What I’m Reading: Interview with Eric Foner

 Interview with Eric Foner feature image
August 6, 2017
Ernest Renan, the 19th century French historian, said “the historian is the enemy of the nation.” I often ask students, what does he mean by that? What he’s saying is nations are built on myths, historical myths, and then the historian comes along and if he’s doing his job, shatters those myths, and often that makes the historian very unpopular. People like their myths but “myth” is not a good way of understanding how the society developed to where it is today.
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How Do I Safely View A Solar Eclipse?

How Do I Safely View A Solar Eclipse? feature image
August 6, 2017
On August 21, 2017, people across North America will be able to view either a total or partial solar eclipse. The last time most people in the U.S. were able to observe a total solar eclipse was 1991 and the next time won’t be until 2024! Here’s a guide to get you ready for the big event.
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Quaint Business Masks Labor Abuses

Quaint Business Masks Labor Abuses feature image
August 6, 2017
The signature dish at its restaurants is the famed Maryland-style crab cake, and its dining rooms feature models of antique fishing boats and romanticized images of the bay watermen culture that is fading fast. But organizers say it’s mostly fake—a cover story for a rapacious, globalized business that preys on poor Indonesian women to extract rich profits for its U.S. owners.
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School Segregation Didn’t Go Away. It Evolved

School Segregation Didn’t Go Away. It Evolved feature image
August 6, 2017
The organizers never made overt racial arguments, but they were reacting to a system set up by a 1971 desegregation order to create more racial balance.
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Hezbollah Takes Journalists on Lebanon Tour

Hezbollah Takes Journalists on Lebanon Tour feature image
August 6, 2017
“The current American president is ignorant of the region,” said Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Afif, speaking to reporters in a cave until recently occupied by Nusra. “We are the force that fights terrorism while the United States continues to support terrorism in many forms.”
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Military Dumps Waste on Tiny Black Community

Military Dumps Waste on Tiny Black Community feature image
August 5, 2017
When a stockpile of aging explosives blew up at a former Army ammunition plant in Minden, Louisiana, the U.S. military had a public relations disaster on their hands. What were they going to do with the remaining 18 million pounds of old explosives? They shipped it to a plant in Colfax, a tiny, African-American corner of Louisiana, the only commercial facility in the nation allowed to burn explosives and munitions waste with no environmental emissions controls.
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GE’s Switch

GE’s Switch feature image
August 5, 2017
Jeff Immelt’s resignation as CEO of General Electric shows that we cannot think of industry as finance’s opponent.
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A Vatican Shot Across the Bow for Hard-Line

A Vatican Shot Across the Bow for Hard-Line  feature image
August 5, 2017
The article warns that conservative American Catholics have strayed dangerously into the deepening political polarization in the United States. The writers even declare that the worldview of American evangelical and hard-line Catholics, which is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, is “not too far apart’’ from jihadists.
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A manual for a new era of direct action

A manual for a new era of direct action feature image
August 5, 2017
What follows is a different manual from the one we put out over 50 years ago. Then, movements operated in a robust empire that was used to winning its wars. The government was fairly stable and held great legitimacy in the eyes of the majority.
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Neil Gaiman: ‘There’s no point wearing a cowb

 ‘There’s no point wearing a cowb feature image
August 5, 2017
The author, 56, talks about writers’ humility, bygone bestsellers, memory loss, heroes and being exactly famous enough
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Pages

Portside Culture

Review: In ‘Crown Heights,’ Justice Delayed and Denied

A. O. Scott
New York Times
Like countless other black men, Colin Warner was ensnared in a system that was rigged against him in every way. The police, the prosecutors, the prison guards and some of his own lawyers cut corners, rush to judgment and ignored the clear evidence of his innocence... He spent 20 years in prison.

Was It Something I Hate? the Science of Food Preferences

Nadia Berenstein
Cook's Science
In his new book, Einstein’s Beets: An Examination of Food Phobias, the distinguished writer and scholar, Alexander Theroux, discusses some of the current scientific and psychological research into food preferences and aversions

Class & Inequality: The Book that Explains Charlottesville

Marshall Steinbaum
Boston Review
The University of Virginia has long been a bastion of white supremacy and its validating scholarship. The book’s author identifies how such antidemocratic sentiment has long gestated in academia generally, encapsulated in neoclassical economics and its validation of alleged rational economic behaviors -- theories that originated in opposition to the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement and predominate in today's conservative and far-right movements today.

A Test of American Traditions

Darryl Holter
Los Angeles Review of Books
This little book has become an unlikely political best-seller in these unlikely political times.

Portside Labor

Teachers Union Caucuses Gather to Swap Strategies

Gillian Russom and Samantha Winslow
Labor Notes
With teachers facing similar attacks in school districts across the country, it makes sense to share strategies for fighting back. That’s the goal of the United Caucuses of Rank-and-File Educators (UCORE), a growing network of locals and caucuses within the teachers unions.

Workers May Have Just Killed Missouri’s Right to Work Law

Jeff Schuhrke
Working In These Times
Though the law is set to take effect on August 28, the pro-union We Are Missouri coalition, led by the Missouri AFL-CIO, says it has collected enough signatures from voters to call for a state-wide referendum in November 2018 that could nullify the legislation.

Racism in Charlottesville: CBTU Statement on Unite the Right Rally

Rev. Terry Melvin
CBTU
Trump has been apt to condemn and mock anyone he finds offensive. He has no problem commenting on women bleeding, but has no comment when someone is bleeding from being hit by a car. His lack of commentary is indicative of his relationship to the white racists. While I do not believe all those who support this president are racist, I do believe all racists support this president. His lack of actions and words have reinforced this fact.

The Racist Origins of Right to Work

Michael Pierce
Labor Notes
As alt-right and white supremacist movements grow it is important to revisit history and see the ways in which most hate movements are intertwined.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on August 16, 2017

VICE News Tonight correspondent Elle Reeve goes behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach — as well as counter-protesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police. Up close and personal access from the neo-Nazi protests at Emancipation Park to Cantwell’s hideaway outside of Virginia.

Posted by Portside on August 16, 2017

By refusing to take a side on the violence in Charlottesville, Trump has taken a side.

Posted by Portside on August 16, 2017

President Donald Trump is defending efforts to preserve confederate statues like the one of General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville. Lawrence O'Donnell looks back at the legacy of the man who was indicted for treason and led the Confederate Army.

Posted by Portside on August 16, 2017

CNN's Jim Acosta on Tuesday reports on Donald Trump’s “strange, surreal stunning and baffling” press conference, explaining the world witnessed “a presidency go off the rails.”

Posted by Portside on August 16, 2017

 

 

Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that his community has rallied in solidarity against the hateful white supremacist and neo-Nazi elements that turned the city until a battle zone on Saturday and killed an anti-racist counter-protester. 

Posted by Portside on July 28, 2017

Based on the true story if the Algiers Motel incident, starring John Krasinski, John Boyega, and Anthony Mackie. In theaters Aug 4.

 

Posted by Portside on July 28, 2017

A collaboration with Jorge Cham (PhD comics) and Daniel Whiteson gives a mind-bending answer to a deceptively simple question.