Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe – a flash back to grade school

I’m watching the wrap up of the Premiers conference. It’s a panel interview with them fielding questions from the press. One of them stood out to such an extent I had to send him a letter. Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan really attracted my attention, so I wrote him:

Sir
I have just been watching the television coverage of the wrap up of the premiers conference, and in particular the question and answer session. I cannot begin to tell you how dismissive of the other premiers you appear to be when you are spinning your pen on the table while they are speaking. It conveys a dismissive and disinterested attitude that is wholly unwarranted and unacceptable. You persisted in this activity for some time, and embarrassed yourself and your office. Might I suggest that in future you place your hands in your lap?
Thank you

I really would have thought that someone in that office would have been beyond this.

Donald Trump and “The Wall”

I’ve devoted a bit of thought to this issue, and though it may surprise those who know me, I have come to really support the idea of a wall at the borders of the United States. The USA has by reason of their foreign policy committed all kinds of havoc around the world. They are a dangerous and destructive force. They have a duty to contain themselves. It’s about time that they take such a socially responsible step.

An unpresidential funeral

I’m watching part of the funeral service for former president George HW Bush.   There was a heck of a lot of people there, and a lot of speakers.  They spoke about his integrity, his ability to put people before himself, his accomplishments while in office….   I frankly had not a lot of interest in politics while George HW Bush was in office, but I’ve been pretty interested in politics while Donald Trump has been in office.  I thought that it was pretty likely, absent my fellow motorists running over me, that I would see the funeral of president Donald Trump in my lifetime.   He’s in his 70’s, I’m in my 50’s, so there’s a good chance.  What would that service look like?….

Well… It could start with a statement like:

He was the most popular president ever, you could tell by the fact that there were more people at his inauguration ceremony that at any other such ceremony in the history of the United States.   (the crowd gives a little chuckle)

Then….  He was a president who got more work done while in office than any other president of the United States in history (just like when he spoke at the UN, the crowd gets a pretty good laugh out of that)

we’re not done yet…  He was a man of truth  (okay, they’re falling off their church benches now…)

a little more…  A man of integrity (the whole “we have alternative facts” jumps up, and the crowd is actually falling off their benches)

it just doesn’t stop..  A man for the people (all of the people in the United States who have the slightest respect for their heritage as those who came to the United States as immigrants spit on the floor)

I can’t quit!!   A man of equality (President “Grab them by the Pussy” Donald Trump stands out front on this point always, but watch where his hand might go)

I really wish I could quit!  A man of peace, who brought peace to the North Korean situation (though he did more than anyone else ever had to bring that to a peak, potentially bringing on an idiotic war that would have had huge effect on asia, as always never in the USA back yard)

I think that president T’s funeral will be very well attended.  They’ll be lining up to make sure that he’s dead.  The largest part of the gathering will be those workers that he screwed in his multiple bankruptcies.  Those guys are working guys and little companies that didn’t get paid though they did the work.    After that will be the many people screwed over by policies that he put into place but didn’t understand (tariffs generally- it’s the American people that pay for them).. and then, the people of the United States who came from “immigrant stock”.   Wow, other than people of actual native american heritage, that’s a lot of americans, all of whom should be pissed at being labelled as “murderers, and rapists, and some of them are nice people” (that’s a pretty rough quote there, but I don’t think I’m doing injustice to his comments).    President Donald Trump’s funeral should be very attended indeed,,,, it’ll be a top quality comedy show.

Speed cameras at intersections – It’s not a cash grab

It’s September of 2018 and there’s continued talk about the Province of British Columbia implementing speed cameras at intersections.  I was disappointed to hear our Premiere, John Horgan, comment to the effect that this program is not a cash grab, because the locations of these camera’s will be well signed so that it’s no secret they’re there.  I believe that this entirely misses the issue.

Speed limits are well signed in the majority of urban areas.    Part of getting a drivers licence in B.C. entails passing a test that inquires as to the default speed limits in the event that no sign is available.   Speed is a leading causative factor in crashes in British Columbia.   Of the crashes involving fatalities, ICBC has identified speed as being a leading causative factor 30% of the time.  Fatalities, that’s dead people, dead, they’re not coming home to their families.

What are we doing to stop speeding?  Vigorous traffic enforcement?  Hardly.    I drive a lot each day.   I travel by motor vehicle roughly 300 kilometres each day, most of it on the highway 97 corridor between Vernon and Penticton.   I do this 5 days a week.   In the morning, between the hours of 4:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.  I have seen police with someone pulled over on fewer than 5 occasions in the 3 years I’ve been doing this.  In the afternoon, between the hours of 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. I’ve seen less than 40 cars pulled over, and that includes a couple of speed traps I’ve passed that have multiple officers on an enforcement blitz.  I’m usually within 5 kilometres of the limit, not more than 10, and everyone passes me.   I mean everyone.    I don’t mean they gradually creep up on me, perhaps going 10 over.  No, I mean they blow past me, usually going at least 20 over the limit if I can rely on those speed reporting signs that are designed to encourage people to slow down.   My estimation is that the average driver is 20 to 25 over the limit on highways.  This is not one car, or a few, this is the majority of the traffic.   Frankly, why should they slow down?  It’s clear they don’t appreciate the increased risk of accident and injury, and there’s very little risk of getting caught by traffic enforcement given the tiny amount of enforcement that occurs, so… why not.

Speeding is a big issue in B.C. and  speed limits are not a secret.  Penalizing people who choose to speed is not a cash grab.  It’s the responsible thing to do. The idea that somehow it’s unfair not to notify someone of the enforcement is ridiculous.   We all know that there are laws against speeding.  What’s unfair is that so many continue to do it.

Donald Trump, the USA and a trade war with China

It’s September of 2018 and a few days ago Donald Trump imposed tariffs on numerous goods imported from China.    I believe his reasoning is that he is trying to work out a trade agreement that he sees as being more fair.  As I understand it he warned that China had “better not” retaliate.

I’m thinking that Donald is failing to understand a couple of important aspects of China.

a) One of these is the importance to the Chinese of respect and the concept of saving face.  They’re not going to be bullied into anything and they’re not going to be shamed by a “better not” kind of statement.   “Better not” is the kind of thing one says to a child, and China is not going to be anyone’s child.

b) China is not a democracy.   The power of the General Secretary in China is established by the Constitution of China, and that Constitution specifies that China is ruled by the Communist Party of China.   That gives them all the say, and they’re not looking around every 4 years for re-election.   That’s how things like the Tienamen Square Massacre took place.   The students of China had started protesting, and for a time were allowed to, and eventually the rulers of China sent in the military and killed many of them.

With this in mind, I say that in the event that the United States foreign policy becomes one of having a trade war with China, the Government of China is I think quite prepared to keep up that battle until it’s people starve in the street before they’ll be willing to come to a table they’ve been forced to.   I do not however believe that the President of the United States is prepared or able to take matters to that limit.   I certainly don’t think that the american public is willing to support a stand that drags things to that point.   Heck, they’re all shopping at Walmart because it’s a bargain.  With a trade war Walmart won’t have near the bargains.

 

What’s a Rat? Nuances in language matter, even here.

I’ve heard comments many times about this or that person being “a rat”.  It’s a term that says they are the lowest of the low, deserving of utter contempt, but it sure gets thrown around liberally.   I’ve heard it in jail and on the street used to apply to any witness in a trial, or anyone that calls the police.  Now I appreciate that many of those that throw the term around are not exactly artisans with the language.   We’re not talking a lot of University graduates here.   The thing is that the term “Rat” does have a specific meaning.  Firstly, lets talk about what a rat is:

A rat is someone who is complicit in a crime, by reason of having had actual involvement in the offence, who then provides evidence, including statements, tips, written notes, recordings, or any information whatsoever to investigatory authorities for the purpose of assisting himself in escaping legal jeopardy.   A rat is one who will do anything to save himself.    A rat is, respectfully, a despicable person not because they are “telling on” someone, but because of their motivation.  The motivation is to extricate themselves form the same legal peril, in effect to throw their partners to the wolves so as to be able to run away.

 

Sometimes it’s more effective to define a word by what it is not.  Let’s have a try at that.   What is not a rat?

  1.  A rat is not a member of the public who phones in about a witnessed crime.  They’re a witness to a crime and don’t have any involvement in it.   They’re the ones that are supposed to call it in.
  2. A rat is not a criminal who tells on other criminals whom they are not involved with to get payments from the police or to sewer their competition.   They are people who don’t follow the code (almost no one does) and they’re despicable persons, but they’re not rats.
  3. A rat is not a person who is the victim of a crime who then tells police about it.  This includes criminally involved people who are for example beaten up by other criminals.  If he talks to the police he is not following the code, but he’s not a rat.
  4. A rat certainly is not a victim of a crime who is a member of the general public.   They’re supposed to turn to the police.
  5. A rat is not a criminal who is involved in a crime and then feels badly about it on a moral level and tells the police about his involvement as well as the involvement of his co-conspirators.   This is the one that is really a fine line.    Timing is usually the key part here, where the person goes in to police (or their priest, or counselor)  to tell them of what occurred prior to any investigation when they have no reason to think they’re going to be caught, that’s a moral decision, or a lot more likely so anyway.  Contrast this though with the conversation with police in the context of the crime being investigated, where the police say something like “we know you’re not the bad guy, you need to tell us about this”.   Once the person knows that it might go better for them and then rolls over on their buddies to secure that benefit, bang, they’re a rat.   They’ve made it.   Rats are indeed despicable persons but they’re their own kind of despicable person, they’re a rat, and deserving of contempt.

I note that Canadian Law does in part make allowance for the dangers of persons who fall into the category of rat, and also of persons from a variety of other risky in terms of reliability witnesses, though those witnesses do not fall into the the category of “rat”.    In a decision entitled

Vetrovec v. The Queen, [1982] 1 SCR 811, 1982 CanLII 20 (SCC)

the Supreme Court of Canada says that in addressing evidence from such persons in the course of a jury trial:

I would hold that there is no special category for “accomplices”. An accomplice is to be treated like any other witness testifying at a criminal trial and the judge’s conduct, if he chooses to give his opinion, is governed by the general rules.

[page 831]

I would only like to add one or two observations concerning the proper practice to be followed in the trial court where as a matter of common sense something in the nature of confirmatory evidence should be found before the finder of fact relies upon the evidence of a witness whose testimony occupies a central position in the purported demonstration of guilt and yet may be suspect by reason of the witness being an accomplice or complainant or of disreputable character. There are great advantages to be gained by simplifying the instruction to juries on the question as to when a prudent juror will seek some confirmation of the story of such a witness, before concluding that the story is true and adopting it in the process of finding guilt in the accused as charged. It does not, however, always follow that the presiding justice may always simply turn the jury loose upon the evidence without any assisting analysis as to whether or not a prudent finder of fact can find confirmation somewhere in the mass of evidence of the evidence of a witness. Because of the infinite range of circumstance which will arise in the criminal trial process it is not sensible to attempt to compress into a rule, a formula, or a direction the concept of the need for prudent scrutiny of the testimony of any witness. What may be appropriate, however, in some circumstances, is a clear and sharp warning to attract the attention of the juror to the risks of adopting, without more, the evidence of the witness. There is no magic in the word corroboration, or indeed in any other comparable expression such as confirmation and support. The idea implied in those words may, however, in an appropriate case, be effectively and efficiently transmitted to the mind of the trier of fact. This may entail some illustration from the evidence of the particular case of the type of evidence, documentary or testimonial, which might be drawn upon by the juror in confirmation of the witness’ testimony or some important part thereof. I do not wish to be taken as saying that such illustration must be carried to exhaustion. However, there is, in some circumstances, particularly in lengthy trials, the need for helpful direction on the question of sifting the evidence where guilt or innocence might, and probably will turn on the acceptance or rejection, belief or disbelief, of the

[page 832]

evidence of one or more witnesses. All of this applies equally in the case of an accomplice, or a disreputable witness of demonstrated moral lack, as for example a witness with a record of perjury. All this takes one back to the beginning and that is the search for the impossible: a rule which embodies and codifies common sense in the realm of the process of determining guilt or innocence of an accused on the basis of a record which includes evidence from potentially unreliable sources such as an accomplice.

Sometimes the Supreme Court of Canada gets it wrong but I think they did a pretty nice bit of work on this one.  I note however that they don’t draw a moral distinction in terms of the particular category of the person giving evidence.  In my view there is one.

 

 

A reply to the Trolls, anonymous gives me the last word

I’ve occasionally been a news figure.  That’s not by choice.  I’m a fairly quiet guy, but I do believe in speaking up.    About 4 years ago I appeared in front of Vernon City Council on a bylaw to ban all pro MMA (Mixed martial arts) events in Vernon.   This was reported in the online news, and attracted several comments, including:

 

Did everyone miss the irony of the fact that the only person to speak in favour of MMA events is someone with ties to organized crime?

I have considered some of the comments for some time. Wow, almost 4 years in fact. That may seem a little petty, not having much else to focus on in life? I’m not suggesting that I’ve non-stop been thinking about this, but when people come out with clever and anonymous comments those comments have an effect. I think an explanation is in order.  Here it is:

I was well aware of the parallels that could be drawn as I made the comments that I did before city council. When I went to this council meeting I had hoped to be as anonymous as I could. I didn’t wear a sign or badge that said “gang lawyer”. I walked in quietly, tried to keep my head down in case anyone recognized me, and didn’t plan on saying anything. I had heard that city council was going to vote on a matter that concerned me, being a ban on professional mixed martial arts. Now say what you will about gangs and mixed martial arts, but I just don’t see them as being synonymous. Apparently the police in Vernon do. They are concerned enough that they make a secret presentation to council that got this whole thing started. We don’t get to hear what the concerns that they had are, that’s all “in camera”, meaning you’re never able to know it. I just heard they were having a vote to ban any MMA professional bouts in Vernon, and I thought “hey I like MMA, I think it’s a heck of a sport.” I’ve watched hundreds of matches on the TV, and have been able to attend one while on holiday in Mexico. I had tried to attend another in Vernon but the match didn’t go ahead. I believe the reason it didn’t go ahead was a lack of ticket sales? In all of those matches that I’ve watched I’ve never seen a gang symbol of any sort that I recognized. I haven’t heard any slogans/phrases that seemed to be associated to gangs, not a single one. There was never, at the close of hundreds of matches that I’ve watched, an announcement of the victory of this or that gang. I hear more gang associated stuff from professional wrestling, and no one in the world ties anything of meaning to that. The ghost of Al Capone did not call me up and say “hey, gang lawyer who’s been disgraced publicly, run down to city hall and try to oppose this bylaw that prevents our gang fund raising.” What kind of strategy would that be?? It in effect undermines the very thing you’re trying to accomplish?? Yes, I knew that. I’m not dull witted. So I went to the council meeting with every intention of being as anonymous as I could, but hoped to be in silent support of whoever might speak up against what I see as a really misguided and discriminatory bylaw. I sat quietly in my seat, I got there early as I thought that the mixed martial arts clubs in town (small struggling businesses to be sure, no sign of gang involvement that I’ve been able to detect) might put in a good presence and I wanted to be able to sit down as my back hurts if I stand for too long. I had thought there would be some lengthy debate. What happened….. No one showed up and no one stood up. Not one person spoke up. They asked if anyone had comment and there was complete silence. None of the members of Vernon city council said anything in opposition, none of the pubic said anything, silence. I looked around, and looked around, and the time to make any reply was about to be gone, so I stood up. I knew full well the parallels that would be drawn. I expected that I may well be recognized and ridiculed due to the “gang lawyer” association, but I really thought this bylaw was discriminatory and misguided and surely someone should say something???? So I did. I spoke for about a minute and a half, and talked about how I enjoyed the sport, and that there were clubs in the city that practised this very sport, to become skilled, and in some cases become professional, and how the money that was involved was so very small at the level that we would see here in Vernon, not ever even coming close to covering gym costs, and it fell on utterly deaf ears. The “in camera” presentation by the RCMP apparently had devastating effect. I was not asked a single question. No one else stood up and spoke, and Vernon city council voted 100% in favour of the bylaw, and there’s not been a professional mixed martial art bout in Vernon since then.

So there’s my explanation. I don’t see too much that’s “Ironic” in that, but I guess if you’re desperate to find it and very clever maybe you’ll get there. I note that there has never been, to the best of my knowledge, a professional mixed martial arts event in Vernon, so the whole thing is a bit of a tempest in a tea pot I guess. The one that tried failed due to a lack of ticket sales.

 

 

Disastrous Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

 

2018.09.11  Sometimes democracy has some real problems in it’s outcomes.   Case in point, Doug Ford.   This is a guy who ran for the position of Premier of Ontario.   Ontario is the second largest province in Canada, and has roughly 40% of the total population of Canada.  Ontario carries some weight so to speak.  Then…. along comes Doug Ford.   Part of his platform..??  Let’s reduce the minimum price that beer can be sold for in Ontario to 1 dollar plus deposit.  Really?  That’s part of his platform?  That’s the most transparent and superficial thing I think I’ve heard of in a long time.   It’s an obvious attempt to appeal to the guy who would otherwise not be all that likely to vote.   It’s a way to expand the voting base.   During the campaign a reporter asks him if he can explain how a bill gets passed and becomes law and  he replies with

“You know something my friend, we can run through that,” Ford said. “And I know this is a gotcha question and everything because that’s your game, big smile on your face.

Then..  can you believe it?  It worked!   He got in.  So now what does Ontario have?

Ontario has a Premier who within weeks of getting into office takes steps to cut the number of City Councillors in Toronto in half.   Now have in mind that Doug’s extensive experience with city council, prior to being elected as Premier of the Province of Ontario was a grand total of one term in office.    This is a guy with a pretty limited political background.   It’s absolutely obvious that he has quite an axe to grind with the City Council for Toronto.

Doug Ford brings forward the legislation to make this reduction, and the Court tells him in no uncertain terms that the legislation is unconstitutional.  His response..   he says he’s going to use the Notwithstanding Clause in the Charter.   CBC gives a pretty nice explanation of the Notwithstanding Clause here.  I’ve gone on about the Charter from time to time here.    It’s a very important document that sets out the absolutely fundamental freedoms that we in Canada enjoy.   Those rights are synonymous with what it is to be Canadian.      The very idea of invoking the notwithstanding clause to override the fundamental rights of Canadians on an issue such as the size of the City Council of Toronto is astounding.  The idea is reflective of a shocking pettiness, an immediate willingness to use the “nuclear option”, and a complete failure to understand the real meaning behind the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Disastrous Doug Ford is indeed a disaster and he’s only in the first months of office.   His conduct perhaps puts him in commonality with President Donald Trump in that they have similar styles.   Surely no one in Canada thinks that’s a good thing?   Given his performance thus far I would hope that the next time around the polls even the beer drinkers of Ontario have the good sense to kick him beyond the curb and out to the street.

2018.09.12 Today I learn that Doug is complaining that the courts have usurped the function of the legislature.  Doug still doesn’t get it.  It’s not about the courts trying to usurp the legislature.  It’s about a premier of a province only attempting to use the notwithstanding clause in the most compelling of public circumstances.    Trying to pursue a tiff with the City of Toronto City Council is not a compelling public circumstance.   The size of the city council is the business of the people of the City of Toronto and were the people of Toronto all that concerned they could bring that forward by way of a plebiscite or something similar.

