Month: June, 2021
Russia-China the Endgame
worker | June 30, 2021 | 7:45 pm | China, Russia | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202106291083266685-russia-china-the-endgame/

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The consolidation of the Russia-China alliance this week spells the endgame for Western imperialism and the never-ending wars that it spawns.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s leader Xi Jinping celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, first signed in July 2001. The hallmark of that historic accord is a mutual commitment to peace, prosperity and global stability.

As Putin commented, the alliance between Russia and China is a vital source of “stability at a time of increasing geopolitical turbulence”. The latter remark is an oblique reference to the US-led Western states which are driven by ratcheting up antagonism and tensions with Moscow and Beijing using all sorts of spurious complaints.

The attempt by Washington (whether Republican or Democrat) and its Western minions to make trouble with Russia and China has become almost frenetic. Step back from the daily headlines in Western media and it is glaring just how much the agenda has become irrationally hostile towards Moscow and Beijing. Week after week there are unfounded allegations about aggression, security threats, cybercrime, interference, Covid-19, and so on. It’s like a mad cacophony to wind up tensions. Nevertheless, the deranged attitude of Western ruling cliques is but the death throes of a world order that has reached its expiration.

Russia and China’s partnership has hugely transformative geopolitical significance. Both these giant nations straddle the continents of Asia and Europe, connecting the Pacific with the Atlantic, ranging from the Arctic to the Mediterranean. Both are committed to a vision of a multipolar world where nations cooperate for mutual development. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) linking Eurasia with Africa and the Americas is the vision of the future, and Russia is a key partner in implementing that ambitious win-win project for global peace and prosperity.

This vision stands in stark contrast to the prevailing Western capitalist paradigm which operates through dominance, control and exploitation for American and European profiteering. That kind of centuries-old system necessarily involves imperialist conduct whereby natural resources of foreign nations are commandeered by brute military force, conflict, subjugation, subterfuge, skulduggery and other machinations.

The multipolar vision of global relations advocated by Russia and China is the nemesis of the Western imperialist system. And that explains why the Americans and their European vassals make every effort to demonize and distort Russia and China.

But the geopolitical potential of Russia and China is unstoppable. There is a force of natural justice that all nations will inevitably subscribe to as the only reasonable, feasible and sustainable way forward. It’s about people-centered development versus profit-driven disorder.

Moreover, the partnership between Russia and China is a geographer’s wonder study. Russia is the world’s largest national territory by landmass. With over 17 million square kilometers, it covers 11 time zones out of the world’s total of 24. The abundance of natural resources that Russia possesses is astounding, from reserves of natural gas, oil, metals and minerals, to forestry, agriculture and fisheries. It also can boast of highly advanced technology in multiple sectors. And it shares a long land border with China for easing trade.

Meanwhile, China has a population of 1.4 billion people, ten times that of Russia. With highly advanced technology and manufacturing, China is not only a vast market for Russian resources, it is also a gateway to the world economy. China has already become the world’s biggest economy over the United States according to some measures.

The US and Europe are post-industrial economies that are also post-peak of their prime. Their “prime” was always based on an extractive predatory relationship with the rest of the world that was predicated on inflicting conflict and poverty on others.

As China and Russia build on their strategic partnership for mutual prosperity and peace the upshot will inevitably entail the endgame for Western imperial powers which are atrophying from massive inequality, indebtedness, moral decadence and social decay.

Fortunately, too, and this is crucial, Russia and China have military defenses from new generations of hypersonic weaponry that make them impregnable against any warmongering notions by the United States. A failing empire like the US and its Western satellites is always a dangerous time as it tries to prevent the inevitable collapse, but starting a war with Russia and China is not an option.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

How did the Communist Party of China (CPC) grow from an organization of just over 50 members to the world’s biggest political party with more than 91 million members during the past 100 years?
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:57 pm | China, Communist Party of China | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-27/Explained-Why-China-chooses-CPC-and-socialism-11r9lVziDSg/index.html

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Explained: Why China chooses CPC and socialism
CGTN

A sign marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC is seen in Shanghai, east China, June 21, 2021. /CFP

How did the Communist Party of China (CPC) grow from an organization of just over 50 members to the world’s biggest political party with more than 91 million members during the past 100 years? What are the reasons behind its creation, development and success? A recently released short video by China Daily explored the answers.

The five-minute video, released days ahead of the CPC’s centenary, reviewed China’s struggles for independence, development and modernization amid a series of crises in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the CPC’s role in the process.

Since China’s defeat in the Opium War in the 1840s, generations of Chinese patriots made a number of attempts to transform the country. “They tried to push for reform and build a constitutional monarchy, but it failed. They were able to build a democratic republic through revolution (the Xinhai Revolution in 1911), but it did not last long,” the video noted.

“The Chinese people were very motivated,” said Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China. “When facing the external pressure, they made many attempts, but most of them failed.”

“In the end the people chose the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China because they have a goal of modernizing China,” Jin added.

A screenshot of the China Daily video

Early Communist groups started to sprout up in Chinese cities with a large working class during the May Fourth Movement in 1919, when students and workers protested the government that caved in to demands by imperialist powers after World War I. During the protests, intellectuals influenced by Marxism after the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 were touched by the power of workers in the fight to save China.

The CPC was founded in July 1921 amid Chinese Communists’ efforts to find a way out for the country.

“From the day of its foundation the CPC was determined to reach out to the lower strata of society, to the toiling masses who made up the vast majority of the Chinese population and to mobilize them,” said Zhou Kun, a researcher at the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee.

Led by Mao Zedong, the CPC worked to mobilize peasants – the silent majority of the Chinese people at that time, paving the way for its unique revolutionary strategy of surrounding cities from the countryside and eventually established the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

A screenshot of the China Daily video

“The only thing that draws people together is by addressing majority people’s concern,” said Fred Engst, son of Sid Engst and Joan Hinton, an American couple who came to China in the 1940s and witnessed China’s revolution and socialist development.

“When you sided with the overwhelming majority of the people, the peasantry, the workers, people in lower, you will get their support,” he said.

“The path of socialism chosen by China is a choice made by history and by the people,” the video said in the end, quoting the words of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Jarvis DeBerry: The tax breaks for jobs scheme isn’t working out for Louisiana
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:54 pm | Economy, Local/State | Comments closed

https://www.nola.com/opinions/article_fc87f8fa-d45c-11eb-8666-130fce735f95.html

Jarvis DeBerry: The tax breaks for jobs scheme isn’t working out for Louisiana

marathon oil refinery 2019_001.jpg
The Marathon Petroleum refinery in Garyville, La. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019.

You, I and every other American taxpayer helped out Marathon Petroleum during the worst of the pandemic. Then, the same year it secured its $2.1 billion in federal tax benefits — the most of any U.S. oil company — Marathon let go almost 1,920 employees.

The “reductions,” to use Marathon’s word, included 45 workers at Marathon’s refinery in St. John the Baptist Parish who probably don’t say “reduced” when describing what the company did to them.

Marathon grabbed up our money but let go our neighbors. “Understanding the benefits that Marathon received to presumably stimulate them into maintaining full employment,” one of the laid-off workers told reporter Chris Staudinger, “it’s frustrating to have still been chopped.”

But in Louisiana, it’s not uncommon for industry to get government help — most often tax exemptions from the state — only to cut workers. The mere promise of jobs is enough to make state officials genuflect before the companies offering them.

Even when a company says up front it’s going to double the amount of pollution — consider Formosa’s plan to emit 800 tons of toxic air pollution each year in St. James Parish — we are told to pipe down lest we chase away potential jobs.

Robert Taylor, the 80-year-old leader of Concerned Citizens of St. John, made it clear in a phone interview that no number of jobs justifies people breathing air that’s killing them. When Taylor’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, he moved her out of state. His daughter also left because, according to Taylor, she and three other Black women in St. John developed an autoimmune disease that only one in 5 million people get.

Taylor lives closer to the Denka plant (formerly Dupont) than to Marathon and mostly blames that plant for his family’s poor health, but he says none of the companies in St. John that boast about job creation provide evidence.

“All these companies, they guard their personnel records with their lives,” Taylor said. “There’s no access to anything about the demographics of employees. We’ve been fighting with (Marathon) as well as with DuPont/Denka to give us the statistics to let us know — since they brag about all the jobs. We’re always trying to find out what percentage of the population that has been impacted by them the most are they employing.”

But again, who cares?

“I would not trade off the health of the people here for any job at all,” Taylor said. “What good is a job going to do you if you’re dying? I know a guy who has retired (from Marathon); he got his son on. Both he and his son contracted the same form of cancer, but they are better able to deal with it and get the right medical care. They both survived the cancer, but the average person that lives here, which is 99% of us, we don’t have the kind of medical insurance and care that Marathon can give to the few token Blacks that they do hire.”

On the last day of the legislative session, state Rep. Royce Duplessis (D-New Orleans) asked the Louisiana House to extend the current 5% federal earned income tax credit by five years, calling it “good policy that … serves working people at the bottom of the totem pole.” state Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath), the leader of the Republican Caucus, objected to the projected cost of $20.5 million a year.

“This institution,” state Rep. Barry Ivey (R-Central) said in defense of Duplessis’ bill, “gives everything away for corporate, for business. We give it away. We don’t even think about it…. But when it comes to the people of our state, we’re going to have these unbelievable philosophical questions and concerns about whether it’s the right thing to do.”

In May, Ivey expressed dismay at his House colleagues who approved a bill that would have let companies getting tax breaks to create jobs keep private the salaries they pay their hires. That bill died in the Senate, but the message was still sent that, just like the feds, Louisiana doesn’t care much what corporations do after taking our money.

That’s one of many reasons we know the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong when it ruled in 2010 that corporations are people. People are capable of shame.

The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China on Friday released a white paper titled “China’s Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation.”
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:50 pm | China, Communist Party of China | Comments closed

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-25/Full-Text-China-s-Political-Party-System-Cooperation-Consultation-11njwrsmR56/index.html

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Full Text: China’s Political Party System: Cooperation and Consultation
Updated 11:51, 27-Jun-2021
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Sweden is in political turmoil and it’s the Right who are likely to benefit. Europe should sit up and take notice
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:48 pm | Political Pandemonium, political struggle, Sweden | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/527495-sweden-no-confidence-vote/

Sweden is in political turmoil and it’s the Right who are likely to benefit. Europe should sit up and take notice

Sweden is in political turmoil and it’s the Right who are likely to benefit. Europe should sit up and take notice
The Eurosceptic Swedish Democrats are gaining in influence, as seen by their role in triggering a no-confidence vote in parliament. Their rise shows how a far-right party can be reinvented, and could cause shockwaves in the EU.

This week, Stefan Löfven became the first Swedish prime minister in history to lose a vote of no confidence in the Riksdag, Sweden’s parliament. The vote was prompted by the government’s proposals to abolish rent controls and introduce free-market reforms. A broad alliance of centre-right and far-left parties opposed the scheme and Löfven, who heads a Social Democrat-Green coalition, lost the vote by 181 to 109, with 51 abstentions.

Löfven now has until next Monday to choose one of three options: he can resign and call a snap general election; he can try to negotiate a deal and keep his fragile coalition afloat; or he can lead a minority government.

Interestingly, the no-confidence vote was triggered by Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the much-maligned Swedish Democrats. His party is often described as ‘far-right’ or as ‘anti-immigrant’ by the mainstream media. The origins of the Swedish Democrats, granted, are somewhat murky, with a number of fascist sympathisers fronting the party in the early days. However, they have been growing in size and stature over the past decade. In the 2018 general election, for example, they won 17.5% of the vote and returned 62 members of the Riksdag, making them Sweden’s third-largest party by a good margin.

ALSO ON RT.COMSwedish PM Lofven remains public’s top choice despite losing no-confidence voteNow, I have some experience dealing with the Swedish Democrats. Back in 2014, two of their new MEPs applied to join UKIP’s grouping in the European Parliament. I have to admit that, at first, I was reticent. I had read about their party’s far-right origins and was worried that we would be taking on extremists. However, on the contrary, I found that we had recruited hard-working and moderate politicians. Indeed, so moderate were they that by 2018 they were sitting with the British Conservative Party in the European Parliament.

I also got to know their leader, Jimmie Åkesson, personally. He is an impressive individual, taking over the leadership in 2005 at the age of 26. He has since gone about cleansing his party of its past, expelling those who made racist or extremist statements and taking it mainstream. Other Swedish political parties have seemingly taken note, with a deal agreed back in March that centre-right parties would work together to bring down Löfven’s left-wing coalition. It seems that this week they succeeded, albeit with Sweden’s former Communist Party.

If a snap general election is called as a result of Löfven’s fall, then the Swedish Democrats are expected to make further gains. At the moment, they are polling around 20% and have been for some time. If these polls hold up, and there is no suggestion that they will not, Åkesson will undoubtedly angle for a place in any future centre-right coalition government. Indeed, as the leader of the third-largest party, and potentially the second, it would be difficult to deny him a position.

In the past, other parties have refused to work with the Swedish Democrats on account of their origins, but as time has passed, and Åkesson’s reforms have taken hold, that commitment has softened. For example, they are now in coalition with centre-right parties in local councils. Indeed, Åkesson has urged the creation of a strong and broad “conservative bloc” and insists that the “old arguments for not talking to us no longer exist.”

ALSO ON RT.COMSwedish parliament ousts PM Lofven in no-confidence voteThe Swedish Democrats have dropped some of their more radical policies to appeal to the centre-right. A commitment to the death penalty was abandoned, for example. Also, their long-held pledge to hold a ‘Swexit’ referendum on membership of the European Union was dropped in 2019 in favour of root-and-branch EU reform. I guarantee, however, that they will be watching how the UK performs very closely, and do not be surprised if the policy is resurrected if post-Brexit Britain prospers.

The Swedish Democrats have now got themselves into a position where they are the potential kingmakers of Swedish politics. Any centre-right coalition will require not only their blessing, but most likely their membership. Åkesson will also undoubtedly drive a hard bargain. He will certainly demand a drastic reduction in immigration and policies that promote a Swedish cultural identity. Moreover, last month he supported Danish plans to erect asylum camps in Africa and called on Sweden to follow suit.

If there is not an immediate general election and Löfven hangs on to power, then one has to be held next year anyway. There is no sign, however, that the Swedish Democrats are a ‘flash in the pan’ movement and they are now a permanent fixture in Swedish politics. Indeed, they may well be in an even stronger position this time next year.

If the Swedish Democrats enter government anytime soon, it will have a knock-on-effect for the rest of Europe. Sweden will undoubtedly become more Eurosceptic and further integration will be vetoed, boosting other European politicians who oppose the idea of a European superstate.

It is easy for those in large countries to pass Sweden off as a small nation on the northern peripheries of Europe, but mark my words, what is happening there at the moment could have repercussions for the rest of the continent.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:45 pm | Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/news/527536-lula-corruption-cases-invalidated/

Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency

Brazil’s top court tosses graft cases against ex-President Lula, furthering new bid for presidency
The Supreme Court of Brazil has reset two cases against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, which had been brought by a judge that the court had earlier found biased, bringing him closer to a new run for president.

A magistrate of the Supreme Federal Court invalidated all evidence brought in the two cases by Sergio Moro as part of the large-scale corruption investigation known as ‘Lava Jato’ (Operation Car Wash). The court earlier found Moro biased against Lula, as he is commonly known in Brazil, and overturned a criminal conviction that he passed on the former president in 2017.

The conviction barred the socialist Lula from running against right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro in the 2018 presidential election, which resulted in the latter’s win. Moro then became justice minister under President Bolsonaro.

A series of leaks of communications between the ex-judge and others involved in the prosecution of Lula, which were published by journalist Glenn Greenwald, indicated that the conviction was the result of a plot to bar him from returning to power. At one moment, Deltan Dallagnol, the lead prosecutor in the operation, called Lula’s arrest “a gift from the CIA,” which some people interpreted as evidence that the Donald Trump administration was involved in the plot.

ALSO ON RT.COMBrazilians protest Bolsonaro’s rule as country hits 500,000 coronavirus deaths (VIDEO)In March, the Brazilian Supreme Court agreed that political bias was present in the case and ruled to overturn Lula’s conviction. It also accused Moro of seven counts of felony judicial bias during his handling of Lava Jato.

This week’s ruling by Supreme Court Magistrate Gilmar Mendes expands that decision to the two cases that Moro launched against Lula while serving as a judge in the city of Curitiba and orders the nullification of “all the decision-making actions” by him. The decision comes days after a federal court acquitted Lula on corruption charges in yet another case.

The news means that it is becoming less likely that Lula will be convicted of a crime and be barred from running in next year’s presidential election in Brazil in a repeat of the 2018 scenario. While he didn’t officially announce his candidacy, Lula is expected by many to run against Bolsonaro, whose policies he has harshly criticized. A poll last month indicated that Lula would win by a comfortable margin, should he and the incumbent president go to a run-off.

ALSO ON RT.COMBrazil doesn’t need US permission to its own backyard, ex-president Lula tells RT 

Lula, who was in office from 2003-2010, has denied all corruption allegations against him. He still faces three trials, one in Brasilia and two in Sao Paulo.

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Liberals aghast as American TV news host says ‘traitors’ who stole election from Trump can face ‘execution’
worker | June 29, 2021 | 7:20 pm | Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/usa/527521-pearson-sharp-oan-traitors/

Liberals aghast as American TV news host says ‘traitors’ who stole election from Trump can face ‘execution’

Liberals aghast as American TV news host says ‘traitors’ who stole election from Trump can face ‘execution’
One America News (OAN) host Pearson Sharp triggered plenty of Donald Trump critics when he argued on the network that thousands were behind a “coup” against the former president and should be possibly executed.

During a segment discussing the 2020 presidential election on OAN, known for being a heavily conservative network, Sharp implied there were thousands involved in “undermining the election” and branded them “traitors.”

He started by saying there were “widespread problems with voter integrity” in the election. Officially, these claims are denied over lack of evidence. Sharp then discussed potential multiple state audits of election results and asked what will happen in the end to those “responsible for overthrowing the election?”

ALSO ON RT.COMGiuliani’s law license suspended in New York over claims about Trump, 2020 election“When all the dust settles from the audit in Arizona and the potential audits in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Wisconsin, what happens to all these people who are responsible for overthrowing the election?” Sharp then asked. “What are the consequences for traitors who meddled with our sacred democratic process and tried to steal power by taking away the voices of the American people? What happens to them?”

Sharp then offered up an answer himself, one that triggered moral outrage as the clip spread across social media.

“Well, in the past, America had a very good solution for dealing with such traitors: Execution,” Sharp said.

The host went on to accuse “foreign governments,” including China and Pakistan, of “meddling” in the last US presidential election, making anyone involved in alleged fraud a traitor, “the highest of all crimes.”

“This would seem to violate a stack of Title 18 provisions against threats towards government officials,” liberal pundit Keith Olbermann, also known for employing rather extreme rhetoric, tweeted on Friday in reaction to the clip of Sharp, going on to say the Justice Department should be investigating the television host.

Critics not only slammed Sharp, but also used his comments as ammunition to attack other supporters of Trump and his right-leaning network.

Some went as far as branding OAN a “threat to democracy” and calling on advertisers to boycott.

Sharp defended his comments, saying he was not calling for mass executions, but again calling anyone involved in election fraud a “traitor,” a crime punishable by death.

“Neither myself, nor OAN is ‘embracing executing thousands of people,’” Sharp told Talking Points Memo in a statement. “OAN is simply pointing out that if election fraud is proven, then it could very well constitute treason. And according to our laws, treason is punishable by death.”

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