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John Aravosis
Works at Wired Strategies Political Internet Consulting
Attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lived in Chicago, IL
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John Aravosis

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Rand Paul’s vaccine trutherism is paranoid, not libertarian

From our Jon Green:

Rand Paul had a bad interview yesterday.

Like, really bad.

After less than four minutes, Rand had already said that most vaccines should be voluntary, warned viewers that he had “heard of” kids developing “profound mental disorders after vaccines” and, to top it all off, shushed the anchor when she pressed him for details on his newly-proposed corporate tax holiday....

Libertarianism, at its core, is the idea that society functions best when people can do what they want, keeping as many of their liberties as possible. But what separates libertarianism from straight-up anarchy is the idea that your freedom isn’t totally unlimited. Your right to move your fist does eventually end, and it ends at the edge of my nose. As long as you’re not hurting anyone you can have all the liberty you want; governments are necessary only to ensure that your actions don’t harm your fellow citizens.

And that is exactly why vaccines exist: to make sure your diseases don’t spread to others. Protecting the person receiving the vaccine is just an added bonus...

The only way for Senator Paul to square the circle and remain opposed to mandatory vaccinations is to assert, without evidence, that vaccines are in fact dangerous to those being vaccinated. And if he really does believe that, as he intimated, then why did he vaccinate his own kids?
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John Aravosis

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GOP Rep. Aaron Schock redesigns office to look like Downton Abbey

Eternal bachelor and GOP congressman Aaron Schock is yet again in the news. This time for his new office designed to be a replica of the estate in PBS’ hit TV show “Downton Abbey.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Schock has a history of self-aggrandizement that’s odd even by congressional standards. While members of Congress notoriously think highly of themselves, they’re still usually quite careful about the press they get — cultivating the media just-so in order to get the perfect story for the folks back home.

aaron-schock-men's-healthAnd unless the folks back in Peoria hired Schock to travel the world with his shirt off, there’s something amiss with the young congressman’s PR strategy and overall sense of congressional self...
GOP Rep. Aaron Schock redesigns office to look like Downton Abbey.
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Fox News says Paris has unsafe Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” like Iraq, Afghanistan

The always-delightful Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck had a breathless report the other day about the deadly Islamic “no go zones” that can be found, she claims, all over France — and even in Paris!

Now, let’s step back for a moment and think about this. An American TV network is expressing surprise that foreign cities have neighborhoods so dangerous that regular law-abiding people don’t dare walk through them.

Yeah, you don’t find those in Amurika....

Let me tell you a story about just how dangerous Paris is….
I was having dinner a few years back with some English friends, the Wests, in Paris. There kids, ages ranging from 16 to 23 or so, joined us, and it was a good old time. They’re a fun family — the parents are English, but the kids were raised in France, so the kids have varying degrees of French-inflected English (their youngest daughter has wonderfully French-accented English).

Anyway, we were having dinner, it was nearly midnight and we were just approaching the cheese course, when one of the kids asked me if life was “dangerous” in Washington, DC.  And I thought about it, trying to diplomatic, and explained that it wasn’t “dangerous” per se, but sure there were certain neighborhoods you ought to avoid at night (and even daytime), and that even in my neighborhood, which is an up-and-coming nook of DC’s already-gentrified Adams Morgan quarter, I watch myself walking home at night, but really it’s not THAT dangerous, I explained.

Then, I threw in, just as a parenthetical really, that, I mean, it’s not like it’s safe to walk home alone at 3am or something, but where can you?!

All the kids gasped.

“I walk home alone at 3am all the time in Paris,” one of the girls told me.

You see, even parts of America that we consider relatively safe are akin to a “no go” zone, as compared to life in Paris.
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck has a breathless report on the deadly Islamic "no go zones" in Paris... that don't actually exist.
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Snickers has done it again.

The candy bar that raised gay-bashing to a commercial art form during the Super Bowl a few years back, has another commercial I just watched that suggests Snickers can (and should) turn a flaming homosexual straight.

(The commercial apparently came out six months ago; I just watched it live on TV for the first time.)

Whoever does Snicker’s PR should really be fired at this point. There’s a latent homophobia in the company’s advertising — advertising that finds gay-bashing funny. And considering that this has happened before, repeatedly, it’s likely not a fluke. It’s by intent. There’s someone high up in Snicker’s marketing department who thinks that in 2015 bashing gays is funny.

