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PORTSIDE  July 2012, Week 1

PORTSIDE July 2012, Week 1

Subject:

Announcement and Readers' Responses July 4, 2012

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Date:

Wed, 4 Jul 2012 23:44:15 -0400

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Announcement and Readers' Responses   July 4, 2012

Utility Workers Local 1-2 Lockout Leafletting this
Thursday, July 5 (NYC)

Re: Do You Change the Weather When You Change the Climate?
Yes -- Thane Doss

Re: Tom Paine and the 4th of July -- Meredith Tax,         
    M Gittleman

CELEBRATING THE FOURTH WITH THE ENEMY -- Dick Meister

Re: The Effects Of Racial Animus On A Black Presidential
Candidate -- George Fish

===================

Utility Workers Local 1-2 Lockout Leafletting this
Thursday, July 5 

I just want to give everyone a heads up.  You  probably
already know that after contract negotiations broke down
early Sunday morning between Con Ed and The Utility
Workers Local 1-2, Con-Ed management locked out 8500
workers.  During negotiations, Con-Ed asked that workers
increase their healthcare contributions at the same time
as Con-Ed tries to dismantle workers’ pensions.  All this
while the CEO brought home $25 Million.

The Central Labor Council is assisting the UWUA 1-2 as
they fight for a fair contract.  To start, we are helping
to organize leafleting on Thursday morning and Thursday
afternoon to help raise the public’s awareness about what
is really happening –  a profitable company once again
making it harder for working people to support their
families.

Utility Workers will be out July 5th and we are looking
for help to cover three spots from 8:30am to 9:30am on
Thursday morning and then again from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Thursday evening.  Those spots are:

Whitehall Ferry Terminal (meet in front of main entrance
of Staten Island Ferry in Manhattan)

Union Sq. (meet on the NW corner of Irving Place and East
14th St.)

Penn Station (meet on the NE corner of 32nd St. and 7th
Ave.)

Coordinators will be assigned for each location and they
will have leaflets for volunteers to hand out.

Additional info about the fight and picket locations can
be found at http://nysaflcio.org/conedlockout/ and I will
send info about other mobilizations and actions as I get
it.

Thanks Everyone.  I know that it is last minute,  but if
you have any folks that you can send, it would be greatly
appreciated.

Happy 4th!

Brendan Griffith New York City Central Labor Council,
AFL-CIO

================
Re: Do You Change the Weather When You Change the Climate?
Yes

While I think it's fair to "conclud[e] that it's
impossible to say whether there's any connection between
climate change and any particular weather phenomenon,"
I've heard this set phrase used to comment on
dozens--perhaps even hundreds--of different weather
phenomena in the last decade. It's past time for the
phrase to be modified:

"While it's impossible to say whether there's any
connection between climate change and any particular
weather phenomenon in isolation, it is certain that many
of the extreme weather phenomena of the recent past were
caused by climate change and many others were greatly
worsened by it."

Thane Doss, Tokyo

===================
Re: Tom Paine and the 4th of July

Dear Portside,

Thanks to Al Hart for this 4th of July tribute to Tom Paine.

However, further note should be made of the radicalism
of Paine's book, The Age of Reason, which is no work of
temperate or philosophical Deism but a polemic against
established religion by a militant rationalist and secularist. 

Paine returned to the US at a time of political contention
and religious enthusiasm much like today.  He was reviled
in the press as an atheist—which he was not, though he
disdained organized religion--deserted by most of his old
friends, and nearly assassinated. It was his combination
of economic and religious heterodoxy, not to mention his
association with the French Revolution, so much more
radical than our own, that did him in.  Elizabeth Cady
Stanton suffered the same kind of ostracism after she
wrote The Woman's Bible.

Meredith Tax


RE: Tom Paine and the 4th of July Did not Howard Fast
write a book about Tom Paine?

M Gittleman

======================
CELEBRATING THE FOURTH WITH THE ENEMY 
By Dick Meister

The Fourth of July, as we all know, is Independence Day.
Hurray for George Washington and the revolutionaries, down
with King George and the British. That sort of thing.

But have you ever wondered what it's like on the other
side? Have you ever celebrated the Fourth across the
border in Canada, in that territory settled by
pro-British "Loyalists" who fled the United States after
the Revolutionary War?

It is a most peculiar experience for one accustomed to the
U.S. way of viewing the events of 1776.

My wife Gerry and I observed the Fourth on the other side
once ­ in Fredericton, the beautiful little capital of New
Brunswick. Going into Fredericton meant going into the
camp of a former enemy who openly hailed the "Loyalists"
who fought for them against us.  I mean people who opposed
our revolution and never even said they were sorry.

Our first stop was the hallowed Loyalist Cemetery near the
banks of the Saint John River at the edge of the city,
burial ground of Fredericton's revered founders ­
anti-American Tories, the lot of them. We trudged down a
muddy path to a ring of trees around a swampy grass
clearing in which the Tory heroes lay, prepared to utter a
revolutionary sentiment or two over them in honor of the
holiday.

We managed to get a quick look at a couple of headstones ­
but that was all. Before we could even open our mouths,
they struck ­ angry swarms of dread North woods
mosquitoes. Backwards we dashed, quickly ­ very quickly ­
batting mosquitoes off hair, face, neck, arms, clothes.

Much buzzing. Much stinging. They were everywhere. The
Tories' revenge. For days afterward, we bore the swollen
red marks of the Loyalists.

More insults were to come, in the elegant Legislative
Assembly chambers downtown. High on the front wall, in a
place of honor to the left  of the Speaker's chair,  hung 
 a portrait of George III, the very monarch we made a
revolution against.

In the United States, of course, we celebrate the end of
colonialism. But in Fredericton they seemed to yearn for
its return. Union Jacks flew from staffs all over town
and portraits of Queen Elizabeth and her consort hung in
government and private buildings everywhere. Ceremonial
guards outside City Hall wore the white pith helmets,
long crimson jackets and black uniform trousers of the
British colonial soldier.

Just behind City Hall stood the restored quarters of the
British garrison that was stationed in the city for more
than a century, one of the buildings housing a museum full
of anti-revolutionary twaddle. Captions below portraits of
leading Loyalists praised them for "faith, courage,
sacrifices" against Yankees, who were for the most part
described as violent, crude, rude and vulgar.

There, too, a portrait of George 111 hung in a place of
honor.  Among the Loyalists singled out was that other
fine fellow, Benedict Arnold, who lived in New Brunswick
before slinking off to Mother England in 1791.  At least
the museum keepers had the decency to own up to Arnold's
"reputation for crookedness."

The later-day Loyalists claimed to like us nevertheless. A
half-dozen U.S. flags fluttered smartly outside the Lord
Beaverbrook Hotel, Fredericton's finest, and the marquee
proclaimed, "We Salute our American Friends. Happy 4th of
July."

Sure thing. Funny, though, that they forgot to call off
the mosquitoes.


Dick Meister is a San Francisco writer. Contact him
through his website, www.dickmeister.com

====================
Re: The Effects Of Racial Animus On A Black Presidential
Candidate 

This paper and article below proves the efficacy of
"mainstream" social science, all too cavalierly dismissed
by far too many on the left as "irelevant" and mere
"numbers-crunching."

George Fish

___________________________________________

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and to change it.

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