Record Measles Outbreak: Thanks to Vaccine Avoidance, Measles Climbs to 20-Year High

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This year’s measles outbreak is the worst in 20 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced Thursday.

 At least 70% of this year’s measles cases involve unvaccinated people

The CDC said 288 cases of the disease have been identified since January, the most in the first five months of the year since 1994. Ohio has seen the most cases with over 160, most of them emanating from the state’s Amish community.

€œ”This is not the kind of record we want to break”

— Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Anne Schuchat

The vast majority of cases still originate from other countries, with people acquiring the disease while abroad and then bringing it back to the U.S., where they spread it to others. The U.S. has not had a home-grown measles epidemic in decades. Read the rest of this entry »


Data Says Anti-Vaccination Kooks Mostly White; More Blue States Afflicted


Novelist’s Ex In Bizarre Handgun Threat Arrest

Cormac McCarthy’s former wife pulled weapon from her vagina

jennifermccartyA domestic dispute over space aliens escalated Saturday morning when a lingerie-clad New Mexico woman allegedly pointed a silver handgun at her boyfriend, a weapon she retrieved from her vagina, where it had been placed while the accused was performing a sex act, police allege.

To make matters more strange, the arrested woman is the most recent ex-wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy, author of “The Road” and No Country for Old Men.”

As detailed in a probable cause statement, Jennifer McCarthy, a 48-year-old artist, argued about space aliens with her 53-year-old beau, whose name was redacted from the document released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. When questioned by deputies, McCarthy reportedly acknowledged that she “did have a gun at the time” the couple was yelling at each other.

Read the rest of this entry »


Biotech’s Mommy Issue: Women are targeted by anti-GMO activists but deserve to know the truth

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Julie Gunlock writes: Advertisers and marketing experts know that in the typical household, the woman is the primary shopper. Whether they are selling cars or light bulbs or groceries, they have to appeal to women, their consumer base.

From Cupcakes to Chemicals, How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.

The same goes for organizations selling fear and worry: If they want to attract converts to their cause, they have to convince women to embrace their views and join them in agitating for action. And so it goes for activists opposed to the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), who bombard women with misinformation about food safety.

Rather than falling for these tactics, women should take a reasoned look at the facts behind biotechnology and the cost and consequences of the policies activists advance. They’ll find that the anti-GMO hype is the real threat to their families’ well-being.

Radical environmental groups initially led the charge against GMOs, but today, some of the most vocal and influential anti-GMO activists are found on mommy blogs and parenting, cooking, and so-called health-and-wellness websites — all of which are popular with moms.

Read the rest of this entry »


REALITY CHECK: Conspiracy Theorists Are More Likely To Disavow Vaccines, Climate Science And GM Foods

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A new study examines how well belief in conspiracy theories predicts science skepticism. 

Welcome to Crazy Town, where the moon landing was staged, 9/11 was a hoax, vaccines and teeth-strengthening fluoride are poisons distributed by the government, Barack Obama isn’t really a citizen, and the Earth is absolutely not on an irreversible path toward hot, pollution-driven destruction. Conspiracy theories, the lifeblood of the real America.

A new study probes the connections between conspiratorial thinking (conspiracist ideation) and the tendency to eschew certain well-established scientific facts, finding that conspiracy theorists were far more likely to be against vaccinations, and somewhat more likely to be skeptical of climate change science and genetically modified food.

The researchers, from the University of Western Australia, used an online survey of 1,001 U.S. participants to gauge attitudes toward conspiracy theories, vaccines, climate change and GM foods, asking people how much they agreed with statements like “the risk of vaccinations to maim and kill children outweighs their health benefits.” They found the participants with greater conspiracy ideation also tended to reject the scientific issues they asked about, especially in the case of vaccines. Read the rest of this entry »


Forget Angelina Jolie: How Obamacare Endangers Your Breasts

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Even as male moviegoers are slow to let go of Angelina Jolie’s amazing technicolor dream breasts, women are asking themselves: What about my boobies?

Are they fetching objects of desire or ticking time bombs?

Along with a spectacular jawline and an immune system strong enough to survive a four-year marriage to Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina also inherited the deadly BRCA1 gene, which jacked up her odds of breast cancer so high that she took pre-emptive action and had a prophylactic double mastectomy. If only she’d shown the same foresight before filming The Tourist.

Angelina learned about her risks because of the sort of medical innovation in which the U.S. has long been the clear leader. She benefited from a genetic test that is at the center of a Supreme Court case challenging test-maker Myriad Technologies’ right to enforce genetic patents.

The ACLU and others have sued the biotech giant, saying that you can’t patent products of nature, or even seemingly unnatural products like Angelina’s perfect lips.

However the case plays out, here’s something to think about: Over the past few decades, America has lead the world in the number of new drugs being developed– and I’m not just talking about purple kush.

We’ve also led the way in developing a host on new technologies, too – like MRIs, CT scans, and genomic sequencing.

We haven’t been number one because American researchers are smarter. However messed up America’s health care system might be, it’s still more driven by free markets than virtually any other place. That’s where innovation and change – and the next big lifesaving breakthroughs — come from. With the right incentives, even Jenny McCarthy could come up with a lifesaving vaccine.

Angelina’s test cost north of $3,000, well out of the price range of most women in America. But just like VCRs, cellphones, and Lindsay Lohan’s dignity, things that start out expensive and rare quickly become cheap and ubiquitous.

It’s not clear how the Supreme Court will rule in the Myriad Technologies case, but this much is more certain than the fact there’s not going to be a sequel to Salt: As Obamacare kicks in, groundbreaking genetic tests and preventative surgeries will remain elusive perks of the privileged, as innovation and patient choice are always the first things to go when bureaucracy and the state take over health care.

For Reason.tv, I’m Kennedy.

Written by Nick Gillespie and Kennedy and produced by Joshua Swain. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

via  Reason.com