Daily News Digest October 13, 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 October 13, 2017

Image of the Day:

‘Public Calamity’ As California Wildfires Leave Apocalyptic Scenes In Wine CountryQuote of the Day:

The US is currently home to the largest prison population in the world at a staggering 2.3 million incarcerated Americans.  Many believe that mass incarceration will ensure our safety through harsher methods; however, mass incarceration is especially detrimental to communities of color. Mass Incarceration refers to the growth of the prison population that has increased by 500% within the past thirty years.  The Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) is a term that describes the overlapping interests found in the government and industry through which mechanisms such as surveillance, policing and imprisonment are seen as solutions to economic, social and political issues. The PIC greatly assists in the maintenance of authority of people who get their power through racial and economic privileges.  This prison complex is notorious for being heavily influenced by institutional racism.  These private prisons are substantially beneficial for the prisons, private prison lobbyists and affiliated corporations. Institutional racism plays a significant role in the perception of nonwhite people.  Stereotypes make people of color more susceptible to mass incarceration. These stigmas distort the way police officers and other officials affiliated with the law perceive and misinterpret Black and brown people and mistreat them, including racial profiling. The dissimilar perceptions of Blacks and whites by police authorities perpetuate differences that advances  institutionalized racism in the US. The impact that mass incarceration of Blacks in the US includes social, political and economic factors.  Exploitation of nonwhites by the Prison Industrial Complex in the late 20th century and early 21st century (1990s and 2000s-2010s) resulted increased profit of private prisons, a reinforcement of systemic oppression and institutional racism, the racialization of crime and social death. Private prisons are a billion-dollar industry which exploit prisoners who are predominately Black and non-white Latinx for profit.. These prisons are run by private companies and have been on the rise since the mid-1980s, especially following the crack epidemic during the Reagan administration.  Over half of US states today depend on for-profit prisons im which approximately 90,000 inmates are held each year. Racial profiling perpetuates white supremacy and the subordination of nonwhite people. For instance, oppressed nationalities living in marginalized communities have unfortunately been receptors of police misconduct and a heavy police presence in their neighborhoods. Black men are arrested and imprisoned for non-violent offenses at a much higher rate than white men are; meanwhile, violent crimes are generally at an all-time low. Police officers wander about and arrest people in neighborhoods of color more so than white neighborhoods. Black people are disproportionately imprisoned for committing the same crimes that whites . Policies and legal actions put into place as a result of the war on drugs included mandatory minimum prison sentences and an increase in the number of police in predominately Black communities. Blacks were being arrested and imprisoned for extended periods of time for crimes they may or may not have committed due to the increased presence of police in their neighborhoods. Stigmas of Blacks doing drugs more than whites also played a role in increased arrests of nonwhites. albeit the fact that studies have proven that Blacks and whites commit drug offenses at roughly equal levels. Human Rights Watch’s “Targeting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the US states that in seven states, 90% of drug offenders sent to prison consist of solely African-Americans.  Sentences for Black and brown are frequently much harsher than sentences for white people for committing the same crime. — The Politics of Mass Incarceration

Videos of the Day:

 Trump Targets Hezbollah, and ISIS May Benefit The Trump administration is offering a bounty on two Hezbollah leaders and making unfounded warnings of a potential attack by the group “on the homeland.” Author and Trinity College professor Vijay Prashad says the US targeting of Hezbollah may ultimately benefit groups like ISIS

US Nuclear Upgrade Began Before Trump Trump reportedly asked to expand the US nuclear arsenal tenfold, but a dangerous upgrade already began before he took office, says Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists

‘Unprecedented’ California Wildfires: 21 Dead, More than 500 Missing Despite studies linking increasing wildfires to climate change, the Trump administration scrapped an important Obama-era climate regulation this week–just as deadly wildfires spread across Northern California

UK Activist Convicted Under Terror Law for Refusing ‘Digital Strip-Search’ The British anti-terrorism measure Schedule 7 has just been used to convict Muhammad Rabbani for an offense that has nothing to do with terrorism: refusing to give authorities his computer password


Weeks After Hurricane, Puerto Rico Lacks Water, Working Hospitals, Electricity & Considers Solar Three weeks after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, President Trump asked Congress for $4.9 billion loan to help the island pay government salaries and other expenses. This comes as he allowed a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act to lapse, restricting shipments of food, fuel and medicine from foreign-flagged ships as nearly half of the island still lacks clean water and nearly 90 percent lacks electricity. This comes as military security firms continue to patrol the streets of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, and Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, has a pending bid to provide security services for water transportation.

