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Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw earthquake

The Raw Story | Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw earthquake; warning removed from Internet
A powerful earthquake tore through central Italy on Monday killing more than 90 people as Renaissance buildings in a historic town were reduced to rubble. The quake hadn't been completely unexpected. Italy muzzled a scientist who foresaw it. "Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor's anger," Gavin Jones reports for Reuters. Jones adds, "Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for 'spreading alarm' and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet."

April 05, 2009

Economist: US collapse driven by 'fraud,' Geithner covering up bank insolvency

Saw this on Friday, and it's a powerful fucking concept. It's kinda like being told that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was manufactured in 1965, or that the mob took out Kennedy on behalf of the CIA in 1964, or that FDR put the Pacific fleet (except for all the carriers) in one place with a "Bomb Me" sign on it in 1944. It's such a large conspiracy and such an awful crime that you can't help but disbelieve it. But it's probably the case, and if so, what then? Does Pres. Obama have another option besides shining it on? What does "full faith and credit" mean, and do you want to live in a world where the U.S. dollar lacks it? For fuck's sake, watch the video. The Raw Story | Economist: US collapse driven by 'fraud,' Geithner covering up bank insolvency
In an explosive interview on PBS' Bill Moyers Journal, William K. Black, a professor of economics and law with the University of Missouri, alleged that American banks and credit agencies conspired to create a system in which so-called "liars loans" could receive AAA ratings and zero oversight, amounting to a massive "fraud" at the epicenter of US finance. But worse still, said Black, Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama's Secretary of the Treasury, is currently engaged in a cover-up to keep the truth of America's financial insolvency from its citizens. The interview, which aired Friday night, is carried on the Bill Moyers Journal Web site. Black's most recent published work, "The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One," released in 2005, was hailed by Nobel-winning economist George A. Akerlof as "extraordinary."

April 03, 2009

Ward Chruchill wins wrongful-dismissal suit

Colorado professor wins wrongful-termination suit - Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Boulder, Colo. -- The University of Colorado professor who likened 9/11 victims to a Nazi leader was fired in retaliation for his controversial remarks, a Denver jury ruled Thursday. Jurors in the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by Ward L. Churchill agreed with the embattled professor's contention that he was the victim of a "howling mob," not the perpetrator of academic misconduct. However, they awarded him only $1 in damages, an amount Churchill dismissed after the verdict as unimportant. "What's next for me? Reinstatement, of course," Churchill said at a televised news conference outside the courtroom. "I didn't ask for money. I asked for justice."

April 02, 2009

Congressional sting shows how easy it is to make risky drugs

Fake company gets approval for risky trial - science-in-society - 02 April 2009 - New Scientist

. . . At a congressional hearing on 26 March, the Government Accountability Office revealed the results of an investigation commissioned by the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. To test the responses of commercial IRBs, the GAO created a proposal from a fictitious company called Device Med-Systems that wanted to test the ability of a gel, poured into the abdomen, to reduce the growth of scar tissue after surgery. The protocol for the trial matched multiple examples described as posing "significant risk" by the Food and Drug Administration.

The GAO submitted the fake proposal to three commercial IRBs, two of which rejected it. But Coast IRB of Colorado Springs approved the proposed trial by a unanimous vote, describing it as "probably very safe". The Committee on Energy and Commerce also found that Coast approved all 356 proposals it received in the past five years, and earned $9.3 million for its services in 2008 alone.