« REDEYE 7/11/18 | Main | REDEYE 5/30/18 »

REDEYE 6/27/18

Guatemala, a volcano only for the poor
El País (Spain) 6/9/18–At 6 in the morning, Domingo Lopez, a thin and wirey 79 year-old farmer, woke up in...one of the six communities that rise up the flanks of the Fuego Volcano.
At this early hour...a special bulletin had already been issued by the Institute of Vulcanology...Nonetheless, due to disorganization, a lack of means, or laziness, no one thought to warn them in time...
And so he, his parents, siblings and grandchildren were buried beneath tons of ash following a river of boiling water, gas and rocks...
...a fine magma killed 109 and scattered through the area another 200 that have not been found and for whom no one is searching...”We didn’t have time to do anything, the sky darkened and by the time I realized what was happening a hot river was rushing down the sides of the mountain knocking down everything”...
While this was happening, about three miles away the guests at one of the the most luxurious golf resorts in Central America...the hotel La Reunion, where rooms cost around $200 a night...more than 300 people were evacuated from the imposing buildings...when at around 3 pm the volcanic tsunami of mud and ash razed the complex it was already empty...
“...We were expecting this since 6 am when the bulletin arrived from the Institute for Vulcanology.  These are public alerts and we received them every few hours like everyone...explained a saddened Evelyn Gomez, manager of the hotel...in the face of the indifference shown by Conred (the civil defense) that ignored the warnings...Evelyn is responsible for having saved 300 lives, roughly the same number that were killed or remain missing...
The negligence continued throughout the day.  A Conred worker...showed this newspaper reporter their mobile phone...[with] an alert...describing the increased seismic activity and ordering an evacuation of the area.  By this time, villages like El Rodeo, La Reina, La Libertad, and San Miguel Los Lotes were nothing more than entombed memories.  “These deaths could have been avoided, or, at the very least, reduced in number”, explained Alejandro Maldonado, the director of Conred for 12 years.

Truckers’ strike spreads, paralyzes Brazil, defies military
NYT, 5/28 — …A weeklong standoff between striking truck drivers and the government has….[seen] hundreds of trucker roadblocks sealed off highways across the country as a protest against rising fuel prices ground Brazil’s economy to a halt….Gas stations have run out of fuel.
Dozens of flights have been canceled, fresh food supplies…have dwindled and….many schools and universities suspended classes….
…A deal with the strike leaders proved premature. Roadblocks were maintained…and oil workers announced they intended to go on strike,…raising the prospect of a deepening crisis….
…[President] Temer’s…order authorizing the military to clear roads using force….failed to bring the strike to an end….
Union leaders have urged drivers to accept [a] deal. But…many protesters held firm….
Tremer’s speech…prompted Brazilians frustrated by…a failed government to honk their horns and bang pots from their windows in protest in many cities across the country….
On [May 28]…protesters gathered at an oil refinery on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, which has been one of the focal points of the strike….Scores of unemployed oil workers, motorcycle couriers and public transportation workers said they wanted their grievances addressed as well.
“This started with the truckers but it reached millions,” said Alexsandro Faria, 39, an unemployed scaffold builder…laid off in 2016….”If we only stay on our sofas, complaining about corruption, it won’t work.”
U.S. anthem written by slave-owner, extols slavery
NYT, 6/10 — Many…born black in the 1950s abandoned reverence toward the national anthem….Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for refusing induction into the Army. And the Vietnam War was unmasked as…morally repugnant…built on…racism and lies.
By…1969, dissent from the national anthem was endemic. It was an almost every-day occurrence to see groups of African-Americans (and whites as well)…remaining defiantly seated at sporting events as the audience rose…for the “Star-Spangled Banner….”
Francis Scott Key, a slave-owning Washington lawyer, wrote it to commemorate an American victory over the British during the War of 1812….
…The song tightened its grip on the country during the height of the lynching era in the South and became popular at baseball games…when African-Americans were barred from white baseball….Black columnists discredited the song by unearthing a long suppressed third stanza (“No refuge could save the hireling and slave/From the terror or flight or the gloom of the grave”)…reflecting the composer’s embrace of slavery….
…African-Americans [in a] recent poll show that two-thirds of them believe that the national anthem protests — begun by Colin Kaepernick to protest injustice — are acceptable….The National Football League’s decision to curtail the protests through…fines….is likely to radicalize players who…believe they have a role to play in the debate about police brutality and the resurgence of white supremacy in the age of Trump. Kneeling…may have been just the beginning.
Capitalists’ profits thrive; Mattel CEO made 4,987 times median worker
NYT, 5/27 — A Walmart employee earning the company’s median salary of $19,177 would have to work more than a thousand years to earn the $22.2 million that…the company’s chief executive was awarded in 2017. At Live Nation Entertainment…an employee earning the median pay of $24,406 would need to work for 2,893 years to earn the $70.6 million that its chief executive…made last year….
“It’s grotesque how unequal this has become,” said Louis Hyman, a business historian at Cornell University. “For C.E.O.s, it’s like they are winning the lottery year after year. For a lot of Americans, they don’t have any savings.….The chief executive’s pay was 4,987 times that of the median employee….
“Particularly in low-wage jobs, people are struggling to pay for housing, for health insurance, for child care,” said Jennifer Gordon, a law professor at Fordham University. “When people are working two and three jobs and are not able to put together a decent wage, then at a very basic level they don’t have time to be active in their children’s schools….
…The country’s 200 chief executives….almost all of them white men, were awarded some $4.4 billion last year….“The top layer of management lives like kings and queens, while the people at the bottom are scrabbling for a decent existence,” Ms. Gordon said.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>