Daily News Digest September 22, 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 22, 2017 

Images of the Day: 

Let Us Prey

 Quotes of the Day: 

Contrary to what Ken Burn’s TV Mythology about the Vietnam War:Japan did not surrender only after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombs were dropped. — The Janpanes were already e about to surrender. From my essay, Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again!:  “One of the long-standing myths of U.S. history is that atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to “save lives.” The story is that the bombings, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, were necessary to bring World War II to an end. In reality, the decision was purely political. Leading generals and admirals opposed the bombing. It was ordered to demonstrate the ruthlessness of the U.S. government. Ronald Takaki wrote, in his article on the subject in the July 31, 2005 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, “During the days before that fateful Aug. 6, 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur learned that Japan had asked Russia to negotiate a surrender. ‘We expected acceptance of the Japanese surrender daily,’ one of his staff members recalled. When he was notified that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, the general was livid. MacArthur declared that the atomic attack on Hiroshima was ‘completely unnecessary from a military point of view.’” General Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander of allied forces in Europe and later president of the U.S., also called it “completely unnecessary” and later told an interviewer,” It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” Fleet Admiral William Leahy, the president’s chief of staff, believed that Japan would fall without the necessity of a land invasion. Leahy later wrote that, in dropping the bomb, “we had adopted an ethical standard common to barbarians of the dark ages.” (Eisenhower and Leahy quotes found at: HIROSHIMAWHO DISAGREED WITH THE ATOMIC BOMBING?Why they did it.)”  — Roland Sheppard

What is that liberal narrative? It is a bundle of intertwined claims: Vietnamese opposition to the French and then the Americans was motivated by a nationalist desire for independence, the Saigon government of the South was a legitimate government, the rebellion of the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam against the U.S. supported Saigon regime was directed by the communist Hanoi government of the north, the military conflict in Vietnam was thus a civil war, and U.S. military involvement in support of the South was the result of a series of mistakes by American political leaders. It’s a narrative that has a certain plausibility not least because it has been repeated over and over for fifty years.  A more comprehensive scholarly reading of history produces a more accurate narrative: First, without discounting the significance of nationalism in Vietnamese society, a more important factor in the war was the goal of land reform offered by the communists to the peasants who comprised the majority of the population. The military struggle was in large part a social revolution against the landlord class and its foreign backers. Second, the Saigon regime that emerged after the failed French war of re-conquest was a U.S. creation financed and managed by the Americans who built its military and prodded it into fighting against the Vietnamese revolutionary forces. When an army such as the South Vietnamese Army is funded and trained by a foreign power to maintain the foreigner’s domination of that same country, that army is not fighting a civil war – it is fighting a war of counterinsurgency and is essentially an army of collaborators.  Third, the National Liberation Front was an autonomous Southern political entity that emerged from the failure of the Hanoi government to press a fight against the southern regime of Ngo Dinh Diem. Dominated by communists it was in liaison with Hanoi as the North gradually gave greater assistance to the rebels’ efforts. Fourth, the U.S. involvement was not the result of a series of mistakes but was the result of a series of deceptions and provocations made by every U.S. administration running from Harry Truman all the way to Richard Nixon on the basis of the perceived political-economic imperatives of advanced capitalism in Southeast Asia. Let me amplify these points. — Ideology as History: a Critical Commentary on Burns and Novick’s “The Vietnam War” 

According to a 2015 FDIC national survey, seven percent of all households in the United States are “unbanked” or have no access – voluntarily or by circumstance – to any bank product. An additional 19.9 percent are “underbanked” or possessing a checking or saving account, but also relying on financial services, such as prepaid cards, sub-prime loans, and check-cashing services, that originated outside the banking system. With more than 55 percent of all African-Americans households being either “unbanked” or “underbanked” as of 2014, this situation represents a key component of the wealth disparity gap gripping the Black community. Without access to credit or to banking solutions, the cost of living grossly increases. A lack of access can effectively limit housing choices, the price and availability of critical services such as utilities and insurance, the ability to raise capital for new business opportunities and to maintain tax and financial accountability for existing companies, and even job opportunities. Additionally, many people believe the Bank fee structure is no longer about saving your money but is now about how to extract portions of your money while in the bank. “If a large percentage of your income is going to transaction costs, that’s money you’re not putting into consumption,” Yale sociologist Frederick Wherry said to YaleNews. “If every time you’re making a transaction you’re losing 15%, 20%, 30% on it, you’re not saving or spending it in some other way.” — How the Banking and Credit System Exacerbate the Wealth Gap in Black Communities

Videos of the Day:

Trump is Threatening More than Just the Iran Deal As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responds to Trump at the UN, former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian says that an American withdrawal from the nuclear deal would lead Iranians to no longer trust the U.S.

Earthquake in Mexico Unearths Years of Corruption The Mexican government learned some lessons after the devastating earthquake of 1985, but there hasn’t been an end to corruption, says Laura Carlsen of the Center for International Policy

Why the Juggalos Marched on Washington The FBI says fans of Insane Clown Posse are a violent gang, but those fans think they’re being targeted because of class prejudice 


Congress’ Gargantuan New Military Spending Bill Forks Over Unprecedented Sums to Israel and Ukraine Hundreds of millions for Israeli missiles and Ukrainian troops’ medical care, at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. Congress’ Gargantuan New Military Spending Bill Forks Over Unprecedented Sums to Israel and Ukraine Hundreds of millions for Israeli missiles and Ukrainian troops’ medical care, at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. By Max Blumenthal

Presidential Bomb Threats at the UN  Donald Trump denounced North Korea and its president Kim Jong-un as “depraved” before the United Nations Sept. 19, saying the nation “threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life.” Of course, North Korea can barely feed itself, and yet has to defend itself against an onslaught of Western hostility, UN sanctions, and ongoing US/South Korean war games which are rehearsals for an invasion of the North. It tests rockets and bombs to be sure, just as the US and its allies and adversaries do all year round. It’s big business. by John Laforge 

Trump at the UN: Nuremberg Redux The time for equivocation and satire where Donald Trump is concerned has passed. Indead if the current US President’s address to the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York confirms anything, it is that satire must now give way to a sober and serious appreciation of the clear and present danger his administration poses to the world by John Wight

The Iron Heel (Police State Violence) Invades Campuses:Georgia Tech Student’s Death Is Part of a Pattern of Recent Police Violence on College Campuses Campus police forces are less transparent than municipal agencies, but they can be just as dangerous. By Celisa Calacal

Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

Colin Kaepernick Donates $25K to Nonprofit Aimed at Helping DACA Recipients Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has put up millions of dollars in his own money to support community service and organizing efforts, recently gave a grant to help immigrant youth impacted by President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA. By Tanasia KenneyNo Easing of US Vengeance Against Colombian Revolutionary Simon Trinidad A U. S. court in 2008 sentenced the 58-year old Trinidad to 60 years in prison. He was charged with conspiracy to hold three U.S. contractors hostage – “mercenaries of North American corporations engaged in spying,” according to one observer. The three hostages went free that same year. by W. T. Whitney Trump’s “Sovereignty” is Lawlessness (So was Obama’s)  Trump’s)  “Regime change is the rule in U.S. foreign policy practice.” Donald Trump’s tragicomic performance at this week’s opening of the United Nations General Assembly caused the U.S. foreign policy establishment to cringe in embarrassment, as the ultra-provincial and unabashedly white supremacist real estate magnate from Queens brazenly threatened U.S. military intervention any damn where he pleases, based on American “sovereign” rights By  Glen Ford, BAR executive editor

Ken Burns latest documentary series “Vietnam” leads with the claim that the US war in Vietnam was a mistake, a tragic miscalculation. In fact it was a crime that cost 3 million lives. Ken Burns Vietnam Documentary? Or Should I Watch Game of Thrones Again?  By I’ll get around to seeing Ken Burns series on the war in Vietnam some time soon. It will be kind of a chore, something I’m really not looking forward to. That’s because I’ve already heard that the Ken Burns documentary declares the war in Vietnam a “tragic mistake” based on “misunderstanding” of something or somebodies by other somebodies. In a way that’s enough for me. I understand the war in Vietnam as not a tragic mistake, but a vast and heinous crime, a crime wave really, lasting 3 decades from 1945 to 1975. During the last third of that time alone more than 3 million people lost their lives.  By Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor 

Irma (and the 8 questions)  My Sister-in-law, the Artist, propped her last painting up, as high as she could reach… By Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residence



Puerto Rico: Hurricane Maria hammers an economy that can’t take much more Puerto Rico is years into an economic crisis. Now it’s facing a natural disaster. Hurricane Maria hit the island on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, threatening lives and promising potentially devastating economic damage. The island is already deep in a years-long debt debacle spurred by mismanaged funds, archaic energy policies and a struggling economy. by Patrick Gillespie


On hurricanes, global warming, environmental racism and anti-immigrant laws The huge devastation, death and misery that Hurricane Harvey wreaked upon Texas and Louisiana has been seen around the world. Meanwhile, fresh havoc is being wreaked upon the Caribbean and the US’s south-east by Hurricane Irma. In less reported news, more than 1400 people have been killed in recent weeks by horrific flooding in South Asia. The consequences of such disasters caused by extreme weather reveal the intersection of crises caused by the capitalist system. By Barry Sheppard 

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis: 



The U.S. President’s Role in a Time of Devastating Disasters Today’s Houston Chronicle carries a photo and report of “thousands of piles of Hurricane Harvey wreckage on Houston curbs” still waiting for removal. The devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey in late August has impacted low income families the hardest with another article in the paper reporting that residents of a public housing complex in Houston “have been asked to pay rent for flooded units deemed uninhabitable even as the mayor has condemned private landlords for similar practices.” By Pan and Russ Martens


Repression against Catalan independence referendum provokes mass mobilisation The decision of the Catalan Parliament to convene an independence referendum on October 1st has been received with repressive measures by the Spanish state. These measures are increasing in intensity as the days go by, and reveal the profoundly undemocratic nature of the 1978 Constitution which was imposed in an agreement between the old Franco regime and the leaders of the workers’ parties in order to bring to an end the revolutionary crisis engulfing the country. By Jorge Martin

The US President addresses the United Nations: Donald J. Trump’s Message to the World On September 19th President Donald Trump delivered his first address to the UN General Assembly to outline his view of the world, the universe and life in general By Alan Woods

 Health, Science, Education, and Welfare:

 Burden in My Hand: the U.S. Medical Industrial Complex by Kristine Mattis