Reason Freely

Wakefield MMR Study is Fraud

Posted in news by reasonfreely on January 7, 2011

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) retracted the Wakefield study and called it a fraud.  Finally!

An investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ concludes the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study — and that there was “no doubt” Wakefield was responsible.”

CNN

The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella. Vaccination rates dropped sharply in Britain after its publication, falling as low as 80% by 2004. Measles cases have gone up sharply in the ensuing years.

In the United States, more cases of measles were reported in 2008 than in any other year since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 90% of those infected had not been vaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown, the CDC reported.

Anderson Cooper 360

If she weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood?

Posted in news by reasonfreely on May 18, 2010

Terrorism

Posted in news by reasonfreely on March 26, 2010

Terrorism — when people use violence to hurt and scare others over political, ethnic, or religious differences — is the enemy of free thought.  Recall that free thought is free of influence from authority, tradition and manipulation.  Terrorism is manipulation of the most crude and basic sort.

In the lead-up to the health care reform vote, the Republican party set fire to their extreme-right base.  They lied to them, telling them that the health care bill was going to kill babies (even after the Stupak amendment, which explicitly prohibits the bill subsidizing abortion procedures).  They said it was an unconstitutional to make health insurance mandatory (despite the other mandatory insurance premiums we all pay…  for medicare).  They said that Americans hated the bill (yes, more Americans disliked the bill than liked it before it passed, but it was basically an even split) and that Obama was pushing it through despite democratic objection (despite the fact that the majority of elected representatives were for it) and were using dirty legislative tricks to get it passed (as opposed to the Republicans, aka the Filibusticans, who decided that their success is Obama’s failure, and have basically gone on strike — real mature guys).

So in short, they created a monster.  PELOSI BAD!

Now their monster has wandered into the town and started threatening Democrats’ families and children, smashing windows, and cutting gas lines.  Now they’re faced with a tough decision, where the ethical thing is to take back their lies, ask for peace and understanding, and eat some crow.  I’m not saying that opposing the health care bill is wrong per se.  But how they went about it, inflaming the extreme wing of their base to violence (“We came unarmed (this time)” comes to mind), was wrong.

So now they’ve created terrorists.  Terrorists.  Terrorists.  Terrorists. People who threaten violence and destroy property to scare others into submission to their ideology are terrorists.

Why won’t the media call them terrorists?  That’s my question.  I think they’re cowards.

Update: Republican response to the violence.   Not adequate.