Tidbits – Apr. 13, 2023 – Reader Comments: Clarence Thomas Lived Large Thanks to Nazi Worshipper; GOP Expels Black Representatives for ’Representing While Black; Ukraine War, NATO; Celebrate the Legacy of Charlene Mitchell; More…

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A Supreme Court Justice for sale? Clarence Thomas lived large thanks to GOP megadonor  --  Cartoon by Jack Ohman
Tennessee Legislature  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson
Re: Interview: The Tennessee Representative Expelled for Speaking Against Gun Violence  (Willetta Proctor)
Tennessee GOP expels Black representatives for ‘Representing While Black’  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: As Young People March for Their Lives, Tennessee Crushes Dissent and Overrides Democracy  (Barry Poland; Manny Ortiz; Robert Laite; Dianna Cornelius; Sonia Cobbins; Karin Weinfurtner)
Good Guy With A Gun  --  Cartoon by Clay Bennett
Re: Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar’s End Child Poverty Act Is a Political and Policy Home Run  (Hans Geier)
Re: How One Mother’s Love for Her Gay Son Started a Revolution  (Peter Knight)

War in Ukraine:


Who Needs Viagra  --  Cartoon by Clay Jones
Re: What’s Behind the Revolts in France?  (Dan Lyth; John Gula; Morton Gage; Rocky Doolster; Steven Kincaid; Emiliano Echeverria)
Re: Israeli Forces Draw Condemnation Over ‘Barbaric’ Raid of Al-Aqsa Mosque  (Stan Nadel)
Re: A Four-Day Workweek Trojan Horse  (Marilyn Vogt-Downey)
Trump Mistress  --  Cartoon by Mike Stanfill


A Supreme Court Justice for sale? Clarence Thomas lived large thanks to GOP megadonor  --  Cartoon by Jack Ohman

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas finds himself in yet another ethical fine mess with travel paid for by wealthy friends.  Jack Ohman

Jack Ohman
April 10, 2023
Sacramento Bee

Tennessee Legislature  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Tennessee Republicans miscalculated badly when they expelled two Black Democratic lawmakers from the Tennessee Legislature for breaking rules of decorum. It was an absurd overreaction with shades of authoritarianism. Now the previously unknown pair have a national platform and have become a cause célèbre. Well played, Republicans.

Nick Anderson
April 13, 2023
Pen Strokes

Re: Interview: The Tennessee Representative Expelled for Speaking Against Gun Violence  

If they're going to expel people for protesting in chambers, then maybe we need to look at Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert.

Willetta Proctor
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Tennessee GOP expels Black representatives for ‘Representing While Black’  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz
April 7, 2023

Re: As Young People March for Their Lives, Tennessee Crushes Dissent and Overrides Democracy  

Tennessee Republicans are doing their part to dismantled the foundations of the United States Constitution and this democracy

Barry Poland
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Shameful. They expelled 2 Democrats, out of 3. Only the two blacks, the third ,who is white did not get expelled; although all three participated in the protest.. When the third was asked why she was NOT expelled, she said " I believe it had something to do with the color of the skin ". Shame on you Republicans in the Tenn. legislature. Ya'll are goin in reverse.

Manny Ortiz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


So it's okay for adults to storm the federal capitol and kill police in the process but it's not okay for young people to peacefully march to their state capitol or have elected officials try to express the beliefs of their constituents because *checks notes* they don't agree with Republicans? Land of the free indeed.

Robert Laite
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


How is standing with protesters a insurrection. They were not trying to force a coup upon TN state representatives. Protesting is legal. A sit in is legal. Only republicans would make a mockery of a legal right to protest.

Dianna Cornelius
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Simple truth from the youth: Nobody needs an assault weapon.

Sonia Cobbins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We will be carried forward by the younger generation
We shall overcome. Divided we fall, united we stand.

Karin Weinfurtner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Good Guy With A Gun  --  Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett
April 8, 2023
Chattanooga (Tenn) Times Free Press

Re: Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar’s End Child Poverty Act Is a Political and Policy Home Run  

Looks like it may actually make children's and parents lives better! Go Squad!

Hans Geier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: How One Mother’s Love for Her Gay Son Started a Revolution  

What a truly inspiring story. Thank you so much

Peter Knight

Re: The War of Surprises in Ukraine  

The war against Viet Nam was, like Russia's war against Ukraine, a war of hegemony.

Jim Stone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Comparing the 2 are nonsense.

Bernard Sampson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Interesting. His western outlook shows in some omissions, however. I have read that the reason for the timing of Putin's action was the build-up of Ukrainian military forces in the East - seen as a prelude to action. So the thrust to Kiev was to draw those forces away, it was never meant to be a full-scale invasion - the term 'special military operation' makes that distinction. This theory should be discussed. What is the evidence? The point on Russian military leadership is interesting - who has made an analysis of what must have been at times chaotic developments in the military, post 1990?

Dan Morgan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Should Leftists Call for Ending NATO?  

Thank you David Bacon for the article.  I have been waiting for someone to expose the fallacy of the so-call left-schism over NATO, Ukraine, and the interests behind the continuing war mongering from the US and NATO. It seems the powers that be are dead set on destroying the world.  With all the resources pouring into arming the Ukrainians, while it is clear there can be no winners in this conflict, the U.S. should be pushing Ukraine into negotiations and a settlement instead of making the arms industry richer.  It all goes to show that for the U.S. capitalists there is no profit in peace...and that, my friends, can be the undoing of us all.  

Lincoln Smith


Yes, of course, NATO is an aggressive war machine, pretending to be a defense organization. 
Search OTAN performance aligned with the mother of all wars, USA talks sweet, to capture Sweden for its machinery, but without popular support.

Eva.bjorklund@bostadslaget.se, peace activist. 


Absolutely brilliant! Thank you!

Susan Rosenthal
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


As for Ukraine, there is a treaty between Russia and Ukraine where Ukraine sent the Soviet nuclear weapons on its soil to Russia in exchange for Russia recognizing Ukraine's independence and acknowledging its borders, said borders that included the Crimea and the 4 provinces it has recently illegally annexed. Putin has called Ukraine a "fake country" and denied the existence of a Ukrainian people. Its invasion of Ukraine IS INTENDED TO DESTROY A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT. An internationally recognized government.

Harry Steeper
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Russia is the war criminal. Period

Burt Cohen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

What do the Second Amendment and NATO have in common?

They both addressed the conditions of their times and no longer serve the purposes for which they were intended.

When the Bill of Rights were enacted in 1791, only a few years after our new nation had come through a revolution, it was felt that standing militias were warranted. It was also the period in our history when hunting for food was the normal way of life, not simply the recreational choice it became.

NATO was formed as a buffer against the Soviet Union and the spread of socialism in postwar Europe. At the time, the antagonism between capitalist U.S. and socialist USSR made the possibility of war between them “thinkable.” In today’s nuclear world it is unthinkable — despite the mumblings of such a possibility. As for socialism in Europe, despite the fall of socialist states, that ideology still permeates the European political landscape.

The aggressive — not defensive — reason for NATO’s formation is made clearer when we consider the earlier formation of a truly stabilizing international organization: the United Nations. The UN was formed during the final days of World War II, while NATO was formed four years later: in 1949.

As for the Second Amendment, I am for its repeal. I am opposed to the sale to civilians of any weapons not intended for sport or hunting — including pistols. (Check the number of civilians — many within families, including children — killed by handguns each day, if not each year!) And those who defend a person’s “right to bear arms,” need reminding that that phrase followed “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.” Do we feel the security of a “free state” is in jeopardy today?

Seymour Joseph
Post on Facebook

How Do We End The War?

You can’t wash away blood with blood.
- Vietnamese proverb.

News regarding the gaping wound that is the Ukrainian-Russian-United States conflict seems to be more tangled and frightening by the day.

Russia’s Putin brags about nuclear weapons now in place in Belarus just in case.  Ukraine’s Zelensky who ran for the presidency on a peace platform connected to implementation of the Minsk’s accords with the hope of ending a decade long conflict in the Donbas region, has not mentioned that kind of framework for a good while.

The U.S. has sent many billions to the Ukraine, coaxed Germany, Poland, Rumania and other states to help with fighter planes, depleted uranium bullets and a range of war materials that will keep our military- industrial corporates and their shareholders increasingly rich.

Does it make sense for us at this point of great peril to keep expanding the conflict until the European continent goes up in flames?  And, flames that could contain the melt-down remains of Zaporizhzhia, the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, and presently seriously compromised by missile damage from both sides.

