Daily News Digest August 2, 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.

Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99% — Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just Those  Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico!

Daily News Digest August 2, 2017

 Image of the Day:

Don’t Let Your Babies Get Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)Quotes of the Day:

The Restoration Ruse:  And, then, there is burgeoning rhetoric about prospects for heroic well-funded restoration efforts. Research into prospects for and methods of restoring whitebark pine have proliferated since the early 1990s. The genesis of this effort was early losses of whitebark pine to white pine blister rust and resulting concerns about the species’ acute vulnerability to this non-native fungal pathogen. This legacy has continued to powerfully shape perspectives of researchers and managers and keep blister rust at the center of attention. But, as I’ve described here, blister rust is just one of several severe threats to the persistence of whitebark pine. All but blister rust are fueled by climate change, including physiological constraints and tolerances; increasing competition at stand initiation from drought- and warmth tolerant species; increasingly frequent and extensive wildfires; and increasingly common and unmitigated outbreaks of mountain pine beetles. Given this plethora of severe threats, I am frequently struck by the extent to which otherwise intelligent scientists are afflicted by glaring blind spots in their framing of research and deliberations over restoration. They will consider blister rust, but ignore changes in fire behavior and the threat posed by lower-elevation competitors. They will consider fire, but then continue to ignore competitors and, more surprising yet, mountain pine beetles. They will consider pine beetles, but ignore fire. And so on. — The Late Great Whitebark Pine

It is becoming clear that the struggle for the environment is a fight for human rights and the survival of the species–a struggle for environmental justice. We need to defend, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, humanity’s Unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We should demand that:

*All products must be tested for toxicity before being produced for the market. The present practice of experimenting on human beings and waiting for the human body counts before determining that substances are toxic must be stopped!

*The production of toxic substances must be stopped and the least toxic alternatives must be used until all toxins can be eliminated from use!

*Gravity, wind, and solar power must be developed to replace fossil fuels and nucleal power as sources of energy. The top priority throughout the world must be the elimination of pollution and the development of science to maintain the earth as a healthy biosphere for humanity;

*The squandering of trillions of dollars on military spending must stop and these trillions of dollars must be used to repair the environment! (In 1991, even after the end of the Cold War, military spending was almost 1 trillion dollars.); and

*There must be a 100 percent tax on the profits of companies that pollute!

The environmental movement has raised many of these demands. In the past 30 years, many laws have been written incorporating some of these concepts. Yet despite these laws, environmental destruction has been allowed to proceed because these regulations have always been compromised by the incorporation of the concept of economic feasibility. Economic feasibility’ means that the profitability of an economic enterprise cannot be subordinated to environmental needs. Therefore, environmental and safety laws, under capitalism, have always been a compromise between science and business. In fact, environmental destruction, pestilence, and death are factored into production the same as casualties of war are factored into military battles. The most glaring example is the occupational environment, where workplaces have become “killing fields”. (See my essay The War at the Point of Production: The ‘Killing Fields’ of the United States.) — Roland Sheppard, Whither Humanity? The Environmental Crisis of Capitalism

Videos of the Day:

Trump Sanctions Maduro   Over 8 million Venezuelans vote for a National Constituent Assembly, while the US sanctions anyone elected to the Assembly, we discuss the implications with author Steve Ellner and historian Miguel Tinker Salas

Biological Annihilation: Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Event is Under Way  Earth is entering its sixth mass extinction event, posing a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilization,” says a new study co-authored by Professor Gerardo Ceballos at the University of Mexico Donald


Top 6 Falsehoods Embraced by the New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly By Juan Cole

Mainstream Groupthink and Artificial Intelligence Could Stifle Dissent in an Orwellian Future A report by the World Socialist Web Site found that “in the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing ‘fake news,’ the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.” By Robert Parry Venezuela on the Cuban Road It is quite logical that in the struggles for its definitive independence there are many similarities between the current political processes of Venezuela and Cuba, as well as between the independence aspirations of all the Latin American countries that have in common the objective of liberating themselves from the condition of semicolonies of the United States. by Manuel E. Yepe

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

State-Enforced Segregation and the Color of Justice Jim Crow was the descendant of Southern slavery. More shocking is the legacy of government-enforced racism in the North.  By Randall Kennedy Environment:

Meat industry blamed for largest-ever ‘dead zone’ in Gulf of Mexico A new report shows toxins from companies like Tyson Foods are pouring into waterways in the gulf and surrounds, causing marine life to leave or die By Oliver Milman The Late Great Whitebark Pine Prior to our current millennium, whitebark pine seeds comprised a substantial part of diets eaten by grizzly bears in areas where whitebark pine was abundant–historically, second only to meat from large mammals in the Yellowstone ecosystem, and third only to berries and meat along the East Front in northwestern Montana. by David Mattson Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:



Shadow Government Statistics Commentary No. 902 Graph 10  Real GDP Index (1970), First Estimate of  Second Quarter 2017Shadow Government Statistics Commentary No. 902  Shadow Government Statistics Graph  11 : “Corrected” Real GDP (1970 -2017), First Estimate of  Second Quarter 2017 Scaramucci: First Fired by Goldman Sachs, Now the White House Were it not for the profanity-laced tirade that Donald Trump’s briefly tenured Director of Communications offered up to a New Yorker reporter, it might be considered a badge of honor to get fired from both the great vampire squid, Goldman Sachs, and by the President whose administration is firmly ensnared in Goldman Sachs’ tentacles. Wall Street veteran and hedge fund titan, Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired yesterday after a 10-day stint as Director of Communications for Trump’s White House, told reporter Courtney Comstock in 2010 at Business Insider that he had been “fired from Goldman a year and five months” into his tenure there as an investment banker. Scaramucci was rehired by Goldman a few months later, but in a sales position. Scaramucci’s ties to Wall Street are extensive, including a stint as Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, the iconic investment bank which filed bankruptcy in September 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


U.S. Hands Off Venezuela! On July 30, Venezuela elected a new 545-member National Constituent Assembly, which takes on the task of rewriting the country’s 1999 constitution. The National Electoral Council said that 41.5 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. That represents over 8 million people, a vote exceeding any previous vote for the Maduro government.  Bourgeois opposition parties, which control the sitting National Assembly—now to be displaced under the provisions of Venezuela’s current constitution—had called for a boycott of the election and put up no candidates of their own. In the meantime, opposition groups have staged numerous violent skirmishes against government facilities, including police and military barracks. At some point, an attempted coup against the government is not out of the question. The world’s lack of outrage over tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Mosul is shameful Civillians in the city faced a Catch-22: told by US-led Coalition forces to get away from Isis positions before they were shelled; yet threatened with execution by Isis if they tried to escape By Patrick Cockburn Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

Is Capitalism in Crisis? Latest Trends of a System Run Amok Having survived the financial meltdown of 2008, corporate capitalism and the financial masters of the universe have made a triumphant return to their “business as usual” approach: They are now savoring a new era of wealth, even as the rest of the population continues to struggle with income stagnation, job insecurity and unemployment. This travesty was made possible in large part by the massive US government bailout plan that essentially rescued major banks and financial institutions from bankruptcy with taxpayer money (the total commitment on the part of the government to the bank bailout plan was over $16 trillion). In the meantime, corporate capitalism has continued running recklessly to the precipice with regard to the environment, as profits take precedence not only over people but over the sustainability of the planet itself. By C.J. Polychroniou McCain’s Brain Cancer Draws Renewed Attention to Possible Agent Orange Connection McCain’s diagnosis comes as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is under increased pressure to broaden who’s eligible for Agent Orange-related compensation. During the war, the military sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide in Vietnam to kill enemy-covering jungle brush, and in the process, may have exposed as many as 2.6 million U.S. service members — including McCain. News of his illness has prompted Amy Jones and others to call on the VA to study a possible connection between their loved ones’ Agent Orange exposure and glioblastoma. By Charles Ornstein