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About hampsterkahn

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  1. hampsterkahn


    I agree Mr Micawber ( I spelt it wrong) and his modern version should be able to live within his means (and the Dickens character was obviously a feckless individual) but for whatever his reason he doesn’t or he can’t. Therein lies the problem -are we then to do as they did in Victorian times and divide the poor into two groups -The “Deserving Poor” who are deemed to merit assistance and the “ Un-deserving Poor” who don’t? The fact is we do have some poverty here. Even if we accept that there is always going to be “Relative Poverty”if we base it on an income below a percentage of the average income , there are also those who fall into the “Absolute Poverty “ group for short or longer periods who do not have even the basics of food and shelter. We do need food banks. Whether we need a “ director of food banks” is something I am less sure of.
  2. hampsterkahn


    No one apart from Wonga and similar would regard the interest rates charged as other than exploitation and extortion. However, it is also clear there must be a very strong demand for loans. Consider someone whose several monthly direct debits are due in say 5 days and it looks like there will be not enough in the bank to cover them before he gets paid in a weeks time Their caring, listening bank who have already refused overdrafts and loans will charge a very hefty fee for an unarranged overdraft,credit cards will impose an interest charge to add to last months fees for short falls and next month the process is similar but incremently worse. To offset the charges , our “Mr Macawber”takes out say a £50 loan for the five days to avoid the bank charges etc, and the loan shark charges him an awful lot of daily interest but if he can pay it back on payday he hopes it works out less than the spiralling charges coming in from the bank from being overdrawn. If he is without friends or relatives to help him, he is going to try and seek out a speedy pay day loan from somewhere and accept it on any almost any terms -what alternative has he?
  3. hampsterkahn

    Relay for life

    Everyone reading this thread will have had some experience of cancer. Either first hand, or they will have seen it and felt it its effects in someone very close to them. So, a plea: If you enter this very sensitive area , please tread with care .Give others the respect you would expect for yourself and for those in your thoughts when you think of this disease. Don’t be too ready to give your dogmatic views on what should or should not be done in the way of treating it - whether you are a Nobel laureate oncologist or have developed a strong belief in a particular remedy or have views on how you personally could direct research to solve it.Resist the tempation to denigrate and mock the views of other people , no matter how absurd and daft they may seem to you. For society, this disease in all its variants, is not unique but is vastly complex. For the individual , and those close to them, it is unique, complex , very special -and invariably frightening.
  4. hampsterkahn


    One of the best- written “letters to the editor” I have seen in years apears in the Examiner 21 August under the title “ No white wash for safeguarding “. It has been written by a Mr Tony Parr.It eloquently illustrates the the crude , clumsy ,callous and unlrofessional pre-trial reporting of the case against this innocent man and the shortcomings of MNH with regard to basic safeguarding. Well worth a read ( The letter, not the rest of the paper)
  5. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    There seems to have been some drift here we are now in to, or on to, head lice. Head lice are just a damned scratchy nuisance .They cause huge parental angst and can cause much humiliating and cruel social embarrassment. Which is odd as they are quite undiscriminating little creatures themselves - the class or financial background of the scalp on which they land is quite irrelevant to them. Fortunately, they are not known to transmit any disease. Body lice, however, they certainly can.They get infected themselves with Rickettsial bacteria and pass it on to humans- ie typhus; trench fever etc when and wherever human life gets grim ,overcrowded, hungry ,brutal and brief. Now, where were we?
  6. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    This is a concern.Amongst the at-risk are the teenagers who missed out on Immunisation as a consequence of that Andrew Wakefield furore in the 90’s. However, they are now of an age to make their own decisions. If their parents chose not to have them immunised now is the time, especially perhaps if they are about to go off to college ,for them to review their all of immunisations - or lack of. Decide for themselves.
  7. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    It is back to the problem of how we see risk ,how we assess it and how we guess probability in an uncertain world. An elderly relative of mine, an MC holder from WWI ,told me many years ago how despite being at the Somme and two other living horror campaigns he did not get as much as a scratch. Clearly if he had claimed that based soley this personal experience that bullets and High explosives were relatively harmless this would be immediately seen as irrational though this is exactly the same argument given by smokers and others as you have just illustrated.
  8. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    Indeed -quite astonishing and at the same time rather frightening
  9. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    Well , It’s clear there is an awful lot about this I don’t understand. - are anti vacc folk against ALL forms of immunisation on principle - the sort of strict “vegans” of vaccination or there certain ones that are OK - the toxoids ( Without Thiomersal, well of course) , rather than the live ones, the dead ones , or maybe just the attenuated ones? Are there those who are sort of slightly anti vac - sort of lapsed vacc. vegans : “Tetanus toxoid but no Diphtheria on that, please” or if they got a wound deemed highly Tetanus-prone or heaven forbid, Tetanus would they be OK with a shot of human anti tetanus globulin or would that be equally heretic? And please can somone explain ( I simply do not get this at all) -what on earth is “homeopathic” vaccination ?
  10. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    What an extraordinary assertion! Is it based on a some sort of survey ? Perhaps one sent out, not addressed to the usual “Dear sir or madam” but “Dear ‘top brass person’ or ‘in the Know Management person’ or ‘scientist ‘person” Incidentally, I wouldn’t “give tuppence” to Tony Blair’s views on vaccination (or any thing else come to think of it) but I understood he and his missus refused to say how their children were or weren’t vaccinated.
  11. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    Well ,that’s cleared that up then! Actually thank God, I thought we were off into the old mercury / formaldehyde thingy. Funny how we can be quite selective about “aldehydes” - minuscule amounts of formaldehyde = bad, bad.It is poisonous . Thousands today will will have have had a goodly dose of ethyl alcohol and as they sleep tonight their liver alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes will be converting it to an aldehyde - acetaldehyde, which is also very poisonous, if the next step in its metabolism to acetate and water is a bit backed up , its presence is felt by that throbbing headache, flushed feeling and dizziness , a gnawing gastritis and nausea.This “aldehyde” in quite massive regular amounts = OK (-well its “natural” isn’t it?) Mercury .. I really shouldn't suggest this ... but if anyone is interested .. look here - an article regarding Thiomersal in vaccines -ie “mercury”...Aargh! I suggest :“Thiomersal and Vaccines -a cautionary Tale” Paul Offit MD Sept27 th 2007 It is in the “Perspective” series New England Journal of Medicine Good night -and don’t let the acetaldehydes bite
  12. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    Part of the problem regarding attitudes to vaccination is that some diseases are now outside most peoples experience and certainly beyond our collective memory. One example ,still in living memory for some of us, is Polio. Up and till the mid. fifties, every summer time parents in Europe would be anxious that there might be an outbreak of of polio in their area and their children become one of the victims of a disease which could cause paralysis and death ,and for the survivors ,long term serious disability.There was no prevention apart from anxious mothers keeping their kids away from public swimming baths and other such things. We have forgotten the outbreaks in the forties and early fifties- the worst being the one in the Netherlands where scores of children had to be ventilated by hand- operated ventilators for weeks .There were not enough “ iron lungs” .What a nightmare. People knew only too well then what Polio did.So when Sabin and Salk ‘s vaccine research devolped an effective vaccine it was welcomed by parents as a modern miracle. Sadly,Polio still takes young lives in parts of the world where for various reasons- poverty ,political and other prejudices ,they cannot receive the vaccination.In recent times in Britain the few cases that have arisen (eg 2 cases in Stockport 1977 ) appear to have been in non-vaccinated children - and that is more than sad.
  13. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    Any decision that an individual makes, other than tossing a coin,is made by weighing up the benefits and risks. Issues such as this have one camp seeing benefit / no risk and the other camp talking only of risk/ no benefit. As they are in effect speaking two completely different languages,there can never be effective communication between them.The rest of us have to step back a little and weigh things up and leave them to squabble in the corner. It is about dealing with uncertainty.
  14. hampsterkahn

    The next MMR?

    An adult with “capacity” has the right to make their own decisions.It is irrelevant how others may view their decisions even if many would regard their choice as unsound or even downright foolish. This can include decisions regarding any vaccinations even deciding against having a tetanus toxoid injection. The situation is less straighforward for a parentTheir decision regarding any form of treatment ,including vaccination is now being taken by them on behalf of another individual. Given the age group when vaccination regimens are offered, this is when things begin to diificult for a parent to make a fully informed, responsible decision. Faced with a vociferous campaign against vaccination every few years ( eg whooping cough in the early seventies MMR in the nineties ) many will continue to have their children vaccinated ;some will choose not to have their child vaccinated - and some will choose not to make a decision at all but end up with their child not receiving any form of vaccination. On each of these ocassions an upsurge of illness in the vulnerable groups follows. It isn’t easy being a parent. Decisions about treatment - the right and authority to decide also comes with a very high degree of responsibility.
  15. hampsterkahn

    The Highways Looney at it again..

    Planners of our town centres, promenades and road schemes should be encouraged to produce good quality civil engineering rather than dabble in social engineering.