They aired two back-to-back stories on Weekend Edition. First, they reported that for reasons that passeth understanding, the NRA got Florida to pass a law prohibiting doctors from asking about guns in the house:
For decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged its members to ask questions about guns and how they're stored, as part of well-child visits.
But Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association's lobbyist in Tallahassee, says that's not a pediatrician's job.
"We take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions," she says.
NRA lobbyists helped write a bill that largely bans health professionals from asking about guns. Hammer says she and other NRA members consider the questions an intrusion on their Second Amendment rights.
"This bill is about helping families who are complaining about being questioned about gun ownership, and the growing anti-gun political agenda being carried out in examination rooms by doctors and staffs," Hammer says.
What the...? Getting shot causes medical problems, right? And there's a demonstrated (but not necessarily causal) link between gun ownership and medical risks, right? So asking about guns and other dangerous items in the house might be part of a good medical history, don't you think? Apparently the NRA don't. If they're so concerned about gun-owner privacy, why not pass a privacy law instead? Oh, right—doctors are already forbidden from sharing medical histories.
The story immediately following that one had Barbara Bradley Hagerty asking, completely straight-faced (which is easier to discern on the radio than you might imagine), why people believe May 21st is judgment day:
Most Bible scholars note that even Jesus said he had no idea when Judgment Day would come. But May 21 believers like Haubert are unfazed.
"I've crunched the numbers, and it's going to happen," [actuary Brian Haubert, 33,] says.
Haubert says the Bible contains coded "proofs" that reveal the timing. For example, he says, from the time of Noah's flood to May 21, 2011, is exactly 7,000 years. Revelations like this have changed his life.
"I no longer think about 401(k)s and retirement," he says. "I'm not stressed about losing my job, which a lot of other people are in this economy. I'm just a lot less stressed, and in a way I'm more carefree."
Only last week I read a Mother Jones article about denial science, which opened with a description of The Seekers, who believed aliens would spirit them away on or before the end of the world, which would happen 21 December 1954. After giving up all they owned and waiting for their version of the Rapture, they concluded from the lack of cataclysm that the aliens had seen their devotion and decided to save the planet, thanks to the Seekers. I wonder what Haubert and his friends will say on May 22nd?
Not only that, but: he's an actuary? On the basis of the available information, one must conclude he's not a very good one.