Daily News Digest December 12, 2019

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: (1) Austerity, (2) Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and (3)  The Iron Heel
Always Remember That Obama Supported the Wall Street Bailout and Remember That President Obama, With a Majority Democrat Legislature, Established, in writing,  the United States Capitalist Austerity Program  — The Race to the Bottom/Pauperization of the 99%!
emocracy?:  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:
Bristol Waiting To See Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn: They’re Never Going To Keep Us Down!Quotes of the Day:

In the past 30 years, many laws have been written incorporating some of these concepts. Yet despite these laws, environmental destruction has been allowed to proceed because these regulations have always been compromised by the incorporation of the concept of economic feasibility. ‘Economic feasibility’ means that the profitability of an economic enterprise cannot be subordinated to environmental needs. Therefore, environmental and safety laws, under capitalism, have always been a compromise between science and business. In fact, environmental destruction, pestilence, and death are factored into production the same as casualties of war are factored into military battles. — Roland Sheppard. Whither Humanity? The Environmental Crisis of Capitalism
In yesterday’s speech, McDonnell asserted that Labour will waste no time in implementing the manifesto’s commitments. These include providing billions extra for the NHS; bringing in a £10 per hour living wage; and offering a 5% pay rise for public sector workers after years of pay freezes. All of this would be outlined in a Budget presented before Parliament on 5 February 2020, McDonnell stated. On top of that, the shadow chancellor confirmed that he has “draft plans to hand to the civil servants on Friday”, in the event of a Labour win. These include blueprints for a whole new array of institutions, such as a ‘National Transformation Unit’ tasked with coming up with a decade-long strategy of public investment; and a ‘National Investment Bank’ to channel money into where it is needed most: from renewable energy to large-scale infrastructure.“Our Green Industrial Revolution will deliver the changes we need to avert climate catastrophe,” McDonnell assured. “And it will put British industry back on the map, bringing prosperity to every part of our country. It will give every community something to be proud of.” — Britain: Promises And Warnings For Labour’s First 100 Days In Power
Videos Of the Day:
Britain: all out for a Labour victory! Vote for Corbyn, fight for socialism! Speaking on the eve of the most important general election of a generation, Alan Woods (editor of marxist.com) discusses how the Tories and the capitalist establishment are resorting to a torrent of lies and smears in order to prevent a Labour victory. But an unprecendented mass political movement of workers and youth has mobilised to combat the attacks and carry Corbyn into Number 10. Vote for Corbyn! Fight for socialism!Trump Impeachment: A Misguided Move? The Democrats claim their articles of impeachment against Trump are a solid case. The Nation and Grayzone contributor Aaron Maté argues that they are actually quite weak, and only serve corporate Democrats’ interest in feeding Russiagate paranoia.
Economic Update: Competition and Monopoly in Capitalism Capitalism’s growing problems (inequalities, instabilities, unsustainability etc.) lead some defenders to argue that the cause is monopoly displacing competition in many industries. We disagree: Capitalism’s history is oscillations between competition and monopoly, each causing the other. Capitalism is the problem, not its oscillating forms.U.S.:
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.
Lies They Told Us: A Long History Of Being Manipulated Into War
  • James K. Polk and the Mexican War
  • Woodrow Wilson and World War I
  • Franklin Roosevelt and World War II
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam war
  • George W. Bush and the Iraq war
The leaflet ‘Rearmament and the Far East’ explains very briefly how the Korean War broke out. There is overwhelming evidence that Syngman Rhee and his American supporters started the civil war on 25 June 1950, and it was in order to prevent this evidence being produced and sifted that the United States Government insisted that a Security Council resolution condemning the North Koreans should be adopted the same day. The war was not manufactured, as some people make out, to safeguard British and American interests. That is the sort of stupid charge that often spoils a good case. The war had its origin in the hysterical fear that the mere word Communism produces in America and in the crime rackets and witch-hunts which are a normal feature of American political life and which are now employed to achieve American aims in world affairs. — Korea: The Lie that Led to War
The Gulf of Tonkin incident (VietnameseSự kiện Vịnh Bắc Bộ), also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved one real and one falsely claimed confrontation between ships of North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam
What we do know for sure is that the rationale for going to war was based on lies. There is a second picture associated with the Iraq War that is also ingrained in our collective memory: US Secretary of State Colin Powell giving his speech to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003. Six weeks before the war began, Powell spent 76 minutes influencing international public opinion in favor of war. The core of his speech was that Saddam Hussein possessed biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, that his regime was supporting international terrorism, and that it aimed to build nuclear weapons. — The Iraq War: In The Beginning Was The Lie
That’s according to Paul Kawika Martin, senior director of policy and political affairs at Peace Action, replying to “The Afghanistan Papers.” The report exposes how top officials spanning the George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations waged a deliberate misinformation campaign to conceal the total failures of the 18-year war in Afghanistan. — That’s according to Paul Kawika Martin, senior director of policy and political affairs at Peace Action, replying to “The Afghanistan Papers.” The report exposes how top officials spanning the George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations waged a deliberate misinformation campaign to conceal the total failures of the 18-year war in Afghanistan.— ‘Read Every Word of This’: WaPo Investigation Reveals US Officials’ Public Deception Campaign on Afghan War
Trump vs. Democracy The US House of Representatives marked a milestone on November 6, 2019, as it decided to report out articles of impeachment on Trump. But there’s a bigger picture to consider. The impeachment represents a new stage in the political ‘food fight’ between the two wings of the political-economic elite in the USA. It also represents a further escalation in the crisis and decline of American Democracy–a decline that’s been going on since at least the early 1990s, when Newt Gingrich and the radical right took over the House of Representatives and declared publicly that their objective was to create a dysfunctional US  overnment. In retrospect, Gingrich certainly succeeded. But it’s not just since Newt. US Democracy has been in decline on a number of fronts since the late 1970s, which corresponds to the rise of Neoliberal economic policies in the US. Late stage Neoliberalism today, 2019, is in crisis. Since the 2008 crash political elites and policy makers have been attempting to restore its pre-2008 momentum but have failed. Obama failed throughout his eight year term in office. And Trump’s regime should be viewed as an attempt to restore it in a new, virulent aggressive Neoliberalism 2.0 form. By Jack RasmusEnvironment:
‘We Are Unstoppable, Another World Is Possible!’: Young Climate Activists Storm COP 25 Stage Protesters with Fridays for Future demand world leaders at the global climate summit urgent address the planetary emergency. By Andrea GermanosDeep Trouble for Arctic and Beyond: NOAA Climate Report Warns of Feedback Loop That ‘May Already Be Underway’ The Arctic marine ecosystem and the communities that depend upon it continue to experience unprecedented changes as a result of warming air temperatures, declining sea ice, and warming waters “If this were an annual health check-up, I think we’d have to say that the Arctic is chronically sick and getting worse.” In addition to warning that “the feedback to accelerating climate change may already be underway,” the U.S. government’s latest report on conditions in the Arctic reveals that temperatures in the region are persistently warming, leading to land and sea ice melting, permafrost thawing, species being threatened with extinction, and putting Native communities at risk.  By Jessica CorbettCapitalist And Their Politicians Knowingly Poisoned Black and Minority Community in Flint Michigan — Flint Water Crisis: Revealed: Water Company And City Officials Knew About Flint Poison Risk  Exclusive: Email exchanges show senior employees knew Michigan residents might risk being poisoned by tap water months before city admitted to problem. . . Five years later, the people of Flint continue to demand accountability for the water crisis, which exposed residents to high levels of lead, a potent neurotoxin. Children and infants who consumed the water are likely to suffer lifelong learning disabilities. Flint residents are still advised to either drink bottled water or filter it from the tap. By Emily Holden, Ron Fonger and Jessica Glenza
Citing Climate Crisis as Top Concern for Future of Humanity, Young Adults Say They Are Living in ‘Failed System’ “This is a wake-up call to world leaders that they must take far more decisive action to tackle the climate emergency or risk betraying younger generations further.” As rights groups around the world marked Human Rights Day on Tuesday, Amnesty International released the results of a survey of 10,000 young adults regarding their top global concerns heading into a new decade, reporting that the climate crisis is what a majority of young people see as a major threat to their human rights. By Julia Conley‘This Isn’t the End,’ Vow Climate Campaigners After New York Court Sides With Exxon in Fraud Trial “Despite this ruling, the crucial work to hold the likes of Exxon accountable for climate crimes goes on,” said 350.org. “This is just the tip of the accountability iceberg.” Climate campaigners bemoaned a judge’s ruling in New York on Tuesday which sided with ExxonMobil in a lawsuit that charged the oil giant defrauded investors by concealing for decades what it understood about how carbon pollution was contributing to global warming even as it publicly denied scientific warnings and worked against efforts to limit emissions. The lawsuit, stated Judge Barry Ostrager of the trial-level state Supreme Court in his ruling, “failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor.” By Jon QueallyCivil Rights/Black Liberation:
From The Lessons of the Montgomery Bus Boycott: Why the Boycott Was SuccessfulBy Roland SheppardThe boycott was successful, in my opinion, for several reasons:
  1. It had mass support and it strength developed from the unity of the Black masses to boycott the buses.
  2. In order to sustain the boycott, the MIA had organized an alternative transportation system, which gave the masses the ability to get to work for over a year, something that was crucial to the success of the boycott.
  3. The democratically organized Montgomery Improvement Association had regular weekly mass meetings of thousands to decide the strategy and tactics of the movement. The people in the struggle had control and the final say — not the leaders from on high. This helped to insured the power of the movement, for the masses saw the MIA as theirorganization and were committed by theirvotes to implement theirdecisions.The tactics of both mass civil disobedience (the boycott) and self defense by the MIA was key to the success of the struggle.
  4. The power of independent mass action, independent of the politicians, was demonstrated by the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This is the power that inspired and garnered support from throughout the nation and the world. 
Self-Defense in the Civil Rights Movement: the Lessons of Birmingham, 1963 Hope is the fuel upon which working-class movements for social change draw their core strength. But hope divorced from solid organizing leads no-where. So, if we are to continue to propel our class forward it is vital that we learn the full lessons of how our sweetest victories are seized from the hands of our oppressors. Birmingham, 1963, represents one such success story, an inspiring tale that pitched Martin Luther King’s determined civil rights activists against the steel town’s white supremacists who, as folk singer Phil Ochs tells it, literally fed their dogs on civil rights. A pivotal struggle against the evils of segregation that achieved its crowning glory shortly after thousands of children peacefully stood-up to the seething racist violence of Bull Connor. But while Connor became world-famous for allowing his police dogs to tear flesh off the bodies of peaceful protestors, what is often overlooked in sanitized narratives of this story of good versus evil is the full context in which King’s nonviolent victory was obtained. Digging beneath this peaceful patina is however critical if we are to comprehend the important role that violent self-defense fulfilled within Birmingham’s black community in opposing the horrors of segregation. By Michael BarkerThe Birth of a Nation: Race and Power in Amerika White supremacy is just as much a social reality as it is an ideology. “What is essential is that the relationship of power between whites and non-whites be changed.” It is widely believed that white supremacy is a racist ideology of hatred promoted by marginal extremist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nations. Often overlooked and neglected in this view are the structural inequalities that ensure the continued supremacy of whites over non-whites in all facets of social life. Also conveniently disregarded are the more subtle, yet frequent and numerous, manifestations of white supremacy that are woven into the fabric of Amerikan culture. In this sense, white supremacy is just as much of a social reality as it is an ideology. Indeed the two often go hand in hand, although this isn’t always the case. There are many white people who hold supreme positions in the social hierarchy, over and above the masses of non-white people, without consciously adhering to any white supremacist ideology. This essay will explore the complex reality of white supremacy in Amerika, examining its existence in the social structure, analyzing its cultural expressions, considering some of its ideological forms, and finally investigating its causes. By Prince KaponeFreedom Rider: Abolish the Police Trump’s attorney general threatened to withdraw police “protection” from Black communities – but, of course, no such thing exists. “The cops they do not deserve respect or support.” Attorney General William Barr created quite a controversy  with his comments about community support for police departments. “And they have to start showing, more than they do, the respect and support that law enforcement deserves. And if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.” His words were condemned but unfortunately most of his critics were angry for the wrong reasons. By Margaret Kimberley , BAR editor and senior columnistThe Capitalist Crisis Has Made the U.S. a Pariah State U.S. imperialism has nothing left to offer humanity but ecological destruction, endless war, and a decline in living standards domestically and globally. “There would be no endless wars for profit without the enslavement of Africans.” Capitalism, even of the U.S.’ so-called “exceptional” variety, is characterized by cyclical crises that occur every ten or so years. Marxist theorists attribute the emergence of capitalist crises to the always sharpening contradiction between labor and capital. The more profit that capitalists extract from labor, the more impoverished labor becomes. Eventually, workers become so impoverished that entire sectors of capitalist production ground to a halt. This process is generally called over-production but is better termed under-consumption. In a frenzy to shed costs and maintain profits, capitalists engineer massive layoffs, wage freezes, and other measures that intensify the precariousness of the masses. By Danny Haiphong, BAR Contributing EditorShould UN Peacekeepers Leave the Democratic Republic of Congo? There was no peace to keep in the Kivu and Ituri provinces when the UN force arrived nearly 20 years ago, and there’s been none since. “Since 1996, the history of these provinces has been that of perpetual Rwandan and Ugandan invasion, occupation, and resource plunder.”The UN has a long, storied history in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO ) was created by the UN Security Council nearly 20 years ago. It is headquartered in Goma, the capital of North Kivu Province, which sits on the Congolese side of the Rwandan and Congolese border. It is primarily involved in the conflicts in the North and South Kivu Provinces and in Ituri Province. North Kivu borders Rwanda and Uganda, South Kivu borders Rwanda and Burundi, and Ituri borders Uganda. Since 1996, the history of these provinces has been that of perpetual Rwandan and Ugandan invasion, occupation, and resource plunder, and MONUSCO has failed to protect the people or the peace. I spoke to Jean-Claude Maswana about why and whether anything can be done. Maswana is a Congolese native and economics professor at Ritsumeikan University, Japan. By Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor
Black Friday Blues By BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner                                                                                                                     With a whole lotta street heat
just to keep it real… Here come Cyber Monday,
but I want some Single-Payer
Here come Cyber Monday,
but I want some Single-Payer—
You can pay for it—
You’re the “greatest purveyor!”                                     Here come Giving Tuesday,
I want affordable homes for all
Here comes Giving Tuesday,
I want affordable homes for all—
We’d be half way there,
Weren’t for Boss Tweet’s wall!Rap Brown Law Today The law holds that just one person, crossing a state line with the intent to do or participate in mischief, can be prosecuted. “Its formal title was ‘The Civil Obedience Act of 1968.’”A right-wing publication quotes sources from the Department that calls itself Justice. The “Rap Brown Law” will probably be used against anti-fascist activists. Well, this brings back memories: this was the “law” on which the Chicago 8 and Seattle 8 trials of 1969 were based. The “Law” was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Other parts of that Act outlawed, among other things, discrimination in housing. But in 1968, the imperial state was worried about other matters as well. The law was popularly named for African-American leader H. “Rap” Brown; its formal title was “The Civil Obedience Act of 1968.” By Michael E. TigarRacial Terror & Totalitarianism Rasberry asks how the history of totalitarianism looks from the vantage point of the colonized and the racially subjugated. “Colonial violence and modern racial terrorist regimes must be read as forms of totalitarianism.” Race and the Totalitarian Century
Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination
Vaughn Rasberry Harvard University Press ISBN 9780674971080 By Mary Helen Washington Many Blacks Would Welcome Police Exit from Their Communities “The whole battlefield array of weapons is now deployed in Black and brown communities.” Donald Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, is a comedian. He must have been joking when he warned certain communities that they better start showing more “respect and support” for the police. Otherwise, said Barr, these communities “may find themselves without the police protection they need.” Well, there are lots of people in Black communities that would like nothing better than to see the cops withdraw back to their suburban enclaves and never return. Black folks know that calling the police to help with a family problem is rolling the dice with death. Attorney General Barr has got to be joking, when he pretends that the cops just might withdraw their so-called “protection” from the Black community if folks don’t start giving them proper respect. But, why should anyone respect an occupation army whose mission is to incarcerate and terrorize the community. We need protection from THEM, and will ultimately have to provide that, ourselves. By Glen Ford , BAR executive editorLabor:
FRONTLINE investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole. Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith, and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out in Kentucky, and examine the broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere. The Pension Gamble
From: Pensions of Union Workers Cut in Federal Budget (Video Interview with Michael Hudson):And the ironic thing is the Democrats led this fight against labor a year ago, this special ruling was put in, and people who were supposed to be Democratic liberals, like Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, decided to have something also radical in the new budget. They weren’t going to report which representatives voted yes or no for these amendments. So the Democrats covered up their tracks, and you can’t see that they were really behind the Wall Street constituency in saying, we’re going to cut back the pensions.  And you can see what’s on the mind, basically. The government said, look, we’ve got to balance the budget in the face of Obama’s sort of escalating the military confrontation with Russia and China. And on the face of an increased bailout for the banks, there’s just not going to be enough money to guarantee the pension funds. So we can’t do for the pensioners what we did for the bankers in 2008.
For example, it is normal in a recovering or expanding economy for the labor force participation rate to rise as people enter the work force to take advantage of the job opportunities.  During the decade of the long recovery, from June 2009 through May 2019, the labor force participation rate consistently fell from 65.7 to 62.8 percent. — The Diminishing American Economy
The Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate For November Is 63.3%
U.6 and Shadow Government Statistics  Alternate  U.S. Unemployment Rates Headline (U.3 and U.6) versus ShadowStats Alternate 1994 to November 2019, Seasonally-Adjusted [ShadowStats, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Britain: Promises And Warnings For Labour’s First 100 Days In Power The most important election of a generation is almost upon us. Boris Johnson, the Tories, and their friends in the capitalist press are doing their best to thwart Corbyn’s chances of making it into Number 10. But with a mass movement taking to the streets and onto social media, everything is up for grabs. Whilst securing a Labour victory is clearly the focus, many in the Corbyn movement are already thinking beyond polling day, discussing the challenges that a left Labour government will face once in power. It was this key question that shadow chancellor John McDonnell addressed yesterday, in a speech about the main priorities for the first 100 days of a Labour government. McDonnell’s announcements add flesh to the bones of an already-radical manifesto of bold policies. In his speech, the shadow chancellor confirmed that Labour will take immediate action to end austerity, bring key utilities into public ownership, and begin a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’. By Adam Booth
France: a million on the street as strikes continue Yesterday’s interprofessional strike against Macron’s pension reform brought between 800,000 and 1,000,000 workers and youth onto the streets of France, according to the CGT. While this is a drop from the mobilisation last Thursday (which was possibly the biggest since 1995), the turnout was still high, with strong participation by transport workers, teachers, health workers and students. By Joe Attard
A Troubled Family: NATO Turns 70 Summit anniversaries are not usually this abysmally interesting. While those paying visits to Watford, England on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are supposedly signatories to the same agreement, a casual glance would have suggested otherwise. This was a show of some bickering. By Binoy Kampmark
Education, Health, Science, 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