April 21, 2016
Portside
 
Reader Comments: Report from Austria - Neo-Nazis Rise Again; Response to 21st Century Labor Movement from Marilyn Albert; Bernie, Hillary - Krugman, Latin American polices promoted by Secy. Clinton; Israeli Conscientious Objector; Jackie Robinson - readers correct the story; This Week in History - Celebrating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising;
Announcement - Jeremy Corbyn and the State of Working Class Politics in Britain - New York - May 26
 
 

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - April 21, 2016, Portside,
 
 

 

Announcement:
 
 
 
A theatrical performance of a play by a Nobel Prize winning leftist writer was set for the main auditorium of the University of Vienna.  When the play began a group of far right wing activists stormed the stage, unrolled a banner with fake blood, threw leaflets with far right slogans into the audience, and launched into a verbal tirade through megaphones. It could have been a Nazi Storm Trooper action in the 1920s, but it was April 14, 2016 and it was a action by a newly created merger of several neo-Nazi groups who call themselves Identit,ren.  They fled the scene and some have now been arrested, but they have won public praise from some of the leaders of the largest far right political party in Austria, the Austrian Freedom Party--a party that has a large lead in the polls should there be a parliamentary election soon (32% for them vs 23% for the Socialists and the Conservatives and 15% for the Greens).  Things are starting to look a bit grim around here.
 
Stan Nadel
 
 
 
 
 
 
A transgender fellow named Finian
Was a frustrated North Carolinian.
Because a decree
Forbid him to pee
He became a holdingitinian.
 
 
Seymour Joseph
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
David Rolf - an official of the Service Employees International Union - has written a commercial for his union in touting the Kaiser Permanente "Partnership" with his and other unions, as a route to "21st Century Unionism".
 
The Kaiser Partnership has produced misery for tens of thousands of health care workers and patients.
 
One union - the National Union of Healthcare Workers - does not participate in the Kaiser Partnership. NUHW fights Kaiser and its inhumane policies. SEIU, on the other hand,  has been engaged in major concessions to Kaiser for the past decade.
 
Talk to most Kaiser hospital workers and you will hear about SEIU's refusal to honestly represent its members.
 
In NUHW's campaign for a union contract for 3500 Kaiser workers, which lasted over 5 years and resulted in a good victory for patients and workers, the central issue was the quality of mental health care provided by Kaiser. The hugely profitable health care chain denied acutely mentally ill patients timely care - this resulted in at least 12 suicides of patients.
 
NUHW's campaign for quality patient care and a fair contract for workers who refused for 5 years to make a concessionary deal with Kaiser -- all the while paying dues to their union -- is the real example of 21st Century Unionism -- not the so-called Kaiser Partnership of SEIU and other unions who are afraid to fight.
 
Marilyn Albert, RN
Oakland, California
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Sanders keeps reminding everyone, this campaign is not about me, its about a revolutionary police movement. Yes, Bernie is pushing the envelop, most especially about organizing a well funded anti-corporate agenda. It is my greatest hope that this movement will live well past the Nov 2016 election, win lose or draw.... A draw in the Electoral College would through the whole election into the House of Rep---but that is a whole other article for another time and venue. Having a well organized and self-financed radical left opposition that forces issues of accountable, especially if Hillary becomes the next POTUS is absolutely essential. Who ever wins the election and becomes POTUS, she/he will never be able to deliver much if anything that they promised during their successful campaign. There will be a gapping and growing political disconnect that is optimal for building a working revolutionary socialists party....
 
This article is a very helpful read that bends in this direction. Read and share your thoughts
 
Larry Aaronson
 
 
 
 
(Posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
How does one come to the conclusion that DC 37's unoriginal and omission - and distortion-laden endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a "material source that will help people on the left interpret the world and change it" (to paraphrase the Portside mission)?
 
Michael Luis Ristorucci
 
     ====
 
The manner in which this is posted gives the impression, for a person skimming the page, that Portside is supporting her. A very unfortunate posting, appearing twice.
 
Diane
 
 
 
 
 
Tair's story, we all know, wouldn't be in front of us if her grandfather hadn't taken his own stand for what's right for a period of more than 60 years.  Credit is due as well to you in addition to Tair for your long effort for making the just effort for all, Israeli or Palestinian or Arab or African for any or all of us human beings here on earth.  The present Netanyahu Zionist government offers no justice to humanity.
 
Thank you both, Reuven, Tair....and everyone of your families and supporting friends.  May Israel rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of self-destruction!
 
Nelson Wight, 87, 
Belfast, Maine US
 
     ====
 
Dear Reuven,
 
Many thanks for keeping me informed.  Yesterday I went to an assembly of social movements in Saint-Denis (north of Paris,  large Arab population). There was  a stand of Solidarity with Palestine,  BDS,  etc.   There were posters with Israeli figures protesting colonization and a photo of Tair with a caption !  I'm sending you a few photos.
 
Cheers,
 
Michael Lowy
 
 
 
 
 
Sadly, new ruling strata seem tempted toward corruption for some time.
Witness New China's struggle with the phenomenon.
 
Jim Young
Harrisburg, PA
 
 
 
 
 
I wrote a short letter to the Times a week ago, about Krugman's disingenuous, dishonest article. My letter has not been published.
 
Diane Laison
 
 
 
 
 
Hillary and Latin America! Many that are people of privilege won't bother to read this, solely because yours truly has posted it, they prefer to live in the darkness of a daydream concerning this woman for POTUS!
 
William Proctor
 
     ====
 
your premise that they were HRC's 'policies' when in fact she was not POTUS is flawed. who sets the policies in an administration? and btw who would approve of these actions? certainly not me. and whose version of the 'truth' should we swallow here? i have no idea. but to lay it all on hillary because you want to smear her and prop up bernie is bullshit.
 
Kristi Hagen
 
     ====
 
Because she counts them as accomplishments in her book. Just taking her at her word. Plus, you really believe she was just a puppet for Obama? That's kinda low and even sexist.
 
Jn Hiesfelter
 
     ====
 
Friends and family in Mexico: please read this and pass on to your relations in the EE UU to inform their choices in the Presidential election(s) there. She has to be stopped
 
Michael Murray
 
 
 
 
 
Vito Marcantonio was congressman from East Harlem, not Brooklyn.
 
Per Fagereng
 
     ====
 
I thought this was a good article about the pioneering work done by Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson and their supporters to integrate major league baseball.
 
It did have couple of misstatements that I noticed. One was that Vito Marcantonio was not, as the article stated, a congressman from Brooklyn, but from East Harlem in Manhattan, the other was the bald and incorrect assertion that Paul Robeson was a Communist. This, according to Robeson himself, was not true. While he was sympathetic to the Soviet Union and had friends who were Communists, he always denied that he himself was a CP member.
 
I think the article placed an important emphasis on the work done by progressives, from the 1930s on, which ultimately led to the integration of the Major Leagues. But I also think it underplayed Rickey's economic motivations. Lamb's final paragraph hints at this when it quotes Bill Mardo, who made reference to Rickey's "extraordinary business and baseball sense." Brooklyn was a borough in which many sports fans were part of the growing African-American community. Rickey, I suspect, wanted their attendance at games in Ebbets Field. What better way to effect that than to provide them with a Jackie Robinson to cheer for?
 
Best,
 
Gene Glickman
 
     ====
 
A couple of points: (1) Vito Marcantonio was a Congressman from Manhattan (Spanish Harlem), not Brooklyn. (2) Caccioni and Davis were, I believe, elected on the Communist Party.
 
David Berger
 
 
 
 
 
What utter nonsense. It is at least one place a little girl child can look to see a woman of importance.  Whites will see an important Black person, and Blacks will see they are considered important. Symbols have many reasons and uses.  Equal pay is a separate issue.
 
Ethel Kirk
 
     ====
 
This is a pretty narrow-minded view, and I am more surprised that you chose to send it out than I am by someone writing it. Should we oppose women appearing on US stamps too? Should we oppose Malcolm X or Martin Luther King or Frederick Douglass appearing on stamps? Should we fight to rescind Martin Luther King Day as a national holiday as well as Black History Month? According to this person's logic, it would follow that we should.
 
I think even not progressive bourgeois historians would dispute the argument this person makes. Did not the US government lead a war to end slavery?  Moreover, as this article points out, Harriet Tubman worked as an agent with the US government and the US army. That should give  pretty clear sense of what her view would be on appearing on US money.  I would also question the integrity or  seriousness of what this writer, who could be male or female, who cannot give her or his real name as the author of what she or he wrote. 
 
Stan Smith
 
     ====
 
Feminista Jones, in her Washington Post essay reprinted by Portside, writes: "Tubman didn't respect America's economic system, so making her a symbol of it would be insulting." Not so. The dollar is *not* a symbol of US capitalism; it is a fact of US currency, a far different thing. Every nation-state, including those who now (or previously) define themselves as socialist or communist, has a currency, without which it could not function. Think Cuba, North Korea, the former Soviet Union, etc. Placing Tubman's image on US currency merely acknowledges, long overdue, her courageous role in US history, and that her life was as much a part of our heritage--the liberating part, not the oppressive--as the life of any man's image.
 
Nathan Weber
 
     ====
 
So the fight for women's equality will suffer and be misled into thinking total victory has been obtained because ... Harriet Tubman's portrait will be on one of our bills!? If the movement is that easily tricked, it couldn't have been a serious movement in the first place. Nothing short of TOTAL REVOLUTION will suffice, 'eh?
 
Michael Arney
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bernie Sanders with his opposition to neoliberalism and militarization would let the world breathe again since the hubris of exceptionalism would be replaced by interdependence.
 
Marc Batko
 
     ====
 
This article explains clearly the ideology of neoliberalism and how it has come to dominate. Until we understand and resist it, and replace it with something else (a "Next System"), we will continue to hurtle toward human and planetary disaster.
 
Doug Gamble
 
 
 
 
 
Well, my iPhone Accuweather app daily forecast only goes out 15 days. I can't find a place to request a specific day, just a slider.  The detailed forecast is for the next 5 days.  The hourly forecast is for three days. 
 
Ellen Schwartz
 
 
 
 
 
Perhaps I miss-read this, but I didn't see anything about a "fair" wage! If productivity goes up and income of the owner goes up, so should the wage earned by the worker! 
 
Lee Loe, TX Grandmother for Peace & "Enough" for Everyone!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
73 years ago this week, Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto-many in their teens and twenties-launched a sustained guerilla battle in response to a planned mass deportation to the death camps.
 
They fought without hope of victory, but with the goal that they would not die in silence. Poorly armed and supplied, they managed to hold off the German army from April 19th to May 16th. It was the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust.
 
Their unbelievable heroism still resonates among us today, and charges us to live lives that pay tribute to their sacrifices. Today, we remember.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jeremy Corbyn, the Trident Controversy, and the State of Working Class Politics in Britain 
 
by John Weeks
 
Thursday May 26, 2016 at 6 p.m.
CWA Local 1180
6 Harrison St. (at Hudson St.), lower level
lower Manhattan
 
#1 train to Franklin St.
A,E,C, 2, 3 trains to Chambers St.
 
John Weeks is Professor Emeritus, University of London, and founding member of the UK group Economists for Rational Economic Policies. He has advised UK trade unions and the Labour Party on economic policy, and has a weekly radio program of economic commentary. He was a founding member of the Union of Radical Political Economists.
 
This talk will come shortly after the up-coming May UK elections that will test Jeremy Corbyn's policies, including his controversial call to ban the Trident nuclear submarine from Britain.  Weeks is well placed to assess the political currents flowing through Britain, echoed as well here in the U.S.
 
The program is jointly sponsored by the Center for Study of Working Class Life, the Left Labor Project, and the New York City Chapter of U.S. Labor Against the War.
 
Free and open to the public. Please post and forward widely.
 
 
Follow Weeks on Twitter
John Weeks' radio programme - ShareRadio - The Weeks Update

 

 
 
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