Sunday, March 1, 2015

Viva Socialism! Venezuela Considering Trading Oil For Toilet Paper (TP Shortage in Workers Paradise)


Via Bloomberg
Venezuela, plagued with shortages of basic goods, was offered a reprieve by the Prime Minister of neighboring Trinidad & Tobago: exchange oil for tissue paper.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar suggested an oil-for-tissue swap in a news conference Tuesday following a meeting in Port of Spain with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. She said the deal would benefit both countries.
“The concept of commodity sharing is simple -– the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will purchase goods identified by the Government of Venezuela from T&T’s manufacturers, such as tissue paper, gasoline, and parts for machinery,” Persad-Bissessar said.
In Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserves, citizens line up outside supermarkets for hours seeking a bag of clothing detergent, toilet paper or cooking oil. Price controls and a lack of dollars for importers have emptied stores of many basic goods, a situation Maduro blames on hoarders conducting an “economic war” against his socialist government.[…]
Persad-Bissessar presented the swap proposal as a win-win opportunity for the two nations, separated by an 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) strait off Venezuela’s northeast coast.
Tissue paper and other goods “would then be traded for commodities that are needed for our industries –- in particular bitumen and crude oil -– which can be supplied by Venezuela,” she said, adding that “this proposal is at an planning stages, and we recognize that a monitoring mechanism would be key to its success.”
Thank You Bloomberg and Dapandico.

FCC Commissioner On Net Neutrality: This Document Is Worse Than You Can Imagine


“When you see this document, it’s worse than you imagine.” Wonderful.
Republicans invoked Star Wars’s evil galactic emperor in their attacks on new broadband regulations on Friday, warning that the public and Silicon Valley were in for an unpleasant surprise.
Quoting Emperor Palpatine, Republican Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said: “Young fool … Only now, at the end, do you understand.”
Meme wars between the two sides of the debate continued through the day, as internet advocates Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and Free Press flew an airplane towing a 2,000 square foot banner over the towering corporate headquarters of the cable giant Comcast, in Philadelphia.
The victory banner depicted the feline internet star Grumpy Cat and the legend: “Comcast: Don’t Mess With the Internet. #SorryNotSorry.”
Referring to Pai’s comments Evan Greer, campaigns director at Fight for the Future, said: “What they didn’t know is that when they struck down the last rules we would come back more powerful than they could possibly imagine.”
Pai and fellow Republican FCC commissioner Mike O’Rielly, who have been consistent critics of the FCC’s new rules, said once they are published people will realise that they will stifle innovation and lead to taxes and increased rates for the public.
Thank You Guardian and Mr Stone.

Sunday Humor: Pfizer Mercifully Puts Down Another Batch Of Trial Patients

NEW YORK—Following unforeseen complications during a trial of the company’s new cholesterol medication Lipodrin, researchers at pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer said they were forced to put down another batch of test patients out of mercy Friday. “Initially the results were very promising, but after a third of our patients showed troubling side effects we had to make the difficult decision to terminate the subject group—at that point, it was the only humane thing to do,” said lead researcher Richard Dunn, confirming that this was the second test group in a week that had to be eliminated, following a group of 30 arthritis sufferers who had responded poorly to a new 300 mg formulation of Celebrex. “This is often an unfortunate part of the development stage, but I can assure you that not all is lost; with what we’ve been able to learn from this now-deceased cohort, we’re almost certain to earn FDA approval after the next series of trials.” Dunn further expressed his dismay that, since there was no longer anything to compare them against, the members of the study’s control group would also need to be euthanized.

Thank You Onion.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snookered Again: FCC Approves Net Neutrality

For anyone thinking this is somehow going to improve service or lower the price of delivering Hollywood, just wait six months.
weaselzippers;


Wonderful.
Via Politico:
The Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines Thursday to approve sweeping changes to how it regulates the Internet, capping more than a year of noisy debate that sparked millions of public comments and drew the attention of President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.
The agency’s three Democrats voted to approve Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality order, which would treat broadband like a utility to ensure all Web traffic is treated equally. The commission’s two GOP members, Republican lawmakers and the nation’s telecom giants oppose the rules, saying they will dampen innovation and investment. AT&T has already threatened a legal challenge.
“The Internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. It’s simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” Wheeler said at Thursday’s FCC’s meeting. “Today is a red-letter day for Internet freedom, for consumers who want to use the Internet on their terms, for innovators who want to reach consumers without the control of gatekeepers.”
In a separate decision Thursday, the FCC’s Democratic majority voted to override state laws that prevent community-run broadband networks in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina from expanding their geographic reach. The move will help such locally managed networks compete with incumbent cable and telecom companies.
Thank You Politico and Zip.

Senator Ted Cruz: Top Priority Is Abolishing The IRS


(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said among his top five priorities for the United States is to “abolish the IRS” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday.
Sean Hannity of Fox News asked Cruz what his top five agenda items are for the country.
“Number one,” said Cruz. “Repeal every blasted word of Obamacare.”
“Number two, abolish the IRS, take all 125,000 IRS agents and put them on our southern border,” said the senator. “Number three, stop the out of control regulators at the EPA and the alphabet soup of Washington. Number four, defend our constitutional rights – all of them, and number five, restore America’s leadership in the world as a shining city on a hill.”
Thank You Senator Cruz, CNSnews, and Mr Stone.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

JNJ Loses Trial Over Risperdal And Male Breasts

pharmalot;


Bloomberg News
In a setback to Johnson & Johnson JNJ +0.51%, a Philadelphia jury decided the health care giant must pay $2.5 million in damages for failing to warn that its Risperdal antipsychotic could cause gynecomastia, which is abnormal development of breasts in males. The lawsuit was brought by the family of an autistic boy who took the drug in 2002 and later developed size 46 DD breasts, according to a lawyer for the family.
The case has drawn attention for a few reasons. For one, this was the first lawsuit claiming J&J hid the risks of gynecomastia to go to trial after a handful of cases were settled in recent years. The trial also served as a reminder that J&J paid $2.2 billion two years ago to resolve criminal and civil allegations of illegally marketing Risperdal to children and the elderly.
Moreover, former FDA commissioner David Kessler served as a paid expert witness for the family and testified that J&J knew about the risks associated with Risperdal, but failed to disclose the data showing the extent to which youngsters may develop gynecomastia. In a report prepared for a 2012 case that was settled, Kessler wrote that J&J’s Janssen unit, which marketed the drug, had violated the law.
“There was grave mistreatment of children,” says Stephen Sheller, the attorney for Austin Pledger, who took the drug between 2002 and 2006, when he was first seven years old. At the time, Risperdal was not approved for children. J&J “hid data from the FDA, prescribing doctors and parents. Documents showed they knew there was much higher percentage of children getting gynecomastia than they admitted.”

Thank You Mr Silverman.

University of California at LA Students Objected To Undergrad's Appointment To Governing Body Because She's Jewish


According to the students on the council, being Jewish is a “conflict of interest.”

Last week, I attended a council meeting to support my roommate, sorority sister and best friend, Rachel Beyda, as she went through the last step of being confirmed by the council as an appointed justice to the Judicial Board of the Undergraduate Students Association Council. I greatly admire Rachel’s academic success and the passion and determination she has demonstrated toward her goal of becoming a lawyer. I have seen her accrue immense leadership skills and experience in the legal field, both at UCLA, as the current law clerk for the Judicial Board and beyond. Therefore, as I ascended the stairs to Kerckhoff 417, I incorrectly assumed the confirmation of Rachel’s appointment would be quick and simple.
Rachel had been unanimously approved by the Appointments Review Committee consisting of three council members before she flawlessly introduced herself to the council. However, the first question directed at her by General Representative 3 Fabienne Roth was an attack on Rachel’s ability to be a justice based on her involvement in the Jewish community. At President Avinoam Baral’s insistence, the question was phrased slightly more considerately by Transfer Student Representative Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, but this first question set the tone. Rachel finished the interview, making two important points: first, anyone qualified for the position would be a critical thinker who is knowledgeable about campus issues and therefore, has his or her own opinions and second, she has no significant political affiliations. Furthermore, she demonstrated an understanding of what actually having a conflict of interest means and acknowledged that a justice should remove herself from the decision-making process under those circumstances. Rachel was asked to leave the room for council discussion. What followed was a disgusting 40 minutes of what can only be described as unequivocal anti-Semitism during which some of our council members resorted to some of the oldest accusations against Jews, including divided loyalties and dishonesty.
All council members swiftly agreed Rachel was amply qualified for the position, but half of the council had strong reservations stemming from Rachel’s Jewish identity. “My issue is, I’m going to be upfront about it, I think she’s pretty great. She’s smart, she like knows her stuff, she’s like probably going to be a really great lawyer. But I’m like not going to pretend this isn’t about conflict of interest. … It’s not her fault … but she’s part of a community that’s very invested in USAC. … Even if she’s the right person for the job,” claimed Roth. Sadeghi-Movahed added, “For some reason, I’m not 100 percent comfortable. I don’t know why. I’ll go through her application again. I’ve been going through it constantly, but I definitely can see that she’s qualified for sure.” Throughout this discussion, Rachel anxiously paced outside, where, she later informed me, she could hear “conflict of interest” being yelled and concluded that it could only be about her being Jewish. Undoubtedly, the Israeli-Palestinan conflict is one of the most contentious issues on our campus. However, Israel was not mentioned during the discussion of Rachel’s appointment, only her affiliation with Jewish organizations, making the extensive deliberation a definitive act of discrimination.
Thank You Daily Bruin and Zip.


This is what a University Degree is worth today.


Absolutely disgusting.

Hilarious: Net Neutrality Signs Pop Up In DC Calling FCC Chair Tom Wheeler "Obama's B*tch"


Gold.

Posters and signs appeared early Wednesday morning around the nation’s capital and the upscale Georgetown neighborhood where embattled Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler lives. The posters read “Boot Licker” with Wheeler’s face printed over a repeating series of “Obama’s Bitch” in the background in an apparent indication that the commissioner is kowtowing to President Obama.
Wheeler has stated in the past that he’s not bound by the direction of the president.
Stop signs in the Georgetown neighborhood, directly in front of Wheeler’s house, were amended to say, “Stop Wheeler — Don’t Brake the Internet’ [sic].
Thank You Truth Revolt and Mr Stone.