As states try to crack down on non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, antivaccinationists lose it (yellow Star of David edition)

With the Disneyland measles outbreak still going strong and striking far more unvaccinated than vaccinated, it's not surprising that a discussion has begun in some states about lax policies that permit religious and/or philosophical exemptions. In Oregon, for example, the legislature is considering SB442, a bill apparently originally intended to provide a technical fix to the process for obtaining philosophical exemptions to vaccine mandates by giving parents deadlines to submit the required documentation for non-medical exemptions, but the antivaccine troops became totally riled up when the Senate Health Committee heard testimony on an amendment that would eliminate non-medical exemptions. That Oregon, a state with one of the laxest policies on non-medical exemptions would even consider such a law, even though it probably has a snowball's chance in hell of passing, is truly amazing. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine crank blog is going absolutely crazy about it, given that it's in founder J.B. Handley's home state.

Similarly, in California, Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen recently introduced Senate Bill 227, which would repeal the personal belief exemption to school vaccine mandates in California. That, too, is amazing. Consider, this is the land of Dr. Jay Gordon, Robert "Dr. Bob" Sears, and more woo-loving antivaccine naturopaths, pediatricians, and other health care providers than you can shake a stick at, and the legislature is actually considering a bill to eliminate personal belief exemptions. Not knowing the political situation in California that well, I don't know what its chances are for passage. (Probably not good.) Of course, before the Disneyland measles outbreak, there was no chance that such a bill would even have been introduced for debate.

In response to initiatives such as these, unfortunately, we have stories such as this one entitled Anti-vaccine moms speak out amid fierce backlash:

One is a businesswoman and an MBA graduate. Another is a corporate vice president. The third is a registered nurse.

These three mothers - all of them educated, middle-class professionals - are among the vaccine skeptics who have been widely ridiculed since more than 100 people fell ill in a measles outbreak traced to Disneyland. Critics question their intelligence, their parenting, even their sanity. Some have been called criminals for foregoing shots for their children that are overwhelmingly shown to be safe and effective.

"Contrary to the common sentiment, we are not anti-science," said Michelle Moore, a businesswoman who lives in the affluent Portland suburb of Lake Oswego with her 2.5-year-old twin girls. "I'm not opposed to medicine, and I think vaccines have a place. We think it's a medical choice, and it should be researched carefully."

Unfortunately, where you and I see the arrogance of ignorance, this article is yet another exercise in false balance, in which these antivaccine mothers are presented as being persecuted and not all that ignorant. One thing the article does get right is this:

Anti-vaccination parents include a mix of views - from religious communities to families practicing alternative medicine and libertarians who shun government interference.

Measles and myths: Medical expert addresses skepticism over vaccine
But many are Americans with college degrees living in liberal communities such as Santa Monica or Marin County in California and Portland, said Gary Freed, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

We also hear, what we've heard so many times before, the "health freedom" trope so beloved of antivaccinationists:

"I have the right to decide what to put into my child's body," said Heather Dillard, a mom in Springfield, Missouri, who is also a registered nurse. "Nobody has the right to put toxic chemicals into my son's bloodstream. That's taking my rights away, and it's very scary to me."

But what about her son's rights to good medical care and simple preventative measures that will protect him from infectious disease? As was the case with Rand Paul and all the others arguing "parental rights," the thought that the child might be an independent entity who is not the property of his parents never enters Dillard's mind. It's all about her, her, her, as opposed to about her son, and her comment about putting "toxic chemicals into his bloodstream" just shows how little she knows, in addition to this:

Dillard and others say they are not worried about measles because their children have strong immune systems. They cite statistics: Out of the 1,000-plus measles cases in the past decade, there was not a single death.

Not in the US—yet. There was just a death in Germany. An 18-month-old boy who was not vaccinated against the measles developed complications from the measles and died. Germany, it turns out, has been having its own measles outbreak, with 574 cases reported since October and this being the first fatality. Germany is just as developed a country as the US, in some ways more so (universal health care, for instance). Do Dillard and others think that this child didn't have a strong immune system? If antivaccinationists keep it up, we could soon be reporting our own measles deaths right here in the good ol' USA.

Meanwhile, in California, a group called Californians against SB 277 has gone beyond the antivaccine dog whistle of equating "forced vaccination" with an attack on freedom and has gone full Godwin (original post removed; but fortunately the text was saved here):

Yes, that picture you see is a photo of someone named Heather Barajas juxtaposed with Jews in Hitler's Germany wearing the yellow Star of David that Nazis made Jews wear in public in order to make them immediately identifiable with a picture of herself and her daughter with badges consisting of a syringe with a slash through it. Persecution complex much? I mean, seriously, it takes an enormous martyr complex coupled with delusions of grandeur to equate a requirement that children be vaccinated before going to places where there are a lot of other children who can spread disease (you know, like schools, day care facilities, and the like) with the yellow Star of David that Nazis required Jews to wear to make them easier to target for persecution and, ultimately, extermination.

Does Barajas realize how utterly ridiculous she looks? Does she realize how deeply offensive it is to compare her not being able to send her kids to school without getting them vaccinated with the Holocaust?

Barajas concludes thusly:

This is no longer about pro-vax vs. non-vax. This is about freedom of choice for medical procedures. Our bodies belong to us, not the government. Measles is not a deadly disease. It is not sweeping the nation, killing thousands, as the media hysteria seems to have some believing. It's being used as a scare tactic. It's being used to turn people against each other.

If SB 277 passes, it will be very bad. Not even homeschooling will be safe, since in CA it's considered private school. Everyone will be forced to vaccinate, adults as well. They have many new vaccines in the making that you will be forced to get.

I promise you, if you send the message that the government owns your body, you will regret it. What happens if they decide anyone with any kind of mental illness must be force medicated with whatever they deem as best? What if they start making medication that people with certain disabilities must take, whether they want to or not?

Of course, no one is "forcing" anyone to get vaccinated, least of all adults. The state is simply saying that if you want your child to be able to use certain public services, your child has to be vaccinated. As for the "slippery slope" argument, laws are already in place against medical neglect of children (and, make no mistake, not providing appropriate medication and medical treatment for a condition requiring them is medical neglect). The issue is that such laws are all too frequently not enforced properly. So much deference is given to "parental rights" that parents have to let two of their children die of pneumonia under nearly identical circumstances, failing to get them treated, before the state will actually consider throwing them in jail and taking the rest of their children away.

Sadly, the comments after Barajas' post are enough to make the Baby Jesus cry. You can see why Dr. Bob likes to blow his antivaccine dog whistle so much. He knows what his people like to hear. He just likes to present himself as the "reasonable" face of the antivaccine movement, not like those nuts likening vaccine mandates to the Holocaust or human trafficking.

Barajas, however, is just the beginning. I realize that I've covered Nazi & Holocaust analogies in which antivaccinationists portray themselves as the Jews and the CDC, state, and other health authorities as the Nazis, but more keep popping up all the time. With the measles outbreak being in the news, the pace seems to be accelerating. For example:

  • Anne Dachel: Unvaccinated today….Jews 1940 Budapest. In this lovely little ditty, the "media editor" of the antivaccine crank blog known as Age of Autism likens suggestions that the names of nonvaccinating families be made public to...the Jews of Budapest under Nazi rule. Because, you know, what antivaccinationists face today is just like what the Jews of Budapest and elsewhere in the Third Reich faced.
  • The Healthy Home Economist: WIC Threatening Unvaccinated Kids with Starvation. In this post, the HHE likens 2015 America to—you guessed it!—1935 Germany, asking, "Will the unvaccinated be forced to wear the modern equivalent of a yellow Star of David at some point in the near future?"
  • Mike Adams: When MEDICINE becomes MURDER: America's vaccine narrative now mirrors Nazi eugenics propaganda. It's Mike Adams. 'Nuff said. Well, not quite. This one is strained even by Adams' standards. It features a 1938 German propaganda poster of the "ideal Aryan family," all blond-haired and blue-eyed sitting on the beach in the perfection of health and compares it to a Pennsylvania poster that shows people showing off their vaccine bandages and reads "Earn your stripe!" It goes downhill from there, likening a poster from today stating that "Flu shots save lives" to a Nazi advertisement lamenting how much a "congenitally diseased or handicapped person" costs the state.

Actually, I must admit that Adams has outdone himself in despicableness, referring to "brain damaged victims of vaccines," complete with photos.

I can somewhat understand why some parents might resent school vaccine mandates. However, that understanding is tempered by an understanding that children are not the property of the parents and when parents fail in their duty to protect them sometimes the state has to prod them with measures like school vaccine mandates, which don't prevent the truly committed antivaccinationists from not vaccinating but will usually give fence sitters or those not ideologically committed against vaccinations a push to vaccinate. These measures are not, however, incipient fascism, the overblown analogies to the Holocaust of Mike Adams, Anne Dachel, and Heather Barajas notwithstanding. They just aren't. The appeal to "health freedom" is an antivaccine dog whistle, and the conflation of vaccine mandates with an intolerable affront to freedom is intentional. After all, who doesn't value freedom? Even those who are pro-vaccine might be sympathetic to such arguments when they come from someone like Rand Paul or even Dr. Bob Sears. In a perverse way, I almost have to thank Mike Adams and his ilk for taking this dog whistle, cranking the volume up to the point where even humans start to be able to hear its lower frequencies, and inadvertently reducing the "health freedom" argument to its on reductio ad absurdum.

ADDENDUM: It would appear that Heather Barajas and/or Californians Against SB 277 took down the post I was mocking. Fortunately, I saved the photo. Unfortunately, I didn't save the entirety of the text. (I really should know better. I did save the text of Dr. Bob Sears' posts that I wrote about.) In any case, here's the photo, for those who were curious:

Heather Barajas, in her extreme hubris coupled with a persecution complex, comparing herself to Jews marked with a yellow Star of David. Heather Barajas, in her extreme hubris coupled with a persecution complex, comparing herself to Jews marked with a yellow Star of David.

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Shorter anti-vax: "My right to swing my fist ends at the back of your skull."

Measles is not a deadly disease. It is not sweeping the nation, killing thousands,

And vaccination against measles has nothing to do with this happy state of affairs.

"Killing thousands". With this type of threshold, even the recent outbreak of Ebola would barely qualify as a serious disease. And anyway, it's because Africans have vit D deficiency. Not enough sun exposure, you know.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

As the cases in Germany's latest outbreak rise to around 600, the tragic inevitability has occurred - a wee unvaccinated 18 month old has died from measles.
According to official statments the child was unvaccinated (and was old enough to have been) and suffered no chronic conditions http://www.berlin.de/sen/gessoz/presse/pressemitteilungen/2015/pressemi…
Google translate of the above article tells us "
One and a half year old child died of measles: Press Release
Press release of 23/02/2015
The Senate Department for Health and Social Affairs was informed about a difficult runny measles disease with fatal outcome in a one and a half year old boy.

The child fell ill in the Reinickendorf district on 12 February with fever and cough developed in the course and the texture typical rash. Then worsened the condition of the child, so it had to be hospitalized on 14 February. The boy died in hospital on 18 February. The child was not vaccinated against measles. It had no chronic pre-existing conditions.

The competent health authority has initiated immediately in accordance with the Infection Protection Act in the relevant daycare all necessary measures. The announcement was made to the appropriate Regional Office for Health and Social Affairs on Monday, 23 February, after it was secured that measles were the actual cause of death.

The only protection against measles is vaccination. Therefore, all should check whether they have a Masernimpfschutz. Who is not sure whether he already had measles or been vaccinated, should consult their GP and get vaccinated. Blood tests are not necessary for this."

By janerella (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

And guess what does kill thousands - Influenza.....

Yet they don't like that vaccine either.

Well said Orac. Children do have the right to proper care just as parents have the responsibility to ensure their children receive it.
The longer the antivaccine crowd rants the less rational they sound.

By Rob Cordes (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Let's not forget Mike Adams, who just yesterday produced a gem of argumentum ad Nazium beyond even his past efforts, comparing vaccination programs to the Nazi euthanasia program. I've added some text to "honor" his efforts and include a few more vaccine/Nazi/Holocaust analogies.

As these bills come forth in their legislatures, this beyond hyperbolic hype will only worsen. I hope parents who do vaccinate will see through this nonsense and recognize it for what it is--a sign of just how uneducated and unbalanced anti-vaccinators really are.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Lawrence #4 makes a very good point - I was just on the CDC website the other day and was surprised to see there have been 86 pediatric deaths from flu since September 28, 2014. I don't know how that number compares to previous years, but it is a very frightening and sobering statistic. Are numbers like this brought up when people debate the flu vaccine? I wonder if that number is actually higher since not everyone will have their child tested for the flu.

By Still Shaking Mama (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

The first post beat me to the punch, so to speak, on the analogy of swinging one's fist in the air.

It's not a perfect analogy. Swinging my fist in the air, as long as it doesn't intersect another person, is harmless. Letting your special snowflakes go unvaccinated for other than valid medical reasons is not. But actions that endanger only your own kids are one thing. Actions which endanger other people's kids--and that is what the anti-vaxers are doing, even if they don't want to admit it--are that much more reprehensible. Keep your little Petri dishes away from other people's kids. If that means you have to quit your day job to home school them, and your lifestyle is a little less comfortable because of that, then that's the consequence of your actions.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Aother great chestnut from Barajas' rant: "I'm not being dramatic. I'm not over-exaggerating. I'm being very serious & trying to get a message across as bluntly as possible. Keeping our rights to our bodies is a must. I shouldn't have to live in fear in a supposed free country. But I do. I shouldn't feel anxiety every time I hear a police car, helicopter, or plane pass by. But I do. I shouldn't fear taking my daughter to the doctor. But I do. I shouldn't have to wonder if/how my family will suffer, be hurt, or even tortured because we make a medical decision that's different. But unfortunately, I do, every day."

But, no, she's neither dramatic nor over-exaggerating, not at all. I'm not sure those words mean what she thinks they do, because I'm fairly sure she's a textbook definition of both. This woman truly, truly believes her persecution totally equals what the Jews went through? Someone's privilege is showing.

That should read "persecution" with intended quotes in comment #12. Hyperbole is catching.

Ms. Barajas is not entirely correct regarding the whole home school thing. It might be considered a private school, but not necessarily. They need to meet certain requirements and file an affidavit to be considered a private school.

Why is it that so many RNs seem to be so anti-vax?

By NH Primary Car… (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

I shouldn't have to live in fear in a supposed free country. But I do. I shouldn't feel anxiety every time I hear a police car, helicopter, or plane pass by. But I do. I shouldn't fear taking my daughter to the doctor. But I do. I shouldn't have to wonder if/how my family will suffer, be hurt, or even tortured because we make a medical decision that's different. But unfortunately, I do, every day.

^^That's very distressing.

...

I mean, I too don't think the state should be empowered to make (let's say) CBT for paranoia mandatory. That kind of thing tends to be prone to abuse. But she needs help.

Just to expand on my previous comment, from what I could find, parents are exempted from enrolling their children in school or even registering their home as a school if the child is taught by a certified tutor. This would exempt them from any and all immunization requirements, as I understand it. The relevant code is Education Code 48224:

48224. Instruction by tutor

(Exemption by certificated tutor)

Children not attending a private, full-time, day school and who are being instructed in study and recitation for at least three hours a day for 175 days each calendar year by a private tutor or other person in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools of this state and in the English language shall be exempted. The tutor or other person shall hold a valid state credential for the grade taught. The instruction shall be offered between the hours of 8 o'clock a.m. and 4 o'clock p.m.

The Home School Association of California also notes that this manner of education is exempt from immunization requirements.

So, yeah. Ms. Barajas is full of it.

I suppose those people never have read any books about Germany under Hitler?
It's strange, in the US one gets some reactions comparing vaccination regulations with things happening to the Jews in WW2 and in the Netherlands some anti-vaccinionists are anti-semitic and holocaust deniers.

Dillard and others say they are not worried about measles because their children have strong immune systems. They cite statistics: Out of the 1,000-plus measles cases in the past decade, there was not a single death.

Which is false. There have been four measles deaths and several deaths from SSPE which is a separate registry.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

When I checked what immunizations needed updating when I was in my mid twenties I noticed that there was no measles or mumps vaccination on my record. I did get the rubella shot with all the other girls in my year in third grade.

So I got the MMR shot, in addition to my DTaP and FSME booster.

I get the flu vaccine every year.

Do I like having a sore arm for a week after the DTaP? No. I like being alive though.

My grandmother lost a child to diphtheria. She would have gone ape shit crazy if she found out one of her grandkids wasn't vaccinated.

@ScienceMom - I was shocked to see the deaths from SSPE...I hadn't realized that they had happened here (in recent memory).

Is there a way to get more details about the cases?

“I have the right to decide what to put into my child’s body,” said Heather Dillard, a mom in Springfield, Missouri, who is also a registered nurse.

Taking that to its (il)logical conclusion, Dillard has the "right" to deny her child food and water. After all, *she* gets to decide what goes in her kid's body, right?

When Orac says that these parents are treating their children like property and not autonomous human beings, he absolutely nails it. Never have I seen such a sense of entitlement from a group of people as I do from the anti-vaxers, who honestly believe that they are exempt from the responsibilities of living in a shared society.

I made a comment on another thread that it's not crass to make an economic case for a treatment. That rather chilling graphic at the start is a stark reminder of the importance of the broader context.

I'm sure a fantastic case could be made economically for eugenics, forced euthanasia, selective abortion etc. but no just no.

Surely one of the measures of a civilised society is to protect and defend the most vulnerable members not to destroy them. This is one of the things the anti vax crowd are missing. This is in large part surely what herd immunity provides and why it's so important and why to be part of that civilised society asking folk to get vaccinated is perfectly commendable.

Out of the 1,000-plus measles cases in the past decade, there was not a single death.

There's been either 2 or 10, depending on whose figures you want to cite. It would be nice to get this number nailed down.

barajas is right, of course. Measles isn't a deadly disease.

I mean, yes: it did kill 145,700 people worldwide in 2013 (that works out to roughly 400 deaths a day).

But that's hardly a reason to go throwing around loaded terms like 'deadly'. Right?

[toggle sarcasm off]

the thought that the child might be an independent entity who is not the property of his parents never enters Dillard’s mind. It’s all about her, her, her, as opposed to about her son

The more I deal with anti-vaxers, the more convinced I become that the core of their philosophy is nothing but good old fashioned narcissism.

- They believe they know better than anyone else
- They believe others do not put in the same efforts that they do, whether in raising their children, or in doing "research"
- They are unwilling to assume any risk on behalf of others
- They don't even value their own children as much as themselves

The last one is really where it becomes obvious. If they were actually doing all this in the name of protecting their children, their motivations would at least be honorable, if misguided. But they aren't; it is all about not being willing to risk "damaging" their children through vaccination, because that would be something THEY did. Whereas if their child suffers or dies from the actual disease, they can rationalize it as being "dumb luck" or "God's will". They wouldn't like it, but at least they wouldn't feel guilty.

To the anti-vaxers, the risk that some direct action of theirs would lead to a bad outcome for their child is the worst thing possible, even if that action actually reduces the overall risk. It's an astonishing abrogation of parental responsibility. Of course, that also reflects badly on them, so they construct these elaborate fantasies to hide their narcissism from the world and even from themselves. The lengths that they will go to to maintain this self-deception are incredible.

By Daniel Welch (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Still Shaking Mama

Oh yes, the death stats are brought up.

Not that it seems to matter much.

Two factors in that.

1) Humans are just bad a risk assessment so if I or anyone I know survived the flu it feels less dangerous than it is. So sometimes the numbers just don't have the impact one would tend to expect.

2 The tendency of some antivaxxers (particularly the more strident) to blame the deaths on the dead or the dead's parents. You let that kid have a sip of Coca-Cola once, well that is why your kid got the illness or why they didn't survive the illness. If only you were a pure as they claim they are then you would have been safe and alive.

But as we well know the diseases don't test your purity before infecting you and don't reassess your purity before marking you for death. In their world it seems that diseases cannot possibly kill you on their own. They only kill you if you've done something wrong (or someone did something wrong to you).

@15 > Why is it that so many RNs seem to be so anti-vax?

Nothing like a sweeping generalization but it seems that RNs are routinely taught to "rely on their instincts" and that turns to relying on their anecdotes. Not enough critical thinking. There are many, many exceptions to this rule though. I have met numerous RNs of excellence also.

Correction to post #1:

“My right to swing my fist ends when my arm gets tired.”

@Phlebas

That rather chilling graphic at the start is a stark reminder of the importance of the broader context.

Actually, I have no trouble differentiating your economic-based argument from the NSDAP's one.

You are arguing about return on investment: by spending now a bit to get most people vaccinated, we save a lot of money later-on by avoiding a more-or-less big number of sick people - money saved on treatments, infrastructure (eh, no more hospital yards for people in iron lungs), and avoided sick days. The same economics-driven logic could be applied to any medical treatment: is the return greater than the cost of it?

Fascists and their ilks are just arguing about not spending money on sick people in the first place. Let the people in iron lungs die.

I would also add that, if antivaxers want to talk about eugenics enabling, they should take a hard look at the typical rhetorical content of their leaders. It's all about their children having a superior immune system and disabled children having a fate worse than death.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Heli - you are correct....there has always been an undercurrent in ant-vax rhetoric that people who get sick and / or die from VPDs "deserved it" because their immune systems weren't good enough.

Of course, now those statements are being made in public forums, directly - that children who die of VPDs are better off being removed from the population, because of their "faulty genes."

The comparisons to language that was used in the past to justify Eugenics is eerily similar...and the connotative-dissonance is surreal.

So the government is full of jack-booted Nazis who strike terror into your heart every time you hear a helicopter or police car and yet, you want them to education your children? Shouldn't you be homeschooling already? Problem solved.

@ Lawrence:

re influenza deaths
Woo-meisters often dispute that. They propose that these figures rely upon trickery by adding pneumonia deaths which have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with influenza. Right.

Indeed. At AoA, Blaxill uses figures in other ways.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Last night I almost wept at a local news segment. A man in Liberty, MO just received more than seven million from the vaccine injury compensation fund. He and his wife traveled the globe and regularly received all kinds of vaccines. One set they got left her severely brain injured.

In the interview, he calmly stated the real risks vs benefits of vaccines, urged people to be vaccinated and said the biggest tragedy that could come of this is that people would use this anecdotal evidence of his wife's very rare reaction to further scare monger and argue against vaccination.

@Helianthus
Thanks, that's a relief.

Your last point is well made. We keep seeing variants of "healthy kids don't die from disease" or "we're safe here in the west" in anti vax propaganda.

I wonder how many of those anti-vax parents would support another parent's right to send their kid to school with an untreated louse infestation.
"After all, no one dies from lice and Big Brother can't make me put toxic chemicals all over my child's skin."

@Lawrence

Did you get those results from the National Vital Statistics System via WONDER?

The question that Shay is raising is that the MMWR only notes 2 deaths in 2003, but doesn't mention the other deaths, while NVSS lists quite a few more (10 from 2000-2013, not counting SSPE).

My classmate died from vaccination at the age of 11. While such complications are rare they do happen (please, check VAERS database). Should the parents of the dead child have a right to reject vaccine to their other child? How would they feel if California unconditionally mandates vaccination when they see their child dying from one? Does the friends of these parents have the right to review vaccination schedule for their children when they see a child of their friends died from vaccine? Please, let me remind you that the people in California are humans, not cattle.

By Review Portal (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Todd - Dorit provided those links a few days ago.

I'll ask her.

@ Todd and Lawrence, these would be good numbers and cases to track down. Yet another anti-vaxx trope to smack down.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Just note, though, that if the data is coming out of WONDER, it cannot be used to identify the individuals, per the user agreement. So use the data for reporting, but do not track down and disclose the identities of the individuals.

TMR newbie, Epiphany** declares " We Are Not Your Enemy"
in an effort to present her partisan sisters as being truly human to vaccination advocates, not a pestilence to be stamped out heartlessly..
She stresses similarities rather than differences - both love their children, want what is best for them, would do anything for them, including giving their own lives .

Surely the only real difference is that one believes in 'choice' and the other is the hapless victim of meticulously programmed brainwashing by the government. the media and the "medical fear mongering machine"

By disregarding and not supporting the opposition's freedom of choice, their own choices will be limited eventually as well. I'm surprised she didn't dredge up the ' first they came for the Jews, but I wasn't one so I didn't act...' meme.

By protecting vaccination choice, vaccinators also protect themselves somehow. She ends with the traditional argumentum ad pharma lucrium.

** a law student and 'Amazon warrior' from AUS who purports that her vaccinated children have a full range of vaccine injuries whilst her unvaccinated ones are bursting with health- perhaps the latter will follow in her warrior path.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

As was the case with Rand Paul and all the others arguing “parental rights,” the thought that the child might be an independent entity who is not the property of his parents never enters Dillard’s mind.

Indeed.

There's been a few recent stories concerning a new sex education curriculum being implemented in Ontario.

As might be expected, some parents aren't keen on this, making remarks like "I do not want my children taught things that go against my beliefs."

I pointed out that Canada has signed and ratified the "UN Convention on the Rights of the Child", which treats children as individual beings rather than extensions of the parent or property of the parent.

http://www.everychild.ca/uncrc

This didn't go over well with some however, it still remains the fact.

We think it’s a medical choice, and it should be researched carefully.”

At this point, whoever wrote the article should have asked specific questions concerning the "research" this gaggle of of airheads had actually done.

From what I've seen to date, on most occasions that an anti-vaxer is asked specific questions re: their "research", they clam right up.

Also, as there are numerous examples of well educated cranks and crackpots, MSM "appeals to authority" like "all of them educated, middle-class professionals" are irrelevant.

Actually, I must admit that Adams has outdone himself in despicableness, referring to “brain damaged victims of vaccines,” complete with photos.

Assuming that Mike doesn't have any real evidence to support the above-mentioned claim, I wish some government agency would take him to task i.e., prove that these are "brain damaged victims of vaccines" or face a charge for disseminating information he knows, or should have known, is false ... which pretty much sums up his entire distasteful article.

The guy is a public menace.

I almost have to thank Mike Adams and his ilk for taking this dog whistle, cranking the volume up to the point where even humans start to be able to hear its lower frequencies, and inadvertently reducing the “health freedom” argument to its on reductio ad absurdum.

I agree.

I tend to think many anti-vaxers have picked up their info from FB groups or mommy forums and as such, may not be aware of the level of craziness seen on Mike's site and sites like InfoWars.

And I'm sure most families that vaccinate are not aware of the craziness that bubbles away on these sites ... or perhaps even aware there was an "anti-vax movement" before the recent outbreaks.

Having the "crazy" flow in comment threads on vaccine stories and sites like Mike's ... along with the insane "vaccine holocaust" ravings ... likely benefits the vaccine supporter side.

But, I still view Adams as a public menace.

Of course, if agencies like the FDA and similar organizations could get the same powers for "herbal supplements" and "natural remedies" industry that they have for prescription drugs and started cracking down on "unvalidated claims" made for these products, guys like Adams might drift of into oblivion.

History, like science, has never been one of their strong points. The ultimate history of the world is, in some sense, the history of children dying. Before vaccines, that is what happened. Children died. It wasn't a rare tragedy like it is in most of the developed world. It was something that happened pretty much every single day of the year even to the rich and well off.

They died and there was nothing a parent could do about it. You couldn't stop diphtheria at all. You couldn't pray away a child's pertussis cough. You couldn't end measles with a poultice.

All you did was to sit back and watch. If the universe was kind, the child survived. If the universe wasn't the child died. Or maybe it was blind from smallpox or deaf from measles or sterile from mumps.

They remember none of that.

By Stacy Herlihy (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

"Why is it that so many RNs seem to be so anti-vax?"

I'd be curious to know what percentage of them are anti-vax compared to other careers. My step-daughter is an RN who posts numerous pro-vaccination on her facebook page, and counters the idiocy of some of her anti-vax friends (none of them RNs fortunately). Of all her classmates and people she's worked with she says she has only met one person who was anti-vax (anecdotal evidence alert though).

As an aside, she's going for an interview next week for admission to medical school. Fingers crossed!

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

a law student and ‘Amazon warrior’

I swear to Crom, the next person who identifies herself as a "mommy warrior" I'm gonna ask to see her DD-214.

You got no discharge papers, you ain't no "warrior."

#44 - Children died

Yes but, a parent's inalienable right to let their child die must be preserved, otherwise society could crumble into anarchy.

Re: "History, like science, has never been one of their strong points. "

The only strong point I've seen from anti-vaxers is "dunning-kruger".

Most seem appallingly ignorant and/or have an understanding of history, science, "individual rights", etc. that is restricted to whatever they've picked up from conspiracy and medical crackpot sites.

Then they have the audacity to yammer on about "critical thinking" when it's obvious they've never questioned any of the nonsense they've picked up from the crackpot sites they frequent.

@ DGR:

Agreed, Adams is a public menace.

Looking over his posts of the past few days, I notice that he- like the other prevaricator @ PRN- presents himself as an educator, a scientist and ultimately, a humanitarian.

" Your entire reality is an elaborate manipulation", "Who needs facts?" ( both, yesterday) and his Food Rising campaign ( Sunday) sidle up cozily with the venom Orac cites above. He enlightens, educates and charitably gives away hydroponics kits to children ( that other people paid for). so, he doesn't present provocation in a vacuum: he manoeuvres his audience into admiring his revelations and charity, producing a veneer of sanctity, insulating him from criticism.

OBVIOUSLY these guys want to distract their followers from understanding their OWN method of indoctrination and control of others' money as well as their own gross earnings.

Look as I may, I haven't been able to find out how much money Mike makes from his various companies because he registers them in Taiwan. As a comparison, the other woo-meister earns between 10-12 million USD over the past several years - most of it during a recession- ( from sources like spoke.com) whilst owning a few companies and 'charities' registered in Mineola Texas recently. Five at last count.

I think that the more financial information we can discuss about these charlatans the better.
How much do they earn? How much do their homes cost? How much is each product marked up? How much do they pay employees? How much do they earn from advertisement or other fees? Do they consult as medical advisors for profit?

There's a wealth of dirt for someone who wants to dig.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

To clarify:
10-12 million USD *per annum*

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

You got no discharge papers, you ain’t no “warrior.”

Discharge papers are a necessary but insufficient condition for warriorhood, in my opinion.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@TBruce

In the artsy-fartsy New Age-y town I used to live in, many people would NOT use any “allopathic” lice treatments. Or so they said (until their kids got REALLY infested for lack of treatment). There were also a LOT of homeschooled kids (very loose and unenforced laws on that as well--State of Washington) who were not vaxed. There were also regular deaths from cancer in people who had chosen wheat grass over chemo. When this was pointed out, the response, “oh, she didn’t start the wheat grass soon enough”.

@BA

Yes, it’s a generalization, but I too run into a good many RN’s who are devotees of Mike Adams or his ilk. They get furious when required to have a vaccination for continued employment in a clinic or hospital. I blame the educational system--certain basic facts need to be drummed in during training, along with more emphasis on critical thinking.

William Wordsworth, in a letter to a friend in December 1812 about the death of Wordsworth's 6-year-old son, Thomas:

"Symptoms of the measles appeared upon my Son Thomas last Thursday; he was most favorable held till Tuesday, between ten and eleven at that hour was particularly lightsome and comfortable; without any assignable cause a sudden change took place, an inflammation had commenced on the lungs which it was impossible to check and the sweet Innocent yielded up his soul to God before six in the evening. He did not appear to suffer much in body, but I fear something in mind as he was of an age to have thought much upon death a subject to which his mind was daily led by the grave of his Sister."

We should have more nostalgia for the olden days. True, lots of children died, but it resulted in moving prose.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

15: A lot of RNs went to diploma mills, plus they don't like doctors and seize on any excuse to snub them outside of work.

38: Best treatment we ever did for lice was tea tree oil. May be natural, but ho-ee is it strong.

Barajaras: "I shouldn’t fear taking my daughter to the doctor."

Uh, why would an anti-vaxxer do that anyway? Just to make sure that a doc's day is as unpleasant as possible?

Moore: “I’m not opposed to medicine, and I think vaccines have a place. We think it’s a medical choice, and it should be researched carefully.”

Wow, that's some primo weaseling. If you're anti-vax, you're against medicine full-stop.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

” Your entire reality is an elaborate manipulation”, “Who needs facts?”

So when Mike isn't resorting to argumentum ad Hitleram, he's spewing postmodernist tripe?

Back in 1996, Alan Sokal had the perfect reply to that kind of nonsense: "[A]nyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)" It's harder to come up with a comparable point for basic biology, but the point still stands. There are such things as objective facts, and anyone who ignores this, as Adams does, does so at his peril.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@15

Dunno about your side of the Atlantic but over here nurse training (I am a former senior nurse with many years of supervising student nurses), despite improvements over the years, is still not good enough on the critical thinking and assessment of evidence part: the number of times I heard "Research shows..." when the research was nothing of the sort - as in just because it's in a book doesn't make it research - or did not show what was claimed beggared belief.

Mind, I could say the same about some medics of my acquaintance.

@ Eric Lund:

Mike isn't quite post-modern. His position is that there IS Truth- which he has- whilst what is presented as 'true' by the powers-that-be is merely illusion produced in order to control the populace. Right. He is the only one to believe.

Unfortunately, this is the type of tripe I read everyday as well as listening to more from other idiot- a victim of hacking. His Truth is too powerful for the Man to allow unimpeded. Sure

But I am immune. And someone has to do it, so why not me?
( It seems that I inherited the ability to tolerate vast oceans of nonsense and surface, unscathed)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ Review portal #40

While such complications are rare they do happen (please, check VAERS database).

Yes, serious complications happen.
Not at the rates some antivax leaders would like us to believe, but it happen, about 1 per million cases.
The Smallpox vaccine had the reputation of being nastier, but eh, it's not on the schedule anymore!

Should the parents of the dead child have a right to reject vaccine to their other child?

I would prefer they look for advice with their physician (or three of them) rather than with a stranger on the internet, but apart from this, yes, they have ground to be cautious.

How would they feel if California unconditionally mandates vaccination when they see their child dying from one?

"unconditionally"? Stop blathering like the sheep you are.
Prove us it's going to be the gestapo storming in and sticking you with needles, or for Pete sake's shut your gap.

No-one here wants this. Anyone who has a valid medical reason not to vaccinate - like, at random, a previous nasty reaction in the family - is perfectly in his/her right to skip the needles.

All we are for is mandatory vaccination for attendance to public schools and working in public places, like hospitals. Non-vaccinating people have plenty of other resources.

Does the friends of these parents have the right to review vaccination schedule for their children when they see a child of their friends died from vaccine?

Only if they have evidence that delaying the schedule is not increasing the risks of catching the illness and/or having side-reactions. Turns out, it is: delaying vaccinations increase the risk the illness it's protecting against and doesn't reduce the risk of seizure.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Correct me if I'm wrong but most RN programs back in my day had watered down science pre-requisites, isn’t that still the norm? I escaped that by also attaining a BS in Biology! IMHO, the worst RNs I've encountered with anti-vax sentiments are the MSNs where most programs appear to be somewhat ethereal in nature – not focused on clinical expertise or management. All feel-good “Healing” ideologies are emphasized – Are you all familiar with the ludicrous and actually feuding “Healing Touch” & “Therapeutic Touch” movements? As others have mentioned, many higher level RNs seek to distance themselves from MDs because they consider themselves “Healers”, not clinicians.

@Eric Lund#57:

So when Mike isn’t resorting to argumentum ad Hitleram, he’s spewing postmodernist tripe?

Now you've done it! Sadmar is going to be pissed!

@ RobRN:

Unfortunately, I know of a few woo-centric nurses:

-Vicki Saputo has a show on Natural News Radio, Prescriptions for Health, with her husband, a doctor
- Ellen Kamhi has the 'Natural Nurse' show on PRN
- Luanne Pennisi is Null's enabler in various modes, including providing access to woo-therapeutics ( her company, Metropolitan Wellness)

- there's a group- I'm at loss for the name now- in the US that opposes vaccination for health care workers
- a few turn up on anti-vax websites as well..

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

I look at Dr. Sears, Dr. Gordon, Dr. OZ etc and wonder why so many MDs are anti-vax.

NH Primary Care asked,

Why is it that so many RNs seem to be so anti-vax?

Denise wrote,

there’s a group- I’m at loss for the name now- in the US that opposes vaccination for health care workers

Denise is thinking of "Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccinations". They tried for a massive, multi-site protest last year. As I recall, there were three or four protests with a handful of protesters at each site.

As an antidote, there is Nurses Who Vaccinate, which has a much more robust membership. If you are an RN, do join!

@Denice: Vicki Saputo used to be an actress in B-movies. She actually appears in a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode (incidentally the last one ever aired) riffing on "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders." She plays the dad's girlfriend in the story about the toy monkey.

In fact, this is the part of the movie where she appears: http://youtu.be/p8Q-RuAx4V4?t=53m1s

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

I would hazard a guess, regarding RNs being anti-vax, that it only seems that way in reading news reports on antivaxers. Since there are a significantly larger number of nurses than doctors, as well as a larger number of mommy nurses than mommy doctors, it's easier to find an anti-vax one to interview. Also, more than 50% of RNs were not trained at the baccalaureate level, and it is my understanding that a research component of the curriculum is one of the differences between the ASN and BSN tracks to RN certification.

Anecdotally, the research analysis/ evidence based medicine focus of my BSN degree helped tremendously in allowing me to critically examine the claims of my woo-steeped upbringing and move into the world of real medical knowledge. I also don't know any anti-vax nurses myself. (Unless you count a couple of Nurse Midwives, and not the majority of them are anti-vax either.) I also was never told to just go with my intuition unless it involved calling in someone with more education than me if a patient just seemed off but the vital signs hadn't dropped yet.

Back on the topic of the post- I wonder how the vaccine-refusing Jewish Orthodox communities feel about the comparison between Nazi Eugenics and American Public Health standards.

Tangentially related, as in remarkably counterfactual* things AVers say

This little gem was written a Colorado anti-vaccine advocate who writes lots of different blogs under several pseudonyms. The title of the post is, "20 Things I Wish Vaccine Junkies Would Admit"

True herd immunity is based on animals that naturally acquired viral disease. Oftentimes immunity comes from eating the herd members that died from the disease or putting their diarrhea into feed. Farmers know that herd immunity isn’t based on vaccination.

*Of the author of this little gem, one of my pals wrote, "the cheese has completely slid of the cracker."

A little girl died of SSPE near the town where I live:

http://www.eveningsun.com/ci_17547430

When I brought it up to an antivaxxer, their reply was that the little girl was a "foreigner", so it wasn't that bad of a thing.

These people disgust me.

@Jan

"As the cases in Germany’s latest outbreak rise to around 600, the tragic inevitability has occurred – a wee unvaccinated 18 month old has died from measles.
According to official statments the child was unvaccinated (and was old enough to have been) and suffered no chronic conditions."

Anti-vaxers are now spreading this article around with apparent glee http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/02/24/toddler-dies-of-me…

"An autopsy on the child, who wasn't inoculated against measles, showed that he had an unspecified other disease as well but that wouldn't have led to his death without the measles infection, the Charite hospital said."

So of course, measles is still a harmless rash. It was only because this boy had some other condition that he died.

/sarcasm off

Something funny about Anne Dachel: after a lot of news sites like Raw Story picked up the story of parents giving their kids bleach enemas (full disclosure: given to them by my online Aspie group), Dachel and AoA have scarcely come to the defense of Kerri Rivera and MMS. We know J.B. Handley has no problem with MMS, but is there a limit to what even Dachel can reasonably defend?

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Still Shaking Mama #9:

there have been 86 pediatric deaths from flu since September 28, 2014. I don’t know how that number compares to previous years, but it is a very frightening and sobering statistic. Are numbers like this brought up when people debate the flu vaccine? I wonder if that number is actually higher since not everyone will have their child tested for the flu.

Someone on another forum told me that laws against drunk driving are ok because driving drunk is so dangerous, but not laws mandating vaccination because there's little immediate risk.
However, the flu kills thousands of people a year in the USA. In an average year, the vaccine is 60% effective at preventing doctor visits due to the flu. If everybody got their flu shot, it should prevent more than 60% of those deaths - since if more people are vaccinated against a disease, it not only reduces their vulnerability to the disease, but reduces their likelihood of being exposed to the disease as well. Disease propagation is non-linear.
About 50% of people in the USA get the flu shot. If 160 million more did, it would save thousands of lives. Which means the risk of causing death by not getting the flu shot is roughly 1/50,000.
As for drunk driving - there are an estimated 112 million episodes of driving while impaired by alcohol in the USA. There are about 10,000 deaths in car accidents where an alcohol-impaired driver was involved. So, the death rate alcohol-impaired driving is about 1/10,000 deaths per episode.
The cost in lives with not getting a flu shot is not so different really from the cost in lives associated with drunk driving.
Even though we have a very different impression of the relative dangerousness.
Stats from the CDC.

True herd immunity is based on animals that naturally acquired viral disease. Oftentimes immunity comes from eating the herd members that died from the disease or putting their diarrhea into feed.

I guess that's one way of avoiding measles & polio & flu.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Could we just knock it off now, dissing nurses?

Most nurses do not have the autonomy I had when I worked as a public health nurse, to recommend as well as administer, every vaccine that was part of the Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule.

Then, you have the "vaccine friendly doctors", such as Dr. Bob Sears and Dr. Jay Gordon, who come out against following the CDC/AAP Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule, who also readily admit that they have no evidence-based information.They rely on parent intuition and the sh!t testimonials that they read on Age of Autism, the NVIC and every other anti-vaccine, anti-science blog.

The use of Holocaust analogies is inappropriate for another reason: measles and other diseases that are now vaccine-preventable were major killers in the ghettos that the Nazis forced Eastern European Jews into. Antivax World will argue that malnutrition weakened their immunity, and I'm sure that's true, but that turns back on them; after all the vaccination of those who can safely receive it protects those among us whose immune status puts them at high risk.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Lilady: I have the utmost respect for nurses, but at the same time I think some things need to be acknowledged- like the fact that not all nursing schools are equal. Also, nurses tend to be stressed, and stressed women are easy prey for woomeisters.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Jews 1940 Budapest. In this lovely little ditty, the “media editor” of the antivaccine crank blog known as Age of Autism likens suggestions that the names of nonvaccinating families be made public to…the Jews of Budapest under Nazi rule.

Imma pretty sure that in 1940 Hungary had its own nationalist right-wing government with Pál Teleki as PM and Admiral Horthy as head of state. Hungary was separate from the Third Reich until 1944 when the Germans invaded and installed a puppet state with home-grown Nazis in charge.
It's a good thing I'm not pedantic.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

I wonder how the vaccine-refusing Jewish Orthodox communities feel about the comparison between Nazi Eugenics and American Public Health standards.

Perhaps someone should ask the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, or a similar organization, for their thoughts on the matter.

If I was Jewish, I'd be pretty pissed about Mike's comparison.

Hungary was separate from the Third Reich until 1944 when the Germans invaded and installed a puppet state with home-grown Nazis in charge.

Aye, and the Jews of Hungary and Budapest in particular were largely left alone until the Arrow Cross took over in 1944, when they were shipped en masse to mainly Auschwitz.

Fun fact: one can still see a lot of bullet holes in various locales throughout Budapest, in particular the walls around Varhegy, where the fascists held out against the Red Army for some time.

PGP has finally managed to piss me off.

Nurses put up with more hospital BS than I care to even imagine - denigrating them as a group is both uncalled for & a vile statement in general.

Just go the f@ck away.

Heh. Looks like Heather removed her post (or Californians against SB277 did). Good thing I kept a copy of the picture. :-)

On the other hand, I should have reposted all the text, the way I've done with Dr. Bob Facebook posts. :-(

Also, I'm also getting a little fed up with the nurse bashing going on in this thread. My wife's was an RN and now is an APRN, and I think it's starting to go a bit too far, enough to tick me off. Too bad I was in the operating room all day until now and didn't see this developing in time to nip it in the bud.

Imma pretty sure that in 1940 Hungary had its own nationalist right-wing government with Pál Teleki as PM and Admiral Horthy as head of state. Hungary was separate from the Third Reich until 1944 when the Germans invaded and installed a puppet state with home-grown Nazis in charge.

D'oh! I knew that and forgot about it. There's no excuse for me not to have noticed that, given my longstanding interest in WWII history. Except other than its having been a bit late when I finished this post last night.

a poster from today stating that “Flu shots save lives” to a Nazi advertisement lamenting how much a “congenitally diseased or handicapped person” costs the state.

Of course there are people espousing a philosophy akin to the Aktion-T4 idea, that the human race would be better-off without weaklings and poor immune systems, so VPDs are just improving the species. Except those people are not the ones advocating vaccination.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

"Also, nurses tend to be stressed, and stressed women are easy prey for woomeisters."

Did you seriously just say that? I'm with Lawrence...

By SelenaWolf (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Lawrence: WTF. All I did was state two facts: a stressed population IS more vulnerable to woo, and nurses are very stressed, since, as you mentioned, hospitals tend to pile on the BS, Also, not all nursing programs are created equal- that's not an attack either. So should I just pretend all nurses are saints, were perfectly educated and have their lives all straightened out and perfect?
I probably won't be back. I used to think you were a nice person. I guess my perception was way off.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

PGP: Please, take a deep breath, settle down, and go back and look at what you wrote. If you can't see why it comes across as sexist and condescending and therefore might rile people up, I'm not sure I can help you figure it out, but I, too, saw the remark that way and cringed as I read it.

To be frank, no one is immune to anti-vax fever:
doctors, nurses, *psychologists*, social workers, chemists, biologists, teachers, engineers, business people as well as certified woo-meisters and new age gurus.
If you peruse AoA and TMR as well as other dedicated sites, you can run into most anyone. I haven't done a survey but I doubt that nurses are any worse than the above.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Oooops! I left out journalists, senators, television show hosts, comics and actresses.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Oh. And LAWYERS. How could I miss that?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Did you get those results from the National Vital Statistics System via WONDER?

The tail ends make it pretty clear.

The question that Shay is raising is that the MMWR only notes 2 deaths in 2003, but doesn’t mention the other deaths

The 2012 Summary of Notifiable Diseases has one in 2005 and two each in 2009 and 2010.

AoA is doubling (tripling?) down on the routine, with Neil Z. Miller being the latest entrant. (He also seems to be quite invested in the claim that measles prevents Hodgkin's lymphoma, while carefully omitting some less chipper results.)

As far as vaccines during the Nazi era goes, there's a really good book by Arthur Allen called The Fantastic Library of Dr. Weigl How Two Doctors Battled Typhus and Sabotaged The Nazis. He gets into subjects such as how vaccines were made during that time frame as well as how people thought about medicine. I highly recommend it.

By Stacy Herlihy (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

And princes.

Sorry, that last in reply to Denise @#90. Didn't post fast enough to beat Narad and Stacy.

@TBruce #62

I won't claim to have ever been devoid of all of the various meanings of "pissed" in reaction to skeptics' mis-use of 'pomo' descriptors. Mainly, it makes me sad.

#51 Denice cites phrases used by Mikey in article titles on NN, so RI readers will know which posts match Orac's OP without her having to provide links.

#57 Eric reads those phrases out of context, makes an incorrect assumption about Adams means them, and incorrectly ID's that assumption Adams doesn't actually have as "postmodernist".

#59 Denice explains briefly how Adams was using the phrase, and perhaps to remain agnostic on the use of 'pomo' vocabulary merely avers "Mike isn’t quite post-modern."

So, basically Eric just whooped up a load of conformation bias, didn't check the facts about what Adams actually said, and made a completely invalid point about Adams to reafiirm his straw-man "evil postmodernist" fantasy and give a shout-out to Asshat Sokol.

Actual postmodernists do not assert "the laws of physics are mere social conventions." They tend to be quite aware of the objective facts of biology and physics as applied to life and death — though jumping out a high window voluntarily probably wouldn't be their chosen exemplar. For Lyotard and Baudrillard – who grew up in occupied France, and were first and foremost anti-Fascists – that would more likely be being pushed in front of a Nazi firing squad.

The "postmodernist" label has been applied to scads of totally different things, so there's no True Scotsman to claim so-and-so isn't. But the core of the stuff asserts that at some point between 1950 and 1990 Western culture passed a tipping point and a new sensibility – a new way of looking at the world, of defining reality even – became common in everyday life. And the postmodernists don't agree with any of various takes this new culture has on 'reality'. They're just trying to understand what's going on in the culture, why it's going on, and what it means for issues of justice, equality and so forth.

To the matter at hand: a lot of 'pomo' culture theory and critique would be quite useful in analyzing anti-vax hysteria, explaining why Barrajas, Adams and their ilk are able to get any traction at all with truly loopy conspiracy theories – or how Adams and his fan base can arrive at a TRUTH that an Oregon State legislator seeking to tighten exemption requirements is a NAZI! Basically, Fred Jameson predicted much of our current weirdness back in '84, so a big chunk of pomo theory has now stood the test of time quite well.

Thus, what makes me is sad is the blanket rejection, on utterly false premises, of ideas that could help inform an effective push-back against anti-science loonies who are threatening objectively real human beings with objectively real infectious diseases – and leading objectively real patients with objectively real cancers away from objectively real treatments in ways that lead those objectively real folks to premature objectively real death for the sake of objectively real profit.

I'm curious how you've come to the conclusion that a stressed population is inherently more vulnerable to woo than an unstressed population, pgp. Seems to me that if that were the case, we'd see far more firefighters, corporate executives, air traffic controllers, emergency responders, etc., extolling the wonders of essential oils and wheat grass enema's than is the case.

I don't think nurses embrace woo any more frequently than people in other professions. it's just taht we notice when a nurse does so more than we do when it's a hair stylist or zumba teacher, because of it's incongruity (""But she's a nurse! She's had to complete advanced course work in health and human physiology--shouldn't she know better?")

@PGP - I am a good person, which I why I took great offense (finally, given the other stuff you've written in the past) to get very, very angry at you.

In the future, think before you type - you'll be a much better person for it.

In other news, a single amino acid change makes measles neurotropic. Yay?

Oh how could we miss this:
cia parker ( @ AoA/ Blaxill's post):
" I am definitely in favor of letting natural measles come back".

( sadmar, I wasn't being agnostic but deliberately and coyly understating that he isn't pomo. He knows the absolute Truth about everything. Including g0d, the universe and gardening).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

That "yellow star" = "anti-vax" post was copied to the RtAVM page. Many comments on it, of a different sort :)

Cynthia "cia" Parker is a notorious loon. She's on all the message boards telling us how much she hates her poor autistic child and how the hep b shot obviously caused her MS. She's been at me for years, calling me names, insulting my girls and telling us how much we need to have measles back. She needs help.

By Stacy Herlihy (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

In other news, a single amino acid change makes measles neurotropic. Yay?

"An interesting question is whether these neurotropic measles viruses can be transmitted by aerosol between hosts – a rather unsettling scenario."

Well, that's potentially terrifying.

Stacy Herlihy: "... there’s a really good book by Arthur Allen called The Fantastic Library of Dr. Weigl How Two Doctors Battled Typhus and Sabotaged The Nazis. .... I highly recommend it."

I also highly recommend it. It is a really good read.

They tend to be quite aware of the objective facts of biology and physics as applied to life and death

You are a newbie at this, aren't you? I believe you when you say that most postmodernists don't apply pomo to physics, but I think you are unaware of just how much postmodernism has crept into medicine along with CAM/integrative medicine. I can provide examples, some pretty darned outrageous.

Unless, of course, you'll claim "no true Scotsman." :-)

@ Stacy Herlihy:

Oh we know all about her Lilady especially.Heh.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

The Fantastic Laboratory not library darn it.

By Stacy Herlihy (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Heather dear...

Get off your f*cking cross, someone else needs the wood.

Stacy Herlihy: "Here’s an interview I did with the author a few months ago."

Thanks!

(we are also in agreement with Cia Parker)

No no no. Its clearly about the choice to vax or not. If I don't feel it necessary to vax my child than that is my business. The fact is that we are trying to tell you pro vax mafia freaks that my decision not to vaccinate is NOT putting your children at risk because after all, you're vaccinated, right? Seems like an idiotic statement to fear an unvaccinated individual when you belive so much that vaccines are efficient. And BTW, the herd immunity theory has been destroyed. The risk of some form of neurological injury due to vaccines is significantly higher than the diseases themselves which were well on their way to down by 90% well before vaccines were introduced. Independent studies show the risk yet no one does their due diligence to investigate. Instead, you jump on the junk science bandwagon with false implications that vaccines do not cause injuries to a vast amount of infants and children and ridicule those who have enough balls to question it to protect their own. So all we want is for you to stop worrying about what I decide for my children when it DOESN'T impact you for a second.

