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2012 May 12 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Reality Check

One of the things about being ‘an old guy’ is that I have personal memories of the times in this country that I lived through, and I have given up being surprised at the misinformation and outright lies that are propagated about those times by people attempting to make political points.

There are a lot of things in this country “that have always been this way” that I remember being imposed by politicians, like sticking G*d in the Pledge of Allegiance.

In talking about Social Security, I have made the point that people are not really living a lot longer today than they did when the law was first passed. The real change in demographics has been the number of people who are living through childhood and becoming adults. This change is because of the discovery of vaccines to prevent childhood diseases that killed a lot of people in my age group.

People often characterize childhood diseases as minor and not serious. I had most of them, and that is a load of bullshit. Trying spending more than a week in bed in a darkened room while being force-fed various noxious elixirs and then tell me how ‘minor’ measles is. It killed people. In those days they felt that medicine had to “taste like medicine” [i.e. terrible] to be effective.

NTodd has been writing about Vermont’s mandatory immunization law, and discussing the balance between individual rights and the rights of the community. Both he and Charlie Pierce noted the Whooping Cough outbreak in Washington state that has been declared an epidemic. These outbreaks are caused by people not getting their kids immunized, and, thus, susceptible to these diseases which are always present in human populations.

I flew worldwide in the Air Force and received every vaccine that was available for any disease I might encounter, which was every disease. I have multiple smallpox vaccination scars, which have been discontinued these days, and I was regularly tested for TB as a child, a practice that also seems to have been discontinued. Most of these vaccines have been discovered in my lifetime, and I recommend people take advantage of them, especially for their children. It is a tough day in elementary school when your teacher announces that one of your classmates won’t be coming back.

May 12, 2012   6 Comments