Flu Shots

I realize that the following is only the recommendation of an advisory panel, but these panels hold a lot of power in minds of overzealous legislators who want to make every recommendation a legal mandate for U.S. citizens.

A panel from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has furthered its push for universal immunization for the flu. It now recommends that all children up to the age of eighteen receive the yearly flu shot, as this group is claimed to be most susceptible to the flu. Though the panel admits that this age group exhibits the least severe symptoms of the flu, it still recommends universal protection.

I wonder at what point the American people will finally get fed up with panel such as this dictating the lives of our children. American kids are becoming laboratories for questionable vaccines such as this and the HPV vaccine, the effectiveness and side effects of which are widely unknown. How many shots must a child receive these days to go to school? We still haven't had time to adequately study the potential risks of such over-immunized children.

The flu is the flu. You get a fever, headache, and throw up a bit. Big deal. You'll get over it eventually. How many reports have there been this year stating that this year's dose of vaccines was the least effective in history because so many new strains formed (this is what happens when you over-medicate anyways. Think Penicillin)? The study even admits that only 25-50 children nationwide die of the flu every year. Obviously one death is too many, but how far should we go shooting up every kid with a questionable substance to prevent the deaths 25 children when countless children die each year from other causes like abuse and even more serious and specific diseases?

Uncle Sam should stop butting his nose into every family's business and stop using today's youngest generation as lab rats.

CDC Recommendations
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Word of the Week

Word of the week:

Parsnip- noun, a plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root; the root of this plant.

So I was out of ideas for a word of the week this Monday, that is, until I ordered chinese food tonight. You can thank my fortune cookie for this one. "Hard words break no bones, fine words butter no parsnips". What the heck is that supposed to mean!?
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Abortion/Suicide

An all-too-common but underreported instance of a woman committing suicide after aborting her twins at the request of her unsupportive boyfriend...

Artist Hangs Self After Aborting Twins
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Chipotle

According to the Globe, Chipotle doesn't size up to Anna's Taqueria in Boston. I haven't had Anna's in a long time, but I must say that Chipotle is one of the few places where I go and never, ever leave dissatisfied. If you haven't been to a Chipotle, go! There's a new on in the Dedham Mall.

Dan's favorite: Chicken burrito, black beans, rice, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream.

Globe Burrito Article
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YouTube Video

Hah! This is hilarious! Check out Chris Matthew's Hardball question to an Obama campaign manager when asked to name one, just one, accomplishment as a US Senator. Of course the Hillary campaign manager eats it up. Great video.

YouTube Video
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Word of the Week

Word of the Week:

Metaphysical- adj., pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics; highly abstract, subtle, or abstruse; designating or pertaining to the poetry of an early group of 17th century English poets, notably John Donne, whose characteristic style is highly intellectual and philosophical and features intense use of conceits and turns of wit.
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NY Times

It is absolutely ridiculous that there is such uproar and debate over the simple prospect of asking arrested criminals whether or not they are legal U.S. citizens. This new, long overdue practice by the AZ police won't affect those simply pulled over or the victims of crimes. It continues to amaze me how all the pro-amnesty folks out there will continue to stick up for people who have not only broken the law by breaking into the United States, but continue to abuse the country by participating in criminal activities.

NY Times Article
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Letter to the Editor

Check out my latest opinion piece which appeared in yesterday's Scituate Mariner:

Editorial

It's in response to
a letter written two weeks ago
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Ron Paul

I saw Ron Paul tonight in Gaston Hall. He's just as kooky as he appears on TV- rest assured. He certainly has some interesting ideas, but I found it surprising that he didn't speak from a speech. Now, some people like Mike Huckabee can pull this off. Paul couldn't. At times he appeared to just ramble and lose his train of thought.

Unfortunately (in my opinion) he seemed to focus his speech on what he thought the audience wanted to hear most. And I guess he did a pretty good job at that. His speech was mostly focused on ending the war in Iraq and discontinuing American imperialism. He also said that he thinks people should be able to smoke and drink whatever they want. You can bet that was popular.

I wish he had focused more on the entitlement and social programs that are bankrupting the US government. Though he did, in the question and answer session, touch on some of these, he could have done it more often. Two of his most impressive talking points, which he also discussed in Q&A are illegal immigration and abortion. He correctly believes that it is the government's job to protect its sovereignty through its national borders. He also has the guts to unapologetically say that hospitals shouldn't be forced to treat illegal immigrants when they show up for care. He correctly states that such circumstances often eventually bankrupt hospitals, eliminating emergency care for Americans and causing more harm than good. On abortion, he gave a touching story about how he became pro-life and again, refused to apologize it even though it was probably an opinion that wasn't too popular with the crowd.

Given his eccentricities, it was an interesting event. But, I just can't take him seriously when he talks about going back to the gold standard, which goes against everything I've ever learned in economics, business, and government classes my whole life, and when he claims that the only reason radical Muslims hate us is because we are involved in their territories. I just don't buy that. There's far more involved that some crazy extremists simply being bitter over the past.

Well, bearing any surprises, that's all for this stretch of seeing impressive/important speakers.

