California’s New Vaccination Bill – What Parents Should Be Focused On

MyGirls (1 of 8)First off, I don’t follow the news much. And that’s a flaw in my character aggravated by working multiple jobs, trying to spend as much time with my family as possible and having a generally low opinion on the quality of mainstream journalism and the inability of many blog sites to be able to separate and state clearly the difference between fact and opinion.

So I was caught by surprise this weekend by a number of irate parents talking about a new California law that will make mandatory vaccination, well, mandatory. Kids who don’t vaccinate will not be allowed to attend public OR private schools.

It’s true that a recent modification to the law will allow for home-schooling which is not really helpful when, in a family like mine, both parents work full time jobs and don’t have other family members who can home-school them.

But this also got amended so that the home schooling option doesn’t have to be all members of the same family. So essentially what’s going to happen if this law goes through is that hundreds of small “private home schools” are going to spring up to cater to like-minded parents who don’t want to vaccinate their children OR WHO WANT TO VACCINATE SELECTIVELY.

After hunting around on the internet for about 30 minutes I was finally able to locate the bill, surprisingly, by going to the opposition’s website: http://www.sb277.org/

You can find the bill here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB277

You don’t have to read the full thing if you don’t want to, but please at least ensure you have read this much of it so we can have a conversation grounded in facts:

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The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

Section 120325 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

120325.
 In enacting this chapter, but excluding Section 120380, and in enacting Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 120415, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide:
(a) A means for the eventual achievement of total immunization of appropriate age groups against the following childhood diseases:
(1) Diphtheria.
(2) Hepatitis B.
(3) Haemophilus influenzae type b.
(4) Measles.
(5) Mumps.
(6) Pertussis (whooping cough).
(7) Poliomyelitis.
(8) Rubella.
(9) Tetanus.
(10) Varicella (chickenpox).
(11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
(b) That the persons required to be immunized be allowed to obtain immunizations from whatever medical source they so desire, subject only to the condition that the immunization be performed in accordance with the regulations of the department and that a record of the immunization is made in accordance with the regulations.
(c) Exemptions from immunization for medical reasons.
(d) For the keeping of adequate records of immunization so that health departments, schools, and other institutions, parents or guardians, and the persons immunized will be able to ascertain that a child is fully or only partially immunized, and so that appropriate public agencies will be able to ascertain the immunization needs of groups of children in schools or other institutions.
(e) Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative and creative programs that will promote and achieve full and timely immunization of children.

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There is so much noise about this bill it becomes extremely hard to separate fact from fiction and opinion even after dedicated searching on the internet for reliable sources. But after finally reading through dozens and dozens of pages for and against this law and reading through the law several times I’ve made a few of my own conclusions and the reasons why I personally would oppose this bill as it is currently written.

WHAT’S RIGHT ABOUT SB-277, IN A NUTSHELL

Here is the fundamental rightness with SB-277 and the party line everyone pushing the bill continually falls back on: It wants to ensure the healthiest environment possible for our children in the area where they congregate most frequently, our children’s schools.

And you know what? I think that parents who have weighed the pros and cons on the matter and have decided for vaccination, should have the right to put their kids in a school which has compulsorily vaccinated children. If they honestly feel that for the health of their child it’s the way to go, then let them have it.

But not at the cost of rights to parents who don’t want their children vaccinated.

MyGirls (4 of 8)My opinions on it:

It’s a genuinely humane purpose to ensure kids are in the healthiest environment possible in mandatory attendance environments. I support that idea. And it’s really trying to deal with law two very big problems we face as parents:

1. Other parents who bring sick children to school because they can’t or don’t want to solve them staying at home (and I don’t care what their excuse, it’s absolutely unethical), in the hopes that the child won’t be detected as ill.

2. And even when you have parents who would never let their kids go to school sick, most preventable illnesses that our kids get are already very contagious by the time they can be detected visually and properly diagnosed. So it’s often too late to keep them back from school before the damage is done anyways.

But SB-277 comes with a major problem: there is no room in it for true democracy. And that’s a problem when you live in a country founded upon democratic principles.

And I think (opinion) if you were to actually assemble every parent in this nation and ask them the question: “Should every parent be forced to have their child injected with something which is not 100% proven to be safe as a mandatory requirement for that child to receive public education?”, that the majority of parents would vote no, even if the politicians that they elected would vote yes.

But it’s not an easy choice because none of us want a kid who has whooping cough left in school by a parent that couldn’t cope with having their child stay at home.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH SB-277, IN A NUTSHELL.

There are two fundamental flaws in SB-277. The first, however, being the most egregious and what MUST change for the law to be a democratic law: SB-277 gives parents and schools no choice on the matter. And that’s not right no matter how you try to phrase it.

The second problem is a couple of little kickers of lines in the law itself:

(11) Any other disease deemed appropriate by the department, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

(e) Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative and creative programs that will promote and achieve full and timely immunization of children.

At the very least schools should be given the right to have a vote with the parents whose children are in attendance to see if they approve children attending who either have not had vaccinations or who have been selectively vaccinated. That way at least there is recourse and like-minded educators and parents can have their children associate and get educated. And parents who don’t want their kids hanging out with kids who haven’t been vaccinated can go to schools that are vaccination mandatory. It’s really that simple.

And other than the complete lack of freedom of choice, it’s that lack of clarity in a law, those gray areas that really scare me. “Any other disease” as voted on by people that 99.9999% of the population don’t know and for sure haven’t examined our children, so why should they be given the power of law over my child? I’d be more comfortable if that choice and power were given to the licensed family doctor of the individual child.

And that one little statement: “Incentives to public health authorities…” Not that huge corporations have ever been caught bribing politicians, doctors, scientists and other people to forward their own agendas, but in case it could possibly happen, I would want a law that didn’t seem to tempt it so heavily.

Look, only the truly evil and insane wish for children to become sick, crippled or injured. Unfortunately such people exist and find ways to profit off tragedy or create panic over the potential for such tragedy so that they can reap the benefits. And if you want to try and tell me that such people don’t exist… well. That’s either a pretty sheltered view of the world or you are one of them. Case in point, a celebrity friend of mine recently had a well-paying job cancelled because he publicly opposed mandatory vaccination. Unfortunately the client who was paying him to do the ads had large investors who were all big Pharma and weren’t too happy about it. 

SHOULD YOU VACCINATE YOUR CHILD?

To vaccinate or not, that is the question before us.

It has become such a charged subject that these days asking people if they are for or against vaccination is like how it was to ask if people were for or against other matters where choice was involved a few years ago. I know, I know. That’s a heavy statement. But it’s true. You can really lose friends and associates rapidly depending on your answer. Parents who no longer invite you to playdates and so on.

Only the uneducated believe that vaccines are 100% safe. And only the uneducated believe that not taking vaccines is 100% safe.

You know why? Very few things in life are 100% safe. Driving your kid to school isn’t 100% safe. But that’s just life. We, as individuals and parents, have to do our best to make choices that minimize risk so that our children grow up in the best manner possible.

What if you gave your child a vaccination and they got extremely ill, crippled or even died? What would your reaction be? It’s terrible to contemplate.

But what if you didn’t vaccinate your child and they got a disease which it would’ve prevented and they wound up crippled, scarred for life or dead? How would you feel knowing that you could’ve prevented it?

It’s tough to be faced with that scenario, and yet every single parent is and must make that choice for their child and take responsibility for having made that choice.

Here is something that only parents really, truly understand: being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It isn’t 9-5, it isn’t 5 days a week, you can’t quit it (even if some think they can) and perhaps most painfully: every decision you make (especially in the youngest years of your children) can have a profound and lasting impact on your child’s life. Parents have to make tough calls. Frequently. And it weighs heavily on our souls.

Whether or not to vaccinate is one of them. I can imagine for some people that not having to make that choice is a relief, because then they have someone to blame. And that’s important to a lot of people unfortunately, but it won’t take away the pain of the consequences. So what do you do?

You have to educate yourself and understand the risks either way and choose what you feel is going to be best for your child.

Vaccination is simply about building up resistance to disease. No vaccine can state with 100% certainty that it can fully prevent it with no side-effects. But if you look at the amount of plague and true epidemics since the introduction of vaccination a lot can be said for it. As well as general cleanliness and improved living conditions.

Some people want their kids to build up natural immunity. When I grew up, whenever someone had chicken pox, all the kids in the neighborhood would go visit that house to get it over with.

I never got vaccinated, I’m alive and healthy 39 years later. My parents made that choice and I did okay.

A lot of people ask me what my stance on vaccination is: I choose to selectively vaccinate. There are some things that I feel are ridiculous to vaccinate against and others which make sense to me. But I also ensure that the vaccinations are fresh and mercury free. Why? Find out for yourself. Research a little. Get educated, that’s your job as a parent.

It sucks to have to make a life or death choice when it comes to your child. But you make them every day. You have figured out that it’s a good idea to ensure they have their seatbelts on, that they can’t get to the laundry detergent or the medicine cabinet, that they aren’t climbing up to tall a tree.

It’s life. You make your bet and you take your chances.

And if you don’t want to have to make the choice on vaccinations and the hundreds of other life or death decisions a parent is forced to make then it is simple: Don’t have a child.

