Claim: Concerns About Gardasil Go Beyond Teen SexSaxon Burns frames the debate about HPV vaccines as having nothing to do with safety ("Social Warfare," Currents, July 5). This is a dangerous omission. The makers of Gardasil, the soon-to-be-mandatory vaccine, would like nothing more than to have everyone believe that the only arguments against the HPV vaccine are from uptight fundamentalist Christians and the message of abstinence.
The debate over the safety of vaccines is continuous and ongoing. Carefully timed, industry-funded studies reassuring us of the safety of these vaccines have been rolled out in the wake of a civil lawsuit and recent surveys showing strong correlations between neurological disorders and vaccines. In fact, there's an outstanding challenge of a $75,000 reward to any doctor willing to consume the additives typically found in vaccines.
Burns also neglects to mention a Food and Drug Administration report acquired three weeks before his article was published. This list of adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine was acquired by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. Some 1,637 adverse reactions include three girls who died shortly after receiving the immunization. I find it hard to believe that those opposed to the HPV vaccine are only concerned about teen sex.
Jack T. Waldron
State Lawmakers Being Stupid? That Never Happens ...I just finished reading the HPV article, and I have to say that the state lawmakers are being absolutely stupid.
"Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, is on the record saying that he wouldn't have his teenage daughter vaccinated against HPV because doing so would send the 'wrong message' about the importance of abstinence." God forbid his daughter ever gets raped!
The Skinny Picked on Me! Not Fair!I see Jim Nintzel has already declared Rodney (Glassman) the winner in the Ward 2 primary election before a single ballot has been cast ("Money Shots," The Skinny, July 5). What a complete contempt for democracy.
I know that (Raúl) Grijalva's powerful machine and three local newspapers are very anxious to have Rodney do their bidding for the next four years. If you have your way, we will be stuck with our weathered city manager government until the entire county is buried under concrete, and the good life we are here to enjoy is just a fading memory. I understand why you fear the changes that I represent.
Change can be a frightening thing when you are so heavily vested in the status quo. I decided to stand up to the machine that rules Tucson so that the voters, and not the party bosses and newspapers, can pick the Democratic Party candidate. Though you have been pushing Rodney for eight months now, only five people out of 500 who I approached to sign my petition knew who he is. Two of them love him, and three were very happy to see that I am running.
It is a good thing that Glassman has $54,690 to spend on this election. He will need every penny to buy it, even with three newspapers pushing him forward.
Rock 'n' Roll Lives On, but Not on Conglomerate MediaCatherine O'Sullivan is half right: The current big-time conglomerate media groups are trying to kill rock 'n' roll (June 28). They play middle-of-the-road, inoffensive crap inspired by what they think people want to hear (or not hear). It's a lot easier to prepackage music and distribute it as a corporate mandate to vast markets than to manage lots and lots of little "independent" fiefdoms, each with their own opinions and ideas.
A great example of conglomerate media is KFMA 92.1 FM, "Tucson's new rock." Where do they get off telling me they're new rock? Yeah, KFMA's a bit more progressive than the other two stations that play Bob Seger and the Eagles all the time, but KFMA plays Tool, Linkin Park, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers All. The. Time. When they play new stuff, it's corporate crap (well, except maybe Tool).
Anyway, even though the Big Media make finding good music difficult, rock 'n' roll, real rock 'n' roll, is still alive and kicking. You just have to have the patience and cash to look for it. I've given up on land-based radio and moved to satellite and the Internet for music. Satellite has plenty of choices; it plays stuff you don't hear anywhere else, doesn't advertise cars, doesn't have the high rotation that land-based radio has, etc. And if you listen closely, there's even some meaningful rock.
As mentioned, the Internet is another good resource. Many of the music services (e.g., iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic) suggest other artists whose music is like an artist to whom you're listening. I've found the services to be a good way to find new artists (at least new to me), and a way to get away from the mainstream crap.
The sad thing is that Big Media has their fingers in satellite and Internet choices as well. But at least for now, there are ways to avoid Avril, Justin, Kelly, My Chemical Romance and whatever other flavors of the month are out there.
Oh, well. I'll ride the wave until another cycle comes around.
Mortgage Paperwork Can Confuse the Heck Out of PeopleDave Devine's article on the complexities and dangers of adjustable-rate mortgages vividly brought back some long-forgotten memories ("Home Loss," Currents, June 21). My first job out of university in San Diego was as a loan processor at a mortgage-refinancing company.
In deference to the fact that the home purchase and refinancing industry has become so paper intensive, the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) of 1974, administered by the department of Housing and Urban Development, mandated that certain areas of all this paperwork must be highlighted and disclosed to a loan applicant. One of the strictest areas in which the RESPA mandates disclosure regards ARMs.
Whenever a person applies for an ARM, the lending company must provide its details on an important piece of loan paper called the "truth in lending" document. This is the document where you can see the amortization schedule, which is the month-by-month payment schedule of your mortgage.
I was taught, as a loan processor, to include something similar to the following statement on the "truth in lending" document for every ARM that the company did (usually written underneath the loan's amortization schedule): "You have chosen a 5/1 ARM product. Your loan will remain at a fixed initial annual interest rate of 2.75 percent for the first 60 months, or 5 years, of the loan. Thereafter, your loan's annual interest rate could be adjusted (increased) during the next 12 months by an amount equal to the prevailing Index + Margin percentage figures. After this initial adjustment period, your loan's annual interest rate could subsequently be adjusted (increased) every six months by an amount equal to the prevailing Index + Margin percentage figures. Your loan's annual interest rate will never fall below the Floor figure of 2.75 percent, and the interest rate cannot be adjusted any higher once it reaches the Cap figure of 11 percent."
The total adjustment each period of the "Index + Margin" is often something like increasing your loan's annual interest rate by a half-percent every six months. Is it no wonder that, after three to seven years of paying a very small fixed-interest rate, it only takes another five or six years before that interest rate reaches double digits!
It took me months to learn the fine points of all the paperwork involved in the mortgage industry; how are first-time home buyers and those refinancing suppose to fare?