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.
As explored in “PG&E Under Flame,” California’s top utility has invited serious question about the company’s commitment to safety. To recap; state authorities are heavily investigating PG&E’s role in causing the Camp Fire that claimed at least 87 lives in November. Alongside a crisis of reputation, the company is facing billions of dollars in damages. Amidst this turmoil, PG&E will likely file for bankruptcy in the next two weeks. The utility announced on Monday that they are indeed exploring filing for bankruptcy protection (after much speculation), and their stock quickly tumbled by over 50%. While in the best of cases bankruptcy should be providing protection for as many parties possible, in this case it unfortunately may have the worst impact on the most vulnerable — fire survivors, workers, and in general the 16 million people PG&E serves. Here’s how: 1. Customers and victims of negligence won’t see justice. — If PG&E Goes Bankrupt, Who Benefits? Not Us
The United States is not a Democracy (A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly)! Only the 1%, through their ownership of the Republicrats and who profit from war and the war budget, vote for War and the war budget — A policy, which Gore Vidal called a Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.— The 99% Should Decide On War — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From War! Under a Democracy, The 99% would have the right to vote on the policy of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace!
Latin Americans No Longer Allowed: Trump Abolishes Right To Asylum On Us Southern Border The Trump administration is today implementing an “interim final rule” drafted by the US Justice and Homeland Security Departments that will effectively seal the US southern border to men, women and children seeking asylum from violence and repression in Central America and beyond. In yet another assertion of untrammeled executive power, Trump’s asylum decree rides roughshod over both US and international law. The interim rule orders US border officials to summarily deny asylum to anyone who “enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border after failing to apply for protection in a third country outside the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which the alien transited en route to the United States.” By Bill Van AukenAs US Modernizes Its Nuclear Arsenal, Costs and Risks Soar Trump’s $2 trillion makeover for the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal is certain to trigger a deadly new arms race. On July 16, 1945, the U.S. detonated the first-ever nuclear device in the New Mexico desert. Less than a month later, it dropped two more atomic bombs, destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and injuring more than 200,000 civilians. Today, 74 years later, President Donald Trump has elbowed his way to the precipice of war threatening fire, fury and obliteration against one state that has nuclear weapons (North Korea) and one that doesn’t (Iran). In June, shortly after Trump reportedly called off a military strike against Iran with just 10 minutes to spare, he lashed out on Twitter: “Iran cannot have Nuclear Weapons!” By Jon LetmanEnvironment:
Report: PG&E ignored repairs on aging power lines Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of California’s deadliest recent fires, knew for years that dozens of its aging power lines posed a wildfire threat but avoided replacing or repairing them, it was reported Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal, using company documents obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act, reported that the utility told the U.S. Forest Service in 2017 and 2018 that 49 aging steel towers on one transmission line needed replacement and another 57 needed replacement of their hardware and aluminum lines. The Journal previously reported that PG&E delayed safety work on the line, known as the Caribou-Palermo line, for five years.
PG&E says power line inspections revealed 10,000 problems — some in need of immediate repair All of the work is included in a recent fire-prevention plan PG&E — like other investor-owned electric companies — was required to submit to state utility regulators. They signed off on PG&E’s plan in May, and U.S. District Judge William Alsup made PG&E’s compliance with the document part of the terms of its probation arising from the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion.
More News From Louisiana’s Cancer Alley: What Is Happening In America’s Cancertown Is Tragic, Immoral And Evil “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people” (Isaiah 10:1). I was reminded of this verse from the Bible when I read about the town of Reserve in Louisiana. It is the place in America with the highest risk of cancer due to air toxicity, caused by a raft of government and corporate failure that has deprived residents – many of whom are poor and black – of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Reserve is home to the Pontchartrain Works facility, the only chemical plant in America to produce chloroprene, a likely carcinogen, that has spewed from the plant for almost 50 years. US government science has indicated this makes the risk of cancer in that area 50 times higher than the national average. What is happening in Reserve, the subject of a year-long Guardian series, is ugly. It is tragic. It is immoral. And it is evil. By Reverend William Barber
Civil Rights/Black Liberation:
Freedom Rider: The Trump and Pelosi Lovefest Trump and Pelosi are birds of a feather when it comes to beating up on dissident women of color. “Pelosi probably rose in Trump’s estimation when she dismissed her brown skinned caucus members.” In 2007 this columnist declared that Nancy Pelosi is our enemy. She was the new Speaker of the House after Democrats emerged victorious in the 2006 elections. But they didn’t oppose George W. Bush and the Republicans the way their voters wanted them to. Little has changed since that time. Democrats mobilize in order to defeat the Republicans but still end up with snake in the grass leadership like Pelosi. By Margaret Kimberley , BAR editor and senior columnistFive Myths of American Exceptionalism Killing the Left Part 1. Adherence to American exceptionalism kills the left and then takes it to the Democratic Party-run graveyard for burial. “The anti-Russian campaign has given the FBI and the CIA a public relations facelift.” American exceptionalism is not merely an ideology that presumes the United States to be the beacon of (white) civilization, progress, and humanity. While this is the overarching definition, its function and form are not always visibly draped in the symbolism of American racist folklore so deeply embedded in the cultural life of the Empire. In my co-authored book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News-From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror, the myths of American exceptionalism are debunked, critiqued, and revised from an anti-imperialist perspective. However, a major focus of the critique is the devastating impact of innocence and exceptionalism on the left in the United States. Here are five myths of American exceptionalism subtly killing the left. By Danny Haiphong , BAR contributorGang of Four By Raymond Nat Turner , BAR poet-in-residence I say, YAY, I say, MORE, I say, GO, Gang of Four! Rock that boat on the Democratic Party Plantation— every “State of the Union,” hearing and “investigation” Joust with the stupid, ugly, ignorant corporate clown fancying his weird, absurd, porcupine rug as a crown But he’s mere misdirection—though lewd and loud for ol’ Pentagon pickpockets working the crowd—
Bombing babies, locking little children in cages—
part of their daily war crimes and weekly outrages! (More)
There’s No Such Thing as a “Progressive Prosecutor” in a System Designed to Criminalize Blackness Incremental changes are treated as if they are touchdowns when they are just moving the chains. “We must be wary of a Democratic party trying to co-opt the left political messaging to placate radical demands of transformation.” When reminiscing on her reign as California’s District Attorney and Attorney General, presidential candidate Kamala Harris referred to herself as a “progressive prosecutor” in her memoir The Truths We Hold: An American Journey. Though this falls in line with the blatant attempt by Harris and her team to rebrand her career in a Democratic presidential primary field that is shifting evermore leftward, review of her case records paints a very different picture. By Gyasi LakeWhy Are So Many Black Families Losing Their Land? The Reels brothers spent eight years in jail for refusing to leave their plot of land in North Carolina. “Since 1910, black families have been stripped of hundreds of billions of dollars because of lost land.” In the Spring of 2011, the brothers Melvin Davis and Licurtis Reels were the talk of Carteret County, on the central coast of North Carolina. Some people said that the brothers were righteous; others thought that they had lost their minds. That March, Melvin and Licurtis stood in court and refused to leave the land that they had lived on all their lives, a portion of which had, without their knowledge or consent, been sold to developers years before. The brothers were among dozens of Reels family members who considered the land theirs, but Melvin and Licurtis had a particular stake in it. Melvin, who was 64, with loose black curls combed into a ponytail, ran a club there and lived in an apartment above it. He’d established a career shrimping in the river that bordered the land, and his sense of self was tied to the water. Licurtis, who was 53, had spent years building a house near the river’s edge, just steps from his mother’s. By Lizzie Presser
Detroit Targeted for Massive Facial Surveillance A Black elected police commissioner was manhandled at a public meeting for protesting a draconian facial recognition scheme. “Across the globe, from Ferguson to China, these technologies are being used to target activists.” The Detroit Police Department and the Mayor have given us the strongest reason yet to call a halt to the use of facial recognition technologies and Project Green Light . Mayor Duggan and Chief Craig have asked us to have faith in their judgment, but they cannot even tolerate criticism from an elected Police Commissioner. They condone pushing him to the floor, handcuffing him, and hauling him off to jail because he made forceful comments during a routine Commission meeting. They cannot handle public criticism without resorting to force and violence. Yet they are asking us to “trust them” with some of the most intrusive and dangerous technology now available. By Shea HowellBernie Sanders’ Present Fight against Corporate Rule vs. the Bernie of 1989 Sanders used to preach that “we can’t tail after the Democrats,” but now he’s selling the pipedream of reforming the Democratic Party. “The Bernie Sanders campaign seeks to corral socialist sentiment inside the corporate Democrat Party just as the Trump campaign seeks to corral fascist sentiment inside the corporate Republican Party.” Recently, former leader of the self-destructed faux left group, the International Socialist Organization, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor , was giddy hailing Bernie Sanders and his reform-the-Democratic-Party bandwagon. She alleges “Sanders linked the possibility of ending capitalist oligarchy to a “political revolution” that calls on the many to stand up to the few.” She claims Sanders calls for “a complete transformation of the country.” “He named capitalism as the culprit and democratic socialism as a solution.” “What a breathtaking turn of events” she adds. By Stansfield SmithThe U.S. Economy Still Puts Blacks at the Bottom of the Barrel If this is a thriving economy, then the next crash is going to obliterate Black people, entirely. “For nearly every indicator, blacks cluster near or at the bottom – history endlessly repeating itself.” Trump’s rise in the polls is said to be due to a thriving economy, with stocks soaring and official unemployment at a 50-year low. Trump claims blacks also fared very well. Republican and Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama, like to say that a “rising tide lifts all boats” – even the Black dinghies. So Trump is blowing the same horn. By Ken MorganIsrael’s Indispensable Service to Oil Thieves and Empire Israel began as a European colony and has remained interlocked with imperial power, unfailingly serving as the West’s beachhead in the Middle East. “Israel’s role would be to suppress pan-Arab nationalist movements that preached ‘Arab oil for the Arabs’ in defiance of Western ‘interests,’” — Israel, A Beachhead in The Middle East: From European Colony to US Power Projection Platform By Bruce KatzToo Many Africans? To address “overpopulation,” the richer countries must do two things – consume less and stop stealing Africa’s resources.“Africa does not have anything like the overpopulation problem that England has.” “What are all these famines in Ethiopia? What are they about? They’re about too many people for too little land. That’s what it’s about.”– Sir David Attenborough The cry that the world is overpopulated is more than two hundred years old, from a period when perhaps a billion people stood on the planet. There are now nearly eight times as many and it’s become normal to blame them – us – for the ills which beset “nature.” There are just too many of us, and we’re using up too many of the world’s resources. But how true is this really? And, what should be done about it? By Stephen Corry Africans Solving African Problems: Bringing Peace to Sudan The road to peace in the Horn of Africa once again ran through Eritrea, the socialist country the West loves to hate. “Credit must be given to those who deserve it, the leadership of Eritrea.” he recent peace deal being implemented in Sudan was brokered by African leaders without any interference or even input by non African players ie the UN or western countries. As a matter of fact the deal was made in Asmara, Eritrea where the head of the Sudanese military that had overthrown the long time despot Omar Al Bashir sat down for two days with Eritrean mediators, agreed to the deal, flew back to Khartoum and announced the deal a few hours later. By Thomas C. Mountain
Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 15, 2019 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:am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
Voices for Black Reparations – Then and Now Democrats may have recently “discovered” reparations, but Black activists held a World Tribunal on Reparations in 1982, in New York City. Speakers include Afeni Shakur, the former Black Panther and mother of Hip Hop legend Tupac Shakur. African People’s Socialist Party chairman Omali Yeshitelaputs the reparations struggle in historical perspective.
Russia-China Alliance Sets Stage for Global “Great Leap Forward” US aggressions pushed Russia and China into an ever-deepening alliance that is now changing the direction of global trade and development, according to Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar. The US intelligencia, said Monteiro, is “incapable of looking at the world and finding solutions that will allow humanity to take a great leap forward.”
New York City is preparing a “Free At Last” celebration for MOVe organization survivors Janet and Janine Africa, who were recently released on parole after 41 years in prison. Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal is sponsoring the event at the People’s Forum on Friday, July 19, said Gwen DeBrow, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.
Defend the Venezuelan Embssay Protectors The four US activists arrested for defending the Venezuelan embassy from supporters of Donald Trump’s hand-picked puppets face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Glen Fordhas this commentary.
Senator Compares Facebook’s Libra Association to Spectre in James Bond Movie Yesterday the U.S. Senate Banking Committee assembled to hear Facebook’s David Marcus explain how the company wants to create a global digital currency called Libra, to be run by a Switzerland-based global organization called the Libra Association, made up of 27 members from the fields of payment systems, technology, telecommunications, blockchain services, venture capital, nonprofits and academic institutions. Given Facebook’s serial history of abusing the privacy rights of its users and selling their data without their permission, not to mention its role in facilitating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, we immediately went to check out the names of the nonprofits that had signed up to monitor this sprawling international monetary system cooked up in a Facebook lab in a year’s time. By Pam Martens and Russ MartensWorld:
Britain: BBC’s Panorama hatchet job – stop the smears! Oppose the anti-Corbyn conspiracy! “Labour was on the brink of civil war last night as Brexit and anti-Semitism threatened to split the party,” bellowed the Tory Daily Mail last week. “Jeremy Corbyn has been rocked by fierce and high-level infighting on both issues ahead of a nightmare week.” Such hysteria has been widespread across the Tory media. It is echoed constantly by Labour’s right wing. It constitutes a deliberate campaign to ramp up a ‘coup’ against Jeremy Corbyn. What is driving this hysteria? They are alarmed that if Boris becomes Tory leader, Corbyn could win a general election. Everything is therefore being done by the capitalist establishment – including their stooges in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) – to discredit Corbyn. By Socialist Appeal (Britain)
Health, Education, and Welfare:
The government of the United States can pass laws in a few days to spend tens of trillions of dollars for war and the bailout of Wall Street and the bankers. Yet, those who ‘govern’, pass universal healthcare for themselves, but they cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers the to be, a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let The People Vote on Healthcare!
Jazz Pharmaceuticals: how to make billions off the sick The pharmaceutical industry is a very profitable business, particularly if you lack a moral compass. Jazz Pharmaceuticals 15-folded its value in seven years on the back of one drug, for which it charged through the roof. There is a type of drug that is known in EU and US law as an “orphan drug”. This is a drug developed specifically for a rare condition or disease. If a drug is approved for orphan status, the pharmaceutical company that submitted the application is granted a period of exclusivity on the drug. In the EU, that period is 10 years and in the US it’s seven years. This is regardless of whether this drug has any patent rights associated with it. By Niklas Albin Svensson