Tidbits – Mar.7, 2024 – Reader Comments: Ceasefire Now; Mitch McConnell Water Boy for Trump; Trump Courts Teamsters; Alabama’s Embryos; Harry Belafonte Celebration of Life; Film Workers for Palestine; 1st Annual Walter Rodney Symposium; Cartoons;

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What Was Her Crime  --  Meme  by SolidarityINFOService


When you put it all together, the picture of human suffering and physical destruction is jaw-droppingly devastating.

According to the EuroMed Human Rights Monitor, a quick computation reveals that one Palestinian is killed or wounded every 2 minutes.  A child is killed every 15 minutes.

More than 10 children on average have lost one or both of their legs every day in Gaza since October 7, with many amputations performed without anesthesia.



Waterboy  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers


Rob Rogers
March 5, 2024


Mitch McConnell Passes the Torch  --  Cartoon by Clay Bennett


Clay Bennett
March 2, 2024
Chattanooga Times Free Press


Re: Trump Courts the Teamsters

(posting on Portside Labor)

All he’s going to do is lie to them.

Norman Gill
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We Have to Draw a Line:  A Reply to Peter Olney

By Joe Allen

March 3, 2024

Peter Olney has been one of the most important voices among labor veterans in speaking out about the threat of the Far Right, if not, outright Fascism in the United States. So, I was surprised at the perspective he put forward in his latest article in Portside, Trump Courts the Teamsters, where he applauds the approach of the Teamsters' General President Sean O'Brien to the presidential campaign.

O'Brien personally met former President Donald Trump for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago estate on the eve of the third anniversary of his attempted presidential coup, and soon after authorized the donation of $45,000 to the Republican National Committee. Trump later met with a select number of Teamsters at the International Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and held a press conference with the Teamster flag prominently displayed in the background.

Peter defended this as a more open endorsement process than in the past presidential elections, and could potentially win Teamster members away from Trump and his horrid political agenda. He wrote:

A more open process could leave some Trump supporters and undecideds in the union's ranks more open to listening to the Teamsters Union's statements and endorsements. Will it work? Who knows?

Given my respect for Peter, I found this shocking. "Could it really be that the Teamsters," Peter asked, "who have not backed a Republican for President since mobbed-up leaders endorsed Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the 1980s are capitulating to MAGA? Don't bet on it." I'm not betting on it either, but he appears to be saying, Don't worry everything is in good hands. But, the Teamsters are not in good hands. The O'Brien's legal assault on the dissident Teamsterlink social media site is the latest in a disturbing authoritarian trend in the union

Inflating O'Brien's track record, as Peter does to provide credibility to O'Brien's dalliance with Trump, doesn't make us more secure in their leadership but far less. Has O'Brien really "brought back the strike weapon in force" as Peter claims, when the Teamster's bloviating at UPS appears so hollow after the auto strikes. Why is it so hard for Sean O'Brien to recognize that a convicted rapist, a coup plotter, notorious racist, and a man that has declared that he will be  a dictator, and threatens to put opponents in concentration camps should be treated as a pariah?

Instead of undermining Trump, these dangerous liaisons do the opposite, they further legitimize him among far too many in the union's membership and in the wider working class. We, and I mean the broad left in the U.S., have to argue that the labor movement has to draw a line on Trump and his ilk, while stop relying on the dying carcass of the Democratic Party as a shield or savior from them.

[Joe Allen is the author of The Package King: A Rank and File History of United Parcel Service.]


GOP Presidents  --  Meme



Fast Shoes


Re: Harris County Sends 15 Times More Black Men to Death Row Than White

Former Harris County prosecutor Chuck Rosenthal also argued the case for Texas' sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark Supreme Court case that struck it down in 2003.

The two main arguments against the law were that it violated people's right to privacy and that it discriminated against gays and lesbians, because it prohibited only same-sex oral and anal sex. At the press conference after the oral arguments, I asked Rosenthal how could it not be discriminatory, because it only prohibited gay & lesbian sex. (I was covering the hearings for High Times.)

He answered that it also prohibited heterosexuals from engaging in that conduct.

I racked my brain for how to word a follow-up question that didn't include the phrase "get it up." I told him something like, "that doesn't make sense, because generally you have to be sexually aroused to have sex, and if you're aroused enough to do it someone of the same sex, you're either gay or bisexual."

He snapped back: "What if you're sexually aroused by ten-year-olds? Is that OK?"

