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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!
Images of the Day:
The ever shrinking cost of renewable energy: Last month the price of offshore wind power reached a new low of £57.50 per MWh in an auction for contracts, guaranteed for just 15 years. Onshore wind is even cheaper: contracts awarded in Germany in May reached another new low of €42.80 / MWh (£38.24) – less than current UK wholesale power prices. And Germany’s latest solar auction, a few days ago, delivered bids as low as €42.90 per MWh. Both these technologies appear viable with no subsidy at all. The cost of solar PV panels continues its precipitous decline. Recent figures show the cost of panels in the Netherlands declining at 11% per year, or 50% every five years. The trend may continue for a long time to come. — Small Nuclear Reactors, a 50s Nightmare Come Back to Haunt Us
Author Simon Head writes that Amazon’s “system of employee monitoring is the most oppressive” he has ever come across — even worse than Walmart. However, the whole point of establishing an austerity regime is to starve working people and their communities into submission to employers like Walmart and Amazon – and to make governments pay for the privilege of hosting the extortionist. “The very idea of governmental intervention on the side of the non-rich has become foreign to much of the public, including the Black political class. Greg LeRoy, of Good Jobs First , says Bezos has gotten tax break extraction down to a science. Amazon is shameless in its pursuit of public subsidies. “Most companies — 99.9 percent of them — go to great lengths to keep their search a secret, so this is a very unusual, highly public episode. What we’re about to see is a textbook auction for tax breaks.” Amazon’s grand auction will doubtless become the model for further corporate predation, just as Walmart led the retail industry’s race to the bottom. Both evil behemoths deploy high-tech systems to extract every possible advantage from employees and suppliers. But, advanced technology is not the villain — capitalism is. Amazon is allowed to prey on workers and communities because Jeff Bezos and his ilk have used their political power to create an economic order of near absolute worker insecurity. Austerity enforces insecurity; that’s why it is always on the capitalist politician’s menu, in good times or bad. Jeff Bezos is already in heaven. Late stage capitalism has concentrated wealth like never before in history, so that Bezos and seven guys like him are as rich as the poorest half of the rest of humankind. The Lords of Capital have no vision of a “modern prosperous society” – in American, Chinese or any other terms. They are concerned only with eliminating every threat to their wealth and power. That is the extent of their vision. — Socialism or Amazonism
Videos of the Day:
Wall Street Wins as Senate Blocks Consumer Protection Rule T he Senate voted 51-50 to repeal a rule that would have made it easier for consumers to sue the financial institutions that defraud them. The move is “outrageous,” says white-collar criminologist Bill Black. “It should be a national scandal, and require resignations in disgrace”
The Simulacra Democracy … a nation in which 87 percent of eighteen- to twenty-four year olds (according to a 2002 National Geographic Society/Roper Poll survey) cannot locate Iran or Iraq on a world map and 11 percent cannot locate the United States (!) is not merely “intellectually sluggish.” It would be more accurate to call it moronic, capable of being fooled into believing anything …” — Morris Berman I cannot remember U.S. culture ever being quite so compromised by ruling class control. by John Steppling
Don’t Call the Cops If You’re Autistic, Deaf, Mentally Ill, Disabled or Old Life in the American police state is an endless series of don’ts delivered at the end of a loaded gun: don’t talk back to police officers, don’t even think about defending yourself against a SWAT team raid (of which there are 80,000 every year), don’t run when a cop is nearby lest you be mistaken for a fleeing criminal, don’t carry a cane lest it be mistaken for a gun, don’t expect privacy in public, don’t let your kids walk to the playground alone, don’t engage in nonviolent protest near where a government official might pass, don’t try to grow vegetables in your front yard, don’t play music for tips in a metro station, don’t feed whales, and on and on. by John W. Whitehead
U.S. Policy in the Sixties was to Promote Reformism to Fight the African Revolution for Self-determination, Now it’s Policy to Fully Expropriate Africa’s Wealth and Subjugate the People of Africa by Applying The Iron Heel.: US Soldiers in Niger: a Hidden Global Mission Empires of scale are often spread thinly across fields of operations. Vast, often opaque functions on the ground are not necessarily conveyed with accuracy to the metropolitan centre. Command structures, for all the sophistication of instant modern communication, do not eliminate human error, let alone enlighten. by Binoy Kampmark
Ongoing Big Energy Crisis:
Black Liberation/Civil Rights:
Should black Americans boycott American Airlines? The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has issued a travel advisory warning African-American travels against the airline. What now? After a months-long investigation found “a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has issued a “national advisory alerting travelers – especially African Americans – to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions”. Steven W Thrasher
After Winning the Election Do We Govern the Place or Transform It? Kali Akuno on the Lessons of Jackson MS So Far Video Kali Akuno delivered these remarks at the Movement School for Revolutionaries, which was hosted by Cooperation Jackson in Jackson Mississippi on October 21, 2017. Among much else, Akuno summarizes the long history of struggle, including electoral struggle to which Jackson MS and Cooperation Jackson are heirs. He outlines the factors behind Cooperation Jackson’s break with City Hall in Jackson and with the Democratic party. He examines the problems encountered by left movements which win elections in this neoliberal era — can the limited powers of local government be harnessed to transform the economy and peoples lives, or are local officials merely rubber stamps and friendly faces for the forces of austerity, perpetual war and privatization. Akuno also touches upon the connection between local and global politics, and frankly assesses the prospects of human, economic and social transformation from the front lines of Jackson Mississippi. Bt Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor
Socialism or Amazonism “Jeff Bezos and his ilk have used their political power to create an economic order of near absolute worker insecurity.” Two unfolding developments show the stark choices faces humanity. In China, president Xi Jinping laid out the Communist Party’s 30-year grand plan to become “a moderately prosperous country” by 2020 and “a modern prosperous society” by 2049. The roadmap was both detailed and realistic, based on the world’s most populous nation’s steady — but nevertheless breathtaking — growth over more than three decades. As Eric Li noted in The World Post , “China has led improvements in health, education, science and overall standard of living at a speed and scale that is unprecedented in human history,” even as most of the rest of the world economy caught “the American disease” with the meltdown of 2008. The Party’s vision for building socialism with Chinese characteristics is stunning in its specificity on the whole range of developmental issues, “including housing, health, science, defense, artificial intelligence and the sharing economy.” By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor
Autoworkers speak on suicide of young Ford worker at Detroit area plant The tragic suicide last Friday of a young Ford autoworker, Jacoby Hennings, has shed a spotlight on the deplorable conditions facing temporary and part-time workers in the auto factories. By Shannon Jones
Lawyer Behind Russian Dossier Tried to Undermine Bernie Sanders as well as Trump Last evening, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell on the already discredited leadership of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under its former Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Post reported that Marc Elias, a law partner at the politically connected law firm Perkins Coie, retained the company, Fusion GPS, that compiled the infamous Russian Dossier on Donald Trump. The Post said he did so on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. (The current leadership of the DNC has stated that it had no knowledge of these actions.) By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Disaster Capitalists Take Big Step Toward Privatizing Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid The board that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances has taken its most conspicuous step toward privatizing the island’s power grid, a long-sought prize that has been put on a plate by Hurricane Maria.The federally appointed control board announced that it intends to put the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) — the island’s sole, beleaguered power utility — under the direction of an emergency manager.
Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico House Republicans unveiled a $36.5 billion disaster relief supplemental package Tuesday night, intended to pay for relief and rebuilding efforts for the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires of the past several months. It includes money for Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, though only a fraction of that headline number. In fact, $5 billion of the funds earmarked for Puerto Rico comes in the form of a loan, increasing the amount of money the island will eventually need to pay back. And in a cruel irony, the bill also contains $16 billion in debt relief — just not for Puerto Rico’s crushing debt. By David Dayen
Health, Science, Education, and Welfare: