NEOLIBERAL TOTALITARIAN POLICE STATE: “Legalized Murder and the Politics of Terror” / Chris Hedges ☮

Chris HedgesPolice officers carry out random acts of legalized murder against poor people of color not because they are racist, although they may be, or even because they are rogue cops, but because impoverished urban communities have evolved into miniature police states.

Police can stop citizens at will, question and arrest them without probable cause, kick down doors in the middle of the night on the basis of warrants for nonviolent offenses, carry out wholesale surveillance, confiscate property and money and hold people—some of them innocent—in county jails for years before forcing them to accept plea agreements that send them to prison for decades. They can also, largely with impunity, murder them.

Those who live in these police states, or internal colonies, especially young men of color, endure constant fear and often terror. Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” calls those trapped in these enclaves members of a criminal “caste system.” This caste system dominates the lives of not only the 2.3 million who are incarcerated in the United States but also the 4.8 million on probation or parole. Millions more are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance, including housing, difficult and usually impossible to obtain. This is by design.

Continue reading . . .

NEOLIBERAL HEALTH CARE: “Why Congress Allows Big Pharma to Rip Us Off” / The Ring of Fire / Farron Cousins ☮


In addition to paying outrageous prices for health insurance, Americans are also being squeezed when it comes time to pay for their prescriptions. Drug prices in the U.S. are higher than almost anywhere else in the world, and this wasn’t done by accident. Big Pharma has bought and paid for our elected officials, and they’re allowed to do whatever they want as a result.

Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with attorney Michael Burg.

NEOLIBERAL HEALTH CARE: “Pap Attack: Big Pharma has Turned us into Hypochondriacs” / The Ring of Fire / Mike Papantonio ☮


The United States is one of only two countries in the world that allows drug companies to market their products directly to consumers.

For the last 18 years, our TV airwaves have been dominated by commercials telling us that if we feel sad, if we feel sick, if we feel anything at all – then we need to take a magic pill from Big Pharma to make all of our worries melt away. A magic, by the way, pill that has been marked up by as much as twenty thousand percent.

Direct to consumer advertising has been a huge cash cow for the drug industry. Drug companies in the U.S. are now pulling in around $300 billion dollars every year, and this massive haul is all thanks to their marketing. Twenty percent of the country now takes at least five prescription drugs per month.