Article Overview:    Fifty years ago Dr. Jonas Salk launched a mass vaccination of one million kids from age 6-9 to prove the effectiveness of his life-saving polio vaccine.   Even though it worked, he was denied the Nobel Peace Prize and entrance into the National Academy of  Sciences.    He was shunned by his peers and suffered the Terrorism of Jealousy.    How is Dr. Salk linked to President George Bush?   How are we, Citizens of Vigilance, linked to Dr. Salk when we face tough decisions that may make us unpopular with our friends or peers?   How do we know when not to cripple ourselves with Terror.


Monday, February 23, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 894
Crippling The Disease Of Terrorism

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 23, 2004 -- One scanning the headlines of the world might come to believe that Terrorism will never be defeated.   No matter what is done, the bombing and killing continues in as many places as there are names, for the same senseless reasons.

History is our guidepost to prove we are battling Complacency and the Beast of Terror

           But, that would suggest Complacency.   Accepting that belief, we would all give up and let the tanks roll over us.
             That's why history is our guidepost, our Sentinel of Vigilance, when we get blinded by today's oppressive Terror news.
              Take this date, February 23, 1954.    To many, it's just a date in time, with no particular meaning unless you were born or married on that date, or happen to be attached to through some historical affiliation.
              For people who wonder if Terrorism can ever be defeated, it is one of many important dates to remember.    It was the date that Dr. Jonas Salk announced the cure for polio.

Dr. Jonas Salk fought Infantile Paralysis and his critics

             Fifty years ago, infantile paralysis was considered a plague.    The disease crippled the young, casting them in wheelchairs or forcing them to wear braces and walk with crutches.   In 1952, during one of worst peaks of the disease, it afflicted 57,628 of the most innocent victims--the children.
               In 1954, Dr. Salk and his team conducted a national field study and inoculated more than a million children ages six to nine.   Half received the polio vaccine, half a placebo.
                A year later, the evidence clearly showed the impact of the vaccine.   Over the next few years polio declined to less than a dozen cases a year as vaccinations against it protected the children.   In 1969, not a single death was reported from polio, the first time in history.
                 When we think of heroes, Sentinels of Vigilance who deserve to be saluted for their battles against great odds, we need to look at guys like Jonas Salk.   His battle with Terrorism began after he won public acclaim for being the first to "find a cure" for polio.
                 Historically, there were a lot of others working on the problem.   Dr. Salk was in a hurry to find a cure.  He took all the data available and accelerated solutions, including injecting his children with the vaccine during the testing period to see how "safe" it was.
                He developed a way of delivering the vaccine that was different from the norm others were working on.  Instead of using "live" viruses, he used "dead" ones.  As a result, he was able to be the "first" to battle the Polio Beast.   While his vaccine may not have been the best, it worked.  Millions of children were spared the disease while other researchers completed their works to refine and make more efficient the vaccine.   

Jealousy among Salk's rivals denied him the Nobel Prize and entrance to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States

      Jealousy among Salk's rivals ensued as Salk's fame grew.   The scientists who had worked their entire lives on coming up with a solution turned their backs of Dr. Salk.   He was refused entrance to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, and denied the Nobel Prize.
         In 1970 he married the French painter and former mistress of Picasso, Françoise Gilot.   He did garner many accolades, including the Albert Lasker Award, the Robert Koch Medal, the Mellon Institute Award and a Congressional Gold Medal.
            It may not seem to many that Dr. Salk was the victim of Terrorism.   That may be true unless you consider being shunned by your peers a form of Terrorism.   What if when you walked into a room of peers, they all turned their backs on you and pretended you didn't exist?
             What if they barred you from their exclusive club as punishment for your achievements?
              What if they lobbied against you to the Nobel Prize Committee, insuring you were erased from the "short list?"

Scientists are a funny group

            Scientists are a funny group.   They aren't in the business for money, but, if fame is a factor, that certainly is a driving force.    In science, fame is usually reserved for those who get results.   Theory is one thing, but application is another.
              Dr. Salk kicked sand in the face of the Beast of Terror by rushing to the market to help young children fight off the Beast of Polio Terror.     The "live" virus the scientific community believed was better didn't get approved until 1961.   Many who were vaccinated between 1955 and 1961 by Salk's "dead" virus thank him for being there first.
              In a way, the battle with Terrorism in Iraq and the world is similar to the Dr. Salk legacy.
          In March, when America attacked Saddam Hussein, the internal Congressional and Senate support was overwhelming.    Everyone was behind the elimination of "evil."  
              Now, the "group" has turned their backs.   The "team" working to solve the problem has divided and split.   The goal of removing "Terrorism" has shifted to "who gets the most glory for the act?" and, "if I can't get the glory then I'll smear you're glory with muck."
              Sometimes an act of Courage, Conviction and Right Action results in bitter backbiting by those who are jealous of the spotlight given to the actor.
              In the crossfire, we forget the real goal.    In Dr. Salk's case, it was to free the children from the threats of the Beast of Polio Terror.    At 25,000 cases per year, his vaccine stopped a potential of 125,000 cases before the second vaccine was approved in 1961.

Freedom has inoculated the citizens of Iraq from tyranny

                 In Iraq, 25 million citizens were released by the rule of a tyrannical leader.  Half of those citizens are under the age of 15.    And while there are current acts of Terrorism going on in Iraq, they are not the edicts of a single hand of oppression that smothers the freedom of citizens.
              Freedom has inoculated the citizens of Iraq from tyranny.    They will have the right to fight for it when America leaves.   But, if one listens to the news, and cocks an ear toward the political rhetoric, the acts of President Bush have been in violation of a cure for tyranny.
               Those same accusations were hurled at Jonas Salk by his critics five decades ago.   What good he achieved was clouded by those within his "political" circle because they "wanted" the glory and resented Dr. Salk for getting it.
                I think inoculating the world with Freedom in the face of the Polio of Terrorism is a brave and courageous act, one that invites cheap criticism.                

Ralph Nader entered the 2004 presidential campaign race to challenge what he called the "two-party duopoly."

               Take Ralph Nader.   He entered the Presidential race a few days ago to a barrage of critics who call him an opportunist, just as they called Dr. Salk.   Democrats are concerned Nader will siphon off critical votes that could turn a tight election one way or another.    In the last campaign, Nader's 11,000 votes in Florida were deemed as the reason Al Gore lost by 537.
                  The point is, that sometimes we face Terrorism for the acts we do after we have done them.    Standing up for one's principles, or the principles of others may be the easy part.  Suffering the backlash of that stance may be the real challenge.
                  I wonder if we all were to think through our lives and examine the decisions we have not made because we were concerned about "what others thought" how regretful we might be that we didn't act.
                   "It's not my business," is no answer.
                   If Jonas Salk had surrendered to the science community's pressure to wait for the "live virus" a tenth of a million young children may have been crippled for life.  

President Bush acted to fight the Beast of Terror

                If President Bush waited for the U.N. to sanction U.S. intervention, we might all be still sitting on the edge of war, watching all the Terrorists beat their chests and rattle their swords knowing we were as gutless as the committees we asked for permission.
                   And, who's to say that Ralph Nader may in some way help the undecided decide who should lead our nation.    Maybe the best person for the job isn't the one that gets the most votes, but the one the voters voted for decided there was someone even better.


                    Sentinels of Vigilance take different forms.  Some of them are bruised and marred by history's rocks slung at them.    If we look past the critics, we usually see the truth.    It's honoring that truth that's hard, because it forces us to decide how willing we are to stand up for what is right.
                   If we are vaccinated with the Principles of Vigilance, we know that the overriding reason to act, regardless of the consequences, is that what we are doing is the right thing for the Children's Children's Children.   When we are sure that is our real purpose, we can never be wrong, no matter who claims we are.

Feb 22--Bob's Battle With The Beast Of Lung Terror

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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