Daily News Digest August 20, 2019

Daily News Digest August 20, 2019

Daily News Digest Achives

Since World War I, ‘the war to end all wars’, there have been perpetual wars for perpetual peace, this Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace” Could Still Be Published Today!

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.    Socialism Means True Democracy — The 99% Will Rule! — Not the Few!

Images of the Day: 

New Jersey Lifts Prison Ban of ‘The New Jim Crow’ After ACLU Criticism Bendib: “Domestic” TerrorismQuotes of the Day:

A Fraction of the 1% Own and Control The Mass Media:

In 2004, Bagdikian’s revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — now control most of the media industry, in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called “alarmist” for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote ‘in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media’—controlling almost all of America’s newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world’s largest media corporation. —Media Reform Information Center

Videos of the Day:

Why Corporate Media Doesn’t Talk Honestly About Racism Media conversations about racism are rarely accurate, let alone honest, facilitating the status quo and hindering systemic change. A discussion between Dylan Rodriguez, Eddie Conway, and Jaqueline Luqman

How The Mainstream Media Fuels America’s Income Inequality Machine From medicare for all to neoliberal tax subsidies for major corporations the mainstream media often bolsters the notion that a more fair and equitable society is not possible

 The “Toxic 100” Worst Polluters Michael Ash of PERI discusses the “Toxic 100” index, which ranks the top 100 corporations in the US, including the U.S. government, according to the degree to which they pollute the air, the water, and contribute to greenhouse gases. The index assists in divestment campaigns and in identifying opportunities for green growth

A Lack Of Migrant Labor is Forcing Farmers in the Us To Stop Growing Crops

The Secret History of Koch IndustriesDe-Facto Annexation of Kashmir Means India as a Secular State is Ending

Democracy Now! : The Great Land Robbery: How Federal Policies Dispossessed Black Americans of Millions of Acres Over the 20th century, black people in the U.S. were dispossessed of 12 million acres of land. Half of that loss — 6 million acres — occurred over just two decades, from 1950 to 1969, a period largely associated with the civil rights struggle. This mass land dispossession, which affected 98% of black agricultural land owners, is part of the pattern of institutional racism and discrimination that has contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States. Many of the driving forces behind this land theft were legal and originated in federal policies, as documented by Vann Newkirk, staff writer at The Atlantic. His latest piece for the magazine is the September cover story: “The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.”

North Korea Suspends Talks With South Korea Because of U.S. Sanctions  While U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks fail to proceed because of a lack of unanimity within the Trump administration, the North suspended peace talks with the South because of the U.S.’s refusal to lift economic sanctions, says Tim Shorrock


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! The United States takes from the poor and gives to the Rich!

The Priorities of the United States A Comparison Between Military Spending and Spending to Repair The Crumbling Infrastructure:

America’s Defense Budget Is Bigger Than You Think  Each year, Congress approves hundreds of billions of dollars for the US defense budget—but the real number exceeds $1 trillion.   Final tally: $1.2542 trillion So our final annual tally for war, preparations for war, and the impact of war comes to more than $1.25 trillion, more than double the Pentagon’s base budget. If the average taxpayer were aware that this amount was being spent in the name of national defense—with much of it wasted, misguided, or simply counterproductive—it might be far harder for the national-security state to consume ever-growing sums with minimal public pushback. For now, however, the gravy train is running full speed ahead, and its main beneficiaries—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and their cohort—are laughing all the way to the bank. By William D. Hartung and Mandy SmithbergerThe Nation’s Infrastructure Needs ImprovementAcross the United States, years of neglect (Deferred Maintanecnce)-R.S.) have resulted in crumbling roads, bridges in need of repair, inadequate public transport, outdated school buildings, and other critical infrastructure needs. In its most recent report card on the condition of America’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave U.S. infrastructure a D+ or “poor” rating. The engineers estimated the cost of bringing America’s infrastructure to a state of good repair (a grade of B) by 2025 at $4.6 trillion, of which only about 55 percent has been committed.[4] Improving roads and bridges alone would require $1.1 trillion more than states, localities, and the federal government have allocated. Schools need another $380 billion beyond what’s been invested. (See Figure 1 and Table 2 in the Appendix.) Other studies have supported and built on the ASCE findings. For instance, America’s drinking water treatment and distribution systems need $473 billion in investments over the next 20 years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.[5] Over half of America’s public schools need to be repaired, renovated, or modernized, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey.[6] And almost 20 percent of the country’s roads are in poor condition, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s most recent survey.[7Environment

The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots  The island of North Haven in the Penobscot Bay, Maine, is an eastern establishment, white-shoe summer-place overlain on a diesel swilling, bottom feeding lobster-industry that supports the year-round residents of this tiny, fractal-shored resort. It is washed by the Gulf Stream and reports the fastest rising ocean temperatures in the Western hemisphere, dramatic sea level rises and a devastated eco-system. Comprehensively cleared of its old-growth hardwood forests in the nineteenth century, its second growth pines are now attacked by bark beetles moving north under the duress of a warming climate. In place of the diseased trees, the severely invasive, non-native Buckthorn is proliferating. Lashed by several hurricanes in the twentieth century, the island now awaits the first of this century’s superstorms. Already, beaches are eroding into the bay at alarming rates. By John Davis

Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests  To facilitate the fabrication of stumps, roads, and erosion in America’s National Forests, now the Trump administration has proposed to alter the USDA Forest Service’s [USFS] implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA]. The 1969 NEPA was specifically designed to achieve three main things: 1) require agencies like the Forest Service to use science to take a full and fair hard look at the potential environmental impacts of projects such as timber sales, 2) clearly disclose to the public this scientific information and the reasoning underlying their decisions, and 3) provide a clear legal mechanism for you, me, and all Americans to be meaningfully involved in the decision-making process on our National Forests and other public lands. This power-grab by the Trump administration would trash all three of the NEPA’s fundamental goals. One of the ways they intend to circumvent NEPA and increase logging is by drastically expanding the use of the “Categorical Exclusion [CE]”. By Steven Krichbaum

When we talk about the U.S. as the “world’s policeman,” much of the beat Uncle Sam walks is paved with oil. The Persian Gulf, the Niger River Basin Region of Africa, the Horn of Africa, the South China Sea, Central Asia, Venezuela and Libya are all places of U.S. “national interest” because U.S. policymakers are really interested in preserving the dominant role of hydrocarbons in the global economy. Why else would the U.S. Navy base its Fifth Fleet in Bahrain? Or how about the U.S. base in Djibouti or the increasing tempo of deadly kinetic operations in Somalia? Both have everything to do with the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, strategically located between Djibouti and war-torn Yemen. Along with the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal, it’s one of the Middle East’s three major oil transmission points. — We Can’t Confront Climate Change While Lavishly Funding the Pentagon

Week 134: Trump Will Save Endangered Species Only When It’s Cheap Plus, Bernhardt tries to sink offshore wind, and our first-term president takes credit for building a plastics factory that was announced seven years ago.  Scientists warned us three months ago that as many as one million species could face extinction as a result of human failures like habitat destruction, poaching, and climate change. It was a call to action. A rallying cry for all governments, businesses, and individuals to make a heroic effort to preserve the world’s disappearing biodiversity.   This week, the Trump administration responded . . . by gutting the nation’s most important species protection law. By   Brian Palmer

As Climate Crisis Grows, Temperatures Set Global RecordsCivil Rights/Black Liberation:

To End Private Prisons and Prison Forced Slave Slave Labor or  The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness! — Eliminate the Exception Clause In the 13thAmendment to the Constitution!:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Sanders Unveils Plan to End Cash Bail, Ban Private Prisons, and ‘Fundamentally Transform’ US Criminal Justice System “If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up.” Decrying America’s status as the “world’s leading jailer,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday released a comprehensive plan to confront the crisis of mass incarceration, end the criminalization of poverty, and dramatically overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system. By Jake Johnson 


The Silence of the Oil Workers’ Trade Union Bureaucracy is Deafening — Oil Bosses ‘Arrange’ a Crowd for Trump Rally:  Workers Were Reportedly Ordered Not to Protest or Show Any ‘Resistance’ at Trump Rally in Pennsylvania “Field reports from the Banana Republic of America.” The choice for thousands of union workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County was clear Tuesday: Either stand in a giant hall waiting for President Donald Trump to speak or take the day off with no pay. “Your attendance is not mandatory,” said the rules that one contractor relayed to employees, summarizing points from a memo that Shell sent to union leaders a day ahead of the visit to the $6 billion construction site. But only those who showed up at 7 am, scanned their ID cards, and prepared to stand for hours—through lunch but without lunch—would be paid.”NO SCAN, NO PAY,” a supervisor for that contractor wrote. By Jake Johnson

Mass layoffs for workers; millions for GM, Ford and Chrysler CEOs Next month, with the expiration of the labor contract for 155,000 US autoworkers at Ford, GM, and Chrysler, auto executives will once again demand that workers sacrifice their own livelihoods for the “good of the company.” Tough economic times are around the corner, the companies will say. The automakers are strapped for cash and need a war chest to confront a turbulent world economy, stiffening global competition, and the disruption caused by driverless cars and electric vehicles. If workers do not want to see more layoffs—like the thousands already fired at GM this year—they had better work longer, harder, and for less money. The United Auto Workers (UAW) —whose executives took kickbacks from the auto companies—will say that workers have no choice but to accept the companies’ demands. But the fact is that every dollar taken from workers through pay cuts goes to pay for stock buybacks, financial speculation and the yachts and mansions of the corporate executives and the billionaire capitalists whose interests they represent.


Jeffrey Epstein Learned His Sexual Depravity from Wall Street; Then Took It to the Next Level From 1976 to 1981, Jeffrey Epstein worked for the Wall Street investment bank, Bear Stearns. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell on August 10 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking of underage girls, dozens of whom he allegedly sexually assaulted after grooming them first with “inappropriate touching.” Bear Stearns collapsed in the early days of the 2008 financial crisis and was purchased by JPMorgan Chase. One of the last acts of Bear Stearns’ CEO, Jimmy Cayne, was to make a $2 million payment to a woman who charged that the legendary Chairman of Bear Stearns, Ace Greenberg, had engaged in “inappropriate touching.” The young woman was said to have had a witness to her charges. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


Further mass protests in Hong Kong Hundreds of thousands of people took part in a mass rally and march in Hong Kong yesterday in defiance of a police ban and despite driving rain. The protest movement sparked by attempts by the city’s administration to pass legislation allowing extradition to China has now entered its 11th week, with no sign of subsiding. By Peter SymondsIndia, Pakistan exchange artillery-fire, threats over Kashmir Tensions between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states have escalated in recent days, with India and Pakistan accusing each other of preparing to attack, and their military forces exchanging lethal artillery fire across the Line of Control (LoC) that separates the Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions of Kashmir. On Saturday, New Delhi said one of its soldiers had been killed in what it called an unprovoked Pakistan-initiated, cross-border artillery exchange. By Keith Jones

 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

 Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?  On August 15, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services announced “a cluster of people with severe lung disease who all reported recent vaping or dabbing (vaping marijuana oils, extracts, or concentrates).”  CNN reports more than 120 similar cases nationwide based on a survey of state health departments. By Thomas Knapp

Campaign Renews Demand for Ban on ‘Killer Robots,’ Calls Out US Obstruction Without a binding treaty requiring “meaningful human control over the use of force,” say campaigners, lives could “be taken based on algorithms” By Andrea Germanos

People take part in a demonstration as part of the campaign “Stop Killer Robots” organised by German NGO “Facing Finance” to ban what they call killer robots on March 21, 2019 in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The campaign to “Stop Killer Robots” is a global coalition of 82 international and regional NGOs in 35 countries that asks for a ban on lethal fully autonomous weapons. (Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/AFP/Getty Images)