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.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. —Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Silence of Social Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, re: the Venezuela Coup, Attempt is Deafening! — Roland Sheppard
With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to prominence and Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential run kicking off, Venezuela provides an important test, both for them and their supporters on the socialist left. If socialism stands for the interests of the international working class, Venezuela today poses the question: what is a truly socialist, internationalist position? How should we, leftists in the “belly of the beast,” relate to the crisis that our own government has a direct hand in creating?As many have argued, the most basic position of socialists must be a complete rejections of U.S. imperialism’s attempt to destabilize and control sovereign nations – be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Venezuela or elsewhere. As we know from history, U.S. foreign policy has never been about helping the masses take their destiny in their own hands. Rather, the U.S. has helped topple innumerable democratic leftist governments, and has propped up innumerable right-wing dictatorships. Opposing U.S. meddling with the call “Hands off Venezuela!” is essential. — Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Legitimize Regime Change in Venezuela
Women’s breast milk in many countries now contains chemicals belonging to a class of compounds known as PFAS at levels well above the safety thresholds set by governments, says the report from international environmental group IPEN. In Jordan, for instance, researchers found breast milk contained, on average, 144 parts per trillion of PFOA, according to a 2015 study. That’s more than double the 70 ppt health advisory level the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set for that chemical in drinking water; more than seven times the 20 ppt drinking water safety level recently set by the state of Vermont; and more than 10 times the 14 ppt drinking water threshold the state of New Jersey proposed for PFOA earlier this month. — Sharon Lerner
The United States is not a Democracy (A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly)! Only the 1%, through their ownership of the Republicrats and who profit from war and the war budget, vote for War and the war budget — A policy, which Gore Vidal called a Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.— The 99% Should Decide On War — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From War! Under a Democracy, The 99% would have the right to vote on the policy of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace!
It Looks Like Another Failed US Coup in Venezuela The imperialist neocons infesting the Trump administration, and the orange-faced joke of a president himself, may think they can invent their own reality through propaganda, as Bush’s “brain” Karl Rove used to claim about the Bush/Cheney administration, but when it comes to Latin America, they fail to realize how deeply the people of that continent loath and resent the US and its colonial-era Monroe Doctrine.By Dave Lindorff
Social Unrest as Obstacle to Colombian Military Intervention in Venezuela Rightwing Colombian governments, obedient to the United States and unhappy with socialist Venezuela, have provided muscle behind the U.S. push for regime change there. What are the capacities of Colombia to intervene militarily in Venezuela? The mainstream and alternative media offer little in this regard. The argument here is that political instability in Colombia is standing in the way of that country’s military forces intervening more than is presently the case. By W. T. Whitney
Venezuela: Guaidó’s botched coup – what does it mean and what’s next?Just before dawn on 30 April, the Venezuelan opposition launched yet another attempt at a military coup. By the end of the day, the botched coup attempt seemed to have failed, with one of its leaders seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy, 25 of the soldiers involved requesting asylum at the Brazilian embassy and Juan Guaidó in hiding or on the run. By Jorge Martin
UK Parliament Set to Vote on Climate Emergency“By becoming the first parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, “we could set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe.” By Andrea GermanosThe destruction of the Earth is a crime. It should be prosecuted There are no effective safeguards preventing a few powerful people, companies or states from wreaking havoc for the sake of profit or power. Though their actions may lead to the death of millions, they know they can’t be touched. Their impunity, as they engage in potential mass murder, reveals a gaping hole in international law. Last week, for instance, the research group, InfluenceMap reportedthat the world’s five biggest publicly listed oil and gas companies, led by BP and Shell, are spending nearly $200m a year on lobbying to delay efforts to prevent climate breakdown. According to Greenpeace UK, BP has successfully pressed the Trump government to overturn laws passed by the Obama administration preventing companies from releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. The result – the equivalent of another 50m tonnes of CO2 over the next five years – is to push us faster towards a hothouse Earth. By George MonbiotThe Hypocrisy of Trump and the Federal Government: They acknowledge that Vietnam Veterans and Caines Get Cancer from Agent Orange (Glycolohisphate), But the EPA and Trump say its safe for people living in the U.S.!
Dr. Hayes also said the dogs in Vietnam were treated several times with tetracycline, an antibiotic used to control a tick-borne parasitic disease, which ”may have contributed to the increased risk of testicular problems.” Veterans groups have contended for years that soldiers who served in Vietnam have had more cancers and other ailments as a result of their exposure to chemical sprays. — Herbicides Linked to Cancer in Military Dogs
The U.S. military used Agent Orange to clear plants and trees during the Vietnam War. If you served in or near Vietnam during the Vietnam Era—or in certain related jobs—you may have had contact with this toxic chemical. Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits for illnesses believed to be caused by Agent Orange.If you have an illness believed to be caused by Agent Orange, you won’t need to show the problem started during—or got worse because of—your military service. This is because we believe that certain diseases are the result of exposure to herbicides. We refer to these as presumptive diseases. — Veterans Disability Benefts
The most toxic component of Roundup is the carrier, a blend of surfactants and spreaders not unlike dish detergent or dishwasher rinse-aid, both of which would sicken (but not poison) you if you drank them. These are added so that the Roundup will stick to the plant leaves, rather than running off onto the ground, and so that the active ingredient, glyphosate, (which is applied at only 8–16 ounces of active ingredient per acre) is easier to mix and dilute before application. No doubt the carrier would irritate your eyes or skin if you applied it full strength and left it on long enough.— What is agent orange and what is it relationship to roundup?
Trump EPA insists Monsanto’s Roundup is safe, despite cancer casesAdministration to keep weedkiller on the market after landmark court rulings and concerns over food The Trump administration is keeping the weedkiller Roundup on the US market, insisting it is safe for humans despite thousands of lawsuits launched by people who claim it gave them cancer.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains in a new decisionthat glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which is made by Monsanto, does not cause cancer or other health problems if it is used according to labels. Glyphosate is used on more than 100 crops, including genetically modified corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beet, according to the EPA. Groups campaigning against glyphosate say it is most dangerous for farmworkers and others applying it but also poses risks for people consuming it in food. By Emily Holden
BP lobbied Trump administration to roll back key US climate rules The oil giant claims to be a leader on tackling methane emissions but successfully lobbied against two major regulations tackling the problem British oil major BP successfully lobbied the Trump administration to roll back key climate regulations preventing the release of methane into the atmosphere, despite claiming to support the Paris agreement to limit global warming to well below 2C.An investigation by Unearthed has found that both directly and through its hands-on role in a network of powerful trade associations, BP first opposed and then helped reverse rules that would have prevented the release of millions of tons of methane from US oil and gas operations over the coming years. By Lawrence CarterTrump Quietly Decides Again to Allow Elephant Trophy ImportsThe Trump administration has lifted a ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from certain African countries, just over three months after President Trump appeared to pause a first attempt to do so amid public uproar. In a memo dated March 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that in place of the Obama-era blanket ban, the agency will consider importation permits “on a case-by-case basis.”r
Florida Court Orders Oil Drilling In Everglades To Move AheadA court decision in Florida earlier this week illustrates the difficulties involved in drilling for oil and natural gas in environmentally sensitive areas. The inevitable tensions between environmental conservation and the exercise of property rights can become especially challenging to resolve when they take place in a state where existing oilfield regulations are inadequate and outdated.Fukushima: “An Ongoing Global Radiological Catastrophe”. “A Huge Coverup”. Dr. Helen CaldicottThe eight year anniversary of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility passed mostly without comment in mainstream media circles. In spite of ongoing radiological contamination that will continue to spread and threaten human health for lifetimes to come, other stories dominate the international news cycle. The climate change conundrum, serious though it may be, seemingly crowds out all other clear and present environmental hazards. As part of efforts to normalize this historic event and cover it up in its magnitude, the Japanese government has invested considerable financial, public relations and other resources into what they are billing the ‘Recovery Olympics‘ set to take place in a year’s time in Tokyo. But Helen Caldicott warns that the dangers associated with Fukushima have not gone away and remain a cause for concern. By Dr. Helen Caldicottand Michael Walsh
Black Liberation/Civil Rights:Freedom Rider: Solidarity with VenezuelaWhen the US targets a government for regime change it brings all its coercive forces into play: military threats, economic sanctions, media slander and treasonous Quislings from the theater of the absurd. “The United States and its puppets care nothing for international law, the sovereignty of other nations, or human rights.” The United States war against Venezuela is fought on many fronts. On April 30, 2019 the U.S. upped the propaganda ante with a photo-op pretend coup attempt made for the cameras. Their hand picked opposition leader Juan Guaido posed with about 70 men in uniform and called on the army to oust president Nicolas Maduro. They didn’t engage the Venezuelan military, attack Maduro physically or do anything else that is traditionally done in such an effort. The goal is to give Guaido credibility in the international media and with politicians in Washington. The staged event is still dangerous though. It is the latest salvo in a years long effort to undo the will of the Venezuelan people. By Margaret Kimberly, BAR editor and senior columnist
If Trump Wins in 2020, Thank Russiagate Leave it to the War Party to lose an election to a celebrity billionaire oligarch and then provide him with favorable conditions for a second-term. “Trump can now say with confidence that he was the ‘victim’ of a witch-hunt.” We are less than two years out from the end of Trump’s first presidential term. Since Trump was elected in 2016, coastal elites in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the military industrial complex have spent much of this period shrieking and howling accusations that Donald Trump is a puppet of Russia. The corporate media and spooks in the intelligence apparatus spent endless hours mulling over the possible scenarios in the conspiracy theory. Russia was in U.S. electric grids, social media websites, and voting machines. Former Bush II FBI director Robert Mueller was specially appointed to investigate the matter. His report found no evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Russia. By Danny HaiphongHow Race Made the Opioid Crisis The demonization of urban, nonwhite drug users played a crucial role in the opening of ‘white’ pharmaceutical markets in the 1990s.“Deeply felt national narratives demarcate the line between white and black, native and foreign, innocent and guilty, medical and recreational, deserving and undeserving, licit and illicit.” In March 2018, President Donald Trump delivered a forty-minute speech about the crisis of addiction and overdose in New Hampshire. Standing before a wall tiled with the words “Opioids: The Crisis Next Door,” Trump blankly recited the many contributors to the current drug epidemic, including doctors, dealers, and manufacturers. Trump droned on mechanically until he reached a venomous crescendo about Customs and Border Protection’s seizure of 1,500 pounds of fentanyl. He brightened as he shifted focus to three of his most hated enemies, first blaming China and Mexico for saturating the United States with deadly synthetic opioids, then moving seamlessly to what he considered one of the great internal threats: “My administration is also confronting things called ‘sanctuary cities,’” Trump declared. “Ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis.” By Donna MurchPentagon Manhunt for Julian Assange Preceded Swedish Rape AllegationsThe US government has disregarded due process and elemental honesty in pursuing its vendetta against Julian Assange. “We are complicit in crimes against humanity when we know about them and when we don’t stop them.” Since April 11th, when British police forcibly removed Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London Embassy, there has been talk of renewing an investigation of rape allegations made against him in Sweden in 2010, even though the case was closed after all parties had been interviewed and Assange was never charged. As with most rape allegations, the only evidence is witness testimony, evaluated on the credibility and consistency of the witnesses, and the context. On the April 26 Unity4J YouTube vigil for Julian Assange, Kiwi journalist and exile Suzie Dawsonsaid that the context of the allegations against Assange included a Pentagon manhunt initiated well before the incidents in Sweden. By Ann Garrison Black Alliance for Peace Condemns US Attempt to Impose Puppet Government on People of VenezuelaSo-called “liberals” and “progressives” all over the “western world” have endorsed Washington’s racist and brutal policy towards Venezeula. “Venezuelans will never allow themselves to be returned to the days when a rapacious oligarchy was able to deny them a democratic voice.” Not satisfied with the orgy of violence successive U.S. administrations have imposed on the world over the last two decades in the Middle East and North Africa, the Trump administration—with the full support of a majority of Democrats and the liberal establishment—gave the green light to a coup action in Venezuela that promises to cause untold suffering to the Venezuelan people in the Americas. By Black Alliance for PeaceDozens Condemned by Media as ‘Gang Members’ Not Actually Gang Members, Study ConfirmsCorporate media are racist megaphones for the mass Black incarceration state, criminalizing whole communities like electronic lynch mobs. “The majority of those arrested were not ‘gang members’ at all.” In the immediate wake of the now infamous “Bronx 120 gang raid,” carried out by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the NYPD on the Eastchester Gardens and Edenwald House housing projects in New York City’s Bronx on April 27, 2016, New York media uncritically and predictably repeated the NYPD and federal prosecutors’ claim that all those arrested were “gang members”—a sprawling conspiracy of murderers, drug dealers and gun runners “taken down” by authorities. By Adam Johnson
Whiteness Explainer for Dummies Some alumnae of Trinity College went bonkers when the author tweeted that “Whiteness is Terrorism.” “Critical systemic white racism scholars recognize the centrality of ‘race’ as myth and whiteness as an ideological component in facilitating racial capitalism.” Examining whiteness is of utmost importance if Americans truly wish to live in a just and peaceful society. To realize this possibility,self-identified ‘whites’ – and their collaborators from among the racially oppressed – must reckon with their attachment to whiteness. Whiteness was the central concern of sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois in his book Black Reconstruction in Americapublished in 1935. Du Bois argued that whiteness serves as a “public and psychological wage,” delivering to poor self-identified ‘whites’ in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries higher social status than people socially defined as black. By Dr. Johnny E. Williams Revealed: The U.S. Military’s 36 Code-Named Operations in Africa Between 2013 and 2017, U.S. special operations forces saw combat in at least 13 African countries. “Many of these operations are taking place in countries that the U.S. government does not recognize as combat zones, but in which U.S. troops are nonetheless fighting.” Many Americans first became aware of U.S. military operations in Africa in October 2017, after the Islamic State ambushed American troops near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing four U.S. soldiers and wounding two others. Just after the attack, U.S. Africa Command said U.S. troops were providing “advice and assistance” to local counterparts. Later, it would become clear that those troops — the 11-man Operational Detachment-Alpha Team 3212 — were working out of the town of Oullam with a larger Nigerian force under the umbrella of Operation Juniper Shield, a wide-ranging counterterrorism effort in northwest Africa. By Nick Turse and Sean N.Naylor
Britain: communications workers vote unanimously for clause fourThe Labour4Clause4 campaign in Britain received a massive boost at the annual conference of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in Bournemouth on 28 April, when a composite resolution supporting the restoration of the original Clause 4 to the Labour Party Constitution was passed unanimously. The Labour4Clause4 campaign In Britain received a massive boost at the annual conference of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in Bournemouth on 28 April, when a composite resolution supporting the restoration of the original Clause 4 to the Labour Party Constitution was passed unanimously. The composite motion (see below) was supported by five CWU branches, and was moved by Des Heemskerk from the Essex Amal branch, who was proudly wearing a Clause 4 campaign t-shirt as he spoke to the conference. Des pointed to the growing hostility to privatisation and increasing support for public ownership. “With the greatest crisis of capitalism since the 1930s, support for nationalisation has become increasingly popular,” he stated. He pointed to the need for a socialist plan of production, as you can’t plan what you don’t control, and you don’t control what you don’t own.
The government of the United States can pass laws in a few days to spend tens of trillions of dollars for war and the bailout of Wall Street and the bankers. Yet, those who ‘govern’, pass universal healthcare for themselves, but they cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers the to be, a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let The People Vote on Healthcare!