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Daily News Digest February 21, 2019

  Daily News Digest February 21, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and  The Iron Heel.

Democracy?:  As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99%: Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity!  Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Image of the Day:

Contain The Threat

Quotes of the Day:

Videos of the Day:

 U.S.:

Environment:

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation

BAR Abolition Spotlight: Diana Block  Roberto Sirvent: Can you please tell readers of the Black Agenda Report a little about your background and the work you do?  Diana Block: The California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) was founded in 1995 by women prisoners and their advocates. One of our founding members was a Black woman, Charisse Shumate, with sickle disease who dared to challenge the abusive health care that she and others were receiving in prison. Throughout our history, CCWP has been committed to challenging the institutional violence imposed on women, transgender people and communities of color by the prison industrial complex (PIC). We center the struggle for racial and gender justice and we prioritize the leadership of the people, families and communities most impacted by the PIC in building this movement. Our visiting program at the women’s state prisons is at the core of all our work. Our programs evolve in response to the guidance and insights of the people we visit and the changing conditions within the prisons and jails. Within that framework our programs fall into four major areas. First, we monitor and challenge the abusive conditions inside of the women’s prisons, including grossly inadequate health care, sexual harassment and abuse, solitary confinement and overcrowding. Second, we fight for the release of women, trans and gender non-conforming prisoners through individual advocacy and systemic reforms of parole and sentencing systems, including the extreme sentence of Life Without Parole (LWOP). Third, we support women and trans people in their process of re-entering the community upon release so they are able to survive, grow and become involved in the struggles for civil rights and social change. Fourth, we work in coalition with others to promote decarceration strategies, shifting state and local priorities away from incarceration and punishment towards education, employment, housing and overall social transformation. By Roberto Sirvent, BAR Abolition Spotlight Editor Buried Alive: The Story of Police State Racism in Chicago  Chicago media care more about the safety of a killer cop and the Jesse Smollett saga than victims of the city’s rabidly racist police. “Van Dyke’s heinous crime was all too consistent with a longstanding pattern of excessive force and even murder on the part of the Chicago Police Department.”“I cannot bury my husband”— Tiffany Van Dyke, wife of Jason Van Dyke, the murderer of Laquan McDonald Among the many different forms taken by 21st century U.S.-American racism, one is the curious way in which white-owned corporate media and the criminal justice system racially differentiate worthy from unworthy victims. Take the case of Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who coldly executed the Black teenager Laquan McDonald on the evening of October 20th, 2014. The dash-cam videotape of the execution has been viewed by many millions of people. By Paul Street

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 05: Demonstrators protest outside of the Leighton Criminal Courts Building as Jury selection begins in the murder trial for Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke on September 5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Van Dyke is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times and killing him on October 20, 2014. Protests erupted around the city after video of the shooting was released. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“It’s Eco-Socialism or Death”  An interview with Kali Akuno Cooperation Jackson leader Kali Akuno on the Green New Deal, the need for mass civil disobedience, and the necessity of building an internationalist movement for eco-socialism. “We have to articulate a program that concretely addresses the class’s immediate and medium-term need for jobs and stable income around the expansion of existing “green” industries and the development of new ones.” The Green New Deal (GND) is now part of the national conversation. But for decades, social movements have been doing the on-the-ground work to resist fossil capitalism and envision a different future. Such grassroots social mobilization — but at a massive scale — is vital to ensuring the GND catalyzes transformative social change. As U.S. Intervention Germinates in Venezuela, We Must Not Forget the Implications for Haiti Haitians and Venezuelans are united by history and common struggle against the US behemoth that seeks to enslave the rest of the hemisphere. “Hugo Chavez provided cheap petroleum products and favorable credit terms to Haiti and 16 other nations.”As both Republicans and Democrats continue their plans to install a government in Venezuela that proves more tractable to their neoliberal agendas, we are also witnessing an uprising by the people of Haiti against the ongoing neocolonial control by the United States. The Haitian people are no strangers to the tentacles of United States interventionism, which has been ongoing since the 19-year occupation commenced by President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. The occupation included the seizing and relocation of Haiti’s financial reserves to the United States, as well as a re-write of the nation’s constitution, which, among other things, allowed for foreign entities to enjoy land-owning rights.   Black Alliance For Peace Letters from Our Readers Jahan Chowdhry, BAR Comments Editor  This week’s column discusses the Bernie Sanders campaign, Medicare for All, and white supremacy in Venezuela. The best letters came for “Freedom Rider: Black Voters Used to Destroy Bernie Sanders,” “Pelosi Sabotages Medicare For All, But Corporate Media Pretend Not to Notice,” and “In Venezuela, White Supremacy Is a Key Driver of the Coup.” In “Freedom Rider: Black Voters Used to Destroy Bernie Sanders” Margaret Kimberley argues that the liberal establishment is using false allegations of racism to turn black voters against the social democratic Senator  Prisons Are Building Databases of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints  Hundreds of thousands of inmates’ voices have been imprinted, potentially ensnaring millions of family members, friends and supporters in the huge surveillance net. “Some programs even analyze the voices of call recipients outside prisons to track which outsiders speak to multiple prisoners regularly.” Roughly six months ago at New York’s Sing Sing prison, John Dukes says he was brought out with cellmates to meet a corrections counselor. He recalls her giving him a paper with some phrases, and offering him a strange choice: He could go up to the phone and utter the phrases that an automated voice would ask him to read, or he could choose not to and lose his phone access altogether. By George Joseph and Debbie Nathan BAR Book Forum: Roderick Ferguson’s “One-Dimensional Queer”  Gay liberation didn’t originate as a single-issue movement, and must confront neoliberalism and gentrification as well as anti-queer violence. By Roberto Sirvent, BAR Book Forum EditorVenezuela: A Unique Experience in Protagonist Democracy?   The issue for us all is: No to military intervention in Venezuela and full support for the right of Venezuela to defend itself. By Arnold August Brazilian Police Massacre 13 Youth in Bolsonaro “Crackdown” In keeping with the new president’s declaration that the police do not “kill enough,” militarized cops swept through a Rio de Janeiro favela with deadly effect. Seu Jornal — Rede TVT, Mekim-na-Save Projek

How to Answer Trump? Make America a Socialist Country Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders won’t align with Venezuela out of fear of being labeled “authoritarian” by the ruling elite. “None of demands put forward by Sanders or Ocasio-Cortez are possible without a massive transformation of society, like that in Venezuela nearly two decades ago.” President Donald Trump expressed horror regarding socialism’s popularity among sections of the U.S. population at his latest State of the Union address. He vowed that the United States would “never be a socialist country.” Beneath the optics of Trump’s address and Nancy Pelosi’s “shade” clap is the stark reality that all sections of the U.S. capitalist oligarchy are at war with socialism at home and abroad.The social democratic and self-proclaimed “socialist” camp behind Bernie Sanders remains largely excluded from the halls of Washington and the ruling class certainly has no plans for that to change anytime soon. Oligarchs in the Democratic Party have flooded the 2020 primary with corporate candidates or faux-liberals who are more than willing to obey the dictates of neoliberal capital. ByDanny Haiphong, BAR contributorNellie Bailey and GlenFordBlack Agenda Radio, Week of February 18, 2019 

Economy:

World:

Economy:

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Why the Government The Assassinated Malcolm X  And Martin Luther King Jr.  By Roland SheppardUntitled-2. . . It’s impossible for a chicke to produce a duck egg… The system of this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system period. It is impossible for it , as it now stands, to produce freedom right now for the Black man in this country — it is impossible.  And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I’m certain you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken. . . . — Malcolm X, Harlem ‘Hate Gang’ Scare Militant Labor Forum, May 29, 1964

Picture1
Photo: Marion S. Trikosko/Agence France-Press/Getty ImagesMartin Luther King and Malcolm X in 1964.

I first started to write about Malcolm X’s assassination, after I watched the 1992 CBS documentrary, The Real Malcolm X, An Intimate Portrait of the man, narrated by Dan Rather. I then saw that Spike Lee’s documentary movie, Malcolm X, had left out the most of the events in the last year of Malcolm’s life, starting with March 12, 1964 Press Statement By Malcolm X. When Denzel Washington, acting as Malcolm X, is shown addressing this press conference, right after Malcolm’s statement: “There can be no black-white unity until there is first some’ black unity”, Denzel Washington did not state what Malcolm X said next, which was “There can be no workers solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity,” The statement about ‘workers solidarity’ showed some of Malcolm’s thinking and outlook at that time — he was becoming anti-capitalist in his political thinking.

I felt compelled to write this essay to show why this government, “the assassination leader of the world “ assassinated Malcolm X. But when I began to read more of what King had stood for at the end of his life, that he also was becoming anti-capitalist in his political thinking, before his life was ended, I realized the United States Government had the same motive to kill both Malcolm X Martin Luther King. When I discovered and realized the complicity, of the government, in both assassinations, I then felt compelled to write this essay, based upon what I learned and my own personal experience. Read More

Daily News Digest February 21, 2019

Daily News Digest February 21, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and  The Iron Heel.

Democracy?:  As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99%: Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity!  Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Image of the Day:

Contain The Threat

Quotes of the Day:

Videos of the Day:

 U.S.:

Environment:

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation

Nellie Bailey and GlenFordBlack Agenda Radio, Week of February 18, 2019 

Economy:

World:

Economy:

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Why the Government The Assassinated Malcolm X  And Martin Luther King Jr.  By Roland SheppardUntitled-2. . . It’s impossible for a chicke to produce a duck egg… The system of this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system period. It is impossible for it , as it now stands, to produce freedom right now for the Black man in this country — it is impossible.  And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I’m certain you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken. . . . — Malcolm X, Harlem ‘Hate Gang’ Scare Militant Labor Forum, May 29, 1964

Picture1
Photo: Marion S. Trikosko/Agence France-Press/Getty ImagesMartin Luther King and Malcolm X in 1964.

I first started to write about Malcolm X’s assassination, after I watched the 1992 CBS documentrary, The Real Malcolm X, An Intimate Portrait of the man, narrated by Dan Rather. I then saw that Spike Lee’s documentary movie, Malcolm X, had left out the most of the events in the last year of Malcolm’s life, starting with March 12, 1964 Press Statement By Malcolm X. When Denzel Washington, acting as Malcolm X, is shown addressing this press conference, right after Malcolm’s statement: “There can be no black-white unity until there is first some’ black unity”, Denzel Washington did not state what Malcolm X said next, which was “There can be no workers solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity,” The statement about ‘workers solidarity’ showed some of Malcolm’s thinking and outlook at that time — he was becoming anti-capitalist in his political thinking.

I felt compelled to write this essay to show why this government, “the assassination leader of the world “ assassinated Malcolm X. But when I began to read more of what King had stood for at the end of his life, that he also was becoming anti-capitalist in his political thinking, before his life was ended, I realized the United States Government had the same motive to kill both Malcolm X Martin Luther King. When I discovered and realized the complicity, of the government, in both assassinations, I then felt compelled to write this essay, based upon what I learned and my own personal experience. Read More

Daily News Digest February 20, 2019

Daily News Digest February 20, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and, if necessary,3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Image of the Day:

Bendib:Billionaires R-Us 

Quotes of the Day:

Robert Reiner claims that “(to) a large extent, a society gets the policemen if deserves.” Mr., Reiner is extremely optimistic about the police or extremely cynical about society. But undeniably, the history of our society is reflected in the history of its police. Much of that history clashes with our nation’s patriotic self-image. The history of America’s police is not the story of democracy so much as it is the preventionof democracy. Yet there is another story, an ever-present subtext—the story of resistance. It too, drives this narrative, and if there is a reason for hope anywhere in this book, we may find it here—amidst the slave revolts, strikes, sit-ins, protest marches, and riots. — Kristian Williams, in his forward of his book, Our Enemies in Blue Police and Power in America.

A Real Emergency: The United States’ Crumbling Infraststure:

Instead of using taxpayers’ money to build his useless $5.7 billion border wall — which migrants would cross anyway, whether by digging tunnels under it or climbing over it — Trump should use that money to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure. As anybody who flies from Beijing or other modern Asian airports to the United States can tell you, arriving at the biggest U.S. airports increasingly feels like landing in a Third World country. Rather than building a “big, beautiful wall” in the desert, Trump should modernize airports in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.   Our roads, bridges and internet connectivity are way behind other industrialized countries. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that the country will need to spend about $4.5 trillion by 2025 to update its infrastructure, including roads, bridges and dams.­­ —Andres Oppenheimer, Instead of a border wall to fix a crisis that doesn’t exist, Trump should use the billions to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure

Videos of the Day:

Trump’s allies get set for fierce fight over emergency declaration

Public Citizen: Trump’s National Emergency Declaration Paves Way for Sweeping Authoritarianism

 U.S.:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to introduce bill blocking Trump’s ‘fake national emergency’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro have announced new legislation they intend to introduce as part of an effort to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over the US-Mexico border. The Democratic politicians pointed to the National Emergencies Act that provides Congress the ability to “terminate the President’s emergency declaration”, according to Mr Castro. In a tweet following the announcement, Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive freshman representative from NewYork City, wrote: “JoaquinCastrotx and I aren’t going to let the President declare a fake national emergency without a fight.” By Chris Riotta

Worshipping the Electronic ImageDonald Trump, like much of the American public, is entranced by electronic images. He interprets reality through the distortions of digital media. His decisions, opinions, political positions, prejudices and sense of self are reflected back to him on screens. He views himself and the world around him as a vast television show with himself as the star. His primary concerns as president are his ratings, his popularity and his image. He is a creature—maybe the poster child—of the modern, post-literate culture, a culture that critics such as Marshall McLuhan, Daniel Boorstin, James W. Carey and Neil Postman warned us about. By Chris Hedges 

Presidents’ Day Can Kiss My AssHere at Truthout, we observe our own holiday today: Native Sovereignty Day, recognizing the civil rights, human rights and humanity of the many peoples who were damn well here first. Doing so, we acknowledge that in a world without colonial displacement and genocide, the very concept of a “U.S. president” would not, in fact, exist. How did we wind up in this bizarre situation? Is our presidential fixation just an ossified holdover from British colonial days, some atavistic and self-destructive yearning to be ruled by an untouchable absolute leader? Is it the God thing, a lazy surrender to the Divine Right of Kings because having no say whatsoever is an easy out in a complex world? Or are we all captives of a mass mainstream news media which loves to cover the presidential horse race because it fills air time and column inches, thus sparing them the grind of actually reporting on policy and substance? By William Rivers Pitt

Environment:

Lack of proper health and safety regulation allows Robber Baron Contaractors to plunder government funds!:

Feinstein-Pelosi Obstruct Justice On Tetra Tech Eco-Fraud At Treasure Island & Hunters Point 6-17-18  (Video)

 Suspect Hunters Point shipyard contractor did similar work at Treasure Island

Corporate managers accused of directing an extensive fraud in the cleanup of San Francisco’s toxic shipyard led similar projects at nearby Treasure Island — work that apparently has never been rechecked since fraud at the shipyard was discovered, even as a $5 billion real estate development on the island speeds ahead. Tetra Tech EC, a subsidiary of the government contracting giant Tetra Tech Inc., is being sued for fraud by whistle-blowers and the Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors say the firm cut corners and falsified radiation tests while serving as a cleanup contractor at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a mothballed naval base tainted with radioactive substances that last for thousands of years and can cause cancer. By Jason Fagone and Cynthia Dizikes

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

The Best Police Money Can Buy  In the Fox series APB, police misconduct doesn’t exist, and privatization and technology can fix any problem. If one were to produce an infomercial proclaiming the benefits of a corporate-run high-tech police state, the result might be something like the new Fox series APB. The show follows the adventures of billionaire engineer Gideon Reeves (played by Justin Kirk), who, after witnessing a friend’s murder while on hold with 911, decides the cops are due for an upgrade.By Kristian Williams

Labor:

Economy:

Daily Update (February 18th to 19th): Unexpected Plunges in January Production and December Retail Sales Signaled Weakening Economy and Likely Early-2019 Recession; 12.6% Annual Decline in St. Louis Fed’s January Adjusted Monetary Base Was Worst Since Onset of Great Depression’s Second Down-Leg

4,823 U.S. Banks Have Disappeared Since 1999At the end of 1999, the year thatPresident Bill Clinton and his  Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin brokered the deal to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and allow the casino investment banks on Wall Street to gobble up deposit-taking banks, there were 10,220 federally insured banks and savings institutions in the United States. Today, that number stands at 5,397, a decline of 47 percent according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What exactly happened to those disappeared banks?  We examined FDIC data to see if the sharp falloff in bank numbers was from failures or mergers. We found that the vast majority of the decline resulted from banks being absorbed in mergers. By the end of 2005, six years after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the U.S. still had 8,832 federally insured banking institutions. But in just that year alone, 315 banks were lost to mergers. By 2010, the number of U.S. banking institutions had dropped to 7,657 with 197 institutions absorbed that year through mergers. In years 2015, 2016 and 2017, there were a total of 786 federally insured banking institutions absorbed through mergers.   The loss of competition in banking services has unleashed an unprecedented concentration of the life savings of Americans being held as deposits at a handful of behemoth Wall Street banks which simultaneously engage in high risk securities and derivatives trading – the very combination that led to the epic Wall Street banking collapses in 2008 and the 1930s. By Pam Martens

World:

Britain: Bye bye Blairites! Now show the rest the door Good riddance. This will be the sentiment amongst grassroots Labour members towards today’s news that a group of seven Blairites are splitting from the party. Delight at their departure will be mixed with immense anger towards the treacherous role that these right-wingers have been allowed to play over the past few years. The task now is to kick out the rest of the saboteurs who remain at large inside the Parliamentary Labour Party. This is why we need mandatory reselection. The announcement by the splitters came as a surprise to nobody. The names of those who have chosen to leave reads like a Who’s Who list of the most consistent Corbyn critics – a veritable rogues gallery of careerists and big business politicians. The shock is not that these gangsters have left the party, but that it has taken so long to get rid of them! By Adam Booth 

Britain: students rise up to fight capitalism’s climate crisis At least 10,000 students across the UK walked out of school on Friday 15 February, marking the arrival of the international School Strike 4 Climate movement in Britain. This movement has already mobilised hundreds of thousands of students in over 40 countries, with young people around the world participating in incredibly militant strikes and marches – the aim of which is to force governmental action on climate change. On Friday there were protests in around 60 locations nationwide. The largest event was in London, where a demo in Parliament Square attracted thousands of students. Ages ranged from sixth form down to primary school, with many students coming straight from classes, still wearing their school uniform. Supportive teachers and parents also joined in. It was clear, however, that this strike was organised and led by the students themselves. By Helena Nicholson

Economy:

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

The Day the Music Died: Malcolm X’s Assassination, Feb. 21, 1965 by Roland Sheppard (First Published by the San Francisco Bayview )

Malcolm X in 1964, flashing the infectious smile that drew people to him

In the afternoon of Feb. 21, 1965, I went to the Audubon Ballroom to hear Malcolm X speak. I also went to sell the newspaper, The Militant, a radical newspaper that printed the truth about Malcolm X, published his speeches and publicly defended him.

When I got to the ballroom, things were radically different – there were no cops. Normally, Malcolm’s meetings in Harlem were crawling with cops. As I was selling papers, Malcolm X approached the Audubon Ballroom. I offered to sell him the latest issue, but he told me, “Not today, Roland. I am alone and in a hurry.”

A while later as I entered the meeting room, again I did not see any cops. I went in to sit down where I normally sat along with the rest of the press in the front and the left side of the room. On the way to my seat, Gene Roberts, who later surfaced as a police agent member of the Black Panther Party, told me that I could not sit at my regular place but that on that day I had to sit in the front row on the right side of the hall, facing the stage.

As I sat down, I glanced over to where I normally sat and saw a large Black man with a navy blue-gray trench coat. When the meeting started, all was quiet as the crowd listened to Benjamin X introducing Malcolm X.

When Malcolm approached the podium, he gave the normal Muslim greeting for peace. At that point a disturbance occurred in the room. Two men were standing about halfway back in the room and to the right of Malcolm on stage. One was shouting, “Get your hand out of my pocket!”

Malcolm was trying to calm things down, when the men — one later identified as Talmadge Hayer — started running down the right aisle shouting and firing a pistol at Malcolm and ran out the exit doors by the stage, to the right of Malcolm X

Malcolm is wheeled out of the Audubon Ballroom on a stretcher, escorted by NYPD, on the fateful day, Feb. 21, 1965.

Suddenly I heard gunshots fired from all over the place, and I instinctively hit the floor. When I looked up, I saw Malcolm X standing up and glaring down at one of his assassins. At that point, from the corner of my eye, nearby to my left, I saw a flash from a gun as I watched Malcolm X fall down and back about 10 feet.

In that instant, as Malcolm died before my eyes, I suddenly realized how big he was and I realized that he was a giant in stature and in the world. This vision of Malcolm X, being assassinated, has haunted me ‘til this day.

The fatal blast, which I later found out to be from a shotgun, came from the area where I had seen the large Black man with a navy blue-gray trench coat! When I left the hall, Malcolm’s bodyguards told me that they had caught two of the assassins, one who was shot – Talmadge Hayer – and one whom the police took away.

A few weeks later, when I was questioned in the Harlem police station, I was shown a series of photos of people whom I recognized as members of the Nation of Islam or Malcolm’s organization. I also saw a picture of the large Black man with a navy blue-gray trench coat that I had seen at the Audubon Ballroom.

I was thinking of how to respond to the cops and how to say that I did not recognize the photos of Malcolm’s friends and supporters and the members of the Nation of Islam. I then told the cops that I had to go to the rest room.

When I got to the men’s room door, I saw the same large Black man coming out of the men’s room that I had seen in the Audubon Ballroom and in the photos that had just been shown to me. He walked by me, past the desks of the secretarial pool, and went to his office inside the police station!

At that point I knew that he and the government either killed Malcolm X or were part of the assassination plot. I became very nervous thinking about what I was going to say to the cops when I got back and how I was going to get out of the station alive.

I then came up with, “I cannot recognize anyone, for all Black people look the same.” The cops nodded in agreement and we were allowed to leave the police station.

Malcolm X was one of my heroes. He was the most honest mass leader that I have ever known or seen. He was a great orator and his speeches seemed like a conversation between himself and the audience.

His speeches were like music to my ears and have inspired me for the rest of my life in the fight for social justice. He was so human in his orations. I still remember him when he made the “Harlem Hate Gang Scare” speech at the Militant Labor Forum on May 29, 1964, and other speeches in which he chuckled a “heh heh” when he was about to make a special comment.

At that forum, he said: “It’s impossible for a chicken to produce a duck egg … The system of this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system period. It is impossible for it, as it now stands, to produce freedom right now for the Black man in this country — it is impossible. And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg (heh heh), I’m certain you would say it was a revolutionary chicken (heh heh).”

Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, both incomparable leaders, both assassinated – Photo: Trikosko, Library of Congress

Both he and Martin Luther King had come to similar positions about capitalism and the Vietnam War at the time of their death. That is why this government assassinated them. No one has followed in their footsteps.

From the point of view of this government, the world leader in political assassinations, the two assassinations worked. For to this day, no mass leader has had the courage to pick up where they left off. They were able to silence the art, science and truth of these two great orators. To me, Feb. 21 is “the day the music died.” It was the saddest day of my life.

For an in depth explanation of the government’s assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, read my article, “The Assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Update: The assassin with the shotgun

On April 30, 2010, I received an email from John Judge, director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations, referring to an April 22, 2010, article titled For the First Time in History, The Face of William Bradley, Shotgun Assassin of Malcolm X-El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, in a Public Safety Campaign Commercial for Mayor Cory Booker! by Abdur-Rahman Muhammad.

William Bradley

In that article is the picture shown here of William Bradley, who is the man that I had seen in the Audubon Ballroom and in the photos that the Harlem police showed me while I was being interrogated. Bradley was the man I saw coming out of the men’s room, walking by me, past the desks of the secretarial pool, and into his office inside the police station, as I was going to the men’s room!

As I wrote in my original 2009 essay: “At that point I knew that he and the government either killed Malcolm X or were part of the assassination plot.” And now I know his name. William Bradley is the man that Talmadge Hayer identified as the one who shot the shotgun. Zak Kondo also identified William Bradley as the assassin with the shotgun.

In his article, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad states: “Although his name has been in the public domain now for well over three decades, ever since 1977 when Hayer filed his affidavit with famed lawyer William Kuntsler naming his accomplishes, nevertheless a face has never been attached to the name. Historian and member of the committee researching this story Zak Kondo published a marvelous book two decades ago on the assassination of Malcolm X, wherein he explored quite a bit of biographical material on the five assassins. Spike Lee even named the five killers in the credits of his movie. But in all of these years none of them, including ‘Willie’ Bradley, has ever filed a libel suit. And for good reason – they would lose.”

This video, “MALCOLM X The Assassination of Malcolm X,” shows the police catching a second man after Malcolm’s assassination.
MALCOLM X The Assassination of Malcolm X
Uploaded by polobylimsa. – Watch the latest news videos.

A new improved video, “The Hunt for William Bradley,” by Karl Evanzz in association of Shabazz Productions, identifies the man rescued from the crowd by the police as William Bradley. The video is contained in a collection of clips titled “Naked Lies: The Continuous War Against Malcolm X.” Shabazz Productions had previously produced: Omar Shabazz “Inside Job: Betrayal of the Black Messiah.”

Roland Sheppard is a writer and activist and former BA of the Painters Union in San Francisco. Email him at info@rolandsheppard.com  and visit his website, https://rolandsheppard.com/

Daily News Digest February 18, 2019

Daily News Digest February 18, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images of the Day:

This is a Real American Emergency

Who Are The Refugess? 

 Toxic Chemicals in Your Drinking Water

A community gets water from a contaminated source like lead which is deadly.

Quote of the Day:

As many of us heard the news about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, we were both shocked and horrified that dangerous levels of lead could be present in the tap water used by a city full of people. But just because the water where you live isn’t contaminated by lead does not mean that it is truly safe. In fact, new research suggests that the drinking water used by more than six million Americans may have very high levels of toxic chemicals.— Toxic Chemicals in Your Drinking Water

Videos of the Day:

Trump Declares an Imperial Presidency – Paul Jay  Trump’s emergency order threatens to create an all powerful presidency and weaken a constitutional order that allows the elites to settle their differences within an electoral process – Paul Jay joins guest-host Jacqueline Luqman of ‘Luqman Nation’

Haiti Whistleblower Says Jovenel Moise, Michel Martelly are Drug Dealers and Murderers In this tell-all video, a former government enforcer turned whistleblower, named Jonas Belizaire, says puppet President Jovenel Moise and Michel Martelly are drug dealers and murderers and he was an eyewitness to their crimes.

‘Victory’ Deal Reached to End First Denver Teachers Strike in 25 Years

The Book: The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

 U.S.:

Incarceration vs. education: America spends more on its prison system than it does on public schools – and California is the worstBy Valerie Bauman Social Affairs Reporter For Dailymail.Com

  • Most American states spend more on their prisons than they do on education – and California is the worst, investing $64,642 per prisoner compared to $11,495 per student – a $53,146 difference in spending priorities
  • The reasons include an incarceration rate that has tripled over the past three decades, the higher cost of caring for people in prisons 24 hours a day, and the higher number of workers required to operate a prison
  • New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island round out the top states spending more on prisons 

Trump’s Broken Promises to the Land of “American Carnage” In late November, General MotorsGM) announced that it had no plans to allocate any new products to its Lordstown, Ohio, plant after it discontinues production on the Chevrolet Cruze this March. The move essentially ends the plant’s last 1,600 jobs, and represents only the latest dispatch from the heartland of what President Trump has called “American carnage.” For 52 years, the Lordstown plant, nestled in Trumbull County in the state’s Mahoning Valley, served as one of the nerve centers of the Youngstown-Warren area. Youngstown produced steel: Miles of blast furnaces perpetually lit up the night skies, and locals referred to the accompanying pollution as “pay dirt,” since the steel mills meant prosperity.

Employees leave the GM Lordstown Plant on November 26, 2018, in Lordstown, Ohio. GM said it would end production at five North American plants including Lordstown, and cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce

Is Trump’s National Emergency a Step Toward Fascism? President Trump has now declared a national emergency to fund his long-sought border wall. It is no surprise that when a fascistic president like Trump starts throwing around the idea of a national emergency, media outlets like Esquire start asking whether “it might be time to start fireproofing the Reichstag,” a clear allusion to Hitler’s ascent to power in 1933. But is the comparison justified? Is Trump’s declaration of a national emergency a threat to American democracy?The short answer is: National emergencies are normal … until they’re not. The United States has been in a state of nearly continual national emergency since the passage of the National Emergencies Act in 1976. Trump’s national emergency would be the 32nd national emergency currently in effect. Others include selective embargoes on Syria, Libya, and South Sudan and opposition to the “Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Congress can override a president’s national emergency, but only with a two-thirds majority vote. By Mark Bray 

Massive Rapid Response Protests Planned to Fight Trump’s National Emergency ‘Power Grab’“If Trump declares a national emergency for his racist and wasteful wall, expect thousands to hit streets in rapid response protests just days later—a mass, rapid visible outcry against the real emergency.” By Jake Johnson 

In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro? Libya is in a state of anarchic turmoil, with various groups fighting each other for control of the country, and as the Wall Street Journal reported last September, “Islamic State is staging a resurgence in chaotic Libya, claiming more than a dozen attacks in the North African country this year and threatening to disrupt the flow of oil from one of the world’s most significant suppliers.” To such mainstream media outlets as the Wall Street Journal the fact that oil supply is being disrupted is much more important than the savage IS attacks that result in slaughter of so many innocent people who are only foreigners, anyway. By Brian Cloughley

Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water EPA to spend at least another year considering whether to restrict toxic chemicals found in drinking water… The chemicals – known as PFOS and PFOA – are found in nonstick pots and pans, food packaging, and firefighting foam sprayed in drills on military bases. They seep into soil and groundwater in areas where they are manufactured and used. In high levels, the chemicals are linked with kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, high cholesterol and problems in pregnancy. The chemicals are so prevalent that they are estimated to be in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans. By Emily Holden 

Environment:

New Poll Shows Increased Bipartisan Desire to Act on Climate Change The results, released in December, also show widespread bipartisan support for a Green New Deal and renewable energy

US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows Annapolis seeing sea rise at about twice the global rate. Flooding there foreshadows problems other coastal towns can expect When the parking lot in the bustling tourist zone of downtown Annapolis floods, the employees at Pip’s Dock Street Dogs restaurant take off their socks and shoes, wrap their legs in trash bags and wade out into the water. A lot of the time, it’s not even raining. High tides intensified by sea-level rise are just pushing the water inland, overwhelming the drainage system. By Emily Holden 

The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created by Richard Nixon in 1970 as the official response to the nascent environmental movement. As laid out in the recently released Poison Papers, it was structured to be dependent on research from private firms that were paid by the chemical producers it regulates. Given the limited market for this research, these firms either roduced research conducive to the interests of their customers or they went out of business. By Rob Urie

Big Energy:

‘It’s About Economics’: Two Coal Plants to Close Despite Trump’s Tweet Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.But the TVA board of directors voted 5-2 in favor of closing that plant as well as the Bull Run plant in Tennessee. By Lorraine Chow

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Labor:

World:

Cuba Warns US Moving Special Forces Closer to Venezuela Under Guise of ‘Humanitarian Intervention’“It is worth recalling that similar behaviors and pretexts were used to by the U.S. during the prelude to wars it launched against Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya.” By Jessica Corbett

Venezuela’s Missile Crisis: A Conversation with Juan ContrerasA grassroots leader from the 23 de Enero barrio in Caracas looks at the historical forces operating behind the showdown unfolding right now in the Bolivarian Republic. The claim that politics inevitably involves a struggle over historical meanings received spectacular confirmation in recent weeks. That’s because the political crisis that we are in the midst of right now – following Juan Guaido’s declaring himself president – saw the opposition to trying evoke the memory of pro-democracy rebellion that began on January 23, 1958. How do you understand this effort of Juan Guaido and his imperialist masters to appropriate that historical event, which was essentially a leftist victory, in the name of a coup d’etat? By By Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuelanalysis.com

Economy:

Daily Update (February 15th to 18th): Unexpected Monthly Plunges in January Industrial Production and Manufacturing, and December Retail Sales Signal a Weakened Economy and Increasingly Likely Early-2019 Recession. — John Williams

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Workers’ democracy in the Russian Revolution – part twoThe Russian Revolution is the greatest event in human history, because for the first time the working class not only led a revolution, but took power directly into their own hands and proceeded to transform society. The act is slandered as undemocratic, when in reality it involved the most far-reaching and revolutionary democracy the world has ever seen. In this two-part article, Daniel Morley explains how this worked in practice. By Daniel Morley

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said billionaires shouldn’t exist as long as Americans live in abject poverty  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said a society that allows billionaires to exist while some Americans live in abject poverty is “immoral.”

  • She said Americans shouldn’t normalize economic inequality by idealizing the super-rich during a conversation with author Ta-Nehisi Coates at an event honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.
  • The New York Democrat recently suggested the US should hike marginal tax rates on Americans making more than $10 million.

“I’m not saying that Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are immoral, but a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong,” Ocasio-Cortez said during an event honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. By Eliza Relman

Daily News Digest February 15, 2019

Daily News Digest February 15, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images of the Day:

Quote of the Day:

Helen KellerVideos of the Day:

In Caracas, Ordinary Venezuelans Speak to The Real News About Venezuela’s CrisisCitizens of Venezuela wait in line to sign a petition denouncing U.S. imperialism. Dimitri Lascaris reports from Caracas

U.S.:

  Doomsday Redux: the Most Dangerous Weapon Ever Rolls Off the Nuclear Assembly Line  Last month, the National Nuclear Security Administration (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission) announced that the first of a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons had rolled off the assembly line at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in the panhandle of Texas. That warhead, the W76-2, is designed to be fitted to a submarine-launched Trident missile, a weapon with a range of more than 7,500 miles. By September, an undisclosed number of warheads will be delivered to the Navy for deployment. By James Carroll

Neoliberalism Or Death: The U.S. Economic War Against Venezuela The U.S. Is Weaponizing humanitarian aid in an effort to sell its regime change campaign against Venezuela. This week on Intercepted: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially endorses the attempted coup in Venezuela, joining forces with Donald Trump and his posse of neoconservatives. Venezuela’s Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Ron responds to the threats of military action and the reports about covert U.S. activity in the country. He also discusses the impact of the sanctions on Venezuela. Former United Nations rapporteur Alfred de Zayas is accusing the U.S. of attempting to “asphyxiate” Venezuela with economic warfare and says the U.S. should be investigated by the International Criminal Court. Zayas wrote a U.N. report on Venezuela in late 2018 that was scathing in its assessment of U.S. policy toward Venezuela under both Obama and Trump. He talks about what he found during his investigation. And we go inside the mind of journalist Sam Husseini, who tried to ask convicted criminal Elliott Abrams about his past and the present U.S. lies about Venezuela.

Environment:

Capitalism’s Ownership of Global Warming  Capitalism not only owns global warming, there’s a big red mitigation arrow pointed at the heart of today’s rampant capitalism, which is eerily similar to the loosie goosie version of the Roaring Twenties, but with a high tech twist.By Robert Hunziker

Big Energy:

In Fuel to the Fire: How Geoengineering Threatens to Entrench Fossil Fuels and Accelerate the Climate Crisis, the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL) warns that geoengineering, which includes technologies to remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide and to shoot particles into the atmosphere to block sunlight, potentially offers more of a problem for the climate than a solution. By Justin Mikulka

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America

Kristian Williams: I doubt that your readers need to be told that police brutality and racism are real problems. But the history I recount in Our Enemies in Blue may help make sense of why the institution operates the way that it does. Looking at the history of policing from the slave patrols to our current period of militarization and mass incarceration, I argue that racism and violence are central to the institution’s function. In other words, rather than ask why the institution doesn’t do what it is “supposed” to do—bringing justice, protecting the innocent, etc. —I think we get further by starting with what it does do, and then looking for the reasons it does that. Taking that approach, and recognizing that throughout their history the police have reliably served the interests of white supremacy, we may get a clearer idea of what the role of the police really is, and it also tells us something about the centrality of racism to our entire society. — Black Agenda Report Book Forum:  Kristian Williams’s “Our Enemies in Blue”

Pelosi Sabotages Medicare for All, But Corporate Media Pretend Not to Notice  When the top Democrat secretly plots to subvert a proposal supported by the vast majority of her party, that’s supposed to be news — unless the corporate media decide otherwise. “The plutocrat-owned press is protecting Pelosi from the extreme embarrassment.” Thanks to Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016, his signature Medicare for All proposal is the litmus issue for Democrats in the unfolding 2020 campaign. With supermajority support among Democratic and independent voters and backed by more than half of Republican s, the single payer scheme was endorsed by a majority of Democratic candidates in November’s House races. Most of the declared Democratic presidential candidates claim to back Medicare for All, including even New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who has accepted more money from Big Pharma than any other member of his party . So compelling is the issue, a Politico-Harvard poll shows that fully 84 percent of Democrats want the party to make Medicare for All “an extremely important priority.” By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

Labor:

The War at the Point of Production: The ‘Killing Fields’ of the United Statescontinues with safety regulations cut and fewer Occupational Health Doctors:

To achieve the objective of establishing occupational and environmental medicine as a clinical entity within mainstream medical care and education, a new approach to training and certification is needed. We recommend that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP) offer certificates of added qualifications to diplomates in internal medicine and family practice who have advanced training or experience in occupational and environmental medicine. The certificate of added qualifications in geriatric medicine offered by the ABIM and ABFP is a model for such an approach. We recognize that implementing a similar program for occupational and environmental medicine would be controversial. Nonetheless, we believe that it would be effective in remedying the shortage of clinicians in this field, particularly in locations not readily served by academic medical centers. This strategy might also increase interest in occupational and environmental medicine among primary care specialists by offering a second certificate of added qualifications to board-certified specialists who participate in one additional year of clinical specialty training. We also recommend an alternative approach to certification of the full-fledged specialist in occupational and environmental medicine: a streamlined dual-certification program overseen by a primary care specialty board (ABIM or ABFP) and by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. A similar process has been adopted by the ABIM with the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Most primary care physicians are inadequately prepared to respond to the growing need for clinical services that address the real and perceived problems of occupational and environmental illness. A recent community-based survey identified physicians as one of the most trusted but least informed sources of information about the risks of chemical exposure.14 This gap between trust and knowledge must be narrowed. Substantial changes in medical education are needed at the undergraduate level as well as in the training of clinicians, teachers, and researchers in occupational and environmental medicine. Taken together, the six measures recommended in this article can alleviate the current pressing shortage of physicians in occupational and environmental medicine. — Meeting the Growing Need for Clinical Services

‘No One Should Be Surprised’: After Long Career Stiffing Workers, Trump Blocks Back Pay for Federal ContractorsAs a real estate mogul, Donald Trump was notorious for swindling low-wage workers out of pay. Lack of back pay for low-wage contractors also called a “policy and political failure” for Democratic leaders, who were accused of failing to publicly fight the president’s cruelty By Jake Johnson

Trump at the future site of Trump Tower in 1980. (Photo: Ted Horowitz/Corbis/Getty Images)

World:

Capitalist Deregulation Kills: Mine Flood Kills 23, Zimbabwean Officials Fear Final Death Toll Thirty-eight miners traveled down into a pair of mines Tuesday and so far, not one living survivor has been found. Zimbabwean officials continue to search for miners after a gold mine outside the capital, Harare, flooded earlier this week.”So far twenty-three people have been confirmed dead and fears are that more miners could have perished,” police spokesperson Charity Charamba said.

Although Zimbabwe’s mines constitute a major part of the country’s economy, they are poorly regulated and are the site of dozens of tragic accidents every year. | Photo: Reuters

Britain: cancer and Capita – NHS outsourcing disaster deepensOn 14 November 2018, the British Medical Association (BMA) uncovered a system error by Capita, an outsourcing company responsible for ‘business processes’. Capita’s negligence led to 48,000 women not receiving their letters for cervical cancer screening and follow up, potentially putting many lives at risk. Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair at the time, stated:“This is an incredibly serious situation, and it is frankly appalling that patients may now be at risk because of this gross error on the part of Capita. Some women will now be left extremely anxious because they have not received important correspondence, particularly letters about abnormal smear test results that need urgent follow up. This has been caused solely by Capita’s incompetence.” By Dan Langley

Britain: Brexit crisis will reshape political landscape foreverWith the Brexit clock ticking, British big business is getting increasingly panicked at the prospect of a no-deal departure from the European Union. “Businesses risk being hung out to dry,” remarked Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, a leading voice of UK bosses. The ruling class is growing weary of Theresa May and her can kicking antics, which only add to uncertainty and instability facing British capitalism. By Adam Booth

Economy:

Welcome To Chapwood Index
The Real Cost Of Living Increase Index
   The Chapwood Index reflects the true cost-of-living increase in America. Updated and released twice a year, it reports the unadjusted actual cost and price fluctuation of the top 500 items on which Americans spend their after-tax dollars in the 50 largest cities in the nation.  It exposes why middle-class Americans — salaried workers who are given routine pay hikes and retirees who depend on annual increases in their corporate pension and Social Security payments — can’t maintain their standard of living. Plainly and simply, the Index shows that their income can’t keep up with their expenses, and it explains why they increasingly have to turn to the government for entitlements to bail them out.

Citigroup Pats Itself on the Back for Disclosing It Pays Women 29 Percent Less than Men In a blog post on January 19, Citigroup’s head of Human Resources, Sara Wechter, wrote that “Citi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is longstanding.” She next bragged that “Last year, Citi was the first financial institution to publicly release the results of a pay equity review.” Three paragraphs later, we get the cold, hard facts: “median pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men” at Citigroup.   By Pam Martens

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

CEH’s Ansje Miller Responds to EPA’s PFAS Action Plan“Considering the magnitude of the public health crisis posed by our increasing exposure to the hazardous class of the ubiquitous toxic Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances(PFAS) chemicals, indications are that EPA’s action plan is woefully inadequate and lacks the necessary urgency. These chemicals have been linked to liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, asthma, decreased fertility, pregnancy complications, lower birth weights, and cancer. Some 110 million Americans drink water with dangerous PFAS levels and PFAS have been found in the blood of an estimated 98% of Americans.

Daily News Digest February 13, 2019

Daily News Digest February 13, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images of the Day:

Signe Wilkinson: State of the Union Address

Quotes of the Day:

Previously noted (Jan 24), the Review estimates that shutdown-delayed reporting of 4q2018 GDP will show the economy slowed more than expected. Headlinea 1q2019 GDP remains on track for an annualized real quarterly contraction, likely marking the onset of formal recession. The Federal Reserve’s excessive interest rate hikes and tightening of the last year triggered the pending recession, not the government shutdown, which only exacerbated the circumstance. Recent shifting FOMC-policy language suggests something of a GDP downturn also is in the Fed’s internal forecasts.  — John Williams, Shadow Government Statistics

Videos of the Day:

Danny Glover on the Conflict Over Venezuela  Actor and activist Danny Glover places the conflict over Venezuela in the context of a long history of US-led coups in Latin America

A Green New Deal for India?A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute puts forth a proposal to boost equity while lowering carbon

U.S.:

Deported parents may lose kids to adoption, investigation finds“We have the kids in the U.S. and the parents down in Central America, and now they’ll bring all these child welfare agencies into play… It’s just a recipe for disaster.” As the deportees were led off the plane onto the steamy San Salvador tarmac, an anguished Araceli Ramos Bonilla burst into tears, her face contorted with pain: “They want to steal my daughter!”  By TheAssociated Press

Araceli Ramos walks with her five-year-old daughter, Alexa, in a park in San Miguel, El Salvador, on Aug. 18, 2018.Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US“I had been arguing for years — very much against the American political media grain — that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding — driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow,” Cohen writes in War with Russia. “For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed.” By Russell Mokhiber

Ah, Yes,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez of Trump After Jab at Green New Deal, ‘A Man Who Can’t Even Read Briefings Written in Full Sentences’New York Democratic shows no tolerance for presidential ignorance surrounding visionary plan designed to help save humanity and planet By Jon Queally

Nearly 15,000 Counter Trump Event With El Paso Rally to Reject ‘Hatred and Bigotry’“We’re standing together to show them the truth about our border community. A border wall is not needed, there is no immigration crisis, and asylum seekers have rights.” Less than a mile away from the El Paso, Texas stadium in which President Donald Trump delivered what critics described as a bigoted and lie-filled case for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as many as 15,000 Texans rallied and marched Monday night in a powerful display of opposition to both the wall and the broad anti-immigrant agenda it represents.  By Jake Johnson 

Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War When director-producer Peter Jackson’s World War I film, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” which miraculously transforms grainy, choppy black-and-white archival footage from the war into a modern 3D color extravaganza, begins, he bombards us with the clichés used to ennoble war. Veterans, over background music, say things like “I wouldn’t have missed it,” “I would go through it all over again because I enjoyed the service life” and “It made me a man.” It must have taken some effort after the war to find the tiny minority of veterans willing to utter this rubbish. Military life is a form of servitude, prolonged exposure to combat leaves you broken, scarred for life by trauma and often so numb you have difficulty connecting with others, and the last thing war does is make you a man. By Chris Hedges

Glenn Greenwald Defends Rep. Ilhan Omar: Criticizing Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is facing criticism today after commenting on a tweet by Glenn Greenwald. On Sunday, Greenwald tweeted, ”GOPLeader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.” Rep. Omar retweeted his post and added the line: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” She later named AIPAC as the organization paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.

Greenwald: How Can Democrats Support Trump’s Push for Regime Change to Seize Venezuela’s Oil? The U.S. and Russia have proposed opposing draft resolutions at the U.N. Security Council as the leadership crisis in Venezuela deepens. The U.S. is calling for elections in Venezuela and for international aid deliveries to be allowed to enter the country. The Russians called out international intervention in the affairs of Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action. The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro is accusing the United States of attempting to stage a coup. We speak to The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about the actions of Washington and of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Environment:

‘We Have Entered the Age of Environmental Breakdown’: Report Details World Nearing Runaway CollapseA new report from U.K. researchers is being praised as “absolutely brilliant,” “essential reading for policymakers,” and “a clarion wake-up call to the world.” By Jessica Corbett

The World Is on the Brink of Widespread Water Wars My friend Mark Oats, a farmer in Australia, recently sent this note to me: Last night I looked through the Bureau of Meteorology App at the monthly rainfall figures for January, and temperatures.The region around Byron Lismore has had 1.6 percent of average rainfall for January and is 2.6C degrees warmer than average. 98.4 percent less rain than normal. Virtually nothing — and hence the people, plant, animal and food pressures growing.By Dahr Jamail

A man collects water from the municipal water supply in West Bengal, India, on March 25, 2018 Saikat Paul / Pacific Press / Lightrocket Via Getty Images

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Black Agenda Radio, Week of February 11, 2019 By Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford 

  • Black Agenda Radio – Never Trust an Oligarch

  • Black Agenda Radio – Dems Are Not Serious Or Socialist

Labor:

Fred Klonsky: Denver Teachers Strike Over Low Wages, Merit Pay That Forces Teachers to Compete for Money We will have more commentary on the Denver teacherss’ strike. Here, Fred Klonsky reminds us of the much-ballyhooed, but ultimately failed merit pay called ProComp, that substituted merit pay for adequate salaries.Don’t pay attention to Democratic Senator Michael Bennett, who claims to favor the teachers but was superintendent of the Denver public schools who launched corporate reform and lost many millions in tricky financial deals while he was in charge. He was anti-union when he was superintendent and is a big supporter of VAM. By  Diane Ravitch

World:

Venezuela: A Diplomatic Coup?VA’s on-the-ground journalist Paul Dobson explains why Guaido’s attempted coup has had next to no impact within Venezuela. Many living outside of Venezuela have been following the ongoing attempted coup d’etat with fully deserved attention. Not only does it set a worrying precedent of blunt-edged US meddling in the region, but it also runs against the Venezuelan Constitution and local laws. The recognition of an unelected leader by a host of governments also clearly violates the cornerstone of international law, including the United Nations and Organisation of American States charters, as well as foundational principles safeguarding countries’ right to sovereignty and self-determination.

Study: 80% of Venezuelans Oppose Foreign InterventionThe Vice President for Planning of Venezuela, Ricardo Menendez, indicated that the encirclement and financial sabotage by the US has generated losses of 60 billion dollars. In an interview for teleSUR, Venezuela’s Vice President for Planning Ricardo Menendez said that about 80 percent of Venezuelans reject any interventionist action against the South American nation.

London Gangs: a Tragic Remnant of British ColonialismLondon is plagued by street gangs. By the year 2016 there were an estimated 3,600 gangsters. According to government figures, these form some 225 gangs. Of these, 58 gangs are regularly active and are thought by police to be responsible for two-thirds of gang-related offences, including assault, theft, murder and, most of all, drugs. Ethnically, gangsters are mainly white, Asian, black and Eastern European. In the absence of official data, on-the-ground reports suggest that the majority of gangsters dealing in drugs, where the most violent crimes occur, are young black males, particularly Jamaican. This is not only a symptom of how successive British governments have failed young ethnic minorities, it reflects the tragic legacy of colonialism. by T.J. Coles

The Iranian Revolution Turns Forty: Dare to Know, Have the Courage to Act! Legend has it that in 1972 when the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked about the impact of the French Revolution his response was that “it’s too soon to say.” Although the accuracy of the story has been questioned, I believe that legendary response remains historically apposite. What revolutions do, their failure or success, their lasting impact, their tangible and intangible achievements are often expressed in contradictory terms and difficult to ascertain. The Iranian revolution of 1979 is not an exception. Iranians mark the fortieth anniversary of their revolution at a moment that cries of regret are commonly heard all over the country, in rural areas as well as in urban centers.   By Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi

Economy:

All of a Sudden, Fixing American Capitalism Is on Everybody’s Mind Wall Street, the epicenter of American capitalism, brought down economies around the globe in 2008, including a banking, housing and foreclosure crisis in the U.S. Why is it just now that fixing American capitalism is on everybody’s mind? One answer is that it will be a central focus in the 2020 presidential campaign while a more nuanced reading is that the current dystopian billionaire administration has everyone grasping for answers as to how we got here. By Pam Martens

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Opening a Dangerous FloodgateThomas Corbett, a former for-profit college executive, speaks out against plans by the U.S. Department of Education to weaken requirements for oversight of college quality. U.S. secretary of education Betsy DeVos has recently launched an effort that may result in an abdication of her responsibility to safeguard federal taxpayer funds. Specifically, she seeks to eliminate and weaken many of the requirements put in place to protect taxpayers and students from being wrongly billed for a subpar college education. In doing so, she gravely underestimates the reality inside for-profit education companies and fails to realize that not all colleges put students first. By Thomas Corbett

Daily News Digest February 8, 2019

Daily News Digest February 8, 2019

 Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images of the Day:

Money For War

Food for Thought

Quotes of the Day:

One of Vidal’s explanations of the forces behind the current policies of the US government is the consolidation of wealth through corporate mergers. One result from the “merger mania” of recent decades is the consolidation of the mass media (book publishing, broadcasting, newspapers, etc.) under the control of six giant multinational corporations —  Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace (201)

Videos of the Day:

Tupac – Keep Ya Head Up … You know it’s funny when it rains it pours, They got money for wars, but can’t feed the poor. Said it ain’t no hope for the youth and the truth is It ain’t no hope for tha future

Edwin Starr – War (Original Video – 1969) War, huh, good god  What is it good for Absolutely nothing, listen to me

U.S.:

The Mother of All Bombs: U.S. Foreign Policy Following the horrific destruction left in the wake of World War II, the United Nations in its seminal and founding document, the Charter of the United Nations, set out to prevent future wars among member nations. The Charter’s admonition against war was also voiced in the lessons learned from the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals in its condemnation of war: starting or waging a war against a territorial integrity, political independence or sovereignty of a state, or violation of international treaties or agreements.  are crimes against peace  and “makes all war crimes possible.” By Howard Lisnoff

US ‘Regime Changes’: The Historical Record 

As the US strives to overthrow the democratic and independent Venezuelan government, the historical record regarding the short, middle and long-term consequences are mixed.We will proceed to examine the consequences and impact of US intervention in Venezuela over the past half century.We will then turn to examine the success and failure of US ‘regime changes’ throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Corporate Titans Target Venezuela  Ruling elites have united behind the Trump administration in its illegal, unjust and brutal attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of Venezuela. Democrats and Republicans alike have fallen in line, revealing the degree to which the two parties march in lock step when the geopolitical prerogatives of the one percent are at stake. By Bruce Lesnick

Environment:

2018 was world’s fourth hottest year on record, scientists confirm

  • World 1.5F hotter than average set between 1951 and 1980

  • Current five-year stretch the warmest since records began

Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, US government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began. The world in 2018 was 1.5F (0.83C) warmer than the average set between 1951 and 1980, said Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). This means 2018’s average global temperatures were the fourth warmest since 1880, placing it behind 2016, 2017 and 2015.  

Indian villagers paddle a boat in the flood-affected Morigoan district in July last year. The relentless warming has highlighted the steep challenges faced by governments. Photograph: Biju Boro/AFP/Getty Images

Big Energy:

Louisiana and Isle de Jean Charles Tribe Seek to Resolve Differing Visions for Resettling ‘Climate Refugees’ After DeSmog broke the news that the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) was considering ending its partnership in a $48 million climate change resettlement project, talks have restarted between the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) and the Tribe in an attempt to fix the rift. On January 24, Pat Forbes, executive director of the OCD, met with IDJC Chief Albert Naquin and local officials. “The door is back open to find common ground,” Chief Naquin told me after the meeting. By Julie Dermansky

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

The Harrowing Prison Report Mass Media Chose to Ignore The United States, by all metrics, has one of the cruelest prison systems in the world. In addition to having 25 percent of the world’s prison population (with just 5 percent of the world’s people), U.S. prisons use tortuous solitary confinement, tolerate widespread sexual violence, host massive racial disparities, and routinely abuse children, among other human rights violations. By Adam Johnson

Freedom Rider: Democrats are the McCarthyites The unceasing torrent of Russiagate lies turns Democrats into war hawks and causes liberals to spout nonsense that was once consigned to the fringe right wing. It’s worse than the old McCarthyism.“Liberals who might once have opposed a hot war would now be the first to support it.” A recent poll indicated that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to hold pro-war views . That revelation is hardly surprising considering the degree to which their party has promoted the trope of Donald Trump as a Russian government asset. This strategy is a focal point for them and a weapon to be used against the Republicans instead of the political opposition their voters need. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editornd senior columnist On Venezuela and NATO, the Democratic Party is the “Assistance” Not the “Resistance” to Empire   Black, working and poor people can expect no relief from Democrats, who will continue to divert the nation’s resources to foreign wars and coups. “Only Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, and Ilhan Omar have voiced any kind of opposition to the Trump Administration’s coup against Venezuela from the Democratic wing of the ruling class.” By Danny Haiphong , BAR contributor  

Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Trump and the State of Imperial DeclineBernie Sanders’ anticipated second run for the presidency is the 6-ton elephant in the Democratic boardroom. But the rich owners of the Party would rather lose to Trump again than win with Sanders “Sanders’ outstanding primary showing represented the strongest electoral challenge to austerity of the century.” For the entirety of the 21st century the Lords of Capital have offered nothing but deepening austerity and endless war to the “home” populace of the imperial countries. The Great Meltdown of 2008 brought the global capitalist system to the very brink of collapse, impoverishing tens of millions and imprinting a profound sense of dread and insecurity on a new generation. Were it not for the strength of China’s command economy and the $19 trillion Federal Reserve bailout of U.S. and European banks, the global capitalist system might have come totally undone. Instead, the system’s concentration of wealth mechanisms were put on overdrive. No wonder, then, that polls show 18 to 29 year-old Americans favor socialism (51%) over capitalism (45%), and that Black Americans are even more socialist-minded than that. And no wonder a U.S. president felt compelled to exorcise the demons of socialism in his State of the Union Address: “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Donald Trump told the imperial Congress. “America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

HR 1 Cuts Green Party Campaign Funding, Sics Homeland Security and Political Police on the LeftHR 1 is the premiere legislative initiative of Democrats in the 116th Congress. It contains 571 pages of proposals and findings and such, but only two of HR 1’s dozens of provisions have a reasonable chance of passing the House and obtaining the bipartisan support in the Senate needed to become law. The first is a provision of HR 1 which deputizes the intelligence, police and prison establishment and their contractors to produce an annual report on the threats posed to the security of the US electoral system posed by Americans who might be under the influence of foreign powers. HR 1 cites as the “congressional findings” justifying the legislation a set of cowardly accusations levied by an anonymous group but given wide distribution by the Washington Post, as Glen Greenwald wrote about at the time. Greenwald mentions that Black Agenda Report was one of the institutions anonymously accused. Still, the cowardly accusations somehow count as “congressional findings” robust enough for HR 1 to institutionalize an annual report from the Pentagon, the the intel, the cops and their contractors. By Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor

Cory Booker Hates Public Schools Cory Booker rose to prominence as a fanatical backer of school privatization, yet poses as a friend of public education and teachers. “Booker has openly praised Republican leader Betsy DeVos’s organization American Federation for Children.” Sen. Cory Booker (NJ–D) announced his presidential campaign last week. There’s plenty about Booker’s record worth examining, from his extremely cozy relationship with pharmaceutical companies to his bizarre public defense of Wall Street. But nothing in Booker’s past is as damning as his record on schools. By Eric Blanc

Cory Booker Hates Public Schools / photo: Cory Booker and longtime ally Betsy DeVos

Tasers Claimed 49 Lives in 2018 Through Police Violence  There have been a total of at least 1,081 deaths after the use of Tasers since the weapon began coming into widespread use in the early 2000s. “No government agency tracks how often Tasers are used or how many of those deployments prove fatal.” Taser death is a form of police violence that is claiming lives in the United States despite being called non-lethal, a recent Reuters report revealed. By TelesurThe U.S. is a Political Prison, Kamala Harris is a Prison Guard  Black Agenda Report and other independent media sources have repeatedly been called “fake news” or “Russian propaganda” by the political gatekeepers of the U.S. empire. Trump has been used as a convenient excuse for the ruling elites to discredit those who tell the truth about the ruthlessness of the system. This became even more evident after journalist Marzieh Hashemi was indefinitely detained for over a week by the U.S. government without any formal charges against her. Last week, I wrote that Hashemi’s incarceration and treatment is a product of the U.S. imperial war on independent journalism. The crime committed against her is also a reminder that the U.S. itself is a political prison. By Danny Haiphong , BAR contributor 

Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party Vows to Resist South African Government’s Privatization Move  “In the name of ‘efficiency,’ thousands of workers will be retrenched so that the politically connected capitalist elite of the ANC can continue to enrich themselves.” The working class unions in South Africa, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), have been resisting the rampant privatization move of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) for months. One of the workers’ struggles was in the state energy enterprise, Eskom, for wage hike and against privatization. NUMSA claimed that the government was intentionally weakening Eskom to pave the way for private corporate players. The two unions also opposed the Independent Power Producer (IPP) program. Under this plan, the government proposed to diversify power sources by making use of renewable energy produced by private, multinational companies. NUMSA clarified that they are in support of renewable energy, but opposed to the way the ANC (African National Congress) government is implementing it. The Socialist Revolutionary Workers’ Party (SRWP), a new political party associated with NUMSA, vowed to take forward the struggle. Irvin Jim, general secretary of NUMSA and a member of the National Core of SRWP, writes about the struggle against the Cyril Ramaphosa-led South African government’s privatization move. By Irvin Jim, NUMSA General Secretary

On Venezuela and NATO, the Democratic Party is the “Assistance” Not the “Resistance” to Empire  Black, working and poor people can expect no relief from Democrats, who will continue to divert the nation’s resources to foreign wars and coups.  Only Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, and Ilhan Omar have voiced any kind of opposition to the Trump Administration’s coup against Venezuela from the Democratic wing of the ruling class.” The Trump Administration has pursued an open-air coup against the socialist government of Venezuela , with Pence and company nominating the unelected oligarch Juan Guaido as “interim” president of the oil-rich nation. Guaido resides in a National Assembly stock full of white racist oligarchs seeking to overthrow the rule of Bolivarian socialism. The Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled the decisions of the National Assembly illegitimate earlier in 2019 and the people of Venezuela elected President Maduro with sixty-eight percent of the vote in an election that was boycotted by the rightwing opposition in 2017. None of these facts are of any concern to the U.S. empire, which is primarily interested in reproducing itself and the profits that legitimize its racist system. And Bolivarian socialism has been an enemy of the elites since 1998 when the people of Venezuela rejected the U.S. empire by electing the socialist and anti-imperialist military leader Hugo Chavez.

Labor:

Economy:

 Bank of England refused to return $1.2bn in gold to Venezuela – reports Britain rejected Venezuela’s request to withdraw $1.2bn in gold stored in the UK, according to reports. It was enough for the self-declared and US-backed ‘president’, Juan Guaido, to support the alleged move. The Bank of England blocked Venezuela’s attempts to retrieve $1.2 billion worth of gold stored as the nation’s foreign reserves in Britain, sources told Bloomberg on Friday.According to the media outlet, officials in Caracas have for weeks been trying to withdraw the gold, with Calixto Ortega, the head of Venezuela’s central bank, traveling to London in mid-December to seek access to the nation’s assets.

World:

Venezuelan Opposition Begins to Fissure as US Military Threats MountVA’s Lucas Koerner speaks to Sky News Australia about growing divisions within the Venezuelan opposition as the White House ramps up its threats to intervene militarily in the South American country. By Sky News Australia

Venezuela: Results and Perspectives 1950-2019

During the post WWII decade, the US, working through the CIA and the Pentagon, brought to power authoritarian client regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Brazil and several other countries.In the case of Venezuela, the US backed a near decade long military dictatorship (Perez Jimenez ) roughly between 1951-58.

The dictatorship was overthrown in 1958 and replaced by a left-center coalition during a brief interim period. Subsequently, the US reshuffled its policy, and embraced and promoted center-right regimes led by social and christian democrats which alternated rule for nearly forty years.  In the 1990’s US client regimes riddled with corruption and facing a deepening socio-economic crises were voted out of power. As the US strives to overthrow the democratic and independent Venezuelan government, the historical record regarding the short, middle and long-term consequences are mixed. We will proceed to examine the consequences and impact of US intervention in Venezuela over the past half century. We will then turn to examine the success and failure of US ‘regime changes’ throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Venezuela: Results and Perspectives 1950-2019

During the post WWII decade, the US, working through the CIA and the Pentagon, brought to power authoritarian client regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Brazil and several other countries.In the case of Venezuela, the US backed a near decade long military dictatorship (Perez Jimenez ) roughly between 1951-58. The dictatorship was overthrown in 1958 and replaced by a left-center coalition during a brief interim period. Subsequently, the US reshuffled its policy, and embraced and promoted center-right regimes led by social and christian democrats which alternated rule for nearly forty years. In the 1990’s US client regimes riddled with corruption and facing a deepening socio-economic crises were voted out of power, By James Petras

Either Washington or Venezuela, Savage Capitalism or Socialism: A Conversation with Luis Britto Garcia In this exclusive interview with Venezuelanalysis, an acclaimed writer and committed Bolivarian talks about the short and long term defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty. By Cira Pascual Marquina

France: for a workers’ government! The power of the yellow vests movement never ceases to surprise – and intimidate – its adversaries. Of course, the bourgeois and their lackeys (in politics and the media) know that poverty exists. They hear about it, distantly, but they are totally disconnected from the real living conditions of the people, their suffering and their problems. Then, from their lofty position of privilege, with all their power and their fortune, they said to themselves: “a little more or a little less austerity, what difference will that make?” The answer hit them like a ton of bricks. This is an editorial if the French Marxist journal, Révolution, originally published on 1 Feb 2019

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Despair: U.S. Priorities: Warfare — Not Healthcare

Daily News Digest February 5, 2019

Daily News Digest February 5, 2019

 Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Image of the Day:

America First!

Quotes of the Day:

In a 1926 essay for The Nation, The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, Hughes described the group, which came together during the Harlem Renaissance, when hanging out uptown was considered a lesson in cool: We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased, we are glad. If they are not, it doesn’t matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are. If they are not, their displeasure doesn’t matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.— The Elusive Langston Hughes

Why is the United States so intent on regime change? Because Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, and the United States is its biggest customer. Within two days of his self-inauguration as “interim president,” Guaidó began a process to restructure and privatize Venezuela’s oil industry for the benefit of multinational corporations. Drawing a parallel with George W. Bush’s Iraq war, Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted, “It’s about the oil … again.” Indeed, Halliburton, exempted from the new sanctions against Venezuela, is once again benefitting from regime change, like it did in Iraq. Bolton didn’t pull any punches when he stated at a press conference that, “We’re in conversation with major American companies now. … It would make a difference if we could have American companies produce the oil in Venezuela. We both have a lot of stake here.” The Trump administration appears intent on privatizing Venezuela’s oilin order to maximize the profits of US oil companies at the expense of the Venezuelan people and the rule of law. — Marjorie Cohn, The US Is Orchestrating a Coup in Venezuela

Videos of the Day:

Withdrawal From INF Nuclear Treaty Brings us “Closer to Doomsday” Than any Time Since 1950’s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement is one of the most important international treaties and its cancellation will mean a full return to the nuclear arms race and closer to nuclear disaster, says Peter Kuznick of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American UniversityOver 40% of US Households Are One Paycheck Away From Poverty

War Criminal Elliott Abrams Headed To Venezuela

U.S.:

The US Is Orchestrating a Coup in Venezuela  As Venezuela’s second president, Simon Bolivar, noted in the 19th century, the US government continues to “plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty.” From engineering coups in Chile and Guatemala, to choreographing a troop landing at the Bay of Pigs intended to establish an exile government in Cuba, to training Latin American strongmen at the School of the Americas in torture techniques to control their people, the United States has meddled, interfered, intervened and undermined the democracies it claims to protect. . . . There is a major difference, however, between the 2002 coup attempt and the Trump administration’s current effort to change the regime in Venezuela, Golinger says. She told Truthout that unlike the situation in 2002, “when the Bush administration worked behind the scenes to back a coup d’état against Chávez with multimillion-dollar funding and political support to the opposition, the Trump administration is now pursuing regime change in  iVenezuela in plain sight.”By Marjorie Cohen

Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support for Higher Taxes on Rich  “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.”Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. By Jake Johnson

Despite Demand for End to ‘Dangerous’ US Meddling, Trump Says Troops to Venezuela ‘An Option’“It’s not up to the U.S. or anyone else to decide Venezuela’s future. After all, when has U.S. meddling ever ended well for the people in the targeted country?” By Jon Queally

Report Warns Trump Giving Wall Street ‘Green Light to Ramp Up Risk’ as Penalties Against Big Banks Plummet“How can Trump call himself ‘tough on crime’ while he lets the industry that crashed our economy 10 years ago get away with slap-on-the-wrist penalties?” By Jake Johnson

Environment:

Thwaites Glacier Startles Scientists  “It’s a disturbing discovery,” according to Pietro Milillo, a radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, who co-authored a recently published study: Heterogeneous Retreat and Ice Melt of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica, Science Advances, Vol. 5, No. 1, Jan. 30, 2019. It’s only within the past 10 years that NASA’s IceBridge Mission has served as the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice, providing unprecedented three-dimensional views of Antarctica’s ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. Scientists are now able to peer into glaciers with remarkable accuracy to see what’s happening. By Robert Hunziker

Don’t Fence Me In Send me off forever but I ask you please Don’t fence me in Years ago, I recalled standing on the Arctic Coast in Alaska’s Arctic Wildlife Refuge looking south across the coastal plain towards the Brooks Range. One of my impressions was that I saw what the Great Plains might have looked like in the days before livestock. To me, it was the lack of fences which was one of the most remarkable features of that place. Yet fences are so ubiquitous that they are virtually invisible to most people—until you are someplace like the Arctic Coast where they don’t exist. Fences run across even some of the most remote parts of the West. The invention of barbed wire in 1874 provided an inexpensive and effective means of corralling domestic livestock on open ranges. Since that time, barbed wire has been strung across most of the western United States, including on public lands without any oversight or consideration of its negative impacts on wildlife. Not only is it a pain for humans to cross, but its influence on wildlife is also far more significant. By George Wuerthner

Big Energy:

Fossil Fuel Industry Attacks Budweiser’s Pro-Wind Super Bowl AdThe pro-wind power Budweiser ad that Anheuser-Busch will air during the Super Bowl on Sunday is being attacked by the fossil fuel industry. The Kentucky Coal Association is among the groups attacking the Budweiser ad, which has already racked up nearly 14 million views on YouTube. Their attack was echoed by the website ClimateDepot.com, a project of a coal-backed group called the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow.  By Dave AndersonCivil Rights/Black Liberation:

MLK’s Radical Final Years: Civil Rights Leader Was Isolated After Taking On Capitalism & Vietnam War As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, we look at “Always in Season,” a disturbing new documentary that examines lynching in the United States both past and present. It interviews Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which built the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery to remember the more than 4,000 African Americans lynched in the United States. It also looks closely at the case of Lennon Lacy, a 17-year-old African-American high school student who, on August 29, 2014, was found hanging from two belts attached to a wooden swing set in a largely white trailer park in Bladenboro, North Carolina. At the time of his death, Lacy was dating an older white woman. Local authorities quickly determined his death to be a suicide, but Lacy’s family and local civil rights activists feared authorities may have been covering up a lynching.

Labor:

Despite Backlash, Teacher Strikes Are Spreading Across Country Teachers in Colorado, Virginia and Oakland, California, were newly emboldened this week as they watched teachers in Los Angeles return to their classrooms after a successful six-day strike with an increase in pay and support staff. Now, they too are making their demands for fully funded schools known, with some moving closer a strike of their own. The LA strike has reverberated strongly in northern California, where educators face many of the same issues, including ballooning class sizes and meager support staff. The Oakland Education Association, whose members have been without a contract since July 2017, began a four-day strike authorization vote Tuesday. The last of the union’s 3,000 memberswill vote today, and an authorization could lead to Oakland teachers’ firststrike since 2010. The authorization votes come on the heels of hundreds of Oakland teachers calling out sick January 18 in a wildcat “sickout” action to rally and march for school funding.

Economy:

Shadow Government Statistics Alternate Unemployment ChartsThe seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

World:

Corbyn calls for snap election to help put an end to austerity Labour leader wants people ‘bearing the brunt’ of nine years of austerity to have their say Jeremy Corbyn has called for a snap general election during a meeting of anti-poverty charities in Glasgow. He said people who have experienced “the brunt of nine years of austerity” must be allowed a new vote. The Labour leader met with voluntary organisations and charities working to tackle poverty in south-west Glasgow on Saturday, where he criticised “Tory cuts” while pointing to double-digit yearly increases in food bank use and falling life expectancy in Scotland’s most populated city. “People are suffering under austerity as a direct result of Tory cuts in Westminster passed down by the SNP in Holyrood,” he said. “The people who are bearing the brunt of nine years of austerity cannot wait years for a general election. They need a general election now.”

How The Murders Of Journalists In The Middle East Are Brushed Aside  It’s encouraging to hear that Agnes Callamard, the UN’s execution expert, is at last in Istanbul to lead the “independent international inquiry” into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Better late than never, perhaps, but the old UN donkey clip-clops upon the world stage according to the politics and courage of the panjandrums beside the East River in New York. By Robert Fisk

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Monsanto Exposed as Source for White Phosphorus Used in Gaza MassacreMonsanto has earned the dubious reputation of being one of the most hated companies in the world. Its grand proclamations of working to feed the world and help the environment have been exposed for a sham. Their genetically modified (GM) crops have not increased yields, despite claims to the contrary.What they have done is:

Debunking Industry Lies, Analysis Shows Medicare for All Would Cut Costs, Boost Efficiency, and Save Lives“For people who care about evidence—not ideology—the facts are clear: Medicare for All is the most efficient and most just approach to provide healthcare for everyone in America.” By Jake Johnson
A Historic Document: A Bill of Rights for Working People

A Bill Of Rights For Working People (1976)

Today we are ruled by a new tyranny. Industrial and financial barons govern by the rule of profits, denying us the basic democratic and social rights we need for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness:”

America is in a developing crisis. The quality of life for most people is going from bad to worse. And the present system offers no hope for the better.

There is no end to wars—one after another since the end of World War If. After Korea came Vietnam; now the Middle East is like a powder keg.

Huge stockpiles of atomic weapons are a constant reminder of the threat of nuclear war.

Pollution is destroying our environment—from the water we drink to the air we breathe.

The economic crisis is worsening.

Breakdowns, shortages, layoffs, soaring prices—each week it’s harder to get by. Suffering the most are those at the bottom of the ladder—Blacks, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and other doubly oppressed people.

Neither the Republican administration nor the Democratic Congress offers a solution. They are only interested in shifting the responsibility and escaping the blame.

They pit white workers against Blacks in a struggle for jobs, housing, and education.

They blame all working people, claiming we eat too much and live too well. They say that inflation will slow down if we live in colder rooms and stop demanding higher wages.

They blame people in other countries. They point to a “population explosion” in poor countries as a burden on the American economy, while the corporations they represent plunder the resources of these same countries.

They say Arabs cause the energy crisis, as if the skyrocketing profits of U.S. oil monopolies weren’t responsible.

The Democratic and Republican proposals are clear: Don’t struggle to defend your living standards; pay the costs of foreign wars; eat less and pay more; deport foreign-born workers; use less electricity and gasoline, forget about safety, Social Security, and jobs.

This way of handling the economic crisis can be stated in nine words: “What’s good for big business is good for America.”

The Rockefellers, DuPonts, Mellons, Morgans, and other families like them who run the country think they were born with rights that come first no matter what happens to the welfare and security of the rest of us. For the sake of profits they think ifs perfectly justifiable to lay off tens of thousands of workers, to destroy our environment, or to plunge the country into war.

They are a tiny minority who brush aside the rights of the American people.

 

Daily News Digest February 1, 2019

Daily News Digest February 1, 2019

 Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images of the Day:

Who Needs Elections? Ask the US About the Government Your Country Should Have

Hands Off Venezuela protest in Vancouver, Canada, on January 26. (Fire This Time)

Quotes of the Day:

Video of the Day:

Economic Update: Yellow Vests & Tax Reformwith Richard Wolff  This week: Updates on “yellow vests” spread to the United Kingdom; Jeffrey Pfeffer’s book Dying for a Paycheck; the “bail-in” scam; the gentrification of airplane seats and postal banking; a major discussion of needed and deserved tax reforms and gentrification as an injustice created by the market. 

U.S.:

United States Falls Deeper Into Corrupt Nation StatusThe U.S. is no longer in the top 10, or even the top 20, of least corrupt nations. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 was released today and the United States has fallen four points deeper into corruption than last year. The U.S. now ranks below Luxembourg, Estonia and France, coming in at number 22 on the chart. In the Americas region, only Canada came in among the top 10 least corrupt nations, earning a number 9 ranking. (View the full list here.) Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the U.S. at Transparency International said this about the report: “A four point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power. If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally. This is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.”The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. It reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy around the world. While there are exceptions, the data shows that despite some progress, most countries are failing to make serious inroads against corruption.  By Pam Martens

The Racist, Imperialist War on Venezuela 

The Racist, Imperialist War on Venezuela / Picture: President Hugo Chavez, depicted as a monkey in opposition newspaper

Donald Trump is simply exercising an imperial mandate handed down to him by Obama, who put “humanitarian” lipstick on the white supremacist pig of American exceptionalism. “The darker peoples of the world understand clearly that what is at stake is the sovereignty of nations and people’s right to self-determination.” In transferring control of Venezuelan property and assets to opposition party leader Juan Guaidó, the United States has committed an act of war against that country, and marked Guaidó as a traitor and agent of a foreign aggressor. The U.S. State Department announced that certification to Venezuelan accounts and assets in the U.S. was transferred last Friday to Guaidó, a 35 year-old member of the national assembly who declared himself president during a street demonstration in Caracas. Trump national security advisor John Bolton dared Venezuela to move against Washington’s chosen Quisling, warning there would be “serious consequences” if anyone attempted to “harm” Guaidó. The Venezuelan Supreme Court has frozen Guaidó’s accounts and barred the politician from leaving the country during an investigation of his “serious crimes that threaten the constitutional order,” but he continues to speak and move around the capital city. By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here. ByAdam H. Johnson 

Continuing Long History of Supporting US-Backed Regime Change, NYT Hands Venezuela Opposition Leader Op-Ed Megaphone  “Absolutely disgusting that the New York Times is giving Juan Guaidó space to appeal to governments around the world to support his efforts at a coup.” By Jake Johnson

150 Congressional Republicans Represent Fossil Fuel Companies Instead of Their CommunitiesLast week, we mocked the fossil fuel industry’s use of an outlet it owns to brag about perverting democracy — but we didn’t actually call out the politicians in the industry’s pocket. Lucky for us, the Center for American Progress Action Fund did just that this week. A new analysis from CAP tallies up the climate deniers in the 116th Congress. As it turns out, there are a lot: 150. But that’s actually an improvement from last year, when there were 180. Of those 180, 47 are no longer serving: 22 were defeated in 2018, 16 retired, five resigned, and four went to other positions.

A Brief History of Our Longest, Most Futile War Anyone who closely followed the U.S. war in Afghanistan since Oct. 7, 2001, knew it would end badly. The news that the U.S. has reached an agreementwith the Taliban for a peace framework is indeed a positive development, but it masks the fact that the war has largely been futile and destructive—and that the Taliban is the likely
victor.Over the past 18 years, the U.S. went from considering the Taliban an inconsequential enemy that would be easily defeated to negotiating with the dictatorial regime to now seemingly capitulating to its demands. This disastrous trajectory of events is well worth examining as the history of the United States’ longest war is written. By Sonali Kolhatkar 
   

Environment:

With Ocasio-Cortez/Markey Bill Reportedly on Horizon, Expert Says Green New Deal Must Include ‘Fossil Fuel Phaseout’The text of the bill, however, has not been finalized, according to Axios—meaning it is still unclear how closely it will align with the draft legislative document promoted by Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement. That proposal called for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy within the next decade, a federal jobs guarantee program, universal healthcare, and a House Select Committee to hammer out the details.While welcoming the news, Greenpeace USA climate director Janet Redman said in a statement that any Green New Deal bill must include a “fossil fuel phaseout” for it to be taken seriously. Jessica Corbett

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation: 

Draft Bill for Hopkins Private Armed Police Force Already Drawing Backlash The group Students Against Private Police told The Real News in a statement the bill fails to address their concerns. “The administration continues, as they have throughout this whole process, to be vague, to avoid transparency, and to make the bare minimum of gestures towards the dialogue residents and students have been trying to engage them in,” the statement reads. They group also says the bill “co-opts the language of accountability,” but does not demonstrate how Hopkins “will address any of these issues.” By: Jaisal Noor

Prisons Across The U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases Of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints It’s particularly alarming, they add, that the technology’s use in prisons can ensnare people beyond their walls. “Why am I giving up my rights because I’m receiving a call from somebody who has been convicted of a crime?” asks Jerome Greco, a digital forensics attorney at New York’s Legal Aid Society. Greco argues that the mining of outside parties’ voice prints should require a warrant. “If you have a family member convicted of a crime, yet you haven’t been, why are you now having your information being used for government investigations?” By George Josephand Debbie Nathan

Economy:

Confused Again: Trump Thinks His Trade War is Responsible for China’s Economic ProblemsThe New York Times had an article on the status of Trump’s trade war with China. While the piece pointed out Trump’s claim that his trade war is responsible for China’s economic problems, it didn’t point out that this is almost certainly not true.  In spite of Trump’s tariffs, China’s exports to the United States were up by more than $30 billion in the first ten months of 2018 compared to 2017. While their exports may have grown even faster without the tariffs, it doesn’t make sense that slower than expected growth in exports to the U.S. could be too big a hit to the Chinese economy. By Dean Baker

World:

Guaido Continues Diplomatic Efforts as Venezuelan Courts Open Proceedings against HimLocal and international authorities have also reacted fiercely to the recently announced oil embargo, describing it as “illegal.” Uruguayan President Tabare Vasquez revealed that EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini called him Monday to discuss the possibility of Uruguay hosting an international dialogue summit to resolve the political crisis. Uruguay’s El Pais newspaper reported that “According to the President, Mogherini told him that ‘it is certain’ that Europe will not have the necessary majority to recognise Guaido as interim president of Venezuela.”Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Guaido in Venezuela, with the country’s Supreme Court issuing a travel restriction on the National Assembly Deputy following a request from Attorney General Tarek William Saab, as well as ordering the freezing of his local bank accounts whilst an investigation continues into his recent actions. The measures generated a vociferous response from the Trump administration Tuesday, who threatened “serious consequences” should either Guaido or any of their diplomatic staff be arrested.

David Smolansky (left), Carlos Alfredo Vecchio (center), and Julio Borges (right) walk from the White House after a meeting in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019. (Jim Young / Reuters)

Packed London meeting says: “US-UK, hands off Venezuela!” Narly 100 people packed the #HandsOffVenezuela meeting in London on 30 January, and heard Venezuelan ambassador Rocío Manero, Alan Woods (International Marxist Tendency), Steve Hedley (Assistant General Secretary of the RMT) and Jorge Martín (Hands Off Venezuela) discuss the ongoing imperialist coup in Venezuela, the UK’s role in it, and what can be done to fight it. The meeting also heard a message from John McDonnell MP, rejecting Trump’s attempt to manufacture regime change, and declaring solidarity with the people of Venezuela. Over 1,000 people followed the livestream of the meeting from
all over the world. 

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Kansas: Students Walk Out to Protest Tech-Based Summit Learning Program  Mark Zuckerberg and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative funded the Summit learning program, which is computer-based online instruction. not personalized learning.Students in Kansas sent a message to Zuckerberg: Another student #walkout vs #SummitLearning – this time at McPherson MS in Kansas. Like earlier one in Brooklyn, protest was sparked by students’ frustrations about inadequacies of the online Learning program.  Waving signs and chanting No Summit, No Summit, No Summitthe students spent their afternoon out of class venting their frustration with the changes in their curriculum…. “It’s a learning program that is supposed to be a better way, but you are just on a computer,” said Drake Madden, a seventh grader. “Every time I get home, my head starts hurting.” he said. By  Diane Ravitch

February 1, 2019

February 1, 2019

 Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.Images of the Day:

Quotes of the Day:

Videos of the Day:

U.S.:

Environment

Big Energy:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation: 

Labor:

Economy:

World:

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Daily News Digest January 31, 2019

Daily News Digest January 31, 2019

 Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.Images of the Day:

American geologists looking for oil

Quotes of the Day:

Unlike other regions and imperial targets, Latin America is terrain for class and anti-imperialist struggles. Economic cycles accompany the rise and fall of classes and as a consequence imperial power advances and retreats.  The US intervention in Venezuela is the longest war of our century– (eighteen years) – exceeding the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The conflict also illustrates how the US relies on regional clients and overseas allies to provide cover for imperial power grabs. While coups are frequent, their consequences are unstable – clients are weak and the regimes are subject to popular uprising. — James Petras

Videos of the Day:

Many Countries at UN Oppose Trump Interference in Venezuela

Another County Just Banned New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure  Climate justice advocate Anthony Rogers-Wright explains why a growing number of jurisdictions are saying no more

U.S.:

With Trump Seen as ‘Symptom Not a Cause,’ US Rank Plummets on Global Corruption Index“The U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at The highest levels of power.” The United States earned a score of 71 out of 100 on the watchdog’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), knocking it out of the top 20 countries for the first time since 2011. Zoe Reiter, Transparency International’s acting representative to the U.S., said in a statement that “a four-point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.” By  Jessica Corbett

Trump’s Coup in Venezuela: The Full Story  The US-sponsored coup in Venezuela, still ongoing as I write, is the latest chapter in the long and bloody history of US imperialism in Latin America. This basic fact, understood by most across the left of the political spectrum – including even the chattering liberal class which acknowledges this truth only with the passage of time and never in the moment – must undergird any analysis of the situation in Venezuela today. That is to say, the country is being targeted by the Yanqui Empire. By Eric Draitser

‘Foxconn Was a Major Con’: Backed by Trump Promises and $4 Billion in Subsidies, Company Admits Factory Jobs Not Coming“Foxconn took Wisconsin for a ride. Other states, beware the allure of the mega deal.” President Donald Trump, Wisconsin’s former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, and former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spent a lot of time at press events and photo-ops last year touting the 13,000 manufacturing jobs Foxconn was supposedly going to create in the U.S., but—as with many of his job claims—the president’s soaring promises are looking increasingly hollow. By Jake Johnson

Environment:

Polar vortex: what is it and how is it linked to climate change?  The polar vortex has broken into ‘two swirling blobs of cold air’, bringing the most frigid conditions in decades to the Midwest What is the polar vortex? As its name suggests, the polar vortex is found around the north pole. It’s a band of strong winds, high up in the atmosphere that keeps bitterly cold air locked around the Arctic region. This circulation isn’t considered a single storm, or even a weather pattern as such. By Oliver Milman

Big Energy:

The Fracking Industry’s Flaring Problem May Be Worse Than We ThoughtIn 2018, the oil and gas industry operating in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale burned off record amounts of natural gas, largely obtained via hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This process, known as flaring, costs the industry money — it literally burns one of the products being pumped out of the ground — but more importantly, the resulting release of globe-warming emissions of carbon dioxide and methane spells disaster for the climate. By Justin Mikulka

PG&E and Capitalism are Politically Bankrupt Robber Barons!  First if all we must understand the difference between PG&E Company and PG&E Corporation. (Which the mass media neglects to point out.) The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is an American bankrupt investor-owned utility (IOU) with publicly traded stock[2] that is headquartered in the Pacific Gas & Electric Building in San Francisco. PG&E provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California, from Bakersfield and Barstow to near the Oregon State Line and Nevada and Arizona State Line, which represents 5.2 million households.[3]:27[4] PG&E is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission. It is the leading subsidiary of the holding company PG&E Corporation, which has a market capitalization of $3.242 billion as of January 16, 2019.[5] It was founded by George H. Roe after California’s Gold Rush[6] and by 1984 was the United States’ “largest electric utility business.”[7] PG&E is one of four regulated, investor-owned utilities (IOU)s in California; the other three are PacifiCorp‘s Pacific Power, Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy‘s San Diego Gas & Electric.[8]— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Both Capitalist Organizations, along with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have been a part of the deferred maintenance /deregulation flim-flam! Read More

Civil Rights/Black Liberation: 

DA Challenges New Mumia Court AppealWhen Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s new purportedly progressive district attorney, took office last January, he vowed to unflinchingly make the office’s goal “seeking justice,” instead of just seeking convictions, as a string of DAs going back to at least Ed Rendell had done. Last week, faced with a decision calling for real courage, Krasner flinched. In the wake of a Dec. 27 decision by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ordering new hearings by the state’s supreme court on four appeals by Pennsylvania’s most famous prison inmate, journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, Krasner had two options. He could let Judge Tucker’s finding stand that the denial of those appeals had been corrupted by the refusal of a former DA, Ron Castille, who had later become a supreme court judge and who refused to recuse himself. Alternatively, he could challenge Judge Tucker’s decision, and argue that it should be overturned. By Dave Lindorff

The U.S. is a Political Prison, Kamala Harris is a Prison Guard.  Grand narratives of exceptionalism cannot hide the fact that the US maintains the most repressive and exploitative system in human history.” Black Agenda Report and other independent media sources have repeatedly been called “fake news” or “Russian propaganda” by the political gatekeepers of the U.S. empire. Trump has been used as a convenient excuse for the ruling elites to discredit those who tell the truth about the ruthlessness of the system. This became even more evident after journalist Marzieh Hashemi was indefinitely detained for over a week by the U.S. government without any formal charges against her. Last week, I wrote that Hashemi’s incarceration and treatment is a product of the U.S. imperial war on independent journalism . The crime committed against her is also a reminder that the U.S. itself is a political prison. By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, righ, joined by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal justice open database in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. The California Department of Justice unveiled a state-run website to provide data on law enforcement’s interactions with the public. The database is the culmination of months of work aimed at improving transparency and government accountability after incidents sparked debate across the country on police practices over the last year. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Humanitarian Aid is Broken: Haiti, a Look Back Much of the money sent to help Haiti ended up being spent on western citizens at the expense of Haitian suffering.  “These organizations were merely there to colonize anew.”Someone at International Organization for Migration turned to me and said: “What Haitians want more than anything else is not a house, not even food. They want a job.” Finally, I thought, someone working with an NGO who actually understands Haiti.It was the Spring of 2010 and I had gone to Haiti to help out with the disaster relief after the 15 January earthquake which left over 300,000 people dead and devastated the country’s infrastructure. As I went with the intention of doing what was asked of me, I soon became involved in working on the problems of child trafficking while writing an ethnography of UN and NGO abuses in the country. By Julian Vigo

Never Trust a Billionaire’s Antiracism  The LA teachers strike was a tale of two competing antiracist visions — one upheld by privatizing billionaires and another pushed by working people. “To fight racism in the city’s schools, they turned to their union and mass strike action.” Mass strikes don’t happen very often in the US. But when they do, such strikes can reveal important truths about society. By walking out for the schools students deserve, Los Angeles teachers exposed the deepening contradiction between a privatizing billionaire class and the preservation of public education in the city and around the country. By Eric Blanc Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford: New South African Party to “Overthrow Capitalism”

Freedom Rider: Trump, Democrats, and International Fascists Attack Venezuela  “Trump and Pompeo are behaving no differently than Obama and Clinton did in Libya.” During the 2016 presidential campaign this columnist wrote, “Who’s the Fascist?” and asked why Obama and his predecessors were rarely labeled with the dreaded F word despite having earned the designation. In the wake of the Donald Trump coup attempt against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro the question is still relevant.Little known Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president after conducting secret negotiations with the Trump administration. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had publicly threatened Venezuela many times and Guaidó made his move after getting the go ahead from the U.S. The Trump team’s recognition of the coup attempt is fascism by any definition of the word. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

In this Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 photo, government supporters perform a parody involving a Venezuelan militia up against Uncle Sam, a personification of the U.S government, during an anti-imperialist march to denounce Trump’s talk of a “military option” for resolving the country’s political crisis, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

When Politicians Use Marginalized People as Human Shields   “Democrats trot out a diverse army of mannequins as proof that they can’t possibly be racists.” There are few things as reprehensible as opportunists who use the pains of marginalized people to advance their own agendas. This art of appropriating the suffering of many to gain influence and clout is one that politicians have practiced for ages. By Teodrose Fikre

Labor:

Shadow Government Srarisrics Alternate Unemployment Charts   The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers. The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment. The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for December 2018 is 21.4%.

Coming Off La Strike Victory, A New Wave Of Teacher Protests Takes Hold #Redfored, The National teacher-led movement that started last year, continues to flex its muscles. On the heels of a successful six-day strike in Los Angeles, teachers in Virginia, Colorado, and elsewhere in California are voicing their demands for better working conditions, and, in some cases, threatening to strike. Rachel M. CohenEconomy:

World:

When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change Joe Emersberger looks at the US-led intervention efforts in Venezuela and the rationale behind them. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war. People can oppose President Donald Trump’s economic sanctions and incitement of a military coup without acknowledging President Nicolas Maduro’s democratic legitimacy, but by not acknowledging his legitimacy they needlessly weaken their position.

Brexit: British establishment has lost control  Each new vote in the British House of Commons only reaffirms parliament’s paralysis. Yesterday MPs voted against the prospect of a no-deal Brexit – but then voted against any alternative that would avoid this default option. A deeply divided Tory party briefly united – but only to demand the impossible of their leader. And Jeremy Corbyn, having failed to bring down the government through parliamentary means, saw his Brexit proposal (to include a customs union) rejected also. So where to go from here? By Adam Booth

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

 

Daily News Digest January 23, 2019

Daily News Digest January 23, 2019

 The Cuban Revolution: Always of and by the people During the luminous January of 1959, following the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba’s nascent government was fulfilling one its moral commitments: bringing to justice the terrorists, criminals, and torturers of the Batista dictatorship who had caused the people so much pain and mourning, amidst a ferocious media campaign to discredit the trials, orchestrated by the United States, where many of these murderers had already taken refuge.Fidel immediately perceived Washington’s objective, thinly veiled behind the lies and manipulation. First, on January 13, 15, and 16, in public appearances, he recalled how the U.S. press and government had ignored the crimes of the Batista dictatorship and, after the revolutionary victory, denounced measures taken against Batista’s henchmen. 

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Images/Quote of the Day:

This Below Quote By Martin Luther King Rings True Today!:

The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World — Is My Own Government!!!Mexico Has Decided to Pay for the Wall 

AntiVietnam War Demonstration 1967 Crowd at Central Park Untitled-1

 Martin Luther King and Dr. Benjamin Spock at the head of the Anti-Vietnam War March fromCentral Park to the United Nations Building  New York City, April 15,1967  Photograph by Benedict Fernandez. Published in: Kasher, Steven. The Civil Rights Movement:A Photographic History, 1954-68. New York: Abbeville Press, 1996Picture9

Quotes of the Day:

Videos of the Day:

MLK Documentary: ‘When Silence Becomes Betrayal’On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the revolutionary Martin Luther King Jr., join us for a screening of a new documentary on MLK’s opposition to the Vietnam War, based on King’s April 30th, 1967 speech.

U.S.:

Trump’s war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence Experts say the administration is blatantly dismantling proven programs, and the consequences could be dire Donald Trump’s administration is cutting programs scientists say are proven to protect Americans, from pollution safeguards to teen pregnancy prevention and healthier school lunches, with effects that could last for years. By Emily Holden 

Abstinence programs are being favored over evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention.
Abstinence programs are being favored over evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Abstinence programs are being favored over evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention. Photograph: RGB Ventures / SuperStock / Alam/Alamy

The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ Are Unstoppable: “Now, The Elites Are Afraid”The gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement has rattled the French establishment. For several months, crowds ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands have been taking to the streets every weekend across the whole of France. They have had enormous success, extracting major concessions from the government. They continue to march. By Tyler Durden

A ‘Fundamentally Inhuman’ Economy: 26 Billionaires Own as Much as World’s 3.8 Billion Poorest PeopleWhile the wealth of billionaires increased by $900 billion last year, or $2.5 billion a day, latest Oxfam report on inequality shows “this bonanza has not been felt by the poorest half of the world, which saw its wealth decline by 11 percent.” By Jake Johnson

The US War Against the WeakWar Against the Weak is a well-documented book of more than half a thousand pages, written by Edwin Black. It describes a criminal operation planned by the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century and put into practice between the 1930’s and 1960s  with the purpose of creating a dominant superior race. By Manuel E. Yepe 

Refugees Are Not Health Threat to Host Countries, WHO Study Finds. In Fact, It’s the Opposite. “Despite the widespread assumption to the contrary, there is only a very low risk of refugees and migrants transmitting communicable diseases to their host population.” By Julia Conley

‘Literally What Jesus Told People to Do’: In Arizona, Possible Prison Time for Leaving Food and Water for Migrants“If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?” By Jessica Corbett 

New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soonby W. T. Whitney  That section of the 1996 anti-Cuban Helms-Burton Act known as Title III allows Cuban exiles or their families and a few U.S. companies to seek remedies in U.S. courts for properties they lost in Cuba due to nationalization by the revolutionary government. Ever since, the U.S. government at six month intervals has announced that Title III would not be taking effect during the following six months. But on January 16 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo indicated that suspended implementation that begins on February 1 will last only 45 days and not the usual six months.

The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like The next recession will not look like the last recession. The last recession was caused by the collapse of a massive housing bubble that had been the driving force in the previous recovery. While economists like to pretend this was an unforeseeable event, that is not true. By Dean Baker

Environment:

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

A Dream Deffered, We’re Headed Toward Economic Apartheid Most known for his famous “I Have Dream Speech,” King envisioned a future in which deep racial inequalities — including deep economic inequality — were eradicated. He worked tirelessly towards that mission.By Jessicah Pierre

It’s Time to Heed King’s Call for the Abolition of Poverty As long as what’s called “Western civilization” has existed, people have been punished for being poor. This isn’t something the Western world invented, but it’s been a consistent characteristic of it. In Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. … The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct, and immediate abolition of poverty.” Through this call to abolish poverty, King put forth an indictment of Western civilization and of capitalistic society. By William C. Anderson

Labor:

Economy:

From the chart above shows that real weekly wages have been cut $160 per week since 1965. The drastic cut was done with the support of the neoliberal bureaucratic Trade Union leadership which by 1986 implemented the program to be in partnership with the boss—the capitalist 1%! (As do the rest of the leaderships of the Black, Minorities, Women’s groups! — The Procapitalis Bureaucrats!) For more information read my essay The Fall of the Trade Union Movement

World:

Mayor’s assassination reveals Polish capitalism’s impending crisisB By A wave of deep consternation shook Poland on Sunday 13 January. A well-known, liberal politician and mayor of the major coastal city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, was stabbed on stage in front of hundreds of people. He died in hospital the following morning. Adamowicz, who had been the city’s mayor since 1998, was taking part in the biggest annual charity event, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Aid, as he was stabbed in his chest repeatedly by a raving terrorist. Many are in a state of disbelief, as this is widely considered to be the most serious political assassination since the murder of Polish President Gabriel Narutowicz in 1922. By Henryk Kazlowski

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Daily News Digest January 18, 2019

Daily News Digest January 18, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Quote of the Day:

The freshman congresswoman said Wednesday the shutdown was not really about Trump’s demands for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border or “the well-being of everyday Americans.” Instead, she said, it was “about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms.” ”It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people.” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez torches Trump for shutdown in first House floor speech

Images of the Day:

The U.S. government shutdown amounts to blackmail in Trump’s attempt to fund the border wall.

Signe Wilkinson: Pennsylvania Cyber Charters

Videos of the Day:

Happening Now: Teachers union representatives are holding a news conference on the third day of the ongoing teachers strike. The latest
The Empire Files: Trump is Expanding the US Empire In the first installment of this multi-part series, Trump Expanding the Empire, Abby Martin debunks the notion that Trump is an anti-interventionist president, outlining his first two years of aggressive foreign policy that has expanded US wars and occupations. From the biggest military budget in history, to removing its restrictions to “bomb the hell out…

U.S.:

Trump pushes racist wall, but Democrats push racist cruelty too By Barry Sheppard When Donald Trump first announced he was running in the Republican primaries for the 2016 election, he signaled that his campaign would rely heavily on anti-Mexican racism, racism against all non-whites, anti-immigrant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Part of this was his oft-repeated pledge to “build a wall” between the US and Mexico to keep out immigrants from Central America and Mexico. He slandered these migrants as rapists, murderers, thieves, drug dealers, sex traffickers and more.

Trump’s Tariffs Are Siphoning $35 Billion From Consumers And Corporations By Chuck Jones

President Trump likes to say that China and other countries are pouring money into the U.S. with the tariffs he has imposed. However, the countries that are sending goods to us aren’t paying the tariffs . The companies that import goods are paying them , which means U.S. companies need to raise prices (therefore a tax on consumers), lower their margins and have less profit (which also lowers the amount of taxes they pay to the government) or even go out of business. Shock Poll Reveals Surprising Result Between Ocasio-Cortez And Trump In 2020  A new Rasmussen poll found that President Trump and “insurgent” Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) would be neck and neck in a hypothetical 2020 presidential matchup. by Tyler Durden  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the 2020 presidential race was between Trump and Ocasio-Cortez, 43% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for Trump, while 40% would vote for Ocasio-Cortez. A sizable 17% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) This is essentially a tie, given the margin of error for this survey is +/- three percentage points. Not surprisingly, 69% of Democrats would rather vote for Ocasio-Cortez, while 75% of Republicans would cast a ballot to reelect Trump. Trump is the favorite among voters not affiliated with either political party by a 46% to 35% margin. Among all voters, 34% have a favorable opinion of Ocasio-Cortez. Forty percent (40%) have an unfavorable impression of the New York lawmaker. These figures include 16% who have a Very Favorable opinion of her and 26% who view her very unfavorably. Twenty-six (26%) don’t know enough about Ocasio-Cortez to offer an opinion of her. 

Born Disposable: Trump’s War on Youth  By Henry A. Giroux We live in an age in which the welfare of children is no longer a measure of the degree to which a society lives up to its democratic ideals. In an age of growing fascism, those in power no longer view children as the promise of a future but as a threat to the present.In particular, poor Black and Brown children are being treated as what Teju Cole calls “unmournable bodies.” Rather than being educated, many are being imprisoned; rather than living in communities that are safe and clean, many are relegated to cities where the water is poisoned and the police function as an occupying army. 

William Barr Is a Danger to Civil RightsBy Mike Ludwig   When William Barr served as attorney general in the early 1990s, the war on drugs and the public panic it generated was reaching a fever pitch. In the years that followed, intensifying law enforcement and mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes caused prison populations to explode, devastating communities of color and making the United States the most incarcerated country on the planet. Now, president Trump has nominated Barr to serve as attorney general again.

 Congress Considers Bill to Defend Freedom of People With DisabilitiesBy Jen Deerinwater  On January 15, disability justice activists celebrated the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act (DIA). This monumental piece of legislation is an important step forward for the full civil rights of those with disabilities. Let’s Expose Congress Members for the Warhawks They AreBy Maj. Danny Sjursen  As the nation continued to reel from President Trump’s shock decision last month to remove all U.S. troops from Syria, news came Wednesday that an unknown number of U.S. soldiers were among at least 15 killed in a bombing in northern Syria. Amid such continued violence, one would think the president’s withdrawal would have ever more urgency. And yet, just about everyone in Washington has attacked his decision to pull out.

Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies By John G. RussellIt’s time to bring back the original Nightline. For those of you too young to remember, Nightlinewas born almost 40 years ago during the “Iranian Hostage Crisis.” Each nightly broadcast began with the words “The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage”

Environment:

Around the World Sperm Count Are Down…Is The End In Sight For The Human Race?Massive Male Sperm Count 50% Drop Seen World Wide According to a recent analysis of 185 separate academic studies, sperm counts around the world have been declining steadily over the last four decades. Today’s counts are now roughly half of what they were in the early 1970s.  Between 1973 and 2011, sperm counts reportedly dropped 59.3% percent “with no evidence of a ‘leveling off’ in recent years” investigators wrote. The declines imply that a growing number of men have sperm counts below the thresholds for reduced fertility or infertility—supporting other observations that developed countries are seeing fertility rates drop.  

Andrew Wheeler: Trump’s EPA pick says climate change ‘not the greatest crisis’The former coal lobbyist took over the EPA when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned after months of controversy By Emily Holden  A former coal lobbyist Donald Trump has nominated to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday touted rolling back pollution standards and declined to identify climate change as a crisis requiring unprecedented action from the US.

As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is ‘Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe’ By  Jessica Corbett “Sleepwalking? Nah,” remarked Naomi Klein, decrying the “Davos Class” policies of global deregulation, privatization, unending consumption, and growth-worship. “Pretty sure your eyes were wide open.”

That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant By Stan Cox   The Green New Deal would emulate its predecessor’s use of public investment and hiring, improvement of wages, and socioeconomic safety nets to accelerate economic growth and reduce unemployment. That part of the vision should be pretty straightforward. But in asking whether success in reaching those economic goals could also help head off ecological catastrophe, we first need to take into account how the original New Deal worked, both as a civilian project and as it morphed into the war effort of the 1940s.

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

The Other America Speechby Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Stanford University April 14, 1967: My introduction to King’s, The Other America, for the San Francisco BayView: The Jan. 15 birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated this year as America’s only ‘Black holiday’ Monday, Jan. 21. On this day, the ruling class and their mass media always feature his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, as if he never evolved beyond that point. During his lifetime, as a leader of the civil rights movement, King was constantly hounded by the government with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. Since his death, an effort has been made to convert him into a harmless icon – to canonize him. Below is one of his last speeches, given over 40 years ago and one year before his assassination, at Stanford University in April 1967 and titled the ‘The Other America.’ Here he speaks not of a dream but of the nightmarish economic condition of Black people. When he talks about ‘work-starved men searching for jobs that do not exist’ and living on a ‘lonely island of poverty surrounded by an ocean of material prosperity,’ the speech remains timely in today’s world. Black Agenda Report:

A Tale of Self-Serving Black Journalists and the Corporate Duopoly.By Glen Ford, BAR Executive Editor Diversity insulates the bosses from criticism by large elements of the oppressed classes, while posing little or no threat to capital and the rule of rich white men. “NABJ should forever be cursed and shunned as the most narrowly self-serving and cowardly manifestation of Black collaborationist politics imaginable — a house of shame.” The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has joined the NAACP in criticizing CBS News’ initial, 12-person lineup of digital journalists assigned to cover the 2020 elections, which includes five women, three Asian Americans, at least one Hispanic, but no Blacks. “CBS News’ decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued,” said the NAACP. “As the voting bloc that will most certainly determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election,” said the press release, “it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the Black community. Representation matters and the media needs our coverage on the issues to drive the discussion.”

Freedom Rider: Kamala Harris Destroyed Black Lives ByMargaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist California Senator Kamala Harris shows all the signs of announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She is giving speeches in the right states, interviewing with the right talking heads, and recently published the obligatory memoir. She has been on the Democratic funder’scasting couch for nearly two years. Only the official announcement is missing. But Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes. Evoking Muckrakers: Hannah Giorgis’s Devastating Critique of Senator Kamala Harris By Teodrose Fikre  Kamala Harris’s memoir reads nothing like her actual record of locking up the poor and giving impunity to the rich. “Harris has a double standard when it comes to dispensing justice—an iron fist for the proletariat and velvet gloves for the affluent.” In the age of news as you want it and agitprop supplanting journalism, it is getting harder and harder to find analysis that tells it like it is without bias. That is why I was captivated by Hannah Giorgis’s article about Kamala Harris that I read last night. It was a compelling piece of journalism, one that compared Harris’s rhetoric with her actual record during her tenure as a US District Attorney and California’s Attorney General.

The Democratic Party Obsession with Capitalism and Militarism Will Grow Worse by 2020  By  Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor The Democratic Party is a political trap designed to capture the most progressive constituency in the United States: Black America.
“The Congressional Black Caucus has sided with the forces of imperialism when it comes to war, surveillance, and the police.”For a movement, especially a Black left movement that has yet to emerge in this period, the critical task is to develop mass consciousness of the fact that U.S. imperialism is incapable of providing concessions to the poor and oppressed.

Corporate and Banking Interests Profit from Desecration of Black Maryland Graveyard  By Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist Truth rises from the graves of Black ancestors in a wealthy Maryland county. “Moses cemetery was desecrated to make room for a parking lot.” In the grand scheme of things it didn’t even register a blip. Four people arrested in an obscure auditorium in a place whose name has a certain regal air to it — Kensington. But this wasn’t somewhere in England. No, it was in Maryland, well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, in a county with the disgraceful heritage of kidnapping, enslavement, lynching, Black breeding farms, covenants to keep Blacks and Jews sequestered and ethnic cleansing high on the list of priorities that have informed every county official since before the Emancipation Proclamation and their systematic erasure of that history both physically and from public consciousness.  Another Look At Martin Luther King Jr.    By Norman Richmond aka Jalali  Dr King was a radical, a democratic socialist who saw economic transformation and social justice as inseparable. “King never claimed to be a Marxist but had read some Marx and was fiercely anti-capitalist.” “I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic…”Martin Luther King Jr., in a letter to his future wife Coretta Scott on July 18, 1953.  While it could be argued that El-Hajj El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) aka Omowale was “Blacker” than Dr. King,” a case can be made that King put two and two together before our Black Shining Prince. Comrade George Jackson implied this in a letter from Soledad prison to Angela Davis on June 4, 1970. Jackson wrote, “It’s no coincidence that Malcolm X and M.L. King died when they did. Malcolm X had just put it together (two and two). I seriously believe King knew all along but was holding out and presenting the truth in such a way that it would affect the most people situationally without getting them damaged by gunfire.”  John Bolton Says He Wants to Protect Africa from “Predatory” Chinese Behavior, But What About Washington’s?  By Netfa Freeman  Chinese investment may come with strings attached, but Africa deserves an alternative to U.S.-led neoliberalism and militarization.“Bolton cares little about predation — he just doesn’t want other predators to compete with.” John Bolton’s recent unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Prosper Africa” plan did what is typical of such U.S. foreign policy announcements. It performed the balancing act of admitting motives to protect vague “U.S. interests” while dishonestly claiming benevolent intentions for the other country, region, or continent concerned. In this case the continent is Africa. Uniting for a Green New Deal  By   Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers A real Green New Deal requires pushing issues Democrats don’t want to discuss, such as nationalization of industries, more democracy, and cuts to the military. “We need a broad Green New Deal that changes the system so there is greater public ownership and democratization of the economy.” Support is growing in the United States for a Green New Deal. Though there are competing visions for what that looks like, essentially, a Green New Deal includes a rapid transition to a clean energy economy, a jobs program and a stronger social safety net. We need a Green New Deal for many reasons, most obviously the climate crisis and growing economic insecurity. Each new climate report describes the severe consequences of climate change with increasing alarm and the window of opportunity for action is closing. At the same time, wealth inequality is also growing. Paul Bucheit writes that more than half of the population in the United States is suffering from poverty.

How a NeoCon-Backed “Fact Checker” Plans to Wage War on Independent Media By Whitney Webb     As Newsguard’s project advances, it will soon become almost impossible to avoid this neocon-approved news site’s ranking systems on any technological device sold in the US. “Newsguard’s plan is a threat to any news site that regularly publishes information that rubs any of Newsguard’s investors, partners or advisors the wrong way.” Soon after the social media “purge” of independent media sites and pages this past October, a top neoconservative insider — Jamie Fly — was caught stating that the mass deletion of anti-establishment and anti-war pages on Facebook and Twitter was “just the beginning” of a concerted effort by the U.S. government and powerful corporations to silence online dissent within the United States and beyond.

Labor:

The LA teachers’ strike has cost $69M. Now both sides are negotiating againBy Holly Yan, CNN(CNN)After three days of an apparent game of “chicken,” the Los Angeles teachers union and the school district are back at the negotiating table. Talks resumed Thursday for the first time since more than 30,000 educators walked off the job this week to demand smaller class sizes, more school staffing and higher teacher salaries. “We are having an impact,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles union. “That impact is being felt across the city. And we’ve just got to keep it up.”

Economy:

World:

Venezuela’s Maduro Raises Wages, Promises a ‘Shake Up’ in Annual Address  Other announcements include expanding housing programs, extra funding for agriculture and “pragmatic” foreign investment in the oil industry.  By Paul DobsonPresident Nicolas Maduro made a series of announcements during his Annual AddressMonday, including adjustments to various economic policies as thegovernment looks to slow hyperinflation and turn around a five year recession.  Measures included a quadrupling of the minimum wage, as well as extra funding for agriculture and transport. He also set various targets for his 2019-2025 mandate, including raising oil output to 5 million barrels per day and building 5 million social houses.

Never mind the elections in Venezuela, Imperial Ruler ‘The Donald’ declare that he is going to recognize the ‘leader’ that he chooses — not whom Venezuelan people chose.!:   Venezuela: Trump Considers ‘Recognizing’ Opposition Leader as President, Government Denounces ‘Coup Attempt’The move would be a significant escalation of the political crisis that has exploded with Maduro’s second term.By Ricardo Vaz  The Trump administration is considering recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s “legitimate president,” according to a CNN report on Tuesday. CNN’s report cited three unnamed sources and also raised the possibility of renewed sanctions being imposed in the near future, including on Venezuela’s oil sector.

Hungary: workers and students fight together against OrbánBy Felicia Pál and Emanuel TomaselliThe Hungarian working class is awakening and radical students are paving the way for nationwide protests. Since mid-December, a protest movement has been rolling across the country against the extension of working hours. Prime Minister Victor Orbán is under pressure for the first time.

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

SomDAMPoet On Arne Duncan’s Education Ideas   ByDiane Ravitch

Our blog poet was recently inspired to write about Arne Duncan’s truly terrible ideas about education.

Worst ideas all the way down

Duncan’s worst idea

Is resting on another

And what is very clear

Is that one had a mother

“Duncan’s Views on Testing”

(The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

We’re only for the Good tests,

And really hate the Bad

And certainly, the Ugly tests

Were always just a fad

“America ruins on Duncan” …

 

 

Daily News Digest January 15, 2019


Daily News Digest January 15, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1%Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1%Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.

Quote of the Day:

Rosa Parks Quote

Image of the Day:

Globalizatiom

“Lazy”

Videos of the Day:

Huge rally in solidarity with dock workers of Port Qasim in Karachi on 10th Jan 2019 

Michael Hudson: The History of Neoliberal Economics

 U.S.:

Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again in 2020? We have a second chance. Let’s not blow it. By Frank Bruni  But how much heed will we in the media pay to this stupidity? Will we sprint to Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker or Mike Bloomberg for a reaction to what Trump just called one of them and then rush back to him for his response to that response? Or will we note Trump’s latest nonsense only briefly and pivot to matters more consequential? That’s a specific question but also an overarching one — about the degree to which we’ll let him set the terms of the 2020 presidential campaign, about our appetite for antics versus substance, and about whether we’ll repeat the mistakes that we made in 2016 and continued to make during the first stages of his presidency. There were plenty

Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administrationBy Greg Miller President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard told CNN that she has proof the Obama administration was funding ISIS and Al-Qaeda. By Baxter Dmitry Hawaii Rep. Gabbard went to Syria on a secret fact-finding mission to wade through the lies and propaganda and find out what is really happening on the ground.  Immediately on her return CNN booked her for an “exclusive” interview – and Gabbard told them exactly what they didn’t want to hear: she has proof the Obama administration was funding ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Explaining to Jake Tapper that she met people from all walks of life in Aleppo and Damascus, Gabbard said that Syrians “expressed happiness and joy at seeing an American walking their streets.” But they also wanted to know “why is it that the United States, its allies and other countries, are providing support, are providing arms, to terrorist groups like Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, who are on the ground there, raping, kidnapping, torturing, and killing the Syrian people?Obama Funding Al-Queda

 The Opioid Crisis, Made in the USA Writer Chris McGreal and host Robert Scheer zero in on the book American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts, in this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence.” Scheer and McGreal, the book’s author and a correspondent for The Guardian and other news outlets, discuss how the opioid addiction crisis is largely an American epidemic. As McGreal notes, “Eighty-five percent of the world’s prescription painkillers are consumed in the United States, which is five percent of the world’s population.”

Environment:

U.S. Shows Flagrant Disregard for Science Once Again By Abrahm Lustgarten  The signals are blaring: Dramatic changes to our climate are well upon us. These changes — we know thanks to a steady drumbeat of alarming official reports over the past 12 months — could cripple the U.S. economy, threaten to make vast stretches of our coastlines uninhabitable, make basic food supplies scarce and push millions of the planet’s poorest people into cities and across borders as they flee environmental perils.

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Labor:Agitating dock workers get five months’ salaries On the 109th day of their sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club and following a protest rally they had staged a day earlier, the 1,751 dock workers of Port Qasim Authority were paid their long overdue salaries on Friday. It was a sigh of relief for the workers, who were paid five months’ salaries, from July 18 to November 18, through two cheques of a total amount of Rs20.547 million after a meeting between representatives of Huaneng Fuyun Port and Shipping (HFPS), which handles berths three and four at Port Qasim, and representatives of the workers, social workers, human rights activists and trade unionists.

Economy:

World:

“Free Trade” Is Today’s Imperialism by the 1 Percent Building alternatives to free trade must become an essential component of a more progressive US foreign policy.   By Geoff Gilbert The conventional wisdom says that if you oppose free trade, you must support protectionism or economic nationalism. This is misleading. There is no such thing as “free” trade. People create all of the ystems that govern our political economy. hese systems inevitably favor certain human activities over others, and we can design them to act any way that we want. The important question is: For whom are trade policies “free”? Put another way: Who do trade policies favor?

Yellow vests: protesters fight for ideological ownership In France and Britain, gilets jaunes have mutated into symbols of anger against anything from austerity to Islam By Ben Quinn and Jon Henley The numbers involved – in France hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets – are the most visible difference between the two countries. In Britain, yellow vest protests have ranged from involving a few dozen – including those who blocked Westminster bridge in December – through to the thousands in London on Saturday who joined an anti-austerity protest addressed by figures including the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and which included French jaunes. Tom Griffiths, an organiser of the People’s Assembly event, said it was not too late for the left to be the dominant force in Britain’s yellow vest movement. He insisted that thousands who rallied in Trafalgar Square – while welcoming both remain and Brexit supporters – vastly outnumbered the hundred who rallied outside St James’s Park tube station under a pro-Brexit banner.

The Ottomans were once humiliated by Yemeni rebels – today, the Houthis have done the same to Saudi Arabia  If the Ottomans had to reform their army, what is to be done with the Saudi military? Mohammad bin Salman thinks he can reform his kingdom’s economy. But his soldiers may have to reform themselves By Robert Fisk I rarely have reason to thank Turkish ambassadors. They tend to hold a different view of the 1915 Armenian holocaust, in which a million and a half Armenian Christians were deliberately murdered in a planned genocide by the Ottoman Turkish regime. “Hardship and suffering”, they agree, was the Armenians’ lot. But genocide? Never. Well, that’s not the view of genocide scholars – including Israeli historians – nor of that bravest of Turkish academics, Taner Akcam, who has prowled thorough the Ottoman archives to find the proof. The Armenians did suffer, alas, a genocide.

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

The Right to be Lazy By Paul Lafargue  At once a masterpiece of critical theory and rip-roaring radical humor, this is one of the most spirited attacks on the notion of the “work ethic” ever to be published. Featuring a revised edition of the original English translation by Charles Hope Kerr, this collection also includes four of Paul Lafargue’s lesser-known critiques (including the “Catechism for Investors”), as well as a biographical sketch by longtime Wobbly organizer Fred Thompson and a new introduction. Released in collaboration with Kerr Company to celebrate their 125th anniversary year. (To Read the Full Text Go Here)

Genetic Engineering – Danger Along the Food Chain? Yucca nuke fight not over

Genetic Engineering – Danger Along the Food Chain? Yucca nuke fight not over

Thanks to the nuclear industry’s lobbying, the Senate gave President Bush the green light last month to proceed with plans for a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Under the plan, some 77,000 tons of nuclear waste would be trucked to Yucca Mountain through communities all over the country.

The Yucca Mountain ProjectYucca Mountain, which is sacred to Native Americans, sits on an aquifer potentially important to the growing Las Vegas population. And the area is subject to earthquakes. Nevertheless, industry advertisements insist the waste will be safely contained for the next 10,000 years-more or less.

Most Democrats, along with Republicans, sided with the nuclear industry on the vote. But the plan still faces a long fight in the courts and by environmental forces.

In the July 1999 issue of Socialist Action, I wrote an article titled “Butterflies are Free,” which is reprinted in the pamphlet, “Whither Humanity” (available from Socialist Action Books, $2.50). Recent evidence has served to bolster the conclusions of that article about the dangers of genetically engineered plants.

In the 1999 article, I reported that, according to the journal Nature, the pollen from genetically engineered corn containing a toxin gene called Bt had killed 44 percent of the monarch butterfly caterpillars who fed on milkweed leaves dusted with it. Caterpillars fed with conventional pollen all survived.

Since nearly 25 percent of the U.S. corn crop now contains this gene and the Corn Belt states of the Midwest are where half of the monarch butterflies are produced each year, there is a distinct possibility that the number of monarchs will drastically decline.

Due to the unexpected results of the monarch butterfly study, scientists are beginning to question the potential environmental effects of scores of other genetically engineered crops being introduced into the agricultural fields.

In the earlier article, I raised the question: Why weren’t such studies done before introducing genetically engineered corn, soy, cotton, and other crops over millions of acres of farm land?

When it became public knowledge that Bt was killing butterflies, it may have seen harmless to human beings. Unfortunately, as untested genetically engineered products move up the food chain, they become more and more concentrated in the bodies of the animals that eat the animals that eat the corn.

The “body counts” from the untested Bt has now moved from butterflies to pigs. An article from Organic Consumers (www.organicconsumers.org/ toxic/riddleonhogs.cfm) titled “Bt Corn Causes Breeding Problem in Pigs Bt Corn Linked to Hog Breeding Problems,” submitted by Jim Riddle for its April 29, 2002, edition, states: “The Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman contained an alarming story on sow breeding problems related to the feeding of genetically engineered Bt corn.”

According to the article,” Riddle writes:

Shelby County, Iowa, farmer Jerry Rosman was alarmed when farrowing rates in his sow herd plummeted nearly 80 percent. Rosman, who has nearly 30 years of farrowing experience, checked and double-checked all of the usual suspect causes. He tested for diseases, verified his artificial insemination methods were being properly implemented, and poured over his nutritional program. But he found nothing out of the ordinary. Eventually, Rosman became aware of four other producers within a 15-mile radius of his farm whose herds had nearly identical pseudopregnancies. The herds had different management styles, different breeding methods and different swine genetics. A common denominator, Rosman says, is that all of the operations fed their herds the same Bt corn hybrids. Laboratory tests revealed their corn contained high levels of Fusarium mold. Rosman says researchers typed the Fusarium down to four strains, and two of them (Fusarium subglutinans and Fusarium moniliforme) were consistent in all of the producers’ samples. One of the producers subsequently switched back to regular non-Bt corn, and pseudopregnancy is no longer a problem within that herd. Rosman believes the problem manifested itself on his farm because he planted 100 percent of the same brand of genetically engineered Bt seed corn and fed 100 percent of that corn to his livestock. According to the article, Rosman isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be planting any corn on his land this year. An agronomist has told him that a regular rotation of corn and soybeans might not get rid of whatever gene has contaminated his corn ground.

    The “$1 million question” is what happens to humans who eat Bt corn or pork, beef, and other animals fed Bt corn? Since we are also mammals, can one really believe that it is not a danger to humans? Since humans take longer to mature, reproductive hazards could appear themselves in our children when they become adults.

    The deaths of butterflies should have been a forewarning, like the death of canaries are a warning to miners in a mine shaft. Any sane society would immediately take precautionary action.

    And yet, the government has taken no action to protect human lives-just precautions to protect chemical companies’ profits-allowing Monsanto, Dupont, and other corporations to knowingly poison the population and threaten humanity’s future.

Socialist Action /August 2002

Daily News Digest July 12, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives 

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel. 

Daily News Digest July 12, 2017

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico! 

Images of the Day:

Franz Fanon Quotes of the Day:

“I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos — and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” ― Frantz FanonBlack Skin, White Masks

“The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.” 
― 
Frantz Fanon 

Videos of the Day:

Noam Chomsky to Chris Hedges: ‘Everywhere You Look, There’s Public Subsidy’ In the second part of Chris Hedges’ conversation with Noam Chomsky regarding his latest book “Requiem for the American Dream,” the renowned intellectual explains how the banking, fossil fuel and tech sectors all profit immensely from taxpayers’ dollars.

UN Adopts Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban over US-Led Opposition The United Nations General Assembly has adopted the first ever global treaty to ban the possession of nuclear weapons — but all nine nuclear powers stand in the way. We speak to Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who were both involved in the global campaign to push the treaty through

A Brief History of the KKK with Gerald Horne As the KKK rallies in Charlottesville, VA, author and historian Gerald Horne charts its history from Reconstruction to the rise of Donald Trump

U.S.: 

A Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty – Rx for Survival Nuclear weapons have threatened humanity for 72 years, ultimately becoming the greatest eminent threat to our survival. This past Friday, July 7, nuclear weapons at long last joined the ranks of other weapons of mass destruction including biologic and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions in being banned and declared illegal under international treaty law. by Robert Koehler

Why We’re Kayaking to the Pentagon, and Why You Should Join Us One week before the #NoWar2017: War and the Environment conference, to be held September 22-24 at American Univeristy, World Beyond War will work with the Backbone Campaign and other allies to organize a flotilla for the environment and peace, bringing kayaktivism to Washington, D.C., on September 16th. By David Swanson  The Airline Industry’s Collusion With the Feds Businesses being in cahoots with the government is nothing new, and it’s certainly not rare; many huge companies (as well as the people that run them) use tax loopholes, prison labor, and a myriad of other nefarious tools that aid their interests and harm the taxpayers. Airline companies, such as American Airlines and United Airlines are often the most egregious perpetrators of this sort of corruption. by Ezra Kronfeld

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

 Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 10, 2017 

U.S. War Crimes Against “Muslims of Color”: The illegal U.S. presence in Syria is a “Nuremburg crime against peace,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, the renowned professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign. “It was Obama that started” the aggression against Syria,” said Boyle. “Trump’s just exacerbating it. This is really a clash of civilizations between diehard white Judea-Christian neo-con Zionists against Muslims of color, to destroy them and steal their oil and gas.”
Black Is Back Coalition to Gather in Chicago: “We cannot support any imperialist agenda that’s coming from America,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The coalition is gearing up for a national conference in Chicago, August 12 and 13, under the theme: “The Ballot and the Bullet: War and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump.” “Donald Trump is symptomatic of a severe crisis of the whole social system of capitalism, that’s born of slavery and colonialism and world domination,” said Yeshitela.
Mumia Remembers Franz Fanon: In an essay for Prison Radio, Mumia Abu Jamal, who was a radio journalist before he was imprisoned in the death of a Philadelphia policeman, noted that Wretch of the Earth author Franz Fanon was also a “revolutionary journalist.” Fanon’s reporting for the Algerian revolutionary press from 1957 to 1960, and his 1964 collection Towards the African Revolution “condemns Arab and African collaborators and dissects how French forces used torture to intimidate the Algerian resistance,” said the nation’s best known political prisoner.
A Challenge to Rwandan Dictatorship:  Diane Rwigara, the 35 year-old daughter of a businessman believed to have been assassinated by Paul Kagame’s Rwandan regime, has delivered a “shock to the system,” according to David Himbara, himself an exile from Kagame’s terror. Speaking to Toronto radio host Phil Taylor, Himbara said Ms. Rwigara’s campaign for the presidency is already a kind of people’s victory. “Regardless of the outcome of the election, Diane Rwigara has already won,” said HImbara. “She has given people courage.”
New York’s Pacifica Station Resists Empire (State Building): An impressive roster of elected officials is urging the owners of the Empire State Building to back off their threat to evict Pacifica radio station WBAI-FM from the tower it has broadcast from since 1965. The building’s owners claim WBAI owes them over $2 million in back rent. Station interim director Bill Crosier says the non-profit corporation, which also owns stations in Texas and California, has been paying $12,000 a month for the last three years, which they believe is a fair market rate. Crosier appreciates the letters of support from elected officials. “We’ve been standing up for the rights of people who don’t have political influence for a long time.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

Environment:

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Labor: 

Economy:  Court House Doors Will Reopen for Millions of U.S. Consumers Yesterday, Richard Cordray, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that was created in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, did what few Americans thought he would dare to do: he stood up to threats of being fired; threats of backlash from Wall Street titans; threats of having his agency’s budget gutted; and Congressional threats of being put on a leash by a commission appointed by the President. Despite all of these threats and more, Cordray issued the final rule that allows consumers who have been defrauded in financial transactions involving credit cards and bank accounts to have access to file a group action (known legally as a “class action”) using the nation’s courts. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

World:

Destroying Mosul to Save It: Possible U.S.-Backed War Crimes in Iraq Are Exposed As Iraqi forces celebrate their victory over the Islamic State (ISIS) in Mosul, a damning new report by Amnesty International sheds light on the killing of Iraqi civilians at the hands of the U.S.-led coalition which “may constitute war crimes”—and demands that the coalition acknowledges the loss of civilian life and takes steps to lessen non-military casualties. By Julia Conley Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Nation “Too Broke” for Universal Healthcare to Spend $406 Billion More on F-35 There always another $27 billion or lying around, it seems, when Lockheed Martin needs more money for expensive weapons system by Jon Queally

 

Daily News Digest March 23, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Daily News Digest March 23, 2017

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity!

Images of the Day:

The New Meals on WheelsNone of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use Quote of the Day:

In his new book, Gore Vidal makes a scathing attack upon the bipartisan domestic and foreign policies of the US government. The introduction to this book sets its theme, that the bombings of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City on September 11, were used, respectively, to justify the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 and the current “war on terrorism”. Vidal explains that these bombings were in response to the more than 200 acts of war and (ongoing) worldwide military incursions by the US government since 1945, and the concurrent erosion of the Bill of Rights. Vidal refers to Newton’s theory “that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Without condoning the attacks, Vidal explains that the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma, by Timothy McVeigh, was a response to the ongoing attacks on the Bill of Rights, and that the WTC attack, allegedly organized by Osama bin Laden, was a response to US government foreign policy/terrorism. Vidal also explains that wars are declared on nations and not on an indefinable term like “terrorism”. (As an afterthought, Vidal points out that the insurance companies do not have liabilities for an “act of war”, and so the declaration of “war on terrorism” may protect insurance companies from liabilities resulting from acts of terrorism.) — Roland Sheppard Book Review (2002), Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

Videos of the Day:

President Trump quoted a report saying Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is unsigned because NFL owners don’t want a nasty tweet from Trump. Kaepernick refused to stand during the national anthem last year to protest police treatment of minorities.

Massive Cuts to EPA Threaten Communities Already Suffering From Pollution, Climate Change NAACP’s Jacqui Patteron says existing protections we weren’t sufficiently providing safeguards for communities that have been affected by recent water crises, which demonstrates the need for stronger regulations rather than rolling them back

US has Interfered in More Elections Than Any Other Nation Glen Ford says that even if the US does prove that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, the actions don’t match the scale of America’s interference in elections across the world

 Whistle Blower Teacher Says Charter Schools Draining Students, Resources from Public Education In the third installment of TRNN’s investigation into the decline of public education another whistle blower teacher says Baltimore’s focus on charter schools is threatening the viability of public education  by Stephen Janis and Taya Graham

U.S.:

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen by Kathy Kelly

Meals on Wheels Is Just the Beginning: Economist Mark Price on Trump’s Proposed Cuts Not all of Trump’s budget cuts will get people’s attention like Meals on Wheels, but they will have vicious and ongoing effects, says labor economist Mark Price of the Keystone Research Center. One example is the 20 percent cut to the Labor Department, which enforces laws related to minimum wage and food and workplace safety. By Sarah Jaffe US Ditches Human Rights Hearing in ‘Unprecedented Show of Disrespect’ ACLU had planned to drill officials on immigration, DAPL, and Muslim ban, but representatives from various departments never showed by Nadia Prupis Black Liberation/ Civil Rights: Freedom Rider: Hillary Returns How long should one stay in rehab after losing to Donald Trump? In Hillary Clinton’s case, forever. Clinton’s recent “coming back out” party in Scranton, Pennsylvania, shows that “there will be no deviation from the failed strategies which put Trump in the White House.” With nothing else to offer (except war and more war) she’s still running against Trump. “If Trump didn’t exist the Democratic Party would have had to invent him.” by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley  Why Syria Still Matters in the Age of Trump Much of the U.S. “left” is confused or on the wrong side of Washington’s war against national sovereignty and self-determination in Syria. Publications like The Intercept attempt to conflate Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and Donald Trump, “thus delegitimizing Assad in the eyes of the majority of the U.S. population.” The tactic is closely related to anti-Russian McCarthyism — designed to distract from the bankruptcy of Democratic policies. by Danny Haiphong  The Bethesda African Cemetery: Protests Trigger Government Response African descendants have forced a delay in further eradication of ancestral burial grounds in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, DC. “The African graves were totally eradicated and the memory of the African River Road community erased.” The demand is straightforward: “The land holding the remains of African ancestors must be preserved as a sacred space and a museum built to educate, honor and commemorate the ‘lost’ River Road African Community.” by BAR Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo  Capitalism: Unregulated Disaster… The Gospel of the Invisible Hand instructs us that regulations are evil because they impede the holy quest for extreme profits which underpins the capitalist American Way of Life. by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner  The Crimes of Israeli Apartheid A new UN report argues that Israel is a ‘racial regime’ because its institutions are premised on maintaining a Jewish nation by techniques of suppression and expulsion.” That’s apartheid by definition, a crime against humanity. What exists is one state, “with Israel having exercised its dominion in the entire land west of the Jordan River, but a one-state with an apartheid system, with Israeli Jews in a dominant position over the Palestinians.” by Vijay Prashad  The Extraordinary Lynne Stewart  The author, a comrade of Lynne Stewart for well over half a century, celebrates her passion as “a movement fighter, a champion of all that is beautiful in the human soul.” Stewart put her life in service to the people. “Would it be that we all had that courage and expressed it collectively in the kind of mass struggles that are capable of bringing this damn racist, sexist, imperialist system down forever.” By Jeff MacklerRwanda: The Absolutist Truth of Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch acts as an arm of U.S. foreign policy. This phony “rights” organization backs the deportation and prosecution of Rwandan dissidents like Joseph Nkusi, who dared to maintain that Hutus were also massacred in the Rwanda bloodbath. Under a minority Tutsi dictatorship, “even using the description ‘Rwandan Genocide’ is a crime; authorities enforce a law passed in 2008 making ‘genocide against the Tutsi’ the only legal description.” by Ann Garrison  The Empire’s Fifth Column in Africa: Morocco Morocco’s newfound interest in Africa is linked to NATO’s attack on Africa and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi. NATO’s destruction of Libya completely humiliated the African Union. It tore the heart out of an alternative African future, and left Africa seriously exposed once again to the Western imperial virus: a virus contemporary Morocco carries. “Morocco’s body may be in Africa but its mind is in the North Atlantic and the Persian Gulf.” by Aidan O’Brien  Environment:

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Energy News:

Labor:

Economy:

US Imperialism funded by the conquered An indepth interview by the Local Organon on US economic history, running through the key components discussed in Super Imperialism through to J is for Junk Economics. The push to recognize unearned income continues! And money. What is a free market? By Michael HudsonWorld:

Canada: NDP Leadership Race Buries Mulcair Legacy  Almost a year and a half after the Federal NDP’s disappointing election result, the party leadership race has begun in earnest. Four candidates have declared so far: Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron, and Peter Julian. What is notable is that at the March 12th leadership debate none of the candidates defended the Mulcair legacy of moving the party to the right, and all appeared to be turning towards the left to some degree or another. This represents an interesting dynamic and is reflective of broader class polarization and radicalization in society. By Alex Grant

Apartheid in Israel—It’s a Fact That Pretty Much the World Agrees on, Except the U.S.A significant judgment from the UN has important ramifications for the international community. By Vijay Prashad

So Much for the Russian Threat: Putin Slashes Defense Spending While Trump Plans Massive Buildup Despite Western paranoia, Russia’s defense budget is about one-tenth of America’s — with huge cutbacks ahead. By Danielle Ryan

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Capitalism: a history of horror without end – Part One The barrage of propaganda against Lenin and the Bolsheviks has begun. This year, the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, we will see learned critics working to turn public opinion against the Bolsheviks and what they stood for, in an attempt to bury the truth about what the revolution was really about. The same critics conveniently put to one side the long history of brutal suppression of workers’ revolutions carried out by the class they themselves serve. By Fred Weston