Jun 3, 2016

Crisis: Illegal FBI, Obama, Big Pharma, TPP, Corbyn on TTIP
Sections                                                                     crisis index

FBI Kept Demanding Email Records Despite DOJ
     Saying It Needed a Warrant

2. Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie
     Sanders Happened

3. How Big Pharma Preps You to Buy Drugs You Probably
     Don't Need

4. Money Merry-Go-Round: Emails Show How Wall Street
     Execs and Alums Crafted Trade Bill

5. Jeremy Corbyn: I Would Kill TTIP

This is a Nederlog of Friday, June 3, 2016.

This is a crisis log. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item 1 is about the illegal practices of the FBI (that illegally demands things it knows it has no right to, but does so nevertheless); item 2 is about cutting social security (that only Bernie Sanders - of the US's main politicians - is honestly against, it seems to me); item 3 is about what the pharmaceutical corporations and modern medicine are really about: Selling as much as possible of medicines that are expensive - that is: as profitable - as possible; item 4 is about how corrupt Wall Street executives cooperated to get precisely the TTP they wanted (all in secret); and item 5 is about Jeremy Corbyn, who is one of the few real leftists, who would kill the TTIP if he were prime minister.

1. FBI Kept Demanding Email Records Despite DOJ Saying It Needed a Warrant

The first item i
s by Jenna McLaughlin on The Intercept:

This started as follows:

The secret government requests for customer information Yahoo made public Wednesday reveal that the FBI is still demanding email records from companies without a warrant, despite being told by Justice Department lawyers in 2008 that it doesn’t have the lawful authority to do so.

That comes as a particular surprise given that FBI Director James Comey has said that one of his top legislative priorities this year is to get the right to acquire precisely such records with those warrantless secret requests, called national security letters, or NSLs. “We need it very much,” Comey told Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., during a congressional hearing in February.

What this illegally operating FBI-freak "needs" the information for is completely undocumented, but the FBI wants it all, also if it is illegal,
which it knows since 2008.

But the FBI is not bound by any laws it does not appove of:

In 2008, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that the FBI was only entitled to get the name, address, length of service, and toll billing records from companies without a warrant. Opinions issued by the OLC are generally treated as binding and final within the executive branch.

The FBI has said it disagrees with that conclusion, and interprets the opinion differently, according to a 2014 inspector general report. It sees the question as more of an “impasse” than an actual legal barrier.

Speaking for myself, I also see no reason whatsoever that the FBI gets the name, address, length of service and toll billing records of anyone without
specific evidence that these persons have committed a crime
: They are not criminals, and their private communications should be left alone - as prescribed by the Fourth Amendment.

But the FBI wants everything, and it also proceeds to want everything if this illegal, and it proceeds to try to scam small companies with false and phony legal threats:

Chris Soghoian, chief technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, said FBI agents might be hoping at least some recipients don’t know they lack the authority they claim to have.

“Essentially, the FBI believes they can ask for the sun, the moon and the stars in an NSL, while knowing that tech companies don’t have to turn over anything more than name, address and length of service,” he wrote in an email.

“The FBI asks for so much, because it is banking that some companies won’t know the law and will disclose more than they have to. … The FBI is preying on small companies who don’t have the resources to hire national security law experts,” he argued.

The FBI has been doing this illegal fraud now for eight years, but few seem to care that the USA's federal police has been doing these illegal scams for eight years now.

There is more in the article, that is recommended.

2. Obama Wanted to Cut Social Security. Then Bernie Sanders Happened.

The second item is b
y Zaid Jilani on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:

President Barack Obama endorsed an expansion of Social Security for the first time on Wednesday.

“We can’t afford to weaken Social Security,” he said during a speech on economic policy in Elkhart, Indiana. “We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous, and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned.”

The increased benefits, he said, could be paid for “by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more. They can afford it. I can afford it.”

This was a far cry from Obama’s position on the program in late 2012, when his administration argued for reducing Social Security benefits by recalculating the way cost of living adjustments are made.

Yes, indeed. Since I don't want to advertise propaganda and fraud this is the only bit from this article I review: Barack Obama, after eight years of trying to kill or diminish social security, now "supports" extending it, indeed essentially because Bernie Sanders support for social security is real and popular, since 1971.

There is more in the article. (I do not believe Obama. Period.)

3. How Big Pharma Preps You to Buy Drugs You Probably Don't Need

The third
item is by Martha Rosenberg on AlterNet and originally on The Influence:
This starts as follows - and incidentally (1) this is about the USA and not about Europe for in Europe advertising for most medicines is forbidden or restrained, and (2) this is strongly related to item 4 of June 1 (in which a
US psychiatrist describes the thoroughly corrupt and fraudulent "medical research" that now is the basis of "psychiatry" in the USA):

Did you ever wonder why new medications so often debut right after awareness of the condition they treat increases? It is no coincidence. The tactic is called unbranded advertising and “disease awareness,” and drug companies spend more on it than they do for regular advertising.

Unbranded disease advertising usually suggests that many more people suffer from a condition than anyone thought—it may even be a “silent epidemic.” It lists symptoms, offers “quizzes” and tries to scare people into “seeing your doctor.” The diseases may not be “made up,” but usually exist in much smaller numbers than is suggested. What disease awareness advertising does not do is tell you the drug that is being marketed for the condition or the company behind the “education.” (Which is why it is called “unbranded.”)

Incidentally, this also happens in the form of "regular journalistic articles" that purport to give "regular reports" by "regular journalists" - who act like careerist
liars but (of course) don't say so.

Also, this kind of indirect advertising probably does work in Europe as well. Here are some of the many advantages that fake "reporting" has over explicit advertising:

Pharma companies love disease awareness advertising because, unlike direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, risks and warnings of possible drug treatments do not have to be listed. In DTC ads, the risks and warnings are often as long as the sales pitch itself, and sometimes perversely “unsell” the drug even as the viewer is looking at sunsets and puppies.

And this is how The Guardian described it:

“Typically, a corporate-sponsored ‘disease awareness’ campaign focuses on a mild psychiatric condition with a large pool of potential sufferers. Companies fund studies that prove the drug’s efficacy in treating the affliction, a necessary step in obtaining FDA approval for a new use, or ‘indication.’ Prominent doctors are enlisted to publicly affirm the malady’s ubiquity, then public-relations firms launch campaigns to promote the new disease, using dramatic statistics from corporate-sponsored studies.”

“Finally, patient groups are recruited to serve as the ‘public face’ for the condition, supplying quotes and compelling stories for the media; many of the groups are heavily subsidized by drugmakers, and some operate directly out of the offices of drug companies’ PR firms.”

Note that this is a five-step process of deception, fraud, propaganda and carefully prepared consciously plugged falsehoods, exaggerations and lies:

(1) there are often falsified reports on efficacy of some new patented
(or "medicine");
(2) "prominent doctors" aka "Key Opinion Leaders" in "medicine" are enlisted
      for good pay to support the mostly false or exaggerated claims;
(3) "public relations" liars are rented to spread campaigns based on the
      falsified statistics that were corporate-sponsored;
(4) "patients groups" now enter the propaganda with more propaganda for the
      false or exaggerated claims, without telling anyone that
(5) in fact many of these groups are (at least) heavily subsidized by the
     drug companies whose products they support.

The usual end is a great profit for the pharmaceutical corporations, and considerable profits for the KOLs who in fact advertised the "medicine", and profits for the medical doctors who prescribe it: Everybody profits (other than the patients), and that is the - new - end of medicine-as-is.

Also, one of the beauties of the schema is that everybody involved (other than the patients) is thoroughly corrupt and fraudulent, yet all pretend to be Honest Medical Scientists (Look! Look!! They all wear their Infallible Medical Sign around their necks: The Stethoscope! [1]).

There is more on June 1, 2016. And here is a link to an article I wrote five years ago, on how intelligent people (!) can recognize these frauds. There is
more in the article before that last one.

4. Money Merry-Go-Round: Emails Show How Wall Street Execs and Alums Crafted Trade Bill

The fourth item is by Kathy Kiely on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:

Foreign corporations could sue to undermine US protections for consumers’ health, safety and financial security under a provision added to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) after executives of big banks pressed the nation’s chief trade negotiator, himself a former big-bank executive, to include it.

A series of emails, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released last week by Rootstrikers, an organization that opposes the trade deal now pending before Congress, confirm the push by financial service companies for the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provision. ISDS, as it is referred to by the cognoscenti writing the emails, would, in the words of one critic, Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach, “elevate individual investors to the status of a nation-state” in trade disputes.

Yes, indeed. This - the fact that "individual investors" (and only they) achieve "the status of a nation-state”, which they (and only they) can attack for delivering less profits than the individual investors desire - is what made me identify the TTP (and the TTIP, the TISA and also the NAFTA) as fundamental neofascist schemes that hand the power in states to the multi-national corporations.

Then again, my handicap is that I know a lot about politics and about fascism,
while most others who write about it know a lot less.

The present schema only supports my thesis:

The emails also are bound to reinforce the suspicion that US trade policy is being set by what might be called an “executariat” of corporate and government leaders who periodically swap positions for their mutual benefit. “They’re written as if they are being sent between colleagues,” says Dennis Kelleher of the watchdog group Better Markets. “That’s because the writers all have been, currently are or will be colleagues at major Wall Street firms.”

And the major Wall Street firms are criminal organizations that are not prosecuted on the fake ground that "they are too big to fail", but whose leading men all are or were or will be part of the government for a while (in order to deregulate even more), after which they return to their extremely well-paying banking jobs...

Ah well. This is a recommended article.
5. Jeremy Corbyn: I Would Kill TTIP

The fifth
and last item today is by Andrea Germanos on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn took aim at the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on Thursday, saying he would kill the controversial U.S. and EU trade deal should he become prime minister.

His comments came during a speech in London campaigning to remain in the EU just three weeks ahead of the Brexit
referendum, which Corbyn has framed as an "era-defining moment" for workers' rights.

And Jeremy Corbyn - one of the (rather few) real leftists in the Labour Party - is quite right. Here is some more on his opinions:

"Many thousands of people have written to me, with their concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP) the deal being negotiated, largely in secret, between the U.S. and the EU," he said in his speech in London.

"Many people are concerned rightly that it could open up public services to further privatization—and make privatization effectively irreversible," he added. "Others are concerned about any potential watering down of consumer rights, food safety standards, rights at work or environmental protections, and the facility for corporations to sue national governments if regulations impinged on their profits," he said, referring to ISDS tribunals.

He also referenced French President François Hollande's signaling his opposition to the deal last month, adding, "So today we give this pledge, as it stands, we too would reject TTIP—and veto it in Government."

Yes. And what will you call a society in which
  • public services are privatized (more profitable)
  • consumer rights are abandoned (more profitable)
  • food safety standards are abandoned (more profitable)
  • workers rights are abandoned (more profitable)
  • environmental protections are abandoned (more profitable)
  • (only) corporations can sue national goverments (more profitable)?!
No, this can impossibly be fascism? Trust Obama! He means well! Trust the multi-national corporations! They work for your best interests!!

I am sorry, but I don't trust them. Not one bit.


[1] I am sorry, but I am ill for 37 years without getting any help whatsoever: I am a psychologist and a philosopher who has given up on "modern medicine", simply because I have been systematically lied to or not helped by 90% of the medics I turned to for help, and because I know the reasons why medicine got thoroughly corrupted: By profits.

And I have seen so many stethoscopes that any "doctor" I see with a stethoscope is a sign for me that I very probably am seeing yet another medical fraud: Even psychiatrists wear stethoscopes and blue rubber gloves to "prove" to the medically innocent that they are Medical Specialists.

These days, "medicine" doesn't serve patients anymore: it serves profits for medical persons and pharmaceutical corporations.

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