There are obviously many strong reasons to allow the widest possible debate on the SfTP list. Also, a quick google search of "measles vaccination" did not turn up SfTP on the first two screens. That is, 'innocent' people searching for information on vaccination are not apt to stumble onto the archives this list. This is important because debate (particularly under such a heading as Science for the People) creates for many the premise that there really are "two sides" to the question. This also applies to all other subjects (e.g. 911 'Truthers') that are potentially disruptive of left or radical politics.
Mitchel's position is dangerous. Several times over the last 15 years when I have attending the Left Forum in NYC I have chatted with local New Yorkers who confidently informed me that (e.g.) physicians didn't know anything about macular degeneration and I could cure it with diet! 9/11 Truthers have often disrupted local anti-war groups. Also, the proliferation of these various fears can affect opinion on such _real_ dangers as global warming or nuclear disasters.
It's a puzzle. But free speech is not a cosmic value overcoming all other considerations.
From: Science for the People Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael H Goldhaber
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2015 2:51 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The devastating impact of vaccine deniers, in one measles chart from The Washington Post
It’s not only insulting but indication of a poor memory for you to suggest I haven’t been listening to and rebutting the fools as well as you on this subject for years.
I have in fact heard a great deal from the fools over the years. They will not listen to reason. Measles vaccine is highly effective, with rare, far-from-fatal side effects. On the other hand, measles (the disease, not the vaccine) kills one in a thousand, and does serious permanent damage to several more.
With optional vaccination, herd immunity is lost. Those who have an immuno-compromised status and can’t be vaccinated are therefore in far more danger. In the current outbreak, almost all the victims are apparently un-vaccinated. It is not part of a cycle. It goes along with the rise in whooping cough. Nothing worrisome is in the vaccines.
The reasoning you indicate, Mitchel, by your list of questions, resembles that of deniers of well established truths of all sorts, from climate-change deniers to Holocaust deniers and many others. Ignoring that there is well-known and readily available evidence that deals with most of their questions, as with yours, they all adopt an unwarranted attitude of ignorance and mistrust of all painstakingly verified studies and careful analysis. Another similarity is each time new evidence is presented against them they act as if nothing has ever been argued or rebutted before.
Why you choose to take the side of such people the kind of questions you seemingly reflexively ask here I don’t know. It doesn’t redound to your credit.
Here’s a question for you: If a baby too young to be vaccinated dies of the measles because the unvaccinated destroyed the herd immunity, will you take any responsibility? After all, you’ve been repeating this sort of remark re vaccines for years, presumably with some effect on the badly educated.
On Jan 24, 2015, at 5:00 PM, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
At 06:25 PM 1/24/2015, you wrote:
According to a program on KQED yesterday, one of the groups with a large number of vaccine refusers are holders of advanced degrees. What is the process of educating fools?
First step is to listen to what those so-called "fools" are saying, and see if you can successfully rebutt their concerns and understand them even if you disagree.
There are actually several issues rolled into one:
1) Mandatory vs. Optional vaccination
2) What else is in the vaccines?
3) Effectiveness of different types of vaccines
4) Is this spike representative of a general "comeback" of measles in the U.S. or of a longterm cycle?
5) The history of measles vaccine in the U.S.
> On Jan 24, 2015, at 1:49 PM, herb fox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> http://wapo.st/1ATEQTz <http://wapo.st/1ATEQTz>
<http://www.lulu.com/shop/mitchel-cohen/what-is-direct-action/paperback/product-20937425.html> Mitchel Cohen's book, "What Is Direct Action? Lessons from (and to) Occupy Wall Street" (foreword by Richard Wolff) (596 pages). Get it now!
Check out http://www.MitchelCohen.com <http://www.mitchelcohen.com/>
* HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. by Mitchel Cohen
* ON PHIL OCHS, MALCOLM X, & JE SUIS CHARLIE by Stan Rogouski
* PROTESTERS, COPS & THE MAYOR -- the movement to end violence by police sweeps across the country (Mitchel Cohen, Dave Zirin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Black Agenda Report’s Dr. R. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon; CommonDreams’ Abby Zimet; Max Blumenthal, Sam Mintrani); Hey, Guess what? Another FOX-News Twistory: No one ever said 'Kill a Cop!'
* WHY I HATE THANKSGIVING by Mitchel Cohen
* AUDIO: Listen to poems by Mitchel Cohen: "The Permanent Carnival," and "In Memoriam: For Fallen Comrades"
* IS VIOLENCE IN YOUR GENES? Genetic Racism & Biological Determinism, by Mitchel Cohen
Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen
Realize that little things lead to bigger things ... And there’s a wonderful parable in the New Testament: The sower scatters seeds. Some seeds fall in the pathway and get stamped on, and they don’t grow. Some fall on the rocks, and they don’t grow. But some seeds fall on fallow ground, and they grow and multiply a thousandfold. Who knows where some good little thing that you’ve done may bring results years later that you never dreamed of.
~ Pete Seeger