From Portside <[email protected]>
Subject Tidbits - Sept. 5, 2019 - Reader Comments: Case for Impeachment; Climate Strike; Tax Scam; State of Labor Unions; Sara Nelson; Ilhan Omar; Bernie Sanders; Amazon Fires; German Greens; Puerto Rico; Cuba Tourism; Protest Songs; Resources, Announcements
Date September 6, 2019 12:00 AM
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[ Reader Comments: Case for Impeachment; Climate Strike; Tax Scam;
State of Labor Unions; Sara Nelson; Ilhan Omar; Bernie Sanders; Amazon
Fires; German Greens; Puerto Rico; Cuba Tourism; Protest Songs;
Resources, Announcements; more...] [[link removed]]

TIDBITS - SEPT. 5, 2019 - READER COMMENTS: CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT;
CLIMATE STRIKE; TAX SCAM; STATE OF LABOR UNIONS; SARA NELSON; ILHAN
OMAR; BERNIE SANDERS; AMAZON FIRES; GERMAN GREENS; PUERTO RICO; CUBA
TOURISM; PROTEST SONGS; RESOURCES, ANNOUNCEMENTS  
[[link removed]]


 

September 5, 2019
xxxxxx

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_ Reader Comments: Case for Impeachment; Climate Strike; Tax Scam;
State of Labor Unions; Sara Nelson; Ilhan Omar; Bernie Sanders; Amazon
Fires; German Greens; Puerto Rico; Cuba Tourism; Protest Songs;
Resources, Announcements; more... _

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons -
Sept. 5, 2019, xxxxxx

 

Re: In One Week, Trump Makes the Case for Impeachment (Daniel
Millstone; Meredith Tax; Angel Mejias Jr.)
Cone Of Uncertainty  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Yup, Trump Did Scam Us (Maurice G Beaudoin; Karen Richardson;
Dominick Cross; Blain Normand)
Re: Three Things You Should Know about Trump’s Racially-Motivated
Immigration Wealth Test (Philip Specht)
Re: Americans’ Approval of Labor Unions Reaches 16-Year High (The
Laura Flanders Show)
Re: Sara Nelson, The New Face of Labor Unions (Xenia Fanduiz; UMass
Lowell Labor Education Program)
Re: Beyond Labor Day: 3 Ways Unions Have Helped American Workers
(International Labor Communications Association
Re: "Democratic Socialists Look To Take Over New York's Powerful Labor
Unions (Joel Schwartz)
Re: Why Doctors Should Organize (Susan Rosenthal)
Re: Bernie Wants to Seize the Means of Electricity Production (Tom
Trumper; Brad Smith; Bruce Wilson)
Re: When Is Accused of Anti-Semitism, It’s News. When a Republican
Smears Muslims, There’s Silence. (Stanley Haynes; Hayyim Feldman;
Judyth Hollub)
Bolsonaro Fiddles  --  cartoon by Robert Ariail
Re: A Top Financier of Trump and McConnell Is a Driving Force Behind
Amazon Deforestation; The Amazon Fires Are More Dangerous Than WMDs
(Ed Delgado; Bill Rabinovitch; Al Cholger)
Re: Fossil DNA Reveals New Twists in Modern Human Origins (Al Jackson)
Re: `Anti-Alien Hysteria:' Journalist Elizabeth Glendower Evans and
the Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti (Leon Sverdlov)
Re: Germany’s Future Is Being Decided on the Left, Not the Far Right
(Stan Nadel)
Are German Greens On The Left? -response to Germany's Future Is Being
Decided on the Left, Not the Far Right (Victor Grossman)
Re: A Man of Many Words (Thomas E. Kleven)
Re: Puerto Rico: The Shift from Mass Protests to People's Assemblies
(Paul Lutton)
Despite the Blockade, Three Million Tourists Have Visited Cuba
(Granma)

RESOURCES:

State of The Unions 2019 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)
The Great Recession Ten Years On (William J. Barclay - Chicago
Political Economy Group)
New Resource - Did You Eat Yet? (18 Million Rising)
David Byrne Curates a Playlist of Great Protest Songs Written Over the
Past 60 Years: Stream Them Online (Ted Mills - Open Culture)

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

"The Years of Fierro" is premiering in California! - Watsonville,
Fresno, Stockton, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles - September 5
- 9 (Death Penalty Focus)
New Mexico RISING - 2nd NM Climate Disruption Film Festival -
Albuquerque - September 6 - 7
Jazz and Self Determination - New York - September 7 (The People's
Forum)
Change is Coming - Global Climate Strike - September 20 (Peoples
Climate Movement NY)
From the Philippines to NYC: We Walk Out for Climate (Nella
Pineda-Marcon - 350.org)
Workers Support Global Climate Strike - video from Labor Network for
Sustainability

 

RE: IN ONE WEEK, TRUMP MAKES THE CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT
 

Because impeachment is a political issue and because, as I read the
politics of it, no impeachment effort will bear fruit, the useful
Dahlia Lithwick essay here is more about really appalling trump
practices than about removing him from office. The misbegotten GOP is
thoroughly tied to Trump's racism, anti-worker, anti-environmental,
anti-people program. So imo, only a significant trump rejection at the
polls will help begin the process of realignment. Thanks to xxxxxx
for the link
[[link removed]].

Daniel Millstone
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

"Donald Trump every day does one or two or seven things far more
dangerous and destabilizing than anything we once considered an
impeachable offense. He has invited hostile powers to usurp elections.
He has undermined congressional will and threatened witnesses against
him. He attacks and undermines the courts and the free press and
violates basic principles of separation of powers, all of which
violate his own oath of office. He attempts daily to enrich himself
with foreign money, and he has overseen the systematic abuse and
degradation of immigrants and asylum-seekers. He is also, by any
historical measure, committing multiple impeachable offenses,
endangering national security, and harming vulnerable communities.
There is a constitutional remedy for that. We should avail ourselves
of it."

