December 5, 2012

"Congress Holds An Anti-Vaccination Hearing."

"Congressman Dan Burton... rehash[ed] a series of some of the most thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine positions of the past decade."
In a classic political move, the committee called on scientists Alan Guttmacher from the NIH and Colleen Boyle from the CDC to testify, but in fact the committee just wanted to bully the scientists.  Committee members lectured the scientists, throwing out bad science claims, often disguised as questions, thick and fast....

149 comments:

edutcher said...

Good for Salzberg, but, if he believes in global warming, he's in no position to stow thrones.

Chuck said...

Few things distress me more than the spectacle of Republicans tossing around junk science, particularly junk healthcare science. Because for the most part, junk science is generally the province of the Democrats' paymasters, the plaintiff personal injury bar.

It is shocking to me that Dan Burton could be allowed to be so reckless and so undisciplined. I realize that the committee hearing in this case was nothing but theatre, with no real legislative outcome dependent on the outcome.

If I were in the Republican leadership, I'd think seriously about finding a way to punish Burton for this stunt.

bagoh20 said...

It's a good sign that Congress has nothing important to be working on - the bliss of peace and prosperity, finally.

Chuck Currie said...

How does one really know what is "good" science and what is "bad" science with so many scientific papers being withdrawn each year?

As I like to say: Today's science - tomorrow's quackery.

Cheers

Rabel said...

While I think it's extremely unlikely that the rise in autism diagnoses is related to vaccines, I have absolutely zero faith in any appeals to scientific authority as were offered in the linked article.

None. On any issue. Which is a 180 degree turn for me. Today's scientific community is as corrupt as the worst of the Wall Street crowd. Money and politics drive their actions and control their results.

MadisonMan said...

So how much did Republicans waste on this not-so-entertaining political theater?

The Republican Party is apparently anti-Science, even though Science creates jobs in this country. I've never quite understood why Burton and his ilk are allowed a mouthpiece.

chuck said...

...with so many scientific papers being withdrawn each year?

Or discredited, the fraudulent vaccine-autism paper among them. It's embarrassing to see that sort of crap come up in congress.

Methadras said...

Chuck said...

Few things distress me more than the spectacle of Republicans tossing around junk science, particularly junk healthcare science. Because for the most part, junk science is generally the province of the Democrats' paymasters, the plaintiff personal injury bar.

It is shocking to me that Dan Burton could be allowed to be so reckless and so undisciplined. I realize that the committee hearing in this case was nothing but theatre, with no real legislative outcome dependent on the outcome.

If I were in the Republican leadership, I'd think seriously about finding a way to punish Burton for this stunt.


As if seeing leftists bandy about their junk science isn't even more stifling? Piffle.

Pogo said...

This underscores the lack of trust in our institutions.

Science, government, entertainment, universities, medicine.

Postmodernism really hasn't been good for us.

bagoh20 said...

Both political sides hate science, and only use it as a weapon when it claims to prove what they already believe. But to accept science when it directly destroys your political position; how often have you seen that.

Unless everyone is simultaneously in disagreement, and also correct there should be a lot of people saying "You know what, I was wrong, and now I know different". When was the last time you heard that by anyone, let alone a politician. Nobody has to say it. They just need to Google until they find the proof they want. That's why I really lose interest when people start posting links rather than arguing ideas. Usually these links are no more than asking some stranger his opinion and then pretending it has some special gravitas. I'm not sure which is more reliable anymore, opinion or "facts". Since you can find whichever you want in any flavor you like.

The bullshit has gotten so deep that not only are their an endless number of competing theories on everything, but also an armory of studies to back each of them up. Consequently, now days you can "prove" anything, and even win popular support for it if people want to believe it.

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

So how much did Republicans waste on this not-so-entertaining political theater?

As opposed to all the money the demos waste on the enviro-nuts and their junk science?

Solyndra, cap&trade, the EPA, the drilling moratorium?

The Republican Party is apparently anti-Science, even though Science creates jobs in this country. I've never quite understood why Burton and his ilk are allowed a mouthpiece.

Any more than people like Chuckie Schumer?

And nobody is as anti-science than the Lefties.

They only see science as a propaganda tool.

bagoh20 said...

If U.S. hikes taxes, high-income Californians might pay almost 52 percent

I'm surrounded by idiots, and assholes, who vote to be ruled by thieves.

I'll be handing out year-end bonuses next week to all employees. I'll make a point of explaining how much these tax increases will cost them next year, since every penny will come out of their pay - there is nowhere else to get it. Maybe if I tell them I'm a Democrat, I can convince them that it's good for them to give that money to Congresspeople rather than their families.

victoria said...

Idiots.

Probably believe the world was created in 7 days and that the earth is only 5000 years old

Idiots

Vicki from Pasadena

Eric said...

I'm surrounded by idiots, and assholes, who vote to be ruled by thieves.

Yes, Congress isn't any more pro-math than it is pro-science. As Steyn pointed out, we'd have to raise taxes by 50% across the board to cover current obligations and even more if we wanted to make good on future promises.

No wonder they want to argue about vaccines and birth control.

bagoh20 said...

Can some Leftie her give me some help and tell me how to explain to people that after working their ass off, and being frugal and smart enough to have a successful year in this economy that they now should get a pay cut in order to give more money to those who did none of those things.

What cute sound bite can I use motivate them to do it again next year, after they just got screwed by their fellow citizens and politicians that can't control themselves or their greed, and don't even think it's a good idea to try.

Really, I'd like some help with this.

http://youtu.be/E-PIidaqCyU?t=50s

JAL said...

Recommended reading -- books by Paul Offit

Autisms False Prophets

Deadly Choices

Seriously, libs and lefties (Harkin anyone?) and repubs (Burton) both have misinformed and bad science ideologues.

Burton is an embarassment (someone should send him some of Offit's books) but IIRC is a grandfather with an autistic grandchild and this is his struggle to deal with it. Unfortunately he has enough seniority to pull congress in. Again. (How amny times has he done this?) Bizarre that these guys think they know more than the scientists.

But then we still have the golden hockey stick out there and the US president is fully playing that game.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

I'm a lefty and somehow don't belive vaccinations cause Autism, go figure.

I'm also not a vegetarian.



Inga said...

I know several young mothers in my area, conservative by chance, who do buy into this notion, go figure.

EMD said...

Secret Service protection and vaccination brouhahas?

Thanks Congress.

What's another trillion down the drain?

EMD said...

Lamar Alexander wasn't a very good Presidential candidate, but he had one good idea:

Any legislator should spend only six months in Washington, DC and the other six months in his or her own district.

n.n said...

We should not force exposure to injury or death without sufficient cause. We should not suggest exposure without sufficient education. The choice in most cases must be genuinely voluntary. There is an inherent risk associated with vaccines. Not the least of which are derived from the weakened or disabled antigen itself, but also from additives. While this risk only affects a small number of individuals, it poses a real threat and must be addressed.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

MadisonMan said...

So how much did Republicans waste on this not-so-entertaining political theater?

The Republican Party is apparently anti-Science, even though Science creates jobs in this country. I've never quite understood why Burton and his ilk are allowed a mouthpiece.


Suppose I say, the Democrat Party enjoys killing babies in the womb. My authority on that is better than yours vis-s-vis Republicans and science. Putz.

Revenant said...

Barton should be ashamed of himself.

Donna B. said...

JAL -- I though it was Burton's son who was autistic, but whoever... I think he's a scum for using that as a "moral authority" club to bully people into listening to him.

That sort of behavior is not limited by choice of political ideology any more than is the ability to discern good science from junk science.

hawkeyedjb said...

It's not the science, it's the absurd and unrelated conclusions drawn by politicians who, by their nature, are not scientists but opinionists. For example, how did we get from:

"There may be evidence that there are some connections between human activity and observed changes in climate-related indicators"

to

"We gotta wreck the economy RIGHT NOW or we're all gonna die!"

Saint Croix said...

Burton is a firm believer in the myth that vaccines cause autism, and he arrogantly holds the position that he knows the truth better than the thousands of scientists who have spent much of the past decade doing real science that proves him wrong.

Ooo, you're outnumbered, Burton! Thousands. And they're scientists. With degrees!

I found it so disheartening that a professor would rely on ad hominems. "Arrogant" and "bully" and "assault" and "went off the deep end" and "quack doctors" and "your question is almost identical to what Jenny McCarthy asked five years ago." Oh, horror!

This is how you teach? Talk about the actual studies. Share the science with us. Your inability to do that, and an emotional rant where all you can do is call people names, doesn't speak well for you or your science class.

Molly said...

The people who blame vaccinations for autism need to step into the science ring and provide an explanation for how their theory is falsifiable: what kind of study or test would conceivably convince them that their theory is wrong? In fact, the vaccination-autism link is a matter of faith, and those who seek to examine the link scientifically are not just infidels, but wicked devils trying to lead others away from the path of truth.

You know, I used to think that the internet would usher in an age of reason, but it seems more successful in spreading hysterical fads than in promoting logical debate.

Marshal said...

bagoh20 said...
It's a good sign that Congress has nothing important to be working on - the bliss of peace and prosperity, finally.


The best thing about this story is the time wasted. Politicians only perform two functions, grandstanding and screwing things up. No matter how stupid this is it's better then the alternative.

damikesc said...

Any legislator should spend only six months in Washington, DC and the other six months in his or her own district.

Hell, shrink the legislative calendar down to one month. The stuff that needs doing will be done and the more extraneous bullshit won't have time to be considered.

But...this hearing sounds like utter BS. You have to be a special level of dumb to buy vaccines = autism.

Marshal said...

than the alternative.

Saint Croix said...

I found the Wikipedia page far more interesting.

Buried down in the article was this attack on people who are suspicious of vaccines, published in the New England Journal of Medicine:

"complete mistrust of government and manufacturers, conspiratorial thinking, denialism, low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns, reasoning flaws, and a habit of substituting emotional anecdotes for data"

Stupid people!

"unable to understand and incorporate concepts of risk and probability into science-grounded decision making" and those "who use deliberate mistruths, intimidation, falsified data, and threats of violence."

Hey, those are some good insults, right there. Now I want to subscribe to the New England Journal of Medicine. For all my name-calling needs.

Next time I yell at Garage, I think I'll hit him with "denialism" and "low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns."

Aridog said...

bagoh20 said...

It's a good sign that Congress has nothing important to be working on - the bliss of peace and prosperity, finally.

Yessiree....this is true bi-partisanship, where a Republican moron says "Oh, look...SQUIRREL!" for the Democrats. Nothing else to discuss and Barry O is going on vacay shortly.

Freeman Hunt said...

Many, many people around here, both liberal and conservative, forgo vaccinations. If they're going to have a hearing, it should be about how to restore the public trust and get people vaccinating again.

As others have pointed out, simply calling people names does nothing to restore the public trust. You have to show people the science over and over and over and over. (And over.) Approach peacefully, not in open hostility.

Rusty said...

damikesc said...
Any legislator should spend only six months in Washington, DC and the other six months in his or her own district.

Hell, shrink the legislative calendar down to one month. The stuff that needs doing will be done and the more extraneous bullshit won't have time to be considered.

But...this hearing sounds like utter BS. You have to be a special level of dumb to buy vaccines = autism.


All public congressional hearings are a dog and pony show. Mostly to justify their phoneybaloney jobs.

Saint Croix said...

Vaccines are emotional, of course, because you are injecting drugs into healthy children. And any drug has side effects or adverse events.

For the government, it's a statistical game. Measles will harm X number of children, while the vaccine will harm Y number of children.

On a statistical basis, it would seem to be rational to give children the vaccine if the vaccine is less harmful overall than measles.

Yet that logic bothers a lot of people. After all, if the drug harms the child, then you have harmed the child. You have injected a drug into a healthy child and made them sick. This guilt/fear/anger is what drives this debate.

And it's no using saying these parents are irrational. I see a lot of emotion and irrationality coming from the other side, too. Vaccines are safe! No risk! You're an idiot!

But you can't "prove" safety. It's relative risk vs. relative risk. And that can be a factual, logical discussion. But it doesn't seem to be one that Salzburg is interested in making.

Pogo said...

"But you can't "prove" safety."

Excellent point. People in the US have little reason to 'take one for the team', accepting the few bad outcomes for the good of all.

Soon, medical tests and procedures will be denied because the statistics say so. Some men will die of prostate cancer that would have been treatable. They are similarly going to be told to take one for the team.

Question is, is there a team anymore? Ask what I can do for my country? I don't see that as a prevailing theme, not in the generation since JFK spoke those words.

Gabriel Hanna said...

An interesting double standard in the comments here.

People who accept the findings of scientists must only argue from scientific findings. They must never say that people who do not accept the findings are irrational, and they must never say that the people who refuse to learn anything about the findings are ignorant; this is "name-calling" and hurtful.

People who reject the findings of scientists have no obligation whatever to provide scientific evidence of equal weight. They are free to call any invocation of scientific findings as "appeals to authority" and free to reject them in toto as the product of fraud and groupthink, without showing any evidence of either. They can endlessly demand more and more scientific evidence from their opponents, just as though thousands of scientists have not done spent decades doing just that.

Stephen Colbert had a bit where he parodied conservatives as relying on their guts.

Pogo said...

"People who reject the findings of scientists have no obligation whatever to provide scientific evidence of equal weight."

The modern university trampled the appeal to truth long ago, Gabriel.

Postmodern thought has rendered all facts and authority as absurd or abusive, being merely assertions of power.

It wasn't conservatives who taught that method.

It didn't seem so harmful when you were deconstructing Melville, but applying it to Darwin, vaccines, and monetary policy has other consequences.

Sure, call them stupid. They'll call you fascist.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Saint Croix: I see a lot of emotion and irrationality coming from the other side, too. Vaccines are safe! No risk! You're an idiot!

Vaccines are safe. Safer than riding in a car with your children, or having five-gallon plastic buckets around small children, or swimming pools, or dogs. That is borne out by the evidence you deny that anyone needs to look at. People drive their kids around and own dogs with little thought for safety, but vaccines are somehow scary despite having miniscule risks in comparison. The perception of risk is not rationally based.

No doctor will tell you that vaccines have "no risk". They tell you that the risk of ill effects from vaccinations are much smaller, and less serious, than the risks from not getting vaccinated.

People who choose to ignore scientific evidence about vaccines may or may not be idiots, but they are exercising extremely poor judgment that puts everyone else's health in danger, and they are doing so with no accurate perception of the relative risk involved.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pogo:Postmodern thought has rendered all facts and authority as absurd or abusive, being merely assertions of power.

More truthiness from your gut. You will not find that nonsense in physics classes, or the other STEM disciplines that your modern lifestyle is built around.

It didn't seem so harmful when you were deconstructing Melville, but applying it to Darwin, vaccines, and monetary policy has other consequences.

Who's "we", kemosabe?

Sure, call them stupid.

I didn't call anyone stupid for rejecting science. Willfully ignorant and misinformed, yes, but that is objectively demonstrated by their behavior, it's not a name I call them. It has nothing to do with stupidity. Quite smart people choose to be ignorant, misinformed, and to misinform others.

Matthew Sablan said...

Hey now, if a random law student can spout quackery about the availability of birth control, then congresspeople can spout quackery about the effects of vaccinations.

The Farmer said...

bagoh20 said...
Can some Leftie her give me some help and tell me how to explain to people that after working their ass off, and being frugal and smart enough to have a successful year in this economy that they now should get a pay cut in order to give more money to those who did none of those things.


I asked Althouse commenters the same question re: Wisconsin state employees.

Based on the responses, I'd suggest you tell your employees they're lazy, stupid, overpaid, spoiled brats.

Pogo said...

"They tell you that the risk of ill effects from vaccinations are much smaller, and less serious, than the risks from not getting vaccinated."

True. But schools quit teaching science and facts long ago.

Appealing to them now is useless. We have a generation of parents that see anecdotes as being more powerful than data.

The recent global warming data falsifications didn't help engender trust either. People know they're being lied to all the time by the government. Why should they trust them on this issue?.

The left succeeded in undermining all authority. Great work! Now we are enjoying the consequences.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Not vaccinating your children is exactly like letting them crap in the city water supply. You have endangered not only your own family but everyone else's. If you live way out in the country you can put your outhouse next to your well without inconveniencing me. And if your children are never going to be around other people's then I'd have little to say about it then. But since you're not living in a valley in New Guinea it is my problem if you don't vaccinate your kids.

Vaccines are cheap. You can get them for free if you can't afford them. They're a hell of a lot cheaper, to individuals and society, than whooping cough, measles, and diphtheria.

Pogo said...

"You will not find that nonsense in physics classes, or the other STEM disciplines that your modern lifestyle is built around."

Right. I agree.

The problem is the remainder of the public has been indoctrinated in deconstruction and postmodern thought. Though they may never have heard those words, it affects their everyday thinking, and obviates appeals to those things you call facts.

For it has taught them there are no facts, there is only power.

Leftists did that.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Pogo:True. But schools quit teaching science and facts long ago.

More fact-free truthiness from Pogo's gut.

The recent global warming data falsifications didn't help engender trust either.

"no obligation whatever to provide scientific evidence of equal weight": check

"reject them in toto as the product of fraud and groupthink, without showing any evidence of either": check



Pogo said...

"Not vaccinating your children is exactly like..."

I agree. I vaccinated my kids. I get a flu shot every year (even though it gave me a brachial plexopathy once).

But your assertions are not the point. That they are true facts is not the point.

The left killed 'truth.' That made them more than ignorant, it made them stupid, because they are unable to see things as unassailable facts.

Might as well talk to a brick wall.
And the left did that.

Jake Diamond said...

People believe all sorts of goofy things. For example, edutcher believes that Mittens won the election in a "landslide" but the Democrats stole the election.

Let's face it... there are a lot of really stupid people in America.

Jay said...

Congress, and America, needs fewer people like Dan Burton.

Michael K said...

"If I were in the Republican leadership, I'd think seriously about finding a way to punish Burton for this stunt."

Well, you can't communicate your opinion by e-mail if you're not in his district. Maybe he has a good reason for that. This stuff just feeds the left's meme about stupid Republicans.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'd've used the % of people convinced we didn't go to the moon, 9/11 was an inside job and that Obama is a "secret Muslim" as my examples of people believing silly things, but, hey, when you can make snide, personal attacks, I guess that's best.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...
People believe all sorts of goofy things. For example


Yes, for example, you believe 21% of Americans, that would be ~65 million people, own over 220 million firearms.

You're a goof.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...
Let's face it... there are a lot of really stupid people in America.


Hey, remember when you criticized the people who believed, after watching Michael Moore's "documentary" GW Bush invaded Afghanistan for an oil pipeline?

Pogo said...

"But schools quit teaching science and facts long ago.

More fact-free truthiness from Pogo's gut.
"

My explanation fits the anti-vaccine beliefs we are discussing. You've offered no such explanation.

For example, a majority of Democrats have a favorable view of socialism, despite the overwhelming facts against it.

Postmodern thought is pervasive. And the left did that

Michael K said...

" n.n said...
We should not force exposure to injury or death without sufficient cause. We should not suggest exposure without sufficient education. The choice in most cases must be genuinely voluntary. There is an inherent risk associated with vaccines. Not the least of which are derived from the weakened or disabled antigen itself, but also from additives. While this risk only affects a small number of individuals, it poses a real threat and must be addressed.
"

Dan, is that you under a pseudonym ?

Autism is genetic and could be treatable if the idiots will shut up for a while.

Schizophrenia used to be thought caused by mothers that were not nurturing. Want to address that one again ?

Jake Diamond said...

Yes, for example, you believe 21% of Americans, that would be ~65 million people, own over 220 million firearms.

Actually, Jay, I referred you to data gathered by the NORC that found that approximately 21% of Americans are gun owners. Don't blame me if you don't like the data and reject it simply because you find it inconvenient.

It's a shame you have such poor reading comprehension.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Actually, Jay, I referred you to data gathered by the NORC that found that approximately 21% of Americans are gun owners.


I know what you did, you fucking idiot.

The "data" is as valid as many of your other idiotic claims.

Jake Diamond said...

My explanation fits the anti-vaccine beliefs we are discussing.

No. Your explanation is an attempt to rationalize your political ideology.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Actually, Jay, I referred you to data gathered by the NORC that found that approximately 21% of Americans are gun owners


Um, you believe this to be true, disphit.

Michael K said...

"Freeman Hunt said...
Many, many people around here, both liberal and conservative, forgo vaccinations. If they're going to have a hearing, it should be about how to restore the public trust and get people vaccinating again."

Darwin has the answer to them. Of course, they don't believe Darwin. The kids who die of common diseases like whooping cough and measles won't reproduce. It's a bit like the "Roe Effect."

Seeing Red said...

Of course they don't need vaccinations, they've weighed the risk and don't think they need them.

They live in a world without polio, small pox or the affects of a pregnant woman exposed to German Measels.

When that stuff starts spreading more, they may or may not change their minds.

Did U ever think you'd see ads to get your whooping cough shot cos grandparents can get it from their grandkids or they can pass it on to their grandchildren?

Jake Diamond said...

The "data" is as valid as many of your other idiotic claims.

So Jay admits he doesn't believe in data.

Interestingly though, he thinks pregnancy tests can make women pregnant.

Seeing Red said...

India has another 2 years to go before they can declare themselves polio free.

Their neighbor Pakistan won't be so fortunate.

It's close to being...suppressed.....only 3 countries still have it.

When it starts rising again here, maybe it'll make some stop & think.

Jake Diamond said...

Try not to have a meltdown again, Jay. Why don't you go eat some oatmeal and shout at the kids who step on your lawn on the way to school?

Matthew Sablan said...

Gallup on gun ownership, by the way. That's much higher than 21%.

Seeing Red said...

--For example, a majority of Democrats have a favorable view of socialism, despite the overwhelming facts against it.---


They are the ones they've been waiting for, legends in their own minds, it will surely work this time.

Not - and the misery, death & destruction it brings, mehhh, lots of omelets.

Seeing Red said...

Evil white men & their vaccines.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

So Jay admits he doesn't believe in data.


Um, there is no reason to believe "the data" since it isn't supported by any actual facts.

At all.

Note that you can't bring yourself to square the fact that you believe 65 million Americans own over 220 million firearms.

Idiot.

Matthew Sablan said...

In fact, the lowest it gets is 40%, which makes me wonder what NORC's methodology was. I find it hard to believe people would deliberately -over-report- gun ownership (claiming to have a gun without actually having one), since there's no value-gain with that lie, so I find it hard to distrust Gallup's numbers.

Jake Diamond said...

Gee, thanks Matthew! According to Gallup, 47% of homes have at least one gun. Of course, homes aren't the same as people, and since most homes have more than one person, your link doesn't contradict the NORC survey data.

Thanks again for sharing, though!

Jay said...


So Jay admits he doesn't believe in data.


Notice you completely ignore the gallup poll and the fact that the sale of firearms has nearly doubled since 2006 alone.

You cling tightly to a singular survey to confirm your biases.

You need that clinging. Kind of like a binky to keep you warm at night.

It must be fun having a binky.

Jake Diamond said...

Um, there is no reason to believe "the data" since it isn't supported by any actual facts.

Ok, Jay, so you don't believe in polling data. Fine. Why don't you undertake an enumeration of all guns and gun owners in America. Please report back when you complete the task, but not before.

Good luck!

Pogo said...

"which makes me wonder what NORC's methodology was"

"NORC at the University of Chicago is a leader and innovator in social science research.

"Social science" research.
Heh.

Saint Croix said...

People who accept the findings of scientists must only argue from scientific findings.

No, no, go ahead and make a video with polar bears falling from the sky.

Jake Diamond said...

Notice you completely ignore the gallup poll

Oh Jay, I didn't ignore it, but unlike you, I understood it. The percentage of homes with a gun does not equal the percentage of people who own a gun. Ok?

Thanks for playing, Jay. It's always fun to watch your low quality brain in action.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...
Gee, thanks Matthew! According to Gallup, 47% of homes have at least one gun. Of course, homes aren't the same as people, and since most homes have more than one person, your link doesn't contradict the NORC survey data.


HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA

FROM THE NORC SURVEY:

Since the early 1970s the General Social Survey has asked the question: “Do you happen to have in your home (if house: or garage) any guns or revolvers?”


Yes folks, you can't make this kind of stupid up

Yes folks, wittle jakie didn't bother to read the relevant NORC survey at all.

Matthew Sablan said...

Wait... you're quoting the NORC? Which publishes this: "Another way that these covariates of gun carrying can be utilized is to look at how many gun carriers
have characteristics that might raise concerns about their possession of weapons. This indicates that 21% of gun carriers sometimes drink more than they should, 13% have been arrested by the police for a nontraffic offence, and 49% have been charged with a moving, motor-vehicle infraction. Combined together 61% of gun carriers drink too much, have been arrested, and/or have been charged with a moving violation and 30% drink too much and/or have been arrested."

I was trying to find the specific link that you were talking about and came across that. Do you realize how -bad- that math is? Not only that, they give us no baseline with which to compare. How many non-gun carriers drink more than they should? Do they prove that these gun carriers are drinking more than they should while carrying the gun? I'm not going to bother to continue to pick through their data to try and find whatever your claim is, since they clearly are shoddy statisticians.

Seeing Red said...

When I was in school, I had a lefty social studies teacher, shocking I know. He took an "informal" poll wanting to know how many guns the class had.

Now that I'm wiser, I tell the kids to lie cos it's none of their business.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Oh Jay, I didn't ignore it, but unlike you, I understood it. The percentage of homes with a gun does not equal the percentage of people who own a gun. Ok?


HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA

You have not one utter fucking clue as to what you're talking about given that the NORC did the exact same thing as Gallup
you fucking moron

Saint Croix said...

Vaccines are safe. Safer than riding in a car with your children

Are you willing to inject a vaccine in your child's arm every day?

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Oh Jay, I didn't ignore it, but unlike you, I understood it. The percentage of homes with a gun does not equal the percentage of people who own a gun.


From the NORC Survey:

2010, less than a third of American households reported having a gun in the home.

HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA

wittle jakie made an ass of himself again!

Matthew Sablan said...

Er, in the 2001 NORC survey I found, they were looking at households: "The personal ownership of firearms in the United States is probably more widespread than in any other
developed nation in the world (Killias, 1993b). As Table 5A indicates, about 35-36% of households have a gun and 22% contain a handgun." (Same link as above.) Did their survey methodology change since 2001?

Pogo said...

Jay, you can't expect Jake to read the study he vociferously supports.

It's unfair.

Shit, Congressmen don't have to read bills before they vote for 'em.

Why should Jake be any different?
Double standard.

Jay said...

Matthew Sablan said...
Er, in the 2001 NORC survey I found, they were looking at households


I know.

Wittle Jakie never got past the Violence Policy Center news release.

Wittle Jakie believes 65 million Americans own over 220 million firearms

Wittle Jakie is a dumbass.

Jay said...

Jake Diamond said...

Oh Jay, I didn't ignore it, but unlike you, I understood it.


This quote lives in Infamy.

To read the Violence Policy Center "data" wittle Jakie is referencing, go here in Google Docs.

You will see in heavy bold font the words "Household Gun Ownership" on the 2nd page.

Saint Croix said...

Not vaccinating your children is exactly like letting them crap in the city water supply. You have endangered not only your own family but everyone else's.

Do you want to criminalize the non-vaccinated? Or forcibly vaccinate people? Or both?

Saint Croix said...

That is borne out by the evidence you deny

I haven't denied any evidence. I'm open-minded on it. I'm just noting all the name-calling and the angry emotions.

Matthew Sablan said...

Ah. I see what they're doing; they're asking the same group of people if they own the guns in their house. This is an interesting way to do it, but I'm not sure if it works.

For example, do they poll everyone in a single household? If not, then what if there are two guns, two adults, and both adults own the guns? Instead of getting two people as gun owners, they only get one. Or, worse, what if there are four adults in a house, three guns, but the one they interview happens to not own one of the guns. Then they don't know if there are three gun owners or one gun owner in that household.

That's... pretty sloppy.

Big Mike said...

If I were in the Republican leadership, I'd think seriously about finding a way to punish Burton for this stunt.

I second that.

As if seeing leftists bandy about their junk science isn't even more stifling?

So it is, but the way to debunk left-wing junk science certainly is not by introducing right-wing junk science (e.g., raped women cannot get pregnant unless it wasn't really a rape).

And, FWIW, the supposed correlation of vaccination with autism started out as left wing junk science. From what I understand it's still a popular belief in San Francisco.

As others have pointed out, simply calling people names does nothing to restore the public trust. You have to show people the science over and over and over and over. (And over.) Approach peacefully, not in open hostility.

Amen.

Seeing Red said...

--Do you want to criminalize the non-vaccinated? Or forcibly vaccinate people? Or both?---


It used to be no vaccination, no public school.

So, yes?

Seeing Red said...

TB is on the rise, Whooping Cough is on the rise, it's for the children & public health.

Do you want all those Typhoid Mary's walking around?

Seeing Red said...

It'll be interesting to see what Obamacare does.

Saint Croix said...

Not vaccinating your children is exactly like letting them crap in the city water supply.

This is a bit OCD, I think. You're comparing unvaccinated kids to shit. It's like you're calling them diseased or dirty. To me, they're normal children.

Normal children do get diseases, and vaccination can help fight diseases. But don't let your imagination get away from you.

You have endangered not only your own family but everyone else's.

How is your vaccinated kid at risk, exactly?

If you live way out in the country you can put your outhouse next to your well without inconveniencing me.

Again with the shit metaphors.

And if your children are never going to be around other people's then I'd have little to say about it then. But since you're not living in a valley in New Guinea it is my problem if you don't vaccinate your kids.

Why not just rely on science and convince us that vaccinations are safe and effective? As it is, I wouldn't want you running any autism-vaccination clinical studies. You're so emotionally invested in the necessity of vaccination that I don't think you would see any negative results, let alone publish them.

Pogo said...

"It'll be interesting to see what Obamacare does."

Install subcutaneous RFID tags and if your BMI is greater than goal, it sets off alarms at McDonald's, and your EBT card won't work.

Pogo said...

Install accelerometers as well, and when you don't get enough exercise, the Obamacare police come to your door.

"We need to have a talk."

Marshal said...

Gabriel Hanna said...

"reject them in toto as the product of fraud and groupthink, without showing any evidence of either": check


Actually there's quite a bit of evidence of both of these. Your pretending evidence doesn't exist at all instead of disputing that it constitutes proof and providing contrary evidence merely removes you as an honest participant in the evaluation.

In fact you could summarize your position as rejecting their assertions in toto as the product of groupthink without showing evidence.

Seeing Red said...

Nahh, not come to your door, remotely shock you so you keep moving.

MadisonMan said...


How is your vaccinated kid at risk, exactly?

Vaccinations reduce the risk of a disease, but they do not reduce it to zero.

If more people are unvaccinated, then there are more opportunities to be exposed to a disease and therefore, even if vaccinated, acquire that disease.

Seeing Red said...

Especially we oldsters who need boosters.

sean said...

What a revolting bunch of scumbags congressmen are. This is a good reminder of why I could never be a Republican.

sean said...

What a revolting bunch of scumbags congressmen are. This is a good reminder of why I could never be a Republican.

Pogo said...

But you have no problem with the a revolting bunch of scumbag Democrat congressmen.

Marshal said...

sean said...
What a revolting bunch of scumbags congressmen are. This is a good reminder of why I could never be a Republican.


Obviously you've spent a great deal of effort missing hearings if you think this in any way stands out.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/05/maxine-waters-to-become-senior-democrat-on-financial-services.html

Fritz said...

Burton must go; I don't even care anymore that he votes for the Republican Speaker of the House.

Aridog said...

Un, @Jake Diamond....did you miss the line in the Gallup document where they say:

... Gallup has asked respondents with guns in their households a follow-up question to determine if the gun belongs to the respondent or to someone else. On this basis, Gallup finds that 34% of all Americans personally own a gun.

Gallup did cover the anomaly of household versus individual ownership...and individual ownership came out as 34% ...a fair bit above the 21% you claim NORC determined.

Jake Diamond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

I guess it's good that a lot of self-described Republicans here can call out Burton's waste of time.

Of course, if Sheila Jackson Lee or Maxine Waters or Chuck Schumer does something stupid, will Shiloh, et al be here to disown her/him? Hmmmm.

Jake Diamond said...

You have not one utter fucking clue as to what you're talking about given that the NORC did the exact same thing as Gallup you fucking moron.

Actually, no. The NORC collected information on BOTH personal gun ownership and households with guns.

See the following:

Since 1980, General Social Survey respondents who state that they have a gun in their home are then asked, “Do any of these guns personally belong to you?”

All of which confirms several simple facts:

- The NORC survey collected data on personal gun ownership as well as guns in households.

- Jay is an idiot and never tires of proving it.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@St Croix:Are you willing to inject a vaccine in your child's arm every day?

Truthiness from HIS gut. Yes. There would be no point, though. If the vaccine took the first time, he'd derive no additional benefit.

Many times more children die from the diseases vaccines present than die from vaccines. Many times more children die in the car with their parents than die from vaccines.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in children under 15. You are apparently happy to subject them to that risk, but not the miniscule risk from vaccines?




bagoh20 said...

As I expected: Nothing, not a peep.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Saint Croix:Do you want to criminalize the non-vaccinated? Or forcibly vaccinate people? Or both?

That has nothing to do with whether vaccines are dangerous. Your thinking is completely confused. No one here has called for either of those things.

Vaccines objective are safe and effective according all scientific evidence so far. That has nothing whatever to do with whether people are forced to vaccinate. You are trying to confuse the issue.

You may think that bullets can't harm people who believe in fairies, but when I point out you are wrong about that it doesn't mean I wish to forbid you to shoot yourself. It means you are wrong.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Marshal:Actually there's quite a bit of evidence of both of these.

False.

Your pretending evidence doesn't exist at all instead of disputing that it constitutes proof and providing contrary evidence merely removes you as an honest participant in the evaluation.

Also false.

In fact you could summarize your position as rejecting their assertions in toto as the product of groupthink without showing evidence.

False again.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Actually, no. The NORC collected information on BOTH personal gun ownership and households with guns."

So, exactly the same thing as Gallup: "Since 2000, Gallup has asked respondents with guns in their households a follow-up question to determine if the gun belongs to the respondent or to someone else. On this basis, Gallup finds that 34% of all Americans personally own a gun."

(PS: This follow up question is still sloppy.)

Gabriel Hanna said...

@St Croix:Why not just rely on science and convince us that vaccinations are safe and effective?

Because after fifty years of scientific evidence you do not listen. Pearls before swine, and all that. I don;t care if you kill your kids but I don;t want your kids killing mine, thank you.

As it is, I wouldn't want you running any autism-vaccination clinical studies. You're so emotionally invested in the necessity of vaccination that I don't think you would see any negative results, let alone publish them.

no obligation whatever to provide scientific evidence of equal weight: check

rejects them in toto as the product of fraud and groupthink, without showing any evidence of either: check

endlessly demand more and more scientific evidence from their opponents, just as though thousands of scientists have not done spent decades doing just that: check

Just like the evolution and climate change threads!


Freeman Hunt said...

No one can make conservatives own the anti vaccination position. That position is pervasive across all political ideologies. It's a real problem.

I think people, myself included, wrongly assumed that being anti-vaccination was a fad that would quickly peter out, so it wasn't addressed. Instead, the fad has grown and grown. Not getting or delaying vaccinations is now normal.

To shame the anti-vaccination crowd is only to perpetuate irrational sentiment. People need to be educated on relative risks. If you say, "Vaccines are perfectly safe," their defenses go up immediately because they know that isn't true. There are rare problems, so someone saying that vaccines pose no risk whatsoever is only undermining his credibility and, by extension, the credibility of the pro-vaccination position.

Better to show people how tiny the risk of getting vaccinations is compared to the risk not getting vaccinations. Remind people of what things were like before vaccinations.

You'll still have problems with free riders, (I've heard plenty of people say, "I'm glad other people get vaccinations because that protects my children, but I'm not vaccinating my own.") but that's much more complicated to address because it goes to the culture of total individualism.

One has to start somewhere, so why not start with showing people the relative risks?

Aridog said...

Mr Ad Hominem ... You have not one utter fucking clue as to what you're talking about given that the NORC did the exact same thing as Gallup you fucking moron.

Well that certainly makes it easier to ignore you in the future. Us "fucking morons" really don give a shit. "Get" it?

Freeman Hunt said...

Gabriel, you're calling people who agree with you opponents.

You are absolutely right that all existing evidence points to vaccination being effective, worthwhile, and safe. You're wrong, however, in thinking that most people already know this. They don't. Taking a hostile approach won't convince them, but a calm, reasoned, and very persistent approach might.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Freeman:One has to start somewhere, so why not start with showing people the relative risks?

So should I go to St Croix's house and prop his eyelids open a la Clockwork Orange?

What the hell do you think all the freaking studies are DOING? SHOWING PEOPLE THE RELATIVE RISKS. People like St Croix refuse to listen and then pretend that no one wants to show them anything.

I can't make people read, and I can't make them believe what they read. Neither can any other scientist.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2304782

What do you think THIS organization exists to do?

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/index.html

I don't want St Croix sent to reeducation camp. If he chooses to not listen, if he chooses to lie, he has those rights. He's just willfully ignorant and exercising poor judgment that is endangering the health of other people. He will never be persuaded of it no matter who tells him or how often.

Marshal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marshal said...

Gabriel Hanna said...
@Marshal:Actually there's quite a bit of evidence of both of these.

False.


The people holding the base data wrote that they've been successful at "hiding the decline". The executive summaries of IPCC documents routinely include assertions not supported by the studies referenced. Climate change is routinely cited as the cause of events when the evidence shows nothing of the sort. Evidence of groupthink is available in virtually every media publication on the subject, including the effort to have editors replaced for merely enforcing peer review standards on GW articles.

But instead of saying "some people are overzealous and we need to return to rationality and eliminate the hyperbole and groupthink" you assert these events did not happen. But of course everyone knows these events did occur. People who insist inconvenient truths simply didn't happen cannot be part of any solution. They've already proven they are more interested in driving a particular solution than they are about science. Any process driven by such people is a political process rather than scientific and deserves to be judged as such.

By announcing that such obvious facts don't exist all you do is ruin your own credibility.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Freeman, vaccines are like smoking and lung cancer. Every person in this country has been exposed to this information multiple times now. Smoke if you want, fine. Don't smoke around me, and don't pretend that smoking is perfectly safe.

I do not understand why you make excuses for the willfully ignorant and saying that their ignorance is somehow the fault of the medical/scientific community for not going to individual houses and giving everybody a brief on the state of the science every day.

If a guy wants to tell me smoking is healthy, I already know the massive volume of information he is willfully ignoring. Why argue with that? It is the same for vaccines.

Jay said...

Aridog said...
Mr Ad Hominem ...


Hey, why don't you point out anything I said that was factually incorrect?

Thanks.

Jay said...

ake Diamond said...
- The NORC survey collected data on personal gun ownership as well as guns in households.


So did Gallup.

You can stop now.

Your beclowning is complete.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Marshal:"hide the decline"

Decline in what, sir? Care to elaborate on that? I thought not.

I have posted the original paper here too many times to mention, so let's not derail the thread. There was no "decline" and no one "hid" it, if we are talking about global temperatures, and I will happily provide the link to the Nature paper at issue and you can see for yourself.

I have fought the climate wars--and the evolution wars--many times here, and this is a different topic, and we are not rehashing it now.

Matthew Sablan said...

No one argues "smoking is healthy." At most, I've heard smokers argue that they're willing to trade years at the end of their life for better/more fulfilling earlier years. Making strawmen of opponents is silly.

Jay said...

Aridog said...
Un, @Jake Diamond....did you miss the line in the Gallup document where they say:



Of course wittle Jakie did.

That is what liars do.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Matthew Sablan:No one argues "smoking is healthy."

I never said anyone did. It was a parable, if you like. A counterfactual intended to illustrate the fallacy more clearly.

The anti-vaccine movement argues that vaccines mess up kids and that the medical/scientific community is hiding that fact, or in denial about it, or whatever. That is analogous to saying that smoking is healthy, in that the results of many years of study is just waved away and replaced with its opposite.

Once more we see the double standard--those who argue for science must endlessly document everything they say, and those who argue against it get to say whatever they want without any factual support.

Matthew Sablan said...

No. You were creating a strawman. It is logically shoddy and hurts your case. No one is going to say a silly thing; if you imply that other people -are- telling you these silly things, then the people you want to argue with won't care. Because they are not arguing what you're debunking. The people who think vaccines are too dangerous don't think smoking is healthy; it is a clumsy, straw-filled analogy that hurts your case.

Aridog said...

Jay ... how to tell you? You need to know you allies from your enemies. I was specifically referring to the ad hominem of @Jake Diamond, which I took as addressed to me. Even if to you, I was clear about how I'll be treating anything he write in the future.

In short, I am on your side in this matter.

Marshal said...

Gabriel Hanna said...
@Marshal:"hide the decline"

Decline in what, sir? Care to elaborate on that? I thought not.

I have posted the original paper here too many times to mention, so let's not derail the thread.


Yes, let's not. Instead let's baselessly generalize our accusations to slander a group different than vaccine opposers and then accuse others of derailing the thread when they dispute the generalization.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, vaccines are like smoking and lung cancer. Every person in this country has been exposed to this information multiple times now.

No, they really haven't. Subscribe to some parenting email lists, and you'll see. People write things like, "There are risks to getting vaccines and risks to not getting them, so I just don't know."

They've done plenty of studies; that's not the issue.

I know that the CDC is supposed to address this. I'm saying that they haven't done an adequate job.

I like the recent whooping cough ads. There should be more ads like those. There should be public service announcement ads talking about the relative risks. There should be mailers. There should be Internet ads.

Basically, they need better marketing, not better studies.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Matthew Sablan: if you imply that other people -are- telling you these silly things,

There was no IMPLICATION. That word does not MEAN what you think it means.

But saying that vaccines are dangerous IS as silly, objectively speaking, as saying that smoking is NOT. I used a case where that is VERY clear to compare it to one that is, to some, NOT as clear.

Again, the double standard. I have to restrict myself to pure fact, which my opponents may freely dismiss, because I am arguing on the side of science. Those who are argue against me are free to say whatever with no censure.

@Marshal: Instead let's baselessly generalize our accusations to slander a group different than vaccine opposers..

I displayed a garment, and you claim I cut it to your fit.

But all I did was note the common science denying tactics:

a) produce no scientific evidence of equal weight, while endlessly demanding scientific evidence from you opponents;

b) which you then give yourself license to reject, by saying that the science in question is fraudulent or the result of groupthink, meanwhile producing no evidence for those assertions;

c) and continually complaining that the pro-science opponents do not treat you with enough respect, or are too impatient, or clearly emotionally invested, or whatever.

These tactics are all practiced by the deniers of climate change, of evolution, and of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Nowhere have I said these are all the same people, though here at Althouse significant overlap exists between some of these people.

No, the tactics I outlined are how people who have no science behind their position argue with those who do. I did not drag climate change into, Pogo did.

Gabriel Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel Hanna said...

@Freeman:People write things like, "There are risks to getting vaccines and risks to not getting them, so I just don't know."

This is true of every human activity, yet somehow they function without any doubts about, say, driving. And if they don't know, maybe their responsibility as parents of children is to inform themselves. If they choose to listen to people like St Croix, they will misinform themselves. The scientific community does not have, and should not have, any way to stop people from spreading lies.

There should be more ads like those. There should be public service announcement ads talking about the relative risks. There should be mailers. There should be Internet ads.

Basically, they need better marketing, not better studies.


And then the commenters here will say, if their science is sound why do they need slick marketing, just as they say about climate science. Slickness is inversely proportional to scientific fact, and so they will say it's all marketing and scare tactics, why isn't the science enough if it's so good.

How many times, and in how many situations, do you have to see this dynamic before you place the responsibility where it belongs? Again, it is the double standard.

Marshal said...

These tactics are all practiced by the deniers of climate change, of evolution, and of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Nowhere have I said these are all the same people, though here at Althouse significant overlap exists between some of these people.

At least now you admit you brought the climate change into the discussion. And why? Because the science of vaccination didn't allow you to attack conservatives generally? Further it is false to say you did not say these are all the same people since you attributed these views to conservatives.

I displayed a garment, and you claim I cut it to your fit.

If you want to convince people you shouldn't lie about the facts. If you choose that path you should understand people will not trust your judgement. If you don't want to convince people why post here art all? Shiloh, garage, ARM and Jack already have the "just to be an asshole" angle covered.

Freeman Hunt said...

Gabriel, what on earth are you arguing about? I'm not blaming the scientific community. Scientists have done the studies, there ends their responsibility.

I'm talking about public health officials. Marketing is their job.

Every woman who has a baby gets a big swag bag from the hospital with a bunch of samples, coupons, brochures, and whatnot. Every one of those bags should have a big glossy card with a bar graph illustrating the relative risks of getting a vaccination versus everyday or cliquey activities. For example, it could show the risks of getting a vaccine versus driving a car, climbing a ladder, eating a hamburger, and getting struck by lightning. The other side should have bullet point facts about what it was like to have children prior to the advent of vaccines: how many children died, how many were maimed for disabled, how much time they spent sick, etc. There should also be a tag line used across all pro-vaccination marketing materials in all forms of media. Something like (but better than), "Prevent an epidemic. Vaccinate your baby," or "Be responsible. Vaccinate your baby." Come up with a bunch of tag lines, test them, use the one that works best, that people remember most easily and view most positively.

ginnad said...

Saint Croix said...

This is a bit OCD, I think. You're comparing unvaccinated kids to shit. It's like you're calling them diseased or dirty. To me, they're normal children.

No, the point is that you are contaminating the entire population, not just your own household.

How is your vaccinated kid at risk, exactly?

Well, I'll tell you! No vaccines are 100% effective. Successful programs depend on herd immunity, the idea that if most of the population are immune to the disease, it won't take hold.

Now, if something like pertussis is present in a population, an outbreak can be extremely dangerous. Newborns, in particular, are very vulnerable, and death is one of the unpleasant side effects.

Just last year, I contracted pertussis as an adult, because my own vaccine had long since worn off. A pregnant woman in our workplace had to stay home until we had sanitized everything, since her baby was so vulnerable.

So, to recap, enough people in my area had decided not to get their children vaccinated, and allowed a preventable dangerous disease to reach local epidemic status, endangering the lives of many people.

Just glad it wasn't polio. My mom remembers being quarantined with that. One of her brothers ended up disabled, the other dead.

But, like, it's just your kid, right? A personal choice?

chuck said...

BTW, for those all smug about how dumb Republicans are, I'd like to emphasize that the original fraudulent paper linking vaccines and autism was published in the Lancet, the british medical journal that has been going downhill in a widdershins spiral. The paper was only withdrawn 12 years after publication. And some folks still quote the equally ludicrous Iraqi civilian casualty figures that were also published in the Lancet.

Crimso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crimso said...

Gabriel Hanna:
I think it is important to note the modification of your original statement:

"People who reject the findings of scientists have no obligation whatever to provide scientific evidence of equal weight."

Eventually became:

"which you then give yourself license to reject, by saying that the science in question is fraudulent or the result of groupthink, meanwhile producing no evidence for those assertions"

The latter is a legitimate criticism, the former most certainly is not. Peer reviewers do the former in pretty much every case of peer review that occurs in scientific publishing (and that is a feature, not a bug). Someone who criticizes the scientific work of others is under ABSOLUTELY no obligation to provide data to the contrary, especially when the criticism is based on methodology, assumptions, interpretations, or a variety of other reasons. Note that this does not mean the scientific assertion being made is wrong, only that it remains an open question.

If you tell me I do not have The One Ring in my pocketses, I need not produce the contents of my pocketses to cast significant doubt on your assertion. I need only point out that you have never even been in my physical presence, much less inspected the contents of my pocketses.

Note: original comment edited for clarity (I know, you'd never know it) and to correct two typos.

n.n said...

Michael K:

Is Dan a sideshow distraction?

Autism is not known to have genetic causes. It is a set of symptoms, which is conveniently described under an umbrella term or concept. You can treat the symptoms; but, until the cause or causes are known, then the disease or abnormality cannot be directly addressed.

It's interesting to observe that people who recognize the merits of vaccines are otherwise averse to prevent dysfunctional behavior (an easily controlled disease) when it comes to the elective abortion of human life, communicable antigens (e.g. HIV), etc. Not only have do they rationalize and defend the murder of over a million innocent human beings annually, but they insist on misallocating tens of billions of dollars to conduct research to compensate for the consequences of their voluntary behavior.

Anyway, for anyone interested (knowledge is, as they say, power):

CDC: Possible Side-effects from Vaccines
Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.

For vaccines with proven efficacy, the greatest concern arises from contamination, impotence, or additives (e.g. adjuvants) which have their own side-effects. The other concern is, of course, allergic reactions to the antigen (i.e. active) components which comprise the vaccine. There is always a risk. There is a greater risk with newly developed vaccines than with older vaccines. The risk is often circumstantial.

The risk is real, even if it only affects a minority of the population. In many, if not most, cases, the risk should be accepted voluntarily. The goal should be to educate people, not coerce their compliance.

Freeman Hunt said...

The tag lines in my last comment sound too bossy. "Kindness" is popular right now. "Be kind. Vaccinate."

Inga said...

Be responsible, vaccinate. Should resonate with conservatives, liberals who respect science are already on board.

Freeman Hunt said...

Liberals aren't on board. I'm on parenting elists of every political flavor. Fear of vaccination knows no political boundaries.

Marshal said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Liberals aren't on board. I'm on parenting elists of every political flavor. Fear of vaccination knows no political boundaries.


My experience is the same. I only know I know two people who believe this, one whose son has autism. They're both lefties.

B said...

Ignorance knows no political boundaries but it's been my experience that it is more prevalent in progressives over conservatives as far as resistance to vaccination goes.

Case in point, and I admit its anecdotal, are several young families we were acquainted with a few years back. The families were/are close friends and had convinced each other to opt out of vaccinating their kids - 5 kids total in 3 families at the time IIRC. They were very open to admitting not only that they believed that they understood the herd theory of epidemiology but also that they were leveraging it. Their assumption was that since enough other families did have their children vaccinated, their kids would benefit by being insulated from carriers.

Now I really don't care. I've zero patience with smug ignorance and less with selfishness. But in this case I did get into a conversation with one of the mothers who seemed a little conflicted about her choice. I pointed out that the herd theory of epidemiology requires a threshold percentage of successfully vaccinated individuals to work. It assumes that a certain percentage of the population can never be reached and further that a certain percentage of the vaccinated will not get the benefit of being inoculated. The aim is to vaccinate enough of those that can be reached to overcome the numbers of unsuccessfully vaccinated to reach the threshold. The margin is not that great. Enough people opt out and the threshold can’t be reached. Something else I asked her to consider. When the herd approach to vaccination breaks down because too many opt out and serious preventable disease starts spreading you get the epidemiologist’s worst nightmare. Sick people have lowered resistance to all disease and become incubators for virulent strains of diseases that are not routinely vaccinated against. Children successfully vaccinated against the original outbreak disease and the general population now become at risk to the spread of those diseases.

Absolute waste of my time talking to her I also noted that rural areas had the additional epidemiological buffer of lower population density and that increases in preventable by vaccination diseases would likely first be seen in notably progressive urban areas (like her’s and the other young families were from). I got the ‘that can’t be true lecture because we’re much smarter than those people’ and by extension a rejection of the whole basis of the herd theory.
All this occurred before the 2008 election. I should have known better to even try as she was a typically extremely poorly informed liberal woman voter whose sole source of information on the 2008/2010 elections was GMA. Haven’t seen her for a couple of years but haven’t heard anything to think she isn’t still that way and just as smug about successfully beating the vaccination odds.

So far.