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Tidbits – July 4th – Reader Comments: No One Is Above the Law; About the Debate; Election 2024: A Chess Move, Not a Valentine; Israeli Army Reservists Refusing To Serve; Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize – How To Apply; Cartoons; More…

Reader Comments: No One Is Above The Law; About the Debate; Election 2024: A Chess Move, Not a Valentine; Israeli Army Reservists Refusing to Serve; U.S. Government Officials who have Resigned; Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize - How to Apply

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Announcements AND cartoons - July 4, 2024,Portside








Above the Law  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson
July 1, 2024
Reform Austin


Crowned King  --  Cartoon by Benjamin Slyngstad


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Benjamin Slyngstad
July 1, 2024
Benjamin Slyngstad on X


Not Illegal  --  Cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod


Dr. James MacLeod
July 2, 2024

Re: Biden-Trump Was a Bombshell No One Expected

Superb round-up.

Carolyn Toll Oppenheim
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Thanks for this round-up of sources – this was a great chance to diversity of thinking....or, how much they all went down the same path!

Dina Boogaard


About the so-called Biden v Trump debate Thursday night ...  

A debate is a contest of facts supported by justifying arguments.  
Last Thursday, one party showed up sickly and in a bad voice, but still to debate citing facts and near facts.  The other party showed up to attack, speaking loud and spitting venom, uncontested lies, demeaning insults, and distasteful puns against the opponent.  

Biden failed in not appearing strong and fit, and -- lacking a TelePrompter -- not in control of his over-rehearsed citations.  But, excepting some slurring of words and one major "senior moment," Biden rated a "C-"   While on an ethical scale, the opponent failed on all counts and rates a "D-" at most.  These differences, however, were unnoticed by the media and a large swath of the US public ... who are swayed by loudness and combativeness, regardless of substance. 

The insistent question that fills the airways, editorials, and pundit pronouncements is:  Should Biden now step aside and be replaced by a younger and more forceful candidate ? 

To this question, I offer a number of personal observations: 

  • Biden should remain the Democratic Party candidate.  Except for his failure to expand the Supreme Court and his unquestioning 'war-criminal' collaboration with Netanyahu's genocidal war on the Palestinian people, Biden has been a fairly good president.   
  • There is no real unifying alternative to Biden.  Kamala, who many think was an unfortunate choice for VP, rates much lower among Democratic voters than does Biden.  Many voters reject the notion of Kamala as the first woman US president.  
  • While Kamala would have little to no chance of being selected if Biden decided to step aside, supporters would have a greater chance of attaining their goal should Biden be re-elected but, God forbid, be unable to serve the full 4-year term.  
  • No other Democrat has prepared, has national and global recognition, is sufficiently charismatic, or would be sufficiently acceptable to unify the entire Democratic base.  
  • At this late stage, there would be ugly public infighting among potential candidates, with the result being no one would gain the support of all Democratic voters. 
  • The infighting would lead to more shifts to Trump and more "sit-outs," by Democrats from voting. 
  • As the campaign proceeds and familiarity with Biden's and Trump's differences increases, undecided voters of any thinking capability will likely move toward Biden. 
  • Biden should absolutely refuse to enter a 2nd debate with Trump.  There is no possible format that would make the contenders equitable opponents.  Trump ignores all questions, and Biden feels forced to counter Trump's never-ending lies and distortions without providing any proposals to be scrutinized. Trump's aggression puts Biden on defense, which reduces time to make points and visually and aurally appears weak.  
  • On principle, many progressives cannot bring themselves to vote for "genocide Joe" and will choose to stay home and not vote.  Progressives should consider that any "no vote" or "non-vote" is effectively a vote for Trump ... an outcome that no progressive wants to live with. 
  • Dubious progressives are correct in their principled opposition to Biden's horrid policies.  However, rather than sit-out the election and see victory gratuitously handed to Trump, progressives of all stripes have the responsibility to mobilize with sustained mass opposition against Biden's heinous policies and actions. 
  • It is well for all to remember that "One failed debate does not make a total campaign."

