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Tidbits - April 20, 2017 - Reader Comments: Syria Catastrophe; Day Without Immigrants; Montana Special Election; Trump, McCarthyism, and Russian Hacking; Combating climate change resources; Journey to Palestine and Israel; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments: Syria Catastrophe - Who Benefits?; A Day Without Immigrants - Hundreds Of Thousands Will Strike May 1; Montana Special Election; Trump, McCarthyism, and Russian Hacking; Portside's Culture posts; Resources: Combating climate change; New book - In the Fields of the North; Announcements: Rana Plaza film showings; Sarah Jaffe on American Activists; Women Fight the Islamic State; Marx's Capital-after 150 Years; Journey to Palestine and Israel; and more...

On Trump, McCarthyism, and the Russia Hacking Charges

Victor Navasky The Nation
One legacy of the McCarthy era is the cloud of suspicion that still hangs over anything connected with the former Soviet Union. If Trump or his associates were indeed guilty of collaborating with the Russians by interfering in the American election, then they broke the law and should be held accountable. But in a world threatened by nuclear weapons, ISIS, and climate change, it seems to me more important than ever that we talk to our adversaries and work toward détente.

books

Union Power: The United Electrical Workers in Erie, Pennsylvania

Frank Emspak and Paul Buhle Portside
One consequence of the rough times unions are facing today is a loss of institutional memory and history. This new book seeks to preserve that memory, and the how-to-be-a-militant-union knowledge that goes with it, by focusing on how one United Electrical Workers local union was built, and how it fared during the McCarthy years and afterwards.

Paul Robeson's Songs and Deeds Light the Way for the Fight Against Trump

Jeff Sparrow The Guardian (UK)
The great American radical showed how ordinary people mattered more than stars - a lesson today's celebrities could do with learning. These are strange times for popular music and politics. On the one hand, the opposition to Donald Trump now extends so deeply into the entertainment industry that the president struggled to find any real talent willing to play his inauguration.

Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy

Norman Solomon Common Dreams
Progressives who treat anti-Russia propaganda spin as fact, in order to weaken Trump, are encouraging a kind of McCarthyism. Of all the good reasons to “delegitimate” Trump, alleged Kremlin intervention in the election should rank low. Focus should instead be on his greed, pathological lying, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.

"The Crucible" a Stunning Parable of McCarthyism's Attack on America

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
A crucible is a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted. Miller's story is about events that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. But it's really about the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), America's thought police of the early 50s, which burned through American rights and professed values. It's the best play of the season.(Closes July 17, 2016)

Andrew Cuomo's Anti-Free Speech Move on B.D.S.

Daniel Sieradski, Op-Ed Contributor New York Times
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, signed an executive order essentially creating a blacklist of entities that boycott or divest from Israel or encourage others to do so, banning those companies from receiving taxpayer funding. The movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, known as B.D.S., is a strategy intended to combat Israel's nearly 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza, a situation akin to apartheid if allowed to continue.

With BDS Order, Cuomo Imports Anti-Democratic Spirit, from Israel and France

Jonathan Ofir Mondoweiss
Executive orders are meant to avert imminent or existential crises that cannot await legislation. It's as if we are being asked to believe that BDS is some deplorable enemy endangering our very existence as a free society, and that only those who really care, take action on behalf of the rest of us, who have not yet awoken to the grim reality. For Cuomo, fighting this fight on behalf of Israel is all about "freedom, liberty and democracy".
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