Respectful Insolence

Project much, Kim?

My irony meter exploded in a near-nuclear conflagration, leaving nothing but a sputtering, molten puff of plasma when I was referred to this gem from Kim Stagliano over at Age of Autism directed at the enemy of all anti-vaccine pseudoscience, that Dark Lord of Vaccination (to anti-vaccine loons) himself, Paul Offit:

You’ll blame the “anti-vaxxers” for the public refusal of this vaccine. Spare me. We are a cap gun compared to your nuclear bomb when it comes to the media. We’re ragtag colonials hiding behind trees as you Red Coats march in military precision with fine weapons. How much money has your ally, the US government, spent on the H1N1 flu campaign. How many TV programs have been dedicated to promoting the vaccines? You had everyone including Elmo and Sid the Science Kid trying to convince Americans to get their shots.

Here’s my real concern. What if there is an anthrax attack on American soil? Or a biological attack that could be thwarted with a vaccine? (You think if Ebola is killing my neighbors, I’m going to let my kids exsanguinate rather than vaccinate them? Think again. Vaccine safety advocates weigh risk and return, just like you businessmen.) If such an attack happens, will the nation hold you responsible for having diminished the public’s trust in vaccines? I think that’s entirely possible. And dangerous. What a legacy.

Project much, Kimmy?

It is not Dr. Offit who has “diminished the public’s trust in vaccines.” It is anti-vaccine activists from Generation Rescue and other groups, people such Kim Stagliano, J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and Barbara Loe Fisher, who have demonized vaccines, used pseudoscience to claim that they cause autism and all other sorts of health issues, that they don’t work, and that there is a conspiracy going on to “cover up” these “facts.” True, health authorities such as the CDC, NIH, and WHO haven’t always been particularly competent in their responses or their communication with the public, but that is because the the antivaccine movement got the jump on them a few years ago. Indeed, only in the last year or two have these organizations finally roused themselves from their slumber to the awareness of the danger that anti-vaccine groups like Generation Rescue pose. However, it is not these organizations that bear the primary blame for the increasing distrust people seem to be developing regarding vaccines, other than through their failure to wake up earlier to the danger posed by ideological campaigns to sew fear and doubt about vaccines.

Even so, if anyone is guilty of having degraded the ability of the United States to respond to a bioterrorist attack, it’s Kim and her merry band of anti-vaccine propagandists over at Age of Autism. Part of the reason that the U.S. had to spend so much time, money, and effort to promote the H1N1 vaccine is because of the efforts of pseudoscience-boosting arrogantly ignorant self-righteous know-nothings like Kim. Indeed, I find it particularly telling that the post from which the above two paragraphs were excerpted was in essence one massive gloat that there is a large percentage of the U.S. population that does not plan on getting the H1N1 vaccine. The obsessive, cult-like concentration on vaccines by the “autism biomed” movement belies its denial that it is not “anti-vaccine” and its claim that it is “pro-safe vaccine.” It’s always about the vaccines. If it weren’t, then why does AoA concentrate so much on Gardasil, a vaccine that isn’t given until long after the age at which children develop the first symptoms of autism and thus couldn’t possibly be implicated as a causative factor? It’s because, according to principle related to that of the “vindication of all kooks” corollary to the principle of crank magnetism any perceived complication from any vaccine is painted as an indictment of all vaccines and “proof” that the vaccine-autism crowd must be on to something.

No, I’m afraid that Dr. Offit’s legacy will be that he fought to protect children against deadly diseases through vaccination programs. It is Kim and her fellow anti-vaccine activists whose legacy will be not only the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases but a long-lasting unjustified distrust of vaccines. Furthermore, I fear that only a major epidemic of a vaccine-preventable disease will change the distrust that anti-vaccine activists like Kim and her crew at AoA have cultivated over the last few years. We may well have gotten lucky with the H1N1 pandemic (although that still remains to be seen and it is clear that children and the young have been especially hard hit), but next time we may not be so lucky.

Comments

  1. #1 LK PhD
    December 8, 2009

    Germane to this post is another one at AoA today, which seems intent on proving that there is some dark conspiracy at the heart of the recent announcement that the ACCV has hired an outside consultant to improve public relations. The only reason this is necessary is because of the destructive efforts of people like Kim S, as discussed in your post.

    Speaking of Kim, I’ve read a lot of her posts, and she seems to be in need of serious therapy for her unresolved anger issues.

  2. #2 Todd W.
    December 8, 2009

    Y’know, I’m beginning to think that AoA should change its name to Age of No Vaccines, since they focus so much more on vaccines than they do on autism.

  3. #3 Adam_Y
    December 8, 2009

    It’s always about the vaccines. If it weren’t, then why does AoA concentrate so much on Gardasil, a vaccine that isn’t given until long after the age at which children develop the first symptoms of autism and thus couldn’t possibly be implicated as a causative factor?

    Or how they ignore other sources of Mercury like power plants or light bulbs.

  4. #4 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 8, 2009

    If such an attack happens, will the nation hold you responsible for having diminished the public’s trust in vaccines? I think that’s entirely possible. And dangerous. What a legacy.

    This is beyond projection. This is psychotically delusional.

  5. #5 DLC
    December 8, 2009

    Whoah. Stagliano as Evil Dr Insane-O ?
    Is she going to demand we stop vaccinations or pay her the outrageous sum of One Million Dollars next ?
    Is Kim Stagliano the secret force behind Time Cube ?

  6. #6 jolly
    December 8, 2009

    How about the new study in Israel that shows that the older the father, the greater the risk of autism? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/04/AR2006090400513.html Will this shut them up? I doubt it.

  7. #7 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    We may well have gotten lucky with the heterosexual AIDS epidemic, but next time we may not be so lucky.

    We may well have gotten lucky with the SARS pandemic, but next time we may not be so lucky.

    We may well have gotten lucky with the bird flu pandemic, but next time we may not be so lucky.

    We may well have gotten lucky with the H1N1 pandemic, but next time we may not be so lucky.

  8. #8 qwerty
    December 8, 2009

    @ Sid Offit

    Do you deny the existence of pandemics of variable intensity and duration throughout human history or are you just making a pathetically feeble and worthless point?

  9. #9 MI Dawn
    December 8, 2009

    @Sid Offit: SARS??? AIDS???? You are an idiot. We have NOT gotten lucky with either of those. Tell me how we are lucky with either of those. No. I am wrong. You are worse than an idiot.

