Maker of Botox Settles Inquiry

Questionable use of unapproved medical product by a major corporation.  Ho hum no big deal just a fine and no jail time.

Possession of more than an ounce of pot by a poor person.   Really big deal and up to ten years behind bars in the newest fast growing business in America, a private for profit prison.

It is time for CEOs and other executives to do some serious hard time and have fines that take away all their private wealth.  A time when corporations that are found guilty of serious crimes are sentenced to death by dis-incorporation and sale or nationalization of all assets.

From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/business/02allergan.html?_r=1&hp

By NATASHA SINGER

Allergan, the maker of Botox, agreed on Wednesday to pay $600 million to settle charges that it illegally promoted and sold the drug through 2005 for unapproved uses like treating headaches.

That settlement, the latest in a continuing Justice Department crackdown on off-label drug promotion by pharmaceutical companies, comes with an unusual postscript. In recent months, the Food and Drug Administration has been seriously weighing approval of Botox for treatment of chronic migraines, a remedy that has been cited as beneficial in new studies and which was ratified last month in Britain.

The charges of illegal marketing cover the first half of this decade, before the F.D.A.’s review.

The settlement also represents the latest in a series of prominent deals by drug makers to resolve criminal and civil allegations, and it closely follows news that the federal government has expanded an investigation into the overseas practices of several big pharmaceutical companies involving suspected bribery of foreign officials.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/business/02allergan.html?_r=1&hp

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Fidel Castro Apologizes For Treatment Of Gays During The Revolution

1969 was an eventful year for me, for the Left and for L/G folks.  I came out and transitioned.  People’s Park happened and white kids were shot at and killed by the police, a year before Kent State.  The Weatherman faction of SDS expelled the Progressive Labor faction (PL was neither progressive nor actual laborers).  Stonewall happened.

Gay and lesbian people were denouncing the treatment of L/G folks in Cuba.  Even though L and G didn’t include people with transsexualism I considered myself a part of that struggle as well as part of Weather.

Therefore I was dismayed at the low level of consciousness displayed by members of the straight Left including the Weather faction when so many went running off to Cuba that summer to join the Venceremos Brigade on what was ostensibly a mission to aid in the harvest of Cuba’s sugar cane but which came off as a junket by those on the Left who were affluent enough to afford the trip during which they got to meet Castro.

Many of us were angered by the failure of those privilege folks, the elite of the straight left to confront Castro over his abuse of L/G people.

Perhaps if they had it would have awakened Fidel’s awareness of his counter-revolutionary stance regarding L/G people much earlier.

From Latin Dispatchhttp://latindispatch.com/2010/09/01/fidel-castro-apologizes-for-treatment-of-gays-during-the-revolution/

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has been in the news a good amount recently.

In an interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, the former Cuban head said that in the early years of the revolution homosexuals were persecuted and that he regretted that they were marginalized or sent to agrarian reform camps as punishment.

“If someone is responsible, it’s me,” he said, according to the BBC.

Castro added that he was too busy dealing with attacks against him and his government to put a stop to homophobic attitudes within his regime.

The communist government did however soon change their stance on homosexuality. In 1979 homosexuality was decriminalized and there have been recent efforts to legalize same-sex unions.

Continue reading at:  http://latindispatch.com/2010/09/01/fidel-castro-apologizes-for-treatment-of-gays-during-the-revolution/

Study: Job Growth Is Limited to Really Crappy Jobs

From Alternet: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/09/01/study-job-growth-is-limited-to-really-crappy-jobs/

This post originally appeared on the Daily Kos.

The recession may have magnified a trend that began nearly four decades ago – wage stagnation, or worse. Michael Luo at The New York Times writes,For Many, a New Job Means Lower Wages, Studies Find:

With the country focused on job growth and unemployment continuing to hover above 9 percent, there has been comparatively little attention paid to the quality of the jobs being created in this still-struggling economy and what that might say about the opportunities that will be available to workers when the tumult of the Great Recession finally settles. …

For years, long before the recession began, job growth had become increasingly polarized in this country, with high-paid occupations that demand significant amounts of education and training growing rapidly, alongside low-wage, entry-level, service-type jobs that do not require much schooling or special skills, according to David Autor, a labor economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The growth of these low-wage jobs began in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s and began to really take off in the 2000s. Losing out in the shuffle, according to Dr. Autor, are jobs that he describes as “middle-skill, middle-wage” — entry-level white-collar positions, like office and administrative support work, as well as certain blue-collar jobs, like assembly line workers and machine operators.

Continue reading at:  http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/09/01/study-job-growth-is-limited-to-really-crappy-jobs/

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European Union – Call for new laws on transgender rights…

From Brenda Lana Smith’s mailing List

From The Parliament.com  http://www.theparliament.com/latest-news/article/newsarticle/call-for-new-laws-on-transgender-rights/

09/01/2010

Call for new laws on transgender rights

By Martha Moss

01st September 2010

There is an urgent need to improve the rights of transgender people in the EU, a parliament conference has heard.

Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson, who chairs parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee, told participants that the EU should think about changing legislation on transgender rights because “things aren’t happening quickly enough”.

“We’ve got to improve our know-how and expertise in decision making bodies so we can tackle the discrimination that transgender people are still subject to in society,” she said.

“It is 2010, and people are still being discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender.”

Svensson, one of the speakers at the Greens/EFA conference on transgender equality held in Brussels on Wednesday, spoke of “heterocentric rules” underpinning power structures, “which means that men have more power in society”.

“We have got to work on these issues in parliament,” she said.

She acknowledged that the FEMM committee “haven’t prioritised the rights of transgender people as much as we should have” but insisted that certain steps had been taken to improve the situation.

“As MEPs we have a say in EU decision making, but we must also lobby at national level,” she added.

“We also have work to do in civil society because that’s where we can put transgender issues high on the political agenda.”

Raül Romeva i Rueda, vice-president of parliament’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) intergroup, said urgent action was needed to prosecute the perpetrators of violence against transgender people.

“These people need to be prosecuted,” he said, adding that such actions could not be accepted on the grounds of “cultural difference”.

Romeva i Rueda highlighted talk of the ‘big g’ and ‘small t’ in the LGBT movement, saying “this is something that needs to be changed”.

“Action is crucial, it’s urgent,” said Romeva i Rueda, also a member of parliament’s women’s rights and gender equality committee. “In many places it’s a question of life or death – not simply a philosophical issue.”

Event organiser and Dutch deputy Marije Cornelissen, who has been shortlisted for a Parliament Magazine MEP award in the employment and social affairs category, spoke of the importance of mainstreaming transgender issues into work across the parliament.

Speaking on behalf of the gender equality and non-discrimination unit in the European commission, Belinda Pyke said there was still a “huge intolerance and ignorance about transgender issues”.

Emphasising the need to increase the “knowledge base”, she promised to “raise more general awareness” on transgender issues, and said it was particularly important to distinguish between sexual orientation and gender identity.

In this context, Pyke welcomed the June 2009 parliament resolution, which included a specific reference to gender identity.

© Dods Ltd 2010

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