STUPIDITY SATURDAY Continues: Anti-Vaxxers Resurrect Measles With An Assist From California


The anti-vaccination crowd, let by such worthies as professional bimbo Jenny McCarthy (above), endangers the public health and undermines child safety by relying on various conspiracy theories and quacks to avoid a proven program of eradicating infectious diseases. Now measles, once considered extinct, has returned with a vengeance, with more reported cases in 2014 than any time since 2000.The reason is that not enough children are being vaccinated against it. Jenny and her pals are why.

Before measles vaccines became routine in 1963, between three and four million Americans a year got the disease, with 400 to 500 dying from it annually. So this isn’t a matter of kids getting the sniffles. Continue reading

Your National Hispanic Heritage Month Assignment: Remember The Amazing Elfago Baca (February 10, 1865 – August 27, 1945)

Baca statue

As frequent readers of Ethics Alarms know, I fervently believe that history is important, and that we all have a duty to remember and honor the remarkable Americans who have gone before us, their exploits, triumphs, struggles and achievements, both for our sakes—for we can learn much from them—and theirs. I am constantly discouraged by the inspirational stories and fascinating historical figures who have nearly been forgotten. The schools don’t teach our children about them, and popular culture ignores them. This weakens the flavor and the power of our shared culture: it is wrong, that’s all.

Today, as I realized we were in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month ( September 15-October 15), I want to do my part to help keep alive the name and the story of a Mexican-American who may have faded from memory because the events of his life seem more fictional than real. Indeed, for most of my life, until a couple of years ago, I thought Elfago Baca was a creation of Walt Disney’s creative staff, who wrote a ten episode mini-series about him called “The Nine Lives of Elfago Baca” for the “Disneyland” show (“Now…from Frontierland!”) in 1958. I loved that series, but it never occurred to me that the series’ tales of a gunslinging, lawyer-sheriff in Old New Mexico could possibly have any connection to reality.

But they did. The real Elfago was, if anything, even more improbable than his fictionalized counterpart, portrayed by a very young and athletic Robert Loggia, who is best known as the toy magnate who plays “Chopsticks” on the giant keyboard with Tom Hanks in “Big.” Continue reading

Remember Davy Crockett (and thank you, Fess Parker!)

If you don’t remember Fess Parker, who died this week as an 85-year-old winery owner, you missed the Fifties. Parker played Davy Crockett in Walt Disney’s TV miniseries about the lively Tennessee frontiersman, and did it with such sincerity and style that he not only turned coonskin caps into a national craze, he also rescued Davy Crockett from creeping obscurity. Continue reading