Cheers to Denis T and the rest of the Mercury staff for taking a position on a controversial issue that most likely alienated a large share of your readership. I'm sorry to see some readers of your rag retreat farther into the ether of extremism and science fiction--if they think the Mercury is mainstream they should try living in Branson, Missouri for a bit--but, you win some you lose some. There are some interesting and very relevant articles out on the web today that shed some light on the peculiar and tragic outcome of the great fluoride debate of 2013. "Why Rational People buy into Conspiracy Theories," in yesterday's New York Times has some salient observations applicable to the anti-fluoride camp and even the gloating going on in the wake of the election. NPR (another "mainstream" news outlet) has a piece today on the fallout of the anti-vaccine movement in the UK--in short a measles epidemic. I have lived in Portland for 3 years and will continue to read the Mercury, the Oregonian, the Williamette Weekly, NYT, WSJ, Mother Jones and whatever Noam Chomsky's currently peddling because dismissing reputable journalism because you disagree with an OpEd is a fast track to ignorance. Again, thanks for your stand and keep up the good work.
Anyone remember "Theodoric of York--Medieval Barber?" It was a skit on SNL back in the 70's with Steve Martin playing the title role in which he would practice medicine with "cutting edge" advances like bloodletting and expulsion of "humors" all the while disparaging traditional treatments like "demonic possesion." It was hilarious (particularly when John Belushi entered the scene). For some reason the fluoride debate currently permeating the media in Portland (WW also has an article devoted to it)reminds me of that old skit. I am constantly amazed at the lengths seemingly educated, intelligent people go out of their way to be grossly misinformed. Some of them draw tight the cloak of science around them, scour the web finding articles and scientific studies that support their preposterous beliefs only to ignore key findings or misunderstand the core results of the science extracting out findings or statements that seem to validate their position. It's apparent from the many comments in the blogs and opinion pages that they are not idiots (they are apparently able to read many of the highly technical journal articles) but quoting data from a 1955 NEJM article about the potential carcinogenic effects of fluoride just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. It seems that a lot of folks have taken the core planks of an eight grade lesson of "the scientific method" and just rearranged them. The fluoride fear mongers, anti-vaccine zealots, global warming deniers, HAARP conspiracy theorists all represent a conscious effort to IGNORE science or worse yet manipulate it to confirm their own irrational beliefs. The phenomena crosses political lines easily. Though the left is represented strongly in the fluoride/vaccine issue the right has, of late, been throwing around and misinterpreting scientific studies that support the ludacrous idea that background checks are not effective in detering individuals from buying guns and using them to kill people. I won't even bore you with the misinterpretation of climate studies.
I think Thomas Jefferson is rolling his eyes while rolling over in his grave at the state of our current discourse. What I can't wrap my mind around is the motivation to delude onesself. Why? Fear?
I think I'll sign off now as I have an over abundance of black bile and am late for a hair cut.
So, a few things. First, I was in the US military. Second, from the content of your comments my politic is probably not too far from your own and lastly; irony and satire is something most people learn to identify in a high school composition class.
Having said that and blown off a little verbal steam at the two children walking around Sellwood with their pop guns I would like to say a few comments--in all seriousness.
I am a patriot, I have taken said oath and defended this country. I just choose not to cram it down other people’s throats. My love of country is a private matter--I quietly take my hat off at ballgames and I vote.
In a rational discussion of the constitutional amendments most scholars fall into two general categories; "Originalists" and students of the concept of a "Living Constitution." Justice Scalia would be an example of an "Originalist." That is he believes, as he has often stated, that he interprets our constitution as our founding fathers intended it. As if the document itself is frozen in its language and married to an 18th century sensibility. This strict interpretation allows him to divorce the document from the zeitgeist of the time. Some hold this interpretation as the "correct" one. An analogy would be a Creationist interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Since God created the world in seven days, 5000 years ago, dinosaurs and giraffes must have existed together--sounds kinds crazy doesn't it?
The Living Constitution enthusiasts believe that the founders wrote the document in broad, malleable language that would allow the document to evolve over time with the culture of the nation. Some argue that this is inherent in the idea of Amendments itself. The constitution can be edited, amended and changed by the people to suit the needs of the nation as a whole. Examples of course are the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery--a concept that was such an anathema to half the country that we had a civil war over it but, in retrospect generally considered a good idea. The 18th and 21st Amendments--what a small but very loud group thought was a good idea but then a larger group later thought better. And, of course the 19th Amendment, boy were people pissed about THAT one!
I personally fall into the latter category of constitutional scholarship and believe that the 2nd Amendment was written in a time when we had no standing Army and needed a "well REGULATED Militia" to ensure that the British, French, Spanish and other powers of the day could not just walk in stomp all over our fledgling country and rights.
However, as this country has grown geographically, by population size and (dare I say it) intellectually, the 2nd Amendment AS IT IS WORDED no longer serves the best interest of our nation. It serves the best interest of a relatively small group of paranoid rubes and needs to be changed.
I DO believe in individual American citizens have the right to bear arms; rifles, shotguns, even pistols. I believe we as a nation need to have a rationale discussion to better ourselves. I don't believe responsible gun owners should drop everything to come to the rescue of irresponsible assholes. I don't believe anyone save the military and the local police should have the right to walk around with said guns whenever they DAMN WELL FEEL LIKE IT. Those two idiots are doing more damage to your coveted right to bear arms than any liberal politician. As you quoted the 4th Amendment to me--if you really feel our government is gonna come in and take your shit--you got your gun on your property--have at it cowboy!
At any rate my micro penis serves me just fine.
What a couple of Dickheads. I am fuckin sick and tired of gun nuts throwing the 2nd amendment up in my face--you fucks don't even know you're own Goddamn national history. Walking around Sellwood with rifles on your back and pistols on your belt? Are you fucking kidding me? Why don't you two do yourselves and EVERYONE ELSE a favor and join the fucking Army? It's a great organization; you get to carry guns and shoot people. Of course, in the Army other people get to shoot back--not quite the thrill of wandering around a neighborhood filled with MILFS with baby strollers and labradors tied to the handles.
The gun lobby has the entire nation held hostage because of their fucking paranoia and warped interpretation of an amendment that was drafted before their was fucking electricity!
I have guns, I have been in the military and I have been shot at. And even I do not feel compelled to walk around with a weapon concealed or not. There is no gun big enough and no magazine large enough to soothe your ridiculous fears or compensate for your micro penis.
Stay Classy Portland...
You self righteous, oxygen usurping, punk. If I ever catch you giving me the stink eye as a reach for a sixer of Corona Light I'll throw you down put a firm flip-flop on the back of your neck and cram a silo of Pabst right up your keister. That'll unfuck you good!
Hey DamosA! You're a fucking hippocrite--you write these detailed manifestos complaining about other people complaining! How bout a nice hot cup o' shut the fuck up!
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