February 2011, Week 2


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 9 Feb 2011 21:55:54 -0500
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"Net Neutrality and Community Media" -- Alameda, Ca
Fighting for Jobs and Housing in Chicago

Re: The Deficit-Reducing Potential of a Financial
Speculation Tax
Re: The Conservative Class War, Continued

This Friday there will be an discussion at NYC's Brecht
Forum on a remarkable chapter of US labor history.  

Directions to the Brecht Forum:

Friday February 11th, 2011 7:30 PM
Co-sponsor: Verso Books
Rebel Rank and File
Labor Militancy and Revolt from Below During the Long
Aaron Brenner, Steve Early, Judith Stein & Dan LaBotz
From the mid-1960s to 1981, rank-and-file workers in the
United States engaged in a level of sustained militancy
not seen since the Great Depression and World War II.
Millions participated in one of the largest strike waves
in US history. There were 5,716 stoppages in 1970 alone,
involving more than 3 million workers. Contract
rejections, collective insubordination, sabotage,
organized slowdowns, and wildcat strikes were the order of
the day.

Workers targeted much of their activity at union leaders,
forming caucuses to fight for more democratic and
combative unions that would forcefully resist the mounting
offensive from employers that appeared at the end of the
postwar economic boom. It was a remarkable era in the
history of US class struggle, one rich in lessons for
today's labor movement.


Alameda, Ca.


The Alameda Public Affairs Forum (Art  Lipow & Gretchen
Mackler-Lipow) will present an important program on
"Net Neutrality and Community Media" on Saturday
evening, February 12th in the Alameda Free Library,
from 7 to 9.30 PM.

Come at 6pm for coffee and refreshments - bring
something to eat to share with our friends at the
Forum. The Library is at Oak and Lincoln - parking is
in the rear - the entrance is there, too.

The Forum is moderated by Peter Franck, former
President of Pacifica Foundation and Chairman of the
National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic
Communications and Alameda resident. Speakers will
include Tracy Rosenberg, Director of the Media
Alliance, and Michael Eisenmenger, Executive Director
of the Marin Community Media Center.

A recently issued Federal Communications Commission
rule on internet neutrality may restrict the internet
as a free and open forum and a powerful tool for
democracy as demonstrated in the on-going popular
demonstrations in Egypt. At the same time, Congress has
passed a new law to permit communities to set up low
power FM stations. Following the presentations by the
speakers there will be ample time for audience
questions and discussions.

The future of democracy in America will be determined
by the way access to the Internet is administered -
whether it will be open - or shut down and limited.
Come and learn how you may protect one of our precious


Reminder: The War at Home: Fighting for Jobs and Housing
in Chicago, Feb. 10 @ 6pm/
Come to an important discussion about the economic and
housing crisis in Chicago and how you can get involved in
the movement to fight against it. We hope you can join us.

Community Meeting

The War at Home: Fighting for Jobs and Housing in Chicago

Thursday, Feb. 10 @ 6pm

333 S. Ashland 


Re: The Deficit-Reducing Potential of a Financial
Speculation Tax

Hello Portside -
I have actually read about FSTs a bit, and on paper this
could be an appropriate government revenue source.
As everyone of any credibility will tell you, some form of
comprehensive remodeling of the current taxation structure
is sorely needed.
However, as a practical measure, I don't think an FST
related tax bill will ever survive the scrutiny of
Congress and Senate.  
Too many lobbyists and corporate henchmen will make
certain such a bill never survives for eventual
manifestation into law . . . or, at the very least, an FST
bill will become a pawn in a larger bargaining enterprise
that big business will use to get its way in the larger
scheme of things, as it always does.
Sorry folks, I just don't have that much faith in US
governance and law as I once did.
Until corporate & private money gets out of elections and
lobbying, none of these potential remedies will ever make
any real difference.
Tell me where I'm wrong here . . .
best regards
Berkeley   CA
 Re: The Conservative Class War, Continued
The trouble with this story is that Alterman paints the
war against public service workers as something invented
and pursued by right wing Republicans.  In fact the more
formidable enemies are centrist Democrats such as NY
Governor Andrew Cuomo who represents  the "reasonable",
"responsible"  proponents of the cutback of social
services.  Until the public worker unions are able to
organize a mass public resistance to all these cutback
schemes they will be squeezed between the bad cop
Republicans and the good cop Democrats. The public service
workers have to rally other workers and take the
offensive-some noses of erstwhile friends have to be
bloodied-including some union heads who have lined up
behind these cuts.  If this doesn't happen the public
sector unions are doomed and the public sector workers
will be reduced to Wall-mart clerks, with no job security,
no benefits, no pensions, and minimal wages.

Mel Rothenberg



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