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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 10,230

Journal Archives

Research Misconduct Allegations Shadow New CDC Head

Source: Medscape - Kaiser Health News

The Trump administration yesterday announced that HIV expert Dr. Robert Redfield will lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ignoring complaints that his work on high-profile vaccine research more than 20 years ago was flawed.

The Army in 1994 acknowledged accuracy issues with HIV vaccine clinical trials led by Redfield, but concluded at the time that the data errors did not constitute misconduct.

In an announcement Wednesday afternoon, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar emphasized Redfield's care of HIV/AIDS patients and his work as a researcher, which included the controversial research.

Yet one of the whistleblowers who first raised the matter to the Army told Kaiser Health News this week that he remains so troubled about Redfield's handling of the vaccine research that he has decided to speak out publicly.

Redfield was principal investigator over clinical trials of a treatment vaccine at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. The research was conducted at a time when there was intense pressure to come up with a treatment for HIV/AIDS, which often killed patients within a matter of months.

"Either he was egregiously sloppy with data or it was fabricated," said former Air Force Lt. Col. Craig Hendrix, a doctor who is now director of the division of clinical pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "It was somewhere on that spectrum, both of which were serious and raised questions about his trustworthiness."

In a letter to Trump this week, Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the health committee, cited the research controversy as an example of a "pattern of ethically and morally questionable behavior" by Redfield that should prompt the president to reconsider the appointment.

Redfield's appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, was leaked to the news media over the weekend. Redfield did not respond to questions.

Redfield, who denied any scientific misconduct at the time, is now an HIV/AIDS expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has been praised by his supporters for his care of patients. He oversees a clinical program that treats 6,000 patients in the Baltimore-Washington area, according to an online bio.

But Redfield's critics said the appointment demonstrates that the Trump administration is not vetting appointees thoroughly. The first CDC head, Brenda Fitzgerald, stepped down in January after a controversy over her purchase of tobacco stocks, and former HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned late last year amid criticism over his use of government and private planes for official travel.

Read more: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/894351

Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors

Source: US-CERT: US Computer Emergency Readiness Team

This joint Technical Alert (TA) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This alert provides information on Russian government actions targeting U.S. Government entities as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. It also contains indicators of compromise (IOCs) and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by Russian government cyber actors on compromised victim networks. DHS and FBI produced this alert to educate network defenders to enhance their ability to identify and reduce exposure to malicious activity.

DHS and FBI characterize this activity as a multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors who targeted small commercial facilities’ networks where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks. After obtaining access, the Russian government cyber actors conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally, and collected information pertaining to Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

Read more: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A

This is more serious than anything I've seen before - with many years in US gov't and private industry security.

Get prepared!

The price of a childs life


They came with the usual predictability, facing the bright lights and cameras, offering the familiar prayers and condolences that have become the air kisses of carnage. They encouraged us to keep the victims in our own prayers, offering sanctimonious platitudes for young lives cut short and how it would dishonor those who died to have crass, political conversations right now. There would be time for that later.

Of course there will never be an appropriate time to have a discussion about school shootings in the United States. Not because it dishonors anyone, but because the frequency of school shootings overlaps with the proscribed wait time to respond. You see, there’s always a school shooting to avoid addressing. They’ve become as reliable as Republicans circling the wagons to protect the National Rifle Association from being victimized by public opinion after another bloody masterpiece.


Every single parasite, every Republican co-conspirator who marched lockstep onto a podium, delivering mea culpas for their masters since the school shooting in Florida last week was purchased, like something from the back page of a cheap tabloid to sell out their constituents back home; to make excuses for murdered children; and to provide cover for the treacherous NRA.


A classroom full of dead kids shouldn’t be the price of freedom. To suggest otherwise takes us closer to a national insanity from which we may never recover.

Trump security team sees building U.S. 5G network as option

Source: Reuters

resident Donald Trump’s national security team is looking at options to counter the threat of China spying on U.S. phone calls that include the government building a super-fast 5G wireless network, a senior administration official said on Sunday.