There is talk, as in other wars, that just one more major battle will do the trick to make one or the other side victorious.   There is also the realpolitik of Putin’s brutal invasion.  And there is the provocative expansion of NATO bases from 15 to 31 surrounding Russia.  And, not to be missed is the unashamed U.S. blather about freedom and democracy being its only goals.

In that kind of remark, perhaps our national security state hopes to erase the bloody stains of Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

At this moment should not the peace movements worldwide be tamping down on fierce nationalisms and think of what is best for the world?  A worldview or a non-apologetic internationalism that demands peace and cooperation to alleviate the suffering from inflation in fuel, food, housing costs – actually the growing suffering in all indices of life.

Lastly, looms the climate emergency which highlights the absurdity of war in a moment when nations must focus on saving our home Earth and all the precious species thereon.

It’s time to shout out until our voices give out:  STOP THE WAR, NEGOTIATE, DON’T ESCALATE, CEASE FIRE.

Kathy Lipscomb
San Francisco
April 7, 2023

Who Needs Viagra  --  Cartoon by Clay Jones

Clay Jones
April 9, 2023


Re: What’s Behind the Revolts in France?

You know history repeats itself. Next the guillotine cart will make it 's comeback.

Dan Lyth
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


People aren’t stupid… They know when they’re being ripped off…

John Gula
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The developing fascist/conservative party in America has CONvinced a wide swath that the answer to their economic plight is lower wages combined with tax cuts for the wealthy...

Morton Gage
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


France, like almost every other country has been handing out $10s or $100s of Billions of dollars to the fossil fuel industry moguls in corporate subsidies for decades and decades and decades....

...maybe that system should be dismantled to keep the workers from working themselves to death, like Denmark and Sweden and Norway have been doing for decades and decades.... the fossil fuel industry moguls there are actually taxed, not paid by the government...

Rocky Doolster
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


For those that think the revolts in France is just about the "retirement age". They stormed the HQ of Blackrock the other day. There's way more going on around this world than the "news" will tell you. That's the exact reason they want to pass this https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/686/text So the govt can have complete control of what information you're allowed to know.

Steven Kincaid
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


seems French workers are more aware of who is and isn't their "friend," unlike easily brainwashed USAns.

Emiliano Echeverria
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Israeli Forces Draw Condemnation Over ‘Barbaric’ Raid of Al-Aqsa Mosque  

Of course this report fails to mention the fact that the Waqif and the Jordanians had agreed with the Israelis beforehand to ban overnight stays on the days around Passover when Jews were scheduled to visit the Temple Mount. It was an agreement designed to keep the peace.  But would be troublemakers ignored the agreement and brought fireworks, stones and other weapons into the Mosque in order to attack the Jews who would be visiting the Temple Mount the next morning Playing this as an unprovoked attack on peaceful worshippers is good propaganda, but it is a total distortion of what happened. It's a pity that so many well intentioned westerners fall for this scam--though not all of the western leftists who promote these claims are well intentioned. The "leftists" who support the theological fascists of Hamas, Islamic Jihad Hezbollah & etc. have a dubious claim to be leftists in my opinion--as would any who might support the theological fascists on the Israeli side of the conflict.

Stan Nadel

Re: A Four-Day Workweek Trojan Horse  

A shorter workweek with no cut in pay or benefits would be a good way to allow more workers to have jobs and allow the workers WITH jobs to have more free time. That could be good solution to the "unemployment" problem. Only with NO CUT in pay or benefits, of course.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey

Trump Mistress  --  Cartoon by Mike Stanfill

Mike Stanfill
April 7, 2023
Raging Pencils

Book Launch - Bill Fletcher Jr.'s new crime novel - Bill Fletcher, Jr. in Conversation with Denise Perry: Race, Class and the Crime Novel - April 20 (Hard Ball Press)

Hard Ball Press is excited to announce the release of The Man Who Changed Colors, the new novel by author/journalist/activist Bill Fletcher Jr.

When a shipyard worker falls to his death in Cape Cod, journalist David Gomes senses something suspicious. In his pursuit of the truth, he wades into a tangled web of deception, undercover fascists and complex racial tensions, putting his newspaper and his life in danger.

“A thrilling read” – Tavis Smiley

Order NOW at www.hardballpress.com

To mark the launch of this thrilling mystery novel, Bill will be in conversation with Denise Perry, co-founder of Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD). Join these two titans of the progressive labor movement for a wide-ranging discussion of life, labor and art.

Thursday, April 20, 7 PM (EST)

A Virtual (Zoom) Program

Register for the event here

Hard Ball & Little Heroes Press
415 Argyle Rd., 6A
Brooklyn, NY 11218

Film Screening - Belly of the Beast: The War on Cuba - Washington, DC - April 22

450 K St NW, 
Washington, DC, 20001

Celebrate A Life in the Struggle for Freedom and Justice: The Legacy of Charlene Mitchell - New York - May 13

Reserve a spot - click here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-struggle-for-freedom-and-justice-the-legacy-of-Charlene-Mitchell-tickets-598512034607

Appreciating Jack O’Dell: A Conference on the Black Radical Tradition - Request for Proposals Deadline May 15 (The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies an the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Washington)

Jack O’Dell (1923-2019) was a visionary intellectual and an astute organizer who helped shape the course of the Black freedom movement in the second half of the twentieth century. Though driven out of the spotlight by anticommunism, O’Dell worked creatively and tirelessly to advance the Black Radical Tradition through labor activism, piercing analysis, and political mobilization. He passed away on October 31, 2019, shortly before the pandemic.

The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies and the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Washington invite proposals from people of different backgrounds—activists, scholars, and others—on any aspect of the Black Radical Tradition as we gather to honor Jack O’Dell’s life and work. Each proposal should include: paper title, abstract (up to 100 words), and a one-page CV.

If you would like to propose an entire panel, please submit a panel abstract (up to 100 words) along with the individual paper proposals (up to 100 words each) and individual one-page CVs.

All proposals should be sent as PDF attachments to BRTradition@uw.edu by the deadline of Monday, May 15, 2023, 11:59 p.m. (PDT). We plan to finalize the conference schedule by about June 15, 2023. The conference will take place Saturday, January 13, 2024.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Roderick Ferguson, Bill Fletcher Jr., Sharon Maeda, Nikhil Pal Singh, Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor, and Robin D. G. Kelley.

To learn more about Jack O'Dell, please visit https://items.ssrc.org/reading-racial-conflict/capitalism-colonialism-and-the-long-arc-of-black-struggle-reading-jack-odell/ .

This call for proposals is also available on-line at https://labor.washington.edu/news/2023-03/call-proposals-appreciating-jack-odell-conference-black-radical-tradition 

Questions? Please email the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at hbcls@uw.edu.

Associate Director
Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies
Pronouns: He/Him

Smith Hall, M266
Box 353530 Seattle, WA 98195-3530
office 206.543.7946

Midwest Academy's 50th Anniversary Awards Celebration - Washington, DC - May 17

Midwest Academy has had an incredible impact, helping build and support powerful organizing for racial, economic and social justice. We have helped to create and support the progressive infrastructure with over 50,000 alumni using the training and tools to make meaningful change and bring more justice into the world. 

We are celebrating this milestone anniversary in Washington D.C. on May 17th. We would love to see you there and hope you will support this on-going changemaking work.  This celebration will bring together friends and supporters across the progressive movements to honor our collective struggles and victories and our future work for justice.

We hope to see you there! The link to purchase tickets is here. Another way you can help make this event even more successful is becoming a sponsor of the event. Information about sponsorship can be found here; the link to donate is here.

We hope you can join us! We are so excited to celebrate 50 years of Midwest Academy and the incredible work of the 50,000+ alumni who have worked to build the powerful movements we need to advance racial, economic, and social justice.

On Wednesday, May 17th at 6 pm (tickets here), we will gather together at Capitol View at 400 in Washington DC to honor the great work of these incredible organizations and leaders:

For their visionary and powerful climate justice work:

    Sunrise Movement, accepted by Executive Director, Varshini Prakash
    Climate Justice Alliance, accepted by co-director, Ozawa Bineshi Albert

For their life-changing reproductive freedom work:

    JANE (aka JANE Collective)

    Amplify Georgia Collaborative

For their tireless work to enact economic justice:

    9to5 & 925 SEIU, accepted by Ellen Cassedy, Karen Nussbaum and other leaders from 9to5.

    Starbucks Workers United

Reserve your ticket here: midwestacademy.com/tickets

We'll see you there!

Midwest Academy is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization; your generous donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Midwest Academy, Inc.
PO Box 16369
Chicago, IL 60616

Source URL: https://portside.org/2023-04-13/tidbits-apr-13-2023-reader-comments-clarence-thomas-lived-large-thanks-nazi-worshipper