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While playing a six-year-old boy in Oregon cut his head on some farm machinery. His parents cleaned and stitched the wound. Six days later his back and neck arched and he jaw began clenching. He had to be medevaced to a pediatric hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe case of tetanus.

He rapidly declined. At first he was alert. Then he had to be sedated and intubated as spasms interfered with his breathing. He was given an anti-tetanus immunoglobulin for his wound, as well as the DTaP vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. He was kept in a dark room with earplugs to reduce the intensity of his spasms. His scalp wound was cleaned by people who were trained to clean wounds.

The arching of the boy’s neck and back worsened. His blood pressure shot up. He became feverish. Doctors inserted a tube in his windpipe so a ventilator could help with his breathing, and treated him with neuromuscular-blocking drugs to reduce his muscle spasms. He would remain in the ICU for 47 days. 

He then spent 2½ weeks in rehab. And it took another month before he returned to normal activities.

The cost for his treatment — excluding the medevac and rehab — amounted to $811,929. It is not clear who footed the bill. If the parents had instead given their child the recommended five doses of the DTaP vaccination the cost would have been $125-150. And their child wouldn’t have had to go through the agony of the disease.

Unbelievably, with all they had seen their child suffer, his parents not only refused the doctor’s suggestion that he receive another DTaP vaccination they also declined all the other scheduled vaccinations the boy had missed.

It is hard to see how this isn’t child endangerment.

Fortunately for the rest of the community, tetanus is not a contagious disease. So, in this case, the stupidity of the parents only put their own child at risk. But so many anti-vaxxers add selfishness to their faults and put innocent children, who because of age or immune system deficiencies cannot be vaccinated, in danger.

There may be some readers of this diary who maintain that vaccinations are risky and they are justified in ‘not injecting poison into my kid’. Sorry, there is no science which supports that position. There is, however, overwhelming evidence of the benefits of vaccinations — just ask all the kids who don’t have polio, smallpox, diphtheria, meningitis, rubella, hepatitis A & B, et al.

People who live in a society have an obligation to that society. I am forbidden from driving drunk. If I were to argue that I have ‘science’ to show that drinking doesn’t impair my ability to drive; or that I needed to drink to survive; or my religion mandates that I drink and drive, people would think I was nuts. And at the very least would demand I stay off public roads.

So if you chose not to vaccinate your child, please have the decency to keep your children away from other parents’ kids.

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Really? 2.17.19. Lindsey Graham. Fake emergencies. Patriotism. Gun violence. Limbaugh.

February 17, 2019

Lindsey Graham comes out against education. Margaret Brennan, the host of Face the Nation, asked Sen. Lindsey Graham how he felt about Trump’s declaration of a state of emergency diverting funds from the construction of a middle school in Kentucky to fund his wall. He replied “I would say it’s better for the middle school kids in […]

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The Indian River County school district in Florida changed its dress code. Here are the new guidelines: “Almost all words and graphics on clothing and accessories, aside from ‘school-approved clubs and activities,’ now are prohibited. However, the code allows print or a logo no larger than 2-by-2 inches. Leggings, jeggings — jean leggings — and pajamas also […]

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Trump’s Appeasement. “If It’s on a Piece of Paper It Must Be True”.

June 13, 2018

Donald Trump tweeted today that America no longer has to worry about nuclear conflict with North Korea because Kim Jong-un has promised to behave. As he tweeted: “Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting […]

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Gun Apologists Soil Themselves Throwing Mud at Student Marchers.

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After the ‘March for our Lives’, Rick Santorum made the absurd suggestion the Parkland students were wasting their time marching and that they would be better off learning first aid. In his words: “How about kids instead of looking to someone else to solve their problem, do something about maybe taking CPR classes”. ER doctors quickly pointed […]

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Donald Trump has come down firmly on the side of arming teachers. Here’s a tweet: Donald J. Trump‏  @realDonaldTrump ….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must […]

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Why American English Has a Better Case to Be Considered Standard English than British English.

February 13, 2018

The BBC — an organization which takes language exceptionally seriously — published a piece “How the Americans Preserved British English”. In it, the author posits that there are isolated populations in America that pronounce words more closely to the way they were in Shakespearean England than the British currently do. And that Americans, in general, are more […]

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How Do Evangelicals Get from Jesus to Trump?

January 29, 2018

Why do evangelicals want bakers to be able to deny gay couples wedding cake? They say it is their ‘sincerely held religious belief’. And as justification, they point to biblical verses saying homosexuals are an abomination — or words to that effect. But the same book has laundry lists of other things that are abominations and deserve punishment […]

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Reefer Madness: Jeff Sessions Restarts the War on Marijuana.

January 7, 2018

Jeff Sessions announced that he is turning back the clock on America’s pot policy. He rescinded the “Cole Memo” issued by then-Deputy AG Jim Cole in 2013 outlining the Obama Administration’s decision to leave marijuana laws up to the states – with exceptions for drug cartels and minors. We don’t know yet what Sessions decision will mean for state […]

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