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Tidbits - Jan. 16, 2020 - Reader Comments: Return of Fascism; Wealth Tax; CNN and Democratic Debate; Imminent Danger and Soleimani Murder; Biden, Buttigieg; Boeing; Australia; Spain; Pesticide Use; Chesa Boudin; Missouri Books Ban, Jail Librarians

Reader Comments: Return of Fascism; 2/3 Support Wealth Tax; CNN and Democratic Debate; Imminent Danger(?) - Soleimani Murder; Biden and Buttigieg; Boeing; Australia; Spain; Pesticide Use; Chesa Boudin; Missouri Seeks to Burn Books, Jail Librarians;

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, Shorts, AND cartoons - Jan. 16, 2020, Portside

Re: A Historian Reflects on the Return of Fascism (Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)
Re: See? Not Radical': New Poll Shows Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Support a Wealth Tax to Fund Universal Programs (Gene Glickman; Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon)
Guilty as charged  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
Re: 'CNN Is Truly a Terrible Influence on This Country': Democratic Debate Moderators Pilloried for Centrist Talking Points and Anti-Sanders Bias (Matthew Weinstein; Michael Tesh‎)
Re: NYC Bar Association Asks Congress to Investigate Attorney General Barr  --  Darrin Bell  --  cartoon (Neil Alan Bufler)
Aesop's Fable  --  cartoon by Clay Bennett
Re: Trump Turns to McCarthyite Attacks as His Soleimani Story Crumbles (Laurel MacDowell; Elaine Beaulieu)
Re: There Is Zero Actual Evidence Iran Is Responsible for Killing Hundreds of Americans (Roberto Colon Ocasio)
Re: Biden and Buttigieg Exemplify How Corporatism and ‘the Madness of Militarism’ Go Together (Marlena Santoyo)
Re: ‘I Honestly Don’t Trust Many People at Boeing’: A Broken Culture Exposed (Jim Price)
Koalas in firestorms  --  cartoon by Bruce Plante
Re: Australia: “Magpies are Mimicking Emergency Vehicles, They’ve Heard So Many” (Bob Fearn)
Re: Spain Just Formed Its First Left Coalition Government in More Than 80 Years (Daniel Millstone)
Re: The Seven Square Inches Making Us Lots More Unequal (Lillian Gorman; Alberta Maged)
Re: Linda Silas Announces Bid to Lead Canadian Labour Congress (Joy Ann Grune)
Re: In the Absence of Strong U.S. Government Regulation, Communities Need to Take a Holistic Approach to Pesticide Use (Amy Hart)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivers personal message to SF’s new DA, Chesa Boudin (Evan Sernoffsky - San Francisco Chronicle)
New Proposed Legislation in Missouri To Censor Public Library Materials (Kelly Jensen - BookRiot)

Resources:

New Book - All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It by Daniel Denvir (Verso Books)

Announcements:

Protest the Auction of Philadelphia Refinery - Philadelphia and New York City - January 17
Book Talk: Andrew Feffer- Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism New York - February 12

 

Re: A Historian Reflects on the Return of Fascism
 

In the last decade or so, enormous headway has been made by movements and parties following the old fascist playbook, with rightwing demagogues trumpeting its key elements of virulent nationalism, racial and religious intolerance, and militarism

Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
 

 

Re: See? Not Radical': New Poll Shows Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Support a Wealth Tax to Fund Universal Programs
 

I believe that the underlying assumption of the title of this article is faulty, on a couple of levels.

1. It seems to assume that something popular must therefore not be radical. The opposite assumption would therefore be that radical ideas must necessarily be unpopular. While it may be true that NEW ideas, when they’re first conceived, are not widely accepted because people haven’t had an opportunity to think about them. But such new ideas  can, and often do, become popular, as people come to recognize their merits. That is the case, I believe, with the current “radical” wealth tax arguments.
While there was a time in this country when new ideas were viewed by many as ipso facto dangerous, this time, which we now call “McCarthyism,” is happily no longer with us. Let’s not our ourselves retreat into a no-longer-necessary siege mentality.

2. As I thought we all knew, the word  “radical” has a meaning unrelated either to popularity or to the lack of it; rather, it has to do with how deeply and fundamentally the new idea challenges the status quo — "at its root.” I would like to retain this view of the word, since I believe it’s crucial to thinking clearly about the nature of social change.

Gene Glickman

     =====

Top 1% paying 15% tax after Trump gave them a generous gift of 14% tax cut. They have 99% of wealth. No justification for that except pure greed. Tax them at 70% minimum. It was what republican president Eisenhower did that increased standard of living for middle class.

Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Guilty as charged  --  cartoon by Mike Luckovich
 

Mike Luckovich
January 16, 2020
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Re: 'CNN Is Truly a Terrible Influence on This Country': Democratic Debate Moderators Pilloried for Centrist Talking Points and Anti-Sanders Bias
 

Exactly why we DON'T watch CNN. As I watched the debate I became angrier and angrier at the bias and driveling inanity of the questions... their maddening prejudice, nastiness and juvenile tone. Then there was the obvious attempt to stir up a manufactured controversy between Sanders and Warren trying to take an obviously minor disagreement and blow it up into something big. Real journalistic trash!

Matthew Weinstein
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

At least I’m not the only one who was unhappy with the CNN moderators

Michael Tesh‎
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: NYC Bar Association Asks Congress to Investigate Attorney General Barr
 

Darrin Bell
July 17, 2019
Darrin Bell Editorial Cartoons

[Against the opinion of the #DOJ’s #CivilRights division, #AttorneyGeneral #WilliamBarr personally decides not to charge #NYPD officer #DanielPantaleo for his 2014 killing of #EricGarner. Pantaleo had put Garner in a choke hold to arrest him for the crime of selling single cigarettes from a pack. He wouldn’t ease up even though Garner repeatedly gasped “I can’t breathe.”]

Neil Alan Bufler
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Aesop's Fable  --  cartoon by Clay Bennett
 

Clay Bennett
January 14, 2020
Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee)

 

Re: Trump Turns to McCarthyite Attacks as His Soleimani Story Crumbles
 

President Trump has also not responded to the Iranian attack on a flight in which 56 Canadians were killed. All across Canada people are  mourning this tragedy which would not have happened if Trump had not acted on his own to detract attention from impeachment.

Laurel MacDowell

     =====

He said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and no one would care. Well I guess people do care.

Elaine Beaulieu
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: There Is Zero Actual Evidence Iran Is Responsible for Killing Hundreds of Americans
 

The US has no legitimate business in the Middle East. Get our soldiers out!!!

Roberto Colon Ocasio
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Biden and Buttigieg Exemplify How Corporatism and ‘the Madness of Militarism’ Go Together
 

Sanders supporters have emphasized the differences between their candidate and Elizabeth Warren. Sanders champions a Medicare for All bill that would effectively eliminate private insurance, while Warren has proposed a more gradual transition to single-payer. Sanders has long been an outspoken critic of US imperialism, opposed to interventions in Latin American and the Middle East, while Warren has hewed closer to the Democratic Party mainstream, especially on Israel/Palestine. Sanders’s base is younger, more diverse, and more working-class; Warren’s skews more highly educated and higher income. And while Warren pledges to tackle corporate greed, socialists, as Matt Karp wrote in Jacobin, doubt that crafting better rules for the existing system can really be called “big structural change.”

Marlena Santoyo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: ‘I Honestly Don’t Trust Many People at Boeing’: A Broken Culture Exposed
 

It's like Wells Fargo and Volkswagen with death thrown in.

Jim Price
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Koalas in firestorms  --  cartoon by Bruce Plante
 

Bruce Plante
January 8, 2020
Tulsa World

 

Re: Australia: “Magpies are Mimicking Emergency Vehicles, They’ve Heard So Many”
 

Hummm, an Aussi going on about the devastating fires 'down under'. Australia has been the world's biggest coal exported for decades. The Aussi governments and many Aussi citizens have supported those exports. They have both put money before the environment when the facts were completely obvious, unless you were watching Fox News. We know that money is #1 in crapitalistic societies however that is not going to end well. Until a majority of Aussies start dealing with the truth and elect a government who also wants to deal with the truth the carnage will continue.

Bob Fearn

 

Re: Spain Just Formed Its First Left Coalition Government in More Than 80 Years
 

Can the left govern Spain? Of course we don't know yet. Here Sebastiaan Faber and Bécquer Seguín write some about the ability, at long last, of the Socialist Party, Podemos and two regional parties to hammer out what will (if it works) a very good agenda for Spain. Recent history of left parties in power has not been very encouraging as they have often fell under the spell of austerity hawks. Is the threat of right-wing coup just talk?

Daniel Millstone
Posting on Facebook

 

Re: The Seven Square Inches Making Us Lots More Unequal
 

Interesting article.  However, another source of income for the credit card industry is the float on cards issued by companies such as Starbucks with which you deposit dollars into an account against which then cover your purchases. 

Lillian Gorman

     =====

Almost Speechless ... a lot of hidden money

Alberta Maged
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Linda Silas Announces Bid to Lead Canadian Labour Congress

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

I found far more working class consciousness in Canada than in US. Also leaders of nurses tend to be dynamite. & CLC had woman pres. 20+ years ago when I attended their convention in Vancouver.

Joy Ann Grune

 

Re: In the Absence of Strong U.S. Government Regulation, Communities Need to Take a Holistic Approach to Pesticide Use
 

Thanks for your article on the dangers of pesticides, particularly Roundup. I think you may appreciate our film, SECRET INGREDIENTS. Please check it out on iTunes.

Thanks for all you do to inform the world about toxic pesticides and other environmental issues. 

Amy Hart, Filmmaker 

 

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivers personal message to SF’s new DA, Chesa Boudin
 

By Evan Sernoffsky
January 8, 2020
San Francisco Chronicle
 


U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is shown in this Aug. 2019 photo. On Wednesday, she sent a special video message to Chesa Boudin as he was sworn in as San Francisco’s district attorney.
Photo: Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press  //  San Francisco Chronicle

Before Chesa Boudin was sworn in by Mayor London Breed as San Francisco’s new district attorney on Wednesday evening, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered a special message.

The surprise video from the justice was played on the large screen inside the Herbst Theater, prompting gasps from the audience of hundreds of eager supporters and city officials who gathered to observed the event.

The following is a transcript of Sotomayor’s message to Boudin:

Chesa, my court sessions resume next week so I am unable to join your inauguration ceremony. I sent you this message to tell you how much I admire you, and to wish you well in your new endeavors.

A little over ten years ago, I was visiting the public housing project where I grew up in the Bronx. A film crew was following me around. As I left the building in which I had lived, I stood next to a young child, about 10 years old, whose mother was looking down from one of the apartments above us.

The child asked me why all the people surrounding us were making such a fuss about me. And I paused to think and finally said, “I grew up in this building where you live now and there are many people who think that kids like us can never become something important in life. They think because we may be poor in money, we are poor in spirit too. You’re not and I’m not that way. We can make something of ourselves. And my becoming the first Latina justice of the United States Supreme Court is proof that people like us have a chance in life.

Well Chesa, you too are an example that gives hope to so many. It is uncommon for a former public defender to become a district attorney of a major city like San Francisco. Especially a district attorney who spent his childhood visiting parents incarcerated for committing serious felonies.

As you described it to me, the difficulties you faced as a child, including that you did not read until age nine, are common among children of prisoners. You have lived the stigma of anger, shame and guilt that so many such children in the criminal justice system experience. By your own admission, you were fortunate that friends of your parents had the means to help you get back on track. But your parents’ friends could not supply you with the strength of character and moral composure that ultimately led you to graduate from Yale college with high honors, become a Rhodes scholar, clerk for two respected federal judges, be awarded a Liman fellowship and publish scholarly and important social justice pieces.