The Scale of Pentagon Waste Boggles the Mind, But Congress Keeps Giving Them More The Pentagon’s latest increase alone — never mind its base budget, which runs hundreds of billions higher — is a sum large enough to make public colleges free across the country, and by itself is worth well over 80 percent of Russia’s entire military budget.  by Harry Blain History Blinded by Anti Socialism: Ken Burns’ Vietnam Burns grew up at the height of Cold War hysteria and seems to have projected a “team USA” (“team capitalism”) perspective into his “Vietnam.” As such, Burns also projects anti-socialist assumptions throughout the film, skewing the truth of the conflict in the process. by Shamus Cooke Black Liberation/Civil Rights:

White Nights Before Charlottesville Was in the Spotlight, Police Arrested Their Most Prominent Critic in the Middle of the Night By Alex Emmons The FBI Targets Black “Ideology” “It is a catch-all for blanket repression of Black activism of any kind.” The FBI has apparently chosen a new heading under which to lump Black Americans targeted for political persecution: “Black Identity Extremists.” There’s a simple explanation for the new categorization. The FBI is a bureaucracy whose day-to-day work involves drawing up lists of people and organizations to be surveilled, disrupted and prosecuted. The dramatic increase in Black “movement” activity since the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has presented the FBI with a much larger field of targets, including youthful elements loosely grouped under the Black Lives Matter banner. When bureaucracies compile new lists, they typically file them under new names. By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor Russiagate: The Lie Implodes The alleged “war” against U.S. “democracy” turns out to have been a cheap click-bait hustle. “To promote war without end we got lies without end, all orbiting around the black, empty hole called Russiagate.” The attempt to pin Donald Trump’s election on the Russians is collapsing into utter absurdity. One of the most dangerous lies ever told has come totally undone, lost in the endless pages of Facebook. Russiagate is the conspiracy that never was, a tale spun by Democrats and corporate media manipulators who did everything they could to make Trump a viable candidate for president, only to be defeated by him in the Electoral College. Trump’s unpredictability, his occasional questioning of U.S. permanent war policies, unnerved the military and intelligence operatives of the empire. The spooks said they were “confident” that it was the Russians, not Wikileaks, who hacked into the bowels of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. By Glen Ford, BAR executive editorIf I had a hammer… When SWAT invaded Central Avenue
before the sun rose — to kill my Cousin and 16 Panther comrades—
Remington, Thompson, Smith & Wesson spokeEloquently for five hours — gathering, Awakening, witnesses Saving 17 lives where
Gandhi and King were muted… By Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residence Environment:

 As Deadly Wildfires Rage in California, a Look at How Global Warming Fuels Decades of Forest Fires In California, powerful winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling massive wildfires. A state of emergency has been declared in northern areas as the fires have left at least 17 people dead, destroying whole neighborhoods and forcing 20,000 people to evacuate their homes. The wildfires come after the U.S. Forest Service warned last year that an unprecedented 5-year drought led to the deaths of more than 100 million trees in California, setting the stage for massive fires. Climate scientists believe human-caused global warming played a major role in the drought. We speak with Park Williams, bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-author of a 2016 report showing that global warming is responsible for nearly half of the forest area burned in the western United States over the past three decades. How Hurricane Response Efforts Are Sorting People Into Deserving and Undeserving Poor  By Maria Foscarinis

Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:

In the Quest for Profits, There is No ‘Conflict of Interest’: Top Trump Official for Pipeline Safety Profits from Selling Oil Spill Equipment A newly appointed federal regulator charged with overseeing pipeline safety personally profits from oil spill responses, a DeSmog investigation has found. Drue Pearce is the acting administrator for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an agency in the Department of Transportation responsible for ensuring oil and gas pipeline integrity. However, she is also associated with a company specializing in the sale of oil spill equipment. By Itai Vardi




The crisis of Egypt’s youth – and what can be done about it  “The lot of young Arabs is worsening: it has become harder to find a job and easier to end up in a cell. Their options are typically poverty, emigration or, for a minority, jihad. Astonishingly, in Egypt’s broken system university graduates are more likely to be jobless than the country’s near-illiterate.” (The Economist, August 2016) By Dejan Kukic Spain: Catalan Republic – denouement delayed It seemed as if everything had been decided in advance. Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, was going to go to the Catalan Parliament and announce the formation of an independent republic, as he was bound to do by the results of the 1 Oct referendum. That would be followed by the suspension of Catalan autonomy on the part of the Spanish state, which had declared the referendum illegal, and perhaps even the arrest of the Catalan government members for rebellion. In the end the clash was delayed, but probably not averted. By Jorge Martin

 Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: