Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A View From The Left -NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong

NEW WARS / OLD WARS – What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Respond to Saudi bombing of Yemeni children – PROTEST AT RAYTHEON IN CAMBRIDGE
Monday, August 20 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Raytheon BBN Technologies building
Corner of Concord Ave and Moulton Street
(On the right as you head out Concord Ave. from the Fresh Pond Circle toward Belmont. Directly across from the entrance to the Neville Nursing Home. The address is 10 Moulton St. Parking is available a block down Moulton St. on the right.  There is a wide sidewalk where we can stand.)  Find out more »
Raytheon supplies the bombs and military equipment to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republics that makes such savage attacks possible and Raytheon has a special relationship to Saudi Arabia and its military.  Sponsored by The Raytheon Anti-war Campaign: Veterans for Peace/Smedley Butler Brigade; Cambridge Friends Meeting/Peace and Social Concerns; Mass. Peace Action and American Friends Service Committee
For information call 617-623-5288 or 617-354- 2169
Our country is a true enabler of this slaughter, because, without our actions, the slaughter would end. Congress must end U.S. support for this unauthorized war. Can you write your Senators and House member today? 
American weapons makers have dominated the global arms trade for decades. In any given year, they’ve accounted for somewhere between one-third and more than one-half the value of all international weapons sales. It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse -- or better, if you happen to be an arms trader -- but they could, and soon, if a new Trump rule on firearms exports goes through…  A recent presidential export policy directive, in fact, specifically instructs American diplomats to put special effort into promoting arms sales, effectively turning them into agents for the country’s largest weapons makers. As an analysis by the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy has noted, human rights and even national security concerns have taken a back seat to creating domestic jobs via such arms sales. Evidence of this can be found in, for example, the ending of Obama administration arms sales suspensions to Nigeria, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.   More
On August 14, Warren published a letter to the general asking him to clarify the discrepancy between his sworn testimony and recent reporting…  Despite Secretary of Defense Mattis’s protestations, members of Congress are treating the United States as if it were a belligerent in Yemen. On the same day that Warren released her letter to Votel, a group of House democrats, including centrist leaders such as Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), published a letter demanding that the Department of Defense conduct a briefing to satisfy their own unanswered questions. Before that, Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and no dove, announced that he was opposing any sale of precision-guided munitions to the coalition. And before that, a bipartisan collection of SFRC Senators, led by conservative chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and including Todd Young (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), publicly opposed U.S. support for the coalition’s planned offensive against the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. These letters, combined with a series of tweets and statements condemning coalition international humanitarian law violations and threatening the introduction of new legislation to curtail U.S. support, make clear that U.S. engagement in Yemen has generated congressional ire like few of America’s shadow interventions over the last 17 years.   More
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Earnings for the top executives at America’s largest companies skyrocketed in 2017, while wages for the average worker hardly budged.
CEOs for the 350 largest US companies earned an average pay of $18.9 million in 2017, a sharp 17 percent increase from the previous year, according to a new study by the left leaning Economic Policy Institute. These estimates include salaries, bonuses, restricted stock grants, cashed-in company stock, and other forms of compensation for chief executives at those firms. Meanwhile, wages for the average US worker grew a paltry 0.2 percent during that time.  This means that the CEOs made about 312 times more money than the average worker last year — an even larger gap than in 2016, when they made 270 times more money, according to EPI. But even more shocking is how much the gap has widened in the past 50 years: In 1965, CEOs earned only 20 times more than the average worker.    More
Poll Shows Democratic Voters Like Socialism More Than Capitalism
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may believe that the Democratic Party is "capitalist, and that's just the way it is," but a new Gallup poll out Monday shows that support for capitalism among Democratic voters has hit a record low while a steady majority of the Democratic base has a favorable view of socialism.  "For the first time in Gallup's measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism," Gallup noted in a summary of its findings, which come as socialist candidates continue to surpass expectations, garner widespread enthusiasm, and win elections across the nation…  Unsurprisingly, millennials—many of whom came of age in the midst of the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression—have a particularly unfavorable view of capitalism, regardless of party affiliation.   More
Warren Unveils Plan to Give Workers More Control Over Corporate Decisions
Taking aim at the heart of America's toxic economic status quo—which has over the past several decades produced soaring corporate profits and CEO pay while keeping workers' wages stagnant—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would "give workers a stronger voice" in the decision-making of major businesses and put an end to corporations' single-minded commitment to maximizing shareholder value at the expense of employees. "There's a fundamental problem with our economy. For decades, American workers have helped create record corporate profits but have seen their wages hardly budge… "Because the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households own 84 percent of American-held shares, the obsession with maximizing shareholder returns effectively means America's biggest companies have dedicated themselves to making the rich even richer," Warren noted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed outlining her new measure. "For the past 30 years we have put the American stamp of approval on giant corporations, even as they have ignored the interests of all but a tiny slice of Americans. We should insist on a new deal."    More
This week Vice President Pence announced that the Department of Defense is beginning a planning process to establish a sixth military branch, known as the Space Force.  Pence’s statement was a public reassurance that Trump’s sudden announcement of the Space Force was not just another of the president’s frequent sudden announcements that have no connection to reality.  Pence claimed that this new Space Force military division will be in place by 2020, and while many in the media are reacting as if the militarization of space were a sudden departure from American policy, as with much of the Trump presidency, this policy shift is only a minor, more grotesque version of what our government has long routinely undertaken…  In very concrete terms Trump’s step towards a Space Force simply connects the dots laid in place by the politer and more articulate administrations came before him as he moves us into a world where space more openly becomes a warfare platform.  But we should expect a culture so deeply embedded in a political economy of warfare and militarization to try and do no less than to extend its militarized vision beyond our atmosphere reaching to militarize the universe.    More
US Military Ordered to Host Massive Immigrant Concentration Camps
This isn’t the first time in US history that facilities are being constructed and used to imprison large numbers of a persecuted minority in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities (the definition of a concentration camp). Previous examples of this are now infamous, such as the so-called Japanese internment camps. We’re now on the brink of adding a new chapter to this dark history.  Military officials, in response to pressured deadlines from the White House, have stated that these camps can begin to be operational by mid-August. Estimates are that capacity for another 10,000 people can be added each month…  In addition to providing the land, military personnel will construct the camps while private agencies will manage the operations.   More

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