Lindsay asks whether it’s right for the Spanish government to ban fashion models with a BMI less than 18 from catwalks. As usual, she reaches a level of depth and sophistication that is sorely missing elsewhere. On the one hand, excessively low weight is a job-induced health risk, so regulation is necessary; on the other, the equivalent to this ban in other occupations is not preventing work-related injuries but forbidding people who have them from continuing to work (and on the third, in this case the injuries are self-inflicted, so it’s not strictly comparable).
The Commissar is voting Democratic in 2006. He has tremendous misgivings about the Democratic Party, like everyone else who’s going to vote for it, but he has even bigger misgivings about the Republicans in general and Bush in particular. “I must hand it to Bush … I never would have thought there would be a Republican president that could ever persuade me to vote for the Democrats. When the choice is between a party that promises NOT to deliver what you want versus one that manifestly hasn’t, that is not easy.”
Gordo explains why Colin Powell, now held as the ideal of moderate conservatism, is actually more pernicious than he seems. His military doctrine is simply common sense, rather than any special strategy; and he may have made a few noises about opposing American incompetence in Iraq later on, but in 2003 he made a fraudulent case to the UN, and even afterward he kept supporting the war right up until he had no job to lose by standing up to Bush.
Tara writes about several different vaccination stories. Some public health professionals are too clueless about vaccines, judging by an anecdote Tara tells of a nurse who wouldn’t give her flu shots when she was pregnant (she had to produce the CDC guidelines to convince her); and in Nigeria, anti-vaccination myths stemmed the eradication of polio. On the upside, there’s a new vaccine for certain ear infections.