In the commercial in question, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel plays a seriously effeminate aerobics instructor who is clearly intended to be flamingly and effeminately gay. He swishes around the room, and his voice is kinda gay too.

Until he eats a Snickers bar...
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Irish gay rights advocate and drag queen Rory O’Neill, aka Panti Bliss, is an amazing speaker. We’d posted an earlier speech by Panti about homophobia that went super-viral a while back.

This time, Panti is speaking at a TED conference about a fear gay people have that straight people never experience: getting gay-bashed for holding hands in public.

It’s an amazing, and spot-on, observation. Gay people, in most cities, have to think twice, and then look around, before holding hands or showing any other form of affection in public. Why? Because we might be assaulted verbally or physically.I’ve only held hands with a guy in public once. It with an Italian guy I was seeing, we were in NYC, and it was around midnight. He was more afraid than I, but we both looked around before daring to hold hands.....
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Indecisive Chris Christie suggests it’s ok not to vaccinate kids
In a show of indecisiveness that’s starting to define the likely presidential campaign of the New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie suggested last night that it’s okay for parents not to vaccinate their kids.

Christie’s apparent pandering to anti-vaccinating extremists comes in the midst of a nationwide measles outbreak attributed to anti-vaccination parents.

While traveling in England yesterday, Christie said that he thought the government should show “balance” between getting kids vaccinated against deadly diseases and parental choice.

Meaning, it’s okay if parents choose not to vaccinate their kids, and thus put the rest of us, and our kids, at risk.

Two years ago, Christie showed a similar ambivalence towards science when legislation crossed his desk that would have banned quack doctors from trying to “cure” gays. In a statement reminiscent of Christie’s now-confused stance on vaccines, the GOP presidential hopeful said that though he believed gays can’t change, he was willing to let discredited doctors try to cure them anyway.....
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Fox News claimed that Paris, France was filled with Muslim no-go zones where no Christian dare tread. Fox was wrong.
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The richest 1% will control 50% of wealth by 2016, according to a new report from Oxfam. 85 billionaires have the same wealth as 1/2 of the world.
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The Charlie Hebdo shooters were as radical as they were Orthodox.
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New Charlie Hebdo cover has Muhammad saying “Je suis Charlie.” Now that's chutzpah. (The caption reads: "All is forgiven.")
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American blogger and political consultant.
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John Aravosis is a DC-based writer and political consultant, specializing in using the Internet for politics. He is the editor of, one of America's top progressive political blogs, with over 300,000 unique visitors per month. John has a joint law degree and masters in foreign service from Georgetown, and his writing experience includes working as a stringer for the Economist and RADAR. Washingtonian magazine’s annual “50 Best Journalists” issue named John one of “journalism's rising stars, those likely to have a major impact in coming years.” John has also been honored as one of the “Out 100,” and as one of the Advocate’s 50 “most powerful gay men and women in America.” John’s policy experience includes stints in the US Senate, the World Bank, and the Children's Defense Fund. John is also a semi-regular TV pundit, and has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, ABC News, Nightline, CNN and more. John speaks five languages and has visited or worked in 29 countries, including presenting about the Internet and politics (in English, French, Spanish, and Italian) in France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Greece, Morocco, Indonesia and Cote d'Ivoire. Bio on LinkedIn:
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Rhetoric, 1981 - 1985
  • University of Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne
    French civilization and language, 1983 - 1984
  • Georgetown University Law Center
    JD, 1985 - 1989
  • Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
    MSFS, 1985 - 1989
Basic Information
Blogger, writer, political consultant
  • Wired Strategies Political Internet Consulting
    President, 1997 - present
    Founder & Editor in Chief, 2004 - present
  • The Economist Group
    Stringer/Reporter, 1999 - 2000
  • Children's Defense Fund
    Online organizer, 1994 - 1997
    United Nations Development Programme
  • World Bank
    Consultant, Mexico Division, 1994 - 1994
  • United States Senate
    Legislative Attorney, 1989 - 1994
  • United Nations Development Programme
    Manager, Online & Digital Team, 2015 - 2016
    Chief Internet strategist for UN development agency.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Chicago, IL - Paris, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Salonika, Greece
John Aravosis's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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