Respectful Insolence

Not surprisingly, being a guy who leans mildly left, I like The Daily Show. Jon Stewart and his writers are incredibly adept at skewering all manner of bovine excrement, be it political, scientific, or otherwise. In particular, the way Stewart and company skewered the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) for its promotion of the chemical industry. Indeed, Samantha Bee, who did the infamous Little Crop of Horrors segment that mocked ACSH for its defense of pesticides über alles and its criticism of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative.

Another Daily Show segment by Samantha Bee is making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and the skeptical blogs. As is usually the case with one of Bee’s segments, it’s quite funny. It mocks the antivaccine movement. It also features one of my heros, Paul Offit. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, although Bee nails it when it comes to pointing out that antivaccine sentiment is antiscientific and just as immune to change as any global climate change denialism or creationist views, she gets it wrong when she parrots the standard stereotype that vaccine denialism is primarily a liberal issue. Check it out the report, An Outbreak of Liberal Idiocy:

In the piece, in particular Bee makes fun of a crunchy lifestyle blogger, Sarah Pope, who, after establishing her liberal-crunchy bona fides (after Bee’s amusing prompts, of course), rattles off pretty much every antivaccine trope and bit of misinformation and pseudoscience in the antivaccine canon, claiming herd immunity is myth, that vaccines cause autism, that they don’t work, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Yesterday, Pope wrote about the interview thusly:

“The Epidemic of Idiocy” that The Daily Show segment labels the no-vaccination movement is head scratching given that the anti-vaccine movement is being led by the most educated in our society.

Are all those parents with college degrees, master’s degrees, PhDs and, yes, even many MDs that are saying no to shots for their kids complete idiots?

Highly doubtful!

No-vax parents aren’t the real “science deniers”. In fact, they the ones most interested in the science because they are digging into the research and demanding unbiased, objective data to support vaccination, not the slanted version presented by the CDC and conventional pediatricians like Dr. Offit who makes millions supporting the very industry that handsomely maintains his lifestyle.

Uh, no.

No matter how much Ms. Pope wants to claim the mantle of science through the University of Google, she and her fellow antivaccine activists are just as antiscience as anthropogenic global climate change denialists and creationists (a.k.a., evolution denialists). They also share another important trait with people holding those antiscience beliefs. They’re just really, really good at motivated reasoning, and one reason they’re so good at motivated reasoning is because they are educated and smart, which is why vaccine denialists and other science denialists are sometimes referred to as “smart idiots.” It’s a very apt term. I do, however thank The Daily Show for making me aware of Ms. Pope. Her blog looks like—shall we say?—a highly “target-rich” environment for potential future blog posts.

As for the political angle, which is where Samantha Bee and The Daily Show went wrong, I’ve frequently said in the past that antivaccine views are the pseudoscience and quackery that span all political persuasions. It’s true that areas with a lot of affluent people on the coasts where the politics tends to lean heavily liberal, have been focuses of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses. However, there is also a very strong strain of antivaccine views on the right as well, including General Bert Stubblebine III’s Natural Solutions Foundation, far right libertarians, and others who distrust the government, including government-recommended vaccine schedules.

Indeed, many of the the antivaccine people and groups whom I monitor tend to be anything but liberal politically. For example, The Canary Party, a rabidly antivaccine group that pushes the idea that toxins in vaccines are responsible for autism and all sorts of health issues and that autism “biomed” quackery is the way to cure vaccine injury recently teamed up with the East Bay Tea Party to oppose vaccine mandates in California. Moreover, the Canary Party has also recently been sucking up to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), with one of its major financial backers, Jennifer Larson, contributing a lot of money to Issa’s campaign (indirectly, of course) in order to buy influence and win a hearing by his committee examining autism and focused on vaccines as one potential cause. Fortunately, Issa’s hearing in 2012 was a bust.

Let’s look at the most prominent politicians making antivaccine statements or backing antivaccine causes. Although he’s retired now (fortunately), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) was for many years the foremost promoter of the idea that vaccines cause autism. His activities in support of antivaccine views as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were legion while he was in Congress. For instance, Burton held showboating, Kangaroo court-style hearings about thimerosal and autism back in 2002 that remind me, more than anything else, of the hearings about Stanislaw Burzynski by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) back in the 1990s. Burton also was known for harassing FDA officials over thimerosal in vaccines, and at one point tried to insert himself into the Autism Omnibus hearings by writing a letter to the Special Masters asking them to consider crappy scientific papers (such as the paper by Hitlan, which was pure crap) allegedly supporting a link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. Burton wasn’t the only one. As I mentioned, his successor as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Darrell Issa, is flirting with the antivaccine Canary Party, although it’s not clear whether he’s a true believer or just opportunistically taking Larson’s money and then throwing her a hearing or two to make it look as though she got something for her money.

Also on the right-wing antivaccine political crew is Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who’s introduced dubious legislation demanding the Holy Grail for antivaccinationists, a “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study. True, Posey co-sponsored the bill with Carol Maloney (D-NY), who is also apparently antivaccine, but she’s the only Democrat I’ve ever been able to find willing to go on record supporting a piece of legislation giving the antivaccine movement something it desperately wants. Meanwhile, prominent Republican and occasional candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, Donald Trump, is a rabid antivaccinationist, while Michelle Bachman has been known to drop the occasional antivaccine bon mot as well. Meanwhile, the Texas Republican Party famously included a “vaccine choice” plank in its 2012 party platform.

It’s not just right wing politicians, either. FOX News, for instance, isn’t above pushing anti-vaccine nonsense. For example, of late the FOX and Friends crew has been doing sympathetic pieces on Andrew Wakefield, interviews with Dr. Bob Sears, SafeMinds’ anti-vaccine PSA campaign, Louise Kuo Habakus (who is virulently anti-vaccine herself and politically active in New Jersey pushing for transparent “philosophical exemption” laws), while FOX News fell for the story of a young woman claiming dystonia from a vaccine. (FOX News has also been known to promote blatant cancer quackery.)

Unfortunately, there aren’t actually a lot of good data examining whether there is a correlation between political affiliation and anti-vaccine views. I blogged about this very issue a three years ago, discussing an article by Chris Mooney looking at polling data and doing the best he could to characterize the politics of vaccine denialism. It’s worth doing a brief recap of that discussion here. Reanalyzing a poll from 2009 asking about Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine views, specifically how many people were aware of them and how many were more or less likely to agree with them, Brendan Nyhan and Chris Mooney found:

So here are the results: Liberals (41% not aware, 38 % aware but not more likely, 21 % aware and more likely); Moderates (48% not aware, 28% aware but not more likely, 24% aware and more likely); Conservatives (49% not aware, 28 % aware but not more likely, 23% aware and more likely).

These results basically suggest that there’s little or no political divide in terms of who falls for Jenny McCarthy’s misinformation. Notably, liberals were somewhat more aware of her claims and yet, nevertheless, were least likely to listen to them. But not by a huge margin or anything.

Mooney also noted another poll done by Pew regarding whether vaccines should be mandatory:

What’s interesting here is that Pew also provided a political breakdown of the results, and there was simply no difference between Democrats and Republicans. 71% of members of both parties said childhood vaccinations should be required, while 26% of Republicans and 27% of Democrats said parents should decide. (Independents were slightly worse: 67% said vaccinations should be required, while 30% favored parental choice.)

Bottom line: There’s no evidence here to suggest that vaccine denial (and specifically, believing that childhood vaccines cause autism) is a distinctly left wing or liberal phenomenon. However, I will reiterate that we don’t really have good surveys at this point that are clearly designed to get at this question.

So, yes, the evidence is admittedly weak, but the evidence that we do have suggests that antivaccine views are prevalent across the right and the left, with little or no discernible difference in prevalence between the groups. Although we all know about the unreliability of anecdotal evidence, this concept is in line with my experience, as well. Although I can’t discount the possibility that my impression is influenced by confirmation bias, I’ve noticed a lot of right wing vaccine denialism. Basically, right wing and left wing vaccine denialists tend to justify their antiscience stance using different rationales. From the right, the reasons to reject vaccines tend to be grounded in suspicion of government, support for “health freedom” (or, as I like to call it, the freedom of quacks from pesky government interference with their selling their wares), and rejecting any idea that they have an obligation to contribute to herd immunity. In contrast, left-wing antivaccinationists tend to ground their views in appeals to “nature” and “natural” immunity plus suspicion of pharmaceutical companies. Similarly, alternative medicine use tends not to fall into an easy left-right dichotomy either. My favorite example to illustrate this point is that, even though alternative medicine is viewed as a crunchy, “New Age” phenomenon more prevalent on the left, the Nazi regime actively promoted naturopathy and various other “volkish” alternative medicine modalities. I realize this is an extreme example, but it’s intentionally extreme.

Indeed, I’ve even noticed that (and written a characteristically detailed post about how) antivaccinationists seem particularly home with the libertarian movement. In it, I noted that when Ronald Bailey of Reason.com wrote an article entitled Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk: A pragmatic argument for coercive vaccination, the reaction from his fellow Libertarians was less than receptive. Indeed, at the right-wing Libertarian FreedomFest in 2012, I was privileged to watch a debate between Julian Whitaker and Steve Novella about vaccines. At the debate, vaccine pseudoscience flowed freely from Whitaker in a most embarrassing fashion, and I couldn’t help but note that FreedomFest that year featured two screenings of Leslie Manookian’s antivaccine propaganda piece, The Greater Good. The same conference had featured antivaccine talks in previous years. Ironically, at one point, one of the antivaccine bloggers at the crank blog Age of Autism blamed “progressivism” for failing to “get” autism. (Translation: From his perspective, his fellow progressives don’t accept the vaccine-autism link the way he would like.)

So, although Samantha Bee’s segment is, as usual, very funny, it is unfortunately based on a premise that is a convenient stereotype, not to mention demonstrably almost certainly wrong. Here’s hoping that The Daily Show doesn’t screw up this badly again about such an important issue any time soon. If Bee and Stewart want to consider how badly they went wrong, they have only to look at where the worst outbreak of measles has been this year. It isn’t in California (although there are outbreaks there). It is in Ohio, with Knox county having the most cases as of today. Note that Mitt Romney won Knox County 61% to 37% in 2012. In fact, all of the counties with measles cases reported voted overwhelmingly Republican in the last election, one of them (Holmes County) giving Mitt Romney a margin of 75% to 23%. That’s more than three to one. Barack Obama won none of these counties. Not a single one.

Think about that, Ms. Bee and Mr. Stewart.

Comments

  1. #1 Mary M
    June 4, 2014

    I didn’t see them claim that this was unique to the left–just that there was an outbreak of it on the left. And the problem is they hypocrisy of this stand when the left wants to cling to science on climate, stem cells, women’s reproductive health, etc.

    Just like the idea that the Tea Party doesn’t speak for all Republicans, but they would be characterized as an outbreak of lunacy on the right.

    I remember the anti-vaxxers booth at the DailyKos convention. I was horrified.

  2. #2 Rogue Medic
    http://roguemedic.com/
    June 4, 2014

    I thought that Pope was just playing a role.

    Pope – Poe – it’s obvious. she is a plant, but not in a naturopathic way.

    Maybe the best way to convince the right winf vaccine denialists is to show them their left wing twins.

    .

  3. #3 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    I didn’t see them claim that this was unique to the left–just that there was an outbreak of it on the left.

    No, the segment tried to make it seem as though antivaccine views were primarily a left-wing phenomenon, even setting viewers up with the fake-out at the beginning in which Bee seemed to be preparing to blame right-wing science denialists for the resurgence of antivaccine views (and hence the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases), only to be “shocked” to “discover” that it’s coming from the left. That’s the whole joke, which is based on a stereotype that isn’t true, namely that it’s the crunch lefties who are the main force behind vaccine denialism.

  4. #4 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    thought that Pope was just playing a role.

    Oh, no. Peruse her website. Pope is antivaccine to the core and promotes a whole lot of “natural” woo.

  5. #5 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 4, 2014

    Their is an anti-vaxxer candidate running for the Senate in West Virginia, as a member of far-far-right Constitution Party. His name is Phil Hudok. His daughter was banned from high school two years ago after the family refused to follow new vaccination rules.

  6. #6 space
    June 4, 2014

    Although anecdotal data are obviously not “real” evidence, if I look at who in my circles of friends online and offline is into anti-vaccinationism, alternative medicine, restrictive diets, and even just “crunchiness” in general, it seems quite independent of politics. I’m inclined to think, in fact, that these things have a relationship to social elite status or aspirations to said status. And to not being into scientific skepticism.

  7. #7 imr90
    Western Massachusetts
    June 4, 2014

    Of course I can’t speak for the Daily Show, but I think part of the strength of their approach here is that by focusing on the left’s involvement it bolsters the segment’s credibility. Since the Daily Show and its viewers (myself included) lean liberal politically, and they usually skewer the right (deservedly IMHO), they can’t be accused of just taking another easy shot at right-wing wackadoos.

  8. #8 c0nc0rdance
    June 4, 2014

    I’ll add my anecodote as well: My Facebook wall is filled with very Republican/Tea Party friends and acquaintances (I live in Texas), and yet a surprising number of them are anti-vax for Libertarian or even religious reasons.

    It’s a rare case where the result is the same (anti-vax), but the reasons are very different. The verbiage also differs: you’ll hear about “forced medication” and “meddling in God’s creation” instead of references to “chemicals”. The completely refuted autism linkage is likewise non-partisan. There’s a weird dichotomy about distrusting everything new in science, but also touting new technological developments as exciting and new.

    An excellent observation, Orac, often missed by others in our community.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    Both AoA and TMR ( who are not quite exactly the same people despite a large overlap of personnel) seem to have members who are left, right and not political. Just off the top of my head, Jameson is conservative and MacNeil is left. Olmsted leans left and Blaxill right. Occasionally their articles espress their politcal views. The Canary Party faction seems libertarian by design.

    Antivax woo-meisters like Adams and Null try to play both sides of the fence ( courting paying customers is more important than ideological purity amongst the ranks) but opt for low tax/ non-regulatory libertarian solutions which makes sense : why pay for a social safety net for people if you yourself will never need one?.

  10. #10 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    It just occurred to me. I never even mentioned Mike Adams, who goes into far right conspiracy theory territory.

  11. #11 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    Their is an anti-vaxxer candidate running for the Senate in West Virginia, as a member of far-far-right Constitution Party. His name is Phil Hudok. His daughter was banned from high school two years ago after the family refused to follow new vaccination rules.

    Heh. And West Virginia, if I call correctly, is one of only two states without even a religious exemption for school vaccine mandates. :-)

  12. #12 Rebecca Fisher
    June 4, 2014

    Here’s interesting piece about the UK’s latest right-wing nutcases, UKIP, and some of their other beliefs. Note the end of the last paragraph.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2014/05/2015-election?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/heres_looking_at_ukip

    *depressed*

  13. #13 lilady
    June 4, 2014

    I found the segment quite amusing and IMO, it might have diluted the message about silly “beliefs” regarding vaccines, if it included an interview with a far-to-the-right individual. I tend to stick with the science when I post comments on blogs and I disparage those posters who bring politics into the discussion.

    Orac, you haven’t posted an article recently, exclusively devoted to Bill Maher and his anti-vaccine beliefs. :-)

  14. #14 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    The reason’s simple. Bill Maher hasn’t said anything loony about vaccines lately that I’m aware of. Burned badly from his antivaccine stylings in the past, he seems to have toned down the nuttiness about vaccines and medicine, at least on his TV show, which I do watch from time to time because it’s usually pretty funny. I’d actually be more than happy—nay, eager!—to do another post about Maher if he were to spout off again about vaccines. I’d also note that I have done multiple posts about the antivaccine stylings of Rob Schneider, who has been portrayed as the next big political comedian in progressive politics:

    http://punchlinemagazine.tumblr.com/post/861548413/rob-schneider-our-next-big-political-comedian

  15. #15 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 4, 2014

    The night that this segment aired, I happened to be up later than usual and turned on The Daily Show to watch until I fell asleep. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the segment and thought how lucky it was to have caught it. While I agree, Orac, that anti-vaccine views span the political spectrum, and TDS and Bee messed up on that front, I don’t see how they could have covered both left and right angles in the same segment with the same power. Maybe they could do a followup (unlikely at this point, barring any significant changes in the outbreaks) looking at the right side of the aisle, but without going well beyond their time constraints…

    I think one of the strengths of the segment was showing that, “Hey, look! Liberals can be anti-science whackos, too!”

  16. #16 Yvette
    June 4, 2014

    I think that the anti-vaccine left and right have more in common with each other than they do the political middle. They are both paranoid and conspiracy prone. They feel victimized and deny science equally. This has been described in the past as the “horseshoe theory” of politics.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Horseshoe_theory

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    @ Yvette:

    Both are insistent upon returning to Nature and the pristine edenic condition in which humans flourished in ages past prior to Original Sin or Corporate Greed ( choose one- oh wait..they may be essentially the same).

    A sly woo-meister can tailor his rhetoric and adverts towards creating a renaissance of purity either way- God’s Green Earth or the People’s Republic of Gaia. Both woo-meisters I regularly survey speak of science infused with ‘spirituality’ as well.

  18. #18 Mike
    June 4, 2014

    I am sure I will receive response about false equivalence, but I think there is sufficient research to say that people on both the left and right can easily dismiss or reject science if it does not fit in with their ideology. The study found that people who could correctly solve non partisan math problems could not solve the same problem correctly if the result went against their preconceived ideologies. I recall that on the left, solving math problems which showed increased guns lowering crime rates caused issues for people. The same phenomenon happened to people on the right, but I can’t recall the topic.

    In the case of vaccines, those distrusting of big businesses from the left will not trust science which says they are safe. Those distrusting of government will not trust vaccines mandated by government.

    In the case of globl warming, the sceince suported the preconceived ideology of a strong central government regulating big businesses, so the science was easy to accept. In contrast, the sceince went againt the preconceived ideology on the right so it was hard to accept.

    GMOs is an area where the science seems to be hard for those on the left to accept but easier for those on the right to accept. Acceptance of certain scientific findings can unfrotunately be predicted based on the ideology of the person. The ideology of the person does not seem to matter as long as the scientific finding is in contrast to preconceived ideology, wheher it is the righ or the left.

  19. #19 Mike
    June 4, 2014

    Organic also seems to be a left wing anti-science movement as well that seems to fit in with those supporing homeopathy. If I recall correctly, almost all of the congressional members of the organic caucus are left wing.

  20. #20 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    June 4, 2014

    While there is anti-vax on both ends of the political spectrum, they tend to be for different reasons. On the left, it’s because vaccines are “unnatural”, “toxic”, and produced by Big Pharma. On the right, religious rationales tend to be more common — vaccines go against the idea that we are created perfect and that God’s healing is the best healing. As a consequence, I think the left wing antivax position has the most growth potential, and so perhaps is worthy of attacking first (if a “divide and conquer” approach is to be used).

  21. #22 lilady
    June 4, 2014

    Off-Topic. John D. Stone has a sliming post up about Ben Goldacre’s transparency in research initiative; Goldacre has gotten two comments through moderation.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2014/06/goldacres-munich-agreement.html

    Stone’s defense is pathetic; time for AoA to get a new U.K. editor.

  22. #23 ahtitus
    June 4, 2014

    Based on the scant data available, there seem to be anti-vaxers on both left and right, and it is fine to point this out if true.

    However, this does not mean, and should not be construed as meaning, that both left and right are equally anti-science. A handful of equal quantities of anti-vaxers on both sides does not balance the far too huge number of climate change deniers and creationists on the right. False equivalency is the result.

  23. #24 lilady
    June 4, 2014

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, has a post up about her appearance on Jon Stewart’s Show:

    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/appearance-daily-show-jon-stewart/

  24. #25 Shay
    June 4, 2014

    In addition to the “It’s God’s Will” crowd of right-wing anti-vaxxer’s, there is the “Gummint can’t tell me what to do with my kids” variation and the less often seen “FEMA puts microchips in vaccines so they can track us” whackdoodles.*

    (*Seriously. I had that thrown at me during the H1N1 response).

  25. #26 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    However, this does not mean, and should not be construed as meaning, that both left and right are equally anti-science.

