Media attacking conspiracy theorists for questioning Walmart closings

From some fool reporter at the Houston Chronicle:

Texans blame secret military takeover for Walmart closings, secret tunnels

The fact that five Walmart stores suddenly closed right around the time the US military is about to conduct unconstitutional drills amongst US citizens has caused some to believe there might be some relation between the two. This led the fool reporter to repeat the establishment propaganda:

Stars and Stripes, the news publication of the U.S. military, ran an article titled “Army Special Operations Command pushes back against alarmist claims about upcoming exercise,” The Washington Post wrote “Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet—and why it shouldn’t be” and VICE News reported “conspiracy theorists think an army training exercise will bring martial law to the US this summer.”

It gets worse:

Yet many Americans apparently still believe they are the enemies the military is preparing to fight. It mirrors a national trend of extreme skepticism—a CNN poll last year showed trust in the government was at an all-time low, with only 13 percent saying the trust the government most of the time. Moreover, a 2012 report documented a dramatic rise in Americans rejecting the legitimacy of their government outright, and a 2015 Department of Homeland Security report warned of danger from right-wing groups resentful of military and police.

The fool reporter then links to one of his other foolish stories:

Patriot Day could rouse domestic violence, memo warns

Patriot Day [is] on April 19.

That’s the day when, 240 years ago, militiamen in the then-British colony of Massachusetts killed more than 100 uniformed soldiers, rousing the patriots to a violent uprising that ultimately led to the founding of the United States of America.

“Because terrorists like to attack on dates that are significant to them, it is important to remain vigilant,” the supposed Coast Guard memo said. “Terrorism is a real threat and it is important to remain vigilant, especially around terrorist anniversaries.”

Look at that. April 19th came and went and no “right-wingers” became violent.

Back to another one of the fool reporter’s statements:

Yet many Americans apparently still believe they are the enemies the military is preparing to fight.

Well, yeah. What are we supposed to believe when our government calls its own freedom-loving citizens “terrorists” while allowing real terrorists into our country through its unsecured borders? And, if you want real terrorism, how about what our government and its law enforcement are doing to American citizens? They are forcing vaccinations on people, killing Americans through police shootings and drone strikes, and groping us at airports. And that’s just for starters. I guess pointing these things out makes me a “terrorist.” But what does it make those who vilify me for pointing out such things?

I don’t think I’m particularly alarmist, although many would likely disagree. However, it feels like something’s coming and it doesn’t seem good. My suggestion is to watch and PRAY, although I have a hard time watching these days. It’s become too much to look at, like everything is coming at you at once. Perhaps God is nudging us to look away from the evil and to focus on Him. The Scriptures say that anything that kills, steals, or destroys is evil. Destroying our freedom is evil. However, they can never steal the freedom we have in Christ because it’s beyond their grasp. We can have peace, and even joy, in the midst of the chaos. I recommend peace and joy, if for no other reason than we can have them and the evil ones can’t.

Walmart closing 5 stores for plumbing problems – for 6 months!

Maybe Walmart suddenly closed five of its stores for plumbing problems. Or, maybe not. I don’t trust the Walmart company. Remember when they played Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security announcements on their stores’ annoying television screens? No, I don’t trust them at all. I think their stores will one day be government distribution centers, or worse. Here are excerpts from local news agencies about the five stores:

Texas:

An unexpected Walmart closure in Midland has more than 400 employees out of a job. The Wal-Mart Corporation claims the store must close to repair major plumbing issues they have had for years…

According to Walmart representatives, the store had dealt with more than 100 problems in the last couple of years. Morales says the news was even more surprising to him because the location has never failed an inspection.

Texas:

Walmart is closing the Livingston store for six months starting Monday night for renovations and displacing around 400 workers in the process, according to a company official.

Southern California:

Customers arriving at a Southern California Walmart were shocked and dumbfounded to find its doors closed Tuesday with signs posted on it that read: “Closed indefinitely.” Also in disbelief were the hundreds of workers who depended on the Pico Rivera superstore for jobs…

The store on the 8500 block of Washington Boulevard closed at 2 p.m Monday to address serious plumbing problems, like persistent leaks and clogs, that resulted in over 100 incidents over the years.

