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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Junk Science Queen, Deirdre Imus, and the Damage Done by Her and Husband, Don Imus

"Children are suffering and dying because some parents are more frightened by vaccines than by the diseases they prevent." -Offit





A decade ago a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield published research findings that linked the standard measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism. As a result, many parents decided not to vaccinate their children. But now the prestigious British Medical Journal accuses Dr. Wakefield of not just being wrong -- but of having falsified his data for financial gain.

Don Imus and his Junk-Science Ho, Deirdre Imus, made this a cause and in their cause convinced many young parents not to have their children inoculated against dangerous childhood diseases.

Who knows at what cost?

__________________

From USA TODAY

Myth 1: Vaccines cause autism

Few medical myths have been debunked as thoroughly as this one.

Fourteen scientific studies have failed to find a link between autism and vaccines, says Offit.

The myth was fueled by a small, flawed study in The Lancet in 1998, which was later retracted. British medical authorities last year found the author guilty of serious misconduct related to the study — including accepting more than $675,000 from a lawyer hoping to sue vaccine makers — and removed his ability to practice medicine in England.

Editors of BMJ, the British medical journal, have even called the study "an elaborate fraud," accusing author Andrew Wakefield of deliberately falsifying medical data.

Legal authorities, including a federal "vaccine court" handling the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, in which judges considered the claims of roughly 5,000 families, also have ruled against parents who claimed that shots caused their children's autism.

But myths, once unleashed, can be hard to rein in, says Mnookin.

"This idea has been set in people's minds, and it's going to take a while to overcome it," Mnookin says. "I talk to people who look at the research and say, 'I just don't trust it.' But for this to be a conspiracy, it would have to be virtually every government in the world."

Myth 2: Vaccines contain toxic chemicals

Over the past 200 years, critics have made claims that vaccines contain methyl mercury, ether and anti-freeze, as well as the blood and entrails of bats and toads, Offit reports in his book.

None of that is true.

Vaccines have never contained methyl mercury, a toxic metal that can cause brain damage, Offit says.

Before 2001, some vaccines contained thimerosal, a preservative made with ethyl mercury. But ethyl mercury, which is safe, is very different from methyl mercury, which is toxic.

While most laypeople don't pay attention to such differences, they're important, says obstetrician-gynecologist Jennifer Gunter, author of The Preemie Primer. Consider the huge difference between ethyl alcohol — or drinking alcohol, found in wine and beer — and methyl alcohol, or wood alcohol, which can cause blindness, she says

As proof of its safety, Offit notes that seven studies have failed to find any link between thimerosal and autism.

To address parents' concerns, however, the Food and Drug Administration ordered that thimerosal be removed from routine childhood vaccinations.

Today, thimerosal is found in only one type of shot: flu vaccine stored in multi-dose vials use the preservative to prevent the growth of fungus or other potentially dangerous germs, says Ari Brown, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and author of Expecting 411.

Parents who remain concerned can ask for a thimerosal-free version, which is readily available. Neither flu shots in individual-dose containers or the FluMist nasal spray contains thimerosal, Brown says.

Some parents are also concerned about potential harm from aluminum, used in small amounts in some vaccines to stimulate a better immune response.

Yet babies get far more aluminum from food — including breast milk — than from vaccines.In the first six months of life, a breast-fed baby takes in 10 milligrams of aluminum; a baby given a milk-based formula takes in 30 milligrams; a soy formula-fed baby gets 120 milligrams, Offit says.

One teaspoon of Maalox liquid, an antacid, has 200 milligrams of aluminum, Gunter says.

In comparison, a baby who receives all recommended shots takes in only 4 milligrams of aluminum, Offit says.

Aluminum is also found in self-rising flour, Offit says. For most people, the biggest source of aluminum is cornbread.

And while many medications and consumer products have trace levels of chemicals, so do our bodies, Offit says. Young infants have 10 times as much formaldehyde circulating in their bodies than is found in any vaccine. Breast milk and infant formula both have more mercury than vaccines. But vaccines, like breast milk, play a vital role in keeping infants healthy.

"If you have zero tolerance for mercury, you have to move to another planet," Offit says. "We all have mercury and formaldehyde and aluminum in our bodies. Vaccines don't add to what we normally encounter every day."

Myth 3: Children receive too many vaccines, overwhelming their immune systems

Again, there's no sound evidence to support this, Offit says. Researchers have studied the question and found no increase in autism among kids who get multiple vaccines at an early age.

What many parents don't realize, he says, is that kids today get less of an immune challenge from their vaccines than their parents and grandparents did — even though kids today get more shots.

A century ago, kids were vaccinated against only smallpox.

Today, children are vaccinated against 14 diseases.

Yet today's shots contain fewer germ particles — the proteins that prime the immune system to respond to infections, Offit says.

That's because the vaccine against smallpox — the largest of the world's more than 1 million viruses — contained 200 germ particles, Offit says.

That's more antigens than are found in all 14 of today's shots combined, Offit says.

New shots also are engineered to be more targeted than earlier generations of vaccines, Brown says.



Experts note that the immune system is stronger than many realize.

When leaving the womb, babies are immediately surrounded by millions of bacteria in the birth canal. If the immune system weren't so robust, humans wouldn't survive being born, Offit says. People actually have 10 times more bacteria living on the surface of their bodies than human cells inside it.

Given that sort of daily challenge, the body's immune system has no trouble handling the few viral or bacterial proteins found in vaccines, Offit says. Even if children got 11 shots at once, they would still need only 0.1% of their immune system to respond.

Myth 4: It's safe to "space out" vaccinations

A growing number of parents are delaying vaccines to avoid giving their children several shots at once, sometimes because they're afraid of inflicting unnecessary pain.

But spacing out vaccines may actually cause children more distress, Offit says.

Studies show that a child's stress hormone levels peak after one shot. Because that one shot is so stressful, giving a child additional needle sticks doesn't appreciably increase a child's distress, he says. So children who receive one shot a month, instead of several at once, may actually have higher total stress levels.

Postponing shots also leaves babies at risk, Brown says.

The vaccination schedule developed by the CDC wasn't developed "out of thin air," Brown says. It's based on research to "protect as many babies as soon as possible."

The "nasty little truth" to alternative schedules, on the other hand, is that they "are all fantasy," Brown says. None of the alternative schedules has been clinically tested — the kind of evidence upon which the CDC relies.

"There is absolutely no research that says delaying certain shots is safer," Brown says. "Doctors who promote these schedules are simply guessing when to give which shots. What we know for certain is that delaying your child's shots is playing Russian roulette."

Myth 5: Vaccines cause lots of serious side effects

Vaccines are tested in more children — over a longer period of time — than any other drug, Offit says. Research overwhelmingly shows them to be safe.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, for example, was tested in 30,000 women before being approved, Offit says. The pneumococcal vaccine was tested in 40,000 children. The two rotavirus vaccines were tested in a total of 130,000 children. All were tested for more than 20 years.

When introducing any new vaccine, the FDA also requires pharmaceutical companies to prove that their product doesn't pose a threat when added to the existing vaccine schedule, Offit says.

In addition, a special database, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) helps scientists to monitor vaccine safety, Offit says. Anyone can use the system to report a suspected side effect.

Not everyone understands how to interpret this safety information, however.

Some parents looking at VAERS reports are alarmed by the large number of illnesses that occur after vaccinations. Offit says parents should remember that the database is a screening system, meant to cast as wide a net as possible in order to detect the greatest number of potential problems.

The system can't determine cause and effect, however.

A mother may report that her child had a seizure after getting a vaccine, for example.

But VAERS doesn't include a comparison group, showing how many children developed seizures after NOT getting a vaccine, Offit says.

In many cases, the side effects reported to VAERS are coincidences.

And 80% of people who reported to VAERS that vaccines caused autism were personal-injury lawyers, Offit says.

Vaccine makers often take a cautious approach when writing their warning labels, listing all of the side effects reported after vaccination — even if these side effects occurred at the same rate in unvaccinated people, Offit says.

Myth 6: Vaccine-preventable diseases aren't that dangerous

Vaccines are a victim of their own success, Mnookin says.

They have nearly eliminated diseases that once sickened, disabled or killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. But because few young parents have encountered any of these diseases, they don't realize how dangerous they are, Mnookin says.

Whooping cough, for example, once sickened 300,000 people a year and killed 7,000 — mostly young children, Offit says.

Now, partly because of failure to vaccinate, whooping cough is making a comeback.

In California alone, whooping cough has sickened at least 7,800 people — and killed 10 babies under 3 months old, according to the state health department.

Unvaccinated children returning from trips abroad also have started outbreaks of measles and mumps, infecting both their unvaccinated friends and neighbors, and newborns too young to have gotten their first shots. Unvaccinated kids and adults aren't just risking their own health, Offit says. They're also risking the health of vulnerable people around them, such as people with immune deficiencies caused by disease or cancer therapy, who are more likely to be hospitalized by the flu, chickenpox or other infections.

"We've reached a tipping point," Offit says. "Children are suffering and dying because some parents are more frightened by vaccines than by the diseases they prevent."

100 comments:

  1. (CNN) --
    A physician accused of an "elaborate fraud" in a now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is defending himself, telling CNN his work has been "grossly distorted.


    Dr. Andrew Wakefield said Wednesday he is the target of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wakefield dismissed Brian Deer, the writer of the British Medical Journal articles, as "a hit man who has been brought in to take me down"
    ...
    Deer did not deny he was paid by the BMJ. "I was commissioned by BMJ to write the piece," he said. "That's what journalists do."

    He said he is also paid by the Sunday Times of London, where he has been employed since the early 1980s. "I was being paid as a journalist,"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Deer said Wakefield's remarks amount to a smear campaign against him, noting that Wakefield has previously sued him and lost.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association, defended Wakefield in a CNN interview.

    "I cannot imagine for a second that Dr. Wakefield would have any reason to falsify data," she said. "He's a man of integrity and honesty and truly wants to find the answers for millions of children who have been affected by autism."

    Fournier accused pharmaceutical companies of trying to protect their turf.

    "You can't question vaccines without being destroyed," she said. "There's too much money at stake here."

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 90% of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported.
    ...
    Wakefield has been unable to reproduce his results in the face of criticism, and other researchers have been unable to match them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Deer said Wakefield "chiseled" the data before him, "falsifying medical histories of children and essentially concocting a picture, which was the picture he was contracted to find by lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers and to create a vaccine scare."

    According to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds ($674,000) from the lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wakefield's defenders include David Kirby, a journalist who has written extensively on autism. He told CNN that Wakefield not only has denied falsifying data, he has said he had no way to do so.

    "I have known him for a number of years. He does not strike me as a charlatan or a liar," Kirby said. If the BMJ allegations are true, then Wakefield "did a terrible thing" -- but he added, "I personally find it hard to believe that he did that."

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  8. Sydney Morning Herald -

    PRO-IRANIAN power triumphed on Wednesday with the return to Iraq of the anti-American firebrand Moqtada al-Sadr for what amounted to a victory lap after an Iraqi government shaped more by Tehran than by Washington or its allies was installed.


    We've spent almost a trillion dollars, to achieve what, exactly?

    ReplyDelete
  9. "We've spent almost a trillion dollars, to achieve what, exactly?"

    Look at it this way: It'll be a cold day in hell before we undertake regime removal again.

    What WERE we thinking?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mocs…Crocs….What's the difference? It's the same as driving a mini van.


    Sorry for the mix up

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wretchard at one point stretched to justify the whole sorry affair by saying that the instrumentality of the Iraq endeavor would only reveal itself in some still distant future.

    If it appears at this point in time like the dumbest fucking thing we've ever done, history will show otherwise. Just you wait.

    Or words to that effect.




    Hey. It could happen.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "It's the same as driving a mini van."

    Ouch. That hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What WERE we thinking?


    I could give you a list as I remember it well as a function of arguing against it from the get go.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It was rhetorical.



    I know that list because I was for it before I was against it.

    I had not a clue.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My nephew had just turned four when he had his accident. His sister was two years younger than him. We all took turns taking care of her while my sister and her husband stayed at the hospital. It was only for a week but I had her the majority of the time. For some reason I used my sister's car…a mini van, to do all the running around that needed to be done for the two older siblings.

    They made fun of me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The joys of a Chinese finger trap.

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  17. By the way Trish my cousin did make it back from Iraq safe and sound.

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  18. My fiancee, the pediatrician, deals with the damage everyday.

    It should be pointed out that Wakefield had 15 co-authors. It took until 2004 for 13 of them to remove themselves from the work.

    Lancet did not remove the offending drivel until a few months ago, as I recall.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "They made fun of me."

    Sorry to hear it.

    I fail to understand why driving a minivan induces mirthful contempt.

    But, you know, I wear Crocs. And drive a POS Jeep.

    Blissfully.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I miss those days....

    Invasion of Kuwait, 1990

    In August 1990 Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi troops into Kuwait, which led to the Gulf War in January 1991.

    Iraqi soldiers are alleged to have tortured and summarily executed prisoners and to have looted Kuwait City and taken hundreds of Kuwaiti captives back to Baghdad.

    Iraqi soldiers also set light to more than 700 oil wells and opened pipelines to let oil pour into the Gulf and other water sources.


    Rape, murder, looting!!!

    Arab on arab murder...

    As martha says...


    it's a good thing...

    ReplyDelete
  21. I miss those days...


    Gassing Kurds in Halabja in 1988

    In August 1988, during the Anfal campaign, Iraqi forces attacked the Kurdish town of Halabja with bombs containing a mixture of mustard and nerve gases.

    An estimated 5,000 civilians, including women, children and babies, were killed in a single day.

    Gen Majid ordered the attack, earning the notorious epithet Chemical Ali.



    Chemical weapons on Kurds and thier babies...

    good times...

    I miss those murders....

    ReplyDelete
  22. We were thinking that Iraq "probably" had or would attempt to rebuild or acquire WMD. We were thinking that Iraq posed the single greatest obstacle to peace in the region. We were thinking the Strait of Hormuz the most valuable piece of real estate in the world because both China and the EU relied upon it for 40% of their petroleum needs.

    We were not wrong in our objectives. We were wrong in the means to those objectives and the "clever" ploy of "democratization". Moreover, we have a military that has been trained to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and a DoS that enables this dangerous tendency (Has anyone seen the news about China's latest "surprise" - a stealth fighter?).

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  23. Gosh I miss that man....

    Iraq's Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves


    Download the report in PDF format
    Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies—their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.

    "We've already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London.


    Really...

    Were they not the good ole days????

    ReplyDelete
  24. "By the way Trish my cousin did make it back from Iraq safe and sound."

    That I am very glad to hear.

    I'd be interested to know if he found his time productive.

    Because although I personally consider the entire undertaking a terrible mistake, individuals can and do within their specific lanes accomplish things and make some difference.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "We were not wrong in our objectives. We were wrong in the means..."

    I've heard this often and I am sympathetic to the view, but I firmly believe the error was fundamental, a matter of bad premises - the whole WOT misconceived from the get-go.

    ReplyDelete
  26. By the way Trish my cousin did make it back from Iraq safe and sound.

    Glad to hear, I remember when he went, seems just like yesterday. Good.

    ReplyDelete
  27. POS Jeep…

    I love jeeps and had to look that up thinking you had some kind of special make. I had to laugh out loud when I couldn't find it and had to resort to watching a video. After the third video I still didn't get it until the guy said, "Piece of shit Jeep."

    ReplyDelete
  28. WiO,

    Believe it or not, there are folk on this very site who cannot grasp that chemicals and biologics comprise a segment of the catagory WMD. In fact, there are biologics so potent that a small vial could introduce pathogens capable of dwarfing the pandemic known as the Black Death. Indeed, plague could well make a reappearance in a lethally slightly altered form.

    It remains my postition that we will or ought to have a strong military presense in Iraq for decades. Since the US military disagrees, we probably will not. That said, our friends the muzzies do have a knack for leading with the chin, so who knows what alSadr will provoke.

    ReplyDelete
  29. He has actually been home for a while. With the holidays and his mom going through chemo again I actually just found out not to long ago.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am sympathetic to the view, allen, precisely because, though it was fundamentally flawed, it didn't have to take the course it did either.

    We took a Bad and made it Worse, Worser, Worsest.



    It's just an old, bare bones Cherokee. I like it, except when I have to make long highway drives in it.

    And the gas mileage sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lawyers and legislators. They pass a law saying that we cannot assassinate a leader so we get around it by attacking an entire country.

    Same as Guantanimo. Same as Drones in Pakistan.

    Ssme as in Iran.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Trish,

    Yours is a respectable point of view. The mishandling of the entire effort by keystone cops certainly lends credence to your observation.

    Without getting into conspiracy theory and whatnot, I recall Mr. Truman's lament about having been bushwacked by his DoS. Other presidents have had the same experience. I will simply observe that there are few things more dangerous in this world than a PhD, with a clipboard, funding, and the latest big idea.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Reagan did the same thing in Central America

    ReplyDelete
  34. He could have challenged the Boland Amendment and ignored it. The Boland Amendment was an attachment to a continuing resolution on govt finance.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Almost three years ago my father said this:

    All endeavors are composed of two parts: means and ends. In discussing Iraq, if one were to ask: "By what means and to what ends are we fighting there?", you couldn't get a definitive answer from either our military or political leaders. However, the mission as currently practiced, stripped of rationalising verbiage, is to supplant evil with goodness. We wanted to start a revolution in the middle east by replacing the region's growing theocratic fascism with democracy. And the seeds of this democratic revolution were to be planted in Iraq. To every one's chagrin, though, the cultural soil has proven to be not only hard pan but contaminated with the poisons of centuries of old hatreds and prejudices. So toxic is the culture that new ideas do not grow there; new ideas cannot grow there. Islamist values couple with and exacerbate murderous internecine feuds that render the middle east into an intellectually barren mind scape and a society that could be fairly described as "a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous, and cruel..."

    One accepts that theocratic fascism is evil, but its opposite is not democracy. Democracy is not goodness; it is, at best, a means to an end. Democracy, even in our own society, is subordinate to morality. That's why we have a Bill of Rights which limits the powers of our democratically elected government. Islam tolerates no dissent. Under Sharia law there cannot ever be and will not ever be a bill of rights. Under Sharia law, both individuals and democratically elected governments will always be subordinate to an Islamic theocracy, in all matters. In Turkey we can see that a democratic style of government is not the bulwark against a theocratic despotism that we hoped it would be. The people of the middle east are not going to stop being Muslims. The installation of democracy to counter an Islamic theocracy is nothing more than a masturbatory fantasy of those Kantian inspired "peace through democracy" theorists: the liberal internationalists.

    As a wartime rationale, replacing evil with goodness is a naive idealism. But if this is not a defensible rationale for war then what is? It should only be, to use the lingo, when our society faces "a clear and present danger." Under this rubric, the purpose of a war becomes clear. We wage war to remove an existential threat to our society. Forcing "democratic principles" on another nation is, ultimately, an exercise in futility unless the forcing power has the intention of a permanent occupation which, in practical terms, is really a colonisation. Regardless of what one thinks of the legitimacy of colonisation, it is an expensive endeavor and will never succeed unless the cost of colonisation can be recouped from the assets of the colonised country. In the present international political climate such a re-couping is a non-starter.

    ReplyDelete
  36. "Without getting into conspiracy theory and whatnot, I recall Mr. Truman's lament about having been bushwacked by his DoS."

    State: Can't live with it, can't live without it.

    It's just a different mentality.

    Rat stated at some point, back at Belmont, that he believed there WAS a conspiracy to wreck OIF.

    I prefer Occam's razor.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sorry. I'm new at this.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Those few goals, mentioned as motivators by the Jinns, were all accomplished within 6 months of the invasion, of Iraq.

    By June of 2003 we could have turned Iraq over to the Iraqi.

    Accomplishing in six months what has now taken eight years.

    What were we thinking?
    What was the real motivation to occupation?

    ReplyDelete
  39. "To every one's chagrin, though, the cultural soil has proven to be not only hard pan but contaminated with the poisons of centuries of old hatreds and prejudices."

    In Iraq at least I have heard that it's not simply a matter of exhausting oneself upon the rock centuries old hatreds and prejudices. It is also a matter of dealing with a society profoundly traumatised and deformed by its former regime.

    ReplyDelete
  40. "What was the real motivation to occupation?"

    I think allen and silo have it: Grand designs. Not just for Iraq, but for the region.

    And I agree that these were idealistic and naive, not nefarious or evil.

    On some level, though, occupation is simply a matter of accepting one's responsibilities according the law. It's actually quite prosaic.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I had a Toyota Land Cruiser over in Hawaii. We'd take it up on Mona Kea or Loa whichever has the telescopes. Rough riding sucker, but with a great engine and good transmission, still a four wheel drive pickup truck, especially these new ones with a pretty good back seat, is a much better choice.

    The pickup truck is the best invention man ever made.

    Ed Abby




    Seems like when I get a flu shot sometmes I have a heck of a reaction. But then sometimes not. I probably just had the beginnings of the flu right before I got the shot. This was discussed on some medical radio show one day, and that's what the doc maintained.


    The first round of polo shots had some real problems as I recall, but no one in my high school class had any problem. Others did across the nation, though.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "The pickup truck is the best invention man ever made."

    Yeah, but is it a miracle like the iPad?




    You do get around. Bob.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh, horseshit. I said it then, and I'll say it now: It was to protect the Persian Gulf Oil. I supported it then, and I support it now.

    As bad as the implementation was, how bad would it have been if Saddam actually did manage to get control of 40% of the world's oil supply? Although the answer is unknowable, no one wanted to find out.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anyone who thinks Bush, or Cheney gave a hoot, or a holler whether a bunch of Arabs had deemocracee is inhabiting an alternate universe.

    ReplyDelete
  45. See. Wasn't this amicable?


    (Too amicable.)



    "I like ducks."

    My son is so reflexively, vehemently argumentative and contradictory - no matter the subject - that my brother was inspired to come up with a simple statement which would disarm the boy.

    "I like ducks."

    He added for emphasis: "And ducks like me."

    ReplyDelete
  46. "Oh, horseshit."

    Thank you, rufus, for setting the day right.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Michail,

    Well done!

    I cannot begin to express the pleasure it gives me to see your father's legacy published.

    As time goes by, it would be my pleasure to see your own thoughts take wing.

    Best

    ReplyDelete
  48. Michail Silo said...


    Bravo...

    Your Pop was the Tops...

    ReplyDelete
  49. Clear and Present Danger is also a very fine movie.

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  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. Major scientific fraud uncovered
    Thomas Lifson
    An influential study linking childhood vaccines to autism has been exposed as a fraud, funded by lawyers hoping to sue vaccine makers. CNN reports:


    A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long-lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication reported Wednesday.


    An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study's author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study -- and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible.


    "It's one thing to have a bad study, a study full of error, and for the authors then to admit that they made errors," Fiona Godlee, BMJ's editor-in-chief, told CNN. "But in this case, we have a very different picture of what seems to be a deliberate attempt to create an impression that there was a link by falsifying the data."


