Monday, January 25, 2016

Considering the ethics of forced vaccination programs

 March 20, 2015
I am a school nurse, as well as a student of ethics.

As a school nurse, I am a representative of the State and am required to advocate for vaccines as part of my job description. I make sure all my schools comply with CA State vaccination mandates.
At the same time, I understand that every student at school is someone's family treasure, and we are charged with the duty of keeping the students safe while they are in school.
I don't doubt that many of the vaccines are efficacious and safe. I remember how in my childhood, everyone was forced to get a smallpox vaccine. I remember taking my own perfect infant daughter to be marred and scarred with a smallpox vaccine. But it wiped smallpox off the face of the Earth. It was a success!

But since the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, it has been deemed unethical to force medical treatments upon people without their consent. Then we must weigh which is the higher good, to protect the public from deadly diseases, or to give people sovereignty over their own bodies, and those of their children?

The press release from Senators Feinstein & Boxer concerning Head Start students about preventing "deadly diseases like measles." The CDC reports that over 1/4 of children under 5 who contract the measles have to be hospitalized for diarrhea (24%), dehydration (21%), and (17%) pneumonia. No cases of encephalitis and no deaths were reported. NOT DEADLY! Yet, at least 3000 - 49,000 people die each year of influenza, and I don't hear anyone talking about forced flu vaccines. I think perhaps you are jumping on the measles panic bandwagon with this legislation to force vaccines on children without the parents' consent.

When smallpox and polio vaccines were invented, they were public health miracles. But now we have a government that cuts funding for FDA research, fast-tracks vaccines, and protects corporate rights more than human rights. Many people are suspicious of what the government sponsors these days because our members of Congress seem to have mostly sold out to corporate interests and no longer protect the People. We have been betrayed by our public servants.

Many people feel that natural immunity is superior to vaccinations. As such, they breast feed their infants to protect infant immunity for the first couple of years. They feed their children organic foods, live far from air pollution, and wash their hands before meals. They believe that good health is the best protection, and if their child catches a disease, it will be mild and provide a better lifetime immunity than a vaccine manufactured by a big pharmaceutical corporation interested in maximizing profits. Considering how our government has betrayed the People time and again, many people prefer good health and natural immunity to injecting manufactured serums into their precious children.

I don't know what is right. Historical vaccination programs have been a boon to worldwide public health, but never before have world governments been as influenced by profiteering corporations as they are today. To me, informed consent is the most ethical thing to do. I can't bear the karma of forcing parents to vaccinate their children against their wishes. I just give them the facts and let them decide.

I suggest you get off the measles panic bandwagon and stay off the annual pandemic panics and instead advocate for more money for schools to hire school nurses to teach health promotion. The fact is that most of the school nurses in northern CA shamefully have caseloads of 4000 students each and have no time to do prevention programs. School nurses advocating good health is no longer a priority in CA schools, and school nurses have had their hours cut and caseloads expanded as if they are being phased out as unnecessary expenses. Instead, the government is investing in vaccines. And you want to take away the parent's right to sovereignty over their child for a mild childhood disease like measles.   I don't think it is ethical.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

What can we do about bad laws?

Photo of British suffragette Ada Wright being beaten for breaking the voting law
This is what happens when you break the law. She's lucky they didn't shoot her! They might have if she were Black in the USA.

In 1492, it became illegal in Spain to practice Judaism. Let's say a Spanish family secretly lit candles Friday night to keep the Sabbath holy, then went to church Sunday morning, removing their hat in the Christian style of respect, and genuflecting with holy water at the sanctuary door. Then Monday at school, their child accidentally mentions the Sabbath candles, this picture might be that child's mother after the teacher had informed the police of a known family that breaks the law.

What do citizens do about bad laws? There is a list of bad laws too long to mention here. At Move to Amend, they try to convince corrupt members of Congress to amend the Constitution to state that Rights are for natural persons only. They think that a groundswell of public sentiment might sway the Congress. At Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, they say we should write local laws that directly violate the bad laws, and take it to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to achieve justice in the law. Mahatma Gandhi advocated non-violent direct action even risking death at the hand of those enforcing the bad law. He even advocated home rule in his 1910 book, "Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule." by M.K. Gandhi 1910

How do we achieve justice in the law? Should we include illegal provisions in our new Mendocino County charter like banning the constitutional protection of rights to fictional persons? This is like the "Emperor with No Clothes." It is obvious to everyone that the Bill of Rights was aimed at humans. Yet everyone is somehow willing to accept that under a quirk of the law, that aggregates of money charted by a state to do business have equal protection under the law as human beings or citizens.

I wonder if we include something that contradicts currently established laws, i.e. that fictional persons have rights protected by the Constitution, that even if the voters approve the charter at the polls, would the Secretary of State even ratify a charter with provisions directly contradictory to known law? We should call him and ask.

I wonder if the police would beat up a corporation like this if the corporation tried to vote?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Banning Neonicotinoid pesticides in the charter vs. stating our rights

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 11:08 PM,> wrote:
EPA Confirms Activists' Longtime Claims: Neonicotinoid Pesticide Threatens Honeybees

Els asks, "How does this square with the CA Department of Pesticide Regulation that regulates all economic poisons? Can a charter county override that?"

My response:
That's a good question.  All the thousands of pounds of Roundup that is used on our school campuses has been approved by Chuck Morse, the County Ag Commissioner. 

That's what Community Rights is all about.  They say that we the People have the right to govern ourselves and protect our health and welfare.  Therefore, they advocate making local ordinances that contradict bad state or federal laws, and give the example of the women's suffrage movement. 

Personally, I think that even if the people vote in favor of something like prohibiting corporate constitutional rights within the county, a charter with such wording may not get ratified by the California Secretary of State. 

So if we want specific things like that in the charter, we may need to wait until we tack on an amendment in the future.  That can be a new project for Move to Amend in our county.  I'd vote for it.

Until then, we can clearly declare our right to protect our health, safety and environment within the charter.  That's what I call a Community Rights Charter.  I'd rather see global rights in the charter than specific items like neonicotinoid pesticides.  The chemical industries will just invent another pesticide even worse.  But a statement of our right to be free of chemical trespass, the right to health, safety, environmental protection, and the right to protect our agricultural lands and clean food supply, etc, will better serve us. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why can't we practice our 1st Amendment Free Speech rights at the post office?

Until the Patriot Act was passed, we used to be able to gather signatures for ballot measures and propositions in front of the post office.  I call that the citizen's 1st Amendment right to petition the government for redress of our grievances.  Others call it 1st Amendment Free Speech rights.  In 2012, when we were gathering signatures for Prop 37, the GMO labeling effort, and Measure F, the anti-corporate personhood rights effort, the Ukiah postmaster called the police to drive the petitioners away.  I asked Steve, one of the clerks there, who replied that citizens can't petition in front of the Post Office because it is private property. 

I have heard that the USPS had privatized some of their services, but I had thought that the Post Office was federal property.  In a democracy, the government is formed by the People to serve the People, and therefore, all Federal property belongs to all American citizens. 

I had also heard that the Patriot Act had a provision that prohibits ordinary citizens from getting within a certain distance of any diplomat.  Thomas Jefferson is probably turning over in his grave about that. But it shouldn't pertain to the Post Office since there are no diplomats inside. 

Even if the Post Office was private property, the Supreme Court 1980 Pruneyard Decision ruled that 1st Amendment rights are higher than private property in places that can be considered equivalent to the town square, like a modern shopping center.  I would pose that the Post Office is also equivalent to a town square.  So the fact that American citizens can't practice our 1st Amendment rights in our democratic nation in front of the federal post office perplexes and alarms me. 

Can anyone tell me why the Post Office is now off limits to citizens to practice democracy?  Will we have to get arrested gathering signatures in front of the Post Office and take the case to the Supreme Court?