Daily Archives: September 20, 2011

That Question About Letting an Uninsured Man Die? Yeah, Ron Paul’s Been There and Done That.

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

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You may remember that at CNN’s Tea Party-indulging debate, Representative Ron Paul, a medical doctor, faced a question from Wolf Blitzer about an uninsured young man who suddenly finds himself in need of intensive health care: Should we just let him die?

Rep. Paul could barely begin his answer about freedom and nanny state nonsense before the members of the audience screamed, “Yeah!” They meant “yeah “as in “yeah, let him die.” Classic Tea Party.

Well, it turns out that we know Rep. Paul agrees with the audience, because he has experience in this area.

In 2008, Kent Snyder, Rep. Paul’s former campaign chairman, died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Mr. Blitzer’s example, the forty-nine-year-old was uninsured when illnes struck.

When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Rep. Paul withdrew his bid for the Presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Mr. Snyder’s mother. Mr. Snyder’s mother was incapable of paying, so friends had to launch massive fundraising efforts to help her pay the hospital debt of her dead son.

And that, friends, is what freedom is really about.

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Filed under Health, Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Foo Fighters Drown Out Westboro Baptist Church Protest

Shirley Roper-Phelps, a prominent member of th...

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On Friday, the band Foo Fighters put together a surprise counter protest against a notorious anti-gay hate church.

Set to play a concern in Kansas City, Missouri that evening, the bank put on an incredible show earlier that afternoon. Led by lead singer Dave Grohl, the group showed up at the Westboro Baptist Church‘s picket against their performance at the city’s Sprint Center, riding in the back of a rig truck.

Playing their faux-country trucker ode “Keep It Clean (Hot Buns),” the Fighters dressed in the same costumes they wear in their nudity-filled spoof video for the song. As the hate spewed forth from the lips of the vitriolic group, their words were drowned out by the amplified phrases, such as “Driving all night, got a hankering for something/Think I’m in the mood for some hot-man muffins.”

During an interlude in the song, Grohl yelled, “God Bless America! It takes all kinds; I don’t care if you’re black or white or purple or green, whether you’re Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum. Men loving women and women loving men and men loving men and women loving women — you all know we like to watch that. But what I’d like to say is, God Bless America, y’all!”

This point definitely goes to Foo Fighters.

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Paul: Famines Happen Because Africa Isn’t Capitalist Enough

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

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On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul explained to CNN’s T.J. Holmes that famines in Africa are a result of a lack of “free market systems.”

“All I know is if you look at history and if you compare good medical care and you compare famine, the countries that are more socialistic have more famines,” Paul said. “If you look at Africa, they don’t have any free market systems and property rights and they have famines and no medical care. So the freer the system, the better the health care.”

Mr. Holmes also gave Rep. Paul a chance to respond to the controversy after the Tea Party audience at Monday night’s CNN/Tea Party presidential debate cheering the notion of an uninsured man being left to die.

“This whole idea that they world will not provide for people if you don’t depend on government — freedom provides more prosperity and better health care than all the socialism and welfarism in the world,” Paul said. “Nobody can compete with me about compassion because I know and understand how free markets and sound money and a sensible foreign policy is the most compassionate system ever known to mankind. So if you care about people you have to look to the freedom philosophy and limited government.”

Click here to see a video of Rep. Paul’s comments.

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Filed under Business, Health, Politics, Stupid Is As Stupid Does, World

Bachmann’s Claims May Irreparably Hurt HPV Vaccine Rates

The graph shows the annual number of cases of ...

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Representative Michele Bachmann’s repeated insinuations last week that the HPV vaccine is a “government injection” that makes young girls promiscuous and “mentally retarded” could set back use of the vaccine, even after she has completely backtracked.

When a celebrity rails against a vaccine (like Jenny McCarthy did, when she claimed vaccines cause autism), it can be difficult for public health officials to correct the misconception.

When vaccination rates drop, diseases that were under control reemerge. (For example, measles reached a fifteen-year high last spring.) With most diseases, parents start vaccinating again when the infection rates rise, but scientists fear that will not be the case with HPV.

Rates of HPV vaccination were already low before Rep. Bachmann weighed in. Slightly less than half of all girls have had the first shot in the three-part series; only a third have received all three doses.

Parents are far more likely to get their daughters the other vaccines that came out at the same time (meningitis and tetanus/diphtheria/whooping cough), indicating that the fear surrounding the vaccine is that it inoculates against a sexually transmitted infection. The recommended age of twelve for beginning the HPV vaccination series seems to suggest to parents that their daughters will begin having sex when they are vaccinated. Doctors suggest that if the vaccine were given at birth, infancy, or earlier childhood, many more parents would inoculate their daughters.

Via Jezebel.

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Filed under Health, Politics, Science Schmience, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Professional Photographer Provides for Pound Pups

Teresa Berg of Dallas, Texas is a professional pet photographer specializing in glamor shots for shelter dogs.

Ms. Berg believes that thousands of dogs are euthanized annually simply because the photos on adoption sites show shelter pups in cages looking forlorn. Several years ago, she started volunteering to retake dogs’ photos for a rescue group. Now, she encourages other professional photographers to give their services to shelters and teaches shelter employees to take more appealing pet photos.

Good for you, Teresa!

Click here to check out a video.

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Filed under Cheers!, Family

Fossils Reveal Dinosaurs Had Bird-Like Feathers and Colors

In Canada, paleontologists have found 70-million-year-old amber preserving eleven dinosaur specimens that show a wide diversity of feather types.

Preserved pigment cells suggest that the feathered animals had an array of mottled patterns and diffuse colors, much like modern birds.

The amber was collected at mine tailings at Grassy Lake in southern Alberta. It is housed at the University of Alberta and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.

In China, Confuciusornis and a few non-avian dinosaurs had ruddy feathers. Sinosauropteryx had a reddish banded tail. Anchiornis probably resembled a woodpecker, with a black body, banded wings, and a reddish head comb.

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China Pulls “American Idol”-Style Show with Democratic Voting Process

Chinese government officials have placed a one-year suspension on the popular television talent show Super Girl, which was modeled after American Idol and has drawn nearly 400 million viewers.

Super Girl captured the attention of millions (Photo Courtesy of BBC)

Super Girl captured the attention of millions. (Photo Courtesy of BBC)

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) explained that the show exceeded the ninety-minute time limit for talent competitions, claiming that episodes of Super Girl can last more than three hours.

Government officials have described the program as “vulgar,” “manipulative,” and “poison for our youth.”

A spokesperson for Hunan Satellite Television said next year the station will air programs that encourage healthy morals, public safety, and housework.

Some suggest the ability of viewers to vote for their favorite contestants was “dangerously democratic.” The government banned text-message voting in 2007.

Super Girl was banned in 2006 for three years.

In addition to the ban on Super Girl, regulators also imposed a one-month suspension on a TV station in the Hebei province after it aired a son criticizing his father.

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