Capitalist system is ‘not above the law’

first_imgBig Media headlines trumpeted “Supreme Court says Trump not above the law” when SCOTUS ruled on July 9 that the president’s tax returns had to be revealed to — practically no one. The verdict gave narrow access only to New York state criminal prosecutors — and definitely not to Congress and certainly not to any members of the public.The public — the people — us! We who are more than ready to say “Time’s up!” on legal protection for Trump and all of the CEO administrators of capitalism.It’s time to charge and convict them — not on the narrow basis of tax evasion for profit — but for their capitalist crimes against humanity.Especially in the U.S., the dual crises of the COVID pandemic and the economic collapse have exposed the utter inadequacy of capitalists to deliver the minimum necessary to even keep people within their system alive — much less fed, housed and healthy enough to get to work.Marx and Engels in “The Communist Manifesto” predicted this moment of the failure of capitalism: “The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence. … And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie [capitalist class] is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its [wage] slaves within [their] slavery.” The contrast in the pandemic between a capitalist response based on competition and a socialist response grounded in cooperation could not be more dramatic. On July 12, the U.S. registered 416 deaths per million of population, with new cases reported at 58,349 that day. The state of Florida alone had 15,300 new cases. On the same day, China registered three deaths per million — and only seven new cases. (worldometer.com)Cuba’s response, based on its socialist-planned infrastructure, has shown even more dramatic success. July 7 marked the country’s 11th consecutive day without a single COVID-related death, with only 2,399 total confirmed cases by that date. According to international BBC correspondent Fernando Ravsberg, “The Cuban public health system was prepared for massive casualties, but the truth is that in the worst moments of the crisis less than 60 percent of its hospital resources were needed.” Even more remarkably, “Not a single Cuban health worker, whether a doctor or a floor cleaner, has succumbed to the virus.” This is in stark contrast to conditions in wealthy capitalist countries. (tinyurl.com/y8amjsbe)Death-dealing U.S. infrastructureBut even some capitalist countries have been more successful than the U.S. in pushing back the virus. Germany, for instance, had only 109 deaths per million population by July 12. The difference in the two capitalist countries seems due, at least in part, to the fact that the German state is required by law “to provide social services to its citizens.” According to the EPMA Journal of preventive medicine, Germany has an infrastructure that guarantees “sufficient, needs-based ambulatory and inpatient medical treatment, in qualitative and quantitative terms, as well as … the provision of medicine.” (tinyurl.com/y9z839cl)Workers and oppressed peoples won these guarantees in Germany through protracted and often bloody struggle, and during post-World War II conditions when capitalist West Germany confronted sharp competition from the socialist German Democratic Republic. While many of those gains have been cut back, they are still much greater than pay-as-you-go rationing in the U.S.The less wide-ranging health and workplace protections that workers have won in the U.S. by militant actions, especially during the brutal decades of the Great Depression, have been under continuous attack by capitalist privatization forces. This has meant the U.S. health care infrastructure is a shambles of private-profit noncommunication and noncooperation.But what does the U.S. have as a coordinated infrastructure? Its military system — functioning in every state and with over 800 bases in 70 countries around the globe, with personnel everywhere from local recruiting offices like Spanish Fort, Ala., to soldiers based in Syracuse, N.Y., who fly remote drones in Afghanistan.The projected 2021 U.S. military budget has a base of $671 billion, with an extra “war-fighting” Overseas Contingency Operations budget of $69 billion. All these billions are devoted to maintaining death-dealing U.S. capitalist “democracy” and profits worldwide through imperialist domination.Imagine how different life would be for us — the people — the workers and oppressed people in the U.S. and around the world, if those billions were put to use in socialist planning. We could establish systems of infrastructure to support our health, housing, work, art — the blossoming of our lives and the lives of those we love.It’s correct that those who head the U.S. state and lead this unjust system are “not above the law.” Because ultimately the law of Marxist economics will prevail — with people’s revolutions building new socialist systems using our collective imagination and collective power.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Forcing the UN to do right by Haitian cholera victims

