The Economist is a respected and consistently interesting magazine out of England. Stephan Schwartz is a respected and consistently interesting science editor whose daily SchwartzReport sends out notice of significant stories “that will affect your future. Here is one, well worth your while to read. Just click on the link.

The Economist may think that Frankenstein was not in attendance, but I don’t agree. We are nowhere near ready for the moral and ethical problems that will swiftly follow in the wake of this development. Hell, we haven’t even begun to deal with the ethical consequences of Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms!


In this time in which so many are losing themselves in negativity and thinking it realism, this reminder from the being known as Seth as channeled by Jane Roberts a generation ago:

I have told you time and time again . . . that you construct your physical universe and your private environment in line with your expectations, for they mirror perfectly the deepest areas of your own inner reality. This is perhaps the closest I can come in handing you anything that approaches a basic truth. All [of this] material follows and flows out of this primary statement. . . .

When you find [yourself] noticing more and more the inequalities, the disasters, and the shames that come within the sphere of your perception, you add to their existence. This may confound what common sense may tell you. However, concentration reinforces the quality [that] is concentrated upon. . . .

When you are concentrating upon destructive elements, you lose on two points. You reinforce the destructive qualities by the very act of concentrating upon them, and you rob [yourself] of the constructive qualities that you could be concentrating upon, and therefore that you could be reinforcing. You will in all cases attempt to construct as physical reality your inner conception of what reality is. Your physical environment and conditions are a mirror of your own basic conceptions of reality. If the environment changes it is because your inner conceptions have changed; and no smallest alteration is made within physical reality that has not first been made within the inner self. You make your own reality from your expectations, and this is one of the greatest truths. I can tell you no better. You must deal with the realities that you have made, or change them. There are no alternatives.


On the one hand, I must admit up front that I don’t know anything about the facts in this case, so I don’t really have a right to an opinion. Nevertheless (naturally) I proceed to air my opinion: This has all the earmarks of the usual medical witch-hunts against practicing physicians who come up with objections to profitable and/or popular panaceas. From the New York Times.

Time will tell, perhaps.

British Medical Council Bars Doctor Who Linked Vaccine With Autism


Published: May 24, 2010

LONDON — A doctor whose research and public statements caused widespread alarm that a common childhood vaccine could cause autism was banned on Monday from practicing medicine in his native Britain for ethical lapses, including conducting invasive medical procedures on children that they did not need.

The General Medical Council applied its most severe sanction against the doctor, Andrew Wakefield, 53, who abandoned his medical practice in Britain in 2004 as questions intensified about his research and set up a center to study childhood developmental disorders in Texas, despite not being licensed as a physician there.

In January, after the longest investigation in its history, the council found several instances of what it said was unprofessional conduct by Dr. Wakefield. It cited his taking blood samples for his study from children at his son’s birthday party; he paid each child £5, about $7.20 today, and joked about it later. It also noted that part of the costs of Dr. Wakefield’s research was paid by lawyers for parents seeking to sue vaccine makers for damages.

Dr. Wakefield left the Texas center in February, but continued to speak out against his treatment in Britain, as he did in interviews in New York on Monday, when he called the British decision to strike him off the medical register an effort to “discredit and silence” him. He said he would appeal the decision, which will take effect, unless suspended for legal reasons, within 28 days.

The disciplinary tribunal’s action came after more than a decade of controversy over the links Dr. Wakefield and associates in Britain, as well as supporters among parents of some autistic children in Britain and the United States, have made between autism and a commonly used vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. The suggestion of a link caused use of the vaccine in Britain and elsewhere in the world to plummet, a development that critics of Dr. Wakefield said contributed to a sharp rise in measles cases in countries where the vaccine was in use.

Most scientific papers have failed to find any links between vaccines and autism.

The furor was touched off by a 1998 article in The Lancet, a British medical journal. The journal retracted the study in February after the medical council in London concluded in January that Dr. Wakefield had been dishonest and that he had violated ethical rules.

The council said he had shown “a callous disregard” for the suffering of children involved in his research. The ruling banning him from practicing medicine on Tuesday was a sequel to the January finding.

Dr. Surendra Kumar, the medical council’s chairman, said that Dr. Wakefield had “brought the medical profession into disrepute” and that his behavior constituted “multiple separate instances of professional misconduct.” In all, Dr. Wakefield was found guilty of more than 30 charges.

“The panel concluded,” Dr. Kumar said, “that it is the only sanction that is appropriate to protect patients and is in the wider public interest, including the maintenance of public trust and confidence in the profession.” He said the sanction was “proportionate to the serious and wide-ranging findings made against him.”

The council also barred from practice one of Dr. Wakefield’s associates, Dr. John Walker-Smith, 73, who had been found guilty of professional misconduct and retired from medicine 10 years ago. A second associate, Dr. Simon Murch, was found not guilty of professional misconduct and allowed to continue practicing.

Dr. Wakefield resigned in February from his position as a staff researcher at Thoughtful House, an alternative medicine clinic in Austin, Tex. A spokeswoman for the clinic said she did not know where Dr. Wakefield worked now.

A 2007 annual report for the clinic has a picture of Dr. Wakefield looking into microscope with a caption that reads: “Where would we be without Dr. Wakefield and your entire team? Thank you for your courageous efforts in swimming against the tide. Without you we would still be hearing, ‘There is nothing we can do.’ Because of you we know the hope is great and the progress is attainable.”

In New York on Monday, Dr. Wakefield rejected the medical council’s findings. In an interview with the “Today” show on NBC, he described the ban on his practicing as “a little bump in the road” and said the council’s decision had been predetermined “from the outset.” He also said he would continue his research into the link between vaccines and autism.

“These parents are not going away,” he said. “The children are not going away. And I am most certainly not going away.”

Gardiner Harris contributed reporting from Washington.

Posted by John Michael Greer on his website,

Excellent thinking, here.


Garlic, Chainsaws, and Victory Gardens

The uncontrolled simplification of a complex system is rarely a welcome event for those people whose lives depend on the system in question. That’s one way to summarize the impact of the waves of trouble rolling up against the sand castles we are pleased to call the world’s modern industrial nations. Exactly how the interaction between sand and tide will work out is anyone’s guess at this point; the forces that undergird that collision have filled the pages of this blog for a year and a half now; here, and for the next few posts, I want to talk a bit about what can be done to deal with the consequences.

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More straight thinking and calm exposition — as opposed to the irrational and hysterical nonsense that so often passes for “analysis” these days. You want to know the real reason why America prospered after the war? And the real reason why government began to fail, about 30 years later? Read on.


Austin Chronicle – May 21, 2010

Less government does not necessarily mean less Oligarchy. More government does not necessarily mean more Oligarchy.
Think not? Examine two game-changing pieces of legislation: the federal government’s Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 and California’s Proposition 13 of 1978.

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Need it Keep it

May 19, 2010

A friend passed on this story from the Dallas News. It makes a nice change from the gloom-and-doom stories that so many people are putting so much faith in at the moment, and it is a nice reminder, as well, that people are basically good.

McKinney man out to change world, $1 at a time

11:20 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

By NANCY VISSER / The Dallas Morning News

Doc Compton wants giving to go viral.

He says that to give is such a great feeling he wants everyone to experience it.

So he stuffed 100 envelopes each with a dollar and a letter that basically says: Keep this if you need it, or add to it and pass it on.

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The Power of Goodwill

May 17, 2010

My friend Wayne Goodwin suggested that I print this nice little piece that was a handout at a recent IONS talk he attended. (IONS is the Institute of Noetic Sciences, founded by ex-astronaut Edgar Mitchell.)

The author, Ricardo N. Gangarossa, said in an email to Wayne that he considers this a work in progress. “There was/is so, so much more that could be said, including along the love and inspirational side which was virtually not touched upon. Yet, even on the side of light, very little was said. I have much to learn on expressing what little light and love I may contain. But, this was a beginning, something to build upon. ”

A pretty good beginning, it seems to me. A nice counterpoint to so much political hatred out there.

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