Daily News Digest September 18, 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 September 18, 2017

Images of the Day:

Racism Has Always Been a Part of the United States, Since Its Founding 

Quotes of the Day:

. . . That kind of overt racial hatred, seen through today’s lens, is jarring — not for its existence, as we’re all reminded on a nearly daily basis that racism is still as American as apple pie. . . — James Baldwin

It is crystal clear — unlike the smoky skies where I live–to most of us who are willing to consider the facts: this summer’s ‘natural’ disasters have been seeded anthropogenically.  Wildfires in the northwestern United States and Canada, in Greenland, and in Europe are often referred to in the media as ‘unprecedented’ in size and fury. Hurricanes and monsoons, with their attendant floods and destruction, are routinely described as having a multitude of ‘record-breaking’ attributes. No one reading this is likely to need convincing that humans — our sheer numbers as well as our habits — have contributed significantly to rising planetary temperatures and thus, the plethora of somehow unexpected and catastrophic events in the natural world. I’d like to include earthquakes, particularly those in Turkey (endless) and Mexico (massive), in this discussion, and while intuition tells me that there is a connection between them and climate change, research to support this supposition is just emerging, so for the nonce I will leave the earthquakes out of it. Our proclivity for advancing our own short-term interests has made a mess of things from the beginnings of this current iteration of civilization. Irrigating the Fertile Crescent, which was not very fertile prior to the ingenious innovation of bringing water from the mountains down into the dusty plains, opened the way for a massive increase in food production and a concomitant population rise. Cities grew and became kingdoms. After a reasonably good run, though, irrigation led to salination of the soil and ultimately left it sterile and useless (for agriculture) once again. Many people and their livestock starved or were forced to migrate in large numbers. Great idea, irrigation. — On the Road to Extinction: Maybe it’s Not All About Us

In The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man, Friedrich Engels wrote:  . . . Let us not, however, flatter ourselves overmuch on account of our human victories over nature. For each such victory nature takes its revenge on us. Each victory, it is true, in the first place brings about the results we expected, but in the second and third places it has quite different, unforeseen effects which only too often cancel the first. …

Videos of the Day:

Malcolm X’s Prophetic Speech About Racism And Police Brutality In 1962

US police act as occupying army in the Black Community

UNCTAD Report: 50 Year Occupation Destroyed Palestinian Economy  Ascathing report from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development describes how 50 years of Israeli occupation has prevented economic development in Palestine, and highlights the destructive impact of Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank


Israel Security Forces Are Training American Cops Despite History of Rights AbusesIt’s not uncommon for residents of America’s most heavily policed neighborhoods to describe their local cops as “an occupying force.” Judging by where many U.S. police forces get their training, the description seems apt. By Alice SperiWarning Letter to Harvey and Irma Survivors From Katrina Survivor Dear Fellow Hurricane Survivors: Our hearts go out to you as you try to return to and fix your homes and lives.  Based on our experiences, here are a few things you should watch out for as you rebuild your communities. One.  Rents are going to skyrocket and waves of evictions are likely.  . . .Two.  Rip off contractors and vulture businesses are probably already on the scene.  . . .  Three.   Take pictures of everything that was damaged and hold onto all receipts for all your disaster expenses.  . . .  Four.  Right after a disaster there is an outpouring of compassion, support and solidarity. . . Five.  Insist on transparency, accountability and participation in all public and private funding sources for disaster relief.  . . . Six.  Insist on telling your own story. . . .  Seven.  Unless you are rich enough to try to go this alone, you have to join together with others to make your voice heard.  . . .  Eight.  Work in statewide coalitions.  . . . Nine.  Identify members of Congress who you can work with.  . . .  Ten.  Prioritize the voices of women.  . . . Eleven.  Don’t allow those in power to forget about the people whose voices are never heard. . . . Twelve.  Realize that you have human rights to return to your community and to be made whole.  Protect your human rights and the human rights of others.  by Bill Quigley

Profiteering in War: the Case Against Mercenaries Taking issue with the Prince op-ed, I maintain that the U.S. military should never hire mercenaries, whether directly or through Blackwater-type firms since contract soldiers have a vested interest in prolonging a war.  Their private employers, investors, and lobbyists have a similar interest in advocating pro-war policies in the halls of Congress. by L. Michael Hager Civil Rights/Black Liberation:

