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November 2010, Week 1

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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 4 Nov 2010 22:43:14 -0400
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About Portside - Jeremy Brecher, Leslie Cagan, Duane
Campbell, Henry Foner, Mark Solomon


Of all the email information and opinion services that come
across my screen, Portside is consistently the most
interesting, the most useful, and the one most likely to
tell me about something I need to know about but somehow
missed. Its wide range of subjects (mostly politics, but
with an enlightening dose of science, culture, and other
sidelights), combined with careful selection from the mass
of stuff out there, makes it something I scan right off
every day. As a writer I also find it a much-valued venue
for getting my pieces out to people to whom they might
really matter. I am deeply grateful for those who put in
the time -- and the thought -- to provide us with this
service.

Jeremy Brecher
Historian and author of Strike!, Globalization from Below,
In the Name of Democracy

  ==========

There's no way to summarize what's happened these past ten
years or what that's all meant. Wars, economic crisis, anti-
immigrant attacks, undermining of civil liberties, assault
on public/social programs, worsening climate and
environmental crisis, and the growth of a fanatical,
dangerous right wing. At the same time, resistance, massive
and wide-spread protest, growing unity of progressive
struggles, expansion of independent/alternative media,
historic election of first African American president and
renewed labor activism. Through it all, Portside. The
commitment and energy of a dedicated team of moderators has
given us a daily window onto what's happening here and
around the world. The range of issues addressed and the
depth of information shared means your daily delivery from
Portside will always include something that interests you -
no matter what your interests are. Congratulations to the
Portside team! Your contribution to the progressive and left
movements is immeasurable: thank you some how doesn't seem
enough.

Leslie Cagan
Peace activist, former National Coordinator of United for
Peace and Justice (UFPJ)

  ==========

I find Portside to be an excellent source of news items from
the left. These articles and views serve a vital purpose in
keeping my energy up, and in organizing for political and
economic change. You have posted a number of diverse views
I would have otherwise missed. They are useful in my own
advocacy journalism. Keep up the good work.

Duane Campbell
Chair. Sacramento DSA. Author. Choosing Democracy: a
practical guide to multicultural education. (2010),
Editorial collective, Talking Union.
http://www.talkingunion.wordpress.com

  ==========

I find Portside very valuable in enabling me to keep up with
what is happening in the trade union movement. I am a
retired union official and Portside's updates are very
helpful. Keep them coming.

Henry Foner
Retired President, Fur, Leather & Machine Workers' Union

  ==========

Portside has become one of my better habits. Those five
Portside posts have become constant companions in the still
of the night. They often provoke previously unconsidered
insight about the country's deteriorating condition. At
times they engender furious dissent that often leads to
questioning a moderator's judgment. At times they provide
ideas and visions that inspire and light up a path to a
better future and a way to get there. More often than not,
the material posted on Portside, culled from a broad range
of sources, is remarkably stimulating and politically
relevant. Portside readers are pretty regularly treated to
significant posts that most of us surely would have
otherwise missed. The service has become for many a staple
of our political and cultural diet -- fulfilling in large
measure the vitally needed democratizing potential of the
Internet.

But Portside is not without its shortcomings. Too often
easily accessible material from mainstream media (especially
the New York Times) clogs the postings. There is not enough
thoughtful original material from writers who do not
normally have access to commercial media. Portside needs to
post and/or solicit more articles on cultural issues,
especially those issues that reflect critical questions
regarding race, class and gender. Most important perhaps,
Portside needs to stretch far more in creative ways that
reflect and respond to the unprecedented crisis of a deeply
wounded economy suffering from monumental structural
defects, an imperial foreign policy driven by the global
projection of military power and a catastrophic
environmental crisis that threatens the planet itself.
Portside needs to draw its readers more deeply into
discussion and debate on how to unite progressives to
confront and overcome those crises. It needs to experiment
with new forms, like readers' roundtables and forums on
vital and often contentious issues on the left. It needs to
encourage and expand its readers' responses. It should
continue to offer a broad and diverse range of ideas always
open to challenge, debate and striving for a progressive
consensus.

Congratulations to Portside on its tenth anniversary. May it
continue to grow and to prosper (if not financially!) in its
quality and in its service to the left and progressive
communities.

Mark Solomon
Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow
W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African
and African American Research, Harvard University; author,
The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Americans,
1917-1936

  ==========

If you would like to contribute to the work of the
Portside community, we invite you to:

i. Send us material: email [log in to unmask]

ii. Forward Portside to your friends and contacts.

iii. Make a financial contribution:
https://portside.org/donate

(Signed) The moderators of Portside and Portside Labor

  ==========

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