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Populism and credulousness December 4, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It’s odd, to me this is the first truly ‘populist’ move by the new Italian government. All the xenophobia, eurosceptic stuff and so on is part and parcel of the further right and done conservatives but this…

Italy’s health minister has sacked the entire board of the Higher Health Council, the country’s most important committee of technical-scientific experts who advise the government on health policy.

Needless to say it’s 5SM in the driving seat here, replete with their anti-vax inclinations etc.

Credulous and gullible.

In 2013 the Five Star Movement was a vociferous supporter of Stamina, a controversial stem-cell therapy promoted by a psychologist who claimed it could perform miracles but was later proven to be a con.

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1. An Sionnach Fionn - December 4, 2018

It’s mad the way many of these rightist groupings or individuals seem to coalesce around a lot of the same fringe or alternative issues, notably the vaccination conspiracy theories (for that is what they are).

Or is that one or two sets of right-wing loopers took up the issue as part of their remit and that others who gravitated into their orbit then took that on as part of their ideological identity, spreading it as a contagion throughout the alt-right ecosytem? Part of the fluid ideological package?

I notice that a certain well-known journo and would-be presidential candidate has now moved into more explicitly right-libertarian politics. Which includes vaccination scepticism coupled with questions about the Irish being an “ethnic minority” in Ireland. Yet some of that person’s otherwise liberalish followers are still fans and admirers.

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WorldbyStorm - December 4, 2018

Yeah it is curious – I tend to think it’s more the first that people attempt to make some distinction with other parties and pick this stuff up (tho I’ll bet there are true believers in there too).

+1 on your second point – had seen that. Thought it v interesting how those liberalish (great term!) hadn’t fallen away after that.

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Joe - December 4, 2018

What about those lefts (as opposed to liberalishes) who allegedly had agreed to propose this would-be candidate for the presidency i.e. the TDs who she claimed were willing to propose her? Any word from them?

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2. soubresauts - December 5, 2018

Why are you surprised that some lefties don’t bow to Big Pharma? Are you aware of the record of unethical behaviour by Merck, to take just one example?

Why don’t all lefties who believe in human rights and individual autonomy voice their opposition to mandatory vaccination, the most blatant example of a fascist measure?

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WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2018

Well the obvious point is M5S is not left wing in any functional sense, so that’s a problem from the off. But – and I know you’re a good intentioned and sincere person soubresauts- on this you’re pretty much on your own. The overwhelming consensus amongst leftists is for rational scientific approaches to the issue. This doesn’t mean people are unable to see issues with corporations or Pharma but those are evasions from the central point that almost all of us including myself think that the idea of mandatory vaccination being ‘fascist’ is empty hyperbole and that individual autonomy cannot and does not trump the collective health and welfare of communities.

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soubresauts - December 5, 2018

I’m not on my own, and I’m all for the rational scientific approach. And I know that the science of vaccination is not settled. The history of vaccination is littered with failure, suffering, abuse, and fraud. The way lefties who call themselves “anti-establishment” go along uncritically with the ruthless agenda of Merck-Varadkar-Harris (and “journalist” David Robert Grimes) just sickens me.

The quasi-religious faith in vaccines (“Just believe, and you will be protected”) defies belief, especially when there is so much scepticism about almost everything else.

When I was young (1960s), measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis were not public health problems; they were normal childhood diseases, not seen as a serious problem. The death rate was negligible. At the same time, serious diseases like polio, TB and diphtheria had almost disappeared. Public spending on vaccination was tiny.

Nowadays vaccination costs the Irish taxpayer many billions of euros every year. Why are lefties afraid to question that?

Life expectancy is going down in the US, the most vaccinated nation on earth. Ireland seems to be heading the same way. The belief that vaccines are the answer to disease is simply irrational.

And, by the way, vaccines are not safe. They are risky. Ireland’s health services are in an appalling state, but when it comes to vaccination, the HSE’s risk management gets a free pass from all politicians. Talk about a sacred cow.

I know hundreds of people, of all ages, who have never been vaccinated. They are the healthiest people I know. It is obvious to me (and many others) that unvaccinated people are healthier than vaccinated people. It is also obvious that the medical establishment is afraid to make a comparison of unvaccinated with vaccinated. Dare we say, no one actually needs any vaccination?

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CL - December 5, 2018

“As recently as the year 2000, more than 500,000 people died from measles every single year. The reason for the dramatic decrease in deaths is because of a concerted global effort to eradicate the virus through vaccination. And it is clearly paying off.”
https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/11/01/measles-vaccine-has-saved-more-20-million-lives-globally-2000-12072

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WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2018

I am sure a negligible death rate pre-vaccination era for measles, mumps and rubella etc will be of a great comfort to those who had children who died. I guess us stupid lefties aren’t as hard hearted as some – eh?

And pulling together random facts about life expectancy etc in the US and pretending that that has anything to do with vaccination when the actual reasons – poverty, the opioid crisis etc are well known is just time-wasting.

The below shows you really need to get yourself up to speed about measles for a start. From the late 1960s an improved vaccine was used for measles. From then on through the 70s, 80s, 90s and so on death rates fell precipitously (from the three figures down to two and then to single digits), particularly after MMR was introduced.

So the idea no one needs vaccination is so risible… well. as I say, time-wasting is one word to describe your contribution.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-22173393

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-deaths-by-age-group-from-1980-to-2013-ons-data/measles-notifications-and-deaths-in-england-and-wales-1940-to-2013

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soubresauts - December 6, 2018

Those official figures are either misleading or just plain wrong. When we’re talking about the developed or western world (as opposed to all those places ravaged by war, hunger, contaminated water, etc.), measles is a trivial childhood disease, except for a tiny minority of vulnerable kids. At least it was in the 1960s. (Hence the adjective “measly”.) What turned measles into a “killer disease” now, as the HSE wants you to believe, is the vaccine racket.

Our experience in 1960s Ireland was just like 1960s USA as shown in these TV clips, the first two of which I used to watch on RTE back in the day:

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

What a load of rubbish – you’re embarrassing yourself now. You make frankly lunatic claims – you’re called out in them and so you then diss official stats. Now I don’t know what sort of mentality would call into question those stats – a morbid one at best but then given the sheer heartlessness of someone who thinks death rates are acceptable as ‘negligible’ you really should consider what sort of a person would say such a thing. A period of silence from you would be much appreciated.

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

I’ll add one further thing. There’s no point in my arguing with someone who dismisses official stats – it’s beyond rational. I hate to block IPs but this sort of stuff is pointless – there’s no discussion to be had. Liberius is absolutely correct.

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Liberius - December 6, 2018

It’s the sheer confidence with which things like, “Those official figures are either misleading or just plain wrong.”, are said which is as much a problem as anything else, no amount of well evidenced facts are going to override that belief in a wide ranging conspiracy encompassing everyone involved who could possibly be reassuring. Giving them a platform merely allows them to undermine public health by chipping away at the more vulnerable groups (ie low scientifically aware worried parents).

And to echo GW below, we’d all prefer if pharmaceuticals were fully under public control, but that doesn’t mean in the here and now throwing well evidenced medicine (much with independent sources behind it) down the drain, we have no validly evidenced reason to do that.

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

You said it before and you were right and I was wrong – there’s no space for that sort of outright blatant disregard for fact and truth. The heartless stuff is odd, I’ve seen and heard it in interviews with anti vaccine people elsewhere – an infinite sentimentality over anything they attribute to supposed effects of vaccine, indifference to the effects of actual diseases

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makedoanmend - December 6, 2018

I can’t believe that anybody in this day and age and with the internet at their disposal could possibly argue that vaccination hasn’t been an absolute success by any measure one cares to use.

Vaccination and sanitation are the bedrocks upon which modern medicine are constructed. Full stop.

My childhood cohort was the first generation in the history of our species that wasn’t scarred by ubiquitous childhood death due to transmittable diseases; all thanks to a huge and coordinated vaccination scheme promoted by national governments.

And one should also remember that when most of these break-throughs in vaccines production occurred that the medical establishment was much less of an industry, and certainly wasn’t infected with the neo-libcon ideology that drives the unethical behaviour so prevalent in the pharma industry today. A little context goes a long way.

It’s so easy to forget that people rallied to make universal vaccination a reality. To blithely ignore history or ignore the suffering of those who succumbed to now preventable disease is really kind of tragic in itself.

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WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2018

That’s a great point re vaccines appearing well ahead and apart from any industry. And it is truly tragic to think in the way seen here. It’s what you say re sanitation.

Imagine if I suddenly argued no-one should wash their hands, that I knew a guy who never washed his hands and he had never had so much as a cold, that the whole idea of diseases was wrong and made up by “big hand soap, anti-bacterial wipes and bleach”. And every time someone said, “well actually wbs we can see how sanitation alone helped drive a precipitous drop in infection rates” I said that the figures were made up or distorted by big bleach and people shouldn’t bother washing. It’s precisely equivalent to what we’ve seen here on this thread. And the thing is there’s no rational way of arguing with me if I present that sort of a case – because everything devolves down to anecdote. Again, that’s simply irrational thinking. It’s based on feelings and subjectivity.

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GW - December 6, 2018

A vaccination programme creates a common good – free to all – namely herd immunity, and a significant reduction in human suffering. That is why people on the left support it.

And yes, it would be better when vaccination research and manufacture was in public hands and conducted transparently. It’s something too important to be left to the private sector.

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