December 2012, Week 1


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 6 Dec 2012 23:33:08 -0500
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Tidbits - Reader Responses and Announcements - December 6,

* Zionism and Its Discontents (David McReynolds, Stephanie 
  Jennings, Nels Wight)
* Ed Asner narrates 'Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale' -
  link correction (Al Hart) 
* Re: Meet The Climate Denial Machine (Ellen Cantarow)
* Re: Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality? 
  (Chris Lowe)
* Re: "Fiscal Cliff" (David Russell)
* Re: Holding The Line On Ending The Bush Tax Cuts (Joe 
* Re: Who's Responsible for the Fire that Killed 112 Garment 
  Workers? (Tom Gogan)
* Re: Feminists for the Win (Laurel MacDowell)
* Re: Letter to Portside Readers (Guy Liston)
* Re: Scientists warn of sperm count crisis (R. Pauli, 
  Carole Travis, Alan Saly)
* Iraq Report Back - New York - Dec. 13
* NUHW is looking for organizers


* Zionism and Its Discontents

This is a disturbing piece and my hunch is Portside will
have letters condemning your having carried it at all. I
found it helpful, even though I long since come to feel that
Zionism was one of the wrong paths we take in history. So
much of the discussion of Israel is so angry that Susie
Linfield's piece helps us keep a good perspective. It is
always difficult for a non-Jew to get involved in this, but
I have been involved for many years, helping to draft the
War Resisters League statement on the Middle East, which
must have been over twenty years ago.

It is a topic which can bring personal pain - a close
friend, who was more than marginally helpful (she got me the
rent- controlled apt. I've had more than fifty years), broke
all contact with me because, as nearly as I have been able
to piece together, she found out that I was so sharply
critical of the State of Israel.

In any case, a really useful piece, glad Portside carried

David McReynolds


What the author Susie Linfield is missing is the
understanding that her statement "from Jewish powerlessness
to Jewish power" is the very essence of the problem with
Zionism.  It is regarded by her dinner party guests as akin
to fascism because it is.  If you replace Jewish with white
you see the problem. Eg: White powerlessness to white power.
Or another example, Moslem powerlessness to Moslem power...
Would anyone in the global community accept such a
statement?  Zionism at it's core is exclusionary and creates
a state only for Jews.  A religious state that can't operate
in the 21st century - a century moving away from borders and
papers and occupations to a global world.

The two state solution is doomed to fail.  Not only because
of the "facts on the ground" that Israel has created but
because it is an immoral solution to an immoral occupation.
You can not create a state for Palestine on 10 or 20% of
it's original landmass.  Israeli's & Palestinians will need
to share the whole of historic Palestine.  There will need
to be a truth and reconciliation process and a constitution
with one person one vote leading to full political and
economic equality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens.
Then we might really be able to call Israel the leading
democracy in the region.

Stephanie Jennings
San Diego, CA 


A marvelous piece, and what is wrong that so few people
grasp all she says?

Nels Wight


* Ed Asner narrates 'Tax the Rich: An animated fairy tale'
(link correction)


In case you get some crazy denial, that the video is
try this link:

Tax the rich: An animated fairy tale, is narrated by Ed
Asner, with animation by Mike Konopacki. Written and
directed by Fred Glass for the California Federation of
Teachers. An 8 minute video about how we arrived at this
moment of poorly funded public services and widening
economic inequality. Things go downhill in a happy and
prosperous land after the rich decide they don't want to pay
taxes anymore. They tell the people that there is no
alternative, but the people aren't so sure. This land bears
a startling resemblance to our land. For more info,


This should be shared widely -- it's brilliant! But please
urge people to leave supportive comments and "like" it,
because it's under attack by the far right.

Al Hart
Managing Editor
UE News
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)


* Re: Meet The Climate Denial Machine

Suggestion: a few more upbeat articles, please. I consumed
much of the afternoon reading you and an online magazine to
which I contribute and it was all I could do, on what's
supposed to be a vacation in Italy, to keep from being
terminally depressed. We need the horrible truths but we
also need to know that there are efforts to fight the
various mafias.

