Wednesday, April 21, 2021

WI science foe Vos now expert on immunology. Also "The Matrix."

[Updated 4/22/21 with this example.]

You may have missed Robin Vos's latest, self-serving manipulation of the COVID crisis - check the Wisconsin Examiner's piece linked below - and this reliably anti-science Republican officeholder is also trying to use science itself to back up what's just another outburst of traditional GOP anti-intellectualism -  

Was Vos’ immune-system 💪🏻 brag anti-vaccine? 

- spiced up with some odder, oddball Twitter words and images that are science-based only if you think "The Matrix" was real:

Initially, on Thursday morning, he went on a rant in a new post, with a meme of Keanu Reeves with the words: “I HAVE AN IMMUNE SYSTEM THAT’S WHY VACCINES WORK.”

Before we scientifically catalog some of Vos's science-bashing, let's offer for support and COVID context his blaming immigrants in his own district for contracting the virus, his nationally newsworthy contradictory walk-and-talk about COVID prevention and his multiple work - an example - against public pandemic protection orders in favor of 'you're on your own' behaviors as the pandemic was raging.

Republican legislative leaders went to court Friday to show support for a lawsuit against Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate after more than 17,000 people in Wisconsin tested positive in the last week and some hospitals are on the brink of being overwhelmed. 

Now back to Vos, who become Speaker of the GOP-gerrymandered Wisconsin Assembly in 2013 -  

- and stamped more than a dozen intentional anti-science blemishes (I once counted 33 such anti-science instances and initiatives by Walker) on the Vos permanent record when he:

* Shut down after 15 seconds a special session of the Assembly called to address gun-related injuries, suffering and deaths. A leading Wisconsin physician has labeled gun violence a "public health issue."

* Has repeatedly blocked the expansion of Medicaid health services to low-income Wisconsin residents. Science says people with access to medical care enjoy longer, happier and more productive lives.

[Update] * Stripped money from the budget because too much of it was aimed at replacing water pipes in Milwaukee made of lead. 

Which is toxic. 

And causes brain damage in children whose low-income families which are concentrated in the city cannot afford the hefty price for the pipe replacement, let alone new housing which no longer uses lead pipes.

Or the landlord will not make the upgrade.

So Vos's party cut the funding. 

Despite, you know, a record $4 billion in public monies rubber-stamped for Foxconn by Team Walker-Vos in record time. 

Including millions to pipe in fresh Lake Michigan water despite a multi-state/two-nation agreement to conserve the Great Lakes water except for last-ditch public health reasons, but in this case to help a Taiwanese multi-national corporation make money by manufacturing big-screen TVs in Vos's home county.

A plan now jettisoned, as predicted, but the water piping moves forward to fuel sprawl.

* Repeatedly helped restrict or been willing to sacrifice food assistance to low-income Wisconsin residents even though science knows people need food to learn, succeed and live.

* Blasted UW System funding and scholarship with the crudest and least-scientific argument possible. 

Vos, who led an assault on university officials over fund reserves last year and backed Gov. Scott Walker’s tuition freeze, said this week that he wants to ensure that faculty at the university spend more time teaching and that research ought to be geared toward helping the state's economy.

“Of course I want research, but I want to have research done in a way that focuses on growing our economy, not on ancient mating habits of whatever,” said Vos.

* Recently maneuvered to allow the continuing practice of so-called 'conversion' therapy which aims to rid people and especially children of the sexual identity of their choosing. Or as the GOP-leg Legislature would frame the scientific field it supported: Child development. 

The GOP-led Legislature used the same parliamentary maneuver to block enforcement of rules that were to restrict the dumping of so-called 'forever' toxins in Wisconsin waterways. Both of these unscientific GOP-led maneuvers were reported in the same story, here.

* Backed the flawed, failed plan through sweetheart legislation to level the pristine Penokee Hills in northwestern Wisconsin by a politically-connected out-of-state firm. It was plan was to dig a gargantuan open pit iron ore mine despite known threats to the region's clean air, drinking water and life-sustaining Native American wild rice growing estuaries. 

Among the scientific disciplines honored: Wisconsin history, Native American treaty rights, maintenance of rural life, clean air and groundwater quality. 

* Promoted the easing of rules intended to stem the release of polluting phosphorus into state waterways that helped bring about sharp increases in the impairment of Wisconsin rivers, lakes and streams 

* Backed large groundwater-hogging-and-contaminating cattle feeding operations over the interests of nearby residential well owners and others wanting equity in water policy decisions-making. Disciplines honored include groundwater quality and blue-baby syndrome research.

* Helped bring about higher speed limit for big highway trucks despite predictions by non-partisan expert of more crash injuries and deaths. 

As I wrote in 2016

I mean, why listen to stupid experts with facts in hand when a Robin Vos knows better?
AAA Wisconsin is urging the Wisconsin State Senate to stop proposed legislation that would raise the maximum speed limit on rural highways to 70 mph due to concerns that higher speeds make it more difficult for vehicles to slow or stop in order to avoid a collision, and can increase the severity of resultant crashes. AAA is particularly alarmed about the potential implications for trucks, as their weight makes those considerations even more pressing....
The evidence from neighboring states provides a clear warning: higher speed limits lead to higher rates of truck involvement in fatal crashes.

* Pushed for fast approvals of the flawed Foxconn project in a flood-prone county he represents without the production of a routine, science-based environmental impact review of construction on prime agricultural land and wetlands which are nature's defense against flooding.

* Made no complaint when the US Environmental Protection Agency overruled its own scientific staff and eased air pollution regulations over portions of Southeastern Wisconsin including Vos's home county of Racine. The eased regulations were another break for the Foxconn project.

Killed a Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, and led the elimination of Regional Transit Authorities statewide despite the contributions transit makes to cleaner air, eased road congestion and economic development along bus and rail routes.


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