Sunday, October 19, 2014

ebola highlights a problem

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/17/ebola-capitalism-and-the-idea-of-society/

Ebola, Capitalism and the Idea of Society

by ROB URIE
Thomas Duncan didn’t have health insurance when he entered Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with Ebola. The hospital claims that he was initially turned away because important information about his condition didn’t find its way to the admitting physician. Without specific knowledge that he had Ebola a temperature of 103C didn’t require the hospital to admit him. With the two days it took the hospital to confirm Ebola on his return visit, Mr. Duncan risked hospital bills in the tens of thousands of dollars that he reportedly didn’t have. The hospital ‘risked’ providing expensive treatment to a man who likely couldn’t have paid for it.
Missing from this ‘process’ that now finds Mr. Duncan dead, two nurses who attended him with Ebola themselves, the American health care system revealed as wholly unprepared to deal with what at present seems a moderately communicable disease, is any notion of a public interest.  This can be seen internationally as well with the U.S. sending soldiers to West Africa while Cuba has sent a large contingent ofemergency health care workers. The difference is fundamental: Cuba sees both public purpose and moral imperative to help those stricken with Ebola and the U.S. sees a threat to profits at ‘home’ and a military exercise to ‘contain’ the spread of Ebola abroad.
urieebola1
Chart (1) above: what could have and should have been a quickly contained outbreak of Ebola through response by health care workers from rich countries was instead militarized and ignored. From the CIA using fake tuberculosis screening as a premise to gain intelligence to the history of ‘humanitarian’ interventions that slaughtered thousands to illicit pharmaceutical testing and dumping by Western drug manufacturers the nations of Africa have every reason to mistrust Western intentions there. This written, the only response that the U.S. apparently could muster was to send troops to ‘contain’ the crisis. Anyone with knowledge of Western imperial history in Africa should cringe at what the word ‘contain’ might be a euphemism for.  Source: WHO
At the more fundamental level the far ‘poorer’ Cuba sees health care and education as human rights for its citizens and for those of other countries. Despite claims of capitalist ‘efficiency,’ the U.S. has the worst health care outcomes among ‘developed’ countries at a price of twice or more per person.  Illustrated in the Texas case is the radical inefficiency of a health care system whose public purpose is subverted by the profit motive. With a fever of 103C Mr. Duncan was turned away but shitting and vomiting himself he was admitted. And lest this remain unclear, it isn’t until a clear emergency can be claimed that hospitals in the U.S. are mandated to provide treatment.
Even in capitalist economics the distinction was long ago made between ‘public’ goods that have social value, but that businesses are unwilling to provide, and ‘private’ goods whose production is best left to capitalists. This public / private frame had political leaders in the U.S. supporting public health programs paid for by the federal government, publicly funded schools and the building of the infrastructure that ultimately supported the ‘private’ economy and private profits. Whereas many of the ‘contracts’ for public programs went to private contractors, their historic purpose was public service and this was the measure of their success.
urieebola2
Graph (2) above: in the U.S. ‘private’ railroads were built with land grants (‘free’ land) from the federal government. Setting aside for the moment the goal of genocide against the indigenous population that was part of their motivation, by the end of the nineteenth century the accumulated fortunes of the railroad ‘barons’ were put forward as the bounty produced by capitalism.  Today many of the drugs being sold by ‘private’ health care companies were developed in government labs at public expense. And much of the health care infrastructure being increasingly privatized was developed either wholly or partially at public expense. Source:http://users.humboldt.edu/ogayle/hist383/CentralPacific.html
Beginning in the 1970s under Democrat Jimmy Carter what had formerly been considered quasi-public goods like transportation infrastructure was privatized under the theory that the capitalist profit motive produced more ‘efficient’ outcomes. With airlines and railroads heavily unionized at the time the major component of this ‘efficiency’ came through breaking organized labor and driving wages down. However, even in capitalist economics shifting wages to capitalists as profits is only ‘efficient’ if the increase in profits is greater than the wages lost.
What was lost in this shift was the sense of a public interest. The idea had always depended on dubious circumscription— class; race and imperial interests had left most of the world and much of the U.S. on the outside. What happened was that the private interest consumed the public interest. The railroads had been built through federal land grants and airlines flew mandatory routes to serve both public and private interests. By the 1970s the private fortunes built on this ‘partnership’ decided they wanted it all for themselves. That a Democrat President (Jimmy Carter) was behind the shift to the private takeover of the public realm ties Mr. Carter to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as effective proponents of the neo-liberal program.
To tie this back to Cuba and the human rights view of health care and education, there was and remains no capitalist class in Cuba to subvert the public interest. The U.S. had public and private interests and the private interest consumed the public interest. Public health care and educational infrastructure were ‘public’ and served public purposes. Through privatization this public purpose has been subverted. As with the railroads and airlines, their public-private conception and the public-private resources that built them were simply taken by capitalists through privatization.
The idea that the profit motive produces ‘efficient’ outcomes in the public realm depends on redefining it. ‘Private’ drug companies didn’t develop an Ebola vaccine because doing so wasn’t estimated to be profitable. What state of the world must exist for such a vaccine to be profitable? An Ebola pandemic would provide the needed ‘customers’ to make it profitable. Stopping an epidemic and preventing it from becoming a pandemic is costly for ‘private’ interests with few profit opportunities from the direct ‘customers.’ But as was understood and inconveniently forgotten decades ago, what is ‘inefficient’ as capitalist enterprise is often astonishingly efficient as public policy.
Ebola has the public imagination because it is deadly and a horrific way to die. However, left out of press reports are the preventable and curable medical conditions that poor people face every day that go untreated. And what ‘Obamacare’ reinforced is the private takeover of the public interest for private gain.
Obamacare proceeds from the premise that health care exists to serve private interests by subsidizing ‘customers’ of private health care providers. Persons with health insurance who contract a communicable disease are forced into the ‘personal’ (‘private’) calculus of whether they can afford the insurance co-pays and deductibles of getting health care. And as ‘businesses’ health care providers calculate how to provide the most profitable health care, not the best. With stopping the spread of communicable diseases in the public interest, the profit ‘motive’ that in theory supports capitalist efficiency is the antithesis of social efficiency in the public realm.
The shift from public to private interests in the West isn’t an accident of history. It comes through bi-partisan support for the crudely ideological capitalism that re-emerged through the conflation of public and private interests. And in fact, this conflation has it perfectly backwards— private interests never served the public interest but private interests owe everything to this public interest from land grants to government research given / sold to ‘private’ corporations to bank bailouts. As Albert Camus had it in his book ‘The Plague,’ perhaps a modern plague will be the road back from the Western nation-states of the ‘self.’ But why should it come to that?
The poor and beleaguered nation of Cuba has maintained the social and moral bearing that places the public interest above private interests. Outside of the implausibility of Western ‘profits’ capitalism is the antithesis of the public interest and must be gotten rid of. Health care profiteers have taken the public interest and put it into their own pockets. And for-profit health care is a plague every day for the people who don’t get health care because they can’t afford it.

Paracas Skulls

http://guardianlv.com/2014/04/paracas-elongated-skulls-new-dna-info-reveal-shocking-information/

not mentioned in the article, is that the skull stutures are mostly
inconsistent with human skulls.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kurdish female warriors in a combat unit from twitter

Islamic State Forced To Fall Back Near .You Won’t Believe Who's Standing In The Way "

Friday, October 10, 2014

For those who think modern feminism is the only kind there ever was

On October 10, 1866, the pro-life founder of the women's movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, declared herself a candidate for Congress from the 8th Congressional District of New York, even though women did not yet have the right to vote. As a mother and a feminist, Stanton reported "four hundred murders annually produced by abortion in [one] county alone," Condemning the "murder of children, either before or after birth," Stanton "pointed to the only remedy, the education and enfranchisement of woman...."
http://www.feministsforlife.org


NOTE: Stanton did make the error of focussing on "anti woman" stuff in the Bible and denouncing The Bible therefore whether at the same time or later, these points however taken in the overall picture show that it was an allowing not a demanding and the created order was nothing of the kind,
all male rule came as part of the curse after the Fall, and the mechanism was the default of the woman "your desire will be to your husband and he will rule over you." mitigation of curses on Adam was never called a sin (labor saving inventions like the plow and harnessing animals to do work) so why should mitigation of the curse on women be a sin? But it has to include changing her attitude and helping women develop what in Stanton's time was called "a man's mind." Paul warned women can be deceived, and refers to a woman being in subjection "as says the law." Now the Torah never dictated subjection except that one point, the curse, all other subjection was moderating an existing situation that was coming into play noticeably in Laban's time.

Jacob's wives complained of behavior that was normal later on, "he has treated us like strangers," devoured their inheritance and sold them. Clearly this wasn't the way it was in their childhood memory or they would not have thought it bad or strange.

So it would seem Paul is arguing (unless talking about local and Roman law in which case it was a matter of public relations only) that if a woman insists on having Eve's flaws she can keep her curse. The converse is implied of course.

male supremacy hinged on the bride price, and theoretically if a savvy girl were to save or beg money and buy herself from her father, she could start her own lineage, marrying only a man who would abandon his own lineage and adopt hers. bilateral or even revived matrilineal. No indication anyone did that. But shifts in inheritance based on adoption existed, I Chronicles lists a man of Judah who had no sons, so married his daughter to his Egyptian slave and raised the child to his own name, and it was in the rolls of Judah. Because this adoption erased legally the Egyptian blood, the rule in Deuteronomy that required three generations from an Egyptian ancestor before the child could be counted as Israelite did not apply. Effectively, the bride price compensated for loss of the labor of the girl as a field hand, and transferred the produce of her womb from her father's lineage to that of her husband's father.

The neo matriarchist crew argue women are pacifist by nature and men rebelled and slavery developed from first enslaving women, but I think a more credible scenario is this: matrilineal amazonian tribes or extended family groups were short of women because of wars, and bought women from other groups. These were of course in subjection to the matriarch through her sons and nephews, so children grew up seeing their mothers bossed by their fathers, which set a pattern in their minds. Slavery in general started as war captives, and probably predated this, but once YHWH was forgotten, and one did not credit her children as Eve did to YHWH but to themselves, then with this attitude, whether it be father or mother in charge, the child is an object, the produce of your body ergo your property to sell or kill (or abort) at will. This laid the groundwork for other forms of chattel slavery.

oddly enough, the sentimental icky notion of oneness between mother and child, a total falsehood since it begins as free floating non attached conceptus which then implants and feeds off her like a parasite for a while until it is ready to be born, this notion, while it may support the child's survival if the notion motivates care for the child, is also at the root of abortion - that the child is just an extension or part of the mother, and she can therefore do as she please with it, incl. abort. In ancient times, it was usually after birth that the child's life was on the line, if it was sickly or deformed it might likely be killed or abandoned.

A quiver full of children was a collection of future workers and warriors, useful. Of course God prohibited extreme manifestations of this attitude, killing the child for any reason but it being evil and both parents had to agree and get the town elders' permission. In the absence of God's Law however, the utilitarian view of human life incl. that of your children prevailed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Welfare predates socialism

http://www.missouri-mule.com/alfredthegreat.html Alfred the Great was possibly continuing what his father started, Aethevulf "provided systems of poor relief."

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10627/10627-h/10627-h.htm

"In regard to the financial resources of Alfred we know but little. Probably they were great, considering the extent and population of the little kingdom over which he ruled, but inconsiderable in comparison with the revenues of England at the present day. To build fortresses, construct a navy, and keep in pay a considerable military force,--to say nothing of his own private expenditure and the expense of his court, his public improvements, the endowment of churches, the support of schools, THE RELIEF OF THE POOR, and keeping the highways and bridges in repair,--required a large income. This was derived from the public revenues, crown lands, and private property. The public revenue was raised chiefly by customs, tolls, and fines. The crown lands were very extensive, as well as the private property of the sovereign, as he had large estates in every county of his kingdom.

But whatever his income, he set apart ... one-eighth for the poor, besides a considerable sum for foreigners, whom he liberally patronized."

http://books.google.com/books?id=WaAzAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=%22king+alfred%22+support+of+the+poor+plough+tax+penny&source=bl&ots=R4-LhJ-vS3&sig=fMhs3sCmPuG24eugU6uGVsPx2G8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IZU0VPuHJ4beoATd2oL4Dw&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

the church support of the poor as well as of itself was from money collected by taxes and given by the king to the Church, normal routine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Poor_Laws doesn't go back as far as King Alfred, but it shows also that wage restrictions were in play to prevent exploitation by the few laborers after the plague. Obviously the concept of govt. intervention in the economy predated "socialism."

Though it refers to charity as voluntary, the tax like required support of the church, or church getting a cut of taxes, some of which was used to support the poor, is not mentioned but clearly is not entirely "voluntary." It is an enforcement of Biblical standards of morality, which go beyond sexual issues into economic ones. This included in the medieval times, PROHIBITION OF LENDING AT ANY DEGREE OF INTEREST.

The conniving Venetians persuaded the pope eventually to redefine "usury" from ANY interest to excessive interest. Calvin did the same for the protestant scene, and Venetian influence was involved in creating the Reformation AND the counter reformation! This of course insured wars and so forth that would require borrowing money from the Venetians....

http://www.socialwelfarehistory.com/programs/poor-laws/ discusses the scene in AD 1601 et seq, notice the interference in families and restriction on travel way predate "socialism" after all the family as basic unit of society is not supreme, but the foundation and producer of society which the govt. is to direct to make sure society runs right so the family can be an object of direction also. 

The Constitution clause about freedom of travel is not about driver's licenses, or toll bridges, but about the old feudal holdover rules that required passports and permits for travel within the king's realm. This was also present in Russia and other lands. you had to explain yourself.

http://www.royal.gov.uk/HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensofEngland/TheAnglo-Saxonkings/AlfredtheGreat.aspx

scroll down for King Alfred's efforts at public education, and his writing on the necessity of individuals being in shape to do their duties if the king is to rule the land effectively download pdf. Bear in mind that all royal efforts at anything came from taxes.

http://books.google.com/books?id=SmMNAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=england+poor+support+%22king+alfred%22&source=bl&ots=SZ1nvvGE63&sig=6XKwztMAWv55C3ewQvsYeV1fa1o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nZg0VLW1NY6sogSKt4JI&ved=0CGAQ6AEwCQ#v=snippet&q=poor&f=false

references to support efforts for the poor click on each page segment shown for entire page.

plough taxes later became excessive and were opposed, they had to do with other things than the poor, so cost more.

Biblical basis for compulsory charity, in addition to charity done as individuals. THIS IS NOT PART OF THE RITUAL CODE WHICH IS WHAT PAUL SAYS IS SUPERCEDED IN THEREFORE ABROGATED BY CHRIST, but consistent with the rest of the moral code which he reiterates.

Deuteronomy 26:12, 13 third year tithe to go to the levite, the poor, the stranger, the orphan, the widow, and notice a PUBLIC REPORT so A PUBLIC EXAMINATION is made to be sure this was done.

Tithing applied only to people who were producing a lot farmers and so forth, high income earners now maybe, it is not supposed to be required of the underprivileged like churches demand poor members fork over (and support rich ministers), it is a tenth OF YOUR INCREASE, in other words, a capital gains tax.

12"When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13"You shall say before the LORD your God, 'I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.…"