Parents as Protectors

February 29, 2008

America is obsessed with medical autonomy. Everyone feels entitled to make decisions about their own health. While I agree everyone should have control over their own bodies, there is a gray area. Children. The current standard gives parents great range in what they can have done or what they can decide to withhold in terms of health care. Vaccines always come up as a hot topic. While the majority of parents adhere to the accepted standards of immunization there is a small, but vocal minority who objects to vaccination.

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An advisory panel on Wednesday recommended all kids up to age 18 get the flu vaccine. Though the vaccine is already recommended for those 6 months to 5 years old, this new proposal is a huge expansion, affecting nearly 60 million kids. The expanded recommendation is an initiative by the CDC to protect the entire population. Children are one of the major sources of flu in the community. School aged children pick it up, pass it around, and then bring it home. Everyone has had the flu, and while it may have been terrible it was transient, so it is hard for people to take it seriously. But in reality, people die from the flu every year, children and the elderly are particularly susceptible. Vaccines, like all things, have risks. But they are very minimal and less severe than the flu. Obviously people with reactions to a previous flu vaccine, those with contraindicated disease state (GB syndrome), or certain allergies (for example eggs since the vaccine is grown in eggs) should not get the vaccine but in general it is a harmless vaccine.

With all the fear mongering of pseudo scientific studies (like the joke of a paper that tainted MMR by suggesting a correlation with autism), old world views of medicine, and popular misconceptions it can be tough for a parent to find the truth about a particular vaccine. So who really is better qualified to determine if your child needs a certain vaccine? The doctors that have years of training to understand the risks/benefits and wade through the abundance of misinformation or parents who may or may not be fully informed on the topic or who may be prejudiced by misinformation? To me the choice is obvious. I don’t want your 9 year old little Johnny vaccinated because I care if he gets sick, I want him vaccinated to protect the newborn he saw, the grandparent he hugged, the kid who’s toy he shared, and community he lives in.

When you decide to not vaccinate your child, you put everyone’s children at risk.

 


Obama’s Stolen Strength.

February 20, 2008

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What comes to mind when I think of Barrack Obama? A candidate of nothing. An interesting man, a talented orator, a devoted father/husband, and a political novice. A shell of a president. A man with a brilliant future, several years from now, when he has the experience to command anything more than an audience. His own supporters have been stumbling in interviews when simply asked to state one legislative accomplishment. Why then is he winning? Two words: incandescent speech. When the man talks, he glows. He beams of confidence, optimism, and truth. In reality those beams consist of arrogance, naivety, and rhetoric. I appreciate a good public speaker and do value words. I would never lobby his lofty speech against him like some people have. Now his lack of experience is another issue that I have no problem holding against him.

So what is my point? You already know I support Clinton, but respect Obama (that does not mean I have to respect people who vote for him). Words are really all he has and now the news is reporting some of his words are not his own. Yes, I speak of plagiarism, a borderline curse word in the academic setting. Apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable in the campaign for the White House. Because he continued his surge of victories after the story broke. A man running solely on his words shouldn’t be simply quoting others. Many of you will jump to his defense, that is was his speech writers who plagiarized, but therein lies the problem. If words are all he has and we don’t hold him responsible for his words then there is nothing left of his candidacy.

In defense of being “just words”

Obama responded nearly word for word and without attribution, a quote from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’ — just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words.”

On another occasion

Deval Patrick: “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”.

Obama: “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”

On Pharmaceutical Ads

Edwards’s 2004 stump speech: “I love the ads. Buy their medicine, take it, and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields.”

Obama: “You know those ads where people are running around the fields, you know, they’re smiling, you don’t know what the drug is for?”

During Announcement Speeches

Edwards (2003) : “I haven’t spent most of my life in politics, but I’ve spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington.”

Obama (2007): “I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Unionized Labor

Edwards: “We need a president not afraid to use the word ‘union,’

Obama: “We need a president . . . who is not afraid to mention unions,”

Working Class

Edwards: “Hard work should be valued in this country, so we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
Obama: “We shouldn’t just be respecting wealth in this country, we should be respecting work.”

 


Vampire Weekend

February 10, 2008

I’ve found a new band to adore. Vampire Weekend. Clever, cute, catchy music. They met at Columbia, sound a little like the Kinks, and have a song about grammar. You can check out their website, the songs Oxford Comma and M79 are available on it.  They have another song Walcott which is insanely catchy and can I am sure my resourceful readers could find a way to obtain that song.


Coulter-geist Voting for Hillary?

February 4, 2008

On the January 31, 2008 broadcast of Hannity and Colmes, Coulter said, if McCain won the Republican nomination for president, she would support and campaign for Hillary Clinton.

“If he’s our candidate, then Hillary’s going to be our girl,” Coulter asserted. “Because she’s more conservative than he is. I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism. … I absolutely believe that. … I will campaign for her if it’s McCain.”

Its an interesting endorsement.  Clinton laughed it off on George Stephanopoulos’s Sunday program.  But there is a point behind the crazy.  The conservative/liberal divide between McCain and Clinton is small.  Yes, Clinton is very liberal on health care and womens rights, but she is actually very moderate.  She definitely would be tougher on national security than Obama, I had never thought about comparing that to McCain.  I will have to read more about him, I am not very familiar with his voting record and stances.


Son of Rambow

February 2, 2008

Had to share this gem with you, Son of Rambow.  We got the trailer for it on Rambo and I think it looks adorable/funny.


Loveline: The Big Break Up Edition

February 1, 2008

Being dumped can be terrible. Dumping someone can be terrible. While neither party is happy during the dumping, in the long run both may be happier. Well there is an awesome website “So You’ve Been Dumped

It covers all the important bases of dumping, like what books to read or music to listen to. It has humor and advice. It has good break lines (some good in the true sense, but mostly good in the funny sense).  For example, the site suggests Billie Holiday’s –“Good Morning Heartache ” as a post break up song. I would like to share my suggestion, Ani Difranco’s “untouchable face”.  One of the books it suggests is Exorcising Your Ex – Elizabeth Kuster . My suggestion is It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken – Greg and Amiira Behrendt.

Harsh Break Up Lines:

“Dating you is killing who I am.”

“I have lost all romantic feelings for you completely, and I desire no future relationship with you.”

“She’s exactly like you used to be – before you became a bitch.”

“I think you love me more than I love you.”

“The longer we are together, the less serious I am about you.”

“I don’t think you have it in you to be a good mother. When I thought about marrying you, I only thought about whether you’d make a good wife…I didn’t think about whether you’d make a good mother too.”

“Really, it’s not you, I’m just going through a selfish phase…”

“I think we have three choices: 1) stay together, 2) take a break, or 3) break up entirely, and I want 2 or 3.”

Nicole’s Top Five Tips for Breaking Up

1.  Tell your mutual friends what you are thinking, make them swear to secrecy, and then give it a little time, at least one of them will give him/her a heads up.  Maybe they will dump you first, or at least they won’t look like a deer in the headlights.

2.  DO NOT START DATING ANYONE ELSE until it is completely over, if you have already started dating someone else then LIE

3.  Cry before they do.

4.  If you do it close to a holiday, you are a jerk and yes you still have to get a present.

5. His/Her friends, relatives, and coworkers are off limits for a time period equal to or greater than the duration of your relationship (exception-when your ex gets engaged/married)


Score One for Team Clinton

January 24, 2008

I read an editorial on the New York Times website endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination tonight. I am not going to rephrase or highlight it, because I believe you should read it for yourselves in its entirety (its not long). I feel it accurately captured my view on the election, and the differences between Clinton and Obama.

I like both of them politically and because of the great overlap in their platforms it can be hard to differentiate.   I would be happy with either in the White House, but one clearly has more experience and is at least vocalizing more specific, in depth plans for our country.  While they share similar goals for the country, I need a president with plans to achieve those goals.  Although Clinton’s plans have not always panned out, she has always been forward about her successes and failures and willing to keep moving to get things done.

Read the Editorial Here


Badass Computer or Overpriced Toy?

January 16, 2008

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Here’s some of what USA Today had to say about the sleek laptop:

… on first impressions, there’s no denying that Apple has designed another gorgeous machine. Apple has managed to cram in a full-size keyboard, 13.3-inch backlit widescreen display, iSight video camera, 2 gigabytes of RAM, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and an 80-GB hard drive. The whole package weighs three pounds and ranges from 0.16 to 0.76 inches thick. You don’t realize just how thin that is until you see Jobs pull the machine out of one of those yellow interoffice envelopes.

Pint-size laptop computers always exact compromises. Perhaps the most glaring in Air’s case is the lack of a replaceable battery. Much as the iPod, the Air’s battery and other components are sealed inside and are not easily removed.

What’s more, Apple dispenses with a drive for loading CDs or DVDs. But the need for such a drive is somewhat diminished in the age of digital downloads, such as the iTunes movie rentals Jobs announced Tuesday.

I think the MacBook Air is a stunning testament to product development. They knew the public wanted a lighter, sleeker laptop and Mac did what it does, it delivered. It delivered an incredible, although minimalist, laptop at a reasonable price (~$1800) My problem is when reviewing the tech specs on the Apple website, the $1800 MacBook Air really is nothing more than a small laptop. To get the small laptop at the quality I expect (and deserve) hits closer to the $3000 range.

Want the 1.8 GHz Processor? Add $300.

Want the 64GB Solid State Hard Drive? Add $999

Want the ability to play and burn CDs and DVDs? Add $99

Want an Ethernet port and a modem port? Add $79

Want the Apple Remote? Add $19

Admittedly, I would still love a MacBook Air to appear in my living room. But in reality I think ‘ll wait for more reviews to come in and the price to go down. Still nice to see a company innovating when so other computer companies stagnate.

PS. Props to Apple for integrating the multi touch gestures from the iPod and iPhone, those are awesome.


Body Image/Pharmacy Videos

December 8, 2007

I am sure many of you have seen the Dove love your body commercials before, but I got linked to a site that had a bunch of them posted.  There were two I hadn’t seen that I thought were interesting.  I have mixed feelings about the videos, but I think the editing and the points are good.  My problem is two fold, one I don’t really care that girls get bad images from the media, and two Dove has all sorts of skin care products that sell completely because women are expected to take care of themselves physically.  So I really don’t need my soap company telling me how the world should be or how to raise kids.  But on the other hand they are visually effective.

Also someone posted this video in my pharmacy class’s facebook group.  I thought it was cute/funny.  It is a .swf so I didn’t know how to put it directly into the page.

Check Out: “License to I’ll”


Lions for Lambs for Losers

November 11, 2007

I love politics. I love movies. I love heated debates about the “war on terror”, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the importance of national service. I love Meryl Streep. I love uber liberal Robert Redford. I should have loved Lions for Lambs.

But I didn’t. In fact, I hated it. I thought it was one of the worst films I saw this year. Over hyped, over advertised, over acted, and over ambitious. In fact, I thought it was so bad I needed to post about it.

Problems:

It is preachy and self important. It tells you what is important and just how important it is. It had Tom Cruise just spouting the same Republican Party lines I could watch on CNN of the value of security and turning the Middle East into some Christian moral crusade. It had Meryl Streep as a weak, menopausal reporter who lost the spunk and dedication to truth journalists used to have. She was only capable of saying something needed to be done (and of course to compare the situation to Vietnam). Robert Redford was the worst; he was supposed to be the inspirational teacher who changes apathetic American kids into the proponents of change while having done nothing himself. Except it was so dry the only thing it inspired me to do was fall asleep. Intermittent through the two main conversations were some decent scenes of two soldiers, exploitation cinema at its finest. Although that was essentially to make you sympathize with the troops regardless of your political views by making them minority martyrs dying for our sins. Then after no plot, there was no resolution. I guess it was just to pose the questions you should be asking yourself about our government already. Except the problem is if you weren’t already asking those questions you wouldn’t have gone to see the movie, so it was preaching to the choir. It was also incredibly spineless, there was a general leaning towards anti-war sentiments, but it wasn’t strong or in your face. Just a terribly ineffective, boring tirade made my Hollywood to try to prove some sort of political awareness. I don’t care that you read the newspaper Robert Redford.

My advice:

If you are looking for a movie to make you ask yourself what is right and wrong, check out Gone Baby Gone. That is a fine example of movie posing moral questions while still having an entertaining and fast paced storyline.