Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

CBC News
In July 2006, Health Canada approved a vaccine that protects against the human papilloma virus, or HPV, which is responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.

HPV is said to infect half of all sexually active women between ages 18 and 22 in North America. In most women, the virus clears up on its own, but if the infection persists, it can lead to cervical cancer.

I listen to the River (93.9 FM), a Canadian radio station almost daily but only just realized that the River frequently runs a public service announcement reminding Canadian citizens of the importance in having young girls vaccinated against the HPV virus. Can you imagine the uproar in America if the CDC produced a similar public service announcement? The self-professed stewards of America's moral purity would sacrifice the health of our young women in order to avoid acknowledging that sexual experimentation is a vital component of adolescent development. Our neighbors to the North have a more mature position on sexual matters that effect public health.

Straight Talk Express - It's a Lie

The McModerate
by Christina Page
Pro-choice Americans haven't yet pegged McCain as the extreme anti-choice copy of George W. Bush he is.
When asked about his position on reproductive rights, McCain talking with the National Review advised, "I think the important thing is you look at people's voting record because sometimes rhetoric can be a little... misleading." And there's no truer statement. McCain's voting record, which NARAL Pro-Choice America scrupulously tracks, is telling. He has consistently voted against the right to a legal abortion and he has also consistently voted against contraception. McCain voted to end the Title X family planning program which is the only way millions of Americans have been able to plan their family. Title X has also been heralded as having prevented more than nine million unwanted pregnancies in the last two decades. Without Title X, the number of teenage pregnancies would have been 20% higher too. When it comes to the preventing the spread of AIDS. Bush clearly prefers Right-thinking anti-condom crusaders to scientists. It would appear McCain does too. And might similarly reward Coburn - to oversee HHS, perhaps.. More ...
McCain's health adviser is Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) a staunch pro-abstinence opponent of federally-funded family planning programs. Senator Coburn and his fellow conservatives have successfully blocked many programs designed to promote the use of condoms. McCain and Coburn believe supporting the religious conservatives' fatwa against premarital sex is more important than protecting the health of American citizens.

Critics in the HIV and STD prevention communities worry that the conservative crusade to promote abstinence outside of marriage comes at too high a cost. Undermining people's confidence in the effectiveness of condoms threatens people's health and even lives, they argue, since sex among unmarried people is common in the United States and around the world, and achieving correct and consistent condom use is difficult enough.
The Guttmacher Report on Public Policy

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Password

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Group looking into removal of female referee by religious school

Kansas activities officials are investigating a religious school's refusal to let a female referee call a boys' high school basketball game.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association said referees reported that Michelle Campbell was preparing to officiate at St. Mary's Academy near Topeka on Feb. 2 when a school official insisted that Campbell could not call the game.

The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy's beliefs. Copyright © 2008 the International Herald Tribune All rights reserved

Should one assume that all teachers at St. Mary's are males or does Father Tim visit a classroom when a corrective application of testosterone is needed? Having been raised believing that women can't exercise dominion over men, these fine St. Mary's graduates are in for big trouble relating to a female boss, police officer, or judge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Beware the Shrooms!

Two of my favorite addictions in a single experience - Grace Slick and the original Star Trek. As George Bernard Shaw once said, "Reality is a crutch for people who can't handle drugs."

Grace Under Fire

I believe we knew what Michelle Obama meant when she said that for the first time in her adult life she was “really proud of being American”. Given her current age (44), she became an adult during the reign of Ronnie Reagan. You remember Ronnie and his Iran-Contra scandal, his HUD grant rigging scandal, his EPA Super-fund scandal, his revolving-door lobbying scandal, and his Savings and Loan scandal. Then came Bush the Elder who’s only moment of fame was puking on the Japanese Prime Minister, followed by eight years of Special Investigators probing Clinton's every orifice while threatening to subpoena his penis. And worst of all, 2 terms of Bush the Younger, a man universally recognized as America’s worst president EVER!

Yea, I’ll bet there’s millions of Americans that could have honestly said the same thing. Michelle will make a great First Lady. Barack and Michelle will bring a love of education, literature, and culture that has not been seen in the White House since the Age of Camelot.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2008 Walston Chubb Award for Innovation

Dr. Patrick Usoro is a Technical Fellow at the General Motors R&D Center in Warren, Michigan. He joined GM R&D in 1985 and has led technical innovations in power train dynamics and control, transmission mechanism synthesis, advanced hybrid systems, mechatronics, and mechamatronics - a GM key strategic technology area that he initiated. His focus is on innovative technologies to enhance function, performance, efficiency and cost of future vehicle systems. He holds more than 160 U.S. patents and has published more than 50 technical papers and reports.
Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society

Congratulations to Dr. Usoro on receiving the 2008 Walston Chubb award.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Lakes Danger Zone

The Center for Public Integrity
For more than seven months, the nation’s top public health agency has blocked the publication of an exhaustive federal study of environmental hazards in the eight Great Lakes states, reportedly because it contains such potentially “alarming information” as evidence of elevated infant mortality and cancer rates.

“This research is quite important to the public health of people who reside in that area, It was done with the full knowledge and support of IJC, and many local health departments went through this in various reviews. I don’t understand why this work has not been released; it should be and it must be released. In 37 years of public service, I’ve never run into a situation like this.” Barry Johnson, retired rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service and a former assistant administrator of ATSDR. Full story....
The full report in PDF format is available for download here.

Surveillance-Industrial Complex

American Civil Liberties Union

NEW YORK - The government is rapidly increasing its ability to monitor average Americans by tapping into the growing amount of consumer data being collected by the private sector, according to a major report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"The U.S. security establishment is reaching deeper and deeper into our private lives by forcing the corporate sector to inform on the activities of individuals," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "The government has always recruited informers to help convict criminals, but today that recruitment is being computerized, automated, and used against innocent individuals on a massive scale that is unprecedented in the history of our nation."

Documents how individuals are being recruited to serve as "eyes and ears" for the authorities even after Congress rejected the infamous TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) program that would have recruited workers like cable repairmen to spy on their customers. More...
The FBI Deputizes Business (CommonDreams.org)
One business owner in the United States tells me that InfraGard members are being advised on how to prepare for a martial law situation-and what their role might be. He showed me his InfraGard card, with his name and e-mail address on the front, along with the InfraGard logo and its slogan, “Partnership for Protection.” On the back of the card were the emergency numbers that Schneck mentioned. "Then they said when-not if-martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says. More ...
In addition to ATT and Verizon, how many other companies are providing the details of our private lives to federal agencies for purposes that can only be understood as threatening?

"Fearful people are more dependent, more easily manipulated and controlled, more susceptible to deceptively simple, strong, tough measures and hard-line postures. … They may accept and even welcome repression if it promises to relieve their insecurities."
George Gerbner
, Annenberg School for Communication

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Big Dick Cheney Exposed

Former Exec: Enzyte Ads all Lies.

The ads featured a glowing customer satisfaction survey, testimonials from happy Enzyte users, a promise of better sex within 30 days and a claim that a Harvard doctor developed the pill’s formula.

But a company executive who helped sell Enzyte says there was a catch: None of it was true. ADVERTISEMENT

James Teegarden Jr., the former vice president of operations at Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, explained Tuesday in U.S. District Court how he and others at the company made up much of the content that appeared in Enzyte ads. He said employees of the Forest Park company created fictitious doctors to endorse the pills, fabricated a customer satisfaction survey and made up numbers to back up claims about Enzyte’s effectiveness.

“So all this is a fiction?” Judge S. Arthur Spiegel asked about some of the claims.
“That’s correct, your honor,” Teegarden said. More ...

Whenever I see that damn ad with smiling Bob, I think of Robin Williams' comment, "The problem is God gave men a penis and a brain - but only enough blood to run one at a time."

Neil Young's "Flags of Freedom"