first_imgGAZETTE: What has the U.N. done to prevent something like this from happening again?LINDSTROM: One of the lesser-known tragedies of the Haiti disaster is that it has not triggered the kind of corrections to U.N. protocols that one would expect after waste mismanagement caused the death of 10,000 people. The U.N. has made some changes to protocols to prevent this from recurring in the future, but implementation and effectiveness are questionable. For example, the U.N. has changed its medical screening protocol of peacekeepers, and now vaccinates peacekeepers for cholera prior to deployment. But separate studies have shown that this is not the most effective way to prevent the transmission of cholera. Perhaps more alarmingly, the U.N. has made important changes to its sanitation protocols, including that it will treat waste on its bases before it’s disposed of into the local environment. But a series of audits that have been conducted over the course of the last 10 years by the U.N.’s own audit office show that the implementation has been incredibly spotty. On U.N. bases around the world, they found continued disposal of untreated waste directly into the local environment and other waste-management problems that create a high risk of negative health impacts on the local populations where peacekeepers operate.GAZETTE: What is the status of cholera outbreak in Haiti? How hard has the country been hit by COVID-19?LINDSTROM: Ten years later, by official records, it appears that cholera cases are finally down to zero. But there’s continued concern by some public health experts that new cases may not be captured because of the closure of cholera treatment centers. It does seem that we’re finally reaching a long-awaited low point in the cholera epidemic, though, and that it may be possible to finally fully eliminate cholera with investment in clean water and sanitation. This does, of course, coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, which especially raises concern for people who were already impacted by cholera. They are particularly vulnerable because they often still lack access to clean water, and many have lost breadwinners and continue to suffer the ongoing economic consequences of cholera, making it more difficult for them to protect themselves from COVID. Thankfully, it does not seem that the COVID-19 outbreak in Haiti has been as severe as many people feared when it first started. But again, there are concerns about testing capacity and whether the numbers that are being reported are reflecting the true prevalence of cases.GAZETTE: What do you hope to see happen with the complaint?LINDSTROM: My hope is that the U.N. will finally follow through on its promises and do right by victims in Haiti by providing compensation, and by involving them in the decision-making process around remedies. I appreciate that we are in a time when the organization is under severe financial constraint. At the same time, in the context of other expenditures of the organization, the amount of money that the U.N. would need to put toward remedies for victims pales in comparison to how much it has invested, for example, in military operations of Haiti. Funding remedies for victims is really a question of political will.Arriving at a just response will require continued mobilization of people both inside and outside the organization who believe that the U.N. should stand for human rights through both the words that it puts out and the actions that it takes. By doing the right thing in Haiti, the U.N. can go a long way in reinforcing its commitment to human rights and demonstrating the importance of human rights. This is ever important in the context of the multitude of challenges the world faces today.As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the outbreak, it’s also important to remember how far we’ve come. It’s an outrageous injustice that victims are still fighting for compensation from the U.N., of all actors in the world. At the same time, when we started this work, nobody was really paying attention to what was happening in Haiti. The assumption was that cholera just happens in poor countries and victims’ calls for justice were very much being marginalized. Now, there’s no question that this will go down in history as a huge misstep by the U.N. that should not be repeated. As we look to the future, the U.N. has an opportunity to learn from what happened in Haiti by doing more to prevent future harms, and by ensuring that the organization is accountable when harms do occur. I am hopeful that the U.N. will look at this experience as an opportunity to strengthen the organization’s accountability and its commitment to the people it serves.This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.The Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School will host the live webinar “10 Years On: Lessons from the Cholera Epidemic from Haiti” on Thursday at 2 p.m. Freshly graduated from law school, Beatrice Lindstrom arrived in Haiti in October of 2010 on a one-year fellowship to work with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, a Haitian human rights organization. Soon after, the country was struck by an outbreak of cholera traced to a sewage leak from a base of U.N. peacekeepers, who had been brought there to help after an earthquake earlier in the year. The waste fouled Haiti’s principal river, sickening hundreds of thousands and leading to the deaths of at least 10,000. Ten years later the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti, its U.S.