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Friday, 9 January 2015

Our medical industry and corrupted data: The Cancer media war for your mind and body

© Credit: Baker Hughes

A new report claims that millions of lives have been saved in the past two decades due to 'early detection' of cancer and improved treatment, but is it true?

In what can only be described as the latest cancer industry propaganda push, mainstream news outlets are declaring triumphantly "More than 1.5 million cancer deaths averted in last two decades" (), "Cancer death tolls fall, millions saved" (), and "A 22 Percent Drop in Cancer Mortality Saved 1.5 Million People." ().

Really? What is this based on?

These media flourishes are supposedly based on a report just published in the journal titled, "Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2014," which analyzed cancer treatment data from 3 sources: the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), the SEER-Medicare linked database, and the SEER*Stat database.

However, if you actually take the time to read the research itself and read between the lines you will find it in no way justifies these optimistic characterizations; to the contrary, the national cancer outlook looks exceedingly bleak.

In the abstract summarization of the results, the first line reads:

"The number of cancer survivors continues to increase due to the aging and growth of the population and improvements in early detection and treatment."

'Early detection' here refers to national screening programs such as x-ray mammography for breast cancer and PSA screening for prostate cancer, which we now know have not resulted in reduced mortality despite dramatically expanding 'cancer diagnoses' in the past few decades: a sure sign that the 'cancers' being diagnosed were never life-threatening and did not 'save' anyone from premature death; to the contrary, breast and prostate screenings have been the subject of great controversy because they have left behind millions of necessarily treated (read: harmed) individuals without resulting in any significant reductions in breast- and prostate-specific cancer mortality (prostate cancer mortality has actually increased!) -- which is the only true measure of whether they are of benefit to the mostly asymptomatic populations being continually pressured through 'awareness campaigns' to undergo screening. An increasingly indubitable body of research shows that screening programs have dramatically increased the quantity of cancer diagnoses in healthy individuals, resulting in the illusion that they have been 'saved' through early detection, when in fact they have survived overdiagnosis and overtreatment and not cancer itself. This has falsely inflated the number of people 'saved,' which is reflected in the aforementioned outrageously distorted mainstream media headlines, while simultaneously obscuring the significant number of lives that have been lost due to the ineffectiveness of conventional treatment.

Consider that a 'cancer survivor' is anyone who was diagnosed with cancer who is still alive 5 years later.

Whether or not a newly identified prostate or breast cancer case was a victim of overdiagnosis is nowhere accounted for in these statistics. In other words, if a person who was identified through 'early detection' to have life-threatening cancer actually had a benign lesion, and then went on to be 'treated' anyway, they are not surviving cancer but rather the unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy and radiation they received. And yet they are lumped into the 'survivor' category nonetheless, even if they should be considered a victim of iatrogenesis and medical abuse.

Last year a study was published in the revealing that in the past three decades 1.3 million women in the U.S. were wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer when in fact they had a benign condition known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). DCIS lesions rarely if ever progress to cause harm nor death, but this was not factored into the data analysis of the latest report in question. The report stated that "14.5 million Americans with a history of cancer were alive on January 1, 2014," but it did not qualify the statement by acknowledging the great burden of cancer diagnoses that are now known to be intrinsically benign, e.g. ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) "breast cancers" and high-grade intraepithelial prostatic neoplasia (HGPIN) "prostate cancer" were identified in 2012 by a commissioned expert working group to be misclassified as "cancer" and which they recommended should be reclassified as benign lesions of epithelial origin, presumably better left untreated. This reclassification of certain 'cancers' to benign growths also encompasses so-called papillary carcinomas of the thyroid, a fundamentally harmless nodular growth the conventional medical establishment still calls thyroid cancer and treats aggressively.

What this essentially means is that instead of taking responsibility for the medical-induced harm (iatrogenesis) that breast, prostate and thyroid screening incurs, the conventional medical establishment counts these overdiagnosed cases as treatment successes ('live saving'), despite the untold harm, physical and psychological, these diagnoses and subsequent unnecessary treatments exacted on their victims. This unethical 'oversight' resulted in expanding the number of 'cancer survivors' far beyond those who were actually 'saved from cancer.'

The report stated:

"The 3 most common prevalent cancers among males are prostate cancer(43%), colorectal cancer (9%), and melanoma (8%), and those among females are cancers of the breast (41%), uterine corpus (8%), and colon and rectum (8%)."

Considering that the primary cancers afflicting women (breast) and men (prostate) are the most overdiagnosed, the truth is that this report falsely represented the data, essentially covering up the medical tragedy, or worse, malfeasance that still goes on daily in thousands of hospitals around the world. After all, the profit generated by diagnosis and treatment of 'cancer' far exceeds most other disease diagnoses.
woman falsely diagnosed with cancer

© Unknown

The report did acknowledge the extremely high survivorship rates of those diagnosed with so-called 'early stage' (aka localized) breast cancer:

"The 5-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 98.6%"

Why is that? One view is that localized (i.e. ductal carcinoma in situ) isn't breast cancer at all, and therefore the relatively high 98.6% survivorship reflects the fact that these woman aren't surviving cancer at all, rather, they survived an unnecessary treatment for an intrinsically benign condition. They are, in essence, surviving medical abuse motivated by shameless profiteering (e.g. breast cancer industry and cancer drug manufacturer funded pinkwashing campaigns to promote 'early detection' via mammography screening that result in converting healthy women into patients without proper biological justification).

The propaganda evidenced by this report, and the mainstream media amplifications of it, are extremely misleading. Trillions of dollars of liability rests on the shoulders of the conventional cancer industry for falsely diagnosing and (i.e. abusing) women and men with cancers they never had. Additionally, those who have fallen victim to unnecessary treatment often suffer from Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their aggressors, and then becoming willing brand ambassadors of 'early detection' via pinkwashing styled fund-raising campaigns (e.g. Susan G. Komen marches) to fear, for instance, other healthy, asymptomatic women into subjecting their breasts to highly carcinogenic x-ray wavelengths in the interest of 'finding cancer early.'

In a world dominated by what can only be described as violent, almost pornographic marketing copy, e.g. Susan G. Komen sponsored PINK fracking drill bits, and KFC 'Buckets for the Cure,' it is the responsibility of all of us to take back control of our health and read behind the increasingly absurd mainstream news headlines. If you believe your breasts, prostate, thyroid, or whatever body part is increasingly targeted for cancer screening, are more than just an inevitable locus of carcinogensis, please join the growing movement to take back control of your health, starting with acknowledging that with clean food, water, and air, health is obtainable and your birthright.

Learn about authentic cancer solutions by watching the Functional Forum video (2 hour long) on 'The Evolution of Oncology,' featuring a panel discussion with our founder, Sayer Ji, at 48:00:


Shifting away from NATO's narrative - Turkey's Foreign Minister calls out secret powers behind Charlie Hebdo shooting for sowing seeds of cultural conflict

Ahmet Davutoglu turkey foreign minister

© Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned the Paris terror attack as an attempt to escalate new cultural conflict that could lead to the rise of Islamophobia, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported.

"Whatever powers are behind this assault, they have exerted an effort to sow seeds of a new cultural conflict," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the agency Thursday.

The foreign minister added that the Turkish people have to proclaim their "Muslim-Turkish identity without any hesitation" if they face Islamophobic reaction following the terror attack in Paris.

"It is high time for us as Muslim Turks to walk with our heads held high against all radicalism and rising Islamophobic attacks," Davutoglu said speaking at the Seventh Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.

He also urged Turkish ambassadors participating in the conference to resist the rise of anti-Turkey and anti-Islam propaganda.

The Wednesday attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo by alleged Islamic extremists claimed the lives of 12 people and injured a further 11. The magazine previously received threats from Islamists for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Charlie Hebdo also posted a caricature of the leader of the Islamic State insurgent group on its Twitter account shortly before the attack.

Extraordinary DNA and mitochondria transfer between tumour cells observed

DNA transfer tumour cells

© Malaghan Institute

Dark field image (left) highlights the transfer of fluorescent mitochondria. The bright field on the right shows the connecting nanotube.

A team led by Professor Mike Berridge from the Malaghan Institute has become the first in the world to demonstrate mitochondrial DNA movement between cells in an animal tumour. Their paper was published today in the leading biological journal Cell Metabolism.

The research lays important groundwork for understanding human diseases other than cancer, since defective mitochondrial DNA is known to account for around 200 diseases and is implicated in many more. It could also usher in a new field where synthetic mitochondrial DNA is custom-designed to replace defective genes.

In mouse models of breast cancer and melanoma that had had their mitochondrial DNA removed, replacement DNA was acquired from surrounding normal mouse tissue. After adopting this new DNA, the cancer cells went on to form tumours that spread to other parts of the body.

Professor Berridge says the landmark discovery could open up whole new areas of research.

"Our findings overturn the dogma that genes of higher organisms are usually constrained within cells except during reproduction. It may be that mitochondrial gene transfer between different cells is actually quite a common biological occurrence."

Although other research groups have seen mitochondrial DNA move between cells in the laboratory, the Malaghan team is the first to demonstrate the transfer in an animal tumour model.

The dark field image on the left highlights the transfer of fluorescent mitochondria. The bright field on the right has sufficient light to see the connecting nanotube.

Professor Berridge says the research wouldn't have happened without the extraordinary patience of his research colleague, An Tan.

"A normal person would have terminated the experiment after a week, before this effect was observed, thinking that the tumour cells without mitochondrial DNA weren't going to grow. But Tan kept monitoring them for more than a month and eventually saw tumours starting to grow."

The next challenge for the team was to find out how this was possible.

"Initially we thought the cells had learned to grow without needing mitochondrial DNA. But when we presented the research at a conference, a well-known scientist asked if we had tested the growing cells to see if they contained mitochondrial DNA. We hadn't."

A simple experiment confirmed the presence of mitochondrial DNA and extensive molecular, biochemical and protein analysis with international collaborators established that the mitochondrial DNA had, in fact, been obtained from non-tumour cells. The latest genetic sequencing technologies were used to confirm that the adopted mitochondrial DNA was distinct from that of the original tumour, but identical to surrounding non-tumour cells.

"This appears to be a basic physiological mechanism in the body that no one has seen before because they lacked the exploratory tools. Whether this new phenomenon is important in tumour formation is still unclear, but we are interested in pursuing the research to see if the transfer occurs more widely in the body. Preliminary evidence indicates it may be a common occurrence in the brain."

Many copies of mitochondrial DNA, a small circular bacterial-like genome, are found inside each mitochondria. This DNA encodes key proteins in the mitochondrial machinery that converts energy from food into a form of chemical energy that is particularly important for brain and muscle function.

Mitochondrial DNA is unrelated to nuclear DNA, which encodes a person's primary genetic instructions, including characteristics such as hair colour, height and sex. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited solely from a person's mother - a trait that has been used to trace all living humans back to a common ancestor who lived in Africa 60 - 70,000 years ago.

Blinded by Darkness: The collective denial of evil and its impact

A therapist advises a woman who's been stalked and harassed by her psychopathic ex-husband to meet him over coffee to address co-parenting. A young woman with severe somatization of trauma is told by her therapist that her psychopathic brother was engaging in sexual "play" when he was raping her vaginally with objects as children. A young man avoids necessary treatment because his perpetrator, his father, is an iconic philanthropist.

Why is the burden of proof on the victim to establish a legitimate case for his/her suffering? Why aren't these victims believed, and why are facilitators of an empirical science denying the psychological reality of evil?

The answers to these questions are complex. Many people, including clinicians, are blinded by the psychopath's mask of normalcy. We stigmatize victims, denouncing them as inferior given their emotional instability, while lauding the capable and convincing psychopath. Our innate tendency to maintain internal equilibrium and illusions of safety compel us to rely on elaborate psychological defenses to deny threatening information.

What is Human Evil?


© unknown

Evil denotes an absence of good. It is that which is depraved and immoral. In this article we will address the conundrum of human evil - specifically the evil we inflict upon one another - and the collective denial of its very existence, which in turn allows for evil's proliferation.

In "Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason" philosopher Immanuel Kant makes the claim that evil is innate to the human species. According to Kant, self-conceit is the trait responsible for moral corruption (Kant, I. Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Robert M. Adams et al, Eds. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press;1998).

An extreme propensity for evil has been referred to by psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley as a neuropsychiatric defect that fuels the need to destroy. According to Cleckley, the psychopath has the uncanny ability to conceal this defect (Cleckley HM. The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. Whitefish, MT: Literary Licensing; 2011).

We are deceived, even deluded, by the psychopath's disguise of virtue, his glibness, ostensible calm, status, and charm. The psychopath's veneer of normality can be so seamless it becomes implausible to consider the malevolence behind the mask, even for trained clinicians.

How Evil Hurts Its Victims


© Unknown

Prolonged exposure to the psychopath's abuse and exploitation results in complex PTSD, and in the worst case scenarios dissociative identity disorder (DID). The victims of psychopaths are emotionally, psychologically, physically, financially, and socially devastated.

The visibility of their distress and symptoms makes victims vulnerable to being stigmatized. Sociologist Erving Goffman emphasized that stigma is an insidious barrier to recovery, and dehumanizes and depersonalizes victims, causing further damage and marginalization (Goffman E. . New York: Simon and Schuster; 2009).

Essentially, stigma breeds contempt and contempt breeds blame. Following this line of reason, the stigmatized victim is ultimately blamed for the harm inflicted by the psychopath.

This socially Darwinistic paradigm illustrates how the psychopaths' advantages over their victims support a "survival of the fittest" template. The fittest are elevated, irrespective of their character. Signs of weakness and fragility are subject to condemnation. Power and status are the relevant markers for what is valued and esteemed.

There are other collective biases we adhere to in spite of contrary evidence. For example, the need to believe that the world is fundamentally just contributes to the rationalization that egregious maltreatment must be somehow deserved by the victim. The need to assure ourselves that we are invulnerable to evil affords us a false sense of control, which again, shifts the focus onto the victim's culpability.

Why We Deny the Existence of Evil

What deviates from the norm creates conflict with our social reality. This generates uncertainty and threatens our world-view. To return to a state of perceived equilibrium, we may limit the intrusion of new information or thinking about things in ways that contradict our pre-existing beliefs. We simply deny that which causes us distress.

Given that evil calls into question our basic trust in the order and structure of our world, we are compelled by our instinct for self-preservation to deny evil's existence and construct a reality that offers an illusory sense of safety and predictability.

My treatment of D, who was perpetrated by a pedophile over the course of many years, is an example of this phenomenon. The pedophile who I'll refer to as R was a highly regarded coach and educator in an affluent suburb. Years after the assault of D, the FBI arrested R in a sting operation. In spite of the irrefutable evidence implicating R, the community came to R's defense, citing his character and beneficent deeds as proof of his innocence. Even when allegations of sexual abuse made by a foster child in R's care came forth, the child's credibility was ironically damaged by his stigmatized status as an emotionally troubled ward of the state.

This case illustrates the ego's ability to censor and reconstruct distressing information so as to maintain consonance.

On a global scale we see the same defenses employed in response to allegations of clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups perpetrated by the Catholic Church. In spite of the church's heinous history of aligning with Hitler and Mussolini, implementing the Inquisition and Crusades, the Magdalene laundries, the witch-hunts, and the supported democide and slavery in the Americas, Africa, and Australia, the persistence with upholding naïve, illusory ideas of spiritual infallibility and idealized notions of virtue trump accountability and objective reality. When followers succumb to pathological influence, what results is a collusion with evil.

The Authoritative Power of Evil

Those who are pathologically evil are ruthlessly driven to acquire power and control. They command compliance and obedience. Hence, they are encouraged by the absence of critical thought, and the reliance on primitive psychological defenses intended to deny unacceptable truths.

Psychologist Stanley Milgram's experiments in the early 1960s illuminated how susceptible we are to the influence of authority. The impetus for Milgram's experiment was the defense that Nazi genocide was blind obedience to following orders, offered during the Nuremburg war trials. Milgram investigated this explanation by testing whether study participants would follow instructions to administer electric shocks to other participants. They did - 65% of the participants fully complied with the commands to administer up to 450 volts of electricity (Milgram, S. Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. New York: HarperCollins Publishers;2009).

This study reinforces what psychopaths understand; that the innate inclination to uphold and obey authority is rooted in sundry factors such as fear, identification with the aggressor, and the need to belong. As long as there are no serious repercussions, orders dispensed by an authority figure are generally obeyed, irrespective of whether they oppose our morals. This predisposition offers the psychopath malleable, yielding victims ripe for exploitation and abuse.

None of us are immune to the intimidation of authority. The world is rife with leaders in high positions of power who are pathologically evil. For myriad reasons our innate inclinations to conform and obey eclipse our moral judgment. Unknowingly, ignorantly, carelessly and unintentionally we collude with evil more often than not.

Is There a Panacea?

Mental health practitioners are bound to come in contact with victims of evil. As treatment providers, we need to vigilantly challenge our denial systems and demythologize evil if we are to adequately treat those seeking our help. This requires us to courageously face the harsh reality of life's dangers, including the potential for evil that lurks within.

Jung referred to the repressed, dark, unenlightened parts of the psyche as the shadow. As Jung explained, the denial and repression of the shadow unconsciously causes it to be projected onto the 'other.' If mental health clinicians collectively deny the reality of evil, to quote Jung, then "...how can evil be integrated? There is only one possibility: to assimilate it, that is to say, raise it to the level of consciousness" (Jung, C. "Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology" in Civilization in Transition; The Collected Works of C. G. Jung. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press; 1970).

By bringing the reality of evil's influence into the therapeutic framework, a clinically significant factor in the healing process is consciously addressed. The dark side of humanity must be acknowledged if victims of evil are to assimilate what was done to them.

Summarily, it is our ethical responsibility as therapists to embody consciousness. Only then can we truly recognize evil, refuse complicity, and be reliable instruments of helping others heal from evil's wreckage.

Never before seen impact crater on Mars

Impact crater on Mars


Impact crater on Mars.

The surface of Mars is a well worn place in the Solar System, heavily pounded by countless meteor impacts. And some of these craters are hundreds of millions of years old. So it's unusual for there to be a completely fresh impact on the surface of Mars: but that's just what NASA scientists discovered looking through a recent batch of images returned from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

You're looking at an image taken by the Mars Context Camera, an instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In an older photograph taken of the region in February 2012, there was just a bunch of old craters. And then, in the newer image, taken June 2014, this fresh scar on the surface of Mars is clearly visible.

Impact crater on Mars_1


No crater… then crater.

The crater itself is circular, but the blast of ejecta indicates that the object came in from the West, and struck the surface of Mars, blasting out a curtain of pulverized rock that covered the nearby surface. The impactor would have vaporized into a fireball of superheated rock, like a nuclear bomb exploding on the surface of Mars, while the eject blanket was shot out to the side.

This isn't the first time spacecraft have detected new craters on Mars. In fact, the largest new crater discovered was half the length of a football field. And so far, researchers have turned up more than 400 new craters on the surface of Mars.

The Mars Context Camera has completely imaged the entire surface of Mars at least once during its 7-year mission. And with multiple passes, planetary scientists are starting to build up a picture of how the dynamic the surface of Mars can really be.

Impact crater on Mars_2


Largest new crater ever discovered.

And of course, planetary scientists have discovered fresh craters on other locations in the Solar System. NASA's Lunar Impact Monitoring Program turned up a bright meteoroid impact on March 17, 2013, and follow on observations by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter turned up the impact location. The monitoring program has actually turned up more than 300 impacts so far. So if you're walking around on the Moon, watch your head.

Impact crater on Mars_3


Bright impact flash made by a foot-wide rock that struck the moon on March 17, 2013. The moon was a crescent in the evening sky at the time. The impact occurred in the dark, earthlit part of the moon away from the sun-lit crescent.

Impact crater on Mars_4

© NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University/Bob King

Left: Fresh material brought to the surface makes the new 59-foot-wide crater look like it was spray painted white. Right: The meteoroid strike occurred near the familiar crater Copernicus in the Sea of Rains (Mare Imbrium).

Vax Truth: Let's talk about Whooping Cough

© blog.childrens.com

Let's talk about those whooping cough outbreaks, shall we?

And while we're at it, can we talk about DTaP? The Diptheria,Tetanus and acellular Pertussis vaccine? We have to. Because that's what's causing the outbreaks. I'm betting at this point 98% of those on the pro-vaccine side have stopped reading. It astounds me how many people have made up their minds, and they seem to think they "know" everything there is to know about the whooping cough outbreaks and DTaP/TDaP vaccines. I could be wrong about this, but it appears that many listen to Paul Offit as if he is a "prophet," and they don't feel the need to think for themselves or look further. When we are talking about science, and the human body, I just don't see how we can ever say there is nothing left to learn. The fact that we never know everything there is to know is the basis of scientific inquiry - and that includes science that influences the medical decision-making process. For those who are still with me, thanks for sticking around and for being brave enough to use your own intellect and the discernment God gave you. Here we go...

The first thing I want to say about the acellular vaccine is that the reason it was developed in the first place was because the whole cell pertussis vaccine was so dangerous and too many babies were dying. SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was one of the most serious adverse events following vaccination with the whole cell pertussis vaccine. Prior to the establishment of the 1986 Vaccine-Injury Compensation Program (VICP), parents whose children were seriously injured or killed by vaccines could pursue legal action against vaccine manufacturers. There were so many lawsuits being filed that vaccine makers basically held the U.S. federal government hostage and threatened to stop making vaccines altogether if the government didn't step in and protect them from lawsuits. And that is why now, if vaccines injure or kill your child, you cannot sue the vaccine manufacturer. For more information on the history of DTP, please go here and here.

So... it was known that the DTP (or DPT) vaccine was very dangerous.

In 1991, the first DTaP vaccine was licensed in the U.S. on the premise that the acellular version would be safer and would produce fewer side effects and deaths than the DTwP (whole cell) version of the vaccine. There are two versions (and multiple producers) of the acellular vaccine. DTaP is given to infants and children up to age ten. TDaP is given to persons who are 10 and older, including adults. Much of the information in this post refers to both DTaP and TDaP, as they are both acellular pertussis vaccines.

Safety studies for the DTaP vaccine are problematic in that the new vaccine was tested against the old vaccine. There was no true placebo group. This is common practice in vaccine safety studies. Other problems with the clinical safety studies include the use of unequal numbers of subjects between groups, and very short follow-up of participants; generally 3-4 days post-vaccination. It is also noted that in the clinical trials there is a consistent rate of attrition (children who dropped out or were removed from the study by their parents), which resulted in fewer and fewer participants as the studies progressed. There is no mention in the vaccine-manufacturer's inserts as to why the children were removed from the study. We can speculate that one possible reason for parents pulling their child from a study might be due to the child having an adverse reaction, and the parent not wanting to take that risk again, but that would just be speculation on our part. There is some evidence to suggest this may be the case, judging from the fact that in the clinical trials, the percentage of children who experienced systemic reactions increased with each successive vaccine in the series. In other words, the percentage of children whose parents reported adverse reactions was higher at doses 4 and 5 than at doses 1 and 2. To review this information for yourself, you can obtain the vaccine manufacturer's inserts here, with the exception of the Tripedia insert, which is no longer available on that site. It can be obtained here. I wrote a piece a while back on the Tripedia vaccine, which some folks will tell you is no longer being used in the U.S. This is incorrect. It is still used and is now being combined with the HiB vaccine to form ActHIB and TriHiBit. Just an FYI...

One other little tidbit of information about Tripedia... while you have the manufacturer's insert up on your computer screen, go to page 11. You will see this:

Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting. Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequencies or to establish a causal relationship to components of Tripedia vaccine."

Again, when you are using small groups in your clinical trials and only following them for 3-4 days after the vaccine, it's no wonder you can't make reliable estimates about what really happens when you give the vaccine to four million infants each year, as if they are all the same.

So... that's a little history about how we came to have the acellular version of the vaccine and why.

As a result of issues just discussed, there really isn't a lot of evidence that the DTaP is much safer than the DTP. When we are making decisions about whether or not a medical intervention is appropriate for our children or for ourselves, we need to do what's called a cost-benefit analysis. Basically what we need to know is:

1. What are the reported risks (cost) of the intervention?

2. What are the reported benefits of the intervention?

3. Based on the evidence, do the benefits outweigh the risks?

When doing a cost-benefit analysis, we also must take into consideration individual differences and family history. Anyone who has ever worked in a clinical practice where patient safety is valued will tell you the importance of individual and family medical history, when considering whether or not a patient is a good candidate for medications or for invasive medical procedures. Good doctors won't prescribe birth control pills to young women with a history of blood clots. They won't prescribe certain medications to children who have epilepsy. Even over-the-counter medications are not safe for everyone, as anyone with high blood pressure and a head cold will tell you. Good doctors realize there is nothing in medicine (no prescription, no procedure) that is safe for 100% of their patient population, and they realize the importance of taking the time and exercising caution before prescribing or recommending any medication or procedure. It's called patient care.

When it comes to childhood vaccinations, patient care goes out the window and it's all about patient compliance. If we listen to Paul Offit we are all supposed to ignore family medical history and genetics, and line up and do as we are told. Dr. Offit is a vaccine-extremist. He has stated that infants can receive 10,000 vaccines in a single day without any problem. In this most recent propaganda piece from Australia, Dr. Offit also appears to express the view that parents who wish to exercise caution or who choose not to vaccinate their children should have their kids taken away by the state. I don't know about you, but I don't want someone that extreme making decisions about my child's healthcare. And while we're on the subject of Dr. Offit, it should be known that he holds a research chair position at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and his salary is paid by Merck - the maker of a number of vaccines given to children. I don't know what his current salary is, but a few years ago it was reported to be $1.5 Million per year. I doubt he is making less money these days, given that his position as the voice of universal vaccination has only become louder and more extreme since that time. Dr. Offit also developed a vaccine for rotavirus - and the patent for that vaccine sold for a reported $182 Million. But, I'm sure, when it comes to the vaccination of 4 million children per year, with vaccines that sell for anywhere from $10 to $100+ each, the money is not an influence at all. RRRRiiight. (insert eye-roll)

Let's start with the reported benefits of the vaccine. According to the CDC, the vaccine is safe and effective. If we believe what the CDC tells us, the vaccine will protect us and is the best thing we can do to ensure our children, especially our infants, are protected. According to this Whooping Cough Fact Sheet, there were 255 deaths from whooping cough in the United States between 2000 and 2012, and 221 of those deaths occurred in infants under three months of age.

Now let's look at the risks part of our Risk-Benefit analysis of the DTaP vaccine. I should clarify that when assessing risks, this can be stated in terms of the known or reported risks of the DTaP vaccine. When trying to figure out the true risks, there are some problems; chief among them the fact that we don't have accurate data to assess.

The only database we have is the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), which is maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The problem is, even though the 1986 Federal Law states that it is mandated for physicians and other health providers to report known and suspected adverse reactions to vaccines, they aren't doing it. Estimates by the AMA indicate that less than 10% of adverse reactions is reported to VAERS, and the number may be as low as 1-2%. So, when we look at those numbers, we need to remember that the actual number is much higher.

Since VAERS is all we have to go by, what do those numbers look like?

These numbers are from a search I did in October of 2014:

The VAERS database is updated in 3 month cycles.These are the numbers today (01/06/2015), after the most recent update:

These numbers represent the total number of adverse reactions reported to VAERS, since the DTaP was licensed in the early 1990s. Remember, these numbers are very likely to be a small fraction of the real number, due to severe under-reporting by doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Parents can also report adverse reactions to VAERS... if they know about it and if they are able to jump through the hoops to do so.

Please notice that in three months' time, there have been:

  • 50 Emergency Room Visits

  • 31 Serious Adverse Events

  • 8 Patients Disabled

  • 7 Life Threatening reactions

  • 2 Deaths

This is what was reported to VAERS as adverse reactions to the DTaP vaccine, in just 3 months. This does not include reactions reported for TDaP, so the numbers here ONLY include severe adverse reactions in children ten and under.

Let's look at the numbers for TDaP:

Why are the numbers for TDaP so much lower than for DTaP? There are probably several reasons, but the two most important are that TDaP was only licensed in 2005, so DTaP has been around much longer. The other really big reason is that it wasn't until just the last few years that TDaP has been strongly pushed on adolescents and adults - this is in stark contrast to DTaP, which is administered five times to every infant and child born in the United States and vaccinated according to the CDC's Childhood Vaccination Schedule. More vaccines given = more serious adverse events and deaths.

So, if we total the number of deaths from the acellular pertussis vaccine (just those that have been reported to VAERS), that number is 871.

871 deaths reported to VAERS from the acellular pertussis vaccine.

One reason why people die from the vaccine is anaphylaxis - a severe allergic reaction to a component of the vaccine. The vaccine-manufacturer's inserts warn about this, and they state that anyone who has had a previous severe reaction or who has a known allergy to ANY of the vaccine's ingredients should not receive the vaccine.

How many people do you know with milk allergies? There are a lot of them. Did you know the DTaP and TDaP vaccines contain milk protein? Neither did I until my daughter had a severe reaction. She has a milk allergy.

This article reports on the observations of a group of physicians who witnessed several cases of anaphylaxis in their patients following administration of the DTaP vaccine. (Note: The online report states the children received DPT vaccine. This is an error, since the DPT vaccine was no longer in use in the U.S. at the time.) The doctors presented their observations at an annual meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology in 2011. What I find most interesting is that initially, the doctors (who are trained in allergy and immunology) were at first shocked to find milk protein in the vaccines they tested. They thought it was due to contamination. They knew that food proteins are not supposed to be injected into the body - they're supposed to go through the gastrointestinal tract where they can be appropriately broken down. Well, guess what? It wasn't contamination. The bacterial components of the vaccine are cultured on casamino acids - milk. This problem has been known since at least 2011. Have you heard anything about it? Has your doctor asked if you or your child have a milk allergy before recommending the DTaP or TDaP vaccine? Our doctor knew of my daughter's milk allergy, but he recommended (pushed) for her to get the TDaP anyway. Why would he do that? He didn't know. He had never read the manufacturer's insert.

Going back to our Cost-Benefit Analysis and the questions: "Is the intervention beneficial, and if so, do the benefits outweigh the risks?"

We have already heard what the CDC has to say. "Vaccines are GREAT! Vaccines save lives! Line up and get your vaccine!"

As thinking people, we need to dig deeper and see if what we are being told is true.

In other words... Does the vaccine REALLY work? We are told it does, and we are also told we need to get the vaccine in order to protect "herd immunity." Unfortunately, there is no evidence that "vaccine-induced herd immunity exists." It's a theory. Let's think about this theory for a few moments...

Pro-vaccine folks who try to shame you into vaccinating to protect "the herd" often state that we have to have 90-95% vaccine coverage in order to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases. How many of you reading this are over the age of 30? I am. I'm 54. My last DTP vaccine was in the fifth grade. When I was a kid, teenagers, college students and adults were not targeted for vaccination, so after I got my fifth grade booster shots, that was it. The same is true for most adults my age. That being the case, and given that at least 50% of the adult population has been walking around with ZERO vaccine-induced immunity for years (since we now know vaccines wear off in 3-5 years, if they work at all), that kind of shoots down the whole "herd immunity" argument, doesn't it? There IS actually something to the herd immunity thing, and it used to be a real benefit to infants and young children whose mothers had natural immunity from the childhood illnesses they caught and fought through. That natural immunity was conferred to infants during their first year of life, and they were protected from things like measles and whooping cough. So, while it is true that vaccines have had an effect on herd immunity, it has not been a positive one. You can read more about herd immunity in this article from neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock.

In spite of the evidence (and common sense) telling us that vaccine-induced herd immunity is a load of whooey, we have all heard the reports on the morning talk shows and we have seen the news stories blaming unvaccinated children and their parents for outbreaks of pertussis. We need to take a deep breath and see just how likely this is to be the case. One way of doing that is to see if there are other explanations for what is going on.

According to this study, the number one bacteria that causes whooping cough is mutating. (Any bells going off yet?) Where have we heard THAT recently? Hint... The CDC says the 2014-2015 flu vaccine doesn't work as well as in most years because the flu strain is mutating. That's what viruses and bacteria do. They have been around since the dawn of time and they are very resilient. They will change and mutate in order to survive. Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. If you've ever taken an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, think back to what the doctor told you. It probably went something like this...

Be sure to take this antibiotic for the entire 7-10 days, and take it exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking it when you feel better. If you don't take it exactly as prescribed, it can cause the bacteria to change (mutate) and become resistant, and the next time you need the antibiotic it may not work."

(Light bulb yet?)

Here's the thing... If a bacteria can change to avoid eradication over the course of a 7-10 day administration of antibiotics, how are we supposed to believe a vaccine developed in 1991 against one strain of multiple bacteria that cause pertussis is still effective?

Yep. At the time when the DTaP was developed in 1991, Bordatella Pertussis was the major problem bacteria that was causing whooping cough. However, it is not the only bacteria that CAN cause whooping cough. That means the DTaP is a "partial coverage vaccine." Partial coverage just means there are other types of either viruses or bacteria that can also cause the disease in question. Right now, we're talking about whooping cough. Other partial coverage vaccines include the pneumococcal vaccine, the flu vaccine, the meningococcal vaccine, and the HPV vaccine.

One thing that happens with partial coverage vaccines is that when the vaccine only covers one or a few strains and doesn't cover the others, those that are not covered can (and do) become stronger. Those that are not covered can (and do) start to cause disease outbreaks when they didn't or at least not as much, or not as serious, as before the vaccine became widespread. This has happened with the prevnar vaccine (for pneumococcal disease), and it's why there are now three different versions: Prevnar7 (with 7 strains of streptococcus bacteria), Prevnar13 (with 13 strains of streptococcus) and Prevnar23 (with 23 strains of streptococcus). As the strep strains that are not covered in the vaccines become more problematic (this is known as "shift"), vaccine-developers have to keep going back to the drawing board (laboratory) to make new vaccines to cover more strains. Here is an article from the peer-reviewed medical literature that describes this issue. Of note... it's not just too many vaccines at work. It's also too many antibiotics. The overall issue is the bacteria are mutating and they are becoming more virulent and are more likely to be resistant to antibiotics. This is not a small issue. And it's not because children aren't getting enough vaccines or enough prescription medications. It's because they are getting too many.

The pro-vaccine folks are probably rolling their eyes and screaming at the computer (or phone), "You don't have any proof of that!"

Read on...

Let's look at some very recent studies that have been done in the laboratory, using non-human subjects. Yes. Non-human subjects. Why? Because that's where the research is being done. As far as Dr. Offit and other pro-vaccine folks are concerned, the questions have all been asked and answered and we don't need to look any further. Unfortunately, that's not the way science works. That's the way religion works.

As Dr. Bernadine Healy (former head of NIH) stated to Sharyl Attkisson in a 2008 interview for CBS, we need to look at the research being done in animal models and not discount that research just because it doesn't agree with the already-decided stance of those who benefit financially from the sale of vaccines. When we are talking about animal models and research, there are some that carry more weight than others, simply due to the fact that human beings share more DNA with certain animals (primates) than with others. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but it's a fact.

At this point, I'm going to take a little side-trip and discuss one animal-model study which, although it does not have anything to do with whooping cough, is a very good study to illustrate certain points.

This study, published in 2010, investigated the effects of the infant vaccine schedule (the one given to infant humans - the one Paul Offit wants to mandate without exemptions or exceptions for individuality), when adjusted for weight and given to infant macaque monkeys. The researchers used macaques because they share 93.5% of DNA with humans. In this study, the researchers divided the infant macaques into two groups. Unlike vaccine studies conducted with human participants, this was a true experimental design, with one experimental group (those who got vaccines) and one placebo group (those who didn't get vaccines). Here are the results:

So, there you have it. In a true experimental research study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated infant macaques, those that were vaccinated developed physiological symptoms consistent with what is often seen in children who have suffered reactions to vaccines and were later diagnosed with autism. Baby macaques in the placebo group, who were not vaccinated, did not.

Back to the DTaP...

As is discussed in this peer-reviewed scientific article, there are some animals that are more useful than others when we are talking about experiments investigating human physiology. Mice are often used. Baboons are the most preferred because they share 91% of DNA with humans, and therefore we can make stronger assumptions about whether or not the results of research can be applied to human beings.

So, what are we learning from the baboon studies?

According to this study, baboons who are vaccinated with the acellular pertussis vaccine can still harbor the bacteria in their throats (with or without symptoms) and spread it to others.

WHAT???Yes. Vaccinated baboons can spread pertussis to others EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE ZERO SYMPTOMS.

Let that soak in.

Now... think about the practice of "cocooning." Cocooning is the insane practice of vaccinating family members of infants (0ften before the infant comes home from the hospital), under the premise that in doing so, the infant will be protected from getting whooping cough. Tiny infants are the MOST vulnerable to serious outcomes from pertussis. If the findings of non-human primate studies hold true... cocooning is probably THE MOST dangerous thing that can possibly happen, from the vantage point of the tiny infant.

Now think about this...

If an unvaccinated child has pertussis, parents will know it and can take steps to stay away from newborns. If the results of this study hold true for humans, a vaccinated child or adult can hug and kiss a newborn and spread pertussis without even realizing it. If the results are true for humans, it also means the more people are vaccinated with the DTaP or TDaP vaccine, the more likely they are to be contributing to the outbreaks of whooping cough. Could that be why, in recent history, every single pertussis outbreak has occurred in populations where the percentage of vaccinated individuals is higher than the national average? Whip out your common sense meter here.

Still not convinced? Okay... Let's dig some more.

Remember when I told you that Bordatella Pertussis is only ONE of multiple strains of bacteria that cause whooping cough? And remember when we talked about "shift" and how those strains not covered in the vaccine can become more problematic? So far, we've been talking about evidence from non-human studies. As you are probably aware, the biggest and most widely publicized "pertussis outbreaks" have been in California. ("Pertussis" is in quotes, because according to the California Department of Public Health, it's not just Bordatella Pertussis that's causing the outbreaks.)

See that little blurb under the heading of Incidence of disease ???

It is estimated that 1% to 35% of known Bordatella infections are caused by B. parapertussis. Outbreaks are known to occur and have been reported recently in California."

I'll give you a moment to absorb that. I know it's difficult. This is completely different from everything we've been told by the mainstream news sources so many of us rely on. Not to sound like your mother, but... "Don't believe everything you hear on television. Especially when each 60 minute news cast has between 5-10 commercials for pharmaceutical products." Yep. Just like Paul Offit, your "news" is bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Shocking. I know.

So, if up to 35% of whooping cough cases are being caused by B. parapertussis, what could be causing what appears to be an increase in those cases? For this one, we don't have human studies, and we don't have primate studies. We have a mouse-model.

Their data showed no within-host competition between B. pertussis and B. parapertussis, as well as a strong acellular vaccine-induced protection against infection with B. pertussis in both singly and co-infected mice. In contrast, VACCINATION LED TO A 40-FOLD ENHANCEMENT OF B. parapertussis COLONIZATION IN THE LUNGS... It is speculated to involve specific immune responses skewed or dampened by the acellular vaccine..."

This research from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University STRONGLY suggests that, despite what you are being told about how the unvaccinated are spreading disease, the opposite is true, and it is THE VACCINATED who are infecting each other through a combination of factors, including vaccines that don't work, and which cause the development of new, more virulent strains of bacteria and viruses, which are spreading in the absence of symptoms, and which are greatly increased in the lungs of vaccine recipients WHEN THEY ARE VACCINATED.


I'm so glad we've cleared that up.

Please. Educate yourself about vaccines before you vaccinate your children. If you choose to vaccinate, do not do it because you are fear-mongered or guilted into it. Consider where your information is coming from, and who is paying to ensure what information you receive. And remember, if something happens to your child, Dr. Offit won't be the one paying for the funeral or for the life-long care of your child. You will.

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Kepler discovery: The 1000th exoplanet

Kepler search space

© iltredicesimocavaliere.wordpress.com

As far as the eye can see!

How many stars like our sun host planets like our Earth? NASA's Kepler Space Telescope continuously monitored more than 150,000 stars beyond our solar system, and to date has offered scientists an assortment of more than 4,000 candidate planets for further study -- the 1,000th of which was recently verified.

Using Kepler data, scientists reached this millenary milestone after validating that eight more candidates spotted by the planet-hunting telescope are, in fact, planets. The Kepler team also has added another 554 candidates to the roll of potential planets, six of which are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of stars similar to our sun.

Three of the newly-validated planets are located in their distant suns' habitable zone, the range of distances from the host star where liquid water might exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. Of the three, two are likely made of rock, like Earth.

"Each result from the planet-hunting Kepler mission's treasure trove of data takes us another step closer to answering the question of whether we are alone in the Universe," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "The Kepler team and its science community continue to produce impressive results with the data from this venerable explorer."

To determine whether a planet is made of rock, water or gas, scientists must know its size and mass. When its mass can't be directly determined, scientists can infer what the planet is made of based on its size.

Kepler hall of fame

© marketbusinessnews.com

Two of the newly validated planets, Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b, are less than 1.5 times the diameter of Earth. Kepler-438b, 475 light-years away, is 12 percent bigger than Earth and orbits its star once every 35.2 days. Kepler-442b, 1,100 light-years away, is 33 percent bigger than Earth and orbits its star once every 112 days.

Both Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b orbit stars smaller and cooler than our sun, making the habitable zone closer to their parent star, in the direction of the constellation Lyra. The research paper reporting this finding has been accepted for publication in .

"With each new discovery of these small, possibly rocky worlds, our confidence strengthens in the determination of the true frequency of planets like Earth," said co-author Doug Caldwell, SETI Institute Kepler scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. "The day is on the horizon when we'll know how common temperate, rocky planets like Earth are."

With the detection of 554 more planet candidates from Kepler observations conducted May 2009 to April 2013, the Kepler team has raised the candidate count to 4,175. Eight of these new candidates are between one to two times the size of Earth, and orbit in their sun's habitable zone. Of these eight, six orbit stars are similar to our sun in size and temperature. All candidates require follow-up observations and analysis to verify they are actual planets.

"Kepler collected data for four years -- long enough that we can now tease out the Earth-size candidates in one Earth-year orbits", said Fergal Mullally, SETI Institute Kepler scientist at Ames who led the analysis of a new candidate catalog. "We're closer than we've ever been to finding Earth twins around other sun-like stars. These are the planets we're looking for."

These findings also have been submitted for publication in

Work is underway to translate these recent discoveries into estimates of how often rocky planets appear in the habitable zones of stars like our sun, a key step toward NASA's goal of understanding our place in the universe.

Ha, ha! Harvard Obamacare architects subjected to their own policy recommendations and have to pay more for healthcare


© unknown

The brain incubator at Harvard, the place which according to legend, and certainly the US News and World Report's annual paid college infomercial, is the repository for some of the smartest people in the world, is furious.

The reason - Harvard's illustrious faculty has learned that they too will be subject to their own policy recommendations as relates to Obamacare, which they themselves helped conceive. As the left-leaning NYT reported earlier today, "for years, Harvard's experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar."

Because Harvard's brilliant economists and public policy wonks know precisely how to fix the world... as long as said fix never applies to them.

And sure enough, the faculty did everything in its power to make sure it never had to suffer the consequences of its own brilliance...

"Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed."

... But it was too late:

The faculty vote came too late to stop the cost increases from taking effect this month, and the anger on campus remains focused on questions that are agitating many workplaces: How should the burden of health costs be shared by employers and employees? If employees have to bear more of the cost, will they skimp on medically necessary care, curtail the use of less valuable services, or both?

And it just gets better:

"Harvard is a microcosm of what's happening in health care in the country," said David M. Cutler, a health economist at the university who was an adviser to President Obama's 2008 campaign. But only up to a point: Professors at Harvard have until now generally avoided the higher expenses that other employers have been passing on to employees. That makes the outrage among the faculty remarkable, Mr. Cutler said, because "Harvard was and remains a very generous employer."

Ah, hypocrisy: exactly the same whether it is at the lowliest of community colleges or the leading bastion of liberal thought.

In Harvard's health care enrollment guide for 2015, the university said it "must respond to the national trend of rising health care costs, including some driven by health care reform," otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act. The guide said that Harvard faced "added costs" because of provisions in the health care law that extend coverage for children up to age 26, offer free preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies and, starting in 2018, add a tax on high-cost insurance, known as the Cadillac tax.

The faculty is enraged, ENRAGED that what it hoped would only apply to the plebian peasantry is just as applicable to the self-appointed smartest people in the world. Here's Dick:

Richard F. Thomas, a Harvard professor of classics and one of the world's leading authorities on Virgil, called the changes "deplorable, deeply regressive, a sign of the corporatization of the university."

And here's Mary:

Mary D. Lewis, a professor who specializes in the history of modern France and has led opposition to the benefit changes, said they were tantamount to a pay cut. "Moreover," she said, "this pay cut will be timed to come at precisely the moment when you are sick, stressed or facing the challenges of being a new parent."

Why the anger? Because Harvard thought that it would be, drumroll, exempt from the Affordable Care Act which it was instrumental in conceiving :

The university is adopting standard features of most employer-sponsored health plans: Employees will now pay deductibles and a share of the costs, known as coinsurance, for hospitalization, surgery and certain advanced diagnostic tests. The plan has an annual deductible of $250 per individual and $750 for a family. For a doctor's office visit, the charge is $20. For most other services, patients will pay 10 percent of the cost until they reach the out-of-pocket limit of $1,500 for an individual and $4,500 for a family.

Previously, Harvard employees paid a portion of insurance premiums and had low out-of-pocket costs when they received care.

Kinda like how America worked before the tax that is Obamacare was forcefully shoved down everyone's throat thanks to Harvard brilliant geniuses no less who decided it was time to treat the free market like their own socialist lab experiment. But hey, at least it helped "boost" Q1 Q3 GDP by 1%.

It has gotten so bad that Harvard, realizing it is not exempt for , is suffering from "distress" and "anxiety."

The president of Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust, acknowledged in a letter to the faculty that the changes in health benefits - though based on recommendations from some of the university's own health policy experts - were "causing distress" and had "generated anxiety" on campus. But she said the changes were necessary because Harvard's health benefit costs were growing faster than operating revenues or staff salaries and were threatening the budget for other priorities like teaching, research and student aid.

In response, Harvard professors, including mathematicians and microeconomists, have dissected the university's data and question whether its health costs have been growing as fast as the university says. Some created spreadsheets and contended that the university's arguments about the growth of employee health costs were misleading. In recent years, national health spending has been growing at an exceptionally slow rate.

We also learn that the only reason why it was called "Affordable Care" is because, apparently, it was unaffordable.

Some ideas that looked good to academia in theory are now causing consternation. In 2009, while Congress was considering the health care legislation, Dr. Alan M. Garber - then a Stanford professor and now the provost of Harvard - led a group of economists who sent an open letter to Mr. Obama endorsing cost-control features of the bill. They praised the Cadillac tax as a way to rein in health costs and premiums.

Dr. Garber, a physician and health economist, has been at the center of the current Harvard debate. He approved the changes in benefits, which were recommended by a committee that included university administrators and experts on health policy.

In an interview, Dr. Garber acknowledged that Harvard employees would face greater cost-sharing, but he defended the changes. "Cost-sharing, if done appropriately, can slow the growth of health spending," he said. "We need to be prepared for the very real possibility that health expenditure growth will take off again.

But Jerry R. Green, a professor of economics and a former provost who has been on the Harvard faculty for more than four decades, said the new out-of-pocket costs could lead people to defer medical care or diagnostic tests, causing more serious illnesses and costly complications in the future.

"It's equivalent to taxing the sick," Professor Green said. "I don't think there's any government in the world that would tax the sick."

But in her view, there are drawbacks to the Harvard plan and others like it that require consumers to pay a share of health care costs at the time of service. "Consumer cost-sharing is a blunt instrument," Professor Rosenthal said. "It will save money, but we have strong evidence that when faced with high out-of-pocket costs, consumers make choices that do not appear to be in their best interests in terms of health.

Dr. Garber, a physician and health economist, has been at the center of the current Harvard debate. He approved the changes in benefits, which were recommended by a committee that included university administrators and experts on health policy.

If you aren't crying with laughter yet, you will now once the sheer idiocy of central planning, even when conceived by the world's smartest people, is unveiled:

Harvard's new plan is far more generous than plans sold on public insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Harvard says its plan pays 91 percent of the cost of care for a typical consumer, while the most popular plans on the exchanges, known as silver plans, pay 70 percent, on average.

In many states, consumers have complained about health plans that limit their choice of doctors and hospitals. Some Harvard employees have said they will gladly accept a narrower network of health care providers if it lowers their costs. But Harvard's ability to create such networks is complicated by the fact that some of Boston's best-known, most expensive hospitals are affiliated with Harvard Medical School. To create a network of high-value providers, Harvard would probably need to exclude some of its own teaching hospitals, or discourage their use.

"Harvard employees want access to everything," said Dr. Barbara J. McNeil, the head of the health care policy department at Harvard Medical School and a member of the benefits committee. "They don't want to be restricted in what institutions they can get care from."

In other words, compared to the rest of the socialist experiment they helped conceive, Harvard has it much, much better. "Although out-of-pocket costs over all for a typical Harvard employee are to increase in 2015, administrators said premiums would decline slightly. They noted that the university, which has an endowment valued at more than $36 billion, had an unusual program to provide protection against high out-of-pocket costs for employees earning $95,000 a year or less. Still, professors said the protections did not offset the new financial burdens that would fall on junior faculty and lower-paid staff members."

But the punchline comes from none other than a sociologist:

"It seems that Harvard is trying to save money by shifting costs to sick people," said Mary C. Waters, a professor of sociology. "I don't understand why a university with Harvard's incredible resources would do this. What is the crisis?"

Indeed: how dare a university with such "incredible resources" be forced to comply with the policy it itself helped create?

Of course, none of the above is the issue at hand: what is really pissing Harvard off, is that as its perennial next door competitor MIT, as expressed by one professor Jonathan Gruber, made it quite clear that only a nation as stupid as America would allow such as an opaque law as Obamacare to be passed. And, by implication, Harvard being subject to this law, makes its faculty about as stupid as the average American voter. And there is nothing more crushing, "distressing" and "anxiety-provoking" for a bunch of wealthy, ivory tower dwellers than seeing their own egos go down in flames.

Or, said otherwise: MIT 1 - Harvard 0.

Deadly 115-vehicle pileup on I-94 near Battle Creek, MI; evacuation orders issued

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Both directions of I-94 are closed west of Battle Creek and a shelter-in-place order is in effect due to two pileups including as many as 115 vehicles and one fatality, according to Michigan State Police Lt. Rick Pazder.

Michigan State Police currently have a one-mile radius shelter-in-place order from I-94 at the 90 mile marker, which is located near 44th Street in Charleston Township, as authorities believe all hazardous materials have burned off in a fire. A three-mile radius evacuation order that centered on the same location has been lifted.

Both directions of I-94 were shut down shortly after 10 a.m. between the Galesburg and Climax exits (exits 88 and 92) after pileups occurred in both the eastbound and westbound lanes.

I-94 Pileup

© Kathryn Dennis

Michigan State Police told 24 Hour News that at least four semi-trucks and two cars are still on fire, including one truck that is carrying hazardous materials and another that is full of fireworks.

Initially, emergency responders believed around 90 vehicles were involved in the crashes. Police at the scene are still trying to determine the exact number of vehicles in each pileup.

Padzer said one fatality has been confirmed. All of those who were injured have been accounted for and moved from the crash scenes. Borgess Hospital says it is treating six patients who were injured in the crashes. A hospital spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8 that one of those patients is in serious condition and the five others are in fair condition.

Bronson Methodist Hospital is also treating four patients who are said to be in good condition and Bronson's facility in Battle Creek is treating six with minor injuries.

Police said the area will be closed for a while and are asking drivers to avoid the area.

Metro Transit's transportation director, Sean McBride, told 24 Hour News 8 that three buses were being sent to the scene of the crashes to help keep stranded passengers and emergency workers warm. They will also transport people to a location where they can find additional transportation if necessary. The Battle Creek Police Department sent a release saying displaced motorists will be taken to the Galesburg-Augusta Primary School.

In a separate incident, eastbound I-94 at Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo is also closed due to a crash, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

In a third incident, westbound I-94 at M-37 (Columbia Ave) Exit 92 is closed due to a crash per Calhoun County Dispatch.

The Battle Creek Police Department is requesting that area residents stay off the roads as much as possible on Friday as snow continues to fall and emergency responders try to catch up on clearing a variety of accidents.

150-car pileup on Michigan interstate during snowstorm leaves one dead

© Twitter/@YahooCanadaNews

A crash involving 100 vehicles this morning on I-94 between Battle Creek and Galesburg killed one person, injured 16 and closed the freeway, drawing an areawide response from police, fire, rescue and community resources.

Some vehicles were burning in the smashup west of Exit 92, including a truck that carried fireworks. Shortly before noon, those fireworks caught fire, causing an extended display of aerial explosions.

Michigan State Police confirmed one fatality in the crash. Area hospitals reported treating 16 patients; one remained in serious condition about 1 p.m.

I-94 is closed in both directions from Exit 88 east of Galesburg to Exit 92 west of Battle Creek, the Michigan Department of Transportation said.

Only a few vehicles were involved in what Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard C. Fuller said was the first crash at the scene about halfway between Battle Creek and Galesburg. That occurred in the eastbound lanes. Quickly, vehicles began to pile up in the westbound lanes of the freeway, slamming one after another into vehicles ahead and the median barrier. Crashed vehicles stretched for hundreds of yards in the westbound lanes.

Battle Creek police and fire crews joined the response to the crash, city officials said. And two Battle Creek Transit buses were dispatched to the scene to carry uninjured crash victims from the scene, where it was 12 degrees late this morning, to a Galesburg-Augusta school serving as a warming shelter.

© Trace Christenson,

Firefighters battle one of the truck fires in eastbound lanes on I-94 between Battle Creek and Galesburg, Mich.

The crash was reported about 10 a.m. By 1 p.m., it appeared that most of the victims had been transported from the scene.

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo received four patients from the crash. One had been in critical condition, but all five were reported to be in good condition early this afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Carolyn Wyllie said. She said six other patients were taken to Bronson Battle Creek with minor injuries.

Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo received six patients from the crash; one was in serious condition, while the others were listed as "fair," according to spokesman Lew Tysman.

As wreckage continued to burn early this afternoon, police briefly asked those within one mile of the crash scene to stay inside if they have not already been evacuated.

"Hazmat officials believe that hazardous material that was on scene is probably entirely burned off by now, so what we're asking for now is for shelter in place, where anyone within one mile of the crash scene, we're just asking them if they have not evacuated to stay inside, said Michigan State Police Lt. Rick Pazder.

No other homes need to be evacuated, he said.

Pazder said there is one confirmed fatality, but "It's unknown if there are others at this point."

He said it's believed there were more than 100 vehicles involved. Pazder said it was difficult to get emergency crews close to tally up the vehicles because of the ongoing fire.

I-94 is expected to remain shut down for an estimated 12 hours, he said

Battle Creek police asked area residents to stay off the roads if possible today as officers respond to many crashes across the area and devote resources to the I-94 crash.

© Trace Christenson/

FLASHBACK: Truth, justice and the curious case of Chris Kyle

"American Sniper" Chris Kyle

"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night" - Bette Davis

A few weeks ago I was reading online about the defamation lawsuit filed by Jesse Ventura against former Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle. The case sounded pretty interesting, so, I borrowed from a friend a copy of American Sniper, the autobiography of Chris Kyle, and read it. It was a very compelling read.

Here is a little background on Chris Kyle and his story: Kyle was a Navy SEAL sniper from Texas. He claims to be the deadliest sniper in American history with over 160 'confirmed' kills. Confirmed kills are defined as kills with at least one other witness besides the shooter. Kyle served four tours of duty in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars for Valor for his actions during the war. Upon returning to Texas after his tours of duty were over, he settled down with his wife and two kids, started a security firm and wrote a book about his experiences as a sniper. The book, American Sniper, became an instant success and propelled Chris Kyle into a sort of celebrity status. Kyle also worked helping other war veterans deal with PTSD when they returned from the war. On February 2, 2013, Chris brought a vet suffering from PTSD to a shooting range where the vet shot and killed both Chris Kyle and a friend.

The Court Case

In the lead up to the defamation case going to trial, all of the legal experts on television and in print said that it was highly unlikely that Jesse Ventura could win the case because the bar was set very high in defamation cases concerning celebrities. According to these various experts, in order for Ventura to win he would need to prove that not only did Chris Kyle lie about him, but also prove that he did so maliciously and that he prospered from it.

Despite the very high burden of proof, on July 19, 2014, Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, WWF wrestler, TV show host and Former Navy SEAL (technically he was in the pre-cursor to SEALs, the UDT) won a defamation lawsuit against deceased former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, author of American Sniper to the tune of $1.8 million. In the book, Chris Kyle, claimed to have punched 'Scruff-face', later identified by Kyle as Jesse Ventura, in a SEAL bar in California after Ventura said some nasty things. Here is the passage in question from the book:

After the funeral, we went to a local bar for the wake proper. (for Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor winner Mike Monsoor who was killed in action in Iraq)

As always, there were a bunch of different things going on at our favorite nightspot, including a small party for some older SEALs and UDT members who were celebrating the anniversary of their graduation. Among them was a celebrity I'll call Scruff Face.

Scruff served in the military; most people seem to believe he was a SEAL. As far as I know, he was in service during the Vietnam conflict but not the actual war.

I was sitting with Ryan (a SEAL who was wounded and blinded in the Iraq war) and told him that Scruff was holding court with some of his buddies.

"I'd really like to meet him, " Ryan said.

"Sure". I got up and went over to Scruff and introduced myself. "Mr. Scruff Face, I have a young SEAL over here who's just come back from Iraq. He's been injured but he'd really like to meet you."

Well, Scruff kind of blew us off. Still, Ryan really wanted to meet him, so I brought him over. Scruff acted like he couldn't be bothered.

All right.

We went back over to our side of the bar and had a few more drinks. In the meantime, Scruff started running his mouth about the war and everything and anything he could connect to it. President Bush was an asshole. We were only over there because Bush wanted to show up his father. We were doing the wrong thing, killing men, woman and children and murdering.

And on and on. Scruff said he hates America and that's why he moved to Baja California. 9/11 was a conspiracy.

And on some more.

The guys were getting upset. Finally, I went over and tried to get him to cool it.

"We're all here in mourning." I told him. "Can you just cool it? Keep it down."

"You deserve to lose a few," he told me.

I was uncharacteristically level-headed at that moment.

"Look," I told him, "why don't we just step away from each other and go on our way?"

Scruff bowed up again. This time he swung.

Being level-headed and calm can last only so long. I laid him out.

Tables flew. Stuff happened. Scruff face ended up on the floor.

I left.


I have no way of knowing for sure, but rumor has it he showed up at the BUD/S graduation with a black eye.

That is the story that was proven to be untrue in the court proceedings. Jesse Ventura didn't say those things to Chris Kyle or any other SEAL. Chris Kyle did not hit Jesse Ventura. The entire episode never occurred. Or to put it another way, Chris Kyle lied. To put an even finer point on it, Chris Kyle lied to make himself look good.

Chris Kyle, The Hero Archetype and Fantastical Tales of Wonder

Having read the book, I went and did some more research of Chris Kyle and his life. The things I found were pretty astounding. If you thought the Jesse Ventura fight was a hell of a yarn, wait until you get a load of some of the other stories Chris Kyle told about himself but left out of his book.

Chris told many people, and some reporters, that just after his return from Iraq in 2009, he was carjacked by two men at a gas station on a remote Texas highway. Chris asked the men if he could reach into his truck to get his keys, and as he did he pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot both men in the chest from under his armpit. The two men were killed instantly. Chris called the police and waited for them while leaning against his truck. The police came, Chris handed them a phone number to call at the Pentagon. The cops called the number, and the people at the Pentagon told the cops that Chris Kyle was a war hero and a Navy SEAL. The police also went inside and watched the gas station surveillance video of the incident. The cops then let Chris go on his way. Chris claimed he got emails from cops all across the country after the incident thanking him for "keeping the streets clean". Great story. Except none of it is true. Not a word. There were no carjackers, no dead bodies, no cops, none of it. He made the whole thing up. His big mistake was then telling the story to his SEAL friend, Marcus Lutrell, author of Lone Survivor, and Marcus put the story in his second book, Service: A Navy SEAL at Work. Now it wasn't just a tall-tale, it was in the public record, and it is demonstrably a lie. The New Yorker magazine and other journalists have investigated the story. They all come to the same conclusion. There were no carjackers. There were no dead bodies. There were no cops. None of it happened. No police departments know anything about it, no coroner ever saw the bodies, no gas station had any surveillance video or ever heard of such a thing and no cops ever responded to the scene and called the Pentagon.

Superdome during Hurricane Katrina

The second story that was told by Chris Kyle was that he and another SEAL were sent by the government to New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Once they got to New Orleans, Chris and another sniper went to the roof of the Superdome, and started shooting looters in the city. Chris Kyle said this to many people, he also said this on tape. Chris claims to have killed thirty looters all on his own. Helluva story. Only problem is...there's not a speck of truth in it. Once again this is a total fabrication, or to put it less delicately, a complete, bold faced lie. Chris Kyle never went to New Orleans after Katrina. He never shot 'looters'. Just like with the carjackers, there are no bodies and no documentary or corroborating evidence it occurred. None. Chris Kyle lied. Again.

Don't take my word for it...Here are two links to in-depth articles about these two stories.

(New Yorker Washington Post )

Taya Kyle, Chris's wife, fought in court to make sure that both of those stories were kept out of the Jesse Ventura defamation lawsuit because she didn't want her husband to be "labelled a liar". Smart woman. The stories were kept out of the lawsuit, and yet, incredibly, Ventura still proved Kyle was lying about the bar room fight (or non-fight, as it turned out).

These stories are so fantastical that only a true believer could ever think them anything other than fairy tales. So the question becomes, why would Chris Kyle tell such patently absurd stories?

Rambo, Red Meat, and the Spitting Protestors Canard

Chris Kyle told other lies as well, but these he put in his book. They are smaller lies compared to the car jacking and Katrina stories, but they are important nonetheless because they show a pattern of lies and embellishment that is troubling. One lie is about when Chris first went to deploy for Iraq. Here is the passage from the book:

Generally, when SEALs go out for a deployment or come back, we do so very quietly - that's the nature of special operations. There are usually few people around except for our immediate families; sometimes not even them. In this case, because of when I was heading out, it happened that I passed a small group of protestors demonstrating against the war. They had signs about baby killers and whatever, protesting the troops who were going over to fight.

Great story. It really is. We have poor Chris Kyle was going off to war to fight for our freedoms and he had to go past these assholes calling him a baby killer. That would be pretty infuriating...except...it isn't true. It never happened. There may have been protestors, but none of them had "baby killer" signs or were protesting the troops. This is at worst pure fantasy, at best a great embellishment. San Diego and Coronado, California are very pro-military areas. There are huge populations of active service and retired military people living there. A protestor with a "baby killer" sign would stick out like a sore thumb. That would also make not only the local news, but national news. And other vets would have reported the same thing on their own websites or chat rooms. None of that happened. There is no reporting, or evidence that there were ever any protestors with "baby killer" signs anywhere near San Diego or Coronado California. Or anywhere else for that matter. Never. Nor were there any pictures taken of those signs or news reports about them. Chris Kyle lied again.

Rambo: A Fake Person but a Real American Hero

This lie is not a new one, it is really just an urban myth from the Vietnam era, popularized by a monologue in the Sylvester Stallone film, First Blood. In his speech Stallone's character, Vietnam veteran John Rambo says, "And I come back to the world and I see all those maggots at the airport, protesting me, spitting. Calling me baby killer!" Sound familiar? Yes, just like American hero, John Rambo, Chris Kyle was called baby killer by protestors. This doesn't pass the smell test. It didn't happen to John Rambo because he isn't a real person, and it didn't happen to Chris Kyle either because it is factually untrue. As for the spitting protestor canard, please read the book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory and Legacy of Vietnam by Jerry Lembcke. His book dismantles the myth of the vicious Vietnam war protestor spitting on the poor, returning vet. Here is a link- LINK.

We Found Them!!

Another lie Chris Kyle tells in his book is about those pesky missing WMDs. Here is the passage:

At another location, we found barrels of chemical material that was intended for use as biochemical weapons. Everyone talks about there being no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but they seem to be referring to completed nuclear bombs, not the many deadly chemical weapons or precursors that Saddam had stockpiled.

Maybe the reason is that the writing on the barrels showed that the chemicals came from France and Germany, our supposed Western allies.


What a groundbreaking story. This is interesting insight from someone who was there and can tell us first hand. Except of course, it is all a lie. Completely fabricated. Totally untrue. There were no barrels of WMD, and the story wasn't covered up because it would offend our allies France and Germany. The story couldn't be covered up because it never happened. This is something that can be easily checked and verified. You can do it yourself. I did. It is a lie. There is no proof or evidence that this incident occurred. Even if you simply apply logic and reason, this story crumbles. The US would gladly embarrass the French over WMDs. Remember the "Freedom Fries" nonsense? The French were our national punching bags for years because they didn't "back us in Iraq". If we had the chance to rub their "cheese-eating-surrender-monkey" noses in it, we certainly would have taken it.

So why would Chris Kyle lie about shooting car jackers and looters, and "baby killer" signs and WMDs? The answer is two-fold. Firstly, he did it to reinforce his status as a hero. Chris Kyle embodied the Hero Archetype. His fans would be the first to tell you this. He was a hero for fighting for his country, he was a hero for killing so many Iraqis, he was a hero for saving American lives. This is his story, and it's the story he tells in American Sniper, and it is why he is beloved by so many. But, like all archetypes, the Hero Archetype has a life of it's own. Chris Kyle was submerged in it and overcome by it. He even says in his book that he felt "invincible". It could be easy to see how he would be swept away by all the hype and praise and glory. He knew he didn't kill any car jackers or looters, but he could have ... and that was all that mattered in his mind. He BELIEVED that he did, even while he KNEW that he didn't. The archetype made him BELIEVE it, his rational mind KNEW it was false, but the rational mind almost always takes a back seat when the archetype is in town.

The following is the definition of the Hero Archetype: "

HERO: He is a character who predominantly exhibits goodness and struggles against evil in order to restore harmony and justice to society"

. That is the Rambo story. That is also the story of Chris Kyle, or to be more exact, that is the story Chris Kyle tells, to us and, more importantly, to himself.

So why the other lies about the "baby killer" signs and the WMDs? This is simply, in a storytelling and narrative sense, to reinforce the hero's struggle by giving him multiple foils and also to give context to his journey. As a storytelling device, these lies do two things for Chris. One, they make him a sympathetic figure who overcomes not only physical danger in the form of enemies on the battlefield, but also gives him a spiritual strength by making him a martyr for fighting to protect people who hate him. Secondly, the stories make him out to be 'The Truthteller'. Chris Kyle knows the REAL truth, and he is the only one brave enough to actually tell it. Kyle's 'Hero journey' was not only against the evil hordes of Iraqis and Muslims, both of whom he calls "savages" in his book, but against the evil opposition back home in the form of anti-war people, Jesse Ventura being a prime example. The protestor and WMD lies are about feeding red meat to a certain segment of the population, people who are not only pro-war, but anti-liberal. These folks buy a lot of books, as Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly can attest. The stories and lies Chris Kyle told were the juicy, delicious red meat of which they dream. Chris Kyle became a hero to them not only because he killed lots of Iraqis, but also because he had slain all sorts of uncomfortable factual dragons as well. In other words, Chris Kyle told people what they wanted to hear, and those people loved him for it. How many people heard Kyle tell the story of punching Ventura and thought, "Yes, finally somebody shut that loud mouth up!". He proved to these folks that, "Yes! Anti-war people DO hate the troops, just like I thought all along". And "Yes, there WERE WMDs in Iraq...SEE...BUSH WAS RIGHT!!! I WAS RIGHT!!" Except, of course, they weren't, and we know that now. But Chris Kyle let these people live in a world of fantasy and call it reality. He was very good at doing that sort of thing, especially with himself.

The Usual Suspects

What has been interesting in the aftermath of the verdict against Chris Kyle is that the media has gone into hyper-drive in attacking Jesse Ventura, and not Chris Kyle. Kyle is a proven liar, yet no one talks about that. They all talk about how could Jesse Ventura sue a poor widow. I find this baffling. What is even more baffling, and frankly appalling, is how they so thoroughly misrepresent the facts of the case and misinform the populace.

Have you no shame, Anderson?

Anderson Cooper, of CNN, proved once again there is no depth so low that his journalistic integrity won't sink to it, when he said of Ventura, "Has he no shame?" Cooper had nothing at all to say about Chris Kyle and his lying, and made no mention of the very public and provable other lies Kyle told besides his Ventura lie. Shouldn't the question be, "Chris Kyle, have you no shame?", but it isn't. Proving once more, that truth has no meaning for Anderson Cooper.

The question becomes...why isn't the media up in arms over Chris bullshitting them? Remember when Oprah had a conniption when she discovered author James Frey had lied to her about his book A Million Little Pieces? Why aren't the media directing their venom at Chris Kyle for having lied to make himself out to be more than he was, rather than attacking Jesse Ventura? The answer, of course, is that the media is in the same business as Chris Kyle...the "giving people what they want" business. Watch and listen, if you dare, to these three fine examples of journalistic integrity over at "Fox and Friends". WARNING: Steve Doocey Alert . Video not available.

Every media outlet, all the cable channels and every other talking head, is saying how disgusting Ventura is, and not saying a word about Chris Kyle except to call him a hero. The question from everyone is, "Jesse...why won't you give the money back to this widow?" As opposed to being, why did Chris Kyle lie about this incident to enrich himself and what other lies has he told? Everyone is up in arms that Ventura would "sue a widow". The facts of the case are, he sued Chris Kyle, and then Kyle died in the lead up to the trial. All along Ventura said he'd drop the suit if Kyle just retracted the statement. Kyle wouldn't do that. He decided to stick to the lie, then tragically, Kyle was killed. Why is that Ventura's problem? Ventura didn't lie, Kyle did.

Watch this CBS This Morning interview with Ventura the day after the court decision. Notice how dismissive and oppositional all the questioners are.

[embedded content]

Notice in particular the "journalist" , and I use that term very very loosely, Norah O'Donnell, being intentionally obtuse and misstating the facts of the case..."there WAS an argument... correct?". No Norah, there wasn't, THAT IS WHY WE HAD A TRIAL!! You beautiful, yet vacuous dipshit!

Heads I win, Tails You Lose and the Magic of the Rearview Mirror

The other thing talking heads and writers have been saying of Jesse Ventura is that he should have "dropped the lawsuit when Chris Kyle died, then he could have saved his reputation!" Or "Ventura sued to save his reputation but has damaged it by winning the lawsuit against a widow!". This sort of logic is a shortcut to thinking. If Ventura had dropped the lawsuit people wouldn't say "Oh, what a great guy", instead they wouldn't say anything at all and would still despise Ventura for his 'conspiracy theories'. Then they would recall how Chris Kyle punched him out for bad-mouthing America, and when Ventura would say that wasn't true, these same talking heads would say, "Well, if it weren't true you should have sued for defamation!!" This is how the game works. Heads they win, tails you lose. As my grandmother used to say, "damned if you do, damned if you don't." The same thing would have happened if Ventura dropped the suit when Chris Kyle was killed. The media likes to play the game of hindsight with everyone except themselves.

Charity Begins at Home and The Money Trail

One final lie that has been told ad nauseam, is that Chris Kyle and his family donated all the proceeds from the sale of the book American Sniper to families of vets. The Kyle's say that 100% has gone to charities that support other vet families. This is an out and out lie, and a really despicable one that is repeated constantly by the corporate media. The truth is...the family has only given 2% of the profits to charity. The profits from the book belong to the Kyle family, and they should do with them what they please, but what they shouldn't do is tell people they are giving the money away in order to look good, while they in fact keep the money. The Kyle family has made over $6 million from the book, and that number will increase with further book sales and from an upcoming movie starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood. So why isn't the corporate media up in arms over Chris Kyle and his wife lying repeatedly about the profits and proceeds from the book? Instead of asking Jesse Ventura why he doesn't give the money he is owed back to the Kyle family, why not ask the Kyle family why they keep lying about giving money to vets when they don't?

To further inform yourself, please read this really thoughtful and smart article over at The New Republic that give the facts of the case and dispel the myths that the media is selling. LINK

I Come To Bury Truth, Not To Praise It

Truth has become the enemy in America. It is hated and despised. The people who hate the truth the most are the ones who are in power. That is why the media is so quick to heap vitriol upon Ventura and not question the legacy of Kyle. Lies are celebrated. Lies are tonic for the ills that truth reveals. You never saw anyone taken to task for lying about the Iraq war. No one, not a government official, or a pundit or a journalist or a media personality, lost their job over lying about or being wrong about Iraq.

The lies that the media has wrapped itself in for the sake of ingratiating itself to power are easily observed. In regards to the Iraq war alone, the fellating of power by the media, and by the public, is amazing and easy to see. First we had the march to war...the lies Bush and company told about WMDs and Iraq's involvement in 9-11. Then we had the farce of the Jessica Lynch story, which Chris Kyle repeats in his book without the slightest regard to the truth. Then we have the charade of the death of Pat Tillman, a true American hero, who is violated and desecrated in death by the same government and media that duped him into serving in the first place.

Jesse Ventura

This is why the media hates Jesse Ventura in particular. Ventura was vociferously against the Iraq war. He was right, and the corporate media, and most of the public, were wrong. They were either duped or complicit, but Ventura saw through the smokescreens. He is also a 9-11 Truther. This drives the corporate media and establishment types batty. It is a direct assault on their authority. It is sort of amusing and ironic that the term "Truther" has become derogatory in the media and in America. Telling the truth, or asking questions looking for it, is a sure fire way to get on the wrong side of the corporate media, Jesse Ventura is living proof of that.

Watch the news clips above, and search out others, and notice something...no one...not a single person, is interested in the truth. The truth is never mentioned, never eluded to, never a consideration. Truth is the real victim in this case. Truth is the forgotten one. The old Superman slogan was , "Truth, Justice and the American Way". Notice how, if you look closely at that saying, it is clear that "truth and justice" are not the same thing as the "American Way". And so it is.

The Righteous Mind, Cognitive Dissonance and The Suspension of Disbelief

Jonathon Haidt is a social psychologist who wrote an interesting book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. In it, he describes the things that people believe are their greatest moral priorities. The six categories are Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Liberty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, Sanctity/Degradation. For example, liberals may think that Fairness is the most important thing to them morally and conservatives may think that Loyalty is the most important thing to them morally. It is an interesting idea, and it comes into play with the Chris Kyle story. The one thing that does not appear on the Moral Foundations category list is...The Truth (honesty).

If The Truth were an option for moral priorities, it would not come in first for either liberals or conservatives. Try having a discussion with a liberal about Obama or race, for instance, and you will quickly find out that The Truth comes in a very distant third to fairness and care. Conservatives, at least in my experience, put both authority and loyalty above The Truth. I spoke with a conservative friend of mine recently and he talked about wanting to talk in public about some semblance of The Truth, but in the next breath he said he could "never bad mouth his country". This sort of thinking and struggle is too common, people have an interest in The Truth, just not when The Truth conflicts with another, more importantly held belief, and most certainly not when The Truth can make them either uncomfortable or unpopular, which it often can. People will do all sorts of logical and moral gymnastics to maintain their belief system and world view and to keep The Truth at arms length.

Cognitive Dissonance is "psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously". People will contort in all sorts of ways to avoid seeing the uncomfortable truth that is right in front of their eyes and facing that conflict. So we have an American war hero who you may feel is beyond reproach because of his service, and yet he is proven a liar in a court of law. So you lash out, either at Ventura, or the jury, in order to reject the new information that clashes with your strongly held belief in Chris Kyle. What usually occurs when people are presented with new information that clashes with their strongly held belief, is that they "seek to preserve their current understanding of the world by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding the new information or by convincing themselves that no conflict really exists."

George H.W. Bush, self-made man.

A personal example, years ago in the 1990's, I was having a conversation with an older friend, someone twice my age. We were talking politics and he was talking about how much he respected and admired George H.W. Bush (The 41st President, not Dubya, the 43rd). I asked why he admired him and he said "because he is a self made man!". I thought this strange, and told him that George H.W. Bush was a lot of things, but a "self-made man" was not one of them. He vehemently disagreed and asked what proof I had of that. I told him that George H.W. Bush was the son of a senator, and not just any senator, but Prescott Bush, one of the most powerful senators of his time, and also a very powerful banker. I also told him that the Bush family was one of the most powerful and richest families in the country and had been for a long time. I told him that calling George H.W. Bush a self made man was like calling John F. Kennedy a self made man, or better yet, Teddy Kennedy. The man gave me a look of disdain and told me in not so many words, that I was full of it (he hated the Kennedy family no end). "Bush wasn't the son of a senator, he came up the hard way and made a life for himself", the man told me. The guy got pretty indignant about the whole thing and was positive he was right. A little more background on this friend, he wasn't a Johnny come lately to the Bush train, he had supported Bush back in 1980 in the republican primary against Reagan. He was a huge Bush supporter. So I told him I'd go home and look it up. So I looked it up and sure enough, George H.W. Bush is the son of a powerful senator who was also a banker. I told my friend the news, and his response was fascinating, he simply said..."but Bush is a self made man". I was left scratching my head. First off, how could such a strong supporter of Bush (41) not know he was the son of a senator? Secondly, how could that same person simply ignore the evidence of that fact and continue to believe what he believed before? The answer is obvious, it is the power of cognitive dissonance. The man didn't know that fact because it didn't fit into his narrative of who Bush (41) was (his strongly held belief) and was an inconvenient fact (new information that challenged his strongly held belief), so he was unconsciously blind to it in order to avoid or reduce his mental and emotional conflict. Secondly, he didn't want to change his narrative once the new information was blatantly obvious because that would take some great effort, so he simply ignored it again, this time consciously, and went back to his previously held belief in order to avoid mental and emotional angst. This man should fear not though, he is not alone, for we all have our blind spots, and as the term 'blind spots' suggests, we can see them in other people, but rarely see them in ourselves.

Tell me about it.

Suspension of disbelief is "a willingness to suspend ones critical faculties and believe the unbelievable, sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment." Suspension of disbelief is usually spoken of in reference to watching a movie, for instance, we know that Sandra Bullock isn't really in danger in outer space, but we suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy it for entertainment purposes. People do this constantly and consistently in regards to real life as well. Read the stories Chris Kyle told in his book and elsewhere. Read the alleged 'Jesse Ventura fight'. If you are a fair minded, independent observer of those stories, don't they come across as absolutely, and obviously false? Don't they seem to be blatantly made up and absurd? When I first read the Ventura part of the book, I thought..."well, that story is a hunk of horseshit". I've been in a few bar fights and seen a few more. That story is such blatant, self-serving nonsense that only the most die-hard true believer could ever buy it. People suspend their critical thinking, or 'suspend their disbelief' in order to 'preserve their current understanding of the world' and 'reject the conflicting information'.

For instance, if you think it is totally believable that Chris Kyle was sent to New Orleans by the US government and ordered to shoot US citizens, and yet you think Jesse Ventura is a loon for saying the US government capable of killing its own citizens on 9-11, then you may suffer from a form of cognitive dissonance. In order to diminish the mental conflict of these opposing beliefs, you will suspend your disbelief for the story about Chris Kyle yet maintain what you consider 'critical thinking' about the Jesse Ventura story. Another example might be if you believe that Chris Kyle shot two car jackers and officials made the bodies disappear and there is no record of it at all, yet you think that it is impossible for any conspiracy to prosper because 'no one would keep their mouths shut', then you may suffer from cognitive dissonance, and you might treat the malady with a small dose of suspension of disbelief applied in just the right area, the 'car jackers' story, in order to maintain your previously held worldview.

People need to believe, because without that belief, whether it be in their heroes, their country, their church, their world view, their ideology, their political party, or their own goodness, they will crumble. They MUST believe in order to be able to face the day. If their belief system is shown to be a fraud, they wouldn't have anything to stand upon, and everything about them would be a lie, and that would mean they would be mentally and emotionally obliterated. Their identity would be shattered. They would cease to exist. Without their belief system/identity, they are nothing, they are cast into the dark abyss, the void of 'not knowing'. That is a frightening prospect for most people.

We as humans need to bend reality in all sorts of bizarre ways in order to be able to survive and keep our psyche in tact. We ignore some things, and focus on others, all in an attempt to make 'reality' fit what we want it to be. We suspend our disbelief so that we can be loyal to our country, or our president or whatever is important to us. We hold contrasting beliefs and attitudes simultaneously in order to make our belief system make some sort of sense to us internally, even when it makes no sense externally. This is the human condition. It is not a disease that only infects those of a certain political party or religion, it is a disease that infects mankind, and it is epidemic.

Pat Tillman: True American Hero

So we create American Heroes to convince ourselves that we, as a country and as a people, are good. We are the moral ones in the world. Bush wouldn't lie because he's the type of guy you want to have a beer with. Jessica Lynch was held hostage by those filthy, Iraqi, Muslim hordes who are savages...except she wasn't. She was saved by Iraqis who saw a young woman terribly injured and brought her to a hospital and cared for her. Pat Tillman was a true American hero who gave his life saving his comrades and fighting for America and against Al-Qaeda, except he really was gunned down in a terrible case of friendly fire and had serious doubts about the missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris Kyle punched that no good 9-11 truther Jesse Ventura out in a bar because he badmouthed America and the troops. Except Ventura never said those things and Chris Kyle never did those things. Just like there were no filthy hippie protestors with "baby killer" signs, and there were no WMDs that Chris Kyle and Chris Kyle alone found in a basement in Iraq. Just like he didn't shoot two car jackers in the middle of nowhere Texas, and he didn't shoot looters in the aftermath of Katrina. None of those things are true...but that doesn't mean there aren't people who desperately need them to be true.

The Manichean and the Search for Empathy

A Manichean philosophy is one that sees the world in black and white. With the Manichean there is no gray area. Things are either good or evil, you are either with us or against us. Chris Kyle spells out very clearly in his book that he sees the world in black and white. This is a sensible and logical way to look at the world for a soldier in combat. You are trying to kill your enemy, your enemy is trying to kill you. I am good, he is bad. A war zone is a tough place for nuance to make a living. So for Chris Kyle, all the Iraqis are savages and evil. He doesn't like Muslims either. To make things clearer he gets a crusader cross tattooed on his arm. Message sent and received. He is good, his enemies are bad. Black and white. While a Manichean philosophy can serve you well in wartime, it can have it's drawbacks in peace time. For instance, if you view the world as black and white, that means if someone tells a lie, then they are a liar. Liars are bad people because lying is wrong. If we hold Chris Kyle to the same standard he holds the rest of the world then some uncomfortable things come into question.

The Jesse Ventura story Chris Kyle told is a lie. I have also pointed out the other lies he has told. The uncomfortable question about Chris Kyle now is...did he lie about anything else? We don't know the answer to that question. Kyle claims to be the deadliest sniper in American history. He claims to have 160 'confirmed' kills (as stated before, 'confirmed' kills are kills witnessed by another soldier besides the shooter). That statistic has not been confirmed in any way by the US Navy or Pentagon. It would be very helpful if the Navy at least released some information about the kills and whether they really happened or not. There are other uncomfortable questions that we can probably never get the answer to. Namely, of the kills Chris Kyle actually does have, how many of them were "good" kills. Did he kill innocent people. He was questioned about shooting an Iraqi man who Chris claims had a weapon, but who witnesses claim only had a Koran. Maybe Chris was telling the truth about that incident, but as we have seen, Chris' version of the truth, and the actual Truth can often times be two totally contradictory things.

It has been proven in court that Chris Kyle lied about someone else to make himself look good and to enrich himself. Does that mean he was a bad father? A bad husband? A bad son? Does it mean the work he did with fellow veterans suffering from PTSD wasn't a good, kind and noble thing to do? Does it mean he wasn't a good friend and comrade to his brothers in arms? Does Chris Kyle being a liar mean that Chris Kyle is a bad person? If Chris Kyle answered that question about someone else, he would say "Yes", at least according to his own acknowledged Manichean world view. I see things differently. I don't think people are the worst thing they have ever done. I think we are all deeply flawed humans beings struggling to make our way in a confusing and frightening world. I think Chris Kyle lied about a lot of things. I also think Chris Kyle did a lot of good for veterans who were suffering and struggling upon their return to 'the world'. I think Chris Kyle was probably a great dad, and a great husband, a fantastic son and a terrific comrade in arms. I don't think he was a terrible human being...I think, like all of us, he was a terribly human - being. I wish Chris had lived long enough to be able spend some time in the 'gray area', and to see others in all their contradictions and complexity.

Truth is Beauty, Beauty Truth

The uproar over the last few days, the knee-jerk reaction to the verdict, the vitriol spat on Jesse Ventura and the national sainthood bestowed upon Chris Kyle were all very predictable. In America emotion rules the day. Instant gratification means we have an impulse and we have to follow it. Facts, truth and reason have no place in our current culture, except as objects of ridicule and scorn. We know what we know and we know it is right because we FEEL it is right. We would rather shout someone down than go inward and question ourselves, our beliefs, our worldview, because God forbid we are wrong, then the whole house of cards will tumble and no one wants that.

I've been wrong many, many times in my life. I don't mean kind of wrong, or misspoke a fact or something. I mean spectacularly, horrifically and catastrophically wrong. There have been a few times in my life when I have discovered, much to my chagrin, that everything I know is wrong. Everything. It is a pretty disconcerting thing to find that out. Truth be told it is earth shattering. It leaves you seriously out of balance and frankly in a state of despair. The one benefit of having been through those experiences though, is that it has left me with a hunger for the Truth above all else. The Truth about the world and the Truth about myself. I cherish Truth over loyalty, authority, fairness and care. Which I guess makes me neither a liberal or a conservative. Having survived the 'everything you know is wrong' apocalypse also helps you see through the bullshit that is often being sold to you, particularly by the media. The bullshit the media spews out piles up so fast you need wings to stay above it. If your loyalty is only to the Truth, you will see the world in a vastly different way. It can be a pretty isolating and difficult thing to do, but it is better than lying to yourself. Or at least it is to me. That is not to say that I have some ownership of the Truth, not at all, believe me. The Truth is just as elusive to me as it is to anyone else. And it can be just as uncomfortable to me as it for anyone else. Hell, I didn't want to write a blog piece talking bad about Chris Kyle. I'm sure I'll get a bunch of angry emails from his fans calling me all sorts of names. But the truth is the Truth, and I feel like I need to speak it, even when it is unpopular, or maybe particularly when it is unpopular.

My one hope is that the people who are attacking Jesse Ventura, and who are reflexively defending Chris Kyle, can step back and not only take a closer looks at the facts of the case and facts about the man himself, but also take a deeper look into themselves, and let their loyalty be to the Truth and not to their preconceived notions.

Final Thoughts

The fans of Chris Kyle say he is an American Hero. They say he is the embodiment of all that is good about this country. I actually slightly disagree with that. I think Chris Kyle is not the perfect American, but rather the perfect embodiment of America. He was brave, yet a bully. He was selfless, yet selfish. He was humble, yet a braggart. He was brilliant, yet dense. He was a bullshitter, yet sincere. He was heroic, yet cowardly. He was the perfect embodiment of America in all of it's manic contradictions and hypocrisies. And as the court case has proven, Chris, in the true American fashion, was more interested in marketing himself than in telling the Truth.

So I sincerely ask you to keep Chris Kyle, his comrades, both fallen and those still with us, and their families in your thoughts and prayers. And also keep the millions of Iraqis, both friend and foe, alive and dead, in your thoughts and prayers as well. But also try and take time to stop and remember...the Truth.

One Final Final Thought

I realize that many people may be upset, or angry or offended by this piece. This is a topic which causes emotions to run very high and for people to take great offense. You may not like what I have written and you may hate me for having written it. That is your prerogative.

You may also think that Chris Kyle and I have nothing at all in common. You would be wrong about that. A few days before Chris was tragically killed, he posted this on his Facebook page, "If you don't like what I have to say or post, you forget one thing, I don't give a shit what you think. LOL".

Couldn't have said it better myself, Chris. Rest in Peace.

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