    Britain stripped Wakefield of his medical license in May. "Meanwhile, the damage to public health continues, fueled by unbalanced media reporting and an ineffective response from government, researchers, journals and the medical profession," BMJ states in an editorial accompanying the work.


    Many parents were panicked into foregoing childhood vaccinations as a result of this fraud. One example of the consequences:


    In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 90% of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported.


    The author Wakefield was paid by law firms which planned to sue vaccine makers.


    According to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds ($674,000) from the lawyers.


    The sad truth is that science, one of the crowning achievements of western civilization, is seriously endangered because of fraud. This study is the tip of the iceberg. Global warming research, explicitly designed to find certain outcomes ("hide the decline") comes to mind.

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  52. Ms. Imus looks kinda like she's going to hop over the table and have you for lunch.

    Those are some widely intense eyes.

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  53. Myth #3

    Maybe if parents didn't pump up their kids with antibiotics every time they had a sniffle or a low grade fever there wouldn't be a need to worry about their immune system.

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  54. I believe it's the physician who determines whether and when antibiotics are dispensed.

    And as far as I am aware, they are not dispensed as readily as they used to be.

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  55. Mr. Rufus

    I only submitted a small portion of my father's essay. I won't submit the rest as it is too long.

    He viewed the war as consisting of two parts. The first was the so called "regime change" and the second was "democratisation." He believed the second part contaminated the first part. My father, himself, thought the term "regime change" was a misnomer. He thought that it was enough to depose Saddam and his tribe and substitute a man from another tribe who was in his cabinet who could impose order on Iraq. That man was Izzat Al-Douri.

    My father thought that it would take a strong dictator in Iraq to keep stability in the region. He also thought that Iraq would eventually return to a dictatorship anyway so why not pick one who was in no position to negotiate. You could ask why pick Al-Douri over Saddam? It was simple to my father. He thought Al-Douri was less mega maniacal than Saddam.

    My father wrote:

    The first phase of the Iraq war, the military invasion, was based on legitimate fears. Saddam not only had but used a WMD (biological weapon), was intent on starting a nuclear program, hated the U.S.,had started two major conflicts with Iran and Kuwait, and was a ruthless and politically ambitious megalomaniac. The major worry was that if Saddam got his hands on nuclear weapons he might hook up with Al Qaeda as a delivery mechanism. A "regime change" in Iraq was a logical and justifiable military intervention. The fact that it was implemented incompetently does not negate the fact that the rationale for the invasion was based on sound reasoning.

    While my father thought that Saddam could eventually de-stabilise the region and that that would de-stabilise oil supplies, he thought the main reason to invade Iraq, in the beginning, was a legitimate fear of a nuclear Iraq.

    My father also thought the rationale for the second part of the war was when the Kagan's, Robert and Fred (most importantly Fred) got their hands on Bush and convinced him that the war could be more profitably and more nobly fought as an exercise in "democratisation."

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  56. "The fact that it was implemented incompetently does not negate the fact that the rationale for the invasion was based on sound reasoning."

    Oh, boy.

    This kind of thing worries me no end.

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  57. Why would you take your child to the doctors for the common cold if you didn't want antibiotics?

    I'm not saying doctors aren't at fault. As long as they keep writing those scripts the extravagant rewards pay off.

    I've seen it time and time again kids taking antibiotics for no reason.

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  58. It reminds me of the persistence of the belief that, whatever the political-economic system in question, if only someone else had been in charge.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

    "Your Pop was the Tops..."

    Thanks WiO. I miss him more than you know.

    Blogger allen said...

    "Michail,

    Well done!

    I cannot begin to express the pleasure it gives me to see your father's legacy published.

    As time goes by, it would be my pleasure to see your own thoughts take wing."


    Thanks, Allen. The problem is that nearly all of my political thinking mirrors my father's. Political theory is not normally what I think about. I let my father do all the thinking. It will be quite a while for me to get up to speed constructing my own political theories. In the meantime, I don't think I have anything important to offer up.

    ReplyDelete
  60. "Why would you take your child to the doctors for the common cold if you didn't want antibiotics?"

    An AF nurse lived across from us in Georgia. She took an informed view that unless your child has a fever of 102 over 24 hours you don't take him in.

    Quitcher hand-wringing, mom. The young are hardy.

    I guess it depends upon your POV.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Blogger trish said...

    "The fact that it was implemented incompetently does not negate the fact that the rationale for the invasion was based on sound reasoning."

    Oh, boy.

    This kind of thing worries me no end.



    Blogger trish said...

    It reminds me of the persistence of the belief that, whatever the political-economic system in question, if only someone else had been in charge.

    Your second observation draws the inference from my father's strategy that a change in leadership in Iraq would just mean the same car with a different driver. Not so. I would, respectfully, ask you to re-read the portion of the essay in question.

    ReplyDelete
  62. "Your second observation draws the inference from my father's strategy that a change in leadership in Iraq would just mean the same car with a different driver."

    Actually I was thinking about us, we Americans.

    I know it seemed logical and justifiable at the time. To many.

    Including myself.

    But I think it was so badly mistaken from a strategic point of view. And that the outcomes were critically a result of that strategic mistake.

    Better to have mitigated it?

    Yes.

    But would we then recognize it for what it was?

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'll just throw this in:

    The Iraqis will make nice with Iran. Iran is their neighbor and they have to co-exist.

    But they can also recognize that Iran is their greatest internal threat, and combat that by whatever means.

    ReplyDelete
  64. "The Iraqis..."

    And I feel as though I ought to apologize to Iraqis for sweeping them all together in a gross generalization.

    God.

    There's no win for losing.

    ReplyDelete
  65. The Iranians and the Turks will help Iraq stay a nation, by forcing the Iraqis to be nationalists.

    Unintended consequences. Certainly Iraq and Iran do not want to start that war again.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Honestly, if I were an Iraqi showing up here, my response would be, "And just who in the hell are you?"

    Then maybe we'd go have coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "That War" ain't over yet. Just because someone in authority said it was doesn't mean it's true.

    Things are still shaking out. Until it is finally over (who knows when that will be), us armchair types can start the "I told you so's."

    ReplyDelete
  68. In the meantime, I don't think I have anything important to offer up.


    That never stopped any of the rest of us. :)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I mean, no one ever mistook happy hour at the Bar for a meeting of the Mensa Society.


    A "Mensch's" Society? Possibly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  70. Mikhail Silo said...

    Thanks, Allen. The problem is that nearly all of my political thinking mirrors my father's.



    As a father, believe me when I say, there are FAR worse concerns. I think Viktor had the measure of your timber, and took comfort in that.

    Benjamin Franklin's son did not resemble his father. In that case, he was justifiably showing contempt for a man who had let him down. This is said, despite my great respect for Franklin in so many other ways. But truth be told, he was a lousy father.

    In the event that you might have felt I was ignoring you, far from it. Not a day has passed when I have not wished for a short, pleasant exchange with your dad and wished your family well. As to his papers, it was my belief that you needed to come to terms with how you would handle them. That was a journey that you needed to make alone. Now that you have obviously made the decision to release Viktor's work from time to time, you may count on my input if required.

    If you have observed the snake pit for any length of time, you know that you will have to defend yourself. That may be the best way to find your own voice. As to your behavior, you had an excellent role model. Following Viktor's example will stand you on firm ground.

    Best

    ReplyDelete
  71. The resolution to go kick Saddam out of Kuwait only passed by two votes, IIRC.

    If he could have, ever, begged, borrowed, or stole any kind of a little half-assed nuke firecracker to pop off (test) the whole of the Arabian Penninsula would have been his. No President would have Ever gotten the necessary votes to stop him.

    In retrospect, I wish we had taken that money, and invested it in biofuels; We'd be "Independent," today. But, back then we didn't know much about Ethanol, biodiesel, etc, so dethroning the asshole looked like the logical/safe thing to do.

    We'll live through it. As long as China doesn't run out of money. :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Melody,

    You have hit the nail squarely on the head.

    The indiscriminate use of antibiotics is the cause of much pain and woe. For all sorts of reasons, there is some set of physicians who first go for the perscription pad.

    Sadly, many parents get VERY testy when the good doctor shows reluctance about just blindly dispensing what they just know is the right medication.

    There is more than enough blame to go round. That said, the problem really should be approached seriously. Atlanta would be the ideal spot, having the CDC and all. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  73. China is printing money faster than we are.

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  74. Allen, it's not rocket science. All you have to do is watch the local news. Starting at the beginning of flu season there is a constant repeat of when antibiotics should be taken. When you should go to the doctors, etc…

    80% of ear infections do not need antibiotics and the same with sinus infections. Of course my numbers could be wrong but you what I mean.

    I've never had the flu nor have I ever had the flu shot.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I watched a little girl take antibiotics for three months. Do you want to know what her mother told me?


    Are you sitting down?


    Allergies.

    People wonder why their kids are always sick.

    ReplyDelete
  76. That's just one of many of my pet peeves.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Cipro cleared up my urinary infection.

    I don't think the docs are prescribing antibiotics as much as they used to do.

    When I was a kid I had all sortss of ear infections. God Bless antibiotics.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Here is one even better:

    "my kid daydreams in school, so I am putting him on Ridlyn."

    ReplyDelete
  79. Years ago I had to have some dental work done. Back then I was deathly afraid of dentists. I asked my doctor if she could give me something to calm me down before I went. I just needed one pill. She said sure and gave me a script for vellum with a refill for six months.


    I have a different doctor now.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Propanolol is good at calming you down.

    ReplyDelete
  81. It's why we need more good medical schools that make competent doctors.


    My wife by the way thinks all doctors are quacks but she's never been sick.

    Her day will come.

    My lady doctor is great, even has the same literary interests. I want to go see her even if I've got no problems.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Gag,

    Have you noticed that "active" boys get about 3/4 of the mood altering medication?

    Schools of education do not teach Tom Sawyer, it seems.

    Boys have always been "active". They always will be. That is a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  83. HOW a senior nurse could be stabbed to death by one of his psychiatric patients at a mental health facility will be examined by at least three separate investigations.

    ...

    'There is no doubt about it, the nursing community will be devastated about this,'' the association's acting general secretary, Judith Kiejda, said. ''Nobody expects to go into work and then not come home again.''

    ...

    The Deputy State Coroner, Hugh Dillon, last month recommended that visitors to psychiatric units be searched for dangerous items. That followed investigations into the deaths by suicide of two men in hospital mental health units.


    Hospital Stabbing

    ReplyDelete
  84. from the article --

    People actually have 10 times more bacteria living on the surface of their bodies than human cells inside it.

    Lord you people are filthy.

    ReplyDelete
  85. So the crux of the explanation, we spent a trillion USD in an attempt to "do good", in Iraq.

    While the actual results, the empowerment of the Shiite segment of the country, politically, with the attendant benefits to the Iranians, could have been accomplished in June of 2003.

    Seven years of bad management and failed strategies, along with the financial losses involved, not a matter of concern. Besides, in a decade or two, it may work out that we will be rewarded for the sacrifice of blood and treasure.

    Comical is to nice a description for that farce.

    al-Sadar is back in the country.

    We've come up a crapper.
    Bottom line.

    ReplyDelete
  86. You're crawling with bacteria, rat.

    ReplyDelete
  87. "You're crawling with bacteria, rat."

    Ideal thread-ender.

    ReplyDelete
  88. But it's not going to be, is it.

    ReplyDelete
  89. They say the road to hell, that it is paved with good intentions.

    ReplyDelete
  90. "This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitudes toward costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation's grim financial outlook," Gates said at an afternoon news conference.

    The president's budget for the 2012 fiscal year, which is due by mid-February, would freeze discretionary spending, but that would not apply to military, veterans and Homeland Security programs. Last fall, a majority of Obama's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, including three Republican senators, said military spending also should be reduced as part of a long-term debt-reduction plan.

    The Pentagon's proposed operating budget for 2012 is expected to be about $553 billion, which would still reflect real growth, even though it is $13 billion less than expected. The Pentagon budget will then begin a decline in its rate of growth for two years and stay flat -- growing only to match inflation -- for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. (The Pentagon operating budget is separate from a fund that finances the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.)


    Downsizing Troops

    ReplyDelete
  91. I am told this is the real deal.



    Australia says NO - Second Time she has done this!

    She's done it again..
    She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen..
    A breath of fresh air to see someone lead. I wish some leaders would step up in Canada & USA .



    Australian Prime Minister does it again!!
    This woman should be appointed Queen of the World.. Truer words have never been spoken.

    It took a lot of courage for this woman to speak what she had to say for the world to hear. The retribution could be phenomenal, but at least shewas willing to take a stand on her and Australia 's beliefs.

    The whole world needs a leader like this!

    >
    Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Australia

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..


    Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:

    'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT.. Take It Or Leave It.
    I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. '

    'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'

    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society. Learn the language!'

    'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

    'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

    'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
    'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

    Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves in Canada & USA, WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.
    If you agree, please SEND THIS ON, and ON, and ON to as many people as you know. Your choice.

    ReplyDelete
  92. uhh...pretty much common sense, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  93. "This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitudes toward costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation's grim financial outlook," Gates said at an afternoon news conference.

    The president's budget for the 2012 fiscal year, which is due by mid-February, would freeze discretionary spending, but that would not apply to military, veterans and Homeland Security programs. Last fall, a majority of Obama's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, including three Republican senators, said military spending also should be reduced as part of a long-term debt-reduction plan.

    The Pentagon's proposed operating budget for 2012 is expected to be about $553 billion, which would still reflect real growth, even though it is $13 billion less than expected. The Pentagon budget will then begin a decline in its rate of growth for two years and stay flat -- growing only to match inflation -- for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. (The Pentagon operating budget is separate from a fund that finances the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.)

    ReplyDelete
  94. Certainly is, but it seems past us here.

    ReplyDelete
  95. "But it's not going to be, is it."

    Well, it would have been.



    Sparing me the cringe-inducing harangue of the Australian PM.

    Good grief.

    ReplyDelete
  96. How much does she charge for lap dances?

    ReplyDelete