-based partner, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, and the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, where Lindstrom is now a clinical instructor, are leading efforts to achieve justice for victims of the epidemic. The Gazette interviewed Lindstrom about her still unresolved, decade-long efforts on behalf of the victims.Q&ABeatrice LindstromGAZETTE: How did you first get involved in this case?LINDSTROM: A couple of weeks after I arrived in Haiti, cholera broke out for the first time in the country’s history. At first, we didn’t think of it as an issue that required the involvement of lawyers — it seemed like a severe public health emergency. But shortly after the outbreak started, it became clear that U.N. peacekeepers were responsible for introducing the disease through their reckless waste management.The evidence was so obvious that we were hoping that the U.N. would launch an investigation and provide a just response. When that didn’t happen, we started to look at legal avenues to hold the U.N. accountable. We pursued legal claims through the U.N.’s internal claims system. When the U.N. refused to receive the claims, we filed a lawsuit in court in the United States. We also worked with an expansive coalition of victims’ groups in Haiti and international human rights groups, all of which were trying to persuade the U.N. to do the right thing. Only in 2016, six years later, the U.N. finally accepted responsibility and committed to doing more for victims.,GAZETTE: But owing to U.N. inaction your group has since filed a complaint. What is it calling for the U.N. to do?LINDSTROM: The U.N. has well-established treaty-based obligations to provide compensation to civilians who are injured during the course of peacekeeping operations when it’s due to the negligence of the organization. In the cholera case, the U.N. refused to receive claims in accordance with that obligation and refused to refer the claims of any independent hearing on responsibility. Facing mounting public pressure, in 2016, the secretary-general issued an overdue public apology and committed to providing $400 million in response to affected communities in fulfillment of what he called the U.N.’s “moral responsibility.” It’s been four years since that initiative was launched, and the U.N. has raised only 5 percent of the $400 million. This has effectively left victims without remedies for the harms that they suffered. We filed a complaint with the U.N.’s own human rights experts, called special rapporteurs, alleging that the U.N. is violating the human right to effective remedy. The complaint was successful in triggering a review by 14 U.N. special rapporteurs, who brought the matter to the secretary-general and adopted our analysis that the U.N. is violating human rights by denying victims compensation. It is unprecedented for such a broad group of U.N. human rights experts to allege that the organization itself is violating human rights in this way. This past June, the secretary-general responded to the special rapporteurs, acknowledging that the allegations were correct, but refusing to engage with the conclusion that this amounts to a violation of human rights. We were very disappointed to see that, especially coming from the U.N. secretary-general himself.  But we also recognize that the complaint is a part of ongoing advocacy to continue to hold the U.N. to its promises, and has been significant in refocusing attention on the inadequate response. As we’re approaching the 10-year anniversary of the introduction of cholera to Haiti, it is high time for the U.N. to deliver on those commitments.GAZETTE: How does it feel personally to still be doing this work after 10 years?LINDSTROM: If you had told me in October of 2010 that I would still be doing this work 10 years later, I think I would have felt both exasperated and heartbroken that the U.N. still has not responded justly to victims of the epidemic. At the same time, this has been a very long struggle that has been led by victims and affected communities in Haiti. As long as they are pushing for justice for their families, it’s a privilege to be able to stand alongside them. I feel fortunate to now be able to bring the struggle to the clinic. It’s been really wonderful to have the enthusiasm of students who are oftentimes being introduced to this issue for the first time, and who see it with such a strong sense of moral clarity. We’ve been at it for 10 years. If it takes another 10, I do hope that at the end of it, the U.N. is able to live up to the human rights principles that it champions in the world by respecting cholera victims’ rights.GAZETTE: What’s the urgency of the U.N. to compensate victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak when the world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic?LINDSTROM: What we’re seeing today is the breakdown of international organizations, of multilateralism, of the world being able to come together in a time of crisis. At this moment, more than ever, we need a strong and effective United Nations. The cholera case and the fact that the U.N. has not provided remedies to victims and implemented both legal and moral obligations in this case has undermined the organization’s credibility. By providing justice to victims in Haiti, the U.N. could set a really powerful example of what it means to take a human rights-based approach to disease response that would do the organization well, both in reestablishing its moral authority and in demonstrating to countries what a human rights-based approach could look like in the context of COVID-19. “If you had told me in October of 2010 that I would still be doing this work 10 years later, I think I would have felt both exasperated and heartbroken that the U.N. still has not responded justly to victims of the epidemic.”last_img read more

Predator who claimed to be transgender assaults women in shelter

first_imgSexual predator jailed after claiming to be ‘transgender’ to assault women in shelterLifeSiteNews 4 March 2014A biological man claiming to be ‘transgender’ so as to gain access to and prey on women at two Toronto shelters was jailed “indefinitely” last week after being declared by a judge a “dangerous offender.”Pro-family leaders are pointing out that this is exactly the type of incident they warned of as the Ontario government passed its “gender identity” bill, dubbed the “bathroom bill,” in 2012.Christopher Hambrook, 37, leaned on the ever expanding legal “rights” offered to people who “identify” with the sex opposite their biology. Under the name “Jessica,” he was able to get into the women’s shelters, where he sexually assaulted several women in 2012, the Toronto Sun reports.Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.Court heard how one woman awoke to find Hambrook assaulting her on her bed. “Her tights had been pulled down past her bottom and her bathing suit had been pulled to the side,” court documents reveal. “She yelled at the accused, demanding to know what he was doing. He simply covered his face with his hands, said ‘Oops!’ and started giggling.”Court also heard evidence of Hambrook terrorizing a deaf woman living in the shelter. “The accused grabbed the complainant’s hand and forcibly placed it on his crotch area while his penis was erect,” court heard.The same deaf women reported that Hambrook would peer at her through a gap between the door and its frame while she showered.Justice John McMahon imposed the “indefinite” prison sentence due to Hambrook’s long history of committing sex crimes.https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sexual-predator-jailed-after-claiming-to-be-transgender-in-order-to-assaultlast_img read more

Soft2Bet’s Boris Chaikin on meeting punters’ needs through white label development

first_img Innovation and evolution of product offerings have been the key to mitigating the impact of sporting cancellations, writes Soft2Bet CEO Boris Chaikin.As the wider betting and gaming industry continues to find new ways to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, Chaikin (pictured below) discusses Soft2Bet’s heritage, white label model, and how the company has adjusted amid the current pandemic.The gambling industry has always been an exciting and complex arena, where speed and agility are attributes essential to any company’s success. Founded in late 2016 by a team of just five, Soft2Bet has evolved alongside this ever-expanding industry at a rapid-fire pace. Having started with just one casino brand, we now have close to 20 on our platform, driven by an ethos that the industry deserves companies with a unique approach to markets and brands.There was a time when unless you were a huge corporation, launching an online casino would have been a pipe dream. The need for large scale investment enabled large corporations to monopolise the market, edging out smaller companies that could not raise the high start-up costs. Fortunately, the arrival of more white labels and platform providers on the market has provided greater consumer choice, industry competition and innovation. Having originally gained experience in the B2C sector, the development of our white label offering placed us in the interesting position of being able to develop projects and adapt to issues with solutions other companies with only B2B experience may not possess. The transition was a logical move, with our in-house platform and brands becoming something operators wanted to use. Companies can now go live with a new online casino site in a matter of weeks and at a significantly lower cost. Outsourcing reduces the hassle and expense of launching a new brand and many can now be tailored to the specific needs of the customer. We are always looking towards cutting-edge white label development, with brands such as Nomini that has a diverse choice of welcome bonuses, or ‍Wazamba which is an RPG adventure full of quests and items. All our websites are built from scratch. With over 35 games providers, over 3,000 casino titles and Curacao, MGA and Swedish Spelinspektionen licences, we’ve attracted customers from all over the world.But of course, right now it’s not just the online casino vertical that requires innovation, as sportsbooks are taking the biggest hit. These are truly unprecedented times, and with most sports currently on hold, many gambling companies are looking to new verticals to offset the financial effects on their sportsbooks. As the unfortunate impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the sector it’s been the innovation and evolution of product offerings that have delivered results. For example, our sportsbook, Rabona, has seen an upsurge in the popularity of esports, which seems to be quenching the customer desire for live action sports. Even with the unpredictability of the current global situation, and live sports out of action for the foreseeable future, it’s apparent that there are still swathes of people out there who are gambling. Be it on esports, virtual sports or online casino slots, there has already been a proven cross-sell opportunity, as players themselves have gravitated to new gambling opportunities. While the future may be uncertain, one thing is for sure – people still want to bet.Soft2Bet is delighted to be attending the SBC Digital Summit on the 27th April 2020. For more information or to book a meeting please contact [email protected] Better Collective cautious on quick recovery as COVID drags growth momentum August 25, 2020 Global Gaming adds sportsbook extension to Ninja property August 25, 2020 Share Related Articles Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Sharelast_img read more