Daily News Digest December 12, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

 Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace”

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. 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  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico

Daily News Digest December 12, 2017

Image of the Day:

Mainstream media silent as Jeremy Corbyn wins International Peace Prize 

Quotes of The Day:

‘Democracy’ in the United States: The recent bipartisan vote on taxation demonstrate which side of the class line both the Democrats and Republicans are on — the side of the 1% Capitalist Class — which demonstrates that the 1% minority rule — not the 99% majority! — Roland Sheppard

I shared the story of that student because all of a sudden there so many very earnest, overwhelmingly white students who’d never been around poor people, never been in inner city schools, who saw unequal education as a moral or ethical failure at the heart of America. I found it compelling. I was thrilled that there were suddenly more people who wanted to try to help expand ideas of democracy and access. That’s great! But I just couldn’t understand where all of the energy was coming from. And the more that I would sort of engage in and look at it it really seemed to me to be all about career and business—what they were going to do next to give back, but also advance their own careers. What you’d see is that the students were going into these communities and acting as if the people in them didn’t care about children or didn’t care about education, and that they were coming in to fix the problems and community members just needed to be grateful. The more I listened, the more I heard the same narrative coming from people like Mark Zuckerberg, with his $100 million to reform the Newark schools or with President Obama with his Race to the Top. Most of the reform ideas for these struggling communities were for privatizing education, closing traditional public schools and expanding charter schools. . . .  JB: You have a whole chapter in your book called “Stealing School” about the industry that has arisen to ensure that poor students, especially students of color, don’t attend school in districts where they don’t live. I have to confess that as a vocal defender of traditional public schools, this was the hardest part of the book to read, and yet you make a really compelling case that both the exclusion and the industry that enforces it are part of segrenomics. NR: There’s a multimillion dollar industry that has come up around keeping poor students out, including private investigators who literally follow people to and from school to see where they live. You even hear about people being offered finder’s fees for turning in kids who, you know, look like they don’t belong here. In the book, I tell the story of a woman who worked as a live-in housekeeper for a family in Orinda, California. She lived there with her daughter, who attended a school that was a few blocks away. Now the school district used a company to verify student residency. School district officials decided that even though she lived there, because she wasn’t the one paying taxes, she was “stealing school,” and so they filed a lawsuit against her. — Segrenomics: Cashing In on Our Unequal Education System Goes Way Back

Videos of the Day:

The Death of Detective Sean Suiter: How Deep Does the Corruption Go? Journalists Jayne Miller and Luke Broadwater discuss the burgeoning scandal inside the Baltimore police department over the mysterious death of homicide detective Sean Suiter, who was found dead in an alley shot, with his own gun

Children’s Health Insurance Program to Expire Under GOP Tax Bill Nine million children will go without health insurance under the new GOP tax bill, says Bill Black, white-collar criminologist and former regulator


The Invisibility of Poverty in Puerto Rico Even though it has lost its persistent media coverage, what this dire aftermath and the subsequent relief and recovery effort have revealed is the island’s century-old unequal colonial relationship with the United States, and the local elites’ role in sustaining it. Recent controversy over the mishandling of the humanitarian crisis after Hurricane María should not surprise anyone. In the territory, as subaltern subjects, Puerto Ricans have been continuously subjected to a capitalist and racial hierarchical system. by Oscar Oliver-Didier 

‘The Old Bait and Switch’: 89% of Senate Democrats Help Pass The $696.5B Defense Bill Much attention has focused on a new attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy bill is being pushed without hearings or a Congressional Budget Office score that would estimate how many would lose coverage and any budget impact. But while eyes had turned to another attack on the current structure of healthcare, one that reportedly could heavily cut healthcare funding for low-income people, something else happened. The Senate took up the $696.5 billion defense bill that the House passed in July with support of 60% of Democrats. By Erik Sherman 

Trump and GOP Tax Cut Is Handing Corporations Like Ford a Giant Incentive to Move Offshore Giant corporations got what they wanted out of Republicans on taxes, now they’re lobbying the Trump administration hard to retain their NAFTA privileges. Ford hit Michigan and its auto workers with some crappy holiday news. Instead of building a $700 million electric vehicle factory in Michigan as promised in January, Ford will construct the plant in Mexico. By Leo Gerard


Ventura county is burning. My hometown is climate change’s latest victim: Affordable housing has been lost to the California wildfires, leaving poor people without homes — and without hope of help from federal government By Steven W Thrasher

Dying Ecosystems “The Earth’s biodiversity is under attack. We would need to travel back over 65 million years to find rates of species loss as high as we are witnessing today.” (James Dyke, The Ecosystem Canaries, Which Act as Warning Signs of Collapse, The Guardian, Aug. 19, 2016). “Biodiversity increases resilience: more species means each individual species is better able to withstand impacts. Think of decreasing biodiversity as popping out rivets from an aircraft. A few missing rivets here or there will not cause too much harm. But continuing to remove them threatens a collapse in ecosystem functioning. Forests give way to desert. Coral reefs bleach and then die,” Ibid. It’s already happening! Imagine flying in an aircraft while watching the rivets pop, one by one. At some point in time screaming overrides thinking. But, thank heavens; we’re not quite there yet.
Scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland studied 2,378 archeological sites and discovered that every society for thousands of years gave early clues to its own demise. Of course, demise happened precisely because those early warnings were ignored, while thinking: “it’s impossible, can’t happen.” by Robert Hunziker

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

The Trump Admin’s Misleading Justifications for Repealing This Oil Train Safety Rule Why would the DOT, as the regulator responsible for protecting 25 million people who live along railroad tracks carrying oil trains, reverse course on a technology hailed as “the greatest safety improvement” for modern trains? Let’s take a look at corporate influence on the regulatory process. By Justin Mikulka

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Environmental Racism in Alabama: UN poverty official touring Alabama’s Black Belt: ‘I haven’t seen this’ in the First World A United Nations official who tours the globe investigating extreme poverty said Thursday that areas of Alabama’s Black Belt are suffering the most dire sewage disposal crisis of any place he has visited in a developed country. “I think it’s very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I’d have to say that I haven’t seen this,” Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said as he toured a Butler County community where raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits. By Connor Sheets



Shadow Government Statistics 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.


Voting Rights for Human Felons Versus Bank Felons In 2012, the Sentencing Project released a study that estimated that 5.85 million people would be ineligible to vote in the U.S. Presidential election that year because they had been convicted of a felony. In 22 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a set period of time thereafter. Usually, this includes while the individual is on parole and/or probation. Eleven states in the U.S. are more harsh. They deny voting rights to ex felons who have served their time in prison and have successfully completed parole and probation. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Turmoil in Steinhof and Naspers exposes crisis of the big capitalists  The news of heavy fraud and corruption in two of South Africa’s biggest monopolies has thrown the big capitalists into turmoil. The scandals, which broke out almost simultaneously, involve two global behemoths, Naspers and Steinhof, and implicate some of the very biggest tycoons in the country, such as Christo Wiese, Markus Jooste and Koos Bekker. Until a few days ago, the two conglomerates Steinhoff and Naspers were celebrated as ‘pillars of the South African economy’. They were conquering global markets. Now all of the euphoria has evaporated amid massive corruption scandals. The big business press tries to soften the blow by calling the corruption and fraud by other names such as ‘accounting irregularities’, ‘impropriety’ or ‘unethical conduct’. But nobody is buying these soothing labels: least of all the asset managers on the stock exchange who embarked on an unprecedented stampede like wildebeest across the Serengeti.


Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

 Segrenomics: Cashing In on Our Unequal Education System Goes Way Back Today’s Silicon Valley hustlers belong to a long tradition of making money off a segregated education system. By Jennifer Berkshire