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Personal Choice

November 1, 2009 @ 11:13

I paid a visit to Toronto Mike yesterday and I amazed to read what my good buddy had written on Thursday about H1N1.

Basically, Mike things anyone who doesn't get the shot is selfish and is not being a responsible member of society or responsible parent if they have kids.

What a pile of crap.

I'm not getting the H1N1 because I don't bloody well feel like it. My wife isn't and my grown kids aren't either. We don't want to and we have as much right to this decision as Mike Boon has to his.

What this shouldn't become is a pissing match because believe me, I could write a couple of chapters on how ridiculous I think it is that people who generally seem to be stable, get caught up in the over-blown hysteria of something like this and become freaking imbeciles.

Can you say Global warming?

Let's address a few things. Mike claims that all the doctors he's spoken with recommend that everyone get the H1N1 shot. Yea, so what, big deal - what else are they going to say. It's nothing more than ass covering at this point.

Very few doctors are going to take the chance of not recommending the shot and then having a patient contract the virus, even if they don't believe in it.

Secondly, Mike doesn't seem to think there's much to the theory that this could be part of a pharmaceutical industry conspiracy. Are you kidding me?

A good measure of the entire medical industry is built on pharmaceutical industry payoffs and back scratching. Excuse me for entertaining the thought that millions of vaccinations on a rush order might be making a few people rich along the way, both above board and below.

How about e-heath Mike?

And how about this? Those who think that they should decide for me whether or not I get the shot don't seem to think the long term affects of the shot is anything to worry about - easy for you to say while you're lining up with the rest of the sheep feeling all proud of yourself.

But how about this, ten years ago while I was battling severe back pain I was prescribed Viox by more than one doctor, including one who I trusted immensely. At the time, based on all he knew, Viox was a safe and effective drug. Six years later it was quickly removed from the market because of severe long term side affects.

How about that Mike? Do you think that's a myth? Do you really think I want to line up with a bunch of hypochondriacs or bubble wrapping parents to be injected with something that might actually cause problems down the road - and do it while I'm not sick?

I've been offered the regular flu shot every year for the past decade but I've never accepted, and you know how many times I've had the flu? Maybe twice, for 24 hours. I can live with that if it means not being "cranked" with something I'm not comfortable with.

That's my experience Mike, and that's how I've arrived at my decision.

And of course I have to address this - the young Mississauga hockey player who died last week. I feel horrible about that and I can't for a moment imagine losing one of my kids, especially to something like a flu virus.

But again, we have to keep our heads through this. The death of Evan Frustaglio provided everyone with an example of what "could" happen and probably made a lot of passive people sit up and take notice.

But it still comes back to the same thing. You deal with what's in front of you, you make an assessment and then you make a personal decision, a decision that involves being injected with something that still has an unfinished story.

It's a personal decision and certainly not something that should be criticized or lead to insults from people who are willing to buy into every flavour of the month.

If you want to throw the word selfish around, how about those bastards who showed up even though they knew they weren't eligible. And I wonder how many healthy people have actually contracted something while standing in one of those pathetic lineups.

If you're that worried about the virus put your house in lock-down or wear a flippin' mask when you leave the house.

Get your goddamn flu shot Mike, but leave me out of it.

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196 Responses to "Personal Choice"


Alan Gee
November 1, 2009 / 13:59

I'm totally with you on this one Fred. The whole H1N1 has been blown out of proportion to the point of creating unnecessary panic and hysteria. There is a great article in this month's Scientific American which states that this is the weakest H1N1 strain, as well as pointing out that many of us already carry anti-bodies for H1N1.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=pandemic-payoff

Personally as one who grew up as the son of a pharmacist, and have read a good chunk of the Merck Manual, I have a pretty good undrstanding of how dangerous presciprion drugs etc. can be. The last time I took an antibiotic was 21 years ago for a bronchial infection, which I used to get every year, and had a very severe allergic reaction which screwed up my immune system for a good six months. A year later when I got another bronchial infection I let my body take care of itself, and guess what? The bronchial infection went away after about a week. In the last 21 years I haven't had another bronchial infection. Gee how did that happen? Ya think maybe our bodies can actually learn to heal themselves? Don't tell that to the drug companies.

Granted I do try to eat well, get enough sleep and generally try to take care of myself. Best, cheapest and safest "drug" I know of.


Hector
November 1, 2009 / 14:03

Well said Fred! I couldn't believe Mike's stance on this issue.


Argie
November 1, 2009 / 15:38

I totally agree Freddie. Mike , I'm afraid has a case of Torontoitis. This sickness is diagnosed as any person who follows, like a blind sheep, whatever the Toronto media preaches. Whether its global warming, the supposed global recession (Obama said last year it was going to be as bad as the great depression), the whole lights out crap earlier this year and now this - the fearful pandemic.

If i'm wrong about this overblown disease, I'll be the first to admit it but I don't see many people getting sick and certainly not dying from it.


Mike from Lowville
November 1, 2009 / 18:58

Holy Fuck Fred, at least take a pill! At least you have at least 2 of the finest posters on your side......HA!


Frank the Tank
November 1, 2009 / 19:15

Awww Argie thanks for putting your useless two cents in. I love when a person says well I don't know many people that this happened to or I don't know anyone who caught that or I don't know many people who lost their job due to this. So because in your microcosm of a world (and not knowing much of anything) you believe that because it hasn't occured to many people.. Well then I guess there isn't a problem then. Argie says so. None of the four posts here including the actual blog address the fact that the flu season has hit way too early this year. Nor have they addressed the fact that the number of cases/deaths as a result is on it's way to dwarfing any regular flu season.

The people that have posted here are most likely the same people who go to work sick saying it's nothing to be the tough guy and get half the workplace sick as a result.


Bopper
November 1, 2009 / 19:36

People getting the shots don't have jobs..ie seniors and women with kids...so I have to thanks them for their consideration to all as I won't run into them at work. And if some fuck comes near me at work and says I think I got it they'll get 5 in the f-n head.


Wayner
November 1, 2009 / 20:15

Not sure where the anger is coming from. Yes, it is a matter of choice and always will be. My family of 4 has 3 high risk members...my choice is to take the needle.


Ed
November 1, 2009 / 20:51

You have a greater likelihood of dying in a car accident on your way to the flu clinic than from the H1N1 flu.

More irresponsible journalism creating a panic. I despise the media.

Many people will get sick, a few will die but that's not much different than any other year.

Remember the West Nile virus scare a few years back, most of us have been exposed by now and I haven't heard of any people dropping dead from that this summer.

As for the advice to stay home if you have the flu it's OK for some who get paid sick time but for others it's not an option, maybe they should be put on a priority list too so the entire workforce doesn't get sick.


Ivar Hamilton
November 1, 2009 / 21:42

I just watched 60 minutes.
I'm getting the flu shot.


buffaloboymike
November 1, 2009 / 22:20

Freddie, I got my first ever flu shot a few weeks back not because I wanted to but because New York State made all healthcare providers get it. I hated it. I havent had the flu in years. I take care of myself and take vitamins, eat reasonably well...MY immune system should be able to fight off the flu and honestly I think the whole thing is overblown, anyone remember SARS?


Argie
November 1, 2009 / 22:30

Frank: You're really not worth a response but - what the hell, there's nothing on TV so here I go....

This is a blog, where one gives their opinion and the reason for said opinion. I have the opinion that this whole swine flu is way overblown. I could be wrong (have been before, believe it or not) but as of today, that's what I know and what I believe.

If you're buying the hype, go ahead and wait for hours, in the cold rain, in line with a bunch of people, many of whom are sick. Or if you're not in the high risk category, sit at home, afraid to go out watching Leslie Roberts (your fave) give us the evening scare news.

Its your choice, I couldn't care less what you do. Seriously.


Rick C in Oakville
November 1, 2009 / 22:43

This has been a debacle from the beginning, the government couldn't run a 1 man parade without screwing it up. I personally will not get it, haven't suffered from any flus in years, eat right, alot of veggies etc. and stay healthy. I am not in any of the high risk categories, if I was then I may consider it.

The cynic in me sometimes believes that the government officials have to justify their yearly Chicken Little syndromes on flus, if they hit the pandemic jackpot like they have predicted for years, then they can tell you I told you so and you should be thankful we made all these preparations!!. Flu unfortunately happens, it's a different strain each year, and the one they pick is a crap shoot to innoculate you with anyways.

Wonder how much Glaxo (and their lobbyists) has made by convincing the government to purchase 50 million doses?


Pauly Walnuts
November 1, 2009 / 23:31

H1N1... I just had it... Came down with it on Wednesday... My son on Thursday and my wife on Friday. One thing I can say to everyone here including Freddie and Mike is this. None of you have the all the facts.

The swine flu can kill you as can all the other flus that go around. If it gets into your lungs past your broncii where the flu usually gets you, your lungs get inflamed and they fill up with water and you essentially drown on your own fluids.

The big fuss about the swine flu is that it is particularly virulent and spreads quick. You get enough people with it into your lungs and healthcare system which currently is half-ass at best will not have enough ventilation machines to treat all those that need them.

The government is not paying off drug companies like you think Freddie, it's more self serving. They are covering their asses so that they don't get left holding the bag that the system can't manage such a situation and hundreds if not thousands of people end up dying due to lack of the necessary treatments. The more people that take the flu shot, the less that potentially end up in the hospital. This is why they want you to take the flu shot every year, and why they want you to take the H1N1 this year.

If anybody cares, we're all good. We got some Tamiflu just to help prevent the spread to my daughter and so far she doesn't have it. Otherwise our doctor was going to let us ride it out on Tylenol. Our lungs were clean.

And as for Evan Frustaglio, the poor kid and asthma which complicated his situation.


Pauly Walnuts
November 1, 2009 / 23:32

H1N1... I just had it... Came down with it on Wednesday... My son on Thursday and my wife on Friday. One thing I can say to everyone here including Freddie and Mike is this. None of you have the all the facts.

The swine flu can kill you as can all the other flus that go around. If it gets into your lungs past your broncii where the flu usually gets you, your lungs get inflamed and they fill up with water and you essentially drown on your own fluids.

The big fuss about the swine flu is that it is particularly virulent and spreads quick. You get enough people with it into your lungs and healthcare system which currently is half-a$$ at best will not have enough ventilation machines to treat all those that need them.

The government is not paying off drug companies like you think Freddie, it's more self serving. They are covering their butts so that they don't get left holding the bag that the system can't manage such a situation and hundreds if not thousands of people end up dying due to lack of the necessary treatments. The more people that take the flu shot, the less that potentially end up in the hospital. This is why they want you to take the flu shot every year, and why they want you to take the H1N1 this year.

If anybody cares, we're all good. We got some Tamiflu just to help prevent the spread to my daughter and so far she doesn't have it. Otherwise our doctor was going to let us ride it out on Tylenol. Our lungs were clean.

And as for Evan Frustaglio, the poor kid and asthma which complicated his situation.


Pauly Walnuts
November 1, 2009 / 23:33

Correction: Evan Frustaglie had asthma not "and asthma"


Ray
November 2, 2009 / 10:03

"I never got the flu, so I don't need the shot."

I've never died in a car accident, so I don't need to wear my seatbelt.


Romy
November 2, 2009 / 10:06

And I quote...

"Whether its global warming, the supposed global recession ..."

Great satire. You surely aren't serious.


Gene
November 2, 2009 / 10:07

Brilliant Ray... a seatbelt doesn't have a point that you stick into your veins with no idea of long term affects.

And taking a flu shot isn't the law.


Ray
November 2, 2009 / 10:17

Wow Gene, you totally missed the point.

Wah, wah.


Ray
November 2, 2009 / 10:24

Hey, are these discussion entries being edited? Was the previously posted, less than nice part of Gene's comment removed? Is Fred only keeping the parts he likes?


Jason C
November 2, 2009 / 11:21

Great rant Freddie! Mike, please respond, this makes for fantastic toilet reading!!!


JAMES
November 2, 2009 / 11:28

I'm with you Fred on this one. It hasn't been tested properly, and people smarter then me say it's dangerous. This whole H1N1 deal has been messed up from the get go. A doctor said last week for the vaccine to be effective it should have been given weeks ago. The press has blown this out of proportion. They announce with a gleam in their eyes every time another case has been found. They opened a clinic across from my house in a closed school. At 6:30 on Saturday morning people started arriving for a 10:00 opening. They were loud and stupid. Way to go Toronto, lets whip people into a frenzy.


Jon from (near) Buffalo
November 2, 2009 / 12:06

A few points:
1) Yes, the Swine Flu has been blown out of proportion, but...
2) The vaccine is made and tested the same way the regular flu vaccine is and it is also safe. (The media uses scare tactics for ratings)
3) Freddie (or anyone else) has a perfect right not to get it. In fact, the more people who DON'T get it, the more is available to those of us who want it.
4) Just be glad the shots are available to you....here in NY, they are sitting on government shelves while the officials decide who will be allowed to get it....(which apparently does not include my highly-at-risk child or my highly-at-risk wife.)
5) The regular flu shots are in a severe shortage, too, because they stopped making it to make the Swine Flu shots....thanks U.S. Government!!!!


Pam
November 2, 2009 / 12:23

Fred, I respect your comments. But, I'm naturally cautious, and I will be getting the shot.


James Edgar
November 2, 2009 / 13:50

Fred I like your post but will be getting a shot. I hope. (4 hour line ups?) I'm diabetic so I'm in an at risk group. I get a shot every year and have for years. No side affects yet. I even got a pnumonia shot once.
I don't like it and I think there's a possibility of a conspiracy. But I'm playing the numbers game. I KNOW that H1N1 can kill me I'm not sure about the shot.

I usually side with Mike but this time he's off base.


Robbie J
November 2, 2009 / 15:11

I look at it this way.
Back in '05 my wife did a 3 month stint in Ethiopia travelling to remote villages and administering Polio vacination. During that time she would see women walking for miles and miles with thier children to reach one of the clinics and get a vaccine for thier children.

Over here we have the luxury of getting a vaccine if we choose too or not. Over there, it was rare for even the simplist vaccine to be acquired.

Getting the shot is a personal choice and we are fortuante to have that choice. It's not a consipracy between the drug companies. It's public health doing their job.

If you don't get the shot that's fine, but should you get this particular flu word is it will kick your ass for 3 weeks. Not to mention the family and friends who are put at risk.

Loving you!
Rob


Argie
November 2, 2009 / 15:44

Pauley,

Good to hear you’re Ok now. I need people like you who occasionally agree with me : )

What were your symptoms like? Were they much like the regular flu?


Sam
November 2, 2009 / 19:01

I don't usually buy into articles that are written strongly in favour or against something, but I couldn't help feeling that the article in The Star the other day about this vaccine and how it hadn't even had a clinical trial yet was what I needed to hear to solidify my stance that I'm not getting this vaccine. No clinical trial? No tests on kids yet? They used trial results from a "similar" vaccine?


Trish
November 2, 2009 / 19:41

I'm concerned about the high state of anxiety created by a) the hype around H1N1 over the last several months and b) the shortage of vaccine just as the medical community has managed to scare the hell out of us.

That the vaccine is untested is a bit scary.

But Fred, is it any scarier than a little boy dying of H1N1?

Until someone can prove to me that it's not safe, I will reluctantly stand in line.


Oliver
November 2, 2009 / 21:31

I got the flu shot one year, and got the flu later on that year. Coicidence or not....? I dunno.

I'm just sayin'.


buffaloboymike
November 2, 2009 / 23:30

Oliver, the regular flu shot is basically an educated guess as to the strain that will go around that given year, the Swine flu is different they have the vaccine for it. That said, I do not agree with being forced to get it and I think that what is over blown is the lethality of H1N1, the death rate of the regular flu is much higher than that of swine, the media just reports more on swine. We have become a bunch of germophobes.. The best things any of us can do is A) Eat healthy B) exercise
The flu attacks weak immune systems those that die from the flu don't die from the flu they die from the opportunistic infections that come on after the flu weakens you...Pneumonia is a common co-morbidity with the flu. Keep yourself healthy and your body will fight off more germs and viruses than you think and really, even if you do get the flu there is no better protection than your body getting it, fighting it off and building up its own antibodies to that strain.


Paul Walnuts
November 3, 2009 / 09:38

Oliver, there are more than 1 strain of flu virus at any time, and the seasonal flu is a vaccine for the one predicited to be the most common circulating one. Just because you get the vaccine does not mean you're immune from all flu viruses. In addition flu viruses change over time as they go from person to person that's why every year you there is a new shot.

Argie, it was exactly like the flu. My doctor only assumed it was the H1N1 because apparently "that is the only one going around". My symptoms were fever (38C), runny nose (like a tap), body aches, weakness in the legs, caughing and irritation (uncomfortable) in the upper part of my chest/lower part of my throat. I also apparently looked like sh!t. :) I regret to inform you though, that I'm going to be around for a while longer :).

As I said before people die of the seasonal flu and of H1N1. There is a lot of hype about the H1N1 that's all, and if it gets into your lungs you're in serious trouble.

People on this blog and all over are in a tizzy because they simply don't understand. I prefer the vaccine because I don't trust my life in the hands of our current health care system. If taking the shot potentially keeps me out of the hospital, then so be it. At least I'm not one of those paranoid people afraid to shake another person's hand.

Now that the shot is available and someone wants to play a hero and not get the shot or put their children at risk, and God forbid something happens, they have to live their life regretting that they could have saved a life instead of listening to urban myths. I'd get the shot and move on with my life. It's is like Ray said above, I've never been in a serious car accident, but I still wear my seatbelt.


Argie
November 3, 2009 / 10:40

Pauly,

I’m no doctor; I just play one on this blog. I believe there are good arguments on both sides of this debate and while I don’t think there’s an evil conspiracy by the pharma industry, God knows they have effed up before.

I have heard doctors are being to told my health Cda that if a patient exhibits flu like symptoms (like yours); they are to diagnose it as ‘swine flu’. Some are doing it reluctantly, because in many cases the patient only has the regular flu. That is likely what happened in your case. In all likelihood there won’t be any severe side effects, but lets hope these anti-vaccine conspiracy types aren’t right in the end.

For me, I’ll see how wide spread this thing gets and in the meantime, continue to wash my hands frequently, drink OJ and make sure I’m getting lots of sleep each night.


Doug
November 3, 2009 / 11:23

By writing this blog entry Fred, are you not part of the media that is overblowing this issue? Perhaps a one on one exchange with your Toronto Mike may have been more appropriate rather than fueling the fire.


Paul Walnuts
November 3, 2009 / 12:08

Argie, so you still play doctor eh? :)

Anyways my intention is not to dictate to people to take the shot. I agree with Fred in that it is your choice. My issue is that people are making irrational decisions based on consipracy theories and bogus information and uncessarily putting vulnerable people (such as children) at risk. I don't trust big corporations either but I have more faith in them than I do in the government managing an outbreak.


Ray
November 3, 2009 / 12:46

If this H1N1 'outbreak' is not a potential threat to the population, and should not require a mass (and hurried) imunization to prevent a deadly pandemic of 1918 proportions, and is just a media/corporate/government 'hoax', then would one of the enlightened few please describe for misguided me who did have my kids vaccinated what a real threat would look like. For me to be able to tell the difference in the future between a real danger and this h1n1 false hysteria, please describe for me the situation, reporting, and reaction to a real threat.
I can't imagine that it would loook much different from what we're experiencing right now, so how am I to tell the difference?


El Torpedo
November 3, 2009 / 13:08

From everything I've read so far, the mortality rate of H1N1 is less than 1% of cases. Compare that to something like SARS which had a mortality rate of something like 17-20% and that should put things in perspective. We didn't even have a vaccine for SARS in 2003 so what precautions did you all take against a much more deadly outbreak? I don't recall doing a thing.

One of the few hyperbole-free articles I could find on the subject. I highly recommend:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/02/f-viewpoint-cassels.html


JAMES
November 3, 2009 / 13:22

Try vitamin D. Why do we get the flu mostly in the winter? A lack of Vitamin D, which we get from the sun mostly. Any vitamin that is a natural anti-toxident is good too. There is to much wrong with this vaccine and to many negative opinion to make me want to take it. Live healthy and you should be fine.


Line of Sight
November 3, 2009 / 13:57

Doug, your A & B suggestions are bang on.

James, you're exactly right about living healthy and eating properly.

Too many people in this day are too eager to consume nutritionally vacant foods like McDonald's because they are too busy to eat healthier, and then wonder why they are always sick.

I'm not getting hte shot as I think we are way over medicated as a society which leads to these virulent strains. Hand sanitizers etc cause more harm than good. Build up immunities by exposing yourself, take care of your body, and eat right. No problems.


brando
November 3, 2009 / 14:14

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure, this is a "crap shoot" at best!


Paul
November 3, 2009 / 14:39

It's really all too unfortunate that this situation has been blown completely out of proportion by the media and a, generally, irrational public.

I think more people have died from gunshots in Jane & Finch this year than have died from H1N1 and yet there has not been the same kind of co-ordinated (albeit poorly) response by public officials, nor... Read More a similar panic response by the public.

I think it is a sad commentary on the "pussification" of people today. I understand that starting in 2010 the hospital systems will be handing out "bubble-wrap kits" to parents of newborns along with instructional DVD's showing them how to apply it in order prevent the normal "bumps and bruises" handed out by life.


Paul
November 3, 2009 / 14:41

(Hmmm, something got messed up in the middle of my post so here it is again, not that it is worth the double post)

It's really all too unfortunate that this situation has been blown completely out of proportion by the media and a, generally, irrational public.

I think more people have died from gunshots in Jane & Finch this year than have died from H1N1 and yet there has not been the same kind of co-ordinated (albeit poorly) response by public officials, nor a similar panic response by the public.

I think it is a sad commentary on the "pussification" of people today. I understand that starting in 2010 the hospital systems will be handing out "bubble-wrap kits" to parents of newborns along with instructional DVD's showing them how to apply it in order prevent the normal "bumps and bruises" handed out by life.


Ray
November 3, 2009 / 15:44

When I hear about a 13 year old boy and a 10 year old girl dying, then I will do whatever is available to me to protect my sons. You can call me a 'pu**y' for vaccinating my boys, but I say I just love my boys more than you love your kids. If you can't get over your self-serving, macho ego to protect your kids then I feel sorry for them. Or maybe, you don't have any kids. Then, you have no idea what you're talking about.


Paul Walnuts
November 3, 2009 / 15:59

Ray, you can't... if it is one like the outbreak in 1918 then a significant portion of the people on this blog will be taking a dirt nap. The question right now is are you willing to take your chances. I'm a terrible gambler, so I prefer the safe route.


Ray
November 3, 2009 / 16:32

I should clarify that my last comment was directed at Paul's 'pussification' post.

Walnuts, I agree with you. If we can't tell an overblown situation apart from a real reason to panic, then we'll never protect ourselves from a real threat because somebody will always be trying to attribute everything to conspiracy theories and the thought that somebody is out to get them. So, why don't we start having some faith in the institutions that WE have put in place to protect us and err on the side of doing what they recommend?


Paul
November 4, 2009 / 09:51

Ray, I have ordered two bubble-wrap kits for your kids, and a special adult-sized one for you.

There are lots of facts around the real risk of H1N1. I will use the set that favor my position. It is reported that there are 3 deaths per every 100,000 people who contract the regular flu. It is reported that there are 0.2 deaths per every 100,000 people who contract H1N1.

We want to put faith in the institutions WE have put in place to protect us? Are you talking about the same ones that say smoking causes cancer and require the plastering of festering cancer sores on cigarette packages, but at the same time permit the sale of cigarettes? Hmmm...


Mikey
November 6, 2009 / 10:17

It would amaze me if the people with the strongest opinions here could explain exactly what a vaccine is, and how it differs from a drug.


Gurk
November 6, 2009 / 10:44

Probably no difference between a drug and a vaccine. But that's just a thought not an opinion.


Ray
November 6, 2009 / 12:26

What are you getting at Mikey? Why didn't you just tell us?

I'll use somebody else's words as it is better stated than what I can do, but here you go:

A drug, or chemical medicine, is a pharmaceutical product composed of a chemically defined
amount of pharmaceutically active ingredients (plus excipients), normally given for treatment of
illness, although there are preventive uses (antimalarials, for example).

A vaccine is pharmaceutical product that is a biological medicine, made in, composed of, and/or
tested through living systems, and thus difficult to standardize. It functions by eliciting an
immune response and is generally for preventive use, although therapeutic vaccines (for
example, for treatment of some forms of cancer) are now being developed.

(Source: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/HEALTHNUTRITIONANDPOPULATION/Resources/281627-1095698140167/MilstienVaccinesDrugsFinal.pdf)



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