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The argument that people who fail to get vaccinated are hurting others is rather paradoxical. The whole idea of a vaccine is that it's supposed to make you immune to the disease. So if someone else doesn't get vaccinated, yes, they're still vulnerable. But if I got vaccinated, then they shouldn't be able to spread it to me, because I'm immune. (Okay, it's not that simple. But it's close enough.)
Everything in life has pros and cons. Some number of people get sick and die from vaccines. That's an undisputed medical fact. Government almost never considers individual cases: it always considers what is best for the average or typical person. (Well, government considers individual cases when it comes to deciding whether to prosecute cabinet members for tax fraud that would land you or I in jail, but that's a different story.) Any policy of mandatory vaccination will pretty much inevitably say that a parent who knows that their child is particularly susceptible must nevertheless get a vaccination that they KNOW will cause suffering or even death, because that vaccine would be good for "most people". There have been many, many cases of people with terminal illnesses being denied medicines that could save their lives because the government is still evaluating side effects. If there's potential that the side effects of the medicine could be worse than the disease, it's rational to wait for more research. If you know that without the medicine you will be dead in 3 months anyway, maybe you don't care about the side effects. But as a patient you don't have that choice: the FDA makes a decision that applies to everyone in the country, regardless of individual circumstances. And in general, sure, I agree that the government experts are right in this case. But I strongly object to the principle that we must take it for granted that government experts are ALWAYS right and therefore should have the authority to force their opinions on all of us. I'd like to reserve the option to say that, in this particular case -- whatever that case may be -- I think the government experts are wrong.
It's fair to say, "Of course our own nation/culture/religion/whatever has it's imperfections too, we don't want to get arrogant." But it seems like Obama never misses a chance to run down the United States and/or Christianity. If he did this once, in a context in which it was clearly appropriate, like where he had to reply to a charge of arrogance, or had to get his supporters to tone down, we might quibble over the exact words but we'd accept it. But Obama goes out of his way to apologize for America. It's not humility: Obama never apologizes for anything he himself has done, or that his friends and allies have done. I don't think he ever apologized for Rev Wright, or Eric Holder, or Lois Lerner, etc. He always has these fake "apologies" for things that people he doesn't like have done, which of course is not an apology at all, but a thinly-veiled attack.
In response to:

How Uncle Sam Became a Bank Robber

mjohansen Wrote: Feb 04, 2015 12:59 AM
The government requires special reporting of transactions over $10,000. We could debate the value of that law, but okay. But then they say that if you make transactions under $10,000 just to evade the reporting requirement, that's a crime too. Umm ... that's like saying that if you drive at 49 miles per hour on a road with a speed limit of 50 mph, you can be arrested on the grounds that you just drove slower than 50 to avoid getting a speeding ticket. Or that if you accurately report your income on your income tax forms, you can be arrested on the grounds that you only gave the true number to avoid being arrested for tax fraud. If you obey the law, this is ipso facto proof that you only did so to avoid the penalties for breaking the law, and so you deserve to be arrested anyway. In America, it is now officially a crime to obey the law.
In response to:

Stormy Weather and Politics

mjohansen Wrote: Feb 04, 2015 12:44 AM
One headline that I curiously have not seen is, "Climate scientist points to his record of 20 years of flawless predictions as proof of his theories."
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Parasites

mjohansen Wrote: Feb 04, 2015 12:40 AM
Not long ago I heard some politician on the radio complaining about people criticizing him, and he said, "I've devoted my life to public service." So ... because you've devoted your life to making more money than 90% of the population in exchange for proclaiming that not only do you know more than everyone else, but you're so sure of it that if they don't do what you think is a good idea you'll have them thrown in jail, and if your ideas don't work out, oh well, someone else has to take the consequences while you continue to draw your fat salary ... because you've decided to do this, you think it's outrageous that the people you boss around occasionally protest about it? So, what, we're supposed to THANK you for telling us what kind of light bulbs we can use, what kind of medical insurance we are required to buy, how much water we can use to flush our toilets, etc? It's not enough that you impose your stupid ideas on us under threat of fine or imprisonment, but we're supposed to be overcome with gratitude for it?
In response to:

Parasites

mjohansen Wrote: Feb 04, 2015 12:33 AM
Sometimes I think that the only thing that keeps our economy running is that most Americans either don't realize how much they could get in government handouts, or are too proud to take them.
You touch on a key attribute of liberalism: When judging whether any policy proposal is a good idea, they consider only the benefits, and not the costs. Of course in real life there are lots of things that are good, but not worth the cost. If you asked me if I'd like to have a big fancy new car, I'd say sure. But if you ask how much it's worth to me, the answer is close to $0, because my beat up old car still runs and gets me where I want to go.
Women have already made their decision, so the law makes no difference. So then why are you putting up such a big fight about it? If the argument is that it requires an extra trip to the abortion center, then surely we could easily forge a compromise to let the mother see the ultrasound without having to make an extra trip, and then you should be completely happy, right? If not, then the extra trip wasn't really the point, was it? The point was that you are afraid that some women may choose -- CHOOSE -- not to abort. Funny that they insist they are not pro-abortion, they are pro-choice ... except that anything that might encourage a choice other than abortion they fight tooth and nail.
In response to:

Abortion Protesters Don't Count?

mjohansen Wrote: Jan 28, 2015 3:21 PM
We can complain about the media, but they're not going to change because we complain. The message for conservatives has to be: find more effective means to advance your causes. Techniques that work for liberals don't work for us, and we should have learned that a long time ago.
In response to:

Defense Against Demagogues

mjohansen Wrote: Jan 28, 2015 3:13 PM
Decades ago I heard this little story, maybe you've heard it: Two men are walking past a construction site where a huge bulldozer is moving tons of earth. The one man turns to the other and says, "That bulldozer is causing unemployment. If it wasn't for that bulldozer, there could be 100 men out there working with shovels." And the second man replies, "You're absolutely right! Or a million with spoons."
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