Wednesday, 2/4/15, Public Square



by | February 4, 2015 · 6:00 am

15 responses to “Wednesday, 2/4/15, Public Square

  1. We’ve discussed this before – but it bears repeating.

    Sad to say – I suspect the younger generation (both men and women) have never been taught the complete history of our country – the good and the bad parts.

    Also sad to say – I don’t know how many of the younger generation would know how to fight back if they suddenly lost some of those rights – as listed above.

    We did see a glimpse of what happens when millions of women are threatened with the loss of birth control. Remember the big fight over Rush Limbaugh going on his multiple rants about Sandra Flucke (?).

    But – how many times did we hear Republican presidential candidates speak about how there is no such thing as legitimate rape?

    How many times have we heard stories where some local football players are accused of gang raping a girl – and there are actually people defending the football players before any evidence is reported. And then to hear that death threats were made against the victim for reporting the rape.

    With this type of mindset being pushed by Republicans (who also profess to be the morally superior Christians) – I am very afraid of what our future will be in this country.

    For all the ranting and screaming about human rights – our own country needs to look in the Truth Mirror and then make appropriate changes.

    • I would add the current ‘measles’ controversy to the list of what hints at younger people not having the historical knowledge to really understand. Those of us old enough to remember the days before vaccinations were available also remember the horrors of those childhood diseases. I’ll bet there isn’t a one of us who didn’t know someone with polio, and we all experienced measles up close and personal.


        Now it seems the Tea Party Flavor of the Month candidate – Ben Carson – states the he believes this measles outbreak is due to illegal immigrants.

        But…Ben Carson still supports having your kids vaccinated. This will certainly keep him at arm’s length from the Tea party – won’t it?

        What am I talking about? Tea Party folks have shown themselves to be those folks who can turn a blind eye to ‘their’ boy doing and saying the exact opposite of what they scream and rant about – and then continue to attack Obama and those evil Liberals.

        2016 will definitely be an interesting election cycle – pass the popcorn!

      • Yesterday I saw a graph breaking down the people who are anti-vaxxers into political parties. It doesn’t fall along party lines — there were about the same number of Rs, Ds and Is. I’ll go look for that because the other interesting tidbit was that it compared how people viewed this topic now as compared to several years ago and it seems it has changed.

      • Here’s one link. It isn’t the one I saw yesterday but there are several graphs and charts at this link on this subject. Including one that shows younger adults are more likely to say vaccinating children should be the parent’s choice.

        Here’s one quote from the link that I found interesting: “There are slight differences in views about vaccines along political lines. A majority of Democrats (76%), Republicans (65%) and independents (65%) say that vaccines should be required. But Republicans and independents are somewhat more inclined than are Democrats to say that parents should be able to decide. In 2009, there was no difference in views on vaccinations along party lines.”

      • true that! I had Measles as a child, I could see the fear in both my parents eyes.

  2. I didn’t know the name Gerda Lerner until I found this meme in today’s header. Here’s a bit more about her —

    Gerda Lerner, the historian and scholar who pioneered the field of women’s history, once described how frequently women’s stories have been neglected in the study of history: “In my courses, the teachers told me about a world in which ostensibly one-half the human race is doing everything significant and the other half doesn’t exist. I asked myself how this checked against my own life experience. ‘This is garbage; this is not the world in which I have lived.’”

    As a PhD student in 1963, Dr. Lerner taught was is considered to be the first women’s history course in the world at the New School in New York City. Later, in the early 1970s, while teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, Lerner created the first graduate program in Women’s History and focused her efforts on making the field a respected academic discipline while also raising the status of women historians. In 1980, she created the nation’s first Ph.D. program in women’s history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she later became professor emerita.

    Lerner’s interest in justice was greatly influenced by her early life having been born into a Austrian-Jewish family in 1920. After Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Lerner’s father learned that he was going to be arrested. Lerner and her mother were held by the Gestapo for several weeks though the Nazis apparently never learned of her involvement in the anti-Nazi resistance. After her father sold his Austrian assets, the Gestapo released the family and they were able to escape and immigrate to the U.S. in 1939.

    For anyone who appreciates the value of recognizing the contributions of half of humanity, Lerner’s impact cannot be understated. As Alice Kessler-Harris, a history professor at Columbia, stated, “She made it happen. She established women’s history as not just a valid but a central area of scholarship. If you look at any library today, you will see hundreds of books on the subject.”

    For adult readers who would like to learn more about Gerda Lerner’s life, we recommend her autobiography “Fireweed: A Political Autobiography”

  3. Robert Reich —

    Jeb Bush gives his first presidential campaign-like speech today in Detroit, focusing on improving the economic standing of the majority of Americans who have been left behind in the recovery, arguing the economic recovery has bypassed the middle class and is holding back those stuck in poverty. Last month he said Americans are “frustrated to see a small portion of the population on the economy’s up escalator. Portfolios are strong, but paychecks are weak.”

    He’s right. But will he call for higher taxes on the ultra-wealthy to finance better schools for everyone else’s kids? Higher taxes on corporations to pay for upgrading the nation’s infrastructure? Eliminating payroll taxes on the first $15,000 of income, and raising the cap on income subjected to Social Security? Clamping down on Wall Street by resurrecting Glass-Steagall and busting up the big banks? Making it easier for workers to form trade unions? Raising taxes on corporations with high ratios of CEO pay to average worker pay (and lowering them on corporations with low ratios)?
    We’ll see. But don’t hold your breath.

    • Asher Bob White

      If Jeb Bush really believes what he is reported to have said above, he is campaigning in the wrong political party. Republicans do know these things but they don’t care. He makes it sound like he does. Probably not. Registered Republicans will still vote for him because once elected, he will do exactly what he is told to do by the immoral conservative Republican Party machine. Just like his brother did.

      • Sadly am not questioning this! It is always so odd to me when ever I talk to other Republicans. They might parrot party talking points. But once I start in on my views they generally do agree with m if not actually go farther then I do on the issues. Most like what has been said above think that the Rich are getting too unfair a break. While it is the middle class whom ends up baring the greatest tax burden.

  4. From a friend….good read. She has a unique perspective as the parent of a child with autism and the fact that she is very well informed.


    Ok. I have some things to get off my chest.

    So, we have an outbreak of measles, something that we shouldn’t have because we have vaccines available.

    We have a lot of health problems, including autism, that no one can really figure out why we have, or how to prevent or treat them very well. We have regulatory agencies that have been diluted to rubber-stamps for big pharmaceutical companies.

    We have people who want to question the medical community & the regulatory agencies (so far, that’s good) who are deciding to pit themselves against these organizations by encouraging parents to NOT vaccinate their kiddos. (That’s not good.)

    I know, I know! We don’t like complicated! We don’t like room for multiple opinions! We want a sound bite to echo & a boogieman to rail against!
    But, it IS complicated! See, I’m afraid when I say, “yes, you should vaccinate your child” people are hearing, “you should believe everything every doctor or politician tells you.”

    The reality is that we MUST continue to push our government & the medical community to put the safety of our citizens first & profits second. We MUST criticize & protest & scream at the top of our lungs that we want more research, more studies, more protections & assurances that the things we use as treatments are, not just effective, but SAFE on a large, confidant scale. We MUST NEVER say, “just trust the FDA and big pharma, they won’t let anything bad happen to you!”


    Vaccines are safer than a car ride. And they offer a much bigger reward. They are the best tool we have right now against so many terrible & terribly contagious diseases. I didn’t live through the polio outbreak, but my parents did; we talked about it recently. The iron lungs on tv & in the papers. The friends at school that died. That doesn’t mean we should stop looking for better, safer ways to keep our community and our children safe! But we can’t stop using what we have now.

    Autism is in my life. Everyday. I don’t know why. And, I heard someone say today that “these people are scared of nothing” because autism is “just another way of looking at things.” Well, that’s not my experience. I love Ellis just as he is, but I will keep pushing the medical community to help me to hear him talk one day. I have been studying every aspect of the autism/vaccine connection, and, friends, I can tell you unequivocally:
    IT DOES NOT EXIST. There is not, at this time, any evidence that autism & vaccinations are linked.

    Ok, that’s my rant. If you made it all the way through that, you are certainly a true friend. Thanks.

  5. Some of you have met my wife, or as I often call her “My human credentials “. Well she got released from the hospital today after having surgery to remove Cancer from her voice box. sadly the were not able to get all of it. So in a few weeks it is Chemo. She already made her a knit hat to wear. She is back hoe with me and unless something changes will be waiting for the treatment. LOL I am staying brave for her and she for me…BUT I still know that sometime I will be angery at the wind!