Daily News Digest May 4, 2018

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  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico. 

Daily News Digest May 4, 2018

Images of the Day: 

How Capitalism Is Killing Us! Uncle Sam, the Human Rights HypocriteQuotes of the Day: 

The idea of debt amnesties was to prevent debt from tearing society apart – to prevent the kind of crisis that the United States has been in since 2008, when President Obama didn’t cancel the junk-bond debts, or the debts that tore the Greek economy apart – when the IMF and Europe imposed them on Greece instead of letting it default on debts owed to French and German bondholders. The great struggle of antiquity is being repeated today. Whether society is going to insist on the sanctity of debt being imposed to a degree that impoverishes most of the population – or that economic stability should be restored by subordinating the debts to the ability to pay, and the ability of society to keep operating on a viable basis. — Jesus: the economic activist

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. Gore Videl, — The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, 1992.

 Videos of the Day:


First Time in Decades Brazil’s Unions and Left Unite, Demanding Lula’s FreedomThe imprisonment of former president Lula da Silva has united Brazil’s unions and left parties and social movements for a historic International Workers Day. Mike Fox reports from Curitiba, Brazil, where Lula is being held 

‘Poison Papers’: US and Canadian Regulators Colluded with Manufacturers of Highly Toxic Substances Dr. Jonathan Latham explains how the EPA and Canada’s Health Protection Branch concealed fraudulent tests of dangerous pesticides

Police Crack Down on Puerto Rico May Day March Against AusterityThousands take to the streets in Puerto Rico on May 1 as officials seek to privatize Puerto Rico’s schools and utilities


Why the United States Starts Wars — Profits!: 15 years after the invasion of Iraq, and now largely out of the glare of the media, US and UK oil corporations start to flaunt the spoils of imperial conquest.After 15 years of repudiating claims that the invasion of Iraq was only initiated to seize Iraqi resources, large oil corporations fronted by former architects of the war who vacated to the private sector are flagrantly advertising their contracts for exploration and production of Iraqi oil fields to potential investors. By Rory WoodTrump lies all the time — like the rug on his head!: If Giuliani’s Right Trump Lied About Porn Star Hush Money, Why Believe him on Iran?The Washington Post estimates that Trump is up to 6 falsehoods a day. By Juan Cole 

Giuliani Hints Trump, While President, Paid Cohen a $420,000 Slush Fund to Handle “Things of a Personal Nature”What Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and Donald Trump’s latest legal fixer did last night was to effectively tell Trump’s mortal enemy, the Washington Post, that Trump paid his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, a $420,000 slush fund last year to clean up dirt on the President. Cohen is the target of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. Cohen’s home, office, hotel room and safety deposit box were raided by the FBI on April 9. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens 

‘Legal Peril’ for President After Giuliani Admits Trump Repaid Stormy Daniels Hush Money“Trump’s own lawyer has now handed the DOJ evidence that President Trump committed criminal violations of federal law.” Frantically attempting to clean up the enormous mess made by his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox NewsWednesday night, President Donald Trump fired off a series of tweets early Thursday morning defending the reimbursement of his personal attorney Michael Cohen, who made a $130,000 hush paymentto adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent her from going public with affair allegations. Experts were quick to arguethat Giuliani’s remarks Wednesday night place Trump in “legal peril” because such payments constitute “violations of campaign finance law.” By Jake Johnson

Trump’s Phony Trade WarWhat’s going on with Trump’s trade offensive? There’s a dual track policy underway: One a phony trade war with US allies; the other a potential (but not yet) trade war with China, that may also in the end prove less than a bonafide ‘trade war’ as well. by Jack Rasmus


Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

 Exporting Gasoline by Rail to Mexico Likely to Recreate Mistakes of Explosive Bakken Oil TrainsThe oil industry learned an important lesson from its rush to move by train the highly flammable oil drilled in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The lesson wasn’t that those oil trains were unsafe and even dubbed “bomb trains” by rail workers (although they were). The lesson wasn’t that their derailments caused several major oil spillsin North America as well as the tragic accident in Lac-Mégantic, Canada, which killed 47 people and leveled the downtown area (although they did). No, what the oil industry learned from this experience was that when it doesn’t have adequate pipeline capacity, its companies can still make money moving flammable petroleum products by rail, despite the well-documented risks outlined above. And the industry is now taking the same steps to move refined petroleum products — including gasoline — to Mexico by rail. By Justin Mikulka  

Civil Rights Black Liberation:

Mumia Seeks to Show Top State Judge Doubled as Prosecutor and Jurist Reviewing His AppealsFollowing a brief hearing in Philadelphia on Monday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker, learning that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office had thus far failed find and turn over, in response to his earlier order, any documents showing a role by former District Attorney Ron Castille regarding the department’s handling of an appeal by then death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, adjourned the hearing until Aug. 30. The judge acted to give Abu-Jamal’s attorneys time to depose a former DA employee about a still unlocated memo apparently composed by her for then DA Castile concerning Abu-Jamal’s case. by Dave Lindorff 

Bill Cosby Should Have Been Denounced by Black America Long Ago Bill Cosby’s Confused Notions of ‘Responsibility’The Black Commentator, June 3, 2004:Bill Cosby has some nerve talking about “personal responsibility.” On May 17, with no warning, the 67-year-old multimillionaire comedian ambushed three venerable Black organizations – the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Howard University – fatally disrupting a gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Browndesegregation decision. Cosby drew from the hip (or the lip) to spray the hall with generalized insults against people who weren’t even there: the Black poor who, he said, “are not holding up their end in this deal.” By Glen Ford, BAR executive editorThank the Lazy Clown President This Time There are times when a self serving incompetent buffoon with a short attention span may do the whole world a favor, and deserve our thanks. This might be one of them. Donald Trump’s absurd fire-and-fury my-button-is-bigger-than-your-button rhetoric shoved his foot down the presidential throat clear to the ankle bone. The only graceful (and self serving and short-sighted) way out was to allow South Korea’s puppet government to make peace with North Korea. Calling South Korea’s government a “puppet” is no exaggeration. Until December 1994 , US commanders held day to day operational control over South Korean forces. To this day, treaties between the US and South Korea surrender immediate command and control of all South Korean military assets and forces to American officers not Korean ones in case of war. The South Korean army is still a Pentagon sock puppet. By Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor Labor:

CNN Wrongly Blames Electric Cars for Unethical Cobalt MiningThis week,CNN published a startling multimedia report on cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The investigation revealed troubling conditions in so-called “artisanal” cobalt mines, where hand mining operations are carried out with a combination of unsafe working conditions and child labor. As is all too often the case with resource extraction — whether for cobalt in Congo, oil in Ecuador, or coal in West Virginia — unsafe, unhealthy local labor practices deserve media exposure. Unfortunately, CNN’s promotion of the investigation and headline misappropriate the blame, leaving casual readers to conclude that electric vehicles are responsible for these awful labor conditions. By Ben Jervey 



North Korea breaks out of diplomatic isolation Kim Jong-un, recent bogeyman of the international press, has suddenly become its darling. The new diplomatic offensive took the ‘international community’ by surprise, with the prospect of an end to a 70-year conflict. Although Trump is attempting to bask in the glow of success, the latest turn, in reality, demonstrates the relative weakening of US imperialism. By Niklas Albin SvenssonHealth, Science, Education, and Welfare: 

A reading of this pamphlet reveals the immensely progressive changes introduced by Soviet law compared to the old Tsarist legislation. For example, couples living together had the same rights as legally married couples. Children deemed ‘illegitimate’ under Tsarist law, i.e. born to unmarried mothers, were now deemed to be equal in law to ‘legitimate’ children. The new laws were very advanced for the period. They even placed the interests of the child above those of the parents in cases of legal disputes. The subordinate position of women was ended and “full political and economic equalitybetween the sexes” was declared. Maternity rights were introduced throughout society, including the provision of crèches in workplaces. Dr Batkis also explained that acts of homosexuality “…and any other forms of sexual pleasure” had the same legal status as heterosexual relations, adding that, “All forms of intercourse are treated as a personal matter.” The state intervened only if violence, abuse and coercion were involved. This was an extremely advanced outlook on same-sex love and remained the case until the Stalinist political counter-revolution reversed everything back to the old Tsarist measures of repression. Batkis’s text highlights the approach of the Bolsheviks in power on these questions. It was later buried and forgotten about after the Stalinist regime in the 1930s undid a part of what had been achieved for women and homosexuals. Since the 1930s, reactionary anti-communists could always point the finger at Stalin and say “see, this is what communists do to gays!”. But the truth is always concrete and this document shows that communists actually acted far in advance of what most advanced capitalists countries were doing at the time, both in terms of women’s rights and the rights of homosexuals. All those who today still claim Stalinism as part of their heritage need to do some serious self-questioning on this issue. Why did Stalin and the bureaucratic regime he governed over behave in such a barbaric manner? We await an answer from today’s Stalinists and Maoists! —The Sexual Revolution in Russia