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McCamy Taylor

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 14,470

About Me

Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/

Journal Archives

A Question Corporate Fascist America Does Not Want You to Ask: Who Benefits from “White Privilege?"

Easy, right? White guys. Not so fast. So called “white privilege” is not really about rewarding people for their lack of melanin---although most of the folks who benefit from it are fairly deficient in skin pigment. Racial politics in America has very little to do with the way that your body absorbs the sun’s rays to create Vitamin D to prevent rickets and much more to do with corporate profits. And “white privilege” only works if a very large number of white folks are dirt poor and mad as hell—at the wrong people.

Way back in the 19th century, American capitalists learned that they could keep wages down, by pitting different groups of workers against each other. Most often that meant one immigrant group versus another immigrant group. Or one religious group against another. Any way you could divide people---by gender, age, skin color, language---the bosses could divide and conquer workers, employing the most oppressed, desperate group as scab labor to break the strikes of the slightly more empowered groups. If your Germans demanded an eight hour day, the factory owner could point out the Italians newly arrived on America’s shores. Rather than hating the bosses, the Germans turned their rage on the Italians.

After the “Levee Broke” in the 1920s and rural Black farmworkers fled the South for the North, Blacks became the low wage workers of choice for capitalists intent upon keeping salaries low. Now, it’s Latinos coming up from Mexico and Central and South America who are being presented as the villains who are “forcing” wages down.

The problem with this rotating immigrants game is that eventually, the latest wave of immigrants gets absorbed into American mainstream culture---and then there is no more divide and conquer. All the workers see each other as fellow Americans. They start looking out for each other’s best interests---you know, unions, universal health care. The 1% stops being massively insanely rich and is only ridiculously rich---and they can’t have that. They are too scared of what might happen if their own personal house of cards were to collapse. In the secret heart of every billionaire, there lurks the specter of Enron and Ken Lay. And so, they plot and scheme to do what capitalists have been doing since the dawn of industrial capitalism--- harness the state to prop them up. That’s what fascism is really all about. The tax coffers of the people laid at the feet of the factory owners, so that they need never fear going without foie gras . The people’s army ready to defend their financial interests in Nicaragua and Iraq.

What does “white privilege” have to do with fascism? Everything. Here’s a definition of fascism from Robert O. Paxton from the book Anatomy of Fascism:

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.



Key characteristics
1.“At bottom is a passionate nationalism”
2.“a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions”
3.“the belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against its enemies, both internal and external”
4.dread of the group's decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences”
5.“the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary”

The key word here is “decline.” Create a myth---a myth of an America in which every white man was once king of his castle. Never mind that up until the post WWII period, most workers of all colors labored long hours, died penniless and had no real power. Whisper into the ears of white folks “Hey, I know you’re just a working Joe, but you and I have something in common. We’re both REAL Americans. You know what I mean. Those unions want to take away your job. They want to give it to some ____. But because you’re like me, I’m going to look out for you. I’m going to protect you. As long as you stay out of that union.” When the issue of health care comes up, whisper into those same working class white ears “I know you really need that surgery, but we both know that those Mexicans down the street would just use this insurance to have more babies. And then, you’d be out of a job. Trust me. I have a plan to get rid of those Mexicans that are making me pay such low wages. Then, you can get your old job at the mill back with your old wage and your old benefits. Would I lie to you? Look at me? We’re alike, you and me. The same color.” When the subject gets around to the mortgage crisis and the banks “Hey, it wasn’t the bankers. It was all those dumb____ trying to buy houses they could not afford. That’s why you lost your house. I’d give you a house, except the ____s would have a fit. Just you wait. I have a secret plan. Once things get bad enough, we’ll get rid them of them. You just be sure you’re ready. Be sure you have plenty of guns and ammo. Because the president is one of them.”

Those who have been trying to engineer a corporate fascist coup in America are running out of time. Pretty soon, white folks will no longer be the majority. That’s why we see them resorting to desperate tactics, like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United. Their tactics are so extreme that they are likely to torpedo their own movement----Americans value their rugged individualism and it will be extremely difficult to get a majority of them to agree about anything, especially about a cause that demands that they “abandon democratic liberties”--aka goose step. Our ancestors left other countries precisely because we were so pissed at being told what to do. However, that will not stop the corporate fascists from trying---and from hurting a whole lot of folks, including a great many of their so called “privileged” white brothers and sisters, deliberately, in order to provoke them. And so, they engineered the Bush recession, the housing crisis, the unemployment crisis and they have all but shut down the government, knowing that the worse the economy gets and the more people suffer, the easier it will be to feed some folks their lies. Tens of thousands of people will die from their refusal to expand Medicaid in 24 states. This includes lots of so called "privileged" white folks. That's what they are hoping for. That is what they are counting on. That is the terrifying evil at the heart of corporate fascism---it treats real live human beings---including children--as commodities. It makes cannon fodder out of innocent babies. And the only hope any of these folks have is if they manage to resist the lure of the lie of "white privilege", turn off Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, get out there and make their real needs and wishes known.

"White privilege" is a poison, a lie, every bit as toxic as the myth of "frail femininity" that has kept women working for a fraction of what men make for centuries. It needs to be purged from our psyche and replaced with human values like kindness and compassion.



Tears for those who were martyred in Chicago in 1887 and those they left behind. Solidarity!


Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat May 24, 2014, 08:29 PM (5 replies)

It Takes a Child to Raise a Village

Intro: Neil Gaiman's short and sweet piece about war from the point of view of children ( http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=4993504 ) got me thinking today. Yes, I know that's a dangerous thing to do. And not very American. Plus, last night, I was reading a thread in which several people complained that there were fewer "long" OPs at DU and fewer OP's with links. So, I thought What the hell! I'll pretend this is 2007, the "Good old days" when we still had attention spans and people still read OPs that were longer than two paragraphs and contained complete sentences.

Warning! Extremely long thread ahead. No, not as long as some of the Moby Dick-esque threads I used to write, that often had to be broken down into three or four parts, because they were so monstrously, hideously long. But if you have places to go and things to do, I would skip this one, because I don't sum it up in the opening and closing paragraphs, the way that journalists are taught to do, so if you don't read what comes in the middle, you'll probably miss something. Also, extreme Corsi Warning! because I link something I wrote myself, way back when I was still doing Gone With the Wind length threads. And, if you don't know what a "Corsi" is, that is what Google is for.

Ok, now that I've completely alienated everyone, here is the actual OP. Why would I want to alienate my readers? To put you in the driver's seat. To remind you that "You are the OP you read, and the OP becomes the OP you read" to paraphrase Wallace Stevens "Idea of Order in Key West". You know what a Readerly Text is, don't you? If you need to refresh you memory, here is a link to "The Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes.

http://www.deathoftheauthor.com/

Thus is revealed the total existence of writing: a text is made of multiple writings, drawn from many cultures and entering into mutual relations of dialogue, parody, contestation, but there is one place where this multiplicity is focused and that place is the reader, not, as was hitherto said, the author. The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost; a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination. Yet this destination cannot any longer be personal: the reader is without history, biography, psychology; he is simply that someone who holds together in a single field all the traces by which the written text is constituted. Which is why it is derisory to condemn the new writing in the name of a humanism hypocritically turned champion of the reader’s rights. Classic criticism has never paid any attention to the reader; for it, the writer is the only person in literature. We are now beginning to let ourselves be fooled no longer by the arrogant antiphrastical recriminations of good society in favour of the very thing it sets aside, ignores, smothers, or destroys; we know that to give writing its future, it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author.


Now that this OP has been thoroughly McCamy-fied, here it is, the actual topic du jour:


It Takes a Child to Raise a Village


Personal liberty or group safety----a conflict as old as civilization. Which is more important? My right to own a handgun or society’s right not to be shot to hell when someone gets into the 12 Item Only Express checkout line with 13 items in his cart? Society’s right, obviously. Which is more important, my right to own a handgun or my potential rapist’s right not to get his balls shot off when I pull out my piece and aim it between his legs? My right, of course. We could play this game forever.

