Does anybody remember the Canary Party? As I described two and a half years ago when I first became aware of it, the Canary Party is a weird mutant hybrid of antivaccinationists convinced that there are “toxins” in vaccines that are making all our children autistic, “health freedom” activists, and, more recently, Tea Party activists. The name of the party was chosen based on the old story about how miners would keep canaries in the mine because they were more sensitive to toxic gases. The idea was that, if the miners saw their canary collapse, they knew they’d better get out of that shaft pronto. Canaries are members of a more general class of creatures known as animal sentinels. In any case, the idea behind the party is that our children are supposedly like those canaries, sentinels who are more sensitive to environmental dangers, such as (to the Canary Party) vaccines, heavy metals, and various chemicals, a generation of children that the Canary Party describes as “over vaccinated and over medicated, over fed, undernourished and have record levels of chronic illness and developmental delay.” Most recently, dimwitted comedian Rob Schneider has taken up with Canary Party antivaccine cause, lending his “talents” to the narration of a video chock full of misinformation about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
So what next for the Canary Party? Well, yesterday I learned something that amused me greatly. In fact, it looks to me as though the Canary Party has found its soulmate in the form of Mike Adams. As anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, there are two main honchos in the online world of quackery. One is Joe Mercola, who’s been known to promote a cancer quack who claims that all cancer is a fungus and baking soda is the cure. Of course, he’s into the standard stuff, too: Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, all sorts of varied quackery, and, of course, boatloads of supplements, which he is happy to sell you through his online store. He’s the sane one. The crazy one is Mike Adams, who is known not only for his rabid antivaccine views, but for his equally rabid hatred of any conventional medicine (particularly psychiatric medications). He’s also, not coincidentally, a New World Order conspiracy theorists, an NRA-style gun rights advocate, and an anthropogenic global warming denialist. No wonder he’s a regular on Alex Jones’ website and online video and radio empire. He also seems to be a match maid in heaven for The Canary Party, whose platform he calls “life protecting“:
Today is a milestone day for Natural News because it is the first time we are officially endorsing the platform of a political party. However, the Canary Party is really more of an activism group right now with the aim of influencing elections. You are not likely to actually see Canary Party candidates any time in the very near future (although you might a few years out).
What is the Canary Party? It’s a group of moms, dads, concerned citizens and scientists who recognize the severe harm being caused to our world and our children by toxic heavy metals and synthetic chemicals found in vaccines, medicines, foods, personal care products and even products for the home. Their published mission statement is:
The Canary Party is a movement created to stand up for the victims of medical injury, environmental toxins and industrial foods by restoring balance to our free and civil society and empowering consumers to make health and nutrition decisions that promote wellness.
And why does Mike like the Canary Party so much? Oh, just a few reasons that I bet you can figure out:
The issue of the mass poisoning of humanity transcends all other political concerns except for liberty. Freedom from being covertly poisoned by unethical corporations is, in fact, a form of liberty. So, in essence, the Canary Party is founded in liberty and focused on some of its most important areas of application: medical freedom, health freedom, food freedom and freedom from harm by insidious corporations that spew chemicals with no regard for the sanctity of life.
The Canary Party, for example, believes in “vaccine choice” — the idea that individuals and parents should have the right to choose whether they wish to be vaccinated rather than having vaccines forced upon them by the state. This idea of medical freedom is essential to liberty and it is found in the debates leading up to the creation of the United States Constitution (see the writings of Dr. Benjamin Rush).
Don’t you just love it when Mike Adams goes all Founding Fathers, liberty, and health freedom on us? Truly, he is the very definition of crank magnetism. There is no quackery he will not embrace, no conspiracy theory that he won’t uncritically swallow. No wonder he loves the Canary Party. Just look at its position paper! I’ve deconstructed it before, but it’s been a while; so it’s worth briefly touching upon again. No doubt Adams also knows about how the Canary Party tried to buy Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for for $40,000 and managed to get a useless Congressional hearing and a kiss and a promise of another hearing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in November. In other words, the Canary Party was played by a savvy political operator. Of course, if you look at the list of initial signatories to the Canary Party position paper, you’ll see a lot of familiar names. It’s like a who’s who of the antivaccine movement, with a special emphasis on the Age of Autism and SafeMinds wing: Ginger Taylor, John Stone, Mark Blaxill, Rebecca Estepp, Julie Obradovic, and more. Hilariously, they all include their degrees after their names, none of which include an MD degree. There are lots of MBAs, MAs, and Ginger Taylor’s MS, none of which confer any expertise in biology, medicine, immunology, autism, or vaccines. But they proudly display them anyway. Sure, there are a couple of RNs, an LICSW, and a couple of PhDs, but none of them look like anything that bespeaks expertise in the relevant sciences behind vaccines, and, make no mistake about it, the Canary Party is all about the vaccines far more than it is about anything else.
Oh, and there’s Sherri Tennpenny, DO, one of the more—shall we say?—science-challenged antivaccine activists, which is probably why Adams likes her so much:
The only person I really know in the Canary Party is Sherri Tenpenny, and she’s a brilliant, science-minded researcher with a lot to teach the world about vaccines and immunology.
As of yet, I don’t know the other Canary Party members very well, so this is not a personal endorsement of each and every person involved in the Canary Party; it’s an endorsement of the Canary Party platform and philosophy — something that’s far larger than any individual or group.
The philosophy of the Canary Party is powerful and timeless. Whereas the currently philosophy of Democrats and Republicans is to protect POWER, the philosophy of the Canary Party is to protect LIFE.
One wonders how trying to persuade parents not to vaccinate is “protecting LIFE.” The only result of declining vaccination levels, particularly if they decline well below herd immunity levels, will be the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases that used to kill children by the thousands. Antivaccinationists will claim that this can’t happen, that better hygiene and sanitation have vanquished diseases like polio in industrialized countries to history. Of course, the lessons of the UK and Europe are rather instructive, given how the measles, once all but vanquished, came roaring back in the wake of Andrew Wakefield’s fear mongering about the MMR vaccine. If you think the same thing wouldn’t happen within a decade after vaccination rates plummet to the near non-existent rate that antivaccinationists want, well, I have some land in Florida I’d love to sell you—or maybe a bridge. Whenever vaccination rates plummet too much, vaccine-preventable infectious diseases like the measles come back. Always. And the measles is transmitted mainly by air and fomites; so better sanitation is not going to stop it.
In the end, I rather suspect that the Canary Party doesn’t know what it’s in for. Right now, I’ve been told that Ginger Taylor is quite happy that Mike Adams has publicly endorsed the Canary Party, and why not? He runs a Web 2.0 empire selling quackery, conspiracy theories, AGW denialism, and Tea Party politics. He can certainly bring attention to the group. However, if, as is apparent by the way that the Canary Party tried to buy influence by donating to Rep. Issa, the Canary Party wants to present itself as a mainstream party of “concerned parents and citizens,” having Mike Adams on board sure won’t help with that. Nothing screams “lunatic fringe” like Adams, particularly his association with Alex Jones.
On second thought, maybe it’s a good thing that Adams endorsed the Canary Party. It ought to be good for a few laughs at the very minimum. It’ll probably be good for an occasional blog post. At the very most, it will destroy any hope the Canary Party has of convincing anyone that it’s anything more than a bunch of antivaccine cranks. You know? I like that.