Your personal strength and commitment to reforming and improving the criminal justice system is a testament to the person you are and the role model you will continue to be for so many.

Chesa, you have undertaken a remarkable challenge today. I hope you reflect as a great beacon to many, and the road to accomplishing what you have set out to do will be daunting. Nevertheless, the city of San Francisco will be so very well served by a man whose life creed is believing, as you told me ‘We are all safer when we uplift victims, hold everyone accountable for their actions, and do so with empathy and compassion.

I wish you much success in all you will do.

 

New Proposed Legislation in Missouri To Censor Public Library Materials
 

By Kelly Jensen
January 15, 2020
BookRiot

Can a small group of people change an entire public library? If HB 2044 were to pass in Missouri, this could be a new reality, wherein censors will have the power to defund libraries based on their personal beliefs regarding materials in public library collections for minors.

Representative Ben Baker, R-Neosho, has introduced new legislation to the Missouri House of Representatives that could change the way libraries select materials for their communities and receive necessary funding for their operation.

The current bill notes in detail how libraries receive state funding. It’s based on a number of factors including size of the community, and it indicates where and how the libraries shall work with the State Librarian for further funding via grants. What Baker proposes in HB 2044, though, would alter the eligibility rules for state funding. Public libraries in the state of Missouri seeking funds from the state would be required to follow to a new set of rules about juvenile material access.

What’s particularly concerning, though, is what follows in the bill:

“Each public library shall establish a parental library review board as provided 18 in this subsection.

(1) At least thirty calendar days before the election of a board under this subsection, the governing body of the public library shall notify all qualified voters residing within the library’s geographical area that an election for members of the library’s parental library review board will be held at a regularly convened hearing of the village, town, city, or county in which the majority of the library’s geographical area lies. At such hearing, the qualified voters present shall elect the members of the board by a majority vote. The five individuals receiving the highest number of votes cast by the qualified voters present shall be members of the board.

(2) The board shall be composed of five adult residents of the public library’s geographical area. Each board member shall serve a term of two years. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which the member was initially elected, except that if a member vacates the office before the end of the member’s term, the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term only. No member of the board shall receive any compensation for any actions related to fulfilling board duties. No member of the board shall be an employee of the library, the state, or any political subdivision thereof.

(3) (a) The board shall determine whether any sexual material provided to the public by the public library is age-inappropriate sexual material. To make such determinations, the board shall convene public hearings at which members of the community may present concerns to the board. After receiving comments from the public, the board shall examine individual instances of the questioned sexual material to determine whether it is age-inappropriate sexual material under this section.

(b) The board may order any material deemed to be age-inappropriate sexual material to be removed from public access by minors at the public library.

(c) Any such determination or order made by the board shall be the final determination or order on such materials, and shall not be subject to any review by the governing body of the public library, the state, or any political subdivision thereof. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit judicial review of any determination or order made by the board under this section.”

In other words, members of the review committee for youth materials will be selected not based on merit, but rather, on ability to show up to a meeting and garner majority support. As has been seen time and time again with censorship cases throughout the U.S., it’s the work of people like Safe Libraries and the Florida Citizens Alliance who rally behind one another to seek removal of materials they deem “inappropriate.” In the case of Missouri’s bill, libraries would need to inform voters about the upcoming meeting and only those in attendance can vote on those who’d make decisions about library materials. This leaves plenty of space for small groups of vocal opponents to freedom of information to make critical decisions about library materials, which will directly impact funding of those libraries.

Read more about Missouri's proposed 21st Century Book Banning and Burning here.

 

New Book - All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It by Daniel Denvir
 

A major recasting of American history from the vantage of immigration politics

It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his first acts on taking office was to issue an executive order blocking Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. But although his actions may often seem unprecedented, they are not as unusual as many people believe. This story doesn’t begin with Trump. For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have employed xenophobic ideas and policies, declaring time and again that “illegal immigration” is a threat to the nation’s security, wellbeing, and future.

