March 8, 2008

Vaccine related Autism

Vaccination related autism. There is a debate going on right now between the parents of a child and, not only many U.S. doctors, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The family believes she developed autism related symptoms, including arching of her back and a painful fever when she was 19 months old. The battle over whether or not there is a relation between the vaccinations that the child received and her autism like symptoms rages on even after a federal court in Atlanta ruled the vaccines did in fact trigger the encephalitis that brought on her symptoms of autism. But a doctor, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, put forward that this does not mean, without a doubt, that vaccines cause autism. It is widely believed as this story unfolds that the child is not and will not be the last victim of this. Her father has stated, “this case is echoed among thousands of similar cases”. Adding to the matter is the fact that her father is also a doctor of neurology in Athens, Georgia. He believes the core problem in the vaccines is the mercury containing agent thimerosal. Many doctors still believe that parents should still have their children vaccinated; believing that the media attached to this case could do more harm in the long run. They state that there is no evidence to support the theory that the child’s case was caused by the vaccinations and that there was nothing linking the vaccinations to the worsening of underlying mitochondrial diseases, as suffered by the child. I find as I search “Mom” sites like that many parents are now concerned about getting their children vaccinated. As a parent hearing a story like this, especially after the federal ruling, it makes me a bit concerned over whether or not vaccinations are safe any longer. But on the other side of that, what happens if we don’t get our children vaccinated. Online you can find plenty of websites that show the symptoms of diseases like measles, mumps and rubella. Is the risk of autism, still an under-studied phenomenon, worth keeping the above mentioned diseases at bay? Or are we risking too much in using these vaccinations without further evidence of what side effects they may cause.

Man made Biology

How many of us really take a close look at the manmade world around us? Have you ever noticed that most of our technology duplicates, usually on a larger scale, something that exit’s in the human anatomy? For those with a bit of a religious pull, it seems God created man and we put together our world based on our “image”. You’ve got sewage systems, treatment plants, recycling plants and food processors that duplicate our digestive system. Then there are power plants, high speed internet, phone lines and electrical lines that duplicate our nervous system. Next we have weapons like knives, clubs, etc. that duplicate our own defensive attributes (finger nails, fists, feet and hands). Finally, we have computers, calculators, monitors, televisions and other “smart” technology that directly relates to how our brains work. And this only covers a very basic overview of human biology reproduced in our technology. This list doesn’t even cover 1/100th of the relations. Plus you could create a whole other list of technology that replicates the attributes and biology of other life forms; plants and animals. In conclusion, next time you’ve got a bit of free time take a look at the world around you and think about all the ways it mirrors biological life.

Reset Button

What if we pushed the reset button on the U.S. Government and started from square one? I think I’ve come up with a way to at least get things started. First we need to rid ourselves of the idea of one person having sole power at the top, the President. Now to reform congress; we need to have a person from every ethnic group, religious group, economic group and gender group. IE: One male and one female African American Catholics from the lower class, one male and one female Caucasian Jews from the middle class, etc. We vote one person from each group and give them a place in our new congress. That way we have a governing body consisting of each group’s opinions, needs, wants and ideas. Now, we can’t have our new congress getting hungry with greed, so we make this an un-paid volunteer position, much like our city councils. Now each group has their own representation and they’re not in it for the money. This way you erase these wars of money and greed and you get rid of the ‘old rich get richer while the poor get poorer creed we all face. You give each group their own vote in the way things are run and the laws that get passed. That way, everyone works together to look out for everyone involved. As I said in the beginning, this is just a start, not a whole solution. But, I think it is a good healthy start.

What happens next ?

The ultimate question we all ask; what happens to us when we die? It’s a question that’s plagued mankind since the beginning of our existence. And, this simple question has a million sometimes complicated, sometimes very simple answers. Along with those answers, comes a lot of belief that how we live our lives affects the question of where we go when we die. You have the Christian belief that when we die we go to Heaven or Hell. But that in itself leaves a lot more questions. Do we follow the Bible to a T and say that when we die, we lay and wait in our graves ‘till the “End of Days“, rise from the dead, then go to Heaven or Hell? Or, do we go straight to Heaven or Hell when our time here is over? Do our beliefs affect our final outcome? What happens to people who’ve never even heard of or don’t follow Christianity? Do they get a “Get out of Jail Free” card because they didn’t know the rules? Do they go straight to Hell because they don’t believe in God or Christ? Or is it all based on how we live our lives, whether we’re “good” or “bad“? And can we go from being “good” to “bad” or vice versa in the last minutes of our lives here? Then you’ve got the complete opposite of all that. Do we just cease to exist? Could all of our deeds, good or bad, cease to have any true meaning when we die? I read a philosophical discussion in my philosophy book, and it went something like this: It’s smarter to believe in God and live by his rules, because that way you’ve got nothing to lose in the end. If he does exist, you go to Heaven and if he doesn’t, you cease to exist. As opposed to not believing at all, then if he does exist, you go to Hell or just cease to exist. So on one side you’ve got a win/win situation and on the other, a win/lose situation. Well that’s all for today, my brain hurts, but more shall be on its way.

Tattoo Disrimination

I’ve thought for years now, as I’ve worked at various places, about the whole “no discrimination in the workplace” deal. Of course this makes sense, because it gives you the right to work for the company you want to work for, no matter your gender, creed, economic background, ethnic background, etc. The ability to buy for yourself, your family and others by working hard and getting paid to do so. But isn’t it kind of backwards to talk about keeping the workplace free of discrimination, but still leave large groups of people treading in deep water? It’s ok for an employer to discriminate against you if you have even one “odd” piercing, one visible tattoo (not an offensive one, mind you), or if you prefer your hair to be pink or blue in color instead of being blond or brunette. I get that consumers don’t want to walk into a store and see some guy (or girl) with a blue Mohawk, a piercing or a tattoo. But isn’t it true to say that by feeding such an opinion is in fact enabling discrimination? It’s like saying, “It’s not ok to look down on or dislike that Jewish woman, but it’s perfectly okay to look down on or dislike that woman with her eyebrow ring”. Like I said, to me it seems backwards for it to be okay to discriminate against one group of people, but be under penalty of breaking the law to discriminate against another group of people. And I’ve heard the arguments about how a tattoo, piercing and hair color/style is a personal choice that one must make. I get that gender (in most cases) and race aren’t personal choices, they’re just who you are born as. But what about creed (or religion)? That’s just as much of a choice as having a blue Mohawk. So would it be okay for an employer to say, “Your religion is your choice, I don’t like your choice and I’m not going to deal with it”. That would be a big resounding NO! It would be illegal for them to make that discriminatory remark and response. So I ask you, what is the difference? Discrimination is Discrimination no matter the reason!

Crazy Weather

I don’t know if it’s just me or is anyone else thinking about how crazy the weather around the world has been over the past couple of years? Tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, mudslides, wildfires, droughts and most recently, here, in the great state of “ if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” Colorado, thunder-snow. Now, I’m no meteorologist, but it doesn’t seem like all of this was happening on such a constant basis just a mere ten years ago. I have only experienced first person the last of these occurrences, thunder-snow. But, I must say that seeing lightning and hearing thunder while there is blizzard like snow outside, is not normal. I’ve never seen it before and people that have been here for 30+ years haven’t ever heard of or seen it before. And, to top it all off, it started as a mild day, than began to snow lightly, which then turned into heavy blizzard conditions. Next, it started thundering and lightning in the middle of the blizzard. Suddenly, it’s hailing/sleeting/raining and finally, “boom” the sky is a cloudless dark blue and the stars are shining brightly. Everything from the light snow to the final clearing occurred in about an hour and a half time span. We went through all the seasons in an hour and a half. But hey, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just imagining this chaotically weird weather. But I don’t think so, and neither do a million other people.