Friday, February 29, 2008


David Kirby writes on Huffington Post about a court decision last fall that concedes that vaccines aggravated a condition that led to autism. Part of the decision:

Medical personnel at the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation,
Department of Health and Human Services (DVIC) have reviewed the facts of this case, as presented by the petition, medical records, and affidavits. After a thorough review, DVIC has concluded that compensation is appropriate in this case.

In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, respondent recommends that compensation be awarded to petitioners in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii).

David Kirby wrote Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy.

You may find out a lot of facts and become informed about choices by clicking on the needle:
Vaccine Risks Report

Tonight on Larry King Live: Do childhood vaccinations cause or contribute to autism? That's the question at the center of a case involving an Atlanta girl.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Seizures are Good for You

Merck has a combination vaccine (one of many) that is causing more seizures and convulsions in children than the components would cause if given separately. ProQuod is a combination of the mmr (mumps, measles, rubella) shot and the chicken pox vaccine.

Physicians and the government like to give kids multiple-ingredient shots in order to avoid so many separate needle-sticks. At 36 dosages required prior to starting school, I can see why a kid would prefer this as well.

The mmr vaccine has been sited as the chief culprit among parents whose children developed autism following that shot at around the age of one. Chicken pox, which is a form of the herpes virus--a menacing and exotic germ that can inhabit a nervous system and stay there until the host dies--is less a problem symptomatically than it is as a vaccine. Humans who acquire chicken pox as children generally suffer itching and mild sickness for a week, and then have a lifelong immunity against ever getting chicken pox again. Those children who get the vaccine may or may not develop a temporary immunity, definitely not lifelong, and who knows what that little herpes menace does when injected directly into the bloodstream--attacking nervous cells including the brain without any prior antibody build-up in the primary immune system--the gut.

Aside from the whole vaccine business being just that--a business as opposed to a public health boost--the remark in the AP story about the results of a study showing the deleterious effects of seizures and convulsions from ProQuod says it all with regards to any concern of Merck and our government for you, me, or our children:

"The study focused on children who develop fevers and then go into convulsions - an occurrence that frightens parents but usually has no lingering consequences."

Yeah those convulsions definitely scare the crap out of me--good thing they're not bad for you!

Click Below to get the latest information
Vaccine Risks Report

26,000 Nuclear Bombs for Us!

McCain has edge over Democrats reads this morning's Los Angeles Times poll report. And this could happen how?--Oh yeah, because McCain's more experienced than Obama and Clinton. It's like one of Jay Leno's questions to the man on the street, who invariably knows nothing:

"I just think he's older, he's more experienced, and he's got the betterment of the country in mind," said Robert Fear, 79, a registered Democrat from Newton, Ill., who said he planned to support McCain in November.
In case you're a reader who wants real information beyond the dullard remarks of an average (read idiot-sorry, I'm losing patience) American citizen, there is my friend Christopher Dickey's trenchant take in Newsweek online today on McCain and the Iraq "thing," as a Republican relative of his puts it:

But when I heard Sen. John McCain talking this morning about the "success" of the war in Iraq, I was the one cringing. Admittedly, I live across the Atlantic, but I had to wonder: has the whole country gone as crazy as my contentious relation, Mr. Republican?

Let's hope not. And I think not. But one senses in the GOP a hint of furor and fantasy akin to 2003, when authoritative and experienced men like Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, the walrus and the carpenter of American policy, persuaded the president, the public and Congress that embracing war was the best way to bring peace to the Middle East. Supine as oysters, the vast majority gave their assent.

Now McCain would have us believe that more war, and then still more war—"bomb, bomb Iran" to the Beach Boys' melody—remains the best course to follow. "We will never surrender," he likes to say, "and they[meaning Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] will." A more realistic appraisal: McCain will never come to his senses.

Nicely written, entertaining and ironic--a terrifying notion in its simplicity. McCain represents probably half of our fellow citizens who "will never come to [their] senses." Not a happy prospect considering the totality of issues facing us folks on the earth--inadequate medical care, nuclear weaponry, intransigent racial and ethnic hatred. And here we are focusing on Iraq stay or leave, as if there were an intelligent argument to be made in favor of ever going there at all.

Michael Kinsley, Los Angeles Times former editorial page editor, former editor of the New Republic, Slate and Harper's, said this in an op-ed piece on Sunday:

Imagine that you had been told in 2003 that when George W. Bush finished his second term, dozens of American soldiers and hundreds of Iraqis would be dying violently every month; that a major American goal would be getting the Iraqi government to temper its "de-Baathification" campaign so that Saddam Hussein's former henchmen could start running things again (because they know how); and "only" 100,000 American troops would be needed to sustain this equilibrium.

You might have several words to describe this situation, but success would not be one of them.
By the way--in case it crosses one's mind that terrorists pose any threat because they might get hold of a nuclear bomb and use it, how many bombs would it take to cause a stink on our planet? 1 in New York could kill a million people. 110,000 died in the Hiroshima nightmare. 10 nuclear bombs would wreak untold havoc if placed in heavily-populated areas. Would it make sense that several dozen nuclear bombs held by any country would be a major deterrent to another country not to press anyone's buttons-literally?

Then it should shake one's inner core of reason to read the following which is part of a review of several books in the New York Review of Books on the development of nuclear capabilities and it's consequences since the invention of the atom bomb seven decades ago:

US went from the atomic discoveries of the 1930s to the irrational situation in the 1980s in which a total of 65,000 nuclear weapons were held by the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the global arsenals have since been reduced to some 26,000 bombs, the United States and Russia continue to possess most of the world's nuclear warheads, with the other seven nuclear nations together holding the remaining one thousand.
Seems like a LOT of bombs, no?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We the People not Oscars R US

I'm reading about the Clinton campaign being upset about Obama campaign mailings. Hillary described the pronouncements as " she described as false and shameful attacks on her record."

I saw a movie with my wife and daughter called 27 Dresses. It's a corny romantic comedy with some performances that are worth examining because of the charisma and charm involved. Interesting human relationships surpass most issues of the day in importance.

I have been reading about the amazing book and movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in the New York Review of Books, about the former editor of Elle who had a totally-debilitating stroke and of the Painter/artist-turned filmmaker Julian Schnabel who brings this story to film. See the hopeful human spirit which is perfect and complete.

My point is this--Hillary and Bill and Obama have to come to some sort of arrangement to end this squabble over nothing. The presidency, the country, are not at stake--either one wins next November and the winds of change will be huge and cleansing--we the people are needing some relief--from the wasteful and expensive Iraqi incursion, from the lack of proper health-care coverage in our great land, from the poverty-stricken masses who can't live the dream of which we all share, because our government of the people is not just that.

Get a grip, Clintons and Obamas, and get together now--solve the problems, and forget who gets to sleep in the front cabin of the big plane--It's time to deal with issues, and not who is most popular on the red carpet--leave that to the Oscars, not to US.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Flu Shot No Good

The year of the big flu shot shortage there were fewer cases of flu than in most years. This tends to make one think that the correlation between the flu vaccine and getting the flu is not there.

Now MSNBC reports that this year's flu shot is not effective because of the varieties of the virus itself.

Haven't we the people been hoodwinked enough by these money-grubbing drug companies to realize that we're better off washing our hands a lot, staying home if we catch the flu, and taking care of ourselves, than getting this waste-of-time-and-money flu shot that everyone's been brainwashed into believing it's a good thing?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What a Rape in Africa Means to Me

We have a President who takes a month off for vacation every summer. What could be done during that month is concentrating on an area of the world that needs more help than most, and more understanding in order to provide that help. Africa has gotten some attention from celebrities like George Clooney and Don Cheadle, who take a real interest and spend major time and money of their own to bring the modern holocaust that is happening to media forefront.

But this attention doesn't last. In case you've been sleeping the last few months, you must notice that the headlines are consumed with the US presidential election, which is still 9 months off. Once in a while a natural disaster or world political event usurp the election coverage--not to mention the obnoxious and journalistically immoral targeting of an obviously clinically-sick Britney Spears--but the events of Africa easily seep onto the back-burner due to the distance, and complexity, of the issues.

Darfur, in the Sudan, has reached a level of public interest due to Clooney, Mia Farrow and others drawing the public eye to the debacle of misplaced thousands of people from their homes, murders, and atrocities committed on women and children. The Chinese conveniently don't want to ruffle international feathers, so by standing by their allies who run Sudan, who are believed to be the cause of the strife, today's news was that Steven Spielberg was backing out of being artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics. That ought to send an intense message to the Chinese that we mean business here--and therefore, to the whole world, that us Yankees won't cotton to mistreatment of our fellow human beings anywhere, anyhow.

I don't aim to detract from Spielberg's act and motives, only that the rest of us "yankees" really don't measure up to any kind of sentiment over the realities of what's happening on this planet. The biggest news today was Roger Clemens testifying in congress about using or not using human growth hormone while pitching his way to utter greatness in major league baseball. While 150,000 US troops are sweating it out in Iraq, and millions of Africans are being killed and raped, and in our great country millions of people have no health insurance, thousands live in homeless shelters, and everything isn't quite right everywhere--whether or not a big league pitcher used exotic and bizarre drugs to increase his performance levels shouldn't be the most important issue on our collective minds. At least not all the time.

Here's my reality: Darfur is now the tip of the iceberg--it seems that the African continent houses strife beyond what is imagineable in our cozy American minds. Unicef claims rape is a weapon of conflict across Africa, and this is about our fellow human beings from age 2 to 82. Now look at Hillary and Obama criticizing each other and think about what's important to you. And according to Newsweek, Somalia's situation is worse than Darfur.

Cabinet member and friend Henry Morgenthau reluctantly went to President Roosevelt about the killing of Jews in Europe during WWII, and asked Roosevelt do something. We look back in horror today at what was not done and the immense injury and death that might have been avoided had something been done. And we don't want to repeat those mistakes. But part of the new problem is more than forgetting the past and repeating it, as George Santayana said. It is that we are being so distracted and "numbed up" by a ratings and profit-motivated media bombardment of non-reality news issues, that we miss the point of our common existence.

And we really need to know that our brothers and sisters, homeless and under-compensated in our own country, and beaten, raped and murdered across the world, are as close as our real neighbors next door, and in fact as our own true family.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Pimp my Ass--Modern Journalism as Oxymoron

I would say the death of intelligent mass media journalism came with the exit of Edward R. Murrow from CBS and his acceptance of a position with the US Information Agency, US's propaganda arm for radio broadcasts overseas

It was at the beginning of the 1960's. There was a glimmer of hope insome columnists who were termed as muckrakers--Jack Anderson was what would today be the tabloid king, and I. F. Stone, who would be today's only on a much less PR-minded level and much more objective journalism.

Walter Cronkite, pretty much accepted as the queen of great television journalism, was depicted in a documentary film about I. F. Stone, aptly named after Stone's own published newspaper, "I. F. Stone's Weekly," as an aloof establishment TV news reader who was not interested in the vagueries of digging into the realities behind a story. That depiction tainted my view of Cronkite since then--30 years ago--even though the revisionists now would haveus believe it was Cronkite's reporting from Vietnam that turned the tide of American public opinion against the Vietnam War and Johnson's actions.
I don't think so. The real great 20th century American journalists, names like Schirer, Lippmann, Reston, and many more--they're likes and ilk are gone. In the 1970's I read the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, andthe New York Times every day--if I didn't read James Reston's regular collumn I felt like I was out of touch.

No major entity can finance the nuances of such true journalistic objectivity any more. It's really not the fault of the publishers and owners--as Murrow said when he quoted Shakespeare in a famous broadcast, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

The great journalist I. F. Stone--Izzy Stone as his comrades would have known him--would have been aghast at what has happened in modern American journalism. My good friend, Christopher Dickey, who writes for Newsweek about terrorism and just about any other relevant subject germane to us modern folks--he is not well known outside of literary and journalistic circles, within which he is highly respected if not utterly admired for his research and writing skills, and talent. But this is not popular media--this is what's left of objective journalism in the new age. Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times is another example of research--muckraking if you will--and entertaining enlightening writing. But this discussion is not about how to find the great writing--it's about how hard it is for the avaerage "cool" reader or viewer to find.

The number 1 rated evening news show anchor, Brian Williams, gets advertising plus from his appearances on Saturday Night Live and the Tonight Show. This isn't a bad thing, except that Williams himself represents the denoument of the evening news TV show credibility. His over-the-top sincerity delivery belies the ratings cache to which his network is pandering. Telling us there is a presidential contest is not the same as examining the truth behind John McCain, who is less the "maverick" as depicted in the mass media than a Bush clone crony who just wants that big job.

