Pfizer ordered to pay up over ‘AIDS-like’ virus infections

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In what is being hailed as a major victory for workers in the biotech and nanotech fields, a former scientist with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has been awarded $1.37 million for being fired after raising the alarm over researchers being infected with a genetically engineered “AIDS-like” virus.

Becky McClain, a molecular biologist from Deep River, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit against Pfizer in 2007, claiming she had been wrongly terminated for complaining about faulty safety equipment that allowed a “dangerous lentivirus” to infect her and some of her colleagues.

The Hartford Courant describes the virus as “similar to the one that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.” Health experts testified that the virus has affected the way McClain’s body processes potassium, which they say causes McClain to suffer complete paralysis as often as a dozen times per month, the Courant reports.

McClain’s lawsuit (PDF) asserted that Pfizer had interfered with her right to free speech, and that she should have been protected from retaliation by whistleblower legislation.

Read morePfizer ordered to pay up over ‘AIDS-like’ virus infections

There Is No Recovery: Utah Proposes Scrapping 12th Grade; Nevada Rations Diapers; Harrisburg Heads For Bankruptcy; NBA Lockouts Loom

Prepare for collapse.


Here is a quick roundup with a general theme of “Hard Times”.

12th Grade Optional

Utah considers cutting 12th grade — altogether

At Utah’s West Jordan High School, the halls have swirled lately with debate over the merits of 12th grade. The sudden buzz over the relative value of senior year stems from a recent proposal by state Sen. Chris Buttars that Utah make a dent in its budget gap by eliminating the 12th grade.

Buttars has since toned down the idea, suggesting instead that senior year become optional for students who complete their required credits early. He estimated the move could save up to $60 million, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The proposal comes as the state faces a $700-million shortfall and reflects the creativity — or desperation — of lawmakers all over.

“You’re looking at these budget gaps where lawmakers have to use everything and anything to try to resolve them,” said Todd Haggerty, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s left lawmakers with very unpopular decisions.”

“The bottom line is saving taxpayer dollars while improving options for students,” said state Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, a Republican and co-chairman of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee. “The more options we give to students to accelerate, the more beneficial it is to students and taxpayers.”

Jordan Utah School District To Lay Off 500

Jordan District to lay off 500 employees because of $30M shortfall

The Jordan School District will lay off 500 employees by July 1 as part of an effort to make up for a $30 million shortfall.

By a 6-1 vote, the Jordan Board of Education approved options to reduce the 2010-11 budget, which include personnel cuts, programs and services cuts, transfer of expenditures to other programs, compensation adjustments, class-size increases, and possible tax increases.

Between now and the end of March, the board will determine which positions and programs will be eliminated. As many as 250 teaching positions and 250 administrative/support staff positions will be cut.

Not a single teacher need be cut. All it takes is unions to lower salary demands and/or pensions. Any cuts are the direct responsibility of the Teachers’ union.

Harrisburg Pennsylvania Heads For Bankruptcy

Harrisburg excludes debt payments from 2010 budget

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, moved a step closer to defaulting on a bond payment when its city council passed a 2010 budget that does not include $68 million in debt repayments on an incinerator.

Read moreThere Is No Recovery: Utah Proposes Scrapping 12th Grade; Nevada Rations Diapers; Harrisburg Heads For Bankruptcy; NBA Lockouts Loom

We’re Screwed! Hyperinflation like in the Weimar Republic; Great Depression worse than in the 1930s

The US is already beyond hope!

See also:

John Williams of Shadowstats: Prepare For The Hyperinflationary Great Depression

This is the Greatest Depression.


ShadowStats.com founder John Williams explains the risk of hyperinflation. Worst-case scenario? Rioting in the streets and devolution to a bartering system.

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Courtesy of John WilliamsEconomist/statistician John Williams shifts through the government’s rose-tinted data

Do you believe everything the government tells you? Economist and statistician John Williams sure doesn’t. Williams, who has consulted for individuals and Fortune 500 companies, now uncovers the truth behind the U.S. government’s economic numbers on his Web site at ShadowStats.com. Williams says, over the last several decades, the feds have been infusing their data with optimistic biases to make the economy seem far rosier than it really is. His site reruns the numbers using the original methodology. What he found was not good.

Maymin: So we are technically bankrupt?

Williams: Yes, and when countries are in that state, what they usually do is rev up the printing presses and print the money they need to meet their obligations. And that creates inflation, hyperinflation, and makes the currency worthless.

Obama says America will go bankrupt if Congress doesn’t pass the health care bill.

Well, it’s going to go bankrupt if they do pass the health care bill, too, but at least he’s thinking about it. He talks about it publicly, which is one thing prior administrations refused to do. Give him credit for that. But what he’s setting up with this health care system will just accelerate the process.

Where are we right now?

In terms of the GDP, we are about halfway to depression level. If you look at retail sales, industrial production, we are already well into depressionary. If you look at things such as the housing industry, the new orders for durable goods we are in Great Depression territory. If we have hyperinflation, which I see coming not too far down the road, that would be so disruptive to our system that it would result in the cessation of many levels of normal economic commerce, and that would throw us into a great depression, and one worse than was seen in the 1930s.

What kind of hyperinflation are we talking about?

I am talking something like you saw with the Weimar Republic of the 1930s. There the currency became worthless enough that people used it actually as toilet paper or wallpaper. You could go to a fine restaurant and have an expensive dinner and order an expensive bottle of wine. The next morning that empty bottle of wine is worth more as scrap glass than it had been the night before filled with expensive wine.

We just saw an extreme example in Zimbabwe. … Probably the most extreme hyperinflation that anyone has ever seen. At the same time, you still had a functioning, albeit troubled, Zimbabwe economy. How could that be? They had a workable backup system of a black market in U.S. dollars. We don’t have a backup system of anything. Our system, with its heavy dependence on electronic currency, in a hyperinflation would not do well. It would probably cease to function very quickly. You could have disruptions in supply chains to food stores. The economy would devolve into something like a barter system until they came up with a replacement global currency.

What can we do to avoid hyperinflation? What if we just shut down the Fed or something like that?

We can’t. The actions have already been taken to put us in it. It’s beyond control. The government does put out financial statements usually in December using generally accepted accounting principles, where unfunded liabilities like Medicare and Social Security are included in the same way as corporations account for their employee pension liabilities. And in 2008, for example, the one-year deficit was $5.1 trillion dollars. And that’s instead of the $450 billion, plus or minus, that was officially reported.

Wow.

These numbers are beyond containment. Even the 2008 numbers, you can take 100 percent of people’s income and corporate profit and you’d still be in deficit. There’s no way you can raise enough money in taxes.

What about spending?

If you eliminated all federal expenditures except for Medicare and Social Security, you’d still be in deficit. You have to slash Social Security and Medicare. But I don’t see any political will to rein in the costs the way they have to be reined in. There’s just no way it can be contained. The total federal debt and net present value of the unfunded liabilities right now totals about $75 trillion. That’s five times the level of GDP.

Read moreWe’re Screwed! Hyperinflation like in the Weimar Republic; Great Depression worse than in the 1930s

Paul Craig Roberts: The Obama Puppet – The World’s Least Powerful Man

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Paul Craig Roberts

It didn’t take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.

Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so.

The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.

President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order.

Essentially, Obama is irrelevant.

President Obama can promise that he is going to bring the troops home, and the military lobby says, “No, you are going to send them to Afghanistan, and in the meantime start a war in Pakistan and maneuver Iran into a position that will provide an excuse for a war there, too. Wars are too profitable for us to let you stop them.”

And the mere president has to say, “Yes, Sir!”

Obama can promise health care to 50 million uninsured Americans, but he can’t override the veto of the war lobby and the insurance lobby. The war lobby says its war profits are more important than health care and that the country can’t afford both the “war on terror” and “socialized medicine.”

The insurance lobby says health care has to be provided by private health insurance; otherwise, we can’t afford it.

The war and insurance lobbies rattled their campaign contribution pocketbooks and quickly convinced Congress and the White House that the real purpose of the health care bill is to save money by cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits, thereby “getting entitlements under control.”

Read morePaul Craig Roberts: The Obama Puppet – The World’s Least Powerful Man

Swine flu vaccine supplier Baxter overcharged Medicaid, has to pay back millions

Baxter again!!!
Big Pharma: Baxter, CSL Sued Over Accusations of Blood Monopoly
Baxter Filed Swine Flu Vaccine Patent a Year Ahead of Outbreak

Baxter sent out 72 kilos of live bird flu material destined for vaccines confirmed by Austrian Health Minister Alois Stöger
Baxter: Product contaminated with live H5N1 avian flu virus


Trinity Gilmore and Taryn Cephas with H1N1 vaccines
Two year-old Trinity Gilmore, gets one of the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 06 Oct 2009. Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA

A company producing swine flu vaccine for Britain has paid millions of pounds in out-of-court settlements after being accused of fraudulently overcharging for medicines.

Baxter, the US pharmaceutical giant, reached at least seven huge settlements over the past 12 months, some of them for millions of dollars. The company had been accused of fraud amid allegations that it had overpriced medicines by as much as 1,300%.

The disclosure comes days after Baxter’s vaccine, Celvapan H1N1, was given approval by the European Medicines Agency and will raise fears about the growing costs of the swine flu pandemic. Vaccines are expected to cost the government £155m over the next four years.

Baxter became involved in prolonged litigation after being accused of fraudulently overcharging Medicaid, the US health programme that provides a safety net for the poorest families. Executives from the company paid out $2m to the Kentucky state government this year. Jack Conway, the Kentucky attorney general, said: “All of this could have been easily avoided if Baxter… had done what the law requires: report truthful prices.

“Taxpayers are footing the bill for these inflated drug prices, and my office is seeking to recover the money the Medicaid programme lost as a result of this deception and overpayment.”

Read moreSwine flu vaccine supplier Baxter overcharged Medicaid, has to pay back millions

Paul Craig Roberts: The Health Care Deceit

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

It is the War in Afghanistan Obama Declared a “Necessity,” Not Health Care


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Paul Craig Roberts

The current health care “debate” shows how far gone representative government is in the United States. Members of Congress represent the powerful interest groups that fill their campaign coffers, not the people who vote for them.

The health care bill is not about health care. It is about protecting and increasing the profits of the insurance companies. The main feature of the health care bill is the “individual mandate,” which requires everyone in America to buy health insurance. Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont), a recipient of millions in contributions over his career from the insurance industry, proposes to impose up to a $3,800 fine on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance.

The determination of “our” elected representatives to serve the insurance industry is so compelling that Congress is incapable of recognizing the absurdity of these proposals.

The reason there is a health care crisis in the US is that the cumulative loss of jobs and benefits has swollen the uninsured to approximately 50 million Americans. They cannot afford health insurance any more than employers can afford to provide it.

It is absurd to mandate that people purchase what they cannot afford and to fine them for failing to do so. A person who cannot pay a health insurance premium cannot pay the fine.

These proposals are like solving the homeless problem by requiring the homeless to purchase a house.

Read morePaul Craig Roberts: The Health Care Deceit

US: Hyperinflation Nation

Hyperinflation Nation starring Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Tom Woods, Gerald Celente, and others.

Prepare now before the US dollar is worthless.

Part 1 :

Read moreUS: Hyperinflation Nation

US: THIS is Big Government

The US is in a ‘Death Spiral’ and ‘in the Tank Forever’, says Davidowitz


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National debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 – they’ve had 234 years to get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it can’t compete with private sector FedEx and UPS services.

Social Security was established in 1935 – they’ve had 74 years to get it right; it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938 – they’ve had 71 years to get it right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 – they’ve had 39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

The War on Poverty was started in 1964 – they’ve had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor”; it hasn’t worked.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 – they’ve had 44 years to get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to mention them as models for all US health care.

AMTRAK was established in 1970 – they’ve had 39 years to get it right; last year they bailed it out as it continues to run at a loss!

This year, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political payoff called the Stimulus Bill of 2009; it shows NO sign of working; it’s been used to increase the size of governments across America, and raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job. Our national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

Read moreUS: THIS is Big Government