News & Analysis
The Polio Eradication Meme and the Nobility of Gates
Bill Gates: The world can defeat polio ... Glance at the latest figures for polio incidence and it would appear that the world is within touching distance of eradicating the disease. Last year there were just 205 cases of naturally occurring poliovirus compared with 650 cases in 2011 and a staggering 350,000 a quarter of a century ago. There are now three countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria - where transmission of the disease has never been halted compared to 125 countries in the late 1980s. India has been polio-free for two years - a remarkable achievement. This week the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates will deliver the annual BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture in which he will spell out his commitment to ridding the world of this dread infectious disease which can cause paralysis and even death within hours. Bill Gates is the single most influential voice in global health, so when he turns his attention to an issue, it is worth listening. – BBC
Dominant Social Theme: Another noble cause advanced by vaccines.
Free-Market Analysis: We continue to grow more skeptical of these universal vaccine campaigns. Knowing what we think we do about the power elite, it is highly unlikely that these global campaigns are being offered without ulterior motives.
Also, it is overly convenient that the only way diseases can be "wiped out" is via enormous public works campaigns.
What we have at the beginning of the 21st century is a dominant social theme stating that global applications of vaccine programs are in the best interests of all human beings. A subdominant theme would be that those involved in these campaigns are admirable people and that individuals like Bill Gates are most admirable of all – because he is doing the most in this regard.
It is, from our perspective, part of a larger consensus built around Gates with his acquiescence. He has been left alone by the powers-that-be after being harshly attacked for being a monopolist and was actually found guilty. The pressure was placed on Gates to conform to larger power elite programs and we believe he has responded.
We wrote about Gates here, recently: "Sic Transit Bill Gates."
In return for lending his considerable talents and fortune to the power elite, Gates is being presented as a hero of the hour. He has become the designated point person for vaccine-based public health programs. He doesn't really want to do this, in our view. Anyone who watches his interviews will see a relatively low-energy person who is doing what he needs to do.
For the power elite, the vaccine meme is most important. It is surely a larger power elite strategy to control people's bodies by ensuring access to them. Vaccines are very important, from an elite point of view, because they justify egress into people's INSIDES.
Once the justification has been activated regarding this sort of access other kinds of insertions can be planned and implemented. The most obvious involves "chipping." But no doubt more activities will occur over time. Or perhaps that's the plan. Here's some more from the article (paragraphing ours):
In his lecture Mr Gates will liken the pace of innovation in computers with the fight against polio: He will say: "In the late 1970s we had a dream of giving everybody access to computer technology - a vision of a computer on every desktop. Now there is a computer in every pocket.
"The pace of innovation keeps getting faster. The same is true of polio. It was first recognised at least 4,000 years ago, but it was just 200 years ago we figured out it's contagious - just 100 years ago we learned it's a virus. Just 50 years ago we developed the vaccine to prevent it. Just 25 years ago we resolved to eradicate it. And so on."
But Mr Gates will also acknowledge that the final push against polio is proving extremely difficult: "I can say without reservation that the last mile is not only the hardest mile; it's also much harder than I expected," he said.
The killing of nine health workers in Pakistan last month was a shocking reminder of the challenges facing those trying to chase down the virus and protect every last child. I have written before of the hurdles facing immunisation teams.
The speech goes on to defend the oral polio vaccine's propensity to trigger polio. Gates quotes WHO as reporting this happens only "in one in 2.5 million first doses of vaccine." The speech continues by rebutting critics of the program who say Gates's money could be put to better use providing sanitation and better nutrition to the poor around the world.
Gates also mentions a prominent critic, Dr. Jacob Puliyel, a pediatrician in Delhi, who wrote in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics last year that "the polio eradication programme epitomises nearly everything that is wrong with donor-funded 'disease specific' vertical projects, at the cost of investments in community-oriented primary care."
Dr Puliyel, Gates notes, blames the polio vaccine for a sharp rise in India of cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis – weakness or inability to move one's limbs. Of course, blaming vaccines in this manner merely scratches the surface. Admit vaccines work some of the time – and perhaps they do – and one is STILL left with the dawning certainty that people should make up their own minds about vaccines.
The herd immunity meme that Gates is pushing is at least questionable. Polio likely will never be wiped out and even if it is, there are plenty of other diseases to take its place. The absence of the Black Plague did not make people in aggregate healthier – or certainly not until other health methodologies were implemented.
Sanitation is probably preferable to an aggressive vaccine program aimed at total eradication of various diseases. The latter goal is simply to provide the powers-that-be a justification to roll out, almost militarily, public health campaigns. It provides an avenue for legislation demanding mandatory vaccines, as well.
Vaccines damage children and adults. Thanks to the Internet we are well aware of this. It is more than unfortunate that the tradeoffs between vaccine damage and increased health are not being discussed in public health circles.
Vaccines have likely become just one more weapon in the arsenal of power elite themes ... another way of promoting the efficacy of the state and the need to obey its edicts.
To have an open debate about the efficacy of vaccines or the necessity to wipe out every last case of this or that disease would be to put the entire meme in danger. That's no doubt why it hasn't happened.
Of course, because of what we call the Internet Reformation the meme is in danger, anyway. Too many people have been damaged by vaccines and too much has been written about this damage to revitalize it.
The power elite has made Gates the (apparently unwilling) face of vaccine efficacy. But such promotions are far less effective in the 21st century than they were in the 20th. And sooner or later, the debate over vaccines will be joined generally.
Conclusion: It already has on the Internet.
Posted by alan2102 on 02/16/13 07:15 AM
The whole thing about Walter Duranty and 1930s USSR is irrelevant.
Do you believe that China has engaged in a massive conspiracy, in which the entirety of the demographic sciences community of the world is a participant, to lie about its population? That they do NOT have a population of 1.4 billion? That seems to be what you are suggesting.
The reality is that they have a population of 1.4 billion, and that there are reasons for that. I mentioned the reasons: general development, public health programs, and so forth. Without those things, their population would be perhaps 800 million, or perhaps 500 million.
All of this was accomplished long before the contemporary financialized period in which the idea of "monetary stimulation" came to have meaning. There was no "monetary stimulation" in 1960 or 1970 or 1980 in China. There is today, and there has been for some years, at least 5 years.
We are talking about two entirely different things, two entirely different eras, with very different characteristics and results, and I don't know why you wish to conflate them.
That China will not be able to continue to grow (economically) at the extremely rapid pace that it has in the past 10-15 years is a given; no one argues with that. Whether or not they will "crash" is debateable. Probably not.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"The reality is that they have a population of 1.4 billion, and that there are reasons for that."
Actually, starting in the 14th century China entered a prolonged authoritarian decline that was augmented only by an even worse British interregnum. We would argue that it was this 600 year period that brought China into misery, combined with the US-backed rule of Mao and his various coherts that managed to starve about 50 million Chinese (probably many more).
We simply don't believe - as you seem to - that freedom inevitably means poor hygiene, dirty water, diseases and famine. Inevitably, when you examine these trends you find that government has CAUSED them. Is the current Chinese government rectifying some public health wrongs? Perhaps. But just give it a some time and you'll find that the government there is up to its old tricks, using public health as an excuse to make health worse not better. Population REDUCTION is firmly on the Chinese governmental agenda.
A really free people will find ways to promote their own hygiene and health. The terrible Kenyan slum outside Nairobi is owned by the government.
Posted by alan2102 on 01/31/13 04:50 PM
There's no argument about the basic demographics. China was a miserable backward place before the revolution. Life expectancy was typical of an undeveloped nation -- under 40. (Similar to some African countries, still.) Then everything changed.
It was a difficult transition. Mao made terrible mistakes that lead to (or contributed to) disasters. But through it all, incredible progress was made, and to dismiss this as due to "monetary stimulation" is simply laughable. There was no money to stimulate anything. The Chinese economy was tiny during those years.
You're thinking of the last 10 years, or perhaps at most 20 years. Actually you're thinking mostly of the huge monetary stimulus of the post-crash (post-2008) era, and on THAT score you're no doubt correct that the fuller story has yet to be written. But as for what happened demographically and in terms of public health from 1940 through the end of the century, there is no doubt, and it does not matter what you believe. The facts are the facts.
I went to the link you gave and it provides a lot of interesting information.
You're right, in light of all the terrible shenanigans that TPTB have pulled over the years, from Tuskegee, to forced lobotomies, to the prison-industrial complex, to medical apartheid, and dozens other things of comparable outrageousness, I'd have to say you have every right to be paranoid.
I just want to add that the paranoia MUST be tempered with a great deal of cool analysis of real facts, else things get too crazy and too non-credible. I give you, for one example, your reply to what I wrote about China. In order to maintain your credibility, you cannot simply dismiss well-established demographic facts.
As far as the numbers are concerned (life expectancy, etc.), what I wrote is entirely non-controversial; the figures are not in question. The simple facts are that China developed, just like the U.S. developed, except China developed (in terms of sanitation and public health infrastructure) in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, whereas the U.S. developed in the 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, etc.
They went through the same process that we did, and as a result wiped out all the same diseases that we did, and reaped spectacular health benefits as a result.
This is not controversial, not arguable. It happened. You say you "don't buy it", but I take that to be a flippant, off-the-cuff remark that you don't really mean. (I do the same thing myself at times.) If you DO really mean it, that would reflect very poorly on you. It would be like saying that you "don't buy" that China is a nation of 1.3 billion people, or that the earth is a planet that revolves around the sun.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Look when it comes to these large authoritarian countries, people DO get it wrong. Sorry. See here, you could have made the same arguments about the USSR ...
Click to view link
Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty, The New York Times's Man In Moscow
by S.J. Taylor
Short, unattractive, hobbling about Stalin's Moscow on a wooden leg, Walter Duranty was an unlikely candidate for the world's most famous foreign correspondent. Yet for almost twenty years his articles filled the front page of The New York Times with gripping coverage of the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. A witty, engaging, impish character with a flamboyant life-style, he was a Pulitzer Prize winner, the individual most credited with helping to win U.S. recognition for the Soviet regime, and the reporter who had predicted the success of the Bolshevik state when all others claimed it was doomed. But, as S.J. Taylor reveals in this provocative biography, Walter Duranty played a key role in perpetrating some of the greatest lies history has ever known.
Stalin's Apologist deftly unfolds the story of this accomplished but sordid and tragic life. Drawing on sources ranging from newspapers to private letters and journals to interviews with such figures as William Shirer and W. Averell Harriman, Taylor's vivid narrative unveils a figure driven by ambition, whose early success reporting on Bolshevik Russia--he was foremost in predicting Stalin's rise to power--established his international reputation, fed his overconfident contempt for his colleagues, and indeed led him to identify with the Soviet dictator. Thus during the great Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s, which Stalin engineered to crush millions of peasants who resisted his policies, Duranty dismissed other correspondents' reports of mass starvation and, though secretly aware of the full scale of the horror, effectively reinforced the official cover-up of one of history's greatest man-made disasters. Later, he took the rigged show trials of Stalin's Great Purges at face value, blithely accepting the guilt of the victims. He believed himself the leading expert on the Soviet Union, and his faith in his own insight drew him into a downward spiral of distortions and untruths, typified by his memorable excuse for Stalin's crimes, "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs."
Taylor brilliantly captures the full range of Duranty's astonishing life, from his participation in the Satanic orgies of Aleister ("the Beast") Crowley, to his dramatic front-line reporting during World War I, to his epic womanizing and heavy drug and alcohol abuse. It is the bitter, ironic story of a man who had the rare opportunity to bring to light the suffering of the millions of Stalin's victims, but remained a prisoner of vanity, self-indulgence, and success.(less)
Now, we happen to believe that China is so big and has progressed so far and fast that the country WILL retain some of its advancements when the inevitable crash comes.
But come it will. And to believe that China's growth was not driven a good deal by monetary stimulation is naive in our view.
Posted by alan2102 on 01/31/13 05:34 AM
Many problems with this article.
"it is overly convenient that the only way diseases can be "wiped out" is via enormous public works campaigns."
Well, in fact, that IS the way most diseases have been wiped out. Large public health programs. Sanitation. Hygiene. Sewage systems. Plumbing. Water systems. And yes, immunizations. Mortality rates fell off a cliff in the developed world about a century ago as these things came on-line. The same happens elsewhere when these things come on-line. China, for example, where life expectancy went from 39 to 65 in barely more than ONE generation, after the revolution! All from public health and public works programs, focussed on bringing the most fundamental public health measures into practice. Just clean water alone is good for vast improvement of the public health, amounting to decades of life expectancy across a large population.
I know that libertarians would like to think that the Big Bad Government is never good for anything, but in the case of China (and a lot of other places), the reality is quite different. In China, perhaps half of the people now living -- say, 650,000,000 -- would not now be alive if it were not for the Big Bad [and, indeed, COMMUNIST] Government, carrying-out all those Big Bad "enormous public works programs". They would have died young from easily-preventable diseases, just as they did for millennia before. Would that have been better? Would it have been better if China had remained a feudal, retarded backwater? Or was communistic Big Government -- however wart-ridden -- a huge step forward? Think carefully before responding. Keep in mind that a Chinese revolution initiated and run by a Ron Paul, in 1938, was not an option.
"Sanitation is probably preferable to an aggressive vaccine program aimed at total eradication of various diseases. The latter goal is simply to provide the powers-that-be a justification to roll out, almost militarily, public health campaigns."
There is no incompatibility between the two, and vaccine programs ARE public health programs. You might have a point if the vaccine programs were being implemented at the expense of sanitation and other public health measures. Is that what is happening? If so, then you have a point.
Also: the whole article is tinged with a bit of paranoia. Maybe you are right that the power elite wishes to control the population, and strip-away civil liberties, by way of vaccine programs. Do they also wish to control the population by way of clean water? Are they trying to deny us our God-given right to get cholera? ;-)
Reply from The Daily Bell
Sorry, Alan. Don't buy it.
As far as China goes, a fuller history is not yet written. In its formative years the USSR looked like a great place. The trick for these societies is not whether they can make great advancements but whether they can hold them. We don't believe much of China's progress is "real" but has been caused by incredible monetary stimulation. And that never lasts. Look what's happening in the US and Europe.
Anyway ... we refer you to this sort of REAL history of public health. Read it before you decide the article in question (ours) is "tinged with paranoia."
Click to view link
Posted by maryh4548 on 01/30/13 10:36 PM
More vax history:
Click to view link
Posted by maryh4548 on 01/30/13 10:27 PM
Polio has been linked to nutritional deficiencies:
Nutritional deficiencies: A poor diet has also been shown to increase susceptibility to polio . In 1948, during the height of the polio epidemics, Dr. Benjamin Sandler, a nutritional expert at the Oteen Veterans' Hospital, documented a relationship between polio and an excessive use of sugars and starches. He compiled records showing that countries with the highest per capita consumption of sugar, such as the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, and Sweden (with over 100 pounds per person per year) had the greatest incidence of polio . In contrast, polio was practically unheard of in China (with its sugar use of only 3 pounds per person per year) .
Dr. Sandler claimed that sugars and starches lower blood sugar levels causing hypoglycemia, and that phosphoric acid in soft drinks strips the nerves of proper nourishment. Such foods dehydrate the cells and leech calcium from the body. A serious calcium deficiency precedes polio [26-29]. Weakened nerve trunks are then more likely to malfunction and the victim loses the use of one or more limbs [26:146].
Researchers have always known that polio strikes with its greatest intensity during the hot summer months. Dr. Sandler observed that children consume greater amounts of ice cream, soft drinks, and artificially sweetened products in hot weather. In 1949, before the polio season began, he warned the residents of North Carolina, through the newspapers and radio, to decrease their consumption of these products. That summer, North Carolinians reduced their intake of sugar by 90 percent- and polio decreased by the same amount! The North Carolina State Health Department reported 2,498 cases of polio in 1948, and 229 cases in 1949 (data taken from North Carolina State Health Department figures) [26:146;29].
One manufacturer shipped one million less gallons of ice cream during the first week alone following the publication of Dr. Sandler's anti-polio diet. Soft drink sales were down as well. But the powerful Rockefeller Milk Trust, which sold frozen products to North Carolinians, combined forces with soft drink business leaders and convinced the people that Sandler's findings were a myth and the polio figures a fluke. By the summer of 1950 sales were back to previous levels and polio cases returned to 'normal' [26:146;29].
Posted by Danny B on 01/30/13 09:52 PM
"In fact, polio has transmogrified from a so-called "vaccine-preventable disease" to a vaccine-caused disease, with twice the lethality of the natural infection; moreover, the biotechnology field which made possible vaccines, has now created the means to ensure that infectious agents like polio and smallpox persist into eternity."
Click to view link
Posted by bridgepro on 01/30/13 05:45 PM
"Dr. Bernard Greenberg, a biostatistics expert, was chairman of the Committee on Evaluation and Standards of the American Public Health Association during the 1950s. He testified at a panel discussion that was used as evidence for the congressional hearings on polio vaccine in 1962. During these hearings he elaborated on the problems associated with polio statistics and disputed claims for the vaccine's effectiveness. He attributed the dramatic decline in polio cases to a change in reporting practices by physicians." For full article see Click to view link
Also, check out Click to view link
Posted by stevor on 01/30/13 05:25 PM
so, do those vaccines have Squalene, which caused Gulf War Syndrome to our veterans?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Who knows. Research into vaccine elements, etc. seems fairly obscured.
Posted by ccuthbert on 01/30/13 05:15 PM
The kid should have bit him...
Posted by theranger on 01/30/13 03:55 PM
Sustainability, climate change, and smart cities are like the word activist--they mean nothing but sound scientific. For instance we could call Hitler a "social activist", a prison camp a "smart city", nuclear warfare "climate change", and citizens forced to work and survive on collective farms using their own waste for fertilizer as "sustainable developement". All these buzz words are carefully selected and used by the elites to obscure the fact that force is required. Power proceeds from the barrel of a gun--every politician knows that.
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/30/13 02:05 PM
One in 2.5mm. Wow that's probably worse than the AR15 gun safety statistics.