Meredith Tax
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Still no idea why out of this 60 % of voters around the country, there
is not a million marcher in each city demanding impeachment?
Incomprehensible to me. Shall we wait for a needless war to be started
by this maniac to see the light. Is there a Defense Department willing
to follow in an order from this crack nut? So sad to see a country
going to waste for lack of bravery and common sense. I fear the near
future.

Angel Mejias Jr.
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

CONE OF UNCERTAINTY  --  CARTOON BY ROB ROGERS
 

Rob Rogers
September 4, 2019
robrogers.com [[link removed]]

 

RE: YUP, TRUMP DID SCAM US
 

(posting on xxxxxx Labor
[[link removed]])
 

The scam is bigger than the tax fiasco.

Maurice G Beaudoin
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

And are any Republicans READING THIS????

Karen Richardson
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

No, not us. 'Us' in the collateral damage sense, perhaps. But a lot
more of 'us' did not and never would vote for him. He scammed his
supporters. Period.

Dominick Cross
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Peoples ignorance and racism made them WANT to believe the Orange
Turd.

Blain Normand
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: PUBLIC CHARGE: THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRUMP’S
RACIALLY-MOTIVATED IMMIGRATION WEALTH TEST
 

Bring me your wealthy, your brilliant, your athletic but not those
poor, those hungry, and those needy. That's not Saint Peter at the
immigration gate, it's Donald Trump.

Philip Specht
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: AMERICANS’ APPROVAL OF LABOR UNIONS REACHES 16-YEAR HIGH
 

"Americans now have a more positive view of unions than they generally
did in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, though unions still fall
short of the marks they hit in the 1950s." 
- xxxxxx
[[link removed]]

Watch this week's special report on labor
[[link removed]]

The Laura Flanders Show [[link removed]]
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: SARA NELSON, THE NEW FACE OF LABOR UNIONS

(posting on xxxxxx Labor
[[link removed]])
 

She would have my vote, as president of the union.

She told Stahl, "If it is unsafe, we will refuse to work those
flights."

"Can you do that?"

"We have that right. We have that right today

Imagine, if when we had unsafe staffing, we refused to accept it.

Xenia Fanduiz
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

You can see Sara Nelson at the North Shore Labor Council's annual
dinner this October!

UMass Lowell Labor Education Program
[[link removed]]
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: BEYOND LABOR DAY: 3 WAYS UNIONS HAVE HELPED AMERICAN WORKERS

(posting on xxxxxx Labor
[[link removed]])

Heartening when this type of story appears in the mass media.

International Labor Communications Association
[[link removed]]
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: "DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS LOOK TO TAKE OVER NEW YORK'S POWERFUL LABOR
UNIONS

(posting on xxxxxx Labor
[[link removed]])

As a lifelong union activist and relatively recent member of DSA, the
headline certainly grabbed my interest, mostly because I haven't heard
anything remotely resembling any discussion around "taking over" any
union. I didn't have to go past paragraph 2 to see that this was an
article about a document circulating in DSA about how to look at our
labor strategy going forward. It was described as a "gaining entry"
strategy, which is exactly what the article and the linked paper were
about. 

There was nothing about "taking over" any union, through traditional
or non-traditional methods. It was a perfectly reasonable article, as
was the DSA paper that it was linked to. I write because the headline,
which had virtually nothing to do with the article, became an
unnecessary distraction that labor leaders reacted to, instead of the
actual content of the article, which was unfortunate. I don't think
anyone in DSA has any illusions about "taking over" anything, much
less an established union. 

It didn't help, in this case, for xxxxxx to print the article with a
very misleading headline.

Joel Schwartz

 

RE: WHY DOCTORS SHOULD ORGANIZE
 

I am a retired Canadian physician and the author of  Rebel Minds:
Class War, Mass Suffering, and the Urgent Need for Socialism (2019)

In “Why Doctors Should Organize,” Eric Topol describes
deteriorating working conditions that compromise patient care, yet he
fails to explain why physicians do not organize an effective fight for
what they and their patients need. 

The answer is that physicians are part of the managerial class. The
capitalist class are too small in numbers to dominate society
directly, so they rely on a layer of managers to enforce their rule at
work and in society at large.

Since the onset of industrial capitalism, inequality has been
identified as the primary source of human suffering. Physicians are
trained to deny this reality. In practice, they treat human suffering
as an internal defect best managed by experts at the individual
level. 

Medical training is based on a managerial point of view that treats
people who suffer as problems to be fixed, rather than as capable
problem-solvers who should have what they need to solve their
problems.

The licence to practice medicine is conditional on the physician
rationing access to social resources on the false presumptions that a)
there is not enough to go around and b) most people cannot be trusted
to make good decisions about their health or their lives. The
physician complies by providing, restricting, or denying access to
drugs, medical treatments, and social supports. Such restrictions add
to the burden of human suffering, as evidenced by the lack of access
to abortion and the growing number of preventable opioid deaths.

As Topol points out, doctors resent the factory-based methods of
raising productivity that reduce how much control they have over their
work. This lessening of control has prompted some to claim that
doctors have been pushed into the working class, a class that is
denied any decision-making power. This is mistaken.

Professionals are trained to manage human suffering, so their
decision-making power cannot be removed entirely. However,
deteriorating working conditions have prompted some medical
professionals to identify as workers, join unions (such as NUHW), and
go on strike. This challenge is countered by recruiting more
higher-paid managers to discipline the lower ranks. As Topol
observed, 

“Over the last four decades, the number of health-care
administrators in the United States has grown by thirty-two hundred
per cent, while the number of doctors only increased by a hundred and
fifty per cent.”

Topol advocates a managerial solution to the problems he raises.

"By freeing physicians from the tasks that interfere with human
connection, AI will create space for the real healing that takes place
between a doctor who can listen and a patient who needs to be
heard." 

However, he notes that “deep-learning algorithms have, at best,
narrow capabilities — and yet it seems inevitable that managers will
ignore medical realities in favor of the bottom line.”

The solution for conscientious medical professionals is to a)
recognize the political role they play under capitalist rule and b)
cross the class line in order to organize and fight as workers,
alongside other workers, to ensure that everyone gets what they
need. 

This will not happen as long as physicians seek managerial or
expert-driven solutions to the problem of human suffering under
capitalist rule.

Susan Rosenthal

 

RE: BERNIE WANTS TO SEIZE THE MEANS OF ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION
 

Most countries already do this.

Tom Trumper
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Great idea!

Brad Smith

     =====

This guy is the closest thing that comes to saving the US, and it's
still not enough.

Bruce Wilson
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: WHEN ILHAN OMAR IS ACCUSED OF ANTI-SEMITISM, IT’S NEWS. WHEN A
REPUBLICAN SMEARS MUSLIMS, THERE’S SILENCE.
 

The press has always been sensational in terms of what it will and
won't say. Islamophobia is the current "we won't talk about this." So,
alt-media has to step up and fill the void. Good article.

Stanley Haynes
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Excerpt:

Can you imagine the reaction if Ilhan Omar had said that Jews had
become the “dominant influence” within the Republican Party, or if
she had decried the “growing influence” of the Jewish religion in
the GOP? Or if she had spoken about Jews gaining “greater and
greater influence” in elections?....

Yet Brooks makes these outrageous and bigoted claims about Muslims and
Islam and …? Silence. A shameful and very deafening silence. No
headlines. No op-eds. No panels. No reporters chasing down House
Republicans and demanding a condemnation or disavowal from them.

Hayyim Feldman
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

From this article: 

"what about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Why isn’t she drafting a
congressional resolution to condemn Brooks, as she did for Omar? Where
are the statements of outrage from Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer, who
were so quick to go after one of their own? Why aren’t MSNBC and CNN
rolling on this? How come the Washington Post and the New York Times
aren’t publishing long pieces about the GOP’s Islamophobia
problem? Why aren’t the liberal columnists who lined up to slam Omar
now writing op-eds denouncing this blatant and undeniable racism from
Brooks?"

Why, indeed.

Judyth Hollub
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

BOLSONARO FIDDLES  --  CARTOON BY ROBERT ARIAIL
 

Robert Ariail
[[link removed]]
August 27, 2019

 

RE: A TOP FINANCIER OF TRUMP AND MCCONNELL IS A DRIVING FORCE BEHIND
AMAZON DEFORESTATION; THE AMAZON FIRES ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN WMDS
 

This destruction is caused by the economic policy of extraction

Ed Delgado
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

Powerful probing article - very much I didn't know how it all works...

Bill Rabinovitch
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

     =====

US money and influence is behind the Bolsonaro coup and this
environmental calamity.

Al Cholger
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: FOSSIL DNA REVEALS NEW TWISTS IN MODERN HUMAN ORIGINS
 

LET US NOT FORGET 'LUCY' WHOSE REMAINS WERE UNEARTHED IN UGAND.

3,000,000 years old.

Al Jackson, Historian/Curator and Proud of my People.

 

RE: `ANTI-ALIEN HYSTERIA:' JOURNALIST ELIZABETH GLENDOWER EVANS AND
THE TRIAL OF SACCO AND VANZETTI
 

Sacco and Vanzetti both were executed in the electric chair on August
23, 1927. A reporter in September 1927 wrote: "They laid their bodies
in a little undertaker's place in the North End of Boston where the
Italians live in great number, and for three days and late into the
night an endless file passed between the coffins and the wall, the
space so narrow that time was allowed for scarce more than a glance.
There were mounds of flowers upon the coffins and in the corners of
the room, and masses of them outside in an entrance room."

She also quoted Vanzetti's remarks to the judge who had sentenced him
to death: "If it had not been for these things, I might have live
[sic] out my life, talking at street corners to scorning men. 1 might
have die [sic], unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a
failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life
can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's
understanding of man, as now we do by an accident."

Fifty years after their deaths, in 1977, Sacco and Vanzetti were
exonerated by Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, who said in a
proclamation that their trial and execution "should serve to remind
all civilized people of the constant need to guard against our
susceptibility to prejudice, our intolerance of unorthodox ideas, and
our failure to defend the rights of persons who are looked upon as
strangers in our midst."

Leon Sverdlov
Posted on xxxxxx's Facebook page
[[link removed]]

 

RE: GERMANY’S FUTURE IS BEING DECIDED ON THE LEFT, NOT THE FAR RIGHT
 

Good, but it ignores die Linke.  The question for leftists is why
wasn’t die Linke able to profit from the economic crisis of the last
decade while increasing dissatisfaction led to a massive increase in
support for the far right even before the massive migration of 2015
gave them a new basis of xenophobic support. I’m still waiting for a
convincing analysis of this. The German Aufstehen was one failed
attempt to compensate for this, but they never provided a real
analysis.

Stan Nadel

 

ARE GERMAN GREENS ON THE LEFT? (RESPONSE TO GERMANY'S FUTURE IS BEING
DECIDED ON THE LEFT, NOT THE FAR RIGHT)
 

by Victor Grossman

Comments on "Germany's Future Is Being Decided on the Left, Not the
Far Right" by Noah Barkin in "The Atlantic", August 28, 2019 (used by
xxxxxx, August 29)
[link removed]-…
[[link removed]]

True enough, as this article points out, the German party called The
Greens has soared to an amazingly strong position in the political
spectrum; with some hope for success it is even grasping for the very
top job soon to be vacated by Angela Merkel. But placing it on "the
Left" is not at all so certain. It may be green in its environment
program but, unlike its American namesake, in terms of political hues
it is by no means so clearly in the red, or leftist, rainbow sector.

