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The Anti-Vaccination Movement invokes Godwin’s Law

Just when you think the anti-vaccination movement can’t get more extreme, they do.

Check out the lyrics to their new rally song.

Vaccine Gestapo
They have swastikas on their shoulders
They’re such patriotic soldiers
They’re like a militia in Montana
They’re a government agency in Atlanta

Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!
Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!

They’re a medical military priesthood
Just like Adolf they preach the greater good
Consciencious objectors are just little snots
Why don’t you quit complaining and go get your shots

Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!
Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!

If you are feeling particularly sadistic, you can listen to this song by the band The Refusers here.

Surprisingly for the HuffPo, they have an article speaking out about these tactics.  I strongly agree with the last line of this article – Jenny McCarthy and her band of scaremongers have no business being anywhere near children.

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Why can’t the Pope do what is right?

Even a casual reader of this blog will know that I’m no friend to organised religion.  I’m an atheist and whilst I can see that organised religion does have its good side, in my opinion, it nowhere near counteracts the harm religion does to society in general.

I’ve been watching the latest and, in my view, the most damaging pedophilia scandal of the Catholic Church and have been biting my tongue.  Sure, I can come up with a few disgusting jokes and very long rants about how evil this organisation is, but to my pleasure, I have seen many hundreds of people doing this already both online and in the mainstream media.  I really haven’t felt an urge to add a blog post of my own on this subject.

That is until I read this fantastic opinion piece called ‘Pope must grovel and beg for our forgiveness’ by Chris Geraghty, who is a former Catholic priest, who has put so succinctly in writing the thoughts that have been stirring in my mind these past few weeks.  Like nearly everyone else, I have been shocked by the Catholic Church’s reaction to this scandal.  It has been so callous and cold that it almost defies belief.  I just can’t understand why the Catholic Church can’t own up to the fact that they have made grievous mistakes in letting these vile priests continue to serve and keep abusing kids.  Why can’t the Pope beg forgiveness from his followers and the rest of the world and bring together a taskforce to prevent this from ever happening again?  It would be naive of me to say that more rules and regulation would completely wipe out paedophilia from the Catholic Church, there will always be sickos in their ranks, just like there are sickos in every single profession, but the Church can make sure that these sick deeds are never covered up and the sicko just quietly moved to another parish.  They can de-frock him and make sure he stands trial for his actions.  Why does the Catholic Church not want to do what is right?

Surely, there must be good men in the Catholic Church who are pushing for this change to occur.  Why are they not speaking out against the Pope?  Why are they not contacting their local media outlets to condemn this shameful turn of events?  Why are they remaining silent on this? (it’s possible I have missed them and if I have, please send links!)

I think that is what saddens me the most about this scandal is that the grassroots members are not doing more to condemn this but instead are upholding the culture of keeping silent.  It’s shameful, it’s wrong and it is not in keeping with their Christian beliefs.

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The Dangers of Homeopathic Vaccinations For Pets

My two dogs - Rory & Caleb

As an ex-vet nurse and “mum” to my two dogs, there is one thing that can get me to boiling point faster than anything else and that is people who don’t take care of their pets and provide them with adequate medical treatment when required.

Therefore, when @drunkenmadman posted a link to a place selling homeopathic vaccinations for pets my blood began to boil.

Pet Homeopath has for sale homeopathic vaccinations for distemper & parvovirus as well as preventives for heartworm and ticks.  All of the above are deadly, especially for dogs.  With the exception of distemper, I have seen dogs die of parvovirus, heartworm and ticks in my old vet practice located in Sydney.  All because owners did not either vaccinate against parvo or give their dogs heartworm medication (I can’t say anything horrible about owners whose dogs suffer ticks bites because they are damn near impossible to prevent).

So, why am I against these homeopathic vaccinations?  Because homeopathy is complete bullocks.  They don’t contain any active ingredient whatsoever.  It isn’t herbal medication, it is just water and sugar – that’s it.  Water & sugar is not going to prevent your dog during an outbreak of parvovirus which occurs every summer without fail in Sydney.

Parvovirus has a kill rate of about 50%.  It really is pure luck if your dog survives a bout of parvovirus.  The best vets can do is to put your dog on a drip and just watch as it shits and vomits out all the water content in its body.  It is one of the most gruesome ways a dog can die (and I used to watch about 20 dogs die from it each summer) and yet it is totally preventable by one yearly vaccination.

Heartworm is spread by mozzies and I don’t need to tell anyone who lives in Australia that we have a hell of a lot of mozzies.  You can’t prevent stop your dog  from being bit by a mozzie, so why risk it?  Heartworm can be prevented by one yearly vaccination or a once month spot on application.  It’s that simple and easy.  The treatment if your dog does get heartworm is extremely hard on dogs and can kill them.

Yes, there are side effects to vaccinations, but they are extremely rare in dogs.  The vast majority of dogs handle their vaccinations just fine and the once yearly trip to the vet to get them also includes a general check up so you can catch any other potential problems early.

Don’t think that by using homeopathic vaccinations that you are doing the best thing for your dog by giving them something natural. Yes, water is natural & has no side-effects but it is not going to prevent them from contracting deadly diseases.  Do the right thing and get them properly vaccinated once a year, every year.

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Completely Unexpected

My blog post The Dangers of Not Vaccinating Your Child made it to the finals of the Young Australian Skeptics Blog Anthology and they gave me this very lovely badge

YAS Blog Anthology Finalistand the opportunity to feature my post in their actual hard copy book.

Please check out the other finalists.  I am in some very prestigious company including many bloggers whose work I greatly admire.

Feeling a little overwhelmed by this to be honest as I don’t class myself as a writer. I blog cause I want to tell people things that I have learnt or found on the internet.  I don’t pretend to have any great skills in the written medium so this is just completely unexpected.

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The Poetry of Reality

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know I am a huge fan of The Symphony of Science, a project to spread scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.  John Boswell has released a brand new piece this morning titled The Poetry of Reality and like his previous pieces this one is wonderful and amazing.

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Children & Religious Extremism

Religious extremism and religious motivated violence are repugnant to most people, atheist and religious alike.  Most religious people see violence to advance a religious cause as a perversion of their faith and beliefs.

We can become numb to seeing adults preaching this viewpoint, but what if it is a child who is preaching and promoting these violent acts on national television?

The clip below shows a boy who looks between 10-12 on Egyptian television preaching about children’s love of martyrdom whilst his proud father looks on.

The story the boy preaches is about a young boy who wants to join the men in going to Jihad to fight.  The Commander tells the boy that he can come as long as Allah decrees that the boy is to be martyred.  What the fuck?? When is it ever okay for a child to be martyred for a religious cause?

What is even worse, this boy tells the Commander that his father was martyred last year and his uncle the year before that and this year his mother had told him it was his turned to be martyred.  This stuff truly breaks my heart.  Children should be protected and sheltered against violence, they should not be sent out to fight and die.

The story ends with the boy being killed during a battle with Byzantine soldiers and the Commander taking his blood stained shirt back to his mother.  The mother rejoices at the news that her son has died and that her daughter drops dead whilst hearing the news of her brother’s death.

There is an epilogue to this sad tale, just when you think it can’t get any worse.  When the Commander is burying the boy, the boy’s corpse keeps popping out of the ground.  In the end they give up trying to give the kid a decent burial saying it’s Allah’s will that the child not be buried.

Now, before you go off believing it is only Islam that preaches violent tales of children dying for religious causes, the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah are also full of tales of violence towards children and children fighting and dying for religious causes.

Hearing tales of children dying in the name of religion breaks my heart.  Seeing a child preaching about how wonderful it is for kids to martyred on national TV makes me extremely angry.  It is not okay and it is never going to be okay for children to be sent to die for any cause, religious or otherwise.

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Poor Choice By HBO

HBO have a just released a feature length movie about Dr Temple Grandin, a professor of Animal Science at Colorado University who just happens to have autism.  Her life story is an incredible one especially considering she grew up in a time when the current thinking was that children with autism should be institutionalised.  Temple has single-handedly increased our knowledge of how people with autism see the world and thus has help shape and improve support services and education for those on the spectrum.

The website HBO have set up for this movie has a page for resources about autism and it is here on this page that HBO have made a very poor choice.  They have featured a synopsis and a link to the organisation Generation Rescue.  For those of you who have no idea who Generation Rescue are they are an organisation who strongly believe that vaccinations cause autism and that children with autism should be detoxed using homeopathy, vitamin B supplements, chelation therapy and other alternative forms of medicine that they call “biomedical treatments”.  Some of these treatments like homeopathy  are simply a waste of money whilst others like chelation therapy can be extremely dangerous.   This is quackery at its finest and doesn’t do anything to help and support kids with autism. Generation Rescue believe that autism is some horrible affliction that children, given the right treatments, can recover from rather than it being a different way of viewing the world.   This site, therefore, should not be promoted alongside a movie about Temple Grandin who, whilst accepting the challenges of autism, wouldn’t want to live her life any other way.

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