Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Call to Arms

Orac, over at Respectful Insolence, has called on those of a scientific bent to take action on two important issues. First off, investigative journalist, Brian Deer, will be speaking at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse on October 4 and 5. Brian Deer, you may recall, is a U.K. journalist who has harshly criticized pharmaceutical companies and who uncovered the research fraud committed by Andrew Wakefield. The anti-vaccine activists at Age of Autism have encouraged their followers to rally against Mr. Deer and to support a press conference that Andrew Wakefield will be giving on October 4, also at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Here are the details about both:

Brian Deer's Talks
  • "An Elaborate Fraud: The MMR Vaccine & Autism"
  • Thursday, October 4 at 5:30pm
  • Centennial Hall, Room 1309 
  • "Stiletto Journalism: Busting the Vaccine Scare"
  • Friday, October 5 at 3:30pm
  • Centennial Hall, Room 1309
Andrew Wakefield's Press Conference
The other item that need your support is AB2109, about which I've written before (here and here). As a quick reminder, this bill would require parents who want a philosophical exemption for their children from school immunization requirements to talk with a medical provider about the risks and benefits of vaccination, and the risks of not vaccinating for both themselves and their community. The bill has passed both the California State Senate and Assembly. It is currently on Governor Jerry Brown's desk, waiting to be signed. A vocal contingent of anti-vaccine activists and Tea Partiers are holding a rally to oppose this legislation tomorrow, September 28 from noon to 2pm on the West Steps of the state capitol. If you live nearby, I urge you to attend in counter-protest to voice your support for this bill. I also encourage you to contact Gov. Brown, asking him to sign AB2109.

If you decide to attend any of these events, please remember to remain civil. Do not be goaded by the anti-vaccine activists you are likely to encounter.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Grand Coverup

This weekend I saw something that surprised and amused me: a blue jay hiding some food. It wasn't the fact that it hid its food, though, that got me. Many animals hide food, squirreling (ha!) it away to consume later. This could be anything from just digging a hole, depositing the food and burying it again to stockpiling in a hole in a tree branch. And this behavior is not unknown among blue jays, either.

Clever boy. Photo by Dick Daniels
No. What brought a smirk to my face was how this bird went about stashing his goods.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mark Geier's License Revoked - And It's About Damn Time!

Today, Catherina over at Just the Vax, let me know about a development on a topic that I've been covering for quite some time. And the timing of this is rather fortuitous, as this post marks number 250 for me! I couldn't think of a better subject than to enlighten you all on the latest turn for the infamous Dr. Mark Geier, the physician who inappropriately used the precious puberty and chemical castration drug Lupron to supposedly treat children with autism.

What is this latest development? The Maryland Board of Physicians has (finally!) revoked Dr. Geier's medical license.
File this under: about damn time.
And the order that accompanies this is scathing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Size Fits All Vaccination

There are a number of frequent refrains heard from those opposed to vaccines. There are too many. Oh, the toxins! If vaccines work, then what are you worried about? Vaccination laws take away parents' rights. The list goes on and on. They get repeated so often that it becomes very easy to just gloss over them and ignore the strident ululations of anti-vaccine activists. Between posting here and commenting on various blogs and news stories, I feel like I've addressed these arguments (if you can call them that) more than enough times. But then I remember that as long as the noise keeps going, there will be a need for reality-based individuals to speak out against them.

Recently, one such complaint caught my interest a little more than usual. Perhaps it was because I happened to be rereading the CDC Pink Book at the time. Much is made among anti-vaccine types of personal liberties and how each person is different. Every little snowflake is precious and unique, they opine, so how can anyone support a "one size fits all" vaccination schedule?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Censored on Dan Olmsted at Autism One on The Wakefield Inquisition

It's been a while since I've put one of these posts up. One of my readers tried to leave a comment over at Age of Autism on the post Dan Olmsted at Autism One on The Wakefield Inquisition. I'm putting this up so that any comments which the moderators at AoA censor can still see the light of a computer screen. If you have tried to leave a comment on that post but were censored, feel free to copy your comment below. Include the date and time that you tried to post, if you can.