    I don’t recall the bird flu pandemic that clearly. H1N1 has had a lot of deaths in healthy children and young adults that we almost never see in regular flu. My children got their vaccines for H1N1 and flu (and needed updates to Td) this year. I will do all I can to both protect my children and protect those I love who can’t be vaccinated due to underlying health issues.

  10. #10 Todd W.
    December 8, 2009

    People, Sid has shown himself to be a troll time and time again. Please don’t feed the troll.

  11. #11 Rene Najera
    December 8, 2009

    Since my comments are blocked over at AoA for being a “vaccine injury denialist”, I’ll give my reply to Kim Stagliano right here: YOU’RE WELCOME. The efforts of all of us in Public Health averted a disaster. And, you know what? I don’t have to prove that we did, because the burden of proof in your little world is so small and trivial that me saying that we averted a 1918-like pandemic is enough proof for you and your ilk.
    Again, you’re welcome. We’ll try to do even better next time… next time.

  12. #12 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Sid is a troll, he is best ignored. Especially with his American/Eurocentric bias. The heterosexual HIV/AIDS epidemic is very real in many areas of Africa.

  13. #13 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Dawn

    Tell me about the heterosexual AIDS epidemic about which we were all warned in the 80s

  14. #14 DazedNConfuzed
    December 8, 2009

    Not generally one to post, but Sid, you’re a fucking moron. There’s no other way to put it pardon my french, but what you’re basically saying is:

    “We got lucky 4 times, and we’re likely to get lucky again, so why bother protecting ourselves?”…

    First off whether we’ve actually gotten lucky all 4 times is another argument, but even then the fallacious logic in that statement is evident even to a non-medical person like myself.

    The truth is that sometime between now and the time all humans are extinct, we’ll get hit with something really really nasty. When that happens the virologists and vaccinologists may or may not be able to do something. It might not be something they can deal with in due time.

    But I’ll tell you something Sid. I’ll throw my lot, and my children’s lots in with them a fuck of a lot quicker than I’ll throw in with yours. Why? Because at least they’re not taking it sitting down.

    See, the difference Sid, is that the CDC, the WHO etc… they’re qualified to say what they’re saying. They have evidence to qualify their position. You and your ilk have nothing more than bullshit and conjecture. Bullshit walks Sid… that’s all there is to it.

    You guys want to lay blame for people being scared of vaccines or refusing vaccines on the WHO or the CDC? I suggest you take a look in the mirror. Your groups are nothing more than a pack of unqualified FUD mongers. Most of your FUD mongers are barely qualified for the jobs they’re in let alone qualified to discuss anything scientific or medical. Hell the best thing that’s ever happened to you is the celebs who push your positions. Celebrities… you know, people who are barely qualified to tie their own shoes, a fact so often blatantly exposed given that their lives are under a microscope.

    The problem as I see it however is that you’re not just putting yourselves and your children in harms way. You’re putting others in harms way too. Resurgence of diseases that have been all but eradicated because you’re all to goddamn irresponsible to read, educate yourself, and take action to protect your fellow man is a bad.

    Fuck you Sid. Fuck you for being irresponsible. Fuck the anti-vax movement for being irresponsible too.

  15. #15 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Rene

    The efforts of all of us in Public Health averted a disaster.

    ——————————-

    A vaccine that few wanted and that became widely available after the pandemic was over saved a grateful nation. Truly a miracle.

  16. #16 Rene Najera
    December 8, 2009

    Sid,
    Not a miracle. Miracles involve walking on water or rising from the dead… Or you actually listening to reason. What I wrote was tongue-in-cheek. (Read all about that here: http://tinyurl.com/yfc39vr)

  17. #17 IBY
    December 8, 2009

    @Sid
    Believe it or not, there are still a huge numbers of people dying from AIDS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1779480.stm.
    Please tell me how we are lucky?

  18. #18 IBY
    December 8, 2009
  19. #19 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    IBY

    You’re making my point for me.

    Your link:
    In North America and in Western and Central
    Europe, national epidemics are concentrated
    among key populations at higher risk, especially
    men who have sex with men, injecting drug users
    and immigrants

  20. #20 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    IBY, your link does not work.

    Sid, you are an idiot. From the 100 page PDF document 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update:
    Sub-Saharan Africa

    Adults and children
    living with HIV
    2008: 22.4 million
    [20.8 million–24.1 million]
    2001: 19.7 million
    [18.3 million–21.2 million]

    Adults and children
    newly infected with HIV
    2008: 1.9 million
    [1.6 million–2.2 million]
    2001: 2.3 million
    [2.0 million–2.5 million]

    Adult prevalence
    (%)
    2008: 5.2
    [4.9–5.4]
    2001: 5.8
    [5.5–6.0]

    Adult and child deaths
    due to AIDS
    2008: 1.4 million
    [1.1 million–1.7 million]
    2001: 1.4 million
    [1.2 million–1.7 million]

    Possibly because they are not lily-white folk, Sid must think they don’t count. Also, check out the Figure VII. Does anyone think Sid Troll would understand it?

  21. #21 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Oooh, goody… Sid Troll has now proven he is a racist troll. Is that part of Troll Bingo?

  22. #22 Azkyroth
    December 8, 2009

    Project much, Kimmy?

    Cue accusations of “misogyny” in 3, 2, 1…

  23. #23 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Chris

    I don’t live in Africa

  24. #24 Todd W.
    December 8, 2009

    @Chris

    I think the pertinent graph is Figure 23, where HIV infections for heterosexuals are second highest, at around 18,000 new infections in the 2003-2006 period, and was the highest in the 1991-1993 period, at about 20,000 new infections.

    So, he shows yet again that he can cherry pick with the best of them.

  25. #25 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    This just in:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/threat-of-world-aids-pandemic-among-heterosexuals-is-over-report-admits-842478.html
    Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits
    A 25-year health campaign was misplaced outside the continent of Africa

  26. #26 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Todd stop feeding the troll!

  27. #27 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    You are right, Todd. That graph is trending upwards towards 1997/99 and then a tiny bit down after that. Yes, Sid is a cherry picker.

    What I found interesting was how medical intervention added years of life in the Figure I pointed to. Just as Sid does not realize he lives on the same planet as Africa and Asia, he would probably not realize what the significance of that difference in added years of life.

  28. #28 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    I guess Sid Troll missed that one third of newly infected in the USA were acquired heterosexually. Plus over half were acquired heterosexually in Central Europe. See page 68 of the document. That news article is not quite accurate (the author probably chose to only interview that doctor due to his unfortunate name).

  29. #29 Phoenix Woman
    December 8, 2009

    Stone Deaf Sid admits he’s a callously amoral racist!

    What’s really amazing is that most racists try to at least hide it using code language as described by Lee Atwater back in 1981. But Stone Deaf’s apparently too dim, or too racist, to bother with such daintinesses.

  30. #30 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    I’m concerned about the misogynistic tone permeating today’s conversation.

  31. #31 John C. Welch
    December 8, 2009

    Sid only cares about good honest white folks.

    The fact that a buncha darkies in some damned darkie continent don’t matter to him, it’s not like he’ll ever have any contact with them. well, unless they’re collecting his garbage.

    Sid only cares about good honest heterosexuals.

    After all, what’s AIDS stand for? Another Infected Dick-Sucker

    Don’t ask what Sid’s outfit has done to actually help combat AIDS, not his job. His job is to make sure that only methods that he approves of are used in medicine.

    I’m sure one day there will be one.

  32. #32 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Oh, and I just noticed that the article Sid Troll linked to is 18 months old. I believe the 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update is a bit more relevant. The paragraph from page 68:

    The role of heterosexual transmission varies notably among national epidemics in high income countries. While heterosexual HIV transmission accounted for 29% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection in Western Europe, it represented a majority (53%) of new HIV diagnoses in Central Europe (van de Laar et al., 2008). In the USA, the number of new heterosexually acquired HIV infections levelled off in the 1990s after increasing steeply in the 1980s; in 2006, heterosexual transmission accounted for slightly more than one in three new HIV infections (Hall et al., 2008a).

    Sid Troll, still needs to be reminded that public health agencies using real science and medicine prevented much of what happened in Africa in the USA and Europe. Unlike much of the woo he probably believes in and/or peddles.

  33. #33 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    The racism card, the last refuge of a simple mind

  34. #34 MI Dawn
    December 8, 2009

    @ Todd W and Chris: I know better usually than to feed the troll, but my uncle nearly died of SARS last year so Sid pushed one of my buttons with his statement.

    And, sorry to continue to feed: Yes, Sid. I DO remember GRID. And I also remember being told in nursing school, way back in the very early 1980′s that this new disease, (now called AIDS, then called GRID) although more common among promiscuous homosexual males, was probably transferred by blood and body fluid contact, so ANYONE could catch it. It was just found among the male homosexual population earliest. Remember Ryan White? Remember the many, many other men and WOMEN and children who died from an infected partner/parent?

    (deleted the rest; I need to get my BP back down before going home). Sorry Orac, for the rant.

  35. #35 Phoenix Woman
    December 8, 2009

    And Racist Stone Deaf Sid is still here, still embarrassing himself, still making himself and the anti-vaccination movement look even worse than it already does.

    Keep it up, Sid! You dig yourself and your cause a little bit deeper each time you type. (Then again, you must have some idea how stupid and evil you are, since you use for your pseudonym the name of a vaccine researcher whose feet you are not worthy to kiss, in an apparent effort to get his name associated with your evil.)

  36. #36 Todd W.
    December 8, 2009

    The point has been made that Sid is wrong re: AIDS. We now return you to your previously scheduled thread, already in progress. You know, the one about AoA’s anti-vaccine maven, Kim Stagliano, blaming Dr. Offit and other pro-vaccine folks for the public’s resistance to vaccines.

  37. #37 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Chris

    public health agencies using real science and medicine prevented much of what happened in Africa in the USA and Europe

    Citation pleeze

  38. #38 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Remember Eliza Jane, and her mother?

    Sid Troll, cherry picking is the only card you know how to use. You were stupid to off topic in the first place.

  39. #39 IBY
    December 8, 2009

    Even if you are not a racist, Sid, you are showing how simplistic your mind is. Your inability to think of a problem as global is particularly striking, that the people around you are not the only people in existence.

  40. #40 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Read the document, idiot. It has paragraphs with titles like “Impact of increased access to treatment on epidemiological trends.”

  41. #41 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Todd, stop trying to hijack the thread. We’re talking about AIDS, racism and homophobia.

  42. #42 JohnV
    December 8, 2009

    “The racism card, the last refuge of a simple mind”

    Also the first card played when a racist makes racist statements.

  43. #43 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    It has paragraphs with titles like “Impact of increased access to treatment on epidemiological trends.”

    And those paragraphs have words like 2003 and 2007 and Africa. Hardly germane when discussing a fabricated heterosexual AIDS crisis in America in the 80s

  44. #44 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    So, since Kimmy (the mom with three autistic daughters, including one who has never been vaccinated) is possibly now blaming Offit for the drop in vaccination because recently journalists are now figuring out that diseases come back when vaccination goes down, and kids are being harmed by the idiocy perpetuated at the blog she moderates.

    She is blame shifting.

    And Sid Troll also dislikes it (and the recent expose of idiotic DAN! practitioners might be hitting him in the pocket book!). So he trolled. I shall now stop feeding the troll.

    By the way, Offit speaks in mind in this Are We Alone radio show (note that it is not NPR). You can hear the real anger in his voice at the kids who died of Hib just in his state. Those deaths are blood on the hands of Kimmy, and the other idiots who spout off their anti-vax nonsense.

  45. #45 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Phoenix

    You’ve got to get over this Lee Atwater fetish

  46. #46 Dangerous Bacon
    December 8, 2009

    Kim Stagliano sounds like another clueless antivaxer, Jenny McCarthy. If the consequences of their actions come home to roost (distrust of vaccines leading to markedly increased susceptibility to serious infectious diseases) it’ll be the fault of pro-immunization advocates for not making vaccines safe enough to satisfy the impossible standards of antivaxers (i.e. zero vaccine reactions, not even the coincidental injuries and illnesses that get reported to the VAERS database and are seized on by antivaxers as “vaccine injuries”).

    “We’re ragtag colonials hiding behind trees as you Red Coats march in military precision with fine weapons.”

    Seeing as how Colonial-era citizens were faced with terrible ravages of infectious disease and would have wholeheartedly welcomed the vaccines available today, there’s more than a little irony in this statement.

  47. #47 Prometheus
    December 8, 2009

    Getting back to Kim Stagliano’s amazing leap of logic, I’m not sure I can follow her “chain of blame”. Here’s my recollection of the timeline:

    [1] Ms. Stagliano (and others of her ilk)- with no data to support them – claim that thimerosal in vaccines and/or the MMR vaccine cause autism, ADHD, terminal moraine, etc.

    [2] Responsible doctors and scientists – like Dr. Offit (no relation to a troll using the same last name) – show the data supporting their assertions that vaccines have not been shown to cause the disorders claimed by Stagliano et al.

    [3] Stagliano et al have a collective temper tantrum, accusing the above-mentioned responsible doctors and scientists – without evidence – of corruption, falsifying data, and lying.

    [4] Responsible doctors and scientists do even more studies in order to determine if thimerosal or the MMR vaccine can cause autism, etc. The results of those studies – to date – do not support the hypothesis that vaccines – or the tested vaccine components – cause autism, etc.

    [5] Repeat of #3. Stagliano et al move the goalposts, now claiming (again, without corroborating data) that it is aluminium, “anti-freeze” (not an actual component of vaccines), formaldehyde, bacteria, viruses or vague and unspecified “toxins” in the vaccines that cause autism, etc. A short while later, the same groups claim that it is “too many, too soon” in an apparent attempt to make their claims impossible to test.

    [6] Ms. Stagliano claims that responsible doctors and scientists are to blame for the public’s growing fear of vaccines because they haven’t done…..what?

    This (#6) is the part I’m having trouble with. Responsible doctors and scientists (which includes Dr. Offit) have presented the data, have done more studies and haven’t found any data linking vaccines and autism or any of the other dire diseases Stagliano et al have claimed.

    About the only thing Ms. Stagliano can legitimately claim is that they haven’t managed to convince her (and her co-religionists), which probably due more to a closed mind on her part than any failure on the part of responsible doctors and scientists.

    An analogous situation might be this:

    A person sitting in a crowded theatre suddenly jumps up and shouts “FIRE!”. The ushers, the theatre manager and even the fire brigade and police patiently tell her that there is no fire, showing her the lack of smoke and flame, the silent smoke alarms, no suspicious heat sources on infrared, etc.

    Not convinced, she accuses them all of trying to cover-up the presence of fire and then – and here’s where we are today – she tells them that if there’s a panic in the theatre because of her shouting, it’s all THEIR fault because they couldn’t convince her to stop shouting.

    Amazing!

    Prometheus

  48. #48 Xenu
    December 8, 2009

    I say let these anti-vaccination alarmists and their children die via some vaccine-preventable disease. Evolution at its finest.

  49. #49 Scientizzle
    December 8, 2009

    In comment #25, the troll Sid Offit links to a June 8, 2008, story in the Independent titled “Threat of world Aids pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits” and subtitled “A 25-year health campaign was misplaced outside the continent of Africa”

    Perhaps Sid never noticed the correction issued by the quoted expert, Dr. Kevin de Cock, head of the WHO’s department of HIV/AIDS? It’s available at doi: 10.1590/S0037-86822008000500019 or PMID 19009200.

    Why don’t I just quote the whole thing:

    Dear Editor:

    We wish to clarify misinterpretations concerning World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS – Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS – positions on the status of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in recent media articles. The story in the Independent on Sunday titled: Threat of world AIDS pandemic among heterosexuals is over, report admits contained a few seriously misleading statements that have led to inferences and conclusions that bear no relation to the highly complex realities of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic.

    First and foremost, the global HIV epidemic is by no means over. At the end of 2007, an estimated 33.2 million people were living with HIV. Some 2.5 million people became newly infected that year, and 2.1 million died of AIDS. AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Africa.

    Worldwide, HIV is still largely driven by heterosexual transmission. The majority of new infections in Sub-Saharan Africa occur through heterosexual transmission. We have also seen a number of generalized epidemics outside of Africa, such as in Haiti and Papua New Guinea.

    Heterosexual transmission continues to drive the epidemic among sex workers, their clients, and their clients’ partners. In addition, prisoners, injecting drug users, as well as men who have sex with men, may also engage in heterosexual relationships. In sub-Saharan Africa almost 60% of adults living with HIV were women, 48% in the Caribbean.

    HIV prevention and treatment efforts are showing results. Building on these successes will require improved outreach to populations most at risk with evidence-informed approaches based on local HIV epidemiology — an approach we call knowing your epidemic. In all settings, a supportive environment is required, free from stigma and discrimination, legal barriers or other obstacles that prevent access to services. AIDS awareness campaigns and school-based efforts are essential to promote sexual and reproductive health, ensuring young people have the knowledge and ability to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, and teenage pregnancy.

    UNAIDS and WHO remain focused on strengthening monitoring of the epidemic to refine responses further and to recognize changes in transmission patterns should they occur.

    To recap: AIDS remains the leading infectious diseases challenge in global health. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible and misleading.

  50. #50 Scott
    December 8, 2009

    Once you consider Kim’s beliefs, it actually starts making sense. If you take as your absolute, unquestionable, definitively known beyond a shadow of a doubt, more confident than that the sky is blue or 1+1=2, premise that vaccines DO cause autism, then

    [6]Ms. Stagliano claims that responsible doctors and scientists are to blame for the public’s growing fear of vaccines because they haven’t been sufficiently honest or competent to find The Truth

    actually does follow. When a person is completely incapable of even considering the possibility that they might be wrong, all SORTS of irrational conclusions follow quite rationally from that root irrationality.

  51. #51 Joe
    December 8, 2009

    Speaking of Time Cube – we need an Age of Autism version of the GameCube parody . . .

    http://pasareppu.fateback.com/joke/gamecube.html

  52. #52 MI Dawn
    December 8, 2009

    On topic now. Kim Stagliano is just scary. I have known people like her. Everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault. Since SHE can’t be wrong, and her plans and ideas can’t be wrong, the fact that things go wrong based on her plans and ideas are obviously someone else’s fault.

    All I can do is make sure her poison doesn’t spread. I make sure my kids are vaccinated, my husband and I are all updated, our parents get theirs (as do other extended family members). I encourage friends to make sure they are up to date, that they keep their kids up to date.

    I dread the return of vaccine-preventable disease.

  53. #53 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Sizzle

    Seems like De Cock got taken to the woodshed by his masters at the WHO for endangering their AIDS business

  54. #54 Michael
    December 8, 2009

    Xenu, you do understand the concept of herd immunity, don’t you?

  55. #55 Raging Bee
    December 8, 2009

    [6] Ms. Stagliano claims that responsible doctors and scientists are to blame for the public’s growing fear of vaccines because they haven’t done…..what?

    Because they haven’t done enough to make a clear and convincing case that vaccines are necessary and do more good than harm. Then, when they hire outside PR consultants to help them make just such a case, people like Stagliano call THAT evidence of a nefarious conspiracy to brainwash everyone.

    You never can win with a bigot. Or a loonie.

  56. #56 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Xenu:

    I say let these anti-vaccination alarmists and their children die via some vaccine-preventable disease. Evolution at its finest.

    Your comment borders on eugenics. Do you also feel that children under the age of one who cannot get the MMR because they are too young deserve to die because some idiot brought her unvaxed son with measles caught on vacation to the doctor? This is what happened in San Diego. Several babies were infected due to the actions of one of those alarmists.

    Please look up herd immunity. Do understand that vaccine are not 100% effective, there will always be a small percentage of fully immunized who the vaccine does not work for. Should they suffer because of loonies like Kimmy and her friends?

  57. #57 Prometheus
    December 8, 2009

    Raging Bee comments (#56):

    Because they haven’t done enough to make a clear and convincing case that vaccines are necessary and do more good than harm. Then, when they hire outside PR consultants to help them make just such a case, people like Stagliano call THAT evidence of a nefarious conspiracy to brainwash everyone.

    Ah, well…thanks for making that more…clear.

    In reality, I do understand – Ms. Stagliano is too young (and untraveled) to have seen that vaccines are necessary and that they do far more good than harm. My parents dragged me, kicking and screaming (literally) to the pediatrician to get every vaccine as soon as it came out because they had seen the results of unchecked measles, polio, diphteria, pertussis, etc.

    For people of my generation (and those younger than me), polio is something that only happened long ago or far away. Measles is a “childhood disease” that never hurts anyone – so far as they know – and diphteria has something to do with the Iditarod dog sled race.

    Rather than trust people who know – or actually becoming educated about vaccines, people like Kim Stagliano simply parrot the same nonsense to each other because it fits with their world-view of anti-government paranoia.

    No, you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.

    Prometheus

  58. #58 Sid Offit
    December 8, 2009

    Germany to sell H1N1 vaccines due to weak demand

    Anybody interested?

  59. #59 Dave
    December 8, 2009

    You’ll blame the “anti-vaxxers” for the public refusal of this vaccine. Spare me. We are a cap gun compared to your nuclear bomb when it comes to the media. We’re ragtag colonials hiding behind trees as you Red Coats march in military precision with fine weapons.

    Of course, the ragtag colonials won that war. How humble of Stagliano to liken herself to them.

  60. #60 superdave
    December 8, 2009

    I used to regard kim stagliano as passionate but rational. The latter seems less fitting

  61. #61 Orac
    December 8, 2009

    If Kim has shown signs of rationality with regards to vaccines, medicine, and science, I haven’t seen them since I first became aware of her.

  62. #62 Kismet
    December 8, 2009

    Chris, eugenics is not a bad thing per definitionem. Eugenics is not the same as forced eugenics, or worse, the Nazi genocide it is associated with. There is such a thing like voluntary, “soft” eugenics (which is morally justified if and when applicable, e.g. PGD). Maybe there is a better word for “soft” eugenics, though, but I haven’t come across one.

    Therefore derisively telling someone “Your comment borders on eugenics” is meaningless, especially in the context you use it.

    I think I’ve made the same point over at pharyngula some days ago, but forgot to follow up…

  63. #63 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Point taken, Kismet. Though I do believe that “it is okay that they die” comments do not take into account children too young to be vaccinated, or persons with multiple health issues (like one of my sons). So I am a bit sensitive to comments like those of Xenu.

  64. #64 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Kismet, just looked at your blog. I think I will stand by my comment. I really dislike it when people think that a child like mine, or that babies too young to get the MMR should be part of “soft eugenics.” I also gave context, but you seem to have missed it.

    If your view is taken, perhaps we should be using “softer eugenics” in lots more cases. Like not providing insulin to folks with Type 1 Diabetes, or even attempting to lengthen the lives of those with cystic fibrosis. Perhaps, we should just get rid of all childhood vaccines and go back to the days when it was common to know a family whose child died young (like my grandmother’s two brothers), or had been severely disabled (like the tens of thousands from the rubella epidemic of the early 1960s).

  65. #65 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Why I am not giving any leeway to Kismet. From the Immortality Institute FAQ:

    There is research going on into every one of the seven things right now (some more than others), and once those seven things are “fixed”, aging will stop. I know you are saying at this point, what are the seven things? Well they are (in no particular order):

    3) Mutations in chromosomes.

    4) Mutations in mitochondria.

    Dude, several genetic mutations that cause congenital disorders were selected for because they allowed persons to survive infections. These include sickle cell anemia, Haemochromatosis and others. Your “soft eugenics” can select for the stuff that you all want to “fix.”

    (note: to be clear on where I stand, I think Kurzweil is a bit of a loon)

  66. #66 PeterD
    December 8, 2009

    ((note: to be clear on where I stand, I think Kurzweil is a bit of a loon)

    A bit? The man wants to live foreeeeeeeever.

  67. #67 Scientizzle
    December 8, 2009

    Seems like De Cock got taken to the woodshed by his masters at the WHO for endangering their AIDS business

    Or…it’s entirely possible that you’re a jackass with a tenuous grasp of reality. Hmmm.

  68. #68 shmedelle
    December 8, 2009

    I’m curious if the anti-vaccine people get shots for their dogs and cats. I bet they do.

  69. #69 riotnerd
    December 8, 2009

    As always, my gripe is with the rhetoric. Now, while I will concede that Kim is not quite guilty of a mixed metaphor, I will say that if she had a speech writer he’d be fired. I’ll explain:

    1)Comparing yourself to colonial soldiers: Rhetorically Sound. Everybody likes to identify with some evil Brit ass-kicking from ragtag justice seekin’ Americans.

    2)Calling the U.S. Government (Though not the “US” Government as Kim does, but we’ll let that go)and its hordes of money your enemie’s friend: Also Rhetorically Sound. A little hysterical, but hey, it’s the internet. Besides, in the current economic situation F*#% anybody with a bunch of money, especially the government with all their tax-wanting and bailout goings on. They’re definitely not me! Jerks.

    The problem is that Kim brings the above two rhetorical moves together. You need to put at least a sentence in between the scrappy U.S. of A(ss kickin’)ass kickers for truth and the evil empire U.S. of A(IG) (I also thought about U.S. of A(id)but thought that might have too positive a connotation. I know it’s a little late but if any left or right wing wingnut wants to use either, feel free). Kim, my head is spinning! Is the U.S. good or bad? Is it bad that it colonials lost because they just used their new found power to give babies autism? And at what point do you stop metaphorically being the U.S.? Are you suggesting that the “pro-safe vaccination” movement is like a bunch of guerrilla warriors fighting Uncle Sam? Are you sure want to say that?

  70. #70 a-non
    December 9, 2009

    Of course, thimerosal has been out of pet vaccines for years, the anti-vaxers argue, so it’s ok.

  71. #71 Riayn
    December 9, 2009

    I find it interesting that Kim has stated that she would vaccinate her children against a hypothetical Ebola outbreak but has chosen not to vaccinate her children against the very real and deadly illness of Hib, Whooping Cough and MMR.
    Does she think that her kids can’t catch these diseases or if they did that they don’t pose much of a risk of death or serious disability. If so, it shows that her knowledge in this area is seriously lacking.

  72. #72 colmcq
    December 9, 2009

    @xenu: I share your anger, but by letting the antivaxers die you can be assured they will take the less fortunate – who have not been able to recieve a vaccination – with them.

    Like someone once said: do not engage with these denialists.

  73. #73 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 9, 2009

    In Kim’s world, Superman is strengthened by Kryptonite.

  74. #74 Dave Ruddell
    December 9, 2009

    I’m curious if the anti-vaccine people get shots for their dogs and cats. I bet they do.

    I remember that when I adopted my cat about seven years ago, during the screening process they were very insistent about not letting the cat go outside (not an issue, I live in a condo); if you indicated you were, no cat for you! OTOH, they were willing to ‘understand’ if you didn’t feel that it was right to vaccinate. I don’t know if because they were anti-vaxxers, or if they had trouble adopting out pets if they made someone sign a statement promising to vaccinate.

    (As a matter of full disclosure, after the kitten shots, I haven’t had my cat vaccinated further. He never leaves the condo, I didn’t see the point).

  75. #75 MikeMa
    December 9, 2009

    Riayn @72,
    I think that Kim feels exactly that. Her kids can’t catch those diseases. She feeds them vitamins, whole organic foods and keeps them away from other children no doubt. Further, she feels that her immune boost (vitamins, etc) will allow her kids to overcome anything they catch. Finally, she has no memory of just how bad the vaccine preventable diseases actually are and the serious effects they have for the victims. She is a passionate, selfish fool unable to move in any direction but forward. Over the cliff.

  76. #76 bones
    December 9, 2009

    Scene: A very lonely in Connecticut….

    Stagliano: “Vaccines suck!”

    Blaxill: “Yeah, vaccines suck!”

    Olmstead: “Vaccines definitely suck!”

    Handley: “Gimme yer lunch money, queer!”

    Olmstead: “J.B., it’s…it’s me…Dan. I’m on your side.”

    Handley: “Oh yeah. I totally knew that. For sure.”

    Stagliano: “Vaccines suck!”

    Blaxill: “Yeah, totally suck!!”

    Olmstead: “Uhh…yeah! Whatever Kim says!!!”

    Handley: “Who you lookin’ at queer?!?”

    Blaxill: “J.B., it’s me, Mark. Remember, I’m on your side?”

    Handley: “Dude, I totally knew that!”

    Stagliano: “….and another thing, vaccines totally suck cuz they’re like…bad-n-stuff!!!”

    Blaxill: “So true StagMom. So true!”

    And on, and on, and on it goes. For the last ten years it’s been the same proverbial beating of the dead horse. The same droning mantra…..

    If they (AoA, and similar ilk) truly wanted to find a the cause for Autism and other DDs they would be out drumming up money for methodologically sound, reliable, re-testable research studies. They’re not.

    Fact is, they just like the sound of their voices.

  77. #77 sir_eccles
    December 9, 2009

    What if there is an anthrax attack on American soil?

    Which reminds me, did they actually find out who sent all those free samples of anthrax around 2001?

  78. #78 NJK
    December 9, 2009

    As a matter of full disclosure, after the kitten shots, I haven’t had my cat vaccinated further. He never leaves the condo, I didn’t see the point.

    If your cat ever leaves the condo to go to the vet, there is a point. Ages ago, shortly after the vaccine came out, my (unvaccinated) cat died of Feline Leukemia. The only place he could have possibly been exposed was the vet’s office.

    If he doesn’t go to the vet, then you’re probably right.

  79. #79 MikeMa
    December 9, 2009

    sir_eccles
    The chief suspect, a biomend researcher named Ivins, committed suicide. There was some talk of a conspiracy to finger him with insufficient proof, but I don’t think that generated much support.

  80. #80 Denice Walter
    December 9, 2009

    @ riotnerd:I can explain it to you: those “rag tag colonials”,the *revolutionaries*,eventually *became* the massive, entrenched “system”(a/k/a “the matrix”,”Big Pharma”,the “powers that be”, the “Government”)thus necessitating *another* band of *revolutionaries*(comprised no doubt of “brave maverick doctors” and “warrior moms”)to come forward and set things straight(of course,taking advantage of recent the “tea party” trend).A few days ago,I jokingly commented about the “hero fantasies” of the woo-centric crowd(including the anti-vaxxers)I really didn’t expect Ms. Kim to illustrate so quickly.

  81. #81 antivaccinist
    December 9, 2009

    “The obsessive, cult-like concentration on vaccines…”

    WOW!! Pot meet kettle…sounds just like some medicalized citizens I know! “Vaccines are good, are life saving drugs”, it goes on and on…..holy grail and all that bull shit!

  82. #82 Gabe's Mom
    December 9, 2009

    I am sorry, I just had to comment.
    My son has autism and I have never thought twice about getting my two younger daughters all the vaccines that are available.

    I don’t believe autism has any relationship with childhood vaccines. Aside from that, why the hell are we talking about vaccines anyway. Don’t we have better things to do, Kim? I would much rather spend my time working with my son to help him find his place in this world.

    WAKE UP! These are your children! Stop acting like their personalities and differences are a “disease” to be “recovered from”. Stop talking about “cause” and “cure” and start talking about quality of life! Give your children the therapy they need to get through life, stop asking “why my children” and placing blame.

    If you don’t want to get your children life-saving vaccines, then don’t. But when others make the same poorly-informed decision the only proper place to point your finger is in the mirror.

  83. #83 Kismet
    December 9, 2009

    @Chris,
    I know you have given context and I think the context is wrong in a sense, as it led you to use the word “eugenics” as an insult which it clearly need not be (and IMHO *should* not be).
    I’d just want to salvage the word as it is a genuinely useful term and should not be associated with crimes and genocide.
    The URL is not my blog, just a way to PM me via that site (forum). I do not endorse everything on that site and Kurzweil is undeniably a moron (doing some mediocre to good PR, though).
    Life extension research and Aubrey de Grey’s strategies for engineered negligible senescence are unrelated to eugenics.

    I don’t get your point, but I think we’re simply not meaning the same when we say eugenics or even “soft” eugenics. I gave PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) as an example and you did not try to refute, so I’ll assume you also find it agreeable. That’s about as far as I would go.
    Neither example you have given falls under “soft” eugenics and I do not support them as, for instance, withholding insulin from T1DMs is basically murder (and not even under the most strict, pragmatic and heartless interpretation of eugenics is it necessary: diabetics can contribute a lot to society, which outweighs the cost of their medication + it’s a polygenic disease so “artificial selection” won’t do much)

    No one’s talking about eliminating heterozygous carriers (which is hardly feasible in the first place). But people want to spare their children from Patau and Edwards (or homozygous sickle cell, etc) using PGD & abortion (“soft” eugenics).

  84. #84 a-non
    December 9, 2009

    Fact is, they just like the sound of their voices.

    Unfortunately, those “voices” have a lot more money behind them than they used to.

  85. #85 trrll
    December 9, 2009

    We may well have gotten lucky with…

    Like many around here, I have lost people I cared about to some of these epidemics, so Sid’s use of the word “lucky” is particularly insensitive.

    Nevertheless, the fact remains that they could be much, much worse. As disasters go, we are certainly fortunate that HIV is not as easy to catch as influenza, for example. And of course, we know from historical experience that it is possible for an influenza epidemic to kill many times as many as have died in modern epidemics. What all of these have taught us is how limited is our ability is to deal with viral epidemics, with our oldest weapon, immunization, still remaining the most effective.

  86. #86 Scott
    December 9, 2009

    @82:

    Bravo! I can tell Gabe’s in very good hands – good luck to you both.

  87. #87 cervantes
    December 9, 2009

    A common thread, of course, in anti-vaxing, global warming denialism, and AIDS denialism, as well as woomeisters who tell us that “they” don’t want us to know about coral calcium or whatever it may be, is that the core claim is that the scientific enterprise is in fact a vast conspiracy. The scientists are suppressing data that shows the truth and making up data that supports their case, and the hundreds or thousands of them who work in the field, plus all of their grad students, research assistants, lab technicians, computer programmers, secretaries and supervisors are all in on it. Amazingly not one, not one, has ever repented and come forward to reveal the truth: it’s all a massive fraud perpetrated on the public so that we can continue to receive federal research grants, thereby supporting our modest middle class salaries.

    I guess that’s entirely plausible.

  88. #88 LibraryGuy
    December 9, 2009

    Sometimes reading about these dangerous fools can get really depressing.
    Then, I stop by my doctor’s, and while I’m waiting I hear the receptionist tell someone that they’re still only vaccinating a limited group of people. Then I call my daughter’s doctor, and have to wait an extra couple of minutes while they tell me about the Vaccination Hotline they’ve set up to handle the volume of calls.
    Thank god Kim and Jenni and J.B. are still in the (very vocal) minority.

  89. #89 Gabe's Mom
    December 9, 2009

    @86
    Thank you Scott.

  90. #90 Todd W.
    December 9, 2009

    @Gabe’s Mom

    Gotta second Scott’s comment. Thank you for speaking up! We need to hear more from parents like you.

  91. #91 kwombles
    December 9, 2009

    “But people want to spare their children from Patau and Edwards (or homozygous sickle cell, etc) using PGD & abortion (“soft” eugenics).”

    @84 Kismet: They don’t want to spare their children, as abortion terminates that child. They want to spare themselves. Huge difference.

    And whether people can contribute to society or not is not a humane or ethical way to decide who is of value and should live or have the chance to live.

    Anti-vaxxers undoubtedly do not vaccinate their pets– vaccinosis, right?

    On a side note, RI is on my blogroll. Imagine how big my eyes got when I scrolled down and saw the title.

    My first thought was what the hell did I do!

    Kim :-)

  92. #92 Not-so-innocent bystander
    December 9, 2009

    @84 Kismet: They don’t want to spare their children, as abortion terminates that child. They want to spare themselves. Huge difference.

    Abortions kill a fetus, not a child. If you abort every fetus of yours that has Edwards, then you’re certainly saving your children from having it. Now, if you’re talking about terminating potential children, then yeah, you’re right. But then you run into the same problem with pregnancy, since while that one fetus is there, you’re terminating all other potential fetuses, and hence potential children, during that time.

  93. #93 RJ
    December 9, 2009

    @82
    “WAKE UP! These are your children! Stop acting like their personalities and differences are a “disease” to be “recovered from”. Stop talking about “cause” and “cure” and start talking about quality of life! Give your children the therapy they need to get through life, stop asking “why my children” and placing blame.”

    I agree with you. Just keep in mind that it’s not about their children or autism…it’s about them (Kim et al.)! This is what happens when narcissists feel victimized by circumstance. Find someone/something to blame. It’s not about the kids, it’s about them. JB is another prime example.

    Parents of children with autism are inherently stressed and have to deal with a lot (as do parents of many disorders and disabilities) and they need better support services. This is just one example of how certain types of people respond to this kind of situation. And if it means being irrational about it or bringing as many people down with them, to their perceived level of pain and victimization, then so be it.

  94. #94 Michael Simpson
    December 9, 2009

    Anti-vaccinationists kill children by proxy. Everything else is just rhetoric.

    I admit being sympathetic to parents of children who have autism, but the default logic shouldn’t be to replace the unknown with pseudoscience. Why do people do this (which is a rhetorical question in of itself).

  95. #95 speedweasel
    December 9, 2009

    I say let these anti-vaccination alarmists and their children die via some vaccine-preventable disease.

    Emphasis mine. Fuck you.

  96. #96 dedicated lurker
    December 9, 2009

    Kim – if I discovered I was going to have a child with Edwards or Patau or trisomy 9, I’d abort. But it would be about the child – I think it’s cruel to bring a child into the world to only have him or her suffer before dying. And with any of those conditions, it is very probable the child would die before his or her first birthday, if not be stillborn.

  97. #97 storkdok
    December 9, 2009

    It’s really sad that Kim and the other parents at AoA are wasting so much time on their rhetoric/antivaccine activities. Their children suffer the consequences of their pseudoscientific DAN! experimentations as well as the lack of
    investigation and implementation of evidence based educational techniques and therapies such as ST/OT/PT.

    I prefer to learn how to best teach my son and work closely with his classroom teacher on things like Circle of Friends and Social Thinking’s Superflex. I also joined the board of an independence association that works to advocate for children and adults who have diverse special needs, advocating for their inclusion into the community and for their right to advocate for themselves in our community and in society as a whole.

    I think they have forgotten that it isn’t about the parents, it is supposed to be about supporting our children and helping them learn, and loving them for who they are. My son is thriving in the third grade. He is happy and learning with his peers. He is still autistic, and will always be autistic. It is who he is.

  98. #98 riotnerd138
    December 9, 2009

    @Denice: Thanks!
    Just wanted to be totally clear that, yes, in fact Kim et al. are into comparing themselves to non-state entities at war with the United States Government. There’s a word for that I can’t think of off the top of my head. Some word that captures total ideological rigidity, a willingness to sacrifice innocent lives, open violent contempt for the state…. It’s just not coming to me though. Oh well, One man’s freedom fighter and all that I suppose.

  99. #99 Grendel
    December 10, 2009

    I saw Gabe’s Mom’s comment and had to add my voice to hers. I have a son who has autism but he is my son and we don’t allow the fact that he has autism to define him.

    We have sought therapy and as he has grown his behavious has improved. There was nothing magical or chemical about this it was just the normal improvements in behaviour that all children experience as they grow up filled out with some of the skills he hasn’t developed naturally like his peers did.

    We also vaccinate – and oh my god he DOESN’T GET WORSE! Amazing isn’t it. That little anecdote is meaningless however against the massive wealth of statistics collected internationally that show that vaccination saves lives with minimal risk.

    We know that children with autism can learn and that their behaviour does improve – and we know that occupational, speech, social skills and physical therapies can help. My fear as a parent is that the children of AoA parents are missing out on what we know does actually work.

    Worse still is that they may be ignoring the reality that up to 70% of children with autism may also have intellectual disability, a complicating factor where their developmental delay in combination with the intellectual disability can impede their capacity to learn the skills of daily living and interraction with others. These are the children who need the most intensive therapies and who will miss out the most if these therapies are replaced with sham biomedical interventions.

  100. #100 fred edison
    December 10, 2009

    If vaccines weren’t as beneficial and successful as they have been, vocal anti-vaccination proponents like Stagliano would cease to exist, and wouldn’t have a delusional and paranoid crutch to lean on. The numbers of illnesses and deaths from disease, diseases that are currently controlled and held in check by vaccines, would instantly strip them of their deceptive powers to sway rational thinking to that of the irrational. Until that critical shift to a factual and realistic perception about vaccines is reached, though as horrendous and tragic it will be, people like her will continue to mount a coordinated assault to destroy the good health of people around the world. How many more vaccine preventable deaths will occur for no reason, in order to force their mislead and deceived supporters to see them as the charlatans and health pariahs they really are.

  101. #101 Bill
    December 10, 2009

    Considering George Washington forcibly vaccinated his troops against smallpox I’m not sure Kim wanted to use that comparison.

  102. #102 Adrian W.
    December 10, 2009

    Slightly OT, but I got my H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines at work yesterday. The nurse said it would be best to put the H1N1 vaccine in my non-dominant arm because it would be more sore (which is difficult for me because I’m left-handed, but spend most of my day mousing with my right – I ended up getting it in my left). I’m guessing this is because of the adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine.

    Holy heck, she wasn’t kidding! I could barely lift my arm past horizontal last night. It’s much better this morning, thankfully.

  103. #103 Todd W.
    December 10, 2009

    @Adrian W.

    Where are you located? As far as I’m aware, the U.S. vaccine does not contain any adjuvants.

  104. #104 Adrian W.
    December 10, 2009

    Canada. The H1N1 vaccine here is adjuvanted with squalene.

  105. #105 Todd W.
    December 10, 2009

    @Adrian W.

    Thanks for the clarification. Just wanted to make sure that others from the U.S. reading this didn’t get confused.

  106. #106 Prometheus
    December 10, 2009

    Bill (#101) comments:

    “Considering George Washington forcibly vaccinated his troops against smallpox…

    Not to pick nits, but since vaccination against smallpox wasn’t available until 1796, what Washington’s troops underwent was variolation.

    In variolation, a small amount of smallpox-infected material (usually crusts from a person with active smallpox) were either rubbed into a small scratch on the skin or blown into the nose. This small inocculum caused (they hoped) a slow-moving case of smallpox which would (again, they hoped) allow the body’s immune system to generate an immune response in time to prevent a “full-blown” (variola major) case of smallpox.

    When variolation was successful, it had a 1-2% mortality rate (compared to about 1 per million for the modern smallpox vaccine), but it was very “operator dependent” – using too much innoculum or too deep a scratch could lead to variola major, which had a 20% mortality. Still, people who had undergone variolation (and lived) were immune to smallpox, one of the most dread diseases of its day.

    Interestingly, variolation persisted even after the development of the smallpox vaccine, largely due to distrust of the vaccine (sound familiar?). It wasn’t outlawed in England until 1840.

    Prometheus

  107. #107 Basiorana
    December 10, 2009

    “@84 Kismet: They don’t want to spare their children, as abortion terminates that child. They want to spare themselves. Huge difference.”

    @kwombles: Are they also sparing themselves when they abort a baby who is missing many organs and can’t survive outside the womb at all?

    If you believe a fetus is a sentient human being and abortion is murder and still abort for those reasons, then worst case, you are immoral, but more likely, you believe in peaceful euthanasia when the alternative is horrifying pain and suffering. There are fates worse than death.

    If you believe a fetus is not yet sentient or living and abortion is prevention of life, it’s pretty much in the same category as using a condom when you know you have a high chance of passing on a horrible genetic disease (except much more painful and expensive for the mother).

    @ Prometheus: Also, variolation was basically getting smallpox, so it was miserable for those who did it. It was kind of like having a pox party, with ebola. Horrifying. And yet, it probably saved our country’s collective derriere.

  108. #108 Chris
    December 10, 2009

    Basiorana, you can see Kismet was back peddling by re-defining “soft eugenics.” The Xenu comment that started the whole thing had nothing to do with abortion, it was letting children die from diseases due to the actions, or inaction of the parents. My reaction was based on the fact that some children (and adults) have real medical reasons that require herd immunity for protection.

  109. #109 Christina
    December 13, 2009

    What I find ironic about the “rag-tag colonials” comparison is that Washington implemented the first large-scale smallpox innoculation (a predecessor to vaccination, though far more risky than vaccination – but much safer than full-scale smallpox) in North American history when he had the colonial armies innoculated en masse after debacles like Quebec, where a smallpox outbreak among colonial soldiers prevented the city from being taken, and Boston, where fear of an outbreak there prevented an attack by the (mostly-susceptible) colonial army.