Thursday
Jan262017

REDEYE 2/8/17

Obama sets up deportations of Haitians for Trump
NYT, 1/12 — …”It’s important for the Haitian voice to be heard….Not just for the incoming government , where we have so many reasons to be worried , but for the current government because of the actions they’ve taken on Haitian immigrants” [said the director of Haitian women for Haitian Refugees]….
…In September, the Obama administration detained Haitians at the United States-Mexican border…and ordered deportations. Some pregnant women and mothers with children were given temporary…reprieve…but their husbands were deported.
After Hurricane Matthew struck in early October, the administration…resumed deportations in November.
Chicago kkkops: rampant torture and killings
NYT, 1/14 — A blistering report…described…the Chicago Police Department…[as] saying excessive force was rampant, rarely challenged and chiefly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos….
…The investigation laid out in chilling detail unchecked aggressions: an officer pointing a gun at teenagers on bicycles…; officers using a taser on an unarmed, naked 65-year-old woman with mental illness….
…After officers used excessive force, their actions were practically condoned by supervisors, who rarely question their behavior….
Officers used force such as punching…to restrain…suspects but videos showed officers’ use of force was unnecessary….
…”Officers engaged in…unnecessary foot pursuits…and too often ended with officers unreasonably shooting someone — including unarmed individuals”….shooting at vehicles without justification….
Several activists said the findings were unsurprising….but expressed little confidence… [Change] would take place….
…“The system is corrupt,” said Dorothy Holmes, whose son was killed by a Chicago police officer in 2014….We want these officers charged as criminals….”
…A chilling video…showed a white police officer shooting a young black man, Laquan McDonald, 16 times. For months, the city fought to keep the…camera footage from being made public….
…Two years ago…black men…said they had been tortured and abused in the 1970s and 1980s at the hands of a “Midnight Crew” of officers overseen by a notorious police commander….A task force…concluded that racism had contributed to a long pattern of institutional failures by the police….
Just weeks after the…investigation, an officer shot and killed…a teenager said to be wielding a bat, and an elderly neighbor it by  stray bullet….Last summer, another officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager in the back as he was running away.
Myanmar: new ruler, same old capitalism
GW, 1/13 — For decades, the punishment for speaking out against Myanmar’s rulers was…a very long stretch behind bars. The new democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyl, which took power last April, insisted that era was over….
Myo Yan Naung Thein…has been on trial for criminal defamation, accused of insulting the commander-in-chief of the armed forces….detained without bail since early November….
He is one of dozens of people arrested on similar charges under the rule of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. Many expected the party…to bring an end to prosecutions brought under broad and repressive laws. Instead, they have skyrocketed.
Eight billionaires’ wealth = 3.6 billion people’s
GW, 1/20 — The world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population….Oxfam said it was “beyond grotesque” that a handful of rich men are worth $426 billion, equivalent to the wealth of 3.6 billion people.
Private prison corporations lock away the profits
GW, 6/24/16 — Getting locked up is unlikely to be good for your health but it’s terrific business for the booming private industry supplying…jails and prisons….
…Companies…market everything from jumpsuits and meal trays to masks to stop prisoners from spitting, straitjackets and other full-body restraints….
Donald Trump…has called for increased outsourcing of prisons. “I do think…private prisons…work a lot better.”
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world…2.2 million [70 percent of inmates are black and Latino]. State prisons and county jails are adding healthcare to…services that are outsourced to for-profit companies….The industry is worth more than $3 billion a year….
…About 200 inmates died under the care of California Forensic Medical Group…between 2004 and 2014….The company is facing a class-action lawsuit in Monterrey county over medical and mental healthcare failures….
Lawsuits haven’t stopped…Corizon Health, the largest private prison healthcare provider in the U.S. from steadily increasing earnings. Corizon’s revenue has grown…to $1.55 billion in 2015….
The companies making the most money from prisons in America are Geo Group and Corrections Corporation of America which, combined, run more than 170 prisons and [immigrant] detention centers. CCA made revenues of $1.79 billion in 2015.

Thursday
Oct132016

REDEYE 10/26/16

H.S. students unite against racism
NYT, 10/4 — Aurora, Colo. — Vicqari Horton dropped a knee to the grass. The varsity choir piped out “The Star Spangled Banner….”
…Three-quarters of the 44 Aurora…football players knelt during “The Star Spangled Banner….A thousand miles away, students at…High Schools in Wisconsin dropped to their knees, too.
So have players…in Seattle; in Oakland, Calif….in Camden N.J.; and…in San Francisco. At Omaha [Nebraska], cheerleaders and band members have joined the protest. And in Beaumont, Texas, so have 11-and 12-year-olds from a youth team called the Beaumont Bulls….
Here in Aurora…a group of young people [who]….entered kindergarten about the time Facebook was born, were around the same age as Tamir Rice or Michael Brown....
A 13-year-old…, Damian Chavez, called the decision to kneel a “sign of respect for every black person in the country.”
Gandhi guilty of blatant racism
GW, 9/30 — Academics in Ghana are calling for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi to be removed from their campus because…he was a racist and considered Indians to be “infinitely superior” to black Africans….
…More than 1,000 people have since signed a petition calling for it to be torn down, saying that not only was Gandhi racist towards black South Africans when he lived there from 1893 to 1914, but that he campaigned for the maintenance of the caste system in his own country….
The petition cited several of Gandhi’s writings in which he referred to black South Africans as “kaffirs” (a highly offensive racist slur) and complained that the South African government wanted to “drag down” Indians to the level of “half-heathen natives.”
Gandhi’s grandson….said  “Gandhi must be forgiven these prejudices….
However, the leaders of the Ghana petition….pointed out that the memorial to Gandhi was the only statue to a historic personality on the campus. The failure to honor African heroes and heroines was “a slap in the face that undermines our struggles for…recognition and respect….”
U.S. promotes Saudi slaughter in Yemen
GW, 8/26 — Saudi Arabia resumed its appalling war in Yemen…and…destroyed a school full of children and leveled a hospital full of sick and injured people. The campaign of indiscriminate killing — …a war crime — has now been going on for a year and a half. And the United States bears a large part of the responsibility.
The U.S.-backed war is not just a case of the Obama administration sitting idly by…the destructive spree of historic proportions. The government is actively selling the Saudis billions of dollars of weaponry. It’s re-supplying planes engaged in the bombing runs and providing “intelligence” for the targets that Saudi Arabia is hitting.
Put simply, the U.S. is quite literally funding a humanitarian catastrophe that, by some measures, is larger than the crisis in Syria. “Experts say the coalition would be grounded if Washington withheld its support….”
…Both the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns have been totally silent on this issue despite their constant arguing over who would be better at “stopping terrorism….”
“…inside Yemen this is not perceived to be a Saudi bombing campaign, this is a U.S. bombing campaign….”
‘Democratic’ Canada mimics U.S. in jailing immigrant children
GW, 9/30 — Canada regularly detains hundreds of children who have run foul of the country’s immigration laws, including some held in correctional facilities and even solitary confinement….
[A] University of Toronto…report…sheds light on the detentions, which range from days to months….
The Toronto report focuses on children — ranging from newborns to teenagers — ensnared in the system. Some are Canadian citizens forced to choose between separating from parents who have been detained or living in detention with their parents as de facto detainees.
U.S. drones continue murdering civilians
NYT, 9/30 — …An American airstrike…killed at least 15 civilians in eastern Afghanistan….[that] had gathered in a village to celebrate the return of a tribal elder from the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and were...sleeping in a guesthouse of the elder…. “Victims included students and a teacher as well as members of families considered to be pro-government.”
Racism ‘even at crosswalks’
NYT, 9/11 — …The evidence is overwhelming that racial discrimination remains [pervasive]…in America.
Take something as simple as crossing the street. In one study…three black men and three white men played pedestrians trying to cross a street at a crosswalk. On average, a black pedestrian was passed by twice as many vehicles before a driver yielded….
A Stanford study found that teachers reviewing discipline reports were more likely to favor harsh punishment for a student named “Deshawn” or “Darnell” than one named “Greg….” And black children with appendicitis are less than half as likely to get strong pain medication at an emergency room as white children with appendicitis….
…A study in New York City in 2004…[sent] young black and white men to apply for jobs at 170 businesses, bearing…carefully matched résumés….White applicants were more than twice as likely to get a call back; indeed, a white applicant purportedly just released from prison did no worse than a black applicant with a clean record….
…America’s education system is structured so that white suburban children often get an excellent public education, while inner-city black kids disproportionately get a third-rate education.

Thursday
Sep012016

REDEYE 9/14/16

UN admits fault: thousands killed through cholera
NYT, 8/18 — …Since a cholera epidemic…imported by the United Nations peacekeepers began killing thousands of Haitians nearly six years ago,…a confidential report sent to [UN Secy.-General] Ban Ki-moon….stated plainly that the epidemic “would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations….”
…After more than five years of high-level denial of any involvement or responsibility…the outbreak has killed at least 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands. Cholera victims suffer from dehydration caused by severe diarrhea or vomiting….
The first victims lived near a base housing 454 UN peacekeepers…and waste from the base often leaked into the [Meille] river. Numerous scientists have since argued that the base was the only plausible source of the outbreak — whose death toll…could be much higher than the official numbers state….
…the UN’s cholera eradication program has failed. Infection rates have been rising every year in Haiti….No major water or sanitation projects have been completed….
…A quarter of the sites run by the peacekeepers…were still discharging their waste into public canals as late as 2014, four years after the epidemic began….
The redress demanded by families of the 10,000 people killed and 800,000 affected would each $40 billion….and that figure does not take into account “those certain to die and be infected in the years ahead.”
Yemen: U.S. imprint on every life lost
NYT, 8/17 — A hospital associated with Doctors Without Borders. A school. A potato chip factory….All were bombed…by warplanes belonging to a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, killing more than 40 civilians.
The United States is complicit in this carnage….selling arms to the Saudis….
…The Saudis and their coalition…simply do not care about killing innocent civilians….
…The war has killed more than 6,500 people, displaced more than 2.5 million others and pushed one of the world’s poorest countries from deprivation to devastation….
…Obama has sold the Saudis $110 billion in arms, including Apache helicopters and missiles…. [and] has also supplied the coalition such indispensable assistance as intelligence, in-flight re-fueling of aircraft and help in identifying appropriate targets. Experts say the coalition would be grounded if Washington withheld its support. Instead the State Department…approved the potential sale of $1.15 billion more in tanks and other equipment to Saudi Arabia to replace items destroyed in the war….
…“There’s an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen.”
Capitalism is failing worldwide
NYT, 8/7 — [Capitalism’s] slow growth is anot some new phenomenon, but rather the way it has been for 15 years and counting. In the United States, per-person gross domestic product rose by an average of 2.2 percent a year from 1947 through 2000 — but starting in 2001 has averaged only 0.9 percent. The economies of Western Europe and Japan have done worse than that.
Dead? Student loans still must be paid!
NYT, 7/4 — Amid a haze of grief after her son’s unsolved murder last year, Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti faced…endless tasks….And then there were the college loans….
…A New Jersey state agency…said, “…the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will be continue to be sent to you….”
New Jersey’s loans…come with extraordinarily stringent rules that can easily lead to financial ruin. Repayments cannot be adjusted based on income, and borrowers who are unemployed or facing financial hardships are given few breaks….
…New Jersey can garnish wages, rescind state income tax refunds, revoke professional licenses….
“It’s state-sanctioned loan-sharking,” a bankruptcy lawyer said. “The New Jersey program is set up so that you fail….”
The program’s regulations have destroyed families’ credit and forced them to forfeit their salaries….
Another borrower, Chris Gonzalez, could not keep up with his loans after he got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was laid off by Goldman Sachs….New Jersey sued him, seeking $266,000 in payments, and seized a state tax refund he was owed….
The agency…said…”we must…meet our fiduciary duty to our bondholders.”
…Giving borrowers a break would make the bonds sold to finance the loans “less attractive to the ratings agencies and investors.”
Slave trade, basis of U.S. finance capital
NYT, 8/7 — As a result, in part because of cotton passing through the port, the Custom House in New York (now Federal Hall) generated the federal government’s largest source of income by 1860. More goods were manufactured in the city than in the entire South. The city’s hospitality industry depended on Southerners and their slaves....
City officials seriously contemplated secession as a free city-state as late as 1861, but once Southerners fired on Fort Sumter, resilient New York businessmen adapted. Manufacturers even successfully lobbied Congress to allow the purchase of cotton from the Confederacy to replace the shoddy uniforms they were making for Union troops.                                                                                                

Saturday
Jul302016

REDEYE 8/10/16

Racist cops still killing as often as before Ferguson 

Fivethirtyeight.com, 7/7 — Alton Sterling and Philando Castile…were killed by police…weren’t posing as threat, let alone one that justified deadly force….

Outrage about police killings has gone national since Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, nearly two years ago….Police chiefs and the director of the …[FBI] have said rising violent crime rates were the result of increased scrutiny of police: a supposed “Ferguson effect.”

Yet the best available data suggests that if police…are being watched more closely, that hasn’t reduced the frequency with which they kill people. In fact, they might be killing people more often. And the people dying still are disproportionately black….

The federal government…agencies’ various counts are incomplete. Fatal Encounters and Killed By Police…try to fill in the gaps….Mapping Police Violence collates and fact-checks these….The Guardian added its resources….and The Washington Post and the Gun Violence Archive count fatal police shootings,…the majority of police killings….

Volunteers and journalists have filled the void left by the government….

…All agree that police killings have held steady…in the years before and after [Michael Brown] died.

And blacks continue to make up about 30 percent of the people dying from police violence, though they make up 13 percent of the nation’s population.

 U.S. ‘founders’ ingrained racism from the get-go

NYT, 7/4 — For more than two centuries we have been reading the Declaration of Independence wrong,.…not the Declaration as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams wrote it. To them, separation from Britain was…more about racial fear and exclusion….

The Declaration…detracts…from the heart of the document. The 27 accusations against King George III….the very last one — the ultimate deal-breaker — was the most important for them….“He has excited domestic insurrections…to bring on the…merciless Indian savages….In the…18th century, “domestic insurrections” refers to rebellious slaves. “Merciless Indian savages” doesn’t need much explanation….

…A group of people gathered in…Huntington, N.Y…create[d] an effigy of King George….The blackened his face, and then…stuck his head “full of feathers” like “savages”… lined it with gunpowder and then set it ablaze.

The 27th and final grievance was at the Declaration’s heart….

The crowd in Huntington… [was] indeed celebrating an…America…defined by racial fear and exclusion….The effigy represented…enemies who were all excluded from the republic….

This idea — that some people belong as proper Americans and others do not — has marked American history ever since….

…Americans since 1776 have operated time and again on the assumption that blacks and Indians don’t belong in this republic. This notion comes from the very founders….

 U.S.-backed rulers caused violent refugee crisis

NYT, 6/28 [letter] — …The plight of young Central American refugees [are] trying to escape their crime-ridden societies [but] ….the oligarchs and generals…greed and brutality have created the violent crisis. And the United States has supported and protected them from their own people for decades….

The root cause of their problem is not United States immigration policy. It is United States foreign policy.

 

‘Blood on Obama’s Hands’

 

NYT, 6/20 — …The Obama administration’s…fine words about refugees…rank with deadly hypocrisy….[It] pressured and bribed Mexico to do…[the] dirty work, detaining and deporting people fleeing gangs in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala….betray[ing] some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

The American-Mexican collusion began in 2014 after a surge of Central Americans crossed into the United States, including 50,000 unaccompanied children….

…Obama portrayed his action as an effort to address a humanitarian crisis… [but] made the crisis worse….to put refugees…back into mortal peril….In the last five years, Mexico and the U.S. have deported 800,000 people to Central America, including 40,000 children….Last year Mexico deported more than five times as many unaccompanied children as it had five years earlier, and the Obama administration heralds this as a success….

…Salva Lacruz, coordinator of a human rights center in Tapachula…[said] Obama’s eloquent speeches on refugees and immigration…. “It’s just words….A lot of hypocrisy.”

 

The prosecutors aim to kill

 

NYT, 7/3 — One kept a paperweight of an electric chair on his desk. Another boasted about being named the “deadliest prosecutor in America”…and mocked defendants with intellectual disabilities….

…The death sentences [these five prosecutors]…have obtained are equal to 15 percent of the current national death row population….

During their tenures, each either secured dozens of death sentences personally or led offices that won hundreds….

…Mr. Macy…won 54 death sentences during two decades as Oklahoma County’s district attorney….Three people he sent to death row were later exonerated….

…Another prosecutor said of Mr. Myers, “Virtually the only time you see him in the courtroom is when he’s trying to kill people….”

…The rate of death sentences has less to do with the crimes of the people being prosecuted than with the men and women doing the prosecuting.

Friday
Jul012016

REDEYE 7/13/16

Class war erupts in France
NYT, 6/19 and 6/12 — …[In] months of demonstrations in the streets…workers…have blocked oil refineries, nuclear plants, factories and the country’s rail network. The unrest has been set off by a government overhaul of…making hiring and firing easier and weakening the unions’ grip….
[In Paris] all up and down the boulevard, store windows were smashed….Young men clambered on top of bus shelters….The police brought out tear gas and…water cannon….[leaving] the Boulevard du Montparnasse…looking like a war zone….
“I am in the Class Struggle” was a sticker sported by many protesters…. “The Struggle Is About Class Against Class,” read one billboard….
Emmanuel Macron,…economic minister…and former Rothschild banker….was…greeted with eggs…and catcalls….”Get lost!” they shouted at him….
Mr. Macron is the darling of the businessmen’s confederation and the favorite of…pro-capitalist media in France.
Lenin and Stalin still
revered among workers
NYT, 6/14 — …[The statue of] Lenin the Bolshevik leader had stood in this courtyard for nearly 100 years….Residents of the two apartment buildings nearby had taken up a collection to erect the monument….
It is very rare to see a Lenin toppled in Russia. A quarter-century after the end of the Soviet Union, thousands of Lenins large and small stand proudly in public squares or, as in this case, in quasi-private courtyards. Lenin himself…still lies in a glass coffin in a granite mausoleum in Red Square. A 70-foot statue of him in Kaluzhskaya Square is one of the largest monuments in the city….Even the few that were toppled in August 1991 have now been lovingly restored and are displayed in a sculpture
garden in the city center….
…Stalin’s public image is being largely redeemed: His likeness has gone up on posters around the country, and he has been praised as a great military and industrial leader.
Racist U.S. massacres have exceeded Orlando’s
NYT, 6/18 — Is the massacre in Orlando the worst mass shooting in Unites States history?....
…Characterizing Orlando as the worst ignores an ugly history of attacks that claimed more lives, most involving…black or Indian victims….
In Colfax, La., in 1873; in East St. Louis, Ill., in 1917; and in Tulsa, Okla., in 192`; mobs…attacked and killed large numbers of black people….In 1890, a cavalry regiment gunned down Lakota men, women and children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota….By most estimates, the death toll was higher than in the Orlando attack.
Capitalist wars,
persecution displaced 65 mill
NYT, 6/20 — The annual report by the United Nations…found that in 2015, 65.3 million people remained forcibly displaced from their homes….fleeing war, persecution, poverty or environmental devastation….
Half of all refugee children are out of school….
…The Obama….administration…is facing criticism…over a new round of deportations of Central Americans, including women and children….
…The latest refugee numbers amount to a report card on the failure of the world’s most powerful leaders to end wars.
Clinton’s welfare reform leaves millions destitute
NYT, 6/19 — In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a…bill for welfare reform….
…Welfare “reform” is a misnomer…cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute….in the heartland of America….The embarrassing truth is that welfare reform has resulted in a layer of destitution that echoes poverty in countries like Bangladesh….
…Because of welfare reform, roughly three million American children live in households with income of less than $2 per person per day, a global metric of extreme poverty.
Thousands hit U.S.
imperialist bases
NYT, 6/20 — Tens of thousands of people on the Japanese island of Okinawa gathered…to demand the removal of American military bases in…the largest demonstration against the United States presence there in two decades.
The protest…was…a memorial for a 20-year-old woman who was found dead last month. A United States Marine veteran…working as a civilian contractor…has been arrested in connection with the killing….
Organizers said 65,000 people had attended the protest….the largest demonstration since 1995, when two American Marines and a Navy sailor were arrested over the rape of a 12-year-old girl….
With just a sliver of Japan’s total land mass, Okinawa is home to about half the American soldiers and sailors stationed in Japan. About three-quarters of the acreage in Japan taken up by United States bases is on the island….