Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hi Again!

Hello, I just wanted to say it was very nice to meet you all and to spend a day trudging around Richmond, up and down steps, and getting lost on the roof of the building (I told my dad we were going the wrong way), and attempting to rip and eat steak on a stick. I may be on later to blog some more, but until then, Good Bye, and it was so very nice to meet you, and we all owe a huge thank you to the Lt. Governer. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Good Bye all!
Nice to meet you!
-The Blogger Formerly Known As Conservathing Two/Amelia

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Look who it is, back from the dead!

Hello, it is in fact Conservathing Two, I'm back from the dead. Now, I'm sure most of you don't remember me, and that's ok, in a day or two I'll probably disapear again.

But before that occurs I have a few little arguments on some past tidbits of info my father has told me while we both were on our computers.

First off: Mitt Romney spending his own money on the election.
Now from what my father has told me, people believe that while Romney is spending his own money he is attempting to 'buy off' the election. Personally, I would rather have a president who has his own money and knows how to use it, because if he can't manage his money, then how is he supposed to help manage the money we give him?

Secondly: Fred Thompson dropped out of the race!!!
I am very upset, I seriously thought that he could have been the next Reagan. Why did I like Fred? He was an actor, and he looked like he could be a grandfather, the fun kind of grandfather, the one that you like. Not the kind of grandfather that just sits on the front porch all day telling his "When I was a young wipper snapper like yer-self...." stories. The kind of grandfather that could be involved in a high speed car chase. Not to mention, have you seen his wife?!?!? She doesn't look a day over 30!

Thirdly: I don't know how many of you all will be at the blogger meeting on wednesday, but I will see you there, even though TECHNICALLY I'm not neccesarilly a blogger, my dad invited me, and hey, I'll go to anything that gets me out of school, especially out of all of my least favorite classes.

I'm sure I'll see some of you on Wednesday,
So good bye until then!
-Conservathing Two
(I wonder when I'll finally be able to use my real name... Conservathing Two is too many letters.....)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

WARNING: Government Help Ahead

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" -- Ronald Reagan

Government exists because people need to be protected from each other sometimes. But who protects us from the government? Unfortunately, people don't need as much protection as there are government workers to provide it. So, over time, Government has to find new things to do. Being the helpful sort, that usually means things that will "help" us.

My column from last week dealt with one example of how government "helps" us. It involved a recent story in the newspaper, "Parents scramble as daycare closes":

Parents of more than 70 children were left scrambling for daycare on Jan. 9, as a Minnieville Road child-care facility that was in the process of switching ownership suddenly shut its doors to business.
The business was changing hands, she said, and as part of the purchase agreement, the old owners were to allow the new owners to operate temporarily under their business license. "It was just until [the new owners] could get their own license," Hooper said.

But that was then - and in the now of January, the business deal turned south and the new owners were not allowed to operate under the former's business license. So they were forced to close doors.

The story indicates that there is a "planned opening for Feb. 15, after operators receive their new business license."

Nowhere in the story did it explain government's role in this fiasco, which centered around the need for a new business license.

From "What does government do for us?":

The owners will lose more than a month of revenue. The employees will go more than a month with no pay or benefits. And 70 families will have to make temporary arrangements, which is no simple task in the middle of a school year.

Why does the government need months to issue a license to continue operating a day care center that was already operating without incident?

I understand that some people find comfort in the quaint notion that a license protects their children. But in this case, the "protection" resulted in parents forced to find a new day care provider on short notice, with little chance to find the best environment for their children -- which they already had and would still have if not for government's meddlesome desire to "help."
So instead, a day care that was ready, willing and able to serve its customers has to turn them away in the middle of winter, so government can provide its valuable "service." And what is that service?

To answer that question, you need to read the Virginia Standards for Licensed Child Day Centers. This is a 100+ page document, which details every aspect of operating a licensed facility. It includes sections for Administration, Staff Qualifications and Training, Physical Plant (the building), Programs and Special Care Provisions. And while I'm making fun of this document, there are good, common-sense things in it.

But other parts look like they were added by people who ran out of real work. For example, under "Administration," there is a section about "operational responsibilities." This covers major items like licensing, background checks, government inspections and maintaining the facility.

But then there's a provision about "misleading advertising," and a requirement for "written procedures for injury prevention," followed by a requirement to update the injury prevention procedures annually. I don't KNOW these were added on bit by bit, but it sure reads that way.

The final provision in the section requires "written playground safety procedures," which I would have expected to be part of the "injury prevention" plan that's updated yearly. These procedures are required to cover "positioning of staff in strategic locations, scanning play activities, and circulating among children," as well as maintaining the "resilient surface."

In other words, it appears that a well-intentioned attempt to ensure basic standards for day care has evolved into a micro-managing document requiring plans for every aspect of the day care operation.

One almost expects to find a requirement for a plan to ensure adequate potty breaks. (There isn't, but it does say restrooms must "Have toilets that are flushable").

With all these requirements, it's no wonder it takes so long to get a license. But it's for our own good. As the Virginia Department of Licensing tells us, "The Division of Licensing Programs protects children and vulnerable adults in day and residential care settings."

Not in the literal sense of protecting your children while they are in the day care setting, but in the governmental sense of shutting down your day care for over a month while they check the paperwork and make sure nobody has removed the flush toilets.

Repealling the HPV Vaccine Requirements

Virginia is one of only a few states that has mandated the Gardisil HPV vaccination (only for girls) as a requirement for attending public school.

In my opinion, NO vaccines should be required, unless it is for a disease that is communicable through ordinary means in a normal classroom setting.

No matter how "good" we think it would be for a person to be vaccinated, medical treatment is NOT the purview of government. Government should not be allowed to legislate for "our own good".

In this case, there is virtually no possibility for a person to "catch" HPV simply by attending school (the chances are almost as small as catching HIV).

So the ONLY reason that can be given for REQUIRING the vaccine is to ensure that the children and their parents do what government thinks they should do.

Under that policy, there is no reason why Government shouldn't legislate a whole host of other things that government "knows" would be best for our children. We could require kids to eat according to the food pyramid, or to exercise an hour a day. We could mandate bedtimes, restrict internet access, or require they read a certain number of books each month.

Once you have decided that Government is supposed to tell people how to live their lives, there is no limit to the ways Government can interfere in personal liberty.

Is the HPV vaccination a good thing? Probably. If my child's doctor recommends it, we will consider it, although there is still a limited data set for this, and there are anecdotal reports of people dying right after getting vaccinated (two this week from England, three in a report last week, for the latest). There is nothing yet tying the deaths to the vaccine, and the medical community largely insists that there are no real risks to the vaccine.

But none of that matters when discussing making this vaccine mandatory. Even if it was proven that you could extend your life through some action, the government has NO RIGHT to require people to take that action, much less to order them to medicate themselves.

I wrote about this topic this week in my Potomac News column, which I had titled "HPV Vaccine, Don't delay it -- repeal it". The House of Delegates just overwhelmingly voted to delay the mandatory requirements for two years. The Senate should adopt this, but I want them to go further and repeal the thing.

Here are excerpts from my column:

"Today the governor signed legislation requiring that all children be in bed by nine p.m.'Studies show that children who do not get enough sleep are at significantly higher risk for illness,' the governor explained.'This bill goes a long way toward ensuring our children get enough rest, improving their health and possibly saving lives.' The law allows parents to request advance permission for a child to stay up late, on an exception basis. Children who violate the law will be prevented from attending school."
-- Nanny State News

Before anybody panics, I made that up (at least I hope I did). The government would never dictate how you should raise your children. Except that's exactly what Virginia did last year, passing a bill forcing children to get vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in order to attend public school, even though HPV does not spread by school-related contact.

Second, as Bob Marshall points out in requesting the delay, "It doesn't fit into the model for vaccines. You can't get it by shaking hands or sneezing." Generally, we require vaccinations to keep children from infecting other children, not simply because government thinks kids would be better off being treated. Requiring a vaccination for attendance only makes sense if unvaccinated children are a danger to others -- something clearly not the case for this particular disease.

Many vaccine supporters oppose mandatory requirements. The American Cancer Society refuses to endorse mandatory vaccinations for HPV. Even Merck, the drug's manufacturer, is no longer advocating mandatory vaccinations. An editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states "the rush to make HPV vaccination mandatory in school-aged girls presents ethical concerns and is likely to be counterproductive."


Opponents of the ban dismissed the risk of side effects -- "all of us who are cancer survivors and those of us who have daughters will take a rash any day over the prospect of cervical cancer," stated Del. Kristen J. Amundson. But Amundson doesn't need the mandate to get her daughter vaccinated. The question is whether other parents and children will have the same right to make their own decisions about the vaccine as Amundson is claiming for her family.


The government has no business forcing people to do what government thinks is best for them. Government's job is to protect us from one another, not from ourselves. Parents can decide about vaccination in consultation with their doctors, not on orders from the government.

Hello Again

For those two of you who used to read this blog when things were written here, I apologize for the long absense. I've been caught up in some other things, and while I've been online constantly, I haven't had the time to blog about anything.

But I expect to be back now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A moment of Honesty -- Mark Warner is no fiscal conservative

Don't take my word for it. Instead, read this brief moment of clear honesty from Tim Kaine's spokesperson, Gordon Hickey, as found in the December 28 Winchester Star article "Education remarks come under fire ":

Hickey also said Athey’s criticism that Kaine’s budget called on more spending than those proposed by Gov. L. Douglas Wilder or Gov. Mark Warner were false.

Warner, he said, called for a substantial tax increase just a year in office — hardly the fiscal conservatism noted by Athey.

Yep, that's a two-fer: Don't you dare say Tim Kaine is a bigger spender than Mark Warner, because Mark Warner was no slouch.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


OK, they aren't the only reason I haven't been blogging, but we got two ferrets last month.

Here's a drawing of one of the two: