May 2012, Week 5


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Thu, 31 May 2012 00:02:49 -0400
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Tidbits and Announcements- May 30, 2012

* Fracking Boom Spurs Environmental Audit (Bill Shortell)
* Re: John Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Scott Walker (Mike 
  Munk, Gordon Fitch, Bill Harvey)
* Re: More Solar, Not Less (Roger Skutt)
* Re: The war in Syria escalates with the brutal killing of 
  32 children (Chris Horton)
* The Future of Labor Organizing - June 4 - New York City 
  Forum - The Century Foundation
* Worldwide Women's Fightback - Report from Recent
  International Conference in Brazil - New York - June 11
* Networking Event in Detroit at the Allied Media Conference 
  (Jamie McClelland) 
* Benicio del Toro Criticizes U.S. Policy to Cuba (Prensa 
* Forum - "Thinking About What Replaces Capitalism - The 
  State of Play in the `Designing Socialism' Discussion" - 
  June 14 - New York


* Fracking Boom Spurs Environmental Audit

Three Steps to End Fracking.

And let's not forget about deep-water drilling that filled the
world with horror for three months in 2010. More disasters are
inevitable like that in the Gulf

While the US is weaning itself off hydrocarbons thru
conservation and renewables, we should be trading with nations
like Iraq, where high quality oil is 5 feet below the surface,
and is extracted for about $1 a barrel.

This stupid idea that the US should be "energy independent"
flows from the '73 Arab boycott and the fact that we still
support the suppression of the Palestinians. When we end that
grisly policy, we can look forward to friendly relations with
all the world's oil producers.

This will also involve, of course, appropriate controls over
US oil companies, up to and including nationalization. They
should no longer set our foreign policy, rip us off through
monopoly-pricing, and rape the environment.

End all fracking and deep-water drilling!

Bill Shortell


* Re: John Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Scott Walker

Halpern strains to improve the records of JFK and Obama.
Most folks in Wisconsin are outraged by Obama's failure to
step into the recall election and by Wasserman Schultz's
absurd claim that the DNC wont' put up money because the
results won't really matter.

Mike Munk


I don't think fanciful hagiographies of John F. Kennedy are
going to help Mr. O all that much, really, at least not with
people who are allegedly of the Left.  The more you remind
actual leftists that Obama is like Kennedy, the less they
will like him.

Gordon Fitch


Did you forget to attribute this one to THE ONION?

Bill Harvey


* Re: More Solar, Not Less

This Van Jones piece is really bad because everyone SHOULD
know that their current method of increasing solar power DOES
subsidize the affluent at the expense of the poor--it's been
written up in the LA Times within the last month or two, I can
look up the reference if you want.

Of course, Van Jones does correctly recognize that what is
needed is a better, fairer methodology and a wholistic
approach.  That, however, won't happen, because the government
will not tax the rich enough.  Van Jones seems to think that
the benefits of the minor amounts of solar power that are
produceable under the current system outweigh the damage done
by its redistribution of wealth from the poor to the affluent,
but I disagree.

But so truly the only hope for both the environment and
economic fairness (as well as meeting all our other needs from
education to jobs to affordable housing and a balanced budget,
etc. etc.) is to force the government to tax the rich by
hitting the streets in massive demonstrations.

Roger Skutt


* Re: The war in Syria escalates with the brutal killing of 
32 children

Why this endless string of stories echoing imperialist war
propaganda about Syria?  It is unworthy of you and
contributes to the passivity of the peace movement in the
face of the next round of nation-destruction, taking us
relentlessly closer to the next-to-last act, war on Iran,
and the final act, war with China and Russia and the
destruction of our civilization and perhaps our biosphere.

At least give us some balance!  I depend on Portside for
labor news, but am revolted by your Syria coverage and keep
fighting the impulse to unsubscribe.

Chris Horton


* The Future of Labor Organizing
Monday, June 4, 12:00 - 2:00 PM

The Century Foundation presents "Speaking of Change"
The Future of Labor Organizing

Featuring Panelists:

Richard Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation Fellow; Co-Author
of "Why Labor Organizing Should be a Civil Right"

Amy Dean, The Century Foundation Fellow; Co-Author of "A
New, New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the
American Labor Movement"

Ai-jen Poo, Director of National Domestic Workers Alliance;
One of TIME's 100 Most Influential People

Bob Herbert, Demos Senior Fellow

At a time when both public and private labor unions are in
decline and under attack, this forum will explore cutting-
edge new ideas for revitalizing American labor. This forum
will be held the day before the vote to recall Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker, who set off a political firestorm
when he led efforts to curtail collective bargaining rights
of state workers.

Monday, June 4, 12 - 2 PM
A light lunch will be served.
RSVP to [log in to unmask] (put "union" in the subject line)

The Century Foundation
41 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021


* Worldwide Women's Fightback - Report from Recent
International Conference in Brazil - New York - June 11


on the fightback as 300 women from 66 countries testified to
their struggle against the devastating global economic crisis
as they challenge corporate and military power, expose
corruption, beat back austerity, defy occupation and  unite in
their common struggle for a just peace.

HEAR: Vinie Burrows, veteran actor, activist

      Berta Joubert, journalist, videographer

who attended the Womens International Democratic Federation
(WIDF) XV CONGRESS held from  April 6-13, 2012 in Brasilia

Monday, June 11, 2012, from 6-7:30 pm

The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies,
25 West 43rd Street (between 5th and 6th Aves) NYC, 18th

You must show photo ID to enter the building.

Granny Peace Brigade, Grandmothers Against the War, WILPF
Metro Branch, WREE, Black Radical Congress, World Federation
Trade Unions, NY Committees of Correspondence for Democracy
and Socialism


* Networking Event in Detroit at the Allied Media Conference

If you are not already planning to come to the Allied Media
Conference the end of June in Detroit - start planning now:

May First/People Link needs your participation in our
Networking Event/People's Movement Assembly happening
Thursday, June 28th (one day before the main conference
workshops begin).  This will be a full day strategy session
to take stock of efforts to control and privatize the
internet and to conceptualize the steps we need to take and
the tools we need to develop to keep our movements active
and our internet open. For more details see the description

Thanks to the success of our May First fundraising drive, we
are able to offer financial assistance to help get you to
Detroit.  A limited number of $300 scholarships are
available to offset the costs of travel and lodging to
attend our Networking Event.  (Please note that priority
will be given to members most in need of financial support.)

Interested? Please email: [log in to unmask]

Networking Event/Peoples Movement Assembly:

We cannot count on using the Internet in the coming years
they way we have used it up to now. Hardly a week goes by
without a report of a gross violation of privacy, a security
breach, an act of government censorship, or another merger
or buyout cementing the privatization and centralization of
Internet resources. Someday soon it will be your YouTube
video or Facebook page that will be canceled or removed.

These trends are accelerating and will affect our ability to
organize... unless we step up now. The seeds of the next
generation of the Internet, one that counters these
repressive trends, are currently being planted, but how they
grow and what features are prioritized is still to be worked

More information about the event is here:


Location details will be available soon.

Jamie McClelland

May First/People Link
Growing networks to build a just world
Members Local 1180, Communications Workers of America, AFL-


* Benicio del Toro Criticizes U.S. Policy to Cuba

Escrito por Heidy Morin Rueda

Prensa Latina
jueves, 24 de mayo de 2012


Paris, May 24 (Prensa Latina) Puerto Rican actor and
filmmaker Benicio del Toro criticized in Cannes U.S. policy
against Cuba that prevents the country's US citizens to
travel freely to the Caribbean nation.

Del Toro is in Paris, where he attended the presentation of
the film "Seven Days in Havana" a collection of equal number
of short films, one of which was directed by him.

Traveling to Cuba is difficult as you have to ask special
permission from the U.S. government, to pay a large sum of
money and then wait several months to obtain the approval,
he said.

That does not happen with any other Caribbean country said
the actor, who won an Oscar for his role in the film
"Traffic" and also the award for Best Actor at Cannes 2008
for his role in "Che, the Argentinian".

Along with del Toro were two of the directors of "Seven Days
in Havana", Argentine Pablo Trapero and Spanish Julio Medem,
who agreed to highlight the great assistance provided by
Cubans to shoot that film in the Caribbean country.

Medem said the film is about the situation and the
difficulties in Cuba, and the optimism of its people, who
have a lot of dignity and its very proud of having made a


* Forum - "Thinking About What Replaces Capitalism -  
The State of Play in the `Designing Socialism' Discussion"

with David Laibman

Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 7:30 PM

at the Brecht Forum
451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets)
(212) 242-4201

"Central planning is a failure." "Market socialism is an
oxymoron." Is anything left?

Believe it or not, the possibilities are just starting to
emerge. The insufficient socialism's of the past (and
present) have left us rich legacies. New information
technologies, grass roots activism, incentive design
theories and general assemblies ?? all have a place. We need
to polish our vision of a possible future society and make
it precise, even when we don't yet have the forces to begin
to implement it. It will help us to get there. We need to
ask: "OCCUPY ?? with what?"

David Laibman is Editor of "Science & Society," the world's
longest continuously published journal of Marxist
scholarship. He is Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at
Brooklyn College and the Graduate School, City University of
New York.  His recent books include: "Deep History: A Study
in Social Evolution and Human Potential" (2007); and
"Political Economy After Economics: Scientific Method and
Radical Imagination" (2012).

[thanks to Tibby Brooks for submitting this to Portside]



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