Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Last Call For A Long Overdue Sequel

Some good news in the universe at leastTo Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee has rediscovered an old manuscript and will publish a sequel to the seminal novel a half-century after winning a Pulitzer Prize for it.

"In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called 'Go Set a Watchman,'" the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. "It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout's childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became 'To Kill a Mockingbird') from the point of view of the young Scout.

"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn't realized it (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

Certainly I'd give it a read and I'd definitely recommend the original if somehow you've not read it, or seen the movie adaptation with the legendary Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

Good news indeed.

Paul's Anti-Vax Palooza

Well if Chris Christie's comments on "parental choice" for vaccinations were controversial, Sen. Rand Paul's comments on the same subject are downright ludicrous.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) doubled down on his position that most vaccines should be voluntary, suggesting Monday that mandated immunization is an example of government overreach.

"The state doesn't own your children," Paul said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell." "Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health."

The Kentucky senator and potential 2016 hopeful received attention earlier in the day for his comment that people should be able to pick which immunizations to give their children.

In Rand Paul's America, a "public health" issue is allowing unvaccinated kids to get preventable diseases and spread them to kids too young for vaccinations or whose immune systems are too compromised for them.  That should be the choice of the parents?  What about the duty of the state to protect other kids?  What idiocy is he spewing here?

Paul also acknowledged hearing about cases in which healthy kids were left with "profound mental disorders" after being vaccinated.

Vaccine critics frequently claim that there is a link between immunization and autism, though medical studies have discredited the idea.

"I'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea," Paul said, noting that his children were vaccinated on the recommended staggered schedule. "I think they are a good thing, but I think the parent should have some input."

So that's responsible.  "I'm not saying vaccines will turn your kids into autistic ones, but I heard that's happened."  And yet this guy wants to run as the government's chief executive.

Rand Paul is just ridiculous, and he continues to embarrass me as one of his constituents on a near daily basis.

Christie's Anti-Vaxx Attacks

In the midst of one of the worst outbreak of measles in decades in the US, it’s important to note that it took less than 24 hours after President Obama remarked in his interview yesterday with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that parents should vaccinate their kids for the GOP clown car cavalcade to jump on the anti-vaxxer train.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said the government needs to strike a “balance” between public health and parental choice in making decisions about vaccinating kids, even as an outbreak of measles is spreading among unvaccinated people in the United States. 
“We vaccinate ours [kids], and so, you know that’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion,” Christie said when asked if he would urge Americans to vaccinate their children. “You know it’s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that’s what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

When people say “You know, Obama should come out in support of breathing just to see Republicans turn blue and pass out” as a joke, and then hours after Obama says “Vaccinate your kids to keep them from getting awful shit like measles” (one of the most infectious diseases out there people) we have Chris Christie saying “Well, the government should respect parents not wanting to vaccinate your kids” and it makes me want to research experimental tectonic weaponry so that I can rend huge swaths of the planet’s crust asunder and drown millions in flaming magma-based melty death.

And these are the same exact people who screamed in October that Obama’s government wasn’t doing enough to protect the country against Ebola.

I mean these assholes have spent the last 25 years sowing so much distrust of government and then breaking the parts of it that actually worked, like the part where we’ve effectively eradicated measles in the US, that now we have to collectively deal with a goddamn outbreak of goddamn MEASLES in the year TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, when we have self-driving cars and internet on our wristwatches and airplanes and we have 27 flavors of Oreo cookies and dudes working on high-speed tube travel and computers a billion times more powerful than when my dad was born and oh yeah HE GOT VACCINATED FOR MEASLES IN THE SIXTIES AND THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT because he didn’t get the frigging MEASLES YOU SEPTIC TANK BRAINED CHODEMONKEYS.

We’ve dumbed down the country and made such an enemy out of science and critical thinking and civic responsibility that we’re all like “Well, you know the responsible thing to do is we should let parents decide if America should be covered in an entirely preventable and horrible infectious disease that will infect 90% of the people who aren’t vaccinated who come in contact with it because I read on Twitter how the vaccine might cause a one in a million chance of autism.” Because there is a 999,999 out of a million chance that you are a colossal idiot.

There is a large subset of Americans who would rather give kids measles than listen to Obama at this point, and at least one 2016 GOP hopeful who now wishes to cater to that subset and is trying to equate vaccination programs to government tyranny, and I want to hurl heavy objects and I am now very sad.

[UPDATE] And now Christie is walking these comments back. Still an idiot.


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