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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!
Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend. “Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.” But he later seemed to back the right to demonstrate, posting: “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!” An estimated 40,000 leftwing counter-protesters — including various Black Lives Matter groups and activist group Violence in Boston — marched through the city to historic Boston Common, dwarfing a small group of conservatives holding a “free speech rally”.
Image of the Day:
It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely. — Malcolm X
The health care system of the United States is already by far the world’s most expensive while delivering among the worst results. So, of course the solution to this, in Republican eyes, is to make it worse. That effort has, so far, failed, thanks to massive grassroots activism. But plenty else is being rammed through under the radar through executive decrees — which is why we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for Congress to impeach President Trump. He’s much too useful to Republicans and corporate executives. Should that change, of course, all bets are off, but short a Democratic tidal wave in 2018 Republican members of Congress turning on the president anytime soon isn’t likely. So what does this have to do with an article published by Bloomberg? The headline on this particular article says it all: “Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions,” complete with a subhead declaring “lower pension costs” a “silver lining.” As not only a proud member of the corporate media, but one specializing in delivering news to financiers and industrialists, extolling a benefit to corporate bottom lines and ignoring the, ahem, human cost of said benefit is only to be expected. The article is not at all atypical of the business press, even if this one is a little more obvious than usual. But, as a friend who is an activist with a Marxist party but who once ran a chemical industry consultancy by day (if only his clients knew his politics!) once taught me, the business section is where they hide the news. So the point here isn’t the attitude of Bloomberg toward working people (no more hostile and sometimes less so than your average business publication) but the attitude of corporate titans toward employees. — Life Under Capitalism: Early Deaths a ‘Silver Lining’ for Corporations
Videos of the Day:
CIA Torture Architects Settle With Victims to Avoid Trial Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the architects of the CIA’s torture program, have reached a historic settlement in the case of three victims. John Kiriakou, the former CIA analyst who went to prison for exposing the torture program, says the duo settled to avoid accountability. (photo: ACLU)
Ending Legalized Slavery in the US Once and for All In this episode of Rattling the Bars, Eddie Conway speaks with Krystal Roundtree, the lead organizer for the Millions for Prisoners March in D.C. It is a national day of action which seeks to abolish the Thirteenth Amendment in the U.S. constitution
The Fetishization of Violence: Reflections on Charlottesville, WWII and Activism In the United States of America, violence remains one of our greatest pastimes. From slaughtering Native Americans and enslaving, torturing and killing African Americans, to conquering Filipinos and incinerating the Vietnamese, the history of the U.S. reads like a horror story. Without question, this is a nation built and maintained by violence by Vincent Emanuele Permanent War, Permanent Failure In follow-up to the Afghan offensive, the U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003; the war formally dragged on until December 2011. Military confusion and political duplicity compounded a doomed socio-military effort. Now, a decade-and-a-half later, the U.S. maintains 12 military bases in Iraq and deploys an estimated 6,000 military personnel. Iraq, along with Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, are part of a second front in its global permanent war to contain resistance and preserve geo-political hegemony. by David Rosen Discovering Racism and then Discovering It Anew I grew up in Storrs, Connecticut, a faculty brat in a university town where minority people were few and far between. There were a few black kids in our high school — the children of people employed at UConn. There were also working-class Puerto Ricans in the area — American citizens but who knew that back then? — who had fled north from the economically devastated US colony of Puerto Rico to work in a big textile mill in nearby Willimantic. by Dave Lindorff
Black Liberation/Civil Rights:
Charlottesville Is Part of A Continuum of White Supremacist Domestic Terror In America Finally, America has discovered white supremacy. The recent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was a gathering of alt-right, neo-Nazis, Klan and other extremists, but also more mainstream college Republicans, rightwing activists and intellectuals, and more casual racists and aggrieved white people who hope to distinguish themselves from the old-school organizations such as the KKK. Unite the Right was an orchestrated race riot that resulted in the death of one woman and many others injured By David Love
Justice Department’s Dreamhost Subpoena Ramps Up the Police State If the U.S. Department of Justice prevails in a case against web-hosting provider Dreamhost, you can become the subject of a criminal investigation by visiting a website. You don’t have to re-read that. The problem is not with your eyes; it’s with your government. If the courts uphold this Justice Department action, the erosion of your privacy rights on the Internet, a process that began with the Patriot Act and picked up full-steam under the Obama administration, will have been completed under President Donald Trump.A major pillar of a police state will now be in place. by Alfredo Lopez Environment:
Military bases’ contamination will affect water for generations Once a fighter jet training base critical to the Cold War, little remains of the former George Air Force Base but rows of dilapidated houses, a dismantled military hospital and dangerous chemicals from pesticides, jet fuels and other hazardous wastes that have poisoned the water for decades. “Now when I see the base today, areas of it look like a war zone,” said Frank Vera, an Air Force veteran stationed on the base in the early 1970s. “I don’t think people know what to do with some of these areas because they are so contaminated.” By Corinne Roels
EPA Allows the Poisoning of Children: Undermanned EPA Delays Action on Lead in Drinking Water Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. By Brett Walton
Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:
Fukushima Plant Is Releasing 770,000 Tons of Radioactive Water Into the Pacific Ocean Tokyo Electric Power Company is releasing thousands of tons of radioactive water straight into the Pacific Ocean, as the nuclear crisis continues with no end in sight. TEPCO claims tritium is harmless, but a leading environmental toxicologist tells Truthout that tritium can cause “tumors, cancer, genetic defects, developmental abnormalities and adverse reproductive effects.” By Dahr Jamail Labor:
Shadow Government Statistics Real Average Weekly Earnings (Benchmark Revised) Production and Nonsupervisory Employees Deflated by CPI-W versus ShadowStats-Alternate (1990-Base) 1965 to July 2017, Seasonally-Adjusted [ShadowStats, BLS]
The De-Branding of a President Promising to cut corporate taxes, roll back regulations on Wall Street, and get government off the back of business, Donald Trump was enjoying a honeymoon with the stock market and the CEOs of the most iconic brands in the U.S. What a difference four days can make. Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 274 points. Also yesterday, Trump announced that he was cancelling his business advisory council on infrastructure. That move followed his prior day’s axing of his star-studded CEO councils on manufacturing and Strategy & Policy Forum. According to published reports, Trump was saving face by axing the councils after getting a heads up that the CEOs were leaving en masse. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens World:
Strangling Puerto Rico in Order to Save It The United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 and took it from Spain. Although the residents became United States citizens in 1917, the island’s colonial status has been a locus of political debate and struggle for most of its subsequent history. Just a few months after gaining citizenship, Puerto Ricans were made subject to a United States military draft. But they never got the right to elect a voting member of Congress, despite being governed by -United States law. The island is officially an “unincorporated territory” of the United States, but since the 1950s, it has preferred to call itself an “estado libre asociado” — free associated state — or a “commonwealth.” If the word “colony” was once judged too harsh, at this moment in Puerto Rico’s history it looks like an understatement. by Mark Weisbrot
Bullying Venezuela: Trump’s Unvarnished Threat Whether he holds good on it is beside the point. President Donald J. Trump’s great value to US foreign policy is its lack of artifice and sophistication, a bullying force of nature that alters with the next burst of adolescent acne and the breaking of the voice. Even less than the traditional stereotype of the American behaving badly, he is ugliness without a veil, the brute promise without gloss. Truly ghastly, yet in a way, oddly refreshing. by Binoy Kampmark
Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:
The Human Carnage From Billionaires Trying to Carve Up the Planet to Build Their Empires Is Astounding From Yemen to Haiti and everywhere in between, the poorest citizens are punished for unknown crimes. Raoul Peck, the Haitian filmmaker, opens his new film – Der Junge Karl Marx (2017) – in the forests of Prussia. Peasants gather fallen wood. They look cold and hungry. We hear horses in the distance. The guards and the aristocrats are near. They have come to claim the right to everything in the forest. The peasants run. But they have no energy. They fall. The whips and lances of the aristocrats and the guards strike them. Some of the peasants die. Even fallen wood is not allowed to them. Young Karl Marx, sitting in Cologne in 1842, is dismayed at the violence against the German peasants. The peasants, he wrote, know the punishment. They are being beaten, even killed. But what they do not know is the crime. For what crime are they being punished? By Vijay Prashad