Daily News Digest August 29, 2019

Daily News Digest August 29, 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:

Capitalism Ignores Its’ Environmental Destruction As the Earth Burns — Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: Kids! Have we got a hot potato world for you!

Quotes of the Day:

The World Capitalist ruling class, the 1%, has followed the advice of James Madison in their implementation of austerity. .  Madison  once stated: . . . I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments, by those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations. On a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which in republics, have more frequently than any other cause produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of the ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes. . . The have been slowly undermining democratic forms, until now we are now confronted by the spectre of naked capitalist class executive rule of the world — Roland Sheppard

The proposed bill would create a broad definition of “domestic terrorism” to include any attempt to “affect” or “influence” government policy or actions. And it would include property damage—even attempted property damage—as a terrorist act subject to a 25-year prison sentence.  In other words, if you opposed the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock and wanted the government to revoke the pipeline permit, you might be considered a terrorist.   If you painted “Black Lives Matter” on a wall to advocate against police violence, that could be terrorism, too.   And if you threw a rock at a bank window to take a stand against the 1% —even if you missed—you could spend half your life in a federal prison. — Dissent Is Being Criminalized Right Under Our Noses

Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities — Voltair

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.— Voltaire

Videos of the Day:

Orwellian Surveillance of Tohono O’odham Nation – A Test Case for Entire US Border?

Racial Inequality Is Rooted in Denial of Home and Land Ownership

The Homeless in Mortal Danger During Southwest Heatwave

Jeremy Corby: We Must Find Common Ground and a Practical Way to Stop This Disastrous No Deal Brexit


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!

Washington invokes “domestic terrorism” to justify police state ruleBehind the backs of the population, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, military leaders and intelligence agents are engaged in a secret operation to endow the executive branch with dictatorial powers to suppress social opposition in the United States. On July 27, Donald Trump offered a glimpse of this movement within the state apparatus, tweeting, “Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA … a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others). Would make it easier for police to do their job!” On August 17, Trump repeated the same threat. . . . Trump is not merely expressing a personal opinion. In the face of growing strikes and protests and mounting social unrest internationally, the American ruling class is acknowledging that maintaining the flow of corporate profits and defending unprecedented levels of social inequality against the opposition of the broad masses of people requires dictatorial forms of rule. Under conditions in which three US billionaires control as much wealth as half the US population, even the worn-out forms of democratic rule have become untenable.Dissent Is Being Criminalized Right Under Our Noses Many of us are deeply concerned about the recent wave of mass shootings and hate crimes that have taken place across the United States. As the Department of Justice reported, in 2018 alone there were 25 race-based terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, each committed by an alleged white supremacist. Immediate action is needed to address this crisis and tragedies like the Aug. 3 shooting in El Paso, Texas. So I read with interest a recent press release of Rep. Michael McCaul—the Republican incumbent in the Texas 10th Congressional District and my opponent in the 2018 election—in which he announced a new bill to respond to domestic terrorism. My hopes for reasonable legislation were quickly dashed, however, and replaced by deep concern. By Michael SiegelAs Tropical Storm Dorian Barrels Toward Puerto Rico, Trump Shifting $155 Million in Disaster Aid Funds to Migrant Detention “The money that could be used to help Puerto Rico will instead be used to detain more children and parents in concentration camps.” By Jake JohnsonThe U.S. Border Patrol and an Israeli Military Contractor are Putting a Native American Reservation Under “Persistent Surveillance” On the southwestern end of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation, roughly 1 mile from a barbed-wire barricade marking Arizona’s border with the Mexican state of Sonora, Ofelia Rivas leads me to the base of a hill overlooking her home. A U.S. Border Patrol truck is parked roughly 200 yards upslope. A small black mast mounted with cameras and sensors is positioned on a trailer hitched to the truck. For Rivas, the Border Patrol’s monitoring of the reservation has been a grim aspect of everyday life. And that surveillance is about to become far more intrusive. By Will ParrishEnvironment:

With Amazon in Flames, Trump Moves to Open 16.7 Million-Acre Alaskan Rainforest to Corporate Exploitation “If the planet could talk, it would be screaming in agony or weeping in despair. Maybe both.”  By Jake JohnsonBolsonaro Fiddles While the Amazon Burns Of course, my title conjures up images of the Emperor Nero (37-68 A.D.) fiddling while ancient Rome burned, and for many reasons, this mythwas a historical falsehood. Fiddles did not exist in 64 A.D. when a great fire ravaged ancient Rome, but stringed instruments did nonetheless, like the citharaand lyre. Moreover, Nero himself was not responsible for the conflagration. He was away at his villa but quickly returned to Rome to deal with the crisis. Even so, the myth supports the notion that Nero was an idle and an incompetent governor. Regardless of whether or not he was responsible for Rome’s burning, to many, Emperor Nero, was incapable of leading the empire. Nero was overly self-indulgent and had more thespian ambitions than political ones. By J.P. Linstroth

Glyphosate Sprayed on GMO Crops Linked to Lake Erie’s Toxic Algae BloomGlyphosate, the controversial main ingredient in Monsanto‘s Roundup and other herbicides, is being connected to Lake Erie’s troubling algae blooms, which has fouled drinking water and suffocated and killed marine life in recent years. Phosphorus—attributed to farm runoff carried by the Maumee River—has long been identified as a leading culprit feeding the excessive blooms in the western Lake Erie basin. Now, according to a new study from chemistry professor Christopher Spiese, a significant correlation has been established between the increased use of glyphosate to the percentage of dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) in the runoff. By Lorraine ChowIn BP’s Final $20 Billion Gulf Settlement, U.S. Taxpayers Subsidize $15.3 Billion2010 gulf oil spill, it is appropriate to look at the overall societal costs, as well as the bottom line to BP. And at tax time, people understandably think about their own taxes, too. The government struck a $20 billion settlement with BP, which is a big number. Yet BP should be able to deduct the vast majority, a whopping $15.3 billion, on its U.S. tax return. That means American taxpayers are contributing quite a lot to this settlement, whether they know it or not. By  Robert W. WoodCivil Rights/Black Liberation:

Jeffery Epstein, Jay-Z, and the Miserable World Created by the Billionaire Ruling ClassJeffery Epstein and Jay-Z are not the same, but they have the same class interests. These interests have been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with Epstein’s reported death and Jay-Z’s lucrative collaboration with the National Football League (NFL) dominating headlines. Epstein’s supposed suicide in a Manhattan cell served as a catalyst for heightened suspicions about foul play and whether his connections to prominent ruling elites such as the Clinton family, Donald Trump, and Israeli intelligence rendered him vulnerable to murder. Jay-Z’s deal with the NFL inserted Colin Kaepernick’s protest of racist policing back into the political conversation. What isn’t being talked about is how Epstein and Jay-Z are much more than mere “bad actors.” They are representatives of the billionaire ruling class responsible for much of the misery that exists on this planet.  By Danny Haiphong , BAR contributor Slick Willy Rides Again! By Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residence                                                                    Don’t know if it was the Bible
That said it, or if it was Confucius—
Or, if I just made this shit up:
“Beware of the one riding in
Bareback, facing backwards on
An ol’ mule, for he is an impostor!”
Lo and behold, The Great White
Foundation Father, Vice-
Roy of Haiti and Harlem, nurse-
Maid of NAFTA, demon of de-
Regulation, did it with class in
Tobacco country stables, Offal
Office of the DNC dog and pony show (More)

