Fiesta de Tejas! call for blog posts

May 31, 2007

Carnaval au Texas, 1951 movie posterThe Juneteenth edition of Fiesta de Tejas! could use a few more posts about Texas history, Texas culture, Texas food, Texas travel, Texas dinosaurs, Texas wildflowers, Texas music (heck, we’re in the middle of the Kerrville Folk Festival, aren’t we?), and other things Texas.  Nominations are due today, for publication Saturday, June 2.  You may submit posts here.

And, truth be told, I’d like to see more nominations about the Texas Lege.  Oh, there are plenty out there; I’d like to see what you want to show off, or what you think others ought to see.  It was a banner year for Molly-Ivinsesque commentary on the legislature.  Sadly, Molly died last fall.  If you’ve seen someone channeling Molly Ivins’ ghost in commentary on the Texas Lege and the Crash of Craddick, point it out!

Blog Carnival submission form - fiesta de tejas!

You may also use the button above to nominate posts — how much easier can it get!  Fiesta de Tejas! the Texas history blog carnival, is comin’!


Voting for cancer, against prevention

May 31, 2007

Yeah, it was a bit tacky of Merck to create a campaign to get government officials to require inoculations against human papilloma viruses that cause cancer — but, people!, we’re talking about preventing cancer here.

The Texas legislature voted for cancer, overturning Gov. Rick Perry’s ill-considered good idea to require vaccinations for school kids in Texas. In a state with top-notch anti-cancer research at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and UT’s Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, it was an odd, odd thing to witness.

The debates are skewed by a general distrust and dislike of big pharmaceutical companies, and by the religious right’s view that it’s better that a young mother die of cancer than she should get even the faintest idea that might in only the most perverse mind promote pre-marital sex. Still, we shouldn’t fall victim to voodoo science claims against vaccines.

Are my views, tempered by years of work promoting public health and fighting disease, clear enough for you?

Owlhaven wins popularity contests among mothers who read blogs, and it often is tender and touching — hey, I read it from time to time. But recently Mary, Owlhaven’s author, fell victim to a propaganda campaign from Judicial Watch, a far-right-wing bunch that campaigns against the U.S. justice system and generally makes a conservative-gratuitous-poke-in-the-butt out of itself. Judicial Watch claims to have some secrets from having filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with FDA to get Merck’s reports to FDA of adverse events known about Gardasil, Merck’s proprietary anti-cancer vaccine.

I responded, of course — but my response didn’t show on Owlhaven’s comments. Blackballed? Spam filtered due to the number or length of links? I can’t tell. Mary said she emptied the spam filter without checking. So, I repost my response, below the fold, for your benefit. Read the rest of this entry »


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