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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Things We Do For 'The Children'

A delegate (a Republican!; he is expected to be smarter than this) here in Virginia believes that all it will take is just a measly $900* to prevent a relatively rare communicable disease from occurring in sexually promiscuous young girls. So he's calling for the human papillomavirus vaccine to be mandated by law to be administered to every young girl before she can enter sixth grade in any of our public schools.

At parental expense of course. **

Read the details of this monster here.

His buddies in the legislature, more than willing to spend other peoples' money, in this case with considerable glee, passed the legislation overwhelmingly.

Included among those in the Senate who passed - unanimously - this massive tax increase (because that's what it is, in effect) are the usual suspects - Senator Phil Puckett (D-Russell County) (he of transportation tax increase infamy), and Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-Henry County).

Here in cash-strapped Southwest Virginia, Delegates Bill Carrico, Independence, Ward Armstrong, Martinsville, Allen Dudley, Rocky Mount, William Fralin, Roanoke, Morgan Griffith, Salem, Joe Johnson, Abingdon, Terry Kilgore, Gate City, Dan Bowling, Oakwood, David Nutter, Christiansburg, and Onzlee Ware, Roanoke voted in favor on the House side.

Among the few area delegates who voted against this latest bit of insanity - and who deserve our eternal gratitude and thanks - are my delegate, Annie B. Crockett-Stark (R-Right Hand Of God), from Wytheville, Kathy Byron, Lynchburg, Danny Marshall, Danville, and Lacey Putney, Bedford.

Here's the kicker. The vaccine may not work. Some researchers aren't yet convinced that it is as effective as supporters suggest. From Bill Sardi, President, Knowledge of Health, Inc.:

● [W]hile mass mandated vaccination of 9-year old girls is being advocated, it is unknown whether vaccination prior to first sexual contact will result in a reduction in overall incidence of cervical cancer since frequent sexual contacts will likely infect women with one of the less common strains of the virus. The vaccine may be ineffective in the long run.

● In the US the cervical cancer/papilloma virus vaccine also may not bring about a significant decline in cervical cancer mortality rates because so many women undergo early detection of precancerous lesions and surgical hysterectomy. One in three American women will undergo hysterectomy in their lifetime.

● There is not enough critical examination of this vaccine. News headlines quote the 99-100% effectiveness of the vaccine. These headlines are based upon misleading studies. For example, one study reports 100% effectiveness of the vaccine among 755 women age 16-23 years over a 3.5 year period. But the authors of this study narrowly chose to emphasize the superlative effectiveness of the vaccine against one dominant strain of the virus (human papilloma virus 16). Buried in the data of the report is the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventiong precancerous lesions (called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) for any type of papilloma virus – only a 52% reduction overall. Furthermore, when researchers examined the effect of vaccine on abnormal Pap rates (for unexplained reasons, this data was not published), they observed no statistically significant difference in the incidence of abnormal Pap tests among placebo and vaccine recipients. [Obstetrics Gynecology 2006 Jan; 107(1):18-27] (link)

"Not enough critical examination of this vaccine."

$500 to $900 for every daughter of every parent in the state of Virginia (who plans on sending her to public school). My wife is one of five daughters. Her parents would have had to have taken out a loan to pay off the $4,500 vaccination bill, just to send the kids to school.

Another consideration: On average, 300 women are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer each year (source) in the commonwealth. Out of 3,900,000 females living here. 300. That's 0.008% of the female population

We've gone stark raving mad.

***

Oh, by the way, the Roanoke Times says you're dying to contribute another $500 [pause for chuckle at gross underestimate] (over and above the $900 per child) in new taxes to provide universal health care to America's ever-exploding population.

***

Oh, by the way, Southwest Virginia is depopulating as more and more businesses shut down and relocate to Shanghai, and our unemployed neighbors leave to find work.

* "Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas surveyed private physicians and found costs between $500 and $900" for the three-shot vaccination. (source)

** On the bright side, at least the general fund and our massive revenue surplus in Richmond won't be disturbed.

That Weren't No Accident

Put a gun to your head. Pull the trigger. Primer. Ignition. Propulsion. A little lead projectile leaves the barrel and enters the skull. An accident? So says the sheriff's department over in Martinsville*:

Apparent round of Russian roulette leaves man dead
Amanda Codispoti, The Roanoke Times

A man playing Russian roulette shot and killed himself Thursday night at a Martinsville home, said Lt. Kimmy Nester of the Henry County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies were called to a house in the 200 block of Wingfield Orchard Road just before 10:30 p.m., a news release said.

They found Joel Arthur Miller, 52, with a gunshot wound to his head. Miller's address is unknown.

A person who was with Miller told deputies that he and Miller had been drinking and that Miller had put a pistol to his head several times and pulled the trigger, the news release said.

Nester said the shooting was probably accidental. (link)


Accidental? Hardly. Though his intentions, if he had any in his drunken state, will never be known, putting a loaded gun to one's head and pulling the trigger ain't no accident. It can be characterized in many ways, but it's not an accident.

***

Update 03/03/07 9:13am: The Martinsville Daily provides more detail: "Lt. Kimmie Nester tells us Miller was from Patrick County and was visiting the homeowner. Nester declined to release the homeowner’s name, but told us that the owner told police they had been drinking and Miller put a 45 caliber pistol up to this head on three occasions and pulled the trigger each time. The third time ... (link) [my emphasis]

In the shooting world there is a recognized difference between the term "pistol" and "revolver," the latter generally considered to be having a revolving cylinder. If Miller was holding the common .45 caliber pistol, it was a semi-automatic weapon. Colt is most often associated with it.

If he was holding a pistol, Miller either chambered a round or he didn't. There's no Russian roulette aspect to a magazine-fed pistol. Further evidence that this wasn't an accident. That or evidence that he was seriously drunk.

* There has got to be something in the water over there in Martinsville.

It's As Plain As that M*#@k*^ Nose On your Face

Rap is dying. Finally.

Strangely enough, we seem to be perplexed as to why:
Rap music taking a dive, for lack of a positive vibe
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody, The Washington Times


New York -- Maybe it was the umpteenth coke-dealing anthem or soft-porn music video. Perhaps it was the preening antics that some call reminiscent of Stepin Fetchit.

The turning point is hard to pinpoint. But after 30 years of growing popularity, rap music is struggling with an alarming sales decline and growing criticism from within about the culture's negative effect on society. (link)
Maybe it was the anthem. Perhaps it had to do with the antics. Could even be the "lack of a positive vibe."

Or maybe, just maybe, rap is dying because it isn't music. Because it requires no talent. Because the lyrics were indecipherable. Because, when they were put to print, the lyrics made no sense. Because a three-year-old kid could pull it off as easily and as professionally as the best gangsta. As proven over and over again, any moron could do it. And many did.

Talk of bitchas and hos, the pornography, the vulgarity all made the "genre" grossly unappealing to normal human beings. But it is the fact that there was never a there there that killed it.

The aspect to this that should give one pause, and should be explored by reporter Nekesa Mumbi Moody, is why it took so long for it to die.

So Is He Black Or Not?

Halle Berry. Soledad O'Brien. As time goes by, it's getting harder and harder to tell white from black.

Thank God.

Perhaps we'll see an end to the race-based madness soon.

The latest twist:

Obama's Kin Once Owned Slaves
New York Post wire Services

March 3, 2007 -- Washington - The forebears of 2008 presidential hopeful Barack Obama's white mother were slave owners, the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday.

That's according to genealogical and census records first noted in an ancestry report by William Addams Reitwiesner, who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time.

One of Obama's great-great-great-great grandfathers, George Washington Overall, owned two slaves who were recorded in the 1850 census in Nelson County, Ky., the research shows. (link)


So, are we to hate him for this? Is he now a white guy because of it?

I have to be honest. This stuff gives me indigestion.

Anna Nicole Smith Dies

When did that happen?

Heads Roll Over Gov't Failure

At the risk of being accused of making light of a serious matter, there's a point to be made here:

Army Secretary Is Ousted in Furor Over Hospital Care
By David S. Cloud, The New York Times

Washington, March 2 — Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey was forced to resign Friday over the handling of revelations that wounded soldiers were receiving shabby and slow treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Even as the grim-faced defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, announced Mr. Harvey’s dismissal, the Army put a new general in charge of the hospital, the second change of command in two days, and a clear signal that Mr. Gates wanted a clean break from the status quo. (
link)
This is sad and yet not unexpected. For how many years have we been hearing of the sorry state of the V.A. hospital system? Perhaps people thought that Walter Reed was a cut above all the others, and maybe they assumed that a tiny portion of the hundreds of billions of dollars that go to the military each year were being spent on keeping rats from infesting the halls of our military hospitals, but this story, sadly, has been written over and over again. For decades. It's not news. It is a nightmare.

But to my point. If the Army secretary resigned for his failure to take care of those in his charge most in need, whose head rolls over this?

***

Update 03/04/07, 04:55am: I was reminded by a reader that the V.A. system is separate from the Army hospital system.

Crazy Al: It's Those SUV's On Mars

This is odd. Scientists have discovered that the planet Mars is warming.

There has to be a logical explanation.

But if not, we could always revert to the postulates put forth by the we're-all-going-to-die crowd here on planet AlGore.

The disturbing news:
Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says
Kate Ravilious, National Geographic News


Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet's recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human- induced—cause, according to one scientist's controversial theory.

Earth is currently experiencing rapid warming, which the vast majority of climate scientists says is due to humans pumping huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Mars, too, appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures.

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. (link)
Damn those Martians and their unrestrained emissions of extraterrestrial fossil fuels into the non-atmosphere.

Where's Big Al when we need him. He can get this fixed. Somebody put him on the next flight out.

Soon. Please.

They Don't Even Want To Come To My House

Carter County man sentenced to 15 years in prison for possessing ammunition