Genocidal vaccines

Orac talked about a comment which discussed how anti-vaccine activists are trying to save the environment. I hadn't quite grasped the horrors of vaccines until I read that comment. It's sad to think that the smallpox virus has almost been eradicated. It's also disturbing how close the polio virus came to suffering the same fate, only to be saved by the tireless efforts of anti-vaccine activists.

And yes, I'm being sarcastic, which I mention in case you're one of those people who think vaccines do not prevent disease at all and that it's part of some evil conspiracy.

Gay marriage ban initiative in California

A proposed constitutional amendment managed to get on the ballot. Considering that an initiative needs get more than half a million signatures to become a ballot measure, it's slightly depressing to think that so many people want to restrict the happiness of others. It would be understandable if gay marriages could bring harm to society, but there's no real reason why this would be so.

What's more depressing is that a measure to ban gay marriages actually passed in 2000. I'll be charitable and assume that this was only because the whole concept was so new that people couldn't get their head around it. I'm definitely going to vote against the proposed amendment, and I have a feeling a lot more people would be agreeing with me come this November than in 2000.

Korean protests over US beef

I think many Koreans are overreacting in their protests against the import of American beef. There has only been two cases of mad cow disease discovered in the US, which appears to have been contained before spreading further. The probability of contracting the disease from US beef is so low that it's a little hard to understand the level of conflict that's arisen from this issue. This is especially so since there has been less than five discovered human cases in the US itself who have contracted the disease, and it's not even clear that they contracted it from US beef.

The level of protests is bewildering, especially considering that there hardly seems to be any protests against Chinese food imports, where there is an actual and persistent history of contaminated foods being imported. At least the protests have not been particularly violent overall.