At last count, the Disney measles outbreak is at 114 cases, with one who took Amtrak in New York state while contagious. It's time for some serious proposals to deal with this and prevent future outbreaks. Here are three for your consideration.
The discussion & debate around measles and vaccination should end up with something concrete to take to our state legislatures. DK GOTV efforts have arguably affected local, state, and national election outcomes. If we can do that, we can do this.
Before vaccination, there were 500,000 measles cases per year in the USA. At today's population, that would be 1.5 million cases per year, 375,000 of whom would suffer permanent disabilities such as vision or hearing impairment or brain damage, and 1,500 per year would die. Measles was eradicated in the US in 2000, until the spread of anti-vax CT brought it back with a vengeance. Enough is enough, it's time to fight.
The brief version:
1) Ban nonmedical exemptions. West Virginia and Mississippi do it, the rest of the states can do as well. Universal vaccination has already withstood a Supreme Court challenge.
2) Fallback: Allow nonmedical exemptions under a "draft board" type of proceeding, the quantity of exemptions being limited to a number that does not threaten social immunity (herd immunity).
3) Compromise: Charge a fee for processing nonmedical exemptions, calculated as the 1/N cost of dealing with the previous year's outbreaks. A very rough calculation for California showed that to be about $389 per exempted family for the cost of a year with 100 cases originating here (we're already past that point).
When the all-male Iraqi Army faced a fight with ISIS, they turned tail and ran away. But there is one constituency in Iraq that has more "skin" in the game, and every incentive to fight as if their lives depend on it. That would be Iraqi women.
It's time to give them that opportunity, and thereby begin to right one of the most egregious historic and current evils on the planet: male supremacy and de-facto female slavery in the Middle East, like a Berlin Wall of gender that winds its way through the entire region.
Mr. President, please, tear down that wall.
(Yes, I've been away from here for a while. Whether I come back beyond this diary remains to be seen but isn't important.)
This diary is in response to recent diaries by Lilith Gardener and Hugh Jim Bissell about "stochastic terrorism," an idea I originated in 2011.
Yes it does have a specific definition.
No it's not a generic slur. Nor is it embodied in law, though I wish it was.
Yes there is follow-up about one of the more egregious cases.
More about all of which below.
It's not just that Evangelicals' message is flawed. It's that the religious right's theology and morality are downright pernicious, and America has had enough.
This post is a different perspective on the issues raised in a series of diaries about the future of the religious right. Credit to Killer of Sacred Cows, Thresholder, and Pragmaticidealist (as of 10PM Saturday night, and there may be some I've missed).
More below the sleeping orange squirrels.
No doubt you have heard about various states wanting to secede in reaction to ACA. For them I have a modest proposal. This is called "doing the experiment," which is slightly different to "prescribing the symptom." It's also a specific case of the tactic known as "put up or shut up." Once the arguements come out, this should be defeated handily. But if not, then in the end, the secessionists will come back begging for the cure.
More below the sleeping orange squirrels.
I wasn't asked to write this or obligated to write it by anyone. Instead, a friend clued me in to something, and from allegiance to scientific method (facts before opinions) I'm bound to write this.
More below the sleeping orange squirrels with their fluffy orange tails.
BTW, this isn't a "call-out" diary and if anyone thinks it is, I'll happily delete it.
The dirty little secret about the contraception debate is, it's about the ability of religiously-affiliated employers to use their health insurance policies as a means of discriminating against employees and applicants not of their own faith.
More about which below the sleeping orange squirrels.
BofA customers are bloody pissed right now. This is about how to fight back, help those customers, and hit BofA where it counts.
BofA just slapped its customers with a $5/month fee for the privilege of having debit cards. Many BofA customers are ticket off and ripe to make a change, right now. Even those who haven't made the connection between BofA screwing its own customers with more petty fees, and BofA's evil deeds with mortgage fraud and mass foreclosures.
If you think $5 / month is no big deal, think of it as $60 / year. How many meals can you make for $60, eh? Money for food, or money for banksters?
Go below the orange squiggle for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-do, and effective form of direct action that YOU TOO can do.
Tonight we got more than Bin Laden. We got an enormous intel windfall. This means the end of Al Qaeda. No exaggeration.
Update I was right: http://www.politico.com/...
Quote: The assault force of Navy SEALs snatched a trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called “the mother lode of intelligence.” More below.
Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.
This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.
This is also the term for what Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others do. And this is what led directly and predictably to a number of cases of ideologically-motivated murder similar to the Tucson shootings.
Occasionally a member of the ruling class speaks the blunt truth about what they see as the Natural Order of Things. Occasionally someone who hears them blows the proverbial whistle. Buckminster Fuller had an uncle who was one of the former. In relating the story to one of his biographers, Bucky became one of the latter. WarrenS read the quotes to me recently, and they make a central point about the roots of neofeudalism.
Fuller was one of the great engineers of the 20th century. I heard him speak once, not long before his death. One thing he said that stuck in my mind, was that his life had been a series of frustrations and failures until one day he had an epiphany: He realized it was time to stop working to benefit himself and start working for the greater good.
At that point he finally began to meet with some well-deserved success. The rest, from the Dymaxion design paradigm to the architectural geometry that bears his name, to the posthumous discovery by others, of forms of carbon that naturally embody Fuller's geometry, is well-known history.
What isn't so well known, is the lesson he received one day, and ultimately rejected, about how the upper class preserves its privileges.
Overpopulation and overconsumption are the roots of the climate crisis, peak oil, mass extinctions, habitat loss, and all of the other ecological and resource crises of our time. They are also the root cause of neofeudalism.
The Limits to Growth, published in 1972, described quantitative methods for determining the impacts of exponential economic growth on finite resources. The authors did not intend to make specific predictions, but one conclusion was clear: continued increase in population and consumption levels would produce ecological overshoot that would necessarily lead to collapse over the course of the 21st century.
Mainstream economists howled, but subsquent updates have only reinforced the original conclusion, and the data on climate change have given us indications of the shape of things to come.
If you were on a ship and a fellow passenger, perhaps a physicist or mechanical engineer, pointed out an iceberg and showed you calculations demonstrating that the ship could not possibly turn in time to avoid it, what would you do? If you were a big strong guy, and you knew that the ship had enough lifeboats for about 2/3 of the passengers, what would you do for yourself and your family...?