So it was poetic justice what he lost his job in a sex scandal. On the other hand, in his concurring opinion in the Dobbs decision in 2022, Clarence Thomas argued that Lawrence should be overturned too.

Steven Wishnia
New York


Re: Presidential

(posting on Portside Culture)

Is the  poem, 'Presidential' about Trump, Biden, or perhaps most American presidents?

I'm confused,

Mike Liston


Frozen Embryos  --  Cartoon and Commentary by Clay Jones



I did not create this analogy and it may be pretty common, but I thought it really fit the latest anti-women situation created by fundamentalist troglodytes down in Alabama.

Down in Alabama, they don’t believe women should have rights. When the Supreme Court ruled that states can ban abortion, they didn’t finish the sentence before Alabama banned it outright. Abortions aren’t banned in Alabama after 24, 12, or six weeks. Abortions are banned…end stop. The only exception for an abortion in Alabama is if the mother’s life is in danger. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Alabama believes rapists have more rights than women.

Now, Alabama recognizes frozen embryos as human beings.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that “unborn children are ‘children’ … without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics.” This includes embryos frozen in test tubes.

Alabama Chief Justice Tom Parker (not the Colonel who managed Elvis) quoted the Bible in a concurring opinion, citing the sanctity of unborn life, which means this isn’t as much of a legal opinion as it’s a right-wing fundamentalist zealotry opinion. A true right-wing legal professional would have at least made an attempt to hide that his opinion was based on fundamentalist nut whackery.

The majority opinion said that an 1872 statute allowing parents to sue over the wrongful death of a minor child applies to unborn children, with no exception for “extrauterine children.”

In his concurring opinion, Parker wrote, “Even before birth, all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.” That is NOT a legal opinion, you fucking zealot.

Later in the day, the state court changed the song Jesus Loves the Little Children to Jesus Loves the Frozen Embryos.

The case was brought by couples whose embryos were destroyed in 2020 when a hospital patient removed frozen embryos from tanks of liquid nitrogen in Mobile and dropped them on the floor.

Dr. Mamie McLean, an infertility specialist at Alabama Fertility in Birmingham, said, “We’re concerned that this ruling has far-reaching consequences for what we feel is safe to freeze and safe to discard.” She added, “This ruling is so incomplete and it leaves those of us who are sitting face to face with patients … with the inability to comment on what is safe and what is legal for them right now.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2021, more than 238,000 families in the US relied on IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

In case you’re a fundamentalist zealot, skip the rest of this paragraph as it contains language that’s not right for the dinner table on a Sunday morning. The rest of you, calm down. I’m just talking about words like “ovaries” and “sperm.” During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman’s ovaries (in case you’re from Alabama, only women have ovaries) and fertilized with sperm (only men have sperm) in a laboratory. The fertilized egg, called an embryo (em-bree-yo), is then returned to the woman’s womb to grow and develop. During this process, doctors take multiple eggs/embryos and freeze them to increase the odds that one will attach. Generally, only one embryo is transferred at a time into the uterus to maximize the chances of successful implantation and a full-term pregnancy.

Now, doctors and clinics have to question what to do with the unused embryos. What happens if you donate unused frozen embryos for stem-cell research? Is that now murder if you do it in Alabama? What happens to the unused frozen embryos that aren’t viable? The clinic can’t destroy them because that too would be murder…in Alabama. Embryos has more rights than women in Alabama unless somehow an embryo gets raped and becomes pregnant.

Dr. Paula Amato, the president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said, “The court held that a fertilized frozen egg in a fertility clinic freezer should be treated as the legal equivalent of an existent child or a fetus gestating in a womb. Science and everyday common sense tell us they are not. Even in the natural world, several eggs are often fertilized before one successfully implants in the uterus and results in a pregnancy.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the ruling would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.” She’s right. Despite Alabama legal zealots claiming frozen embryos are children, it’s still extremely difficult to play catch with a test tube. It’s nearly impossible to teach one to ride a bike.

Ms. Jean-Pierre also said, “As a reminder, this is the same state whose attorney general threatened to prosecute people who help women travel out of state to seek the care they need.” Yeah, Alabama is one of the states that did that. Alabama is trying to out-yeehaw Texas.

A patient in Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide) said she miscarried eight weeks after receiving an implanted embryo and that she and her husband have three frozen embryos left to try with again. She said, “We have three embryos. We don’t have three children.”

