Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Continual Contradictory Positions of AntiVaxxers

It is difficult for vaccine conspiracy theorists or medical conspiracy theorists to remain consistent, and trying to nail down their actual viewpoints can often be more difficult than nailing JELL-O to a wall... but at times it is necessary to point out their blatant contradictory statements such as this particular quote: 
“How credible is anything you are told by people in that medical field, when modern medicine is one of the leading causes of death in America. They have all been brainwashed, just like you. Any doctor that speaks out is sytematically [sic] destroyed; it is just a fact.”  ~ Lowell Hubbs
We have covered Mr. Hubbs' nonsense about modern medicine being one of the "leading causes of death" in the past, so I won't bother to point out the flaws in that argument yet again, but what I find interesting here is where Mr. Hubbs claims any doctor who "speaks out" is systemically (or perhaps he meant systematically) destroyed.

Ok fine... so if we take Mr. Hubbs at his word, this means there should be no evidence of any doctor who dares speak out against "the system" because anyone who does would be destroyed.  With that in mind, the following quote by Mr. Hubbs seems rather contradictory:
“Dr. Mercola's website is the worlds largest natural health website, and is trusted by 1000's of viewers as very accurate information; check out how many views there are.”  ~ Lowell Hubbs
So on one hand any doctor who dares speak out against modern medicine or the system will be destroyed, which Mr. Hubbs claims "is just a fact". Yet on the other hand Mr. Hubbs tells us that Dr. Mercola runs the world's largest natural health website and he admits that Mercola is extremely popular. In fact Mr. Hubbs has discussed Mercola many times and obviously holds him in high regard, and if there is anyone out there who could be considered the poster child for "speaking out" against mainstream medicine it would be Mercola.

Of course Mercola isn't the only alternative medicine proponent out there who has earned the right to call himself a doctor.  Mr. Hubbs has spent a great deal of time telling us how great Dr. Tenpenny is, just as he has told us how much of a brave maverick doctor that Andrew Moulden is.  Mr. Hubbs has told us about Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Buttar just as he has told us about Dr. Burzynski.  Mr. Hubbs has even introduced us to his friends Dr. Hagen and Dr. Rall, although in Lowell's defense these last two are Chiropractors so it isn't like they are "real" doctors.

This is the part I struggle with, because all of the doctors mentioned here are still in business and still doing whatever it is that they want to do.  Most of them are heavily involved in alt-med circles, most of them are involved in selling various books, pamphlets, and nutritional supplements, several still practice medicine by their own choosing, and every one of them is still out there walking around free and doing their own thing.

None of these people are behind bars (even if it could be argued that is where they belong).  Many of them are still practicing medicine or chiropractic and still treating patients and those who aren't have retired via their choice - not because they were forced to by anyone else.  Not a single one of these people has been "systemically destroyed" unless you are referring to their credibility, which even I will admit has been greatly tarnished.  However their credibility hasn't been destroyed by the "system" or the medical establishment... but rather it has been destroyed due to their own actions, their lack of evidence and peer-reviewed science, and their overall inability to support their wild claims with anything that resembles fact.  The reality is, I'm unsure if any of these doctors had any credibility to begin with, so it hardly seems accurate to claim they were systemically destroyed.

I fully recognize in the mind of a conspiracy theorist that there has to be some form of an underground shadow operation that is meant to manipulate people and destroy lives.  A conspiracy theory always involves some type of evil and some type of "bad guy" where the fault lies... but in this case Mr. Hubbs's supposed conspiracy theory just doesn't hold up to scrutiny.  He can't have it both ways, so either all of the doctors I have mentioned have been destroyed and they are all no longer a "threat" to modern medicine, or they all continue to be very popular and influential figures within the anti-vaccine and/or alternative medicine community and thus Mr. Hubbs's claim about how doctors are systemically destroyed is yet another fabrication invented in the mind of a conspiracy theorist.

Do you hear that?  It is the sound of backpedaling and someone trying to dig up the goalposts in preparation for yet another move.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Anti-Vaxxers and the Taliban

Q: What do antivaxxers such as Lowell Hubbs have in common with the Taliban?

A: They both have a thing against polio vaccinations.

We have recently learned that the Taliban is effectively banning polio vaccinations within the portions of Afghanistan under their control not because they don't believe the vaccines work, and not because they fear that these vaccines are harmful in any way... but because they don't like the US drone strikes that have killed some of the Taliban leaders.

Yes you have read that correctly - the Taliban is very similar to antivaxxers in that they don't seem to care that the polio vaccine can save thousands of lives.  They don't care that the vaccine has been shown to eliminate polio, and they don't care that the vaccine can prevent people from being stricken with the disease. All they care about is pushing a political and/or social agenda.

It says a lot about people who find themselves fighting for the same things as the Taliban - for the most part both of these groups of people are trying to harm Americans, and as sad as it may seem they both seem to have a lot in common.  The difference is one of these groups are a bunch of ignorant souls who haven't mentally advanced beyond the stone age and who tend to fear what they don't understand... the other is the Taliban.

“He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CNN: Don't Fall at the Finish Line in the Race to Eradicate Polio

I came across an interesting opinion piece published on the CNN website the other day discussing polio vaccination programs.  Much of the data aligns with what we have seen from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and elsewhere, but it is never a bad idea to get a reminder of what we are up against.
"In less than a quarter century, the number of children paralyzed by polio has dropped spectacularly — from 350,000 cases annually to just 650 last year. In 1988, there were 125 countries where polio was endemic. Today, there are just three - Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
Lowell Hubbs would have us believe this is all a coincidence and that the containment of polio in over 120 nations had nothing to do with vaccines.  Not only is that opinion absurd, but it makes you wonder what other explanation he can offer which would make sense.  In a period of just over 20 years, we have been able to control, reduce, and in some cases totally eliminate polio from over 120 nations.  We haven't made significant changes in anything else, but when scientists and doctors enter an area and start vaccination the population.... the rate of polio drops like a stone to the point where it is eventually and entirely eliminated in the younger (vaccinated) population.

I actually wonder if Mr. Hubbs and his anti-vaccination friends have any understanding of disease whatsoever.  Do they honestly feel diseases like polio just disappear without any outside factors?  Do they understand what it means for a disease to be endemic in the first place?  Do they have any explanation for why vaccinated populations no longer have to fear contracting polio and why with widespread vaccination programs in a matter of years the spread of diseases such as polio can all but be eliminated?

You will often hear anti-vaxxers like Mr. Hubbs claims vaccinations don't work or that they cause more harm that good.  Well in this one example alone there are over 349,000 people a year who won't need to suffer from the effects of polio... all due to the polio vaccine.  Does that seem like something causing more harm than good?

The next argument anti-vaxxers like to make is that vaccinations exist only to increase profits of the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the vaccines.  Apparently the scientists and doctors and researchers who work on these vaccines as well as the healthcare workers who are responsible for distributing and administering the vaccines are all involved in some massive conspiracy to make money... and these thousands upon thousands upon thousands of individuals are all just looking to make a quick buck so they remain quiet.

Really?  There comes a point where I have to assume even a conspiracy theorist such as Mr. Hubbs looks at his own theories and says they are simply too hard to believe, but I won't claim to be an expert on those who appear to be suffering from psychological disorders.
"Last week, health ministers representing nearly 200 countries underscored their strong belief in the effectiveness of vaccines and their importance of protecting all the world’s children by passing two resolutions. One declared polio eradication a worldwide health emergency. The other endorsed a global plan to ensure that all children — not just those in wealthy countries — have access to vaccines that prevent diseases."
I know of no conspiracy theory on the planet which has successfully argued the involvement of hundreds of people from hundreds of different nations.  Are we really to believe people like Mr. Hubbs who claim the polio vaccine simply doesn't work, or should we believe the experts and the data which proves otherwise?

The choice is clear - and it seems nearly 200 health ministers have come to the same conclusion.

Read the full CNN article here:  Opinion: Don't fall at the finish line in the race to eradicate polio