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PORTSIDE  March 2011, Week 2

PORTSIDE March 2011, Week 2

Subject:

Tidbits, March 8, 2011

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

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Date:

Tue, 8 Mar 2011 20:38:55 -0500

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Tidbits - March 8, 2011 - Happy International Women's Day


* Resources for Educators - Wisconsin and the Rights of
  Public Sector Workers (Danny Postel)
* Re: Palestine and the Revolution: Lessons From Egypt
  (Hans-Christof von Sponeck)
* Re: Tim DeChristopher Deserves the Medal of Freedom, Not
  Jail (Charles)
* how can I boycott the koch brothers? (Andrea Gunderson)
* Readers Respond - Re: How You Can Boycott the Kochs
  (Cathy Howell, Carol Hanisch, Ricardo Levins Morales,
  Marcia Kola)
* Re: Black Caucus Stands In Solidarity With WI Workers
  (Earl Silbar)
* Re: Manny Fried - R.I.P. - Buffalo Activist Who Stood Up
  to McCarthyism (Ed Pearl)
* Re: Gov. Scott Walker Has Lost The War (Marvin Mandell)

==========

* Resources for Educators - Wisconsin and the Rights of
Public Sector Workers

posted by Danny Postel

My friends at the organization Teaching for Change <
http://www.teachingforchange.org/> are looking for resources,
especially geared to educators - articles, blog posts,
working papers, TED talks, what have you - on the Battle of
Madison and the broader struggle over the rights of public
sector workers. Any recommendations?

Here are the ones on my list:

Convenient Scapegoat: Public Workers under Assault By Joseph
A. McCartin http://dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=3825

Wisconsin Chicanery: A Short History Of Public Employees'
Right To Negotiate By Joseph A. McCartin
http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/83829/wisconsin-public-employees-walker-negotiate

King's Fight for Unions Is Still Essential by Michael Honey
http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/02/its_1968_all_over_again_and_kings_fight_for_unions_is_still_essential.html

"It's Up to Us to Save Ourselves": What Wisconsin is Teaching
Us By Jill Jacobs
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/4289/%E2%80%9Cit%E2%80%99s_up_to_us_to_save_ourselves%E2%80%9D%3A_what_wisconsin_is_teaching_us/

Madison Protesters Find Religion, Solidarity, and Free Pizza
by Steven Ashby
http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2011/02/madison-protesters-find-religion-solidarity-and-free-pizza

==========

* Re: Palestine and the Revolution: Lessons From Egypt

This is surely one of the most important articles on the
current  changes in the Middle East and their implications
for the outside. Thank you for circulating it! Hans von
Sponeck

Hans-Christof von Sponeck

==========

* Re: Tim DeChristopher Deserves the Medal of Freedom, Not
Jail

    Instead of being convicted today on two felony accounts
    for placing bids and disrupting an auction for pristine
    wilderness Utah sites that would have been opened to gas
    and oil exploration, 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher should
    have been receiving our nation's highest honor for "an
    especially meritorious contribution to the security or
    national interests of the United States."

No argument here.

As you may already know, I occasionally send in my commentary
and reflections on real life experiences as relates to the
articles posted on Portside.

Sometimes I agree with the point of view presented, and there
are times that I don't, but always with respect for at least
providing alternative modes of thought.

In this case, however, being quite familiar with this case,
the areas in question in Utah, and the very contorted and
complex intrigues surrounding how these types of mineral and
energy resource exploitation land lease deals actually work,
the realities of these circumstances are hideous and criminal
on a scale that is difficult to express in a few sentences.

Whether it's the clear cutting of ancient virgin redwood
forests to come up with fast cash to cover debts incurred on
Wall Street with bad gambles on the options and futures
markets (as per the infamous Pacific Lumber debacle), or the
truly hideous damage caused by eradicating entire mountains
for lower cost, relatively low yield coal extraction (which
is among the most polluting fuel source for energy on the
planet), or any variety of other such examples of extremely
poor judgement driven by greed and stupidity for short term
profits, we are witnessing the willful destruction of
irreplaceable, priceless natural and cultural treasures . . .
here in the USA and around the planet.

Perhaps there really is a point of reckoning soon to be
encountered by the human populations here on Earth, and given
the behaviors and motivations observed in such context, I
can't say with full honesty that I would entirely disagree
with such a fate, a sort of planetary fight against the human
infestation that has caused so much damage and destruction .
. .  and most of it entirely unnecessary.

Please, tell me where I am wrong here.

sincerely

Charles

Berkeley  CA

==========

* how can I boycott the koch brothers? please let me know,
how I can sign, or whatever these horrid brothers, thanks,

sincerely,

andrea gunderson

==========

* Readers Respond - Re: How You Can Boycott the Kochs (Cathy
Howell, Carol Hanisch, Ricardo Levins Morales, Marcia Kola)

I really don't think a boycott like this makes any sense at
all.  They will feel nothing and some of these products are
union made.  It is not targeted or strategic.

Cathy Howell

=====

Boycotting products as an individual, especially such a long
list, is not very effective unless it is accompanied by some
kind of public statement to the company saying that you are
boycotting their products and why. Write an open letter to
them in your local newspaper or put up an informational
picket line where such products are sold.

Carol Hanisch

=====

A boycott can be an effective instrument when wielded
strategically against a vulnerable target. I think it's
become a reflexive response anytime someone does something we
don't like. The Koch Brothers are emperors in the energy
sector. Boycotting their consumer goods will barely touch
them. Is it the best use of our resources?

I think that, indeed, the Kochs should be made an issue since
they exemplify how the so-called populism of the Tea Party is
funded by billionaires. The goal should be to make them the
face of the Tea Party to expose the underlying class
politics. A broad boycott against all things Koch is not the
best method. A campaign that directs people's anger into a
boycott effort against billionaires which won't hurt their
bottom line, is a distraction.

To broaden the base of the current uprising I'd want to
spread the understanding that the "budget crises' that are
being wielded against us are contrived in order to destroy
resistance to a massive plunder of society for the super
rich; and to cover for costs of the Wall Street piracy and
the wars. If targeting a particular Koch consumer good will
help us to do that, then let's hear a case for it and
consider it. And getting discussion happening among unionized
Koch workers (they have a number of unionized companies)
would be great. Keep in mind, though, that the crisis our
people are facing is not caused by some cowboy outliers of
the ruling class but by it's massive, interlocked corporate
core.

Ricardo Levins Morales RLM Art Studio www.rlmarts.com

=====

Boycotting their products is not going to be that effective
as times have changed since we were able to do a good boycott
Hersey's milk formula.......there has to be other avenues we
can take . When a small numbers of women planned to keep LEGO
land from opening in our home town ( due to environmental
concerns)...we studied the home company in Denmark to find a
"soft spot" on their CEO...once we found that  "achilles
heel" we could gather the tools we needed to influence him
not to chose us.  It worked. So I suggest there be some
research on the "Brothers" to find an emotional soft spot to
target and then use the internet to pursue it. Always easy to
offer advice but hope it might spark someone

Marcia Kola Island Peace & Justice

=====

* Re: Black Caucus Stands In Solidarity With WI Workers.. or
does it?

This letter from the Black Caucus accepts the lie that the
union-busting is based upon balancing the budget. It ignores
the  class-bias wherein Corporate Wisconsin got $120 Million
in tax cuts the month before these attacks began. It doesn't
even propose taxing those WI corporations which made hundreds
of Millions in profits and paid zero taxes. It accepts
without refutation the one-sided stance wherein working
people pay everything and take cuts in vital services while
the ruling class gets more and more.

I missed any mention of any Bill they introduced to outlaw
the union-busting underway. Or did they do anything other
than send this letter?

With friends like this...

Earl Silbar, Chicago. Retired GED teacher and former chief
steward and executive board member, AFSMCE 3506, City
Colleges of Chicago

==========

* Re: Manny Fried - R.I.P. - Buffalo Activist Who Stood Up to
McCarthyism

What beautiful life, and resonating remembrances. Thank you.

Ed Pearl

==========

* Re: Gov. Scott Walker Has Lost The War

Like Rachel Maddow, Rick Ungar rejoices that the right
wingers have overreached. But, unlike the followers of Father
Coughlin and Joe McCarthy, the present day right wingers are
armed <some in militias <and have threatened violence more
than once. This may not be settled at the ballot box, as
Maddow and Ungar assume. what is now incipient fascism may
come out in the open.

Marvin Mandell

==========

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