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Rant about vaccines/autism stuff. Feel free to ignore.
I will never forgive Andrew Wakefield.
If people understood the trajectory that his bullshit took, you would never believe a goddamned WORD of this vaccine/autism shit. He didn’t even care about autism or vaccines to start with. He cared about Crohn’s disease. Then he decided that bowel inflammation somehow (?) went to the brain and caused autism. But then that turned out to be bullshit, so he looked at vaccines.
Wakefield proposed a lot of different causal mechanisms for the vaccines. I think he and his ilk first started by declaring that the dead viruses in the vaccine traveled up to the brain and did something (?) to cause autism. Then he started with the inflammation/bowel thing again. He published a paper in that vein, but it was found that his samples were entirely contaminated and the methodology was TERRIBLE. So the Lancet withdrew the paper and apologized.
Somehow, though, Wakefield stirring up this pot of bullshit led to the Jenny McCarthy’s of the world deciding that the REAL problem with vaccines is the MERCURY (Thimerosal) in them. Based on someone somewhere saying “Hey, autism’s symptoms are a lot like mercury poisoning.” Spoiler: No they aren’t.
Common symptoms of mercury poisoning include peripheral neuropathy (presenting as paresthesia or itching, burning or pain), skin discoloration (pink cheeks, fingertips and toes), swelling, and desquamation (shedding of skin).
Mercury irreversibly inhibits selenium-dependent enzymes (see below) and may also inactivate S-adenosyl-methionine, which is necessary for catecholamine catabolism by catechol-o-methyl transferase. Due to the body’s inability to degrade catecholamines (e.g. Epinephrine) a person suffering from mercury poisoning may experience profuse sweating, tachycardia (persistently faster-than-normal heart beat), increased salivation, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Affected children may show red cheeks, nose and lips, loss of hair , teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia (muscle weakness), and increased sensitivity to light. Other symptoms may include kidney dysfunction (e.g. Fanconi syndrome) or neuropsychiatric symptoms such as emotional lability, memory impairment, and / or insomnia.
None of that sounds anything like autism to me.
This entire hullabaloo is based upon layers and layers and layers of complete BULLSHIT.
When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.
One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.”
Whoa, this shit is perfect:
The weather might be the subject people care most about on a daily basis. There is a very successful private TV channel dedicated to it, 24 hours a day, as well as any number of phone and PC apps. Americans need not be forced to turn over part of their earnings to support weather reporting.
This right here is the key to the conservative thought process. Americans need not be forced to turn over part of their earnings to the government, if they want to survive then they should turn over part of their earnings to private industries like cable companies! Poor people who can’t afford cable tv or internet deserve to die from natural disasters, that is all this whole fucking article is saying.
The National Weather Service (same as many other government entities) does not exist to serve people who can afford to find out about natural disasters from The Weather Channel and the 24 news machine, it exists to serve those who cannot.
How do they think the Weather Channel and all those apps and websites get their data? Really? What the fuck.