Saturday, February 14, 2009

Securing the City & Other Concerns

Christopher Dickey's book, Securing the City, is a fascinating report of how the New York City Police have become the 21st century FBI/CIA/homeland security all in one. Chris and I spent the day together yesterday--we have been good friends for almost 40 years and haven't visited in four years. Chris is travelling around the country on his book tour to promote and educate about the amazing global undertaking of the NYPD because New York City, as we all well know, is the numero uno target of any terrorist trying top make a big point in the world.

The simple fact that only Chris's book, and his talks, are publicizing the crusade of the New York Police to acquire human intelligence first hand throughout the world--just like the CIA is supposed to do--makes every word on the page of his book, and every speech he delivers, informative beyond any news service possible. Chris has ventured into the inner sanctum of what the NYPD is up to, including, but not limited to, the essence of the characters involved, most interestingly Ray Kelly, Chief of Police and mastermind of this new security force, as well as the high tech instruments of surveillance, especially the helicopter right out of the latest Batman movie:

"...state-of-the-art crime-fighting, terror-busting, order-keeping techno toy, with its enormous lens that can magnify any scene on the streets almost one thousand times, then double that digitally; that can watch a crime in progress from miles away, can look in windows, can sense the body heat of people on rooftops or running along sidewalks, can track beepers slipped under cars, can do so very many things that the man in the helmet watching the screens and moving the images with the joystick in his lap, NYPD Detective David Zschau, is often a little bit at a loss for words, “It really is an amazing tool,” he keeps saying."

Securing the City is a page-turning thriller about reality, terrorism, New York City, and how our lives have changed in the last decade. What fun!

But terrorism is only part of the latest fascinating news to inspire me to add a blog post after so many...full moons. The fierce spectre of big pharma has raised its ugly head again this week, with the decision of a court case from 2007 being delivered regarding vaccines as the cause of autism. In fact, the good news is that though the judges decided that autism is not caused by vaccines, those parents and advocates who know the opposite, are simply not deterred by the opaque and silly shenanigans of a so-called big-time government show.

Without belaboring here the details--and they are many and huge--of the holes in the government's defense (Note that the government is the plaintiff since the vaccine makers are off the hook for any liability), or the lack of any good studies showing the connection of vaccines to the development of all sorts of auto-immune diseases, of which autism is one special part--it is sufficient to point to the one intelligent remark of a parent, Rick Rollens, who has fought the battle to expose the dangers of vaccines for years, "Rollens and others said these verdicts won't make parents stop questioning the safety of vaccines, especially when parents witness changes in their children right after vaccination. "There's no denying what happens to your child when you see it first-hand," said Rollens, a Sacramento, Calif., resident. "Maybe we haven't asked all the right questions yet."

And then there's Barbara, our dear friend and the only expert to testify in Washington DC with no axe to grind--just the truth at her back:

“I think it is a mistake to conclude that because these few test cases were denied compensation, that it’s been decided vaccines don’t play any role in regressive autism,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center.

But really, as Rollens says, unless you're a parent and see it first hand--the obvious immediate change after a shot, and your instinct that tells you something really has gone wrong and it's not the air we breathe or the water we drink--then the reliance on anecdotal evidence will never be enough. But also, as Rollens says, the right tests haven't been done yet, and the right questions remain unasked--bad economy or not, would you want to risk the end of a billion+ - dollar cash cow like government-mandated vaccines? Even if the science is over 250 years old and arcane, and even if the exponential increase in autism, dyslexia, ADDH, asthma, childhood diabetes, SIDS--even if the increase in these syndromes exactly correlates to the increase in dosages of childhood vaccines--are these drug companies and complicit physicians that greedy? Or brainwashed? Or both?

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