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Audience feedback for "Solomon Squad": Vaccinations

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Plenty of Weekend America listeners responded to our piece entitled Solomon Squad: Vaccination. Read some of the audience feedback below; join the discussion.

Lori Westin - Sisters, OR

I think the doctor is quite right to refuse to be the primary pediatrician for a child whose parents disagree with his medical beliefs. The vaccination issue is just a barometer for other medical choices that may lead to other big disagreements. There are lots of doctors--find one who is a good fit, and respect a doctor who
tells you he's not that "good fit."

Lynn Nowood - Redmond, WA

Very interesting show. My family and I were just having a discussion on the issue of vaccines after watching the PBS series Rx for Survival. The men and women who brave disease infested villages in order to eradicate disease are true heroes.

Recently my daughter came home with a warning notice that one of the students at her school had contracted pertussis. My daughter’s high school is filled with kids wearing $300 designer jeans and driving performance cars. I am a retired registered nurse, have traveled to many third world countries, and am baffled by the cavalier attitudes toward vaccines by some in this country—especially at a time when we are on the verge of pandemic viruses and drug-resistant bacteria.
That these wealthy children are left vulnerable and are in fact a danger to others in the society, resurrecting diseases that should be obsolete, is indicative of how complacent we have become.

One issue your panel failed to raise was the safety of the patients in the pediatrician’s offices. New born infants who are not yet vaccinated could be exposed to diseases from the sick children of those who refuse vaccination. Though I don’t like the idea of refusing anyone healthcare, I equally have no tolerance for those who have no responsibility for the communal welfare.

Martin Bunzl - La Jolla, CA

Not to sound like sour grapes, but it would be nice to have a philosopher involved - the discussion of the vaccination problem conflated 2 different issues - what are the MD's obligations to his patient and what are his public health obligations. Here, because of what is known as the free rider problem, they pull in two different directions. As long as everyone else assumes the risk of vaccination, his patient can opt out. Such problems are hard to deal with at the individual level ... that is why we have requirements of evidence of vaccination as a requirement for school registration. I would have advised the MD to treat the patient but work to set in place a public health requirement in his community.

Bets Adair - Kirkland, WA

I wish they would have addressed more the schedule of immunizations. I believe children need to be immunized but not as early as the AMA has decided. My friend's nephew wound up in the hospital every time he received an immunization. At one point he was on the heart transplant list because of the severe reaction his body was having from the immunizations...and amazingly the medical community refused to look at the fact that the boy would be healthy until receiving the immunization shots. That would be a conversation to have. Thanks

Mirine Dye - Islamorada, FL

I truly enjoyed the piece on families who make the educated choice to not vaccinate only to be left without medical care.

A related topic is this: In many states (not all) Midwives and homebirth are a legal choice for low-risk healthy women who wish to birth at home under the supervision and care of a licensed Midwife. I am in FLorida, and we have a wonderful framework in the law on just who is eligible and how the patient must be cared for.
However, many hospitals refuse to work with the midwife in the event a transfer is needed for an unexpected problem during the pregnancy or birth. Many OB's
refuse to assist the midwife and care for her client. The latest study in the British Medical Journal shows that midwifery in the US is AS safe if not safer
than hospital birth ( see the homebirth study of CPM's of North America, BMJ.)

I believe it is unethical to have a lawful choice and alternative to high cost hospitals only for women to be punished in the event that they DO need the extra
care. I would like to know the Solomon Squad's position!

Martin Fairer - Milwaukee, WI

I think the two commentators were wrong. If he refuses someone treatment, what's the difference if he treats a child or if someone down the hall treats the child? It's not like there is a shortage of doctors here. The choice of the Doctor is equally as important as the choice of the Parent to have their child vaccinated.

Posted by Josh Berman on November 12, 2005

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Listener Feedback for the November 5, 2005 broadcast

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After hearing our report on Washington ballot initiative 901, Donald Galt from Seattle, Washington, decided to change his vote:

You have succeeded in changing my vote on Washington initiative 901. I was all set to vote no because the 25-foot requirement was egregiously burdensome. Listening to Seattle Weekly's Philip Dawdy on today's show, however, pointed up once again that smokers just don't get it. Ask anybody who has had to share a bus shelter with a puffer.
Did the program move you, also? Tell us about it.

Posted by Josh Berman on November 5, 2005

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Listener Feedback for the October 29, 2005 broadcast

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In response to our Oct. 29 interview with Houston psychologist and Media Watch chair Harriet Schultz, Michael Smith from Westerly, RI, writes:

I enjoyed Weekend America's discussion about the American Psychological Association's response to the way therapists are portrayed in films. I was disappointed, however, that your guest never mentioned my favorite on screen therapist - Bruce Willis's character from "The Sixth Sense". Personally, I think he's an interesting variation on the "wounded healer". Here's a therapist who was so distraught about not being able to save one of his clients, he actually came back from the dead to save another.

Timothy Drouhardte from Durham, NC, writes:

Harriet Schultz, from the APA did make one point on your show this past weekend, but perhaps not the one she'd hoped for. While she shows great concern for how psychiatrists are often portrayed in movies as evil, too friendly, or recovering from personal struggle, she fails to see the bigger picture: this is how garbage men, teachers, presidents, and air force pilots are portrayed in movies, too... along with everyone else. They're movies, for goodness' sake, and the APA needs to dedicate its time to better thinking. Harriet's only serving to reinforce the more dangerous stereotype that shrinks always see things where there's nothing to see.

In response to Peter Grove's reading of "The Frog", Timothy Riggs from Durham, NC, had this to say:

"The Frog" was a great scary story as Peter Grove told it. It was also a great scary story as Ray Bradbury wrote it. It's several decades since I read the story, so I'm not prepared to say which version is better, but I think Bradbury should have got some credit.

I don't remember Bradbury's title for the story. I don't think it was "The Frog" -- it might have been "The Pond" -- and I don't remember the collection it appeared in. But I do remember that in Bradbury's version the old man doesn't play with the stuffed frogs -- he sets them up in tableaux.

Do you have something to add? Post your commments below...

Posted by Josh Berman on October 29, 2005

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Pat Wyman, Reading, and Visualization

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In response to our Oct. 22 interview with Pat Wyman, Andy Perry from West Hollywood, California writes:

I had a very strong reaction to Pat Wyman's accounts of the best way to teach children--all children--to read, and of the way in which good readers--all good readers--process information. I have no doubt that Ms. Wyman's description is true for some good readers and that her technique works for some kids, but I think it is important to remember that, even among very young children, there is no such thing as a universally effective teaching strategy, because different people learn in different ways.

The strength of my reaction, though, has to do with the fact that the
description of reading I heard has no relationship to my experience. I flatter myself that I am a fairly good reader. (I was a PhD candidate in English literature at an Ivy League university.) And I emphatically do not visualize what I read. My relationship to language has more to do with the material of the language--its sound and rhythms (what Ms. Wyman referred to as those lines and squiggles on the page). Unsurprisingly, I like modernist writers such as
Faulkner and Woolf. I suspect that Wyman's technique works better for children who will grow up to be into realist authors.

At any rate, while I have no expertise whatsoever in early education or reading instruction, I would like to offer what seems to me instinctively to be a good alternative approach to teaching reading if visualization doesn't happen to work for your particular child. Read your kids poetry or even song lyrics, and get them to think about the meter and the rhymes. Play a game with them in which
you read the first line and a half of a rhyming couplet (say, from Dr. Seuss) and see if they can guess how it will end. Don't make them feel that if they can't visualize a scene based on language, that fact in and of itself makes them
bad readers.

Posted by Josh Berman on October 25, 2005

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How will Hurricane Katrina change America?

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The aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina will be felt long after clean up efforts are over. Exactly how the hurricane will change America is yet to be seen. Weekend America put the question of Katrina's impact to a cross section of Americans to see what changes, if any, will spring from the disaster.

We want to hear from you: In what ways will Katrina change America? Post your thoughts below.

Posted by Josh Berman on September 16, 2005

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Is Sorry Ever Enough

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Hi, Bill Radke here. The story I connect with the most on this week's show is "Is Sorry Ever Enough." Three civil rights workers came to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1964 to investigate the burning of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. The three men were murdered, and this week Edgar Ray Killen was sentenced to 60 years in prison for their deaths. On our show, Mt. Zion's current pastor, Rev. William Young, talked about whether and how he can forgive Killen, and whether the trial was a kind of apology from the State of Mississippi. I was drawn to Rev. Young and his story because we hear so much in this country about being sorry, who's sorry, how sorry, and are they sorry enough? Young told me that whether Killen is sorry or not has nothing to do with forgiving him -- how many of us can say that? Imagine someone you can't stand. (A politician, perhaps?) Can you forgive that person? Do you want to? Now imagine trying to forgive a murderer who's touched your life. I'd like to hear your story. Have you struggled to apologize? Struggled to forgive? What did you learn? Maybe your story can inspire others. Please write to me at mail@weekendamerica.org, or post thoughts below.

Thanks - have a great weekend.

Posted by Bill Radke on June 25, 2005

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Constitution Survey Feedback

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It's only Saturday afternoon and we've received some great feedback on our Constitution survey. During the second hour of the broadcast, we asked our audience, "If the U.S. Constitution had to be ratified today, would you sign on, and if you could amend the Constitution, what would you change?"

Here are some of your comments:

Continue reading "Constitution Survey Feedback"

Posted by Josh Berman on June 4, 2005

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Program Feedback and Web content for May 14, 2005

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View pictures of the elaborate makeup and costumes of Chinese Opera.

Take a walk through television and movie history with photos of the George Barris automobile collection.

Read what's on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Revisit today's jazz picks with Down Beat editor Jason Koransky: saxophonist Joshua Redman, vocalist Luciana Souza and the jazz/rock fusion of Kneebody.

Send / post your thoughts?

We're looking for stories about becoming independent. Have you sought independence from anything or anyone? Tell us your story...

And, if you'd like to share you comments about our story on televised car chases, or anything you heard on today's program, post them here on our staff blog.

Posted by Josh Berman on May 14, 2005

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My fan memory by Heidi Pickman, Producer of Weekend America

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When I was ten, I was a big fan of 'Welcome Back Kotter' and a voracious reader of 'Tiger Beat.' Marrying the two together led to endless hours of self-contained entertainment. I would cut out those black-and-white-one-inch-by-one-inch-newspaper-print photos of Vinnie, Epstein, Boom Boom & Horshack.

Continue reading "My fan memory by Heidi Pickman, Producer of Weekend America"

Posted by Heidi Pickman on April 16, 2005

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