Tag Archives | USA

Americans’ Trust in Doctors Is Falling

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Murray Barnes via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via Live Science:

Americans’ trust in the medical profession has plummeted in recent years, and lags well behind public attitudes toward doctors in many other countries, according to a new report.

That lack of trust comes from how Americans’ perceive doctors’ motivations, said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and co-author of the new report. While physician leaders elsewhere in the world often take public stands on key health and medical issues, Americans perceive the medical profession as looking out for itself, not advocating for public health, he said.

Just 34 percent of U.S. adults polled in 2012 said they had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession,” down from 76 percent in 1966, according to the report.

And a survey of people in 29 countries found the United States ranked 24th in public trust of doctors.

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As ISIS Slaughters Kurds in Kobani, the U.S. Bombs Syrian Grain Silos

By fw_gadget via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By fw_gadget via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Ajamu Baraka writes at CounterPunch:

The U.S. is conducting a curious humanitarian war against ISIS in Syria. While Kobani, the largely Kurdish district that straddles the border with Turkey is being attacked by ISIS forces and facing the very real possibility of mass civilian killings if it falls, U.S. military spokespersons claimed that they are watching the situation in Kobani and have conducted occasional bombing missions but that they are concentrating their anti-ISIS efforts in other parts of Syria. Those other efforts appear to consist of bombing empty buildings, schools, small oil pumping facilities, an occasional vehicle and grain silos where food is stored to feed the Syrian people. Turkey also seems to be watching as the Kurds of Kobani fight to the death against ISIS.

The humanitarian concerns of officials in the U.S. with the plight of Kurds in Kobani could not be more different than what occurred in Iraq when ISIS forces made a push into Kurdish territory.

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Chomsky: The Crass and Brutal Approach Used to Keep Gaza Mired in Misery

By Andrew Rusk via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

By Andrew Rusk via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

via AlterNet:

On Aug. 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind.

The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.

This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.

Since November 2005 the terms of these agreements have remained essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it – as Israel has conceded – until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality.

These escalations are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance.

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“And prove to me, America, that you care. And prove to me, America, you’re aware” – ‘Is It For Freedom?’ by Sarah Thomsen

via chycho

A message to the citizens of the United States of America regarding your doctrine of endless war, delivered through song by Sara Thomsen.

“Is It For Freedom?” by Sara Thomsen

Below you will find the Lyrics for “Is It For Freedom?” from the 1999 album “Fertile Ground”.

Rulers of the nations as you fuss and fight
Over who owns this or that and who has the right
To design, build, sell and store and fire
All the bombs and guns to defend your holy empire

There are children hungry, children sick and dying
There are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers crying
They’re only pawns in your play of power and corruption
Slowly starve them, your new weapon of mass destruction


And prove to me, America, that you care
And prove to me, America, you’re aware
Who’s dying for your freedom in this land
Who pays the cost for the liberties you demand

Is it for freedom, or our comfort and convenience
Is it to profit for big business we pledge our allegiance
Are we prisoners in the land of the brave and the bold?

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Cuba estimates US embargo has cost island $116.8bn in damages in 55 years

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre by flippinyank via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

via The Guardian:

The figures were published in a report that Cuba prepares for the United Nations each year in requesting a resolution

US economic sanctions against Cuba have cost the island nation $3.9bn in foreign trade over the past year, helping to raise the overall estimate of economic damage to $116.8bn over the past 55 years, Cuba said on Tuesday.

The figures were published in a report that Cuba prepares for the United Nations each year in requesting a resolution urging an end to the comprehensive US economic embargo and other sanctions against Cuba’s Communist government.

The United Nations has passed the resolution for 22 straight years with overwhelming support. Last year the vote was 188 to 2, with only the United States and Israel voting against the resolution.

Although many US allies join Washington in criticizing Cuba’s one-party system and repression of political opponents, the Americans have lost nearly all international support for the embargo since the collapse of the Soviet Union.… Read the rest

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Inequality and the USA: A Nation in Denial?

Homeless female holding up sign (7617876912).jpg

Photo: Alex Proimos (CC)

Sam Pizzigati of Inequality.org writes at PressTV that “the United States… doesn’t just have the world’s most unequal major developed economy… [it] has the most people in denial about the inequality they live amid”:

Every August, for most of the last four decades, top central bankers from around the world have been making their way to the Wyoming mountain resort of Jackson Hole for an invitation-only blue-ribbon economic symposium.

This year’s Jackson Hole hobnob, once again hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, last week attracted the usual assortment of central bankers, finance ministers, and influential business journalists. But this year’s gathering also attracted something else: protesters.

For the first time ever, activists converged on Jackson Hole — to let the Fed’s central bankers know, as protest organizers put it, that “it’s not just the rich who are watching them.”

Over 70 groups and unions backed the protest and signed onto an open letter that calls on America’s central bankers to start nurturing an economy that works for workers.

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Discusses Who Should Rule Ukraine on Behalf of the United States

via chycho

ukraine coup

To say that what’s happening in Ukraine is extremely important is an understatement. It will be precedent setting, just like what’s happening in Syria (2), and just like what happened in Afghanistan and Iran, but a lot more on that later. For now, the following has been added as an update to: “What Cold War? This Cold War: Death Follows McCain to the Ukraine as the Armenia-ultimatum to Screw over Russia Fails Again for the EU and the U.S.”

Ukraine crisis: Leaked phone call embarrasses US – “The two officials also discuss frankly the merits of the three main Ukrainian opposition leaders – Vitaly Klitschko, Arseniy Yatseniuk and Oleh Tyahnybok. The female speaker says that Mr Klitschko, the former heavyweight boxing world champion, should not be in any new government. ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea.’ She adds: ‘I think Yats (Arseniy Yatseniuk) is the guy who’s got the economic experience.'”

Марионетки Майдана (Marionettes of Maidan)

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David Simon Speech: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’

David Simon at Rising Tide 2011Best known as the creator of seminal TV series The Wire, David Simon gave an impromptu speech about the divide between rich and poor in America at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, and how capitalism has lost sight of its social compact. This is an edited extract via The Guardian:

America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It’s astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

There’s no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know.

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America: Afraid of Shadows in the Dark While Ignoring the Elephants in the Room

via chycho
usa-fear_thumb

What baffles the mind about the United States of America is that many of its citizens have been conditioned to fear shadows in the dark while ignoring the elephants in the room.

I. Homelessness and Bankruptcies

For example, in the last few years anti-homelessness laws have been passed across the United States, some going as far as making it illegal to feed the homeless. As if that wasn’t enough, to deal with America’s homelessness problem (2), some government representatives have turned to violence:

“Remarkably, this vigilante isn’t just some random Hawaiian, but five-term State Rep. Tom Brower (D).

“Noting that he’s ‘disgusted’ with homeless people, Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of ‘justice’: ‘If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.’ Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.

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Recolonization of Africa, a Symptom of Our Addiction to Growth: Differential Accumulation, Why GDP Growth Rates Influence Foreign Policy

via chycho

The name of the game when it comes to investing in the markets is that you must not only be ahead of inflation but you must also beat the averages, exceeding the normal rate of return. If you don’t do both then you are neither protecting nor accumulating capital, i.e., in the limit you will lose your wealth. This principle also applies to nations.

Ignoring our need to rely on different economic measures (pdf) other than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation to indicate progress, wealth and well-being, if a countries GDP growth rate is below the global average, then over time that country will lose influence and be subject to an unstable economy. In essence, how a countries economy performs is relative to how other countries perform – there is a “growth imperative in capitalist economies” (pdf).

But why do capitalist economies need to grow?

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