The United States is home to 5% of the global population, but in 2018 held 25% of the global prison population. Michelle Alexander describes Mass Incarceration as "The larger web of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison." The 13th amendment rendered slavery illegal with the exception of prisoners. After slavery, many laws were passed in order to target the Black populations in America, like the Jim Crow Laws. This led to mass incarceration.  A grant was filed in 1995 that offered a monetary reward to prisons to increase the prison population. 

The demonization of marijuana laws imposed by the Reagan administration led to overcrowding in state and federal prisons. Between 1980 and 2011, the state and federal prison population increased from 316,000 to 1.5 million, with another 700,000 in locally run jails. The largest private prison companies known as CCA and GEO Group realized there was big money to be made by signing contracts with states that simply didn’t have the resources to imprison the influx of non-violent drug offenders. 

Private prisons contributed big sums of money to Pro-Donald Trump groups.  In 2016, out of the 2.4 million people incarcerated in the US--15,000 are minors, 12,000 of which were jailed for offenses most Americans would not consider a crime. They are behind bars because of technical violations. Technical violations constitute not being able to meet probation, or parole requirements. 3,000 minors are behind bars for "status offenses", offenses that for adults would not be considered crimes such as truancy, running away, and incorrigibility.

AFRICOM - The U.S. Africa Command

AFRICOM is the West’s standing army on the African Continent as a guardian of multinational corporations and the natural and human resources that keep North America and Europe on top. Remember, Europe eats from Africa. AFRICOM claims its mission is “anti-terrorism” – a catch-all, “convenient excuse for AFRICOM to interfere with legitimate efforts to achieve." On February 6, 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced to the Senate Armed Services Committee that President George W. Bush gave authority to create the new African Command. AFRICOM put itself in charge of 53 countries in Africa--excluding Egypt.

During his first three months in office, Donald Trump approved major expansions of the US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) interventions in Somalia, Libya, Nigeria, and several other unnamed Central and West African countries.

Trump reportedly favors giving US commanders in Africa wide latitude to wage war in complete secrecy, and without direct authorization from the civilian government. The White House has granted American ground forces expanded powers to call in airstrikes against large areas of Somalia, which were officially declared “areas of active hostilities” subject to “war-zone targeting rules” by the Trump White House.

AFRICOM drew its first real blood in the US-NATO intervention to bring down the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011, claiming the lives of some 80,000 Libyans and leaving the entire society, over six years later, still in shambles. The regime-change war in Libya destabilized the entire region, igniting longstanding conflicts between the Tuareg people and the governments in Mali and Niger, and strengthening various Islamist movements, which were armed and supported by the US and its allies as proxy ground forces against Gaddafi.

As is in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, the so-called terrorists that the US military is purportedly being deployed to fight and represent the direct instruments or products of US imperialism’s own wars of aggression and regime-change, providing the pretexts for new and even bloodier interventions.

Behind these pretexts, however, lie the unmistakable geostrategic interests of US imperialism. These interests were spelled out fairly bluntly in a statement to Congress earlier this year by AFRICOM commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser:

“Just as the US pursues strategic interests in Africa, international competitors, including China and Russia, are doing the same. Whether with trade, natural resource exploitation, or weapons sales, we continue to see international competitors engage with African partners in a manner contrary to the international norms of transparency and good governance. These competitors weaken our African partners’ ability to govern and will ultimately hinder Africa’s long-term stability and economic growth, and they will also undermine and diminish US influence—a message we must continue to share with our partners.”

The invocation of “international norms of transparency and good governance” by a senior military official of a military-dominated regime in Washington that wages wars behind the backs of the American people and conspires to topple any government getting in its way is, of course, pretty rich. But the thrust of the general’s remarks is clear.

China surpassed the US as the continent’s largest trading partner in 2009 and has continued to widen its lead. China-Africa trade has soared more than 20-fold from just $10 billion in 2000 to $220 billion in 2014. In 2015, Xi Jinping, China’s president, pledged $60 billion for African infrastructure projects in three years. Unable to compete with China economically and desperate for new sources of profits, US imperialism is resorting to military might.

It is not only the United States that is launching its military into a new scramble for Africa, but also the old European colonialists. France has deployed some 4,000 troops across its former Sahel colonies of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of a century after the defeat of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, Germany has some 1,000 troops deployed in Mali, a major component in the resurgence of German militarism.


Auken, Bill Van.
Literacy not a Right!
Water not a right!
Healthcare not a Right!


In 2016, attorneys for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ask a judge to toss out a lawsuit against the State of Michigan filed by students in the Detroit Public School System who claim literacy is not a legal right in the state. The Michigan Attorney General asked a federal judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit arguing Detroit Schools are obligated to ensure that kids learn how to read and write. The State's motion to dismiss the lawsuit says: "No fundamental right to literacy exists."

The US Supreme Court and Michigan Courts ruled in 2018 the courts do recognize the importance of literacy but reject claim literacy is a legal right. The Governor says the state must provide for schools, but there's no obligation to make schools work. Detroit Public Schools was under Emergency Management by the Governor who created the Educational Achievement Authority that opened new schools without certified teachers. Other suburban districts like Highland Park and Inkster were completely shut down because of finance and failure. The Judge dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it is now closed, according to the filing.


Detroit — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes refused to block the city from shutting off water to delinquent customers for six months, saying there is no right to free water, and Detroit can't afford to lose the revenue. Behind the lies cynicism, the message was clear: people do not have the right to water any more than they do to food, shelter, health care or any other vital necessity. In capitalist America, if you do not pay for something, even something as essential as water, you will have to do without it. The shut-off of water service has reached 100,000 Detroit residents has generated national and international attention. The scenes of young mothers, children, the elderly, sick and low-income workers deprived of water for drinking, cleaning and cooking—in what is supposed to be the richest country of the world—have provoked astonishment and revulsion.


With the failure of the Republican led legislation for a repeal/replace of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), information started spinning in the media outlets. Did you know that Congressmen whose salary is $174,000 annually must choose the ACA as their healthcare provider but receive a $10,000 subsidy towards premiums? Citizens who earn $94,000 per year from a 4-family household receive no subsidies.
Did you know that after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, by George (Baby) Bush, all Iraqi citizens receive free healthcare under the "Nation Building" Policy? Once the US bombs and devastates a country, then private contractors are assigned to re-build the terrain and everything else in its path, so it is like new?
Health is more than an economic good; that it is in fact an essential human right; therefore, this right to healthcare places a specific obligation on every member of society to ensure that every other member has his health needs met. Since health resources are scarce, society must decide who pays for the program, how resources will be distributed, and how costs will be contained. This decision must not come from the free market but should come from a dialogue and a shared moral consensus.



Medicaid Block Grants & Trump's Healthcare Bill

According to AARP, 65% of seniors in US nursing homes are covered by Medicaid.

Medicaid is best known as the collaborative federal/state health insurance program covering the cost of care for low-income Americans. Many assume the average Medicaid beneficiary is an able-bodied adult, but the true picture of a Medicaid recipient is quite different. According to AARP, 65% of seniors in nursing homes in the United States are covered by Medicaid. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that Medicaid pays for 39% of American children’s health insurance. And MedPAC reports that over 9 million people with disabilities receive services from healthcare to home care through Medicaid.

Trump and Minimum Wages

“We are a country that is being beaten on every front,” President Donald Trump said. “Taxes too high and wages are too high." "We’re not going to be able to compete against the world.”  Trump has called for the elimination of the federal minimum wage which is $7.25 per hour.  The President said, “We can’t have a situation where our labor is so much more expensive than other countries where we can no longer compete.” Many states have abolished unions with Right-To-Work Legislation. Corporations like Toyota, Nisson, BMW, and Electrolux (headquartered in Sweden)--the latter closed its unionized plant in Michigan but kept its plant open in South Carolina--a "low-paying" southern part of the US where unions are blocked. 


SYRIAN CRISIS: Trump and Netanyahu Lead US to Brink of Another Oil War in Golan Heights

Israel is in violation of the UN Charter, illegally occupying the Golan Heights after the Israeli army took the Syrian land in the 1967 Six Day War.  In 1981, the UN Security Council passed UN Resolution §497, which declared, “The Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”  On March 22, 2017, in Washington, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson convened a US Ministerial conference of something the Trump Administration calls the Global Coalition Working to Defeat ISIS.  

A New Jersey oil company, Genie Energy, has been given permission to drill for oil on the Golan Heights. Genie Energy is no “penny stock” run-of-the-mill oil company. Its board of Advisors includes Dick Cheney. A large oil deposit with significant quantities has been found-- an oil stratum 350 meters thick in the southern Golan Heights. On average worldwide, strata are 20 to 30 meters thick and is 10 times as large, which could make Israel self-sufficient in energy. The problem that exists--THE LAND BELONGS TO SYRIA--NOT ISRAEL.