Broken promises (4/4/2015)
Some time ago I remember telling people that one of my goals for this year was to fix all the broken and redirected links here by the end of March. (There will always be a few each month, but the total has been building up). When I said this I didn't know I was going to lose several weekends to packing and moving house and a few days to recover from an injury. Even now I'm still strapped for time because I have to unpack things, put clothes in drawers and cupboards, and refill the bookshelves. (If anyone can tell me where the box with my microwave cookware and Chinese bowls is I'll be able to finish the kitchen. And heat and eat leftover Chinese food.) It's something that has to be done and I now hope to finish by the end of April, but it is rather time consuming so it will take away from my capacity to write stuff here. I'll keep trying but even I have to recognise the finiteness of time, so updates here will be brief for the next few weeks.
I await the autisms (4/4/2015)
When I was in the hospital getting stitches put in my arm where I had been attacked by some broken glass while packing up to move house I was asked about my tetanus vaccination status. As I couldn't remember the last shot and it was probably more than five years ago anyway I was given a dose of Boostrix®. This was handy as it also brought my pertussis vaccination status up to date. It was administered by a trainee nurse and could very well have been the first time she had given this particular shot as she was unfamiliar with the package contents. (Later she had to put my arm in a sling to keep the wound above heart height. She admitted that this was the first time she had ever done this. Luckily there was someone more experienced to offer advice for both treatments.)
As we are told continually by anti-vaccination liars, consumers are never told anything about any vaccines they receive and are never given any documentation. The attending surgeon must not have got the memo, because he made a point of giving me the Consumer Information leaflet, and in a remarkable exhibition of independence from authority he also gave me the Product Information sheet which is supposed to be restricted to healthcare professionals only (as it obviously contains the truth that doctors know and patients don't).
I wanted to scan these documents but the page (containing both sheets) was an odd size so I went looking on the web to see if I could download them. I was lucky enough to find them both on a well-hidden site run by a Wikileaks-style outfit called GlaxoSmithKline. I hope that nobody from Big Pharma ever finds out that GSK are making these documents public.
The writing Peter moves, and having moved writes on (4/4/2015)
My latest article for Australasian Science magazine is about selling raw milk. I wrote about this here last December, but since then there have been public rallies trying to get the legal restrictions lifted. At at least one of these events people were drinking raw milk and giving it to children, despite the lie that it is only sold as a cosmetic for washing in. But as the youngsters say, "Liars gonna lie".
My column for the May edition is about the reluctance of the media to apply any critical thought to claims of miracle cures and the damage that this can cause. It will be available here once the paper edition is in newsagents and the post.
Speaking of liars ... (4/4/2015)
There is a regular debate about how to approach people who misrepresent the safety and efficacy of vaccines. I have no problem with parents who are deluded and misinformed because they have been lied to and have believed those lies. You can't argue these people out of their position, but you can expose the lies of the liars and hope that this will make a difference. You probably can't successfully argue with those who reject vaccination because they reject all medical science and believe in witchcraft and magic and also believe that everything to do with medicine is part of a conspiracy by Big Pharma to maintain their trillion dollar profits without regard to the damage they cause. You also can't argue with or debate those who fundamentally reject the idea of vaccination and work outwards from there looking for anything to discredit the practice, no matter how tenuous the connection or how many obvious lies have to be told. Insane people need treatment, not facts.
You also can't argue with those who oppose vaccination because it is their business to do so. Many of these vultures know that what they say is not true, but as long as it brings in the dollars the ends justify the means. All those people with medical degrees who write books and run web sites and seminars opposing vaccination fall into this category. Their medical qualifications are cited as evidence that they are right and all other doctors are wrong, but they know the truth. (Yes, "Dr" Tenpenny, I'm talking about you here along with others of your lying ilk.)
I try to always be polite to the members of all these categories because it helps when talking to the deluded and it enrages and confuses the charlatans, but sometimes my good manners are strained.
Recently a young child died in Perth from whooping cough. He was too young to be vaccinated and the program to vaccinate all pregnant women in the third trimester wasn't fully implemented. His parents created a tribute page on Facebook and took their tragedy public as a warning to other parents about the need for vaccination and the protection of herd immunity. Anti-vaccination liars went into overdrive with abuse and vilification. It didn't stop with just making comments on Facebook either. The parents were contacted directly and told how dreadful they were. Here is just one example.
You're right, Monique, you shouldn't laugh. I make no apology for displaying Monique Grobben's name here (some people who commented on this on Facebook blanked out the name to avoid the chance of becoming victims of the liars' regular practice of reporting use of their names to Facebook as abuse - see here and here). You said it, you own it. I will however maintain my good manners and ask Monique the questions I have asked anti-vaccination liars in the past as part of my ongoing research into their motivations.
And if Monique finds those questions offensive she should multiply that offense by a thousand to see how offended sane people are by her filth.