Redrawing the Middle East Map Is Sheer Folly

Redrawing the Middle East Map Is Sheer Folly feature image
December 12, 2015
Through the secret 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, Britain and France reconfigured the boundaries of the Middle East, dividing Arab provinces of the former Ottoman Empire into areas of future British and French control. While the devious and unjustified character of the Sykes-Picot Agreement is indisputable, a century later there is growing talk of yet another remapping of the Middle East, a dangerous Balkanization along ethnic lines that will exacerbate communal hatred.
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Friday Nite Videos -- December 11, 2015

Friday Nite Videos -- December 11, 2015 feature image
December 11, 2015
Jordan Klepper: Good Guy with a Gun. People Get Ready -- The Impressions. Donald Trump Isn't Funny Anymore. Adam Driver Brings Arts to the Armed Forces. Movie: The Big Short.
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The $$ Behind Trump's Islamophobic Allies

The $$ Behind Trump's Islamophobic Allies feature image
December 11, 2015
Trump loves to cite their discredited research about how most Muslims want Sharia law in the U.S.
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Police Rape Conviction Leaves Open Questions

Police Rape Conviction Leaves Open Questions feature image
December 11, 2015
A civil lawsuit alleges that the former Oklahoma City police officer, who has been found guilty of rape, was allowed to remain on duty after investigation began
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Could GOP Steal the Nomination From Trump?

Could GOP Steal the Nomination From Trump? feature image
December 11, 2015
The likelihood of a Trump nomination and the possibility of a Republican convention in which no candidate has a clearcut majority are both rising. Now, Republican party leaders are actively planning how they could block a Trump nomination if he doesn't have the nomination locked down. Here's how they might do it.
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FBI to Better Track Police Killings

FBI to Better Track Police Killings feature image
December 11, 2015
Reporting from public sources over the last year, the Washington Post has identified more than 900 fatal shootings by police — an average of nearly three deaths a day. By contrast, the FBI has recorded about 400 deaths a year over the past decade, or just over one death a day — less than half the rate recorded by The Post. The FBI is now unveiling an attempt to compile a more complete record.
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Trump's `Muslim Policy' and Fascism's History

Trump's `Muslim Policy' and Fascism's History feature image
December 10, 2015
Trump's proposal taps into a reservoir of racism that is part of American history. FDR ordered American-born and immigrant Japanese people into prison camps at the outset of World War II, one of the worst violations of the Constitution. From the moment the first slave was taken off a ship in colonial America, African-Americans have been subjected to violent racism. So have Latino immigrants, another Trump target. Anti-Islam feeling is rampant...all it needs is a...
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We Can Do Better Than Capitalism

We Can Do Better Than Capitalism feature image
December 10, 2015
Portside thinks we can do better than capitalism -- and had better do better, if we and our children are going to have a future -- without proposing a neat blueprint for the future or a well-drawn roadmap to it. We are a community of people on the left and an alternative medium of communication. Every year at this time, Portside asks all our readers for help, for support. Here's why we are asking for your support.
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5 Signs Netanyahu Has Created Iraeli Crisis

5 Signs Netanyahu Has Created Iraeli Crisis feature image
December 10, 2015
Seldom, if ever, have Israel's decision-makers been so sharply at odds with their professional watchdogs on so many critical issues. Netanyahu has staked out a position on the nature of Islamist terrorism that's fundamentally at odds with his own intelligence community. Other questions include the causes of the current violence and strategies for containing it, the advisability of goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, and the feasibility of resuming peace...
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What Happened to the White Working Class?

What Happened to the White Working Class? feature image
December 9, 2015
Downward mobility plus racial resentment is a potent combination with disastrous consequences. We know now that election 2016 is increasingly an open portal into an age-old American dark side of slavery, repression, internment, and know-nothing-ism that couldn't be grimmer. And behind it all, running like an interstate highway through our history, is a powerful sense of white skin privilege that has traditionally extended even to those who were relatively...
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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.