So I wonder if this is a recipe for hate mail but I’m going to go after some people today, who in my opinion, are the closest thing we have to actual terrorists in this country right now. They are the biggest threat to national security that I can see and they exist almost entirely uncontested right under the nose of homeland security. Actually its two groups, one big and one small but both with far undue influence. The post is really being spurned on by the death of Jet Travolta, son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston. Now, I’m not one to make a child’s death into a political statement but it does bring to light the issues surrounding scientology. I’m not going to say that scientology played a role in Jet’s death but the community should be mindful of what this church says and where it comes from. A church that for no ideas founded on reason, opposes the use of any sort of drug relating to mental diseases. They purport that all disease is a manifestation of some sort of spiritual upheaval within the person that can be cured with specialized and expensive counsel. I’m going to avoid the usual tack of going after scientology with the old, “it’s a religion made up by an old drugged out second-rate science fiction writer hungry for money and attention.” Instead, I’m going to say that dianetics and all its associated auditing, thetans, xenu and the like are total and complete bullshit of the first degree. I, for one, have trouble believing much in the way of spiritual things and so I find it even harder to believe that someone could be swayed by the everest sized pile of cow dung that is the modern church of scientology. I can only imagine that people with too much time on their hands and a need for a solution to their problems bite into this, are brainwashed in a cult mentality and at some point become too embarrassed to admit that they fell for it so they instead defend it to the end. Which brings me to group number two. The parents and activists who routinely claim that child hood vaccines and thimersol are linked to autism. I’m going to briefly speak as a scientist here and say: THERE IS NO LINK. There has never been a credible study done to show a link there. Child hood vaccines have saved millions of lives and will continue to do so unless these crazies with no scientific training get their way. It is a classic example of people not understanding what the hell they’re talking about and making a judgment they are not fit to make. In this instance, the judgement has been taken by the media without fact checking as a means for scaring the crap out of new parents for the sake of ratings with the consequence of hysteria. Of course the true consequence is that children may be forsaking vaccines that could potentially save their lives. The risks associated with thimerasol are still only theoretical risks and even with the theoretical (read: not grounded in good science) risks do not even approach the life-saving potential of these miracles of modern medicine. The people that purport these ideas should be put on the same level as those in the religious community that make it their business to preach intolerance and hatred and to incite violence amongst their congregants towards nonbelievers. In short, they should be prosecuted for willfull negligence of the facts and for the same reason that it is illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater; their speech should also be cause for legal recourse. Indeed, in ruling on the limits of free speech Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in his opinion
“The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the United States Congress has a right to prevent.”
These items CLEARLY fall within the realm of causing a “clear and present danger” to millions of children under the watchful eye of well-meaning but under-informed parents. Patrick OUT!!!
What I’m Listening Too: Old Crow Medicine Show