It’s Friday, so that means it’s panel time.
We find ourselves being bombarded by an anti-China narrative from a number of different angles: COVID-19, the implementation of 5G, the Belt and Road Initiative, currency manipulation, trade imbalances and more. In an interview with the Fox Business Network that was broadcast Thursday, US President Donald Trump "floated the idea that the United States 'could cut off the whole relationship' with China in the aftermath of the pandemic, in reference to discussions over the lingering trade differences between both countries," the Washington Post reported Friday. Where are we with China right now? Is this the beginning of a new Cold War?
In a recent piece for the Black Agenda Report on Julian Assange and George Jackson, Patrick Anderson writes, “Because Jackson was a revolutionary Marxist who advocated armed revolutionary violence to take over the state and Assange is a cypherpunk anarchist who advocates technology-supported non-violence to curtail state power, it may seem that the two activists have little in common. But by understanding Assange and WikiLeaks through the lens of George Jackson’s revolutionary philosophy, we can better appreciate how both Jackson and Assange dedicated themselves to challenging the US Empire in the name of self-determination for all peoples of the world." What does all of this mean?
In Netfa Freeman's Wednesday Black Agenda Report piece, co-authored with Tunde Osazua and entitled "First Somali Congressperson Legitimizes AFRICOM and US Drone War," he states, "United States representatives, no matter their racial or ethnic backgrounds, appear unable to perceive the inherent white supremacy in the notion that the US has some altruistic responsibility to police the continent of Africa with military troops and supervisors. As a result, 'people of color,' such as the Somali-'American' Congresswoman IIhan Omar, provide political and moral cover to the presence of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the dubious claims about 'US interests' on the continent." What’s going on here?
"This past Friday, May 8, the US Labor Dept. released its latest jobless figures. The official report was 20 million more unemployed and an unemployment rate of 14.7%. Both mainstream and progressive media reported the numbers," Dr. Jack Rasmus wrote in a Monday piece on his website. "But those numbers, as horrendous as they are, represent a gross underestimation of the jobless situation in America!" It is perplexing why so many progressives continue to simply parrot the official figures.
"Trump told reporters gathered in the Cabinet Room of the White House that he was 'surprised' by [Dr. Anthony] Fauci's warning during Senate testimony this week that states should be careful about sending children back to school. 'To me it's not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to school,' the president said," Common Dreams reported Thursday. "'This is a disease that attacks age, and it attacks health,' Trump continued. 'But with the young children, I mean, and students ... just take a look at the statistics. It's pretty amazing ... I think that they should open the schools, absolutely.'" This comes as the California State University system, the largest in the US, announced Tuesday that it is closing campuses for most for in-person instruction this fall.
"GOP senators worry Trump, COVID-19 could cost them their majority," reads a Monday headline in The Hill. The article says, "Senate Republicans looking at polls showing GOP incumbents losing ground are concerned that the Trump administrations handling of the pandemic has put their majority in danger. The two biggest criticisms of the administration that GOP lawmakers express privately are that his administration took too long to deploy coronavirus tests and that the president’s statements and demeanor have been too cavalier or flippant. The biggest headwind Republicans face this fall is the faltering national economy, which now has a 14.7 percent unemployment rate, according to a Friday [May 8] report by the Labor Department." It’s hard to put a spin on the pandemic's death toll.
"The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, signed in late March, included $30 billion for education institutions turned upside down by the pandemic shutdowns, about $14 billion for higher education, $13.5 billion to elementary and secondary schools, and the rest for state governments," the New York Times reported Friday. US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "has used $180 million of those dollars to encourage states to create 'microgrants' that parents of elementary and secondary school students can use to pay for educational services, including private school tuition. She has directed school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools," the Times continued, also noting that "House Democrats included language in a stimulus bill set for a vote on Friday that would limit Ms. DeVos’s ability to use about $58 billion in additional education relief for K-12 school districts for private schools."
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Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy.
Patrick D. Anderson — Visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Grand Valley State University. His research focuses on anticolonialism, Black radical philosophy and the connections between technology, ethics and imperialism. He also contributes to Black Agenda Report.
Netfa Freeman — Host of Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM; Pan-Africanist; internationalist organizer intimately involved with political prisoners' causes, from Mumia Abu Jamal to the Cuban Five; and organizer with Family & Friends of Incarcerated People.
Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."
Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."
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