Monday, November 23, 2009

Record US poverty, hunger. Real unemployment rate: 22%. "Leadership" ignores obvious solution

November 19, 11:09 AM
LA County Nonpartisan Examiner Carl Herman

If a government has useful jobs to do and unemployed workers, the obvious solution is for the government to be the employer of last resort and create fiat currency to pay the workers. The added currency creates higher GDP, negating inflation. Problem solved.

Napoleon did it after ten years of chaos from the French Revolution. Germany did the same after their tragic-comic hyperinflation. In both cases, the two economies quickly became the most successful on the planet. Many of America’s brightest minds have argued for government-created currency, including Benjamin Franklin citing direct experience with the prosperity of the Pennsylvania colony with almost zero taxes. Government-created money can be used to directly pay for government goods and services rather than taxes.

But in America today, we have record poverty and hunger: 50 million Americans, 17 million households, one in every six Americans. We have a real unemployment rate of 22% when discouraged and part-time workers are added; close to the highest levels in American history. The so-called stimulus of job creation is symbolic. The numbers of new jobs claimed versus the number of unemployed make the odds of getting one of these jobs about as likely as getting into Harvard. And according to our government’s report on stimulus spending, $6.4 billion went to job recovery in “phantom” congressional districts that do not exist. Remember, this is the same government that regularly steals 25% of the Department of Defense budget that by their own admission becomes “unaccounted for.”

With crumbling US infrastructure, we could put the unemployed to work, but our political leaders tolerate poverty, hunger, homelessness, despair, and crime instead from political fear and feigned compassion, change and hope.

A Harvard study reports that 45,000 Americans die every year from unnecessary causes due to lack of health insurance. This, when Americans pay twice as much per capita for health care than all other developed countries and would save us money (and here). This too is a cruel hoax of leadership.

On our planet, we tolerate a million children dying every month from preventable poverty, when the investment to solve all related problems is less than one percent of US income. Ending poverty in every historical case reduces population growth rates, decreases crime and terrorism, and improves environmental quality. Our political “leaders” of both parties spend trillions on wars, but only fund our commitment in UN Summits to end poverty at about 20% of our promises. We spend trillions on US banksters, but won’t solve Americans’’ problems of poverty, hunger, unemployment, death from lack of basic health care, and do even less for the billion human beings living in poverty around our world.

The ONE campaign to make poverty history has an accurate and powerful slogan: We don’t want your money, we want your voice.

A starting place for Americans is recognizing that your leadership doesn’t represent your interests. We must discover a way for our will to be represented using our 1st Amendment right:
Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Following are 1-minute and 3-minute videos from, then a 4-minute video reminding us who the people we save from poverty are.

As always, please share this article with all who claim civic competence. If you appreciate my work, please subscribe by clicking under the article title (it’s free). Please feel free to use my archive of work to help build a brighter future.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Well-Research History of Swine Flu A/H1N1 and Its Unneeded (and Undesirable!) Vaccine

BELL TOLLING for the Swine Flu (CAMPANAS por la gripe A) subtitled from ALISH on Vimeo.

This video is presented in very clear Spanish, with well done English subtitles (which to see clearly you must remove your cursor from the start/stop button).

The speaker, Sister Teresa Forcades, has a doctorate in Public Health from the University of Barcelona with a specialization in Internal Medicine (State University of New York).

Here she relates a history of the swine flu virus A/H1N1 that is not well known to those who get their news from the U.S. "mainstream media." Among other things, we learn here that:

Data from the southern hemisphere, "shows that the swine flu has a lower mortality rate and complications rate than the annual flu."

"At the end of January, 2009, the Austrian subsidiary of the North American pharmaceutical company, Baxter, delivered 72 kilos of vaccine material to 16 laboratories in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. A laboratory technician from the company, BioTest in the Czech Republic decided on his own to test the vaccines in ferrets" ...and all of these ferrets died.

"On the 29 April, 2009, 12 days after the detection of the first cases of the swine flu, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO, declared that the level of alert because of the danger of pandemic was phase 5 (on a scale 1-6) and ordered all governments of the member states of the WHO to activate emergency plans and maximum health alert. A month and a half later, on June 11, 2009, Dr. Chan declared that the A/H1N1 S-OIV pandemic was a reality (phase 6)"

Dr. Forcades explains that this announcement by WHO embodies an entirely new definition of pandemic as essentially any new disease that may spread around the world irregardless of its communicability or mortality rate. Unfortunately, however, when WHO declares a phase-6 pandemic, it has the authority to command that "a given segment of the people or even of the whole population" be vaccinated.

In fact, swine flu is not new. It has just reappeared after an absence of 70 years ...possibly in a laboratory working with DNA of 70-year-old cadavers.

In the U.S there are national and state laws on the books that require every resident to be inoculated in the event of a pandemic under pain of $1000/day fines and/or imprisonment.

These vaccines include unusually high amounts of co-adjuvants to boost the immune system. "The problem with this rationale is that no one can be sure that this artificial stimulus to the immune system will not provoke serious autoimmune diseases (like Guillain-Barré paralysis)."

"The third novelty that distinguishes the swine flu vaccine from [those for seasonal flu] is that the manufacturing companies are demanding that the States sign agreements so that they will have impunity if the vaccines have more side effects than expected (e.g. the Guillain-Barré paralysis may affect 10 people in every million who are vaccinated with the annual flu vaccine): The USA has signed a document which frees the politicians and the pharmaceutical companies from all responsibilities associated with unexpected side effects of the swine flu vaccine."

Dr. Forcades delicately broaches the subject of conspiracy theories, advising us to remain calm and objective, but reminding us that history has shown that persons in positions of great power have repeatedly tended to use their power to enslave the people they control and kill or weaken those they don't.

If you choose not to watch the whole video or would like to review certain details, a summary written by Dr. Forcades is available.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Kucinich: Truth, Human Dignity, and the Goldstone Report

Kucinich: Truth, Human Dignity and the Goldstone Report | Press Release

Washington D.C. (November 3, 2009) –Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement on the House Floor about H. Res 867, which condemns the ‘Goldstone Report’ or the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict:

“Today we journey from Operation Cast Lead to Operation Cast Doubt. Almost as serious as committing war crimes is covering up war crimes, pretending that war crimes were never committed and did not exist.

“Because behind every such deception is the nullification of humanity, the destruction of human dignity, the annihilation of the human spirit, the triumph of Orwellian thinking, the eternal prison of the dark heart of the totalitarian.

“The resolution before us today, which would reject all attempts of the Goldstone Report to fix responsibility of all parties to war crimes, including both Hamas and Israel, may as well be called the “Down is Up, Night is Day, Wrong is Right” resolution.

“Because if this Congress votes to condemn a report it has not read, concerning events it has totally ignored, about violations of law of which it is unaware, it will have brought shame to this great institution.

“How can we ever expect there to be peace in the Middle East if we tacitly approve of violations of international law and international human rights, if we look the other way, or if we close our eyes to the heartbreak of people on both sides by white-washing a legitimate investigation?

“How can we protect the people of Israel from existential threats if we hold no concern for the protection of the Palestinians, for their physical security, their right to land, their right to their own homes, their right to water, their right to sustenance, their right to freedom of movement, their right to the human security of jobs, education and health care?

“We will have peace only when the plight of both Palestinians and Israelis is brought before this House and given equal consideration in recognition of that principle that all people on this planet have a right to survive and thrive, and it is our responsibility, our duty to see that no individual, no group, no people are barred from this humble human claim.”


For Immediate Release:

Contact: Nathan White (202)225-5871

Monday, November 02, 2009

Why Congress Should Pass a Health-Care Reform Bill with a Robust Public Option

Subsidiary of WellPoint Sues Maine to Raise Insurance Premiums 18.5%

A Brave New Films Video

A wild story out of Maine.

Anthem Health Plans of Maine, a subsidiary of WellPoint, is suing the state because they want to increase premium rates by 18.5% on their 12,000 individual insurance policy holders, so they can guarantee themselves a 3% profit margin. This story shows how silly it would be to solely rely on regulation to rein in insurance industry practices.

Like many other states, Anthem Health Plans hold a monopoly on the individual insurance market in Maine, controlling 79% of all the plans. Also like many other states, they are licensed to sell insurance through the Department of Insurance, who must clear all rate increases prior to implementation. Originally, Anthem Health Plans were a nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield corporation licensed to practice in Maine since 1939. In 1999, Anthem bought the business and began to operate it as a for-profit company. Since that point, Anthem has raised premium rates 10 times, and 8 of those times have been double-digit rate increases.

The average individual Maine rate-payer is paying four times as much for insurance than they did ten years ago.

But this isn’t good enough for Anthem Health Plans. They first proposed a 14.5% rate increase for its individual insurance products, then they revised it up to 18.1% and finally 18.5%. This is an average increase. Some plans would see increase of 24.5%, some 38.4%, and for its Preventive Care and Supplemental Care Accident rider, which is part of 1/3 of all their policies, Anthem proposed a rate increase of 58.2%. This amounts to Maine consumers paying $12 million more in annual premium dollars for the exact same level of benefits.

Anthem isn’t hurting for profit. Their Maine operations have generated an average annual return of $70 million dollars over the last five years. Anthem paid dividends to their parent company, WellPoint, of $75 million dollars last year alone, and $152 million since 2006. Their nine highest-paid employees totaled over $4.3 million in compensation. The individual market, while a smaller portion of their overall business, still generated $5.4 million in profit over the last two years.

The reason Anthem desires these rate raises is because their actuarial charts show they can guarantee a 3% profit through this increase. That’s an estimate, however, and in 8 of the last 10 years the profit margin achieved has actually been higher. The Maine Superintendent of Insurance ruled in May 2009 that the 3% profit and risk margin sought was “excessive and unfairly discriminatory,” as per the laws of the state, and instead approved a rate increase of 10.9% for Anthem. Given the recession, the financial health of the company, and the years of large rate increases, there was no way she could approve anything higher.

So Anthem sued the state. But not after filing revised rates at a 10.9% increase so they could get that going while they litigated for an even higher rate.

The Superintendent of Insurance explained in a court filing that there is no statute mandating that Maine must provide Anthem or any other insurer with a guaranteed profit. Given Anthem’s ability as a large operation to cut costs, just as any family must do during a recession, the Superintendent argued there is nothing preventing them from making a profit with a 10.9% rate of premium increase. But Maine is under no obligation to guarantee one. That would be a “socialized profit,” which Anthem is asserting the right to without any legal basis in fact. Furthermore, policyholders have contributed $17.4 million in profit to Anthem’s bottom line over the past decade, which should be more than enough to cover potential losses from just the individual insurance line this year.

Anthem argued that they were discriminated against relative to other companies in Maine because one other individual insurer was provided a 3% profit and risk margin (that company, MEGA, asked for 2.2% rate increase back in 2007, a far different scenario). This, the corporation said, violated their equal protection rights under the federal and state Constitutions. This is a laughable claim, that the state must guarantee a profit for every insurance company licensed to provide a product. It’s nowhere to be found in the Maine Insurance Code, and the Superintendent of Insurance is allowed under Maine law to consider each company’s situation individually. In this case, she ruled that a 18.5% increase in premiums would be unfair and excessive.

This is a very revealing case. Those arguing against a public option claim that insurance regulations alone will be sufficient to provide an affordable product for everyone. Here’s a case where Maine is attempting to regulate the industry, and the industry sues the state in an effort to grab more profit. While claiming to be on the side of reform, they will fight tooth and nail, and can be expected to do so for every regulation in the national health care bill, right down the line.