The Good, the Bad and the Stupid – Part 2

Here’s some of the news and a few of the bills that caught my attention.

The Good: Two bills from Missoula’s delegation will be heard this coming week.  One is on killing and one is on dying.  Republican Rep. David “Doc” Moore is sponsoring a bill to abolish state-sanctioned killing, a.k.a. the death penalty, and the other is from Democratic Sen. Dick Barrett to allow terminally ill patients to request drugs to end their suffering, a.k.a. death with dignity.  These are HB 370 and SB 202, respectively.

The Bad: Capitol Bureau Chief John Adams is leaving the Great Falls Tribune.  I first read about this at Flathead Memo but the story originated here, I believe.  Another take is from Jim Romenesko, whose website covers the media and is an excellent resource.  Media conglomerate Gannett (think USA Today) told reporters they’d have to reapply for jobs at the Trib’s “newsroom of the future.”  The incestuous world of print journalism doesn’t allow Adams the opportunity to badmouth Gannett.  I’ll bet he’s pissed, though, especially after being named one of Montana’s best political reporters by the Washington Post.  

This is a huge loss to those who follow Montana politics.  Maybe he’ll end up at Ed Kemmick’s Last Best News.  That would be cool.

The Stupid would be an amendment to an immunization bill allowing parents to opt out of vaccinations for their kids for “personal reasons” (such as idiocy).  It’s HB 158 and is being offered up by Rep. Greg Hertz (R-Polson).  Hertz is jumping on the anti-immunization hysteria sweeping wing-nut nation.  As a result, according to Parents magazine:

… there have been recent outbreaks of serious diseases that vaccines had virtually wiped out in the U.S., including measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), and haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), which was once the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in kids under 5.

Thanks, Rep. Hertz.  I can’t wait for polio and diphtheria to make a comeback, too.

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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • As usual, you liberals aim for totalarianism under the guise of freedom. Measles is not that bad for most healthy people with healthy immune systems. I’d rather take my chances with measles than with all the junk that is in vaccines. Also realize that I’m not one that says that vaccines cause autism, or that they have mercury in them anymore. I’m simply against them because most people have healthy enough immune systems to weather most of the things we are immunized against, and having something injected in me that was cultured in chicken embryos is hella gross.

    • Jeremy when I was growing up I watched classmates contract polio and diphtheria who had parents who thought as you did. The classmate with diphtheria died. The one with polio lived but walked with leg braces thereafter. What I don’t understand as why there is so much passivity to flu vaccinations. I believe the CDC estimates there is something like 36,000 deaths per year related to the flu.

        • Oh come ON, craigy. Don’t be so hard on your peeps. I thought that that was one of Treeby’s more intelligent, coherent posts! For you see, YOURS is the party of anti-science, anti-inellectual inbreds and wackjobs! NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think that there would ever be an anti-vaxxer movement! EVER! It’s just incredible! Just how BIG is your party’s ass that you keep pullin’ this bizarre stuff out of? I mean, what’s next? You see, if you can deny evolution, global warming, vaccinations, etc., you can convince your base of ANY thing! And Giantfarte’s got the money to DO so! Seriously, a billionaire who believes in creationism? ONLY in the christofascist wackjob new Pubbie party, where the Holy Buybull is taken literally and Gumby Jaysus and be twisted and shaped to approve anything Giantfarte says! The rest of the world is laffing their asses of at you folks.

    • Mr. Trebas, your science is shaky and you’re being selfish. Listen to a conservative, Michael Gerson, writing in the Washington Post on 2 February, “Vaccines and what we owe to our neighbors:”

      “Whether hipsters or home-schoolers, parents who don’t vaccinate are free riders. Their children benefit from herd immunity without assuming the very small risk of adverse reaction to vaccination. It is a game that works — until too many play it.

      “Herd immunity requires about 90 percent vaccine coverage. Some children with highly vulnerable immune systems — say, those being treated for leukemia — can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. When the number of non-medical exemptions from vaccination gets large enough, the child with leukemia becomes the most vulnerable to the spread of disease.”

    • Interesting link, thanks Craig, but it appears that the sponsored anti-vaccination legislation isn’t coming from the 18 to 29 year olds. Also, according to a graph at that link, Republicans are growing more suspect of immunization (34% in 2014 v. 26% in 2009) whereas Democrats are growing less suspect (22% in 2014 v. 27% in 2009).

      • Pandering to a voter segment is something both parties do. Consequence be damned. I scratch my head over the Montana R’s who BELIEVE in the anti-vaccine nonsense. I attribute such behavior to long winters twisting the mind which cause them to wear their Republicanism like a pair of overalls rather than having a coherent, rational political belief structure.

  • Good catch on HB-158, the gift to vaccine deniers act. It’s even worse than reported in the Gazette. It strips the penalty for false swearing on an exemption affidavit.

    The odds that Hertz’s mischief will be stripped out in the Senate strike me as very low. It would have been better had the bill been killed.

    Only Republicans (Brodehl, Wellborn, Wittich, and Schwaderer) voted against the bill.

    Bullock should issue an amendatory veto if this bill passes the senate.

    Hertz, incidentally, also testified in favor of HB-245, Rep. Nancy Ballance’s raw milk legalization bill.

  • Hertz is backing the raw milk bill along with his anti-immunization bill? Add Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli to his support of polio, diphtheria, mumps, whooping cough …

  • To the Stupid list I would add Scott Sales’ bill, SB 154, to make blaze orange for adult hunters an option. The stupidity of this bill is staggering. Wildlife see colors in different parts of the visible spectrum than us, the blaze orange is for our safety. If you doubt that, go to a stand of thick timber in late season at the end of the day. This has absolutely nothing to do with my ability or skills, it has everything to to with the other guys lack of ability or skills.

    • On the third reading in the senate, Democrats Cliff Larson, Mike Phillips, Diane Sands, and Jonathan Windy Boy voted for SB-154. Republicans Bruce Tutvedt and Taylor Brown voted against it.

    • There is orange, then there is blaze orange.

      International (blaze) orange is accepted as the most visible color to other people and it is an excellent choice if being seen is the only consideration. Unfortunately, it has a reflectance like nothing in nature, particularly on nylon type fabrics. Therefore, international orange hats and vests stand out in black and white almost as well as they do in color. You can easily verify that for yourself by taking a black and white photograph of a friend wearing, say, a blaze orange cap standing 100 yards away against a background of trees and/or foliage. That cap will really “pop out” in the picture. You will be astounded by how the blaze orange stands out from foliage, even in black and white, because of its high reflectance.

      Deer lack full spectrum color vision. They only have blue and green color receptor cells in their eyes. This means that deer see in shades of blue and green / black and white. Red will likely appear as a shade of green to deer. In other words, deer are red/green color blind. Although they cannot see the color orange, the high reflectance of international orange will stand out to the deer just as it does on black and white film. I wear orange camo that meets the required amount of orange. Haven’t found a GW yet that is that picky over orange versus blaze orange. The other thing, the camo pattern breaks up the solid pattern. Game get very skittish over a solid pattern standing out against a natural background with different colors, shapes, and so forth.

      • The black-and-white comparison is a valid technique, but only if a cyan (blue-green) filter is placed over the lens (film) to remove the luminosity component of red light. In a digitized color photograph, the minus red effect can by synthesized in an image processing application.

        I disagree with Hawks that blaze orange is the most visible color. I think there’s a strong case that safety yellow is. Of course, context is all important: black is probably the most visible color in a snowstorm.

        • James, I think what Hawks is getting at about loud orange is that the color is least expected by hunters looking for wing and 4 legged prey in the field against a backdrop of willows, bushes, turning leaves and such. Therefore blaze orange stands out and grabs attention as being out of place.

  • Safety (blaze) orange has a red-green-blue mixture of 232r, 118g, 0b, (0-255 scale, sRGB color space). Because humans see in rgb, safety orange stands out against sky and foliage. But if deer have only blue and green receptors, they cannot see red, and thus miss the red component of safety orange that provides two-thirds of the brightness. The deer does not see safety orange as the bright patch seen by humans. To render the orthochromatic grayscale seen by deer, a camera shooting panchromatic film must have a cyan (minus red) filter placed over the lens. A digital image converted to grayscale must be processed to use only the luminosity component of the blue and green channels.

    The highest priority of some deerslayers may well be concealing themselves from the deer. But that’s a misplaced priority when it results in concealing the deerslayers from people with firearms who are in the vicinity and hopping with eagerness to shoot a deer. Safety first, venison second.

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