The real goal of Trump’s US government shutdown appears to be to get unpaid workers to leave their jobs, and allow him to quickly privatize more government functions, to the benefit of both his foreign and domestic corporate buddies. Additionally, when US government workers get their homes foreclosed upon, his corporate buddies can buy them for cheap, and then rent them for high amounts.
This remarkable book is a collection of essays about white privilege, Obama’s inability to live up to his campaign promises, and the role of his presidency in setting the stage for Donald Trump.
Coates’ approach to the topic of white privilege is largely historical. He traces the brutal reversal of Reconstruction reforms and re-institution of de facto slavery with Jim Crow laws; the Great Migration north of 6 million African Americans during the early 20th century; the deliberate exclusion of African Americans from New Deal programs such as Social Security, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and FHA (Federal Housing Administration) mortgage insurance; as well as the War on Drugs and mass incarceration of African Americans.
Coates has the best definition of white supremacy I have seen anywhere. In his words, white privilege is “banditry.”
“To be black in America is to be plundered. To be white is to execute and benefit from it.”
Coates gives numerous examples to justify this view: the exclusion of African Americans from wealth creation programs such as FHA and VA (Veterans Administration) mortgage loans, long time job discrimination and wage suppression, the recurrent decimation of prosperous Black communities via white race riots, predatory owner “contract” financing of home purchases, and predatory targeting of Blacks for subprime mortgagae they can’t repay.
My favorite essay is the one advocating for African American reparations, based on the argument that systematic exploitation of Blacks didn’t end with slavery but continues to the present day. As a precedent Coates cites the $7 billion (in today’s dollars) West Germany paid Israel in 1953 in compensation for Germany’s genocidal treatment of European Jews during World War II.
In 1981 the Xerces Society, a non-profit environmental organization that focuses on the conservation of invertebrates, counted more than 1 million Western Monarchs wintering throughout California.
The group’s most recent count, over Thanksgiving weekend, estimated 20,500 Western Monarchs in 2018, an 86% decline from the nearly 148,000 spotted the previous year, according to an annual census conducted by the Xerces Society, SFGate reported last Sunday.
Researchers with the conservation group called the number “disturbingly low” and potentially “catastrophic,” in a statement.
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus plexippus) are the most well-known butterflies species in North America. The Western Monarch typically migrates to California each winter, and researchers for the conservation group count its population in the state each November.
“A ubiquitous sight in gardens, prairies, and natural areas from coast to coast, their arrival in northern states and Canadian provinces is viewed by many as a welcome sign of the change in seasons from spring to summer.
As seen in these images, there are signs that the Gilets Jaunes are beginning to coalesce into direct democracy groups—people’s councils, or eventually soviets.
This may lead to the formation of a national network of people’s assemblies which one day in the near future may lead to the creation of a parallel national assembly or a de facto parallel state. If so, this impasse, unless satisfactorily resolved, could lead to civil war, or a prolonged paralysis of French society, as neither side would recognise the other.
This is the possible significance of these early buds of spontaneous democracy. The year 2019 may well turn out to be a turning point for humanity. The people no longer believe in neoliberal “democracy”.—PG
Excerpt from the general meeting of the yellow vests of Commercy (Meuse),
January 9th. On the menu: the election of spokespersons.
Which voting method to use? Nominations, a vote by preference, a draw?
Read our report on the yellow vests of Commercy [. . .]
A well-coordinated financial action has the potential to bring the French banking system – and by extension the euro – to its knees, as banks always hold only a fraction of the funds the country’s citizens have in their accounts.
French President Emmanuel Macron has entered panic mode after Yellow Vest protestors announced plans to trigger a bank run with a nationwide coordinated cash withdrawal.
By threatening the financial system in France, the anti-globalist protestors hope to force the government to pass their reforms.
“If the banks weaken, the state weakens immediately,”said Yellow Vest supporter Tahz San on Facebook. “It’s elected officials’ worst nightmare.”
Rt.com reports: Protesters plan to empty their bank accounts on Saturday, withdrawing as much money as possible in a bid to undermine the French banks – if not the euro itself. The plan is to “scare the state legally and without violence,” forcing the government to adopt the movement’s Citizens’ Referendum Initiative, which would allow citizens to propose and vote on new laws.
“We are going to get our bread back…you’re making money with our dough, and we’re fed up,” said protester Maxime Nicolle in…
Fall of Empires: London, Washington & Paris on brink of collapse (by George Galloway)
via RT + pics/links
Despite the thrashing around of the NATO disinformation apparat, the imperial heartland has entered 2019 in a state of complete chaos.
Washington, London, and Paris – the three capitals of the Empire – are today effectively ungoverned, shutdown, tottering on the brink of collapse or under siege by their own people.
‘It’s high time citizen’s groups abolished the central state and the 1% and reorganised society from the bottom up’.
We should start at the top of the Empire. The United States government has closed down amid stasis and a barrage of inter-governmental howitzers.
The defense secretary, ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, has resigned as have other uniformed subalterns angry at the president’s re-found determination to withdraw from costly and losing foreign wars. The actual “mad dog” – John Bolton – openly defies President…