An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Fiendfire Burns Everything

By now most people have seen the 2nd part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For those who have neither read the book nor seen the last movie beware: this metaphor has spoilers.

Remember the scene in the room of requirement while in its form as the place to stash crap? One of the thick-headed toadies, Crabbe, tries to kill the heros by conjuring "fiendfire" - a kind of living fire with intelligence and homicidal tendencies. Crabbe dies in the resulting blaze. Two very nasty Deatheaters taught him this curse, but as Ron comments, "Shame he wasn't concentrating when they mentioned how to stop it, really."

In response to the backlash about her anecdote during the republican debate in which Michelle Bachmann claimed that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation she has not so much continued to deny reality but defended her statement on the basis that she is not a medical doctor. "I didn't make any statements that would indicate I'm a doctor, I'm a scientist, or making any conclusions about the drug one way or the other… " For those who would like to see for yourselves, the initial question comes at 0:47 in the video below and she starts to address the original point of the question around 1:27.

OK, so what does this mean? I'm guessing she means that she did nothing illegal because she did not represent herself as a medical doctor therefore no state can prosecute her for practicing medicine without a license. But what about the implications of that? Should we disregard everything she says regarding medicine and science because she has no credentials or degree in those areas? I say yes. And then everything else she says on a topic in which she lacks any formal training or certification should we also disregard for the same reason? Again, I vote yes to that one.

So, in what area does Bachmann have credentials? She claims to have a J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University's Coburn School of Law. Ok, we'll not get into the whole ABA accreditation question, just for simplicity's sake. Has she ever practiced law? Although some of the pro-Bachmann crap on the web claims that she worked for the IRS as a "tax attorney" even the pro-republican site 2012 Republican Candidates readily admits that she never took or passed a bar exam. Does that mean we can "trust what Bachmann says" in regards to matters of law but not its practice or practical application(!?) And that's all she's got. Given she has no formal expertise on any other given topic, by her own reasoning we should disregard whatever she says. The fiendfire burns everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment