Tidbits - August 8, 2013

Reader Comments- Wisconsin Crackdown; Labor Collective Bargaining; Detroit & Pensions; Early Human Settlements show War has Deep Evolutionary Roots; Honduras; Shorts: Child of Disappeared Political Prisoners Found in Argentina; Murder of Philippines Labor Leaders; Announcements - Call Mr. Robeson - Berkeley-Aug 11; Conference Honoring Jerry Tucker - St.Louis Oct 11-13; Organizing 2.0 Fall Internship - NYC Portside announcements about Quote & Toon of the Day, REWIND
August 8, 2013
Reader Comments
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Quote of the Day and Toon of the Day (both of which are on our website daily) and the weekly posting of REWIND are taking a summer hiatus, and will resume after Labor Day.  
 
Check out the Portside website daily for both Quote of the Day and Toon of the Day - both of which will be posted until Tuesday, August 13.
 
Moderators
 
 
 
Every one of them should file a lawsuit against walker directly. Make him defend himself in civil court repeatedly.
 
Mark Binder
 
==========
 
(posted on Portside Labor)
 
Charles Morris's observations and suggestions around the question of members-only bargaining deserves close attention, followed by a full-blown discussion/debate among labor activists and friends.  He's absolutely correct about the role of minority (or, pre-majority) bargaining and representation in the expansion of organized labor in the '30s and '40s.  In addition to auto and steel, in Pennsylvania both General Electric and Hershey Foods recognized the representational rights of pre-majority unions in matters concerning the unions' members, and Hershey signed a contract with the minority represented by the hastily organized Chocolate Workers of America, CIO, Local 1 in 1937.  There are negative possibilities to be considered, of course; but the potential of such a strategy -- as recognized by SEIU, the Teamsters, the UE, CWA and others in the instances cited by Morris -- must be pursued.
 
Another angle of the question to be considered should be the similar issue raised by right-to-work laws and the situations that they create.  Why should unions in those environments be required to represent persons who choose to remain non-members with the expectation that members' dues should be expended upon upholding the incomes and working conditions of those who wish to be "free" of unions?  Really!
   
Jim Young
Professor of History, emeritus
Edinboro University  
 
 
 
Dam dirty shame.
 
William Reed 
posted on the Portside Facebook page
 
 
 
Reassuring to know this ancient history. Now how do we reverse this trend of the last 5,000 years or so?
 
Susan Ackoff-Ortega
posted on the Portside Facebook page
 
 
 
Portside readers are hopefully savvy enough to distinguish between well-grounded science writing and writing about science with an ideological axe to grind.  John Horgan's "Survey of Earliest Human Settlements Undermines Claim that War has Deep Evolutionary Roots" (Portside 8/4/13) is an unfortunate example of the latter.  
 
Horgan opens his blog post with a reference to "the Deep Roots Theory of War."   What he doesn't state in the post is that there is no such theory.  Rather, it's a meme he created to lump some well-known and well-respected scientists with whom he disagrees into one theoretical box.  He then attacks them for their alleged belief "that war is ancient and innate" - the words Horgan uses to describe his made-up theory.   
 
In the blog post, Horgan specifically refers to the psychologist Steven Pinker as a "Deep Rooter."  Steven Pinker is the author of "The Better Angels of Our Nature," published in 2011, the year before Horgan's much thinner "The End of War."  Pinker, in his remarkable 700 page  "Better Angels," is quite emphatic in stating his belief that war is not an innate human trait. Specifically, Pinker writes:
 
Many people implicitly believe . . . that humans harbor an inner drive toward aggression (a death instinct or thirst for blood), which builds up inside us and must periodically be discharged.  Nothing could be further from a contemporary scientific understanding of the psychology of violence.  Aggression is not a single motive, let alone a mounting urge.  It is the output of several psychological systems that differ in their environmental triggers, their internal logic, their neurobiological basis and their social distribution."  (emphasis added)
 
Further, writes Pinker, "Humans are not innately good (just as they are not innately evil), but they come equipped with motives that can orient them away from violence and toward cooperation and altruism."  Such motives, he continues, include "empathy," "self-control,"  a "moral sense," and the "faculty of reason."  (emphasis added)
 
In "Better Angels," Pinker presents an in-depth analysis of the history of human brutality and human cooperation, and provides mountains of evidence to support his view that there is a long-term global trend of declining violence (long-term meaning over thousands of years, with ups and downs such as the horrors of the 20th century).  In so doing, Pinker presents a scientifically-based argument to support his belief that war is not inevitable.  In other words, Steven Pinker, a leading member of the group of scientists that Horgan has labeled the "Deep Rooters" has a position quite contrary to what Horgan implies in his writings. 
 
The evolutionary psychologist and prolific author David Barash wrote a favorable review of Horgan's "The End of War."  In that review Barash expressed a view about human violence that is almost identical to Pinker's as described above:
 
The reality is that we are neither doomed to unending warfare by our evolutionary past, nor are we guaranteed a peaceful return to Eden. Our evolutionary bequeathal is Janus-faced, looking in both directions. To be sure, we are endowed with a capacity for violence, both individual and organized, and we don't do ourselves a favor by denying this. But we also have a capacity for peace. Ultimately, our genes whisper within us; they do not shout. More than anything, they have made us capable of war and the most terrible violence under certain conditions, and of peace under others.
 
Horgan it must be emphasized is not a scientist.  He is a science writer.  I have read both Pinker's "Better Angels" and Horgan's "The End of War." While the scientist Pinker relies heavily on psychology and history to conclude that war is not inevitable, Horgan relies more on wishful thinking to reach the same conclusion.  
 
Marc Beallor
 
 
 
Honduras gets next to no coverage, so every little bit helps. Important national elections coming up there, with coup-deposed ex-President's wife a strong contender, so more imperial maneuvers in conjunction w/ local elites probably coming.
 
In solidarity,
 
T.M. Scruggs
 
 
 
By Fernando Andres Torres
August 8, 2013
 
He is now the 109th grandchild recovered by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo since 1983. There are still about 400 missing children born in captivity from disappeared political prisoners and adopted illegally by military families and their friends
 
In a press conference held today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, The organization Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo announced that they have found and identified a person who as a baby was kidnapped from his parents who were political prisoners during the so-called Dirty War (1976-1983).
 
Estela de Carlotto, President of the organization announced "with great happiness the restitution of the identity of Pablo Germain Athanasiú Laschan", son of Chilean revolutionaries Frida Laschan Athanasiú Mellado and Angel Athanasiú Jara, both refugees from neighboring Chile where they were members of the Chilean Movement of the Revolutionary Left.
 
Lifting a picture of a baby de Carlotto said "so was the child when he was snatched from his mother's arms".  The baby was born October 29, 1975 and on April 16, 1976, the couple and little Pablo were kidnapped from an hotel in a raid by security forces as part of Operation Condor; a coordination campaign by Latin American's secret police that kidnapped and killed hundreds of people, condoned and supported by the U.S.'s Henry Kissinger.
 
The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo is a Human Rights organization created by fourteen relatives of missing political prisoners in 1977 during the military dictatorship of commander Jorge Videla.
 
Pablo Athanasiu, now 38, was contacted in April this year, "and about a month ago, agreed to take the immunogenic test that determined, at 99.99 percent, his link to the Athanasiu Laschan family." He is now the 109th grandchild recovered by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo since 1983. According to the organization, there are still about 400 missing children born in captivity from disappeared political prisoners and adopted illegally by military families and their friends.
 
In July 2012, nine former military officials were convicted of carrying out a plan for appropriation of children snatched from their prisoner parents. Among those convicted was former dictator Videla, who died in May 2013.
 
 
 
Aug. 1, 2013
 
The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) called for the immediate arrest of the suspects behind the murder of two local transport group leaders.  In an interview with Rappler, APL Secretary-General Josua Mata condemned the killings, saying it was part of a "culture of impunity."
 
The most recent crime involved Kagi Alimudin Lucman, 47, who was killed by a lone gunman on July 18. Right after he took his 3 children to school, Lucman was shot in front of Cotabato City State Polytechnic College at about 7 am while he was driving his multicab jeepney.
 
Lucman was the president of the Notre Dame Village Operators and Drivers Association (NDVODA), a transport group affiliated with the National Confederation of Transportworkers' Unions (NCTU)-APL since 2010.
 
Two weeks before Lucman's death, transport leader Antonio "Dodong" Petalcorin was murdered in Davao City.
 
Earlier this year, on January 25, Emilio Rivera, then head of the Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO) was also gunned down by unknown suspects.
 
 
 
Dont need to be there @ Carnegie Hall by Carol Rosegg
 
UK-based Nigerian-born playwright and singer Tayo Aluko is coming from England to perform this dynamic one-man show on the life of Paul Robeson and will be accompanied on piano by the amazing Tammy Hall.  Vukani Mawethu Choir will open this only Bay Area show, so please come join us!  Feel free to share widely...
 
Call Mr. Robeson, an award-winning play which received a standing ovation at New York's Carnegie Hall in February 2012, and was last seen in San Jose and Richmond last February, is to be performed  at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse on Sunday August 11, with the Oakland-based Vukani Mawethu Choir opening the proceedings.
 
Call Mr. Robeson. A life, with songs. 
 
This roller-coaster journey through actor/singer Paul Robeson's remarkable life highlights how his radical activism caused his downfall. It features some famous songs (including a dramatic rendition of Ol' Man River), some of his speeches, and a defiant testimony to McCarthy's Senate House Un-American Activities Committee.
 
The monodrama has sold out several leading venues around the UK, and has been a hit at a number of Bay Area venues in the past, including EXIT Theatre and Phoenix Theatre, San Francisco; Black Rep, Berkeley; Dragon Theater, Palo Alto and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, where he performed in February 2013.
 
The Freight and Salvage performance is the first performance on a month-long tour of the USA and Canada this summer.
 
Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse,
2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94794
Sunday, August 11, 2013, 8pm
 
Tel: (510) 644-2020
 
Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee
Bonnie Weiss, (510) 658 4212
 
 
 
by Bill Fletcher Jr
 
 
Jerry Tucker: The Person, the Mission and the Legacy
 
A Unique Conference to Honor Jerry Tucker and Continue His Mission
 
October 11-13th St Louis, MO
University of Missouri (UMSL).
 
Register Now:
 
Jerry Tucker was a seminal figure in the late 20th and early 21st Century U.S. labor movement. Many of you knew him, were inspired by him and mourned his passing in October 2012.  He saw a militant and democratic labor movement as the central player in the pursuit of social and economic justice.  A brilliant strategist of creative, member-driven union campaigns against corporate power, he was an uncompromising advocate of a vision of social unionism that connected workers struggles to the broader issues of class, race, gender and power)
 
 
Jerry Tucker, a hero in the troublemaking wing of the labor movement, passed away on October 19. He is pictured campaigning for president of the United Auto Workers in 1991 as part of the New Directions Movement. Photo: Jim West/jimwestphoto.com. 
 
This promises to be an unusual and inspiring gathering at a moment in history in which many of the gains that the working class has made in the past 100 years are being attacked.
 
Along with his family and friends, the conference will pay tribute to Jerry's life and legacy with music, video and personal testimony. The weekend will include workshops, plenaries and discussion to address the strategies of working class unity and struggle that he passionately fought for in his lifetime.   We hope to address the broad question which Jerry articulated so well, namely: How do we build a powerful social movement and exercise the collective might of the working class through true solidarity, accountability and democracy?
 
As part of this conference we will take time to consider the possibility of reviving the Center for Labor Renewal that Jerry championed in his later years but has not been fully realized.
 
If you knew and loved Jerry or worked with him on his many campaigns and projects, this conference is for you.
 
If you are engaged in the working class struggles for justice, inside and outside of the labor movement, and are looking for thoughtful strategic discussion and debate on the direction of our movement, this conference is for you.
 
If you are a young activist seeking to connect with a rich history of struggle and to share your experiences and ideas, this conference is for you.
 
The Conference is being sponsored by: Center for Labor Renewal, UMSL Labor Studies Certificate Program, Missouri Jobs with Justice.
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER NOW: www.stllaborconference.com
 
 
 
Dear friends, you might know of a student or recent grad in need of quality training in digital organizing and other online skills. This is an excellent opportunity with folks (including me) who are mindful of the ethical considerations related to working with interns. Please share.
 
Charles Lenchner
 
 
we're pleased to announce our brand new internship program. Please help us share this posting widely. It's an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in labor, progressive communications, local politics and digital strategy. (Download flyer here.)
 
Fall 2013 Internship Open in New York City
 
Do you support social justice, equality, and other progressive values? Do your friends rely on you for political news and current events? Do you regularly use social media, blogs, and your smartphone to make your voice heard?
 
Organizing 2.0 is a New York-based organization committed to building power for workers and community organizing groups. we've trained over 2000 people in the last three years to harness online tools for organizing - and we want you to join us. [BTW, read what former interns have to say about working with us...
 
What's in it for me?
 
Our interns will be helping to organize training events, our annual organizing training conference, and using our tools in support of local labor struggles that need us. we're a lean organization run by volunteers, which means you'll have plenty of serious responsibilities, if you can handle them. No fetching coffee or photocopying in our office!
 
The ideal candidate is comfortable with technology, activism and progressive politics. Our ideal candidate wants to make a difference - strengthening labor groups and unions, helping marginalized people organizing from below and progressive political groups fighting for the 99%.
What You Will Learn:
  • How to plan and manage professional events from A to Z
  • Organizing software and tools including Salsa, Bit.ly, Google Analytics, WordPress, Thunderclap and more
  • The makeup of New York's and America's progressive movement(s), including labor, community organizing, and progressive infrastructure
  • The basics of online marketing as applied towards social good
  • Nonprofit management skills
 
What We Require:
  • Knowledge of current events and comfort with social media
  • A passion for progressive political change
  • Highly organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments
  • Fearlessness - not afraid to be a bold and outside the box thinker
  • Honesty and integrity in fulfilling your commitments
 
It Would Be Great If You Could:
  • Use graphics, video editing and web development software
  • Point to previous leadership experience in clubs, student government and community groups
We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply (PoC, LGBT, Differently Abled, or Undocumented.)
 
This is a rolling admission - we accept new interns during August and September.
  • Minimum commitment is 15 hours/week, preference for 20-40
  • 12 week minimum
  • Stipends of $500-$1000 a month available (25 hours/week and up)
  • Suitable for school credit in a variety of majors
To apply, click here. No phone calls or emails please.
 
Organizing 2.0 // is a collective of communicators and online organizers working for unions and social justice groups. We run events, trainings, consult and promote uncommon interactions within and between our communities. We cross boundaries between labor, progressives, nonprofits, tech firms, faith communities and techies of all stripes. We are located near Union Square in a co-working facility.
 
Commitment to Intern Rights. We believe that many internships are exploitative and amount to unpaid slave labor imposed on young people interested in interesting and challenging careers. Our commitment is that you will not be performing the job of a paid staff person, this will be primarily a learning experience, and you will be treated at all times with respect.
August 8, 2013