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.

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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.

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Shafted: American Workers Lose Their Jobs and Their Health Insurance

Unpaid Bills

“The state will bear the financial burden of the people who have to stay home. We won’t add fear of bankruptcy or unemployment to the health crisis.” Wouldn’t it restore your faith in America’s leaders if one of them had actually made those promises? Prepare to be disappointed. That was the message the president of France delivered to his people. He wasn’t the only European leader to announce life-saving programs. In Denmark, in Sweden, in advanced economies all over the world, leaders are scrambling to protect their citizens. Even Vladimir Putin. The one thing citizens in most European countries (and other parts of the world) don’t have to worry about is keeping their healthcare whether or not they have a job. The citizens of the exceptional nation are not so fortunate. For at least 17 million who have filed for unemployment (and many uncounted millions more), the fear of getting sick is another burden keeping them awake at night. In a system where 56% of the American workforce receives their insurance on the job, no job equals no insurance. Want to know why we need Medicare-for-all? Read “Shafted: American Workers Lose Their Jobs and Their Health Insurance

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Business as Usual: Trillions in Disaster Relief for Corporations and Banks, Spare Change for the People, Hospitals, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

Great Minds

“Our doctors and nurses are being thoroughly mobilized and worked to limit…Many cases receive no attention at all” (Acting Governor Calvin Coolidge, Massachusetts, 9/25/1918)

“We’re going to keep our small businesses strong and our big businesses strong. And that’s keeping our country strong and our jobs strong.” That’s how President Trump described the Cares Act, the massive so-called pandemic relief bill. That’s not the way most economists describe it. Like the 2008 bailout masterminded by Barack Obama, most of the money will be handed out to banks and large corporations. Everyone else, individual Americans, small businesses, distressed cities and states will nibble from a much smaller pie. Here’s how Trump and his merry band of grifters is going to “keep small businesses strong.” Twenty-seven million small businesses in the U.S. will receive slices of a $300 billion pie. The 18,586 large corporations in the U.S. will feast on $4.3 trillion of government largest, no strings attached. While small businesses can apply for loan forgiveness if they keep their employees on the payroll, corporations are under no such restraint and will not only have their loans forgiven but should their gambling ways get them in trouble again, the Federal Reserve will bail them out — with your money. What’s left for suffering Americans? A one-time means-tested check and a slight increase in both the amount and duration of unemployment, a ninety-day extension of the IRS filing date, and a three-month grace period on student loans (you’ll still have to pay but those months will be tacked onto the end of your loan), That’s it folks. What happens the second month after you’ve spent your government check? Will you be able to pay the rent or mortgage, your credit card bills, your utilities bills? Large corporations won’t have any problem meeting their obligations, with the help of an obliging Fed banker and four (or five or six) trillion to keep those sky-high paychecks, extravagant bonuses and shareholder windfalls coming. And we can’t even go out in the streets to protest. For the chilling details check out “Business as Usual: Trillions in Disaster Relief for Corporations and Banks, Spare Change for People, Hospitals, Small Businesses, State and Local Governments

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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.

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