A staff member told NBC4 the 500-strong workforce was laid off at the store, which they claimed is projected to be closed for six months to a year. Others claimed the move was retaliation for workers demanding better conditions and pay.

Florida:

The store closed Monday at 6 p.m. because of the ongoing plumbing issues. The employee News Channel 8 talked with said a sewage backup is the likely culprit.

The issues “require extensive repairs,” Walmart spokesman Amanda Hennenberg said in a statement. The store is located at 1208 E. Brandon Blvd.

Oklahoma:

The Tulsa Walmart that closed its doors Monday night was one of five stores across the country temporarily closing due to plumbing issues…Walmart says the Tulsa store has seen over a hundred instances of plumbing issues at the store and that’s why it needs to close for up to 6 months…

The retailer says it will have to go in with jack hammers and heavy equipment to fix the plumbing issue.

From Investment Watch:

What is going on? I just heard that numerous Wal-Mart stores from Texas to Florida are closing immediately for 6 month period due to “plumbing problems.” There was no pre-announcement and the store shelves were fully stocked. They even had to discount frozen goods 50% to get rid of the stock. They have given all employees a 2 month severance pay. Does this have anything to do with Jade Helm? I have heard that Wal-Mart has a contract with DHS to act as a command and logistics center for FEMA in case of a national emergency.

The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the alleged plumbing problems aren’t cover for underground digging and building, like the Denver airport. Big plumbing projects move lots of dirt. As the Tulsa story states:

The retailer says it will have to go in with jack hammers and heavy equipment to fix the plumbing issue.

2015 April Walmart closing for plumbing issues

Video: Gainesville man pulled over for giving cop the finger

This cop is a jerk. What police department would give an egotistical brute like that an armored military vehicle to play in? These stills are from the video: Gainesville man pulled over by this for giving cop fingerGainesville copGainesville cops

Our cops are driving military vehicles, wearing military gear, and treating citizens like dirt. Think the US is still a free country? Check out this lengthy list of US citizens killed by cops so far this year. May God help us.

Here’s the video:

What I learned from Roku’s privacy policy

This may be old news to many but since there may be some, like myself, who know information is being collected but don’t know much about how it’s being done or what’s being done with it, here’s a little of what I learned. This post contains a lot of lengthy quotes so you can spot info I didn’t cover or didn’t see. By the way, this is a Roku device:

Roku

From Roku’s privacy policy:

We may also automatically collect information related to the use of Roku Sites – for example, we collect your computer’s operating system type and version, Internet Protocol (IP) address, access times, browser type and language, and the websites you visited before coming to a Roku Site. We also use cookies to better understand your needs. A cookie is a small text file that our Web server places on your computer hard drive that includes a unique identifier. Cookies enable Roku and others to track usage patterns and deliver customized content, marketing messages and advertising to you. We also collect information using Web beacons. Web beacons are electronic images that may be used on Roku Sites or in our emails. We use Web beacons, for example, to deliver cookies, count visits, understand usage of the Roku Sites, Roku Devices and Roku’s services, analyze the effectiveness of Roku Site features and campaigns, and tell if an email has been opened and acted upon.

It seems that “web beacon” is a nicer name for what’s called a “web bug.” According to Wikipedia:

A web bug is an object embedded in a web page or email, which unobtrusively (usually invisibly) allows checking that a user has accessed the content. Common uses are email tracking and page tagging for web analytics. Alternative names are web beacon, tracking bug, tag, or page tag. Common names for web bugs implemented through an embedded image include tracking pixel, pixel tag, 1×1 gif, and clear gif. When implemented using JavaScript, they may be called JavaScript tags

Web bugging is analogous to conventional bugging, but is not as invasive or intrusive. The term should not be confused with the more benign web spider, nor with the more malicious computer worms.

How web bugs are used on websites:

Companies or organisations, buttons or images of which are included on many sites, can thus track (part of) the browsing habits of a significant share of web users. Earlier, this included mainly ad- or counter-serving companies, but nowadays buttons of social media sites are becoming common.

How web bugs are used in email:

Through the use of unique identifiers contained in the URL of the web bugs, the sender of an email containing a web bug is able to record the exact time that a message was read, as well as the IP address of the computer used to read the mail or the proxy server that the user went through. In this way, the sender can gather detailed information about when and where each particular recipient reads email. Every subsequent time the email message is displayed can also send information back to the sender.

The Wikipedia article includes info on how to avoid web bugs.

Here is Roku’s disclosure about its devices:

We regularly and automatically collect information about your Roku Devices and your usage. The collected information about your Roku Devices includes, for example, the IP address associated with your Roku Devices, your device types and models, device identifiers, the retailer to whom your device was shipped, various quality measures, error logs, software version numbers, Wi-Fi network name (SSID – service set identifier) and strength. We also collect usage data such as your search history (including letters you key in for searches, and utterances provided in connection with your use of voice search), search results, content you select and view and content settings and preferences, channels you add and view, including time and duration in the channels, and other usage statistics. Usage information collected from Roku Devices may be associated with your Roku account or with product device identifiers (such as product serial numbers and other identifiers including those used for advertising and analytics). We associate device identifiers and usage data with your Roku accounts and other personally identifiable information for purposes described in this Policy.

Apparently, the newest Roku players have “voice search.” From CNET:

…touch the dedicated button [on the remote] and a dialog pops up to indicate that the mic is listening.

It seems Amazon Fire TV also has voice search. What are the chances that these devices cannot be remotely activated? I wonder whether the tyrannical globalist overlords ever dreamed we’d be so willing to pay for the devices they use to spy on us?

Users who use Roku’s mobile app lose even more privacy:

If you download Roku Mobile Apps to a mobile device, we also automatically log information related to your mobile device and network. We may log, for example, your device type, device identifiers, Wi-Fi networking connection data, information about connected Wi-Fi devices, the types and versions of mobile operating system you use, time-stamped logs of data exchanges associated with the Roku Mobile Apps, and usage statistics associated with the Roku Mobile Apps such as your search history (including letters you key in for searches, and utterances provided in connection with your use of voice search), search results, content you select and view, and channels you add and view. We also log whether you use Play on Roku to play content stored on your mobile device (such as music, photos, or videos) through the Roku Device connected with the Roku Mobile App. To let you play content on your mobile device through the Roku Device, the Roku Mobile App needs permissions to access content and other information stored on your mobile device.

It’s not only Roku that’s collecting data through its products:

Third parties who provide us with analytics services for the Roku Sites, Roku Devices and Roku Mobile Apps may also automatically collect some of the information described above, including, for example, IP address, access times, browser type and language, device type, device identifiers and Wi-Fi information.

There’s also this:

Other third parties, including channel providers, advertisers and ad networks, may also automatically collect information about you through the Roku Sites, Roku Devices, the Roku Mobile Apps or our services, including personally identifiable information about your online activities over time and across different websites, devices, online channels and applications when you use our services.

How do you like strangers having all that info about your kids?

There’s more:

This Privacy Policy does not apply to the activities of these third parties when they are collecting or using data for their own purpose or on behalf of others. Please consult the respective privacy policies and statements of such third parties for more information, including how Google uses data when you use its partner’s sites or apps.

Who has the time to find out who’s partnering with Google? At the same time, who trusts Google with their personal information?

The Roku privacy policy continues, addressing how third party advertisers are also collecting data:

Each Roku Device has unique identifiers, including a unique, non-permanent identifier called Roku Identifiers for Advertisers (RIDAs)…We supplement that information with information collected from Roku Sites, Roku Mobile Apps or third party data sources to further personalize the advertising you see on your Roku Devices. We use third party service providers, such as Google, to help deliver, personalize and target this advertising.

Channel providers, third party advertisers and ad networks may also use RIDAs and other information they collect about you from your Roku Devices, for their own advertising purposes…

This Privacy Policy does not apply to, and we are not responsible for, the data collection, data usage, advertising, and other activities of channel providers, third party advertisers and ad networks.

