Friday, March 27, 2015
Fucking Fourth Graders In State Government
Rep. Renny Cushing, who sponsored the students' bill, addressed the chamber Wednesday and apologized to all the students in the state for his colleagues' actions. Cushing said he first came to the statehouse as a fourth-grader and later, before he was elected, helped bring a bill to the floor that was defeated.
"No one made fun of the legislation. No one mocked me," he said. "What I remember is I was treated with respect."
Cushing said he's talked to the kids.
"In the aftermath, there's been a fair amount of attention to what we did that day," Cushing said. "I told them it's not always like this here. That we're really not as mean and cranky as we were that day."
When Cushing finished speaking, the lawmakers rose to their feet and applauded for several seconds, but when a motion was made to enter his comments into the permanent record, a minority of legislators shouted, "No!"
Petulant assholes to the end over trivial shit. I'm surprised they didn't make fart sounds while Cushing was speaking.
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Sunday, March 22, 2015
King's Big Tell
Speaking as a Jewish-American who thinks Netanyahu is a corrupt, power-for-power’s sake bigoted hack whose policies are a clear and present danger to Israel, let me first say to Representative King:
With that reasoned and considered reply out of the way, let’s parse this.
“I don’t understand”
Considering the speaker, that clause doesn’t narrow it down very much.
“how Jews in America”
Not, notice, “American Jews.” This line is the tell, the crack that lets you see into what smells to me like a very familiar trope of anti-Semitism. I don’t want to be paranoid, but King’s plain text tells you he sees within America a group defined by an affiliation, an bond of connection to a country or a cause that is not native to their home. We are Jews sojourning in America, and it may come to pass (how appropriate for the season!) that there will arise in Washington a King who knows not Moses. Or so this false prophet suggests.
“Democrats first and Jewish second.”
First, carnally know you again, King. I for one, am a Democrat at least in part because of my Jewish education. Specifically, Isaiah 58 v. 1-12. I may have lost any belief in a sky god — but tikkun olam* and that strand of the Jewish tradition remains a touchstone.
Read the whole thing about just how un-American Steve King is.
PS--A refresher on tikkun olam.NToddcast RSS Feed
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Dinosaurs Among Us
Do chickens have large talons?
- NH Representative Napoleon Dynamite
Via a few people on FB, I see our upside down neighbors to the right are their usual fun selves:
NH1.com's Shari Small explains that the students had proposed House Bill 373, which would name the red-tailed hawk as the official "state raptor" of New Hampshire. The bill cleared the Environment and Agriculture committee, leading to a floor debate in which Rep. Warren Groen (R-Rochester) decided to make an extended joke about the red-tailed hawk and Planned Parenthood that also, in all likelihood, taught the children what abortion is:"[The Red Tail Hawk] grasps [its prey] with its talons then uses its razor sharp beak to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood."
Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown) took a softer tack, instead informing the children that their concerns were frivolous and unworthy of his and the legislature's time: "Bottom line, if we keep bringing more of these bills, and bills, and bills forward that really I think we shouldn't have in front of us, we'll be picking a state hot dog next."
The bill, along with the children's remaining faith in representative democracy, was killed. The vote was 133 to 160, because the other thing about having a 400-person legislative body is that sometimes hundreds of representatives just don't show up.
Christ, what assholes.
I'm cool with their voting down the proposal. That certainly shows how the sausage machine works, and the vast majority of introduced bills are not eventually passed--this one at least made it out of committee and got some floor time.
Yet there wasn't a debate. It was abject mockery and, well...4th grade antics bullshit. And bringing your anti-choice propaganda into the mix? Epic douchenozzle-ry.
What does Rep Groen think of our national emblem which, you know, also is a raptor with talons and a razor sharp beak, not to mention a penchant for ripping up prey? Oddly enough, just today the National Constitution Center discussed several Founding Myths, including whether people wanted the turkey as the United States' official mascot:
While turkeys clearly had one fan among the Founders, Benjamin Franklin, it appears that the birds weren’t close to challenging the eagle as the nation’s proud patriotic symbol. The real debate over the Great Seal started in 1776 and it lasted six years. Franklin’s idea was a design that featured a Biblical scene featuring Moses and Pharaoh. Jefferson wanted a scene depicting the children of Israel and two Anglo-Saxon mythical figures, and John Adams wanted another mythical figure: Hercules. Eventually, the eagle won out as the national symbol.
Why yes, I have blogged about the Great Seal before. Ahem.
Anywayz, I shouldn't be surprised. NH representatives don't even want 17yos to vote in primaries--presumably because only mature people like them can make good voting decisions--so why would they want to show any decorum and provide good role models for their state's youngsters?
PS--Of course, they don't want people voting. That's authoritarian. Or something.NToddcast RSS Feed
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Is Earth Not In Space?
There is no Planet B, asshole:
Two days after bombing in a speech before a firefighters’ union, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was rebuffed in a Senate subcommittee hearing while trying to criticize NASA’s increased emphasis on studying climate change, Mashable reported.
“We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know it — and that’s understanding our environment,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told Cruz on Thursday. “It is absolutely critical that we understand Earth’s environment because this is the only place we have to live.”
The exchange came during a meeting of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, which Cruz now chairs. Cruz expressed skepticism toward President Barack Obama’s $18.6 billion budget request for the agency — specifically recent increases in funding for studying Earth phenomena compared to a slight decrease in money for space exploration efforts.
“I would suggest that almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space,” Cruz said. “That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country. It’s what sets NASA apart from any agency in the country.”
Holden explained that the decrease in funding for outer space-related projects was due in part to a desire to reduce the cost of those types of missions.
“The fact that earth science [funding] has increased, I’m proud to say, has enabled us to understand our planet far better than we ever did before,” Holden added. “It’s absolutely critical.”
For example, Holden said, NASA supports studies in Cruz’s home state of Texas that measured the effects of emptying out the state’s aquifers on local land elevations.
“That’s just looking at our environment, trying to make sure that we have a better place for all of us in which to live,” he told the senator. “I think that’s critical.”
Probably not a good idea to send our astronauts out there with nothing to come home to, you maniac.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Vaguely Unconstitutional Logan Act
I've seen lots of confident assertions online that the Barely-literate GOP Letter is clearly a Logan violation. I'm much more confident that it is not, that the DoJ will never pursue charges, and that the Act itself is unconstitutional.
I find it instructive that there have been absolutely no convictions under the Act in it's 226-year history. This, of course, means there is almost no case law.
One favorite ruling I've already alluded to is United States v. Curtiss-Wright (1936). The problem with citing this one is that SCOTUS' decision doesn't address the Logan Act at all, and is fundamentally about whether the Executive has wide latitude in foreign affairs without Congressional delegation.
Beyond that, I found an interesting district court case from 1964 wherein DEFENDANTS tried to use the Act as a way of undermining the plaintiff's standing in a lawsuit:
One line of attack is that plaintiff procured the NIOC contract through the commission of federal criminal offenses. He is specifically charged by defendants with having violated five criminal statutes [including] the Logan Act...
The Logan Act makes it a crime for any citizen of the United States directly or indirectly to commence or carry on correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof "with intent * * * to defeat the measures of the United States."
Such evidence as there may be in this record of a violation of the Logan Act places in issue plaintiff's specific intent. That subjective circumstance would alone be sufficient to defeat this summary judgment motion, were the motion grounded only on a transgression of that statute.
Another infirmity in defendants' claim that plaintiff violated the Logan Act is the existence of a doubtful question with regard to the constitutionality of that statute under the Sixth Amendment. That doubt is engendered by the statute's use of the vague and indefinite terms, "defeat" and "measures." See United States v. Shackney, 333 F.2d 475, (2d Cir. 1964); Note, The Void-For-Vagueness Doctrine in the Supreme Court, 109 U.Pa.L.Rev. 67 (1960); E. Freund, The Use of Indefinite Terms in Statutes, 30 Yale L.J. 437 (1921). Neither of these words is an abstraction of common certainty or possesses a definite statutory or judicial definition.
Surely the GOP Doofuses had intent to defeat measures of the United States, right? Correspondent inference aside, I'm not sure the letter in question really demonstrates it.
Was there any sense of negotiation contained therein? Not that I could see.
It was ignorant, misguided, and politically unsound--no argument there. Yet all I read was a not-unreasonable observation that if the Senate doesn't like the deal (unstated: and actually received it from the president for advice and consent), the Senate wouldn't approve it.
The burden of proof in court is slightly higher than on social media. I'm fairly certain that no prosecutor, however good, would be able to prove intent beyond a reasonable doubt.
Just the fact that we can debate the intent at all shows how shaky a case would be. What's more, there have been myriad examples of both private citizens and legislators engaging in various forms of contact with foreign leaders in myriad contexts. That includes Senators Sparkman and McGovern, Candidate Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and Senator/Candidate Obama. Sometimes the Logan Act was tossed around, but no indictments materialized, so why would there in this case?
It's precisely the ambiguity present in our current arguments that also make the law itself questionable. Justice Sutherland wrote in Connally v. General Construction Co (1926):
[A] statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates the first essential of due process of law. International Harvester Co. v. Kentucky, 234 U. S. 216, 234 U. S. 221; Collins v. Kentucky, 234 U. S. 634, 234 U. S. 638.
Leaving aside jokes about the GOP Furrin Affairs Jeanasses and common intelligence, I find the above citation possibly ironic because Sutherland also wrote that 1936 opinion everybody is quoting out of context.
Bottom-line: there's so much vagueness and ambiguity in all aspects of the Great Letter Brouhaha that I'm convinced this stupid fucking petition will definitely be the worst act of clicktivism ever perpetrated. And that is criminal.
PS--Lawfare has more (h/t Diane Sweet).NToddcast RSS Feed
Goddamned Federalists Hated Free Speech
I'm still rather disturbed that any liberal is suggesting the Dumb GOP 47 violated it (let alone committed sedition or treason), even as a rhetorical exercise.
PS--And enough with citing United States v. Curtiss-Wright, for fuck's sake. Badly parsing non-germane precedent is a stupid hobby.NToddcast RSS Feed
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
But the buzz persists:
President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017 – or does he? The Internet’s abuzz with talk about the myriad of ways Obama might seek to extend his White House role – sparked in part by radio conjecture from conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh – and now at least one likely presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has weighed in to say: Don’t worry, Obama will leave.
First, the question from WND to Carson: “Who would stop Obama from remaining in office past his second term?”
And Carson’s reply, via email: “We the people would oppose it through our Constitution, the 22nd Amendment of which forbids more than two terms. Even some of the timid people in the other two branches of government would be willing to stand behind the fortified walls of our Constitution.”
I'm pretty sure that Obama would stop Obama. Really, at this point why the fuck would he want to stay anyway?
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Monday, March 09, 2015
Dear Iran: We've Got Nuclear Grade Crazy Aimed Right At You
Politico: Republican senators want to give Iranian leaders — and the president — a refresher on just how fucking nuts they are.
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Saturday, February 28, 2015
The Undiscovered Country
By now you've probably seen this:
Former Arizona county sheriff Richard Mack, a fierce opponent of Obamacare and a leader in the "constitutional sheriff" movement, is struggling to pay his medical bills after he and his wife each faced serious illnesses. The former sheriff and his wife do not have health insurance and started a GoFundMe campaign to solicit donations from family and friends to cover the costs of their medical care.
"Because they are self-employed, they have no medical insurance and are in desperate need of our assistance," reads a note on Mack's personal website.
Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, suffered a heart attack in January and is in recovery. His wife fell ill late last year. Mack is on the board of Oath Keepers, a right-wing fringe group made up of police and military veterans, and is known forsupporting Cliven Bundy in his standoff against the federal government. He is also an ardent opponent of Obamacare.
"The States do not have to take or support or pay for Obamacare or anything else from Washington DC. The States are not subject to federal direction," he wrote on his website, outlining how state governments can block President Obama.
Would that I had the same amount of compassion as the folks giving this selfish, ignorant asshole money:
Some people like to say a conservative is a former liberal who got mugged. Could the corollary be a liberal is a former conservative who needed help from the community? I'm not so sure.
