August 2011, Week 3


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Tidbits - August 20, 2011

-  Music, Activism and the Peruvian Cabinet

-  Union-busting at Delta Air Lines (Beth Allen,
   Communication Workers of America (CWA))

-  Michele Bachmann - Tea Party Insurgent Exposed -
   Leap of  Faith - The Making of a Republican Front-
   runner.(excerpt from The New Yorker with URL to full

-  Re: Shadow Warriors: Movin' On Up (Gordon Fitch)

-  Re: Israel Protests Could Boost Peace Process (David

-  The Left's Crisis (Beth Holden)

-  Re: Compensate Victims of U.S. Chemical Warfare in
   Vietnam (Thane Doss)


Music, Activism and the Peruvian Cabinet

By James C. Mckinley Jr.
New York Times
August 20, 2011

Success was a long time coming for Susana Baca, the
Afro-Peruvian folk singer who was recently named
minister of culture for the new populist government of
President Ollanta Humala of Peru. She is the first
black member of the Peruvian cabinet and the first
musician to hold the position.

Ms. Baca was 51 and working in relative obscurity when
David Byrne discovered her in the mid-1990s and put her
stirring rendition of "Maria Lando" on his compilation
"Soul of Black Peru."

Since then she has recorded six albums on Mr. Byrne's
label, Luaka Bop, and her reputation as an ambassador
of Afro-Peruvian music to the rest of the world has
grown. She won a Latin Grammy in 2002 for best folk
album when a European label reissued "Lamento Negro,"
the forgotten record she had made at the Egrem studio
in Cuba in 1986.

Critics have lauded the plangent quality of her voice
and the way she plays with folk forms, combining
rhythms of different genres and tinkering with
traditional lyrics, sometimes even setting poetry to
folk tunes.

Read on:


-  Union-busting at Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines' slogan is "Safety First," but it might
as well be "Money First."

Delta is pushing a shameful union-busting campaign in
Congress, holding up billions in funding for crucial
Federal Aviation Administration projects by insisting
on new, unfair rules for airline workers who want to
organize a union.

The result? More than 4,000 FAA safety inspectors and
other agency employees went without paychecks, $2.5
billion worth of airport projects stalled, nearly
70,000 private contract workers laid off, and a weekly
cost of $200 million for American taxpayers totalling
$400 million.

Last week, Congress temporarily restored FAA funding,
but another shutdown is looming on September 16 because
Delta continues to push its unfair union election

We can stop them, but only if we send a strong, united
message that union-busting at Delta won't fly. Join
thousands of your fellow workers, passengers, and
everyday Americans by signing CWA's petition to Delta
Air Lines.

Delta and its political friends plan to hold the nation
hostage again on September 16, when the short-term bill
expires. Delta is insisting on an undemocratic rule
that would count workers who don't take part in a union
election as voting "No" -- an absurd demand that would
undermine the entire system of majority-rule voting.

No election in the United States -- from Presidential
elections to American Idol -- uses this voting system.

Delta's purpose is clear: to make it harder for its
workers to organize and collectively bargain for better
pay and benefits, working conditions, and job security.
The airline is so intent on denying its workers' rights
that it's holding hostage billions in funding for
crucial FAA infrastructure projects to improve our
nation's airline system.

That's not going to fly. Join CWA in telling Delta to
stop its union-busting ways and let Congress pass a
clean FAA Reauthorization bill:


In Unity,

Beth Allen

Beth Allen Online Mobilization Coordinator
Communication Workers of America (CWA)


-  Michele Bachmann - Tea Party Insurgent Exposed (very

Leap of Faith - The making of a Republican front-

By Ryan Lizza, The Political Scene The New Yorker
August 15, 2011

Bachmann, a two-term member of Congress from
Stillwater, Minnesota, is an ideologue of the
Christian-conservative movement. Her appeal, along with
her rapid ascent in the polls, is based on a collection
of right-wing convictions, beliefs, and resentments
that she has regularly broadcast from television
studios and podiums since 2006, when she was first
elected to Congress. Often, she will say something
outrageous and follow it with a cheerful disclaimer.
During the last Presidential campaign, she told Chris
Matthews, on MSNBC, that Barack Obama held "anti-
American views" and then admitted, "I made a

Full story (long) here:


-  Re: Shadow Warriors: Movin' On Up

There is another aspect of this kind of thing which
this article misses.  Eventually, the outside becomes
the inside. The only question is when.

Gordon Fitch


-  Re: Israel Protests Could Boost Peace Process

This article is all bull when it relates the protests
to any progressive force in  israel. Read Ha'aretz
concerning the protests. There are settlers in the
protest (part of the 84%), leftists in a '1948 tent'
supporting a return to the old borders have been
physically and verbally attacked. This protest is
against high prices, and it promotes the interests of
another right wing party, Kadima. it is a shame
Portside has bought the inanity that this has anything
to do with the interests of peace or human rights for
palestinians. If these protests were seriously
progressive, would they get 84% of the Israeli public
in support? Grow up.

David Makofsky


-  The Left's Crisis

In his 8/15/11 article, Leo Panitch writes
"fundamental change can only really happen through a
massive class struggle, which would involve a massive
transformation of the state itself."

To  the extent that the state represents the will of
the people, this could be a good thing.  But our
problem is leaving decisions to a government which
purports to represent millions of people.

Would it not be better to have small, local banks which
are owned and operated by the people who put their
savings in them?  If we are ever really going to have
fundamental change we have to ask ourselves why we want
our lives run by people far away who only care about us
at election time.

The fundamental change we need is self understanding.
The Left doesn't seek that any more than the other
guys.  We put so much energy into trying to win the
power game and so little into responsibility for our
own lives.  This probably means limiting our
aspirations for accumulation and expanding our vision
of human experience.

Panitch says proposals for change have been lacking
details on how to get from here to there.  Perhaps the
problem is that we don' want to give up anything good
we have, only to get more.  We need to think less about
more, and more about different.  We need to think less
about national change and more about local

The urgency for immediate change is an expression of
the desire to have the job done and over with.  But
life is change.  Hopefully it will never be over with.

Beth Holden New York, NY


-  Re: Compensate Victims of U.S. Chemical Warfare in

It has been alleged that substantial quantities of
Agent Orange were buried in damaged barrels in Okinawa.

or, reprinted with a note that
mentions burial of Agent Orange in Korea, as well,
http://www.dmzhawaii.org/?p=9294; see also
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20110412zg.html or its reprint
In light of these claims,
the bill should also include Japanese, Korean, and
other (Cambodian, Laotian, Thai, etc.) possible
sufferers from Agent Orange exposure.

The current status of this matter seems to be that
absolute proof is wanting [
but additional testing may occur.

Indeed, the matter of burial sites aside, some avenue
for compensating Japanese nationals working with
Americans on Okinawa during the Vietnam War era should
be provided. A California court case in 1998 held that
an American veteran who never served in Vietnam
nonetheless received such exposure to Agent Orange in
Okinawa as to have likely resulted in prostate cancer.

tm, near bottom of the web page, and
If it could happen to Americans, it
could happen to Japanese working alongside them.

Compensation should not be limited to US veterans and
their declared enemies. US allies and victims of
undeclared but now acknowledged wars in Cambodia and
Laos should also be covered. One should treat one's
allies as well as one's enemies.

Thane Doss


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