1. Vaccine injuries account for 1 in 6
2. They contain numerous neurotoxins
3. Vaccines have failed efficacy

I've done my research. Weighed my options. Made the best decision based on due diligence. Period. Get over it!

Mike P, is that a Poe, because I think you hit every square on the Anti-Vax BINGO card.

@Mike P

As a mother, I put my parenting decisions above all else. Nobody knows my son better than me, and the choices I make about how to care for him are no one’s business but my own. So, when other people tell me how they think I should be raising my child, I simply can’t tolerate it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I fully stand behind my choices as a mom, including my choice not to vaccinate my son, because it is my fundamental right as a parent to decide which eradicated diseases come roaring back.
The decision to cause a full-blown, multi-state pandemic of a virus that was effectively eliminated from the national population generations ago is my choice alone, and regardless of your personal convictions, that right should never be taken away from a child’s parent. Never.
Say what you will about me, but I’ve read the information out there and weighed every option, so I am confident in my choice to revive a debilitating illness that was long ago declared dead and let it spread like wildfire from school to school, town to town, and state to state, until it reaches every corner of the country. Leaving such a momentous decision to someone you haven’t even met and who doesn’t care about your child personally—now that’s absurd! Maybe I choose to bring back the mumps. Or maybe it’s diphtheria. Or maybe it’s some other potentially fatal disease that can easily pass among those too young or too medically unfit to be vaccinated themselves. But whichever highly communicable and formerly wiped-out disease that I opt to resurrect with a vengeance, it is a highly personal decision that only I and my family have the liberty to make.
The bottom line is that I’m this child’s mother, and I know what’s best. End of story. Politicians, pharmaceutical companies—they don’t know the specific circumstances that made me decide to breathe new life into a viral infection that scientists and the nation at large celebrated stamping out roughly a century ago. It seems like all they care about is following unexamined old rules, injecting chemicals into our kids, preventing ghastly illnesses that used to ravage millions and have since been erased from storming back and wreaking mass havoc on a national scale, and making a buck. Should we really be listening to them and not our own hearts?
I am by no means telling mothers and fathers out there what to do; I’m simply standing up for every parent’s right to make his or her own decision. You may choose to follow the government-recommended immunization schedule for your child, and that’s your decision as a parent. And I might choose to unleash rubella on thousands upon thousands of helpless people, and that’s my decision as a parent.
It’s simple: You don’t tell me how to raise my kids to avoid reviving a horrific illness that hasn’t been seen on our shores since our grandparents were children, and I won’t tell you how to raise yours.
Look, I’ve done the research on these issues, I’ve read the statistics, and I’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits, and there’s simply no question in my mind that inciting a nationwide health emergency by unleashing a disease that can kill 20 percent or more of its victims is the right one for my child.
People need to respect that and move on.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-dont-vaccinate-my-child-because-its-…

@40 Review Portal
". . . (please, check VAERS database) . . ."

Yes, please do. If you had read the information at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Activities/vaers.html, you might have noticed such things as ". . . Anyone can file a VAERS report, . . ." and ". . . VAERS reports may provide incomplete information. Specifically, judgments about whether the vaccine was truly responsible for an adverse event cannot be made from VAERS reports." and ". . . The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that vaccine caused the event. . . "

In short, even you could file a report about having heard of a co-worker's aunt's third cousin twice removed neighbor having heard about some kid who was injured by a vaccine. Citing the VAERS as a source is not going to gain you much credibility.

Did someone mention Ms. Parker? She herself (if you believe her any of her claims), has been diagnosed with an ASD..and is on record as hoping her autistic child is exposed to, and contracts, measles. She also claims that a Td booster vaccine which she received ~ 35 years in college, caused her Multiple Sclerosis.

I'll take credit for going after her for her outrageous comments which detail her baby's "encephalitic cry" and her not taking her newborn immediately to a hospital emergency room for an evaluation to rule out this life threatening encephalitis. She also claims (in spite of being an attorney) that she was unaware that she should have filed a claim before the Vaccine Court...and in spite of the fact she was provided with the VIS for the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine given to her baby.

Other commenters got her to admit that her baby was born following a traumatic birth, via emergency C-section due to a "true knot" in the umbilical cord.

The little letter writer (Dachel's Deputy), has been busy again.
Scroll down to see the last comment. :-)

http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/letters/2015-02-22/vaccines-are-un…

History fail on my part earlier in the thread, BTW. The mass deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz started in the spring of 1944, before the Arrow Cross took power. There was a stay, though, on deportations in the summer - the Arrow Cross restarted deportations after taking power. Budapest's Jews, for whatever reason, had not been deported before the stay, though tens of thousands were murdered under the Arrow Cross. (They still had a better chance, it seems, of surviving than did Jews in the Hungarian countryside; I have a close friend from college who's more or less a confirmed ex-pat living in Budapest, and his girlfriend is Jewish. She said that her ancestors managed to survive the Shoah mainly by virtue of being fortunate enough to live in Budapest.)

If I don’t feel it necessary to vax my child than that is my business.

Sure. And if public-health law dictates that you get to homeschool as a result, that is your problem.

The mass deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz started in the spring of 1944, before the Arrow Cross took power
And despite the independence of Hungary when Horthy was in charge, they had happily passed Nuremberg laws in 1938.

They still had a better chance, it seems, of surviving than did Jews in the Hungarian countryside
I'd like to think that Raoul Wallenberg contributed to that.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

On nurses being anti-immunization: to paint the entire nursing profession as undereducated or emotionally motivated is unfair (and I don't think was the original poster's intent). That said, ANA did dip their toes in the thimerosal kiddie pool at a really inopportune time:

http://nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-an…

I don't think they've retracted it in light of newer evidence; they should. They also put out a pocket guide for consumers on mercury with an environmental group that was super misleading and badly done. Around the same time, there was a labor group representing publicly employed nurses who were opposing workplace vaccination policies and using anti-immunization kook code in their talking points; I get the impression that was one person's individual axe grinding, and haven't heard anything like it for quite some time.

Some level of criticism is warranted, but some of the best, most vocal, and effective advocates for immunizations also happen to be RNs. Save your anger for the snake oil salesmen.

I’d like to think that Raoul Wallenberg contributed to that.

And his reward was death in f*cking Lubyanka.

That building still stands in Moscow. It is an evil sight.

In somewhat more recent and amusing "news" (if you hadn't heard about it) of anti-Semitism in Hungary, a leader of Hungary's blatantly anti-Semitic far-right part Jobbik (the name of which is extremely funny if one is familiar with Slavic languages) found out that he's actually Jewish.

JGC: I’m curious how you’ve come to the conclusion that a stressed population is inherently more vulnerable to woo than an unstressed population, pgp. Seems to me that if that were the case, we’d see far more firefighters, corporate executives, air traffic controllers, emergency responders, etc., extolling the wonders of essential oils and wheat grass enema’s than is the case.

Well, Sid is a firefighter (assuming he's not lying, which he probably is). Steve Jobs was a corporate exec, and we all know what happened to him. Dunno about the others; air traffic people and emergency responders tend to be more of a practical turn of mind. Firefighters might be more vulnerable because of back pain.
I think so many actors and actresses turn to woo because they can't distinguish between reality and on screen life after a few years, and they were never very pragmatic in the first place. Be interesting to take a poll of the stunt men and women though.

Orac: I can see that what I said seems a bit sexist. I should've expressed it better.

Basically, what I meant is that men and women cope with stress very differently. Women look for groups that will talk about stress, find placebos, hypnosis or practice yoga. They prefer quick fixes, since working women still have to go home after their shift and often get stuck with the heavy-lifting. No one thinks twice if a man goes out for the evening to drink, but that's not an option available to women with families. (At least, not until the kids turn 18.)
Men overwhelmingly prefer to self-medicate. The first path tends to lead overwhelmingly towards woo, since most meds available for stress aren't really that great, and yoga is basically a gateway drug. Men can and do get snared by woo, but it seems to me that it's like five women to every man in wooville. I tend to come down harder on the women, as many are very bright, and it's sad to watch them waste their lives and squander every other woman's credibility. The guys, at least, aren't dragging every other man down with them.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

A few links I found on Facebook today.
The antivaccine movement...from 1890-1920.Except for the autism angle,it's all there.The toxins,the forced vaccination, profiteering vaccine makers.

Oh and they had their own songs too.

http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/blog/anti-vaccination-society-…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/05/meet-the-cru…

Nothing new under the sun.

More on what measles can do,years later.

http://www.vaccinestoday.eu/vaccines/how-measles-can-change-a-life/

Did you know measles was unknown before it was brought to Earth by a Dalek space probe 1000 years ago? It's true!

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/happy-birthday-daleks.html

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@PGP

Stop. Just stop. First, you cherry pick examples to confirm your biases. Then you make an insulting stereotype about actors/actresses. And you finish off with more insulting, sexist stereotypes about men and women.

As has been pointed out to you countless times before, stop using such broad fucking brushstrokes. The world is a lot more nuanced than you seem to grasp.

@ PGP:

You're trying. Which is progress.

Sometimes it's hard to put EXACTLY what we mean into words- we take shortcuts that others misunderstand because we assume they already know what we mean. This is especially hard on the 'net without direct interpersonal feedback. Also hyperbole is expressive.

Perhaps rather than saying, "Men do X and women do Y" - which sounds like "ALL men" and "ALL women" with no overlap, it might be better to say, "Men are more likely than women to do X" or "More men than women do X".

Believe it or not, there is research about sexual differences in attitude and activities. Unfortunately, this area is fraught with difficulties. But still, you might want to have a look.

It's good to remember that even if a sexual difference is found to be significant, it doesn't mean that there is no overlap- if women are better than men at doing Y, some women can be worse and some men can be better- some men and women may be equal. Imagine two overlapping bell curves...
Oh no, I'd better not go all SDT on you... you know what I mean.

Well, at least THAT was certainly easier than pomo.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

On the Jews of Budapest, another rescuer was an Italian cattle broker (Can't recall his name.). On business to buy animals, he befriended the Spanish consul just before the consulate was closed. The consul left him the keys and his car to serve as caretaker. He posed as the consul, drove around in the consular car with the Spanish flag on it, and "granted" Spanish citizenship to any Jew with any imaginable connection to Spain. Like Wallenberg, he rented housing and made the buildings "consular" property. The number he saved was in the low thousands, if memory serves.
As good an illustration of chutzpah as any I know of.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Narad

I figured they were WONDER data from the info at the ends, but just wanted to confirm. Thanks for the additional link to the 2012 summary.

As JP’s link is broken, here’s the Haaretz follow-up.

Oh, thanks, Narad. The Haaretz article is better than the one I'd linked to, anyway.

Apparently I can't blockquote today either. I blame Kierkegaard.

Though, rapped up in this is *according to schedule*. So; one size fits all -- If I may borrow a sadmarism, "Tim's J.C. Whitney Theory of Imprecise Universality".

It is still playing statistics and some are going to get burned. Maybe even some cheerleaders here.

“No man survives when freedom fails, the best men rot in filthy jails, And those who cry ‘appease, appease’ Are hanged by those they tried to please.”

-- Hiram Mann
If there were not risk, then why a minimum age for 'the schedule'? It implies some minimization of risk.

Nobody can say there is not problems with vaccines. Some may have discernment to realize when it is a bad idea for their particular 'speshul snowflake' and be correct; But parental right/insight is removed. Some portfolios may be heavy in Merc, et al. and chose to stay on this ill-gotten bandwagon. But now will be a bureaucratic mandate so that 'it wasn't really your fault'.

It is sooo easy for Statists to get along with themselves when there is nothing more to reality than Boltzmann.

I think what many of those who feel so hostile toward parents who don't vaccinate, is that many of us DID vaccinate, for YEARS...but had to stop when our children were seriously injured by vaccines.

My husband and I have two vaccine-injured children. Their injuries included: encephalitis, permanent and dramatic cognitive and behavioral changes, development of autistic-like behaviors, sensory processing disorder, Failure to Thrive, muscle degeneration, multiple episodes of apnea so severe we thought they had ALREADY died of SIDS, and at one point, my oldest LOST THE USE OF BOTH OF HER LEGS 16 hours after her Kindergarten boosters. Thankfully, she regained the use of her legs, but not before doctors assured us we were very lucky that she "wasn't left permanently paralyzed in both legs".

Our son was never the same child again after his 4 month shots. The damage he incurred that day will affect every day of the rest of his life. And the changes he suffered after his MMR have complicated his life even more.

We were told by a doctor that our subsequent children would likely be vulnerable to vaccine-injury. So, we eventually made the choice to stop vaccinating.

My children have a familial history of epilepsy, they all have the same autoimmune disorder, they have allergies, and obviously - a familial history of severe adverse reactions to vaccines.

These used to be things which the top minds in the field identified as contraindications to vaccines. It was that way for DECADES. It only changed recently, and evidently suddenly.

That means, whereas we likely could have obtained a medical exemption for them a decade ago, we almost certainly won't find a doctor to give them one now. Even though NOTHING has changed in re: to the fact that the odds are stacked against them for walking away from a vaccination uninjured.

So now, my two youngest children, who are unvaccinated (and very healthy), who would have been considered not good candidates for vaccination not that long ago, suddenly have no guidelines in place to protect them from the same fate (or worse) as their older siblings.

PLEASE KNOW that many, many families who refuse to vaccinate have ALREADY watched one or more of their children suffer, regress, and even die from vaccines. And THAT'S when they stopped. They trusted the system UNTIL then.

Nobody is going to take ANY responsibility for injuries my clearly vulnerable children may sustain as a result of forced vaccination (if it passes). They will be considered (as my oldest two are) as collateral damage in the quest to nurture the Greater Good.

You know what? My children are not "collateral damage". They are living, breathing, amazing, loving human beings who have a lot to offer this world - they don't deserve to be treated as subhuman and irrelevant. And they sure as hell don't deserve to have their health and/or cognitive function mutilated just because they were unfortunate enough to be born into a body that can't tolerate vaccines as well as most other people.

Imagine it is YOUR child in my children's position. What would you do then?

I blame Kierkegaard.

The football is a demipolytetrahedron.

Severn Darden will always be Dr. Gene Meredith to me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

in today's Guardian, Oliver Burkeman has one of those essays warning liberals not to get too self-righteous about the coservative science deniers since "Nobody is immune from resisting science they wish weren’t true."

Duh. Of course Burkeman persists in his false equivalence / 'false balance' despite revealing various contrary pieces of evidence. But the whole 'liberals do it too' take is supported b the famiiar canard that "The anti-vaccine movement seems to be a largely left-wing phenomenon."

But what has me face-palming is the link he puts on that text as evidence of his assertion. http://tinyurl.com/pkpzd3e
This 'argumnet' is such ridiculously BAD SCIENCE Burkeman should lose his job at the guardian for foisting it under the banner of legitimate research. It was published in a right-wing.propaganda 'pro-science' blog (as opposed to the prevailing conservative ant-science sites) operated by Forbes.

Todd W: The world is a lot more nuanced than you seem to grasp.

No, it's really not.

DW: At least you sort of get my point. Men have a lot more socially sanctioned escape routes that don't lead into woo. Women tend to gradually fall into it, and then rapidly double down on the woo to keep their friends and prestige.

Roger Kulp: Thanks for the history lesson, but I think you took a wrong turn on the intertubes. Or did you do this on a dare for your "friends" at Age of Autism? (Tip: they aren't really, you know. I wonder why you keep punishing yourself by commenting there?)

Brandy: At this point, I hate to say it, but your choices are rapidly narrowing into 'keep the kids home forever and never let them hang out with any other children.' If you're telling the truth, the kids have had some pretty scary reactions, and the diseases would probably be even worse. It's not us you should be mad at, it's the parents who are falsely obtaining medical exemptions or getting the philosophical exemptions, and the doctors who hand out those exemptions like candy.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

You’re trying. Which is progress.

"I'm a guide, not a sheep-dog."

Politicalguineapig:

Todd W: The world is a lot more nuanced than you seem to grasp.

No, it’s really not.

Yes it really is.
Politicalguineapig, you're a hypocrite. You are as prejudiced, biased and narrowminded as the people you claim to be fighting against. You don't realise that your sweeping generalisations are sweeping generalisations, that a lot of people in the groups you attack are not like your generalisations, and that they would be justifiably annoyed by them. I get very irate when ignorami generalise about me.
On an earlier post, someone mentioned the axiom "If you run into one jerk, you've run into one jerk. If you're constantly running into jerks, maybe you're the jerk."
In your comments, you come across as both extremely abrasive and very antagonistic, Politicalguineapig. Maybe you should engage in significant introspection.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Bandy: "My husband and I have two vaccine-injured children."

How well did you fare with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program? Those injuries sound so profound, you must have had compensation for table injuries.

I have a kid injured by an actual disease, there is no "National Disease Injury Compensation Program." So I keep wondering what has the greater risk of injury, the vaccine or the actual disease. Do you have an answer to the relative risk?

This ‘argumnet’ is such ridiculously BAD SCIENCE Burkeman should lose his job at the guardian for foisting it under the banner of legitimate research. It was published in a right-wing.propaganda ‘pro-science’ blog

You get the impression that Oliver Burkeman decided he needed an example of a specifically left-leaning manifestation of reality-denial, and went hunting around the interlattice in search of a study which supported his thesis. Immediately after reminding his readers of the dangerous allure of motivated reasoning and cherry-picked evidence.

He did not do himself any favours by citing Jonathon Haidt, either.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

We were told by a doctor that our subsequent children would likely be vulnerable to vaccine-injury.

I'm going with hit and run.

Brandy, why didn't your doctor(s) who diagnosed vaccine-induced encephalitis in two of your children, make reports on the VAERS system?

I don't think that medical contraindications against receiving certain vaccines have changed. Could you provide links to CDC websites to verify your statement? I'm always willing to learn.

Daniel Welch @ 28 nails it utterly: narcissism with the details spelled out. America has a pandemic of personality disorders, sociopathy in high places and narcissism throughout. IMHO the big public freak-out about autism has become an "identified patient" syndrome to avoid dealing with that, or perhaps even a deliberate distraction.

The item "dumb luck / God's will harmed my kid" vs. "I harmed my kid," is interesting. There's an odd fluke in human cognition whereby people seem to believe that the harm caused by a deliberate failure to take an action, is less of an act of will, and less morally culpable, than the harm caused by deliberately taking an action.

Contrast to the Taoist idea that "not-doing is doing," whereby both have equal standing, including equal degrees of personal responsibility, from which we can derive that both have equal moral standing as well.

By Gray Squirrel (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

My children have a familial history of epilepsy... These used to be things which the top minds in the field identified as contraindications to vaccines. It was that way for DECADES.

I am intrigued. When was a family history of epilepsy ever regarded as a contraindication against vaccination?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Feb 2015 #permalink

Pgp - did you read Roger Kulp's links? (Hint - he would be banned from AoA in a heartbeat.)

To me it seems that the most important point in this post was only briefly mentioned- that nobody is suggesting people will be forced to vaccinate. Even if all of these bills passed, vaccination would still be optional. It's not like it will be a crime to be unvaccinated, and the vaccination police will hold kids down and stick needles in them.
Reading through some of these comment-feuds, this point seems to be completely lost. All of these arguments defect back to heated comments about science, data, social responsibility etc.
This shouldn't even be an issue. Those people can choose not to vaccinate all they want, but they will have to accept certain trade-offs in what privileges they have.

Brandy writes:

My husband and I have two vaccine-injured children. Their injuries included: encephalitis, permanent and dramatic cognitive and behavioral changes, development of autistic-like behaviors, sensory processing disorder, Failure to Thrive, muscle degeneration, multiple episodes of apnea so severe we thought they had ALREADY died of SIDS, and at one point, my oldest LOST THE USE OF BOTH OF HER LEGS 16 hours after her Kindergarten boosters. Thankfully, she regained the use of her legs, but not before doctors assured us we were very lucky that she “wasn’t left permanently paralyzed in both legs”.
Our son was never the same child again after his 4 month shots. The damage he incurred that day will affect every day of the rest of his life. And the changes he suffered after his MMR have complicated his life even more.

What makes you think all this was caused by vaccines?
Maybe your children have these problems for some other reason.

@Laura

Someone on another forum told me that laws against drunk driving are ok because driving drunk is so dangerous, but not laws mandating vaccination because there’s little immediate risk.

But antivaxers think drink driving is "healthful". It certainly isn't as harmful as driving whilst sober.

Why do they think that?
Because 85% of the fatalities occur in drivers who are sober.
Well, they don't really think that (I hope), but to be consistent they should do, using their "Most kids who get measles/pertussis are vaxed" logic.

@Herr Doctor B

When was a family history of epilepsy ever regarded as a contraindication against vaccination?

Trying to recall my med student days in the 1970s, I think that was indeed the received wisdom regarding pertussis vaccine anyhow.

(Someone also told me that the reason you should avoid pertussis vaccination in a child with a family history of epilepsy was because if that child subsequently developed epilepsy, then the parents would not be able to (wrongly) blame the vaccine. I could be misremembering though)

When was a family history of epilepsy ever regarded as a contraindication against vaccination?

I'm not sure when exactly the change in recommendation happened, but here's what the CDC had to say about it in 1987, the year I was born:

The risk of neurologic events after DTP vaccination is very small. Most neurologic events (primarily febrile seizures, but including nonfebrile seizures, encephalopathy, or other neurologic symptoms) that occasionally follow DTP vaccination occur in children without known risk factors. However, recent studies suggest that infants and children with a history of convulsions in first-degree family members (i.e., siblings and parents) have a 3.2-fold increased risk for neurologic events compared with those without such histories (CDC, unpublished data). Nevertheless, these children are still at very low risk for serious neurologic events following DTP vaccination. Convulsions within 3 days of DTP vaccination may be unrelated to vaccination, induced by vaccine components, or initiated by vaccine-associated fever in those children prone to febrile convulsions. Although children with a family history of seizures have an increased risk for developing idiopathic epilepsy, febrile seizures (including those following vaccinations) do not themselves increase the probability of epilepsy or other neurologic disorders (2,3).

After careful deliberation, the ACIP has concluded that a family history of convulsions in parents and siblings is not a contraindication to pertussis vaccination and that children with such family histories should receive pertussis vaccine according to the recommended schedule (1,4). The committee reached this decision after considering 1) the risks of pertussis disease, 2) the large number of children (5%-7%) with a family history of convulsions, 3) the clustering of these children within families, and 4) the low risk of convulsions following pertussis vaccination (1-3,5).

I was sort of curious because I do have a family history of epilepsy on my mom's side, but not in any first degree relatives - so it looks like that wouldn't have been considered a contraindication even before the recommendations changed.

I noticed another objection of, "What right does he have to propose a law like that?"
Not realizing that section 8 of the US Constitution requires our leaders to promote the welfare of the United States and hence, the populace.
The preamble:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Section 8;
"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

So, there isn't a "right", but a responsibility to promote the welfare of the nation and her populace.

And there is the Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 1905 decision, which basically said the exact same thing.

So, your belief that stressed populatons are more vulnerable to woo is based on observing a 'population' with an n of 2, Robert Schecter and Steve Jobs?

Really?

Though, rapped up in this is *according to schedule*. So; one size fits all — If I may borrow a sadmarism, “Tim’s J.C. Whitney Theory of Imprecise Universality”

.
Tim, your evidence that with resepct to routine childhood vaccination one size does not fit all--that individuals vary significantly that personalizing vaccination schedules would reduce risk the risks associated with vaccines sufficiently to justify leaving individuals vulnerable to infection for extended periods of time--would be what, exactly? Be specific.

If there were not risk, then why a minimum age for ‘the schedule’? It implies some minimization of risk.

How does it imply risk? Improved safety is hardly the only reason why one would establish minimum age ranges for specific vaccinations, after all. For example, with respect to MMR the minimum age recommendation reflects teh fact that prior to this the presence of circulating maternal antibodies may interfere with the child developing an adequate immune response to the vaccine strain measles and generating a protective titer.

Nobody can say there is not problems with vaccines.

And nobaody has: what has been said (accurately) is that the risks associated with vaccines are well undertood: those that are common are both transient and minor (low grade fever, soreness at the site of injection) while those that are serious (encphalitis) are all but vanishingly rare, such that the known risks associated with being vaccinated are far, far lower (by orders of magnitude) than the known risks associated with reamining vulnerable to infection.

Brandy, how have you factually established that the injuries you're attributing to vaccination actually were caused by the vaccines they received? Your list includes a lot of conditions that, as far as I'ma ware anyway, are not known to be causally associated with vaccination.

I like how anti-vax people call it a "one-size fits all" schedule, when you look at it & see that there is a huge amount of leeway in when those various shots are given (i.e. there are ranges of "months").

I think there's another side to the "Dumb luck" versus "I harmed my kid" dichotomy.

If it's the vaccines, I choose not to have my kids vaccinated and avoid having a 'vaccine injured' child. I'll will be in control, and I can stop it from happening to me.

If it's dumb luck of god's will, on the other hand, I have no control. It might happen to my kids, and there's nothing I can do about it..

So I simply haveto believe it's the vaccines. That's the only way I'll ever feel like I'm in control and I can stop it from happenong to me.

dingo199 #150
That would be an excellent question to ask in response to "most of the people who got X were vaccinated against it", e.g. "Most of the fatalities in drunk driving accidents weren't actually drunk drivers, does that mean that driving drunk is OK?"
Get them to think about it :)

Indeed, Lawrence. We just got our midterm report cards for our kids, and the one for our eldest included a reminder that vaccinations are important in light of the ongoing measles concerns and a few cases of pertussis in the community. They helpfully included a photocopy of the state's recommendations. The date of each vaccine is given as a very wide bar spanning many years; they just recommend you get it somewhere in that time period. And they don't care what brand vaccines you use or how they get grouped or anything like that; they just wantw to make sure that you have, at some point, gotten vaccinated against diseases X, Y, and Z. They also provide a catch-up schedule if your child isn't vaccinated adequately yet, and they'll let you keep your kid in school as long as you submit an affidavit that you're doing catch-up vaccines.

Spacing out vaccines to far beyond the CDC's recommendations is totally allowed. It's just not advised. Somehow this is interpreted as jackbooted thugs marching into your home to forcibly inject your child. I don't think it's really a persecution complex, though; I think it's just another piece of the justification web as non-vaccinating parents try to shore up the logical walls around their decision.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Calli - although both of my kids are fully vaxed, we needed to re-jigger the actual schedule / time of some of the vaccines due to a couple of times the boys being sick for that particular visit....working with our pediatrician was simple.

I don't think anti-vaxers actually speak to their doctors (perhaps they just lecture them).....

Brook: I did read Roger Kulp's comment, and I have seen him several times on Age of Autism.

Julian: Why do you even care about anti-vaxxers? Considering how often people like Sid go off on you, you're being surprisingly charitable.

JGC: It's not just them. See: all the nurses we were talking about, military wives, and former businesswomen who unwisely plunged into homemaking. All these people are stressed and end up deeply immersed in woo.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

Random question: Does anyone have a source for how many babies (under 2) died from measles in the US pre vaccine?

I see the 400-500 death statistic for overall deaths posted a lot but haven't been able to find it broken down any more than that.

I'm not Julian, but I care about anti-vaxxers because even if you consider aggressive ignorance a sin, their children are innocent victims. Also because reducing human suffering is a good thing, whether or not the sufferers are "worthy" according to some standard or other.

I agree that it's not just them, pgp, but I don't agree that all people who are stressed will liekly end up deeply immersed in woo. The number of nurse who embrace woo are after all a small percentage of the total number of RN's, just is as thepercentage of doctors. military wives, etc, who do so despite all experiencing stress. Steve Jobs may have embraced woo; clearly Bill Gates does not.

I think it is again a perception bias: we notice a nurse or doctor who embraces woo because doing so is incongruous behavior. We notice the celebrities who do because they make for good press. And because we notice these, but fail to notice the shoe salesmen, cosmeticians, HVAC installers, accountants, middle school teachers, etc., who do so we falsely presume people embracing woo must be over-expressed in these professions.

@Vicki
Yes, and it's a good idea to remember that everyone has their biases and is vulnerable to irrational convictions to some extent.
People who are friendly and sociable and don't take an us vs. them attitude will have more success in talking to anti-vaxxers and getting them to question their beliefs.
Although some very friendly, caring people get demonized anyway, just for being on the other side of the fence. Paul Offit (pro-vaccine advocate) for example, seems to me a very caring doctor - but he gets demonized a great deal by anti-vaxxers. I guess demonizing and endless name-calling is something that anyone who bravely wades into that sea of irrationality, has to put up with. "Source derogation" is one way that people defend irrational beliefs - derogatory ideas about the people who contradict their belief.
I'm careful to not attack or insult in discussions about people's irrational convictions. Usually people reciprocate to some extent and are fairly civil, but I get attacked sometimes anyway.

Nurses have some medical knowledge, and may have a sense of being a health expert. So when they're attracted to anti-vaccination beliefs, they can use this sense of expertise to support those beliefs.
Same thing would apply to doctors as well, only more so.

@PGP

You may have read Roger Kulp's post and links, but you clearly didn't understand it, if you think that he is "friends" with people at AoA. His post is pretty clearly pro-vaccine.

As to sweeping generalizations, you pretty regularly complain about how others you disagree with make sweeping generalizations and discriminate against people like yourself, yet you do exactly the same thing. You'd think that one of these times when the rest of us point this out to you for the umpteenth time, you'd get it. But you don't. You just keep making the same kind of black-and-white, ignorant and insulting comments.

As to why we care about anti-vaxxers, in addition to what Vicki said, even though we may disagree with them, there's always the chance that we might be able to bring them around to reality. They are human beings just like the rest of us, prone to the same foibles. At the risk of Godwinning the thread, if you dehumanize them, you risk going down the same path that countless despots have gone before. That makes it easier and easier to do sh**ty things to them.

Doesn't it mean anything to you that the majority of people that are on the same side of the vaccine/woo issue as you are telling you to cool it?

Most measles stats I've seen by age tend to be under 5 not under 2. Usually the under fives and the over twenties have higher complication risk and I assume one of those is death.

Haven't seen any older data broken down, just more recent.

Gray Squirrel #144, R. Mutt #148, Wzrd1 #153, JGC #159:
Yes, yes, yes, yes!

A problem in thinking how to counter woo is separating the effects of hard-wired human tendencies from what we might consider 'pathological deviance'. I'm not sure placing more weight on action than inaction is a 'fluke'. It would seem likely to have evolutionary advantages, and thus be hard-wired-ish. And it's something most people do.

The narcissistic tendencies, however, seem to be a minority phenomenon, and (lay person that I am) I don't see how they'd be hard-wired. Not to say they're inconsistent with 'human nature' just not of its essence.

Wzrd observes social responsibility is written into the U.S. Constitution, which is interesting in that the framers were classical liberals, e.g libertarians (small 'l'). This suggests they'd thought things through enough to conclude that individual liberty could only be maximized if combined with some sort of collective action which amounted, to some degree, to everyone looking out for everyone else.

So we coud consider anti-vax as the influence of narcissism on the tension between individual rights and social responsibility, tipping the delicate balance to what amounts to criminal behavior: MY right to send MY kid out into the community as a disease vector.

With Big Issues riding behind this controversy, it's not that surprising that the very simple and limited terms of the proposal Mutt notes get glossed over. R.'s right, of course, that the proposal just attached reasonable limits on privilege in the wake of certain choices. Any policy proposal, no matter how narrow and modest, simply IS going to pull out those Big Issues. However, I take Mutt's point to be that the proposal in question has already considered and balanced these philosophical questions to a degree we should able to set them aside as policy issues, and re-focusing on the pragmatic and specific 'choice limits privilege' equation here could cut through a lot of the noise. So, yeah, we could and probably should bring that more to the front of the discussion.

Imho, JGC's observation on 'control' really cuts to the heart of the deeper dynamic here. While narcissistic tendencies no doubt exacerbate the quest for illusions of control, that's pretty obviously a more general and long-standing thing. There's a big difference between 'dumb luck' and 'God's will' though. If there are supernatural forces making judgements, we can have a measure of control by learning their desires and conforming behavior to their will. There IS something "I can do about it." Humans do seem to be hard-wired against fully accepting 'sh!t happens' as a working hypothesis.

Still, there's something beyond 'the way things have always been' in the particular quest for control of "it must be the vaccines!" For one thing, as a conspiracy theory, it articulates a narrative of the individual re-acquiring control that has been usurped by other human agents, and specifically not agents acting as individuals, but in social forms: Big Government and/or Big Pharma.

Now, it seems to me that one of the lessons of science is that things don't happen for no reason. Mass doesn't move unless a significant amount of force is applied to it, etc. So, it won't do to think the quest for control in anti-vax is just stupidity, cluelessness, lunacy, etc. In truth, none of us are ever in control, but we manage the illusion that we're in control enough to get by. The question then becomes 'how/why did the anti-vaxers lose that sense of control?'

If only to somewhat reduce the tl:dr obstacle of really long comment blocks, I'll put my thoughts on an answer in a separate comment.

Brook & PGP,
I used to post a lot of comments ay AoA,mostly in threads that dealt with autism itself,not vaccines,but I no longer go there,those people have gone off the deep end as far as vaccines are concerned.

For a number of years,I thought I might find something in common with the antivaxers,because they seemed to be the only ones who acknowledged there were serious medical problems that go along with autism,and as seemed to offer an alternative to the neurodiverse view of autism.I now see both sides are dead wrong,but for very different reasons.There is a desperate need for a "third way" autism movement.

I have an autism diagnosis that was originally very low functioning,but with no problems in speech or language.I have had two autism evaluations,one as a child,one as an adult.Both times,the conclusion was I was so low functioning,with so many behavioral issues,I needed to be put in an institution or group home,under full time supervision.

I have a ridiculous number of medical problems,and have had many regressions.I now have multiple metabolic diagnoses.The ones described in the research of Richard Frye.As a result of treating my cerebral folate deficiency,I have improved dramatically.I am as close as possible to saying I am recovered from autism as long as I continue treatment,but I still have a lot of medical issues.Treating my CFD has given me a much more realistic perspective on all sections of the autism community.

My posting at AoA a few years ago got me in touch with a doctor who shares a lot of AoA's belief on vaccines,but who was the only one willing to do any metabolic and genetic tests on me as an autistic adult.Tests that allowed me to get in to see the top metabolic and mitochondrial specialists in the country as far as autism is concerned,and for that I am grateful beyond words.But I don't think that could happen today,given the current climate at AoA.

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

I can't believe this is happening. I knew the antivax parents in Oregon were well organized, and that AoA has been putting up the batshit signal to rally opposition to SB 442, but I never in a million years imagined that Andrew mother***king Wakefield would come to testify. Holy Crap, we are so far down the rabbit hole.
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/health/2015/02/24/andrew-wak…

By Jen Phillips (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

Politicalguineapig, I wasn't referring to antivaxxers. I was referring to your comment @ 56 where you said:

A lot of RNs went to diploma mills, plus they don’t like doctors and seize on any excuse to snub them outside of work.

And at 76, where you said:

nurses tend to be stressed, and stressed women are easy prey for woomeisters

which is a sweeping generalisation.
Orac @ 87 said it best.

If you can’t see why it comes across as sexist and condescending and therefore might rile people up, I’m not sure I can help you figure it out, but I, too, saw the remark that way and cringed as I read it.

Then in #123 you made a lot of sweeping generalisations about large groups of people. I don't know if you know this, but actresses Amanda Peet, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Michelle Prinze and Kristen Bell all actively advocate for vaccines, and that's just off the top of my head. Also if you can't see why

I tend to come down harder on the women, as many are very bright, and it’s sad to watch them waste their lives and squander every other woman’s credibility. The guys, at least, aren’t dragging every other man down with them.

is both appallingly sexist and inaccurate, you lack self-awareness.
As for:

Why do you even care about anti-vaxxers?

I was actually calling you out for unfairly maligning other groups.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Chris

Mike P, is that a Poe, because I think you hit every square on the Anti-Vax BINGO card.

Aren't Poes supposed to be funny?

By justthestats (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

Not necessarily, just unhinged. Mike P's evidence free rant qualified.

post-modernism
I think sadmar's trying to say that it's not pomo to think that everything is just an opinion. It's pomo to think that lots of other people think that practically everything is just an opinion.

By justthestats (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

JTS #177
...more or less, yes.

Lots of people thinking everything is just an opinion could be considered part of 'the postmodern condition' if that's taken to be more prevalent lately than in earlier eras. Phliosophical relativism is quintessentially modern thought, but it could be taken to have been amplified, spread, and spilled over all bounds of reason in the last 50 years or so.

What 'pomo' scholars do is try to observe changes in the culture, figure out why they've occurred, and make educated guesses about the consequences. Some of them venture an opinion that these things may be positive, negative or more often some measure of both. Others just stop at observing/explaining/extrapolating and leave any questions of normative evaluation open. There's no consensus in the 'field' about any of this — either what exactly is different now, or what to make of any of the major contending factual hypotheses should they 'prove' to be correct. So the conferences, journals, books that deal with 'pomo' are filled with arguments about these things.

The debates break down, then, into a fair number of different camps with quite different perspectives. One significant camp is folks who find 'postmodern culture' to be a definite Thing, a fairly thorough and extreme Thing, and have a lot of worries about the consequences of that Thing for democracy, social justice and so forth. That's the camp I'm in. And to the list of our worries, you can add 'proper respect for and good use of scientific knowledge.' Fwiw.

Re: Postmodernism

I think part of the reason pomo evokes such a visceral response among many scientists is that early postmodernists, those who defined postmodernism to a large degree, really were involved in some pretty egregious ridiculousness when it came to commenting upon science. Lyotard, for instance, admitted later in life that when he wrote about science he was literally just making sh*t up.

I personally don't find pomo to be a satisfying stance even within the humanities; the poets I dig are (sometimes self-consciously) not postmodern, despite the era in which they wrote. As a reaction to the horrors of the twentieth century, I find humanism in the classical sense provides better ground to stand on, personally.

I can see why people are into pomo, though, and even how it has its utility at times. Thing is, it really should stick to narratives, political or otherwise. In science, you really do need to sit down with your #2 pencil and get to the right answer. When it comes to political/nationalist narratives, though, fixating on the right answer can have disastrous consequences. Ethnic nationalism, for instance, comes about because of a certain narrative about, say, the Volk, and how it was once great and is now humiliated, and arrives at a certain right answer about how to "remedy" the situation. Disrupting narratives like these is a worthwhile goal.

Re: Epilepsy

The mention of epilepsy this morning jogged my memory about a certain sci-fi novella, titled Press Enter, which I read in middle school. It was published in 1984, actually - I first read it in a "Best of" anthology, I think. (I had a friend in middle school whose dad had a whole basement full of old science fiction books, and he used to send me home with paper sacks full of paperbacks.)

I looked it up after Ukrainian today and reread it; it's still an oddly enjoyable read. There is a bit at the end involving a microwave oven that will possibly become seared in your consciousness as it was in mine, lo those years ago. PDF here.

This ‘argumnet’ is such ridiculously BAD SCIENCE Burkeman should lose his job at the guardian for foisting it under the banner of legitimate research. It was published in a right-wing.propaganda ‘pro-science’ blog (as opposed to the prevailing conservative ant-science sites) operated by Forbes.This ‘argumnet’ is such ridiculously BAD SCIENCE Burkeman should lose his job at the guardian for foisting it under the banner of legitimate research. It was published in a right-wing.propaganda ‘pro-science’ blog (as opposed to the prevailing conservative ant-science sites) operated by Forbes.

Of course it's bad science. It's Alex Berezow, a right wing hack who, in response to the "Republican War on Science" rhetoric co-wrote a giggle-inducing book entitled Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left in 2012, just in time for the Presidential campaign.

He was discussed extensively in the comments by a well-known "friend" of this blog in this post:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/progressive-mythology/

Berezow's arguments, it would appear, have not improved in two and a half years.

In The Daily Beast today:

They Don’t Want an Autism Cure
Neurodiversity advocates argue that people with autism shouldn’t be forced to fit into society, but that society should change to include and accept them.

I suppose it would be mind-blowing to anti-vaxers to consider 'vaccine injury' may not be injury to their kids, just injury to their self-image, social status, pocketbook, etc.

While [a study] shows that people with autism have mixed feelings about their disorder, a large majority feels neutral to positive about the concept of neurodiversity.

http://tinyurl.com/okfcafm

@NH Primary Care Doctor-I am an RN and I can't really answer your question (why are so many nurses opposed to immunizations), but I have some ideas.

Most hospital nurses have only an associate degree in nursing, with little science background. They usually work in tertiary care units in hospitals, not in community health. They don't usually see kids, and the adults they see don't usually have communicable diseases. Community health nurses, e.g. those who work in public health and doctor's offices, are pro-vaccine. It both cracks me up and makes me angry at the same time when someone tells me that their spouse (brother, sister, aunt, uncle, sister-in-law, etc) works in CCU and doesn't think measles vaccine, for example, is necessary.

By Katarina Witt (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

"To be frank, no one is immune to anti-vax fever:
doctors, nurses, *psychologists*, social workers, chemists, biologists, teachers, engineers, business people as well as certified woo-meisters and new age gurus."

Too True! Maybe because there are a lot of engineers in my neck of the woods, but I sure know a lot who are anti-immunization. They do all these crazy calculations such as you read on these boards and decide that their personal chance of getting a disease is practically nil. They don't understand that maybe a 10% chance (or whatever) of getting the flu in a given winter is actually a fairly high chance, not a remote one.

By Katarina Witt (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

It's amazing just how many "anti-vax" haters I've encountered that think it's OK for them not to keep up with the vaccine schedule because they "were vaccinated as children and/or have been exposed to some of these illnesses". I guess they only take the CDC's advice when it applies to OTHER people. The fact remains that adults are extremely undervaccinated compared to children - and they have been responsible for many recent outbreaks, yet there will NEVER be forced vaccination of ADULTS in the US (for many reasons) and I think that's just a bit hypocritical - especially since I've talked with many "anti-vax" haters that openly admit they've only had their childhood vaccinations (like many other adults).

Facts:
"Adult vaccination rates are EXTREMELY low."
"Most adults are NOT aware that they need vaccines."
"There are many missed opportunities for vaccination because many healthcare professionals are not routinely assessing adult vaccination status."
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/patient-ed/adults/for-practice/standard…

Katerina Witt...There's no need to defend Registered Nurses who work in public health . I refer you to my comment, here, where I mentioned the unique autonomy I had to administer vaccines to children (and adults) without a physician's order. I damn well know the parameters of public health nursing, when I "advised" physicians about vaccines, immunoglobulins, blood tests, cultures and prescribing antimicrobials for treatments of V-P-Ds and the ~ 60 other CDC notifiable diseases that I investigated during my tenure as a public health nurse clinician-epidemiologist. Most registered nurses do not have that autonomy. They may only vaccinate patients with a doctor's order; many hospitals have "standing orders" in place to offer pneumonia vaccines and seasonal influenza vaccines before patients leave the hospital and some hospitals have "standing orders" to offer the Dtap booster, influenza vaccine and to maternity patients prior to their release...if they refused those vaccines during pregnancy.

pgp:

Where are those diploma mills which award R.N. degrees to permit a graduate to sit for registered nursing boards?

Why do you reduce every registered nurse to a stereotype of your own devising?

pgp: I'm in a rare mood right now and I'm taking the gloves off...so reply at your own risk.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/02/24/as-states-try-to-crack-dow…

Correcting my arkward post...

^ They may only vaccinate patients with a doctor’s order; many hospitals have “standing orders” in place to offer pneumonia vaccines and seasonal influenza vaccines before patients leave the hospital and some hospitals have “standing orders” to offer the Tdap booster and influenza vaccine and to maternity patients prior to their release…if they refused those vaccines during pregnancy.

@ PGP:

Well, I'm glad that you recognise what I'm trying to say. I hope you listen to what others say in criticism. If you attempt to say EXACTLY what you mean, without assuming that others will automatically understand, you'll be ahead of the game. More careful speech is important. I think that your heart is in the right place and that you have strong feelings which you express via hyperbole which people may mis- interpret.

About people's attitudes regarding sex roles, woo, SBM at al:.
There are polls and surveys that can be useful. Psychologists study stereotypes - with many articles and theories available. I especially am fond of the idea that perhaps - on some level- stereotyping may be as aspect of how human memory works, reducing informational load, relying upon a prototype, employing cognitive 'miserliness'-
HOWEVER ( big HOWEVER) although it may be a human characteristic to seek out patterns to the detriment of using new information,
it is also human to develop new, higher cognitive processes, such as those which self-critique performance, regard the perspective of other people, understand how memory works and can be a biasing factor, tailor communications to a selected audience, see our own weak points, manage emotional response and attempt self-regulation and improvement.

AND I understand how infuriating these TMs can be. We have to remember though we see only a SELF-selected - not a representative - sample. The loudest and most attention-seeking.

-btw- I learned that Kim S has a new book coming out- it focuses upon young women with ASDs. Her AoA facebook announcement of this was accompanied by a photo of uh... cleansing products best left to the imagination.
I feel sorry for her daughters if they read about themselves ( courtesy of her writing).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Feb 2015 #permalink

Speaking of AoA, Adriana's got part 2 of her "weaponized analogies" series up. I've just barely skimmed it so far, but my eyes have landed on references to Camus, gay rights, Israel, the Argentine junta, and peanut allergies. Which will apparently cause the downfall of our nation, or something.

Oh, and the KKK. I think this installment may top the first.

One thing I never get is why nurses appear so vulnerable to anti medicine views. Granted, the existence of Dr Sears shows that it isn't unique but embracing some woo like essential oils, homeopathy is one thing, being actively against science backed medicine is the other. The former is merely embracing intergrative medicine lies, rejecting vaccines is being actively against medicine.

Oops...not sure why the second part of the paragraph was deleted.

I was wondering whether the concept of lies to patients might play a role. Telling a patient allopurinol is removing toxins from cancer cells is technically true when used in prophlactic tumour lysis syndrome, but it appeals to a different cultural context entirely, all in the name of treatment compliance.

Perhaps, in the inner subconscious, this might be a lash back against the possibility of being lied to for compliance purposes and that the true story is more complex. Insert a modicum of Dunning Krueger effect and well....

I feel sorry for her daughters if they read about themselves

Indeed.

I love this quote from a review for her "House of Cards" endeavor.

"#186 - I hate to complain so much since this book was a free offer"

The "free offer" just cracked me up.

Maybe I'm just a mean person.

my eyes have landed on references to Camus, gay rights, Israel, the Argentine junta, and peanut allergies

Cynthia Parker also gazillions down on the peanut delusion:*

"The Hib vaccine is the most implicated in causing peanut allergy (according to Fraser), both because it is adjuvanted with peanut oil and doesn't have to put it on the package, and because the Hib molecular structure resembles that of peanut protein, so injecting it often sensitizes the immune system to anything resembling the Hib molecular structure (cross-reactivity)."

* Sorry, but I'm calling a spade a spade.

^ In the comments.

Oh, and the KKK. I think this installment may top the first.

You are perhaps unfamiliar with Gamondes' finest moment.

The since–memory-holed item* is preserved here and there.

* They seem to have figured out how to Occupy! use the Wayback Machine's deletion mechanism.

Yeow..... Didn't realise the comments had RN bashing in it.... Should had read the comments before posting.

I'm a RN for six years working in haematology, and over the years, I seen a small number of nurses express both woo friendly comments, vaccine fears and lack of faith in chemotherapy.

The last is easy to see why. Inpatient nurses don't get to see the successes. the hospital policy of advising us not to befriend former patients on Facebook makes that much harder to see former patients now fishing, diving, and the Lucky sonnofagun having an amazing vacation in Bali.....

My HOD even recognised that, roping in transplant nurses to participate in the Hope book,where we documentated the life stories of transplant patients in recognisation of our 100th successful BMT, so that all of us, doctors,nurses get to see how our efforts have made a difference. It was a welcome change... Instead of seeing a patient requesting to be let home so he can visit his grandson wedding despite beingn critically ill... Of another saying I don't want to go on because I'm suffering, even if its curative, I'm so old that it won't make a difference.....

The second is only human. My context was mostly to do with flu vaccines. And pregnant mothers. You....can't shake that fear away. Especially when working near drugs that cause birth defects from antibiotics like grancyclovir onwards, or how steroids are labelled with the symbol poison... Its why I ask whether the concept of lies to patients might play a role.

The first is Perhaps the only negative aspect I can cast upon them. But .... Such woo is part of the milieu of health culture, something that training is suppose to erraducate but humanity has the most amazing powers of holding incompatible ideas simultaneously...

Gamondes' true hilarity, though, lies in the fact that her pseudo-philosophical word salad reduces her to trying to hold the operation together with ever more psychically closeted propaganda imagery.

@ JP #179
'Lyotard's 'The Postmodern Condition' is primarily concerned with propositions of fact, and only secondarily with propositions of value. The central fact claim is 'the postmodern condition is characterized by incredulity to the meta-narratives of inexorable technological progress and inexorable progress towards human liberation.' One can agree that's happening, and still find it really disturbing (if one is, say, Jurgen Habermas). Lyotard's actually fairly vague regarding how he evaluates the developments he sees, but overall he seems fairly cheery about them, perhaps indiscriminately along the lines you suggest.

As with most influential thinkers, Lyotard's ideas were taken up, extended, amplified, exaggerated etc. by other people. These 'Lyotardians' are often way more celebratory of the fraying of this modernist narrative or that than ol' J. F. was himself, and they can take exactly the evaluative position you did (science fraying bad, Volk fraying good) or (yuchh) the opposite thesis. In any case, I call this "Happy Postmodernism."

All the major pomo stuff was first published in English around the same time: '83-'84. Jameson and Baudrillard were just as influential as Lyotard, but their propositions of fact were much more extreme than 'people don't believe in progress anymore, and have retreated into little sub-groups that can't talk to one another even if they want to.' They both say we're losing the ability to communicate at all, to make any kind of sense at all. Baudrillard doesn't deny an objective reality; he insists on it. He just claims the culture in general has lost the ability to tell the fake from the real thing, and in practice the fake has become a 'hyper-real' with more reality-effect than the real-real. Of course, that sounds insane, but exemplars are a dime-a-dozen if you stop and think for a minute using that frame. Where outside of hyper-reality can Ronald Reagan become president? (c.f. Michael Rogin, Ronald Reagan: The Movie UC Press, 1987). I call this Apocalyptic Postmodernism. None of it had anything to do with science, at least not directly.

If there's any connection at all between the cacophonous arguments within actual 'postmodernism' and the ridiculous univocal caricature lodged in the head of so many sciency types, it might be that no form of pomo is particularly optimistic about the social project of advancing scientific rationality. Today, in his post on Brian Clement, Orac wrote:

There are times when it really does feel as though we’re fighting a hopeless battle for rationality and science against unreason and harmful quackery.

To which Lyotard and Baudrillard nod quietly and soberly from their graves. Back in 1984, the theorists of postmodern culture not only saw the battle for rationality faring badly, they predicted things were going to get worse for the rationalists. A lot worse.

And where are we? Anti-vax hysteria is unleashing waves of preventable infectious disease. The political party that denies AGW and evolution — chalking them up to insidious anti-American and anti-Christian conspiracies – holds both Houses of the federal legislature. Their reality-disconnect on science is exceeded by their reality-disconnect on economics, history, guns — you name it, they've got it wrong on matters that ought to considered objective fact. And their partisans are ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED of their rectitude. In the 60s and 70s we called these folks the lunatic fringe. Today we call them Congressmen. And their gang has filled their bubble with their own set of 'facts' on all of these things, incontrovertible evidence from which they cannot and will not be disuaded.

Think postmodern culture isn't a Thing? I give you the Republican party and Fox News: pomo incarnate.

So maybe you'd think philosophers who predicted our current trajectory over 30 years ago, and tried to explain it in terms of historical developments in the culture, might have been onto something? And maybe if we understood the weirdness better, we'd have a better idea how to deal with it?

But then we'd have to know what those different folks have actually said in those arguments they've been having over in their corner for the last 30 years. Instead the same ludicrous, completely false stereotype gets reproduced over and over in massive Dunning-Kruger by people who can't cite even ONE primary source on the subject accurately. Talk about stupid...

Narad: Age of Autism really “did jump the shark”, by publishing Gamondes not-so-clever illustration:

Here, complete with Kim Stagliano’s remarks:

http://www.examiner.com/article/did-age-of-autism-jump-the-shark

"For the truly masochistic, use them to play the Age of Autism Drinking Game where you drink every time an article hurls baseless insults at those that don’t agree with them. Drink twice if they compare their critics to Nazis."

Some friends and I once devised a drinking game based on Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in which one was required to fix a drink every time the characters did. I suspect the AoA drinking game would be as difficult as ours.

But then we’d have to know what those different folks have actually said in those arguments they’ve been having over in their corner for the last 30 years. Instead the same ludicrous, completely false stereotype gets reproduced over and over in massive Dunning-Kruger by people who can’t cite even ONE primary source on the subject accurately. Talk about stupid…

Careful there. I suspect it has nothing to do with stupidity, but rather with a refusal to wade through mountains of abominable and seemingly deliberately obfuscatory prose, a position which I can grok quite well indeed. A lot of the postmodernists make Bakhtin and even Lukács seem easy to follow. Okay, maybe not Lukács, although he is more readable in the original German.

@ JP:

AoA presents Gamondes' entire opera/ oeuvre ( see contributors) - I just scrolled thru' and Yiiiiiiiiiiii! there's enough word salad to feed a vegan army!

Be that as it may, I occasionally regard proselytisers like Gamondes as our inadvertent allies:
becauseif most people look at her ideas would wonder why anyone would take her seriously for ANY reason.

Similarly, alt media woo-meisters like Adams and Null: when they are held up as paragons of thoughtfulness, perception and virtue, we can point out the ridiculous advice and predictions they have made based upon their vaunted expertise in diverse subjects across the board.
e.g. 2009 - take your money out of the stock market, it'll never recover; there will be gangs taking over suburbia and a solar storm that will wipe out electrical power for a decade, 2010, 2011, 2012 etc.

AND most of their nonsense still exists - buried under the mire of more recent detritus, true- on their websites.
Thanks, loonies!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ PainRack:

Quackwatch includes an older essay about why health professionals might succumb to woo. It's worth viewing as well as their other more general musings upon why woo sells.

More recently, there have been studies about why particular cognitive styles and personalities might be more vulnerable to conspiracy theories, etc. IIRC *lack*of cognitive complexity and a general paranoid style. This is relatively easy to find altho' I don't have my finger on it presently.

I think it's interesting to read James Laidler's account ( see Autism Watch) about how the 'scales fell from his eyes' concerning autism dietary woo. His medical degree didn't hurt this enlightenment either surely.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

Just read an account of an Italian study that confirmed conspiracy theorists there only consult supportive web sites. Big surprise.

Many nurses here are anti-vax, I think. I've had several disturbing conversations with nurses about this over the years. It may be due to the libertarian and highly religious nature of this very conservative community. Few of them have BSNs because the local nursing labor force is very largely ASN, so there is an absence of training in research methodology or critical thinking skills, it seems. I've met many nurses here who drop hints about their ongoing conflicts with physicians and resentment of how little respect they earn from the medical infrastructure. Also have gotten much uninformed advice about reasons to try alternative/complementary treatments first before trusting the recommendations of those demeaning conventional doctors--no kidding. It's unethical and largely goes unmonitored here.

And I will say, it hasn't been confirmed that this has anything to do with vaccines - it may just be a crazy anti-Semite.

it may just be a crazy anti-Semite.

May? Um, I don't see any indication anywhere that this has anything to do with vaccines, actually, let alone any kind of confirmation of said association.

Sara, so your little study (n=several) conducted "over the years" leads you to believe that Registered Nurses, no matter what degree they have attained, are anti-vaccine and heavily into woo?

How about Dr. Bob and Dr. Jay...the poster boys for the anti-vaccine movement? Does that make all doctors anti-vaccine and heavily into woo?

Really?

I had never heard of Gamondes, but when JP mentioned that something on AoA referenced "Camus, gay rights, Israel, the Argentine junta, and peanut allergies" I got too curious, and I had to take a look. I wound up on 'Weaponized Analogies, pt. 1" and read all of that before realizing it wasn't the piece JP had mentioned, at which point I went back, found pt. 2 and made it about halfway through before losing mental function.

Damn you, JP :-)
I need a brain detox!
I'm only a wee bit consoled that compared to Gamondes, I'm a paragon of brevity.

Totally concur with Denice #202. What strikes me is how Gamondes posts individually formally reflect the collective 'voice' of AoA. My first thought at Weaponized pt. 1 was, 'didn't Gamondes get the memo on Rand Paul?' It's a far-left-wing rant that somehow winds up with 'vaccine choice freedom' and, uh, that does not work. Pt. 1 is less a word salad than an idea salad, cobbled together out of an assortment of leftist critiques of corporate capitalism. Many of these critiques are reasonable in and of themselves, but not related to the question of vaccine safety or even to each other. When Gamondes tries to draw it all together, the collage is just unintentional Dada.

So I was wondering, 'why would AoA publish something with so many leftist pieces at a moment it's practical politics is all with the conservatives?' Something for everyone? No. It's too contradictory. My conclusion: contradictions don't matter in anti-vax world. Like Gamondes post, the entirety of AoA is a tautology. "Vaccines injured my child" is both the first principle, and the conclusion. Round and round we go, and neither the direction of the circling nor the design of the vehicle matter. Just the beginning/end.

Before ultimately rendering my head into mind-salad, pt. 2 opens with a lengthy 'argument' attempting to implicate Seth Mnookin in corporate corruption via the fact his great-granduncle founded the company that decades later was guilty of the negligence that caused the Challenger to explode. Gamondes' thesis appears to be that Seth somehow feels compelled to cover corporate malfeasance in defense of... misdeeds his forebears weren't responsible for. Or something. Hallucinogenic mind-f**k that this is, it lays bare the premise of the Pharma Shill Gambit: 'making false claims for personal profit is unconscionable'. Yet, in the comments below, we find:

Even when the Pharma shills from the UK family branch did an overkill job on Wakefield the man is still standing. Truth wins, always guys. Thanks Adriana superb as always. MMR RIP. [punctuation corrected for comprehension]

The commenter sees no contradiction at all here, and neither does Gamondes, apparently. And Dan Olmsted (or whoever is keeping the AoA gate) sees no contradiction between Gamondes ripping on ALEC, and AoA's endorsements of ALEC's favorite politicians.

The vaccines injured your child because the vaccines injured your child because the vaccines injured your child. Period. Got it.

@ sadmar:

I've been reading Gamondes' ... uh.. er... *material* for nearly 3 years and she seems even worse than she was previously ( you can see her collected works @ 'contributors'/ AoA)

There's something called 'far associations' wherein the writer doesn't utilise frequent associations or metaphors but reaches really far OUT - apparently in dis-regard of the audience's ability to fathom or de-cipher whatever it is she's referencing.
This tells me that either she has no concept of how others think or that she is trying to show off her ( feigned) erudition.

Pretense and posturing is common in woo-topia: how often a barely literate woo-meister discusses Montaigne or Voltaire. Or quotes Spinoza or Kant- usually for no reason at all but to impress the marks.
Hilariously, he may mispronounce the author's name. No, I'm not joking.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

When Gamondes tries to draw it all together, the collage is just unintentional Dada.

Perhaps that is why I find it so fascinating.

JP had only said Gamondes' pt.2 tops pt. 1, so that doesn't conflict with Narad's assertion that the baby-cannibalism graphic represents Gamondes' "finest moment". It's hard to beat baby-cannibalism for gross, so by that standard I think Narad's assesment stands w/o challenge. But I'm going to take "finest" as 'most far-out-trippy and strange', and by that measure baby-cannibalism doesn't even come close to pt. 2.

I did a historical survey of war propaganda visuals for a teaching assignment in grad school. Baby-slaughter and cannibalism are standard figures going back as far as your find reproductions. Cliches, if you will. Once the Holocaust and the killing fields have been evoked, the dead-baby-consumption smack is just routine. Anybody could come up with it. The prevalence of ‘far associations’ on AoA notwithstanding, it takes a very special perverse talent to come up with the specific WTF of pt. 2.

But if there are finer examples of that on AoA, please don't let me know. My mental health coverage isn't that good.

[adriana gamondes] - As an artist I understand the impulse to reach for answers beyond our tiny rational minds. Rationalism is very important but it's limited. I'm not a fan of organized religion but I don't scorn spiritual people or that impulse. Plus I'm sick of the radical fundamentalist atheist movement which, if you dig around, has clearly become a creepy Islamophobic PR front for Monsanto, the biotech industry, the security industry and military industrial. That group is an embarrassment to mainstream atheists and agnostics and tries to blame every atrocity in history on religion when in fact 20th century totalitarianism was, by definition, founded on various cults of science that cost more human lives than all anthropogenic atrocities and disasters in history combined. That "scientism" evangelism, which Noam Chomsky calls a "state religion," really differs very little from violent religious movements when all is said and done-- just has a bigger body count. So I say people should believe what they want to believe as long as they don't kill or enslave anyone over it.

Denial of the link between the meds and certain mass shootings leaves consumers unwarned that a percentage who take them could end up bath salts zombies and also wrongly leaves the "onus" for violence on vulnerable populations who ironically will face more court-ordered medicating as a result. The politicians are deaf to the growing risk data, the FDA is fully bought and sold, so consumers have to inform themselves.

Emphasis added. Pharmacology isn't her strong suit.

@ Narad:

Neither is art nor writing.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

Baby-slaughter and cannibalism are standard figures going back as far as your find reproductions.

Farther, even. Blood libel, etc.

That group is an embarrassment to mainstream atheists and agnostics and tries to blame every atrocity in history on religion when in fact 20th century totalitarianism was, by definition, founded on various cults of science that cost more human lives than all anthropogenic atrocities and disasters in history combined.

Cults of science? Try cults of ideology, Gamondes. See Lysenkoism.

Denial of the link between the meds and certain mass shootings leaves consumers unwarned that a percentage who take them could end up bath salts zombies and also wrongly leaves the “onus” for violence on vulnerable populations who ironically will face more court-ordered medicating as a result.

Ugggghh. Gag me with a spoon. I've had this conversation before, on social media, with a circle of gun-nut* acquaintances through my tattoo artist back in Portland. "The shooter was on psychiatric meds! It's the meds that did it!"

*Sigh.* First of all, people with psych. disorders are much more likely to be victims of violent crime, not perpetrators. Second, meds help at least some people some of the time. Yeah, psychiatry has a bad history of overmedication for the wrong reasons. But it's not the GD 1950s anymore, and hey, maybe if my family members had had more access to psychiatric/psychological help in our little rural backwater, my father wouldn't have shot himself when I was 11 years old, and I wouldn't be as f*cked up as I indubitably am.**

*Look, I'll admit it, guns are fun. I grew up shooting pop cans out on the flats and all. But fer Pete's sake, oh - I'm not even going to get started... (In any case, I personally have no business owning a firearm, and I think I'm probably not allowed to anyway, which by and large is probably a good thing.)

** In lieu of "MDD, recurrent, severe" and "PTSD," I feel like my own psych chart should probably just say something along the lines of "Patient is pretty generally f*cked up."

In any case, I personally have no business owning a firearm

For the sake of my own safety, just to be clear, though I would hope that would be pretty clear anyway.

One might also note that Gamondes is conspicuously silent about the male money-hegemony of "Big" Antivax.

Has the word "deranged" landed on the List of Bad Words That Are OK If Seemingly Cutesy UK Euphemisms yet?

Oh FFS, say whatever you want, just try not to be an a**hole about it.

From Gamondes (via Narad #214)

tries to blame every atrocity in history on religion when in fact 20th century totalitarianism was, by definition, founded on various cults of science

Which is why Stalin had a portrait of an Erlen-Meyer flask installed in every Russian church.
My mistake, it was his portrait. Flasks don't have moustaches.

that cost more human lives than all anthropogenic atrocities and disasters in history combined.

Genghis Khan and his Golden Horde would like to visit you and compare body counts.
Although I would have to agree improvements in technologies made wholesome slaughter easier.

radical fundamentalist atheist movement which, if you dig around, has clearly become a creepy Islamophobic PR front for Monsanto, the biotech industry, the security industry and military industrial.

Wait, what?
You forgot the Elders of Sion and the Freemasons.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

how often a barely literate woo-meister discusses Montaigne or Voltaire. Or quotes Spinoza or Kant- usually for no reason at all but to impress the marks.

Case in point:
That “scientism” evangelism, which Noam Chomsky calls a “state religion,”
Precisely where Chomsky describes "scientism" as a "state religion" lies outside the reach of the Internet Google. Elsewhere Gamondes tells us that it's *skepticism* that is the state religion according to Chomsky, again without a citation.

various cults of science that cost more human lives than all anthropogenic atrocities and disasters in history combined.

If "cults of science" were not anthropogenic, then I have to ask, what in the name of feck were they? The work of great Chthulhu?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

Oh FFS, say whatever you want, just try not to be an a**hole about it.

I use "deranged" in an entirely plain, literal sense. I may as well have asked whether "crazy bonkers" was a suitable softening of "crazy" or, in the alternative, what its "distance" was from "oh man, that new Pho place on Division is crazy good," a locution that never would have occurred to me in the first place.

The only question is the where the implicit subject–object dialectic veers into Komsomol territory.

@ hdb

If “cults of science” were not anthropogenic, then I have to ask, what in the name of feck were they? The work of great Chthulhu?

Close enough. It's populism and anti-elitism at its finest.

The great masses - the ordinary people - are just an amorphous blob. Little better than animals, they cannot help themselves mulling around like a big cattle herd ("sheeples"). Hence "anthropogenic".
The enemies are also an amorphous blob: it's Monsanto, biotechs, and the militaro-security-industrial-oedipian complex all rolled in one. And being the great villains, and maybe lizards from outer space, they are not needed, and as such are not part of the "normal" human life. Thus, they are inhumans, or at least un-natural.

And between and above these two blobs, you have the enlightened ones. The wise ones who have seen beyond the lies and, in a perfect world, shall be the ones telling benevolently the great masses what to do.

Actually, shorter explanation: the misuse of "anthopogenic" is just another strike for the "barely literate woo-meister discusses Montaigne or Voltaire" theory pointed before.
It's also a half-clever way to whitewash the role of religion - and culture clashes - in historical atrocities. Religion was not a motivation for the war, it was just another instance of "anthropogenic atrocities".
In a sense, there is a grain of true. Religion, at the social level, is just a tool like any other for motivating people to go a certain way. And another tool could be science. Propaganda is made of whatever it can put its hands on.
But to dismiss religions' role in the 20th-century events is going a bit too far.
As a Indian friend once told me, France is a catholic country who likes to pretend it is not. That's true for many countries, especially those with a less stringent separation between church and state (almost everybody else, I would smugly say). Cultural biases inherited from the past and all that.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

a percentage who take them could end up bath salts zombies

The synthetic-cathinone moral panic didn't last very long, did it?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Annie 210 - thanks for that article. Hope other on the fence folk read it and change their minds.

what its “distance” was from “oh man, that new Pho place on Division is crazy good,” a locution that never would have occurred to me in the first place.

It was just an example, Narad. I suppose it is a twenty-something's perfectly barbaric West-Coast-ese. There are similar such modifiers, like "stupid," as in "It's stupid cold outside." To be honest, though, I usually just go for some variation of "f*cking," and never, ever "hella," but then I am Not From California.

The only question is the where the implicit subject–object dialectic veers into Komsomol territory.

Well, I'm not sure which dialectic you mean, so I'm going to have a hard time answering this, but here goes:

First of all, you may have noticed that in my reply to Denice to which you refer, I was describing the way I use language, not making universal recommendations. I generally prefer not to speak for any sort of "we," imaginary or otherwise - it's kind of (excuse the term) fascist, and oddly enough, "I" is usually more humble.

Actually, this is why I wish English had retained a singular and plural in the 2nd person. Polish, in fact, has the best 2nd person set-up I have yet come across, as the 2nd person plural only ever means plural - formality is achieved in a different way from most "t/v distinction lanugages," by using "Sir" or "Lady" instead of a pronoun and conjugating verbs in the 3rd person singular. "Czy Pani chce szklankę wody?" "Would the lady like a glass of water?"

What I was saying is just, hey, maybe a person could try not to be an a**hole, or to go around lumping certain people together in certain ways. I also don't think "mentally ill" should really be used as an insult, any more than I think "gay" should be, for instance.

Which brings me to the second dialectic. I have pretty serious doubts, Narad, that the contents of your head could be held up as some sort of Platonic ideal of "normality" or "sanity," any more than the contents of mine could. I just happen (as far as I know) to be in significantly more distress in certain ways than you are, although at the moment I am actually in what is for me an unusually good mood, and I am hoping it lasts for a while, since I'm heading to Chicago for a while on Monday and I have hopes of actually enjoying myself.

But in any case, if you are actually asking about the word "deranged," I personally don't have a problem with it, and yes, one needs some kind of word to describe people like Gamondes, or their brain droppings, in any case.

@JP #219 -- You exhibit far more self-awareness and responsibility than many people who end up owning guns.

By Scottynuke (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ Helianthus:

re the " blobs" and the "enlightened ones".

That is precisely what I see on a regular basis:
the alties set themselves up as "leaders" who tell their flocks what to do to remedy whatsoever evil exists. They need to convince followers of their own vast superiority over the masses including leaders and experts.

Usually, their deep thoughts are alarmingly pedestrian. I would venture that for the most part, their audience may be at least their intellectual equal when considering ability - sans the pretension, of course. Yet these are the same prevaricators who endlessly warn audiences about how the powers-that-be want to control their thoughts, activities and purchases.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ JP:

Believe it or not, I have had exposure to a bit of Russian etc and find that I can nearly decipher what you wrote.

Occasionally Eastern European ladies attend my dance class which is quite interesting as our Latina instructor tries very hard to conduct the class in English.

re Narad:
At one point I was convinced that he might have been the baby that I aban... *misplaced* in Victoria Station** in 1983 but alas! he's too old.

** in a hangbag

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

That should be HANDBAG

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

Is his name Ernest?

Occasionally Eastern European ladies attend my dance class

They are very elegant, aren't they?

And yes, I was wondering for a moment what a "hangbag" was. :)

@ JP:

They ARE elegant with fabulous manners and good posture.
Unfortunately, I would be more intrigued if one of the younger ones emulated women in P-ssy Riot more during the class.

But it is great fun especially because I can (somewhat) understand bits and pieces of what both they and the Latinas are saying.

A hangbag is a handbag that hangs too much.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

@Denice:

Ah, in that case you're looking for people more like my friends, most of whom I would hardly describe as ladies, though that's not a bad thing. You are unlikely to find them in a dance class.

I had a chance to meet two former* members of Pussy Riot recently, as a matter of fact. It wasn't much, just a brief chat at a champagne toast backstage after a very well-attended talk they gave here in town.

Funny thing: I find that I actually come off as significantly classier and more refined in foreign languages. I was visiting, a couple summers ago, one of my Polish friends who certainly is a lady, and a true native Varsovian - her family's been in Warsaw for generations, her grandfather owned a toy shop there. Sunday morning she said something along the lines of "I don't suppose you'd like to go to Mass with me," to which I replied "My dear, I'm afraid I haven't anything to wear." She laughed and remarked on how I'm always so classy, at which I have to admit I was rather taken aback.

* Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina - they're busy now with Zona Prava, a non-profit human rights organization that provides legal representation among other things.

At one point I was convinced that he might have been the baby that I aban… *misplaced* in Victoria Station** in 1983 but alas! he’s too old.

Are you sure that baby wasn't conceived in the ticket queue at Fenchurch Street Station?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien:

The 'baby' is merely an excuse** to refer to my beloved avatar, Oscar, in hopes that an uninitiated youngster will discover him much as I did.
AND I swear it was not my gay uncle who left his plays lying about for me to read- more likely my father.

Indeed, the idea of yours truly having an actual baby is a bit of a stretch... I mean JOKE.
Yiiii

** but not a Bunbury

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

Do your research. Don't just believe what you were told. Measles cases and deaths had severely declined 25 years before a vaccination was created, same with whooping cough. There are still outbreaks from time to time even in populations with a 99% vaccination rate but thanks to proper medical care and proper hygiene, there is rarely a fatality. Of course there have been 108+ proven deaths from the MMR vaccine in the last decade. Those are just the ones reported. Also, there is currently a case from a Merck whistleblower regarding the mumps portion of the vaccine being botched. Want to bring up the flu? More people die in car accidents each year than the flu, should we stop driving? Or is that something you rather overlook for your own convenience? Don't forget they botched that lovely vaccine this year as well. Oh and don't forget people can have an adverse reaction to that as well. A family member was paralyzed after receiving her flu shot. Personally, I rather take my chances with the flu. There is no clear cut answer because there are risks on both sides. As long as there is a risk, there has to be a choice.

Tad Roy: " Measles cases and deaths had severely declined 25 years before a vaccination was created, same with whooping cough."

Really? Here is US Census data on measles incidence, can you tell when that sparkling decline in cases happened? Because the 1960 rate of incidence it much higher than the 1940 rate, as is the 1955 rate.

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

"Of course there have been 108+ proven deaths from the MMR vaccine in the last decade."

Please provide the documentation that the VAERS reports were actually proven. Because when someone looked into it the reality was not as you stated.

@Denice Walter - Ah, a literary channeling then. Perhaps you took a walk on the Wilde side. Whereas I must be content with hitchhiking.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

Linky, linky, linky...to the website, where you did your research, Tad Roy?

Heather Barajas is back! She is now "Serenity Ann" on Facebook. She is still posting antivax trollery and has no remorse for her reprehensible little graphic.

By Abigail Smith (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

Excellent research? Don't forget to mention that vaccination started in 1968, when measles decreased to 25 people per year. The same number will die from total vaccination each year.

Whale271, the first measles vaccines were introduced in the USA in 1963. Better ones were introduced in 1968, and hte first MMR was introduced in 1971. As you can see the measles incidence in 1970 was still around 23.2 cases per 100000 persons.

In 1970, the USA had 200 million persons. So divide that by 100000, to get 2000. Then multiple by 23.2, and you get 46400 cases of measles in the USA in 1970. The CDC Pink Book Appendix G shows there were 47,351 cases of measles in 1970.

"The same number will die from total vaccination each year."

I assume that we will get a mathematically accurate of that claim from you now.

Do your research. Don’t just believe what you were told.

Okay, I will.

Measles cases and deaths had severely declined 25 years before a vaccination was created, same with whooping cough.

See? This is exactly why one needs to do their own research! I mean, you’re telling me this, but what you’re telling me is a lie.

Of course there have been 108+ proven deaths from the MMR vaccine in the last decade.

Another lie.
Also, there is currently a case from a Merck whistleblower regarding the mumps portion of the vaccine being botched.
That wouldn’t be the case that the US Department of Justice investigated for two years, and elected not to pursue further, would it? Surely you don't believe that just the fact that they are bringing suit is sufficient to demonstrate the former employees accusations are likely true.

More people die in car accidents each year than the flu, should we stop driving?

More people die in car accidents than in fires or every year too—I guess we can tell people they’re wasting their money on smoke detectors (and save a whole lot of taxpayers’ money we’re spending to fund municipal fire companies).

Don’t forget they botched that lovely vaccine this year as well.

For some idiosyncractic definition of the word botched perhaps—one which means “extremely effective against two of the three major strains currently circulating, and reducing your risk of infection by the third by more than 30%”.

Oh and don’t forget people can have an adverse reaction to that as well.

What adverse reactions, with what incidence? Be specific, and explain how this demosntrates the risks associated with being vaccinated are greater than the risks of remaining vulnerable to influenza infection.

A family member was paralyzed after receiving her flu shot. Personally, I rather take my chances with the flu.

After, or because of? You do understand that’s a significant difference?

There is no clear cut answer because there are risks on both sides.

The risks on both sides aren’t equivalent, however.

As long as there is a risk, there has to be a choice.

And as long as there is a choice there will had to be consequences deriving from specific choices. If you choose not to vaccinate, that’s fine—but you may not be eligible for employment in some fields (like health care provision) and if you choose not to vaccinate your children they may not be eligible for enrollment in public schools.
I trust you have no problem with that?

Forgive the blockquote fail

Funny thing: I find that I actually come off as significantly classier and more refined in foreign languages.

Me, too, but that's because I have to stop and think before I open my mouth. With English, any ol' thing comes out.

@JP and @shay, what I find particularly amusing is that I speak different languages at different pitch levels. If I speak French, which I studied from ages 12-18, it's in what should be my natural high soprano range. If I speak German, which I started learning at 18, it's in that in-between range from my college years. And grad school pushed my English down to my current low-mezzo speaking range. For the sake of my long-term vocal health/singing voice, I really need to pull it back up, but it's so hard to be taken seriously.

By Emma Crew (not verified) on 27 Feb 2015 #permalink

what I find particularly amusing is that I speak different languages at different pitch levels.

Huh. That's funny. I have a deep voice in general - a tenor if not a baritone. (Somebody was overexposed to androgens in the womb, or something.) It's maybe even a little lower in Russian, probably because of the way the vowels are pronounced far back in the mouth, but other than that it's pretty much the same across all the languages I speak.

Me, too, but that’s because I have to stop and think before I open my mouth. With English, any ol’ thing comes out.

Yeah, that's definitely part of it, although I don't have to think much (grammatically speaking) about what I say in most of my languages anymore. Another part, I suspect, is that I of course exit from my rather low-class native idiom/accent. Funny thing, though: I have been told by several people that in Polish I have a distinct Lublin accent. One of them was even like, "No, my parents are from Lublin, you sound exactly like my parents." I have never been to Lublin. (I have joked before about past lives in Eastern Europe, I suppose...)

Merck is still currently under investigation
Who is investigating them, jj? The article you cite mentions no investigation. Isn't that a bit silly?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Feb 2015 #permalink

John Stone finally plays his trump card on the "no measles deaths" front:

I have seen government statements in private correspondence agreeing that there have been no deaths confirmed since 2003.

@ jj

Still trust you have “immunity”?

Well, I repeat myself, but during the recent measles outbreaks, the majority of sick people were non-vaccinated.
Since they are a minority in the general population, something must be protecting the other people around them...

By Helianthus (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

Comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated infected only tells a small part of the story....thousands of people were exposed to measles, both at Disneyland & elsewhere, yet only a very small fraction have gotten sick.

Given the infectious nature of measles (that 70 - 80% exposed would normally get infected), this, above all else, shows exactly how effective the vaccine really is.

I wonder, if you did the math, based on the 90%+ vaccinated vs. the small number of unvaccinated, what the real statistics would look like to compare risk....because logically, it should show that unvaccinated have an incredibly high risk of infection vs. the overall vaccinated population.

But then again, how dare I use logic and reason to make that comparison or hypothesis....

So your answer to everything is medical tyranny.

Welcome to the new AmeriKa where tyranny reigns and individual rights have been sacrificed for the greater good of the state and the big pharmaceutical companies who know exactly what toxic cocktails are best for our children.

AK, do not use the word "tyranny" so casually. You do not know what tyranny is.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

In deciding the morality of mandatory vaccinations, we must first ask a central question: Who owns the right to decide what happens to one’s body (or that of one’s child)? Is it the individual or another person, or government entity? Some might say that “society” or “government” has the right to make this determination, which is another way of saying that everyone has the right to own a share of everyone else. But, as economist and libertarian philosopher Murray Rothbard contended in his book, “For a New Liberty,” “this ideal rests on an absurdity: proclaiming that every man is entitled to own a part of everyone else, yet is not entitled to own himself.”

Given the benefits of vaccination, though, why might one choose to exercise a right not to be vaccinated? It is important to preserve this freedom not because of today’s vaccines, which have proven to be very safe and successful, but because of what unchecked government power might do if that freedom were eliminated.

Without the ability to say “No,” people might be subject to future vaccines or medical tests that could have serious negative side effects. And if government can require one to get a vaccine in the interest of public safety, what is to prevent it from using a “public health” justification, whether real or fabricated, to require people to be implanted with microchips? Indeed, microchips have already been touted as a way to improve child safety by embedding them with GPS tracking. Only under individual self-ownership are all people free to draw that line and decide what may be done with their own bodies – and those of their children.

The anti-vaxxers may be wrong on vaccinations for the measles, but we would not want to live in a world where anti-vaxxers are effectively banned by government edict, and where we could not control what happens to our own bodies. Let us not forget, freedom is not only for us, but also “for the children.”

@ak

My family has hosted refugees who had experienced tyranny through despots and tyrants. They know what tyranny is like, not like you, who can type his/her/its idiocy freely for the world to see.

Murray Rothbard’s opinions about women, civil rights and children

He argues that it shouldn't illegal to starve an infant to death, as long as the door is unlocked so that the infant can crawl out onto the street and participate in the open cuteness-for-food market. Even Dean Swift would be hard-pressed to satirise Rothbard.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

@Jessica

Who owns the right to decide what happens to one’s body (or that of one’s child)?

A big part of the issue is right here, in how you frame the question.

It's one thing to fight to keep as much freedom for yourself as possible. I may not like it, but I can accept that someone else doesn't want to do what I think he/she should be doing. Throwing stones in a glass house and all that.

It's another debate to claim that you have the unquestionable right to decide what you children should have.
Actually, the two questions are antithetic. You cannot claim full freedom for yourself, and then in the same breath claim full ownership of your child.

Indeed, microchips have already been touted as a way to improve child safety by embedding them with GPS tracking.

Guess what? I'm more afraid of private citizens deciding to tag their children out of their own volition than of men in black breaking my door to tag everyone against their will.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

Some might say that “society” or “government” has the right to make this determination, which is another way of saying that everyone has the right to own a share of everyone else.

No, this is just a shockingly stupid gloss of parens patriae.

Indeed, microchips have already been touted as a way to improve child safety by embedding them with GPS tracking.

How do you change the batteries on the receiver?

Seriously, do you even bother to examine the content of what you're saying rather than the wrapping?

I'm not seeing the slippery slope from Vaccines to Imaginary GPS Tracking, which would be such an evil invasive technology that only parents should be allowed to impose it on their possessions children.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

And...some of the usual suspects at AoA (who are collectively feeling the heat for their unreasonable belief that vaccines are the cause of the onset of autism...and every other implausible disease and disorder)...are now claiming that unfettered government interference in imposing mandates for entry into public schools, will, inevitablly, of course, lead directly to mandating HPV vaccines for five year old children.

One member of the AoA brain trust "did the reseach" and found there is ongoing research into 300 types of vaccines, which automatically triggered responses that every one of those 300 types of vaccines will be successfully developed and will shortly be placed on the CDC/AAP Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule. Such is the nature of the AoA critters.

Yes, you might say that for health care workers, a prospective employer does own a piece of your body...the parts of your body which develop the immune response against the particular vaccine-preventable-diseases once you are fully immunized.

Just consider those vaccines as part of infection control policy and procedures...similar to aseptic and sterile procedures. You don't want to comply with these conditions of employment/continued employment? You don't get the job or you lose your job.

@Jessica

Still dissecting your slippery slope arguments.

Without the ability to say “No,” people might be subject to future vaccines or medical tests that could have serious negative side effects.

Yes, because requiring people to get some preventing treatment which has been tested is the same as press-ganging people to test it.

And if government can require one to get a vaccine in the interest of public safety, what is to prevent it from using a “public health” justification, whether real or fabricated, to require people to be implanted with microchips?

Yes, because a tyrannical government really needs to first implement mandatory vaccination before it can act on restricting liberties. No way it can just send its goons arresting or killing people left and right. It wouldn't dare.
I don't remember the Patriot Act mentioning vaccines.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 02 Mar 2015 #permalink

@lilady - perhaps if the FDA was as corrupt as the people at AoA believe it is, all of those vaccines would be approved.....but in the real world, those companies will be lucky if 5 - 10 of those vaccines make it through R&D and the FDA clinical trials.

It is precisely the difficulty in getting even a single vaccine to market that requires that so many be in the research pipeline...which is something the folks at AoA will never understand.

Lawrence, many of those vaccines in various stages of development are vaccines against various types of (non transmissible) cancers, including melanomas. Others are being developed with the "same old antigens" contained in the present vaccines, but with new types (non injectable) methods of administering them, such as needle-free compressed air injections and patches.

@lilady - absolutely. AoA will never examine the actual science or understand the approval process.

I’m not seeing the slippery slope from Vaccines to Imaginary GPS Tracking

That's because it's frequency-masked by the pineal glands of all the aborted fetuses used to make the vaccines.

Same reason it's slippery.

Jessica no-one has the right to make decisions for children. What we all have is the responsibility to make decisions for children.

The parents have the greatest responsibility, but the beautiful thing is that responsibility can be shared and multiplied. The government also has a responsibility to care for its citizens, and we all have a responsibility to look after fellow human in danger. This is what a society is.

I wonder...what most of those who have posted on this article would tell a mom like me? I have 2 vaccine-injured children (those injuries ranged from encephalitis, to temporary paralysis of both legs, to permanent brain changes...). We vaccinated dutifully for 7 years, despite ongoing problems after vaccines. For many decades, there were many things listed as contraindications to vaccines...among them, autoimmune disorder, familial history of seizure disorder, AND familial history of severe adverse reaction to a vaccine. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago that doctors were still telling people that the younger siblings of vaccine-injured children were more prone to injury themselves. How do I know that? Because WE were told that as recently as the year 2000 (in fact, hearing that from our doctor contributed to our subsequent decision to stop vaccinating). However, quite recently, nearly EVERY contraindication has been quietly removed from the list, so that our children are no longer considered candidates for medical exemption. Not just our youngest two, who are entirely unvaccinated...but also our 17 year old son, who was the most severely and permanently injured. There are MANY families just like mine, in fact I'd venture to say the majority of people who oppose vaccine mandates are families with one or more vaccine-injured children, who don't want their younger children to suffer the same fate. Not that long ago, we could have obtained medical exemptions - suddenly, we're tossed aside and told, "Oh, well". Ya know...my children are not collateral damage, and they deserve to be protected from harm every bit as much as YOUR children do. I don't understand how people can be so obtuse as to refuse to acknowledge that protecting every child to the best of our abilities sometimes means doing different things for different children, based on their specific bodies. Perhaps many people don't quite understand that there are a lot of families in the same exact position as mine is. But, now you do. So, what about us?

Not that long ago, we could have obtained medical exemptions

You omitted the part where you ever had. It might help if you could provide concrete examples of the silent evisceration of "the list," as well.

permanent brain changes
That's a bit vague. My brain changes when I learn a new language, though the permanence remains to be seen.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Apr 2015 #permalink