I've only got the emotional space right now to engage in schadenfreude. Good on the better people who are finding common humanity with a person in need, no matter how much his problems are self-inflicted as he advocated destructive policy.
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There's Snow Business Like Snow Business
Decades from now my children will be perusing the Congressional Record looking for blog fodder as they wait out extreme weather, and will find this:
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President...I ask unanimous consent to show the Earth-Now Web site on the iPad device that I have.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. If you go to Earth-Now, it is actually quite easy to load. You can see how that polar vortex measurably brings the cold air down to New England. If you do not want--this is produced by NASA. These are pretty serious people. So you can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.
The U.S. Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, who is the head of the Pacific Command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific. He is a career military officer, and he is deadly serious. You can either believe the U.S. Navy or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.
The religious and faith groups are very clear on this, by and large. I would particularly salute the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has made very, very clear strong statements. We are going to hear more from Pope Francis about this when he releases his encyclical and when he speaks to the joint session of Congress on September 24.
I think it will be quite clear that you can either believe the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis or you can belief [sic] the Senator with the snowball.
In corporate America there is an immense array of major, significant, intelligent, and responsible corporations that are very clear that climate change is real. They are companies such as Coke and Pepsi; companies such as Ford, GM, and Caterpillar; companies such as Walmart and Target; companies such as VF Industries, which makes a wide array of clothing products; Nike; companies such as Mars and Nestle.
So, we have our choice. We can believe Coke and Pepsi and Ford and GM and Walmart and Target and VF Industries and Nike and Mars and Nestle; or we can believe the Senator with the snowball.
Every major American scientific society has put itself on record-- many of them a decade ago--that climate change is deadly real. They measure it. They see it. They know why it happens. The predictions correlate with what we see, as they increasingly come true. The fundamental principles--that it is derived from carbon pollution, which comes from burning fossil fuels--are beyond legitimate dispute to the point where the leading scientific organizations on the planet calls them "unequivocal.''
So you can believe every single major American scientific society or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.
There's a snowball's chance in Inhofe's hell that this will get through to anybody. Still it's nice to have to save these debates for posterity so when everybody wonders how we killed the world, they'll see just how crazy these motherfuckers were.
PS--Yes, I know there will be no blogging in the 2050s. Use that as a placeholder for whatever crap they'll waste time on in the Matrix.NToddcast RSS Feed
Friday, February 27, 2015
It Was The Worst Of Times
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), the chairman of a House Science subcommittee, says that he did not vaccinate his children.
Loudermilk was responding to a question at a town hall last week, when a woman brought up claims that the CDC covered up the link between vaccines and autism.
"I believe it’s a parents decision whether to immunize or not," Loudermilk, a freshman member of Congress, said. He later added: "Most of our children, we didn’t immunize. They’re healthy."
He said they were home-schooled and therefore did not have to be vaccinated.
How sad that his belief is not only contrary to science, but also legal precedent.
Regardless, it's a good thing his kids never leave home to go to, say...Disneyland. Or Stone Mountain, or Six Flags, or Wild Adventure, or the Piggly Fucking Wiggly. You know, where the majority of Americans don't want to be with unvaccinated lepers.
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Monday, February 09, 2015
A Commonwealth No More
Lemieux shares some lessons to learn from vaccine trooferism:
The phenomenon you point to also highlights the collapse of any faith in collective or social life. The anti-vaxxers conceive of their position purely as a private lifestyle choice. They want to make their child “pure” and “uncontaminated,” and their means of doing so is the practice of virtuous consumption. So we deal with the very many toxic dimensions of modern life not through any concerted action, but simply by buying “organic” or “chemical-free” products (and then, by not putting “artificial chemicals” in our children in the form of vaccines.
The logic here is straightforwardly akin to the predominant corporate attitudes of our day: The anti-vaxxers are trying to privatize profit (their pure and uncontaminated child) and socialize the risk (the outbreak of an epidemic is someone else’s problem)...what’s also interesting (to me) is its refusal to entertain any notion of community, of the realization that things like immunity or a “chemical free environment” must be understood as a shared space that can only be the product of a social and collective activity.
Yes, hyper-individualism is a key element in the rejection of vaccination regimes. I have seen the term 'collectivist' used to dismiss social costs more than once while they harp on "personal choice" as some sort of mantra to ward off the demon of public health. Because fuck yer neighbors and kids' classmates, I guess.
- Article 2nd: That private property ought to be subservient to public uses when necessity requires it...
- Article 7th: That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community...community...community...community...public weal.
- Article 8th: ...all voters, having a sufficient, evident, common interest with, and attachment to the community...
- Article 9th: That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute the member's proportion...and yield personal service...common good...more service to community.
- Article 20th: That the people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good...
They can deny it all they want, but we all do depend on society, no matter how misanthropic we might be. To deny that is to deny reality. And it's a rejection of constitutional and natural law.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to defend ourselves from them as is our right. They don't want to be a part of the commonwealth? Then tough shit.
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Saturday, February 07, 2015
And I'm Called Belligerent
Sure, why not?
On Wednesday night’s show, Stewart aimed most of his ire at west coast liberals who refuse to vaccinate their children based upon discredited or trendy health advice found on the Internet.
“They’re not rednecks. They’re not ignorant. They practice a mindful stupidity,” Stewart said. “If we want to get rid of measles, they’ll just steam them out of their vaginas.”
Bell took exception to Stewart’s comments, saying, “He’s ready to take us out and put us in concentration camps.”
Stewart “just basically said you people that are not vaccinating your children, you’ve turned your children in ticking biological time bombs and now we have to act, ” Bell said, before continuing his rant.
“This is basically how they said the Jews — the scourge of the world — we’ve got to take them out. We’ve got to take out the gypsies, we’ve got to take out the gays. Now we’ve gotta take out the people who are aren’t vaccinated under the guise that they are unclean.”
Acknowledging that Stewart is Jewish like himself, Bell reminded the host about the Holocaust, saying, “if he knows anything about the Holocaust here, he’s throwing his fellow liberals under the bus but he’s throwing all of us who believe in health freedom and healing liberty and a natural way of life.”
Piker, going for the Shoah right out of the gate. This is how you do it, motherfuckers:
I most assuredly do NOT respect selfish, misinformed OPINIONS, and make no apologies for it. Far as I'm concerned, antivaxxers are bio-terrorists who feel entitled to bring disease into petris dishes like schools. Not unlike walking in with a suicide vest from where I sit.
Hyperbole? Absolutely. And I don't give a shit.
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Thursday, February 05, 2015
Fuck Governor Shumlin, Redux
This isn't a parental rights issue, but a public health issue.
- NTodd Pritsky, Elected Municipal Official
Nice to see Governor Plurality continue to side with Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and Jenny McCarthy:
The following statement came from Scott Coriell, Gov. Shumlin’s deputy chief of staff:
"The Governor believes that every child in Vermont should be vaccinated against deadly diseases, not only to protect them but also to protect others. He does not believe that there is any excuse for not being vaccinated. When it comes to the question of forcing those parents who refuse to follow common sense to do so, the legislature had that debate in 2012 and a bipartisan majority in the legislature passed a bill that requires enhanced education for parents and reporting on vaccination rates. The Governor signed that bill. The state also has the authority to ban unvaccinated children from school in the event of an outbreak.
"While the Governor believes there is no excuse to forgo vaccinations, he thinks we need to be extremely careful about passing laws that put the state in the position of making decisions for children without parental consent."
Indeed, the Leg debated this in 2012 and then punted, just as the Governor did himself regarding single-payer. But hey, it's wonderful that AFTER the anti-vaxxers cause an outbreak, we can close the barn door! Great exercise of state police power to mitigate threats to public health in any preventative fashion.
Which powers, of course, have been upheld time and again way before 2012. Because some of us think society and state are organized to protect all of us from your special snowflake who is carrying contagious, dangerous disease.
Regardless, I look forward to the Governor's call to repeal seatbelt/carseat laws, compulsory education, bans against child abuse, etc. Dog knows parental rights trump all else in a commonwealth such as ours. I mean, go ahead and put your kids at risk and maybe kill a few cancer patients as collateral damage, it's just the cost of freedom, amirite?
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Wednesday, February 04, 2015
I Don't Know How To Say It Other Than, "Fuck You, Once Again, Governor Shumlin."
That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to contribute the member's proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield personal service, when necessary...
- Article 9th, Vermont Constitution
Go back to Jersey, you moron!
A new bill this year would eliminate the philosophical exemptionall together. But that legislation does not have support from Gov. Peter Shumlin, who would ultimately have to sign it into law.
"Leave it alone," Shumlin said of the exemption. But his reluctance about the legislation is not because he thinks vaccines are a threat to Vermont's children.
"There's just no doubt that it makes really common sense to vaccinate your kids against horrible diseases that used to take our ancestors from us and that we've now got the medical capacity to avoid," Shumlin said Wednesday.
But Shumlin says he doesn't believe the state should bar children from school if their parents choose not to vaccinate.
"We have to find the balance between what we believe and individual liberties," he said.
Indeed, we need balance. Personal beliefs and individual liberties are absolutely important in a free republic.
Yet personal beliefs ought not trump scientific facts when it comes to public policy, and individual liberties are not limitless when they come into conflict with the common good. This isn't just about somebody making a private choice, but rather foregoing their obligations in a community, putting others in danger of losing their life and liberty because of mistaken beliefs.
Oh yes, constitutional law has already shown us the balance. I'd expect the Chief Executive of our commonwealth to understand that better than some blithering idiot from New Jersey. Nice to see that in addition to pandering to a couple hundred of your closest selfish golfing buddies at the expense of Vermonters' health, you'll also pandering to the selfish, ignorant fringe of science deniers.
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Just to put it out there: no, I do NOT respect antivax opinions. BC they are, in fact, misinformed, dangerous opinions. I make no apologies.
He submits that we should still be civil and such toward antivaxxers because hey, we might yet convince a few and if we're just yelling and being smug in our righteousness, what's really the point of discussing anything at all?
[T]elling people who disagree with you that they are stupid or ignorant or that their opinions are worthless is not a strategy that's going to get us very far. This is not to say we have to respect anti-vax ideas, but we should be very careful to remember to respect the people who hold them -- people who may agree with you on a lot of other really important stuff, but for whatever reason went a weird way on this one. It does no one any good to make people who are skeptical of vaccinations feel like they are persecuted and further entrench their ill-informed ideas. We need to educate and engage -- directly and bluntly if necessary -- but we shouldn't proselytize with insults.
As I said, reasonable. And from where I sit, wrong.
I mean, good for him if he's optimistic and wants to engage--particularly if there are high value targets he can convert with kid gloves. As I said on my thread, I'm long past having sympathy for antis. I don't give a shit about their feefees. And I don't even want their fucking respect.
Persuadable people will not double down when I show them the science, history, and constitutional basis for mandatory vax. If they don't listen, they are dead to me and I will heap scorn upon them. I ain't in the hand-holding business for selfish, ignorant throwbacks.
All I want now is to keep our legislators and governor on the straight and narrow path so they'll finally remove the philosophical exemptions that have put our commonwealth at risk. The time for educatin' dipshits is gone--the time to mobilize rational people to fix things is here.
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Tuesday, February 03, 2015
No, God Gave You A Crazy Train
Another graduate of Google:
"God gave me a brain. God gave me personal choice and responsibility for those choices," he said. "I'm going to say no to those vaccines because I've done my homework."
Beck then went on to declare that people who oppose vaccines are now being persecuted, just as Galileo was persecuted by the Catholic Church.
"Here's another group of people that are now being rounded-up and pointed at and called morons and idiots and crackpots and crazies," he said. "Just totally discredited ... Where is anybody saying 'my gosh, we're living in the days of Galileo'? The church has become the state and if you don't practice their religion exactly the way they tell you to practice it, you're done."
If only we were rounding up antivaxxers. Right now they're not even under house arrest, putting their communities at great, real risk.
Oh yeah, and Galileo was objectively pro-science, dipshit.
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Vermont: GET YOUR FUCKING SHOTS.
VT Sen Mullin is reviving the effort to rid our commonwealth of the philosophical exemption to vaccinations. I'm hopeful we can beat back the lobbying of misinformed, selfish people who were effective at scuttling the statutory change back in 2012. I've already contacted our 3 legislators.
Sadly, according to the VPR report our school is below 90% compliance WRT to the MMR vax. That's not necessarily inconsistent with general information I got recently from our principal, but I've written to him, the schoolboard chair, and the district superintendent for clarification on our immunization rates and how the administration might be addressing this issue.
Update from the school nurse via our Johnny-on-the-spot principal:
I do not know where the information for this article was pulled from. It is not current. It may be the numbers from the Dec 2012 report. The most recently publicly reported numbers are on the Dept of Health website http://www.healthvermont.gov/hc/imm/immsurv.aspx Click on the 2013-2014 aggregate rates by school. This is the information that was given to the Health Dept by us in December of 2013. It has our MMR rate at 99.2%. The most recent report that was done in December of 2014 has not yet been publicly reported by the Health Dept, but our MMR rate is similar to the 99.2%. I don't have the exact number here, but I can give it to you on Thursday when I am back in the office. I can understand this parent's concern; the number reported for us was not good, but also not correct.
Thanks also to the superintendent, who also got back to us quickly and will be informing VPR of their inaccuracy.
Adding: VPR fixed their story, noting they used outdated information. FES is no longer on The List of Shame.NToddcast RSS Feed
Sunday, February 01, 2015
I was...on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.
Ethan Allen wept:
It started as a letter from an 8th-grade student studying Latin to Vermont Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning. She asked the Senator to introduce a new state motto in Latin, much like many other states have.
A motto was developed. “Stella quarta decima fulgeat.” The translation is “May the fourteenth star shine bright,” a reference to Vermont being the fourteenth star added to the flag.
Harmless enough. Vermont’s official state motto, “Freedom and Unity” would remain intact. The student got a visit to the state capitol and a nice reward for her diligence.
When local TV station WCAX reported on the issue, their Facebook page was inundated with ignorance. Conservative buffoonery at it’s finest.
The issue? This is ‘Murica. We speak English. Them illegals gots no rightses to have their language in our state mottos.
Senator Benning told the Vermont Political Observer in an email:
I anticipated suffering the backroom internal joking from my colleagues in the legislature. What I did not anticipate was the vitriolic verbal assault from those who don’t know the difference between the Classics and illegal immigrants from South America.
Okay, dipshits, here's a Vermont Republic copper, buy a clue:
The Latin legend on the obverse is, in English, "the Republic of the Green Mountains ;" that of the reverse is, "the fourteenth star." The legends are variously abbreviated...
The symbols and inscriptions of the first coinage were peculiar to Vermont. They had already accomplished their purpose. The announcement that Vermont was to be the fourteenth state in union with the old thirteen, and that it was already an independent republic, was proclaimed far and wide on thousands of these little coins. No repetition could render these declarations more emphatic.
These assholes probably would've trolled Ira Allen, too:
The greatest legislators from Lycurgus down to John Lock, have laid down a moral and scientific system of education as the very foundation and cement of a State ; the Yermontese are sensible of this, and for this purpose they have planted several public schools, and have estab lished a university, and endowed it with funds, and academic rewards, to draw forth and foster talents. The effects of these institutions are already experienced, and I trust that in a few years the rising generation will evince that these useful institutions were not laid in vain ; remember, however, that our maxim is rather to make good men than great scholars : let us hope for the union, for that makes the man, and the useful citizen.
Looks like the cement of our State is crumbling just like the rest of our infrastructure...
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Bullies Hate Being Punched Back, I Hear Tell
This makes me giggle like a happy baby:
"I've run my last campaign," Obama said toward the end of the nationally televised address. Republicans in the chamber applauded derisively, which prompted the president to ad-lib a zinger which wasn't in his prepared remarks: "I know because I won both of them."
Democrats erupted with applause.
In the Capitol after the speech, Republicans expressed displeasure at being jabbed by the president in the same speech where he asked for their cooperation.
"Probably not helpful when you rub the other guy's nose in the dirt a little bit," Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a close ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), told reporters.
Derisively is a good word for the GOP response to his prepared line. Probably not helpful? Fuck them if they can't take a good retort--'specially after "YOU LIE!" and whatnot.