Death Penalty Dysfunction in 2015

Death Penalty Dysfunction in 2015 feature image
December 13, 2015
2015 was still a wretched and messy year as far as the death penalty was concerned, one that did much to undermine our country’s vaunted claims to “evolving standards of decency.”
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Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane?

Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane? feature image
December 13, 2015
The whole November 24 incident looks increasingly suspicious, and one doesn’t have to be a paranoid Russian to think the takedown might have been an ambush.
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Nearly 400 Anti-Abortion Bills This Year

Nearly 400 Anti-Abortion Bills This Year feature image
December 13, 2015
Forty-seven new restrictions passed, including clinic regulations, mandatory waiting periods, and measures aimed at Planned Parenthood.
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The Secret History of 100 Years of Solitude

The Secret History of 100 Years of Solitude feature image
December 13, 2015
A half-century ago, Gabriel García Márquez, after yet another visit to the pawnshop, sent his now signature novel to his publisher. As Solitude turns 50, Paul Elie interviews Gabo’s longtime agent—just weeks before her death, at 85—and discovers the events that led to a literary revelation.
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Step up to Stop TB

Step up to Stop TB  feature image
December 13, 2015
Tuberculosis (TB) is winning a deadly race – this year it overtook HIV as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.5 million people annually. The findings of the Out of Step report into national TB policies. The report will be launched on December 2 at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Cape Town, South Africa.
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Portside Helps Sustain You-Please $$ Portside

Portside Helps Sustain You-Please $$ Portside feature image
December 13, 2015
Portside's moderators every day contribute our best at finding and sharing the most interesting and useful material we can for the modest task of remaking the world into a fairer and more peaceful place. We expect no pay -- seeing the material on Portside read and forwarded and acted on is reward enough. Once a year, we appeal to readers to contribute some cash to sustain the Portside infrastructure that makes our work possible. Here's why...
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Historic Climate Deal Reached

Historic Climate Deal Reached feature image
December 12, 2015
Commentator George Monbiot writes Saturday of the draft agreement, "By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster."
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Maduro Meets with Thousands

Maduro Meets with Thousands feature image
December 12, 2015
On Tuesday, Maduro asked for the resignation of his cabinet and outlined steps for the “renovation of the revolution”, including the approval of new legislation to defend social gains as well as measures to increase workers’ and communal control, such as the turning over the National Assembly TV and radio stations to the workers.
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A Conservative Estimate of 'The Wal-Mart"

A Conservative Estimate of 'The Wal-Mart" feature image
December 12, 2015
Wal-Mart's growing trade deficit with China has displaced more than 400,000 U.S. jobs
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The End of Jewish History?

The End of Jewish History? feature image
December 12, 2015
What makes radical theologian Marc H. Ellis too hot to handle?
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Pages

Portside Culture

Review; "The Big Short"— Capitalism Gone Mad

Ed Rampell
The Progressive
Based on actual events and characters, Short focuses on the fall of the housing market, leavening what many might find extremely dry, complicated subject matter with humor. While the so-called business press completely missed the story until this 'shit' hit the fan, the film tells how a few investment outsiders stumbled upon the unfolding crisis and bet against it. ('Short' is Wall Street-ese for 'bet').

Geopolitical Fictions: Fantasy, Reality, and International Diplomacy on ‘Madam Secretary’

SULAGNA MISRA
Flavorwire
Most international political thrillers rely on the interplay of fantasy and reality, using real countries and familiar politics in the frame of a fictional narrative. What makes CBS’s Madam Secretary unusual, even within that context, is that its episodes actually borrow from recent international events, relationships, and histories. The show’s universe can often feel like a surreal look into a parallel reality.

Work

James Scruton
Poet Lore
James Scruton dedicates this poem about his own white-collar labors to the late Philip Levine, the poet who celebrated working-class people who spent their lives “digging or pounding…wrenching or drilling.”

Marxism and Ecology: Common Fonts of a Great Transition (long)

John Bellamy Foster
Great Transition Initiative
Socialist thought is re-emerging at the forefront of the movement for global ecological and social change. In the face of the planetary emergency, theorists have unearthed a powerful ecological critique of capitalism at the foundations of Marx's materialist conception of history.

Have Guns, Will Liberate

Chase Madar
The Baffler
This ethnographic study of America's gun culture focuses on Detroit and Flint, Michigan, and it both confirms and challenges aspects of received wisdom about our country and our firearms.

Portside Labor

Socialists Should Aspire Beyond Labour’s Post-War Consensus

Matt Widowson
Morning Star
By all means, look to the past. Learn and be inspired, but do not try to turn the clock back. The ultimate aim of socialism should be the abolition of capitalism — anything less than this is reformism in the service of capital. Socialists may disagree about the pace of transition, or the means of enacting revolutionary change — but their ultimate aim must be the end of capitalism.

Big There Contracts: Who Won?

Dianne Feeley
Against the Current
The 2015 UAW/Big Three contracts took 67 days and multiple attempts to ratify, resulting in what most autoworkers see as a partial victory.

Mexican, U.S. Workers Bring Employer Charges Under NAFTA

Mario Vasquez
In These Times
A transnational coalition of labor unions and community groups in the United States and Mexico charged multinational retail corporation Chedraui Commercial Group with violations of municipal, federal, and international labor law on November 12, filing unprecedented dual claims under compliant mechanisms embedded within the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Four reasons for labor to cheer in the South

Joe Atkins
Facing South
Labor activists and other progressive folks in the South have four new reasons to cheer: a United Auto Workers victory in Chattanooga, the rare criminal conviction of a coal mining boss in connection with the death of miners who worked for him, the victory of a populist Democrat in Louisiana's gubernatorial race, and a union victory in Laurel, Mississippi.

The Bangladesh Accord - a Model to Secure Workers Rights in Global Supply Chains?

Frauke Banse
Global Labour Column
The Bangladesh Accord negotIated by global labor and lnternational human rights groups after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 contains important protections for workers. Nonetheless, its effectiveness is limited by the weakness of unions on the ground in Bangladesh and by the pro-corporate global regulatory framework.

Portside Aims to Provide Varied Material of Interest to People on the Left - How You Can Help

Portside
Portside aims to provide varied material of interest to people on the left that will help them to interpret the world, and to change it. Every day, we try finding and sharing the most interesting and useful material we can, aimed at helping remaking the world into a fairer and more peaceful place. Once a year we appeal to readers to contribute to sustain the infrastructure that makes Portside possible. It may be the biggest return on investment you'll ever get.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on December 11, 2015

Jordan Klepper sets out to determine the likelihood of another gun owner stopping an active shooter.

Posted by Portside on December 11, 2015

Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" was a 1965 single by The Impressions, reaching #3 on the Billboard R&B Chart and #14 on the Billboard Pop Chart. The gospel-influenced track reflected Mayfield's growing of social and political expression.

Posted by Portside on December 11, 2015

The Nightly Show's Mike Yard and Ricky Velez struggle to find the hilarity in Donald Trump's Islamophobic immigration plan.

Posted by Portside on December 11, 2015

Driver is the founder of Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing thought-provoking and impactful contemporary theater currently “in theater” to American military personnel.

Posted by Portside on December 11, 2015

From the outrageous mind of director Adam Mckay comes The Big Short (Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt) with the true story of the traders who 'shorted' the world economy.

Posted by Portside on December 5, 2015

Texas senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is rising in the polls, but he may also be the the man most hated by his congressional colleagues.

Posted by Portside on December 4, 2015

Will Smith portrays Dr. Bennett Omalu, a medical doctor (and immigrant) who confronts the power of the NFL when he investigates and publishes proof of the systematic brain damage and dementia among professional football players.