Civil Disobedience Needed Vs Keystone XL

January 29, 2013
From Walden to the White House - We are watching a global crisis unfold before our eyes, and to stand aside and let it happen -- even though we know how to stop it -- would be unconscionable. We can't afford to lose a single major battle. That's why the Sierra Club's Board of Directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience (two items).
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Reality of Health Costs

January 29, 2013
Beyond the Chart: Sure, Health-Care Deduction Huge, but What's the Return?
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Dispatches from the Culture Wars

January 29, 2013
America's 10 `Most Hated' Brands; Sundance 2013: Are Filmmakers Vain or Nostalgic?; Science journalism's great divide; What Would Karl and Rosa Say?; How the NRA Became an Organization for Aspiring Vigilantes; Why Old Men Find Young Women's Voices So Annoying; What Downton Abbey Can Tell Us about Class in America Today; Music Exhibit Recalls Another Time For Jews and Blacks
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Teacher boycott of standardized test spreads

Teacher boycott of standardized test spreads feature image
January 28, 2013
A boycott of Washington state’s mandated standardized test by teachers at a Seattle school is spreading to other schools and winning support across the country, including from the two largest teachers’ unions, parents, students, researchers and educators.
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Nonprofit Spends Big on Politics Despite IRS

 Nonprofit Spends Big on Politics Despite IRS feature image
January 28, 2013
A cadre of wealthy business executives and conservative groups tried to sell California voters on new campaign finance reforms.Couched in lofty rhetoric about the importance of cutting off money from special interests to politicians and other regulations favored by reformers, their proposal sought to ban the practice of using payroll deductions for political expenditures — a popular method of union fundraising: The story of the American Fund and Proposition 32.
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Egypt Aflame Over Protests

January 28, 2013
Late this evening, President Mohammad Morsi declared Emergency Law in three provinces around the Suez Canal that are ablaze in protests. He frankly conceded the government was losing control. ... there is absolutely no doubt that both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood government were caught completely off guard by angry, increasingly intense protests, immediately following what were already massive anti-government actions in Tahrir Square and elsewhere.
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The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy

The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy feature image
January 28, 2013
Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. How did we arrive at this state of affairs?
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Walmart and Fast Food Unions' Strategy

Walmart and Fast Food Unions' Strategy feature image
January 28, 2013
Small but highly publicized strikes by Walmart retail and warehouse workers last fall set the labor movement abuzz and gained new respect for organizing methods once regarded skeptically.
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Origami: A Blend of Sculpture and Mathematics

 A Blend of Sculpture and Mathematics feature image
January 27, 2013
The shape of a Pringle, mathematically speaking, is called a hyperbolic paraboloid. Artists have been folding paper into this shape for years. The twist? Hyperbolic paraboloids shouldn’t exist in origami—it’s impossible to make such a 3D shape using only the creases pressed into paper by hand. By that logic, some of Erik Demaine’s artwork shouldn’t exist either.
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The Myth of Living Beyond Our Means

The Myth of Living Beyond Our Means feature image
January 27, 2013
The richest 1 percent now own more than 35 percent of all of the nation’s household wealth, and 38 percent of the nation’s financial assets – including stocks and pension funds. The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together. 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than bottom 33 million American families combined. So why are we even contemplating cutting programs the middle class and poor depend on, and raising raising their taxes?
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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

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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.