United States News Digest
California Student Strikers Target Wall Street Looters
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)While a great deal of attention is being focused on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget cuts as the cause for the 32% hike in tuitions and fees in the University of California system, Bob Samuels, president of the UC-American Federation of Teachers, was interviewed on Nov. 20 by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, and he presented a very different story.
First, the UC Regents, who administer the financial affairs of the university system, lost $23 billion in 2009, through speculative investments in the financial bubble. A former CEO of Wachovia Bank is the head of the Board of Regents, and there are strong odors of conflict of interest and outright thievery in this story. Despite these massive losses, which parallel similar losses by the endowments of Yale and Harvard (the latter, courtesy of Larry Summers), the University of California made something like $20 billion from research contracts with the government and with private corporations during the same year. There is no fiscal justification for the spike in tuition and fees.
Second, the university system is going through a de facto privatization, by focusing cuts in faculty in the undergraduate areas, especially lecturers and non-tenured professors teaching the required courses of the first two years. In one case, the entire teaching staff for several mandatory freshman and sophomore courses has been fired. This, combined with the tuition and fees spike, will force many poorer students to either skip university altogether, or start out their first two years at community colleges, from which the credits can be transferred, based on performance, to the state universities.
In effect, the universities are being transformed into research corporations, where the undergraduate degrees are the lowest priority, and could almost be eliminated altogether.
Mammogram Report Designed To Kill as Part Obamacare
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)Informed sources say that the report issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), calling for curtailing the number of live-saving mammograms allowed to women, was commissioned 8-9 months ago, in the expectation that Obama's Nazi-like "health-care reform" would already have been passed by now, so as to begin its implementation.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), whose USPSTF concocted the spurious report, explicitly considers those lives which would be lost as not important, in the face of the "wasteful" screening procedures. That Agency's director, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, is a leader of the pro-euthanasia faction of strategists that crafted the Obama Administration health-care-rationing program.
The American Cancer Society immediately denounced the killer recommendation, saying that "The American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual screening using mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at age 40. Our experts make this recommendation having reviewed virtually all the same data reviewed by the USPSTF, but also additional data that the USPSTF did not consider...."
The Society's statement continued, "In 2003, an expert panel convened by the American Cancer Society ... found convincing evidence that screening with mammography reduces breast cancer mortality in women ages 40-74.... We specifically noted that the overall effectiveness of mammography increases with increasing age. But the limitations do not change the fact that ... mammography starting at age 40 saves lives."
Some 40 million mammograms are performed yearly in the United States, mainly on the over-40 female population totaling some 70 million. Women aged 40-49 number around 20 million. Sacrificing one in 1,904 women in this age group, as called for by the Task Force, means that thousands of lives would be lost by the "cost-saving" measures advocated by the Administration.
USDA Report Tries To Hide Hunger Crisis in America
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report on Household Food Security yesterday, admitting that their figures were the worst since surveys began, in 1995. In plain sight, though not mentioned, is the proof that the nation is on the edge of a food crisis of significant proportions.
The report reveals that 17 million or 14.6% of U.S. households, had "low food security" (difficulty putting food on the table) during some part of last year. Of this segment, almost half (40% of 14.6% or 5.7% of the nation) has "very low" food security, defined as "food intake was reduced and eating patterns were disrupted" at least some time during the year. Lost in all the percents and etceteras, is that the figure of 17 million hungry Americans represents an alarming 30% increase, from 13 million in 2007, and that the "very low" (5.7%) segment increased by 42%. Buried within the report, the graphs verified this sharp increase, beginning in 2007.
Other than pointing out the obvious, that "the fundamental cause of food insecurity and hunger in the U.S. is poverty," the best that the Obama Administrationhandcuffed as it is to the Bernanke Bailout programcan do, is offer platitudes about "promoting job creation and combatting hunger in our nation."