Showing posts from November 5, 2016

How PE Firms Are Flipping Drugs in Price-Gouging Scheme that Cannibalizes the Entire US Economy

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[While we're on the topic of rabidly anti-free market capitalists, see also: Uber in Pakistan: A Lesson in the Flaws of the Sharing Economy. *RON*]
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, 3 November 2016
They don’t care. And they’re not required to care.

The ravenous price increases that pharmaceutical companies slap on their medicines are part of the reason the US health care system is eating an ever larger slice of consumer, corporate, and government spending, and why the rest of the economy has trouble moving forward. Some of the price increases have turned into scandals with plenty of mouth-wagging by politicians.

Mylan got raked over the coals in Congress for raising the price of its autoinjector EpiPen seven-fold since buying it in 2007. Last year, Turing Pharmaceuticals, under Martin Shkreli, got into hot water over raising the price of just-acquired Daraprim 50-fold.

Private equity firms have figured this out. You can make a ton of money with a ba…

Too Smug to Jail

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[The Mỹ Lai Massacre Defense. Matt Taibbi is back and in top form. 'The Economist' issues a myopic defense of the white-collar criminal. *RON*]

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 1 November 2016
More News
Matt Taibbi on the Fury and Failure of Donald TrumpTaibbi on Amy Goodman Arrest for Covering Dakota Pipeline StoryTaibbi on 6 Million Adults Who Won't Influence This Presidential Race As we reach the close of an election season marked by anger toward the unaccountable rich, The Economist has chimed in with a defense of the beleaguered white-collar criminal.

Thanks to Donald Trump, the speech controversy moves beyond campuses

An editorial called "Jail bait" is the latest in a line of salvoes against what the magazine imagines is a wave of politically driven regulatory actions against corporate executives.

Trump Fan Peter Thiel Says “Single-Digit Millionaires” Have “No Effective Access to Our Legal System”

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["I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." *RON*]

Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, 31 October 2016
PAYPAL CO-FOUNDER AND tech billionaire Peter Thiel on Monday offered a jaw-dropping defense of his decision to bankroll wrestling icon Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker for publishing a sex tape featuring him.

“If you’re a single-digit millionaire like Hulk Hogan, you have no effective access to our legal system,” he said. “It costs too much. This was the modus operandi of Gawker in large part it was to go after people who had no chance of fighting back.”

Climate Change Is A ‘Matter Of Life And Death’ For The Marshall Islands

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[The first female head of state of a Pacific island nation talks about the biggest threat her country faces. See also: Marshall Islanders Set To Become Climate Refugees Before International Law Can Catch Up. And, while you're at it: Canada not ready for climate change, report warns. *RON*]
By Jon Letman, Civil Beat, 4 November 2016
It takes a combination of guts, grit and gray matter to face off against what is arguably the world’s biggest threat — a planet in the throes of environmental and climate upheaval.
That’s exactly what Hilde Heine displays with an understated conviction that belies her own determination as a Pacific Island leader.

Bunkered down: Shelters, safe rooms, and designing for an age of anxiety

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[Smell the fear. Class wars: Guillotine-watch edition. After I came across this article I realized there is a spate of material on safe rooms, bunkers and shelters out there. See, for example: Still Secret and Secure, Safe Rooms Now Hide in Plain SightKeep the Bad Guys Out! How to Build a Safe Room That's Utterly Impenetrable; Rich people are bragging about their luxe panic rooms. *RON*]

By Patrick Sisson,, 2 November 2016 (Illustrations by Amrita Marino)

Tom Gaffney has the type of client list that other contractors and designers work a lifetime to assemble. Actors and celebrities, Fortune 500 companies, CEOs, the one percent—often the one percent of the one percent—seek out his Vermont-based firm for custom jobs in their homes and offices, both in the United States and around the world. What sets Gaffney and his firm apart from the normal circuit of high-end contractors is that they entered this rarefied world not via cutting-ed…

There’s A Secret Canadian Spy Database That We Just Found Out About

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[The weak oversight of CSIS needs to be seriously stepped-up! See also: Lost Confidence: Why Trust in Canadian Surveillance Agencies Has Been Irreparably Harmed; CSIS Law-Breaking Underscores Need For Stronger Parliamentary OversightJudge blasts CSIS for not revealing secret program that has been illegally keeping metadata since 2006. *RON*]

By Justin Ling,, 3 November 2016

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, better known as CSIS, has found itself in trouble with the legal system once again after a federal court discovered the existence of an "illegal" database full of information on Canadians, held at a secret data centre.

The information came to light in a federal court judgement, released Thursday, that takes aim at the previously-unknown Operational Data Analysis Centre and a program whereby CSIS was storing large amounts of data that had nothing to do with its investigations.

The judgement is heavily redacted so it…