Minneapolis Cops Are EVIL

posted 6/16/18 at ebmisfit
Dear Minneapolis: Warm Up Your Checkbooks, You Fuckers
You’re going to get sued.

Minneapolis police officers have repeatedly requested over the past three years that Hennepin County medical responders sedate people using the powerful tranquilizer ketamine, at times over the protests of those being drugged, and in some cases when no apparent crime was committed, a city report shows.

On multiple occasions, in the presence of police, Hennepin Healthcare EMS workers injected suspects of crimes and others who already appeared to be restrained, according to the report, and the ketamine caused heart or breathing failure, requiring them to be medically revived. Several people given ketamine had to be intubated.

And you fucking have it coming to you. Maybe a few seven o eight-figure civil judgments might get your attention.

People should be going to jail over this. But with a certain jackbooted elf now in charge of the Department o Justice, that’s not going to happen.
Posted by Comrade Misfit

The Music of Epirus In Northwestern Greece

The Music of Epirus In Northwestern Greece
NYReview of Books

…The word mirologi typically refers to vocal laments; there are versions of them in Homer and on ancient epitaphs. In some parts of rural Greece, women sing mirologia beside the graves of family members every day for years, until the bones of the deceased are exhumed and put in the village ossuary. Epirus is the only place where mirologia are performed instrumentally, and musicians preserve the lugubrious mood of the sung versions found elsewhere in Greece:

For the world is a tree, and we are its fruit,
And [Charon], who is the vintager, gathers its fruit.

The second-most-mountainous region in Europe, Epirus has harsh weather and little arable land. As one Epirote told King, “Life has always been hard in the mountains, everything has always been uncertain.” Ancient Greeks believed the entrance to Hades was here: the Acheron River that Odysseus—and later Dante—crossed to reach the underworld flows, in reality, west from Epirus’s mountains toward the Ionian Sea. Pilgrims hoping to summon the ghosts of departed loved ones visited the Nekromanteion, a temple located in a cave near the Acheron.

 

Lament from Epirus: An Odyssey into Europe’s Oldest Surviving Folk Music
by Christopher C. King… Norton, 304 pp., $29.95

Kitsos Harisiadis: Lament in a Deep Style, 1929–1931
an album produced by Christopher King with Vassilis Georganos
Third Man Records, $15.00

While You Live, Shine
a documentary film directed by Paul Duane

LINK

The Collapse

CC License – 1st Appeared in TruthDig

It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.

By  Chris Hedges

US CAPITOL BLACK STORM CLOUDS

“Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core.” (Photo: coolloud/flickr/cc)

The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

The Democratic Party, which helped build our system of inverted totalitarianism, is once again held up by many on the left as the savior. Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics.

In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege.

This is a doomed tactic, but one that is understandable. The leadership of the party, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, are creations of corporate America. In an open and democratic political process, one not dominated by party elites and corporate money, these people would not hold political power. They know this. They would rather implode the entire system than give up their positions of privilege. And that, I fear, is what will happen. The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way a bulwark against despotism defies the last three decades of its political activity. It is the guarantor of despotism.

Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic.

Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core. He chooses his allies and appointees based on their personal loyalty and fawning obsequiousness to him. He will sell anyone out. He is corrupt, amassing money for himself—he made $40 million from his Washington, D.C., hotel alone last year—and his corporate allies. He is dismantling government institutions that once provided some regulation and oversight. He is an enemy of the open society. This makes him dangerous. His turbocharged assault on the last vestiges of democratic institutions and norms means there will soon be nothing, even in name, to protect us from corporate totalitarianism.

But the warnings from the architects of our failed democracy against creeping fascism, Madeleine Albright among them, are risible. They show how disconnected the elites have become from the zeitgeist. None of these elites have credibility. They built the edifice of lies, deceit and corporate pillage that made Trump possible. And the more Trump demeans these elites, and the more they cry out like Cassandras, the more he salvages his disastrous presidency and enables the kleptocrats pillaging the country as it swiftly disintegrates.

It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history.

The press is one of the principal pillars of Trump’s despotism. It chatters endlessly like 17th-century courtiers at the court of Versailles about the foibles of the monarch while the peasants lack bread. It drones on and on and on about empty topics such as Russian meddling and a payoff to a porn actress that have nothing to do with the daily hell that, for many, defines life in America. It refuses to critique or investigate the abuses by corporate power, which has destroyed our democracy and economy and orchestrated the largest transfer of wealth upward in American history. The corporate press is a decayed relic that, in exchange for money and access, committed cultural suicide. And when Trump attacks it over “fake news,” he expresses, once again, the deep hatred of all those the press ignores. The press worships the idol of Mammon as slavishly as Trump does. It loves the reality-show presidency. The press, especially the cable news shows, keeps the lights on and the cameras rolling so viewers will be glued to a 21st-century version of “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” It is good for ratings. It is good for profits. But it accelerates the decline.

All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailouts and other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage. Sheldon Adelson’s casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called “fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to “a tipping point—when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won’t cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”

An economy reliant on debt for its growth causes our interest rate to jump to 28 percent when we are late on a credit card payment. It is why our wages are stagnant or have declined in real terms—if we earned a sustainable income we would not have to borrow money to survive. It is why a university education, houses, medical bills and utilities cost so much. The system is designed so we can never free ourselves from debt.

However, the next financial crash, as Prins points out in her book “Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World,” won’t be like the last one. This is because, as she says, “there is no Plan B.” Interest rates can’t go any lower. There has been no growth in the real economy. The next time, there will be no way out. Once the economy crashes and the rage across the country explodes into a firestorm, the political freaks will appear, ones that will make Trump look sagacious and benign.

And so, to quote Vladimir Lenin, what must be done?

We must invest our energy in building parallel, popular institutions to protect ourselves and to pit power against power. These parallel institutions, including unions, community development organizations, local currencies, alternative political parties and food cooperatives, will have to be constructed town by town. The elites in a time of distress will retreat to their gated compounds and leave us to fend for ourselves. Basic services, from garbage collection to public transportation, food distribution and health care, will collapse. Massive unemployment and underemployment, triggering social unrest, will be dealt with not through government job creation but the brutality of militarized police and a complete suspension of civil liberties. Critics of the system, already pushed to the margins, will be silenced and attacked as enemies of the state. The last vestiges of labor unions will be targeted for abolition, a process that will soon be accelerated given the expected ruling in a case before the Supreme Court that will cripple the ability of public-sector unions to represent workers. The dollar will stop being the world’s reserve currency, causing a steep devaluation. Banks will close. Global warming will extract heavier and heavier costs, especially on the coastal populations, farming and the infrastructure, costs that the depleted state will be unable to address. The corporate press, like the ruling elites, will go from burlesque to absurdism, its rhetoric so patently fictitious it will, as in all totalitarian states, be unmoored from reality. The media outlets will all sound as fatuous as Trump. And, to quote W.H. Auden, “the little children will die in the streets.”

As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License Republished with permission from Truthdig

Drought Map for June 14th 2018

CANADA BITES BACK

logo macleans canada large

Why pharmaceuticals could be the prescription for trade warfare that truly hurts America

Opinion: If Canada wants to decisively threaten maximum pain and stop the escalating trade war with the U.S., it should propose expropriating pharmaceutical patents

by Amir Attaran   Jun 12, 2018

TRUDEAU AND TRUMP JUNE 2018Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau (right) speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump during the G7 official welcome at Le Manoir Richelieu on day one of the G7 meeting on June 8, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

 

Amir Attaran is a lawyer, biomedical scientist, and professor in the faculty of law and the faculty of medicine at the University of Ottawa.  [LINK]

What began as a trade skirmish over Donald Trump’s imposition of a 10-per-cent tariff on Canadian steel and aluminum is now clearly a trade war. The miasma is only just lifting from the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., in which a Justin Trudeau press conference over a spiked communiqué sparked a Trump tantrum.

But the war’s final battle will not be the tariff that our government has already imposed in retaliation on American pizza, whisky, mattresses, coffee, et cetera—in fact, our tit-for-tat tariffs have only caused the White House to double down and promise even more tariffs against Canada soon. That means that Canada’s symmetrical retaliation is not working—and if we do not rethink our strategy now, we could soon be inside a tornado-like spiral of escalating tariffs, causing rising prices, sinking economies, and growing joblessness on both sides of the border.

If we are not to let the bully win, Canada must find an asymmetrical way to retaliate in this trade war. One that destroys American resolve, but spares us—or even benefits us. But how?

There are several ways, but Canada should consider—and threaten—expropriating American pharmaceutical patents.

READ MORE: How Canadians can boycott Donald Trump

Pharmaceutical patents are ultra-valuable assets. Whoever controls a drug’s patent has the exclusive right to make and export that drug. With typical drug prices growing an average of 12 per cent annually, and with certain specialty drugs priced over $500,000, controlling the right pharmaceutical patents is like having several gold mines.

But what makes pharmaceutical patents ripe for retaliation is the vulnerability of America’s pharmaceutical industry. Six of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies are American. No industry throws more lobbying dollars around Washington—more than the banking, defence, and automobile industries combined. Any trade retaliation aimed at pharmaceuticals certainly will be felt on Wall Street and heard in the White House.

Canada has already expropriated pharmaceutical patents in the past: The federal government did so hundreds of times in the 1970s and 1980s, but stopped because of the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which later inspired NAFTA. Now that the White House wants to back out of our trading relations and NAFTA too, it is fair to revisit that decision.

Thanks to an obscure twist of world trade law, doing so is perfectly legal, too. In the years since NAFTA, developments in international law have made expropriation of pharmaceutical patents easier and less risky than ever. Between 1998 and 2005, at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the World Trade Organization cobbled together special rules making it lawful to “compulsory license”—or, essentially, expropriate—pharmaceutical patents. The rules allow Canada’s government to authorize Canadian companies to copy patented drugs controlled by U.S. companies. There is no need for an AIDS-like health emergency, so long as certain manageable procedural steps are followed. Further, those procedural steps can be shortcut “to remedy a practice determined after … administrative process to be anti-competitive”—likely an easy determination for President Trump’s bogus claim that aluminum and steel tariffs are needed for national security.

Once granted, a compulsory license leaves Canadian firms with the right to copy, sell, and potentially export the targeted drug, at the expense of a U.S. firm who is compensated only pennies on the dollar for the lost value of its patent monopoly. The White House would be left furious by Canada’s decision, but it would be without legal recourse.

There would be several advantages to this move. Macroeconomically, compulsory licensing would mean growth for the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, and decline for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Microeconomically, it would mean cheaper drugs for Canadian households, once the American companies’ patent monopoly is broken. From a domestic policy angle, it would mean billions of dollars of savings for Canada’s publicly-funded Medicare system.

And most importantly, diplomatically, it would mean unleashing the most powerful industrial lobby in Washington to beat up the White House on our behalf.

Normally, I wouldn’t advocate for compulsory licensing. Throughout my career, writing public health and legal reports for the United Nations, I have been skeptical of it, because there are almost always better ways to obtain drugs cheaply than snatching patents. But in a trade war, that’s beside the point. Winning means using economic and political power to intimidate and injure your opponent while staying legally onside yourself. The asymmetrical warfare of pharmaceutical compulsory licensing would be unsurpassable for that.

Just look at the threat posed by a precision offensive of Canadian compulsory licensing. For the American pharmaceutical industry, which claims to be worth USD$1.3 trillion to the American economy, picking off its most profitable drugs poses a near-existential threat, because once Canada shows how to unravel patents, other countries will copy us. There would also probably be no greater disaster for the White House’s trade agenda, which has made a priority to demand stronger pharmaceutical patent protection fromCanada, Mexico, the EU, China, India, Japan, and elsewhere. If Canada started with the drugs of Eli Lilly and Company, say—headquartered in Vice President Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana—fear would set in quickly.

READ MORE: The case for invading America

With President Trump intent on trashing America’s allies and wrecking the postwar trade order, Canada has reason to threaten compulsory licensing and show the White House where its folly will lead. Republicans and Democrats benefit about equally from the pharmaceutical industry’s campaign donations, so a credible outcome would be that the industry lobbies furiously for a bipartisan agreement in Congress overriding President Trump’s misbegotten tariffs.

In short, this strategy would inflict far greater agony on the White House, at a lower risk, than retaliatory tariffs alone—and boost Canada’s economy and health care system while it was at it.

Expropriating pharmaceutical patents sounds like a significant, hardball play—and that is what it is, undeniably. But as huge as the impact would be, it wouldn’t permanently damage relations not just because Canada has made this threat before—a 2001 ultimatum over anthrax drugs—but because the threat would never need to be enacted. Congress would intervene, thanks to the ferocious pharma lobby, and relations would return to normal.

And remember: that free, global trade has kept the peace for decades by making customers of former enemies who once fought real wars. We cannot afford to forget that a hard-fought trade war is conservative and preferable in comparison

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/why-pharmaceuticals-could-be-the-prescription-for-trade-warfare-that-truly-hurts-america/

 

LYNX !! via CBC

HEAD OF THE LAKES by ANTHONY BUKOSKI

bukoski head of the lakes front cover 415x581

Head of the Lakes
Selected Short Stories
by Anthony Bukoski

In this collection, Anthony Bukoski has selected the best stories from his long publishing career, which are currently scattered among several hard to find editions. Most of the stories take place in an ethnic neighborhood in Superior, Wisconsin, the westernmost port on the Great Lakes. In a variety of ways, Bukoski’s characters are in need of emotional and spiritual fulfillment, and for them, these bleak, wind-swept streets at the end of the line offer a chance for love and hope. Sometimes they get lucky—for a day, or a month. A minor league baseball player meets the girl of his dreams during a season in the Texas League; a Polish sailor finds the stability he desires when he leaves his ship to live with a family in Superior; an English as a Second Language teacher learns an important lesson from a young Vietnamese immigrant about the languages of the heart.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes of his stories: “Anthony Bukoski is a wise enough traveler in the human psyche to know that Superior, Wisconsin, like any place well understood, can become the world,” and Publisher’s Weekly calls his atmospheric tales “a moving testament to a wintry region and its hardy inhabitants.”

About the Author
Anthony Bukoski lives with his wife in the country outside of Superior, Wisconsin, the port city where his immigrant grandparents settled. His short stories and essays have been broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio, and his story “Time Between Trains,” read by the actor Liev Schreiber, aired on National Public Radio. The author of several books, Bukoski has won writing awards from, among others, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Wisconsin Library Association, and the Polish American Historical Association. He is a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Paperback / 198 pages
ISBN: 978-1-947237-06-3 / $19.95
Nodin Press : Minneapolis