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Nov242017

REDEYE 12/6/17

Capitalism maintains apartheid in South Africa
NYT, 10/24 — The end of apartheid was supposed to be a beginning….More than two decades later, Ms. [Judith] Sikade, 69, lives on the garbage-strewn dirt of Crossroads township, where thousands of black families have used splintered boards and metal sheets to construct airless hovels for lack of anywhere else to live.
“I’ve gone from shack to a shack,” Ms. Sikade says. “I’m fighting for everything I have. You are still living in apartheid….”
…For black South Africans, who account for three-fourths of this nations roughly 55 million people….Apartheid has persisted in economic form….An official unemployment rate [is] reaching 28 percent….In the aftermath of apartheid, the government left land and other assets largely in the hands of a predominantly white elite….
…Less than half of the working age population is officially employed….Large swaths of the black population remain hunkered down in squalor on land they do not legally own. Those with jobs often endure commutes of an hour or more on private minibuses that extract outsize slices of their paychecks.
“We never dismantled apartheid,” said Ayabonga Cawe, a former economist for Oxfam….”The patterns of enrichment and impoverishment are still the same….”
In…[Ms. Sikade’s] community, people are still cooking over coal fires and breathing in fumes. Children run barefoot on paths littered with broken glass….
“Where’s the freedom?” Ms. Sikade said, anger rising in her voice. “Where are the changes?”
….Ten percent of all South Africans — the majority white — own more than 90 percent of national wealth….Some 80 percent of the population — overwhelmingly black — owns nothing at all….
“The A.N.C.’s [African National Congress’s] primary objective was inclusion into the existing system,” said Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chairman of the…Institute of International Affairs. “They wanted themselves to be part of the capitalist economy.”
U.S. bosses want ‘Dreamers’ to die for U.S. imperialism
NYT, 11/9 — …While deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan….more than 100 immigrant troops have made the supreme sacrifice in combat….From 2006 to 2011…45,700 immigrants…[were in] the American military….
The United States faces…growing pressures on “our” armed forces. Those forces are stronger when they embody…a large pool of…young people able to adapt to changing threats….We need legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for those immigrants who…are serving or have served in the military….That kind of policy will help the military recruit new service members and improve readiness….
…The importance of recruiting immigrants into… [the] military has only increased…because fewer and fewer young Americans are eligible to serve….
More than 800 so-called Dreamers…are now serving in the armed forces….
…More than 109,000 immigrants…since Sept. 11, 2001, have become citizens while wearing the uniforms of the United States military…. [which] will be the better for it.
Nazi-Developed Chemical now in food, air, water
NYT, 10/29 — …A common pesticide…[in] a class of chemicals developed as a nerve gas by Nazi Germany, is now found in food, air and drinking water….It damages the brain and reduces I.Q.s while causing tremors among children….[and is]also linked to lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease….
This chemical, chlorpyrifos,…Dow Chemical Company’s Nerve Gas.…may be inside you: One 2012 study found…it…in the umbilical cord blood of 87 percent of newborn babies tested.
…The Trump administration is embracing it, overturning a planned ban…in the works for many years….
Dow’s Nerve Gas Pesticide will still be used on…crops that end up on our plate….Fruit and vegetable…levels of this pesticide [are found]…up to 140 times the limits seemed safe….a nationwide echo of what was permitted in Flint [Mich.]….
…The $800 billion chemical industry lavishes money on politicians and lobbies its way out of effective legislation….The chemical industry lobby…is today’s version of Big Tobacco….[It] called for requiring flame retardant chemicals in couches, to ‘save lives,’….an industry hoax…to increase sales of flame retardants — whose principal effect seems to be to cause cancer….
…Toxic chemicals are lowering men’s sperm counts….By 2060, a majority of American and European men could even be infertile….Trump’s most enduring legacy may be cancer, infertility and diminished I.Q.s for decades to come.
China’s capitalism: 500 million earn less than $5.50 a day
NYT, 11/1 — Even as Chinese cities have turned into playgrounds for the nouveau rich…nearly 500 million people,…40 percent of Chin’s population, live on less than $5.50 per day, according to the World Bank.
…Kerry Brown, a China scholar at King’s College London [said]….“The Communist Party has created billionaires…and yet there are still a lot of poor people. That seems to be a massive contradiction….”
Under [President] Xi Jinping, who has played up an image as an Everyman….[his] plan is more about making headlines than bringing lasting change to poor communities….
…There are more than 200 million rural migrants in Chinese cities, where many struggle to receive education, health care and other benefits because the local government does not consider them residents. Some fall into unemployment or bad health and live in squalid conditions.

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