Daily News Digest February 19, 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 1% 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 February 19, 2018

February is Black History Month

Images the Day: 

The Day the Music Died Malcolm X’s Assassination Feb. 21, 1965 

Obama Set Up 35 Military Bases in Africa to Secure Its WealthQuotes of the Day:

. . .The community must reinforce its moral responsibility to rid itself of the effects of years of exploitation, neglect, and apathy, and wage an unrelenting struggle against police brutality.” Yes. There are some good policemen and some bad policemen. Usually we get the bad ones. With all the police in Harlem, there is too much crime, too much drug addiction, too much alcoholism, too much prostitution, too much gambling. So it makes us suspicious about the motives of Commissioner Murphy when he sends all these policemen up here. We begin to think that they are just his errand boys, whose job it is to pick up the graft and take it back downtown to Murphy. Anytime there’s a police commissioner who finds it necessary to increase the strength numerically of the policemen in Harlem and, at the same time, we don’t see any sign of a decrease in crime, why, I think we’re justified in suspecting his motives. He can’t be sending them up here to fight crime, because crime is on the increase. The more cops we have, the more crime we have. We begin to think that they bring some of the crime with them. So our purpose is to organize the community so that we ourselves since the police can’t eliminate the drug traffic, we have to eliminate it. Since the police can’t eliminate organized gambling, we have to eliminate it. Since the police can’t eliminate organized prostitution and all of these evils that are destroying the moral fiber of our community, it is up to you and me to eliminate these evils ourselves. But in many instances, when you unite in this country or in this city to fight organized crime, you’ll find yourselves fighting the police department itself because they are involved in the organized crime. Wherever you have organized crime, that type of crime cannot exist other than with the consent of the police, the knowledge of the police and the cooperation of the police. You’ll agree that you can’t run a number in your neighborhood without the police knowing it. A prostitute can’t turn a trick on the block without the police knowing it. A man can’t push drugs anywhere along the avenue without the police knowing it. And they pay the police off so that they will not get arrested. I know what I’m talking about, I used to be out there. And I know you can’t hustle out there without police setting you up. You have to pay them off.  The police are all right. I say there’s some good ones and some bad ones. But they usually send the bad ones to Harlem. Since these bad police have come to Harlem and have not decreased the high rate of crime, I tell you brothers and sisters it is time for you and me to organize and eliminate these evils ourselves, or we’ll be out of the world backwards before we even know where the world was. Drug addiction turns your little sister into a prostitute before she gets into her teens; makes a criminal out of your little brother before he gets in his teens drug addiction and alcoholism. And if you and I aren’t men enough to get at the root of these things, then we don’t even have the right to walk around here complaining about it in any form whatsoever. The police will not eliminate it. “Our community must reinforce its moral responsibility to rid itself of the effects of years of exploitation, neglect, and apathy, and wage an unrelenting struggle against police brutality.” Where this police brutality also comes in the new law that they just passed, the no knock law, the stop and-frisk law, that’s an anti Negro law. That’s a law that was passed and signed by Rockefeller. Rockefeller with his old smile, always he has a greasy smile on his face and he’s shaking hands with Negroes, like he’s the Negro’s pappy or granddaddy or great uncle. Yet when it comes to passing a law that is worse than any law that they had in Nazi Germany, why, Rockefeller couldn’t wait till he got his signature on it. And the only thing this law is designed to do is make legal what they’ve been doing all the time. They’ve passed a law that gives them the right to knock down your door without even knocking on it. Knock it down and come on in and bust your head and frame you up under the disguise that they suspect you of something. Why, brothers, they didn’t have laws that bad in Nazi Germany. And it was passed for you and me, it’s an anti Negro law, because you’ve got an anti-Negro governor sitting up there in Albany – I started to say Albany, Georgia – in Albany, New York. Not too much difference. Not too much difference between Albany, New York, and Albany, Georgia. And there’s not too much difference between the government that’s in Albany, New York, and the government in Albany, Georgia. — Malcolm X’s Speech at the Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity

The past political history of the Negroes gives not insignificant indications that their political development may very well follow this course. The Garvey movement, one of the most powerful political mass movements ever seen in the USA, concealed behind its fantastic and reactionary slogan of “Back to Africa” the desire (revolutionary in its essence) for a Negro state. The Negroes no more desired to go to Africa of their own free will than German Jews before Hitler wanted to go to Palestine. The masses of Negroes, particularly in the South, dominated by the heritage of slavery, and the apparently irresistible numbers and state power of the whites, did not dare to raise the slogan of a black state in America. But in a revolutionary crisis, as they begin to shake off the state coercion and ideological domination of American bourgeois society, their first step may well be to demand the control, both actual and symbolical, of their own future destiny. The question of whether the Negroes in America are a national minority to which the slogan of self-determination applies will be solved in practice. The raising or support of the slogan by the masses of Negroes will be the best and only proof required. It is inconceivable that propaganda by any American revolutionary party can instill this idea into their minds if they did not themselves consciously or unconsciously desire it. This desire may very well fall into the hands of reactionary leaders. But only the most energetic defense of the right of self-determination of the Negro masses can lead their movement into revolutionary channels. Should the masses of Negroes raise this slogan, the SWP, in accordance with the Leninist doctrine on the question of self-determination, and the imperative circumstances of the particular situation, will welcome this awakening and pledge itself to support the demand to the fullest extent of its power. The boundaries of such a state will be a matter of comradely arrangement between different sections of a revolution victorious over American capitalism and intent only on creating the best possible milieu for the building of the Socialist commonwealth. The Fourth International aims at the abolition of the old and not at the creation of new national boundaries, but the historical circumstances and the stages of development of different sections of society will at given moments be decisive in the road to be followed at a particular historic moment. The demand for a Negro state in America, its revolutionary achievement with the enthusiastic encouragement and assistance of the whites, will generate such creative energy in every section of the Negro workers and farmers in America as to constitute a great step forward to the ultimate integration of the American Negroes into the United Socialist States of North America. The SWP is also confident that after a few years of independent existence the victories of the new regime in both states will lead inevitably to a unity, with the Negroes as anxious and willing partners, their justifiable suspicions and doubts weakened by the concrete manifestation of the desire for collaboration by the whites and the contrast between the capitalist and the socialist state. Such a development in America will have immediate and powerful repercussions not only among the millions of African Negroes but also among oppressed nationalities, particularly of color, everywhere, and will be a powerful step toward the dissolution of those national and racial antagonisms with which capitalism, particularly in this period of its desperate crisis, is poisoning and corrupting human society. The SWP, while proclaiming its willingness to support the right of self-determination to the fullest degree, will not in itself, in the present stage, advocate the slogan of a Negro state in the manner of the Communist Party of the USA. The advocacy of the right of self-determination does not mean advancing the slogan of self-determination. Self-determination for Negroes means that the Negroes themselves must determine their own future. Furthermore, a party predominantly white in membership which, in present-day America, vigorously advocates such a slogan, prejudices it in the minds of Negroes, who see it as a form of segregation. But the SWP will watch carefully the political development of the masses of the Negroes, will emphasize their right to make this important decision themselves, and the obligation of all revolutionaries to support whatever decision the Negroes may finally come to as to the necessity of a Negro state. The SWP recognizes that the Negroes have not yet expressed themselves on this important question. The opposition to a Negro state comes mainly from the articulate and vocal but small and weak class of Negro intellectuals, concerned with little else besides gaining a place for themselves in American capitalist society, and fanatically blind to its rapid decline. Negro members of the Fourth International, however, have every right to participate in the formation of the ideology of their own race, with such slogans and propaganda as correspond to the political development and revolutionary awakening of the great masses of the Negro people; and, while conscious of the ultimate aims of Socialism, must recognize the progressive and revolutionary character of any demand unfolding among great masses of Negroes for a Negro state, and if necessary vigorously advocate it. — 1940, The Right of Self-Determination and the Negro in The United States of North America (Adopted by the Socialist Workers Party 2nd Convention, 1939)

Videos of the Day:

Guns, Toxic Masculinity, and the Alt-Right The FBI has confirmed it failed to act on a tip about Nikolas Cruz, the confessed shooter in the Florida high school massacre. Author David Neiwert says the shooting underscores the dangerous combination of toxic masculinity, guns, and radicalized scapegoating.

The Free Market Threat to Democracy Democratic institutions are not under stress–they’re under aggressive attack, as unconstrained financial greed overrides democratic decisions, says economist John Weeks


Another Mass Shooting. Another Case in Which Signs of White Violence Didn’t Raise Alarms. It was true for Dylann Roof in Charleston. It was true about for any number of violent white men in Charlottesville. And it was true for Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Florida. By Shaun King

From Our Foreign Wars to Our Domestic Massacres, Violence Begets Violence Bemoaning gun violence in our communities while facilitating U.S. government violence across the globe effectively ensures we will have more tragedies to bemoan. By Lyle Jeremy Rubin

One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Illness  I say “disease” instead of “illness” because it’s a creepier word, conjuring up nauseating images: syphilis, tumors, necrotizing bone. Technicolor mutations in old medical textbooks.  Racism and fascism are of that ilk, gelatinous drops of poison that swirl around in a hellish test-tube with other noxious fluids until they bind together and bang: another spectacular chemical reaction. Spectacular and hideous but totally predictable. by John Eskow

Democrats’ anti-Trump campaign extols undemocratic FBI and the ‘national security’ state The most effective way to counter US President Donald Trump’s reactionary policies is through mass action. The Democratic Party, however, hopes to steer movements and individuals opposed to Trump into support of its candidates. While this trap of “lesser evil” politics has proved to be a failure over and over again, there is another, outright reactionary, content to the Democrat’s current anti-Trump campaign. The Democrats, their supporters in the mass media, and most self-styled “progressives” are on a drive to whitewash the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the current squabble between the FBI and Trump concerning Russia. They also accuse Trump of violating “national security”, not sufficiently defending “classified” information and furthering leaks of such state secrets to WikiLeaks — which is implied to be in collusion with Russia against the United States. All wings of the Democrats have fallen in line behind this campaign, with even Bernie Sanders and “reformer” Senator Elizabeth Warren going along, even if quietly. By Barry SheppardEnvironment: 

Global Warming Is Getting Worse, Fast Global surface temperatures during the three years from 2014 to 2016 – each hotter than the last – boosted the total level of global warming since 1900 by 25%, according to new research. A separate study has confirmed that heat extremes, too, have outpaced the global average. Maximum temperatures during the hottest heat waves have in the last 30 years risen three times faster – especially in crowded cities that are home to more than 10 million – than average temperatures as a whole. And a third study warns that unless the world’s nations start to reduce carbon emissions, then within the next 17 or 18 years, planetary temperatures will be at least 1.5°C above the world average for most of human history. And 35 to 41 years from now, these temperatures will have climbed 2°C above the level that held before the Industrial Revolution, and the arrival of fossil fuels as a global energy source.  ByAnd that would represent a comprehensive failure of the agreement, in Paris in 2015, by 197 of the world’s nations to limit global warming to “well below” a 2°C rise by 2100. By Tim Radford  

Global Warming Zaps Oxygen Take a deep breath. A recent scientific study reveals disturbing loss of ocean oxygen. Unnerving climatic events like this justify ringing and clanging of the bells on the Public Square, all hands on deck. In particular, and as expected, the culprit is too much anthropogenic-induced global warming or idiomatically speaking, human activities such as planes, trains, and automobiles… burning tons of coal. Somebody must do something to fix it… ah-ah-ah! by Robert Hunziker Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights/ Black Liberation:

We are Not Americans Labor:


We the citizens in the advanced industrial countries, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, have reached the point at which private power is stronger than our democratic state.  This private power manifests itself in unconstrained financial greed that over-rides democratic decisions, justified by an ideology of self-adjusting markets. Rejection of that ideology requires radical reform to prevent financial capital from creating fascism. To prevent fascism we must implement a citizen’s arrest of capital that will liberate the many not the few. — John WeeksFree markets & the decline of democracy 

Have You Heard of Goldman Sachs’ Theory Called the “Balanced Bear”? Last Friday, Christian Mueller-Glissmann, an equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, took to the airwaves at CNBC to discuss last week’s market selloff and entered a new phrase into the lexicon of investing. Mueller-Glissmann said: “The way this market has traded in this correction has been very much in line with our thesis from last year which was called the ‘Balanced Bear.’ You might remember this – this idea that equities and bonds can sell off together.” In response to a question from his CNBC interviewer as to whether this means there is nowhere to “go and hide” in a market like this, Mueller-Glissmann responded: “Exactly. I think you’re dealing with a much higher portfolio risk, not only with equities being riskier but a much higher portfolio risk because there’s very little places to hide.” By Pam Martens and Russ Martens 


Britain: Labour4Clause4 – campaign launched to restore Labour’s commitment to socialism This month marks the centenary of the adoption of Clause 4, the Labour Party’s commitment to the socialist transformation of society. This campaign is therefore very timely indeed. The collapse of Carillion exposed a racket being run by the profiteers. It highlighted the disaster of privatisation and the scandal of PFI. At the end of the day, the capitalist bloodsuckers run off with the profits and the workers are forced to pay for the mess left behind. Today, the situation facing many sections of the working class is dire. We have seen years of wage cuts and austerity, with a permanent reduction in living standards. This is a consequence of the crisis of 2008, the deepest crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression. The economy has still not recovered from this crisis. By Rob SewelHealth, Science, Education, and Welfare: