Thursday, December 13, 2007

HIB Vaccine is Putrid

Funny story: I'm 57 years old. When I was a kid I was vaccinated according to the "modern" protocol of polio shots, oral polio vaccines, and Diphtheria, Pertusis, and Tetanus, among others. Kids are still getting these shots when they visit the pediatrician--my question is does anyone ever hear of a kid getting any of these "plagues" these days? Diphtheria is non existent and the shot only uses an anti-toxin in case of its presence anyway--waste of time and money. Google up tetanus and see how many cases of THAT awful disease plagued the US population last year--and pertusis, or more colloquially-known as "Whooping Cough,"--comes and goes as it pleases vaccines or not. Antibiotics curb it's incursion while the vaccine (DPT) has caused untold maladies and misfortunes among its recipients.

I am one--I received all those fashionable new life-saving vaccines in the 1950's, when I was a developing baby-boomer. I even remember to this day--fifty years later--the pain in my left arm and my inability to move it due to the pain, and my parents and everyone elese saying, "That means the shot is "taking,"" --Ignorant-speak for the vaccine is working that's why you feel the pain.

Years go by, and with the knowledge and understanding of the dreadful adverse effects of injecting toxins into an immature bloodstream, my mom and I discuss these reactions I had to the shots wya back when--turns out mom knew better! She was young and in those days you went along with educated authoritative thinking of the day--but she told me she thought I seizured after my second "booster" shot--the happy nomen in those days for a follow-up of the DPT vaccination. Today in the event of an adverse reaction to a shot, children are advised not to receive any more--as if that is followed through...

I was tested as a young student in the late 1950's and I was put in a "special class" for gifted children. The tests belied my inability to "pay attention," which back then was punished for lack of discipline, but which today is considered Attention Deficit Disorder--and only so designated due to the HUGE numbers of children handicapped by this problem. Are we all just bad students, unable to attend? Or have our bodies been so thoroughly assaulted by vaccines invented by drug company conglomerates with nothing to gain but money and more money that we cannot recover to our original potential?

The "new" medicine is to give infants a vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B virus. This disease comes from contact within an environment that an infant will NEVER encounter! But the last laugh is on one of the big-pharma biggest assholes in the business today--Merck--they told us Vioxx was a good thing while they knew (internal memos exist in court as proof) that it had the potential to kill without a decent "risk-reward" ratio. Now Merck is recalling the HIB vaccine because it is contaminated. Really?

Polio vaccines are created in the dead infected tissue of a monkey kidney in a third-world country you wouldn't want to vacation in. Now the doctor wants to stick this shit in your child's vein. Don't toss your 60 year old photos in my face of kids in "iron lung" machines when you don't have your facts straight--just because we were told they had polio, doesn't mean these poor children weren't afflicted with meningitis, and other respiratory and paralytic viruses, but we were told they had polio because it made the Salk vaccine all the more phenomenal in the media. Notice Salk and Sabin (live virus) never got along. Seemed like a "slam dunk" back then didn't it?

Protect yourselves, and your children, from the onslaught of patent drugs. The drug companies have nothing to gain but money--and a LOT of that for sure!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nickelodeon, Sumner and Boston

I peddled high school yearbook portrait contracts in New England for 4 years in another lifetime. It was my grandfather's business in which I was lucky enough to cut my teeth on sales experience. My territory covered eastern Massachusetts, from New Hampshire to Providence. I remember calling on every school in the area, whether it was one we had under contract or not. Boston Latin High School was one of them.

Years prior to my endeavors in the greater Boston area, a guy graduated Boston Latin, went to Harvard, and would up in the military in WWII and then went on to work in his father's business--movie theater exhibiting. After years of success in expanding that enterprise, Sumner Redstone acquired several companies which he turned into world-class conglomerates, and he still heads two of them: CBS and Viacom.

How's my connection in Boston with Sumner's entrepreneurial ubber-success? As a graduate of Boston University with a Master's Degree in film production, I was invited to a "Conversation with Sumner Redstone" tonight at Paramount Studios in Hollywood--the oldest and most successful movie studio and owned, of course, by Viacom--Sumner Redstone.

So there I went to hear what this utter success of risky ventures has to say about how it's done. In a state-of-the-art theater that holds 580 people, most seats were empty. I felt real privileged in an intimate sort of way, to hear what this self-made guy thought of about how to become self-made. He had nothing to offer about that. His concern was about copyright violations and digital piracy--at his age of 84, I thought he'd be more concerned about how best to digest his next restaurant meal. No--Sumner is into his business and loves everything about it. If only his billions could buy back a few years so he could continue to have the fun he is obviously enjoying.

And that's when I realized why I went to this affair--I thought I might promote my blog or my wife's book--no, I was intended to be present to hear the one thing Sumner said that resonates and will resonate for my whole life: anyone can follow his or her dreams in this country, and see them fulfilled, regardless of ethnicity, back ground, or anything. That was the real message, although I think Mr. Redstone wanted us all to concentrate more on anti-piracy.

Oh--Nickelodeon along with MTV are huge world-wide entities--Mr. Redstone said when he bought Viacom he was told by "Wall Street" they were a flash in the pan. As was Viacom itself. MTV is watched by 1 billion people worldwide, and Nickelodeon is one of the top networks....

I am inspired to follow my dreams--how about you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Writers Strike/Iraq War-Get Me the Numbers

Numbers are a funny thing. A headline recently indicated that the universe weighs less than was thought:

Revised calculations indicate the universe contains less normal and dark matter than previously thought, resulting in a "weight loss" of 10 to 20 percent.

I can't really comprehend what that means--I took my family on a whale-watch boat off Dana point, California last year, and we saw Blue Whales, the largest animal on the planet, which were over 100 feet long and weighed hundreds of tons--I couldn't tangibly grasp that concept, how am I going to do the whole universe?

As I try to get a grip on thse numbers, I read tonight that Jay Leno and David Letterman are giving up huge sums of income because they are not getting paid during the Writer's Guild Strike against the AMPTP:

The TV writers' strike is costing David Letterman and Jay Leno more than $100,000 a night each.
Because the late-night stars have stayed off the job since the walkout began last week, CBS and NBC have stopped paying them, according to TV-industry sources who asked not to be identified and are close to both hosts.

I made $100,000 over several years once, when I was younger and smarter. Most people don't make what these guys make in a year, in a lifetime. While the actions of Leno and Letterman are admirable in favor of the writers who, after all, provide the CONTENT of everything we watch on TV and at the movies, the "numbers" of dollars in actuality are hard on which to get a reality grip...

Forget about everything you have read so far--universe weight included--there are no human brains big enough to wrap around the numbers of Chris Dickey's latest foray into costs of the US incursion in Iraq:

As calculated by the Democratic side of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and released Tuesday, the direct costs of the Iraq war from 2003 through 2008 will be $607 billion. If you add indirect costs ranging from interest payments and deferred investments, oil prices and medical care for thousands of veterans who've lost their health, limbs, faces, eyes and, in some cases, their minds, you're talking about roughly $1.3 trillion over the same six-year span.

In an effort to make those figures comprehensible, the committee tells us that for "the $432 million we spend in Iraq every day"—note, that is $432 million a day, per diem, seven days a three-billion-dollar week, or, looking at it another way, $18 million an hour, $300,000 a minute, $5,000 a second, and so on, ad nauseam—we could enroll 58,000 children in Head Start, hire 9,300 more teachers, or provide health insurance for 513,000 low-income kids. But … why would we want to do any of that? Sounds too much like "tax and spend" and "soft on security." Social responsibility doesn't sell at the polls or on the Hill.

OK. For the price of one day in the death of Iraq, according to the committee's calculations, we could hire 10,700 Border Patrol agents or 14,200 police officers in the United States. But would our Congress and our president ever pass such bills? Would the American people vote for such programs? Nah. Hard to imagine. The Bush administration has bet that most Americans feel pretty comfortable, and pretty safe, just the way they are, and so far it's been right.

The Joint Economic Committee and its Democratic chairman, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, tell us that the first half-decade of the Iraq war is costing each American family of four $16,500. If the politicians had really wanted to make an impression, they should have appealed to our selfishness. With that kind of money, Mr. and Ms. Average and their kids could put a flat-screen TV, or two, in every room of the house, or buy that third or fourth car they've been wanting. Maybe that would get a rise out of the American public. Clearly the loss of 4,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq hasn't had that much of an impact.

And you thought the universe was heavy!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Waterboarding & Injustice in Public Schools

Couple of items today seem totally unconnected to me are right on the front burner one-and-the-same:

I my former congressional district in Orange County, which is so hugely overrun with republicans, there lives a courageous, or maybe foolhardy, or even fun-loving, democratic opposition candidate without a prayer of being elected to the US House of Representatives--and because of this "hopeless" dream, and his drive and determination and commitment--he probably will be!

Steve Young sent an email today describing the incumbent's stand on the AG nomination and waterboarding:

Today my Republican opponent made a statement on waterboarding that I felt you need to see. The Daily Pilot, a local insert in the Los Angeles Times has a weekly feature entitled "That's Debatable." The feature poses a question and asks John Campbell [R,Ca-48] to answer. Today's question was:

"Michael B. Mukasey, the nominee for attorney general, has been criticized for his views on interrogation techniques, specifically his comments on waterboarding. But Mukasey has said he would enforce a law banning waterboarding if Congress approved it. Do you think if he is confirmed as the next attorney general Congress should move swiftly to approve a law banning waterboarding, and would you vote for such a law?"

Of course Campbell did not answer the question whether he would vote to ban waterboarding, but his dancing in a buffalo heard answer is even more revealing:

"Waterboarding is a psychological interrogation technique that does not inflict physical pain or permanent damage. Nonetheless, it is reserved only for the worst terrorists who have information that could save dozens, hundreds or thousands of American lives. I do not think it is an excessive response to the threats that we face in the world today. John Campbell Congressman (R-Newport Beach)"

I doubt that Campbell would vote to ban a "psychological interrogation technique" he sees as so important and that does not inflict pain nor risk of death. Campbell is wrong.

Waterboarding induces panic and suffering by forcing a person to inhale water into the sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and lungs. The head is tilted back and water is poured into the upturned mouth or nose. Eventually the subject cannot exhale more air or cough out more water, the lungs are collapsed, and the sinuses and trachea are filled with water. The subject is drowned from the inside, filling with water from the head down. The chest and lungs are kept higher than the head so that coughing draws water up and into the lungs while avoiding total suffocation. "His suffering must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown."

Mr. Campbell, if waterboarding does not inflict pain or death, why is it effective? If it does not inflict pain or death why was a Texas sheriff convicted under Governor George Bush of using waterboarding? Mr. Campbell, if waterboarding is not painful, and does not threaten death, will you Mr. Campbell agree to be waterboarded so we know you are not mistaken?

I can see why I wouldn't want to have this torture done to me! Now let me tell you about my 10 year old daughter who got in my car when I picked her up from public school today crying. She is in an advanced class for gifted children (not our choice--it's state-mandated based on testing) and has one teacher in the morning, and a different one from 11:30 til dismissal at 2:34 PM. (Seems like a long day to me for pre-teens, although we all went through it didn't we...)

The morning teacher has issues and is not a happy person, and this reflects on the children. The late-morning afternoon teacher is completely the opposite and the children also relate to that. Today, the MORNING teacher was there for the entire day. She set up rules for the mis-behaving students who would not "settle down" so that the whole class had to forfeit recess time, lunch time, and had to stay AFTER closing time, even those students who were not "talking out of turn," or otherwise disrupting the order-at-hand.

My daughter was upset about this seeming injustice--even the disruptive students should not have to lose precious recess minutes and lunch time etc. So she was in tears about this when I picked her up.

I have read a few books about the US public school system, written by experts on education and learning, rather than by school administrators. It has become clear to me that our public school system and curriculum is outdated and arcane compared to what experts know about how to teach. There are even books written about the harmful effects of homework on young children and why they should be allowed to play with their friends rather than be sequestered in their homes doing repetitive math exercises.

I dropped my daughter at home and drove back to the school and confronted her teacher as she was leaving. I told her that my daughter was excited to get to school early today, as every day, and wound up in tears because of her teacher's actions. This teacher told me I had to explain to my daughter about the "real world," and consequences etc I can't go on...

This teacher and I had a difference of opinion, but the teacher is also pretty burnt out and even admitted it. I told her I could not do the job she has chosen, and I respected what her goals and challenges are.

Waterboarding and children in school--while the media reports on the interesting and obnoxious controversy over whether it's OK for US foreign intel to torture possible anti-American antagonists, and while the definition of torture is up-for-grabs even though I think yelling at your children is a form of torture--aren't we all jerking ourselves off with these pandering news issues while the real problems of American society run downhill like water from a broken dam: arcane public school curricula, health care for everyone, bigotry and racism every day, homeless fellow citizens in the richest country in the world, forays in the middle east and elsewhere not backed by the American voter/taxpayer?

How convenient for the sponsored media to have waterboarding to distract and entertain us in order to sell soap and cereal. Waterboarding as torture is not acceptable, but instead of interrogating the appointee for US Attorney General in congress, and showing this spectacle on TV for hours, we the people should concern oursleves with the issues affecting our lives, and our children's future! Now!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Frank Rich's "Good Germans"

Frank Rich writes another trenchant, well-researched and beautifully synthesized piece on the Bush cabal rubber-stamping torture as policy. Rich's premise, in his New York Times column, is that only through the passive acceptance of this policy by the American citizens, who have been informed repeatedly through the media and congressional hearings, can this disgusting policy continue. It started with the uncovering of the Abu Graib prisoner torture scandal, and now rocks on with Blackwater and more.

Thus Rich refers to the "Good German" of post Nazi Germany when the common citizens of Hitler's dictatorship claimed they really knew nothing of the holocaust atrocities committed in their midst. They were just good patriots going along with the country's laws and minding their own business.

If Rich's modern-day "Good Germans" are the Americans who choose not to raise a stink about torturing alleged enemies behind closed doors, then I propose another "Good German" analogy about my fellow citizens: the pervasive bigotry that oozes throughout our daily lives is constantly ignored by people even when it's shoved in their faces. How many times has the reader of this blog over-heard or been confronted with defaming remarks about an ethnic group, or a sexist statement, or anti-gay or lesbians on any given day, and not reacted by saying out loud you won't stand for that kind of language?

This country is full of people who acquiesce before racism and bigotry even when they are abhored by it. I appreciate Frank Rich's discussion of Bush getting away with illegal actions because the American voter is complacent and uncaring. I also see the bigger issue and ultimate dilemma in our society of ongoing racism, xenophobia, and bigotry and the allowance and even ignorance of them by Americans as the downfall of us all if we don't stop being "Good Germans" and raise our voices now.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Coulter Friend of the Jews

Ann Coulter may have done a big favor for the cause of tolerance in our society with her latest bigotted outburst. This intelligent, educated, yet bigotted and rabble-rousing right-wing author has stated in a TV interview that Jews need to be "perfected." In other words, Christians are perfect Jews, and Jews fall short.

What's the favor she's done for anti-bigotry? Her remarks have created a minor media firestorm and hopefully have reached the ears and brains of the youth of the country who may not have heard about the Holocaust, Hitler, WWII etc. Her inane inflamatory need for publicity at any cost, may have made more people aware that anti-Semitism, and bigotry in general, is alive and prospering in our great society. So many insulated fellow-citizens believe that whole thing is a thing of the past. It's not!

Tim Rutten, who writes a media column for the Los Angeles Times every week, made Coulter's contribution very clear:

..."supersessionism," the theological notion that Christianity "completes" or "perfects" Judaism is, along with the deicide libel, anti-Semitism's major theological underpinning. Indeed, in Central and Western Europe between the world wars, there was a substantial body of purportedly "respectable" intellectual opinion that held "supersessionism" made possible a "reasonable" theological anti-Semitism that was entirely licit, as opposed to the Nazis' and fascists' illicit, "racially based" anti-Semitism. It is fair to say that the rails leading to Auschwitz were greased by precisely the opinion Coulter expressed on American television this week.

So thank you Ms. Coulter, for bringing to the front burner the issue of bigotry that needs to be discussed, especially with the coming generations, in this great country of ours.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Polio Vaccine Goes Haywire in Environment

It was only a matter of time--like a scene out of the movie Andromeda Strain, vaccine makers have unleashed a virulent strain of polio that is causing polio outbreaks.

The latest email from Barbara Loe Fisher, President of the National Vaccine Information Center, refers to articles stating that the World Health organization and the Center for Disease Control have deliberately withheld information about this dilemma from the US public--here is an excerpt from that email:

Mutated Live Vaccine Polioviruses Pollute Water, Paralyze

by Barbara Loe Fisher

In yet another stunning example of arrogant and immoral behavior, doctors at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admitted last week that they deliberately did not tell "the public" that neurovirulent mutated vaccine strain live polio viruses are polluting world water supplies and are responsible for polio outbreaks among children in Nigeria and other countries. Dr. David Heymann, a leader in WHO's polio eradication effort, reportedly explained that WHO "considered the [Nigerian] outbreak to be a problem for scientists and not something that would change global vaccination practices" so WHO didn't share the information with the public until now. ap/20071005/ap_on_he_me/nigeria_polio_paradoxThere is a lot of information that WHO and CDC officials have not shared with the public about what forcing worldwide use of a live oral polio for 40 years has done. The Sabin live polio vaccine - which is the public health community's main claim to fame and fortune in the 20th century - may not only have unleashed the most feared autoimmune disorder to plague man in two centuries( ) as well as caused increases in brain, bone and lung cancers ( 3b94/3/229-a.pdf) but also has created mutant paralytic viruses that could cripple many more humans than would have been crippled if the live virus polio vaccine had never been used at all. The US abandoned the Sabin live polio vaccine in 1999 and switched to the inactivated Salk vaccine that cannot cause vaccine strain polio. So why are billions of dollars being spent to pour the risky live virus polio vaccine into the mouths of the poorest babies in the most underprivileged countries in the world where sanitation and water supplies are already compromised?The worst part of this deception is that WHO and CDC spin doctors are trying to convince parents in Africa, India and elsewhere that it is the "unvaccinated" who are causing vaccine strain polio outbreaks even though many of these children are getting 9 or 10 polio vaccinations http://vaccineawakening.blogspot.c om/search?q=India%2C+polio+vaccine Although public health officials are trying to blame polio outbreaks on the 'unvaccinated," the medical literature documents that assertion to be false.

Any reader interested in more information can email this blog ( and I will forward the entire email from the NVIC.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jenny McCarthy, Vaccine-Autism and the TRUTH

When you know how "Mississippi" is spelled and you tell your grade-school genius child for her homework, and she says, "I don't think that's right," what goes through your mind? The good news is, she's thinking about it. The other "news" is that there are certain rock solid truths in this universe, and the above correct spelling of that certain southern state is one of them.

Therefore when Jenny McCarthy appears on TV and claims her son became autistic from vaccine injury, I know this is a fact as much as I know how to spell a lot of different things. What is striking is the coincidence of McCarthy's book publishing and talk-show tour, with a new study featured as the number-one story currently on MSNBC. The very seriously-authoritative and scientific study done by the CDC (Center for Disease Control)--a federal entity designed to pretty much smooth over our consumer concerns that a drug approved for marketing is not dangerous after all (at least that's what I think their basic purpose is)--shows that thimerosol, the mercury preservative widely used until a few years ago to lengthen the shelf-life of vaccines, was not actually harmful to children who received the shots.

The key ingredient to the story is that the vaccine-autism connection was not part of this study, and not an issue. I don't consider mercury a culprit in the vaccine-autism cause and effect anyway. It is the toxin, or germ, contained in the shot itself that causes the adverse affects on the immune system.
Dead-virus, or live-virus vaccine etc...who cares? The cultures for polio vaccines are grown in the kidney tissue of dead monkeys in third-world countries with little or no controls and the virulent pustule toxin is put in vaccines to be shot into you little kid's arm. I wouldn't go into a room where that putrid stuff is, let alone inject it into my blood stream! Would you?

The coincidence remains, however--there is this very visible, known, and attractive, entertainment personality who can get headlines with a story about her child and autism, which is happening right now--and this study comes out today. And Jenny is on Larry King Live tonight!

When Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center wrote her email newsletter commending Oprah Winfrey for finally having a show dedicated to the vaccine issue, and for Jenny McCarthy for talking about it, she gave credit where credit is due to another mother years ago who found the problem, and the answer, and started a movement of parents to take a stand:

Jenny McCarthy gave a star turn on Oprah when she clearly, simply and passionately described what happened to her son after vaccination and how she was empowered by information she found on the Internet to find ways to cure his vaccine-associated regressive autism. She listened to her mother's instinct and pursued a course of treatment that involved nutrition and other alternative therapies. It is a story of a mother's love and determination to heal her son after he was given the diagnosis of autism, a neuroimmune disorder that so many pediatricians are taught is untreatable.

In the early 1990's, a mother in California, Cindy Goldenberg, was the first Mom to cure her son of regressive autism by listening to her mother's instincts and doing her own research into vaccine-induced neuroimmune dysfunction. Her son experienced regressive autism after receiving MMR vaccine. Cindy sought out IVIG therapy as well as nutritional and probiotic therapies that she said "healed his gut." Her son was soon in a regular classroom and this year he graduated from high school.

Two years ago, at the last Defeat Autism Now (DAN) conference attended by the late amazing Dr. Bernard Rimland, founder of the Autism Research Society, Jennie met this young man who addressed an audience of 1,000 attendees and press, and who indeed defeated autism because of his mother, Bernie, and the truth.
Inspiration and hope are undefeatable, even by the CDC and big pharma vaccine-makers who can't spell "Mississippi."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Circumcision is Painful

I'm not as pissed as much as I'm amazed: there is more interest in OJ Simpson's latest court predicament, and Dan Rather suing CBS for money he doesn't need and with which they don't wanna part, than what's really important tome, to my family, and to you.

For instance, if a young white girl were held down and her clitoris were cut off, it would probably make big news in this great country of ours. Yet this very event takes place all the time with little girls in Africa because of some cultural tradition that has more to do with sadism than religion. I am more up in arms about this calamity for children in a foreign country than I am about any "problem" of traffic congestion or weather inaccuracies which flood our local media. Somehow, their plight, the epidemic of AIDS in Africans, and the problems of genocide etc, seem more immediate to me than what appears as headlines to me every day.

The problem with American perceptions of what's important and what needs attention is the dropping-of-the-ball of the so-called "4th estate," -- the press, the media, TV news etc. Now that the "powers-that-be" conglomerates really own the mode of us citizens getting the true news--the "emmes," as my Jewish elder friends would call it--there is no end to the comforting lies we can be told. Orwell pictured a Big Brother society that only doled out what the "party" wanted the people to know. He would have laughed to know that the people are the ones who are content to only hear the party line.

And here we are--wake me up when you want to talk about the real issues.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bad Ads; Iraqi Dead; OJ in Trouble

There are 3 headlines which all caught my eye today--right up there with the latest earthquake in Indonesia. Let's sort out the priorities:

1. Betray-Us = Petraeus., of which I am a member, has used this clever and cute play on words to indicate that we, the people, are being played like a fiddle when it comes to the truth of what is happening in Iraq.

I, happily, am not a ploy to this volleyball, because of my inside track with my closest friend, Christopher Dickey. He is the resident terrorist expert at Newsweek Magazine, as well as Paris Bureau Chief and Middle East correspondent. He's been to Baghdad and knows the players more than I can count, or want to. This whole Iraq occupation from day 1 was bad news, per Chris.

2. Los Angeles Times article says that death toll could be 1 million Iraqis since US incursion began:

According to the ORB poll, a survey of 1,461 adults suggested that the
total number slain during more than four years of war was more than 1.2 million.
This number is not hard to believe because the loss of life is always higher among civilians than military in an occupied situation.

3. OJ Simpson is accused of "stealing" back his old memorabilia in an armed robbery in Las Vegas. This story was up there with the previous two headlines.

How are we, the people, supposed to be taken seriously when we apeal to our elected representatives to concoct legislation to make our lives better, if we equate 1 million dead people with a politically provocative advertisement and a long-gone celebrity whose only claim to fame is that he got away with murder?

Seems like we deserve what we get. Here's some advice for those of us who crave a more appropriate priority list:

I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.

I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.

--Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797) Irish orator, philosopher, & politician

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bush is addressing the nation on Rosh Hashanah. I can't watch him speak, but I've read he is assuring his fellow Americans of withdrawing some US troops from Iraq at some point as long as we put up with the current "surge:"

"The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home."

Ya gotta hand it to him--he's proof that nuts can run a nuthouse.

Not surprising when I am surrounded by news and issues that are more and more outlandish, yet they are more and more being accepted by an acquiescent and overwhelmed public.

For instance, my wife had a routine yearly mammogram in April which is one of the only few items covered and paid for up front by our Blue Cross policy. We are privileged to pay $715 per month for a "preferred provider" plan which means we can go to any M.D. contracted with Blue Cross, and we pay $5,000 deductible out of pocket before dollar-1 is paid by Blue Cross.--Except for yearly pap smears, mammograms, and office visits and a couple of other items. Drugs have a $750 deductible per year per person.

Anyway, Cindy briefly mentioned a twenty-year-old long-term issue to our Dr., who put it on his orders for the "routine" mammogram, so Blue Cross would not pay the "routine" payment, and instead applied $600+ to our deductible--in other words, we have to pay $600 for a procedure for which we normally pay $50.

I'm not done--after MONTHS of communications with a VERY compassionate credit lady at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA, and some not-so-successful attempts to reach the physician regarding his "coding" of the mammogram order--which by the way was not needed since Cindy was due for a "routine" yearly mammogram anyway--the Dr. FINALLY changed his coding for the procedure order as "ROUTINE!"

Then the compassionate lady in credit at Mission Hospital phoned me to explain that Blue Cross no longer covers ANY mammograms at Mission Hospital as "routine" because of some red-tape story that I can't even remember to repeat here -- and I'm pretty good at repeating details. Something to do with the hospital taking over the imaging facility and without an "office visit" charge the facility can't be considered "routine." etc and whatever.

So now that we won--the Dr. changed the order to satisfy Blue Cross--we're still gonna owe $600 for a $50 mammogram. And if I miss one monthly payment I'll be sent to collections.

And I wonder why we the people put up with Bush's nonsense??

At least he could have waited until after the first day of Rosh Hashanah to try to save his legacy again...Yom Kippur is the "Day of Atonement."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In 6 9/11's We've Learned Nothing

Nostalgic media reports today on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the dissections and recollections are too numbing to intake. What have we Americans learned in six years since 9/11? Exactly nothing new.

1. The US government--the President, congress, and by extrapolation, American voters--continue military occupation of Iraq with a huge force of soldiers and ongoing murder and mayhem of those soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians.

2. Non-Muslim Americans are increasingly bigoted and suspicious of their fellow Americans--Muslims--because of the irrational association of their ethnic and religious backgrounds with the 19 killers who caused the deaths on 9/11/07.

3. Americans are afraid of terrorist attacks--this fear is pandered to by the media, and exploited for the sake of civil-liberty-restrictive laws by the government.

These three items prove that the education of the public based on events and their aftermath, with respect to 9/11/07, is non-existent and perhaps wilfully so on the part of both the media and the government.

1. Very simply, the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a means to quash events such as 9/11 was and is a complete waste of money and lives. Repeatedly we Americans have been assured by all facets and factions of the media and government that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with, and was not responsible, for events caused by the Bin-Laden headed group of Al Qaeda.

US presence in Iraq is a throwback to the colonial ambitions of the British Empire of the 19th century, which if it were effective, would have brought cheap gas to the US voter--which has not happened. Instead, US military presence in Iraq has brought ruination on the effectiveness of American foreign policy through diplomacy world wide, as well as untold injury and death to thousands of Americans and Iraqis.

2. Americans enjoy a bigoted society. NIMBY, the acronym for "Not in my back yard," has become so well known it is part of a George Carlin joke. Its meaning runs on several levels--I like [whatever ethnic-religious group] but I don't want one of that [whatever ethnic-religious group] living in my neighborhood.

There is nothing new about this bigotry--since the events of 9/11 and the association of the perpetrators with the religion of Islam, the old Joe McCarthy red-baiting cry of fear of communism and "guilt by association" has made the understanding of Muslim Americans totally murky.

19 hooligans, associated with Islam, hijacking planes and killing thousands of people in New York--those were 19 of a larger group of maybe a few hundred in a world of over 1 billion people who follow the religion of Islam. Yet the word I hear on the street from the average American is the same knee-jerk reaction as from a white guy running into an black guy on a dark street corner at night--fear and danger--regardless of the black guy's character, background or intent. Prejudice runs in the blood, not the brain.

The lesson of 9/11 should be one of tolerance and understanding--why are so many people in the world upset with American presence and policy? Instead, Americans learned that not only are African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics a problem, now so are Middle-Eastern-looking people. And you don't have to be white to be prejudiced: there's a stereotype for any group. And if you're not a member of that group, chances are you put the label on them anyway--Mexicans are lazy, African Americans are criminals, and Asians don't know how to drive. And Jews are cheap.

3. Everyone's afraid of being killed by a terrorist act. I am really happy to close with this non-lesson-learned from 9/11, because it really is the envelop for the other two items.

It doesn't take much to disabuse the reader of this irrational attitude--statistics can be "bent" to serve a purpose, but in this case the facts are overwhelming: [from]

A poll in Conde Nast Traveler in February 2003 found that one-third of respondents feared a terrorist attack. What are your real odds of dying this way? Historically speaking, it's a one in 9.3 million chance--which is a slightly greater risk than you have of dying in an avalanche.

Media efforts to "sell newspapers," or get TV ratings, or just to keep a presence in your face, are what shapes our societal point of view, and therefore how we react to situations, even how we vote and who winds up in charge of our government.

So in the case of us all remaining ignorant, pliant, and sheep to be led by any kind of tyrannical despot with delusions of personal glory and grandeur--or cash for that matter--beyond our wildest dreams of public service and representation, we're keeping our part of the agreement.

Trouble is, we really need to get off our asses and cry "foul!" That is the lesson learned from 9/11!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Big Pharma Buys Doctors-Again!

AP story featured on shows physicians on state advisory panels getting big bucks from pharmaceutical companies. Big pharma stands to gain from influence peddling with these doctors "who help select which drugs are used in Medicaid programs for the poor and disabled."

Those panels, most comprised of physicians, hold great sway over the $28 billion spent on drugs each year for Medicaid patients nationwide. But aside from Minnesota, only Vermont and Maine require drug companies to report payments to doctors for lectures, consulting, research and other services.
An Associated Press review of records in Minnesota found that a doctor and a pharmacist on the eight-member state panel simultaneously got big checks — more than $350,000 to one — from pharmaceutical companies for speaking about their products.

The two members said the money did not influence their work on the panel, and the lack of recorded votes in meeting minutes makes it difficult to track any link between the payments and policy.

But ethical experts said the Minnesota data raise questions about the possibility of similar financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and advisers in other states.

Greed in the medical field is unending, and yet we the public are content to gripe and moan and groan and not much more. Leadership in congress and the executive branch is essential to bring solutions to the table for the sake of real health care. And voters have the clout to bring that about.

But really, one would think there would be a moral compass at play somewhere, wouldn't one?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Vaccines Cause Autism

The parents of 12-year-old Michelle Cedillo asked a federal court Monday to find that their child's autism was caused by common childhood vaccines, a precedent-setting case that could pave the way for thousands of autistic children to receive compensation from a government fund set up to help people injured by the shots.

The problem with this case is its focus on thimerosol, a mercury-based preservative, as the culprit in the shots. The great drug companies who bring us so many wonderful patent medicines in an effort to make tons of money for their stockholders, while sometimes actually affording you and me the benefits of advances in pain relief, disease, etc--these great drug companies only make those wonderful advances by accident along the way to fattening the bottom line. And forget what you read in the MSM about vaccines not being a cash cow--there's nothin but gold in them thar shots!

The culprit is not mercury, or at least not entirely--it's the mechanism of how a vaccine works that underlies its sinister outward affects. Do you think only the severely bruised, retarded, dislexic, autistic, or dead by SIDS, children are affected by the awful toxins contained in vaccines? We ALL are. Some of us have allergies, or ADD, or asthmoa, or type II diabetes as children: any of us who have ever received a shot in order to "immunize" our system against a future potential germ onslaught--we have been given that germ in some form in order to have our bodies mimic a counterattack as if we really got that disease.

The smart researchers, the ones who are being clobbered by the drug-company powers-that-be as providing specious studies that are not provable--these pioneering researchers like Dr. Andrew Wakefield and others, have found the answer to the vaccine/autism connection. It lies in the gut, the secondary immune system, and its failure to absorb nutrients needed for brain development, after the invasion of toxins from vaccines.

The good news is that this case will bring to the forefront the objection of so many parents around the world who know, better than any drug manufacturer or federal agency, how their children changed after getting a shot--how obvious the affect of the shot was, and in so many unfortuante cases, how terible the resulting debilitation became. It's about time they all had their day in court, regardless of the outcome--because the truth has no opposite, and knowledge and information are power.

Fail or not in court, the advocates for the vaccine/autism connection in this case have already won. The message to parents is clear and they have the right to choose for their children.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

American Jews & Arabs Agree on Everything

When Americans are left alone to make their minds up on issues, and they don't refer to actual facts or experts, it's amazing how wrong are their "assumptions." Of course we all know the aphorism about "ass u me" assumption assumings--but we forget about the truth when it's more convenient to have a biased ill-informed opinion.

Americans don't like immigrants on the whole--this is an irrational bigotry based on unfocused fear of the unknown. In real life, immigrants help American society.

Many people have "learned" a mistaken "fact" about African Americans--that they tend to have hypertension in higher numbers than the general population because of a special gene that got favoritism through the passage of blacks taken from Africa to be slaves in the New World 400 years ago. The Africans who survived the journey had a "special gene" that helped them retain fluid better, which also causes hypertension in their descendants to this day.

This "special gene" theory has been debunked thoroughly over and over, but when it is "convenient" to keep repeating it, in order to avoid the real problem of dealing with hypertension due to black-skinned people having to live daily through the tirade of fear of racial hatred from the white majority around them them, then the theory lives on even in well-educated smart people.

Now let's take recent polls about American Jews and American Palestinians. When each group was asked if they thought the other group agreed with them on certain issues, they both "assumed" that the other group did not agree.

Both communities strongly support the statement “Israelis have a right to live in a secure and independent state of their own” (98 percent of American Jews and 88 percent of Arab Americans); and the statement “Palestinians have the right to live in a secure and independent state of their own” (90 percent of American Jews, 96 percent of Arab Americans). But they don’t think that about each other. Only 34 percent of American Jews believe that Arab Americans support the Israeli right noted above, while a significantly higher 60 percent of Arab Americans believe American Jews support the Palestinian right.

Next time, look it up before you just react. Sometimes the truth is harder to believe than what we think.

Meanwhile, here's a bumper sticker for your xenophobic friends:

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lou Dobbs Full Of

OK folks--get a grip. Kindly corpulent TV reporter Lou Dobbs isn't a nice man. I've been telling my dad for months now that Lou Dobbs is not the kindly, erudite, gentlemanly TV news host he thinks he is. Lou Dobbs is a bigotted wolf in sheep's clothing, who claims that he's only telling the "truth," and that the radical left-wingers and right-wigners are "after" him. Well, at the least, we now know that Lou is paranoid.

It's always disheartening to see a "respected" TV news journalist who gets a foothold on the airwaves take the advantage of that foothold and editorialize his or her own reality while calling it "fact." Lou Dobbs has been called to account for his errors, and his bias, and he's all pissed off about it. Check out his rant on regarding an article in the New York Times calling him on the carpet for making false statements in his newscasts. Oh for sure he claims these were minor factual errors amidst the bigger idological problem at hand--illegal immigration bringing ruin on American society--but why did he need to "bend" the facts to suit his point?

Seems Lou had on his show advocates against discrimination from the Southern Poverty Law Center--an institution which I have written about which watches out for the rest of us by keeping tabs on hate groups, terrorists, you-name-it which wants to hurt us for reasons of racism and bigotry. Lou calls the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose founder and chief legal cousel Morris Dees has put in jail the most feared and violent white supremicist hatemongers in this country--Lou calls this organization "left wing."

Without bothering anyone further, including me, with the "gory" details of how far afield Lou Dobbs is from a true unbiased journalist, let me just ask you to check out the Southern Poverty Law Center's references to Lou Dobbs's ridiculous ideas of fair and honest reporting--as well as the article in the New York Times.

Most importantly, watch out for the kindly TV news reader who is out to undermine our great society. The bigots abound, and unless you are white, and can trace your family back to the several dozen people who came over to the New World on the Mayflower, you have a reason to fear your neighbor, and a right to protect yourself as an American.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In Deference to an Expert

I prefer to let the experts expouse on the current goings on--here's one who is hard to refute from the New York Review of Books:

Rory Stewart is chief executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, a non-profit organization in Kabul devoted to social and urban redevelopment in Afghanistan. A former member of the British Foreign Office, he served, from 2003 to 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as Deputy Governor of the southern provinces of Maysan and Dhi Qar, an experience he described in the book The Prince of the Marshes:

...What would I do in Iraq now? I am not an expert, but I believe that the time has come to withdraw, that our presence is infantilizing the Iraqi political system. That we're like an inadequate antibiotic...

...we have discredited democracy in the eyes of many Iraqis...

...were we to withdraw, things would improve....

... there is simply no point hanging around. It would seem to me that starting to leave tomorrow, as opposed to in two years' time or six years' time, would make no difference; the situation would be the same. And there cannot be a justification for continuing, day by day, to kill Iraqis and to have our own soldiers killed in this kind of war....

OK this guy was on the ground living in Iraq and working with the powers that be--can anyone get me a better source? Is George Bush and his cry of terrorism in our midst, in a speech to the Coast Guard Academy really going to trump reality in a foreign land?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Forgiveness Book on RADIO!

Cindy's new book is growing in popularity--and you can hear her latest interview right now by clicking on the upper left-hand box on this blog. She's captivating, magnetic, and uplifting--go ahead--MAKE YOUR DAY!!

Then go to and sign up for free newsletters and more--it's all very exciting and you can be part of it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell and the Religious Right

In 2003 I wrote a book about bigotry in America. I pointed out examples of its presence in all of our lives, despite the opinion of so many people that in recent years, racism is not as prevalent as it was in the mid 1900's. I wrote the book because that opinion is wrong, and in fact dangerous, because the racism of today's politically-correct society is hidden just below the surface and ready to rear its ugly little ignorant head at any moment, for any reason.

Here is an excerpt from that book, specifically chosen today because one of the best examples of subliminal and acceptable hatred was in the form of Jerry Falwell, who rides the headlines in his death this morning.

(From Pardon My Prejudice, America's Excuse for Bigotry)

The fanning of the flames of bigotry against Muslims in America since the events of September 11 comes partly from the statements made by influential well-known leaders of Conservative Christianity, also referred to as the “religious right,” as in “right wing.” Included in this group is the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Falwell gave an interview for “60 Minutes” in October, 2002, in which he stated,

"I think Mohammed was a terrorist. I read enough…by both Muslims and non-Muslims, [to decide] that he was a violent man, a man of war. I n my opinion…Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses, and I think Mohammed set an opposite example." (Falwell told Simon)

It is important to recognize that millions of Americans follow his right-wing Christian point of view, which is practically a formal doctrine. This doctrine includes his outlook that Israel must be a Jewish state. That is because according to him, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ can only happen under this specific circumstance. His idea also stipulates the EXCLUSION of Muslims being in control of any Israeli “biblical” territory. And therefore, after the ultimate war of Armageddon, he believes Christianity will rule and all remaining Jews will convert at that time.

The fact that this point of view is supported by millions of Christians means that it can’t be eschewed as some strange claim of a fringe group. The views of Reverend Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other leaders of the right-wing Christian “moral majority,” are interpreted by them as mainstream biblical fact. And they believe this is what makes an honest, moral American.

The truth is, Falwell, Robertson and others of the religious right, represent a minority of Christian Americans. Since the extreme point of view of the religious right does not represent the belief of a majority of Christians, the same can be said about those who follow Islam. Not everyone who is of the faith of Islam can be categorized as extremist as depicted by Falwell’s comments.

Regardless of the religious faith, it is the fanatics who are dangerous, not the religion.
When asked about Falwell’s interview, Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relation in Washington, DC, said:

“Anybody is free to be a bigot if they want to. What really concerns us is the lack of reaction by mainstream religious and political leaders, who say nothing when these bigots voice these attacks.” [ 10/2/02]

It is one thing for Falwell to have a platform to promote bigotry, it is another problem to have silence from the majority who could speak out against this bigotry. His comments only polarize the country, pandering to the simmering hate that he should be trying to quell. His intent was to provoke a racist and blaming atmosphere.

In a Los Angeles Times article almost two weeks later, The executive board of the National Council of Churches finally said “Falwell’s remark…was uninformed and dangerous. This council called on President Bush to repudiate Falwell’s words.” [LA TIMES 10/12/02]
They wanted the President to speak out against Falwell and bigoted statements like these.

However the effects of Falwell’s words were already put into action. Conflict arose, and killing was the outcome, all over Falwell’s inciteful words.
The headline read, “Nine people dead” [LA TIMES 10/13/02]
Muslims were angered around the world due to what Falwell said, and Hindu-Muslim clashes in India resulted in death. This incident took place the next day after his comments.

It is hard to unring a bell. It is hard to take back words. These statements incited global anger that resulted in people killing one another. Under enormous pressure, Falwell apologized for his remarks. He stated he meant no disrespect to “any sincere, law-abiding Muslim.” Still, his intent to justify his words displayed a lack of integrity.

Obviously, the usage of words can be strikingly powerful. In an editorial by Benjamin J. Hubbard, we can see more of the ripple effect words have. Hubbard is professor and chair of the department of comparative religion at Cal State Fullerton. He wrote,

“Evil and ignorant words—whether directed against a religion, a racial group or a minority such as gays and lesbians—have the power to incite hatred and violence. Falwell and his anti-Muslim ilk, and the world’s anti-Semites, need to consider the spiritual pain and potential verbal and physical abuse their words can cause to Muslims or Jews. Correspondingly, the courageous words and deeds of good people, in opposing ignorance and hate, have the power to blunt bigotry and mend the world.”[LA TIMES 10/13/02]
If anything good can come out of this it is the idea that we have the power through our words to build bridges rather than create divisions. If a platform can be provided for bigotry, why not create a bigger stage for tolerance and acceptance? If the news media want to give a balanced point of view, then when an interview with Falwell is aired, why not also put on a spokesperson who can educate and inform with the truth?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Merck Again only WORSE

Study casts new doubts on HPV vaccine--Reads the headline in the Los Angeles Times. While this speaks for itself, it doesn't tell the whole story. The vaccine may be causing an ecologically deleterious effect which will make cancer and other diseases among women even more widespread:

...the data also hinted that blocking the targeted strains might have opened an ecological niche that allowed the flourishing of HPV strains previously considered to be minor players, partially offsetting the vaccine's protection.

Ever the optimists--or more likely, the greediest--Merck is quoted on a positive note:

The maker of the vaccine, Merck & Co., said the studies clearly showed that the vaccine prevented infections from the two HPV strains and reduced the number of precancerous lesions caused by the them.

But the doctors are not quite so sure:

Immunologist W. Martin Kast of USC's Keck School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, said he thought the study had not gone on long enough to prove the vaccine's worth.

Consumers need to keep ducking.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Merck Sleeze Factor

There is a sleeze factor of which we're all aware, that we can't put our finger on exactly, but we know it when we see it. Imus calls a bunch of college kids racist names and he has met that sleeze factor. Bush lands on an aircraft carrier in front of a sign that says "Mission Accomplished" and 3 years later things are worse than ever in Iraq--that's a sleeze factor over-the-line.

Merck, that famous drug manufacturer caught with it's pants down denying that Vioxx was dangerous when its own internal memos showed that it knew facts to the contrary--Merck, who runs ads on TV about the integrity of its history in developing patent medicine for the cause of public health, when in fact all the drugs are "me-too" copies of generics already on the market in order to boost it's multi-billion-dollar bottom line for the sake of it's public shareholders--Merck is now running full-page ads every few days in national newspapers to warn about the problems of Shingles. The ads state that we need to be aware of this painful malady, and we need to ask our physician what to do about it.

And that's IT! The ads don't say specifically what the remedy is, nor does the Merck web site listed in the ad offer any obvious solution. So the assumption from reading the ads, and the web site, is that this Merck company is so in-tune with offering free unsolicited help to the public that this public should be thrilled and beholden to Merck for thinking of it - us - in such a generous and non-binding manner. After all, what does Merck have to gain from simply informing us of a medical condition that we could all have because we contracted chicken pox when we were children--that's what causes the painful shingles of older age--childhood chicken pox.

Doh!! I just got it! If you get the chicken pox vaccine as a child, you won't grow up and get shingles as an older adult. And now, with the newer recommendations that adolescents should get "booster" chicken pox vaccine shots, since the vaccine is short-lived and not proven to have life-long immunity effect as does the actual disease--Merck wants to shake everyone up into getting repetitive doses of its chicken pox vaccine in order to not get shingles, that dread malady, in later life.

Thar's MONEY in them thar shots! Big bucks! Worth paying for full-page color ads in national newspapers day after day for WEEKS! So what's the problem? Why shouldn't we get these shots and avoid shingles, and let Merck have its cash cow payola?

That answer is up to you, dear reader. If you think Merck, and the big drug manufacturers, are really pummeling you with ads for your sake, then go ahead and get vaccinated. If you wonder about the thousandfold increase in cases of autoimmune diseases in children like asthma, autism, and type II diabetes, and you think it might not be from air pollution or gamma rays, and might correspond to the same increase in vaccine dosages for children, then don't get the shots. The despair of having a vaccine-injured child, which big pharma, the CDC and FDA won't admit is from vaccine injury, is an experience without which, you absolutely won't miss.

Big Crowd--Borders Book Signing

Cindy Goldenberg had a huge turnout at Borders in Mission Viejo yesterday for her book signing. Here is what one Borders executive had to say:

I had the great pleasure of working with my new friend today for her book signing. Cindy and I met at Borders Books in Mission Viejo, Ca, after she inquired about how we went about setting up signings. Randomly, (though we both agree there is no random), I took the call from the back office. We connected immediately, and it was friendship at first sight. That’s generally the way I am though, and she feels about the same. To details first. She has written a very cool book along the lines of The Secret, but more focused on personal growth than monetary gains. It’s called Forgiveness: The Divine Connection. Aside from being wonderful as a person, she writes in a very clear manner, that grabs you and also holds you. (Please see the end of the article for information on getting the book.)Cindy started out as a mom, and entered into a world of horror as her son became sick, and the world of doctors and education seemed to come crashing down around her. Through the process of healing that she started during these dark times, she has grown into a brilliant example of her own teaching. I don’t want to spoil any of the wonderful material because it is really a walk along with her soul, and not just a great read. Having met her, she is even more captivating in person. Aside from her personal struggles and triumphs, she also covers a great deal of material related to her work with forgiveness, and the spiritual world that she sees very clearly. The one thing that makes Cindy so great, (aside from the hundered others), is that she is willing to enter your world view. You don’t have to call them spirit orbs, or angels, but there are things that influence and affect our lives, and she has a way to talk about them. I grew up in a Christian world view, where such things were worse than sex and drugs. But I think Cindy said it quite well; She sees angels because that what she expects to see. Manifestation occur to us in the manner that we are accustomed. It’s a function of the brain, everything fits into our deep metaphor, our explanation of reality. This is a powerful ability that she has brought to a book, so that many more can access her wonderful commitment to life and to people.

The signing itself was spectacular. We had one of the biggest turnouts in recent years. She went on for an hour and a half, and nobody even flinched. It took another forty-five minutes before the last people cleared out. They all wanted a signed copy, and what’s more they wanted Cindy. It wore her out, but she kept giving anyway. It was inspiring to watch. She spent ten minutes holding a woman’s baby and just talking, all the time the baby happily flapping its arms around. (I was helping a lot of customers, so I apologize to this young individual for referencing him or her in the neuter.)
Meanwhile, I got a chance to meet her friend, Barbara, who is also an author, with a great book on dreams. She is sending me an advanced copy, and I look forward to reading it. My dream since I was young, is to teach and write. Meeting Cindy has sparked me to begin that. Along with her, the perseverance of my friend Jill with her own novel, and a calming self realization of my own worth, I have come out of the last two month two fifths of the way through my baby, and about four other books just dying to get out.

Then at lunch I met another friend, Grace, who is also working on a book, but this time about her postpartum depression and its affect on her own spiritual development. Miraculously, she was a special education teacher for many years, and I found yet another ally in my quest to save genius from madness in children. It was a very powerful day. In fact, she and her husband David, are also responsible for me getting my butt in gear, and starting a blog. Therefore it seemed only fitting that I devote my first entry to them.
To get the book you can go to a number of sources.I can get the book for you, through my store.You can order, or download the book at is also available through some internet sources as well (Amazon, and Booklocker among them.)
Thank you Cindy, and your friends, and whomever else dead, alive, or transcendent happened to be hovering around today. (Apparently I have a Larry, but I’ve yet to figure out who that is. But it looks like I also get the Metatron. All in all, I seem to have a great group of guys.) Seriously, read the book. You may find that your tradition comes at odds with the words, but the concept of love and forgiveness is truly universal. I have come to believe that there is a god, and I am most definitely not. Aside from that, I think a little more love, a little more forgiveness, and a whole lot of trust sound like a pretty good place to start.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Deaths in Iraq, Parental Abuse, and Forgiveness

Presidential meltdown candidate of the year John McCain sings "Bomb bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of my favorite oldie "Barbara Ann" by the Beach Boys, and takes a justified skewering in the media.

Alec Baldwin leaves a ripe roaring rant message on his daughter's answering machine which is displayed on and discussed by every pundit you can think of. This tirade is difficult to hear if you're 1. a child who has ever gotten dressed down by a parent, and 2. a parent who doesn't believe in verbally abusing a child.

I watched Matt Lauer take on a quietly-incensed tone and remark about how "awful" Baldwin's call to his daughter was. I don't recall Matt ever looking quite so personally and emotionally involved in any story about Iraq or the terrible carnage of human lives there--not that he certainly isn't upset by it, but the Baldwin story obviously really affected him.

In the way that one person on TV can represent the attitude of millions who are watching, I wondered why it is that Americans can't get as moved and emotional about the presence of US military in Iraq, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as well as several thousand American military personnel, all for the sake of a misbegotten crusade by an imbecilic president and his cabal of cronies. Imus gets fired, appropriately, for abusing his air wave privilege and speaking racial and gender-biased insults. Why doesn't Bush get thrown out for causing murder and mayhem and lying to cover up his reasons? There is no objectivity here--Matt Lauer is inflamed over Alec Baldwin's recorded telephone message to his daughter, but the Iraq occupation is treated as news the way the traffic report and weather is--it's always there, we just report about it.

IN the worst bombings in Iraq since the troop level was elevated, 195 people were killed in three explosions in Baghdad this week. Bush said Wednesday's carnage, in which four large bombs exploded in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad and killed 230 people, had all the "hallmarks of an al-Qaida attack." Bush said the two-month-old security crackdown under which he is adding 28,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq was "meeting expectations" and the ongoing violence reflected an expected reaction by insurgents.
"There are still horrific attacks in Iraq such as the bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday, but the direction of the fight is beginning to shift," Bush said.

I can't listen to Bush anymore--I am interested in keeping abreast with international events and political news, which includes hearing what the most powerful person in the world has to say--but I can't listen to him talk. It's like trying to hear the music, but all the instruments need tuning. Even if I disagree with him, it's his inability to articulate, his outlandish gestures that to me are his attempt to compensate for his lying and impish greed. McLuhan said the "medium is the message." In this case, how right he was.

Then, there is my absolute conviction that the greatest lesson humanity--that's each of us--can learn from the Holocaust, is that to stand by with the knowledge of what's happening, and to do nothing about it, is the reason it happened, and could happen again. Criminal behavior, breaking the human moral code, killing innocent people on behalf of a bizarre half-baked notion that they rightfully should be killed because they are a threat to the rest of the community--that is the mechanism for the Holocaust, or Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" campaign, or the slaughter of innocents in Africa, particularly the Darfur region of Sudan.

But the way this carnage can take place in a "civilized" world--a society which holds enlightened values like every life is sacred--is when the "good" people turn their heads, knowing what's what, and don't do anything about it. And these "good" people--most of us--don't acquiesce to the bad guys out of bad intentions. On the contrary, any moral person is appalled when confronted with the facts of the massacres taking place in Darfur, or the incidence of AIDS among African men and women. We just have so much on our plates there isn't a priority there for us to spend the time to get informed, or lend a hand in person.

That's the lesson learned from the Nazis--when we see it coming again, we have to plant our feet in the ground and hold up our hands and say, "this is not going to happen again. This will stop now." There are some very concerned and interested parties involved in taking this stand. Entertainment personalities who get the exposure, like George Clooney and his father Nick, and Mia Farrow, who have gone to Darfur and reported on the status and jerk the chains of congresspeople and the media are heroes and doing their part. But the media does not do enough to put this in the face of our society. Oprah does, and with all her power and presence, it's not enough without the participation of everyone. Otherwise, in fact, the lesson I think is most important from the past, has not been learned. And innocent people in a part of the world we don't think about very much, people just like you and me, are being hurt, put out of their homes, and killed because we didn't want to pay attention. We're outraged by Alec Baldwin, but Africa is on the back burner.

And of course there was the heart-wrenching, terrible, incomprehensible tragedy of the young man shooting and killing 33 people in Virginia. I have nothing to say about this--it is indescribable, just like 9/11 or any other strange event where human life is lost and injured by another human being, who is also tormented and sick. My wife, Cindy, is a spiritual counsellor who deals with events like this in people's lives. She wrote a newsletter this week to describe her point of view on what happened, and I defer to her discussion of forgiveness:

With regards to the recent university shootings, I'm sure we all feel great sadness and despair. Let us not forget that we are all made of light-even those who do us harm. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families, the Virginia University, and to all of those who are made to feel vulnerable and afraid by this young man's actions. He is made of light, however it is very apparent that he forgot this.

Sending light to him, this situation, this fear, this sadness doesn't mean condoning it on any level. Instead it means "sending light" to purify it in all ways. To surrender the condemnation, anger, and rage-all those ingredients that fueled this incident in the first place, are what's most effective for healing to take place in all ways of time. What does this mean? That we send healing energy to all the issues, intentions, confusions, and fears. We send our light to the dark. Sending light to any matter is never a waste of time or energy. In fact, it is the most effective declaration of love that we can send.

"If God's Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will. His Will does not vacillate, being changeless forever. When you are not at peace it can only be because you do not believe you are in Him. Yet He is All in all. His peace is complete, and you must be included in it. His laws govern you because they govern everything. You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them. Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything. [This is the] illusion of isolation, maintained by fear." (A Course in Miracles, p. 143.)

Remember, what we focus on expands-and therefore, create more of the same. Send love, blessings, healing, and resolve; otherwise, what we react to-we become.

"Light does not attack darkness, but it does shine it away." (ACIM p.144.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Things Your Mother Never Told You--This Isn't One of Them.

When I was young(er) and my mom told me there are Jews who are anti-semitic. At that innocent idealistic time I thought how awful is it, that a Jewish person would look at Jewish people with the same bigotry as a...bigot.

Then I got less idealistic and less ignorant and found out what was up. Even before I was born, an exchange between an anti-Jewish Jew and her boss, who she thought was Jewish, was recorded in the movie
Gentlemen's Agreement

Elaine Wales: You just let them get one wrong Jew in here, and it'll come out of us. It's no fun being the fall guy for the kikey ones.

Phil Green: Miss Wales, I'm going to be frank with you. I want you to know that words like yid and kike and kikey and coon and nigger make
me sick no matter who says them.

Elaine Wales: Oh, but I only said it for a type.

Phil Green: Yeah, but we're talking about a the word first.

Elaine Wales: Why, sometimes I even say it to myself, about me, I
mean. Like, if I'm about to do something I know I shouldn't, I'll say,
"Don't be such a little kike." That's all.

The big news today is Imus, his racial remarks, and he's getting bumped from the simulcast on MSNBC. (I seem to remember him ranting one morning that MSNBC delivers under 400,000 viewers of his show, while his radio syndication is heard by over 11 million--think MSNBC banning him matters?)

What strikes me is the various firm conclusions we come to based on the flavor of the day. I am as guilty of this as anyone I criticize. The only difference is that I see the shades of grey, while so many of my fellow humans follow the need to categorize, stereotype, and label--to make judgement easier and filing neater. I'm not that organized.

in another in a series of meaningful coincidences in my life (if you have read prior posts, you know I don't believe in random coincidences) I was meant to read several book reviews by very intelligent Rabbi Jack Riemer in the latest issue of Orange County
Jewish Life
. (Sounds like an oxymoron, but the increase in minority
percentages in Orange County over the last two decades is, well, a factor of that increase everywhere.)

While I woke up this morning thinking once again that there was nothing more I needed to know about the place of the Jewish status in the local community, or for that matter, in the world--that Jews are the universal scapegoat, hated by pretty much everyone who is not Jewish; that Jimmy Carter's book rightfully points out the mistakes Israel is making in the effort to defuse fighting and make peace in the Middle East; and that despite this dichotomy, in the end, Jews will have to stand up for themselves in the absence of any gentile aid--I was in for a "rude awakening," or better yet, an enlightening refresh of my preconceived notions, no matter how recently preconceived they are.

You (I) learn something new every day. But you (I) have to keep an open mind.

Then I read the opening of Rabbi Riemer's review of David Mamet's
(yes, THAT David Mamet who writes plays and screenplays) book, THE
; And Semitism, Self Hatred, and the Jews, by David Mamet,
Schocken Books and Nextbook, N.Y. N.Y. 2006, 189 pages, $19.95

"David Mamet begins this book by telling us, "It is for the Jew who in the sixties envied the Black Power movement and in the nineties envied the Palestinians; who wept at the movie Exodus but jeers at the Israeli Defense Forces; who nods when Tevye praises tradition but
fidgets through the seder; who might out of curiosity go to a dogfight
or a bordello or an opium den but who finds ludicrous the notion of a visit to a synagogue; whose favorite Jew is Anne Frank and whose second-favorite does not exist; who is eager to learn about Kwan-zaa
and unashamed of his ignorance of Tu Bishvat; who dreads endogamy more than incest; who bows his head reverently at a baptism and makes crude jokes at a bris — to you — who finds your religion and your race repulsive, and your ignorance of your history satisfying — here is a
book from your brother." '

I was embarrassed because this rabbi was talking to me personally! And his final words were no further comfort for me either:

"We are not used to reading books as blunt and as forthright as this one is. If you know anyone who is Jewish but who bends over backwards to be objective on all Jewish matters, if you know anyone who believes that the Jews must be in some way to blame for the hatred that they endure, buy him this book. It is a real mitzvah to do so."

OK OK--I'll buy it ASAP!

Now I think OK so I'm not as informed as I want to be, once again I've made judgmental conclusions about Carter's book, Israel, the Middle East crisis which stands on end for several decades now, and I need to see all sides. The little right jabs have awakened me, now I get the left hook which leaves me reeling, and ready to learn more.

Rabbi Riemer reviews two more books about the heroes who risked their lives to save the lives of Jews before and during WWII, and they were all not Jewish. Here is the summary of the Rabbi's reviews, which has stayed with me since I read it:

"So here are two books that Jews, as well as Christians, ought to read. They will help Jews overcome the sense of isolation and the belief that the whole world is out to get us, which does no good to our spiritual health. And it will help Christians learn how a few brave and determined people, who followed their consciences instead of their instructions, saved many lives, and how one determined scholar restored the honor of Judaism to many of his Christian brethren."

by Mordecai Paldiel, Ktav MPublishing Co. Jersey City, N.J. 241
pag-les, $29.50

HE ALSO SPOKE AS A JEW: THE LIFE OF THE REV. JAMES I PARKES, by Haim Chertok, Valentine-Mitchell, London, England and Portland,Oregon, 516 pages, $30.

As for Imus and the rest of what's wrong with information on the airwaves--it took a week for MSNBC to assess the amount of problems keeping Imus's simulcast on the air would cause--a week. Then the
MSNBC honchos decided to cut the cord.

A friend of mine in high school once said I sounded like a Kike when I talked. He was no longer my friend in that instant. It didn't take a week, or a day, or an hour to figure it out. When MSNBC considers a comment about "Nappy headed hoes" an insult to everyone, and not just one group, then the real lesson will be learned. Until then, despite my mistakes and judgments, at least I feel like I really know that we're all in this together, and that with all we have to learn, the first thing is to get along as if there were no differences between us.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Let's Call a Spade a Spade

In cards, a spade is a spade. In real life, a bigot is what a bigot says. Imus has been getting away with his borderline semantic shenanigans for years. I stopped listening to him when he admitted he was a fan of former Senator Santorum, a true throwback to antebellum Southern ideals of happy slaves and big plantations.

Now the veteran radio broadcaster has dug himself a hole even his die-hard followers can't haul him out of--He referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as "nappy headed hos" last Wednesday. Now it's true he did apologize on air. And it was a thorough and complete apology. So I still think he should "resign," as is the courteous reference to being thrown out of your job on your ass.

It's about time in this great land of ours that those among us with the character to resist our prejudiced natures call for a zero-tolerance on bigotry, racism, and any kind of anti-humane treatment and refernce to any group of people who are either in the minority, and/or are not hurting anyone. This especially goes for the commonly-accepted and tolerated put-downs and denigration, both socially and legally, of homosexuals. And it includes immigrants from anywhere in the world, since we are all members of that quasi-group, unless one is a descended Native American.

And Imus should be done. He's over, history, old news, and bad news. That much negativity on the airwaves put out into the universe is--too much. As Al Sharpton so simply and eloquently put it--"I accept his apology, just as I want his bosses to accept his resignation."
UPDATE 4/12/07:

Newsweek today -- (you do the math...on why Imus won't be fired)

Imus' show is syndicated by Westwood One, which CBS partly owns, and draws an estimated audience of 2.25 million, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing the trade publication Talkers. According to the Journal, the “Imus in the Morning” show accounts for 25 percent of the revenues of WFAN in New York—or roughly $20 million, The New York Times reported. That figure swells to more than $50 million when ad revenue for affiliates and cable outlet MSNBC are added, according to the Times.