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giovedì 15 novembre 2012

The Meaning of Obama's Win. By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them


by Michael Hudson from counterpunch
The Democrats could not have won so handily without the Citizens United ruling. That is what enabled the Koch Brothers to spend their billions to support right-wing candidates that barked and growled like sheep dogs to give voters little civilized option but to vote for “the lesser evil.” This will be President Obama’s epitaph for future historians. Orchestrating the election like a World Wrestling Federation melodrama, the Tea Party’s sponsors threw billions of dollars into the campaign to cast the President’s party in the role of “good cop” against stereotyped opponents attacking women’s rights, Hispanics and nearly every other hyphenated-American interest group.

domenica 11 novembre 2012

MMT Explained to Mums

By Paolo Rossi Barnard from modernmoneytheory
 

Intro.
The post that follows poses as an example of how the huge complexities of MMT and its political and historical contexts could be divulged to the ordinary folks out there.
We named it "MMT explained to mums", precisely for that reason.
This effort is of no small importance, since we at NEP recognize that without a growing popular support for our vision of how economies should be run, we may never gather enough steam to push MMT through the barriers of Power Politics. The actual writer of this post is Italian journalist and MMT supporter Paolo Rossi Barnard. Of course this is not definitive, and we invite both our bloggers and our readers to make comments and contributions to this essential communication effort. We all know that millions of people and families out there are needlessly suffering right now for the insanity of the present economic dogmas.
They must be told that there is a life saving, job saving, even nation saving alternative to the present system; it's called MMT and it's authoritative, but it's being denied to them by a tiny elite of power brokers.


Paolo Barnard, The European Financial Coup d'Etat

sabato 10 novembre 2012

Superstorm Sandy—a People's Shock?

by Naomi Klein from thenation.com


Less than three days after Sandy made landfall on the East Coast of the United States, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blamed New Yorkers’ resistance to big-box stores for the misery they were about to endure. Writing on Forbes.com, he explained that the city’s refusal to embrace Walmart will likely make the recovery much harder: “Mom-and-pop stores simply can’t do what big stores can in these circumstances,” he wrote.
And the preemptive scapegoating didn’t stop there. He also warned that if the pace of reconstruction turned out to be sluggish (as it so often is) then “pro-union rules such as the Davis-Bacon Act” would be to blame, a reference to the statute that requires workers on public-works projects to be paid not the minimum wage, but the prevailing wage in the region.

venerdì 19 ottobre 2012

Exclusive: China power brokers agree preferred leadership - sources


from Reuters


China's three most powerful men have come up with preferred candidates to head up the nation's new leadership, sources said, in a group that includes financial reformers but leaves a question mark over its commitment to political reform.
The seven-member list has been drawn up by past, present and future presidents ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change to be finalized next month at the ruling Communist Party's 18th congress, said three sources with ties to senior party leaders.
They said former President Jiang Zemin, current President Hu Jintao and Hu's likely successor, Xi Jinping, have forged a consensus on candidates for the top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee - a move that could pave the way for a smooth selection process after months of political tumult.

venerdì 12 ottobre 2012

Is Your Child Mentally Ill?

"Yes," According to Big Pharma Funded Doctors (Ka-Ching!)


by  Martha Rosemberg from counterpunch

How has Big Pharma managed to get so many children on expensive drug cocktails for “mental illness”? Drugs that they may not even need?
Big Pharma has spent millions on public relations campaigns that tell parents, teachers and clinicians to dose children at the first sign of problems. It knows if parents treat their kids early they will never know if the kids needed the drugs in the first place and whether residual problems are “mental illness” or drug side effects. The kids will also probably be life long customers because parents will be afraid to take them off the drugs. No wonder Pharma tells parents not to wait for “excessive energy” or “mood swings” to go away in the awareness campaigns. Ka-ching.
One “prescribe early” campaign for the atypical antipsychotic Risperdal uses a macabre abandoned wallet, a teddy bear, and keys on a barren street “to reposition a drug that was being used too late to achieve its maximum benefits,” said its advertising agency, Torre Lazur McCann. Brand managers for Seroquel, a competing antipsychotic, even considered creating Winnie-the-Pooh characters like Tigger (bipolar) and Eeyore (depressed) to sell Seroquel, according to published reports, at an AstraZeneca sales meeting. Parents say they have seen toys emblazoned with Seroquel logos.
Only one child in ten thousand has pediatric schizophrenia—some say one in thirty thousand—but that doesn’t stop Gabriele Masi, MD, with the Stella Maris Institute for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pisa in Italy from portraying it as a public health problem. In an article titled “Children with Schizophrenia: Clinical Picture and Pharmacological Treatment,” in the journal CNS Drugs, Masi writes, “Awareness of childhood- onset schizophrenia is rapidly increasing, with a more precise definition now available of the clinical picture and early signs, the outcome and the treatment strategies.”
Symptoms of childhood schizophrenia include “social deficits” and “delusions . . . related to childhood themes,” writes Masi. What child doesn’t have “social deficits”? Do delusions include imaginary playmates? Masi lambastes the “hesitancy on the part of clinicians to make a diagnosis of schizophrenia,” instead of prescribing early. Masi has received research funding from Eli Lilly, served as an advisor for Shire and been on speakers bureaus for Sanofi Aventis, AstraZeneca, GSK, and Janssen, all of which manufacture many of the leading psychiatric drugs for children, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
It’s tempting to ridicule Pharma funded doctors who find mental illness and even relapses and “treatment resistance” in people who have been on the planet for forty months. But pathologizing three-year-olds isn’t funny. Both four-year-old Rebecca Riley of Hull, Massachusetts, and three-year- old Destiny Hager of Council Grove, Kansas, died in 2006 from psychiatric drugs that included Geodon and Seroquel to treat their “bipolar disorders.” And in 2009, seven-year-old Gabriel Myers of Broward County, Florida, a child in a state facility, hung himself while on Symbyax, a pill that combines Zyprexa and Prozac. If it weren’t for Big Pharma’s prescribe early campaigns, these children, and others, might still be alive. END
Martha Rosenberg’s is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).

domenica 7 ottobre 2012

IgG Food Intolerance Tests: What does the science say?

from science-based-medicine

I spend a lot of time as a pharmacist discussing side effects and allergies to drugs. For your own safety, I won’t recommend or dispense a drug until I know your allergy status. I don’t limit the history to drugs—I want to know anything you’re allergic to, be it environmental, food, insects, or anything else. Allergies can create true therapeutic challenges: We can’t dismiss any allergy claim, but as I’ve blogged before, there’s a big gap between what many perceive as an allergy and what is clinically considered a true allergy. My concern is not only avoiding the harm of an allergic reaction, but also avoiding the potential consequences from selecting a suboptimal therapy that may in fact be appropriate. You may need a specific drug someday, so  I encourage patients to discuss vague drug allergies with their physician, and request allergist testing as required.