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Ralph Nader “On Corporate Power in the United States”

Ralph Nader “On Corporate Power in the United States” from William Hughes on Vimeo.

On April 20, 2010, author and political gadfly Ralph Nader gave a lecture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), in Baltimore, MD. He spoke before a near capacity audience for over an hour. Mr. Nader spotlighted corporate power and abuses in the U.S., and how AIG, the insurance titan, is the biggest recipient of “welfare--$182 Billion!” He showed how the workers in Western Europe have long had splendid social programs, like: “universal health insurance,” that are regularly denied our citizens. Mr. Nader submitted that the American psyche is dominated by a “fundamentalist market” ideology. Corporation loyalty, he also charged, citing various examples of gross abuse, is to the “dollar sign,” and not to the country. Professor Fimin DeBrabander of MICA introduced Mr. Nader.

Media Blind To Cuba's Haiti Effort

Media blind to Cuba's Haiti effort
By Norman Girvan | From Trinidad and Tobago Express via Progreso Weekly

(Progreso Weekly Note: The following piece is further proof of the selective coverage that the mainstream media offer on the Cuba issue. As several independent analysts have frequently noted, all news that contradicts the image that the powers that be promote of Cuba as part of the “evil empire” is consciously ignored or minimized.)

At the recent UN Donor Conference on Haiti, Cuba announced a program to rebuild that country’s entire national health service. Although this was, arguably, the most ambitious and impressive ‘pledge’ of the 59 governments, regional blocs and financial institutions that made commitments, it was largely ignored by the leading U.S. media --and hence overlooked by most of the world.

The Cuban program, which is based on the highly effective system developed in that country, embraces primary, secondary and tertiary health care, and medical training. Some of the highlights of the Cuban plan are: Read more.

Growing Public Anger in America

Growing Public Anger in America
By Stephen Lendman

The Pew Research Center (PRC) for the People & the Press is "an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues."

On April 18, it published a report titled, "Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor," saying:

"By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days." A new PRC survey confirms it, and why not under a "perfect storm of conditions" - a wrecked economy for millions fueling distrust and an "epic discontent with Congress and elected officials" who betrayed them.

People want help, by a reformed, not activist government, and Republicans as well as Democrats draw ire. Growing numbers want less government, except for regulating Wall Street, and "ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb."

For its part, though small, the Tea Party is a potential wild card, its sympathizers inclined to support Republicans, yet Republican-leaning independents say the movement represents their point of view better than the GOP.

Other PRC findings were as follows:

  • 22% reported trusting Washington always or most often, "among the lowest measures in half a century;"
  • 19% said they're "basically content;"
  • 25% had a favorable opinion of Congress in a follow-up early April survey, compared to 25% from the March one; it's Congress' lowest score in a quarter century of PRC studies;

Troops' Care Facility Listed Critical

Troops' care facility listed critical
By Gregg Zoroya | USA Today

The Pentagon effort to consolidate two premier hospitals for treating wounded troops has more than doubled in price and is so rudderless that an independent review and a bipartisan group of legislators say the care could suffer.

The cost of closing Walter Reed Army Medical Center, replacing it with a larger complex at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and building a hospital at Fort Belvoir, Va., has risen from $1 billion to $2.6 billion, Pentagon records show.

Correcting the problems raised by Congress will cost another $781 million, according to a Pentagon report released Monday. And improvements must wait until after the new Bethesda facility — named the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — is finished in September 2011, the report says.

The independent review last year found that, without improvements, the center would lack an adequate number of operating rooms and some would be too small to accommodate the latest surgical technology. There would not be enough single-patient rooms, critical for controlling infections. Read more.

"Health Insurance Reform" Is a Bandaid

 

This slide show explains the recently passed health care bill.

  • See the deals made to pass "reform" (slide 14)
  • See the impact of those deals (slide 15)
  • Cut to the chase: see the bottom line of reform (slide 29)
  • Why real reform can't wait (slide 36)

WPFW Radio Interview With Emily Tarsell on Gardasil


From Peter Tucker, WPFW Pacifica Radio:

A group of us who are opposed to DC's mandate that sixth grade girls receive the controversial HPV vaccine testified at the DC Council before the Health Committee on Wednesday morning at a hearing on the DC Department of Health budget. The Chairman of the Committee, David Catania, who is responsible for creating the mandate, could not respond to Emily Tarsell's testimony.

Ms. Tarsell lost her daughter, Christina, 18 days after Chris was vaccinated with her third dose of Gardasil. Chris had shown signs of complications after the second dose, but since doctors don't always forewarn those receiving the HPV vaccine about the possible side effects, Ms. Tarsell had no idea that it was Gardasil that was causing the complications and that further vaccination could make things worse for her daughter.

Ms. Tarsell is a psychologist and she has merged her grief from losing her only child with her scientific skills and has become an expert on Gardasil. Among other things, she has started a website in honor of Chris (Gardasil and Unexplained Deaths). After giving her amazing testimony, as she was riding in a car to Union Station to catch a train back to Baltimore on her way home to northern Maryland, I got to interview her. Click to listen. The interview aired Wednesday evening on Spectrum Today on WPFW 89.3 FM

She is truly an amazing woman. Please spread this far and wide.

best,
Pete

Note: For further shocking information on this, read gardasildad's comment here.

Vermont Legislature Votes to Begin Designing 'Single-Payer' System

By Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont lawmakers made clear Friday that recently enacted federal health care reform did not go far enough toward a public model, passing legislation that could bring to the state the "public option" health insurance rejected by Washington or even a Canadian-style single-payer system.

By a vote of 91-42, the Democratic controlled House passed its own version of legislation passed earlier by the Senate. Both bills call for designing a single-payer system, in which a government agency would administer and make all payments for health care.

The House version calls for that as well as a parallel design of a system with a public option for health insurance, meaning a system in which a health insurance program offered by the government would compete against those offered by private companies. The House's version also would expand previously enacted reform efforts.

Either system would require federal approval.

Tackling Injuries with Meditation, Not Medication

Tackling Injuries with Meditation, Not Medication | Veterans Health Administration | Facebook

Veteran Tanya Boldt struggled with service-connected injuries for years. She used to associate the VA with pain and nurses drawing blood. All that changed when she started attending all-women’s yoga therapy classes at the Memphis VA to treat her health problems.

“Yoga helped me to feel different about the VA,” she said. “I go into a room with low lighting and peaceful music. I stretch through the pain and relax. Now whenever I think of the VA, I think of a soft, quiet place instead.” The VA has become Boldt’s haven away from pain.

Yoga is one of the newest forms of therapy at the hospital. Three specialized yoga courses are offered: a women’s class, a seniors’ class, and a mixed-gender class.

Though the stress-relieving program has only been in place for a few weeks, it’s already very popular with the Veterans who try it. When asked if they plan to continue the yoga program, every Veteran answered the same way: “Definitely!”

Volunteer Joyce Smith leads the classes. In one of her training courses, the longtime yoga instructor heard that the military used yoga to treat PTSD, so she signed up to volunteer. Read more.

Military's Health Care Costs Booming

Military's health care costs booming
By Gregg Zoroya | USA Today

Military health care spending is rising twice as fast as the nation's overall health care costs, consuming a larger chunk of the defense budget as the Pentagon struggles to pay for two wars, military budget figures show.

The surging costs are prompting the Pentagon and Congress to consider the first hike in out-of-pocket fees for military retirees and some active-duty families in 15 years, said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of TRICARE, the military health care program.

Pentagon spending on health care has increased from $19 billion in 2001 to a projected $50.7 billion in 2011, a 167% increase.

The rapid rise has been driven by a surge in mental health and physical problems for troops who have deployed to war multiple times and by a flood of career military retirees fleeing less-generous civilian health programs, Hunter said. Read more.

More Common Ground in U.S. Health Care Reform Law Disagreement Than Meets the Eye

ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) — Less than a quarter of Americans want no changes to the health care legislation signed into law by the president last month but there may be more common ground with other Americans than many think, according to the latest national survey by researchers from Indiana University's Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research (CHPPR).

When survey respondents were asked how they viewed the new law:

● 21 percent said they were completely satisfied
● 28 percent said they wanted changes made in the law
● 39 percent said they wanted the law repealed and to start the health care reform process from scratch
● 13 percent said they did not want any government health care reform

Of the nearly four in 10 Americans who want the law repealed and new legislation enacted, many still favor the same reforms that are already contained in the new law.

The Definition Of Withdrawal,” As Applied To Iraq

The definition of “withdrawal,” as applied to Iraq
By Michael Schwartz, Stony Brook State University

I have just come across a fascinating document, written at the Army War College by a Lieutenant Colonel who has just returned from an assignment in Baghdad as "Deputy Health Attaché to the US Embassy in Baghdad, working directly with the Minster of Health on the first implemented health policy since Operation IRAQI FREEDOM began." This alone is interesting, since it documents once again the way the US administrative apparatus is interlaced with the Iraqi government (i.e., US overseers sit next to the top Iraqi officials).

But look at what he says in the abstract to his 38 page report written just last month:

"Following combat operations and phasing into stabilization operations, basic health care infrastructure and systems have often been either disrupted or degraded altogether. To address this situation, the U.S. Government requires a coordinated interagency approach to formulate a strategic health care plan. Incorporating all relevant players into this endeavor will promote sound organizational design, unity of effort, and a culture favor- able to synchronization. This paper contains specific recommendations and advocates a renewed effort toward addressing them. The primary constructs under review are U.S. Government organization, leadership, and culture as they relate to a strategic health care policy. This approach will reduce redundant efforts, conserve resources, and augment the legitimacy of the new Government of Iraq while supporting U.S. national strategic aims." (my italics)

Need I point out the imperial arrogance of this???? The picture here is the US creating and implementing a plan and utilizing Iraqi agencies as instruments of the policy it develops, with the ultimate goal augmenting "the legitimacy of the new Government of Iraq."

And, more broadly, we see here that the U.S. government has not even begun to abandon its original intent of turning Iraq into a client state, that is, fully compliant with U.S. decision-making about both its internal policies (as evidenced here) and its relationship to its neighbors (as evidenced in myriad other documents).

This does not put the lie to the claims of “U.S. withdrawal.” Instead, it simply describes more fully the definition of the term “withdrawal” in the modern Washington vocabulary. The word withdrawal can now take its place in the new dictionary with the terms “collateral damage,” “enduring bases,” “preventive war,” and other new additions to the Washington-speak vocabulary.

War Crimes and Cover-Ups

War crimes and cover-ups
Veterans and human rights experts are asking why footage of U.S. soldiers committing atrocities against Iraqi civilians is being treated like an anomaly.
By Dahr Jamail | Socialist Worker

THE WIKILEAKS video footage from Iraq taken from an Apache helicopter in July 2007 showing soldiers killing 12 people and wounding two children has caused an explosion of media coverage. But many Iraq vets feel it is too little and too late.

In contrast to most of the coverage that favors the military's stated position of forgiving the soldiers responsible and citing that they followed the Rules of Engagement (ROE), Iraq war veterans who have spoken to the media previously about atrocities carried out against innocent Iraqis have largely been ignored by the mainstream media in the United States.

This includes Josh Steiber, a former U.S. Army specialist who was a member of the Bravo Company 2-16 whose acts of brutality made headlines with the WikiLeaks release of the video "Collateral Murder."

Steiber told Truthout during a telephone interview on Sunday that such acts were "not isolated incidents" and were "common" during his tour of duty. "After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up," Steiber was quoted as saying in an earlier press release on the video, "Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are." Read more.

Sciatica

By Michael Schwartz

Here is my account of my encounter with the British National Health Service while in London, and suffering from Sciatica:

With excruciating pain that left me in no position to sleep comfortably, I was forced to faced the nightmare of socialized medicine. With the detailed forewarnings supplied by Sarah Palin and Fox News, I girded my loins, enlisted the life-risking aid of my girlfriend Carol, and ventured into the labyrinthine bureaucracy of state controlled health care.

FLOOR FIGHT! It's On! Challenger Winograd Takes Harman To CA Democratic Convention Floor

By Linda Milazzo

IMG_2996

Photo by Linda Milazzo (Marcy Winograd and supporter, Jim Hightower, at California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus event Friday night at Palm Restaurant honoring Marcy).

IT'S ON!

One of the most watched primary campaigns of 2010, and one of the most dramatic, is taking to the floor of the California Democratic Party Convention on Sunday, April 18th.

Israel's Declining Sperm Quality Tied to Depleted Uranium Exposure


Israel's Declining Sperm Quality Tied to Depleted Uranium Exposure
Tim King | Salem-News.com

Israel's population is facing a dire threat: a drastic depopulation, from the use of weapons that leave behind Depleted Uranium (DU). Depleted Uranium leads to the word Omnicidal, as DU kills everything in the food chain, everywhere the wind blows. Experts say the dramatic drop in Israel's sperm count could eliminate their ability to reproduce.

Research by an Israeli doctor shows a significant drop in sperm count level and sperm motility among young Israeli soldiers in recent years. Sperm motility is the ability of sperm to move properly toward an egg.

It is attributed to the inhalation of DU aerosolized nano-particles; the dirty results of extra powerful weapons used by Israel and the U.S.

All of that military might as it turns out, could set the stage for a massive Israeli act of population suicide.

A study by Dr. Ronit Haimov-Kokhman released in November, showed a 40-percent decline in the concentration of sperm cells in Israeli sperm donors from 2004 to 2008, compared to samples taken between 1995 and 1999.

Sperm banks in Israel are now reportedly turning away as many as two-thirds of potential donors, due to the low-quality sperm. In the past, around one-third of the potential donors were turned away. Read more.

Wait, You Mean If You Leave the Health Insurance Corps In Charge They'll Still Screw Us Like Before? Who Knew?

Health insurers shifting costs ahead of law: report
By Susan Heavey, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the largest U.S. health insurers are changing their accounting practices to book administration costs as medical costs in an attempt to circumvent new industry reforms, according to a U.S. Senate panel's report released on Thursday.

Under the healthcare law passed in March, insurers must adjust their spending habits to meet new requirements. For example, large group plans must spend at least 85 cents of every premium dollar paid to them on actual medical care as opposed to administrative costs, while individual and small group plans must spend 80 cents.

Wall Street closely watches such spending levels, known as medical-loss ratios, or MLRs, as a sign of potential profits. Major health insurance stock indexes fell after the report.

Happy Tax Day: Are Americans Getting Our Money's Worth?


Happy Tax Day: Are Americans getting our money's worth?
By Steven Hill

Most Americans seem to regard April 15 -- the day income tax returns are due to the Internal Revenue Service -- as a recurring tragedy akin to a Biblical plague. Particularly this year, with US government deficits soaring, everyone from the teabaggers to Fox News and Senate Republicans are sounding the alarm about a return to "big government." Recently former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani even stated that President Obama was moving us towards -- gasp -- European socialism.

Europe frequently plays the punching bag role during these moments because there is a perception that the poor Europeans are overtaxed serfs. But a closer look reveals that this is a myth that prevents Americans from understanding the vast shortcomings of our own system.

A few years ago, an American acquaintance of mine who lives in Sweden told me that, quite by chance, he and his Swedish wife were in New York City and ended up sharing a limousine to the theater district with a southern U.S. Senator and his wife. This senator, a conservative, anti-tax Democrat, asked my acquaintance about Sweden and swaggeringly commented about "all those taxes the Swedes pay." To which this American replied, "The problem with Americans and their taxes is that we get nothing for them." He then went on to tell the senator about the comprehensive level of services and benefits that Swedes receive.

"If Americans knew what Swedes receive for their taxes, we would probably riot," he told the senator. The rest of the ride to the theater district was unsurprisingly quiet.

The fact is, in return for their taxes, Europeans are receiving a generous support system for families and individuals for which Americans must pay exorbitantly, out-of-pocket, if we are to receive it at all. That includes quality health care for every single person, the average cost of which is about half of what Americans pay, even as various studies show that Europeans achieve healthier results.

Frontline Fronts for Corporations Instead of Public

By Margaret Flowers

It was with a sense of déjà vu that I watched the latest Frontline documentary about health care. “Obama’s Deal” endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process; however, as in Frontline’s Sick Around America, the producers did a disservice by the failure to educate the public about the bigger picture of the health care situation in this nation and the range of possible solutions.

Victory for Single Payers: Charges Dropped Doctors Paris and Flowers

Video: Victory for Single Payers: Charges Dropped Against Doctors Paris and Flowers On April 14, 2010, in Eastside District Court, in Baltimore, MD., criminal charges against Single Payer champions, Dr. Carol A. Paris and Margaret Flowers, were dropped by the prosecutor. Attorney Kevin Zeese explained what happened inside the court room. Then, Doctors Paris and Flowers shared their feelings about the outcome of the case. Background: On Jan. 29, 2010, Doctors Paris and Flowers were arrested outside a hotel, at the inner harbor, where President Barack Obama was slated to give a speech. They were on a sidewalk holding a banner. The doctors had a letter that they wanted to give to the President and/or one of his aides, re: "Medicare for All". They were arrested for trespassing and for refusing to obey a police order. Check it out here. For information on Single Payer, go to these websites: PNHP, Prosperity Agenda US and Health Care NOW.

When the Army Uses "Enhanced Interrogation" on an American Soldier

When the Army Uses "Enhanced Interrogation" on an American Soldier
By Joshua Kors | Huffington Post

I had been covering veterans' issues for several years and thought I'd developed a thick skin. But the pain on the other end of the telephone line was difficult to stomach. Sergeant Chuck Luther, now back from Iraq, was describing his journey to hell and back. The worst part, he said, wasn't battling insurgents or even the mortar blast that tossed him to the ground and slammed his head against the concrete — it was the way he was treated by the U.S. Army when he went to the aid station and sought medical help.

In gruesome detail, Luther described what happened to him at Camp Taji's aid station. He thought he would receive medical care. Instead he was confined to an isolation chamber and held there for over a month, under enforced sleep deprivation, until he agreed to sign papers saying that he was ill before coming to Iraq and thus not eligible for disability and medical benefits. "They wanted me to say I had a 'personality disorder,'" Luther told me.

Luther's call did not come out of the blue. For two years I had been investigating this personality disorder scandal: how military doctors were purposely misdiagnosing soldiers, wounded in combat, as having this pre-existing mental illness. As in the civilian world, where people can be locked out of the insurance system if they have a pre-existing condition, soldiers whose wounds can be attributed to a pre-existing illness can be denied disability benefits and long-term medical care. Read more.

Dr. Flowers: "Shift the Power Back into Hands of the People!"

Dr. Margaret Flowers is a Maryland pediatrician and Congressional Fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, a single payer advocate and a musician. See: http://www.pnhp.org/ She was one of the speakers at a National Press Club event, Murrow Room, on April 13, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The forum dealt with the influence of coporate lobbies on U.S. elections. Dr. Flowers called for unity within the progressive movement in the struggle to “shift the power away from the corporations back into the hands of the people.” The affair was sponsored by the Green Party of Florida and the People’s Lobby Coalition for Public Funding Only for All Elections. Ms. Jennifer Sullivan, who is the coordinator of the People’s Lobby and the regional representative for the Green Party of Florida, served as the moderator.

Thought for April 15: More than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military

By Dave Lindorff

If you’re like me, now that we’re in the week that federal income taxes are due, you are finally starting to collect your records and prepare for the ordeal. Either way, whether you are a procrastinator like me, or have already finished and know how much you have paid to the government, it is a good time to stop and consider how much of your money goes to pay for our bloated and largely useless and pointless military.

The budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which has to be voted by Congress by this Oct. 1, looks to be about $3 trillion, not counting the funds collected for Social Security (since the Vietnam War, the government has included the Social Security Trust Fund in the budget as a way to make the cost of America’s imperial military adventures seem smaller in comparison to the total cost of government). Meanwhile, the military share of the budget works out to about $1.6 trillion.

Writing About The Unspeakable (AIDS, The CIA and Bio-Warfare)


WRITING ABOUT THE UNSPEAKABLE (AIDS, the CIA and bio-warfare)
By H.P. Albarelli Jr. | TVNewsLIES

I don’t like having to write this article. I don’t like even thinking about it, but over the past few months its subject has come up repeatedly. Many television and radio hosts who have interviewed me about my new book, A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, have, on their own, brought up the subject of AIDS and Fort Detrick and the connection between the two. Nearly the entire ten years I worked on the book, this subject consistently loomed in the background like some malevolent poltergeist, and was essentially considered unspeakable by practically everyone I interviewed. Now things are different.

Just a few days ago, one radio host, who had actually read my entire book, asked about the many trips various Fort Detrick bacteriologists and biochemists took throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and beyond to locations in Africa. Trips were to locations like the Belgian Congo and Burundi and French Equatorial Africa. A few media hosts have remarked about the thousands of rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees that Fort Detrick went through in their countless experiments during these same years; resulting in so many mutilated and dead primates that one former Army scientist, Dr. Henry Eigelsbach, told me that sometimes their bodies had to be “scooped up with a back-hoe and loaded into dump trucks” and then carted off for disposal and incineration.

Only yesterday, a very well informed radio host in California, Cary Harrison, at KPFK-FM, asked me about well-documented reports concerning the 1969 testimony of a high-level Pentagon biological warfare official before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nobody in their right mind wants to think or believe that the American government had a hand in producing the dreadful disease AIDS, certainly not me. My father, as a dedicated and conscientious histologist, worked for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in the 1950s, and went on to devote his life to helping people in any way he could. He would have never done anything to hurt anyone, yet now there is strong evidence that other scientists with the U. S. Army may have done just that. Before his recent death, I asked my father about these reports. He sadly shook his head, and said, “I don’t know what’s happened to this country. I don’t understand it at all. It’s not the country I went to war for; it’s not the same country I was willing to die for.” My father was always a confident man. It distressed me to see him bewildered, but I too was bewildered. I didn’t at all like thinking about Fort Detrick and AIDS. Read more.

CA Events: Pacific Time: PDA Leadership Heads To California to Push "Healthcare Not Warfare"


PACIFIC TIME: PDA LEADERSHIP HEADS TO CALIFORNIA TO PUSH ‘HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE’ | Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – The national leadership of Progressive Democrats of America will be in California next week for a series of events to support PDA-backed candidates and organize support for the Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign at the state Democratic convention.

“With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still open-ended tragedies, and a new health insurance law that will not solve the healthcare crisis in this country, the Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign is taking on added urgency every day,” said PDA National Director Tim Carpenter.

Carpenter and national PDA team members Laura Bonham, Conor Boylan, Kimberly Buchan and David Keeler will attend a series of meetings and events in California from April 13 to 18, with a focus on the Democratic convention that begins April 16.

The trip will start with a “Meet and Greet” with PDA-endorsed congressional candidate Tracy Emblem in San Diego at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, at the home of Mike and Jill Copass, 4042 Mount Blackburn Ave. Carpenter will be joined by PDA board member Steve Cobble for this event.

On Wednesday, April 14, a reception to benefit the Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign will be in Newport Beach, beginning at 6 p.m. at the home of Carl and Barbara Mosen, 7 Current, Newport Coast. The event will also feature PDA national Chair Mimi Kennedy, Healthcare NOT Warfare co-chair Norman Solomon, and actor and activist David Clennon.

The California Democratic convention will be held April 16-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and nearby JW Marriott Hotel. Dozens of PDA members from up and down the state will be in attendance as delegates; other members will attend convention meetings, and still others will help at the table PDA is sharing with the California Nurses Association.

To top off the week, PDA will sponsor a panel discussion, “The Fight for Journalism and Democracy in the 21st Century,” featuring John Nichols and Robert McChesney, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Venice United Methodist Church, 2210 Lincoln Blvd., in Venice. Featured guests will include Kennedy and PDA-endorsed congressional candidate Marcy Winograd.

“The week will be exciting and energizing, as we work within the California Democratic Party and with outside grassroots groups throughout the state on our shared progressive priorities,” said Carpenter.

Progressive Democrats of America is one of the nation’s fastest-growing grassroots political organizations; it recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and has active chapters in 45 states. PDA is dedicated to reviving the progressive tradition of the Democratic Party through grassroots organizing and working with elected Democrats to advance peace, justice and social, economic and environmental responsibility. More information is available at Progressive Democrats of America.

Vermont Senate Passes Health Care Bill That Includes Provision For A Single Payer Option


Vermont Senate passes health care bill that includes provision for a single payer option | Press Release | April 7, 2010

Healthy Vermont Bill Passes in Senate
Bill calls for custom-designed health care system
By Doug Racine, Candidate for VT Governor

MONTPELIER, VT — With an overwhelming 28-2 vote, the Senate today passed the Healthy Vermont bill (S.88). Senator Doug Racine (D-Chittenden) and the Health and Welfare Committee brought the bill to the Senate floor.

FDA, VA Approve Drug Despite Its Link To Soldiers’ Deaths

FDA, VA approve drug despite its link to soldiers’ deaths
By Martha Rosenberg | Nieman Watchdog

Seroquel is a widely-prescribed medication, with almost $5 billion in sales last year. But survivors of dead servicemen, torn and angry, question its use as part of a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sgt. Eric Layne's death was not pretty.

A few months after being prescribed a drug cocktail with the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and AstraZeneca's controversial antipsychotic drug Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was "suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches," according to his widow, Janette Layne, at FDA hearings for new Seroquel approvals last year.

Soon he had tremors. " … [H]is breathing was labored [and] he had developed sleep apnea," said Janette Layne, who served in the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom along with her husband. On the last day of his life, she testified, Eric stayed in the bathroom nearly all night battling acute urinary retention. He died while his family slept.

Sgt. Layne had just returned from a seven-week inpatient program at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati where he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A video shot during that time, played by his wife at the FDA hearings, shows a dangerously sedated figure barely able to talk.

Sgt. Layne was not the first healthy veteran to die after being prescribed medical cocktails including Seroquel for PTSD.

In the last two years, Pfc. Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane, West Virginia; Cpl. Andrew White, 23, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Roundrock, Texas; Cpl. Nicholas Endicott, 24, of Pecks Mill, West Virginia; and Spc. Ken Jacobs, 21, of Walworth, New York, have all died suddenly while taking Seroquel cocktails. Read more.

Speaking Events

David Swanson at St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, October 5, 2016.

David Swanson in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 22, 2016.

Find Events Here.

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