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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:It's obvious. (504 comments)

Because it is as accurate to claim that the Hamas Charter represents Hamas' unchangeable views as it is to claim 1 Samuel represents Jewish unchangeable views.

The Republican pollster Frank Luntz in his The Israel Project memo popularized the idea of promoting the Hamas Charter as the literal beliefs of Hamas today. If you read his memo you'll see he says that you shouldn't say things because they're true, but because they'll convince people. One of Luntz' students became an Israeli citizen and is now Israel's ambassador to the US.

Hamas has made repeated peace offers to Israel, and they've been repeatedly rejected. Ahmed Jabari was head of Hamas' military wing, had arranged the Giliad Shalat exchange, and was in charge of keeping the non-Hamas militant movements under control when Hamas was trying to keep a cease-fire with Israel. Jabari was working on a permanent peace agreement with Israel, and had just received the final draft, when the Israelis killed him with an air-to-surface missile in his car. That was no accident. The Israelis didn't want peace, because then they'd have to give up the settlements.

Quoting the Hamas Charter to prove that you can't make peace with Hamas is one of Luntz' strategies to avoid dealing with the facts. Luntz tells his clients that they should lie, and they do.

2 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

If that allegation is true is may constitute a war crime - if it is true and there are no mitigating factors. The truth of that allegation isn't clear, and it is completely unrelated to the organization of Israel's government.

The evidence shows major inconsistencies and contradictions in the Abed Rabbo incident. NGO Monitor, CAMERA , and other researchers have documented at least 14 significantly different versions of the story. NGOs have published 6 distinct accounts, and 8 others are from the media. The evolution of these accounts also suggests motivations for promoting allegations that may be far from the truth.

Oh come on. I used to work in Israeli public relations. I know what they're doing. I've talked to them on the phone and in person, and I went to their meetings. When I first started out, I actually believed in it myself.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA are propaganda organizations paid by the Israeli government and their American millionaire and billionaire pro-settler supporters, as you can see from their Wikipedia entry. They don't have any investigators on the ground. They don't talk to witnesses or go to the scene. Everything they do is second-hand and third-hand, from their offices in Morningside Heights or wherever they're working. They have never researched a case and concluded that Israel was wrong. Try to find one.

The Rabbio incident was investigated by many human rights groups and news media, who sent people to the scene to look it over and interview witnesses. It was investigated by the Goldstone commission. Goldstone was appointed because he had unimpeachable Zionist credentials, until he came to a conclusion that they didn't like. The Israeli government itself didn't even try to challenge the facts. It's as true as anything we can know without a criminal proceeding, and Israel refuses to investigate it themselves. You might as well say the truth of the Holocaust isn't clear.

I've talked to many Israeli government officials about human rights abuses and killings. Their consistent response is to deny it all. And I regularly caught them in lies. They would admit it and brush it off.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA do one thing that is so deceptive and misleading that I have to call it out. I've worked with lawyers (on matters that have nothing to do with Israel) and they taught me something about how they (and the police) do investigations and interview witnesses. The cross-examination textbooks say that if you interview 5 different people about an incident, you'll get 5 different versions, even if they're all trying to tell the truth. There are always inconsistencies and contradictions in truthful testimony.

In fact, the lawyers who do cross examination say that if you get different people giving you the same version without inconsistencies and contradictions, that's a sign that they got together and colluded on their testimony. So that's a sign they're lying.

NGO Monitor and CAMERA are taking evidence of the accuracy of their testimony and using it to make it seem that it's evidence of inaccuracy.

2 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:It's obvious. (504 comments)

Do you also have trouble distinguishing your arse from your elbow?

I was going to respond to you seriously until I saw that.

For the benefit of any intelligent people who might be reading this, the "Hamas Charter" is one of Frank Luntz' talking points for the right-wing "The Israel Project," where he tells pro-settler supporters to keep repeating it, because it tested well in the polls.

In fact, Hamas had other documents that set those statements aside, and Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas's military wing, who negotiated the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, was communicating with Israelis and preparing a long-term peace agreement with Israel in 2012, when the Israelis assassinated him with a missile attack on a car he was riding in.

If there's one thing Netanyahu doesn't want, it's peace with Hamas. Then he'd have to deal with the settlements. Now (not sometime in the vague future, as Luntz tells him to do).

There's a long list of Palestinians who took risks for peace and were killed by Israel.

2 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/lib...

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AI Index: MDE 15/021/2009 Embargoed for 00:01 GMT Thursday 02 July 2009

Israel/Gaza: Operation ‘Cast Lead’ - 22 Days of Death and Destruction

Amnesty International found no evidence that rockets were launched from residential houses or buildings while civilians were in these buildings, but Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups at times launched rockets and located military equipment and positions near civilian homes.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

Look, I used to work in public relations years ago and one of our clients was the Israeli government. I used to go into the stock room and copy press releases on our stock of blue-and-white Israeli government letterheads, and mail them out to the newspapers and broadcasters.

After I started reading about the IDF and settlers killing children, I didn't want to do that (relatively well-paid) work any more.

I used to call the Israeli government to check out the Amnesty International reports of killing Palestinians (mostly children) and other human rights abuses, like arresting journalists and Palestinian advocates of Ghandian non-violence.

I really was surprised that they routinely lied. A lot of times they really got caught red-handed. Once they claimed that a Palestinian peace activist had said in a newspaper interview that he wanted to take over all of Israel. I looked up the newspaper interview and he said just the opposite.

One Israeli embassy guy apologized to me when he checked something out and it became clear that his government had lied.

The Israeli government PR people claim that everybody lies. That's the "everybody does it" excuse. It's not true. Amnesty International, B'selem, Human Rights Watch never lie, and when they do make (rare) mistakes, they admit it. And I challenge anybody to demonstrate otherwise.

The human rights groups get their facts from eyewitnesses on the ground. The Israeli government gets its statements from government officials in Jerusalem who have never been on the ground. The Israeli government doesn't investigate what happened on the ground. The eyewitnesses say that nobody from the Israeli government asked them what they saw.

You could find all that out from reading the B'Tselem reports on their web site.

When those boys were shelled and killed on the beach in Gaza, they were killed in front of a hotel full of foreign reporters, including a guy from the New York Times. They deliberately killed a group of boys who were playing soccer. How do you justify that? The Israeli government hasn't even tried.

So I'll pull rank on you. I know more about the subject than you do. The Israeli government, and the IDF, lies. You can't trust what they say. And you can trust what B'Tselem says. If there were terrorist activities in Wafa hospital, I'd like to see the evidence. And the Israeli government's claims aren't evidence. They've proven that they'll just deny everything.

3 days ago
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Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut

nbauman Re:CrAssphage? (99 comments)

I once read an article about how some Japanese graduate students discovered a bunch of new genes and gave them all names that were obscene in Japanese.

I can't cite a source. I was pretty sure I read it in Science News but an editor at Science News tried to find it and couldn't.

3 days ago
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Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut

nbauman Re:CrAssphage? (99 comments)

Well, the lead scientist was Dr. Seymore Butts.

I was pretty sure you're joking but I did check.

One author is Noriko Cassman.

Another is Ramy K. Aziz.

You can laugh but they've got tenure.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

Best way to evaluate that claim is to look at the facts.

I look forward to you gathering relevant ones. So far you seem to be providing pointers to Hamas war crimes. You can't use protected structures or civilians as shields.

Terrorists fire rockets from Gaza hospital

(From the article: "The photos claim to show rocket launchers inside the grounds of a mosque and a playground as well as a rocket launcher that appears to be adjacent to al-Wafa hospital.")

Israel says Hamas uses Wafa hospital compound to attack soldiers, fire anti-tank missiles; ground, air forces attack Gaza City where they claim 'an entire Hamas brigade is active'; 10 terrorists killed.

To repeat:

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/...
Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
Allison Deger on July 19, 2014

“We’ve seen a lot of launches of rockets that came from exactly near the hospital, 100 meters near,” said a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), continuing, “Obviously the target was not the hospital.”

[The director of the hospital said] “My authority, my control is within my premises, it is my hospital. I cannot control what people do 100 meters from me.”

IDF campaign shows rockets in schools and hospitals

On Monday afternoon the IDF publishes visuals displaying rocket launchers placed at a number of civilian sites, like playgrounds, schools, and hospital .... Last week, prior to the ground incursion, Israel was criticized for an aerial bombardment of a rocket launcher in Gaza City's Saja'iyya neighborhood. The IDF said then that the launcher was in an empty structure adjacent to el-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital. Hours before the strike the hospital received an automated phone message from the IDF saying its staff had to evacuate all patients as they could get hurt in the strike ...."The strike was on an unpopulated structure that used to serve as the hospital's geriatric ward," he said.

The lawyers tell me that under the Geneva Conventions, collateral damage including the killing of innocent civilians is acceptable if it is necessary to achieve a military objective.

Why don't you explain the military necessity of blowing up a hospital when the IDF itself admits that the only military objective was 100 meters away.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:The proofs (504 comments)

Because the Israelis (and their propagandists) lie.

I found that out when I was regularly calling the Israeli embassy to check out stories of human rights abuses.

"What about this case that Amnesty International and B'Tselem described in which an IDF soldier machine-gunned down a Palestinian child?"

"It never happened."

The New York Times, the BBC, Human Rights Watch -- they're all lying.

This goes on even when the evidence becomes overwhelming. In one case, an IDF soldier in a watch tower shot and killed a Palestinian boy playing soccer 400 meters away. B'Tselem did a full investigation, complained to the IDF, and an IDF lawyer wrote to B'Tselem saying that they had reviewed the case and there were no grounds for an investigation.

By mistake, the lawyer included with the letter a memo to her own supervisor in which she said that there were grounds for an investigation. (Just so you know that I'm not making it up, this was in an Amnesty International report http://www.amnesty.org/en/libr...)

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:The proofs (504 comments)

Some Muslim leaders did protest. Not many but there were some voices of sanity. Unfortunately they are greatly outnumbered.

You could say the same thing about Jewish leaders.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (504 comments)

Bit of history in the "creation" of the Palestinians (as they stand today): When Israel was formed and the Arab nations that surrounded it declared war, the Arab nations told the Arabs who lived in Israel: "Flee from Israel to us. When we drive Israel into the sea, we'll give you your land back."

Many fled, but not all.

Citation needed. From a reliable source. Not a "pro-Israeli" website.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:It's obvious. (504 comments)

From the Hamas charter:

Well, how about your Torah:

1 Samuel 15:3: "This is what the Lord Almighty says ... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' "

Psalm 137: "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (504 comments)

Great stats here: http://notquant.com/the-israel...

We must care about civilian casualties. But we must not care more about some casualties over others.

First of all, for somebody who claims to be using mathematics correctly, how can he make a chart of "Fatalities in 2014" when 2014 is only half over?

Second of all, his numbers are wrong. Even near the end of July, there are over 1,000 deaths in Gaza. That would place Gaza near the top of his bar chart.

But most important, I don't agree with his basic premise, that unless you pay attention to international conflicts according to the number of deaths, you're biased.

I might pay more attention to conflicts that I can do something about, or in which my country is responsible. Which is the case in Israel/Palestine.

Or I might pay attention to conflicts according to the amount of my tax money that was going to support them. In which case Israel would be number 1.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

Well. except for the fact that nobody is paying much attention to Syria AND the Syrian government is slaughtering more Arabs than the Israeli government.

That's simply false to say that nobody is paying attention. If you go to the web sites of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or the other human rights organizations, you'll see lots of attention to the human rights abuses of the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

And lets not overlook the difference: Hamas deliberately targets civilians, the Israelis don't.

Best way to evaluate that claim is to look at the facts.

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/...
Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
Allison Deger on July 19, 2014
“We’ve seen a lot of launches of rockets that came from exactly near the hospital, 100 meters near,” said a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), continuing, “Obviously the target was not the hospital.”
“My authority, my control is within my premises, it is my hospital. I cannot control what people do 100 meters from me.”

http://gaza.scoop.ps/2014/07/a...
Another Israeli attack on a hospital, another Israeli war crime
July 21, 2014
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah at 2:50 pm this afternoon, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70.
The third and fourth floors, housing the emergency department, orthopaedic department, surgical department, and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were destroyed. Operating theatres had to cease work because of the lack of oxygen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07...
Middle East
Questions About Tactics and Targets as Civilian Toll Climbs in Israeli Strikes
By ANNE BARNARD
JULY 21, 2014
(Israeli attacks in Gaza have destroyed entire apartment buildings and killed entire families because 1 militant was visiting.)
When the strike leveled a four-story house in the southern Gaza Strip the night before, it also killed 25 members of four family households — including 19 children — gathered to break the daily Ramadan fast together. Relatives said it also killed a guest of the family, identified by an Israeli human rights group as a member of the Hamas military wing, ostensibly Israel’s target.
The attack was the latest in a series of Israeli strikes that have killed families in their homes, during an offensive that Israel says is meant to stop militant rocket fire that targets its civilians and destroy Hamas’s tunnel network.
(UN says 75% of Palestinian deaths are civilians.)
On July 13, 18 family members were killed in an airstrike on their home, and Tayseer al-Batsh, the Hamas police chief in Gaza, was severely wounded. Many other civilians have been killed in strikes on known Hamas offices or apartments that happened to be in their apartment buildings, and in strikes on homes with no obvious connection, Palestinian officials and residents say.
On Monday night, a strike hit an eight-story apartment building in downtown Gaza City — an area where Israeli officials had urged Gazans to take shelter. (At least 13 killed.)
All the dead were from the Abu Jameh family, according to relatives, except for a guest, whom the Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, identified as Ahmad Suliman Sahmoud, a member of Hamas’s military wing, who was visiting a member of the family.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

nbauman Re:maybe (504 comments)

The "fun" part is that being anti-Israel currently is less antisemitic than it is antifascist...

Please explain why Israel or Jews are fascist.

Because they do things like this:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/...

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

[The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.]

3 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

nbauman Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

Isn't this what we want all government agencies to strive for? When the military's actual job is to figure out how to kill people and destroy things with maximum effectiveness and efficiency, then we really shouldn't complain when they seem to be doing a good job of it. I'm not exactly sure what this writer thought the military's purpose is, but he seems horrified at the thought of using technology to kill people more efficiently.

Wrong. According to Clausowitz, the purpose of the military is to implement policy. That was the mistake GWB made in Iraq. He sent the military into Iraq to kill the "bad guys." Outfits like Blackwater went around killing people indiscriminately. Then when the next Americans showed up, they didn't get a good reception.

Guess what? When you kill people, they kill you back.

Now, GWB has basically handed Iraq over to al Qaeda and similar militants. Heckuva job, Bushie.

4 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

nbauman Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

Have you ever heard of deterrence? Apparently not.

Once we and the Soviets had enough warheads to destroy each other several times over, we didn't need additional deterrence. But we just kept building them.

We reached a point where the risks of an accidental war were greater than the risks of whatever we were deterring.

Building warheads for the military was very profitable. As Dwight Eisenhower said, these things take on a life of their own.

4 days ago
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The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads

nbauman Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (140 comments)

One could limit the scope of 'evil' to weapons of mass destruction.

I guess that's a valid debate.

And it will still be possible to make them without our software...
I just don't want to have helped them!

We make software because of that warm fuzzy feeling. Not to know that it contributes to killing people (from whatever country).

I know how you feel. I was studying engineering in the 1960s.

A lot of us came to the conclusion that when we graduated, our jobs would be in the military-industrial complex, designing weapons to kill people, and not for good ends. My roommate and I both changed our major. He founded the campus chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

We and the Soviets had missiles with hydrogen bombs targeting each other which were enough to blow up the world. Finally the weapons designers and other scientists and engineers on both sides (including Andre Sakharov) got together and figured out how to use their influence to stop it.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Commercial sex and the Internet

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 5 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "A big academic study by the Urban Institute on the commercial sex economy described how the Internet changed prostitution since 2000. This makes it easier for sex workers to get business and for cops to track it. "Getting rid of Craigslist.com was actually a disservice to law enforcement because they were cooperating," said one cop.

The study, Estimating the Size and Structure of the Underground Commercial Sex Economy in Eight Major US Cities, focused on Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington, DC. There, the underground commercial sex economy (UCSE), as they call it, was worth $40-$300 million in 2007. They give prices in major cities for major services, and list the popular web sites. They interviewed pimps, traffickers, sex workers, child pornographers, and law enforcement. Pimps and traffickers interviewed for the study took home between $5,000 and $32,833 a week. Pimps claimed that the media portrayals were inaccurate, and exaggerated violence. They thought the term "pimp" was derogatory. Female sex workers, whose income varied greatly, often had family members or friends who exposed them to the sex trade at a young age, normalizing it.

Child pornography is escalating, and is mostly traded for free. Users often claim it's a victimless crime. The unsophisticated get caught. Some claimed that they were convicted because of images that were actually downloaded on their computer by family and friends.

The report's policy recommendations are to increase prosecution for commercial sex. "Consistently enforce the laws for offenders to diminish low-risk perception." Web sits that host ads should be prosecuted. Newspapers and web sites that post ads should be required to also post the phone numbers of trafficking hotlines. Investigators need more training."

Link to Original Source
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Immigration Fraud in Chinatown: Industry of Lies

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 5 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Can't get a U.S. immigration visa? Find a lawyer who will fabricate an asylum claim for you based on phony stories about persecution. Choose among Christianity, Falun Gong, political persecution or forced abortion.

Immigration law firms in New York City were coaching Chinese immigrants to lie about their experiences in China in order to get asylum, according to federal indictments reported in the New York Times. Applicants claimed they were forced to get abortions or sterilization, or that they were persecuted as Christians or as members of the Chinese Democracy Party or Falun Gong. A legal assistant who pled guilty testified that he would use the Falun Gong story for uneducated immigrants because it was easiest to remember. For young immigrants with at least a high school education, he would tell them to claim Christianity. Another defendant charged applicants for lessons on the basics of Christianity and how to lie, according to prosecutors. Her lawyer said she was a devout Christian whose “goal was to help these individuals find God through the teachings of Christianity.” In Flushing, Queens, churches give receipts for attendance to help them bolster their claims. A lawyer made up a narrative for a client about how she got pregnant out of wedlock, heard a knock on the door, was hauled off to a clinic by government officials, and forced to endure an abortion. Other legal assistants forged documents. Many sources said that these false applications were an open secret.

Federal investigators find immigration fraud among Russians, Afghans, Mexicans, Guineans and others, but right now, the overwhelming number are Chinese and the largest number are applying to the New York City office.

Fees start at $1,000 and can pass $10,000. Many of the applicants are restaurant and construction workers, nannies and manicurists. One indicted lawyer said that he was motivated by moral principles more than money. "We are doing work like the last stop on the Underground Railroad." Otherwise they would be sent back to China."

Link to Original Source
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Krugman: Say no to Comcast acquisition of Time Warner

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 5 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "In his column, "Barons of Broadband" http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02... (easily circumventable paywall) New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says:

Comcast perfectly fits the old notion of monopolists as robber barons, so-called by analogy with medieval warlords who perched in their castles overlooking the Rhine, extracting tolls from all who passed. The Time Warner deal would in effect let Comcast strengthen its fortifications, which has to be a bad idea.

Comcast’s chief executive says not to worry: “It will not reduce competition in any relevant market because our companies do not overlap or compete with each other. In fact, we do not operate in any of the same ZIP codes.” This is, however, transparently disingenuous. The big concern about making Comcast even bigger isn’t reduced competition for customers in local markets — for one thing, there’s hardly any effective competition at that level anyway. It is that Comcast would have even more power than it already does to dictate terms to the providers of content for its digital pipes — and that its ability to drive tough deals upstream would make it even harder for potential downstream rivals to challenge its local monopolies."

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US medical research down, asia up, sequester hits NIH

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 7 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Once, the U.S. paid for 70-80% of the world's medical research. Now it's down to 45%. Asia is up to 24%, according to an analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine. Europe is steady at 29%.

U.S. spending on biomedical research fell from $131 billion in 2007 to $119 billion in 2012. This decline was driven almost entirely by reduced investment by industry, not the public sector. But sequestration of NIH funding will exacerbate this reduction.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 cut the NIH budget for FY 2013 by $1.7 billion, to $29.2 billion — a 5.5% reduction. Federal funding for biomedical research has been declining since 2003.

Meanwhile, Japan increased spending by $9 billion and China increased by $6.4 billion. China has the highest annual growth rate of biomedical research in the world, at 32.8% per year.

One reason for this decline may be that research is cheaper in Asia, with lower-cost labor and greater government subsidies. Conversely, FDA approval has become more expensive in the U.S.

The data suggests that industry may simply be reallocating R&D funding to Asia-Oceana. The authors say, "the lack of a coordinated national biomedical R&D strategy is disappointing.""

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Federal judge says prosecutors blackmail defendants into guilty pleas

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 9 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, gave Lulzim Kupa a day to plead guilty and accept 8 years in prison for cocaine dealing; otherwise he would get an automatic life sentence. Judge John Gleeson wrote that the Justice Department was abusing their power to bully defendants into giving up their constitutional right to a trial. "The fact that they are business as usual doesn't alter the fact that these sentences should instill shame in all of us," he wrote, saying that it would force innocent people to plead guilty. These hardball tactics are "sledgehammers against the ever-dwindling few who have the temerity to ask for the trial the Constitution guarantees." The prosecutor said that the tactic was approved by the Supreme Court, and "Since when is it extortion for a federal prosecutor to follow Supreme Court law?""
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What's Lost When a Meeting Goes Virtual

