Sunday, March 16, 2008

IMAGINE

Okay, I realize I’ve been linking to Ginger’s blog a lot lately, but she’s been a lot more active at this than I have, and I rarely find anything to disagree with her about.

She’s just posted The Responsible Government Fantasy in which she imagines the press conference that would result if Julie Gerberding (Director of the Centers for Disease Control) would show an ounce or more of integrity. Ginger sees a kinder, gentler Julie giving a thoughtful reaction to the Poling concession, and actually reaching out to offer parents help.

Of course, it’s just a fantasy. As Ginger notes, “OJ looked harder for Nicole’s ‘real killers’ than Julie has looked for the causes and possible cures of autism.” Still, it’s nice to imagine a country in which the government actually has our best interest at heart.

One thing that’s missing from Ginger’s fantasy is an admission by Gerberding that the CDC, which is charged with the responsibility of promoting the vaccination program, might just have a conflict of interest ⎯ or at the very least a perceived conflict ⎯ with the role of determining vaccine safety. I imagine Julie standing at the podium calling upon Congress to create a separate safety agency, to be led and staffed by physicians with no ties to either the CDC or vaccine manufacturers (okay, that might be drifting a little too far into the realm of science fiction).

I picture Ms. Gerberding specifically calling for research into not just what individual vaccines and vaccine components might be potentially dangerous, but also whether numbers of vaccines and particular combinations of vaccines might pose a risk to our children.

Unfortunately, it’s just a fantasy. But just imagine if it were true.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just imagine, if all of the people who were sure that their child developed autism because of the child’s vaccinations had sued the vaccine makers in a civil court. Just imagine if a jury had heard all of the evidence presented and awarded damages to each family. Imagine how quickly the vaccine makers would have cleaned up their act.


Imagine if there had been no NVICP.


I want to know, where are the other people who think this (the existence of a NVICP) is absurd? Where are all of the people who see an atrocity here?


No, I don’t mean just the horrible atrocity of so many children who were destroyed. But before the children were destroyed, there was the atrocity of parents who were pressured first to subject their child to untested medical experiments, if those parents wanted to be able to take advantage of the public schools that they’d been forced to pay for. And then, those same parents were forced to seek redress in a court that was set up especially for them. That was set up *only* for them.


Where are the people who questioned the authorities when those authorities decided that the parents of vaccine damaged children would not be able to go to a plain old civil court like every other person in this country, to seek redress when harm was done to them or to theirs, but had to, instead, go through a ‘special vaccine court’? Where are the people who demanded that an explanation for this kind of treatment be given?


Where is the explanation?


It seems, to me, no different than if we were taking thousands and thousands of children, and we were dragging them up to the top of a volcano. And then, for the good of the community, for the health of the community, we were tossing them into the fire.


And nobody is questioning what we are doing, nobody is trying to stop the sacrificial ceremony. They are only lamenting the disappeared ones after they are gone.


Where are the reporters on my evening news, on my Sunday morning news shows, asking these questions of the government officials who are responsible for these civil rights violations? They have finally, after decades, been forced to ask the question ‘why do so many children develop autism immediately after vaccination?’ But what about the other questions?


I’m no lawyer, and it’s been a really long time since I even studied the US government in school. However there are a few principles that I seem to remember. I grew up being taught that in my country, we all live in a representative democracy. And that this means that we all live under the same laws, and that nobody is above the law, and nobody has special rights. But most importantly, we all have certain rights. And nobody can have their rights stripped from them by the majority simply because they are in a minority.


Now all of a sudden I’m being told that no, that’s really not the case. Congress can exclude certain groups of people from being entitled to the same rights that everyone else has. Congress can say to certain groups of people “Sorry, but the US justice system doesn’t have to respect *your* rights to a trial in which a verdict is reached by a jury of your peers. Nope, because *you* are special.”


Every single year in school my children are taught about the Jews and about the holocaust. They’ve seen the poem, about the silence when the Nazis came for the communists and then the Jews. All of their classmates have read it, as did all of mine.


But yet I look around me, and I seem to be the only person who’s had a problem with the notion that parents of vaccine damaged children haven’t had the opportunity to sue the manufacturers of the vaccines, without first having to jump through the hoop of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Every other person in the US who feels that they or theirs have been harmed by some product that they’ve used have been given the opportunity to sue in a civil court for damages. Unless I’m missing something. Everyone but those people whose family members were harmed by vaccine manufacturers.


And now all of a sudden I am hearing complaints from people about the FISA laws that have been broken. I hear about how some in Congress would like to pass retroactive immunity for those in the telecom industry who’ve broken the laws. And I have to say that it’s very hard for me to have any sympathy at all for my fellow Americans.


So often now, when I see bad things happening around me, I find myself saying to myself “Oh good. It’s happening to them, now, too.”


Robin Nemeth

3/17/08, 7:39 AM  
Blogger Dixie Redmond said...

I put a link to your blog today in a post I wrote about having a child with autism. Not sure how I ended up at your blog but it's interesting reading. :-)

Dixie

3/17/08, 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Terri Lewis said...

Robin,

"Anger is an N-R-G. Anger is an N-R-G." (from the Public Image Ltd. song "Rise"--and the way lots of us still feel).

Where have you been hiding?

I'm starting to find places where lots of people affected negatively by autism are gathering, talking, and then taking some action.

Wade, I always come back to Injecting Sense, but there's a lot of us spending time at www.ageofautism.com.

It would have been great--truly great--if we had all sued the government in a civil court.

It would have been great--truly great--if more of us had realized in time what had even happened to our children.

Some kids (and some parents) still don't know what happened to them, or they can't bring themselves to believe it.

And what started out as a mistake--a huge, whopper-sized mistake, but just a mistake--at some point along the way turned into what you said--an old-fashioned human sacrifice.

The sacrifice of children with the full knowledge of doing so.

But we can moan about it endlessly, or we can take some actions:

1. To prevent the disease of autism--which is not the same as preventing the differentness of autistic people!
2. To heal children who need healing.
3. To help families who need help.

Why send money to Autism Speaks, for example, when you can send it somewhere local?

Why keep whispering "I think it had something to do with the shots," when you can storm the White House, the Senate, the CDC, the AAP, and maybe hand over some literature to your own pediatrician (no, I haven't worked up to that one myself, yet)--and say, "We'd like to see some changes here, before any more children are hurt."

That's so reasonable, isn't it?

We'd all just like to see some changes, before any more children are hurt.

3/17/08, 9:38 PM  
Blogger Apple_Mark said...

I have linked to you today.


Good work!!
http://autisticapple.blogspot.com/

3/18/08, 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted to Injecting Sense.

>Terri Lewis said:



>Why send money to Autism Speaks, for example, when you can send it somewhere local?



Oh puhleeease, do not talk to me about sending money someplace local!

I just had a look at the April newsletter from the ASGC. That is the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland. On page five I see, under Upcoming Fundraisers for Cleveland Autism Organizations, ‘Autism Speaks- Rock ‘til it Stops at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’

Yes, AS is planning another benefit concert, this April. Last April’s benefit concert was at the House of Blues, in down town Cleveland. This year’s is at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It looks to me as though they are movin’ on up.

I know about last April’s AS benefit concert because I was there. I was outside handing out flyers about thimerosal in vaccines, when the lovely ladies of Autism Speaks told me to leave or else I would be arrested. Apparently the Cleveland Chapter President of Autism Speaks, Ms. Shari Goldberg, was unaware that two police cars were present that night. But that didn’t stop her from announcing on a local autism support forum that no arrest attempt ever occurred.

The people who are involved with my local autism support organizations are well aware of the treatment that I received last April 21 in front of the House of Blues. They know because some of them were there, and because I have spoken with plenty of others about it. And yet, they continue to openly shill for this organization. I continue to see the smiles and the glad handing with the people who’ve lied about this, and with the people who’ve helped to cover up for those lies. The president of the local chapter of the NAA has a wife who really can’t stop being friends with them. Never mind that they tried to have me arrested, lied to me and about me, said that I was threatening and harassing people when I was doing no such thing I was merely asking people, politely, if they would like information about vaccine safety. Never mind that they later lied and said the arrest attempt never occurred. Never mind that they denied me the opportunity to post documents which lend credence to what I’ve been saying. The important thing is that they are all friends. And they go back a really long way. They all have autistic children. They know what it is like to have autistic children. But the most important thing is that they are friends. And friends always support one another, don’t they?

