This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← I agree with Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann

I agree with Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann - Comments

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 1 by Peter Grant

I AGREE WITH RICK PERRY AND MICHELE BACHMANN.

Just goes to show, even broken watches are right twice a day.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 16:45:21 UTC | #871196

Tyrosine's Avatar Comment 2 by Tyrosine

I see Mr Perry is quite happy to support scientific evidence when it helps his career. Of course, evolution is still 'just a theory' in his eyes, and intelligent design is just as feasible.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:21:05 UTC | #871211

ben.doublett's Avatar Comment 3 by ben.doublett

Well, while Faircloth talks about the reasons for supporting the vaccine, he doesn't address the mandatory administration of the vaccine, which is what was controversial about Perry's executive order.

No Republican candidate opposes the HPV vaccine on principle or doesn't think it should be made available to those who want it. Where most of the Republican field disagrees with Perry is an entirely different question: Who should make the decision about whether or not an individual girl gets the vaccine--the governor of her state or herself, her parents and her doctor?

You can make a great case for the efficacy and importance of the vaccine without supporting the mandatory administration of it, which is exactly what Faircloth does here.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:22:39 UTC | #871212

Richie P's Avatar Comment 4 by Richie P

Broken watches are right twice a day. Republicans are right twice in a lifetime!

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:25:23 UTC | #871215

Tara Marshall's Avatar Comment 5 by Tara Marshall

I agree that the HPV vaccine is a good thing for the MAJORITY of girls. However, that does NOT mean it, or any other vaccine, should be mandated for ALL people.

I'm willing to give my own health history as an example here. When my mother was 4 months pregnant with me, she received a flu vaccine at her doctor's office, way back in 1973. Within the next half hour, she was paralyzed, and the paralysis was progressing. She was brought directly to the hospital, where they got her hooked up to their primitive version of life support to keep her breathing for the next several days. Fortunately for both of us, the paralysis only lasted a week. She had Guillain Barre Syndrome, brought on by administration of the flu vaccine. It is an uncommon reaction, but one that runs in families. We are both advised against ever getting a flu vaccine again for this reason.

I have Celiac Disease, Raynaud's Phenomena, High Functioning Autism, and a VERY high probability of getting more Autoimmune or Autoimmune-linked disorders. At the moment, I have a joint disorder that resembles arthritis, further GI disorders, and am still trying to track down more food allergies (I have at least a dozen). I have Specific IgA Deficiency, a PRIMARY IMMUNE DISORDER, which leaves me susceptible to infection in my GI system. The administration of any further vaccines places me at SPECIFIC risk for more damage, up to and including death.

And if I have children, they will have many of the same susceptibilities as I do, which makes vaccination for them a VERY dangerous prospect.

There is a solution to this quandary - one that the vaccine industry and medical community does not bring up. All you need to do is run a simple blood test on children to make sure that their immune systems are developing normally and that they do not have the signs of an Autoimmune Disorder BEFORE you administer any vaccinations. If the test comes back normal, then the doctor can vaccinate with a very low risk of any negative side effects. If the test comes back with anything unusual, then you know that you may need to be cautious with vaccinating. Perhaps wait for another visit, administer more tests to see what is happening in the child's body FIRST, then administer a single-dose vaccine to see what happens. If there are no negative side effects, then next month give another single-dose vaccine, so long as the child is not sick and their tests don't show any worsening of the health situation.

I think all but the most rabid of anti-vaccination crowd would agree with this approach, and I don't understand why the pro-vaccine crowd is against some simple preventative measures to try to make sure that the vaccines are safe for each person before they are administered. The expense would be minimal, and there would be fewer negative reactions for the anti-vaccine crowd to base their worries on.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:29:55 UTC | #871217

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 6 by Sjoerd Westenborg

@ Tara Marshall, I completely agree with you that a bloodtest for every chilld before vaccination is a good idea. Not only is it the humane thing to do, it is also very easy to incorporate in vaccination programmes and will prevent complications, saving money in the long run.

However, I also believe that mandatory vaccinations are the way to go. Parent's shouldn't be able to decide that their kids don't get vaccinated, there by exposing them to the risk of severe health problems or even death later on. I would regard that as severe child abuse. Of course a distinction must be made between potentially life saving vaccines and vaccines for 'milder' diseases' to determine wheter a vaccination should be mandatory.

An opt-out system is always a good construction to provide a legal escape for people with your medical history or whose bloodtest raises questions. I do, however, object to the possibility of removing a kid of the programme out of religious reasons, for reasons mentioned above. But of course it would be hard to legislate/enforce that last clause in Christian America.

I hope for some anti-vaccination lobbyists to reply, could be fun.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:06:41 UTC | #871245

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 7 by Ivan The Not So Bad

There is nothing new under the Sun. See this fine article in the Box Turtle Bulletin:

The HPV Vaccine Debate Today and Why Preventing Syphilis was "Immoral" Then

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:13:56 UTC | #871248

Quine's Avatar Comment 8 by Quine

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann -- with no discernable scientific evidence -- associates the HPV vaccine with mental retardation, which prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to respond with, effectively, ...

"It takes one to know one."

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:20:58 UTC | #871251

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 9 by Neodarwinian

If Michele Bachmann had just pointed out the money trail from Merck to Perry and kept her nut bag opinions to herself she could have taken the lead back in the GOP Presidential race. One wonders where her campaign manager was debate night? Then one remembers that " magic man " is always her campaign manager as well as Perry's main manager, so one breathes a big sigh of relief in advance of 2012.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 20:06:59 UTC | #871265

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 10 by Alan4discussion

Comment 8 by Quine

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann -- with no discernable scientific evidence -- associates the HPV vaccine with mental retardation,

Why! Does she need an excuse for her blitherings? Has he been vaccinated?

Rick Perry now says he regrets his Executive Order. (Merck knows Perry will obey when the chips are down, so it’s time to for him placate religious extremists).

So perhaps he should put a disclaimer on his speeches (Hollywood film style)
Any resemblance to reason or scientific evidence is purely coincidental!

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 22:00:20 UTC | #871306

some asshole's Avatar Comment 11 by some asshole

Go figure; religious people trying to block a vaccine that will save lives. It's not ironic; it's perfectly in line with the sickness these idiots are infected with.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 23:09:17 UTC | #871325

LapisLong's Avatar Comment 12 by LapisLong

Just needed to thank Sean for a great first article. I look forward to many more

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 23:55:54 UTC | #871337

Vicar of Art on Earth's Avatar Comment 13 by Vicar of Art on Earth

I am very convinced we need universal healthcare with blood tests for everyone. Healthcare needs to be a whole or total person kind of thing.

I also wonder what kind of reaction from the teabaggers if an uninsured girl were to die from cancer because she did not get a vaccine or later medical care?

Some of the unvaccinated girls will get cancer and will then be on Medicaid or Medicare, as a taxpayer can I insist that those who can take the vaccine do so? Is the religious right still believing the left will be happy to once again clean up their mess?

I guess the total cynical approach is to let culture set up a process of natural selection, those with parents who are smart enough to blood test and vaccinate can live to breed and live long enough to pass on their cultural heritage that includes modern medicine.

off post, l just spilled my coffee laughing at the disclaimer idea.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:12:20 UTC | #871344

green and dying's Avatar Comment 14 by green and dying

Comment 5 by Tara Marshall :

I think all but the most rabid of anti-vaccination crowd would agree with this approach, and I don't understand why the pro-vaccine crowd is against some simple preventative measures to try to make sure that the vaccines are safe for each person before they are administered. The expense would be minimal, and there would be fewer negative reactions for the anti-vaccine crowd to base their worries on.

Are the pro-vaccine crowd against it? Though if they are, I'm going to assume it's for good reason because quite a lot of them are scientists and doctors.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 00:27:51 UTC | #871351

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 15 by DavidMcC

Comment 14 by green and dying

Are the pro-vaccine crowd against it?

Only those, like Perry, who don't mind killing some people to "cure" them, presumably. I suppose people like Tara would be just a bit of "collateral damage" to him. One of his predecassors, George "Dubya", didn't seem to care if he had a few innocent people executed, so it's par for the course, it seems.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 10:11:40 UTC | #871459

CreekDweller's Avatar Comment 16 by CreekDweller

Rick Perry's reason for advocating the Gardasil vaccine was to help stamp out cancer. Politicians receive money from various sources. If they then make a decision that is based on sound reasoning, it is always possible to go back and say they did it for political reasons. That does not make it so, unless you are one of Perry's political opponents who wishes to weaken him.

Rick Perry's wife is a nurse and the daughter of a doctor. She is heavily involved in women's health issues. Rick Perry trusted her advice on this issue, i.e., that the vaccine was a good thing for the girls of Texas.

Ok, Merck donated to his campaign long before Gardasil came out. So, when Gardasil came out, and Perry was convinced it was a good thing for the girls of Texas, should he nevertheless have just turned his back and done nothing about it in order to avoid appearances of so-called "crony capitalism?" Would there not have been an outcry from people stating that he did NOT help the girls of Texas solely for his own political reasons?

In other words, on this issue, Rick Perry would have been criticized either way. He "erred" on the side of seeking to stamp out cancer.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 13:14:29 UTC | #871524

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 17 by DavidMcC

Rick Perry's wife is a nurse and the daughter of a doctor. She is heavily involved in women's health issues. Rick Perry trusted her advice on this issue, i.e., that the vaccine was a good thing for the girls of Texas.

The question then becomes, "Did his wife know about the dangers to some women?" At any rate, he came up with a careless policy, designed to only look as if he cared.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 14:31:27 UTC | #871562

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 18 by Cartomancer

I think it was George Orwell who said something along the lines of "just because the Daily Mail says it's Tuesday, that doesn't mean it isn't".

Though from that particular source, as from Perry and Bachmann, I'd be very careful to check anyway.

Fri, 16 Sep 2011 18:04:22 UTC | #871625

zengardener's Avatar Comment 19 by zengardener

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. Forgotten amid all the prurient right-wing fundamentalist nonsense, is that twelve is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body.

With so few negative side effects, isn't it negligent to refuse the vaccine to your child? Not as negligent as starving them of course.

To what degree do we, as a society, allow parents to be negligent? When do we bypass their authority, and administer care directly to the child, instead of offering the choice to the parent?

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 19:30:35 UTC | #871998

Corylus's Avatar Comment 20 by Corylus

Bachmann's scaremongering regarding retardation has been called out by a prominent bioethicist - with a $10,000 bet.

Sat, 17 Sep 2011 19:48:07 UTC | #872005

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 21 by SoHelpMeReason

Comment 4 by Richie P :

Broken watches are right twice a day. Republicans are right twice in a lifetime!

To be fair, their ticker ain't necessarily the quickest to begin with, so I think given the pace their brains operate at, we're a lucky lot we even get that.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 00:32:22 UTC | #872115

Paul the Pretentious's Avatar Comment 22 by Paul the Pretentious

I wonder what would happen if we disallowed public figures from having private financial affairs. And allowing companies, corporations, to make obscene donations toward a political official on their behalf...sounds pretty corrupt.

Politicians are all whores. Their opinions may be bought, so long as their pocketbooks can be filled. Anybody who can afford to get the job should not be allowed to have it. Who the hell spends millions of dollars to get a job that pays mere thousands? Break their privacy, they don't deserve it. It's the only way to keep these people honest.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 18:09:05 UTC | #872336

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 23 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 02:00:22 UTC | #872914

thebaldgit's Avatar Comment 24 by thebaldgit

Michelle Bachmann's scare story regarding the HPV vaccination is a real example of the means by scaring someone with an outrages claim and then even if you choose to backtrack it does not make any difference, the scare story is there and the seed of doubt is planted in the minds of parents.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 13:06:40 UTC | #873079

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 25 by Starcrash

The title of this article is so similar to the ones used on Time and Newsweek covers such as "Who the Fuck is Jack Shaffer, Anyway?" and "Is Your Baby Racist?" Just shock value intended to draw clicks.

However, I liked your article and look forward to your book. Maine could use more legislators like yourself.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:08:20 UTC | #874472

sanban's Avatar Comment 26 by sanban

@Tara Marshall What particular test do you propose be administered to kids before vaccination? It sounds like a great idea, but there is no single test that will determine which child will be the extremely rare one to suffer a serious reaction to a vaccination. Meanwhile, the completely unwarranted anti-vax hysteria is endangering millions of lives.

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 02:28:27 UTC | #875557

Functional Atheist's Avatar Comment 27 by Functional Atheist

@5 Echoing comment 26, what simple, inexpensive test do you suggest be administered prior to all vaccinations? Testing for 'the autoimmune system developing normally' and 'any sign of an autoimmune disorder' sounds neither cheap nor easy, but I am just a layperson with no special knowledge.

I'm sorry for what happened to you and your mother, genuinely, but I'm more than a little wary about basing broad public health policy on an anecdotal incident nearly 40 years ago. Are not vaccines more rigorously tested than ever? Is it fair or reasonable to generalize your issue with flu vaccines to non-flu vaccines?

No disrespect intended, and I hope you are receiving good health care for your multiple conditions.

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 09:46:31 UTC | #875902