During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and The Iron Heel.
The Capitalist Austerity Program = It’s Become the Race to the Botom! The Pauperization of the 99%!
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!
While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. New research in the journal Nature indicates that for each degree that Earth’s temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms dwelling in lake sediment and freshwater wetlands — the primary sources of the gas — will increase several times. As temperatures rise, the relative increase of methane emissions will outpace that of carbon dioxide from these sources, the researchers report. — A More Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Carbon Dioxide, Methane Emissions Will Leap As Earth Warms
Trump’s appointment of Mark Esper as head of the largest and most active Cabinet department, and the new Defense Secretary’s near unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate, is no less of a scandal than Trump’s apparent efforts to seek foreign interference in the 2020 elections. Only it isn’t. Still, the nomination of Esper, a recent lobbyist for the defense contracting corporation Raytheon, ranks as one of the most egregious illustrations of the “revolving door” between lobbyists and the Defense Department. It’s crony capitalism in fatigues, and while nothing new, a clear indication that things have only worsened under our reality-show-mogul-president. — Secretary of Defense, Incorporated
In a system that unequal, corruption is not just the way we swim, it’s the water we swim in, and no inquiry on earth is going to fix that. From that sort of corruption, a whistleblower won’t save us. A whole nation of them of might. — Laura Flanders
Kurds “DID fight on the Allied side in WW2.” “They helped break the siege following the 1941 pro-Nazi coup d’état in Iraq and were part of the (pro-Allied) Iraq Levies,” said Awan. “By 1942 Kurds made up 25% of the force. By 1943, 10 of the 44 companies comprising the Iraq Levies were Kurdish. — British historian Akil N. Awan
Economic Update: A Growing U.S. Left This week: Updates on California events (LA Times labor union, 80,000 Kaiser workers to strike, new state public banking law); gross inefficiency of private car industry; wide global use of wealth taxes vs “conservative” claims; anti-left politics in US labor history; Prof. Wolff interviews Michael Brooks, the host of “The Michael Brooks Show” about his podcast and the state of the state today. To return to that fuller picture, we live in a nation where at least 40 million, and in reality, as many as 140 million, live in poverty, and three individuals have a combined wealth of $248.5 billion—the same wealth as the bottom 50%. We live in a nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world, where especially if you’re poor or restive or dissatisfied, getting locked up is a constant threat. We live in a nation where the highest court in the land defends the freedom of money more assiduously than the freedom of people. Our democracy, like our media, is essentially pay to play. Many believe it’s rigged.
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.
Federal Government Keeps Cheating Retired Seniors— The Federal Government’s ever-changing cost of living index.: Retired workers living on social security, are cheated out of social security wage increases by 5%, if you used how the government ‘figured’ the social security increased in 1990, and by 8% how it was ‘figured’ in 1980. Our ‘labor leaders have remained silent in their duty to their partners. The graphs below demonstrate the 1% government’s sleight of hand.
Shadow Government Statistics Alternate Inflation Charts Alternate Inflation Charts The CPI chart on the home page reflects our estimate of inflation for today as if it were calculated the same way it was in 1990. The CPI on the Alternate-Data
Series tab here reflects the CPI as if it were calculated using the methodologies in place in 1980. In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.
Trump’s Stealth Attack on America’s Seniors Watch out, older Americans and people with disabilities! President Trump just announced a plan to give corporate health insurers more control over your health care. His new executive order calls for “market-based” pricing, which would drive up costs for everyone with Medicare, eviscerate traditional Medicare, and steer more people into for-profit “Medicare Advantage” plans. Seema Verma, the Trump appointee who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), may not have warned Trump about the slew of government audits revealing that many Medicare Advantage plans pose “an imminent and serious risk to the health of… enrollees.” They also overcharge taxpayers to the tune of $10 billion a year. By Diane ArcherEnvironment:
The CIA Goes HBCU The world’s most prolific assassins, regime changers and disinformation specialists have been given free rein to recruit and shape curriculum at the largest Black higher education system in the nation. “The Democratic Party’s Black minions have insanely embraced the agency as part of the ‘resistance’ to Trump’s raging racism.” The Southern University System has opened its arms to the CIA with an agreement to allow the agency to recruit operatives and shape classroom workshops and curriculum on the system’s five historically Black campuses in Louisiana. According to a press release featuring the smiling faces of Southern University president-chancellor Ray Belton and agency operatives, the super-spooks hope to “foster ongoing relationships with key university staff and personnel” and gain access to “a qualified and diverse applicant pool.” University chief Benton — the “Spook Who Opened the Door,” not to be confused with “The Spook Who Sat by the Door ,” the Black insurrectionary novel and movie – said the CIA connection enhances Southern’s “public-private partnerships portfolio.” He praised the “reputable stature” of