Comments by hodgmo

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Posted on February 11 at 10:24 a.m.

Thanks for a constructive letter Starshine. Perhaps your reaching out to the anti-vaxxers will lead to some of them becoming responsible members of the community.

Besides excluding unvaccinated children (except those with valid medical exclusions) from public schools, perhaps the unvaccinated should be denied health insurance – or at least be required to pay a premium that covers the collateral damage (eg, surge in measles, whooping cough) caused by their negligence.

On Immune to the Facts?

Posted on February 11 at 9:52 a.m.

The letter makes a good point: without a doubt “children with autism are lovable.” One shouldn't be ashamed of a family member with autism. Or Downs syndrome, etc. Parents who shoulder the added responsibilities these out-of-ordinary conditions pose with pride and love deserve admiration and support.

Fortunately, vaccines have nothing to do with autism. Penn and Teller tell it best

On Autism Enlightenment

Posted on February 3 at 2:06 p.m.

“…vaccinated against measles, which is many times more dangerous than the disease itself, particularly in the US.” Loon

Can you provide a credible reference for that statement Loon? Every credible source I’m aware of indicates that the advantage of the measles vaccine in preventing premature death due to measles far outweighs (by orders of magnitude) the chances of the vaccine causing a problem. In other words in a population where vaccinations might cause tens of deaths, measles would, if left unchecked by vaccine, kill thousands.

• During 2000-2013, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 15.6 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.

If a vaccine that practically eradicates an infectious disease that, without the vaccine, killed say 10% of the population, then it is worth the far tinier risk of death due to vaccine. Citing a hundred deaths attributed to vaccination in a population of hundreds of millions that without the vaccine suffered tens of thousands of deaths annually as a reason to not be vaccinated is poor logic. Even worse, it is irresponsible – the unvaccinated are causing a re-emergence of deadly infectious diseases that were essentially eradicated. (The re-emergence is not the fault of the very few with weakened immune systems that really shouldn't be vaccinated.)

Vaccinations are like seat belts in one way: while in rare cases one would be better off without wearing seat belts, by far your odds of surviving a crash are better if you wear them. However, unlike seat belts, vaccinations only work if most people near you subscribe to them.

On Infectious and Mobile

Posted on February 3 at 11:39 a.m.

Sam_Tababa: Well said.

On Free Community College?

Posted on February 3 at 11:33 a.m.

The writer describes a long-standing problem: Another case of consumers driving the market toward what appear to be easy fixes – but are really only (expensive) superficial bandaids (or worse). Honeyed tea (and maybe whisky) with bed rest is what treats a cold, no need for pseudo drugs. Better yet, take care of yourself (diet, exercise, sleep) and don’t get sick! DrDan nails it with the prevalent “low level of scientific education in the USA and our gullibility in grabbing every snake oil remedy advertised on TV…” This chronic social problem – the drift toward scientific ignorance and illiteracy – is behind anti-vaccine movements, climate change denial, and other issues. Another example is the inadequate, hygiene practices based on obstinate ignorance one commonly observes at public places (eg, not washing ones hands after using the toilet). And the recent rise in infectious diseases is clearly due to people opting out of vaccinations. Toxiplasmosis may be too….

On Infectious and Mobile

Posted on February 3 at 11:10 a.m.

I've only been diving the coast and Channel Islands since the '70s but have the observed the same heart-breaking changes that HGWMV describes. I'd like to think that there is hope but there is a point-of-no-return for any system – and given the large time scales associated with complex ocean processes, it is not unreasonable to think we’re past it. Like Cousteau, John Steinbeck saw the decline in our ocean occurring many years ago (his 'The Log from the Sea of Cortez' is another relevant read). Steinbeck's ~1940 journey was a scientific one and his marine biologist pal Ed Ricketts helped Steinbeck in trying to make people aware of the devastation caused by factory fishing.

On Critical Time for Oceans

Posted on January 19 at 9:59 p.m.

“I would point out that one person with two six-shooters could easily commit a mass murder and be national headline news. Why weren't we hearing about this in decades past?...because we had a different culture then” billclausen

I think the change is in our awareness and sensitivity to gun crime, not an actual increase in the rate of gun crime. This is perhaps partially due to more immediate and extensive access to “news.”

In fact, mass killings go back more than a century. See for yourself at sort by “Year”

If you think gun violence in general has gone up in the last couple of decades, think again...

“Violent gun crime has dropped dramatically in the past two decades, but the majority of Americans think it's more of a problem now than ever, according to a Pew Research Center study...”

The US has a gun problem relative to other relatively ‘civilized societies,’ but it’s essentially always had a gun problem. Even though the rate of gun deaths may be stable or even shrinking, we like to kill each other more than many other countries do.

Bottom line:

On I.V. Shooting Victim's Father Joining Capps for State of the Union

Posted on January 19 at 9:25 p.m.

JT anyone can cherry pick the internet and find whatever they want, and that’s what you’re doing. The best stories are sprinkled with tidbits that smack of truthiness, but that doesn't make them true. You need to develop an ability to distinguish baloney and good advice, and especially to know when you are in over your head, as you are here.

Here’s what actual responsible medical minds are saying about vaccinations:

“In keeping with their professional commitment to the health of patients and the public, physicians should:

(c) Recommend and encourage patients to have appropriate vaccinations and screenings.”

“State policies granting personal belief exemptions and states that easily grant exemptions are associated with increased pertussis incidence.”

On Infant Dies from Whooping Cough

Posted on January 19 at 11:46 a.m.

“Properly credentialed researchers, studying the whooping cough vaccine for many years, have found … its use *causes* whooping cough outbreaks rather than prevents them.” Tieber

Unless your definition of “properly credentialed” is circular, ie, those that agree with you are properly credentialed, this is total bunk. And, borrowing your phraseology, any ‘competent’ observer can see that your position (which clearly advocates against being vaccinated in general) is not well supported (to put it mildly) – immunizations programs nearly eliminated infectious diseases like whooping cough for decades – independent of other improvements – and the recent rise in pertussis (and other infectious diseases) appears to correlate with a reduction in people participating in vaccination programs. The medical literature generated by professionals in the field supports this by vast odds.

On Infant Dies from Whooping Cough

Posted on January 19 at 7:39 a.m.

“You cannot make things better by merely condemning those you don't like.” nativeson

Your post above appears to condemn ‘atheistic socialism “religion”’ (whatever that is). In other recent posts you have condemned ‘illegals,’ Aztecs, and Islam. Perhaps you should practice what you preach.

On Junipero Serra, Ready for Liftoff

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