Wednesday, February 4, 2015

An Example of The Fear, Anger, Hatred Industry

UPDATE III:  As noted before, the  Republi-con Party thrives on a fundamentalist subculture of ignorance that embraces 'discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas'.  Nowhere is it more evident than "on the scientifically indisputable but ideologically fraught issue of vaccination."

Read the Washington Post, Seeking a vaccine for ignorance , which notes that the GOP base "tend to be litmus-test conservatives on social issues and place Scripture above science,"

Read also the Washington Post, A GOP outbreak of scientific illiteracy, which pointed out that Christie stated "that parents need to have some measure of choice" on vaccination, "the same Chris Christie who had no hesitation about imposing mandatory, and medically unnecessary, quarantines on health-care workers returning from Ebola-ravaged countries."

UPDATE II:  Thanks in part to vaccines, "[l]ife expectancy doubled in the past 150 years."

Read Slate, Why Are You Not Dead Yet? , which notes that "[t]here’s nothing like looking back at the history of death and dying in the United States to dispel any romantic notions you may have that people used to live in harmony with the land or be more in touch with their bodies. Life was miserable—full of contagious disease, spoiled food, malnutrition, exposure, and injuries."

Or play the "Wretched Fate game and risk dropsy, quinsy, consumption, and worms," also at Slate, How Would You Have Died in 1811?

UPDATE: "Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, roughly one in five Americans believes that vaccines cause autism — a disturbing fact that will probably hold true even after the publication this month, in a British medical journal, of a report thoroughly debunking the 1998 paper that began the vaccine-autism scare.

That’s because the public’s underlying fear of vaccines goes much deeper than a single paper. Until officials realize that, and learn how to counter such deep-seated concerns, the paranoia — and the public-health risk it poses — will remain. . .

America’s public health leaders need . . . to reclaim the town square with a candid national conversation about the real risks of vaccines, which are minuscule compared with their benefits."

Read The New York Times, Why Parents Fear the Needle.

The "disturbing and well-told chronicle of the childhood vaccine wars in the United States and England" and "the media's role is unsparing; he shows how ratings-hungry news and entertainment shows kept the debate alive [by 'parroting quack claims'], even as evidence for the safety and effectiveness of the shots became overwhelming."

Read the Washington Post, Seth Mnookin's 'The Panic Virus,' on the debate over vaccine use.

Read also an article by Mnookin from The Atlantic, What Drives Irrational Rhetoric? The Case of Childhood Vaccinations.