Daily News Digest May 31, 2019

Daily News Digest May 31, 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.

Image of the Day:

Who’s Next in John Bolton’s Deadly and Dirty Game?Videos of the Day:

Mueller’s Statement: Why is it Unconstitutional to Indict a Sitting President?

Rising Seas Could Generate 187 Million Climate Refugees by 2100

Texas Pipeline Bill Criminalizes Water Protectors 

Quotes of the Day:

On Dec. 14, 1973 the United Nations General Assembly voted 104 to 5 in favor of a resolution submitted by the Decolonization Committee which stated that Puerto Rico was and is now a colony of the USNA state. This decision clearly shows that the world’s people understand and see the oppression of Puerto Rico as colonial. The vast majority of the represented peoples refuse to be hoodwinked by USNA arguments that Puerto Rico is a “free associated state”. They clearly see the military bases and fascist rule which exist there. — U.N. Declares Puerto Rico A Colony


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! 

 ‘Criminalizing Compassion’: Trial Begins for Humanitarian Facing 20 Years in Prison for Giving Water to Migrants in Arizona Desert “If Dr. Warren were convicted and imprisoned on these absurd charges, he would be a prisoner of conscience.”Human rights advocates accused the U.S. Justice Department of “criminalizing compassion” as a federal trial began in Arizona Wednesday for activist Scott Warren, who faces up to 20 years in prison for providing humanitarian aid to migrants in the desert.  By Jessica CorbettMaking Wall Street Pay Last week Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Barbara Lee are introducing bills in the Senate and House for a financial transaction tax (FTT). Their proposed tax is similar to, albeit somewhat higher than, the FTT proposed by Senator Brian Schatz earlier this year. The Sanders-Lee proposal would impose a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions, with lower rates on transfers of other financial assets. Senator Schatz’s bill would impose a 0.1 percent tax on trades of all financial assets. By Dean Baker

Authoritarian Spirits: Congress, the Espionage Act and Punishing WikiLeaksThe time was 1917, and for anyone keen to impress us about any liberal feelings on the part of President Woodrow Wilson, the following should be said. Having deemed the United States too proud to fight, he proceeded to commit the very same to the first global industrial conflict of its kind and overturn every reservation against backing the Franco-German alliance. Initial constipation and weary restraint gave way to a full-blooded commitment against Kaiserism. In doing so, the nasty instrument known as the Espionage Act of 1917 came into being, a product of disdain in the face of the First Amendment’s solemn words that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” By Binoy KampMarkSupreme Court Signals More Openness to State Abortion Rules The Supreme Court signaled Tuesday it is more open to state restrictions on abortion, upholding an Indiana law supported by abortion opponents that regulates the disposal of fetal remains. At the same time, the justices declined to take on an issue closer to the core of abortion rights, rejecting the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked a ban on abortion based on gender, race or disability. By Mark Sherman


It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself. — Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us

Group Demands to Know: Who at Trump’s EPA Decided to Slash Funds Used to Protect Children From Toxic Poisoning? “This latest assault on children’s health is the opposite of what millions of Americans want, which is a safe environment for their kids.” Exactly what led President Donald Trump’s EPA to stop funding research centers tasked with probing environmental health threats to children? One advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), wants answers. EWG said in a press statement Wednesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documents, including electronic records and minutes of meetings, about the decision. The Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers have existed thanks to a two-decade partnership between the EPA and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.   By Andrea Germanos

Black Liberaation/Civil Rights:

Half of Black Caucus Signs on to Israeli Stance on Syria, in Defiance of Black Public Opinion The Congressional Black Caucus sides with its party’s war mongers and in fear of the Israel lobby, while large Black majorities believe Israel is neither an ally nor a friend. “The Black Caucus’ tolerance of apartheid Israel’s barbarism is infinite.” Nearly 400 members of the U.S. House and Senate signed a letter urging President Trump to keep U.S. troops in Syria – against the wishes of the sovereign government of that country and therefore, in gross violation of international law — and to increase sanctions against Russia for assisting the Syrian government in its battle against Islamic jihadists. Among the signers  were 26 of the 51 Black voting members of the House and the two Black U.S. senators that are running for president, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.  By Glen Ford,  BAR executive editorCorporate Media Cold Warriors Smear Sanders and Gabbard as Traitors to Empire Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard unsettle the oligarchs because their policy positions are dangerously desired yet unobtainable under the current arrangement of society. “We should expect that Gabbard and Sanders will eventually concede to the Democrats once they are driven from the race.” This writer became an anti-imperialist and anti-war activist only after studying the Black liberation movement. Individuals such as Claudia Jones and organizations such as the Black Panther Party placed internationalism at the forefront of their work to achieve true emancipation for Black America. The legacy of the Black liberation movement helped establish Black America as the most pro-peace constituency in the United States. As Black Agenda Report’s Executive Editor Glen Ford notes, Black G.I.s and military officers resisted efforts to put down the Black uprisings that swept across American cities in the mid-1960s. Such resistance paved the way for the abolition of the military draft. By Danny Haiphong, Bar Contributor Freedom Rider: No Chemical Attacks in Syria The corporate media is concealing a leaked UN agency report that shows Syrian government innocence in an alleged chemical attack. “Americans have been fed a steady diet of ‘Assad the butcher’ and any counter narrative is disappeared.” The corporate media march in lock step with the United States and its allies around the world. They have a tacit agreement to exclude any information which might inconvenience pro-war, pro-interventionist narratives. Claims of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government are but one example of this tactic. These improbable stories have been repeated with regularity ever since the United States and its allies began using jihadist proxies to overthrow the Syrian government in 2011. In 2013 we were told that president Assad waged a chemical weapons attack on the same day that United Nations weapons inspectors arrived in the country. It is an understatement to say that this scenario is unlikely to be true. By Marget Kimberly, BAR editor and senior columnistTo Remake the World: Slavery, Racial Capitalism, and Justice The history of racial capitalism is a history of wages as well as whips, of factories as well as plantations, of whiteness as well as blackness, of “freedom” as well as slavery. This forum is featured in Boston Review‘s print issue, Race Capitalism Justice. In Memory of Cedric Robinson (1940–2016) “The path to justice is located in the black radical tradition: in the democratic practices and revolutionary thought of black people living under conditions of racial capitalism.” It is a commonplace to say that slavery “dehumanized” enslaved people, but to do so is misleading, harmful, and worth resisting. By Walter JohnsonParallels Between Black and Palestinian Struggles Blacks and Palestinians struggle against the same global matrix of interlocking oppressions. “Just as the US Black midleadership class accommodate systemic white racism, the Palestinian misleadership class grease the gears of Israeli apartheid.” My recent visit to Palestine clarified how Palestinian and black oppression is an integral part of an integrated global politico-economic structure of white racism that shares similar subjugating techniques such as criminalization, extrajudicial killings, and mass imprisonment. Black folks and Palestinians are struggling against the same systems of “interlocking oppression” in what sociologist Patricia Hill Collins terms the “matrix of domination.”  By Dr. Johnny E. WilliamsHow the Communist Blacklist Shaped the Entertainment Industry As We Know It “To be an intellectual, like being black, was to be regarded as a potential subversive.” The following is excerpted from MS. Stabile’s book, “The Broadcast 41: Women and the Anti-Communist Blacklist.” Throughout much of the 20th century, critics and scholars dismissed television as a hopelessly lowbrow medium, inferior and common. But the FBI recognized that prime-time entertainment programming was a key battleground in the anti-communist war over American identity. The Bureau and other anti-communists were far less likely than progressives to make aesthetic distinctions between Hollywood and broadcasting, believing that Hollywood films and scripted radio and television programs alike exposed large audiences to dangerously radical social ideas and issues, by which they meant ideas not compatible with their preferred ways of seeing the world. These concerns caused the FBI to initiate investigations of communist influence in Hollywood before World War II, but the US’s wartime alliance with the Soviet Union stalled right-wing attempts to rid film of progressives. After the war ended, however, anti-communists renewed these efforts, initiating three new investigations into communists in Hollywood in September 1947, April 1951, and September 1951. The first of these investigations bore fruit when members of the group of filmmakers who came to be known as the Hollywood Ten were cited for contempt of Congress in 1947. “The long interval between the first and second investigations,” according to blacklisted writer Albert Maltz, resulted from the fact “that the legal case of the Hollywood Ten was proceeding through the Courts during that time.” That legal case concluded in June 1950, when three separate judges sentenced nine of the Ten to pay fines and serve time in prison. By Carol A. StabileNational Lawyers Guild Echoes Smear Campaign Against Julian Assange The Trump-era brought in a new McCarthyism to which the Guild, shockingly, has fallen prey. “Assange was a hero to the Guild when he exposed Bush’s war crimes, but is now vilified  because he’s seen as hurting Clinton.” I have been a proud member of the National Lawyers Guild for over 30 years, beginning in law school, and serving as union staff of the SF/Bay Area Chapter for over a decade.  The Guild was founded in 1937 as an organization of lawyers to defend FDR’s New Deal, and was the first racially integrated Bar Association.  Its preamble states that it is:  “…an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system…which shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.” By Riva EnteenAtlanta Jail to be Shut Due to Community Mobilization Instead of ensuring public safety for all citizens, the jail wrongfully imprisons and abuses people of color. “The Close the Jail campaign was spearheaded by the organization Women on the Rise and the Racial Justice Action Center.” On May 20, the Atlanta city council passed a resolution to shut down the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) and to repurpose the facility for community development activities. Last year, Atlanta’s mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the closing of ACDC, citing the declining number of inmates and the increase in costs to operate the center. The shutdown comes as a result of months of unyielding pressure from members of the community as well as from advocacy groups mobilized under the “Close the Jail ATL: Communities over Cages” campaign. By People’s Dispatch Staff


USA: the role of Trotskyists in the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike From May to August of 1934, Minneapolis was rocked by a strike that would forever change the course of U.S. labour history. This was the strike of Teamsters Local 574, a union led by Trotskyists. Many of the best techniques used by organised labour today find their origins in the Minneapolis Strike, in particular the flying picket. However, the strike’s greatest conquest was in laying the foundations for industrial unionism in North America, leading to the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the following years. Above all, the Minneapolis Strike demonstrated the role played by the young forces of American Trotskyism in obtaining gains for workers. Marco La Grotta



Cuba, China Strengthen Bilateral Ties to Tackle US Sanctions  Foreign Ministers from both countries will analyze common interest issues, including the U.S. foreign sanctions. The Cuban Minister is just coming off a three-day visit to Moscow where he, along with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected “unilateral coercive measures” by the United States administration against Russia, Venezuela and Cuba.  Namely, the two talked about the recent application of Titles III and IV of the U.S. Helms-Burton Act by President Donald Trump and his cabinet, a move that violates international law.

Sanctioner-in-Chief: 10 Countries Hit by Trump’s Favorite Regime Change Tactic in Just Two Years  This can be clearly seen on the 2017 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”, as the name suggests President Donald Trump has opted on sanctions as his preferred mean to attack. Sanctions can take various forms as embargoes, travel bans, asset takeovers and freezes, capital restraints and trade restrictions. The United States government has been using them against countries and governments that do not comply with their interests.Capitalism and Its Discontents in Africa The world, including Africa, has arguably never been more capitalist than at the current juncture. And yet, the scholarly and public debates in and about Africa, as far as I am aware, are nowhere near in tandem with this reality. In countries such as Uganda and Kenya, that I both regard as capitalist countries, there is hardly any explicit public debate about how capitalism shapes and alters these societies. The very basic question (are we a capitalist society?) does not get discussed in public forums.By Jörg Wiegratz

Local elections in Ireland: where to now? “A week is a long time in politics”, or so the saying goes. 10 years in the political wilderness must have seemed a lifetime to the Green Party, those lackeys of Irish capitalism who so faithfully served Fianna Fáil as coalition “partners” in the Dáil of 2007-2011. There still exists intense, bitter feeling across much of Ireland toward that government for its criminal decadence and corruption, despite the suffering of ordinary Irish workers in the wake of the financial crash.By Declan DeehanMalaysia to Return Plastic Waste to Western Nations“We urge the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping the garbage out to the developing countries.” Malaysia announced on Tuesday that their government is planning on sending over 3,300 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic waste to several Western nations. In a statement released on Tuesday, Malaysia’s Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said his nation will not be a dumping ground for western countries. Yeo said that his government is planning on returning more than 3,300 tonnes of plastic waste to countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

The Hate That Capiialism Creates: Nearly half of Israeli Jews believe in ethnic cleansing, survey findsIsraeli President Reuven Rivlin called the findings a ‘wake-up call for Israeli society’ Almost half of Jewish Israelis believe Arabs should be “expelled or transferred” from Israel, a survey has found. A study carried out by the Pew Research Centre found that around one in five adults questioned “strongly agreed” with the controversial statement, which amounts to ethnic cleansing under some definitions. By Lizzie Dearden

Brazil: New Rallies to Defend Education and Social SecurityThe Brazilians are defending their rights as the Education Minister strives to disqualify social discontent.  Brazil is holding a new, nationwide strike Thursday as thousands of workers, teachers and students take to the streets to protests against President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies related to social security privatization and budget cuts to universities and scientific research institutes. Students protest against President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies at the legislative Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil, May 28, 2019.

Students attend a protest against the education policies at the legislative Assembly in Curitiba, Brazil May 28, 2019. The sign reads; “They will not shut us up and We will not accept that they censure education.” REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer

Health, Education, Science, 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!