This adds to Alabama’s legacy of suppression. Keep in mind that Alabama has given us Kay Ivey, Roy Moore, Mo Brooks, Jeff Sessions, and Tommy Tuberville which ironically, are people nobody would want to reproduce with.

Clay Jones
February 21, 2024


Harry Belafonte Celebration of Life | Friday, March 1st, 2024



Watch here


Film Workers for Palestine


Film Workers for Palestine is a call by and for filmmakers and cinema workers to stand for an end to genocide, and for a free Palestine. Beginning with a statement of values, FWP will build spaces and infrastructure for organizing in response to the war on Palestinians and to the censoring of voices that speak out against Israel's genocidal campaign.

Add Your Name  


(List as of January 16, 2024 - click here)

As filmmakers and cinema workers, we are told our words and images have power, and that our work can help end injustice. For over 100 days, images of Israel’s genocide in Gaza have flooded our screens, but this has not stopped the continuing atrocities. As human rights lawyer Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh stated at the International Court of Justice, this is "the first genocide in history where its victims are broadcasting their own destruction in real time in the desperate, so far vain hope that the world might do something."

In just three-and-a-half months, the Israeli military has injured at least 61,000 people in Gaza and killed more than 24,000 people, at least 9,600 of whom are children, making this one of the deadliest aggressions in the 21st century. Palestinians in Gaza currently have no way to flee the bombs that have destroyed 70% of their homes, and have no access to water, food, fuel and electricity. We are shocked by the deaths of countless journalists, poets, and other artists who have been targeted by airstrikes. We mourn this loss of life, as we mourn the civilians killed on October 7th by Hamas, and those killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since then.

We join a global solidarity movement to demand an immediate ceasefire in the region, an end to the 16-year siege on Gaza, and the release of all hostages and Palestinian prisoners. We echo the calls of Palestinians to address the root causes of this violence by ending the occupation and U.S. military funding to Israel. We reject the double standard that presumes that only the allies of the U.S. have a right to defend themselves.

We expect our shared cultural spaces to promote safety for filmmakers, artists and supporters who champion a free Palestine. And yet from Berlin to Los Angeles, our colleagues have been harassed, threatened, doxxed, disciplined, censored and fired for voicing their opposition to a military campaign repeatedly deemed genocidal by human rights experts. We reject German cultural institutions’ ban on workers who have supported the Palestinian right to self-determination, just as we reject the efforts to criminalize pro-Palestinian speech that have reached the halls of the United States Congress. We reject biased reporting by mainstream media that dehumanizes Palestinians, purposefully neglects crucial historical context, and continues to vilify Arab and Muslim communities. We reject the cynical weaponization of charges of anti-Semitism that have been used to silence and condemn those calling for an end to genocidal violence and apartheid reality. In spite of this intimidation, we refuse silence, because speaking is the least we can do. We recognize the calls made by the Palestine Film Institute to hold international film festivals accountable, and in this moment of urgency we echo their call for filmmakers to use their platforms during Q&As, talks, and panels to read statements highlighting the Palestinian struggle. In spaces where safety and solidarity are lacking, we will create and ensure it.

In our capacity as filmmakers, actors, curators, film critics, and other workers essential to the international film industry, we stand for an end to genocide, apartheid, and repression, and we stand for the liberation of all people. We are aware that one day our community will create and champion films documenting this horrific genocide, yet many stay silent now, while we still have the chance to save lives. Our industry cannot continue with business as usual. We must do more than watch; we must act with conscience and continue to insist that Palestinian lives are equal to all others. We will not be complicit with anyone who acts otherwise.

Film Workers for Palestine

Add Your Name  

*This list of more than 6,000 signatories excludes some Palestinian colleagues who have not signed any petitions for fear of repercussions for them and their families.


The 21st Annual Walter Rodney Symposium  --  Atlanta -- March 22 & 23  (Walter Rodney Foundation)


Our Vision

To champion Walter Rodney’s unwavering commitment to human rights, racial equity, and social justice.

Our Mission

To further Walter Rodney's legacy by sharing his work and fostering the utilization of his historical analysis and scholar-activism to effect transformative global change.

Our Values

The Walter Rodney Foundation adopted Walter Rodney's values of ARIES.

Advocacy | Respect | Integrity | Equity | Solidarity

The Walter Rodney Foundation Inc.  
3645 Marketplace Blvd.
Suite 130-353
East Point, GA 30344


O: 678.597.8754  |  F: 404.601.1885

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