Down under

January 15, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

I’m one of the 38%, people who had the vaccination who nonetheless got the flu. It’s been many hours hibernating in bed (about 60), barely reading much less writing, barely standing up. I apologize for those who posted comments that weren’t reviewed until now.

This, of course, makes me appreciate that I don’t usually feel like this. And it is a good reminder that there are many folks out there with chronic pain and illness who don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

In my process of gaining some strength, I started wondering who is funding Fred Phelps hate group (the “Westboro Baptist Church”). As is often the case, Wikipedia offers a succinct answer. It is self-funded. The group’s 40 members chip in $200,000 per year for travel and other costs. They have also filed some suits of their own, seeking fees and damages to further their bizarre cause.

WBC’s travel expenses exceed $200,000 annually. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Westboro is funded entirely by its congregation and accepts no outside donations. The church has received money from lawsuits and legal fees. For example, they sued the city of Topeka several times in the 1990s. WBC received $16,500, and is pursuing another $100,000, in legal fees for a case won in court. The WBC is considered a nonprofit organization by the federal government, and is therefore exempt from paying taxes.

The world is a crazy place, especially given that we cannot any longer have rational non-vilifying conversations with people with whom we disagree. George Carlin has said so very many things that resonate with me. One of them is that he no longer claimed a “stake in the process,” and that he simply has stepped back to see life as a bizarre entertainment spectacle, and nothing more. I don’t agree with this nihilistic outlook, but it nonetheless haunts me, in this day where major issues go unanticipated and unaddressed while we blast each other about trivial and tribal concerns. If only we had a way to remove all the tribal labels and figure out what needs to be done to preserve the planet for the next generation. That’s my benchmark. Anyone who can’t agree that this is the (or at least, a) prime directive, is a nihilist. Or equally bad, perhaps they are well-meaning people who have given up, who seen no way to apply their personal energies to change the world for the better. Yes, there will always be local victories, but the bigger context seems to me that ordinary citizens are becoming disempowered, except as consumers.


Category: American Culture

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Ben says:

    In my (humble) experience, there seems to be a positive correlation between getting a flu shot and getting sick. (FYI, I avoid flu shots like the plague and I rarely get sick.)

    Tips to avoid getting sick which actually seem to work:

    Avoid long periods of exposure, especially if you are in damp/sweaty clothing. One or two hours is okay, but then take a warm shower and then dry off COMPLETELY — and Always remember to use Q-tips.

    Brush the tongue as part of daily brushing, as far back as you can without gagging.

    Open public/bathroom doors with paper towel or the cuff of your sleeve or elbow.

    Eat green/healthy stuff like kale, spinach, peppers, broccoli at least every other day. Fruits (apples banana grapes) daily.

    Take naps/sleeps when you are tired.

    Exercise Vigorously at least 2 times a week, with additional activity like stretching and walking and push/pull ups daily.

    Be conscious of the cup you drink out of. Switch the cup (or wash) every day or two, or use paper/disposable. Don’t share drinks.

    Sunlight at least 30 minutes a day

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