Daily News Digest March 30, 2021

Daily News Digest Archives

Image Of the Day:

Ann Telnaes: America’s Pandemic HairdoAnother Example Capitalism as a Failed System: World Capilalism Was Aware of the Danger of Cornovavirus Threat Over 4 Years Ago and Did Nothing!:  Under Capitalism — Human Lives Don’t Matter  Capitalism Does Not, and Never Has, Worked for the Masses! In Its Death Agony, Capitalism Is Traveling About The World Like The Four Horsemen of the The Apocalypse, Spreading  Racism,  War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. The future of Humanity Is Now At stake!Since World War I, ‘the war to end all wars’, there have been perpetual wars for perpetual peace, this Laura Gray’s cartoon from the front page of The Militant August 18, 1945, Under the Banner Headline: “There Is No Peace”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!    For Decades, Blacks Have Been Subjected to The Iron Heel!   Currently, the US Capitalist Class is Divided Over When — Not If, to Apply It to Everyone!Due to Years of Austerity, Cuts to Public Health Care, And An Anti-Science and Profiteering President, The United States Now Leads the World In  Coronavirus Cases and Deaths in the World!

Always Remember:  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, that the 99% Will Rule, Not the Few!

Quotes 0f the Day:

The debt crisis now engulfing poor countries is just one manifestation of the profound structural crisis of the global economic system, a crisis from which there is no capitalist way out. One person’s – or one country’s – debt is another person’s asset. Cancellation of debts owed by the many to the few is the only possible solution, and this is necessarily a revolutionary solution since cancellation of debts owed by the poor majority means cancellation of wealth owned by the super-rich minority.     All of progressive humanity can and must unite and act on the words of Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September 2020, called for the resumption of “the just struggle to write off the uncollectible foreign debt which, aggravated by the social and economic effects of the pandemic, is threatening the survival of the peoples of the South.” — The Greatest Debt Crisis In History is Upon Us

The development of capitalism in agriculture and in trade laid the basis for the introduction of industrial technology that led to the so-called industrial revolution and industrial capitalism.  The Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain around 1800 because “innovation was uniquely profitable then and there”.  As real wages rose, there was an incentive to exploit the raw materials necessary for labour saving technologies in textiles such as the spinning jenny, water frame, and mule, as well as coal burning technologies such as the steam engine and coke smelting furnace.  Labour productivity exploded upwards.  There was staggering rise in investment in means of production relative to labour.  According to the authors, from 1600 to 1860, the capital stock in England grew by a factor of five, or 8% per decade.    Industrial capitalism had arrived, and along with rising productivity came increased exploitation of labour and the ideology of ‘political economy’ and bourgeois institutions of rule. — The Rise of Capitalism and the Productivity of Labor

Videos of the Day:

Capitalism Without Accountability Is at Root of Suez Canal Shipping Crisis, Says Scholar Laleh Khalili

United States:

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 Reublicrats 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. Rax the Rich!  — They Can Afford To Pay

‘Land of the Free’: The Lawyer Who Took On Chevron – And Now Marks His 600th Day Under House Arrest Steven Donziger has been detained at home since August 2019, the result of a Kafkaesque legal battle stemming from his crusade on behalf of Indigenous Amazonians Many of us will have felt the grip of claustrophobic isolation over the past year, but the lawyer Steven Donziger has experienced an extreme, very personal confinement as a pandemic arrived and then raged around him in New York City.     On Sunday, Donziger reached his 600th day of an unprecedented house arrest that has resulted from a sprawling, Kafkaesque legal battle with the oil giant Chevron. Donziger spearheaded a lengthy crusade against the company on behalf of tens of thousands of Indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest whose homes and health were devastated by oil pollution, only to himself become, as he describes it, the victim of a “planned targeting by a corporation to destroy my life”. By Oliver Milman

Our Biggest Tax Evaders have been Living High on the Hog Cheating on your taxes — if you happen to be filthy rich — has never been easier. Or more lucrative.    So we’re learning from a new surge of scholarship and research from academics, activists, and veteran tax attorneys. Our richest aren’t just paying a smaller share of their income and wealth in taxes than average Americans. Many of our rich, the data show, are barely paying any tax at all.     How could this be? The simplest reason: Budget and staffing cuts, report researchers at the Syracuse University TRAC project, have left the IRS “incapable of fairly and effectively auditing” the over 637,000 Americans who last year pocketed incomes over a sweet $1 million. By Sam Pizzigati

Austerity Makes Covid-19 Deadlier Mortality and economic data show how constraints to government spending and a skepticism of redistributive policies have made the pandemic far worse. We are living in the age of consequences. The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 uncovered our societies’ pre-existing structural weaknesses—which were the result of a pervasive political indifference to inequality, combined with decades of cuts to the most basic social protections and to wages, leaving large segments of our populations tragically vulnerable to the arrival of this virus (Marmot et al. 2020a, 2020b; Woolhandler et al. 2021). By Servaas Storm

CNN’s Defense of Chris Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque How can a media outlet credibly claim to denounce abuse of power by political officials when they defend and glorify their own anchor’s participation in it? Ever since the COVID pandemic subsumed most countries on the planet, there have been numerous scandals and controversies relating to those who corruptly obtain medical privileges and other exemptions unavailable to ordinary citizens. These scandals typically arise when someone uses their wealth, power or connections to jump in front of others for access to potentially life-saving procedures or medications or grant themselves and their friends license to ignore what everyone else must endure.By Glenn Greenwald

Birx Says Most Covid Deaths in US Were Preventable, So Ted Lieu Asks: Why Didn’t You Challenge Trump? “The malicious incompetence that resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths starts at the top, with the former President and his enablers.” By Kenny Stancil

The Real Danger of the Pentagon’s New Indo-Pacific Plan  The Pentagon recently asked Congress for an astronomical $27 billion budget increase to support a massive military buildup in Asia  as part of its new Indo-Pacific plan, which calls for a substantially more aggressive military stance against China. With the US already ranking first in military spending worldwide and holding more than 290 military bases in the Asia-Pacific region alone, this aggressive buildup is being proposed at the most financially precarious moment in US history. According to the Congressional Budget Office report released this month, federal debt is projected to reach 102% of GDP by the end of 2021 before surpassing its historical high of 107% in 2031 and going on to nearly double to 202% by 2051. According to Doug Bandow, “Uncle Sam is headed toward insolvency.” By Simone ChunEvironment:


The Petrochemical Industry is Guilty of Environmental Racism:  Blacks and Other Minorities Live In Petrochemical Areas —      Over 20 years ago, I wrote and essay, “Trade Secrets” Cancer and the Environment  (What the Bill Moyers Program Trade Secrets Revealed. From the essay: “An example of this fact is the population living “downwind” from the many oil refineries in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. People living near these refineries have very high rates of cancer. In EPA terms, this is called a “cancer cluster.” The EPA, in its corporate manner, determined that the high rates of cancer was caused by high rates of smoking in the area and not from the refineries’ carcinogenic pollutions!  However, under the rules of Proposition 65 in California and after several years of litigation, the Gasoline Refining Industry had to post this warning in the February 24, 1999, issue of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Chemicals known to the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm are found in and around gasoline stations, refineries, chemical plants, and other facilities that produce, handle, transport, store, or sell crude oil and petroleum and chemical products. Other facilities covered by this warning include, for example, oil and gas wells, oil and gas treating plants, petroleum and chemical storage tanks, pipeline systems, marine vessels and barges, tank trucks and tank cars loading and unloading facilities, and refueling facilities.”

“Vraie Loi Climat!”: Tens of Thousands March in France to Demand Much Stronger Climate Law French President Emannuel Macron, said one demonstrator, “is going backwards—he’s performing a moonwalk, he’s an artist who pretends to go forward but in fact he’s only going backwards.” byJon QueallyIn Louisiana, Activists May Be Winning a Battle Against Environmental Racism Energy industry analysts have declared that the massive petrochemical complex proposed by Formosa Plastics in Louisiana’s St. James Parish is “financially unviable” due to market conditions, legal and regulatory uncertainty, and a groundswell of political opposition and accusations of environmental racism that are gaining international attention. Activists are eyeing a rare victory for environmental justice in the industrial corridor along the Mississippi River known as Cancer Alley for its concentration of polluters. However, the fight is not over yet. By Mike Ludwig Cancer Alley Background Articles:

Civil Rights/Black Liberation:



The Greatest Debt Crisis In History is Upon Us The debt burden crushing poor countries will not be alleviated until creditors in rich countries are made to give up some of their wealth  In 2020, rich nations spent nearly $12trn , more than 31% of their combined GDP, to avert economic meltdown and cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their citizens. This ‘fiscal stimulus’ does not include monetary stimulus in the form of lower interest rates and central bank purchase of financial assets. In stark contrast, their response to the catastrophic economic effects of COVID on so-called developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America – described by World Bank president David Malpass as “worse than the financial crisis of 2008 and for Latin America worse than the debt crisis of the 1980s” – has been a kick in the teeth. In November, Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s finance minister, commented that “The ability of central banks in the West to respond [to the pandemic] to an unimaginable extent, and the limits of our ability to respond, are quite jarring… You really feel like shouting ‘I can’t breathe.’”By John Smith

The Rise of Capitalism and the Productivity of Labor In my view, there are two great scientific discoveries made by Marx and Engels: the materialist conception of history and the law of value under capitalism; in particular, the existence of surplus value in capitalist accumulation.  The materialist conception of history asserts that the material conditions of a society’s mode of production and the social classes that emerge in that mode of production ultimately determine a society’s relations and ideology. As Marx said in the preface to his 1859 book A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy: “The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.”     That general view has been vindicated many times in studies of the economic and political history of human organisation.   That is particularly the case in explaining the rise of capitalism to become the dominant mode of production.  Now there is new study that adds yet more support for the materialist conception of history.  Three scholars at Berkeley and Columbia Universities have published a paper, When Did Growth Begin? New Estimates of Productivity Growth in England from 1250 to 1870.  By Michael Roberts

Where’s Gary Gensler? It’s Day 69 of the Biden Presidency and Wall Street’s Top Cop Has Yet to be Confirmed It was a bone-chilling 42 degrees with winds gusting to 28 miles per hour when Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20. Today is Biden’s 69th day in office. Washington D.C.’s beloved Cherry Blossoms are within days of reaching their peak, and yet, Biden’s nominee to Chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, has not been confirmed by a full vote in the Senate. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


What Does Capitalism in Crisis Look Like? A Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal. Capitalists are contending with another blow to global supply chains already hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. You’ve likely seen the memes: what appears as a tiny bulldozer at water’s edge, moving the earth in an effort to dislodge a giant container ship. It has come to represent everything from taking a daily walk in a coronavirus-riddled world to the effort required in the struggle to complete a PhD dissertation. — But for global capitalism, there’s no joke. — One of the world’s largest container ships, the Taiwan-owned MV Ever Given (Evergreen) has lodged itself sideways in the narrow waterway of Egypt’s Suez Canal after running aground when a gust of wind blew it off course on Tuesday, March 23. The ship is longer than four football fields, almost as long as New York City’s Empire State Building is tall. The nearly quarter-of-a-mile-long, 247,000-ton ship is blocking the southern entrance to the canal from the Red Sea, bringing marine traffic to a standstill along one of the busiest trade routes on the planet. By Scott CooperVaccine Nationalism: A Capitalist Disorder As the COVID-19 pandemic drags into its second year, it continues to expose and intensify the contradictions of world capitalism. The madness of vaccine nationalism clearly demonstrates that a system based on private property, and the division of the world into antagonistic nation-states, is not equipped to deal with a viral threat that has no respect for borders, profit margins, or narrow nationalist interests. By Joe Attard

Education, 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 pass universal healthcare for themselves, but cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers to be,  a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let the People  Vote on Healthcare 

NFTs and SPACs: the insanity of casino capitalism In the midst of the COVID-19 catastrophe, some parts of the economy are booming. Speculative investments are continuing in a frenzied fashion. The latest celebrity-driven fads, NFTs and SPACs, are among the insane expressions… Capitalism is currently in the worst crisis in its history. Much of the economic damage caused by COVD-19 and subsequent lockdowns worldwide is predicted to be permanent, and it is widely understood that there will be no going back to the pre-COVID-19 economy. And yet amidst this economic destruction, certain areas of the economy appear to be booming.  By Nelson Wan

Cuba Has the Highest Rate of Recovered COVID-19 Patients in the Americas With the highest rate of patients recovered from COVID-19 in the Americas -94.2% as of March 20 – and two candidate vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials, Cuba is consolidating its national strategy to confront the pandemic, with results recently recognized by Bolivia’s President Luis Arce.