Europe's Elections

Europe's Elections feature image
March 23, 2017
While France teeters on the brink of the far right, left parties elsewhere are showing surprising strength. Predicting election outcomes is tricky these days, the Brexit and the election of Donald Trump being cases in point. The most volatile of the upcoming ballots are in France and Italy. Germany's will certainly be important, but even if Merkel survives, the center-right will be much diminished and the left stronger. And that will have EU-wide implications.
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Richard Gere on Segregation in Hebron

Richard Gere on Segregation in Hebron feature image
March 23, 2017
`It's exactly what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go: they could drink from that fountain, they couldn't go over there, they couldn't eat in that place,' the American actor tells an Israeli TV station during a tour of the segregated West Bank city.
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Socialism's Return

Socialism's Return feature image
March 23, 2017
After more than a half-century in the wilderness, the socialist left reemerges in America. Bernie Sanders helped give renewed meaning and salience to democratic socialism as a political identity. His emergence as the moral conscience of the American left was nearly impossible to anticipate. Perhaps the most important aspect of Sanders's run in the Democratic primary was cultural rather than electoral.
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Thoughts on Chuck Berry

Thoughts on Chuck Berry feature image
March 23, 2017
Much commentary on the late Chuck Berry will focus on how his songs expressed fun and teenage angst. This is the right thing to do. Yet there’s more. For example, Berry’s obsession with the comparative qualities of fast cars — most brilliantly displayed in his song “Maybellene” — did not just reflect the rise of post-WW II consumerist culture....He preferred V-8 Fords over Cadillacs because he spent several years in the late 1940s and early 1950s helping make Ford cars.
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Tidbits - March 23, 2017 - Reader Comments

Tidbits - March 23, 2017 - Reader Comments feature image
March 23, 2017
Reader Comments: U.S. Asks Cambodia for Millions in War Debts - for U.S. Destruction of Their Country; Trump Administration, Russian Hacking, Danger of a New McCarthysim; Democratic Party - Which Way; Bernie Sanders: Most Popular Politician in Country; Gorsuch Supports Torture; Irish-American History - James Larkin; Martin Luther King and Vietnam - 50th Anniversary of Historic Speech; Incredible Resource List (with links) from Stansbury Forum; Announcements; and more...
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Neil Gorsuch and Workers' Rights

Neil Gorsuch and Workers' Rights feature image
March 22, 2017
We have once again entered a phase in law-making, where discriminatory policies codifying exclusions based on race, religion, ability and immigration status have taken hold, emboldened by this Administration. With the appointment of Gorsuch, we risk losing the highest court in the land to partisan, ideologically-driven cruelty — masked as “originalist” readings of both statute and law — repeating history again.
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Diversity in the Rural Working Class

Diversity in the Rural Working Class feature image
March 22, 2017
Focusing on places like McDowell County, West Virginia, perpetuates the image of rural America as populated primarily by people of white Western European origins, a narrative that fit the media’s interest in white rural working-class voters. But while the economic suffering in McDowell might reflect the experiences of many working-class people outside of major metropolitan areas in the Trump era, McDowell’s whiteness is less representative.
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Public Bears Massive Cost for Trump Travel

Public Bears Massive Cost for Trump Travel feature image
March 22, 2017
Before taking office, Trump repeatedly criticized the cost of President Barack Obama’s travel, saying the fact that Obama’s trips were “costing taxpayers millions of dollars” was “unbelievable.” During the campaign, Trump pledged to save public money by working diligently in Washington and skipping out on expensive travel.
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Participatory Democracy vs. Liberalism

Participatory Democracy vs. Liberalism feature image
March 22, 2017
What we need is a form of political leadership that frees democracy from liberalism through supporting citizens in asserting their popular sovereignty over the conditions of material daily life by getting organised as workers, as hospital users, as teachers, as students, as parents – and as citizens capable of mutual self-government.
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What Would Woody Do?

What Would Woody Do? feature image
March 22, 2017
Woody Guthrie reminds progressive citizens of a radical tradition upon which they might draw in the contemporary fight for social justice.
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Pages

Portside Culture

How Smart Women Got the Chance: The Ivies' Late Admission of Women

Linda Greenhouse
New York Review of Books
The integration of women students into the elite all-male Ivy League student bodies was a relatively recent (largely late1960s) phenomenon, the product less of a broader consciousness among university trustees and more due to the fact that these universities were losing a share of high-achieving college men to other elite schools that were already co-educational.

Derek Walcott: Poet of Twilight, Poet of the Caribbean

Gabrielle Bellot
Literary Hub
Derek Walcott, one of the finest poets of our times, died March 17 in St. Lucia, where he was born. He was 87 years old. His poetry helped illuminate the interconnections between the natural and the social worlds. Gabrielle Bellot, a staff writer for Literary Hub who grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica, offers this appreciation.

Get Out: A Real American Horror Story

J. Hoberman
New York Review of Books
Get Out opens with a familiar horror-movie trope. Someone walking alone down a dark street stalked by a mysterious force. That the setting is an idyllic suburb, the someone is a young, increasingly panicked black man, and the predator is driving a white car gives the scenario an unmistakable reality. The scene grows disturbing. You may flash on Trayvon Martin. That the black youth is not shot but rather abducted is a dreamlike condensation of the movie to come.

Chefs Struggle Over Whether to Serve Up Politics

Kim Severson
The New York Times
As immigration dominates restaurant discussions, many chefs who have never considered mixing politics with business are wondering if now is the time to start. The sanctuary restaurant movement involves taking a pledge to prohibit harassment based on factors like religion, sexual orientation or immigration status.

Sesame Street Isn’t Just for Affluent Kids

Gene B. Sperling and Danielle Lazarowitz
The Atlantic
Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate funding for public broadcasting, which has a proven record of helping kids in poor families.

American Eagle

Sam Friedman
Portside
What's the future of our environment? A poisonous wasteland, says Sam Friedman, offering a bleak view of what's imminent.

Union Power: The United Electrical Workers in Erie, Pennsylvania

Frank Emspak and Paul Buhle
Portside
One consequence of the rough times unions are facing today is a loss of institutional memory and history. This new book seeks to preserve that memory, and the how-to-be-a-militant-union knowledge that goes with it, by focusing on how one United Electrical Workers local union was built, and how it fared during the McCarthy years and afterwards.

Portside Labor

“There is no negotiation whatsoever”: Union leader Douglas Izzo talks about labor rights in post-coup Brazil

Brian Mier
Council on Hemispheric Affairs
No candidate has ever run for the presidency promising to raise the retirement age, end formal employment protection and greatly expand outsourcing. Nobody would ever get elected saying these things. The only way to remove the labor rights that we fought for over the last 100 years was through a coup such as the one in Brazil that forced Dilma Rousseff out of office. Workers have responded by strikes, demonstrations and massive rallies.

Will the Gig Economy Make the Office Obsolete?

Diane Mulcahy
Harvard Business Review
Study after study after study demonstrate that independent, remote workers are more productive, satisfied, and engaged than their office-bound colleagues. Recent surveys find that workers, freed from the constraints of office life, report higher levels of satisfaction and greater productivity. These results aren’t surprising since remote work eliminates the wasted time of commuting and the stress of constant exposure to office politics, interruptions and meetings.

What Does a Moral Economy Look Like for the 99%?

Jonathan Rosenblum
Religion Dispatches
In his first book, Seattle-based union organizer Jonathan Rosenblum recounts the personal stories of clergy, activists and airport workers who mounted the first successful campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the U.S. Here is an interview with Rosenblum.

How Democrats Lost Union Workers

Chuck Jones
Huffington Post
A map of Indiana can show you what went wrong for the Democratic Party and what’s going wrong for the country.

Will Trump's Plan to Roll Back Fuel Economy Regulations Help American Autoworkers?

Frank Hammer, Andrew Linhardt, Kim Brown
The Real News Network
Well, I think that the auto companies typically complain every time they're required to make either their cars safer, or in this case safer for the environment, by having better fuel efficiencies, and they will complain bitterly how expensive if it is. But we have to realize that General Motors, has been making billions of dollars a year, and that's with the introduction of the electric car, with higher efficiencies mandated by the Obama administration.

Still Getting 'It' Wrong

William Spriggs
AFL-CIO Now
Thoughts that huge tax cuts to high-income households will offset a downturn in automobile sales, cuts in public spending, rising college tuition or a dismantling of the health sector are irrational. If theFed raises interests rates, it will threaten a more fragile economy than appears at the moment. The drive to be “normal” in a world that is clearly not normal, may put us in danger of a downturn that will be difficult to recover from.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on March 22, 2017

In December 1950, Woody Guthrie moved to an apartment building in Brooklyn – Beach Haven Apartments. His landlord: Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump.

Posted by Portside on March 17, 2017

Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny used St Patrick's Day to illustrate his thoughts on immigration while visiting US President Donald Trump in the White House. 

Posted by Portside on March 17, 2017

Are you brave enough to tell jokes? Tickling Giants is the story of Bassem Youssef, who created a comedy show that celebrated freedom and won an audience of tens of millions in Hosni Mubarak's Egypt. For show times and other information, click here.

Posted by Portside on March 17, 2017

The Republican health care bill could leave many Americans without affordable coverage. Last Week Tonight's catheter cowboy returns to morning cable news to explain that to Donald Trump.

Posted by Portside on March 17, 2017

 

Stephen discusses Trump's border wall plans and costs with an architect, an engineer, an interior designer and a concrete guy.

Posted by Portside on March 17, 2017

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump's latest travel ban block, the debunking of his wiretapping claims and his drastic new budget plan.

Posted by Portside on March 10, 2017

After Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson refers to African slaves as "immigrants," Trevor gives him a lesson in semantics.