Daily News Digest January 18, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

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!

Daily News Digest January 18, 2017

Images of the Day:

Only in AmericaU.S. Capitalism Endless War For Endless Peace to Build the New World OrderQuote of the Day:

At the time of Martin Luther King’s assassination, he was willing to risk jail and to organize a mass demonstration, in defiance of a court injunction and National Guardsmen, in armored personnel carriers equipped with 50-caliber machine guns, to help the striking Memphis municipal garbage workers.  These workers ultimately won their union contract, and thousands of ordinary working families in that city got living wages that allowed them to educate their children, buy houses, live decent and dignified lives, and even retire. . . .  In contrast, Maynard Jackson quickly demonstrated that he was not beholden to or a leader of the Black population that elected him, but beholden to those who financed his election campaign and who helped his personal political and financial advancement. In Atlanta, Jackson, instead of helping city sanitation workers, fired more than a thousand city employees to crush their strike. In this, he had the support of white business leaders and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This contrast  was clearly stated in the essay A disgrace before God: Striking black sanitation workers vs. black officialdom in 1977 Atlanta:   . . . “Memphis in 1968 best demonstrated this connection, where wildcat strikes by an all-black workforce against overtly racist city officials became a larger battle for black liberation and community self-management. This struggle eventually saw the involvement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights establishment figures. When Dr. King was assassinated the day after giving a stirring speech to assembled sanitation workers, victory for striking workers followed shortly for much of American liberal official society sympathized with the strikers against the racist city officials. The city recognized the strikers’ call for union recognition, nationally backed by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and conceded to demands for better pay and improved workplace conditions. This scene repeated itself in St. Petersburg and Cleveland later that year. This also occurred in Atlanta in 1970, where civil rights figures, some of whom were newly elected city officials, supported striking sanitation workers threatened with termination by Atlanta’s white mayor Sam Massell. Fast-forward seven years to the Atlanta of 1977 and something strange, one may think, happened. The script was flipped. The same black officials who supported sanitation workers against firings by a white mayor decided to replace striking city sanitation employees with scabs. This occurred with the full support of many old guard civil rights leaders and organizations, allied with business and civic groups associated with Atlanta’s white power structure during Jim Crow segregation. What explains the apparent about-face by black officials?  The Atlanta strike of 1977 shows the coming of age of a coalition of black and white city officials, along with civic and business elites, under the leadership of the city’s first black mayor, Maynard Jackson. Just seven years earlier Jackson publicly sided with sanitation workers against a white mayor seeking to fire them. Jackson and some members of the civil rights establishment, in positions of local government by the mid 1970s, did not hesitate to marshal the forces of official society against the self-activity of black workers. They allied with white business and civic elites, the same people that just a few years earlier openly supported white supremacist segregation, all in the name of smashing the sanitation workers’ strike by any means necessary. This showed the open class hatred of black and white elites against working people, a prominent feature of communities in Atlanta for generations. . . .” Similar ‘fruits’, from the political policy of supporting the “lesser evil” Democratic Party, has led to a set back for the struggle for civil rights and equality. —Roland Sheppard, The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement

Videos of the Day:

Remembering a true American hero — A rare American leader: 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. The Other America Speech

“The Democratic Party Can’t Just Whisper Sweet Nothings Anymore” — Nina Turner on RAI On Reality Asserts Itself, Nina Turner, former Ohio State Senator and leading Bernie Sanders surrogate during the primary, tells host Paul Jay that she grew up poor, believing in the Democratic Party and the Clintons but she came to understand the failure of the Party to serve the needs of the African-American community and poor white workers

Protest Against Mass Rapes in Korea During WW2 Prompts Recall of Japanese Envoy The Japanese government has refused to accept the responsibility of being a former colonizer, says Aisa Kiyosue


Obama Prepares for War: US Troops Land in Norway for First Time Since WWII As Tensions Grow With Russia Shortly after the Obama administration began deploying American troops across Russia’s border in a number of countries, including Lithuania, some 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway for a six-month deployment. Their Monday deployment marks the first time since World War II that foreign troops have been allowed to station in Norway. The Marines will spend a year in total in Norwegian territory, and the current deployment will be replaced after their six-month service is completed. By Darius ShahtahmasebiMourning Again in America by James McEnteer

“I could never throw roses to Hitler” *
Or shake Henry Kissinger’s hand
Or embrace a place whose bombs leave children
Bleeding to death in the sand.
I could never make nice to Dick Cheney
That merchant of torture and death
Or Putin, Duterte or Erdogan
All killers with foul lying breath.
I don’t want a trumped-up country
With freedom and justice for some
Where bankers and brokers are royalty
And everyone else is scum.
I can’t bear to pledge allegiance
To a bozo who puts people down
If they’re poor or gay or disabled
Female, black or brown.
And I loathe all career politicians
Those corporate government clowns
If elections don’t pry them off the trough
We should boot their butts out of town
*Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer Jan Chamberlain, on declining to sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration

Dropping the Facade of Democracy — Naked Capitalism Openly Rules the U.S.: The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors by Michael J. SainatoEnvironment:

Global Sea Ice Hits Lowest Levels ‘Probably in Millenia’ ‘The human world has never experienced a time when global sea ice was so weak and reduced’ by Nadia Prupis Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Rex Tillerson’s ExxonMobil Frequently Sought State Department Assistance, New Documents Show ExxonMobil under its CEO Rex Tillerson frequently pressed the U.S. State Department for help in negotiating complex business deals and overcoming foreign opposition to its drilling projects, according to documents reviewed by The Intercept.  By Lee Fang and Steve HornBlack Liberation/ Civil Rights:

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 16, 2017

The Democrats: Serving the One Percent, Blaming the Russians: The Democrats are using the Russians as a scapegoat to avoid confronting “the rightwing Wall Street-captive party that they’ve become,” said activist and educator Paul Street, author of several books on President Barack Obama. Essentially, Democrats are saying, “It’s not that we’re a rightwing, corporate, neoliberal party beholden to the nation’s unelected dictatorship of money and empire. It’s not that we abandoned the working class and the causes of social justice and peace decades ago.” Speaking at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, Street said Donald Trump did not ride to victory on a “big rust belt rebellion of the white working class.” The real story “is that the Democrats lost those voters to non-voting.”

When Capitalism Gets Sick, the Democrats Get Mean: The Democratic Party’s sharp turn to the right is its response to the “existential crisis at the core of capitalism,” a global phenomenon that has left the ruling class and its servants with “hardly any space to reform the system,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and activist. With “no room to maneuver,” the capitalists resort increasingly to war and repression. “Monopoly capitalism must be undone, the banks broken up, and a large part of them nationalized,” said Monteiro. “In other words,” there must be “a profound and fundamental end to the neoliberal order, globally; a retreat from empire and war; and a seizing of the military budget and turning it towards economic development, jobs and a green economy.”

Political Prisoners Under Pressure in Indiana: Khalfani Malik Khaldun, serving time at Wabash Valley prison, in Indiana, said officials have carried out “a series of raids on targeted political prisoners,” including himself. Khaldun was told by “top brass” that they consider him to be the facility’s “most influential” inmate and are pressuring him to use that influence to “stop the proliferation of meth, a synthetic drug spreading throughout the prison.” Otherwise, “they had orders to put me and ten of my comrades in solitary confinement,” where he is now housed. Khaldun said prison officials “are making me out to be running some form of drug ring, in an attempt to destroy my political credibility as an activist on the inside.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.


Workers Say Trump’s Labor Secretary Nominee Is a Habitual Violator of Labor Law By Liza Featherstone Economy:

 Draining the Swamp in Washington Through Community Banking  By The currency of Washington’s power politics is campaign money. Much of that campaign money flows from Wall Street’s biggest banks: its lobbyists, its Political Action Committees, its employees and their spouses. After flooding the presidential campaign with money, Wall Street is then rewarded by being allowed to make cabinet hiring decisions as part of the new President’s transition team, ensuring continuity government and an incurable malignancy on American democracy. To begin the process of draining the corrupt swamp in Washington, it means cutting off the money flow from Wall Street – not looking for a new savior who is deeply indebted to the same Wall Street banks. Pam Martens and Russ Martens World:

Mexico: price of fuel increase sparks mass protest movement  Since President Peña Nieto and his EPN government have implemented energy reforms, which focus on the increase of the price of petrol, there has been ongoing public outcry and nationwide mass demonstrations against it from the beginning of the New Year. What is the Gasolinazo? The price of petrol has steadily risen by 180% in the past decade but the latest rise by 2 pesos per litre was like the proverbial straw which broke the camel’s back. This increase has had an immediate domino effect of prices being raised in public transport, basic goods, rent and gas for domestic usage. Rice, Milk and Transport companies have all announced price hikes on their products and services.  All of this is occurring with the backdrop of a daily worsening economic situation, increased unemployment and a 60% drop in Mexican buying power over recent decades. This in turn has resulted in the minimum wage being insufficient to cover basic living expenses for working class families and therefore has made the increased price of petrol even more unaffordable. By Rob SmithThe Gambia: ECOWAS preparing military intervention to crush revolutionary masses  In the same week that Donald Trump is set to become the 45th president of the United States, a maverick of a different sort is threatening to destabilise the whole West African region. The decision by the dictatorial Gambian President Yahya Jammeh not to step down despite being voted out of office in December 2016 has plunged the country into turmoil. Yahya is supposed to step down on 19 January but is refusing despite initially accepting he lost in the elections in December. By Ben MorkenHealth, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Exit Stage Right: Overwhelmed by Voters Angry About Affordable Care Act (ACA) Repeal, GOP Rep Sneaks Out Backdoor While police put up crime scene tape allowing Rep. Mike Coffman to flee the library, voters broke into a chorus of ‘This Land is Your Land’ by Lauren McCauley