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Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday News in July of 2015

There is the economic global derivatives problem in the world. We know that gambling comes readily with many investments. The credit crunch in 2008-2009 was terrible. Today, the Bank of International Settlements or the BIS said that there are about $700 trillion in global derivatives. There have been credit default swaps and other exotic instruments. So, the total national derivative value is at about $1.5 quadrillion, which is about 20 percent more than in 2008. That is huge. If the derivatives situation is not corrected, then we could see a massive economic crisis. We know that financial deregulation has turned Wall Street into a casino with little rules except unrestrained making money. We see extremists even wanting to get rid of Frank-Dodd. A catastrophic future is a possibility unless things change. Ellen Brown calls the “derivatives casino…a last-ditch attempt to prop up a private pyramid scheme” – slowly crumbling under its own weight. For years, Warren Buffett called derivatives “financial time bombs” – for economies and ordinary people. Their worth depends on the creditworthiness of counter parties. Earnings on derivatives are “wildly overstated,” Buffett explains – because they’re “based on estimates whose inaccuracy may not be exposed for many years.” There is manipulation in how profits look in a quarter. That is why people want to end derivatives. All wealth should not be privately controlled. There are financial predators who entrap small nations into unrepayable debt peonage like Greece, bleed them dry, and further harm developed ones.  The oligarchy has gotten richer too at the expense of human suffering. The Wall Street owned, controlled, and operated FED has not been perfect. Monied interest use money to buy politicians. There is business friendly legislation and it gets Congress in return for generous campaign contributions and other special favors. The American economy is still very fragile. Near the end of his tenure, Bill Clinton signed legislation repealing Glass-Steagall (the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – letting insurance, investment and commercial banking merge) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (permitting unregulated commodity and derivatives trading). A casino culture of anything goes persists. When counter-parties don’t have funds to pay on demand, bubbles begin deflating. The markets are very volatile too and that is why change is needed.

This story (about former Google worker Erica talking about racial and gender discrimination in Google) is why people have the right to fight for justice. It is fine to work hard and to be upright in your character. Yet, if we see anything unfair, then we have the right to make that known publicly, so our descendants won’t have to go through what we have to go through. We don't want anyone to be treated unfairly in their occupations. Pay disparities based on race and gender has been documented by enumerable studies for years. Erica is certainly is courageous in exposing a problem found in Google and in other tech industries nationwide. Race and gender discrimination has no place in any society. She did the right thing in not only showing her story, but making known about an important issue that must be addressed. Mary O’Callaghan (who is a former LAPD officer) is a murderer. She can go back to her family in a short period of time, yet the Sister Thomas is not here physically. This Sister was brutalized and her death has been disrespected by this perverted, evil sentence. It's a shame that many cops are not truly held accountable for the murder and abuse of black people. I have no respect for crooked cops at all. Cops are given massive benefits of the doubt. If a black cop did this to a white person in general, you can best believe that the black cop would be sentenced a whole lot more than just 16 months. The sentence is a total injustice and this is why the criminal injustice system is a total disgrace.

By definition, Africa is the origin of the natural hair movement since the first people on Earth are black Africans. What is most important is how we treat each other and how we stand up for justice beyond the state of our hair. There is nothing wrong with natural hair either. It is true that many young folks know what great music is. Old school artists certainly showed the world the blueprint about great music from Marlena Shaw, the Three Degrees (whose music is underrated. They are a great group with excellent melodies and harmonies) to Odetta (who had one of the greatest voices that I've heard. Odetta was a Sister who supported civil rights too). Also, I do like African music as well. Old school music certainly influences your soul and makes you more creative. Bree Newsome is a heroic woman. Instead of doing nothing, she has taken it upon herself to express civil disobedience. There is nothing evil about expressing civil disobedience against an unjust policy. Civil disobedience is a key part of our black history. An evil Confederate flag on the State Capitol property is unjust. That is the point that Bree wanted to convey. That is why activists have protested that reality until that evil flag came down. That is historic and the history books will forever mention Bree as a strong black woman. We can be inspired by her actions. Bree's action should teach any human being lessons about courageousness, standing up against injustice, and showing respect to black women. Bree didn't just climb on the flag though. In real life, she or Bree Newsome has worked in film, music, and art. She has fought for voting rights in North Carolina. Certainly, we have a long way to go. We have to address health care, education, poverty, and other important issues. Bree does advocate the development of black families, but that isn't the only thing that we should do. We are oppressed by evil structural forces. Families can never exist in its highest potential without the structures of racism and economic inequality gone. Being productive is not following the status quo, but it is about taking risks and resisting evil. Families need living wages, respect, and true liberation. We should both take care of our families (build up integrity in our community) and stand up against the evil system of white supremacy at the same time.

Pearl Harbor has a history filled with war and failure for two imperial power (of America and Japan) to come to an agreement. The expansion of the Japanese Empire started with the Meiji Restoration when Japan expanded militarily and economically during the late 19th century. They defeated Russia and fought Korea too during the early 20th century. Japan also worked with many European powers in the Boxers Rebellion (which was about Chinese activists trying to free themselves from European imperialism, but Western powers defeated this Chinese rebellion. Japan worked with the West to end the Chinese Boxer Rebellion). Japan lacked oil and other mineral resources. This was one of the reasons whey Japan invaded Manchuria and the rest of China during the 1930’s. America didn’t want Japan to fight China and they definitely didn’t’ want Japan to conquer Indochina or Vietnam (which they did temporarily). So, Japan and America were in negotiations before Pearl Harbor in order to solve the diplomatic dispute. Japan wanted the oil, rubber, and mineral wealth of the Pacific Ocean region including parts of Southeast Asia (like oil from Borneo and Brunei, rubber including tin in Malaya, etc.) while America wanted Japan to withdraw from Indochina and China.  America allied the Chinese, who fought against the Japanese. In early 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii and he ordered a military buildup in the Philippines in order to discourage Japanese aggression in Asia. After Japan took over Indochina (or Vietnam) and after the fall of France to the Nazis, the U.S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941. Japan was restricted in their retrieval of resources. They could either withdrawal from China or fight America. FDR in August 17 warned Japan that more steps would be taken against Japan if it attacked “neighboring countries.” Japan offered to withdraw from most of China and Indochina when peace was made with the Nationalist government, adopt an independent interpretation of the Tripartite Pact, and not to discriminate in trade provided all other countries reciprocated. Washington rejected these proposals. Japanese Prime Minister Konoye then offered to personally meet with Roosevelt, but Roosevelt insisted on coming to an agreement before any meeting. In November 1941, both sides would negotiate for solutions (Japan offered to withdrawal from southern Indochina and not attack anywhere in Southwest Asia while the U.S., the UK, and the Netherlands stopped aiding China including lifting their sanctions against Japan. The Americans wanted Japan to withdrawal from all China without conditions and conclude non-aggression pacts with Pacific powers), but it failed. On November 26, in Japan, the main Japanese attack fleet left port for Pearl Harbor. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt (on December 6th, 1941) made a final appeal to the Emperor of Japan for peace. There is no reply. Later on that same day, the U.S. code-breaking service begins intercepting a 14-part Japanese message and deciphers the first 13 parts, passing them on to the President and Secretary of State. The Americans believe a Japanese attack is imminent, most likely somewhere in Southeast Asia.

Japanese training against Pearl Harbor was done in early 1941 under Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. He then commanded Japan’s Combined Fleet. Emperor Hirohito never approved the attack plan until November 5, 1941. Many U.S. officials believed that the Philippines would be attacked first not Pearl Harbor. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor since they wanted to stop the Pacific Fleet from interfering with the Japanese conquest of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya. They wanted to increase their military strength and defeat American morale, which they didn’t accomplish. There were multiple waves of attacks in Pearl Harbor. This first wave was made up of 183 planes led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. They approached to the north of Oahu. The first wave’s planes shot down several U.S. aircraft as they approach Oahu. Later, bombs exploded and U.S military forces have to wake up in order to defend the harbor. On December 7, 1941 (on 733 hours), U.S. code breakers, though stymied by Japanese naval codes, have cracked the Japanese diplomatic code. From a Tokyo-to-Washington message, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, learned that Japanese negotiators in Washington have been told to break off talks. Believing this may mean war; Marshall sends a warning to Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, commander of U.S. Army forces in Hawaii.  The first Japanese assault wave was in 7:53 am. There was an assault with 51 Val dive bombers, 40 Kate torpedo bombers, 50 high level bombers and 43 Zero fighters. Flight Commander Mitsuo Fuchida sounded the battle cry: “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (which means Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!). The Americans in Pearl Harbor were taken completely by surprise. The first attack wave targets airfields and battleships. The second wave came about being commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki. The Japanese in the second wave attack had 171 planes: 54 B5Ns, 81 D3As, and 36 A6Ms. These forces attacked Pearl Harbor too. The second wave targeted other ships and shipyard facilities. Eight battleships are damaged, with five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers and three smaller vessels are lost along with 188 aircraft. The Japanese would lose 27 planes and five midget submarines which attempted to penetrate the inner harbor and launch torpedoes. The entire attack lasted for 90 minutes. The air raid lasts until 9:45 a.m. The total assault, which lasted less than two hours, claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, wounded 1,000 more and damaged or destroyed 18 American ships and nearly 300 airplanes. Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers 18 ships were sunk or run aground including five battleships. Escaping damage from the attack are the prime targets, the three U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga, which were not in the port. Also escaping damage are the base fuel tanks. The United States and Britain declared war on Japan (on December 8, 1941) with President Roosevelt calling December 7, "a date which will live in infamy..." Both senior commanders at Pearl Harbor; Navy Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, and Army Lt. General Walter C. Short, were relieved of their duties following the attack. Subsequent investigations will fault the men for failing to adopt adequate defense measures. In December 17, 1941, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz becomes the new commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. After Pearl Harbor, World War II would be changed forever.

By Timothy

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