Saturday, May 28, 2016

From two lines in this article: "[I]t was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia." Continuing… "...Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists." Long story short, Kosovo and Serbia were abutting provinces in the former Yugoslavia, and the former was attacking the latter ...supported by Hillary. Flash back to early 2001. The blogger (Dave Griscom) was an Invited Professor of Research at Universtiés de Paris 6 & 7 and, most improbably, a Serbian professor was also invited at the same time doing the exactly the same kind of research! Thus we had to take turns using the main instrument called an ESR spectrometer (see the photo of us in front of this instrument below). We immediately became great friends and corresponded for some time. Then all of a sudden Pavle stopped answering my emails. What could have caused this? I had continued being friendly, and I think that there was no way that I could have offended him personally. So now I finally suppose that he had realized what terrible damage had been done to Serbia by the United States (see Hillary Clinton's key role in this in the article below) that he could no longer be a friend to ANY American. This certainly makes me sad.

Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy of Terror
The “liberation” of Kosovo unleashed radical Islamism in Europe

by , May 25, 2016
Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?

As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.

Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome death by declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.

The Clintonian legacy of enabling Islamist terrorists extends to present day Kosovo, where the New York Times has revealed an extensive network of ISIS-affiliated madrassas – indoctrination centers – funded by the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Kuwaitis. The Times reports:

“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.”

“The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism” in the 17 years since the war ended with Kosovo’s independence, says the Times.
“Since then – much of that time under the watch of American officials – Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.”

Kosovo is jihadi heaven. The Times informs us that “Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars – including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children – who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.”

The Wahabist ideology carried by radical imams is directly financed by the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. All of these countries, by the way, are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton’s Islamist-friendly foreign policy created a terrorist base in Kosovo, and her friends the Saudis are instrumental in setting up the conditions whereby ISIS has gained a foothold in the heart of Europe. At sprawling Camp Bondesteel, where US troops have been stationed since the “liberation,” radical imams recruited three Kosovar employees, including Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who is today a commander of the Islamic State: his claim to fame is that he was videotaped executing a Syrian by blowing him to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade. (“I did not do anything less or more than what KLA soldiers did during the war,” he declared in an interview with an Albanian newspaper.)

After ignoring the problem for years, the authorities are making a show of rounding up terrorist suspects: five were recently arrested and given long sentences, but there are hundreds more where that came from.

Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe.

This is “blowback” with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the “mainstream” media isn’t holding them to account. The Times story on the rise of ISIS in Kosovo never mentions the dubious duo, and is vague when it reports on the three employees of Camp Bondesteel who wound up in Syria’s terrorist camps. Who are the other two besides Muhaxheri? Did  they receive any military training? This Reuters report confirms that NATO brought Muhaxheri to Iraq, where he worked for two years at a military base.

And there’s more where he came from. As Reuters informs us:

“Thousands of Kosovars have moved on from Bondsteel to work with U.S. contractors on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, earning the kind of money they can only dream of in Kosovo.”

The terrorist pipeline runs from Kosovo, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and then on to Syria – where they fill the ranks of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Could there be a more perfect illustration of how the principle of “blowback” works, and how we’re creating an army of Frankenstein monsters?

All this brings back memories  of’s first days: this site was born as a protest against US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Back then we warned again and again (and again!) about the specter of Islamist extremism as the energizing ideology of the Albanian separatists, both in Kosovo and Bosnia.

We were right on target.

That’s the great advantage of being a regular reader of – we bring you the news before it happens. That’s years before it happens.

But we can’t continue to do it without your support – your financial assistance is critical to our continued existence.

Unlike the War Party, we here at don’t get seven-figure donations from big foundations, foreign countries, or anybody else for that matter. We depend on you – our readers and supporters – for the funds we need to do our work.

And we need your help today. Our fundraising campaign has entered a crucial phase: a group of generous donors has contributed $29,000 – but we can’t get those funds until and unless we match that money in smaller donations.

That’s where you come in.

We’ve been holding down the fort for over 20 years – yes, that’s right. It seems like only yesterday when we first burst on the scene, but in reality a lot of time has passed – enough to demonstrate that we’ve been right so many times that we might as well be officially designated an authentic oracle.
It takes a lot of effort – and, yes, some money – to keep this site going. We’ve done our part, day in and day  out, for two decades – and now it’s time for you to do your part. We aren’t asking for a lot: what we spend annually is a drop in the bucket compared to what the War Party spends. And yet it’s enough to get by – and that’s all we ask.

Please – make your tax-deductible donation today.


You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

Read more by Justin Raimondo

Friday, May 20, 2016

Do you ever wonder why Paul Craig Roberts refers to Hillary Clinton as "Killary"? Well read this. This artical was composed by Michael Collins, a friend of mine who writes factual articals on places and people that most U.S. readers would not learn about from the so-called "mainstream media".

What about violence from the Clinton campaign?

By Michael Collins
(Creative Commons 4.0)

Some rough housing at a Democratic Party convention in Nevada over the weekend shocked party leaders and the mainstream media. The official custodians of propriety demand that Sanders control his followers and denounce their actions. The double standard on this issue is simply appalling since the Clinton campaign represents failed policies that got 350,000 killed and future plans (the “no fly zone” for Syria) that will cost even more lives.

To be specific, Hillary Clinton’s policies, as secretary of state, helped launch the Libyan regime change operation. To date, 100,000 Libyans are dead due to that foreign policy fiasco. Clinton was the tip of the spear for the “Assad must go” movement resulting in major support for extremist jihadist fighters attacking the sovereign state of Syria. Why? Because Assad didn’t just amble off when then Secretary of State Clinton commanded him to he leave his office and nation. The death toll in Syria is 250,000.

In sum, Hillary Clinton’s past policies and efforts resulted in 350,000 dead people. She is the only remaining presidential candidate with a major death toll.

Clinton supporters need to accept the simple truth that their candidate vigorously supports violent policies that caused suffering, death, and the destruction of two nations. The essence of Clinton’s time in the Senate and as Secretary of State revolves around violence – supporting the Iraq war and the attacks on Libya and Syria.
Having said that, lets look at the smear campaign against Sanders due to the actions of some outraged supporters at a Nevada convention last weekend.

From Bernie Sanders can’t afford to stay silent any longer, McClatchy DC, May 19:
“Over the weekend, dozens of Sanders devotees lost their minds after the Nevada Democratic Party, meeting for its convention in Las Vegas, awarded a majority of delegates to front-runner Hillary Clinton.
“Convinced that the establishment had rigged the rules and that Sanders delegates had been excluded for unfair reasons, they booed and traded barbs with people on stage, including Clinton surrogate and keynote speaker U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.”
What’s wrong with that? The Democratic Party has systematically discriminated against the Sanders campaign through any number of documented actions. DNC Chairperson, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, FL), accused the Sanders campaign of intentionally hacking a DNC voter database and cut the campaign off from access.

Rank and file Democrats have every right to be outraged. They’re finding out what Republican voters are discovering, that primary elections are just widow dressing for the ultimate will of the party leaders.

Democrats have a special anti-democracy feature that is so outrageous even Republicans shy away from it: super delegates. The party selects 719 superdelegates who can vote as they choose, without any regard to the outcome of presidential primaries in their respective states. What’s that about? Isn’t that a reason to be outraged?

The McClatchyDC editorial goes on to make some points that are too pathetic to even repeat with the exception of their insistence that Sanders stand up to the mob.

OK, let me get this straight. Some pissed off Sanders delegates act out at a state meeting where they think they’re getting screwed and all of a sudden they’re a mob. Here’s the translation of standing up to the mob: smacking down rank and file citizens who have the unmitigated gall to think they have a right to be heard, to have their votes counted and to receive the respect due every single citizen in this country participating in the election process.

Hillary Clinton must apologize for the violence she perpetrated in Libya and Syria.

Hillary Clinton must retract her plans for support of more violence in Syria, particularly the insane “no fly zone” propose, and Hillary Clinton must swear that she will no longer support extremist jihadists disguised as moderates.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters need a reality check about the policies of violence they endorse by supporting this candidate. They can either reject the violence their candidate or embrace it and stop whining about a little shoving and shouting in Nevada.
Creative Commons 4.0

Friday, May 13, 2016

Michael Hudson has long believed to me and others as the top economist looking after the rights of the people of the US and Europe. However, my attention to this particular Hudson column was thanks to ace economist Paul Craig Roberts, who summerized it in this way: "In his May 9, 2016, speech to European medical professionals, Michael Hudson points out that the result of TTIP for Europe will be the privatization of health care systems with the associated much higher costs. Hudson’s accurate description of TTIP shows that politically powerful corporations have gained the power in Western “democracies” to sacrifice the welfare of all populations to corporate greed for profit regardless of the cost to peoples, countries, and societies."

The Dangers of Free Trade Agreements: TTIP's Threat to Europe's Elderly

The most obvious approach to look at how European care for the elderly will evolve is to project technological trends and the costs of people living longer as diagnostic equipment, drug treatments and other medical science continues to improve. This kind of projection shows a rising cost to society of pensions and health care, because a rising proportion of the aging population is retiring. How will economies pay for it?

I want to point to some special problems that are looming on the political front. I assume that the reason you have invited me from America is that my country has been doing just about everything wrong in its health care. Its experience may provide an object lesson for what Europe should avoid (and indeed, has avoided up to this point).

For starters, privatization is much more expensive than European-style Single Payer public health care. Monopoly prices also are higher. And of course, fraud is a problem.

America’s Obamacare and health insurance laws have been written by political lobbyists for special interests. So has the TTIP: Transatlantische Handelsabwollen. Since George W. Bush, the U.S. Government has been prohibited from bargaining for low bulk prices from the pharmaceutical companies. Most Americans think that Health Management Organizations (HMOs) are rife with corruption and billing fraud. The insurance sector has made a killing by spending a great deal of money on bureaucratic techniques to reject patients who seem likely to require expensive health care. Doctors need to hire specialists working full time just to fill out the paperwork. Error is constant, and any visit to the doctor, even for a simple annual checkup, requires many hours by most patients on the phone with their insurance company to correct over-billing.

The dream of U.S. “free market” lobbyists to shift the costs of health care onto its users instead of as a public program. According to current plans backed both by the Republicans and by much of the Democratic Party leadership, these user costs ideally would be paid by pre-saving in special “health savings” accounts, to be managed by Wall Street banks as a kind of mutual fund (with all the financial risks this entails – the same kind of risks that are troubling most U.S. pension funds today).

The reason why the U.S. discussion of health care for the elderly is so relevant for Europeans is that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that President Barack Obama pushed on German Chancellor Angela Merkel two weeks ago. It poses a far-reaching threat to European policies.

The agreement has been drawn up in secret, and has only been available to Congressmen in a special room as a read-only copy. Not even Congressional staff have been permitted to see the details. The reason is that the terms of the TTIP are so awful that it could never be approved by voters. That is why the lobbyists for banks, insurance companies, drug companies, oil and gas companies and other special interests that wrote the law are trying to bypass democratic government and going directly to Brussels – and in the United States to the Executive Branch of government.

The aim of the TTIP is to replace the application of national laws with special courts of referees nominated by the special interests. This includes the organization of health care. Last week Britain’s main labor union, Unite, warned that the TTIP would mean that the National Health Service would have to be wound down and privatized.[1] Although “Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy do have explicit reservations in the TTIP text to protect existing rules relating to healthcare,” the privatization lobbyist strategy is to have the treaty “provisionally applied” to force matters, by backing compliant politicians. Objections will be sidestepped as the “provisional’ law becomes a fait accompli.

I think that the best perspective that I can give you is to discuss how the various interest groups are working to shape political decisions regarding the public and private role of health care. This is an area I have been involved with for forty years. In 1976, I contributed the economic section for two reports by The Futures Group in Glastonbury, Connecticut for the National Science Foundation analyzing the economic and financial consequences of life‑extending technology: When We Live Longer: Prospects for America (with Herb Gurjuoy et al., 1977) and A Technology Assessment of Life-Extending Technologies (Vol. 5: Demography, Economics and Aging, 1977). I believe these were the first reports to pinpoint the implications for the Social Security system of an aging population and its inter-generational financial tensions.

American politicians and economic futurists were concerned with the effect on public health budgets of a rising proportion of the population able to live out the maximum present human lifespan of 125 years (called “squaring” the life expectancy curve). What is the best public response to what should be a dream being realized? More to the point, how should governments cope with special interests seeking merely to profiteer from such breakthroughs – and use their promise in an extortionate manner?

Every interest group has its own perspective. Most politicians in the United States are lawyers, and they worried that the Social Security, pension and health care contracts were a legal right that could not be broken or modified. President Eisenhower had called Social Security the “third rail” of American politics – meaning that any politician or party that sought to downgrade its promises would quickly be voted out of office.

It was obvious that a population living longer would receive more Social Security and pension payments, and that a rising proportion of national income would be spent on their health care. Some of the politicians I talked to were so pessimistic about the costs involved that one said that he was sorry that kidney dialysis procedures had been invented, because with so many people having kidney problems, it would cost a fortune to provide this service to everyone who medically needed it.

Some politicians sought ways to not to fund expensive medical technologies – on the ground that if these were developed, the government might have an obligation to supply the most expensive technologies (especially dialysis and organ transplants) to the population at large. The costs of doing this would absorb nearly all the economic growth.

One set of futures envisioned that the more costly medical treatments might become available only on islands – in the Caribbean, for instance. After all, did not Hippocrates practice on the island of Cos?

As forecast decades ago, health care is the most sharply rising cost in the United States. What none of us were cynical enough to forecast was the corrupt role played by special interests in maximizing the costs by treating each element of health care as a profit center – indeed, as an opportunity to extract monopoly rent.

Privatization of health insurance under Obamacare has been a bonanza for the financial sector and the insurance industry. Initially a Republican “free market” proposal, it required the Democratic Party in power to disable popular pressure for “Medicare for all” in the form of single payer public health care. No discussion within Congress was even permitted to favor public health care. (I was economic advisor to Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, whom the Democratic Party leadership blocked from even discussing a public option in the Congressional debate.)

The enormous power of lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry bought the loyalty of politicians who blocked anti-trust laws from being applied against the drug companies. As I noted earlier, these lobbyists even succeeded in blocking the government from negotiating directly with the drug companies over prices.

I mention these points because the U.S. solution should serve as an object lesson for what European and other countries should avoid in managing their care for the elderly. This is especially important to Europe, because its neoliberal policies favoring the financial sector imply a slow economic crash squeezing household and employer budgets. Five concerns are paramount.

Triage: restricting the most expensive health care only to the wealthy

Lower incomes lead to shorter lifespans as a result of worse health, and also suicides. Marriage and birth rates also are lower as economies polarize and growth slows. Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and other post-Soviet states show this – and it may be a forecast of European experience. This raises the ratio of elderly to working-age populations. A slowly growing labor force must support more and more retirees.

Studies in almost every country have shown that health standards and lifespans are polarizing between wealthy and poor. A recent U.S. study notes: “The life-expectancy gap between rich and poor in the United States is actually accelerating. Since 2001, American men among the nation’s most affluent 5 percent have seen their lifespans increase by more than two years. American women in that bracket have registered an almost three-year extension to their life expectancy. Meanwhile, the poorest five percent of Americans have seen essentially no gains at all.”[2]

This has important implications regarding recent proposals to raise the retirement age at which people can qualify for Social Security. Only the well to do are living longer, not blue-collar labor. Raising the retirement age would deprive the latter of the retirement years that better-paid individuals enjoy as a result of their healthier lives.

I mentioned above one scenario drawn by futurists: that the best medical care might only be available in “medical islands” or their equivalent in the United States, called “Cadillac health insurance plans.”

Blaming the victims for their unhealthy environment as if the problem were their “personal responsibility.”

George W. Bush recommended that the poor simply should go to hospital emergency wards when they get sick. This obviously is the most expensive approach. Prevention is by far more economical. But public moves along this line are being fought tooth and nail by the tobacco and soft-drink industries, and other purveyors of bad health.

Better health and longer lifespans are achieved not only by advanced medical technology, but by better public health standards, and personal diets and exercise. The most serious behaviors impairing health and longevity are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and eating junk foods to the point of obesity. In the United States, childhood diabetes is rising sharply, especially among racial and ethnic minorities, and the poor in general.

An obvious way to keep down health expenditures is to lead a more healthy life. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg sought to ban the sale of large sugar-drink servings. Lawyers for the junk-food industry, supported by fast food restaurants and movie theaters, blocked his initiative. And an even more powerful legal tool to block public health warnings is contained in the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement and its European counterpart, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. These proposed treaties follow the earlier North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in levying enormous fines on government who warn populations of the dangers of smoking or other unhealthy behavior that is highly profitable to cigarette companies, soft drink “sugar water” makers, and fast food restaurants selling food-like substances that give little nourishment. Under the proposed neoliberal agreement being put in the hands of Brussels politicians by American lobbyists, government warnings of the health hazards of smoking will require these governments to pay the tobacco companies what they would have earned if cigarette sales had not declined as a result of these warnings! Fines already have been levied against Australia for seeking to improve public health by requiring such warnings on cigarette packages. A recent Australian report concludes:

Tobacco policies implemented in the past have been effective at decreasing overall rates of smoking, but new and innovative interventions will be needed in the future to affect change in all populations.

Six chapters were identified with potential to limit governments’ ability to implement tobacco control policies. The key chapters are: investment, particularly the ISDS mechanism; rules related to trademarks in intellectual property, regulatory coherence, cross-border services and technical barriers to trade. … Multiple chapters may also interact with the potential for amplified effects on tobacco control. Various provisions in these parts of the TPP may provide the tobacco industry with greater influence over policymaking and more avenues to contest tobacco control measures, as well as preventing governments from introducing new policies.[3]

Last week the European Court of Justice upheld the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive against challenges from British-American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris. Like similar laws in other countries, the European law called for public warnings on cigarette packs telling smokers that nicotine kills. But the tobacco companies vowed to fight back, and the TTIP is now their major hope.

Dangers of privatization of health law under the TTIP

A recent British article lays out the problem:
A salient goal of TTIP is to shadow the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), an instrument of public international law granting firms the right to raise an action in a tribunal on the basis that a state’s policies have harmed their commercial interests. … The economist Max Otte has called ISDS ‘a complete disempowerment of politics’. The tribunals are confidential, as is usual in arbitration. Negotiations over ISDS within TTIP are also secret, the aim being to get the ink dry on the agreement before it can provoke opposition by being made public. …
As the Economist put it, ‘if you wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do.’[4]

Dangers of financialization

The most efficient way to finance care for the elderly – and pensions – remains pay-as-you-go planning. This is becoming difficult in a neoliberal political environment with shrinking economic growth and consequent demographic shrinkage. The horror story today is a Ukraine-like situation where the labor force has fled, leaving the elderly to be supported without much of a social budget. That is becoming the post-Soviet model, from East Germany to the Baltics.

The American situation is worse, because Social Security, Medicare and pensions are front-loaded by being financialized – paid for in advance. For decades, savings have been set aside in the form of stock and bond purchases. The problem is that when more workers retire than are contributing to the pension plan or similar plans, their prices will decline. This will leave the retirement plan under-funded.

As interest rates have been reduced to nearly zero since 2008 by Quantitative Easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve and now European Central Bank, pension funds and insurance companies have become desperate to meet their statistically required targets. They have turned to gambling on complex financial derivatives – and have lost heavily, because their managers are no match for Wall Street sharpies.

It may be appropriate here to note the monetary madness of the eurozone not having a central bank to monetize budget deficits to spend into the economy to help it grow. That is the proper function of a real central bank, from the Bank of England to the U.S. Federal Reserve System. European voters are being frightened by junk economics claiming that only commercial banks should create money and credit, not central banks. The reality is that central banks can create the money to fund health programs without inflating the economy. What would inflate health care costs, especially proper care for the elderly, would be privatization and a relinquishing of health policy to the large corporations best in a position to profiteer.

Danger of trade agreements raising the cost of drugs and medical technology

The technological medical revolution involves high rent-extracting opportunities, especially in treating the elderly. The Australian study cited above notes the dangers posed by the TPP (and hence also by its European version) to public health expenditure, especially health costs for the elderly. Designed largely to protect “intellectual property rights,” the proposed treaty aims to increase monopolyrent extraction by the pharmaceutical sector.

Provisions proposed for the TPP that have the potential to limit implementation of new food labelling requirements in Australia include the ISDS mechanism; the regulatory coherence chapter and technical barriers to trade chapter. Provisions in these parts of the TPP have the potential to restrict policymakers to regulate using the most effective public health nutrition instruments. For example, the food industry could argue that introduction of mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labelling would be a technical barrier to trade. Without strong compensatory intervention to improve consumer awareness of the relative healthfulness of foods, it is likely that there will be no change to current high rates of obesity, metabolic syndrome and non-communicable diseases. This would have a negative impact on health, particularly for vulnerable populations.

For starters, the trade agreement limits the ability of public or community pharmacies to bargain for lower drug prices. Also, any attempt at anti-monopoly legislation would require governments to pay the foreign producers or investors as much money as they would have earned if no “interference with markets” (that is, regulation of monopoly prices) had existed. This would sharply increase the cost of healthcare, and “many TPP provisions proposed during the negotiations are likely to be harmful to health.”

There is sufficient evidence which show that increases in the cost of medicines lead to greater patient copayments through the PBS, and that increases in patient copayments lead to lower rates of prescription use. Changes to prescription costs impact particularly on vulnerable populations who have less capacity to accommodate increased out-of-pocket expenses such as women, elderly adults, cultural and linguistic minorities, and low-income populations; people with chronic disease; geographically remote communities; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Many provisions proposed for the TPP had the potential to increase the cost of medicines. These were identified in leaked drafts of the intellectual property chapter; the healthcare transparency annex; and the investment chapter, which includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. These provisions, if adopted, could be expected to lead to an increase in the costs of managing the PBS by delaying the availability of generic medicines, and constraining the ability of the PBS to contain costs. An increase in the cost of the PBS to government would be likely to lead to higher copayments for patients.


European sponsors of U.S.-style neoliberalism pose a threat of transforming European politics, and with it the structure of economies and society. Enormous sums of money are being spent on public relations, and to support politicians willing to shepherd corporate monopoly power against that of democratic government and voters. The most serious threat to European health care and care for the aging population in general is pressure from U.S. firms and diplomats to ram through the TTIP.

It is much more than a free trade agreement. Its “investor dispute” mechanism threatens to disenfranchise governments. The intent is to block them from protecting Europe’s economy, population and basic social philosophy that has developed over the past century of social democracy.

That is why so many of us in the United States also are fighting against this agreement. It has been a major issue in this year’s presidential campaign. Republican nominee Donald Trump has affirmed that the public option is by far the most economic. And Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has opposed Hillary Clinton’s support for her patrons on Wall Street and in the pharmaceutical monopolies. I hope that a similar fight will be waged in Europe.

This is the text of Michael Hudson’s speech to SANICADEMIA, May 9, 2016 in Villach, Austria for the 5th International Congress on Geriatrics and Gerontology = 59th Austrian Convention for Hospital Management, “We’re Living Longer: The healthcare challenges for today and tomorrow.”


[1] Hazel Sheffield, “TTIP could cause an NHS sell-off and UK Parliament would be powerless to stop it, says leading union,” The Independent, April 29 2016.

[2] Sam Pizzigati, “Inequality Kills: Top 1% Lives 15 Years Longer Than the Poorest,” Naked Capitalism, May 3, 2016, originally published at Other Words.

[3] Katherine Hirono, Fiona Haigh, Deborah Gleeson, Patrick Harris, Anne Marie Thow and Sharon Frie, “Is health impact assessment useful in the context of trade negotiations? A case study of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement,” April 4, 2016. The report notes: “The final agreement also included an optional tobacco carve-out from ISDS, allowing TPP countries to prevent the use of ISDS to challenge tobacco control measures. Yet even these apparent ‘wins’ have some limitations. Unlike tobacco, the health system, food and alcohol were not carved out from ISDS, leaving these policy areas vulnerable to claims by foreign investors. While various safeguards have been included to try and protect public health, experts have raised doubts about whether they will be sufficient.”

[4] Glen Newey, “Investors v. States,” London Review of Books blog, April 29, 2016.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

For once I am going to forgo composing a preamble, thus allowing you to read Paul Craig Roberts' latest super-important column exactly as he intended.

Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China — Paul Craig Roberts

May 5, 2016 | Original Here | If you wish to receive his newsletter via email go to Original and sign up at bottom.

Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China  
Can the world wake up?

Paul Craig Roberts

On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:

“Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

“The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.”

The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA.

As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments. As Washington has a long term investment in orchestrating the European Union, Washington is totally opposed to any country exiting the arrangement. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.

Like other European nations, the British people were never allowed to vote on whether they were in favor of their country ceasing to exist and them becoming Europeans. British history would become the history of a bygone people like the Romans and Babylonians.

The oppressive nature of unaccountable EU laws and regulations and the EU requirement to accept massive numbers of third world immigrants have created a popular demand for a British vote on whether to remain a sovereign country or to dissolve and submit to Brussels and its dictatorial edicts. The vote is scheduled for June 23.

Washington’s position is that the British people must not be permitted to decide against the EU, because such a decision is not in Washington’s interest.

The prime minister’s job is to scare the British people with alleged dire consequences of “going it alone.” The claim is that “little England” cannot stand alone. The British people are being told that isolation will spell their end, and their country will become a backwater bypassed by progress. Everything great will happen elsewhere, and they will be left out.

If the fear campaign does not succeed and the British vote to exit the EU, the open question is whether Washington will permit the British government to accept the democratic outcome.
Alternatively, the British government will deceive the British people, as it routinely does, and declare that Britain has negotiated concessions from Brussels that dispose of the problems that concern the British people.

Washington’s position shows that Washington is a firm believer that only Washington’s interests are important. If other peoples wish to retain national sovereignty, they are simply being selfish. Moreover, they are out of compliance with Washington, which means they can be declared a “threat to American national security.” The British people are not to be permitted to make decisions that do not comply with Washington’s interest. My prediction is that the British people will either be deceived or overridden.

It is Washington’s self-centeredness, the self-absorption, the extraordinary hubris and arrogance, that explains the orchestrated “Russian threat.” Russia has not presented herself to the West as a military threat. Yet, Washington is confronting Russia with a US/NATO naval buildup in the Black Sea ( ), a naval, troop and tank buildup in the Baltics and Poland ( ), missile bases on Russia’s borders, and plans to incorporate the former Russian provinces of Georgia and Ukraine in US defense pacts against Russia.

When Washington, its generals and European vassals declare Russia to be a threat, they mean that Russia has an independent foreign policy and acts in her own interest rather than in Washington’s interest. Russia is a threat, because Russia demonstrated the capability of blocking Washington’s intended invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. Russia blunted one purpose of Washington’s coup in the Ukraine by peacefully and democratically reuniting with Crimea, the site of Russia’s Black Sea naval base and a Russian province for several centuries.

Perhaps you have wondered how it was possible for small countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Venezuela to be threats to the US superpower. On its face Washington’s claim is absurd. Do US presidents, Pentagon officials, national security advisors, and chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff really regard countries of so little capability as military threats to the United States and NATO countries?

No, they do not. The countries were declared threats, because they have, or had prior to their destruction, independent foreign and economic policies. Their policy independence means that they do not or did not accept US hegemony. They were attacked in order to bring them under US hegemony.

In Washington’s view, any country with an independent policy is outside Washington’s umbrella and, therefore, is a threat.

Venezuela became, in the words of US President Obama, an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” necessitating a “national emergency” to contain the “Venezuelan threat” when the Venezuelan government put the interests of the Venezuelan people above those of American corporations.

Russia became a threat when the Russian government demonstrated the ability to block Washington’s intended military attacks on Syria and Iran and when Washington’s coup in the Ukraine failed to deliver to Washington the Russian Black Sea naval base.

Clearly Venezuela cannot possibly pose a military threat to the US, so Venezuela cannot possibly pose an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of the US.” Venezuela is a “threat” because the Venezuelan government does not comply with Washington’s orders.

It is absolutely certain that Russia has made no threats whatsoever against the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Europe, or the United States. It is absolutely certain that Russia has not invaded the Ukraine. How do we know? If Russia had invaded Ukraine, the Ukraine would no longer be there. It would again be a Russian province where until about 20 years ago Ukraine resided for centuries, for longer than the US has existed. Indeed, the Ukraine belongs in Russia more than Hawaii and the deracinated and conquered southern states belong in the US.

Yet, these fantastic lies from the highest ranks of the US government, from NATO, from Washington’s British lackeys, from the bought-and-paid-for Western media, and from the bought-and-paid-for EU are repeated endlessly as if they are God’s revealed truth.

Syria still exists because it is under Russian protection. That is the only reason Syria still exists, and it is also another reason that Washington wants Russia out of the way.

Do Russia and China realize their extreme danger? I don’t think even Iran realizes its ongoing danger despite its close call.

If Russia and China realize their danger, would the Russian government permit one-fifth of its media to be foreign owned? Does Russia understand that “foreign owned” means CIA owned? If not, why not? If so, why does the Russian government permit its own destabilization at the hands of Washington’s intelligence service acting through foreign owned media?

China is even more careless. There are 7,000 US-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) operating in China ( ). Only last month did the Chinese government finally move, very belatedly, to put some restrictions on these foreign agents who are working to destabilize China. The members of these treasonous organizations have not been arrested. They have merely been put under police watch, an almost useless restriction as Washington can provide endless money with which to bribe the Chinese police.

Why do Russia and China think that their police are less susceptible to bribes than Mexico’s or American police? Despite the multi-decade “war on drugs,” the drug flow from Mexico to the US is unimpeded. Indeed, the police forces of both countries have a huge interest in the “war on drugs” as the war brings them riches in the form of bribes. Indeed, as the crucified reporter for the San Jose Mercury newspaper proved many years ago, the CIA itself is in the drug-running business.

In the United States truth-tellers are persecuted and imprisoned, or they are dismissed as “conspiracy theorists,” “anti-semites,” and “domestic extremists.” The entire Western World consists of a dystopia far worse than the one described by George Orwell in his famous book, 1984.

That Russia and China permit Washington to operate in their media, in their universities, in their financial systems, and in “do-good” NGOs that infiltrate every aspect of their societies demonstrates that both governments have no interest in their survival as independent states. They are too scared of being called “authoritarian” by the Western presstitute media to protect their own independence.

My prediction is that Russia and China will soon be confronted with an unwelcome decision:
accept American hegemony or go to war.

NOTE: The Saker’s take on Russian media openness to Western anti-Russian propaganda:

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Dear friends, I came across this article last Thursday and the stock market continued its fall on Friday. What's going on? Well the market dropped greatly in January and only recovered in February because the big companies were buying back their own stocks. The only reason I can think of was to convince "mom and pop" that it is safe to invest again, whereupon the big companies could then buy back their stocks during a momentary drop and later sell them at higher prices thanks to "mom and pop's" investments. But the truth of the matter is that the U.S. government has been lying about the prosperity of the country. They claim that there is only 5% unemployment and that all who want jobs have found one. Big lie! Actually there is 23% unemployment. Moreover, about 50% of American "moms and pops" have no money to spare whatsoever. Playing the stock markets is out of the question for them. Ironically, the big corporations have bitten the government's lies hook, line, and sinker. So dear reader, you should bet against the Dow, Standard and Poors, and Nasdaq, or if that scares you, simply buy a few high quality gold and silver stocks, such as AEM, FNV and SLW (Look them up; they're up 50, 34, and 44% since last October and should continue to rise as other components of the stock markets collapse).

This Indicator Is Still Flashing A Bear Market Warning 

The NYSE just released the margin debt numbers for March and, considering the rally in stocks we’ve seen, it wasn’t much of an uptick. In fact, the nominal level of margin debt remains well below its 12-month average.

The 12-month rate of change, which is pretty tightly correlated with stocks’ same rate of change, is also still negative.

Now this sort of a downtrend in margin debt doesn’t always lead to a bear market but let’s put it into some context. Not only is margin debt now in a downtrend, it’s coming off of the highest absolute (top chart) and relative (chart below) highs ever seen.

And if you think if margin debt as a simple indicator of potential supply and demand for stocks (when borrowing is low there is great potential demand and vice versa), this should have you worried about another bear market. And the statistics bear this out.

When margin debt has reached relative extremes it has been a very good indicator of, in the words of Warren Buffett, broad investor, “fear and greed.” To demonstrate, when financial speculation relative to the overall size of the economy has been very low, forward 3-year returns have been very good and vice versa.

What’s important to note today is that margin debt is now in a downtrend and its massive relative size suggests returns over the next 3 years will be very poor. In other words, based solely on this one measure, buying stocks today presents investors with a great deal of risk for very little potential reward.