You don’t need the government until you need the government

Whew! That’s was a crazy little hurricane. Several people dead in the Caribbean and in the United States. Lots of property damage. Schools and businesses closed. It was a mess, and it will probably continue to be a mess for a while.

I was listening to the local radio this morning, and they were interviewing a woman from Delaware who stayed in her house on the beach despite the mandatory evacuations issued by the governor and local officials. She said that she was flooded, had raw sewage in her basement, a neighbor’s house was gone, and that she was basically isolated because the only road to the peninsula where she lived was gone. She was also very angry because no one was coming to her aid. She said that she was a taxpayer, and she expected her taxes to pay for her rescue. When she was reminded that she chose to stay despite the evacuation orders, she said that the people who decided that the evacuation order was necessary were useless.

On the one hand, she needed the services of the government she helps fund. On the other, she didn’t pay attention to the expert recommendations of the government she helps fund.

If this sounds familiar, it should. This is the mindset of the conspiracy theorist, the hardcore anti-vaccine person, and all sorts of other individuals and groups. But let me stick to what I know best: the anti-vaxxer.

The anti-vaxxer will typically point to a study as evidence of their fears on vaccines. Said study will be conducted by some academic institution or government agency. However, if the study disagrees with the anti-vaccine worldview, then whatever organization conducted the study is said to be “pharma funded” or have some other “conflict of interest”. The anti-vaxxer wants it both ways.

Likewise, many anti-vaccine organizations will point to records in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) as evidence that vaccines cause harm. Then, in the same sentence, they will demonize the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for hiding the “truth”. Well, it happens that VAERS is maintained by epidemiologists and staff from CDC. Again, they want to have it both ways. When asked if the CDC lies or not, the answer is “it depends”, and it’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out at the level of hypocrisy displayed.

And that’s how it goes. If something agrees with their fears, the run with it. If it disagrees, then that something is part of a big conspiracy. Just like many people who are against “big government”, they don’t want it interfering in their lives, until they need it to interfere in their lives… Until they need to be saved.

It annoys me.

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3 thoughts on “You don’t need the government until you need the government

  1. I remember hearing things like the Federal Government was bad, and tax money was stealing form the citizens. The funny thing was that the person who was complaining, my brother, was a military officer. I bit my tongue trying to not remind him where the money for his paycheck came from.He's modified his views a bit, especially since he now works in the State Department doing support for embassies. It is a way for him to satisfy his travel bug.

  2. I live in a suburb of NYC and it is terrifying what the force of the storm surge has done to people's homes near Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. I know several people whose homes are "gone". Yeah, a certain subset of people, with a certain political agenda, rail against "big government"…including a certain Presidential candidate. That candidate has a "FEMA problem" now, because he wanted to shut down FEMA and hand over responsibility for disaster relief staff and resources to the individual States.VAERS reports are analyzed by *big government* employees, as is the active surveillance for vaccine safety from data entered into the Vaccine Safety Datalink…http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Activities/VSD.html"…The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project is a collaborative effort between CDC's Immunization Safety Office and 10 managed care organizations (MCOs). The VSD project was established in 1990 to monitor immunization safety and address the gaps in scientific knowledge about rare and serious events following immunization.The VSD project includes a large linked database that uses administrative data sources at each MCO. Each participating site gathers data on vaccination (vaccine type, date of vaccination, concurrent vaccinations), medical outcomes (outpatient visits, inpatient visits, urgent care visits), birth data, and census data.The VSD project allows for planned immunization safety studies as well as timely investigations of hypotheses that arise from review of medical literature, reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), changes in immunization schedules, or the introduction of new vaccines…"I happen to think that the monitoring for vaccine safety that *big government* employees does, is far better than all the anecdotal information that is disseminated on anti-vaccine and anti-science websites.

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