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To troll or not to troll: The White House responds to a We The People petition from antivaccine activists

Antivaccine activists amuse me.

Obviously, I think they are a major risk to public health. Their relentless demonization of vaccines as causing autism, autoimmune diseases, “shaken baby syndrome,” and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) serves no purpose other than to frighten parents and discourage them from vaccinating. As despicable as some of their antics are—for instance, blaming vaccines for SIDS and shaken baby syndrome or comparing the vaccine program to the Holocaust because it’s a “mass poisoning program” (I’m talking to you, Jake Crosby)—some are just as entertaining as others are despicable. In particular, these hilariously inept and downright dumb antics have been flowing fast and furious as SB 277 was introduced in the California legislature and ultimately passed into law. SB 277, remember, is the California law passed last month that will eliminate non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. It’s a law that, when it was originally introduced, I didn’t think had a ghost of a prayer of passing, but happily I was wrong.

When SB 277 was first being discussed, one of the most amusingly off-beat antics of the antivaccine movement was to start a We The People petition to prohibit any laws mandating the force and requirement of vaccinations of any kind:

No human being should be FORCED to be vaccinated against their will and/or personal/religious beliefs. I petition against making vaccinations of any kind mandatory. This includes forcing children to be vaccinated to attend public schools, activities, and daycare centers. This also includes adults working in the public or private sector.


Notice the emphasis on the word “FORCE” (capitalized, of course, for maximum crank effect), which is clearly designed to appeal to Americans’ dislike of being forced to do anything. Of course, it’s not exactly being “forced”; parents can still refuse to vaccinate their children, but their children will pay a price other than being made vulnerable to potentially deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. They won’t be able to attend public school. After having been used to getting easy religious and personal belief exemptions to this mandate (the latter of which basically boiled down to saying, “because I don’t want to”), it is understandable that antivaccine activists would be upset. In any case, they channeled their rage into the petition above (among other places).

How I remember it! As they got closer to the required 100,000 signatures that would trigger a mandatory response from the White House, they got more and more excited. Apparently they thought that the answer would be to their liking. Why they thought that, I have no idea, but now we know the answer. The White House got Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to respond personally to the petition, and I have to conclude that the Obama administration is basically trolling the antivaccine movement. First, the response quotes President Obama from a previous interview thusly:

I understand that there are families that in some cases are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.

And now here is the video response:

I like how he starts out citing the Disneyland measles outbreak, explains how he understands the parents’ fears, and basically delivers a robust, full-throated defense of vaccines, complete with a history of the measles vaccine and a detailed discussion of how contagious measles is and herd immunity. He even mentions the long-discredited and fraudulent Lancet case studies. He also points out that it is the states that determine vaccine requirements. What must have been particularly infuriating is how Dr. Murthy emphasizes the social contract and says, unequivocally, that there is no link between vaccination and autism, and describes vaccines as a triumph of medicine and public policy.

Here’s an excerpt:

When it comes to laws regarding vaccines, there are two important things to keep in mind.

First, states and localities determine these kinds of vaccine requirements and exemption policies. Right now, all states require children to be vaccinated against certain communicable diseases as a condition of school attendance, and there are some employers, such as health care facilities and day cares, that require vaccination to protect their employees as well as their customers (for example, hospitalized patients, people living in long-term health care facilities, and infants attending day care).

Second, the science is quite clear that vaccines are vital to our fight to quell and eventually eliminate highly contagious diseases. Vaccines undergo rigorous scientific study and testing for both safety and efficacy before they are approved for use. Following licensure and use among the U.S. population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration continue to monitor vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Over the years, billions of people have received vaccines, which have, in turn, saved hundreds of millions of lives in the United States and around the world. For example, prior to the development of the measles vaccine, many children died in the United States as a result of measles and many more were hospitalized each year. After the introduction of the measles vaccine, the number of infections and deaths dropped precipitously.

While the vast majority of people in the United States get vaccinated, there are some communities where vaccination rates are low, and this can increase the risk for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. If we continue to see growing pockets of people who are not vaccinated, measles and other contagious diseases will regain a foothold in our country and spread.

Many of the most contagious illnesses can be prevented thanks to vaccines — and as a result, one of the most important things people can do to protect themselves and their children is to get vaccinated.

Murthy concludes:

Vaccines are safe and effective ways to prevent disease and death. They are necessary. They save lives.

Indeed.

It didn’t take long for the antivaccine underground to go ballistic over this. Over at a particularly wretched hive of Facebook scum and quackery, the Vaccine Resistance Movement, there’s a reference to the response in all caps calling Dr. Murthy—what else?—a shill. The comments that follow are just more of the same, including a meme:

Gollum actually wouldn't say this.
Gollum actually wouldn’t say this.

They also attempt to dehumanize Murthy by referring to him as not being a human being but a robot or android. Since this response was only released last night, I only expect that the crazy will grow. Either that, or the antivaccine movement will do its best to ignore it because they didn’t get the answer that they want. In the meantime, as Karen Ernst points out, they’re behaving like children. They didn’t get the answer they wanted; so they’re throwing a fit.

Oh, and thanks Obama. Really. This time I mean it. I really do think, with less than a year and a half to go in his term, Obama is no longer shy about trolling cranks.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

90 replies on “To troll or not to troll: The White House responds to a We The People petition from antivaccine activists”

They also attempt to dehumanize Murthy by referring to him as not being a human being but a robot or android.

Well, let’s be honest: He’s not the most engaging speaker.

Good response.

they’re behaving like children

Anti-vaxers often come across to me as operating at about a 5 year old level of emotional maturity with a good dose of Dunning-Kruger thrown in.

Of course, they don’t see themselves in this light and expect to be taken seriously, which often makes their comments both hilarious and, at the same time, infuriating.

Well, mostly infuriating.

@yerushalmi

I disagree. He seems a bit shy, but speaks well and has all the gestures that go with trained public speaking. He IS, however, in spite of speaking Standard American English, distinctly “foreign”– and sadly, that’s still a problem in the US.

Good Job to ADM Murthy. He is doing an excellent job representing the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps!

I will point out, if you go to the Surgeon general Facebook page and look back to when he posted his video with Elmo. People went ballistic, but he has been a pretty consistent advocate for vaccination.

I think he’s a pretty compelling speaker.

And I suggest that we all do our part on that likes and dislikes thing.

Over the last few months Obama has finally turned around and essentially told the various RWNJs that he doesn’t care what they think, he is going to do what he thinks is right based on logic and evidence. Many of us welcome this.

Charles Pierce’s politics blog on Esquire.com (on vacation this week) is a useful source for this. He is an helluva writer.

Anti-vaxers often come across to me as operating at about a 5 year old level of emotional maturity

Expect to hear from counsel for the Kindergartener Anti-Defamation League. Most kids that age I have encountered display a higher degree of emotional maturity than that.

They also attempt to dehumanize Murthy by referring to him as not being a human being but a robot or android.

As other posters have noted, Dr. Murthy is of non-European heritage. That’s enough for some on the US political right to express their displeasure (and I’m putting it mildly). More evidence, if any were needed, that the anti-vax crowd is becoming increasingly associated with the political right.

Orac: ” I only expect that the crazy will grow.”

Well, they call him a shill and a robot but at least no one is calling him a foreign intruder. Oh wait, that’s Obama.

At any rate, at AoA, Kim seems to have got herself into a twit war with a California physician, Dr Sonia Khan, who responded to AoA’s various memes ( like Vaxed LIves Matter) in quite bold terms ( she thought it ill-advise that anti-vaxxers appropriated a civil rights slogan and blamed wandering deaths on vaccines).

Interestingly, commenters referred to her ( in a photo) as a ‘dark’ presence looming over the innocent babes or suchlike which I doubt they would say if she were named Ryan or Andersen.

But then, perhaps we should take heart that they may not be prejudiced at all since they appear t despise many ultra- white folk- whom we all know- as well.

I think he did a pretty good job. Very calm, well-spoken. He stuck to the facts, even noting real issues with vaccines (e.g., they don’t always work for every person). I do like that he brought up the social contract angle, too.

For the more libertarian/right-leaning people, yes, his non-Murkin heritage will be used against him. They might also use his youth against him (he’s the second-youngest Surgeon General in U.S. history, IIRC), as well as the fact that he’s not yet a parent. Lots of ways they can make ad hominem attacks against who he is rather than what he says.

Expect to hear from counsel for the Kindergartener Anti-Defamation League. Most kids that age I have encountered display a higher degree of emotional maturity than that.

(Way) back in my day, before this internet thing, 5 year olds acted like 5 year olds, i.e., “You aren’t the boss of me”, “Gimme that”, “That’s mine”, “I don’t wanna”, “You’re a poopy-head”.

I forgot that kids grow up faster these days and offer my apologies to those 5 year olds whose emotional maturity is greater than that of most anti-vaxers.

@9 Both Non-European and European (born in the UK) at the same time! They can go at it from whichever way suits their argument at the time.

Oh boy!
Taking a peek at wikip—–, we learn that Dr Murthy is a “Paul and Daisy Fellow”
Well that explains it, doesn’t it?

Minorly OT, but I got the chance to meet a former SG, Dr Benjamin. Incredible person to talk with about any number of community health issues.

Anyway, all that the activist community wants to hear is that they were right all along, that the vaccines are inherently dangerous, have been all along, we knew it, fix the vaccines, everyone injured needs compensation, reinstate Wakefield to healer of the free world, and Adams will buy a round of grassfed seaweed for all!!

There seems to be a misconception on the part of a lot of people that getting together the necessary signatures for a We The People petition means that the Administration must must comply with the petition’s demands.

“…which is clearly designed to appeal to Americans’ dislike of being forced to do anything.”

This is a good thing if people only knew where to pick their battles. I once had an exchange with someone in the mental health system who was complaining about being told how to dress and when to get up in the morning.

I told him I get that everyday too. It is called a job.

There seems to be a misconception on the part of a lot of people that getting together the necessary signatures for a We The People petition means that the Administration must must comply with the petition’s demands.

Well, the rightness of their cause is so self-evident to any “awakened” person who understands that “mommy instinct” and anecdotes provide conclusive evidence that vaccines are bad.

So you can understand their surprise.and consternation.

Just further support for their belief that Big Pharma controls everything, as opposed to they themselves being wrong,

Would be interesting to know how many “signatures” were real, i.e., an actual person rather than a single anti-vaxer signing multiple times (using throwaway email addresses.).

There seems to be a misconception on the part of a lot of people that getting together the necessary signatures for a We The People petition means that the Administration must must comply with the petition’s demands.

Indeed. All We The People promises is that if there are 100,000 signatures on a petition the administration will post a public response addressing the petition’s request, not that it will comply with the petition.

I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sonia Khan MD in person, in (gasp!!!) Senator Richard Pan’s office. She’s tough and tough-minded.

Petulant Princess Kim at Age of Whipping Up Fear of Autism & Vaccines is way below Dr. Khan’s league.

Pouty Princess Kim at The Age of Whipping Up Fear of Autism and Vaccines is out of her league.

I do like that he brought up the social contract angle, too.

Not that that will carry any weight with the libertarian wing of the anti-vax crowd. Social contract? What social contract? It would interfere with their $DEITY-given right to do as they please, with no consequences to themselves.

As someone who used to wear dress blues on a fairly regular basis, I have to ask: What’s up with Dr. Murthy’s nameplate? I would have failed inspection instantly had I showed up in formation with a nameplate that wildly off center.

Rourke Decker – there is a pin on the left edge (as you face it) of the nameplate. When you count that, it’s perfectly centered.

I must object to our hosts use of the word ‘troll’.

Trolling, in internet usage, is not slapping down someone with a well reasoned argument. A troll, according to the source for the lazy, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll,

…is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

(bolding mine)

I believe that the last true troll we have had here at RI was that other johnny. The current chew toy, Eric H, for example, is just a dumb$#!+.

Johnny,

I like this description found on UrbanDictionary because I do see it like fishing. But, I truly have no idea if the term came from that or not.

“Trolling – (verb), as it relates to internet, is the deliberate act, (by a Troll – noun or adjective), of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument.

Trolling on-line forums as described above is actually analogous to the fishing technique of “trolling”, where colorful baits and lures are pulled behind a slow moving boat, often with multiple fishing lines, covering a large bodies of water, such as a large lake or the ocean. The trolling lures attract unsuspecting fish, intriguing them with the way they move through the water, thus enticing these foolish fish to “take the bait”. Not unlike unsuspecting internet victims, once hooked, the fish are reeled in for the catch before they realize they have been duped by the Troll/Fisherman.”

@27 and @28 In general, PHS Nameplates have the PHS seal on the left side of the name plate (occasionally they will have the seal of the agency an officer is detailed to, such as EPA or FDA). The center point should be lined through the U and P in the world PUBLIC, at least in theory. It is also likely that it was lined up for him so that the Surgeon Generals badge was in line also.

#32 Sadly, all too often PHS officers are not recognized or misidentified as being either Coast Guard or Navy, as opposed to a separate uniformed service with a long tradition dating back to 1798 (or 1889 depending on how you want to count it).

Some of the comments from the anti-vaxers have been truly despicable. One of them referred to Dr. Murthy as a “sand n*****r” — I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean, but apparently it was too much even for VRM, because the comments were later deleted (or maybe Facebook took action, which would make more sense). Give them time, though, they will come back with more of the same.

Someone mistook him for the airplane pilot due to his uniform.

Chris – Several years ago I was flying home for my grandmother’s funeral in dress blues and another passenger thought I was a flight attendant.

Dan, you’ve led a sheltered life. “Sand n*****” is a favorite epithet among the adherents of Pam Gellar and Ann Coulter for people from the Middle East.

@Not a Troll #19

Exactly. The problem is that many Americans no longer seem to understand what the word “force” really means – they think “freedom” means they should be able to get (or do) whatever they want, whenever they want, so any restriction or consequence of their actions whatsoever constitutes “force.” Eric H over on the other thread is a textbook example.

Off topic but looks like the “CDC whistleblower” nonsense is back again.

Senator Posey read a written statement from Thompson on the House Floor:

“”We all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that occurred with the Verstraeten thimerosal study published in Pediatrics in ’03. At the September 5th meeting we discussed in detail how to code race for both the sample and the birth certificate sample. At the bottom of Table 7, it also shows that for the non-birth-certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge. All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September ’02 not to report any race effects for the paper. Some time soon after the meeting we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard-copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office, and I retained all associated computer files.

“I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper.”

http://www.ageofautism.com/2015/07/breaking-news-congressman-posey-on-house-floor-cdc-authors-of-2004-mmr-paper-destroyed-documents.html

There is a link to the c-span video on AoA.

Vivek Murthy has more patience than I do.

#25: “Not a parent? I thought he was obvious.”

*rimshot*

@ Liz: I think “Pouty Princess Kim at The Age of Whipping Up Fear of Autism and Vaccines is out of her league,” should actually say, “Pouty Princess Kim at The Age of Whipping Up Fear of Autism and Vaccines is out of EVERYONE’S league.”

@ Panacea;

Be careful what you say about her:: she’s a writer and a martial arts weapons expert and you know what they can do!

One of my favorite responses over at Vaccine Resistance Movement was this gem, regarding Dr. Murthy. “Someone should educate this guy.” I’m pretty sure that Harvard and Yale already did that.

I loved it! He nailed all the top points, swatted down a good number of anti-vaccinationist tropes and gave a link to a great vaccination information web page. I think it was a wonderful effort.

Hopefully this will sway a good number of fence sitters.

@darwinslapdog, Landru: He’s a little bit too obviously reading from a script. I don’t have a problem with the actual content of the speech (other than one or two minor things I wish he’d said); I just had trouble concentrating on it. It has nothing to do with his command of English.

@Yerushalmi

You just seem to be nitpicking him. Is there any way he could ever meet your “standards”?

@shay, #38

Even worse, these racists mostly use sandn******r in reference to South Asian people–because they’re all the same, ya know. Something similar happened around the country after 9/11 when anyone wearing a religious head wrap (such as a Sikh) was beat up for being a middle eastern muslim.

@#37/shay

“Someone mistook him for the airplane pilot due to his uniform.”

shay – The exact same thing you relate about flying in uniform happened to me back in 1981. I was fresh out of Medical Service Corps officer orientation at Newport and I proudly wore my new dress blues home on the plane. TWO people asked me if the plane was going to land on time! LOL!

For those who might wonder why I am “RobRN” here, I am both an RN and did graduate study in healthcare administration and public health. The navy commissioned me as a hospital administrator.

“Sand n*****” is a favorite epithet among the adherents of Pam Gellar and Ann Coulter for people from the Middle East.

Anii-vaxer idiots cannot even read a map? I mean, if you are going to use a racial epithet, try not to make an even bigger fool of yourself by demonstrating you don’t know anything about the real world.

Reminds me of a AGW denier say the pope should go back to Central America where he came from.

I am reminded of an incident that took place at our local ballpark about 4 years ago. Our agency bought a block of tickets for a promotional Health & Wellness Night,

As it so happened, the centerfielder for the team was a young man named Asif Shah.

Girl Sitting Behind Me (in tones of strong disapproval): Asif Shah? Where’s he from?

Boy Sitting Behind Me (reading from program): Cincinnati.

I don’t hear anything wrong with his speech. To me it doesn’t sound mechanical, or read from a script. He brings the information in a nice way, including understanding the parents, who have fears. I don’t feel he is not an engaging speaker.

Perhaps it’s because I’m Dutch and not really used to very emotional speaches, which tend to put me off a bit.

Girl Sitting Behind Me (in tones of strong disapproval): Asif Shah? Where’s he from?

Boy Sitting Behind Me (reading from program): Cincinnati.

Yeah, I found it kind of funny that there was a comment or two about his command of English, I mean funny that it would even be mentioned, given that he was born in London and moved to Miami at the age of three. I can think of no reason why his English wouldn’t be flawless.

^ I once scored points with a cute girl, incidentally, who I met at a poetry reading in Detroit, during an intermission of sorts; she had mentioned at some point for some reason or another that she was adopted (from Korea), and then later on I asked her where she was from originally, to which she replied “Um, Korea,” and I was like, “No, I mean, like, where did you grow up?” (A town in SE Michigan, as it turned out.) And she said that people never actually meant that when they asked her where she was from – they always were asking, like, where her “people” were from.

I suppose it’s understandable that the anti-vaxxers found him robotic; they only understand language when it’s delivered with emotion!!! And CAPITALS!!! Really, he should have been barely able to stifle his weeping while he spoke, what with the guilt over all the shillbucks and maimed babies and whatnot.

#32: That definition of the term’s origin pretty well matches how it was used on Usenet 20 years ago.

#51: To an extreme racist/jingoist, there are only two groups of people in the world: People Like Me (who are all individuals) and People Not Like Me (who all act the same and are completely interchangable). Their mental map of the world consists of “United States” and “there be monsters”.

I’ve actually run into blowhards who were genuinely surprised to learn that hotel rooms in Amsterdam have hot and cold running water; they kept referring to the Netherlands as a “third world country”.

ebohlman,

Eh. it happens everywhere. I’ve run into naive people who when I say I’m from New York have asked me if we have grass lawns and grocery stores. As if all of New York was one massive paved city. With the Adirondacks, Great Lakes, gorges, Finger Lakes, Catskills, they have no idea what they are missing.

My oldest sister was visiting me at Camp Lejeune, NC from Seattle back in the very early 90’s and a local asked her if they had coffee shops there.

shay – That’s funny. She could have amazed them by saying yes, and not just Starbucks. But I only really know this because I learned about Starbucks in a management class; I’ve never been to Seattle.

ebohlman – It just occurred to me, are you sure they knew it was a country and not just the Nether Lands? That sounds pretty third world-ish to me.

That definition of the term’s origin pretty well matches how it was used on Usenet 20 years ago.

Both positive and negative senses existed (see, e.g., these BUAGs).

I first discovered Usenet in the spring of 1985 (bang-path days),* there were periods when I wasn’t much paying attention, so I don’t have any particular recollection of which sense came first. All the same, given that there were Septembers before the one that never ended, I’d guess it was the positive one.

* The barbarous neologism “newbie” still makes me a bit queasy.

Seattle doesn’t have coffee shops. Seattle has hot milk and sugar shops, that sometimes sell coffee on the side.

yeah, and USENET is still around, and is still a good place to find music that just isn’t sold anymore (or so I’ve heard).

The ‘trolling comes from fishing’ story is what I’ve always heard, and I’ve never heard anyone argue against it, or offer a different account. But my point was that Murthy wasn’t trolling anybody. He simply told the anti-vaxers that they are a bunch of idiots, and then proceeded to say why they’re idiots. A fine slap down, sure, but not a troll.

“Seattle doesn’t have coffee shops. Seattle has hot milk and sugar shops, that sometimes sell coffee on the side.”

They are exporting those shops all over. While waiting for the computer guys to finish some diagnostics I went to the one next door and got a liquid candy bar to pass the time with.

I live in Seattle and the only drinks I order from them are drip coffee and iced tea lemonade (no sweetener).

Now when we were building a house and I was dealing with two small children I did go to certain coffee places and order an espresso doppio con panna. That is two shots with whipped cream. And not from Starbucks, because then they did not sweeten the whipped cream (sorry, I needed that wee bit of sugar for the caffeine punch, typically I drink coffee black). Fortunately that was over twenty years ago.

I’m not a fan of _that_ place either: I like to support small independent cafes, frozen dessert places and restaurants – which, believe it or not, is surprisingly easy to do around here. I don’t order the gooey drinks, only iced tea unsweetened or an occasional chai latte or cappuccino if I’m cold ( once or twice a year).

Looking at their prices I can see why they earn money.

Also over priced and extremely popular here: gelato.

But my point was that Murthy wasn’t trolling anybody.

I must apologize for a lacuna in my previous comment; I don’t actually have any interest in prescriptivist quibbling about the title of the post.

It turns out that the local public-transit system seemingly has no mechanisms in place to disperse clusters of buses that have been traveling in sizes of three to four simultaneously.

I was just free-associating afterward.

Also over priced and extremely popular here: gelato.

The cupcake fad seems to be surviving here with distribution vans that have limited hours. Gelato, however, has been relegated to the freezer aisle.

The White House is out of control.
Mandatory vaccines are big $$$ for Big Pharma, no wonder the TPP was mostly written by them.

The person who wrote this article is clueless, thanking Obama. Do you thank him when he orders a drone strike to take out innocent people around the world?
And no, the science is not conclusive, it is shady at best.
How can 30 vaccines be good for a child with a developing immune system?

Mandatory vaccines are big $$$ for Big Pharma

Which would Big Pharma make more profit off of: sales of vaccines, or the drugs that treat VPDs?

And no, the science is not conclusive, it is shady at best.

What science do you find specifically shady, Tom?

How can 30 vaccines be good for a child with a developing immune system?

How could the diseases those vaccines prevent be good for a child’s developing immune system? Which is worse for the child? Which is more likely to ensure that child never becomes an adult?

AdamG, just an off topic note for you since I hope someone on the other thread does not see this: the local Skeptics Meetup invited Dr. Deisher to talk about her vaccine research. Unfortunately she had to cancel due to issues with her son’s health. She may reschedule. Since I think you live in the same city, you might try attending if that happens.

AdamG, just caught the story tonight. She had more than one issue going on in that relationship, and her own mental stability, but I expect to see more disputes b/t couples over children and vaccinations. Whether it is the driver of the split or an excuse will be anybody’s guess.

Orac, no need to even approve the mistyped name comment I just submitted. Why I should never post this late.

Anyway, on anther note. Out today, the results of a study on How not to convince vaccine skeptics.

They only claim low-hanging fruit on this particular method so time (or another study) will tell if there are better methods.

AdamG, AdamG, next Tuesday on the 18th. Skeptics in the pizza place basement with Dr. Deisher! Hurry up, sign up!

Also, will someone please stop the redirecting of this website to “Educational Gardens” and someone’s Myspace page. Seriously, I don’t care about them!

Fortunately for us, Mikey and friends employed their amazing skillz, à la Attkisson’s “hack,” in time to expose Whithouse.gov’s [sic] conspiracy to silence this petition. Otherwise, we’dve been denied SG Murthy’s excellent pwn.
In other news, DrinkingMoms have hijacked the NIAM hashtag on FB to disseminate more anti-vax misinformation cloaked as “Immunization Awareness.” Meh.

Fortunately for us, Mikey and friends employed their amazing skillz, à la Attkisson’s “hack,” in time to expose Whithouse.gov’s [sic] conspiracy to silence this petition.

Even AoA managed to figure that one out. This was simply brazen, though, given how much more support the petition had.

So wait, Orac…if they do get together a petition…they can be told (tactfully) that they are complete maroons and that is all that needs to be done?

I never really looked at the petitions at whitehouse.gov before.It can be fun.There’s a lot of trolling over there,such as

Rename Ohio’s Highest Peak “Mount Sarah Palin”

Formally Declare Beyoncé’s Birthday, September 4th, A National Holiday

I like this one
Make President Obama drink his own urine while filming “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in Alaska

President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Bear Grylls during his visit to Alaska, who will give the president a “crash course in survival techniques.” If there’s one thing we all know about Bear Grylls’ techniques, it’s that they mostly involve drinking his own urine. And so: We ask that Obama do the right thing and drink his own urine during a taping of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” For science. The people demand it.

I have no clue to be perfectly honest, Johnny. I am just making sure I understand American Law correctly.

Left to my own devices though, something along the lines of

“This petition says that SB277 is a violation of constitutional rights.

I am afraid the supreme court has already ruled on this matter though….

There was a case in 1792 when a man was ordered to pay a fine for refusing the smallpox vaccine.

I’m afraid this question has been settled more than 100 years ago in the henning-jacobson-v-commonwealth-of-massachusetts case.

An example of a law that would be unconstitutional is “We are repealing the RBE exemptions for Hindus” This law applies to all.

I am afraid the right to freedom of religion does not include the liberty to expose the community or the child to ill health or death. “

*a man was ordered to pay a fine for refusing to allow his son to get the smallpox vaccine.

(Gahh, big typo there)

if they do get together a petition…they can be told (tactfully) that they are complete maroons and that is all that needs to be done?

A petition of this sort on the White House web site has no legal force. None. Same with petitions on change.org or other web sites. The previous administration set up a petition site and said that they would respond to any that got 100,000 signatures. “Respond” does not mean any action will be taken.

The White House site states:

You might not always be happy with what you hear from us, but we’ll be upfront with you about why we can’t take action on a given issue if we can’t — or about why we’re choosing not to

So yeah, they’re well within their rights to tell the people who created the petition that they’re maroons, the administration doesn’t agree with them, and that’s the only response the get.

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