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A new study shows where antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again soon

A new study shows where in the US antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again, thanks to driving up nonmedical exemptions and driving down vaccine uptake.

I’ve often joked about where the next measles outbreaks (or other outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases) would occur. Thanks to a new study by a group from the Baylor College of Medicine including Peter Hotez, I know, and I’m not happy. Why? Because, along with Texas and other places, southeast Michigan is one of the places where “make American great again” (MAGA) should really be “make measles great again” (MMGA). I’ll explain, but first a little background.

As I’ve documented many times before, my particular state (Michigan) is a hotbed of antivaccine political activity. Indeed, spurred on by antivaccine political groups (and perhaps an earlier pitch by the makers of the antivaccine propaganda movie VAXXED), my very own state senator (Patrick Colbeck) and state representative (Jeff Noble) teamed up last year to make measles great again in Michigan by co-sponsoring the senate and house versions, respectively, of a truly brain dead bill. The bill, if passed, would have eliminated a regulatory requirement introduced by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that parents seeking personal belief exemptions (PBEs) to school vaccine mandates attend an educational session at their county health office and sign a waiver form in which they admit that they are putting their child and others at higher risk for disease. The MDHHS took this action because our state’s PBE rate and vaccine uptake rate sucked at the time. The MDHHS policy worked almost immediately, too, to increase vaccine uptake and decrease PBE rates, just as SB 277 did in California.

The bill didn’t pass, fortunately, but it was yet another of a long line of efforts to chip away at Michigan’s vaccine mandates for school entry, including previous attempts to get a similar bill pasted. The most recent occurred just last week, when Michigan Right to Life managed to get its lackeys in the Michigan Senate, including Sen. Colbeck, to introduce a bill that would require “informed consent” telling parents about vaccines for which human fetal cells are used during the manufacturing process to grow up virus stock necessary for the vaccines. It was nothing more than antivaccine fear mongering designed to frighten parents into not vaccinating, and, amusingly, Michigan Right to Life was not in the least bit amused when it was pointed out on Twitter, to the point of getting in an extensive and hilariously off-base Twitter discussion:

The entire Twitter exchange, both in response to Michigan Right to Life and the Tweet that provoked it (below) is epic and worth reading.

I note that in the exchange, Michigan Right to Life explicitly admitted to having worked with “vaccine freedom” groups like Michigans for Vaccine Choice, although whoever runs its Twitter feed insists that it was only on this issue. When the antiabortion movement met the antivaccine movement indeed.

I’ve also documented how antivaxers have cunningly taken advantage of the political mood in the country and allied themselves with right wing groups opposed to pretty much all government regulation, something that is happening in a major way in Texas, to the point where Texas antivaccine groups offered help to victims of Hurricane Harvey forced to temporarily relocate and enroll their children in different schools in maintaining their vaccine PBEs. Basically, in the middle of a natural disaster, these groups were far more concerned about lowering vaccine rates than actually helping the displaced.

What endangers us all is that politicizing what should be a nonpartisan issue, namely school vaccine mandates to protect our children, is becoming increasingly politicized, with potentially deadly consequences. Here in Michigan, over the last decade we’ve already had a number of outbreaks, mostly of pertussis, one of which led to a distraught parent of a child who died in Michigan’s 2012 pertussis outbreak to form a pro-vaccine advocacy group.

So let’s get to the study, The state of the antivaccine movement in the United States: A focused examination of nonmedical exemptions in states and counties, which was published in PLoS Medicine just this week. At the beginning of the article, the authors note some important background points. First, since 2009, the number of “philosophical-belief” vaccine nonmedical exemptions (NMEs) has risen in 12 of the 18 states that currently allow this policy: Arkansas (AR), Arizona (AZ), Idaho (ID), Maine (ME), Minnesota (MN), North Dakota (ND), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX), and Utah (UT). Based on this observation, the authors analyzed the relationship between NME/PBE rates and actual vaccine coverage. Interestingly, if you look at the graph, Michigan was one of the states where NME/PBE rates were rising, but took a big drop in the 2015-2016 school year. Not coincidentally, that was the school year in which the new requirement that parents seeking PBEs must attend an educational session at their county health department and sign only a state-approved form that admits that withholding vaccination could endanger their children and others.

Next, the authors looked at NME/PBE rates by county for the states using data from either the 2015-16 or 2016-17 school years to produce this map:

NME heat map

Here is a list of the ten US counties with the highest NME/PBE rates:

Top NME Counties

The rates of NME/PBEs in some of these counties is truly staggering, as high as nearly 27%. Also alarming is that eight out of the top ten counties are in Idaho. Truly, when the next outbreaks happen, they’ll probably happen in Idaho. I’m guessing that the only thing that’s stopped them so far is the relatively sparse population density of the state.

Finally, the authors looked at kindergarten populations:

Furthermore, we examined total numbers of kindergarteners with NMEs per county to identify focal areas with large numbers of potentially vulnerable pediatric populations. County NME totals were also provided by state health departments. The exception is MO, whose private kindergarten (2015–2016) and public kindergarten (2014–2015) enrollment numbers were taken together from the National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov) to derive NME raw counts. Shown in Fig 3 and Table 2 are the counties—associated with large metropolitan areas—where more than 400 kindergarteners have received NMEs. They include Phoenix, AZ (Maricopa County); Salt Lake City, UT and Provo, UT (Salt Lake and Utah Counties, respectively); Seattle, WA and Spokane, WA (King and Spokane Counties, respectively); Portland, OR (Multnomah County); Troy, MI, Warren, MI, and Detroit, MI (Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties, respectively); Houston, TX, Fort Worth, TX, Plano, TX, and Austin, TX (Harris, Tarrant, Collin, and Travis Counties, respectively); Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny County); and Kansas City, MO (Jackson County). The high numbers of NMEs in these densely populated urban centers suggest that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could either originate from or spread rapidly throughout these populations of unimmunized, unprotected children. The fact that the largest count of vaccine-exempt pediatric populations originate in large cities with busy international airports may further contribute to this risk.

Here’s the map:

Cities to make measles great again
Metropolitan areas where antivaxers are working to make measles great again

Lovely. Detroit. It had to be Detroit in the list, along with the others. Of course, I note that in reality what we are looking at is the Detroit metropolitan area, which generally includes the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Tricounty area:

Detroit Tri-County area

I can’t help but note that Oakland and Macomb Counties encompass nearly all the northern suburbs and exurbs of Detroit, which include just the sort of affluent, largely white, communities where one would expect to find large numbers of antivaxers. Indeed, these are the places where the VAXXED crew focused their efforts the last time they were in the state. (Indeed, Troy in Oakland County is the home to our largest antivaccine group, Michigan for Vaccine Choice.) Wayne County does include Detroit, but it also includes the Grosse Pointes and several other affluent suburbs, which is why I really wish for an analysis using even more granular data. As for the rest of the rollcall of dishonor, Maricopa County in Arizona is not unexpected given the concentration of woo in Arizona, nor is it surprising that there are three counties in Texas.

Finally, the authors asked the question: Is there a correlation between the rate of NME/PBE and MMR coverage? Their findings were striking:

As shown in Fig 4 and Table 3, there was a significant inverse association between state NME rate and MMR vaccination rate by Spearman correlation (P = 0.03; Fig 4) and beta regression (P = 0.007). Similarly, we calculated Spearman correlation between state NME rate and MMR rate for all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. States with no information for either NME rate or MMR vaccination rate were excluded (CO, IL, MN, MO, OK, and WY). From this analysis, we found a significant inverse association between state NME rate and MMR vaccination rate (P = 0.04) as compared to states allowing NMEs. Overall, states with more NME students exhibited lower MMR vaccination rates. In contrast, states that have banned NMEs—MS, CA, and WV—exhibit the highest MMR vaccine uptake and lowest incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

None of this, of course, is in the least bit surprising. Moreover, I’ve written about this as long as 12 years ago, when I noted that states with lax requirements for NME/PBEs had lower rates of vaccine uptake and greater chances of outbreaks. It’s also been shown that relatively small decreases in vaccine uptake can lead to outbreaks.

One interesting aspect of this study is the aforementioned observation that eight of the ten counties with the highest NME/PBE rates are in Idaho, in counties with fewer than 50,000 people, leading Dr. Hotez to comment in a news story about the study:

Hotez said he did not know what factors were behind the high exemption rates in some of the rural places; researchers are hoping to conduct a follow-up study on social and demographic factors. But the findings, he said, should prompt federal health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake investigations.

The high numbers of exemptions in those densely populated urban centers “suggest that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could either originate from or spread rapidly throughout these populations of unimmunized, unprotected children,” the authors conclude in the report. Many communities are in cities with busy international airports, further increasing the risk of disease spread.

As I said, what’s probably been protecting Idaho is the very sparseness of its population. I do have some ideas why Idaho might be such a hotbed of antivaccine sentiments. For one thing, as I said above, antivaxers are very much courting conservative groups, and Idaho has been a Republican stronghold for decades. Indeed, in 2016, Donald Trump garnered more than twice as many votes as Hillary Clinton. Idaho is also a hotbed of antigovernment militia activity. In particular, Idaho’s panhandle has a long history of major radical right wing groups beginning in the 1980s when Aryan Nation’s leader Richard Butler encouraged whites to retreat to Idaho to form an all-white state. In other words, there is fertile ground there for a message of resisting government mandates, including school vaccine mandates. More recently, there has been a wave of Californians moving to Idaho, some explicitly to avoid SB 277, the California law that has banned NMEs.

Be that as it may, you can bet that I’m not happy that the metro Detroit area includes three of the top fifteen metropolitan areas with the highest rates of NME/PBE. I don’t want to be at ground zero for the next wave of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. More importantly, I don’t want my young relatives to be endangered. Also, I can’t help but echo this lyric, given the Disneyland measles outbreak a mere three and a half years ago, “It’s a small world, after all.” The authors agree:

The results reported here for the US have potential relevance internationally. While NMEs continue to rise in most of the 18 US states that allow them, several European countries, including France and Italy, as well as Australia, have taken measures to either make vaccines compulsory or even fine parents who refuse to vaccinate their children [15–17]. Romania has experienced serious and large measles outbreaks and may also tighten vaccine legislation [18]. Our concern is that the rising NMEs linked to the antivaccine movement in the US will stimulate other countries to follow a similar path. It would be especially worrisome if the very large low- and middle-income countries—such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC nations), or Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan—reduce their vaccine coverage. In such a case, we could experience massive epidemics of childhood infections that may threaten achievement of United Nations global goals [19].

It really is a small world after all, and we risk making measles great again not just in the US, but everywhere.

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]

92 replies on “A new study shows where antivaxers are most likely to make measles great again soon”

Being the hot spot of Maricopa County, Arizona, I agree–this analysis is very worrisome. And yep, there’s a lot of woo here where I live and Arizona is next to last in education which sure doesn’t bode well for teaching the science literacy needed to counter this nonsense.

For Arizona there is more granular date regarding where NMEs are highest: https://bit.ly/2t0eipH . I suspect for those highest NME areas you are more likely to find more woo (such as naturopaths) or anti-vax physicians (aka “vaccine-friendly doctors”) or larger anti-vax social media groups.

Arizona should have released it’s 2017-18 school vaccination data in early May and has not yet done so. This is also concerning. I suspect when finally released the results will be worse than last year.

Finally, though not in this PLOS paper (probably released too late to include) is that Oregon Kindergarten NMEs rose to a staggering 7.5% for 2017-18 (https://bit.ly/2MsTIGH). Oregon is home to Paul Thomas, MD, FAAP who is very anti-vaccine and is doing his best to bring pertussis and measles outbreaks to Oregon, following in the footsteps of Bob Sears MD, FAAP and Jay Gordon FAAP who drove NMEs through the roof in Orange County, California from 2007-14 (resulting in numerous measles and pertussis outbreaks from 2010 through 2015, including pertussis deaths) until SB277 was passed. That such physicians are allow to (1) have medical licenses and (2) be Fellows of the AAP is a complete disgrace to medicine.

Has anyone ever done a correlative study comparing density of naturopaths with vaccine PBE rates or looked for correlations between PBE rates and where high profile antivaxers like Paul Thomas and Bob Sears practice? I wonder…

Orac, here’s something that might be done:

Some public libraries have local telephone directories going back decades. It might be possible to search the Yellow Pages for naturopaths or similar, for each year. NDs might be listed along with “Physicians and Surgeons,” or there might be other categories specifically for them. Then for each year, you can plot the quantity of NDs etc. in each town covered by each directory, and the percentage of vaccine refuseniks in those towns, and make an inference about causality:

1) Increase in NDs precedes increase in refuseniks: NDs may be contributing to attitudes that produce an increase in refuseniks.

2) Increase in refuseniks precedes increase in NDs: NDs may be coming in and setting up shop where they see a potentially increasing market, of which PBEs are one sign.

Unrelated news item: a new antivaxer with an audience, and an internet row about her:

Kat Von D, promoter of her own brand/lineup of women’s makeup, says she’s expecting a baby and intends to raise the kid on a vegan diet and no vaccinations. Her comments have stirred up both sides as expected, but at least SBM advocates are in the mix and pushing back hard.

BBC article below quotes SBM advocate neuroscientist Allison Bernstein aka Mommy Ph.D., about herd immunity and the social responsibility to immunize.

Some of the pushback has included comments recommending Kat Von D name new shades of eye shadow after infectious diseases!

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44483000

Gray Squirrel: I remember seeing Kat Von D years ago (before she was famous) on Miami Ink (it was a long, boring summer with cable).
Not only is she an anitvaxxer, she’s an anti-Semite. So, never, ever buying her makeup, no matter how good it is.
Blech.

I’ve looked at the CADPH immunization data for Orange County from before and after Sears’ book came out, and a clear temporal and spatial gradient of decreased vaccination emerges centered on Sears’ practice Dana Point. It’s not that surprising, and one of the OC health dept directors went on radio in 2014 stating they’d done parent study groups in OC to understand why there was so much vaccine refusal and Sears’ book was a main reason parents gave (though I’ve never seen that data released and I never heard back from OC DPH when I’d requested it). I haven’t looked at Oregon’s vaccination rate data like California’s, but you can be sure Thomas (who gives talks in Oregon on vaccines just like Sears does in CA) is contributory. Here in AZ, the world’s 2nd worst (2nd only to Bastyr) “school” of naturopathy (the Southwest College of Naturopathy) is in the Phoenix area. More notably, Phoenix has arguably the most wretched anti-vax doctor in the US–Jack Wolfson–who along with his chiroquacktic wife–has clearly has built himself a cult following of AVers locally (just last month Wolfson posted up proudly how his unvaccinated kids had contracted varicella on Facebook and a whole slew of followers were begging to bring their children to his house for a pox party).

You’ve’ already covered a Dr. Lansman who is another publicity-craving anti-vax pediatrician in CA (https://respectfulinsolence.com/2014/04/04/completing-a-trio-of-antivaccine-sympathetic-california-pediatricians/) who is located north of San Francisco which was another low-vaccinating area in CA, pre-SB277.

I don’t know if there’s a formula we could derive for predicting vaccination exemptions based on density of AV physicians, naturopaths and chiroquacks, but it’s fair to say where you have more of them, you’ll have more unvaccinated children. What’s equally sad, or course, is that any of these quacks are allowed to have licenses to see patients in the first place, since licensed they can damage vaccine rates far more than some non-licensed nutter on social media.

California has school by school data publicly available. Back during the Disneyland outbreak, I looked at the rates local to Dr Bob’s practice. Yeah, it was a hotspot. Back then you could download the excel spreadsheets, but I haven’t figured out if we can still access those since they set up a new website that allows searching by zip code and flags schools (color coded). Based on the amount of yellow and red flags in the search I just did now (Kindergarden rates, not as bad for 7th grade), he’s still a hotspot epicenter.

I wish someone would do a more formal examination into this.

For the more rural counties I do find myself wondering whether part of the problem is access (not paying for vaccines, but ease of getting to doctor) and exemptions of convenience. There’s certainly vigorous antivaccine groups in Idaho, but I’m wondering if access also feeds in.

I hope there are some people here that know more about Idaho and can speak to that.

Access might also feed into the city Detroit itself (as opposed to Oakland and Macomb Counties), a situation with which I am familiar though knowing pediatric practitioners at my institution. Other than some occasional suspicion of the flu vaccine and Gardasil, the city of Detroit itself doesn’t really appear to be a hotbed of antivaccine misinformation.

Hmm, that’s not my impression. I’ve heard from many in the Detroit African-American community that no black person should ever get a shot for any reason, lest they get HIV, or be injected with some sort of sinister birth control.

I know this is off topic, but a friend of mine is dying from pneumonia. I think I had the vaccine a few years ago, I have to check with the records department where I work. My question is, is it okay to have another vaccination for it if I did have it in the last five years? I am waiting on the records department while I am watching her die. I just want to do the right thing.

@Helen, in answer to your question, it would likely not cause you harm to have a vaccination for an illness less than five years after having that same vaccination. The question is, would it be useful? If you had a vaccine less than five years ago, it probably wouldn’t be.

Access is part of the problem, and probably accounts for some of the bright red shaded counties in Maine. It could be a contributing factor in parts of Idaho. But of the eight Idaho counties in the top ten, the three that I can place without looking at a map (Bonner, Kootenai, and Boundary) are in the panhandle, which as Orac noted in the OP is a hotbed of right-wing militia activity. (Randy Weaver, a cause celebre among that crowd, was from that area.) Those people are susceptible to anti-government arguments, and the anti-vax crowd are being tactically shrewd in targeting them.

Low population density may explain why Idaho hasn’t had a measles outbreak yet, but I wouldn’t count on that remaining true. The non-medical exemption rate in Boise may not be as high as in other parts of the state, but it’s still uncomfortably high–in the 3-5% range for that county. (The city of Boise is not in Boise County, which is in the top ten.)

Isn’t Idaho also home to at least one religious group (cult) that doesn’t believe in doctors at all that has a shockingly high child mortality rate?

Hi, Dorit,

I did my peds rotation for FNP school last summer in Council Bluffs IA. It’s pretty rural and very poor. A lot of our patients were from way out in the country, and either had Medicaid or private insurance.

We had very few problems with parents getting their kids into the office for their regular visits, and few problems with getting parents to vaccinate. There were a handful of antivax parents but by and large people understood the purpose and got their kids vaccinated.

I’m not convinced access is the problem, at least in the country (cities may be another matter). I’ve mostly worked in rural areas through my career and I just didn’t hear a lot about parents not getting their kids their shots–for school if nothing else.

Though this is just my observation and hardly scientific.

@Orac Forgive me for posting a tangent but have you seen the Kat von D story where she has declared she’s not going to vaccinate her child (she’s not antivax though – honest!). Her “rebuttal” is filled with so many classic antivax tropes (including good old Mommy Instinct) that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel if you wished?

I won’t link as a I don’t want to go into auto-moderation purgatory but the UK BBC site is carrying the story and it’s easy enough to find on there.

I didn’t see the FB post and story soon enough to do something today, and I’m not sure if it’ll be worth posting by Monday, as the story might well have gone cold. (I’ve made it a rule for a while not to post on weekends unless something really compelling pops up. This doesn’t qualify.) We’ll see…

Surprised no county in Minnesota was on there, given how the antivaxxers are trying hard to appeal to certain ethnic communities there.

Funny it seems just like yesterday that we were discussing liberal, hippie-ish lefties who naturally avoided vaccines. Now it’s Trumpites and libertarian freedom fighters.
I guess it’s truly equal opportunity woo.

I should look and see what vaccine exemption rates were in California ‘red state’ areas prior to the change in the law.

I regularly remind people in other forums that antivax sentiments are not a partisan political issue. My sense is antivaxxers will grab onto any excuse to justify not vaccinating.

I agree, who would have guessed that anything could unite zealots from a place like Oregon with some zealots from places like Texas.

Also, in reply to access in Idaho, I have a cousin who lived near Sun Valley and access was an issue. They had to drive over an hour for their child to see a family practice doctor and the nearest pediatrician was out of state (about a 4 hour drive if I recall correctly). He moved about 5 years ago but hard to imagine that access has dramatically improved.

re Kat Von D:

I was pleased to see that she is facing a boycott of her makeup line because of her anti-vax beliefs.

I’ve found that often millennial women are politically adept in meaningful ways on social media.

It may not change her mind but it should affect her bottom line. GOOD!

( -btw- she has a history concerning anti-Semitic remarks: she’s not a newbie in the publicity game )

I am simultaneously interested in and terrified of what the response must look like on Instagram. I know her makeup had been highly respected by “influencers” (ugh) on Instagram and YouTube, so it will be interesting to see who drops her stuff vocally, who just stops using/promoting it and who defends her.

I don’t know much about Idaho (except what I’ve read about in “Educated: A Memoir” and in articles about faith-healing deaths), but I am pretty sure access can be an issue in places like rural West Virginia. Preschool-aged vaccination rates in those areas are quite often below national averages, but since non-medical exemptions are not an option in WV, the children mostly get caught up by kindergarten.

Those of you who think that vaccination is “black and white” should leave poor Kat alone (easy for me, since I’d never heard of her before this; the only makeup I use is black smears under my eyes to cut the glare during full-contact microscopy).

As Kat rides the crazy train during her “pregnancy journey”*, there are bound to be a few bumps from time to time.

*it’s always a “journey” when health nuttiness is involved.

Here’s my thinking on a couple of different levels:
1) She’s a tattoo artist (and a good one). If she doesn’t believe in vaccines (and it can’t be because needles=scary) then does she “believe” in Hep B? What do her bloodborne pathogen controls look like? How did she get licensed? If I’d gotten a tattoo from her I’d be breaking the sound barrier to get tested for everything.

2) She’s pretty influential in the makeup world, which means she’s got a lot of influence over a lot of women. Who knows what kinds of nasty seeds she may have planted in the minds of young people?

And tangential to the vaccines thing: so much for trying to convince the public that not all people with facial tattoos are white supremacists. snort

Sure. They have to make it a story to hold the reader’s interest and pluck the heart strings.

While not wanting to draw too much attention away from the headline topic, I find it appalling that so many people over time have had their blatant anti-Semitism waved away when other kinds of racism are found unforgivable, which they are.
Don’t believe me? Have you ever read books by Dorothy Sayers, Ford Maddox Ford, Willa Cather, P. G. Wodehouse, H. P. Lovecraft, all part of the literary pantheon? Do you see General George S. Patton as a great American hero? If you’re old enough, do you remember watching Walter Brennan? Have you heard or read anything about the anti-Semitism of Mahathir Mohammed or Recep Erdogan? Did you know that Arab media routinely spout the blood libel and worse? Are you aware of the deranged screed Martin Luther wrote?
I bet that most Americans don’t know about these things, and would brush them off if they did. One bad moment (justifiably) destroyed the career of Michael Richards. Why doesn’t the world give the people who want to denigrate, make into 2nd class citizens, ghettoize, expropriate, expel, or murder me and my family and my people the same treatment?

Agreed.

There’s been a push recently in the SciFi/fantasy/horror community to change the name and statue for one of the major awards away from Lovecraft because he was so virulently racist and antisemetic. Like, grossly even for “his time”. It’s not surprising that a mind twisted enough to write those books and stories was twisted and cruel about people too.

What can anyone say to that but: Isaac Asimov, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Harlan Ellison, William Tenn, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Joel Rosenberg, Alfred Bester, Gardner Dozois, Avram Davidson, Esther Friesner, Horace Gold, Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Robert Sheckley, Robert Silverberg…anyone of these names would be appropriate for such an award. The first two stand above the others, but all of them are both worthy and worthwhile.

I find it appalling that so many people over time have had their blatant anti-Semitism waved away when other kinds of racism are found unforgivable, which they are.

I can’t quite grok this, I have to say. Not to downplay the existence of anti-Semitism, but it’s just not true that other forms of racism don’t get a pass. Racism gets a pass all the time, in this country and others. I mean… Donald Trump. Like, he’s President. And, you know, “sh!thole countries” and overseeing the construction of concentration camps for (brown) migrant children are definitely things he gets a pass for.

Sally Hemmings jokes have been made quite recently on SNL and liberal fans of the show were quick to jump to its defense; “it’s just a joke.” There’s definitely a vein of racism here where I live, and I know people from the South, and, uh, pretty much every white person in the South gets a pass for being racist. (That’s not to say that all Southerners are racist, just that it’s pretty acceptable to this day.) I’ve definitely heard plenty of racist jokes, and have often been the only one in the company who was not amused.

And Europe doesn’t get a pass. Anti-Roma racism there isn’t just acceptable, it’s so much the norm that you people look askance at you if you aren’t racist against the Roma. (And, ahem, one generally definitely doesn’t want to let on about any ancestry in that direction.)

Points taken, but even where other forms of racism have become unacceptable, anti-Semitism is overlooked. I sadly say that it’s on both sides of the road and the middle here. To the left, we are privileged whites, so we can’t claim to be targets and victims of racism, and it’s also angled up with anti-Zionism. To the right,Trump has lifted the wet rock and allowed all sorts of creatures to crawl out into the daylight, all agreeing on one thing at least – hatred of Jews, along with their various other kinds of overlapping hatreds. In the middle, there’s casual bigotry. Folks who wouldn’t see themselves as biased make snide remarks about the “Chosen People” or complain when the schools are closed on Jewish holy days. “Some of my best friends…”
It’s fair to remember that anti-Semitism never stands alone. It’s always accompanied by various other forms of oppression or hatred. The social position of Jews is the canary in the coal mine. When they start taking rights away from us, your rights will be next.

Because the diversity and tolerance crowd are neither. When you are the witch, the most expedient strategy is to become Cotton Mather.

You’re right up to a point. The right has it’s share of folk who claim to be tolerant and inclusive. Anyone of any persuasion who has a radical view of how to change the world will be intolerant of somebody who is the Other. The identification of the Other is different but intolerant people tend to be intolerant regardless of what they profess to believe. All too often, when people switch views, they simply exchange one set of prejudices for another.
All too often Jews are the pivot point; they’re just attacking us from the other flank.

Anyone of any persuasion who has a radical view of how to change the world will be intolerant of somebody who is the Other.

I personally have zero qualms about being intolerant of fascists; we’ve already seen what “tolerating” fascists and fascism leads to.

Anyway, lumping all people who have a radical view of how to change the world together is just silly. “Nobody should be homeless or hungry, everyone should have medical care and basic necessities” is not equivalent to “we’re going to kill all non-whites and other minorities and establish a thousand year reign of the Master Race.”

“One bad moment (justifiably) destroyed the career of Michael Richards. Why doesn’t the world give the people who want to denigrate, make into 2nd class citizens, ghettoize, expropriate, expel, or murder me and my family and my people the same treatment?”

Because most people aren’t particularly keen on the Khmer Rouge-like regime of political correctness the overcerebral postrational nihilists seek to impose. You seed the storm by attempting to force people to always present a nice façade, unfortunately it’s not just the like of you who will reap the whirlwind as this is poisoning all of society.

It’s very frustrating that in a city with the major regional Children’s Hospital (Seattle) that there are also people who actively don’t vaccinate their kids.
Like, come to Seattle for ground-breaking immunotherapy for leukemia, get measles from the rich hippie kid.

How do we fix this?

Yeah — I have an immune-compromised sister in law who lives in King County and an immune-compromised nephew in Oakland County. Joy, joy, joy.

I worked for over 16 years for health district in Idaho. Unless things have changed since I was there access to vaccines is easy. There are 7 multiple county health districts in Idaho and each district has vaccination days in every county at least once a month. There is no cost if the parent(s) can not afford it. The county I worked in held a vaccination every Monday afternoon and with upwards of 200 kids everytime.

Except for Kootenai County in which Coeur d’Alene is a fairly large city, the rest of the counties listed are very rural.

In other anti-vax news…

Jake ( Autism Investigated, today) reveals who pays him:
the Autism Media Channel, Clare Dwoskin and the Trump campaign.
Also he worked on his thesis with the Geiers.

No COIs in his reportage then.

@ Renate:

Right. She’s worried about whether the ink is vegan but not so much about other problems with ingredients and delivery.

I looked into this and it seems that certain inks are worse than others. Red/ brights can be very bad.

@ JustaTech :

That’s always a concern BUT I would imagine that because her studio is well known and in LA, it’s regulated/ inspected about infection control/ proper procedures. I hope it is any way.

She IS an influencer for young women ( and that’s without having a name that starts with “K” and ends in “ian”) : her products sell despite being rather expensive – which may be part of their cache.

Also I wonder who will be vocal about her anti-vax statements pro and con. I haven’t seen any yet.

and it’s also angled up with anti-Zionism.

I’ve definitely seen anti-Zionism tinged with anti-Semitism, but it’s also very much possible to be anti-Zionist (the definition of which has broadened zeyer a sach since the 60s) without being anti-Semitic. It was actually my Jewish (pretty much all Yiddishists) who radicalized me in grad school, and they’re all anti-Zionist according to the current definition. I mean, yeah, the leftist position is pretty firmly that Palestinians are treated abysmally by Israel.

The social position of Jews is the canary in the coal mine. When they start taking rights away from us, your rights will be next.

I mean, if we want to get technical, the Nazis went after those with disabilities first. But people with disabilities have always been considered more or less subhuman. And the Nazis took Communists and Socialists at the same time as Jews. Not to say that Jews aren’t canaries, but they’re far from the only ones. I’d be one of the first to the camps for about 20 reasons.

“the Nazis went after those with disabilities first”. No, the Nazis killed the disabled first. They rose to power on anti-Semitism and the dolchstosslegende. Whatever they didn’t like was labeled “Jewish” before it was attacked. Modern art was Jewish. Jazz was Jewish. Psychiatry was Jewish. Nuclear physics was Jewish (which might have led to their utter destruction if they had held out a little longer), und so weiter. Lucy Davidowicz called World War 2 “the war against the Jews” and in the Nazi mind it was. Even when they were clearly losing they continued to devote resources badly needed elsewhere to capturing and killing Jews.
Canaries in the coal mine? Argentina under the generals. Venezuela under the Chavistas. The entire history of the Soviet Union. Fascist Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia-Moravia. Erdogan in Turkey. The Iraqi Farhud. If you blame the Jews, anyone or anything that stands in opposition to you can be tarred as “Jewish” and safely attacked.
The list of anti-Semitic manifestations in anti-Zionism is too long to go into here. Certainly classic anti-Semites get a new bottle for the same old poison. Beyond that, how is throwing a pig’s head into a kosher market anti-Zionist rather than anti-Semitic? Or banning a rainbow flag bearing a magen David from a lesbian march? Or vandalizing a Hillel house?
The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel, but of all Jews everywhere. Sadly, the only media that ever points that out belong to people whose right-wing politics I can hardly bear to approve of in the slightest.
This quote from Vox.com of January 13, 2017 lays it out better than I can: “A German regional court ruled that the 2014 firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal, a region just east of Düsseldorf, was an act of criminal arson, but not anti-Semitic. Instead, the court found it was a protest against Israel, even though the synagogue was obviously not in Israel and those who worship there are Jews, not Israelis.” That faint smell of burning in the air of Germany isn’t coming from the synagogue, but from the court.

No, the Nazis killed the disabled first.

I don’t really see how the semantic distinction would comfort those being killed.

I’m not saying that Nazi ideology wasn’t inherently and virulently anti-Semitic, obviously it was, but there were other foes as well who were targeted early on. Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, as I’ve mentioned, whose ideology is just completely at loggerheads with fascism. And the racial laws, including the laws about mischlings, were applied to Roma as well as Jews. (The Roma have always been treated like garbage in Europe; they were enslaved in Romania for 500 years, for example.)

It’s honestly not really the Jews I’m concerned about in the USA at the moment. Their rights haven’t been touched, but, you know, we’re, uh, building concentration camps for kids. Brown kids. It’s immigrants I’m actually worried about right now.

The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel, but of all Jews everywhere.

Their new charter actually doesn’t, actually, but in any case, Hamas does not equal Palestinians. Yeah, the language in the old Hamas charter was abominable, but I don’t see how it makes the deplorable conditions in besieged Gaza okay, or Israelis cheering and whooping about the shootings of unarmed protesters any less disturbing. I mean, I don’t even really see how it diminishes the fundamental injustice of the Nakba, during which Hamas didn’t exist yet.

“It’s honestly not really the Jews I’m concerned about in the USA at the moment. Their rights haven’t been touched”. First, I did not say that I am unconcerned about anyone else but I will not have a “some of my best friends” moment here. You don’t have to be concerned. I do. I fall into two of the three largest categories of hate crime targets in the United States, and also into a smaller but not nonzero category, and those crimes continue to rise.
For the moment we have our rights. But we are the largest target for hate crimes, and the numbers are going up. Real live Nazis are running for elective office right now (notably as Republicans. I’m shocked…shocked! No, not really.). Hate crimes continue to rise, and out of all the reported ones last year, 55% targeted Jews, no surprise there either – we’ve been target #1 for some time now. Jews have throughout Christian and Muslim history been considered disposable people in many places and times.We are relatively secure and accepted here, but we’ve made the mistake of thinking that current conditions will go on forever many times in our history only to see our lives go up in ashes, too often literally.
We still see the anti-Semitism of Henry Ford, FDR, George Patton, Billy Graham (Believe it!), Charles Lindbergh, and many more, papered over or even excused. When Billy Graham and Louis Farrakhan revile you in the same terms, you definitely have a problem.
I only cited the Hamas charter as an example, and no, it has not changed, and the anti-Semitism of the Arab and the greater Muslim world is about as bad as it ever has been. I will not discuss Israel/Palestine issues here. There is too much to say, and too much room for dispute. Orac would probably moderate or even ban us if we opened that one up.
Just as a side note, the world keeps talking about “the Jewish question.” Nobody ever thinks to ask Jews what our Jewish question is. I’ll tell you. It’s “Why the f**k don’t you leave us alone and let us live our lives in peace?”

I wonder how that German court would have decided if a church had been burnt over Vatican policy. Or a mosque was firebombed to protest the war in Yemen.
I wonder if I firebombed the German restaurant in Franklin Square if that court would accept it as a legitimate protest against its ruling.

JP, when you say ““Nobody should be homeless or hungry, everyone should have medical care and basic necessities” is not equivalent to “we’re going to kill all non-whites and other minorities and establish a thousand year reign of the Master Race.”” you are half right. How many utopians rail against the people they believe stand in their way,even wishing death and destruction on them? No capital-C Communist society has shied away from enforcing its vision of the New Socialist Man with violence and oppression. Every populist has a “them” to point to who is holding “us” back from a more just society – Jews, Mexican “rapists”, Wall Street fatcats, and we just have to stand strong against them, use force if it’s necessary (read: gratifying), hang them from the lampposts. Throughout history, many have failed to see the contradiction between a merciful Christ and the auto-da-fe. Islam is the religion of peace that spread across the Old World on the blade of a sword. Pre-Rabbinical Judaism had its own bloody contradictions. Buddhists are gentle and contemplative, unless you’re Rohingya. No doubt we could scare up a few atheists who would like to burn all the churches and wouldn’t mind if the congregation were inside. I am not condemning everyone who has wished or worked for a better world, but deliverance and death-dealing have walked hand in hand ever since, and it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

How many utopians rail against the people they believe stand in their way,even wishing death and destruction on them?

Well, yeah, revolutions usually involve some bloodshed. Southern slaveholders weren’t really that keen on giving up their slaves, nor were the bloodthirsty slave-owning white rulers of Haiti realistically going to simply peacefully hand over power to their slaves.

Yeah, radical change is never easy and it isn’t always peaceful. But the alternative seems to be worship of the status quo,which is easy enough to do when one has a comfortable position within it, I guess. So what, abolitionists should have just shut up and not tried to radically change the USA and said “well, I guess we’ll just have to put up with slavery, because otherwise things might get violent.” Nah, I’ll take revolt.

…because that worked out sooo well in for example Haiti… Oops. In contrast, slavery in the the British Empire was largely abolished in 1833, the exceptions were ended in 1843.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1804_Haiti_massacre
“The 1804 Haiti massacre was carried out against the remaining white population of native French people and French Creoles (or Franco-Haitians) in Haiti by Haitian soldiers under orders from Jean-Jacques Dessalines. He had decreed that all suspected of conspiring in the acts of the expelled army should be put to death.[1]

The massacre, which took place throughout Haiti, occurred from early January 1804 until 22 April 1804, and resulted in the death of 3,000 to 5,000 men, women, and children.[2] Squads of soldiers moved from house to house, torturing and killing entire families.[3] Even whites who had been friendly and sympathetic to the black population were imprisoned and later killed.[4] A second wave of massacres targeted white women and children.[4]”

In general, a revolution’s useful idiots tend to be the first against the wall (or in the case of the French Revolution on the guillotine) afterwards.

I notice that you conveniently left out this part:

Henri Christophe’s personal secretary, who was a slave for much of his life, said about the treatment of slaves in Saint-Domingue:

Have they not hung up men with heads downward, drowned them in sacks, crucified them on planks, buried them alive, crushed them in mortars? Have they not forced them to consume faeces? And, having flayed them with the lash, have they not cast them alive to be devoured by worms, or onto anthills, or lashed them to stakes in the swamp to be devoured by mosquitoes? Have they not thrown them into boiling cauldrons of cane syrup? Have they not put men and women inside barrels studded with spikes and rolled them down mountainsides into the abyss? Have they not consigned these miserable blacks to man eating-dogs until the latter, sated by human flesh, left the mangled victims to be finished off with bayonet and poniard?[7]

These stories most likely arose from terror visited on the Haitian rebels by Charles Leclerc in the 1801–1803 war.

I mean, maybe there’s a lesson there, like “don’t do that.”

And why didn’t things “work out” for Haiti? Well:

https://kottke.org/18/01/how-haiti-became-poor

In order to do a victory lap around the GDP difference between, say, Norway and Haiti, you have to know nothing about the history of the world. That includes, especially, knowing nothing real about the history of the United States… You’d have to not know that the French colony that became Haiti provided the wealth that fueled the French Empire — and 2/3 of the sugar and 3/4 of the coffee that Europe consumed…

You’d have to not realize that Haiti was founded in a revolution against that system, and that European countries and the United States punished them for their temerity by refusing to recognize or trade with them for decades. You’d have to not know that Haiti got recognition by agreeing to pay 150 million gold francs to French landowners in compensation for their own freedom. You’d have to not know that Haiti paid it, and that it took them almost all of the 19th century to do so.

You’d then have to not know that Haiti was forced to borrow some money to pay back that ridiculous debt, some of it from banks in the United States. And you’d have to not know that in 1914 those banks got President Wilson to send the US Marines to empty the Haitian gold reserve… [You’d] have to not know about the rest of the 20th century either—the systematic theft and oppression, US support for dictators and coups, the US invasions of Haiti in 1994-95 and 2004…

In short, you’d have to know nothing about WHY Haiti is poor (or El Salvador in kind), and WHY the United States (and Norway) are wealthy. But far worse than that, you’d have to not even be interested in asking the question. And that’s where they really tell on themselves… Because what they are showing is that they ASSUME that Haiti is just naturally poor, that it’s an inherent state borne of the corruption of the people there, in all senses of the word.

And let’s just say out loud why that is: It’s because Haitians are black.

Racists have needed Haiti to be poor since it was founded. They pushed for its poverty. They have celebrated its poverty. They have tried to profit from its poverty. They wanted it to be a shithole. And they still do.

If Haiti is a shithole, then they can say that black freedom and sovereignty are bad. They can hold it up as proof that white countries—and what’s whiter than Norway—are better, because white people are better. They wanted that in 1804, and in 1915, and they want it now.

And I notice you conveniently left out this part:
“At the time of the U.S. Civil War, a major pretext for southern whites, most of whom did not own slaves, to support slave-owners (and ultimately fight for the Confederacy) was fear of a genocide similar to the Haitian Massacre of 1804. This was explicitly referred to in Confederate discourse and propaganda as a reason for secession.[27][28] The torture and massacre of whites in Haiti, normally known at the time as “the horrors of St. Domingo,” was a constant and prominent theme in the discourse of southern political leaders and had influenced U.S. public opinion since the events took place.”

And also

“The massacre had a long-lasting effect on the view of the Haitian Revolution. It helped to create a legacy of racial hostility in Haitian society.”

They not only massacred their own supporters but poisoned the well for abolitionism in the US and planted a seed for conflict in their own society. Yup, job well done.

“And why didn’t things “work out” for Haiti? Well:”

Righteous fury is not necessary a substitute for legitimacy, is it really so surprising that the French brought the hammer down afterwards (eventually)? Or that the mechanisms at play in Zimbabwe also bit back then?

Also it probably wasn’t that brilliant of an idea to abolish slavery but in effect introduce serfdom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiti#Haitian_unification_(1821%E2%80%931844)
“Struggling to revive the agricultural economy to produce commodity crops, Boyer passed the Code Rural, which denied peasant laborers the right to leave the land, enter the towns, or start farms or shops of their own.”

And then there were the repeated wars with the Dominican Republic. Granted, the foreign interventions in the first half of the 20th century haven’t helped but the following Duvaliers were a domestic creation.

Jesus Christ, talk about blaming the victim. “Hey slaves, don’t revolt, because you might scare the white people.” Southern plantation owners were always paranoid about slave revolts. Duh, when you’ve been brutalizing people for years and years, you’re going to be worried about what would happen if the tables ever turned. “Hey oppressed black slaves, just wait for the white slavers to have a change of heart.” F*ckig hell.

You’re telling on yourself.

You can also look at some more recent history in Africa.
Compare Zimbabwe with South Africa.
South Africa had Nelson Mandela, who probably wasn’t perfect, but ultimatly tried to work together with the white, who were in control for a long time. Did this work out great? Probably not, because poverty wasn’t eradicated, something that will take a long time.
Zimbabwe had Robert Mugabe, who violently removed white farmers from their land, to give this land to his supporters. This didn’t solve anything and created a lot of other problems.
This is not about blaming the victims, but 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Revolution is mostly not a solution. It can only serve as an example not to make the same mistakes. The fear for a revolution, like the one in Russia might have helped to establish some forms of social security in countries in Western Europe.

It is not about putting up with slavery, because otherwise, they might get violent, but with creating alternatives. There are no easy solutions for injustice. More rights for one group, has negative concequences for others. and often the ones who suffer those negative consequences are not the ones who are in control, but the ones who might belong to the dominant group, but are at the bottom end. Does this mean whe shouldn’t fight injustice? Of course not, but try to learn from past mistakes.

Nelson Mandela never disavowed the possibility and utility of revolutionary violence against oppression, even when he was in prison. And he had every right. When whites come into your country and start displacing and enslaving and killing people, I’m sorry, but you have every right to resist by any means necessary. Is it always expedient? No. Mandela recognized that. Is it wrong? Also no.

I mean, my Native friends respect my love for the land and care about the environment and commitment to justice, and if ever, by some miracle, they regained America, I don’t think they would kick me out if I didn’t want to leave. But you know what? If that happened, and they didn’t want me here, put me on the first boat back to Norway.

Taking back the land and the country isn’t a “wrong” to figure into “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Ultimately I’m a committed anarcho-communist and I’m in favor of global revolution. Nobody should be sitting on billions of dollars while people are starving and dying because they don’t have clean water. If things ever turn out in a favorable way for a revolution, I would have zero qualms about bringing justice. Nobody earns a billion dollars.

And yeah, the Russian Revolution, although it was hijacked by the Bolsheviks and went the wrong way, did freak out Europe. That’s why many European powers instituted Social Democratic reforms, to prevent the populace from actually rising up against the piggish capitalists. Oh, and they killed Rosa Luxemburg.

@JP:

When whites come into your country and start displacing and enslaving and killing people

As a South African, I say you have a very shallow understanding of South African History. As for:

Taking back the land and the country isn’t a “wrong” to figure into “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

You are also very ignorant about what happened in Zimbabwe.
Most farmers in Zimbabwe had bought their farms after 1980, which was when Mugabe came to power. Plans to purchase land for resettlement were ruined when funding from the UK was “redirected” into connected politicians’ pockets. Facing a serious challenge to his power, Mugabe introduced a series of amendments to the Zimbabwean Constitution. Included was one which would allow for expropriation without compensation. A referendum was held, and the proposals were defeated.
Almost immediately, “war veterans” began occupying the farms, forcing off the farmers and workers, even murdering them.
As Renate said, the consequences were disastrous. Agricultural products (especially tobacco) were the main earners of foreign currency for Zimbabwe. The people who were moved on to the farms didn’t know how to farm, with the result that Zimbabwe not only stopped exporting crops, but couldn’t even feed its own populace. Not only that, but many of the expropriated farms were “acquired” by ruling party politicians. The Zimbabwean Government is now returning the expropriated farms to their original owners.
You are pontificating on matters you know precious little about. Please stop.

As a South African, I say you have a very shallow understanding of South African History

So as a white (I presume) South African, please educate me on how South Africa wasn’t a racist colonialists experiment. Not saying I have any room at all to talk as a US American.

And no, sorry, I won’t shut up.

So South Africa never had racist policies and wasn’t/isn’t a settler-colonialist nation? I mean, so is the US. It’s just fact.

Understood, the noble savage can do no wrong. Just don’t come moaning when it’s still not all sunshine and lollipops afterwards.

Understood, the noble savage can do no wrong. Just don’t come moaning when it’s still not all sunshine and lollipops afterwards.

Jesus rollerblading Christ, I never insinuated anything about the racist trope of the “noble savage.” You brought it up, as far as I can tell in comparison to the civilized European. Stating that the natives of a family lace shouldn’t be enslaved and slaughtered and have a right to self determination has nothing to do with some mythical “noble savage” idea, but hey, indulge your racist notion of the “illegitimacy” of indigenous-run nations if you want to.

I’m not completely sure, but I think the black in South Africa weren’t the original inhabitants of the country as well.
I doubt there is such a thing as the noble savage. Just because a group is oppressed, doesn’t mean they are better people.
And though feelings of revenge might feel great, when you are in power, they easily can lead the wrong way, making victims who have little to do with everything.

The Netherlands once were a colonial country. One of the Dutch colonies was Indonesia. I live near The Hague, which sometimes is called the widow of the Dutch Indies, because there live a lot of people who were born and raised in Indonesia, when it was a Dutch colony. They were mostly the people who were at leading positions, and their children. Currently it is of course mostly the children and grandchildren of those people. The people who came here, when Indonesia became independent, loved the country where they had their roots, but because they were at the wrong side of history, they had to leave their tropical homes and go to the Netherlands, which had just suffered from WWII, (like the people in Indonesia). They weren’t exactly welcomed in the Netherlands, where the people were just busy rebuilding their land. The people from Indonesia looked different (they were brown) ate different things and were frowned upon. They really lost their home-country. Indonesia was no longer their home, but the Netherlands wasnt their home either. Some may have gone to school in the Netherlands, just to return to Indonesia after they completed their studies. There is a whole lot of Dutch literature about this subject.
And then there are the people from the Moluccas, which are now part of Indonesia. A lot of them fought at the side of the Dutch in the colonial wars. They were Christian, while other parts of Indonesia were more or less dominated by Muslims, though there were also other religions. Indonesia was a religious meltingpot. The Dutch promissed the Moluccans their own country, on the Moluccas. After the colonial wars, the Moluccans came to the Netherlands as well and they were put in camps, often those that were used to deport the Jews during WWII. The idea was, they should return to the Moluccas when it would be an independent country, but it never became an independent country. It became just a part of Indonesia, just like some other isles, like Papua New Guinea, which was supposed to become an independent country.
The children of the Moluccans, whose parents had served in the Dutch colonial army, felt the Dutch government had let their parents down, by not keeping their promise of an independent country. They took over a train and occupied a school. The hostages had nothing to do with the conflict and the Dutch government had no means to keep their promisses. The Indonesian government was defenitly not willing to loose part of their country. The story ended in a bloodbath, were most of the hijackers were killed, something that is still discussed about, whether it was the right thing to do.
The history of Indonesia after the ending of the colonial wars is pretty violent as well, with Indonesians killing other Indonesians, because they had different political ideas. And currently the Muslim majority is more or less surpressing religious minority’s. Does that make the colonial times justifiable? Perhaps not, but don’t think that an ideal world will arise as soon as the original oppressive groups are gone. They will often just be replaced by other groups that use violence to stay in power.

Minority groups are often not nice to eachother as well. I belong to a group, that has been discriminated by all kinds of people, including feminists, lesbians, and gay people.

@Renate:

With regard to black people in South Africa, it depends on which groups you’re talking about. The Khoisan have been there for many thousands of years, and yes, the Bantu did reach the area later, but early in the first millennium.

With regard to Indonesia, sure it has problems and things aren’t all “lollipops” or whatever. But no, that doesn’t mean colonialist oppression was the better lot. The Dutch didn’t go to the Indies on some sort of “white man’s burden” benevolent mission; they went there to profit, and they profited fantastically, extracting huge amounts of wealth for themselves. I mean, certainly they were loathe to let the place become independent, judging by the Dutch atrocities during the war for independence.

Using my state CA as an example, do you not see the folly in the claim that even when vaccination rates are much higher than the magical, mythical and quite arbitrarily chosen (and ever increasing) vaccination rate of 95% which is presumed to provide herd immunity? Our rate of NME’s is lower than 2% and had been dropping after AB2109 made receiving exemptions slightly less convenient, yet this same argument that exemptions were the cause of outbreaks was used to justify SB277 which did away with religious and personal belief exemptions here.

The study discussed here finds that higher rates of NME’s is correlated with lower MMR uptake. What that really means is that of those parents using NME’s, there is a great deal of concern about MMR vaccine which is at least in part driving use of NME’s.

Well hey what do you know, medical specialists show the same trend. And note that pediatricians deviate from CDC guidelines much more often than the general population. What do these doctors understand that the pseudo-skeptics do not?

Vaccination practices among physicians and their children
http://file.scirp.org/html/22932.html

“When asked about vaccinating a future child, a significant proportion of respondents would deviate from CDC guidelines, specialists more than general pediatricians (21% vs 9%). […] Specialists were more likely to postpone MMR vaccination. Safety was listed by both groups as the most common reason for altering the recommended immunization schedule. Until 2009, general pediatricians and pediatric specialists have largely adhered to ACIP recommendations, but due to vaccine safety and other concerns, both groups, albeit a higher percentage of specialists, reported greater numbers willing to diverge from these recommendations.”

“41 [pediatric] generalists (9.9%) and 29 specialists (21%) reported they would skip at least one vaccine for their future child.”

Physicians who do and do not recommend children get all vaccinations.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18726813

“Eleven percent of the physicians included in the analysis did not recommend to parents that children receive all available vaccines.”

Vaccination practices among physicians and their children

The likelihood of anything honest being published in a journal-shaped dumpster from the scamming trash-people at SCIRP is pretty minimal.

Google search of: “Vaccination practices among physicians and their children” site:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

Comes up with: No results found for “Vaccination practices among physicians and their children” site:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed.

Though there are lots and lots of other papers about the subject indexed on PubMed. Why did you happen to choose a non-indexed paper from a pay to publish journal? Is it because it is cherry season in the Northern Hemisphere? Or just because it is one of the seven days of the week?

And you should know that although the overall rate in California was high, in some areas rates were much lower, creating hotspots. That’s where the risk of outbreaks (and outbreaks) were an issue. That was also expressly raised both in the legislator and in front of the five courts that examined and dismissed challenges to SB277 at this point. And yes, parents who have been frightened from protecting their children from measles, mumps and rubella by misinformation are certainly part of the problem.

Your first study shows that 94% of pediatricians vaccinate according to ACIP guidelines, and that the vast majority would vaccinate future children with most or all scheduled vaccines. I agree it’s sad that some of the specialists were misled, likely by anti-vaccine misinformation, into having concerns about MMR. There were not details about the distribution of the types of specialists, but some of the ones mentioned are not very involved with vaccines issues.

Your second study, again, show that most doctors recommend vaccinating on schedule, and that family doctors are less likely to recommend full schedule, and the those who do not do so because of safety concerns. I’m not sure what you think it’s supposed to show that contradicts this study.

As usual Dorit what is most significant is not what you say, but what you choose not to say. My main point was that medical specialists and to an albeit slightly lesser extent pediatricians follow CDC guidelines less often than does the general population. So you can use the word “most” all you want, but it doesn’t change the findings of these studies.

Have you read the “study” that found a correlation between “regions” of California where exemptions were higher and the number of measles cases? It was perhaps one of the worst studies I have seen, funny Orac never chooses to discuss limitations of garbage studies like this. Go to that study, look at how they defined the “regions” in california. It’s ridiculous.

So what? They are prone to their own biases. That does not determine whether or not a vaccine is safe or effective.

Now if you have actual PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that the MMR vaccine that was first introduced in the USA in 1971, and than had one component replaced in 1978 causes more than than measles, please provide that.

Measles causes encephalitis in about one in a thousand cases, and it also causes pneumonia in at least one in ten cases, with half of those requiring hospital care. So do come up with those numbers.

Also remember, the MMR vaccine has not been causing autism since 1971. It has in fact prevented autism by preventing Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which is just one known cause of autism (out of dozens other reasons).

Have you read the “study” that found a correlation between “regions” of California where exemptions were higher and the number of measles cases?

No. Would you please post a link to it?

It was perhaps one of the worst studies I have seen…

Supporting evidence needed. Why was it bad?

After seeing how far this thread has gone, I can only quote David Byrne: “My god, what have I done?”

The video was choreographed by “Toni Basil,” of “Hey, Ricky” fame, although she also did the Shindig Dancers and was featured in Bruce Conner’s “Breakaway.” If you can find a video, I recommend it, but his widow apparently is a fervent DMCA fan. The last full version I found was on a Korean site.

Oh, and yes, the money’s gone. Once in a lifetime.

I was really surprised that the area I live in isn’t one of those hotspots. Then I took another look at the article and the description of it here and realized that it’s not looking at all states with non-medical exemptions. It just looks at states with philosophical/personal belief exemptions. It doesn’t cover the other type of non-medical exemption, the religious belief exemption.
In my state (Massachusetts) at least, getting a religious belief exemption is merely a matter of the parent signing a form saying that immunization conflicts with their sincere religious beliefs. Needless to say, it’s amazing who has a sincere religious belief that conflicts with vaccination.
This is a fascinating study, but I don’t think it gives a full picture of anti-vaccine hotspots in the United States.

The first study had 97-99% of pediatricians who vaccinated their children on schedule, and a vast majority who projected vaccinating another (and we don’t actually know what they would do when confronted with an actual baby).

The second found 11% of responders who would not recommend the schedule – note that if that was the actual percentage of doctors who did not recommend it, the percentage in the population would be much higher.

Neither study actually shows less following of guidelines.

There are multiple studies who find a link between high rates of exemptions in a specific location and outbreaks. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2069.pdf

Great article, but it is surprising how this topic has become so political. I understand not wanting government regulation, but this topic seems kind of common sense. Worst case scenario, I would rather have an autistic kid rather than a kid with polio or small pox or measles (which I know is not really a possibility). That outbreak in California at the happiest place on earth was engorged by the fact that one third of those infected with measles had not received the vaccine for measles. Mental illness is something that has not been diagnosed properly until recently. Until recently, being gay was a medical condition in places, so we are obviously still learning. The science supporting vaccines is ever-present. Since 2000 until now, there has been about a 80 percent reduction in measles deaths, and less than a thousand cases of measles in the U.S. annually, although it was thought to have been completely eradicated in 2000. These hot spots of exemptions are a ticking time bomb in regards to an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease.

The blame can be squarely placed on the head of Andrew Wakefield and Richard Barr, the lawyer who hired him to come up with specific study results (including providing the subjects for the case series).

Politicians get involved because they are scientifically ignorant. There have been a few books written about this. Dr. Offit has written a few, and he includes the ineptitude of Rep. Dan Burton. I am in the middle of his personal experience showing up that infamous “hearing” in his most recent book Bad Advice. It is both sad and hilarious.

Oh, deer! If those are parents of a newborn that needs a visit from a cardiologist, then they do not have a baby that is “perfect.” That child will not to well with the full born diseases, and have a greater chance of making their heart much worse!

AAArgh! I say this a parent of a young man who when there were shortages for influenza vaccine he put first in line due to his heart disorder.

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