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Tidbits – Feb.29, 2024 – Reader Comments: Alabama Supreme Court Decision; Aaron Bushnell; Nex Benedict; How To Avoid Climate Collapse; Jerusalem Youth Chorus North American Spring Tour; Southern Student Organizing Committee Reunion; Cartoons; More…

Reader Comments: Leap Year; Alabama Supreme Court Decision; Aaron Bushnell; ¡Presente! Nex Benedict; How to avoid climate collapse; Jerusalem Youth Chorus North American Spring Tour; Southern Student Organizing Committee Reunion; Cartoons; more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Feb.29, 2024,Portside





Microscopic person  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich



Mike Luckovich
February 23, 2024
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Re: Meet the Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice

Apparently, Alabama has no recall process that would apply to a Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. The legislature could probably impeach him for this blatant violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, but ... don’t hold your breath, anybody.

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

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Enlow is a pro-Trump “prophet” and leading proponent of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” a “quasi-biblical blueprint for theocracy” that asserts that Christians must impose fundamentalist values on American society by conquering the “seven mountains” of cultural influence in U.S. life: government, education, media, religion, family, business, and entertainment

Jim Maynard
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This from the pages of "you can't make this stuff up."

"In summary, the theologically based view of the sanctity of life adopted by the People of Alabama encompasses the following: (1) God made every person in His image; (2) each person therefore has a value that far exceeds the ability of human beings to calculate; and (3) human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destructions of His image as an affront to Himself. Section 36.06 recognizes that this is true of unborn human life no less than it is of all other human life —that even before birth, all human beings bear the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory."

From the decision by Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker in the IVF case. Separation of Church and State much? How about the US Constitution? And what of people whose religion does not comport with this view? What about their freedom of religion?

Bill Henning
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Embryos are people, too  --  Cartoon by Ann Telnaes


Ann Telnaes
February 21, 2024
Washington Post


"The Torah, the Mishnah, the Talmud and later rabbinic sources consider the woman's physical and emotional health before that of the fetus...."



High Holy Days 5782 The Right to Choose is a Jewish Value: the battle for choice, autonomy and  progress in America Rabbi Mara Nathan

Rabbi Mara Nathan

[Mara Nathan (she/her) is the Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, Texas where she has served since 2014. She is the first woman to serve as senior rabbi of a major congregation in the State of Texas. Rabbi Nathan has made community building, social justice, worship innovation and community outreach her main priorities. Previously, Rabbi Nathan served as the Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregational Learning at Larchmont Temple in Larchmont, NY, where she worked in various capacities from 1994-2014. During her almost twenty years of service at Larchmont Temple, she played an instrumental role in all aspects of congregational life including spiritual worship, ritual, and lifelong learning.]


The Goose Step  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson


Nick Anderson
February 22, 2024


Re: The National Fight for Rent Control

In the US 🇺🇸 Rent control is back from the dead with a vengeance, with serious organizing campaigns underway in at least 15 states.

George Lessard
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


No Worries  --  Cartoon by Christopher Weyant



Christopher Weyant
February 14, 2024
Boston Globe


Re: After Setting Himself on Fire, US Airman Aaron Bushnell Dies Declaring ‘Free Palestine’

I was a bit taken aback by the article Portside published idealizing the death of Aaron Bushnell, the U.S. serviceman who set himself on fire to protest the genocide in Gaza. While I agree with his sentiments about the dire necessity of a cease fire and humanitarian aid and a resolution for the national aspirations of the Palestinian people, I cannot condone the unnecessary taking of a life, even one's own in protest. I do not want even one more person to die in this conflict. I don't know if Bushnell had any mental problems or not, but I do believe that had he lived and used his energies to help mobilize a mass movement in support of the Palestinians, that would have been far more effective.

His death, unfortunately, will change nothing and even if more follow him (I hope not), it will not change U.S. policy. Only mass mobilization via demonstrations and voting will have any chance of doing that. I do remember the immolations of Vietnamese Buddhist priests during the Vietnam War, but I am not sure that they, as shocking as they were, actually contributed to the ending of the war. May Bushnell rest in peace.

Judith Eisenscher Schaffner



We will carry on your legacy, Aaron Bushnell!!!

