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A Lesson on Losing by Dominick Cruz – Former Bantamweight UFC Champion January 20, 2017

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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In light of the responses to the recent presidential election and the bombardment of media commentary and celebrities acting like petulant children who lost at a game of checkers, I felt it was appropriate to post a very insightful interview by a classy fighter.  Dominick Cruz has been a top tier fighter for over 10 years and was a two time bantamweight UFC champion until his recent loss.  During the interview Dominick showed immense class when asked about his loss.  This is a lesson for us all and for our children.  As Mr. Cruz so eloquently states: “Loss is part of life.  If you don’t have loss you don’t grow. This (losing) isn’t tough…this is life.” 

The Ridiculous Myth of Autism & Vaccines: “Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc” January 10, 2017

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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vaccines_do_not_cause_autism-e1429734457599I am the father of a wonder little 7 year old Autistic boy.  He is funny, clever, happy and generally a joy to be around. 3 years ago his school called and asked that I pick him up as he was coughing.  I took him to the Dr. and imagine my surprise when my son was diagnosed with WHOOPING COUGH!..yes…WHOOPING COUGH in 2015.  18 other kids were diagnosed, as well.  Why?  Because some “enlightened” parents in Park City, UT decided against vaccinating their children.  Now..before I hear that “Tyler should have been vaccinated”..he was.  Only..it does not reach full effect for several weeks.  Even better?  I had to cancel all my business travel as i could be a ‘carrier’ and infect the plane.

I am always disturbed when I read about celebrities, politicians and others perpetuating the myth (yes it is a myth) that vaccines cause Autism.  Today, President Elect Donald Trump nominated ‘Anti-Vaxxer’ shill Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to “lead a study on vaccines”. If he is already an avowed ‘anti vaxxer’ I question his objectivity on leading such a study.

So where did the Autism/Vaccine link (there is none) originate?  Simple.  “Dr.” Andrew Wakefield, who has since had his medical license revoked, published a research paper in 1998 in which he claimed a link between the MMR Vaccine and Autism.  In addition to having a financial conflict of interest, 10 of the 12 contributing authors of the paper published a retraction which read:

“We wish to make it clear that in this paper no causal link was established between (the) vaccine and autism, as the data were insufficient. However the possibility of such a link was raised, and consequent events have had major implications for public health. In view of this, we consider now is the appropriate time that we should together formally retract the interpretation placed upon these findings in the paper, according to precedent.

The Lancet formally retracted the article stating: “Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record [4]”.

In short, Dr. Wakefield perpetrated fraud.  Unfortunately, the damage was already done.  Actors and numerous ‘Hollywood’ elite jumped on the story and began promoting the false science behind the fraud.  Jenny McCarthy, Jenna Elfman, Rob Schneider, Robert DeNiro and Donald Trump all jumped on Anti-Vaccine bandwagon.  The “anti vaxxer” movie Vaxxed (by Wakefield) only added fuel to the fire and continued to encourage people to forgo vaccinations.

So what is the prevailing “link” between Vaccines and Autism?  Good question.  It is a common  logical fallacy known in Latin as Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc or “with this, therefor because of this”.  In short, children are getting vaccinated around the same age that children begin developing in such a way that Autism is presenting to parents and doctors.  Some people assume that because the Autism presentation followed the vaccine that the vaccine must be the cause.  This is a simple mistake of confusing potential correlation with causation. For more information on the philosophical underpinnings of ’cause’ please read my post here.  The point that I will make again (and the CDC and all respectable medical professionals) is that Vaccines do NOT cause Autism.

Those who are not vaccinating their children are relying on Herd Immunity of the community.  The idea of Herd Immunity posits that a disease outbreak cannot occur of a high percentage of those in the community are vaccinated.  Those forgoing vaccinations are, in effect, free riders on those who do.  A larger issue relates to those who cannot be vaccinated due to compromised immune systems (think immunodeficiency diseases) and those who may not have yet had the vaccine.  I have heard the argument numerous times: “If your child is vaccinated, then why do you care?”  See my original example.

I will leave everyone with this NSFW explanation from Penn and Teller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Gift Idea! www.AmericanBuiltClothing.com December 16, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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ablogoIf you are still hunting for that perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, or Festivus gift..here is another great idea.  How about a T-Shirt, Hoodie or even some Leggings for that special person or even your own selfish self?!

American Built  is a Veteran owned company founded by Nick Carson who is both a Purple Heart Recipient and Marine Scout/Sniper.  American Built specializes in Patriot and American styled clothing and gear manufactured and finished in the United States of America!  “Be Proud Of What You Wear, Be Proud Of Where You’re From” is American Built’s motto! The company is founded and managed on these ideals.

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American  Built t Shirt

Their designs are unique and the prices are very competitive. They have great hats, and other gear, as well.  Make sure you check out their site at www.AmericanBuiltClothing.com Here is a better deal for readers of this page only…if you use Promo code proudamerican you get 20% off AND free shipping on orders over $50!  (I have no dog in this fight so don’t think I am getting anything in return…just trying to help my readers!)

Check them out today and pass the word!

Why I am still voting for Trump…and you should, as well. October 10, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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tomiThe last 48 hours has been tough for me.  I have waffled in my already reluctant support of Trump and I have even gone so far as to claim I will “not vote for either idiot”!  This is only half true.  I want to thank those Recondos and Snipers, and numerous others who passionately debated with me on the topic over the past day.  In particular JJ Brown of the Recon and Sniper Foundation who had particularly insightful comments.

Let me be clear.  I do not like Trump.  I am quite sure I would not like him as a person.  I was initially angered by his latest comments.  In reflection, I was angered by the fact that he allowed yet another comment to get out of control.  Have I said vulgar things in private? Of course.  Name a Marine who hasn’t and I would say you have not met a Marine.  As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”.  So why am I still voting for Trump?  Easy.  It is all about what economist and Nobel Prize recipient Herbert Simon called Satisficing.  In this election we only have 2 real choices.  Granted I feel like the options are akin to being ask whether you prefer stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night or hitting your little toe on a table as you walk to the bathroom at night…but those are our options.  We have to select the best of the two available options.

I have been reminded (often in no so polite terms) Hillary Clinton is simply an untrustworthy person who has allowed Americans to die under her watch in Benghazi and has supported groups by selling them weapons that have killed Americans. This was further supported in recently disclosed documentation around her support of Libyan and Syrian rebels.  In addition to TravelGate, her laughingly defending a child rapist, her compromise of national security, and numerous other transgressions, I simply cannot and will not ever vote for her. As I have said before, I would vote for my Rottweiller Bo before I would vote for Hillary Clinton.  She represents the worst of politics.

Is Donald Trump a perfect human? No.  Is he likable?  Probably not to a lot of people.  Is he crass and vulgar? Yes.  Has he said stupid things?  Of course.  All of these things describe me and my own friends.  Putting emotion aside, I am willing to overlook personal flaws but cannot overlook calculated actions that result in the destruction of Constitutional rights, the compromise of national security, and the death of Americans.  This particular election has greater implications than simply bragging rights.  The next president will get to nominate at least 1 Supreme Court Justice.  This Justice is going to likely be the ‘tie breaker’ on numerous Constitutional issues to include the 2nd Amendment.  For these reasons, I must put aside my personal feelings and vote for the party that represents the platform I support as opposed to not supporting a person that I do not like.

This election will likely be one of the most important in our lifetimes.  We have two intensely flawed candidates.  One is personally flawed, the other is personally and professionally flawed.  One has said rude and crass things while the other has allowed Americans to die under her watch and compromised national security for her own purposes.  To me, the answer is now clear.  While I do not ‘support Trump’, I support the Republican party platform and I will NEVER support Hillary Clinton who has allowed my own brothers to die on her watch.  Thanks for reading!

An Apology to Mr. Khan, Mrs. Smith & Gold Star Families August 3, 2016

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HeadshotChris2013_COMPRecently, I wrote an ‘Open Letter’ to Mr. Khizr Khan that generated quite a bit of controversy.  I had referenced that Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own.  In reading numerous Gold Star family comments from both sides of the isle, I believe an apology to the Khan family, Mrs. Smith and all Gold Star Families is in line. I was hopeful that I would have had the opportunity to make this last night in a more public forum but I was unable.

While I personally do believe Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own, I have learned that my own position on this issue does not reflect the views of many Gold Star Families.  I should have been more circumspect in my comments and taken more time to understand the feelings of those families before opining.  There is no other way to say it: I am sorry and I have learned.

I want to thank those who took the time to comment directly and professionally to allow me to see both sides of this very sensitive position.

Respectfully,

Chris Mark

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