The big question on many parents’ minds is whether to get their children vaccinated. I can remember having the same discussion many years ago when our children were at the age to be vaccinated. Having read some of the many articles telling of the possible complications and even death associated with the vaccines, of which there are many, I was forced to make a decision about my children’s health. They were born prior to the information age, which limited our sources of ideas and opinions. Sometimes one must make decisions based on whom one believes. When I say who, I am referring to the medical, the corporate, the media and the underground communities. I think it is important to realize that these four entities sometimes purposely blur the lines to further their cause and make our work as parents even more difficult.
The truly difficult reality of this dilemma is that all sides are somewhat correct. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few situations that support my idea. I wonder what percentage of the population is allergic to peanuts. There are some individuals who, left untreated, will die from exposure to a savory legume. A friend of mine carries two injections of allergy medication with him at all times in case he is stung by a bee. If I place a cream on my lips with sulfa drug in it, two hours later I will have what many refer to as a panic attack. These are just a few examples of the allergic reactions that can occur in everyday-life. Now consider these vaccinations which carry many different substances that may cause some kind of negative reaction to the recipient. Yes, there will be some consequences to these shots! Will every single person who is vaccinated react in the exact same way? No! Will there be reactions that we cannot even predict or understand? Yes! If you would like to read the data on this, go to; http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00046738.htm Sometimes the good of the many outweighs the good of the few. This is a powerful statement and I sometimes think it applies and sometimes it does not. Of course, there is the other version, Sometimes the good of the few outweighs the good of the many which is a little more difficult to defend. Should you get your child vaccinated? Yes, for the simple reason: you are not alone in this war against germs! If one lived in a shack in the middle of the tundra, vaccinations would be of little consequence, but to live in a crowded urban environment is another completely different issue. Another point one must deal with is the statistical data. Which is more statistically probable, that your child has a negative reaction to a vaccination or that he or she contracts polio or measles or any of a multitude of diseases we now vaccinate against? I think you will find that the chance of getting one of these afflictions will be a much higher probability than a reaction from the vaccine. But, the final decision is yours as the parent. If you choose to keep the child unvaccinated, your child will not be allowed to attend public school. It makes perfect sense to have your child inoculated when you put hundreds and sometimes thousands of hygiene-challenged youths together in a relatively small place.
Yes, the world is becoming a more and more complex system forcing us to deal with increasingly difficult ideas and concepts, but there is a considerable amount of good out there. We have fewer deaths from these old-world diseases than ever before and some of them are close to being 100% eliminated. So suck it up parents, and make the difficult decision with the awareness that there may be consequences for extremely small number of children. Chances are better that you are struck by lightning than to have a negative effect from a shot. And look at this from the other side of the table: What if your child is infected and gets polio from a child whose parents refused to vaccinate? Then it takes on a whole different appearance!
There was no applause, or for that matter, there was very little conversation as the audience left the theater in a mild state of shock. American Sniper is a remarkably powerful movie that shows the horrendous effects of war on the individuals who risk their lives in the line of duty. Our young men and women leave home ready to sacrifice their lives for this country, which will in large part ignore them as soon as they take off the uniform. Only in recent years have our arm services even considered the fact that soldiers may come home deeply emotionally damaged. Yet, we glorify war in all its manifestations in order to convince young people to sign their names at the bottom of the page promising to unselfishly give their lives, if required, to their country.
In the late 1960s and early 70s our country was engaged in a long and bitter conflict in South East Asia ( Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos). This was a brutal encounter in a land of jungles and mosquito-infested swamps. Before an armistice was signed more than 58,000 American solders died in combat. To this day, there is no sufficient explanation as to why we were even there. One possibility was the existence of large oil reserves off the coast of Vietnam. I, like many young people, did not want to participate in this very unpopular war. Due to the large number of deaths and lack of commitment from the public, the military began to rely heavily on the draft to maintain its ranks. When I graduated from high school, I received a draft lottery number (based on my birth date) which determined when or if I would be drafted. I was fortunate to receive a high number which considerably reduced my chances of being drafted. Had I been drafted, I am not sure what I would have done to avoid this highly problematic war.
Now, let us fast forward almost 50 years when America is engaged in another bloody conflict with no true understanding as to why we, as a country, are involved at all. I watch the many vets return from battle without legs or arms or emotionally damaged beyond full repair, and so I shed an unseeable tear. The pain that these families must endure makes me ache inside and yet I can only imagine what it must be like for them.
In the movie, Chris Kyle was portrayed as an remarkable person, and more important for this movie, an extraordinary marksman. He was an average American, born and raised in Texas, a state that is better armed than most counties. He grew up with guns and believed that any time our country wants to destroy another country, it is permissible. Combine his talent for shooting, his resilient personality and his love of country, and you have an exemplary solider ready to take down the enemy as directed. Due to his strength of will, he was able to return to the conflict four times, but after each tour of duty a small part of his humanity was left behind on the blood-soaked battlefield he navigated. During his fourth tour he was nearly killed, at which time, he called his wife to say, “I am ready to come home.”
I admit that there have been times when we were forced to defend our freedom, and if need be, die for what we believe, but this endless sacrificing of our men and women in conflicts for reasons most of us do not understand must come to an end! This country has sacrificed far too many of our fellow Americans to the Gods of War. If you do not concur, I suggest that you travel to Arlington Cemetery outside of Washington, DC to walk past the thousands of graves of fallen Americans. Every time I go there I cry uncontrollably as I think of the great loss of life evident there.
Our soldiers, for the most part, are extraordinary people, as in the case of Chris Kyle, who in the end gave his life for his country. I only wish that our soldiers’ many talent’s could be used to make the world a more peaceful place. Some, perhaps many, soldiers may have been used by the Gods of War to further our nation’s agenda and that is to the great shame of our leaders!
Going Green is one of the largest economic and media hoax’s ever contrived. The words Going Green are synonymous with all the virtues of being a good citizen. These words have crept into every avenue of life. When I first ran across the phrase, I felt that the idea of going green seemed to be a good idea and the concept sounded fantastic, but the realities of the expression are not an accurate reflection of the real world we live in. When I hear the media explain how a certain company or product is so very green, it sometimes makes me ill. One of these companies claims that its car is the greenest vehicles on the planet. This may be some what true, but to say that its car is green in any way is so far from the truth. First and most importantly, a car burns fuel for its entire life which puts a hugh amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Secondly, every time one changes oil one is potentially placing oil in the environment to some degree. Thirdly, when a driver applies the brakes, he is depositing small particles of chemical dust onto the roadway, which will be inevitably washed into the groundwater and eventually the streams and ocean. Fourthly, the very process of manufacturing the many parts that make up a car produces a multitude pollutants. Fifthly, someday the car will cease to run and then much of it will be sent to a landfill to become part of our ever-increasing accumulation of trash . Much of the modern car is made from plastic which in turn is made from oil and other chemicals, some of which are extremely dangerous to us and our environment. Although we are told that these plastics are recyclable, this is only marginally true. Most products are made from what is referred to as “virgin plastic” which means that there are no recycled plastics in it, including all food containers. The main use for recycled plastic is all the synthetic wood we see in park benches and outdoor decking. Although it may take a while, eventually there products will join the constant accumulation of trash we are creating worldwide.
I know that this all sounds pretty depressing but sometimes the truth is that way. The only way to be truly green is to live in the woods with absolutely no man-made products. That includes electricity! You may say, “What if I use solar or wind to make my electricity?” Well, the very equipment you use to collect these forms of energy such solar cells or wind mills had to be manufactured. In order to be faithful to the true meaning of GREEN, one must live like a wild animal in the woods. Even this scenario has its problems were a population to grows too large such that it alters definitively the existing ecosystem.
What I am proposing here is an international GREEN RATING, ranging from one to ten and would therefore reflect the total severity of the impact a product has on the planet. This number would measure: recycleabilty, damage to the environment during production, impact of shipping to user and finally, disposability. No product would ever receive a perfect score of zero, but hopefully, as we approach the climax of this environmental time bomb, there would be an attempt to improve what we might call the Consumer Resource Accounting Parameter (CRAP). Education is the key to most of earths severe environmental problems; that said, the CRAP number could possibly be the beginning of this process of restoring our planet.
Of course, like most new ideas, there would be problems with this at first. Consider the car as a ready example; there is an infinite number of parts and materials in a car so that the CRAP number would be a very complex calculation arrive at. This is when computer technology could be helpful with a program that would be capable of taking into account what could possibly amount to millions of factors expressed as one easily read number. Once people are educated about the CRAP number, there would hopefully be a movement to try to decrease humanity’s environmental footprint. This would in turn delay the doomsday we are headed for. The reader may say, “What is the point of all of this if we are heading towards an unavoidable calamitous conclusion. Why even try?” The final truth is this: we are on space ship Earth. She has only a finite amount of resources and can only absorb so much pollution before she simply dies. Even if we get all the CRAP’s down to 1 or less, we are still using resources, and we will someday run out. But, what is the alternative? Until we are capable of flying off to the stars, this is our only home What do you think the CRAP number would be for building a star ship? I think it would be pretty close to 10!