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Morales Slams Trump. He's not Anti-American. He is an American.

What a great gift. The symbol of the Peasant, the Carpenter and Jesus the protector of the Poor and dispossessed.

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

It is important to be aware of how the capitalist mass media reports events, the type of language, phrasing etc. Evo Morales, former union leader and the president of Bolivia savaged Trump to his face at the UN: ?I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy ??  he said

Morales added, ?The United States could not care less about human rights or justice.......If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights. It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.??

The US mass media reported this event and points out that Morales is known for his anti-American speeches. This is to win support for them and create hostility toward Morales from people like us, from the average worker. After all, aren?t we Americans?

But Morales isn't anti-American American. He is an American, not only American, he is more American than Trump or any immigrant in the US. Morales is an indigenous American as well. He's president of a South American country. The capitalist press uses anti-American purposefully to include all of us, we're all attacked, we're all guilty and naturally people respond defensively to such accusations if they?re included in them. But we are not all guilty. We don't get to make decisions about wars, assassinations like the drone king Obama carried out with gusto. Most Americans couldn?t point to Iraq on a map before Bush, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and all their class brothers and sisters destroyed it.

It can be pointed out that as workers and union members some of us, we do not act enough or take steps to begin to counter the US war machine and its murderous foreign policy. This is is fair criticism, but that doesn't make us guilty as we are absent from the process at this point. Using the term American as we are all subjects of the same nation state is a way the ruling class keeps us tied to them. Patriotism, nationalism, ?A nation indivisible? these are all tricks to bind us to a ruling class whose interests are diametrically opposed to ours. All nations use it but some nation states have a greater impact on world events than others. At present US capitalism is the most violent of all, a nuclear armed rogue state.

That's why we must
always approach these issues from a class position. It is US capitalism that Morales is criticizing. It is US imperialism that is waging war terrorizing the peoples of the world in its rapacious quest for profits. We must not fall prey to nationalism. Our allies are workers internationally not the US capitalist class at home. I am from an English background and it is the culture I would identify with, not the English culture of the Queen or Richard Branson and others but English working class. As an American now, I don't identify with Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or some hedge fund manager but the US working class to which I belong.

During the height of the troubles in Ireland should I have sided with England or the Irish whose land was stolen and occupied by its larger neighbor? In nationalist terms I should have support the occupation,
I would be a traitor if I didn't no? Should I oppose the role of the English in Africa and India? Of course I should, but I can?t if I don?t look at it from a class perspective. The most important thing we can do is not be a class traitor. Marx was not wrong when he proclaimed ?Workers of all Countries Unite?. This is why he is demonized for promoting class unity as opposed to national unity.

Morales is something. He understands about imperialism as Latin America was descended upon by European capitalism as it emerged from the womb of feudalism, in particular, the poorest members of European colonialism, Spain and Portugal. As I understand it, the gold stolen from South America by the Spanish increased hunger and starvation among the European poor as it led to price inflation of basic foodstuffs.

Morales gave the pope, the CEO of Vatican Inc. a present when he visited Bolivia. It was a crucifix surrounded by a hammer and sickle. The sickle represents the peasant or rural worker and the hammer the carpenter.

Naturally, the Catholic hierarchy that preys on the poor people of the world and accompanied European colonialism in its plunder of Latin America and Africa, was quite upset, and along with the US ruling class demonizes Morales. "The height of arrogance is to manipulate God for the service of atheist ideologies.", was one accusation. What nonsense.

The crucifix was based on a design by Luis Espinal, a Jesuit Priest assassinated in 1980 by right-wing militia and it is inconceivable that the Vatican was not involved in the assassination of Archbishop Romero and other Jesuits and religious members of the movement known as Liberation Theology. At least, the Vatican would have let it be known that it would not intervene but wash its hands of the affair. This movement was crushed by the Vatican in conjunction with US imperialism and its right wing militia?s in Central and South America.

The Catholic Church as the main religious organization of capitalism today must ensure that communism is seen as Stalinism despite that any reader of Marx and Engels would see that these great social reformers and revolutionaries would have been sent to Stalin?s gulag if they were lucky. Both the capitalist class and the Catholic hierarchy fear the working class and the peasantry of the world or what?s left of it.

The Catholic Church spreads its fairy philosophy of cherubs, saints, sin a woman being impregnated by a space being and the philosophy that human beings are born evil. It is the only church with its own state and an army of full time staff. But both the Vatican and US capitalism are experiencing an historic crisis at the moment both reeling from lack of trust and support. I would send them my thoughts and prayers if I thought that actually accomplished something, may they both be cast in to the dustbin of history where they belong, they?ve been partners too long and the planet will be better off without them.

It has been said that the gift was this unity of Jesus the peasant and carpenter. This is still a religious symbol but the Catholic hierarchy is so terrified of faith being expressed in this class way that it cannot abide by it. It fears its own congregation.

For those who choose to believe in some spiritual power, some higher power as they say, you don?t need a human designed religious organization for that. That is within you and is a private and personal matter. Religion is just as business as it is.

Source: Morales Slams Trump. He's not Anti-American. He is an American.
92
SNL?s Michael Che Rips GOP Over Kavanaugh: ?Pick Another Dude from Your Illuminati Lizard Meetings?


?I mean, typically when you?re asked about a sexual assault and your drinking problem at a job interview, you don?t get the damn job.?


 Saturday Night Live?s Micheal Che ? who co-hosts Weekend Update with Colin Jost ? was all over embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday night and wondered why the GOP is sticking with the fatally flawed nominee.

?I just want to remind everybody that all that yelling and crying happened at a job interview,? Che said about the Thursday hearing that was also parodied on SNL. ?I mean, typically when you?re asked about a sexual assault and your drinking problem at a job interview, you don?t get the damn job.?

?I don?t know if Mr. Kavanaugh has a history of assault or if he actually has a drinking problem, but I do know that he might,? he continued. ?And you shouldn?t be on the Supreme Court if you might. You shouldn?t be on the People?s Court if you might. Sometimes might is enough. I mean, I don?t want to pet your dog if he might bite me. I don?t want to leave you in my house if you might be a crackhead. I?m not going to have sex with you if you might have dated Charlie Sheen.?

?Why does it have to be him?? Che asked. ?Can?t just pick a dude from your Illuminati lizard meetings??

Watch the video below via SNL:

 

 




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Source: SNL?s Michael Che Rips GOP Over Kavanaugh: ?Pick Another Dude from Your Illuminati Lizard Meetings?
93
Inter Press Service - Labour / Ethiopian Domestic Workers Battle for Survival in Saudi Arabia
« Last post by Inter Press Service on October 01, 2018, 06:01:05 PM »
Ethiopian Domestic Workers Battle for Survival in Saudi Arabia

Marjani F, 44, spent 8 years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?s capital working as domestic help. ?My husband was killed by the military after being accused of organizing a protest. I have four children and there was no way I could pay the bills staying there,? she says. For nearly a decade, she lived and worked […]

The post Ethiopian Domestic Workers Battle for Survival in Saudi Arabia appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Ethiopian Domestic Workers Battle for Survival in Saudi Arabia
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Trump Is Finally Forced to Call an FBI Investigation into Allegations Against Kavanaugh ? and a Key Witness Agrees to Talk



 
 
 



This is what Democrats have been asking for.


President Donald Trump on Friday finally called for an FBI background investigation into the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh after Democrats called for the move for almost two weeks.

?I?ve ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh?s file," Trump said. "As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.?

He was forced into this position after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, declared that he was not comfortable moving forward with a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation in the full Senate unless a week-long investigation was conducted. Joined by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Flake was able to pressure Republican leadership into calling for the investigation. With the Senate refusing to vote unless Kavanaugh was investigated, Trump had no choice but to call for the probe.

The committee released a statement Friday asking that the "administration instruct the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation with respect to the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be Associate Justice on the Supreme Court."

It said the probe should "be limited to the current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today."

Mark Judge, a man who has been identified by one of Kavanaugh's accusers as a person who was in the room when the assault occurred, said through a lawyer that he is willing to speak with law enforcement about the matter. Democrats, in addition to calling for an FBI investigation, has also insisted that Judge face questions.

Previously, when it was just Democrats calling for the investigation, many Republicans had insisted that the move would be improper or pointless. Trump himself said, "The FBI said they really don't do that."

This was obviously false at the time ? all it took was the president's say so for the FBI to look into the matter. With the help of Flake and Murkowski ? and the clear pressure they faced from the American people ? the investigation has begun.






 

Related Stories


Source: Trump Is Finally Forced to Call an FBI Investigation into Allegations Against Kavanaugh ? and a Key Witness Agrees to Talk
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Sen. Jeff Flake Calls for a One-Week FBI Investigation Ahead of Full Senate Vote on Brett Kavanaugh



 
 
 



This sets back the nominee's full vote.


The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination Friday afternoon, but with the caveat that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced that he wants a one-week investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against him.

However, there was initially confusion about what Flake was proposing. He clarified after the committee vote that he would only "feel comfortable" with a full vote in the Senate if the FBI conducted its investigation.

Ultimately, whether such an investigation is called before the full vote would fall to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the White House. However, without Flake's vote, the Republicans could not lose another single vote and still be able to confirm Kavanaugh.

"This country is being ripped apart here," Flake said. "And we've got to make sure that we do due diligence."

He added: "We can have a short pause and make sure that the FBI can investigate."






 

Related Stories


Source: Sen. Jeff Flake Calls for a One-Week FBI Investigation Ahead of Full Senate Vote on Brett Kavanaugh
96
Richard Mellor / Woman Confronts Flake on Kavanaugh Support.
« Last post by Richard Mellor on September 30, 2018, 06:00:41 AM »
Woman Confronts Flake on Kavanaugh Support.


 Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

To the moralist, prostitution does not consist so much in the fact that the woman sells her body, but rather that she sells it out of wedlock. Emma Goldman

What we see here is just the beginning, the spark of what will become a powerful movement against the capitalist offensive. They will be confronted in a major way in the period ahead.  The passivity and class betrayal of the heads of organized labor has contributed to this arrogance and overconfidence that exists among a large section of the US capitalist class.

The US ruling class has overplayed its hand and will pay for this.  The Predator in Chief and the clique of right wing, racists and misogynists in the Republican Party are closing off all the safety valves, all the acceptable avenues of expression in a so-called bourgeois democracy that will force the movement on to the streets in an explosive way at some point.  Women will not go backwards in the face of this assault by an old degenerate clique of white male bourgeois.
Capitalism's Labor Agents Meet With the Predator in Chief

Where is the potentially powerful voice of organized labor?  Let us not forget the cowardly abettors of Trumpism,  nationalism and fascism, the labor leaders who met with him at the White House to kiss his ass for a few crumbs from the masters table. They are the worst but along with them are the other heads of major unions, SEIU Afscme and other public sector unions who cry a few crocodile tears or make a few mild statements of rebuke but who too refuse to bring the power of organized labor and the working class as a whole to the table.

And last but not least, shame on those who claim the mantle of opposition, who correctly point to the capitalist offensive and its horrors but leave out any criticism or condemnation of the role played by the clique that sits atop organized labor.  Shame on them for their refusal to conduct an open and militant struggle for the consciousness of the working class dragging it from the clutches of the US elite, their mass media and propaganda machine and their ideological partners in academia and the trade union movement.
Source: Woman Confronts Flake on Kavanaugh Support.
97
AlterNet / Columbia Sociologist Explains Why Kavanaugh Thinks He Can Get Away With Blatantly Lying
« Last post by AlterNet on September 30, 2018, 06:00:35 AM »
Columbia Sociologist Explains Why Kavanaugh Thinks He Can Get Away With Blatantly Lying


Rules don't apply to him.


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made multiple false statements during his testimony on Thursday, ranging from incorrectly stating the legal drinking age in Maryland, to false claims about messages written in his yearbook, to mischaracterizing sworn statements from attendees at the party where he allegedly assaulted Christine Blasey Ford.

To explain Kavanaugh's mendacity, Shamus Khan, the chair of the sociology department at Columbia University, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he explains that the Supreme Court nominee was raised from an early age to believe that rules don't apply to him.

In particular, he said that the institutions where Kavanaugh was educated -- Georgetown Prep, Yale University and Yale Law School -- foster a sense of entitlement that gives them a perceived license to lie.

"Schools are often quite open in affirming the idea that, because you are better, you are not governed by the same dynamics as everyone else," he writes. "I heard these messages constantly when I attended St. Paul?s, one of the most exclusive New England boarding schools, where boys and girls broke rules with impunity, knowing that the school would protect them from the police and that their families would help ensure only the most trivial of consequences."

Turning back to Kavanaugh, he said that the Supreme Court nominee has likely never paid any price for his misdeeds, which leads him to believe that nothing bad will happen to him if he makes blatantly false statements under oath.

"This collective agreement that accountability doesn?t apply to Kavanaugh (and, by extension, anybody in a similar position who was a youthful delinquent) may help explain why he seems to believe he can lie with impunity," he writes.

Read the whole essay here.

 


Source: Columbia Sociologist Explains Why Kavanaugh Thinks He Can Get Away With Blatantly Lying
98
Infoshop News / Self-Care Tips for Radical Social Media Users
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on September 29, 2018, 06:09:15 PM »
Self-Care Tips for Radical Social Media Users

As much as social media is a go-to stress reliever, it's important we recognize that it's a source of stress.


The post Self-Care Tips for Radical Social Media Users appeared first on Infoshop News.


Source: Self-Care Tips for Radical Social Media Users
99
Watch a Sexual Assault Survivor Corner Jeff Flake: 'Look at Me and Tell Me that It Doesn't Matter What Happened to Me'



 
 
 



Maria Gallagher demanded Sen. Jeff Flake tell her that her sexual assault did not matter. He did not meet her gaze.


 

On Friday morning, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced he would support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh ? despite the sexual assault allegations against him, despite Kavanaugh's lies, partisan attacks and loss of temperament, and despite of Flake's own admission the day before that he could not be sure what happened.

It was a depressingly familiar storyline for Flake, who has repeatedly scolded President Donald Trump and his GOP colleagues for the breakdown of our institutions while voting with them to break them every single time.

This time, as he left the committee vote to proceed on the Kavanaugh nomination, he was confronted by two sexual assault survivors, Maria Gallagher and Ana Maria Archila. And as they shouted at him, and begged him to listen to them, he uncomfortably averted his gaze in the elevator.

"I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me!" yelled Gallagher. "I didn't tell anyone, and now you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because, if they tell you what happened to them, you?re going to ignore them!"

"That's what you're telling all of these women! That's what you're telling me right now!" she continued. "Look at me when I'm talking to you! You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter, that what happened to me doesn't matter, and that you're going to let people who do these things into power! That's what you're telling me when you vote for him!"

"Don't look away from me!" Gallagher shouted. "Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies!"






 

Related Stories


Source: Watch a Sexual Assault Survivor Corner Jeff Flake: 'Look at Me and Tell Me that It Doesn't Matter What Happened to Me'
100
Richard Mellor / World Economy: Back to normality?
« Last post by Richard Mellor on September 29, 2018, 06:01:14 AM »
World Economy: Back to normality?

by Michael Roberts

US real GDP growth for the second quarter of 2018 was confirmed  at an annual rate of 4.2%.  And that means US real GDP is 2.9% higher  than one year ago. The ?annualised? rate was the highest since the third  quarter of 2014.  Similarly the year on year rate is the highest since  2014. But not the highest rate in history ? as President Trump claims!

But it does show a relative recovery from the near recession rates of 2016.

But as I have mentioned before in previous posts,  the underlying story is not so sanguine.  First, the 4% ?annualised?  growth rate is really dependent on some one-off factors that will soon  turn into their opposites.  US net exports was a big factor in the 4%  rate and this was mainly due to the rush by China to buy up American  soybeans before tariffs on US exports took effect in retaliation to  Trump?s trade war with China.

Second, growth has been jacked up by Trump?s huge tax cuts for  corporations on their profits.  While pre-tax profits for the major  corporations have risen a little, it is post-tax profits where there has  been a bonanza.  According to a recent report by Zion Research, for the  top 500 US companies, 49% of their 2018 profits were due to the Trump  tax cuts. For some sectors, like the telephone companies, it was 152% of  2018 profits ie from loss to profit.

Nevertheless, mainstream economics seems generally convinced that the  US is out of its Long Depression of the last ten years and is now  motoring ?normally?.  The official unemployment rate is at all-time  lows, wages are beginning to rise a little and inflation has ticked up  marginally.

So the US Federal Reserve decided to push up its policy interest rate  for the eighth time since 2015 to reach 2.25%.  The rate is used to set  credit card, mortgage and loan rates and will trigger rises across the  board for consumers and businesses. In a statement the Fed signalled  more rate hikes were imminent. ?The committee expects that further  gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be  consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor  market conditions, and inflation near the Committee?s symmetric 2%  objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear  roughly balanced,?   So the Fed seeks to ?normalise? rates in line  with the ?normal? growth of the US economy and reckons its economic  forecasts are about right.

But as I pointed out in a previous post, if the Fed is wrong and the productive sectors of the US economy do not  resume ?normal growth? (the average real GDP growth rate since 1945 has  been 3.3% ? so growth is not back there yet), the rising costs of  servicing corporate and consumer debt could lead to a new downturn.

The key factor for growth is investment by the capitalist sector.   And what decides the level of that investment in the last analysis is  not the level or cost of debt but the profitability of any investment.   Business investment has made a modest recovery in the last few quarters,  driven by the 16% rise in corporate profits after tax.  But the bulk of  this profits bonanza for US corporates in 2018 has been used to pay higher dividends to shareholders and buying back  company shares to boost the share price, not in productive investment.   And within productive investment, most has gone into the oil industry  and into ?intellectual property? (software etc).  Investment in  equipment and new structures in other businesses has been very modest.

Moreover, non-financial corporate profits are still below levels of 2014, even after Trump?s boost.

And in the productive sectors of the economy, like manufacturing, they are falling quite sharply ? as measured per employee.

At the other end of the economy, average incomes for American families are making little progress.  In an excellent post,  Jack Rasmus of the American Green Party showed that for non-supervisory  workers (non-managers) who are the bulk of the American workforce (133m  out of 162m), real incomes are falling not rising, while the burden of  consumer debt is rising. When Trump announced his corporate tax cuts, he  claimed that this would allow companies to increase wages from their  increased profits.  This, of course, has turned out to be nonsense.  There has been very little increase in private sector wage compensation  since the end of 2017.

And it is only in the US that we can talk about ?recovery? or  ?normal? growth.  Everywhere else hopes of a return to pre-crisis growth  rates seem dashed.  In the Eurozone, growth has slipped back to around  2% a year, still one-third below pre-crisis rates.

In Japan, it?s back at 1%.  China too is ?struggling? to stay above 6% a year.

As the OECD put it in its latest interim report on the global economy: ?Global  growth is peaking; the trade war is beginning to bite; investment  growth is still too weak to boost productivity; real wages are still  below pre-crisis levels; and the losses in income from the Great  Recession will never be recovered.?


?Trade tensions are starting to bite, and are already having  adverse effects on confidence and investment plans.   Trade growth has  stalled, restrictions are having marked sectoral effects and the level  of uncertainty on trade stances remains high.?

So ?It is urgent for countries to end the slide towards further  protectionism, reinforce the global rules?based international trade  system and boost international dialogue, which will provide business  with the confidence to invest,?.

And as for the so-called emerging markets, the situation continues to  deteriorate.  According to the IIF, growth tracker, emerging market  growth is now at a two-year low.

And as interest rates globally rise (driven by the Fed) and trade  wars begin to squeeze global trade, emerging markets with high corporate  debt are especially vulnerable.

The right-wing government of Argentina has now had to swallow a  record-breaking IMF bailout of $57bn.  IMF chief Lagarde said that, as  part of the deal, Argentina?s central bank can only intervene to  stabilize its currency if the peso depreciates below 44 pesos to the  dollar. It is currently at 39 pesos to the dollar after losing 50% of  its value since the start of the year. The president of Argentina?s  central bank, Nicolás Caputo, resigned because of this condition.

The size of the bailout shows how desperate the IMF is to support the  right-wing government in Argentina, but also to remove any independent  action by the Argentine monetary and fiscal authorities. Argentina?s  economic policy is now being run by the IMF.  Argentina is now under the  grip of IMF dictates, something the right-wing Macri government said  would never happen again.  A massive slump and austerity will now follow  for the Argentine people ? repeating the hell of the last major slump of 2001.

At the same time, the Turkish economy is in meltdown. There the Erdogan government refuses to take IMF money in return for  austerity and control over its currency and interest rate policy ?  unlike Argentina.  But it will make no difference: both countries cannot  avoid a serious slump as interest rates spiral and inflation rockets.

There is one economic lesson to be learned here.  When Greece was  locked in the straitjacket of the so-called Troika (the IMF, the ECB and  the Euro group), many Keynesians and radicals said that the reason Greece was in this mess was that it was inside the  Eurozone and so it could not devalue its currency or control its  interest rates.  If it broke away, it could control its own destiny.

Well, Argentina and Turkey now show that it was not the Eurozone as  such that was the problem, but the forces of global capitalism.  Both  Argentina and Turkey control their currency and interest rate policy.   The former has opted for IMF control and the latter refuses it.  But it  will make no difference ? the working people in both countries will pay  the price for the crisis in their economies.
Source: World Economy: Back to normality?
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