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How We Fight Fascism

Tue, 2018-02-20 11:39
In 1923 the radical socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin gave a report at the Communist International about the emergence of a political movement called fascism. Fascism, then in its infancy, was written off by many liberals, socialists and communists as little more than mob rule, terror and street violence. But Zetkin, a German revolutionary, understood its virulence, its seduction and its danger. She warned that the longer the stagnation and rot of a dysfunctional democracy went unaddressed, the more attractive fascism would become. And as 21st-century America’s own capitalist democracy disintegrates, replaced by a naked kleptocracy that disdains the rule of law, the struggle of past anti-fascists mirrors our own. History has amply illustrated where political paralysis, economic decline, hypermilitarism and widespread corruption lead.

Do Financial Markets Still Exist?

Tue, 2018-02-20 11:31
No one should find this a surprising suggestion.  The Bank of Japan has a long tradition of propping up the Japanese equity market with large purchases of equities. The European Central Bank purchases corporate as well as government bonds.  In 1989 Fed governor Robert Heller said that as the Fed already rigs the bond market with purchases, the Fed can also rig the stock market to stop price declines. That is the reason the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) was created in 1987. Looking at the chart of futures activity on the E-mini S&P 500, we see an uptick in activity on February 2 when the market dropped, with higher increases in future activity last Monday and Tuesday placing Tuesday’s futures activity at about four times the daily average of the previous month.  Futures activity last Wednesday and Thursday remained above the average daily activity of the previous month...

Media And Mueller Indictment: Conspiracy Theory To End All Conspiracy Theories

Tue, 2018-02-20 11:19
The announcement Friday by the US Department of Justice that a federal grand jury has returned criminal indictments against 13 Russian citizens and three Russian companies, charging illegal activities in the 2016 US presidential election, has become the occasion for a barrage of war propaganda in the American corporate media. Leading the charge is the New York Times, which published a front-page “news” lead Sunday, authored by Peter Baker. The article was published online Saturday evening under the headline, “Trump’s Conspicuous Silence Leaves a Struggle Against Russia Without a Leader.” In the newspaper’s print edition, the “struggle” was upgraded to a “war … being fought on the American side without a commander in chief.”

Let’s Follow Lead Of Parkland Youth To Stop Mass Shootings In U.S.

Tue, 2018-02-20 11:03
Many say it’s the guns that are responsible for the mass shootings. Some say that it’s not the guns, it’s the people. For others, it’s not the people, it’s a mental health issue. Others reply it’s not a mental health issue, at the root, it’s toxic masculinity. Then comes, it’s not toxic male masculinity, it’s the NRA lobby. Next, it’s not the NRA lobby, it’s politicians taking campaign contributions from the NRA. It’s not politicians, it’s the 2nd Amendment. And the cycle continues, maintaining the status quo. But none of these factors alone are the root cause of mass shootings, for if any of them were, the problem could easily be solved. All of these factors along with others not being discussed have in some way contributed to a state of violence here. Gun violence is not just playing out in schools, it’s at epidemic levels in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Detroit.

Union Group Argues For Public Ownership Of Energy Systems

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:57
According to the International Energy Agency and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IEA-IREA), the investment needed to keep global warming below the threshold of two degrees Celsius would have to double the 2016 levels of investment to $600 billion a year and reach $14 trillion invested in solar and wind by 2030. The chances of this happening, under the current paradigm of public-private partnerships that guarantee profits and mitigate risk to private investors, according to the “Working Paper No. 10” authors Sean Sweeney and John Treat, is zero. In fact, they argue, based on a close study of the situation in the UK, that the idea that we can reach safe levels of renewable energy via aid to private profiteers is “the greatest policy failure ever.” Public money, they argue, is already responsible for the vast bulk of the world’s energy deployment.

Mueller The Politician

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:51
I was hoping that the indictments would bring some sort of resolution to the investigation and force all the evidence to become public. But no, this investigation is not meant to be conclusive, it is — like Orwell’s description of war — meant to be continuous. By issuing indictments to individuals that are unlikely to ever come to trial Mueller has dodged the responsibility of presenting any additional evidence — a perfect sleight of hand. A relatively small number of Facebook ads were used, many after the election, but no one from the investigation claims it had any impact. We are supposed to imagine it did. The Russian meme bombers may or may not be connected to the Russian government but Mueller provides no evidence. The indictments are little more than unconvincing accusations in keeping with the rest of the Russian narrative as eminent historian Jackson Lears has so thoroughly demonstrated.

The Big Pharma Family That Brought Us Opioid Crisis

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:45
If the devil wears Prada, what do America’s most destructive drug pushers wear? They wear smiles. The drug pushers we have in mind here have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, enough fatalities to decrease overall U.S. life expectancy at birth for the last two years running. Yet no police SWAT teams have pounded down any doors hunting these drug pushers down. These particular drug pushers have devastated millions of families across the United States. Yet some of America’s most honorable institutions, outfits ranging from Yale University to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have spent decades lauding their philanthropic generosity and benevolence. We’re obviously not talking El Chapo or any of his drug-running buddies here. We’re talking about the mega-billionaire family behind one of America’s most profitable drug-industry empires, the privately held Purdue Pharma.

At White House Lie-In, Teens Call On Congress To ‘Protect Kids, Not Guns’

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:33
Building on the nationwide mourning and outrage that followed a Florida school shooting last week that left 17 people dead, dozens of teenagers held a "lie-in" at the gates of the White House on Monday to protest years of congressional inaction on gun control and highlight the National Rifle Association's pernicious influence on the political process. The demonstration began with protesters—many of them from the group Teens for Gun Reform (TGR), which organized the event—lying on the ground in front of the White House for several minutes, symbolizing "how quickly someone, such as the Parkland shooter, is able to purchase a gun in America." "We have organized this protest in solidarity with all of those who were affected by the horrific school shooting in Florida," TGR said in a statement.

Mapping Trump’s Empire: Assets And Liabilities

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:19
The US empire has substantially increased its scope and presence in several regions, especially in Latin America. The additions and enlargements include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Peru and the Caribbean. The most important asset redrawing the empire in Latin America is Argentina. The US has gained military, economic and political advantages. In the case of Argentina, political and economic advances preceded military expansion. The US provided ideological and political support to secure the election of its client Mauricio Macri. The new Argentine President immediately transferred over $5 billion dollars to the notorious Wall Street Vulture speculator, Paul Singer, and proceeded to open the floodgates for a lucrative multi-billion dollar flow of financial capital.

Meet Dariel Garner, The ‘Billionaire Buddha’

Tue, 2018-02-20 10:11
At one time, Dariel Garner was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Over his life, he started and owned over 40 businesses on four continents with thousands of employees. His enterprises included the second largest agribusiness exporter in Mexico, a tech company that created software for banks, and companies as diverse as golf courses, ski parks and natural health care products. A decade ago, he was the developer and co-owner with his former wife of a vast resort in the California Sierra Mountains with projects underway that had projected profits of $750 million. Then he had a change of heart. Today, Dariel has none of this wealth. At the age of 67, he lives on a modest $900 a month from a Social Security check. “I’ve never been happier,” he smiles. “Today I am penniless and have far more than I could ever imagine existed. Each day I am awakened to the joy of being connected and part of all of life around me.

Call For International Actions Against NATO Summit

Mon, 2018-02-19 14:10
As the world becomes more dangerous by the day, the need for action for peace has never been more vital.  With militarism on the rise, the need for a global people’s alternative – of justice, sustainability and peace – has never been more urgent. Since NATO’s last summit in 2017 we have seen an escalation of nuclear rhetoric between Trump and North Korea and frequent talk of the possibility of world war three. This is not a situation that is tolerable for humanity – to live in the shadow of annihilation and we, the peoples of the world, reject this warmongering. We call on all peace-loving citizens and organisations to demonstrate their desire for peace, on the occasion of the next NATO summit meeting in Brussels in July 2018.

The Occupied Territory Of The United States Of America

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:56
It happened so subtly, we missed the corporate coup. Like shadows, corporations surrounded our country and slowly strangled it. They crept into Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the military, the Department of the Interior: everywhere you look, a corporation controls the decisions of this nation. We have become the occupied territory of brand names, corporate logos, monopolistic power, and corporate greed. It would be easier to understand what has happened if they wore red armbands and goose-stepped. But no, the minions of corporate power wear false smiles, carry empty promises, and fly in private jets. The less-powerful rank-and-file of the corporate state look like our neighbors, relatives, friends. They are not our enemy. It is the destructive behaviors of the corporate state, and its occupation of our government, culture, and society that we must rebel against.

Immigrant Youth Launch Walk To Stay Home From New York To D.C.

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:49
NEW YORK, NY -- On Thursday, February 15th 11 undocumented youth and allies began The Walk to Stay Home, a 15-day walk from New York City’s Battery Park to Washington D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The 250-mile journey has been organized by the Seed Project with the support of the #OurDream Campaign to draw attention to the need for a clean Dream Act that not only grants permanent protection for undocumented youth but does not harm 11 million undocumented people living and working in the United States. “Everyday I wake up to read the latest news reports. Reading quotes from politicians, both attacks and promises about my existence,” said Hector Jairo Martinez, a New York DACA recipient from Brooklyn. “It is time for us, undocumented youth, to once again step out of the shadows and make a simple demand, let us stay home.” 

The Scourging Of Julian Assange

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:35
Julian Assange’s latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped has failed in what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power. The judge presiding over his case, and who summarily dismissed it, was ‘Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom’. Yes, you read that right. In the second decade of the 21st century the UK legal system is still dominated by the kind of people whose morning workout consists of flogging the butler. Lady Arbuthnot also happens to be the wife of Tory peer and former junior Defence Minister Lord James Arbuthnot, whose father was Major Sir John Sinclair Wemyss Arbuthnot. By now you should be getting the idea. These ridiculous products of privilege and the British public school system...

Dutch Minister Confirms Ban On Drilling, Shale Gas ‘Not An Option’

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:27
The Netherlands will not give out any permits for the exploration for shale gas in the Netherlands, economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes has confirmed to parliament. ‘Shale gas is not an option in the Netherlands any more,’ Wiebes said. ‘We are not doing it. It is over and done with.’ The previous economic affairs minister Henk Kamp introduced a five-year moratorium on drilling for shale gas which expires in 2020. Shale gas is ordinary natural gas that has been trapped in dense shale beds deep underground. It is extracted using a controversial process known as fracking, which involves drilling a hole deep into the shale and pumping in water mixed with sand and chemicals. A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas in the Netherlands because of the risk of pollution.

FERC Commissioner Spent Most Of First Months In Office Meeting With Fossil Fuel Industry

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:19
In his first few months at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), commissioner Rob Powelson scheduled the great majority of his meetings with fossil fuel energy companies and utilities, his work calendar shows. The calendar, obtained by DeSmog through an open records request, can be viewed below. Nominated to FERC by President Trump, Powelson began serving on the commission last August. He previously served on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. A review of his FERC calendar shows that between September 4 and December 10 2017, Powelson had a total 76 work meetings scheduled with various stakeholders. Of those meetings, 62 (82 percent) were with fossil fuel and pipeline companies, utilities, and trade groups predominantly representing those industries.

Military Industrial Complex Strikes Again: War Spending Will Bankrupt America

Mon, 2018-02-19 13:03
“Why throw money at defense when everything is falling down around us? Do we need to spend more money on our military (about $600 billion this year) than the next seven countries combined? Do we need 1.4 million active military personnel and 850,000 reserves when the enemy at the moment — ISIS — numbers in the low tens of thousands? If so, it seems there's something radically wrong with our strategy. Should 55% of the federal government's discretionary spending go to the military and only 3% to transportation when the toll in American lives is far greater from failing infrastructure than from terrorism? Does California need nearly as many active military bases (31, according to militarybases.com) as it has UC and state university campuses (33)?

School Walkouts, Sit-ins Planned After Florida Shooting

Mon, 2018-02-19 12:53
The mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead has sparked calls for walkouts, sit-ins and other actions on school campuses across the United States aimed at pushing lawmakers to pass tougher gun laws. Organizers behind the Women’s March, an anti-Trump and female empowerment protest, called for a 17-minute walkout on March 14 to “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.” The Network for Public Education, an advocacy organization for public schools, meanwhile, announced a “national day of action” on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, in which two students opened fire on their classmates, killing 12 students and one teacher.

NYPD Spying On Muslims Challenged

Mon, 2018-02-19 12:43
Two Muslim men have challenged the New York Police Department’s cloak of secrecy over NYPD surveillance of Muslim mosques and student groups. The men’s case went to the New York Court of Appeals here on Feb. 6, with more than 30 supporters filling the spectator seats. The men’s lawyer demanded to know why New York state’s Freedom of Information Law request for the spy documents was met with an evasive NYPD response that it could “neither confirm nor deny” that such documents even existed. The NYPD has a long history of spying on civil rights organizers and anti-war activists, as well as leftist organizations and members. A 1971 federal lawsuit put in place guidelines that supposedly prohibit the NYPD from collecting information on political speech unless it is related to “terrorism.”

Green Party Of US Demands Release Of Eylem Tuncaelli And Naci Sönmez

Mon, 2018-02-19 09:51
Since his election in 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's administration has shown increased contempt for human rights and freedom of the press, with crackdowns on political opponents, arrests of journalists, and purges of the judiciary and the civil service targeting those who object to his autocratic rule. Irregularities were widely suspected in an April 2017 referendum vote that handed President Erdoğan sweeping new powers. While the European Union urged an investigation, President Trump congratulated Mr. Erdoğan on the outcome. Greens in the U.S. expressed concerns over Mr. Trump's admiration of President Erdoğan but hoped that the State Department would act quickly to secure the Turkish Green leaders' release. Formerly called the Greens and the Left Party of the Future, the Green Left Party is a left-libertarian and green party in Turkey. The party has formally acknowledged the Armenian Genocide.