Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Archive for February, 2015

    Petition for a 28th Amendment

    By on February 3, 2015 in See It Here

    Quick story: My grandfather worked with Jonas Salk on the vaccine that stopped polio in the 1950’s so I have a dog in this fight.

    Recent stories about Senator Rand Paul saying vaccines should be voluntary because “the state doesn’t own your children” and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie saying parents should “have some measure of choice in things” when it comes to vaccines sounds like an academic conversation on a Tuesday night in a college town after too many beers.

    But this is more serious than “what if” talk. This is the result of an outbreak of measles at a pair of Disney parks in California, and it’s fueled by the fact some parents have decided they didn’t want their children to have a vaccine. They questioned its safety but the underlying reason is they are in the group following the idea that anything the government tells you to do probably isn’t good–while waving the 14th Amendment (personal choice in family matters). Families can opt out of getting vaccines now in 20 states for religious, philosophical or with a waiver, medical reasons. We have the right to ignore science.

    The result of this “right” is the fact measles has now spread to more than 100 cases across 14 states.

    Pardon the choice of words here but discussions like this can be “healthy”;  just how far can government reach into our lives and say “here’s what you gotta do”?  If we lived in caves, there’s no need for government because it’s everyone for themselves. Unfortunately, we live in a community with thousands of airplanes landing/taking off, thousands of miles of Interstate highways across the country, thousands of miles of mass transit and all of it carrying people who breathe. Measles can stay in the air for two hours after someone coughs or sneezes.

    See any problem here?

    We have the 14th Amendment which allows us to be stupid. That’s healthy.  But, consider how our country could be different if we adopted a 28th Amendment requiring each of us to be responsible? That’s healthier.