02/5/15

Can You Handle the Truth About Vaccines?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

NBC accuses Republicans of accepting bad “science” on vaccines, while Fox News fires back, accusing liberals of spreading bad “science” on vaccines. Each side is trying to score partisan political points. The message from both sides is that vaccines are completely safe. But that message is absolutely and demonstrably false.

As I noted in a recent column, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists to compensate victims of vaccines. The latest Statistics Report shows nearly 4,000 claims were awarded financial damages.

Why do both sides of this “debate” pretend that vaccine-related injuries do not occur? Why not just report the facts? It doesn’t take a lot of work to dig them out.

Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) tells me that she has given more than 100 interviews in the last two weeks on the subject of the measles outbreak, but that the media simply will NOT report on the existence of this federal program and the implications for the subject of vaccine safety.

“Vaccines are the only pharmaceutical products that government mandates and completely indemnifies,” she notes. She is referring to federal legislation that takes legal responsibility for their actions away from the companies making the vaccines.

“I’ve been talking about it in every interview I do and I have been bringing it up. But whenever I talk about liability protection for the companies—that this is the only pharmaceutical product that is mandated by government and indemnified by government—they [the media] don’t want to talk about it,” she said.

Observers believe the glaring omission reflects the power of pharmaceutical companies or their advertising agencies in the major media. It is in the interest of these companies to make pariahs out of those favoring vaccine choice by playing down—or even suppressing—questions about vaccine safety.

Simply put, the evidence and history show that the vaccine makers have been given total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government-mandated vaccines. Vaccine safety is not “settled science,” as we have been hearing repeatedly in the media. To the contrary, for purposes of the law, vaccines are considered sometimes unsafe, even deadly.

The “Vaccine injury table” associated with the legislation includes a list of the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from the administration of such vaccines.

But why is it so difficult for the media to report on the existence of these health problems?

The vaccines that are covered include:

  • diptheria and tetanus vaccines
  • pertussis vaccines
  • measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines
  • polio vaccines
  • hepatitis A vaccines
  • hepatitis B vaccines
  • Haemophilus influenza type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines
  • varicella vaccines
  • rotavirus vaccines
  • pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
  • seasonal influenza vaccines
  • human papillomavirus vaccines
  • meningococcal vaccines

As I reported in my column, the one exception to this drumbeat of misleading and inaccurate coverage about “vaccine safety” is on the local level, where correspondent Michael Chen of ABC 10 News in San Diego, California noted a case of a boy who suffered serious injuries, including fever, seizures, nervous tics and autism, as a result of two vaccines. The mother, almost in tears as she described what happened to her son, was paid $55,000 in damages through the federal program. But the damage award didn’t cover the autism diagnosis. She said she wished she had more thoroughly researched the safety of vaccines.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program grew out of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Fisher explains what happened: “The companies threatened Congress that they were going to leave the people without any childhood vaccines if they did not get liability protection. The companies wanted this liability protection and it was mainly for losses at that time for DPT and oral polio vaccine. MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine at that point was a relatively new combination vaccine.”

The DPT vaccine had been associated with brain inflammation and brain damage, while polio paralysis can be caused by the vaccine.

Fisher explains what the federal protection means for the companies: “Nobody who makes or profits from the sale of the vaccine, nobody who regulates the vaccine, who promotes the vaccine, who votes to mandate the vaccine—nobody is accountable or liable in a civil court of law in front of a jury of our peers when we get hurt because we’ve been told we have to take it, or when the vaccine fails to work.”

The compensation program, with total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government-mandated vaccines, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 2011 case in which vaccines were acknowledged to be “unavoidably unsafe.”

My column actually underestimated the total financial damages paid through the program. The figure is actually $2.8 billion to the victims or the families of victims themselves.

Liberal and conservative media are trying to make political points over who’s right and wrong about vaccine safety. But Fisher says people who support her group and vaccine choice come from across the political spectrum and include Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, and independents. In the media, however, each side is trying to smear the other side, as if there is a partisan divide.

The coverage has led to cases of strange bedfellows, such as the George Soros-funded blog Think Progress running a story praising Megyn Kelly of Fox News under the headline, “Megyn Kelly Speaks Up For Mandatory Vaccination On Fox: ‘Some Things Do Require Big Brother.’”

Indeed, Kelly defended mandatory vaccines, saying, “…some things do require some involvement of Big Brother.”

What she and many others in the media have consistently ignored is the role of Big Brother in shielding the companies making the vaccines from the side effects of their products.

As I asked in my column: If there are no problems associated with vaccines, then why did Congress pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?

The media on the left and right have no answer to this question. So they pretend there is no debate or dispute over the safety of vaccines. They simply point fingers about one side or the other being guilty of ignoring what they pretend is settled science.

The only thing “settled” about the science is that while vaccines work for a large majority of people, they can also cause serious health problems, even death, for some.

The commentators who ignore the truth are either lying or so utterly ignorant that they should not be in a position of offering “news” on a national basis. Whatever the case, the public is being denied the facts about decisions affecting the lives of their children. Fortunately, the public can go to sites like www.aim.org and the National Vaccine Information Center for information that is being denied to them.

A troubling aspect of the current debate is how people in the media act like experts on subjects that they know so little about. They seem to think that by huffing and puffing and sounding authoritative, they will be taken seriously. They have large staffs which seem incapable of making phone calls or doing elementary research.

If news organizations on the left and right can’t even dig out the facts in life-and-death matters involving children, then what can they be trusted to report accurately on?

02/4/15

Media Bias Rears Ugly Head in Vaccine Controversy

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The media think they have discovered another issue to beat Republicans over the heads with—vaccines. But the media have no credibility on this, or any other major health issue. They do have, and often demonstrate, a partisan political bias on such controversial matters.

“Vaccination debate flares in GOP presidential race, alarming medical experts,” states The Washington Post in horror.

It’s yet another attempt to portray Republicans as “anti-science.” This follows the “climate change denier” mantra used against conservatives and Republicans for supporting pro-growth economic policies.

In the measles case, NBC news is attacking Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky for “giving credence” to an idea—“disputed by the majority of the scientific community”—that “vaccination can lead to mental disabilities.”

That’s interesting. As we reported back in 2006, NBC was aggressively covering the mercury-autism link involving vaccines. That was because Bob Wright, Vice Chairman and Executive Officer of GE and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal, had a grandson who was autistic.

Going further back in time, consider a program on the link between vaccines and mental problems which was aired by NBC in 1994 and featured Katie Couric as a co-host.

If there are no problems associated with vaccines, then why did Congress pass the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a national Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?

Michael Chen of ABC 10 News in San Diego reports on one mother whose son suffered a very serious vaccine reaction and was diagnosed with autism, and later Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and mitochondrial dysfunction. She was awarded $55,000 in damages.  Chen reported that since 1988, 15,684 injury and death claims related to vaccines have been submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and that among those, nearly 4,000 cases received compensation from a federal fund.

Nearly $2 billion dollars has been paid out to vaccine victims for their injuries.

But in response to New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie supporting parental choice in vaccines, CNN ran a story saying he had sidestepped “vaccine science.”

The Washington Post reported in 2008 that candidate Barack Obama had said, “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

The phrase “This person included” was apparently a reference to someone in the audience.

Now Obama acts as if all the science is settled. It is total hypocrisy.

But the science is not settled. In regard to the measles outbreak, Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center points out that “there were 644 cases of measles reported in America in 2014, even though 95% of children entering kindergarten have gotten two doses of MMR vaccine, which is also true for 92% of school children ages 13 to 17 years.” She also notes that “less than one percent of children under age three are completely unvaccinated and 92% of them have gotten one or more MMR shots. In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100 percent.”

“From January 1 to January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles,” the CDC reports.

Fisher notes that the “measles virus has not been eradicated from the U.S., just like measles has not been eradicated from any other country and emerging scientific evidence suggests it never will be—no matter how many doses of MMR vaccine are mandated for every man, woman and child in the world.”

Could it be possible that the shots aren’t working? What about the fact that millions of Americans took flu shots that don’t work? Did you miss this ABC News story: “Flu vaccine may not be effective for this year’s strains, CDC says.”

Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, was quoted by CNN as saying, “this is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working. This is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used.”

So why are vaccinated people getting measles? The CDC admits that 12 percent of those with measles associated with Disneyland were vaccinated. What’s more, some of the measles cases may be vaccine reactions. The fact is that the CDC just doesn’t know why or what is happening.

CNN, which is now trying to act “scientific” on the subject of vaccine safety, ran a January 15 column, “The climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?” It was another effort to scare people over so-called global warming, or climate change.

Here, too, Republicans have been portrayed as “anti-science” for opposing scare mongering over the climate, based on junk science.

In this case, the editor’s note said the author, David Ray Griffin, “is emeritus professor of philosophy of religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.”

That sounds impressive.

Yet, his previous book was, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. It argues that Flight 77, a Boeing 757 which was seen by dozens of people crashing into the Pentagon, was actually a missile or small aircraft.

He has no explanation for passenger Barbara Olson’s call to her  husband, Ted Olson, in the Justice Department, alerting him to the fact that the flight had been hijacked, other than to suggest that they were both part of a secret plan to conceal the truth and that it is not clear “what became of Barbara Olson.”

Griffin is an advocate of global government that he calls “global democracy” as the solution to the world’s problems.

According to the acknowledgements section of his new book, the “seed” for the book was a series of lectures he gave at the invitation of Zhihe Wang and Meijun Fan of the Communist Chinese Institute for Postmodern Development. Their specialty is “ecological Marxism.”

Not surprisingly, the book, Organic Marxism: An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe, receives Griffin’s endorsement.

In a hastily added postscript to his own book, Griffin seems ecstatic that President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently made an “executive agreement” about limiting carbon emissions. He says this “undercuts what had become the Republicans’ main argument for doing nothing about climate change…”

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is not impressed by the deal. He calls it “a non-binding charade” that benefits China.

Griffin calls the GOP “the party of denial”—a charge the media will increasingly use as the presidential campaign moves forward.

The Republicans ought to be getting used to this charge by now.

But using a 9/11 truther to attack Republicans? Don’t the media have any decency?

Will Republicans stand up to the media attack? Or will they wilt in the face of dubious “science” promoted by reporters with no credibility?

01/1/15

Obama, Hitler, And Exploding The Biggest Lie In History

By: Bill Flax
Forbes (published with permission)

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

“The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” John T. Flynn

Numerous commentators have raised alarming comparisons between America’s recent economic foibles and Argentina’s fall “from breadbasket to basket case.” The U.S. pursues a similar path with her economy increasingly ensnared under the growing nexus of government control. Resources are redistributed for vote-buying welfare schemes, patronage style earmarks, and graft by unelected bureaucrats, quid pro quo with unions, issue groups and legions of lobbyists.

In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?

In the Thirties, intellectuals smitten by progressivism considered limited, constitutional governance anachronistic. The Great Depression had apparently proven capitalism defunct. The remaining choice had narrowed between communism and fascism. Hitler was about an inch to the right of Stalin. Western intellectuals infatuated with Marxism thus associated fascism with the Right.

Later, Marxists from the Frankfurt School popularized this prevailing sentiment. Theodor Adorno in The Authoritarian Personality devised the “F” scale to demean conservatives as latent fascists. The label “fascist” has subsequently meant anyone liberals seek to ostracize or discredit.

Fascism is an amorphous ideology mobilizing an entire nation (Mussolini, Franco and Peron) or race (Hitler) for a common purpose. Leaders of industry, science, education, the arts and politics combine to shepherd society in an all encompassing quest. Hitler’s premise was a pure Aryan Germany capable of dominating Europe.

While he feinted right, Hitler and Stalin were natural bedfellows. Hitler mimicked Lenin’s path to totalitarian tyranny, parlaying crises into power. Nazis despised Marxists not over ideology, but because they had betrayed Germany in World War I and Nazis found it unconscionable that German communists yielded fealty to Slavs in Moscow.

The National Socialist German Workers Party staged elaborate marches with uniformed workers calling one another “comrade” while toting tools the way soldiers shoulder rifles. The bright red Nazi flag symbolized socialism in a “classless, casteless” Germany (white represents Aryanism). Fascist central planning was not egalitarian, but it divvied up economic rewards very similarly to communism: party membership and partnering with the state.

Where communists generally focused on class, Nazis fixated on race. Communists view life through the prism of a perpetual workers’ revolution. National Socialists used race as a metaphor to justify their nation’s engagement in an existential struggle.

As many have observed, substituting “Jews” for “capitalists” exposes strikingly similar thinking. But communists frequently hated Jews too and Hitler also abhorred capitalists, or “plutocrats” in Nazi speak. From afar, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany each reeked of plutocratic oligarchy. Both were false utilitarian Utopias that in practice merely empowered dictators.

The National Socialist German Workers Party is only Right if you are hopelessly Left. Or, ascribe to Marxist eschatology perceiving that history marches relentlessly towards the final implementation of socialist Utopia. Marx predicted state capitalism as the last desperate redoubt against the inevitable rise of the proletariat. The Soviets thus saw Nazis as segues to communism.

Interestingly, almost everywhere Marxism triumphed: Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc., all skipped the capitalist phase Marx thought pivotal. Instead, they slid straight from pre-industrial feudal conditions into communism; which essentially entailed reversion back to feudalism supplanting the traditional aristocracy with party cronyism – before dissolving into corrupted variants of state capitalism economically similar to fascism.

As usual, Marx got it backwards.

It’s also ironic that even as orthodox Marxism collapsed due to economic paralysis, cultural Marxism predicated on race, sex and identity politics thrives in “Capitalist” America. The multiculturalists substituted race where the Soviets and Maoists saw only class. America’s civic crusade has become political correctness, aka cultural Marxism, preoccupied with race. Socialism wheels around again.

While political correctness as manifest in the West is very anti-Nazi and those opposing multiculturalism primarily populate the Right, it’s false to confuse fascism with conservatism. Coupling negatives is not necessarily positive. Because the Nazis would likely detest something that conservatives also dislike indicates little harmony. Ohio State hates Michigan. Notre Dame does too, but Irish fans rarely root for the Buckeyes.

America’s most fascistic elements are ultra leftwing organizations like La Raza or the Congressional Black Caucus. These racial nationalists seek gain not through merit, but through the attainment of government privileges. What’s the difference between segregation and affirmative action? They are identical phenomena harnessing state auspices to impose racialist dogma.

The Nation of Islam and other Afrocentric movements, like the Nazis, even celebrate their own perverse racist mythology. Are Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright conservatives? Is Obama?

Racism does not exclusively plague the Right. Many American bigots manned the Left: ex-Klansman Hugo Black had an extremely left wing Supreme Court record, George Wallace was a New Deal style liberal – he just wanted welfare and social programs controlled by states. Communists always persecute minorities whenever in power.

The Nazis’ anti-Semitism derived indirectly from Karl Marx, who despite Jewish ancestry was deeply anti-Semitic. Bankers and other capitalists were disproportionately Jewish. Elsewhere, Jews played prominent roles. Before falling under Hitler’s sway, Mussolini’s inner circle was overly Jewish. Peron was the first leader to let Jews hold public office in Argentina. Franco, a Marana, welcomed Jews back into Spain for the first time since 1492 and famously thwarted Hitler by harboring Jewish refugees.

Very little of Hitler’s domestic activity was even remotely right wing. Europe views Left and Right differently, but here, free markets, limited constitutional government, family, church and tradition are the bedrocks of conservatism. The Nazis had a planned economy; eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government; considered church and family as competitors; and disavowed tradition wishing to restore Germany’s pre-Christian roots.

Despite Democrats’ pretensions every election, patriotism is clearly a conservative trait so Nazi foreign policy could be vaguely right wing, but how did Hitler’s aggression differ from Stalin’s? The peace movement evidenced liberals being duped as “useful idiots” more than pacifistic purity. Note the Left’s insistence on neutrality during the Hitler/Stalin pact and their urgent switch to militarism once Germany attacked.

After assuming power, Nazis strongly advocated “law and order.” Previously, they were antagonistic thugs, which mirrored the communists’ ascension. The Nazis outlawed unions perceiving them as competitors for labor’s loyalties, i.e. for precisely the same reason workers’ paradises like Communist China and Soviet Russia disallowed unions. To Nazis, the state sustained workers’ needs.

Even issues revealing similarity to American conservatism could also describe Stalin, Mao and many communists. This is not to suggest liberals and fascists are indistinguishable, but a fair assessment clearly shows if any similarities appear with American politics they reside more on the Left than Right.

On many issues the Nazis align quite agreeably with liberals. The Nazis enforced strict gun control, which made their agenda possible and highlights the necessity of an armed populace.

The Nazis separated church and state to marginalize religion’s influence. Hitler despised biblical morality and bourgeois (middle class) values. Crosses were ripped from the public square in favor of swastikas. Prayer in school was abolished and worship confined to churches. Church youth groups were forcibly absorbed into the Hitler Youth.

Hitler extolled public education, even banning private schools and instituting “a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program” controlled by Berlin. Similar to liberals’ cradle to career ideal, the Nazis established state administered early childhood development programs; “The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding.”

Foreshadowing Michelle Obama, “The State is to care for elevating national health.” Nanny State intrusions reflect that persons are not sovereign, but belong to the state. Hitler even sought to outlaw meat after the war; blaming Germany’s health problems on the capitalist (i.e. Jewish) food industry. The Nazis idealized public service and smothered private charity with public programs.

Hitler’s election platform included “an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.” Nazi propaganda proclaimed, “No one shall go hungry! No one shall be cold!” Germany had universal healthcare and demanded that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood.” Obama would relish such a “jobs” program.

Nazi Germany was the fullest culmination of Margaret Sanger’s eugenic vision. She was the founder of Planned Parenthood, which changed its name from the American Birth Control Society after the holocaust surfaced. Although Nazi eugenics clearly differed from liberals’ abortion arguments today, that wasn’t necessarily true for their progressive forbears.

Germany was first to enact environmentalist economic policies promoting sustainable development and regulating pollution. The Nazis bought into Rousseau’s romanticized primitive man fantasies. Living “authentically” in environs unspoiled by capitalist industry was almost as cherished as pure Aryan lineage.

National Socialist economics were socialist, obviously, imposing top-down economic planning and social engineering. It was predicated on volkisch populism combining a Malthusian struggle for existence with a fetish for the “organic.” Like most socialists, wealth was thought static and “the common good supersede[d] the private good” in a Darwinist search for “applied biology” to boost greater Germany.

The Nazis distrusted markets and abused property rights, even advocating “confiscation of war profits” and “nationalization of associated industries.” Their platform demanded, “Communalization of the great warehouses” (department stores) and presaging modern set aside quotas on account of race or politics, “utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State.”

Nazi Germany progressively dominated her economy. Although many businesses were nominally private, the state determined what was produced in what quantities and at what prices. First, they unleashed massive inflation to finance their prolific spending on public works, welfare and military rearmament. They then enforced price and wage controls to mask currency debasement’s harmful impact. This spawned shortages as it must, so Berlin imposed rationing. When that failed, Albert Speer assumed complete power over production schedules, distribution channels and allowable profits.

Working for personal ends instead of the collective was as criminal in Nazi Germany as Soviet Russia. Norman Thomas, quadrennial Socialist Party presidential candidate, saw the correlation clearly, “both the communist and fascist revolutions definitely abolished laissez-faire capitalism in favor of one or another kind and degree of state capitalism. . . In no way was Hitler the tool of big business. He was its lenient master. So was Mussolini except that he was weaker.”

Mussolini recognized, “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics.” Keynes saw the similarities too, admitting his theories, “can be much easier adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state than . . . a large degree of laissez-faire.” Hitler built the autobahn, FDR the TVA. Propaganda notwithstanding, neither rejuvenated their economies.

FDR admired Mussolini because “the trains ran on time” and Stalin’s five year plans, but was jealous of Hitler whose economic tinkering appeared more successful than the New Deal. America wasn’t ready for FDR’s blatantly fascist Blue Eagle business model and the Supreme Court overturned several other socialist designs. The greatest dissimilarity between FDR and fascists was he enjoyed less success transforming society because the Constitution obstructed him.

Even using Republicans as proxies, there was little remotely conservative about fascism. Hitler and Mussolini were probably to the right of our left-leaning media and education establishments, but labeling Tea Partiers as fascists doesn’t indict the Right. It indicts those declaring so as radically Left.