Fevered Dreams And Flaming Rants

In the midst of the worst outbreak of measles in decades in the US, it’s important to note that it took less than 24 hours after President Obama remarked in his interview yesterday with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that parents should vaccinate their kids for the GOP clown car cavalcade to jump on the anti-vaxxer train.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said the government needs to strike a “balance” between public health and parental choice in making decisions about vaccinating kids, even as an outbreak of measles is spreading among unvaccinated people in the United States.

“We vaccinate ours [kids], and so, you know that’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion,” Christie said when asked if he would urge Americans to vaccinate their children. “You know it’s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that’s what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

When people say “You know, Obama should come out in support of breathing just to see Republicans turn blue and pass out” as a joke, and then hours after Obama says “Vaccinate your kids to keep them from getting awful shit like measles” (one of the most infectious diseases out there people) we have Chris Christie saying “Well, the government should respect parents not wanting to vaccinate your kids” and it makes me want to research experimental tectonic weaponry so that I can rend huge swaths of the planet’s crust asunder and drown millions in flaming magma-based melty death.

And these are the same exact people who screamed in October that Obama’s government wasn’t doing enough to protect the country against Ebola.

I mean these assholes have spent the last 25 years sowing so much distrust of government and then breaking the parts of it that actually worked, like the part where we’ve effectively eradicated measles in the US, that now we have to collectively deal with a goddamn outbreak of goddamn MEASLES in the year TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, when we have self-driving cars and internet on our wristwatches and airplanes and we have 27 flavors of Oreo cookies and dudes working on high-speed tube travel and computers a billion times more powerful than when my dad was born and oh yeah HE GOT VACCINATED FOR MEASLES IN THE SIXTIES AND THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT because he didn’t get the frigging MEASLES YOU SEPTIC TANK BRAINED CHODEMONKEYS.

We’ve dumbed down the country and made such an enemy out of science and critical thinking and civic responsibility that we’re all like “Well, you know the responsible thing to do is we should let parents decide if America should be covered in an entirely preventable and horrible infectious disease that will infect 90% of the people who aren’t vaccinated who come in contact with it because I read on Twitter how the vaccine might cause a one in a million chance of autism.”  Because there is a 999,999 out of a million chance that you are a colossal idiot.

There is a large subset of Americans who would rather give kids measles than listen to Obama at this point, and at least one 2016 GOP hopeful who now wishes to cater to that subset and is trying to equate vaccination programs to government tyranny, and I want to hurl heavy objects and I am now very sad.

[UPDATE] And now Christie is walking these comments back.  Still an idiot.

352 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    oh yeah HE GOT VACCINATED FOR MEASLES IN THE SIXTIES AND THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT because he didn’t get the frigging MEASLES YOU SEPTIC TANK BRAINED CHODEMONKEYS.

    Don’t hold back; tell us how you _really_ feel.

    And yes, the Obamas should film a PSA where they warn against the dangers of drinking bleach and licking live power outlets.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    I am mad at Obama. He missed a golden opportunity to urge Americans not to ingest rat poison.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    SEPTIC TANK BRAINED CHODEMONKEYS

    Okay, that made me laugh.

    ETA: The fuck of it all is that the chodemonkeys are taking the rest of us down with them. If they want to live in a pox-ridden compound and play Frontier Days, I don’t give a fiddler’s fuck. But no, they have to send their diseased urchins to the same public schools as my kid.

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    Maybe Republicans would support vaccination if they were told that measles, etc. are caused by microscopic terrorists and that the vaccine is like a tiny little bombing campaign.

  5. 5
    gvg says:

    I don’t think sad is the adjective you mean.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

    Are we talking about vaccinations or abortions?

  7. 7
    donnah says:

    Best Rant Ever. I am outraged by the resurgance of measles, mumps, and whooping cough, too. When my oldest son was three, he was diagnosed with leukemia. We were so protective of him going out in public and so careful that he would not be exposed to other illnesses that would be potential killers. What these selfish, misguided idiots don’t understand is that their decision to deny their kids protection from these illnesses puts a whole lot of other people in danger.

    Really pisses me off.

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    they have to send their diseased urchins to the same public schools as my kid.

    I have vague memories of having to have my immunizations done, in order to be admitted into public schools, and since I went to four elementary schools, I think we had to present them every time I enrolled in a new one.

    Short version, you wouldn’t sent foot in a public school without your immunizations.

    Did that change or am I misremembering the past?

    Also remember something about having to have immunization records before enrolling in college for the first time.

  9. 9
    Sherparick says:

    Well, so much for the Anti-Vaxxer movement being the “Left’s version of creationsim.” I will be fascinated to see how his two biggest fans on Morning Joe react to this comment. It was also fascinating to see what were the biggest issues for Iowa Republicans:

    1. Going after “Terrorists” at home as well as abroad. (Since for the Fox News audience anyone who is Brown or Black is an “Islamic Extremist” this will be an interesting example of Government “doing it to the right people.”

    2. Repeal Obamacare (and again, stick to the people who they don’t think are particularly deserving).

    3. “Pro-Life” (except for the scum we are are bombing or sniping), e.g. no more abortion and contraception for the sluts.

    Sharing a country with these people is painful. http://www.bloomberg.com/polit.....ill-matter

  10. 10

    I had measles and chickenpox simultaneously in 1954, before either vaccine was available (and before I’d contrived the trick of forming comprehensive long-term memories, fortunately), and according to family lore there was some concern for my survival. Did anyone catch this piece of asshattery recently reported in the NYT?

    After researching the issue and reading information from a national anti-vaccine advocacy group, Ms. McDonald said she and her husband, a chiropractor, decided to raise their four children without vaccines. She said they ate well and had never been to the doctor, and she insisted that her daughter was healthier than many classmates. But when the school sent her home with a letter, Ms. McDonald’s daughter was so concerned about missing two weeks of advanced-placement classes that she suggested simply getting a measles inoculation.
    “I said, ‘No, absolutely not,’ “ Ms. McDonald said. “I said, ‘I’d rather you miss an entire semester than you get the shot.’ ”

    And from the same story:

    Kelly McMenimen, a Lagunitas parent, said she “meditated on it a lot” before deciding not to vaccinate her son Tobias, 8, against even “deadly or deforming diseases.” She said she did not want “so many toxins” entering the slender body of a bright-eyed boy who loves math and geography.

    Tobias has endured chickenpox and whooping cough, though Ms. McMenimen said the latter seemed more like a common cold. She considered a tetanus shot after he cut himself on a wire fence but decided against it: “He has such a strong immune system.”

    The stupid, it kills sometimes.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    Seriously, anti-vaxxers do not represent (by and large) a right wing form of paranoia. I don’t know that it has any particular political bent, except that it seems to emanate more from people afraid of environmental threats who view big pharma as the enemy, rather from those who embrace environmental threats and think big pharma is the savior, with the exception of the vaccine for HPV, which the religious right thinks is a plot to make girls promiscuous as soon as they turn 12. Hyperbole all the way around, but you get my drift. It was a stupid thing for Christie to say.

  12. 12

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday said the government needs to strike a “balance” between public health and parental choice in making decisions about vaccinating kids, even as an outbreak of measles is spreading among unvaccinated people in the United States.

    FUCK HIM. Vaccinations need to be, and damn well should be, mandatory. Period, no exceptions, not ever.

    ETA: My wife works at a high school that has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the Western Hemisphere. It’s not in Belize or Guatemala or Haiti. It’s in fucking Southern California. Which, in addition to the measles issue, is having multiple and repeated outbreaks of pertussis.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @Baud: How on earth will children die of preventable diseases if women go around aborting all their fetuses?

  14. 14
    West of the Cascades says:

    “that’s the balance that the government has to decide” – yes, it should decide that if you don’t vaccinate your kid, you get a hefty fine, and your kid is permanently quarantined from school and any other social activities. Should be a fairly simple choice for most people. But, I suppose, Freedom.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    There is a large subset of Americans who would rather give kids measles than listen to Obama at this point

    Because to listen to that ni*CLANG* is something they simply cannot do.

  16. 16
    Rekster says:

    I Totally agree with Christie!

    They should have a Choice!

    Which Arm? Right or Left?

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    @gene108: In many states, such as mine, parents can just sign a form saying they are “philosophically” or “ethically” opposed to vaccination and voila, their precious little biohazard can attend school and spread disease to others.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    Since I don’t watch much TV, I haven’t see that many anti-vaxxers, but the ones I have seen are all white. Anyone know if there is a racial divide on this?

  19. 19
    Barbara says:

    @gene108: It changed. State legislatures trying to placate religious objections to vaccination also allowed “personal belief” exemptions in the rosy belief that such exemptions would not trigger new outbreaks because so few would actually use them. The problem is that measles is so contagious you need a really high vaccination rate, and now, so many people are refusing to vaccinate that their plan (and the legislature’s acquiescence in that plan) be free riders on other people’s willingness to vaccinate, is going awry, and guess what, we have new outbreaks, and the most threatened are small infants too young to get the measles vaccine.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @donnah:

    What these selfish, misguided idiots don’t understand is that their decision to deny their kids protection from these illnesses puts a whole lot of other people in danger.

    There are no kids but their kids. Those other things that look like kids but are not their kids do not matter to them. At all.

  21. 21
    Barbara says:

    @Baud: I don’t think the divide is clearly racial, but the “organic food movement” that usually accompanies anti-vaccine sentiment tends to be well-heeled, hence, white.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gene108: That is the case now, but if vaccination becomes a “choice” as Gov. Christie has indicated it should be, it won’t be. But even if the state requires vax records for public school, there’s still the opportunity for the children of the stupid to degrade herd immunity.

  24. 24
    Barbara says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: A family friend cannot have certain vaccines because of an underlying medical condition, and has been living in a state of high anxiety in Southern California for a while now, and contemplating a move out of the state.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BethanyAnne: WIN!

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    This is probably as good a time as ever to have a national conversation on what we owe to each other as a society, that we’re interconnected. Preventable diseases — in the 21st century! — is a pretty safe topic.

    I think Obama knew just what he was doing here, and start your popcorn for what the wingnut-appeasers have to say.

    Do you want to live in the 21st century, or the 19th?

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @Barbara: I live among these people and have studied them for a long time. Much of the language they use to describe issues of health and food centers around variations on the word “pure”. If you listen to them long enough you will detect a distinct eugenicist vibe in their thought process. For example, many of them like to claim that disease “culls the herd”.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    @BethanyAnne: LOL! Well done!

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But no, they have to send their diseased urchins to the same public schools as my kid.

    @gene108:

    Short version, you wouldn’t sent foot in a public school without your immunizations.

    Massachusetts requires certain things. What does Florida require?

  30. 30
    gogol's wife says:

    I overheard a woman at the trainer I go to talking about how hard it was to find a doctor who was “okay with” her not vaccinating her children. I almost went up to her and ranted at her, but decided to restrain myself. But occasionally she brings her kids and has them there playing while she trains (although the owner doesn’t want her to but is afraid to say anything). What would you say to her? I’m such a wimp.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes:

    What does Florida require?

    That you, too, emulate Florida Man.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    Sooo many balenced choices.

    “Jersey Resident! You just returned form a trip to Disneyland! What are you going to do next!?!”

    “Quarentine!”

    Ever so likely.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    You are on point Zandar.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    I’m wondering the Super Bowl being in Phoenix will spread measles around the country a bit more.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    Always remember, Christie is a straight talker, while Obama can’t lead. Repeat as necessary.

  36. 36
    Sherparick says:

    A new candidate for worst person in the world, Dr. Jack Wolfson of Phoenix, Arizona. (A cardiologist no less. I am sure he is an Evangelical Christian Creationist and pro-life, but apparently has skipped reading Beatitudes while securing his and children’s precious pure bodily fluids.)

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/20.....ldren.html

  37. 37
    Cervantes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think Obama knew just what he was doing here.

    In epistemology, that’s what we call a certainty.

  38. 38
    SFAW says:

    @BethanyAnne:

    That was a beautiful thing. Thanks!

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: Reason # 56,345 for my nym.

  40. 40
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I haven’t seen any sign this goes beyond the Outlaw Jersey Whale yet. Let’s not make this partisan. Hippie punching works in the favor of public health on this issue.

  41. 41
    Barbara, the other one says:

    @Barbara: Now I’m going to have to come up with a creative handle because using “Barbara,” as I have been, is going to confuse my comments with yours. Maybe I’ll go back to Ohio Mom…

    About ten or so years ago, I read Evidence of Harm, that David Kirby book about vaccines and autism. One thing that struck me was how many of the anti-vaxers were foaming-at-the-mouth Hillary haters.

    Back when she was FLOTUS, her project was a Vaccinate by Two campaign — yes, it was utterly forgettable for most of us, I’m sure it was chosen because it was as benign sounding as most First Lady projects (literacy, keep America Beautiful, eat healthy).

    But anyway, a lot of the original leaders in the anti-vaccine movement were Republicans with all the baggage that implies. That’s not to say there aren’t anti-vaxers from the left side of the world, it’s only to say, don’t forget the crazy right-wingers.

  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @Violet:

    I’m wondering the Super Bowl being in Phoenix will spread measles around the country a bit more.

    LOL. Super Bowl fans as vector.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sherparick:

    “I’m not going to sacrifice the well-being of my child. My child is pure,” he added. “It’s not my responsibility to be protecting their child.”

    I am not my brother’s keeper. Dang, where have we heard that before?

    His child is “pure”, too. Hello, little disease vector!

  44. 44
    drunken hausfrau says:

    This rant is a thing of beauty.

  45. 45
    Cervantes says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Depending on what local statutes and regulations govern, if I were the owner of a facility where kids gather, I’d try to enforce a written and posted requirement.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Cervantes says:

    @drunken hausfrau:

    This rant is a thing of beauty.

    Seconded.

  48. 48
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Thank you, Zandar, and everyone else. I’m so utterly sick of these people and the ammosexuals, who think only of themselves. Hey, maybe we could find someplace to move them all to–that would solve several problems…

  49. 49
    Cervantes says:

    @Barbara:

    Which legislature?

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bobby Thomson: You just know the crazy car, which is packed with idiots who deny the reality of evolution, and despise science in general as it is based on facts and therefore has a liberal bias, will go this way. Furthermore, “that one” said immunization is a good idea, and they can’t ever agree with “that one” under any circumstances because to do so would mark them as a lover of the overly melanized, and therefore unclean and unworthy.

  51. 51
    beltane says:

    I’m sorry, we’re being too unkind and people are getting their feelings hurt: http://wonkette.com/574653/idi.....ing-idiots

  52. 52
    SFAW says:

    @Sherparick:

    A cardiologist no less.

    I would have thought that, after it became clear that “proficient” physicians of a right-wing bent (Ben Carson, of course) are just as fucked-in-the-head as run-of-the-mill right wing nut jobs, someone like Wolfson would no longer surprise you.

    Maybe you’re not surprised, just sad.

    Bleach, rat poison, antifreeze, licking live outlets – I’m all for the HNIC (as they view him) giving a speech telling people how harmful they are).

    “Think of it as evolution in action.” One can only hope.

  53. 53

    But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things

    Our country has a fucked up view that parents should be able to do whatever they want to their children, and that’s a good thing. I think it comes from decades of inoffensive-sounding arguments from abusing Christianists and racists who are afraid of the ongoing trend of their kids growing up and learning tolerance.

    Obama’s government wasn’t doing enough to protect the country against Ebola.

    Ebola has racial overtones. Measles doesn’t. Ebola has been described in the news as a terrifying, 100% death rate disease that makes your skin rot or liquifies your organs or something like that since the 80s. Most importantly, a lot of Americans have been on the edge of panic for six years, and keep grasping for reasons why, since it’s obviously not because they’re racists and a black man is president.

    There is a large subset of Americans who would rather give kids measles than listen to Obama at this point

    A lot of this country is driven by hate, yes. I think that’s become crystal clear.

    Obama should come out in support of breathing just to see Republicans turn blue and pass out

    Alas, they would have to believe it. They believe that Obama wants them to die in vast numbers, so they have to also believe he’s lying about stuff like measles. Can’t pull that off with, oh, drinking bleach.

    @Barbara:

    it seems to emanate more from people afraid of environmental threats who view big pharma as the enemy

    It’s mostly driven by deranged conspiracy theorists, yes.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    There are no kids but their kids

    Even their kids are their chattel, not separate people with rights to themselves.

  54. 54
    Face says:

    A parent who lets their 10 year old walk to school unattended? Likely investigated for child neglect
    A parent who lets their 12 year old stay home by themselves for 2 hours on a Saturday? Likely investigated for child neglect
    A parent who spanks their 5 year old at a Walmart? Absolutely questioned and likely charged with child abuse
    A parent who refuses to vaccinate their kids and likely sets them up for some horrific disease? Celebrated by the GOP and supported by thousands of parents everywhere.

    Welcome to America, 2015-style.

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Elizabelle: Apparently it was a real concern. Arizona–and I guess Phoenix–had a lot of cases of measles right before the Super Bowl. The health authorities were doing what they could to keep an eye out for sick people, get the word out, etc. But I think measles is contagious before the vector shows symptoms–or at least before the spots show up–and it’s airborne, so it would be really easy to transmit in an unusually large and close crowd situation like the Super Bowl.

  56. 56
    Ken says:

    HE GOT VACCINATED FOR MEASLES IN THE SIXTIES AND THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT

    He got vaccinated largely because his parents grew up without the vaccines, and had seen the effects of measles, polio, pertussis, and so on. Now we have had a couple generations who haven’t gone through that and think that the diseases aren’t a problem, and I’m very much afraid that it will take a full-blown epidemic with several thousand deaths to restore sanity.

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @BethanyAnne: A son who questions the value of vaccines, just received that message, so thanks. His soon to be wife said that if they have children, his opinion doesn’t matter. He won’t have a choice. Yes I like her.

  58. 58
    MomSense says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    What if you went to the gym owner and asked him how a measles or whooping cough outbreak would affect membership and his insurance premiums?

  59. 59
    scav says:

    Hmmmmm. if TX teachers are to be allowed to shoot to kill student that threaten school property will they also be allowed to shoot students that threaten the health of other students, or will it technically have to over the damages done to school doorknobs because of the viral load the little pure ones are shedding?

  60. 60

    But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

    No. No they fucking don’t.

    Unless their child is allergic or has another medical reason why they can’t take vaccines, their parents shouldn’t have a choice in the matter because it puts people who medically cannot take vaccines at risk if too many people decide their special snowflake doesn’t really need a vaccine.

  61. 61
    Violet says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: OT–I see your new book is out. Any update on when the paperback version might be available? I know a young girl who can’t wait to read it!

  62. 62
    Ohio Mom says:

    Now seems to be a good time to remind people that there were two separate Vaccines-cause-autism “theories.”

    One was that the mercury preservative used in vaccines caused the type of brain damage that heavy metals can (think here of lead poisoning). Pediatrician offices give a lot of vaccines and rather than use single dose vials, they use a large vial and take multiple doses out of it. It’s cheaper but because it loses its sterility after the first dose, a preservative is needed.

    The formula was switched a while back and now a different preservative is used but don’t ask me what it is. The point is, if mercury had been contributing to the rise in autism, there would probably have been a decrease in the number of new autism diagnoses by now (if anyone is keeping count, which they might not be, at least not very accurately, but that is a different story).

    The other “theory” was that the MMR vaccine was inflaming the recipient’s intestines, which in turn allowed certain molecules to enter the blood stream and then cross the blood-brain barrier and cause all sorts of havoc in the brain, presenting as autism. This was the theory that that English doctor, Andrew Wakefield, pushed, and it has been thoroughly discredited.

    The thing about the MMR vaccine is that it is a so-called “live” vaccine and because it is “live,” it must be kept in single vials –preservatives, like mercury, would render it ineffective.

  63. 63

    I want to hate on Chris Christie more, but California’s otherwise excellent governor Jerry Brown believes basically the same thing.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    and if you don’t like it, homeschool them. and keep your cute lil’ mobile bioweapon labs away from other kids.

  65. 65

    @Violet:
    In theory, it already is. I think it’s selling faster than they can print.

    EDIT – @Ohio Mom:
    Also, and this is important, those preservatives that contain mercury do not cause autism. Period. It’s been tested over and over again. Those preservatives are harmless, and the threat consists of ‘mercury is a scary word!’

  66. 66
    Violet says:

    I thought this from Christie was rather telling:

    so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

    The government has to decide? Really? I thought those wingnuts were all about individual liberty. A Republican governor is saying the government has to decide something? How can that be allowed?

  67. 67
    currants says:

    @gene108: Or the second time. Went to a post-grad school as an adult for a second career, and had to get more shots in 2010 than I did to go to Africa in 2005. So, WTF, I guess I’m saying. And LOVE the rant, Zandar. You’re dead on right, because THOSE PEOPLE (not all right-wing–there are plenty of lefty-crazies in this one too) are the ones who put people like Donnah’s son (Comment #7) at risk.

  68. 68
    Ohio Mom says:

    Why is my comment numbered 41 in moderation? Can someone rescue it? I mostly care because I wrote about finding out that someone else is also “Barbara” so I was changing my handle to “Ohio Mom.”

  69. 69

    If only measles turned your skin black.

    There’d be lines out the door of every clinic in America to get the vaccine if it were so.

  70. 70

    The best response I’ve seen to this was somebody pointing out that we don’t let kids bring peanut butter to school out of fear of allergies, so there’s no reason to let them bring preventable diseases.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Jado says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with parental choice at all, if it weren’t for the fact that SOME kids CAN’T get the shot – too young, compromised immunity, allergic, etc.

    My niece is only a few months old – too young for the immunization just yet, and she gets to be exposed to a deadly disease because some asshole parent “meditated on it”, and decided “No. He’s such a bright shining snowflake of a boy. If he gets the shot, he’ll be just like everyone else, and he’s sooooo special. So fuck everyone else; MY kid’s different.”

    We should collectively make those parents special with a dose of HPV or syphilis or gonorrhea, and then tell them they can’t have the shots. Let them itch and burn their way to enlightenment.

  73. 73
    Ohio Mom says:

    Sometimes I think someone should be keeping a running tab of all the ways the YOYO ethos of this era is manifesting itself, because this whole issue, that people think it’s only about their kids and not about the community as a whole, definitely is part of it.

  74. 74
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: Good catch. It’s okay in GOP-la la land for the government to intervene against women’s reproductive rights irrespective of freedom of choice but somehow freedom of choice is important for parents refusing to vaccinate their children against dangerous diseases. Got it.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions. Should states interfere with that decision? A teenager in CT refused chemo. Should the state have interfered in that decision? Gosh Christie wanted to quarantine everyone traveling to ebola stricken areas.

  76. 76
    chopper says:

    @Jado:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with parental choice at all, if it weren’t for the fact that SOME kids CAN’T get the shot – too young, compromised immunity, allergic, etc.

    it would still be troublesome. why should some poor kid have to suffer needlessly because his or her parent is an idiot wackjob?

  77. 77
    TR says:

    @MomSense:

    What if you went to the gym owner and asked him how a measles or whooping cough outbreak would affect membership and his insurance premiums?

    That’s good.

    I’d also say, you can either keep the anti-vax idiots or the rest of us. Your choice.

  78. 78
    D58826 says:

    @Rand Careaga: i’M old enough to remember the quarantine signs on the front door of a house with a sick kid. They were yellow for measles and chickenpox and a bright red for scarlet fever. I remember talking to my friend from the other side of the door while we were in quarantine with measles. I also remember the terror every summer during the polo season. We had a small wading pool and it was the neighborhood scandal. After the first year (and no polo) all the kids but one were in the pool or had their own. The one exception never did get in the wading pool but he was allowed to go thew thew local swim club. On a hot day you could walk across the pool on the shoulders of the kids. Now that is where the polo risk was, not my little 3 feet by 3 feet wading pool. Oh well we all made it to adulthood. Is the polo vaccine the next target of the anti-vaxxers?

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @JPL:

    Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions. Should states interfere with that decision?

    with children? yes.

  80. 80
    WereBear says:

    She considered a tetanus shot after he cut himself on a wire fence but decided against it: “He has such a strong immune system.”

    Dear heavenly FSM. If she were letting him ride a bike without a helmet the kid could be taken away, but the much higher risk of him dying in agony… she gets a pass?

  81. 81

    Now seems to be a good time to remind people that there were two separate Vaccines-cause-autism “theories.”

    @Ohio Mom: There’s more than two. Doesn’t matter as every one of them is bullshit. I always found the “mercury based” thimerosal one extra-funny because I am actually allergic to thimerosal, no shit, and hey, had all my childhood shots on schedule and look, no autism here.

    I’ll tell you what’s caused any rise in the rate of autism, and it’s older parents. Especially older men. End of story. Don’t want autism, have a kid earlier.

    I want to hate on Chris Christie more, but California’s otherwise excellent governor Jerry Brown believes basically the same thing.

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah, I love Jerry Brown in a way no man should love a politician, but this is one area where he and I, put mildly, part company. I think he’s full of shit on this issue and always has been.

  82. 82
    Laertes says:

    @Barbara:

    Seriously, anti-vaxxers do not represent (by and large) a right wing form of paranoia. I don’t know that it has any particular political bent

    Until yesterday that was true. These things can change. Twenty years ago, there would have been no partisan split on support for torture–Americans left and right would have been uniformly against it. Then Republicans started torturing people and it became a partisan thing. It could just as easily have broken the other way if the Democrats had nominated a superficially charming but vacuous psychopath and he happened to be warming the chair when a 9/11 type event came ’round.

    And so, sure. There’s no left/right split on anti-vaxer bullshit. That was an unstable equilibrium, just waiting for a push from one side or the other. Now that Obama’s on record for vaccinations, that creates an opportunity for Republican president wanabes to score a hates-Obama point. Christie seems to have moved the quickest, but the others won’t be far behind, and they’ll be looking to out-hate him. The masses will follow.

    A year from now, anti-vaxer bullshit will be as right-wing as opposition to the ACA, and nobody will remember that it used to be otherwise. Evangelicals used to be pro-choice. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  83. 83
    scav says:

    There’s also the fun little detail that some seem to arging vehemently that it’s their right as parents to shut down the amount of ideas their pure ones (and all other classmates) are exposed to in school in the name of parents choice, whereas parental choice is used to push up the number of diseases the little classroom sitters are exposed to.

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    @D58826:

    I also remember the terror every summer during the polo season.

    you must have lived near the romneys.

  85. 85
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @gene108: I also thought that was the case, but I grew up in Canada. I see nothing wrong with the government not allowing students into public schools without proof of vaccination. Just seems like common sense.

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @chopper: I definitely agree, but someone needs to ask Christie what he thinks.

  87. 87

    Jehovah Witnesses do not believe in blood transfusions. Should states interfere with that decision?

    Yes.

    A teenager in CT refused chemo. Should the state have interfered in that decision?

    @JPL: Yes. And the state did.

  88. 88
    Waldo says:

    All well and good to stand up to the bully in the White House, but Christie still has a state to run. And it just happens to be the most densely populated state. I predict the good guv will “clarify” his position and come in off the anti-vax ledge before the end of the day.

  89. 89
    satby says:

    Such a good rant I’m posting it 2x on FB with different Cole statements in the post.
    And yeah, the GOP is all “let people decide” on public health measures like vaccinations, but all “women can’t be trusted to decide properly” on reproductive issues. I hate them all. I can barely even speak to people I know who are avid Republicans at this point because it really is all about opposing whatever that guy in their White House says. No matter what the cost to their fellow citizens.
    I hate them all.

  90. 90
    Violet says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Okay, great. Thanks. I guess I can order it and it’ll ship when my order comes up.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL:

    Gosh Christie wanted to quarantine everyone traveling to ebola stricken areas.

    Ebola is different. High melanin disease. Very dangerous. Especially to great white whales.

  92. 92
    Punchy says:

    Was Jesus immunized? No! I dont remember Jesus ever coming down with HPV or ADHD or PMS. Stupid fucking libtards.

  93. 93
    D58826 says:

    @chopper: no just can spell – polio

  94. 94
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    We don’t let parents decide whether their kids use a seat belt in the car. And measles is worse because you’re endangering other people too. This is beyond stupid all the way to evil.

  95. 95
    scav says:

    @Punchy: Also, too, second amendment. Right to bare arms clearly was also intended by the all-knowing fathers to mean arms unscarred by immunizations.

  96. 96
    tsquared2001 says:

    “it makes me want to research experimental tectonic weaponry so that I can rend huge swaths of the planet’s crust asunder and drown millions in flaming magma-based melty death.”

    That is some serious wordsmithing.

  97. 97
    gogol's wife says:

    @chopper:

    LOL. I was hoping somebody would do something with that.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @tsquared2001: “melty” is what really makes it all come together.

  99. 99
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @TR: Nowadays, it’s very easy to communicate this with a post on the gym’s facebook page (or Yelp) about how the owner allows non-vaxxed disease vectors into his/her gym. Watch how fast he/she either: 1) reverses course and bans them, or 2) loses at least 70% of his membership.

  100. 100
    VOR says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show had a show on anti-vaxxers. One of his panelists claimed the Pharma industry makes $40B off vaccines and hence is pushing them for the profit motive. Seemed pretty far fetched to me.

    Remember couple years back when Obama recorded a message for schools telling kids to study, stay in school, and work hard? Remember the freak-out over that, how he was indoctrinating kids with his subversive message? Good times.

    I have a smallpox vaccine scar on my arm. My kids don’t because we eradicated smallpox. This was a good thing.

  101. 101
    Tenar Darell says:

    @gogol’s wife: That’s a hairy dilemma. If the trainer is afraid to say something, you could ask her/him if they have any clients with immune deficiencies (cancer, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis etc), and gently suggest that the trainer now has a very good excuse for keeping the kids away “this is necessary to protect the other clients.” Plus, find some friend who would like to join you with the trainer (a replacement client).

    This may be a way you don’t have to go around to the other clients to start some kind of boycott. That would mean you have to be willing to (1) Tell other clients that they’re endangered (2) Make boycott motions (3) Be willing to lose a good trainer.

  102. 102
    Platypus says:

    It’s almost enough to make me reconsider my position on firearms. If somebody’s launching little two-legged bioweapons at me or my family, shooting them is just self defense. Stand your ground, and all that.

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I remember having to produce vax certificates to enroll my kid in elementary school and again in middle school. You definitely had to produce vax certs to enroll in college here in FL back in the 80s — I recall scrambling around to find the necessary documentation.

    But from what I understand, the issue is people can get exemptions for fairly flimsy reasons. I think the only exemption should be a well-documented medical inability to tolerate vaccinations. No bullshit about religious or personal objections, etc.

  104. 104
    GregB says:

    If only viruses could be killed with AR-15’s the wingnuts would be all about fighting them.

  105. 105
    MattF says:

    No question that Obama needs to announce that rat poison is bad for you. In any case, I had scarlet fever, chicken pox, and mumps as a child, and I remember ‘polio season’. Ahh, those were the days.

  106. 106
    currants says:

    @drunken hausfrau: Righteous, even.

  107. 107
    AliceBlue says:

    @gene108:
    Your memory is spot on.

    My dad was in the air force, so I went to six grammar schools, one junior high school and two high schools. We had to present vaccination records at all of them. College too.

  108. 108
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @gogol’s wife: I would complain to whoever runs the establishment and make it plain that my offspring will not be in near proximity to unvaccinated children. Perhaps that could make a difference.

  109. 109
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    First message with a new nym is automatically in moderation until a front-pager blesses it.

  110. 110
    JPL says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: That’s a good point. They know seat belts and car seats save lives.

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): Soonergrunt is very good about sprinkling holy water on those comments, but he’s been tres busy recently.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    Amusing to me that we’re having a discussion on eradicating preventable diseases on Groundhog Day. (AMC running Groundhog Day marathon, now through 8 p when Breaking Bad queues up.)

    Having Fox News World/wingnuts out there wastes so much of our time and lives.

  113. 113
    Violet says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    We don’t let parents decide whether their kids use a seat belt in the car. And measles is worse because you’re endangering other people too

    Same with smoking in closed locations–offices, restaurants, bars, etc–and even outdoors in some areas. Second hand smoke is dangerous to workers and that danger was part of why it was banned from many locations.

  114. 114
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    No bullshit about religious or personal objections, etc.

    Ha hahahahaha ha! Hobby Lobby says “fuck you; go talk to Fat Tony”.

    Where in the Bible does it say “treat MMR like the way you’d want MMR to treat you”?

  115. 115
    Alex S. says:

    Vaccination trutherism finally killed Michele Bachmann’s campaign. Will it do the same for Chris Christie?
    This is one of the things that should not be up for debate.

  116. 116

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Ebola has racial overtones. Measles doesn’t.

    We need a PSA campaign with a black kid with measles. These morons will demand vaccinations.

    ETA:
    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Or what you said. That works better.

  117. 117
    tsquared2001 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Mom had to rummage in the attic to get my records before I could enroll in college. Mom didn’t find all of them so I had to take another shot and was happy to do so.

  118. 118
    Punchy says:

    I’d love to know how many of these anti-vaxxers who’ve now contracted the disease remain anti-vax. I’d like to think that the sight of 50 million spots/rash on their own dermis (not to mention, a likely hospital bill in the tens of thousands) would change some minds. Anyone study the “conversion” rate of these dickheads post-infection?

  119. 119
    chopper says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    There’s more than two.

    oh yeah. they just cough up more.

    “oh, well these vaccines aren’t really tested!” of course they are, dumbass.

    “oh, well vaccines are made by big pharma and i don’t trust big pharma” who the hell do you think makes the iGs your kid’s gonna have to have in the hospital when he comes in with tetanus?

    it’s just derp all the way down.

  120. 120

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I think it’s selling faster than they can print.

    That’s a nice problem to have.

  121. 121
    dedc79 says:

    @Violet: Many wingers hated seatbelt requirements (both requiring them in cars and requiring people to wear them) back in the day – and there were court challenges and everything. It’s hard to believe they were ever controversial, but they were.

  122. 122

    @Karen in GA:
    Good idea, but it won’t work. They’re all for anything that they perceive as killing blacks. Ebola came from Africa and might spread to white people, boogity-boogity.

  123. 123
    Berial says:

    Just so you know Mississippi which actually has some of the strongest vaccination laws around is ACTIVELY TRYING to weaken them just in time to send your kids to Disneyland!

    And don’t be fooled the ‘vaccination bill’ they are talking about would make it possible for MORE kids to NOT BE VACCINATED!

    http://kingfish1935.blogspot.c.....-bill.html

  124. 124
    Violet says:

    @gogol’s wife: Does the owner not want her to bring the kids because they’re kids or because they’re not vaccinated? If it’s because they’re kids, that would be easy to fix by setting a policy of no kids under age X. The gym I go to does not allow kids on the gym floor during certain hours and after that they have to have been through a training and be with a parent.

    Dealing with the anti-vax thing is different because unless they require vax certificates it’s difficult to police.

  125. 125

    @Roger Moore:
    It is. I worry about how many readers I’m losing because the second book isn’t exactly the same as the first, but I’m sure making bank right now.

    I’m really probably not losing many. I’ve seen this in passionate fandoms, which complain every time a sequel/new season comes out because it doesn’t match their individual imaginings. They don’t actually stop being in love.

    EDIT – Jesus snot buckets. I made $20,000 on half a year’s royalties. I guess that won’t sound like much to non-writers, but for an author… dayamn. And this is the first year since anything caught on, too.

    EDIT EDIT – My tax form just arrived.

  126. 126
    Mandalay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    The other “theory” was that the MMR vaccine was inflaming the recipient’s intestines

    Yes, that junk science theory was sufficiently popular in Britain that Prime Minister Tony Blair was justifiably hounded to confirm that his son Leo had receieved the MMR jab, but he refused for years stating:

    The reason we have refused to say whether Leo has had the MMR vaccine is because we never have commented on the medical health or treatment of our children

    So Blair continued to stoke the groundless fears of British parents. One might argue that Blair was at least taking a principled stand on medical privacy until this happened:

    …she [Tony Blair’s wife] chose to reveal Leo’s vaccination history, in the process of promoting her autobiography, and also described the specific act of sexual intercourse which conceived him.

    How deeply principled of the Blairs to delay revealing whether their child had received the MMR vaccination for years, until it was time to promote their book! And how generous of them to detail their fuck position, which apparently wasn’t so much of a privacy issue.

  127. 127
    Elizabelle says:

    @dedc79: I watch movies from the 40s and 50s, actors driving speedily in autos, often badly. I imagine them hurling through the windshields.

    Seat belts save lives; steering columns no longer impale as many accident victims. So many improvements in auto safety.

    It’s insane that we’re having recurrences of whooping cough and diseases that killed kids in our grandparents’ and greats’ times.

  128. 128
  129. 129
    Citizen_X says:

    “You know it’s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official.”

    Ugh. Because “squirted out kids” outweighs “published numerous peer-reviewed studies on epidemics,” right?

    “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

    Fat moron. Do you have fucking outbreaks of infectious diseases? Then your precious “balance” is kind of out of whack, isn’t it?

  130. 130
    VFX Lurker says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Sometimes I think someone should be keeping a running tab of all the ways the YOYO ethos of this era is manifesting itself, because this whole issue, that people think it’s only about their kids and not about the community as a whole, definitely is part of it.

    That is a sharp observation.

    Anti-vaxxing is a “personal choice” that puts our entire society at risk. It could be of a piece with:

    – the backlash against health insurance reform and its mandate
    – “right-to-work” and the fading of unions
    – starving public schools of funding
    – “do-it-yourself” 401(k) plans replacing forced-saving pension plans
    – low voter turnout

    American society these days seems to be less “we,” more “me.”

  131. 131
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: @dedc79: I watch movies from the 40s and 50s, actors driving speedily in autos, often badly. I imagine them hurling through the windshields.

    While they drank like fish and smoked like chimneys. How things have changed!

  132. 132
    JPL says:

    It really didn’t take long for Christie’s office to clean up his comments.

  133. 133
    Pogonip says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I had measles in 1962, and surprised everyone by surviving. Measles can blind; it can kill; it can leave the victim severely retarded for the rest of his days. I wonder how many of these loons realize what risk they are imposing on their snowflakes, and if they are ready to spend the next 50 years changing the snowflake’s diapers.

  134. 134
    tsquared2001 says:

    @Elizabelle: It was a family legend how Mom incurred a heart murmur from her bout with scarlet fever at age 5.

    I honestly thought that the GOP wanted to relive the late 19th and early 20th century for economic reasons but, oh no, these motherfuckers got different priorities altogether.

  135. 135

    @VOR: No, infectious diseases are not money makers for pharma. A friend who works for Pfizer and is an infectious disease expert told me that. Their profits come from the next blue pill or a designer drug

  136. 136
    tsquared2001 says:

    @WereBear: And throwing the lit cigarette on the floor. What’s next – no fire codes?

  137. 137

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I’m really probably not losing many. I’ve seen this in passionate fandoms, which complain every time a sequel/new season comes out because it doesn’t match their individual imaginings. They don’t actually stop being in love.

    If I want to keep reading the same book again and again, I’ll save money and re-read one I already have. If you aren’t changing some stuff up and surprising your readers, you’re doing something wrong. I often like the second and third books in a series better than the first because you don’t spend so much time setting up the background, so you can spend more time on new ideas and new characters. It’s the later books that are the real measure of the author: can they keep coming up with exciting, new material book after book, or will they succumb to the temptation to write the same book with a different title.

  138. 138
    WereBear says:

    @tsquared2001: In The Fortune Cookie, Walter Matthau’s character throws the cigarette he’s smoking onto the floor and stamps on it and no one blinks an eye.

    And he’s in a hospital.

  139. 139
    Mandalay says:

    Christie has been eating a lot of Palin’s word salad for his “clarification”….

    …what I said was that there has to be a balance and it depends on what the vaccine is, what the disease type is and all the rest. And so I didn’t say I’m leaving people the option. What I’m saying is that you have to have that balance in considering parental concerns because no parent cares about anything more than they care about protecting their own child’s health and so we have to have that conversation, but that has to move and shift in my view from disease type. Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others. So that’s what I mean by that so that I’m not misunderstood.

    So much for Governor Straightshooter. He’s waffling, blathering and sitting on the fence.

  140. 140
    Elizabelle says:

    I have a beloved college age nephew who seems susceptible to any childhood fever or respiratory illness around.

    If we lived in earlier times, he would be buried for 15 years by now.

    Is that a societal good, that these anti-vaxxers want to bring back? Cannot imagine losing my darling nephew. Would rather be blinded or paralyzed myself.

  141. 141
    VFX Lurker says:

    @Punchy:

    I’d love to know how many of these anti-vaxxers who’ve now contracted the disease remain anti-vax. I’d like to think that the sight of 50 million spots/rash on their own dermis (not to mention, a likely hospital bill in the tens of thousands) would change some minds. Anyone study the “conversion” rate of these dickheads post-infection?

    I have a sample of one. A high school acquaintance on Facebook (not a friend) wrote circa 2009 that she did not vaccinate her kids for their safety. One of her kids had had a bad reaction to one of the shots, and that was all the incentive she needed to deny any more vaccines to her children.

    She promoted it as a “personal choice,” and she claimed that she was allowing her children to contract these preventable diseases “naturally” to build up a “natural” immunity. Her kid(s) had already been through one or two preventable diseases, and it was difficult to see the kid(s) suffer, but she knew it was better for her kid to endure the real thing than the vaccine.

    I protested and argued with her, but after I realized wasn’t getting through, I unfollowed her on Facebook. I didn’t want to read any more of her anti-vax updates. She was posting derp-derp videos like a woman who had lost her power of speech from a flu shot.

    At the time, I wrote this acquaintance off as a rare quack. I didn’t realize she was one of many quacks.

  142. 142

    @Roger Moore:
    Yeah. Each book is its own thing, unique. I don’t know any other way to write. It’s still scary when you want to keep the readers who appeared magically when the first book of the series came out.

  143. 143
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: The Hobby Lobby folks are your usual Mammon worshipers who have adopted a shell of Christianity to obscure their true deity.

  144. 144
    Elizabelle says:

    @WereBear: Very few trousers on women, and they were so economically dependent on men.

    Unless they were the quirky working woman, or selfless working widowed mother.

  145. 145
    sharl says:

    @Ohio Mom: I’m glad you brought up Dr.* Andrew Wakefield, a stone-cold sociopathic, money-grubbing child killer who masqueraded as an authentic medical researcher. I like well done graphic illustrations of stories – YMMV (I know some folks don’t like graphic stuff like that one bit) – and Darryl Cunningham did a fine one on this horrible person here. A more conventional news account of the whole thing can be found here and elsewhere.

    *From the Wikipedia entry on this creep:

    Wakefield is barred from practising as a physician in the UK, and is not licensed in the US. He lives in the US where he has a following, including celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who wrote the foreword for Wakefield’s autobiography, Callous Disregard. She mistakenly believes her son has autism and that it is due to vaccines. According to Deer, as of 2011, he lives near Austin with his wife, Carmel, and four children.

  146. 146
    scav says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Actual safety ratings, mere stats or the dreaded profit-motivation of Automobile Makers didn’t seem to slow them down any in their rush to buy SUVs so as to better protect themselves and offspring — damned be to anyone else with a smaller car that they crash into or impede the vision of. It’s a similar cloth and mindset, with minor variations in what gets comfortably overlooked so long as they get theirs.

  147. 147

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No, infectious diseases are not money makers for pharma. A friend who works for Pfizer and is an infectious disease expert told me that. Their profits come from the next blue pill or a designer drug

    This. There’s not a lot of money in curing diseases, and even less in preventing them. The real money is in treating the symptoms without curing them, because that way people have to keep taking their medication indefinitely. You have to get those ongoing sales. It also helps if the drug is treating a “lifestyle” condition. People complain and bring political pressure when you price gouge on drugs that keep them alive, but the sky’s the limit on drugs that are seen as dealing with embarrassing but not life-threatening conditions.

  148. 148
    tsquared2001 says:

    @WereBear: Nearly every John Wayne western I have watched sees him throwing down the butt indoors. All those houses cannot have had mud floors – some flooring has to be involved. Somewhere.

  149. 149
    raven says:

    Well, I posted this post on my facebook, went to the Y to workout and, when I got back, had two rants from “alternative” type friends who think the entire thing is a government plot and they are not vaccinating their “babies” not matter what you fuckers think. So there!

  150. 150
    Violet says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    like a woman who had lost her power of speech from a flu shot.

    Some people do have unfortunate reactions to vaccines. I have a friend who had a terrible neurological reaction to the flu shot a year or so ago. They do ask if you’ve got Guillain Barre among other things when you sign the release to get the shot. She didn’t have that but apparently she had something close to it and it caused her all sorts of problems. Eyesight issues. Numbness in extremities. Significant fatigue. Etc. She’s seen quite a few doctors, including multiple neurologists, and they’ve now told her she should not have the flu vaccine again. So stuff can happen but it’s not at all common.

    When I get the flu shot I often get some version of a cold within a week. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or not. Doesn’t happen every time, but then the flu vaccine is different each year.

  151. 151
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    Wow. According to the link, 102 measles cases in the United States currently. That’s like one-third of the typical annual cases in the United States.

    Average death rate is 1 in 550 or 1 in 1,000 (depending on the source of data). Before modern medicine, the death rate was 20 in 1,000. Developing pneumonia and encephalitis from measles are the big death trajectories for the disease, actually.

    Seems like a lot of hysteria over not much. About 110 people die (not just catch, but actually die in a permanent way) in car accidents every day in the United States. Banning cars would do a whole lot more to save lives, y’know. Think of the children after all.

    I’m all for vaccinations, but geez, get a grip everyone. The world is not ending. A vast majority of people survive measles with no long-term issues (my mother who had it said the chicken pox was far worse, and similar sentiment throughout the older members of my extended family, who survived measles with no issues).

  152. 152
  153. 153
    Central Planning says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    What would you say to her?

    Cough a few times, say “I just got back from California. Does this look like measles?” and cough on her and her kids a few more times.

  154. 154
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: Unless they were the quirky working woman, or selfless working widowed mother.

    And that was only until they could get married, usually in the final reel.

    I just saw a film noir that turned these things upside down, and in 1957, no less! It was Crime of Passion, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden and Raymond Burr. She’s a tough cookie reporter and he’s a police detective, and they fall in love and get married… about 1/3 of the way through. So we get to see what happens next; she’s miserable as an intellectually stifled housewife. Things go bad.

    Pretty rad.

  155. 155
    RaflW says:

    I recommend that Obama start doing PSAs for seatbelts and airbags.

    I can imagine plenty of wingers ripping their dashboards apart to excise the offending safety equipment.

  156. 156

    @Violet:

    Some people do have unfortunate reactions to vaccines.

    Very true. My previous boss got an experimental vaccine that apparently triggered autoimmunity and gave her MS. That’s an extreme reaction, and it was an experimental vaccine, but things like that do happen sometimes. The key thing is that vaccines are a calculated risk. There’s some risk of adverse reactions if you take them and a risk of getting sick if you don’t. We try to design vaccines to be as safe as possible to reduce the risk of adverse reactions and make the overall balance more favorable, but we can’t eliminate that risk entirely.

  157. 157
    Evan says:

    A small correction: It’s actually the second-worst measles outbreak in decades; there was a bigger one last year. But it mainly affected Amish people, and I guess we’re used to the idea of Amish people having problems the rest of us don’t ordinarily need to deal with anymore, so it didn’t get much media attention.

  158. 158
    srv says:

    Vouchers are the answer to every problem, including vaccinations.

  159. 159
    Spinwheel says:

    Zandar and most of the people here must really be upset over Obama pandering to “anti-vaxxers” in 2008.

    I strongly doubt it. It’s not as if you all are capable of either simple research or intellectual honesty when it comes to Obama.

  160. 160
    RaflW says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: From the CDC on measles complications:

    As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
    About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or mentally retarded.
    For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

    So, yeah, CTFO folks, Just 5% risk of pneumonia. Cake walk!

    ETA: my bigger concern is that the anti-vax crowd could be incubating a return of polio. That ain’t beanbag.

  161. 161
    Elie says:

    A few of these parents need to be sued for damages when their children spread disease to other vulnerable people. Perhaps some of these local governments that also allow this should be also. That should get them unwanted attention and derision as well as cost them some money… hopefully lots of money. These people should be herded together in vaccination free ghettos where they have to stay. I can’t stand these anti-science freaks and the damage they cause anymore.

  162. 162
    tsquared2001 says:

    @WereBear: Stanwyk was always a hard one. Even as the matriarch in Big Valley. Heath, Jared, the other guy; everyone knew who was boss.
    Except for Stella Dallas – kinda punked out in that role.

  163. 163
    Elie says:

    @RaflW:

    and you aren’t citing the outcomes in the population with immune suppression due to cancer or other treatments. Or for young infants less than two months who are too young to be vaccinated. These populations are more likely to have extremely bad outcomes much worse than the complications that are possible for “normal” children. The airborne nature of the disease also makes it difficult to find the source of the outbreak. The fact that it can spread during early symptoms makes it doubly problematic.

  164. 164
    Violet says:

    @Roger Moore: Yep. As a kid I had terrible reactions to my childhood immunizations. I’d be sick for days. The doctor told my mom not to worry but no other kids we knew had the kind of reaction I did. I still wonder if that has had any lingering health effects for me. Good or bad. Why did my body react so strongly?

  165. 165

    @Jasmine Bleach: Measles and chicken pox can be deadly for the immune compromised.

  166. 166
    scav says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: If shoddy, selfish and hypocritical behaviors don’t get called out, they don’t improve or change. I mean, it’s not as though all cops are shooting people every time they get a little stressed or feel uncomfortable, so what’s the big fuss about? Should we wait until it’s a really fatal and highly infectious disease to start getting the structures and social mores in place? Wait until all PDs have the shooting stats of Albequerque and Cincinnati before anything gets fussed about?

  167. 167

    @Jasmine Bleach:
    Two points:
    1) There is a serious worry that things are going to get worse before they get better. Looking at the number of cases now is missing the point because the outbreak is still in its rapid growth phase, and there’s no sign that this outbreak is doing anything to convince the anti-vaxxers that they’re being idiots.
    2) This kind of outbreak is completely preventable in a way that car accidents aren’t. Requiring vaccinations for all kids who can safely receive them has been proven to prevent this kind of outbreak at minimal social cost. We’re going backward, and it’s entirely preventable.

  168. 168
    Barbara says:

    @beltane: Yep. This “streak” of human psychology has a lot of different manifestations throughout history. I think of Christian Scientists who arose just as modern medicine was finding its foothold, to reject it categorically, because people don’t get sick if they are spiritually well. I think of Steve Jobs who responded to a diagnosis of cancer by delaying surgery in order to try to purify his body through diet. These notions are often bound up with ideas about being part of an “elect” or “elite” group that has power to immunize itself (pun fully intended) by using voluntary means to ward off bad things. Honestly, I think most of these parents are going to capitulate when they begin to fear the disease itself (the way my parents did), but some are just irredeemable.

  169. 169
    Marcelo says:

    @Barbara: “with the exception of the vaccine for HPV, which the religious right thinks is a plot to make girls promiscuous as soon as they turn 12”

    That’s exactly the code Christie was trying to speak. Even in his walkback language he’s doing it, with the whole “not all diseases are the same” shit. Some diseases, like measles, yes of course. Others like HPV, only the sluts need.

    It’s important to point this out because I think to put him on the anti-vaxxer train is to miss the more subtle ramifications of where he was trying to go. Shutting down the HPV vaccine should not be the compromise upon which we get our measles shots.

  170. 170
    RaflW says:

    @Elie:

    A few of these parents need to be sued for damages when their children spread disease to other vulnerable people.

    There’s a free market response I’d actually support. Though of course the wingers would cry cry cry about judicial activism.

  171. 171
    cokane says:

    christie’s comments don’t really seem as extreme as you’re painting them to be, honestly. you’re making a big deal out of pretty uncontroversial words. i mean what he said is boilerplate political speak — there needs to be balance between individual choice and safety blah blah. and some parents are right not to vaccinate if their child is immunocompromised, so, i mean, there are legit example of non vaccinating. also, do you get every new flu shot? doubt most here do… so…?

  172. 172
    Citizen_X says:

    @Spinwheel: Yep, you’re right: that wasn’t good. It was a weak pander (e.g. not as egregious as McCain’s example from the same article)–more than six years ago. And now he’s strongly in favor of vaccination.

    He learned. How terrible!

  173. 173
    sharl says:

    @Spinwheel: Yep, pandering to the anti-vax crowd going on by both Obama and McCain back then. Very unfortunate, but it’s a good thing that Obama hasn’t kissed their asses since then (including, AFAIK, during the 2012 campaign).

    You can tell when an interest group has money and political influence – or at least, who politicians and their advisers think have money and power – by who is getting pandered to. I’ll bet that Obama pandered to some other odious groups as well in his past campaigns (I’d wager that AIPAC would be on that list, for example). Such is the sucky nature of our politics.

    ETA: In other words, what Citizen_X just said more succinctly.

  174. 174
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spinwheel: Your version of “intellectual honesty”: can’t you see the color of his skin?

  175. 175
    Barbara says:

    The other irony with the “naturalists” is that disease really is natural. To see vaccine (which is usually just killed virus) as toxic is to assume that somehow your body and disease are not part of the same natural process that has existed as long as life itself. Vaccines are a monumental achievement that gives us just a little bit of a technological edge over the most common natural threats, when we need it most.

  176. 176
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @RaflW:

    So, yeah, CTFO folks, Just 5% risk of pneumonia. Cake walk!

    Yeah. And? Only 102 people have it in the United States just now. Maybe 5 or 6 will get pneumonia from that. There’s a very good chance none will die.

    About 1 million people in the US get pneumonia each year that makes them go to the hospital. You want us to worry about those 5 or 6 people. I have to tell ya, there are a whole lot of more common trajectories for that disease that make more sense to focus on for bring those numbers (and the 50,000+ annual deaths) down.

    Much freak out over nothing in my opinion . . .

  177. 177
    Barbara says:

    @Cervantes: California, among others.

  178. 178
    Spinwheel says:

    @Citizen_X: Then the obvious question is why is everyone full of outrage over Christie making the same statements?

    @sharl: I dare say such statements got a small fraction of the play or of the outrage Christie did.

    In both cases, why is Obama getting a pass?

  179. 179
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: Just what the fuck part of the phrase highly infectious disease is not penetrating your skull?

  180. 180
    Spinwheel says:

    @cokane: It was so boilerplate that both Obama and McCain made similar statements about respecting parental choice.

    But only now is that outrageous.

  181. 181
    Barbara says:

    Because right now there is an ACTUAL OUTBREAK of the disease and Obama’s statements at this point in time are FULLY SUPPORTIVE of vaccination and Christie’s are not. It’s not hypothetical right now and Christie’s comments can be interpreted as giving permission to people to pass up vaccines and make themselves into a public health threat.

  182. 182
    WereBear says:

    @tsquared2001: I agree, and yet it was perhaps her most celebrated movie role!

  183. 183
    srv says:

    Bevell throws Ricardo under the bus:

    “We could have done a better job staying strong on the ball,” Bevell said, according to Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.

  184. 184
    Citizen_X says:

    @Spinwheel: I promise you: first opportunity, I will travel back in time to 2008 to criticize Obama for this.

    Again, the phrase present infectious disease outbreak is key.

  185. 185
    sharl says:

    @Spinwheel: Citizen_X and I already answered your question – SUCKY U.S. POLITICS, and 6 YEARS AGO!!!

    If you want to engage in your Obama/Zandar Derangement Syndrome, this ain’t the best place to do it. But go ahead and knock yourself out. EATING DOG MEAT AS A CHILD IN INDONESIA! SMOKING DOPE IN COLLEGE!! BENGHAZI!!!!1!!

  186. 186
    WereBear says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: I am struggling not to see you as a giant jerk about this. Relatively few people suffer from Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, so with your reasoning we should just shrug and do nothing?

  187. 187
    Bystander says:

    My guess is that even if or when one of these unvaccinated kids pays the ultimate price, the parents will be too ignorant to be repentant or to take responsibility. Much like the people who blithely supported Bush sending 5000 young Americans to their deaths battling our archenemy SH.

  188. 188
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Barbara: That’s crazy talk! It’s filled to the brim with that liberal bias facts stuff.

  189. 189
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @sharl: Not to mention that unfortunate surplus of melanin…

  190. 190
    RaflW says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    Yeah. And? Only 102 people have it in the United States just now.

    Emphasis added – makes my point.

  191. 191
    scav says:

    @Spinwheel: Probably because Christie managed to be vocally stupid at a time when the essential subject has been everywhere in the news twice, once for ebola and again for measles. But, context is tricky and easily ignored when axes need to be ground so continue spinning that whetstone. And Christie’s reported bloviating might just be the straw to ignite pre-existing conversational tinder, there seems to be a ton more anger directed at idiot profoundly-selfish parents and neighbors. No one really exoects much more than pandering from electioneering politicians.

  192. 192
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Roger Moore:

    2) This kind of outbreak is completely preventable in a way that car accidents aren’t. Requiring vaccinations for all kids who can safely receive them has been proven to prevent this kind of outbreak at minimal social cost. We’re going backward, and it’s entirely preventable.

    Well, yes, I agree to an extent. But, in 1989-1991 (3 years) there were 55,000 measles cases in the United States in an unprecedented outbreak, and 123 death in those 3 years from it. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt we’ll see those numbers, and even if so I’m not going to go overboard worrying about 40 deaths per year in a country of 320 million.

    Yeah, I’m callous I guess. My worries are much more with tuberculosis, MRSA, and maybe helping to vaccinate the rest of the world for measles rather than freaking out about some anti-vaxers and their (honestly) minimal effect on our country.

  193. 193
    Bystander says:

    Speaking of the communicability of measles and mumps, that idiot Rosie ODonnell said she was against keeping unvaccinated children away from public places because it reminded her of how people tried to discriminate against people with HIV in the 80s and 90s. So glad she gets to spew her idiocy daily and widely.

  194. 194
    grandpa john says:

    @MattF: Ah yes, the good ol days, in my case it was measles in the first grade, chickenpox in the second and mumps in the third. and spending the summer out of public places as much as possible because of polio. we did have our own swimming hole so that helped,

  195. 195
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    From Doktor Zoom, our fine friend over at Wonkette:

    For one thing, nobody’s made any horror movies about measles, which is far more infectious than Ebola but is not from Africa, and also there’s no election coming up next month.

    I think the good doktor has covered the bases here.

  196. 196
    VOR says:

    @Violet: Yes, there are rare cases of adverse reactions to flu shots. But every year about 36k people in the US die from influenza. Yes, most of them are in poor health already (elderly, chronic conditions, compromised immune systems, etc…) but not all. Public health is all about the welfare of the many and certainly more lives are saved by the flu vaccine than lost due to adverse reactions.

    My mother also had scarlet fever in her youth which caused a permanent heart valve condition. I’m glad we no longer have to deal with that.

  197. 197
    Bystander says:

    I’m with Jasmine Bleach on this. For that matter, why do we worry about parents who abuse their children? After all, they’re not beating your child with an extension cord.

  198. 198
    Singular says:

    Epic, true and funny rant Zandar! Cole would be proud of that one.

  199. 199
    Spinwheel says:

    @Citizen_X: There were over 100 US measles cases in just the first half of 2008. Worldwide measles is still a major health issue. Six years ago is no excuse. Obama pandered then and he’s getting a pass for it now.

    @sharl: Why, that’s as stupid as expecting Zandar to admit he’s wrong.

  200. 200
    Doug r says:

    My daughter was developing normally until she had her Mmr shot. She got a fever and she hasn’t been the same since. I guess I should be happy she didn’t die of measles.

  201. 201

    “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.” –Barack Obama, Pennsylvania Rally, April 21, 2008.

    I think this was a little before any link was conclusively refuted. Even at it’s most malign, all he seemed to advocate was research. I remember back in 2008 there were these parents who were suing in Federal Court over vaccines.

    Even the crunchiest of my friends, someone who is into herbs and alternative medicine, uses doctors for his major ailments and his alternative stuff like you would over the counter stuff-relief of daily aches and pains and maintenance, not for the hard stuff. I doubt he has refused flu vaccines since he’s reached the age to need them.

    One thing is certain. Malia and Sasha have had every shot available when due. Minorities have fought too long for medical access to refuse something that truly does help. And doctors are still considered respectable professionals in minority communities. Just as you listen to your lawyer, you listen to your doctor-if you knew enough, you would have done it yourself-but since you don’t call in the pros.

  202. 202
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Ask Kaci Hickox about Chris Christie and “choice” in public health policy.

  203. 203
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spinwheel:

    Why, that’s as stupid as expecting Zandar to admit he’s wrong.

    It’s like the octoplex over Memorial Day weekend with Spinwheel.

  204. 204
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @WereBear:

    ALS is 100% fatal. With 5,600 people in this country alone diagnosed each year, all will be dead within 5 years (some in as little as 2 years). So, yes, I think we should focus on that more than measles! Curing that would have a much higher rate of return for the expense in time invested, money, and emotion.

  205. 205
    sharl says:

    @Spinwheel: Eh, way to not get the point.

    I hope you can find some momentary solace by taping another photo of Zandar – if there’s any space left – onto your Zandar Wall of Bitterness, and drawing an ‘X’ through it. But this time, try changing things up a bit: maybe use a Sharpie with a new color, or draw a mustache on it. The feeling of satisfaction won’t last – it never does, as you know well by now – but whatever gets you through the moment…

  206. 206
    chopper says:

    @Doug r:

    my daughter got really sick a week after watching a disney movie. i think disney made her sick.

  207. 207
    Felonius Monk says:

    Inquiring minds want to know: Does Christie’s original statement combined with his walk-back make him New Jersey’s Measle Weasel?

  208. 208

    Much freak out over nothing in my opinion . . .

    @Jasmine Bleach: No one gives a shit about your stupid, uninformed, ignorant opinion.

  209. 209
    Gindy51 says:

    @Rand Careaga: OMG, my grandfather died of lock jaw in the 60’s (had never been vaccinated and cut his hand deeply on a mower blade before regulations made manufacturers put kill switches on the blades. Tetanus is more horrible than any childhood disease. We live on a farm and we all get tetanus shots every 10 years no matter what. NO ONE should have to die like my grandfather did and no one has to. Dog help this kid and the thousands like him who are raised by these woo woo freaks.

  210. 210
    PurpleGirl says:

    I’m sure the relatives of any person who dies, either from measles or from related conditions, understands that it’s just a natural process. They can continue living without the person who died and don’t get all wonky over it.

  211. 211
    Spinwheel says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You know what the best part is?

    Obama’s new budget out today is cutting $50 million from the CDC’s program to vaccinate the poor.

    But please, let’s go on about how he’s so much better than the GOP.

  212. 212

    @RaflW: And if one of those 102 are located in the wrong place? Let’s not forget about those who are infected and don’t know it yet. What if that person is your house cleaner, waiter, or one of those poor souls who have to work or lose their job? Do we need to see whole factories close down because of this? Or entire families infected? Transportation workers may have health insurance, but it still requires someone to recognize they are sick enough to need medical attention. Your bus driver, your cab driver, the porter at the hotel, may be used to shrugging off seemingly minor symptoms for far too long because they are used to a certain level of discomfort.

  213. 213
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Felonius Monk: Well, when you look at the case of Kaci Hickox, one must wonder what the fuck Christie is thinking…or not thinking, as the case may be.

    New Joisey’s Pander Bear as well as a Measle Weasel and the Outlaw Joisey Whale.

  214. 214
    My Truth Hurts says:

    Government has every right to demand people adhere to practices that protects public health. Because it is in the national interests to do so. End of debate.

  215. 215
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Given the hostility of the private sector to paid sick leave….one has to wonder what the fuck they’re thinking.

    Oh, yeah. Short term profit, not any long term consequences. If it’s not on the spread sheet, it does not exist.

  216. 216
    chopper says:

    @Spinwheel:

    well, obviously you’d rather the GOP be in charge. hence your need to change the subject from christie being a choad to ‘obama pandered 6 years ago!’

    i’m sure the GOP would just up and double the CDC budget, we all know how big they are on that sort of shit.

  217. 217
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spinwheel: You didn’t bother to read down a bit where a White House spokesman said that expanded ACA would pick up the slack, now did you?

    Of course not.

  218. 218
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It just shows that smart ideas lose their purchase over time because dumb people forget what was smart about them.

    Not just science, either: think about the county in Tennessee that decided it couldn’t pay for fire service because nobody was willing to pay the property taxes, and you had the stupid system where county residents could pay subscription fees to the city, but that meant Bubba from the county could raze his house down while burning trash and the firefighters would only show up for the people next door.

  219. 219
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Just what the fuck part of the phrase highly infectious disease is not penetrating your skull?

    That’s not an argument. That’s emotion you’re displaying. Influenza is highly infectious and causes more deaths and adverse results. The common cold is highly infectious. Yes, measles is highly infectious, but much less so when a vast majority of the population is vaccinated against it.

    The data I’ve presented speak for themselves. Even under unprecedented circumstances (data shown earlier from 1989-1991), we are still talking (statistically) minimal effects even if it’s a “highly infectious” disease. Tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year, and millions get it. Let’s invest energy there.

  220. 220
    JPL says:

    @chopper: If states expanded medicaid, wouldn’t that cover routine vaccinations? Spinwheel is just spinning, imo.

  221. 221
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @gogol’s wife: What I’d say to the trainer (or owner if it’s a different person)is “I’ll find another trainer unless the unvaccinated children are not permitted to attend with mom.” And follow through. If enough businesses make these idiotic decisions inconvenient for the anti-vaxxers, there might be a result.

    If I had kids, the first question I’d ask any pediatrician is “do you treat kids whose parents don’t vaccinate?” If the answer is anything other than “only those kids with genuine medical contraindications,” then on to the next doc to interview. And announce to other parents which docs facilitate the anti-vax foolishness.

    Of course I’m quite late to the thread, so all of the above has no doubt been mentioned 2-3x earlier!

  222. 222
    Steeplejack says:

    @Violet:

    Hypochondria.

    (I kid, I kid.)

  223. 223
    Zandar says:

    @JPL: Didn’t Chris Christie veto New Jersey Medicaid expansion?

    Why yes, he did.

    Guess he doesn’t care too much about getting kids vaccinated.

  224. 224
    Mike in NC says:

    GOP Freedumb means being free to contract smallpox, cholera, or polio here in the fabulous 21st Century.

  225. 225
    ThresherK says:

    I would like to make this number from the Squidbillies musical required viewing.

  226. 226
    JPL says:

    @Mike in NC: You forgot the freedom to dictate what birth control is appropriate.

  227. 227
    Bokonon says:

    Wait. When we talk about conservatives wanting to stick up for the rights of anti-vaxxers … aren’t these the same exact people who claim that the government can tell you what to do in the case of abortion? And who also say that civil disobedience on gun laws is pretty much understandable and a-okay …?

    The GOP’s libertarian positions on regulation and law enforcement has never jived well with their positions over abortion (or end-of-life issues). But we aren’t talking consistent viewpoints of state power – we are talking politics and religious belief.

  228. 228
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    No one gives a shit about your stupid, uninformed, ignorant opinion.

    Ahhaaahhaaa. I’m almost the only one presenting actual data here, and I’m the uninformed one! Lol.

    Feel free to dislike me for my relative indifference to some lost lives, I guess. But don’t call me uninformed or stupid. That’s just uncultured and uncivilized.

    Just FYI, all my immediate family are vaccinated if it makes you feel any better.

  229. 229
    Citizen_X says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Exactly. Christie deserves no slack because he fucked up recently, in a major way, on the infectious-disease front with the Ebola scare. (As did Cuomo, and LePage, and the dem Connecticut governor.)

    It’s not only epidemics themselves that scare me, but also panicky responses to them. That’s where we get Jews blamed for the Black Death, homophobic AIDS panics in the ’80s, and the idiocy from the four governors above in the last few months. When one’s pulled-from-the-ass, confirms-my-prejudices-anyway “theories” count just as much as peer-reviewed science, then we get scapegoating and counterproductive responses to epidemics.

    In the midst of an outbreak, a public official gets no room to screw around.

  230. 230
    Kay says:

    I think public health victories don’t get enough attention. From lead poisoning to vaccines to child abuse prevention to car seats for infants, people just seem to forget the downside, what it was like before these advances, without constant reminders.

    Teen pregnancy, for example, is way, way down and it’s down most dramatically among minorities, yet no one knows we’re winning that. It’s getting better.

    I wonder sometimes if it’s deliberate, if “public health” is (broadly) regulatory and often government-led so we all have to ignore or downplay what are HUGE wins.

  231. 231
    WereBear says:

    @Gindy51: Exactly. What idiots don’t realize is that every single regulation and public health practice came about because of DEATH. Lots and lots of horrible DEATH.

    Because that is what it takes. And then idiots brush it off after the regulations have made it small.

  232. 232
    chopper says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    The common cold is highly infectious.

    measles is the most infectious disease known to mankind.

    but much less so when a vast majority of the population is vaccinated against it.

    great, let’s fucking make sure it stays that way. note: given how severely infectious measles is, that percentage has to be well fucking high.

  233. 233
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    Influenza is highly infectious and causes more deaths and adverse results.

    Yes, absolutely. When did I say influenza is not a problem?

    Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to fight: there are several strains around at any given time, so flu shots are only ~60% effective. I don’t know how you solve that problem.

    Measles outbreaks, in contrast, should be easy to prevent. That’s the complaint here. This is self-inflicted injury.

  234. 234
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    I’m all for vaccinations, but geez, get a grip everyone. The world is not ending. A vast majority of people survive measles with no long-term issues

    Why might that be, do you think?

    Eradicating or severely weakening the impact of infectious diseases was one of the great medical achievements of the last century, whether through antibiotics or vaccines. My parents both lost a sibling in childhood to infectious diseases that are now rare and easily treatable. Turns out that when you’re not playing the lottery of which child you’ll lose to diptheria or measles, you can have smaller families and more secure lives.

    As Atrios says, medical science beat those bastards, and cotton-wool-headed numpties are not going to undo that. His generation has smallpox vaccine scars. Anyone younger doesn’t. The Gates Foundation is spending shitloads on eradicating malaria and polio, because the potential impact for the parts of the world still affected by those diseases is incredible.

    So kindly fuck right off.

  235. 235
    chopper says:

    the really funny thing is, we could eradicate measles entirely if we wanted to with isolation and vaccination. like with smallpox.

  236. 236

    And even 60% provides some help. If you get something, 60% help means perhaps it’s not so bad as it could have been, or you have time to get further help. And if helps if you aren’t also fighting preventable diseases at the same time you are fighting this.

  237. 237
    Belafon says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: So, if you’re numbers were to hold out for the rest of the year, we could see one or two deaths from measles. Maybe that will be a wakeup call.

    And the reason we’re pissed is because this isn’t the first time. http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com didn’t just pop up yesterday. People, a lot of them kids, are getting sick or dying because of idiotic attitudes.

  238. 238
    Dave says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: How about this. It doesn’t require any special effort to combat measles. We know how. Vaccinate for it! It’s useful because it is stand in for the entire vaccination debate. It’s a clear cut vector for pushing back against the silly woo that makes up 99% of the anti-vac crowd. Now I don’t think vaccination rates are going to drop dramatically and if they do the first time a really serious set of outbreaks of any of the nastier diseases occur I’m pretty sure they will shoot right back up. Overall though would prefer to avoid the loss of life, health, and the cost of not vaccinating. Vaccines are one of the most economical and effective methods to decrease suffering so it’s incredibly frustrating to see people not doing it for dumb reasons.

  239. 239
    scav says:

    Jasmine’s not reading like anything but a bog standard contrarian troll, passive-aggressive nice-handbag and matching shoes variant. The “I have black friendly family members vacinated” defense (and claim to larger issues flag-waving), the responding pattern to as many people at once, the manner she plays with “facts” and larger context, the “you’re just shooting the messenger of truth” card like 52-card pickup. . .

  240. 240
    Dave says:

    @Kay: Especially teen pregnancy it’s like violent crime has dropped dramtically and yet most people are sure it’s the worst and highest it’s ever been! Incredibly frustrating.

  241. 241
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Kay:

    I think public health victories don’t get enough attention. From lead poisoning to vaccines to child abuse prevention to car seats for infants, people just seem to forget the downside, what it was like before these advances, without constant reminders.

    Public health fits very well with universal healthcare that’s guided by the needs of the population as a whole.

    It doesn’t fit well with America’s Special Snowflake model driven by individual needs and desires and “ask your doctor” and “consumer choice” and people want to see the specialist of their choosing for their special snowflake symptoms.

    Public health also smacks of Medicaid and “poor people’s medicine.” Also, brown people.

  242. 242

    My mom’s closest cousin died from measles when she was a kid. She was going to vaccinate me against everything possible.

    Everyone freaked the fuck out when they thought ebola was coming, but ebola isn’t transmitted in the manner that everyone feared – but measles is.

  243. 243
    WereBear says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Seconded.

    The numbers are small right now because there’s still plenty of people who are vaccinated.

    It’s like saying, “Why get excited about the meteor headed for the earth? It’s really small from here!”

  244. 244
    bemused says:

    @Sherparick:

    Callous, self-centered bastard. If I lived in AZ and needed a cardiologist, I definitely wouldn’t choose him. I wonder if he might be a libertarian.

    That link should be added to the post.

  245. 245
    satby says:

    @Roger Moore: 3 Anecdotes aren’t data. I raise Jasmine Bleach’s mom’s memories with my own: where people I know wore braces from polio, two sons in the same family were permanently deafened after their bout with measles, and my father nearly died from smallpox as a child (also nearly died as an infant from raw milk).
    I’m no fan of Big Pharma myself, but the idea that we would voluntarily go back to the early 1900s in infectious disease terms is insane.

    And hospitals routinely get medical guardians appointed in court to oversee treatment of the children of Witnesses who object to some lifesaving treatment, based on the idea that the parents religious views are counter to best interests of the child in life threatening situations.

  246. 246
    raven says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: That’s what is killing me here. One of the people that exploded about how annoyed she was getting about vaccinations wanted my wife who works at the health department to hire her as a breast feeding peer counselor!

  247. 247
    grandpa john says:

    @Kay: But unless some source say for example the
    MSM decides to write about and cover these huge wins, how is the general public going to know about these huge wins.
    Wonder why the choose not to inform about the wins in public safety and health while spending 24/7 on made up news like Benghazi or Isis or any of the other tinsel covered items they cover.
    Why it seems they only want to talk about negative events rather than any thing positive that has been accomplished during the term of the present POTUS

  248. 248
    Arclite says:

    Actually in a battle with Arcwife about weather Arcdaughter should get HPV vaccine or not. I’m for, she’s against. Her arguments:
    – Hasn’t been around long enough to know long-term effects
    – Might trigger autoimmune response.
    – They’ve stopped recommending it in Japan (Arcwife is from Japan)
    – Low risk since most people don’t develop cervical cancer and it’s easily detectable and treatable if they do.

    I’m for it of course because HPV kills 4000 and causes 12000 cases per year in the US.

  249. 249
    WereBear says:

    @grandpa john: I think it is because a frightened person buys things: a juicer for the family immune system, enough duct tape to seal a house, maybe they should buy gold in case civilization collapses we really have to get that alarm system omygodsomethingawfulwillhappen.

    It’s an offshoot of the local news: will your kitchen sponges kill you? Film at eleven!

  250. 250
    Paul in KY says:

    @gogol’s wife: Can you leave your little disease factories at home or somewhere other than here?

  251. 251
    kc says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    Jesus, what a bunch of dickheads! Great idea, try to ruin someone’s business because you overheard some patron saying she doesn’t vaccinate her kids?

    Get a grip.

  252. 252
    scav says:

    @grandpa john: Be a bit fair, they’ve not been writing up positively public health gains for a lot longer than that. Incremental broadbased improvements in general well-being and not dying isn’t news, the latest pricey operation for optional plastic surgery or patentable heart-surgery technique is.

  253. 253
    Kay says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It doesn’t fit well with America’s Special Snowflake model driven by individual needs and desires and “ask your doctor” and “consumer choice” and people want to see the specialist of their choosing for their special snowflake symptoms.

    When I was growing up and would try “special pleading”, claim an exception my father considered inconsiderate or selfish, some reason I didn’t have to do what other people had to do he would say “what if everyone did that?” Even as a very little kid I got it immediately- that would be very, very bad for everyone :)

  254. 254
    Violet says:

    @raven: If she were to get that job she’d probably be required to be vaccinated for flu and to prove vaccination status for other diseases. Most healthcare settings require it.

  255. 255
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Yes, but Spinwheel, as usual, is spinning.

    In place.

  256. 256
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Your father was most wise.

    Unlike the Randroid dumbshits out there.

  257. 257
    raven says:

    @Violet: It’s her kids that are in question here, that and just what she would say to prospective breast feeding mom’s.

  258. 258
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @Dave:

    How about this. It doesn’t require any special effort to combat measles. We know how. Vaccinate for it! It’s useful because it is stand in for the entire vaccination debate. It’s a clear cut vector for pushing back against the silly woo that makes up 99% of the anti-vac crowd. Now I don’t think vaccination rates are going to drop dramatically and if they do the first time a really serious set of outbreaks of any of the nastier diseases occur I’m pretty sure they will shoot right back up. Overall though would prefer to avoid the loss of life, health, and the cost of not vaccinating.

    This I entirely agree with. But the US gov tried their best to eliminate measles 3 times over the past 4 decades, and failed each time. You know why? Because it is a very common disease outside of the US, and people traveling bring it back. No vaccination is 100% effective, so until measles is under control more worldwide, it’s pretty much a losing battle and we’ll probably always have ~300 cases per year here.

    Fine. Focus all the energy you want on it. The results will be generally the same in the end. Tilt at those windmills!

  259. 259

    @WereBear:

    What idiots don’t realize is that every single regulation and public health practice came about because of DEATH. Lots and lots of horrible DEATH.

    This. The best way I’ve heard it expressed is that safety regulations are always written in blood. It’s a depressing thought, but the exceptions are too rare to be worth paying attention to. We never regulate anything seriously until after it’s created a disaster.

  260. 260
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WereBear:

    I think it is because a frightened person buys things

    DING DING DING DING DING DING

    Everything, but everything about television news is about money. Everything. ESPECIALLY local news that runs PR tapes from commercial outlets and passes them on as “news” when they’re actually infomercials, at best.

  261. 261
    Violet says:

    @raven: Yep, I get it. But if she’s so anti-vaxx, she might also not stay current on flu vaccine, etc. Which she’d have no choice about were she to be a healthcare worker, especially one working with a vulnerable population–pregnant women, new mothers, around infants.

  262. 262
    satby says:

    @Arclite: Low risk? I guess, but again, why take it?

    The American Cancer Society’s estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

    About 12,900 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
    About 4,100 women will die from cervical cancer.

  263. 263
    satby says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: surrender Dorothy!
    Everything is useless, why try at all?
    Great philosophy. Maybe put that on a T-shirt, it’ll be a top seller.

  264. 264
    PIGL says:

    @Rand Careaga: people tend to forget that natural selection isn’t about whether you live or die, it’s about how many of your offspring live to reproduce.

  265. 265
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC: The kicker here is, we still don’t have our fucking flying cars.

  266. 266
    Punchy says:

    Yeah. And? Only 102 people have it in the United States just now. Maybe 5 or 6 will get pneumonia from that. There’s a very good chance none will die.

    And only ~25 people died at Sandy Hook. Of the millions who go to school each day. So we shouldn’t overreact and do anything to prevent more deaths, cuz look at the absolute numbers. Statistics and probabilities and shit. Libtards trying to bully logic and reason into the conversation, yet it’s all probabilities, bitches.

  267. 267
    gogol's wife says:

    @kc:

    I would never do anything to hurt this business owner. I think that if I don’t have the courage to confront the woman myself I just have to keep my mouth shut. Sigh. But the stupid, it burns.

  268. 268
    Chris T. says:

    @🚸 Martin: Tell ’em they need to get vaccinated against that new disease “meabola”.

  269. 269
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @raven: Who would want her anywhere near new mothers, where she might spread her idiocy in the course of peer lactation counseling? I’m guessing she doesn’t see the dissonance there, and I’m also certain Mrs Raven is too polite to have said to her “do I look like I’ve lost my fucking mind? I can’t hire an idiot like you to work with breast feeding moms.”

  270. 270
    Chris T. says:

    @🚸 Martin: Oops, previous reply was meant to be reply to Martin, not Werebear.

  271. 271
    Jasmine Bleach says:

    @satby:

    @Jasmine Bleach: surrender Dorothy!
    Everything is useless, why try at all?
    Great philosophy. Maybe put that on a T-shirt, it’ll be a top seller.

    No, more like “Focus your energies where they will do the most good!”

  272. 272
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Doug r: I’m very sorry to hear this. I hope your daughter is getting the interventions she needs to live as full a life as possible. You bring up an important point, which is that there is no medicine that is 100% safe for everyone — if you are allergic, you can die from aspirin.

    We recognize as a country that in rare cases, people can have terrible reactions to vaccines, and sometimes those reactions can lead to permanent damage. As a result, there is a fund to compensate families. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it is very hard to get money out of them.

    I wish there was something I could say that would make it better but I can’t think of what that would be. You did the right thing by getting your daughter vaccinated, with the limited information you had at the time — no one could have known in advance what would happen.

    Good luck to your family!

  273. 273
    gogol's wife says:

    @Violet:

    There aren’t supposed to be any kids at all. But it’s a small business and she’s struggling and can’t afford to offend any clients. That’s why I feel it would be up to me to say something. I’m not bringing any kids (don’t have any and wouldn’t bring them if I did), so I’m not too concerned for myself, but on general principles I’d like to tell this woman she’s an idiot. But I probably won’t. I was just seething when I heard her talking about it, and how she shopped around for a doctor who would be “okay with it.”

  274. 274
    Face says:

    @Doug r: Correlation vs. caustion epic fail.

  275. 275
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Face: It wasn’t snark? I misunderstood then.

  276. 276
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That is awesome!

    As for people wanting the same thing, what they’re really saying is make me feel that way again. But they’ve already felt that way, so you can’t evoke it by doing the same thing. You are rocking it.

  277. 277
    gogol's wife says:

    @Elizabelle:

    How about Ingrid Bergman driving totally drunk in Notorious, and Cary has to punch her to get control of the wheel?

  278. 278
    Dave says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: See that was passive aggressive especially the tilting at windmills comment. As my point was that it doesn’t require huge energies to minimize, since we already know how to and have the means to do so easily, and that it is a currently useful vector to push back against the anti-vac dumbness in general. Especially as I explicitly stated that I don’t see rates dropping radically and if they do the after a few significant outbreaks they will likely shoot back up. I don’t view it as a world-ending problem just an unnecessary one. And I would prefer to effectively counteract that before it cause significant unnecessary suffering. The things that concern me most that I do think of as truly major issues are climate change, extreme wealth inequality, and renewable energy sources (and the various issues around that such as transmission and storage especially with solar and wind though I suppose if we ever do get viable cost effective fusion that becomes less of a problem).

  279. 279
    Cervantes says:

    @Spinwheel:

    Zandar and most of the people here must really be upset over Obama pandering to “anti-vaxxers” in 2008.

    From the article you cited:

    [Obama:] We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included. [Points to someone in the audience.] The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it. We can’t afford to junk our vaccine system, we have to figure out what’s happening. If we keep on seeing the increases in the rate we’re seeing, we’re never going to have enough money to take care of these children.

    Calling the science “inconclusive” was a mistake, deliberate or otherwise.

    Indicating that vaccines are important was a good thing.

    If your summary is that he was pandering, etc., I can understand that, but let’s be clear about what he actually said there. Take it in context.

    I strongly doubt it. It’s not as if you all are capable of either simple research or intellectual honesty when it comes to Obama.

    Good thing, then, that we have you here to keep us informed and honest.

  280. 280

    @Citizen_X:

    Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to fight: there are several strains around at any given time, so flu shots are only ~60% effective. I don’t know how you solve that problem.

    The main thing you do is to ensure that everyone who can gets the vaccine every year. That means that if the scientists guess wrong about which strain is going to dominate that year, people have some chance of having immunity from a previous year. It also improves the chances of getting some kind of herd immunity. You could also help by telling people who have the flu to stay home instead of coming to work and infecting their coworkers. Sadly, that’s unlikely to happen, since it would require commie ideas that will never fly with the MOTU, like mandatory paid sick time and staffing sufficient to keep things going even when people are out sick.

  281. 281
    Cervantes says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    Tilt at those windmills!

    You interest me strangely …

  282. 282
    scav says:

    @Punchy: I mean, what are the stats we’ll actually run into a shoe bomber on an airplane, I think we should leave big govt in its useless box and leave airport security and shoe-sniffing to the free market and individual personal choice, but no, those libtards and their public safety 1% chance fetish drag the nation about . . .

    And if Jazzhands Bleaching really and genuinely wanted to do all she claims to, she’d be working to leverage this moment of general public attention to public health issues, using it to further her goals, instead of belittling it as windmill-tilting.

  283. 283
    Violet says:

    @gogol’s wife: You might want to mention liability issues with the kids. If the mom is busy and the kid wanders over somewhere and hurts themselves, or causes another person to get hurt (person carrying weights doesn’t see the kid and falls) there will be bigger problems.

    Most gyms will have a “no children under X age” policy and this owner would be wise to follow it. Their insurance may even have it in the policy.

    You could approach the owner out of concern that the kids are a safety hazard not a health hazard. Ask about their policy and what their insurance says. Tell her you’re concerned about children being allowed and that it’s a safety hazard for other gym patrons. Suggest you might have to go where you feel safer.

    It is a hazard. At the gym I go to I was almost knocked over on the stairs by a ten year old who was running down them. I was furious and let the management know. If I’d been an older person or hadn’t been holding the rail I could have been seriously injured. It’s a real safety hazard. The kid was not supposed to be where they were and they tightened the policy and enforcement of the policy shortly after.

  284. 284

    @WereBear:

    I think it is because a frightened person buys things

    Especially the Republican line of bullshit, which is the main thing they’re selling.

  285. 285

    It is incomprehensible that in 2015 this is a topic, at all, anywhere. The tectonic shifts can’t happen fast enough.

    @gene108: My kids public schools require immunizations, or they do not let you in. Same with the state college. Same with travelling to certain countries as part of the visa requirements.

  286. 286
    jl says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: Case fatality rate of measles is between 1% and 2% on average. Given that if you are not vaccinated or do not have immunity, your risk of infection if in middle of a local epidemic is 90% or higher, I think most people would consider that pretty a pretty serious risk. A lot of kids not vaccinated, the kids gonna get measles, and has a > 1% chance of dying? That is a huge risk of dying from a preventable disease, at least in a high income advanced industrial nation, since the 1960s.

    In addition, risk of permanent disability from complications: hearing and eyesight loss (including blindness) principle among them. Disease is severe enough to require hospitalization in 10% to 20% of cases, depending on age. Highest hospitalization rates are among very young and those who get it in late teens early twenties, when complications are most common and most severe.

    You can look it up. Maybe those few doctors the media finds who say measles is not big deal are talking through their hats, and haven’t learned themselves up on the epidemiology and economics of the disease?

    High attack rates and case fatality rates during a measles outbreak in groups with religious exemption to vaccination.
    D Rodgers et al. Pediatric Infectious diseases 1993

    The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review
    R Perry et al. Journal of Infectious Disease 2004

  287. 287
    gelfling545 says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: That’s great for your family. Mine wasn’t so lucky in the pre-vaccination days. My brother was born seriously underweight at term and deaf with major heart defects & cognitive disabilities due to my mother’s little bout with rubella. My nephew is blind in one eye due to damage from the severity of his measles infection and his newborn sister had to be quarantined. Ever had pertussis? I and my brothers did and it remains one of the most frightening memories in my life. We all survived, fortunately and, at that time, surprisingly. I, at age 65, am dependent on “herd immunity” as I have had chicken pox 3 times (all Doctor diagnosed) the latest being when I was 57. (Yes, chicken pox, not shingles – strange but true) Apparently I never developed immunity. Others have suffered as well including this. That some people, even many people, had no serious effects does not much help newborns, people on chemo or people with otherwise compromised immune systems. No big deal for some can be a pretty life changing deal for another.

  288. 288
    Violet says:

    @Cervantes: That made me laugh.

  289. 289
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: The best way I’ve heard it expressed is that safety regulations are always written in blood.

    Thanks, it might have been me, because I use that phrase all the time.

    I was about sixth grade when I stumbled into an old section of the library; the struggles, decades long, to get basic regs put into law. They are still the scariest things I’d ever read.

    Women going blind from unsafe eyelash dye. 100 children dead from cough syrup. Food treated with formaldehyde to cover up spoiled ingredients. Shirley Temple’s co-star in The Blue Bird dying from her own birthday cake candles when her highly flammable nightclothes caught on fire.

    It’s why my response to libertarians is rather — unrestrained.

  290. 290

    one of the commenters on the NY Times piece quoted this gem:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” – Isaac Asimov

  291. 291
    Gravenstone says:

    @tsquared2001:

    It was a family legend how Mom incurred a heart murmur from her bout with scarlet fever at age 5.

    My mother also acquired a heart murmur from a youthful bout of scarlet fever. She required a mitral valve replacement in her 40’s. My girlfriend’s daughter had a bout of scarlet fever last summer. She still hasn’t fully shaken off the cardiac inflammation. That sucks more than you can imagine.

  292. 292

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    But the US gov tried their best to eliminate measles 3 times over the past 4 decades, and failed each time. You know why? Because it is a very common disease outside of the US, and people traveling bring it back. No vaccination is 100% effective, so until measles is under control more worldwide, it’s pretty much a losing battle and we’ll probably always have ~300 cases per year here.

    Yes, we need to work- and have been working- on eradicating communicable diseases in other countries, but that’s no excuse to slack off at home. The existence of reservoirs of the disease in other countries is a strong argument in favor of continuing to vaccinate for it here, since there will always be a source of index patients. Allowing the vaccination rate in the US to slip will guarantee that those outbreaks will be bigger and more dangerous because there will be a larger vulnerable population.

  293. 293
    2liberal says:

    pic of 4-yr old child with measles

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles

  294. 294
    Arclite says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    ALS is 100% fatal. With 5,600 people in this country alone diagnosed each year, all will be dead within 5 years (some in as little as 2 years). So, yes, I think we should focus on that more than measles! Curing that would have a much higher rate of return for the expense in time invested, money, and emotion.

    1. It’s not either-or. It’s possible to focus on both.
    2. ALS strikes late in life, whereas measles strikes the young
    3. ALS is not infectious. Measles is among the most infectious.
    4. Pre-vaccine, measles cases were hundreds of thousands annually, with tens of thousands of deaths, and a legacy of thousands of people that went on to develop deafness, brain damage, and pneumonia.

    Small pox killed half a billion people in the 20th century. Now it’s eradicated due to a massive concerted world-wide vaccine effort. The only stores are in the US and Russian CDC. We should be exterminating these diseases completely, and we’re moving in the opposite direction. It’s very frustrating.

  295. 295
    Elizabelle says:

    The NYTimes: A Discredited Vaccine Study’s Continuing Impact on Public Health

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. It means, “After this, therefore because of this.” In plainer language: Event B follows Event A, so B must be the direct result of A. It is a classic fallacy in logic.

    … Some parents feel certain that vaccines can lead to autism, if only because there have been instances when a child got a shot and then became autistic. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Making that connection between the two events, most health experts say, is as fallacious in the world of medicine as it is in the field of logic.

    …. What motivates vaccine-averse parents? One factor may be the very success of the vaccines. Several generations of Americans lack their parents’ and grandparents’ visceral fear of polio, for example. For those people, “you might as well be protecting against aliens — these are things they’ve never seen,” said Seth Mnookin, who teaches science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the author of “The Panic Virus,” a 2011 book on vaccinations and their opponents.

    Over 700 comments, and they’re interesting.

  296. 296
    Cervantes says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    Yes, that was from his piece on America’s centuries-long “cult of ignorance,” in which we stupidly make bubbly fun of “elitists” and “intellectuals” and “pointy-headed professors” and “pedants.”

  297. 297
    jl says:

    I saw a news clip from Fox News. on immunization with three doctors. it sounded to me like the Fox News Blonde was told to put in a Big Gummint is Bad pitch, and worried to the docs about ‘the government’ telling people what to do and was that concerning?

    Luckily none of the docs were having it. Two of them said that yeah, of course it was better to not have government coercion for infectious disease control, but if infectious disease gets out of hand, there will be coercive government policies to control infectious disease and that is the way it has been for well over a hundred years. The docs mentioned typhoid, TB, yellow fever. And they said that is the way it should be.

    I don’t think the Fox Blonde’s heart was really in the Fox News slam on nasty big gummit, since she spent the last half of the interview furiously back-peddling and ended saying her kids were vaccinated. Hope Ailes doesn’t fire her.

    Average kid today has < 1% chance of dying overall before age 6, an unimmunized kid caught in a local epidemic has a 90% the kid will getting measles, and 1% to 2% chance of dying, so you are effectively doubling to tripling the risk of the kids death before age 6. And that is not a big deal? Really. Plus putting the kid at risk for lifelong disability,

    There are thousands and thousands of doctors in this country. If our failed corporate media need, for 'balance' to find some opinionated and ignorant doctors, they can certainly find a few.

  298. 298
    Liquid says:

    “it makes me want to research experimental tectonic weaponry so that I can rend huge swaths of the planet’s crust asunder and drown millions in flaming magma-based melty death.” I thought I was the only one!

  299. 299
    Felixmoronia says:

    @dedc79:

    Google Helen Chenowith.

  300. 300
  301. 301
    Arclite says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    But the US gov tried their best to eliminate measles 3 times over the past 4 decades, and failed each time. You know why? Because it is a very common disease outside of the US, and people traveling bring it back. No vaccination is 100% effective, so until measles is under control more worldwide, it’s pretty much a losing battle and we’ll probably always have ~300 cases per year here.

    Fine. Focus all the energy you want on it. The results will be generally the same in the end. Tilt at those windmills!

    We’ve proven it’s possible twice to eradicate diseases from the face of the earth, largely through vaccination programs: Smallpox and rinderpest. Many more stand on the brink of eradication (although some like tetanus can never be eradicated because humans aren’t the primary host). Eradication is the goal. These diseases have brought untold suffering and death on the human race for millennia. Let’s eradicate them forever, where possible. Then our resources can truly be free to focus on other things.

  302. 302
    JCT says:

    @Spinwheel: Part of the problem is that those of us from the tri-state area also remember Christie’s support in the past for the “vaccines cause autism” brigade. He’s a serious enabler of their cause.

  303. 303
    Larv says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    No, more like “Focus your energies where they will do the most good!”

    And that would be…? The point, which others have made, is that the work here has already been done. There is a good, effective measles vaccine. The problem is that because measles is extraordinarily infectious, you need very high rates of vaccinations to prevent outbreaks. The best use of our energies is to pressure those who opt out for woo-ish reasons not to do so. Right now those people pay little price – they free ride on the herd immunity provided by others who do vaccinate. A campaign to confront and shame those people, to force them to affirmatively justify their refusal, and to require vaccinations in schools and other public places stands an excellent chance of succeeding. As you said, so long as a reservoir exists in other countries we’ll never entirely eliminate measles, but we can certainly reduce the number and severity of outbreaks. These are all things that the general, non-scientist public can do. What better use of our energies do you see?

  304. 304
    jl says:

    @Larv: I guess some people cannot see the benefit of having 100 instead of 3 or 4 million cases, if an infected person comes to the US and transmits the disease.

  305. 305
    opiejeanne says:

    @Elizabelle: They mentioned that on the news yesterday, a few hours before the game started. Hopefully there weren’t too many kids at the game, not at what those seats cost, and I would guess that most anti-vaxxers were vaccinated as children, so while it could be spread I think (hope) the risk is low.

  306. 306
    opiejeanne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That thing about drinking bleach, some of them are already doing that. There was a recent case where a survivalist family had their youngest 6 or 7 kids removed from their house because the father thought drinking bleach was a cure for illness.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ement-mms/

  307. 307
    EthylEster says:

    @Ohio Mom wrote:

    no one could have known in advance what would happen

    well, there is a mechanism for claiming damage. it has been acknowledged for decades that a very small proportion of the population has a serious negative reaction to vaccination: the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

    this was the basis of the Autism legal brouhaha several years ago. they wanted the MMR “problem” to be recognized as a real adverse event so that claims could be made on that basis. there is already a list of adverse reactions that are documented and compensation is available for these…paid for by a small “tax” on each vaccine given. but the scientific establishment said “show us the proof” and the response was crickets.

  308. 308
    Callisto says:

    Speaking of tetanus:

    Years ago when i was doing my rotation in an ICU a woman brought her kid in with a pretty nasty case of tetanus. Something you don’t see too often in kids because of vaccination. First thing the ER asked her when they figured it could be tetanus was, “when was his last DTaP?” She kind of hemmed and hawed for a minute, and when hurried up she admitted that she didn’t vaccinate her kids because she didn’t trust pharmaceutical companies.

    Later on I walked out to her holding the medicine we were going to give her kid. I said “okay, these here are the antibodies so your child doesn’t die and this stuff is for the cramps. I assume you don’t want him to have these, since they’re all produced by pharmaceutical companies.”

    I shouldn’t have done that since she apparently complained to the chief, but I think I got the point across. If that didn’t the bill did.

  309. 309
    Liquid says:

    I remember having chicken pox as a kid and asking the doctor what he was going to do with that huge needle.

    My father had an uncle die from Polio and my mother mentioned that she had measles five times; They were both born in the ’46-’48 stretch.

  310. 310
    Cervantes says:

    @Larv:

    What better use of our energies do you see?

    The writer did say this earlier:

    Tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year, and millions get it. Let’s invest energy there.

  311. 311
    Violet says:

    @opiejeanne: I’d be more concerned about the “Super Bowl Experience” type activities. There will be plenty of kids activities in that stuff. So kids would be milling around the main Super Bowl activity area, even if they don’t make it into the game itself.

    The Super Bowl hoopla goes on for two weeks before the game but the week before is full of activities for everyone. People actually plan their vacations to go to the city where the Super Bowl is for the week before the game and then go to the game. Seems crazy to me.

  312. 312
    Dave C says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    That is absolutely idiotic. The fact that measles is common elsewhere is precisely the reason why everyone here in the US who can be vaccinated against it should be vaccinated against.

  313. 313
    Lee says:

    @Liquid:

    …my mother mentioned that she had measles five times….

    How did that happen? I know it is probable, but holy shit that has to be the absolute worst 5 rolls of a D20 in history.

  314. 314
    Rekster says:

    @VOR: Yep, I saw this episode and was highly pissed that Wilmore brought that anti vaxx crazy woman on the show! To let her spout her BIG PHARMA horseshit without any push back was beyond ridiculous.

    I only wish he had Dr. Paul Offit on that episode, she would have dissolved in to a puddle of water. He is the most hated man in the world of the anti vaxxers! Just read what they say about him on some of their crazy sites.

    Offit deserves a Medal for all of the work he has done to help wipe out diseases that kill infants and children but he is the Anti christ to the vaccine averse lunatics.

  315. 315
    Woodrowfan says:

    lefties who oppose vaccines have good company, Phillis Shafly’s Eagle Forum! Nice choice of allies guys!

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/.....cine-group

  316. 316
    jl says:

    @VOR:

    ” One of his panelists claimed the Pharma industry makes $40B off vaccines and hence is pushing them for the profit motive. Seemed pretty far fetched to me. ”

    It is far fetched, at least in the sense that it is not true. Producing vaccines is not a high profit line for big pharma, there are worries about liability if a problem, since millions will get a faulty vaccine, and economic theory and evidence is that profit motive inadequate incentive to produce efficient level of vaccine. Better for profits to produce enough vaccine to keep disease rumbling along at an inefficiently high level, since can sell drugs for treatment as well as vaccine. Profit motive actually works in opposite direction from what the anti-vaxxer said.

    There is actually a nightmare case where profit motive can lead companies to provide maximally inefficient level of infectious disease control. But we are probably not near that, since, as I said, vaccines are not a high profit line and there are liability worries.