If you want to find answers, sometimes you have to ask the right questions. How many children are killed or injured each year with guns in this country? 10,000.

http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/the-toll-gun-violence-children

The thought of 10000 children, some of them toddlers, injured or dead is not enough to make you cry? Ok, how about a visual to go along with the cold, hard numbers.



http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/03/04/year-old-gunshot-victims-skull-preserved-abdomen/

A 3-year-old boy from Arizona is exceeding doctors’ expectations after he shot himself in the head with a gun he found under a couch in his great-grandmother's house.
As a result of the incident, Landon Smith can’t move the left side of his body and surgeons had to remove half of his skull, which is now being preserved inside the toddler’s abdomen, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported.
Landon was visiting his great-grandmother in Cave Creek, Ariz., last month when he found a loaded gun underneath a couch. The gun went off, sending a bullet into his head, above his right eye before it exited out of the back.


No one, not even the NRA would argue that the deaths and serious injuries of these children are desirable. They are evidence that something is very wrong in our country. We have a serious gun safety problem. So, the real question is not whether we should own guns. We need to ask ourselves How do we make the guns we own more safe? The NRA will hem and haw and claim that this is a back door way to limit their Second Amendment Rights. I suggest that this is the Child's Way to Raise a Safer, Saner Village.

National security or other nation’s right to self- determination. Which is more important? Do I have a right to lob a missile into your backyard if you blockade my country? Certainly not! Do I have a right to invade your country if you hijack a plane and crash it into a tower full of my citizens? You betcha! If you examine these two scenarios closely, you will realize that when it comes to conflict between countries, the smaller countries are screwed. Anything they do---and they have very few options---will be the “wrong” choice. Anything the powerful country does will be “right” because the word rhymes with “might.” So, why are there any weak countries left in the world? Because, whenever violence erupts and the powerful nations proclaim that they can do whatever the fuck they want to do, some inconvenient person reminds everyone about the effects of war on children. Way back when, during one of those conflicts that give Democrats the moral willies, because we are supposed to support one side, but we cannot help but feel sorry for the other, too, I wrote a generic piece about Children and War. I called it “’To Kill the Big Rats You Have to Kill the Little Rats: Children and War’”. It’s still online in my old DU Journal Archive. It's very long and depressing, so I suggest bookmarking it to read later and then forgetting it. http://journals.democraticunderground.com/McCamy%20Taylor/357 .



War is easy. We all know that war is bad. What about wealth disparity? What about poverty? What about health disparity? Those of us who were raised Baptist were taught that God elects the chosen before birth and that He rewards them with material wealth in this lifetime to show that they have been chosen. Therefore, anyone who is poor and hungry and sick, deserves to be poor and hungry and sick. We are taught in school that America is the land of opportunity and that everyone has a chance to get an education and a career and become a millionaire. We are told that the poor are poor because they are too lazy to work---

But what about poor children? What about hungry children? What about a child whose mother gets breast cancer, and because their state opted out of the Medicaid expansion, Mom cannot get timely treatment and she dies, leaving him in foster care, where no one thrives? What about a child whose father suffers from mental illness which he cannot afford to treat and therefore, he is sent to prison, leaving the family homeless, hungry, destitute? Sick and poor are two words that go together, because illness is the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country. When the breadwinner gets sick, he or she can no longer work. There goes the health insurance. Meanwhile, the medical bills keep piling up. And, without health insurance, health care options become limited. There is no chance for a “cure” that might get the bread winner back to work. The best the family can hope for is an occasional “patch up” in the Emergency Room---and twenty or thirty thousand dollars more in debt---that keeps Mom or Dad just barely alive---and the kids hungry, cold and homeless.

Individual responsibility versus the “nanny state”, which is more important? Do we coddle those who allow themselves to get sick with cancer or lupus or who happen to be standing in the wrong place when a building collapses? If I told you that every forty year old dying needlessly of preventable heart disease comes with a ten year old son who knows that his father is dying and every thirty year old woman dying needlessly of breast cancer that could have been cured with a simple surgery has a six year old daughter who does not know that Mom won't be here next year, but she knows that they had to give up the dog because they lost the house and she knows Mom cries herself to sleep each night because of the pain...

Would that make you see things differently? Could those children teach us how we ought to raise our village?


Personal health versus the "Health" of the Economy. What about the child that is born with birth defects, because of pollution in our water that ended up in the fish its mother ate while pregnant? What about the boy who loses his father to lung cancer, because we had to make sure that tobacco farmers got a good price for their crop? If we could see through their eyes, would we run our village differently?

http://whyquit.com/whyquit/BryanLeeCurtis.html








Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat May 24, 2014, 05:21 PM (0 replies)

John Conyers Appreciation Thread

Just because. And because anyone who was on Nixon's Enemies list is a national treasure.





I love you! I loved you during the Clinton Impeachment! I loved you during Grand Theft Election Ohio! I loved you during Downing Street Memos! I love you still! You are the best in Congress and you are MY Congressman, even though I live in Texas. So, you better stay in Congress and stay vocal for all of, especially those of us who don't have anyone who speaks for us.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Fri May 23, 2014, 08:39 PM (15 replies)

Why is Turdblossom Talking about Hillary?

Two possibilities. One, Turdblossom has had a stroke of his own--but I don't think they would put him on TV if he was a blithering brain dead idiot.

Or Two, he realizes that the GOP has NO winner topics to run on this fall. The ACA helps dems. Ben-gay-gate is nothing. The GOP House is a laughing stock. Everyone hates the Kochs. So, he is going to try to make this fall's midterm elections be all about something that the GOP base can get together on---

---their hatred of Hillary.


So, cool. Let Turdblossom hate on Hillary. Meanwhile, I am going to focus on all the millions of people who are being denied healthcare by their own elected officials who think that genocide by lack of health care is the way to get ahead in the Republican Party (i.e Rick Perry). I dream of a 2016 in which any Republican who said "No" to the Medicaid expansion discovers that he is a pariah even among the GOP. Won't happen, but I can dream.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue May 20, 2014, 08:37 AM (27 replies)

The Politics of Reasonable Fear

I don't like the politics of fear. But some fears are reasonable. Right now, rural emergency rooms all across Georgia are closing for lack of funding. According to a story I read yesterday, Macon County has no emergency room. The lack of Medicaid expansion will be the nail in the coffin of rural care for many states. And without rural hospitals, people who live in the country do not have a fighting chance to survive their strokes and heart attacks. Without the ACA and the Medicaid expansion, people will not get care when they need it and they will die needlessly.

If you live in one of the 26 states that took the Medicaid expansion, you dodged a bullet. However, what happens if all that Citizens United money is used to elect a veto proof Republican Super Majority in Congress? The very first thing that will happen is your Medicaid and your ACA will be canceled. Because someone in the GOP decided to call your insurance Obamacare---and they hate Obama. Yes, it can happen to you.

Right now, hospitals are closing and people are dying for lack of health care equality in this country. The national press will not report on the story. The national press has never heard about Macon County. It is up to Democrats to tell the story of poor and rural Red state America as it suffers from the lack of health insurance. So that everyone knows exactly what is the worst that can happen if they decide to sit this one out this fall.

It's very simple. If you like your new health insurance, go to the poll to protect it and to help others get it, too. If you wish that you had been offered the chance to get health insurance, go to the polls to make your voice heard. And, since the GOP will try to distract us with a lot of this and a lot of that, it will be up to Democrats to keep us all on topic in the most effective way---by putting a human face on the suffering caused by lack of health care. If you know of someone who is sick or dying for lack of insurance that someone in another state got, encourage your friend to share his or her story.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue May 20, 2014, 08:21 AM (0 replies)

Democrats OWN the Center: I'm Not Giving It Back Without a Fight

Ok, my two cents worth. Carter did not lose because he moved to the center. Carter lost, because some very bad people made a deal with the Iranians to exchange Hostages for Votes. McGovern lost by a landslide in 1972, because the GOP was able to portray him as the “Abortion, Acid and Amnesty” candidate—he had spent so much time courting the left wing of his own party in the primary, there was really no time for him to move back to the center for the general. And right now, with the Tea Baggers jettisoning their own semi-sane Republican incumbents in a rite of Calvinist slash and burn frenzy that would make the Salem Witch Hunters proud and replacing them with GOP candidates who are so crazy, so extreme, so far out in far out right field that Goldwater of 1964 would have said “What’s up with these guys?”---

Now is the time for the Democratic Party to proclaim “Hey, America, who are you gonna trust? Those crazy extremists who want to take away your Mom’s Medicare and Social Security? The ones who want to arm kindergarten teachers? The ones who want to privatize your fire department? The ones who would rather see your wife die from being pregnant than allow her to get an abortion? The ones who think that Blacks had it better under slavery? The ones who think that children born to undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay---as indentured servants, not subject to ordinary labor laws? The ones who want to criminalize sex? The ones who want the Bible---their version of the Bible—taught to your kids in school? The ones who want to wage holy war against Muslims? The ones who want to cut taxes on the rich while raising them on the working class? The ones who think you should get your health care in the Emergency Room? The ones who think that corporations are citizens and that the more money a citizen has, the more influence he should have in a democracy?”

Now is the time for Democrats to remind Americans that our party stands for equality for all before the law---a good old fashioned American value, straight out of the Bill of Rights. Democrats stand for freedom of religion. We stand for the right to privacy. We stand for one person, one vote. We stand for marriage---for all. We stand for children---including children’s safety and health. We stand for a country where no child should go to bed hungry at night. We stand for families---and we won’t stand for having families split apart, so that Dad can be sent to fight a war of choice for oil or that Mom can be sent “back” to a country she never knew where she could be killed.

Citizens United gave some rich folks the right to buy a party. They bought the Republican Party. They filled it with a bunch of kooks who are so far right that only a well-paid media whore could love---no, no one can love them---only a well-paid media whore can stomach them. And now, their party full of kooky, crazy Tea Baggers is having a very hard time trying to connect with ordinary Americans, because they say the kinds of things that only 1% of Americans want to hear. Imagine that.

Since this is politics and not a game of golf or darts, there is no reason why the Democrats have to offer to accept a handicap in order to make the upcoming elections more “sporting.” We do not have to say “Oh, you poor Republicans. Your corporate masters have saddled you with a lot of brainless, right wing zombies. Here, we’ll move on over to the far left, so that it will be a better contest.” We would be fools to make such an offer. Since the GOP has abandoned the Center of the Road as if the Center of the Road has a horrible infestation of cooties, I suggest---no, I demand that we stake a claim to the Center of the Road. We are supposed to be the Big Umbrella. We are supposed to be the party that represents as many people as possible. Seems to me that the Big Umbrella will catch more folks in its shade if we set it up right in the middle of the road where all the traffic will be going. And then, if I may stretch the metaphor, maybe we can gently nudge the traffic and get it moving in a direction that will benefit all of us, economically, socially, emotionally, culturally---

The trick will be resisting those within our own party who look at the Tea Baggers way, way off in right field and then look at us in the center of the road and then look at the Tea Baggers, so very, very far away with their "Privatize Medicare Now!" and "No Gay Marriage ever" and then look at us and then look at the Tea Baggers who call children on food stamps "feral" and then look at Hillary Clinton and proclaim "Hillary is the same as Ted Cruz! Eeek!" Just like all those folks back in 2000 who said "Gore is the same as Bush" though they could not have told you a single thing that Bush did as governor of Texas, because if they could, they would have known that Bush was never the same as Gore. They just liked the way that sounded "Gore is the same as Bush. Yeah, that sounds like something a political rebel would say. I'm a rebel. I wear white shoes after Labor Day!"

The Center of the Road is not a bad place. The Center of the Road is where most of the people who need our help---working class Americans of all colors, religions, ethnicities who are struggling to keep their jobs, their homes, their retirement savings---live in a democracy. It is Nancy Reagan's Morning in America, and while her campaign was a bunch of lies, if the Democrats promise the same thing, we can deliver. Oh, and if I remember 1984 (which I do) all of my liberal friends were absolutely delighted with the Democratic ticket--that got trounced by Reagan. Proving that going "center" was not what did us in.


Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun May 18, 2014, 09:05 PM (11 replies)

U.S. Health Care Spending 17.9% of GNP in 2011...Do You Feel Healthier Yet?

Rhetorical question. Of course you don't. The US spends over twice as much per person per year on health care costs and yet our health indicators would put most second world countries like Mexico and Eastern Europe to shame. Our infant mortality is high. In many rural counties life expectancy for women is going down not up. And yet, we spend money like there is no tomorrow---on end of life care for people who are going to die, so we stick them in an ICU and bill their insurers hundreds of thousands of dollars so that they can die in style. If anyone demands to know why it costs so much to die in this country we are told hospitals fear malpractice suits--but is a grieving family really going to sue because their dying relative did not get an extra machine that goes "ping"? Often, relatives watch in horror as the health care industry takes over what should be a natural part of life---death---and turns it into something macabre. Why?

The rest of the world knows that we are crazy---and they love it. When we tried to control Medicare Part D costs, the British Pharmaceutical industry protested. If they couldn't sell their drugs in the US at inflated costs, how could they give their own countrymen discounts on the same drugs? Think about it. Your mother and father on a fixed income pay more for their medicine so that Brits on National Health can get cheaper government subsidized health. Why?

We have the fast food industry encouraging us to get fat, the petrochemical industry encouraging us NOT to walk and to breathe crappy air, and the government can barely get a word in edgewise with its wimpy, underfunded public health campaigns. We have private insurers that know that the minute we get truly sick we will go on Medicare or Medicaid, so they are not going to waste any money on disease prevention. We have a private pharmaceutical industry which dreams of the day that everyone in this country has to take 10 or 20 pills just to stay alive---they are not pushing for more disease prevention. We have medical schools that keep turning out specialists who want to fix your diseased coronary arteries and replace your diseased hips but very few who want to keep those arteries and hips healthy, because there is no money in that, and without money they can not pay off their enormous education debt....

If a single insurer was going to be responsible for all of your medical bills from the moment you were born to the moment you died, that insurer would have specialists crunching the numbers, analyzing the data, doing research, figuring out the cheapest most effective way to keep us healthiest longest--because that insurer would make a lot of money for doing it. The insurer could Blue Cross. It could be Aetna. It could be Medicare. It could be the governments of France or Canada that spend half as much per person as the US to get excellent health quality results. As long as we hop-scotch from insurance to insurance--and occasionally off insurance--and finally onto government financed insurance, public health and efforts at disease prevention will remain a joke in this country.

If you make a best selling diabetic medication, who is your best friend? Coca-cola and Big Gulp. If you make a best selling COPD medication, you love R.J. Reynolds and car emissions. If you make a killing sell heart medications, you hope that we spend the next fifty years eating at McDonalds. If you make prosthetic knees, you love all of the above.

Face it my friend, to the Medical Industrial Complex, we are rats in a maze being force fed, forced to breathe smoke, confined to small spaces where we can not exercise and then subject to inhuman experiments that are heavily funded for the good of the profits of the Medical Industrial Complex, not the good of the rats in the maze. Pretty soon, the entire world--China, India, everywhere---is going to make its money making the drugs and machines and tubing that we need to continue our pathetic barely human existence---

---unless we decide to take charge and start living like healthy human beings again.

Eat less, exercise more, don't smoke, sign up for ACA, get a check up, insist that your community clean up its air and its water, eat organic, say no to toxic chemicals, say no to Frankenstein foods---if you really want to stick it to 1%, it is a great place to start. They will hate you for it. Hell, they will probably consider you un-American.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat May 17, 2014, 10:56 PM (3 replies)

Let's Be Accurate: The MMR Vaccine is Not Associated With Autism. But Neonatal Hep B in Males...

Here is the link to the study:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24814559

Here is the abstract:

There has been enormous debate regarding the possibility of a link between childhood vaccinations and the subsequent development of autism. This has in recent times become a major public health issue with vaccine preventable diseases increasing in the community due to the fear of a 'link' between vaccinations and autism. We performed a meta-analysis to summarise available evidence from case-control and cohort studies on this topic (MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar up to April, 2014). Eligible studies assessed the relationship between vaccine administration and the subsequent development of autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Two reviewers extracted data on study characteristics, methods, and outcomes. Disagreement was resolved by consensus with another author. Five cohort studies involving 1,256,407 children, and five case-control studies involving 9920 children were included in this analysis. The cohort data revealed no relationship between vaccination and autism (OR: 0.99; 95% CI: 0.92 to 1.06) or ASD (OR: 0.91; 95% CI: 0.68 to 1.20), or MMR (OR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.01), or thimerosal (OR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.77 to 1.31), or mercury (Hg) (OR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.07). Similarly the case-control data found no evidence for increased risk of developing autism or ASD following MMR, Hg, or thimerosal exposure when grouped by condition (OR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.83 to 0.98; p=0.02) or grouped by exposure type (OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.95; p=0.01). Findings of this meta-analysis suggest that vaccinations are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the components of the vaccines (thimerosal or mercury) or multiple vaccines (MMR) are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder.


Note that MMR was cleared. MMR was suspected because it is given at around 1 year of life. One year is when children typically walk and talk. If they do not walk and talk, the parents think back to the thing that happened right before they did not walk and talk---and they remember the MMR vaccine. This guilt by association obviously made no sense and it is a good thing that they have finally laid this myth to rest, since folks die of measles.

However, to say that no vaccine has been linked to autism is incorrect. There is one vaccine that is routinely given to newborn infants---infants whose brains and immune systems are so immature that simple viral infections can have devastating consequences. I am referring to the Hepatitis B vaccine. Why is this given to newborn infants? Because decades ago, scientists studied inner city hospitals where a lot of drug addicts gave birth and they discovered that it was cheaper to just immunize all the babies at birth than to test the mothers to see which were infected with Hep B and immunize their babies at birth. Meaning that you---you who are likely not an IV drug addict and who are likely immune to Hep B from the vaccine you received in school---will have a baby who will be given a vaccine shortly after its birth because that was what was best for drug addicts three decades ago.

What could go wrong with giving an extra, unnecessary vaccine to a newborn baby? The only study so far to find any statistical association between a vaccine and autism is one for male infants given the Hep B vaccine at birth.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170

Universal hepatitis B vaccination was recommended for U.S. newborns in 1991; however, safety findings are mixed. The association between hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and parental report of autism diagnosis was determined. This cross-sectional study used weighted probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey 1997-2002 data sets. Vaccination status was determined from the vaccination record. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds for autism diagnosis associated with neonatal hepatitis B vaccination among boys age 3-17 years, born before 1999, adjusted for race, maternal education, and two-parent household. Boys vaccinated as neonates had threefold greater odds for autism diagnosis compared to boys never vaccinated or vaccinated after the first month of life. Non-Hispanic white boys were 64% less likely to have autism diagnosis relative to nonwhite boys. Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine prior to 1999 (from vaccination record) had a threefold higher risk for parental report of autism diagnosis compared to boys not vaccinated as neonates during that same time period. Nonwhite boys bore a greater risk.


Association does not prove causality. This study does not prove your child's autism was caused by a Hep B vaccine. It suggests that male children who get the vaccine at birth may be more likely to show signs of autism. I just did a Medline search and I can not find any more recent studies to either confirm or refute this study, meaning it is still up in the air. So, you get to decide what you do with the information. But, do not leave DU tonight telling all your friends "Great news. A study has cleared ALL vaccines."



Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu May 15, 2014, 07:33 PM (76 replies)

Does Gilead Know Someone in the CDC?

Just asking. Two years ago, the CDC recommended that every baby boomer get screened for Hepatitis C, even if they had no risk factors. They made this recommendation one year before Gilead was scheduled to introduce its new, blockbuster, easy to take, tres cher (expensive) Hep C drug which costs $1000 a pill or $84,000 for a course. And now, the CDC has recommended that everyone who uses IV drugs and shares needles, has unprotected gay sex with men, has a partner infected with HIV or has an IV drug using or bisexual partner (or does not know what their partner does in his free time) should be on a $13,000 a year Gilead drug forever to prevent HIV. Note that taking the drug does not guarantee that you will not get HIV and Gilead still recommends that you not share needles and that you not have unprotected sex. So, if you are using only clean needles and you are using condoms (correctly) every single time, do you really want to take a medication that can have some pretty serious side effects? If you partner is HIV positive this is a great medication. Or is you are a professional sex worker, yeah, sure. But risking your liver on the off chance that a condom might break and that the partner you are sleeping with when the condom breaks is HIV positive? Is it really worth it? Since there is no way to know if your partner is bisexual or using IV drugs do you just assume that they are? Should every 16 year old girl go down to Planned Parenthood and say "I want some birth control pills and I want some anti-HIV pills, too?"

Note that the VA, which has not been doing a very good job of getting our Vets timely appointments, has rounded up the funds to get the Hep C drug on its formulary. Is this their way of taking care of our vets or their way of showing thanks to Gilead's old owner, Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld? The drug to prevent HIV is already covered by many insurers, though I am not certain if they cover as many people as the CDC is now recommending take it---one source says this will increase usage 50 fold.

Which has me wondering: Who will be the first person at the CDC to leave through the revolving door and get a job at Gilead.

Ok, I am ready for the long list of testimonials from all the folks at DU whose 1) Hep C was cured by the drug above 2) HIV was prevented by the durg above or 3) are absolutely pumped knowing that these medications are available and will be covered by their insurer. But if anyone is at all interested in how private industry uses government regulatory bodies in order to increase their profits--and then turns around and hires former US government officials by way of payment (the so called revolving door), I would be happy to hear from you.

In case people think that this stuff doesn't happen here is a link to a link to some old stuff I wrote about Glaxo-Smith Kline and Dan Troy.

http://foro.univision.com/t5/Democratas-Mas-Temas-Relacionados/Drug-Whores-How-Bush-FDA-Serviced-Glaxo-Smith-Kline-and-Big/td-p/399921973

Links about Gildead.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/biotech/2014/05/sovaldi-veterans-affairs-hepatitis-c-gilead-gild.html

http://www.truvada.com/

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/biotech/2014/05/gilead-hiv-aids-gild-prep-prophylaxis-truvada.html


PS. Oh, and by all means, buy Gilead stock. If they know someone at the CDC, they are going to make a gazillion dollars. This is meant to be sarcastic in case anyone wonders. I do not bet on stocks or give stock tips. Just thought it was funny that so much medical news pops up in business journals first when you do a google.

Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu May 15, 2014, 08:17 AM (7 replies)

Ball and Chain: Not Your Usual Mother’s day Thread

There is something visceral about the tie that binds a mother and child. I realized it when I was pregnant. Nothing in the world mattered as much as the child growing inside my womb. Once he was born, the umbilical cord might as well have still been attached. His pain was my pain. His fear was my fear.

Now that my child is grown, the cord has finally been snipped. But during those first eighteen---no, let’s be honest, those first twenty years---one person in my life came first, and it was not me.

But this is not about my son. This is not about me. This about the role women play in capitalist society, and why so many people on the right seem so determined that our daughters will have unprotected underage sex and give birth to children that they are ill equipped to support.

If a young woman has to drop out of school to support a child, she will. She will do anything to take care of her son or daughter. She will drag herself to a dead end, pink collar ghetto job day after day and she will do her boring work with a smile, because she knows that she is doing it for her baby. She will not join a picket line, not when her kids need to eat. She may dream of going back to college to get a degree. But between work and taking care of the children, there will never be enough time. She will always be there for Tyson and for Dixie Cup---Koch owned Dixie Cup. She will always accept a lower wage than male workers, because a man who does not have children to support can walk away, but a mother has to think about her kids first, second and last.

I was lucky. I grew up in the 1960s. I was on birth control before I ever had sex. I was out of medical school, residency and in private practice before I conceived my (planned) son. My mother, from a different generation, was not so lucky. She was also premed. She got married right before she was supposed to go to medical school, the way I did. But birth control in the 1950s wasn't so good. She got pregnant. Having a baby and being forced to get a job put a permanent end to her plans for a career in medicine. Luckily for her and for my sister and me, she majored in math, not English, not Liberal Arts. So, she went on to a career in computer science with NASA and NASA contractors. Not bad. Certainly not the pink collar ghetto, though not the medical career she had wanted. However, the math major was a fluke. She had to pick something, and she was good in math. She liked it. She never thought she would have to make a living from it.

Children are one of the best things in life. The mother-child relationship is something we should celebrate. But the far right has taken something natural and good and perverted it for their own use. They treat pregnancy as a “wage of sin.” They condemn single mothers and their children to poverty under guise of piety—they are serving the will of a deity who demands that women who “fornicate” wear a big scarlet letter. However, they are really serving the will of industry that uses women as a low paid, unskilled compliant workforce to keep down wages for all workers. There are very few unskilled jobs nowadays that cannot be performed by women. Those that absolutely have to be done by men fetch a higher salary. But for how much longer?

And that is why we---all of us, male as well as female--- need pay parity and why we need choice.

Thanks, Mom, for all you did and do! An especially big thank you for raising me with a political conscience. It is so tempting to shelter our children. But if we try too hard to protect them from all the hurt other people are feeling, how can they grow up to be caring adults? I hope I can be half the mother you have been. And thanks for giving me a love of the blues.






Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun May 11, 2014, 04:31 PM (8 replies)
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