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Big Pharma Can Be Beaten: This Union Proved It

Nevada's Culinary Workers Union took on Big Pharma and won. (Image: CIPhotos / iStock / Getty Images Plus) This story was made possible by support...

How Big Pharma Is Profiting Off Transgender Mania

On Saturday, a redditor who says he was on a waiting list for hormone replacement therapy shared his story of how he came to...

Trump's Plan for Drug Pricing Executive Order Is a Big Pharma Wish List

(Photo: TBIT; Edited: LW / TO) Raise your hand if you believed Donald Trump's repeated promises to take on Big Pharma. What about the presidential boast that...

Exposing Big Pharma’s Vaccine Lies

Robert F. Kennedy Jr was recently a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show for Fox News, and in it he revealed it was only the...

Could Legalizing Prescription Drug Imports Break Big Pharma?

(Photo: Pexels; Edited: LW / TO) During the January 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush announced the President's Emergency Plan for...

The TPP May Be Dead, but Big Pharma's Still Getting Away With Murder

For every trade advancement in the name of improving public health and access to essential medicines, Big Pharma counters. (Photo: Pixabay) The Trans-Pacific Partnership may...

DEA approves synthetic marijuana for big pharma company against legalization

A synthetic marijuana product could be available for commercialization after the DEA gave a newly approved...
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Video: Investors Bet Big on Trump for Big Pharma

Even with the recent tremendous drop in the stock market, the actual net rise for the pharmaceutical sector is two and a half times...

Big Pharma Launches Sentimental Ad Campaign to Distract From Skyrocketing Drug

(Image: LW / TO; Adapted: Funnytools; StevePB) The pharmaceutical industry has a massive public relations problem, and it knows it. Even our new, unapologetically pro-corporate...

Elizabeth Warren accuses big pharma of hijacking ‘cures bill’

Accusing Republicans of giving handouts to pharmaceutical industry, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts warned that...

Sanders calls for investigations into Big Pharma insulin-price collusion

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has requested the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission...

Big Pharma Lobbying For Price Hikes

Facing an increasingly outraged public, the leading Big Pharma lobby group is hiking its annual dues by more than 50 percent as it prepares...

Big Pharma spent $880mn on keeping opioids available – report

In the midst of one of the worst drug epidemics in the US, a report found that the money spent on keeping painkillers regularly...

DEA targeting of addiction treatment kratom will protect Big Pharma profits

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), currently starring in the new season of the Netflix series “Narcos,”...

Big Pharma’s Patents on Kratom Alkaloids Expose the REAL Reason DEA Is Banning This...

As the Free Thought Project reported last week, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) just announced they will ban the popular pain...

Big Pharma boss Shkreli attacks Bernie Sanders on Twitter, senator fails to take bait

Possibly the most hated man in America, Big Pharma baron Martin Shkreli has become embroiled in...
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Video: Graham Downing “Through Vaccines & Statins Big Pharma Is Engaged In All Out...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube
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Video: Ty Bollinger “Big Pharma & Governments Are Still Suppressing Natural Cancer Treatments!”

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

What Big Pharma Does Not Want You to Know About the Opioid Epidemic

The prescription opioid epidemic is not new. It began when Pharma rolled out and aggressively marketed time-released opioids like Oxycontin, driving “pill mills” that...

Big Pharma Seeks to Capitalize on Pain-Reducing Compound Derived From Cannabis

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout) The medicinal properties of cannabidiol (better known as CBD), a compound found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant...

Big Pharma is making you stupid: Common cold medicines and heartburn pills found to...

If you find yourself forgetting more than usual, or you sometimes feel like your mind is not as sharp as it once was, you...

More startling evidence that big pharma corps are ripping-off Americans 

Even as Prescription Drug Volume Stagnates, Prices Soar. Total US spending on prescription drugs in 2015, at the manufacturers’ level and as measured by “invoice pricing,”...

Big Pharma Settlements Highlight the Need for Tougher Enforcement

Stronger enforcement is needed to deter pharmaceutical manufacturers from continuing to break the law and defraud federal and state health programs, according to a...

Doctors Demand Regulation of Big Pharma

American College of Physicians publishes policy paper on getting skyrocketing drug prices under control Nadia Prupis The American College of Physicians (ACP), a group of 143,000...

Ten Huge Drug Rip-Offs — and Big Pharma’s Infuriating Campaign to Keep on Price-Gouging

(Photo: Kev-Shine; Edited: LW / TO) This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships...

There is a war between Big Pharma and the American people … and the...

Big Pharma has just scored a big victory with the appointment of Robert Califf as new head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)....

Big Pharma Officially Owns The FDA

In February, President Obama’s nominee Robert Califf sailed through the Senate approval process to be approved as the next FDA commissioner. Califf has financial ties...
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Video: Senate Confirms New FDA Commissioner With Close Ties to Big Pharma

Public Citizen's Dr. Michael Carome describes the thousands in consulting fees new FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf received from pharmaceutical ... Via Youtube

Video: David Noakes: “Governments & Big Pharma Are Colluding To Keep Gc-MAF A Secret!”

Please Support The Show — http://richieallen.co.uk/ To learn more about GcMAF, David Noakes website: http://GcMAF.eu/ ... Via Youtube

Video: Rick Simpson: “Big Pharma Has Been burying Cancer Cures For 150 Years!”

Please Support The Show — http://richieallen.co.uk/ http://www.phoenixtears.ca/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow ... Via Youtube

To Break Big Pharma’s Stranglehold, Doctors Vote for Ban on Drug Ads

Prescription drug prices have already become a presidential campaign issue, with healthcare costs a top concern for American voters by Deirdre Fulton In an attempt to combat...

Drug Price Gouging Enters Spotlight as Candidates Take on Big Pharma

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton among those calling for reforms to pharmaceutical marketplace by Nadia Prupis Amid a growing scandal over two pharmaceutical companies' price hikes on...

Will President Obama Stand Up to the Big Pharma Drug Thugs?

It takes a lot of courage to defy the folks who make tens of billions a year selling drugs. We will find out soon...

Video: Stephanie Messenger: “Big Pharma Has Been Hiding Evidence Of Vaccine Injury For A...

Please Support The Show — http://richieallenshow.com/donate/ Stephanie Messenger believes her son Jason as a result of being vaccinated. She wrote the ... Via Youtube
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Video: Big Pharma more extortionate than Somali pirates – Danish doctor

The doctor-patient relationship is often revered as an exemplar of trust and openness. But with the medical profession's intrinsic relationship with the ... Via Youtube

Big Pharma, petrochemical companies and criminal banksters paid Bill and Hillary Clinton more than...

When Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton hits the campaign trail, she does her level best to portray herself and her ex-president husband, Bill, as...

Video: Dr. Rima Laibow: “Doctors Are Being Assassinated For Taking On Big Pharma Corruption!”

Please Support The Show — http://richieallenshow.com/donate/ http://richieallenshow.com/ https://www.facebook.com/richieallenshow ... Via Youtube

Rick Perry becomes first presidential candidate to reveal Big Pharma connection to mass shootings

He was widely panned for it, but former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who recently joined the crowded field of Republican presidential contenders, became the...

Video: Dr. Robin Falkov: “ADHD, A Big Pharma Invention To Get Children Used To...

Please Support The Show — http://richieallenshow.com/donate/ http://richieallenshow.com/ https://www.facebook.com/richieallenshow ... Via Youtube

Leaked Text Shows Big Pharma Bullies Using TPP To Undermine Global Health

Watchdog groups says 'leak is just the latest glaring example of why fast-tracking the TPP would undermine the health of Americans' (Common Dreams) - Bolstering long-held...
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Dr Peter Gøtzsche Exposes Big Pharma as Organized Crime

Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD is a Danish medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has written...

The Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine: A Medical Breakthrough or a Propaganda Campaign for Big...

Timothy Alexander Guzman (RINF) — When polio (poliomyelitis) became an epidemic in the U.S. and other parts of the world many people were understandably concerned. Diseases...

Big pharma’s mass murder frenzy

It was just another colorless trade show, one of thousands held each year in hotels across the United States. But it was there, at...

Have You Fallen for These Big Pharma Tricks?

Long before the Internet and direct to consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Sure fatigue and headaches...

Greedy big pharma guilty of selling harmful children’s medicine

The maker of Children’s Tylenol agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge of knowingly selling adulterated bottles of its painkillers for children...

Big Pharma’s Mass Vaccination Agenda: Propaganda Assault on Informed Consent

James F. Tracy  RINF Alternative News Major US news media have presented a grossly distorted and misleading interpretation of vaccines and their relationship to public health...

Big Pharma Promotes The Most Profitable, Not Effective, Medicines

For more than five decades, the blood thinner Coumadin was the only option for millions of patients at risk for life-threatening blood clots. But...

Are We Big Pharma’s Guinea Pigs? 8 Drugs Used by Millions Before Being Pulled...

Big Pharma hopes we'll forget about these drugs. Martha Rosenberg Blockbuster drugs like Viagra, Lipitor, Prozac and Nexium have made Big Pharma one of the nation's...

Big Pharma Sells Ineffective, Potentially Deadly Anti-cancer Drugs

Vladimir Platov Medical experts are saying that the biggest flaw of Big Pharma today is a high percentage of ineffective products being sold without previous clinical...

British Big Pharma warns Ebola vaccine will come ‘too late’ to halt spread

One of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies says a vaccine to tackle Ebola will “come too late” to curb the current epidemic, as the...

Leaked TPP Chapter Exposes Sweet Deals for Big Pharma and US Bully Tactics

U.S. pushing rules that 'favor big corporate right holders, and undermine the public’s freedom to use knowledge,' intellectual property expert says Deirdre Fulton WikiLeaks on Thursday...

Why We Allow Big Pharma to Rip Us Off

Robert Reich According to a new federal database put online last week, pharmaceutical companies and device makers paid doctors some $380 million in speaking and...

3 Sneaky New Ways Big Pharma Is Churning Profits in 2014

Martha Rosenberg If you are like most people, you have been watching "Ask Your Doctor" drug ads on TV for years. The ads, called direct-to-consumer...

Gates and Big Pharma; “Guinea pigs for the drugmakers”

Despite annual revenues approaching $1 trillion, the global pharmaceutical industry has lately experienced a critical decline in the rate of profit, for which it...

Big Pharma, the Nazis and the Origins of the EU

Paul Anthony Taylor investigates Emerging Paradigms and the Exposing of Hidden Histories... Paul Anthony Taylor gives an explosive presentation to New Horizons Saint Annes on...

How Big Pharma Stoked the Opioid Epidemic

Martha Rosenberg RINF Alternative News There is good news and bad news when it comes to the nation's decade-long opioid/heroin addiction epidemic. The good news is...

Who Is Behind the Pain Killer Epidemic? Big Pharma, Of Course

Martha Rosenberg The FDA approved Zohydro, with five to 10 times the abuse potential as its predecessor, OxyContin. There is good news and bad news when...

Big Pharma profiteering gone wild

The financial raping of America by Big Pharma has just achieved a new milestone with the impending launch of a Hepatitis C drug that...

(Neo-Victorian?) Fools For Big Pharma

I don’t know who this loon is, but in spite of his lack of a wide platform, it is worth posting this piece here because, once again, it shows how intellectually feeble the vaccination nation drum beaters are as they continue to hate on and verbally bully individuals who make their own choices about what [...]

Patient Front Groups Loot Medicare Dollars for Big Pharma

Martha Rosenberg  RINF Alternative News The Obama administration is finally addressing the expensive, dangerous and usually unnecessary psychiatric drugs that are footed by taxpayers in federal...

Intellectual Property and The Globalization of Big Pharma

Tony Cartalucci  RINF Alternative News Big Pharma's Profits Over People & How to Hit Back In Slashdot’s “Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In...

Big Pharma Lobbies to Punish Makers of Affordable Drugs

Industry trade group PhRMA pushing U.S. to crack down on access to drugs treating cancer, HIV Multinational pharmaceutical corporations are pressuring the U.S. government to...

The most profitable diseases for big pharma in 2014

Martha Rosenberg  RINF Alternative News Most of us have our guard up when it comes to direct-to-consumer drug advertising. We know the butterflies, sunsets and puppies...

Big Pharma’s Best Kept Secret: A Mediterranean Diet Can Save Your Life

This diet wards off heart attacks,...

Big Pharma Pimps Alcoholics–With Government Help

Martha Rosenberg RINF Alternative News Imagine a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism that uses no drugs, requires no trained personnel, resources or insurance and makes...

Big Data + Big Pharma = Big Money

Need another reminder of how much drugmakers spend to discover what doctors are prescribing? Look no further than new documents from the leading keeper...

7 Drugs Whose Dangerous Risks Emerged Only After Big Pharma Made Its Money

A settlement for death or injuries...

Big Pharma Gives Another Child Narcolepsy via the Swine Flu Vax, Then Cures It...

Before you line your kids up to have this year’s flu vaccine sprayed up their noses or injected into their arms, consider the fact that in Europe, children developed incurable debilitating narcolepsy after receiving injections from a drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). But it’s okay – they have created aRead the Rest...

The European Union And “The Rotten Hand Of Big Pharma”

dickpuddlecote.blogspot.comDecember 23, 2013 Following on from yesterday's article here about the EU and its avoidance of...

How America’s Kids Got Hooked on Big Pharma’s Meth

Are Adderall and Ritalin the best...

How Big Pharma Markets to and Profts from a ‘Can’t-Pay-Attention Nation’

Having chemically-saturated the youth market, the drug marketeers for powerful stimulants like Adderall are now bringing their message to the adult masses. (Public domain)What...

Meet the DSM: Big Pharma’s Psychiatric Bible

Since 1952, the American Psychiatric Association has published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM, as a guideline for the classification and diagnoses of mental health issues. The DSM, according to the APA itself, “...

TPP: Hollywood, Big Pharma and Global Think-Tanks ‘Merge’ in Trade Takeover

“The Trilateral Commission is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control...

US Bullying at TPP Negotiations for Big Pharma Profits. Intellectual Property Rights and the...

“The world should stand up to the United States. US corporations are not more important than people's lives.” A key dispute in the TPP...

Narcs Versus Big Pharma

Communities in the heartland of America are fighting an epidemic of methamphetamine labs. The driving force behind the scourge? Big Pharma. From Missouri to Mississippi, from...

The Withering of Big Pharma?

It used to be when a drug company settled illegal marketing charges that millions took its drugs under false pretenses, the news would be...

FDA Policy: Big Pharma Firms Pay to Play

Major pharmaceutical companies are engaging in "pay to play" arrangements that allow them to shape public policy on painkiller testing rules and regulations, according...

Big Pharma invents yet another disease to sell deadly drugs: ‘Shift Work Disorder’ now...

Mike Adams Natural News August 26, 2013 Ever heard of “shift work disorder?” It’s a new disease being played up by the pharmaceutical industry...

Big Pharma Using India's Poor as 'Lab Rats' to Test Meds

Indian heart patient Niranjan Lal Pathak, at the center for AFP's reporting, poses at his residence in Indore on September 23, 2012. (AFP Photo)Multinational...

Are Libido Boosters for Women Just Another Big Pharma Scam?

July 4, 2013  | ...

Meet the Doctor Big Pharma Can't Shut Up

May 30, 2013  | ...

Meet the Doctor Big Pharma Can't Shut Up

May 30, 2013  | ...

Medical Marijuana: Big Pharma’s Campaign to Eliminate State-Sanctioned Cannabis Competitors?

As Colorado, California and Washington including 16 other states enjoy freedom under state law to operate legal medical marijuana-cannabis businesses the owners are often...

“Fire in the Blood”: Millions Die in Africa After Big Pharma Blocks Imports of...

AMY GOODMAN: We're broadcasting from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. We had an extended break because we lost a link with the satellite. And I want to thank Jennifer Robinson for having joined us, a legal adviser to Julian Assange. As we turn now to another film about what some have described as the crime of the century. The new documentary, Fire in the Blood, explores how major pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as the United States, prevented tens of millions of people in the developing world from receiving affordable generic AIDS drugs. Millions died as a result. This is a part of the trailer of Fire in the Blood.

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Over two million people were reported to have died in that year alone.

YUSUF HAMIED: The whole of Africa was being taken for a ride.

BILL CLINTON: It's fine for people in rich countries to say this is what it ought to be. They don't have to live in these little villages and watch people die like flies.

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Where are the drugs? The drugs are where the disease is not.

DONALD McNEIL: "You fight our patent monopolies, we will make sure you die."

NELSON MANDELA: As long as drugs are not available to everybody, he will not take them.

JAMES LOVE: It was just kind of a crisis of humanity. People just weren't really human for a moment.

AMY GOODMAN: That's an excerpt of Fire in the Blood, the film tracing how Big Pharma refused to allow countries to break patents and allow for the importation of cheap generic AIDS drugs. The problem continues today, as the World Trade Organization continues to block the importation of generic drugs in many countries because of a trade deal known as the TRIPS Agreement. Fire in the Blood just had its North American premiere here at the Sundance Film Festival.

For more, we're joined by two guests: Dylan Mohan Gray, director of Fire in the Blood, based in Mumbai, India, and Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, a Ugandan AIDS doctor featured in the film, recognized as one of the world's foremost specialists and researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS. He played a key role in founding Uganda's HIV/AIDS Joint Clinical Research Centre, and is author of a new book, Genocide by Denial: How Profiteering from HIV/AIDS Killed Millions.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Dylan, let's begin with you, why you made this film.

DYLAN MOHAN GRAY: Well, basically, I think the story sort of came to me by accident, to be honest. I was working on a film in Sri Lanka in 2004, and I had a day off and just happened to read an article in The Economist, of all things, which—it struck me as very interesting, because it was about one of the characters in our film, Dr. Yusuf Hamied, who's an Indian generic drug maker, and it was talking about how he was bringing in low-cost antiretroviral medications to Africa. Yet it seemed something interesting was going on beneath the surface. It seemed like this was obviously, you know, to my mind, a very good thing that he was doing, but they were going out of their way, I felt, to attack him, but it wasn't clear why. So, it piqued my interest. And, you know, not long later, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Hamied. And through him, I met several of the other people that became contributors to the film.

And I used to be in the academic world, and, you know, the historian in me was just completely shocked and scandalized that, A, I didn't know more about the story, and, B, that there was so little written about it or, you know, there were no comprehensive accounts of what had happened—you know, something that had killed 10, 12 million people, and it seemed to have happened almost without a record. So, you know, the impetus to make the film, primarily, was actually to create a record, a memorial and a chronicle of what happened. And as you say, I mean, we consider this to be the crime of the century.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mugyenyi is featured in the film. And it's an honor to have you here with us—

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: —before you head back home to Uganda, where you had been imprisoned, jailed, as you tried to bring generic drugs into Uganda, to get these drugs at a cheaper amount. Explain what Dr. Hamied did, this—I mean, what Cipla, the head of Cipla did, this drug company, how he challenged the rest of the world in saying he would cut the prices of AIDS drugs from—what was it? The amount that people would have to pay for the triple cocktail, before and after Hamied?

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Well, there was a misinformation, worldwide misinformation, that AIDS drugs were too expensive to manufacture. The second misinformation that was there was that Africans would not be able to use these drugs, that it was impossible to use these drugs in the African condition. Dr. Hamied called the bluff of all of those who were propagating this false information that cost so many lives of people.

AMY GOODMAN: How?

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Well, he just literally announced that it is not true that these drugs can only be manufactured at such an exorbitant cost. He demonstrated that they could be demonstrated at relatively affordable cost, which would save millions of lives because of affordability. So it was the issue of affordability and access where Hamied came in and acted.

AMY GOODMAN: So before him, drug companies were charging like $15,000 for a year for one patient to get a triple cocktail for the year. And he cut that price to less than a dollar a day? $15,000 to $350 for the year?

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Yes, and that action was incredible. For the first time, millions of people who were dying stopped dying in Africa, because they started accessing life-saving drugs.

AMY GOODMAN: Why did you end up in jail in Uganda?

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Well, it was—I was arrested, but I was rescued because Uganda government was concerned about the plight of the citizens who were dying in such a big number. So an emergency meeting that rescued me from arrest took place in front of the government ministers, and at that meeting I made it clear: I said to the meeting that, "Look, your relatives are dying of AIDS. Your citizens are dying of AIDS. I'm a doctor working among the AIDS patients, and I have no tools to save my patients' lives. All I have done is to import affordable drugs, which will increase access. These drugs are at the airport. They are under your care. You can block them from coming in, but as far as I'm concerned, I have done my job of bringing life-saving drugs to Uganda." And I think they understood. And every one of them had relatives who were suffering from AIDS, or at least a friend whom they knew who had died from AIDS. And so, this was—it was not very difficult to convince them that this action was necessary, and I needed to be out saving lives with drugs instead of being arrested.

AMY GOODMAN: Another of the heroes in the fight to bring life-saving drugs to HIV/AIDS patients is Zackie Achmat of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign. In 1999, Achmat, who is HIV-positive, went on a treatment strike in solidarity with others who couldn't afford medication. He's featured in Fire in the Blood.

ZAKIE ACHMAT: If my sisters or brothers or cousins had HIV or had AIDS and needed medicines, they wouldn't have been able to get it. And I grew up in a house where your mom would say, "If all the kids can't have chocolate, one is not going to have it."

NARRATOR: Having made up his mind, Zackie Achmat announced that he would boycott antiretrovirals until the South African government made them available to everyone.

AMY GOODMAN: Dylan Mohan Gray, talk about the significance of Zackie Achmat and what the whole issue of patents is about in these U.S. companies.

DYLAN MOHAN GRAY: Well, Zackie Achmat, as you said, is one of the great heroes of this story. And I think the boycott that he undertook, very much with a sort of a Gandhian impetus in mind, you know, it was a very deliberate action that he took. And as he says in the film, you know, he grew up in a family where his mother said, if one child couldn't have chocolate, then none of the children were going to get it. And that's a very simple way of looking at it, but that's something I think we can all identify with. He grew up, you know, struggling against apartheid in South Africa, a very strong sense of solidarity with his fellow man. And, you know, he could easily have accessed the drugs, because he was an internationally known activist, but he said, "No, I'm not going to do it." And he came very close to death by taking that decision. And I think, you know, it had a very, very big impact on waking people, especially in the Western world, up to the reality of the situation in sub-Saharan Africa. So, you know, the gamble paid off, so to speak.

AMY GOODMAN: Say that last part.

DYLAN MOHAN GRAY: I said the gamble paid off. I feel like his gamble that he took—I mean, he risked his life—but in a sense, the gamble paid off, because the impact of what he did, you know, had repercussions throughout the world and woke a lot of people up to the situation of access to medicine in Africa.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain how the patents work.

DYLAN MOHAN GRAY: A patent is a government-granted monopoly or a grant of exclusivity which is given to companies, generally, or individuals, with the idea that by giving a period of the exclusivity, one would incentivize investment. So, what typically happens with pharmaceutical companies is they will purchase technology from others, whether it be universities or small biotech companies or other small innovative outfits, and they will then commercialize these products. And because they will have a monopoly for a period of time, usually a minimum of 20 years, they will be able to set the price at any level they wish. And we have the former vice president of Pfizer in our film, who says very openly the concept is to maximize revenue. It has nothing to do with the cost of research and development.

AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Mugyenyi, what needs to happen right now, in these last 30 seconds?

DR. PETER MUGYENYI: Well, what needs to happen is the realization that an inequitable, unethical situation exists with the related TRIPS Agreement, and that lives, millions of lives, are at stake unless this TRIPS Agreement and patents issue are addressed—not to hurt business, but to make sure that they do not hurt patients and result in a bloodbath, that we have seen in the case of HIV/AIDS.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both very much for being with us, Dr. Peter Mugyenyi from Uganda and Dylan Mohan Gray, director of the new film that has just premiered here at the Sundance Film Festival, Fire in the Blood.

Senators give Big Pharma huge present at taxpayers’ expense

The bill that averted the fiscal cliff included a largely unnoticed section that granted world’s largest biotechnology firm a two-year delay in regulations of its drugs – even though the firm has just pleaded guilty in a federal fraud case.

The bill, H.R. 8, was passed with a paragraph that lawmakers included to give the biotechnology firm Amgen two years to sell Sensipar without government price regulations. Sensipar, an expensive prescription drug produced by Amgen and used by kidney dialysis patients, is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over the next two-year period, since the legislation delays Medicare price restraints of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) drugs, the New York Times reports.

Section 632 of the bill announces the “two-year delay of implementation of oral-only ESRD-related drugs in the ESRD prospective payment system; monitoring.” Even though the bill does not specify Amgen by name, it mainly affects the sale of Sensipar, costing the government millions while allowing the firm to keep its prices unregulated.

Amgen employs 74 lobbyists in Washington, DC and was the only company to lobby for this delay, Congressional aides told the Times. Most of the delay’s supporters are leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have benefited from Amgen’s generous political donations. Critics of the measure discovered that Amgen had won a previous two-year delay already and consider the initiatives driven by personal gain.

“That is why we are in the trouble we are in,” Dennis J. Cotter, a health policy researcher, told the Times. “Everybody is carving out their own turf and getting it protected, and we pass the bill on to the taxpayer.”

Legislatives aides who support the delay said it would give providers like Amgen the time they need to determine the details of federal reimbursements for kidney care.

Most individuals who suffer from ESRD are eligible for Medicare, regardless of their age. Medicare spent about $10.1 billion on dialysis care for these patients in 2011. But the US Government Accountability Office published a report last month that showed a 23 percent decrease in use of ESRD drugs from 2007 to 2011. Still, Medicare is forced to pay a bundle rate for the drugs, and has been paying based on the 2007 utilization levels, which was $650 million to $880 million more than it needed.

Amgen has also been charged for illegally marketing one of its anti-anemia drugs, Aranesp. The firm pleaded guilty last month after a federal criminal investigation discovered evidence of its unlawful engagements. The company must now pay a $762 million settlement, which is its largest yet, but makes a small dent in its $15.6 billion annual revenue.

Still, two weeks after pleading guilty, Amgen was granted another break with the fiscal cliff bill’s section that allows the firm to keep its prices high. Lobbyists and Congressional aides told the Times that many of them first discovered the new language when the final bill was publicly posted, just hours before it was voted upon. With little time left to avert the fiscal cliff, lawmakers approved the bill.

Big Pharma’s New Mass-Drugging Agenda Pushes Statin Drugs for Healthy People

By Mike Adams | Drug companies used to sell products for the treatment of disease. But it didn't take long for Big Pharma to...

Children as Big Pharma Guinea Pigs

98 Percent of Drug Trials on Children Have no Safety Checks By David Gutierrez | Fewer than 2 percent of drug trials conducted on children...

BigPharma Bribes Doctors

By Dr. Mercola More than 33,000 Americans were killed by opioids in 2015, and nearly half of them involved a prescription for the drugs. Each...

Addressing The Big Food/Pharma/Quackery Consortium

Dead, decaying industrial cities, teeming with illicit drugs, prostitution, and desperation.  Condemned, dilapidated factories and foreclosed, rat-infested houses, offering temporary shelter to disposable, hopeless, unwashed...

Sanders Tackles Drug Pricing (Again), This Time With Help From 'Big-Pharma Dems'

Aiming to lower the "outrageous" cost of prescription drugs, a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that...

Big Insurance, FDA or Pharma as cause of all evil: Sanders and Cruz clash...

Senators Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders debated the merits of Obamacare, whether healthcare is a right...

‘Sneaky’ drug company pays Native Americans to shield pharma patent

Published time: 14 Sep, 2017 21:44 Edited time: 15 Sep, 2017 17:51 In a very unusual...

‘Deadly mess’: Ohio sues 5 pharma companies over opioid crisis

Ohio is suing five drug manufacturers for their role in causing the state’s unprecedented addictions crisis,...

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Big Corporations Put Up Seed Funding for GOP Dark Money Group

Big Corporations Put Up Seed Funding for GOP Dark Money Group

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Posted on Feb 17, 2013
Flickr/TomaBw

By Justin Elliott, ProPublica

This report originally ran on ProPublica.

Some of the nation’s biggest corporations donated more than a million dollars to launch a Republican nonprofit that went on to play a key role in recent political fights.

Like the nonprofit groups that poured money into last year’s elections, the decade-old State Government Leadership Foundation has been able to keep the identities of its funders secret. Until now.

A records request by ProPublica to the IRS turned up a list of the original funders of the group: Exxon, Pfizer, Time Warner, and other corporations put up at least 85 percent of the $1.3 million the foundation raised in the first year and a half of its existence, starting in 2003.

The donor list is stamped “not for public disclosure,” and was submitted to the IRS as part of the foundation’s application for recognition of tax-exempt status. If approved, such applications are public records.

The foundation and other similar nonprofits are allowed to take anonymous and unlimited donations from individuals or corporations. That’s because they are classified as “social welfare” nonprofits, which are supposed to benefit the community at large, and not just one group or political party.

Last year, we reported how the State Government Leadership Foundation paid for Republican redistricting consultants to draw new congressional district maps in North Carolina. The resulting gerrymander helped flip the state’s congressional delegation to Republicans.

In recent years, the foundation has also funded TV ads targeting Democrats during the 2011 Wisconsin showdown over collective bargaining rights; attacking President Obama in Virginia over his energy policy; and accusing teachers unions of “destroying our children’s future.”

The foundation also gave $1.25 million in 2011 to the Indiana Opportunity Fund, a state-level nonprofit that ran anti-union ads featuring Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. (That group was founded by attorney Jim Bopp, who has long fought against campaign finance regulation.)

The foundation’s single-biggest early donor was the now-defunct mortgage lender Ameriquest, which gave more than $260,000. (We contacted a number of the companies on the list; they did not respond to requests for comment.) Corporate trade associations including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Edison Electric Institute, and the American Tort Reform Association also pitched in, each giving between $50,000 and $100,000.

The foundation’s affiliated organization, the Republican State Leadership Committee, focuses on winning state-level elections for the GOP and also gets corporate money, including from tobacco and insurance giants.  As an explicitly political organization, the committee has to disclose its donors.

By contrast, the recent funders of the foundation, which took in $2.5 million in 2011 including a single donation of $1 million, are still secret.

The foundation applied for IRS recognition as a social welfare group in late 2003 but was initially rejected. The IRS concluded the foundation was “a partisan organization” that “operated primarily for the benefit of a select group” – the GOP. Social welfare groups, the IRS’ rejection letter noted, must promote the “general welfare of the whole community” — not a particular group.

The foundation’s lawyers from the firm Arent Fox fired back in an appeal, arguing that the foundation was not a partisan outfit.

The foundation, according to the 2005 appeal, “was created to promote public debate” about issues including pharmaceuticals, securities regulation, and asbestos litigation.

“It may be useful to describe what the SGLF is not,” the appeal says. “The SGLF:

• Is not affiliated with the Republican Party in any way;

• Does not meet with or coordinate its activities with the Republican Party;

• Does not make contributions to, or accept contributions from, the Republican Party;

• Does not participate in political campaigns, elections or publish electioneering messages on behalf of any candidate or party;

• Does not invite Representatives of the Republican Party to speak at its events, and

• Does not participate in the Republican Party platform, does not recruit or train Republican candidates, does not fundraise for Republican candidates, and does not coordinate its issue selection or policy positions with the Republican Party.

In 2007, more than three years after the foundation’s application, the IRS ultimately recognized it as a tax-exempt social welfare group.

But the group’s protestations that it has nothing to do with the GOP seems at odds with its recent activities. Besides running ads attacking Democrats, the foundation was involved in redistricting in several states to, as the foundation put it in a letter to Republican legislators, draw “legislative lines that we will have to defend in 2012 and beyond.”

Foundation spokesperson Jill Bader told ProPublica that since its creation the foundation’s “activities have evolved in some ways from those that were originally contemplated and conducted by the organization.”

Bader continued: “SGLF’s present activities are in strict compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and all future SGLF activities will be in strict compliance as well.”


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Big Corporations Put Up Seed Funding for Republican Dark Money Group


Just a sample of the State Government Leadership Foundation's work.

By Justin Elliott, ProPublica

Some of the nation's biggest corporations donated more than a million dollars to launch a Republican nonprofit that went on to play a key role in recent political fights.

Like the nonprofit groups that poured money into last year's elections, the decade-old State Government Leadership Foundation has been able to keep the identities of its funders secret. Until now.

A records request by ProPublica to the IRS turned up a list of the original funders of the group: Exxon, Pfizer, Time Warner, and other corporations put up at least 85 percent of the $1.3 million the foundation raised in the first year and a half of its existence, starting in 2003.

The donor list is stamped "not for public disclosure," and was submitted to the IRS as part of the foundation's application for recognition of tax-exempt status. If approved, such applications are public records.

The foundation and other similar nonprofits are allowed to take anonymous and unlimited donations from individuals or corporations. That's because they are classified as "social welfare" nonprofits, which are supposed to benefit the community at large, and not just one group or political party.

Last year, we reported how the State Government Leadership Foundation paid for Republican redistricting consultants to draw new congressional district maps in North Carolina. The resulting gerrymander helped flip the state's congressional delegation to Republicans.

In recent years, the foundation has also funded TV ads targeting Democrats during the 2011 Wisconsin showdown over collective bargaining rights; attacking President Obama in Virginia over his energy policy; and accusing teachers unions of "destroying our children's future."

The foundation also gave $1.25 million in 2011 to the Indiana Opportunity Fund, a state-level nonprofit that ran anti-union ads featuring Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. (That group was founded by attorney Jim Bopp, who has long fought against campaign finance regulation.)

The foundation's single-biggest early donor was the now-defunct mortgage lender Ameriquest, which gave more than $260,000. (We contacted a number of the companies on the list; they did not respond to requests for comment.) Corporate trade associations including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Edison Electric Institute, and the American Tort Reform Association also pitched in, each giving between $50,000 and $100,000.

The foundation's affiliated organization, the Republican State Leadership Committee, focuses on winning state-level elections for the GOP and also gets corporate money, including from tobacco and insurance giants.  As an explicitly political organization, the committee has to disclose its donors.

By contrast, the recent funders of the foundation, which took in $2.5 million in 2011 including a single donation of $1 million, are still secret.

The foundation applied for IRS recognition as a social welfare group in late 2003 but was initially rejected. The IRS concluded the foundation was "a partisan organization" that "operated primarily for the benefit of a select group" – the GOP. Social welfare groups, the IRS' rejection letter noted, must promote the "general welfare of the whole community" — not a particular group.

The foundation's lawyers from the firm Arent Fox fired back in an appeal, arguing that the foundation was not a partisan outfit.

The foundation, according to the 2005 appeal, "was created to promote public debate" about issues including pharmaceuticals, securities regulation, and asbestos litigation.

"It may be useful to describe what the SGLF is not," the appeal says. "The SGLF:

• Is not affiliated with the Republican Party in any way;

• Does not meet with or coordinate its activities with the Republican Party;

• Does not make contributions to, or accept contributions from, the Republican Party;

• Does not participate in political campaigns, elections or publish electioneering messages on behalf of any candidate or party;

• Does not invite Representatives of the Republican Party to speak at its events, and

• Does not participate in the Republican Party platform, does not recruit or train Republican candidates, does not fundraise for Republican candidates, and does not coordinate its issue selection or policy positions with the Republican Party.

In 2007, more than three years after the foundation's application, the IRS ultimately recognized it as a tax-exempt social welfare group.

But the group's protestations that it has nothing to do with the GOP seems at odds with its recent activities. Besides running ads attacking Democrats, the foundation was involved in redistricting in several states to, as the foundation put it in a letter to Republican legislators, draw "legislative lines that we will have to defend in 2012 and beyond."

Foundation spokesperson Jill Bader told ProPublica that since its creation the foundation's "activities have evolved in some ways from those that were originally contemplated and conducted by the organization."

Bader continued: "SGLF's present activities are in strict compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and all future SGLF activities will be in strict compliance as well."

Fiscal Footnote: Big Senate Gift to Drug Maker

The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicareprice restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysispatients.

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period.

Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties.

Supporters of the delay, primarily leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have long benefited from Amgen’s political largess, said it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.

But critics, including several Congressional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two-year delay, and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway.

“That is why we are in the trouble we are in,” said Dennis J. Cotter, a health policy researcher who studies the cost and efficacy of dialysis drugs. “Everybody is carving out their own turf and getting it protected, and we pass the bill on to the taxpayer.”

The provision’s inclusion in the legislation to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that made up the so-called fiscal cliff shows the enduring power of special interests in Washington, even as Congress faces a critical test of its ability to balance the budget.

Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy as the leaders of the Finance Committee.

It also has worked hard to build close ties with the Obama administration, with its lobbyists showing up more than a dozen times since 2009 on logs of visits to the White House, although a company official said Saturday that it had not appealed to the administration during the debate over the fiscal legislation.

Aides to Mr. Hatch and Mr. Baucus, and a spokeswoman for Amgen, said the delay would give the Medicare system and medical providers the time they needed to accommodate other complicated changes in how federal reimbursements for kidney care were determined.

“Sometimes when you try to do too much and too quickly, you screw up,” said Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Hatch. The goal, an Amgen spokeswoman said in a written statement, is “to ensure that quality of care is not compromised for dialysis patients.”

But the measure runs counter to a five-year effort in Washington to control the enormous expense of dialysis for the Medicare program by reversing incentives to overprescribe medication.

Amgen’s success also shows that even a significant federal criminal investigation may pose little threat to a company’s influence on Capitol Hill. On Dec. 19, as Congressional negotiations over the fiscal bill reached a frenzy, Amgen pleaded guilty to marketing one of its anti-anemia drugs, Aranesp, illegally. It agreed to pay criminal and civil penalties totaling $762 million, a record settlement for a biotechnology company, according to the Justice Department.

Amgen, whose headquarters is near Los Angeles and which had $15.6 billion in revenuein 2011, has a deep bench of Washington lobbyists that includes Jeff Forbes, the former chief of staff to Mr. Baucus; Hunter Bates, the former chief of staff for Mr. McConnell; and Tony Podesta, whose fast-growing lobbying firm has unusually close ties to the White House.

Amgen’s employees and political action committee have distributed nearly $5 million in contributions to political candidates and committees since 2007, including $67,750to Mr. Baucus, the Finance Committee chairman, and $59,000 to Mr. Hatch, the committee’s ranking Republican. They gave an additional $73,000 to Mr. McConnell, some of it at a fund-raising event for him that it helped sponsor in December while the debate over the fiscal legislation was under way. More than $141,000 has also gone from Amgen employees to President Obama’s campaigns.

What distinguishes the company’s efforts in Washington is the diversity and intensity of its public policy campaigns. Amgen and its foundation have directed hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable contributions to influential groups like theCongressional Black Caucus and to lesser-known groups like the Utah Families Foundation, which was founded by Mr. Hatch and brings the senator positive coverage in his state’s news media.

Amgen has sent large donations to Glacier PAC, sponsored by Mr. Baucus in Montana, and OrrinPAC, a political action committee controlled by Mr. Hatch in Utah.

And when Mr. Hatch faced a rare primary challenge last year, a nonprofit group calling itself Freedom Path sponsored advertisements in Utah that attacked his opponent, an effort that tax records released in November show was financed in large part by thePharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group that includes Amgen.

In some cases, the company’s former employees have found important posts inside the Capitol. They include Dan Todd, one of Mr. Hatch’s top Finance Committee staff members on health and Medicare policy, who worked as a health policy analyst for Amgen’s government affairs office from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Todd, who joined Mr. Hatch’s staff in 2011, was directly involved in negotiating the dialysis components of the fiscal bill, and he met with “all the stakeholders,” Mr. Hatch’s spokeswoman said, not disputing when asked that this included Amgen lobbyists.

For years, Amgen used its clout in Washington to lobby for generous Medicare payments for its blockbuster drug, Epogen, which fends off anemia in dialysis patients.

The Medicare program covers most costs associated with treating severe renal disease, regardless of a patient’s age, and the dialysis market continues to grow steadily. In 2010, the government’s kidney program was spending $1.9 billion on injectable anti-anemia drugs like Epogen.

But nearly a decade ago, evidence started to surface that questioned the effectiveness and safety of Epogen at the levels being used.

Researchers found that Medicare’s practice of reimbursing providers with separate payments for the drugs and for dialysis treatments encouraged overprescription because the providers made healthy profits with each dose. They also found that high doses posed cardiovascular risks to patients.

Congress reversed the incentive in 2008 by requiring Medicare to pay a single, bundled rate for a dialysis treatment and related medications starting in 2011. With providers potentially profiting more by prescribing less Epogen, use of dialysis drugs dropped by nearly 25 percent.

But the blow was softened for Amgen and other kidney care companies with a few favors from Congress. Among them was a two-year delay in the inclusion of certain oral drugs, Sensipar among them, in the new bundled payment system. That meant demand for Sensipar would not decline and Amgen would maintain control over pricing.

With that two-year exclusion set to expire in 2014, Amgen’s lobbyists began making rounds again on Capitol Hill last fall. In private meetings with staff members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, they argued for another two-year delay, several Congressional aides said.

Committee staff members had been meeting regularly in Room S-124 of the Capitol to negotiate a package of Medicare cuts needed to prevent a large scheduled reduction in doctors’ fees. The kidney program was on the table because a new report by the Government Accountability Office had found that Medicare had overpaid for dialysis by up to $880 million in 2011.

The discussions about cutting dialysis reimbursement began late last fall with little focus on a delay for oral drugs, but it was eventually endorsed by leading staff members for Mr. Baucus and Mr. Hatch, Congressional aides said.

Aides to the senators said the delay made sense because the Government Accountability Office had warned in early 2011 that federal regulators should take care in setting compensation levels for the drugs.

But others on Capitol Hill saw no justification for further delay.

“It is disappointing,” said a Democratic Congressional aide who declined to be named because of the issue’s sensitivity, “since the status quo encourages prescribing of oral drugs based on financial incentives rather than on best clinical practices.”

Mr. Hatch’s spokeswoman, Ms. Ferrier, said the involvement of Mr. Todd, the former Amgen employee, had not been inappropriate and that dozens of staff members on Capitol Hill handled matters that might benefit former employers.

“They have to leave their previous lives behind,” Ms. Ferrier said. “And Dan has done just that.”

After the House was sidelined late in the fiscal negotiations, the Senate gained control of the final bill-writing process, and the provision requested by Amgen was inserted into the legislation by Senate staff members.

Aides to Mr. Baucus and Mr. Hatch emphasized that the White House and Senate leadership, including Mr. McConnell, had the final word on the bill.

A spokesman for Mr. McConnell praised the parts of the legislation related to Medicare, while a White House spokesman declined to comment, saying the matter was decided by players on Capitol Hill.

Many lobbyists and Congressional aides said they first learned of the language when the final bill was posted publicly, only hours before being approved. It called for cutting $4.9 billion over 10 years by lowering Medicare payments for dialysis, but left hundreds of millions on the table by extending the oral drug delay.

At this point, opponents had no way to challenge the provision, as there was a single vote on the entire fiscal package. Mr. Baucus and Mr. Hatch voted in favor.

Aides to the senators said some heavy donors had won and others had lost in the Medicare negotiations — proof that the legislative outcome was based on the merits. “What is the best policy for Montanans and people across the country lies at the heart of every decision Chairman Baucus makes,” said Meaghan Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Baucus. “It’s as simple as that.”

Emerging Problems as Big Business Taps into Social Media’s Marketing Potential

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Mandatory Vaccination Bill Introduced in Congress

Bob Livingston
Personal Liberty

Government is force. When it finds that soft force doesn’t work, it becomes more aggressive.

Having found itself unable to scare and/or coerce all Americans into “voluntary” vaccination compliance, now Congress has before it a bill titled the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” Of course this requirement is being done “in the public interest” and “for the greater good.”

It would accomplish the task of vaccinating all children by withholding federal funds from public elementary and secondary schools that enroll students who are not vaccinated according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Of course, children are required by law to attend school, and most children attend public schools. And people are forced to fund those schools whether they have children attending them or not. Opting out of the public indoctrination camps passing as public schools requires jumping through special hoops and/or forking over large sums of cash to a private school.

And who sits on the Advisory Committee that sets the recommendations? Why, it’s health professionals who benefit — either directly or indirectly – from vaccination programs. And some get thousands of dollars from drug makers like Pfizer, Merk and GlaxoSmithKline for “consulting” and “speaking” fees. One member, Marietta Vazquez, M.D., pocketed more than $20,000 for three speeches.

Even if they worked and were without risk, vaccines only stimulate temporary immunity. By trading lifelong immunity for temporary vaccine-induced immunity, people become vaccine dependent. The winners of repeated mandatory vaccinations are the pharmaceutical companies. The losers are the people, who are first put at risk as children for vaccine adverse events and then put at risk as adults for repeated vaccinations that have already failed. The pharmaceuticals have discovered a money machine in mass vaccinations. But they need and have to have your body for the pretense.

The development of asthma, diabetes and autism in children has increased substantially in the last four decades, coinciding with the significant increase in childhood immunizations. People are finally recognizing the link and questioning Big Pharma, and more and more are beginning to “opt out.”

Public awareness has been manipulated. Why does no one question the authority of injecting agents of unknown toxicity into their body? Unbelievably, the general public is satisfied with the disinformation provided by the government. Unfortunately, now is the wrong time for apathy. We are on the verge of a vaccine mania and by the time our wakeup call comes, it just may be too late.

The worldwide market for human vaccine is now over $24 billion – and expected by the World Health Organization to rise to $100 billion in 2025 — with the underlying purpose cloaked by the guise of protecting public health.

The act of forcing people through intimidation and deception into dangerous medications is terrorism of the most malicious sort. This act by public authority constitutes assault, violating civil and human rights under national and international law.

There can be no “greater good” in this act of war against the American people.

© Personal Liberty Media Group

The Most Dangerous Vaccine

EricksonOn this week’s Real Politik James speaks with Norma Erickson, president of Sanevax Inc. Founded in 2010, Sanevax is an international clearinghouse of information and advocacy concerning one of big pharma’s most corrupt and dangerous profit-generating schemes: the HPV vaccine. Amazingly, the HPV vaccine is recommended by several governments as a preventative to cervical cancer. Yet there is no evidence that HPV is in any way related to such cancer. At the same time the pharmaceutical company’s own studies indicate that 2.5% of women who receive the vaccine–that’s 2,500 for every 100,000–will have one or more adverse reactions. Such figures are corroborated by the number of adverse reactions reported to the Centers for Disease Control since the mid-2000s when Gardasil hit the market.

Sanevax presently has affiliates in over 30 countries, and has been especially influential in educating the public on the HPV vaccine’s dangers while acting as a conduit for medical professionals and policy makers to challenge the pharmaceutical industry’s increased control over official vaccination programs.


https://memorygapdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/5-4-15_norma_erickson_-_the_most_dangerous_vaccine1.mp3 Download

Interview Highlights

Norma Erickson began to research the HPV vaccine as an investigative writer. Her findings led her to the establishment of Sanevax. “The Sanevax team and all of the people that we work with strongly believe that vaccines should scientifically proven to meet four common sense criteria: They should be scientifically proven safe, affordable, necessary and effective prior to their inclusion in any mass vaccination program. We work with doctors, attorneys, scientists, health advocates, injured girls and their families, and handle most anything having to do with the HPV vaccine controversy.”

Sanevax has succeeded in prompting or facilitating policy reforms in several countries concerning the HPV vaccine, yet United States regulators are among the most impervious to information contradicting data they are fed by major pharmaceutical companies. “Probably the first thing we started working on was the discovery of contamination in the Gardasil vaccine,” she notes.

Dr. Sing Hang Lee agreed to test a vial of Gardasil for us because an individual in Canada reported that her daughter had tested positive for HPV in her blood two years after innoculation. This same girl had been diagnosed with rhematoid arthritis 24 hours after her second injection. I knew from my research and speaking with experts that HPV did not remain in the bloodstream for more than 48 hours–at least natural HPV viruses didn’t. The immune system took care of them within that period of time.

We kept researching and researching, talked to Dr. Lee, and we came to the conclusion that we had to rule out the Gardasil vaccine because it had been advertised, promoted, and approved in every country around the world based on the fact that it had no viral DNA in it. So, we felt obligated to rule it out for this parent. [Dr. Lee] tested that first vial, and sure enough there it was: recombinant HPV DNA in Gardasil. We immediately informed the FDA. They brushed it off, changed their website, and indicated that it was no health problem whatsoever. It was a natural part of the manufacturing process.

Merck is releasing a new HPV vaccine despite the fact that the number of vaccine injuries attributable to Gardasil and reported to the CDC’s own Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System have skyrocketed since its introduction in 2006. “As a kind of indication of what one can expect, Merck just got Gardasil 9 approved. During the clinical trials for Gardasil 9 they used Gardasil as the control solution. Normal people would say placebo. (A placebo is an inactive solution.) They used Gardasil during that time and because they had not conducted the safety trials for any great length on Gardasil the FDA required that they follow these girls throughout the course of the study, which was three years. Their new package insert indicates that the serious adverse event rate was 2.5% for Gardasil and 2.3% for Gardasil 9. Now that doesn’t sound like a whole lot until you translate that in to per 100,000 recipients.”

With the above in mind, among Sanevax’s most disturbing observations is the fact that the cervical cancer rate per 100,000 females is far surpassed by the rate of adverse reactions attributable to the HPV vaccine–as evidenced in the manufacturers’ own studies. “When you look at cervical cancer statistics they’re always quoted as x number per 100,000. In the United States there are approximately 12 diagnoses of cervical cancer per year per 100,000 people. If you innoculate that same 100,000 with Gardasil, for instance, you can expect 2,500 adverse events. I can’t see how anyone in their right mind would say that’s a logical tradeoff to avoid 12 cervical cancer diagnoses.”

Further, there is no confirmed link between HPV and cancer. “HPV is associated with cervical cancer. It has never been proven to cause cervical cancer or any other kind of cancer in and of itself,” Erickson explains. “In fact, there’s some very good scientific evidence that’s just been released recently that indicates it may not cause cancer at all.”

Sanevax has produced and participated in the creation of several documentaries highlighting the dangers of the HPV vaccine, many of which highlight how young lives can be destroyed after administration of the HPV vaccine. For example, it brought US high schooler Gabi Swank to the attention of The Greater Good‘s producers following Swank’s extreme adverse reaction linked to Gardasil. Such stories are especially tragic because they involve adolescent girls  stricken with terminally debilitating mental, emotional and physical conditions just as they are about to enter womanhood.

I’m working on a story now that’s going to be published on our website where a girl in Ireland was administered the vaccine in a school program … This was according to her father. She had an adverse reaction straight away. For over an hour she was left lying on a mat on the floor while the rest of the girls were being vaccinated. During this time she had seizure-like jerking, rolling eyes, blurred vision, headache, nausea, etc. That was only the beginning of their journey. The parents were called to the school to pick her up and they were told that they were overreacting when they asked why an ambulance wasn’t called, and that all of these symptoms would wear off. Now, six months later, the little girl is still suffering those symptoms and more.

We have had reports of spontaneous abortions, still births, miscarriages, adrenal failure, severe anxiety and panic attacks, autistic-like symptoms, the whole gamut of auto-immune disorders. There are 70 or 80 recognized autoimmune disorders, and these girls are coming up with any and all of them.

Countering The Lies Of The Mainstream Media

Global Research, The 4th Media, RINF, Countercurrents

The site you are reading this article on is part of the ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ media. Many of these sites do not take advertising and are run on the basis of donations from readers. Many of the authors whose articles appear on these sites write for no or little financial remuneration. 

Contrast this situation with the so-called ‘mainstream’ print and TV media.

The corporate mainstream media with its well-paid journalists and increasing concentration of ownership bows to the concerns of advertisers. It tends to be privately owned and its owners have a vested interest in maintaining an economic system based on private ownership and in manufacturing consent for it. Moreover, such outlets these days are increasingly part of major conglomerates, which may include armaments manufacturers, banking or industrial concerns, and will not therefore adopt stances or report on stories that are harmful to the interests of the wider organisation.

The public is thus given access to a world view that is distorted in favour of state-corporate interests. Such interests have succeeded in getting across the message that, for example, the ‘free market’ is the best way to deliver goods and services to people, state provided welfare is bad and ‘individual responsibility’ is good, ‘austerity’ is necessary, privatisation increases efficiency, an endless ‘war on terror’ must be waged on designated enemies, well-being is measured in terms of a never-ending quest for GDP growth, the US and NATO are the 'world's policemen', giant agribusiness must displace peasant farmers to secure food security and gross inequalities and unregulated corporate power are both necessary and legitimate.

Over the past 15 years, numerous 'alternative' news websites have sprung up that challenge these assumptions and the belief that ordinary citizens should be passive consumers of a predetermined news agenda. There are now dozens of popular news sites that inform people of issues the mainstream media has deliberately failed to tell people the truth about. There are also many more sites with global reach that exist to scrutinise specific sectors, hold practices to account and counter corporate propaganda (for example, GMWatchCorporate Europe ObservatoryFood & Water WatchCampaign Against the Arms Trade, etc.).

The existence of ‘alternative’ independent sites has led the European Union to express concerns about the ‘damaging’ effects of people having access to these sources of information. The EU argues that societal consensus is being eroded as people are being ‘led astray’ by dissenting voices on the internet. In the report ‘A free and pluralistic media to sustain European democracy’, the EU feels there is a danger that people are being misguidedly radicalised. It advocates EU funding for ‘responsible’ journalism, getting the EU’s viewpoint across regularly and prominently in the media and placing controls on the net. The EU perceives this to be ‘pluralism’.

What is ‘responsible journalism’?

An article by Annie Day indicates that as a result of its destabilisations, coups, mass bombings and death squads, the US military and the CIA have been responsible for a figure of an estimated ten million deaths since 1945. Yet the corporate media never describes any of this as constituting a form of mass terror. Through the cynical hijacking of the concept of ‘terror’, the US now attempts to justify its ongoing tyranny through a ‘war on terror’, which goes unquestioned on a daily basis by the mainstream media.

Ukraine is the latest example of a US-backed terror campaign, which the corporate media has consistently failed to question. As the world edges ever closer to nuclear war, the mainstream media merely parrots the official lie coming from Washington that the situation is all due to ‘Russian aggression’.

You can also add to that ten million, countless others whose lives have been sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit, which did not rely on the military to bomb peoples and countries into submission but on the IMF, World Bank and WTO. It begs the question how many lives have been cut short across the world because of the inherent structural violence or silent killing of the everyday functioning of predatory capitalism? 

The appropriation of wealth through a system that funnels it from bottom to top via a process of accumulation by dispossession is celebrated by the corporate media as growthprosperity, and freedom of choice, despite evidence that, from Greece to Spain and beyond, the reality for the majority has been falling wages, increasing poverty, the stripping away of choice and misery.

So where is the ‘responsible journalism’ that the EU calls for?

Does it lie with those journalists in the corporate media whose claim to respectability is their rigid professionalism, their accountability, their objectivity?

If you can call professionalism, accountability and objectivity being in the pay of and not wishing to offend advertising interests, officialdom and powerful corporate interests then they are paragons of absolute responsibility.

Peddling their high salaried deceptions, they have failed and continue to fail the public and genuinely hold power to account. By shining their ‘investigative’ light on ‘parliamentary procedures’, personalities, the rubber stamping of policies and the inane machinations of party politics, they merely serve to maintain and perpetuate the status quo and keep the public in the dark as to the unaccountable self-serving nature of power broking and the unity ofinterests that enable Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Pharma, Big Agra and the rest of them via their secretive think tanks and policy initiatives to keep bleeding us all dry. 

But that’s the role of the media: to help reinforce and reproduce the material conditions of a divisive social system on a daily basis. It’s called having a compliant, toothless media. It’s what the corporate media itself calls part of ‘liberal democracy’
And in this type of 'liberal democracy', it is people like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange who expose the wrongdoings of the political-corporate elites that are hounded. 

It was George Orwell who said that journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed and everything else is public relations. Orwell was correct. Former CIA boss General Petraeus stated in 2006 that his strategy was to wage a war of perceptions conducted continuously through the news media, while John Pilger observes that the role of respectable journalism in western state crimes - from Iraq to Iran, Afghanistan to Libya - remains taboo. Its role has been to serve as first-choice cheerleader for illegal wars.

Intelligence agencies secure media compliance

There are of course some good journalists working in the corporate mainstream media. But if you think this article mounts to little more than a one-sided attack on the ‘mainstream’ media, you may need to think again.

Many readers will be aware of a recent story about the former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, who claimed that he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. 

This revelation came as a shock to many. But it should not have because  in the UK, for example, the British intelligence agencies along with the CIA has for decades strived to ensure that the mainstream press and TV complied with the interests of the Establishment. In addition to making sure that the British left was subverted, infiltrated and made toothless, the mainstream media was molded by the intelligence agencies to parrot the Establishment’s viewpoints and aims.


The article reveals the tight-knit relationship between senior journalists and MI5:

MI5 targeted labour correspondents in both newspapers and broadcasting right up to the 80s; they were recruited in droves for their contacts with a wide range of trade union officials and with each other. According to Peter Wright, MI5 always had about twenty senior journalists working for it in the national press. “They were not employed directly by us, but we regarded them as agents because they were happy to be associated with us.”

As the national public service broadcaster funded by the state, special attention was paid to the BBC:

At the BBC, Brigadier Ronald Stonham liaised with MI5 and Special Branch and advised the corporation on whether or not to employ people. Names of applicants for editorial posts in the BBC were similarly ‘vetted’ by MI5.

From the article, it becomes clear were the elite thinks journalism’s loyalty should ultimately lie:

“There should be times when the journalist, when he’s examined all the facts and tested all his sources, should come down on the side of the government of the day, the established order and the Establishment as a whole.” - Chairman of the Radio Authority

And the working class in particular should certainly know its place (Toxteth is an urban district and is used here to signify the social unrest that gripped a number of British cities in the early eighties):

“We are in a period of considerable social change. There may be social unrest, but we can cope with the Toxteths… but if we have a highly-educated and idle population, we may possibly anticipate more serious conflict. People must be educated to once more know their place.” – from a secret Department of Education Report.

The article makes clear who the British Establishment regards as the ‘enemy within’ and what it perceives the role of the much-heralded ‘free press’ (much heralded by people belonging to this ‘free press’) to be.

With massive decreases in readership, however, the print media seems to be in terminal decline. The Establishment's grip on the control of information has been in danger of slipping as the internet has become a major vehicle for the dissemination of information.

The state-corporate-financial elite has presided over a bought and paid for mainstream media for some time. Now it is engaged in an ongoing strategy of global mass surveillance and a clamp down on internet freedom. The goal is to eventually have a fully controlled internet that mirrors the shackled ‘free press’ that the Establishment has for so long cherished. 

The Six Principles of the New Populism (and the Establishment’s Nightmare)

More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Which is fueling a new populism on both the left and the right. While still far apart, neo-populists on both sides are bending toward one another and against the establishment.

Who made the following comments? (Hint: Not Warren, and not Bernie Sanders.)

A. We “cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street.”

B. “The rich and powerful, those who walk the corridors of power, are getting fat and happy…”

C. “If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying.”

D. “Washington promoted moral hazard by protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which privatized profits and socialized losses.”

E. “When you had the chance to stand up for Americans’ privacy, did you?”

F. “The people who wake up at night thinking of which new country they want to bomb, which new country they want to be involved in, they don’t like restraint. They don’t like reluctance to go to war.”

(Answers: A. Rand Paul, B. Ted Cruz, C. Ted Cruz, D. House Republican Joe Hensarling, E. House Republican Justin Amash, F. Rand Paul )

You might doubt the sincerity behind some of these statements, but they wouldn’t have been uttered if the crowds didn’t respond enthusiastically – and that’s the point. Republican populism is growing, as is the Democratic version, because the public wants it.

And it’s not only the rhetoric that’s converging. Populists on the right and left are also coming together around six principles:

1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they’re no longer too big to fail. Left populists have been advocating this since the Street’s bailout now they’re being joined by populists on the right. David Camp, House Ways and Means Committee chair, recently proposed an extra 3.5 percent quarterly tax on the assets of the biggest Wall Street banks (giving them an incentive to trim down). Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter wants to break up the big banks, as does conservative pundit George Will. “There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street,” says Rand Paul.

2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking and thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors’ money. Elizabeth Warren has introduced such legislation, and John McCain co-sponsored it. Tea Partiers are strongly supportive, and critical of establishment Republicans for not getting behind  it. “It is disappointing that progressive collectivists are leading the effort for a return to a law that served well for decades,” writes the Tea Party Tribune. “Of course, the establishment political class would never admit that their financial donors and patrons must hinder their unbridled trading strategies.”

3. End corporate welfare – including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Ex-Im Bank. Populists on the left have long been urging this; right-wing populists are joining in. Republican David Camp’s proposed tax reforms would kill dozens of targeted tax breaks. Says Ted Cruz: “We need to eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism.” 

4. Stop the National Security Agency from spying on Americans. Bernie Sanders and other populists on the left have led this charge but right-wing populists are close behind. House Republican Justin Amash’s amendment, that would have defunded NSA programs engaging in bulk-data collection, garnered 111 Democrats and 94 Republicans last year, highlighting the new populist divide in both parties. Rand Paul could be channeling Sanders when he warns: “Your rights, especially your right to privacy, is under assault… if you own a cellphone, you’re under surveillance.”

5. Scale back American interventions overseas. Populists on the left have long been uncomfortable with American forays overseas. Rand Paul is leaning in the same direction. Paul also tends toward conspiratorial views about American interventionism. Shortly before he took office he was caught on video claiming that former vice president Dick Cheney pushed the Iraq War because of his ties to Halliburton.

6. Oppose trade agreements crafted by big corporations. Two decades ago Democrats and Republicans enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since then populists in both parties have mounted increasing opposition to such agreements. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, drafted in secret by a handful of major corporations, is facing so strong a backlash from both Democrats and tea party Republicans that it’s nearly dead. “The Tea Party movement does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” says Judson Philips, president of Tea Party Nation. “Special interest and big corporations are being given a seat at the table” while average Americans are excluded.

Left and right-wing populists remain deeply divided over the role of government. Even so, the major fault line in American politics seems to be shifting, from Democrat versus Republican, to populist versus establishment — those who think the game is rigged versus those who do the rigging.

In this month’s Republican primaries, tea partiers continue their battle against establishment Republicans. But the major test will be 2016 when both parties pick their presidential candidates.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are already vying to take on Republican establishment favorites Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Elizabeth Warren says she won’t run in the Democratic primaries, presumably against Hillary Clinton, but rumors abound. Bernie Sanders hints he might.

Wall Street and big business Republicans are already signaling they’d prefer a Democratic establishment candidate over a Republican populist.

Dozens of major GOP donors, Wall Street Republicans, and corporate lobbyists have told Politico that if Jeb Bush decides against running and Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically, they’ll support Hillary Clinton. “The darkest secret in the big money world of the Republican coastal elite is that the most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas or Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton,” concludes Politico

Says a top Republican-leaning Wall Street lawyer, “it’s Rand Paul or Ted Cruz versus someone like Elizabeth Warren that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.” 

Everybody on Wall Street and in corporate suites, that is. And the “nightmare” may not occur in 2016. But if current trends continue, some similar “nightmare” is likely within the decade. If the American establishment wants to remain the establishment it will need to respond to the anxiety that’s fueling the new populism rather than fight it.

10 Health Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be Real

by Michael Snyder Originally Published at The Truth Note from Daisy: Last week I wrote about the survey that marginalized the beliefs of those of us who prefer to avoid Big Pharma and the AMA, calling our beliefs “medical conspiracy theories.”  Michael Snyder took it further with this excellent piece,Read the Rest...

NAFTA’s Deplorable Legacy

NAFTA's Deplorable Legacy

by Stephen Lendman

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary O'Grady reinvents history. She does it her way. It's the wrong way. She turns truth on its head. 

Her commentaries read like bad fiction. They substitute misinformation for indisputable facts. Responsible editors wouldn't touch her rubbish. Journal editors embrace it.

NAFTA was hugely destructive trade policy. It's opposite of what's needed. More on why below. 

Not according to O'Grady. On January 5, she headlined "Nafta at 20: A Model for Trade Policy." It's a model for the wrongheaded kind.

O'Grady claims otherwise. She does so her way. Why anyone reads her rubbish, they'll have to explain. Journal editors feature it. 

"Those who predicted that Nafta would lead to joblessness and poverty have been proven definitively wrong," claims O'Grady. 

Hundreds of thousands of impoverished jobless workers explain otherwise. More on this below.

"Freedom to trade with the neighbors (Canada, Mexico and the US) has instead created wealth and opportunity and made the continent more globally competitive," she says.

Indeed so for corporate predators and rich elites. They profited hugely. They did the old-fashioned way. They benefitted on backs of exploited people.

O'Grady supports more of the same. She's for greater "North American integration." In other words, greater corporate favoritism. Fewer worker rights. More job losses. Lower pay and benefits. Profits at the expense of people.

"(E)xpanding economic freedom in North America requires a commitment to the cause," she claims.

She's on the wrong side of history. Anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer and anti-democratic measures harm millions. One-sided "free trade" isn't fair.

NAFTA proponents promised tens of thousands of newly created jobs. Small farmers would export their way to wealth. 

Mexican living standards would rise. Economic opportunities would reduce regional immigration to America.

Promises made never materialized. Reality disproved hype. It does it every time. Ideologues like O'Grady are exposed. 

They're frauds. They're defrocked. They're discredited liars. She's paid to lie. She's one of the worst.

A decade post-NAFTA, about a million US jobs were lost. America's Mexican trade deficit alone cost around 700,000 jobs by 2010.

Government data show nearly five million US manufacturing disappeared since 1994. 

NAFTA alone wasn't responsible. Losing them reflected broken promises, lost futures, and other trade deals from hell to follow. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) stand out.

Public Citizen's new report is titled "NAFTA at 20: One Million US Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health Laws."

Lori Wallach heads Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Ralph Nader calls her "the Trade Debate's Guerrilla Warrior." 

Public Citizen calls her "a relentless campaigner." She's been so for 20 years. She's a Harvard Law School trained lawyer. In 1993, she founded Citizens Trade Campaign.

It's a national coalition of consumer, labor, environmental, family farm, religious, and civil rights groups. They represent over 11 million Americans. According to Wallach:

"NAFTA's actual outcomes prove how damaging this type of agreement is for most people, that it should be renegotiated and why we cannot have any more such deals that include job-offshoring incentives, requirements that we import food that doesn’t meet our safety standards or new rights for firms to get taxpayer compensation before foreign tribunals over laws they don’t like."

NAFTA remains hugely destructive. It's "equal parts disgusting and infuriating," says Wallach. Obama joined "the corporate Pinocchios." 

They lie about NAFTA. They've done so from inception. They're doing it again now. They selling similar Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) snake oil. It's NAFTA on steroids.

Public Citizen's study discusses promises made and broken. Post-NAFTA trade and investments contributed to huge job losses, pay cuts and lost futures. Income inequality keeps growing.

America's trade deficit with Mexico and Canada is 45% higher than with countries not party to US trade agreements.

US manufacturing and services exports to NAFTA partners grew at less than half their pre-NAFTA rate. Polls show more than half of Americans want NAFTA renegotiated or abandoned.

Few want US membership continued. Opposition cuts across parties, income classes and educational levels. 

Subsidized US corn exports to Mexico increased. Doing so destroyed the livelihoods of over one million Mexican small farmers. 

Another 1.5 million agriculture-dependent Mexican workers lost jobs. Doing so doubled Mexican immigration to America. Most are undocumented. Desperate poor people come north for jobs.

They're still coming. Doing so increases competition for scarce service sector ones. Government data show the destructive effects of offshoring.

Affected workers lost 20% of their income on average. They did so compared to non-offshorable jobs gotten. 

NAFTA damaged millions of lives. It doesn't matter. Obama wants TPP fast-tracked. He wants TAFTA legislation passed. 

He wants millions more US workers displaced. He wants others rehired for less pay. He wants them consigned to poverty. He wants corporate predators profiting at their expense.

According to Wallach, NAFTA-type trade agreements are "corporate Christmas" presents year-round. Big business loves them.

They "jack up medicine prices with patent extensions for Big Pharma," says Wallach.

"Big Content loves them because (of) SOPA-type copyright rules. Chemical and pharmaceutical companies love them because" they're freed from regulations and inspections. 

Big "oil and gas companies love them because they (get) absolute rights to natural resources." 

"Chronic job offshoring companies love them because (they get) new investor protections" abroad.

They're win-win for corporate predators. Workers, America's unemployed and underemployed lose out big time.

Fast-tracking got NAFTA passed. It's an arcane Nixon-era procedure. It lets executive branch officials write legislation. 

Corporate lobbyists do it for them. They stuff everything in measures corporations love.

Congress is denied debate. No amendments are allowed. Up or down voting alone follows.

Fast-tracking is a way of railroading legislation through Congress. It does so against enormous public opposition.

Anti-NAFTA sentiment before passage added more corporate sweeteners than originally planned.

NAFTA "established a radically new 'trade' agreement model," said Public Citizen. It differed from earlier trade deals. It's "only partially about trade."

It "created new privileges and protections for foreign investors.." It incentivized offshore investments and jobs. It did so by "eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries."

NAFTA lets foreign companies and investors challenge domestic laws, regulations and standards. They can demand compensation for alleged lost profits.

Regulation of trucking, banking and other services is restricted. Medicine patent monopolies are extended. 

Food and product safety standards are limited. So are domestic procurement preferences like "Buy American."

Pre-NAFTA enactment debate sold empty promises. It's record 20 years later proves otherwise. It's responsible for hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, lower wages, and grim futures for millions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two-thirds of NAFTA-displaced manufacturing workers able to find jobs lost 20% or more of their former wages.

NAFTA's deplorable record reflects race to the bottom reality. It includes unemployment, underemployment, low pay, poor benefits, and lost futures for millions.

According to Public Citizen, "a 188 percent rise in food imports from Canada and Mexico" had no impact on containing prices. They "jumped 65 percent since" NAFTA's implementation.

Scores of US companies promised to create specific numbers of jobs if NAFTA passed. They cut them hugely instead. 

General Electric cut nearly 5,000 jobs. Chrysler eliminated over 7,700. Nearly 600 Caterpillar workers lost out. Many other companies betrayed their workforces and communities the same way.

Since NAFTA's implementation, the income of America's richest 10% rose 24%. For its top 1%, it was 58%. "NAFTA-style trade helps explain the soaring inequality," says Public Citizen.

"NAFTA has placed downward pressure on wages for the middle and lower economic classes by forcing decently-paid US manufacturing workers to compete with imports made by poorly-paid workers abroad." 

"The resulting displacement of those decently-paid US workers has further depressed middle class wages by adding to the surplus of workers seeking lower-paying service sector jobs."

NAFTA contributes hugely to growing inequality. It gives companies enormous leverage. They can pay domestic workers less. They can offshore for greater savings.

Since NAFTA's implementation, over 60,000 US manufacturing facilities closed. WTO and other factors share responsibility. "After two decades of NAFTA, the evidence is clear," says Public Citizen. 

"(T)he vaunted deal failed at its promises of job creation and better living standards while contributing to mass job losses, soaring income inequality, agricultural instability, corporate attacks on domestic health and environmental safeguards, and mass displacement and volatility in Mexico."

Obama wants more of the same. Whether he'll get it remains to be seen. TPP opposition is significant. Ordinary Americans and policymakers comprise it. 

Congress may block passage. In November, a bipartisan group of 178 House members expressed fast-tracking opposition. Other congressional members expressed concerns about TPP overall.

NAFTA's failure prevented Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) adoption.

It's "two-decade legacy of tumult and hardship for millions could" kill TPP and other destructive trade deals, says Public Citizen.

Doing so would be a step in the right direction. Much more needs to begun. 

Reversing longstanding race to the bottom policy requires wholesale change. Evidence of it happening is nowhere in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

NAFTA’s Deplorable Legacy

NAFTA's Deplorable Legacy

by Stephen Lendman

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary O'Grady reinvents history. She does it her way. It's the wrong way. She turns truth on its head. 

Her commentaries read like bad fiction. They substitute misinformation for indisputable facts. Responsible editors wouldn't touch her rubbish. Journal editors embrace it.

NAFTA was hugely destructive trade policy. It's opposite of what's needed. More on why below. 

Not according to O'Grady. On January 5, she headlined "Nafta at 20: A Model for Trade Policy." It's a model for the wrongheaded kind.

O'Grady claims otherwise. She does so her way. Why anyone reads her rubbish, they'll have to explain. Journal editors feature it. 

"Those who predicted that Nafta would lead to joblessness and poverty have been proven definitively wrong," claims O'Grady. 

Hundreds of thousands of impoverished jobless workers explain otherwise. More on this below.

"Freedom to trade with the neighbors (Canada, Mexico and the US) has instead created wealth and opportunity and made the continent more globally competitive," she says.

Indeed so for corporate predators and rich elites. They profited hugely. They did the old-fashioned way. They benefitted on backs of exploited people.

O'Grady supports more of the same. She's for greater "North American integration." In other words, greater corporate favoritism. Fewer worker rights. More job losses. Lower pay and benefits. Profits at the expense of people.

"(E)xpanding economic freedom in North America requires a commitment to the cause," she claims.

She's on the wrong side of history. Anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer and anti-democratic measures harm millions. One-sided "free trade" isn't fair.

NAFTA proponents promised tens of thousands of newly created jobs. Small farmers would export their way to wealth. 

Mexican living standards would rise. Economic opportunities would reduce regional immigration to America.

Promises made never materialized. Reality disproved hype. It does it every time. Ideologues like O'Grady are exposed. 

They're frauds. They're defrocked. They're discredited liars. She's paid to lie. She's one of the worst.

A decade post-NAFTA, about a million US jobs were lost. America's Mexican trade deficit alone cost around 700,000 jobs by 2010.

Government data show nearly five million US manufacturing disappeared since 1994. 

NAFTA alone wasn't responsible. Losing them reflected broken promises, lost futures, and other trade deals from hell to follow. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) stand out.

Public Citizen's new report is titled "NAFTA at 20: One Million US Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health Laws."

Lori Wallach heads Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Ralph Nader calls her "the Trade Debate's Guerrilla Warrior." 

Public Citizen calls her "a relentless campaigner." She's been so for 20 years. She's a Harvard Law School trained lawyer. In 1993, she founded Citizens Trade Campaign.

It's a national coalition of consumer, labor, environmental, family farm, religious, and civil rights groups. They represent over 11 million Americans. According to Wallach:

"NAFTA's actual outcomes prove how damaging this type of agreement is for most people, that it should be renegotiated and why we cannot have any more such deals that include job-offshoring incentives, requirements that we import food that doesn’t meet our safety standards or new rights for firms to get taxpayer compensation before foreign tribunals over laws they don’t like."

NAFTA remains hugely destructive. It's "equal parts disgusting and infuriating," says Wallach. Obama joined "the corporate Pinocchios." 

They lie about NAFTA. They've done so from inception. They're doing it again now. They selling similar Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) snake oil. It's NAFTA on steroids.

Public Citizen's study discusses promises made and broken. Post-NAFTA trade and investments contributed to huge job losses, pay cuts and lost futures. Income inequality keeps growing.

America's trade deficit with Mexico and Canada is 45% higher than with countries not party to US trade agreements.

US manufacturing and services exports to NAFTA partners grew at less than half their pre-NAFTA rate. Polls show more than half of Americans want NAFTA renegotiated or abandoned.

Few want US membership continued. Opposition cuts across parties, income classes and educational levels. 

Subsidized US corn exports to Mexico increased. Doing so destroyed the livelihoods of over one million Mexican small farmers. 

Another 1.5 million agriculture-dependent Mexican workers lost jobs. Doing so doubled Mexican immigration to America. Most are undocumented. Desperate poor people come north for jobs.

They're still coming. Doing so increases competition for scarce service sector ones. Government data show the destructive effects of offshoring.

Affected workers lost 20% of their income on average. They did so compared to non-offshorable jobs gotten. 

NAFTA damaged millions of lives. It doesn't matter. Obama wants TPP fast-tracked. He wants TAFTA legislation passed. 

He wants millions more US workers displaced. He wants others rehired for less pay. He wants them consigned to poverty. He wants corporate predators profiting at their expense.

According to Wallach, NAFTA-type trade agreements are "corporate Christmas" presents year-round. Big business loves them.

They "jack up medicine prices with patent extensions for Big Pharma," says Wallach.

"Big Content loves them because (of) SOPA-type copyright rules. Chemical and pharmaceutical companies love them because" they're freed from regulations and inspections. 

Big "oil and gas companies love them because they (get) absolute rights to natural resources." 

"Chronic job offshoring companies love them because (they get) new investor protections" abroad.

They're win-win for corporate predators. Workers, America's unemployed and underemployed lose out big time.

Fast-tracking got NAFTA passed. It's an arcane Nixon-era procedure. It lets executive branch officials write legislation. 

Corporate lobbyists do it for them. They stuff everything in measures corporations love.

Congress is denied debate. No amendments are allowed. Up or down voting alone follows.

Fast-tracking is a way of railroading legislation through Congress. It does so against enormous public opposition.

Anti-NAFTA sentiment before passage added more corporate sweeteners than originally planned.

NAFTA "established a radically new 'trade' agreement model," said Public Citizen. It differed from earlier trade deals. It's "only partially about trade."

It "created new privileges and protections for foreign investors.." It incentivized offshore investments and jobs. It did so by "eliminating many of the risks normally associated with moving production to low-wage countries."

NAFTA lets foreign companies and investors challenge domestic laws, regulations and standards. They can demand compensation for alleged lost profits.

Regulation of trucking, banking and other services is restricted. Medicine patent monopolies are extended. 

Food and product safety standards are limited. So are domestic procurement preferences like "Buy American."

Pre-NAFTA enactment debate sold empty promises. It's record 20 years later proves otherwise. It's responsible for hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, lower wages, and grim futures for millions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two-thirds of NAFTA-displaced manufacturing workers able to find jobs lost 20% or more of their former wages.

NAFTA's deplorable record reflects race to the bottom reality. It includes unemployment, underemployment, low pay, poor benefits, and lost futures for millions.

According to Public Citizen, "a 188 percent rise in food imports from Canada and Mexico" had no impact on containing prices. They "jumped 65 percent since" NAFTA's implementation.

Scores of US companies promised to create specific numbers of jobs if NAFTA passed. They cut them hugely instead. 

General Electric cut nearly 5,000 jobs. Chrysler eliminated over 7,700. Nearly 600 Caterpillar workers lost out. Many other companies betrayed their workforces and communities the same way.

Since NAFTA's implementation, the income of America's richest 10% rose 24%. For its top 1%, it was 58%. "NAFTA-style trade helps explain the soaring inequality," says Public Citizen.

"NAFTA has placed downward pressure on wages for the middle and lower economic classes by forcing decently-paid US manufacturing workers to compete with imports made by poorly-paid workers abroad." 

"The resulting displacement of those decently-paid US workers has further depressed middle class wages by adding to the surplus of workers seeking lower-paying service sector jobs."

NAFTA contributes hugely to growing inequality. It gives companies enormous leverage. They can pay domestic workers less. They can offshore for greater savings.

Since NAFTA's implementation, over 60,000 US manufacturing facilities closed. WTO and other factors share responsibility. "After two decades of NAFTA, the evidence is clear," says Public Citizen. 

"(T)he vaunted deal failed at its promises of job creation and better living standards while contributing to mass job losses, soaring income inequality, agricultural instability, corporate attacks on domestic health and environmental safeguards, and mass displacement and volatility in Mexico."

Obama wants more of the same. Whether he'll get it remains to be seen. TPP opposition is significant. Ordinary Americans and policymakers comprise it. 

Congress may block passage. In November, a bipartisan group of 178 House members expressed fast-tracking opposition. Other congressional members expressed concerns about TPP overall.

NAFTA's failure prevented Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) adoption.

It's "two-decade legacy of tumult and hardship for millions could" kill TPP and other destructive trade deals, says Public Citizen.

Doing so would be a step in the right direction. Much more needs to begun. 

Reversing longstanding race to the bottom policy requires wholesale change. Evidence of it happening is nowhere in sight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Disturbing Obamacare Surprises

Disturbing Obamacare Surprises

by Stephen Lendman

Consumers are in for many rude surprises. Soon enough they'll know they've been scammed.

A previous article discussed insurers limiting hospital and doctor choices. Doing so cuts costs. Sacrificed is treatment from relied on providers when most needed.

Using their services requires paying costs out-of-pocket. Obama lied claiming:

"If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period," he said. 

"If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what."

Obamacare deception is one of many lies he told. Marketplace medicine doesn't work. Obamacare prioritizes corporate profits. It does so at the expense of proper healthcare. 

It's not a commodity. It's a fundamental human right. Not in America. Not under Obamacare for sure. Bottom line priorities matter most.

On December 6, the Washington Examiner headlined "Doctors boycotting California's Obamacare exchange," saying:

"An estimated seven out of every 10 physicians in deep-blue California are rebelling against the state's Obamacare health insurance exchange and won't participate, the head of the state's largest medical association said."

According to California Medical Association (CMA) president Dr. Richard Thorp:

"It doesn't surprise me that there's been a high rate of nonparticipation."

"We need some recognition that we're doing a service to the community. But we can't do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that."

CMA represents about 104,000 California doctors. California offers one of the nation's lowest reimbursement rates.

It's 30% lower than Medicare payments. Some reimbursement rates are even lower.

In September, insurers pegged them to California's Medicaid plan (Medi-Cal). Many doctors opted out in response.

Others consider early retirement. Former San Diego County Medical Society president Theodore Mazer said he just turned 55.

"Maybe there's something else we can do because this is just getting too onerous to keep on going," he said.

With many California doctors opting out or retiring, state healthcare could be overwhelmed. Other states may experience similar problems.

Alameda County Health Care Services Agency director Alex Biscoe already complains of a physician shortage.

It'll "get worse as more people enter the market," he said. He's not surprised about large numbers of doctors refusing to participate in a bad system.

If enough opt out nationwide, millions needing treatment won't get it. Others won't get adequate care for serious illnesses.

Healthcare in America is already dysfunctional for millions. Obamacare makes a bad system worse.

Around half of US households have employer-provided health insurance. By 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates six million fewer people receiving it.

US Chamber of Commerce/International Franchise Association survey information shows 28% of mid-size companies plan to drop coverage. It's cheaper to pay imposed penalties than provide it.

Large and smaller firms maintaining it are shifting costs increasingly to employees. In 2015, Obamacare requires companies with 50 or more workers to provide coverage for full-time staff. Penalties are imposed on ones that don't.

National Retail Federation vice president Neil Trautwein said it's "definitely…less expensive to pay (them) than provide coverage."

At the same time, most companies prioritize temporary or part-time workers. They avoid full-time ones as much as possible. Doing so avoids having to provide health insurance.

Last August, Forbes magazine headlined "It's Fact, Not Anecdote, That ObamaCare Is Turning Us Into A Part-Time Nation," saying:

"An avalanche of 'anecdotes' continues to pile up as workers across the country are having their hours cut and their health benefits slashed across a broad range of industries."

Many employers say they have no choice. United Food and Commercial Workers Union president Joseph Hansen originally supported Obamacare.

No longer. It's having a "tremendous impact as workers have their hours reduced and their incomes reduced," he said.

Current data show one full-time job created for every four part-time ones. Employers have to play or pay. They're opting out by cutting back on full-time employees.

A Chamber of Commerce survey showed 71% of small businesses saying Obamacare makes growth harder.

Many said they'll either cut hours of full-time workers or replace them with part-time ones. One-fourth said they'll reduce hiring to stay under the 50-employee benchmark.

Large companies "are being hit, too," said Forbes. Delta Airlines estimates an extra $100 million healthcare cost increase in 2014.

UPS is cutting eligibility for employee spouses with access to healthcare elsewhere. The University of Virginia is limiting spouse health benefits.

Lots more than Obamacare turned America into a part-time nation. Employers gamed the troubled economy. They're still doing it.

They've cut staff, reduced wages, trimmed benefits, and shifted more heavily to temporary or part-time workers. 

Obamacare makes things worse. It remains to be seen how severely going forward. Evidence so far isn't encouraging. 

Struggling households face increasing stiff headwinds. They're more than ever on their own to get by. Obamacare adds an extra burden. It does so at the wrong time.

On December 4, the Wall Street Journal headlined "Drug-Cost Surprises Lurk Inside New Health Plans," saying:

"(D)epending on the coverage they select," consumers on expensive medications will end up paying up to half the cost themselves.

Many cancer, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, and other patients are in for rude surprises.

"(T)he lower a plan's monthly premium, the higher the portion of drug costs patients must bear," said the Journal. Other factors are involved.

They include "whether a medication is on the insurer's covered-drug list, or formulary; in what level, or tier, of coverage it is; and what cost-sharing formula applies to that tier." 

It "can vary from plan to plan even among those offered by the same insurer in the same bronze, silver or other category."

Drug tiers depend on insurer/Big Pharma price arrangements. They "can make a huge difference in patient costs," said the Journal.

Understanding what various plans provide is hugely challenging. Doing so requires careful due diligence. Too few consumers bother.

Clear information isn't easy to access. Arthritis Foundation advocacy director Kimberly Beer said:

"We're concerned that people may be attracted to plans with low premiums and not have much drug coverage at all."

According to Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York Aids counselor Alexandra Remmel:

"Right now, the problem is not getting access to care - it's getting access to information."

Consumers complain about trying to find the right plan. Obamacare makes it harder, not easier.

On December 9, the Washington Post headlined "AIDS advocates say drug coverage in some marketplace plans is inadequate."

Insurers can't deny coverage to consumers seeking it. Even sick ones. They've got other ways to game the system. Examples above were discussed.

Patient advocates said some insurers "found a way to discourage the chronically ill from enrolling in their plans," said WaPo.

One way among others is offering "skimpy" drug coverage "for those with expensive conditions." 

Some plans don't cover HIV medications. Or they require patients to pay up to half the cost. For some, it's over $1,000 monthly. It's much more than most people can afford.

AIDS Foundation of Chicago vice president John Peller said:

"The fear is that they are putting discriminatory plan designs into place to try to deter certain people from enrolling by not covering the medications they need, or putting policies in place that make them jump through hoops to get care."

According to National Health Council executive vice president Marc Boutin:

"The easiest way (for insurers) to identify a core group of people that is going to cost you a lot of money is to look at the medicines they need, and the easiest way to make your plan less appealing is to put limitations on these products."

Bottom line priorities depend on it. Insurers are experts at gaming the system. They've always done it. Especially in recent decades.

Swallowing Obamacare is enough to make most people sick. For insurers, it's a potential bonanza. Millions more consumers must be covered. Insurers have lots of wiggle room.

They can't turn away customers based on pre-existing or other conditions. They can discourage them in lots of ways.

They can make them pay half the cost of expensive drugs. They can restrict hospital and doctor choices. 

They can pay limited amounts for treatments. They can require doctors to use certain drugs before prescribing more expensive ones. 

They can do lots of things to make money. Key is attracting more healthy people and fewer sick ones. Important also is making healthcare decisions that should be solely up to doctors.

"A new (Avalere Health) analysis of (marketplace exchange plans) found that the benefits tend to be skimpier than in most other private insurance in the United States, with drug benefits a particular weak spot," said WaPo.

Patients needing expensive drugs "could encounter big bills right away." Avalere's head, Dan Mendelson, believes employers may go the same way as exchanges.

It's already happening. It's less expensive. It shifts costs to employees. Former MS Consortium neurologist Daniel Kantor believes "2014 is going to be a scary year."

"People are going to have to stop taking medicines they are already stable on because of this," he said.

Insurers hope "if they make in inconvenient for people with MS to get treatment, they will leave their rolls."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates over 1.1 million HIV/AIDS infected Americans.

About 50,000 more are infected annually. Around 15,000 die each year. "Perhaps the most politically sensitive issue related to drug coverage involves people" currently affected, said WaPo.

Studies show a single tablet/three to four HIV meds combined works best. It reduces hospitalizations. It keeps patients healthier. 

An AIDS group coalition voiced concerns. It reviewed nationwide health plans. It found at least 47 exclude single tablet coverage and other standard treatments.

Some insurers are reconsidering earlier decisions. They may begin covering the drug. They may cut other costs to compensate. They may require patients to pay up to half the cost.

Plans excluding life-saving drugs show how insurers can game the system profitably. So does making patients pay plenty for expensive drugs covered.

Universal single payer coverage alone works. Everyone in, no one out should be mandated.

Insurers are predatory middlemen. They add around $400 billion annually to healthcare costs. They provide no care to ill patients.

America is the only developed nation without some form of government provided universal coverage.

Obamacare scams consumers. It rations care. It makes America's dysfunctional system worse. It sacrifices healthcare for profits. It does so irresponsibly.

Universal coverage provides care for everyone. It does it cheaper. Medicare for all alone works.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/peace-without-occupation/


http://www.dailycensored.com/disturbing-obamacare-surprises/

TPP: NAFTA on Steroids

TPP: NAFTA on Steroids

by Stephen Lendman

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal from hell. It's a stealth corporate coup d'etat. 

It's a giveaway to banksters. It's a global neoliberal ripoff. It's a business empowering Trojan horse. It's a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls it "a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement."

More on TPP below. New York Times editors support it. Two decades ago, they endorsed NAFTA. 

On January 1, 1994, its destructive life began. It's anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-consumer and anti-democratic.

Corporate giants love it. Why not? They wrote it. Hundreds of pages of one-size-fits-all rules benefit them. 

They override domestic laws. A race to the bottom followed. NAFTA was a disastrous experiment. In November 1993, New York editors headlined "The 'Great Debate' Over NAFTA," saying:

"The laboriously constructed agreement to phase out trade barriers among the US, Mexico and Canada, which this page has strongly supported, is likely to have a positive, though small, impact on US living standards and provide a modest boost to the Mexican economy." 

"Some American jobs would be lost to cheaper Mexican labor, other jobs would be gained because American exports would increase as Mexico's high tariffs gradually disappeared."

"Economics aside, Nafta's defeat would suggest that the US had abandoned its historical commitment to free trade and would thus discourage other Latin and South American countries thathave moved toward more market-oriented economies in the expectation of freer world trade."

So-called "free trade" is one-sided. It isn't fair. NAFTA proponents promised tens of thousands of newly created US jobs.

Ordinary famers would export their way to wealth. Mexican living standards would rise. Economic opportunities would reduce regional immigration to America.

NAFTA's promises never materialized. Reality proved polar opposite hype. A decade later, about a million US jobs were lost. 

America's Mexican trade deficit alone cost around 700,000 jobs by 2010.

Official government data show nearly five million US manufacturing disappeared since 1994. 

NAFTA alone wasn't responsible. It reflected broken promises, lost futures, and other trade deals from hell to follow. TPP stands out. It's NAFTA on steroids.

Since 2008, multiple negotiating rounds were held. They continue secretly. Twelve nations are involved. 

They include America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Others are invited to join.

At issue is agreeing on unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP). 

It's about eliminating fundamental freedoms. It's circumventing sovereign independent rights. Corporate power brokers want unchallenged control.

They want global rules and standards rewritten. They want supranational powers. They want them overriding national sovereignty. They want investor rights prioritized over public ones.

They already rule the world. Imagine giving them more power. Imagine no way to stop them. 

Imagine a duplicitous president. Obama's in lockstep with their wish list. He intends giving them everything they want.

Public Citizen is independent. It's our voice. Its work entails "ensur(ing) that all citizens are represented in the halls of power."

Its Global Trade Watch (GTW) monitors TPP developments. It calls it "a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America. (It's) a dream of the 1%." It'll:

  • "offshore millions of American jobs,

  • free the banksters from oversight,

  • ban Buy America policies needed to create green (and many other) jobs (as well as) rebuild out economy,

  • decrease access to medicine,

  • flood the US with unsafe food and products,

  • and empower corporations to attack our environment and health safeguards."

Hyped benefits are fake. Reality is polar opposite what corporate shysters claim. Everything accruing from TPP benefits them. It does so by undermining what matters most to ordinary people.

Lori Wallach heads GTW. Ben Beachy is research director. Last June, they headlined their New York Times op-ed "Obama's Covert Trade Deal."

He's committed to open government, he claims. His policies reflect otherwise. He's negotiating TPP secretly.

It's "the most significant international commercial agreement since the" World Trade Organization's 1995 creation, said Wallach and Beachy.

Congress has exclusive "terms of trade" authority. Obama systematically refuses repeated congressional requests to release the entire draft agreement being negotiated.

He "denied requests from members to attend (sessions) as observers." He "revers(ed) past practice" snubbing them.

He "rejected demands by outside groups" to release the draft text. George Bush never went that far.

Obama's "wall of secrecy" had one exception. About "600 trade 'advisors,' dominated by representatives of big business," got access to what Congress was denied.

TPP overrides American laws. It requires changing them. Otherwise trade sanctions on US exports can be imposed.

Wall Street loves TPP. It prohibits banning risky financial products. It lets banksters operate any way they want without oversight.

Congress has final say. Both houses will vote on TPP. Ahead of doing so, they'll have access to its full text. 

Why later? Why not now? Why not earlier? Why not without enough time for discussion and public debate?

Members won't get enough time to examine TPP carefully. Maintaining secrecy as long as possible prevents public debate.

Obama wants TPP fast-tracked. He wants it approved by yearend. Until March, Ron Kirk was Obama's trade representative.

He was remarkably candid. He said revealing TPP's text would raise enormous opposition. Doing so might make adopting it impossible.

According to Wallach and Beachy:

"Whatever one thinks about 'free trade,' (TPP secrecy) represents a huge assault on the principles and practice of democratic governance." 

"That is untenable in the age of transparency, especially coming from an administration that is otherwise so quick to trumpet its commitment to open government."

On October 30, a newly formed Friends of TPP caucus was formed. Four House co-chairman head it. They include Reps. David Reichert (R. WA), Charles Boustany (R. LA), Ron Kind (D. WI) and Gregory Meeks (D. NY).

They sound like earlier NAFTA supporters. They claim TPP is important for US jobs, exports and economic growth. They lied saying so.

Wallach commented separately. TPP is hugely hugely destructive, she said. It's more than about trade. It's a "corporate Trojan horse." It has 29 chapters. Only five relate to trade.

The others "either handcuff our domestic governments, limit food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establish new powers for corporations."

They promote offshoring jobs to low-wage countries. They ban Buy America. Corporations can do whatever they please. Instead of investing domestically, they can use "our tax dollars" to operate abroad.

They can exploit national resources freely. They'll have "rights for min(ed) (commodities), oil, gas" and others "without approval."

TPP includes all sorts of "worrisome issues relating to Internet freedom." 

It provides a back door to earlier failed legislation. It resurrects SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and CISPA provisions. It tramples on fundamental freedoms and national sovereignty.

"Think about all the things that would be really hard to get into effect as a corporation in public, a lot of them rejected here and in the other 11 countries, and that is what's bundled in to the TPP," said Wallach.

"And every country would be required to change its laws domestically to meet these rules." 

"The binding provision is each country shall ensure the conformity of domestic laws, regulations and procedures."

Negotiations are secret. Nothing is discussed publicly. Details leaked out. TPP includes hugely unpopular policies. It forces them on member countries.

It overrides domestic laws protecting people and ecosystems. It's predatory capitalism at its worst writ large. Obama fully supports it. Lawmakers hadn't seen it until last year. 

They got access to a single chapter. Examining it is severely restricted. Their office is denied a copy. They alone can read it. Their staff is denied permission.

They can't take detailed notes. They can't publicly discuss what's in it. Technical language makes it hard to understand what they read.

Congressional approval is likely. Lobby pressure is intense. "Everything is bought and sold," said Wallach. "Honor is no exception."

The reason there's no deal so far "is because a lot of other countries are standing up to the worst of US corporate demands," Wallach explained.

For how long remains to be seen. If TPP is adopted, public interest no longer will matter. The worst of all possible worlds will replace it. Corporate rights will supersede human ones. A global race to the bottom will intensify. 

Signatory countries will be legally bound to support loss of personal freedoms. Sovereign laws won't protect against poisoned food, water and air.

Ecosystems will be destroyed. Millions more jobs will shift from developed to under or less developed nations. 

Corporate power will grow more exponentially. Fundamental human and civil rights may erode altogether. Not according to Times editors.

On November 5, they headlined "A Pacific Trade Deal."

A dozen nations want a deal by yearend, they said. They want it to "help all of our economies and strengthen relations between the United States and several important Asian allies."

It bears repeating. TPP is a trade deal from hell. It's a stealth corporate coup d'etat. It's a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare. Times editors didn't explain. 

They lied to readers. They betrayed them. They repeated their 1993 duplicity. Millions affected understand best. 

An October 8 White House press release lied. It called TPP "a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries."  

"The deepest and broadest possible liberalization of trade and investment will ensure the greatest benefits for countries’ large and small manufacturers, service providers, farmers, and ranchers, as well as workers, innovators, investors, and consumers."

Times editors endorsed what they haven't read. TPP provisions remain secret. Leaked information alone is known.

Times editors willingly accept Obama misinformation as fact. Twenty years ago, they got NAFTA wrong. Here they go again. 

They're mindless about secret negotiations. Public concerns don't matter. Corporate interests alone count. 

Subverting national sovereignty is OK. So is empowering transnational giants without oversight. They'll be able sue countries for potentially undermining future profits.

Times editors support the worst of corporate excess. Doing so shows which side they're on. 

Fundamental freedoms aren't important. Corporate rights drive The Times' agenda. Its editors explained nothing about fast-track authority.

Max Baucus (D. MT) chairs the Senate Finance Committee. He supports fast-tracking. Doing so hands congressional authority to Obama.

Proper hearings are restricted. Debate is limited. Amendments can't be introduced. The Senate can't filibuster. Congress can only vote up or down. 

It can happen virtually out of sight and mind. It can happen with scant media coverage. It can happen with none at all. It can become law with practically no public awareness.

Imagine corporate America getting coup d'etat authority with hardly anyone knowing what happened. Imagine the consequences if it does. Imagine today's America becoming worse than ever. 

Times editors stressed how Obama wants TPP to be "an example for the rest of the world to follow."

Imagine one more than ever unfit to live in. Imagine a president promising change to believe in promoting it. 

Imagine Times editors endorsing what demands condemnation. Imagine not explaining what readers most need to know. 

Imagine substituting misinformation for truth and full disclosure. Imagine all the news they call fit to print not fit to read.

A Final Comment 

On November 13, Public Citizen headlined "Leaked Documents Reveal Obama Administration Push for Internet Freedom Limits, Terms That Raise Drug Prices in Closed-Door Trade Talks."

"US Demands in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Text, Published Today by WikiLeaks, Contradict Obama Policy and Public Opinion at Home and Abroad."

TPP's leaked text reveals Obama demands limiting Internet freedom. He wants restricted access to lifesaving medicines.

He wants all TPP signatory countries bound the the same deplorable rules.

He lied claiming TPP reduces health care costs. It has nothing to do with advancing online freedom as he promised. It's polar opposite on both counts.

According to Public Citizen:

"It is clear from the text obtained by WikiLeaks that the US government is isolated and has lost this debate."

"Our partners don't want to trade away their people's health. Americans don't want these measures either."

Obama's in the pocket of Big Pharma. He's a Wall Street tool. He represents other corporate interests. He spurns popular ones. He lies claiming otherwise. He repeatedly avoids truth and full disclosure.

He lied about Obamacare. It's an abomination. It's a scam. It's a scheme to enrich insurers and other healthcare giants. 

TPP is a global scam. It's an assault on fundamental freedoms.

Reports indicate around half the House members strongly oppose it. Others lean that way. According to Lori Wallach:

"This could be the end of TPP."

"All these other countries are like, 'Wait, you have no trade authority and nothing you've promised us means anything. Why would we give you our best deal?’ Why would you be making concessions to the emperor who has no clothes?"

It bears repeating. TPP is a trade bill from hell. It's a stealth corporate coup d' etat. Killing it is essential. 

The alternative is losing fundamental freedoms. It's destroying national sovereignty. It's making healthcare less affordable. It's undermining what ordinary people value most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/tpp-nafta-steroids/

MIND GAMES: Cyberspace and Psychiatric Drugs

At least 10 percent of all Americans over six-years-old are on antidepressants. That’s more than 35 million people, double the number from less than two decades ago. Meanwhile, anti-psychotics have eclipsed cholesterol treatments as the country’s fastest selling and most profitable drugs, even though half the prescriptions treat disorders for which they haven’t been proven effective. At least 5 million children and adolescents use them, in part because more kids are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

This raises some troubling alternatives: Are a growing number of people experiencing psychological troubles? Have we just become better at recognizing them? Or is some other dynamic at work?

One possibility is that the criteria for what constitutes a mental illness or disability may have expanded to the point that a vast number appear to have clinical problems. But there’s an even more insidious development: the drugs being used to treat many of the new diagnoses could cause long-term effects that persist after the original trouble has been resolved. That’s the case made by Robert Whitaker in his book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America.

Speaking of long-term impacts on the brain, we’re also heading toward a world where humans are directly linked with computers that profoundly influence their perceptions and ideas. Despite many potential benefits, there is danger here as well. Rather than simply augmenting our memories by providing neutral information, the brain-computer connection may lead people into separate realities based on their assumptions and politics.

Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” – a potent combination. Together, they pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. Seduced by the promise that our brains can be managed and enhanced without serious side-effects, we may be creating a future where psychological dysfunction becomes a post-modern plague and powerful forces use cyberspace to reshape “reality” in their private interest.

Do prescription drugs create new mental problems? And if so, how could it be happening? For Whitaker the answer lies in the effects of drugs on neurotransmitters, a process he calls negative feedback. When a drug blocks neurotransmitters or increases the level of serotonin, for instance, neurons initially attempt to counteract the effects. When the drug is used over a long period, however, it can produce “substantial and long-lasting alterations in neural function,” claims Steven Hyman, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health. The brain begins to function differently. Its ability to compensate starts to fail and side effects created by the drug emerge.

What comes next? More drugs and, along with them, new side effects, an evolving chemical mixture often accompanied by a revised diagnosis. According to Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, it can go this way: use of an antidepressant leads to mania, which leads to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which leads to the prescription of mood stabilizers. Through such a process people can end up taking several drugs daily for many years.

What may happen after that is deeply troubling. Researcher Nancy Andreasen claims the brain begins to shrink, an effect she links directly to dosage and duration. “The prefrontal cortex doesn’t get the input it needs and is being shut down by drugs,” she explained in The New York Times. “That reduces the psychotic symptoms.” But the pre-frontal cortex gradually atrophies.

Anyone who has been on the psychiatric drug roller coaster understands some of the ride’s risks and how hard it can be to get off. But the new implication is that we may be experiencing a medically-induced outbreak of brain dysfunction caused by the exploding use of drugs. One big unanswered question at the moment: What does Big Pharma really know, and when did they learn it?

Drug companies are not the only ones experimenting with our brains. Bold research is also being pursued to create brain-computer interfaces that can help people overcome problems like memory loss. According to writer Michael Chorost, author of World Wide Mind and interface enthusiast who benefited from ear implants after going deaf, we may soon be directly connected to the Internet through neural implants. It sounds convenient and liberating. Ask yourself a question and, presto, there’s the answer. Google co-founder Larry Page can imagine a not-too-distant future in which you simply think about something and “your cell phone whispers the answer in your ear.”

Beyond the fact that this could become irritating, there’s an unspoken assumption that the information received is basically unbiased, like consulting an excellent encyclopedia or a great library catalog. This is where the trouble starts. As Sue Halperin noted in a New York Review of Books essay, “Mind Control and the Internet,” Search engines like Google use an algorithm to show us what’s important. But even without the manipulation of marketing companies and consultants who influence some listings, each search is increasingly shaped to fit the profile of the person asking. If you think that we both get the same results from the same inquiry, guess again.

What really happens is that you get results assembled just for you. Information is prioritized in a way that reinforces one’s previous choices, influenced by suggested assumptions and preferences. As Eli Pariser argues in The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, environmental activists and energy executives get very different listings when they inquire about climate science. It looks and feels “objective” but they’re being fed data that fits with their existing view – and probably not seeing much that conflicts.

A study discussed in Sociological Quarterly looked at this development by following attitudes about climate science over a decade. Here’s a strange but significant finding: Although a consensus emerged among most scientists over the years, the number of Republicans who accepted their conclusion dropped. Why? Because the Republicans were getting different information than the Democrats and others who embraced the basic premise. In other words, their viewpoint was being reflected back at them.

Does this sound dangerous? Pariser thinks so, and suggests that the type of reinforcement made common by search engines is leading to inadvertent self-indoctrination. For democracy to function effectively, people need exposure to various viewpoints, “but instead we’re more and more enclosed in our own bubbles,” he writes. Rather than agreeing on a set of shared facts we’re being led deeper into our different worlds.

Whether this is a problem depends somewhat on your expectations. For some people it is merely a bump in the road, a faltering step in the inevitable evolution of human consciousness. Techno-shamen and other cosmic optimists see the potential of drug-induced enlightenment and an Internet-assisted “hive mind,” and believe that the long-term outcome will be less violence, more trust, and a better world. But others have doubts, questioning whether we’ll really end up with technological liberation and a psychic leap forward. It could go quite differently, they worry. We could instead see millions of brain-addled casualties and even deeper social polarization.

How will current trends influence democracy and basic human relations? Increased trust and participation don’t immediately come to mind. Rather, the result could be more suspicion, denial and paranoia, as if we don’t have enough. In fact, even the recent upsurge in anger and resentment may be drug and Internet-assisted, creating fertile ground for opportunists and demagogues.

In False Alarm: The truth about the epidemic of fear, New York internist Marc Siegel noted that when the amygdala — the Brain’s central station for processing emotions – detects a threatening situation, it pours out stress hormones. If the stress persists too long, however, it can malfunction, overwhelm the hippocampus (center of the "thinking" brain), and be difficult to turn off. In the long term, this "fear biology" can wear people down, inducing paralysis or making them susceptible to diseases and delusions that they might otherwise resist. Addressing this problem with drugs that change the brain’s neural functioning isn’t apt to help. Either will the Internet’s tendency to provide information that reinforces whatever one already thinks.

More than half a century ago, Aldous Huxley – who knew a bit about drugs – issued a dire prediction. He didn’t see the Internet coming, but other than that his vision remains relevant. “There will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude,” he wrote in Brave New World, “and producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods."

Pretty grim, but there’s no going back. Despite any dangers posed by computer algorithms and anti-psychotic drugs, they are with us for the foreseeable future. Still, what we’ve learned about them in recent years could help us to reduce the negatives. Not every illness listed in the DMS – that constantly growing, Big Pharma-influenced psychiatric bible – requires drug treatment. And the results of your online searches will very likely tell you what you want to know, but that does not mean you’re getting a “balanced” or comprehensive picture.

(Originally published on 6/15/11, based on a radio broadcast)

A Nation Brought to the Verge of Ruin

In the Hands of a Moneyed Oligarchy

Recently on his syndicated talk show, the power-worshipping interviewer of influential elites Charlie Rose worried that Washington’s latest fiscal crisis sends the world the message that “democracy doesn’t work as well as we thought it did.” [1]

What American “democracy” was Charlie Rose talking about? As John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney noted four years ago, explaining why there would be no New Deal under Barack Obama, “The United States, despite its formally democratic character, is firmly in the hands of a moneyed oligarchy, probably the most powerful ruling class in history.” [2]

By Noam Chomsky’s account two years later, writing in the wake of the first elite-manufactured debt-ceiling crisis that nauseated the nation and mystified the world, “Corporate power, by now largely financial capital has reached the point that both political organizations, which now barely resemble traditional parties, are far to the right of the population on the major issues under debate.”[3]

Evidence in support of these statements is voluminous. On issue after issue, public opinion is irrelevant (or very close to it) in the realm of serious politics and policy, controlled by the nation’s “unelected dictatorship of money (Edward Herman and David Peterson’s phrase). Take health care coverage. Most Americans have long favored a single-payer national health insurance plan on the Canadian model. Their preference for such substantive, seriously social-democratic health reform has found no representation among the corporate- and Wall Street-captive lobbyists and politicians who pushed for big business-friendly versions of “health insurance reform. The version that finally passed in 2009, the so-called Affordable Health Care Act, is a monument to corporate and financial plutocracy. The business right wing FOX News and talk radio propaganda machine calls “Obamacare” socialism. It did not inform those it eggs into dread that the president’s measure is based on corporate-friendly prescriptions developed by the right wing Heritage Foundation in the 1990s and that his notion of “change” leaves giant insurance and drug companies free to extract massive profits that drive the nation’s health care costs to the breaking point.

The U.S. could eliminate its much-bemoaned fiscal deficit by replacing the nation’s highly dysfunctional privatized and largely employment-based health insurance system with a universal public model similar to what exists in other industrial nations – with a system that would cut health costs in half and yet deliver superior outcomes. But that’s irrelevant under the rules imposed by the reigning “plutonomy,” wherein “the financial institutions and Big Pharma are far too powerful for such options even to be considered.”[4]

The Deficit Over Jobs

“The deficit” is itself another case in point. The populace tells pollsters that government’s main priority ought to be job creation, not deficit reduction. As Demos magazine noted last December, 2011 and 2012 polls found that “the public remained focused on jobs and the economy over the deficit by two-to-one margins or more.” Surveys undertaken after Obama’s reelection last November found that “49 percent thought the election was a mandate for job creation while only 22 percent said that the President’s mandate was for deficit reduction.” NBC’s exit poll showed that “only 15 percent of voters thought the deficit was the biggest problem facing the country” A majority supported “spending money to invest in infrastructure/public sector hiring, like teachers and firemen, versus cutting to reduce the deficit.”

So what? Who cares? As Demos writer J. Mijin Cha explained, “The ‘donor class’ – the segment of the population that donates to political campaigns – is disproportionately comprised of affluent Americans.” This “donor class” (predominantly from households in the top income quintile) “does not prioritize policies to create jobs and economic growth.” It is “twice as likely to name the budget deficit as the most important issue in deciding how they would vote than middle- or lower-income respondents.” It strikingly and overwhelmingly rejects federal government action to help create jobs. Just 19% of the nation’s affluent households think the government in Washington should “see to it that everyone who wants to work can find a job” – a statement favored by 68 percent in the public. A tiny 8 percent of the wealthy think that government “should provide jobs for everyone able and willing to work cannot find a job in private employment” – something a majority (53%) of Americans support.

The “donor class” has won the policy argument, in defiance of majority sentiments. “Austerity dominates the current political debate” in ways that reflect “the influence of money in our political system…as evidenced in how well the interests and priorities of the affluent class are represented in Congressional action – even when they run counter to the wishes of most Americans” – and, we might add, counter to the requirements of meaningful economic recovery.[5] 

Demos might have added “as represented in presidential action” and in the behavior of both of the nation’s reigning political parties. The president has already made significant reductions to the highly popular Medicare and Social Security programs in the deceptive name of “deficit reduction” and he is promising to make more in the name of his neoliberal “grand bargain” (really a Great Betrayal) – with little opposition from fellow dismal dollar Democrats.

We’ve Seen This Movie (Dance) Before

The latest crisis in Washington is yet another in a series of plutocratic fiscal dramas illustrating the irrelevance of public opinion under the “unelected dictatorship.” Like the debt-ceiling fiasco of 2011 and the fiscal cliff freak show of 2012, it will end with a bipartisan deal the advances the financial elite’s drive for more austerity and do nothing to addresses the nation’s interrelated and ongoing crises of poverty, joblessness, and inequality (the latter problem so savagely advanced now that 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans) With the Teapublicans’ “defund [supposedly socialist and in fact corporatist] Obamacare” having been taken off the table (it was never serious[6]), the two wings of the single corporate party” have begun to hammer out a deal that will, as the left economist Jack Rasmus predicts:

“result in more spending cuts, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as an understanding and consensus to cut corporate taxes when the tax code overhaul bill comes to votes in Congress and for Obama’s signature…… The deal may include some token concessions to Teapublicans in the House…. Perhaps the already offered repeal of the medical device tax. Perhaps some further exemptions to Obamacare for business and wealthy individuals. A long list of such concessions to exempting and postponing parts of Obamacare have already been unilaterally made by Obama since the beginning of this year. Difficulties in the rollout of Obamacare may encourage him to agree to more. There may even be a short delay of a few months in the implementation deadline for the Obamacare act….But the final deal to be struck in 2013 will appear more like the prior 2011-2012 deal of spending cuts and tax largesse for the wealthy. This time seniors and retirees will be the primary target of the spending cuts, while corporations get the tax cuts instead of wealthy individuals.”[7]

“We’ve seen this movie before, we know how it’s going to end.” So said Donald T. Ellenberger, the “head of multisector strategies” at the giant financial services firm Federated Investors, last week, explaining why the financial markets were responding with cautious calm in response to the threat of default.[8] Rasmus prefers a different metaphor: dance, as in a “well-orchestrated dance” in which corporate-captive elites in both of the leading parties align with the mass media in whipping up fears of government and economic collapse to advance the neoliberal austerity agenda favored by political and economic investor class.

So what if this deal has nothing to do with – and in fact coldly defies – majority popular sentiments? We the not-so sovereign shock-doctrined [9] people are supposed to be so relieved that the bipartisan plutocrats in Washington have decided “at the last minute” not to throw the already weak recovery and savagely unequal economy into catastrophic decline (something that no Washington players beyond a part of the GOP.’s proto-fascistic Tea Party faction might seriously seek or welcome) that we are ready to accept whatever regressive bargain is worked out supposedly on our behalf. We are expected to direct our ire at one or both of the two dominant political organizations, and/or at government and politics and “Washington” in general, but not at the real power behind the outwardly reigning parties and state – the nation’s hidden senate of corporate and financial wealth, which has trumped democracy with plutocracy for quite some time now.

“Wall Street Owns the Country”

It’s not exactly new. Listen to how the great Kansas populist orator Mary Ellen Lease put things to an angry crowd in 1890, one hundred and twenty-one years before Occupy Wall Street (OWS) launched its remarkable but short-lived, police state-dismantled encampment in lower Manhattan:

 “Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street….Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags….There are thirty men in the United States whose aggregate wealth is over one and one-half billion dollars. And there are half a million looking for work….The people are at bay, let the bloodhounds of money who have dogged us thus far beware.”[10]

Another sterling populist speaker of the time spoke in similar and hauntingly Occupy-foreshadowing terms, adding a critique of the two dominant parties’ (Republicans and Democrats) shared subservience to the moneyed power. As Ignatius Donnelly noted at the People’s Party national convention on July 4th, 1892, in terms that seem hauntingly familiar in our current New Gilded Age:

 “We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized…The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists….The urban workmen are denied the right to organize for self-protection, imported pauperized labor beats down their wages, a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down….The fruits of the toil of millions are badly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few, unprecedented in the history of mankind; and the possessors of these, in turn, despise the Republic and endanger liberty…We have witnessed for more than a quarter of a century the struggles of the two great political parties for power and plunder, while grievous wrongs have been inflicted upon the suffering people. We charge that the controlling influences dominating both these parties have permitted the existing dreadful conditions to develop without serious effort to prevent or restrain them…. …They propose to sacrifice our homes, lives, and children on the altar of mammon; to destroy the multitude in order to secure corruption funds from the millionaires….” [11]

 Sound familiar? “Wall Street owns the country.” Encouraged by the original well-orchestrated first debt-ceiling dance in the summer of 2011, that was the lesson drawn and disseminated with no small initially favorable public response by OWS and its many hundreds of imitators across the country two years ago. That left-led populist movement (or moment) was crushed by predominantly Democratic mayors and city councils with no small help from a coordinated federal (Obama administration) campaign of repression. It is long past time for a popular grassroots re-occupation seeking among other things to bring about a semblance of actual popular sovereignty to an ever more authoritarian and Orwellian, state-capitalist America.

As I write this (in the early afternoon of Wednesday, October 16, 11 hours before the debt-ceiling deadline, I see from the AP wire that the “last minute” deal in the “well-orchestrated dance” is being cut.

Postscript: “The Ultimate Green Party” (Thursday morning, October 17):

As this latest fiscal crisis dance winds down (there are others scheduled for the future) with the interim resolution predicted by the financial markets, I would imagine that the president is denouncing out-of-control “partisanship” in the nation.  It is a good time to look at Mark Leibovich’s bestselling expose on the money soaked bipartisan orgy that is Washington D.C.: This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral Plus Plenty of Valet Parking (New York: Blue Rider Press, 2013). “In recent years,” Leibovich writes, “Washington has defied the national economic slump and become the richest metropolitan area in the country.  Getting rich became the great bipartisan ideal: ‘No Democrats and Republicans in Washington anymore, only millionaires,’ goes the maxim. The ultimate Green Party.  You still hear the term ‘public service’ thrown around, but often with irony and full knowledge that ‘self-service’ is now the real insider play.” (p.9)

“Much of the Washington economy – lobbying, consulting, and cable news – is predicated on the perpetuation of conflict, not the resolution of problems….All of the shouting partisanship that we see on television is just winking performance art….Off-air, everyone in Washington is joined in a multilateral conga line of potential business partners” (p.98).

Beneath all the drama about “the Tea Party’s” defeat and the Democrats’ “victory,” a Bloomberg Businessweek item this morning reports that “Obamacare aside, events have actually gone the [Tea Party] movement’s way ever since Republicans wrested control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections. Discretionary spending has been falling. Federal-employee head count is down. And since 2010, deficit reduction has been more rapid than in any three-year period since the demobilization following World War II… The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current law, by 2038 total spending on everything other than the major health-care programs, Social Security, and interest will decline to the smallest share of the economy since the 1930s.”
See http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-17/tea-partys-victory-against-government-spending-comes-at-high-price?campaign_id=yhoo.
Of course, what Bloomberg describes here as a “pyrrhic victory” for the so-called Tea Party’s so-called movement is in fact the triumph of richly bipartisan neoliberalism and the financial and corporate elite, whose wealth and power continue to concentrate while millions of Americans struggle to stay afloat

Paul Street’s next book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm. January 2014).

Notes

1. “U.S. Government Shutdown: Wolf, Mallaby, Osnos,” October 15

w-10-16-jFJwWPc7R_G831yY2kch~A.htmlww.bloomberg.com/video/u-s-government-shutdown-charlie-rose 8:15

2. J.B. Foster and R.W. McChesney, “A New Deal Under Obama?” Monthly Review, February 2009, 7).

3. Noam Chomsky, “American Decline: Causes and Consequences,” Alakhbar English, August 24, 2011.

4. N. Chomsky, “Americain Decline,” New York Times Syndicate, August 5, 2011).

5. J. Miljin Cha, “Why is Washington Reducing the Deficit Instead of Creating Jobs?” Demos, December 7, 2012.

6. Jack Rasmus, “The Coming Debt Ceiling Settlement: The Well-Orchestrated Dance, 2.0,” (October 15, 2013), As Rasmus ads, “The recent Teaparty grandstanding on Obamacare has been for the media and public, with the goal of enhancing their 2014 midterm election results within the Republican party as well as in general. They have now accomplished this. The Obamacare issue was never a serious possibility. They will now retreat.”

7. One should not forget that Obama has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate of cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28% and providing ‘relief’ for multinational corporations’ tax rates. Obama has also already indicated cuts of $630 billion in social security and medicare in his 2014 budget. This is the starting point for the ‘original process’ negotiations that have been temporarily derailed by Teapublican grandstanding, now coming to an end.

8. N. Popper, “Little Fear On Wall St. Of Default, At Moment,” New York Times, October 8, 2013, B5.

9. Noami Klein, The Shock Doctine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Metropolitan, 2007).

10. Howard Zinn, A People’s History of United States (New York, 1980), 288.11. Larry Goodwyn, The Populist Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 167-168. Emphasis added.

Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement: A Corporate Power Grab

Countercurrents and Global Research 4/10/2013

The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between the US and EU intends to create the world's largest free trade area, 'protect' investment and remove ‘unnecessary regulatory barriers’. Corporate interests are driving the agenda, with the public having been sidelined. Unaccountable, pro-free-trade bureaucrats from both sides of the Atlantic are facilitating the strategy (1) 

In addition to the biotech sector and Big Pharma, groups lobbying for the deal have included Toyota, General Motors, IBM and the powerful lobby group the Chamber of Commerce of the US. Business Europe, the main organisation representing employers in Europe, launched its own strategy on an EU-US economic and trade partnership in early 2012. Its suggestions were widely included in the draft EU mandate.


An increasing number of politicians and citizens groups have criticised the secretive negotiations and are demanding that they be conducted in an open way. This is growing concern that the negotiations could result in the opening of the floodgates for GMOs and shale gas (fracking) in Europe, the threatening of digital and labour rights or the empowering of corporations to legally challenge a wide range of regulations which they dislike.


One of the key aspects of the negotiations is that both the EU and US should recognise their respective rules and regulations, which in practice could reduce regulation to the lowest common denominator. The official language talks of ‘mutual recognition’ of standards or so-called reduction of non-tariff barriers. For the EU, that could mean accepting US standards in many areas, including food and agriculture, which are lower than the EU's.


The US wants all so-called barriers to trade, including controversial regulations such as those protecting agriculture, food or data privacy, to be removed. Even the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, made it clear that any agreement must reduce EU restrictions on genetically modified crops, chlorinated chickens and hormone-treated beef.


The public in Europe does not want such things. People want powerful corporations to be held to account and their pratices regulated by elected representatives who they trust to protect their interests, the public good. However, the TAFTA seems an ideal opportunity for corporations to force wholly unpopular and dangerous policies through via secretive, undemocratic means. They have been unable to do this in a democratic and transparent manner, so secret back room deals represent a different option.


Corporate demands include an “ambitious liberalisation of agricultural trade barriers with as few exceptions as possible.” Food lobby group Food and Drink Europe, representing the largest food companies (Unilever, Kraft, Nestlé, etc.), has welcomed the negotiations, with one of their key demands being the facilitation of the low level presence of unapproved genetically modified crops. This is a long-standing industry agenda also supported by feed and grain trading giants, including Cargill, Bunge, ADM and the big farmers' lobby COPA-COGECA. Meanwhile, the biotech industry on both sides of the Atlantic is offering its “support and assistance as the EU and the US government look to enhance their trade relationship.”


New Report


If the pro-free-market bureaucrats and corporations get their way and successfully bar the public from any kind of meaningful information input into the world’s biggest trade deal ever to be negotiated, Europeans could end up becoming the victims of one of the biggest corporate stitch ups ever. Left unchallenged, it will allow huge private interests to dig their profiteering snouts into the trough of corporate greed at the expense of ordinary people.


And that’s not hyperbole. Such a view is confirmed by the release of a new report on the eve of the second round of negotiations that are due to begin in Brussels next week.


The report, published by the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B) (2), reveals the true human and environmental costs of the proposed TAFTA. ‘A Brave New Transatlantic Partnership highlights how the European Commission’s promises of up to 1% GDP growth and massive job creation through the EU-US trade deal are not supported even by its own studies, which predict a growth rate of just 0.01% GDP over the next ten years and the potential loss of jobs in several economic sectors, including agriculture.


The report also explains how corporations are lobbying EU-US trade negotiators to use the deal to weaken food safety, labour, health and environmental standards as well as undermine digital rights. Attempts to strengthen banking regulation in the face of the financial crisis could also be jeopardised as the financial lobby uses the secretive trade negotiations to undo financial reforms, such as restrictions on the total value of financial transactions or the legal form of its operations.


Kim Bizzarri, the author of the report:

“Big business lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic view the secretive trade negotiations as a weapon for getting rid of policies aimed at protecting European and US consumers, workers and our planet. If their corporate wish-list is implemented, it will concentrate even more economic and political power within the hands of a small elite, leaving all of us without protection from corporate wrongdoings.”

The report also warns that the agreement could open the floodgate to multi-million Euro lawsuits from corporations who can challenge democratic policies at international tribunals if they interfere with their profits.

Pia Eberhardt, trade campaigner with Corporate Europe Observatory and author of ‘A transatlantic corporate bill of rights’:

“The proposed investor rights in the transatlantic trade deal show what it is really about: It’s a power grab from corporations to rein in democracy and handcuff governments that seek to regulate in the public interest. It’s only a matter of time before European citizens start paying the price in higher taxes and diminished social protection.”

Consumer watchdogs, digital rights and trade activists, environmentalists and trade unions are preparing to fight the corporate dystopia put forward in the EU-US trade deal.


Luis Rico of Ecologistas en Acción, a member of the Seattle to Brussels network:

“We hope that the disturbing evidence we provide will show why all concerned citizens and parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic need to urgently mobilise against the proposed EU-US trade deal. We have to derail this corporate power grab that threatens to worsen the livelihood of the millions of people already seriously affected by the financial crisis and by the crippling consequences of Europe's austerity reforms.”


Do we want increasingly bad and unhealthy food, our rights at work being further eroded, the environment being damaged in the chase for profit, ever greater reckless gambling in the financial sector or our elected representatives being by-passed via international tribunals? Of course we don’t. 


Where is the democracy surrounding this proposed TAFTA? Where is ordinary people’s  protection from the ‘free’ market corporate-financial cabals that ultimately drive global economic policy and geo-political strategies? By translating corporate power into political influence at the G8, G20, WTO, NATO or elsewhere, whether it is by war, threats, debts or coercion, secretive and undemocratic free trade agreements are but one tool that very powerful corporations use in an attempt to cast the world in their own image (3,4).


The TAFTA is little more than an attempt at a corporate power grab masquerading as something that promotes growth, freedom, harmony and job creation. Those claims are bogus. It must be stopped



Notes



2)  The Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B) includes development, environmental, human rights, women and farmers organisations, trade unions and social movements working together for a truly sustainable, just and democratic trade policy in Europe. Corporate Europe Observatory is one of its members.




From Boardroom to Field: Manufacturing the Global Food and Agriculture Crisis

Countercurrents and Global Research 6/7/2013 and The 4th Media and The Market Oracle 7/7/2013

In 2012, Professsor Seralini of the University of Caen in France led a team that carried out research into the health impacts on rats fed GMOs (genetically modified organisms) (1). The two-year long study concluded that rats fed GMOs experienced serious health problems compared to those fed non GM food. Now comes a new major peer-reviewed study that has appeared in another respected journal. This study throws into question the claim often forwarded by the biotech sector that GMO technology increases production and is beneficial to agriculture.

Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand have found that the GM strategy used in North American staple crop production is limiting yields and increasing pesticide use compared to non-GM farming in Western Europe. Led by Professor Jack Heinemann, the study’s findings have been published in the June edition of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2). The research analysed data on agricultural productivity in North America andWestern Europe over the last 50 years.  


Heinemann states his team found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by Western Europe is increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led package chosen by the US. The research showed rapeseed (canola) yields increasing faster in Europe without GM than in the GM-led package chosen by Canada. What is more, the study finds that it is decreasing chemical herbicide and achieving even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed.


According to Heinemann, Europe has learned to grow more food per hectare and use fewer chemicals in the process. On the other hand, the US choices in biotechnology are causing it to fall behind Europe in productivity and sustainability.

The Heinemann team’s report notes that incentives in North America are leading to a reliance on GM seeds and management practices that are inferior to those being adopted under the incentive systems in Europe. This is also affecting non GM crops. US yield in non-GM wheat is falling further behindEurope, “demonstrating that American choices in biotechnology penalise both GM and non-GM crop types relative to Europe,” according to Professor Heinemann.


He goes on to state that the decrease in annual variation in yield suggests that Europe has a superior combination of seed and crop management technology and is better suited to withstand weather variations. This is important because annual variations cause price speculations that can drive hundreds of millions of people into food poverty.

The report also highlights some grave concerns about the impact of modern agriculture per se in terms of the general move towards depleted genetic diversity and the consequently potential catastrophic risk to staple food crops. Of the nearly 10,000 wheat varieties in use in China in 1949, only 1,000 remained in the 1970s. In the US, 95 percent of the cabbage, 91 percent of the field maize, 94 percent of the pea and 81 percent of the tomato varieties cultivated in the last century have been lost. GMOs and the control of seeds through patents have restricted farmer choice and prevented seed saving. This has exacerbated this problem.


Heinemann concludes that we need a diversity of practices for growing and making food that GM does not support. We also need systems that are useful, not just profit-making biotechnologies, and which provide a resilient supply to feed the world well.

Despite the evidence, governments capitulate

Given the mounting evidence that questions the efficacy and safety of GMOs (3,4,5,6,7), it raises the issue why certain governments are siding with the biotech sector to allow GMOs to be made available on commercial markets. It is simply not the case that country after country is accepting GMOs on the basis of scientific evidence, as scientists-cum-lobbyists for the GM sector often state (8). If scientific evidence were to be determining factor, few if any countries would have sanctioned GMOs.  

Part of the answer lies in the fact that the powerful US biotech sector continues to forward its agenda that GMOs are a frontier technology that will save humanity from famine and hunger. This is despite evidence that most of the world’s hunger is the product of profiteering industrial chemical agriculture and the global structuring of food production and distribution under the banner of ‘free trade’ and ‘structural adjustment’ (9,10), or as many of us know it brow beating and structural dependency.

Yet, the mantra of GM as the saviour of humanity persists courtesy of the GM sector’s puppet politicians and regulatory bodies (11). The US is pushing for lop-sided bilateral trade agreements with other countries not only to generally tie economies into US economic hegemony in an attempt to boost its ailing economy and flagging currency, but more specifically to get nations to ‘accept’ GMOs. Through behind-closed-door deals (12,13) coercion (14) or the hijack of regulatory bodies (15), there has been some success, and many think it could be just a matter of time before other countries, not least India, capitulate to allow GM food crops onto the commercial market.

In fact, regardless of any legal statute, it may be and probably is already happening in India, not least via contamination (16). However, if contamination by means of illegal planting and open field ‘testing’ fails to get GMOs on to the commercial market via the back door, the GM sector is attempting to cover all angles. Immediately after a moratorium on BT Brinjal was announced in 2010, a Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill suddenly emerged. The BRAI Bill could not be passed in 2010 and 2011 because of objections, but it has surfaced again as a 2013 Bill. Environmentalist Vandana Shiva argues that it not so much constitutes a Biotechnology Regulation Act, but a Biotechnology Deregulation Act, designed to dismantle the existing bio-safety regulation and give the green-light to the GM sector to press ahead with its agenda in the country.

By highlighting the GM sector interests behind the proposed legislation, Shiva says that the goal is to give the sector's corporations immunity by freeing them of courts and democratic control under India’s federal structure. For those who follow such developments in India, it doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to appreciate that the future of Indian agriculture is in the wrong hands. Certain key scientists and top politicians have already been ideologically (or otherwise) ‘bought and paid for’ by proponents of the ‘Green Revolution’ and more recently the GM sector (7).

On a global level, with reports of wheat (17), rice (18) and maize (19) having been widely contaminated with GMOs, there seems to be a conscious ploy to contaminate so much of the world’s crops so that eventually GMOs take over regardless and render the pro/anti GM debate almost academic (20).

It seems that secretive trade deals, the hijack of official bodies designed to ensure the ‘public interest’ and bullying or intimidation are not enough. Contamination strategies are but one more way of achieving through closed and non-transparent methods what could not be possible by transparent and democratic means - simply because hundreds of millions of people do not want GMOs.

A generation down the line (or much sooner), will we looking at the health and environmental consequences of GMOs in the same way we now regard the impacts of the original ‘Green Revolution’?

“There are very good reasons why we have never introduced a Green Revolution into Africa, namely because there is broad consensus that the Green Revolution in India has been a failure, with Indian farmers in debt, bound to paying high costs for seed and pesticides, committing suicide at much higher rates, and resulting in a depleted water table and a poisoned environment, and by extension, higher rates of cancer.” Paula Crossfield, food policy writer/activist (21).

We don’t have to take Paula Crossfield’s word for it, though. Punjab was the ‘Green Revolution’s’ original poster boy, but is fast becoming transformed from a food bowl to a cancer epicenter and now reels under an agrarian crisis marked by discontent, debt, water shortages, contaminated water, diseased soils and pest infested cops (22,23,24).

In the meantime, big ‘ag’ in collusion with big pharma will continue to control our food and define our healthcare by pushing their highly profitable ‘miracle solutions’ for the health and environmental problems which they conspired to create in the first place. It is all part of the wider corporate-elite agenda to colonise and control every facet of human existence.  
Notes

Greek Military Prepares for Mass Repression

GREECE

Former high-level Greek diplomat Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos told the UK’s New Statesman last week that discussions had taken place between senior Greek politicians and the armed forces on the military’s response to what Chrysanthopoulos described as an “explosion of social unrest” expected to occur “quite soon.”

Chrysanthopoulos said that in the coming months, “There will be further increases in armed actions. There will be bloody demonstrations.”

Without giving details, he said, “There are contacts by certain politicians with elements in the armed forces to guarantee that in the event of major social unrest, the army will not intervene.”

This last claim was likely made for public consumption. Even if such a request had been made, any assurances from the Greek military would be worthless given the recent history of the country, in which the “regime of the colonels” seized power in a military coup in 1967 that lasted until 1974. Since the onset of mass austerity in Greece in 2010 there have been constant rumours of coup discussions among high-ranking military personnel.

The most significant aspect of Chrysanthopoulos’ interview is the revelation of discussions between politicians and the military on how to respond to the threat of social revolution.

Greek ruling circles are working on the assumption that insurrectionary struggles are inevitable because of the intolerable level of suffering they have imposed on the working class. Within less than four years, the social position of the Greek working class has been reduced to levels not seen since the Nazi occupation during World War II.

Brutal poverty is a fact of life for millions. One major aspect of the assault on living conditions is the removal of public health provisions.

More than 50 pharmaceutical conglomerates have either halted or savagely cut supplies to Greece—citing concerns for their profits. The dangerous shortage of hundreds of basic medicines is resulting in chaotic scenes of patients rushing from one pharmacy to another in search of vital drugs, while public hospitals lack adequate supplies of drugs to dispense.

Such conduct is not confined to the big pharmaceutical companies. On Tuesday it emerged that the Swiss Red Cross, a non-profit relief agency, is set to slash the number of blood donor packets it supplies to Greece. It cited concerns that it has not received full payment for previous allocations and announced that beginning in 2015 the number of blood donor packets it sends to Greece will be halved from the current annual level of 28,000.

As a result of the austerity policies demanded by the “troika” (the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union), a staggering 4.65 million people are now either unemployed or economically inactive. There are 450,000 households in which no one is employed. Of the 2.6 million people employed in the private sector in 2010, 900,000 have been laid off. Because the duration of benefits has been slashed, just 225,000 of the unemployed now receive unemployment pay.

In the private sector, just 600,000 workers (from a total 1.6 million) now work a regularly paid eight-hour day. Professor Savas Robolis of the University of Panteion in Athens recently said, “The remainder—a million workers—have had their hours cut or are getting paid late, four or five months late. They are in a state of desperation.”

This week’s annual report by the Bank of Greece found that 23 percent of the population lived below the poverty line in 2012, compared to 16 percent in 2011. Also noted was the exponential increase in child poverty, with the rate of families at risk reaching 31 percent in just one year (2010-2011). In the period 2010-2012, the average gross salary in the country was cut by 20.6 percent and labour costs for employers decreased by 18.5 percent.

Given the austerity measures already in place, there will be an overall reduction in labour costs in Greece for the period 2012-2014 of 17.6 percent. So savage are these measures that they are set to surpass the 15 percent reduction in overall costs demanded by the troika.

Presenting the report, the bank’s chairman, George Provopoulos, claimed that economic recovery would be achieved by means of austerity and demanded that even harsher measures be imposed. “Now that the finishing line is finally visible,” he said, “we ought to intensify efforts, to quicken our pace to cover the final stretch and ensure that citizens’ sacrifices have not been in vain…”

Speaking of the victims of these policies, he declared, “Extreme and unreasonable demands from social groups do not contribute towards this goal.”

The bank’s report was issued as representatives of the troika once again converged on Athens to monitor the implementation of the programme agreed with the New Democracy/PASOK/Democratic Left government.

Among the issues to be settled is how steeply this year’s pharmaceutical budget is to be slashed. As a result of previous troika demands, the budget was cut from €3.7 billion to €2.4 billion last year. Reports suggest it could be cut to €2 billion this year.

With pharmaceutical firms already withholding many drugs, this is a prescription for a health catastrophe and many needless deaths.

The troika is also set to demand a speedup in the layoff of 25,000 public sector workers this year (half by June) in order to meet the agreed 150,000 redundancies by 2015. If Athens were to fail to impose the cuts to the troika’s satisfaction, two tranches of loans for March and April totalling €8.8 billion would be withheld or much reduced. Failure to receive the finance would result in Greece defaulting on its entire debt.

By promising if elected to reverse the austerity programme, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) won nearly 30 percent of the vote in last year’s election. It is put forward by a host of pseudo-left organizations as a progressive alternative to the pro-austerity governing parties and the means for countering the growth of the fascist Golden Dawn movement.

In reality, SYRIZA is no less a creature of the ruling elite than the right-wing New Democracy party, and is no less wedded to the austerity agenda. This week, SYRIZA press spokesman Panos Skourletis stated, “We do not have a magic wand that will improve and change the situation from one day to the next… We must realize that with every day this policy is applied, things grow worse. This devastation is incalculable and, therefore, restoration of the repercussions of this policy becomes even more difficult.”

The meaning of such comments—that it is impossible to reverse the austerity programme—is unmistakable. SYRIZA is readying its arguments and preparing for what it will be called on to carry out if it achieves its goal of entering a future anti-working class government.

Frontrunning: February 12

  • The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed (Esquire)
  • G7 fires currency warning shot, Japan sanguine (Reuters)
  • North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test (NYT)
  • Italian Police Arrest Finmeccanica CEO (WSJ)
  • Legacy, political calendar frame Obama's State of the Union address (Reuters)
  • China joins U.S., Japan, EU in condemning North Korea nuclear test (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Fading as Emerging-Market Banks Gain Share (BBG)
  • Berlin Conference 2.0: Drugmakers eye Africa's middle classes as next growth market (Reuters)
  • Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs After Full-Year Loss (BBG)
  • US Treasury comment triggers fall in yen (FT)
  • ECB Ready to Offset Banks’ Accelerated LTRO Payback (BBG)
  • Fed's Yellen Supports Stimulus to Spur Jobs (WSJ)
  • Libor Scrutiny Turns to Middlemen (WSJ)
  • Samsung Girds for Life After Apple in Disruption Devotion (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* North Korea appeared to have exploded a nuclear device Tuesday, its third experimental detonation in a long effort to build weapons of mass destruction that the U.S. and other countries consider a serious threat.

* Pope Benedict XVI will become the first pontiff in six centuries to resign, marking the end of a transitional papacy that focused more on theological and internal renewal and less on the broader challenges that face the Roman Catholic church at the start of its 21st century of existence.

* U.S. regulators are widening their probe of global interest-rate-rigging by scrutinizing what they claim is a pivotal role of two U.K. brokerage firms in the scandal, people close to the investigation say.

* The regulator that oversees the professional conduct of Britain's accountants has launched a probe into the past financial reports of Autonomy Corp, the U.K. software company that Hewlett-Packard Co purchased for $11 billion in 2011 and later accused of having made outright financial misrepresentations ahead of the deal.

* Hedge-fund manager David Einhorn has proposed that Apple Inc issue a special class of stock that would carry a high dividend yield.

* Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, long on the hunt for a partner, has ramped up its conversations about strategic options ranging from joint ventures to a sale, according to people familiar with the talks, as rival NYSE Euronext moves ahead with a merger that will form an even-bigger competitor.

* U.S. regulators told the world's biggest maker of insulin, Denmark's Novo Nordisk, that they couldn't approve a potential blockbuster diabetes drug, delaying its U.S. introduction and sending the company's shares tumbling.

* Hostess Brands Inc won permission to place a selection of its cake and bread assets, including the Twinkie brand, on the auction block as the baking company continues to sell off its business piece by piece.

FT

EDF Energy is seeking state support to guarantee the new nuclear reactors it plans to build in the UK. EDF is asking the government to underwrite some of the project's financing. Nasdaq OMX Group was in talks with private equity firm Carlyle Group about taking the trans-Atlantic exchange operator private, but the talks broke down because of disagreements over valuation.

Britain's accountancy regulator said it was investigating the financial reports of British software firm Autonomy before it was bought by Hewlett-Packard, a deal that was later subject to accusations of fraud. Goldman Sachs has promoted Gregg Lemkau to jointly head its global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team.

Telefonica has put off plans to list its Latin American business.

BlackRock sold a large stake in oil services group Saipem - a unit of Italy's Eni, in deal that is under the scrutiny of Italian and British regulators.

Lion Capital, a big investor in Findus - the UK-based frozen food company engulfed in the horse meat scandal, has called on management to explain how the adulteration took place.

Dutch retailer Ahold sold its 60 percent stake in its Nordic joint venture - ICA - to co-owner Hakon Invest for 2.5 billion euros ($3.34 billion) in cash.

NYT

* British accounting regulators said on Monday that they would investigate the financial reporting at the British software maker Autonomy before its $11.1 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard Co in 2011.

* Concern over the euro moved to the forefront Monday as finance ministers of the countries using the currency held their monthly meeting. But this time, with the European Union's recession continuing, the topic was the strength of the euro rather than its many weaknesses.

* The Swedish investment company Hakon Invest agreed on Monday to buy the remaining stake in the Nordic retailer ICA it did not already own for $3.1 billion.

* A new 24-hour news and entertainment channel, Fusion, has powerful backers in Univision and ABC News, a unit of the Walt Disney Co, and underscores the growing influence of the burgeoning Hispanic audience.

* Mary Jo White, who has been nominated to run the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has also disclosed that her husband would relinquish his partnership at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, converting his interest in the firm from an equity to non-equity status.

* Pope Benedict XVI's surprise announcement on Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28 sets the stage for a succession battle that is likely to determine the future course of a church troubled by scandal and declining faith in its traditional strongholds around the world.

* It will be four years on Tuesday since the last fatal crash in the United States, a record unmatched since propeller planes gave way to the jet age more than half a century ago. Globally, last year was the safest since 1945, with 23 deadly accidents and 475 fatalities, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an accident researcher.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* The Harper government will not resurrect its controversial Internet surveillance bill, and will not introduce new legislation to monitor the activities of people on the web.

* Former school trustee Liz Sandals inherited one of Ontario's most difficult files Monday, taking on the post of Education Minister and the ambitious task of resolving a dispute with Ontario's teachers and restoring sports teams, clubs and other after-school activities.

Reports in the business section:

* Genivar Inc, one of Quebec's biggest engineering firms, uncovered "inappropriate conduct" after investigating the company's role in financing political parties and bidding on municipal contracts, another sign of corruption in the province's engineering and construction industry.

NATIONAL POST

* A federal report on military procurement to be released Tuesday will recommend bidders be required to explicitly outline how they will spur innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada, a source familiar with the file told the National Post.

FINANCIAL POST

* WestJet Airlines Ltd will launch its new regional carrier Encore in Western Canada this summer starting on June 24, the company said Monday.

* Following the grilling in London last week, outgoing Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney may be in for a second round of tough questioning Tuesday, this time from Canadian Ministers of Parliament.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

Alexandria Real Estate (ARE) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore
Boston Properties (BXP) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
DCT Industrial (DCT) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo
Digital Realty (DLR) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore
Gold Fields (GFI) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup
J.M. Smucker (SJM) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Nortel NetApp (NTAP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital
Novo Nordisk (NVO) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura
Royal Gold (RGLD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Suburban Propane (SPH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Walgreen (WAG) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho

Downgrades

Boyd Gaming (BYD) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman
Capstead Mortgage (CMO) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Corporate Office (OFC) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore
Cubic (CUB) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Benchmark Co.
Facebook (FB) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein
General Growth (GGP) downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital
Macerich (MAC) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Piedmont Office (PDM) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at RBC Capital
Qualcomm (QCOM) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Questar (STR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS

Initiations

Cincinnati Bell (CBB) initiated with a Hold at Deutsche Bank
CyrusOne (CONE) initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank
CyrusOne (CONE) initiated with a Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Idenix (IDIX) initiated with a Neutral at RW Baird
Legacy Reserves (LGCY) initiated with an Overweight at Barclays
Manchester United (MANU) initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) initiated with a Buy at Citigroup
Theravance (THRX) initiated with an Outperform at RW Baird

HOT STOCKS

Barclays (BCS) to reduce headcount by at least 3,700 this year
Rexnord (RXN) hired Goldman Sachs (GS) to explore possible sale
JANA Partners rejected Agrium's (AGU) settlement offer, director appointments
Arris (ARRS), Google (GOOG) received second DOJ request for more information about Arris' proposed acquisition of Motorola Home business from Google
American Express (AXP), Twitter signed online purchasing agreement
Procter & Gamble (PG), Verix Business initiated strategic partnership
VMware (VMW) acquired Virsto, terms not disclosed
Groupon (GRPN) acquired MashLogic, terms not disclosed
Laclede Group (LG) announced sale of New England Gas Co. (SUG) to Algonquin Power
Masco (MAS) sees “repair and remodel” to grow modestly in FY13
Titan International (TWI) announced offer for Wheels of India
Nielsen (NLSN) initiated dividend policy, declared 16c per share dividend

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Otter Tail (OTTR), American Financial Group (AFG), Masco (MAS), Nielsen (NLSN), Tesoro Logistics (TLLP), Lionsgate (LGF)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Owens & Minor (OMI), Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), Rexnord (RXN), Danaos (DAC), tw telecom (TWTC), Cubic (CUB)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
DynaVox (DVOX)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • Fed Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered a vigorous defense of the central bank's easy-money policies, suggesting she favors continuing them amid a slow economic recovery and disappointing job market, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Behind David Einhorn's protestations on Apple (AAPL) is a novel way to return cash to shareholders. Einhorn, of hedge fund Greenlight Capital, proposed that Apple issue a special class of stock, which he called "perpetual preferred," that would carry a high dividend yield. But with some investors feeling more confident about the future, shareholder pressure is growing to put that cash to work, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • The NTSB is investigating whether tiny fiber-like formations, known as dendrites, inside lithium-ion batteries could have played a role in battery failures on two Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliners last month, Reuters reports
  • The shifting nature of Africa’s disease burden is luring Big Pharma (SNY, GSK) as new opportunities open up for treating chronic diseases afflicting the middle classes, rather than just fire-fighting infection.European companies, in particular, hope to reap rewards by investing early in a region where many of them already have historic commercial ties, Reuters reports
  • Global investment banks based in Europe and the U.S., facing regulatory and cost-cutting pressures at home, are losing market share (CS, MS, C) in emerging economies to smaller domestic competitors, Bloomberg reports
  • In 2007, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) planned to open as many as 2,000 in-house medical clinics by mid-2012. Today, they have fewer than 130 clinics and is closing locations faster than it’s opening them. CVS Caremark (CVS) has about 630 MinuteClinics and aims to have 1,500 within four years, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

ARCA Biopharma (ABIO) files to sell 3.48M shares of common stock for holders
American Capital Mortgage (MTGE) to offer 18M shares of common stock
ConnectOne Bancorp (CNOB) 1.6M share IPO priced at $28.00
DryShips (DRYS) announces offering of 5M common shares of Ocean Rig UDW
Gulfport Energy (GPOR) 7.75M share Secondary priced at $38.00
HCA Holdings (HCA) files to sell 50M shares of common stock for holders
Kosmos (KOS) commences offering of 30M shares of common stock
Motricity (MOTR) requests withdrawal of registration statement
Newcastle Investment (NCT) files to sell 20M shares of common stock
Team Health (TMH) files to sell 9.63M shares of common stock for holders
Warburg Pincus agrees to sell 2.5M shares of Primerica (PRI)

Your rating: None

Trillions for Wars, None For Cancer Stricken Children

Team cures cancer with innovative treatment, child-patients stuck with staggering bills.

Tony Cartalucci
Infowars.com
February 11, 2013


In “On the Cusp of Ending Big Pharma,” a coming revolution in biology and medicine made possible by a better understanding of genetics and gene therapy was described in detail. Almost as if to validate the premise of having the public begin getting directly involved in not only understanding genetics and gene therapy, but begin building the infrastructure at a local level to pursue research and development, as well as implement eventual techniques and treatments, Philly.com has just recently published a follow up to an incredible story.

Titled, “Girl’s gene-therapy estimate gives Children’s Hospital a shiner,”
the article describes a clinical trial in which gene therapy was used
to treat 10 adults and 2 children suffering from cancer, most of whom have had their cancer go into
remission, and the staggering bills the treatment incurred. Charities
and insurance assisted at least one patient, while another, a 5 year
old Croatian girl, was left with a $837,000 bill.

Medical care is expensive. It requires the absolute cutting edge in technology, skilled doctors and technicians to utilize it in the care of patients, all within an economic paradigm where demand vastly outnumbers supply. What could be done to reduce the disparity between supply and demand? And what can be done until then to ensure people get the absolute best treatment possible? Or should a 5 year old girl perish because she can’t afford experimental treatment when all other options were sure to fail?

Trillions for War

Soldiers fighting the fruitless decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t need to buy their own weapons, procure their own transportation to the warzone, buy their own meals, and when they were injured, pay for their own medical treatment. Indeed, these fruitless wars built openly on categorically false premises, were subsidized by trillions of dollars from American tax payers despite the wars having no public support. Since these two fruitless wars sold upon a pack of lies, the United States has conducted combat operations in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, inside Pakistan, Mali, and covertly in Iran. Again, subsidized by trillions of tax payer dollars. 

Image: US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler was a two-time Medal of Honor recipient, and anti-war. He wrote “War is a Racket.”  Despite the torrent of pro-war propaganda we are bombarded with, and all the pretexts and excuses used to sell endless global conflict, it is indeed a racket perpetrated by big-business interests at the rest of humanity’s expense, and has been for a long time.
….

For unpopular wars fought upon false premises, sold by practiced liars across the corporate media, there seems to be an endless torrent of cash. In turn, this money doesn’t simply go into a fiscal blackhole. Instead, it ends up in the profit margins of Fortune 500 corporations, from the big-defense contractors arming and supplying military operations, to big-oil and construction contractors building in the wake of these operations. It is a well understood racket that casts a dark shadow on Western society and has very real implications for modern human civilization.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Imagine if these trillions instead went somewhere else. Imagine if cancer research and treatment was subsidized with the same impetus as wars of profit. Imagine if improving education, infrastructure, and the means by which we could accelerate medical research and development and thereby reduce the disparity between supply and demand was done with the same fervor we pursue wars abroad.


Our Problem, Our Challenge 

We could hold our breath, march with signs, and continue to vote hoping eventually someone will come to office and fix this perpetual injustice. Or instead, we can realize that our faith and investments in time, money, energy, and attention to this corrupt system is why we have this problem in the first place.

There are several steps we can take now to begin tilting the balance away from the ruling class and their pet projects pursued at our expense and toward the things that really affect us, like our children dying from cancer and medical treatment that is too expensive to afford. And as we take these steps, people should continue fighting for medical care subsidies as a stop gap measure. If there is money for perpetual, unnecessary war, there is money for medical care.

1. Improve Education: Medical treatment is expensive because of immense demand for a small supply of both the technology used to treat people, and the skilled doctors and technicians that use that technology. That technology is in turn scarce, because of the lack of skilled designers and engineers working to develop it.

By improving real, relevant, technical education in the fields of design, engineering, science, and medicine, and by making such an education available to all, would be one step toward increasing the supply versus demand. Online, there are vast resources available for free, from some of the most prestigious universities in the world on subjects ranging from basic math and science, to more specific topics like biology, medicine, genetics, and their applications.

While there is no substitute for a proper medical school education, local organizations called DIYbio labs are springing up around the world and creating an environment where regular people can learn and practice techniques in modern biology, especially in the field of genetics. Just as hackerspaces have begun contributing to, and spinning off into small and medium businesses, while driving the advancement of technology, DIYbio labs can augment the existing medical infrastructure of a given society.

Additionally, people should not abandon efforts to improve traditional education.

2. Build Local Infrastructure: DIYbio labs are one way of bringing medical research and development, however small of a scale it may be on for now, into their local communities. Building up after-school and weekend programs to educate people in basic science and particularly biology, genetics, and medicine helps raise overall awareness of the issues at hand and their possible solutions.

Already, high schools are beginning to participate in MIT’s iGEM competition, an annual synthetic biology event where teams from around the world engineer biological components to solve a specific problem. Schools that become involved in iGem must build up both their physical infrastructure and their human capital to compete, and by doing so, lay the foundation for more permanent and relevant  research and development when they return home.

3. Reclaim Our Institutions: With a well established infrastructure developing both technology and human capital, a community is better positioned not only to understand what state and national institutions are doing in terms of medical research and clinical trials, but are able to partner with them and augment their efforts. Furthermore, a human connection is established between institutions and the people they were designed in the first place to serve.

The day will come where technology makes medical care affordable for all, reducing or eliminating the need to subsidize it. Until that day comes, we must balance our pursuit for “health care policy” with developing real, pragmatic, technical health care progress. 

How? 

It starts with something as simple as getting a few people around a single table and talking. Identify who may already have an interest in the particular fields you plan on tackling. Look for the nearest local groups already doing this, either as hackerspaces or as DIYbio labs. Look for schools nearby already participating in iGEM and see what you could to to help, or expand on their work.

If you are not interested in medicine, even a standard hackerspace working on a wide range of projects could help build local infrastructure that could be used to help advance DIYbio groups. Biomedical technology is grounded in the same fundamental design principles and manufacturing techniques as any other engineering discipline.  

Start or join an after-school program that teaches real skills and practical knowledge to students – including science, math, design, engineering, etc. Look into OpenCourseWare online and raise awareness. Start a blog collecting your favorite courses.

Taking human capital out of the coffers of the ruling class, and placing it back where it belongs, amongst the people from which it was drawn, begins the rebalancing of power, and ends paradigms where trillions can be spend on endless wars of profit, and none is left for cancer-stricken children, even when we’ve developed cures.

The choice is ours, but unlike in faux-democracy, we will have to do more than simply cast a ballot to exercise this choice. It will be daily, patient, sometimes frustrating work to build the infrastructure and human capital we need to rebalance this equation and reclaim our destiny. Self-determination is not a spectator sport, it is something you either do, or do without. Don’t wait for your child to be the one struck by cancer and your family stuck with a million-dollar medical bill – that is – if you are lucky enough to get access to the latest treatment in the first place. Start working now to fix this immense injustice.
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This article first appeared at Tony Cartalucci’s site Land Destroyer.

This article was posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

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More Evidence Obamacare Ripped Off Americans

The Push for Privatization of Medicare and Medicaid Spells Disaster

Make no mistake. March 23, 2010 will live in infamy. With strokes from 22 pens, Obama enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

It’s a ripoff. It’s a healthcare rationing scheme. It’s a boon to predatory providers. It’s a plan to enrich insurers, drug companies, and large hospital chains.

WellPoint, Inc. is America’s largest managed healthcare company. It wrote the plan. It got what it wanted. It benefitted at the expense of people needing care. So did other healthcare giants. They scammed ordinary people for profit.

Ralph Nader calls Obamacare “a pay-or-die system.” It’s “the disgrace of the Western world.” It’s a monstrosity. It mocks a fundamental human right.

It violates the Constitution’s “general welfare” clause. Article I, Section 8 states:

“The Congress shall have power to….provide for (the) general welfare of the United States.”

It means “We the People.” It includes everyone equitably. It means what never was, isn’t now, or won’t ever be under a system favoring privilege, not fairness.

Western-style democracy is the world’s biggest scam. Obamacare proves it. So do numerous other examples in representative/republican societies.

Affordable care is a figure of speech. It’s more deform than reform. It’s not universal care, single-payer or fair. It’s market-based for profit. It does nothing to control costs. It’s regulation light.

It’s a boon for huge profits. It’s got loopholes big enough to reap huge amounts. It helps business at the expense of ordinary people. It leaves tens of millions uninsured. It leaves millions more underinsured.

Legitimate democracies would have enacted what’s badly needed. Comprehensive coverage requires universal single-payer. Everyone in. No one excluded.

Private insurers have no legitimacy except for those who want them. They’re administrative middlemen. They game the system. They add hundreds of billions annually to costs.

They provide no care. They ration it. Obamacare lets them do it through unaffordable premiums.

“It’s time for single payer,” says Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Dr. James Mitchiner called for what’s long overdue.

It’s time to “creat(e) a national, universal, publicly funded health care system, free of the corrupting power of profit-oriented health insurance, and at the same time capable of passing constitutional muster.”

“In short, the right thing is an expanded and improved Medicare-for-All program, otherwise known as single-payer.”

Nothing else provides healthcare equitably. Marketplace solutions don’t work. They game the system for profit.

For decades, America experimented with failed systems. They include HMOs, PPOs, high-deductible plans, health savings accounts, pay-for-performance, capitation, and disease management.

Expect Accountable Care Organizations, Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and other new schemes to fail. They’re designed that way.

Current and planned systems are “duplicative, inefficient, wasteful of scarce….resources, conducive of job lock, and completely misdirected in supporting the 21st-century health care agenda that America needs and deserves,” says Mitchiner.

The only workable system is scorned. Universal single-payer helps everyone. Cost control makes it affordable. Everything people need is accessible.

Included are inpatient and outpatient care, primary and specialty care, emergency treatment, preventive and restorative services, mental health and substance abuse, dental care, prescription drugs, home health and longterm care, and effective alternative treatments now excluded.

“Single-payer is the only remaining option to simultaneously and synergistically expand access, control costs, preserve choice and reduce disparities,” says Mitchiner.

There’s “no other efficient and constitutionally safe way to do this.” America’s dysfunctional system failed.

On January 24, PNHP’s Dr. John Geyman headlined “The Affordable Care Act (ACA): What to Expect in 2013,” saying:

ACA “props up an inefficient and exploitative private health insurance industry….” Deregulated markets don’t work. Systemic problems fester. Vitally needed affordable care is denied.

Nothing ahead looks promising. Mergers and consolidation will increase costs, limit choices, reduce care, and keep millions from getting any.

Privatization will game Medicare and Medicaid for profit. Insurers will “limit definitions” to cut benefits. Market-based bureaucracy and fragmentation “worse(ns) health outcomes.”

ACA won’t “hold up.” Progressive reform is needed. Universal single-payer alone works. It’s high time the world’s richest country provided it.

In 1960, healthcare as a percent of GDP was 5.1%. In 2002, it was 15%. In 2011, it was 17.9%. By 2020, it’ll exceed 20%.

Between 1960 and 2009, average annual healthcare spending rose from $147 per person to $8,086. It reflected a 55-fold increase.

In inflation-adjusted 2010 dollars, it increased annually from $1,082 to $8,218 – a 7.6-fold rise.

In 1942, Christ Hospital, NJ charged $7 per day for a maternity room. Today it’s $1,360.

In 1980, a typical US hospital room cost $127. Today it’s multi-fold higher.

A 2011 survey of 11 Ohio hospitals found daily hospital room prices ranged from $688 – $2,425. Cost averaged $1,393. The median price was $1,322.

Obama’s Affordable Care Act promises higher costs. Doing so will deprive growing millions of vitally needed care. Many won’t get any. Others will get much less than needed. Insurers and other predatory giants will game the system.

They’ll charge whatever they wish. Regulatory freedom permits it. They’ll take full advantage.

On February 1, Yves Smith headlined “IRS anticipates Cheapest ObamaCare Family Plan will be $20,000 in 2016.”

It’s the cheapest one for a family of five. At the same time, credits are available for families who “lack affordable coverage.” Whatever is provided won’t match annually rising costs.

ACA was supposed to lower them. Saying so was a Big Lie. Even many supporters are disenchanted. It’s “less of a deal” than they thought.

It wasn’t supposed to be. It was a big win for predatory healthcare giants. It was designed that way.

Former CIGNA vice president Wendell Potter said it shifts costs to consumers, offers inadequate or unaffordable access, and forces Americans to pay higher deductibles for less coverage.

In other words, it scams them. It prevents universal coverage, denies a public option, is unaffordable for millions, excludes many entirely, affords inadequate coverage for many more, permits high co-pays and coverage gaps, and leaves patients vulnerable to financial ruin in case of serious illness.

It allows rising predatory costs. It empowers private insurers. It lets them ripoff hundreds of billions annually for overhead, profit, huge salaries and bonuses. Every dollar scammed is one less for care.

Labor initially endorsed ACA. Cold shower reality “turn(ed some) sour.”

“Union leaders say many (ACA) requirements will drive up costs for their healthcare plans and make unionized workers less competitive.”

They want compensating federal subsidy help for lower-paid rank and file. Smith expects complaints “to get louder” ahead.

ACA “is a gimmie to Big Pharma and the health insurers.” It works for large hospital chains. It exacerbates fundamental problems. It made America’s dysfunctional system worse.

Consumers end up with “costly insurance that does not cover much.” Expensive care will be hard to get or unaffordable. Many of America’s most disadvantaged are left in no-man’s land.

They’ll be be uncovered by federal benefits and ineligible for subsidized insurance. ACA provides 100% of funds to expand Medicaid until 2016. Thereafter, it’s 90%.

Until now, federal funding required state participation. No longer. Millions will be harmed. Many will be left out entirely.

Medicaid expansion provided coverage for around 17 million Americans by 2019. States now can opt out at their discretion.

Opting in assures full federal coverage for three years. At the same time, Congress plans major Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, disability, education, and other social benefits cuts.

Bipartisan complicity assures it. It’s part of their scheme to destroy America’s social contract. ACA is an integral component. Ordinary people should have opposed it when they had a chance. They’ll have cause to reflect when ill.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Why Are Suicides Climbing in the Military? Let’s Look at the Drugs Being Prescribed

Photo Credit: Martha Rosenberg

Why does the suicide rate among military personnel continue to climb--even among those who never saw combat? This week the Pentagon announced there were more suicides among active-duty members of the armed services in 2012 than combat deaths--a staggering 349. Eighty-five percent had not even seen combat, reported Bloomberg.

The  suicide rate rose similarly last year and also included troops who had not faced combat. There were 38 Army suicides in July of 2012 compared with 32 suicides in July of 2011. In a 2010 Army report called Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report, 36 percent of the troops who killed themselves had never even deployed. The suicide rate increased by more than 150 percent in the Army and more than 50 percent in the Marine Corps between 2001 to 2009, reported Military Times in a series of in-depth articles.

One in six service members was on a psychoactive drug in 2010 and "many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily 'cocktails' for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches--despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations," said Military Times.

The pills and pill cocktails many troops are prescribed are clearly linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior. Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil, antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa and anti-seizure drugs like Lyrica and Neurontin all carry clear suicide warnings and all are widely used in the military. Almost 5,000 newspaper reports link antidepressants to suicide, homicide and bizarre behavior on the website SSRIstories.com. The malaria drug Lariam is also highly correlated with suicide and its use actually increased in the Navy and Marine Corps in 2011, according to the Associated Press.

Eighty-nine percent of troops with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now given psychoactive drugs and between 2005 and 2009, half of all TRICARE (the military health plan) prescriptions for people between 18 and 34 were for antidepressants. During the same time period, epilepsy drugs like Topamax and Neurontin, increasingly given off-label for mental conditions, increased 56 percent, reports Military Times. In 2008 , 578,000 epilepsy pills and 89,000 antipsychotics were prescribed to deploying troops.

Both the increase in the overall suicide rate in the US (rising to 36,000 a year after falling in the 1990s according to USA Today) and in the military coincide with the debut of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the late 1990s. They are also correlated with the FDA's approval of many drugs with suicide links and a population that is increasingly taking psychoactive drugs for minor problems and symptoms. Several powerful military psychiatrists and administrators are also consultants to Big Pharma who shamelessly enroll veterans in drug studies and promote the pills that drug companies pay them to promote. Who can say conflict of interest?

When concerns about the rise in the general suicide rate in the US surfaced last fall, US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced federal grants for suicide hotlines, more mental health workers, better depression screening and Facebook tracking of suicidal messages. Nowhere, did she mention examining the role of suicide-linked drugs on, ahem, suicide. The Pentagon is apparently in similar denial.

More information about overmedication of troops and suicide-linked drugs is found in Martha Rosenberg's recently publishedBorn With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health.

Warning: Austerity Hysteria Endangers Your Job

The U.S. economy shrank unexpectedly in the last three months of 2012, ending over 30 months of economic growth.  Exports lagged, reflecting, in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., touts his 2012 federal budget. (Photo:J. Scott Applewhite/AP) part, declining markets in Europe, now suffering a costly recession inflicted by misguided austerity policies.  But the greatest cause of the decline was unexpectedly large cuts in government spending, particularly in the military.

Yes, Virginia, cutting government spending in a weak economy costs jobs.

A three-month downturn is a caution, not a catastrophe.  But Washington seems too wrapped in its deficit delusions to pay attention to the flashing yellow lights.   Here’s a cautionary guide.

1. Austerity costs jobs.

This economy is still sputtering.  More than 20 million people are in need of full-time work.  While corporate profits are at record heights as a percentage of the economy, wages are at record lows and falling. An alarmed Federal Reserve has kept interest rates close to zero.  Housing prices have started to come back, but companies are still looking for customers before they do much expanding.

In these circumstances cuts in government spending and hikes in taxes on working people cost jobs.  Government workers and contractors get laid off.  Small businesses feel the pinch as the afflicted tighten their belts.  Interest rates can’t go lower; business doesn’t get any more confident.  And as the last three months showed, it doesn’t take much to push a slow-growth economy into decline.

2. More austerity is already being inflicted.

Last quarter’s decline took place before the tax hikes agreed to in December’s “fiscal cliff” deal.  The increase of tax rates on the top 1 percent will have little effect on demand, since someone making over $400,000 can afford the hit.  But the end of the payroll tax holiday cost the typical family 2 percent of their income, with the change visible in their January paychecks.  For a family earning $50,000, that represents a $1,000 loss of income – and will be felt.

3. Even more austerity will soon come.

House Republicans devoted their retreat to reordering the fiscal hostage crises they have planned for the next five months. The etiquette of hostage taking, they determined, required beginning with the threat of deep automatic cuts of military and domestic spending – the sequester – on March 1, then moving to the threat to shut down the government by the end of March, and finally to the threat to default on the debt and bring down the global financial system in mid-May.

This reordering, they believe, will give them greater leverage to extort deep and unpopular cuts in spending, particularly Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  The mainstream media hailed this as a sign of their new maturity.

Republican leaders have already begun threatening to let the full sequester take place on March 1 – $85 billion in across the board spending cuts from the military and domestic spending.  This represents over 7 percent of annual spending on the military and 5 percent on domestic governance.

To achieve those cuts with half of the fiscal year already behind us will require massive layoffs – furloughs without pay – of workers.  Fifteen to 20 percent of food and drug inspectors, air traffic controllers, park rangers and Social Security administrators will be thrown out of work. Across-the-board cuts means that the vital gets slashed at the same rate at the wasteful.   Cuts in housing vouchers will leave millions homeless.  But overseas tax dodges will remain in place.  In a weak economy, already in decline in the last three months, this is worse than reckless; it is lunacy.

Democrats have succumbed to the austerity fixation as well, if in less virulent form.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supports cutbacks, but wants the deep sequester cuts replaced “in short increments” with packages of spending cuts and revenues like repealing oil and gas subsidies.  The president wants a “balanced” plan that combines spending cuts and revenue from loophole closings, shutting down overseas tax havens and the like.  This allows a more rational policy of cutting waste and loopholes rather than essential services and military preparedness.  But it still will cost jobs. More austerity is on the way.

4.  The deficit hawks are delusional.

Serial hostage-taking is a truly inane way to run a government.  Even more striking, however, are the purblind delusions about deficits.  We’re forced to take these measures, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan says, because deficits are out of control and will soon, eventually, sometime lead to America becoming Greece, with the dollar losing all value.

It is a testament to the depths of his delusion that Ryan has been saying this for years, undeterred by all evidence to the contrary.

The reality is the reverse.  Ryan prides himself on his Ayn Rand devotion to free markets, but he’s ignoring what the markets are saying.  Out-of-control inflation hasn’t broken out.  Investors are not panicked.  They are still willing to park their money in U.S. bonds for essentially no real return.  Investors are saying America isn’t Greece; it’s the rock of Gibraltar.

One reason is that the deficit isn’t out of control.  As the Congressional Budget Office reports, the annual deficit is down by 25 percent since 2009.    It is coming down faster than any time since the demobilization at the end of World War II.   Our mid-term debt is essentially stabilized as a percent of gross domestic product.  Our long-term debt projections are completely a question of fixing our broken health care system.

The pace of the decline of annual deficits already exceeds prudent speed limits. It is contributing to faltering and inadequate jobs growth, leaving Americans struggling with mass unemployment, increased insecurity and declining wages.  The only thing that can interfere with the continued decline in the deficit is if the economy stalls and goes back into recession.  And that is exactly the warning that is flashing from the last quarter’s decline.

5. Stop the austerity hysteria.

The unexpected bad news from last quarter is a stark warning.  Americans cannot afford the deficit delusions afflicting Washington.  Republicans can only do damage if they continue to hold the economy hostage to force cuts in vital security programs like Social Security and Medicare.  Democrats should stop paying tribute to the austerity lobby.

We need a return to sensible governance.  Repeal the sequester – deep across-the-board cuts are idiotic.  Promise to pay the debts already incurred and stop threatening a default that would shake global finances.  Fund the government while working on a budget reflecting new priorities.

Commit to growing our way out of the hole we are in. Invest in areas vital to our economy and to our people.  Pay for those commitments in ways that makes sense.  Put people back to work and watch the deficits come down.

That means launching a major five-year initiative to rebuild America – modernizing our decrepit infrastructure to make it a competitive advantage while creating jobs.  Make the investments needed to provide every child with a world-class education – from universal pre-school to skilled teachers to affordable college.  Invest in research and development and sustain America as the global hotbed of innovation.

Pay for these and other vital priorities by ending the war in Afghanistan and reducing our empire of bases.  Crack down on overseas tax dodges.  Raise taxes on millionaires and tax the income of investors at the same rate as that of workers.  End the obscene subsidies to Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Agra.

This isn’t rocket science.  It is common sense.  Yet, at this point, it can’t be heard above the bedlam of a Washington afflicted with deficit delusions and austerity hysteria.

© 2013 Campaign for America's Future

Robert Borosage

Robert L. Borosage is the founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future and co-director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America’s Future.

Warning: Austerity Hysteria Endangers Your Job

The U.S. economy shrank unexpectedly in the last three months of 2012, ending over 30 months of economic growth.  Exports lagged, reflecting, in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., touts his 2012 federal budget. (Photo:J. Scott Applewhite/AP) part, declining markets in Europe, now suffering a costly recession inflicted by misguided austerity policies.  But the greatest cause of the decline was unexpectedly large cuts in government spending, particularly in the military.

Yes, Virginia, cutting government spending in a weak economy costs jobs.

A three-month downturn is a caution, not a catastrophe.  But Washington seems too wrapped in its deficit delusions to pay attention to the flashing yellow lights.   Here’s a cautionary guide.

1. Austerity costs jobs.

This economy is still sputtering.  More than 20 million people are in need of full-time work.  While corporate profits are at record heights as a percentage of the economy, wages are at record lows and falling. An alarmed Federal Reserve has kept interest rates close to zero.  Housing prices have started to come back, but companies are still looking for customers before they do much expanding.

In these circumstances cuts in government spending and hikes in taxes on working people cost jobs.  Government workers and contractors get laid off.  Small businesses feel the pinch as the afflicted tighten their belts.  Interest rates can’t go lower; business doesn’t get any more confident.  And as the last three months showed, it doesn’t take much to push a slow-growth economy into decline.

2. More austerity is already being inflicted.

Last quarter’s decline took place before the tax hikes agreed to in December’s “fiscal cliff” deal.  The increase of tax rates on the top 1 percent will have little effect on demand, since someone making over $400,000 can afford the hit.  But the end of the payroll tax holiday cost the typical family 2 percent of their income, with the change visible in their January paychecks.  For a family earning $50,000, that represents a $1,000 loss of income – and will be felt.

3. Even more austerity will soon come.

House Republicans devoted their retreat to reordering the fiscal hostage crises they have planned for the next five months. The etiquette of hostage taking, they determined, required beginning with the threat of deep automatic cuts of military and domestic spending – the sequester – on March 1, then moving to the threat to shut down the government by the end of March, and finally to the threat to default on the debt and bring down the global financial system in mid-May.

This reordering, they believe, will give them greater leverage to extort deep and unpopular cuts in spending, particularly Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  The mainstream media hailed this as a sign of their new maturity.

Republican leaders have already begun threatening to let the full sequester take place on March 1 – $85 billion in across the board spending cuts from the military and domestic spending.  This represents over 7 percent of annual spending on the military and 5 percent on domestic governance.

To achieve those cuts with half of the fiscal year already behind us will require massive layoffs – furloughs without pay – of workers.  Fifteen to 20 percent of food and drug inspectors, air traffic controllers, park rangers and Social Security administrators will be thrown out of work. Across-the-board cuts means that the vital gets slashed at the same rate at the wasteful.   Cuts in housing vouchers will leave millions homeless.  But overseas tax dodges will remain in place.  In a weak economy, already in decline in the last three months, this is worse than reckless; it is lunacy.

Democrats have succumbed to the austerity fixation as well, if in less virulent form.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supports cutbacks, but wants the deep sequester cuts replaced “in short increments” with packages of spending cuts and revenues like repealing oil and gas subsidies.  The president wants a “balanced” plan that combines spending cuts and revenue from loophole closings, shutting down overseas tax havens and the like.  This allows a more rational policy of cutting waste and loopholes rather than essential services and military preparedness.  But it still will cost jobs. More austerity is on the way.

4.  The deficit hawks are delusional.

Serial hostage-taking is a truly inane way to run a government.  Even more striking, however, are the purblind delusions about deficits.  We’re forced to take these measures, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan says, because deficits are out of control and will soon, eventually, sometime lead to America becoming Greece, with the dollar losing all value.

It is a testament to the depths of his delusion that Ryan has been saying this for years, undeterred by all evidence to the contrary.

The reality is the reverse.  Ryan prides himself on his Ayn Rand devotion to free markets, but he’s ignoring what the markets are saying.  Out-of-control inflation hasn’t broken out.  Investors are not panicked.  They are still willing to park their money in U.S. bonds for essentially no real return.  Investors are saying America isn’t Greece; it’s the rock of Gibraltar.

One reason is that the deficit isn’t out of control.  As the Congressional Budget Office reports, the annual deficit is down by 25 percent since 2009.    It is coming down faster than any time since the demobilization at the end of World War II.   Our mid-term debt is essentially stabilized as a percent of gross domestic product.  Our long-term debt projections are completely a question of fixing our broken health care system.

The pace of the decline of annual deficits already exceeds prudent speed limits. It is contributing to faltering and inadequate jobs growth, leaving Americans struggling with mass unemployment, increased insecurity and declining wages.  The only thing that can interfere with the continued decline in the deficit is if the economy stalls and goes back into recession.  And that is exactly the warning that is flashing from the last quarter’s decline.

5. Stop the austerity hysteria.

The unexpected bad news from last quarter is a stark warning.  Americans cannot afford the deficit delusions afflicting Washington.  Republicans can only do damage if they continue to hold the economy hostage to force cuts in vital security programs like Social Security and Medicare.  Democrats should stop paying tribute to the austerity lobby.

We need a return to sensible governance.  Repeal the sequester – deep across-the-board cuts are idiotic.  Promise to pay the debts already incurred and stop threatening a default that would shake global finances.  Fund the government while working on a budget reflecting new priorities.

Commit to growing our way out of the hole we are in. Invest in areas vital to our economy and to our people.  Pay for those commitments in ways that makes sense.  Put people back to work and watch the deficits come down.

That means launching a major five-year initiative to rebuild America – modernizing our decrepit infrastructure to make it a competitive advantage while creating jobs.  Make the investments needed to provide every child with a world-class education – from universal pre-school to skilled teachers to affordable college.  Invest in research and development and sustain America as the global hotbed of innovation.

Pay for these and other vital priorities by ending the war in Afghanistan and reducing our empire of bases.  Crack down on overseas tax dodges.  Raise taxes on millionaires and tax the income of investors at the same rate as that of workers.  End the obscene subsidies to Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Agra.

This isn’t rocket science.  It is common sense.  Yet, at this point, it can’t be heard above the bedlam of a Washington afflicted with deficit delusions and austerity hysteria.

© 2013 Campaign for America's Future

Robert Borosage

Robert L. Borosage is the founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future and co-director of its sister organization, the Campaign for America’s Future.

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According to glyphosate laboratory testing conducted at Microbe Inotech Laboratories, Inc., in St. Louis, the Quaker Instant Oatmeal (Strawberries and Cream) sample tested at...

Breaking Free from Corporate Shackled Democracy

As the 2016 US presidential election approaches, the whole country has once again been transformed into a football stadium, with waves of media frenzy...

Can you guess how many thousands of dollars Hillary Clinton accepted from drug companies...

She likes to bill herself as a champion of the little people, the common folk, the unwashed masses. But unlike her chief opponent, Hillary...

Putin: Western Governments Are Enslaving Humanity Through Vaccines

An insider from the Ministry of Health in Russia has revealed that an explosive report is about to be presented to the Kremlin regarding...

Obama’s Former Doctor Who Stood Firmly for ‘Medicare For All’ Dies at 92

(Common Dreams) -Dr. Quentin Young, the Chicago-based physician who cared for Martin Luther King, Jr., Studs Terkel, and President Barack Obama and was described...

The Cocktail Option

Over half a million people in the United States will die of cancer this year — more than 1,500 a day. It’s so common...

What Trumpism Means for Democracy

(Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr) Whether or not Donald Trump ultimately succeeds in winning the White House, historians are likely to rank him as the...

In OtherWords: March 2, 2016

This week in OtherWords, Donald Kaul gets dramatic with Hillary Clinton’s astronomic Wall Street speaking fees, Marc Morial hails the re-enfranchisement of thousands of formerly...

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Progressive’ Persona

Desperate to blunt Bernie Sanders’s surge of support especially among young Democrats, Hillary Clinton is pitching herself as a “progressive,” but many of her...

The Clintons’ Paid-Speech Bonanza

Exclusive: With primary voting set to start next month, one of Hillary Clinton’s remaining hurdles is convincing Democratic voters that she is not beholden...

Partnering with the Devil

As a raker of muck, it’s my job to root out the nefarious doings and innate immorality of the corporate creature. But these days I’m...

WikiLeaks Publication of Complete, Final TPP Intellectual Property Text Confirms Pact Would Raise Costs,...

WikiLeaks’ publication today of the final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter text verifies that the pact would harm public health by blocking patient...

Account Upgrade?

Would you like to stay ahead of the curve? Learn how to unleash your untapped potential? Gain more of what you love & less of what...

Doctors will be made obsolete by emerging AI diagnosis systems

Nearly everyone with internet access has, at one point or another, used an online diagnostic tool when trying to identify an illness. It's a...

Total criminality of Hillary Clinton on full display as she turns over email server...

It's astonishing to learn the degree of total criminality Democrats will tolerate in their own Presidential candidate. No crime is too big for a...

Almost all psych drug use is unnecessary, claims doctor researching medical holocaust of over...

More than half a million people age 65 years or older die every year in the West from psychiatric drug use, and the worst...
video

Video: How Tax Dodging Put Puerto Rico on the Road to Debt

TRNN's Jessica Desvarieux reports on how Puerto Rico's tax policy exempts billions of big pharmaceutical companies' profits, leaving at least $15 billion out of...

Same corporations that manufacture vaccines are killing half a million people annually with deadly...

Psychiatric medications are not only useless, but they're responsible for killing at least 500,000 people aged 65 years and older every single year. This...

10 Reasons the TPP Is Not a ‘Progressive’ Trade Agreement

“We have an opportunity to set the most progressive trade agreement in our nation’s history,” it states on BarackObama.com, the website of the president’s...

Countering The Lies Of The Mainstream Media

 The site you are reading this article on is part of the ‘alternative’ or ‘independent’ media. Many of these sites do not take advertising...

Fight Dirty: How to Become a Backyard Garden Guerrilla Even If You’ve Never Grown...

Don't worry if you aren't trained in garden warfare. There's an easy way to declare your independence and become a gardening guerrilla.

Guess What Else is Put In Vaccines?

Makia Freeman RINF Alternative News Aborted fetal tissue,believe it or not, is another one of the horrendous ingredients found in the vaccines of modern Western Medicine...

Dishonest White House Response to Warren’s Attack on Secret Panels in Trade Deals

Elizabeth Warren is clearly getting on the Administration’s nerves. The Massachusetts senator has come out forcefully against the misleadingly named trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership...

The Industrial-Depression Complex

Karen De Coster A recent Pharmaceutical Street Journal (WSJ) headline grabbed me when I read, “Can a Smartphone Tell if You’re Depressed?” The gist of the...

The Battle of Our Time: Breaking the Spell of the Corporate State

Nozomi Hayase In late 2010, political activist John Perry Barlow tweeted: “The first serious info-war is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You...

Vaccines Cause Cancer, Autism & Other Deadly Diseases

“I have no hesitation in stating that in my judgment the most frequent disposing condition for cancerous development is infused into the blood by...

The Nanny State Is Chemically Castrating Our Children’s Brains

Dave Hodges RINF Alternative News Government should not be in the business of mandating personal choices and government should never be allowed to legislate choices which should be...

The Truth About Organic Food & GMO’s

We've all heard about the supposed dangers of genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, but putting the hysteria to one side, and examining just the...

Crony Phony Drug War

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the FedEx Corp. pleaded not guilty in a San Francisco federal court “on 15 charges related to transporting painkillers and other...

Hillary’s Candid Motto for Democratic Party: “Represent Banks”

Jeff Cohen In 1992, a 44-year-old attorney made the following remarkable assertion: “For goodness’ sake, you can’t be a lawyer if you don’t represent banks.” The...

Withdraw Your Consent: 25 Ways to Declare Your Independence

This isn't about guns blazing, militias mobilizing, and guerrilla warfare. It's about small personal acts of independence.

Inside the FDA Mafia

Inside the FDA Mafia by Jon Rappoport June 22, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com I post this piece now and then to show how personal things can get inside a terminally corrupt government agency. It’s not all about remote decisions made from a great height. These decisions can come about through the rank intimidation the Mafia exercises with […]

Insidious Mass Media – Propaganda, Psychology, Mind Control

Kenneth Anton Edward Bernays speaks of “the invisible government which dictates our thoughts, directs our feelings and controls our actions.” Also known as the godfather of...

Nanotechnology: Are You Ready To Be Reengineered? (w/infographic)

Nicholas West Nanotechnology is probably not the reading material sitting on the coffee tables of most people. Yet, it is already beginning to have an...

Antidepressants Use Up 400%: 5 Ways to Boost Happiness Naturally

Christina Sarich RINF Alternative News A few years back, Harvard conducted a study to reiterate what many in the psych professionals already know — Americans are addicted to...

6 Principles that Populists on the Right and Left Agree On

More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five...

Elections, Superbugs, Operation Choke Point — New World Next Week

Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: India’s Election Is Biggest Voting Even...

Interview 874 — New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato

This week on New World Next Week: the largest puppet election in the world proceeds in India; WHO warns of antibiotic resistant superbugs; and the DOJ pressures banks to close porn stars\' bank accounts in Operation Choke Point.

America’s Posture Toward Russia is Nothing if not Consistent–and Consistently Misrepresented

Jason Hirthler  RINF Alternative News During frantic post-Second World War planning sessions in the West, the British Foreign Office noted its fears of “ideological infiltration” from...

Today’s GMO Propaganda Message Brought to You by Your Friendly Neighborhood Wegmans

We can all breathe a sigh of relief about that whole GMO thing. Wegmans, vendor of aisle after aisle of artificial food-like substances, has debunked the terrifying myth we were so worried about.

Medicated to Death: SSRIs and Mass Killings

by James Corbett BoilingFrogsPost.com April 16, 2014 In May 1998, 15 year old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and two classmates, as well as injuring 25 others, after engaging in a shooting spree that ended up in his school’s cafeteria. In the in...

Roche Hid Drug Trial Results: Pandemic Flu Drug Works No Better Than Acetaminophen

“This review is the result of many years of struggles to access and use trial data, which was previously unpublished and even hidden from view. It highlights with certainty that future decisions to purchase and use drugs, particularly when on a mass scale, must be based on a complete picture of the evidence, both published and unpublished."

The Great American Grocery Hoax

There is a big secret out there in the grocery store aisles that no one wants you to know. There is a hoax of monumental proportions that is being perpetrated on the American public.

10 Health Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be Real

Do you believe in any “health conspiracy theories”?  Do you believe that there are “natural cures” for diseases that the medical establishment is not telling you about?  Do you believe that vaccines, cell phones or the fluoride in the water can have a harmful impact on the health of your family?  If you answered [...]

Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism

Does this sound familiar? You’re talking to a friend or family member who isn’t on board with preparedness.  (And it’s even worse when they think they know what’s going on in the world but garner their so-called “information” from network news sources.)  You try for the millionth time to getRead the Rest...

Do You Believe in “Medical Conspiracy Theories”?

Do you believe in “medical conspiracy theories”? If so you are in good company. According to a survey undertaken by professors at the University of Chicago, more than half of all Americans believe in one or more so-called “medical conspiracy theories”. Of course, most of us know that the derogatory termRead the Rest...

RIP, psychiatry: the “chemical-imbalance” theory is dead

R.I.P., psychiatry: the “chemical imbalance” theory is dead by Jon Rappoport March 7, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com This one is big. Dr. Ronald Pies, the editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, laid the theory to rest in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Times with this staggering admission: “In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always […]

Exposed: the Nazi roots of the European Union

Exposed: the Nazi roots of the European Union by Jon Rappoport March 3, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com Once upon a time, there was an industrial combine in Nazi Germany called IG Farben. It was the largest chemical/pharmaceutical octopus in the world. It owned companies, and it had favorable business agreements with companies from England to Central America […]

Book Review: Vaccination Voodoo — It’s a “Must Read”

What you don’t know about vaccines just might kill you or someone you love.  The ingredients can cause permanent brain damage, cancer, infertility, and a host of other significant and sometimes life-threatening issues. Luckily for us, Catherine Frompovich, a long-time contributor to Activist Post, has published a definitive book inRead the Rest...

Reid Derails Fast Track

Reid Derails Fast Trackby Stephen LendmanSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) opposes fast track legislation. He broke with Obama on trade policy."I'm against fast track," he said. "I think everyone would be well-advised not to push this right now...

Murder at the FDA

Murder at the FDA by Jon Rappoport January 31, 2014 www.nomorefakenews.com File this one under: “studiously ignored by major media.” I posted this story in August of 2012. It was based on a Truthout interview of a man who did drug reviews for the FDA. He examined applications to approve new medical drugs for public […]

Jonesing for Java? You May Suffer from Caffeine Use Disorder

by Kimberly Paxton Originally published at The Daily Sheeple This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by your friends at The Daily Sheeple. My name is Kimberly, and I am a coffeeholic. There, I said it.  Now, millions more like me can part the veil of shame and getRead the Rest...

Were These Knife Attacks Caused by SSRI Antidepressants?

Martha Rosenberg  RINF Alternative News It's a crime to jolt the most jaded TV News watchers. Last week, a 14-year-old girl in a Chicago suburb allegedly...

They’re Fast-Tracking the Future, TPP Style — But We Can Stop Them

Richard Eskow  RINF Alternative News The “TPP,” or Trans-Pacific Partnership, is our nation’s newest proposed trade deal. It was negotiated without democratic input, and they’re trying...

Eventually We Always End Up At The Same Place

Bob Alexander  RINF Alternative News Let's do a little thought experiment. Take anything you know to be a solid gold fact and have this fact not...

Random Acts of Revolution

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery.  This means that if you are a slave today, it’s either illegal, or you have voluntarily accepted your servitude. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within theRead the Rest...

Paradigm Change: British Docs Turn to Prescribing Books for Depression

Elizabeth RenterInfowars.comJanuary 15, 2014 If you're a reader, you know how a book can transport you...

Factory Farms Are Accelerating an Antibiotics Nightmare

Science only gets clearer: Factory farms...

Amazon’s Bogus Anti-Apple Crusade

Behold tech's fiercest legal battle: Price-fixing,...

NAFTA’s Deplorable Legacy

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary O'Grady reinvents history. She does it her way. It's the wrong way. She turns truth on its head. Her commentaries...

Forget the Flu Shot: Hand-washing and Elderberry Extract Are the Best Defenses Against the...

H1N1, or “swine flu” is sweeping across the country, prompting the mainstream media to trumpet, “DOOM APPROACHES!!! GET YOUR FLU SHOT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!” Don’t fall for the escalating propaganda that is being propelled by a fear campaign.  The flu vaccine is NOT the best way to protect yourselfRead the Rest...

True Patriotism in Action

Norman Pollack Exciting news, related by Mark Mazzetti, “Burglars Who Took on F.B.I. Abandon Shadows,” in the New York Times (Jan. 7), concerns eight antiwar...

What’s the Scoop on Genetically-engineered and Pandemic Viruses?

by Catherine Frompovich Originally published at Activist Post Something vaccine safety advocates have wondered about, and even questioned if it were possible, has been confirmed! It is the scientific engineering or genetic modification of viruses, especially influenza-like viruses, to make them lethal, more lethal, or transferrable between species. That Frankenstein-likeRead the Rest...

How Government Allows Dangerous Additives Like MSG To Stay in Our Food

by Melissa Melton Originally published at Truthstream Media “The thing that bugs me is that the people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn’t. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks its doing are as different as night and day.” — Dr. Herbert Ley, Former FoodRead the Rest...

Indoctrination: 4-H Sells Its Soul to Monsanto and the US Soybean Council

If you’re looking for wholesome activities for your kids, you might be considering something like 4-H.  Geared towards an agricultural lifestyle, the 4-H Youth Development Organization seems like a great way for your child to hang out with other kids who are interested in more than the latest TV realityRead the Rest...

The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obama

According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval...

The Incredible, Shrinking Presidency of Barack Obama

According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval...

The NBA Goes Paleo-Primal

So many players, so many paleos. CBS Sports has published a fantastic article on NBA players who have gone paleo to retard the aging process, heal up after injuries, and kick sugar addictions. Ray Allen of the Miami Heat had become entirely dependent upon anti-inflammatory meds to keep him going until he went paleo. I stamped [...]

Rasta Zombie: Director Mitch Williamsmith On Legalization and the Undead

Full disclosure: I'm not a fan of zombies. My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made...

5 Things Terribly Wrong With the Ryan-Murray Budget Deal

Every assumption of the deal is...

Making a Bad System Worse: Disturbing Obamacare Surprises

Consumers are in for many rude surprises. Soon enough they'll know they've been scammed. A previous article discussed insurers limiting hospital and doctor choices. Doing...

Making a Killing with Cancer: A 124.6 Billion Dollar Industry

If you had a business selling something that made you well over a hundred billion dollars per year, would you take steps to eradicate the need for your business? Or would you make every effort for that money continue rolling in? Take cancer, for example.  Don’t let all the mediaRead the Rest...

Media Launches Coordinated Attack on Katie Couric for Highlighting Gardasil Deaths

Interview was like high noon to the establishment media vampires Infowars.comDecember 6, 2013 The establishment media was thrown into a tizzy when Katie Couric on Wednesday...

Obama’s Rogue Agenda

Obama's Rogue Agendaby Stephen LendmanOn Wednesday, Obama addressed income inequality. He called it "the defining challenge of our time." He did so disingenuously. Throughout his tenure, he's transferred America's wealth to corporate interests and...

The Sandy Hook Massacre: The Official Cover-up Continues. Who and/or What Messed up Adam...

Dr. Gary G. Kohls It will soon be the first anniversary of the school shooting massacre at Sandy Hook. With plenty of family and friend...

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

If managerial and bureaucratic incompetence don't sink Barack Obama's “signature legislation” before it gets going, more people will have health insurance, thanks to the...

Did the Anti-GMO Movement Really Lose in Washington?

Why food giants and biotech bullies...

Insanity in the poisoned society

This article refers to GMO labeling, but also to toxic pharmaceuticals, harmful vaccines, and other chemical assaults on human health and life. There is a...

Ten Mega Corporations Control Everything You Buy

A great graphic from Australia's Herald Sun demonstrates why you really should try not to buy processed foods, Big Pharma drugs and cosmetics …...

Con Against Women Continues

How serious the 2009/2010 swine flu outbreak was portrayed by academics had a lot to with whether or not they were funded by Big...

How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars

I often write essays that try to shed light on – and warn about – some of America's too-big-to-allow-them-to-fail (or even criticize) institutions that...

Obamacare and poison of party loyalty

US members of Congress join Tea Party at anti-Obamacare rally at Washington September 10, 2013. Four years ago, countless Democratic leaders and allies pushed for...

The Obamacare Disaster

Four years ago, countless Democratic leaders and allies pushed for passage of Barack Obama's complex healthcare act while arguing that his entire presidency was...

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): A Corporate Coup d’Etat — Handcuffs Governments, Gives New Powers to...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal from hell. It's a stealth corporate coup d'etat. It's a giveaway to banksters. It's a global neoliberal...

Devastation and the Dead

Laura and Erma had a solution for my anxiety. “We're calling a moratorium on reading news articles after dinner. Start The Walking Dead.” Pillow-propped in...

Johnson & Johnson $2.2 Billion Settlement Just a Slap on the Wrist

Fines are just another cost of...

Messing with Our Minds: Psychiatric Drugs, Cyberspace and “Digital Indoctrination”

Brain-altering drugs and digital “indoctrination” pose a potential threat not only to the stability of many individuals but of society itself. At least 10...

The Origins and Evolution of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The agreement being negotiated by the US-led 12-nation regional trade bloc known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has engendered much controversy. Its origins can...

The Future Wishlist

The future of the human species—if there is to be a future—must be radically green, red, black and female. If we take this seriously—a human...

The Folly of ObamaCare

Will the Obama administration bungle Obamacare? They are showing every sign of it; they can't even get their websites to work properly....

Wounded Soldiers: They Didn’t Know What They Were Getting Into

Ann Jones reveals the real cost...

Adventures in Health Care

An illustration of how “efficient health care” can have dire consequences David R. JonesInfowars.comNovember 7, 2013 I have a background in medical care and management. We...

Obama’s Inversion of Organizational Mission

Change you can believe in; no, change as the fuller articulation of US global hegemony, no semblance of scruples remaining. Obama did not arise...

Surge in ADHD diagnoses gets a red flag

AFPNovember 6, 2013 Some children may be needlessly taking powerful drugs / via Wikimedia Commons Doctors sounded a warning Tuesday over a rise in ADHD diagnoses,...

The Truth About ObamaCare

It's not a government takeover of medicine. It's the privatization of health care. If you took George H. W. Bush's health plan and removed...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

Obamacare Fallout. Medical Privacy Rights are Violated

Obama's signature program is rife with inequities. It makes a dysfunctional system worse. It rations healthcare. It's unaffordable. It leaves millions uninsured. It leaves millions...

Obamacare Fallout. Medical Privacy Rights are Violated

Obama's signature program is rife with inequities. It makes a dysfunctional system worse. It rations healthcare. It's unaffordable. It leaves millions uninsured. It leaves millions...

Obamacare Fallout. Medical Privacy Rights are Violated

Obama's signature program is rife with inequities. It makes a dysfunctional system worse. It rations healthcare. It's unaffordable. It leaves millions uninsured. It leaves millions...

Obamacare Fallout

Obamacare Falloutby Stephen LendmanObama's signature program is rife with inequities. It makes a dysfunctional system worse. It rations healthcare. It's unaffordable. It leaves millions uninsured. It leaves millions more underinsured. It compromis...

David Petraeus as Equity Firm Education Ambassador

Petraeus. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)In April, David Petraeus, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and leader of coalition forces during the...

Time to Resist the Republicans’ War on Government

Democrats in the White House are confronted with a dilemma. On the one hand, the clock's ticking on their temporary budget deal with the...

On Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair

On October 9, 2013, President Obama appointed Janet Yellen, current vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, as the new Fed chair, to replace Ben Bernanke...

“September 11 — The New Pearl Harbor” — Truth Movement vs Debunkers

ReOpen911: Good afternoon Massimo. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Massimo Mazzucco: Yes. My name is Massimo Mazzucco. I am a director and...

Medical insanity: Prozac prescriptions rise sharply in family pets

Jonathan Benson Natural News The culture of prescription drug addiction in America seems to be spreading to the pet population, as an increasing number of pet...

Corporate Child Abuse: The Unseen Global Epidemic

“There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul”, Nelson Mandela says, “than the way in which it treats its children”. Who would...

Proven: Statin drugs significantly increase risk of cataracts

Jonathan Benson Natural News Oct. 2, 2013 If you regularly pop statins, you could eventually go blind. These are the candid findings of a new study recently...

A Corporate Coup in Disguise

What if our national leaders told us that communities across America had to eliminate such local programs as Buy Local, Buy American, Buy Green,...

A Mom’s View of Vaccinations: The Flame That Fuels The Debate

"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."...

Why is Obamacare so unaffordable? Because it was conceived as a political weapon of...

Mike Adams Natural News September 25, 2013 Right now, all across America, employees are receiving notices that their insurance coverage is being dropped because...

Why Drugging All Schizophrenics For Life Is Not the Answer

It was an amazing victory for mental health treatment reform activists and one investigative reporter: on Aug. 28, 2013, National Institute of Mental Health...

TED aligns with Monsanto, halting any talks about GMOs, ‘food as medicine’ or natural...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsSeptember 19, 2013 Allow me to be the first to announce that TED is...

House Republicans Introduce ObamaCare Alternative

Today House conservatives introduced the first detailed alternative to ObamaCare — legislation to increase the tax breaks for those who buy their own insurance. Fox...

Navy Shooter Taking “Mass Murder Suicide Pills”?

Ben SwannInfowars.comSept. 17, 2013 The story is a long way from coming into focus. The little...

Navy Shooter Taking “Mass Murder Suicide Pills”?

Ben SwannInfowars.comSept. 17, 2013 The story is a long way from coming into focus. The little...

Do vaccines cause autism?

Mike Adams Natural News September 11, 2013 There is systematic suppression in the United States on the truth about the links between vaccines and autism. Drug companies...

Monsanto leading super-secret ‘above Congress’ Obama trade scheme to outlaw GMO labeling worldwide

Mike Adams Natural News September 9, 2013 (NaturalNews) It's called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and it's a super secret trade pact being negotiated...

TED talks now routinely censoring scientists who share ideas on consciousness

Mike Adams Natural News September 5, 2013 The “TED talks” organization, once founded on the idea of spreading good ideas, has become the new priesthood of status...

Monsanto's Harvest of Shame

Monsanto's Harvest of Shame by Stephen Lendman In 1960, Edward R. Murrow hosted CBS Reports. It was television the way it should be. It no longer...

Lead Developer for HPV Vaccine Admits it is Useless, Likely Dangerous

Mike Barrett The two vaccines currently available to ‘treat’ human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil, distributed by Merck & Co., and Cervarix, distributed by...

9 Healing Herbs for a Natural Medicine Cabinet: Grow Your Own Healing Herb Garden

Christina Sarich  Natural Society August 22, 2013 Instead of filling your medicine cabinet with a bunch of questionable pharmaceutical drugs that keep Big Pharma in business, why...

Probiotics Save Cancer Patients from Deadly Chemo & Damaging Antibiotics

Christina Sarich Natural Society August 19, 2013 You may already know that a healthy gut and plenty of probiotics to support your gastrointestinal health are...

It’s Time to Do Something When a Corporation Like WalMart Won’t Pay a Living...

Last week, thousands of fast food workers from across the country walked off their jobs to demand a living wage of $15 an hour. Ever since, the Republican talking point machine has been running on all cylinders.

The Coming Push to Give HPV Vaccines to Infants

If you can push the most dangerous vaccines in use today on teen and pre-teen girls, and later on boys of the same age,...

DÉJÀ VU — SENATOR DICK DURBIN ONCE AGAIN ATTACKS SUPPLEMENTS!

Senator Durbin Reintroduces his "Dietary Supplement Labeling Act" as S.1425 ​In a well-orchestrated attack that should fool no one, and that as usual occurs late...

Consumer alert: Most common vitamins, including children’s vitamins, found to contain GMOs

Mike Adams Natural News July 31, 2013 Natural News investigation reveals that an alarmingly large number of multivitamins and individual nutrient vitamins...

Why Life in America Can Literally Drive You Insane

July 30, 2013  | ...

Obamacare train wreck will kill far more people than the disastrous crash in Spain

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJuly 26, 2013 When 80 people die in dramatic fashion, it’s the kind of...

Selling One Pill to Treat Side Effects of Another Pill

Nearly one in four US women is on antidepressants. The drugs, like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, may be happy pills but they are not happy-in-the-bedroom...

Canadian Health Authorities Ask ABC to Reconsider Jenny McCarthy

Toronto Public Health believes The View’s new host will spread inaccurate information Adan SalazarInfowars.comJuly...

Warning to all police, firefighters, schoolteachers: Most government pensions to be confiscated within a...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJuly 22, 2013 Last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in U.S....

Is Testosterone the New Estrogen?

It’s only been ten years since estrogen replacement was huckstered as a sexual fountain of youth. Women don’t lose their hormones because they get...

Police Say Sexual Favors Spur $1.5 Billion Glaxo China Sales

BloombergJuly 16, 2013 GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK) sales in China jumped 20 percent to about 1 billion...

The Medical Establishment’s "Favorite" Doctor and his Crusade Against Supplements and Alternative Medicine

Dr. Paul Offit, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at
 Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
 has authored a new book, Do You Believe in...

Quackity quack: Eight evil genius ways to fake a vitamin study (and scare consumers...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJuly 12, 2013Quackity quack, the quacks are back, and this time...

The Crisis as a Problem of and For Mental Health

Many mainstream studies are now relating mental health problems, including rising suicide and alcohol-related death rates, to the present economic crisis. However, they usually...

Generic drug companies granted immunity against lawsuits from patients harmed by side effects

Ethan A. Huff Natural News July 10, 2013 You may want to think twice before taking any more generic copies of brand-name...

Genetic Engineering: The Global Food and Agricultural Crisis

In 2012, Professsor Seralini of the University of Caen in France led a team that carried out research into the health impacts on rats...

Obamacare to punish healthy eaters as insurance rates double or triple for those who...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJuly 3, 2013 According to an analysis just published by the Wall Street Journal, healthy people will...

Hurting the Little Guy

Oh-Mama!-Care by ...

Evil is, as Evil Does

Evil is not banal, pace Arendt; it is in this case (the US in the early 21st century) the systemization in government policy of...

Nader's Hope for 2016: An "Enlightened" Billionaire with Progressive Vision

Ralph Nader has no plans to run himself in 2016, but he has very clear ideas about the kind of candidate he would–and who...

Nader's Hope for 2016: An "Enlightened" Billionaire with Progressive Vision

Ralph Nader has no plans to run himself in 2016, but he has very clear ideas about the kind of candidate he would–and who...

Nader's Hope for 2016: An "Enlightened" Billionaire with Progressive Vision

Ralph Nader has no plans to run himself in 2016, but he has very clear ideas about the kind of candidate he would–and who...

Smart Pills Snitch You Out to Your Doctor

New pill sends health analysis to your doctor directly from your stomach Julie WilsonInfowars.comJune 24, 2013

Smart Pills Snitch You Out to Your Doctor

New pill sends health analysis to your doctor directly from your stomach Julie WilsonInfowars.comJune 24, 2013

Putting America Under A Magnifying Glass: Stephen King’s ‘Under The Dome’

Donna AndersonInfowars.comJune 24, 2013 Stephen King’s “Under the Dome,” a blockbuster novel that’s been...

Putting America Under A Magnifying Glass: Stephen King’s ‘Under The Dome’

Donna AndersonInfowars.comJune 24, 2013 Stephen King’s “Under the Dome,” a blockbuster novel that’s been...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Global Corporate Coup, Assault on Democracy and National Sovereignty

 According to Ron Kirk former US Trade Representative: making the text public would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to...

Snow job: If government spying on all Americans is such a good thing, then...

Mike AdamsNatural NewsJune 18, 2013 In the run up to the 2012 election, why didn’t Obama...

GMO feed turns pig stomachs to mush! Shocking photos reveal severe damage caused by...

If you have stomach problems or gastrointestinal problems, a new study led by Dr. Judy Carman may help explain why: pigs fed a diet of genetically engineered soy and corn showed a 267% increase in severe stomach inflammation compared to those fed non-GMO diets.

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

Why Bradley Manning Has Done More for US Security Than SEAL Team 6

The prosecution of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ source inside the U.S. Army, will be pulling out all the stops when it calls to the stand a member...

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

Who will be Attending the Bilderberg Meeting? What Will be Discussed Behind Closed Doors?

Each year, the Bilderberg venue brings together leading members of the financial and corporate elite, politicians, handpicked scholars, journalists and scientists. There are participants...

Random Acts of Revolution

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery.  This means that if you are a slave today, it’s either illegal, or you have voluntarily...

Random Acts of Revolution

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery.  This means that if you are a slave today, it’s either illegal, or you have voluntarily...

CDC Says 20 Percent of Children Have Mental Disorder; Why the Increase?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of American children may have a mental disorder, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety,...

CDC Says 20 Percent of Children Have Mental Disorder; Why the Increase?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of American children may have a mental disorder, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety,...

CDC Says 20 Percent of Children Have Mental Disorder; Why the Increase?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of American children may have a mental disorder, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety,...

Recurring Nightmares? Wake Up and Take Action

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/recurring_nightmares_wake_up_and_take_action_20130517/ Posted on May 17, 2013 ...

Natural News challenges Angelina Jolie to denounce corporate patents on human genes

Mike AdamsNatural NewsMay 17, 2013 Following recent revelations of how Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy P.R. stunt feeds...

Recurring “Economic Nightmares”? Wake Up and Take Action

The weekly news is like a recurring bad dream that is becoming an even worse nightmare. While the investor class cheers a rising stock...

Turning “Mirage Recovery” into a Real Economic Recovery

Recently, news reporters have been sounding almost giddy, saying that unemployment is dropping, housing prices are rising and the stock market is growing to...

More Evidence Obamacare Ripped Off Americans

Make no mistake. March 23, 2010 will live in infamy. With strokes from 22 pens, Obama enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Obamacare: A Deception

Obamacare was formulated on the concept of health care as a commercial commodity and was cloaked in ideological slogans such as “shared responsibility,” “no free riders” and “ownership society.”

Paul Wellstone: Tenth Anniversary of His Assassination

Stephen Lendman, rinf.com | October 25 marked the 10th anniversary of Wellstone's death. Was it accidental or an assassination to silence a sadly missed principled...

America on the Cusp of Fascism

NORMAN POLLACK | I use “fascism” here not as a cliché, but as an historical-structural formation principally rooted in the mature stage of capitalism, in...

Major breakthrough for cannabis law reform

Mick Meaney | The British people are finally waking up to the draconian laws surrounding the use of cannabis. A new poll conducted by the BBC...

Is the game rigged?

Mike Adams, NaturalNews | I've been pondering this topic for weeks, trying to find the words to communicate the full impact of this realization to...

A Short History of US Government Handouts

By Stephen Lendman Global economies are withering while Washington conceives "Financial Recovery Plan(s) from Hell," according to economist Michael Hudson in his latest February 11...

FDA Scientists Revolt Against Corrupt Food and Drug Administration Officials

By Mike Adams | A group of scientists working in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health division has revolted against the corrupt...

Reining in the influence industry

By David Miller | It comes as no surprise that the European Commission is relaxed about Peter Mandelson’s meetings with the aluminium magnate, Oleg Deripaska,...

Buy Your Poison – Aspartame, Diet Soda, Splenda

Dr. Leo Rebello | Chemist James Schlatter was working on an anti-ulcer drug candidate in the labs of G.D. Searle & Company. He was...

Media Censorship at Olympics in China Mirrors FDA Censorship of Health Product Claims in...

NaturalNews | The U.S. media is loudly protesting the censorship of their reporters at the Olympics in Beijing. Betraying its promise to the International...

Colony Collapse Disorder Debunked: Pesticides Cause Bee Deaths

By Heidi Stevenson | The great mystery of bee deaths has been solved. Colony Collapse Disorder is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin. Clothianidin,...

Psychiatric Group Faces Scrutiny Over Drug Industry Ties

By BENEDICT CAREY and GARDINER HARRIS | It seemed an ideal marriage, a scientific partnership that would attack mental illness from all sides. Psychiatrists would...

Creating the Next Society: Your Revolutionary Ideas Needed Now

By Mike Adams | It's fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that the American Empire, as currently configured and operated, is simply not sustainable....

FDA Wants Terminally Ill Patients as Guinea Pigs

FDA Wants Big Pharma to Use Terminally Ill Patients as Guinea Pigs for Unapproved Drugs David Gutierrez  The FDA has proposed allowing the testing of experimental...

The Pentagon Plan to Drug Troops

Chris Floyd   Penny Coleman at Alternet.com gives us a look at a new program designed to dull the moral sensibilities of American soldiers in combat...

F. William Engdahl’s Seeds of Destruction

Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News Bill Engdahl is a leading researcher, economist and analyst of the New World Order who's written on issues of energy, politics...

Lies Of The Health And Fitness Industry Exposed

Craig Pepin-Donat If history has taught us anything, it is that when a business concept exhibits the potential for growth, companies and industries spread like...

Middle East Madness

By Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News Administration rhetoric is heated and the dominant media keep trumpeting it. It signals war with Iran of the "shock and...

The War on Working Americans – Part II

By Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News This article was written to assess the state of working America in the run-up to Labor Day, 2007. Organized labor today...

Teenager arrested, jailed for refusing TB treatment at hospital

By Mike Adams Health officials in Lawrenceville, Georgia have arrested and jailed Francisco Santos, a teenager who tried to walk out of a hospital and...

If You Don’t Have Good Health Care, Neither Should Your Rep

Want good quality, lower-cost health care for your family. And — what the heck, let’s think big here — for every man, woman, and...

Vox Hedges Headline in Fit of Single-Payer Skepticism

It could not be determined whether a scarier-looking image of Bernie Sanders was available to Vox. Vox.com, which brands itself as both a news source...

"Pivotal Moment in American History": Sen. Sanders Unveils Medicare for All Bill

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is slated to introduce universal healthcare legislation today, aimed at expanding Medicare coverage to include every American. In a New...

Laughing on the Way to Armageddon

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us. The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is...

Laughing on the Way to Armageddon

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us. The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is...

2016 saw highest drug death toll in US history, AG Sessions says

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions has said that current opioid crisis is one of the top “lethal...

Trump shuts down two corporate advisory bodies after CEO exodus

Published time: 16 Aug, 2017 17:21 Edited time: 17 Aug, 2017 06:59 US President Donald Trump...

This Is The Real Donald Trump, Loud And Clear

In a combative, unprecedented, off-the-hook  press conference held Tuesday afternoon in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower in New York City, President Donald Trump alluded plaintively to...

Codex Alimentarius and Monsanto’s Toxic Relations

“Our soils are sick from greed-based, irresponsible agricultural practices, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, erosion and mineral depletion, all of which stop or reduce adequate microbial...

‘Serial killers’: FDA panel recommends approving 1st gene-altering leukemia treatment

A Food and Drug Administration panel has approved the first-ever gene therapy to treat Leukemia. The...

When Will Co-opted Figures and Board Members of Companies like Monsanto and Bayer Be...

The public is being poisoned, disease rates are spiralling, waterways are contaminated, soil is being degraded, insects, birds, invertebrates and plant diversity are in...

Sanders Has His Priorities Backwards: We Can’t Delay Medicare for All

image from ATTN.com. We thought that Senator Sanders was on track to introduce and advocate for a national improved Medicare for All bill, but Tuesday he...

The Long Road to Surviving Trump Begins With … Rejecting Neoliberalism

So, no sooner is Trump back from his disastrous G7 meeting than he starts mugging the press. Nothing new here—simply another distract, discredit and...

The Public or the Agrochemical Industry: Who Does the European Chemicals Agency Serve?  

By Rosemary Mason and Colin Todhunter Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written an open letter to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Director of Risk...

Maker of EpiPen hit with fraud & racketeering lawsuit over price-gouging

A group of EpiPen purchasers have hit drug maker Mylan with a class-action lawsuit, claiming the...

Medicaid Saved Obamacare, and Single-Payer Universal Health Insurance May Be Back on the Agenda...

A lot of the reporting on the GOP's attempted repeal of ObamaCare has focused on the Freedom Caucus, a group of libertarian-minded representatives for...

Stop Protecting the Criminality of the Global Pesticides Industry

The agrichemicals industry wallows like an overblown hog in a cesspool of corruption. With its snout firmly embedded in the trough of corporate profit...