Daily News Digest April 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  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 April 19, 2018

Image of the Day:

Bendib: Mob BossQuotes of the Day:

The doctor says the video was real, but did not show the effects of a chemical weapons attack. It showed something else. This is what the doctor is reported saying:  “I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night — but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet’, shouted ‘Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”On my social media pages there are plenty of armchair warriors furiously denying the importance of this report, by claiming either that the doctor made up the story or that Fisk is a mouthpiece for the Assad regime, or maybe both. — Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria

Tomorrow is Workers Memorial Day: If we dedicate war memorials to the memory of men and women, who are cut down before their time, these (Workplaces) are war memorials. . . . — Homer Seguin, Video: “Before Their Time” Cancer & Health And Safety On Our Jobs

Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, world imperialism spreads War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death, throughout the world. Author Gore Vidal describes this era as ‘Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace’. One perpetual war, which is not openly publicized, is the war for profits.  It takes place every single day at the point of production, and is killing increasing numbers of workers every year. Today, workers are used as ‘cannon fodder’ both in the war in Iraq and in the war for profits at home. Workplaces have become perpetual ‘killing fields’. According to Lisa Cullen, the author of A Job To Die For, “Every day, 165 Americans die from occupational diseases and 18 more die from a work related injury. On the same day, more than 36,400 non-fatal injuries and 3,200 illnesses will occur in America’s workplaces.” Every year 60,225 Americans die from occupational diseases while 6,570 more die from work-related injuries. In that same year, more than 13,286,000 non-fatal injuries and 1,168,000 illnesses occur in America’s workplaces. Again: “Each year, this unknown workplace epidemic extends into nearby communities to claim the lives of 218 innocent bystanders and injure another 68,000.”(1) In 2005, it was estimated by Paul A. Schulte, Ph.D., of the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), that the total rate of disabling occupational injuries in the United States reaches 3.8 million per year. Worldwide, at least 800,000 deaths and 100 million injuries may be accounted for by occupational factors. (2) — Roland Sheppard, The War at the Point of Production: The ‘Killing Fields’ of the United States

Videos of the Day:

Starbucks and the Criminalization of Blackness“Criminalization of blackness” is at the root of the arrest, where Blacks who do things that whites do all the time is considered a reason for arrest, explains Eugene Puryear of the D.C. Movement for Black Lives

Defense Stocks Soar as Trump Wages War on Syria    Defense company stocks, such as those of Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, and Boeing, rose to unprecedented levels since the beginning of the year because of Tomahawk strikes on Syria and massive arms sales to the Middle East and to the Pentagon. Bill Black talks about the the companies and their profits


Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy“I’m afraid that Napa is becoming the Valley of the Oligarchs. If it can happen here, where people are reasonably intelligent it can happen anywhere.”— St. Helena city councilman Geoff Ellsworth Where does one go to glimpse the future? There have always been science fiction novels such as H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange World, as well as more recent films such as The Planet of the Apes. But what if you want to go to a real place on the planet to get a sense of where humanity is headed?  by Jonah RaskinEnvironment:

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Civil Rights Black Liberation:

 Uses for the Poor Incarceration is, probably, the starkest form of commodification where simply warehousing flesh brings a return. The cost of penal servitude in the US varies from state to state, but an average of around $30,000 per year can be made by simply keeping a body shut in a cell. Bearing in mind that over 20 prisoners are often locked up together, it isn’t a bad return on a tiny speck of, often sub-standard, real estate.[2]However, servitude is best seen as a gateway to a whole raft of exploitative practices, as even basic amenities, such as making a phone call, or receiving a money transfer are charged at exorbitant rates. In fact some sort of ‘tariff’ is levied on just about every aspect of prison life, with many in jail even receiving a bill for their stay. by Susan Roberts

Freedom Rider: Syria and Press Propaganda“Trump protects himself with war as Democrats and the rest of the ruling elite support his militarism.” It is difficult for Americans to find out what is happening in their country and around the world. That is because corporate media outlets have nearly complete control over what they see and hear and because those interests are closely allied with the state. The promise of the internet, the hoped for level playing field for communication and information gathering, is also under corporate control. It is now part of a well coordinated censorship effort and attack against left wing sites such as Black Agenda Report. Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist

Independent Journalist Corner: A Conversation with Ajit Singh  “China’s rise, which is at the heart of the multipolar trend, is the primary threat to U.S. international supremacy.” This week I spoke with Ajit Singh. Singh is a political analyst, writer, and lawyer. His work has appeared in progressive outlets such as Truthout, TeleSUR English, and the Monthly Review Online. Singh’s articles in these publications have centered on developments in and around China. We used this particular interview to give an overview of the most critical elements of China’s significance in the current political moment. By Danny Haiphong, BAR contributor