California Lawmakers Consider Ethnic Studies Mandate For Nation’s Largest University System The mandate would affect a system of almost half a million students, 74 percent of them minorities.” “The White male administrators who run the CSU are trying to kill the bill.”California lawmakers are considering a bill that would mandate students enrolled in the nation’s largest four-year public university system  take a qualifying Ethnic Studies course in order to graduate. The requirement would apply to the schools that comprise California State University (CSU), which collectively educate approximately 481,000 students. According  to CBS News’ Sacramento affiliate, “all 23 campuses in the system are pushing back on the proposed legislation.” Still, the measure passed the state Assembly in May and is currently being considered by the Senate. By Jeffrey CawoodThe Great Land Robbery  A war waged by deed of title has dispossessed 98 percent of black agricultural landowners in America. “Any conversation about reparations must consider the land.”  I. Wiped Out “You ever chop before?” Willena Scott-White was testing me. I sat with her in the cab of a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, swatting at the squadrons of giant, fluttering mosquitoes that had invaded the interior the last time she opened a window. I was spending the day with her family as they worked their fields just outside Ruleville, in Mississippi’s Leflore County. With her weathered brown hands, Scott-White gave me a pork sandwich wrapped in a grease-stained paper towel. I slapped my leg. Mosquitoes can bite through denim, it turns out. By Vann R. Newkirk IINeoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End  Donald Trump’s resort to protectionism is recognition of having reached this cul-de-sac. “Neoliberal capitalism has no vision for reinventing itself.” Harry Magdoff’s The Age of Imperialism is a classic work that shows how postwar political decolonization does not negate the phenomenon of imperialism. The book has two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it follows in V. I. Lenin’s footsteps in providing a comprehensive account of how capitalism at the time operated globally. On the other hand, it raises a question that is less frequently discussed in Marxist literature—namely, the need for imperialism. Here, Magdoff not only highlighted the crucial importance, among other things, of the third world’s raw materials for metropolitan capital, but also refuted the argument that the declining share of raw-material value in gross manufacturing output somehow reduced this importance, making the simple point that there can be no manufacturing at all without raw materials.1 By Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat PatnaikThe Quiet Death of the “White Bernie Bro” Attack  The Quiet Death of the “White Bernie Bro” Attack A majority of Sanders supporters are non-white, in contrast to all the other top tier candidates, including Kamala Harris. “Enthusiasm for another Sanders run has been remarkably inflected by race.”Bernie Sanders faced ferocious criticism in the media throughout the 2016 primaries — and central to that critique was what the Washington Post called Bernie Sanders’s big black-voter problem . Black voters, we were told, decisively rejected Sanders’s politics — and, by extension, left flank challenges to the Democratic establishment. And the proof was in the polls: overwhelming majorities of black voters preferred Hillary Clinton.  By Carl BeijerAn Axis of Hope, Dignity and Defiance stands up to the Triumvirate of Evil  The Quiet Death of the “White Bernie Bro” Attack A majority of Sanders supporters are non-white, in contrast to all the other top tier candidates, including Kamala Harris. “Enthusiasm for another Sanders run has been remarkably inflected by race.”Bernie Sanders faced ferocious criticism in the media throughout the 2016 primaries — and central to that critique was what the Washington Post called Bernie Sanders’s big black-voter problem .  Black voters, we were told, decisively rejected Sanders’s politics — and, by extension, left flank challenges to the Democratic establishment. And the proof was in the polls: overwhelming majorities of black voters preferred Hillary Clinton.  By Gerald A. PerreiraPerpetual Debt in the Silicon Savannah  Kenya’s poor were among the first to benefit from digital lending apps; now they call it slavery. “The emergent regimes of indebtedness have been called ‘catastrophic,’ a ‘crisis,’ and a major ‘social problem.’” Across conversations in Kenya’s pubs and WhatsApp groups, debt is on everyone’s mind. The speed and ease of access to credit through new mobile apps delivers cash to millions of Kenyans in need, but many struggle to repay. Despite their small size, the loans come with a big cost—sometimes as much as 100 percent annualized.As one Nairobian told us, these apps “give you money gently, and then they come for your neck.” He is not alone in his assessment of “fintech,” the ballooning financial technology industry that provides loans through mobile apps. During our research, we heard these emergent regimes of indebtedness called “catastrophic,” a “crisis,” and a major “social problem.” Newspapers report that mobile lending underlays a wave of domestic disarray, violence, and even suicide. One young man in Meru described it as a “can of worries.” His monthly salary was not enough to cover ordinary expenses such as rent and necessary contributions to extended kin networks—let alone leisure or investments in his own future. So, like millions of others, he turned to phone-based loans, at one point toggling between five different apps. Reeling as the costs added up, he struggled to repay, deleting the apps so he would not be tempted by repeated offers of dangerous debt. By Kevin P. Donovan and Emma ParkThe Precarity of Black Motherhood  Jordan Peele’s “Us” depicts the terros face by Black mothers in a way that owes as much to Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” as it does to classic Hollywood horror. “This is America, a human chain of murderers, stretched from sea to shining sea, a fulfillment of Manifest Destiny.” In Jordan Peele’s latest film Us, which follows on the success of his 2017 hit Get Out, an affluent black family has its home invaded by sinister doppelgängers—a sort of literalization of W.E.B. Du Bois’s noion of black “double consciousness.” Perhaps Peele even had in mind Du Bois’s famous sentence: “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” By Tao Leigh Goffe“Dirtbag,” “Savages,” “Subhuman”: A Border Agent’s Hateful Career and the Crime That Finally Ended It  The agent joked about how tasty Guatemalan migrants can be if they are properly “fried” through the use of Tasers.  “Border Patrol agent Matthew Bowen had been investigated for years before he used his 4,000-pound truck to assault a fleeing migrant.”  It was late November 2017, and Matthew Bowen, a veteran Border Patrol agent, was seething. A fellow Border Patrol agent in Texas had just been found dead in the field, and Bowen was certain someone who’d been crossing the border illegally was responsible for murdering him.  “Snuffed out by some dirtbag,” Bowen, stationed in Nogales, Arizona, said in a text later obtained by federal authorities.  Bowen, if lacking in evidence, wasn’t alone in his anger and suspicion. President Donald Trump, nearing the end of his first year in office and already frustrated in his bid to construct a wall on the southern border, had promised to “seek out and bring to justice those responsible ” for the Texas agent’s death. Brandon Judd, the head of the union that represents Border Patrol ag ents, declared to Fox News and other media outlets that the Texas agent had been “ambushed .”By A.C. ThompsonLabor:

Economy:The Justice Department Has Had the Epstein Case Since July 2006 – It’s Time to Arrest Accomplices More than two dozen women who have accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexually assaulting them, most when they were underage girls, appeared in Federal Court in Manhattan yesterday. Some had their lawyers read their statement but 16 spoke on their own behalf. The theme consistent throughout their testimony is that the Justice Department must prosecute Epstein’s accomplices – anything less is a failure of justice. Two names were repeatedly mentioned by the women: Ghislaine Maxwell and Sarah Kellen. But the powerful royalty, lawyers and Wall Street titans who have been accused of being part of Epstein’s ring and participating in sexual assaults of underage girls must also be charged by the perpetually recalcitrant U.S. Justice Department. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


Coup-Like Suspension of Parliament Sends UK Hurtling Toward BrexitBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “do-or-die” October 31 deadline for Britain to leave the EU is fast approaching. And, as it does so, the political battles — both within the U.K. and between those hoping to shape post-Brexit Britain’s international role — are intensifying. This morning, Johnson took the constitutionally extraordinary step of asking Queen Elizabeth II — the U.K.’s official head of state — to suspend Parliament from mid-September to mid-October. The queen approved the request, which will be the longest suspension of Parliament since 1945. BY  Sasha Abramsky

Britain: Boris’ Brexit bombshell leaves Westminster in disarray as parliament is prorogued Not since Oliver Cromwell’s dismissal of the Rump Parliament – with the words “In the name of God, go!” – has Britain been plunged into such a deep national and constitutional crisis. Lacking a written constitution, the British establishment relies on a web of convention and precedent. Now Boris Johnson has pushed this informal system to its limits, using ‘convention’ to request that the Queen suspend Parliament for over a month, in an effort to prevent opposition MPs from blocking a no-deal Brexit.They’re not wildfires: it’s “Bolivian-style” capitalism The Chiquitania region of Bolivia has been on fire since early August. The wildfires started on 2 August both west and east from San José de Chiquitos in woodland areas and dry woods, reaching Roboré later on. Prime Minister Quintana accused the right-wing of provoking the fires for political and electoral purposes. Until he can prove this, we’ll have to take his statement as an assumption that the wildfires did not spread from Brazil, as the government initially claimed. Rather, the cause of this disaster is to be found inside Bolivia’s borders. The truth is that Quintana’s allegations, similar to those made by the far-right Bolsonaro, can’t by any means hide the government’s accountability. For years, the bourgeoisie from the eastern regions has benefited from a number of laws legalising forest clearing, burnings and human expansion into forest areas under the pretext of “expanding land borders” to achieve “food sovereignty”, or giving some respite to an economy hampered by the drop of gas and mineral exports by producing bioethanol and GM food. Deforestation and burning contribute to global warming: as stated by experts and MAS (Morales’ party) itself in all climate summits, even in Cochabamba, where they are the self-proclaimed “defender of Mother Earth”.

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

Food Safety Resources for Managers and Vendors of Farmers Markets in Texas Farmers markets have grown exponentially in the past two decades; however, there is an increasing need to ensure that fresh produce and other ready-to-eat food commodities sold directly to consumers are safe and free of microbial contamination. Therefore, it is crucial to equip managers and vendors at farmers markets with food safety materials that are engaging and educational. The objective of this study was to survey market managers and vendors to identify food safety educational needs and current food safety practices. Observational studies were conducted at 10 farmers markets (300 vendors) in Houston, Texas, to identify positive and high-risk practices. Based on the results obtained, educational materials in the form of videos and information sheets were developed and disseminated to managers and vendors at Texas farmers markets. Feedback on the educational materials obtained from stakeholders was positive and 88% of market managers and vendors stated that the food safety materials were effective as an educational tool.

The Crumbling, Differed Maintenance, and/or Polluted Infrastructure of the United States:

In Flint, Mich., there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency is declaredAlmost immediately after the city started drawing from the Flint River in April 2014, residents began complaining about the water, which they said was cloudy in appearance and emitted a foul odor. Since then, complications from the water coming from the Flint River have only piled up. Although city and state officials initially denied that the water was unsafe, the state issued a notice informing Flint residents that their water contained unlawful levels of trihalomethanes, a chlorine byproduct linked to cancer and other diseases. By By Yanan Wang5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it’s done very little to stop them, according to a new report and information provided to CNN by multiple sources and water experts. “Imagine a cop sitting, watching people run stop signs, and speed at 90 miles per hour in small communities and still doing absolutely nothing about it — knowing the people who are violating the law. And doing nothing. That’s unfortunately what we have now,” said Erik Olson, health program director at Natural Resources Defense Council, which analyzed the EPA’s data for its report. In this case, the “cop” is a combination of the states and the EPA. States are the first line of enforcement, but when they fail — as they did recently in Flint, Michigan — the EPA is supposed to step in. But in many cases, the agency hasn’t.

Lead poisoning— Symptoms: Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

Lead poisoning symptoms in children:  Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Learning difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Eating things, such as paint chips, that aren’t food (pica)

Lead symptoms in newborns: Babies exposed to lead before birth might:

  • Be born prematurely
  • Have lower birth weight
  • Have slowed growth

Lead poisoning: symptoms in adults: Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Difficulties with memory or concentration
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women