James E Vann


Trump Hand Gestures Explained  --  Cartoon by Guy Parsons


Guy Parsons
June 27, 2024
Duluth News Tribune


Re: Sunday Science: Do We Need Language To Think?

I see what you're doing here, Portside. You're trying to make the case for having a senile president.

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Interesting article on the  role and significance of language. Would love to hear comments from our Haitian linguistic experts

Carolle Charles
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Election 2024: A Chess Move, Not a Valentine

This is a solid and persuasive essay by Rand Wilson.

Being an old-timer, I am still stuck on the negative memory of 2011-12: demonstrations of 150,000 in the streets around the Wisconsin Capitol to oppose the Republican bill to end state employees' unionism (the ban on private sector unions would come the following year), by fiat and indirection. The standing Veep, not to mention the Prez, could have called, written, showed up (VPs do that sometimes). It would have meant a lot to us, and to the "pro-union record" of Biden if anybody has any memory.

Biden snubbed us, obviously. No centrist Democrat wanted to be associated with such dramatic action.

Yes, it's a long time ago, and the benefits of current labor support in the recent past have been real.

Like the claim that the son of a car dealer, no factory worker, is Working Class Joe, there's a falsity or disingenuity to Biden's identification with labor that a lot of voters will recognize, and sticks in my throat. Joe was a million miles away from DSA, in the other camp of Dems.

Should the angry demonstrators vote for him anyway? Sure. But gritting their teeth, just like most of us.

Paul Buhle


Debate Over, SCOTUS Rulings Are Not  --  Cartoon by Bill Bramhall


Bill Bramhall
June 28, 2024
New York Daily News


Re: Three Israeli Army Reservists Explain Why They Refuse To Continue Serving in Gaza

From this article:

"We're just chasing after heads in order to demonstrate some kind of achievement, without any strategy and direction. ... You feel you're doing something without any military rationale, with a risk of causing very serious harm to people who are undoubtedly innocent, only because you have to demonstrate an achievement."

Judyth Hollub
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Joint Statement of U.S. Government Officials who have Resigned over U.S. policy towards Gaza, Palestine and Israel




Re: ‘The Land Theft Continues’: Israel Announces Biggest West Bank Seizure in Over 30 Years

The Israel-based activist group Peace Now says "2024 is by far the peak year for Israeli land seizure in the occupied West Bank."

Dave Lott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Fate of the Iranian and Palestinian Left

(posting in Global Left Midweek – July 3, 2024)

I have read several Portside articles about the history of the "Palestinian Left," a subject about which I was largely ignorant.  I assumed that in those articles, I would read about what those groups were promoting as their current Program, their current "Platform," their current way forward for the Palestinian People.

Unless I missed it, there wasn't much.  One article said a two-State solution is now "impossible," but if that's so, what's the best, possible alternative?  One State, that includes Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank?  How would that come about?  What is the Palestinian Left's proposal for the governance of Gaza and the West Bank?  What is the Palestinian Left's analysis of Hamas?  And the Palestinian Authority?

I'm not suggesting there are simple answers to these questions, or that I have anything useful to contribute.  But I am still curious about what the "Palestinian Left" would have to say.

Paul Leavin


Supreme Court Rulings - Two Years After Dobbs  --  A Sad Day  --  cartoon from CoCo in Libération (France)


CoCo (Corinne Rey)

Libération (France)

(originally posted in Portside Tidbits - June 30, 20, 2022)


Re: S. Court Made Regulating Corporations Nearly Impossible

It now becomes a free for all. 

Nicholas Pappas


Scrap the Cap  --  Meme



Re: UFT Withdraws Support for City’s Medicare Plan

(posting on Portside Labor)

Sending love and a shout out to the retiree chapters that really put their shoulders to the wheel on this one.! Together we can win!!!

Martha Bragin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


ditto! thanks and appreciation to the hard workers who noticed early the dangers of Medicare Advantage.

Betsy Hegeman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: In Praise of MSG, the Unfairly Maligned Kitchen MVP

(posting on Portside Culture)

In April 1968, The New England Journal of Medicine published a letter from Chinese American doctor Robert Ho Man Kwok, in which he claimed that he experienced a “strange syndrome” after eating at Chinese restaurants. That was later misinterpreted into hard research on MSG’s ill effects and spun up into a 1969 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, rebranding the ingredient as controversial and unsafe. Chinese restaurant owners began erecting “NO MSG” signs in restaurant windows to ward off offensive questioning. (That the fabled effects of MSG were dubbed “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” despite the ingredient’s origin in Japan, fell squarely into the contemporary white American framework of perceiving Chinese things as cheap, dirty, and dangerous and Japanese ones as more expensive, sophisticated, and safe.)]

Truman Grandy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Just change its name to "Umami Burst," sell it for twelve dollars a bottle, and the bourgie foodies will trample each other to get at it.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


24 Hours for Palestine - A Moon Will Rise from Darkness  --  Online Event  --  July 20 - 21  (Golden Thread Productions)


A 24-hour online event featuring 100+ Global Artists and Activists for a Free Palestine, including performances and presentations honoring the Palestinian people and their steadfastness in the face of genocide, and discussions of how to build solidarity in the global movement for Palestinian liberation. (Title inspired by Mahmoud Darwish)

July 20 - 21, 2024

Start time:
8:00 PM Palestine
10:00 AM Pacific
1:00 PM Eastern

Live on

Organized and produced by Golden Thread Productions, co-produced with Art2Action and in partnership with the MENA Theatre-Makers Alliance (MENATMA), Ashtar Theatre, The Freedom Theatre, Zoukak Theatre Company, Noor Theatre, and Donkeysaddle Projects; and hosted by HowlRound Theater Commons.


The 2024 Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize  (New York Labor History Association and NYU’s Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives)

The New York Labor History Association’s Bernhardt Prize awards $1,000 to an article that exemplifies great writing for a general audience and furthers the understanding of the history of working people. The prize and the forum honor the vision of the late Debra E. Bernhardt, who worked in so many different realms to share the hidden histories of working people.

GUIDELINES – We welcome articles that put current issues like work, housing, organizing, health, or education in a historical context AND also articles about historical events. The work must be published in print or online between August 31, 2023 and August 31, 2024. The prize is given to insightful work that contributes to the understanding of labor history; shows creativity; demonstrates excellence in writing; can reach a broad audience; and adheres to the highest journalistic standards of accuracy. Previous winners are listed below.

DETAILS – Only one article per entry; only one entry per person; publications and subject matter should target the United States and Canada; neither books nor plays are eligible.

DEADLINE FOR ENTRY – Entries must be received by Friday, September 6, 2024.

TO ENTER – For articles that meet the above criteria, email with the subject line “2024 Bernhardt Contest entry” and the following information in the body of the email: First Name, Last Name, “Title of Article,” Publication Name, publication place, publication date, URL for article. (If no URL is available attach a PDF of the entry.)

The New York Labor History Association and NYU’s Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives sponsor this award in order to inspire more great writing for a general audience about the history of work, workers, and their organizations. The award is co-sponsored by LaborArts; Metro New York Labor Communications Council; and the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. The 2022 contest committee is: Irwin Yellowitz, NYLHA; Rachel Bernstein, NYLHA and LaborArts; Gary Schoichet, Metro; Kate Whalen, NYC CLC; Shannon O’Neill and Michael Koncewicz, Tamiment.

We are guided by the vision of the late Debra E. Bernhardt, who worked in so many different realms to share the hidden histories of working people. As head of the Wagner Labor Archives she reached out to an astonishing number of people and organizations, to document undocumented stories and unrecognized contributions, and to make links between past and present. The LaborArts project is dedicated to Bernhardt, and the online exhibit “Making History Personal” explores her work.

See the new paperback edition of the book that features many of the materials she brought to the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives – Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives – A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City.

LaborArts • Tamiment Library/NYU • 70 Washington Square South • New York, NY 10012