Daily News Digest June 20, 2017

Daily News Digest Archives

During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program:  1. Austerity, 2. Scapegoating Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal Immigrants’ for Unemployment, and 3. The Iron Heel.

Daily News Digest June 20, 2017

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  Who Profit From Austerity!  Under Austerity,

All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico!

Images of the Day: 


Anger Erupts in London Over Grenfell Tower’s Feared Renovation Flaws Global and National Housing Crisis 

Quotes of the Day: 


Capital does not desire to abolish the housing shortage even if it could; this has now been completely established. There remain, therefore, only two other expedients, self-help on the part of the workers and state assistance. . . . This is a striking example of how the bourgeoisie solves the housing question in practice. The breeding places of disease, the infamous holes and cellars in which the capitalist mode of production confines our workers night after night, are not abolished; they are merely shifted elsewhere! The same economic necessity which produced them in the first place, produces them in the next place also. As long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, it is folly to hope for an isolated solution of the housing question or of any Other social question affecting the fate of the workers. The solution lies in the abolition of the capitalist mode of production and the appropriation of all the means of life and labor by the working class itself. — Engles, The Housing Question 

Labour has urged the government to consider emergency legislation to ensure property can be requisitioned to house the families made homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said councils already had the power to requisition property, using compulsory purchase orders, to find places for people to live. Last week Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, suggested these powers should be used in Kensington following the fire tragedy. “Occupy it, compulsory purchase it, requisition it – there’s a lot of things you can do,” he said. But can’t we as a society just think, all of us, it’s all very well putting our arms around people during the crisis but homelessness is rising, the housing crisis is getting worse and my point was quite a simple one. In an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table in order to deal with that crisis and that’s what I think we should be doing in this case. — Labour says emergency house seizure laws could ease Grenfell Tower crisis 


. . . As the rationalizations for his pariah-status pileup, the latest is perhaps the most gobsmacking. Seahawk coach Pete Carroll, if you can get your head around this, met with Kaepernick and said that he was simply too good for them to sign. Carroll said, “He’s a starter in this league. We have a starter, but he’s a starter in this league.” The truth is ugly as sin. The NFL is denying Colin Kaepernick employment not because he isn’t “good enough” but because he is being shut out for the crime of using his platform to protest the killing of black kids by police.  . . . The logic of this statement, in a league where quarterbacks go down for several games or longer with regularity, is imbecilic. . . . The truth is ugly as sin. The NFL is denying Colin Kaepernick employment not because he isn’t “good enough” but because he is being shut out for the crime of using his platform to protest the killing of black kids by police. This makes the league’s right-wing (and left-wing ((R.S.)) billionaire owners’ silk boxers bunch up.   — Dave ZirinThe NFL’s War Against Colin Kaepernick


Videos of the Day: 


John Oliver: Boosting Coal Barons Is Not the Same Thing as Helping MinersEmpty properties should be seized in emergencies, says Corbyn The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says properties kept empty through ‘land banking’ should be requisitioned and used in emergencies like the Grenfell Tower fire. Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Corbyn says something has gone ‘badly, badly wrong’ in the UK due to a lack of public investment

Venezuela’s Opposition Receives Solid Support from International Media Media analyst Joe Emersberger takes apart recent international media coverage of Venezuela, which is openly siding with the country’s opposition in portraying the government as a dictatorship




The History Channel Is Finally Telling the Stunning Secret Story of the War on Drugs The war on drugs has always been a pointless sham. For decades the federal government has engaged in a shifting series of alliances of convenience with some of the world’s largest drug cartels. So while the U.S. incarceration rate has quintupled since President Richard Nixon first declared the war on drugs in 1971, top narcotics dealers have simultaneously enjoyed protection at the highest levels of power in America. By Jon Schwarz

The Syrian Nightmare: No End in Sight “Washington’s strategic objectives in Iraq and Syria are not those of “fighting terrorism,” but rather consolidating US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and preparing for war against the principal obstacles to this objective, Iran and Russia. For US imperialism, undisputed control over both the Persian Gulf and Central Asia would provide the means to cut off energy supplies to its global rival, China.” — Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site


Russia to target planes from US-led coalition flying over parts of Syria Russian defence ministry says planes flying west of Euphrates river will be targeted after US military downs Syrian air force jet By Patrick Wintour


Black Liberation/Civil Rights:


I Spent 14 Months in Jail Because I Couldn’t Pay My Way Out Hundreds of thousands of people are locked up in local US jails for months at a time, even before trial, simply because they cannot pay a bond. Lavette Mayes experienced pretrial incarceration first-hand in Cook County Jail, where 62 percent of the incarcerated are there because they can’t afford bail. Now Mayes is fighting to change the monetary bond system, which propagates racial and economic discrimination. By Lavette Mayes and Matthew McLoughlin



Ten concrete actions Jerry Brown can take to become a real green governor As usual, Brown’s statement and ensuing interviews were greeted by mostly fawning, uncritical coverage by the national and international media portraying the Governor as the “resistance” to Trump and a “climate leader.” Brown may speak colorful and fiery words at times, words that many agree with, but they are often not backed up by his actions By Dan Bacher 

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:





Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:


Is deregulation an excuse for poor-quality housing? There was concern that companies would now have to battle it out to sign off buildings as safe as TMOs seek the cheapest option. Government planning deregulation has included the removal of requirements for sustainable homes and building regulations have been watered down. With central government signing off on office blocks being converted into homes – often as temporary accommodation for the poorest communities, as in the case of Cardiff House in Luton – as well as plans for new build-to-rent properties to be erected, we have to ask what the safety regulations for these buildings will be. If risk is now to be built into the fabric of social housing because it comes at a cheaper cost, then only wealth can guarantee that homes are habitable. That has to be questioned.­ — Six vital questions that must be answered about Grenfell Tower 

In America, the housing crisis is especially acute in New York City. The city has more homeless residents now than at any time since the Great Depression. More than half of all households cannot afford the rent. Displacement, gentrification, and eviction are rampant. Two pillars of New York’s distinctive housing system — public housing and rent regulation — are both under threat. But housing problems are not unique to New York. Shelter poverty is a problem throughout the United States. According to the standard measures of  affordability, there is no US state where a full-time minimum-wage worker can afford to rent or own a one-bedroom dwelling. Nationwide, nearly half of all renting households spend an unsustainable amount of their income on rent, a figure that is only expected to rise. This is not only a big-city issue. Around 30 percent of rural households cannot afford their housing, including nearly half of all rural renters. In fact, the housing crisis is global in scope. London, Shanghai, São Paulo, Mumbai, Lagos, indeed nearly every major city faces its own residential struggles. Land grabs, forced evictions, expulsions, and displacement are rampant. According to the United Nations, the homeless population across the planet may be anywhere between one hundred million and one billion people, depending on how homelessness is defined.It has been estimated that globally there are currently 330 million households — more than a billion people — that are unable to find a decent or affordable home. Some research suggests that in recent decades, residential displacement due to development, extraction, and construction has occurred on a scale that rivals displacement caused by disasters and armed conflicts. In China and India alone in the past fifty years, an estimated one hundred million people have been displaced by development projects. And yet if there is broad recognition of the existence of a housing crisis, there is no deep understanding of why it occurs, much less what to do about it. The dominant view today is that if the housing system is broken, it is a temporary crisis that can be resolved through targeted, isolated measures. In mainstream debates, housing tends to be understood in narrow terms. The provision of adequate housing is seen as a technical problem and technocratic means are sought to solve it: better construction technology, smarter physical planning, new techniques for management, more homeownership, different zoning laws, and fewer land use regulations. Housing is seen as the domain of experts like developers, architects, or economists. Certainly, technical improvements in the housing system are possible, and some are much needed. But the crisis is deeper than that. We see housing in a wider perspective: as a political-economic problem. The residential is political — which is to say that the shape of the housing system is always the outcome of struggles between different groups and classes. Housing necessarily raises questions about state action and the broader economic system. But the ways in which social antagonisms shape housing are too often obscured. — The Permanent Crisis of Housing The Housing Crisis Is an Example of Inequality Undermining the Economy Extreme economic inequality is among the most destructive forces in a society. As inequality grows, it undermines the effective functioning of the economy, the basic tenets of capitalism, and the foundations of democracy.  Unfortunately, the housing crisis and now the housing settlement increasingly look like an example of how this mechanism works. One of the central characteristics of highly unequal societies is that two sets of laws develop: One set for the rich and powerful and one set for everyone else. The more unequal societies become, the more easily they accept the unacceptable, and with each unrebuked violation, the powerful actors at the top of the society gain an ever greater sense of entitlement and an ever greater sense that the laws that govern everyone else don’t apply to them. As a result, their behavior becomes increasingly egregious. By Bruce Judson

 Look at Grenfell Tower and see the terrible price of Britain’s inequality The privileged can buy their safety – high-rise dwellers and the poor are condemned to second-class status The appalling destruction of Grenfell Tower and the lives of so many who lived there has exposed what society, in its heart, already knows: our housing cannot continue to be subject to the market’s desires, needs or fluctuations. If some housing is regarded as being more valuable, more desirable, corners will always be cut in the places where there is less financial return. The same goes for people: the most disadvantaged always suffer most from the mistakes of the powerful. By Lynsey Hanley

Are you unable to afford decent housing? Welcome to the club Some of us have been dealing with the housing crisis for decades. Now, the problem is working its way up the income ladder to the middle class For many, it’s outrageous that this crisis is no longer is confined to the bottom of the income ladder. ‘What do you mean that someone earning $20 an hour in LA wouldn’t be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment?’ gasp those in the middle class. When it was in the news that you’d have to earn $24 an hour in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, where I live, I finally saw community members talking more seriously about housing density and rent controls. But for those of us who have been locked into a housing crisis for generations because of race, gender, class or disability, we are left wondering why so many are just now paying attention to an issue that has already destroyed countless lives. By Ijeoma Oluo