The party began nearly fifty years ago as a radical, angrily-attacked
antidote to the stolid West German scene. With its feminist,
anti-establishment, equalitarian and above all environmentally
conscious words and actions, symbolized by wearing sneakers to
government receptions and hand-knitted sweaters to parliamentary
sessions, its break with traditions was almost a shade of Woodstock
ten years earlier.

But its "realo" faction outscored its "fundis", pragmatic "realists"
beat leftist "fundamentalists". When it joined a government coalition
with the Social Democrats on the federal level in 1998, its radical
aspects retreated. The major break came when Joschka Fischer, its
leader and foreign minister, sent German bombers against Serbia, a
brutal war crime based on lies (now increasingly coming to light). It
was the first time since 1945 that Germans in uniform (in planes)
killed people outside their national borders, and was made possible by
German unification nine years earlier - and by the Greens. In its
years sharing the helm of state, until 2005, a whole series of
measures were also passed against Germans at home -hitting hardest at
the jobless and at pensioners, while the wealthy were not just spared
but richly rewarded with a multibillion cut in taxes.

Somehow, whenever the Greens gain state power, in those years on the
national level or in state-level cabinet posts, their militancy often
gets diluted like over-watered coffee in a bad cafe‚.

Strong on equality for women, LGBTI rights, on opposing racism, hatred
of foreigners and neo-fascists of every new brand and variety, they
gained their big new increase in strength largely thanks to growing
awareness by millions of the rapid destruction of our environment,
felt clearly in rising temperatures, droughts and floods. Their sins
in federal cabinets were largely forgotten after 2005; indeed, a major
plus point is currently their simple absence from any wimpy federal
government.

But it's better not to look too closely at their actions on state
levels. After fighting long and conspicuously against further
extending the huge Frankfurt airport - "Save our environment!" - they
made the then unusual decision to join in a state government with the
right-wing Christian Democratic Union (CDU). When their leader became
deputy minister president and economics minister, they somehow forgot
opposition and approved the extension (though the Herr Minister
himself was somehow unable to attend its fancy opening ceremony, with
or without sneakers and a wool sweater.   

A year ago a majority of Germans, with the Greens among the loudest,
celebrated the decision to save the ancient Hambacher Forest between
Cologne and Aachen after its passionate defense by countless
demonstrators, with some holding out in tree huts. Rarely mentioned
was the fact that five years earlier, when the Greens shared coalition
posts with the Social Democrats ruling the state of
North-Rhine-Westphalia, their three cabinet ministers had all approved
cutting down the forest in favor of open pit lignite coal digging.  

Another example is from northern Schleswig-Holstein. While handsome
Green national co-chair Robert Habeck loudly calls for capping rent
levels - an urgent demand now heard on many sides - the three-party
coalition up there, with the CDU and the Greens and the openly
pro-capitalist Free German Party (FDP), quietly lifted the existing
state lid on rent increases. Again the Greens bowed to their
"Christian" partner.

In the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Germany the Greens also
joined in a coalition with the CDU-rightists, but this time, in the
first and only case thus far in Germany, as head of a state
government. But here, too. their somehow still popular, tall,
scratchy-voiced Minister President Winfried Kretschmann seemed to
overlook his Green roots. His roots searched richer soil; the giant
Daimler-Benz maker of Mercedes cars is centered near his capital,
Stuttgart. As he has often made clear, he knows which fertilizer is
most advantageous. For years his special sleek green Mercedes
government vehicle was famous for its 441 horse power. "I am very big
and I need to travel quickly" he explained. (But a critical journalist
asked if he really needed a speed of up to 150 mph.)

When even greater speed is necessary, he flies. Dismissing the
highly-publicized demands of Robert Habeck for an ecological  ban on
domestic flights in Germany he said: "I don't think much of all that
moralizing . We shouldn't dictate people's style of life." That also
seems to apply when Daimler, like Volkswagen, BMW and the others go in
for a bit of leaded exhaust pipe trickery.

The Greens have been finding it ever easier to abandon earlier
inhibitions about teaming up with the right-wing Christian CDU - and
making all kinds of compromises while doing so.

In this way, they seem to be replacing the Social Democrats, who have
long been doing the same thing - and thus moving currently to the
brink of disaster; their membership has halved, their status in
national polls is now at 13 percent. This has forced them into an
almost desperate hunt for new leaders; about a dozen male-female duos
now choke the field of candidates, somewhat like US presidential
campaigns. It is also forcing them to add an almost forgotten
left-sounding timbre to their voices, at least when elections
approach.

The Greens also speak in progressive tones - and still take some
positions in that direction. Maybe a fitting symbol for them would be
some kind of mixed bag, some contents generally attractive, others
attractive only as coalition partners for the CDU, for unlike the
Social Democrats they have almost no complicating ties to the union
movement, hence must make no traditional bows in that direction. The
Green membership was largely based on once rebellious collegians, most
of whom are now highly educated, upper middle-class professionals. It
is not yet clear if this base is now broadening.

When it comes to foreign policy, they are more Russophobic than any
other party, always from a purely humanitarian standpoint, of course,
like some American politicians on both sides of the aisle.  While the
Social Democrats sometimes lean here and there towards diplomacy in a
world threatened constantly by the menace of atomic war, the Greens
lean all too often toward confrontation.

But the Greens are not a monolithic bunch. Some members and some local
groups still recall progressive trends from their past - and not
exclusively restricted to well-spoken words.

The three states in Eastern Germany now facing elections (two of them
on Sunday) will be forced to decide on coalitions; no party will be
strong enough to rule alone, most likely not even in two-party
tandems.  In Thuringia (due to vote in October) and Berlin, the
Greens, Social Democrats and the LINKE (Left) have long since combined
to get a majority of seats. This will very likely happen now in
Brandenburg; in Saxony it may even be necessary for those three to
accept the CDU as boss in a four-way attempt - if only to keep the
fascistic Alternative for Germany (AfD) out of office. With German
politics ever more chaotic, the elections and weeks that follow will
be of critical importance. Millions are waiting with bated breath!

 

RE: A MAN OF MANY WORDS

(posting on xxxxxx Culture
[[link removed]])
 

Interesting article.  Who controls the meaning of words controls the
way people think, yes?

Thomas E. Kleven

 

RE: PUERTO RICO: THE SHIFT FROM MASS PROTESTS TO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLIES
 

An excellent article - thank you. The following is intended to start
interest in an assembly in Vieques: UNITED WE WIN, DIVIDED WE FAIL
During and after the crisis caused by Maria, we saw community leaders
and volunteers emerge and come forward in response to the needs of our
fellow neighbors. We discovered strength, talent, inventiveness, and a
desire to fix what was broken and make things better for all of us in
Vieques. We united in a mission to save the island. Most residents
pulled together as a team regardless of their allegiances to any
political party. Through these efforts we did more than survive: we
discovered what could be done through our collective, focused
action. 

We saw the huge inadequacies in our pre-Maria government services. We
were knocked over by the revelations of Rickyleaks and realized beyond
any doubt that our emperors had no clothes. The usual practices of the
Blue and Red have been responsible for much of the retardation of our
island's growth and opportunities for success. The constant flip-flop
of power between the parties was an endless recycling of the gravy
train for high level political elites, but it was an absolute disaster
for the people of Puerto Rico. 

Traditionally, the self-serving patronage practices in Vieques have
caused destructive partisan hiring practices and shifted the focus
from "What's good for Vieques?" to "What's good for my party and my
reelection?" Any long-term solution to the many problems of our island
requires a unified renovation of our existing formal political
structure in Vieques. We have all become quite cynical when viewing
local politics, so it is hard to have a significant discussion on how
to change our system to cater to the needs of the island. We know we
are the tail of the dog and that we will not be able to change the
party or voting process. On the other hand, we might be able to change
the outcomes while utilizing the existing legal procedures. 

What if we shifted the orientation of our own electorate and created
support for candidates from any party who have platforms that address
the critical needs of our island. We should form a "sub-party", call
it the Sato Group (or something clever), whose role it is to establish
a platform that anyone can endorse and pledge to honor. The Satos will
then aid and assist the most credible candidate(s) in their efforts to
get elected regardless of party affiliations. The Sato Platform The
platform should be based strictly upon elements that are important to
the growth, health, well-being, and future of Vieques. 

Not everyone will have the same vision, nor will all agree on the
specifics of issues, but we must, as a group, reach consensus on the
basics. Have the Blue and the Red ever really stood for the
improvement of Vieques? Components of the platform might include: 

    1. Communications and information distribution from the
municipio should become a daily routine and receive a very high
priority to keep citizens aware of opportunities and all government
activities 

    2. Transparency in all government activities spending money,
awarding contracts, planning, etc. - everything but real time
personnel and legal procedures/negotiations. 

    3. Hiring should be based upon integrity, education,
experience, skills, performance, and appropriateness of the job fit -
not on personal or political affiliations. Our government team is only
half as strong as it could and should be when we don't make use of the
good people of both parties: the best people we have available! 

    4. Municipal positions should be created and maintained only
for the most necessary and critical functions - not as welfare or
patronage 

    5. Land titles to all municipal lands should be solidified
through proper surveys and legal procedures to encourage the sale of
applicable properties: those justly in the possession of the
inhabitants or vacant/derelict/abandoned properties for community
development 

    6. Random Central Government real estate parcels and buildings
not being used for PR purposes should be deeded to Vieques 

    7. Through increased autonomy, the municipality should take
over all property tax functions - from record keeping, to appraisal,
to tax collection - CRIM in Vieques should be totally eliminated 

    8. Grant writing should become a very high priority to secure
funding for the many needs of the island - consultants should be
contracted if necessary 

    9. The ferry service to and from Ceiba should be owned by the
municipality as a government entity or a cooperative, and the
operation should be contracted out BUT controlled locally - subsidies
would be negotiated with PR and the Federal Transportation
Administration 

    10. Electrical power generation through mostly solar and
distribution through micro-grids should be owned by the municipality
as a government entity or a cooperative, BUT the operation should be
contracted out and controlled locally 

    11. For all but extreme cases, criminal and civil violations or
complaints should be arraigned and tried in Vieques - even if it must
be accomplished by video conferencing - and a short-term jail should
be provided and equipped to obviate the need for transport 

    12. Our local government should become involved in liaison and
lobbying for any and all-important Central Government and institutions
providing services to Vieques citizens (such as healthcare, education,
social services, and economic development) 

    13. Replacement of the inventory tax for Vieques businesses 

    14. Work with PR economic development offices to utilize
Promise Zone, Free Economic Zone, and Opportunity Zone programs to our
advantage 

    15. Given the ever-declining likelihood of obtaining direct
government funding for the repairs, rebuilding, and new development of
necessary programs and infrastructure, the municipality will need to
aggressively foster strong relationships with local nonprofits and
national grant sources to fund essential projects and economic
development. 

So much for my thoughts. Now: Would you support an effort to encourage
our local candidates to pledge to honor this type of commitment? What
would you add to the list? What would you take off? What do you
think? 

Paul Lutton
[link removed] [[link removed]]

 

DESPITE THE BLOCKADE, THREE MILLION TOURISTS HAVE VISITED CUBA
 

Confidence and recognition of Cuba as an attractive and secure travel
destination remains strong
 

Photo: Juvenal Balán  //  Granma
Granma
[[link removed]]
August 28, 2019

Despite campaigns organized and directed by the United States
government to prevent the arrival of tourists to our country, as of
August 15, Cuba had welcomed three million international visitors,
thus far this year.

That so many people have chosen the island is evidence of the
confidence and recognition Cuba has achieved as a travel destination,
offering not only natural and cultural attractions, but also security.

According to information from the Ministry of Tourism, Canada remains
the number one emissary market, followed by European countries, with
Russia showing the most growth.

Cuba plans to continue expanding the number of rooms available and the
construction of hotels, as Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz
reported to the National Assembly last July, also stating that the
arrival of more than 4,300,000 tourists is expected by the end 2019.

 

STATE OF THE UNIONS 2019 (CUNY SCHOOL OF LABOR AND URBAN STUDIES)
 

New Study Shows that Organized Labor Remains Far Stronger in New York
City and State than in the Nation, but Union Erosion Contributed to
Disproportionately Low-Wage Job Growth 

Here is our annual State of the Unions Labor Day report for New York
City, State, and the US.

Union density has declined in NYC, though there is a slight uptick in
the public sector despite the Janus ruling.

In the ten years since the great recession, there has been notable job
growth in NYC and state. However, most of those jobs are low wage and
non-union.

Despite the decline, your odds of having a living wage job are better
when you have a union.

See the report here (PDF)
[[link removed]].

 

THE GREAT RECESSION TEN YEARS ON (WILLIAM J. BARCLAY - CHICAGO
POLITICAL ECONOMY GROUP)
 

This article
[[link removed]]
describes the failure of the US economy from the onset of the Great
Recession and calls into question the claims of trump that this is
"the greatest economy ever." It suggests where a Democratic
presidential candidate can attack trump on what at first may appear to
be his strong point.

[link removed]
[[link removed]]

William Barclay

 

NEW RESOURCE - DID YOU EAT YET? (18 MILLION RISING)
 

[[link removed]]

Welcome to _“DID YOU EAT YET?”_ 18MR’s new monthly newsletter!
We chose this name because asking if you’ve eaten yet is one way
that many Asian Americans show care for each other. This is a space
for deep cuts like follow up on how campaigns are moving forward,
access to our rad reading list, where we’re living on the internet,
and how you can plug into events happening near you. Every month
you’ll get a carefully curated newsletter
[[link removed]] from a member of the 18MR
team that we hope lights up your day. /

_[18MillionRising.org [[link removed]] (18MR.org
[[link removed]]) brings Asian American communities
together online and offline to reimagine Asian American identity with
nuance, specificity, and power. We are using this Asian American
identity as the foundation to build a more just and creative world
where our experiences are affirmed, our leadership is valued, and all
of us have the opportunity to thrive._

_Using technology and popular culture, we develop new ways for Asian
Americans and our allies to collaborate, create new ways of being, and
transform the world around us. We utilize digital-first advocacy
tactics to elevate the voices of and mobilize our over 120,000 members
to take action on issues that matter to them. We create meeting places
online where young Asian Americans can deliberate together about what
it means to be Asian American in the 21st century.]_

18MillionRising.org [[link removed]] (18MR.org
[[link removed]])

Direct general inquiries, including speaker requests for any of our
current staff, can be sent to [email protected]

 

DAVID BYRNE CURATES A PLAYLIST OF GREAT PROTEST SONGS WRITTEN OVER THE
PAST 60 YEARS: STREAM THEM ONLINE
 

[[link removed]]

Listen here
[[link removed]] 

By Ted Mills
December 13, 2018
Open Culture
[[link removed]]

When you hear the words “protest song,” what do you see? Is it a
folkie like Bob Dylan or Joan Baez delivering songs about injustice?
Is it an earnest young thing with a guitar? Is it trapped in 1960s
amber, while time has moved on to more ambiguity, more nihilism, more
solipsism?

British writers--and may we add amateur folksingers--Jonathan Luxmoore
and Christine Ellis made this lament over two years ago in the pages
of _The Guardian_, in an opinion piece entitled, “Not talkin' bout
a revolution: where are all the protest songs?
[[link removed]]”
Here they blame the immediacy of social media, the rise of
aspirational hip hop, and the decline of radical politics. They end,
presciently, with a Jeremy Corbyn-shaped hope for change. Well, look
where we are now. Things developed rather quickly, did they not?

(And as a side note, I would suggest the 1980s as a way more
protest-filled music decade than the 1960s. Because of the
self-aggrandizement of 1960s curators, they claim more than they did.
But nearly every pop, rock, r’n’b, and hip hop act of the ‘80s
has at least one political song in its discography.)

Enter David Byrne, whose mission apart from his day job as a musician
is to bring hope to the masses with a determined optimism. He’s
here to say that the protest song never went away, only our definition
of it.
[[link removed]] And
he’s brought the receipts, or rather the playlist above
[[link removed]],
to prove his point:

...in fact, they now come from all directions in every possible
genre—country songs, giant pop hits, hip hop, classic rock, indie
and folk. Yes, maybe there weren’t many songs questioning the wisdom
of invading Iraq, but almost every other issue has been addressed.

Stretching over six decades, the playlist
[[link removed]] demonstrates
the various forms protest can take, from describing racial violence
(Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” to Janelle Monae’s “Hell
You Talmbout”) to bemoaning economic injustice (The Specials’
“Ghost Town”) and railing against war and conflict (U2’s
“Sunday Bloody Sunday”, Edwin Starr’s “War”). Sometimes
declaring the positive and gaining a voice is enough of a protest: you
could argue that James Brown’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m
Proud)” did more for equality than any song about racism. Bikini
Kills’ “Rebel Girl” does similar things for third-wave feminism.

But Byrne wisely gives voice to those who feel they’re swimming
against any resistance tide:

I’ve even included a few songs that “protest the protests.” Buck
Owens, the classic country artist from Bakersfield, for example, has
two songs here. “Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” is a
celebration of Americans who feel they are unnoticed, left behind. One
might call it a populist anthem, but I think the reference to white
socks is intentionally meant to be funny—in effect, it says: “we
know who we are, we know how uncool white socks are.”

Look, it’s easy to believe that songs “changed the world” when
they are easily accessible to hear decades later but the
boots-on-the-ground marches and revolutionary acts from which they
sprang are now just photographs, film reels, and foggy memories. But
who can deny the gut punch of this year’s “This Is America” from
Childish Gambino, the continued excellence of Killer Mike and/or Run
the Jewels, and any number of songs that document our outrage? The
songs of protest continue as long as there is injustice.

And in the case of David Byrne, covering a modern protest song and
adding to its list of names, is what can keep an idea, a memory, and a
feeling alive for a new audience. Here he is at the encore of his
current tour, covering Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout
[[link removed]],” a memorial to all
the black lives killed by law enforcement.
 

[[link removed]]

Watch here [[link removed]]

“Here was a protest song that doesn’t hector or preach at us,”
he said in an article for the Associated Press
[[link removed]]. “It
simply asks us to remember and acknowledge these lives that have been
lost, lives that were taken from us through injustice, though the song
leaves that for the listener to put together. I love a drum line, so
that aspect of the song sucked me in immediately as well. The song
musically is a celebration and lyrically a eulogy. Beautiful.”

He also wisely asked permission to cover such a recent song,
especially when it’s an older white man lending his voice to it. But
Monae gave her blessing:

“I thought that was so kind of him and of course I said yes. The
song’s message and names mentioned need to be heard by every
audience.”

RELATED CONTENT:

When South Africa Banned Pink Floyd’s The Wall After Students
Chanted “We Don’t Need No Education” to Protest the Apartheid
School System (1980)
[[link removed]]

Tom Waits Releases a Timely Cover of the Italian Anti-Fascist Anthem
“Bella Ciao,” His First New Song in Two Years
[[link removed]]

Hear a 4 Hour Playlist of Great Protest Songs: Bob Dylan, Nina Simone,
Bob Marley, Public Enemy, Billy Bragg & More
[[link removed]]

David Byrne Creates a Playlist of Eclectic Music for the Holidays:
Stream It Free Online

_[Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the
artist interview-based FunkZone Podcast and is the producer of KCRW's
Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills
[[link removed]], read his other arts writing at tedmills.com
[[link removed]] and/or watch his films here.]_

 

"THE YEARS OF FIERRO" IS PREMIERING IN CALIFORNIA! - WATSONVILLE,
FRESNO, STOCKTON, SAN FRANCISCO, SAN DIEGO, LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 5
- 9 (DEATH PENALTY FOCUS)
 

We are excited to announce the CALIFORNIA PREMIER TOUR of _THE YEARS
OF FIERRO (LOS AÑOS DE FIERRO)_, the award winning documentary by
Director Santiago Esteinou and distributed by EPF Media.

THE FILM CHRONICLES THE ORDEAL OF CÉSAR FIERRO, A MEXICAN NATIONAL,
WHO HAS BEEN LANGUISHING IN A TEXAS PRISON FOR ALMOST FORTY YEARS FOR
A CRIME THAT EVIDENCE SHOWS HE DID NOT COMMIT. One of the most painful
consequences of César's incarceration is the effect that the
injustice and separation have had on his younger brother, Sergio,
demonstrating how this miscarriage of justice resonates beyond one
wrongfully imprisoned man.

_THE YEARS OF FIERRO_ IS A COMPASSIONATE PORTRAYAL OF CÉSAR FIERRO
AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDSHIP THAT HE ENDURES WHILE AWAITING HIS
FINAL DAY. It was an Official Selection at the Toronto International
Film Festival and was invited to more than 30 other festivals, winning
the Audience Award at the Santiago International Documentary Festival
in Chile, the Best Documentary and Best Director Award at the Costa
Rica International Film Festival, and receiving a nomination for the
Mexican Academy Award (Ariel) for Best Feature Length Documentary.

Death Penalty Focus and EPF Media are bringing this film to California
for the first time ever, and most of these screenings will be free and
open to the public.

There are currently _SIX_ screenings scheduled throughout the state.
Director Santiago Esteinou will be hosting audience Q&As after the
screenings along with special guest panelists. Additional screenings
and details will be added to our Facebook events page
[[link removed]].

The Years of Fierro: California Premier Tour 
Dates, Locations, and Tickets, and More

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

Watsonville Film Festival at the Watsonville Public Library
Watsonville, CA
6:00 PM - Free and open to the public
More info [[link removed]]
RSVP [[link removed]]

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

CineCulture at California State University, Fresno
Fresno, CA
5:30 PM - Free and open to the public
More info [[link removed]]

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

I Am/Yo Soy Club at San Jaoquin Delta College
Stockton, CA
11:00 AM - Free and open to the public
More info and RSVP [[link removed]]

Roxie Theater
San Francisco, CA
4:00 PM - $13 general admission
Tickets
[[link removed]]
More info [[link removed]]

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

San Diego Media Arts Center - Digital Gym
San Diego, CA
5:00 PM - $11 general admission - Joined by DPF Executive Director
Nancy Haydt
Tickets and more info [[link removed]]

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Los Angeles Public Library, Room A
Los Angeles, CA
5:30 PM - Free and open to the public
More info
[[link removed]] 
We hope to see you there!

--The Team at Death Penalty Focus

PS: We are also hosting a special reception event for Sr. Helen
Prejean on Thursday, September 5 at 6:00 PM. The event will take place
at Book Passage in Corte Madera (Marin County), CA. Click here for
tickets and more information.
[link removed]…
[[link removed]]

Death Penalty Focus [[link removed]]
1555 River Park Dr, #150
Sacramento, CA 95815
Tel. 415.243.0143 - Fax 415.766.4593

 

NEW MEXICO RISING - 2ND NM CLIMATE DISRUPTION FILM FESTIVAL -
ALBUQUERQUE - SEPTEMBER 6 - 7

 

UNM Continuing Education Center
1634 University Boulevard NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Join us in exploring the effects of climate disruption globally and
here in New Mexico, while also learning how you can make a difference.

For questions, or to apply to table, email [email protected]

[[link removed]]

Download the printable (PDF) flyers here
[[link removed]]
(Hold the Alt/Option key and click on the image to download)

 

JAZZ AND SELF DETERMINATION - NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 7 (THE PEOPLE'S
FORUM)
 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 7 AT 4 PM - 7 PM

The People's Forum [[link removed]] 
320 West 37th Street
New York, New York 10018

Its time for "Jazz and Self Determination
[[link removed]]"
once again at The People's Forum [[link removed]].

This is our sixth edition of discussions that feature musicians
defining the narrative concerning the synthesis of jazz and social
activity.

The focus is the history of musician run festivals, independent record
labels, social formations organized by the musicians, the black arts
movement, women's liberation and archiving.

The hosts of the panel are musician/educators RAS MOSHE BURNETT
[[link removed]] and ALTHEA SULLYCOLE
[[link removed]].

Our featured panelists are:

* CRAIG HARRIS [[link removed]] - Trombonist, didjeridu
practitioner, educator, alumni of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Collaborator
with Amiri & Amina Baraka
* TED DANIEL - Trumpeter, composer, educator, founder of Ujamaa
Records and founding member of the NY Musicians Organization.
* SYD SMART - Drummer, percussionist, composer, educator and founder
of The John Coltrane Memorial Concert series.
* One more-TBA

Be there for another educational learning experience! It is true
education when the actual primaries engage in the discourse in
reference to "what is" or "what isn't."

 

CHANGE IS COMING - GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE - SEPTEMBER 20

The Fridays For Future movement, launched by Greta Thunberg, has
spread across the globe. Children and youth everywhere are joining
forces to demand adults address this crisis.

This video [[link removed]] was made by Fridays For
Future India. What do you think of it?

JOIN THE #CLIMATESTRIKE
[[link removed]] AT NOON ON SEPT. 20
IN FOLEY SQUARE, WITH A RALLY IN BATTERY PARK.

Sign up: [link removed]
[[link removed]]

Peoples Climate Movement NY [[link removed]]

 

FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO NYC: WE WALK OUT FOR CLIMATE
 

My name is Nella. I'm a New York City-based nurse as well as a member
of the Nurses Union. Years ago, I made a commitment to care for people
from communities affected by the climate crisis. That's why I'm
joining the Global Climate Walk Out September 20th-27th. 

The current climate crisis will not leave any part of the world
unscathed by disaster, and families like mine in the Philippines are
currently on the frontlines dealing with the impacts. I feel a deep
responsibility to take action before it's too late, and I'm hoping you
will feel the same. 

[[link removed]]

Click here [[link removed]]  

Watch this short video of union workers like me and join us on the
streets September 20th-27th. Let's show the world what taking action
on climate looks like - the climate crisis won't wait, so neither
should we.

I've seen first-hand how the climate crisis is impacting my home
communities in New York and the Philippines. In 2013, when SuperStorm
Sandy ravaged NYC, it was nurses like myself that were there as first
responders, evacuating patients from hospitals and filling in the gaps
where traditional relief efforts were slow to respond.

Only a year later, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines and I stepped in
as a medical responder to take care of survivors from the devastating
aftermath. As long as we continue to allow the fossil fuel industry to
drive the climate crisis, workers will continue to bear the brunt of
climate chaos. Enough is enough; another future is possible if we all
show up and demand it. 

Check out the map of Climate Strike events (there are already over a
100 across the US) to find one near you and RSVP for it. If one
doesn't exist, consider hosting an action yourself - our organizers
will walk you through each step
[[link removed]].

This strike is for everyone. Millions of school strikers, who have
been taking to the streets calling for bold climate action for over a
year, want people of all ages to join them - including parents,
teachers, workers, retirees and all concerned people.

This year's student climate strikes align with nursing values - like
caring for one another. And with our union values - like solidarity.
And on the most basic human value - survival. Let's not miss our
moment. 

In unity,

Nella Pineda-Marcon

PS - Do you want help organizing your Climate Strike event, or just
want to build your activist skills? Sign up here for a 350 online
training
[[link removed]].

350.org [[link removed]] is building a global climate movement.
You can connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and text
350 to 83224 to get important mobile action alerts. Become a
sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing. Looking for
other ways to get involved? Check out our map to see if there's a
local 350 group or event near you.
[[link removed]]

 

WORKERS SUPPORT GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE - VIDEO FROM LABOR NETWORK FOR
SUSTAINABILITY
 

[[link removed]]

Watch here [[link removed]].

Young climate strikers are calling on everyone: parents, workers, and
all concerned humans to join massive climate strikes and a week of
climate justice actions from September 20-27. People all over the
world will use their power to stop "business as usual" because the
climate crisis is an emergency. Workers and unions will join young
people in the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels and
emergency action to avoid climate breakdown.

Check out this resource from Labor Network For Sustainability about
how workers can support the #ClimateStrike!
[[link removed]]

Workers and Unions: Join us on September 20th!
[link removed]
[[link removed]]
[link removed] [[link removed]]

Labor Network for Sustainability
[[link removed]]
P.O. Box #5780
6909 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20913

[email protected]

*
[[link removed]]
*
[[link removed]]
*
* [[link removed]]

 

 

 

INTERPRET THE WORLD AND CHANGE IT

 

 

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