Things seem to have taken a bit of a turn for the worse around here. Let me take a day to set the record straight on a few things.
I believe that vaccinations have been a tremendous boon to human health. Here in the developed world, we've forgotten what the infectious diseases are like that we vaccinate against: try the table at this site to remind yourself. We can argue about rare side effects, but we need to avoid remedies worse than what we're trying to cure.
The classic example is Japan in the 1970s. They had two deaths from the pertussis vaccine, a tragedy by any definition, which led to a 1975 halt in Japan's vaccination program. And that contributed to an even larger tragedy from 1977 to 1979: a pertussis epidemic that killed 41 people. Pertussis, in case you didn't know, is whooping cough, a funny name for something that kills children and doesn't have to.
Japanese scientists took the lead in developing even safer pertussis vaccines, which was sound research in a good cause, and I'm happy to talk about that, too. What I am not happy about are pages upon pages of increasingly vituperative insinuations that vaccines are poisoning millions of people, giving them cancer and fatal diseases, and that pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment are standing around snickering while it all happens. Readers of the comment sections of the recent posts here will recognize what I'm talking about.
These accusations are, of course, untrue, and their entertainment value is beginning to erode. I am not interested in debating them, any more than I am interested in debating the details of Scientology or the supposed activities of noctural alien proctologists. Now, it is anyone's right to stuff their own head with whatever debris they choose, and it's even their right to urge others to do the same. But you don't get unlimited room to do it here. I strongly urge anyone who feels irresistible impulses to post thirteen-page comments in this vein to get their own blog and generate their own traffic.
I'm talking about etiquette, not censorship. I will continue, naturally, to let anyone post comments that disagree with my own opinions. But gigantic screeds are another thing entirely. If you have some of those to get off your chest, feel free to post a brief overview and a link. Send people to your own site, and enjoy the visitors.