the CIA as “an asset to the university, students and faculty.” By Glen Ford , BAR executive editor Freedom Rider: Botham Jean, Joshua Brown and Antonio Williams The death of a police murder witness in Dallas is reminiscent of another police atrocity and coverup in New York City. “Not one black elected official in New York City has publicly commented on this most recent instance of police lynch law.” We know that a black person is killed by the police, security or vigilantes every day. Most of these victims remain unknown to the public. But sometimes a few of those cases make the news. When that happens we embrace the victim as if they were our own friend or family member. By Margaret Kimberley , BAR editor and senior columnistImpeachment and the Long Road to a Democratic Party Defeat in 2020 Impeachment helps the Democratic Party catch a breath of temporary relief from subjects such as Medicare for All or climate catastrophe.“Corporate Democrats are making the impeachment process nothing more than a rehash of Russiagate.” The Trump era ushered in a political crisis for the U.S. imperial order. That crisis brought us the ongoing Russiagate saga. Russiagate was a conspiracy theory concocted by the professional class of liars in the U.S. intelligence apparatus who saw Trump’s opposition to free trade and support for détente with Russia as a challenge to the imperialist agenda. Russiagate has largely empowered Trump and further eroded the legitimacy of Washington’s political institutions, especially the corporate media. Russiagate’s architects have finally pulled the trigger on the impeachment process with the hopes that an illusory struggle to throw Trump out of office will strengthen the neoliberal imperialist agenda. Democratic Party elites have nothing to offer the masses and hope to instead gain legitimacy with the U.S. voting population by partaking in a lengthy impeachment proceeding. The logic goes: if you can’t beat Trump, impeach him. By Danny Haiphong , BAR contributorFive Years Later, Do Black Lives Matter? Five years since its inception, a look at what the Black Lives Matter movement accomplished and the important work it left unfinished. “Today, there are few signs of the grassroots Black Lives Matter movement that in its first years captured the imagination and hopes of young black people and beyond.” The autopsy report confirmed what her neighbors said happened in an apartment complex outside of Houston, Texas. Pamela Turner, a forty-four-year-old grandmother of three, was on the ground, trying to connect with the humanity of the police officer who stood over her by screaming that she was pregnant. Officer Juan Delacruz ignored her pleas, stepped back, unholstered his gun, and shot five times. Three of his bullets ripped through Turner’s body, ending her life. One entered her left cheek, shattering her face. Another tore through her left chest, and the last, her abdomen. The medical examiner ruled it a homicide. What happened next had been rehearsed many times before. The police put Delacruz on a mandatory three-day administrative (paid) leave; the family secured the services of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump; the Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy; and a well-organized and well-attended demonstration forced the police to extend their comments beyond the typical talking points. By Keeanga-Yamahtta TaylorPoliticians Agree: Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man Racist barbarity is on the march, with Missouri’s men and women in blue in the vanguard. “Post-Michael Brown racism in St. Louis reflects a coordinated effort by multiple right wing forces for an all-out attack on civil liberties.” My 2017 article, Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time, told how St. Louis cop Jason Stockley killed a 24-year-old black man, Anthony Lamar Smith. Though Stockley claimed he had fired in self defense when Smith pulled a gun on him, evidence showed that he had planted the gun after the killing. When Stockley was found not guilty, protests by thousands in St. Louis lasted for months, just as in 2014 when another white cop, Darren Wilson, killed Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson. By Don Fitz“The Necessity Defense”—Why I’m Not Sorry for Antifa You can’t build long-term power by letting white supremacists, nor the government, harm and kill people with impunity. “We can no longer even try to suggest that we can negotiate with white supremacy and fascism.” While appearing on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, the good and brilliant scholar/thought leader Dr. Cornell West did not mince words, “We would have been crushed like cockroaches were it not for the anarchists and the Anti-Fascists [Antifa ].” He went on to say that Antifa saved his life, as well as the lives of clergy members and others who bravely travelled to Charlottesville, Virginia to confront vitriolic and malevolent white supremacy and anti-Jewishness. By Anthony Rogers-Wright
Building a Solidarity Economy in Jackson, Mississippi A project for cooperative economic democracy in the Deep South seeks to break free from big capital’s “value chains.” “We want people to use our model in other cities to create a whole different type of solidarity and exchange economy.” The sun beats down on a mostly unoccupied shopping complex, surrounded by food banks and homeless shelters. On a Saturday afternoon in mid-August, temperatures in Jackson, Mississippi near 38° C. The complex has a Dollar General full of packaged snacks, which is the closest thing to a grocery in this food desert of a neighborhood. Next to it, a large empty space was, until recently, an actual grocery. Jackson Cash & Carry was one of the last black-owned groceries in the United States until its owner couldn’t come up with the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed for building repairs. (Historically, Mississippi banks hesitate to loan to black business owners.) By Cheree Franco People’s Insurrection Against Government Continues in Haiti Amid a fuel shortage crisis and continuing corruption allegations, the popular classes in Haiti have been on the streets daily to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse. “The Patriotic Forum calls for the establishment of “a transitional government for a period of three years, to address the emergencies of hunger, misery and unemployment.”Thousands have been on the streets across Haiti for the past several weeks, demanding the resignation of president Jovenel Moïse. According to human rights organizations on the ground, during these days of intense protests, 19 have been killed and over 200 have been injured due to heavy police repression. By Peoples Dispatch StaffBlack Agenda Report’s 13th Anniversary: An Evening of Information and Inspiration for Liberation, and a Tribute to Co-Founder Bruce Dixon Every year presents new challenges to those struggling for human liberation. For Black Agenda Report, the essential task remains the same as when we published our first issue, on October 26, 2006: to sustain a radical, Black-led publication that can effectively intervene in the great debates of our time. We believe BAR has helped shape the Black Left political debate in this turbulent era of late stage, imperial capitalism – a period of economic catastrophe for Black and poor Americans, political disarray among “progressives,” and escalating lawlessness in U.S. foreign policy. Through it all, BAR has steadily increased both our audience and our capabilities, while waging weekly political battle with the ruling Lords of Capital, the ever-conniving “Black Misleadership Class,” and those who would “sheep-dog” the Left into alliance with corporate forces. By BAR staffLabor:
Where Are the Hundreds of Billions in Loans from the Fed Actually Going on Wall Street? No one can say with any certainty where the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Federal Reserve has been pumping into Wall Street since September 17 are actually ending up. The Fed is not releasing the names of which of its primary dealers (securities firms) are taking the lion’s share of the loans nor does anyone know if those borrowers are making further loans with the money (which is a core purpose of a central bank’s lender of last resort function) or simply plugging a whole in their own leaky boat. Astonishingly, Congress has yet to call a hearing to ask these critical questions. By Pam Martens and Russ MartensWorld:
History at the Barricades: Evo Morales and the Power of the Past in Bolivian Politics “Today is a special day, a historic day reaffirming our identity,” Morales said in his speech, given in front of an elaborately carved stone doorway. “For more than five hundred years, we have suffered darkness, hatred, racism, discrimination, and individualism, ever since the strange [Spanish] men arrived, telling us that we had to modernize, that we had to civilize ourselves… But to modernize us, to civilize us, first they had to make the indigenous peoples of the world disappear.” By Benjamin DanglThe Latest in the Diplomatic War Against Venezuela According to conventional wisdom, the Trump administration, as well as its regional allies in the Lima Group and the Venezuelan opposition, were set to intensify the diplomatic war on the Venezuelan government at the UN General Assembly. However, they only managed to demonstrate how far removed their coalition against President Maduro is from convincing the international community that deadly sanctions and a coup are the way forward for Venezuela. Their plan had several goals: increase the number of countries that recognize Juan Guaidó (the president of the National Assembly who was anointed interim president of Venezuela by the Trump administration); link Venezuela to Colombian guerrilla groups; and convince more countries to impose sanctions. There was even a plot “to revoke Venezuela’s status at the United Nations,” as the Grayzone’s Anya Parampil reported. By Leonardo FloresPopular Fronts (Multi-Class Political Formations) Lead to Defeats!: Greece: The Lessons Of Syriza’s Betrayal: The last ten years have seen dramatic class struggles across the world as the ruling class has laid the full burden of the economic crisis on the shoulders of the workers, the poor, and the youth. The result of this has been a complete destabilisation of the political situation, as the masses seek to defend themselves and find a way out of the crisis. Britain in particular is in turmoil. The ruling class has lost control of its own regime and slides towards disaster with its eyes wide open. In the midst of this crisis a Corbyn-led Labour government could come to power on a programme of ending austerity for good. Now more than ever, socialists must study the struggles of workers around the world and draw important lessons for the fight against austerity. We can learn a great deal from the Greek working class, which has seen the cruelest cuts, the most inspiring struggles and the most tragic defeats in recent history. By Josh Holroyd Spain: The Trial Against Catalan Political Prisoners And The Struggle For The Republic In the coming days, the Spanish Supreme Court will issue sentences against nine Catalan politicians involved in the referendum of 1 October 2017. Seven of them have been on remand for almost two years. This includes five ministers from the previous Catalan government, as well as two prominent civil society leaders. In addition, a number of prominent politicians and activists are in exile in Belgium, the UK, and Switzerland, which have refused to extradite them. There is little doubt the sentences will be harsh. After all, this is no ordinary court case. It is a political trial against Catalonia’s right to self-determination, and, above all, against the mass insurrection of autumn 2017, which shook the Bourbon regime down to its foundations. Arturo Rodríguez
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!