Question for members of the Tennessee state legislature;

Have you ever had polio? No? Why do you suppose that is?

When I was a kid in the 50's we ALL got the Salk vaccine and a little later the boostershot.

Later on, we ALL took the Sabin oral polio vaccine on a sugar cube. (Much later on I would take some of Dr. Timothy Leary's medicine on a sugar cube, but that's another story.)

Nobody complained, nobody refused, and nobody gets polio any more.

This is insane. The Republican Party is descending into collective madness, and they are doing all they can to take the rest of us with them.

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“Do not obey in advance”. This is Tim Synder’s #1 warning in his book, “On Tyranny”.

“Most of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive Governent will want, and then offer themselves without being asked. A citizen who adopts in this way is teaching power what it can do.”

By not vaccinating, followers are demonstrating the above. They are willing to sacrifice their health, their children’s health, and possibly their lives for a political ideology.

Do we need more proof than that to demonstrate the radicalization of 1/2 our populace? What else are they willing to do for their group identity and dear leader? Surely this is pure madness.

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I am so concerned that this is all going under the radar of the average American.

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It’s letters like this that make me appreciate news from a historian.

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Good to read HRC's summary update every morning. Some of the comments add useful information from additional sources. But in the end, action is imperative.

At a local Democratic committee meeting representing communities in our Maine county, a guest citizen spoke up. He reported that Democrats and commonsense minded citizens must show up at town meetings, school board meetings and get elected or appointed to local offices. This is essential to counter the growing attendance and influence of Republican extremists who are intimidating our elected and public officials. Extremists are advocating all kinds of actions such as censorship of history and science in public schools, countering public health advisories and vaccines, criminalization of activity and information Republicans are now against.

A friendly neighbor who supports Trump complained that Obama and Biden paid China to develop covid19, telling me they read this in a short Facebook post. I offered to look into this. Of course I easily found articles about this, explaining that both the Obama and Trump administrations provided funds to infectious disease labs around the world to find and track animal diseases that have started to infect humans, as a jump start precaution against a new pandemic. The Trump administration suspended this funding shortly before covid19 was discovered. We need more effective fact checking corrections distributed as public health and information warnings in the media where this kind of misinformation is generated.

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My first reaction reading this was Isaac Asimov’s spot on observation:

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” And, the cult of ignorance in Tennessee goes back to before 1925 with the “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

Asimov also said "When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent." We see the horrors of this in those Muslim hellholes of the Middle East, and with the withdrawal of our military from Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over again. But, whether they do that today or a century from today the outcome will be the same as the cult of ignorance seems to flourish in religious theocracies whether with the Muslim Taliban in the Middle East or the Christian Puritan in the Deep South.

The former poser president in his vulgarity referred to “Shithole Nations.” Ironically, from his ignorant malfeasance and that of the Repugnant Party, the United States is fast becoming a Shithole Nation.

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Wow early letter tonight. :)

With 96-99% of the covid-19 deaths now coming from the unvaccinated and most of those people coming from the GQP science deniers and fear mongers I guess if the GQP is trying to thin the ranks of their voters they are doing a fine job. With the delta variant (accounting for almost 60% of current deaths) becoming the dominant strain we will probably see another surge with an increase in deaths this fall/winter. I feel sorry for those people who live in those states that have to deal with the madness face to face everyday. I deal with it everyday in the medical field, but at least here in OH in the area where I live it isn't all out blatant craziness such as is on display in TN, TX, FL ......

I am glad that Gen Miley recognized the danger that trump represented, but we will not be out of the woods until we can control the House and Senate on a national level as well as at least getting moderate (are there any out there) republicans in our state houses. As disheartening as it is don't give up yet.

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I have spent almost all of 2021 fighting a cancer which might have been prevented by the HPV vaccine, had it been available when I was a young woman. To say I’m appalled by what is happening in Tennessee is a massive understatement. The corollaries to Covid are unmistakable. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

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FYI, below is the email I sent to Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the US Council of Catholic Bishops outlining my concerns with the draft “Eucharistic Document.”

From: Yvonne Whisenant <discodancer3752@outlook.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2021 5:37 PM

To: Office.Archbishop@la-archdiocese.org

Subject: Eucharist Document: Worthiness to receive Communion

Dear Archbishop Jose Gomez,

I am deeply concerned about portions of the draft Eucharist Document, specifically those addressing the worthiness to receive Communion where some clergy would like to withhold Christ’s precious Body and Blood from politicians and others who hold certain political or social views that would appear to be contrary to Catholic teaching. Christ’s precious Body and Blood is necessary spiritual nourishment for the soul, particularly for repentant sinners. Only God knows the true mind and heart of an individual. At the Last Supper, the Passover Meal, Christ broke the bread and poured the wine and blessed these natural elements to be transformed into His precious Body and Blood that were given to all twelve apostles, even Judas, with the full knowledge that Judas would betray Christ committing the gravest sin in human history.

I find some clergy’s opinions in this matter hypocritical because they did not declare such punitive action against other politicians who support the death penalty; favor inhumane actions towards immigrants, the poor, and the marginalized; support childhood marriages; pass voter suppression laws; engage in racism, human trafficking, and other perverse and corrupt behaviors, plus many more despicable acts, the worst being the support of diabolical donald trump, the most evil, perverse, corrupt president in US history - an egotistical, psychotic man who has made a career of corruption and injuring God’s people.

Since the inception of Christ’s Mystical Body, - the Church, I ask you to think about how many clergy, laypersons, other Catholics have done despicable acts, like the sexual abuse of children, yet were allowed to receive Communion. Only God has the authority to judge His children! I ask you to abolish the ill conceived effort to withhold the Eucharist from any of God’s children knowing that God will enforce the proper adjudication and punishment.

God Bless You,

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There have always been fringe groups that are anti-science and rail against vaccinations. But this is the first time in my lifetime - and I've been around for 83 years - that anti-vaccing has gone from being the ranting of kooks to the rantings of a national party and the policy of some states!

Trials for the Salem witches would problem find some eager witnesses these days!

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Republicans are wiling to sacrifice their voters and their voters children?! They obviously don’t plan on needing their votes in the future or possibly don’t plan on having elections at all. My lord, the nazi comparison certainly seems on point.

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It’s finally come down to what we all feared: the full faith and credit of these United States of America has come under fire. If you can ignore the rest of the political upheaval, you (and hopefully true Republicans) can’t ignore the gravitas that being “downgraded” as a NATION means…

While today’s missive also highlights the bizarre actions of Tennessean conservatives, I hope that their positions and rhetoric catch up with them soon; hopefully not at the cost of too many citizens. Vaccination is a PRIMARY source of public health and one that most would consider beyond reproach. That the Republicans would sell their own children off for a Trumpian-gambit is beyond deplorable. It’s criminal, or should be. We knew they would sacrifice their own; now we know they will sacrifice children.

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What will be that last straw? The magic bullet or elixir that will finally wake up the followers on the right?

Many Hitler followers never saw the light again, but I think many eventually felt shame. McCarthy is changing his tune to save his own skin, though. I don’t believe he feels shame. Nor does Barr, nor McConnell. Only greed.

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Thank you Heather.

I have a friend who is a Funeral Director. Over coffee recently he talked about that since and just prior to COVID-19, they have never been busier. He wasn't gloating. He would much prefer to be fishing off the dock of his camp this time of year. When he speaks to family members a common thread is "I think he/she had COVID and didn't go to the doctors". We will never know the true mortality rate from COVID-19. He is attributing his constant funerals to those people who may never had realized they had COVID, be it they lived alone, they lived in nursing homes or they flat out refused to go to the doctors or simply couldn't get an appointment . This is the real life or death effects of this pandemic. The death certificates are listing heart, respiratory, lung and organ failure. Certainly not all that he has a funeral for had COVID or the effects of.

Cancer, car accidents, long term illness will always be a reason.

I no longer get upset at those that refuse to believe science and stats. I think they will truly get what they deserve.

Darwin do your job and make way for the responsible people.

Be safe, be well.

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A good barometer of our plight: no one is shocked by the news that the nation's top military leader was coordinating with others in the military to block Trump from a potential coup attempt. I can't wait for Gen. Milley's testimony before the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection.

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Well, hearing Barry McCaffrey talking on Lawrence's show tonight, and Lawrence going over what's in Phil rucker and Carol Leonnig's coming book about the end of Camp Runamuck, it's very clear we owe General Milley a vote of thanks. I have the privilege of knowing more than a few retired generals and admirals (it always makes this sailor a bit awed that I an frat'nizin' with admirals) from my work, and they have been the people over the past four years who have been the most upset with what was in the news. Last year, when people were complaining about Milley having shown up in Lafayette Park with El Blobbo del Mar A Lardo, one of them told me he knew Milley, knew that he'd been "ambushed" into that event (which it now turns out is what did happen) and that we were "damn lucky Mark's there" as he put it, and that "he won't let things go crazy." I also heard that from another senior guy you would all know if I name-dropped him, so I won't, but I think we can say over this past year that - despite all its problems - we're lucky the American military is the American military. And yeah, it could have gone another direction. There were after all 230+ generals and admirals came out in support of El Blobbo during the campaign, but the guys I know were all saying "everybody knows those guys are crazy - it's why they're retired" as one put it. Fortunately, it's the Eisenhowers and the Bradleys who get put in charge of running the show while they let the Pattons go perform for the press.

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