Trump Flunkey wants use of science reduced by EPA staff

❝ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency broke with four decades of practice Tuesday and proposed limits on the science used to develop policies protecting public health and the environment.

The measure, backed by conservatives and some advisers to President Donald Trump who have warned of “junk science,” would prevent the EPA from considering scientific research unless all methodological, technical and other information is publicly available. But critics fear the move would exclude such research as public-health studies containing anonymized patient data.

This political hack has no comprehension of scientific methods, requirements for accuracy and information. He’s dedicated his career to pimping for the rich and powerful. It matters not to him whether they are criminal or simply opportunist frauds – like him and his boss, the Fake President.

❝ “It’s a perfect catch-22,” Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Center for Science and Democracy, said. “You must protect the public health, but you can’t use public-health science to do it. Therefore, you don’t protect the public health…”

Pharmaceutical corporation lawyers have gay juror removed

A multibillion dollar case between two giant pharmaceutical companies grappling over arcane antitrust issues has unexpectedly turned into a gay rights legal imbroglio that raises questions over whether lawyers can bounce potential jurors solely based on their sexual orientation.

The case before the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday centers on whether Abbott Laboratories broke antitrust laws when it increased the price of its popular and vital Aids drug Norvir by 400% in 2007. But broader public attention likely will be given to the three-judge panel’s look at whether Abbott wrongfully removed a juror in the case brought by competitor SmithKline Beecham…

“It’s a big deal,” said Vik Amar, University of California, Davis law professor. “The headlines from this case are going to be about antitrust law – it will be about sexual orientation in the jury pool…”

The US supreme court in 1986 prohibited lawyers from using their challenges to bounce a potential juror from a case because of race.

Eight years later, the high court outlawed gender as potential basis for jurors’ exclusion from a trial.

But the high court has never ruled on sexual orientation. The California supreme court has barred the removal of gays from jury pools without justification since 2000, but its rulings aren’t binding on federal courts…

SmithKline is joined by gay rights activists Lambda Legal and other public interest groups who filed their own legal argument urging the court to protect gays from getting bounced from juries for no reason.

The discrimination at issue here is particularly harmful, because it reinforces historical invidious discrimination within the court system and undermines the integrity of the judicial system,” Lambda wrote the court.

The ethics of many lawyers, what passes for ethics in many corporations, are already sufficiently suspect. Add in the long-standing American tradition of bigotry and discrimination against folks who don’t fit the cast-iron mold of Judeo-Christian sex – and we have the makings of a precedent case.

We’ll also get to experience hour after boring hours of legal tap-dancing as the scumbags defending Abbott Labs try to avoid responsibility for their tactics.

An independent Scotland would not house Trident missiles

Alex Salmond has rejected suggestions that an independent Scotland would allow the UK to keep Trident missiles on the Clyde in the same way as its forces have bases in Cyprus.

In an interview on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, the first minister said the decision by the Scottish National party (SNP) conference to remove Trident from Scottish soil, while still seeking membership of NATO, was non-negotiable.

Ideally, he said, all the UK’s nuclear weapons would be scrapped if Scotland won independence. “Far better it was curtains for Trident, I would say,” he said…

The SNP would now make joining NATO conditional on the alliance accepting that an independent Scotland would require the removal of Trident nuclear weapons from the Clyde – a measure some critics suggest could cost up to £25bn. It would also insist on participating only in military action sanctioned by the UN…

Scotland by majority doesn’t want nuclear weapons. The SNP proposal would be to write that into the constitution of the state and that would make nuclear weapons illegal in Scotland.”

Not too shabby for a nationalist party that just about everyone has always considered to be conservative by definition.

Villagers told “move your cars” so caravan can be illegally parked

Villagers have reacted with fury after being ordered to move their cars so that police can escort an extra wide mobile home to an “illegal” travellers’ site.

They have been told to move their cars off the road so that the 15 foot wide mobile home can be delivered to the site which has been ruled illegal but which is subject to a planning appeal. The wide load will be accompanied by a police motorcyclist and Land Rover and any cars blocking the path face being removed.

Two caravans have occupied Three-Cornered Piece, in East Harting, West Sussex, since 2009 after self-proclaimed “travellers” from a village 15 miles away moved in on a Bank Holiday weekend.

Now villagers in South Harting, are up in arms that they risk having their vehicles towed away by police if they don’t remove them from one of the two main village streets. Two days ago they found a notice on their car windscreens saying: “Will owners of vehicles please make sure that there (sic) vehicles are removed from these roads until after the abnormal load has passed, which should hopefully be by 2pm Friday.

Any vehicle that is obstructing this movement will be towed away at the owners’ expense.”

The occupation led to a planning inspector’s inquiry, but Eric Pickles’s Local Government department stepped in to rule the land agricultural…

The caravanners are claiming that the mobile home is a “replacement” for one of the other much smaller caravans. A concrete base for it is already laid, even though a retrospective planning application for that and a septic tank has yet to be considered.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “At the moment, this is not an illegal site. The court case is pending. We’re blind to the wider sensitivities of the case.

In my peaceful neighborhood, someone attempting to do something like might be met with the neighborhood lying in the road to halt the procession. The saddest part – as I’m certain everyone in East Harting already realizes – is that the local coppers are “blind to the wider sensitivities” of an illegal act.

So, if someone decided to open an illegal gambling casino in their potting shed the police wouldn’t get in the way of that endeavor either?

Hogwash. Lazy coppers. Incompetent roads administration. Politicians with the testicles of a fruit fly.

Man with a ring stuck on his penis … and other fire brigade stories

Not the best tool for removing stuck rings from swollen, um, members

A man who turned up at hospital with a ring stuck on his penis had to be cut free by 10 firefighters, according to data released by the London fire brigade.

It took firefighters 20 minutes to remove the ring after staff at Queen Elizabeth hospital, Woolwich, were unable to prise it from the man’s genitals.

Two fire engines were dispatched to perform the delicate procedure, which took place in May this year. Two? One to watch and learn?

It was just one of three incidents in which firefighters were called to remove a ring stuck on a penis between April 2010 to May 2011, records show.

The disclosure is one of 417 incidents attended by London’s firefighters involving people stuck in objects, machinery and furniture – not including road traffic accidents…

The removal of rings from fingers accounted for 160 incidents, while 74 people had “other” objects removed. Some 133 people had become trapped in or under machinery or other objects, and 14 people were impaled.

Dave Brown, the brigade’s assistant commissioner for operations and mobilising, said: “You wouldn’t believe some of the incidents we’re called to deal with…we’d ask the public to take greater care to avoid getting themselves into these often ridiculous situations, and to think carefully before dialling 999 and calling us out if there isn’t an emergency.”

Phew? I never matched any of these. But, barely.

Several years back, picking up one end of a heavy chest-of-drawers to help move it a few feet, I felt the tendon in my ring finger pop and let go. Fortunately, I knew what would happen if I wasn’t quick enough to react. I immediately ran into the bathroom and held my hand under the cold water while I worked my wedding ring off asap. Within a minute that finger was double normal size – and I would have been in need of someone to cut the ring off if I hadn’t already forced it off.

And, no, I’ve never gotten near any other portions of my anatomy threatened by something similar. 🙂

Polish party calls for removal of crosses from public buildings

A new Polish political party has ruffled conservative feathers in the Catholic country with a campaign to have the cross ousted from public buildings.

Supporters of the party want the crosses removed, or hung alongside the Star of David, in an attempt to diminish the power of the Church.

In a clear challenge to the strong and omnipresent influence of the Catholic Church in Poland, members of the Support Janusz Palikot party caused outrage in the city of Szczecin by trying to hang Jewish and Muslim symbols in the town’s council chamber alongside the Christian cross, before removing the cross…

The Christian cross is ubiquitous in government buildings in Poland and hangs from thousands of walls in schools and hospitals across the country.

A maverick politician – who said last week that “Poles have been slaves to the Catholic Church for a 1,000 years” – Mr Palikot argued that under the Polish constitution Poland is officially a secular state and therefore there should be no religious symbols.

As an alternative, he said that as the constitution guarantees the equality of all faiths, no one symbol should take precedent.

“Why should there be only one religious symbol?” the politician asked in a television interview.

“I’m all for removing all of them but that would be treated as an attack on the Church.”

We should run this dude for office in Chicago. After we take out a life insurance policy on him.

PR firm ordered to remove phony iTunes reviews

A public relations company and its owner have been cited for having staff post glowing reviews of game applications for companies it represents at the online iTunes store.

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Reverb Communications and its owner Tracie Snitker engaged in deceptive advertising by having its employees pose as ordinary consumers when posting the reviews.

“Companies, including public relations firms involved in online marketing need to abide by long-held principles of truth in advertising,” said Mary Engle, director of the FTC’s advertising practices division.

The California-based Reverb Communications represents dozens of major video game companies and developers.

The FTC, however, claims Reverb did not disclose the reviews were written by its staff, nor that they were hired to promote the games and that they often received a percentage of the sales.

That information is relevant to consumers who were using the endorsements as a guide to whether or not to buy the games…

Under a proposed settlement order, Reverb will have to remove any previously posted endorsements that misrepresent the authors as ordinary consumers.

Sleaze ain’t any less relevant when it’s geeks and gamers indulging in the practice.

Australia’s turn to deal with burkas in a court case

A Muslim woman has sparked a national debate in Australia after she said she would feel uncomfortable giving evidence in a A$1 million fraud trial unless she were able to wear a burka.

The woman, who is a witness for the prosecution, has asked a judge at Perth District Court for permission to appear in the full burka, which covers the whole body except the eyes and hands.

Mark Ritter, a lawyer for the prosecution, told the court that the woman, who has only been identified by her first name Tasneem, wanted to give evidence but would feel uncomfortable without the burka and that could prejudice the way she presented her evidence.

“It goes beyond stress, it would have a negative impact,” he said…

Tasneem, 36, has lived in Australia for seven years and has worn the burka since the age of 17, he said. She had worn the veil while passing through customs and is photographed in it on her driving licence.

She would usually only remove it for her family and male blood relatives at home, he said because “female modesty is a very important part of the religion.”

However, the defence team have argued that wearing the burka is a cultural, not a religious, choice and that it would prevent the jury from reading her facial expressions during her testimony.

Lawyers for the defence also said that in Islamic courts women were obliged to remove their veils. They suggested allowing Tasneem to appear via video link with a limited number of people present in the court.

In the history of Islam, the burka is in fact cultural. Preferred in some countries. Required in a few. Accepted or rejected as a political statement in some Muslim nations.

I don’t believe she can argue for it legitimately – as a point of religious principle.

Not that “legitimate” has much to do with how attorneys would/will approach the question. The essential premise of most legal pleading – as opposed to jurisprudence – is getting a victory regardless of how you achieve it. Sophistry was invented for lawyers.