Good night.
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Condi

I saw Condeleezza Rice speak this morning at school. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any pictures because the Secret Service sniped the camera I was trying to sneak in. But, it's pretty clear that she's a genius. She was incredibly knowledgeable on a very wide range of foreign affairs topics (as you would expect the Secretary of State to be, I guess), and extremely well spoken. I was especially impressed with how she answered the submitted student questions off-cue after the speech. She had a good, straight-talk answer to "what can we do to fix the image of the U.S. in the eyes of countries that don't agree with what we're doing in the world?"

A lot of the speech was over my head, since it was sponsored by the School of Foreign Service and thus involved a lot of international development and global policy stuff, but it was worthwhile nonetheless.

On to Ron Paul tomorrow...
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Thoughts

Sorry about two posts in a day, but something just came to mind.

Statistically, Obama gets the majority of his support from the black community and wealthy, well-educated whites. In Massachusetts, those were the only two demographics that he carried versus Clinton. So if (when) Obama clinches the Democratic nomination, I wonder if the average American will feel alienated. This would surely benefit McCain, as the middle-America vote is really the one that matters most, not the rich or one specific racial group. I'm betting that a good number (not majority, but at least ten percent of Hill's vote) would switch for a more moderate McCain as opposed to an inexperienced one term senator from Illinois.

Thoughts?
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Word of the Week

Word of the Week:

Sanguine- adj., cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident; reddish, ruddy; bloody, blood-red.

I read this word all the time in government and have had no idea what it means.
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Long time no see

So I realize that I haven't blogged forever. Sorry, I've been very busy since last time. But, a whole heck a lot has happened since last time. Super Duper Tuesday was a big victory for McCain, a setback for Romney, and a boost for Huckabee. McCain and his supporters stole a victory from Romney in West Virginia (All of the McCain voters switched their votes in the second round of voting to support Huckabee, solely for the purpose of beating Romney. Huckabee won by 1%).

The next shocker was Mitt's departure from the race, at a speech I attended at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in D.C. during CPAC. The majority of the attendees there are very conservative, so his departure was met with a lot of sadness. McCain even got booed during his CPAC speech, which I didn't get to see because I couldn't get anyone to cover my shift at the bank for me.

Next, Obama and Huckabee swept the races yesterday. Obama carried Louisiana, Washington, Kansas, and Nebraska. Huckabee won in Louisiana, dominated in Kansas, and lost to McCain in Washington 26% to 24% (Paul got 21% and I guess in reality, they both lost, as "Other" got 30% of the vote [I wonder if this was Romney?])

So what's the future look like? Obama will continue to win the majority of the remainder of the contests as people who were originally skeptical of his ability to win are now pretty sure that he can. I have a buff chick calzone on Obama getting the Democratic nomination, so you know who I'm cheering for (well, cheering to win, and then ultimately lose). For the Republicans, John McCain has a lot of work to do. He has to convince the conservative wing of the party to vote for him, while being careful not to pander too much to them, as he could lose the trust of his moderate and independent backers. People keep saying, "Of course the very conservative folks will vote for him. He's better than the alternative". This is true, however, the base of the party is what generally gives the campaign the energy to move into November. If the base of the party isn't excited and getting out the vote through grassroots campaigning, as Barack Obama has so successfully done with the youth this year, there could be trouble. Some experts estimate that a situation like this could cost McCain 2-3% of the vote, which is huge when you consider how close the past elections have been and how much of a disadvantage the Republicans are dealing with right now.

On a personal note, I have transferred my support to John McCain because I feel that he gives the party the best chance to win in November and is indeed a hell of a lot better than the alternatives. I disagree strongly with McCains views on immigration reform and his carbon-credits plan, but I do believe that he will do his best to slash spending, support the military, and work to secure the border before dealing with anything else. He also has a 100% pro-life voting record and has a history of supporting constructionist judges, which is perhaps the most important duty of a president. All this being said, I'm very sad to see Mitt Romney go. This is the first election that I can vote in, so therefore I've been pretty involved (obsessed?) with the whole deal. Of course I was also involved in 2000 and 2004, but its different when you're older and can actually have more of an effect on the election. Mitt Romney truly energized me. Every time I see him speak, the first word that comes to mind is: President. He has the brains and the heart to be a great president. He has shown this through his successful business career, wonderful family, and personal character. It's a shame that his opponents were able to take advantage of his switch of opinions on abortion and label him as a flip-flopper- a name that he couldn't seem to get away from. Hopefully we'll be seeing more of him in the future.

In the mean time, get the word out in support of McCain! I already have his bumper sticker on my dorm room door and his campaign sign in my window.
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Word of the Week

This week's word (I'm bringing back Fletcher's ODW):

Surly- adj., churlishly rude or bad-tempered; unfriendly or hostile; menacingly irritable; dark or dismal; threatening.

So I had no idea what this word meant and I heard it twice in one week. I figured it was about time to learn it. Thanks to Will Carey, for describing himself as surly last weekend and a political strategist who describe John McCain as surly during his heated exchange with Mitt Romney during the debate.
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