Daily News Digest May 16, 2019

Daily News Digest May 16, 2019

Daily News Digest Archives

Since World War I ‘the war to end all wars’ there have been perpetual wars for perpetual peace, Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, under banner headline: “There Is No Peace,” Could Still Be Published Today!

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:

May 24

Videos of the Day:

Arundhati Roy on the Indian Election and Narendra Modi’s Far-Right Agenda

Quote of the Day: 

As late as the end of the 1970s, 8 to 10 percent usury ceilings were common. Since that time, however, lenders have been successful in getting the ceilings lifted much higher or eliminated altogether in a number of states. In the District of Columbia, for instance, the usury ceiling on mortgage loans went from 8 percent to 10 percent in 1974. Then, in early 1979, rates were raised to 11 percent. Last fall the city council raised them again to 15 percent — Usury Isn’t What It Used to Be

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and they own it and we want it — (Anonymous Trump official)


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!  

U.S. Special Forces School Publishes New Guide For Overthrowing Foreign Governments The official school of the United States’ Special Operations Command has published a new paper detailing a decades-long history of Pentagon-backed interference around the world, hoping to provide insight on how best to approach such efforts in the present and future. The 250-page study, “Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness,” was compiled by Army Special Forces veteran Will Irwin and published earlier this week by the official Joint Special Operations University, where he was a resident senior fellow. Though the report notes that its views “are entirely those of the author,” its findings present a comprehensive look at how the U.S. has supported efforts to pressure, undermine and overthrow foreign governments. The report includes some 47 case studies spanning from 1941 to 2003, detailing a legacy of mixed results that included assisting partisans against the Axis Power satellites during World War II, bolstering anti-communist forces throughout the Cold War and taking on post-9/11 adversariesin Afghanistan and Iraq. The numerous Washington-orchestrated coups of the past 70 years were “not included in this study as they did not involve legitimate resistance movements.” By Tom O’Connor

Undermining Trump-Bolton War Narrative, British General Says No Evidence of ‘Increased Threat’ From Iran“Intelligence and military officials in Europe as well as in the United States said that over the past year, most aggressive moves have originated not in Tehran, but in Washington.” By Jake Johnsom

A Criminal Affair: United States Imposes War on the Venezuelan PeopleTo replace Venezuela’s government with one to its liking, the United States uses special war-making tools. The plan is to make Venezuelans suffer enough so that, desperate, they will accept whatever government is presented. Troops and weapons aren’t required. That approached worked in Chile in 1973, but so far in Cuba it hasn’t – after almost 60 years By W. T. Whitney

United States and Venezuela: A Historical Background US hostility and efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government forms parts of a long and inglorious history of US intervention in Latin America going back to the second decade of the 19th century.In 1823 US President Monroe declared, in his name, the ‘Monroe Doctrine” – the US right to keep Europeans out of the region, but the right of the US to intervene in pursuit of its economic, political and military interests.We will proceed to outline the historical phases of US political and military intervention on behalf of US corporate and banking interests in the region and the Latin American political and social movements which opposed it.By James PetrasUS Border Patrol Is the Most Brutal Militia of All The militia group was hunting for border-crossers near the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Soon it encountered a group of migrants. Its members made them “take off their shoes and walk for half an hour in their socks,” then “lie face-down in the dirt for an hour.” The militia’s members stole the migrants’ food and fed it to their horses. They took the migrants’ sweaters, tossing them dirty blankets covered in cactus spines to use against the cold. Actions like these have made the militia infamous. Human rights researchers log its many crimes. Legal organizations record thousands of its abuses. But the militia, defiant, is digging in.  By Nick Alexandrov

Is Emergency Evacuation from Seabrook Reactor Even Possible? Public Hearings DemandedEver wonder if the nuclear reactor near you has an evacuation plan that would work in an emergency? Have you ever been stuck in barely moving traffic on an interstate highway even when there was no crisis, no sirens, and no panic?  People driving Interstate-95 near the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire have, and they have reason to worry, especially after the nonprofit group We the People and its founder Stephen Comley produced “No Evacuation Possible,” a public service video of routine summertime traffic jams on I-95 — Seabrook’s disaster escape route, and warning of the impossibility of an evacuation in the event of an accident at Seabrook. By John Laforge

Getting Mauled by a Monopoly Utility  Nearly a half-century ago, the Montana Power Company was determined to turn our state into “the boiler room for the nation” with vast plans for Colstrip’s coal-fired power plants and the massive strip mines to feed them. Local ranchers, farmers, landowners and environmentalists teamed up to oppose the mega-mines and pollution-belching plants and the newly formed Northern Plains Resource Council put out a bumper sticker that asked: “Has Montana Power got you by the bulbs?” Now NorthWestern Energy, Montana Power’s successor in interest as a monopoly utility, is putting the squeeze on Montanans once again. By George Ochenski


“Alarming” Report Details Emissions Danger of Plastics Production and Disposal—And It’s Set to Get Worse “It has long been clear that plastic threatens the global environment and puts human health at risk. This report demonstrates that plastic, like the rest of the fossil economy, is putting the climate at risk as well.” By Eoin Higgins

The Resilient Forests Act: a Trojan Horse to Accelerate Logging on Public Lands We live in an age of Orwellian Doublespeak. Such doublespeak is exemplified by the euphemistically named “Resilient Federal Forests Act” (RFFA) sponsored by Rep. Westerman. Like previous versions, Westerman asserts RFFA will reduce massive wildfires and smoke, and promote more “resilient” forests.By George Wuerthner

