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
“The bourgeoisie, when it was struggling against the nobility sustained by the clergy, hoisted the flag of free thought and atheism; but once triumphant, it changed its tone and manner and today it uses religion to support its economic and political supremacy” ― Paul Lafargue, The Right to Be Lazy
We have been told, and still are, that it was the pilgrims of the Mayflower that populated America. Had it been empty before? — Eduardo Galeano.
What was really discovered [in 1492] is what Spain really was, the reality of Western culture and that of the Church at that time. (…) They did not discover the other world, they covered it. What was manifested was a ‘discovering of the conquest’, and a ‘violent and violating covering of the conquered populations, their cultures, their religion, the people themselves, their languages. What remains to be done today is to discover what was covered over, and to create a ‘new world’ that is not just the repetition of the old, but which is truly new. Is this possible? Is it pure utopia? — Father Ignacio Ellacuria, a few months before being savagely murdered by the Atlácatl Battalion of the Salvadoran army on 16 November, 1989.
Edwin Rios of Mother Jones writes here about the early Christmas gifts that Congress has included in its tax plans for Betsy DeVos. True, she didn’t get that tax break for Hillsdale College, which her brother Erik attended. That was a stocking stuffer. She gots plenty of other goodies, under the DeVos tree. For starters, the Senate plan includes a provision that will help the private and religious schools DeVos has long championed: an expansion of a tax-free college savings program to include families who put their kids in private K-12 schools or even those who homeschool. At the same time, changes to state and local tax deductions could put a strain on how districts fund the very public schools DeVos is tasked with overseeing. And that doesn’t include several attempts Republican senators made to put provisions in the bill that favored religious schools and incentivized school choice, including a tax credit for corporations and individuals to nonprofits that provide scholarships. “This bill,” says Noelle Ellerson Ng, associate executive director of policy at AASA, the association of the country’s public school superintendents, “is designed to prioritize the privatization of education.” Specifically, she argues, the Republican tax plans could both undermine public school financing and encourage private school attendance. Diane Ravitch, The Senate Tax Plan Gives Betsy DeVos an Early Xmas Gift for Her Privatization Campaign
#Me Too: Women are Speaking Out, Are We Listening? I’m not at all surprised by the recent explosion of allegations of sexual assault and harassment against men in powerful political, economic, and entertainment positions. Sexism has always been an integral part of American culture, and predatory businesses and men of power have long been exempt from responsibility for their transgressions. What did it for me was the Walmart class action lawsuit, which included an incredible 1.5 million women alleging sexual harassment of discrimination against the company, but was dismissed out of hand by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. by Anthony DiMaggio
From Slave Trade to Debt: Occupation Disguised as “Discovery” The so-called “developing countries” (DC) of today replace the colonies of yesterday: large Western multinational companies settle in former colonies, invest and extort resources to accumulate exorbitant profits which escape into tax havens. All of this is taking place under the approving gaze of corrupt local elites, with the support of northern governments and international financial institutions (IFIs) demanding repayment of odious debts inherited from the colonial period. By means of debt leverage and the imposed neo-capitalist policies that condition it, the dispossessed populations still pay for the colonial crimes of yesterday and the elites surreptitiously perpetuate them today. This is what is known as neocolonialism. by Jérôme Duval
Thomas fire rages amid longest red flag warning on record As crews battling the deadly Thomas fire girded for a difficult weekend of firefighting, Los Angeles and Ventura counties ended their 12th consecutive day of red flag fire warnings Friday — the longest sustained period of fire weather warnings on record. By Joseph Serna and Brittny Mejia
Janet Yellen: Trump’s Tax Cut Could Play a Negative Role in Next Downturn When Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, the U.S. national debt stood at $4 trillion. The country was then more than two centuries old. The U.S. had paid for the Revolutionary War, the Civil War. It had financed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to provide jobs and stimulus during the Great Depression. The nation had also paid for World Wars I and II and the Vietnam War. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion as the government and Fed began pumping out money to compensate for the Wall Street collapse and ensuing economic crisis. Today, the national debt stands at $20.6 trillion. It has almost doubled since President Obama took office and now a Republican President wants to add a trillion dollars to this unprecedented acceleration of debt. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
South Africa: The class struggle is tearing the ANC apart The African National Congress (ANC) is holding its 54th National conference – at the Nasrec Expo Centre near Gold Reef City from 16 to 20 December – more divided than ever before. Tottering on the brink, the party has never been in such a lamentable state, not even in the days of the underground and in exile. By Ben Morken
The Grenfell Fire UK Establishment Circus The Grenfell Tower fire establishment circus is well and truly underway, placed in motion by a ruling class never more efficient than when managing and palliating the anger of the poor after presiding over their deaths in acts of social murder, euphemistically referred to as ‘tragedies’, whenever they occur. Six months after a fire ripped through Grenfell Tower residential tower block in London and incinerated 71 of its residents, most of the survivors remain homeless, living in temporary accommodation, many of them with young children. As Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn pointed in a recent broadcast on Grenfell, “our country has a history of working class people’s voices being ignored by those in power.” by John Wight