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Archive for August, 2010

The Danger Model

Posted by revkharma on August 11, 2010

I was listening to the radio the other day, and caught part of an interview with a cancer specialist.  She was discussing a recent trend in cancer treatment theory and contrasting it with traditional methodology and treatment theories.

About as close as I can get to explaining it is like this.

Traditionally we look at the immune system as border guards or police, roaming looking for foreign intruders. Once found these intruders are attacked and destroyed.  The problem is with the cancer cells. Frequently they are NOT strangers, but merely healthy cells which are growing faster and more productively than those around them. They are not different.

So, a new idea has come along, something called the Danger Model. The idea here is to compare the actions more to a fire station. There the defenders are waiting, prepared to respond when a signal is received indication danger which will generate a response.

Immune cells respond to a toxin, or the contents of a ruptured killed cell and react, attacking and destroying the dangerous cells.

In the late 1800’s Dr William Coley used such a theory to treat cancer. An example of how this worked  can be found here:

On January 24, 1893, the first patient to receive Coley Vaccine[2] was John Ficken, a sixteen-year-old boy with a massive abdominal tumor. Every few days, Coley injected his vaccine directly into the tumor mass and produced the symptoms of an infectious disease, but did not produce the disease itself. On each injection, there was a dramatic rise in body temperature and chills. The tumour gradually diminished in size. By May 1893, after four months of intensive treatment, the tumour was a fifth its original size. By August, the remains of the growth were barely perceptible.

So, why the rambling medical history? It’s a long way around to make a salien political point.  Currently we have growth of government stimulated by a cadre of politicians who have seemed no different from any others who have come along in the past. They have built upon the foundations of the past, enlarging and expanding “Leviathan” to unprecedented scope and size.

They have moved swiftly, taking the controls of our systems and begun to direct the function and output toward their own goals.  Most of the nation has simply sat and watched, as there seemed no real danger from another bunch of politicians. The liberty which past generations have prized has been trimmed, and scaled back.  The rights and freedoms so cherished have been encroached upon, while the tumor of government growth has expanded, swelling and growing sleek and thick within the skin of the once proud and healthy nation.

Gradually some have in fact, perceived a signal and slowly started to react.  But only around the margins, and only slowly, tentatively have they begun to attempt to stop the tumor cells from expanding and taking over.

What we need is clear. Somehow, some way the body politic of this nation needs to get a fever. something must happen which will start the defenders moving, moving swiftly and with purpose.

The most common hope is that these people will make a step, take some action which finally stir enough people to react and expel the cancer cells.

The problem with waiting is that while we wait, the tumor grows enormous and sleek. It draws more and more of the resources from the healthy body until  not enough strength remains to fight it off. Then the cancer metastasizes essentially taking control of the entire body.

A look at tracking polls show that 46% of Americans strongly disapprove of the current president’s actions.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-six percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -22 (see trends).

This matches the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for this president.


The worst performance ever. Yet still he and his party continue, acting with impunity, brazenly continuing to plunder the treasury as citizens watch. While Leviathan is feeding from the very blood of the nation, the muscles and bones which support it are being weakened and rotted.  As any cancer grows, it steals the needed resources and nutrients which the healthy tissue needs. Masquerading as part of the body, it extends its reach, feeding on the  body it is destroying from within.

Most people simply continue, going about their daily business as if there is no problem. We act as if this is merely another phase, simply a small cough which will pass. Meanwhile the tumor, which began decades ago continues to swell and pulse, threatening our  existence.  We move along with our chores, oblivious, ignoring the cries of those who see the danger.

I am not supplying answers here, just observing. But clearly somehow, something must be done. Something has to happen to waken those capable of defending the nation from the growing cancer. If we fail to react, if we allow it to continue to thrive, the killing cells will spread, taking control of, and eventually completely destroying the nation.

We have to find a way to send a danger signal that can be clearly heard, and one which will engender a strong enough response to finally and completely destroy the disease which continues to strangle our lives as it feeds and grows unchecked.

Perhaps this economic strain will act as a sort of  “Coley’s toxin”, which will cause the necessary mobilization of defenders.  Perhaps the plunder of our resources and vast deficit spending will be the signal which brings out the immune response.  Something will.  It had better happen.  We really don’t have all that much time left.

Before it is too late, we need to act.

Keep the Faith!

The Rev.

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