The official, confirming the gist of a report from Axios.com, said the option was being debated at a low level in the administration and was six to eight months away from being considered by the president himself.

The 5G network concept is aimed at addressing what officials see as China’s threat to U.S. cyber security and economic security.

The Trump administration has taken a harder line on policies initiated by predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-5g/trump-security-team-sees-building-u-s-5g-network-as-option-idUSKBN1FH103

And of course a "nationalized" 5G network would be subject to the Nationalized Security Apparatus which will make sure that all US residents will have access to only The Best News about their Feckless Leader!

Stephen Colbert sells out to Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop

Not sure if this should be in this forum or elsewhere. I enjoy Colbert but I also know about "alternative" medicine (and facts.) She's been promoting an incredible set of cures that all seem to be money-makers.


I’ve been a fan of Stephen Colbert for a long time, ever since his days on The Daily Show and continuing through his years doing The Colbert Report. One reason is that his comedy is, in general, the sort that skeptics appreciate. For example, his recurring “The Wørd” segment on The Colbert Report, for instance, brilliantly deconstructed the deceptive ways that politicians and others use language. Then, he coined the term “truthiness,” which describes the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. Then, of course, there’s his regular segment, which debuted in 2015, on The Tonight Show With Stephen Colbert mocking the expensive quackery and nonsense that Gwyneth Paltrow sells through her Goop lifestyle brand. In it, Colbert touts his own lifestylbrand, Covetton House.

USA Gymnastics board to resign amid sex abuse scandal: spokeswoman

Source: Reuters

The remaining directors of USA Gymnastics will resign following revelations that the former national team doctor sexually abused female athletes, complying with a demand from the U.S. Olympic Committee, a spokeswoman for gymnastics group said on Friday.

The USOC had threatened to strip the group of its power to run its sport if the remaining 16 directors did not resign by Wednesday. Five have already resigned as a result of the scandal.

“USA Gymnastics will comply with the USOC requirements,” Leslie King, a spokeswoman for USA Gymnastics, said in an e-mail on Friday.

The U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday and Friday joined the USOC in opening broad investigations into possible sex abuse in sports.

Read more: USA Gymnastics board to resign amid sex abuse scandal: spokeswoman

Far bigger than the USA Gymnastics and USOC scandal is that awaiting the US Congress.

Non-consensual activity, especially with the younger people, is rampant.

Of course, who is going to enforce "ethics" on this bunch of old lecherous dotards?

'Buy a flat, meet Trump Jr' offer criticised as 'ethics atrocity'


The developers behind a Trump Towers project near Delhi are offering to fly the first 100 investors in the property to the US to meet Donald Trump Jr, the US president’s eldest son.

The promotional materials for the project – the fifth in India to take the Trump name – claim the address in the Indian capital is “so powerful, a letter would reach you from any part of the world”.

One former White House ethics counsel described the offer as an “ethics atrocity”.

The specifics of the meeting with Trump Jr were unclear but the offer was repeated on a news broadcast featured on the developer’s website with the tagline “Buy a flat, meet Trump junior”.

The launch of an “ultra luxury” residential project in Gurgaon, a hub for IT workers south of Delhi, was announced last week by two of the Trump Organization’s Indian franchisees, M3M Tribeca Developers.

They claimed to have sold 20 apartments in the two 600ft towers within 24 hours of the launch, in part through boasts of building the “most luxury project in north India”, but also the lure of meeting a member of the US’s first family.

“About an initial 100 buyers will fly to the US where Donald Trump Jr will host them,” Pankaj Bansal, the India director for M3M, told the Press Trust of India.

“Making Donald Jr available to those who can afford it in a foreign land based on purchasing a property is an ethics atrocity,” said Norman L Eisen, who served as a special counsel for ethics in the Barack Obama administration and is the chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew), a watchdog group.

“Access to the first family should not be for sale. It’s particularly inappropriate because we know he is in constant communication with his father, so it does create a conduit to attempt to influence the president and one of his closest confidants and family members.”

Crew warned in a report released on Friday that Trump was continuing to profit from his businesses while in office and “in many cases he is profiting as a result of his presidency”.

New Der SPIEGEL Cover explained: The Age of Fire and Fury

Source: Der Speigel

"Fire and Fury" is the title of the new exposé of Donald Trump's first year in the White House. The tome has only been out for a few days, and yet it has already established itself as one of the books of the year. Even we journalists find ourselves describing the book's contents as "indescribable" and "unfathomable." Can the world's most powerful man really be dumb, senile and addicted to television as the book claims? He spends his early evenings watching three televisions in his bedroom? Eating a cheeseburger and tweeting all the while? An entire White House teetering between hysteria and chaos? And yet, it's still the journalist's job to describe the indescribable and fathom the unfathomable.

Our latest cover story explains how "Fire and Fury" came to be and whether, and the extent to which, it approaches the truth. Most importantly, however, it delves into the consequences for an America and a world that have been confronted with a nuclear-armed fool who is likely to remain in office for some time to come, who is neither mentally nor psychologically suited for the job - apparently also not physically, either, given how late he starts the working day and how early he ends it. That, unfortunately, is precisely the point: Humanity as a whole is being set back just because of one single person. The achievements of decades - the fight against a climate disaster, against the nuclear threat, for equality between men and women, between blacks and whites and so on and so on. Where is the world supposed to start again if it manages to survive Donald Trump?

Read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-age-of-fire-and-fury-latest-der-spiegel-trump-cover-explained-a-1187633.html#ref=rss

Can you match the Donald Trump insult to the country he insulted?

From The Guardian:

Donald Trump’s international diplomacy efforts have hit the headlines again, after he reportedly described several African and Central American nations as “shithole countries”.

Here are 12 other ways in which he has insulted a nation since he began campaigning for the US presidency.

Match the Trump insult to the country he insulted

When campaigning to be US president, of which country did Trump say: “Without us, gone!”

Saudi Arabia

According to Trump, where gives "no appreciation or respect" to the US, despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars a year in aid?
Palestinian territories

Which state did Trump describe as a “corrupt and poorly run country”?

Which country's infrastructure did Trump describe as a "disaster"?
Puerto Rico

Which country did Trump say sends rapists to the US?

Which country did Trump describe as "a dumping ground for the world"?

Which European country is apparently "a total mess", according to Trump?

To which country did Trump appoint an ambassador who had previously described that nation as having "no-go areas" and "politicians that are being burnt" due to Islam?

Of which country did Trump say “we pay billions of dollars to for nothing”?

Which country did Trump say looks "more and more like a paper tiger"?
North Korea

Which nation did Trump say the US could not continue to allow to “rape our country, and that's what they're doing”?

Which nation did Trump describe as "depleted and food starved"?
North Korea

In compiling this quiz we were unable to find any examples of insults directed at Russia.

Coded messages for dump in the Fux chryon?

Since it's been shown that the fearful liar of the US (the subject) gets all of its data feeds from Fux, I was wondering if it's possible that there is a special pattern in the scrolling marquee that triggers primal reactions in the subject's brain.

It's already been shown that the subject will "retweet" material that it sees while indulging in some quality "Executive Time". The subject is probably too old to self-indulge and it appears that the wife-object is rather distant.

It is proposed that a research project be launched to analyze the contents of said chyrons along with visual stimulation of his cortex via exposed flesh (female) on the monitor. While brain-scanning techniques may be useful at some point it seems that there will be very little to uncover (there is no there, there.)

If the the subject can be captured and actually enrolled in a laboratory, evidence-based, blind-trial experiment, please be careful not to over-stimulate for fear of damage to what remains of the sentience. We do want to get good microscopy cross sections before incinerating.
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