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The end of a legislative session is always wild. But rarely is it period-blood-hurling wild.
Friday night’s turn of events – in which anti-vaccine protesters shut down a legislative session for seemingly the hundredth time in recent weeks, this time because someone hurled a menstrual cup containing blood at lawmakers – was shocking and wrong, and yet there does seem to be a silver lining.
Finally, even the people who’d most stringently defended the anti-vaccine activists at every turn, were forced to condemn their behavior.
“Senate Republicans condemn the violent and unacceptable behavior that took place at the State Capitol this evening,” Senate Republican leader Shannon Grove said in a statement Friday.
Up until this incident, Grove and others have treated the vaccine debate as if it’s just a routine difference of opinion among equals – just like if they were protesting a change to the Coastal Commission bylaws or a neighborhood being upzoned.
People feigned outrage when a California health official was caught mildly insulting the vaccine opponents, as if saying something a little mean – but objectively true – was morally equivalent to prioritizing your child’s health over the most vulnerable members of society because you refuse to believe basic science.
But the violent, isolated episode everyone seems to agree was wrong wasn’t any different from the actual position they’re advocating for – which is that they should be allowed to put people’s health and safety in grave danger because, well, they feel like it.
What VOSD Learned This Week
Memos from all the high school principals within San Diego Unified show the group is deeply dissatisfied with district leadership. Meanwhile, two school board members plan to retire, and a number of schools are sitting half full. Will Huntsberry and Andrew Keatts broke down all the week’s big education news over on the VOSD Podcast.
County supervisors’ deal with Tri-City Medical Center to reopen psychiatric beds could be a glimpse of how officials plan to handle future deals with hospitals. But any plans to expand mental health services in the county are inevitably going to face neighborhood opposition.
We recapped how the biggest bills from local legislators fared in the Legislature’s sprint to the finish. Meanwhile, one of the candidates hoping to join the Legislature isn’t very popular with a big police group.
What I’m Reading
- This story about how aggressively the University of Virginia hospital has pursued debts against former patients is sickening – and it’s happening all over the country. (Kaiser Health News)
- What it’s like to be a woman, part one: Men are reporting women on dating apps for failing to respond to them – and companies have no idea how to handle the vindictive behavior. What it’s like to be a woman, part two: It’d be rad if modern medicine knew literally anything about female anatomy. (Mel Magazine, Cosmopolitan)
- I stan Amanda Hess for this package on how stan culture is chipping away at democracy. (New York Times)
- Many of the biggest problems the country finds itself in can be tied to the fact that our leaders are, well, too old. (Politico Magazine)
- Line of the Week
“Moderator George Stephanopoulos directs the first question of the night to former Vice President Joe Biden, noting that he is often in disagreement with senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so does he think they’re the ones who suck or is it him? Biden responds by nodding thoughtfully and holding up a photoshopped picture of him riding a tandem bicycle with Barack Obama and eating ice cream.” – This recreation of the latest Dem debate is pretty good.