Tidbits - Nov. 29, 2018 - Reader Comments: Linda Sarsour, Jewish Contingent in Women's March; Hillary Clinton; Somali Workers at Amazon; Migrant Caravan; Readers respond to Portside Labor posts; more...

Portside Date:
Date of source:

Re: Farrakhan and Related Subjects (Larry Moskowitz)
Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Post-Truth (Steven Schonwald)
Re: Hillary Clinton's Chilling Pragmatism (Stan Nadel; Laurel MacDowell)
Re: Somali Workers in Minnesota Force Amazon to Negotiate - A Holiday Bright Spot (Richard Rosenthal; Eleanor Roosevelt; Wayne Schucker)
Re: How to Unseat an ICE-collaborating Sheriff (Phyllis Bloom)
Huddled Masses  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Administration Admits Border Deployment Was a $200 Million Election Stunt (Joseph A Pisano; Wayne Gravelle; Albert Preston; Wayne Radke; Amparo Ocasio; Donald Goetz)
GM Gratitude  --  cartoon by Scott Stantis
Re: UAW Sells Out Graduate Workers at Columbia with No-Strike Pledge (Paul Friedman)
Re: Question 1: The Road Not Travelled (Bruce Fleischer)
Re: Why I’m Standing With LA Teachers (John Crawford)
Re: Why the Midterm Results Should Concern You Regardless of Which Party You Support (William Leffingwell; Rebecca Boston)
Re: Small Farmers in Mexico Keep Corn's Genetic Diversity Alive (Western Mass Science for the People)
Re: Professional Sports Players Unions & The Broader Labor Movement (Stuart Eber)


New Report on CA Uninsured - California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode Without Further State Action (Center for Labor Research and Education)


David McReynolds MEMORIAL - this Saturday, December 1, Noon to 3pm Judson Church, New York City
The Next Generation: Young Workers Building Movements - New York - December 6 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)
#RaisingHell: 50 Years of Activism - New York - December 11


Re: Farrakhan and Related Subjects

The Workmen's Circle is proud to be endorsing The Women's March and will be working with others to organize a marching Jewish Contingent in NYC. For more information contact LMoskowitz@circle.org.

Larry Moskowitz


Re: Lies, Damn Lies and Post-Truth

Post truth ...

Tell your lie. And when it’s exposed...
“I’m the President and you’re not”.

Walk away. End of any discussion or reflection.

Steven Schonwald
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Hillary Clinton's Chilling Pragmatism

You can't outflank the right this way, but you might be able to take the wind out of their electoral sails by depriving them of their best campaign ammunition. Pragmatism by European Social Democrats may involve unethical politics, but they may also be pragmatic and essential to stopping the rise of the far right. 

Here in Austria the conservative Peoples Party did just that, and thereby reduced the far right Austrian Freedom Party from first place in the polls to third place in the last election--while the Socialists stood on principle and not only saw their worst outcome ever in the Second Republic, but also lost the majority of working class voters to the Freedom Party (not to mention the Austrian Greens, who took the best stand on these grounds and didn't even make it into Parliament for the 1st time in 30 years).  Simplistic holier than thou politics may feel good, but following the Austrian Greens into near oblivion on principle won't do anybody any good. Cutting a deal with the devil is distasteful to say the least, but when that's what the voters and the working class demand it may be something that those who claim to represent the working class have to do to remain viable--at least in the short run.

Stan Nadel


This is a mean spirited article. Clinton lost and if she makes a few speeches so what. Many new Democratic women were elected in the mid-terms and they will supersede her.

As for immigration, whether politicians like the movement of people or not, it will happen and on a growing scale, as the climate change disasters recur and as a result of the growing gap between rich and poor in the  world. As for the racism attached to the discussion, it is abhorrent (and this journalist also makes a few slurs of her own.)

There are two related realities that the media should think about. The first is that white people are no longer the majority in the world; they may be richer but they are fewer, so future changes in policy should take that fact into account. The second is that while racism may be important to some people for cultural reasons or because they are bigots, it is not a real factor. The Genome scientists found that differences among people genetically were minuscule and we are all part the same race - homo sapiens - and an aggressive vicious species we are. So maybe a little more education along those lines would make people realize how ridiculous glorification of race is. It makes people of different races feel better about themselves but it also separates people and stirs up conflict.

In Trump's America, Hillary Clinton is the least of our problems!

Laurel MacDowell


Re: Somali Workers in Minnesota Force Amazon to Negotiate - A Holiday Bright Spot

Good piece. Badly needed. Such subjects are sadly lacking in general media coverage. How sad Americans have more difficulty organizing and obtaining even a minimum of respect and attention.

Richard Rosenthal
East Hampton NY


When GM tried to speed up the line in 1936, the workers shut the whole damn plant down. Just a suggestion.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


GM ordered speedup of assembly line at BUICK Oldsmobile Pontiac (BOP) Plant at Doraville, GA in mid 60s. 

Worker told me that he & co-workers could not complete tightening all bolts in shortened time allotted. This was beginning of decline in quality in GM cars from those produced in previous years.

There was no compensating reduction in prices GM charged, but some Americans began noticing quality of certain imports from Europe and Japan.

Wayne Schucker
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: How to Unseat an ICE-collaborating Sheriff

Congratulations for your good work! We too “unseated” our local sheriff In Ulster County, NY, a man who has cooperated with ICE. We replaced him through election with Juan Figueroa who will respect the law without turning people into ICE and who will promote community policing in a kinder more compassionate manner. Hopefully this is one of many moves against a horrific immigration policy.

Phyllis Bloom


Huddled Masses  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
November 27, 2018


Re: Administration Admits Border Deployment Was a $200 Million Election Stunt

Of course , that's what con men do , wave a shiny object at his cult followers and scream "DANGER, DANGER, BROWN PEOPLE, BE AFRAID. And they all go yeah, idiot leader said be afraid.

Joseph A Pisano
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Corrupt government at its best.

Wayne Gravelle
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Fun Fact: The Wall was canceled on Nov 6, 2018. The Democratic congress it is not going to pay for one inch of that Wall. Trump better go get the money out of Mexico or Russia.

Albert Preston
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


So what's new. The American people keep supporting this idiot. While the rest of world laughs. Carry on people. See where it leads you

Wayne Radke
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


For a lazy no-good conman that didn't pay taxes for over ten years, why is he allowed to waste tax dollars on his petty games?

Amparo Ocasio
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


He thinks that he is playing Monopoly . BUT with our money. Everyone knows that if you play that game long enough, you land on the spot that says "go directly to jail" No get out of jail card can be used.

Donald Goetz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


GM Gratitude  --  cartoon by Scott Stantis

Scott Stantis
November 28, 2018
Chicago Tribune


Re: UAW Sells Out Graduate Workers at Columbia with No-Strike Pledge

(posting on Portside Labor)

I was surprised to see the headline and the article assessing the recognition of the Graduates Union as a sellout. My first reaction when hearing of this tentative agreement was to think of this as a victory. I wonder what Portside readers more knowledge with the Columbia situation think about this new development.

Paul Friedman


Re: Question 1: The Road Not Travelled

(posting on Portside Labor)

Been meaning to get back to you on the Question 1 article, but between Thanksgiving and the frenetic pace of retirement... So I had a few thoughts on the campaign. Ilene was very involved and did lots of work on it. I did some, but found myself mostly talking to "progressives " who were either confused or were voting NO.

As far as the money issue I am not reductive in terms of money being the deciding factor in elections, but it was in this instance. Twice the amount spent may not sound like much , but on the ground and the airwaves it was. There seemed to be way more than twice the adds for the vote no side. Plus, I don't know the breakdown of where money was spent, but I'm sure the MNA hired organizers for the campaign, I just don't know how many. More importantly, the extremely powerful Mass Hospital Association had a captive audience of both workers (RNs and others) and patients and they aggressively used it. Patients from at least the big hospitals got mailings detailing the horrors of a post vote yes world. When you walked into these hospitals, it resembled a vote no headquarters.

At one point employees logging into their computers at BMC were greeted with a VOTE NO screen.

Beyond the money, there were many problems with the campaign. The vote no campaign quickly and effectively (and deceptively) made patients the focus. They ran ads with elderly patients talking about having to go to the ER often and how this initiative would basically threaten their lives. When the MNA focused on patients, it was much more effective. I would say that even with only 120,000 RNs (many Advanced Practice Nurses supported it, no Nurse managers were allowed, as per an organizing drive), RNs remain the most respected/admired occupation, so that was a solid start. With the convoluted often fractious relationship between the MNA and 1199, it was good they worked together to get language protecting other health care workers. Unfortunately, they chose to be "neutral", but reading the literature they put out, you would walk away voting no. I am no longer very internal to 1199, so I'm not sure what happened, but anecdotally I heard that the 1199 members were against it. My reaction was-so you educate and organize them. The reality is that this would have made things better for all employees, and in California, non RN hiring increased. Just in a practical sense this will further damage their relationship, which in my opinion didn't have to happen and this could have actually helped the relationship. It was also not a question of 1199's money (which would have helped) , but their potential ground game and voice in the hospitals.  As far as it not expanding workers or patients power-of course a win would have done that. Most victories by any group of workers help others, especially in a key and ever changing sector like healthcare.

It also could have given momentum to other workers wanting to pursue similar battles. Although it was ostensibly about patient care, it turned into a worker vs management issue by the end. All the debates had Chief Nursing Officers debating regular RNs.

Was the bill too long and not that easy to read. Yes. But "progressive" VOTE NOs who would start their shtick with "it's a poorly written bill"-please...They would give little or no examples, and show me a well written bill. Bills are written by fucking lawyers to make sure normal people can't understand them.

This was a bad loss for patients and labor, and one that was management empowering. I think it will be a while before all the forces that need to be actively fighting around these issues can constructively come together to fight for the needed changes.

Bruce Fleischer


Re: Why I’m Standing With LA Teachers

Useful and informative report—that’s my take on this (as an old Los Angelino).

John Crawford


Re: Why the Midterm Results Should Concern You Regardless of Which Party You Support

Hopefully the wins for governors will start to turn the tide against gerrymandering. And the outrage in Georgia and the faulty ballots in Florida may cause change.

William Leffingwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


People are awake to the gerrymandering- finally. It is going to be a fight but the left is growing and will not be denied

Rebecca Boston
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Small Farmers in Mexico Keep Corn's Genetic Diversity Alive

Using previous estimates, Bellon's colleagues were also able to calculate that in 2010 alone family farmers in Mexico grew approximately 138 billion genetically different maize plants. The domestication of native maize across a wide range of temperatures, altitudes and slopes has allowed rare mutations to take hold that would otherwise disappear, Bellon notes. "Campesinos are generating an evolutionary service that is essential for them, for the country and, given the global importance of maize, for the world," he says.

Western Mass Science for the People
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Professional Sports Players Unions & The Broader Labor Movement

(posting on Portside Labor)

The 1994 World Series was cancelled because of the lockout.

Stuart Eber


New Report on CA Uninsured - California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode Without Further State Action


Our latest report, California’s Health Coverage Gains to Erode without Further State Action, includes new estimates of how many and which Californians will be uninsured in 2020 and 2023, using the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) model developed by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Key findings include:

Thanks to California’s effective implementation of the ACA, the state uninsurance rate among non-elderly Californians fell from 17.6% in 2012 to 10.4% in 2016 after new enrollment in the Medi-Cal expansion and subsidized insurance through Covered California leveled off. Without state action to protect and build upon these coverage gains, the report projects that the uninsurance rate could grow to 11.7% in 2020, and to 12.9% in 2023 for non-elderly Californians. These estimates include undocumented Californians who only have restricted-scope Medi-Cal.

The report projects that getting rid of the individual mandate penalty will have the most substantial enrollment changes in the individual market. It also details which populations are projected to remain uninsured, such as undocumented Californians, who make up the largest group, and many other Californians who are eligible for coverage—including Medi-Cal, insurance through Covered California, and employer coverage—but struggle to afford insurance. The report includes demographic and regional estimates as well.

To protect the progress made under the ACA in expanding health coverage and to reduce the remaining coverage gaps, the state could:

These policies would help to ensure that California continues to build on its successes and drive toward its goal of achieving universal health coverage.

Read the full report online.

Center for Labor Research and Education, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Berkeley
2521 Channing Way #5555
Berkeley, CA 94720-5555
TEL 510-642-0323 • FAX 510-642-6432


David McReynolds MEMORIAL - this Saturday, December 1, Noon to 3pm Judson Church, New York City


Memorial for David McReynolds

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Noon to 3 pm

Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South (across from Washington Square Park)
New York, NY 10012

More information or to RSVP, email: McReynoldsMemorial@gmail.com

If you're on Facebook, please select "GOING" on the McReynolds Facebook event page if you plan to attend 

WATCH a lovely short film made for David's 80th birthday


The Next Generation: Young Workers Building Movements - New York - December 6

The forum will explore questions about the conditions that young workers face, their evolving roles in building the labor movement, and how their leadership in other movements for change is sparking groundbreaking action – from new unionizing to coalition building to electoral politics.

Questions to frame the discussion include: How are young adults building the labor movement and other movements for change? Are there fundamental differences in their outlook or analysis compared to previous generations? What are the primary challenges and obstacles they face given the changing economy and its more precarious job opportunities? What are the most exciting opportunities and partnerships that are being developed by young workers?

Speakers include:

Thursday, December 6, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies
25 West 43rd Street
18th Floor, Rooms 18C-D
New York, NY 10036 

Sign-up Here.


Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. We generally overbook to ensure a full house. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early. Light refreshments will be served.


#RaisingHell: 50 Years of Activism - New York - December 11

We invite past, present, and future activists to join us at Senior Planet Exploration Center for an evening of storytelling and community.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST

Senior Planet Exploration Center
127 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001

RSVP/Register here.

Source URL: https://portside.org/2018-11-29/tidbits-nov-29-2018-reader-comments-linda-sarsour-jewish-contingent-womens-march-hillary