    No one here says it does. In fact, the reason that antivax beliefs are so frequently presented as being most prevalent on the left is precisely for that purpose: To produce a false equivalence that goes something like, “Well, there might be AGW and evolution denialism on the right, but look at all those loony antivaxers on the left!” That’s part of the reason I wrote this piece, in order to counter that false equivalence.

  26. #27 Krebiozen
    June 4, 2014

    Rebecca Fisher,

    Here’s interesting piece about the UK’s latest right-wing nutcases, UKIP, and some of their other beliefs.

    That’s very worrying indeed. I marched with the Anti Nazi League in the late 70s when the National Front looked like they were gaining ground, and I find it sad to see history repeating itself. I feel particularly bad because I forgot to vote last week – I put my polling card in my pocket when I went out, got distracted and only remembered after the polls closed, not that my vote would have made the slightest difference in my borough.

    I’m hoping UKIP is a flash in the pan, and most of the votes for them were protest votes from people who will vote otherwise next year when they realize there’s a real chance of them winning seats.

  27. #28 coco
    June 4, 2014

    I am a big fan of the Daily Show as well as a flaming liberal and, for what it’s worth, didn’t find the segment especially problematic. I completely understand the criticism that the segment frames anti-vaccination as a progressive plague, when it is not so clearly partisan. However, I thought the framing was a deliberate pedagogical choice based on their intended message and audience.

    There is, I think, a tendency among liberals/progresives (who comprise the majority of TDS’s audience) to assume that anti-scientific thinking is solely a right-wing phenomenon or even that anti-scientific thinking is motivated by conservative principles (traditional values, religion, etc.) to which liberals are (excuse the pun) immune. So, I saw the segment as attempting to counter a narrative that lets progressives off the hook with regard to anti-scientific thinking.

    If the intended message is that conservatives dont have a monopoly on anti-scientific thinking and that progressives need to be attuned to the ways that they too can fall victim to anti-scientific thinking, then I think the approach was right on. Presenting the issue as non-partisan would allow progressives to discount the possibility that their political ideologies may actually be predisposing them to certain assumptions. There may not be uniformity in the political orientations of anti-vaxxers, but I do think that there are political ideologies on both the right and left that are being mobilized to oppose vaccination. Pointing out how right-wing ideology can lead to anti-vaxx thinking isn’t particularly novel — I’m sure TDS’s audience is familiar with other examples of conservative anti-scientific thinking. But TDS can accomplish more by showing their (mostly) progressive audience that they, too, can succumb to anti-scientific nonsense despite all of their education and values.

  28. #29 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    June 4, 2014

    Shay — yes, I was forgetting about the libertarian lunatic fringe too. Maybe that’s part of the trouble; we put it on “left” and “right” and forget that the political spectrum isn’t a one-dimensional line, so there are really more than two directions. And more than two broad reasons to be antivax.

  29. #30 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    If the intended message is that conservatives dont have a monopoly on anti-scientific thinking and that progressives need to be attuned to the ways that they too can fall victim to anti-scientific thinking, then I think the approach was right on.

    Sure, but antivaccine views were a poor choice of antiscience to use to try to illustrate that point.

  30. #31 Claus
    June 4, 2014

    I’d agree that creationism is almost exclusively the province of the religious right. On the left side of the spectrum there are probably more GMO conspiracy theorists and alarmists.

  31. #32 Captian_a
    June 4, 2014

    Vote Democratic: It protects you from Measles!

  32. #33 Chris,
    June 4, 2014

    lilady: “Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, has a post up about her appearance on Jon Stewart’s Show:”

    I saw that. In the comments she is asked for the source of her comment that unvaccinted children are healthier than vaccinated children, so she provides this link in response:
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/survey-results-are-unvaccinated-children-healthier/

    It is all about the idiotic self-selected internet survey done by a German homeopath: A survey administered by a German anti-vaccine homeopath backfires spectacularly.

    Obviously her Ivy League education missed out on both basic science and statistics.

    And as for politics: there is anti-science on both side. It is very interesting to compare and contrast the anti-science blathering between my Fox News addicted father and my super feminist liberal niece.

    I had to help my father clear out his mail with Fox News blaring at us, and I found the stupid Whitaker newsletter with the flakey autism graph in one pile. And a few years earlier in the same living room my niece told me her homeopath had a PhD in chemical engineering, plus the woman had cured her son of autism. Aargh.

  33. #34 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 4, 2014

    @Rebecca Fisher and @Krebiozen: Well, not all went well for anti-vaxxers in the EU elections. The Five Star Movement in Italy is led by a notable anti-vaxxer (and its members have come out with weird statements, like vaccines causing homosexuality) and they came in a distant second.

    I have been wanting to ask knowledgeable people: what are the position of these far-right European parties re: medical hoaxes and quackery? We know how UKIP voters feel about vaccines, but what about UKIP? Has UKIP and the Front National and the Sweden Democrats, or their candidates, used conspiracy campaigns against vaccinations?

  34. #35 Sebastian Jackson
    June 4, 2014

    @Orac: I think if The Daily Show wanted to knock anti-science from the left, they should have taken a look at GMO-skeptics.

  35. #36 Yerushalmi
    June 4, 2014

    Personally I get the feeling that the antiscience “facts” parroted by right-wing antivaxers are presented merely as a useful proxy for their actual ideology of not letting government control their lives, while the antivaxers on the left present these “facts” for their own sake. It’s the difference between believing in what you say and taking advantage of useful idiots in the pursuit of your own agenda.

    If my theory is correct (and there’s no real evidence to support this, except for the characterizations you, Orac, yourself have presented, which is nowhere near enough for any purpose other than inviting further study), then we have an interesting dichotomy: From an antiscience standpoint, the left is much worse; from an integrity standpoint, the right is much worse.

  36. #37 Mike
    June 4, 2014

    @Orac in #30
    How was it not a good sbject choice to illstrate that some on the left wing side can have an ati-science response when the science does not fit in with preconceived ideology? While all anti-vaxxers are not left wing, roughly half are. That certainly seems enough to prove the point that coc was making in #28.

  37. #38 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    June 4, 2014

    I finally watched the segment (took a while to get the whole thing to load on this network) and my favorite bit is the last sentence:

    “So when Florida is under water and we all have polio, it will get better.”

    :-D Obviously a bit of gallows humor, but funny all the same. I don’t think it will get that bad; already I’m seeing mockery of anti-vaxxers on mainstream news comment sections, so they will end up in the lunatic fringe too.

  38. #39 Chris Hickie
    June 4, 2014

    The pooper scooper that is anti-vaccinationism carves a broad swath through all manner of political leanings.

  39. #40 who cares
    June 4, 2014

    @Sebastian Jackson(#33):
    The UKIP has been actively suppressing anything from their party that wasn’t an anti EU/isolationism or anti immigration message.
    Same goes for Front National. They’ve been riding a tight herd on the what was said and the message is (again) anti EU and general xenophobia.
    Don’t know about the Sweden Democrats but I’m guessing it is the same.

  40. #41 Krebiozen
    June 4, 2014

    lilady,

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist, has a post up about her appearance on Jon Stewart’s Show:

    I made the mistake of clicking on her link to Russell Blaylock’s piece supposedly explaining why herd immunity is a myth. I think I see where some recent trolls here got their misinformation. For example Blaylock claims that, “vaccine-induced immunity lasted for only a relatively short period, from 2 to 10 years at most, and then this applies only to humoral immunity”. This isn’t true, as we know. Some vaccines, acellular pertussis and tetanus for example, require boosters every few years, but MMR certainly doesn’t, and the extra doses required are not boosters, as Blaylock claims, but simply increase the percentage of people who are immune – 1 dose leads to about 70% immunity, 2 doses to 90% immunity if memory serves.

    Blaylock then goes into some weird ass-backwards logic:

    If we listen to present-day wisdom, we are all at risk of resurgent massive epidemics should the vaccination rate fall below 95%. Yet, we have all lived for at least 30 to 40 years with 50% or less of the population having vaccine protection. That is, herd immunity has not existed in this country for many decades and no resurgent epidemics have occurred. Vaccine-induced herd immunity is a lie used to frighten doctors, public-health officials, other medical personnel, and the public into accepting vaccinations.

    It seems obvious to me that the fact there haven’t been large outbreaks in those who were vaccinated with MMR 20 or more years ago proves that MMR-conferred protection lasts at least that long, and that herd immunity is a undeniable fact. How Blaylock can take prima facie evidence for vaccine efficacy lasting for several decades at least and interpret it to mean vaccines don’t work beats me. What possible explanation does he have for all those vaccinated baby boomers never having had measles, mumps and rubella?

    Blaylock really annoys me, waving his credentials about (world-renowned neurologist? I don’t think so) and spreading such idiotic misinformation.

  41. #42 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 4, 2014

    @WhoCares: It’s what I’ve heard, but I wanted to see if anything regarding vaccines or chemtrails or AIDS denial ever slipped through the filter.

    I know the Australian Vaccination Network was popular with granola people in its heyday, before they devolved into trolls. One of its members ran for a local council in 2012, and her Facebook page has a lot of pro-green granola propaganda.

  42. #43 lilady
    June 4, 2014

    I’ve got a comment stuck in moderation on Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s blog and I linked to Respectful Insolence. Let’s see if Sarah allows it.

  43. #44 Lawrence
    June 4, 2014

    @Kreb – the only way that logic works is if they blindly accept that vaccine-induced immunity is short-lived (which we know it is not for the vast majority of vaccines)…….because they are taking the first lie at “face-value” it allows them to accept the further lies based on the first one….very stupid logic, but it seems to work for them.

  44. #45 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 4, 2014

    Remember when Michele Bachmann tried to turn anti-vaxxerism into a campaign issue? Age of Autism fell over itself singing her praises, and J.B. Handley all put promised to vote for her: http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/09/michele-bachman-meet-dr-diane-harper-lead-researcher-for-gardasil-vaccine.html.

  45. #46 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 4, 2014

    Ref 18

    I think that the anti-vaccine left and right have more in common with each other than they do the political middle. They are both paranoid and conspiracy prone. They feel victimized and deny science equally. This has been described in the past as the “horseshoe theory” of politics.

    Quoted for truth.

    This has long been a teaching of my Church, as shown in this graphic -

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iaKgQja7IkI/TeV9fEpMlCI/AAAAAAAAAu0/rFwoqq-apYs/s1600/subgenius_big.jpg

    Yah, The Church of the SubGenius still exist. Praise ‘Bob’!
    http://www.subgenius.com/

  46. #47 Chris Hickie
    June 4, 2014

    Simple bills like trying to require all schools to disclose vaccination rates have been stalled in the AZ legislature for a few years now, and it seems to be the extremists on both sides of the political fence doing the stalling.

  47. #48 Chris,
    June 4, 2014

    Phil Plait has a post up at the Bad Astronomer on the segment, with similar sentiments as Orac. He sums it up with: “Yes, anti-vax rhetoric is an equal opportunity reality offender. And, well, we know what happens when we let it go unchecked.”

  48. #49 CF
    June 4, 2014

    Looks like that big Ohio mealses outbreak in the Amish is up to 233 cases.

  49. #50 lilady
    June 4, 2014

    CF: The latest available figures for confirmed measles cases YTD in the United States, is 334 cases:

    http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

  50. #51 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    @ Chris:

    ” Obviously her Ivy League education missed out on both basic science and statistics”.

    Precisely.
    Amongst the anti-vaxxers I survey, there are quite a few with graduate degrees- altho’ some are in business, finance and PR ( Blaxill, Habakus); a few have social work and psychology/ related degrees ( MacNeil, Taylor, Wright, TM Saint) but these degrees which may not focus on physio, development, cognition et al and may only require a prefunctory statistics course ( unlike my own degrees). Others may have studied language, history and education.Their earlier course work at a secondary level and at university may have not required much basics in the areas which matter ( bio, chem, physics) . Jennifer Margulies has a PhD.

    Anti-vaxxers often brag that they are “better educated” and ” more affluent” than is the average but I venture that their education also shirks the hard science, statistics and research-oriented areas.

    BUT then there’s Jake.

  51. #52 Shay
    June 4, 2014

    its members have come out with weird statements, like vaccines causing homosexuality

    Nonsense. Everyone in the US knows that Common Core causes homosexuality.

  52. #53 Narad
    June 4, 2014

    MacNeil, Taylor, Wright, TM Saint

    “Saint” is Jennifer Limekiller.

  53. #54 SkepticalRaptor
    Liberal California
    June 4, 2014

    I enjoyed the segment immensely, because it made fun of Sarah Pope. Also, I loved reading her delusional response that she didn’t look bad in the segment was better than smoking GMO weed.

    I understand what Orac is saying, that is that all of the evidence seems to support the hypothesis that there’s no difference in supporting vaccines. But there’s just a couple of small nits to pick:

    1. The answer that “Parents should choose” gives me no indication whether they would still choose to vaccinate. Or not. There could still be a statistically significant difference between parties if that question could be answered.
    2. I have higher standards for liberals. We should be more pro-science, though support of PETA, anti-GMO’s and anti-vaxx seems contradicts it. Liberals should be 99% in support of vaccinations, because one of the core values of liberalism is that society (herd effect) should protect one another.

    Finally, as much as we can find data that support Romney counties being anti-vaxx, the highest incidence of whooping cough in California’s current epidemic are in the wealthiest most liberal counties. The average incidence rate of whooping cough in California is around 7 per 100,000. In Marin County, which voted over 75% for Obama, has a rate >80 per 100,000. No, maybe Marin County, one of the 10 wealthiest counties in the country, got a bad batch of DTaP. But I think what’s more important is their vaccine refusal rate.

  54. #55 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    Helen Conroy ( TM Goddess) also has a business background- not sure about which degrees exactly.

  55. #56 Uselesstwit
    June 4, 2014

    I think coco at #28 is right.

    It’s true that antivacine nonsense spans the political spectrum, it was just used as an ongoing news story to show that antiscience also comes in all flavors. This seems more likely to me after all the comments on the recent AGW segment that went on and on about how antiscience is a right wing problem. Parading around in glass houses like that while ignoring your own group’s faults is just begging a show like TDS to notice you.

    So yes there are better examples of antiscience on the left, but using the current outbreaks as a backdrop made the story more hitting since both anti vaccine and anti AGW pose serious ongoing threats to our specie’s well being.

  56. #57 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    @ Uselesstwit:

    I doubt that you’re useless.

    I might guess that leftie anti-science would include- amongst other things-
    traditional medical systems, Chi ( Xi), anti-GMO, Planetary Consciousness, AGW anti-corporatism, Panherbalism, Gaia-ness, veganism, food anti-corporatism, New Age blarney, stick-it-to-the-Man ( Woman?) Pharma rap, Back-to-Nature AND…..
    unicorns

  57. #58 Art
    June 4, 2014

    Based upon debates and people on internet forums (fora?) I think it is more of a libertarian thing. This is in a lot of ways like the 9/11 conspiracy theories and denial of scientific fact being labeled as coming from the left. IMO it was primarily pushed by people with strong Libertarian leanings.

    I suspect that the confusion arises when the right encounters a story that doesn’t align well with the central party dogma they immediately assume it is coming from the left. Because they automatically blame the left for pretty much everything back to original sin.

    This reflexive mislabeling also fulfills a need to balance things out. The right has long be identified with kooky conspiracy theories and deinalism, and rightly so.

    ie: Just the ones relating to one of their favorite targets, Obama -

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/chart-obama-conspiracy-theories

    The right loves its conspiracies and it so quickly creates more that nobody will ever document them all. IMHO this has to do with their projecting their own methods and tendencies on others and assuming the worse about everyone but themselves.

    By any means the end result is that if there is a conspiracy theory it more than likely came from the right. To the point where the wild conspiracy theories and denialism are part of the well established, and justified, caricature of the right-wing ideologue.

    Which is also why some on the right are quick to agree with the idea of any particular conspiracy theory being a left-wing thing. The media, primed for the both-sides-do-it story line, is also quick to see at least a few conspiracy theories coming from the left.

  58. #59 Michelle
    June 4, 2014

    Guess where our favorite anti-vaccination crusading journalist (non-David Kirby, non-Dan Olmsted edition) has landed?

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/04/sharyl_attkissons_principled_quest_to_destroy_whats_left_of_her_credibility/

  59. #60 Eric Lund
    June 4, 2014

    Obviously her Ivy League education missed out on both basic science and statistics

    As it happens, one of my degrees is from an Ivy League school, so I can testify from firsthand experience that, at least at that school during the years I was there, one could easily get a degree without learning any basic science. There were distribution requirements, yes, but some of them were less than rigorous, and any knowledge accidentally acquired in those courses could be blotted out in a post final exam drinking binge. More generally, it is well known in the higher education business that the quality of undergraduate education at Ivy League schools is not significantly better than what a motivated student can get at State U.–what the Ivy League gives you is greater opportunities for learning and/or research, and membership in the school’s alumni association. The latter is what has historically made an Ivy League education worth the premium price.[1]

    My other alma mater is a bit more rigorous–the core curriculum for all majors (including political science, etc.) includes two semesters of calculus and two semesters of physics. But even there, statistics isn’t given the importance it deserves; rather than having a university-wide course in the subject, you got it in a major-specific course, if that major thought it important enough to teach you the material. I’m not aware of any US university which has a general requirement to learn statistics.

    [1]Past performance does not guarantee future results.

  60. #61 herr doktor bimler
    June 4, 2014

    Guess where our favorite anti-vaccination crusading journalist (non-David Kirby, non-Dan Olmsted edition) has landed?

    So FOX didn’t want her? She certainly illustrates the confluence of anti-vax and rightwing thinking.

  61. #62 Ross Coe
    June 4, 2014

    ORAC garbage. How does it get published? Oh yea paid for by Big Pharma.

  62. #63 Militant Agnostic
    June 4, 2014

    Shay

    he less often seen “FEMA puts microchips in vaccines so they can track us” whackdoodles.

    When I got my seasonal flu shot I asked the pharmacist if she remembered to put the New World Order mind control chip in. Here response was “Oh you’re on of the keen ones”, followed by a “shocked” “You’re not supposed to know about that”.

    I generally agree with coco – also, If the goal is to increase critical thinking, this much more effective than allowing the Daily Show’s audience to feel superior to the right wing loonies.

  63. #64 Orac
    June 4, 2014

    Finally, as much as we can find data that support Romney counties being anti-vaxx, the highest incidence of whooping cough in California’s current epidemic are in the wealthiest most liberal counties.

    Again supporting the contention that antivaccine sentiments span political boundaries. There’s just no good evidence out there that antivaccine beliefs are significantly more prevalent among the left compared to the right. As I pointed out, maybe there is a difference, but if there is it’s too small to have been detected convincingly in the currently existing data set.

    Now, to be fair confounding things in Ohio is a population of unvaccinated Amish in some of the counties in Ohio, although news reports I’ve read state that it was a Christian mission that was determined to have brought back the measles from the Philippines. Previous reports have indicated that it was mainly unvaccinated people going to the Philippines and other countries with endemic measles and bringing it back to areas with low vaccine uptake. Then, of course, there was the measles outbreak at a Texas megachurch whose pastor discouraged vaccination.

  64. #65 Chris,
    June 4, 2014

    Why, hello there, Ross Coe!

    I see you have graced us with your presence. By the way it has been over three years since I asked you a question. Will you even try to answer it?

    So, Mr. Coe, how exactly is the experience Roald Dahl’s daughter, Olivia, had with measles just like autism?

    You know, if you don’t know what happened to her, just open up the pages in his book The BFG and see what he wrote about Olivia. You’ll love it.

  65. #66 Narad
    June 4, 2014

    news reports I’ve read state that it was a Christian mission that was determined to have brought back the measles from the Philippines

    Which was initially misdiagnosed. (I don’t know offhand whether this group was the only importation.)

  66. #67 Narad
    June 4, 2014

    ^ “Only Ohio importation”

  67. #68 Chris,
    June 4, 2014

    Eric Lund: “As it happens, one of my degrees is from an Ivy League school, ”

    I mentioned it because on her site she actually spells it out:

    I am a 40-something, Wife and Mother of three. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Furman University and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution.

    If I said I got my degree from a department developed through a specific Guggenheim Fund, does it make it better than from elsewhere? Oh, wait, my engineering degree did include science and statistics.

    Except there are lots of goofy anti-science engineers who personify Dunning Kruger. So never mind, it does not make any kind of difference.

  68. #69 Chris,
    June 4, 2014

    Aargh… only the first paragraph should be in the blockquote.

  69. #70 Narad
    June 4, 2014

    Chi ( Xi)

    No, the Pinyin is . Online converters spit out the likes of 西 (; “the West,” “Spanish”), 系 (; “system,” “department,” “to button up”), and 戏 (again ;* “trick,” “drama,” “play”) for ‘xi’.

    * “‘I though it was only foxes who had a red beard, but here is another red-bearded fox!’ [30] …

    “30. This phrasing makes a pun on ‘barbarian,’ which has the same pronunciation as ‘fox’ (hu).” —Steven Heine, Shifting Shape, Shaping Text.

  70. #71 p
    June 4, 2014

    my experience (anecdote alert!) to a man (actually a woman), all of my AV friends are left leaning. as are all the people who argue about GMOS w me. And lots of them were linking to Naturalnews etc. , until Ol Mikey started bashing Obama and being a gun nut. A lot of them who did vaccinate still trotted out the ‘both sides’ stupidity to me when I’d freak out. Funny, they aren’t too “both sides”-y when it comes to climate change.

  71. #72 Bend
    June 4, 2014

    First, I’d take issue with the designation of libertarians as “right.” Someone who wants to shrink government but favors legalizing pot as well as meth and other “hard” drugs, favors legal abortion up to the point where the baby crowns, favors gay marriage and wants to bring all the troops home finds as little common ground with conservatives as he does with liberals.
    Also, Ohio should be recognized as an anomaly. The measles outbreaks in that state are in religious communities that have historically low vaccination rates, vote conservative and represent an incredibly small percentage of the US population. The Amish are as much statistical outliers as they are cultural outliers.
    Now I know many people on the right and the left who are antivaccination, just as I know many people on the right and the left who are anti-evolution. Ignorance knows no political bounds. Just the same, I’ve lived in many conservative cities and I’ve lived in many liberal cities and nowhere was the antivaccinationism as pervasive as it was in liberal Boulder, CO.

  72. #73 squirrelelite
    June 4, 2014

    Also, government officials advising travelers on vaccination should be more aware of this danger and recommend the MMR.
    http://amishamerica.com/ohio-measles-outbreak-amish/
    According to this story:
    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/04/26/amish-say-their-measles-was-misdiagnosed-at-holmes-county-hospital.html
    the Amish travelers weren’t advised to get the MMR, but some did get tetanus shots prior to the trip.

    Yoder, who is 33 and whose wife, Fannie, is now experiencing measles symptoms, said the Amish community that he grew up in is not religiously opposed to vaccines. Some do, however, opt out of shots.

    He said he asked about any special vaccines that his group might need before traveling to the Philippines, but the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine wasn’t suggested. He had no idea there was an ongoing and deadly outbreak of measles in the Philippines. Had he known, Yoder said, he would have been vaccinated.

    Some of the Amish travelers did get tetanus shots, said Knox County Health Department spokeswoman Pam Palm.

  73. #74 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    @ Narad:

    That was making fun of them (the many ways to spell ‘Chi”) –
    see also : Gaia-ness, Pharma rap, unicorns

  74. #75 Denice Walter
    June 4, 2014

    @ p:

    Mikey and Gary have been extremely harsh on Mr O ( see NN and PRN headlines):
    I tend to believe that these are examples of honest emotion rather than the habitual pandering to potential customers’ predelictions usually displayed at these websites because it may actually cause some potential buyers to walk away.
    Which would mean a loss of money.
    It’s very rare that they would say something that isn’t aimed at earning.

  75. […] In the segment, the Daily Show interviewer discusses the topic of vaccines with someone who can only be described as an ideological science-denier… who is on the political left.  I really like how Orac at Respectful Insolence breaks this down: […]

  76. #77 Uselesstwit
    June 4, 2014

    @ squirrelelite

    If that’s true they had a very poor medical advisor. The CDC travel site lists mmr in the first set of recommendations. Of course the Amish wouldn’t be surfing online, but whoever gave them their tetanus shots did them quite a disservice by not looking.

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/philippines

  77. #78 Narad
    June 4, 2014

    The measles outbreaks in that state are in religious communities that have historically low vaccination rates, vote conservative and represent an incredibly small percentage of the US population.

    “The Amish” are much more likely to vaccinate than to vote.

    I’m not feeling sufficently motivated to see whether the bunch at issue are Swartzentrubers and go from there.

  78. #79 Bend
    June 4, 2014

    Narad,
    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/05/29/Measles_outbreak_CDC.html

    “‘The Amish’ are much more likely to vaccinate than to vote.”

    But the outbreak is measured in discrete numbers and the political polarization is measured in percentage votes for each candidate. It doesn’t matter what their voting rate is so long as it is sufficient to influence the county results. Then again, if they didn’t vote in sufficient numbers to affect county totals that would be even more evidence of an anomaly. It would be an apolitical block that was disproportionately non-vaccinating, largely freeing Ohio Romney supporters from responsibility.

  79. #80 cloudskimmer
    June 4, 2014

    Sure Marin County is very liberal, but right-wing, wealthy Orange County, bastion of conservatism, also has very low vaccination rates. This supports the case made by our honorable host.

  80. #81 Yodelady
    June 5, 2014

    I’m not sure it’s political. I relate it more to age, affluence, and maybe to urban vs. farm background.

    I’m old enough to have grown up with kids who were disabled by polio, deafened by mumps, and women who miscarried or had disabled babies due to Rubella. And kids who were too poor to benefit from modern medical care. I don’t forget those lessons. A lot of my current friends, even of my own age, grew up affluent in affluent suburbs and seem very unaware of all that. Younger people now in their 50s and 40s are even more unaware, and very young people probably quite oblivious. They might have an elderly relative who limps because of polio, but even the disease victims of the 50s are dying off now. Our cultural memories don’t last long.

    And we’re really going through a sea change in rural vs. urban backgrounds. When I was growing up 75% of Americans came from farms. Now it’s something like 5%. Organic shoppers really ought to spend a summer working on a farm. It would change their sense of reality. I’ve met people who spent their childhoods picking cotton, by hand. The first time my parents visited California they spent their whole vacation in the grocery stores. We forget to be grateful for the cornucopia of food we’ve got spread before us, no matter where we shop. An orange in January used to be a very rare treat! If they want to go back to the old way of eating nothing but canned peas and canned beans and an occasional portion of canned fruit cocktail all winter long, like the “good old days,” I’ll pass.

  81. #82 SSA
    June 5, 2014

    I would agree that vaccine denial isn’t anywhere near as pervasive as evolution denial or denying global climate change, but there are a few pieces of information that I think make me question whether vaccine denial is as evenly divided. Consider the CDC data upon vaccination rates by state for Kindergartners. Mississippi leads the nation in vaccination rates. Part of it is that they don’t allow religious exemptions for vaccines, but I think the fact that their laws don’t allow exemptions for religious reasons is quite telling that we don’t see in blue states.

    If we look at states with the highest percentage of kids with exemptions the while there are some red states (Alaska, Arizona) those with the highest are incredibly blue states (Vermont, Oregon, Illinois). Most of the Bible Belt are below the national median for vaccine exemptions.

    Unless the people getting exemptions are significantly more conservative than the states that they reside in I question the thesis that such ideas are eventually divided.

  82. #83 Narad
    June 5, 2014

    It would be an apolitical block that was disproportionately non-vaccinating, largely freeing Ohio Romney supporters from responsibility.

    I believe you started out by asserting that Ohio was a three-sigma outlier, mooting the whole shebang. The point in attempting to extrapolate how the people in bonnets and buggies would vote and therefore something something Mitt Romney something eludes me.

  83. #84 Bend
    June 5, 2014

    Narad,
    Sorry if I’ve been unclear. Let’s see if I can present this in a somewhat more linear and organized way. Orac says, “hey, while some places with measles epidemic voted for Obama, the counties in Ohio with measles voted for Romney.” I say, “Ohio’s not like California because the outbreak is in a conservative, but unrepresentative religious community.” You point out, “Amish don’t vote much.” And I don’t know that they don’t, but you may absolutely be right. But then I consider whether it makes a difference whether they vote or not and it becomes apparent that I was careless in including the “conservative” descriptor in my first post; it doesn’t make a difference. In Ohio the measles epidemic is driven by a subset of the population who is largely geographically cloistered and numerically tiny. I’m not arguing that conservatives are better or worse on vaccines. I’m arguing that Ohio doesn’t make a good data point.

  84. #85 Denice Walter
    June 5, 2014

    Somewhat OT-
    But could Searsian/ Gordonian anti-vaccinationism adapted by veterinarians for dogs EVER be TRULY OT @ RI?

    Newbie TM, Rogue Zebra (?) writes about her experiences with a holistic vet who is also a “Thinker” ( @ TMR). Right, they spread out vaccinations and maintain precautions. Zebra observes how the dog behaves and hypothesises about its GI upsets just as a TM should.

    After all, Canine Autism has been on the rise ever since the Establishment expanded the vaccination schedule for dogs.
    And who would want that – in addition to peeing on your new rugs?

  85. #86 Eric Lund
    June 5, 2014

    I relate it more to age, affluence, and maybe to urban vs. farm background.

    This, I think is key. People who grew up after vaccines became available don’t know firsthand how bad the diseases were. And in this country, affluence often comes with a belief that you can buy your way out of problems (which is true for some problems but not others).

    If you live in the same small town as your parents and (if living) grandparents, you know the people they know, and they will tell you what it was like in the days before vaccines. Those people understand that vaccines are cheaper than treating diseases, and in most cases if the kids don’t get vaccinated on schedule it’s because the parents can’t afford it, not because the parents don’t want it. People who move to the suburbs, especially the more affluent ones, are more prone to thinking that their spawn are special snowflakes who don’t need this kind of stuff. Urban poor may hear the horror stories from their grandmothers, but aren’t as close to the evidence, so I don’t know how hard they try to overcome financial barriers–I’m sure some do but others don’t.

    The small town attitude may partly explain why MS and WV, both of which are poor rural states, are the only two states that allow only medical exemptions from vaccination. VT is also rural, but it’s significantly wealthier due to people moving in from New York and Boston, so the special snowflake factor is as high there as in places like Marin County.

    The one common political factor between the liberal anti-vaxers and the libertarian anti-vaxers is distrust of The Man, whether he represents a Big Evil Corporation or the Big Evil Government.

  86. #87 Chris,
    June 5, 2014

    Sarah Pope has bravely closed the comments on her blog about being on The Daily Show.

    It seems she did not like being told that internet surveys by homeopaths were worthless, Blaylock doesn’t know immunology, or that you cannot show how well vaccines work with mortality graphs.

    Along with not being very good at science and statistics, she seems to also have issues with vocabulary. My favorite one was when she said the CDC can do retroactive studies. I don’t link she liked it when I posted a list of retrospective studies showing vaccines are safe from all over this planet.

  87. #88 Denice Walter
    June 5, 2014

    @ Chris:

    Funny but I’ve noticed exactly the same thing about vocabulary….. and usage, grammar and pronunciation even.. at various h3llholes of outlandish altie nonsense.
    Do you think that that might be telling us something?

  88. #89 Chris,
    June 5, 2014

    “Do you think that that might be telling us something?”

    Yes, plus many get upset when asked to do something as simple as use paragraphs.

    And on vocabulary, this comment kind made me laugh: “Bill and Melinda gates are trying to reduce the world population through eugenics. You obviously have done no research on this issue.”

    Because making sure families are healthy so children can become adults, and girls have an education is just like eugenics.

  89. #90 Lawrence
    June 5, 2014

    @Chris – and providing technology to allow for clean drinking water, portable refrigeration, and other health-focused tech is certainly part of some nefarious plan to depopulate the planet…..

  90. #91 lilady
    June 5, 2014

    I only got one comment through moderation on Sarah Pope’s blog. One of my comments did link to Orac’s post and before she eliminated it, she must have read that her performance on the video is being discussed here.

  91. #92 Shay
    June 5, 2014

    I was reading the comments and saw her statement that her kids had whooping cough 7 years ago and it was “no big deal.”

    Oh, brother.

  92. #93 kruuth
    June 5, 2014

    Am I alone in thinking that Dr. Offit totally owns this bit? IDK if it’s the looniness of the other lady or just his delivery but it’s great.

  93. #94 Eric Lund
    June 5, 2014

    Because making sure families are healthy so children can become adults, and girls have an education is just like eugenics.

    Because if we let girls have an education they might decide not to remain barefoot and pregnant, and taking care of sick kids is their duty, so we can’t stop the kids from getting sick, either. Mustn’t allow them to have any kind of life separate from their husband and children.

    The preceding paragraph was snark, of course, but I’m testing the limits of Poe’s Law. There is an actual movement called “Quiverfull” which expects women to marry young and pump out a double-digit brood. The movement is based on the Bible verse that says, “Be fruitful, and multiply.” It’s considered extreme even by the standards of evangelical Christians, but not so extreme as to be shunned by what passes for mainstream evangelism in the US. It depends on the lax oversight of home schooling in many states, since obviously a girl who gets educated outside the home will realize that there are more fun things to do with your life than tend kids–especially when you have so many that you have to recruit your older daughters to help.

    I’m not sure where “Quiverfull” types stand on the subject of vaccination, but with a setup like that, it’s hard to take your kids to the doctor.

  94. #95 dusonfnp
    June 5, 2014

    I just saw this last night, and thought that it was hilarious, and will very likely help with fence-sitters who otherwise might be inclined to listen to Sarah Pope’s nonsense. The point of the episode was, yes, make fun, but also to spear through the disinformation. While as a general problem, anti-vaccine beliefs aren’t unique to either political leaning, there is definitely a disinformation divide between the types of beliefs, and this segment beautifully targeted those beliefs more commonly found on the left of the political spectrum. This is appropriate, since the majority of viewers of the Daily Show do tend towards liberal views politically, and are more likely to think, “hmmm, is that me? perhaps I should reconsider…..” when they see this, as opposed to thinking “what kind of idiot would believe that nonsense?”

  95. #96 Politicalguineapig
    June 5, 2014

    Eric Lund: It’s considered extreme even by the standards of evangelical Christians..

    Yeah, no. It’s actually the logical evolution of most evangelical churches, so pretty mainstream by ‘vangy’ standards. None of them would think about protesting funerals with the Westboro church, but all of them are nodding along. Same thing with Quiverfull- not all of them do it, but they all agree with the movement.

    I’m guessing they don’t agree with vaccination either. There are quite a few Christian crunchy types among the Quiverfull.

  96. #97 Narad
    June 5, 2014

    Urban poor may hear the horror stories from their grandmothers, but aren’t as close to the evidence, so I don’t know how hard they try to overcome financial barriers

    I’ve only skimmed the literature (a lot of it is adolescent-focused), but there seems to be a structural element in terms of physicians who accept Medicaid having had a tendency to nonetheless send patients elsewhere for vaccines.

    I’m not really sure how to translate this into an urban environment. I mean, I am part of the urban poor. My primary care is centralized through an FQHC,* I and there’s next to no issue** with availability of vaccines.

    Judging by the waiting rooms, the bulk of the practice is seniors and peds. This is anecdata and doesn’t speak at all to people who don’t seek coordinated care, but poor + kids = Medicaid, and Medcaid + routine complaints = ED hell, and I’m pretty sure the urban poor are well acquainted with this, so I’m getting a dubious vibe off of the explanatory power of financial barriers for my internal version of this population.

    * I’d now probably stick with my PCP there even with employer coverage.

    ** I had to wait for the my doc’s flu vaccine order to be entered, sent to the fast-track nurses, and come back another day last fall.

  97. #98 Narad
    June 5, 2014

    @Bend:

    Let’s see if I can present this in a somewhat more linear and organized way. Orac says, “hey, while some places with measles epidemic voted for Obama, the counties in Ohio with measles voted for Romney.” I say, “Ohio’s not like California because the outbreak is in a conservative, but unrepresentative religious community.” You point out, “Amish don’t vote much.” And I don’t know that they don’t, but you may absolutely be right. But then I consider whether it makes a difference whether they vote or not and it becomes apparent that I was careless in including the “conservative” descriptor in my first post; …

    In fairness, you said “vote conservative.”

    … it doesn’t make a difference.

    OK, but you next said,

    “It doesn’t matter what their voting rate is so long as it is sufficient to influence the county results. Then again, if they didn’t vote in sufficient numbers to affect county totals that would be even more evidence of an anomaly. It would be an apolitical block that was disproportionately non-vaccinating, largely freeing Ohio Romney supporters from responsibility.”

    At this point, at seemed as though either Amish voting in Ohio or their not voting was taken to demonstrate their irrelevance to inferences based on voting.

    I mean, this an iron-clad way of demonstrating the falsity of a proposition, but the way it was elaborated didn’t seem to rise to the level of a sound proof.

    In Ohio the measles epidemic is driven by a subset of the population who is largely geographically cloistered and numerically tiny.

    With respect to the population of the U.S.

    I’m not arguing that conservatives are better or worse on vaccines. I’m arguing that Ohio doesn’t make a good data point.

    I certainly fell into nit-picking* yesterday, and I suppose I’m going to do it again. It seems necessary to (1) show that the presence of Amish populations nationwide (a) is not well correlated with the politics of their never-Amish and ex-Amish neighbors or (b) otherwise more parsimoniously a historical/ecological artifact; and (2) that the non-effect is sufficient to negate “in fact, all of the counties with measles cases reported voted overwhelmingly Republican in the last election.”

    On the other hand, is something going on in Ohio** that is safe from contingency on the Amish population? OSU has no immunization requirement for matriculation, for example. It wouldn’t per se salvage the specific the specific part that you’re objecting to, but (‘the Amish are outliers’ ∴ ‘Ohio is an outlier’) seems to be the payload.

    * Sequential, though.
    ** Yeah, yeah, technicalities. And Tork.

  98. #99 Chris,
    June 6, 2014

    Le sigh. I slogged through Sarah Pope’s blog’s “recipe” tag. I was hoping to find some interesting stuff. But it wasn’t.

    The recipes seem to be how to turn mundane uninteresting recipes more complicated by substituting more expensive hard to get ingredients. For example, you are no longer allowed to use basic flour, you must use “sprouted flour.”

    Then, oh my gosh, the amount of sweeteners needed! Not just basic sugar, but special hard to get sweeteners. Dear Ms. Pope, you are feeding your kids too many puddings and custards (many recipes!).

    By the way, if you don’t like the sugar in “condensed milk”, just buy “evaporated milk”, which does not have added sugar.

    Also, you can save freezer space by turning your stock into glace de viande. Just chill your home made stock overnight, remove the accumulated fat on top, then simmer down to at least one quarter. Freeze into ice cube size chunks and store in a freezer bag. Pull out a concentrated chunk of stock when you need it.

    I have been doing this for almost thirty years. And I can guarantee my stock tastes better than yours because I actually add celery, onion, and carrot , plus herbs from my garden (marjoram adds a bit of a salty taste)…. along with a clove and some peppercorns.

    Ms. Pope, you seem to be new at this.

    I was very charmed that you were excited by one stem of basil you grew in a window. You live in Florida, why aren’t you growing basil on a regular basis? I can’t put my basil outside until July, but I have already used the stuff I grew inside twice… and I live in Seattle!

    At least I can grow rosemary, parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage and oregano all year. Oregano is a weed around here, I have even dug through some snow to get some for pizza sauce.

    And I bet my homemade pizza is much better than the sad examples portrayed on your website. Seriously, Ms. Pope, do you really call those sad sodden bits of pastry with tomato and cheese “pizza”? That is very sad.

    Note to lurker: my sauce is based on the spinach stuffed pizza recipe in Bruno’s The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook. Though I just take good canned diced tomato or puree, mix in some chopped garlic with fresh oregano and basil. That is it. Nothing else. It is wonderful on not only pizza, but fresh pasta.

    It can even be frozen. I now have a small container of it next to some fresh spinach ravioli from Costco in the chest freezer. So when I need a quick dinner when vegetarian son is home, I will serve as dinner.

    Ms. Pope’s recipes were mostly mundane.

  99. #100 Chris,
    June 6, 2014

    Note: I need to make a correction to Ms. Pope’s stock recipe, she does add veg as noted on this transcript:
    http://www.westonaprice.org/beginner-videos/stocks-and-soups-video-by-sarah-pope/

    I do not see any herbs or other flavoring. Plus she seems to take pride in how much room the stock occupies in her freezer. I cannot afford that, since I need someplace to put applesauce from five trees in the chest freezer. So I reduce mine to a thick concentrated liquid. And it does not take an entire night!

    (seriously, you can take stuff off of the stove, put it into a shallow pan, chill it during the night and continue with the stove top reduction the next day!)

  100. #101 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    “Chicago-style pizza” is not pizza, it’s a cheese casserole.

    Here’s an extraordinarily bad tip from her mind-numbing stock exposition,* though:

    Stock that is left more than a week in the refrigerator can be reboiled and safely used.

    * Filtered water?

  101. #102 Chris,
    June 6, 2014

    ” cheese casserole”

    Agreed. But the sauce is nice.

    I use the crust recipe for the stuffed spinach pizza for very thin cheese breads, with no tomato. It is a nice dough to work with, just don’t put anything with lots of water on it… like tomato sauce.

  102. #103 Rebecca Fisher
    June 6, 2014

    A bit OT…

    Not sure if anyone’s posted this elsewhere, but Idiot Boy’s presentation at Autism One is now up online for anyone who wants to waste 45 minutes of their life.

    http://www.autisminvestigated.com/jake-crosby-autismone-2014/

  103. #104 lilady
    June 6, 2014
  104. #105 Yodelady
    June 6, 2014

    Narad, good point. When I posted I was thinking mostly of the middle class/upper class urban people, not the inner city urban population.

    Years ago (probably in the 80s) I read a review of a book which I unfortunately never read, and I’ve lost the author and title now. The review said the gist of the book said our cultural memory expires after about 80 years. The telling example was cocaine addiction. Back in the 1880s or so Americans thought narcotics were no big deal; you could buy them in any general store. Thirty years later people were trying to deal with very seriously addicted family members, and they’d learned a hard lesson. Congress passed drug regulations and clamped down on the availability of narcotics. The author said the rising popularity of powder cocaine and then the eruption of crack cocaine in the 80s was made possible partly by society “forgetting” the dangers of cocaine as the last people who’d seen the first epidemic passed away. If someone remembers that book and author, I still want to read it.

    Anyway, it would be very interesting to interview people of different backgrounds in depth about things like willingness to vaccinate, and where they learned the information their decision is based on. Maybe the internet really is a new deal in its ability to form a cultural “memory” out of whole cloth at cyberspeed. But I think most of us still remember what Mom and Dad and Grandma said about their experiences. The inner cities certainly were a hazardous place for children in the early 20th century, as far as infectious diseases were concerned.

    Of course, families keep secrets, too. Recently a friend and I were wondering why our families didn’t tell endless stories of relatives who had TB. It was rampant during my parents’ childhood and early adult years, ; and it had to have touched virtually every family, but I can’t remember hearing a single story about it from my family or anyone else’s. We can be awfully selective about the wisdom we pass to the next generation.

  105. #106 Rebecca Fisher
    June 6, 2014

    @lilady – Damn, I missed it. Thanks!

  106. #107 Denice Walter
    June 6, 2014

    Ann Dachel vents about Dr Offit, Mr Stewart and Ms Bee @ AoA today.

    Somehow, she manages to find an excuse to post RFK’s anti-vax ( probably because he was interviewed by Stewart 9 years ago)

  107. #108 Dee
    Maryland
    June 6, 2014

    Wow-how much was “The Daily Show” paid to poison people’s minds even more into thinking that everything that the government does is for their well-being and that non-vaccinators are nut jobs? Nobody thinks about the money that these companies make with these vaccines, and with money comes great lobbying power…nobody thinks about how science is used today to get the outcome that you desire so that you can make money…it does not take a freakin rocket scientist to know that mercury is poisonous and that is formaldehyde is used to preserve a dead body-why the hell would you want that injected in to your child? Ya know, maybe the vaccine itself is not a bad idea, but why the need for these nasty toxins? There has to be an alternative and one that is natural. Since when did we decide that it was ok to put crap like that into our bodies and think it is ok? Even though the exact effects and underlying causes of any small or adverse reactions may not be understood, it just doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know to avoid that crap. But big companies always win and for some reason some people think that their knowledge is supreme to jut plain common sense.
    There are side effects from vaccinations and many go unreported so don’t give statistics that say that they are safe.
    If the government is going to force you to give your child a vaccination, give plenty of water and vitamin C 1000mg before and after to hopefully minimize any adverse reaction.

  108. […] other day, I expressed my disappointment at how Samantha Bee of The Daily Show got the politics of antivaccinationism wrong in a segment […]

  109. #110 Roadstergal
    Sitting uncomfortably on the left
    June 6, 2014

    By any means the end result is that if there is a conspiracy theory it more than likely came from the right.

    I’d like to believe that, but then I read about JFK conspiracy theories and 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-GMO conspiracy theories and anti-pharma conspiracy theories and anti-OB conspiracy theories, and I don’t think I can give my fellow lefties a pass.

    “Chicago-style pizza” is not pizza, it’s a cheese casserole.

    Good Chicago-style pizza is nectar of the gods. And getting harder to find. I went back ‘home’ recently for a convention, and found that Edwardo’s had turned to wine-and-thin-crust crap. I didn’t have time to go to Evanston and see if Carmen’s was still doing it right.

  110. #111 Chris,
    June 6, 2014

    Dee: ” Nobody thinks about the money that these companies make with these vaccines,”

    This intrigues me. Could you please tell the economic savings by not giving a child two MMR doses and instead treating measles, especially one in ten that get pneumonia which requires hospital care. I would really like to now why prevention is more expensive than treatment.

    “it does not take a freakin rocket scientist to know that mercury is poisonous ”

    Can you also tell which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal? Do not list influenza because half have no thimerosal, nor the DTaP because most of them also have no thimerosal.

    “that is formaldehyde is used to preserve a dead body-why the hell would you want that injected in to your child?”

    Considering formaldehyde is created in your body due to cell biology, what is your plan to remove it from your child?

    “but why the need for these nasty toxins?”

    Please list those toxins, and provide reputable citations they are more dangerous than the toxins like tetanospasmin that are created by the bacterial infections we try to prevent.

    “Since when did we decide that it was ok to put crap like that into our bodies and think it is ok?”

    Because people did not like seeing children suffer, get injured and even die from diseases. Why are the diseases so much better than the vaccines?

    “If the government is going to force you to give your child a vaccination, give plenty of water and vitamin C 1000mg before and after to hopefully minimize any adverse reaction”

    Why would I want my child to have very expensive urine? How does that do any good?

    By the way, only provide PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers. Things like self-selected internet surveys by homeopaths do not qualify. You might save yourself some trouble by making sure your citation has not been discussed on this site, like: And global warming is caused by the decrease in the number of pirates or: Why an inorganic chemistry journal should not publish a vaccine epidemiology paper.

  111. #112 Lawrence
    June 6, 2014

    That’s right Dee – don’t let little things like Science or real evidence get in the way of your hardcore anti-vaccine beliefs…..

  112. #113 Chris,
    June 6, 2014

    Lawrence: “like Science or real evidence get in the way of your hardcore anti-vaccine beliefs…..”

    Or paragraphs, punctuation, grammar or logic! What is it with all of the ellipses?

  113. #114 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    Wow-how much was “The Daily Show” paid to poison people’s minds even more into thinking … that non-vaccinators are nut jobs?

    Sarah Pope does that extremely well all by her lonesome.

    Nobody thinks about the money that these companies make with these vaccines….

    Given the ubiquity with which this line is trotted out, no, you’re mistaken. G—gle is your friend. Add ‘site:scienceblogs.com/insolence’. Or, given that you brought it up, deploy the “thinking” that you have used to penetrate the Wool Over The Eyes Of The Sheeple and simply set forth the profits. Not revenue, profit.

    Ya know, maybe the vaccine itself is not a bad idea, but why the need for these nasty toxins? There has to be an alternative and one that is natural.

    See ‘variolation’.

    If the government is going to force you to give your child a vaccination, give plenty of water and vitamin C 1000mg before and after to hopefully minimize any adverse reaction.

    “Force you”? Where does this happen? Oh, wait, you mean you want special treatment for your “common sense” – which happens to require a helping side of sinister infiltration in order to hand-wave away nasty “science” – when it comes to public accommodations?

    You know, some people’s common sense leads them to be really upset about being imposed upon to wear shoes. I imagine most schools enforce such a rule. You do find this to be a similar affront?

  114. #115 Politicalguineapig
    June 6, 2014

    Dee: So, you don’t give your kids apples? Not only do those have formaldehyde, they have cyanide too, which is a lot more likely to kill someone.

  115. #116 Kiiri
    June 6, 2014

    Perhaps Dee should google the amount of formaldehyde found in one pear.

    I love deep dish pizza but it is hard to find it done correctly so that the crust is not soggy. What I am looking forward to most with our new house (fingers crossed) is room and climate conducive to growing vegetables and herbs. I love fresh herbs for cooking. I got the same recipe for sauce above at a pasta making class. So simple, little olive oil, garlic, can of crushed tomatoes and fresh basil. So lovely.

  116. #117 Politicalguineapig
    June 6, 2014

    Kiiri: You could also grow your own tomatoes or get them from the Farmer’s market and freeze them. I prefer that over crushed canned tomatoes. And do be careful with that basil and rosemary- they grow fast and will take over.

    (A friend of the family’s had a little mishap with her zucchini and basil- to the tune of two garbage bags full of basil and the biggest zucchini I’ve ever seen. We didn’t run out of pesto for a year.)

  117. #118 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    You do Do you find this to be a similar affront?

    I was in a hurry to get out the door, sorry.

  118. #119 Narad
    June 6, 2014

    Good Chicago-style pizza is nectar of the gods.

    If Bill Swerski’s Superfans are a variety of Muses in some niche mythology, I suppose. But with some kind of outer crusts that people overwhelmingly discard.

    And getting harder to find. I went back ‘home’ recently for a convention, and found that Edwardo’s had turned to wine-and-thin-crust crap.

    The Edwardo’s down by me still has exactly the same (“stuffed”) offering as always. I’d take it over Giordano’s watery-sauce entry any day; they also make a real spinach-and-garlic pizza, unlike what Gino’s East passes off in their frozen version. The (half-baked, IIRC) frozen Malnati’s, which is positioned at a higher price point and hawked by mail order, differs in my memory only for having a crust with a detectable corn taste.

    Connie’s used to feature as meeting-bait at an earlier gig; I don’t recall a genuine “Chicago style” depth charge for comparison, though. Perhaps they have a thicker intermediate “pan style.” The thinner intermediate version that is characteristic of the Medici is the most promising approach from my point of view, but the Medici itself has sucked goat balls for ages.

    I suspect that it would be difficult to maintain that original Home Run Inn is not a “Chicago style,” although these barbarians have started peddling an “ultra thin” frozen product. It should go without saying that the “cracker crust” is a sign of culinary debasement and that the “party cut” is a frank abomination.

  119. #120 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    Ann Dachel vents about Dr Offit, Mr Stewart and Ms Bee @ AoA today.

    And Cynthia Parket takes the occasion to run the stupid through a 3 kW linear amplifier:

    “Diseases like meningitis and tetanus are dangerous, but they are rare, and high-dose vitamin C can be used to successfully treat them.”

  120. #121 Lawrence
    June 7, 2014

    @Narad – Ms. Parker has gone completely off the deep end…she’s built this little world for herself, completely devoid of reality….

  121. #122 Vaughn
    June 7, 2014

    Dee: It’s the Daily Show’s job to mock dangerous idiots, so they don’t need to get paid extra to do so. Contrast with Andrew Wakefield – it was his job to tell the truth; therefore, it required a bribe of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a group of lawyers to make him lie about vaccines.

  122. #123 Dangerous Bacon
    June 7, 2014

    Regarding Cynthia Parker and her continuing excursions on the Crazy Train:

    Her claims about high-dose vitamin C treating meningitis and tetanus seem to have been inspired by her admiration for whale.to.

    Commenting on a review by John Scudamore posting as whale.to in a review of a book on vaccination, Parker recently had this to say:

    “I had never seen a review by whale.to, but have seen many interesting articles by it. It inspired confidence in me, and I thought it was an excellent critique of Dr. Profit.”

    Cynthia has increasingly lost touch with reality. It’s only a matter of time until she boards up her windows and doors to keep out the Giant Illuminati Lizards.

  123. #124 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 7, 2014

    @Krebiozen and @Rebecca Fisher: Bringing the discussion back to UKIP if I may, remember when Wakefield was allowed to address the EU Parliament in 2010? He was invited by UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen, who has since joined the Conservatives.

  124. #125 Politicalguineapig
    June 7, 2014

    Yodelady: I’m sort of nodding along. My grandfather and my dad both experienced measles and mumps- and while neither was an inner-city child, their experiences were horrific enough that I’m glad I was vaccinated. Dad spent the better part of a year in bed, and as for Grandpa-well, I have one uncle and he’s adopted.

    My only problem with this ‘lack of cultural memory theory’ is.. well, we have books. Anne of Green Gables, the Little House books, Little Women and most of Alcott’s works all mention measles and mumps, along with pnumonia and scarlet fever. Not to mention ‘The Mirror Crack’d ‘ which would make no sense if rubella was taken out of it.

    In Eight Cousins, one of the characters is so badly affected by measles, he has to wear dark glasses for months afterward and give up reading for a time.
    If I recall correctly, Anne (of Green Gables) nearly died of measles, Laura Wilders’ sister went blind, (and the family counted themselves lucky she survived, unlike most parents of today, who refuse to care for disabled children). Do people not read anymore?

  125. #126 Narad
    June 7, 2014

    My only problem with this ‘lack of cultural memory theory’ is.. well, we have books.

    As I was reading this, the radio helpfully offered this bit of synchronistic commentary: “I’ve seen white sales with more pigment in them.”

  126. #127 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    Narad: Well, if you find me a book of fiction set or published in the 1800s that was written by a black author, I’d be happy to read it. If I recall correctly most of the literate blacks at the time were busy publishing biographies or manifestos. Seriously, until 1900, Dumas was probably it as far as fiction went. And all his characters were whiter than white. (Ok, Count of Monte Cristo had a couple of foreigners in extremely minor roles.)

  127. #128 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    Narad: Well, if you find me a book of fiction set or published in the 1800s that was written by a black author, I’d be happy to read it….

    This response seems to compound my original point.

  128. #129 lilady
    June 8, 2014

    Another statement about the measles outbreak in Ohio, by The Healthy Home Economist, Sarah Pope. (She’s distressed that pediatricians are notifying parents who refuse vaccines to take their children elsewhere:

    http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2014/06/07/Doctor-group-declines-care-to-unvaccinated-1.html

    “….The fact that vaccines are not completely effective is one of many reasons some parents choose to forgo immunizations for their children, said Sarah Pope, a writer and vocal advocate for parents who choose not to vaccinate. She believes children who are not vaccinated are healthier overall, and that the medical community and big pharmaceutical companies are colluding to convince parents that the shots are safe.

    Ms. Pope, who writes The Healthy Home Economist blog from her Florida home, said her family has been unfairly targeted by the medical community because she chose not to vaccinate her three children. She has been dropped by several doctors in Florida because of her refusal to vaccinate her children.

    “This bullying by pediatricians is really a problem,” said Ms. Pope. She believes the practice of denying care to children because they are not vaccinated is unethical and predicts that, at some point, a family will take the fight into the court system.

    “All they need is a nice big lawsuit slapped on one of the physician groups. You cannot exclude medical care to people when they are objecting because of a religious belief,” she said…”

  129. #130 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    Lillady: You’d think she’d applaud this move, since it gives her a lot more chances to learn how to treat her children for such things as broken bones, sprains, and..vaccine preventable illnesses. She wouldn’t want them in a hospital anyway, right? And she’s perfectly okay with them dying, I guess.

    Narad: I really couldn’t think of any good responses, so I settled for relatively sensible blither. Sadly, most of the ‘penny dreadfuls’ are now lost to us, so who knows how many authors have had their names erased by history. (Most of them probably passed into deserved obscurity, but considering the publishing boom in the late 1800s, who knows how many authors got overlooked or rejected.)

  130. #131 Denice Walter
    June 8, 2014

    What religious belief is that-
    faith in St Andy?

  131. #132 squirrelelite
    June 8, 2014

    This just popped up on my Google+ feed and I had to share it with you.
    I wonder which of these Sarah Pope thinks she is?

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ValentinAbgottspon/posts/jg4Km6k8zFR

  132. #133 LIz Ditz
    June 8, 2014

    For all your penny dreadful needs, take a trip to Stanford University Libraries

    http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/dp/pennies/home.html

    (Sadly, not yet available in digital format; just the covers)

  133. #134 Chris,
    June 8, 2014

    Politicalguineapig: “Narad: Well, if you find me a book of fiction set or published in the 1800s that was written by a black author, I’d be happy to read it.”

    Well there is Alexander Pushkin. By the American definitions of that era he was black.

  134. #135 Narad
    June 8, 2014

    “You cannot exclude medical care to people when they are objecting because of a religious belief….”

    Yah, Sarah, too bad that Web site thingy of yours absolutely guarantees that you don’t qualify.

  135. #136 herr doktor bimler
    June 8, 2014

    “All they need is a nice big lawsuit slapped on one of the physician groups. You cannot exclude medical care to people when they are objecting because of a religious belief,” she said…

    So she wants someone else to do the work and take the risks on her behalf? This seems to be a trend with anti-vaccination.

  136. #137 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    Chris: Huh, I didn’t know about Pushkin. I’ve always avoided Russian authors- I can get depressed enough by myself, thank you- but I suppose I should look into them one of these days.

    Liz Ditz: Ooh, thank you.

  137. #138 Denice Walter
    June 8, 2014

    OH well. I’ve been rather busy the last few days and didn’t notice that Mike Adams again ranted about the amount of Hg in vaccines being orders of magnitude beyond the limits allowable for alt med products. Or suchlike. In Oz yet.

    Then he links to the AVN.org.au because it is a great source of information ( Australian Vaccination-skeptics, that is). Meryl and Mikey. Oh my.

  138. #139 Denice Walter
    June 8, 2014

    @ PGP:

    You should try to read some Russian plays or poems first. Although even the novels are approachable if you take a chapter at a time, not necessarily in order.

    That’s how I got interested in Tolstoi- skipping around War & Peace made it less formidable. Eventually it made sense.
    -btw- they win.

  139. #140 Politicalguineapig
    June 8, 2014

    I’ve read Turgenev. Poems aren’t my thing, but I’ve seen Twelve Chairs (in the hands of Mel Brooks, a really underrated gem.) And then there’s Cold Souls, which if I understand it right is a bit of a homage to Dead Souls. I tried to read Dead Souls, I really did, but I can barely get through a half-chapter. And I keep meaning to read/see the Government Inspector (how is that never, ever performed around here while Cherry Orchard is performed everywhere?)

  140. #141 Politicalguineapig
    June 9, 2014

    Oh, and just to inform you how ridiculous that is: I can name at least ten theaters in town, two of which are a block away from each other, and only ten minutes away from the big monster theater.

  141. #142 Rebecca Fisher
    June 9, 2014

    @Sebastian Jackson – I’d completely forgotten about that…

  142. #143 Sebastian Jackson
    Karlstad, Sweden
    June 9, 2014

    @RebeccaFisher: And it turns out that UKIP and the Five Star Movement, which I mentioned at the top of this thread, are negotiating to form a group in the EU Parliament as we speak. Which would mean that we could have a group that is not only anti-immigration and anti-EU, but also anti-vaccine.

    http://www.ukip.org/rebels_with_a_cause_when_nigel_met_beppe

  143. #144 JGC
    June 9, 2014

    it does not take a freakin rocket scientist to know that mercury is poisonous and that is formaldehyde is used to preserve a dead body

    It also doesn’t take formal training or an advanced degree to be aware of and understand the fundamental principle of toxicology: the dose makes the poison (which of course makes one wonder why you’re incapable of doing so, Dee).

  144. […] In that segment, however, Stewart and Samantha Bee affirm this is a form of "liberal idiocy"; not so, shows Orac in a very detailed post. […]