Gun Violence Debate Needs to Include Police Militarization and Drug Prohibition Violence “Any meaningful approach must address the war on drugs, its role in militarizing the police and the effect it has had on communities of color.”On March 14, thousands of students walked out of school to protest gun violence, demanding legislators enact more stringent gun control in the U.S. Later that night in Rio de Janeiro, Marielle Franco, a Brazilian city council member and a vocal critic of Brazil’s militarized law enforcement, was assassinated.  By Megan HumphreyWhy Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes? Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?  Congress can’t authorize the unilateral use of military force abroad without violating the first principle of international law established by the UN Charter: the sovereignty of nations.” During his 2007 presidential campaign, Barack Obama told the Boston Globe, “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat.” By “unilaterally” he meant without congressional authorization. Never mind international law codified in the UN Charter, which criminalizes unilateral military action by any nation state against another. By Ann Garrison, BAR contributor“They Eat Money”: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption “Corruption that has whittled away at virtually every institution in the country.” VREDE, South Africa — With loudspeakers blaring, city officials drove across the black township’s dirt roads in a pickup truck, summoning residents to the town hall. The main guest was a local figure who had soared up the ranks of the governing African National Congress and come back with an enticing offer. Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan Labor:

The Strike: Chemicals, Cancer, and the Fight for Health Care Workers at Momentive Performance Materials had given their lives to the chemical plant. The strike was supposed to save what little they had left. When 59-year-old Jack Mack wandered from picket station to picket station to ask the Question, he tried as best he could to ease into theconversation. He didn’t want to scare anyone off. It was two months into the strike, and tensions were high. “You know, we handle some pretty nasty stuff in there,” he’d say. Or, if the guy was older: “C’mon, you’ve been here as long as I have! You know everyone!” Sometimes, if he already knew the person, he’d cut to the chase: “Wasn’t there a guy you worked with down there that was diagnosed with cancer a few years back? Did he make it through?” If they didn’t answer, staring instead at their steel-toed boots, Mack would lean in and say, “You know, I’m sure you heard, but I was diagnosed with cancer myself. Beat it, but — you know.” Then he’d turn toward the sprawling complex across the street — the site of the only job he’d ever had — and nod, adjusting the cap perched on his head. “Yup. Forty years.” He’d inhale deeply, nearly a sigh. “That’s a lot of hours around those chemicals.” He’d shake his head, unsure if he should blame himself or Momentive Performance Materials, the chemical plant in Waterford, New York, where he had dedicated so many years of his life. By Ian Frisch


Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the WallHolders of student loans –most of whom are no longer students–carry a combined debt burden that stands at a record high of $1.5 trillion, more than 8 percent of GDP and more than the $1.3 trillion in direct costs of waging war against Iraq. by Alan Nasser 

“America First!” as Economic War President Trump would be funny if he were not so serious when he complains that the USA is the victim of the rest of the world. According to the president, the whole globalized world economy is a clever ploy by other countries to feed off America. “America first” announces his intention to throw the old multilateral system on the scrap heap of history and replace it with deals that work for America. Not just any country can do this. With typical bluntness, Trump makes clear that the “rule-based” world economy is a question of power and nothing else. by Geoffrey McDonald

Elizabeth Warren Gets Wall Street Runaround on #MeToo ProbeAs women in careers as disparate as Hollywood movie stars, television news anchors and members of Congress have fueled the #MeToo movement and spoken out against America’s workplace culture that tolerates sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, the silence from women on Wall Street has been deafening. Some reporters who have written about the silence have speculated that Wall Street has cleaned up its act, owing to the big class action lawsuits that were brought in the 1990s against some of the largest and oldest Wall Street brokerage firms. (See my Editor’s Note below.) Wall Street women’s detailed court complaints in the 90s described lewd acts during the workday (such as the hiring of strippers) or at company-sanctioned holiday parties (like having a camera shoved under a skirt to take a picture). There was also the endless degradation of women on Wall Street through sexual objectification in front of peers. One female broker was described by her male colleagues as “slits and tits” while the legal defense strategy on Wall Street was internally known as the “nuts or sluts” defense, that is, portray the complaining woman as a nut or a slut. By Pam Martens


Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Bolshevik decriminalisation of homosexuality – intentional or oversight?The October Revolution radically changed the situation for homosexuals in Russia, as it did for women. In 1922 the first criminal code of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was passed as law. In 1918 all the old Tsarist laws were suspended and when finally, after a few years of debate, the new constitution was adopted, homosexuality or “sodomy” as it was called, was decriminalised. This was an enormous advance for homosexuals, who under the Tsar could be arrested and sentenced to years of imprisonment or sent to labour camps. By Fred Weston