Let me be clear up front. I am not against vaccines. I am not against vaccines. I am not against vaccines. I feel the need to be extra clear because recently there has been a serious marketing push from our government and media against those who might be curious about the safety of vaccines and wisdom of applying so many at one time into infants. There are some who remain unsatisfied about the conversation regarding autism because no conversation is allowed. It is summarily cut off by wielding the name of science like a hammer against the skulls of anyone who dares dissent. As if science is infallible when the very essence of science is that it is wrong and constantly perfected. One needs only go into our history to see mistake after mistake in the name of science. Medicine once thought the application of leeches were a good treatment, for example.
The proven scientific facts of today are the old wives tales of tomorrow. That is not to dismiss science but to take it with a correct dosage of salt. Especially since much of science today is government funded and the government has a vested interest in many of the things it rules on. Science is not only fallible, it is malleable. It can be manipulated based on what you are trying to prove. Do you really think that aspartame does not cause cancer? How did it get approved? Who ran the FDA when it was approved? Why did he eventually leave the FDA to work for the company that produced aspartame? You cannot be this gullible just because someone screams - science!
Let's at least have a rational conversation about this subject and lay out the facts. The reason why there has been a clamoring to get to the bottom of the autism issue is because it is clear that something caused the explosion of autism in this country. In the 1980's there was one autistic birth in every 2000 and by the year 2000 there was one in every 150. So why was the lens of scrutiny placed upon the vaccine industry? Because at the same time, they introduced mercury based preservatives into the vaccine market. I know the pro-vaccine folks try to downplay this. They try to parse out the type of mercury it was that was used. As if any parent cares. Mercury is one of the most lethal toxins known to man. Period, end of story. If you really think it is no big deal, then go ahead and give it to your 12 month old. But do not dismiss those who think it is a bad idea. I might add, the vaccine companies also realized the error of their greedy ways and removed the preservative. Hardly the behavior of an innocent party. By the way, that autistic birth rate is now one in every 68. Perhaps if the pro vaccine people put half as much effort into seeming vaguely concerned about autism they would have a shred more credibility in this discussion.
But there is no discussion to be had with the pro vaccine side these days. The vitriol and anger is palpable. The cognitive dissonance is disturbing. Cognitive dissonance is when someone holds a core belief very strongly; such as there is no link between vaccines and autism. Because they hold it so strongly, they get very uncomfortable whenever someone comes along and tries to discuss the chance that maybe their held belief is wrong. They lash out to protect their core belief instead of being open to rational discourse. For example here is another fact. The original position held by the pro vaccine crowd has been debunked by our own government. That is right guys. It is not a matter for debate. It is settled fact. The original position was there was no connection. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Bupkis. Go back before 2008 and all of the literature is clear. There is no connection period. Much like you see many reverting to today as a talking point. Like the clever curse filled tirade from Penn Jillette that passes for a pro vaccine advertisement. There is no connection and if you think otherwise you are a science denying moron. Except there is a connection and it started with a little girl named Hannah Poling. I wrote about Hannah in 2008 when the vaccine courts awarded her family compensation in excess of 1.5 million dollars; conceding the FACT that her MMR series CAUSED her autism. They tried valiantly to couch their language. They called it an "autism like" disorder. They insisted it was only due to a rare mitochondrial condition she had. No matter how much they tried to move the goal posts they could not escape the fact that their previous denials had been debunked. I called that day the tipping point in the discussion but it still has been a long hard upward slog for concerned parents. Warring against the hammer of science and the full weight of the media and government. Not an easy chore for the truth to get through.
What is more disturbing however is the converts the government has found. People who suffer so badly from this cognitive dissonance that I feel bad for them. You can bring up Hannah Poling, whose father is a neurologist, and be met with excuses. Parsing of science. I actually read someone once concede the point but insist that it wasn't "causation." As if this was a game. Well it is not a game to Hannah Poling nor is it a game to Ryan Mojabi, who also was awarded damages for his MMR causing his autism. Nor was it a game to little Emily Moller whose family was fighting in court for over ten years before they finally were awarded as well. Nor was it a game to the families the Italian courts have given damages to that our compromised press refuses to cover. The truth is out there if you are willing to look beyond our shores. If you are willing to dig a little. If you are willing to suspend your firmly held beliefs long enough to consider that maybe you are wrong.
I can openly admit that I might be wrong. But I know when something is being pushed on me. I know the smell of bovine excrement when it wafts my way. The CDC seems awfully desperate to convince everyone that this is a settled matter. Nothing to see. Just go about your business. This of course is the same CDC trying to convince me that 500 cases of measles in a country the size of the United States is an "outbreak." The same CDC that just last year was telling me Ebola was going to kill me because two people in the country had it. The same CDC that swore in 2009 that the swine flu was going to kill me. The same CDC that swore in 2006 that e coli was going to kill me. The same CDC that swore in 2005 that the bird flu was going to kill me. The same CDC that swore in 2004 that SARS was going to kill me. The same CDC that swore in 2002 that West Nile was going to kill me. The same CDC that swore in 2001 that anthrax was going to kill me. But I am the crazy guy? Really? Doubting the government when they swear to something does not make me a conspiracy theorist. It makes me conscious.
Look, do I think that vaccines cause autism? Certainly not in the mainstream of cases. But I see that it has in some outlying cases, which means it can. So when someone screams at me that there is no connection I assume they are either seriously misguided or is suffering badly from cognitive dissonance. All I am saying is can't we have a civilized conversation in this country anymore? For the good of all of our kids? Can we hold to an opinion or even a curiosity without having motives and morals impugned? Can we just consider the possibility that our convictions might be wrong? If not then I fear for the future of this society. If you truly think that the government is infallible and that they do not manipulate science for their own ends then I am afraid you too might be suffering from cognitive dissonance. Don't worry though. I hear a couple leeches applied liberally will clear that right up.
(Article changed on February 6, 2015 at 21:30)
(Article changed on February 7, 2015 at 05:10)