More Responses to Current Events

More comments from LD28 constituent Andrew March:

In response to Representative Nancy Barto's vaccine skepticism ( Your Turn 3/22/19): Vaccines have prevented more death, disease and disability than ALL THE REST OF MEDICINE PUT TOGETHER! And saved a fortune in health care costs on top of that.

The experts know what they are talking about. The alternative: that epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists, pediatricians and statisticians are conspiring to unnecessarily stick needles into babies is just that - an insane conspiracy theory. Vaccines don't cause autism (the original "research" was fraudulent and withdrawn). And there are very few serious reactions to any of them, despite some misinformed anecdotes.

Opening the doors to virtually unlimited vaccine non-participation is effectively pro-measles, pro-tetanus, pro-diphtheria, pro-whooping cough, pro-iron lung, and pro cervical cancer (anti-HPV vaccine, Gardasil).

We will always have some fringe believers, but Ms. Barto and many of her Republican colleagues should stand up for science and protect the public from communicable diseases, not weaponize ignorance.

 

Joanna Allhands wants to know "What's the best way to help schools across the state?" (3/17/19) We know the results we want (do we?). So what does the research show?

I'll tell you what our own Arizona experiment shows, and it agrees with the results from a couple dozen other states that have tried the same thing. If you drastically cut education funding you get an educational crisis. For ten years we have deprived our K12 schools of about $1,000,000,000 (billion) for a cumulative $10 billion hole, give or take. We have lost thousands of experienced teachers, and discouraged new teachers. We have had students lost in classrooms with 30, 35, 40 kids. We have buildings deteriorating, unsafe buses, no art, no music, and extracurricular activities turning into exclusive clubs open only to those who can pay.

If you are trying to figure out how to solve this problem by any means other than filling the funding gap (mentors, teacher training, consolidating districts...) you are part of the problem. Being "creative" and doing more with less is just a diversion.

Besides, Arizona "creativity" in the form of the billion dollar charter school wild west hasn't produced any measurable improvement over traditional public schools. It has produced a few "entrepreneur" self-dealing charter millionaires.

We have an annual $ 1 billion education gap to make up, and a $10 billion hole to backfill.

We should also consider paying reparations to every Arizona student who was deprived of a proper education for the the last ten years. Maybe free community college?

 

Robert Robb is disappointed that voter turnout for the recent Phoenix Mayor runoff election was low (3/15/19).

Me too. I am disappointed that so many of our elections have low turnouts. We can't even get 70% for a presidential election, never mind our off-year elections for statewide offices and the legislature. It seems that many or most people won't put in much effort to cast a ballot. I don't want to punish them for human nature and I certainly don't expect that to change. Let's make it easy for everyone to vote with automatic registration, elimination of annoying and time-consuming voter ID that prevents many from voting while catching almost no in-person voter fraud, have a long early voting time, with convenient hours and a holiday weekend.

And because most citizens are not political junkies let's ask them to to do this just once every four years coinciding with the presidential election. Too bad we can't do this for the U.S. Congress too.

 

Bobby Jindal (ex Louisiana governor) urged his Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party." He couldn't beat them so he joined them. They have degenerated from supply-side economics, to climate change denial, to creationism, to birtherism to pizzagate, to chem trails, to Jade Helm 15 and now anti-vax.

You may find a few New Age Democrats who question vaccines, but they almost never make it into elected office, and certainly couldn't pass anti-vaccination legislation through a committee on a party-line vote in any state in the nation.

If you want to live in a 21st century civilization (including in rural parts) with clean water, air and food, modern conveniences and a life expectancy over 30 years you need to cooperate with some basic scientific facts and social conventions. Vaccines have prevented more death and disease than all the rest of medicine combined.

If you are a member of the stupid party, expect to be judged by the company you keep.

 

I didn't recognize the new Phil Boas (3/5/19). The guy I remember has devoted numerous emotional columns to railing against "identity politics." True, it was Democratic identity politics, but now he seems to have turned over a new leaf, with his enthusiasm for the new leadership of the California Republican party: a Latina millennial, a Taiwanese American, and a gay man.

No mention of any ISSUES that might attract members of these diverse groups back to the party. I am confident that conflicts with the Trump agenda will be few and far between.

This is just one step up from Representative Meadows summoning an African American woman who works for Trump to stand silently behind him at the Cohen hearing to demonstrate that the president couldn't possibly be a racist.

There's a difference between diversity and tokenism.