Daily News Digest December 14, 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 14, 2017

Image of the Day:

Casino Capitalist Robber Barons 

Quote of The Day:

After the assassination of Martin Luther King and the subsequent rebellions in the inner cities protesting his assassination, the Democratic Party’s “war on poverty” started laying dollars on any potential Black leaders and grooming Black Candidates. John Lewis, formally of SNCC, became enlightened, he ignored the Black Panthers and saw the Democratic Party, symbolized by a jackass, as his party. Most of what W.E. B. Dubois described as the “talented tenth” were bought off by this process. The more radical concepts that Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had developed at the time of their deaths disappeared from the scene. No one took up where they left off. The governmental policy, directed towards the ‘leaders’ of the civil rights movement, of the carrot (dollarism) and the stick (assassinations) had proven to be successful. — Roland Sheppard, The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement

Video of the Day:

Forced Privatization of The Greek Port of Piraeus, One Year Later Dimitri Lascaris in Greece, speaks with Giogros Gogos, general Secretary of the Dockworkers Union at the Port of Piraeus. The Troika forced the privatization of 67% of Port of Piraeus, this means that the most secure and lucrative asset in Greece, that could have generated money to pay the debt, is now the hands of Chinese shipping company Cosco


 The US Military Is the Biggest “Big Government” Entitlement Program on the Planet This belligerent cash machine has Uncle Sam caught in a strange cycle of taxpayer-funded dependence that may ultimately be the most expensive — and least productive — jobs program in human history By JP Sottile

USA: Alabama – shock result shakes Republicans 2017 has been rich in political earthquakes and we have yet another to add to the list. Doug Jones has become the first Democrat in 25 years to win a US Senate seat for Alabama, a traditionally safe Republican seat with a predominantly white, religious and conservative electorate. Alabama will now have a Democrat in the US Senate. This is an outcome that would have seemed all-but-impossible a year ago and still seemed unlikely even as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, given the flaccid and unispiring campaign waged by the Democrats, who have learned nothing from 2016 and have shifted even further to the right. Hamid Alizadeh


Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Warring Visions of Puerto Rico’s Future “This is an opportunity to make microgrids in Puerto Rico so they can be sustained in different areas.” Warring visions have now erupted over the energy and economic futures of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Will the islands become a cutting-edge green-powered solartopia for the benefit of their long-time residents? Or a fossil-fueled robber baron playground like Hong Kong or Singapore, set to operate for the profit of outside corporate investors? By Harvey Wasserman

New Study Shows Flint Water Affects Baby Weight  “It was a very sharp reduction in birth weight.” Babies born in Flint, Michigan, following the water crisis that started three years ago weighed less than they likely would have if the crisis had never happened, a new study has found. Authors Rahi Abouk of William Paterson University and Scott Adams of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee examined birth outcomes in Flint in the early stages of the water crisis in a peer-reviewed study. “We were surprised we found something,” Adams told Rewire, given the brief period of the water crisis. “It was a very sharp reduction in birth weight, probably a bit more than I anticipated.” By Auditi Guha

The Entire Russian Hacking Narrative Is Invalidated In This Single Assange Tweet  “This cannot possibly be an actual investigation into an actual allegation.”“Neither Robert Mueller’s team nor the US Senate Intelligence Committee has bothered to contact WikiLeaks or me, in any manner, ever.” — @Julian Assange, Twitter, September 20, 2017 WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been very active on Twitter lately, even for him. Between his frequent posts about the fight for Catalan independence from Spain and about WikiLeaks’ latest release on Russian domestic surveillance tactics, it’s easy to inadvertently skim past a single post unrelated to either of those topics when reading through his Twitter page. Luckily, due to its immense significance it’s enjoying some circulation, and my primary goal with this article is to get even more eyes on it. By Caitlin Johnstone

