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Free Euthanasia to the Poor: “A Society in Collapse”

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CityNews in Canada recently reported on medically assisted dying (MAID) cases where the person doesn’t seek to end their life because they have a terminal illness, but because they are poor and facing homelessness. After receiving support, the person profiled, Amir Farsoud, has just withdrawn from the program.

See “Voluntary, or Compulsory? Canada’s expansion of assisted suicide raises troubling questions” in City Journal which examines how Canada expanded its MAID program to include the psychiatrically ill.

CTV reported earlier this year on the case of “Sophia” who had chemical sensitivities and received medically-assisted death after being unable to get better housing. CTV reported: “’The government sees me as expendable trash, a complainer, useless and a pain in the a**,’ ‘Sophia’ said in a video filmed on Feb. 14, eight days before her death, and shared with CTV News by one of her friends.” See website of the Canadian MAID program.

KEITH McHENRY, keith@foodnotbombs.net@keith_mchenry

McHenry is co-founder of the global Food Not Bombs movement.

He said today: “The idea that a society would be so inhumane as to provide free euthanasia to the poor or emotionally troubled instead of providing for everyone’s welfare is a society in collapse. This is a chilling sign and suggests the authorities are serious about eliminating those they believe are ‘useless eaters.’ For people to accept a program like MAID and not revolt is frightening.”
Food Not Bombs is regularly prevented from distributing free food by local governments. See IPA releases from earlier this year: “Santa Cruz Threatens to Evict Food Not Bombs” and “Food Not Bombs Wins Against City Gov Trying to Stop Free Meals; Other Battles Continue.”

    McHenry appears regularly on the syndicated radio program “Flashpoints” with their “Food Fight” segments — see recent episode. He notes that the idea of killing the unhoused is recurring, see this piece in the Los Angeles Times from 1994.
For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini,  David Zupan,

November 23, 2022

The Politics of Health

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In light of the White House’s recent Summit on Covid-19 Equity, the Institute for Public Accuracy spoke with Brian Castrucci, an epidemiologist and the president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation. Castrucci emphasized the importance of varying vaccine campaigns that are specific to the diversity of Americans who bear disproportionate burdens of Covid-19 morbidity and mortality––including rural communities.

BRIAN CASTRUCCI; castrucci@debeaumont.org, @BrianCCastrucci

Castrucci called the summit an “opportunity to look back on what the White House has done to ensure marginalized communities have access to [Covid] vaccines.” Castrucci was complimentary of the administration, though he called this “necessary work” that should have been done long before the vaccines were rolled out. 

Castrucci said that the usual concept of the social determinants of health leaves a lot out. In contrast, Daniel Dawes’s more structural idea of the political determinants of health “does not “let elected leaders off the hook.” Many of the factors that make people predisposed to illness or death, including from Covid, are political choices, Castrucci said. “Elected officials have a greater influence over your health than your doctor. That is a fact. The prescription for better health in this nation is policy. Yet every policy we have about health is about pills and procedures, not public health, policies and partnerships.” Castrucci points to 12 of the potential policies outlined in City Health’s policy package as a remedy.

Castrucci said: “The country’s ideological divides are reflected in urban and rural divides.” As such, there can’t be “one vaccine campaign… This country is extraordinarily nuanced. There has to be several campaigns at once.” It also does not need to be a “battle” between different vulnerable groups. “It’s not a choice or a binary,” Castrucci said. “We need strategies to reach every American.”

He added: The pandemic “split us along many lines. We never came together” as a country. “We’ve paid with a million American lives. How many Americans have to die before we put the health of the people over partisanship?” There are consequences to the emphasis on so-called medical freedom, Castrucci said. “We’ll pay with the lives of more American citizens. That’s a high price to pay.”

Castrucci is particularly concerned about rural Americans who have been affected by vaccine inequity. Rural Americans have suffered a disproportionate burden in the pandemic––in part, due to the closures of over a hundred rural hospitals in the last decade. 

Biden Grants More Immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Than Trump Did

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MOHAMAD BAZZI,  mohamad.bazzi@nyu.edu, @BazziNYU
Bazzi is director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies and a journalism professor at New York University. He is also a non-resident fellow at Democracy for the Arab World Now, which was founded by Jamal Khashoggi.

Bazzi just wrote the piece “Biden’s decision to grant Saudi crown prince immunity is a profound mistake.” He writes: “The Biden administration told a U.S. judge last week that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, should be granted immunity in a civil lawsuit over his role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That decision effectively ends one of the last efforts to hold the prince accountable for Khashoggi’s assassination by a Saudi hit team inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. …

“Thanks to the Biden administration’s immunity decision, Prince Mohammed now has a level of protection from U.S. legal actions that even Trump did not offer him. …

“With the prince now shielded from legal action stemming from his regime’s human rights abuses, he will feel far more comfortable traveling to the U.S. and Europe – anywhere he could have faced judicial accountability. And he will be emboldened to crack down more brutally on Saudi dissidents and political opponents, both at home and abroad.

“In fact, instead of showing leniency or accommodating his critics, Prince Mohammed has followed the same playbook since he rose to power with his father’s ascension to the Saudi throne: he seeks to assert his strength and brutal authority, even after he gets what he wants. …

“Biden continues to abandon his stated principles in the hopes of appeasing an autocrat who disdains him. Biden has failed to live up to his promise to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy, and a pledge during the 2020 presidential campaign to seek accountability for Khashoggi’s murder, when he declared: ‘Under a Biden-Harris administration, we will reassess our relationship with the Kingdom, end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil.’

“Today, after nearly two years in power, the Biden administration is still providing weapons and military support to Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. has now shielded the crown prince from any meaningful accountability for Khashoggi’s killing.”

The NATO Charter Is Not a Suicide Pact

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On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Associated Press put out a widely disseminated false story –

– which it later acknowledged “erroneously” reported — that a “senior U.S. intelligence official says Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said: “Hitting NATO territory with missiles. … This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed.” (See “Report: U.S. Told Ukraine to Tread Carefully After Missile Hit Poland” from AntiWar.com.)

“When it comes to our security commitments and Article 5 we’ve been crystal clear that we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.

This echoed Biden’s declaration while in Poland in March: “We have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power.”

Biden’s statement was widely echoed following the AP report as a rallying cry for more war on Tuesday.

Responsible Statecraft in “How a lightly-sourced AP story almost set off World War III” noted that Anders Åslundof the Atlantic Council tweeted: “At long last Russian missiles have hit Poland & killed two Polish citizens. Surprising it did not happen before given the irresponsible Russian behavior. @POTUS: You have promised to defend ‘every inch of NATO territory.’ Are you going to bomb Russia now?” (A CBS News “Breaking News” report featured former ambassador to Poland Daniel Fried, now with the Atlantic Council.)

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: “Estonia is ready to defend every inch of NATO territory. We’re in full solidarity with our close ally Poland.”

The Latvian Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks tweeted: “Criminal Russian regime fired missiles which target not only Ukrainian civilians but also landed on NATO territory in Poland. Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime.”

However, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Wesley Clark stated on CNN: “Article 4 simply calls for consultations. So any NATO member nation can call for consultations and this is an assurance to member NATO nations that they won’t be shut out in a crisis. That if there is something wrong that the other NATO nations will listen to them and evaluate their position and it will be discussed.

“Article 5 is the commitment that an attack on one nation of NATO is viewed as an attack on all. It’s not a commitment to respond by force. It says they’ll respond appropriately. It doesn’t mean you’re going to war. But if it’s an attack, then it falls under Article 5 and NATO will have to determine — what is the appropriate response?” [See video.]

JOHN QUIGLEY, JohnbQuigley793@gmail.com
Quigley is professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University. His books include The Ruses for War. Earlier this year, he wrote the piece “I led talks on Donbas and Crimea in the 90s. Here’s how the war should end” for Responsible Statecraft.

He said today that, in contrast to Clark, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg “has not made clear that Article 5 leaves the other members discretion on what to do if one NATO state is attacked.”

Quigley explained: “There is a widespread belief that Article 5 requires NATO to respond militarily to an attack on a NATO country. Article 5 in a sense has no significance. It is only a declaration that the NATO countries plan to act in collective self-defense if any NATO state is attacked. It does not require any particular action in the event of an attack on a NATO member. Each agrees to take whatever action it deems necessary. So it can decide that no action is necessary.

“The other question is what constitutes an armed attack. An incident as minor (despite two deaths) as the one in Poland is probably not an armed attack, even if it was done by Russia and even if intentionally.”

In 2021, Quigley was featured on an IPA news release: “NATO Trying to Use Cyber Attacks to Trigger Article 5.” It noted: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently told the Atlantic Council (which is funded by various NATO governments): ‘We have decided that a cyber attack can trigger Article 5. … It doesn’t matter if an attack is kinetic or cyber, we will assess as allies when it meets the threshold. … and it sends a message that we are cyber allies.'” At that time, Quigely noted that in fact, “Article 5 of the NATO Treaty references Article 51 of the UN Charter which provides for collective self defence in the event of ‘armed attack.'”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, David Zupan,

November 21, 2022

South Dakotans Voted for Access to Medicaid

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Last week, for the seventh time in recent months, Medicaid won at the ballot box. South Dakotans voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, making more than 45,000 people eligible for free health coverage. Voters have opted to expand Medicaid at the ballot box each of the seven times that states have put Medicaid on the ballot. 

DANIEL NICHANIAN; @Taniel
    Nichanian is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bolts magazine, which covers the nuts and bolts of power and political change.

Nichanian said on Twitter: “I think this gigantic result has been drowned out: South Dakotans voting (56% to 44%!) to expand Medicaid will make tens of thousands of people newly eligible for the public insurance.” Nichanian referenced the other Republican-led states that expanded Medicaid via referendum this past year: Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 

He added: The measure in South Dakota “won by double-digits.” Nichanian had reported earlier this year that Republicans “tried to sink [the] measure by rushing [through] a ballot measure in June,” which would have required a supermajority vote for approval. “Voters killed that in June,” Nichanian said, “then passed this now.”

Jamila Michener, an associate professor of government and public policy at Cornell University, said last week: “Two of [the] biggest things that happened [in the election] are about #Medicaid.” South Dakota voted to expand the program, making it “another red state that can no longer deny the will/preferences of its residents, who overwhelmingly want expanded access to healthcare.”

Nuclear Netanyahu * Abu Akleh Killing

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Benjamin Netanyahu is forming a new, far right cabinet.

RICHARD SILVERSTEIN,  richards1052@gmail.com@richards1052

    Silverstein writes at Tikun Olam and was recently featured on the IPA news release “Nuclear Netanyahu.” He has recently written the pieces “Itamar Ben Gvir: the Rebbe’s Disciple” and “Nations Dither in Face of Israeli Fascism.”

DAVID SHEEN, realdavidsheen@gmail.com@davidsheen   The FBI just announced an investigation into the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli army. Israel has said it would not cooperate.

Sheen is following the Abu Akleh case and the formation of the new Israeli cabinet.

He has also investigated the Alex Odeh case [see video], in which a Palstinian American activist was killed by a bomb in California and the suspected killers have been given refuge by Israel for decades. See his articles: “Alex Odeh Assassination: New Testimony Could Finally Bring Jewish Defense League to Justice” and ”

As U.S. Refuses to Act, Suspected Alex Odeh Assassins Enjoy Influential Role in Israeli Politics” for MintPress.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini,  David Zupan,
November 16, 2022

Midterms and Foreign Policy: Blank Check for More War in Ukraine?

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Reuters reports: “Ukraine expects $4.8 bln in external financing in November — finance minister.”

MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789@verizon.net
Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. He was an analyst at the CIA for 24 years. His books include Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider’s Account of the Politics of Intelligence and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism.

He just wrote the piece “The Midterm Elections And American Foreign Policy,” which states: “The midterms will affect Biden’s agenda for Ukraine, particularly the ability to continue the current pace of military assistance to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Since the war began nearly nine months ago, the Biden administration has authorized and the Congress has approved more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. McCarthy has already stated that a Republican-led House would be unwilling to approve ‘blank check’ assistance to Ukraine. …

“Continuing the war could lead to an expanded conflict that involves the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), particularly the United States, and could lead to the use of tactical nuclear weapons. ….

“It is time to talk. Ironically, it is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who has been the most outspoken about getting to the negotiating table. It is wrong for the military adviser to the president to go public with policy advocacy, but in this case his ideas deserve a sounding within the National Security Council.

“The Biden administration also must reassess the twin pillars of U.S. policy in the Middle East since the 1940s: Israel and Saudi Arabia. …

“Two decades of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan should have led to a period of soul-searching; instead we are dealing with the madness of the dual containment of Russia and China.”

Biden and Xi Meeting

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President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are meeting Monday on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Indonesia.

JAMES BRADLEY, ‪[currently in Vietnam], james@jamesbradley.com, Skype: JamesOnSound
Bradley is author of several bestsellers focused on U.S. policy in the Pacific and Asia, including The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia — see NPR report on that book. He is perhaps most well known for his book Flags of Our Fathers.

He said today: “Take the G20, subtract the G7 and it equals the BRICS. The eastern winds are predominant, the petrodollar is leaking and it will be a cold winter in the West.”

Bradley is prominently featured in John Pilger’s noted documentary “The Coming War on China.”

He has produced numerous episodes of the “Untold Pacific” podcast including “China Rising” and “U.S. Military: ‘War with China Inevitable.’”

He recently said: “The business of China is business. The business of America is war. Will the U.S. make a business-like deal with China over Taiwan? Or will the U.S. insist upon the Taiwan question being settled as a matter of war? It’s not China that’s aggressive — it’s the U.S. government that invades Iraq and Afghanistan and puts a fleet on China’s doorstep.

“The U.S.’s history in China is disastrous. One of the first war lobbies in the U.S. was to get the U.S. to pour millions into supporting Chiang Kai-shek against Mao when Chiang Kai-shek had much, much less popular support.”

See his interview with Covert Action Magazine on the U.S. military encirclement of China.

DontRunJoe.org

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JEFF COHEN, jcohen@ithaca.edu, @Roots_Action
Cohen is a co-founder of RootsAction.org, which just launched DontRunJoe.org. The move was covered by Politico, which wrote “it’s hard to argue that Democrats over-performed on Tuesday because of Biden rather than in spite of him.”

The group states: “On issue after issue, Biden has offered ‘too little, too late’ — from voting rights to abortion rights to student debt to the climate crisis — and he has spent nearly two years demonstrating that he is incapable of using the power of the presidential ‘bully pulpit’ to mobilize for victory. On many issues, he has failed to use his executive authority, including the power to issue executive orders, to defend working families – a failure that can’t be blamed on Congress.”

Cohen is a retired journalism professor at Ithaca College and the author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR.

Climate Meeting: “A Coverup of Their Own Irresponsibility”

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Residents in a flooded quarter of Karachi, Pakistan, August 2022

BASAV SEN, basav@ips-dc.org, @basavips
Sen is director of the Climate Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “As world leaders assemble in Egypt for the UN climate talks, COP27 [Conference of the Parties], we’re once again seeing efforts by wealthy countries to evade their own responsibilities. They continue to push dangerous false solutions such as technological carbon removal and carbon offsets instead of rapidly cutting their own emissions, thereby making a giant high-risk bet on the future of humanity. Most irresponsibly, the U.S. continues to expand its oil and gas production. Rich countries’ intransigence threatens vulnerable people in the Global South. And it also threatens environmental justice communities at home who bear the brunt of oil and gas pollution. The hypocrisy of rich countries, particularly the U.S., needs to become more of a global scandal, including here in the U.S.

“Wealthy countries are still pushing offsets through negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Now, they are evidently pushing an even more dangerous scheme, where polluters can claim offsets from so-called ‘direct air capture’ or ‘technological carbon removal’ projects. The reason they’re so dangerous is that they pretty much don’t exist, except for a handful of experimental projects. So the scheme is essentially a bet on technologies that don’t exist to save us, instead of requiring polluters to cut their emissions now.

“Also, the U.S. (the unofficial leader of the rich countries) is, as we know, expanding oil and gas production, pipelines, petrochemical and plastics production, and export terminals on a massive scale. Just based on this, no one should take anything John Kerry or Biden says seriously. Everything they say at COP27 needs to be understood in this context — a coverup of their own irresponsibility.”

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