Why Vaccines Matter

Whooping cough is on the rise in Texas…

If kids are getting the shot, then why is whooping cough making a deadly resurgence in Texas, as well as in other parts of the country. In all of 2011, there were 961 reported cases statewide. Through April of this year, though, there have been 424 cases, including one that resulted in the death of a Dallas child.

Well, apparently many kids aren’t getting the shot. With all the hysteria surrounding vaccinations, more and more parents are “opting out” of vaccines for their kids. Twenty-one states, including Texas, allow parents to “opt out” for personal or philosophical beliefs and twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow opting out for religious reasons. When kids don’t get the shot, they are rolling the dice. Hence, the increase in reported cases of whooping cough.

I think people should read more 19th Century literature, like Louisa May Alcott where the cute teenage cousin gets measles and ends up visually impaired– wearing dark glasses before they were fashionable. I worship Mother Nature, but she can be a real b–ch sometimes.

Memorial Day, Remembering

Sgt. Jason Ross by artist Victor JuhaszMichael D. Fay of the New York Times keeps faith…

We introduce ourselves simply. We’re war artists and have been out in the fight multiple times with you guys; living under the same conditions and capturing your combat experiences in art. We then give them our basic vision of why we’re here: You guys are still in the fight and what you do every day to recover and make the absolute best of your new reality is important to your fellow Americans. The wounded Marines get it.

The three Marines we’ll draw over these two days will allow us to observe and record them in what most would consider the worst possible conditions. One is paralyzed from the waist down; one has had 30 surgeries in the last nine weeks to put his face back together; and one has lost both legs mid-thigh and his right hand is virtually unusable. But, we know these Marines are consummate warriors, and we watch them attacking their disabilities and wounds with the same dogged determination they used every day humping the hills and fields of Afghanistan.

It’s a reminder that every day of the war in Afghanistan, every day our soldiers are in harm’s way anywhere in the world, carries a cost that they and their families will live with for the rest of their lives. Once a war is started, there is no telling the outcome or the consequences. We were too long getting our troops out of Iraq, too long in Afghanistan. May each Memorial Day remind us of the sacrifices of our veterans, and let us never again enter a war of choice.

The Joe Bonham Project is a year-and-a-half-old group dedicated to documenting the experiences of wounded service members. see the artist’s work here.

The drawing above is of Sgt.Jason Ross by artist Victor Juhasz.

Kiersten Marek:

Some good links on GMO stuff here.

Originally posted on organic urban farm girl:

This is from the Institute for Responsible Technology – the most comprehensive source of GMO health risk information on the web. Please share and realize how important your purchasing power truly is.Image

Links

GMO Awareness – GMO Awareness is uniting everyone in the United States who cares about food quality. We have a unique strategy in place that will empower you to take simple and effective action. “Everyone who cares taking the most effective action”—that’s the winning formula that will bring about labeling.

Organic Consumers Association – A grassroots non-profit public interest organization which deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability.

True Food Network – A resource that you can come to for information and, most importantly, a place you can come to take action regarding GE foods.

GE Food Alert – A coalition of seven organizations united in their commitment…

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David Cobb Speaks in Pawtucket

Last night former Green Party candidate David Cobb spoke at the Pawtucket Public Library on the topic of corporate personhood. Mr.Cobb is an organizer for Move to Amend, a citizen’s response to the Citizen’s United decision that, in layman’s terms, says corporations are people just like you and me. Really big people. Who speak money as a first language.

Cobb is a lawyer, and did review the history and uses of corporations, pointing out that all of the 13 original colonies were corporations. He outlined the balances and regulations that would bind a corporation to the public good. Including an expiration date.

I like that, seeing as people have expiration dates it’s tough to compete with Immortal Persons.

I have to get to work, so more later. Here’s a Supreme dissent from Citizens United posted on the Move to Amend home page…

“. . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010

David Cobb warmly praised Occupy for bringing the issue of economic justice for ordinary citizens, the 99%, to the debate. He drew a Venn diagram showing that this issue unites the Occupation and the Tea Party. Having attended 3 Town Halls and heard considerable hostility toward the president, ‘illegals’ and the unemployed, I am not so optimistic about finding common ground. I tried to do this with people who saw accessible health care as not only expensive, but a moral threat. Still, it does not serve We the People to be fighting each other over crumbs when concentration of wealth and power allow a few to walk off with the whole cake.

Equal opportunity does not sprinkle down from an Invisible Hand. We have to defend the right to a basic, decent public life from private profiteers. Like pulling weeds, it never ends.

Headline Rewrite: Spending Cuts and Tax Breaks for the Rich Could Prompt Recession Next Year

I like how the headline on the article linked below cites only “tax increases” as the problem with next year’s budget.  While there are some issues with taxes that will affect the middle class, the real issue are staring us right in the face in the text of the article:  spending cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy. If we let the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy expire, we would have $221 billion dollars to put toward other things.  $221 billion dollars, folks.  You could take half of it and put it toward economic stimulus and jobs, and put the other half toward the national debt, and that would go a long way to working on our problems and preventing another recession. So ignore the right-wing propaganda headline, and click on to read about the real problems:  Looming Tax Increases Could Prompt Recession Next Year: Accounting Today.

Kiersten Marek:

This is a compelling video, and the background on TED is also interesting for how the conference seems to be somewhat disowning this speaker.

Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:

Alternet has more:
 

TED curator Chris Anderson seemed most concerned that “business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted” by some remarks about income inequality.

We’ve long heard complaints that TED is elitist. The annual conference in California costs $7,500 to attend and is nearly impossible to get into, even for those who can afford the price tag; it is widely considered to be “unofficially invite-only.”

Still, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t gone down a TED video rabbit hole at least once. Snobby as they may be, those TED folks sure know how to pull together some fascinating speakers and share their talks online in a compelling way. [Continues at website…]

Yeah the wealthy create jobs… for the slave-wage labor in China and Mexico.

Yeah the wealthy create jobs… for the army of lobbyists who secure the elite’s interests…

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