26 November, 2005

Uses of machines

Machines are useful. Political machines can make you money.
During that same period of Dick Cheney’s reign at Halliburton, Donald Rumsfeld served as chairman of Gilead Sciences Inc. Coming onboard in 1997, a year after this California biotech firm developed and patented the Tamiflu vaccine, the former salesman of nuclear reactors to North Korea remained at his lucrative post until joining the Bush coup in 2001.

Today, Tamiflu is the most sought-after drug on the planet. Said to protect against a flu bug that annihilates chickens, along with a handful of Asian handlers sharing foul, windowless warehouses even worse than Abu Ghraib, the unproven vaccine has made America’s Secretary of Permanent War and Torture even richer. Still holding Gilead shares valued in Fortune magazine as high as $25 million, Rumsfeld’s dividends have reportedly made him more than a million dollars over the past six months of White House flumongering. 2005 sales for Tamiflu are forecast at $1 billion—up from $258 million in 2004.
And editing machines can make you giggle. (Always good to see a linguistics education getting used for something more than programming humanoid voices to say, "Hmm, I didn't get that.")

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