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91
Reporter With Access to Michael Cohen Lays Out His Next Line of Attack: No One 'In Trump World' is Sleeping 'Soundly'


"This is a man who knows a lot and a man who feels he?s been hung out to try.?


 

Donald Trump?s former attorney and longtime ?fixer? Michael Cohen feels like he?s been ?hung out to dry,? Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox noted during a Tuesday morning MSNBC appearance ? and he?s using what he knows to hit back at the president and his family.

?For ten years Michael Cohen had a window into everything that happened within the Trump organization,? the reporter whose access to the attorney has led to a series on his tumultuous relationship with Trump told MSNBC?s Joe Scarborough. ?He had a window into what the president was doing in some of his business dealings, what the children were doing in their business dealings. This is a man who knows a lot and a man who feels he?s been hung out to try.?

Fox told the assembled panel that she began speaking to Cohen almost exactly a year ago, and in that time, he went from considering the Trumps to be as close as family to believing they are strategizing to discredit him as a means of ?distraction? from the Russia probe.

Cohen, the reporter said, has dubbed the tactic the ?D? strategy ? discredit, distance and deflect. He believes that along with the president, Trump?s son-in-law Jared Kushner and eldest son Donald Trump Jr., who he once considered a brother, are all working to undermine him. As she noted in her most recent Vanity Fair report, however, the fixer has no intention to ?roll over and die.?

?What Michael Cohen may know,? Fox said, ?I don?t think it?s making anyone in Trump world sleep soundly.?

Watch below, via MSNBC:

 


Source: Reporter With Access to Michael Cohen Lays Out His Next Line of Attack: No One 'In Trump World' is Sleeping 'Soundly'
92
Richard Mellor / Britain: Renationalise the energy sector!
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 24, 2018, 06:00:26 PM »
Britain: Renationalise the energy sector!

Download the Pamphlet
From Left Horizons UK

By a Labour Party member

I have recently  read a pamphlet, produced by the Fire Brigades Union, which made an  excellent case for renationalising the big energy companies. Matt Wrack,  the FBU General Secretary, points out in his introduction that fuel  poverty is a blight on the lives of many and that 25,000 people die of  cold every winter.

This is a  consequence of high fuel bills and inadequate insulation of homes. There  are many that have to choose between heating or eating and there are  roughly 5 million people living in fuel poverty.
The pamphlet  points out that when the energy sector was publicly owned, there was a  25% reserve in capacity, in case of extreme weather and other kinds of  emergences. Today, electricity supply has only a 4% reserve. A number of  industry experts believe that this will result in blackouts in the  future.
This pamphlet  was written in response to public anger at price rises in gas and  electricity in 2013. At the time, the Labour Party leadership still  believed that the energy sector should remain in the private sector,  albeit with regulation. Like with the Banks, regulation proved to be  virtually non-existent. With the election of Corbyn as party leader,  re-nationalisation of the big energy firms is a manifesto commitment and  if opinion polls are right, it is proving popular with the electorate.

In my opinion,  all the privatisations are proving to be a disaster. The Tories turned  public monopolies into private ones and sold them for a song. The  pamphlet quotes an energy economist who described the energy companies  of ?sweating? inherited assets. Privatisation was also about sweating  its workforce. It is time that a Labour Government ensures that the  bosses do some 'sweating' for a change.

It is time that  Labour nationalised all the privatised industries, with compensation  based only on proven need. Take Stagecoach, the bus and rail operator.  Two people own almost half of the shares in the company and they have  made a fortune, by buying chunks of former publicly-owned passenger  transport companies. Big profits have been made by buying cheap and  'sweating' the staff and passengers alike. In my view, these people  shouldn?t receive a penny in compensation.
I regard this  pamphlet as one of the best I've read that has been produced by a  national trade union. On the last page, there were footnotes and it  stated that the authors were Mick Brooks and Michael Roberts. I should  have guessed! 

July 23, 2018
The FBU pamphlet is available as a download from:

Source: Britain: Renationalise the energy sector!
93
A Neuroscientist Explains How Trump Supporters Are Easily Hoodwinked Because of This One Psychological Problem


Those who score low on political knowledge tend to overestimate their expertise even more when greater emphasis is placed on political affiliation.


In the past, some prominent psychologists have explained President Donald Trump?s unwavering support by alluding to a well-established psychological phenomenon known as the ?Dunning-Kruger effect.? The effect is a type of cognitive bias, where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don?t have enough knowledge to know they don?t have enough knowledge. Or, stated more harshly, they are ?too dumb to know they are dumb.? This simple but loopy concept has been demonstrated dozens of times in well-controlled psychology studies and in a variety of contexts. However, until now, the effect had not been studied in one of the most obvious and important realms?political knowledge.

new study published in the journal Political Psychology, carried out by the political scientist Ian Anson at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, not only found that the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to politics, it also appears to be exacerbated when partisan identities are made more salient. In other words, those who score low on political knowledge tend to overestimate their expertise even more when greater emphasis is placed on political affiliation.

Anson told PsyPost that he became increasingly interested in the effect after other academics were discussing its potential role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on social media. ?I follow a number of political scientists who marveled at the social media pundit class? seeming display of ?Dunning-Kruger-ish tendencies? in their bombastic coverage of the election.? However, speculation by scientists does not always translate into statistically-significant findings, so Anson began thinking of ways to experimentally test what he described as a ?very serious accusation.?

In order to have a large representative sample of subjects, Dr. Anson administered online surveys to over 2,600 Americans. The first survey was designed to assess political knowledge, while the second was used to examine how confident they were in their knowledge. Questions quizzed participants on topics like names of cabinet members, the length of term limits for members of Congress, and the names of programs that the U.S. government spends the least on.

As predicted, the results showed that those who scored low on political knowledge were also the ones who overestimated their level of knowledge. But that wasn?t all. When participants were given cues that made them engage in partisan thought, the Dunning-Kruger effect was made even stronger. This occurred with both Republicans and Democrats, but only in those who scored low on political knowledge to begin with.

These findings are fascinating but equally troubling. How do you combat ignorance when the ignorant believe themselves to be knowledgeable? Even worse, how do you fight it when America is becoming increasingly polarized, which certainly increases the salience of partisan identities?

While the results of Anson?s study suggest that being uninformed leads to overconfidence across the political spectrum, studies have shown that Democrats now tend to be generally more educated than Republicans, making the latter more vulnerable to the Dunning-Kruger effect. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll released in March of this year found that 54 percent of college graduates identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, compared to 39 percent who identified or leaned Republican.

Perhaps this helps explain why Trump supporters seem to be so easily tricked into believing obvious falsehoods when their leader delivers his ?alternative facts? sprinkled with language designed to activate partisan identities. Because they lack knowledge but are confident that they do not, they are less likely than others to actually fact-check the claims that the President makes.

This speculation is supported by evidence from empirical studies. In 2016, an experiment found that 45 percent of Republicans believed that the Affordable Care Act included ?death panels,? and a 2015 study similarly found that 54 percent of Republican primary voters believed then-president Barack Obama to be a Muslim.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is particularly worrisome when considering issues that pose existential threats, like global warming. A 2017 study conducted at the University of New Hampshire found that only 25 percent of self-described Trump supporters believed that human activities contribute to climate change.

This quirky cognitive bias could be making it easier for Donald Trump to continuously dupe his more uneducated followers. Not only are they uninformed, they are unlikely to ever try to become more informed on their own. In their minds, they have nothing new to learn.

While such a thought is disturbing, we should not lose all hope in trying to reach the victims of the Dunning-Kruger effect. At least one study found that incompetent students increased their ability to accurately estimate their class rank after being tutored in the skills they lacked. With the right education methods and a willingness to learn, the uninformed on both sides of the political aisle can gain a meta-awareness that can help them perceive themselves more objectively. Unfortunately, Anson?s study shows that getting through to these people becomes more and more difficult as the nation becomes more divided. And with Trump?s fiery rhetoric and fear mongering, that divide appears to always be growing wider, making one wonder whether Trump?through Googling himself?has become aware of the effect and is using it to his advantage. But that assumption might be giving him too much credit, as he is likely as much a victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect as his followers.

Bobby Azarian is a neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a freelance journalist. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Human Brain Mapping, and he has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Scientific American. Follow him @BobbyAzarian.


Source: A Neuroscientist Explains How Trump Supporters Are Easily Hoodwinked Because of This One Psychological Problem
94
Increases in Strike Activity in 2018. Article and Comment.

Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

This is an interesting article about the increase in strike activity over the past period but the author leaves out a crucial detail that has to be present in any commentary on this subject and that is the trade union hierarchy, the leadership of organized labor as a whole.

Firstly the heads of organized labor did nothing but utter a few platitudes when Reagan smashed the PATCO strike and banned 11,000 workers from that industry for life. This gave Reagan and the bosses' the green light and they went on a serious assault against organized labor. In the wake of PATCO and through the 1980's though there were numerous attempts in some major disputes to drive back this capitalist offensive and it is important to recognize this. I remember seeing physical battles between cops and Teamsters during the Newspaper strike, I think it was in Detroit.   Two Greyhound strikes, the year long UFCW P9 strike at Hormel in Austen Minnesota, the Eastern Airlines and Staley strikes and others. These battles ended in defeat primarily though a powerful combination of the bosses' and the heads of organized labor;

In the strike in my own workplace in 1985 we tried to push the wider trade union movement to act and to draw in the community but we did not have sufficient resources to do this and this too, why the rank and file is not stepping up, is due to the role of the leadership at the highest levels. The 1980's was an opportunity missed but as usual, the trade union hierarchy ensured capital got its way. The alternative is too frightening for the labor bureaucracy, to mobilize their members in a major assault on capital, even as a defensive measure. They have no alternative to capitalism, to mobilize the potential power of organized labor which would draw in all sections of the working class can only lead to chaos from their pro-market perspective.

I am grateful to the author for pointing to the increase in the class struggle among the organized working class and he points to the recent West Virginia strike and the uprising of teachers in states where striking is illegal and with Republican governors. But again, it is important to point out the situation of the trade union leadership which has in the past 40 years suppressed any serious threats to their leadership from emerging with the ranks as it would threaten this relationship they have built with the bosses based on labor peace.

These recent educators movements (all workers in education were drawn in to it) occurred not only in opposition to state law, but against the official trade union leadership. It is the weakness of the trade union bureaucracy or that it was not present at all that was a plus. In other words the official pro-management leadership of organized labor was too weak to stand against the ranks and the anger that was eventually expressed through this activity. If they had been stronger in most of these situations it is quite likely we would not have seen the educators movement as the leadership would have nipped it in the bud, found some way to render it ineffective and harmless.

It would be foolish to let our guard down and think that the present leadership of organized labor has changed its world view and the Team Concept philosophy that describes it. The movement of workers in education and particularly West Virginia's victory that won a 5% increase for all state workers, is a threat to their leadership and how they see the world.  The leaderships tactic in response to Janus is to have people sign pledge cards to stay in the union and even make them legally binding, what a disaster. It will be seen as another strong arm move against the members and will be used by the right wing against unions. West Virginia winning a 5% wage increase for all state workers and the victories in other states, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky etc. are the best advertisement for joining a union. It is this that should be our rallying call, we can win and we can violate their anti-labor anti-worker laws. But along with the employers, the union hierarchy doesn't want that idea getting too popular. You can watch at these links some short and inspiring videos from leaders of the education movement in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona.  Also, on the Janus decision here.

Most of the left, particularly the self styled socialist left organizations also refuse to acknowledge the role of the trade union leadership by not openly challenging it and campaigning against its policies but this also leads to leaving it out of any analysis altogether which is simply wrong. The excuse for this is usually that "they will never do anything anyway" or the socialists are too busy "building the revolutionary"party, both excuses for doing nothing. Originally published at Medium.com

Huge Increase in Large Work Stoppages Seen in 2018

Halfway through the year, the number of large strikes in the U.S. is at the highest level in decades

The PATCO Syndrome
In  the 1980s there?s was a phrase used to describe the increasing  unwillingness of U.S. labor unions to go on strike. In the disastrous  1981 air traffic controllers strike, over 10,000 members of the  Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO) were fired by  President Reagan. That was seen as the beginning of a rougher era of  union-busting and increasingly adversarial labor relations, and large  strikes in the U.S. fell in the following years. The phrase ?PATCO Syndrome? came to describe the fear of striking, and losing.

In  reality, U.S. labor relations have never been cordial and large strikes  have been declining since the 1970s. The Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS) releases a report early every year of the number of large work stoppages the previous year. BLS defines large work stoppages as ?involving 1,000  or more workers lasting one full shift or longer.? In counting work  stoppages, it includes strikes and lockouts (where the employer refuses  to let the union members work), but the list is usually mostly strikes.  In 2017 BLS released this stunning chart summarizing 70 years of collecting this data.




BLS, ?MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2016"

Clearly,  the number of large strikes has plummeted. For the 30 year period  starting in the mid 1940s, the average number of annual strikes was over  300 per year. That means on almost every day in that era a large strike  would start. The average in the most recent decade has been about 14  per year. Continuing this trend, the BLS?s most recent report listed only seven large strikes for 2017, the 2nd lowest on record after 2009.

There is another record of strikes maintained by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). It tracks work stoppages of all sizes related to contract bargaining in the private sector,  though it also seems to include some public sector strikes as well. A  full analysis of this data needs to be done, and it?s not clear to me at  this point how complete it is.

Do Strikes Matter?
Does  any of this matter? It does if we?re interested in a labor movement  that successfully fights to raise standards for its members and the  working class as a whole. That 30 year post-WW2 era of striking  coincides closely with the years of large union membership, higher union  density (the percentage of workers who are union members), rising  average working class wages and decreasing inequality in society. The  years ever since have seen a reverse of these trends, as I?ve discussed elsewhere.  In the 1950s union density was about one-third of all workers, and in  that era, strike activity grew the labor movement which made it stronger  and therefore able to strike more. Today, union density is about 11%,  and we?ve been in a downward cycle where unions strike less and grow  weaker over time. This chart shows union density over time.





That?s why it?s fascinating that in 2018, we?re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of large work stoppages. I count 16 for the first half of  the year, including one lockout, which if this trend continues, puts us  on track for 32 for the full year. The number of large work stoppages  has not been 30 or more since the year 2000.

What  accounts for this increase in strike activity? These strikes have been  led by statewide teachers? walkouts in a half dozen states. These states  have seen Republican takeovers and education funding budget cuts. The teachers? wages were at the lower end among the states and at some point they said enough was enough. Another factor has to be the very low unemployment rate of 4.1% or lower this year.  Though the official publicized unemployment figures tend to undercount  true unemployment levels, there is no doubt that it has been trending  lower over time. This means employers have a harder time finding  workers, and workers and can?t be as easily replaced which means they  have more bargaining power. Indeed the teachers in a number of states  have pointed out the huge numbers of vacant teaching positions.

Ironically, this surge in striking occurs during the year of the recent anti-union Supreme Court Janus decision, which mandates ?right-to-work? (using quotes to show my  disdain for the phrase) rules for all public sector workers. I have previously estimated that over 600,000 workers could drop their union membership and avoid  paying any union dues or fees. That will weaken the labor movement, but  we have seen how a ?right to work? environment has not stopped public  sector strikes in many states, and there are indications that several unions have gained membership this year in ?right to work? states through these struggles. The best  union solution to ?right to work? attacks is to fight and win.

Here  is my list of large work stoppages for the first half of 2018, in rough  chronological order, which also includes the one lockout. This data is  from news articles, union websites and the FMCS data. In some cases it?s  not clear how many workers were on strike but I believe from available  information that all of these involved over 1,000 workers, and the state  teachers? strikes involved tens of thousands. It?s possible that BLS  may not count some of these teachers? strikes if they are considered a  mass protest where teachers took sick days or where superintendents  closed schools for the day, so we?ll have to see. And I have followed  the BLS protocol of counting multiple unions striking at a single  employer as a single strike.

It?s interesting that almost all of these involved education and telecommunications industry workers. Check out the support actions for the IBEW Spectrum strike, and the solidarity petition for the Steelworkers National Grid lockout.

Let me know if I?m missing any from the first half of the year and I?ll update this chart!


Source: Increases in Strike Activity in 2018. Article and Comment.
95
Infoshop News / Hiding the Real Number of Unemployed
« Last post by Alternative Media Project on July 24, 2018, 06:00:52 AM »
Hiding the Real Number of Unemployed

Your government believes that exhausting your unemployment benefits is a cause for celebration ? because you are no longer unemployed!
Source: Hiding the Real Number of Unemployed
96
AlterNet / Corporate Democrats Have Begun Planning a 'Counterrevolution' to Progressive Base
« Last post by AlterNet on July 24, 2018, 06:00:49 AM »
Corporate Democrats Have Begun Planning a 'Counterrevolution' to Progressive Base


Democratic insiders are advocating an approach that reaches out to so-called moderate Republicans.


 

Corporate Democrats are extremely worried about the wave of progressive enthusiasm that is sweeping the country in red and blue states alike, and?according to a report by NBC News on Sunday?they are beginning to organize a "counterrevolution" to beat it back.

Ignoring survey after survey showing that progressive priorities like Medicare for All, a living wage, and tuition-free public college are overwhelmingly popular among the American public, Democratic politicians and operatives with the notorious think-tank Third Way used an invite-only event in Columbus, Ohio on Friday to tout an alternative agenda that centers on "opportunity" and access rather than equality?a platform that explicitly avoids alienating the ultra-wealthy.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said during last week's closed-door event, which was titled "Opportunity 2020."

"Once again," added Third Way president Jon Cowan, "the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era."




As NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald notes, the "anxiety" centrist Democrats have felt about the rousing campaigns of democratic socialists and bold progressives like New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michigan's Abdul El-Sayed "has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors."

But now, with organized events and more frequent interviews with the press, corporate Democrats and strategists are beginning to openly state their plans to undercut surging progressive momentum, "with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop" Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) if he decides to launch another bid for the presidency, Seitz-Wald reports.

"Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems," Seitz-Wald writes.

In terms of electoral strategy, Democratic insiders are advocating an approach that reaches out to so-called moderate Republicans who have supposedly broken with Trump, instead of placing the bulk of their focus on inspiring both non-voters and Democrats disgruntled by the party's corporate turn.

"Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump," as Seitz-Wald explains.

The problem with this approach, as many commentators have noted, is that it was tried in 2016?and it failed miserably.

As a counter to progressive ideas like a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for All, and expanded Social Security benefits, NBC reports that Third Way has put forth an "apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security, and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training."

Progressives were quick to denounce such proposals as a thinly-veiled push to privatize Social Security and undermine more ambitious?and far more popular?left-wing proposals that have been winning big in Democratic primaries across the nation.




Responding to the Democratic establishment's attempts to dismiss the successes of bold progressives and uphold a toxic status quo, 27-year-old social worker Rachel Conner told the New York Times on Saturday: "They need to wake up and pay attention to what people actually want. There are so many progressive policies that have widespread support that mainstream Democrats are not picking up on, or putting that stuff down and saying, 'That wouldn't really work.'

 

Related Stories


Source: Corporate Democrats Have Begun Planning a 'Counterrevolution' to Progressive Base
97
Richard Mellor / Trump Didn't Need The Russians Did He?
« Last post by Richard Mellor on July 23, 2018, 06:01:00 PM »
Trump Didn't Need The Russians Did He?



Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

Don't underestimate the potential for violence of this representative of US capitalism above. As a woman among the patriarchal US ruling class she has to prove herself and would in a moment. Neither her, nor her party is the road out of this mess we find ourselves in.  We are seeing the stirrings of opposition on the ground and in the workplaces and working class communities of the US. Out of this movement, rooted in it,  we can build a genuine working class political alternative to the catastrophic future that awaits the world as a decaying system clings to life.

"Clinton also said Russian agents were targeting the November midterm elections in a renewed attempt to disrupt US democracy..."

?We don?t know what was said in the room between them,? she said. ?Putin is telling the world what was said but we hear crickets from the White House. Make no mistake this is a direct attack on our democracy."

?We are still very vulnerable. And we don?t have leadership from the administration.?

"Clinton claimed Putin ?wants to break up Nato, the European Union. He wants to undo the architecture of the post-world war two world. He thrives on divisiveness. His attacks on the electoral system were designed to help Trump.?

?Vladimir Putin has a very clear strategy,? she said. ?He is quite adept at reading people ? at manipulating people. Hardly anyone who believes in freedom gets on with him. [Trump] wants to be friends with him for reasons we?re still trying to find out about.?  Says the woman who publicly stated the brutal dictator Hosni Mubarak was "like family"

What Clinton doesn't mention: "Clinton beat Trump by nearly 3m ballots in the popular vote in 2016, but lost in the electoral college."

So Trump didn't need the Russians to win then.

He had the undemocratic Electoral College help him, the power in both parties of capitalism along with the millions of Americans who are so disgusted with both these parties and these individuals that they refused to participate. But Clinton will not raise this and the Democratic Party will not make an issue of it because it is not Trump's racism, misogyny or that he's a serial sexual predator that is the danger. He is undermining the legitimacy of the system and that is what the Democrats want to preserve.  Recall the shock when Trump hinted during the debates that he might not abide by the election results if he lost. He went on about elections being rigged, the system being rigged. If he can reject the result of a "democratic" election so can we.

So the nationalist card comes out now. The US along with every other bourgeois institution from the Catholic Church in Vatican Inc to the heads of organized labor in Washington, intervened in one way or another to ensure as the old brutal, undemocratic Stalinist regime collapsed that the powerful Russian working class did not rise to political supremacy and institute a genuine democratic socialist state, a workers' democracy.

The folks in Washington and the Pentagon and all the academic think tanks of US capitalism wanted Russian capitalism to fill the vacuum. Gorbachev offered up the social assets of the Russian people and in stepped every crook, former Soviet official and opportunist from that regime including ex KGB thugs like Putin, and Russian capitalism, instead of arising organically like its western European counterparts, arose overnight. The western bourgeois were delighted, workers power and genuine socialism was averted.

They wanted Russian capitalism they got it. Now they don't like it. When capitalism doesn't work, when it can't feed, clothe and house people, and this is the case in most parts of the world, we should not be surprised. When in the might belly of the beast here in the US there is massive poverty and the society cannot provide even the basic social needs of its population, that countries based on the capitalist mode of production from Ecuador to Thailand, Kazakhstan to The Congo can is a fantasy.  

The US and its western bourgeois allies refer to capitalism when its abuses and failures become so blatant as "Crony Capitalism". 

When, as is the case in most of the countries of the world based on the capitalist mode of production, the capitalist class is not powerful enough to allow even a semblance of bourgeois democracy and resorts to military dictatorship, Bonapartism or some form of "one man" rule;  that is "Crony capitalism".  "Oligarchy" "Plutocracy" terms that refer only to the individuals or clique at the top are thrown around.

Hillary Clinton is a particularly vicious  and more astute representative of US and global capitalism than Trump who is an accident of history and a fool. He is a member of the ruling class but has no class loyalty and class loyalty among the bourgeois is paramount-----the system must be defended, the lie maintained.

The increasingly obvious political and economic crisis in the US is moving ahead apace. The end of two party rule, the era of the dominance of the two capitalist parties has come to and end. The global system that arose after the last great Imperialist World war is threatened and the institutions that gave it sway, the UN, the World Bank, IMF and others are also in crisis. The so-called "American Century" expected after the collapse of the Stalinist regimes lasted not much more than a decade.

Failed states, regional wars, environmental catastrophe's this is the order of the day and beyond that, destruction of life as we know it if capitalism isn't replaced by a rational, democratic global system, a world federation of democratic social states and a planned global system of production in harmony with the natural world.

We are seeing many attempts to fight back, workers acting on our own behalf, not just for the immediate needs, jobs, wages, etc. but democratic rights for all, housing, water rights, environmental justice and international solidarity.

There is a bright future if these rising movements are successful and with a leadership that understands that capitalism cannot resolve the crises we face today, that it cannot be reformed, we can build that future.

We must not join Clinton and all those that are playing the nationalist, so-called patriotic card. The Russian workers have a proud history of struggle against feudalism, capitalism and now Stalinism it is them we as workers must reach out to. The Chinese workers also have such a history, they are hundreds of millions strong and will also enter the stage of history at some point in a major way as they seek to free themselves from the bureaucracy's grip. There are already hundreds of thousands of protests in China yearly that we do not hear about. 

International solidarity between workers of all countries is what will save the world from disaster. Workers of all countries should unite as a class, our interests are the same.

Wait: didn't someone say that?

Source: Trump Didn't Need The Russians Did He?
98
Ex-DNI Laughs Out Loud While Discussing How Little Dan Coats Knows About Trump's Private Meeting With Putin: 'Very Unusual?



 
 
 



"The White House doesn't have a sense of humor," James Clapper said.


 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Monday reacted to his successor Dan Coats? stunning interview last Thursday at the Aspen Ideas Fest, during which Coats admitted he still doesn?t know what Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin discussed in their two-hour-long meeting in Helsinki.

Clapper said the public likewise doesn?t know what happened during that meeting. 

?I hope that members of the national security team, notably secretary of defense and the secretary of state and the national security adviser, all do know what was discussed,? Clapper said. ?And perhaps what was conceded.?

?You know, if I were sitting in the Pentagon where I spent a lot of time, I would be wondering what in the way of military operations or capabilities did he perhaps unknowingly compromise or give up,? Clapper continued. ?And we don't know that.?

?Well, we know that the director of national intelligence?your old gig?Dan Coats, didn't know as of, what was it, Thursday?? CNN host John Berman replied. ?He didn't know as of Thursday what was discussed. I don't know if he has found out since then, but that would be unusual, yes??

Clapper, laughing, explained that situation ?would be highly unusual.?

?I felt bad for Dan Coats, who is an honorable man and a great public servant,? Clapper said. ?And I thought, frankly, he reacted as gracefully as he could under the circumstance.?

Berman noted Coats ?apologized? for his reaction to learning about second meeting between the two leaders, which was seen by some as a dig at Trump.

?He apologized, I think for what was perceived by the White House as a sign of disrespect when he laughed openly, and he said that the notion of a second summit between President Trump and president Putin would be ?special,?? Berman explained. ?Were you surprised by the apology??

?Well, not really,? Clapper said.?I think probably he felt himself he had to do that. And I think it's ?the White House doesn't have a sense of humor.?

Watch below:






Source: Ex-DNI Laughs Out Loud While Discussing How Little Dan Coats Knows About Trump's Private Meeting With Putin: 'Very Unusual?
99
The Propaganda Is Working: Trump Voters Call MS-13 a 'Serious' Threat to the US ? But That's Simply Not True


Trump voters now overwhelmingly believe the peddled notions about this group few of them ever heard of, before this year, and that is a testament to the power of the white nationalist propaganda machine whirring away within the White House walls.


Donald Trump's support is based on racism. And the racism is based on Republican conspiracy theories. And those conspiracy theories are now, thanks to White House propaganda, taking root within his racist, gullible base.

A majority of people who voted for President Donald Trump consider criminal gang MS-13 a threat to the United States, a new poll finds, indicating the Trump administration may be succeeding in inflating the perception of the gang?s national risk.

Specifically, 85 percent of Trump voters call MS-13 a "very" or "somewhat" serious threat to the United States, and roughly half of them are worried MS-13 is going to target them or their families personally, which is a ludicrous, asinine theory based entirely on Trump-peddled propaganda. Before Trump's team settled on "MS-13" as their stand-in for Violent Ethnic People Coming To Get You, it would be a fair bet to say that precious few among Trump's base would even know what MS-13 was. Now half of them are worried that MS-13 is hiding under their floorboards.

To make it clear, yet again, while there is a violent gang called MS-13 and has been for a few decades now, the current incarnation is largely a collection of disconnected teenagers whose lofty ambitions primarily revolve around menacing their schoolmates, not entire U.S. towns. They are not increasing their membership, have no central structure or leadership, have no substantive role in drug or human trafficking, and primarily target young Latinos. Those are their primary victims, not lily white Trump supporters breathlessly flipping through Republican fundraising emails.

Everything else is a hoax. The vision of a paramilitary entity known as "MS-13" capturing and losing American towns, the notion that this violent but scattered group is a meaningful presence on the border in any capacity, and all the rest of it is a hoax crafted by white nationalists in the White House and racist online circles to justify an explicitly racist crackdown on innocent refugees.

For all the hype in the governor?s race, MS-13 has been associated with three murders in Virginia this year, and two of the victims were MS-13 members themselves. To put that into perspective, there were 480 homicides in Virginia in 2016, and nine Virginians died in traffic accidents over Fourth of July weekend alone.

But Trump voters now overwhelmingly believe the peddled notions about this group few of them ever heard of, before this year, and that is a testament to the power of the white nationalist propaganda machine whirring away within the White House walls. It is still not considered decent to demonize non-white Americans in general, or non-white immigrants, but concocting a blatantly racist conspiracy theory about a new non-white menace hiding just beyond your mailbox continues to be the preferred stand-in for those more blatantly white-supremacy-based notions.

To Rep. Steve King (R-IA), immigrants are primarily melon-calved drug mules. To Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mexican cartels are possibly working with ISIS to import an infectious disease found only in Africa. To the NRA, Muslims fleeing violence are quite possibly violent extremists themselves. To Donald Trump's White House team, every asylum-seeking child tossed into tent cities with little paperwork and little concern for ever reuniting them with their parents might be, just might be, a wee little gang member come to kill us all.

This willing effort to demonize an entire group based on demonstrably false fearmongering is the sort of thing that gets you put on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of hate groups. It may be to the point where the White House itself counts as such; their declarations of the inherent criminality of immigrants certainly appears to be meeting that criteria. Trump may not know his left shoe from his right, but his advisers are certainly very aware that "MS-13" does not have even one percent of the power they have been painting it as having in breathless campaign-year announcements. Ditto for all the other Republicans attempting to fundraise off their efforts to frighten their racist base; this has become, unequivocally, one of the go-to propaganda efforts of the Republican Party itself.

Peddling such obvious propaganda should itself render someone unfit for office, but we have fallen a very long way from any imaginary time when we demanded our top national leaders be, at the very least, truthful. Perhaps branding the Republican Party a hate group would jostle some of the beltway?s conscience, however.

 


Source: The Propaganda Is Working: Trump Voters Call MS-13 a 'Serious' Threat to the US ? But That's Simply Not True
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Inter Press Service - Labour / Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality
« Last post by Inter Press Service on July 23, 2018, 06:00:51 AM »
Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality

Roberto Savio is founder of IPS Inter Press Service and President Emeritus

The post Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality appeared first on Inter Press Service.


Source: Immigration, Lot of Myths and Little Reality
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