Energy Regulators May Reconsider Rules Critics Say Fueled America’s Oil and Gas Pipeline GlutA little-noticed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announcement could have an outsized impact on the oil and gas pipeline industries — if the commission decides to snap shut loopholes that analysts say create financial incentives to build too many new pipelines in the U.S. The way the rules are currently written can allow unusually high profit margins for new pipeline projects. Since 1997, FERC has allowed certain new pipelines to rake in 14 percent profits — a rate far higher than the returns presently generated by, say, corporate bonds — with little eye to how that compares to profits available from other investments. By Sharon Kelly Global Warming is Speeding Up!: It will be Very Hot and very Wet–We’ve exceeded 415ppm of Carbon Dioxide for the first Time since the PlioceneAnn Arbor (Informed Comment) – The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration measures atmospheric carbon dioxide at its Moana Loa observatory. You can see that on May 11 we were just about at 415 parts per million of CO2. A couple of days this week, we’ve gone over 415. When I say that, you should run screaming like a tsunami is coming over the horizon with mayhem on its mind. 415 is bigger than a million tsunamis. We put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when we drive gasoline autos or burn coal or natural gas for heating. By Juan Cole Black Liberaation/Civil Rights:

Talking Marxism But Serving Capitalism in South Africa  By Glen Ford, Bar Executive Editor

Freedom Rider: U.S. Wages War Against the World  The U.S. “troika of tyranny,” Trump, Bolton and Pompeo, are making things up as they go along, seeking to bend the planet to their lawless will. “The activists who chose to protect the Venezuelan embassy from Guaido and the other Venezuelan traitors are showing us the way to move forward.” This columnist has spent many years predicting a United States war on Iran. There is now a president who may finally make good on that long expressed threat. Donald Trump is deep in the thrall of Saudi Arabia and Israel, the two nations that pose the greatest risk to Iran. He happily does their bidding and is in a position to bring the sick neocon fantasy to reality.  By Margaret Kimberley , BAR editor and senior columnist In Baltimore, Police Officers Are the Bad Guys With Guns  Plainclothes police officers are waging war on citizens. “They often planted guns and resold narcotics.” There have been 11 homicides in Baltimore since the start of May, pushing the number of homicides in 2019 past 100.The hardscrabble, postindustrial city of 611,000 people reached this grim milestone at almost the same time as New York City, which is home to more than eight million people. Baltimore has been mired in a murder crisis since 2015. But several brazen shootings this spring have heightened the sense of urgency and outrage. At the end of April, seemingly indiscriminate fire interrupted a Sunday afternoon cookout, killing one person and wounding eight others. In early May, two toddlers were shot. ByBaynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

2020 Elections: Its Militarism and the Military Budget Stupid!  The Trump military budget is more than a third higher than five years ago, while cutting non-defense programs by 9 percent– but the corporate media ignore the issue and Democratic candidates are silent. “Most of the neoliberal candidates running in the Democratic Party’s electoral process haven’t spoken a word in opposition to Trump’s budget.”U.S. ships are involved in provocative “freedom of navigation” exercises in the South China Sea and other ships gather ominously in the Mediterranean Sea while National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo along with convicted war criminal Elliot Abrams conspire to save the people of Venezuela with another illegal “regime change” intervention. But people are drawn to the latest adventures of Love and Hip-Hop, the Mueller report, and Game of Thrones. In fact, while millions can recall with impressive detail the proposals and strategies of the various players in HBO’s latest saga, they can’t recall two details about the pending military budget that will likely pass in Congress with little debate, even though Trump’s budget proposal represents another obscene increase of public money to the tune of $750 billion.  By Ajamu Baraka , BAR editor and columnistAdrift in a Decolonizing World, the White Settler Makes a Final, Furious Stand  From Ramallah to Rio, Capetown to Caracas, Green Bay to Gaza, the sun is setting on the colonial racial order. “The global white settler elite is doubling down on the only tactic it knows – primitive violence.” Anticipating a government plan to seize their farms for redistribution to landless blacks, white South Africans have begun shuttling ex-Israeli commandos into the country to train embattled farmers to defend their properties, some parcels of which have been in their families’ hands for more than a century. By Jon Jeter Where Have All the Anti-War Warriors Gone?   Has the US public become desensitized to the horrendous suffering inflicted by their government on fellow human beings, or are they blissful co-imperialists? “What has produced this unprecedented state of brain demise, amorality and bizarre insensitivity to the suffering and pain of others?”  By Dr. Kweli Nzito



Europe is Powerless in Growing Conflict Between the US and IranThe EU’s real status – well behind the US, Russia and China – has just been demonstrated by its inability to protect Iran from US sanctions following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015. A year ago, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron made humiliating visits to Washington to plead vainly with Trump to stay with the agreement, but were rebuffed. By Patrick Cockburn


Trade Wasn’t the Only Problem in the Market Yesterday: Citigroup Tanked 5.18% Allow us to set the stage for what happened in yesterday’s market rout which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 617 points. The easy answer is that the market is unnerved by the ongoing trade war between the Trump administration and China. And, clearly, that’s part of the problem. But the market is also keenly aware that there are a handful of mega banks on Wall Street that have monster exposure to derivatives and are systemically interconnected to the counterparties on the other side of those trades. The problem is that nobody, including the regulators, has clarity on which counterparty is in over their head and may have failed to reserve adequate capital if it has to pay out on too many losing derivative trades. By Pam martens amd Russ Marten

Health, Education, and Welfare:

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!

Too Many People, or Too Much Greed? During the dark early morning hours of a September 27 a few years after the Second World War, a passenger ship cruising calm South Atlantic waters struck a drifting forgotten mine, was violently breached, and quickly sank before any distress signal could be broadcast. Daylight found 26 survivors massed in, or floating in the sea around, a small lifeboat built for 12. This is the opening scenario to the 1957 British film Abandon Ship! (also called Seven Waves Away, or Seven Days From Now); and is succinctly presented in this brief clip. By Manuel García, Jr.