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Nederlog

January 19, 2016

Crisis: 62 exploiters, "justice", apocalypse, MLK speech, TTIP, pharmaceutical rape
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Introduction   

1.
Richest 62 People Are as Wealthy as Half the World’s
     Population

2. The Mirage of Justice
3. The Financial Apocalypse Accelerates As Middle East
     Stocks Crash To Begin The Week

4. Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech
5. 'Crafted By and For Big Business': TTIP Under Fire Across
     Europe

6. Pharmaceutical Rape is not a Metaphor
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

This is a crisis blog. There are 6 items with 6 dotted links: Item 1 is about the fact that 62 billionaires now earn as much as 3,5 billion persons (which is by about as much as the world's population grew since 1970), with some additional consequences by me; item 2 is about the present "legal system" of the USA, which is more dreadful than it was the last 100+ years; item 3 is about the possibility that a financial apocalypse is approaching, what with the major financial troubles with which 2016 started; item 4 is about a newly discovered speech by dr. Martin Luther King; item 5 is about the TTIP, with some elucidations by me; and item 6 is about pharmaceutical rape, that I know happens these days a lot, and will continue as long as the pharmaceutical corporations (and their medical conmen) are not tamed.

Also, there was no Nederlog yesterday, because I had to go twice to the dentist.

1. Richest 62 People Are as Wealthy as Half the World’s Population

The first article is by Roisin Davies on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:

A new report shows that the world’s richest 62 people now have as much wealth as that of half the world’s population.

According to British charity Oxfam, super-rich individuals saw their cumulative wealth increase 44 percent to $1.76 trillion “in the five years since 2010”—equivalent to that of 3.5 billion of the world’s poorest. 

Conversely, the wealth of half the world’s the poorest dropped by 41 percent in that time period, despite an increase in global population of 400 million.

Mark Goldring, the Oxfam GB chief executive, said: “It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich—so few, you could fit them all on a single coach.”

“World leaders’ concern about the escalating inequality crisis,” he continued, “has so far not translated into concrete action to ensure that those at the bottom get their fair share of economic growth. In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake.”

I quite agree, but the points I want to make are somewhat different and are related to the following statistics that I derived from the Wikipedia article Population growth:
    difference   year    billions of persons
    -              1800             1
    127           1927             2
    33             1960             3
    14             1974             4
    13             1987             5
    12             1999             6
    12             2011             7
The first "difference" column states the number of years it took to get to the next billion in the rightmost column.

Here are my points:
  • I was born in 1950: In the 65 years that passed, there are three times more people than there were in 1950.
  • I know about the grave threats to the environment since 1970/1, when
    there were between 3 and 4 billion people: Now there are more than twice
    as many, in spite of a lot of arguments or propaganda against population
    growth.
  • The 62 billionaires earned as much as as was earned by the total growth of the population since the mid-seventies.
  • They are richer than anyone else has ever been, and consequently (I would say):
  • These billionaires are the worst, the most egoistic, the most degenerate greedy persons there have ever been, and
  • it is because of (especially, though not only) their policies, their desires, their priorities, and their power that nearly everyone of the 3.5 billion people that were born since the mid-seventies are poor, with very few rights, and facing a live of bitter exploitation and very low incomes.
  • As long as these extremely few extremely rich individuals (and others who are almost as rich) have all that money and have all that power, the billions of poor persons will get poorer and poorer; the few tens (or hundreds or thousdands) of rich people who hold billions will get richer and richer; the world will grow more and more authoritarian and more and more of a police state; and also, basically for ecological reasons, the world goes straight to a major catastrophy in which billions of people will die for lack of food and lack of opportunities.
You may disagree, but that is what I think: The present rich and very rich are the worst enemies of the rest of mankind there have ever been - and they have both more riches and more power than any set of rulers has ever had.

Also, I have not read any rational argument that undermines the last three points.

2. The Mirage of Justice

The second item is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:

This starts as follows, and is about the present system of injustice that rules the many poor in the United States:

If you are poor, you will almost never go to trial—instead you will be forced to accept a plea deal offered by government prosecutors. If you are poor, the word of the police, who are not averse to fabricating or tampering with evidence, manipulating witnesses and planting guns or drugs, will be accepted in a courtroom as if it was the word of God. If you are poor, and especially if you are of color, almost anyone who can verify your innocence will have a police record of some kind and thereby will be invalidated as a witness. If you are poor, you will be railroaded in an assembly-line production, from a town or city where there are no jobs, through the police stations, county jails and courts directly into prison. And if you are poor, because you don’t have money for adequate legal defense, you will serve sentences that are decades longer than those for equivalent crimes anywhere else in the industrialized world.

If you are a poor person of color in America you understand this with a visceral fear. You have no chance. Being poor has become a crime. And this makes mass incarceration the most pressing civil rights issue of our era.

I think that is basically correct and only add two points: First, the "legal punishments" that are these days imposed on people are much higher than
they were ever before, at least in the whole 20th Century, and second many
of those who do get convicted (very often by completely unjust methods as
sketched) are next exploited enormously and for many years by a private
prison system that exists to make the owners rich at the cost of the poor
.

And here is Chris Hedges on one of the differences between the many poor and the few rich:

The power elites—our corporate rulers and the security and surveillance apparatus—rewrite laws to make their criminal behavior “legal.” It is a two-tiered system. One set of laws for us. Another set of laws for them. Wall Street’s fraud and looting of the U.S. Treasury, the obliteration of our privacy, the ability of the government to assassinate U.S. citizens, the revoking of habeas corpus, the neutralizing of our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the murder of unarmed people in the streets of our cities by militarized police, the use of torture, the criminalizing of dissent, the collapse of our court system, the waging of pre-emptive war are rendered “legal.” Politicians, legislators, lawyers and law enforcement officials, who understand that leniency and justice are damaging to their careers, and whom Karl Marx called the “leeches on the capitalist structure,” have constructed for their corporate masters our system of inverted totalitarianism. They serve this system. They seek to advance within it. They do not blink at the victims destroyed by it. And most of them know it is a sham.
I completely agree: There is now "One set of laws for us. Another set of laws for them", where the "us" are the 99% of the non-rich and the "them" are the 1% of the rich.

It is a completely fraudulent and totally dishonest system of intentional exploitation of the many poor by the few rich.

And I am very much afraid that it will continue unless it is caught up in an enormous economic and ecological catastrophy. [1]

This is a recommended article: Click the last dotted link - and in case you are not an American: Be assured that the TTIP or the TTP or the TiSA or the CETA will give everyone in any of the countries these plans are made for and accepted within a few years at most the - mostly quite sick and degenerate - "rights" the many poor of the primitive and backward USA have right now.

Why? Because anything that harms the expected profits of any multi-national corporation will be "legally" destroyed (if these sick and crazy "laws", that generally are secret and sold falsely as "free trade treaties" are accepted).

3. The Financial Apocalypse Accelerates As Middle East Stocks Crash To Begin The Week

The third item is by Michael Klare on Washington's Blog and originally on the Economic Collapse Blog:

This starts as follows:
It looks like it is going to be another chaotic week for global financial markets.  On Sunday, news that Iran plans to dramatically ramp up oil production sent stocks plunging all across the Middle East.  Stocks in Kuwait were down 3.1 percent, stocks in Saudi Arabia plummeted 5.4 percent, and stocks in Qatar experienced a mammoth 7 percent decline.  And of course all of this comes in the context of a much larger long-term decline for Middle Eastern stocks.  At this point, Saudi Arabian stocks are down more than 50 percent from their 2014 highs.  Needless to say, a lot of very wealthy people in Saudi Arabia are getting very nervous.  Could you imagine waking up someday and realizing that more than half of your fortune had been wiped out?  Things aren’t that bad in the U.S.  quite yet, but it looks like another rough week could be ahead.  The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all down at least 12 percent from their 52-week highs, and the Russell 2000 is already in bear market territory.  Hopefully this week will not be as bad as last week, but events are starting to move very rapidly now.

Much of the chaos around the globe is being driven by the price of oil.  At the end of last week the price of oil dipped below 30 dollars a barrel, and now Iran has announced plans “to add 1 million barrels to its daily crude production”

There is considerably more under the last dotted link, that I leave to your interests. I also do not know whether the predictions are valid, but it seems
true that 2016 started poorer and more like a real and major economical crisis
than since many years.

4. Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech

The fourth item is by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!:

This starts as follows:
In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio.
This is a fairly long but quite good speech from the end of 1964. I recommend you read it all, but will only quote two brief and quite general points from the end of the speech:
May I say to you that I still believe that mankind will rise up to the occasion. In spite of the darkness of the hour, in spite of the difficulties of the moment, in spite of these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, I still have faith in the future, and I still believe that we can build this society of brotherhood and this society of peace.
I do not believe in any divinity or in any divine moral force; I do not believe there is any necessary improvement in laws or morals; and I believe that the current problems of mankind are greater than they ever were.

Even so, I also believe that if mankind is to survive, that then mankind will have to rise up to the occasion - and indeed if it doesn't, mankind is doomed.

And you cannot leave it to the rich, for these are corrupt greedy egoists only interested in themselves; you cannot leave it to the politicians, because these are nearly all liars and most are corrupt: The people have to stand up and remake society so that it is fit to live in for the many, and not just for the few rich.

We have a long, long way to go before this problem is solved, but thank God we’ve made strides. We’ve come a long, long way, before I close by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher, who didn’t quite have his grammar and diction right, but who uttered words of great symbolic profundity: "Lord, we ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we ought to be. We ain’t what we gonna be. But, thank God, we ain’t what we was." Thank you.
I agree with the preacher that "we ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we ought to be. We ain’t what we gonna be", but I doubt that we ought to thank the Lord for not being what we were:

I think that the more than 35 years since 1980 made the many poor poorer than they were in 1980, and made the few rich a whole lot richer and a whole lot more powerful (through many successive deregulations) than the rich have ever been.

But yes: "
We have a long, long way to go before this problem is solved" - and I do not only mean the problems of discrimination and exploitation of the blacks, which are still real enough, but all problems that presently threaten the lives and the well-being of the many.

5.  'Crafted By and For Big Business': TTIP Under Fire Across Europe

The fifth item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

A new UK coalition is sounding the alarm over how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently under negotiation between the U.S. and EU, would force European small businesses into unfair competition with U.S. firms with lower standards and lower costs.

"Together with thousands of our counterparts in other European countries, we are concerned that many European businesses risk being wiped out by unfair competition from U.S. corporations if TTIP is allowed to go through," reads the statement from Business Against TTIP, launched over the weekend.

"TTIP will enable some of the world’s biggest corporations to undermine EU social and environmental standards," it continues. "Under its investor protection rules, TTIP will also give U.S. firms unprecedented powers to sue the UK government when any new laws affect their profits."

Noting that "the overwhelming majority of British businesses do not export at all to the USA," the statement declares: "TTIP has been designed by and for the largest corporations that trade and invest across the Atlantic, not the majority."

These assertions are backed up in a new report issued Sunday by the London-based War on Want, entitled, Rough Trade: The Threat of TTIP to Small Businesses in the UK (pdf).

In fact, I think that the TTIP, like the TTP, the TiSA and the CETA, are all explicitly fascist treaties designed to take all powers, including the powers of government, the powers of parliaments, the powers of national judiciaries, and the power of people in nations to determine their own kinds of futures through parliamentary voting, away from the people, and give all these powers to the very few very rich who presently govern the earth.

You may disagree, but if you do, it is probably because you dislike the emotional connotations of the word "fascism", rather than that you have any decent rational argument.

Also, if so: scratch "fascist" and consider the rest of the statement:

It still is true to the best of my knowledge, and what you will get is a Europe (under the TTIP) that will be like another poor and exploited American state, ruled by local Chris Christies, Ted Cruzes, or Donald Trumps, for that is the future: All the advantages the Europeans had over the Americans will very soon be destroyed, for the simple - and true - reason that these advantages limit the expected profits of multi-national corporations, with more money and better (and better paid) "lawyers" than any state.

And this is the only thing that will matter with the TTIP: The "rights" of the very rich to get the profits they claim, against any opposition by anyone.

6. Pharmaceutical Rape is not a Metaphor

The sixth and last item today is by Laurie Oakly on Dr. David Healy's site:

This starts as follows - and before I give some quotations plus my comments, let me note that while I regularly check dr. Healy's site because I am ill a very long time, the present argument also is a crisis argument:

The corruptions, frauds, falsehoods, and deceptions of the pharmaceutical corporations (and their associated pseudo-scientific frauds, the psychiatrists) are now so large that they comprise hundreds of millions of persons.

Back to the article (that is recommended and well worth reading), which starts as follows:

PHARMACEUTICAL RAPE is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a culturally invisible harm outside the domains of public, medical, and political discourse. However this type of violation is commonplace and stories of these harms are especially visible on internet forums. This new definition is meant to challenge the current, widely accepted societal assumptions about pharmaceutical harms, their prevalence, causes and consequences. It provides an alternative framework for defining and interpreting serious adverse events that are rooted in corporate pharmaceutical behavior. Through this definition it is hoped that pharmaceutical violence will begin to be publicly recognized as the serious public health problem.

Pharmaceutical rape stems from the collective decisions of powerful individuals within an industry-government-medical trade alliance. It is an offense that results in an invasive violation of bodily autonomy for the victim. A pharmaceutical product is introduced into one’s body that causes harm — something one did not consent to — something that one had a legal right to more information about so that a different choice could have been made. Most often, it involves trusting and having that trust violated.

I quite agree - but then I have good reasons to agree, which are probably lacking in most of my readers, simply because they are healthy:

I am a master of science in psychology (with extremely good marks, that did not help me any, because:); I am ill for 37 years with an unexplained disease; and I have been reading a lot of medicine, psychiatry and associated stuff since the late 2009s, that convinced me (also with an excellent B.A. in philosophy) that much of the current "medical science" is no longer medical science but often intentio- nal propaganda, and that you simply cannot rely anymore on the honesty of medical people, and that not because they are dishonest, but because they are as well frauded by the pharmaceutical corporations, that these days tend to publish, and are allowed to only publish, such stuff as supports their positions, and nothing else.

And I agree with the term "pharmaceutical rape" (and would like to add the term "psychiatric rape", which includes the very many psychiatric lies, frauds and deceptions that deny almost any research money to find the cause of my disease, since 28 years at least).

Then again, I also strongly hope that the term will not face opposition from the many quasi-liberal postmodernists and relativists who do not want to hear anything bad about anyone and who love to insist that everyone and any belief
is "of the same value" as anyone and as any opposing belief.

In any case, here is an explanation of the term:

Tenets of Pharmaceutical Rape:

Full, informed consent is paramount. If any information for a pharmaceutical product is withheld, omitted, faulty, or misleading, full, informed consent is not possible. The lack of awareness of the full range of hazards about a drug should never obscure a basic acceptance that all drugs are poisons. Where adverse events are occurring and yet fail to become the subject of further attention or scientific study, this is pharmaceutical rape.

No pharmaceutical (including vaccines) is completely safe for everyone in all circumstances. Many have more dangers than are acknowledged. In the current climate, it is difficult if not impossible to judge whether or not full information for a product is being made available. Whenever a pharmaceutical treatment is offered, available alternatives must also be discussed.

Without judicious prescribing and adequate information, any patient can become a pharmaceutical rape victim. There are as many types of pharmaceutical violation as there are pharmaceutical products for which information has been withheld, omitted, or is faulty and/or misleading.

I agree, and add that by the present day this covers most medicines. Period.

The reasons are simple: patents and profits. Nearly all medicines start as patented medicines, and these also are the most profitable, and these days
pharmaceutical corporations have but one real end: Profits, and these as high
as possible.

This is about the root cause of pharmaceutical (and psychiatric and medical) rape:

The Root of Pharmaceutical Rape:

The production and promotion of commercial products that have undisclosed/unacknowledged adverse outcomes for which complete scientific data has been withheld and/or kept unavailable for independent analysis. It is the continued promotion/prescribing of products irregardless of potential/unknown harms for which no follow-up studies are initiated or undertaken to confirm or rule out risks. It is the caviler prescribing of medications while ignoring or downplaying known risks.

That is: The root cause is the
"production and promotion of commercial products that have undisclosed/unacknowledged adverse outcomes for which complete scientific data has been withheld and/or kept unavailable for independent analysis".

This now seems to happen (it is difficult to know, for much is undisclosed that should have been disclosed) in most new medical drugs of any kind. It makes
medical opinions quite uncertain, for these - to be as true as possible - require full disclosure of all the relevant facts for such judgements, and this is no longer the case.

And there is this is about the term "rape" (which I think is quite correct, even though it is metaphorical):

To simply consider the concept, pharmaceutical rape, (and the fact that it goes so widely unnoticed, not to mention unprosecuted), is to take instruction in the power relationship between the multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical corporations and the individuals for whom their products are targeted.

Pharmaceutical rape involves the reckless behavior of industry decision makers (and those who collude with them) that results in bodily damage to individual persons. It results from aggressive corporate decisions as well as drug company dominance in governments, regulatory agencies, academic institutions, medical journals, the psychiatric establishment, medical and mental health care systems, front groups, and the media. Because pharmaceutical rape can be so physically and psychologically destructive to its individual victims, it is a type of violence as opposed to being merely an effect of fraud for financial reward.

In brief, the reason that "rape" is the correct term is the bodily harm that is done to patients.

For me, who has seen the chances dwindle on adequate research money for M.E. during my life because of the lies and frauds and dedeptions of many psychiatrists, who are pseudoscientists anyway (yes, that is an excellent though long argument), this is obviously correct.

For many others, especially those who are healthy and did not have much to do with doctors or medical drugs, and who nearly always do not know much about medicine, psychology or science, it may seem otherwise.

All I can do for them is hope they will stay healthy, and that in case they get ill they get ill with a well-known disease with an easy and obvious and long existing cure.

---------
Note

[1] I am sorry, but I think that the chance that the millions will stand up without a major catastrophy is quite small, while I do think that the only way to avoid a very authoritarian police-state that will extend from the USA to most other states in its sphere of influence is - that many millions stand up.

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