Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Welcome to Ashford

      In the classes at Ashford University we have a discussion board;  on the first day of class we introduce ourselves with a brief personal biography.  After reading T(___)'s bio, I wanted to complement him on his testimony for God, when it dawned on me that I could not be sure if he was a Christian, Jew, Muslim, . . .or other. This is his introduction:
Hello Classmates,

            My name is T(____). I go by T(__). I am twenty five years old and am married with two kids. I have been married for going on three years next month actually, and have a two year old son and a three year old daughter. The two most important things in my life are God and my family. I do everything I can to be a great father and husband. I decided to return to school to get a degree in business and project management to move up the ladder in the company I work for. I am very easy going and don’t let the little things bother me. I f I t is something that God and my family approve of and benefit from I am all for it. I look forward to getting to know, help, and learn from you all in this class. I wish you all the best in your effort to finish school. 

I suppose eventually I will have to ask Him.  Though I have not yet figured out how.

Here's my bio:

Hello everyone, I am Todd Saunders, a 53 year old CNA of one year.  A single father of one 13 ½ year old daughter. This past year was my third part-time year as a nursing student in Rhinelander Wisconsin.  I have now withdrawn from that program and am heading into a degree in Applied Behavioral Science, here at Ashford, to eventually be seeking a career in psychological counseling. Let me give you a quick bio.  Out of high school, I went to U-W Whiterwater, WI, for a year and a half, withdrew, drove school bus in Milwaukee for 2 years, moved to Young America, MN for six months, moved to Lexington, KY area and worked in the tobacco harvest, redryers, and saddle shop (having grown up with horses) for four years, moved back up to my home in Big Bend WI. for 2 years.  I worked in a small marketing company for 1 year managing their warehouse, computer data imput, and telecommunications. Then river rafting and the construction trades in CA for 7 years, horseshoeing/equine dentistry in northern Wisconsin for 18 years, and finally one year as a CNA.  I am a Christian in this world.  My interests are:  A lifetime of playing many different musical instruments, fooling with horses, building, parenting, snorkeling, the human mind, and studying my bible.  My personal website is toddsaunders.us. Thanks for making it all of the way through. Looking forward to being in the class with all of you.


      This is Ashford University, Clinton, IA.  What an interesting history page they have.  Their college TM is "Technology changes everything". Indeed, it continues to do so. Currently they offer their fully accredited classroom courses in an online setting in the form of one complete course every five weeks. They have done their homework and have come up with an effective online program -- the equivalent of their physical institutional program. This is for working people with or without families -- or anyone for that matter.  It is the "new college experience".  

      With 60 transferable college credits I am halfway to a BS degree in psychology.  Two years from this past January I should come out the other end.  

      I just completed a Psychology 202:  Adult Development and Life Assessment, wherein we learned the identifiable patterns of human development across the lifespan.  And to prepare some of us in middle adulthood (the latter part) for the rigors of writing college caliber papers again, we had to write a "life story" essay in APA professional writing format.  

      Normally our mental abilities do not decline with age. But, there are no guarantees, and, some of us just go completely downhill starting in our late 50's to early 60's.  I'm preparing myself just in case I fall into the normal range.  That would be a first for me.
      The class I started today (2-26-2013) is computer literacy.
      I also have one more tough assignment that is due to get started today.  I will be writing an open letter (editorial) to a Family Court Judge, who is up for election in April for Circuit Court Judge, and who, in response to my daughter's mother's petition for "temporary change in custody", ran something of a hearing that would have got him laughed out of class at law school, put my daughter in danger, and made it much more difficult to get my daughter's mother the help she needs.  So this will be a tough one.  


Monday, February 25, 2013

A "Whopping (Cough)" Myth?

    Currently (2013), the state of Wisconsin has the highest incidence rate of Pertussis ("Whopping cough"), higher than Vermont and Washington, both whom have declared Pertussis to be at epidemic levels. Both my daughter and I have been  vaccinated for it in the past. There has been considerable unfounded criticism surrounding the vaccination since the 1970's.  As it turns out, it was not based on anything reliable.  The vaccine manufacturers did not come up with the right answers for the fear mongers, and the vaccination was publicly attacked and discredited.  The vaccine was further altered in the early 80’s to an acellular structure and is wholly unable to cause illness.  Nonetheless, we are presently experiencing a Pertussis epidemic in the state of Wisconsin.  Having a few vaccinaphobic friends, I guess I understand how these myths keep on living on.  Back in the early days of vaccines, they were using inactivated antigens (the polio vaccine, for example) which they did not realize at the time could gain the right stuff from our bodies and reactivate themselves.  Science has changed a lot since the 1950's.  But people's habit of chosing to "believe what they want to believe" has not.   

(The following is an article from Wikipedia)

Society and culture

"Much of the controversy surrounding the DPT vaccine in the 1970s and 1980s related to the question of whether the whole-cell pertussis component caused permanent brain injury in rare cases, called pertussis vaccine encephalopathy. Despite this possibility, doctors recommended the vaccine due to the overwhelming public health benefit, because the claimed rate was very low (one case per 310,000 immunizations, or about 50 cases out of the 15 million immunizations each year in the United States), and the risk of death from the disease was high (pertussis killed thousands of Americans each year before the vaccine was introduced).[30]
No studies showed a causal connection, and later studies showed no connection of any type between administration of the DPT vaccine and permanent brain injury. The alleged vaccine-induced brain damage proved to be an unrelated condition, infantile epilepsy.[31] Eventually evidence against the hypothesized existence of pertussis vaccine encephalopathy mounted to the point that in 1990, the Journal of American Medical Association called it a "myth" and "nonsense".[32]
However, before that point, criticism of the studies showing no connection and a few well-publicized anecdotal reports of permanent disability that were blamed on the DPT vaccine gave rise to anti-DPT movements in the 1970s.[33] The negative publicity and fear-mongering caused the immunization rate to fall in several countries, including Great Britain, Sweden, and Japan. In many cases, a dramatic increase in the incidence of pertussis followed.[34]
Unscientific claims about the vaccine pushed suppliers of the vaccines out of the market.[30] In the United States, low profit margins and an increase in vaccine-related lawsuits led many manufacturers to stop producing the DPT vaccine by the early 1980s.[30]
In 1982, the television documentary "DPT: Vaccine Roulette" depicted the lives of children whose severe disabilities were inaccurately blamed on the DPT vaccine by reporter Lea Thompson.[35] The negative publicity generated by the documentary led to a tremendous increase in the number of lawsuits filed against vaccine manufacturers.[36] By 1985, manufacturers of vaccines had difficulty obtaining liability insurance. The price of the DPT vaccine skyrocketed, leading to shortages around the country. Only one manufacturer of the DPT vaccine remained in the U.S. by the end of 1985. To avert a vaccine crisis, Congress in 1986 passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), which established a federal no-fault system to compensate victims of injury caused by mandated vaccines.[37] The majority of claims that have been filed through the NCVIA have been related to injuries allegedly caused by the whole-cell DPT vaccine.
The concerns about side effects led Yuji Sato to introduce an even safer acellular version of the pertussis vaccine for Japan in 1981. The acellular pertussis vaccine was approved in the United States in 1992 for use in the combination DTaP vaccine. Research has shown that the acellular vaccine has a rate of adverse events similar to that of a Td vaccine (a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine containing no pertussis vaccine).[38]"


"In April and May 2012, pertussis was declared to be at epidemic levels in the state of Washington, USA. In September 2012, a similar epidemic of pertussis was seen in parts of the United Kingdom, with several babies dying as a result. [39][40] In December 2012, the state of Vermont declared a pertussis epidemic.[41] The state of Wisconsin has the highest incidence rate, however it has not released an official epidemic declaration. [42]"