Respectful Insolence

An anti-vaccine protest in New York today

Blame Comcast, I say.

Blame Comcast for the fact that I don’t have a typical pearl of Orac-ian logorrheic majesty for your edification this morning. And there’s so much that requires such a pearl to be thrown at it, too, in particular a study claiming that cell phone radiation alters brain metabolism in the areas where the cell phones are typically held. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow; that is, if something else doesn’t catch my attention–and if my Internet service has decided to work long enough to let me do it. Yes, the reason there’s no Insolence, Respectful or not-so-Respectful, laid down this morning is because last night my Internet service decided that it didn’t have to work all the time. In fact, it decided that working five minutes out of an hour was just fine. A call to Comcast showed that, yes, there was a serious problem, and, no, it can’t be fixed over the phone. Oh, and the first time available for a service visit is Friday afternoon, requiring me to take time off work during a crazy busy time here at work. But I need my Internet. I can let the blog lay fallow for a couple of days or post old “Classic Insolence” sufficiently old that most of my current readers probably haven’t seen it before. Blogging isn’t a necessity. Unfortunately, I can’t work on my grants at home without PubMed and online access to journals.

One thing I wanted to point out is an e-mail I got yesterday from something called the Autism Action Network, which used to be ACHAMP:

Bill Gates: We are not Child Killers

Protests 2/24 in NYC, Omaha and Long Beach

Outraged Parents and Advocates Call for Multi-City Protests Against Microsoft Chairman and Billionaire Bill Gates After Being Called “Child Killers”

Press Conference to Take Place Tomorrow, Thursday, February 23rd at 12:00 Noon Across From Microsoft Executive Offices in Manhattan (New York, N.Y.)

Vaccine safety and autism advocates Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland, Esq. will join other citizens, parents and organizations at a major press conference on Thursday, February 23, 2011 at 12:00 noon to announce the start of a multi-city protest involving tens of thousands of outraged parents of children who have vaccine injury, autism and other chronic disabilities. The protest and press conference against Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates challenges his controversial remarks on national TV that those who question vaccine safety “kill children.” The attendees are demanding an immediate apology from Gates. The press conference will take place outside the Microsoft Executive Offices at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (corner of 52nd Street) in Manhattan. These groups will hold additional protests in Manhattan, Long Beach and Omaha where Gates will be speaking publically.

Please click on the Take Action Link above to send an email to Mr. gates expressing your objection to his characterization of people concerned about vaccine safety as “killing children.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $10 billion over the next decade for global vaccine development, production, and distribution. Although vaccines have contributed to the reduction of some infectious disease, the recommended doses of vaccines for children have exploded. And the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.”

Habakus and Holland are co-editors and authors of recent release Vaccine Epidemic and both are national leaders in the autism and vaccine safety movement. When: Thursday, February 23, 2011 12:00 noon Where: Microsoft Executive Offices 1290 Avenue of the Americas (corner of 52nd Street) New York, NY Organizations supporting the CVS: Age of Autism; Autism Action Network; Autism One; Center for Personal Rights; Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA); National Autism Association New York Metro Chapter.

Please forward this message to freinds and family and please post on Facebook and other social networks.

No, I didn’t change anything; I cut and paste this without alteration, other than adding HTML tags to make the title bold and applying “blockquote” tags. In any case, I found out more from AoA hanger-on and anti-vaccine activist Ginger Taylor, who’s trying to drum up support:

FEBRUARY 23, 2011

PRESS CONFERENCE AT MICROSOFT NYC HEADQUARTERS ON FEB 24

On Thursday, February 24 at 11:30 am, advocates, parents, and professionals will gather for a press conference at Microsoft’s NYC headquarters at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (52nd Street and Sixth Ave, southeast corner).
Join us for a public display of anger. It is time for a protest that sends a strong and unequivocal message.

We reject Bill Gates’s misguided rhetoric of intolerance against those who question vaccine safety. We demand an apology from Bill Gates for his irresponsible comments on national TV. All human beings, including parents whose children were injured and died from their vaccines, are entitled to speak out about vaccine safety and affirm that vaccination choice is a human right. No one, including our corporate leaders, should be permitted to publicly insult this right.

VACCINE EPIDEMIC AUTHORS CONDEMN SUPREME COURT RULING IN BRUESEWITZ V. WYETH

Coming on the heels of a successful book launch event in New York City on Feb 18, which gathered over 300 people at the NYU School of Law, we were deeply disappointed yesterday morning to learn of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruesewitz v Wyeth. The 6-2 decision forecloses civil lawsuits for vaccine design defects and further tilts the already unfair playing field of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which consistently decides against vaccine-injured famlies after years of venomous litigation.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent, in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined, arguing that the majority appears more concerned about shielding industry than about the welfare of our children, and more concerned with a policy to prevent tort cases alleging vaccine-induced autism from reaching civil court than with the statute’s plain language.

Many safety and autism advocacy organizations have joined to express their condemnation, as reflected by the Coalition for Vaccine Safety’s press release issued yesterday.

MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN SAYS VACCINE SAFETY ADVOCATES ARE “KILLING CHILDREN”

Earlier this month, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates stated on a CNN interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta that so-called “anti-vaccine efforts” — which are, in truth, efforts to raise science-based concerns about vaccine safety — “kill children.”
Gates’s expression of intolerance was directed at those who voice concern about the wisdom of current vaccination policy and defend their human right to vaccination choice. His statement went unchecked in the mainstream media. It is an undisputable fact that vaccines injure and cause death to some children. Those who fight for vaccine safety seek to lessen these injuries and deaths, not ignore them, as Bill Gates would have people do.

Please join the press conference to help break the silence of vaccine injury and to call attention to the human right to vaccination choice.

IF YOU CAN’T BE IN NYC ON THURSDAY, BUY A BOOK OR THREE

If you can’t join us in NYC tomorrow, buy a few copies of Vaccine Epidemic and commit to loaning them or giving them to people who will read them. You can always donate a couple to your local library.

There is no “standing still.” Either we move forward, or we fall behind.
It is a formidable act of advocacy to put copies of Vaccine Epidemic in people’s hands. Knowledge is powerful. To open your eyes is to find your voice. And at just $14 each, it won’t break the bank.

Please help us to spread the word. There are times when the very best way to be heard is to show up. See you in NYC on Thursday.

LOUISE KUO HABAKUS

MARY HOLLAND

p.s. For those who don’t live in or near NYC, stay tuned… your time is coming, too!

Imagine my excitement. In any case, I’ll give Habakus and Holland credit for shameless self-promotion, using this little non-event to sell books. The whole press release can be translated in three words: BUY OUR BOOK! (Please?)

One can’t help but note that the anti-vaccine movement is looking pretty pathetic here. The organizers apparently can’t make up their mind what they’re protesting. Moreover, Bill Gates’ statement (which I wrote about three weeks ago) has nothing at all to do with the SCOTUS ruling announced earlier this week. I realize it’s short notice, but if there are any skeptics and devotees of science-based medicine in New York City who could make it over to Microsoft’s New York headquarters, I’d love an account. Pictures would be even better. I realize that it’s too late to organize, for which I thank Comcast (although, less than a day is short notice in any case), but at least we can see what the opposition is up to. Also, at the very least, it ought to be entertaining.

I need all the entertainment I can get until Comcast finally gets my Internet service working reliably again.

Comments

  1. #1 Box Brown
    February 24, 2011

    Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s called “Worse-then Nothing” Bill?

    Shouldn’t it be “worse THAN nothing”?

  2. #2 lordshipmayhem
    February 24, 2011

    MICROSOFT CHAIRMAN SAYS VACCINE SAFETY ADVOCATES ARE “KILLING CHILDREN”

    Truth hurts sometimes, doesn’t it?

  3. #3 Agent Smith
    February 24, 2011

    Why is NYU school of law (an otherwise reputable institution) supporting these anti-vax meetings and have someone on staff that appears on late night conspiracy shows to push anti-vaccine horseshit?

    Also, why is Mary Holland, a JD, writing book about the dangerous of vaccines? Her backgrounds appears to be in Soviet Studies- how could she possibly understand the epidemiological data even if the data reflected her bizarre viewpoints?

  4. #4 Joe T.
    February 24, 2011

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but a quick skim of the actual Supreme Court opinion seems to show that the Court did not rule vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe”, but in fact said that that term of art does not apply here at all.

  5. #5 Mu
    February 24, 2011

    Hmm, I think I go buy Windows 7 to support Bill Gates effort now.

  6. #6 WLU
    February 24, 2011

    And the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.”

    Isn’t that completely not what it said? Like, 180 degrees not what it said?

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    February 24, 2011

    @ Agent Smith: I think that Holland is a (gasp) prof at the law school so she might have easier access there. Unfortunate things like this *do* happen- e.g. Duesberg is @ UC Berkeley.

    Oh my, vaxx-mania in midtown! at lunchtime! I’m rather busy today – financial work at home & real work elsewhere- or I’d go to see the amateur theatrics. LKH has learned her craft by appearing at various area anti-vaxx events over the past few years ( Trenton, Albany, NJ locations) lovingly documented at her website.

    Maybe it’s just me, but don’t protests like this often work *against* the advocates’ causes? You know, wanton displays of looniness in a big business sector don’t always speak well for your position.

  8. #8 jba
    February 24, 2011

    WLU: I’m assuming it’s a quote mine, the phrase probably appears in the ruling with “everything in life is…” before it or something like that.

  9. #9 SC (Salty Current)
    February 24, 2011

    So…will Andrew Disease-in-his-Wakefield be making an appearance at these events as he did at the pathetic park protest of last summer?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

  10. #10 ted
    February 24, 2011

    @Agent Smith-
    you are correct,she is using the law school to “legitimize” her patina on this. While I understand the hurt there two decidedly upper-middle-class mothers feel, they are so, so wrong. In their view, their children’s sickness outweighs the deaths of countless more that are unvaccinated due to their utterly failure at understanding utilitarianism. Perhaps that’s the reason why her “screw-you-I-want-mine” attitude has found a broadcast home – FOX. Besides, the law school is on break, and the good prof’s son’s school is on break. What is really ironic is that the good prof’s uncles was head of the FDA years back, and later became chairman of a “big pharma”. So much for biting the hand that feeds you.

  11. #11 DW
    February 24, 2011

    From the NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice site:

    ” We need YOU in Trenton to Fight for A2450 on March 3rd”.

    LKH outines committee members’ positions on the Conscientious Exemption. Chair is Conaway, a doctor, who proposed tightening the religious exemption recently.

  12. #12 ted
    February 24, 2011

    There’s also a “sham” church which the anti-vaccine loonies can claim membership in – “Universal Family Church” which , as you see, is an insult to anyone with any formal expression of true faith.
    Warrior mommies with messianic complexes: why is it that I’m thinking of “Idiocracy” or the final scene of “Boris Godunov”?

  13. #13 locka99
    February 24, 2011

    “It is an undisputable fact that vaccines injure and cause death to some children. ”

    It is also an indisputable fact that the diseases that vaccines prevent do far, far, far, far more to injure and cause death than the vaccines ever do.

    Of course for vaccines we could also say that it is indisputable fact that toys, sunlight, peanuts, cars, water, electricity, guns, stairs, scissors, food, dogs, parents, other people injure and cause death to children. Ban them all I say.

  14. #14 JohnW
    February 24, 2011

    Moreover, Bill Gates’ statement (which I wrote about three weeks ago) has nothing at all to do with the SCOTUS ruling announced earlier this week.

    Sure it does. They’re all in this together. Along with the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, and the late George Steinbrenner.

  15. #15 Liz Ditz
    February 24, 2011

    Here’s the table of contents for “Vaccine Epidemic”

    Vaccine Epidemic: Narrative Table of Contents

    PART I: THE CASE FOR VACCINATION CHOICE

    Chapter 1: Vaccination Choice is a Human Right by Mary Holland, JD why vaccination choice is a human right.

    Chapter 2: The International Human Rights Standard by Sookyung Song places vaccination choice in the context of contemporary international human rights norms supporting free and informed consent for all medical interventions.

    Chapter 3: A Human Rights Assessment by Louise Kuo Habakus, MA Leading human rights-public health assessment framework to demonstrate that mandatory vaccination restricts and intrudes on fundamental human rights.

    Chapter 4: Due Process and the American Constitution by Jim Turner, JD The absence of due process in the vaccine injury compensation program and the loss of moral authority for a government that mandates a medical intervention known to injure and cause death.

    Chapter 5: The Right to Legal Redress by Mary Holland, JD and Robert Krakow, JD The failure of the vaccine injury compensation program.

    Chapter 6: God, Government, and Parental Rights by William Wagner, JD William writes in defense of parental rights and the free exercise of religious conscience.

    Chapter 7: An Urgent Call for More Research by Carol Stott, PhD and Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath What we know, what we don’t know, and what we appear not to want to know. Based on peer-reviewed science, they argue that the case for a link between vaccines and autism and other childhood health problems is robust and cries out for further research. They provide a primer on epidemiology and important guidance about the use of epidemiology to answer questions of causation.

    Chapter 8: A Long American Tradition by Robert Johnston, PhD the deep and powerful history of activism around vaccinations throughout American history, and the role of dissent in a democracy as integral to social progress.

    Chapter 9: Medical Ethics and Contemporary Medicine by Vera Hassner Sharav, MLS The long-time advocate for human research protection warns of history’s lessons.

    Chapter 10: “The Greater Good” by Allen Tate An analysis of the utilitarian justification for mandatory vaccination.

    PART II: NARRATIVES AND THE ECHOES OF OMELAS

    The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin (a short story first published in 1974)

    Chapter 11: Three Short Years by Gay Tate, PhD Her family’s experience with vaccine injury.

    Chapter 12: Pediatrics – Sick is the New Healthy by Judy Converse, MPH, RD, LD The American public health crisis, using her personal story as a backdrop.

    Chapter 13: My Daughter is “One Less” by Amy Pingel Her daughter’s ongoing experience with vaccine injury.

    Chapter 14: A Mother-Son Story by Sonja Hintz, RN and Alexander Hintz Alex’s recovery from vaccine injury as a story of hope.

    Chapter 15: Who Will Defend the Defenders? by Captain Richard Rovet, USAF (Ret.), with Afterword by Colonel Felix M. Grieder, USAF (Ret.) As a medic and nurse in the Air Force, Captain Rovet recorded post-vaccination illnesses on base.

    Chapter 16: “Get Your Affairs in Order” by Lisa Marks Smith A forty-eight-year-old mother of two who almost died after a routine flu shot from a local pharmacy.

    PART III: THE TOPICS IN DEBATE

    Chapter 17: The Vaccine Bubble and the Pharmaceutical Industry by Michael Belkin An analyst’s view of vaccine licensure, the psychology of the “vaccine bubble,” and the role of industry corruption in the crisis.

    Chapter 18: The Role of Government and the Media by Ginger Taylor, MS Examines government statements on vaccines and autism and the media’s failure to investigate them.

    Chapter 19: Mercury Toxicity and Vaccine Injury by Boyd Haley, PhD The biochemical toxicity of vaccine components and the tie to vaccine injury.

    Chapter 20: Forced Child Removal by Kim Mack Rosenberg, JD Child protective services sometimes label the choice not to vaccinate as “medical neglect” and seek child removal.

    Chapter 21: Genetic Information – Where Do We Go From Here? by Twila Brase, RN Newborn DNA acquisition without parental consent and concern about 21st century coercive medicine.

    Chapter 22: A Doctor’s View of Vaccines and the Public Health by Sherri Tenpenny, DO The pull/push of public health and the role of doctors.

    Chapter 23: A Holistic Health Perspective by Annemarie Colbin, PhD Vaccination from the perspective of a natural health practitioner.

    Chapter 24: What Should Parents Do? by Louise Kuo Habakus, MA Summarizes the governmnent’s position and eight boos by leading physicians who span the spectrum of medical advice and offer recommendations about vaccination and the options that parents have. This chapter highlights the wide and conflicting range of medical views, further underscoring the need for vaccination choice.

    Chapter 25: Who is Dr. Andrew Wakefield? by Mary Holland, JD The sound and fury behind the story of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

    Chapter 26: The Suppression of Science by Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath — experience with the MMR vaccine. Discusses the real dangers to the universal childhood vaccination program due to the absence of a safety first agenda, and free and informed consent. In pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Andy lost his job, his country, his career, and his medical license.

    APPENDIX A — SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

    Chapter 7: Scientific journal abstracts from the underlying studies

    Chapter 12: Letter from Francis Moore, MD to Judy Converse

    Chapter 15: Excerpts from Captain Rovet’s Report on Anthrax Vaccine Injury

    Chapter 18: Research supporting the vaccine-autism causation theory

    Chapter 24: Counting vaccine doses and combination vaccines

    Chapter 25: Statement from Dr. Andrew Wakefield Regarding the GMC Hearing Sanctions

    APPENDIX B — TOOLS FOR VACCINATION CHOICE

    Chicago Principles on Vaccination Choice

    Calls for Immediate Action in the United States

    Harris Interactive Poll — May 2010

    Public Discussion Presentation

    Frequently Asked Questions about Vaccines

    Discussion Guide to “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”
    People are Talking about Vaccine Epidemic

  16. #16 SLC
    February 24, 2011

    Maybe I’m missing something here but I was under the impression that Mr. Gates was no longer the “chairman” of Microsoft and had relinquished his duties to Steve Ballmer.

  17. #17 Dan Weber
    February 24, 2011

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but a quick skim of the actual Supreme Court opinion seems to show that the Court did not rule vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe”, but in fact said that that term of art does not apply here at all.

    “Unavoidably unsafe” is a term of art which means that the product has inherent risks that cannot be eliminated without making the product useless. Being “unavoidably unsafe” doesn’t mean defective, though. (A candle can cause a house fire, but that is in the nature of the product.) It was really just a matter of time before the anti-vax folks quote-mined that.

    IANAL.

  18. #18 Narad
    February 24, 2011

    Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but a quick skim of the actual Supreme Court opinion seems to show that the Court did not rule vaccines to be “unavoidably unsafe”, but in fact said that that term of art does not apply here at all.

    That’s my understanding, with Sotomayor’s dissent trying to argue from post-legislative commentaries that comment k (the source of the term) is relevant.

  19. #19 Dan Weber
    February 24, 2011

    Bill Gates is no longer CEO, but he is still Chairman of the Board of CEO.

  20. #20 Bruce
    February 24, 2011

    You are obsessed with scientology and Jenny’s ilk. Is there more to Orac?

  21. #21 Scott Cunningham
    February 24, 2011

    Of course a Soviet Studies prof is using her position to promote this stuff. The off-field expert phenomenon strikes again.

    Although anyone should understand protecting the lives of a larger number of people is more important than a small number of adverse events (especially when they aren’t really related.) Arguing the fears of the few trump the needs of the many makes for weird moral arguments.

    I have a pet theory developed in an ethics class I failed that says (Priveledge + Prejudice) x Volume = Morality. But don’t quote me on that, I’m no expert in that field.

  22. #22 Calli Arcale
    February 24, 2011

    Bruce — yes, there is more to Orac. Read his recent post “If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we cure cancer?” for something about neither Scientology nor Jenny McCarthy.

  23. #23 SLC
    February 24, 2011

    Re Dan Weber @ #18

    But has Mr. Gates not ceded the day to day running of the company to Steve Ballmer?

  24. #24 Thom Denick
    February 24, 2011

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but using the The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas to support the anti-vax argument is absurd.

    Omelas is about a child forced to live in misery to keep a town happy.

    Vaccines are about assuming a marginal risk to keep the larger population as a whole healthy.

    These are completely different ideas. Life/Death != Happiness/Unhappiness.

  25. #25 herr doktor bimler
    February 24, 2011

    The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula Le Guin (a short story first published in 1974)

    I trust that Ms Le Guin and her publishers have been consulted for permission to republish the story.

  26. #26 OMum22
    February 24, 2011

    Looks like the protest wasn’t terribly successful.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2011/02/another-anti-vaccine-rally-fizzles/

  27. #27 Kitto
    February 24, 2011

    18 people?

    There won’t be many books old with those numbers.

  28. #28 kitto
    February 24, 2011

    typo, I meant books sold, not books old.

  29. #29 lilady
    February 24, 2011

    Eighteen show up for this non-event. Age of Autism does not have any updates about this….hmm. Age of Autism does have commentary about the SCOTUS ruling, authored by the “usual suspects”.

    See the link provided by OMum22 above and the clever comments about the non-story about the non-event.

  30. #30 dedicated lurker
    February 24, 2011

    Also, the story asks the question “Are you someone who would be willing to sacrifice your own happiness for someone else?”

    Anti-vaxers would answer that with “Hell, no.”

  31. #31 Sid Offit
    February 24, 2011

    You are correct, sir.

  32. #32 Ken
    February 24, 2011

    “a study claiming that cell phone radiation alters brain metabolism in the areas where the cell phones are typically held”

    Based on my extensive research (i.e., two minutes on the web), those areas would probably be the temporal lobes. These handle hearing and are involved in semantic processing, and I would not be surprised if their metabolism changes when a person is communicating, by cell phone or otherwise; certainly brain areas burn more calories when they are being actively used.

    This suggests two obvious controls that the study should have considered. Do the effects occur if the person is just holding the active phone in position, without talking or listening? And do the effects occur if the person is talking and listening, without using a cell phone?

  33. #33 Pablo
    February 24, 2011

    18 people?

    There won’t be many books old with those numbers.

    Hey, if each were to buy three copies as they asked, then that would be a significant increase in total circulation!

  34. #34 Anton P. Nym
    February 24, 2011

    “It is an undisputable fact that vaccines injure and cause death to some children. “

    It is also an undisputable fact that baths injure and cause death to some children. More, indeed, than vaccines if I recall correctly.

    I’m certain the children will agree that “too many, too soon” applies to baths. I’m also certain that there’s a 100% correlation between baths and autism.

    Just sayin’…

    — Steve

  35. #35 Narad
    February 24, 2011

    This suggests two obvious controls that the study should have considered. Do the effects occur if the person is just holding the active phone in position, without talking or listening?

    You should have spent three minutes. The phones were muted.

  36. #36 Michael R
    February 24, 2011

    Wakefield did turn up at the NYU event. I just published part 1 of my 4-part report on that event at the Vaccine Times.

  37. #37 Michael R
    February 24, 2011

    Wakefield did turn up at the NYU event. I just published part 1 of my 4-part report on that event at the Vaccine Times.

  38. #38 dedicated lurker
    February 24, 2011

    I already knew that, Sid.

    Oh, and I’m female. My username doesn’t give any indication to my gender, so I figured someone would get it wrong eventually.

  39. #39 Matthew
    February 25, 2011

    I couldn’t help myself, I had to use their little form to send a message of my own:

    Subject: Bill Gates: Non-vaccination DOES kill

    I watched you online (using Linux, I’m afraid) after a report on one of the anti-quack blogs I read. I don’t recall which one.

    Now Orac has linked to this misguided attempt on AAN to force an apology from you (and what use is a forced apology anyway?) regarding your comment that the people who fight against vaccination are killing children.

    I would like to say that I fully agree with support what you say. Vaccines save lives. Fighting against vaccination ends them. There is no doubt about this except in the deluded minds of the purveyors of pseudo-science snake oil and their acolytes.

    My wife is 5 months pregnant, I have seen first-hand the effects of some of the crippling and deadly diseases vaccines have very nearly eradicated, and the thought that mindless killers could bring them back to harm my child is both chilling and frightening.

    I am unsure what sort of system this website uses, and therefore I don’t know if this email will fail to reach you either because nobody actually knows your email address, or there are moderators who object to this subversion of their nag-a-politician system. It needed to be written though.

    I’m not sure why this form is insisting on my address, it’s a bit pointless as I’m in the UK and it only understands US addresses. I’m sure you probably recognise it…

    I think this might add to their number-of-supporters count. I can’t decide whether or not this is a good thing.

  40. #40 Dave Ruddell
    February 25, 2011

    Not terribly on topic, but here’s today’s Indexed:

    http://thisisindexed.com/2011/02/damn-science/

    (if you’re not familiar with the site, check out some older entries to get the gist of it).

  41. #41 a-non
    February 25, 2011

    18 people? Anti-vaxers need to enlist the DNC or the Tea Party to get their grass roots organizing down.

  42. #42 Poodle Stomper
    February 25, 2011

    Somewhat appropriate for this thread

    A woman died of swine flu down in Tn and her baby almost died as well. [sarcasm]Thank goodness she didn’t get vaccinated, though. She might have gotten horrible Hg poisoning instead! [/sarcasm]

  43. #43 SC (Salty Current)
    February 25, 2011

    18 people!

    (I had forgotten about “Vaccine Gestapo.” I’m sorry, but there’s just no way I can keep from laughing at that song. You couldn’t make that up.)

  44. #44 RobertC
    February 25, 2011

    Just used the entry to one of the anti vax grouops form letters to go drop a note to my congress critters telling them what a great job the Supreme Court just did.

    Brilliant idea.

    Started to just edit the antis web site letter and use them to send it, but don’t want them screening info from me, counting me, or knowing my info.

    Only took about 60 seconds to do it all.

  45. #45 geolith
    February 26, 2011

    Link to the Bruesewitz opinion on the SCOTUS website:

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf

    Neither Adobe nor I were able to find the phrase “an undisputable fact” anywhere in the decision.

    However, Justice Breyer’s concurring decision does marshal the facts in the legislative history of the Act to set out the reason Congress created it:

    The legislative history describes the statute more generally as trying to protect the lives of children, in part by ending “the instability and unpredictability of the childhood vaccine market.” H. R. Rep., at 7; see ante, at 2–3.

    As the Committee Report makes clear, routine vaccination is “one of the most spectacularly effective public health initiatives this country has ever undertaken.”
    H. R. Rep., at 4.

    Before the development of routine whooping cough vaccination, for example, “nearly all children”in the United States caught the disease and more than 4,000 people died annually, most of them infants. U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, What Would Happen if We Stopped Vaccinations? http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vacgen/ whatifstop.htm (all Internet materials as visited Feb. 17, 2011, and available in Clerk of Court’s case file); Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adoles-cents: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diptheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccines, 55 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, No. RR–3, p. 2 (Mar. 24, 2006) (hereinafter Preventing Tetanus) (statistics for 1934–1943), http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/rr/rr5503.pdf; U. S. Dept.of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases 200 (11th ed. rev. May 2009).

    After vaccination became common, the number of annual cases of whooping cough declined from over 200,000 to about 2,300, and the number of deaths from about 4,000 to about 12.
    * * *
    But these gains are fragile; “[t]he causative agents forthese preventable childhood illnesses are ever present in the environment, waiting for the opportunity to attack the unprotected individual.” Hearing on S. 827 before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, 99th Cong., 2d Sess., pt. 2, pp. 20–21 (1985) (hereinafter Hearings) (testimony of the American Academy of Pediatrics); see California Dept. of Public Health, Pertussis Report (Jan. 7, 2011), http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/PertussisReport2011–01–07.pdf (In 2010, 8,383 people in California caught whooping cough, and 10 infants died).

    Even a brief period when vaccination programs are disrupted can lead to children’s deaths. Hearings 20–21; see Gangarosa et al., Impact of Anti-VaccineMovements on Pertussis Control: The Untold Story, 351 Lancet 356–361 (Jan. 31, 1998) (when vaccination programs are disrupted, the number of cases of whooping cough skyrockets, increasing by orders of magnitude).

    In considering the NCVIA, Congress found that a sharp increase in tort suits brought against whooping cough and other vaccine manufacturers between 1980 and 1985 had “prompted manufacturers to question their continued participation in the vaccine market.”

  46. #46 Lawrence
    February 27, 2011

    To Jay, Sid, et. al:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/26/measles.exposure/index.html?hpt=T2

    One of the primary reasons you should be worried about gaps in herd immunity….diseases know no borders.

  47. #47 squirrelelite
    February 27, 2011

    @Lawrence,

    Definitely!

    It’s been a long time ago and I don’t have a link, but I seem to remember that the last case of smallpox diagnosed in Europe was traced to someone flying there from Africa who had used the toilet in an airliner.

  48. #48 DavePrime
    March 1, 2011

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t Hannah’s case really boil down to whether or not the child had a fever when admitted to the ER?

    If her temp (which may have been masked by a dose of tylenol the mother gave her a few hours earlier) had been 101.1F, then she would have had a febrile seizure and she would have prevailed. Because the nurse used an underarm measurement, instead of the ‘gold standard, the temp could only have a top range of 100.8 or so. This single measurement decided the case by making the seizure afibrile, thus not caused by the vaccine. *facepalm*

    No common sense was used to determine if the tylenol suppressed the fever, the nurse may have just taken a ‘poor’ reading, etc. Ugh.

    It is pretty abhorrent to say, in effect, “We cannot be absolutely sure the vaccine caused the injury.” and deny recompense, when a study of the vaccine itself said there would be these very kind of seizures in 1 out of 310,000 cases.

    Just to set the record, I am a big fan of vaccines. I’ve raised six kids, all of them fully immunized, and on schedule, every one. (Except for the Gardisil for my 12 yr old. I’ll wait until she reaches the age that they actually trialed it on, thankyouverymuch.) But this case looks like it was decided poorly.

  49. #49 stripey_cat
    March 2, 2011

    Dave, get your kid the Gardisil – you have no idea if she’ll be raped before she’s of age, or even if she’ll just go behind your back to experiment with a boyfriend. I was at school with girls who’d had sex at 13, and if a condom breaks (especially at that age!) the last thing on your mind is possible cancer risk in your 40s.

  50. #50 triskelethecat
    March 2, 2011

    @DavePrime: You’ve posted the exact same comment every time. Now, let me answer you because you don’t seem to understand some things.

    If the ER nurse took an axillary temperature (which was very typically done in young children at that time), it was noted as such in the chart. Anyone medical who looks at an axillary temperature automatically mentally adds 0.5-1 degree to the noted temperature. However, febrile seizures don’t usually occur unless the rectal (core) temperature is greater than 102 degrees F. But febrile seizure do not generally lead to future sequelae.
    From NINDS:

    …between 95 and 98 percent of children who experience febrile seizures do not go on to develop epilepsy. However, although the absolute risk remains small, some groups of children–including those with cerebral palsy, delated development, or other neurological abnormalities–have an increased risk of developing epilepsy. The type of febrile seizure also matters:; children who have prolonged febrile seizures (particularly lasting more than an hour) or seizures that affect only part of the body, or that recur within 24 hours, are at a somewhat higher risk. Among children who don’t have any of these risk factors, only one in 100 develops epilepsy after a febrile seizure.

    As for the Gardasil issue: I had a 12 year old classmate who was pregnant way back in the 1960′s. Protect your daughter. Just because you don’t want her to be sexually active, and she probably isn’t, you don’t know for SURE. And yes, my daughters both have had the full series of 3 vaccines, by their choice, when it first became available.

    (I should have filed a VAERS report – both of them had SORE ARMS for 2 days after each vaccine! The horror! The Horror, I say. What WAS I thinking, allowing that sort of torture?)

  51. #51 lilady
    March 2, 2011

    @Dave Prime: Please visit “CDC-Health Concerns Following HPV Vaccination” posted by the CDC on February 14, 2011 using data from three sources, following immunization of 33 million kids in the United States.

    (anecdotally) I worked in public health clinics and know only too well the effect of hormones on youngsters’ sexual behaviors. Twelve and thirteen year old kids came in for treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases and some of the girls were pregnant. It is so important to speak with your children about responsible sex…should they begin having sexual relations at an early age.

    My opinion about the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) being contaminated by anti-vax inspired parents is well-known, so I promised to not “go on a rant”, but view the other sources of adverse reports as detailed in the CDC study.

  52. #52 hi im 25 years old name is NOAH
    March 11, 2011

    I need to help finding an anti government protest group please I’m young and want to spread the word please help

  53. #53 hi im 25 years old name is NOAH
    March 11, 2011

    I need to help finding an anti government protest group please I’m young and want to spread the word please help

  54. #54 Chris
    March 17, 2011

    First, young Noah, you need to learn how to read with comprension.

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