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 10 months ago

nbauman (624611) writes "This summer, NASA's Lunar Science Forum became the largest scientific gathering to embrace the new world of cyber meetings. The experience drew mixed reviews, according to a report in Science magazine. Mihály Horányi, who has been a regular, sat down at his computer at 1:45 p.m. on the first day of the conference and began talking into a webcam perched above the screen. "Last year it was a performance. This year it meant staring at myself, being annoyed that I kept leaning in and out of the picture, and thinking, 'Boy, am I getting old.'" He and other participants say the virtual conference was a pale imitation of the real thing. At previous forums, "You see your friends, you ask about their kids, and then the discussion flows into the science." He participated much less this year, 2 hours a day. In addition to the physical challenge of sitting at one's computer for hours on end, participants say that their day jobs competed for their attention. 150 to 200 people "attended" at any one time. Even without distractions, the quality of the interaction was much lower than in person. "I received a handful of short comments [from my talk] and had maybe one e-mail exchange," Horányi recalls. One scientist who didn't present this year—and who listened to only one talk after the fact—said that he much prefers an in-person meeting because "you get a much better sense of how the audience is reacting to what you're saying, especially any negative feedback.""
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What works in education: Scientific evidence gets ignored

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about a year ago

nbauman (624611) writes "According to Gina Kolata in the New York Times, The Institute of Education Sciences in the Department of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, has supported 175 randomized controlled studies, like the studies used in medicine, to find out what works and doesn't work, which are reported in the What Works Clearinghouse. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ Surprisingly, the choice of instructional materials — textbooks, curriculum guides, homework, quizzes — can affect achievement as much as teachers; poor materials have as much effect as a bad teacher, and good materials can offset a bad teacher’s deficiencies. One popular math textbook was superior to 3 competitors. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/math_curricula.asp A popular computer-assisted math program had no benefit. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20094041/pdf/20094041.pdf Most educators, including principals and superintendents, don't know the data exists. 42% of school districts had never heard of the clearinghouse. Up to 90% of programs that seemed promising in small studies had no effect or made achievement scores worse. For example a program to increase 7th-grade math teachers' understanding of math increased their understanding but had no effect on student achievement. Upward Bound had no effect."
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Medical costs bankrupt patients; it's the computer's fault

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about a year ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Don't get cancer until 2015. The Obama health reform is supposed to limit out-of-pocket costs to $12,700. But the Obama Administration has delayed its implementation until 2015. The insurance companies told them that their computers weren't able to add up all their customers' out-of-pocket costs, to see whether they had reached the limit. For some common diseases, such as cancer or heart failure, treatment can cost over $100,000, and patients will be responsible for the balance.

Tell me, Slashdot, how difficult would it be to rewrite an insurance billing system to aggregate a policyholder's out-of-pocket costs?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/us/a-limit-on-consumer-costs-is-delayed-in-health-care-law.html
A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law
By ROBERT PEAR
August 12, 2013

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said: “We knew this was an important issue. We had to balance the interests of consumers with the concerns of health plan sponsors and carriers, which told us that their computer systems were not set up to aggregate all of a person’s out-of-pocket costs. They asked for more time to comply.”"

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Slate retracts doctor-bashing essay

nbauman nbauman writes  |  1 year,2 days

nbauman (624611) writes "Who needs journalists? Who needs fact-checkers? Let's just go on the Internet and give people the truth directly, right?

A Slate article gave incredible examples of abusive doctors, but Slate took it down because of the author's credibility — she had faked a suicide.

Slate published an essay from its partner Quora in which an obese woman named Sonnet Fitzgerald gave a long list of abusive comments that doctors and medical staff had made to her, including "When I was pregnant, one OB called me disgusting and told me to have an abortion."

Slate deleted the piece because it "did not meet our editorial standards," but didn't say why. http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013/07/25/obesity_are_doctors_biased_against_their_overweight_patients.html

According to the blog http://sonnetfakedsuicide.blogspot.com/, in 2010 Fitzgerald posted a fake announcement by her husband of her own suicide. Several readers of the Slate blog challenged her credibility.

brandchannel reprinted the original essay, with more stories of abusive doctors, here http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/07/26/Slates-Quora-Partnership-072613.aspx

Old-style newspapers that followed the traditional rules of journalism wouldn't have printed a story making charges against unnamed doctors (or anyone else) that couldn't be verified. The old New Yorker would have asked for the names of the doctors, called them up and found out what they had to say. But on the Internet, the blogger can write anything she wants, and the reader doesn't know whether it's true."
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Advice columnist: Stop nagging husband about gaming

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about a year ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Q. Husband's Gaming: My husband and I married a few years ago after just months of knowing each other. I have never once doubted our decision to marry, and on the whole, we are exceptionally happy. He is my perfect partner and an ideal father for our daughter—but, of course, there's a but. During our very brief courtship, there is one habit he intentionally hid from me—online gaming. Apparently, he didn't want me to think him nerdy. When he first disclosed this after the honeymoon, I thought it was funny and cute. A couple years later, I'm bitter—we have routine marital disagreements, but this is the only issue we ever fight about. He spends several hours a week (10-20) playing these online games! Every time we fight about it, he'll cut back or promise to stop ... but within a week or two, it's back to at least a couple of hours every day. This is a man who has quit smoking and quit his pseudo-addiction to energy drinks, but can't (or won't) quit online gaming. I can't imagine life without him, but this is making me miserable. I'm not willing to leave him over it; how can I get him to stop or change my own attitude to accept it?"
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"This is your second and final notice" robocallers revealed: Brenda Helfenstine

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about a year and a half ago

nbauman (624611) writes "A New York Times consumer columnist tracked down the people who run a "This is your second and final notice" robocall operation.

The calls came from Account Management Assistance, which promises to negotiate lower credit card rates with banks. One woman paid them $1,000, and all they did was give her a limited-time zero-percent credit card that she could have gotten herself.

AMA has a post office box in Orlando, Florida. The Better Business Bureau has a page for Your Financial Ladder, which does business as Account Management Assistance, and as Economic Progress. According to a Florida incorporation filing, Economic Progress is operated by Brenda Helfenstine, with her husband Tony.

The Arkansas attorney general has sued Your Financial Ladder for violating the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigated Your Financial Ladder, but the investigator went to 1760 Sundance Drive, St. Cloud, which turned out to be a residence, and gave up.

The Times notes that you can type their phone number (855-462-3833) into http://800notes.com/ and get lots of reports on them."

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The brilliant jerk must die

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "When he spoke, everyone became quiet and listened — not out of excitement for what he was going to say but out of respect. Yes, the doctors had respect for the Brilliant Jerk.

Here’s why: He was always the first to cover for doctors who were on call. He was always the first to volunteer to work on holidays. He had the most articles published by the American Medical Association. He was the first to get new training and share it with others one-on-one. And by the way, he was the highest revenue producer of all the doctors in the group. In fact, he was producing twice the revenue of some of the doctors. He had been the third doctor to join the group and without his revenue, the start-up could not have been successful.

But here’s the problem: While he had performed brilliantly for the start-up, he was not performing brilliantly for a company that was trying to grow."

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Asshole President ignored detailed warnings about 9/11

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "George W. Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief, unclassified by the 9/11 Commission, had the headline, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” But other Briefs which weren't released show the CIA warning the White House of the planned attack in even greater detail all during the summer of 2001, according to former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald. Bush ignored the warnings, even after federal authorities caught two of the hijackers.

On May 1, the CIA told the White House that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. On June 22, they reported Qaeda strikes could be “imminent.” On June 29, they reported that Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack in an interview with a Middle Eastern journalist. On June 29, they reported that Bin Laden operatives expected the attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, they said the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” On Aug. 4. Mohamed al-Kahtani was stopped at an airport in Orlando, FL, by a suspicious customs agent and sent back. Two weeks later, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school.

The White House ignored these warnings because the neocons, who were pushing for war with Iraq, said that it was a disinformation campaign by Bin Laden to distract attention from Saddam Hussein."

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Play Jurassic Park with virtual DNA sequencer

nbauman nbauman writes  |  about 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Aipotu is free biology software that lets students manipulate and study the DNA of virtual organisms. They get an uncharacterized virtual plant, with different-colored flowers. They cross the plants to find the color alleles, learn the biochemical mechanism behind color formation, engineer a new color, and study the evolution of color. Windows, OS X, and Linux. from http://aipotu.umb.edu./

Each organism contains two DNA sequences, one from each parent. Students analyze DNA sequences to determine the phenotype, and scan for specific promoter and transcription terminator sequences. Pre-mRNA is scanned for splicing control sequences, spliced, and processed; open reading frames are translated. Structure of the protein is determined by an energy-minimization algorithm that uses ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds, and the hydrophobic effect to fold the protein on a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice. Software determines the function of the protein. Proteins with a specific shape can be colored, with particular amino acids in a critical region determining color.

One more thing. Case It! http://www.caseitproject.org/ lets you input DNA or protein sequences to generate Southern, Western, and dot blots, PCR, SNP microarrays, and ELISA.

These are 2 winners of the Inquiry-Based Instruction prize. More winners at http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/ibi/"

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WW2 vet sends pirate DVDs to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "WW2 veteran "Big Hy," 92, pirated 300,00 DVD movies and sent them to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they were widely distributed and deeply appreciated. Soldiers would gather around personal computers for movie nights, with mortars blasting in the background. "It's reconnecting to everything you miss," said one. He received American flags, appreciative letters, and snapshots of soldiers holding up their DVDs. He spent about $30,000 of his own money. Hy Strachman retired from his family's window and shade business in Manhattan in the 1990s. After his wife Harriet died in 2003, he spent sleepless nights on the Internet, and saw that soldiers were consistently asking for movie DVDs. He bought bootlegged disks for $5 in Penn Station, and then found a dealer at his local barbershop. He bought a $400 duplicater that made 7 copies at once, and mailed them 84 at a time, to Army Chaplains. The MPAA said they weren't aware of his operation. The studios send reel-to-reel films to the troops."
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Chinese screwed up low-bid crane repair, 2 American workers died

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "The curse of the lowest bidder

Not every Chinese manufacturer is Foxconn. James F. Lomma, owner of the company that used the crane that collapsed in New York City in 2008 and killed 2 workers, told his crane mechanic, Tibor Varganyi, to find someone who could build a turntable for the crane faster and cheaper than 2 American companies. On the Internet, he found RTR Bearing Company Ltd., China. which claimed a 10-year track record, 109 employees, 2 factories, an independent QC center and export trading company. Actually, the company was only 6 months old. Varganyi exchanged emails with RTR's owner, Joyce (Jun) Wang (then 26). Actually, Wang testified, RTR had 7 workers, including herself, no engineer, no factory, and did no manufacturing. RTR was actually the export agent for 2 factories. 90 emails between Varganyi and Wang, struggling in English, were subpoenaed from Google and filed as evidence in a criminal case. Wang said they weren't qualified to do the weld, but Vargany sent her instructions from the manufacturer, so they welded it anyway. Two bearings arrived. The first was put on the crane. The second had a defective weld, but Lomma didn't check the weld on the first one. The first bearing broke at the weld, the operator's cab and boom fell over, and 2 workers were killed. Varganyi pleaded guilty to criminal negligent homicide. Paul Midler, author of “Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game.” said that Chinese sellers make false claims, and American importers don't do due dilligence because the prices are so low. Alvaro Ortega, co-owner of a bearing company, said he bought a bearing from RTR but his QC rejected it, and when he toured the plant, their equipment was outdated and QC nonexistent."

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Shrinks spring stealth copyright for cognitive imp

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "What year is it? What day? What city are we in? Subract 7 from 100. Those are standard questions from the 30-question Mini-Mental State Examination to screen for cognitive impairment.

The Mini-Mental was published in 1975 and widely distributed freely in textbooks, pocket guides, and web sites, and memorized by medical students. Then in 2000 the authors asserted their copyright and started demanding a license of $1.23 per test. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini%E2%80%93mental_state_examination#cite_note-powsner-13 Test kits go for $150 or so, depending on the kit. Some psychologists compare this to stealth patenting — make a test freely available, wait for it to get widely adopted, start charging for it. Psychologists already have copies, but if they use them without a license, they could pay huge damages.

So in March 2011 a Harvard professor developed a new, open access screening tool, the Sweet 16, similar to the Mini-Mental and designed to replace it. Too similar. The authors of the Mini-Mental demanded that the Sweet 16 be removed from the Internet, and it was.

The authors of a New England Journal of Medicine article http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1110652 recommend that screening tools be distributed under copyleft licenses."

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1903: Marconi hacked

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "In June 1903, Gugliemo Marconi and his partner Ambrose Flemming were about to give the first demonstration of long-range wireless communication at the Royal Institution in London, which, Marconi said, could be sent in complete confidentiality with no fear of the messages being hijacked. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a huge mysterious wireless pulse strong enough to take over the carbon-arc projector and make it sputter messages in morse code. First, it repeated the word "Rats" over and over again (abusive at that time). Then it tapped out, "There was a young fellow of Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily." Further rude epithets followed. It was Nevil Maskelyne, a stage musician and inventor who was annoyed because Marconi's patents prevented him from using wireless. It was the first hacking, to demonstrate an insecure system."
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If only tech solved things like it used to

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 2 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Over history, technology has increased living standards. But that link may have broken down, according to If only tech solved things like it used to. Lane Kenworthy, U. Arizona, refers to this as “the great decoupling” — the separation of economic growth from increases in wages and quality of life. During the post-WWII boom, economic growth correlated with median family income, since 1973, they have diverged. If that correlation had continued, median fmaily income would have been $90,000 by 2007. Economic growth no longer leads to broadly-shared income growth. Technology is part of the problem. David Autor of MIT found that “Computers are doing tasks that used to require a non-trivial amount of skill," from factory work to accounting. This has benefitted high-skill managerial workers, whose spending creates jobs in low-skilled, low-wage service occupations. But jobs with middle-class pay, like GM or the typing pool, are vanishing. Education doesn't solve the problem, since college-educated workers are being displaced too. The situation is worse in the U.S. than in developed countries like France or Denmark which have a social safety net. In other words, the future is like this David Horsey cartoon http://blog.seattlepi.com/davidhorsey/2010/08/12/welcome-to-the-future/"
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Were Assange sex charges revenge for two-timing?

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 3 years ago

nbauman (624611) writes "Rixstep claims that Anna Ardin, who had consentual sex with Julian Assange, filed charges against Assange for revenge because she found out he was having sex with another woman. Rixstep gives Ardin's deleted tweets as evidence.

Assange was living in Ardin's apartment, where they were having sex, from 11 to 19-20 August. During that time Ardin tweeted about Assange, including a tweet on 15 August about how cool and smart he was.

Around 18-19 August Ardin got a call from another woman who wanted to speak to Assange. Ardin realized the other woman was also having sex with Assange. They talked about it, decided Assange didn't have serious long-term intentions with them, and filed police complaints.

One of the complaints was about molestation on 14 August, but the tweet shows the relationship was going well on 15 August. Ardin deleted the tweets, but Rixstep posted them again.

Ardin also posted posts about how she believes that revenge is justified, and how she took revenge against her former fiance."

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Journals

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Canadian health care better, cheaper than US

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 7 years ago Canadian health care is as good as or better than U.S. health care, at half the cost.

Gordon Guyatt et al. published "A systematic review of studies comparing health outcomes in Canada and the United States," in volume 1, issue 1 of Open Medicine, a new Canadian journal with an editorial board composed of some of the world's top medical experts, and a staff that just got fired from or quit Canada's formerly top medical journal. http://www.openmedicine.ca/article/view/8/1 The review's conclusion is:

"Available studies suggest that health outcomes may be superior in patients cared for in Canada versus the United States, but differences are not consistent."

The article also says that, in 2003, Americans spent an estimated US$5,635 per capita on health care, while Canadians spent US$3,003.

The journal Open Medicine is another story. John Hoey, editor of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, was fired last year by the CMA, and most of the staff resigned. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/19/1982 http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/174/1/9 http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/173/12/1435 Hoey sent reporters to buy morning-after pills in pharmacies around Canada. They found out that pharmacists illegally asked for personal information, which was entered in their computers. The Canadian Pharmacists Association complained to the CMA, and the CMA censored the story and fired Hoey. The CMAJ staff quit and founded this new journal, Open Medicine, and they have loaded the first issue with the best studies they could get. Open Medicine does not accept pharmaceutical ads.

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Medical privacy: You have none. Psych notes are public

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Your most private thoughts that you share with your psychotherapist have been scanned and merged with your general medical records, where they are now available to anybody who sues your insurance company over a fender-bender auto accident, if your hospital is like Stanford Hospital & Clinics (and most are). That's what Patricia Galvin found out when she sued her therapist, clinical psychologist Rachel Manber, for disclosing her therapy notes, even though Manber assured Galvin that their notes would be confidential. When therapy notes are merged with general records, they lose their special protection under HIPAA, and anyone with a subpoena can get them. This story about Galvin from the Wall Street Journal is now available from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06362/749444-114.stm free to cheapskates without subscription. Another good reason for medical privacy: Some companies fire diabetics for ostensible safety reasons, even though there's no evidence that they're unsafe, according to the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/health/26workplace.html
U.S. privacy protection is even weaker than Europe's http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/27/0743217
A lawyer told me how to protect your medical confidentiality: use a false name, pay cash, don't trust computers.

WSJ, 26 Dec 2006, Medical dilemma: spread of records stirs patient fears of privacy erosion; Ms. Galvin's insurer studies psychotherapist's notes; a dispute over the rules; complaint tally hits 23,896, Theo Francis.

(My notes, for people who are too lazy to even click on the link:)

In 1996, after her fiance died suddenly, Patricia Galvin left New York for San Francisco and was hired by Heller Ehrman LLP.

In 2000, Galvin began psychotherapy sessions at Stanford Hospital & Clinics with clinical psychologist Rachel Manber, who discussed her problems at work, her fiance's death, and her relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Manber assured Galvin that her notes would be confidential.

"I would never have engaged in psychotherapy with her if she did not promise me these notes were under lock and key."

In 2001, Galvin was rear-ended at a red light and suffered 4 herniated disks, which worsened.

In 2003, she applied for long-term disability. Her employer's carrier, UnumProvident Corp., said it would deny her claim unless she signed a release.

Manber assured Galvin her therapy notes would not be turned over. 3 months later, Unum denied her claim, because of psychotherapy notes about "working on a case" and a job interview in New York, which, Unum said, showed she was able to work. Galvin says they misinterpreted the notes.

In 2004, Galvin sued Manber, Stanford and Unum for malpractice and invasion of privacy, under California law. Galvin said "my most private thoughts, my personal tragedies, secrets about other people" were exposed.

In 2005, Galvin learned that Stanford had scanned Manber's notes into its system, making them part of her basic medical record. Stanford sent this file to Unum and the other driver.

Stanford said that "psychotherapy notes that are kept together with the patient's other medical records are not defined as 'psychotherapy notes' under HIPAA." It would be "impracticable" to keep them separate.

The health-care industry is scanning documents into electronic record systems. HIPAA gives psychotherapy notes special protection, but not when mixed in with general medical records.

Peter Swire, law professor, Ohio State U., explains why they wrote the rule giving confidentiality only to separate psychotherapy notes.

Stanford refused to separate her psychotherapy notes from other medical records. "Any time anybody asks for my medical records, my psychotherapy notes are going to be turned over."

In 2006, DHHS rejected Galvan's HIPAA complaint. From Apr-Nov 2003, DHHS had 23,896 privacy complaints, but hasn't taken any action. HIPAA exceptions allow release in connection with "payment" or "health-care operations."

Galvan, 51, is representing herself, because she couldn't find a California attorney with privacy experience.

Deborah Peel, Austin TX, psychiatrist and head of Patient Privacy Rights, says, "How many women want somebody to know whether they are on birth control?"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116709136139859229.html

NYT, 26 Dec 2006, Costs of a crisis: Diabetics confront a tangle of workplace laws, N.R. Kleinfield.

Some companies fire diabetics for ostensible safety reasons, even though there's no evidence that they're unsafe. Courts nationwide have split on whether diabetes is a disability under the test that a "major life activity" is "substantially limited".

John Steigauf, 47, was a truck mechanic for United Parcel Service, but UPS put him on leave because of his diabetes. UPS claimed his blood sugar might plummet while he tested a truck, causing an accident, and he couldn't get an interstate commercial driver's license with insulin-dependent diabetes. Some insulin-dependent diabetics are prone to dizziness, fainting or muddled judgment. His disability payment is $431, half his pay. EEOC ruled that he was subject to discrimination.

In 2002, ConAgra Foods withdrew a job offer to Rudy Rodriguez at a Texas baked bean plant because of his type 2 diabetes, when a doctor decided he couldn't work safely; an appeals court found for Rodriguez.

A mortgage loan officer in Oregon was forbidden to eat at her desk, and eventually fired.

A Sears lingere saleswoman in Illinois with nerve damage quit when Sears wouldn't let her cut through a stockroom; Sears paid her $150,000.

A worker at a Wisconsin candy company was fired after asking where he could dispose of his insulin needles.

Many diabetics conceal their illness on the job, says Brian T. McMahon, Virginia Commonwealth U.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/health/26workplace.html

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Nobel Laureate Attacks Medical Intellectual Property

nbauman nbauman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who was fired by the World Bank http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_E._Stiglitz blasted drug patents in an editorial in the British Medical Journal http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/333/7582/1279 "Scrooge and intellectual property rights". Knowledge is like a candle; when one candle lights another it does not diminish its light. In medicine, patents cost lives. The US patent for turmeric didn't stimulate research, and restricted access by the Indian poor who actually discovered it hundreds of years ago. The World Trade Organization imposed US style intellectual property rights around the world. "These rights were intended to reduce access to generic medicines and they succeeded." Billions of people, who live on $2-3 a day, could no longer afford the drugs they needed. Generic AIDS drugs cost $130 a year, patented drugs $10,000. Drug companies spend more on advertising and marketing than on research. A few scientists beat the human genome project and patented breast cancer genes; so now the cost of testing women for breast cancer is "enormous".

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