We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, February 5. 2015
Measles: Misinformation Gone Viral
When should voters defer to the views of scientists?
Fewer US-Born Americans Have Jobs Now Than In 2007
Greece: Hugo Chavez Coming to Europe
When moderate Muslims speak, they’re ignored
What If ISIS Captures a U.S. Pilot?
U.S. Seen in Middle East as Ally of Terrorists
Qatar Foreign Minister Admits “We Were Asked to Negotiate Bergdahl Swap”
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For example, the issue of whether animals should be used in scientific research partly depends on the scientific benefits using them; a question on which scientists have special expertise. But it also depends on the moral status of the animals in question, and whether it is ethically permissible to inflict certain types of harm on them. On that latter issue, scientists have no special knowledge. If there is a group of experts that does, it is likely to be moral philosophers and political theorists,..
Amazingly wrong. Moral philosophers and political theorists have knowledge about philosophy and politics. This does not include knowledge of what is moral, only what people—usually themselves--believe to be moral.
Or, more plainly, moral philosophers have no knowledge of morality, and no special status on questions of morals, and should never be consulted on moral questions.
What If ISIS Captures a U.S. Pilot?
The Obama White House would send ISIS a book of Presidential matches. Sad to say.
US special forces did have a failed attempt to rescue the Jordanian pilot.
If I was captured by them, I would hope the USAF would carpet bomb my position - doing me a favor and taking some of them out with me.
Syriza rules Greece. Can’t stop the EUropeans from being EUropean. Character is destiny. EUrope’s natural form of government is totalitarian hell.
I can’t think of single, sitting EUropean head of state who wishes to inflict liberty on his people.
Re: What if ISIS captured a US pilot?
Somehow the author goes from the potential of one of our pilots being captured to the financial dimension of fighting ISIS. HUH?
How about this:
Through some tragic mishap, one of our pilots is captured by ISIS. Obummer comes on the TV to inform us that his captors are not really Islamic and that they are practicing a bankrupt ideology. He tells us that this would not have happened if it weren't for the Republicans pushing Sequestration down our throats. He continues saying that nobody is madder than he is and he will not rest till he gets to the bottom of it. In the meantime, all US sorties are canceled temporarily to avoid any further loss of American lives. Then he and the family hops into Air Force 1 to go New York to take in a play and a nice dinner on his way to an extended vacation in Hawaii. First Dog Bo follows in another Air Force jet.
Republicans are outraged and threaten to hold hearings.
Senator McCain and Senator Graham want a full scale offensive against ISIS. Democrats send Congressman Kieth Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the House, to respond to the tragedy. He tells CNN and MSNBC that this is not real Islam and that it is a religion of peace.
The news media decides to play it down for fear of fanning anti-Muslim sentiment. The video of the execution is pulled from Youtube.
You forgot Michelle holding up a sign on Facebook--#let our pilot go.
"Why Are These Christian Women Reading Porn?"
"How and why has pornography ensnared so many women, including Christian women?"
I suppose I could list the 5 ways women are hurting their husbands just as an article recently listed the 5 ways pornography hurts your wife. Or make some statement about how pornography destroys marriage. But this article may have even responded to that: "The truth is, underneath the use of pornography and carrying out the harmful sex practices promoted by “Fifty Shades,” are valid human emotions and needs longing to be met."
So which is it? Does pornography harm your partner and destroy marriages or is it valid human emotions and needs longing to be met? I think the answer is political just like so many things today are political. I think the answer is quite simple; If the porn is enjoyed by a man it is wrong but if it is enjoyed by a woman it is merely valid human emotions. See! It's really quite simple.
While I have not read "Fifty Shades" and I won't (due to what I understand to be really poor technical writing quality) I have read my share of this genre. It's a big seller within the romance novel world, often called "romantica". It is usually charactized as having 'hotter' sex scenes and more lurid/graphic language than a standard mainstream novel, with a little BDSM/multiple simultaneous partners thrown in for good measure. And I'll be honest - I enjoyed reading them for a while. They were a pleasant interlude on my morning commute or during my lunch hour.They did their job - they were arousing and it felt naughty to read them. However, at some point, the need to satisfy that level of arousal began to overtake my justification for reading them - a bit of harmless kinky fun. The darker side of this innocent kink was beginning to take hold. If my Catholic conscience was whispering before, it was screaming by now. Then and there I stopped buying and reading them. I deleted them from my Amazon lists.
While one might be able to somehow justify the written page over the visual image, it's all the same thing - pornography. Anyone who tries is a hypocrite. And I'll bet many of the women reading this book and others like it are in good, solid marriages but could not possibly fathom asking their husbands to play out these fictional fantasies. They wouldn't know how, they would be feel embarrassed, or worse, they'd assume their husbands would be horrified by their asking. That's too bad.
There's a reason why the Church condemns pornography and self-abuse. They corrupt our relationships with our spouses (for single people, our potential spouses), causing us to contemplate all sorts of damaging things all in the guise of pleasure. Even further, they are corrosive to our souls, leaving us deadened and wallowing in a spiritual bleakness that can be near impossible to shake off. It's that corrosiveness that can be so harmful.
I'm not convinced that 50 shades of grey or other "porn" does corrupt our relationships with our spouses. Does alcohol or being overweight, or aging, or seven year itch or boredom, or sexual desire or lack of sexual desire, leaving the toilet seat up etc. corrupt our relationship with our spouse??? You bet your life it does. So why doesn't the church stand up against or for those things? I think it goes back to puritanism: "A Puritan Is Someone Who Is Deathly Afraid That Someone, Somewhere, Is Having Fun."
I would argue that every man and most women have at some time in their life enjoyed porn. They may have lost interest or become overwhelmed with guilt or whatever but I would argue that most people have indulged. Were all their relationships corrupted? Obviously not. So I would then assume the church would say; but those people who become obsessed will harm their relationships. To which I can only respond that also those people who are obsessed with alcohol or being overweight, or aging, or seven year itch or boredom, or sexual desire or lack of sexual desire, leaving the toilet seat up etc. ALSO destroy their relationships. SO is it the porn or the obsession? Is it even the porn? I would much prefer to be married to someone who likes porn then someone who drinks too much. The problem most people have with porn is their own guilt and the belief that THEY have gotten past it and no one else should be "having fun" if they can't.
Measles: information gone viral.....I suggest you may wish to visit Vox Days site for today or the Newmax TV piece from yesterday.
Assuming it is accurate it still fails to count the miscarriages and birth defects. It still fails to capture the dramatic stats on worldwide deaths (from over 2 million a year in 2000 to 145,000 in 2013 thanks to a massive effort to vaccinate worldwide). It also fails to make the comparisons between the risk from the measles vaccine which is close to nil to the risk of measles. A legitimate arguement to seriously alter public policy such as this proposes should have all the facts.
I honestly feel there is a compromise position that would be fair to people who do not want to contract serious diseases and those who seemingly could care less. That is if you choose to not vaccinate then you cannot go to public venues incudng public schools, stores restuarant, etc. Additionally they should be required to purchase liability insurance to pay the costs of those who they might infect because of their luddite obstinance. Lastly I would bring back The Scarlet Letter. A tatto perhaps in red for anti-vaxers. With so many diseases you couldn't just use "M" for no measle vaccine or "P" for no polio shot so we could settle on "D" for dumb. This convenient method of identifying the anti-vaxers would allow the intelligent to leave the area rather than be potentially exposed.
If you are vaccinated then you should have no worries of contacting the disease so what's the problem. It is only of problem if the vaccination doesn't work as advertised. Sue the manufacturer of your vaccine and leave me alone. And what about diseases such as HIV with no vaccine....quarantine them all? It is about public safety, right.
That old excuse. What about the babies too young to be vaccinated? What about the pregnant women or their unborn children? What about the people with medical issues that prevent vaccination?
Should a modern day "Typhoid Mary" be quarantined or treated/cured? Or would you simply let her go and prepare meals for unsuspecting people? After all it's THEIR problem not YOURS, right? Screw em! Let them die. I know my rights.
I don't agree. I think some things make sense and there really isn't a good arguement against it. I agree with universal education for all our children even though it costs me a fortune every year. I agree with insuring drivers even though that costs a pretty penny too. I agree with seat belt laws, life jackets in boats and helmet laws. There are so many things like this that make too much sense to allow a flawed arguement to talk us out of doing it. Why not vaccinate against measles? What is the compelling arguement against it, and don't cite those truther web sites and quack doctors.
They vaccinate babies for Hep B at birth...babies are not sent to school and are not out to social functions so where is the danger? You have modern day typhoid Marys with the HIV crowd...where is the quarantine? The problem is how far you will go for "public safety". What will you do to others to save one more person today? At what cost to my liberty and with what sanctions. And with what "settled science"?
At what cost to my liberty and with what sanctions?
That is exactly how I felt when they made the law that motorcyclists must wear a helmet. You can make the same arguement about so many things like the legal limit of alcohol at .08. But I accept that some things are indeed more important than total and absolute personal rights to do whatever I want to. Vaccinations make sense. Not just a little sense because entire diseases have been eradicated by vaccines. There is nothing else in the 20th century that saved so many lives. It stands alone in history as the greatest medical discovery. It is pure lunacy to argue against it. And yet...
When should voters defer to the scientists? Hopefully not in rote fashion, what is scientific fact today may not be tomorrow, e.g the polygraph. Top men said it detects lies, now not so much. However, like cats, voters will do what they want when they want.
Rise in the inequality debate, think it goes back to the Gracchi brothers at least, otherwise the linked post looks like a nerd fight to me.
Yes, but it wasn't a Hep B outbreak, it was a measles outbreak-- and you can't vaccinate kids under one year old for that. Likewise, not everyone can be vaccinated, and not every vaccine shot "takes". And where the Hell did you get the idea that babies don't go out in public, or even get exposed to people who went out in public? We're talking about Disneyland here, indy. Newsflash: it's a park for kids.
Measles progresses to pneumonia in well over half of the immunocompromised people who get it, and even with antibiotics and 1st world medical care the death rate is 20-30% for them. That's the "settled science" we're talking about. If we can, as a society, agree on curb cutouts for the wheelchair-bound, so that they can go about their normal lives in society, then we can agree to vaccination so cancer patients can do so too. (Consider what rules you'd like to have in place given your own 1-in-5 chance of developing cancer at some time in your life.)
If you want to control the measles outbreak then control the illegals coming into the country. You could apply the same control to alleviate the threat from TB as well. Ever since Obama allowed the illegals to flood the country a few months ago we have had outbreaks everywhere. And a lot of the measles outbreaks are to those already vaccinated...why if the vaccine works are vaccinated people getting the disease. Something doesn't add up. I believe in vaccinations but only the minimum amount. I recently got a tetanus shot and have long ago had the polio vaccine when the Salk vaccine came out but the MMR is pretty much a disaster.