Daily News Digest January 11, 2018

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 January 11, 2018

Images of the Day:

Bendib: Burning the First Amendment

Healthcare Here and There

Quotes of the Day:

. . . There is no longer any basis for support to the reformism and its ‘lesser evil’ politics. Worldwide the capitalist class is socializing their debts — transferring their losses to the working class and the poor. Now they are in frenzy in their search for profits and are stripping the working class and the poor any and all assets. This is what happened historically in the Roman Empire on its way to debt bondage and serfdom. The only solution for capitalism, at this time is the worldwide application of the Iron Heel, as described by Jack London in his book, The Iron Heel. The immediate task is to build the international opposition of the working class and the oppressed of the world to this international crisis of debt and overproduction. The petty bourgeois leaderships of the working class and the world’s oppressed have no solution to this final crisis of capitalism. . . . — Roland Sheppard (2010)


10 Luxurious Prisons Only The Richest Can Afford


Fabricating a War on Iran Secretary of State Colin Powell brandished a vial he claimed contained anthrax at the UN Security Council on 5 February 2003, and showed satellite photos of secret sites where chemical weapons were supposed to be manufactured. He later admitted the story was fabricated, but not before it had served as a PR launch pad for the Iraq war. by Serge Halimi

In America, Prisoners with Money Can Pay Their Way to a Nicer Stay For $100 a night, wealthier prisoners can serve their sentence in relative comfort. Justice in this country has always been for the privileged. The nation’s criminal courts are particularly punitive toward those who are too poor to afford bail, represented by overworked public defenders or simply not rich enough to mount an “affluenza” defense. From arrest to conviction, wealth and whiteness are precious assets for any defendant in a system that favors both. Numerous jurisdictions profit off fines and fees that nickel and dime the poor into debtors’ prisons. And then there are Southern California’s “pay-to-stay” jails, which offer more monied inmates nicer accommodations in exchange for cash. By Kali Holloway

Corpses of Souls Walker Percy in his 1971 dystopian novel “Love in the Ruins” paints a picture of a morally degenerate America consumed by hedonism, wallowing in ignorance, led by kleptocrats and fools, fragmented into warring and often violent cultural extremes and on the cusp of a nuclear war. It is a country cursed by its failure to address or atone for its original sins of genocide and slavery. The ethos of ceaseless capitalist expansion, white supremacy and American exceptionalism, perpetuated overseas in the country’s imperial wars, eventually consumes the nation itself. The accomplices, who once benefited from this evil, become its victims. How, Percy asks, does one live a life of meaning in such a predatory society? Is it even possible? And can a culture ever regain its equilibrium when it sinks into such depravity? By Chris Hedges

Justice Denied: Why the Govenment is Not Going to Save Us “The warlords of history are still kicking our heads in, and no one, not our fathers, not our Gods, is coming to save us.”— Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: it will not hear the case of Young v. Borders.Despite the fact that a 26-year-old man was gunned down by police who banged on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense, the justices of the high court refused to intervene to address police misconduct. by John W. Whitehead


Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

I read The New Jim Crow in jail. It changed my life The book was banned by New Jersey prisons and I understand why: it showed me the injustice of our criminal justice system. By Jason Hernandez

Gentrification Kills: Race, Inequality and the Death of American Cities Peter Moskowitz in his book How to Kill a City criticizes the narrative that gentrification is “good development for the city.” He deliberately writes a counter-narrative to mainstream newspapers’ jolly stories praising gentrification by pointing to expensive new restaurants, pricy coffee shops, “hipsters,” and new fashion trends.  In How to Kill a City gentrification worsens class inequality and racism. by Julia Stein



Can a Serially Troubled Wall Street Bank Grow By Shrinking? On Monday, Institutional Investor’s Jonathan Kandell wrote a fascinating profile of Citigroup. He tried in every conceivable way to be kind to the company but the facts just kept getting in his way. Interestingly, the official name of the behemoth bank holding company, Citigroup, appears just once in the article. Its homey, cuddly moniker, “Citi,” appears 84 times. As the bank’s public relations legions attempt to erase the stain of Citigroup’s performance during the 2008 financial crisis and its Frankenbank birth in 1998 in violation of the Glass-Steagall Act and Bank Holding Act of 1956, changing the bank’s name is likely in the cards. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


Iran’s Water Crisis by Louis Proyect

Corbyn attacks May’s NHS record in first PMQs of the year Labour leader says prime minister was too weak to sack the health secretary despite the crisis in the health serviceJeremy Corbyn has used the first prime minister’s questions of 2018 to castigate Theresa May for presiding over what he described as a crisis in the NHS, chiding her for being “too weak” to sack the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.The prime minister reiterated her apologies to patients who have had operations postponed or been forced to wait in ambulances, but insisted the health service was properly funded and fully ready to face the winter.ACorbyn began by reminding May that at the PMQs before Christmas he had discussed how 12,000 people had waited more than half an hour in ambulances before being admitted to accident and emergency departments. “She told the house the NHS was better prepared for winter than ever before,” Corbyn said. “So what words of comfort does the prime minister have to the 17,000 patients waiting in the back of ambulances in the last week of December. Is it that nothing is perfect, by any chance?”O to investigate whether £39bn ‘Brexit bill’

Israel Launches Airstrikes on Syria, as Assad’s Forces Near Victory Israeli jets and ground-to-ground missile attacks on targets in the outskirts of Damascus are a mark of Israel’s heightened concern as President Bashar al-Assad comes close to winning the civil war in Syria. Israel’s security cabinet has held meetings several times in recent days to discuss how it should respond to the “day-after” the war as Syria returns to Mr Assad’s control and to Iran’s expanded influence in Syria according to Israeli television reports. by Patrick Cockburn

Ahed Tamimi Offers Israelis a Lesson Worthy of Gandhi Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi may not be what Israelis had in mind when, over many years, they criticised Palestinians for not producing a Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela. Eventually, colonised peoples bring to the fore a figure best suited to challenge the rotten values at the core of the society oppressing them. Ahed is well qualified for the task. She was charged last week with assault and incitement after she slapped two heavily armed Israeli soldiers as they refused to leave the courtyard of her family home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Her mother, Nariman, is in detention for filming the incident. The video quickly went viral. Ahed lashed out shortly after soldiers nearby shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face, seriously injuring him.Western commentators have largely denied Ahed the kind of effusive support offered to democracy protesters in places such as China and Iran. Nevertheless, this Palestinian schoolgirl – possibly facing a long jail term for defying her oppressors — has quickly become a social media icon. by Jonathan Cook

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Profits before people: capitalists abandon Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will stop research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and is expected to lay-off 300 research and development staff in Massachusetts and Connecticut, in a move that could severely hamper progress towards effective treatments for these illnesses – proving that critical medical research cannot be left in the hands of capitalist profiteers. Corporations like Pfizer should be expropriated and their assets, data and equipment placed under democratic control, to be used for the betterment of mankind. Joe Attard

Reflections in a Golden Globe Seldom, however, has an awards show served up such a sumptuous feast of elite self-aggrandizement as this year’s edition of the Golden Globe awards, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equally predatory and all women equally victimized, and that the big-corporate morass of TV/movie commercial “product” is worthy of three hours of momentous self-congratulation and verklempt thanking of agents, spouses, children, parents, and beneficent heads of giant studios. Swathing themselves in obscenely expensive designer black is a close to an insurrectionary gesture as the rich, beautiful, and erratically talented entertainment elites will ever allow themselves—other than chanting “I’m with her” while stumping for the corrupt war criminal of their choice who at least has the good taste to seem merely callously robotic rather than overtly boorish. by William Kaufman