Utah Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleges Data Errors, Research Misconduct as CDC Report Releases U.S. Autism Rate of 1.5%
By TIMP Staff
The CDC announced today an autism rate of 1 in 68 children (1.5% of eight year olds surveyed in 2012) for those born in 2004, unchanged from the last reported rate for children born in 2002. Meanwhile, the United States District Court for the District of Utah is preparing to hear critical motions on April 4th from a former CDC researcher and whistleblower. Although the lawsuit is directed primarily to the University of Utah, the whistleblower has also alleged that the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, allowed research misconduct and persistent data errors in their autism prevalence reports. These whistleblower allegations reveal serious concerns over the legitimacy and integrity of the CDC’s management of its widely cited ADDM Network reports.
In documents filed on January 4, 2016 in the Federal District Court, District of Utah, (Case No. 2:13-cv-1131) the former Principal Investigator for the Utah ADDM Network site, Judith Pinborough-Zimmerman asked for the right to a jury trial to adjudicate a range of claims against her employer, the University of Utah, with respect to Zimmerman’s work as an autism researcher for the ADDM Network. According to the January 4 motion, “Dr. Zimmerman was a successful University employee until she accused [her supervisor], among others, of research misconduct and ethical misconduct. Defendants retaliated against Dr. Zimmerman for raising legal and ethical questions of employees’ impropriety, and took multiple adverse actions against Dr. Zimmerman because of her protected speech; her age; her disability; and her religion. Defendants also breached its contract with Dr. Zimmerman and denied her due process and liberty rights.”
Zimmerman’s complaint includes specific concerns over alleged uncorrected errors in the ADDM Network’s reported autism analysis for Utah. Zimmerman “reported that [university researchers] were publishing data under people’s names who had not done the work and that the data contained uncorrected errors. [emphasis added]” Dr. Zimmerman further testified, “I think the fact that I reported data errors, research misconduct, is significant.” According to the lawsuit, knowledge of these errors was not confined to Utah. “On or about December 2012, Dr. Zimmerman also reported the same concerns she had made to the University’s Privacy & Security office to the United States Department of Health and Human Services…. She reported her concerns to the CDC as well. “
Former science chief: ‘MMR fears coming true’
By SUE CORRIGAN
But he added: “There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.”
His warning follows reports that the Government is this week planning to announce the addition of a jab against pneumococcal meningitis for babies, probably from next April. It is also considering flu jabs for under-twos – not to protect the children, but adults they may infect.
In the late Seventies, Dr Fletcher served as Chief Scientific Officer at the DoH and Medical Assessor to the Committee on Safety of Medicines, meaning he was responsible for deciding if new vaccines were safe.
He first expressed concerns about MMR in 2001, saying safety trials before the vaccine’s introduction in Britain were inadequate.
Now he says the theoretical fears he raised appear to be becoming reality.
He said the rising tide of autism cases and growing scientific understanding of autism-related bowel disease have convinced him the MMR vaccine may be to blame.
“Clinical and scientific data is steadily accumulating that the live measles virus in MMR can cause brain, gut and immune system damage in a subset of vulnerable children,” he said.
“There’s no one conclusive piece of scientific evidence, no ‘smoking gun’, because there very rarely is when adverse drug reactions
are first suspected. When vaccine damage in very young children is involved, it is harder to prove the links.
“But it is the steady accumulation of evidence, from a number of respected universities, teaching hospitals and laboratories around the world, that matters here. There’s far too much to ignore. Yet government health authorities are, it seems, more than happy to do so.”
‘Why isn’t the Government taking this massive public health problem more seriously?’
The CIA Helped Produce an Episode of ‘Top Chef’
By Jason Leopold
What do the movies Argo and Zero Dark Thirty have in common with the novel The Devil’s Light by Richard North Patterson; Bravo’s Top Chef Covert Cuisine; the USA Network cable series Covert Affairs; the History Channel documentary Air America: The CIA’s Secret Airline;and the BBC documentary The Secret War on Terror?
They all received “support” from the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA), the division that interacts with journalists and acts as the liaison with the entertainment industry.
But the exact nature and extent of what the OPA did while working on Patterson’s book and the two documentaries is unknown because the CIA does not have a record of its meetings with Patterson and the documentarians. Furthermore, the CIA has only limited records about its work on the five other projects, according to a declassified December 31, 2012 CIA inspector general’s audit of the agency’s dealings with the entertainment industry obtained by VICE News in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
The audit said “OPA and other CIA employees did not always comply with Agency regulations intended to prevent the release of classified information during their interactions with entertainment industry representatives.”
A version of the 20-page audit was released last September to the conservative group Judicial Watch and later to the National Security Archive in response to their open records requests. But the eight entertainment projects the CIA worked on were redacted, as were footnotes that stated the specific regulations for dealing with the media that CIA officials violated when working on at least one of the projects. That portion of the audit, however, was unredacted in the version turned over to VICE News this week.
Other than Zero Dark Thirty, the entertainment projects with which the CIA was involved over the past decade had not been previously revealed, although it was assumed that the Oscar-winning movie Argo received production assistance from the agency since it’s based on a covert CIA operation. The audit reviewed a sample of eight projects out of 22 the CIA had supported between 2006 and 2011. One of the eight, a book, was redacted on national security grounds. The CIA won’t reveal the other 14 projects it has supported. (The agency receives multiple requests to support entertainment projects every week.)
On the CIA’s website, the agency says its entertainment industry liaison helps producers, screenwriters, directors, and authors “gain a better understanding of [CIA’s] intelligence mission.”
“Our goal is an accurate portrayal of the men and women of the CIA, and the skill, innovation, daring, and commitment to public service that defines them. If you are part of the entertainment industry, and are working on a project that deals with the CIA, the Agency may be able to help you. We are in a position to give greater authenticity to scripts, stories, and other products in development.”
The entertainment industry liaison also offers up recommendations to inspire authors and filmmakers. The CIA’s current recommendation is “The Vilification and Vindication of Colonel Kuklinski,” a Polish colonel who spied for NATO.
Bush-41’s October Surprise Denials
By ROBERT PARRY
Exclusive: “Deny everything,” British traitor Kim Philby said, explaining how the powerful can bluff past their crimes, a truism known to George H.W. Bush when he denied charges of his own near treason in the October Surprise case, writes Robert Parry.
A recently discovered lecture by the late British traitor Kim Philby contains a lesson that may help explain how George H.W. Bush could bluff and bluster his way past mounting evidence that he and other Republicans conspired in 1980 to block release of 52 U.S. hostages in Iran and thus ensure Ronald Reagan’s election, an alleged gambit that bordered on treason itself.
In a speech in East Berlin in 1981 – just aired by the BBC – the Soviet double-agent Philby explained that for someone like himself born into what he called “the ruling class of the British Empire,” it was easy to simply “deny everything.” When evidence was presented against him, he simply had to keep his nerve and assert that it was all bogus. With his powerful connections, he knew that few would dare challenge him.
“Because I was born into the British governing class, because I knew a lot of people of an influential standing, I knew that they [his colleagues in Britain’s MI-6 spy agency] would never get too tough with me,” Philby told members of East Germany’s Stasi. “They’d never try to beat me up or knock me around, because if they had been proved wrong afterwards, I could have made a tremendous scandal.”
That’s why growing evidence and deepening suspicions of Philby’s treachery slid by while he continued spying for the Soviet Union. He finally disappeared in January 1961 and popped up several months later in Moscow, where he lived until his death in 1988.
Though the circumstances are obviously quite different, Philby’s recognition that his patrician birth and his powerful connections gave him extraordinary protections could apply to George H.W. Bush and his forceful denials of any role in the Iran-Contra scandal – he falsely claimed to be “out of the loop” – and also the October Surprise issue, whether the Reagan-Bush dealings with Iran began in 1980 with the obstruction of President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 U.S. Embassy hostages seized by Iranian radicals on Nov. 4, 1979.
Carter’s failure to secure the hostages’ release before the U.S. election, which fell exactly one year later, doomed his reelection chances and cleared the way for Reagan and the Republicans to gain control of both the White House and the Senate. The hostages were only released after Reagan was sworn in as President on Jan. 20, 1981, and as Bush became Vice President.
Wild radioactive Fukushima boars breed like rabbits, ravage local countryside
By RT News
With the number of animals steadily growing, the boar population has been devastating the crops of farms in the area. Since the nuclear disaster of 2011, damage to agriculture caused by boars in the Fukushima prefecture has doubled, amounting to some $15 million, according to a report from The Times. Boars also pose a threat to public safety, as reports of rampaging wild beast injuring local residents while roaming the streets have become more frequent over the past few years.
Scientists from the Fukushima University Environmental Radioactivity Institute, who have been researching the spread of radioactive materials in the disaster area, have been looking into the reasons for the explosion in the boar population.“Wild boar along with raccoon have been taking advantage of the evacuation zone, entering vacant houses in areas damaged by the [disaster], and using them as breeding places or burrows,” assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin said, as quoted by the Japanese Mainichi newspaper in March.
Authorities have also been burning boar corpses in municipal incinerators, but the task of cutting up animals weighing 100 kilograms each to get them into the furnace is not a dream job, and there is a shortage of personnel capable of performing the task.
Nuclear Expert: “I’ve learned there’s a huge spike in death rates in Fukushima for young children”… Officials are covering up data — Gov’t committing inhuman acts on their own people — Doctor’s who treat patients suffering from radiation illness are being put out of business (AUDIO)
By ENE News
Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer: “I’ve been reflecting a lot over the last week and a half about what the trip meant to me personally and what I learned… The first thing is [the people are] terribly concerned about their country and concerned about their children… The second thing is the inhumanity of the Japanese government, the Japanese utilities and the Japanese banks toward their own population. I’m just appalled at how the power structure in Japan is ignoring what its people want and basically ramming nukes down the throat of their population… I think [the media sources in Japan] still feel pressure under that State Secrets Act. Nobody wants to push too hard against [Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s] administration. As a matter of fact, one of Abe’s prime key ministers came out and said twice now that if… the media doesn’t say what the administration wants them to say, they’re going to pull their licenses.”
Gundersen: “The one thing I learned when I was in the resettlement communities [of people evacuated due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis] is that they’ve all been told that there will be no resettlement communities by the time the Olympics start. The plan is to move people back into their homes in the contaminated areas, or to move them somewhere else in Japan to permanent homes”… (Maggie Gundersen, founded of Fairewinds Energy Education:) “I was devastated when I saw some of the pictures that you took in Japan… these temporary housings just look like military barracks on bare pavement… And now to hide the radiation, extensive radiation, that’s there and re-depositing in the already cleaned areas from snowmelt, flooding, and rain — and to say it’s okay and send everyone back is a death sentence to all these families and children and grandchildren.”
Gundersen: Yeah, let me get back to the first thing I said about the inhumanity toward their own people. We had doctors tell us when they treated somebody for radiation illness, if they put radiation illness on the hospital forms, the government refused to pay. So doctors were literally going out of business because they were doing their job and treating people. But the other thing I learned on the last day of the trip was that there’s a huge spike in the death rates within Fukushima Prefecture for young children compared to what it was in previous years. But that story has been stifled by the Japanese medical and government agencies. Nobody’s publishing the data that the Japanese have been publishing for years leading up to the disaster. So where are the death data on Fukushima Prefecture? And the answer is it hasn’t been published because the Japanese government doesn’t want it out there. When you control the medical community, the epidemiological data that you need to prove a case is really, really difficult. I think Fairewinds did a good job in the time we were over there getting sample data with a group of scientists that may affect the way the world looks at the disaster. But the other half of that is, you’ve got to get the doctors on board to report honestly what they’re seeing. And the medical community is even more under the thumb of the Abe regime than is the press. It’s very depressing.” … (Maggie Gundersen:) “I want to let you know that Arnie and other scientists are working on some really significant studies from samples that scientists have taken in Japan… Fairewinds will be participating in a report that will be issued on this and we will keep you up to date. It takes time to do this testing, but as soon as it’s ready, it will be publicized.”
Unionizing Pays Big Dividend for Professors at Regional Public Universities
By Peter Schmidt
Full-time instructors at regional public universities earn an average of about $21,000, or nearly 25 percent, more in pay and benefits annually if they belong to a union, concludes a groundbreaking new study of compensation at such institutions.
The location and size of the employer also makes a big difference. Those in larger suburban public universities, the highest-paying category of institutions studied, earned an average of nearly $17,000, or 20 percent, more in pay and benefits annually than those at midsize rural institutions, the lowest-paying category.
Such pay gaps become even larger when all three factors — location, size, and union status — are considered together. Unionized instructors at larger suburban institutions earn an average of about $40,000, or 50 percent, more than their nonunionized peers at midsize rural institutions, the study found.
Past research on faculty earnings at public universities has offered a distorted picture by lumping in data from state flagships and from regional institutions, argues a paper summarizing the study’s findings.
Given how the nation’s 390 public regional universities differ from flagships in their missions, student populations, and faculty workloads, they “deserve analysis in their own right,” says the paper, presented in New York on Sunday at the annual conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.
The paper says the new study also differs from other research on faculty earnings in that it takes into account not just salaries but fringe benefits as well. To provide such an analysis, however, the researchers had to use data from the 2010-11 academic year, because the Education Department stopped collecting information on faculty benefits after that point.
The new paper’s authors are Nathaniel J. Bray, an associate professor of higher-education administration at University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; Stephen G. Katsinas, a professor of higher education administration at Alabama and director of its Education Policy Center; and Johnson A. Ogun, a fellow at the center and an assistant professor of culinary arts at the University of North Alabama. Mr. Bray and Mr. Katsinas found similar payoffs to unionization in a study of community-college instructors’ earnings published last year.
7 million Americans at risk from manmade earthquakes due to fracking / WaPo
By MERYLL NASS
Why is oil so cheap these days? Maybe part of the answer is that the US government absolutely had to stop fracking– because it finally admitted the resulting earthquakes could not be tolerated, nor could the poisoned water be ignored any longer. Like so much else in our modern USA, the profits derived from fracking were privatized, while the destruction it rained down got socialized (i.e., experienced, and later to be paid for by us all).
Likely the collapse of the price of oil simplified things greatly for our government: no long-drawn-out legal battles over the public health and environmental effects. Fracking lost money, so it simply and quietly went away. Few recriminations had to be faced over the fact the industry was given carte blanche by governments to pollute aquifers. Maybe Americans wouldn’t connect the fracking sites to all the new earthquake activity. But the WaPo isn’t letting that happen. Here is the verbatim story:
Tell President Obama: Immediately stop fracking on public lands
A new must-read article by Bill McKibben details a recent Harvard study with an alarming result: Our transition under President Obama from coal power to methane fracking, aka “natural gas,” may have actually increased total U.S. global warming pollution — contrary to what the Obama administration has been telling us.1New revelations about fracking and methane — the potent global warming pollutant it unleashes from below ground — are raising alarm bells that call into question the heart of President Obama’s entire energy policy.
On top of that, a new study by Stanford University of the polluted water of Pavillion, Wyoming has found what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has seemingly been too scared to admit — fracking can pollute water.2
Fracking poses an immediate, unacceptable risk to our water and our security on this rapidly heating planet. President Obama controls fossil fuel extraction on federal lands — he needs to take action. Now.
What is perhaps most alarming is the degree to which the Obama administration has been either asleep at the switch, or too timid to stand up to industry when it comes to fracking.
The EPA has been dramatically underestimating both the potency of methane — it traps heat in our atmosphere at 86 to 105 times the rate of carbon pollution over a 10 to 20 year period — and the rate that this methane was leaking from fracking infrastructure unburned.
If just 3 percent of fracked methane escapes, fracked gas is worse for global warming than burning coal. But in fact, methane leakage may be two or three times higher than that. That makes the fracking boom a jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. Or as McKibben writes: “We closed coal plants and opened methane leaks, and the result is that things have gotten worse.”
The Obama administration has begun to correct for its catastrophic rounding error on fracking, revising its methane calculations and moving ahead with some regulations to limit methane emissions. Meanwhile, the EPA is taking comments on its controversial draft water study that downplayed fracking’s ability to contaminate water.3
Dick Cheney’s Halliburton loophole in his 2005 energy bill exempted the EPA from regulating fracking under the Clean Water Act, but federal lands remain under President Obama’s control.
And our pressure on public lands is having an impact. President Obama cancelled his plans to drill offshore in the Atlantic, has delayed Arctic drilling until 2020, and in January, the Department of Interior announced a three year moratorium on new coal leasing — though it is allowing current coal mining to continue.
U.S. methane emissions have spiked 30 percent since 2002, as scientists have been alarmed at the increasing rates of global warming and the melting of the poles. We don’t have time to wait for regulations to kick in that may reduce some methane leakage or prevent some water from being contaminated.
President Obama’s promotion of fracking is leading us disastrously off-course. President Obama needs to take immediate action to make his pro-fracking policies a temporary detour, not a permanent trip off the fracking cliff.
Thank you for fighting fracking.
Elijah Zarlin, Director of Climate Campaigns
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Breaking: CLG: Supreme Court Denies ‘DC Madam’ Attorney Request to Release Records ‘Relevant to 2016 Presidential Election’
Mr. Sibley sent the following statement to CLG early Wednesday:
Montgomery Blair Sibley and the D.C. Madam Records
As you asked me to keep you in the loop, here is the latest on the D.C. Madam’s records:
Yesterday, Chief Justice Roberts denied my Application to remove the Restraining Order which prohibits me from releasing the D.C. Madam’s Escort Service Records I believe relevant to the Presidential Election. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 22, I am now renewing that Application to Justice Thomas – a procedural second bite at the apple so to speak. I will wait upon his decision – which in the normal course should come by the middle of next week – before taking any further action regarding those Records. The Renewed Application can be found on my blog: http://amoprobos.blogspot.com/
I have reviewed the putative D.C. Madam records released on-line and can state they are not the Records I seek to release. Instead, they appear to be those that I released publicly in 2007… [See also: CLG’s ‘DC Madam’ Phone Records posted September 2007.]
Respectfully, I have sought to answer all your questions, so now I am going to ask you a few of my own: With the Wisconsin Primary now in the books and more primaries on the horizon:
1. Will the Press begin to “press” Chief Justice Roberts as to why he denied my Application in Supreme Court Case No. 15A1016? Is he a Caesar at the Coliseum turning his thumb up or down as the whim strikes him or does he have to account-through-legal-analysis for his decision to allow my First Amendment Political Speech to be muzzled by explicitly approving the refusal of the lower courts in his administrative jurisdiction to allow me to file my Motion to Modify the Restraining Order? (I trust you know for time sensitive or urgent questions, reporters can contact the Supreme Court Public Information Office at 202-479-3211, press 1.)
2. When will the Press begin to “press” D.C. Circuit Court Chief Judge Garland as to why his Court has refused – since March 9, 2016 – to address my Petition which seeks an order directing the District Court Clerk to file my Motion to Modify the Restraining Order. Notably, in Case No.: 16-3007, I requested Expedited Consideration which the Circuit Court also has refused to grant or deny creating in effect a judicial pocket veto without explanation and thus denying me the ability to appeal such a decision. (Such an inquiry can be directed to: Tracy Hauser Scarrow, (202-216-7460) Special Assistant to Chief Judge Garland.)
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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