Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn’t do anything.
“Are you feeling all right?” I asked her.
“I feel all sleepy, ” she said.
In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.
The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her.
That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.
On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.
It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness.
Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk.
In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.
Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year.
Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another.
At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections.
About 20 will die.
LET THAT SINK IN.
Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.
So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?
They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.
So what on earth are you worrying about?
It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.
“A white student may feel discomfort when it’s pointed out to him how he has benefited from structural racism, but to compare that discomfort to discrimination is a false equivalency. Hurt feelings hurt, but it is not oppression. But hurt feelings can be bad for business. And a lot of powerful people think colleges should act more like businesses. When they do, students act more like customers. And our likely customers might not be amicable to discussions about structural racism. If the customer is always right, then the majority share of customers is more right than the minority.”—Minneapolis professor Shannon Gibney: Reprimanded for talking about racism. (via sociolab)
Capitalism, as a system of oppression, is dependent and interlinked with White Supremacy. We have to overthrow both systems if we want liberation.
In the interest of our competitiveness, security, economy, and democracy, in the 21st century every single citizen of the United States of America should know what science is. All citizens should be able to apply the scientific method — a majority of the country should have the propensity to do so — and everyone should appreciate science’s limits… .
It is important to underscore that knowing what science is and making decisions solely based on science are not the same goal. This is about raising the tide and assuring the honesty of the public sphere. If as a country we choose to periodically reject scientific evidence or thinking — in lieu of an economic, political, or religious lens, for example — at least we will be on the same page when we do, employing and transparently weighing scientific evidence in our deliberations not debating the merits of scientific evidence.
“The inherently chaotic, crisis-prone nature of capitalism was a key part of Marx’s writings. He argued that the relentless drive for profits would lead companies to mechanize their workplaces, producing more and more goods while squeezing workers’ wages until they could no longer purchase the products they created. Sure enough, modern historical events from the Great Depression to the dot-com bubble can be traced back to what Marx termed “fictitious capital” – financial instruments like stocks and credit-default swaps. We produce and produce until there is simply no one left to purchase our goods, no new markets, no new debts. The cycle is still playing out before our eyes: Broadly speaking, it’s what made the housing market crash in 2008. Decades of deepening inequality reduced incomes, which led more and more Americans to take on debt. When there were no subprime borrows left to scheme, the whole façade fell apart, just as Marx knew it would.”—Sean McElwee (via azspot)
1. There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - “It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday,
In an era when we’ve all got GPS in our pockets, OnStar can find a stolen car and the NSA can track anyone, anywhere, it is still possible—although rare—for an airliner to seemingly vanish. That appears to be what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went down about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Friday night.
Both the Colorado public and the government have spoken, and the answer is loud and clear: Pot is here to stay, and it’s going to make to make a lot of money for the state.
In its first month of business, Colorado’s pot dispensaries made a staggering $14 million in profit. And thanks to the aggressive tax measure, the state coffers received a nice bump as well, with $2 million in taxes from recreational marijuana sales. Plus, when you factor in medical marijuana taxes and fees, the state made nearly $4 million in one month from just 59 businesses.
The figure is even more impressive when you consider that most of the dispensaries didn’t even open at the beginning of the year. Only 24 recreational stores opened on Jan. 1, most of them just in Denver County. By the first week of business, the 37 dispensaries around the state made $5 million in total sales.
Tracy Latimer was 12 when her father killed her in 1993 by trapping her in his pickup and filling it with carbon monoxide. He sat outside the truck and watched her die. This was after he’d considered giving her an overdose of Valium, or just shooting her in the head, putting her down like a cow that couldn’t get up. Tracy’s mother Laura found her body, and her father Robert initially tried to claim Tracy had “died in her sleep” before confessing.
Tracy had cerebral palsy.
Maybe you didn’t like that story. Have another.
Markea Blakely-Berry was born prematurely, and experienced lifelong cognitive disabilities as a result. Her life, however, was short: her mother starved her to death, and she passed away at age 16. She weighed 43 pounds at the time of her death.
Perhaps that story makes you uncomfortable. These might help.
These are the kinds of stories I read every morning, thanks to the Google Alert I masochistically maintain for stories of disabled people killed by their family members (I have another one for disabled people being murdered in general). Disabled people have enough to fear from society as it is, but it’s chilling to note that one of the biggest potential sources of abuse and violence is family members.
What’s more chilling is that these cases aren’t considered horrific violations of human rights and grounds for serious criminal cases. More often than not, parents get away with their crimes, or receive comparatively light punishments considering the fact that these murders are often premeditated and involve extreme violence.
This article is from last year, but I’m posting it now because today is the 2014 Day of Mourning for disabled people murdered by their parents and caretakers. And [massive trigger warning for violence and abuse] here is the list of the dead.
“Right now in order to finance United States government, we take in billions of dollars in profits off student loans, but permit billionaires to have enough loopholes that they pay at tax rates that can be lower than those of their secretaries. It’s about values. Where, as a country, do we believe we should make our investments? Follow the money on this. Invest in billionaires or invest in students. Well I want to put my money on students.”—Elizabeth Warren (via thenationmagazine)