 

Maxime Bernier – he too just doesn’t get it

A work in progress, started on August 25, 2018

As of August 2018 Maxime Bernier was very nearly elected the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.  That’s the head guy of what is essentially a two party system in Canada, operating in the federal (nation wide) sphere.   He lost, and over time posted a number of comments, and in late august of 2018 purported to leave the conservative party to start his own party, entitled the Mad Max party.   Are you kidding me??/  Maxime Berniere is frightening.   His comments are everything about Canada that Canada is not.  What is astounding is that he was very nearly “guy number one or guy number two”.   It’s essentially a two party system in Canada, and he almost made it to the top spot.   What the heck happened???????????   I’d like to talk about some of his recent posts:

In August of 2018 he “tweeted”:

“3/ The vast majority of Canadians rightly expect immigrants to learn about our history and culture, master one of our official languages, and adopt widely shared Canadian values. Instead of spending M$ on multiculturalism programs, we should focus on integration.”

Why would the majority of Canadians “rightly” expect immigrants to “master” one of our official languages?    With the greatest of respect the writing and spoken language skills of many persons that I meet that have been born and raised in Canada are quite poor.  Mastery?  Not a chance.  What if a new immigrant learns enough to get by day to day?  Is that okay?  That’s what my grandparents on my fathers side did.  They certainly didn’t master the english language, or the french language either.They lived here for roughly 40 years after they came over.   They worked hard, paid their taxes and committed no crimes that I’m aware of.       That’s a great member of the community.   If we accept Maxime’s view, they didn’t do it right.

How about learning about our history and our culture?  What is our culture?   It’s a pretty diversified thing that is not easily defined.    How many of those of us who were born here can readily explain the process by which laws are passed in Canada.   The current premier of Ontario Doug Ford was not able to when he was asked.  How many are able to explain what the division of powers is?  Or how the Constitution came to be?   These are things that are pretty fundamental to our history, but frankly I say that the majority of Canadian’s don’t have much of an understanding of.  Is that pretty awful?  NO!  It’s just fine.  I don’t care, and I hope that others don’t care, about how detailed someone’s knowledge of Canadian history is when I assess whether they are a good citizen.   It doesn’t matter at all.   I think about whether they contribute to our community and refrain from causing harm to others.

What are “widely shared Canadian Values”?  Let us be careful here, I’ve recently seen a number of internet videos where Canadian’s are yelling things like “why don’t you just go home”! to slights like not being served in the language they like, or being commented on when they park ridiculously.  I’m not entirely clear what those values are, since those most likely to offer comment on them seem to be the most obnoxious amongst us.  Canadian Values are, in my respectful view, respectful of most values, provided that they lead to no harm of others.

Also in August of 2018 he tweeted:

“1/ Our immigration policy should not aim to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of Canada, as radical proponents of multiculturalism want. Of course, society is transformed by immigration. But this has to be done organically and gradually.”

As I understand it, Maxime resides in a community with very little diversity indeed.   Is he really suggesting that the goal of someone’s immigration policy is to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of Canada?  Who?  Who is doing this dastardly thing?   I think Maxime is propping up a straw man here.   Where’s the master plan or who’s the master planner that’s trying to forcibly change this character?

As part of the same string of tweets in August of 2018:

“Successful immigration depends on social acceptability and the maintenance of social harmony. Many people have asked how do I know that there is “too much diversity.” When I see that half of Canadians believe immigration levels are too high, I know we’ve reached that point.”

What the heck is “too much diversity”??   Who defined that one when they asked the question?   Is this sort of saying there’s too many people around who don’t look like me?   Or that don’t sound like me?  Or maybe that don’t share my particular faith in whatever deity makes me feel secure?  Actually, that’s apparently not the question they were asked at all.  Maxime says that half of Canadians believe that immigration levels are too high, and then concludes “there’s too much diversity”.    What if all the immigrants looked and sounded like Maxime, but there were a huge number of them?  Would he conclude that there’s too much diversity?

Then he tweeted, also in August of 2018:

4/ Having people live among us who reject basic Western values such as freedom, equality, tolerance and openness doesn’t make us strong. People who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto don’t make our society strong.

Still is August of 2018, and tweeting some more:

“3/ But why should we promote ever more diversity? If anything and everything is Canadian, does being Canadian mean something? Shouldn’t we emphasize our cultural traditions, what we have built and have in common, what makes us different from other cultures and societies?”

Here’s where Maxime goes astray again.  He’s seeing Canada as a static thing.   He’s suggesting that we’ve reached a point of “being” Canada, or “being” Canadian.   No society is a static thing.  No person is a  static thing.  We are all continually being informed and developed by our experiences.  He’s trying to hunker down and make everything stay the same, everyone stay the same, and he’s promoting hatred against others to do it.

Maxime Bernier left the conservative party in August of 2018.   He’s now started his own party.    It’s absolutely frightening that he was very nearly elected as the leader of a major political party.  I would hope that very few indeed would be prompted to follow this obvious racist xenophobe.

 

The necessity of vaccinations – don’t let the witchdoctors lead the way

I’ve lately heard some rhetoric against… of all things…. vaccinations.   Some examples:

  1.  A young guy that I used to work with just a few months ago told me that he had avoided vaccinations throughout his childhood years, believing that they were not “natural”.  He told me that he believes that a healthy balanced diet was what was needed, together with lots of sleep, and that vaccinations were really just an unnatural stopgap.  He tells me this is his opinion.
  2.  I heard from someone else that vaccinations are linked to autism.   The study that suggested this has been debunked for some time now, but continues to be referred to by those who refuse to stay current on science.

I’m all for a healthy lifestyle, and natural living, and whatever the heck it might be that you’re into.  I’m not at all for outright selfishness, and conduct that puts everyone else, and more importantly the children of others, at risk.    These assertions are put forward as “opinion”.  Opinion is considered thought, taking into account knowable information.   Opinion is not whatever stupid thing might fall out of the speakers mouth.

Since it seems a bit difficult to make the importance of this stuff clear I’m thinking  a series of questions might help lead to a sensible conclusion:

  1.  How many people do you know who have died of tetanus poisoning, also known as lockjaw?   Roughly 59,000 people died in 2015 of Tetanus.  It’s almost unheard of in the western world.  Why?  Immunization.
  2. How many people do you know who have died of whooping cough?   It’s a highly infectious disease.   In 2015 roughly 58,000 people, lots of them young children, were killed by it.  Again, it’s almost unknown in the western world, except in pockets where religious kooks won’t get their children vaccinated.  Vaccinations put this one away for most of us.
  3. Met anyone that’s had smallpox?   In the 1700’s in Europe it’s estimated that 400,000 people per year died of smallpox.  You won’t see it now, there has not been a known case since 1977.  That’s right, not since 1977, because the disease was eradicated with.. get this, vaccines.    Before that the disease had existed for hundreds upon hundreds of years, killing millions of people, and we got rid of it.
  4. Seen any survivors of polio walking around?   Also a disease almost unknown in the western world, but still active in developing nations.  The disease causes muscle weakness that can be lifetime crippling.

These diseases are a public health threat to everyone, and particularly to babies and children.  You may be able to avoid these, just as you may be able to avoid the flu or a cold.  We’ve all had the flu or a cold, all of us.  Maybe not very often, but we have all had them.   Saying you’re going to live a healthy lifestyle and that will be as good as a vaccination is to straight up be putting your head in the sand.   Even an ostrich does not actually put its head in the sand.   Be part of the solution, and prevention, and get your vaccinations.  Get your kids vaccinated to so that they’re not a health threat to others and can live long enough to do their own research.

 

 

* – thank you to the nice people who have worked to establish Wikipedia.org.  It’s a site that greatly speeds research, though fact checking is still necessary.