The Woo Clan

Nuts of a feather, send their bairns to school together:

[…] School immunization data for the 2012-13 school year obtained by Daily Intelligencer from the New York State Department of Health shows that some 245 New York City private schools fell short of the 95 percent vaccination rate which experts say prevents measles from spreading — an effect known as “herd immunity.” Of those schools, 125 had rates below 90 percent, and 37 fell below 70 percent. The nine private schools with the lowest rates — between 41.5 percent and 18.4 percent — were so underimmunized that if any one of them somehow seceded and became a Sealand-style micro-nation, it would literally have had the worst measles vaccination rate in the world, according to WHO numbers.

For comparison, among the more than 800 private schools in the city, the overall immunization rate last year was 97 percent. In public schools, the current immunization rate is above 98 percent, according to the New York City Department of Education. While the DOE wouldn’t share rates for individual public schools, no district average falls below the herd-immunity threshold of 95 percent.

[…]

In many cases, anti-vaccine parents favor certain schools. Like some of their West Coast cousins, New York’s Waldorf schools — founded on the philosophy of Austrian mystic Rudolf Steiner, who believed vaccines “drive all inclination toward spirituality out of people’s souls” — lag on immunization rates. According to the Department of Health data, only 74.7 percent of the students at the Upper East Side’s Rudolf Steiner School, the nation’s first Waldorf school, were fully vaccinated last year. At Brooklyn Waldorf in Clinton Hill, the figure was 60.1 percent.

I hope the Waldorf childrens’ choir is brushing up their performance of Kindertotenlieder.

(Thanks reader R for sending this in.)

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241 replies
  1. 1
    Waynski says:

    I had a co-worker who refused to immunize his two boys. They lived on the lower East side of Manhattan. I hope they are well, but talking to his father about the importance of vaccination was like banging your head against a brick wall. I gave up trying. It’s dogma in that neighborhood. I guess stupidity spreads faster than viruses.

  2. 2
    p.a. says:

    O.T. but holy crap. Great writing.

  3. 3
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Waynski:
    I’m curious; what do people who do not believe in vaccination do when traveling to parts of the world where vaccines are required?
    (Lacking the willpower to peruse the anti-vax websites for answers.)

  4. 4
    FlyingToaster says:

    Alas, it’s not surprising. WarriorGirl’s (private) elementary has 100% vaccination rate; even the kids with egg allergies are getting their special-order flu shots. But one of her classmates came out of a Waldorf pre-school, where fewer than half of the parents vaccinated.

    The only reason our schools (both pre- and elementary) allowed for non-vaccination was medical. The first year of the H1N1 outbreak had two kids with egg allergies who couldn’t get flu shots for love or money. We delayed one shot for WarriorGirl by a year because the reaction when she was smaller to having the MMR and DTP at the same time was double-plus ungood.

    Our public schools, however, are running closer to 85%. I hope they follow through with wanting a doctor’s statement in addition to the parents’ anti-vax affidavit — this proposed new requirement would be a welcome change.

  5. 5
    Waynski says:

    @Bill Arnold: In my co-worker’s case, he didn’t travel outside the country. I’m not sure how others handle it.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    I skimmed it and will have to go back for a closer reading, but I’m pretty sure that the “culture of poverty” in, say, Appalachia is pretty similar to the “culture of poverty” in the inner city, which is why (as Coates says) it’s particularly stupid to use it as a synonym for “black culture.”

  7. 7
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    In a just world this would be a self-correcting problem. Sadly, this isn’t, and these idiot parents do an insane amount of collateral damage.

  8. 8
    Shakezula says:

    I hope the Waldorf childrens’ choir is brushing up their performance of Kindertotenlieder.

    Nicely done.

    I think part of what’s driving this is the idea that if little Billy does get sick, the doctors will be able to make him better with a couple of pills. (Which they will gladly feed to the kid, no questions asked.) When he is a whiny, rashy, miserable mess who will miss a lot of very expensive schooling will be a nasty shock.

    I just hope their nannies’ kids are vaccinated.

  9. 9
    Gypsy Howell says:

    This crap is part of the reason why, although I went to a Waldorf school, we didn’t send my daughter to the same school. The woo-woo factor in Waldorf eduction had taken a few quantum leaps forward (backward?) between the time I went there (the 60s-70s) and the time she was a kid. It’s one thing to subject your children to the silliness that is eurythmy, it’s a whole other thing to send them to school that encourages dangerous nonsense like the anti-vax movement.

    Christ almighty, has EVERYTHING devolved and gotten more stupid since I was a kid?

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    Most of the hippie anti-vaxxers I’ve spoken to ultimately rest their argument on the wisdom of mother nature, and how it is good for the weak to be “culled” from the herd anyway. Their children, you see, are not weak having been raised on organic kale, free range chicken, and Bach flower remedies. These budding eugenicists, of course, fail to realize that being born to ignorant and paranoid parents puts one at far more of an evolutionary disadvantage than eating the occasional McDonald’s Happy Meal.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @Waynski: They handle it by whining about being oppressed by Big Pharma.

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    We delayed one shot for WarriorGirl by a year because the reaction when she was smaller to having the MMR and DTP at the same time was double-plus ungood.

    I do wonder if the current vaccination schedule will be spread out a little more now that Obamacare is here and ordinary childhood vaccinations are included in the cost of your policy. I always thought one of the reasons for piling so many shots together was because doctors knew that parents could only afford a certain number of office visits and didn’t want kids to miss any vaccinations just because their parents couldn’t afford a separate co-pay.

    (This is pure speculation on my part, because I’m not in healthcare at all.)

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Christ almighty, has EVERYTHING devolved and gotten more stupid since I was a kid?

    A shitty grade Z movie star was elected twice to the presidency, in 1980 and 1984, and then a deserting coward was appointed to it in 2000 and then elected to it with a “mandate” of a couple of percentage points in 2005.

    So I believe the answer is YES.

  14. 14
    SatanicPanic says:

    Let me be clear when I say this that I’m not being snarky- Hooray for Public Schools!

  15. 15
    WereBear says:

    @beltane: Most of the hippie anti-vaxxers I’ve spoken to ultimately rest their argument on the wisdom of mother nature, and how it is good for the weak to be “culled” from the herd anyway.

    That’s taking narcissism to insane levels. They should be reading up on measles encephalitis. And they are not smart enough to read some history; we used to have schools for children who were both deaf and blind because there were so many of them, pre-immunization.

    Have they never heard of Helen Keller? How do they think she got that way?

  16. 16
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Christ almighty, has EVERYTHING devolved and gotten more stupid since I was a kid?

    No, come on. We’ve made progress in plenty of places.

  17. 17
    Fuzzy says:

    Quite frankly I hope these little darlings give the measles, mumps and chicken pox to their parents who then become deathly ill. They are like drunk drivers who cause others harm and thus should be treated as threats to society and jailed or fined accordingly.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    Viruses only attack poor and lazy people.

  19. 19
    Captain C says:

    @beltane:

    Most of the hippie anti-vaxxers I’ve spoken to ultimately rest their argument on the wisdom of mother nature, and how it is good for the weak to be “culled” from the herd anyway

    a) It’s…interesting to see granola lefty-types take the same stance as the worst Gilded Age Robber Barons with regard to the poors and the weaks.

    b) We’ll see how long they sing this tune when little Snowflake (female) gets a debilitating case of whooping cough and little Snowflakette (male) dies from diptheria.

  20. 20
    Svensker says:

    There’s an alert in the Toronto paper this morning, a guy with measles was in several restaurants, bars and stores before he realized he was infected. People who were in those restaurants, bars and stores on the relevant dates have been asked to check with their doctors to make sure they are protected.

    WTF? Have I time traveled back to the 50s?

  21. 21
    Jack the Second says:

    @Gypsy Howell: If things are worse then they were when you were a child, then it’s your own damn fault. Those of us born into Reagan don’t really appreciate the shithole we’ve inherited.

  22. 22
    Tiny Tim says:

    Waldorf schools are good if the de-emphasize some of the silliness. They’re sort of on a spectrum from cult-like sensible alternative education, depending on which one you’re talking about.

  23. 23
    Captain C says:

    @WereBear: Remember, they only will maintain this position as long as it’s some one else’s children who are suffering, especially if they can frame said children as an Other.

  24. 24
    El Cid says:

    @beltane: Are these people of the opinion that what allowed humans to survive when they were outclassed by much better, stronger predators and even threateningly dangerous herbivores was their access to natural foods? I thought it was considered to be some development of mental capacity and at some point language & culture. Unless, of course, the goal is to cull us back to minor ecological niche dwellers, which at least makes sense.

  25. 25
    RSR says:

    >>Thanks reader R for sending this in.

    You’re welcome. Wish I had more time to chat on the subject. Suffice it to say, with my wife a public school teacher (in Philly), we worry about immunizations, and whether ours are still effective.

    I though the Penn & Teller video posted a while back was good; not really shareable enough due to NSFW language: http://youtu.be/RLcOz4EKrxg

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: Childhood vaccination has been a victim of its own success. Blind and deaf children are not as visible as during our parents’ and grandparents’ times and the reality of high childhood mortality is something that is only read about in books for those who still read books. If these people ever bother to wonder how Helen Keller became blind and deaf, the first thought that would probably come to mind is that she was harmed by having too much gluten in her diet.

  27. 27
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Christ almighty, has EVERYTHING devolved and gotten more stupid since I was a kid?

    I’m going with yes. It certainly seems that it has since I was a kid (mid 60s elementary).

  28. 28
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It was a rhetorical question, of course.

  29. 29
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Jack the Second:

    hey go fuck yourself Jackhole. I’ve never voted for a single republican for any level of office in my entire life.

  30. 30
    GregB says:

    The Republicans last year.

    Obamacare sucks, no one is signing up for it.

    This year.

    Obamacare sucks, too many people are signing up for it.

  31. 31
    Gypsy Howell says:

    @Fuzzy:

    Oh THAT won’t happen, because you can bet the anti-vaxxers parents had them vaccinated when they were kids

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    Suggestion: Embed this helpful 1955 McGraw-Hill educational black & white film on how Sniffles & Sneezes among children spread disease.

    Or “Lucky Junior,” a 1948 film by the Michigan State Medical Society:

    Shows how babies born in Michigan enjoy better health and freedom from disease due to excellent medical care in Michigan. Includes shots of babies, children and doctors; scenes of scarlet fever, diphtheria and quarantines; a newborn’s feet being footprinted; an excellent shot showing nurses rolling a long line of bassinets (filled with babies) through a hospital corridor (this shot reads “baby boom” better than most other shots); a young child being washed; dramatized scenes of illness and sickness; shots of healthy children on a playground, including riding by camera on a circular ride.

  33. 33
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Christ almighty, has EVERYTHING devolved and gotten more stupid since I was a kid?

    @Gypsy Howell: Don’t know how old you are, but I suspect the answer is yes. I know from my perspective the answer is unquestionably “yes”.

    I could give you about a thousand examples but here’s one: current-day religious fundamentalists are clamoring for equal time on a hit science show – the first science show on a major network in over 20 years, I might add – to plug a theory that was considered both scientifically and religiously wrong and laughable forty years ago.

  34. 34
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Jack the Second: Excuse the fuck outa me, but it isn’t my own damned fault, dipweed. I worked my ass off to try to keep the shoe polish haired grade Z movie star out of office, as well as C-plus Augustus. So vent your bile at somebody else, por favor. And that’s my polite response to your idiotic nastiness.

  35. 35
    Lurking Canadian says:

    Can somebody who knows biology explain what “herd immunity” is? I’ve never understood (I mean genuinely I don’t get it, I’m not JAQing) what it means. My son has been immunized. Is there some threshold of non-vaccinated kids around him that mean he is, in fact, at risk of contracting measles, or polio, or whatever? Does it have to do with mutation?

  36. 36
    Belafon says:

    @Gypsy Howell: We haven’t been scared like they were 50 years ago, and most people don’t react if it doesn’t affect them.

  37. 37
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    For once, evolution selects against the rich.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I think the main reason for piling up so many vaccinations is twofold. On the one hand, they want to get kids vaccinated against as many things as possible as soon as their immune systems are capable of taking it to minimize the length of time they’re unprotected. On the other hand, they know that the more separate shots they have to give, the more likely it is that the kids will miss some, whether for economic reasons or just because of the confusion of having too many shots to keep track of. Combined vaccines, and combining vaccinations that require separate shots for technical reason into a single visit, is a huge win on both sides.

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Lurking Canadian:
    Wikipedia is your friend.

  40. 40
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Unless, of course, the goal is to cull us back to minor ecological niche dwellers, which at least makes sense.

    @El Cid: The recent actions of the wealthy start making a lot of sense when you view them with this as the motivator. Don’t like veering into CT territory but this thought crosses my mind almost every day.

  41. 41
    SatanicPanic says:

    Ooh, generational war on BJ, my favorite! Let’s do this! To everyone saying things are dumber than in the past, let me draw your attention to a few things-
    *we finally got a national healthcare plan passed. In 2009.
    *openly gay people can serve in the military AND in some places can get married. Mocking them is no longer considered cool.
    *our current president is not 100% white
    Just throwing those out there.

  42. 42
    Captain C says:

    @El Cid: I once had a good, intelligent friend tell me that she thought the only solution was for humanity to de-civilize. I had to point out that her solutions would pretty much necessarily require the (probably ugly) death of billions. She had no answer to that. Only because she was a good friend did I not say, “fine, you first.”

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gypsy Howell: Well, that was a rhetorical answer!

    There are a LOT of people out there who have no idea that everyday life was once very different than it is now. For example, that the number of children surviving to adulthood used to be far fewer in the past than we see today.

    There is such an appalling lack of understanding of history in this society. There are actual reasons why things are the way they are now, and the study of history can inform you as to why. All these cretinous sacks of shit who whine about “regulations” getting in the way of their greed, for example.

  44. 44
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Herd immunity is when tehre are sufficient numbers of a population to be vaccinated against a pathogen so that vulnerable members are portected because there isn’t much disease cirtculating. Vulnerable are too young for vax, immunocompromised or otherwise medically inappropriate for vaccination. Some vaccines will fail, and others will wear off, so herd immunity is important – and crucial for the appropriately unvaxed. Does that help?

  45. 45
    Belafon says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Wikipedia is a good place to start.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: And the 90’s is, hands down, the best era of music.

  47. 47
    WereBear says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There is such an appalling lack of understanding of history in this society. There are actual reasons why things are the way they are now, and the study of history can inform you as to why. All these cretinous sacks of shit who whine about “regulations” getting in the way of their greed, for example.

    Exactly. Behind every regulation there’s a bunch of exceedingly ugly deaths.

  48. 48
    Origuy says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Here’s another example:

    An eight-year-old South Carolina girl’s drive to have the woolly mammoth designated at the state’s ‘official fossil’ has been thwarted by two state senators who want the bill to be amended to give credit to God for creating the earth and the mammoth.

  49. 49
    Cassidy says:

    @Captain C: Objectively, that’s one solution.

  50. 50
    Citizen_X says:

    You know who else was an Austrian mystic…

  51. 51
    Dave says:

    @beltane: Yup it’s the same problem successful regulation has. The rivers on fire that’s bad we should do something so the river isn’t on fire anymore. Ten years later the river isn’t on fire that’s good we passed a good regulation. Twenty years after that why do we have this stupid regulation about this dumping? It’s not like rivers catch on fire we should get rid of this stifling regulation we don’t need it everything is fine. Ten years later shit the rivers on fire hoocandonoe we should stop that.

    Really people just need to read some history and look at how many children didn’t survive or were crippled from diseases that we can vaccinate against. It’s so bad that even if vaccines actually caused autism directly, they don’t at all, that it would still be worth vaccinating but antivaxxers are to privileged and sheltered to see that.

  52. 52
    Dave says:

    @beltane: Yup it’s the same problem successful regulation has. The rivers on fire that’s bad we should do something so the river isn’t on fire anymore. Ten years later the river isn’t on fire that’s good we passed a good regulation. Twenty years after that why do we have this stupid regulation about this dumping? It’s not like rivers catch on fire we should get rid of this stifling regulation we don’t need it everything is fine. Ten years later shit the rivers on fire hoocandonoe we should stop that.

    Really people just need to read some history and look at how many children didn’t survive or were crippled from diseases that we can vaccinate against. It’s so bad that even if vaccines actually caused autism directly, they don’t at all, that it would still be worth vaccinating but antivaxxers are to privileged and sheltered to see that.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    EWG Gestalt says:

    Longtime lurker here.

    One little problem with the kid’s choir doing Kindertotenlieder—it’s a set of songs for solo voice. (I asked my voice teacher if I could do them in a recital; she told me “no more songs about dead babies!” I didn’t ask about the details, and moved on to other Mahler songs.)

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Origuy: The incredible stupid of the godbothered. It BURNS!

  56. 56
    David in NY says:

    @Lurking Canadian: Amir’s Wikipedia explains it technically. I’d just say colloquially, that vaccinating enough of the “herd” allows protection of “free riding” anti-vaxxer kids. By vaccinating your kid, though, you protect him/her whatever others do.

  57. 57
    El Cid says:

    @Captain C: Also, the likelihood is that the result of such a cull would not be a small, well-balanced, Gwyneth Paltrow-led commune society, but all sorts of would-be rebuilders being sacked & harassed & conquered by asshole warrior groups. Like usually happens.

    You might believe (reasonably) that overall there should be fewer humans on the globe–though an even quicker possibility would be to cull the ravenous theft and wasting by the small number of rich societies–but how that happens and over what time frame is crucial.

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @El Cid: “Viruses only attack poor and lazy people. ”

    The interesting thing about the 1919 pandemic flu was that the people who died from it were predominantly in the middle age bracket and quite healthy, instead of the usual young, old and immunity challenged. Their immune response was so strong that it killed them.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: Republicans whine, Republicans bitch, our rich are too poor and our poor are too rich!

  60. 60
    p.a. says:

    @Captain C: Is she a Republican strategist?

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @El Cid:
    I would strongly recommend “So Much for So Little“, winner of the 1950 Oscar for Documentary Short Subject. It was commissioned by the US Government and produced by Chuck Jones (of Looney Tunes fame) as an extended advertisement for expanded public health departments. It’s sad to think how much better things would be if HHS had been able to do that kind of thing to get people to sign up for Obamacare.

  62. 62
    Captain C says:

    @p.a.: As far from it as possible. That’s why it was so surprising to hear her say that. It was obvious to me that she hadn’t thought it through for more than a few seconds.

  63. 63
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Can somebody who knows biology explain what “herd immunity” is?

    As pointed out, the wikipedia article is a good intro.
    The key idea is that for a particular infectious disease, in a well mixed population, there is a threshold (percentage immune, which mostly means “successfully vaccinated” but can also mean “has already had the disease”) above which an outbreak tends to die out, and below which, it is very likely to spread exponentially. (When the outbreak is small, an outbreak can die out by good luck; discrete math is needed to model it, as I recall.) Cultural practices and hygiene practices do affect the threshold. (Anybody with real experience modeling this feel free to abuse my summary.)

  64. 64
    David in NY says:

    @Captain C: You might describe to your frien the place of women in de-civilized societies — subjugated to men in almost every respect, because men are bigger, stronger, meaner and impose both the physical subjugation and a justification for its existence (women are icky, women betrayed men “in the beginning,” etc.).

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Dave: In my parents time polio was a real threat, and terrified people.

    When I was growing up, I got my sugar cube like everyone else, because my parents remembered the terror that beset their own childhood. I never experienced that, but I understand what happened before. I never want my children or grandchildren to ever experience that terror.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Captain C: Not thinking it through is a chronic problem. Sometimes it works to our advantage, when the moron “shut it down!” wingtards get their way and it fucks them over, but good.

  67. 67
    David in NY says:

    @WereBear:

    Behind every regulation there’s a bunch of exceedingly ugly deaths

    Can we make this a rotating tag at the top? A bumper sticker? A party platform?

    Nicely said, in any event.

  68. 68
    Anoniminous says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Briefly, herd immunity is the name for limiting disease spread through a population by reducing the number of individuals who can contract the disease. If people don’t get a disease they can’t pass it on, breaking the vectors, thus chains, of infection. Vaccination is not 100% proof against getting a disease but it does greatly lower the probability. The higher the rate of vaccination in a population the lower the probability of an individual in a population contracting the disease.

    When talking about mutation we enter the realm of molecular biology and it’s difficult to quickly explain without ending up being hopelessly superficial. With that in mind, vaccination helps to prevent the evolution of new strains of a disease because it limits necessary conditions for a mutation to spread through a disease causing population.

  69. 69
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Mnemosyne: Doctors will work with you, if you’re sane and asking medical questions. Delaying booster shots within the recommended timeframe is absolutely something a pediatrician will discuss with you. So you can have one shot at 4 and the other at 5, both are within the “age 4-5” timeframe, and everyone’s vaccinated before Kindergarten.

    We’ll be doing this for the age 11-12 boosters, and again with the pre-college boosters (one at the beginning of her senior year, the other before she leaves the following summer).

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Can somebody who knows biology explain what “herd immunity” is?

    The idea of herd immunity is that when a large enough percentage of the whole population is immunized, diseases can’t spread anymore and even people who don’t have any immunity themselves are protected. By getting your kid vaccinated, you’re not only protecting him or her, but also all the kids who can’t get vaccinated themselves, either because they’re allergic to the vaccine, too young to get vaccinated, or have crazy parents who refuse to let them.

    The easiest way to think about it is to imagine that each sick person can only spread their illness to a finite number of others in the time they’re sick. Imagine, for example, that the average person with measles can spread it to 10 other people in the time they have it. If 80% of people have immunity, then 8 of those 10 people will stay healthy but 2 will get sick, each of those 2 people will get 2 more people sick, etc. and the disease will grow out of control. But if 95% of people have immunity, then on average each sick person only spreads their disease to 0.5 other people, each of them only spreads it to 0.5 people, and the sickness dies out before it can spread. Quarantine works to stop the spread of disease by reducing the number of people exposed, and vaccination works by reducing the number of people who are exposed who will be infected.

  71. 71
    Captain C says:

    @El Cid:

    but how that happens and over what time frame is crucial.

    This is key. I would have no problem with an orderly, managed transition to a smaller population, say, getting down to a couple billion over a couple centuries (provided it was done ethically). Just abandoning all industrial age technologies, though, I imagine that would get pretty ugly pretty quickly. Funny how no one who ever champions this ever has more than an Underpants Gnomes-style Business Plan for actually making it happen, not to mention that they don’t seem to have read any Medieval or ancient history.

    Eliminating or even vastly reducing the almost pathological waste engendered by today’s consumerist societies would definitely be very helpful, too.

  72. 72
    rda909 says:

    I never get why the vaccination issue has to be so black or white. The amount of vaccinations they try to push on newborns and toddlers is incredible, and I’d argue many are unnecessary and designed to help profit the drug maker companies. We did the biggies (about 4-5 vaccinations) with our kids but refused things such as the HPV vaccination and about 20 others that seemed insane to inject into a tiny baby. Maybe some here feel the big drug companies are motivated more for the public good rather than looking for recurring revenue streams, but I don’t and am suspect of the drug company motives and PR efforts. Seems like there’s a happy medium that isn’t hard to reach without people being so antagonist about this issue.

    Of course, our kids never take over the counter meds and were born at home and have perfect attendance in school since they’re almost never ill, so we’re obviously CRAZY and have no idea what we’re talking about, since there have been times people have sneered at us as anti-vaxxers, which is odd since we did some of the vaccinations. But such is our national discourse today…

  73. 73
    🍀 Martin says:

    If anyone was still wondering why the administration pushed back the exchange deadline:

    There were 2 million visits to the website a day on Saturday and Sunday, according to the administration, and the volume caused the site to go down this morning. The call center fielded 2.5 million calls last week, more than the entire month of February. Wait times at the call center were significant over the weekend — 30 and 20 minutes on Saturday and Sunday respectively when The Verge tried to speak to a representative. “We are currently experiencing very long wait times due to a surge in demand for marketplace coverage as the end of open enrollment approaches,” a recording explained. “If you’ve already called and left your telephone number for us to call you back, don’t worry. We are holding your place in line and will contact you after April 1st to help you finish enrolling. You will still get coverage for 2014.”

    Don’t read too much into the website visit stats, but 2.5 million phone calls is startling. They knew they wouldn’t be able to process the surge of demand by the end of the day and that people would likely start to panic, which would cause them to only further overload the system. By taking the pressure off completing the application, they take the pressure off of the resources and actually get the thing done faster and better for everyone.

    With no new applications coming in after today, they can start to pare that backlog back over the next 2 weeks.

    They may not go over 7 million by today, but I bet they do by mid-April once they’ve processed everyone. I’d put even money they go over 7.5 million.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: My mind reels with sarcastic replies.

  75. 75
    Marc says:

    @p.a.: I don’t know. “I think God is fatalistic” might be great writing, but it’s kind of shit as a response to Chait’s arguments.

  76. 76
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No, that’s the sound of awesome music that makes all that 70’s crap sound amateur.

  77. 77
    🍀 Martin says:

    @EWG Gestalt:

    she told me “no more songs about dead babies!”

    Did you explain that you were a Democrat, and that’s just how we roll?

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    @Captain C: It’s a pretty common trope amongst young libertarians. If she’s been flirting with liberaltarian viewpoints that might be where she heard it.

  79. 79
    El Cid says:

    @catclub: All I have to do is repeat what I said louder and louder and then just forget what you said and I have won in conservative or anti-vax debate club.

  80. 80
    jayjaybear says:

    @Dave: Also the same problem labor has run into lately. Things were horrible for workers 100 years ago, so the labor movement worked and sweated and bled for decades to make things better. Come to roughly 1980 and everyone is saying “Why do we need labor unions? There’s legal protection against management exploiting workers now! Let’s weaken unions!” Lather, rinse, repeat and here we are, losing labor gains over the last 30 years.

  81. 81
    Anton Sirius says:

    Here’s my question: if I’m a parent with the resources to send my kid(s) to private school, and I find out a big chunk of the other parents at that school are anti-vax nutcases, why wouldn’t I pull my kid out of there at the end of the term/year and find them another school that isn’t as infected with stupid?

    Why would I want my children being educated by a system that, tacitly or openly, encourages these sorts of attitudes?

  82. 82
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @catclub: Not actually true. Old people and children died like flies during the 1919 pandemic too, it was only notable that more young adults and middle-aged folks in general good health who would normally have survived a bad influenza with rest and medical care did in fact die. The reason for these excess deaths has been ascribed to an over-reaction of their healthy immune system.

    The death rate plotted against age for flu pandemics is a bathtub curve, high in the young and old, low in the middle. In the 1919 case the “floor” of the bathtub was a lot higher than in previous and succeeding epidemics but still well below the levels of young and old people who succumbed.

  83. 83
    Belafon says:

    @David in NY: As the wikipedia article also explains, not all vaccines completely protect you against a disease, but they can reduce the chance that you will catch it. Do that with enough people, and your chances of getting it are small, or, if you do catch the virus, the people around you won’t catch it, essentially starving it.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Jewish Steel says:

    I hope the Waldorf childrens’ choir is brushing up their performance of Kindertotenlieder.

    Damn, dog. You’ve set the brow bar for the blog pretty high for the week.

  86. 86
    David in NY says:

    @rda909:

    I don’t [think drug companies are motivated by public good (straw man)] and am suspect of the drug company motives

    Well, right, vaccine production is so profitable, … Except it isn’t. And unlike you, I’m not operating on preconceived notions (though in some areas pharma is bad beyond belief), but I present some actual information about this:

    “Vaccines are difficult and expensive to make and, because they are used once or at most several times during one’s life, have revenues that are dramatically less than products that are used every day.”
    See http://content.healthaffairs.o.....3/622.full

    Vaccine production is simply not very profitable. I don’t think much of the rest of your reasoning for not accepting vaccines (are the poor little babies really so weak it’s a bad idea?), but am particularly suspect of this one.

  87. 87
    Belafon says:

    @rda909: My kids are generally never sick, never miss any school days, and we have gotten them most of the vaccines. Then again, I was generally never sick as a kid. There’s some genetics involved here that not every kid has, and there’s a bit of not being exposed to everything.

  88. 88
    ruemara says:

    @Anton Sirius: the way it would look at the polo club.

  89. 89
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Waynski: @beltane: @beltane: @El Cid: @Dave: Is it just me, or does Teh Stupid track with attacks on the public-sector education budgets and (particular to your discussions) the disappearance of all the teaching aids for public health, science etc? I recall a bunch of those films, dutifully presented to thoroughly bored students, which nonetheless seemed to penetrate at least a few skulls: from what (admittedly little) I know of the education sphere today most of this stuff seems to have disappeared, and replacements certainly haven’t been made. If (as I suspect) the Reichwing/libtard war on the public sector was intended to create this kind of idiocy, it seems to be succeeding.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: “Not thinking it through” is a telltale marker of glibertarian idiocy.

  91. 91
    aimai says:

    @El Cid: My grandmother rememberd having scarlet fever, being quarantined, and having her toys burned. I knew plenty of people who had lost entire families to epidemic illnesses in Nepal. Sometimes you would meet them and their “second” family and not find out until later that they had lost three or four older children.

  92. 92
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Anton Sirius: You would pull your kids out. I eliminated two schools from my initial hunt list two years ago by reading their immunization policy — one of them was a Waldorf school.

    I get flack for having chosen a school with a strong music, arts, and STEM program; both schools we ended up applying to had these. Other people I know who also chose the private school route had different concerns — one wants her kids in school with, and I quote, “the 1%ers kids”. Yeesh.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David in NY: Boner pills, on the other hand, are a fucking goldmine. Which is why you’re hit with boner pill ads continuously on the evening news broadcasts.

  94. 94
    David in NY says:

    @Belafon: right. didn’t mean to suggest taking a vaccine necessarily provided total protection, just the degree of protection it can, which is more than none

    Also, the physician-scientists pay a lot more attention to the statistical risks in taking any drugs than the anti-vaxxers seem to realize. The balance between likely risk and likely benefit is examined extraordinarily closely. The antis seem unable to comprehend this, or are sufficiently paranoid that science will not penetrate them.

  95. 95
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @rda909: Yes you are CRAZY and your kids are at elevated risk of catching diseases that modern first-world doctors have difficulty recognising because they were almost eradicated three generations back. Whooping cough — any one-horse-town doctor sixty years ago could diagnose a case of that from outside the house simply by the noise the sick child was making, nowadays it can take a week of hospitalisation before some 25-year old intern figures out the intubated four-year-old in the intensive-care ward has this medieval disease because his parents thought Big Pharma was robbing them of a buck fifty for a “useless” inoculation.

    Your kids have never had a day’s illness BECAUSE nearly all the other parents around you don’t believe that “Big Pharma” bullshit and there isn’t a polio season or a scarlet fever summer any more. Give it time though, there’s more and more idiots like you born every day.

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Robert Sneddon: It did not help that a lot of those healthy young adults were living in close quarters due to the previous unpleasantness in Europe.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David in NY: Well, there’s a not unjustified fear that the physician-scientists will be overruled by bean counting MBA dogshit because it might mean the CEO has to wait an extra month for that new Bentley.

  98. 98
    WereBear says:

    What Germany went through during The Protestant Reformation, we are getting to experience in the US with our rabid Xantians.

    It’s not solely a religious convulsion, though their brand of religion has something to do with it. It’s a cultural upheaval that has driven them mad. When I was a teen in the ’70’s, I went to a Southern Baptist church school because the new junior high was a pit of mayhem. Bombs.

    Now these folk were crazy; we got chapel twice a week where our principal would rant about the Devil’s Music and if we wore pants it had to be pantsuits and our biology class was likely to be interrupted by our teacher exclaiming that godless commies were bursting through the door and we’d be asked to deny Jesus or get shot. What will you do?

    But birth control in marriage was a sensible way for couples to only have the number of children they wanted, women could go to college and have jobs, and premarital sex was wrong but not disastrous. They’ve gone around the bend since because society changed so much. They have a low tolerance and this simply made them lose their minds.

    So they do what any Authoritarian brain does. Double down.

  99. 99
    Anoniminous says:

    @rda909:

    I never get why the vaccination issue has to be so black or white.

    Because Rational Decision Making is an acquired skill and most people can’t do it. To discuss vaccination some knowledge of Biology and Medicine is required and most people don’t have that, either. Thus, it becomes a “religious” issue, driven by pseudo-cognition and emotion.

  100. 100
    FlyingToaster says:

    @rda909: Huh?

    HPV isn’t given until about age 10 (depending on the pediatric practice and individual child).

    Did you skip the Hib vaccine? It and the Pneumococcal vaccines are the ones that tend to help prevent upper respiratory and ear infections (I had >30 by the time I was 6.5 and had to have my rotting tonsils removed; WarriorGirl has had one ear infection in her 6.5 years). The others (HepB, DTP, MMR, V, IPV) are pretty important, even if they start the HepB at two days old.

  101. 101
    Eric U. says:

    should an adult get re-vaccinated for some of these diseases?

  102. 102
    David in NY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, if you’re gonna have sex every day, you’ll be paying a fortune!

  103. 103
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: Do not dis the musical stylings of Morris Albert.

    Oh, wait, that reinforces your view. Never mind.

  104. 104
    Captain C says:

    @Cassidy: Hmm…this is possible. I suspect, however, that it came more from the Edward Abbey crowd.

  105. 105
    Captain C says:

    @Cassidy: Hmm…this is possible. I suspect, however, that it came more from the Edward Abbey crowd.

  106. 106
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Eric U.: Check with your PCP. I had to be re-vaxed for MMR (antibodies were GONE when tested), and the DTP vax has changed — though you should be getting a Tetanus booster every 10 years anyway. I’m coming up on the age for getting the shingles vax, since I had varicella in 3rd grade (1970). Polio is the only major one I haven’t been re-vaccinated for; I have no idea if there’s an antibody test for it.

  107. 107
    raven says:

    Anyone else watch “Call the Midwife” last night. The batty old nun diagnosed Cystic fibrosis in a baby based on her reading of an old book that described a baby with a salty forehead.

  108. 108
    Chris says:

    @WereBear:

    That’s taking narcissism to insane levels.

    Actually, isn’t it eugenics?

  109. 109
    David in NY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m not sure your description of the vaccine approval system is very sophisticated.

    If the MBA were making the decisions, they’d be looking elsewhere: “(Annual revenues for Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering agent, are greater than revenues for the entire worldwide vaccine industry.)7” From article cited above.

  110. 110
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Unfortunately, your logic is impeccable.

  111. 111
    Cassidy says:

    @Captain C: Possibly. I’ve just noticed that the young generation of glibertarians have some very detailed fantasies about the collapse of gov’t and birth of self sustaining communities, led by them of course. The fact that most of them are overweight, out of shape, and have never hunted, farmed, or built anything is glossed over pretty quickly.

  112. 112
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: The narcissism is assuming their children are so special they won’t catch viruses.

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David in NY: Oh, I’m not talking specifically about the vaccine approval system. I’m talking about the general way that Big Pharma rolls, and that gets imposed on everything they produce. This is one of those “we have to do this because it’s good PR” type things.

  114. 114
    Paul in KY says:

    @Lurking Canadian: I think ‘herd immunity’ means that if you are not vaccinated against a disease, but everyone else around you is, that will reduce the likelyhood of you developing that disease (because you won’t come into contact with anyone who has it, if you stay in that ‘herd’, I guess).

  115. 115
    boatboy_srq says:

    @WereBear: I had one or two of those to deal with undergrad: rock music is a Tool of the Devil because see-what-happens-when-you-play-it-backward; immodesty is the cause of teen pregnancy; sex and drugs are bad because they lead to dancing; etc etc. Astounding.

  116. 116
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Cassidy: They can look all that sort of stuff up on Wikipedia when they need to.

  117. 117
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: They imagine that after the collapse, they will at long last be the new feudal lords and they’ll have all the freedom they could possibly want, freed from the tyranny that the infinitely inferior masses impose on them by insisting that they curb their assholishness.

    They imagine that they’re all going to be Lannisters.

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    @Robert Sneddon: After the power grid fails, of course.

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @Captain C: Ask her to read the book ‘Ishmael’. Life wasn’t all rosy & good times back in the pre-taker era.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    see-what-happens-when-you-play-it-backward;

    “I buried Paul. I buried Paul.”

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cassidy: I’ll go with the 70s, cause I’m getting old.

    90s also had a shitton of great music.

  122. 122
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @rda909: You do know of course, that the HPV vaccine isn’t given to tiny little babies, right? And that when given prior to sexually active years it can protect against cancers in both males and females from a set of viruses that are endemic in the US adult population? Or do you think it’s just big pharma getting rich? Of course, vaccines are hideously expensive to develop, so there is very little (if any) profit margin, but why let facts get in the way of a good specious argument?

  123. 123
    Paul in KY says:

    @El Cid: Cloud Atlas shows how it went in our 50th state.

  124. 124
    raven says:

    @Cassidy: you so funny

  125. 125
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: How’s the hoop treating ya? O/T, of course.

  126. 126
    Roger Moore says:

    @Eric U.:

    should an adult get re-vaccinated for some of these diseases?

    For some of them, absolutely. They’ve always recommended periodic boosters for DPT/TDAP (mostly for the tetanus, but these days also for the pertussis), and ISTR they’ve made a bigger deal about of MMR boosters recently. I think they’ve also started to give the chicken pox vaccine to adults who had the disease as children because it’s supposed to reduce the risk and severity of shingles, which are caused by a latent form of the virus. (Despite the name, chicken pox is actually a member of the herpes virus family, not the pox virus family. Like all members of the herpes family, it is never completely wiped out but goes latent, only to reoccur years later.)

  127. 127
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Cassidy: Their communities are totally off-the-grid with solar panels container-shipped from China, a monthly delivery of propane for their generator delivered up the county road from the local township and lead-acid batteries which they’ll re-order via Amazon when they wear out in a few years time (or when their inadequately-ventilated battery shack blows up). Totally off-the-grid.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, of course it’s stupid, but it’s stupid by design in the ongoing effort to keep the masses divided so that rule can be sustained.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Once again, the stupid, it BURNS!

  130. 130
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Damocles found our many, many years ago that uneasy is the lord’s head.

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): The problem with the HPV vaccine is that it will prevent the wrath of Gawd from being visited on the sluts.

  132. 132
    Face says:

    and I’d argue many are unnecessary and designed to help profit the drug maker companies

    And I’d argue, with all due respect, that you’re an idiot. Vaccinnes making profits for drug companies? Unnecessary? Is today Opposite Day in addition to Opening Day?

    Good lord, I cant take this much idiocy on one blog.

  133. 133
    Gretchen says:

    Many pediatricians here refuse to accept non-vaccinated children in their practices. They don’t want their sensible patients exposed to measles in the waiting room. If all doctors did this it might stem the tide.

  134. 134
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Robert Sneddon: If the shit hits the fan, they’ll hunt for food. There is plenty of natural, edible fauna out there for hundreds of millions of hungry Americans.

  135. 135
    raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Well, I won good money on the second game of the tourney so that is good. The KY-Mich game was an incredible game even though I really dislike both teams. Only 3 games to go and then the endless drone of baseball (punctuated by the world cup)!

  136. 136
    Dave says:

    @Face: Exactly vaccines are probably the one area least likely to be subject to the industry pushing them because of profits (I’m looking at you boner pills… seriously how are you doing why don’t you come for a visit). It’s a facile cynicism the same one that in politics leads to they are all the same thinking and it actually benefits the most cynical actors.

  137. 137
    Paul in KY says:

    @raven: Go Big Blue! All the way, UK! (allow me this, raven as I never get to do any football cheering).

  138. 138
    Paul in KY says:

    @SatanicPanic: Er, other former Americans?

  139. 139
    rda909 says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Your response is exactly what I’m talking about. I advocate for people taking the time to educate themselves and make their own decisions, and not just automatically do what the medical industrial complex tells you to do at all times, since many accepted medical “facts” have proven to be wrong over time, including many things about vaccines over the years. There is plenty to love about modern medicine, and as an example even though all our kids were home births, we also had hospital backups ready for each in the rare event some complication could happen that in the past would lead to death, so we are very thankful modern medicine is there when needed.

    You say my healthy family could be killing babies. Got nowhere to go with that.

    As I said we did some vaccines, but not all. That’s CRAZY!

  140. 140
    rda909 says:

    @FlyingToaster: It’s been many years since our youngest was born, so I don’t remember all the specifics, but I did hear a report within the last year where the people were suggesting HPV schedule be changed and given to little kids now, so had that in my mind.

  141. 141
    raven says:

    @Paul in KY: They are really good. You know the rest,

  142. 142
    FDRLincoln says:

    People who refuse to vaccinate are idiots.

    That said, I don’t have a problem with stretching the immunization schedule out a little. It can be a little too much for some kids. We did this with our autistic son, spreading his 5-year-old boosters out over a three-month period rather than taking all five booster vaccines in a single day. Our pediatrician fully supported that. Stretching it out a little is a reasonable thing to do with kids who have particularly sensitive immune systems, as long as they are still fully up-to-date for when kindergarten begins.

    It is entirely possible to avoid “overload” that some parents are worried about, yet still get your kid vaccinated and be in compliance with the law and common sense.

  143. 143
    Paul in KY says:

    @raven: :-)

  144. 144
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Paul in KY: That’s quite obviously plan b

  145. 145
    DougJ says:

    “drive all inclination toward spirituality out of people’s souls”

    Would be a feature not a bug if true.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rda909:

    And the saddest part is, it will probably be one of your kid’s friends who gets sick or dies from your unvaccinated child, and you’ll still think you were justified in not vaccinating.

    My best friend died of pneumonia when I was in preschool. Still feel totally justified in not vaccinating your kid against pneumonia? Don’t worry, they probably won’t die. They’ll just have to live with the lifelong trauma of having to find out at age 5 what it’s like to have a friend die.

  147. 147
    Punchy says:

    since many accepted medical “facts” have proven to be wrong over time, including many things about vaccines over the years.

    Please link to the many things about vaccines that have been proven wrong over time. Or else cut the hyperbole.

    Kthxbuy

  148. 148
    The Pale Scot says:

    @rda909:

    The amount of vaccinations they try to push on newborns and toddlers is incredible, and I’d argue many are unnecessary and designed to help profit the drug maker companies.

    Wrong:http://content.healthaffairs.o.....3/622.full

    “During the past fifty years, the number of pharmaceutical companies making vaccines has decreased dramatically, and those that still make vaccines have reduced resources to make new ones. Pharmaceutical companies are gradually abandoning vaccines because the research, development, testing, and manufacture of vaccines are expensive and because the market to sell vaccines is much smaller than the market for other drug products….
    …Pharmaceutical companies are businesses, not public health agencies; they are not obligated to make vaccines. Events during the past fifty years have made the manufacture of vaccines more expensive and their sale less profitable. What follows here are case studies of two important vaccines, one for polio and the other for influenza, and the factors that either encouraged or discouraged their production.”

    And pharma is getting out of the antibiotics biz too:

    PBS: “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria “

    The problem is clear: There aren’t enough new antibiotics. The question is why aren’t more pharmaceutical companies filling the gap – and what’s being done to try to reverse this trend? …
    … Economics have also played a major role in the shift away from antibiotic research.  Antibiotics aren’t easy drugs to make money off of. Unlike diabetes or blood pressure medication, where patients usually need to take the drug for life, antibiotics are short-course therapies, less likely to create a dependable market. There have been some exceptions, such as Pfizer’s Zithromax, which netted over $1 billion annually. But generally, drugs for chronic disease offer a higher return on investment than antibiotics.
    The relatively low market price for antibiotics is another financial roadblock for drug companies. “We’re not comfortable as a society paying more than say $100, $200 for an antibiotic course, because we’ve been sort of spoiled by the penicillin experience,” …… “We’re willing to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for cancer chemotherapy but we’re not willing to do that for antibiotics.

    So you don’t want get vaccinated? Fine
    Just stay the fuck away from me and mine.

  149. 149
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @rda909: No, I said your family is healthy at the moment because sane people around you chose to have their children fully vaccinated. The odds your children contract something out of the Dark Ages are vastly increased compared to the sane people and their children, of course but those odds are much less than they would have been decades ago before widespread vaccination. They’re sponging off that herd immunity effect without contributing to it.

    The snake-eyes comes when they contract a preventable disease and then pass it onto someone whose vaccination didn’t take and a few toddlers that haven’t received their scheduled vaccinations yet and a few folks who couldn’t get vaccinated for medical reasons because the herd immunity effect has been compromised by the insane belief you and your fellows hold about Big Pharma and its profit-seeking efforts to effectively eradicate assorted serious diseases in civilised nations.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Punchy:

    Well, it’s been proven wrong that vaccines cause autism, but it wasn’t exactly the medical establishment who was pushing that, unless Jenny McCarthy got an MD when I wasn’t looking.

  151. 151
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Svensker: I still have my tonsils. In the mid-1980s I went through a period of having strep throat every 6/7 weeks. (The strep stopped when I changed jobs.) My division supervisor and I had words one afternoon because he didn’t think I needed to be out sick with the strep throat and fevers. I told him, “We have an editor who is pregnant. The last person she needs to have around her is someone who has chronic strep throat.”

  152. 152
    FlyingToaster says:

    @rda909:

    people were suggesting HPV schedule be changed and given to little kids now

    Nah gah hah pen.

    The expansion that the CDC has tentatively proposed was to extend from females age 8-12 to all children age 8-12. The trials as conducted in the EU were extremely positive; elimination of 80% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts in the vaccinated population, IIRC. And no lasting side effects in the years since testing (at the time of the vaccination, injection site pain, headaches, and low-grade fever are known, just like for MMR or DTP).

    I don’t know when your kids were vaccinated, but for my daughter, the pediatric practice gives out detailed handouts on each scheduled vaccine, including coverage, failure rate, side effects and contraindications. They hand them to me when we check in and I’ve read them by the time we’re in the exam room with the doctor.

    You might not have been able to be in this practice; they decline to serve families who refuse vaccinations for non-medical reasons. There see too many babies there to take the risk.

  153. 153
    rda909 says:

    @Face: Gee. Guess you told me.

    When we were making all these decisions for our kids, we spent tons of time reading articles from “granola” and conventional publications, and discussed these issues with multiple doctors, including a naturopath, and decided to do the vaccines we did. We researched many of the issues people are bringing up on this thread, which are the standard vaccination issues that come up. A lot of these things are not as cut and dried as so many people try to make them out to be. I don’t have time find a bunch of links at the moment, but remember this place of the top of my head, which I don’t always agree with their stances either, but it at least shows some of the conventional thinking might not be so sound:
    http://vran.org/in-the-news/an.....hysterics/

    The herd mentality bullying which claims we’re destroying this notion of herd immunity by doing just some of the immunizations is not healthy, in my opinion. I remember people always telling me to just go get this or that antibiotic too whenever I’d catch a little cold, and that hasn’t turned out be very good advice as we know now. But I’m just a simple “idiot” apparently.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    Or when it gets passed along to infants who were too young to be vaccinated for that particular disease — that’s how we lost 10 infants in California in 2010. Fortunately, a big public awareness campaign brought pertussis vaccinations back up to where they needed to be.

    But, hey, it’s not rda909’s kid who’s going to die, it’s someone else’s kid who got infected by his/her unvaccinated child, so why should s/he care about someone else’s dead baby?

  155. 155
    PurpleGirl says:

    @beltane: When I was in my early teens I went through a blitz of reading books about medical/health history. A lot about the founding of public health as a field. I read the stories of the doctors and nurses who worked against any number of epidemics. The details haven’t stayed with me but the outline of the early 20th century fights and the taming of epidemics has. (I’ve had some weird interests over time.)

  156. 156
    marduk says:

    @rda909: The very worst ignorance is proud ignorance. The wonderful sense of superiority one is able to nurture when one is ill-informed but so very sure about it.

    Sure the kids got cervical cancer but the Medical Industrial Complex didn’t put one over on me!

  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rda909:

    I don’t have time find a bunch of links at the moment, but remember this place of the top of my head, which I don’t always agree with their stances either, but it at least shows some of the conventional thinking might not be so sound.

    Wow. That was a whole lot of crazy packed into a single post. I especially loved the argument that if immune-suppressed children can’t be vaccinated, then no one should be vaccinated because argle bargle coatrack herd immunity is a myth!

  158. 158
    rda909 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes see, we’re killing kids! And who are the bullies in this debate…pro-vaxxers, or anti-vaxxers, or us who are in the middle?

    Of course, since most kids are highly vaccinated, what’s the worry, since the vaccines are so good that none of them will get sick from my walking disease spreaders know as my children, correct?

  159. 159
    Waynski says:

    @David in NY: The words of werebear are true. Yet, we should be reflective on the regulations we put into place. Sometimes they make sense, in other instances, they don’t. There needs to be a clear avenue of redress for the ones that are doing more harm than good. That’s not to say we shouldn’t implement them and see what happens – good or ill. As someone who has bumped up a few silly regs in the past, I think a review process is important.

  160. 160
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @rda909: So an anti-vaccination website (VRAN) told you vaccines were bad, every scientific health-based organisation on the planet tells you vaccines are good and you go with the anti-vaccine nutters because…?

  161. 161
    rda909 says:

    @marduk: Oh yes, I’m so superior. That’s why we did several of the vaccines.

  162. 162
    Punchy says:

    @rda909: I’m not understanding the “some” of the vaccines. If you’re certain the vaccines you gave your kids will prevent them from getting A, B, and C, then why in the world would you withhold the ones that prevent your children from getting D, E, and F?

    Most people believe they work or they dont. So you believe only some of them work? Or you believe that only some of diseases are harmful, but not others? Or that a child vaccinated for A and B can magically be protected from disease C by the transitive property of immunoglobulins (or something granola-sounding)?

    I dont get it. Are you the parent that sometimes seatbelts the kids in the car? Cuz that appears to be the way you’re advocating vaccines.

  163. 163
    rda909 says:

    @Robert Sneddon: I clicked around for about 3 minutes there and see all sorts of medical studies linked. I have tons of printed publications at home with all kinds of doctors from around the world worrying if we’re over-vaccinating. I’ve discussed personally with doctors who have wondered about this even though they’re giving the shots.

  164. 164
    The Pale Scot says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    There is plenty of natural, edible fauna out there for hundreds of millions of hungry Americans.

    Ex. #1: Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, The Apocalypse comes, but the BBQ grills are covered with fresh meat,

    Where did it come from? Who knows? But see, no problem!

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rda909:

    And who are the bullies in this debate…pro-vaxxers, or anti-vaxxers, or us who are in the middle?

    And when a firefighter wrestles someone off a bridge who’s threatening to jump to their death, that firefighter is being a bully!

    Of course, since most kids are highly vaccinated, what’s the worry, since the vaccines are so good that none of them will get sick from my walking disease spreaders know as my children, correct?

    Actually, no, most kids are not highly vaccinated. I will bet you a largish sum of money that most of the kids your kids play with aren’t vaccinated, because anti-vaxxers tend to herd together. So already you’ve increased your child’s chance of contracting measles or mumps just by the social circles you put them into.

    You may not believe in herd immunity, but herd immunity believes in you, as we’ve discovered in California.

  166. 166
    Cassidy says:

    Someone should contact the WHO and tell them they’re wasting their time trying to vaccinate third world populations. Some suburban moms have a different but competing theory on their effectiveness. It has to be true since they put it on Pinterest.

  167. 167
    Face says:

    @rda909: What the hell does “over-vaccinating” mean? Please explain. Protip: you cannot overtax the immune system with vaccines. Unpossible.

  168. 168
    rda909 says:

    @Punchy: Looking at the history of the various diseases, some make more sense than others. Every single person I know who has had a flu vaccine for instance, has had the flu this winter. I didn’t. Doesn’t mean flu shots can’t be helpful for certain types of people, but also suggests to me that not everyone needs to go out and keep popping shots and pills. People can do things to improve their immune system naturally, and that’s all our basic premise, then use modern medicine to supplement that.

    This is clearly going nowhere and I’m out the door, so my family and I will just have to go and keep killing kids and the elderly now.

  169. 169
    The Pale Scot says:

    @rda909:

    what’s the worry, since the vaccines are so good that none of them will get sick from my walking disease spreaders know as my children

    The Stupid, it Burns!

    All biological processes occur on spectrum, some people’s immune system respond strongly vaccines and are invulnerable to the bug, others get slightly to very sick because their immune system’s response pathways didn’t recognize the antigens in the vaccine. That’s why herd immunity is so important. The vaccine will reduce the time the infected person is contagious.

    The terminology is “R”, how many others the infected will infect.

  170. 170
    Punchy says:

    @rda909: The old tried-and-true Plural of Anecdotia is Scientific Data. And conflating the results of an admittedly difficult-to-predict flu strain vaccine with standard MMR vaccines….absurd.

    And of course (without fail), pointing out these significant inaccuracies is now called “bullying”.

  171. 171
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @rda909: That would be a lot of people with the flu if it was true. Then again it’s been my experience that folks with a cold, a rhinovirus, will often call it flu when real influenza is totally debilitating and requires about two weeks of bedrest and medicating for debilitating headaches, nausea and joint and muscle pains at the minimum. Hospitalisation for more severe cases is not uncommon and of course influenza counts for a number of fatalities each year in the sick and infirm even with modern medical intervention.

    A flu shot doesn’t stop people getting colds, it vastly reduces the chance of someone at risk getting the specific type of flu expected in a given season. It’s not 100% certain to stop any individual getting influenza, no vaccine is 100% hence the necessity of that “herd immunity” you and your fellow anti-vaxxers leech off while your naturopath (amazing! I typed that word without laughing!) nods in approval.

  172. 172
    marduk says:

    @rda909: Only the “right” ones that an enlightened mind such as yourself would select. Of course. Not those other vaccines the Medical Industrial Complex suckers fall for.

  173. 173
    Paul in KY says:

    @PurpleGirl: I still have mine at age 53.

  174. 174
    Paul in KY says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Their website was laid out better. Nice graphics, etc.

  175. 175
    Paul in KY says:

    @rda909: Any interesting one (vaccine) that you haven’t had the kids get?

  176. 176
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Pale Scot: Where did Soylent Green come from?

  177. 177
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Nah. The CDC’s Why Immunize? website is much nicer. Easier to read, not set against that circa-1996 yellow background.

  178. 178
    Paul in KY says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Agree that many people call a bad cold ‘the flu’.

    Real influenza is a nasty disease.

  179. 179
    Interrobang says:

    @rda909: And yet, you don’t seem to have answered the question as to which ones.

    But okay, judging by the way you talk, you probably skipped HepB, as the standard antivax line on that is that it’s a “sexually-transmitted disease” and no baby needs it, even though it can be transmitted through other bodily fluids, and the younger you contract HepB, the more likely you are to become a carrier (and infect the next unvaxxed generation!) and the more likely (up to 25%) you are to die of HepB related complications, and it’s endemic in the North American black and Asian communities, so if Nana gives Grandbaby a sip out of her cup or kisses Grandbaby on the mouth…

    I’m personally grateful that kids get the HiB vax now, because that means I get far fewer horribly invasive sinus-and-everything-else infections that leave me with green pus oozing out of almost all of my facial orifices.

    Seriously, if you are anti-vax, you are pro-disease. Why on earth would you rather your kids take the risk of getting a disease (even a small risk!) than to take a safe shot and have so close to no risk that no risk will think it’s being stalked?

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rda909:

    By the way, good call on avoiding the Hib vaccine (assuming that’s the one you mixed up with the HPV vaccine and avoided). Here’s what you have to look forward to:

    Before Hib vaccine became available, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. infants and children. Before the vaccine was developed, there were approximately 20,000 invasive Hib cases annually. Approximately two-thirds of the 20,000 cases were meningitis, and one-third were other life-threatening invasive Hib diseases such as bacteria in the blood, pneumonia, or inflammation of the epiglottis. About one of every 200 U.S. children under 5 years of age got an invasive Hib disease. Hib meningitis once killed 600 children each year and left many survivors with deafness, seizures, or mental retardation.

  181. 181
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why must you destroy my sarcasm with your ‘facts’? I spent about 4 secs crafting that fine retort & now it’s ruined. Ruined I tell you (shakes fist in a general Westerly direction)!

  182. 182
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Paul in KY: Doesn’t even have to be a *bad* cold — my hypochondriac friend (an ex-pharmacist) thinks every 48-hour cough he gets is full-blown influenza. He’s got enough wrong with him for real that he gets a free flu shot every year now. I’m more than ten years older than he is and generally fit and healthy, I don’t even get colds much these days (age immunity, I think) and I don’t get a flu shot free from the NHS, I’d have to actually pay for one and that goes against my Scottish grain.

  183. 183
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    My cousin and her husband both unfriended me on facebook because of my pro-vaccine posts.

    Most of my second cousins are unvaccinated. God forbid one of them comes down with something bad. It could be a very sad time for my family.

  184. 184
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @rda909:

    Pray tell what has the medical industrial complex “got wrong” about vaccines over the years?

  185. 185
    Paul in KY says:

    @Robert Sneddon: You sound like you can get by without the shot. Leave the shot for the old & sickly.

  186. 186
    PurpleGirl says:

    rda909: How far is where you live from the hospital you would take your wife to if needed if a problem began during childbirth? Did you time the drive between your house and the hospital — at a peak hour or during a slow traffic time? Did you have an ambulance on standby? Just wondering.

  187. 187
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Where did Soylent Green come from?

    Yea, as soon as the the sign for terminus appeared I figured it was a honey trap

  188. 188
    cckids says:

    @Fuzzy:

    Quite frankly I hope these little darlings give the measles, mumps and chicken pox to their parents who then become deathly ill.

    Or at the very least, sterile & unable to inflict themselves on any more children.

  189. 189
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Paul in KY: I AM old (I had to give up counting my age in hexadecimal a few years back as I couldn’t kid myself I was still in my 30s..). Just not sickly. The NHS gives out free flu vaccinations at age 65 or for folks with other problems as a preventative measure. I’ve not quite reached that age and the last time I visited the doc was a couple of years ago for tendonitis. Previous to that…umm, a rotator cuff problem about five years back? I regard myself as immensely fortunate in the medical sweepstakes given my age and upbringing but I put some of that down to getting every inoculation and vaccination the NHS offered me as a child and young adult and the fact the poor working-class town I grew up in had the same NHS coverage for everyone as a right so the days of epidemics of preventable childhood diseases were only a (recent) memory. Then again the town’s medical centre was distinctly lacking in naturopaths…

  190. 190
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Jewish Steel:
    If you are still reading this thread, may I ask you an OT guitar question?
    After long time of not picking it up (I have been “playing” the electric mostly) I tried to tune my acoustic. According to my tuner, all of the strings were off by not-much (less than a quarter-step) but as I tried to tune the G I started hearing faint creaky noises and noticed the pin-thing that holds the string in behind the bridge was starting to climb out of its hole. I tried asking it to stop, then made a half-hearted attempt to push it back in, then panicked at the idea of putting too much pressure on the top and went back to watching Adventure Time.
    Is this something I can deal with on my own, or do I need professional help?

  191. 191
    tybee says:

    @rda909:

    we spent tons of time reading articles from “granola” and conventional publications, and discussed these issues with multiple doctors, including a naturopath

    a naturopath? bwahahahaha.

    yup, yer an idiot. hopefully your children won’t suffer for your stupidity.

  192. 192
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: When they do that with the Beatles I’m disappointed but hardly shocked; when they try it with Chuck Berry and the Kingston Trio….

  193. 193
    cckids says:

    @SatanicPanic: Thank you! I’m currently reading “Philomena”, whose main character (so far) is not the mother but her 1970’s – 80’s era gay son. The horror & dismay the gay community felt when Reagan was elected is palpable. The quotes from the time are unreal – Jerry Falwell: “A gay man would just as soon kill you as look at you”; “We have to remember, they don’t reproduce, they recruit from the ranks of our children”.

    I was 17 when Reagan was elected, I remember some of this, but we didn’t have 24-7 news coverage of all the miserable shit these vile excuses for human beings spewed.

    IMO, that was when things started to turn, both for the worse & for the better. Reagan gave power & a stage to the nut-job evangelical “Christians”, they used that power to shove their peculiar hate into public policy – the vocal anti-abortion movement (which has morphed into anti-contraception), the attempts to get religion INTO every facet of government (as long as it is only the Xtian religion), etc.

    The flip side to that exposure is what we are starting to see now – their sheer hatefulness & bigotry, writ large & larger all the time. And the rest of society has started to push back. Hopefully we can do it.

  194. 194
    nancydarling says:

    I think the anti-vaxxers should be shunned and their children not allowed in public schools.

    Also I am fed up with people who claim a religious exemption for ANYTHING. You don’t have a right to put other people’s children at risk. There are true medical indications for not vaccinating a very, very small number of children; many are already immuno-compromised and they are at risk if the rest of us don’t vaccinate our kids.

    I remember how terrified my mother was when she heard a neighbor’s kids had whooping cough. The only vaccine given regularly when I was a child was small pox (I think). Mom was terrified of polio, and when the first vaccine came out, we were first in line. One of my brother’s friends had polio in the early ’50s. He lived 40 or 50 years, totally paralyzed and with a portable artificial lung when he was sleeping.

    I haven’t read the whole thread, but some were asking about boosters for adults. If you’ve had the HepB series, you might want to get an anti-body titer done, especially if you work in health related fields. My first series didn’t take and I had to repeat it. The shots need to be given in the arm—not your butt which is where my first series was given. A friend who was tepidly anti-vaccine just passed away 10 days ago. She wouldn’t get the vaccine and caught hepatitis from a patient. She was on heavy drugs for liver failure for years before she died. We were dental hygienists in our working days.

    If I’ve pissed anyone off, so be it.

  195. 195
    Paul in KY says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Glad you are in good shape. I think I am too.

  196. 196
    Another Holocene Human says:

    What about all the perfectly reasonable people named Wu? Your title seems unfair.

    Like this ballsy broad:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chien-Shiung_Wu

  197. 197
    nancydarling says:

    @rda909:

    so my family and I will just have to go and keep killing kids and the elderly now.

    Not only are you an idiot, you’re an asshole too.

  198. 198
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I blame the Waldorf schools in part for the ignorance and even antipathy towards science of New York’s elite, which extends into the world of letters. It was so maddening to me as a younger person.

    What really kills is the way that early modern philosophers and the like are studied uncritically without putting their views into the context of what science can tell us about the natural world and human society, or even exploring the consequence of some of these ideas when put into practice. How many weeks did we talk about the “blank slate” without any grounding in child psychology, for example? There’s no such this as a priori reasoning. Just misconceptions aggregated and amplified to disastrous proportions.

  199. 199
    The Pale Scot says:

    @cckids:

    I was 17 when Reagan was elected,

    So was I, and though I was a pot smoking, acid dropping HS dropout, I also watched Louis Rukeyser and read the WSJ. Even I understood that ‘supply side economics’ was the mechanism for the end of civilization, that basic eco101 “How To Price a Widget” was being dismissed in favor of the Underpants Gnome Theory.

    During the 1980 primary the repubs had a choice between a former CIA director/ambassador to China/WW2 vet and an a bad Alan Swan impersonator who even then was confusing reality with his movie roles. they chose the Hollywood freak.

    Then in the election the nation had a choice between the freak and a former naval nuclear engineer who taught Sunday school, and down the road to the Great Die Off we went.

  200. 200
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @p.a.: He’s way too kind and generous to Chait, as usual. Although that magazine cover he leads with is pretty damning.

    Speaking of “don’t be punked”, one of my people lost his job because he was hauled in on a reasonable suspicion drug test and refused to bare his wee-wee in front of the inspector (no homo?) because it was a situation where he had been caught off the job with a bag of pee and so the inspector had to verify it was his urine.

    To me, piss tests are ALWAYS degrading. However, they are a necessary evil of working in the transportation business. Bye-bye jobarino.

  201. 201
    cckids says:

    @FDRLincoln:

    We did this with our autistic son, spreading his 5-year-old boosters out over a three-month period rather than taking all five booster vaccines in a single day. Our pediatrician fully supported that. Stretching it out a little is a reasonable thing to do with kids who have particularly sensitive immune systems, as long as they are still fully up-to-date for when kindergarten begins.

    We did this as well with our daughter, who was a premie & had a lowered immune system. I was also freaked out by the fact that a good friend had one of the kids who had a legitimate, overwhelming, tragically bad response to his first vaccines & ended up deaf, unable to walk, and severely mentally retarded.

    When you see that in your personal circle, it is scary. Knowing how vanishingly rare it is makes you get the vaccines anyway, but we did stretch them out, with our fabulous pediatricians understanding & support.

  202. 202
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, it’s amazing how remarkably similar the “culture” of poverty is almost anywhere, almost as if it were convergent evolution, not conserved traits.

    For example, Scots and Irish share a common ancestry and a good portion of their heritage, yet Scots families prospered in the States and Irish families did not, relatively speaking. It must be that Highlands culture, not centuries of employment discrimination, social exclusion, and manifestations like calling Irish Catholics Messican Muslim Terror Anchor Babies Who Only Understand A Good Beating, Cause That Might Sober Them Up.

  203. 203
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I always thought one of the reasons for piling so many shots together was because doctors knew that parents could only afford a certain number of office visits and didn’t want kids to miss any vaccinations just because their parents couldn’t afford a separate co-pay.

    I think some of it was money but some of it was “lack of compliance” you know, the same thing that helps make antibiotic-resistant Staph and gonorrhea proliferate.

    Parents of young children are very busy. It’s not surprising if they miss half a dozen of a dozen appointments. It’s far more risk to the child to let them go unvaccinated when they hit that window. Also a danger to younger children for whom the shots won’t take. Plus, kids don’t like being stuck with needles constantly so the less shots the better.

    There’s no evidence I’ve ever seen that the current schedule is unscientific or harmful. Just bullshit by the Sears, who are doctors who make their money penning stupid books, not anybody who would actually know. “Clinical practice” is not research. End of story.

    Of course, all my friends with medical background are researchers, and they tend to know more about diseases and procedures than the doctors I’m saddled with in this podunk town, so there’s that. And I went from studying physics to studying engineering and, well, to me clinicians are the engineers to the researchers’ physicists. Don’t confuse the two.

  204. 204
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane:

    If these people ever bother to wonder how Helen Keller became blind and deaf, the first thought that would probably come to mind is that she was harmed by having too much gluten in her diet.

    Burnnnnn!

  205. 205
    cckids says:

    @The Pale Scot: Yes. I wasn’t as politically aware, but even from the depths of my Catholic high school, I could read Reagan as a dunce & a phony. And just the basics of “trickle-down” and cutting the safety net & the race-baiting, and, and, and. . . . the fact that so much of the country still admires him makes me nuts.

  206. 206
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Can somebody who knows biology explain what “herd immunity” is? I’ve never understood (I mean genuinely I don’t get it, I’m not JAQing) what it means. My son has been immunized. Is there some threshold of non-vaccinated kids around him that mean he is, in fact, at risk of contracting measles, or polio, or whatever? Does it have to do with mutation?

    Simple. It means the threshold above which even a sick kid can’t hit enough unvaccinated persons to actually start an epidemic. People have social circles and there has to be a high enough # of unvaccinated to statistically be able to start a mini cluster of sick people.

    What happens is that for every shot given, only a certain percentage of those given the shot actually develop immunity. Sometimes it’s chance, for example you create antibodies for the wrong portion of the dead virus and that’s a portion that evolves quickly so when the live wild virus shows up, the antibody “key” doesn’t stick in the “lock”. Sometimes you have something wrong with your immune system. And so on. So if a group has herd immunity, even though silently walking around unvaccinated–who thought they were–are protected because Johnny Measles is only coming in contact with the protected and the protected aren’t passing virus around. Outbreak of one ends there.

  207. 207
    Another Holocene Human says:

    What herd immunity means of course is that if you want to protect your kids you don’t want to be the only vaccinated ones in a school full of wooists because you never know if your kid has an immune disorder or just got unlucky. Some shots are very, VERY effective, others are more of a crapshoot. But you don’t want your kid to get ANY of those diseases. So don’t toss your kid into a 35% vaccinated environment. EVEN VACCINATED your kid could get sick!!

  208. 208
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Captain C:

    I once had a good, intelligent friend tell me that she thought the only solution was for humanity to de-civilize. I had to point out that her solutions would pretty much necessarily require the (probably ugly) death of billions. She had no answer to that. Only because she was a good friend did I not say, “fine, you first.”

    There’s a Penn&Teller for that one, too. Yeah, Penn Jilette is an asshat, but he did a public service interviewing some smug Veg*ns in Southern California. When he suggested that 6 billion people couldn’t be sustained on the raw veg*n diet this guy was proposing, he and his friends made the quizzical dog face and said, “But what kind of people would they be?”

    These fucks should be social pariahs.

  209. 209
    Captain C says:

    @Robert Sneddon: These people sound like the Libertarian equivalent of trustafarians who come into “new, unexplored” (read: nonwhite) neighborhoods, and, with the 100% help of parental checks, declare themselves to be Urban Pioneers and True Artists. The fact that there are long-established people in said neighborhoods, and that they’ve never sold one piece of art, ever; that gets glossed over.

  210. 210
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Most Scots lived in the central Lowlands, in part because it’s not vertical granite cliffs so farming is just difficult as opposed to being bloody near impossible. The Borderers, well we left them to their ovine pleasures and burned them out when the thieving got too much to bear (bloody Armstrongs! They’d steal the Moon if someone gave them a leg up!)

    The Big Thing for Scots (as opposed to Highlanders who were ignorant baby-eating savages) back then was education via the Kirk. Sunday School was actual schooling, reading and writing for every child who could attend rather than a few hours of mindless religioinising as it became later, with the meenister keeping an eye out for a bright lad who could be steered into a real school with a bursary from the parish and maybe in his turn to join the Church of Scotland and spread the Word. The result was a diaspora of would-be middle-class literate poor folks who could become merchants and makers anywhere they set their roots down, having their writing and numbers.

    Meanwhile over in Ireland they were drunkenly killing and maiming each other for some long-forgotten reasons while blaming it all on Cromwell. I think I see a reason why Scots families might have prospered and Irish folks didn’t.

  211. 211
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @rda909:

    I never get why the vaccination issue has to be so black or white. The amount of vaccinations they try to push on newborns and toddlers is incredible, and I’d argue many are unnecessary and designed to help profit the drug maker companies.

    Drug companies don’t make big money on vaccines. http://www.skepticalraptor.com.....maybe-not/
    And this guy doesn’t even mention the problems with vaccine supply due to the manufacturers having cashflow problems. Yah, super profitable.

    Better canards, stat!

  212. 212
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Cassidy: I’m amazed at the love of farming by those who have never done it.

    I just tell folks my farmer grandparents didn’t fight to get scholarships to go to college so I could go to an early grave working the land. Fuck that noise.

  213. 213
    waldorf parent says:

    if our state doesn’t have the worst record for vaccinating, it’s way way up there. . . all you need is a parent affidavit. our local public school and ‘hood has the same woo-listening parents as the crunchy granola private schools. plenty of pediatricians in our ‘hood welcome non-vaxxing families with smiles and sincerity. it’s maddening. absolutely maddening. our kiddo attends a waldorf school because it’s the closest thing we can find to the finnish model for grade school curriculum. but we do not stay for the anthroposophy. which admittedly, is crazytown. luckily, our school is not doctrinaire and there is a sizable (majority??) of families that really don’t buy too deeply into it, either. for what it’s worth, the families i know are really struggling with whether we really feel as as though we there is a real chance to fight back the tide of testing/school reform vs. opting out from a system that starts three standardized internal assessments in kindergarten & teacher evaluations based on the testing & differentiated curricula, etc. etc. and from my own conversations with fellow parents, there are lots of families that really value all the testing as well & see their children thriving. I feel like they should be able to send their kids to school they feel meets their needs, too. ( to be sure, i’m not on one end of the extreme that is opposed to any and all testing or accountability, ever. though it does seem to work pretty well for the Fins! It just really feels like what’s going on in our public schools has become a bit of a racket to make a bunch of people money on the backs of our kids & kill teacher unions). we feel like we can’t make a decision to send our kid to a school that balances some middle ground. the decision is fraught. it’s been the hardest one we’ve had had to make & it just feels like either way, we face serious drawbacks and challenges. at least for today, we rather go no testing & lots of unrestrictive play while our kiddo is little. to get back on topic, we’re a waldorf family that are big time pro-vaxxers and are very vocal about it.

  214. 214
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Robert Sneddon: I have way more respect for Jewish immigrants, who managed to eke out a living despite being cut out of business deals by the Scots.

    Refugees as immigrants tend to always fare worse–see: Hondurans–and somehow I don’t think it was the church school.

    Do you really imagine the Irish didn’t read and write?

  215. 215
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @FDRLincoln: Are you sure you didn’t just condition your kid to associate the pediatrician with being stuck by a needle? I hope the practice used all the tricks of the trade to soften the blow.

    You know, children do feel pain.

  216. 216
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: Just push it in there with your thumb until it gets tight. I know it feels a little freaky but I have yet to break a guitar that way.

  217. 217
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Kirks?

    Silly Wizard – The Parish of Dunkeld

    Oh, what a parish, a terrible parish;
    Oh, what a parish is that o’ Dunkeld.
    They hangit their minister, droon’d their precentor,
    Dang doun the steeple and fuddled the bell.

    The steeple was doun but the kirk was still staunin’,
    They biggit a lum whaur the bell used to hang.
    A stell-pat they gat and they brewed Hielan’ whisky;
    On Sundays they drank it and ranted and sang.

  218. 218
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FDRLincoln:
    @cckids:

    See, both of those sound like perfectly reasonable decisions — not No vaccines! but vaccines in a way that you think will work better for your child based on their neurological status or immune system status.

    It’s unfortunate that some parents (NOT you guys!) who have children with allergies or immune system problems or other issues that make them difficult to vaccinate have thrown their lot in with the anti-vaxxers, who are actually putting their difficult-to-immunize children at more risk.

  219. 219
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    He did say that his son is autistic, so he’s not necessarily going to react like a neurotypical child would. Also, strange as it sounds, some people are subjectively better at giving shots than others — one nurse can slide in the needle so you barely feel it, while another one makes it feel like she’s pushing a full-size straw into your arm. So that’s a factor, too.

  220. 220
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    Cool – thank you!

  221. 221
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Martin Scorsese didn’t make a movie about the Scottish Gangs of New York. It was bog-Irish Fenian mobs who nearly dragged the United States into yet another war with Britain in the 1870s, there was never any Scottish “Mafia” like the Irish in Boston which resulted in the the corrupt and powerful Kennedy family treating Massachusetts as their hereditary fiefdom for three generations.

    The Scots who ended up in America and every other part of the globe weren’t plaster saints — Andrew Carnegie, for example put the “robber” into robber baron but his enduring legacy is libraries and education whereas the Oirish are best known for the green-facepainted drunkenness and destruction that is the observance of St. Patrick’s Day around the world. And it’s all that English bastard Cromwell’s fault.

  222. 222
    Ruckus says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    You are absolutely correct.
    But.
    These changes are only in the last 5 yrs and the spiral has been going downhill for over 30. And it has and continues to be a complete fight to make any progress. So it depends on exactly what someone means by better and their time of comparison.
    For me I’d say it’s much better than for me in many ways. I knew personally 3 people with polio. I had all the diseases that you get immunized for because there were no vaccinations then. I remember standing in line with my entire family at a bank getting the first polio vaccine. And doing that a number of times. On the other hand I got to play outside with no supervision for hours at a time. I could ride my bike for miles by myself without anyone freaking out. I didn’t even carry a dime for a pay phone.

  223. 223
    nancydarling says:

    @SatanicPanic: Two steps forward, one and a half steps back.@Ruckus: Your childhood sounds like mine. I remember total freedom. In summers, I could leave my house before noon on my bike with friends and not come home til dinner. But I also remember friends missing 6 weeks of school due to rheumatic fever, friends with mentally retarded siblings due to meningitis, etc.

  224. 224
    SatanicPanic says:

    @nancydarling: @Ruckus: This is true. I feel like we’ve backtracked in some ways on economic issues but moved forward on a lot of social ones.

  225. 225
    eyelessgame says:

    … trying to recall. Are Waldorf schools the ones that don’t believe the heart is what pumps blood?

  226. 226
    Wally Ballou says:

    @WereBear: Somebody at DK had a truly fantastic series of history diaries a few years back regarding this very thing.

    How regulation came to be

  227. 227
    Gretchen says:

    @rda909: which do you consid unnecessary? Do you do the whole series of those you do, or do fewer shots of each?

  228. 228
    WereBear says:

    @Wally Ballou: I remember some of these! Thanks.

  229. 229
    Ruckus says:

    @nancydarling:
    I had encephalitis of some type, I was young and all I know is the basic name. I was 12 before the docs figured out I was finally OK. I also had all the diseases of the late 40s-early 50s other than polio, including shingles in my 50s. I was sick a lot as a kid. A lot. I’m average height now but I grew 3 inches after I was 18, about half of that after 21. Only got to 5 ft tall at 12.
    I’m actually pissed off that assholes will risk their own kids as well as everyone else’s with any of these diseases. People who live through them may suffer life long problems, frequently dying much earlier than otherwise. And then of course kids die from them.
    ASSHOLES. Worse assholes than the 1%. You won’t know you’ve been around one of these assholes until your kid or your elderly parents gets sick or dies.
    Anti vaxers are ASSHOLES. First degree with fuck leave clusters. Selfish motherfuckers.

  230. 230
    eyelessgame says:

    “I’m just saying, the eyeglass manufacturers keep changing their stories about the virtue of driving with your eyes open. It’s funny that you keep accusing me of being a pro-eyes-closed driver. I drive with my eyes open some of the time! So I’m a moderate! But you keep telling me that I’m putting other people at risk. If it’s so important to drive with your eyes open, well, if they can see me, they can avoid running into me. I’m just saying I think it’s an awful lot of eyestrain to be expected to have your eyes open all the time when you drive.”

  231. 231
    Miss Bianca says:

    siiggh…I’m seeing anti-vaxxer letters in my local newspaper. Even tho’ TEH STOOPID IT BURNZ me to the point where I feel like I have to reply – not so much for their sakes, as I feel strongly that these particular individuals are beyond the reach of reason on this issue, but because I can’t stand to see such truly wicked folly go unchallenged – I also have to keep in mind that a), this is a small town, and b), because of where I work, I never know when I’m going to end up seeing these folks (and having to be nice to them). Anyone have any suggestions for good, comprehensive sources I can cite to back up a reasoned opposition? (someone mentioned the CDC site).

    The most odious of these letters, by the way, IMHO, came from a couple of people who apparently work at the hospital and object (!!) to hospital policy of mandatory flu vaccine for employees because “personal freedom”. I wish I were kidding, because it makes my blood pressure go up just thinking about it.

    I so want to steal the line, “behind every regulation there’s a bunch of exceedingly ugly deaths”. Makes a great book-end to Lord Peter Wimsey’s contention that “the first thing a good principle does is kill somebody.”

  232. 232
    chopper says:

    @rda909:

    what you are saying is stupid.

    the amount of material in today’s vaccines is about 15% of what it was when we got the rounds of shots back in the day, even though there are more diseases to vaccinate against.

    also, the amount of material the kid’s immune system has to identify and code is meaningless compared to day-to-day interactions in the kid’s environment. if you leave your baby in a sandbox for 10 minutes they’re easily dealing with more than a whole round of shots.

    you’re spreading disinformation. stop doing that.

  233. 233
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Roger Moore: The idea of herd immunity is that when a large enough percentage of the whole population is immunized, diseases can’t spread anymore and even people who don’t have any immunity themselves are protected. By getting your kid vaccinated, you’re not only protecting him or her, but also all the kids who can’t get vaccinated themselves, either because they’re allergic to the vaccine, too young to get vaccinated, or have crazy parents who refuse to let them.

    I think an analogy to a nuclear reaction might be appropriate – events (such as nuclear fission or infection) are a vector to spread other possible events, but below a certain critical threshold of vulnerable targets in the population (the enriched isotopes or the unvaccinated individuals), statistically those possibilities fade away and the reactions remain limited. Increase the percentage of vulnerable targets and at some stage you reach a tipping point where you get a cascade effect INSTEAD of transmission fading away.

  234. 234
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @rda909: The amount of vaccinations they try to push on newborns and toddlers is incredible, and I’d argue many are unnecessary and designed to help profit the drug maker companies.

    Could you do us a favor and list the diseases you’re happy to have your baby die of?

  235. 235
    Mayken says:

    @rda909: Well might be ’cause you sound like every anti-vax nutter I’ve ever talked to. Convinced that “Big Pharma” is just motivated by profits (and has someone brain washed a boat load of governments, health organizations and health professionals into giving children unnecessary medical treatments)? Check. Convinced that good choices alone are responsible for own and/or kids’ good health and not something as random as say privilege, good luck and good genetics? Check. Can’t understand why some people by your choice to substitute own judgment for the scientific consensus? Check.
    Almost everything we vaccinate for can be deadly. Those diseases that are not directly deadly can lead to deadly, crippling or extremely painful consequences.
    Nope, cannot understand why people see this as a black and white thing at all. /sarcasm

  236. 236
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @Mnemosyne: unless Jenny McCarthy got an MD when I wasn’t looking.

    I’m not sure Jenny McCarthy can spell MD without taking three or four goes at it.

  237. 237
    Mayken says:

    @Mayken: Ugh, typos.
    Also, too, forgot, convinced there are “too many vaccines” given “too soon”? Check.

  238. 238
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @rda909: We researched many of the issues people are bringing up on this thread, which are the standard vaccination issues that come up. A lot of these things are not as cut and dried as so many people try to make them out to be. I don’t have time find a bunch of links at the moment, but remember this place of the top of my head, which I don’t always agree with their stances either, but it at least shows some of the conventional thinking might not be so sound: http://vran.org/in-the-news/an…..hysterics/

    http://www.skepticalob.com/201.....ernet.html

    “How do you know if someone is ignorant about vaccination? They claim to have “educated” themselves by “researching” the subject on anti-vax websites on the internet.”

    The article then goes on to look at a study showing just how deceitful anti-vax sites are – including VRAN.

    But, of course, this is just going to make you more stubborn and convinced that you know better because you just KNOW.

    http://youarenotsosmart.com/20.....re-effect/

  239. 239
    Paul in KY says:

    @The Pale Scot: That just about summs it up.

  240. 240
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: How does one get caught ‘off the job’ with a bag of pee? Inquiring minds want to know.

  241. 241

    […] […] School immunization data for the 2012-13 school year obtained by Daily Intelligencer from the New York State Department of Health shows that some 245 New York City private schools fell short of the 95 percent vaccination rate which experts say prevents measles from spreading — an effect known as “herd immunity.” Of those schools, 125 had rates below 90 percent, and 37 fell below 70 percent. The nine private schools with the lowest rates — between 41.5 percent and 18.4 percent — were so underimmunized that if any one of them somehow seceded and became a Sealand-style micro-nation, it would literally have had the worst measles vaccination rate in the world, according to WHO numbers. Read full article […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] […] School immunization data for the 2012-13 school year obtained by Daily Intelligencer from the New York State Department of Health shows that some 245 New York City private schools fell short of the 95 percent vaccination rate which experts say prevents measles from spreading — an effect known as “herd immunity.” Of those schools, 125 had rates below 90 percent, and 37 fell below 70 percent. The nine private schools with the lowest rates — between 41.5 percent and 18.4 percent — were so underimmunized that if any one of them somehow seceded and became a Sealand-style micro-nation, it would literally have had the worst measles vaccination rate in the world, according to WHO numbers. Read full article […]

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