Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Camelot Really is a Myth

by Rich Kozlovich

This is an article inspired by an article by Alan Caruba. Some of the phrases are lifted directly from that article.

Spring is here and pest control is about the take off and there will be little time for reflection as there is in the winter time. Actually, I love weekends with really bad weather in the winter months. I can surf the web, read books, write articles, research information that interests me, watch movies; and no one bothers me. I love watching movies, especially the old movies. A friend of mine wrote about this some time back, which made me think back to my youth and my love for the old movies. I loved everything that was a part of the old movie scene, especially the great old movie theaters that we had in Cleveland.  Even in the small town in which I grew up the theater was special. The stars were special then too; John Wayne, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, and the greatest swashbuckler of them all….Errol Flynn.

The lights would dim and finally darken, creating that wonderful anticipation that comes when you know that the movie was about to start at last. Even the previews of coming attractions were great. At the end of the movie people actually applauded. I always thought that was a little stupid when I was a kid, after all…the actors couldn’t hear it….why bother? It’s funny, I still wouldn’t applaud today, and for the same reason, but I miss it.

Believe it or not, people actually applauded when the movies started and when they finished. And when the cartoons came on we kids actually cheered, and nothing could get a rise out of a bunch of kids quite as much as seeing Roy Rogers riding headlong into the screen atop Trigger followed by his friends chasing the bad guys. An uncle took me to one of those Saturday matinee Roy Rogers cowboy movies and swore that he would never make that mistake again. I always loved the movie, “They Died With Their Boots On”, with Errol Flynn. Talk about fantasy! That is so far afield from the truth about Custer that someone should have been slapped for it….and yet….I still love it!

Some of the old theaters were real palaces. Cleveland has a number of them that were slated for demolition. I am really pleased that they refurbished them instead. First, because they were magnificent like the Palace…and it really was then, and is now……a palace! And secondly because so much of what was great is torn down and replaced by buildings that are so forgettable, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Somehow the words Rock and Roll and Hall of Fame shouldn’t be in the same sentence, but that is another story. Lastly, because they made me feel great when I was there, and I get those feelings every time I go back.

The men would wear suits and ties and the women wore dresses with hats, and matching gloves and purses and high heels. The children were dressed in their Sunday best, because going downtown to the movies was a big deal. It was a big deal and everyone acted that way.

They must have had revivals of older movies even back in the 1940’s, because in my mind’s eye I can still see the original Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan. They were originally made between 1932 and 1948. I was only 2 when Johnny Weissmuller made his last Tarzan movie. I must have been about five when I saw the original 1932 movie in a neighborhood theater and I never forgot the scene where the pigmies throw everyone down into the pit to be killed by a gorilla and is later shot full of arrows.

Hopalong Cassidy was my ultimate hero though. I was even called Hoppy by my childhood friends in those early years, at least until I moved to the farm. Those years were a large part of my wonder years. I lived in Cleveland and there were a lot of kids in the neighborhood. We were out and about all day every day. Even now, as I look back on those years, being as young as we were, I marvel at the immense freedom we had to wander up and down the streets, play baseball at the playground and best of all…the dump. There was always a potential treasure to be found in the dump. The world was very different then. I didn’t realize it then nor did I realize it for many years, but we were all very much like the “Little Rascals”, which cannot be shown any longer, so I doubt that younger people even know what I am talking about.

The world has changed. A lot! We don’t dare let the children roam to far too often because there are so many unsavory and violent people out there. We don’t dare leave our doors unlocked…even when we are home. In my youth people actually left their keys in their parked cars with the windows open while they shopped. Unbelievable today I know. Good manners were not affectations; they were expected. Please and thank you were expected, and most felt perfectly content to do so.

Then it all changed. Since I am almost 64 I must confess that I was a part of that change. They claim that the Baby Boomer Generation started in June of 1946. I was born in July of that year. I was the beginning of the Baby Boomers. I remember that I disgustedly thought that it was really stupid to applaud movies and I said so. The older members of the family gave me a disgusted look or just shrugged, as if to say….I shouldn’t have to explain this to you.

Although I did get dressed up for some occasions, I didn’t want to get dressed up to go anywhere, least of all the movies. A tee shirt, tennis shoes and blue jeans were good enough for me and if it wasn’t good enough for everyone else…well that was just tough! As if all of those goody-goody two shoes manners really mattered. After all……that was just being a phony. A cover up for how people really felt.

I didn’t realize it then, but all those “phony” manners and descent attire are an important part of what allows for civilized behavior.

What had happened? Everything changed! One of the reasons was that this was the first time in human history the young population became so large that the adult population couldn’t properly absorb them; and we created our own little sub-culture. After all; we teenagers knew that our 16 or so years experience in life was worth far more than the decades of experience in life of all the adults combined.

As this population trend continued this sub-culturing trend continued, and every few years we had another downward spiral of values, until the American culture was altered almost beyond recognition. Clearly beyond the recognition of America’s founding fathers. The most successful culture the world has ever known was now awash with irrational paradigms that are clearly destructive to all of humanity.

What has this to do with pest control you are probably asking? Everything! This irrationality extends into every facet of our business and personal lives. The Green Movement, which became the most irrational movement of them all, was born in this crucible and has now become one of the most corrupting dominant forces of thought and action in the world today.

Fortunately I grew up. I also cringe at many of the things that I said, things I did and laugh at things that I thought in my youth. I always wonder at these famous people who, on their death beds, claim that they “have no regrets”. Well…..I have a lot of regrets. I hope it is because I grew up enough to recognize my failings and made a determination to correct them and to avoid repeating them. Part of that process is being able to see that which is real versus that which is shadow over substance. If we are capable of seeing ourselves as we really are, then we will have a lot less difficulty in seeing the rest of the world as it really is.

Everything we are told in the newspapers and the electronic news media is a lie. These aren’t necessarily lies of commission, (although they are guilty of that also) they are mostly lies of omission. Even many of our history books can’t be called anything less than propaganda in order to promote some view or other. Read two different history books on the same subject from two different people for two different philosophical paradigms and you wonder if they are reporting about the same events. Everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. Mostly we are lied to. Virtually everything we are told by the greenies is a lie. If you have a problem with that then get over it! Because those are the facts and we need to start recognizing the greenies for whom and what they are.

Recently I bought a CD of the original Broadway cast of Camelot and I still love it. I first saw the original traveling cast of the Broadway musical Camelot with Kathryn Grayson as Guinevere in 1962 at the Palace; and I walked out feeling just great. I loved Camelot and it is still my favorite Broadway production, and I think the greatest Broadway musical ever produced. I can still sing some of the songs…at least parts of them. I saw it again with, Robert Goulet as King Arthur this time. This was thirty years later, and I walked out feeling just as great as I did after and having seen the original traveling cast, although I knew it wasn’t anywhere near as big or as good a production as the original.

Being insatiably curious is its own reward and its own punishment. I know that nothing can ever be the same once we are grown. When we get old it really becomes clear that nothing was a good as we thought it was, and nothing else can ever be that great again. It wasn’t just the movies that I loved…it was the time, and it was a golden time. But Camelot really is a myth! Coming to that realization may take some of the pleasure out of life, but once we can accept that, it frees us from the shadow of illusion and allows us to see the light of reality.

This is the reward and this is the punishment.

The Activist's Bureau

by Rich Kozlovich

Any moronic membrane can tell the world we don’t need pesticides because being “natural” is sufficient for all of mankind’s needs. No one will question their right or their sincerity while making these emotion laden unscientific pronouncements. Why? Because we have all been indoctrinated by what Bjorn Lomborg calls the “litany” of the environmental movement.

By contrast, anyone who supports the use of pesticides had better watch out. No matter how accurately the information is presented. No matter how much information showing how many lives pesticides save. No matter how wise, their observations are. No matter how intelligently and logically stated their pro-pesticide position might be; their integrity and veracity will be arrogantly challenged. They will labeled as paid lackeys of big business and their views dismissed with a snort and a smirk. Not with any real facts mind you. Most of what will be heard will be unfounded personal attacks and endless debates to divert attention away from the facts. This is often followed by outright lies and cited studies that never occurred or were discredited.

Its philosophy without consequence for all of these armchair philosophers who oppose the use of pesticides but aren’t responsible to provide the protections they afford. They simply don’t have to pay any penalty for being wrong.

What I would like to know is why the burden of proof doesn’t rest upon those who call for the end of pesticides instead of those that have successfully tested the products and are saving lives, property and foodstuffs by use of them? Can we not see the inherent danger of philosophy without form? This is a concept which promotes change for philosophical reasons or “change for change sake”. Doesn’t this compel us to demand that its advocates not just talk the talk, but also actually walk the talk?

When things go down the toilet do the advocates of a certain policy pay the price for being wrong, or are others left with the bill? While the unchallenged and unchallengeable academicians and irresponsible activists live comfortably in western countries expounding endless nonsense and making unscientific claims regarding the dangers of pesticides; who will ultimately suffer when they have their way? Is it the activists or is it the poor people who have to live with the consequences of their feel good philosophies?

People make demands and put burdens on others they would never be willing to carry themselves. Activists have never seen a burden so great they wouldn’t be willing to place on someone else’s back. They feel compelled to demand all sorts of unnecessary things from society and industry.

When will the anti-pesticide fanatics put their own necks on the line for their beliefs? When will they move to the countries they have turned into an environmentalist’s paradise? You know the kind of place I’m talking about. The ones where everyone has had a loved one die from some preventable disease or have had children starve to death because environmental policies prevent them from being able to grow enough food for their families. Of course when environmentalists make statements like “better dead than riotously breeding” you have the tendency to believe they have a “feel good philosophy that is not a do good philosophy.”

I propose that we create a program of “Direct Involvement for Activism”, which is an excellent check of the sincerity and integrity of environmental activists. They can now have the joy of seeing their handy work up close and personal. This is their opportunity to step up where others have truly failed. This is a great opportunity for them to prove their integrity.

Stop crying wolf to the press and go to the paradise you have created. They then can be responsible for the health and welfare of thousands, or maybe millions of people. Step away from the rest. This truly is the chance to be different than those other wimpy protesters. Take on those responsibilities. They can now prove that they are as truly special as they think. They can go to these countries and take their children with them to show how sincere they truly are. Feel good about themselves for more than just a PhD.

Instead of just talking about what we are all doing wrong, they need to be different and make their mark. Show the rest of us how it’s done. Putting themselves and their families on the line will certainly impress me. Move to these countries and prove us all wrong. I’m willing to accept your sacrifice if it turns out you were wrong.

Eventually their moment of truth will come. Your people, who are starving to death, can be ordered to stay away from the genetically modified food because they need to give environmentalism a chance. For that brief, shining moment, you will have had the pleasure of knowing that you stood up for your principles. That is of course just before your followers bust you right in the head on the way to the warehouse. If you're willing to send the poor third worlders off to die in order for you to feel good about yourself, surely you're willing to stand there and defend your latest philosophical flavor of the day.

Let’s see now, how many volunteers do we have?

Thomas Sowell, the nationally syndicated columnist noted “The media continue to take seriously, and provide free publicity for, people who call themselves "consumer advocates" or "environmentalists," even though there are no qualifications required for these roles. All it takes are a big mouth, a big ego, a disdain for inconvenient facts and an ignorance of economics.”

He comments further, “I wish that some way could be found to add up all the staggering costs imposed on millions of ordinary people, just so a relative handful of self-righteous environmental cultists can go around feeling puffed up with themselves.” He goes on to say, “It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else's opinion.”

Before they protest maybe we should see to it that they have some basic requirements. Here is an example as to how to do this. Force them to have a track record of success in the area they are protesting. Perhaps we can set up an “Activist’s Bureau”, where they will have to register before they are allowed to protest. Under this arrangement they must meet the following criteria.

• Require protesters at the various business conferences to have started their own successful companies before we allow them actively involve themselves in public protests of others businesses. Having started businesses that failed will not count.

• Require animal rights activists to start businesses that require them to feed the world or develop medicines without animal testing. Having failed will disqualify this person as an activist.

• We can require anti-energy protesters to start businesses that provide electricity to millions of people without any of the means currently being used. Nor will presenting future possible inventions that may possibly be invented at some future possible date count as a qualification to protest.

• Anti-pesticide activists must be operating a successful business that provides the following;
o Actual protection from disease carrying pests without using registered or non-registered pesticides or chemicals in general.
o Provide protection for homes without using registered or non-registered pesticides or chemicals in general against all the things we currently provide services for.
o Must be able to grow enough food to meet the same capacity that is currently enjoyed in this country. This must be done with the same amount of landmass without fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.
o This all must be accomplished without grant money from any source or tax incentives of any kind from the government.
o Not meeting these criteria will disqualify the person as a registered activist with the “Activists Bureau”.
• If they meet the qualifications and are successful in the protest against any company or system the activists must be willing to undertake to provide the same service, product or whatever they have overturned.
o This must be done without using any of the means they have protested against.
o Failure to protect, feed or provide the services promised by the activist will require the activist to be liable to criminal and/or civil litigation. Failure to be willing to meet this final requirement will require them to “just be quiet.”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whelan Was Right. Get The Shot!

by Rich Kozlovich

There has been a great deal of talk over the last year as to whether everyone should have gotten the H1N1 flu shot. Personally, I have always thought it was a waste.  Even those I read regularly, and have a great deal of respect for, have disagreed. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH) has been consistent from the very beginning on this issue. GET THE SHOT!

Wisely or unwisely, I have never had a flu shot in my life. I am not opposed to immunization shots, I got a ton of them in the service, I just didn't think it worthwhile in the case of flu shots.  In my younger years I used to get the flu every year….and I believe that is why I don’t seem to get it anymore. Once exposed to a virus the body then has a certain natural immunization, provided you survived.

Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor for Reuters published an article entitled, 1976 shot may protect against modern swine flu. It turns out that “People who got immunized against the 1976 "swine flu" epidemic that never happened may have benefited from the shots after all -- they may have been protected from the 2009 H1N1 swine flu strain.”

She further points out that “The study, published on Friday, supports a theory that different strains of flu virus cycle in and out of circulation and that getting a flu vaccine every year may protect people from as-yet unseen flu strains in the future.”

Until this article I felt the shots would be a great idea if they knew which strain was going to attack that year, but since they were only guessing....it was a waste.  I have decided that my thinking on this issue has been seriously flawed. Clearly, as the years went by people got shots for different strains in different years. It must be concluded that even if the shot for that strain didn’t attack that year, it would eventually attack in some other year and the body would then have some residual resistance to that strain.

Whelan points out that one of the problems regarding this issue is that the public demands that these vaccines be made available on demand, and then don’t get the shots. What happens to the left over vaccine? It gets thrown away eventually, and this occurs every year. This is costly! Now, that is a waste.

I stand corrected and I am now in complete harmony with Dr. Elizabeth Whelan of the American Council on Science and Health.  Sorry it took me so long Doc.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weasel-words and Phrases

By Rich Kozlovich

I published this some time back, but I think that it is worth publishing once again with some updates. RK

When you start to look at these “studies” touted by the activists you find that there is one common thread. They are full of weasel words and phrases. This gives them a great deal of wiggle room because they never come out and definitively state that things are factual….they are always ‘maybes’, and always scary ‘maybes’. Did it ever occur to anyone that these “Weasel-words and Phrases” are perhaps just somebody’s unfounded printed accusation, or perhaps some professional’s words for guessing? When this stuff makes it into print, they never give the impression that this may be not only a minority opinion, but may be viewed as …..well……whacky……by the rest of the scientific community.

Anthropogenic Global Warming was one such idea that was considered laughable; at least until the government started feeding huge amounts of grant money into studying it and then it became “science”. Especially since only those who promoted it got the money. All the “science” has turned out to be wrong or fraudulent; but what has that to do with grant money? After all, truth is no longer the Holy Grail of science…..The Holy Grail of science is now grant money.

I have been keeping an updated running list of Weasel-Words and Phrases. You might find them amusing…..You will also notice that these phrases appear in all these “studies” that make outrageous claims against chemicals.

1. Might cause
2. Studies suggest
3. Could cause
4. The long term effects are unknown
5. Linked
6. Voiced concerns about
7. Expressed some concern
8. Experts fear
9. Warning that the chemical could be causing neurological and behavior effects in unborn babies and young children
10. Negligible concern is still expressed
11. Minimal concerns
12. Still leaves doubts
13. Warning of a great cause for concern
14. Some scientists were critical
15. Researchers hypothesize
16. Suspected hormonal imbalance
17. Many scientists say
18. Still, some environmental substances remain suspicious
19. Data is yet inadequate to make a judgment, however the weight of the evidence says we have a problem
20. But government scientists cautioned that their finding is highly preliminary because of the small number of women and children involved and lack of evidence from other studies.
21. May make women more likely to
22. We've used a new research technology to generate hypotheses and possible associations
23. Probably to blame
24. Ecologists are worried that
25. It has been found through laboratory analysis that (X) substance is present in
26. While further study is needed to understand the impact, it is unlikely (or likely) that
27. While voicing caution on the link to (X), concerns were echoed widespread that, if left unregulated, (X) could hurt the environment.
28. Have the potential to significantly promote
This one is my favorite
29. The simple truth is that the way we allow chemicals to be used in society today means we are performing a vast experiment, not in the lab, but in the real world, not just on wildlife but on people
30. Factors suggest
31. In sum, however, the weight of the evidence says we have a problem. Human impacts beyond isolated cases are already demonstrable. They involve impairments to reproduction, alterations in behavior, diminishment of intellectual capacity, and erosion in the ability to resist disease. (This turned out to be a lie)
32. Mounting evidence" that these chemicals "may trigger hormonal changes."
33. There is a serious connection to….
34. “scientists are still unsure of the long-term neurotoxicity of pyrethrins and pyrethroids, particularly among children and those susceptible to allergies.”
35. contrary to the overwhelming impression conveyed by scientists and politicians.
36. When “scientists say” or “science says” is a common locution.
37. "Is'' becomes "may be;'' "proves'' becomes "validates;''
38.  Providing mechanistic plausibility.
39. May be more susceptible
40.  Are associated with

I guess that the 100 to 300 million dollars (and that number keeps going up) spent by chemical companies to meet the required testing by EPA in order to introduce a pesticide into the environment is meaningless.  Then again....perhaps I am being too concerned about that which is factual, truthful and provable.  Oh...wait!  It just dawned on me.  Perhaps I can get in on this 'grant money express'.  Let's give this a try......

There is something in the environment that might cause something because scientists state that studies suggest something could cause long term effects which are unknown due to possible links to some unknown substances that some have expressed or voiced some concerns over. Experts are issuing this warning for fear that this something could be causing some effects in unborn babies and young children. Although negligible or minimal concern is still expressed, studies still leave doubts; therefore questions remain.

Some scientists were critical and felt a warning of a great cause for concern should be issued because researchers hypothesize that something may cause a suspected, or even an unsuspected something. Many other scientists are quoted as saying that; “Still, some environmental substances remain suspicious although the data is yet inadequate to make a judgment, however the weight of the evidence says we have a problem with something.

Although government scientists cautioned that their finding is highly preliminary because of the small number of women and children involved, and lack of evidence from other studies. It is possible that this should make women more likely to be concerned because we've used a new research technology to generate hypotheses and possible associations which suggest something is probably to blame.

Other scientists say that ecologists are worried that it has been found through laboratory analysis that some substance is present in something and while further study is needed to understand the impact, it is unlikely (or likely) that something could have the potential to significantly promote something. While voicing caution on the link to something, concerns were echoed widespread that, if left unregulated, something could hurt the environment.

The simple truth is that the factors suggest that if we allow something to be used in society today, it means we are performing a vast experiment, not in the lab, but in the real world, not just on wildlife but on people; in sum, however, the weight of the evidence says we have a problem. Furthermore, due to the growing body of assertions; there is mounting evidence that something may trigger something.

What do you think? Do you think I could ask for a grant of $150,000,000 to get started to study “something”? It sounds reasonable to me.