July 2012, Week 2


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 9 Jul 2012 20:58:32 -0400
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Tidbits - July 9, 2012

* URPE Summmer conference
* Re: A Union Grows in Brooklyn (Mischa Gaus)
* Re: How the Brain Views Race (Laurel MacDowell)
* The Iran War Weekly - July 8, 2012 (Frank Brodhead)
* Re: Yes, Mitt, Vacations Are the Answer, But Not to the
  Question You Think (Elinor Bowles)
* Re: The Fourth of July and My American Son (Nadir Tharani)
* Re: The Jobs Doldrums and Obama's Future (Robert Whealey)
* European summit: Only banks are victorious (joint
  statement of the Left parties of Europe)

* Political Economy of the 99%; Today and Tomorrow

Epworth Center, High Falls, NY -- August 10-13, 2012*

Join us at a summer camp where Occupiers and radical
political economists can share ideas about the world we
are living in, the world we want, and how to get from
here to there!

Program* (still evolving):
http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumprog.html <http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumprog.html>
Workshops will include Capitalism, Economic Crisis,
Debt, Banking & Finance, Role of the State, Federal
Deficit, Safety Net, Unemployment, Race, Gender,
Education, Health Care, Lessons from Occupy, Trade
Unions, Socialism, Marxism, Cooperatives...AND MORE!

Fee information *(URPE-subsidized rate for Occupiers):
http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumfees.html <http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumfees.html>

To register:*
http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumregform.html <http://www.urpe.org/conf/sum/sumregform.html>

Register by July 15 to avoid the late registration fee and to be assured of day care*

Watch our new video!*
URPE 2012 Summer Conference 

For more information, contact the URPE National Office:
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
http://www.urpe.org <http://www.urpe.org/> 

* Re: A Union Grows in Brooklyn

I appreciate that you enjoyed the story below enough to
repost it to your large and influential mailing list. I must
note, however, that the version you chose to send is not in
fact the Indypendent's version; it is the Labor Notes
version. Here's the link to the LN version to compare:

thanks again for all you do to spread the word.

Mischa Gaus


* Re: How the Brain Views Race

This is an interesting article but it is clear that
attitudes to race are culturally based and if the brain is
reacting differently to different people it is because the
person's emotions have intervened.

One of the most important aspects of the discovery of the
makeup of the human genome, and it surprised researchers, is
that racial differences are a tiny part of the difference
between people. It confirmed that all of us are of ONE
species, namely homo sapiens. So while race may be a big
factor for some people, they are misguided. It is a tiny
factor in nature. Basically despite our variations in shape
and colour, we are the same species. We should celebrate our
variety. Racists suffer from false consciousness literally
and cause a lot of uneeded suffering. It is also of interest
that if a person lives in a multicultural community and is
accustomed to interacting with people who are varied in
appearance and culture, race becomes inconsequential. Indeed
if such a person then finds herself in a community that is
homogenous in culture and colour, it seems rather odd at

So in the 21st century people should understand that we are
all the same species - homo sapiens - a very aggressive,
intelligent, creative, and often selfish advanced ape that
is overtaking all other species on the planet. We should
learn to care about each other and other species and learn
to live more sustainably and without rancour or we will
destroy the planet. If one focuses on that idea, the
influence of race on American politics seems in retrospect
rather pathetic.

Laurel MacDowell


* The Iran War Weekly - July 8, 2012

This week's edition of the Iran War Weekly focuses on the
impact of two new rounds of US sanctions against Iran.
Economic war by another name, the sanctions are supposedly
imposed to coerce Iran to abandon its nuclear program; but
as the sanctions are not expected to "succeed," military
action may be just over the horizon.  Also covered in this
week's edition are recent US military maneuverings in the
Persian Gulf, an important investigation by Gareth Porter
into the murky issue of Iran's Parchin military base, and
the continued impasse - both militarily and diplomatically -
in Syria's civil war.  The IWW is linked at

Frank Brodhead


* Re: Yes, Mitt, Vacations Are the Answer, But Not to the
Question You Think . ...

    "good jobs for all Americans who want good jobs,"

The above phrase, which Romney uses often now as a regular
part of his speeches, implies that there are "Americans who
DO NOT WANT GOOD JOBS."  Wonder who those people are.

Elinor Bowles


* Re: The Fourth of July and My American Son

i wonder if the native americans are also celebrating
'independence day'?

Nadir Tharani


* Re: The Jobs Doldrums and Obama's Future

Dear Robert Reich,

In general I follow your Keynesian economic understanding.
Obama did something, but not enough for a stimulus.  But as
a journalist you seem to be taken in by TV cliches. "Bad
news for the U.S. economy and for Barack Obama."  Yes
indeed, it is bad news for the working and middle classes.
Bad news for anybody whose major income is not derived from
stocks, bonds, and bonus.  But why does a statistical fact
bounce back to hit Obama's polls?  When Bush was in office,
high unemployment and growing debts were never pinned on him
in 2004.

Robert Whealey


* European summit: Only banks are victorious

04 July 2012


Heads of state of our countries declare they are back from
the EU summit with victories for their people, and
inflections from Chancellor Merkel, Mario Draghi or Jean-
Claude Junker. They say they have "saved Europe" for the
19th time since the crisis began. Francois Hollande even say
that Europe is "reoriented" in the right direction. This is
misleading advertising.

The fiscal act is intact. The "renegotiation" not happened
and the growth pact promoted by Francois Hollande has no
legal value. Whether direct or indirect, funded by the MES
or not, all the so-called "financial aid" will once again be
paid by European citizens, through cuts and attacks on
workers' rights. All the measures adopted in the name of
solidarity with Italy and Spain are only measures of massive
socialization of losses. This is also a new loss of the
peoples sovereignty and the decline of parliamentary

The truth is: the negotiations in the liberal EU are at 27,
but it is always the banks who win. We call on all left
people and MPs, to take action to prevent the ratification
of this fatal pact in our countries. Only a refoundation of
the EU can solve the crisis. We will repeat it as necessary:
austerity leads to recession. There will be no growth in
this framework. We propose an alternative:

* A european solution for the existing, unsustainable public
debts, which will promote their decisive reduction.

* Change the role and tasks of the ECB to encourage job
creation and training, not speculators.

* Create a new institution: a European public bank, funded
by the ECB and the financial transaction tax, which funds
would be used exclusively to promote public investment in
public services and sustainable industrial development

* Harmonize workers' rights and all social rights on the
highest level

Pierre Laurent, National Secretary of the French Communist
Party (France),
President of the Party of European Left,
Paolo Ferrero, National Secretary of Rifondazione Communista
Alexis Tsipras, President of Syriza, Vice-President of the
EL (Greece),
Cayo Lara, spokesman for Izquierda unida (Spaina),
Jose-Luis Centella, General secretary of Communist Party of
Spain (Spain),
Katja Kipping & Bernd Riexinger, Co-chairpersons of Die
Linke (Germany),
Olga Athaniti, member of the executive secretariat of AKOA
Attila Vajnai, President of the workers' party 2006
Norberto Crivelli, President of the Swiss workers' party
Franscisco Louca, coordinator of the Bloco de Esquerda
Yrjo Hakanen, chairman of the Communist Party of Finland
Milan Neubert, President of the Party of Democratic
Socialism (Czech Republic)


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