Daily News Digest January 20, 2022
Humanity Will Not be Covid Free, Until the Vaccines are Free For the Whole World!
Images of the Day:
Another Example Capitalism as a Failed System: World Capilalism Ws Aware of the Danger of Cornovavirus Threat Over 5 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”, is Still True for Today’s World!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 of the Day:
Videos of the Day:
MLK/FBI Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered today as an American hero: a bridge-builder, a shrewd political tactician, and a moral leader. Yet throughout his history-altering political career, he was often treated by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies like an enemy of the state. In this virtuosic documentary, award-winning editor and director Sam Pollard (Editor, 4 LITTLE GIRLS, MO’ BETTER BLUES; Director/Producer, EYEZ ON THE PRIZE, SAMMY DAVIS, JR.: I’VE GOTTA BE ME) lays out a detailed account of the FBI surveillance that dogged King’s activism throughout the ’50s and ’60s, fueled by the racist and red-baiting paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover. In crafting a rich archival tapestry, featuring some revelatory restored footage of King, Pollard urges us to remember that true American progress is always hard-won.
MLK: Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence (Full)
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. Tax the Rich! — They Can Afford to Pay!
AntiScience (‘Don’t Look Up”) Supreme Court!: Justice Gorsuch, Maskless Manspreader
100+ Ultra-Rich People Warn Fellow Elites: ‘It’s Taxes or Pitchforks’“History paints a pretty bleak picture of what the endgame of extremely unequal societies looks like,” reads an open letter signed by millionaires and billionaires calling for higher taxes on people like themselves.
Environment —Ecosocialism or Ecocide!:
Our research into these earlier eruptions suggests this is one of the massive explosions the volcano is capable of producing roughly every thousand years. Why are the volcano’s eruptions so highly explosive, given that sea water should cool the magma down? If magma rises into sea water slowly, even at temperatures of about 1200℃, a thin film of steam forms between the magma and water. This provides a layer of insulation to allow the outer surface of the magma to cool. But this process doesn’t work when magma is blasted out of the ground full of volcanic gas. When magma enters the water rapidly, any steam layers are quickly disrupted, bringing hot magma in direct contact with cold water. Volcano researchers call this “fuel-coolant interaction” and it is akin to weapons-grade chemical explosions. Extremely violent blasts tear the magma apart. A chain reaction begins, with new magma fragments exposing fresh hot interior surfaces to water, and the explosions repeat, ultimately jetting out volcanic particles and causing blasts with supersonic speeds. — Why the Volcanic Eruption in Tonga was so Violent
Scientists Decry Human Indifference To ‘Probable Sixth Mass Extinction’ “Denying The Crisis, Accepting It Without Reacting, Or Even Encouraging It Constitutes An Abrogation Of Humanity’s Common Responsibility,” Said One Scientist Behind The New Study. There’s A Human-Caused Extinction Crisis Underway—Probably The Start Of The Sixth Mass Extinction—And Denial Or Indifference To This Planetary Crisis Is “An Abrogation Of Moral Responsibility,” According To Scientists Behind A New Study. Published Last Week In The Journal Biological Reviews, The Assessment By Biologists From The University Of Hawai’i At Mānoa And The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle In Paris Finds That The Unprecedented Rate Of Species Loss Is Undeniable. The Authors Reject Both The Argument That The Human-Caused Loss Of Species Are Simply A Natural Trajectory Of Life On Earth And That Extinction Rates Are Exaggerated.
Civil rights/Black Liberation:
Hedges: America’s New Class War Organized workers, often defying their timid union leadership, are on the march across the United States. There is one last hope for the United States. It does not lie in the ballot box. It lies in the union organizing and strikes by workers at Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Lyft, John Deere, Kellogg, the Special Metals plant in Huntington, West Virginia, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the Northwest Carpenters Union, Kroger, teachers in Chicago, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, fast-food workers, hundreds of nurses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Organized workers, often defying their timid union leadership, are on the march across the United States. Over four million workers, about 3% of the work force, mostly from accommodation and food services, healthcare and social assistance, transportation, housing, and utilities have walked away from jobs, rejecting poor pay along with punishing and risky working conditions. There is a growing consensus – 68% in a recent Gallup poll with that number climbing to 77% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 – that the only way left to alter the balance of power and force concessions from the ruling capitalist class is to mobilize and strike, although only 9% of the U.S. work force is unionized. Forget the woke Democrats. This is a class war.Nursing Unions Say For-Profit Health Care Is Driving Omicron Staffing Crisis As the Omicron wave crests in the northeast, burned-out nurses across the country are again turning to collective action, including rotating walkouts and demonstrations, at dozens of hospitals across more than 11 states and the nation’s capital. As some hospitals teeter dangerously close buckling under the strain of a record high number of COVID-19 patients, nursing unions are urging a competent and comprehensive pandemic response — and calling out the role of for-profit health care in the burgeoning crisis. Registered nurses (RNs) across the United States are calling out ever-worsening conditions for both patients and health care workers, including dangerous under-staffing and weakening of federal COVID safety standards amid the Omicron peak, with the U.S., as of Monday, averaging over 790,000 new daily cases. The tally is likely an undercount, as many states did not release new data because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Tax on Global Mega-Rich Could Help Lift 2.3 Billion Out of Poverty “The insane reality is that whilst billions face a daily struggle to survive during this pandemic, billionaire wealth is spiraling out of control. This cannot be right.” A new analysis released Tuesday estimates that an annual wealth tax targeting the world’s millionaires and billionaires would raise enough revenue to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, provide universal healthcare to the people of low- and middle-income nations, and produce enough coronavirus vaccines to meet global demand. The study was carried out by the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Oxfam, and Patriotic Millionaires, advocacy groups that have long warned about and cataloged the corrosive impacts of wealth inequality—which has only gotten worse during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Debt Disaster With No Escape The IMF-World Bank semi-annual meeting starts this week. Earlier the IMF kicked off the show with a warning that the poor countries of the world are heading for a catastrophe from the pandemic slump, leading to defaults on the debts that their governments and companies owe to investors and banks in the ‘global north’. According to the IMF, about half of Low Income Economies (LIEs) are now in danger of debt default. ‘Emerging market’ debt to GDP has increased from 40% to 60% in this crisis.
The Peoples’ Money: Transitioning to a Steady State Economy A significant cause of the unjust inequalities of wealth found in our society is a simple mechanism which keeps it all going: the state-chartered monopoly power held by private banks to create money as debt, and to profit from it through the interest charged on their loans. Their ability to set interest rates (coordinated through central banks like the Fed) is a form of monopoly pricing; in this case, the pricing of money. The banking system–through its power to charge interest–is able to control the credit markets to its own benefit. Since the banking system has the power not just to set but to vary the interest rate, it has the power to adjust the value of money to maximize the return it gets from borrowers. HIgher rates make money scarcer and more valuable; lower rates make it more common and less valuable. Dollars which can be loaned out at a real 6% per year, for instance, are twice as valuable as dollars which can be loaned out at only a real 3% per year.
A Nomura Document May Shed Light on the Repo Blowup and Fed Bailout of the Gang of Six in 2019 There are numerous reasons that members of Congress, bank regulators, and mainstream media don’t want to talk about the repo blowup in 2019 and the massive Fed bailout that followed. Economist Michael Hudson previously explained how the Fed lacked authority to bail out a handful of trading houses on Wall Street under the dictates of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. Dodd-Frank restricted the Fed to using its emergency lending powers to rescue a “broad base” of the U.S. financial system. As we detailed on Monday, there was no “broad base” of the U.S. financial system being bailed out by the Fed in the last quarter of 2019: 62 percent of a cumulative $19.87 trillion in rolled-over repo loans went to just six trading houses: Nomura Securities International ($3.7 trillion); J.P. Morgan Securities ($2.59 trillion); Goldman Sachs ($1.67 trillion); Barclays Capital ($1.48 trillion); Citigroup Global Markets ($1.43 trillion); and Deutsche Bank Securities ($1.39 trillion).
Venezuela: How Did the Psuv Lose the Local Elections In Chávez’s Home State? Barinas, the home state of the late Hugo Chávez, had been governed since 1998 by members of his family (first his father Hugo de los Reyes, later his brothers Adán and Argenis), all with substantial majorities that reached a maximum of 76% of the votes in 2004. However, in recent years there has been a very important erosion of the chavista vote, due to a combination of national factors, but also region-specific issues in the plains where the agrarian question is very important. At the national level, the economic crisis, which began with the fall in oil prices in 2014, has had a massive impact on the living conditions of millions of Venezuelans, after substantial improvements during the first 15 years of the Bolivarian revolution. Starting in 2015, the US began to apply sanctions against Venezuela, which reached their peak in 2019 with an oil embargo. To this must be added the coup d’etat by the reactionary opposition supported by Washington, reaching high-water marks in the guarimbas (reactionary rioting) of 2014, 2017, and Guaidó’s failed coup attempts in 2019. The Maduro government’s response to this situation has been to try to make bigger and bigger concessions to the bourgeoisie, progressively eroding the base of support for the Bolivarian revolution. The economic package of August 2018 was a turning point, including the destruction of workers’ rights and collective bargaining agreements that had been hard fought for. Chávez’s policies of nationalisation and workers’ control have been reversed, with the covert privatisation of companies, the eviction of peasants from their lands in favour of large landowners, and practically the total destruction of any vestige of workers’ control.
Education, Health, 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 they 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!
Vaccine Apartheid Means Pandemic ‘Nowhere Near Over’: WHO Chief With the incredible growth of Omicron globally, new variants are likely to emerge,” warned WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The head of the World Health Organization on Tuesday implored countries not to let their guards down even as Omicron waves appear to have reached their peaks in parts of the globe, a trend that some nations have cited as a reason to lift public safety measures.
Why Pay Less? The US Strategy for Vaccinating the World Earlier this month, Dr. Peter Hotez announced that his team of researchers at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor University had developed an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. In limited clinical trials, it showed effectiveness comparable to the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna and better than the Johnson and Johnson and widely used AstraZeneca vaccines. What makes this development so important is that Hotez is making his vaccine freely available to the world. Anyone who has the necessary expertise to produce it is free to do so without worrying about patent monopolies or other intellectual property claims. They are also freely sharing the technology, not claiming industrial secrets like Pfizer and Moderna. The production process is also fairly simple. An Indian manufacturer is already producing 100 million doses a month. Many other facilities can likely be quickly configured to produce the vaccine. With no patent rights, the vaccine is cheap. Hotez estimated that it can be produced for $1.00 to $1.50 a shot. That compares to prices around $20 a shot for the mRNA vaccines. At these prices, purchasing 2-4 billion vaccine doses to immunize the unvaccinated in the developing world should be a very small lift compared to the trillions of dollars and millions of lives the pandemic has cost the world.