By Patrick Bond for Counter Punch – Indeed there is no doubt that at least one profound problem with the recent whitelash against Zuma is its class character. Even though the poor – who number more than 60% of the population nearly all black – have been most adversely affected by his policies, while the top 1% have maintained the worst inequality in the world, it is in Zuma’s looting of parastatal agency coffers that established white businesses feel threatened. The electricity supplier Eskom is most often cited, potentially for a $100 billion Russian nuclear deal which Gordhan had opposed. There are also unending mining-related Eskom boondoggles that favour a new breed of coal capitalists, especially the controversial Gupta brothers. The three Indian immigrants are regularly accused of brazen ‘state capture,’ e.g. in a long critique by EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu. In the first wave of resistance, on April 7, the main public face of the ‘Save South Africa’ movement coordinating the protests was Sipho Pityana. But the firm he chairs – AngloGold Ashanti – is amongst apartheid’s most notorious. Its origins date a century, to Harry Oppenheimer’s control of Johannesburg gold in the same tradition as De Beers’ founder Cecil John Rhodes…
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Donald Trump’s appointees are busy diminishing or dismantling the agencies they were named to lead and the programs they are supposed to administer. That is why they were selected. Rex Tillerson at the State Department, Steven Mnuchin at the Treasury Department, Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry at the Department of Energy, Tom Price at Health and Human Services, Ben Carson at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Betsy DeVos at the Department of Education…
By James Holbrooks for Activist Post – Some of the suggestions, the news outlet reports, include “having a physical exit strategy at town halls, or a backdoor at congressional offices to slip out of, in case demonstrations turn violent; having local police monitor town halls; replacing any glass office-door entrances with heavy doors and deadbolts; and setting up intercoms to ensure those entering congressional offices are there for appointments, not to cause chaos.” While protests are popping up all over, the Republicans’ private session was no doubt prompted by events that happened over the weekend. While speaking before a raucous crowd in Roseville, California, Representative Tom McClintock had to be escorted from the stage and away from the event by local police officers.
By Jeffrey D. Sachs for Project Syndicate – NEW YORK – American foreign policy is at a crossroads. The United States has been an expanding power since its start in 1789. It battled its way across North America in the nineteenth century and gained global dominance in the second half of the twentieth. But now, facing China’s rise, India’s dynamism, Africa’s soaring populations and economic stirrings, Russia’s refusal to bend to its will, its own inability to control events in the Middle East, and Latin America’s determination to be free of its de facto hegemony, US power has reached its limits. One path for the US is global cooperation.
By Charles Eisenstein – Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress. A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better.
By Maud Jullien for BBC – Political opponents and activists say that everything is in place for President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in power, thus violating the constitution and potentially precipitating the continent-sized central African country into chaos. “What we need is to have a specific action plan for the elections,” says Serge Syvia, a doctor and activist. “Because theirs (the government’s) is already being implemented.” In a small wooden house that was built, like much of the eastern city of Goma, on dried lava rocks, members of a youth group called Lucha (struggle for change) are holding a meeting.
By Sam Smith for Progressive Review News – Face the facts: The First American Republic is over. The Constitution is being trashed by both major parties. We are incapable of responding to the environmental crisis. Liberals can’t tell the difference between being elite and being extinct. We’re in the most expensive wars of no purpose in our history. Both major parties have moved steadily to the right over the past thirty years. Both have never been so corrupt. Ethnic prejudice is at an overt level unseen since the days of the civil rights struggles. The economy is still in the pits for many of our citizens. Thanks to Citizens United, money has replaced votes as the dominant political campaign objective.
By Deborah S. Rogers for Common Dreams – Many have issued clarion calls for resistance against the neofascist headed for the White House, his odious henchmen in tow. Few, however, have outlined all the steps needed to block Trump’s repugnant agenda and build a united movement that can upend the power dynamic in this country. Here’s my list: two popular suggestions, and four that take us well outside our comfort zone. First, we need to have each other’s backs.
By Emma Niles for Truth Dig – Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer sat down with journalist Chris Hedges on Monday for an intimate, salon-style conversation in Los Angeles. They discussed everything from religion and social control to war and police brutality. First, Hedges explained how his father influenced his participation in reform efforts by encouraging him to begin an LGBT activist group at his conservative college campus.
By Adam Johnson for FAIR – This case offers a perfect example of why uncritically allowing police union officials to make unsourced assertions on national TV, and then repeating them as facts, is not a good idea First, it’s important to note that Burnett even muffs her sourcing; by citing a “Charlotte police sergeant,” she ignores the fact that he’s a union representative, and that union representatives are not operating in their capacity as police officers or spokespeople for the department.
By Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason for The Guardian – Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to “wipe the slate clean” after winning a convincing victory in Labour’s bitter leadership battle, securing 62% of the vote. Speaking after the result was declared in Liverpool, Corbyn thanked his rival, Owen Smith, and urged the “Labour family” to unite after the summer-long contest. “We have much more in common than that which divides us. Let’s wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we’ve got to do as a party together,” he said.
By Emma Niles for Truth Dig – The most provocative political statements often are delivered through artistic expression. This is most certainly the case in “Class of ’27,” a collection of short films revealing the successes and limitations of children’s education in rural communities across the United States. “Class of ’27” premiered Tuesday as part of public media’s “America Reframed” series. The hourlong documentary brings viewers to a remote county in Kentucky, an indigenous community in Minnesota and isolated farms of the Pacific Northwest.
By Jacob Swenson-Lengyel for Campain for America’s Future – Jaffe has spent years traversing the country, covering protest movements in the wake of the financial crisis. In her new book, ‘Necessary Trouble’, Jaffe distills what’s she’s learned, taking her readers on a tour of today’s most powerful social movements and introducing us to the people on the frontlines leading them. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to understand contemporary social movements and their power to reshape American politics. I caught up with Sarah Jaffe recently to talk about ‘Necessary Trouble’. Read our conversation, edited for length and clarity, below.
By Martin Jacques for The Guardian – The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing.