Respectful Insolence

If there’s one characteristic of the anti-vaccine movement that helps define them as true cranks, it’s a streak of conspiracy theory mania. It’s not too much of an exaggeration when I wonder if they think that the Lizard Men have taken over the government, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in order to use vaccines in a New World Order plot to make all of our children autistic. Or something. I’m never quite sure. Knowing this particular aspect of the anti-vaccine movement, the only thing that surprises me is that they haven’t joined the forces arrayed against President Obama’s effort to reform health care in this country. While there may be principled and reasonable objections to elements of the plan or even philosophical objections to the very concept of the government funding health care, this rant is none of those. Written by Terrence P. Jeffry and entitled Health Care Bill Will Fund State Vaccine Teams to Conduct ‘Interventions’ in Private Homes, it has that lovely “Oh, noes, Obama’s coming to steal our babiez” sort of vibe that, even though I know I should, I just can’t resist:

(CNSNews.com) - There is a knock at the front door. Peeking through the window, a mother sees a man and a woman, both in uniform. They are agents of health-care reform.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” says the man. “Our records show that your eleven-year-old daughter has not been immunized for genital warts.”

“And your four-year-old still needs the chicken-pox vaccine,” says the woman.

“He will not be allowed to start kindergarten unless he gets that shot, you know,” says the man–smiling from ear to ear.

“So, can we please come in?” asks the woman. “We have the vaccines right here,” she says, lifting up a black medical bag. “We can give your kids the shots right now.”

“We are from the government,” says the man, “and we’re here to help.”

Oooh. Scary! Run! The guv’mint’s coming to vaccinate your babies!

Before delving into the deepest, darkest depths of paranoia, Jeffry shows a rare flash of self-awareness:

Is this a scene from the over-heated imagination of an addlepated conspiracy theorist? Or is it something akin to what is actually envisioned by the health-care reform bill approved this week by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee.

Not surprisingly, he then proceeds to get the rhetorical question he asks himself so utterly and completely wrong by over-reading the text of a draft of the Senate version of the health care reform bill. Not surprisingly, as a bill designed to promote better health, its authors have included a provision designed to encourage immunizations. That’s where Jeffry gets his panties all in a knot. Actually, he gives himself a turbo wedgie with his tighty-whiteys over the immunization provision:

Says the draft bill: “Funds received under a grant under this subsection shall be used to implement interventions that are recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (as established by the secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or other evidence-based interventions, including–”(A) providing immunization reminders or recalls for target populations of clients, patients, and consumers; (B) educating targeted populations and health care providers concerning immunizations in combination with one or more other interventions; (C) reducing out-of-pocket costs for families for vaccines and their administration; (D) carrying out immunization-promoting strategies for participants or clients of public programs, including assessments of immunization status, referrals to health care providers, education, provision of on-site immunizations, or incentives for immunization;(E) providing for home visits that promote immunization through education, assessments of need, referrals, provision of immunizations, or other services; (F) providing reminders or recalls for immunization providers;(G) conducting assessments of, and providing feedback to, immunization providers; or (H) any combination of one or more interventions described in this paragraph.”

Most of these measures should be utterly uncontroversial, especially provision (C). After all, the vaccine drive carried out by the James Randi Educational Foundation was made necessary by the fact that, although the U.S. government pays for the vaccines themselves through the Vaccines For Children program, the State of Nevada requires families to pay the administrative charges. Many families couldn’t afford them, even though they range from $16 to $25. As for the rest, they’re basic common sense public health strategies for increasing the vaccination rates. But what about these home visits in (E)?

Well, there’s actually not much more than that in the bill; home visits are listed as one of several strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination. But this is the federal government we’re talking about. There must be a real purpose hidden beneath the text. After a little diversion ranting about chickenpox vaccine, Jeffrey moves on to his real objection:

In March of this year, the Washington Post reported about the controversy sparked when the Merck pharmaceutical company campaigned to have states mandate that school girls receive Gardasil, its vaccine against HPV.

Oh, yes! I knew it! The real problem with this is that Obama Nazis will be coming around to vaccinate your daughters with the HPV vaccine, eliminating one consequence of having sex. And if the possibility of contracting HPV and developing cervical cancer, we all know that girls will become totally promiscuous, and we can’t have that, can we?

Comments

  1. #1 Ray Ingles
    July 21, 2009

    That stupid argument about kids becoming promiscuous if consequences are removed really bothers me. Imagine a hypothetical ‘dental caries vaccine’. Does it really make sense to avoid vaccinating kids because without the threat of cavities they might eat more sweets, leading to obesity?

  2. #2 John Wills Lloyd
    July 21, 2009

    The comments on Mr. Jeffrey’s story are a hoot! Of course, because it’s by the editor in chief of the Cybercast News Service, it must be “right.” Sigh.

  3. #3 John Wills Lloyd
    July 21, 2009

    The comments on Mr. Jeffrey’s story are a hoot! Of course, because it’s by the editor in chief of the Cybercast News Service, it must be “right.” Sigh.

  4. #4 Nomen Nescio
    July 21, 2009

    I wonder if they think that the Lizard Men have taken over the government, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in order to use vaccines in a New World Order plot to make all of our children autistic.

    betting pool on how soon whale.to will be suggesting that in earnest? i’m guesstimating the over/under at one year, unless somebody deliberately starts whispering it in gullible ears.

  5. #5 James F
    July 21, 2009

    “We have the vaccines right here,” she says, lifting up a black medical bag.

    For full effect, picture Dr. Henry Killinger and his Magic Murder Bag.

  6. #6 Jason W.
    July 21, 2009

    If we start force inoculating children with uniformed govt. workers I want in on that!

  7. #7 Pierce R. Butler
    July 21, 2009

    … a man and a woman, both in uniform. They are agents of health-care reform.

    An interesting bit of verbal sleight-of-hand here: Obama’s legislation has somehow suddenly become a police agency. Quick – buy more guns ‘n’ ammo!

  8. #8 Fannin
    July 21, 2009

    I eagerly await Jane Burgermeister’s coverage of single-payer health care, Obama-style.

    Granted, she has apparently been fired, but I am sure there are plenty of people who would give her a platform.

  9. #9 mad the swine
    July 21, 2009

    You know who else was concerned about public health? The Nazis!

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    July 21, 2009

    We won’t need uniformed government vaccine brigades to stage home immunization interventions.

    Surely the technology is available to douse homes in under-vaccinated areas with aerial vaccine sprays. In fact, that’s probably one goal of the chemtrail spraying program.

    Have you had your kids titered lately? They could be protected _without your even knowing it_.

    I saw a black helicopter over the weekend. Yes, they could be coming to _your_ town.

  11. #11 Pieter B
    July 21, 2009

    I must need more coffee — I read the headline two or three times as “Oh, noes! Obama’s sending in black men to vaccinate your children!”

    However, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone wrote a paranoid screed with that as the theme, so I think you’ll agree that the error is understandable.

  12. #12 Elsie
    July 21, 2009

    Pieter – I had the same response. I’m in the middle of drinking my first cups of the days, so I think we can be excused. Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that was written either.

  13. #13 Squillo
    July 21, 2009

    Can I design the Vaccine Storm Trooper uniforms? I found the perfect logo.

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    July 21, 2009

    That headline is NOT funny.Actually,I expect to see something like it any day now.I live in NJ: our governor,Corzine*, is up for re-election.Because of his support for vaccination and adding flu and Gardasil vaccines for public school students, he’s been targetted by the anti-vaxers, as well as other groups. He is also a huge supporter of Obama, which is reciprocated.How about: “Obama’s sending black men in black to enforce Corzine’s ‘Wall St.friendly’ vaccination program” (*he’s from Goldman, years ago).

  15. #15 jj
    July 21, 2009

    Surely the technology is available to douse homes in under-vaccinated areas with aerial vaccine sprays

    Nah, everyone knows it’s going to be robotic mosquito drones that will be sent out to dispense the “vaccines”, there will be no stopping teh machine!

  16. #16 military wife
    July 21, 2009

    I dunno, Orac. A $25 fee to have immunizations to protect kids isn’t out of reach…I recently lived in Vegas and saw these folks, all of whom had cell phones and large, tacky jewelry, expensive stereo systems in their cars, etc. My opposition to provisions D and especially E is that it will be extremely expensive and just another way the government is stepping in to relieve even more basic responsibilities…and those kids probably need to see doctors once a year for checkups.
    If the on-site immunizations are done at central locations like public schools during a registration week, and kids won’t be allowed to register if they don’t get all the shots, I guess that would be affordable and worthwhile from a public health standpoint. But funding an entire new organization that would function like truancy officers … sigh. Can we really afford to deliver vaccines to homes for folks who are basically just too lazy to take their kids to the health department or pediatrician’s office?

  17. #17 Watch out...
    July 21, 2009

    Anyone comes to my door to vaccinate my kids, they will have the door slammed in their face immediately. :)

  18. #18 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 21, 2009

    This may be slightly off-topic, but the more appropriate thread (Enablers…) has been polluted by the MPD anti-vax troll. Anyway, you may find this of interest.
    Look who the headline speaker at the International Atheist Convention is: http://www.atheistconvention.org/

    There’s a bit of a shitstorm at Pharyngula about this, in which I am taking part. I also sent a bit of snark to the conference website. I think this is going to blow up in their faces. I hope so.
    (BTW, I am not on this because I’m anti-atheist. I am agnostic myself. However, I despise anti-vax nuts.)

  19. #19 SimonG
    July 21, 2009

    Nah, everyone knows it’s going to be robotic mosquito drones…

    I’d go with the genetically engineered rattlesnakes. Their rattles would be ideal for distracting innocent young babies.

  20. #20 HCN
    July 21, 2009

    Common Sue said “Anyone comes to my door to vaccinate my kids, they will have the door slammed in their face immediately. :)

    You really should work on that reading comprehension problem. Most places in the USA have these things called community colleges. You should try taking a reading class.

  21. #21 Just sayin'
    July 21, 2009

    “You really should work on that reading comprehension problem”.

    Silly, Silly, HCN. I was simply stating a fact that anyone who came to my door to vaccinate my kids and/or try to get information on their vaccination status… I would in fact slam the door on them immediately. Considering the Swine Flu nonsense… it isn’t all that out there that some buffoon will try getting this information or will try to convince us all that the Swine Flu vaccine will save us from certain death. LOL!

    ps. Still no reading comprehension issues here….

  22. #22 James Sweet
    July 21, 2009

    That stupid argument about kids becoming promiscuous if consequences are removed really bothers me. Imagine a hypothetical ‘dental caries vaccine’. Does it really make sense to avoid vaccinating kids because without the threat of cavities they might eat more sweets, leading to obesity?

    Hmmm, now I’m imagining a hypothetical manifestation of crank magnetism in which the anti-vax crowd starts campaigning against fluoridated water…

    A $25 fee to have immunizations to protect kids isn’t out of reach…I recently lived in Vegas and saw these folks, all of whom had cell phones

    Eh, for someone living in poverty, a pre-paid cellphone might actually be the cheapest way to get phone service… and without phone service you can’t get a job… so given the rest of your post, I would assume you would view this as a good thing.

    Can we really afford to deliver vaccines to homes for folks who are basically just too lazy to take their kids to the health department or pediatrician’s office?

    If we accept your premise, that the only reason home visits would ever be necessary is because parents are lazy, how exactly is that the children’s fault? Some of us are hoping for a society where kids are given adequate health care and education, and an opportunity for a better life, regardless of whether their parents are assholes or not.

  23. #23 jj
    July 21, 2009

    I’d go with the genetically engineered rattlesnakes

    There will be more than genetic modification, like a cyborg pit viper with infrared vision (wait, don’t they already have that?), lasers, auto cloaking camouflage, and titanium fangs that dispense mind control “Vaccines” into our INNOCENT children. These POISONS are used to CONTROL the masses. This is the wave of the future people. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU

  24. #24 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @James

    Some of us are hoping for a society where kids are given adequate health care and education

    Keep hoping James. We spend 8-10K per year to educate each and every American child. Yet after all that many families still can’t even afford to buy a $16, life-saving vaccine?

    What a great job government education does to prepare children for their futures.

    How much money will it take to provide “adequate” education and create your socialist utopia James?

  25. #25 Coyote
    July 21, 2009

    Great non sequitur, Sid. Care to address an actual point?

  26. #26 HCN
    July 21, 2009

    Common Sue (and Sid), you have both completely missed the point of the blog posting. Do try to read with comprehension this one sentence written by Orac: “Well, there’s actually not much more than that in the bill; home visits are listed as one of several strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination.”

    Now go find a dictionary and a basic grammar book (about 4th grade level will suffice). Okay, now look and and try to understand the following the following phrases:

    “actually not much more than that in the bill”

    “one of several strategies”

    and look up this word “encourage.”

    (Anyone want to take bets on how well Common Sue and Sid Offit would score in the Compass test commonly used for entrance into a community college? My bet it is somewhere around “requiring Adult Basic Education.”)

  27. #27 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    Sorry Coyote, I though this was a freewheeling discussion. Is there a list of topics to which we should restrict the conversation?

  28. #28 Coyote
    July 21, 2009

    No, but typically when you explicitly are responding to someone’s post you’re supposed to, y’know, respond, as opposed to going off on some damnfool socialism tangent rant.

  29. #29 DLC
    July 21, 2009

    I just Had to look into who runs CNSN News. They’re just to the left of the John Birch Society. I imagine next they’ll be protesting that their essence has been made impure by fluoride in the water.

  30. #30 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @HCN

    Actually I just applied to Westwood College to train to be a medical assistant and they said my scores on the Compass test were off the charts

  31. #31 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 21, 2009

    Actually I just applied to Westwood College to train to be a medical assistant and they said my scores on the Compass test were off the charts

    Which way?

    (Cheap shot, but I couldn’t resist!)

  32. #32 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @ T. Bruce McNeely

    Off the Charts:

    Adj. Extrodinarily out of the norm; beyond expectation; top of the line.

  33. #33 BadSeed
    July 21, 2009

    I’m thinking the educational home visits, which “promote immunization through education, assessments of need, referrals, provision of immunizations, or other services” would follow the model of HHS’s lead poisoning prevention programs.

    Local health workers go door-to-door in “vulnerable” areas (basically, low-income with old housing stock) with information on lead poisoning. They give the parents info on the topic and connect them with the programs that provide free lead inspections of the home, lead screening for the kid and medical care.

    No reason a similar approach couldn’t be useful with vaccine programs. But maybe the anti-vax paranoiacs are against lead testing too.

  34. #34 SurgNurse
    July 21, 2009

    This would explain why so many medical assistants are blithering idiots that can’t get anything right. And they’re rude to boot.

  35. #35 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @BadSeed

    Test for lead, inject with mercury, brilliant!!!

  36. #36 Scott
    July 21, 2009

    Even mentioning mercury proves you have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of the subject. “Laughingstock” is an appropriate term, I’d say.

  37. #37 Prometheus
    July 21, 2009

    Orac,

    What you don’t know is that Intervention “I” – included only in the Top Secret annex – is to send jack-booted storm troopers to the houses of “vaccine resistors” in the dead of night (after the pubs close) to forcibly vaccinate their children.

    Intervention “J” – also in the Top Secret annex – is to use community recreational facilities and sports leagues to lure young people into a trap where they will be forcibly vaccinated with Gardisil, given contraceptives and forced to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.

    Seriously, this is no more “over the top” (or “off the chart”) than anything else “CNS News” has come up with. If they publish this later, I expect at least an acknowledgment from them.

    “Sid” – the phrase “off the chart” has been used with both positive and negative connotations (e.g. “my child’s urine mercury level was off the chart“). The “chart” has both a high and a low end. Which end were you off?

    BTW, Sid, the mere fact that you are just now taking the COMPASS test tells me a lot about your general and scientific knowledge base (hint: neither broad nor deep).

    The fact that you are bragging about it tells me even more.

    Prometheus

  38. #38 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @Prometheus

    I didn’t realize English was your second language but in America off the chart is generally a positive reference. And no I didn’t take the Compass test nor I’m not actually studying to be a medical assistant – although I was tempted when I learned I could vaccinate people if I did.

    Anyway I expected you guys to recognize the Westwood College joke for what it was but apparently your ability to detect humor is at the level of Star Trek’s Lieutenant. Data

  39. #39 James Sweet
    July 21, 2009

    How much money will it take to provide “adequate” education and create your socialist utopia James?

    Wait…. I’m a socialist because I think that children shouldn’t be punished just because their parents are assholes?!

    Wow. I guess the credentials required to be a capitalist now include a literal adherence to Exodus 34:7.

  40. #40 Chris
    July 21, 2009

    Maybe Sid will share the same fate as a woman in the beginning biology class at the local community college.

    During the first week the instructor was talking about the basic chemistry used the course, and the subject was acidity, alkalinity, and PH levels. This woman piped in that a naturapath told her that lemon juice was actually alkaline. The instructor told her that was not true, and the naturapath was mistaken.

    She kept quiet for the rest of the class. After the first test she started to miss class. She started to miss several labs. What was worse was that she never formally dropped the class. The instructor kept calling her name to return papers even up to the last week, and she was not there. He said that without formally withdrawing students get a rude surprise when they try to get transcripts.

    It is a real surprise to some that what they thought how the world works does not match reality.

  41. #41 RJ
    July 21, 2009

    Sid,

    1st, I did get your joke about Westwood college. I figured it was your attempt at humor because I seriously doubt you would either qualify for entrance or survive your first semester. I thought it was very humorous! Touche’ there snappy!

    2nd, what do you have against Lt. Commander Data (not Lieutenant….even the most dim-witted of individuals knows this!)? Your comment is borderline offensive. You’re lucky we’re not at comic-con right now or I’d…..wait. Are you at comic-con right now?

  42. #42 Pablo
    July 21, 2009

    There’s a great part in Flowers for Algernon where Charly Gordon realizes that he has been “exceptional” his entire life, both before and after his operation.

    Then there are the Weasley twins in Harry Potter, who thought they should have gotten “Exceeds Expectations” on their O.W.L.s just for showing for the exam. That to them was definately exceeding expectations.

  43. #43 What?
    July 21, 2009

    “Common Sue (and Sid), you have both completely missed the point of the blog posting. Do try to read with comprehension this one sentence written by Orac: “Well, there’s actually not much more than that in the bill; home visits are listed as one of several strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination.”

    What’s wrong with you, HCN? My comment in regards to slamming the door in anyone’s face who tried to vaccinate my children is right on topic. I can’t imagine that ever happening but the fear-mongering over the Swine Flu is heating up… so, you never know :)

    As for the college commentary… LOL! to you…

  44. #44 Anon
    July 21, 2009

    Huh, I hope the crazies won’t see Torchwood: Children of Earth…
    The morons won’t be able to differentiate between fact and fiction.

  45. #45 James Sweet
    July 21, 2009

    Anyway, I wasn’t trying to take any particular positions on policy. I was just saying that I have an ideological issue with “military mom”‘s implied suggestion that the children of lazy parents are SOL.

  46. #46 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @J. Sweet

    a society where kids are given adequate health care and education

    When you give to one group you take from another. That’s socialism to me. And not having access to the property of others isn’t punishment

  47. #47 Mercury is good for you...
    July 21, 2009

    “Test for lead, inject with mercury, brilliant!!!”

    Actually, keep this on the down low but I am hearing from a good source that they will be using lead as adjuvant in the Swine Flu vaccine… because Mercury is too dangerous.

  48. #48 Sid Offit
    July 21, 2009

    @RJ

    My apologies to Lt. Commander Data

  49. #49 What What (in the butt)?
    July 21, 2009

    I, too, tire of vaccinist fear-mongering.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go give my son a coffee enema. A vaccinated toxin-carrier breathed on him and I need to flush the bad out.

  50. #50 Shay
    July 21, 2009

    “When you give to one group you take from another. That’s socialism to me.”

    Sid must have a real problem with United Way.

  51. #51 LovleAnjel
    July 21, 2009

    “saw these folks, all of whom had cell phones and large, tacky jewelry, expensive stereo systems in their cars, etc.”

    Yeah, but they got those on layaway. ;P

    (yes, slap my hand, had to say it)

  52. #52 HCN
    July 21, 2009

    Common Sue said “What’s wrong with you, HCN? My comment in regards to slamming the door in anyone’s face who tried to vaccinate my children is right on topic.”

    And yet you still do not understand that was fiction? Home visits do not involve mandatory vaccination (they are more informational, like badseed said). Now try again and read this sentence, and do try for basic reading comprehension:
    “Well, there’s actually not much more than that in the bill; home visits are listed as one of several strategies that can be used to encourage vaccination.”

    Do you not understand what the word “encourage” means?

    Do you not understand what “as one of several strategies” means?

    Oh, Sid Offit… money that is used in a vaccine program actually saves more money later on. This has been mentioned before but the 1990 measles epidemic in California cost their Medi-Cal program over $18 million. Also there would have been increased special education costs from kids deafened, blinded or otherwise permanently disabled:
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=8855680

    Also, it has been noted that vaccines not only save lives, they prevent permanent disabilities and save real money:
    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/159/12/1136

    Also, for folks who are not in the USA, the Compass test is a basic placement test for trade and community colleges. It is an alternative to the college placement tests like the SAT and ACT. The math portion only really includes algebra and some trig (yeah, it says “college algebra”, but it does not involve matrices and it is listed before trigonometry, and there is no calculus). And like the math portion, the English portion is set at a mid-high school level. Also there is no way to “score off the charts”, the maximum score possible is 99. One of my sons took it after ninth grade and scored very well (into college level English, and into a higher math level than he was trying to get into — his goal was to accelerate his math level so he could complete both AP Calculus AB and BC before graduating from high school).

    From at w w w . act.org/compass/student/index.html:
    “COMPASS is not used like a traditional test. There is generally no “passing score.” Rather, COMPASS scores indicate areas in which you are strong and areas in which you may need help. “

  53. #53 Matthew Cline
    July 21, 2009

    During the first week the instructor was talking about the basic chemistry used the course, and the subject was acidity, alkalinity, and PH levels. This woman piped in that a naturapath told her that lemon juice was actually alkaline.

    I feel weird defending naturapaths, but when naturapaths says that a food is acidic or alkaline, they’re not talking about the pH of the food, but the (supposed) effect it has on blood pH. According to them citric acid promotes high blood pH, and is hence alkaline, while distilled water promotes low blood pH, and is hence acid.

    I’m not saying that they’re right, just that their claims aren’t as stupid as saying that lemon juice has a pH above 7 (or that distilled water has a pH below 7).

  54. #54 Pablo
    July 21, 2009

    If anti-vaxxers try to blow their boogers on me, I will grab themm by the ears and give them a knee to the nether regions.

    (seriously, it’s about as relevant as Sue’s comment)

  55. #55 Reading Comp 101
    July 22, 2009

    “And yet you still do not understand that was fiction? Home visits do not involve mandatory vaccination (they are more informational, like badseed said)”.

    What? I totally understood that this was fiction. Did you happen to read military wife’s comment directly above mine (comment #16, last sentence). Did you ever consider that I was responding to that type of an idea and even added a smiley face at the end of my comment to make it pretty clear that I don’t actually think that this is REAL. Having said that… it wouldn’t surprise me in the the least if things get crazy here in the Fall… With the Swine Flu nonsense. Ugh.

    ps. How about that reading comprehension… HCN, Pablo, etc…?

  56. #56 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 22, 2009

    “Did you happen to read military wife’s comment directly above mine (comment #16, last sentence). ”

    Reading Comp 101, how can that comment be yours? It’s signed by a different ‘nym ;)

  57. #57 T. Bruce McNeely
    July 22, 2009

    “…just that their claims aren’t as stupid as saying that lemon juice has a pH above 7 (or that distilled water has a pH below 7).”

    In my opinion, they are.

  58. #58 LovleAnjel
    July 22, 2009

    “I feel weird defending naturapaths, but when naturapaths says that a food is acidic or alkaline, they’re not talking about the pH of the food, but the (supposed) effect it has on blood pH.”

    That is not even a hard distinction to make. A lemon is acidic, period. Regardless of its not-real effect on blood chemistry. By the same rationale, I could call a Metallic concert whisper-quiet because I can’t hear anything the next day.

  59. #59 Kathryn
    July 23, 2009

    Distilled water: I don’t remember the last time I made up a solution with glass-distilled water, but reverse osmosis + ion exchange water (such as NANOpure) is usually around pH 5-6. The ion exchange resins leave very few ions, but there are more protons and fewer hydroxyl ions, so you get pH below 7.

  60. #60 Ginger Yellow
    July 23, 2009

    “Can we really afford to deliver vaccines to homes for folks who are basically just too lazy to take their kids to the health department or pediatrician’s office?”

    Can we afford not to? The whole point about mass vaccination is herd immunity. The more people who don’t get vaccination because their parents are too “lazy”, the more at risk everyone else becomes. If you insist on seeing this in absurdly individualist terms, why should you be threatened with illness because of someone else’s laziness?

  61. #61 Laser Potato
    July 23, 2009

    I wonder if Common Sue still thinks vaccinating pets is bad?
    After all, far better for your beloved companion to suffer a slow, agonizing death from a preventable disease than admit you’re just projecting your fanatical anti-vax biases onto your pet and don’t actually give a toss about its health or happiness.

  62. #62 Irene
    July 29, 2009

    The anti-vax groups have more than one reason for not wanting their children vaccinated. While there is no “real” link to vaccines and autism, there is real and documented links to vaccines and them CAUSING cancer. Take, for instance, polio vaccines…known to have simian virus (cultured in primate cell lines) that will infiltrate your DNA and sometimes trigger cancers. Also, the chicken pox vaccine is a convenience vaccine that when given doesn’t give lifetime immunity. This is why there are many occurences of mostly harmless childhood diseases popping up on university campuses and in young adults. BTW, ever wonder why many cats die of kidney disease? Because the cells that Feline Leukemia vaccines are cultured in are feline kidney cells, causing situations that make it more likely for cats to develop kidney disease later in life. I don’t vaccinate my kids because I believe that it actually will make them healthier in the long run. The ability to read allows humans to read things other than pamphlets the doctor gives you, or the latest health report from your local news paper. Grow a brain, people, open yourself up to the REAL complexity of the biology of the human body.

  63. #63 ababa
    July 29, 2009

    You are echoing so much nonsense I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    The ability to read also does not confer the ability to grasp when you are being misled. That’s the downfall of the Internet age – any wacko with a belief can post anything they want. They depend on gullible people like you to take it as fact.

    You don’t vaccinate your kids because you have been convinced by a fringe movement with a long history of deception and questionable (at best) research that something, anything must be wrong with vaccines. Ten years ago if I would have told you that you would be believing medical advice from the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Mike Adams and the lunatic conspiracy theorists over trained medical researchers you would have probably fallen over backwards laughing. Yet here we are.

  64. #64 Paul Lundgren
    July 30, 2009

    I must say I object to your characterization of “lizard men” taking over the government, sir. As a member of said species, we prefer “Persons of Lizard-American Decent.” Please make note for future reference.

    Thankssssssssssssssssss

  65. #65 Anonymous
    October 25, 2009

    I feel like there are a lot of areas that we could better spend the money that is intended for health education. Perhaps, we could use some of the money towards the autism act research that has yet to be started. Honestly, if people chose to not vaccinate their children it is their business. I find the idea of someone showing up at your door, or calling you, etc insulting. There are several reasons to avoid vaccinating your children, and laziness isn’t one of them. Oh & Fluoride in drinking water is terrible too.

  66. #66 Orac
    October 25, 2009

    There are several reasons to avoid vaccinating your children, and laziness isn’t one of them.

    Really? Name some of these reasons and then justify them.

  67. #67 Militant Agnostic
    October 25, 2009

    Glad to hear you are concerned about your vital body fluids and your purity of essence Anonymous. Gotta watch out for them commies.