Tensions simmer in St Louis after white officer acquitted of killing black motorist — Reports of minor scuffles but protests largely peaceful — Officer Jason Stockley found not guilty of killing Anthony Lamar Smith — Protesters march after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley. Photograph: Whitney Curtis/Reuters  By Jamiles Lartey Why Fox doesn’t want Americans to see NFL players protesting about race The channel deliberately chose to hide black NFL players protesting police brutality over the weekend, and the reasons are all too clear By Ameer Hasan Loggins U.S. Embassy Memos Offer a Glimpse Into the “Devastated” Lives of Refugees Rejected by the Travel Ban In internal memos, American embassies in Jordan and Ethiopia detailed how refugees there were “devastated” by January’s U.S. executive order barring travel from predominately Muslim countries. The memos back to State Department headquarters tell of the desperation of asylum-seekers who had their hopes of getting into the United States dashed by the order — including a girl who tried to kill herself when her family was told they could not travel. By Cora Currier Environment:

As always, the poorest have been hit the hardest. While the rich have the resources to rebuild, many working class people have nothing but their houses and mobile homes, most of which are not covered by flood insurance. One Houston woman from a working class neighborhood, told Democracy Now, “I can’t explain how you would feel, but I know how I feel: devastated, to know that everything that you worked for all your life is gone.” Similar thoughts are doubtless going through the minds of hundreds of thousands of people. The devastation will haunt them for many years, as many poor families rely on the passing down of modest homes from one generation to another. In Houston, the authorities excused their unpreparedness by stating that the city is not naturally prone to floods, and yet there have been two major floods since 2015 alone. Since then many people have warned of an impending catastrophe. For decades, county authorities have known that the hard soil and geographic location of the city made it prone to flooding, yet they took no action for fear of damaging rapidly rising property prices. Instead, building regulations have been rolled back on a systematic basis. Vast wetlands which otherwise would have absorbed much of the water have been drained. With all the focus on bolstering the rapid expansion of the city and its property market, the core infrastructure of the metropolitan area was neglected. Already in 1996, a report by Harris county engineers warned that two huge Houston water reservoirs, if not upgraded, could someday exacerbate flooding.  And that is exactly what happened this time, when the authorities were forced to open the reservoirs and send huge torrents of water into neighbouring areas. In general the whole infrastructure of Houston county is in dire shape due to chronic underfunding. — USA: Why were the hurricanes so disastrous?

Newsweek: Seven Massive Solar Flares Have Erupted From Furious Sunspot In Seven DaysThe sun blasted out seven massive solar flares in as many days in an extraordinary period of space weather that has sparked stunning geomagnetic storms above the earth. Between September 4 and September 11, NASA observed seven flares, all classed in its strongest “X” category, with the most impressive registering at X9.3, a very significant event. By Josh Lowe Labor:


The monster of economic waste — over $7 trillion of dictated stock buybacks since 2003 by the self-enriching CEOs of large corporations—started with a little noticed change in 1982 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Ronald Reagan. That was when SEC Chairman John Shad, a former Wall Street CEO, redefined unlawful ‘stock manipulation’ to exclude stock buybacks. Then after Clinton pushed through congress a $1 million cap on CEO pay that could be deductible, CEO compensation consultants wanted much of CEO pay to reflect the price of the company’s stock. The stock buyback mania was unleashed. Its core was not to benefit shareholders (other than perhaps hedge fund speculators) by improving the earnings per share ratio. Its real motivation was to increase CEO pay no matter how badly such burning out of shareholder dollars hurt the company, its workers and the overall pace of economic growth. In a massive conflict of interest between greedy top corporate executives and their own company, CEO-driven stock buybacks extract capital from corporations instead of contributing capital for corporate needs, as the capitalist theory would dictate. Yes, due to the malicious, toady SEC “business judgement” rule, CEOs can take trillions of dollars away from productive pursuits without even having to ask the companies’ owners—the shareholders—for approval. — Ralph Nader, Destructive Stock Buybacks–That You Pay For

Shadow Government Statistics:

Alternate Inflation Charts Real Average Weekly Earnings — August 2017— Month- to Month Real Earnings  Declined.Wall Street Flacks Have an Increasingly Murky Presence in U.S. Media Yesterday, one of our readers sent us a link to an article at Real Clear Politics by Allan Golombek which makes the same error-filled assertions as those of Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times: that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act did not lead to the U.S. financial crisis of 2007-2010. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens


No Inquiry Needed: Grenfell Tower Fire Was a Crime No inquiry is required to have it confirmed that the Grenfell Fire in London on 14 June 2017 was a crime whose roots lie in the virulent disdain and contempt, bordering on hatred, of working class and poor people in a society which in the second decade of the 21st century is a utopia for a small minority and a dystopia for far too many. by John Wight

Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: