Time to Stop Making Nice

It’s 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 their kids might want to consult the laws of his state, which require vaccination except for medical and religious exemption.

That religious exemption, by the way, is just something that has happened over the years to make nice to some religious nuts. It came about because state legislators decided that the unvaccinated offspring of a few crazy god botherers wouldn’t disrupt herd immunity, so why argue with them? It’s the same logic behind telling your kids to ignore the bullshit that comes out of Crazy Aunt Mabel’s mouth at Christmas dinner — she’s just not worth the trouble.

The last time anti-vaxxers tried to challenge the law in New York, which has a law similar to Jersey’s, they were rejected. The Federal court in New York not only slapped them down, but pointed out that the state isn’t even required to have a religious exemption and could have simply required vaccination for every student who doesn’t have a medical exemption. I’m including a couple of paragraphs from the ruling after the break, because we’re not talking about a subtle point or something that lacks precedent. The precedent was set over a hundred years ago and reinforced every time some yahoo decided to challenge it.

In short, it’s time to stop being nice to the anti-vaxxers and the morons who are trying to make a quick political buck from them. It should not be a casual thing to decide not to vaccinate your kids, and the states should make it a lot tougher than it’s been. If Christie thinks there’s something wrong with it, he should explain just why he hasn’t tried to change the laws in his own state.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].” U.S. Const. amend. I. This prohibition has been construed to apply to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment by way of the doctrine of incorporation. See Cantwell v. Conn., 310 U.S. 296, 303 (1940). All Defendants have moved to dismiss the First Amendment claims. See Dkts. 32, 33.

Plaintiffs argue that the vaccination program at issue denies their children the constitutional right to free exercise of religion, but not only has the Supreme Court strongly suggested that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations, Jacobson v. Commonw. of Mass., 197 U.S. 11, 35-39 (1905), courts in this Eastern District have resolutely found there is no such constitutional exemption. In Caviezel v. Great Neck Public Schools, under nearly identical facts and citing Jacobson, the court held that “the free exercise clause of the First Amendment does not provide a right for religious objectors to be exempt from New York’s compulsory inoculation law.” 739 F. Supp. 2d 273, 285 (E.D.N.Y. 2010) (Spatt, J.) ajf’d, 500 F. App’x 16 (2d Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 1997 (U.S. 2013). Similarly, in Sherr v.Northport-East Northport Union Free School District, the court explicitly held that no constitutional right to religious exemptions exists and found that the statutory exemption New York provides “goes beyond what the Supreme Court has declared the First Amendment to require.” 672 F. Supp. 81, 88 (E.D.N.Y. 1987) (Wexler, J). Although Plaintiffs opine that Jacobson is bad law and ask this Court to overturn the Supreme Court decision, “this the Court cannot do.” Caviezel, 739 F. Supp. 2d at 285. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim is dismissed.

As to the Plaintiffs’ substantive due process causes of action, the Second Circuit has found that Jacobson flatly defeats any such claims. Caviezel v. Great Neck Pub. Sch., 500 F.App’x 16, 19 (2d Cir. 2012) cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 1997 (U.S. 2013). Indeed, the Second Circuit cited McCartney v. Austin for the proposition that New York’s vaccine program is well within the State’s police power and thus its constitutionality is too well established to require discussion. Id. at 19 (citing 31A.D.2d370, 371 (3d Dep’t 1969)). In light of the Second Circuit’s holding, Plaintiffs’ challenge to New York’s vaccination practice on substantive due process grounds fails and is dismissed.

Plaintiffs also claim that Defendants are violating their rights accruing under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. However, Plaintiffs have not asserted any facts tending to show that Defendants favored any religion over another, or that Plaintiffs are part of any protected class. In short, Plaintiffs fail to allege the facts necessary to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under the Equal Protection Clause, and thus their claims alleged thereunderare dismissed. See Caviezel, 739 F. Supp. 2d at 282 (dismissing equal protection claims).

— Phillips v. City of New York, No. 1:2012cv00098 – Document 39 (E.D.N.Y. 2014)


163 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for this. Glad to see Krispy Kreme do the backwalk

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Last week was an interesting one locally, what with measles and ebola making appearances. As it turned out the two possible ebola cases tested negative (Fox mobile units barely had time to set up in front of the hospitals) but the fact remains that of the two, measles is the one that frightened me. They released statewide (California) numbers for unvaccinated kids entering school in fall 2015 and some schools are at 50%. Yay.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:




    David Corn ✔ @DavidCornDC
    How In the World Did This Man Raise $12 Million to Draft Ben Carson? http://www.motherjones.com/pol.....n-robinson
    2:27 PM – 2 Feb 2015

  4. 4
    Observed says:

    You should consider including this in your story – or adding another.

  5. 5
    TR says:

    The anti-vaxxers piss me off to no end.

  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    There’s an easy fix (in theory, in practice might be impossible since IANAD); if your kid is identified as patient zero in a crowded location such as Disneyland and measles (or similar) has an outbreak, you cover every fucking cent of the medical costs incurred from the spread of the disease. The transients that started a fire in LA are liable for more costs than they will ever earn in several lifetimes; same thing should apply to the assholes that start an infectious disease outbreak.

    If you don’t want to vaccinate your kid and you live on a hilltop away from society, I don’t give a shit; if you want to go to places like Disneyland, your ass is on the line for the irresponsible conduct.

  7. 7
    The Dangerman says:

    There’s an easy fix (in theory, in practice might be impossible since IANAD); if your kid is identified as patient zero in a crowded location such as Disneyland and measles (or similar) has an outbreak, you cover every fucking cent of the medical costs incurred from the spread of the disease. The transients that started a fire in LA are liable for more costs than they will ever earn in several lifetimes; same thing should apply to the assholes that start an infectious disease outbreak.

    If you don’t want to vaccinate your kid and you live on a hilltop away from society, I don’t give a shit; if you want to go to places like Disneyland, your ass is on the line for the irresponsible conduct.

    ETA: And if someone dies? Prison time.

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    Shit! How did the duplicate happen?

  9. 9
    Emerald says:

    Ridicule them. Point fingers at them and laugh. Humiliate and shame them. That’s the only thing that stands a chance of stopping them. Their privileged little selves and superior little überimmune children mostly are immune to facts.

    If they won’t change, let them go live in their own gluten-free, anti-GMO, organically whole communes and use leeches and bloodletting for their medical care.

  10. 10
    Booger says:

    @The Dangerman: Yeah, this is true except Patient(s) Zero at Disneyland may have been asymptomatic adults who had just come back from overseas and were simply clueless, not malign antivaxxers.

  11. 11
    Yatsuno says:

    How quickly we forget…

    Polio, before it was eradicated in the US, was a devastating disease that had no treatment. It was easily spread, there were no natural defences against it, and it affected rich and poor alike. Until the Salk vaccine, children were terrified they could end up extremely crippled or dead before the age of 10 & nothing could be done about it. And polio is still out there. That is why it is still part of the immunity series. Polio still exists in other countries in the world, including some that have sent immigrant populations to the US. This is the world the anti-vaxxers want to send us back to. All because they can’t stand to “poison” their special snowflake or because THAT ONE wants it.

    I say fuck it. Let’s have another devastating plague like the flu in 1918. We’re about to overrun this damn rock anyway, it’s time for nature to take some balance back.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    Next Super Bowl, I’d like to see Obama do a PSA on the benefits of not htting yourself in the head with a hammer, just to see how big a spike there would be in emergency room visits for head trauma.

  13. 13
    Tree With Water says:

    The day viruses abide by any such exemptions is the day I’ll join the ranks of the anti-vaxxers, but not till then.

  14. 14
    boatboy_srq says:

    @TR: D’you suppose we could persuade them to all move to the same part of the country? In a generation or so they wouldn’t be a problem, and the rest would have a graphic illustration why basic medical preventative measures are worthwhile.

    ETA: I see Yatsuno has a similar idea.

  15. 15
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Cacti: Can we have said head trauma exempted from insurance coverage? They’re far more likely to feel bankruptcy than headache.

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:


    ….not htting yourself in the head with a hammer, just to see how big a spike there would be in emergency room visits….

    Nah, too much cost to society; instead, argue against playing Russian Roullete, which should take out 16% or so of the Gun Loving population…

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @Booger: Proof of vaccination could be used as evidence of good intent. Not a sufficient in itself get out of consequences card (to guard against deliberately ignoring symptoms), but part of the overall case. If the system can in theory juggle accident, negligent and other manslaughter charges and the degrees of murder (with and without licenced firearms), something could be developed. See also HIV.

    Eta. It’s also not just “patient zero” but all the way down the chain of transmission. If you or yours are a voluntary Thyphoid Mary, face the consequences of your decision.

  18. 18
    catclub says:


    Let’s have another devastating plague like the flu in 1918

    I think the death rate from that flu was under 5%. Still high for flu, but bubonic plague and Ebola are in a different class. Now, Methicillin Resistant Bubonic Plague would pack a punch.

  19. 19
    jl says:


    ” They released statewide (California) numbers for unvaccinated kids entering school in fall 2015 and some schools are at 50%. Yay. ”

    IIRC, California has one of the looser exemption laws. Parents just need to sign a statement of ‘personal belief’. And left and right wing conspiracy enthusiasts are using it in about equal numbers, in addition to some people who are probably free riders and suddenly discovering their parental personal beliefs, because, hey, why not, nothing is going to happen.

    As I said in previous thread, Fox News has decided to exploit the problem for incoherent and nonsensical button pushing. I saw a clip where I think a Fox News Blonde was told to worry about big gummint interference with people’s lives. I think she was told to do it since she backpeddled and repeatedly said her own kids were vaccinated as soon as she got pushback from the three docs on the show.

    One of the docs helpfully pointed out the coercive infectious disease control measures in the US go back as long as there have been serious infectious disease outbreaks and as long as there has been a US government.

    So, maybe we should go back to the rugged individualistic days of the 19th century where you could be fined for spitting on the sidewalk (TB) or subject to very strict involuntary quarantine (anyone remember Typhoid Mary) if you did not follow docs orders.

    Also, funny how draconian measures like enforced Ebloa quarantines for highly trained health professionals were obviously needed (no they were not) and now they are not needed at all for a more serious threat (at least in the US).

    Anyone remembers Christie’s idiotic and draconian Ebola quarantine policy? He had to backpeddle on that too. Funny how his viewpoint changed. Wonder why? One could speculate that he is a cynical thuggish political operator, who is also incompetent, but that would be uncivil.

  20. 20


    I say fuck it. Let’s have another devastating plague like the flu in 1918. We’re about to overrun this damn rock anyway, it’s time for nature to take some balance back.

    Someone isn’t taking the Superbowl outcome well…


    D’you suppose we could persuade them to all move to the same part of the country?

    They already do. Problem is that they then go to Disneyland on vacation.

  21. 21
    cokane says:

    the vaccine thing does really bring up a tough nut i think. on the one hand im 100 percent pro vaccine. but what else should the state do if you choose not to vaccinate? pay a yearly tax fine? jail? kid banned from public schools? (but then what?) also seems like you just end up punishing a child for the sins of the parents

    it’s kind of like global warming debate really, only solution is just to convince as many as possible to vaccinate.

  22. 22
    Howard Beale IV says:

    A white dot on the forehead that says you haven’t been vaccinated should be sufficient.

  23. 23
    boatboy_srq says:


    So, maybe we should go back to the rugged individualistic days of the 19th century where you could be fined for spitting on the sidewalk (TB)

    Something new, every day. Never learned that until now – but it makes frightening sense.

    @🚸 Martin: Drat that mouse. Next they’ll coopt The Force – oh, wait…

  24. 24
    Jade says:

    I would like to see the pharma companies or CDC test the vaccines in the way they are given. If 5 shots are given the dame day test them as a unit. As a kid I received one shot every six months. My children received 1 or 2 vaccines per visit, now the Academy of Peds recommended list has 6-8 immunizations in a single visit.

    How do you ever know what they are having a bad reaction to. I would not be an anti-vaccine person but I might make more trips to the office to spread them out.

  25. 25
    boatboy_srq says:

    @cokane: Protective Services for the kids, because the parents are risking their (and their classmates’) health with their stupidity convictions. Unworkable for any number of reasons, but awfully tempting.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Here’s a cardiologist who refuses to vaccinate his “pure” kids and doesn’t give one single fuck if other people’s kids get sick or die. I would call him a monster, except that would be so unfair to monsters.


    Any guesses what political party he belongs to? Anybody want to bet that he’ll be a candidate for elected office within the next two years?

  27. 27
    kc says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but aren’t anti-vaxxers only a threat to each other?

    Also, why is this the outrage du jour? These nuts have been around for YEARS.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    @cokane: As I noted above, when infectious disease was a serious threat, feds and state government have adopted coercive measures throughout US history. If enough people die or get maimed from an epidemic, there will be public support for such coercive measures again.

    People should quite hand wringing over it. Look what happened during the Ebola fear epidemic.

  29. 29
    ixnay says:

    My kid’s peanut butter sandwich stays home, your unvaxxed kid stays home too.

  30. 30
    Woodrowfan says:

    @kc: no, they are not. some people can;t have vaccines for medical reasons, so it affects them as well.

  31. 31
    kc says:


    Holy shit, what a sociopath! I wouldn’t let him within a mile of me with a scalpel.

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @kc: Well certainly lazy. The post two up said this:

    Protective Services for the kids, because the parents are risking their (and their classmates’) health with their convictions.

  33. 33
    Shakezula says:

    @The Dangerman: I’ve been saying for a while that a couple of successful claims against parents of unvaccinated children will cause a lot of people to stop fucking around and get their kids their shots.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    @boatboy_srq: I remember seeing photos of bricks they used to put into sidewalks on big Eastern seaboard US cities. Had ‘Don’t spit on the sidewalk’ imprinted into the brick, sometimes with the city code number, or penalty.

  35. 35
    kc says:


    Okay, that makes sense, thank you. Though I do wonder how many anti-vaxxers claim to have medical reasons for not vaccinating their kids.

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    How does someone like that get out of med school intact?

  37. 37
    gene108 says:


    The anti-vaxxers piss me off to no end.

    We (Society in general) has raised a generation of children, who have an inherent distrust of authority, whether it is the government or scientists.

    For right-wingers, government officials and scientists are trying to mooch off of the hardwork of “job creators” and do nothing productive.

    For liberals, government officials and scientists are in the pocket of big business and nothing they do can be trusted.

    EDIT: I’m not sure how to change things.

    EDIT 2: If you are young enough to have kids that need vaccinating you are probably under 35 years old, so are probably a Millennial.

  38. 38
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @kc: Some people can’t be vaccinated. Babies under a year, I believe. People whose immune system is compromised in any way.

    Also, the vaccine has a failure rate of about 3%. So those people are vulnerable too.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Hah! Great point!

  40. 40
  41. 41
    jl says:

    Remember all the fools and knave running around yelling to quarantine anybody, particularly darker colored anybodies, flying in from West Africa? Or demanding that we cancel flights?

    Wonder what is different.

    BTW, heard that Sierra Leone had a total of five Ebloa cases last week. So, looks like a cool and calm, well planned effort worked. Gosh, plan your work and work your plan…. and put in some resources… who wudda thunk it?

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @catclub: According to da wiki, the death rate of the 1918 flu pandemic was 10-20%. The 5% shows up as the percentage of the world population that died.

  43. 43
    kc says:

    My sister was anti-vax when her kids were young and she was homeschooling them. She had fallen under the sway of a chiropractor and his wife who convinced her that chiropractic treatments would cure colds, allergies, and whatever else ails a body. When she told me about all this years ago I wanted to argue with her, but knew from long experience that that would be pointless.

    Anyhoo, she ultimately enrolled her kids in a private Christian school, and then later in public schools. I wonder if she ever got them vaccinated. I’ve never brought the subject back up . . .

  44. 44
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Who was ever nice to them?

  45. 45
    fuckwit says:

    @boatboy_srq: It’s not really. It’s just harsh. But, for example, polio is harsher.

    The other day I watched a group of completely disinterested onlookers enjoying a day at the park, suddenly become VERY interested and panic and call the cops because some unknown person had left their toddler alone and strapped into a car seat with the windows cracked.

    Why is there not the same level of shock and action when parents leave their kids equally at risk and unprotected from deadly and crippling diseases?

    EDIT: This was in California, where it’s ridiculously easy to “opt out” of vaccinations.

  46. 46
    The Dangerman says:


    ….aren’t anti-vaxxers only a threat to each other?

    As I understand it, (again, IANAD), if you were vaccinated before 1980, you still have about a 1% chance of catching measles if you are exposed. I think that figure includes those with the booster; I don’t recall what it was without the booster.

    Apparently, prior to 1980, the vaccines just weren’t that good (comparatively speaking, anyway).

    ETA: This link talks about the 1980 thing:


  47. 47
    kc says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Okay, thank you.

    Shoot, if it was just anti-vaxxers infecting each other, I’d be inclined to let them go for it . . .

  48. 48
    boatboy_srq says:

    @catclub: it would be effective if one of the consequences for anti-vaxx was that the parents caught the bug instead of the unvaccinated kids. Justice, meted out immediately. Trouble is the parents almost certainly DID get vaccinated when they were of an age.

  49. 49
    villageidiocy says:

    And Oh boy! A baby at a day care facility in Santa Monica is now infected.

  50. 50
    buddy h says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: He writes a blog!


    Not many comments yet. In one of his posts, he argues that dryer sheets cause cancer. Here’s his logic: “There is no study proving Bounce and others directly cause cancer. There is also no study which proves the sky is blue or touching fire hurts. It is just obvious.”

    How does one argue with logic like that?

  51. 51
    cokane says:

    @villageidiocy: those stats are pretty troubling, more anti vaxxers than i thought, and a bad trendline too. I mean jumping up 1.5% among public school kids in just 7 years … ugghhh…

    pretty tough ethical question though. pretty hard enforcement question as well. :[

    weird that we live in a world of internet and cell phones and electronic cars but the general public seems to be moving backwards on science

  52. 52
    kc says:


    I don’t know, but you’d think those bizarre comments would cost him some patients.

  53. 53
    dr. luba says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:” How does someone like that get out of med school intact? ”

    His father was an ordinary cardiologist, and he, too, was an ordinary cardiologist, believing in science and all that, until he met and married a chiropractor. Now he practices “holistic medicine” and eschews immunizations.

    He probably had anti-social tendencies before, but kept them in check until falling in with someone similar. Now he lets his freak flag fly.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    Up in the foothills they do postings for “chicken pox parties.” You know, to get that immunity the old-fashioned way. It’s just too bad when they’re old and suffering from shingles they can’t go kick mom and dad’s asses for the privilege.

    I say knock-off the exemption for all publicly funded schools and force the ‘rents to go private or home-school. A LOT of anti-vaxxers already home-school anyway.

  55. 55
    Pen says:

    @Jade: And your basis for the “space them out” method has what scientific basis, exactly? The only reason I’ve ever seen for parents to do that is because they have an unfounded fear of toxins and don’t understand the first thing about vaccines or how they actually work.

    I’m firmly in the “give an inch and they’ll take a mile” camp so I say fuck it, either make parents get them on schedule or provide a verifiable medical reason why they can’t. This is a public health issue, and their unscientific idiocy has caused enough harm already.

  56. 56
    SWMBO says:

    @Booger: @The Dangerman: We were at Disney World (Magic Kingdom) at a company sponsored outing when our daughter broke out in chicken pox. There was no vaccine for it at the time and she showed no symptoms until mid afternoon. Disney had a doctor on site who asked us nicely to leave the park and not infect the other 30,000 or so guests that day. We left and spent the rest of the day getting prescription benadryl for the itching (before benadryl was otc). We stayed away from my BIL because he was an adult who had never had chicken pox.

    Both our kids were going to the allergist when my daughter announced from the back seat,”Mom, he’s breaking out in a rash. Looks like chicken pox.” Got to the doc’s and sure enough, he was rashed out (completely clear when we left the house). I asked the allergist if he wanted to see us that day or not. He took one look at him and said, “we’ll see you next time.”

    They were up to date on the vaccines that were available at the time. Some people have kids that are exposed before they CAN be vaccinated. The are still a disease vector but they may not have had a chance to get all the vaccines. I hate absolutist solutions to real world problems. I do think the anti vaxxer crowd should pay a price but I assume that a few rounds of their kids getting ill with something that is preventable would deter the next generation. The schools or doctors should be able to refer it to the courts if these children become vectors. Courts have ordered surgery, transfusions and other interventions over parents religious objections. This isn’t even a religious objection as it is an uneducated fear-based response to imaginary consequences. The problem is the courts may hesitate because if one child is forcibly vaccinated and that child is later diagnosed with autism, all hell will break loose.

    I want to be clear on the fact that I do think that kids should be vaccinated if at all possible. I don’t think it is possible to vaccinate everyone at birth so anyone who catches something before they can be vaccinated, should be treated as a pariah.

  57. 57
    Starfish says:

    A lot of the measles last year were spread among the Amish in Ohio.

  58. 58
    boatboy_srq says:

    @fuckwit: Harsh. Denying parents the right to raise their young’uns as they see best. Big Gummint interference (especially rejecting their Firmly Held Belief™ that vaccination implants tracking devices / mind-control equipment / Satan / whatever). Hence unworkable. To your other comment: anti-vaxx has no overt indicators of child endangerment: leaving a child in an unattended mostly-closed vehicle is very overt and has “inattentive parent” written all over it as well. That’s part of why the autism thing is so dangerously persuasive: if it were Boogety-boogety-Big-Gummint/Big-Pharma all by itself it would be a crackpot move, but [gasp] autism makes it something someone could defend.

  59. 59
    Yatsuno says:

    @cokane: You bounce them from public schools. Period. Only exception is medical. And that has to be documented. I’m tired of pussyfooting around like this. If they want to be a danger they can live with the consequences. The rest of us don’t have to.

  60. 60
    Woodrowfan says:

    @The Dangerman: that’s what my doctor told me. I do need to get a Whooping Cough vaccine again though.

  61. 61
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @kc: The herd has been developing gaping holes as of late. How ironic would it be if one of his daughters came down with a communicable disease and developed complications and eventually died.

  62. 62
    Woodrowfan says:

    @buddy h: with a baseball bat between the eyes???

  63. 63
    Yatsuno says:

    @trollhattan: (I haz comment in moderation so I’ll answer this separately.)

    A lot of the homeschoolers also insist on their precious things being allowed to participate in school activities like sports and drama. So the homeschooling isn’t much in the way of protection here.

  64. 64
    boatboy_srq says:

    @buddy h: One points out to all the studies that explain why atmospheric light diffraction makes the sky look blue (basic physics/meterology) and why intense heat triggers pain receptors (basic biology/neuroscience). There are plenty of studies – they’re just not often in NEJM or JAMA.

  65. 65
    Starfish says:

    @Woodrowfan: I thought that you were supposed to get boosters every ten years, and the acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is not as effective as the older cellular version so it definitely requires the boosters. Typically, people who are coming into contact with newborns (such as their parents) get this shot.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @SWMBO: you give an argument for why kids who can get vaccinated should be vaccinated. Kids are not going to be vaccinated at birth because their immune system is not fully developed, so they comprise a very vulnerable population at risk. And there are kids that can never be vaccinated because of medical reasons.

    If you let your house or land become a fire hazard that endangers other life and property, fire department can, after a few warnings,send in a crew to clean it up against your will, and charge you a dollar on a dime for it (at least in most places in California) and give a big fine in addition. Can run to thousands of dollars. Why not levy a penalty on parents who do not get their kids vaccinated, and for not good reason? It should be easy to document kids who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons and exempt them.

  67. 67
    boatboy_srq says:


    I do think the anti vaxxer crowd should pay a price but I assume that a few rounds of their kids getting ill with something that is preventable would deter the next generation.

    There are enough stories of anti-vaxxer parents deliberately exposing their kids to get infected and develop their own immunity that even if only a few are true it’s doubtful enough of the next gen would understand what happened to them. They’d assume such behavior was normal, and they’d already be exposed.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    I had a seminar in college on kids who were both blind and deaf, like Hellen Keller or Laura Bridgman. These were children bright enough, and able to get to help, to lead lives we know about today. Most of them died at home or institutions.

    You know people who grew up with these stories were thrilled to be able to vaccinate their children. Now? Complacency.

  69. 69
    kc says:

    Welp, all I see from Twitter is a bunch of crap from the usual suspects (Poltico, now Vox) claiming, inaccurately, that Obama said he was “suspicious” of vaccines in 2008.

    Watch this zombie lie gain strength and traction.

  70. 70
    Don K says:


    Maybe he should come out in opposition to Drano cocktails “especially not for your kids”.

  71. 71
    boatboy_srq says:

    @kc: @catclub: They’re not a risk to themselves.
    They’re a risk to their own children and their children’s classmates/playmates/teammates/neighbors/fellow-library-patrons/etc. It’s child abuse on a grand scale. THAT’s the issue. If anti-vaxx meant that YOU get sick instead of your seven-year-old, I’d have no issue with it.

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    Now that you mention it, I don’t think my kid’s soccer league asks for vaccination records and the older they get the more far-flung the teammates are–certainly not all from the same school as when they were eight.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    @kc: Practically speaking, if this zombie lie provides mental cover and justification for right-wing anti-vaxxers to pull a cleek and get their kids punched with an innoculation to prove their contrarian street-cred, well. . . at least this zombie lie will have had a positive social benefit because they’re going to believe zombie lies in any case.

  74. 74
    Redshift says:

    @kc: I saw that go around. Is the quote just completely fabricated?

  75. 75
    Cacti says:

    How very interesting…

    Chris Christie has been playing footsie with the Anti-vax movement since at least 2009. Only now is it getting national attention.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @kc: Yeah, so what? Obama said that he is not suspicious now on Today Show.

    Meanwhile, the GOP loonshow starts chiming in. Let’s see how many climb on board this nonsense, and build their case for 2016

    Rand One-Ups Christie On Vaccinations: Most ‘Ought To Be Voluntary’

    “I’m not anti-vaccine at all, but particularly, most of them ought to be voluntary,”

    ” As TPM previously reported, Paul was a member of a group of right-wing doctors called the Association Of American Physicians and Surgeons that promoted a number of debunked or conspiratorial medical theories. The AAPS opposes mandatory vaccines and has published at least one study that shows “alarming evidence” for a link between certain vaccines and autism.

    Doug Stafford, a Paul adviser, told BuzzFeed on Monday that he didn’t know if Paul was still a member of the group. He added that Paul does not endorse all the group’s views.”


    I included the quote to show how cynically these jerks issues like this.

  77. 77
    kc says:


    Misrepresented, more like. Obama said something like “a lot of people are suspicous of vaccines, including this person.” Politico is making it sound like he was referring to himself with “this person,” but in fact he was answering a question and “this person” probably meant the questioner.

    Anyway, the press is running with that and what a lot of people are going to read and believe from the mainstream press is that Obama is suspicious of vaccines.

  78. 78
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Pen: IANAD, but I suspect that the jabs are being aggregated through generations of testing and basic trials: what had to be done separately in the 60s was found to be safe as fewer and then single processes by the 90s, and parents who got sixteen different jabs are startled because not being physicians they haven’t kept up with the gradual progression. Just because there’s a change that makes things different from When We Were Little doesn’t mean there isn’t sound science behind it. NEJM and JAMA both have decent online presences: if you can translate the medicalese, there are probably some good studies there explaining the changes.

  79. 79
    kc says:


    @kc: Yeah, so what?

    I dunno, if you think vaccinating kids is important, it seems like you’d be perturbed that “journalists” are focusing on making it look as if Obama was borderline anti-vax.

  80. 80
    pacem appellant says:

    @Jade: Spacing them out isn’t necessary anymore, as modern vaccines actually have an order of magnitude LESS of active components. This is why they’re able to combine them today. And even combined, the total amount of active components is still far less than a single dose from my childhood.

    Doctors aren’t good at explaining this stuff. It’s actually a good thing that we’re able to immunize our children against more diseases in less amount of time while simultaneously exposing them to fewer active ingredients. (There is a name for those active ingredients. I can’t remember what is right now, antigens?)

  81. 81
    dr. luba says:

    @Starfish: It’s mandatory at our hospital for all staff, except those who have actual medical contraindications, to be immunized with TDaP and annual flu vaccine. Don’t want to? Find another job.

    We also immunize moms with flu vaccine and TDaP during pregnancy. Most OB/GYN’s offices aren’t set up for doing immunizations (paperwork), so the women come to us as outpatients to have this done. Pregnant women who get the flu are much more likely to die, and the TDaP provides passive immunization to the baby.

    When I was a resident, I got to watch a pregnant woman die of measles. There were no good anitvirals then; she developed ARDS and passed away. It was depressing as hell. I was a strong believer in immunization even before that, but that made me a zealot. I don’t know if she missed getting the vaccine as a child, or if she was a vaccine failure, but a young, otherwise health woman died in front of my eyes.

    Some of us are moved by that. Others, like Dr. Wolfson, jsut see it as a necessary thinning of the herd.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    @kc: Looks like you are correct, And, how times change: Charles Johnson at LGF blog (Edit: very different from Charles C. Johnson) is apparently one of the first to get a post up on the misrepresentation

    Vox Misrepresents Obama’s 2008 Vaccination Stance
    Vox spreads misinformation
    By Charles Johnson

    ” A later analysis demonstrated that when Obama said, “this person included,” he was referring to the person who had asked a question, not himself, and that Obama believed that vaccinations were necessary to the health of the nation. ”


    Our miserable corporate press is absolutely worthless.

  83. 83
    Jade says:

    @Pen: One of my children had a very bad reaction to the DTP and had to receive a special formula for the rest of the DTP immunizations. With so many shot vaccines per visit how would you isolate which one they were reacting or allergic to?

    Six immunizations in one day versus one per week for six weeks is not a problem medically, just a little inconvenient.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    @kc: See my comment above. I reacted too quickly, and thought that maybe Obama had expressed doubts, and was contrasting Obama’s statement today to people like Christie and Rand Paul.

    But as you can see above, the reports that Obama expressed sympathy for anti-vaxxers in 2008 are totally wrong, and due to incompetent and/or malicious US media organizations.

  85. 85
    trollhattan says:

    Just the increasing level of bribes will leave most parents penniless at the end of week 6. “Let’s see, week 4 was the pony, week 5 was the ’15 Mustang, what’s it going to take, sweetie?”

  86. 86
    Shakezula says:

    The AAPS opposes mandatory vaccines and has published at least one study that shows “alarming evidence” for a link between certain vaccines and autism.

    They’ve also published articles that claimundocumented aliens were bringing SUPER SCARY DISEASES like lice and chicken pox into the country and if they were bringing those then it was just a matter of time before they brought in BlackEbolaDeathPlague.

  87. 87
    pacem appellant says:

    Continuing on my own tangent, I think that doctors need to be better at explaining these things. We happen to have an excellent pediatrician, but many of her otherwise excellent colleagues just look in the ears and nose, poke here and there, and spit out a prognosis (same goes for FM docs as well). They are well trained in medicine, but not in teaching basic facts about immunology and germ theory to a lay public.

    I propose that doctors be more active in the fight against Jenny McCarthy. I think that by remaining mostly silent, they are passively ignoring primum non nocere. Their silence is harm. Doctors need to come up with a clear way to describe herd immunity to their patients, and do it kindly.

  88. 88
    Misterpuff says:

    Rand Paul on CNBC today, defending his anti-vax sentiments:

    Freedumb, Freedumb! “The Government doesn’t own our children. Parents OWN their children”

    Good to know!

  89. 89
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yatsuno: How about diphtheria for a change?

    I posted about this in the earlier thread, about talking to a distant relative in his late 80s 20 years ago, and his memory of being a young adult in an Ozarks town at a time when the youngest child alive was 16, no child younger had survived the outbreak of polio that swept through several small towns in the area.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @buddy h:

    Jesus Murphy. I wonder how many patients he has. Fucking DRYER SHEETS??

    I also wonder if he is perhaps a self-certified medico, like Sen. Aqua Buddha.

  91. 91
    opiejeanne says:

    @catclub: Yeah, but that 5% represents 50-100 million deaths worldwide, because the number of infected was so huge.

  92. 92
    boatboy_srq says:




  93. 93
    jl says:


    Rand Paul is a principled libertarian and is very reluctant to recommend coercive government measures. He certainly did not want to create public panic over Ebola (while helping to create public panic over Ebola). Huh, I wonder what was the difference?

    Rand Paul to CNN: ‘I don’t want to create panic’ over Ebola

    ” He called for the government to consider suspending flights to and from Ebola hot zones in Africa. ”


  94. 94
    Starfish says:

    @dr. luba: The current state of things is a little scary. I live in a place where we are losing herd immunity. All little kids with a cough have to wear masks when they go to the pediatrician just in case someone has whooping cough. It’s really hard for little kids to keep the masks on.

  95. 95
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    You may have seen this eloquent account by Roald Dahl of his daughter dying of measles:


  96. 96
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I read a different article that said he was pro-vaccine until he met his wife, a chiropractor, who enlightened him about holistic medicine, and now he treats people holistically.

  97. 97
    trollhattan says:

    @opiejeanne: Hopefully with really good holists–some are suboptimal.

    Was once treated by a chiro who did a good job clearing up a neck-shoulder issue, but I had to mentally turn on the pink noise generator when he started talking to me about nutrition. Kept me from snapping the knob off my woo meter.

  98. 98
    Violet says:

    @buddy h: Good lord. That’s insane. Here’s another post:

    The advancement of medical technology is a testament to the brilliance of thousands of researchers who continue to push the envelope. Please understand that most of this tech is not necessary if people consume organic Paleo foods, avoid chemicals, exercise, limit stress, and sleep for 8-9 hours per night

    He’s on the Paleo bandwagon. He’s not really wrong about the limiting stress, getting good sleep, eating well, exercise, etc. That’s generally sound advice. So it’s easy to make himself sound sensible. And then leap off the deep end.

    Also, too:

    Named one of Phoenix Magazines
    Top Doctors.

    What in the world are Phoenix Magazine’s editors thinking?

  99. 99
    Anniecat45 says:

    All anti-vaxxers should be required to see a documentary called “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil LeClerc.” Released in 2013, about a woman was a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet — til she got polio. She never walked again, let alone danced, and it took years of rehab for her to get use of her arms back so she could move herself around in a wheelchair.

    Then ask if that’s what they want for their kids.

  100. 100
    Julie says:

    @Jade: Agreed with this. We had a similar experience with our kid’s one-year vaccines, so we agreed with the doctor to space the rest of them out. My understanding is that they do so many at once to 1) make sure the kids actually get them all and the parents don’t forget to bring them back 2) save the parents all those additional co-pays (though with ACA now, I believe well-child visits are all covered?).

  101. 101
    Ohio Mom says:

    RE: babies and vaccines. IIRC, there are some vaccines you can’t give a newborn, but it depends on the vaccine/disease. When my kid was born 17 years ago, the hospital was giving Hepatitis B vaccines to one-day olds on their way out the door. I assume that’s still the protocol. Why that protocol, I have no idea.

    Also someone upthread mentioned that Helen Keller was born deaf and blind, not true. She was typically developing until she was about a year and a half old, then she came down with a high fever (it’s speculated maybe meningitis or scarlet fever), and as a result of that illness, lost her hearing and sight. I suspect the fact that she had some time as an infant and baby for her brain to learn how to interpret sensory data helped her learn language later on.

  102. 102
    Violet says:

    @buddy h: It’s worth looking at his Fees page on his website.

    Wolfson Integrative Cardiology is a direct pay practice.

    This means that full payment for your visit is due at the time of your appointment. You pay for the quality of care you receive. Insurance does not offer fair compensation to doctors that spend time with patients. Wolfson Integrative Cardiology is different from a “concierge” practice with monthly fees and upfront costs.

    Unlike one direct pay wacko doctor I’ve heard of, at least this guy will prepare a statement you can submit to your insurance. Plus the labs can be done in-network. This other guy I’ve heard of refuses to do that and you have to use his lab. Each visit is thousands of dollars.

    Sorry, old people:

    We deeply respect the fact that those 65 and over worked very hard for years and Medicare is part of the fruits of that labor. Unfortunately, office visits for Medicare and AHCCCS patients are not covered and are not eligible for reimbursement.

    And then a pitch for a certain type of insurance:

    Wolfson Integrative Cardiology advocates Health Savings Accounts.

    These insurance plans are low premium, high deductible plans. Pre-tax money goes into an account for you to use on health care of your choice. This allows the patient to select whatever doctor and method of treatment he/she chooses. Why pay for prescription services and diagnostic coverage that you will likely never use? Dr. Wolfson has saved thousands of dollars by choosing this plan for his family.

    This guy has to be a wingnut. I’m sure he’ll be approached to run for office.

  103. 103
    Violet says:

    Today’s New Yorker cartoon is appropriate.

  104. 104
    skerry says:

    Author Roald Dahl wrote a letter in 1998 about the death of his 7 year old daughter in 1962 due to measles, prior to development of a vaccine. He wrote it to anti-vaxxers. It is quite the read.

  105. 105
    Violet says:

    @buddy h:
    From the guy’s About page:

    Heather and I have two beautiful, healthy boys, Noah and Brody, and our rescue Lab mix, Sal. Our sons were born at home with a midwife. Neither have ever taken a pharmaceutical, prescribed or OTC. We practice attachment parenting, eat organic food, and instill a natural lifestyle into our children. We enjoy all the outdoor activities available in Phoenix. Heather and I together are The Drs. Wolfson and our motto is “Awakening the World to Wellness”.

    I wonder if the dog has his rabies shots or is he “pure” too?

    Anyone want to bet the kids get into some crazy stuff when they become teenagers?

  106. 106
    WereBear says:

    @Anniecat45: Oh my, that was heartbreaking. And she could have taken the vaccination… and she didn’t.

    I’m sure that haunted her. It haunts me, now.

  107. 107
    HRA says:

    I remember having the quarantine sign on our door when I had whooping cough as a child. My parents and sister were not allowed to leave the house. That was the law then.
    Polio also hit our city in large numbers. We were told to stay out of crowds and particularly the park, pools, theaters, etc. It was a summer where we were feeling punished as kids until they began showing patients in iron lungs in the newspaper along with deaths.
    I made sure my children were vaccinated. The exception was one child who the MD said could not have the smallpox vaccine due to a skin condition.
    What should be done is to give a form of ID showing immunization for any places vulnerable to a large outbreak of disease.

  108. 108
    trollhattan says:

    Not Mayhew, nor do I play him on teevee, but HSAs are NOT insurance, they’re tax-sheltered savings accounts that one uses to pay medical expenses not covered by insurance. Yes, a typical middle-class worker might save circa 50% on the dollar in states with income taxes that allow the HSA deduction, but insurance this ain’t.

    And, if you don’t use the account during the plan year you lose it, but I’m sure Wolfson Integrative Cardiology will make sure that doesn’t happen.

  109. 109
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Likewise here. I’ve been a fan of chiropractic for neck, shoulder and back issues, and I would go again to a chiro for similar issues. But the whole “come-see-me-three-times-a-week-for-the-rest-of-your-life,” and the peddling of (invariably super expensive) supplements, turns me right off.

  110. 110
    Splitting Image says:

    Not sure if anybody has mentioned it, but it’s worth noting that the religious exemption was written when the people most likely to avail themselves of it were also the most likely to move as far away from the rest of the country as possible. The Amish are a good example of this, but so are Mormons.

    It makes an enormous amount of difference to exempt Mormons from vaccination requirements when they had collectively fucked off to Utah where their stupidity wouldn’t kill anybody but each other than to exempt them when they are knocking on your front door to discuss the state of your soul.

    As others have said, it’s one thing to bend the rules for for some backwoodsmen living so far away from anyone else that their chances of catching the disease are miniscule and another to bend it for special snowflakes living in major urban centres.

  111. 111
    pacem appellant says:

    @Ohio Mom: They still give shot one of a three-shot regiment Hep B at birth at the hospital. You can decline it, which we did, and started our kids on their Hep B vax along with their regular vaccinations. The reason that doctors foist Hep B on newborns is out necessity and cynicism: hep b is a nasty disease, and some resistance is better than none. Knowing full well that parents aren’t going to make the best decisions about their children’s health or the health of the herd, they insist on protecting the child at the earliest age possible (for a disease that is spread through blood and semen, neither of which a newborn will in all probability going to be exposed to for a while).

    We didn’t fit the description for poor or poorly informed, so they let up pass up Hep B at birth. All our children are vaccinated.

  112. 112
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    What is “attachment parenting”?

    Actually, I probably don’t want to know.

  113. 113
    Anniecat45 says:


    Made me cry,that — especially the sequences they included from before the polio, of her dancing. She was so good . . .

  114. 114
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Violet: That attitude is what killed Steve Jobs. When he was diagnosed with cancer, it was caught early enough so he had an excellent chance of survival. But he chose not to and instead pursued “natural” remedies. And we all know how that turned out. Reality doesn’t bullshit.

  115. 115
    Mike G says:

    Kaci Hickox was held against her will near Newark Liberty International Airport after Christie ordered 21-day mandatory quarantines for all returning health workers [from Ebola-hit regions], NBC News reports. –Time Magazine, Nov. 2 2014.

    Christie was so smug about this opportunity to brandish of the vast power of the state in an election year that he practically dared Hickox to sue him, saying in response to a reporter’s question, “Whatever. Get in line…I’ve been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I’m happy to take it [the decision to quarantine] on.”

  116. 116
    beltane says:

    Now Rand Paul is chiming in, saying that vaccines can cause mental disorders: http://www.nbcnews.com/politic.....rs-n298821

    I predict 2015 will be the year of the Darwin Award.

  117. 117
    Violet says:

    @trollhattan: I think Health Savings Accounts are only available if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan. The money in an HSA doesn’t go away at the end of the year. You are probably thinking of the Flexible Spending Account, where the money does disappear at the end of the year if you don’t use it.

    HSA accounts are a good deal for rich people because they’re a tax shelter. It’s one of the tells as to him being rich. FSAs are better for less wealthy people.

  118. 118
    Jake Nelson says:

    So tired of people nominally on the side of reason making the “as long as you live in some isolated compound somewhere and have no contact with the outside world, then it’s ok” argument- children aren’t property. They shouldn’t be condemned to live in an isolated hole full of crazy people and then die of disease just because of who their parents are.

    Mandatory for everyone except medical exemptions. Anyone tries to refuse, charge them with child abuse. Couple years’ jail time + total loss of parental rights + no unsupervised contact with minors for life.

  119. 119
    Kyle says:


    We enjoy all the outdoor activities available in Phoenix.

    (Walk outside)
    “Damn! It’s HOT out here!”
    (Run back inside, turn up air conditioning)

  120. 120
    pat says:

    Reminds me of the raw-milk nuts. We learned in school that pasteurization was the best thing that had happened for public health up to that time. Kill the pathogens without damaging the milk.

    Some people are just inexcusably ignorant about science and medicine. And this idiot Dr. Wolfson belongs in that category.

    Would be great if someone could yank his medical license.

  121. 121
    Starfish says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It is something promoted by Dr. Sears for people to be closer to their children. This includes things like baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, and possibly things like elimination communication (Look this one up. It’s about letting your little kid pee all over your house because if you look deeply in your infant’s eyes, you can know when they need to go.)

    Dr. Sears comes off as an anti-vaccer because he promotes delayed vaccination schedules, but he claims that he created his delayed vaccination schedule to encourage people who would not otherwise vaccinate their children to vaccinate.

  122. 122


    And, if you don’t use the account during the plan year you lose it

    You’re thinking of flexible spending accounts, not HSAs. Not that it makes high deductible plans with HSAs any better for anyone who isn’t young and/or rich.

    And the anti-vax cardiologist is still an ass.

  123. 123
    WereBear says:


    Our sons were born at home with a midwife. Neither have ever taken a pharmaceutical, prescribed or OTC. We practice attachment parenting, eat organic food, and instill a natural lifestyle into our children.

    You know, back in the day, everybody lived like that. And they still got mowed down in epidemics.

    I’m rather woo-ey myself — we eat organic food, meditate, I love going hiking or snowshoeing. But when I got a blockage in a kidney artery, I got put under and let them run a balloon through my veins to pop it open.

    Back in the day, I’d be dead now.

  124. 124
    opiejeanne says:

    @Violet: the childless lady next door is antivax for animals. She also doesn’t understand why anyone would value the life of their child above that of a pet.

  125. 125
    rk says:

    My cousin got polio prior to the vaccine being widely available. She was left with a limp. My aunt put her in all sorts of dance classes to somehow “fix” the limp, but she never was able to get rid of it. It also had a profound effect on her socially, because unfortunately I come from a society where a girl with a limp is not considered “marriageable”, so she had to deal with more grief in addition to her disability. My parents were so thankful that they were able to get their kids vaccinated. It never occurred to me to not get my own kids vaccinated.
    I think the problem is that the new generation of parents don’t have a collective memory of these horrible diseases. Once the benefits are there, everyone takes it for granted and forgets.

  126. 126
    Mike G says:


    My kid’s peanut butter sandwich stays home, your unvaxxed kid stays home too.

    This. It seems like it’s the self-righteously anti-vax, selfishly risking the health of everyone else’s kids, who would be screeching the loudest about any potential risk to their precious spawn.

  127. 127
    buddy h says:

    @trollhattan: I’ve been told that chiropractors are not allowed to touch your neck in certain states.

    Too many people got strokes from having their carotid arteries torn from aggressive neck manipulation.

  128. 128
    Larv says:


    I think the problem is that the new generation of parents don’t have a collective memory of these horrible diseases. Once the benefits are there, everyone takes it for granted and forgets.

    Josh Marshall posted this polling data today. The younger you are, the less likely you are to support mandatory vaccinations. Depressing.

  129. 129
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: I live in a log cabin in a rural part of a rural state. We mostly heat with wood, had chickens for many years, etc, Having roughed-it far more than the average American for most of my life, one thing I feel qualified to say is that anyone who uses a smartphone, enjoys central heating or air conditioning (or even a fan), drives a car, or does any of the other million and one things that were not possible before the industrial revolution is a delusional cretin if they think there is anything remotely “natural” about their lifestyle. In any ways, these people seeking to live out their Little House on the Prairie fantasies (minus Mary’s Scarlet Fever caused blindness) are just an example of white privilege writ large.

  130. 130
    The Gray Adder says:

    @The Dangerman: Similar rules should be in effect for those “Second Amendment Uber Alles” types. Somebody kills people with your gun, you go to prison as if you did it.

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    @Karen in GA:
    Ah, got it. Interestingly, HSAs are not CA income-tax deductible so are quite a bit less attractive (12% or so, if memory serves).

  132. 132
    opiejeanne says:

    @HRA: You must be just slightly older than I am because the DPT vaccine was first licensed in 1949 and I know I had the vaccine when I was a kid, probably a booster shot too. It seemed like we got booster shots for something almost every year, but it probably wasn’t that often; I was just scared of needles.

    I was among the first kids to receive the Salk vaccine, in 1956. It came too late for one of the girls in my kindergarten class; she came down with polio in the fall and the vaccinations were given in March at my school. She survived and her parents brought her to visit the class just before the end of the school year. She was weak still and tired easily, but she could walk without crutches.

  133. 133
    opiejeanne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m not sold on chiropractors because I can remember them advertising not that long ago that they could cure cancer and leukemia with their treatments. The ads ran in the Los Angeles Times for years.

    My dad swore by one particular one, though. The chiro had adjusted his back when he twisted it doing something stupid, and it felt better almost immediately.

  134. 134
    Stella B. says:

    @Jade: Your kids don’t fall down and skin their knees ever? An abrasion against the ground introduces hundreds or thousands of foreign antigens at least some of which are probably pathogens — far more than any combination vaccine.

    My husband and I were both born during the time when the killed measles vaccine was being used. I had to have a live measles booster to go to medical school, but I just realized today that I should send him to get a booster. He says he’s never had the mumps, either.

  135. 135
    opiejeanne says:

    @Splitting Image: Mormons? This is news to me. I have never heard that Mormons were anti-vaxx.

  136. 136
    pacem appellant says:

    @Violet: Ugh. I hate the hippy-dippies in the homebirth movement. My son was born at home. He is fully vaccinated for his age.

  137. 137
    pacem appellant says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: How do I pronounce your name? I’ve always wondered how to say “Siubhan”.

  138. 138
    beltane says:

    @buddy h: My mother, who never encountered any form of New Age quackery she didn’t fall for, used to make me go to a chiropractor regularly when I was between the ages of 10-12 to cure me of my anxiety. I hated it, especially the manipulation of the neck. Now I am in my 40s and have the cervial vertebrae of an old woman. Chronic pain is better than paralysis but it still sucks.

  139. 139
    WereBear says:

    @beltane: Some things have some basis. I use f.lux on my laptop because it’s now established science that our gadgets beaming blue light at us all evening disturb sleep. And since avoiding such light has improved my sleep, don’t have any problem thinking it’s true.

    Someone with insomnia could decide it’s unnatural to stare at screens and get rid of all of them. Their sleep would improve the same way mine did. But while they have the right idea, what they did to address the problem was extreme.

    I’m suspicious of blanket statements. Tell me why a certain thing is messing me up, and I’ll be happy to listen. But trying to apply an ideology is behind a lot of this. And that’s caused way too much trouble in the past. I always think it’s a mistake.

  140. 140
    scav says:

    @beltane: They also tend to forget / ignore / not know about brother Freddie Ingalls who died at about 10 months of unknown causes. “Little Brother was not well” and “one terrible day, he straightened out his little body and was dead”. He neither made the books or the TV mythos. Too depressing or merely too banal an occurence to bother noting?

  141. 141
    opiejeanne says:

    @Stella B.: I never caught the mumps. I don’t know why I didn’t get it, because my best friend lived two doors down and she had it when we were both 4.

    I did catch measles, chickenpox, and rubella because there was no vaccine when I was a kid. For me, chickenpox was the worst. The topicals that were prescribed back then did nothing and I can remember wanting to scratch soooo bad.

  142. 142
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: Yeah, it’s the ideological rigidity that pisses me off as is the case when dealing with any sort of religious fanatic. I actually use aromatherapy to improve my emotional state and sleep better at night. Will it fix all or any of my various ailments? Absolutely not. However, things that provide pleasure tend to make us happy and when we are happy we are able to deal with life better.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    Raya says:

    @Jake Nelson: YES. Refusal to vaccinate is child abuse, pure and simple.

  145. 145
    WereBear says:

    @beltane: You use aromatherapy for things it works for. Exactly.

  146. 146
    feebog says:

    When I was nine years old our neighbors went to Mexico for a vacation. Chuck, who was a fireman, contacted polio down there. He was dead in less than a week. Anyone who thinks children shouldn’t be vaccinated is a moron.

  147. 147
    shelley says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: One of George Carlin’s routines, “Somewhere in the world is the world’s worst doctor. And what’s truly terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him tomorrow morning.”

    I think this Wolfson character IS that doctor.

  148. 148
    phein39 says:


    Also, even if you’ve been vaccinated, the vaccines are not 100% effective, and their effect can become attenuated with age.

    Said the late-50-something, not-wanting-to-die stupidly, pro-Form-A-Better-Unionist.

  149. 149
    Don K says:


    The company I used to work for offered FSAs, which I used to cover my prescription copays. The FSA administrator refused to accept the standard receipts from my health network as sufficient documentation of reimbursible medical expenses, so I gave up and only put enough into the FSA to cover my estimated prescription copays for the year. I mean, dudes, come on! You’ve got a receipt saying “Henry Ford Health System” at the top, with a doctor’s name, and that’s not evidence that it’s for an office visit? Whaddaya think, I go to Henry Ford fucking Hospital for the hell of it?

  150. 150
    Don K says:


    Kind of like the effect of auto emissions controls on urban air – “the air is fine, why do we need an EPA?” Well, dumbass, without emissions controls and the EPA, the LA basin and the Denver area would be uninhabitable by now.

  151. 151
    Rekster says:

    Non Board Certified Ophthalmologist Senator Rand Paul:

    I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children, who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.

    The all knowing “I’ve Heard” bullshit.

    If anyone is interested this blog contains actual SCIENCE and debunks the antivaxxer lies:


  152. 152
    zoot says:

    It’s always nice to see Chris Christie step on his dick

    oh please. pig-christie may fall down from getting his blubber undulating in an unbalanced manner, but he sure as hell could never step on his own dick.

  153. 153
    HRA says:


    I got the polio vaccine when it came out that year. My parents believed in getting vaccinated and going to the doctor, dentist and any other needed medical specialist.

  154. 154
    Heliopause says:

    perhaps Chris and the rest of the 27 percenters who are going to retroactively anti-vaccinate their kids

    No, sorry. Multiple surveys have shown that anti-vax sentiment is one of those few things in our discourse that can’t be easily shoehorned into the left-right divide.

    So if your goal was to make things worse, mission accomplished.

  155. 155
    Don K says:


    Had measles when i was 7 and chicken pox when i was about 4 (Dad had an attack of shingles, and the doctor told him i’d get chicken pox). Also somehow missed out on mumps and rubella. Measles left me with a phobia about pizza until I was in high school (we had pizza the night before i came down with measles, and the 7 yo me connected the two events). I suppose for some anti-vaxxers, the thought is, “Dad said he had measles when he was a kid, was sick for a week and got over it, so what’s the big deal?” I had flu a few times growing up, got a week out of school from it and survived, but I damn well get my flu shot every year.

  156. 156
    sharl says:

    TBogg ‏@tbogg
    I am sad to announce that I have been blocked on Twitter by @JennyMcCarthy . One could say she has inoculated herself against my comments.

    3:21 PM – 29 Jan 2015

  157. 157
    JCT says:

    @Cacti: The “vaccines cause autism” bunch LOVES Christie. I never understood why that was never mentioned during any of the elections, it wasn’t a secret. He really gets away with murder.

  158. 158
    opiejeanne says:

    @HRA: Did they announce the number of new polio cases and the polio deaths on the radio where you lived? In LA it was a weekly report and it lasted for a couple of years after the vaccine was available but there were limited amounts and kids were the first to get it, if I remember correctly. What shocked me most about that as a kid was the adults who died, some in their 30s and 40s. I don’t know why the whole thing didn’t shock me, maybe because it was just a thing that happened every week.

  159. 159
    Tree With Water says:

    @beltane: Before I bought my small, fit for a Pharaoh place in the Redwoods, I checked out the type of properties you’re referring to in (Ca.) counties along the Oregon border. Thirty years ago, that’s where I might well have settled instead, full of false bravado. But there’s no beating central heating..

    I saw the movie Jeremiah Johnson too when it was first released, and thought to myself “that’s the life”. Soon after seeing it again 25 years later, I got caught in a rain shower and momentarily cursed as though my clothes getting damp was a mini-tragedy. The irony was not lost on me.

  160. 160
    opiejeanne says:

    @Don K: chicken pox in 8th grade, over spring vacation. I missed the Sadie Hawkins Day dance.

    Measles in HS, my junior year. I was in San Diego for a parade, band geek, clarinet. It was our only away trip, overnight in a hotel at the beach in Oceanside, award banquet, etc. My sister had caught them in Mexico volunteering at an orphanage. I gave the director a heads-up that I had been exposed and the timing was perfect for this trip. The day of the parade I was running a fever but it was really hot in that wool uniform, so I didn’t know how sick I was. One of the idiot band boosters wanted to charge me for a drink of water but finally gave me a cup for free. Later when I did start showing the rash the band director gave me grief, said it was all in my head and I was making myself break out. Thankfully, one of the cheer directors was there and he was scared of her, and she declared me sick with the measles; I rode home with the family of another girl who had just come down with measles and the rash.
    My husband gave me rubella when I was a Freshman in college. That was great. Not. I married him anyway.

  161. 161
    Ruckus says:

    Posted this on a previous thread. Have had mumps, measles, chickenpox, all because the vaccines had not be invented. And distinctly remember when the polio vaccine came out because everyone went and stood in line for however long it took to get the shots. I also went to school with a girl who had polio and had 2 friends mothers with it. People who think that life would be better being naturally immunized should not be allowed to procreate or even practice. I got encephalitis from the measles, I got over it but I still had it. The vaccination programs were so successful that many don’t/can’t have any memories of how bad it was 50+ yrs ago. Just like those who want to go back to the financial life of 50-60 yrs ago, they have no memory of how it really, really did suck. They don’t realize that they are doing exactly the opposite of what they are trying to do. They want to make their kids lives better but they are making them far worse.

  162. 162
    brantl says:

    @kc: Nope, they act as disease reservoirs, and traffic routes for the disease, and they help punch up the strength, until the immunized get infected, too. They also act as mutation centers.

  163. 163
    cosima says:

    Here’s a sweet headline from HuffPo’s UK site: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.u....._hp_ref=uk

    I love living in the UK — don’t think they’d get away with that headline at their US page. Why oh why is Christie here anyway? Finding overseas donors? Not very patriotic of him.

    When we moved from the UK to the US our youngest was 3. She had to have at least 6 shots to be up to date in Alaska. Hepatitis vax, primarily. We’re now back in the UK, and have friends who recently had mumps sweep through the family — all of their 4 children (10 – 16 years old, including a set of twins) had their first two MMR (or whatever the equivalent is here) shots, but not the final one.

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