During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three-Point Political Program: 1, Austerity,2 Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel
Always Remember: That Obama That President Obama, With a Majority Democrat Legislature Supported the Wall Street Bailout and Remember, That he Established, in writing, the United States Capitalist Austerity Program. — The Race to the Bottom/Pauperization of the 99%!
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.! Socialism Means True Democracy , thet the 99% Will Rule, Not the Few!
The U.S. is demonstrating outright contempt for any framework of respectful international relations, let alone international law. National sovereignty? Democracy? Whatever their elected governments say, we’ll will keep our army in Syria to “take the oil,” and in Iraq to…well, to do whatever the hell we want. “Rules-based international order”? Sure, we make the rules and you follow our orders. — Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
When compared to actual facts, Trump’s rhetoric on the American economy exists in the realm of fantasy. The official unemployment rate in the U.S. is indeed at a record low of 3.5%, according to the latest jobs report. That number suggests that only 3.5% of all Americans capable of working are currently unemployed and that more than 96% have jobs. But digging into the numbers offers a much different picture. As per an analysis by FiveThirtyEight.com, the 3.5% unemployment figure is misleading; only about half of all employable Americans are working full time, 10% are working part time, 2.1% are actively seeking work but are unemployed, and 1.8% are not seeking work but want a job. A whopping 35% are out of the job market and not actively seeking work. The situation is worse for people of color, whom Trump likes to claim have benefited greatly under his presidency. Black Americans are far more likely than whites to be “underemployed” — a term for those who work part-time but are seeking full-time jobs. Additionally, the racial wealth gap in the U.S. remains strikingly high. According to a recent study, “The median black household holds just 10% of the wealth of median white household, and while blacks constitute 13% of America’s population, they hold less than 3% of its wealth.” — Trump’s Rosy Economic Outlook Is a Big Lie
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! The United States takes from the poor and gives to the Rich.
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination The thing that is so sad and so infuriating and so centrally symptomatic of everything wrong with American political culture, is that, with painfully few exceptions, Americans have no idea of what their government has done. They have no idea who Qassem Soleimani was, what he has accomplished, the web of relationships, action, and respect he has built, what his assassination means and will bring. The last person who has any clue about this, of course, is Donald Trump, who called Soleimani “a total monster.” His act of killing Soleimani is the apotheosis of the abysmal, arrogant ignorance of U.S. political culture.By Jim Kavanagh
US war threat against Iran remains The decision by United States President Donald Trump not to bomb Iran in retaliation for its missile strikes against US military bases in Iraq (themselves retaliation for the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani) has eased fears that the US would launch another war in the Middle East. However, the threat of a shooting war against Iran remains. The US has imposed economic sanctions against Iran ever since the 1979 revolution that overthrew Mohammad Reza Shah and his extremely repressive government, which was installed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in a coup in 1953. What the US government — under both Democrats and Republicans — has never forgiven, is that the months-long general strike, demonstrations and insurrection in Iran in 1978–79 that overthrew the Shah, also challenged the US domination of the country. This included the presence of US military bases that, together with the garrison state of Israel, were a threat to the peoples of the region. By Barry SheppardEnvironment:
2020 Starts With The Plain Prospect Of Rising Heat Emissions will climb further. Each decade is warmer than the last. The oceans are feeling the rising heat. The economy is threatened. And that’s just January. The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards – as they have every year since measurements began – leading to a continuation of the Earth’s rising heat. And they warn that the rise will be steeper than usual, partly because of the devastating bush fires in Australia.The warning is a reminder that global heating and climate change create their own positive feedbacks: more numerous and calamitous forest fires surrender more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which helps raise temperatures, accentuate droughts and heat extremes, and create conditions for even more catastrophic forest fires. By Tim Radford
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy? The Delta smelt, once the most abundant species on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, continues its steep slide towards extinction. For the second year in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in its annual fall midwater trawl survey in 2019 found zero Delta smelt during the months of September, October, November and December. Found only in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, the smelt is an indicator species that shows the health of the ecosystem. Decades of water exports and environmental degradation under the state and federal governments have brought the smelt to the edge of extinction.In spite of portraying their administrations as “green,” Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom have done nothing that reverses the smelt’s path towards extinction. Instead, the Schwarzenegger, Brown and Newsom administrations have overseen massive exports of Delta water to San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness operations and Southern California water brokers. By Dan Bacher
Black Liberation/ Civil Rights:
Trump Administration Strikes at California’s Abortion-Coverage Mandate White House threatens to withhold funding if state doesn’t end requirement that insurers cover procedure The Trump administration told California it is violating federal law by requiring insurers to cover abortion and threatened to withhold federal funding if the state doesn’t end its mandate, the latest move in a broader White House effort to establish religion-based exemptions to reproductive-rights statutes.fficials in the Republican administration signaled Friday that they could also take aim at similar policies in other states, potentially putting hundreds of billions of dollars in federal health funding at risk. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, pushed back in response to the administration’s move against the nation’s most populous state. “California will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose, and we won’t back down from defending reproductive freedom for everybody—full stop,” he said in a statement on Friday. By Stephanie Armour and Catherine Lucey
The Camp by the Lake The Japanese-Americans, both citizens and immigrants, living in Hood River, Oregon were given seven days’ notice that they were going to be “evacuated” from their homes. They were told to pack their belongings into one bag and assemble at the Union Pacific train station on the morning of May 13, 1942. They had no idea where they were going, how long they would be detained or what would happen to their property and businesses while they were imprisoned.As it turned out, the trains hauled them first to the Portland Stockyards, where they were confined in squalid conditions, and later to a concentration camp (the FDR administration’s words) at Tule Lake in northern California, about 20 miles south of the Oregon border. In total, 544 Japanese-Americans were rounded up in the small town of Hood River. Many of the detainees worked in the local orchards. Though they were spared the indignity of having it tattooed on their skin, each detainee was assigned a number, which would become their new identity as far as their captors were concerned. By Jeffrey St. ClairLabor:
1982 American Petroleum Institute Report Warned Oil Workers Faced ‘Significant’ Risks from Radioactivity Back in April last year, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency decided it was “not necessary” to update the rules for toxic waste from oil and gas wells. Torrents of wastewater flow daily from the nation’s 1.5 million active oil and gas wells and the agency’s own research has warned it may pose risks to the country’s drinking water supplies. On Tuesday, a major new investigative report published by Rolling Stone and authored by reporter Justin Nobel delves deep into the risks that the oil and gas industry’s waste — much of it radioactive — poses to the industry’s own workers and to the public. “There is little public awareness of this enormous waste stream,” Nobel, who also reports for DeSmog, wrote, “the disposal of which could present dangers at every step — from being transported along America’s highways in unmarked trucks; handled by workers who are often misinformed and underprotected; leaked into waterways; and stored in dumps that are not equipped to contain the toxicity.” By Sharon KellyEconomy:
Jamie Dimon Gets $31.5 Million Pay Despite Bank’s Criminal Charges as U.S. Slides Below Uruguay on Corruption Index Yesterday, Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of government corruption, using 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives. The most corrupt countries rank lower on the scale while a score of 100 represents the least corrupt. This year the United States ranked below Uruguay on the corruption gauge. The report found this about the U.S.: “With a score of 69, the United States drops two points since last year to earn its lowest score on the CPI in eight years. This comes at a time when Americans’ trust in government is at an historic low of 17 percent according to the Pew Research Center.” By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
World: Yankee Go Home! ‘Iraq for Iraqis’: Hundreds of Thousands Flood Streets of Baghdad to Demand US Military Leave Country Over 200,000 Iraqis protested against the U.S. military presence in their country on Friday, demanding American forces leave as requested by the Arab nation’s Parliament in early January after President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani during the general’s visit to Iraq on January 3. “We don’t need any foreign troops to be in Iraq, we need Iraq for Iraqis,” Hoda Hashimi, an employee in the Ministry of Trade in Baghdad, told the New York Times. By Eoin HigginsEducation, Health, 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 ‘governn’, 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!
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It? Elites have ruled over people and commanded the surplus produced by their labor for many millennia. It is this long history we have to contend with in today’s crisis of capitalism that has produced endless wars and environmental catastrophes as corporate billionaire rulers continue to promote business as usual while preparing to fight each other with armed forces and nuclear weapons. This has all been “normalized.” Concentrated elite power ends up massively distorting people’s understanding of the nature of big business rule. Their highly paid spokes people even shamelessly deploy concepts like “freedom” and “liberty” to rationalize the enslaving and killing of millions for profits in resource wars. But we also need to understand that despite this long reign of (t)error, human beings lived for most of their evolutionary history (a much longer period of time than that during which elites have ruled) in nomadic hunter-gatherer societies where life conditions produced a rough equality among the Paleolithic family groups. If there was anything that could be called freedom here, it was a consequence of a primitive subsistence level that demanded participation from all in obtaining the means of survival while providing minimal incentives for large-scale social conflicts. Cooperation was primary; it is what made human societies — not competition. These conditions also kept the human populations low and in balance with available resources, while as some anthropologists speculate (see Marshall Sahlins), providing significant amounts of free time for cultivating social ties. By Chuck Churchill