Now we come to the disgusting affair of a news reporter using inflammatory language like "pimp" to refer to the Clintons' daughter, Chelsea, campaigning for her mother, Hillary's, presidential candidacy.

No matter how a news reporter may feel about the motivations or issues at hand, where does the editorial inflective become appropo? That's how far the fourth estate has dropped in thenew millenia.

Hey, I don't have a problem getting at the truth--I can dig on line to find the reporting I trust,and I know which journalists to go to--I can read the New York Review of Books and get a point of view unavailable to the average TV viewer. I know where to go, and I have the time and interest.

But what about John Q. Public who just wants his news delivered while he's choking down his breakfast toast and coffee, or reads his newspaper on the toilet because that's whenhe has the time to sit and think? Mr. Public will have to deal with today's mass-media provisions which are ratings-driven, not necessarily the truth, and definitely pandering to the least common denominator which may be moved more by how Britney's day went than whether or not our government is really serving us, the people.

Murrow's speech before the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) for being "fat, comfortable, and complacent" and television for "being used to detract, delude, amuse and insulate us," hasn't changed things in 50 years.

The solution lies in the responsibility of the owners of mass media to require old-fashioned objective jouralism from their employees. The unfolding of events in the world should provide enough sensation that the reporting of an event will garner high ratings based on the ability of the journalist toget the story as soon as possible.

Just get me the facts--when I need a thrill, I'll go to the movies.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Presidents and Politicians

... Here's a pic I took of a presidential candidate last weekend.

When Nixon ran against McGovern, the liberal midwest democrat, I went to a campaign rally at the university I was attending to hear the man himself who we all hoped would defeat the notorious red-baiting Vietnam Warmonger from California. Shirley Maclaine, the great actress, was there to offer support as well.

When McGovern was finished I remember moving in close to say hello to him if I could, but especially to the actress, since I was a budding film student in the making. I also was a young, jaded, cynical skeptic of anyone and anything political, as we were taught in the mighty ground-shaking 1960's to question everythingm and accept nothing at face value, specifically if it was from anything remotely connected with the "establishment," which of course, politicians were.

I got right next to Shirley, looked into her magnificent blue eyes, and said, "How do you know this guy's telling the truth?" To which she replied, "You just have to look into his eyes to see he is an honest man."

Give me a break! "Honest politician" is the number-one oxymoron right up there with military intelligence and gentler capitalism. I respected and admired George McGovern, but there's no way anyone gets into a higher-up political position without a lot of selling out, and then spinning it that you didn't really sell out.

I was very upset about Bobby Kennedy taking on the anti-Vietnam War mantle late, after the months and sweat and effort of Eugene McCarthy, a kindly school-teacher then U. S. senator who always saw the problem with commiting US troops, money, and blood to a far-off war in Southeast Asia. Bobby had great intentions and values even as a johnny-come-lately, and I was young a quick to judge--but how much have things changed these days?

Obama and Hillary are going to knock their respective brains out trying to become the nominee for that amazing office with the big plane and all the power--and we're going to continue to follow the circus which has become this year's American Idol show to watch. They've already made their compromises and sold what of their souls they had to to get this far. Except unlike American Idol, this really is for keeps!

'Twould be nice if they kept what's left intact for the sake of the voters they're courting, just because there are so many people in the world in dire conditions that could use real help, beyond good intentions, and politically-correct debate points.

Friday, February 01, 2008

In case you want to know what a hero looks like--here's the pic.

As I've said here before, George Clooney can choose any activity on this planet that would suit his pleasure. One of the choices he makes is to try to bring attention to the attrcities in Africa, specifically the Darfur region of Sudan. How are his actions received?

The actor recently visited Darfur with U.N. peacekeeping officials and said he saw that a lack of helicopters and other equipment was hindering the force's efforts to protect civilians and itself.

But representatives of Russia and other countries at the meeting objected to an actor telling them how to handle the crisis -- and he was asked not to speak after all.

Too bad--there aren't many humans on the planet who are willing to expend this amount of energy in the face of constant criticism. Maybe it TAKES an actor to do this job!!