Archive | March, 2013

“Just a little prick”

25 Mar

Once again, let me reiterate that this is my personal opinion and others are perfectly at liberty to disagree with it.
I watched the face of a nurse at a childrens hospital when told that a certain child had not had any vaccinations.  Shock!  Horror!  The vaccination/immunisation of children is almost a religion to these people.  It’s a ‘rite of passage’ for babies and toddlers to be stuck with needles filled with dead or weakened virii along with other ‘addatives’ such as thimerasol (allegedly now removed from children’s vaccines), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), aluminium and various rogue cells from the culture mediums that vaccines are grown in, eg. eggs, bovine albumen, monkey and chicken livers. Now whether these ingredients would affect a child if only one vaccine was given is debateable, but as more and more vaccines are added to the list recommended for young children and babies, one has to wonder.

When I was a child my mother told me I’d had a diptheria vaccination but that’s the only one she could recall me having.  The polio vaccine on sugar lumps became available and my other siblings received it but I did not, I threw a tantrum and I refused to go to the surgery to get it.  I managed to evade the inevitable BCG jab when at school.  When I was nineteen I got a smallpox vaccine because it was recommended for people travelling to Spain.  Later I joined the army and was given a range of vaccinations, including the dreaded BCG which surprisingly didn’t result in a huge gooey sore on my arm as it did to my sister and many of my friends.  I remember being given a Schick test which determined whether I needed a vaccination against diptheria.  Well, obviously my original vaccination had not given me life long immunity because the test showed I should have it.  As a result of the test my left forearm itched intensely for six straight months afterwards and I never did get an explanation.

When my children came along I opted not to vaccinate them against whooping cough.  Too many people were reporting that it was damaging their children and I weighed up the odds and decided there was no way my children were getting it.  My eldest daughter received the polio vaccine when she was at school, aged six.  If I’d have known then when what I know now, that would never have happened.  My son, at sixteen, insisted he wanted the measles vaccine and despite my efforts to persuade him otherwise he was adamant, so I signed the permission slip.

Why am I, on the whole, anti vaccination?  I decided to educate myself on the history of vaccinations and what I found was not encouraging.  Some of the worse outbreaks of certain diseases happened amongst fully vaccinated populations.   Oh, but people say, diseases were drastically reduced by vaccinations.  Really?  In many cases, due to better sanitation and nutrition, those diseases were already in decline and the continuation of that decline after the introduction of vaccines was wholely ascribed to the vaccine.  Another way of boosting vaccine uptake rates was to misdiagnose (intentionally or not) a disease such as polio then revise the diagnosis criteria.

“Dr Bernard Greenberg, head of the Department of Biostatistics of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, USA, has stated that prior to the Salk vaccine, large numbers of Cocksackie virus and asceptic meningitis cases were mislabelled as paralytic polio. Following the start of polio vaccinations, no such mislabelling occurred. Following the commencement of the Salk vaccine, many polio cases were reclassified under a different name, this again, leading to statistics indicating a reduction in polio incidence. ”

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So let’s take a look at the polio vaccine that has allegedly saved so many lives.  There is a chilling video on youtube in which a Dr.Hiller is interviewed.  He worked for Merck and created a number of vaccines.  Listen to what he says about SV40, a virus that was discovered in the kidneys of monkeys used to develop the vaccine.  Listen to how he and the interviewers laugh about cancer causing agents and the introduction of the AIDS virus.  Do you think it’s funny?  Here is a short precis about what happened when SV40 was introduced into the human population.

And now we have the saintly Bill Gates intent on vaccinating all children with his polio vaccine.  He is lauded for his philanthropy (just how philanthropic are tax-exempt foundations?  Do some research!)   But he fails to address the fact that his vaccine programme has paralysed almost 48,000 children in India!  And what about the fifty plus children from a small African village that have been damaged by Gates backed meningitis vaccine MenAfriVac?  But people blithely accept his saintly status.

Oh, but vaccines are safe and any risk is slight.  Really?  How many long term studies have been carried out on vaccines to support that position?  There will be those who will guess hundreds, thousands but they’d be wrong.  The answer is zero.  Most studies are conducted over days or weeks.  So how can we sure that problems in later life are not attributable to vaccines?  Well, we can’t can we?  Is it a coincidence that Alzheimer’s disease is on the increase and at the same time older people are being encouraged to take the flu jab?  It has been reported that to take the flu jab five years in a row increases by ten the chances of a person developing Alzheimer’s.  And let’s not forget the spikes in rates of narcolepsy in children who were given the swine flu vaccine.  Eight hundred young lives in Europe, destroyed.

Do I think all vaccines are dangerous?  No, not all,  but I don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry to tell us the truth.  Vaccines are big, nay huge, money spinners and more and more vaccines are being introduced to supposedly protect children from diseases which were just normal, everyday childhood diseases a generation or so ago.  The problem with vaccines is that they do not provide life long protection and boosters are required. (yet more money for the vaccine industry)  When children usually got mumps at an early age very few suffered lasting side effects.  We now see older children and adults getting it and a disease that causes little or no problem to children can have devastating effects on adults who probably mistakenly think that their childhood vaccine has protected them.

The human immune system has developed over millions of years and as far as I know the three main ways a body can become infected is through the respiratory system, the digestive system or cuts, grazes or puncture wounds in the skin.  So the immune system has developed be ‘on guard’ for infections from these pathways.  So how do we administer vaccines?  We bypass those three pathways (except for some flu vaccines which are administered nasally)  and inject into muscle.  Way to go!  And how can we be sure that a weakened or dead virus will not elicit a weakened response so should a ‘wild’ virus attack the body the immune system will not respond sufficiently to overcome it?  Could this be why fully vaccinated people sometimes succumb to the diseases they’ve been vaccinated against?

It is interesting, I think, that an investigative journalist, Dan Olmstead once tried to find out what the autism rates were in the Pennsylvania Amish.  In general, most Amish don’t have their children vaccinated.  He found only three instances of diagnosed autism; one was an adopted Chinese child who had received vaccinations in China, another was a child who began a high pitched scream and retarded development after receiving a vaccine.  The other we don’t know about.  He inteviewed a doctor who had spent time treating Amish patients and who claimed he had never, in all his years treating the Amish been presented with a case of autism from the Amish community.  If nothing else, it makes you think.

I wouldn’t want to persuade people not to vaccinate their children but I would hope they do some research before blindly accepting the word of the pharmaceutical companies that these things are safe.  Surely it’s wise for people to be informed before they allow anything to be injected into their children.  And when a medical professional such as Andrew Wakefield puts his career on the line, please don’t just accept what you read in the mainstream media.  Find out the connections between said media, the judiciary and the big pharmaceutical companies.  I’ll give you this link to start with

By the way, did anybody ever find out if Tony Blair’s son, Leo received the MMR vaccine?  Why the reluctance of the Blair’s to say, one way or the other?


Excellent BBC dramatisation of how the MMR vaccine questions arose.


Just some thoughts

24 Mar

There is a quote, attributed to the Greek playwright Euripides, ‘Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.’   If this is true then I can’t help feeling that the gods have really got it in for the human race.  You only have to look around to see the madness that seems to have infected the world.

It’s like we can only watch in frozen impotence as wars and revolutions are breaking out across the globe.  ‘We’re spreading democracy.’ shouts  side A, while at the same time  it destroys perceived democracy for it’s own citizens.  And how do they spread it?  They arm supposed down-trodden insurgents, bomb the innocent and use weasel words like ‘collateral damage’.  ‘But we are liberating the people.’ they cry as their violence is questioned.  Liberating them from what?  Life?  Side B, proclaimed enemies of side A, eagerly accept the arms and aid from said side A and claim they’re on the side of right because they’re fighting evil dictators and spreading the word of their God.  The side of right?  Is it right to behead your ‘enemies’ in the most cruel fashion, massacre them in droves and desecrate their holy places?  Does their God even have a say in it?