  317. 317
    GregB says:

    @WereBear:

    I believe she drove off a cliff.

    Not too bright, that one.

  318. 318
    WereBear says:

    @jl: I’m not a fan of Pharma as currently incarnated as far more MBA than MD. They have been known to put profits ahead of safety, and have been undercutting the FDA for years. I believe we are in a tricky area now, where the pendulum has swung much too far their way.

    But as usual, some people pick up on a legitimate concern… and respond in the stupidest possible manner. Blaming the wrong people for doing something they didn’t do in the first place is very much a Wingnut Thing.

  319. 319
    Callisto says:

    @WereBear:

    All you need to know about Chenowith is this bit from Wikipedia:

    She was a critic of President Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal and was one of the first to call for his resignation over the affair, although she admitted that she had carried on a six-year illicit romance with married rancher Vernon Ravenscroft, when she worked for his natural-resources consulting firm during the 1980s. Chenoweth claimed that her case was different from the Clinton/Lewinsky case since she was a private citizen at the time, and claimed her case was different because “I’ve asked for God’s forgiveness, and I’ve received it.”

    That’s about it.

  320. 320
    Ohio Mom says:

    @EthylEster: Your memory is better than mine for the details about the vaccine compensation program. I can’t tell from Doug r’s comment exactly what happened to his daughter, if they were eligible for damages, if they pursued damages… And it looks like he only stopped by for a little while, just made that one comment and disappeared.

    I tell the following story as a mom who has a kid with autism who has always gotten all his vaccines, even the annual flu shot every year. When my kid was about 10 months old, we moved to a new state and I joined a new mom’s group to make friends. Since my kid was almost a year old, he was the oldest one there.

    About that time a new rotovirus vaccine was being offered for newborns. The mom with the youngest baby in the group was quite adamant that she saw no reason to get her kid that shot since he was exclusively breastfed, which I seem to remember actually does confer some protection against the rotovirus. I thought she was a little reckless but really didn’t think too much about it. Then there was some problem with the first batches of the vaccine and some babies were affected, and the vaccine was recalled temporarily. That put the other mother’s refusal in a new light for me.

    Unfortunately, those of us who believe in vaccines don’t generally feel it politic to admit that there are occasional gray areas. Doug r’s experience seems plausible to me, I think he deserves our thanks and our sympathy, that’s all. I hope things work out for his daughter.

    All that said, as soon as I turn sixty next month, I’m off for my shingles vaccine, and my kid just got his third out of three HPV shots. It’s possible to see things from more than one angle at a time.

  321. 321

    […] always nice to see Chris Christie step on his dick, but perhaps Chris and the rest of the 27 percenters who are going to retroactively anti-vaccinate […]

  322. 322
    opiejeanne says:

    @VOR: Scarlet fever and rheumatic fever are from strep, and as far as I know, there is no vaccine for strep.

    Middle Kid had scarlet fever at age 2, and it was scary to see her skin peel off like that. We didn’t know she was sick until the rash appeared because she never showed any symptoms, and didn’t complain of a sore throat. This was in 1981, the doctors were not terribly concerned and gave us amoxicillin (I think). What everyone missed for 24 hours was that she also had a staph infection and that interferes with that particular drug’s effectiveness, and we thought we were going to lose her. They changed the meds and she recovered and is fine, but people were afraid of us for a while because they remembered the Pest Hospitals and quarantines in earlier times.

  323. 323
    fuckwit says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s really it: privilege. Their kids matter, and nobody else does. That’s an attitude that only the very privileged can sustain so blithely and obliviously, because they are used to their privilege isolating them from the consequences of their actions as a general rule.

  324. 324
    Larv says:

    @Cervantes:

    Sure, but she doesn’t specify what she means by investing energy in reducing influenza. That needs to be elaborated for it to be meaningful.

  325. 325
    WereBear says:

    @fuckwit: Exactly. Though they don’t get it; the measles virus doesn’t care who their parents are, and money means nothing to encephalitis.

  326. 326
    Cervantes says:

    @Callisto:

    Yes, not only was Chenoweth promiscuous, she was a complete fool.

    All you need to know about [her] is this bit from Wikipedia

    More succinct was the Republican operative in Idaho who said:

    Helen is living proof that you can fuck your brains out.

  327. 327
    Cervantes says:

    @Larv:

    I agree.

    Perhaps an elaboration is forthcoming.

  328. 328
    Woodrowfan says:

    no surprise, Spinwheel is not being entirely honest about Obama’s 2008 comment..

    http://littlegreenfootballs.co.....ion_Stance

  329. 329
    Doug r says:

    @Ohio Mom: she’s 20 now and graduated high schoola few years back but she’s on the autistic spectrum andwe’re going to have to be with her her entire life.

  330. 330
    opiejeanne says:

    @WereBear: I can remember my dad telling me about toothpaste that couldn’t safely be swallowed, I think back in the 30s. It had something pretty toxic in it.

    Toothpaste.

  331. 331
    opiejeanne says:

    @Elizabelle: Nearly 20 years ago, I talked to a distant cousin in his late 80s who told me about large areas in the Ozarks in the 1930s where there were no children younger than 16 years old and not so many of those, because of a polio outbreak.

    Towns with no children, none had survived.

    Another Ozark story, because they were so isolated then. My mother had a cousin who died of smallpox in the early 1920s. She had a high fever and ran out into the snow when no one was home; they found her in a snowbank not far from her cabin. The cousin was about 24 when she died. There was a country doctor in the area, but she hadn’t been inoculated. The hell of this is that we in this country have known how to inoculate for smallpox with live cowpox virus for a very long time. Martha Washington took her children into Philadelphia to have them inoculated, while preachers railed against the practice, saying that it interfered with God’s plan.

    I use “inoculate” instead of “vaccinate” because my understanding is that there is a difference between using a live, similar virus and a dead version of the exact virus, but I am possibly wrong about that.

  332. 332
    Cervantes says:

    @opiejeanne:

    That’s true today. Ingesting fluoride in excess is not a great idea.

  333. 333
    opiejeanne says:

    @Violet: Yes, I realized that after I noted that AZ has a pretty good outbreak going on right now, something I wasn’t aware of because that bit wasn’t mentioned on the speculative news report. You’d think that would be the first thing mentioned, wouldn’t you?

    We are waiting for the outbreaks of nasties here in Washington again, as it seems to go through a cycle each year. So far we have 3 cases of whooping cough, and I know there is at least one case of measles because one of the people from the Disneyland outbreak traveled through SeaTac and lives somewhere in the area.

  334. 334
    opiejeanne says:

    @Lee: Some people do not develop immunity after they’ve had it.

  335. 335
    opiejeanne says:

    @Callisto: No, you also need to know that she died in a car accident because she was not wearing her seatbelt.

  336. 336
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cervantes: This was something far, far worse, and I don’t know that fluoride in the current quantities is particularly dangerous. I can’t remember what he told me the toxin was, but the memory of people dying from accidentally swallowing their toothpaste was still fresh with him in the 1950s.

    I remember him mentioning radium being added to one brand, prior to 1920.

  337. 337
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Jasmine Bleach: Um, lots of these old “childhood diseases” are deadly to fetuses. PubMed:

    J Infect. 2003 Jul;47(1):40-4.
    Measles infection in pregnancy.
    Chiba ME1, Saito M, Suzuki N, Honda Y, Yaegashi N.
    Author information

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES:
    Measles during pregnancy has deleterious effects on both the perinatal outcome and the mother. However, in-depth knowledge about gestational measles is lacking. The objectives of this study were to describe the clinical course of eight cases of gestational measles and to study the effect of measles and pregnancy on each other.

    METHODS:
    From late 2000 to early 2001, we experienced a measles outbreak with eight infected pregnant women. The clinical course of each case is described in detail.

    RESULT:
    Three of the four cases before 24 weeks of gestation ended in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth. The clinical course of the three abortions and stillbirth were singular because of the sudden onset of the abortion and the spontaneous pregnancy termination. In contrast, the four pregnancies after 25 weeks of gestation ended in live-term delivery and two out of the four neonates were diagnosed with congenital measles. There was no maternal death, instead two pneumonia cases and one hemorrhagic shock case.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    Gestational measles may potentially damage the fetus and is one of the serious complications that can occur during pregnancy.

    These diseases are a very big deal. Don’t pooh-pooh the concern.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  338. 338
    Cervantes says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Yes, all sorts of things were in toothpaste before people knew how dangerous they were.

    Yes, even today fluoride in toothpaste and in other medications or supplements can pose a risk if too much is consumed. “Too much” is defined as a function of body weight and other personal data. This is (mostly) a separate issue from fear of water fluoridation.

  339. 339
    chopper says:

    @opiejeanne:

    she died as she lived – hating gubbermint regulations.

    fuck you, seatbelts! i don’t need you to (crash) oh shit seatbelts saaaaave meeeeeeeee

  340. 340
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Doug r: Well, we’re in the same club, though I remain cautiously optimistic that there will still be some programs for my kid in his adulthood, and he’ll be set up to live at least semi-independently before my husband and I leave this life — my kid’s in high school now, and Ohio has had pretty good services, at least up to now.

    Does seem to depend a lot on where you live. I know that in Massachusetts, an adult on the spectrum who doesn’t also have ID (intellectual disability, the condition formerly known as MR), can’t qualify for services. That squashed any hopes of me moving to, and spending my dotage in Boston.

    A number of the regulars here have children/adult children with disabilities. We are legion, I suppose.

  341. 341
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Jasmine Bleach:

    No vaccination is 100% effective, so until measles is under control more worldwide, it’s pretty much a losing battle

    The US is a big fucking country. Yes, there’ll be issues with travel, but that still leaves very large areas where herd immunity would work if it weren’t for selfish fucking snowflake parents. And that protects kids with compromised immune systems.

    “It’s not 100% effective, so whatevs” is spoilt-bastardry, shitting on decades of saving lives. Go and gargle on smallpox.

  342. 342
    Cervantes says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    By some definitions, one in seven.

  343. 343
    MCA1 says:

    Adding a couple thoughts probably addressed previously in an otherwise almost dead thread:

    – as a lawyer, I think litigation might be a decent tool to help put a stop to this. It’s morbid to think, but one successful suit for damages by the parents of a too young to be vaccinated kid who has serious effects from exposure to measles through an unvaccinated babysitter might be all it takes.

    – also, shame is a tool that needs more usage. I’d be all for schools sending letters to every parent in the district identifying any incoming students without vaccination records. Let’s see how long it lasts when they’re shunned from school social life most places. Kids would be going to the doctor on their own behind their parents’ backs, which would be great.

    On the same note, to the person way upthread wondering what to do about the fellow gym patron with the admittedly unvaccinated kids: shame her, in some way. Talking to mgm’t might be a way to start, but I would do something like make a public display in front of witnesses next time you see those kids. “So, anyway, my flight was delayed by two hours and, [loudly] oh, hey, Jim, don’t use that water fountain. I heard that woman [pointing] admit to someone she’s an anti-vaccination nut and that’s her son who just drank from it. Hey, can I get someone from the towel desk to disinfect this thing? I don’t think we need any diptheria in this place.” I’m passive aggressive, or whatever it is, that way. I find it easier to make an example of someone than lecture them.

  344. 344
    opiejeanne says:

    @Cervantes: I’m glad you qualified that at the end, because we have the fluoridation phobia alive and well in this neighborhood, complete in all its John Birch glory. (I think that’s right, weren’t the Birchers part of that hysteria? Well, they sound like Birchers, anyway).

    I try not to swallow.

  345. 345
    Cervantes says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Technically, it was not a qualification. Everything before it was written such that a qualification would be unnecessary.

    I added it, anyway, to forestall careless readers who seemingly enjoy jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

    And yes, the Birchers are guilty as charged.

  346. 346

    @opiejeanne:

    I use “inoculate” instead of “vaccinate” because my understanding is that there is a difference between using a live, similar virus and a dead version of the exact virus, but I am possibly wrong about that.

    If I remember correctly, “vaccinate” was originally used for using a live, related virus. This is because the Latin name for cowpox is vaccinia. Inoculation would refer to giving somebody a weakened version of the exact virus; I don’t know if killed viruses count. Most people don’t care enough to be precise. If you want to be safe, you can always say “immunize”, which is the blanket term for all these practices.

  347. 347
    Callisto says:

    @Roger Moore:

    “Inoculate” came from a pre-vaccination system that involved taking material (generally a dried-up pock) from someone getting over a case of smallpox (usually the minor variant which has a far better CFR) and inserting it under a person’s skin.

    The aim was, in a generally low-tech way, to mimic what we would today call an attenuated virus vaccine. Variola Minor infection would confer immunity to the bad form of smallpox, Variola Major. It had a CFR of a percent or so which sounds bad, but back then full-on smallpox killed a third of people who caught it so it was considered worth the risk.

    It worked quite well for the time. Jenner’s vaccine was better of course. But it was a very clever way to deal with the disease and it was remarkably effective.

  348. 348
    seaboogie says:

    Not sure if this has been posted yet, but Penn & Teller did a great spot on this (and I’m pretty sure Penn Jillette is a libertarian):https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1CHWA_enUS602US602&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=penn%20and%20teller%20vacc

  349. 349

    […] Communism comes next, of course. This is the third Red Scare, and that calls for a rant about this nonsense, like this one from Zandar at Balloon Juice: […]

  350. 350
    Gavin says:

    Dear NYT: Rand Paul is not a doctor.

    RAND PAUL DOES NOT HAVE CREDENTIALS. In 2015, Rand Paul is as much of a doctor as I am a pirate astronaut.

    He created his own certification agency, certified himself.. and promptly dissolved the only agency through which he certified himself.

    If/when Rand Paul resumes his career as an opthamologist, he will need to re-acquire actual certification. He does not have any privileges — the only hospital that used to keep him on staff in KY has REMOVED him from the list of their doctors.

  351. 351
    Chet says:

    It’s a pity how those poor, persecuted anti-vaxxers are being scapegoated when everyone knows the real disease-spreaders are brown foreigners.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/20.....-outbreaks

  352. 352
    Cervantes says:

    @Gavin:

    What, I wonder, is the Libertarian position on pirate astronauts? Generally supportive, I suppose.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Communism comes next, of course. This is the third Red Scare, and that calls for a rant about this nonsense, like this one from Zandar at Balloon Juice: […]

  2. […] always nice to see Chris Christie step on his dick, but perhaps Chris and the rest of the 27 percenters who are going to retroactively anti-vaccinate […]

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