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July 10, 2013


The success of vaccination has become the political enemy of vaccines. Some number of people are willing to rail against vaccines, based on some perceived danger, because they have never had to face the very real dangers of the horrible diseases that have been vaccinated nearly out of existence in some places, like the United States.

That and the lack of understanding that it is not only the unvaccinated-by-choice(-of-their-parents) among us who are endangered when they don't get vaccinated when able to tolerate vaccination. It is also those who cannot yet tolerate vaccination (you know, like babies) and who may be exposed to pathogens carried by the unvaccinated.

It is also those who cannot yet tolerate vaccination (you know, like babies) and who may be exposed to pathogens carried by the unvaccinated.

It also includes people who did get vaccinated but whose vaccinations didn't take. Pregnant women are often tested and occasionally found to have no immunity to diseases they were vaccinated against in childhood because the vaccine just doesn't take sometimes.

On The Media has some great reporting on the reporting of the anti-vaccination movement.



Let's also not forget that this is another area where highly doubtful medical claims can and do join with extreme religious views. That was a major point why the eradication of polio failed (Muslim preachers claiming that the vaccine was an anti-fertility/sterilization drug). Or remember the ardent protests against the papilloma virus vaccine in both the US and India because it would lead to reckless sexual behaviour by girls (In India the compromise was to vaccinate the boys instead). At least we seem to have gotten over the original Catholic condemnation of the very idea of vaccination (based on the doctrine of 'no prevention of a large evil can ever justify commit even a small one' because vaccination is the deliberate infection of a person = evil).

I have not yet unFBFed people for being antivaxers, but I have come close. I have certainly lost my patience with friends-of-friends' comments in that regard.

I do have some small amount of sympathy for those who don't like being compelled to vaccinate. But it's their reasons for wanting to refuse that tend to piss me off. Those reasons nearly always trace back to some easily refutable bullschist.

ABC can haul off and shoot its entire foot off for all I care; I am not going to get too exercised either way. But I may spend more time commenting on whatever vacuousness Jenny McCarthy might happen to be engaging in. Right now I don't expend any energy on her, so it's not as if my resources will become overtaxed.

I'm not sure why vaccination shouldn't be mandated and fully funded by the government (including full and life-long restitution to those harmed from the vaccination itself). Probably the cheapest public health measure ever.

I believe Bill Maher has an outlook similar to McCarthy's.

As far as I know, Bill Maher has said stupid things about the flu vaccine, but he hasn't particularly criticized childhood vaccines nor has he ever said anything as absurd as childhood vaccines cause autism. He's an idiot, but he hasn't made his anti-flu-vaccine idiocy an obsessive crusade, so he's a lot less dangerous than McCarthy.

I believe Bill Maher has an outlook similar to McCarthy's.

Robert McNeil, formerly of the McNeil Lehrer report, also took up the cause (sort of) because his grandchild has autism.

People explain personal tragedies by believing in ghosts. I'm not condoning it, but it must be difficult.

Acceptance can be difficult. My shirttail relatives have a severely brain-damaged child. He has less development and responsiveness than an infant. They spent thousands of dollars on "therapies" that were essentially rip-offs of heartbroken parents and relatives of brain-damaged people.

I have a larger concern than the hiring of this particular woman. It seems to me that there are too many media professionals in positio to be opinion leaders who are disrespectful of facts and expertise and have insufficient accountability for wha tthey say on air. Some guy from NBC business news went on an on-air rant about how global warming is a hoax put on by a cult, for example. I did write to NBC and said that, as far as I am concerned, the whole station looses credibility when one of their people says somethig like that. There's a presumption that news people will make a good faith effort to be factual in what they assert. It's their job to be self-educators from reliable sources, after all.

I realize that the The View isn't a news program, but still I think there is a responsiblity to hire personalities that aren't going to mislead the public in ways that are harmful. So I will send in an email.

I've never watched The View, and have no reason to start.

But I am tempted to write a letter to The View saying, Yes, please hire Jenny McCarthy, because airheads who advocate policies which endanger public health are under-represented on network TV.

Or would that be too subtle?

I realize that the The View isn't a news program, but still I think there is a responsiblity to hire personalities that aren't going to mislead the public in ways that are harmful.

That horse left the barn years ago. Glen Beck dispensing what he claims is true American history, for instance, proves to me that people actually want and need to be misled.

Sicking with personalities, even worse are the actually knowledgable people who dumb down their expertise to attract viewers. Dr. Oz, with all his charts and animations, has been less informative on his own show than he was when he guested on Oprah's show.

Yes, that's why I don't watch any TV "news". It has become mainstream to have "professionals" giving news who don't feel the slightest responsbility to inform themselves first. Of course Faux is an entire station of liars--that's why it's Faux. The the other stations have no problem with reports that are dumbed down to "He says the earth is flat, others disagree."

And our so-called pundits are the worst. "Pundit" used to mean an expert and the pudits are still treated as people who are wise enough to be given a platform from which to share their wisdom with the rest o0f us even if the "wisdom' is Peggy Noonan on Meet the Republicans claiming that the IRS nonscandal was worse than Iran=Contra.

And the stations that broadcast this shit take not repsonsibility. At no point does anyone say that the pundit has been wrong too many times to remain a pundit.

Well, "at no point" is an exaggeration, but not much of one. Overt racism will get someone canned, but repeatedly being glaringly wrong doesn't seem to matter.

...but repeatedly being glaringly wrong doesn't seem to matter.

See Jim Cramer on The Daily Show. Never have I seen anyone so thoroughly dismantled on a well-known, national TV show. Yet, he's still yelling at the camera about the stock market these years later.

TV "news" is a joke, and this is a step or two down from that. Still, McCarthy is a disgrace, even to infotainment.

Wait...wasn't Rosie O'Donnell's idiocy about fire melting steel uttered on The View?

Say no more. GOOGLE IT!

Jenny McCarthy is pretty bad, but she's nothing. Now the GOP House of Representatives -they are truly and utterly mad, and dangerous.

Folks, they just ripped up a generation or more of political consensus with their latest lunacy on the Farm Bill.

Cold blooded psychopathic killers have more shame.

This sounds like the opinion of someone who has been personally acquainted with many psychopathic killers.

I advise hanging out with a different crowd.

I advise hanging out with a different crowd.

Yes. Perhaps a different job with a new boss would help. Up close and personal, psychopaths are worse than the ones in the noir crime fiction I enjoy reading.

From WaPo:

By Ed O’Keefe, Published: July 11E-mail the writer

House Republicans narrowly passed a farm bill on Thursday that was stripped of hundreds of billions in funding for food stamps, abandoning four decades of precedent to gain the backing of conservative lawmakers.

The 216 to 208 vote was a victory for a Republican caucus that has struggled to pass the most basic of legislation, but it also set up weeks of acrimony and uncertainty as House and Senate leaders must reconcile two vastly different visions for providing subsidies to farmers and feeding the hungry.

Yep, got yer pro-life values right there!

Eli Saslow MAR 16

Federal program that began as a last resort for the hungry has grown into an economic lifeline for entire towns.

The farm bill, which passed after hours of delay from irate Democrats, was the second act in a particularly hostile day on Capitol Hill — even by modern standards.

In the morning, Sen. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid announced that he planned to change long-standing Senate rules to push through presidential appointees who have been blocked by Republicans — a move so severe that it is known as the “nuclear option.” That led to a bitter, nearly two-hour exchange between the Nevada Democrat and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who at one point called Reid the “worst leader ever.”

Against that backdrop, the two chambers must hash out a farm bill by the end of September or policy will revert to a 1949 law that could lead to steep price increases on everyday items such as milk.

House leaders and their aides conceded Thursday that they were so consumed by simply passing the pared-down bill that they haven’t figured out what to do next.

Asked before the passage of the House bill how he would approach negotiations with the Senate, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said: “If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas. My goal right now is to get the farm bill passed. We’ll get to those issues later.”

The 608-page measure that passed the House includes a package of subsidies for farmers worth about $195 billion over the next 10 years that would make significant changes to agricultural policy and conservation programs, including an end to direct subsidies to farmers. It is nearly identical to that aspect of the Senate bill.

But for the first time since 1973, the House measure says nothing about funding for food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was set at about $740 billion.

Farm subsidies and food stamps have long been paired, in part for political reasons. Rural lawmakers backing payments to farmers and urban ones supporting money for food and nutrition programs formed a powerful coalition that served both interests.

House Republicans tried that formula two weeks ago, but the bill was killed after a surprise revolt from conservatives over the cost of the food stamp program. That led to splitting the bill in two, though House leaders have not detailed what they would like to do with the food stamp program, other than to cut it. By how much, when and in what way remain unclear.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.) said he would introduce a separate food stamp bill “as soon as I can achieve a consensus.”

Cutting this:

...funding for food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was set at about $740 billion.


funding this:

...the Department of Defense's direct spending on Iraq totaled at least $757.8 billion...

= madness.

spend money to keep food prices artificially high and then spend money so that people can afford that food.

makes perfect sense.

Yes. Also: spend money to subsidize ethanol production from corn so that farmers grow corn for fuel, moving aside food crops, and as a result driving up the price of food also makes perfect sense.

And then we could get into sugar-crop subsidies, etc, but I think what cleek said applies there, too. But the notion that we need to keep sugar prices elevated so that we can future enrich already wealthy sugar plantation owners (who incidentally are creating various environmental problems in the Everglades area, as a result) seems to be extraordinarily senseless. But we continue to do that, year after year.

From what I got from Chris Hayes' coverage the GOP House leadership openly lied to its own caucus about the content of the farm bill that the members could not have thoroughly read even if they had intended to because it was handed to them just the evening before (length of bill >=600 pages). It also seems that a good deal of extra pork got stuffed into it while still maintaining the claim that massive food stamps cuts were necessary because of the deficit. Even some organisations with high conservative credentials seem to be appalled.

Btw, I am nonetheless surprised that no Dems voted for it. On agro-pork they have about as a bad a track record as the GOPsters.

the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was set at about $740 billion.

Can that be right? It's well over $2000 per US resident.

Over a ten-year period.

It took only seven years to tote up equal expenses for the Iraq venture capital drain, and luckily for the coupon clippers in the House of Reprehensibles the 4488 American dead won't be applying for food stamps any time soon, an unexpected windfall.

I expect some sizable percentage of the 32,000 plus casualties among veterans are collecting food stamps and if things go as planned in the House, they'll have to get off their stumps, pull up their prosthetic straps and get a f*cking job if they plan on tying on the $27.74 a week feedbag at taxpayer expense.

Sugar subsidies are not part of the Ag Bill? Is it a tariff? In any event, I agree with Slarti on that one....just so he'll have something to stick in his craw over the weekend while watching re-runs of Natural Born Killers.

Now, about this Jenny McCarthy person and ethanol vaccinations......


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