Then there is Gus, who is with the ASGC, and quite obviously very good friends with Ms. Helmick. Ms. Helmick, who moderates AutismNE, where they speak only of positive things. Where they can allow Ms. Goldberg, of Autism Speaks, the opportunity to shill for contributions, but they can’t possibly allow me the opportunity to speak of the fact that Autism Speaks tried to have me arrested for giving out information about vaccine safety, and then lied and claimed the arrest attempt never occurred. Where I cannot be allowed to post documentation which proves she is lying. Why? Well because that isn’t ‘positive’. We must only speak of things which have helped our children, on Marian’s support forum.

And oh I’m quite sure that all of the parties that have raised ever so much money for the autism organizations have helped their children so much. They’ve accomplished so much of a positive nature. (sarcasm mode: ON)

A couple of Tuesdays ago I went to my ASCG meeting. Where I have never heard anyone speak about vaccines or about environmental factors. They’ve had people who fix your autistic child with special eyeglasses. They have had people who help your autistic child with music therapy. And last time, they had a person from PLAN. I don’t know what PLAN stands for. But I know that they got their start taking money from people with grown children who had mental illnesses (Gus doesn’t believe autism is a mental illness, but it’s always good to keep an open mind when it comes to getting help and having hope.), especially schizophrenia. They help families who wonder what will happen to their adult schizophrenic son or daughter, when the parents are dead and gone.

For ninety two dollars an hour they will have somebody talk with you. About your schizophrenic son or daughter, and now, also, about your autistic son or daughter. If you would like help from them. And then for seven thousand dollars there is a fifty five week course (Three and a half hours per week. Most of that time your child spends in a classroom parked in front of a computer going through questions posed by computer software which helps your son or daughter ‘get it’ (the technical term for ‘get it’ is ‘secondary socialization’)). Oh yes, and he also made it a point to let family members know that they of PLAN are happy to help with making sure that your child is ‘drug compliant’. I’m not sure how they do that. Being ‘drug compliant’ is a prerequisite for being in the PLAN program, though, so they are happy to help.

One of the other people who I’ve seen a few times at ASGC meetings, who has an adult daughter who he feels has Aspergers but he believes that she is in denial about this, is very impressed with PLAN. He wishes very much that she would take part in it but she’s not interested in it. Part of the reason that he believes that she is an aspie is that she’s had so much trouble holding down a job. (Apparently she has a hard time with ‘getting it’).

“Yes, we understand what a confusing array of drugs are available for your child. And we understand that your son or daughter is probably very much in denial about the need to take their medications.” For some reason he looked at me, sitting there in my ‘autism it’s no mystery it’s mercury’ tee-shirt, as he said “they seem to always have to be the center of attention.”

I wanted to ask him just what their organization brought to the table, when it came to ‘drug recommendations’ or ‘drug compliance’, that a Doctor wouldn’t. But I hesitate a lot about asking questions, as most of the time my questions just seem to get me into trouble and don’t ever get answered anyway. So I hesitated a bit too long, and he was gone, after his presentation, pretty much like a bat out of hell. I guess because the weather was really bad that night, although most everyone else stayed on longer.

He also made it a point, the PLAN man, to say, (looking at me while he said it), that they don’t take any government grants. But when pressed by someone at the meeting about how a family could reasonably be expected to pay the kind of prices they were charging, he said that most of the money they got came from Medicare and Medicaid. I told him that that sounds like government money to me.
There was a story in my USA Today a week or two ago, about the homeless in N. Orleans. A psychiatrist referred to people with mental health issues who were ‘homeless, aggressive, schizophrenic’. Were you aware that being ‘homeless’ is now a DSM diagnosis? Apparently it is. I’m sure it’s something that we, as a society, will be able to fix if only we can get the afflicted individuals to understand that they need to be taking their meds!

Thank goodness there are people like the nice silver haired man from PLAN to help families with things like making sure that their children ‘get it’. And that they take their meds.

Yah. So. This is the individual who got to spend an hour talking to us, there at the ASGC meeting, last Tuesday. I was given an opportunity to mention the Hannah Poling case. I don’t think anyone would’ve said a word about it had I not mentioned it.


I should say that it is mentioned in the April ASGC newsletter. Along with four or five reminders of the importance of getting your child vaccinated.




>Why keep whispering "I think it had something to do with the shots," when you can storm the >White House, the Senate, the CDC, the AAP, and maybe hand over some literature to your >own pediatrician (no, I haven't worked up to that one myself, yet)--and say, "We'd like to see >some changes here, before any more children are hurt."


I handed literature over to my pediatrician. I expect that it went into his circular file. I know that he, in return, handed me a sheet of paper that he printed from the AAP. (The usual “nothing to see here folks move along now” that we’ve gotten from them). He printed it it out and didn’t even notice that the text all down the right side of the sheet was truncated. I noticed that after I got the sheet home. I couldn’t have read what the AAP had to say if I’d wanted to.

All of the advertisements on the page had printed out just fine, though.


I have to go to the next ASGC meeting and have basically the same conversation with the people there that I had a couple of months ago at the NAA meeting across town. I have to wear my tee shirt and I have to say “So just what is it about ‘THEY TRIED TO HAVE ME ARRESTED’ that you don’t understand??”

“Or are you okay with what they did? Are you okay with the fact that they first lied and said I was threatening and harassing people, when I was doing no such thing? Are you okay with the fact that they then called out the police who told me to stop handing out my information about vaccine safety? Are you okay with the fact that they then lied about the fact that an arrest was threatened? Are you okay with the fact that the woman who organizes your Christmas parties and your cook offs is also actively involved in covering up the lies of the people who raise money for Autism Speaks? Is it all okay, because they are all your friends? Is that how it is? Because, when I see this organization still helping Autism Speaks raise money, I can only presume that it is.”

I expect that I will get the same answer that I got from the wife of the NAA local chapter president.

You know, when Ms. Goldberg first got on Marian Helmick’s yahoo forum and lied about the fact that there were police cars present at her organizations April 07 benefit concert, I thought a little bit about contacting a lawyer. And suing her for defamation of character or slander or libel or whatever the heck it is that one might sue for under these circumstances. But lawyers cost money and money is tight, and anyway it seems to me that legal actions isn’t always the best approach, and certainly it also has seemed to me that the lawyers haven’t been able to accomplish much of a positive nature for families who’ve been touched by autism. And so I told myself that instead, I would just let people know what happened. They would do the right thing. When presented with the truth. The people here in Cleveland, the ones touched by autism, the ones who are claiming to want to help the families touched by autism, they aren’t some anonymous, nameless faceless people like the operators on the Undernet political chatrooms where’d I’d spent years amiably debating politics who suddenly banned me for simply saying ‘thimerosal’ and ‘autism’ in the same visit. They are real people, who have to look at themselves in the mirror when they get out of bed in the morning. Who have to face other people, some of them other parents with autistic children. I thought that it would matter to them, what organizations like Autism Speaks, what the people who raise money for them, are doing.

I never considered myself a stupid person. But I don’t think I ever am going to ‘get it’.


So, what other ideas do you have, besides the one about working with our local autism organizations?


Robin Nemeth

3/18/08, 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to correct a comment I made yesterday. And spew some more.


I’m sorry, I’ve exaggerated a bit. There aren’t four or five reminders to have your child vaccinated in the April Autism Society of Greater Cleveland newsletter. There are only two. It’s just that there are so many other comments in the issue, about vaccines, that I find objectionable.


Let me explain why. It starts with the statement that ‘we don’t know the cause for autism’.


They then go on to talk about the need for ‘thoughtful dialogue by parents and professionals on medical research and comprehensive treatment and services, not court rulings.’


‘Thoughtful dialogue’, what exactly does that mean? Is that what they call it when I have information that I would like people to see and I politely approach them on the sidewalk with it, and ask them if they would like to read it, and I am told that I had better take my information and leave or else I will be arrested—is that what they mean by ‘thoughtful dialogue’? Or are they perhaps referring to the kind of ‘thoughtful dialogue’ I have experienced over the last five years on the Undernet political chat rooms. Where it is ok to talk about anything at all, except for mercury in vaccines?


And what is all of this about not wanting to discuss court rulings? If these cases were being tried in a regular civil court, like any other tort lawsuit, would it then be ok with everyone if we discussed court rulings?


Then there’s the blurb for the Autism Speaks benefit concert. Not that the control of money raised by AS is ever in any way decided by anyone with any of the other autism organizations, I’m sure. It’s just that they’re all friends, and they go way back. And so it’s only understandable that the ASGC would want to help Autism Speaks raise money.


Never mind the things that their organization does with their power and with their money.


Flipping through the newsletter I see this story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Alison Young. First Autism-Vaccine Link: How Hannah Made History.


In which I read about how thimerosal’s ‘not used in child vaccines (except for some flu shots).’ Oops, guess what they STILL forget to mention? They forget to mention that ‘some’ flu shots actually means ‘the vast majority of flu shots’! I really don’t understand this, because I took the time to make a lot of phone calls, last November, to try to determine what the odds were of a child getting a flu vaccine with twelve to twenty five micrograms of thimerosal. And I spent some time documenting the calls that I made, and tried to tell these people what is going on with these flu shots. I sent them the url for my blog, I sent them the first few pages in snail mail, hoping that if I did that someone would be more likely to at least give it a glance.


It never ceases to amaze me, the ability of the people around me to ignore the facts even when they’re being pounded over the head with them.


Maybe I’m being overly sensitive when I find the use of the term ‘vocal advocates’ to describe the parents concerned about mercury in vaccines somewhat annoying. What would Ms. Young have us do, us advocates for the removal of mercury from vaccines, remain mute? Advocate silently? Or perhaps she feels that we’ve just gotten too much attention from the media over the last five years. The last five years during which children have continued to be poisoned.


Oh yes, of course there’s the mention, in Ms. Young’s article, about the risk of disease. The parents who refuse to vaccinate are putting their children in danger. Even though they have no clue, now, why they should trust the medical ‘professionals’ and the public health care ‘professionals’ who are telling them that their child is better off vaccinated than unvaccinated. Even though those ‘professionals’, along with the media, lost all credibility years ago.


Oh and one of my personal favorites, the quote from David Tayloe Jr., president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, about the Hannah Poling case. “It raised a lot of questions for us.” That one would have had me rotflmao, excuse my language, except that it’s getting harder and harder for me to find any humor in any of this. It took THIS to raise questions in your mind, Mr. Tayloe? The pediatrics association has been unable to obtain documents about the case, in order to assess the situation. Still and all though, Mr. Tayloe is quite sure that “Our responsibility is to make sure the public is given good information and make sure the hype (hype=parents who were upset when their child was destroyed by the vaccines they were given) doesn’t distract from public health. I still would not think that we’re going to have evidence showing a role of vaccines actually causing autism.”


So let me get this straight. Even without access to information, he is confident in saying there is no evidence there is a role.


And people think that aspies have ‘mental health’ problems???


Alison’s article goes on to point out that Bruce Cohen, pediatric neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic, is still recommending vaccination even for most patients with diagnosed mitochondrial disorders. There is no mention of the possibility of a revised schedule.


I guess I just don’t understand why, out of all of the news stories that have been written over the last few weeks about this story, the ASGC choose to publish this one in their newsletter.


In short, as I read through the newsletter, I seem to be reading much of the same old, um, stuff that I’ve been hearing on my television over the last few years. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear this, even now, even after the Hannah Poling case, on my television news, in between commercials for prescription drugs. But I find it disturbing to read these things in the newsletter of an organization that purports to help families with children with autism. There are times when I want to shout at these people “Where the hell have you been? What is the matter with you?” And even – okay is this angry enough for you?—“you people DESERVE to have autistic children!” Sometimes about the only thing that allows me to bite my tongue is the thought that nobodies kid deserves any of this.


If the NRG from my anger could have actually accomplished something, I think that for sure, by now, the crap that is in these vaccines would be gone. The kids would be getting any and all help that’s available to them, and nobody would be STILL be burying their heads in the sand. But it really seems sometimes, when I get off of the internet and just look at the people around me here in Northeast Ohio (haven’t these people heard of the internet???), that I might just as well have been banging my head against a wall.


Robin Nemeth

3/19/08, 7:29 AM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...

Robin,

You (or Terri, Dixie, AppleMark, and anyone else for that matter) are welcome to "spew" here any ol' time. I share many of your frustrations. I get po'd every time I hear that thimerosal has been "removed" from childhood vaccines. As you note, it is still in most flu shots, including those they push so hard upon pregnant women and infants. And even the ones that are "preservative free" still contain so-called "trace" amounts of thimerosal from the manufacturing process, and there has never been any research I have heard of that defines a "safe"amount of mercury.

And the greatest dissappointment for any of us has to be Autism Speaks, which could do such good with all of its clout and fundraising ability. Instead, they spend money on nice offices, make sure we're all "aware," lobby for feel-good-but-accomplish-nothing legislation, and continue the vain quest for the elusive autism gene.

3/19/08, 9:35 AM  

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