March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

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: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and  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.

Images of the Day:

Bendib: New Dawn

Quotes of the Day:

Trump’s declaration of a fake “national emergency” was actually a declaration that he is now an absolute monarch, a dictator, no longer accountable to Congress for his actions. If that’s not covered by the Constitution’s “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” clause outlining grounds for impeachment, what is? And if Congress isn’t prepared to respond accordingly, why should they — or we — bother with the continuing charade that they, or the law, matter at all? — Congress’s Cowardly “Emergency” Rebuke

The Democratic Party’s Judas Goat. Pied Piper: Bernie Sanders: Well, first of all, I reject the first premise that you made. I knocked my brains out—in fact, I just saw a letter today from Hillary Clinton which said thank you, Bernie, for working so hard in my election. We ended up winning among younger people more votes from young African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, than Clinton and Trump combined. Furthermore, if you look at the polling out there, we’re doing quite well with the African American community.

Videos of the Day:

The Secrets Of American Power: Unitary Executive Theory, Guantánamo Bay Prison, And Extraordinary Rendition


The NeoLiberals are already beginning to accept the Dictatorship of the  1%: : The Constitution Will Not Save Us From Trump’s “Emergency” The Constitution, which is notoriously vague and open to interpretation from courts already stacked in the GOP’s favor, is unlikely to save us from the latest power grab by Republicans and President Trump. Following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in order to reallocate money for a border wall that Congress has refused to fund, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Republicans that “a Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well.” She suggested that a future Democratic president could enact gun control initiatives by calling a national emergency over gun violence. Other Democrats, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, have floated similar ideas about climate change. “So, the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans,” Pelosi cautioned, a sentiment since repeated by those of various political leanings. By Mandel Ngan

Watch Live: Michael Cohen Testifies Trump A ‘Racist Conman’ And ‘Criminal’ Before House Committee “Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great.” By Julia Conley

‘We Are Here to Buy a Senator’: Ahead of Data Privacy Hearing, Digital Rights Defenders Target Lavish Telecom-Backed Fundraiser “This type of corruption is seen as business as usual in Washington, D.C. but it’s shameful and it ought to be illegal,” one demonstrator said of corporate lobbying By Jessica Corbett


Big Energy:

Another Oil Train Crashes as Alberta Government Gets Into Oil-by-Rail Business The government of Alberta, Canada, the heart of tar sands country, recently announced plans to get into the oil-by-rail business. Attempting to work around a lack of pipelines, the provincial government intends to spend $3.7 billion to lease 4,400 oil tank cars and locomotives to export more Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. The announcement came just days after the latest oil train derailmentand spill in Manitoba, Canada. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley addressed concerns about safety regarding the oil trains.“We are treating the safety of these rail cars as though they are traveling through our own backyards,” Notley said. “The cars we will be using will be the safest cars on the tracks. They include the safest technology and meet the highest standards including all recent changes to safety standards.” By Justin Mikulka

Bailing Out Aging Coal Plants is an Unmitigated Disaster  Montana’s Republican legislators have a long and horrific record of savaging Montana’s consumers while doing everything possible to increase the profits of the state’s utility corporations. Despite the devastating mistakes of the past, they’re at it again. This time with a bill that will allow Montana’s largest utility, NorthWestern Energy, to buy Colstrip for a buck — and inherit the liabilities that come with the shutdown and remediation of the antiquated and massively polluting power complex, which will then be passed on to the utility’s customers. By George Ochenski

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Shirley, You Must Be Playing: Green Book Writer Says He Didn’t Know Musician’s Family ‘Existed’ While Making Film In a disappointing but not altogether surprising left-turn that soured one of the most inclusive, entertaining Oscar ceremonies in memory, Green Book, a racial reconciliation fantasy written for white people, by white people secured the Academy Award for Best Picture. Green Book also won awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor in Supporting Role, granted to Mahershala Ali for playing Dr. Don Shirley. That Shirley, the black piano-playing virtuoso around whom the plot revolves, is considered the supporting character in this film tells you almost everything you need to know.That Shirley’s family have vehemently objected to the film tells you the rest. By Anne Branigin

Mekim-na-Save Projek , Seu Jornal — Rede TVT: Venezuela’s (very Black) Top General Addresses Troops

Bezos’ Banishment and the Limits of Austerity The richest man in the world is not the smartest, but even if he was he couldn’t save the system from its contradictions. “The U.S. austerity regime has reached a high-point and has primarily targeted Black cities.” Jeff Bezos has decided not to build an Amazon corporation headquarters in New York City. According to reports, Bezos was deterred by opposition from local politicians. Opposition from local New York City politicians was in part a response to the organizing efforts of unions and community organizations such as the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and CUNY Rising Alliance. The deal to bring Amazon to New York City initially came under scrutiny after the richest corporation in the world was guaranteed three billion dollars in local and state tax subsidies and other incentives. Amazon’s departure from NYC was much more than a singular “bad deal.” Bezos was sent packing because real limits to austerity do exist and it is the task of revolutionary and socialist leftists to assist the masses in realizing them. By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor

Freedom Rider: Venezuela Reveals America’s Sickness The Democrats agree with Trump that Venezuelans have no rights that need be respected by the United States. “Like a pack of predators they have lined up to assist in the kill.” Does the United States have the right to decide who governs Venezuela? The answer is a simple and resounding “No.” Those who respond in any other fashion are followers of the discredited doctrine of Manifest Destiny and are equally discredited themselves. Reactions to the Donald Trump coup attempt are quite revealing and prove that this country is indeed very, very sick. We can now see that most politicians are either cynical cowards who will go along to get along, or are true believers in imperialism like Trump and his presidential predecessors. By Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist Dredging By Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residenceRehabilitating men with birth defects:
bomb bays where hearts should beat,
weaponized eyes, mechanical mouths,
teargas tongues, compassionless, cold-
blooded coup smiles… Crocodile promises drain the swamp—
dredging up decades of decadent, death
squad architects, bloodthirsty thugs,
torturers, cutthroats— scum of the swamp,
from depths so low they vaulted 25
feet over Hoover and Hitler, packs of
pedophile priests, human rights violators,
sleazy southern senators, corrupt congressmen;
took elevators up 86 floors, climbed 40 flights of
stairs, stood on step stools to suck the Devil’s
dick and be sworn in…

Black Women Pushed Down By Long History of Bias Black women have the longest history in the labor force, but reap the least rewards. “Black families are more reliant on women’s incomes than other families.” The black woman’s experience in America provides arguably the most overwhelming evidence of the persistent and ongoing drag from gender and race discrimination on the economic fate of workers and families. By Nina Banks

Letters from Our Readers This week the coup in Venezuela attracted the most attention from commenters and letter writers. Strong letters came for “US Aggression Against Venezuela is a Crime Based on Lies,” “How to Answer Trump? Make America a Socialist Country,” and “Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal.” In the radio segment “US Aggression Against Venezuela is a Crime Based on Lies” Ajamu Baraka and Dan Kovalikpoint out the falsehoods behind the US attack on the Latin American nation. By Jahan Chowdhry, BAR Comments Editor

In this Thursday, June 23, 2016 photo, pro-government demonstrators gather in Bolivar Square to show their support of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. The demonstrators gathered as the Organization of American States is meeting to discuss a report from Secretary General Luis Almagro denouncing violations of the Venezuela’s constitution. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

BAR Book Forum: Marquis Bey’s “Them Goon Rules” A theoretical and yet also vernacular approach to “the rules” as they are made and unmade. “I’m deeply concerned with dismantling white supremacist ideologies, cisnormative ideologies, heteropatriarchy, elitism, and colonialism.” In this series, we ask acclaimed authors to answer five questions about their book. This week’s featured author is Marquis Bey. Bey is a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow and PhD candidate in the English department at Cornell University. His book is Them Goon Rules: Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism. By Roberto Sirvent, BAR Book Forum Editor

BAR Book Forum: Javon Johnson’s “Killing Poetry” Sirvent: How can your book help BAR readers understand the current political and social climate?   “Communities that strive for justice often replicate the very power structures we are fighting against.” In this series, we ask acclaimed authors to answer five questions about their book. This week’s featured author is Javon Johnson. Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Director of African American & African Diaspora studies and holds an appointment in Gender & Sexuality Studies in the Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.His book is Killing Poetry: Blackness and the Making of Slam and Spoken Word Communities. By Roberto Sirvent, BAR Book Forum Editor

Eliminating HIV in Black Communities The fight against HIV in Black America requires a comprehensive assault on institutional health disparities. “Black Americans are less likely to have access to care than other races and ethnicities.” An ambitious plan President Donald Trump announced in his State of The Union speech to eliminate new diagnoses of HIV and AIDS in the United States by 2030 is feasible—but it fails to address the widespread prevention efforts necessary in black communities. By Kathryn Macapagal and Darnell Motley

Recent Protests in Haiti Expose Democracy’s Lie One of the greatest fictions of democracy is that people oppressed by their own government can place their faith in the electoral process. “The United States may be a lot more like Haiti than it cares to admit.” News of the arrest and subsequent deportation of five armed US citizens in Haiti last week has come to dominate the news cycle in recent days. This is a distraction from the real story. The US public should be paying attention instead to our government’s highly asymmetrical response to protests in Haiti and Venezuela. The inference that the people of Venezuela are democracy seekers, while those in Haiti are democracy destroyers, exposes the US’s favorite political institution itself as a lie. By Marline L. Daut

Black Agenda Radio, Week of February 25, 2019



Turning Screws: China’s Australian Coal Ban Overly reliant economies are dangerously fragile things.  As it takes two parties, often more, to play the game, the absence of interest, or its withdrawal by one, can spell doom. The Australian economy has been talked up – by Australian economists and those more inclined to look at policy through the wrong end of a drain pipe – as becoming more diverse and capable of withstanding shock.  In truth, it remains a commodity driven entity, vulnerable to the shocks of demand. Think Australia, think of looting the earth. By Binoy Kampmark

Daily Update (February 27th): Today’s Advance December Trade Deficit Exploded, Indicating 4th-Quarter Deficit Was Worst in U.S. History, Should Lower Expectations for Tomorrow’s GDP; December Housing Starts (Feb 26) Collapsed Across the Board, in More Meaningful than Usual First Reporting, Signaling Faltering Economy and Weaker Than Expected GDP.


Irish nurses’ strike and the role of union leadership On 30 January, nurses and midwives across Ireland staged their first walkout in 20 years over the question of patient safety and pay. Of more than 40,000 nurses organised in the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), 95 percent voted in favour of strike action. They were joined by the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA). By Ben Curry

The Ghosts of Chauncey Gardner and Francisco Franco at the Trials of the Catalan Independentists in Madrid Watching the trials of the Catalan independentists now taking place at Spain’s highest court in Madrid, I have been reminded again and again of a scene from Hal Ashby’s marvelous 1979 movie “Being There”. The protagonist of that film, Chauncey Gardner, played by Peter Sellers, is a fiftyish man who has never ventured outside the confines of his birth home, and whose entire understanding of society has been shaped by television viewing.  By Thomas S. Harrington

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: