Vaccine Injury – A rare glimpse of the tip of the iceberg

I have published twice with respect to vaccines, and with one post going viral after 30,000 people read my call for Pro-Truth in place of the war between Pro-Vax and Anti-Vax positions: A Call for Pro-Truth

I feel called to publish a third time after Viewing a very compelling two year old Congressional Briefing about issues with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in the US by Professor Mary Holland of the NYU Law School and Rolf Hazelhurst a State Assistant District Attorney General who appears as a father and a lawyer with experience of the Claim System.

The frequent denial of any material risks from vaccines by those who are Pro-Vax is not borne out in reality. If you read the package insert of any vaccine or indeed any medicine there are always many side effects and risks listed.

The Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System in every country exists because populations are diverse and a certain percentage of people do get reactions to vaccines and sometimes severe reactions or death.

The Congressional Briefing is herewith: Congressional Briefing Video

  
 
The briefing is conducted by two very credible people, and Professor Holland is clear that she understands the importance of Vaccines, but is damning in her description of the path that has been taken by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program versus the undertakings given when it was created in 1986 replacing conventional legal rights to damages.

As I have outlined in my previous blogs, vaccination is a massive global business. You have to understand the interaction of that business, it’s vested interests, and the objectives of Public Health Officials and Epidemiologists whose priorities are control of disease over side effects and the numbers of lives lost to vaccines.

US Congress committed in 1986 to focus investment into better vaccines with reduced side effects and injuries, and far from that focus the industry funds spin machines that deny any negative effects. Denial of a problem makes a focus on solutions nigh on impossible.

The attached 2012 article published by the National Vaccine Information Centre challenges the accuracy, relevance and unsurprisingly the degree of participation by Doctors in Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting, which it estimates at between 1% and 10% :NVIC Article on VAERS Limitations

The Congressional Briefing makes it clear that the VICP has adopted a culture of limiting admission of vaccine injury, restricting access to information, and making it very difficult to make claims and navigate their process. The interests served by this culture are Government Costs, Public Support for Vaccination, and the commercial interests of the vaccine manufacturers. Those not served by this culture are the people, who the government is supposed to exist to serve. if this culture is necessary to balance the budget that speaks to the need to improve vaccine safety to reduce injuries and hence payouts.

I reiterate my position, I am in favour of good vaccines when risks of disease are high. I have chosen to be vaccinated several times in my adult life when travelling and in conjunction with working as a Senior Executive in a medical manufacturing laboratory environment for seven years. I have also refused vaccines where the risk and consequence did not justify having the vaccine. It is not black and white and when it comes to infants, the Congressional Briefing makes it clear there are not just risks, but severe consequences for a percentage of those vaccinated.

So I turn my attention to Australia and the effective mandating of the entire Vaccine Schedule for every child by the adoption of the Murdoch Press lead campaigns turned government policies ‘No Jab No Play’ and ‘No Jab No Pay’.

I draw your attention to the fact that James Murdoch was a director for vaccine manufacturer GSK prior to the point where it suited them better for him to distance himself from them as the public influencing campaigns began rolling out through his family’s empire.

That commercial interests have been successful in moving very close to eliminating choice for families reliant on social support payments and who wish to enrol their children in daycare or schooling is abhorrent on any level. With the very real risks and severity of consequences outlined in the Congressional Briefing it is gross negligence and abuse of power.

To my writing on this subject I bring 12 years as a commercial executive in Medical Diagnostics and Medical Devices, experience with regulators like the FDA and TGA, and an intimate knowledge of the impact of business drivers on science, markets, policy, and outcomes. My passion is business that honours the community it exists to serve. It is my contention that the vaccine industry is directed in a way that they are nowhere close to that and serve the dollar first and foremost.
Ura P Auckland

Writer and Sustainable Value Creation Adviser

Powerful Passionate People and the Unexpected

A Moment of Clarity

Tonight at Men’s Group I had one of those moments of absolute clarity. I drove home from Men’s Group in absolute joy feeling immense gratitude for the clarity and abundance that has enriched my life through the last several years.

The Unexpected

Last night I spent a couple of hours at a workshop run by my friend William Whitecloud on tapping into your genius and being one of the 1,000 writers of the 1,000,000 books published every year that succeed in terms of reaching an expansive audience.

William is about more than writing, and his life’s work has been about the magic that comes from your creative spark, your ‘genius’.  But as a successful author one of his current passions is helping what he learned about applying the creative spark to writing to become a successful author.

One among a great many ‘Aha Moments’ last night was an element of William’s experience and wisdom, that a critical factor for a successful book is surprise. They create the unexpected. They go somewhere other books haven’t.

William asked the audience of largely first time writers about our book projects. We were all passionate people, all with subjects that are important in the world, like my passion for bringing greater consciousness to business. The trouble is we live in a crowded world where time is precious and the threshold we need to cross as authors is : “will this book change me, move me, take me to a vastly different place that justifies two days of my life to read it?” None of the responses any of us gave would have motivated vast numbers of readers to pick our books off the shelf.

So I had an awesome night with William and among a long list of shifts in my thinking about writing was this point about ‘the unexpected’, and bringing my creative genius that is the unique being I am to creating that.

Extrapolating the Unexpected from Writing into Life

Tonight at Men’s Group as I was sharing and sparked by some of the sharing of the other men attending tonight, I extended the ‘Aha Moment’ about writing the unexpected beyond writing, to life. I am not talking about doing the unexpected in a trite way. A lesson I seek to live is to live from a place of service. So what if now I brought my awareness to coming from a place of service and filling my day by turning up in unexpected ways for those around me. What if I did that for my beautiful wife Pj. What if I did that in every client connection.

I head into tomorrow with a great gift and a gift I plan to live for the rest of my days. But what I’d like to share some more about is how I came to be in a position to receive that gift from a powerful passionate person like William Whitecloud.

Investing in connecting with Passionate Powerful People

I come back to my drive home tonight. On that drive, I felt so many of the pieces of my life puzzle fall into place.

I saw and felt powerfully tonight how one of my mantras for the last couple of years has transformed my life. I have made it a practice to connect with and invest in working with ‘Powerful Passionate People’.

That may seem like a simple thing. It actually is, but knowing it is different from living it. The magic has happened by living it.

Lets go back a step, and share my journey to this knowing, and what is now a way of life for me.

First I built it, but they didn’t come

When I created my private company Authegrity, I thought my passion and my clarity around my life my purpose would be enough, and to some degree I did an ‘If I build it, they will come’. Turns out my shingle wasn’t enough to make them come for quite a while.

Starting with people who know, love and respect me

My outer muse and now wife Pj  came along when I was 12 months into my journey of making my passion and life purpose into my business and profession. Then a further 6 months into our journey together in January 2013, Pj shared with me a ‘cracker’ of a piece of wisdom to go spend time with the people who know and love me and to explore ways of creating value with them. I did that, and because those friends knew and trusted me, they introduced me to their friends.

That actually transformed my life. Through that experience I had a 1 + 1 + 1 = 9 experience.

The 1 + 1 + 1 = 9 experience

Late in January 2013, I was introduced by one of my best friends Justyn Wood to Steve Hartley, one of my two co-founders in Evolve Salons.

How that came to pass is noteworthy.

I met Justyn Wood because I attended a Men’s Gathering in June 2011 and made a decision during that gathering to step into the circle at the Closing Ceremony to be of service to that community on a 12 month journey to create the 2012 Gathering as a member of its Organising Committee. I made an investment, on this occasion of my spare time, in the company of another nine powerful passionate men. On that journey Justyn (and several other men whom I have profound stories about for another day) became a close friend and came to experience my power, my passion, and my experience and contribution.

On the strength of that experience with me Justyn introduced me to Steve Hartley and from there came the most significant abundance event in my life to date, all from an investment of some time volunteering.

Justyn connected me with Steve Hartley, and Steve in turn to our other co-founder Iain Horne.

I have been present from early in the journeys of start-up enterprises three times prior to Evolve. This though was my first time present at ground zero, prior to incorporation, where a group of complimentary powerful passionate people through alchemy created something far bigger than ourselves, and which just as I was leaving the company in September 2014 was becoming the largest group of owned hair salons in Australia.

In contrast to my solo journey establishing Authegrity, my journey at Evolve showed me the value of investing in bringing together my passion with the passion of others.

My 1 + Steve’s 1 + Iain’s 1, didn’t add to three. No, it was exponential, it was alchemy. I know that no two of us could have done it without the third. We created the force we needed to build something profound and as the three we could feel we had what it would take, and together we made a whole in a way that enabled us to get our bird airborne. The result of our 1 + 1 + 1 was definately 9 for me, and thats even after me making a decision to exit much earlier than I had planned where 1+1+1+a longer time would have equalled 99.

My Web of Powerful Passionate People

Powerful Passionate People

Powerful Passionate People

 

 

 

 

 

 

I come back again to the joy that was flowing through me on my way home. Tonight I felt and saw clearly the web of powerful passionate people I have attracted into my life. To some degree I have attracted these people all of my life here and there.

The difference now is I have done two things, I have stepped into living a life in my passion and becoming a powerful passionate person myself, and I have created a practice every day of making telephone calls to arrange a coffee, or a lunch, or a weekend get together with other powerful passionate people.

My connection with William Whitecloud last night was through a free workshop. William shares his knowledge freely with any who feel called to learn from a powerful passionate person. He knows some will go deeper and feel called to make an investment with him in becoming one of the one in one thousand authors who achieve significant reach. But even if I didn’t plan to go further with William, by spending even just a couple of hours in the company of that powerful passionate man who is a master at accessing his genius, I got not only a ‘Writing Aha’, but a ‘Life Aha’.

That might sound like a good day, but William was only one of two powerful passionate people who gave me big shifts yesterday, the other being a really generous Writing Publicist Katie McMurray who gave freely of her wisdom to me for an hour yesterday, and who also gave me some big aha moments that will transform the way I approach my writing.

I will more than likely outlay money or share value with many of the powerful passionate people I spend time with. Five years ago I could not have imagined having the ability to do so. Today it is both my deep knowing and my experience and results that when I come from a place of abundance, when I am of service, when I reach out, when I invest in moments in time with other passionate powerful people, my life is transformed.

But its important to remember some of the powerful passionate people I have drawn into my life came through my giving freely of my time. When I go into a meeting, a connection, or an opportunity truly coming from a place of abundance and of sharing there can be many forms of payment, and there can be many kinds of value created through connection.

Today I have a huge network of powerful passionate people. I am connected to many in the real world, who as I have shared have created financial abundance in my life again. But I am also passionate about connecting with likeminded powerful passionate people via social media. I am connected to 1,756 on Facebook who were recently instrumental in driving a blog I wrote to go viral with now 27,352 blog views or better than one in every one thousand Australians. My investment in my social network is my time on blogs like this, and sharing life experience and hard won wisdom.

Tonight’s little gift of the Unexpected

So as of tonight, when I go into the world to meet powerful passionate people, I do so with the intention of bringing to them the unexpected.

Seeing as this blog is a part of communicating with powerful passionate people, I am going to end by giving you a little of the unexpected.

You are a powerful passionate person. Every single one of us is a powerful passionate person. We see that in others when we have learned that we are one, and when we have learned that our heart is the path through which we touch the soul of the other powerful passionate people, that’s where the power and the passion live.

I see you for the soul you truly are, I really do, and when we truly come together consciously that’s when alchemy happens.

 

Ura P Auckland
Business Coach &
Social Entrepreneur

Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

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Blog Commenting and Discussion Publication Policy

How-Blog-Commenting-Improve-your-Google-Ranking-and-What-does-it-Mean Time in my life is a precious thing, as is inner peace. I have decided to implement a commenting and discussion publication policy on my blog after striking some of the usual aggression and insulting energy so common on certain topics in the comments on one of my posts this week.

My policy now is as follows:

  1. I consider the stewardship of my blog a responsibility I take seriously. Therefore blog comments go into a queue for publishing approval.  I reserve the right to decide based on all the factors in this policy whether a comment contributes to the discussion in a healthy respectful way.
  2. From time to time I am involved in events that take me out of internet contact, so it could at times be up to a week before I have the opportunity to review comments and make a decision as to whether to Publish them or delete them.
  3. Until approved and published, comments will not appear on the blog.
  4. Alternative opinions are generally welcomed if expressed respectfully with a genuine intent to inform, and in a manner that honors all of the elements of this policy.
  5. Posts should extend respect to both the blogger and other commenters. Using the old football analogy ‘Play the ball, not the man ( /woman )’.
  6. Any post which is sarcastic, insulting, or which in my opinion as the owner of this blog goes out of the way to misunderstand will be deleted, as will any previous comments in a string.
  7. Posts from persons who do not use full names, and whose profiles give no clue as to whether there is a real person behind the post will if they are by my judgement potentially mischievous be deleted. My legal name is the one I use in all forms of social media and I put my professional reputation on the line. I have respect for those who stand behind their opinions. I am very aware that there are issues with vested interests that use fake personas, so if a poster is anonymous and aggressive and I have any doubts I will delete the post.
  8. I have limited hours in a day and responding to comments is not something I can commit extensive time to. If I feel a commenter has touched on an important issue, I will respond in the string or possibly blog on the subject, but please don’t feel insulted if I am not able to get back to you with a response.
  9. I will always endeavour in my blogs to be conscious and kind and extend respect. I am genuinely interested in interactions with others who communicate that way irrespective of their opinion.
  10. I will only approve comments that in my opinion as the owner of the blog contribute to a healthy and respectful discussion on the points being made by the blog. Please resist the temptation to flood the comments with external content on other aspects of an issue. Even if the content is something I find interesting or agree with, my intention is to approve only comments that are on topic with the aspects of an issue I have chosen to blog about. If related issues are important to you, you have the opportunity to create your own blog. I can highly recommend blogging, mine has reached just short of one in one thousand of the people in my country. Its a powerful way to reach people and touch their hearts and minds.
  11. Occasionally some commenters are dismissive when they feel something is not proven to their satisfaction. I am an intuitive person, and a blog by definition is ‘an opinion piece’. I don’t need to provide links to evidence for every conclusion I draw. I am sharing my opinion and those who resonate with my opinion have the opportunity to decide what conclusions they will draw and whether they would like to do further research.
  12. I will reference my research where I can, but one of my pet hates is those who misuse the scientific method to argue that if something is not proven or referenced then it does not exist or is not worthy of discussion. Many of the greatest scientific minds have been those who form hypotheses using intuition. Sadly our world usually gives the Nobel Prize to the ones who come along 100 years later once the hypothesis has become easier to prove with improved measurement systems, without much acknowledgment to the genesis of the hypothesis  (To learn more about that phenomena read Bill Bryson’s ‘A short history of nearly everything’).
  13. Based on all of the above, I reserve the right to not approve any comment and put it in the ‘deleted bucket’ based on all of the above and reserving proprietary rights over the blog. Therefore I would suggest people do not invest extensive time writing lengthy comments that may not be approved. Again those passionate about writing could do well to create their own blog.

You can find me on LinkedIn if you have an interest to make contact after reading any of my blogs where your intention is for a positive interaction.

Consciously……Ura
Ura P Auckland
Social Entrepreneur &
Business Coach

Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

Vaccination Part 2 – Commercial Motives in Science and Medicine

This is a follow up blog to this one I wrote about a week ago before I headed off on a five day Rite of Passage with my Stepson:

https://uraonconsciousgovernance.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/a-call-for-pro-truth-to-replace-pro-vax-v-anti-vax/

I came home last night to find that the blog has had north of 18,000 visitors, and a few comments asking for more support for some of the statements I made in the original blog. I am happy to provide more information, but have a life and will not spend days in a comment string debating with individual commenters, and especially not on a blog that has drawn so much attention.

What I am happy to do is blog about the essence of where the comments were coming from.

Blog definition

Before I address specific issues though I want to say this is a blog. It is not a submission to a peer reviewed journal like Science or Nature.

A blog by definition as per Merriam-Webster is:
‘A Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences.’

The blogs do contain opinion, judgements, and conclusions reached by me. That said I am a person of 53 years life experience and 34 of business experience.

Not everything in a blog needs to be referenced to someone else’s research. When one has deep experience, in the context of a blog its OK to come to a conclusion based on one’s own experience.

My expertise and experience

There was some questioning of my expertise to comment on the issue of vaccination, a fair question.

I did state in the original blog:

“It is a subject to which I bring quite deep industry experience having worked as a senior commercial executive in medical science for 12 years and in other sciences for another three. I’ve been involved in TGA and FDA approval processes, clinical trials, medical manufacture, medical product R&D, and in commercial relationships with universities.”

I don’t profess to be a vaccine expert, but I do bring very valuable insight to the issue as someone who has variously been a CFO, COO, and VP for Point of Care Diagnostics and intimately understands the business of medicine and science. For 15 years I have been in the board rooms of the companies I worked for as every significant strategic decision was made, including how markets are penetrated and how the companies should go about changing medical practice to create product adoption.

Not all questions are answered by science itself. There are other forces in the world, and an understanding of how commercial drivers influence, the practice of medicine, public policy, and politics is essential if you are to truly understand how the whole system functions.

As to science, having worked with scientists and engineers, PhDs, MScs and more, I have necessarily acquired quite a deep understanding of science, the scientific method, and issues that are vital to understanding scientific studies and applicability of science through issues like Outliers, Sensitivity and Specificity. It doesn’t make me a scientist, but it gives me plenty of understanding to be able to debate conclusions, strategy around science, and the limitations of science.

A point I do want to make is that unlike many people on Social Media, all of my social media activity I undertake under my own name, backing myself and my professional reputation.

The rare commodity of Science untainted by commercial drivers

There was some questioning of two of my conclusions, as follows:

  • “One of the key things to know about science today is that there is increasingly less and less science that is untainted by commercial drivers.”
  • “Even absent specific studies, most University Professors have consulting contracts with commercial parties, from which they personally benefit,”

These are my own conclusions based on quite extensive personal experience, and I am happy to share the basis of those conclusions.

grant_money

I have been involved in upwards of 200 Scientific Studies with multi-party funding and with a vast majority drawing public money such as Australian Research Council grants, NHMRC grants, Cooperative Research Centre funds, Centre of Excellence funds. I am struggling to recall more than a couple which had no commercial party contracted as a participant. Most competitive grant criteria today encourage the securing of commercial parties, because the government want to encourage the translation of research into commercial outcomes and hence economic activity.

Commercial parties can participate in university, CRC or CoE research in a number of ways. Sometimes they are members of a CRC or CoE, sometimes they contribute cash to projects, and sometimes they make ‘in-kind contributions’. In kind contributions are the provision of resources the company was already paying for to a project, like some time from an expert staff member, use of laboratories, equipment or infrastructure.

There are always contracts that govern the projects, and in return for their contributions the companies get commercial rights and often rights to provide representation to Project Advisory Committees. This gives the commercial parties a voice in all the things a PAC oversees including study design and how to deal with grey areas in study results like outliers. How much a commercial party can influence a study result away from where it might have landed absent their presence depends primarily on the strength of character of the people on the PAC and the Project Leaders and Principal Investigators, and to a degree the proportion of the budget funded by the commercial party.

University Commercialisation Offices

A fact of life in the modern university is the University Commercialisation Office.

I have dealt with most of the universities in Australia and can vouch that all of them I dealt with had an Office of Commercialisation. Universities are very much businesses today, an education business and a research commercialisation business.

From what I have seen of Universities, and from discussion with the many professors I have dealt with across the universities I dealt with most of those professors decried the lack of pure research funds available from the university to fund research.

The Professors with significant research portfolios source most of their funds externally, and are then subject to the encouragement by the funders to bring commercial parties, and by the University Office of Commercialisation to create royalty streams on research.

The other factor at play is that the Universities achieve another of their objectives via Offices of Commercialisation. Universities achieve public standing and reputation through having prolific researchers as Professors and through high profile publications. In a world of globalised commercialisation Professors can easily be attracted away from the university by offers to join companies where their skills will create great value. The way the universities retain them is by allowing them to participate in arrangements with commercial partners, by way of royalty sharing or consulting. This allows the universities to hold prolific researchers while not funding all of their earnings through off-loading some of that cost onto commercial partners. I can speak of the existence of these contracts as I have negotiated many of them.

Whether ‘most’ was the right word for how many Professors in researching faculties consult or benefit commercially we can debate. By the definition ‘almost all’ perhaps not, by the definition of ‘the majority’ (i.e. greater than 50%), I would say “absolutely and plus some” based on my extensive experience with universities and commercialisation.

Of the Professors I worked with I have high regard for almost all of them. There is only one from a US based university that left a bad taste in my mouth who was all about ego and what was in it for them. I don’t suggest that all science should be ignored because of commercial relationships, but I do very strongly argue that it is a factor and I know many good researchers that argue it is a concern to them.

The real concern is the scale of the numbers when you get to the top end of town. I worked in relatively small companies where the values at stake were not big enough for people to compromise themselves seriously. When we start to talk global companies with billions at stake and CEOs and executives with multi-million dollar bonuses or share and option packages riding on outcomes and big budgets to allocate to creating outcomes it becomes critically important to understand the potential for tainting of science by undue pressure.

In Summary

In my experience, most commercial people are loathe to publicly discuss commercial motives. I am more than a little bit different. Despite a financial background my greatest drivers have always been values and people, which is something anyone close to me in my career would affirm loudly.

My passion now in life is bringing greater consciousness to business, which is something I now do in my work as a Business Coach, mixing good business outcomes for businesses with good outcomes for the communities they exist to serve and the community that constitutes their workforce.

I find myself very concerned by the level of influence of ‘Too Big To Fail’ global corporations on the political process. They make donations to both side of politics and control the game no matter who is in office, and the donations are a pittance against the tax they avoid through global tax structuring, and the politicians are heavily influenced by them. Anyone who doesn’t see that is not paying attention. For a clear example look at the rampaging fracking industry which should never have got out of the gate on public safety and environmental grounds, and yet is expanding at a staggering rate.

What I bring to the debate is analysis and conclusions on this highly emotive subject based in deep experience of the business of medicine, and a lot of life experience that has brought me to a place of seeing the futility of choosing sides and pushing positions.

I respect people who elect to vaccinate unilaterally or selectively. I respect people who choose not to vaccinate. My issue is with people who portray the issue as black and white, and who regurgitate propaganda. Further my issue is with public policy being driven by propaganda campaigns initiated by a media empire with motives worthy of investigation, and a Prime Minister who announces the policy with the title of the media campaign.

Ura P Auckland
Social Entrepreneur and Business Coach
Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

A call for Pro-truth to replace Pro-Vax v Anti-Vax

Viral Vaccination Post

I shared some thoughts on Facebook last night and had my first taste after years as an active social media user of ‘going viral’. As I write there have been 1,463 shares and 1310 likes.

The subject was vaccination. It can be a viral subject, but it can be very ugly too, generally with discussion strings getting quite insulting and with most participants either pro-vax, or anti-vax and with the people in between keeping out of the line of fire.

NoJab

My Vaccination Position : Pro-Truth

My position on vaccination is pro-data, and pro-truth.

Vaccination is not an issue that is purely black or white.

The subject in my experience get lots of misinformation pumped in from both sides of the argument.

It is a subject to which I bring quite deep industry experience having worked as a senior commercial executive in medical science for 12 years and in other sciences for another three. I’ve been involved in TGA and FDA approval processes, clinical trials, medical manufacture, medical product R&D, and in commercial relationships with universities.

I am in favour of vaccines for certain diseases, and where the vaccine product has been well designed, and has good safety profiles.

Epidemiology is an absolutely essential field and some management of the risk of epidemics is not only responsible, but an essential function of public health. Humankind has made the progress it has in eradicating many diseases because of the science of epidemiology.

The key point here is science.

One of the key things to know about science today is that there is increasingly less and less science that is untainted by commercial drivers. In fact our governments encourage the presence of commercial participants and funders in most forms of science grants as a demonstration that the science can develop commercial outcomes which are generally presumed to be ‘good for business’ and therefore the economy. The trouble is, commercial participants generally want to influence study design and the way the studies or trials are reviewed and analysed. Even good science is grey and there are always issues of outliers, specificity, and sensitivity and with commercial parties at the table they do have an influence in how these are dealt with.

Even absent specific studies, most University Professors have consulting contracts with commercial parties, from which they personally benefit, and this can have an effect anywhere from emotional commitment through to (in rare circumstances) fraud for personal gain. My feeling is most university professors strive for the high ground, but with a commercial party at the table there will always be an influence and then the reader doesn’t know what they don’t know about how much the study has been impacted.

It is an absolute fact that you can’t say every vaccine is both safe and well designed to be effective.

The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting systems exist because side effects are an unavoidable part of injecting products into a diverse population of individuals. Furthermore they have to deal with the fact that the agents injected travel all through the body, and absent clever nano-delivery mechanisms can’t just go where they need to in order to achieve the desired result and stay out of all of the other bodily systems. If you are in doubt about the reality of side effects in medicine read a package insert in a drug or vaccine packet.

Through an old colleague I came to know a number of people in the HPV (Human Papaloma Virus) world. My old colleague is a scientist who took the CEO/Business path and counts as friends many of the HPV opinion leaders in the US. He will not have his daughter immunised for HPV because he believes it is poorly designed because it doesn’t address all the species of HPV. That omission changes the landscape for infection, but does not eradicate the disease and his position is that doing so is irresponsible and creates a false sense of safety in the patient, and in turn a complacency about managing ongoing risks in a disease that needs monitoring. People may disagree with his position, but it is one based on his reading of the complexity of the issue and is an example that it is not black and white, and that not all objectors are ill-informed.

The problem is now the journey the whole vaccination issue has taken. It began with more people making the conscious decision not to have their children or sometimes themselves vaccinated.  The Pro-Vax lobby argue this was all driven by the Andrew Wakefield study (a study withdrawn by the Publisher over which there are now doubts) tying vaccination and autism together, and there is no doubt that was a big part of the trend.  That said, it’s discrediting does not remove the issue that side effects are a real issue as outlined above and people have good reason to pause and consider vaccination decisions. The issue is the anti-vax trend attracted some people that made it black and white and painted all vaccines as bad. This aligned the interests of the now worried Public Health Officials charged with managing Epidemiology and those of the Vaccine companies worried about loss of revenues.

Murdoch Media No Jab No Play and No Jab No Pay Campaigns

This brings me to ‘No Jab No Play’ and No Jab No Pay’.

The No Jab No Play campaign was initiated by the Murdoch Daily Telegraph. Yes, a newspaper whose function I understand to be reporting news, not initiating campaigns.

http://www.news.com.au/national/no-jab-no-play-campaign-launched-to-ban-unvaccinated-kids-from-childcare-centres-and-preschools/story-fncynjr2-1226635256015

James Murdoch was a Director of Glaxo Smith Kline one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. He decided not to stand for re-election as a Director in 2012, that’s the public story.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/james-murdoch-glaxosmithkline-board_n_1236256.html

One could wonder why a drug and vaccine company needed the skills of a media expert on its board. Clearly they have felt threatened by the trend of more people questioning vaccines.

By 2012 my assessment is that GSK and the industry’s media strategy had been born, now it would serve GSK better if Murdoch was not tied to them, ‘Plausible Deniability’ they call it in the game.

The mood has definitely altered on the issue in Australia and there is now a vehement element of the public who have taken as granted the Murdoch Campaign’s one sided painting of vaccines as free from risk and the only responsible decision for every disease for every person.

The Murdochs were successful in having NSW State Law passed on the strength of supposed public support that had to a large degree been manufactured by the Murdoch Press for ‘No Jab No Play’. Under this law children could not be enrolled in Preschools if they had not been vaccinated.

Now our Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a policy that parents receiving social security benefits for their children will only receive it if their children have been vaccinated in accordance with the recommended public health recommendations (‘No Jab No Pay’).

Movement into mandating vaccination and taking away parental rights to make a decision considering the welfare of their child is a worrying step. Vaccination is not black and white and parents do have the right to weigh up evidence. Its not only a right it’s a responsibility, because not all vaccines are good products and vaccine approvals focus mainly on safety profiles, and set relatively low bars for issues like product efficacy. HPV is the perfect case in point, as I outlined above.

Our Prime Minister has delivered to the Murdoch campaign and to the Vaccine companies a windfall revenue outcome by creating a massive financial incentive for a significant part of the population to comply with policy.

Those in the GSK and other Vaccine company boardrooms will be congratulating themselves and without question increasing forecasted revenues.

Public Policy

From the reactions to my Facebook post today, there are a lot of people who value a voice that recognises vaccinations is not a black and white issue.

It should be driven by careful consideration of good untainted science, and we need more of that rare commodity.

Public Policy is not something that should be driven by Drug Company and Newspaper PR campaigns. Very few people have joined the dots between the Daily Telegraph campaign, the Murdochs, and GSK and the Industry.

This whole situation has been an over-reaction to an over-reaction and its time we as people all came to the middle ground and demanded good policy of our leaders and public health officials, in place of propaganda.

The emerging culture with the government and drug companies over-reacting has been to come (at least publicly) from a place of denial sweeping the genuine issues under the carpet. There are already too many strong commercial drivers that create that behaviour, we don’t need it from our regulators. We need a commitment to analyse side effects properly and to drive the creation of safer and more efficacious products.

Join me in the middle ground and look for the truth, not propaganda or anti-propaganda from one side or the other.

The Value of a Rational Voice

The biggest take home message for me today was how much people valued hearing a rational voice coming from a middle ground.

For those interested in the issue I can tell you that people are tired of the debates being wars. Every share in essence was applauding the taking of a balanced position.

In listening to the arguments and concerns of both sides, I was heard by both sides and I saw movement in the positions of people on both sides. There was almost no flaming or debates on my post or those I saw on other’s shares.

To my eyes there is a lesson in that for those who seek to have influence in the world.

People feel truth and sincerity, and there is a trust built when we show a commitment to truth no matter how it falls.  When we have dug ourselves into a foxhole defending a philosophical position, we engender suspicion more than trust. At an intuitive level most people know these issues are not black and white.

Ura P Auckland
Social Entrepreneur and Business Coach
Managing Director
Authegrity Pty Ltd

The Coalition NBN Policy – Stage 2 The Renegotiations

I am writing this blog to address the misinformation, the unsaid, and the blind spots in the public debate on the NBN.

The NBN has become a heavy political issue. My own politics are to support politicians of substance and courage who truly act for the people. There are more of these types of politicians found among the Greens and as independents, and I find both major parties to be dominated by policies that serve their benefactors.

There has been much criticism by the Coalition of Labor’s NBN. Some of the criticism is probably fair, while some of it has been making issues of non-issues like the asbestos in Telstra’s pits which has always been Tesltra’s problem and is not news and not of NBN Co’s doing.

Much of the criticism is coming from Rupert Murdoch’s New Corporation empire, and there is good reason to look at why that might be.

05-rupert-murdoch

The Current Labor NBN

The Labor NBN was designed as a network that in most metropolitan and major regional areas would bring Fibre To The Premises (FTTP). It began life with the following options for customers:

  • ·         100 Mbps Download       40 Mbps Upload
  • ·           50 Mbps Download       20 Mbps Upload
  • ·           25 Mbps Download         5 Mbps Upload
  • ·           12 Mbps Download         1 Mbps Upload

The Labor NBN capital budget as currently being executed by NBN Co is $37.4Billion. A funny thing happened though on the 9th April 2013 when the coalition announced their NBN Fibre to the Node Policy for which he claimed speeds of 25 to 50 Mbps from the node to the premise using VDSL. Malcolm Turnbull began to compare the Coalition NBN speeds to the Labor proposals and noted that on affordability most people would subscribe for the 25Mbps option under Labor and thus would experience no difference.

Sleight of Hand

Both parties here are guilty of sleight of hand:

  • Labor were guilty of ‘hold back’ in offering 100Mbps as their top offer. I speak from personal experience, having been a CFO for a medical device company, in saying that electronics manufacturing costs for Fibre Modems designed to operate at different speeds would be almost identical between a 100Mbps device and a 1,000 Mbps device. Cost differences consumers experience in shops are in the main artificial and determined by marketers who charge more money for perceived value which need not have any relation to cost. The only valid cost drivers are Intellectual Property and alternate technologies. For a country the size of Australia 1,000 Mbps should have been set as a minimum spec (it is in Googles Fibre roll out in the US). The actual fibre is capable of speeds that universities are experimenting with of up to 10,000,000,000,000 Mbps and it is only the device on either end of the fibre that controls the speed.
  • The Coalition were well aware that Fibre ultimately will deliver many times the speed of the Coalition NBN and that the Coalition NBN offers no upload guarantee (which I will come back to), however Labor created that opportunity through a market offering that was holding too much back for the future for artificial marketing reasons.

Labor NBN Speed Lift

So 10 days after the announcement of the Coalition NBN on April 19th 2013 the NBN Co announced that from December 2013, it would add higher speed offerings to its range of:

  • 1,000 Mbps Download   400 Mbps Upload
  •    500 Mbps Download    200 Mbps Upload
  •    250 Mbps Download    100 Mbps Upload

Now the public could get a glimpse into the true potential of the NBN and would not be fooled by sleight of hand comparisons claiming close to equivalence.

Funnily enough Labor did for a time plan a 1,000 Mbps service as announced in August 2010.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/taxpayers-to-pay-no-more-for-nbn-with-even-faster-download-speeds-labor/story-fn59niix-1225904313190

Somewhere between 2010 and 2013 they pulled back from offering better than 100 Mbps to the public at this stage of the NBN rollout.

Coalition FTTN NBN

So let’s look at the Coalition NBN policy in some detail.

The Coalition NBN takes Fibre To The Node (FTTN). From there the Coalition propose to instruct NBN Co to provide a solution that uses the existing copper lines from the Nodes every few blocks in to the premises in the area covered by that node. The Coalition have proposed that NBN Co offer a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps by the end of 2016, and 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps by the end of 2019 when the rollout would be planned for completion.

The Coalition claim a budget for their NBN of $29 Billion.

The core technology that has been discussed for use from the node to the premises is VDSL. There are all kinds of VDSL options, and it is true that some are delivering speeds up to the speeds targeted by the Coalition.

Sadly VDSL like any DSL based technology using copper wires gets much slower when it is travelling more than about 800 metres from the node, unlike Fibre. DSL technologies are also subject to a variety of factors that can impede speed and in a copper network at the end of its life many of those factors are likely to be present. Some can be rain affected, and I have been a victim of that frustrating situation in a business paying a premium for a BDSL service on copper.

Most of Australia gets its internet on ADSL or ADSL2/2+ today. Any user of this technology can tell you that the variability in speed is huge. We wont know how variable it would continue to be when matched with a cable service at the node, but there is good reason to be sceptical about claims of achieving a minimum 25 Mbps and particularly at peak times. It is easy for the Coalition to posit an untested demand upon NBN Co to deliver a minimum 25Mbps for a budget of $29 Billion, but we have no idea what can actually be delivered and how much NBN Co will have to over-engineer a solution on copper to make it viable and reliable.

Upload Speeds

A massive issue with the Coalition NBN plan is that they are studiously avoiding any mention of upload speeds. Download speeds are important for downloading content from the internet, such as movies, music, and youtube clips.

Upload speeds are tested by the sending of data heavy content up to the internet. For Video Bloggers who publish video content and then need to upload it to Youtube using current technology can take hours. That is an issue of significant inconvenience and inefficiency.

More importantly though is Australia’s ability to interact with the world using technologies like Skype. As an executive doing business in international companies and often skyping at all hours of the day including the wee hours of the morning, and late at night from a home office the ability to join a teleconference or video conference is important.

For a teleconference the sound and video you generate from your PC needs to be uploaded to the internet to send to the other parties. For even a voice call to be practical and not to descend into a farce as they so often do when involving Australians a good reliable upload channel is necessary, for video even more so. You don’t need the 400 Mbps that NBN Co can now offer under labor as an upload speed for Skype, in fact the 5Mbps upload speed in Labor’s 25Mbps download package if consistently delivered will handle it with ease.

The Reality of Family Demands on a Household Internet Connection

As anyone knows who has attempted Skype Sound or Video Calls, the key to effectiveness is consistency.

The reality in every family household nowdays is something like this:

  • One or two adults doing: some extra work from home, Facebooking, Youtubing, or watching movies.
  • Two to three children: Gaming (which also sends data back up the pipe), Youtube (very possibly uploading very heavy video content in uncompressed formats), and Facebooking (again often uploading content), or watching movies

If anyone in that typical household is trying to conduct a Skype video call on a Coalition NBN they will fail to get reliable video, so will switch off video. Chances are they may also get breakups on the voice signal and particularly their’s to the other party.

The Labor NBN at the 25/5 level gives a service that would be adequate for the typical family. If Skype Video Calls were a regular part of either adult’s life, the 250/100 service would provide a service more than adequate for the family as a whole.

The Coalition’s proposal just does not cut it in the family scenario, and particularly given no minimum upload speed, and even more so where multiple people are uploading at once.

Content Creation

We live in a world where the internet puts the ability to interact with the world in the hands of the individual. No longer is it just publishers and broadcasters who create content. Individuals create content and it is often very heavy content by volume of data.

Furthermore ‘The Cloud’ is now becoming the standard for where both business and individuals store their data, their systems, and their multimedia. Storing it in the cloud also means uploading it to the cloud simply and efficiently.

The reality is that the Labor NBN is giving Australians the tools we need as a country physically remote from the rest of the world to compete, to deliver, and to innovate.

The Coalition NBN restricts us, keeps us even from meeting today’s demands, and makes our nation an embarrassment among developed countries with no reliable upload solution.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation & Foxtel

I have been among those who look at Rupert Murdoch’s actions and his interests and see him using his newspapers and influence to attack the Labor NBN, and conclude that his position is a commercial one. I look at the Coalition policy and I see one that is far more favourable to Murdoch’s interests in Foxtel.

Here are some undeniable facts:

  • Murdoch’s papers have been extremely critical of the Labor NBN to the point of bias.
  • Murdoch’s papers have shown undisguised extreme bias against Kevin Rudd
  • Murdoch’s papers have been strongly pro-Abbott and the Coalition while much of the country wonder how Abbott can be offered as a Prime Minister candidate and his personal approval rating is negative.
  • Murdoch (a US Citizen) has taken such a strong interest in influencing the Australian Federal Election that he has personally dispatched Col Allan, a man known throughout News Corp as a flamethrower to “provide extra editorial leadership” just as the election campaign starts in earnest.

Murdoch clearly wants a coalition government and the Coalition NBN policy.

Since reports in Social Media and then the Sydney Morning Herald have called Murdoch on his bias in his papers and drawn links to his commercial interests in the sector through Foxtel, Murdoch and the Coalition have argued that Foxtel is actually better off with the Labor NBN, because the Coalition NBN will supposedly deliver an NBN that can expand access to Foxtel Content sooner. It was a clever response, but it actually draws the eye away from Murdoch’s real interests.

The Coalition ideology is that the government has no place getting involved in commerce. It’s the same ideology behind the sell-off and privatisation of so many government services and assets and through the insertion of the profit motive has resulted in increased costs for consumers. A ‘for profit’ entity will try and maximise sales. They may drive costs down harder than government, but that in no way is guaranteed to flow through to the consumer.

The ideology says that competition is what keeps the commercial participants honest. That may once have been true, but that is not a truth in many sectors with the dominance of global players like News Corporation, Microsoft, Apple, and many more who have the resources to buy anything that gets in their way.

Murdoch’s track record is one of an acquisitive strategist. He is a wily fox, and it is ironic that the Fox network was one named before he acquired it but which is so fitting for his personal style. Murdoch’s record is of domination and achievement of monopolistic or duopolistic positions. He had achieved that with Foxtel in Australia.

Murdoch’s problem with the Labor NBN is that the Labor government took the time to create through NBN Co a very fulsome product offering that genuinely opens up every Australian household to better access to content, and which gives far more players than the usual two in a duopoly access to becoming a player in creating offerings to the public.

The extent to which NBN Co has paved the way for Foxtel’s competitors is very well articulated in the NBN Co’s presentation here.

http://www.nbnco.com.au/assets/documents/the-changing-landscape-of-media-and-multicast.pdf

With their multicast facility NBN Co are providing first class dedicated infrastructure to Foxtel’s IPTV competitors which makes it dramatically easier for them to compete. Until now IPTV competition has generally been delivered on PCs and has not been well integrated into the lounge room. NBN Co makes it plain that their ‘Multicast’ product will bring that integration, and the kind of assured quality that only a purpose designed product delivered by Fibre can assure.

How the Coalition NBN Policy Affects Murdoch

The Coalition NBN Policy creates a vacuum. The Coalition NBN is built to the Node and then relies on the decades old copper that Telstra described some years ago as being “five minutes to midnight” to carry the signal from the node to the premises.

I believe the flaws in that solution have been clearly articulated above.

The Coalition have articulated that there will be those who will need or want fibre to the premises and they have indicated if you want it you can pay the capital cost of the connection.

What has not been discussed properly is that the Coalition are reopening negotiations with Telstra and Foxtel and Optus around Telstra’s Copper and  the uses allowed on the Foxtel & Optus Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) networks.

When you combine the renegotiation opportunities with the vacuum created by the removal of Labor’s Fibre to the Premises this where Murdoch’s real interest lies. Murdoch is a deal doer, a strategist, and will use the Coalition’s reopening of the whole realm for renegotiation to position Foxtel as a major player in content and fibre delivery.

Murdoch, Abbott, and Turnbull may well be able to put their hands on their hearts and say they have not discussed Foxtel’s interest in the NBN. For people in these position’s plausible deniability is important. What I would lay money has been discussed is Murdoch’s dislike for government’s role in the market, and a call for the Coalition to get out of the way and let the commercial interests negotiate a market solution.

Murdoch knows he has the capital, the influence and the organisational capability to resecure a dominant position for Foxtel once the Coalition sets the ball rolling on an FTTN NBN and with the opportunity to renegotiate the environment.

A further point worth watching is Murdoch’s Connection on the inside at NBN Co. The recently appointed Non-Executive Chair of the NBN Co Board is Ms Siobhan McKenna who is Managing Partner and Director of Illyria Pty Ltd Lachlan Murdoch’s media investment company. Ms McKenna had been a Non-Executive Director for NBN Co since 5th August 2009. Lachlan Murdoch now days it seems, to some degree runs his own race separate from his father though he is on the board of News Corporation. I draw no conclusions about the connection, but it is one worth noting and especially now Ms McKenna is Chair of NBN Co.

Which NBN Does Australia Want?

It is interesting to look at the Google Fibre solution in the US. Google are offering only one core speed offering 1,000 Mbps up and down. As a side offer Google have one artificially restricted product which after a $300 installation fee is free and offers 5 MBPS download and 1 MBPS upload.

For $70 per month core Google Fibre users get  1,000 Mbps service and 1 Terabyte of storage in the Cloud. For another $50 they also get a 200 HD Channel TV package with Netflix On Demand content.

It is unfortunate that Labor did not recognise that creating ‘the appearance’ of constraints on the NBN was unnecessary. Fibre has so much potential now and in the future, and to put in place equipment that artificially constrains most users to less than 10% of the real capacity today is such a shame.

Google is showing the world Conscious business culture. When there are no physical barriers, we should stop designing them in to create marketing tiers that have little relationship to cost of delivery.

Labor in Australia at least had a vision of a future with fibre in every home. Anyone making pronouncements, like Tony Abbott has, that any more than 25 Mbps is unnecessary does not understand our changing world or technology. Labor at least have had the foresight to see that Internet access with high speed download and upload is essential to our future and has created a model by which it will be delivered in a way that keeps interests like Murdoch from getting commercial control in a monopoly or duopoly.

The Coalition offer you a different kind of NBN. They well understand that the VDSL from the node in reality is not going to cut it. Their real intention is to let Murdoch, Telstra and Optus battle it out and cut new commercial arrangements to fill the vacuum the Coalition propose to create between the node and the premises. Its hard to predict an outcome from the outside looking in, except that Rupert Murdoch will be very clear where he wants to end up, and it wont be as a bit player among many competitors. That’s never been his style.

My vote will go to the Greens who support the continuation of the NBN Co’s current policy.

Ura P Auckland
Company Director, Corporate Advisor
Advocate for Conscious Governance & Conscious Business Culture
GAICD, FCPA
www.authegrity.com

Searching for truth amid the lies and avoiding the derogatory label ‘Conspiracy Theorist’

INSTITUTIONAL LIES & MANIPULATION

Have you ever seen evidence of lies or manipulations from a politician, people in government, or covert government agencies? Well, there are a great many on public record. Here are a few:

In the case of Watergate two ‘real journalists’ in Woodward & Bernstein brought the story to the people. Sadly the mainstream media now very rarely exhibits real journalism or a search for truth. However the world’s people through the internet and social media have found ways to share information on a massive scale. In this environment the people are more and more calling the government and corporations on their spin, lies and manipulation.

It is reaching a stage where large parts of the population are now more informed and where their consciousness in exactly the way Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book ‘Blink’, can spot the lies intuitively and they start digging for the inevitable inconsistencies in the ‘official story’.

Orwell on Political Language
Those who ‘spin for a living’ don’t like this trend. So they use a term to describe those who can spot their lies. The term is ‘Conspiracy Theorist’. And they use a related term to label any challenges to ‘official stories’. That term is ‘Conspiracy Theory’.

The connotation is a negative one, and the terms have almost invariably been used to paint pictures of paranoid delusional agoraphobic crazy people, who think everyone is out to get them.

Sadly there are parts of the community who are over-zealous in the extent to which they imply actions by those who create the spin, and sometimes their over-zealousness goes way too far. In this over-zealousness they have done those who create the spin a huge service because it has made it very easy to create the stereotype and have people believe in it.

Thus the conscious people who see through the lies in the spin find themselves reluctant to do anything that might get them labelled as a ‘Conspiracy-Nutter’.

I awoke this morning to see a link on Facebook to a NY Times article on some research into ‘Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories’.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

Like much mainstream media material the article clearly argues a slant and starts with the premise that conspiracy theories are ‘crazy’. It then offers all kinds of psychological analysis to understand why rational people believe in conspiracy theories.

I’d like to add another reason. Because there are still too many people in public office who lie, and to a conscious person who understands that, it stands out a mile away.

A SEARCH FOR TRUTH

For those who have recognised that lies are being used to manipulate us, it is easy to become so passionate about defeating the lies, that we ‘take a position’.

The effect of ‘taking a position’ is that our argument gets put in a box and labelled. Sometimes as a conspiracy theorist, and sometimes as an ‘anti-xxxxx person’.

When we become known for delivering credible research, verifiable facts, and taking a balanced position, people listen. Its about credibility.

Many people have forgotten or were never trained in critical thinking skills. I know people who believe everything they read in the mainstream newspapers including the most blatantly biased regurgitated media releases of vested interests.

When we demonstrate critical thinking skills, when we are careful with the materials we share to ensure they have the credibility we wish to have ourselves, then we stand out, we awaken questioning of the lies in others, and we remain a credible and trusted source that is listened to, not dismissed.

COMING FROM THE HEART

The other element of building credibility in the spreading of truth is to come from a place of heart.

It is easy to get angry over being lied to or manipulated. But our best work as writers does not come from a place of anger. Anger will say whatever it needs to in order to feel better. The ‘writing piece’ from that place serves the anger, but does not reach the reader.

I have learned that my best writing comes from a place of calm, a place of heart, where I am reflective, and where I am coming from a place of stepping outside of the problem. From this place I see more clearly, I find deeper wisdom, I can step outside the illusion that the creators of spin have generated as a distraction, and see the real issues over which there can be no debate, which is why the spin doctors were seeking to avoid them.

What serves all of humanity is conscious conversations searching for truth and truly facing the issues in this world that need attention. Illusion has no place in a world serious about addressing its problems.

Ura P Auckland
Conscious Commerce & Conscious Governance
Advocate & Advisor
www.authegrity.com
Related blog : 'Ure on life and soul'