Respectful Insolence

San Ramon, we have a problem.

The other day, I laid some not-so-Respectful Insolence on a clueless school board president in San Ramon Valley, California, named Greg Marvel. What merited a heapin’ helpin’ of what Orac does so well was Marvel’s use of school board stationery to endorse a stinking, steaming turd of a movie that is really nothing more than antivaccine propaganda wrapped in false “balance” about vaccines. The movie I’m referring to is The Greater Good, and it’s going to be shown on Current TV this Saturday, followed by an online chat with the film’s producers. Basically, the antivaccine tropes are featured prominently, while the “balance” from token real scientists like Paul Offit, whose defense of vaccines was treated as though it were no more valid than the antivaccine pseudoscience on parade through most of the movie, which slavishly followed the “rule of three” by presenting three children whose parents believe they were injured by vaccines. As I described in my usual excruciating detail that you all come here for time and time again, none of the three anecdotes was convincing, and lined up against Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Melinda Wharton of the CDC, Dr. Norman Baylor of the FDA, and Dr. Mark Feinberg of Merck were a whole host of antivaccine pseudosexperts, such as Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, Dr. John Green III, and several trial lawyers known for representing parents suing for “vaccine injury.” The presentation made it very obvious on which side the filmmaker’s sympathies lie, and it wasn’t on the side of science.

So basically what happened is that Greg Marvel sent out a credulous letter on school board stationery strongly endorsing The Greater Good as being “balanced” and something that the parents of students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District should watch. In other words, he unethically abused his position as school board president to sway parents to watch a movie that is nothing more than propaganda against vaccines that blames them for neurological damage, autism, autoimmune diseases, and a wide variety of other health problems. One wonders whether our old buddy Kent Heckenlively, one of the stable of bloggers at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, had anything to do with this, given that I’m told that he’s a middle school teacher in that very same district. Or it’s possible that Marvel might have simply fallen under the sway of the antivaccine views so prevalent in the Bay Area, which is where the San Ramon Valley Unified School District is located.

Now, if you were a public health nurse in the school district whose president had just endorsed such a blatant bit of antivaccine propaganda, encouraging parents int he district to watch it, what would your reaction be? If you were science-based, you would be appalled. You might be afraid to speak out because Marvel is, after all, the school board president, and what employee of a school district wants to speak out against her school board president? What I would hope that we wouldn’t see from such a person is something like this:

Re: The film “The Greater Good”

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Nancy Sheets, and I am a credentialed school nurse in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. I earned my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1980, and worked in medical/surgical nursing, cardiopulmonary and intensive care units, and home health case management prior to my employment as a school nurse and health educator.

As a health professional, I feel it is my responsibility to be informed regarding public health issues, current research, and policy that affects the health and safety of our children. This film raises some very thought provoking questions regarding the development of vaccines and vaccine policy. The information is well presented, and offers a well-balanced discussion of these issues. The viewpoints of individuals in the medical field who are strong advocates for current vaccine policy are presented, as well as the opinions and experiences of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions based on their research or clinical experience in the care of children.

As a school nurse, I encourage parents to confer with their health care providers on many issues. Parents are continually making decisions that influence the health and safety of their child. This film can be an educational resource parents can utilize as they discuss immunization plans with their pediatricians.

Nancy Sheets, RN BSN PHN

Not surprisingly, the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism is touting this letter too.

No, the only thing this film can be an “educational resource” for is how to make a clever bit of propaganda with fairly high production values using a combination of the “tell both sides” and “false balance” tropes, all topped off with testimonials that confuse correlation with causation. It is also a useful teaching material for skeptics like myself to educate readers on how evidence can be cherry-picked and deceptively presented to make a seemingly compelling case for pseudoscience. In fact, I did just that a few months ago.

So let’s see. So far in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, we have a president who is at the very least seriously lacking in critical thinking abilities and at worst antivaccine. (I suspect the worse.) We also have a middle school science teacher named Kent Heckenlively who is so antivaccine that he blogs for one of the most prominent antivaccine propaganda blogs in existence. Then we have a public health nurse who, like Marvel, is either highly credulous or antivaccine–or both.

ZHere’s the mission of the health educators, including Nancy Sheets, as laid out on the dSan Ramon Valley Unified School District website:

Our goals are:

  • to promote the health and well-being of school children
  • to provide for optimal educational experiences

The health educator/school nurse is a registered nurse who has completed additional educational requirements and possesses a current credential in school nursing, a public health credential, and a school audiometrist certificate.

School nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children. Activities include the identification and removal or modification of health-related barriers to learning in individual children.

The major focus of school health services is the prevention of illness and disability and the early detection and correction of health problems.

The health educator/school nurse is specially prepared in preventative health, health assessment and referral procedures.

Writing a letter such as the one that Nancy Sheets wrote and letting the antivaccine political action group the Canary Party publish it on its website are hardly in keeping with the mission of the health educators at the SRVUSD as stated. Defending and promoting a movie like The Greater Good is not consistent with improving and protecting the health status of children, given that the intent of the filmmakers is clearly to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines.

If there’s one thing that bothers me more than almost any other form of pseudoscience promotion, it’s when health care professionals betray their trust and endanger public health by abusing the authority of their positions to promote nonsense like antivaccination beliefs. The Patriot Nurse did it. Dr. Bob Sears does it (and did it just recently by opposing tighter restrictions on philosophical exemptions for vaccination in California, writing on that other wretched hive of scum and quackery, Mothering.com). Dr. Jay Gordon does it, profoundly misunderstanding science along the way.

And now Nancy Sheets does it.

I feel sorry for the students of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    I just posted a comment about this nurse on another thread.

    Funny, but I had the same thought about the nurse being either incredibly stupid or she is sucking up to the Board of Education President, Greg Marvel.

    In spite of emailing a letter to Mr. Enoch, school superintendent of the San Ramon school district and every member of the Board of Education, detailing my objections to Mr. Marvel’s touting of the film…”so that parents know they have the option of an exemption”…the whole bunch of them, are apparently backing Mr. Marvel.

    The school district is in Contra Costa County and coincidentally, a public health official from that County’s health department has made a public statement about potential outbreaks of measles due to unvaccinated residents attending the 2012 Summer Olympics:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/316828/20120320/measles-outbreak-olympics-cdc.htm

    “CDC officials recommend that all travelers be vaccinated prior to traveling.

    “It’s the most serious and critical thing you can do, both to make sure you’re protected while you’re there and so that you don’t bring it back home,” Erika Jenssen, the director of communicable disease outbreaks in Contra Costa County in California, told USA Today.”

    Getting back to this nurse…she has two licenses in California; one is her RN license and one is her advanced practice Public Health Nursing license.

    Here is what the California BRN (Board of Registered Nursing) has on their website about PHN licensing:

    http://www.rn.ca.gov/applicants/ad-pract.shtml#phn

    “Public Health Nurse

    The public health nurse is a registered nurse who has received a certificate from the BRN. He or she is an integral part of the public health community and provides direct patient care as well as services related to maintaining public health”.

    My state does not have a separate PHN license. I started working in the health department as a R.N., then was promoted to a PHN, only when I had experience in investigating all “reportable” communicable diseases, containment of disease outbreaks, was certified as an HIV/STD counselor and showed proficiency in caring for clinic patients. (I see none of that experience with Ms. Sheets.) She may have technically qualified as a PHN by taking classes in epidemiology and immunology, but she has not mentioned any practical skills or experience actually working in public health.

    I also worked in conjunction with every school nurse in every public and private school and in every licensed day care and pre-K program within my County and they were very qualified…and cooperative with the health department, whenever there was an isolated case or an outbreak of a communicable vaccine-preventable disease. If any school nurse publicly recommended a dubious film, that nurse would be ostracized by his/her colleagues. Back then, they took pride in their profession and many of them actually has MSc-school nursing degrees.

    Ms. Sheets has brought shame to the nursing profession.

  2. #2 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    This is wonderful news. We need to take a more proactive look at our vaccination schedules. No more of this blindly adding vaccines to the recommended schedule without question. It’s great news that more and more people will be given the opportunity to see that there are two sides to this story. The crybabies will whine that movies like these will “scare” people out of getting vaccines and the world will turn into a germ infested mess… Get over it. My hope is that this would lead to a modified vaccine schedule. Less vaccines given, more spread out and with an acknowledgement that not all babies can handle all the vaccines given to them in a short amount of time. This is great news! Thanks for the information on the movie.

  3. #3 Lawrence
    March 22, 2012

    @Wonderful – really? Have you ever had a conversation with a pediatrician? The recommended schedule is just that “recommended.” Pediatricians are ultimately responsible for working with the parents to address concerns, individual issues that might exist, etc. If you think there is some “Monolithic” schedlue that is always followed lock-step, you are completely misinformed.

    Movies like this don’t help anything, they only create more problems – since they are full of falsehoods, misrepresentation of the facts, and drive an agenda that does nothing for the public health (or individual health for that matter).

  4. #4 techskeptic
    March 22, 2012

    April, 22, 2015

    San Ramon, CA

    Today we report a massive breakout of measles, one of the most communicable diseases known to man. This outbreak of the disease has caused health officials to quaranteen large parts of the city to contain the outbreak. So far there have been 7 deaths of infants who were too young to get a vaccine, and there have been over 450 hospitalizations, most of whom failed to receive a vaccination for one reason or another.

    This latest outbreak comes shortly after the whooping Cough outbreak last fall which killed 12 babies and hospitalized an additioal 512 people.

    The toll on the local economy has been devastating. Visits to the area have dropped off dramatically. Further since this is the second time in a year that people have been prevented from gong to work, some businesses have actually had to close because they were unable to hire local help.

    Comments:

    Scienceherder
    Why cant these idiots be put on an island if they dont want to get a vaccine?

    MyBodyIsMyTemple
    Why should the government tell me what I must put my my body?

    AngryMom
    Because of shit like this you moron!

    LolCat
    Iphones Suck!

  5. #5 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    “This is wonderful news. We need to take a more proactive look at our vaccination schedules. No more of this blindly adding vaccines to the recommended schedule without question.”

    Which vaccine has been added “blindly” to the schedule and which vaccine has not been thoroughly researched or “questioned” (Citation/link please)

    “It’s great news that more and more people will be given the opportunity to see that there are two sides to this story.”

    What is the “other side of the story” Please expand on this by comparing the science side with any “other side” and provide citations/links.

    “The crybabies will whine that movies like these will “scare” people out of getting vaccines and the world will turn into a germ infested mess… Get over it.”

    The ignorant clueless whining crybabies have already scared people out of getting vaccines. The children whose parents “opted out” have had serious consequences when their world has turned “into a germ infested mess”…you need to “get over it”, Wonderful.

    “My hope is that this would lead to a modified vaccine schedule.”

    Do you mean the “modified vaccine schedule” advocated by Dr. Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon? Or do you have another “source” that you want to provide citations/links to.

    “Less vaccines given, more spread out and with an acknowledgement that not all babies can handle all the vaccines given to them in a short amount of time.”

    Which vaccines would you delay giving? (Citations/links please) Or, are you just making this all up from your fertile, ignorant mind?

    “This is great news! Thanks for the information on the movie.”

    I doubt that this is the first time you’ve heard about the movie…all the pseusoscience anti-vax websites that you visit have touted this movie, since it made its debut, months ago.

    BTW Wonderful, please share with us your educational background, your field of expertise, your employment history and your experiences working in the health care field. And, don’t forget those citations from *peer-reviewed
    journals*.

    *Peer-Reviewed Journals* do not include links to the websites of the AoA, NVIC, SafeMinds, whale.to or any of the other crank organizations listed on the blog roll of the Canary Party website.

  6. #6 BKsea
    March 22, 2012

    Where was the notice to parents when Frontline did an expose on this subject? That was an excellent resource for parents regarding vaccines and presented interviews with people on both sides of the issue. I’m sure the school notified parents then, too? Right? Right? Hello?

  7. #7 Composer99
    March 22, 2012

    Might I add that anyone assuming that vaccines are simply added to the pediatric/adult schedules “without question” are operating under a severe misunderstanding of how public health agencies make their decisions.

    I might also add that the world is a germ-infested mess. Us higher-order multicellular organisms are but a minor part of a planet positively teeming with microbes.

  8. #8 Orac
    March 22, 2012

    Where was the notice to parents when Frontline did an expose on this subject? That was an excellent resource for parents regarding vaccines and presented interviews with people on both sides of the issue. I’m sure the school notified parents then, too? Right? Right? Hello?

    [Crickets chirping]

    Of course Mr. Marvel didn’t. That news report expressed a pro-science viewpoint.

  9. #9 JGC
    March 22, 2012

    Less vaccines given, more spread out and with an acknowledgement that not all babies can handle all the vaccines given to them in a short amount of time.

    It’s clear that you believe there’s something wrong with the routine schedule, and an alternate schedule Ifewer vacations over a longer period of time) would be preferable. Which of course prompts the question why do you believe this?

    What evidence suggests giving fewer vaccines over a greater period of time will provide equivalent protecion against infectious diseases while reducing adverse events?

    What percentage of all babies cannot handle immunization in accord with that recommended schedule (1 in 1000, 1 in 1 million, 1 in 1 billion? surely you’ve determined that percentage before making such a claim) and what demonstrates the provisions already in place to identify and exempt babies who are not suitable candidates for routine immunization aren’t sufficient to address this?

    No more of this blindly adding vaccines to the recommended schedule without question.

    Changes to the routine immunization schedules aren’t made blindly but only following following extensive consideration and only to meet an identified and well established need.

  10. #10 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    What a coincidence that Kent Heckenlively and Nancy Sheets both work at the same middle school in the San Ramon School District:

    http://grms.schoolloop.com/staff

    Did Heckenlively’s pal Nancy Sheets recommend the series of treatments that included chelation and the stem cells injected interthecally at an off-shore clinic, that Kent subjected his daughter to?:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/12/the_price_of_antivaccination_fanaticism.php

  11. #11 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    @Lawrence. Yes, I have in fact had a few conversations with pediatricians on this matter. To be honest with you, I received nothing but grief and rolling of the eyes when asking questions. At first, I was very open to (and wanted to) look into spacing out my child’s vaccinations along with not getting some of the more controversial vaccines (ie Hep B, Prevnar, chicken pox, etc). What made me look further into the topic was the complete melt down of my pediatrician when the topic was brought up. Two things ended up happening after that. 1) I left that ped’s office once and for all (both of us ultimately must have been happy with that decision and 2) I took it upon myself to research the topic more in depth and decided that I hadn’t gone far enough in my initial studies… I guess ultimately for me it was a win / win situation as there were even more problems with the suggested schedule than I had originally imagined. In a sense, I am thankful that my former pediatrician was such a blockhead… Hope the movie wakes some people up! Wonderful.

  12. #12 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    “April, 22, 2015

    San Ramon, CA

    Today we report a massive breakout of measles, one of the most communicable diseases known to man. This outbreak of the disease has caused health officials to quaranteen large parts of the city to contain the outbreak. So far there have been 7 deaths of infants who were too young to get a vaccine, and there have been over 450 hospitalizations, most of whom failed to receive a vaccination for one reason or another.”

    LOL! Sounds like a plot to a really interesting movie. This does not help your case. Measles used to be seen as a normal childhood illness. Remember the Brady’s? Remember the books about kids having the measles and looking outside their windows because their mommies wouldn’t let them go outside to play with the other children. Poor kiddos… had to actually stay inside and allow the measles to run it’s course. Now, it’s “the most communicable disease known to man” and worthy of “quarantining” large parts of the city? Wow.

  13. #13 Beamup
    March 22, 2012

    @ Wonderful:

    Some pediatricians are unfortunately too fed up with the lies being spouted to be diplomatic about it. Make no mistake, what’s said in The Greater Good and similar outlets are indeed outright lies with no validity. There are NOT two sides to the question. There are facts, and there is a propaganda machine which differs from the Flat Earth Society only in its greater effectiveness in getting people to believe the lies.

  14. #14 hey zeus is my homeboy
    March 22, 2012

    …wakes them up to the glorious sound of evidence-free, google-PhD, bathtub chemistry, my-feelings-trump-your-science shenaniganry.

  15. #15 sophia8
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful: So how many paediatricians did you “have conversations with”? You only actually report a conversation with one – what did the others say?

  16. #16 Liz Ditz
    March 22, 2012

    Good investigation work, lilady.

    Right now I’m focused on getting California AB 2109 out of committee., which would strengthen California’s ridiculously lax vaccine exemption law. Vincent Iannelli explains

    A new bill in California, AB 2109, will supposedly make it harder to get a vaccine exemption. How much harder? Instead of simply signing a personal belief vaccine exemption form on their own, parents will be required to have a written statement signed by a health practitioner that says the parent was given information about the benefits and risks of immunizations and the risks of certain vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Bob Sears, of course, is agin AB2109, for reasons that don’t hold water. And he shows his true colors: he is purely anti-vaccine. He directs readers to….NVIC. That’s right, Barbara Loe Fisher’s pack of misrepresentation and lies.

    With his usual thoroughness, ToddW has analyzed NVIC’s objection to the bill, and the kind of misinformation and distortion Barbara Loe Fisher and NVIC provide.

    Ms. Fisher then provides a suggested course of action, with talking points including the previously mentioned untruth about forcing parents to make appointments with physicians. Here is where we really begin to see what she means by “informed consent”. It appears that by “informed consent” what she really means is “informed with the information NVIC provides”, which other writers have shown on numerous occasions omits important information and that the information they do provide is frequently presented in such a way as to exaggerate the risks of vaccines while downplaying their benefits and the risks of diseases.

    Back on topic: Reminder, the town is San Ramon; the school district is the San Ramon Vally Unified School District. The district has 35 schools and has about 29,000 students in kindergarten thru 12th grade.

  17. #17 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful…Where did you do your research?

    Where are the citations and links to the sites where you did your research?

    “At first, I was very open to (and wanted to) look into spacing out my child’s vaccinations along with not getting some of the more controversial vaccines (ie Hep B, Prevnar, chicken pox, etc).”

    Why do you consider Prevnar (as one of the) “more controversial vaccines?

    You absolutely closed your mind to having your child immunized against pneumococcal diseases, eh? Have you seen these pictures?

    http://www.immunize.org/photos/pneumococcal-photos.asp

  18. #18 Bogeymama
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful, do you question local engineers when they design a bridge that you might drive your child over someday? Do you suggest the pilot make changes to his flight plan on a plane you’re taking your child on? These are important questions! If doctors aren’t qualified to make decisions about health care, then why are we letting other professions get away with blindly doing whatever they want without regard to the greater good – because EVERYONE is qualified to make decisions about ANYTHING if they research it on the internet, right? Surely, those bridges and flight plans aren’t decided on with any safety in mind … it’s all about the money, isn’t it? Those greedy engineers and pilots. Why don’t they think about the children???

  19. #19 MI Dawn
    March 22, 2012

    @Wonderful: The Brady Bunch was a TV show, no more based on reality than Leave it to Beaver. AND, the Bradys had an advantage – mom didn’t work and they also had a full time housekeeper who could help care for the sick kids.

    I don’t know about you, but I live in a society where both parents work and depend on 2 paychecks. For one parent to be out of work 2-4 weeks of a year with sick children would mean no vacations, possibly no pay depending on how much sick/vacation time they got.

    Oh, and do you remember quarantines? When public health nurses went from house to house, placing signs on the front and back doors warning that people could not go in and out freely? Look into the CA measles outbreak and see what THAT cost, between the public health work and the time/wages lost by parents.

    No thanks. I’ll stick with vaccines and my 2 healthy children, thank you. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with your pediatrician – do you think perhaps your attitude in questioning had something to do with the reaction you obtained? Or was the pediatrician just tired of the anti-vax canards you were offering up, having heard them too many times in recent days?

  20. #20 JGC
    March 22, 2012

    I guess ultimately for me it was a win / win situation as there were even more problems with the suggested schedule than I had originally imagined.

    What problems, exactly? Be specific, and indicate the evidence that made you conclude that they actually are problems.

    As I said above, while clearly you beleive the routine schedule needs revision you haven’t indicated why you’ve arrived at this conclusion. Hopefully it has some basis in fact, rather than an intuitive feeling of “Just seems like too much too soon to me”.

  21. #21 Beamup
    March 22, 2012

    Measles used to be seen as a normal childhood illness.

    Indeed. It was a significant contributor to the fact that many children died in infancy. Normal, certainly – but when the “normal” standards of the time include lots of baby coffins, that doesn’t mean “safe.”

    See for example

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5847a2.htm

  22. #22 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful, what is “controversial” about the chicken pox vaccine? (Citations and links please)

    Have you seen these photos?”

    http://www.immunize.org/photos/chickenpox-photos2.asp

    I really don’t think you are a “wonderful” parent…just another ignorant, educated by Goggle U, anti-vaxer.

  23. #23 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful:

    Remember the Brady’s?

    A TV show? Do you remember Roald Dahl and his stories? Ones like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG? Why does the latter have a dedication that says:
    For Olivia
    20 April 1955 – 17 November 1962
    ?

  24. #24 Marry Me, Mindy
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful, what is “controversial” about the chicken pox vaccine?

    As I’ve explained many times before, anyone who forgoes the chicken pox vaccine, and, in particular, deliberately tries to infect their child with the disease instead can only be described as a completely heartless monster.

    No one who has an ounce of compassion for their children could ever think was a good idea.

  25. #25 palindrom
    March 22, 2012

    Chris @22 —

    BOOM!

  26. #26 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    Marry Me, Mindy:

    No one who has an ounce of compassion for their children could ever think was a good idea.

    A person who thinks that a child suffering for two weeks covered in itchy open wounds (pox) is sadistic. The same goes for anyone who wants a child to cough hard and continuously for three months (pertussis), have their face painfully swollen with a horrendous sore throat (mumps), have a high fever and severe light sensitivity with a real chance of disability (measles), spend over a week with runny diarrhea that will not stay in a diaper (rotavirus) and otherwise wish a child to get sick.

    Especially when the prevention is so easy.

  27. #27 Rjaye
    March 22, 2012

    “Remember the Brady’s? Remember the books about kids having the measles and looking outside their windows because their mommies wouldn’t let them go outside to play with the other children. Poor kiddos… had to actually stay inside and allow the measles to run it’s course. Now, it’s “the most communicable disease known to man” and worthy of “quarantining” large parts of the city? Wow.

    Posted by: Wonderful | March 22, 2012 11:28 AM”

  28. #28 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    As I’ve explained many times before, anyone who forgoes the chicken pox vaccine, and, in particular, deliberately tries to infect their child with the disease instead can only be described as a completely heartless monster.

    Have you also explained to them that the chicken pox vaccine causes primary VZV infection and anyone vaccinated with it qualifies to develop shingles later in their life? So who’s the “heartless monster”?

  29. #29 Rjaye
    March 22, 2012

    “Remember the Brady’s? Remember the books about kids having the measles and looking outside their windows because their mommies wouldn’t let them go outside to play with the other children. Poor kiddos… had to actually stay inside and allow the measles to run it’s course. Now, it’s “the most communicable disease known to man” and worthy of “quarantining” large parts of the city? Wow.

    Posted by: Wonderful | March 22, 2012 11:28 AM”

    What the hell? You must be young enough not to have dealt with measles personally. When I was a kid, our school was shut down and children told to stay home because of a measles epidemic. Two dozen children, including my sister, were in the hospital due to measles induced encephalitis. They had to go through spinal taps, and some had to go into physical and occupational therapy afterwards (my sister included). One little girl never went back to school. She had been institutionalized because of the brain damage.

    So, yes, back then quarantine was used, and yes, people were scared of measles.

    Don’t go spreading bs about something you don’t know anything about. My family, as well as every other, was impacted by these vaccine preventable diseases before vaccines. Talk to some old people, and find out how many in their families were affected and how, if anecdotes rock your boat. For those who survived, there are those that didn’t.

    And as someone who had chickenpox as an adult, oh, that was miserable. I lost two weeks of work, and have permanent scars because I scar in keloids. The pain, the aggravation, the useless home remedies for the itching…it was torture. And now I get to look forward to possibly shingles. Awesome.

  30. #30 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful…here’s another picture of child…this one has hemorrhagic chicken pox:

    http://www.aap.org/en-us/PublishingImages/varicella-infant-hemorrhagic_lrg.jpg

    And, where are your citations/links to the “research” you did to “opt out” of giving your child the varicella vaccine…and to justify not protecting your child and others, against this virus?

  31. #31 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    @#16: Prevnar vaccine = most reactive vaccine on the schedule today. Plus, why did they move to the Prevnar 13 vs. Prevnar 7? Prevnar 7 was causing MORE issues with children as more potent antibiotic resistant strains of the disease formed due to the original vaccine. Awesome! Great job. Just keep adding more and more vaccines… that’s how to help keep kids healthy. Ha Ha!

  32. #32 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    Hey awesome guys, by promoting the chicken pox vaccine so strongly, you are now showing your lack of respect for the elderly (and others) who will now no doubt be suffering more with shingles. Great job! Go get em!

  33. #33 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful:

    Hey awesome guys, by promoting the chicken pox vaccine so strongly, you are now showing your lack of respect for the elderly (and others) who will now no doubt be suffering more with shingles. Great job! Go get em!

    You are seriously advocating two weeks of torture for children as a way to keep shingles away from the elderly? Wouldn’t it be less sadistic to encourage those over fifty to get a shingles vaccine?

    You really hate children, (not so) Wonderful. Again, it is sadistic to have children suffer when there are both safe and effective varicella and zoster vaccines.

  34. #34 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    QUESTION:

    “Have you also explained to them that the chicken pox vaccine causes primary VZV infection and anyone vaccinated with it qualifies to develop shingles later in their life?”

    ANSWER:

    Ignorant, delusional, disease-promoting *SFB* Troll are you still claiming you have an education beyond high school?

    Are you still lying about your brilliant (imaginary) licensing and career in a health care profession?

    Are you still in custodial care because you don’t have computer access in the sewer you crawl out of?

    QUESTION:

    “So who’s the “heartless monster”?”

    ANSWER:

    Ignorant, delusional, disease-promoting *SFB* Troll, who takes particular delight in stating that the death of an infant from pertussis was “iatrogenic”. That same *SFB* Troll states that children who are developmentally disabled are “vaccine-injured”.

  35. #35 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    Pretty sad when we start justifying vaccinations in this country because 2 parents work and can’t take time away from work to care for their children… Is that really a good reason to vaccinate your kids? Wow.

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child. Take them slow, one at a time and make careful decisions as to which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience. In other words, use your God given brains to actually think things through here. Too much to ask?

  36. #36 Bronze Dog
    March 22, 2012

    What the hell? You must be young enough not to have dealt with measles personally. When I was a kid, our school was shut down and children told to stay home because of a measles epidemic. Two dozen children, including my sister, were in the hospital due to measles induced encephalitis. They had to go through spinal taps, and some had to go into physical and occupational therapy afterwards (my sister included). One little girl never went back to school. She had been institutionalized because of the brain damage.

    So, yes, back then quarantine was used, and yes, people were scared of measles.

    The fact that we have to inform people that these sorts of things happened continues to tell me that anti-vaxxers have no understanding of history. We’ve got documentation as well as the survivor stories. A lot of anti-vaxxers essentially end up telling me that my grandmother lied about all the diseases that killed or maimed kids during her days. Same thing with the guides who talk about all the dead infants in their graveyard tours. Heck, these people seem to think Mark Twain’s references to the ravages of illness in his books was unrealistic. These people seem to think history is just a change in decor and fashion, like Hollywood suggests. Before vaccination, childhood illness killed a lot of children. Before vaccination, disease was a big part of life. It was only after all these vaccinations that society started taking health for granted, aided by historical myopia.

    The fact that Wonderful treats The Brady Bunch as a reference resource for a real world issue is just sad.

  37. #37 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    (not so) Wonderful:

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child.

    The key word: believe (which should have been “belief”).

    d which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience.

    Sure, tell us how much cheaper it is to treat for pertussis, varicella, measles, rotavirus, Hib, etc than to prevent them with a vaccine. Show us the numbers with real documentation.

    I spent a month out of my life treating kids with chicken pox. That included a six month old baby (now seventeen years old), who now has an increased chance of getting shingles because she was so young. It included nights with no sleep (every try to comfort a baby who is covered in itchy painful pox?), changing bed clothes because the six year old was so sick he was wetting the bed, and trying to keep susceptible kids away from the sick kids. Chicken pox went through the older boy’s school, with one child hospitalized with a real chance of having a limb amputated due to secondary bacterial infection.

    You really have no idea what you are talking about.

    In other words, use your God given brains to actually think things through here.

    Well, considering that you think it is okay for children to suffer with disease instead of preventing them: I would say you have an evil sadistic god.

    Perhaps you should use what brains your evil false god gave you actually do some real research in science and biology, not beliefs. Because the University of Google and religion studies have failed you.

  38. #38 Liz Ditz
    March 22, 2012

    This just in from the Canary Party

    As discussions have spread about the film The Greater Good, more professionals, encouraged by the open discussion the film is promoting, are recommending the film. Today we recieved a letter from pediatrician Janet Levatin doing just that:

    Re: The film “The Greater Good”
    3/22/2012
    To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is Janet Levatin, MD, and I have been a board-certified pediatrician since 1989. I attended the George Washington University School of Medicine, graduating in 1982, and completed a pediatric residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. I have been practicing pediatrics as an attending-level physician since 1986, and have been following the issues of vaccinations and parental consent for many years.

    I had the opportunity to see the film “The Greater Good” several months ago. I found the film very informative and thought-provoking in its discussion of the development of vaccines and vaccine policy. The information is well presented, and offers a balanced discussion of the issues. The opinions of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions about current vaccine policy are presented; additionally, time is given to medical professionals who strongly advocate for vaccine policy as it exists.

    Parents are constantly making decisions that influence the health and safety of their children. As a pediatrician I encourage all parents to inform themselves fully and to discuss many issues with their children’s health care providers, especially elective procedures such as vaccination. “The greater Good” is an excellent educational resource that parents can use as they prepare to discuss immunization plans with their pediatricians.
    Sincerely,
    Janet Levatin, MD

    A reminder to watch The Greater Good on Current TV this Saturday at 1pm eastern.

    Well who is Janet Levatin?

    Uh, oh

    HOLISTIC PEDIATRICAN JOINING TENPENNY INTEGRATIVE MEDICAL CENTER,
    MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

    Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center (TIMC) is pleased to announce the addition of Janet Levatin, MD to our holistic medical team. Dr. Janet is a pediatrician and homeopathic physician who was in private practice in the Boston, Massachusetts area for almost 25 years prior to joining our center.

    Homeopath. On board with the dreadful Dr. Tenpenny.

  39. #39 sophia8
    March 22, 2012

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child. Take them slow, one at a time and make careful decisions as to which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience.

    OK, Wonderful, since you’ve spent so much time researching this subject, why don’t YOU tell us which exactly vaccines are “truly needed” and which are only “money makers”. With breakdowns of costs of each vaccine, of course.

  40. #40 Lawrence
    March 22, 2012

    @Wonderful – I am pretty sure I know exactly why your pediatrician blew up at you….you obviously haven’t studied history, definitely not medical history, know nothing about the ways medical research is conducted, and certainly aren’t using the brains god gave you.

    As for Chicken Pox, myself & my two siblings got it (before the vaccine was available) and between the three of us, it was 8 weeks of hell in our household (each sick for about three weeks, with some overlap between infections). I know we would have certainly wanted to avoid that, if we could have at the time.

    I also see about ZERO citations in any of your assertions – so unless you have evidence to back up your statements, they aren’t worth the electrons they are printed on.

  41. #41 LW
    March 22, 2012

    So, Wonderful @31, I just want to be sure I understand you. Your feeling is that little children should suffer chickenpox so that adults can be exposed to poxy children and therefore not develop shingles because the poxy children boosted their immune reactions? Your feeling is that this is better than the little children getting vaccinated so they don’t get chickenpox and better than the adults getting vaccinated so they don’t develop shingles?

    I just want to make sure I understand your position.

    So, are you volunteering your children to perform this service for adults by getting chickenpox themselves?

  42. #42 Beamup
    March 22, 2012

    Pretty sad when we start justifying vaccinations in this country because 2 parents work and can’t take time away from work to care for their children… Is that really a good reason to vaccinate your kids?

    Have you not been paying the least bit of attention? Severe pain, permanent disability, and DEATH are the consequences – and for some reason you think we’re worried about people taking time off work?!?! You can be VERY sure my imminent daughter will be vaccinated according to the CDC schedule. Because I don’t want her to die from easily prevented disease.

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child.

    Belief is irrelevant. What’s your EVIDENCE?

    Take them slow, one at a time

    [citation needed] that there is any benefit to doing so.

    which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience.

    Death, permanent disability, severe pain, etc. – yep, definitely not “simply money makers” or convenience.

    In other words, use your God given brains to actually think things through here.

    Done. Said thinking (and the facts) demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that you couldn’t be more wrong if you asserted that 1+1=James Earl Jones.

  43. #43 Bronze Dog
    March 22, 2012

    Pretty sad when we start justifying vaccinations in this country because 2 parents work and can’t take time away from work to care for their children… Is that really a good reason to vaccinate your kids? Wow.

    Talk about dishonest. The economic cost was only one reason. The big, big reason is that these illnesses kill and maim children.

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child. Take them slow, one at a time and make careful decisions as to which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience. In other words, use your God given brains to actually think things through here. Too much to ask?

    Is a citation for this unfounded belief too much to ask?

  44. #44 TTT
    March 22, 2012

    Measles used to be seen as a normal childhood illness

    Bubonic plague was a statistically normal illness at one time too.

    The only thing “Wonderful” you are is an example of the morally horrifying antivax cult of infanticide. It’s no different from withholding medicine from kids because you’d rather speak-in-tongues over them. Your brainless voodoo is only good for killing children. All antivaxers are unfit parents who should have their children immediately removed from their care and never allowed contact with them again.

  45. #45 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    QUESTION:

    “Have you also explained to them that the chicken pox vaccine causes primary VZV infection and anyone vaccinated with it qualifies to develop shingles later in their life?”

    ANSWER:

    Ignorant, delusional, disease-promoting *SFB* Troll are you still claiming you have an education beyond high school?
    Are you still lying about your brilliant (imaginary) licensing and career in a health care profession?
    Are you still in custodial care because you don’t have computer access in the sewer you crawl out of?

    Trans: No

    QUESTION:

    “So who’s the “heartless monster”?”

    ANSWER:

    Ignorant, delusional, disease-promoting *SFB* Troll, who takes particular delight in stating that the death of an infant from pertussis was “iatrogenic”. That same *SFB* Troll states that children who are developmentally disabled are “vaccine-injured”.

    Trans: Of course, it’s me, lilady the Gila Monster

  46. #46 Gray Falcon
    March 22, 2012

    Take note, Th1Th2 has been asked repeatedly how to prevent diseases without vaccines, and everything she has produced has been either:
    1) Uselessly vague.
    2) Comically unrealistic.
    3) Ludicrously unfeasible.
    4) Horrifically immoral.

  47. #47 Wonderful
    March 22, 2012

    @TTT

    Hilarious. :)

    And people call me crazy… TTT is a nut job. Glad he/she is on your side. Lol!

  48. #48 Bronze Dog
    March 22, 2012

    On the topic of these preventable diseases being a “normal” part of childhood: It was once “normal” to discover that some of your classmates died from these diseases. Or were permanently blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or brain damaged. It was once “normal” for adults who didn’t get childhood immunity to suffer some nasty effects of their own, like shingles from chicken pox or sterility from mumps.

    Wonderful is apparently trying to whitewash history so that it conforms with his white bread TV sitcom expectations.

  49. #49 Science Mom
    March 22, 2012

    @#16: Prevnar vaccine = most reactive vaccine on the schedule today.

    No it isn’t, in fact it’s one of the least reactive but feel free to dazzle me with more of your “research”.

    Plus, why did they move to the Prevnar 13 vs. Prevnar 7? Prevnar 7 was causing MORE issues with children as more potent antibiotic resistant strains of the disease formed due to the original vaccine.

    Prevnar did have problems with serotype replacement, that’s true. However as par for DIY mummy research, it did not cause MORE “issues” with children nor did it allow for a MORE POTENT antibiotic resistant strain. The abx-resistant strain was already circulating. Even when there is a legitimate concern with a vaccine, your lot still manages to lie about them and shoot your credibility in the foot.

  50. #50 zab
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful, I doubt we will change your mind here. Would you kindly link some of your sources? I’m interested in seeing where you learned this.

  51. #51 Mark M
    March 22, 2012

    “I worked in a hospital…” – Th1Th2 on MDC website, before posting child-harming garbage as ‘professional medical advice’ (and eventually being exposed and banned).

    What hospital, what job?

    (This question will never be answered.)

  52. #52 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    @ Zab: I’ve been asking for citations/links from “Wonderful” since 10:27 EDT this morning. He’s not just pulling those factoids from his orifice…he knows they are from the notorious anti-vax websites that he visits.

    So Wonderful, where are those citations/links?

  53. #53 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    (not so) Wonderful:

    And people call me crazy… TTT is a nut job. Glad he/she is on your side. Lol!

    Why? For pointing out that only a bad parent would be sadistic enough to have their children suffer diseases because their unscientific “beliefs”?

    So, do tell: why did Roald Dahl put that dedication in the front of The BFG?

  54. #54 Sheepmilker
    March 22, 2012

    Liz Ditz @37

    Hmm, if you compare the 2 letters from the “health professionals”, it’s obvious that the second paragraphs are identical, and the third para is just re-arranged a bit.

    Obviously a bit of a form letter campaign going on…

  55. #55 Ren
    March 22, 2012

    Just about any new troll to RI:

    “I didn’t know much about the subject, but then I did my own research online. I never took a class or even bothered asking a person who did. It was then that I discovered The Truth™. Someone is making money, just follow it. People in their basements with nothing more than an internet connection are right. And all of you here are idiots and jerks for not listening to me and agreeing with my rants even when I’ve offered you nothing in the way of substantial evidence, only mined quotes and talking points from the websites of celebrities. Idiots. Jerks. The whole of you. FREEDOM!”

    Sounds about right?

  56. #56 JGC
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful:

    I am of the believe that the more vaccines given, the worse off the child.

    I’ve asked multiple times now: why is this your belief? If thre is actual evidence which convinced you this is the case, share it with us and maybe we’ll be convinced as well.

    Take them slow, one at a time and make careful decisions as to which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience.

    Why take it slow? What evidence argues the schedule as it stands needs revision?

    In other words, use your God given brains to actually think things through here.

    I have. I’ve simply reached a conclusion different than yours after considering the available evidence. If there’s evidence I’m unaware of you feel I should consider (perhaps whatever evidence convinced you of a need for revision?) share it with us all.

    Unless of course your belief doesn’t derive from evidence…

  57. #57 Ellie
    March 22, 2012

    @12 “Measles used to be seen as a normal childhood illness. Remember the Brady’s? Remember the books about kids having the measles and looking outside their windows because their mommies wouldn’t let them go outside to play with the other children. Poor kiddos… had to actually stay inside and allow the measles to run it’s course. Now, it’s “the most communicable disease known to man” and worthy of “quarantining” large parts of the city? Wow. ”

    No, you moron. Having measles was not a fracking Brady Bunch moment. Those of us who had measles couldn’t go outside, not only because we were contagious, but because we couldn’t go out in the sun. I remember those precious moments right after the street lights came on, when I could lift the shade and say hello to my friends who were just going inside their houses. It left me with permanent light sensitivity, and I was very ill. It was painful. My body hurt, my eyes hurt, and coughing hurt. I remember that bout of illness very well, and it took place 61 years ago. It used to wipe out whole villages, and crews of ships. It isn’t some cute little Let’s All Count Our Spots Disease!

    People who want to “protect” their children from vaccines should be put in an iron lung for a day.

  58. #58 Anton P. Nym
    March 22, 2012

    Hey awesome guys, by promoting the chicken pox vaccine so strongly, you are now showing your lack of respect for the elderly (and others) who will now no doubt be suffering more with shingles.

    Except that the vaccine is less likely to manifest as shingles in later years than wild strain chicken pox, and should they manifest symptoms are much milder and more manageable for those vaccinated than those unvaccinated.

    I had a great aunt suffer shingles and have to manage the pain with opiates… I have no wish to do the same (which is a possiblity, as I have a scar or two from “natural” chicken pox) or have others do the same. So get your kids the shot, dammit.

    — Steve

  59. #59 Zach Miller
    March 22, 2012

    @Wonderful (and Thingy):

    This is what medical literature looks like.

    http://www.nature.com/msb/journal/v7/n1/pdf/msb201155.pdf

    This is what people mean when they say “give us citations.” I have Cystic Fibrosis, and you can be damn sure that I got pretty excited when I read this study. The hard part is reading enough of this kind of thing so that you actually understand it, though discussing it with my doctor helps, too. Now, if you’re going to assert that the current vaccination schedule is not reasonable or whatever, please link to medical journal articles that you have read (not just the abstract!) which support that view.

    This is what we mean by “evidence” vs. “belief.” You can believe all you want, but unless you have evidence, citations, etc. to back up those beliefs, your beliefs have no real-world consequence and are effectively useless.

  60. #60 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    Ren, I would add…

    “I have done the “research” and I am flummoxed, so I get my knowledge about immunology and vaccines, from crank websites. With my (limited or non) knowledge of science, I cannot understand how vaccines have eradicated smallpox, how polio is no longer indigenous in all of the Western Hemisphere and only exists in small pockets in 3rd world countries, the simple epidemiology of disease incidence going up, when vaccine rates go down, eludes me (someone is tricking with the statistics), my belief that childhood diseases are benign, therefore the reports about the dramatic decrease in incidence and reported deaths from vaccine preventable diseases…are false…and a giant conspiracy involving *Big Gubmint* and *Big Pharma*. I know this to be true because:

    a. my “mommy” or “daddy” intuition trumps science

    b. my paranoia about conspiracies

    c. my belief that natural disease is “better that vaccines”

    d. I have the support of other trolls who post on blogs

    This comment is a work in progress, so feel free to add more *valid* reasons for “opting out” of vaccines.

  61. #61 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 22, 2012

    Dave–

    Always nice to read another of your reasoned, balanced and fair pieces about vaccines and science (“science”) in general. Thanks for adding to the measured, calm discussion about the relative merits of whether or not giving six vaccines to a six-week-old is the best way to do it.

    As Always, Best to You All–

    Jay

  62. #62 Hinterlander
    March 22, 2012

    @ lilady

    Unfotunately:

    e. I have the support of attention-seeking, morally bankrupt ‘public figures’ and pediatricians.

  63. #63 Calli Arcale
    March 22, 2012

    Wonderful @ 30:

    Plus, why did they move to the Prevnar 13 vs. Prevnar 7? Prevnar 7 was causing MORE issues with children as more potent antibiotic resistant strains of the disease formed due to the original vaccine.

    Just curious — how exactly does a vaccine cause antibiotic resistance to evolve? What evolutionary advantage does antibiotic resistance give against a vaccine, that would drive such a thing? I always thought it was improper/irresponsible/etc antibiotic use that did that.

    Actually, I do know what you’re referring to. It’s not that Prevnar 7 was causing more issues; it was that it was successfully wiping out the strains that it covered. While total cases were down, the ratio of strains was clearly shifting to ones not covered by the vaccine. It doesn’t take much effort to see why, nor to work out the next logical course of action — extend the vaccine to cover whichever strains are now dominant. By taking out the biggest ones, you can start to see which ones need to be tackled next.

    and @ 34:

    Take them slow, one at a time and make careful decisions as to which ones are truly needed and which ones are simply money makers and/or given out of convenience.

    I don’t choose any vaccines out of convenience, which is part of the reason I refuse to take it slower than necessary. It it was just convenience, I wouldn’t care how long it took to get my child fully vaccinated. It’s about the child’s safety, not my convenience; spreading into more needle sticks hurts my child needlessly, and making it take longer increases the risk of infection (by extending the time she is unprotected). Spacing out vaccinations doesn’t reduce risk anyway — it actually increases it (since many reactions are to adjuvants, and you’ll get those in each dose whether you’re going polyvalent or singly), while at the same time reducing the odds of being protected before the child is exposed to one of these diseases.

    I’d vaccinate myself against the 24-hour stomach flu if I could. Seriously. I *hate* vomiting. I really really really hate it with a passion. This isn’t about convenience. This is about reducing suffering.

  64. #64 dt
    March 22, 2012

    Nursy-Nurse letter:

    The information is well presented, and offers a well-balanced discussion of these issues. The viewpoints of individuals in the medical field who are strong advocates for current vaccine policy are presented, as well as the opinions and experiences of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions based on their research or clinical experience in the care of children.

    Holistic-Homeopath Doctor letter:

    The information is well presented, and offers a balanced discussion of the issues. The opinions of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions about current vaccine policy are presented; additionally, time is given to medical professionals who strongly advocate for vaccine policy as it exists.

    Hell, I don’t even have to run this through a plagiarism detector to see they are essentially identical.

    So how did that mysteriously happen? Shouldn’t one of them be acknowledging the other?

  65. #65 dt
    March 22, 2012

    Nursy-Nurse letter:

    The information is well presented, and offers a well-balanced discussion of these issues. The viewpoints of individuals in the medical field who are strong advocates for current vaccine policy are presented, as well as the opinions and experiences of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions based on their research or clinical experience in the care of children.

    Holistic-Homeopath Doctor letter:

    The information is well presented, and offers a balanced discussion of the issues. The opinions of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions about current vaccine policy are presented; additionally, time is given to medical professionals who strongly advocate for vaccine policy as it exists.

    Hell, I don’t even have to run this through a plagiarism detector to see they are essentially identical.

    So how did that happen, without one acknowledging the other?

  66. #66 dt
    March 22, 2012

    Sorry about the prev double post.

    I also notice this is in the Gale Ranch Middle School’s Student Wellness Policy (PB5030)
    http://grms.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1331118073956

    The Governing Board recognizes the link between student health and learning and desires to provide a comprehensive program promoting healthy eating and physical activity for district students. The Superintendent or designee shall build a coordinated school health system that supports and reinforces health literacy through health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, psychological and counseling services, health promotion for staff, a safe and healthy school environment, and parent/guardian and community involvement.

    and:

    To encourage consistent health messages between the home and school environment, the Superintendent or designee may disseminate health information to parents/guardians through district or school newsletters, handouts, parent/guardian meetings, the district or school web site, and other communications. Outreach to parents/guardians shall emphasize the relationship between student health and academic performance.

    They specifically mention they have a policy on Infectious Diseases.
    Shouldn’t someone be directly contacting the School Principal and senior administration to enquire why their policies are being undermined/contradicted by their own staff?

  67. #67 Broken Link
    March 22, 2012

    FWIW, the schools where Kent Heckenlively (Gale Ranch Middle School) and Nancy Sheets (Tassajara Hills Elementary School) work are only 5 miles apart. I have a feeling that they may be acquaintances.

  68. #68 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    @ hinterlander: Good for you, for coming up with…

    e. I have the support of attention-seeking, morally bankrupt ‘public figures’ and pediatricians.

    Oh Dr Jay, I visited the Frontline website to video the entire program, and to see the expanded interviews of the participants in the “Vaccine War” episode:

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1479321646/

    As I recall Jay, you were somewhat miffed that all of your interview ended up on the editing room floor. Your sniveling whining statement about this omission, was a gem:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/04/poor_poor_pitiful_me_jenny_mccarthy_and.php

  69. #69 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    @dt:

    I already contacted the district school superintendent and the entire school board via email; I also spoke on the phone with Steven Enoch, district superintendent (See my post #1 on yesterday’s blog)

    @ Broken Link: Heckenlively is a science teacher and Sheets is the school nurse at the same middle school. See the list of staff here:

    http://grms.schoolloop.com/staff

  70. #70 Ren
    March 22, 2012

    Thanks for adding to the measured, calm discussion about the relative merits of whether or not giving six vaccines to a six-week-old is the best way to do it.

    I hereby publicly challenge Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician, to find his way into the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He must have some connections to get in. Once in, he will maybe (and this is me going out on a limb), maybe, understand “the relative merits of whether or not giving six vaccines to a six-week-old is the best way to do it.” Or he can discuss with others on the committee why they’re all full of it. Personally, I can’t wait to read “statistical porn” in one of their reports should he serve on ACIP.

    How about it, Doc?

    ADDENDUM: Anyone missing resident troll Robert Schecter, not a scientist, not a writer, can find him on the discussion at this article: h_ttp://pediatrics.about.com/b/2012/03/21/pass-the-new-california-vaccine-bill.htm

    Remember to take out the underscore in “http”

  71. #71 sceptinurse
    March 22, 2012

    @lilady

    f. But everybody knows that natural is always better.

  72. #72 Narad
    March 22, 2012

    Hilarious. :)

    And people call me crazy… TTT is a nut job. Glad he/she is on your side. Lol!

    In case you haven’t gotten hep to this, a string of vapid emoticon-punctuated assertions capped off with “Lol!” is the rhetorical equivalent of dumping a bucket of shit on your head.

  73. #73 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    Here is the link for pediatrics.com:

    http://pediatrics.about.com/b/2012/03/21/pass-the-new-california-vaccine-bill.htm

    Offal a/k/a Robert Schecter, our resident “fire science expert”, has posted three times.

    Where are the posts from the *pediatrician to the stars*?

  74. #74 Heliantus
    March 22, 2012

    Ah, formidable!

    Pretty sad when we start justifying vaccinations in this country because 2 parents work and can’t take time away from work to care for their children…

    It’s me, or is Wonderful advocating for one parent to stay home and do its God-given duty to take care of the children? (and if so, can I guess which of the two parents should stay home?)
    As if measles, chicken pox and the like were the results of child neglect.
    And as if 2 weeks (or more) of missing wages, plus costs of care, times how many children and illnesses, were a trivial thing for everybody. You sound very privileged, sir.

    given out of convenience.

    Eh, it’s the same argument against measures surroundings reproductive health. Just clench your teeth and go through the pain, lads and gals. Or just stay cloistered home and avoid it altogether (if only it was that simple).
    Yeap, very privileged.

  75. #75 Thomas
    March 22, 2012

    “Pretty sad when we start justifying vaccinations in this country because 2 parents work and can’t take time away from work to care for their children… Is that really a good reason to vaccinate your kids? Wow. ”

    It’s funny isn’t it, that when stay-at-home parents were common and vaccines didn’t exist, that children died of diseases like smallpox, measles, rubella, and chicken pox, and that after vaccines existed, children stopped dying of these diseases, regardless of whether mothers worked or not. It’s almost like your premises are completely wrong, and your faux-amazement that parents who like their children vaccinate them is an ignorant pose, isn’t it?

  76. #76 Krebiozen
    March 22, 2012

    Meanwhile, in Europe, people continue to sicken and die, from that “normal childhood illness” especially in France, despite its excellent healthcare system.

    The WHO’s newest measles summary in the Weekly Epidemiological Record reports more than 26,000 cases of measles in 36 European countries from January-October 2011, with more than 14,000 of those in France. Despite strong health systems, Western European countries have reported 83% of these cases. These outbreaks have caused nine deaths, including six in France, and 7288 hospitalizations.

    The majority of European cases (90%) were amongst adolescents and adults who had not been vaccinated or for whom vaccination history was not reported.

  77. #77 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    The final number/incidence rate of confirmed Measles cases in France during 2011, and confirmed cases 2012 YTD, is now available:

    http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/diseases/measlesreportedcasesbycountry.pdf

    Perhaps the number and incidence per 100,000 population and the hospitalizations and deaths due to measles during 2011, have had an impact on the French vaccine refusers.

  78. #78 adelady
    March 22, 2012

    And for those who look fondly back on the good old days when one (female) parent stayed home to care for children, there are other good things to include.

    Like reporting to the local police station when you return from your annual holidays. Because the relatives you went to stay with lived in an area where there was an outbreak of …. not sure, think it was polio. (Presumably, if there was a local outbreak, they’d know where to go first for candidates for quarantine or checking for disease.) My mother distinctly remembers this from the 1930s. Probably because a trip to a police station was an unusual, exciting event for an eight year old.

  79. #79 Liz Ditz
    March 22, 2012

    Oh more goody! Canary Party has just issued a Greater Good recommendation package, with The School Board President, The Nurse, and the Homeopath’s letters, and more!

    A fact-check sheet. A FAQ sheet. Postcards.

    I’ve tried pasting the PDFs into a text-edit document but it’s going to take a lot of hand-fixing to get it readable.

  80. #80 Krebiozen
    March 22, 2012

    lilady,

    The final number/incidence rate of confirmed Measles cases in France during 2011, and confirmed cases 2012 YTD, is now available.

    Thanks, I bow to your superior abilities in negotiating the WHO website – I gave up before I found that information. There haven’t been too many cases reported in France this year so far, but I was looking at a graph of cases earlier that showed they seem to peak every April. It will be clearer later in the year if there has been a real decrease. I wonder why there has been such a huge increase in the Ukraine?

    Last year in France there were 24.1 cases of measles per 100,000. If the same rate occurred in the US there would be over 75,000 cases and, assuming similar outcomes to France about 25 deaths, and 21,000 hospitalizations.

    I find it interesting that 90% of cases were unvaccinated adolescents and young adults. What could possibly have happened to reduce vaccine uptake about 14 years ago when they would have been getting their first and second doses of MMR? [/sarcasm]

  81. #81 Marry Me, Mindy
    March 22, 2012

    Re: the question of the chicken pox vaccine and shinges -

    Isn’t there also a shingles vaccine, currently recommendeed for folks 60 and over?

    I’d like to hear the objections to that. Too many toxins? Their immune systems can’t handle it? Is the shingles vaccine also a “risky” vaccine?

  82. #82 Liz Ditz
    March 22, 2012

    Mindy, (and anybody over 50), from NNii the National Network on Immunization Information:

    03/24/2011

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Zostavax, a live attenuated virus vaccine, to prevent shingles in individuals aged 50 to 59 years. The vaccine was already approved for use in individuals 60 years and older. Shingles affects about 200,000 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 59 each year in the United States. The approval was based on a study that included about 22,000 people who were 50 to 59 years of age. After half of the patients received Zostavax and half received a placebo, researchers monitored the participants for at least one year. Compared with placebo, Zostavax reduced the risk of shingles by about 70 percent.

    Actually I’m planning on getting it in the next month. No shingles here, please; my mother-in-law suffered dreadfully.

  83. #83 lurker
    March 22, 2012

    Orac is not a pediatrician, why does he keep harping on the vaccine schedule.
    Lawrence @3 said that it was recommended. Orac wants a mandate or else he wouldn’t criticize Dr. Sears etc.

  84. #84 Denice Walter
    March 22, 2012

    As we gather around the campfire ( or the glowing computer screen), I’ll speak of an era rapidly fading into the mists of time- it’s called the Enlightenment. Perhaps we are its battered, frazzled end: tattered and torn but proudly waving in the stiff breeze opposing us.

    Our most esteemed and enlightened host has chosen subjects recently that precisely illustrate *la nouvelle vague*: science being decided in a court of law or by public opinion. If you have critics, you may try to silence them through barratry and mis-using the courts rather than by replicating your results. Or you may present biased evidence to the public, mis-using your official responsibilities as you enjoy your freedom of speech and the wonders of PR. Or trying to change laws by harranguing legislators.

    Let the public decide matters of scientific debate for we are all *equals*. The “cult of the expert” un-equally ascribes power based on irrelevant factors, like education and training: limiting privileges to a select few unfairly discriminates against those who follow the beat of a different drummer while rewarding the unjustly empowered elitist faction. Why shouldn’t everyone have the right to diagnose illness and treat patients *any way* he or she chooses?

    I used to have the elitist notion that somehow we could eventually approach the truth of reality- how the world works- find what is the inner clockwork of nature- by study, experiment and debate rather than by politics, legal sophistry and advertising. I hope I wasn’t wrong.

  85. #85 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    Except that the vaccine is less likely to manifest as shingles in later years than wild strain chicken pox, and should they manifest symptoms are much milder and more manageable for those vaccinated than those unvaccinated.

    Except that the unvaccinated and the uninfected can never have shingles. Be honest and stop promoting nonsense.

  86. #86 Chris
    March 22, 2012

    lurker:

    Orac is not a pediatrician, why does he keep harping on the vaccine schedule.

    Because it is something that interests him, just like the history of the holocaust.

    Also, as an oncologist he has a great deal of interest in keeping up herd immunity for his patients. Cancer patients have depressed immune systems and are quite vulnerable to infections.

    By the way, on the other thread you said:

    The MMR contains a live virus so there may be carriers who exhibit no symptoms.

    You never answered what evidence you have for that statement. Care to try now?

    Also have gone to you library to get the books I mentioned:
    Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It by Gina Kolata
    and
    The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry

  87. #87 JGC
    March 22, 2012

    Thanks for adding to the measured, calm discussion about the relative merits of whether or not giving six vaccines to a six-week-old is the best way to do it.

    And your evidence demonstrating a need for this discussion (i.e., establishing there’s problem with immunizing children according to the currently recommended schedule) would be…what, exactly?

  88. #88 lurker
    March 22, 2012

    @Denise- I really enjoy your lyrical outpourings. I was a skeptic until someone-a
    world famous magician, who we waited for after the show we saw with a pretty sturdy fork to debunk him and his spoon bending act- Well he did it by holding the edge of the fork and within a few seconds bent a tine of it before our eyes without touching the tine at all. Right in front of us! Of course no one believes us- and I still have the fork to prove it!
    Real WOO WOO! Not science which hasn’t explained this at all yet but will someday.

  89. #89 lurker
    March 22, 2012

    Sorry for going off topic……

  90. #90 adelady
    March 22, 2012

    “Orac is not a pediatrician, why does he keep harping on the vaccine schedule.”

    Perhaps because these infectious diseases are dangerous vor everyone, not just children. I had the full dose of naturally acquired infections during the 1950s. But I had to care for my husband during a bout of chickenpox in the late 80s. He caught from our children – before the vaccine was available here.

    It was devastating. Throat almost closed up from swelling. Mouth and ears full of pox piled on top of each other. A couple of nights of delirium. Beautiful clear skin scarred forever – it’s called pox for a reason.

  91. #91 JGC
    March 22, 2012

    Except that the unvaccinated and the uninfected can never have shingles.

    Given that there is no way to ensure those who haven’t been vaccinated will also never be exposed to and infected by measles, one has to ask–did you have a point?

  92. #92 AdamG
    March 22, 2012

    @lurker

    Well he did it by holding the edge of the fork and within a few seconds bent a tine of it before our eyes without touching the tine at all.

    Are you serious? This is what convinced you to stop being a ‘skeptic?’ If you’d have bothered to do any research on this topic at all, you would have seen that this is a common stage trick, the methods of which have been known for years. No magic, just illusion. The wikipedia article “Spoon Bending” is a good place to start…it even has an image of a fork bent by woo-buster James Randi in just the way you described.

  93. #93 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    Given that there is no way to ensure those who haven’t been vaccinated will also never be exposed to and infected by measles, one has to ask–did you have a point?

    I am not arguing with your capacity as an infection promoter. So do you have a point?

  94. #94 lurker
    March 22, 2012

    @Chris-re MMR- found answer-
    “The vaccine gives long term immunity and the vaccine virus does not spread from the vaccinee.”

  95. #95 hey zeus is my homeboy
    March 22, 2012

    Thing, so no one had shingles before 1995? Tres awesome!
    http://qkme.me/3ofjnq

  96. #96 Denice Walter
    March 22, 2012

    @ lurker:

    While I certainly appreciate your kind words I truly hope that you undertsand that my third paragraph was meant as a sarcastic comment on alt med/ health freedom beliefs rather than my own opinion.

  97. #97 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    Thing, so no one had shingles before 1995? Tres awesome!

    Read #84 dimwit.

  98. #98 Liz Ditz
    March 22, 2012

    Bay Citizen has a handy-dandy immunization & PBE rate table for Bay Area schools, so I looked up San Ramon Valley Unified

    What do you know: Tassajara Hills Elementary: 94% fully immunized, 6% PBEs (compared to state average of 2.28 % PBEs.)

    For the District as a whole: PBEs range from 0% to 7%, with an average of 2.1%. Gale Ranch Middle School isn’t listed as the site only covers those schools that enroll kindergarteners.

    Kent Heckenlively (Gale Ranch Middle School) and Nancy Sheets (Tassajara Hills Elementary School)

  99. #99 lurker
    March 22, 2012

    @AdamG- We gave him the fork, extremely difficult to bend the tine!

  100. #100 Marry Me, Mindy
    March 22, 2012

    What’s this nonsense about non-vaccinated not getting shingles? Anyone who has had chicken pox can have it resurrect as shingles.

    Shoot, my wife got shingles when she was in high school. She was never vaccinated against chicken pox.

  101. #101 Sid Offit
    March 22, 2012

    Those of us who had measles couldn’t go outside, not only because we were contagious, but because we couldn’t go out in the sun.

    Ellie, you mean like Matthias in The Omega Man?

  102. #102 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    What’s this nonsense about non-vaccinated not getting shingles? Anyone who has had chicken pox can have it resurrect as shingles.

    Another loquacious ignoramus. Check #84. ‘Hey Zeus’ has been fed and now he’s quiet.

  103. #103 Matt F
    March 22, 2012

    @Th1Th2
    What in the hell are you talking about. How do you think disease is caused? If you can’t answer that it’s going make you seem like a bigger idiot than you already are, which is pretty hard to do, since you can’t seem to make a damn bit of sense and you have no idea how vaccines work, which they do, and what herd immunity is.

  104. #104 Th1Th2
    March 22, 2012

    What in the hell are you talking about. How do you think disease is caused? If you can’t answer that it’s going make you seem like a bigger idiot than you already are, which is pretty hard to do, since you can’t seem to make a damn bit of sense and you have no idea how vaccines work, which they do, and what herd immunity is.

    Sounds like you’re a n00b. Anyway, there’s the natural infection and there’s the vaccine. Happy now?

  105. #105 Shay
    March 22, 2012

    What hospital, Thingy, and what job?

  106. #106 hey zeus is my homeboy
    March 22, 2012

    Thing, pretty much always well-fed, thank you. I admit I thought you were actually trying to make a point rather than to simply give your mitochondria something to do by randomly tapping keys.
    http://tinyurl.com/th1th2-expertise
    Good night!

  107. #107 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 22, 2012

    Prevnar vaccine = most reactive vaccine on the schedule today.

    I have no idea what you think a “reactive vaccine” is and why you think it would be bad.

    Plus, why did they move to the Prevnar 13 vs. Prevnar 7?

    The real reason is that Prevnar 13 covers more strains than Prevnar 7 and thus made it possible to increase the amount of protection without increasing the number of shots.

    Prevnar 7 was causing MORE issues with children as more potent antibiotic resistant strains of the disease formed due to the original vaccine.

    … Hoo boy, have you got some misunderstandings to get over.

    First of all. Antibiotics and vaccines may seem very similar to humans because they both have protective/ameliorative effects against disease, but they work by entirely different principles. The idea that vaccines could exert a selection pressure on micro-organisms that “teaches” them to deal with an entirely unrelated chemical interaction is ridiculous.

    (For an analogy, it would be like saying “My cat got so badly frightened by the neighborhood dog, now she’s going to run away from me if I hold up a homemade sign with the word ‘DOG’ printed on it.” There is a connection for you between an actual flesh-and-blood dog and the letters D-O-G; it is not logical to think there is a connection for your cat.)

    Second of all, because of the principle on which vaccines work, there is no phemenon of “vaccine resistance” to correspond with “antibiotic resistance.” Why not? Because, unlike antibiotics, vaccines do not combat micro-organisms directly. What vaccines do is to take the body’s process of creating macrophages capable of fighting a particular pathogen, and simply start it earlier. Microbes do not think. Just as they aren’t going to “learn” how to defeat antibiotics by reasoning “Oh, I’m encountering a vaccine, so that teaches me what I need to do to resist an antibiotic”, they aren’t going to encounter a well-prepared immune system that has plenty of macrophages and reason, “oh, this is a well-armed immune system; I’d better start thinking of a way to defeat vaccine-strengthened immune systems.”

    Those who actually understand the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance can answer the following question easily: Which is the course of action most likely to result in an antibiotic-resistant strain of pathogen?
    a) Not taking an antibiotic at all
    b) Taking a complete course of antibiotics as prescribed.
    c) Taking antibiotics only until you feel better and then discontinuing them.

    The answer is, of course, “c”. With course “a”, the pathogen has no way of “learning” what to resist. With “b,” out of all the individual pathogens in the system, there may be a small minority of them that resist the antibiotic – but if the antibiotics keep hammering away at all the other pathogens that are vulnerable, they make it easier for the immune system to wipe out those few mutants that the antibiotics can’t handle. But with “c”, the antibiotic wipes out the weakest pathogens and leaves the strongest, in sufficient numbers that they can still predate on the body’s resources and build up their numbers again quite effectively. It is not the use of antibiotics, but half-assing it, that sets the stage for antibiotic resistance.

    Now, how do those options correspond with the options we have available for vaccine use? Well, unless we have a reason to specifically induce immunosuppression, “a” isn’t really an option. “b” corresponds with the use of antibiotics in full courses, to wipe out the pathogen as quickly and completely as possible. Well, looky here, where does that leave “c”, the option that corresponds with half-assing antibiotics? Why, it’s refusing to vaccinate, letting the immune system deal with the pathogen only when it’s underprepared for the encounter!

  108. #108 TBruce
    March 22, 2012

    @AdamG- We gave him the fork, extremely difficult to bend the tine!

    Hmm, forces entirely undetectable to modern science or a trick that fooled you. What do you think?

  109. #109 lilady
    March 22, 2012

    @ Liz Ditz: Heckenlively and Sheets work together in the Gale Ranch School:

    http://grms.schoolloop.com/staff

    I wonder how Mr. Enoch and the rubber-stamp board feel about Marvel’s letter being used as part of a PR campaign for the film?

    Let’s ignore the brain droppings from the *SFB* Troll and have some fun with the *fire science expert*.

    Oh Offal, fancy meeting you here!

  110. #110 Matt F
    March 23, 2012

    @Th1Th1
    As I still don’t see how you think a vaccine that has a killed organism can cause the disease that it protects against, and don’t confuse that with the very rare case of a attenuated vaccine causing infection. How do expect to keep everyone from getting Chickenpox?

  111. #111 TBruce
    March 23, 2012

    How do expect to keep everyone from getting Chickenpox?

    “Due diligence” and “staying on the sidewalk”. That’s what the Thing recommends.

    I am not making this up.

  112. #112 Chemmomo
    March 23, 2012

    Wonderful @32

    Hey awesome guys, by promoting the chicken pox vaccine so strongly, you are now showing your lack of respect for the elderly (and others) who will now no doubt be suffering more with shingles. Great job! Go get em!

    Way to show your true colors, Wonderful and selfish. Make your children suffer so you don’t have to! That’s not how being a good parent is supposed to work.
    @35

    use your God given brains to actually think things through

    My brains tell me to protect my children (including from chickenpox). Your brains apparently don’t want you to protect your own children. Hmmmm.

  113. #113 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    (not so) Wonderful seems to have left the building. This person last posted at March 22, 2012 1:35 PM, well over twelve hours ago.

    Either he/she has gone to sleep, or got tired of being called out as a cruel child torturer. Someone willing to let children suffer for two weeks with itchy open wounds (pox) to protect older folks from shingles. Even though there are vaccines for both chicken pox (varicella) and shingles (zoster).

    So instead of either age group getting safe and effective vaccines, he/she would rather see kids suffer. I don’t quite understand the resistance to those over fifty years old getting a vaccine for shingles, since that is way over the age one is diagnosed with autism.

    Also why is it so terrible that adults get a Tdap to protect themselves and kids?

  114. #114 lilady
    March 23, 2012

    In answer to your questions Chris…They game the system when their kids are young by becoming “free riders”…depending on the herd immunity of other kids whose parents don’t opt-out.

    When they get older, they continue on their path of anti-intellectualism and ignorance, they become more entrenched in pseudoscience…and they get more selfish.

  115. #115 LW
    March 23, 2012

    Sid, don’t you have something to say to Wonderful, who thinks your children should get chickenpox for the benefit of adults?

  116. #116 Michael
    March 23, 2012

    One internets to Ren #55.

    One internets to Narad #72. Nearly had a small bit of wee escape during my laughter.

    As usual, I come for the editorial brilliance, and stay for the batshit crazy comments. It truly is the blog that keeps on giving.

  117. #117 Science Mom
    March 23, 2012

    Orac is not a pediatrician, why does he keep harping on the vaccine schedule.
    Lawrence @3 said that it was recommended. Orac wants a mandate or else he wouldn’t criticize Dr. Sears etc.

    I had no idea only paediatricians were qualified to comment on vaccines. To think, those that develop and study vaccines are often not paediatricians. Orac is an MD/PhD which puts his capabilities to parse the science above that of Dr. Sears etc. Dr. Sears and Dr. Gordon do not conduct research, unlike our host and it shows when they venture into that territory.

    I also see Bob Schecter has crawled out from his hole. Here to bestow more of your infantile insults upon us Bob which passes as discourse for you?

  118. #118 Marry Me, Mindy
    March 23, 2012

    Way to show your true colors, Wonderful and selfish. Make your children suffer so you don’t have to!

    When my kids get sick, I feel so badly for them. I’d give anything to be able to have it ME who is sick instead of them.

    How can anyone see a 14 mo old who has Hand, Foot, and Mouth, with a throat so sore for 2 days that a drink of water makes them scream, and knowing that you can’t sit and explain to them what is going on, and not feel terrible? What kind of monster could see that and say, “Well, better them than me!”

    And this is only HFM, which is supposedly one of those “mild” childhood diseases. I found it to be one of the most heartbreaking things I have had to deal with as a parent. I would have done anything to make my son feel better, even if that meant getting it myself, the guy was so miserable.

    As Chris says, only a sadist would subject their child to two weeks of misery when there is a simple approach to avoid it.

  119. #119 Ellie
    March 23, 2012

    @101

    No, because many children had extreme light sensitivity and the sun hurt the eyes. I am sorry if I didn’t make that clear. I still have problems with light sensitivity.

  120. #120 Science Mom
    March 23, 2012

    @ Ellie, Sid is an ass and a troll and can’t stand anecdotes about disease injury because they don’t exist in his twisted mind, only vaccine injury.

  121. #121 Miss Grace
    March 23, 2012

    Chris, your comment @23 actually made me cry when I was reading it on the tube to work. (embarrassing)

    Haven’t had time to read the rest of the thread but it makes me feel ill that anti-vaxers are so ignorant of history and the basic facts of child health and mortality. This is not a long time ago, the reality is not lost to the mists of time. It is less than half a century ago. Why can people repeat ‘measles is a normal childhood infection’ again and again and again with such brutality…

  122. #122 Lawrence
    March 23, 2012

    @Miss Grace – because for some reason, anti-vaxers consider those injuries and deaths to be “acceptable losses.”

  123. #123 Wonderful
    March 23, 2012

    As to the idea that I must enjoy when my kids are sick and I’m a terrible parent because I wish disease on children… All I can say is: *YAWN*.

    Of course I would prefer that children never got sick and I would love to always be able to protect them from all disease. Sadly, I recognize the fact that this isn’t always possible. I also recognize the fact that injecting children with more and more immunizations does not automatically make them “healthier”. in fact, in my opinion, the opposite in many cases may be true. In my children’s case, they got sicker and sicker after each round of vaccines. That’s just what happened. You don’t have to believe me… I don’t care… But it happened. I was also lucky enough to be able to spare my youngest from being overloaded with vaccines at such a young age. The older kids had medical records consisting of pages upon pages of viruses, rashes, serious autoimmune diseases, blood tests, allergies, GI scopes, occupational therapists, etc. My youngest child’s medical records consists of probably 10 pages (pretty much yearly physicals with a strep throat or cough here and there). Coincidence? Doubt it.

    I don’t know where it became standard practice to keep adding more and more vaccines to the recommended schedule without a care in the world… As if any vaccine is a good vaccine simply by definition. Prevnar 7 caused I unintended consequences… No problem, make a Prevnar 13 vaccine and that will fix everything, I’m sure. With the addition of a chicken pox vaccine comes the unintended consequence of more cases of Shingles… No problem, we’ll just add a Shingles vaccine because I’m sure there won’t be any consequences to that? Or will there be?

    Hep B vaccine at birth? Are you kidding me? HPV vaccine…. wtf? Flu shots every year? Are you serious? Honestly, the more vaccines that they add to the schedule without a care in the world, the more I realize what idiots we have running the show. How about going back to the vaccine schedule recommended in the early 1980′s? Safer and much more reasonable. Of course this idea can only work if people realize that there actually are serious concerns with vaccinations. For some, the schedule is not safe. If you don’t recognize this, than of course the more the merrier and you would likely not stop at vaccinating for anything… Just keep them coming!! If that’s your opinion, anything anyone says from this side will be mocked. Thats just the way it is…. And it’s just a waste of time discussing it.

  124. #124 lurker
    March 23, 2012

    What parent would want to vaccinate their child with RotaTeq after reading this from Merck’s own website:
    https://www.merckvaccines.com/Products/Rotateq/Pages/rotateq.aspx?WT.mc_id=T0061

  125. #125 Lawrence
    March 23, 2012

    @lurker – done & done. My kids are already taken care of, no ill effects whatsoever.

  126. #126 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    (not so) Wonderful:

    I also recognize the fact that injecting children with more and more immunizations does not automatically make them “healthier”. in fact, in my opinion, the opposite in many cases may be true. In my children’s case, they got sicker and sicker after each round of vaccines.

    Then you have to tell us with actual scientific literature how vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases. You can start by HepB, which is also transmitted by children. You might actually learn something if you actually learn about the diseases instead of using your “beliefs.” And that includes the issues with influenza (the movie “Contagion has an explanation of how the virus changes).

    As for your children, how is being out of sorts for a day as they have a immune response worse than actually encountering full strength pertussis, tetanus, measles, etc. microbes? Provide the title, journal and dates of the papers that show any vaccine (like MMR) is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella. You can also answer the question I asked at #23 about the dedication in a children’s book.

    Again, you really don’t know what you are talking about.

    lurker, stop being silly. I had a child with a rotavirus infection, and it is nothing to laugh at. It was over a week of runny diarrhea that could not be held in by diapers, often three of them at a time. I would take a cloth diaper, cover it with a plastic diaper, then cover that with another cloth diaper and covered the whole thing with plastic pants. And still the diarrhea ran down his legs, and all over the place. I did that sometimes more than once on hour.

    Plus he became so dehydrated he had a massive seizure and ended up in the hospital with IV fluids.

    lurker, you are completely clueless. I bet you never changed a diaper in your life. Please answer my question: which rotavirus vaccine was approved in the late 1990s: RotaShield or RotaTeq? Why is that significant in regards to Offit?

    I have asked you several times, but you seem to be ignoring it.

  127. #127 Wonderful
    March 23, 2012

    “Then you have to tell us with actual scientific literature how vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases.”

    For the majority the vaccine will be safe… However, if your child is the one who either dies and/or has a serious long term reaction to a vaccine… then, obviously to that child… the vaccine was worse than the disease.

  128. #128 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    Wonderful, where is your verifiable data? Come on, please tell us which vaccine, what the reactions are and compare them to the disease. I want to see actual papers from the scientific literature.

    Do you understand what that means? It means things like Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story and Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States. We cannot just take your random comments about your beliefs.

  129. #129 Interrobang
    March 23, 2012

    You know that about 25% of people who contract HepB as children (the younger they are when they get it, the worse it is) wind up dying from complications of the infection, right? You also know that a lot of people are silent carriers of HepB, right? So your unvaccinated newborn goes home to Grandpa, who got infected with HepB years ago and is in the “silent carrier” demographic, and he infects your newborn, who now has a 25% chance of dying young. And this is somehow worse than a vaccine at birth?

    Given how few fatal adverse reactions there are to vaccines (it’s safer than flying several trips from North America to Jakarta every year, and much safer than driving, by quite a bit), the cost/benefit ratio is tilted way over on the benefit side. Sheesh. Take a statistics class. Hell, read the freakin’ Wikipedia entry on the availability heuristic, if nothing else.

  130. #130 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    Here is a father’s story about his daughter and Hepatitis B. Wonderful should actually read it, just like she should read the story of Roald Dahl and the child that his book, The BFG, is dedicated to.

  131. #131 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 23, 2012

    Prevnar 7 caused I unintended consequences…

    Except that it didn’t. Didn’t you read Calli Arcale’s explanation? Oh wait, this is you we’re talking about, of course you didn’t read it, and if you did, you’d do your absolute best to avoid understanding it.

  132. #132 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    Antaeus Feldspar, I suspect Wonderful is not actually reading the replies to her comments. Especially when she gives me such a weak answer to my questions.

  133. #133 Wonderful
    March 23, 2012

    #131

    I read Calli’s response. Bottom line, due to the original Prevnar 7 vaccine, there was a shift in strains… The strains that became more prevalent after the vaccine, turned out to be MORE dangerous than the original strains. Awesome. Now, what do you think will happen when the exact same thing happens after the Prevnar 13 vaccine runs its course? Any idea? Lol! What a mess!!

  134. #134 Wonderful
    March 23, 2012

    #130

    Sad story. What does it have to do with the Hep B vaccine at birth? I thought that it was in bad form to trot out the sob stories every time these vaccine questions come up…. (with due respect to the young woman who died). Should I go ahead and post all the horrifically sad stories about babies dying from vaccine injuries? Should I go ahead and give you the stats and details of a bunch of horrible vaccine reactions? Should we do that? Seems like a waste of time…. Just know, you aren’t the only one who can post sad stories here.

    Did you catch the part where the acupuncturist was able to identify a problem with this young lady’s liver 3 years before traditional medical doctors were…. I’m sure that every here just loved that part.

  135. #135 Mark M
    March 23, 2012

    “Be honest and stop promoting nonsense” – Th1Th2

    “I used to work in a hospital” – Th1Th2

    Such a simple question:

    What hospital, what job?

  136. #136 Chris
    March 23, 2012

    (not so) Wonderful:

    Sad story. What does it have to do with the Hep B vaccine at birth?

    It would have prevented the cancer that killed her.

    Yes, I know it is an anecdote. But since you asked the above question it is clear that you do not understand the issues with the vaccines and the actual diseases.

    Should I go ahead and give you the stats and details of a bunch of horrible vaccine reactions?

    YES! I asked you multiple times to provide the actual scientific literature showing how the vaccines are worse than the diseases. I provided you two examples of the type of literature that are acceptable. Where are the studies showing how horrible the DTaP is compared to diptheria, tetanus and pertussis? Show us the statistics of the HepB vaccine versus chronic hepatitis and resulting cancer.

    Now, can you also tell us about the dedication in the front of The BFG?

  137. #137 Krebiozen
    March 23, 2012

    Wonderful,
    #133

    due to the original Prevnar 7 vaccine, there was a shift in strains

    How do you think that works? The Prevnar 7 protected against 80% of the strains, so of course once people didn’t get these strains, they were only vulnerable to the other 20%. Did prevalence of pneumococcus pneumoniae increase after the vaccine was introduced? Of course not, it fell dramatically (PMID 12724479) :

    The rate of invasive disease dropped from an average of 24.3 cases per 100,000 persons in 1998 and 1999 to 17.3 per 100,000 in 2001. The largest decline was in children under two years of age. In this group, the rate of disease was 69 percent lower in 2001 than the base-line rate; the rate of disease caused by vaccine and vaccine-related serotypes declined by 78 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

    Prevnar 13 is intended to mop up the remaining disease not prevented by Prevnar 7. If you have 8 red balls and 2 black balls, and someone takes away all the red balls, this doesn’t cause an increase in black balls, even though the percentage has changed from 20% to 100%.

    #134

    Did you catch the part where the acupuncturist was able to identify a problem with this young lady’s liver 3 years before traditional medical doctors were

    That might be impressive if the liver in Chinese medicine had any meaningful connection with the physiological organ. To quote Wikipedia, “It is a functionally defined entity and not equivalent to the anatomical organ of the same name”.

  138. #138 demandabanana
    March 23, 2012

    Wonderful believes in spoon bending.

    I just thought I’d make that clear to any lurkers out there who thinks this is someone worth paying attention to.

    Once again.

    Wonderful believes in spoon bending.

  139. #139 Wonderful
    March 23, 2012

    #138

    Tough time with reading comprehension, huh? I have never said anything about spoon bending. Dope.

  140. #140 Agashem
    March 23, 2012

    So, in the interest of fairness, I think we should ask Wonderful what its qualifications are…we ask some of the other trolls, but get no answers. Maybe Wonderful would like to tell us why we should listen to her? Not that we will heed her nonsense, but it might be enlightening to see what her ‘creds’ are.

  141. #141 Composer99
    March 23, 2012

    demandabanana:

    It’s OK if you live in the Matrix: “There is no spoon.”

  142. #142 AdamG
    March 23, 2012

    demandbanana:

    It was actually lurker @88 who fell for the classic spoon bending illusion, not Wonderful. Not that it really matters….same s***, different toilet.

  143. #143 Mark M
    March 23, 2012

    Sweet lordy. The bent fork??

    At a party, I asked a girl to pick any coin from her pocket, without me looking. I correctly identified the value of the coin and its year, without ever seeing it. This impressed everyone watching.

    I then asked her to hold the coin in her hand, and squeeze, as my hand squeezed hers.

    She felt it go warm. She opened her hand.

    The coin – same coin, same date – was bent by about 30 degrees (and could not be bent straight again without pliers). Cue applause, wow faces, etc.

    I could teach you how to do it in 30 minutes.

    The thing to remember: Magic tricks are genuinely tricks, and not genuinely magic. I know it’s difficult…

    (Truly, there is an anti-vaxxer born every minute.)

  144. #144 Joe
    May 14, 2012

    Fact: being a doctor or medical professional does not make you objective.

    Fact: The training of medical professionals has a built in bias against all forms of “alternative” medicine.

    Fact: All pharmaceutical drugs are toxic to life so all have negative side effects.

    Fact: Most herbal or homeopathic medicines are not toxic

    Fact: Aluminum, Arsenic and Mercury have been known for hundreds of years to be potent neuro-toxins.

    Fact: Thimerisol, the preservative of choice for vaccines for almost a century is Methyl mercury, the most toxic substance known to occur, until the creation of Plutonium.

    Fact: Formaldehyde which is used to kill the live virus in vaccines and is stated as an ingredient is extremely carcinogenic.

    Fact: The oil industry took over the production of medicine from plant based sources during the first half of the last century, with the help of government and implication of the FDA and CDC.

    Fact: The combined profits of the Petrochemical industry including the Pharmaceutical industry, account for most of the worlds GDP.

    Fact: Money is power and power corrupts, doctors are paid to sell the products of the pharmaceutical industry, so are therefore also corrupted.

    Fact: A Human being with no genetic defects, who has not been exposed to any toxins in utero, who has been breast fed and raised on organic foods, containing all the nutrients required for life and has been physically active from birth. Has absolutely no need of vaccinations, antibiotics or any form of medicine, because that person will have an immune system that can fight off any disease that mother nature can throw at it.

    Final fact: Thanks to the petrochemical industry, no such person exists on this planet.

    Advice: DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AND NEVER LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR.

  145. #145 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe:

    Fact: Most herbal or homeopathic medicines are not toxic

    False. In fact some herbal medicines can kill you, since they actually contain real chemicals.

    Fact: Aluminum, Arsenic and Mercury have been known for hundreds of years to be potent neuro-toxins.

    Citation needed. Since the first item on that list was very difficult to get in pure form, and the other two were used in several products less than fifty years ago.

    Fact: Thimerisol, the preservative of choice for vaccines for almost a century is Methyl mercury, the most toxic substance known to occur, until the creation of Plutonium.

    False. It is ethyl mercury.

    The rest is pretty much all wrong. And I challenge you find a genetically perfect human.

  146. #146 Kelly M Bray
    May 14, 2012

    Hey Joe, try your hand with Smallpox sometime

  147. #147 Kelly M Bray
    May 14, 2012

    “Fact: Money is power and power corrupts, doctors are paid to sell the products of the pharmaceutical industry, so are therefore also corrupted.”

    Hey Joe, look at Dr Mercola’s house.

    http://www.quackwatch.com/11Ind/mercola.html

  148. #148 Marry Me, Mindy
    May 14, 2012

    Don’t you see, Chris?

    Those losers who caught and died from vaccinE preventable diseeases wEre just genetically inferior and deserved to die.

    BTW, if it were true that thimerasol contained methyl mercury, all it would mean is that the claims about how toxic it is are nonsense, since, as Joe claims it was used for a century but problems didn’t happen until the last 5 years of it. Of course, thimerasol isn’t used as a preservative anymore so is not causing any probels currently, so you would think Jow would be happy about that.

  149. #149 Joe
    May 14, 2012

    To call The Greater Good anti vaccine propaganda is grossly unfair.
    If you actually watch this movie you will see it is equally professional in it’s approach to any PBS type documentary. We are constantly bombarded with pro vaccine propaganda from all corners of the media [free flu shot drives posing as news stories for example]. Previous documentaries on the subject have been biased this way, but never get pilloried like this. This is the first TV show I have ever seen that gives any credence to the other point of view.
    It’s true that Dr Offit is dumb as a stump. His statement, that despite the high number of lawsuits against drug companies and all the dangerous drugs that have been taken off the market and bearing in mind that vaccine manufacturers are completely immune from lawsuits he is certain that none of the same problems exist with vaccines, is clearly retarded. The makers of the film probably picked him to present the opposing view because he is so stupid, and if this is propaganda, it’s a milder form than the misinformation and disinformation admittedly used by the federal government.
    The truth is, just as everything is political, it is also propaganda, but when one side starts to increasingly resort to childish insults, it is clear that they know they are on the wrong side of history.

  150. #150 novalox
    May 14, 2012

    @joe

    The truth is, just as everything is political, it is also propaganda, but when one side starts to increasingly resort to childish insults, it is clear that they know they are on the wrong side of history

    Is it me, or did my irony meter just break at that statement.

    Guess you and your ilk will be on the wrong side of history then, eh, joe?

  151. #151 lilady
    May 14, 2012

    @ Joe:

    “To call The Greater Good anti vaccine propaganda is grossly unfair.”

    Have you checked out other threads on this blog? The Respectful Insolence *Regulars* found that the children who were featured in this film were NOT *vaccine injured*:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/anti-vaccine_propaganda_lands_in_new_yor.php

    “The three children featured in the movie have “purportedly” been injured or died from a vaccine. The young woman who received HPV vaccine was diagnosed with Lupus two and one-half months after she completed the 3-dose series of HPV vaccine…correlation does not imply causation.

    The parents of the young man with autism “had their day” in vaccine court and in a well publicized decision the special master denied their claim of vaccine-induced autism.

    The parent of the infant who died is a doctor who also sells her “natural” food products over the internet. According to her website, she first researched the “toxic American diet” after her child died; she makes no mention of her child dying from a vaccine.

    It appears that none of the children featured in the film were injured or died from a vaccine. The film is also another tawdry attempt to scare parents away from vaccines, to publicize the NVIC and other anti-vax websites, to drum up business for lawyers and to destroy confidence in our public health system.

    Posted by: lilady | November 19, 2011 12:30 AM”

  152. #152 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe:

    It’s true that Dr Offit is dumb as a stump.

    That is an interesting statement from someone who posted “facts” that with a little bit of checking are shown to be completely wrong.

  153. #153 AdamG
    May 14, 2012

    is clearly retarded.

    Did you hear that? It was the sound of whatever small amount of credibility you had left whooshing out the window.

  154. #154 Militant Agnostic
    May 14, 2012

    Apparently Joe believes that there was no industrial pollution prior to the advent of the petrochemical industry. Apparently the pulp mill effluent and the waste products from gold extraction are benign. Any chemists here care to list some chemicals that are more toxic than methyl (never mind ethyl) mercury. Botulism toxin and tetra ethyl lead come to mind.

  155. #155 Joe
    May 14, 2012

    Hi Chris,
    So glad I got a response, even a negative one, as this blog was so old but current TV just played the Greater good again and I saw it for the first time two days ago and that’s how I found this blog and chose to comment because it was against my point of view, but what’s the point of preaching to the choir.
    Apologies for the inaccuracies: ethyl or methyl it’ll still kill you.
    If you read my words more carefully you would have noticed I said MOST herbal medicines, you actually typed the word most yourself, then went on to say some herbs can kill you which I certainly wont deny, and I think all plants contain “real chemicals”, chemicals are pretty real, as are their effects. The distinction I was trying to make was between chemicals that have been around us for millions of years as opposed to the millions of new ones we have made more recently in our laboratories from oil that our bodies have had no time to evolve any tolerance to, which is why I think pretty much all of them turn out to be toxic to us.
    I don’t pretend to know exactly when aluminum was first used in it’s pure form, but I do know my grandparents had to hand in all their aluminum pans in WW2 to be made into planes, so it’s been around for a while. Of course it’s not aluminum metal that’s used in vaccines, but aluminum hydroxide as far as I know. I read that mercury was introduced as a preservative in vaccines in the 1930′s after a doctor killed a bunch of kids with a contaminated bottle of vaccine, and is still widely used in multi dose vaccines today, mostly in adult flu shots.
    As to “less than 50 years ago you don’t know what your talking about. Arsenic and mercury have been used in many forms for many different purposes for far longer than that.
    Lead was used extensively by the Romans, they made plates and mugs from it and died from it. Arsenic has been used as a poison almost as long and mercury was used in the hat making industry for hundreds of years, ever heard the expression “mad as a hatter”, mercury poisoning made them go insane.
    And finally I’m not a Nazi, I never said genetically perfect, there is no such thing as everyone’s idea of perfection is different. I said without genetic defects, defects that cause an increased susceptibility to disease etc not connected to appearance or race. such defects used to be very rare due to natural selection, but are now very common for obvious reasons.

  156. #156 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe:

    Apologies for the inaccuracies: ethyl or methyl it’ll still kill you.

    Citation required. Since one guy tried and failed to commit suicide with thimerosal: Clinical course of severe poisoning with thiomersal.

    Plus it is old news, thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines a decade ago. So if you are still persevering on it answer these two questions:

    1. What pediatric vaccine is only available with thimerosal? Do not say DTaP, because there are two without, and don’t say influenza because there are four without thimersal.

    2. Why did Sallie Bernard post this plea for a vaccine with thimersal over ten years ago:
    # Subject: Thimerosal DTaP Needed
    # From: Sally Bernard
    # Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:01:50 -0400
    # Yahoo! Message Number: 27456
    http://onibasu.com/archives/am/27456.html

    Hi all:

    A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately.

    Thank you.

    Sallie Bernard
    Executive Director
    Safe Minds

  157. #157 Marry Me, Mindy
    May 14, 2012

    Apologies for the inaccuracies: ethyl or methyl it’ll still kill you.

    Then again, so can water. Too much of anything can kill you. That has been known since the days of Pericelsus.

    Yet, despite being used in vaccines for a century (or so you claim), no one has ever died from mercury poisoning after vaccination.

    So something doesn’t add up.

    BTW, which vaccines contain thimerasol these days?

  158. #158 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    The herbal medicine bit is called the “naturalistic fallacy”, and Orac covered it here. There have been lots of poisonings from those who think they are drinking a safe herbal tea, only to find out it was something like foxglove. Many of our pharmaceuticals started out as herbal cures, but were processed to make the doses more consistent. Like for two cardiac/vascular medications: digitalis and warfarin.

    Aluminum hydroxide has lots of uses, including antacid. The amounts used in vaccines in miniscule. The soil that we use to grow food consists of minerals containing aluminum, one of the most abundant elements on this planets crust. You get more from your daily food intake or even by skinning your knee than from a vaccine.

    Yes, lead and mercury were used for centuries. Except that their toxicity was not widely known. Mercury was commonly used in teething powders in the mid-20th century:
    Br Med J. 1952 Feb 16;1(4754):358-60.
    Mercury nephrosis in young children, with special reference to teething powders containing mercury.

    And it was not until the 1960s that enough data, or enough to convince lawmakers, to show the toxicity of lead to remove it from gasoline and paint.

    Go to your local library and pick up the following fun, scary and educational book:
    The Poisoner’s Handbook.

    And in the future do not get your science from biased documentaries. Try learning some of the data from other sources: like a chemistry or biology textbook. Or even a history book.

  159. #159 Thomas
    May 14, 2012

    Fact: Joe is a liar.

    “Apologies for the inaccuracies: ethyl or methyl it’ll still kill you. ”

    Drink methyl alcohol and you’ll learn the difference between methyl and ethyl (you won’t see the difference, though).

  160. #160 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Thomas, you might explain to him that methyl alcohol will first make a person blind. Though ethyl alcohol is what is in his beer gives him that fine buzz.

    The effects of wood alcohol (methyl alcohol) are also explained in The Poisoner’s Handbook (and to make Joe really want to read the book, the poisoners were agents of the USA government!).

  161. #161 Thomas
    May 14, 2012

    That’s what I meant about not seeing the difference…

  162. #162 Joe
    May 14, 2012

    Chris,
    You obviously are not as educated as you think We are not talking about alcohol, but mercury which is deadly in any form, and anyway either form of alcohol can kill you if you drink enough of it.
    I’ll get my info from where I want to, that is my first amendment right, but I guess you all don’t like our constitution, and your textbooks are no less biased, how do you all think you all became so narrow minded

  163. #163 novalox
    May 14, 2012

    @joe

    You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

    Point is, Chris and other posters have stated facts and have backed up their posts with scientific evidence. You, on the other hand, have relied on insults, ad hominem, and hearsay. You are clearly wrong, yet you persist in your idiocy.

  164. #164 Thomas
    May 14, 2012

    Joe: It’s certainly your First Amendment right to believe every scam artist that comes down the pike. And it’s our First amendment right to laugh at you.

    P.S. You’re right that a small amount of ethyl alcohol won’t kill you but a large amount will. Now that you’ve discovered that the dose makes the poison, apply that principle to other substances and you’ll be smarter in no time.

  165. #165 Todd W.
    May 14, 2012

    Joe,

    You claim that whether it is ethyl- or methylmercury doesn’t matter, that mercury is deadly no matter what. Please provide your evidence that ethylmercury is deadly. Your evidence needs to include the amount of ethylmercury that is required in order to be deadly, as well as method of exposure (oral, inhaled, intramuscular, intravenous, subcutaneous, topical, etc.), where possible.

    Once you’ve done that, do you think you could compare the amount required to cause death to the amounts that were found in vaccines?

  166. #166 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe, answer my questions.

    And work on your reading comprehension.

  167. #167 Composer99
    May 14, 2012

    Why are you afraid of real science Joe? Trying to hang on to your morally vicious anti-vaccine stance by refusing to examine the actual evidence on ridiculous “First Amendment” grounds?

  168. #168 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe:

    If you actually watch this movie you will see it is equally professional in it’s approach to any PBS type documentary.

    and

    as this blog was so old but current TV just played the Greater good again and I saw it for the first time two days ago and that’s how I found this blog

    The First Amendment starts with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”.

    I guess wanting to believe something Joe saw on TV can be considered a religion. Perhaps he thinks that the Ghost Hunters on SyFy show is a documentary, and ghosts are real.

    But we are not Congress. Telling him that his “facts” are wrong does not prohibit him from believing something just because it was on TV. Nor does telling him that there are these buildings in most towns full of books. Most of them have the book I suggested.

    Though it seems his religion has a policy against having an open mind that can accept new information, especially if it contains science!

  169. #169 MI Dawn
    May 14, 2012

    @Joe: the rule is “the dose makes the poison”. As for mercury in almost ANY form killing you – well, the dose is VERY important. Look for any discussion of Minimata disease, look for the discussion of the woman who tried to kill herself by injecting the mercury from a thermometer (she failed, by the way – and ended up having surgery a year or so later to remove some of the areas of encapsulated mercury), ask the members of the Chemistry honors fraternity (I forget the name) whose initiation used to include playing with pure mercury – they DID discontinue that when I was in college in the 1980′s due to the toxicity risk). Read about the “Huckleby Hogs” in Berton Rouche’s book The Medical Detectives.

    Then talk to most adults age 50+, who probably have many vivid stories to tell you about merthiolate (Mercurochrome), with which every wound was painted, kids used to paint on themselves to play cowboys and indians, and was a very popular antiseptic in any household.

    Then come back and tell us about the toxicity of the various forms of mercury.

  170. #170 LW
    May 14, 2012

    Joe,

    Fact: being a doctor or medical professional does not make you objective.

    Off to a good start!  That is unfortunately true.

    Fact: The training of medical professionals has a built in bias against all forms of “alternative” medicine.

    I would hope that’s true. You know what they call alternative medicine that works?  ”Medicine”. I’d hope medical professionals have a bias against treatments that aren’t known to work or are known not to work.  Unfortunately all too many of them don’t — search for “quackademic medicine” on this site for relevant discussion. 

    Fact: All pharmaceutical drugs are toxic to life so all have negative side effects.

    News flash: Everything is toxic, including water and oxygen, both of which can kill you in large doses and have decidedly negative side effects (why is Stevie Wonder blind?).   Note what others have mentioned: “the dose makes the poison”. 

    Fact: Most herbal or homeopathic medicines are not toxic

    Homeopathic medicine are generally not toxic if prepared as “6C” dilution or better since they’re nothing but water or sugar pills (but see above that water is toxic in large doses, as is sugar). As others have noted, some herbal remedies are decidedly toxic even in small quantities.  (Remember the teething remedy with belladonna that was recalled because it was capable of poisoning children?) But all herbal medicines are potentially harmful or even deadly in large doses.

    Fact: Aluminum, Arsenic and Mercury have been known for hundreds of years to be potent neuro-toxins.

    Actually, no. Mercury was used in teething powders, causing “pink disease”, into the 1950s in America. That wouldn’t have been allowed if mercury had been widely recognized as a potent neurotoxin.  People used to *eat* arsenic in the 19th Century. Aluminum, as noted by others, wasn’t even isolated until the 19th Century. Did you know the capstone of the Washington Monument is aluminum?  At the time, that was a precious metal. 

    Fact: Thimerisol, the preservative of choice for vaccines for almost a century is Methyl mercury, the most toxic substance known to occur, until the creation of Plutonium.

    As others have noted, it’s ethyl mercury not methyl mercury. Moreover, there are lots of substances vastly more toxic than mercury — fortunately for us, since there’s mercury in seafood…

    Fact: Formaldehyde which is used to kill the live virus in vaccines and is stated as an ingredient is extremely carcinogenic.

    Formaldehyde is also a natural product of the body. It’s in your blood right now.  Seriously, search for “Formaldehyde” on this site and see.

    Fact: The oil industry took over the production of medicine from plant based sources during the first half of the last century, with the help of government and implication of the FDA and CDC.

    The CDC didn’t exist until 1946. Its predecessor organization didn’t exist until 1942. The FDA didn’t really start regulating drugs until 1937. 

    Is the oil industry your pet bugaboo?  The oil industry produces oil and other petrochemicals. Those petrochemicals are used for lots of things: the asphalt on roads, the body of your monitor, and, yes, some medicines. But the oil industry itself doesn’t produce medicines; it sells raw materials used for various things. And if it did produce medicines, well, I’m really happy that the average lifespan has nearly doubled since it started!

    Fact: The combined profits of the Petrochemical industry including the Pharmaceutical industry, account for most of the worlds GDP.

    Okay, this is getting silly. If you count every dollar that comes from every product that uses petrochemicals as “profits of the Petrochemical industry”, well, maybe that’s true. The “Petrochemical industry” would love to get its hands on all that filthy lucre but there are all those other industries in the way…

    Fact: Money is power and power corrupts, doctors are paid to sell the products of the pharmaceutical industry, so are therefore also corrupted.

    “Money is power and power corrupts” — wow, a somewhat true statement!  But there are degrees of power and degrees of corruption. To what extent are doctors paid to sell medicines?  You need to offer some kind of documentation that this practice is widespread and that the amount involved are sufficient to overcome the average doctor’s honesty. 

    I wonder, when I read screeds like yours, if you’ve ever actually met a doctor. I have, though I’m not a doctor myself. They are, by and large, nice people. They want to help. They’ve never pushed any drugs on me; my pulmonologist is always  happy to hear that I’ve been getting along without any treatment.

    Your caricature of doctors is simply wrong and offensive. You probably congratulate yourself on how open-minded you are, but in fact you’re just a bigot.

    Fact: A Human being with no genetic defects, who has not been exposed to any toxins in utero, who has been breast fed and raised on organic foods, containing all the nutrients required for life and has been physically active from birth. Has absolutely no need of vaccinations, antibiotics or any form of medicine, because that person will have an immune system that can fight off any disease that mother nature can throw at it.

    Yeah, that was so common back in the good old days. It’s why you find old graveyards with little tombstones of little children who were breast-fed and raised on organic foods, were physically active (to the extent that babies can be), and certainly didn’t get any nasty vaccines or antibiotics — and died of disease.

    Final fact: Thanks to the petrochemical industry, no such person exists on this planet.

    Oh right.  Like any such person ever did exist. Another news flash: babies and small children used to die of disease all the time. Long before anyone even imagined the petrochemical industry, babies and small children died of disease.

    Advice: DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS AND NEVER LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR.

    Here’s some advice for you: read some history. Try Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror”, for one. Learn about what life used to be like. Don’t compare life today with paradise; there has never been paradise on Earth. Compare it with the real past.  You truly can’t grasp how different life today is from what it used to be.

  171. #171 Denice Walter
    May 14, 2012

    Re Joe’s evaluation of *The Greater Good* being as professional as “any PBS documentary”:

    Sure, if you’re talking about production values- woo-meisters know ( like any film editor or advertising/ PR person** does) that HOW their message is presented determines people’s response perhaps as much as the message itself. Thus, when you check out documentary clips- from those alt med poseurs we eviscerate regularly- you might be surprised how professional and authoritative these efforts look and sound. But surely, if you put compost in a Wedgwood vase or Waterford bowl, it will be well-presented -but it’s still compost.

    ** like my cousins T and B.

  172. #172 joe
    May 14, 2012

    To Mindy I’m so glad I’m not married to you

    How could you possibly know that no one has died of mercury poisoning, following vaccination, apparently the CDC doesn’t keep records of vaccine injuries and as the manufacturers are exempt from lawsuits they have no reason to. This is how our government gets away with murder.
    what is known by all of us, is that thousands of infants die right after getting shots and millions more are permanently damaged. we may not be able to prove it against the wealth and power of industry protected by government, but we know it and we are angry, very angry, now we at least know what is being put in our bodies without our consent.
    I personally have a friend who is a paramedic, who contracted Garrien barre syndrome after a flu shot. after being in a wheelchair for some time she has recovered enough to go back to work, but still has lesions in her brain and some issues, which will probably always be with her. She is now exempt from flu shots. so tell me; if the powers that be don’t accept that the flu shot was the cause, why did they grant her exemption. GB syndrome is listed as a very rare one in a million side effect of many vaccines. Now I don’t know near a million people, but I know one who got GB from a shot: is this just coincidence, or is the CDC Lying, you be the judge, but I know what I think.
    How you out there who are doctors sworn to do no harm can say it is OK to inject Aluminum, arsenic, mercury, formaldehyde etc, into a human of ANY age defeats me. You are all guilty of mass murder and as befits your crimes, should be executed by lethal injection, unless you personally take a stand against the drug industry and refuse to vaccinate until the vaccines are all pure saline and in sterile refrigerated single dose form.
    That’s just my opinion.

  173. #173 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 14, 2012

    Joe,
    Do you need some aloe vera? I think LW just burned you.

  174. #174 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 14, 2012

    Joe,

    what is known by all of us, is that thousands of infants die right after getting shots and millions more are permanently damaged.

    You got any evidence for that? Please focus on those whose deaths are caused by shots.

  175. #175 Todd W.
    May 14, 2012

    @Joe

    what is known by all of us, is that thousands of infants die right after getting shots

    And you know this how? Definte “right after”. Is it seconds? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades?

    You are all guilty of mass murder and as befits your crimes, should be executed by lethal injection, unless you personally take a stand against the drug industry and refuse to vaccinate

    Tell us how you really feel, O Benevolent and Caring Mote of Wonderfulness!

    until the vaccines are all pure saline and in sterile refrigerated single dose form.

    But if vaccines were nothing but pure saline, then they wouldn’t be vaccines anymore.

    Oh, and as an aside, you might want to read up on formaldehyde a little. Your body is producing it right now. Are you saying, then, that your body is trying to kill you?

  176. #176 TBruce
    May 14, 2012

    You are all guilty of mass murder and as befits your crimes, should be executed by lethal injection

    You mean with a flu shot?

  177. #177 lilady
    May 14, 2012

    @ Joe…any “citations” for your statements about the dangers of adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines?

    Oh, look at this…current TV has an on-line chat and my old buddy Dr. Bob Sears, is posting:

    http://current.com/specials/greater-good/

  178. #178 augustine
    May 14, 2012

    And you know this how? Definte “right after”. Is it seconds? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades?

    He doesn’t have to answer such a stupid question on your part, Todd.

    According to your ignorant scientific opinion how do you characterize a vaccine death? Could you please cite your scientific peer reviewed non pharmaceutical source. Of course you deny that vaccine death actually exists, like the rest of the biased oxymoronic “science bloggers”?

  179. #179 joe
    May 14, 2012

    To Chris,s last post,

    For your info, I am a devout atheist and believe in absolutely nothing, preferring to think. I come from a long line of scientists, including Charles Darwin, but chose to be a horse shoer, and no, composer 99, I’m not afraid of real science, just the bullshit profit driven science that is killing us here in the US. Where I’m from, [the UK] scientific research is funded more by the government than industry, and healthcare is not for profit so the motivation is to help people stay healthy, rather than to keep them sick, that’s why we never fluoridated our water supply over there. I pay more taxes here and cannot afford health insurance [not that I want it], just so uncle Sam can drop bombs and blow little brown kids to bits all over the world. I feel sooo safe. and I Know what you’re all saying, but I came here just to piss you off.

  180. #180 augustine
    May 14, 2012

    @ Joe…any “citations” for your statements about the dangers of adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines?

    Lilady, any non conflict of interest long term RCT scientific studies of safety?

    No. No. and NO. Try again.Your ignorance and 1960′s limited bachelor’s only degree doesn’t mean something is safe or has no damaging effects on the human body.

    Somebody please help the old senile lady out. She’s spending too much retirement time on the computer. Her socialist agenda keeps her going I suppose. Poor lady thinks she’s a christian AND a skeptic. So sad.

  181. #181 lilady
    May 14, 2012

    @ farrier joe.

    “…a long line of scientists…”

    Thanks for the laughs…you certainly are shoveling the horsesh*t around here.

  182. #182 LW
    May 14, 2012

    Sometime back I did some proofreading for Project Gutenberg. One book I worked on was about weasels. The book was written in the late 19th Century, so before the evil petrochemical industry took over the world. The author went into exhaustive (and exhausting) detail about just about every weasel bone ever found in North America. Those little weasels were not exposed to human-made toxins as they lived up near the Arctic Circle; they were of course breastfed and ate nothing but organic food; and they were very active. And yet practically all of the little skulls showed damage from disease.

    Why weren’t their immune systems proof against anything Nature could throw at them? With their shorter lifespans, they’ve had much more time to adapt than we have, and yet, strangely, they don’t seem to have evolved invincible immune systems. It’s almost like there’s a counteracting effect that keeps species from having perfect immunity to every single micro-organism…

  183. #183 TBruce
    May 14, 2012

    For your info, I am a devout atheist and believe in absolutely nothing, preferring to think.

    Oh, good! When are you going to start?

    Where I’m from, [the UK] scientific research is funded more by the government than industry, and healthcare is not for profit so the motivation is to help people stay healthy, rather than to keep them sick, that’s why we never fluoridated our water supply over there.

    Obligatory joke about British teeth goes here:

    …but I came here just to piss you off.

    Oh. good! When are you going to start?

    So far, I can’t stop laughing. Give me a break.

  184. #184 Chris
    May 14, 2012

    Joe:

    I feel sooo safe. and I Know what you’re all saying, but I came here just to piss you off.

    And with each post you have become less literate and more amusing. Here is a word of advice: don’t drink while on the internet. It leads to bad things.

  185. #185 ken
    May 14, 2012

    Great film! The current vaccine schedule for infants is only based on the theory of Dr. Offit and his calculations which are purely theoretical- 10,000 vaccines indeed!

  186. #186 novalox
    May 15, 2012

    @ken

    Still spewing your idiocy, I see.

    Could you actually come up with a post with some, let’s say, actual facts?

  187. #187 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    Same advice to you, ken: don’t drink while on teh internets!

  188. #188 Narad
    May 15, 2012

    I feel sooo safe. and I Know what you’re all saying, but I came here just to piss you off.

    You don’t seem to have much succeeded. Hell, I couldn’t even sustain the interest to complete a reply in the face of more engaging tasks such as buying onions and cleaning the litter box.

  189. #189 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    I just got a “Joe” answer back to me on HuffPo. When I finish laughing I will respond. Where do people come up with this stuff?
    Quote:
    “I did, if you care to read how prion proteins share their genes to hide infectious organisms….”

  190. #190 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    that’s why we never fluoridated our water supply over [in the UK].

    Needless to say, Joe is either lying or so ignorant as to call into question his claim to hail from the UK.

  191. #191 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    I Know what you’re all saying, but I came here just to piss you off.

    These animals are not pissed off, just very disappointed in you.

  192. #192 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012
  193. #193 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    Doktor, your link is not working.

  194. #194 lilady
    May 15, 2012

    The link is working now, thanks Doktor Bimler.

    @ Kelly: I just visited the Ho-Po. Are you posting at the crank who is fixated on Lyme disease and has made the *connection* between syphilis and HIV infections…all*caused by prions*?

  195. #195 joe
    May 15, 2012

    To LW,
    thanks for such a good reply to my first post which was meant to agitate with the ‘fact’ attack, it sure seems to have stirred up a hornets nest. Of course my facts are just my opinions but I’m sticking with them.
    You bring up a few points of interest, such as Formaldehyde being in our bodies naturally, isn’t it is produced constantly by cellular metabolism? Yet to inject it directly into the bloodstream in larger doses can’t be good can it? You certainly would not want to drink it, and the FEMA trailer fiasco after Katrina proves that you don”t want to inhale it either. so don’t try to tell me it’s harmless. I’m not a doctor but not stupid either.

    Your dates re CDC FDA etc are all in the first half of the last century like I said, so Whats your point there?

    I’ve met many doctors some were in my family, I just don’t employ them. I’m 50 and have no need for them, because I had only a few vaccines when I was a child. survived measles and chicken pox easily, played outside, and worked outside all my life, ate real food. never been a regular smoker or heavy drinker, have brewed and drunk Kombucha tea the last 20 years [the real secret], avoid pesticides like the plague they are, never use shampoo, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, never drink tap water or wear plastic, never had or will have a flu shot, never get sick, thanks to Nigella sativa.

    Your reference to the past health conditions pre modern medicine is the myth of choice espoused by all doctors when confronted by any kind of criticism, along with the statement that we are living longer, as an excuse for the ever increasing rates of cancers and other health problems that plague ALL ages today. firstly your comparison is with western Europe and early European immigrants in the US, from the middle ages to the time vaccination started. These people were mostly impoverished, had terrible nutrition, lived in squalid overcrowded conditions, under oppressive monarchies and equally oppressive christian churches who would burn them alive for witchcraft, if they were caught using the herbal knowledge handed down from their pagan ancestors. Despite all this, most who actually survived the childhood diseases, child birth, brutal wars and oppression lived into their 90′s and even 100′s. How do I know this you ask? Well one of my dad’s hobbies when I was a kid was Brass Rubbing, and he used to take me with him to old churches on weekends, and while he was inside, I was out in the graveyard reading the headstones, looking for the oldest one. This was in England so many were 500 years or even older, and they tended to include not only the date of birth and death, but also the cause of death. What I remember most was how few people back then died in middle age, They were mostly young or very old, unlike today. so it is true that the average life expectancy has until very recently been rising ever since vaccination started, but it is not true that we are actually living longer, as very few of us reach 100 today, and most of us will get cancer or some form of dementia before we die, which was rare 100 years ago I think.
    Now if we were to compare today’s population to say the native Americans 100 years ago I think you would find far less disease and infant mortality, because they lived in harmony with the earth as hunter gatherers, made full use of all medicinal plants, were not over populated, practiced respectful, not vengeful religions, just like their pre roman ancestors did in ancient Europe. After all, the wisdom of elders has been one of our most valued assets since the beginning of our time on earth. Of all our crimes against humanity, none has and will have such a devastating effect as the chemical destruction of this wisdom. it could set back our evolution a thousand years in one generation. nothing saddens me more.

    P.S. replying to Todd W

    Of course the vaccine has to contain the virus strain, you are vaccinating against, I was just referring to the additives, sorry for the omission.
    I’m not against vaccines, because they work in principal, but because of all the toxins added to them, I feel today’s vaccines do more harm than good. If I made that movie, I’d call it ‘The Greater harm’. My kids had all their shots, far more than I had in the 60′s, and thankfully they seem OK. Yet now knowing what’s in these shots, I would not have had them vaccinated, and having met several home schooled non vaccinated kids, the difference is astounding. they are mentally and physically far more alert and remind me of myself when I was a kid, you just don’t see that spark in most kids today. talking with an 8 year old and having a conversation I could not have with my 16 year old. was a shock I’ll never get over. Maybe it’s the home schooling, or no video games, or no shots, or my poor parenting skills, or all the above, but it’s blatantly obvious that most of us, are far from all we can be.

    I’m going to bed now, so you can tell each other what a self righteous, ignorant little prick I am. but I’ll leave you with one more thought:-

    We will never end tyranny by fighting it.
    Only by getting into the hearts of our oppressors,
    can we hope to change their minds.

  196. #196 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    they lived in harmony with the earth as hunter gatherers

    Perhaps an anthropologist will come along — or even better, a non-fantasy Native American — to explain the history of pre-European agriculture and urban settlement.

  197. #197 Julian Frost
    May 15, 2012

    @joe:

    Of course my facts are just my opinions but I’m sticking with them.

    You spouted a string of “Facts” which were nothing but lies. It’s rather cynical for you to now claim that they are just your opinions.

    Formaldehyde being in our bodies naturally, isn’t it is produced constantly by cellular metabolism? Yet to inject it directly into the bloodstream in larger doses can’t be good can it?

    Your body produces more formaldehyde in one minute than is in the entire vaccine schedule. Those “larger doses” aren’t.

    I’ve met many doctors some were in my family, I just don’t employ them. I’m 50 and have no need for them, because I had only a few vaccines when I was a child. survived measles and chicken pox easily, played outside, and worked outside all my life, ate real food.

    You’ve been lucky. Measles can kill. Before the introduction of the vaccine, it killed thousands every year. Just because you survived doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous.

    Your reference to the past health conditions pre modern medicine is the myth of choice espoused by all doctors when confronted by any kind of criticism, along with the statement that we are living longer, as an excuse for the ever increasing rates of cancers and other health problems that plague ALL ages today.

    It’s not a myth. Go to any old graveyard. You’ll see far more children than adults buried there. And, citation needed for your claim of increasing cancer rates.

    Now if we were to compare today’s population to say the native Americans 100 years ago I think you would find far less disease and infant mortality, because they lived in harmony with the earth as hunter gatherers, made full use of all medicinal plants, were not over populated, practiced respectful, not vengeful religions, just like their pre roman ancestors did in ancient Europe.

    Would any historians care to weigh in on this claim? I think joe will find out he’s wrong.

    After all, the wisdom of elders has been one of our most valued assets since the beginning of our time on earth.

    The “Wisdom of the Ancients” included such things as the “Four Humours”, Geocentrism, slavery, the ether and belief in dragons. There is a tendency to romanticise the past and to forget the very many terrible things wrong with it. There was no “Golden Past”.
    P.S. Thanks for the target practise.

  198. #198 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    joe:

    Yet to inject it directly into the bloodstream in larger doses can’t be good can it?

    I missed this mainly because I did not read the article.

    Joe, you have not answered either of my questions. But you can make it up by telling us which vaccines are injected into the bloodstream?

  199. #199 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    Me:

    read the article.

    It should be “read his comment.”

  200. #200 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    We will never end tyranny by fighting it.
    I’m sure that sentiment would have gone down well with the Resistance movement.

  201. #201 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012
  202. #202 LW
    May 15, 2012

    Joe@192:

    Thank you for your response.  I can’t respond line by line to your long response, but I will hit the high points.

    You bring up a few points of interest, such as Formaldehyde being in our bodies naturally, isn’t it is produced constantly by cellular metabolism? Yet to inject it directly into the bloodstream in larger doses can’t be good can it?

    This is why you should read what Orac has said on the subject. I’m not giving links because I don’t want to be caught in moderation, but just use the search facility in the upper left to vaccines and formaldehyde. The amount in the vaccines is a minute fraction of what the body produces every day.

    Your dates re CDC FDA etc are all in the first half of the last century like I said, so Whats your point there?

    My point is that they’d have to work really fast to assist in a takeover in the first half of the century if they didn’t even exist for most of that time.

    I’ve met many doctors some were in my family, I just don’t employ them.

    Do they know you think they are mass murderers who should be executed without trial?  I really think you should seriously contemplate your casual bigotry. 

    Your reference to the past health conditions pre modern medicine is the myth of choice espoused by all doctors when confronted by any kind of criticism, along with the statement that we are living longer, as an excuse for the ever increasing rates of cancers and other health problems that plague ALL ages today.

    I’ve never had a doctor bring that up to me, frankly. The doctors I know are more interested in science than in history. I learned about past health conditions from reading history books. 

    firstly your comparison is with western Europe and early European immigrants in the US, from the middle ages to the time vaccination started.

    Well, yes. Graveyards are the easiest place to see evidence of infant mortality, so I cited them, but they aren’t the only evidence.

    These people were mostly impoverished, had terrible nutrition, lived in squalid overcrowded conditions, under oppressive monarchies and equally oppressive christian churches who would burn them alive for witchcraft, if they were caught using the herbal knowledge handed down from their pagan ancestors.

    City life was squalid and overcrowded. The great bulk of the population didn’t live in cities; the economy wouldn’t support it. They lived out in tiny hamlets, being physically active out in the fields and eating good organic food.  They used herbs; it was quite traditional and there were books on the subject.

     

    Despite all this, most who actually survived the childhood diseases, child birth, brutal wars and oppression lived into their 90′s and even 100′s.

    This is just not plausible. It contradicts everything I’ve ever read about the Middle Ages and, for that matter, any other time or place. I need better evidence than your recollection of looking at gravestones. 

     

    most of us will get cancer or some form of dementia before we die, which was rare 100 years ago I think.

    Cancer and dementia were rare because they are diseases of old age and most people didn’t live that long. Also, I do find it plausible that those who managed to survive the vicissitudes of life and got to be old were naturally healthier than average. Since the average person in developed countries now gets to be old, old people today are less naturally healthy than in the past. I do not consider that a criticism of modern medicine.

    Now if we were to compare today’s population to say the native Americans 100 years ago I think you would find far less disease and infant mortality

    100 years ago Native Americans were not living their traditional lives.  Europeans have been on this continent for over 500 years.  You seem to have a strangely compressed view of history.  But I’ll assume you’re talking about Native Americans 500 years ago.  

    They did have less disease because they lived in small communities that couldn’t sustain most contagious diseases. but, strangely, despite their natural way of life, their healthful food and physical activity, and their lack of vaccines and antibiotics, they died in droves when exposed to European diseases, contradicting your claim that people who lived the way they did “will have an immune system that can fight off any disease that mother nature can throw at it.”

    After all, the wisdom of elders has been one of our most valued assets since the beginning of our time on earth. Of all our crimes against humanity, none has and will have such a devastating effect as the chemical destruction of this wisdom. it could set back our evolution a thousand years in one generation. nothing saddens me more.

    We have these things called “books”. The wisdom of elders can be preserved in them. I’m having a hard time seeing how such knowledge can be chemically destroyed, or how much evolution there has really been in the past thousand years. 

  203. #203 JGC
    May 15, 2012

    Maybe I can clear up your confusion regarding “ethyl or methyl, it will still kill you”.

    No, it won’t.

    Thimerosal when used as a preservative in vaccines is incoprporated at very low, demonstrably non-toxic concentrations. Further, follwing injection thimerosal rapidly dissociates to form ethyl (not methyl) mercury and is rapidly eliminated from the body, primarily by fecal excretion–it does not accumulate as the result or receiving multiple immunizations according to the recommended routine childhood immunization schedule.

    In infants following vaccination ethyl mercury has a half-life of less than 4 days and blood mercury levels return to pre-vaccination levels by 30 days after vaccination. (see Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants After Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines, Pichichero et al, Pediatrics Vol. 121 No. 2 February 1, 2008 pp. e208 -e214)

  204. #204 Vicki
    May 15, 2012

    As a side point, agriculture has been practiced in the Americas for thousands of years.

    Just a few obscure plants like maize, potato, sunflower, pumpkin, chocolate, peppers, and tomato.

    There were many varied cultures here, with different languages, customs, and beliefs; acting as though they all had the same religion is like assuming that, 500 years ago, the various peoples of Africa, Europe, and Asia all worshiped the same gods in the same way.

  205. #205 Denice Walter
    May 15, 2012

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Otters have gotten remarkably good press
    HOWEVER, I saw them in their natural habitat a few years ago and believe me, they’re scowly little buggers and show-offs besides- entirely full of themselves. In short, awful.

  206. #206 Composer99
    May 15, 2012

    Of course my facts are just my opinions but I’m sticking with them.

    Oh, insist your false beliefs are equivalent to empirically-derived fact, that’s a very atheist/skeptical thing to do.

    Public Service Announcement for the Irony-Impaired: That was sarcasm.

  207. #207 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    @ Lilady, yep that’s the one. The prion nut. Prions have DNA….uhh yeah…What a mess. I read some of the papers they cited and none of them supported their points. Big surprise.

    I am a Native American, Osage.
    From Joe: “just like their pre roman ancestors did in ancient Europe.”

    Sorry, my ancestors came from Eastern Eurasia not Europe. 100 years ago we were farmers and merchants. We were also oil barons. In the 1920′s the Osage were the richest people in the world per capita, around 150,000 per person tax free in 2012 dollars. Joe, don’t speak for people you don’t know, or pull up that “noble savage” crap.

  208. #208 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    As I said before, Joe would not be embarrassing himself so much if he actually picked up a real book instead of believing what is said on television.

    To repeat LW:

    We have these things called “books”. The wisdom of elders can be preserved in them. I’m having a hard time seeing how such knowledge can be chemically destroyed, or how much evolution there has really been in the past thousand years.

  209. #209 lilady
    May 15, 2012

    @ Kelly M Bray: I’ve just posted at the *maven* on the Ho-Po.

    For good measure, after I dished out some snark, I linked to this:

    http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/prion-disease

  210. #210 joe
    May 15, 2012

    To all that replied to my last post

    Re books: You might check out one titled ‘Our stolen Future’, which came out in 1996. Have long since passed it on and don’t remember the author’s names, there were 3 of them, all involved in breast cancer research in the 80′s and 90′s. They accidentally discovered the estrogenic effects of plasticizers such as BPA, after switching from glass to polycarbonate petri dishes, which caused their breast cancer cells to multiply without adding actual estrogen. They went on to identify large #’s of similar estrogen mimicking compounds used in the plastics industry, which leach out of the plastic and are found in the blood and breast milk of all the women they tested from all corners of the world. It was 12 years until I heard anything in the mainstream media about this, which has singled out BPA as the only culprit, so the plastics industry can sell us ‘BPA free’ products that still poison us. Now you all know I’m not a doctor so don’t know jack s**t, but suppose if, as women’s estrogen level’s naturally decline during menopause, they are constantly absorbing synthetic estrogen’s, which cannot be readily metabolized. Could this not be a major factor in the skyrocketing breast cancer rates, which seem to correlate neatly with the increased use of plastics? I’m sure it’s not the only cause, Premerine HRT was another, but that’s gone now and the rates still go up. Just wondering. I’m sure you’ll smack me down on this like everything else, but yes I can read too.

    Re My ponderings on native American’s: Yeah 100 was a typo sorry very tired by then, was meant to be 500 years ago, and Kelly M Bray, Your the first NA I’ve met who admits their ancestors may have come from Eastern Eurasia, funny that’s where the Celts were supposed to originate from too, at least in that general region and they were the “ancient Europeans I was reffering to. Guess I’ll have to be more specific from now on. I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.
    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.

    To JGC re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot, meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’? Anyway, if what you say is true, how does that explain Jordan’s ‘off the chart mercury levels’ in the film. They did explain that autistic children seem unable to excrete mercury like the rest of us. Wouldn’t it seem that the one size fits all approach to vaccination is part of the problem just like the documentary suggests. Once again Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food. Thank **** some of us have the guts to question authority cause it never questions itself.

  211. #211 Marry Me, Mindy
    May 15, 2012

    “re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot, meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’?”

    No, not even close.

    You know, it’s no shame to admit that you are scientifically ignorant.

    Even though we aren’t talking about grad level chemistry, it could take some college level chem, so not everyone will know it. But jeez, given that, recognize that you are clueless about this. You know noting so stop acting like you do. You aren’t convincing anyone.

  212. #212 madder
    May 15, 2012

    @joe:

    re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot

    No, it does not mean that.

    meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’?

    No, you were not.

    how does that explain Jordan’s ‘off the chart mercury levels’ in the film

    I haven’t seen this film, but a common trick among those who blame autism on heavy metals is to compare “provoked” heavy metal levels with “unprovoked” reference ranges, making it seem that the patient has an unusually high heavy-metal burden. In reality, those tests cannot be interpreted meaningfully: see here and here.

    Once again Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food.

    Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury, which is much safer than methyl mercury– the kind found in the fish available at your local grocery store, so some common foods are more “dangerous” than vaccines.

    Thank **** some of us have the guts to question authority cause it never questions itself.

    The vaccine schedule is constantly revised and updated to reflect current knowledge. A common preservative was removed from many vaccines, and certain vaccines are no longer used, as a result of scientific monitoring.

  213. #213 Krebiozen
    May 15, 2012

    Joe,
    I suggest that in future you check your “facts” before making assertions like:

    Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food.

    Such as?

    Fruit and vegetables typically contain 3–60 milligrams of formaldehyde per kilogram and fruit juice up to 640 milligrams methanol per liter, while the maximum in any vaccine dose is 0.1 milligrams. Normal blood levels are 2-3 milligrams formaldehyde per liter and our bodies produce up to 59,000 milligrams of formaldehyde per day through normal metabolism.

    There is more mercury in a can of tuna than there ever was in any vaccine shot. Maximum in a vaccine shot was 0.05 milligrams, and there may legally be up to 0.1 milligrams of methylmercury in a 100 gram can of tuna (1 part per million).

    There is between 5,000 and 10,000 micrograms of aluminum in our daily diet, and a maximum of 650 micrograms in any vaccine.

    As far as I know no vaccines contain any detectable amounts of arsenic.

    In summary a liter of fruit juice might contain 600 times as much formaldehyde as any vaccine, a tin of tuna may contain 20 times as much mercury as there used to be in some vaccines, our daily diet contains up to 15 times as much aluminum as there is in any vaccine and vaccines do not contain arsenic.

    Don’t take my word for it. Please research this for yourself using reliable scientific sources.

  214. #214 Krebiozen
    May 15, 2012

    I should perhaps have made it clear in my previous comment that methanol is metabolized to formaldehyde by our bodies. That’s why I mentioned the high concentrations of methanol in fruit juice.

  215. #215 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    joe:

    I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.

    They actually used fires to clear undergrowth and control forests. In the Pacific Northwest it was important to keep meadows clear for camas root (which started to become overgrown by the time Capt. Vancouver explored there, smallpox had already taken its toll by the end of the 18th century). Read 1491 and 1493 by Charles Mann. You might check out natural history museums, and your local nations (some have their own museums).

    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.

    You are far from pretentious. More like arrogant from ignorance.

  216. #216 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 15, 2012

    Joe,
    You might take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal. You’ll notice that thimerosal is Ethyl(2-mercaptobenzoato-(2-)-O,S)
    mercurate(1-) sodium. The term “methyi” appears nowhere in the chemical name. When the mercury-sulfur bond dissociates, you’re left with mercury connected to an ethyl group, not methyl.
    The thought that a methyl compound could dissociate into an ethyl compound is, if I recall correctly, the punchline of a very bad joke in 2nd year organic chemistry.

  217. #217 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    “dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.”

    To have someone such as yourself in a sacred ceremony of the Native American Church would be wrong. It requires respect for the ceremony, the church, and the people there. You have no respect.

  218. #218 Todd W.
    May 15, 2012

    @madder

    A common preservative was removed from many vaccines, and certain vaccines are no longer used, as a result of scientific monitoring.

    A minor quibble here. Thimerosal was removed from nearly all vaccines, not because of science, but because of fear and congressional pressure based on a lack of understanding of what science there was and calls for more research to be done. Once the research was done and it was found that there were no ill effects from thimerosal in vaccines, production had already been shifted to thimerosal-free formulations. Going back would have entailed far too great an investment (i.e., waste of money) by manufacturers to make it worthwhile. Not to mention, despite the evidence, people still feared anything associated with mercury, so a “better safe than sorry” approach maintained.

  219. #219 Todd W.
    May 15, 2012

    @joe

    At the risk of going even further off topic…

    funny that’s where the Celts were supposed to originate from too

    Uh, citation needed.

  220. #220 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    “Your the first NA I’ve met who admits their ancestors may have come from Eastern Eurasia…”

    We know who we are and where we came from. We don’t need to be patronized by the likes of you.

  221. #221 madder
    May 15, 2012

    @Todd W.

    Quibble accepted; I had quickly edited that part of my comment down from an excessive dissertation on the precautionary principle. As it stands, you’re right: it does look like I’m claiming that they removed it in response to data. There was, of course, no such body of data. Bothersome situation: being careful and proactive inadvertently gave (phony) ammunition to the antivaxers.

  222. #222 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.

    But some Plains nations did routinely conduct mass slaughters of buffalo (prior to the introduction of firearms) by driving them over cliffs. They also used fertilizer and controlled fires to enhance plant growth and keep the forest primeval in check. So your notion that the pre-European Americas were some kind of idyllic paradise inhabited by hippy-dippy flower children living in harmony with nature is as poorly researched and indefensible as the rest of your claims.

    BTW, I’m not, so far as I know, even one scintilla American Indian, but I had two Irish grannies who would whale the snot out of you for suggesting they came from Eastern Eurasia.

    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more

    You’re uneducable.

  223. #223 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    Kelly M Bray: Joe is sounding more and more like a Poe, trying hard to squeeze the maximum amount of wrongness and ignorance into every sentence. He loses points, though, for the breezy racism.

  224. #224 LW
    May 15, 2012

    “So your notion that the pre-European Americas were some kind of idyllic paradise inhabited by hippy-dippy flower children living in harmony with nature is as poorly researched and indefensible as the rest of your claims.”

    Well, true, but they didn’t have vaccines, antibiotics, petrochemicals, or inorganic food*, so clearly their perfect immune systems made them absolutely immune to every disease that nature could throw at them.

    * the specification of “organic food” always amuses me.

  225. #225 ken
    May 15, 2012

    @madder
    “The vaccine schedule is constantly revised and updated to reflect current knowledge”

    The current vaccine schedule for infants is only based on the theory of Dr. Offit and his calculations which are purely theoretical- 10,000 vaccines indeed!
    The German study cited to support vaccination “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS) considered a person vaccinated with receiving only a few vaccines. The conclusions cannot be considered valid.

  226. #226 LW
    May 15, 2012

    ken @222 : do you genuinely believe that organizations all over the world decided one day to base their infant vaccination schedules on a back-of-the-envelope computation presented by *one man* for purposes of illustration?

  227. #227 ken
    May 15, 2012

    There are no safety studies on the current vaccine schedule.
    The IOM is considering the plausibilty of such a study.

  228. #228 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    No, Ken, that’s not what the IOM is considering.

    From their website: “The IOM will conduct an independent assessment surrounding the feasibility of studying health outcomes in children who were vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule and those who were not (e.g. children who were unvaccinated or vaccinated with an alternate schedule). The IOM will review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule. Further, the IOM will identify potential research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could inform this question, including an assessment of the potential strengths and limitations of each approach, methodology and design, as well as the financial and ethical feasibility of doing them. A report will be issued in mid-2012 summarizing the IOM’s findings and conclusions.”

  229. #229 ken
    May 15, 2012

    Sorry you misunderstood-This is the study I’m talking about.
    How is this not studying safety? Why would they consider this?
    “The IOM will review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule.”
    h ttp://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/ChildhoodImmunization.aspx

  230. #230 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    Ken: I did not misunderstand. You really should read your own links.

    The site you quote above announces the third meeting of the committee and then invites you to take a look at the project website. If you click on the link provided, it takes you to exactly the same study I mention.

  231. #231 ken
    May 15, 2012

    Stop intentionally obfuscating- It’s about the safety of the current vaccine schedule.
    http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/ChildhoodImmunization.aspx

  232. #232 Shay
    May 16, 2012

    I’m not obfuscating. I posted a link to the committee and you claimed it wasn’t the same study when it most certainly is (which causes me to draw the not unreasonable conclusion that you never bothered to read it but were parroting something you’ve been spoon-fed by GoogleU).

    And it’s not a safety study. It’s a study to see if it is feasible to conduct a study .

    BTW, you state that there have been no safety studies done on vaccines (untrue — what’s your source for that?) and yet you point to the existence of the IOM committee study as proof, somehow, that vaccines are unsafe? An amazingly loopy piece of inverted logic.

  233. #233 ken
    May 16, 2012

    @Shay@225 Where is the link you claim you posted? You just quoted.
    I said “this is the study I’m talking about”-meaning the one you quoted.
    You did not post the link to it which I did. If there was not a safety concern why would they even consider a plausibility study? There are no studies on the current vaccine schedule.
    It might be “too many too soon” as many parents have these concerns. Having these concerns does not make you anti- vax. Look at the other IOM studies.

  234. #234 ken
    May 16, 2012

    “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis.”
    h ttp://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx
    There might be a synergistic and cumulative effect from “too many, too soon.

  235. #235 Julian Frost
    May 16, 2012

    @ken:

    There might be a synergistic and cumulative effect from “too many, too soon”.

    Given that vaccines are spaced out over a number of years, and that each dose is just a few ml, I find that unlikely.

  236. #236 Shay
    May 16, 2012

    That’s what I get for posting at midnight. However, a feasibiliy study =/= a safety study in any known universe. Nor is it any kind of admission, no matter how you spin it, that there is something unsafe about the current vaccine schedule.

    I notice that your quote @233 leaves out the rest of the paragraph which does not support your contention:

    “Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.” (emphasis mine).

  237. #237 Fully Vaccinated
    May 16, 2012

    From the IOM website: “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis. Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.”

    Note that last bit “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines”. However, we do know that many health problems are associated with not being vaccinated. It is unfair and cruel to allow children to suffer through diseases that can be prevented and irradicated through vaccination.

  238. #238 lilady
    May 16, 2012

    @ Fully Vaccinated: Here is an updated report from the CDC Vaccine Compensation Task Force on the 2011 IOM Report:

    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/taskforcedeliberations.pdf

    I worked as a public health nurse investigating outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and I worked as a public health clinic nurse. During my tenure at this large County health department, I administered thousands of vaccines. I participated in major flu immunization clinics and post- exposure immunization clinics. We always had ampules of epinephrine and syringes nearby to administer epinephrine for the first sign of anaphylaxis…none of my colleagues ever recalled an anaphylaxis episode…following the hundreds of thousands of immunizations we provided.

    The only report of an anaphylaxis episode I recall, was reported by a pediatrician, who “rescued” a child who had received an antibiotic shot administered by another doctor, in another practice, nearby. That doctor did not monitor the child after the antibiotic shot was given.

  239. #239 maydijo
    May 28, 2012

    I call BS on Joe on his recollection of 500 year old graves in English cemeteries. Two years ago DH and I and our two kids trawled through countless cemeteries in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cornwall – I’d estimate 25 to 30. I never saw a gravestone that was actually readable that was more than about 200 years old. Those things deteriorate quickly. Some from the early 1900s weren’t legible – some from the 1970s weren’t legible. Also, they change gravestones out fairly frequently – there’s just not the space to keep them all. We knew for instance that my husband’s 2nd great grandfather should’ve been buried in a certain plot; there was no marker there; someone else had been buried over the top of him, his marker removed, and another marker put in its place. That’s only going back to the mid-1800s. I want to know where these 500 year old gravestones are.