Coping: Marketing Beyond Sexual Preference

I was noticing this morning the headline “White House to hold closed-door session on bisexual issues next month, ” and I got to thinking,  “Behind closed doors, is where sexual preference could have been left.  Consenting adults and all that, but of course absent genuine economic growth we get what we get….”

The scope (and grandeur) of the LBGT movement’s takeover of socioeconomics is really very impressive in a marketing sort of way.

Not to pick on Hilton Hotels (I like Hilton) but their “Offers” page, which is a summary of different deals and promotions currently, says reams about how life in changing in ;’Merica.

Well, look at their “Family Fun Package” and you’ll find a page with 159 words on it, including the headline.

On the other hand, the LBGT-directed “Stay Hilton. Go Out.” page is 355 words in length.  In other words, more than twice as much ad copy promoting to the LBGT market as to the family market.

As a marketer I suppose it makes sense:  If you have kids, can you really afford to take the whole brood to a nice (and usually upscale) hotel?  Probably not.  But, since most gay couples are working and don’t have kids, there’s a higher disposable income, and marketers do what marketers do…go for the money.

As a result, hotels. restaurants, and entertainment are off on a new “growth” direction and (again due to a lack of fundamental jobs and not having enough to really “do” as a country) we are seeing the expansion and monetization of EVERYTHING.

I must be considerably older than I thought, though, since it occurs to me that I seem to be the only person left on the planet able to figure out that sexual preference decisions shouldn’t be made until after or at least late puberty when hormones settle down a bit…but that’s why I don’t live in Kalifornia, I suppose.  Hell, I might even go back some day because there’s not much bizarre to write about here in the Outback.  Never a shortage of craziness out West and it does make interesting headlines.

And speaking of turning everything (including disasters and tragedies) into business models…

If you want a particularly convincing and sad example of monetizing EVERYTHING look no further than this morning’s  headline “  Paula Deen SHOOTS Trayvon Martin’ in new SVU that wraps both scandals into one controversial episode… and Cybill Shepard plays gun-wielding TV chef…”

Stand by for the Adventures in Waterboarding cartoon series, next.  Or was that on South Park?

The Last Word on Vaccines

While my main point in the vaccine discussion is sorting out my feelings about the “shingle” vaccine for old farts like me, I’ve made up my mind for sure NOT to get it.  One reason?  Looks like the protection is only 50%.  But some of the remarks from reader that have come in are just too good not to pass along:  Like this from reader Roberta:

Your article today was very valuable to me, due to the education about the Cochrane Library- and also the quote from the British Health Service regarding the shedding of viruses from the vaccinated to the non-vaccinated. I happened to read about the latter in an article which quoted one of the polio vaccine’s developers, and in it they assumed the SV40/polio would be shared with parents and other contacts.

I work in a hospital virus lab, where we grow viruses on cells of humans and other species. I had always been pro-vaccine until the day I received a warning notice from my cell supplier, stating that a cell line (which we didn’t use anyway) was contaminated with a naturally-occurring virus from the animal from which the cell line was made. Knowing that the influenza virus required animal cells, I started looking into the issue. There isn’t a way to “scrub off” naturally occurring viruses in order to make vaccines (hence, the recent contamination of the rotavirus vaccine with pig DNA, which we’re not supposed to worry about). Some of my virus co-workers refuse the flu vaccination, and we are forced by the hospital to wear surgical masks upon setting foot in the lab. This is senseless- who are we protecting? Those who chose the vaccine? My cynical comment when asked (or even not asked) is “we are protecting those who got the shot, as their immune system are now compromised.”

(A great book to read is entitled “Dr Mary’s Monkey” by Edward T. Haslam-especially page 99 onwards. It is written by a journalist who was investigating the unusual death of his family friend Dr Mary- and boy did he find a hornets nest of intrigue. It involves a secret lab in New orleans which was staffed by Dr Mary, David Ferrie (JFK fame), a prodigy teenager, and her illicit lover..Lee Harvey Oswald. With an appearance by Jack Ruby. This group was trying to weaponize mouse pox, using vast amounts of radiation and repeated subculturing in mice. They were successful, and tested their weaponized-cancer vaccine on an inmate from Angola Prison- who died a horrible death. Coincidentally, Jack Ruby stated that his cancer was caused by a vaccine he got in prison. This vaccine was to be taken by Oswald to Cuba, and he made a trip to Mexico City as well, but the contact wasn’t there. To me, it makes the JFK assassination more like a 3-dimensional game of chess.

By the way, the book is available for $15 or so from Amazon under the title Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey … Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics and yes, I have a copy and have read it and anyone who thinks government tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but has their head in a dark, mushy, distinctly ill-smelling place.

And this from reader Mary – but not THAT Mary:

Hi George
Thank you for bringing that up.   I’ve been having that mental debate for awhile, especially because my dad had shingles and my sister was “afraid” for me, because I had childhood chicken pox and wanted me to get vaccinated.  I checked out the cost (@$275 as I recall), and simply couldn’t afford it. 
I’ve been under extraordinary long-term stress because of BofA shenanigans regarding my house (they won, big surprise), the loss of ALL retirement funds, AND yes, the third 2×4 upside the head of the heartbreak of a bad end to a long relationship (men can be such dogs — why not just tell the truth and make a clean break?  Arrrrgh).  I didn’t do well, and was hoping to not wake up.  I expected heart attack, stroke, shingles, etc., but I survived (without insurance).  Finally said “uncle” and filed BK (which hurts more than you can conceive), BUT . . . I’m sleeping.  A couple of years of no real rest could’ve been a killer too.
My thought is if I made it through all that without shingles, then maybe I don’t need the vaccination.  Regardless, I appreciated reading your thoughts.  I’ve been negotiating my way through this morass of heartache pretty much alone, so an outside objective view is immensely helpful. 

If you’re not convinced on vaccine risk, try this real-life snip from reader Jeff:

Normally George being a finance guy you really should think before launching into this area. My brother went to DR. and got his safe and effective VAX. On the way home he went into convolutions and almost died. My mother slammed on breaks in driveway and gave him MtoM and tuned around and drove back to ER after she got him breathing.

1960’s era.

Oh no said ER Nothing to do with VAX. BULLSHIT!!!!!!! I watched it happen. He has had epilepsy ever since. Not to mention lots of other medical problems.

Ask the simian SV40 cancer patients about vacc. safety. After all the govomit put allowed it into the system. Please George!

And this from a reader who’d like to remain nameless for professional reasons but it sums up what I take to be a very rational takeaway:

First, your offspring kind of threw in a red herring.  What you linked to was a peanut allergy story as related to vaccines, not an autism story.  To dismiss it because it is written by someone who also sees an autism link is just silly.  Engage the idea presented or go home anything else is either a straw-man or ad hominem malarkey.  

I was fascinated by the polluted hypodermic needle idea and look forward to getting the book to follow the evidence chain described but not actually cited in the blog post you linked to.  I am fascinated because of how well it aligns with traditional Chinese medical theory.

A little bit about me, I am a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine. I have been practicing for about 15 years.  For some of my patients I am the guy that gives them a good nap, for some I am their primary physician.  For the latter, sometimes it is because I am all they can afford, others because nothing else worked.  Regardless I do the best I can for them whether I am their first choice or just a provider of last resort.

I was taught that traditional Chinese medicine invented vaccines.

What I usually tell my patients is, it is not the vaccine that is necessarily the concern, it is the contaminants.  Your dream list for what a vaccine should be ( or not be) is about spot on, and is the reason that despite loving the basic technology I have to condemn the current practice.  

Unless you are likely to die or be permanently maimed from a disease it does not generally make sense to risk the complications that can come from a vaccine.

I am asked all the time whether or not my patients should get the flu shot.  I personally do not.  But, I am a healthy 44 yo male.  For me getting the flu is a chance to sleep for a couple of days unless I do my herbs right then I only get half a day.  

My specialty is geriatric care.  So there comes a point for all of us when the flu is no longer an inconvenience but an existential threat.  Personal history is the greatest factor there especially with regard to pneumonia.  The data is mixed, but there does seem to be some protection afforded by the flu vaccine with regard to pneumonia even if there is little protection with regard to the flu.  

As an anecdote:  My brother is a high school teacher, he gets his flu shot every year, we get the flu at exactly the same rate and have for the last 4 decades, a small n I will grant you. There is ample data to be read on the Internet though including pubmed that calls flu vaccine efficacy into doubt.  Especially with all of the novel and unanticipatable strains of influenza that abound; the strain selectors are always a day late and a dollar short, it seems.

I have two children and a nervous wife.  She was ready to follow the pediatrician’s recommended vaccine schedule, though I thought it excessive ( I think the schedule from 1972 makes more sense).  We selected our first child’s pediatrician ( a D.O.) with an interview where we asked point blank to both slow the schedule and to not use multiples, but rather inoculate for a single disease at a time.  He said yes,  until the baby was born then seemed to think we were crazy, this started my wife’s disenchantment.  We found another doctor who was an Austrian trained m.d. who practiced primarily homeopathic medicine.  He was fascinatingly old school but was ultra conservative on his vaccine schedule and would not even do pertussis at all because of the record of complications.  

I am sorry to be so long winded, but that last line underlies my basic point.  There is no magic bullet, just a trade off in risk.  We intended to travel to india for some extended training so both our children got vaccines and boosters for polio which is still endemic to the area. The minor risk of the two shots separated by 4-6 months of a single vaccine was less risky than young children being exposed to the wild polio virus.  On the other hand we sought out for years a case of chicken pox, because the immunity developed from true contraction is so much stronger and the general risks are so low.  We exposed our daughter by accident when her baby sitter came down with a case just after caring for her, but our daughter did not.  My wife had never had chicken pox despite scores (literally) of exposures and our daughter shares her immune system.  Eventually we encountered a strain that got my son, my wife, triggered shingles in me and then got my daughter!  A side note on shingles, with the exception of chemo induced shingles TCM is excellent for clearing it.  It even works for the chemo induced shingles when the chemo is done.  

I think if you examine the number needed to treat and the absolute cost to prevent just one case of shingles and the fact there are no organic vaccines on the market you might find risking susceptibility to a virus you all ready carry is worth the risk. Weigh the facts and not the fear.  Keep your immune system strong and your chronic stress low and you should be fine.  I don’t know if you have a local acupuncturist.  I certainly never saw one when I lived in humble, tx.  But that was 20 years ago back in my time with schlumberger and my own adventures in the oil patch. 

That was a marvelous summation of where I got to in this discussion…and thanks to all who sent in remarks…

In the end I think it all comes down to the concept in medicine of “minimal effective dose” or MED.  There are ways to bolster the immune system and if our last writer would explain a bit more about TCM it would be appreciated.  Oh…in the meantime?  Reader Bert has some first hand experience:

shingles can be managed by eating raw crushed garlic on toast  .

i have been doing that for over 30years, with a few relapses and this controls the  attacks.

Remind me to ask Bert if he can speak Italian now, too!

Brainwashed ‘Merica

Reader Steve has a fine observation which tells more than meets the eye:

Is anyone else noticing how the news can so casually say the words “Secret Court”, and nobody cares???

That, my friend, is because the new order (since 9/11) has permeated into the very core of American life and it has been accompanied by all kinds of lost mental acuity.

Words on Writing

A couple of readers have asked if the content on this website has become shorter.  After all, he wondered, it sure seems like the daily reports are shorter…

The answer (I did some word counting) is no, they are the same length as always.  As part of the website redesign, though, we not separate the morning’s “hard” news from the Coping section, since some people like one, the other, or both.  The average morning runs about 2,000 words each, for 4,000 total which takes about as long as breakfast takes to eat.  Unless you either a) inhale food or b) are one of  Evelyn Wood’s grads.

We’re still working on resolution of the fixed IP address, but all things in time…

Offended by Manning Decision

A certain retired Special Forces & Ranger relative of mine is seriously offended by how sentencing the the Manning case went.

“Look, they counted his time served in the military – 3 years – as counting toward his prison term.  So I did more than 20, so does that mean I have already served effectively  20-years in prison?  FMTT.  So does this mean, can I knock off a couple of banks and claim time served if caught?”

Don’t ask, don’t tell. Hoo-rah…

Around the Ranch:  Plane/FB Speaking

Two items here:  First is the progress being made on a really nice fly-in which our local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter (yes, I are a member) are putting on September 28th at the Palestine airport, KPSN.   There’s a website in its infancy over here,

More importantly, the club has a Facebook page here: where you can follow the build up to the event.  One of these days we’ll get maps up and so forth, but if you own a plane and are looking for somewhere to drop in for a visit we plan to have several “war birds” on hand, and one of the few remaining Aces from WW-II is scheduled to be here are give a few words.

The picture of that biplane in flight, by the way, was taken by Elaine as my flight instructor and I were practicing formation flying over East Texas…click to enlarge…it’s a great picture. 

So if you live in Texas, plan on coming up this way on the 28th…should be a lot of fun…if you like war birds, Aces, a food vendor or two and so forth.  Be sure to Like the club FB page, too.

The OTHER thing going on at the Plane and Facebook intersection is my son George II is trying to hornswoggle me into taking him up flying in the old Beechcrate so he can jump out of it.  He’s about nailed his Class B skydiving ticket now…and he’s jumping with a big-boy chute and he’s been dropping hints on Facebook like this one:

George Alex Ure II George Ure SR I am pretty sure we could clear some of your property and make a nice landing zone, hell we could make your place a full on drop zone! You could be the pilot and I could do ground operations! I am liking this idea! You?

Well, son, the old man didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday and in today’s age of anti-terrorism/national-mass paranoia, doing a bandit jump is not exactly what makes sense to me, so I wrote back:

“But, no, you can’t jump out of the family airplane without FAA approval…”

To which, George2 says:

“Coming from the guy who said to me at a young age: “If nobody talks, everybody walks.” ;-)””

Hell, I hate it when kids actually listen…they just get the context screwed up.  However, G2 will no doubt be undeterred and since I’ve taught him the fine and manly art of “working the system” I’m sure he’ll start going through the F.A.R.s on jumping out of planes and try to figure some way to work it out.

Me?  I figure to lead him on a bit…you know, have him come down to the ranch for a visit and event let him bring his chute, if it’ll make him happy.  “But golly, son, I don’t have time to Bush Hog the 7-acres on the West side of the property you’d need to make a good LZ…so would you mind saddling up the Kubota and making it happen?

Shortly thereafter, once it’s mowed, bush pile burned and all, a no-go item will mysteriously turn up on the pre-flight checklist…Don’tcha hate it when that happens?

Canadian Humor: Eternal Life

From colleague Grady, who along with Mike is still working on our software project…a bit of humor British Columbia style…

A guy is walking along a Vancouver beach when he comes across a lamp partially buried in the sand. He picks up the lamp and gives it a rub. A genie appears and tells him he has been granted one wish.
   The guy thinks for a moment and says, “I want to live forever.”
   “Sorry,” said the genie, “I’m not allowed to grant eternal life.”
   “OK, then, I want to die after the government  balances the budget , eliminates the debt and abolishes the Senate.
   “You crafty little bastard,” said the genie.

Crafty or not, that wraps up another fund week…more tomorrow for our subscribers and more here on Monday morning… Have a great weekend and don’t spend it all “in the rack” or “en-couched.”  The weekends are when you get to work for yourself…One last night before I forget and this is from reader Rob:

Good Morning George!

It used to be “Write when you break even” & now it’s “Write when you get rich”. I can (almost) take that as sign that things are getting better! The ‘break even’ point arrived and the goals have advanced….

My error.  It could be my natural-born optimism showing through…or it’s my memory going…uh….where were we?

Oh, yeah…

Write when you break even