Ellen Cantarow


* Re: Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?

Giving rise to the new old saying, "Which came first, the
polyp or the jellyfish"?

I wonder if "aging in reverse" is really the right way to
describe the process at the cellular level.  It seems as
though there must be replacement by new cellular material in
the "cellular transdifferentiation," so that even though the
form of the organism seems to "age in reverse," i.e. get
younger as the organism gets older, the cells are not
actually getting older, but being replaced.

Chris Lowe 
Portland, Oregon


* Re: "Fiscal Cliff"

There is a good chance we will go over the fiscal cliff but
if we do it is because the President and his Congressional
Supporters exhibited discipline and resolve and the
Republicans painted themselves into an untenable position.

David Russell,
Managing Director
Cove Hill Consulting, Inc.
Perkinsville, VT


* Re: Holding The Line On Ending The Bush Tax Cuts

President Obama seems ready to "go to the mat" to raise the
income tax rate on the highest incomes but doesn't talk at
all like that when it comes to protecting the benefits which
go directly to social security recipients and medicare
beneficiaries, many of whom are those most in need in our

He adopts the hyped "cliff" language and speaks about the
(false) urgency of making a deal before Jan.1 (as if nothing
could be fixed later).

He seems to be getting ready to sell SS and Medicare
benefits and beneficiaries in return for the rate increase.
A bad deal.

If we (the active public) can't stop the President's deal,
perhaps Republican resistance to the rate increases will
block it.  If so, we will indirectly have the Republicans --
or more correctly their intransigance -- to thank for at
least temporarily saving current SS and Medicare benefits.

Joe Maizlish
Los Angeles


* Re: Who's Responsible for the Fire that Killed 112 Garment

A must-read.  The injustice has now turned homicidal once
again ... think Triangle Fire ... or maybe your great-
grandfather Jack McMahon.

Tom Gogan


* Re: Feminists for the Win

It is good that women are fighting back and being
Wouldn't it be great if some of the women and their
organizations linked up with those trying to organize the
private service sector where many women work and are kept
by the companies' low wages. That of course would mean
addressing the other group conservatives bash and demonize -
organized labour.

Laurel MacDowell


* Re: Letter to Portside Readers

Hi, thanks for your hard work,  I live in Beijing and
portside is where I find the bulk of my most useful news,

Guy Liston


* Re: Scientists warn of sperm count crisis

You missed on this one.   Our massively over populated world
is the underlying cause to all other problems.   We need a
rapid reduction in population.

R. Pauli


For the planet...this is not so bad.  Way way way too many

Carole Travis


This is very good news. If there are fewer people, because
of increasing infertility, we can mitigate the worst aspects
of global warming and the environmental crisis.

Alan Saly


* Iraq Report Back - New York - Dec. 13

USLAW's (US Labor Against War) Michael Zweig will be
reporting back from an important labor-civil society
conference held in Basra in October.  It'll be a fascinating
talk with some great slides -- including not just the
conference itself, but some terrific visuals from the
marshlands near Basra that are being restored to ecological
health.  It all takes place next Thursday, Dec 13, 7:00 pm
at UAW, 256 West 38th St (between 7th /8th Aves), 12th
floor, Manhattan.  All are invited.

U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW)


* NUHW is looking for organizers

The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) is seeking
talented, hard-working individuals committed to building a
powerful and democratic labor movement for an upcoming
election, the biggest conducted by the NLRB since the 1940s.
Successful candidates for these Organizer positions will
have union, community, campus or political organizing
experience. They will be values-driven, self-motivated and

The NUHW is an independent, member-led union, dedicated to
improving the lives of healthcare workers and the people for
whom we provide care. NUHW is building a national movement
of caregivers to hold healthcare corporations accountable to
the public interest and to win affordable, quality
healthcare for all.

See complete job announcement at 

To Apply: Email your resume, cover letter, and references
to:   [log in to unmask]



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