Blacks and the Alabama U.S. Senatorial Race “The capitalist moribund two-party electoral politics takes us down a dead-end road.” Democrat Doug Jones’ hair’s-breadth win Republican Roy Moore is being hailed as a great victory. In reality, it makes no difference. An unemployed Alabama black construction worker John Dewayne Richardson provided food for thought. According to the Washington Post, he said, “People don’t vote because they don’t feel their votes matter because nothing is going to change. What difference is it going to make?” Did not Obama or Trump v. Clinton or JFK teach us a lesson? The capitalist moribund two-party electoral politics takes us down a dead-end road. Even the Jackson experiment and the Black Lives Matter movement are bound and limited by bourgeois electoral politics. By Ken Morgan

Daniel Ellsberg: “Doomsday” is an “Actual War Plan” “This is the most evil plan that has ever existed. It’s insane.” Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was also a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. His new book, published Tuesday, is titled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” We speak with Ellsberg about his top-secret nuclear studies, his front row seat to the Cuban missile crisis, whether Trump could start a nuclear war and how contemporary whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden are his heroes.

The Assassinations, Hyper-Surveillance and Harassment of Blacks is Just Business as Usual for Law Enforcement “The drug war is the justification to create a police state of black and Latinx communities.” Forty-nine years ago, 21 year-old Fred Hampton, Black Panther Party for Self-Defense state chairman, was drugged and assassinated of by the Chicago Police Department (with the assistance of the FBI). Just another day of law enforcement doing its job. In the United States, the role of all law enforcement is to maintain “law and order” first and foremost. Moreover, law enforcement, especially the FBI, has historically played a major role in stifling social movements that seek to disrupt or dramatically alter the social order of the US. By Morgan Humphrey

Freedom Rider: When Police Kill White People “Are whites so committed to the modern day slave patrol that they will allow no one justice, even those who look like them?” On rare occasions there is some justice in this country. The white South Carolina police officer who shot Walter Scott in the back was convicted of murder and sentenced to a 20-year prison term by a federal judge. The outcome is altogether satisfactory but it is akin to a blue moon. In this country an average of three people are killed by the police every single day. Even when police are charged they are unlikely to be indicted and even then are almost always acquitted. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

Puerto Rico Crippled Before Hurricane Hit Harsh austerity measures imposed by a federal financial oversight board set Puerto Rico up for disaster, said Lara Merling, a researcher for the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. A new study shows about 1,000 more deaths resulted from Hurricane Irma than were officially reported. “It’s not surprising that the Puerto Rican government had no ability to respond” to the storm, as a result of the spending cuts, said Merling. By Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford

Universities Nurtured Ideology of Slavery  A group of Black students at the University of Chicago is demanding the institution acknowledge its financial roots in the slave system and make reparations to the Black community. Kamm Howard, co-chair of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, supports the students’ demands. Howard said U.S. universities “laid the moral, intellectual and so-called scientific foundation for the institution of enslavement. They produced tons of pseudo-science that led to the dehumanizing of African people.” By Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford

Sexual Assault Scandals, Russia-baiting, and the Crumbling Empire “The discourse on sexual assault has been kept a bourgeois affair.” It started with Hollywood capitalist Harvey Weinstein and spread to Washington DC and the corporate media. One by one, elite politicians and media celebrities found themselves on the receiving end of accusations of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a serious problem, one that cuts across class lines. However, it is the system of imperialism and private property ruled over by a tiny corporate elite that makes sexual assault such a mass problem. The ruling class is attempting to cover its own crisis-ridden tracks by exploiting the issue, despite being at the center of it. By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor


What’s Going On Inside Your Wall Street Brokerage Firm? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Wall Street’s self-regulator with a long history of conflicts of interest, has released a summary of its findings from the examinations it conducts at the nation’s brokerage firms. As is typical of FINRA, the document released to the public is extremely light on details. (Almost half of FINRA’s Board comes from inside the industry, with current representation from JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Citadel and Fidelity, to name just a few of the insiders.) By Pam and Russ Martens


Catalonia: on 21 December rise up against Article 155 and the 1978 regime – Republic, Socialism, Internationalism  The following statement was produced by comrades from the Catalan section of the International Marxist Tendency, REVOLUCIÓ. It outlines comrades’ support for the CUP in the “illegitimate and imposed” 21 December Catalan regional election, to undermine the ‘78 regime, and also outlines the tasks for the movement for a Catalan Republic.

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: