15 February 2015


Vaccines.  I'm not opposed to allowing personal exemptions for immunizations, but I think that they shouldn't be easy to get.  I like the idea of requiring people to talk to a doctor about the perceived danger of vaccines and the real danger of not getting them.  At the very least it shouldn't be easier to get an exemption than the vaccine.

Also, if you do choose to not vaccinate, you should expect that there might be some social consequences for that decision.  Maybe some people don't let their kids play with yours if there's an outbreak of a preventable disease among unvaccinated children, or you can't send your child to school for a few weeks during an outbreak, or you just have to expect that most people aren't going to agree with you and some might disagree vocally.

I hang out online in a few places where there are anti-vaxxers, mostly for entertainment value, and many seem to be pretty incensed that people are calling their choice into question or that some people might ask if their kids aren't vaccinated.  These are the same people who get angry when other parents ask if there are guns in the house before letting their children play there.  If you want to store guns in your house, fine.  You can also not vaccinate.  That's fine with me too. But please don't get mad if I ask about these things before I send my children to your house, or if I choose to not have your children over to my house because I have baby who hasn't been vaccinated yet (that isn't an issue for me right now, of course).  You make your choices and I make mine.

Free speech.  I hate what's going on in Denmark and what happened in Paris last month.  People should be able to publish even things designed to mock and goad.  And they are.  Governments aren't banning that speech- in fact, they are protecting it with the lives of police officers.  Free speech is working the way it's supposed to. It's simply protection from government stopping your speech, and it's the responsibility of government to make it as safe as they can for you to create speech.

But.  Even if government isn't challenging your right to free speech and doing everything it can to protect your right to say inflammatory things, that doesn't mean you can expect all forms of speech to be appreciated and respected by everyone.  You might not get thrown in jail but there still can be some serious negative consequences to saying anything that's legal.  I don't think it's unreasonable for publishers to not just care about what's legal, but to also care about other consequences too. Personally, I think most speech is worth fighting for, including satire, but I'm not convinced the specific speech that is in question in Paris and Copenhagen is worth people dying for.   That's something everyone gets to decide for themselves too.

Alabama and gay marriage.  Alabama, you look crazy.  Do what the Supreme Court says.  You're on the wrong side of history here.

Go away, Putin.  I would hate to see serious financial problems in Russia because it's devastating for everyone there, but I don't know what else could possibly make you go away.

North Carolina shootings.  It doesn't really matter if this was a hate crime because it feels like one to the Muslim community.

Airline fees. Airlines love to think of reasons to convince you to pay a little more.  One of those reasons is to reserve a seat.  The problem is that airlines need more flexibility that advance seat reservations on some internet ticket booking site allows.  If a family with small children has to book a flight on short notice, their stupid rules blocking out huge swathes of seats make seating that family together really, really difficult.  Flexibility, people.  And why aren't ticket prices dropping in the US if they said they had to raise prices when oil was expensive?

Hummus.  It's still not bean dip.

Mexican food.  It's not hard tacos, burritos, and cumin.  In fact, I almost never use cumin in Mexican food and I like cumin and always have it around.  It's just not used all that much in a lot of Mexico. Also, you should probably not eat at a restaurant that sells any type of Mexican-inspired food and tops it with cheese that isn't white.

Tianguis.  You should go to the one on Wednesdays.  One reason why you know this is because none of my expat friends go to that one, but my Mexican friends do.  Everything is cheaper at that one and there's a much wider variety of food.  And it's grittier.  You could almost call the Monday tianguis a farmer's market.

Cooler weather. It's been cooler this February than it was last February and I love it.  It wasn't hot last year, but it wasn't cool either.  But it is this year.

Airplanes and their woes.  I am so glad that we don't have small children anymore because flying gets so much easier with older children.  Until they start flying on their own, but I still think it's more stressful to deal with a two-year-old on a plane than worrying about your teenager flying alone.

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