Posts Tagged ‘Ohio HB 268’

Oh How Time Does Tell

June 7, 2019

This past week’s news witnessed the 75thanniversary commemoration of the D-Day invasion of Europe which precipitated the end of WWII. Along with the speeches by world leaders, and the interviews and stories of the dwindling number of surviving participants, were the archival records of the beach carnage and the iconic image of the landing craft overcrowded with GI’s opening its doors unto the gates of hell. Flying under the radar was the announcement by cleveland.com: New Ohio bill takes shot at employers who want workers vaccinated (Laura Hancock, 6-3-19). “House Bill 268 allows people to sue employers if their employment is affected by their lack of vaccinations. It’s the latest bill in the Ohio General Assembly that gives deference to the theories that immunizations are harmful, amidst a measles outbreak that is in part blamed on people believing misinformation about vaccinations. HB 268 is sponsored by Reps. Ron Hood, a Pickaway County Republican, and Bernadine Kennedy Kent, a Columbus Democrat. “It’s a freedom bill for people who are being coerced into having a vaccination, as a condition of employment,” Hood said. A similar bill has been introduced in the past, but it was only directed at people who refused to get the flu vaccination. HB 268 is for all vaccinations.” For context Hancock later includes: “In March, Ohio Rep. Don Manning, a Mahoning County Republican, introduced a bill that would require school districts to notify parents of how they can keep their child from receiving required vaccinations.” Buried deep in the article is the somewhat provocative, yet insightful: “A George Washington University study found Russian bots exploited the rifts in the American vaccination debate on Twitter – including sending out anti-vax misinformation, according to CBS News.” Also this week, Newark’s Gay Pride event met the authoritarian “keeper of the purse”, Larry Householder, resulting in the cancellation of one of its events by the risk-averse beneficiary of that purse – the Newark Public Library. The Newark Advocate devoted its weekly comment on this news in an editorial entitled Our view: We should be proud of PRIDE in Licking County (6-7-19). The editorial board cements its reasoning with the final lines: “Newark and Licking County should want to be viewed as a community that is welcoming to all. We want businesses to invest here and young professionals to see our area as a desirable place to live. Making it look like our community is intolerant to diversity will not help those efforts.” Excepting the existential alibi – “It was where I found myself at the time” – Analysis can’t help but wonder if those with the slightest ideological reasoning for their participation exited the landing crafts for the definitions of liberty, freedom and responsibility we employ today. Was the “freedom” they were willing to die for “a freedom bill for people who are being coerced into having a vaccination”, or one that was meant to help ensure the overall public good? Entering the gates of hell, did that diverse group of young people “want businesses to invest here and young professionals to see our area as a desirable place to live” or did they risk all because it was the right thing to do?

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