Portside Snapshot - May 11, 2015



The Origins of Stop-and-Frisk

Alex Elkins
Jacobin Magazine
Beginning in the 1930s, the LAPD pioneered the use of stop-and-search policing whereby officers flooded an area after a reported crime to question persons found on the street. This was the anti-Friday dragnet — indiscriminate, racist, and the reality for urban, black communities after World War II.

Under the Sea, a Missing Link in the Evolution of Complex Cells

Carl Zimmer
New York Times
Scientists estimate that the first eukaryotes evolved about 2 billion years ago, in one of the greatest transitions in the history of life. But there is little evidence of this momentous event, no missing link that helps researchers trace the evolution of life from simple microbes to eukaryotes. On Wednesday, a team of scientists announced the discovery of just such a transitional form.

Hit Job: Daniel DiSalvo on Public Sector Unions

Dean Baker
Huffington Post
Public sector unions have pushed for policies that benefit workers more generally, recognizing that it would not be possible to maintain good pay and benefits for public sector workers where private sector workers are poorly paid and without benefits. This is the main reason why the right wants to eviscerate public sector unions. It is important for progressives everywhere to understand this fact.

Too Many People in Jail? Abolish Bail

Maya Schenwar
New York Times
This is a national problem. Across the United States, most of the people incarcerated in local jails have not been convicted of a crime but are awaiting trial. And most of those are waiting in jail not because of any specific risk they have been deemed to pose, but because they can’t pay their bail. In other words, we are locking people up for being poor. This is unjust. We should abolish monetary bail outright.

New York Hospitals On Notice

Mark Brenner
Labor Notes
Till now, NYSNA has negotiated separate hospital-by-hospital contracts for its entire history—while Service Employees (SEIU) mega-local 1199 was winning high standards and industry-shaping political power through master contracts with the same facilities. Now the nurses union is putting common demands on every table. At most hospitals it’s conducting open bargaining, with as many as 200 members showing up to participate in negotiations.

Does Fox's 'Empire' Break Or Bolster Black Stereotypes?

Eric Deggans
Anchored by powerful performances from Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, Empire features unapologetically black characters operating in a mostly black world. Nielsen says 7.5 million of them are African-American.But that's where the other controversy about Empire emerges. Because some critics say the show has earned its success by trafficking in "badly written dialogue and ham-fisted stereotypes."




Portside aims to provide material of interest to people on the left that will help them to interpret the world and to change it.


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