The profound forces of all-American nativism have, in fact, been pushing politics so far to the right over the last forty years that, for many people, Trump began to look reasonable. As Daniel Denvir argues, issues as diverse as austerity economics, free trade, mass incarceration, the drug war, the contours of the post 9/11 security state, and, yes, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right movement are united by the ideology of nativism, which binds together assorted anxieties and concerns into a ruthless political project. 

All-American Nativism provides a powerful and impressively researched account of the long but often forgotten history that gave us Donald Trump.

Paperback with free ebook: $17.4630% off - Click here

Verso Books

Verso Books is the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world, publishing one hundred books a year.

 

Protest the Auction of Philadelphia Refinery - Philadelphia and New York City - January 17
 

On January 17th, the largest oil refinery on the East Coast will be put to auction. After massive explosions shut the refinery down last summer, companies have been lining up to bring the pollution back to Philly.

For those who didn't hear about tomorrow's action and you may want to attend or are curious about it, here's what it's about:

Tomorrow morning a bus from S. Philly's Philly Thrive is coming to NYC and has invited allies in NYC to join them.  The group from Philly is called Philly Thrive and they live in the most polluted part of Philly.  In June the oldest and largest oil refinery in the NE exploded and, the company that owns the property wants to auction it off.  Tomorrow is the day of the auction and it's happening in Manhattan at the offices of the lawyers of PES  (the owners).  Philly Thrive wants to make sure that the prospective buyers will understand that they will face a lot of opposition if they buy it and plan to reopen the property in a way that continues to pollute S. Philly and they have asked NYC allies to help them show that they are not alone.

We will have a *warm* location to gather together at 10am to get grounded for action & present the action plan. We will meet at St Bart's Church at 325 Park Ave at 10am, making the 5-minute walk over to 601 Lexington Ave around 10:30am to formally begin the protest.

If your organization has someone that would be a strong speaker during the rally portion of tomorrow's action, we would welcome that! Please respond with the person's name, phone number, & identities they have (so we can make sure the program is fore-fronting folks most impacted by EJ). Topics we are excited for folks to speak on include: why you joined the action, why it's important to unite across state lines for EJ/CJ, how the refinery relates to fights you're organizing around, etc. 

Philly Thrive 

phillythrive@gmail.com
215-987-5972

 

Book Talk: Andrew Feffer- Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism New York - February 12
 

Andrew Feffer will discuss his book Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism (Fordham University Press) on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 4:30 PM. Drawing on the vast archive of Rapp-Coudert records, Bad Faith provides the first full history of this witch-hunt, which lasted from August 1940 to March 1942. Anticipating McCarthyism and making it possible, the episode would have repercussions for decades to come. This event is sponsored by the Frederic Ewen Center and the New York Labor History Association.
 
Andrew Feffer is the author of Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019), on anticommunism in the New York City municipal colleges and public schools before WWII; The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993); and articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American intellectual, cultural and urban history. His work has appeared in Journal of the History of IdeasJournal of Urban History and other publications.

Praise for Bad Faith: Teachers, Liberalism, and the Origins of McCarthyism

Ground-breaking and insightful. Bad Faith makes important contributions to our knowledge of mid-twentieth century America, in particular its history of political repression, the union movement among teachers, and the roots of McCarthyism in the anti-communist liberalism of 1930 and 40s. A prodigious work of scholarship.- Marjorie Heins, Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge
 

Wednesday February 12, 2020 at 4:30 PM

Tamiment/NYU Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
Room 251
New York, NY 10012

 ​
RSVP: tamiment.events@nyu.edu

NYU Special Collections – Fales Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives, and University Archives – is undergoing a major renovation. All repositories will be closed to researchers from May 21, 2020 – September 7, 2020. For more information, please visit: https://wp.nyu.edu/library-renovation or email special.collections@nyu.edu.   As there may be an impact on services and collections during our opening times, we request all patrons to make appointments to use materials.

*** As a part of these renovations, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Archives will additionally be closed from January 4th-January 22, 2021