(a companion piece is this July 25, 2020 ‘Grim News’ that contains a lot of the history of privatization attempts, mass numbers of PO closures, suggestions by Save the Post Office, etc.)
First up: ‘Who decides the fate of the US Postal Service?’ Kayla Costa and Shuvu Batta, 4 August 2020, wsws.org (with permission)
“Workers have responded with outrage to the recent leaked memos detailing efforts to privatize the United States Postal Service (USPS) by implementing major cost-cutting measures, slowing down the mail delivery speed, and making the federal agency seem unreliable in the middle of an election year that will see an increase of mail-in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The internal memo, released July 10, stated that mail deliveries would be delayed due to cost-cutting and prohibitions on overtime, with “more to come.”
‘Inhumane at Any Time,’ But During a Pandemic? House Approval of $740 Billion Pentagon Budget Condemned; “Once again, the House has voted to put the interests of weapons manufacturers and war hawks over the wellbeing of people here and abroad;; commondreamsorg, Eowin Higgins, July 31,2020 (Creative Commons)
“Win Without War was among the anti-war voices on Friday issuing blistering condemnations of the passage in the U.S. House of a $740 billion defense bill as part of the 2021 Appropriations Minibus.
(both by way of Black Agenda Report)
‘The End of Sanders, and Maybe the Beginning of a Mass Independent Left’, Glen Ford, April 16, 2020, blackagndareport.com
“Sander’s early Return of the Prodigal Son to the bosom of the Party allows him to escape the deep critique of capitalist medicine and political-economy that would be required of a “leftish” presidential candidate as this never-in-our-lifetimes crisis unfolds.” [jump]
This is Trump’s daily briefing on the coronavirus on Wednesday by way of: ‘A bold muscular/kinetic deflection’.
RT.com provides a partial transcript:
‘Not letting Covid-19 crisis go to waste? US ramps up war on drugs… focusing on Venezuela’s Maduro’, 1 Apr, 2020, RT.com, April 1, 2020
According to economists Pam Martens and Russ Martens at wallstreetonparade.com, via counterpunch.com, March 27, 2020: ‘Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts’
“The text of the final bill was breathtaking in the breadth of new powers it bestowed on the Federal Reserve, including the Fed’s ability to conduct secret meetings with no minutes provided to the American people.”
Patrick Martin also notes the many caveats and unknowns afoot in potential waivers to the General Rules as to which corporate loans end as gifts, and more. His explanation of each state having its own static metrics of unemployment compensation was new to me. And yes, RT.com is reporting that there were 3.2 million new applications for compensation filed this week, obviously not just for employees ‘furloughed due to coronavirus’ as earlier reported as covered in the Stim package.
‘US Senate passes massive economic “rescue” bill’, Patrick Martin, 26 March 2020 (I’ll paste almost all of it in)
Great for Big Bidness, a travesty for the working poor and either a one-time or two-time check nothingburger for the plebians. I just watched Mitch McConnell rant about some of the items the D want included (solar energy credits now?), and otherwise you can bet your bippies that the D Team has our backs!
The Ds and Rs were deadlocked last night, but will meet again today, according to the Guardian: $1,200 checks for all? What you need to know about the US coronavirus bailout; US government is debating bill of to $1.8tn for money going to businesses, corporations and directly into the pockets of Americans’, March 23, theguardian.com
Upon entering the WEF site yesterday, this fascinating video from last year was featured:
A preview of the lofty conference from wsws: ‘Climate change “spin” as Davos gathering confronts mounting environmental and economic crisis’, Nick Beams, 20 January 2020
“The World Economic Forum (WEF), which holds its annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, has tried in recent years to feign concern about the welfare of society as it brings together the ultra-wealthy, government and media representatives and the heads of major corporations to defend the profit system. This year’s gathering is no exception.
This is an op-ed by John Steppling from Dec. 21, 2019 at off-guardian.org for your consideration. We’d been discussing both capitalism and climate change recently, and although this all seems so utterly beside the point now given the ever-increasing US threats to increased war on Iran (now even nuclear war). But I’d said I’d post it, so I am; I’ll offer a couple things at the end. As John’s kindly given me permission to republish all that he writes, I’ll post it all.
Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.”
Lenin – Letters from Afar
From mintpressnews.com: ‘Harvesting the Blood of America’s Poor: The Latest Stage of Capitalism’, Blood has become big business in the United States and there is no shortage of corporations ready to exploit America’s most vulnerable populations in order to get a piece of the pie’, Alan Macleod, Nov. 3, 2019
All content at Mint Press News is Creative Commons, but here are some of the most salient & sickening outtakes of MacLeod’s lengthy exposé:
Guess how well that’s gonna work out…given who AMLO turned out to be. This is longish, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading about actual revolutionary socialists who dared to declare themselves independent of the official government. Most have managed to survive, and their example has spurred the formation of other indigenous autonomous zones in Mexico. They are now under attack by AMLO’s government, and are ready to defend themselves.
‘AMLO reaches out to Zapatistas, but the relationship is not a warm one; They did not support him in his bids for election yet both are on the left of the political spectrum’, Monday, July 8, 2019, mexiconewsdaily.com
Who knew that socialism had already come to the US? I’d given some of these links a few days ago to Aspie Corner, but he seemed to have been off on another project. I thought he’d enjoy a lot of this; I know I do. First, some background:
June 28, 2019 ‘Socialism 2019: the Left at a Crossroads’, Louis Proyect, couterpunch.org, June 28, 2018 (some bits and bobs)
“For a number of years, the International Socialists Organization, once the largest Marxist group in the USA, held educational conferences either in Chicago or in various American cities. In 2004, I attended a plenary session of a regional conference at City College in New York, mostly to hear my old friend Peter Camejo who was the featured speaker alongside Ahmed Shawki, the disgraced former leader whose cover-up of multiple rapes in the ISO led to its dissolution this year.”
This is longish, but given it’s mainly policy positions, it’s fairly easy to scan, stop on topics you’d choose for closer reading. Howie’s website is here. He’s an actual anti-imperialist socialist candidate, and I like his socialist policies a lot:
Key Economic Sectors to Socialize:
‘Venezuela’s Parallel Ambassador Seated at OAS as Activists Defend Embassy; The Organization of American States allowed the ambassador of Venezuela’s self-declared president to participate in his first meeting. The move could signal an attempt to take over Venezuela’s embassy in DC, which activists are defending’ April 24, 2019, TRNN (the transcript’s at the link)
It’s a bit of a tome, but you can look at individual headlines and decide which ones to read. I’ll start with today, then work backwards in time, or try to, as the word doc for this diary is in serious disarray by now.
‘Venezuela crisis: Russian military planes land near Caracas’, bbc.com, March 25, 2019
“Two Russian military planes landed in Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday, reportedly carrying dozens of troops and large amounts of equipment.
Featuring the following essay works well for me, as the triple themes I hold near and dear to my heart are represented: the coup against Nicolás Maduro (and past ones against Hugo Chavez), media bias, and ecosocialism. Rather than bring some of the ghastly news in the next-generation attempts to overthrow his regime, I’ll focus on this and bring the rest another day. And happy π day to all.
‘The Path to Climate Justice Passes Through Caracas’, March 9, 2019, counterpunch.org, David Schwartzman & Quincy Saul
In their Fighting the Media War section, the authors quote Karl Marx calling it “the war of calumny undertaken by the lying power of the civilised world,” and extras, describing the media war against the International Workingmen’s Association, which later became known as The First International.
…is the title of a recent essay of John Steppling’s, and I contacted him at his website (http://john-steppling.com/) to ask if given its length and breadth if I might use more of it than is strictly Fair Use as neither the Café nor c99% are for profit. He wrote back and kindly said, “Use what you want from any of my writings”. So I’ll most all of his Feb. 25 essay at DissidentVoice, although there’s a version at Counterpunch as well.
‘US announces sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA’, via RT, Jan 28, 2019
“Washington has imposed sanctions against the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, seizing $7 billion in assets, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The US is trying to force recognition of Juan Guaido as president in Caracas.
I’m here at Santa’s workshop pictured above, attending this year’s World Economic Forum. While in the background is hovering the Spirit of Oxfam noting that 26 billionaires control as much wealth as poorest half of humanity, we’re here to alleviate some of that poverty, and alleviate some of the jitters you may be feeling over i) globalization, and ii) that robots are soon to replace uneducated workers’ crap jobs, and iii) the global financial slowdown.
My choice is to dig deeper into Noam Chomsky, as I’ll explain later, and I can only imagine how you’ll loathe the length. But given that: ‘When Avram Noam Chomksy speaks: People Listen™…the length is unavoidable, imo.)