November 12th, 2009


Anti-Vaccination Extremists Threaten Violence!

With thanks to vito_excalibur for passing on the link to this excellent article.

An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All

To hear his enemies talk, you might think Paul Offit is the most hated man in America. A pediatrician in Philadelphia, he is the coinventor of a rotavirus vaccine that could save tens of thousands of lives every year. Yet environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. slams Offit as a “biostitute” who whores for the pharmaceutical industry. Actor Jim Carrey calls him a profiteer and distills the doctor’s attitude toward childhood vaccination down to this chilling mantra: “Grab ‘em and stab ‘em.” Recently, Carrey and his girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, went on CNN’s Larry King Live and singled out Offit’s vaccine, RotaTeq, as one of many unnecessary vaccines, all administered, they said, for just one reason: “Greed.”

The poor man has received death threats and threats to his children!

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Quote of the Day

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.

This was incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela, but he didn't say or write it or even quote it. I had seen it attributed to him in many places so I just thought I should mention this common error. Nelson has said plenty of great things--this just wasn't one of them. :)

Mahasraya in Perspective

This project of memoir writing is a curious one because I am forced to remember how I thought and felt about people and events at the time. I've already had one present-day disagreement with someone who was unhappy about what I wrote about her. I know her in the present in a very different way than I knew her in the past. But I am writing about my past understanding and she couldn't see how I would write something critical of her behavior then if I don't have any grievance toward her now.

Those of you who have followed my guest blog posts at No Longer Quivering have read about my anger towards my mother, for example, although we mended our relationship later on. But there was a time in my life when I felt I truly hated her! Since those early years I've done a lot of work on compassion and forgiveness and can place her in perspective.

Likewise I've had a lot of years to think about my relationship with Mahasraya and put it in some perspective. I myself was young and my own knowledge about how to have a relationship was limited and flawed based on the dysfunctions present in my own family. I played a role in accepting abuse by remaining in the relationship. Now I understand the many forces that keep women such as myself mired in abusive relationships--I've written about it myself. Yet that doesn't mean I don't bear some responsibility for enabling him to continue the abusive cycle without being held accountable by my leaving. I finally did, of course, and perhaps that prevented abuse to others in the future--I have no way of knowing that. Don't get me wrong--Mahasraya is the only one responsible for his behavior. I'm just saying that I am also responsible for my own.

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ETA: From the Ramayana by Tulsidas — “There is no other dharma better than acting for the welfare of others. There is no worst sin than giving suffering to other.”