Pots, Kettles, and Unscience

Bill Maher says conservatives are more anti-science than liberals. Neil DeGrasse Tyson disagreed for a few precious seconds, but was soon beaten into submission (verbally) by an onslaught of unscientific claptrap. In a discussion about the dustup, a meme was born.

Meme created by Erik Carlson

Meme created by Erik Carlson

Who is more anti-science?  

Click here to skip the science introduction and get to the quotes.

Who is more anti-science, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans? Some have even asked who is more anti-science, Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders? Look folks, if you are asking this question seriously, you’ve already missed the point. Science doesn’t have a political party.

Let’s back up a bit. Science isn’t a thing. It isn’t an ideology. It isn’t something you believe in. It isn’t a religion, a political party, or zeitgeist. Science is a methodology.

sci·ence

ˈsīəns/

noun

  1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Thanks Google, that pretty much sums it up. The usual way of explaining is to outline the steps. Like this:

If you follow all the steps, you get a consistent and reliably correct answer every single time. Not sometimes. Not occasionally. Not if the sun and moon and stars align or if God allows, but every single solitary time. If you follow a scientific method for anything, you will always get the right answer, if you’ve followed all the steps correctly and accounted for all the variables.

First, science is consistent. Think basic math. If I know I put 100 red apples in the box, and 100 green apples in the other box, I can do simple addition to find out how many apples I have to sell in these two boxes. 100 + 100 = 200. It works every single time. I don’t have to take all the apples out and count them. And the answer will be the same tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after.

Second, science makes reliable predictions. Gravity works. Two bodies will be drawn toward each other. If I jack a truck up, take off the wheel, and then release the jack, the vehicle will fall to the ground save the interference of the other three wheels and dependent upon the weight distribution of the vehicle. My son’s foot will be crushed because it does not pose enough resistance to hold these two bodies apart. Shall I run the experiment? No. I think we can agree that this prediction will prove out. No need for doctor bills or lawsuits today. The theory of gravity has been demonstrated true and makes consistently reliable predictions.

 

Third, science is based on observation. Geese migrate south in the winter, and north in the summer. They do this every year. Their migratory patterns can be mapped, their formations analyzed. No one formed the geese up and told them where to go. It isn’t necessary to rent a plane and fly alongside to observe this phenomenon. You can watch them leave from one location, and arrive in another. You can attach identification bands, or satellite tracking devices to individual birds. You can arrange bird watching stations along expected flight paths and gather notes from your far-flung observers. Direct sight isn’t necessary to observe that these birds migrate following weather, climate, wind, terrain, and feeding patterns.

geese(1).jpg

 

Fourth, science relies on evidence. Evidence is the traces left by transient activities. A snail leaves a snail trail allowing us to ascertain that a snail or slug recently passed this way. A horse leaves a hoof print in soft river mud that dries and remains as evidence that a horse walked here. The horse is gone. We did not directly observe the horse. But we indirectly observe the evidence of his passing. To be fair, this hoof print might belong to a unicorn, or a shoed mule, zebra, or even a centaur. But it is also evidence for a horse, and together with other evidence like horse droppings and a nearby horse stables, we can infer horse, not centaur.

horsepooponthebeach.jpg

 

Fifth, science is testable. I can plant one row of corn in early May, and another in June, and measure the differences to determine if corn tolerates cold well. Hint: It doesn’t.

 

I could come up with other rules as examples, but these are enough to make the point I’m trying to get at here. All of these things are true, always, of science. They are true of all science, every time. They aren’t true only of mathematics, physics, biology, physiology, agronomy, or zoology. They are true of all fields of study, and every hypothesis and theory. You cannot decide when you will trust and accept them, and when you will reject them, on an ad hoc basis. Nor can you choose to accept one or two, and not the others. They all apply, all the time. They are necessary to the very definition of science.

You can’t say you love science, but don’t follow the scientific method.

That’s like saying you love dessert, but don’t believe in cooking. It’s like saying you love Christianity, but don’t follow the Bible. It’s like saying you love visiting foreign lands, but don’t travel. It’s like saying you love acting, but don’t read scripts. Science is the scientific method. They are one and the same thing.

Have you ever noticed how many people say they fucking love science? There are lots of popular science fan sites on the internet. Magazines like Popular Science were around even longer, and had just as many subscribers before they became internet based. The television show The Big Bang Theory is wildly popular. (See, I got my pop culture reference in. Bingo.) But actually doing the hard nitty gritty science stuff... well, that’s hard. A lot of people who swear they are science supporters seem to be anything but when it comes to the hard stuff.

Docter Tenpenny admits she doesn't know how to set that stuff up. Video with Dr. Offit.

Docter Tenpenny admits she doesn't know how to set that stuff up. Video with Dr. Offit.

When Bill Maher says conservatives are more anti-science than liberals, what he’s really saying is, my science is better than their science, and the science I choose to disregard is less important than the science they choose to disregard. But it’s all the same science. Science is science. If you reject any of it, you reject the concept, the methodology, thus you reject it all.  You simply cannot claim that science sometimes is reliable and consistent. That just doesn’t compute. If you love science, you love all of it, you believe all of its findings… even when those findings really suck. You love it even when it makes your political candidate sound the right fool. You love it even when it makes your religion sound phony and hollow.  And you love it when it tells you that you have to stop doing something you enjoy, because it really is bad for you… or the planet. You love it when it's hard.

So with that said, allow me to point out that both liberals and conservatives seem to have jumped on the crazy train and headed out going “woo-woo”. I classed the quotes below by political party, rather than conservative or liberal, to avoid the inevitable cries of "He's not really a conservative/liberal." Rather than trying to put people into classifications that are never perfectly descriptive of any individual, I went with labels that sometimes serve as proxies (most Republicans are more conservative, and most democrats are more liberal), and that people firmly place themselves in, and declare in writing. If you are an elected member of a particular party, it's public record, and no one can rightly deny your are "really" not. That said, let's take a ride on the party line.

Please note, this is a constantly evolving article. I am in the process of adding quotes from the Libertarian and Green Party candidates as well as continuing to add quotes from members of the other parties. I may eventually drop some of the less egregious quotes off from well represented subjects. Hopefully, I'll have time to add an index at some later point. For now, Republicans are first, Then Dems, then the bipartisan issues. The Greens and Libertarians don't yet have their own section, and will be placed wherever the subject of their woo appears. Eventually, if I get enough examples, they'll get their own sections too.


Republican Woo

 

  • Evolution and Creationism (Intelligent Design)

 

This theory, that Darwin came up with, was something that was encouraged by the Adversary. – Dr. Ben Carson, Celebration of Creation speech to Seventh Day Adventists 2012

Pope John Paul II disagrees, saying in a letter, "Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies - which was neither planned nor sought - constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

 

So the government would prohibit intelligent design from even the possibility of being taught in questioning the issue of evolution. And if you look at scientists there is not a unanimity of agreement on the origins of life. ... Why would we forestall any particular theory? Because I don't think that even evolutionists, by and large, would say that this is proven fact. They say that this is a theory, as well as intelligent design. So I think the best thing to do is to let all scientific facts on the table, and let students decide. - Rep. Michelle Bachman,  education forum at the University of Northern Iowa, Nov 201

It may be taught as an issue of history, literature, or social studies. In Kitzmiller v Dover Public Schools, The courts have determined that Creationism or "Intelligent Design" is not science, but religion, and therefore cannot be taught in public schools as science. 

Pew reports that 97% of scientists say humans and other living things have evolved over time.

 

There was a time, sir, when scientists thought that the world was flat. And if you get to the end of it, you'd fall off. There was another time when scientists thought that the sun revolved around the world. And they always thought to ensure that anyone who disagreed with their science was a heretic. People were burned for not believing that the world was flat. People were really badly treated. - LA State Sen. Elbert Guillory, R, Apr 2015 (on video recorded by Zack Kopplin who also appears in it)

The best rebuttal to this was made during the same hearing by fellow Louisiana State Sen. Jean-Paul J. Morrell, (D) who pointed out that, "Actually, when you talk about the world being flat, not the center of the universe, you're talking about Galileo, and it was the church that locked him up for nine years for advocating that theory." The story of Galileo's trial.

 

Scientific research and developments and advances in the last 100 years, particularly the last fifteen, twenty, ten years, have invalidated the biblical story of creation... there's some research published that an ark or large boat was found on the top of Mount Ararat and then in addition, the point that um, the notion of instantaneous creation has been invalidated by the scientific study of heliocentric circles in rocks which is inconsistent with an instantaneous... what I'm asking is, are you aware that there is an abundance of science that actually confirms the Genesis account of creation? - State Sen John Milkovich, R-Shreveport, Senate Education Committee, Mar 2016 on NOLA.com video

The "boat" found on Mount Ararat is not the Ark, but turned out to be a rock formation which was vaguely rock shaped. Even Answers in Genesis shot this one down.

I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man. And I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.

and

I would simply and humbly ask, can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other theories of the origin of species? Like the theory that was believed in by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image, male and female. He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker. - Mike Pence  (R), Indiana, in Congressional address - (Quote found here)


The Big Bang theory has not been invalidated.

 

  • Climate 

 

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. – Donald Trump, Twitter 11:15 AM - 6 Nov 2012

That honor belongs to the Swedish. Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) made the claim in 1896. He proposed a relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature according to this article. 

 

Climate change is not science, it’s religion. – Ted Cruz, interview with Glenn Beck, Blaze TV, Oct 2015

NASA, not known for their religiosity, begs to differ. 

 

I ask the chair, you know what this is? It’s a snowball… it’s very, very cold out, very unseasonal. – Sen. James Inhofe, OK, speech to Congress, CSPAN, Feb 2015

Snow in the winter is not evidence against an overall temperature increase of a few degrees as explained by Skeptical Science

 

 

  • LGBT

 

If you believe that throughout the history of the universe, and particularly Earth, that people have come together and born an offspring from different species that has evolved and given us stronger and better species, how does the mating of two males evolve the species upwards? - Rep. Louie Gomert, TX, Tea Party Rally, TX 2013

Well, at least he appears to believe in some form of evolution though he doesn't quite understand it. 

On the other hand, he doesn't realize that gay people can have children

Picture: The Children’s Bible/Arcturus Publishing

Picture: The Children’s Bible/Arcturus Publishing

Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.-Gov. (R) Mike Pence, IN, campaign website, 2000

The science is clearer on this case that in most any other mental health treatment issue. Conversion Therapy, or changing a person's sexual orientation through psychiatric treatment does not work. So even if it were moral and ethical to put a person through such treatment, it would be a waste of money. 

 

The Diagnostical and Statistical Manuals, for most of their existence, pointed out that these are mental disorders... We'd have a space ship that can go...  If you could decide what forty people you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples? - Rep. Louie Gomert, TX, Speech to House of Representatives, CSPAN, May 2016

The DSM has't been around all that long, historically. Even so, it hasn't included homosexuality as a disease since their second edition, and they are now on their fifth edition. Generally the consensus is that homosexuality is within the range of normal for humans. (What is a norm for one species may not be normal for other species, btw.)

Quotidian Bon-Bon

If we were saving humanity, the sexuality of the couples would not be our first concern.  After all, we can send millions of embryos in the space of just one person. (As a science fiction writer, I'd go with that option. That way, the colony or ship's crew won't be overpopulated before they are ready to receive their new precious colonists/crewmembers, and we'll have lots of genetic diversity. But that's just me.) 

 

  • Embryo, Fetus, and Infant development
Screencap: Bart Simpson as fetus, The Simpsons, Fox

Screencap: Bart Simpson as fetus, The Simpsons, Fox

 

The USA is 1 of only 7 countries that permits abortion beyond 20 weeks! #abortion limit #TheyFeelPain - Rep. John Fleming M.D., LA on Twitter, 10:15 AM - 15 Mar 2016

There is good evidence fetuses do not feel pain before the legal cut off of 24 weeks. Also, we aren't one of only seven that allows it. 

The female body has a way to shut that whole thing down. - Rep. Todd Akin, MO, JACO Report interview on Fox, Aug 2012

(Rep. Akin was asked if there should be an exception allowing women who had been raped to get an abortion.) There are many verified cases of women becoming pregnant due to rape. It is postulated that rape is less likely to result in pregnancy due to the release of stress hormones, due to the fact that rape often fails to result in ejaculation on or in the vagina, or for other reasons. None of these are close to a reliable prevention mechanism as Scientific American pointed out.

Altered nuclear transfer creates embryo like cells that can be used for stem cell research. In my view that's the most promising source. I have a deep concern about curing disease. I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research, but I will not, I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming because that would be creating life for the purpose of destroying it. - Mitt Romney, Republican Presidential Candidate in press conference, Mar 2005

Romney is correct that altered nuclear transfer shows great promise in stem cell research. However, it is not a perfect replacement. ANT still requires an embryo for the procedure, but allows the stem cells to be taken from a blastomere that does not require destruction of the embryo, so that it can still be implanted. That assumes that the embryo, thus used, would still be implanted. It raises the question of who will donate the ova used for this purpose, and who will carry the embryo thus used. 

 

  • Fundamentalism and faith healing

 

By Fyfe, Hamilton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Fyfe, Hamilton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This doctor practiced in a little circle in a dusty spot. He wore no shoes, was semi-clothed, used a lot of bones that he threw around. I would bet that all of us would agree that his science is a pseudoscience. We would have no respect for his science. That would concern me because if we were able to declare, what I have verified for myself as something that has some validity to it. - LA State Sen. Elbert Guillory, R, Apr 2015 

Throwing bones to tell fortunes is not science. It does not follow the scientific method as we outlined above. If it's not science, and it borrows terms from science, it's pseudoscience

 

It's religion and we're not dealing with a worldly concept, we're dealing with really is a faith concept and you're dealing with their eternity. You can't tell me they don't love their children, you can't tell me they don't protect their children in as many ways as they possibly can. It's just that when it comes down to this one particular part, for them eternity hinges on it. They're going to go on the side of eternity and not on the side of our laws. It's really hard to ask somebody to give up your eternity to fill a statute. I'm just not willing to force people to give up their eternity to satisfy what I personally think they should satisfy. That's a tough call for me. I'm sure I'm not going to be very supportive of it, there are just bigger issue at hand actually. - Idaho State Rep. Christie Perry, R-Nampa, interview with KBOI2, Nov 2013


You aren't asking them to give up their eternity for their lives, but to not give up their children's lives for their eternity. The law in Idaho protects faith healing parents from prosecution, the statute,  HB 458 was meant to remove this exemption from prosecution.  Idaho has one of the highest rate of child deaths in the country as a result with at least twelve deaths definitely linked to medical neglect due to faith healing.
 

Democratic Woo

 

  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

 

Still from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, Sony Pictures. No endorsement of our message or GMOs was stated or intended. This is a joke. It is only a joke. If it had been serious, foodimals would result.

Still from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, Sony Pictures. No endorsement of our message or GMOs was stated or intended. This is a joke. It is only a joke. If it had been serious, foodimals would result.

I think all over this country. people want to know the quality of the food they’re eating and what they’re giving to their kids is good quality. We just don’t know all that much about genetically modified food. So my amendment was a pretty conservative amendment. It said in states like Vermont and Connecticut and other states where legislatures are voting for labeling on food products that have GMO product, let them go forward. Monsanto and the other companies saying states can’t do it. It is a federal prerogative. My amendment said if California, Vermont, Connecticut, other states want to go forward, they should have the right. What we know is that all over Europe. we’ve got dozens and dozens of countries which do label GMO products. We should be able to do that in the United States as well. - Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-VT, interview with Ed Schultz on MSNBC

The quality of food is not materially affected by whether it is GMO or not. GMOs are among the most studied foodstuffs in history. We have thousands of studies on their safety. The Vermont law is the most extreme law yet proposed in the USA and may even be Unconstitutional, so it can hardly be called "conservative". The FDA and USDA maintain the right to determine what labels need to go on food, as they have since their creation, rather than allowing state laws which may conflict and create confusion and interfere with interstate commerce. Monsanto, btw, does label its products as GMO. 

 

The point is, in Japan they're saying, "We don't want to listen to your science. We don't want to listen to your marketing. We want toxin free, GMO free." You know, they were sold that Fukishima was safe and they're saying, "You fed us all these.. all these untruths, and we don't believe it and this is what we want." Also, just yesterday and the day before I attended a nutrition and fitness summit in Honolulu and just one of the points that keeps coming up is how GMO foods are so much less nutritious that what you get, that in terms of the total health of our species what's happening to it. - Hawai Co. Counselwoman Margaret Wille at March Against Monsanto panel discussion, Kona, HI , May 2013 (emphasis added)

Japan has approved 238 GMO foods and additives and has become one of the world's biggest GMO importers. While it is true the Japanese people have misgivings, they have begun growing their own GMO, the Applause blue rose. 

The European Food Information Counsel (EUFIC) found no difference in nutrition between GM and non-GM food when they studied the issue. The FDA requires each new GMO to present evidence of safety and nutrition before approving them for release on the market.

 

FDA hasn’t considered all of the potential negative impacts of genetically-altered fish and the strong opposition in Congress to approving something that could decimate wild salmon populations. Recent scientific evidence shows that if genetically-modified salmon escape, they could successfully breed with wild stocks, potentially destroying the genetic adaptations that have allowed fish to thrive for millennia. Alaska wild salmon is abundant and sustainable. We don’t need Frankenfish threatening our fish populations and the coastal communities that rely on them. - Sen. Begich (D-AK) statement

The FDA could not possible consider all potential negative impacts. It has, however, considered all the potential negative impacts that anyone has brought up to them, as it does with every new approval. The GMO salmon couldn't breed, because they are sterile. Also they are raised in inland tanks, so unless they grow wings or learn to walk on dry land, they can't breed with wild Alaskan Salmon. The term "Frankenfish" is misleading and emotionally charged, inappropriate to a rational discussion of laws and science. 

 

  • Nuclear energy

 

Yucca Mountain, which is 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is simply not a safe or secure site to store nuclear waste for any period of time. I am proud that after more than two decades of fighting the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, the project has finally been terminated. - Sen. Harry Reid on his website

Scientists at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) disagree. This U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. white paper describes over 50 years of research into the site. 

 

  • Fracking

 

Stand with Vermont and other states to ban fracking for natural gas. Fracking threatens our air and water. Disposal of wastewater from fracking causes earthquakes. Oklahoma became the number one place for earthquakes on Earth this year because gas companies inject fracking fluid back into the ground. Fracking is a large-scale industrial process that doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard or deserve exemption from laws that protect the health of our children. That’s why communities all over the country from New York to California and Texas to Colorado have stood up to the oil and gas industry and said they don’t want fracking in their backyards. Bernie was very proud when Vermont became the first state to ban fracking. We have clean energy solutions to climate change, and fracking is not one of them. - Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders, campaign website

He isn't wrong that fracking can cause earthquakes as the USDS verifies. However, most of the increase in the US is due to wastewater disposal from mining or oil production, not specifically fracking. Fracking is actually intended to cause very minor earthquakes. Earthquakes from fracking are smaller than those from waste water disposal. Fracking injects water into the ground, and then sucks both the water and the oil out. Sometimes the water from fracking is re-injected into the ground, but waste water disposal of water drawn up during normal pumping is far more widespread and involves much more water and resulting pressure. Getting rid of fracking won't eliminate, or likely even decrease earthquakes by much. His claim that Oklahoma is the number one place for earthquakes this year is a bit undefined. What does "number one place" mean? Japan, China, and Indonesia all have more annually, still and including this year. It certainly wasn't the most dangerous place this year or last. He would be absolutely correct to say more earthquakes occurred this last year in Oklahoma than any other US state. 

 

  • Reiki, Chi, and Fung Shui - check back later for more
  • Alternative Medicine - check back later for more

 

  • Big Pharma 

 

Currently the business of “re-importing” drugs from Canada back to the US is a $700 million dollar leak in Pharma’s stranglehold over total control of drug sales in the US and is getting in the way of their maintaining their status as the most profitable industry in the world. It is just this simple — Canada, like virtually every other country in the world, negotiates with the pharmaceutical manufacturers to set a reasonable selling price for medications in their country. Rep. Chellie Pingree Congresswoman (D-ME)

 According to Forbes' annual evaluation, the most profitable industry is Accounting and Financial services, the second most is Legal services, and the third is Oil and Gas. That's right, pharmaceutical isn't in the top 15. Inc. put Health at number one, but includes all health services, not just "big pharma" or even "pharmaceutical industries". It includes gene testing services, hospitals, therapists, even chiropractors. So to break the "tie", let's look at Fortune's list. Ah, they agree with Forbes that Financial Services come out at number one, followed by Legal and Oil and Gas. To be fair, unlike Inc., Forbes and Fortune separate medical service providers like doctors and dentists from pharmaceutical conglomerates. But to be just as fair, Congresswoman Pingree specified, "Pharma", not "Medical" industry. 

The reason Canada objects to re-importing prescription medicines, is that they have negotiated those prices for Canada, not the US market as the Congresswoman even noted, and re-importing can cause shortages, or drive up their prices. Canada has a pretty well socialized healthcare system compared to the US. The Canadian government is the largest market for prescription drugs in Canada. But Americans coming in and reimporting them totally mucks up their system. So if US customers want those drugs, then the Congresswoman is right to try to negotiate better prices in the same way Canada does. But until we do, she and others are wrong to go to Canada and mooch off their bargaining power. Assuming Canada is giving into powerful drug company pressure to stop this practice has the relationship there exactly backward. The FDA, in the meantime, has no formal objection to the practice, so long as it is for individual use. How come those powerful drug companies place so much pressure on Canada, but not the US? Because they don't. There's also this point.

  • Monsanto and glyphosate - check back for more
  • Nature and chemicals - check back for more

 

 

Bipartisan Woo

 

  • Vaccines

We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic. – Donald Trump, Presidential Candidate (R), CNN Republican Presidential Debate Sep 2015

Vaccines do not cause autism according to the CDC, the WHO, and Autism Speaks.

Vaccines are very important. Certain ones, the ones that would prevent death or crippling. There are others, there are a multitude of vaccines which probably don't fit in that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases. – Dr. Ben Carson, Presidential Candidate (R), Republican Presidential Debate Sep 2015

Dr. Ford Vox was one of many doctors outraged by these statements and who pointed out there are twelve vaccines given to children in the US which are generally mandatory, and none of them are for diseases that aren't crippling or life threatening. 

CDC file image of measles infection

CDC file image of measles infection

Polio victim showing deformity of leg from CDC Public Health Library

Polio victim showing deformity of leg from CDC Public Health Library

CDC file photo: infant with pertussis (whooping cough)

CDC file photo: infant with pertussis (whooping cough)

Journalists get their information from government officials who are saying there’s no problem. Not one of them has picked up the multitude of studies that say thimerosal is the most potent brain killer imaginable. - John F. Kennedy Jr. (D) - in a telephone conversation with Slate's Laura Helmuth as reported by her

There are journalists who are also M.D.s, or even vaccine researchers. They read journal articles. They write journal articles. There are not a multitude of studies that say thimerosal is a potent brain killer. There are a multitude that say the opposite

 

I don't know if we have an "official" stance, but I can tell you my personal stance at this point. According to the most recent review of vaccination policies across the globe, mandatory vaccination that doesn't allow for medical exemptions is practically unheard of. In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn't be skeptical? I think dropping vaccinations rates that can and must be fixed in order to get at the vaccination issue: the widespread distrust of the medical-indsutrial complex.

Vaccines in general have made a huge contribution to public health. Reducing or eliminating devastating diseases like small pox and polio. In Canada, where I happen to have some numbers, hundreds of annual death from measles and whooping cough were eliminated after vaccines were introduced. Still, vaccines should be treated like any medical procedure--each one needs to be tested and regulated by parties that do not have a financial interest in them. In an age when industry lobbyists and CEOs are routinely appointed to key regulatory positions through the notorious revolving door, its no wonder many Americans don't trust the FDA to be an unbiased source of sound advice. A Monsanto lobbyists and CEO like Michael Taylor, former high-ranking DEA official, should not decide what food is safe for you to eat. Same goes for vaccines and pharmaceuticals. We need to take the corporate influence out of government so people will trust our health authorities, and the rest of the government for that matter. End the revolving door. Appoint qualified professionals without a financial interest in the product being regulated. Create public funding of elections to stop the buying of elections by corporations and the super-rich.

In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn’t be skeptical? Jill Stein, Presidential Candidate (Green), Reddit AMA, 2016

While Stein has stated vaccines have been useful in eliminating polio and similar diseases, she goes on to cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of vaccines by insinuating a the FDA, cannot be trusted because it is bought off. 

Author note: $2 is cost to US CDC and govt. vaccine programs, not privately insured patients. Walgreen's listed price for MMR is $99.99.  This is still less than $775 per child average cost of Measles infection treatment. Meme by Refutations to Anti Vax Memes. Reference source is at  http://pediatrics.aappublications  

Author note: $2 is cost to US CDC and govt. vaccine programs, not privately insured patients. Walgreen's listed price for MMR is $99.99.  This is still less than $775 per child average cost of Measles infection treatment. Meme by Refutations to Anti Vax Memes. Reference source is at 

http://pediatrics.aappublications

 

The FDA is staffed with highly competent doctors and scientists. No one doctor or scientist is responsible for the approval of any new drug. Stein names only one person, Michael Taylor, as a "Monsanto lobbyist and CEO who worked at the FDA". He did work for Monsanto and then the FDA, but in regulating GMOs, NOT vaccines. So it's odd she would bring him up here. He then worked for a time for USDA, again, not with vaccines but with food inspection. He actually raised safety requirements for meat production but also helped author regulations that did not call for labeling the meat of animals fed GM feed. Then he went back to Monsanto, this time, as a VP. So that raises eyebrows, but in response to a lawsuit brought by the Alliance For Bio-Integrity, the GAO exhonerated him of any unethical or biased conduct and stated he had recused himself from matters touching on his former policy decisions and the court dismissed the suit. In any case he no longer works for either Monsanto or the US Government in any capacity. So why is she naming this former Monsanto/USDA/FDA employee who advised on GMOs and food production in a discussion about vaccines? She does not name anyone else, so this insinuation is left without evidence.

While it is possible that large pharmaceutical conglomerates try to buy approvals, there is neither evidence of this, nor proof that it works. Roughly as many drugs are disproved annually as are approved. Forbes recently published an article claiming the FDA is approving "everything" but this article only provides data for 2015 in this claim, and compares it to lower approval rates in previous years. Approvals are up, but also the industry revamped its submission and testing guidelines and systems. So, they aren't submitting as many poor performing or under tested drugs as they used to. In other words, the activists have accomplished their mission of improving research and development and safety before the approval process. 

The US government routinely funds free vaccine distribution to poor children and some agencies provide vaccines to particularly vulnerable populations such as veterans and the elderly, with no incentive for anyone to spend more money on this than is necessary. Average vaccine charges sometimes don't even cover the costs associated with making them. There is far more money to be made treating the illnesses that these vaccines prevent, than in selling the vaccines. Finally, Stein has stated that other countries seemingly trust their regulatory agencies. The US provides many of the vaccines distributed in those countries and we receive vaccine shipments from these countries too. 

 

  • UFOs
...we may have been visited already. - Hillary Clinton
Photo: alien animatronics at the International UFO Museum, Roswell, NM by Quotidian Bon-Bon

Photo: alien animatronics at the International UFO Museum, Roswell, NM by Quotidian Bon-Bon

  • 9-11 and the WTC
  • Chemtrails
  • Flat Earth
  • Angels, Demons, spirits, ghosts
  • Fortune Telling, Astrology, Numerology

Now please note, there is a lot that can be argued about all of these subjects. There is much that is confusing, and there are myriad troubling aspects and second order effects to be considered. Nuclear waste is something that needs proper storage, and no one wants it in their backyard. The fracking companies have been reticent to release the proprietary ingredients in their injection chemicals. And small earth tremors may actually be more dangerous than we know right now. Certainly the US Government has released toxic chemicals into our water or air in the past, could do so again, and this is potentially very dangerous. But there are also basic scientific facts and findings that ideology sometimes refuses to let us see. And it isn’t ok to excuse people on our team, because in our opinion they have the right ideology, when they have the science wrong. No matter how well intentioned, bad science can have terrible consequences.

Check back regularly for updates. This is nowhere near a full roster!