Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vaccines and Your Gut--Go with your gut

Years ago--another lifetime it seems--there was no internet to network and gather information; there was no epidemic of autism; there was no anti-vaccine "movement," only an underground rumbling of concern.

In those days of VHS movie rentals, giant glass tube TV's, and 8 mph gas guzzling cars--the early 1990's--my wife discovered, on her own, the connection between the rubella vaccine and the stunted development of an infant's brain.
How could she do this, since she wasn't an MD or PhD in medicine? And what research could she do as a mother working out of her home?

First, she wouldn't take, "That's all there is, have a nice day," for an answer.
Second, she intuitively ascertained a connection between the rubella virus wreaking havoc in a developing fetus, and in the developing brain of a child who received the rubella virus in a vaccine.

If rubella, or "German Measles," caused deformities in a fetus, why couldn't that virus, after injection into an infant's bloodstream, cause problems in the infant as well?

Prior to the Internet research amounted to hiring a student at a local university medical library to pull tracts of information and studies regarding the mechanism of the rubella virus in causing birth deformities.Encephalopathy--swelling of tissue--was a major culprit in what my wife read about organic problems caused by rubella.

My wife is not a doctor. Maybe that's how she could come up with conclusions and leaps of judgment that a medical expert would have pushed aside before pursuing.

She determined, as a theory, that "microscopic encephalopathy"--damaging swelling at the cellular level, invisible to lab tests, mri's, etc--of the myelin sheath around the brain, which was needed for proper brain growth and development--was the root cause of autism.

There were blood tests that showed normal immune levels. Then, an immunologist ordered more detailed blood tests which showed a total gap in certain immune system levels that don't show up on the "regular" tests. Regardless of what studies have been done or what scientist, doctor, or government agency wants to state about causes of autism, the blood levels of the immune system were measured and right there on the chart in black and white--the blood levels were faulty--no immune system levels--according to repeated lab tests.

Does a faulty immune system cause autism? Does an mmr (mumps, measles,rubella) vaccine cause a faulty immune system?

More reading, and more theorizing, and leaps across chasms of doubt and questioning, and as complicated as is the concept of the interaction of the immune system with the brain and nervous system, the answer seems simple: if nutrients aren't transferring from the gut to the bloodstream, the subsequent deprivation of these nutrients to a developing infant's brain and nervous system prevents proper development.

That conclusion was relatively easy. How a vaccine could cause the intestine not to absorb properly was another concern, for research and experts and real doctors. My wife did her best to spread the word of this theory. She even appeared on several national television and radio talk shows--as the 1990's wore on, childhood autism was on the rise, parents were scared and the topic drew more interest.

My wife's ideas could have been all wet--after all, she wasn't trained in medicine,she never did a scientific study on her theories. But she wasn't meeting an open-minded audience either. She found out that when you questioned vaccine safety, you were opening a door into the world of what Money Magazine called, in 1996, the ..."Billion-Dollar Vaccine Business."
My wife, and anyone else who questioned anything about vaccines, was met by a pharmaceutical powerhouse with the speed of a roller coaster and the crushing weight of a steamroller. Vaccines have not only been a cash cow for big pharma for the last 60 years--they are protected and promoted by us--"we the people"--through government-mandated childhood vaccine schedules and liability-free legislation for the vaccine manufacturers.
The truth has a way of squiggling through cracks in the edifice of greed and power. Word got around about a possible problem with vaccines. Not only were cases of autism increasing in children, but a whole host of auto-immune diseases was growing at a geometric rate--asthma, dyslexia, childhood diabetes and more.
I knew one kid who had asthma when I was in school in the 1950's--now, when my daughter's 6th grade classrooms in from exercising, half of them run to the nurse's office for their "inhalers--"vaso-dilating drugs to make it easier for them to breathe.

Even though the vaccine dosage schedule asking for more and more vaccines over the last 60 years mimics the increase in auto-immune diseases--even though it is obvious to an objective view that vaccines are the problem, and not the cure, despite the pharmaceutical companies' false statistics otherwise--any question of continuing the childhood vaccine program is met with an outcry from the medical establishment and their henchmen,the mass media, that dims whatever good ideas might be in the questions.

In 1998, in the respected British medical journal The Lancet a young physician, Andrew Wakefield, produced a study to confirm what my wife had said years earlier. Because of this study, Wakefield has been vilified throughout the media, and he had to move from his native England to Texas, to continue his studies.

"Wakefield has since described, in several journals including the Journal of Clinical Immunology, what he terms a new disease, autistic
enterocolitis, because symptoms are unlike other childhood intestinal disorders. However, critics contend that Wakefield has not shown any
evidence that this disease exists, and that autistic enterocolitis is not recognized by the scientific community. Since arriving in the United States in
the wake of the MMR vaccine controversy, over which he is accused of scientific misconduct and data fixing, Wakefield has continued to treat
patients at the Thoughtful House, a centre for autistic children in Texas." Wikipedia

The reason for this background is because the latest drivel to flow through the fetid tubing of the media comes from a new study that "children with autism are no more or less likely to have gastrointestinal symptoms, in general, than their unaffected peers."

Here was huge news! NBC mouthpiece for AMA and big pharma, Nancy Snyderman had a heyday filling her time to talk about this latest put-down of parents and their concerns. This study doesn't reflect on the Wakefield conclusions. It is not related to anything my wife was talking about a decade and a half ago. The ideas and theories about malabsoprtion in the gut relating to developmental delays are not part of this report.

But that all doesn't matter. The media are the message,and if you as a parent thought you heard that there was a problem with guts and bowels and autism--forget it!There's no problem. You can continue with your vaccine schedule inoculating your child every few weeks with multiple vaccine dosages for diseases from which we are not threatened.

Big pharma beware--the truth seeps through the cracks...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cronkite & Stone = Apples & Oranges

“Anybody who says they have no regrets is either a dimwit or a liar — probably both.” - Ken Kesey

When the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest died in 2001, and I read the above quote, I had to change my attitude about the notion of "regrets," because I always figured having regrets meant that one didn't live life "my way," or according to certain principles or values. I still think looking back in hindsight--with 20-20 vision as they say--isn't as much regretting mistakes as it is learning from experience, and moving on in each moment with a greater confidence from inner knowledge.

So yeah, I have some regrets--little ones. I don't look back and second guess my life choices of where to live, whom to spend time with, whether to have children...I regret the little lost chances for a memory to add to my wonderful list of great memories.

For instance, I regret not having a poster with me of "Singin in the Rain" for Gene Kelly to autograph when I shook hands with him during a break in shooting a TV show on the Goldwyn lot. I regret not telling Mickey Rooney how much I enjoyed his performances in "Sugar Babies," which I saw three times on stage, and a summer-stock preview that never made it to Broadway that was just perfect, called "WC and Me," about WC Fields and his addiction to alcohol--I instead remained silent as I ate my lunch across a bench from him on the Goldwyn lot--just Mr. Rooney and me--with no one else around. I was afraid of "bothering" him while he was not working for the moment.

I had a chance to say "hi" to I. F. Stone when he phoned my college roommate back, but I couldn't hear him clearly, he mispronounced my roommate's name, and frankly his voice sounded like a kid putting me on. So instead all I heard was, "If he doesn't want to talk to I. F. Stone, then forget it!" I actually looked down the phone in my hand as if to say "We blew it."

I only knew about I. F. Stone from the stories my college roommate told me, of this giant of reporters who was probably the greatest muckraker of all. There is no one with whom to compare I. F. Stone today. That was another thing--his full name was Isadore Feinstein Stone, and as I remember that failed phone call, I still wonder why he referred to himself as "I.F. Stone," and not Izzy Stone or Mr. Stone. Although the imprimatur of "I.F. Stone" was so well known among the readers of the "I.F. Stone Weekly," that perhaps he thought that was the easiest way to identify himself.

The passing of Walter Cronkite, and all of the media re-hash and review of what his tenure on the CBS Evening News meant to American journalism, reminds me of the short but trenchant bit of film in the documentary from 1973, I.F. Stone's Weekly, when the little muckraker reporter is about to be in the same space as the great establishment TV broadcaster:

There's a poignant and telling moment in I.F. Stone's Weekly (the movie), in which Stone is walking away from the head table at the end of a banquet in his honour. He sees Walter Cronkite and walks toward the mainstream TV news star, extending his hand. There's a split second when Cronkite can reciprocate, or pretend he doesn't see Izzy and turn away. Cronkite turns away. I can still feel the sting. But it's my sting, not Stone's.

"It's just wonderful to be a pariah," Stone wrote (this published in the July 10 issue of The Nation). "To be regarded as nonrespectable, to be ... an outsider, this is really the way to do it. As soon as you want something, they've got you!"

I remember that moment from the documentary film very clearly. And I also remember changing my opinion about Walter Cronkite as the most trusted man in America, to the biggest on-air establishment flunky, with polish and credentials to boot. Not that Walter didn't have depth or back ground as a modern journalist. But once a TV star, always a TV star.