United States birds, other animals, 2018 in review

This 14 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

2018 in Review – Backyard Birds and Animals

Time flies – as 2018 ends let’s take a look back at some of the memorable stories and highlights from the Backyard!


Neoconservative United States Weekly Standard stops

After the death of the Project For The New American Century, another organisation of cheerleaders for George W Bush’s Iraq war

This 14 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Infamous Conservative Magazine FOLDS

A conservative newspaper is closing its doors after 23 years in print. Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“The Weekly Standard, a conservative publication known for being critical of President Donald Trump and a key intellectual force behind the disastrous U.S. war in Iraq, is set to close after 23 years. Clarity Media Group, which owns Standard publisher MediaDC, announced Friday that the magazine’s final issue will publish on Monday, according to CNN. …

Staffers have known something ‘bad’ was coming since at least last week, when Clarity Media revealed it was ‘exploring a number of possibilities’ for the publication, according to Politico. The magazine’s founder, William Kristol, had already publicly floated a possible sale or merger with its expanding sister publication, the Washington Examiner.”

Read more here.

This means that Facebook will not be able to have the Weekly Standard as censors of liberals any more. Unfortunately, Facebook will probably find other right-wing censors.

Pro-climate should also be pro-peace

This 10 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

We Can’t Separate Climate Justice from Opposing Militarism

At the conclusion of the Sanders Institute Gathering, RoseAnn De Moro, John Cusack and Bob Pollin discuss the key policy ideas coming out of the sessions, with host Paul Jay.

This 10 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

LIVE: Sunrise Movement youth climate activists descend on Capitol demanding a #GreenNewDeal.

Hundreds of Sunrise Movement youth climate activists occupy Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office demanding a #GreenNewDeal.

United States conservative wants Pinochet-style dictatorships

This 1 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Conservative Pundit Calls For ‘Pinochet Type’ Dictators

In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s 2016 electoral victory, Erick Erickson was the type of conservative pundit many despairing liberals wanted to see. Erickson, a popular conservative radio host and commentator, had been a fierce critic of Trump, disinviting him from a 2015 conservative conference for “inappropriate” comments on Megyn Kelly. He also wrote a November 2016 op-ed for The New York Times in which he talked about the need for conservatives to “reach across the aisle and go outside Washington” and was profiled by The New Yorker.

Read more here.

See also here.

Corporate media racism in the USA

This 2 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

The Corporate Controlled Media FUEL America’s Racism

The corporate controlled media just can’t say enough nice things about white people. Even when they kill scores of American citizens. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss this issue.

Yellow-bellied sapsucker woodpecker in the USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

25 November 2018

A juvenile Yellow Bellied Sapsucker woodpecker stops by the Backyard. A pretty little bird its brown feathers are gradually being replaced by black. A rare sight, these migratory woodies are not seen that often in winter. At the end when it flies off you can catch a glimpse of the “yellow belly”!

I saw this beautiful species in Cuba.

Life expectancy in the USA going down

Age-adjusted drug overdose death rates: United States, 1999–2017

By Trévon Austin in the USA:

The US mortality crisis: CDC reports extraordinary drop in life expectancy

30 November 2018

Life expectancy in the United States continued its extraordinary decline in 2017 after stagnating in 2016 and falling in 2015. Not since the combined impact of World War I and the Spanish Flu in 1918 has the country experienced such a prolonged period of decline in life expectancy.

The annual mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) highlights the disastrous impact of the social crisis on the American working class. Suicides and drug overdoses, what have been termed deaths of despair, have been identified as the driving forces behind the continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live.

In 2017, over 2.8 million Americans died, an increase by approximately 70,000 from the previous year and the most deaths in a single year since the US government began keeping records. From 2016 to 2017, the age-adjusted death rate for the entire population increased by 0.4 percent.

The average life expectancy in the US declined from 78.7 to 78.6 years. Life expectancy dropped for males from 76.2 to 76.1 but remained the same for females at 81.1. Life expectancy for females has consistently been higher than males and the gap continues to widen. In 2017, the difference in life expectancy between females and males increased 0.1 year from 4.9 years in 2016 to 5.0 years in 2017.

Age-specific death rates between 2016 and 2017 increased for age groups 25–34, 35–44, and 85 and over. These statistics indicate a healthcare system failing the elderly and a societal crisis ravaging younger workers. Deaths of despair, including alcoholism, are a leading cause of deaths in younger ages groups.

The US suicide death rate rose to the highest in 50 years last year. Since 2008, it has ranked as the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the US. In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for ages 10–34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35–54. From 1999 to 2017, suicide rates have increased for both males and females, with the greatest yearly increases occurring since 2006.

The average annual increase in suicide rates shifted from about one percent per year from 1999 through 2006 to two percent per year from 2006 through 2017. The age-adjusted rate of suicide among females increased from 4.0 per 100,000 in 1999 to 6.1 in 2017, while the rate for males increased from 17.8 to 22.4.

Age-adjusted suicide rates, by sex: United States, 1999–2017

The study also focuses on suicide in depressed rural regions. In 1999, the suicide rate in rural counties was 1.4 times the rate of most urban areas. The rate in rural areas was 13.1 per 100,000 with urban areas having a rate of 9.6 per 100,000. The difference further increased in 2017 with the suicide rate for the most rural counties (20.0 per 100,000) increasing to 1.8 times the rate for the most urban counties (11.1).

The rate in drug overdoses has skyrocketed in the same period. From 1999 to 2017, the overdose rate soared from 6.1 per 100,000 to 21.7 per 100,000. The rate increased by an average of 10 percent per year from 1999 to 2006, by 3 percent per year from 2006 to 2014, and a staggering 16 percent per year from 2014 to 2017. The rise coincides with the opioid crisis ravaging through parts of the US, concentrated in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The figures contained in the latest CDC report are a reflection of the diseased nature of American society and the failure of the capitalist system. The last decade has seen a historic rise in social inequality in the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008 and the bailout of Wall Street, overseen by Obama and the Democrats, which saw the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the working class to the rich.

Low-wage, tenuous employment, where it is available, has replaced the jobs that were destroyed in the process. …

Life expectancy at selected ages, by sex: United States, 2016 and 2017

CDC director Robert R. Redfield lamented over the implications of his organization’s report: “The latest CDC data show that the US life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide,” he said in a press release.

“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

As indicated by the prevalence of suicide in rural regions, joblessness and social isolation reap a terrible toll. Workers are driven to the very brink of despair under the ruling class assault against the living standards won by the working class in the 20th century.

There is no solution to the continued decline in life expectancy forthcoming from the ruling class. In reality, the increased death rates are seen as the cost of doing business, necessary to funnel ever greater sums of money into the pockets of robber barons like Jeff Bezos and fuel unprecedented spending on the US military.

A socialist response is required to meet the needs of the working class. A direct assault must be launched on the wealth of the corporate and financial elite. The wealth of the one percent must be expropriated to fund universal healthcare and turn the giant pharmaceutical companies into publicly-owned utilities.

The decades-long campaign to strip workers of their social gains must be reversed. Society must be transformed to ensure every person has access to high quality healthcare, education and housing, and ensure the right to a high-paying job and leisure.

One million dead from suicide, drug overdoses since 2007. Casualties of the social counterrevolution in America: here.