Then we have the global economy.  Banksters, for that is what they are, have found all sorts of devious ways to liberate money from the people who can least afford to lose it, aided by self-serving, overpaid politicians who tell us the banks are ‘too big to fail’ – too big to jail more like.   I saw a poster on the internet which said, ‘Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.  Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.’  It would be funny if it wasn’t true.  Lloyd Blankfein claimed that Goldman Sachs was doing ‘God’s work’.  Do you think the man who overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple would agree?  Again, does God even have a say?

To be honest, I don’t know where I’m going with this post.  My head hurts just thinking about the mess this world is in.  I don’t see anything good on the horizon, just more of the same.  If there is change it will only be for the worse for the vast majority of the human race.   Humans are a pathetic species.  We look to our parents to look after us when we are children, then we grow up (or do we just grow bigger and older?)  Government takes the place of our parents. Got a problem?  Don’t worry, government will look after it. If they can’t, we can turn to God (whose phone seems eternally engaged, but then He never seems to get a say anyway).   We ignore the sage words of Albert Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  But still we go on to vote in one party, then a few years later vote in the other party, a few years later vote in the first party again, as if there is any real difference between them.  And so on and so on ad infinitum.   What changes?  Nothing unless it’s for the worse.  Politicians promise us the world and then some but as soon as they’re in power they develop amnesia.  (much like the electorate who voted them in)  And how many of those politicians, especially the ones traditionally supposed to be representing the working people, have ever done an honest day’s work in their lives?  How many of them come from privilege; private schools, then on to university, then a job in the financial world or political party heirarchy?  Why do people vote for these professional politicians who live in a cocoon of taxpayer funded comfort?  Why don’t they see that politicians of all sides answer to the same masters who are most certainly not the electorate.

When will people wake up from their television-reality-show based, alcohol sodden, fast food guzzling slumber?  Will it take a nuclear war?  If so, the way things are going,  maybe we don’t have long to wait.  Of course it will be too late by then and you can be sure those who have created the world we now live in will be safely in their underground bunkers as the rest of us are vaporized.  I just hope there will be angry survivors awaiting them as they crawl out from their lairs.  Then the whole sorry mess will start up again!

20th March, 1993

20 Mar

There are some days you remember where you were when some awful event happens.  I remember the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  It was a Friday and I was sitting in our living room looking forward to watching the latest episode of ‘Emergency Ward 10’.    I can’t remember now if the show was interrupted or if it hadn’t even started (I just know I never got to see it) but I do remember watching Mike Scott, presenter of ‘Scene at 6.30’, grim-faced, announcing the awful news.  Apparently the rest of the country didn’t hear until half an hour later.

On 19th March, 1993 I was feeling a bit down.  I was still grieving the loss of my sister to cancer a few months previously and we, the family, were still suffering at the hands of antisocial kids in our area.  After a few years of this it really wears you down.  People would ask why we didn’t move but it was not possible.  We lived on a council estate and had decided to buy our house.  Big mistake.  People don’t want to buy houses in greens or closes (except for mugs like us)  because they’re such a magnet to gangs of kids from surrounding streets, kids who feel empowered to do anything they please. Who in their right minds would pay for that sort of trouble?

Anyway, my other half suggested that he take me on a little spending spree the following day.  Now to say this was unusual is an understatement and I was probably a fool not to grab the chance.  But, strangely, I wasn’t in a shopping-spree mood.   Instead I suggested we drive over to Wales and spend the day there.  There’s nothing more soothing than to be surrounded by the hills and mountains of Snowdonia.  To breathe in the sweet, clear air and just generally drink in the beauty of the place.

The day was sunny though a little chilly and I felt invigorated.  No shopping spree could beat that feeling.  On the way back we had just passed through Ruthin and I turned on the radio for the six o’clock news.  We listened in shock as we heard that there had been an IRA bombing in Warrington that morning.   Then we realised that we had both possibly had a very lucky escape.  Warrington was where hubby suggested we go for the shopping trip.

Today at 12.27, the exact time of the bombing, there will be a minute of silence in Warrington as the victims of that awful event are remembered.  Three year old Jonathan Ball died instantly.  Twelve year old Tim Parry was horrifically wounded and died five days later.  I shall remember them also and my lucky decision not to go to Warrington that day.

The perpetrators of this outrage have never been brought to justice.

Remote Control

17 Mar

No, I’m not talking about the gadget which lets you switch channels on a tv without getting up from your chair.  I remember the days when you had to do just that.  Firstly let me explain that this is only my opinion.  I’m talking about how we, the human race are controlled from a distance.

Really?  ‘Are you serious?’, I hear you ask.  Yes I’m deadly serious.  It’s called propaganda or marketing.  There’s not a great deal of difference, I believe, between marketing a product and marketing a war or even marketing bail outs for banks.  Oh, I’m sure that there is a tweak here and a tweak there to accommodate various cultures but in the end the difference is minimal.

Why did the breakfast meal of bacon and eggs become so popular?  (Just bear with me for a while) Well, the Beechnut Packaging company in the US found that their bacon sales were lagging.  So they asked Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud to help them boost sales.  Instead of full-page ads lauding the benefits of bacon, Bernays sent a survey to physicians asking them should Americans eat a light breakfast or a hearty breakfast. Of course they overwhelmingly recommended the benefits of a good hearty breakfast.  Bernays sent these findings to 5,000 physicians who helped convince the public to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast.  People listen to ‘authority’.  And when cigarette makers wanted to increase sales Bernays persuaded women who were mostly averse to smoking, to ‘light up’ the torch (aka cigarette) against male dominance.  People like to feel empowered.  Bernays became very successful and called his method of selling ‘engineering of consent’

Now all this seems fine, who is he harming? (Apart from those with now cholesterol clogged arteries and emphysemic women)  How about the millions who died during the second world war?  Think I’m joking?  Bernays wrote books, ‘Propaganda’ and ‘Crystallizing Public Opinion’.  Guess who used the methods contained within those books?  None other than Joseph Goebbels who used them to persuaded the German people to get behind Hitler and much more besides, one suspects. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The West, US in particular want a way into Africa to exploit its resources.  So we are hearing more and more about despotic dictators who are oppressing their people. The people of the west who enjoy so many freedoms (they tell us) are being called upon to back action against said dictators. They are killing their own people, we are told,  (and that’s our job apparently). We’re told it’s noble to want to help the oppressed people (even if it means bombing them to kingdom come).  ‘They’ use all means to do so.  Remember the Kony 2012 campaign?  People, especially young idealistic people, across the western world were encouraged to join a campaign urging the capture of and bringing to trial this most evil man, Kony.  Slick, Hollywood type videos were presented demanding action be taken.  The problem was Kony hadn’t been seen for years and might even be dead and his campaign of terror in Uganda had virtually come to a halt.  It didn’t take long for these facts to emerge, mostly via the internet.  So a lot of people, instead of swallowing the propaganda began to question it. They found that it seemed that the army of Uganda was just as brutal as Kony’s side.  The fact that Uganda is sitting atop great oil deposits was never mentioned and it didn’t help the cause that the creator of the videos went stark raving bonkers and was filmed ranting, naked in the street.  Obviously the pressure got to him when his campaign was exposed as, if not a fraud, then at least a tool of Western hegemony.

Then we had the ‘Arab Spring‘ and the horrific results of that in Libya especially.  We are being sold on war in Mali, Syria and the prospect of a war with Iran.  The marketing/propagandists must be working 24/7 to ‘engineer’ our consent for these actions and at the same time telling us we must lose some of our cherished freedoms in order to protect ourselves from a force that is at once our enemy and our ally.  We are constantly warned about possible Al Qaeda attacks on our soil and at the same time arming them in Libya and Syria and god knows where else.  Where’s the logic?  Oh, it’s there but too many people don’t see it.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say for now but if by any faint chance somebody is reading this, just remember, next time you see an ad trying to sell you deodorant or fast food, that the same methods are being used to sell you on war and the restrictions of your freedoms.  Sometimes your thoughts really aren’t yours, they’ve been planted there, beware.

Thank you Tracy Emin

16 Mar

After a particularly bad night of sleep disturbance I finally, reluctantly got up to face the day.  The first thing I faced was the detritus that is my bedroom.  Not having much cupboard space in this tiny house means clothes, books, knick-knacks etc are strewn around the place.  I groaned but then a sudden thought sprung to mind. Hey!  I was actually standing in the middle of a work of art!  If it’s good enough for Tracy Emin and her fans, well it’s good enough for me!  Oh, joy! 


This got me thinking about modern art.  As Marshall McLuhan said, ‘Art is what you can get away with.’  And I wished I’d known that when I was a kid and my mother used to nag me to tidy my room.  So, I thought, what else have people gotten away with.  Well, there was Chris Ofili who incorporated elephant dung into his depiction of the Virgin Mary.  Then there was Andres Serrano who dropped a plastic crucifix into a jar of his own urine and called it Piss Christ.  How about Rick Gibson who turned two freeze dried human foetuses into earrings for a manikin?  Maybe not.  He only got away with it after a court case and appeal.  Oh, let’s not  forget Damien Hurst who cut a pregnant cow in two and pickled it.  Personally I think God should have sued him for plagiarism and I’m not sure if that was more vetinary anatomy than art., but hey, the ‘experts’ loved it.


Anyway, I decided to look at the world a little differently.  If all those examples were art then surely, apart from my messy bedroom, I should be able to find more objet d’art around the house.  As I was thinking this I smelled the awful aroma of cat poo drifting up my nostrils.

  Bloody cats!  They’ve taken to staying in over the winter so a litter tray has been provided for their toiletry needs.  Time to go and clean it out!   Then it struck me.  If elephant dung is artistic, what about cat poo?

Donning my marigolds and grabbing a black plastic rubbish bag I made my way to the litter tray.  The feline deposits were gently nestled on a bed of Morrison’s anti-bacterial cat litter.  Viewing them from every angle I decided that I could see the outline of a mushroom cloud!  Brilliant.  I could enter this into an art competition and call it ‘CATastrophe’. 

Now all I have to do is find a place that can freeze dry it for me….but on second thoughts, I really don’t want that lingering aroma around while I find such a place. Ho hum, into the bin with a potentially world class work of art.  Off to tackle that sink full of dishes…..hmmmm….I wonder……




A Rant

15 Mar

This rant came about after an exchange of tweets between myself and Samuel West, Chair of the National Campaign for Arts.  It is my opinion and I am ready to listen to anybody who does not agree with it.

Fund the Arts or fund the disabled, can we do both?  In an ideal world most definitely yes.  Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world.

Actors, writers, artists (and related occupations) do their jobs because they obviously love their profession and chose to enter it.  Would that we could all say the same.  Job satisfaction is desirable but not essential when forced to earn a living.   Some engaged in these areas may at one time or another ‘suffer’ for their art but they chose their path and if the going gets rough and jobs dry up they are perfectly able to choose another if they so wish.

The same cannot be said for many afflicted with disability.  They do not choose to be disabled and cannot change their path if help dries up; they can only suffer more.  They cannot wake up one day and say, ‘It’s too hard.  I’m shrugging off my disability and becoming able again.’   They are at the mercy of their disability and those who are able.

So, in times of austerity when funding for all sorts of projects is being cut to the bone who should take priority?  If a theatre closes and actors and others lose their jobs, it’s sad.  But no sadder than nurses, teachers, miners, factory workers or any workers losing their jobs.  Those who demand an unprofitable theatre be kept open should put their money where their mouths are and contribute or ask the more affluent for donations.  Or is that to undignified?

If a social programme is removed it is an entirely different matter.  Yes, some people may lose their jobs (see how the disabled contribute to the job market, Mr.West?)  but those already at the bottom of the heap, i.e. the disabled, will be ground even further into the dirt.  The housebound are left with fewer carers to attend their needs in such areas as personal hygiene and diet.  Parents of disabled children might very well lose their respite care or other means which help them cope in a very demanding situation.  Old people dependent on meals-on-wheels will go hungry.  These are just three examples from many I could quote.

I challenge any able-bodied person, choose a disability; study it, then try to live a week, seven short days, doing only what that disability will allow.  Or find a parent of a severely disabled child and try to imagine what life is like for them.  No matter how hard you try, you will never truly  experience the reality of the mental and emotional effects that such situations have on the disabled and their carers.

Will an actor die because he loses his job or can’t find one?  He may suffer the indignity of ‘signing on’ until he finds work and if he doesn’t he may have to leave his chosen profession.  Note those two words ‘suffer’ and ‘chosen’.   The majority of disabled people don’t just suffer indignities every single day of their lives, they SUFFER mentally, emotionally and physically.  Do you think that given a choice they would have CHOSEN to be disabled?  And it’s no great leap of the imagination to see how the most vulnerable in our society might die for lack of care or be so ground down that they want to die.  It’s hard not see an agenda here.

Those who want art should pay for art or create their own.  After all, who decides what is art and what is not.  Do you think those cave-wall artists looked to ‘experts’ to tell them?  Do you think the first storytellers anguished about not getting the right training?  Yes, art is part of culture but culture changes and so do the needs of the people.  If art as defined by the ‘experts’  cannot sustain itself then how relevant is it?  Samuel West tweeted (and I paraphrase) art is not about buying it’s about going to see. (taxpayers have been buying, if not enjoying art for years)  So can he explain to me how, due to austerity cuts, the disabled, forced to stay at home, without means to live even a semi independent life,   are able to ‘go and see’?  Or is he too busy trying to save unprofitable theatres, at taxpayers expense, to understand or even care that the disabled, who,  like the rest of the population, have hopes and dreams but above all needs and at the very least a modicum of  dignity.  I’m sorry, I’m probably being unfairly critical of him in this instance.

Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan said ‘Art is what you can get away with.’  Maybe he was right, maybe he was wrong but what is definite is that disability is something that the disabled can never get away from, at least not in this life.  Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.’  It would seem that this nation is way down the list of greatness no matter how much art there is about.

I’ve been told that I’m conflating two separate issues or, as Mr.West puts it, using a false dichotomy.  Perhaps.  He suggests that cutting art funding does not mean that the money will be spent on meals-on-wheels for example.  He may be right but one has to ask, is the money even there in the first place?  The disabled are already being penalized by government to the extent that many are suffering horrendously.  But hey!  As long as there’s a theatre open which they cannot ‘go to’, everything is fine.  Isn’t it?  Well no, it most obviously is not.  The taxpayers contribute to one pot of money but there are a myriad of deserving causes that want a cut of it.   Where should our priorities  lie?  Do we want great art or a great nation?  I’m not against funding the arts but on a scale of priorities the care of the most vulnerable members of our society must come first.  And if that doesn’t happen, then like I mentioned earlier, there must be an agenda at work, a most sinister agenda that we really don’t want to even imagine.

PS.  My apologies to Mr.West if he thinks I’m being unfair.  I’m sure he is not as uncaring as I seem to be making him out to be.  He is obviously as passionate about the arts as I am about the care of the disabled.  Maybe one day (I won’t hold my breath) we will both have our hopes fulfilled.