Daily News Digest December 21, 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 21, 2017

Images of the Day:

Bendib: Death and Taxes Merging

Media Consolidation — brought to you by Reagan and Clinton 

Quote of The Day:

The following is from the “PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION” to the Media Monopoly: With a New Preface on the Internet and Telecommunications Cartels, by Ben H. Bagdikian1 (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, former editor of the Washington Post, and dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley), (2000) Beacon Press, 25 Beacon St., Boston Mass 02108-2892: AS THE UNITED STATES ENTERS the twenty-first century, power over the American mass media is flowing to the top with such devouring speed that it exceeds even the accelerated consolidations of the last twenty years. For the first time in U.S. history, the country’s most widespread news, commentary, and daily entertainment are controlled by six firms that are among the world’s largest corporations, two of them foreign.  Even with the dramatic entry of the Internet and the cyber world with their uncounted hundreds of new firms, the controlling handful  of American and foreign corporations now exceed in their size and communications power anything the world has seen before. Their intricate global interlocks create the force of an international cartel.  There are pernicious consequences. While excessive bigness itself is cause for economic anxieties, the worst problems are political and social. The country’s largest media giants have achieved alarming success in writing the media laws and regulations in favor of their own corporations and against the interests of the general public. Their concentrated power permits them to become a larger factor than ever before in socializing each generation with entertainment models of behavior and personal values. The impact on the national political agenda has been devastating, For years, the mainstream news has over dramatized its reporting of congressional and White House debate on the national debt and deficit beyond their intrinsic importance. Politicians raised the issue, but it was seized upon and overblown by the major media–media that politicians use as a bellwether on what issues will get them the  most public attention and partisan advantage. During these crucial years, the American economy was undergoing an astonishing phenomenon that the mainstream news left largely unreported or actually glamorized in its infrequent references: the largest transfer of the national wealth in American history from a majority of the population to a small percentage of the country’s wealthiest families.

Video of the Day:

US Protects Israeli Attacks, Not Unarmed Palestinians As the U.S. vetoes a UN Security Council measure on Jerusalem, it is also protecting Israel’s deadly attacks on Palestinian civilians, including one that killed a wheelchair-bound double amputee. We speak to Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights


The Big Lie About the Tax Bill: Why Bosses Will Never Raise Wages There is a Big Lie underlying the $1.5-trillion Trump/Republican Congressional tax bill. That lie — the kind that is so brazen its purveyors hope it will simply be accepted as truth — is that when corporations get their big tax break, they will pass much of it on to workers in the form of higher wages, and perhaps to consumers in the form of lower prices. How do I know it’s a Big Lie?  Basic economics and history. by Dave Lindorff

The Internet is Already Broken Net neutrality is a funny phrase. There certainly was net neutrality when leftist websites were blacklisted from Google. And when Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. Not to mention that all the content we receive come from six large companies who own just about all the media we consume. It is odd to see people who solely consume corporate outlets such as MSNBC bemoaning the loss of net neutrality. by Nick Pemberton


Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

Whoppers of Boss Tweet… By Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residence: Poets Before Clownz:  A thief  a thug  Man in a rug  A tweet  deceit  A lie a cheat— Embellish, embroider: a lying disorder . . .Freedom Rider: Alabama and the Duopoly Trap “The Democrats act as though they have found the magic key to victory because they got lucky in one red state.” The electoral process has changed very little for black people. At this late date in history our highest political expectations still amount to little more than keeping hardcore racists out of office. Any other victories are negligible. Even when we win we still lose. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

Police Shoot More Than Twice as Many Americans as Previously Understood “Until now, there has never been a national reckoning of police shootings that includes Americans who are shot by cops and survive.”Police shoot far more people than anyone realized, a VICE News investigation reveals. An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known. Police shootings aren’t just undercounted — police in these departments shoot black people at a higher rate and shoot unarmed people far more often than any data has shown. Recent reform efforts have already worked to bring down police shootings, our investigation shows. Yet Attorney General Jeff Sessions is moving away from these reforms, to the dismay of advocates, experts, and some local law enforcement officials. By Vice News

Creating the 21st Century Internet “Political speech should not only be protected in print and television, but it should also be protected in the digital world, including websites, video, social media and new outlets we cannot yet imagine.” Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who is chair of the FCC, went too far last Thursday in undermining the Internet when he led the dismantling of net neutrality rules. As a result, he has fueled the energy needed to protect Internet rights. It is time for Movement Judo, where the energy created by the overreach of the FCC is turned into energy not just to overturn the FCC’s decision, but to also create the Internet we need in the 21st Century. By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

NYT Prints Government-Funded Propaganda About Government-Funded Propaganda  “The United States and other ‘democracies’ are positioned as the victims of online manipulation, never its author.” An op-ed by the president of the right-wing human rights group Freedom House, published in the New York Times (12/11/17 )—later boosted by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker—warned of the menace of “commentators, trolls, bots, false news sites and propaganda,” and their negative effects on democracy. Missing from its analysis was any account of how the government that funds their organization—86 percent of Freedom House’s budget comes from the US government, primarily the State Department and USAID—uses social media to stir unrest and undermine governments worldwide. By Adam Johnson

Will the Caribbean Go the Full Distance for Reparations From Europe?  “The EU states involved — especially Britain, France and Spain — have made it crystal clear they don‘t want to play ball on the issue.”Fifteen Caribbean Community, Caricom, governments are being strongly advised to get ready for the long haul in their continuing quest for Reparations for Slavery and Native Genocide from Britain, France, Spain and other European Union, EU, member-states. By Earl Bousquet

Zambia Must Clarify Whether It Will Host Israel-Africa Summit  “Israel since 1948 has collaborated with the same white supremacist forces which conquered, exploited and oppressed African people and their descendants throughout the world.”Several news articles were published in early December indicating that Zambian President Edgar Lungu has agreed to host a summit meeting between African Union (AU) member-states and the State of Israel. (See Jerusalem Post, Dec. 3, 2017) These reports first surfaced during the inauguration ceremony for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. President Lungu attended the second induction into office of Kenyatta who is the leader of East Africa’s largest economy. By Abayomi Azikiwe

Why are Ugandan troops amassed at the Congo border again?  “Rwandan dictator Kagame appears to be pursuing his own agenda in Congo by driving local people out and populating their land with newcomers.” Another slew of Orwellian headlines appeared in the press this week, along with the usual bellicose chants that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and elite security is national security. Those of us who pay attention to the heart of Africa are now being asked to believe that the ADF, a small, beleaguered Ugandan Islamist militia, attacked a UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 7, killing 15 heavily armed and highly trained Tanzanian peacekeepers and wounding 55 more. By Ann Garrison, BAR contributor, Helen Epstein


As Profits Have ‘Trickled’ Up: Wages Have ‘Trickled’ Down for 40 Years!

Shadow Government Statistics: Real Average Weekly Earnings, Production and Nonsupervisory Employees, 1965 – to – Date


Despite Record Levels, the Stock Market Is Actually Shrinking in Size Like that box of macaroni in your kitchen cupboard, the U.S. stock market has become a lot more expensive but has actually shrunk in terms of quantity. In 1975, U.S. domestic companies that traded on U.S. exchanges totaled 4,819. Forty years later, the market has shrunk to less than 4,000, despite a tripling in GDP. By Pam and Russ Martens


Honduras: whip of counterrevolution revives the revolutionary struggle  Salvador Nasralla, the opposition candidate, travelled to Washington on Monday, 18 December, to meet with representatives of the OAS, the State Department and human rights organisations, to look for a solution to the post-electoral conflict in Honduras. In another clumsy move, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), on Sunday afternoon, 17 December, declared right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) of the National Party (and current president) as the winner. Clearly this has been a fraudulent election. By Ricardo Ayala 

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Sexism Sucks, But Blame Capitalism More One of the points many women have made since the beginning of the current national discussion about sexual assault and harassment has been that sexism and misogyny have cost women countless opportunities to achieve their full potential. Probably because this began with Harvey Weinstein, much of the mourning of opportunity costs focused on Hollywood: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd mentioned her reaction to research she did on the topic: “I got more and more angry as I realized that these women were being systematically excluded based on ridiculous biases.” by Ted Rall