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04
Feb
15

Vaccinations, And Social Responsibility

by Tally

A free society demands social responsibility.

Let me begin by saying my parents were very socially responsible. I was the naughty child, too smart for her own good, who never brought the vaccination permission slips home from school, and thus, missed out on the Small Pox vaccine (seriously. I must be the only person my age that doesn’t have a scar on my upper right arm.) I’ve also never been tested for TB. I know for sure about those. (Hey, shots hurt!)

I’m not sure about Measles, and my childhood medical records have long since turned to dust, which is why I got the MMR  vaccine this week.

I was also born before measles became a regular childhood vaccine. (Anyone born before 1989 is likely under-immunized since the second booster shot was introduced that year.) If I got the mumps vaccine, it was the old, shitty one they don’t use anymore because it mostly didn’t work. I have had a Rubella shot, because my OBGYN insisted.

Much has been debated recently about parents having the right to refuse vaccinations for their kids, mostly from the same people who want to give fetuses personhood rights. I know, the contradiction is enough to make one’s head explode, but science and logic aren’t big with these people.

Are vacinations really a choice?

When I was little, I remember my mother taking me down to the local pharmacy, where they were administering the polio vaccine for free. It was some pink drops on a cube of sugar. We went three times. Those were the best vaccinations ever.

In high school, I had a friend who had polio. Super hot boy, who would be on elbow brace crutches for the rest of his life, all because he had been born in a third world country where they didn’t have the polio vaccine, and he contracted it.

Measles isn’t always fever and a rash. Measles can do a lot of damage. It can even kill you.

(NPR: Beyond Rash And Fever: How Measles Can Kill)

Imagine a young adult today, fresh out of high school, who, due to her parents beliefs about vaccinations, wasn’t vaccinated as a child. She contracts measles, and ends up blind. Who’s responsible for that? Well, most children in the US get their first MMR vaccine around their first birthday, with a second booster before they start school around age 4.

As a child under 6 years of age, you really have no say in your medical care. That’s your parents responsibility.

So, does our young, blind 18 year-old have legal grounds to sue her parents? And what about an infant, who is too young for the vaccine, if they end up with the same fate because some parent refused to vaccinate their child who contracts and spreads the disease. Do those parents have the legal grounds to sue that parent who refused to vaccinate their child, making them a danger to the public at large?

What if that infant dies? Who’s responsible? Should the infant’s family sue the irresponsible parents who disregarded science and decades of millions of successful vaccinations, refusing to vaccinate their child, thus putting the public at large, especially infants who haven’t been immunized because they’re too young, in danger of illness at the very least, and blindness, deafness, brain damage, and death at worst?

It’s great that school districts are stepping up across the country and not allowing admission without proof of vaccinations. It’s an awesome step. But even if someone is forced to home-school their child because they refuse to immunize them, what about the rest of the public places that child will go? The park? The mall? The cinema? The supermarket? Disneyland? What about all those people being exposed? Sure, most people are socially responsible, don’t mock proven science, and don’t want to get sick. But sometimes even vaccinated people don’t gain enough immunity to fight off disease.

And what about those with compromised immune systems from things not at all of their own making? The elderly, people undergoing chemo, anyone who recently had major surgery, or those who’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals on the job? The list is endless.

We are indeed, our brother’s keeper. If you get sick, there’s a risk you can infect others. It’s why preventative care is now free, so people will seek medical care (which should be called Wellness Care), so it doesn’t turn into a hospital stay or worse. It’s also why if you’re sick, STAY THE FUCK HOME, and don’t spread your cooties to everyone. Chances are karma will kick your ass by mutating that strain so after everyone at the office has had it, you’ll get it back again, only worse this time. It’s called evolution.

It’s also why everyone everywhere should have medical coverage, and why we really need to eventually go to universal single payer for everyone within our borders, because even though I might have health insurance, it’s not going to magically protect me from the virus that uninsured person has who just hacked up a lung on me at the grocery store.

So, are vaccinations really a choice? No. No they’re not if you want yourself and everyone you know to have a fighting chance of avoiding a preventable disease.

02
Jul
14

Hobby Lobby/SCOTUS – Why?

Where to start?

Employers don’t pay for any actual health “care” unless they direct-fund their own insurance pool. Most employers aren’t in the insurance business. Most employers, even large ones like Disney, GM, and Edison, use large health insurance companies like Anthem, Aetna, and Blue Shield. The nice thing about being a large employer (51+ employees), the more (healthy) employees you have, the better your negotiating power is to write your own coverage. Small groups (50 or less), get to choose from pre-made small group plans.

Employers don’t pay for meds; birth control, or otherwise. The insurance company does. Employers don’t get an itemized Rx bill of all their employees medications to pay every month. The insurance company pays for that, and your medical care is protected private information that your employer has no business ever seeing. The SOCTUS decision doesn’t change that.

The ACA guarantees that women have FREE access to birth control. So, even if Hobby Lobby self-funds their insurance, the SCOTUS decision doesn’t affect that. Either the government (all of us tax payers) or the insurance companies will pick up that tab, because it’s cheaper than maternity care and the birth of a live human.

This decision doesn’t allow Hobby Lobby to force their female employees to pay full price for birth control. It also doesn’t allow Hobby Lobby to block their female employees from getting access to birth control.

Continue reading ‘Hobby Lobby/SCOTUS – Why?’

10
Jun
13

AHMAHGAHD VERIZON HAZ MAH INFOS OH NOOOES!!

AHMAHGAHD VERIZON HAZ MAH INFOS OH NOOOES!!

yes. it’s called your phone bill.

130200413680

Here’s how it works:

The US makes a backup copy of the telecom records. They can’t access that info without a FISA warrant, unlike what Bush did – warrantless everyfrakingthing…. and actual wiretapping. That’s not what’s happening now. No one in the US GOV cares that you are addicted to Facebook. However, HBO (a private corporation) cares that you’re downloading Game of Thrones illegally. There’s a difference.

Most people aren’t really processing what Snowdon said; that he could wiretap/listen/access whatever… not that he did, or that anyone else has ever or that it’s going on OMG constantly to OMG everyone in the US 24/7, yet that’s how the OMG-HAIR-ON-FIRE media is making it out. I’m curious how Snowdon’s private sector employer feels about their, uhm, employee.

It’s funny, but how the frak did this Snowdon guy, get a $200k a year gig in Hawaii with no high school diploma, and never finishing a single computer class, in the first place? Seriously, I’m more qualified than he is. And how does he know exactly what he can and cannot do, when I’m not sure how much of a grasp he really has on how the technology works….. and why it might be necessary…. having been at that job for only a short time? I’ve just got a whole problem with this dude’s story. I’m not saying what he leaked was completely inaccurate, but since the media has very little interest these days in anything more than pouring gasoline on the fire of their own hysteria, and actually researching a story for accuracy, that I have my doubts.

Here’s the deal….

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