HOW TO MAKE SB-277 WORK

There are a lot of other issues surrounding the subject and consequences of vaccination, but as far as SB-277 is concerned, the two fatal flaws which must be addressed for it to be a responsible law are:

1. Allow for freedom of choice and give schools/communities the power to decide democratically on the matter of whether a school must adhere to compulsory vaccination. It will mean that some schools will require 100% vaccination and for parents who want it, that will make them happy.

2. Remove the opportunity for government corruption and corporate greed contained in the gray areas and give the power of decision to the individual child’s doctor and their parents.

For what it’s worth, that’s my opinion on the matter.

MyGirls (7 of 8)

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Yale Idiocy…and what it says to and about us…

Yale Idiocy…and what it says to and about us…

Times must change. I guess pretty much everyone has heard about the flap at Yale.

Because I feel so strongly on this, I’ve re-posted my comment on the article here in my blog.

If you haven’t heard about it you can check it here.

My thoughts:
This is sad beyond words for so many different reasons. But you know who this sort of thing both terrifies and incites violence from the most?

Fathers who have daughters.

While I plan on teaching my daughter respect and tolerance, I also plan on showing her the results of passivity in the face of oppression in any form. It’s true that Gandhi didn’t physically fight back, but he always fought.

I’m not Gandhi and I can’t even post what I would do if my daughter was of age and someone spoke these words to her. Actually by then she’ll be trained in kickboxing and aikido amongst other defensive (UL) skills so she can tend to such matters herself. Then, while other people debate whether something could be proven in court as “justifiable cause” she can just deal with it how she sees fit based off her personal reaction and the circumstances of the situation.

But the bigger truth is that most of us actually live in a world that is often violent and terrifying.

Change comes about when enough people demand it and see to it that it occurs. It doesn’t come from doing nothing or speculating on matters requiring change.

People have been punishing people for more years than these hooligans can probably count and it hasn’t changed a damn thing.

These kids are what? 18-20 years old physically (not mentally obviously)?

Punishment is not what’s needed.

Responsibility is what is needed.

Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t cut it.

Future leaders of America someone above said? HA! Not a chance.

In today’s day and age of instant access information these boys have screwed any hope of a political future. After all, your political campaign doesn’t really sustain well when an opponent publishes a youtube clip showing you chanting this sort of stuff. And I highly doubt the female voters are going to buy “I was drunk, young and stupid.”

However they might accept “I was drunk, young and stupid and in seeing the errors of my ways I went and did an entire semester of volunteer work cleaning the floors and taking the trash out at the local women’s rape crisis center. I also championed an on an campus ethics and values campaign and got most of the other boys involved to do the same. ” or something similar.

You know…responsibility.

Parents who have daughters attending the school should put pressure on Yale and demand that responsibility be taken and amends be made. How? That’s not the parent’s problem, that’s the student’s problem.

If ANYONE should be expelled it should be whoever put them up to it. These kids are just dupes who need to be made to take responsibility for their actions and make amends so that they actually LEARN from their mistake as opposed to just regretting it.

But there is another layer to all of this that has to do with us as US citizens.

One thing I can say having lived abroad from the US for a number of years now is that violating the amendments and rights covering freedom of speech is not the problem here. Taking them for granted is.

We have become so spoiled as a country it can at times be nauseating. Is this what our soldiers are dying for? To defend “our way of life” and “our rights.”

The rights of these boys?

And let’s just skip the entire political mess and go to what’s really important: those soldiers are someone’s children. Most of them being a similar age as the young men in this video. I don’t want to muddy the waters too much here but that we, as US citizens (and yes, this does reflect on us as US citizens), even have the opportunity to do things this stupid is blatant and gross misuse of the privileges we have.

If these boys were living in Mexico, most of them probably wouldn’t be worrying about punishment from the school or the civil system but that coming from the familial system. And unfortunately, if they offended the wrong girl, a number of them might never be seen again. That’s just a fact of life.

They are LUCKY at this moment in time to be living in the US.

The moment you take someone else’s rights for granted, to some degree you have just forfeited your own.

As a request to the publication, publish the names of the students who participated in it and the name(s) of the students who put them up to it.

That might require some investigative reporting, but it will do more to reform these boys then a bazillion comments debating the point.

Not to compare the seriousness, but merely the necessity to insist upon a change and the respecting of the rights of others, this statement sort of says it all doesn’t it:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Now Arriving to WordPress

I’m moving over to wordpress from my other blog site simply because I really intend for my blog to be a memory reservoir for the future and preserve things that would otherwise be forgotten about and word press has awesome categorizations that I haven’t found in the other blog.

So there will be a boatload of new blog posts and then it will return to normal.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.