If you are interested in learning more about the mural, this 2019 article in the Chicago Sun-Times includes an interview with one of the muralists and spectacular photos of the artwork.

In solidarity,
Kari Thompson, UEREF Director

Mural photos by J Burger.

UE Research and Education Fund


Webinar:  Immigrant's Educational Rights: Peril or Promise  --  February 8  (American University School of Education)


An insightful panel discussion about the obstacles that threaten the fundamental right to education for immigrant families.

Considering the increasing news about the education of immigrants in the US, especially what is happening at our southern border, this webinar is an opportunity to shed light on the plight of immigrant families who have children in US schools and the recurring challenges to landmark court cases, including political battles happening in states during this upcoming election year. Our panel of experts will lay out the obstacles that threaten the fundamental right to education for immigrant families, while offering possibilities and promise for the future. Speakers include:

  • Karina Ayala-Bermejo, JD, President and CEO of the Instituto del Progreso Latino
  • Dr. Ernesto Castaneda, Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at American University; Founding Director of the Immigration Lab; and Graduate Program Director of the MA in Sociology, Research, and Practice at American University
  • Celina Moreno, JD, President and CEO, IDRA
  • Moderator: Dr. Eric Macias, Professorial Lecturer at American University’s School of Education

Registrants will be sent a Zoom link to attend this free event.

Questions should be sent to We hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 8 · 6 - 7pm EST

Free Event  -- Register


Book Talk with Marisa Holmes --- Organizing Occupy Wall Street: This is Just Practice - New York - February 8  (Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives)


Book Talk with Marisa Holmes --- Organizing Occupy Wall Street: This is Just Practice in conversation with Nick Mirzeoff

Thursday, February 8th 5:30, in-person (Room 251, Bobst Library)

Join author, filmmaker, and organizer, Marisa Holmes, as she discusses her new book Organizing Occupy: This is Just PracticeOrganizing Occupy is the first study of the processes and structures of the Occupy Wall Street movement, written from the perspective of a core organizer who was involved from the inception to the end. In the text, Holmes analyzes a broad range of original primary sources, collective statements, structure documents, meeting minutes, live tweets, and hundreds of hours of footage from the OWS Media Working Group archive. In doing so, she reveals how the movement was organized in practice, which experiments were most successful, and what future generations can learn. She will be in discussion with NYU Professor Nick Mirzeoff, a participant in the movement and one of the co-creators of the Occupy publication Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy.