Daily News Digest January 19, 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 19, 2017

Image of the Day:

Both Parties Quote of the Day:

The world is being strangled, smothered and starved to death by billionaires – 1,826 of them, by Forbes magazine’s count. The ever-deepening concentration of wealth that is both the logic and the inevitable result of capitalism has reached such depraved proportions that eight of the richest people on the planet now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire human race. The very existence of such concentrated private wealth is a crime against humanity, and incompatible with any notion of civilization. Indeed, how can a society call itself civilized, when half the value of all of humanity’s labor — which is what those fortunes actually represent — is at the disposal of eight men? Clearly, the world needs a revolution, to throw off the dead weight of these billionaires. Last year, the Oxfam organization calculated that it took 62 of the world’s richest people to equal the wealth held by the bottom half of humanity. This year, it only takes eight. According to Oxfam’s latest study, the way capitalism is going, in 25 years we could be talking about a few trillionaires controlling the wealth of planet Earth. However, I doubt that we will ever see an Age of Trillionaires if only because global society would shatter and explode from the sheer magnitude of the accumulated theft of human labor and natural resources. — Glen Ford, An Ever-Smaller Circle of Billionaires Controls the Planet’s Wealth

Videos of the Day:

Nationwide Protests to Oppose Trump and Disrupt his Inauguration  Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets the week before Donald Trump becomes president, with actions planned to disrupt his inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington expected to have a larger turnout the following day

Low-Wage Workers in London Protest Against Management Taking Their Tips   Grassroots union, United Voices of the World, which represents low-paid precarious workers in London, held a protest outside Knightsbridge Harrods on 7th January over waiters’ and chefs’ tips. Credit: Real Media


DAPL Cops Open Fire on Prayer Circle with Rubber Bullets, Shoot Water Protectors in the Back Morton County Sheriff’s Department officers together with the National Guard began firing less-than-lethal projectiles, pepper spray, and, reportedly, mace on a group of water protectors at Standing Rock during what was supposed to be a prayerful, peaceful walk to the drill pad where work is rumored to continue on the Dakota Access Pipeline. And all of this, of course, happens on the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — who dedicated his life to non-violence to spark drastic change on the issue of civil rights. Around 200 water protectors eventually grouped at the site of the drill pad, and three were arrested — accused of trespassing after cutting a razor wire fence and then allegedly tampering with industrial lighting.  By Claire Bernish Environment:

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

Battle Against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline Threatens to Become the Standing Rock of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin By Julie Dermansky ‘Putting a wrench into the gears of the pipeline machine’ The movement against dangerous oil and natural gas pipelines is spreading. And what’s truly remarkable is that the epicenter of the movement is developing along the Gulf Coast, a region that historically has not been known for a strong environmental community. Clearly, the catalyst for that movement has been the historic protests — led by the Native American community — against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Bakken oil field in the northern Great Plains. That movement — and the dramatic images of police and security guards siccing dogs and turning water cannons on protesters, much as was seen during the civil rights protests of the 1960s — has inspired activists elsewhere. Over the last month, national attention has turned toward Louisiana and the growing uproar over the proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline, as residents have said their worries over the future of the wetlands of the Atchafalaya Basin outweigh any limited, short-term job gains the project might bring. It seems clear that a corner has been turned. A growing number of Americans are coming to believe that the risks of a catastrophic oil or gas spill, or an explosion, from a pipeline running through their community simply isn’t worth it. This weekend, the pipeline protest movement sprouted in Tampa. Florida: By Stuart Smith

Black Liberation/ Civil Rights:

An Ever-Smaller Circle of Billionaires Controls the Planet’s Wealth As humanity by the hundreds of millions is forced into a Race to the Bottom, the super-rich expand their dominance of the Earth’s wealth. Eight individuals now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the planetary population. “How can a society call itself civilized, when half the value of all of humanity’s labor — which is what those fortunes actually represent — is at the disposal of eight men?” A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen FordFreedom Rider: No Tears for John Lewis John Lewis has parlayed his 1965 beating at the hands of Alabama police into a phony sainthood, and “now exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party and the black misleadership class.” He “parrots every word” of the CIA in blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. There are many reasons to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but “Russia” is the only one mentioned by Lewis, the party hack. by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley    Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama The 2008 campaign t-shirts depicted Barack Obama clasping hands with MLK, as if the two men were politically joined. Yet, one was a radical opponent of militarism and the rule of the rich, while the other served Wall Street, the Pentagon and American Exceptionalism. Dr. King loved humanity, and died in its service. In contrast, “for Obama, there is a hierarchy of humanity where a peoples’ worth is directly related to their value to the empire.” by BAR editor Ajamu What Constitutes a “Legitimate President” in the United States?  The furor over Donald Trump’s “legitimacy” as president presumes that the U.S. system of rule is, itself, legitimate, at home and abroad. The Democrats maintain “a legitimate President certainly cannot have peaceful relations with Russia.” They are attempting to continue the momentum of the Obama period, which “has been the highest expression of the Democratic Party’s transformation into the War Party and the most legitimate party of imperialism.” by Danny Haiphong  Mocking, Marching, Stopping the Hate and Dumping Trump Are Not Enough Mocking, protesting and ridiculing Big Cheeto before and after inauguration will be big fun. But storms of ridicule did not drive Ronald Reagan or Dubya from office. Mockery that only undermines the legitimacy of evil persons rather than the capitalist system makes us nothing more than the warm up for Corey Booker or whoever Democrats nominate next. Left messages, memes and hashtags need to eviscerate Trump but also to educate people. by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon Black Lives Matter Wants to #ReclaimMLK’s Radical Legacy Several Black organizations across the U.S. have launched a campaign to reject the mainstream image of Martin Luther King, Jr., which they call “capitalist revisionism.” Dr. King “became increasingly anti-capitalist/imperialist and was killed for it,” said the groups gathered under #ReclaimMLK. “We have conflated nonviolence with passivity, and we have forgotten that King’s legacy is meeting incredible violence with masses in the street.” by TeleSUR Report: Chicago Police Use Excessive Force The long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on Chicago police behavior in Black and brown communities shows cops frequently abuse their monopoly on the use of lethal force, and act out their racist prejudices on the job. “Black youth told us that they are routinely called ‘nigger,’ ‘animal,’ or ‘pieces of shit’ by CPD officers.” Cops use stun guns on kids with regularity, and engage in cover-ups enveloped in a “blue code of silence.” by German Lopez   Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate of US Police Killings in 2016  The number of unarmed people fatally shot by police in the U.S. declined last year, according to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper, but young Black men remain far more likely than whites to die at the hands of cops. Recent moves to keep better track of police lethal police use of force could be undermined by the incoming president Donald Trump, who has balked at withholding funds from local departments that fail to report killings. by Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy  As Obama Exits the White House, Never Forget His Destructive Imperialist Legacy A mythology of lies was built around Barack Obama, even before he walked into the White House. He got a peace prize for no good reason — and then made war against at least seven countries. Obama “even joked about the use of predator drones at a White House Correspondents Dinner.” Obamites cried when he gave his last speech, “yet can find little reason to shed tears over the masses of civilians who were destroyed as a result of Obama’s policies.” by Solomon Comissiong Labor:


The Folly of Trumponomics It may produce a short-lived boom. Then, look out. Trump himself and several of his key appointees are also poster children for oligarchy and even kleptocracy—government operated to serve the business interests of elites, including top officials. The intermingling of business, family, and government as the Trump administration takes shape unfortunately parallels what I have observed in corrupt developing countries over the past 30 years, including during my time as chief economist for the International Monetary Fund. By Simon JohnsonPolitical Revolution Sprouts New Shoots Outside Goldman Sachs   Sometimes all it takes to win a war is a rallying cry. That cry started in the bowels of Wall Street on September 17, 2011 with the takeover of Zuccotti Park by grassroots protesters calling themselves Occupy Wall Street. The thunder clap from that movement, “we are the 99 percent,” reverberated around the world. Occupy focused the public’s attention on the insidious wealth transfer system that has been institutionalized by Wall Street on behalf of the 1 percent — a system which has minted dozens of billionaires and thousands of multi-millionaires while collapsing the U.S. economy from 2008 to 2010 and leaving millions of Americans homeless and jobless. (See our past coverage of Occupy in related articles below.) By Pam Martens and Russ Martens World:

Drone Proliferation Ramps Up And thick and fast they came at last, And more and more and more — Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (1871) Over 75 states possess unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones.  We know of fifteen states which possessed armed drones at the end of 2016.  They are the US, UK, China, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, and Turkey. by Charles Pierson

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: