A Cheer for Age of Autism
By Kim Rossi
When I was a kid, I cheered for the local Pop Warner football team. One of our cheers went like this: "Lean to the left! Lean to the right! Stand up! Sit down! Fight! Fight! Fight!" We cheerleaders leaned to the left as a group then leaned to the right. We mocked sitting down. And we hoped the team would fight.
Last week a commenter suggested we are too far to the right in our writing. Too Conservative. Duly noted.
I want to point out that as Dan Olmsted said from day 1, Age of Autism is agnostic politically. We have covered the autism epidemic from both sides of the aisle noting where Republicans and Democrats alike have earned praise and damnation. Our commenters are another story. Many do indeed have a right wing POV. Like any and every site, we have a small group of core commenters. Would we like new, fresh commenters from all walks of life? Sure thing. That would mean more readers. Maybe even more donations to keep us going. However, we don't control who takes the time to sit down and comment. We moderate comments only when they defy our standards. So it may well seem like we are a right leaning site.
We are not. Dan never wanted us to be. And I will honor his wishes. Thank you.
Kim (like the braids?)
@Cherry - "Why would Trump tackle the vaccine issue, even if he wishes to, when he can instead control the drug mafia to some extent by dangling the threat of "Help me with my agenda, or Ill bring up the vaccine issue in a way you wont like"
That's certainly a point I hadn't thought of...but if that's Trump's strategy, it does seem to throw our kids under the bus. I am sure there are forces working behind the scenes to control the vaccination agenda. I've never doubted that. I'm sure it's possible that Pharma-bought Republicans - who support Trump on every other issue - might buck him here if he tried to do something. But I wonder - Trump enjoys very strong support in the party.
I would have liked to see Trump at least try. He could have tried to tweet about it. Tweeting would have injected the issue back into the national conversation (where discussion of autism-vaccines has practically disappeared). He could have talked about it on conservative friendly media like Fox. He could have tried to nominate someone to head a government agency who wasn't completely closed-minded (unlike Price, Azar, Gottlieb, Fitzgerald, and Redfield) - perhaps someone who was neutral, educable, and open-minded. He could have actually set up the vaccine safety commission. You make it sound like Trump is totally helpless - because he is controlled by hidden forces - and that he's given up on the matter. He may have given up, but I don't think he's ever been totally helpless on this issue. He does get a lot of things he cares about in spite of strong opposition.
And I do think even bought Senators and Representatives do respond to public pressure at the federal and state level. For the passage of SB277 in California, there were Democrats who voted against the law (as there were Republicans who voted for it). Education is possible. And I do think that education and pressure brought to bear on our reps would make a difference. Pharma does have the money, but we have a voice and a vote.
Curious - how has Robert Kennedy been "bolder" in his work lately? I haven't noticed it, but heck, I miss stuff. I would appreciate your take on the issue, maybe with some cites I could read. As far as I've been able to tell, he's sort of backed off on the issue.
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | June 04, 2018 at 11:55 AM
@Aimee Doyle, I dont think ANY American president is not controlled by other forces, that you will never hear about. Why would Republicans in Washington DC support Trump on vaccines, when they receive huge amounts of money from Big Pharma? Who is to say that even the President's life cannot be threatened. ? Just as an example of how convoluted things could become- and I'm not saying that I have any evidence of this- Why would Trump tackle the vaccine issue, even if he wishes to, when he can instead control the drug mafia to some extent by dangling the threat of "Help me with my agenda, or Ill bring up the vaccine issue in a way you wont like" It is interesting , after all, that Robert Kennedy Jr. has been able to be quite bold in his work, - more than he was earlier, before Trump became president.
Posted by: Cherry Misra | June 04, 2018 at 06:28 AM
There were politicians from both sides who crossed political lines on SB277. Several Democrats voted against the law and several Republicans voted in favor of it. In public testimony, there were liberals who testified against the law. And there were liberals who took advantage of the personal belief exemption.
What this says to me is that people aren't necessarily their party. It also says the people can be educated. Perhaps that's what we should concentrate on, rather than "loathing."
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | June 01, 2018 at 04:47 PM
First of all, I LOVE Age of Autism! I miss Dan like crazy, but am so grateful for Kim's amazing work here.
I think most people are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum politcally. I was generally a small government voter for most of my life. I am more fiscally conservative, but support gay marriage and many things that left leaning people do. But vaccine rights politics have pushed me more to the right over the years. I tried to warn people for years that our vaccine rights were in peril in CA. But even most of my closest friends thought I was being paranoid. They said "Oh Sylvia, they would never DARE do that here in California". Then in February 2015, SB 277 hit the legislature. And people FREAKED out. But our community was not prepared. No one (except for me and small group of people that had been paying attention for years) thought it was even a remote possibility that CA would strip us of our Personal Belief Exemption.
Our only allies were a small group of powerless Republicans in our State House. The Democrats at the Capitol behaved exactly like what they are, drunk with power tyrants. That experience has had a profound effect on many people, myself included. Even though I knew it could happen, the reality of the experience was truly obscene.
So I think anyone critizing someone else for being "right wing", should walk a mile in the shoes of someone who experienced the battle of their lives in the opposition of SB 277. That experience would make you loath the California Democrat Party.
Posted by: Sylvia | June 01, 2018 at 10:22 AM
Will. Maybe you have missed the point of this site: it is call Age of AUTISM. I'm not sure, therefore, why you appear to be critical of the fact that it does not concentrate on all disabilities.
Posted by: susan welch | June 01, 2018 at 04:48 AM
Mrs. Vicki is right, Age of Autism is getting to political with mostly extreme right comments. It was about mercury in vaccines and environmental factors other than mercury causing autism and legitimate criticism of the vaccine schedule in the earlier years of the Age of Autism's blog but now just extreme anti vaccination and right wing comments. Let us not forget that most "disabilities" in general have a man made role in causing them like a drunk driver causing an accident that paralyses a person for life in the other car or a mother drug habit causing deformity and mental disability in her offspring and her family makes excuses about that addiction because she is white or Asian. Age of Autism should focus on how man made causes are responsible for many types of disabilities not just autism and not just toxic vaccines and hold politicians accountable for these man made disabilities that are robbing children of their future.
Posted by: will | May 31, 2018 at 06:00 PM
Vicki one might say everything can be made political. When science is politicized its political. You say tomato, I say tomato; you say potato I say potato--you get the point. Every Surgeon General from as long as I can remember has had to pledge allegiance to fluoridation. If you were a SG slow on declaring your allegiance, "they" came after you with forks and knives. Fluoridation is a house of cards and the battle is political. More R's are coming around to the idea that fluoridation is a violation of individual rights especially when it is mandated by the state. D's/liberals not so much. Isn't there a divide vegan vs paleo. That's just how it is. Speaking of fluoridation here's an editorial that will be appreciated by AOA ers. http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/fluoridation-on-trial-coverage-lacking/
Also-- this article from 2016 is timely relevant in the names in the news way. https://www.aim.org/aim-column/former-media-power-player-sounds-alarm-over-vaccines/
Posted by: michael | May 31, 2018 at 04:07 PM
Vicki, I really cannot agree with you and find your comments extremely negative.
I find Age of Autism fascinating simply because it does allow all views. As well as the extremely informative articles/blogs, I learn so much from all the diverse comments.
As for left/right leaning, I don't see it as an issue because, almost without exception, people here are putting health issues far and above political issues. Not only that, but many of us (me included from UK) have become non political because we know that there are very few politicians we can trust and that no party will tell the truth about vaccine injury.
Posted by: susan welch | May 31, 2018 at 05:27 AM
Vicki; It is part of the process.
Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmsted said they had enough studies, research, information, real academics; to prove the vaccines are driving the increase in brain injuries, and autism.
But nothing was changing and so it was time to make it political.
So here we go; hold on tight, keep the faith.
Posted by: Benedetta | May 30, 2018 at 11:25 PM
The pharma shills all contradict themselves. I am totally apolitical and notice politics gets dragged into he vaccine safety discussion by most. I say whatever I say and I'm interpreted to be some political side occupant. They can think what they want, I know what I am and am not, and the same goes for AoA. I hope if I comment more than i have been, it would reduce the average number of political comments.
Posted by: Carter's Daddy | May 30, 2018 at 06:42 PM
These comments are a perfect example of why this country is so divided and everyone blames the other side for all the ills in society.
You are either a "liberal" or a "pro-trumper"and each is a derogatory term.
I am so sick of it all; it is not putting anything forward except hatred.
When I started reading AoA over 10 years ago, no one ever had partisan comments. Now that's all I see and it is so depressing and discouraging.
Posted by: Vicki | May 30, 2018 at 03:35 PM
@Gary - didn't realize you were in California! I'm glad there was opposition to SB277. I live in Maryland, so am not that up on California politics. I know the broad outlines of what went down there, but not the specifics.
I don't understand, though, why Bill Posey hasn't done more. He's had the whistleblower documents for years now. Why can't he publicize the whistleblower documents more widely, or put them on the web, or talk with his colleagues about doing something? Has he turned the documents over to the Government Oversight and Reform Committe in the House? He personally knows what's going on, the kind of damage that is happening every day to kids in our country, and yet he does NOTHING? He knows about the corruption in the CDC and does NOTHING? I really don't get it. I wonder if someone who reads AoA, and is in Posey's district, could call the office and ask about what's happening with the documents.
@Nan - "I am baffled as to why that is as liberals are pro choice yet when it comes to vaccine choice they are the complete opposite."
Just want to say that I do know liberals (even some who don't have vaccine-injured children) who do support vaccine choice. In fact, in states where there is a philosophical exemption, there are many liberals -as well as conservatives - who take advantage of that option. I've found that most people's political opinions are more nuanced than the media typically represents. Liberals with vaccine injured children may stay liberal politically because of other issues - their children need full funding for IDEA, for example, or disabled young adults need funding and supports through Medicaid. Liberals are generally more in favor of that funding those kinds of programs than are conservatives.
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | May 30, 2018 at 01:11 PM
I think it comes across that Age Of Autism and many commenters here are right leaning due to the fact almost every pro vaccine big mouth also proudly claims to be ultra liberal. I am baffled as to why that is as liberals are pro choice yet when it comes to vaccine choice they are the complete opposite. This is clear even when it comes to autism bloggers who proudly state how liberal and "open minded" they are on a regular basis (Shannon Rosa, Jessica Wilson and her equally annoying husband Matt, Kristin Chew, Liz Ditz, Emily W. all come to mind) yet these loud mouthed liberals have made it clear they are pro vaccine and some of them have even berated those who question vaccines. They make me sick and make me want to run from anything related to the Democrats.
Posted by: Nan | May 30, 2018 at 12:18 PM
Aimee Doyle: I completely agree that vaccine injury is the most important issue; I would go further and say that it is the only issue on which I base my vote. My state representative actively worked against, and voted against SB 277. We all know that of the 435 members of House of Representatives, only one, Bill Posey, speaks for us. So, no, my congressman is no different than 433 others, but he is working hard to root out the rot at the DOJ, which is in the interests of all of us. I don't agree with his positions on many issues, but I appreciate his work, and the MSM attacks show he is doing something right. None of those running against him next Tuesday are on our side.
Posted by: Gary Ogden | May 30, 2018 at 09:50 AM
Judging by how many here have at some point in their lives - including myself, even in adulthood! - worn pigtails, as we call them over here in the UK, I'm surprised we're not all members of the Green Party. Admittedly, your Green Party leader in the USA isn't a very good example, being a physician who recommends vaccines, and I'm not aware of an anti-vax policy in the UK Green Party. Perhaps we should all join up en masse and vote to change that. Surely, the right/left axis is dead in the water?
Posted by: Grace Green | May 30, 2018 at 08:38 AM
@Pete - "So far Trump hasn’t followed through on his promises, I suspect he does want to but he’s surrounded by people who are trying to stop him."
Could you talk about who exactly is blocking Trump on doing something about vaccines? The Republicans control all three branches of government and all Congressional committees. Trump has successfully installed almost all the nominees he wants for government agencies and Cabinet posts, even very controversial nominees such as Neil Gorsuch, Betsy DeVos, and Gina Haspel. Republicans have supported Trump on almost every policy he has put forth.
With vaccines, I can't see that Trump has even tried to do something. Sure, he was criticized for vaccine comments made during the campaign, but he was criticized for lots of things he said during the campaign. Didn't stop him from saying or doing anything. And even if he were surrounded by people opposing him on this issue, he could still tweet about it. Trump tweets about other things he cares about and no one stops him. Tweeting about vaccines, or following up on his earlier meetings with Wakefield and Blaxill - there's plenty of stuff he could do that would bring vaccines into the national conversation.
Pete - what evidence do you have the Trump cares about this issue any more?
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | May 30, 2018 at 07:36 AM
Kim rocks the Casba!!!!! I wish all dads and moms, concerned about vaccine injury could be President!
AND THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
Posted by: annie | May 29, 2018 at 10:33 PM
Before the US election I stumbled across a community of vaccine safety advocates who were also Bernie Sanders fans, I pointed out that Bernie was for removing vaccine choice, but their attitude was “we don’t believe he would really follow through on that”. I was surprised that they were willing to risk voting for their own forced vaccination.
So far Trump hasn’t followed through on his promises, I suspect he does want to but he’s surrounded by people who are trying to stop him.
Myself, the vaccine issue is so important to me that I would vote solely based on this issue, the current vaccines are a crime against humanity, something needs to be urgently done, with powerful people held accountable for the mass poisoning of our children.
Posted by: Pete | May 29, 2018 at 06:12 PM
A grand job Kim, I`m sure Dan wouldn't have left your the reins if he weren't sure in you and he got it 100% right as in correct, just to put the context of right, right....
Pharma For Prison
Posted by: Angus Files | May 29, 2018 at 06:08 PM
"Kim Rossi for President!!!!"
I second that, only I wouldn't wish it on her.
Posted by: John Stone | May 29, 2018 at 05:18 PM
Oh dear, I wore braids often as a girl too...
And it's a little funny to me, the first time I was old enough to vote, my first education that there were more than two parties occurred in the voting booth, looking at my first ballot.
Talking like there is "a left" and "a right"...kind of begs the question now of who is in "the middle"?!? The we hear talk like "the right" and "the left" need to get all "bipartisan," shake hands across "the aisle," meet in "the middle" to "get something done," making out that anyone who identifies with either ("left" or "right") should feel a little extreme and in need to compromise on a principle or two to get that something done (usually something bought by parties who don't really have "left" or "right" loyalties, are rather equal opportunity in terms of willingness to bribe or blackmail to get more power over people for themselves, frosted and sprinkled with nice sounding rhetoric about "intent"). Then, blame can always go the "other side" if you don't like the way things turn out, and further, acquiescence seems to be more easily achieved when someone in office on one "side" champions an effort his/her fellow party members would generally principally oppose...
There are often ways to work together to get things done that don't involve principle compromising for anyone or forced participation otherwise, and government doesn't even have to be the director of any of it. I guess I've come to the point where I believe (as things are now at least) that more of those positive activities would occur if people were not forced to give up so much of their means/time to "our government", a government that is disappearing trillions of dollars into secretive blackholes of such "importance" that most of us don't need to know about them. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRkyyn5_8W4 )
If I must, I want to be able to participate without a label...so I suppose I should like California's ongoing primary with I believe any who qualified on the ballot and they didn't even have to declare a party preference. I'm pretty sure though that for many positions I won't like any of the "top 2" candidates in the fall, and I won't have any confidence that my "vote" is counted as I vote, while I'm pretty sure my vote is catalogued for data mining, profiling me, etc. So, why not give "the elected" less to do and less opportunities to be targets of bribery and/or entrapment and/or threats of harm from politically organized criminal groups?...that's where I'm at, I guess.
And if those like me that don't feel that the left/right paradigm does us any good aren't censored here, I certainly can't accuse AoA of being too political in any particular direction.
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | May 29, 2018 at 04:59 PM
In reality, it's the Politics of Medicine which are neither "right" or "left." It's pure power, authority, reputation, and money. Dan and Mark's book Age of Autism brings that out with the centuries of dogmatic belief in mercury cures by the medical powers-that-be.
Medical Institutions' belief in vaccines has taken the place of belief of mercury cures, as one example.
To quote Laura Hayes (hopefully accurately), "what is there anything about vaccines to be 'pro' about'? I submit that citizens' belief/trust in our Medical Institutions is THE problem, and this falls mostly in the lap of 'liberals' -- but only as a matter of degree.
Posted by: david m burd | May 29, 2018 at 04:24 PM
The issue of vaccinations has dissolved many illusions especially political affiliations. I'll have a beer or a cup of coffee with my brothers and sisters here yes including Eindecker and Fred, but they're buyin.
Still remember Dan's essay-- "What happened to my beloved NPR?" Another shattered illusion. I have no kind words for Amy Goodman and PBS.
The articles that Adriana Gamondes writes, especially the one regarding Allende overthrow. How can one look at politics, political affiliation, government without extreme skepticism and cynicism.
I think there will be more watershed moments to come.
Posted by: michael | May 29, 2018 at 03:57 PM
Kim Rossi for President!!!!
Posted by: annie | May 29, 2018 at 03:11 PM
Kim - love the braids! And love the cheer too!
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | May 29, 2018 at 03:07 PM
@Gary - "while being pleased with both my state and federal representatives, both Reps, because they seem to be working in the people's interest, not because of their party."
That's great that you have state and federal representatives that you're happy with. Seems pretty rare these days. You say they are working in the people's interest. Just curious - are they open minded about autism and vaccines? Are they addressing the issue in any way?
It's just that right now, I can't think of a people's interest that is more important than autism and vaccines. We are losing a generation of children, not just to autism, to to other neurological disorders, asthma, diabetes, allergies, etc.
Posted by: Aimee Doyle | May 29, 2018 at 03:03 PM
The objections I saw were to the term "libtard," and an unexceptionable remark that name-calling is not the best way to win people over.
Posted by: Carol | May 29, 2018 at 03:03 PM
SB277 was a watershed moment for me too -- it's when I realized how corrupt politics has become.
Posted by: Tim Lundeen | May 29, 2018 at 01:44 PM
Here in the US we still have a constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression, and in a democracy, everyone has the right to belong to any party he pleases and hold the political opinions he pleases. Obviously private sites can make their own rules, but most people would find those which censored opinions they didn't agree with to be very offensive and would quickly abandon the site. Who said that Age of Autism is leaning too far to the right? Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have an official stance on vaccines, though the government mandates enacted by the Democrats and Hillary's tweet about Vaccines work, Grandmother knows best, would seem to cast many of those on the left as advocating complete denial of vaccine choice. Is that what this critic meant?
I'm just casting at straws here. Did the critic mean that no one who recognizes that vaccines can do good as well as harm should be allowed to comment here (meaning me in this case)? Even vaccine critics Dr. Moskowitz, Dr. Sears, Dr. Aviva Jill Romm, Dr. Thomas, Robert Kennedy, Dr. Wakefield, Dan Olmsted, Mark Blaxill, and Dr. Neustaedter recognize that vaccines can prevent disabling or even fatal disease, as well as often disabling or killing themselves. Do such critics classify all of them as beyond the pale and not to be permitted to give their opinion on vaccine use, its potential benefits as well as dangers? I submit that the vaccine issue is one of immense complexity, always with far-reaching consequences, and one to be made after a lot of research and careful consideration of the current situation and age of the potential vaccinee. Discussion of these circumstances and the history up to the present of each disease and vaccine is paramount to making the vaccine decision, and censoring those who are not considered to have the politically acceptable belief would be dangerous and completely unscientific and unintellectual. It is not a religion.
Posted by: cia parker | May 29, 2018 at 12:31 PM
For what it's worth, I read here every day and I've never felt that AofA leans to the right or to the left, so you have indeed honored Dan's wishes as far as I'm concerned. Yes, some commenters lean to the right -- I think it might be possible that they still have a shred of hope left that things will change for the better, while the rest of us remain silent, simply because we've lost all hope for either side. Both appear to be equally bought at this time.
Relax, my dear...you are doing a great job.
p.s. I had the braids, too! Maybe moms with braids cause autism! ;)
Posted by: Donna L. | May 29, 2018 at 11:12 AM
I am glad you stated that "Some of us are neither Left nor Right." I consider myself a principled libertarian, and do not really see any value in the left/right framework, much less the Democratic and Republican parties.
Some people consider the libertarian movement "right wing", but I beg to differ.
Posted by: David Weiner | May 29, 2018 at 10:21 AM
Some of us are neither Left nor Right. It was SB 277 which drove me away from the Democrats, although there were almost enough Dems on our side to defeat it. I hold both parties equally in contempt, while being pleased with both my state and federal representatives, both Reps, because they seem to be working in the people's interest, not because of their party. I do not detect any partisan politics in AoA. Like the braids-great hair!
Posted by: Gary Ogden | May 29, 2018 at 09:34 AM
What is needed from both sides of the political aisle is the truth, and proper actions taken in relation to the truth. No one has an interest in the truth.
As we all know, there is nothing “more dangerous than the truth” in regards to how vast piles of money flow to various corporations & the politicians who are well paid to support them.
Polio peaked in the United States at about 1 in 3000, Autism is at 1 in 22 boys in New Jersey and no one in Congress has yet expressed a concern for the problem.
The American elite want to own everything & control everything for the next 500 years, those who are voted into office quickly learn how the system works and understand that they need to be bought off to survive.
AoA and parents of Autistic children cannot be bought off, and provide the truth to other families each & every day.
Posted by: go Trump | May 29, 2018 at 07:12 AM
California's draconian law SB277 is a perfect example of Big Government Knows Best, damn the individual family - and damn Age of Autism and its Allies, and damn the massive documentation that proves massive destruction of our families via The Child Immunization Schedule.
Thus as a natural consequence perhaps a majority of commenters are indeed "politically conservative." So what?!
Posted by: David m burd | May 29, 2018 at 07:10 AM