Ferment in the Streets: Killer Cops the Symptom of a Nation off the Rails

“…the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open up the door to negotiation.”

Murder by Cop

Over a half century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rallied his supporters in the civil rights movement by cautioning them that true freedom was impossible without first addressing the economic disparities between the haves and have-nots in unequal America. He proposed an “economic bill of rights for all Americans” — which included a good job with a living wage, a secure income and the opportunity for all people to “play a truly significant role” in the government. Sound familiar? Today young people of all races and classes are out in the streets mobilizing to right the same wrongs — “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) The death of one black man followed by another and preceded by the wanton murder of a young black woman has set the stage. What comes next? Check out “Killer Cops in a Nation Off the Rails.

187 total views, 4 views today

Read More

Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying

Human Need

The big drug rip-off is coming. Gilead’s drug remdesivir is being hailed as the “new standard of care. “ (Dr. Anthony Fauci ). The honchos at the drug company are agog with excitement. To throw sick Americans a lifeline? Not exactly. To introduce a billion-dollar blockbuster? More likely. Predictably, President’s Trumps scientific advisory committee is all in. Isn’t that what friends are for? First developed to treat Ebola, remdesivir flopped. But not to worry, the feds had contributed $79 million to R&D on the drug, so investors were spared most of the pain. As the coronavirus pandemic surged worldwide, Gilead bet on the same horse, hauling remdesivir out of the closet — new disease, same drug. It flopped again — “remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream…The drug also showed significant side effects in some, which meant 18 patients were taken off it. (“Gilead’s anti-viral drug, remdesivir, flops in first trial,” Financial Times, April 23, 2020.) At least, transparency prevailed and consumers around the world were among the first to know. Not exactly. These results were accidentally released by the World Health Organization, which quickly tried to put the genie back in the bottle — “…a draft document [of the failed study was] inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noted.” There you have it — a history of repeated failures that should have diminished expectations among U.S. infectious disease experts. Why didn’t it? Read “Drug Company Rip Off Amidst the Suffering and Dying” for even more evidence that profit trumps care in the U.S. privatized health care system.

248 total views, no views today

Read More

It Takes a Pandemic to Expose a Corrupt U.S. Healthcare System

Healthcare Corruption

Most agree that the privatized U.S. healthcare system does not cut it when a virus becomes a pandemic. Whether it’s health insurance flunkies trying to keep the music going while 26 million+ lose their jobs and their health insurance or drug company chieftains competing to make billions by discovering a vaccine or nursing home private operators unable or unwilling to protect the vulnerable populations that depend on them or hospital big wigs practicing “just-in-time” ordering of life-saving supplies to increase profits while their workers are drowning in a sea of sick and dying patients. In a privatized healthcare system operating on free market principles, long term thinking flies out the window. Short term profits are the goal. Want to know how bad it gets? Check out “It Takes a Pandemic to Expose a Corrupt U.S. Healthcare System.

180 total views, no views today

Read More

Coronavirus —An Opportunity to Push for Single Payer Healthcare?

Coronavirus Demands

Pandemic fever is ramping up in the U.S. Can the hopelessly fragmented and larcenous U.S. profit-driven healthcare system provide the tools to handle this disaster? It’s a big question and the most likely answer is NO. The facts are stark. One-third of the population is uninsured or underinsured. If they need to be tested, what doctor do they call to get a prescription? How much will the doctor charge to give them the go-ahead? If treatment or — heaven forbid — a hospital stay is required, who will pay? The insurance company lobby has already laid down the gauntlet — waiving copays “for testing not treatment.” For those who are uninsured or have huge deductibles, copays are the least of their worries. Would a single payer national healthcare system help mitigate the pandemic wild fire and guarantee needed care for all? Bernie Sanders thinks so — “We have already seen people hit with massive medical bills for doing the right thing by getting tested. Others may face massive bills for hospitalization, treatment and quarantine if they need it. This must end. We need Medicare for All.” Joe Biden repeats the standard neo-liberal excuse for retaining a trillion-dollar plunder — “You got to look at the cost.” That in the face of a peer-reviewed study at Yale that showed a single payer system saved $450 million of U.S, healthcare dollars every year. Who do you believe? Check out “Coronavirus — An Opportunity to Push for Single Payer Healthcare” before you decide.

397 total views, no views today

Read More