Remember California Bill AB 2109? I’ve written about it at least a couple of times before. In fact, for some reason, the comment section of this post on AB 2109 suddenly come alive again a couple of days ago, with antivaccinationists infiltrating it, much to the annoyance of my regular commenters. It turns out that the reason was that a couple of days ago AB 2109 came up for discussion in the California Senate Health Committee (and passed to be sent out to the full Senate for a vote), after having passed the California House a couple of months ago. I also now know why antivaccinationists infested that comment thread. Believe it or not, when I Googled “California Bill AB 2109” last night, my post actually appeared at the top of the search!

Bow before the power of Orac! Or something. At least I know that my “Insolence” on the topic is placing high in Google searches—for now. No wonder the antivaccine cranks are finding my humble post!

My well-deserved hubris aside, though (wait, isn’t “well-deserved hubris” an oxymoron?), our very own regular commenter lilady* has mentioned some of the craziness that’s accompanied the testimony for the bill. I can’t link directly to her comment, but here’s a brief account:

“I oppose medical nazism based on voodoo science” — chiropractor

One of the MIND founders pounding on vaccine injury

“Unconstitutional” — Christian Scientist

Oh geez this is the same as the last hearing.

Yep, same as it ever was. On the other hand, there was a bit of unintentional humor injected into the craziness surrounding the proceedings. I’ve learned of a new celebrity antivaccinationist, one whom I hadn’t known about before. For example, I’ve known about Jenny McCarthy (of course!), Mayim Bialik, Charlie Sheen, and others. I didn’t know, however, that Rob Schneider was antivaccine, too. After watching the video I just linked to (unfortunately I can’t embed it), all I can say is: With friends like these, antivaccinationists don’t need enemies.

I also hadn’t realized that apparently Rob Schneider is big in progressive politics. Who’d have thought it? I also hadn’t realized that he also appears to embody the stereotype of the crunchy liberal who is antivaccine. Seriously. Look at the video of his interview about AB 2109. All the typical antivaccine talking points are there. Schneider starts out talking about how he’s for “parental rights” and against “government coercion” (as if requiring something resembling true informed consent before a parent is allowed to claim a philosophical exemption, which is all AB 2109 does, is some sort of grave fascistic threat to democracy). He erroneously says that mandates are “illegal” even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that they are not.

Amusingly (or sadly, depending on your point of view) Schneider even pulls a Godwin, likening vaccine mandates (or AB 2109—I’m not sure which) to the Nuremberg Laws**. I kid you not: The Nuremberg Laws. You might remember the Nuremberg Laws, which were passed by the Nazis in 1935. These laws stripped Jews of their German citizenship and forbade them from marrying (or even having sexual intercourse with) non-Jews, under pain of imprisonment with hard labor. They are widely viewed historically as one of the major steps towards the Holocaust because they eliminated many of the remaining existing legal protections for Jews. He then brings home the crazy by comparing vaccine mandates to laws in the early 20th century mandating sterilization of the mentally retarded and people with mental illnesses. Lest you think this is an anomaly, two days ago he took to Twitter with the following Tweet:

Because trying to make sure that parents who make a potentially damaging health decision about their child have at least been made aware of the potential adverse consequences of that decision is just like Nazi Germany. After all, the penalty is much like the Nazis’ favored methods of punishment: brutal prison, concentration camps, and execution (often by guillotine). Oh, wait. It’s not anything like that at all. All it says is that a child who doesn’t get all the mandated vaccinations or doesn’t have a valid religious or philosophical exemption can’t attend public school. Fascists! Nazis! Schneider doesn’t even understand what actually happened a couple of days ago. It wasn’t that AB 2109 passed. The bill was only approved by the California Senate Health Committee, which means that it will now go to the full Senate to be debated and voted on. If the Senate approves it, it will then go to the governor to be signed into law.

Next up, Schneider goes into a predictable (from an antivaccine standpoint) tirade about how doctors “won’t tell you both sides” because they’re told what to say by the pharmaceutical companies. He does go a bit off course, though, claiming that “when you and I were kids” we only got eight shots but that now kids get 70 shots. Yes, that’s right, 70 shots. It’s utterly ridiculous, and nearly twice the largest number of shots even estimated by antivaccine groups like Generation Rescue. After that, the stupid burns fast and furious as Schneider claims that there are no safety or efficacy studies for vaccines.