Hank Ramírez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Neglected History of the State of Israel


The United States entered World War II, to stop the killing of innocent Jews. Now is encouraging Israel to kill innocent women and children. Women and children who had their land taken from them and put into concentration areas were watched and treated like dogs in a kennel. While the U.S., and Britain, took these people's land and gave it to the Jews after WWII. In 2020 the World International Court said that it was illegal for Israel to take the land, but they have not returned any of it and probably will not.

Yet, will not stop them in their killings and mistreatment of Palestinians. When they should force Israel into a Two-State Solution? The United States watches the way Israelis treat Palestinians and rewards them every year with billions of American taxpayer dollars for them to continue the mistreatment.

Committing these atrocious horrors will only make those who were peaceful become violent with hate against you who have slaughtered their innocent families and friends. You may think you are victorious today, but because of what you have done to innocent people, there will come a much worse disaster upon you! Those who follow God do not ask for revenge, but only justice upon those who harmed them, not going out harming those who have not!

Gregory St. James Mundy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Strangely Lenin

(posting on Portside Culture)

Wonderful book review!

L A Kurth


¡Presente! Nex Benedict - Poster of the Week


Johanna Toruño
Unapologetic Street Series
Digital print, 2024
Los Angeles, CA

Nex Benedict was a 16-year-old, non-binary Choctaw high school student in Owasso,

Oklahoma. Nex was gender-expansive and used They/Them pronouns. They enjoyed nature, drawing, reading, playing video games and loved their cat, Zeus.

On February 7, student Nex was assaulted and beaten by three other students in a girl’s bathroom at Owasso High School. On February 8, after being released from the hospital and subsequently readmitted, Nex died. Inexplicably, local police say that their death was not caused by injuries from the assault.

Nex’s gender-expansive identity, coupled with the fact that this crime happened in a school bathroom, has generated a lot of fear. In 2023, over 75 anti-LGBTQ+ laws were passed at the local and state level. These include “bathroom bills" and “don’t say gay” policies in schools. Such laws encourage open hostility and violence against trans and gender-expansive people, including children.

We must honor Nex and all LGBTQ+ youth who have been bullied, attacked, or killed. Gender nonconforming and trans children must be protected, accepted, and safe. We must demand an end to this terror!

Nex Benedict ¡Presente!


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


Online Forum - How to avoid climate collapse? European Parliament elections and role of the Left… International Transform!Danmark conference  --  March 16  (Transform!Danmark – in cooperation with transform!Europe, and Global Aktion, NOAH – Friends of the Earth, Scientist Rebellion Danmark, Solidaritet,  Kritisk Revy, Enhedslisten/Red-Green Alliance, and others)



How to avoid climate collapse?” The new Transform!Danmark conference will address this question by investigating the issue of the “European Parliament elections” as well as “the role of the Left at a time of climate policy failure of the EU and national governments” — in cooperation with transform! europe and several other partners. Register now!


How to avoid climate collapse?

European Parliament elections and the role of the Left
at a time of climate policy failure of the EU and national governments

Organisers: Transform!Danmark – in cooperation with transform!europe, and Global Aktion, NOAH – Friends of the Earth, Scientist Rebellion Danmark, Solidaritet,  Kritisk Revy, Enhedslisten/Red-Green Alliance, and others


It is striking how little the climate crisis weighs in the political priorities of today’s governments and politicians — compared to their fast and resolute actions around Covid-19 in the spring of 2020, and likewise the speedy decision-making after Putin’s attack on Ukraine with huge sums of money allocated to military spending.

The extreme weather conditions have been still more present this year, however the budget allocations from the European countries as well as from the EU have diminished, to a great degree because of rising costs of military spending. Rearmament and militarisation as such are some of the worst factors increasing CO2 emissions. Also, the legal space for climate activism has narrowed in many countries.

On the background of the European Parliament elections in June 2024, our main focus in the coming international Transform!Danmark conference on 16 March 2024 is the radical left and its role in the EP elections with regard to furthering climate and environmental policies and a social and just green transition and avoid a climate collapse. We will look into specific cases in a number of European countries as well as the EU Green Deal from 2019, the EU recovery plan from July 2020, the Climate Law (“Fit for 55”), the EU strategy for adaptation to climate change as well as the steps to confront the energy crisis.
We will also take a look at the budgets and planned climate spending of the EU national governments and the EU and evaluate the priority given to climate and environmental policies compared to military spending.

As previously, we also wish to include a focus on combatting the severe climate problems outside Europe and the responsibility of the global North in this regard, this time by inviting a representative from Colombia, where they have struggled to elaborate specific climate policies.

Can the left parties, together with the climate movement, address and impact on the situation and postpone a climate collapse? How to develop a social and just green transition?
How to change the priorities of governments and politicians? Militarisation and rearmament have been made such a huge priority in most Western/NATO countries that it is practically destroying the effort to cut CO2 and boost green transformation. The problem is not only that the huge increase in military spending undermines the spending on climate and welfare. Rearmament and militarisation as such are some of the worst factors increasing CO2 emissions.

We wish to continue the debate on how to combat climate change, and why the current policies and state of affairs in EU/Brussels, nationally and globally, are insufficient. The need for system change is central in understanding the insufficiency of present policies focussing on reform of the system and not systemic change.

This is the core of our perspective to build political, economic, social, and ecological alternatives. The conference will also as previously offer a bid for more long-term versions of transformed societies: eco-socialism and eco-feminism and continue the debate on the role of degrowth.

More information here


The Jerusalem Youth Chorus Announces “A Different Song”: North American Spring Tour A 4-City Tour from March 29-April 14


We are thrilled to share that 18 of our singers will visit and perform in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Boston, and Vancouver between March 29 and April 14, 2024.  The JYC "A Different Song" Tour is bookended by a high-profile performance in Los Angeles to be announced, and a livestreamed performance at TED 2024, TED’s flagship conference, in Vancouver.

Download the Press Release  “A Different Song”: North American Spring Tour A 4-City Tour from March 29-April 14

In partnership with the One America Movement

  • Mon. April 1, 7:00pm | LOS ANGELES
    Hosted by the Greer Family 
  • Tues. April 9, 7:00pm | WASHINGTON, DC
    Hosted at and by the Adas Israel Congregation
  • Sun. April 14, 4:00pm | BOSTON, MA and LIVESTREAMED
    Hosted at and by Emmanuel Church and Central Reform Temple
    A joint performance with Northeastern University's award-winning a cappella group The Nor'easters

Reserve Tickets  

The mission of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus has never been more vital: to demonstrate a viable alternative to violence in Israel-Palestine and sing out for peace, justice, inclusion, and equality.  We are partnering on this tour with the One America Movement—an organization that works with faith communities across America to fight toxic polarization—to inspire and equip American audiences to build bridges in their own communities even in divisive times.  The opportunities that we have on this tour to truly amplify our singers’ voices, like performing at TED 2024, will allow us to seize the moment when all eyes are on Israel-Palestine and help us all sing a different song.

How to Contribute to the Tour  

The Jerusalem Youth Chorus is a choral and dialogue program for Palestinian and Israeli youth in Jerusalem. Our mission is to provide a space for these young people from East and West Jerusalem to grow together in song and dialogue. Through the co-creation of music and the sharing of stories, we empower youth in Jerusalem with the responsibility to speak and sing their truths, as they become leaders in their communities and inspire singers and listeners around the world to work for peace, justice, inclusion, and equality.

Our Vision

We envision a Jerusalem—and a broader Israel-Palestine—defined not by hatred, division and injustice, not by occupation, terror, and violence, but by acknowledgement of a shared connection to place, celebration of individual and collective belonging to that place, and systems that allow that belonging to be equally realized by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, Palestinians and Israelis alike. We reject attempts to pit Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians, against one another in service of systemic violence that robs all of their agency to even imagine, let alone choose, a different way. Instead, as we create a home for all in the chorus, we seek to show what Jerusalem could be - and use our songs and stories, within a broad ecosystem of change, as a catalyst to bring that future about.

Our email address is:

For Media Inquiries:
Jackie Dentino, Director of Development, The Jerusalem Youth Chorus
(978)844-0167(c) |


SSOC - Southern Student Organizing Committee Reunion  -  Nashville  - June 14 - 16


Bookcover - Struggle for a Better South: The Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1964-1969 by G Michel

SSOC Reunion - In the mid 1960s the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) emerged from an effort by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to reach southern whites. With chapters at colleges and universities across the South, SSOC also conducted programs aimed at bringing Black and white workers together, a program celebrating the South's Black and white musical heritage, and worked across the South to end the Vietnam war and the draft  

SSOC veterans have organized a reunion to be held June 14-16, 2014 in Nashville, TN.

Those who were involved in SSOC chapters and/or other SSOC programs are especially urged to attend.

For further information contact Grant Cooper at or by phone at 504-813-9922.