September 14, 2011 archive

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False Hare

How the European Debt Crisis will play out

  Too often commentary on the European debt crisis has been like handicapping a horse race (“this country is leading the race to default, but this other nation is catching”).

  While interesting, it is useless in trying to figure out how this relates to the average person.

 The first thing you have to understand is who the players are and how they are connected.

On This Day In History September 14

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 108 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this Day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

President and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He delivered a speech about his positions on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5, 1901. The following morning, McKinley visited Niagara Falls before returning to the Exposition. That afternoon McKinley had an engagement to greet the public at the Temple of Music. Standing in line, Leon Frank Czolgosz waited with a pistol in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief. At 4:07 p.m. Czolgosz fired twice at the president. The first bullet grazed the president’s shoulder. The second, however, went through McKinley’s stomach, pancreas, and kidney, and finally lodged in the muscles of his back. The president whispered to his secretary, George Cortelyou  “My wife, Cortelyou, be careful how you tell her, oh be careful.” Czolgosz would have fired again, but he was struck by a bystander and then subdued by an enraged crowd. The wounded McKinley even called out “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” because the angry crowd beat Czolgosz so severely it looked as if they might kill him on the spot.

One bullet was easily found and extracted, but doctors were unable to locate the second bullet. It was feared that the search for the bullet might cause more harm than good. In addition, McKinley appeared to be recovering, so doctors decided to leave the bullet where it was.

The newly developed x-ray machine was displayed at the fair, but doctors were reluctant to use it on McKinley to search for the bullet because they did not know what side effects it might have on him. The operating room at the exposition’s emergency hospital did not have any electric lighting, even though the exteriors of many of the buildings at the extravagant exposition were covered with thousands of light bulbs. The surgeons were unable to operate by candlelight because of the danger created by the flammable ether used to keep the president unconscious, so doctors were forced to use pans instead to reflect sunlight onto the operating table while they treated McKinley’s wounds.

McKinley’s doctors believed he would recover, and the President convalesced for more than a week in Buffalo at the home of the exposition’s director. On the morning of September 12, he felt strong enough to receive his first food orally since the shooting-toast and a small cup of coffee. However, by afternoon he began to experience discomfort and his condition rapidly worsened. McKinley began to go into shock. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901, eight days after he was shot, he died from gangrene surrounding his wounds. He was 58. His last words were “It is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.” He was originally buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, in the receiving vault. His remains were later reinterred in the McKinley Memorial, also in Canton.

Czolgosz was tried and found guilty of murder, and was executed by electric chair at Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

We are betrayed by what is false within.

–George Meredith



Art Glass 56

Late Night Karaoke

Venomous, the Definition of the Tea Party 20110913

Most of you who read my pieces know that I rarely write about pure politics, but rather put politics in the perspective of music, science, or other contexts.  This piece is different.

The conduct of the candidates for the Republican nomination and especially the audience at the previous two “debates” has been much than reprehensible.  It not only borders on being vicious, the conduct crosses the line to much more.

As is my wont, I shall use an analogy from another topic to explain why I use the term venomous.  I think that it is quite apt.

Curing Cancer & Protecting Women: HPV Vaccine

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

During the latest of what will be a year long parade of circus clowns, Michele Bachmann once again demonstrated not only her ignorance but hatred of her own womanhood when she lashed out at Texas Governor Rick Perry for his school program to vaccinate young girls with Gardisil, that protects against nine strains of the virus, HPV, the major cause of cervical cancer. While taking issue with the possible ulterior motive for the program which he had instituted by an executive order, Bachmann took it a step further alleging that the vaccine is dangerous, “”Little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don’t get a mulligan” and “They don’t get a do-over. The parents don’t get a do-over.”

In her post debate interview she went even further making the specious and debunked claim that the vaccine can also cause mental retardation. claiming that a woman had approached after the debate telling her that she had a daughter who suffered mental retardation as a result of that vaccine”, repeating the same nonsense unchallenged in a morning interview. This woman will do and say anything to bolster her fading campaign.

Not that this will put the myths that is being strewn as a factual but here are the facts:

According to a Center for Disease Control page devoted to health concerns surrounding HPV vaccines, 35 million doses of Gardasil were distributed as of June 22, 2011, resulting in 18,727 reports of adverse events. Ninety-two percent of those adverse events were “non-serious” and included things like “fainting, pain, and swelling at the injection site (the arm), headache, nausea, and fever.” Among the serious adverse events were reports of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barré Syndrome, blood clots, and death. There’s no mention on the CDC page of any reports of Gardasil resulting in mental retardation.

Just to double check, we asked Dr. Kevin Ault, an associate professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University and an investigator in the clinical trials for Gardasil, whether he’s familiar with allegations that Gardasil can result in mental retardation. “I’ve not heard that one before,” he told us. He added that even for the serious adverse effects that have been reported, there’s been no evidence that they were actually caused by Gardasil. “There’s been a nice study from the CDC,” he said, “that basically [showed that] if you compare a group of people who got the vaccine to a group of people who didn’t get the vaccine, all these things are rare and they occur equally” in both groups.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Worst Persons 9.12.2011

Countdown with Keith Olbermann 09-12-2011 – Worst Persons