It’s at this point where he makes such an utterly brain dead anomaly to car seats. Yes, he actually seems to think that there should be a randomized clinical trial of car seats, as he actually says that for a car seat you’d have 1,000 crashes with the seat and 1,000 crashes without it “and you can compare.” After this, he trots out a call for an “vaccinated versus unvaccinated study,” apparently not understanding that such a study would be utterly unethical, claiming that pharmaceutical companies don’t want to do that “because it’s not what they want to hear.” Why? Because, according to him, “we’re having more and more side effects; we’re having more and more autism.”

He even trots out the tried-and-not-true antivaccine canard about mercury being the “second most toxic thing on this planet besides plutonium.”

But that’s not all. His rant is like an antivaccine canard greatest hits album. How dare we vaccinate babies against Hepatitis B when you can “only get it from intravenous drug use or sexual activity”? Yep, it’s there; he even calls vaccinating babies against hepatitis B “beyond ridiculous” and “criminal.” He calls AB 2109 “lunacy.”

And what is his recommendation for reading material? Randall Neustaedler’s The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice. I must admit, I had never heard of Neustaedler before, but it didn’t take very long for me to find his website, which reveals that he’s a homeopath and practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (i.e., by definition a quack given that homeopathy is one of the purest forms of quackery there is). It didn’t take me much longer to find articles on his website about homeopathic vaccines and an article claiming that vaccines are “destroying our immune systems.” So what Schneider is relying upon for his information about vaccines is a book by a homeopath chock full of antivaccine misinformation, and that is how he advises parents to “become informed” so that they can make an “informed decision.”

A misinformed decison, more like it.

I know, I know. I probably shouldn’t get as annoyed by the antics of misinformed celebrities who think they know something about science and medicine on the basis of reading quack literature. It’s also true that no one expects the “makin’ copies” guy to be any more intelligent than Jenny McCarthy. However, unfortunately, celebrities matter. They influence people more than non-celebrities. They have the limelight, fame, access to the media, and money. Add to that the arrogance of ignorance, and there’s no telling how much damage some of them can do. One wonders how long it will be before Schneider starts showing up at Generation Rescue events. Maybe he already has.

In the meantime, look for the antivaccine craziness to ramp up as AB 2109 is sent to the full Senate for a vote.
——

*I made a mistake here. It was Liz Ditz who said this, not lilady. Oh well. They’re both regular commenters and they’re both awesome. I guess that’s what happens when I’m in a hurry.

**It’s been pointed out to me that Schneider sounds as though he was probably saying that school vaccine mandates are against the Nuremberg Principles (erroneously conflating the Nuremberg Laws with the Nuremberg Principles, two very different things), not that he’s likening mandates to the Nuremberg Laws. This interpretation might well be correct, and I might have misheard. However, even if it is what Schneider was saying that would not render his analogy any less brain dead than if he were indeed likening school vaccine mandates to the Nuremberg Laws. The reason, of course, is that it is the very principles laid down in the Nuremberg Code to protect human research subjects, as well as in other documents such as the Belmont Report, that render the “vax vs. unvaxed” study whose absence Schneider laments so loudly and whose “need” he illustrates using his even more brain dead analogy comparing vaccines to car seats completely unethical. Moreover, since school vaccine mandates are not research, the Nuremberg Code doesn’t apply to them anyway. In other words, whichever interpretation of Schneider’s statement is the correct one, he’s illustrating what can only be described as thermonuclear-grade burning stupid. Think about it. Either Schneider is brainlessly pulling a Godwin, or he’s demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of what the Nuremberg Code is and says, as well as a complete lack of understanding of some very basic clinical trial ethics. (Take your pick.) Finally, Schneider clearly Godwinned the issue in his Tweet anyway. So my characterization of him as viewing school vaccine mandates as some sort of fascistic destruction of freedom stands as still accurate, and that doesn’t even take into account his likening vaccine mandates to eugenics laws 80 years ago mandating the sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally retarded.

Comments

  1. #1 Cynical Pediatrician
    State of disbelief
    September 18, 2012

    I still say Doesn’tMatter is a poe. A monkey with a keyboard could produce a more rational and factually correct post.

  2. #2 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 18, 2012

    I still say Doesn’tMatter is a poe. A monkey with a keyboard could produce a more rational and factually correct post.

    You offer that description as if it ruled out antivaxxers.

  3. #3 Doesn'tMatter
    September 18, 2012

    Obviously none of you will admit that there are any flaws in vaccines, whats so ever(which is also ignorant). And any point any one who shows the slightest arguments against vaccines you all just attack that person and don’t answer the questions they have for you.
    And to say that we are all liars, just adds to the ignorant factor.
    Any vaccine I have ever taken has done nothing but make me sick, literally.
    I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at age 15(Right after the hpv vax) which they also called an auto immune disorder. Symptoms included swelling of my joints, endless pain in every joint in my body, rashes, dropping weight. I was bed ridden for months because I was in such pain. I have been to more specialist than most people see in their life time and poked with more needles because of this so called genetic disease, which they don’t even have a name for (Supposedly). I was prescribed antibiotics for 2 years, not one single dose ever helped me. At 18, when my medical insurance dropped I stopped talking all of the prescriptions they gave me, and stop taking their injections and went to a homeopath and got 4 different vitamins. I showed results almost immediately, and got sick twice that next year. Compared to my normal, bed ridden routine I’d say thats pretty good. I have not had ANY problems since then. I don’t take any medications, I deal with everything naturally. It WORKS for me. From my personal experience, I don’t trust doctors and am down right sick of them. With the exception of the doctor who told me that if it works for me then it works for him. I still see him, In fact he’s a good friend of mine.

  4. #4 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    September 18, 2012

    Any chance you’ll actually answer one of my questions?

    Like which vaccine on the current American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal?

  5. #5 lilady
    September 18, 2012

    “Obviously none of you will admit that there are any flaws in vaccines, whats so ever(which is also ignorant). And any point any one who shows the slightest arguments against vaccines you all just attack that person and don’t answer the questions they have for you.”

    Au contraire, Doesn’t Matter. You presented some factoids as facts about cancer rates and a link to vaccination. I provided facts and a link to cancer rates in the USA. You also made some wild claims about smallpox vaccine and I provided you with accurate information and the links to that information.

    “And to say that we are all liars, just adds to the ignorant factor.”

    You haven’t presented any facts, as opposed to your ignorant uninformed comments to dissuade us from our conclusion that you are, in fact, a liar.

    “Any vaccine I have ever taken has done nothing but make me sick, literally.”

    Really, Doesn’t Matter? Extraordinary statements require extraordinary documentation…which you haven’t provided.

    “I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at age 15(Right after the hpv vax) which they also called an auto immune disorder. Symptoms included swelling of my joints, endless pain in every joint in my body, rashes, dropping weight. I was bed ridden for months because I was in such pain. I have been to more specialist than most people see in their life time and poked with more needles because of this so called genetic disease, which they don’t even have a name for (Supposedly).

    How about providing a hint or a link to that “rare genetic (late-onset) disorder?

    Did you make file claims for all those vaccines that caused all those vaccine injuries?

    “They” don’t even have a name for (Supposedly)…again why should we believe you, that you were diagnosed with a “rare (late-onset) disorder?

    “I was prescribed antibiotics for 2 years, not one single dose ever helped me.”

    I’m calling bullsh*t on that statement. I know of no “rare genetic disorder” (late-onset or early onset), that has ever been treated with antibiotics.

    “At 18, when my medical insurance dropped I stopped talking all of the prescriptions they gave me, and stop taking their injections and went to a homeopath and got 4 different vitamins. I showed results almost immediately, and got sick twice that next year.”

    What are those miraculous “vitamins” that improved your “rare late-onset, unnamed genetic disorder”? Do you know the difference between a genetic disorder and a bacterial infection?

    “Compared to my normal, bed ridden routine I’d say thats pretty good. I have not had ANY problems since then. I don’t take any medications, I deal with everything naturally. It WORKS for me.”

    Bullsh*t!

    “From my personal experience, I don’t trust doctors and am down right sick of them. With the exception of the doctor who told me that if it works for me then it works for him. I still see him, In fact he’s a good friend of mine.”

    Bullsh*t!

  6. #6 AdamG
    September 18, 2012

    Obviously none of you will admit that there are any flaws in vaccines

    Nobody here claims that vaccines are 100% effective. There’s always risk, just like seatbelts. However, this doesn’t mean that what you’re claiming is true.

    I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at age 15(Right after the hpv vax) which they also called an auto immune disorder

    this so called genetic disease, which they don’t even have a name for (Supposedly)

    As someone who actually studies rare genetic disorders I find your story quite curious. What disorder were you diagnosed with? If in fact the disorder is unnamed (which I find highly unlikely, us geneticists love naming things), what particular gene or genes were found to be causal? Also, you write as if the antibiotics were supposed to help your underlying disorder. I find this highly unlikely…could it be that they were prescribed to you to combat infection because you are immunosuppressed? My read is that you’re not giving us the whole story here.

  7. #7 novalox
    September 18, 2012

    @doesn’tmatter

    [citation needed]

    But of course, you won’t bother, and still post your ignorant drivel here.

    Makes for a few good laughs at your expense.

  8. #8 dedicated lurker
    September 18, 2012

    That sounds like lupus to me, which is neither rare nor treated with antibiotics.

  9. #9 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    At home, in front of my computer
    September 19, 2012

    Is it possible to be diagnosed with a ‘rare genetic disorder’ that doesn’t have a name? I mean, if it’s unknown and unnamed, how can a diagnosis be given? Wouldn’t they require testing until they figured out what it is? I mean, I thought that was the entire point behind diagnosis, to figure out what the ailment is and then they’d have a clear path on how to treat it. That’s what has been my experience anyway. If it is unknown and unnamed, then it would be a new disorder and they’d need to do additional testing to pin point the cause so they could figure out what it is, give it a name so a person can have a diagnosis and then work out treatment strategies. Am I wrong on this? Help me out here guys, because that seems quite far fetched to me.

  10. #10 lilady
    September 19, 2012

    @ Lara: “Doesn’t Matter” doesn’t have a rare late-onset genetic disorder…the *tip off* is the antibiotics prescribed and other nonsense that “Doesn’t Matter” provided.

    Here’s a partial list of genetic disorders from Wikipedia…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genetic_disorders#Full_list

    The NIH has a research department where patients with extremely rare patterns of a *syndrome*, that is yet unnamed, are investigated…

    http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Resources.aspx?PageID=31

    I saw a documentary on PBS ~ one year ago, where several patients who had unnamed syndromes were being seen by physicians at the NIH, for evaluations, genetic and other tests. It was a fascinating program.

  11. #11 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    September 19, 2012

    @lilady

    While I doubt that it is an brand spankin-new, never-before-seen, unnamed genetic disorder, I am willing to give Doesnt’Matter the benefit of the doubt on having been prescribed antibiotics. Just not for the reason she specified. I suspect that she just didn’t understand the purpose and, like AdamG, think that the reason may have been due to her being immunocompromised and to prevent bacterial infection, rather than to treat the supposed genetic disorder.

    Oh, and Doesn’tMatter? I will readily admit that vaccines are not 100% safe or effective. I will even readily agree when the actual flaws are pointed out. However, you have yet to do so and instead offer only your warped-reality version of vaccines. If you want agreement, then try adhering to facts and the real world, rather than your own imaginings.

  12. #12 lilady
    September 19, 2012

    As the parent of a child with a rare genetic disorder, whose pattern of anomalies were apparent at birth and who made the rounds of geneticists and who met other parents who had children with different rare genetic disorders, I’m still calling bullsh*t on “Doesn’t Matter’s” every statement. My son’s rare genetic disorder was correctly diagnosed when he was two years old by Dr. Rapin…who is familiar to every parent who has an autistic child.

    The are other rare genetic disorders that are “late onset” types. There are none that require two years of antibiotics and then “poof” are treated with four vitamins.

  13. […] are the lies of the antivaccine movement.) Indeed, Rob Schneider, of all people, has arisen as a new celebrity leader of the antivaccine resistance to AB 2109 on par with the idiocy of Jenny McCarthy on vaccines, even going so far as to claim vaccines are a […]

  14. […] are the lies of the antivaccine movement.) Indeed, Rob Schneider, of all people, has arisen as a new celebrity leader of the antivaccine resistance to AB 2109 on par with the idiocy of Jenny McCarthy on vaccines, even going so far as to claim vaccines are a […]

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