Thursday, September 01, 2005

NYT: "Official Quits on Pill Delay at the F.D.A." (Gardiner Harris)

The director of the Food and Drug Administration's office of women's health resigned yesterday to protest the agency's decision last week to further delay approving over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill.
"I feel very strongly that this shouldn't be about abortion politics," the director, Dr. Susan F. Wood, who is an assistant F.D.A. commissioner, said in a telephone interview. "This is a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and thereby prevent abortion. This should be something that we should all agree on."
In an e-mail message to staff members, Dr. Wood wrote that she could no longer serve at the agency "when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled."

The above is from Gardiner Harris's "Official Quits on Pill Delay at the F.D.A." in this morning's New York Times.

Kara: This is what we've come to and where we are, the war on science continues. Creationism should be taught in school, the Times reports yesterday of a poll, that's where we're at. Because we're an uneducated nation. As Elaine noted, the average person has no idea what "theory" means in the scientific world. It's not a hunch or an idea. It's something that can be tested and should provide a generally consistent finding. They don't grasp what a hypothesis is, or a theory or a law. And I have to wonder how many will grasp how serious this is.

From one outrage to another (how we've grown to use to these in the last five years), note the events reported by Neil A. Lewis in "U.S. Alters Rules for War Crime Trials:"

Among other changes is one altering the wording of a rule that during the proceedings, defendants "may be present to the extent consistent with the need to protect classified information." The new wording says defendants "shall be present to the extent consistent ... ."
But the revisions do not address some of the features that have attracted the most criticism. Evidence that might have been obtained by coercion or even torture can still be admitted at the discretion of the presiding officer, who may also allow other evidence that would normally be excluded from civilian courts, including hearsay, if he believes it tends to prove a particular position.
Eugene R. Fidell, a Washington lawyer who is president of the private National Institute of Military Justice, described the changes as "some tinkering around the periphery" and "not really significant or substantive."
Lt. Col. Sharon Shaffer, a military lawyer with the Air Force who is assigned to defend one of the four detainees so far charged with war crimes , said, "I don't think you could call the changes announced today major or significant."

Brenda e-mails to note Matthew Rothschild's "The Sickly Bush Recovery" (The Progressive):

So here we are in the third year of what they call an economic recovery, and it doesn't feel like recovery for most Americans.
The latest figures from the Census Bureau tell why.
Most of us are making less, in real terms, than we were last year.
Full-time male workers lost almost $1,000.
Full-time female workers lost $300.
And the poverty rate increased to 12.7 percent. Among those in poverty are an additional 563,000 members of the working poor, according to the
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Remember in Fahrenheit 9/11 when Bush addressed a gathering of fat cats and said, "Some people call you the elite. I call you my base"?
He wasn't kidding.

The scheduled topics for Democracy Now! today include:

The Drowning of New Orleans: we speak with a reporter who warned four years ago that only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana could save New Orleans from a catastrophic flood.
We continue our look at the link between extreme weather and global warming with Ross Gelbspan, author of "The Heat is On: The High Stakes Battle Over Earth's Threatened Climate"
Federal emergency management is now housed in the Department of Homeland Security where disaster relief is not the top priority. We speak with the author of "Fortress America: On the Frontlines of Homeland Security --An Inside Look at the Coming Surveillance State."

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