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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!
Images of the Day:
Martin Luther King: “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence In The World Today: My Own Government.” I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. — Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam
As we said before, this unusual event is more proof of regulatory capture at the NRC! In the nuclear power industry, the NRC allows safety to have a secondary role to corporate profits. As a direct result of the NRC’s abysmal oversight, at least one reactor has had to declare an “unusual event” because it had an exemption to delay a required safety test and could therefore increase its owner’s profits. What would have happened at Grand Gulf if a radioactive steam line had ruptured? If there were a significant radiation release, it would jeopardize public health and safety in Mississippi, Texas, and Louisiana. Fairewinds wonders how many more of these hidden COVID-19 land mines might be waiting to fail because of deferred testing. The next grand goof by the atomic power industry might be much worse! — Nuclear Safety: Unusual Event at Grand Gulf & What It Means
Videos of the Day:
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
The New No Fly List: More Dangerous than the Capitol Rioters As I write this, the Capitol Hill riot of January 6 is enjoying its extended 15 minutes of fame, complete with straight-faced comparisons to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. In hindsight, it will hopefully (and hopefully quickly) shrink to its real-life proportions: A few thousand hysterical Donald Trump supporters, and likely at most a few dozen truly dangerous thugs, protested against what they claimed was a stolen election. Then they stormed and vandalized a building, scared some politicians, and killed a cop (who turned out to be a Trump supporter himself). By Thomas Knapp
Fearing Possible ‘Insider Attack,’ Feds Vetting 25,000 National Guard Troops Ahead of Biden Inauguration “The very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president.”By Jake JohnsonYes, Trump Can Be Convicted by the Senate After January 20 Now that the House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump for Incitement of Insurrection, he will stand trial in the Senate. In light of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to hold the trial before January 20, the question arises whether Trump can be tried after he leaves office. The answer is yes. Expect Trump’s legal team to argue that he cannot. “The Constitution does not require that an impeachment trial be held while a person is in office,” Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky told Truthout. “Indeed, William Belknap, secretary of war to President [Ulysses S.] Grant, was impeached and tried after resigning from the position.” by Marjorie Cohn
Will Amy Coney Barrett, Whose Father Was a Shell Attorney for Decades, Recuse from Climate Suit? With oral arguments set for next week before the U.S. Supreme Court in a climate liability lawsuit against the country’s largest oil companies, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose father was a Shell attorney for nearly three decades, has still not said whether she will recuse herself. “My father worked at Shell Oil Company for many years, and while on the Seventh Circuit, in an abundance of caution, I have recused myself from cases involving those Shell entities with which he was involved,” Barrett wrote in her response to questions submitted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse as part of her nomination process.As it stands now, Justice Samuel Alito, who owns stock in ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66, will recuse himself, leaving the court with a potential for a 4-4 split vote. A recusal by Coney Barrett would eliminate that possibility.
Oil Industry Reconsiders Donations To Election Deniers — But Has Its Own Big Lie The fossil fuel industry pioneered massive political disinformation with climate denial. It also fed the “Stop the Steal” movement. A parade of oil and gas companies nobly announced this week that they will review their political donations in the wake of last week’s riot in Washington, D.C. — an attempt to distance themselves from the spectacle of election fraud conspiracists and white supremacists attacking the Capitol building and temporarily halting the election certification process. Marathon Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, and the employee political action committees for ConocoPhillips and BP temporarily froze their contributions. Exxon Mobil and Chevron are reviewing their donations. Even energy industry association spokespersons for the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, as well as a leader of the Koch network said the attack on the Capitol will factor into their future giving. By A PARADE OF oil and gas companies nobly announced this week that they will review their political donations in the wake of last week’s riot in Washington, D.C. — an attempt to distance themselves from the spectacle of election fraud conspiracists and white supremacists attacking the Capitol building and temporarily halting the election certification process. By Alleen BrownClimate Deniers Moved Rapidly to Spread Misinformation During and After Attack on US Capitol Prominent climate science deniers moved rapidly to spread false and misleading conspiracy theories online during and after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters this week. Some climate deniers, including some with ties to the Heartland Institute and other organizations that have historically helped to create the false impression that there is sizeable scientific disagreement on climate change, also directly expressed support for the attackers and called for more violence. “Striking fear in politicians is not a bad thing,” the @ClimateDepot Twitter account tweeted on the afternoon of January 6 in a message describing the Capitol as then-“under siege.” “Thomas Jefferson: ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” By Sharon KellyNuclear Safety: Unusual Event at Grand Gulf & What It Means We recently received an excellent question from a Fairewinds reader who asked about an “unusual event” at Mississippi’s Grand Gulf nuclear power plant. Thanks to the member of the Fairewinds community whose question prompted us to write this Blog Post. ‑ First, what is an unusual event? When employees at a nuclear power plant discover that a piece of safety equipment is degraded as required in its technical specifications, it triggers an emergency notification to its federal regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC defines an unusual event as an Emergency Classification that indicates: “A situation is in progress … which could potentially degrade the plant’s level of safety … No releases of radioactive material requiring offsite actions are expected unless safety systems degrade further.”Top Scientists Warn of ‘Ghastly Future of Mass Extinction’ and Climate Disruption Sobering new report says world is failing to grasp the extent of threats posed by biodiversity loss and the climate crisis The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises. The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood. By Phoebe WestonBidenfreude: Covid-19 in Post-Trump U.S. We’re glad Trump lost, but Biden’s win brings no joy. It’s time for real alternatives. A jokester once characterized Yale University as a hedge fund with a campus attached to it. One might say something similar of the country in which Yale is based. The United States is abandoning what recently deceased political scientist Leo Panitch described as its responsibilities in managing global capitalism for the bourgeoisie worldwide. With public health and other earmarks of the modern state abandoned within even its own borders, the U.S. seems now more a stock market with a country attached.It’s true, on the other hand, that the magical thinking of never-ending economic growth has long-anchored the American political ethos in settler expansionism. Nothing is more important than perpetual growth. Everything else—even our shared humanity and life on Earth itself—is to be subsumed under that prime directive. But this year’s Covid-19 outbreak alerted the world of a nation’s identity turned inside-out like a smelly sock. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the U.S.’s nearly as fast a fall, however part of a longue durée decline from the its peak as a center of capital, should flabbergast even the sharpest of radical observers. For even a Biden administration may prove no prophylaxis for the Covid-19 outbreak and American decline overall. By Rob WallaceCivil Rights/Black Liberation:
You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism. There must be a better distribution of wealth, and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” — Martin Luther King Was A Democratic Socialist
From Martin Luther King’s Last Speech, April 3, 1968, I’ve Been to The Mountaintop: Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we’re going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.” If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, MAYBE I COULD UNDERSTAND SOME OF THESE ILLEGAL INJUNCTIONS. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they HAVEN’T committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for RIGHTS. And so just as I say, WE AREN’T GOING TO LET ANY DOGS OR WATER HOSES TURN US AROUND, we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s Challenge to the Movement, as the Fascists Storm the Capital “Dr. DuBois was a radical all of his life. Some people would like to mute the fact that he was a genius who became a Communist in his later years.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Right now, the central challenge to standing up to the armed right, in the midst of COVID and police occupation of Black communities is a sober re-assessment of the present period and reconstruction of a revolutionary alternative. Contrary to the reactionary and ridiculous counter-position of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, it was their mutual leadership of the Black united front and the larger anti-imperialist united front that made them so dangerous to the system, a political perspective that is painfully missing today. By Eric Mann
Janet Yellen Is Set to Inherit a Helluva Lot of Power, Thanks to Stealthy Changes in the Law At 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, one day ahead of President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Senate Finance Committee will hold the confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen to become the next U.S. Treasury Secretary. In that role, Yellen sits atop a sprawling federal agency that includes the IRS; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks and reports on their hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; the U.S. Mint; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which is tasked with combating money laundering but has failed miserably in the job; and numerous other units. In addition, legislation passed by Congress puts Yellen in charge of the slush fund known as the Exchange Stabilization Fund; makes her the Chair of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and, thanks to stealthy legislation passed during the Trump administration, the Treasury Secretary is now a permanent member of the National Security Council (NSC). By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
The Iranian class struggle: a ticking timebomb Discontent continues to simmer across Iran. Since the beginning of December, there have been at least 240 strikes and protests. The protests are spreading to ever-wider layers of society, including students, bazaaris, retirees, the unemployed, and workers from every sector. By Esaias YavariScary News: Almost 30% of Covid Patients in England Readmitted to Hospital After Discharge – Study Readmission rate for Covid patients 3.5 times greater, and death rate seven times higher, than for other hospital patients Nearly a third of people who were discharged from hospitals in England after being treated for Covid-19 were readmitted within five months – and almost one in eight died, a study suggests. The research, which is still to be peer-reviewed, also found a higher risk of problems developing in a range of organs after hospital discharge in those younger than 70 and ethnic minority individuals. By Natalie Grover
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
US deaths from COVID-19 lead to a more than one-year decline in life expectancy Life expectancy in the US has declined dramatically, by more than one year, due to deaths associated with COVID-19 infections. Adding to the catastrophe of the pandemic, a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected across more than 12 states, threatening to further exacerbate the crisis. By Benjamin Mateus
Reductions In 2020 US Life Expectancy Due to COVID-19 And The Disproportionate Impact On The Black And Latino Populations COVID-19 has resulted in a staggering death toll in the United States: over 215,000 by mid-October 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Black and Latino Americans have experienced a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, reflecting persistent structural inequalities that increase risk of exposure to COVID-19 and mortality risk for those infected. We estimate life expectancy at birth and at age 65 y for 2020, for the total US population and by race and ethnicity, using four scenarios of deaths—one in which the COVID-19 pandemic had not occurred and three including COVID-19 mortality projections produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Our medium estimate indicates a reduction in US life expectancy at birth of 1.13 y to 77.48 y, lower than any year since 2003. We also project a 0.87-y reduction in life ex-pectancy at age 65 y. The Black and Latino populations are estimated to experience declines in life expectancy at birth of 2.10 and 3.05 y, respectively, both of which are several times the 0.68-y reduction for Whites. These projections imply an increase of nearly 40% in the Black−White life expectancy gap, from 3.6 y to over 5 y, thereby eliminating progress made in reducing this differential since 2006. Latinos, who have consistently experienced lower mortality than Whites (a phenomenon known as the Latino or Hispanic paradox), would see their more than 3-year survival advantage reduced to less than 1 year. By Theresa Andrasfaya and Noreen