Tidbits – Nov.30, 2023 – Reader Comments: Can Pause Become Ceasefire; Social Security; Resources: Film Information on the Background of the Palestine/Israel; Cartoons; More…

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Peace ... Please  --  Wall Art by Banksy

A Pause.........

Who Are the Palestinians Released by Israel?

Re: Bernie Sanders: Justice for the Palestinians and Security for Israel  

right on, Bernie.


Shelton Ivany

Re: Three Requests for You, Bernie Sanders  

Bernie is too old. Williamson has just as good of ideas, if we were going to unite behind someone she is in a way better place to do it.

Ben Cupp
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Trumpator  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich


Mike Luckovich
November 12, 2023
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Re: The Newest Attack on the Voting Rights Act  

It is precisely BECAUSE private citizen suits have been successful in reducing racist discrimination that the conservative movement wants to prohibit the practice. Their legal theories, from Dred Scott, to Cruikshank, to Citizens United, to Epic Systems are false fronts for the outcomes they want.

Fran Tobin


Why doesn't EVERY discussion of voter suppression mention the lack of voting rights for residents of Washington, CC (Colony of Colombia)? We have no Senators, no voting Representative in the House and Congress has total power of the Government of Washington, even though we have no votes in Congress.

Arlene Halfon

Re: The Blueprint  

Fascists always put it in writing first.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Social Security and Medicare: Fun With Numbers Time  

There were two very similar bills before Congress a few years ago, both tagged HR1 (the first bill in the queue of bills to be considered for passage) in their respective Congresses. Both would raise revenue for the Social Security fund by firstly lifting the payroll (Social Security) tax from its present 6.2% of income from both employee and employer to 7.4%. To make this palatable to pols and voters, this raise would take 12 years to complete in easy steps, 0.1% per year. When the first bill came up the mean weekly wage was $965, thus a raise of 0.1% in the payroll tax rate would have cost this mythical average worker 96 cents a week, or the price of one donut, let us say.

The next year the raise would go to $1.92 per week, or two donuts. After 5 years Joe Sixpak (remember him?) could have his donuts back, but the then weekly raise of $4.80 would cost him one fancy pants Starbuck coffee per week. And so on until the rate of 7.4% payroll tax was reached. The mythical average wage earner would then be out the price of two fancy coffees and maybe a donut or two, but Social Security would be saved. Oh, and we can assume that this worker would have scored a wage increase by then, so maybe s/he wouldn't be out any coffee or donuts after all.

I have omitted the second part of the bills' revenue enhancement, ahem--both bills would raise the cap on income taxable for Social Security. The first bill would have raised the cap to $400,000, a tough slog to get through Congress, to say the least! But had this bill passed, Social Security would have been safe from any projected shortfall for at least a century, if not indefinitely. (The second version of this bill, proposed a few Congresses later, would have raised the cap through some complicated "donut gap" scheme, speaking of donuts. Same idea, more complicated.)

The votes were not there, nor was there the will to fight for it. And so the can got kicked down the road some more. What will it take to get people to accept the fact that, since people are living much longer now than they were at the dawn of the Social Security system in 1935, we need to raise more money to pay for it? (Of course there is always the solution people in the far north resorted to centuries past--put the old-timers on an ice floe, although with global warming this solution is melting away.)

It is so simple, so doable: Raise the #!$% Social Security Tax!

Joe Bryak

Republican Dilemma  --  Cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod

Dr. James MacLeod
November 17, 2023


Everyone from the Arctic down to Tierra del Fuego is an AMERICAN.

To refer to just those in one American country, the USA, as if they are the only Americans is confusing and incorrect...even though such usage of "American" and "Americans" to be only about people in the US OF America has taken root in so many places.

Please consider rightly and properly calling US citizens "US Citizens" not just "Americans" which can mean, of course, Mexicans, Peruvians, Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Canadians and many others. Might as well call US Citizens "Earthlings".

Thank you.

John Jonik

Re: Investigating Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Claims to Indigenous Ancestry | The Fifth Estate  

(posting on Friday Nite Video)  

The Friday Night Video about Buffy Sainte-Marie's deception by passing as Indigenous was distressing and reminiscent of Rachel Dolezal's (who is of Czech, German and Swedish ancestry) striving to be perceived as a black woman as she worked with the NAACP.

Both seemed to have done some good for the groups they were impersonating. However, watching the famous singer collecting numerous awards and acclaim (not to mention money) intended for Indigenous people made me wince in recognition. After all, it's very similar to watching males commit "identity fraud" to walk off with awards once meant for females—from sports, to work, to political set-asides that were won by women in an attempt to achieve a greater level of equality. Another example: While Women's Studies was never allowed to fulfill the potential that many of its pioneers hoped, its "transition" into Gender/Queer Studies has certainly helped put women (adult human females) and our movement for liberation back into our traditional "place" of insignificance and oppression.

There is also the wider danger of the loss of respect for truth and science in these identity delusions. Much of the world seems to indulge in them (or at least yield to them), including a large part of the "Left."

Carol Hanisch


Re: The World That Municipal Socialists Built

(posting on Portside Culture)

In Milwaukee they called them "sewer socialists"

Lita Kurth

Film Information on the Background of the Palestine/Israel Conflict (As of 11/18/23)

By Lawrence Mosqueda PhD, Professor Emeritus, The Evergreen State College

While it is possible to read many books (another list will be provided for that) on the current situation in Gaza, many people do not have extra time to read those books quickly.  Therefore, the following list of documentary movies, that are freely available, can provide a relatively quick learning curve, individually or in groups, with a minimal amount of time. They are listed in approximate order when they could be watched but, of course, any order is useful.  There are many, many other films, of course, but these are a beginning recommendation.

At the end of this film list there is a very solid list of alternative sources to the mainstream media.  Some are Jewish sources, some are Arab, and some are neither. All are time tested for credibility and historical reliability.

(Available Free On You Tube, 2002 -28 minutes)

Short, concise history of the region by the founder of Alternative Radio

“To grasp the complexities of the struggle between Arabs and Jews in the region, we need to know the maps…. The media often say that the clash between the Palestinians and the Jews is "as old as the hills." This is a fabrication. The conflict is really less than a century old and really develops with clarity after World War I. The role of the Great Powers, especially Britain and France in engineering the current situation is the focus of this program.”

(Available Free on YouTube – 40 minutes, 1998)

Based on his book Orientalism, “Said argues that the Western (especially American) understanding of the Middle East as a place full of villains and terrorists ruled by Islamic fundamentalism produces a deeply distorted image of the diversity and complexity of millions of people who live in such a vast region…. such perceptions, and the consequent cultural representations, have served, and continue to serve, as implicit justifications for the colonial and imperialist ambitions of the European powers and of the U.S….”

(Available Free on YouTube, I hr. 20 minutes, 2003, Age verification needed)

“This video shows how the foreign policy interests of American political elites-working in combination with Israeli public relations strategies-influence US news reporting about the Middle East conflict. Combining American and British TV news clips with observations of analysts, journalists and political activists, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a brief historical overview, a striking media comparison, and an examination of factors that have distorted U.S. media coverage and, in turn, American public opinion.”

(Available Free on YouTube, 2013- 1hr. 26 minutes)

“Nominated for an Oscar, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply Personal first-hand account of life and non-violent resistance in Bel’in, a West bank village where Israel is building a security fence….”

(Available Free on YouTube, 2012, 1 hour, 34 minutes)

Ana Nogueira is a white South African and Eron Davidson a Jewish Israeli…the producers take a close look at the apartheid comparison often used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…. There are many lessons to draw from the South African experience relevant to conflicts all over the world. This film is as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid, as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them.

“1997 Documentary about Palestinian life in the wake of the Oslo "peace" agreement, as settlement building expands, the Palestinian Authority takes over some areas, and the Israeli occupation worsens.”


Daily news, articles, and YouTube channel.

Daily news, articles, and YouTube Channel.

Excellent Jewish Website for actions and analysis. Read “THE WIRE”

Excellent Jewish Website.  See especially the “Liberation Syllabus” for many books for adults and children and various works of art.

Excellent Jewish website for analysis and podcast.

First (1996) independent Arab news channel based in Qatar.  News on Middle East, Global Politics, and other issues.

Daily news articles and commentary on global and U.S. domestic issues

Daily news program that has hundreds of articles and stories in its internal website since October 2023 and thousands of articles that are archived to the 1990s.

Our wonderful books on sale for the holidays!  (Hard Ball Press)


Treat someone to a wonderful book.

And treat yourself, too!

image - HardBallPressNov2023

Find all of these discounted titles at Hard Ball Press

image - HardBall_Children_2023

ALL our children's books are discounted from $13.50 to $10.00!

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And those on Labor's front lines, don't forget these POWER TOOLS, always with steep discounts for union purchases!

May you and your family and friends find a little peace over the holidays amidst these turbulent, tortured times... Timothy Sheard

Hard Ball Press
415 Argyle Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218

"Palestine, Settler Colonialism, and Abolition" - Event this Friday, December 1  (JVP - Pittsburgh, Global Prison Abolition Coalition, The Global Campaign for Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution, and Muslim Counterpublics Lab)

Friday, December 1st at 3pm Boston time, 8pm London time,
10pm Palestine time.

Watch Online:  https://shorturl.at/ryJM8

"A genocide is taking place in Palestine. It's the culmination of more than 75 years of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. The Israeli killing machine has caused a vertiginous level of violence and destruction in Gaza. It also generated an unprecedented wave of global solidarity with Palestine. It's certainly the most consequential anti-war movement since 2003 when people around the world opposed the US war in Iraq. Everywhere, people are demanding an immediate ceasefire and justice for Palestine.

This panel proposes an abolitionist lens to examine the history of settler colonialism, the ongoing genocide in Gaza, as well as the creative struggles of Palestinians. It explores the connections between US and European imperialisms and the Israeli colonial project. The panelists will analyze the role of the Israeli prison and security industrial complexes in maintaining and reinforcing the colonial geography of Palestine. Finally the panelists will discuss the abolitionist present and the possibility for a decolonial future in Palestine.


Sponsors: JVP - Pittsburgh, Global Prison Abolition Coalition, The Global Campaign for Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution, and Muslim Counterpublics Lab

Dr. Maha Hilal (she/her/hers)
Executive Director
Muslim Counterpublics Lab

[What is a "counterpublic?"  --  Adapted from Michael Warner and Nancy Fraser, the notion of a “counterpublic” refers to the creation of parallel discursive arenas that arise in response to the exclusionary nature of the official, dominant public sphere. Counterpublics are necessary for Muslims and other oppressed groups, as traditional public spheres of discourse exclude our communities, stories, and calls for justice.]

Source URL: https://portside.org/2023-11-30/tidbits-nov30-2023-reader-comments-can-pause-become-ceasefire-social-security-resources