Press**Watch: smash the mental handcuffs


Our minds have been tasered and handcuffed into a state of paralysis.  We need to start breaking through the mental handcuffs before we can even begin to make progress against the ultra-greed class that is destroying this planet.  Smash the tasers and snap the handcuffs of corporate conformity!
Let’s take the example of health care.  Our heads are so handcuffed that we can’t even start to say what we want and need.  Sane countries have a national health service, which is communally provided the same as road crews and fire departments are here.  They directly provide medical care, and the cost is shared, once again, the same way you share the cost for the fire department.  No one is going broke paying for the fire department, and certainly no one is waiting in line to ask if the fire in their house can be put out.  It’s just instant direct service.  Your house lights up here, the fire department shows up.  Your kid gets sick in Britain, the doctor shows up.  Direct service.  No payment.  No insurance profiteer saying you can’t have the doctor.  A British doctor would push aside any ninny trying to stop him on the way to a house call for a sick kid; no excuse would do.

But here in the US we allow the ninnies to kill us and our kids.  They’re called health insurance executives, and we pay them thousands of dollars per hour.  Somehow this is okay in the US, and it’s really because of the handcuffs on our frontal lobes.  There are real handcuffs at the hospitals, too, attached to armed security guards who are necessary to keep people from loudly demanding their right to health care, Aunt Susie’s right to a chemo treatment, or whatever.  That is the true face of corporate capitalism, the guard that keeps you away from healing treatment.

People have died waiting for treatment in overcrowded emergency rooms, too, and that is direct murder by the health denial corporations, which force uninsured people into the ERs for all treatment.  Ever given up waiting in an ER for treatment for a bloody cut or a painful injury?  I have.  You lose, the health denial industry wins, because they pay that much less for actual services.  ER crowding didn’t exist before the health denial industry cranked up its blood money machine—I’m old enough to remember.  It’s not the natural state of affairs, and it will go away as soon as we kill the health denial corporations. 

  Let’s suppose that the persons killing 400 Americans per day were not our familiar Armani-suited executives in the health denial industry, but rather, say, a cadre of die-hard Mussolini fanatics who had sailed over here in Venetian gondolas to take revenge for losing to Allied forces in World War Two.  My apologies to the wonderful Italian community, but that’s about as ridiculous a scenario as I could think of, so that even Fox News watchers won’t start shooting Italians or something.  Suppose these Mussolini fascist invaders started killing 400 people every day, what do you think the public response would be?  Would we shrug our shoulders and say “Oh well, they paid off Congress and always will, so there’s nothing we can do?”  Would we ask our legislators to cut a deal so that the Mussolini killers would agree to kill, say, only 350 per day in exchange for trillions of dollars over the next decade?  But that’s what we’ve done with the health denial industry.

 But no, of course we wouldn’t react that way, because the Mussolini murderers wouldn’t have had decades to put handcuffs on our brains.  We’d say “kill the Mussoliniites!”  Volunteers would pour into the streets and bang on the doors of the Army recruitment offices.  Mobs would burn mounds of pasta and Rossini CDs.  Anyone driving a Fiat would be doomed.

 So why do we accept murder at the hands of the health denial industry executives?  Break the handcuffs, kill the health denial corporations.  Notice that I said “kill the corporations,” which doesn’t mean so much as bruising any one person.  Fortunately the corporations can be killed, can be slaughtered in the fields, with the stroke of a pen.  No blood need flow.  And I say let that pen mow them down!  Obliterate the health denial industry!  Leave it a smoking hole of unpaid liabilities!  Well, maybe it would be fun to smash the computers they use to keep track of pre-existing conditions, but only after the courts release them when we win the case against their inhuman predation.

 Four hundred dead per day—sacrificed on the altar of Mammon, the old style orators would say.  The victims are our selves, our friends, relatives, our loved ones.  Have you lost a loved one to the corporate killers?  Can’t we kill the corporate health denial system instead? 

We don’t actually need health insurance in the medical system at all. Do we have road-use insurance?  Do you pay an extra premium in case you need to drive to Seattle?  Does the local fire department keep a list of who is up to date on premium payments, and consult it before answering a fire call?  No?  Then let’s get rid of this ridiculous idea of health insurance.  Every one of us is mortal and will need care at some point in our lives.   We’ll save trillions in administrative costs, executive pay, and infrastructure that won’t even need to exist, once we kill the health denial industry and institute national health service.

Doctor pay could go up.  More hospitals could be built in rural areas.  No one would ever have to die of a pre-existing and therefore untreated condition.  The words “pre-existing” would pass out of memory.  Doctors could make house calls.  All if we have the guts the collective courage to destroy the health denial industry and institute a national health service.  Public option?  A mere sop.  Health co-op? A diversion.  Single Payer?  It’s still health insurance, and leaves the killers standing.  I say no to all of that; let’s raise the stakes to the level of a real, modern industrial society.  Free health service for all, and death to the health denial industry.  Ban the health denial industry.  Outlaw the health denial industry.  Destroy the health denial industry.  Kill the health denial industry.  Before it kills you.


 Consider this quote lifted from today’s Raw Story article by Daniel Tencer:

“We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” Bloomberg news service quoted Brian Griffiths as saying. Griffiths is an adviser to Goldman Sachs International and once served as a special adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.”

The quote comes in the context of the revelation that despite the fact that 25% of us can’t find adequate work for our needs, Goldman Sachs is increasing their pay by 46%.  Yes, those famous Wall Street Christmas bonuses are going waaay up—Goldman alone will distribute $16.7 billion to their special homies.  For a job well done.


So Bloomberg’s Brian Griffiths would like us to tolerate the inequality, and that tolerance is greatly aided if we don’t understand the gross inequity of it.  Griffiths is saying that for your day of technically difficult work, you should receive a pile of dollars two inches high, and for his day of lounging in leather chairs speculating, he should receive a pile of dollars the height of the Eiffel Tower.  And that is supposed to be good for the economy.  You can pay taxes and health insurance out of your pile, by the way, and he’s squirrel his away in Swiss bank accounts and brass-plate corporations in the Cayman Islands.  See how well it’s working for the economy?

Quoting another such Tencer article, ““After decades of stability in the post-war period, the top decile share has increased dramatically over the last twenty-five years and has now regained its pre-war level,” Saez writes. “Indeed, the top decile share in 2007 is equal to 49.7 percent, a level higher than any other year since [records began in] 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the ‘roaring’ 1920s.”

By comparison, during most of the 1970s the top 10 percent earned around 33 percent of all the income earned in the United States.

The contrast is even starker for the super-rich. The top 0.01 percent of earners in the US are now taking home six percent of all the income, higher than the 1920s peak of five percent, and a whopping six-fold increase since the start of the Reagan administration, when the top 0.01 percent earned one percent of all the income.”

If you think that’s criminally disruptive of the economy, I think you’re right, and I’d add that we must remember that Goldman and other banksters are the recipients of those multi-billion TARP handouts that were generated by the Bush Administration, so much money that it diluted the value of the dollar internationally, and is now resulting in global political action that may cause the dollar to crash altogether.

In order to realize the extraordinary speeding up of History created by the crisis, let’s remember what kind of a place the world was nine years ago. Nine years ago, G. W. Bush had recently been elected; 9/11 would take place in two years from then; the US were neither stuck in Afghanistan nor in Iraq; Katrina had not yet destroyed New-Orleans; one Euro was worth 0.9 USD; Russia was a country adrift the EU was preparing a constitution meant to be popular; China was a poor international player; the US economy was shown to the world as an example and the United Kingdom was preaching ultra-liberalism throughout Europe; Wall Street’s investment banks seemed invincible,… the list could go on and on. What is highlighted is that each of these events seemed unthinkable to most “experts” just a few weeks before they happened. Therefore it is, in fact, very naïve to consider that it will take nine years until oil is priced other than in dollars, a currency utterly dependent on central banks’ will (increasingly a « bad » will, by the way) to buy, buy and buy more just for the sake of its survival.

As early as the second quarter of 2009, central banks from all over the world undertook to stop accumulating US dollars (dollars accounted for 37 percent only of their currency purchases while they account for 63 percent of their reserves) (8). As early as July 2009, close to USD 100 billion worth of net capital fled the US (9), at the precise moment when the US was claiming to be able to attract more than USD 100 billion a month to help finance the federal deficit (not to mention the other deficits).

In this situation, a fundamental question must be asked: who is really buying these USD 100 billion worth in Treasuries each month? Certainly not US citizens, indebted beyond any reason and left without savings or credit. Certainly not foreign private investors, more and more concerned about the economic health of the US. Certainly not the Chinese, Russian or Japanese central banks, more concerned about curbing their purchases of long-term bonds, and even starting to sell their Treasuries or exchange their long-term bonds against short-term ones. Strangely enough, the Bank of England alone seems to still have this appetite (10). Therefore, we are left we the “usual suspects’, i.e. the Fed and its network of « primary dealers ». “Money printing” is taking place on a far greater scale than acknowledged by the Fed under its official policy of « quantitative easing »!-Global-Systemic-Crisis-The-European-Union-at-a-crossroads-in-2010-an-accomplice-or-a-victim-of_a3885.html

LA Times/KTLA  Oct 20

Alarmed by the spread of the H1N1 flu, local hospitals restricted visitors this week, barring children and capping the number of visitors a patient can see at once.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center this week raised the minimum age for visitors from 12 to 18 and restricted the number of visitors for patients at greatest risk of becoming infected with H1N1, including those in labor and delivery, or in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, according to Dr. Rekha Murthy, medical director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai.

Murthy said restrictions on younger visitors make sense because children are at greater risk of catching the H1N1 flu, and may infect others before they show symptoms.

“This epidemic is different from the typical flu season, and we’re having to respond in a different way,” Murthy said. “It’s spreading like wildfire in the community and we need to protect the patients who are most vulnerable.” 

Cedars-Sinai had restricted visits to at-risk patients during the spring outbreak of H1N1 flu, and the change was appreciated by patients’ families, Murthy said.

She said many area hospitals are considering similar visitor restrictions, especially those that serve transplant patients and others with compromised immune systems at risk of infection.

“Every hospital has to weigh their own populations at risk,” she said. Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys has barred children under 16 from visiting inpatient units or being left unattended in lobbies, waiting rooms or other common areas.

Hospital officials have asked those with flu-like symptoms not to visit, and have limited patients to two visitors at a time. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles has limited patients to two visitors at a time.


CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Info Service Message: Recommendations for Early Empiric Antiviral Treatment in Persons with Suspected Influenza who are at Increased Risk of Developing Severe Disease

Distributed via Health Alert Network

October 19, 2009, 13:51 EDT (01:51 PM EDT)



Summary Recommendations: When treatment of influenza is indicated in a patient with suspected influenza, health care providers should initiate empiric antiviral treatment as soon as possible. Waiting for laboratory confirmation of influenza to begin treatment with antiviral drugs is not necessary. Patients with a negative rapid influenza diagnostic test should be considered for treatment if clinically indicated because a negative rapid influenza test result does not rule out influenza virus infection. The sensitivity of rapid influenza diagnostic tests for 2009 H1N1 virus can range from 10% to 70%, indicating that false negative results occur frequently.


The 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus continues to be the dominant influenza virus in circulation in the U.S. The benefit of antiviral treatment is greatest when it is initiated as early as possible in the clinical course. Several recent reports have indicated two problems related to antiviral treatment: (1) some patients with suspected influenza who are at higher risk of developing severe complications, including hospitalized patients, were not treated at all with antiviral medications because of a negative rapid influenza diagnostic test result and (2) initiation of treatment was delayed for some patients with suspected influenza who are at higher risk of developing severe complications, including hospitalized patients, because clinicians were waiting for results of real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assay.

Who is prioritized for treatment with influenza antiviral drugs?

Most healthy persons (i.e., those without a condition which puts them at higher risk for complications) who develop an illness consistent with uncomplicated influenza do not need to be treated with antiviral medications and will recover without complications. However, clinical judgment should be the ultimate guide in making antiviral treatment decisions for ill persons who are not at higher risk for complications from influenza.

Early empiric treatment with oseltamivir or zanamivir is recommended for all persons with suspected or confirmed influenza requiring hospitalization. Prompt empiric outpatient antiviral therapy is also recommended for persons with suspected influenza who have symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness or clinical deterioration regardless of previous health or age.

Early empiric treatment should be considered for persons with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications, even if not hospitalized, including:

o        Children younger than 2 years old

o        Adults 65 years and older

o        Pregnant women

o        Persons with the following conditions:

·         Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);

·         Disorders that that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration (e.g., cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders)

·         Immunosuppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV;

·         Persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, because of an increased risk for Reye syndrome.

When should health care providers start treatment with antiviral drugs?

Once the decision to administer antiviral treatment is made, oseltamivir or zanamivir should be initiated as soon as possible. Evidence for benefit from antiviral treatment in studies of seasonal influenza is strongest when treatment is started within 48 hours of illness onset. However, some studies of oseltamivir treatment of hospitalized patients with seasonal influenza have indicated benefit, including reductions in mortality or duration of hospitalization, even for patients whose treatment was started more than 48 hours after illness onset.

When treatment is indicated, health care providers should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza to begin oseltamivir or zanamivir treatment of patients with suspected 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus infection. Patients with a negative rapid influenza diagnostic test should be considered for treatment if clinically indicated because a negative result does not rule out influenza virus infection. The sensitivity of rapid influenza diagnostic tests to detect 2009 H1N1 virus in respiratory specimens ranges from 10% to 70%, and therefore false negative results occur frequently. Similarly, false negative results can also occur with immunofluorescence assays.

What actions should health care providers take when waiting for influenza test results?

Health care providers should empirically treat persons with suspected influenza illness who are at increased risk for complications if clinically indicated while influenza test results are pending. Antiviral treatment is most effective when administered as early as possible in the course of illness. The rRT-PCR tests are the most sensitive and specific influenza diagnostic tests, but they may not be readily available, obtaining test results may take one to several days, and test performance depends on the individual rRT-PCR assay. Antiviral treatment should not be delayed until rRT-PCR test results are available.  

For More Information

Updated Interim Recommendations for the Use of Antiviral Medications in the Treatment and Prevention of Influenza for the 2009-2010 Season:

Interim Recommendations for Clinical Use of Influenza Diagnostic Tests During the 2009-10 Influenza Season:

Questions & Answers:

Antiviral Drugs, 2009-2010 Flu Season:

Influenza Diagnostic Testing:

Updated Interim Recommendations for Obstetric Health Care Providers Related to Use of Antiviral Medications in the Treatment and Prevention of Influenza for the 2009-2010 Season:

Antiviral Drugs: Summary of Side Effects:

General information for the public on antiviral drugs is available in “2009 H1N1 and Seasonal Flu: What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs” at .

Downloadable brochures and informational flyers, including one on antiviral drugs, are available at .

For the FDA page on antiviral influenza drugs:

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few.    --Shelley


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