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Images of the Day:
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:
Failing to quickly rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement. The Biden administration’s failure to immediately rejoin the JCPOA, as Bernie Sanders promised to do on his first day as president, has turned an easy win for Biden’s promised commitment to diplomacy into an entirely avoidable diplomatic crisis. Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and imposition of brutal “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran were broadly condemned by Democrats and U.S. allies alike. But now Biden is making new demands on Iran to appease hawks who opposed the agreement all along, risking an outcome in which he will fail to reinstate the JCPOA and Trump’s policy will effectively become his policy. The Biden administration should re-enter the deal immediately, without preconditions. U.S. Bombing Wars Rage On – Now In Secret. Also following in Trump’s footsteps, Biden has escalated tensions with Iran and Iraq by attacking and killing Iranian-backed Iraqi forces who play a critical role in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Biden’s February 25 U.S. airstrike predictably failed to end rocket attacks on deeply unpopular U.S. bases in Iraq, which the Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution to close over a year ago. The U.S. attack in Syria has been condemned as illegal by members of Biden’s own party, reinvigorating efforts to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force that presidents have misused for 20 years. Other airstrikes the Biden administration is conducting in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are shrouded in secrecy, since it has not resumed publishing the monthly Airpower Summaries that every other administration has published since 2004, but which Trump discontinued a year ago. — Ten Problems With Biden’s Foreign Policy – and One Solution
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
War is Profitable: As Saudis Suck Up Weapons, US Accounts for Over 1/3 of All Global Arms Sales New analysis shows U.S.-based war profiteers have supplied increased demand by Qatar, Egypt, the Saudi Kingdom, and others in the Middle East over the last five years. A new analysis of global weapons sales published Monday revealed that the United States now accounts for well over a third of all arms exports worldwide over the last half decade and nearly half of these weapons of war were sold to nations in the Middle East—a region beset by war and conflicts unleashed and exacerbated by American foreign policy. According to the new data on global arms transfers compiled and analyzed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a decrease in arms sales between 2016 and 2020 by Russia and China—the second and fifth exporters overall, respectively—was offset by increasing sales made by the other top five weapons exporters: U.S., France, and Germany. And while the sales remained steady compared to the 2011–2015 period, the report shows that the past decade still saw the highest levels of weapons sales worldwide since the height of the Cold War in the 1980s. By Jon QueallyPrivate Companies Maneuvering to Cash In on Biden’s Child Migrant Detention Two of the firms poised to vie for new lucrative child-detention contracts have checkered pasts in migrant detention. The influx of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border over the last three months is focusing attention — and criticism — on the Biden administration’s immigration policies. Even as officials claim that they are processing and releasing children as quickly as possible, a bottleneck has kept thousands of children in Border Patrol custody longer than the court-mandated maximum 72 hours, with more than 100 kids held for more than 10 days, sometimes in harsh conditions. By John Washington
Congress Urged to Take “Immediate Action” to Stop Debt Collectors From Snatching Relief Checks Direct payments from the newly approved coronavirus relief package began landing in people’s bank accounts with striking quickness this weekend, but a glaring shortcoming of the American Rescue Plan caused by the arcane procedural tool that Democrats used to pass the bill could prevent checks from reaching many vulnerable households. Unlike the Covid relief bill that Congress passed through regular order in December, the new $1.9 trillion legislation does not include protections barring debt collectors from hoovering up the checks and using them to pay off people’s private debts—which, as The American Prospect‘s David Dayen put it, makes the American Rescue Plan “also a cash cow for debt collectors.” By Jake JohnsonBiden’s Trade Policy With India Could Accelerate Global Climate Catastrophe . . . At the same time, there are also aspects of Biden’s climate plan, his international agenda in particular, which are far from progressive. This has been reflected in the administration’s approach to India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. The developing country, which is rapidly expanding its investment in coal, is expected to double its energy consumption by 2040 — making it thus an essential partner in international climate change mitigation. By At the same time, there are also aspects of Biden’s climate plan, his international agenda in particular, which are far from progressive. This has been reflected in the administration’s approach to India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. The developing country, which is rapidly expanding its investment in coal, is expected to double its energy consumption by 2040 — making it thus an essential partner in international climate change mitigation. At the same time, there are also aspects of Biden’s climate plan, his international agenda in particular, which are far from progressive. This has been reflected in the administration’s approach to India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. The developing country, which is rapidly expanding its investment in coal, is expected to double its energy consumption by 2040 — making it thus an essential partner in international climate change mitigation. Samantha Agarwal
Capitalist Economies Overproduce Food — But People Can’t Afford to Buy It The pandemic has caused a spike in hunger because people are increasingly struggling to afford food. The unprecedented pandemic, and the recession it has caused, has led to a sharp increase in food insecurity in the United States. The problem isn’t that there isn’t enough food to go around, but that more and more people are unable to afford to purchase it. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) recently released a report predicting that the number of people facing extreme hunger could soar to 270 million by the end of this year — effectively doubling. What’s leading to these extreme statistics isn’t a lack of availability — it’s that many people simply can’t afford to purchase food. Like with many commodities, capitalist markets are fairly good at producing food, but they are not so efficient at distributing it equitably. When you combine this with a lack of bold intervention from policymakers, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an uptick in hunger during the pandemic. By Robert R. Raymond
A year ago the first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced a big step forward towards a more verdant and accessible country: a scheme for a Welsh national forest. Inspired by the Wales Coast Path, the idea is to create a woodland system that enables visitors to walk uninterrupted throughout the country. As well as protecting and improving existing forest sites, the scheme will fund tree-planting across the nation by farmers and local communities. Wales is part of a global movement. In Africa’s Sahel, the Great Green Wall programme has been running for a decade and is about 15% complete. Once finished, the 8,000 km-long wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, three times the size of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In east Africa the people of the Tanzanian island of Kokota have planted more than two million trees over a decade. The Borneo Nature Foundation is aiming to plant 1m trees in south-east Asia in the next five years — Wales Goes Green With Welsh National Forest Plan
US Probe Underway Over Euphemistic ‘Clean Coal’ That Actually Increased Pollution The outcome of the congressional investigation could influence whether lawmakers vote to renew a multibillion-dollar subsidy, which expires at the end of 2021. Following the emergence of evidence that power plants using a chemically treated coal—purportedly designed to reduce smog—generated more smokestack pollution not less, the Government Accountability Office has reportedly launched a congressional probe of the “refined coal” tax credit program that yields at least $1 billion per year for U.S. corporations. By Kenny Stancil
The Dark Money “Ring” of Charles Koch and Leonard Leo Gets an Airing Before the U.S. Senate – Followed by a Mainstream Media News Blackout Last Wednesday, March 10, a Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary World’s Coastal Cities Face Risk From Land and Sea As the tides rise ever higher, the world’s coastal cities carry on sinking. It’s a recipe for civic catastrophe. Citizens of many of the world’s coastal cities have even more to fear from rising tides. As ocean levels swell, in response to rising temperatures and melting glaciers, the land on which those cities are built is sinking. This means that although, worldwide, oceans are now 2.6mm higher every year in response to climate change, many citizens of some of the world’s great delta cities face the risk of an average sea level rise of up to almost 10mm a year. Both the rising waters and the sinking city streets are ultimately a consequence of human actions. Humans have not only burned fossil fuels to alter the planet’s atmosphere and raise global temperatures, they have also pumped water from the ground below the cities. They have raised massive structures on riverine sediments; they have pumped oil and gas from offshore, and they have dammed rivers to slow the flow of new sediments. By Tim RadfordCivil Rights/Black Liberation:Labor:
The Dark Money “Ring” of Charles Koch and Leonard Leo Gets an Airing Before the U.S. Senate – Followed by a Mainstream Media News Blackout Last Wednesday, March 10, a Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing of critical importance to every American on the growing tsunami of dark money that is corrupting the U.S court system, up to, and including, the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who has written extensively on the corrupting influence of dark money on American democracy, chairs that Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights. One would have thought that every major print and broadcast news outlet would have covered that hearing. Instead, the silence was deafening and smacked of censorship. The one peep that was heard from a major news outlet was a snarky attack on Whitehouse himself on the day of the hearing by the corporatized, right-wing Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal, part of the Rupert Murdoch empire. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens World:
Britain: Sarah Everard – Killed by the System We’re Told ‘Protects’ Us Over the past week, Britain has experienced an outpouring of anger and indignation after the body of 33-year-old Sarah Everard was discovered in Kent. She had been abducted and murdered while walking home from a friend’s house in South London. An off-duty policeman has been arrested and charged with this heinous crime. On the weekend, a peaceful vigil in Clapham Common was brutally broken up by police, using COVID-19 restrictions as an excuse By Lubna Badi
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
Cuba Working on a ‘People’s Vaccine’: The US and the World Should Get Behind It “The life of just one person is worth more than the private property of the richest man.” This is what’s written on the Calixto Garcia public hospital in Havana Cuba as a testament to the country’s commitment to free public healthcare, and to putting people before profit. I know this about Cuba because in March, at the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, I spent a week in the ICU at Calixto Garcia. I had been hit by a speeding ambulance, and Cuban doctors saved my life, operated on me twice, and nursed me to stability before putting me on a private medical evacuation flight back to the U.S. All of this, including the flight, was free of cost to me- covered by Cuba’s government-run insurance for foreign visitors. From my hospital bed, as the global emergency around me escalated, I witnessed how the Cuban government swiftly mobilized resources to protect its citizens from Covid-19: at-home testing for anyone with symptoms, door to door preventative education in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, and coordinated isolation when necessary. While deaths soared toward 100,000 in the U.S., Cuba was able to get the average daily Covid-19 related deaths close to zero for most of May-August. By Beth Geglia
March 18 Marks the 150th Anniversary of the Paris Commune
The memory of the fighters of the Commune is not only honoured by the workers of France but by the proletariat of the whole world, for the Commune did not fight for any local or narrow national aim, but for the freedom of toiling humanity, of all the downtrodden and oppressed. As the foremost fighter for the social revolution, the Commune has won sympathy wherever there is a proletariat struggling and suffering. The picture of its life and death, the sight of a workers’ government which seized the capital of the world and kept it in its hands for over two months, the spectacle of the heroic struggle of the proletariat and its sufferings after defeat—all this has raised the spirit of millions of workers, aroused their hopes and attracted their sympathies to the side of socialism. The thunder of the cannon in Paris awakened the most backward strata of the proletariat from deep slumber, and everywhere gave impetus to the growth of revolutionary Socialist propaganda. This is why the cause of the Commune did not die. It lives to the present day in every one of us. The cause of the Commune is the social revolution, the cause of the complete political and economic emancipation of the toilers. It is the cause of the proletariat of the whole world. And in this sense it is immortal. — Lenin on the Paris Commune
The Central Committee of the National Guard drew its authority from democratic electibility. At the moment when the Central Committee needed to develop to the maximum its initiative in the offensive, deprived of the leadership of a proletarian party, it lost its head, hastened to transmit its powers to the representatives of the Commune which required a broader democratic basis. And it was a great mistake in that period to play with elections. But once the elections had been held and the Commune brought together, ft was necessary to concentrate everything in the Commune at a single blow and to have it create an organ possessing real power to reorganize the National Guard. This was not the case. By the side of the elected Commune there remained the Central Committee; the elected character of the latter gave it a political authority thanks to which it was able to compete with the Commune. But at the same time that deprived it of the energy and the firmness necessary in the purely military questions which, after the organization of the Commune, justified its existence. Electibility, democratic methods, are but one of the instruments in the hands of the proletariat and its party. Electibility can in no wise be a fetish, a remedy for all evils. The methods of electibility must be combined with those of appointments. The power of the Commune came from the elected National Guard. But once created, the Commune should have reorganized with a strong hand the National Guard, from top to bottom, given it reliable leaders and established a régime of very strict discipline. The Commune did not do this, being itself deprived of a powerful revolutionary directing center. It too was crushed. We can thus thumb the whole history of the Commune, page by page, and we will find in it one single lesson: a strong party leadership is needed. More than any other proletariat has the French made sacrifices for the revolution. But also more than any other has it been duped. Many times has the bourgeoisie dazzled it with all the colors of republicanism, of radicalism, of socialism, so as always to fasten upon it the fetters of capitalism. By means of its agents, its lawyers and its journalists, the bourgeoisie has put forward a whole mass of democratic, parliamentary, autonomist formulae which are nothing but impediments on the feet of the proletariat, hampering its forward movement. The temperament of the French proletariat is a revolutionary lava. But this lava is now covered with the ashes of skepticismresult of numerous deceptions and disenchantments. Also, the revolutionary proletarians of France must be severer towards their party and unmask more pitilessly any non-conformity between word and action. The French workers have need of an organization, strong as steel, with leaders controlled by the masses at every new stage of the revolutionary movement. How much time will history afford us to prepare ourselves? We do not know. For fifty years the French bourgeoisie has retained the power in its hands after having elected the Third Republic on the bones of the Communards. Those fighters of ’71 were not lacking in heroism. What they lacked was clarity in method and a centralized leading organization. That is why they were vanquished. Half a century elapsed before the proletariat of France could pose the question of avenging the death of the Communards. But this time, the action will be firmer, more concentrated. The heirs of Thiers will have to pay the historic debt in full. Leon Trotsky, Lessons of the Paris Commune