Sunday, April 15, 2007

Parents, politicians spar over vaccine

Vaccination is usually best when in the public interest, but the HPV vaccine is making our modern day mullahs nervous.

JS Online: Parents, politicians spar over vaccine:

"'The speed at which we're moving from FDA approval to state mandate is unprecedented,' Vukmir said. Medical providers should take time to see potential problems and side effects that weren't picked up in FDA testing, she said."
Ms. Vukmir is wrong. There are perfectly good precedents for this vaccine, like polio, smallpox, and TB.

What's interesting is that she leaves the real question unanswered: does the state have a compelling interest in making sure everyone gets this vaccine? That's thornier. But Rep. Vukmir has shifted ground from reasonable argument to instead curry fear by suggesting the process is moving too fast (when "At least 50% of people who have had sex will have HPV at some time in their lives" from the FDA's Office of Women's Health) or by arguing that giving people the vaccine will simply encourage people to have "irresponsible sex" as she argued against emergency birthcontrol. This seems to be grounded more in her commitment to the social engineering of our morality than in either science or reasonable argument.

The argument I'd like to hear is whether HPV is sufficiently analogous to the other dangerous diseases to warrant the same kind of treatment by the public health department. This opens up the more important, and less ideologically motivated question of when there is or is not a public interest sufficiently important for the government to require everyone to do something [like polio, the draft, or duck and cover drills in the schools.]

The real problem, frankly, is that this raises questions about sex and sex always makes the theo-cons twitchy.

But how about this? Kids have to be vaccinated against measles, for heavens sake, and measles do not cause cervicle cancer. Why on earth would any parent resist protecting their daughters against a disease they are very likely to contract?


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

And batting 0 for 2 for 3/04

The Farmland preservation referendum was also voted down by 2/3's of my neighbors. I guess it's shopping malls and starter mansions for Washington County. Kiss the farms goodbye folks.

And so it goes.


Blind trust and then Supreme court justice.

Hi folks

Annette Ziegler, known as a smart and able judge -- with documented moments of careless ethics -- will be a Supreme Court Justice for the state of Wisconsin for the next 10 years. Putting her assets into a blind trust was the right, ethical, move. Without that, even perfectly reasonable rulings would have the appearance of hypocracy.

I'm reminded, always, that a critic is someone who shows up after the battle -- and shoots the wounded.

Good luck Ms. Ziegler. Please please remember: Justice comes first.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Linda Clifford gets the nod. Annette Ziegler gets a lump of coal.

Yes, there's more....

The Journal Sentinel, for reasons which seem unassailable, and now inevitable, has come out in favor of Linda Clifford for state Supreme Court.
Editorial: One clear choice

Judge Annette Ziegler has forfeited her claim after a well-documented trail of conflicts in Washington County. Linda Clifford offers intellect and solid experience.

And here's even more bad news for Judge Ziegler.

Personally, I was already concerned about what values the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) group saw in Ms. Ziegler they felt had to be represented on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. They gave her millions of dollars to make that happen.

I kept asking myself, "why?" Here's why:

OneWisconsinNow, which has led the charge into the the judge's history found even more ugly skeleton's buried there.

When she was a private practice attorney, Annette Ziegler almost exclusively worked on cases defending a big corporation from asbestos related personal injury lawsuits. From 1990 through 1994 Ziegler handled 118 cases in the Federal District and State Courts. Of those cases, 109 were classified as asbestos cases. In all of those asbestos cases, she was the defense counsel for WR Grace. This means that 92.37% of all the cases she handled in Wisconsin were asbestos defense.

WR Grace has faced hundreds of thousands of personal injury lawsuits all over the country. They were found by the Environmental Protection Agency to be responsible for dumping toxic chemicals that contaminated drinking water which caused the deaths of five children. The resulting court case was portrayed in the movie "A Civil Action." As recently as 2005 WR Grace was indicted on federal charges for knowingly putting their workers and the public in danger through exposure to vermiculite ore contaminated with asbestos. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported at the time that "hundreds of miners, their family members and townsfolk died and at least 1,200 have been sickened from exposure to asbestos-containing ore." This is who Annette Ziegler defended 92.37% of the time during her short time in private practice.

It's important, to some people, that huge corporations be defended in the courts for knowingly dumping toxic waste that kills children. [You just can't make this stuff up. All we need now are some pictures of dead kittens!!]

Is this what the WMC liked about Judge Ziegler? I hope not, but they've bet millions of dollars on it.

And so it goes.


Yes for the PDR is a Yes for Washington County.

Hi folks,

Farmland preservation is a sensible and prudent way to spend a bit of our (already allocated) tax money to support over 5000 jobs right here at home while preserving everything we all like most about Washington County. The county dropped $4 million on Cabelas for just a few dozen temp jobs... why not spend even less to do so much more? It'll provide great property tax increase protection for small farmers, keep our surrounding areas from turning into septic tank sewer outflows, and provide protection from sprawl.

That's the carrot.

Here's the stick: if we don't do it, we'll end up like Waukesha county.

For more of which, have a look here:

The Political Environment: Data Suggest Explosive Sprawl Will Occur: Will There Be An Inclusive Effort To Manage it?