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January 21, 2011

Americans have always been stupid about vaccines

A Century of Vaccine Scares - NYTimes.com
Vaccines have had to fight against public skepticism from the beginning. In 1802, after Edward Jenner published his first results claiming that scratching cowpox pus into the arms of healthy children could protect them against smallpox, a political cartoon appeared showing newly vaccinated people with hooves and horns. Nevertheless, during the 19th century vaccines became central to public-health efforts in England, Europe and the Americas, and several countries began to require vaccinations. Such a move didn’t sit comfortably with many people, who saw mandatory vaccinations as an invasion of their personal liberty. An antivaccine movement began to build and, though vilified by the mainstream medical profession, soon boasted a substantial popular base and several prominent supporters, including Frederick Douglass, Leo Tolstoy and George Bernard Shaw, who called vaccinations “a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft.” In America, popular opposition peaked during the smallpox epidemic at the turn of the 20th century. Health officials ordered vaccinations in public schools, in factories and on the nation’s railroads; club-wielding New York City policemen enforced vaccinations in crowded immigrant tenements, while Texas Rangers and the United States Cavalry provided muscle for vaccinators along the Mexican border. Public resistance was immediate, from riots and school strikes to lobbying and a groundswell of litigation that eventually reached the Supreme Court. Newspapers, notably this one, dismissed antivaccinationists as “benighted and deranged” and “hopeless cranks.”

January 11, 2011

This is the guy who influenced the Arizona shooter

'Full Colon Miller' | Southern Poverty Law Center "My name...

January 10, 2011

Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds

Short links still continuing. I have a baby nestled against my chest. Retracted autism study an 'elaborate fraud,' British journal finds - CNN.com

January 05, 2011

Google Maps -- Mass Animal Deaths

Mass Animal Deaths - Google Maps
View Mass Animal Deaths in a larger map

December 04, 2010

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) schools America on the Class War

November 29, 2010

Fed about to gut Truth in Lending protections dating from 1968 to speed foreclosures

When I was a kid, if you were a working person with a steady job, you were an idiot if you didn't buy a house. Now I'm grown, no working people have steady jobs, and you're an idiot if you buy a house. The Fed and Foreclosures - NYTimes.com
Now, despite mounting evidence of borrower mistreatment, the Federal Reserve has proposed a rule that would disable the most effective legal tool that borrowers have to fight foreclosures. First, some background: The Truth in Lending Act from 1968 gives borrowers the “right of rescission,” the ability to undo a home refinancing or home equity loan within three years of the closing if the lender did not make proper disclosures — generally of the loan amount, interest rate and repayment terms. The law makes allowances for mere mistakes by the lender, but otherwise requires strict compliance, as well it should: disclosure is the main — often the only — consumer protection in the mortgage market. It will come as no surprise that disclosure violations are not uncommon in the loans of the bubble years, so rescissions have become a valuable defense against foreclosure. That’s because when a loan is rescinded, the lender must give up its security interest in the home — and without a security interest, the lender cannot foreclose. The borrower must still repay the loan principal, minus payments already made. Essentially, a lender that has not complied with required disclosures can get its money back, but not interest and other fees. In practice, one of the ways that rescissions have worked is that lenders faced with rescission have instead modified the loans, by reducing principal and setting new repayment terms. The Fed proposal would change all that. Citing concern over banks’ compliance costs, it would require a borrower to pay off the remaining principal before the lender gives up its security interest. That would be clearly impossible for troubled borrowers. So the Fed’s proposal would benefit the creditor who violated the law rather than the borrower, paving the way for foreclosures that otherwise could be avoided.