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This Woman is Retarded August 18, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in In the News/Blogosphere, Science.
Tags: , , ,

My apologies up front for this post.  As you may know I’m an avid skeptic, amateur magician, professional geek and general fighter of bad science everywhere in addition to finding mint tins in my spare moments.  From time to time that will come out in my writing.  It’s why I regularly read Phil Plait, James Randi, PZ Myers, Paul Offitt, Orac, Ben Goldacre and Richard Dawkins, and that’s just the top shelf stuff.  You should see what I pull out for a challenging read (the other side, mostly).

So again- bear with me as we go below the fold, unless stupid people scare you.  They just anger me…

Jenny McCarthy is in fact, retarded.  It’s the only way I can explain her comments, assuming they are quoted correctly in this article summary from Cookie mag.  Let’s just try on a few for size, shall we?

On her advice for parents who are conflicted about following their instinct or their doctor’s advice.
“We’re the generation of parents who are saying, ‘Listen to us. We are the bosses of our children.’ I want parents to realize that, and not get pushed around by doctors who say, ‘Oh that’s 100 percent safe.'”

Yes, well I also find it natural to object when my doctor is telling my elderly relatives  “you should get a pacemaker for that irregular heartbeat; it’s perfectly safe”.  I think they should pray about it or find a shaman to throw down some voodoo instead.  I mean, it’s not like pacemakers have been tested repeatedly or anything, at least- not nearly as much as vaccines.  Wait- she’s talking about vaccines?  Right.  *facepalm*

The right response when you think your doctor is missing something is to get a second opinion from another qualified doctor.  If the plumber tells you “that septic tank needs replacing” you don’t call up a bunch of woo-woo pseudoscience and say it’s leprechauns backing up the john, you call another plumber.  Duh.

On her work as a board member of Generation Rescue, an advocacy and research organization that calls for eliminating toxins and delaying shots.
“Vaccinations are safe — dot, dot, dot — for some kids. Vaccinations are not safe — dot, dot, dot — for other kids. Let’s protect the ones who are weak. We are pro-safe vaccine. Vaccines are not just one size fits all. If you gave everyone in the world penicillin, there would be adverse effects for some people, and possibly deaths.”

It’s a stupid sandwich here.  For your meat/veggie layer: Penicillin is an antibiotic, not a vaccine (I’m sure the massive difference doesn’t really matter to Jenny).  I personally have an allergy to sulfonamide-based antibiotics.  Many people have allergies to various antibiotics so it is absolutely true that if you gave everybody antibiotics (including Penicillin) some people would get sick.  Same thing with cow’s milk and pet dander.  It’s one of the (less important) reasons why we don’t go administering antibiotics willy-nilly or rub people with cats for sport.  So what?  The vaccination schedule hasn’t just been developed randomly by throwing darts blindfolded, folks.

For garnish and condiments: Toxins.  What the hell is a toxin?  It’s nothing.  The use of that word has no relation to its dictionary meaning in Jenny’s context.  H2O is a toxin in her language.

On to the bread: Saying vaccinations are safe for “some” children ignores the fact that “some” really means 99.99%+ of all children.  Some vaccinations cannot be given until children are somewhat older, meaning other children they come in contact with either need to be of age and immunized (vaccinated) to prevent disease transmission or we are collectively screwed as herd immunity is at risk.  Let’s protect the ones who are weak by immunizing.  It’s had a marvelous track record so far, with BILLIONS served.

There’s really no controversy.  Vaccines have been examined repeatedly for links with Autism and there are none.  Nada.  Zip.  If for some reason you’re still on the fence here, please do a bit of reading from actual doctors and scientists before barking about “toxins” and other pseudoscience.  I suggest you start with Orac, over on ScienceblogsPhil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, is also guaranteed FTW.

/rant and back to your regularly scheduled Geocaching program



1. El Calibrador - August 18, 2009

How do you feel about the cervical cancer vaccine for teenage girls? It is relatively new, so no real track record yet. We are on the fence right now over this one.

2. kinzuakid - August 18, 2009

Orac has talked about that one on his blog, Respectful Insolence (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence), just a few times. This is one of the normal occasions when I defer to the guys doing the science. On the one hand, exposure HPV is relatively common over a lifetime and is the cause of much nastiness. On the other hand, the women it will do the most good for (those who don’t go for regular PAP screenings) are the ones least likely to hear about it, let alone get it. I believe Orac’s position was/may still be that this is a great resource with the potential to do much good but not terribly urgent in the grand scheme of things if you’re taking care of your health care business otherwise.

That, and if I recall correctly it’s still running $400-$500 for the vaccine. This is one you probably need to research long and hard about.

Still and all…these types of vaccines aren’t the focus of the wackaloons. They’re after the MMR, Diptheria/Tetanus, Smallpox and etc. vaccines on the childhood schedule. You know, the diseases that used to kill/maim tens of thousands of people per year until we got them under control.

3. kinzuakid - August 18, 2009

I dug up a 2008 Orac post on the subject. Skepticism in all things is good, credulity bad. Just don’t be like the author he flames mercilessly here: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/when_gut_feelings_about_health_attack_or.php

4. kinzuakid - August 20, 2009

The Bad Astronomer himself has just posted concerning Gardisil, right here: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/08/20/mainstream-scaremongering-over-gardasil/

So I might need to revise my last comment in light of the numbers he cites. The wackaloons WILL be all over Gardisil in mere moments. Mark it. Over 7 million vaccinated already? Holy crap! That’s what I call a good sample size.

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