RIDA stands for “Roku Identifiers for Advertisers.” From February of this year:

Courts Continue To Find That Unique Device Identifiers Are Not Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Under The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)

On January 20, 2015, a district court judge in New Jersey dismissed with prejudice a VPPA action against Viacom, Inc. (“Viacom”), holding that disclosure of anonymous user information to Google, Inc. (“Google”) was not actionable because such information did not constitute “personally identifiable information” (“PII”) as defined under the VPPA…

The court found that nothing in the VPPA or its legislative history suggested that PII included anonymous user IDs, gender and age, or data about a user’s computer. Plaintiffs argued that Google, because it already had so much general information at its disposal, could use the information garnered from Viacom to ascertain personal identities.

There’s Google again. They seem to have access to all the data that’s collected on everybody.

Roku’s privacy policy lists how it uses the data it collects. Most are seemingly nice things such as providing customer support and tailoring the Roku experience to users’ preferences. Then there are these:

to enforce our terms and conditions or protect our business or users; and
to protect, investigate, and deter against fraudulent, unauthorized, or illegal activity.

Can they detect such things by collecting data on our electronic devices and operating systems, our SSIDs (the name you’ve given to your local network), and who sold you your Roku?

I love this part. It’s advising users who post comments on the Roku website:

Please be mindful of your own privacy needs as you choose what to share and make public.

The privacy policy then mentions those with whom Roku shares its users’ private information. These include third party contractors they hire to sell additional Roku “products and services” and anyone else Roku uses to provide customer support and perform analytics. In addition:

Roku may also share your information to (i) comply with laws or to respond to lawful requests and legal process, (ii) to protect the rights and property of Roku, our agents, customers, and others, including to enforce our agreements, policies, and terms of use, or (iii) in an emergency to protect the personal safety of Roku, its customers, or any person.

Could it happen that Roku data could be turned over by, say, anti-gun types who work for Roku? Could Roku’s “voice search” record the sounds of you cleaning your firearm and give that data to the Feds? That would be covered under iii above. Let’s take it a step further and consider that someone who doesn’t like you might have a friend who works for one of Roku’s third party vendors. There’s also the possibility that a pedophile in your neighborhood knows someone with the same type of access. Also, everyone should be aware of the fact that human beings look at information about people they know.

The Roku privacy notice includes a section on disabling some of the spy devices and how to request to opt out of third party tracking, which is useful even if you don’t own a Roku. It ends with a warning:

Roku uses industry-standard methods of securing its electronic databases of personal information. However, you should know that no company, including Roku, can fully eliminate security risks associated with personal information…

Information collected by Roku or on our behalf may be stored on your Roku Devices, on your mobile device if you use the Roku Mobile App, or on our servers, and may be transferred to, accessed from, or stored and processed in, the United States, EU member state countries, India, the Philippines and Costa Rica, and any other country where Roku or its service providers maintain facilities or call centers, including jurisdictions that may not have data privacy laws that provide protections equivalent to those provided in your home country.

If you have questions about Roku’s use of personal information you can contact them. However, don’t expect a quick response:

We will use commercially reasonable efforts to respond to your request in a timely manner.

“Commercially reasonable”? What the heck is that? From USlegal:

Commercially reasonable efforts is a term incapable of a precise definition and will vary depending on the context in which it is used.

It means they’ll get back to you when they get back to you, i.e., it means nothing.

Surely, Roku isn’t alone in its spying and data collection. I hope this look at their privacy policy helps us understand what we’re losing by using such products.

UPDATE: If interested, please see my comments on Roku’s 2016 privacy policy.

U.S. Troops in Poland – preview of Jade Helm?

After taking part in a NATO display of military might, U.S. troops are traveling back to their base in Germany. According to an AP report:

A U.S. army infantry convoy is driving through eastern Europe seeking to provide reassurance to a region concerned that the conflict between Russian-backed rebels and government forces in Ukraine threatens its security.

According to the Daily Mail:

The soldiers have recently been taking part in the Atlantic Resolve exercise, which was intended to demonstrate NATO’s readiness to defend its members.

From the Department of Defense website:

Operation Atlantic Resolve

This is a screenshot of an interactive map available at the DOD website:

Operation Atlantic Resolve recent European events

Some of the training exercises represented by the pins have their own websites, like this:

Joint Multinational Training Command

From their website: What is Combined Resolve III?

Combined Resolve III is designed to provide the Ironhorse Brigade with multinational training and partnership opportunities that will enhance the flexibility, agility and ability to better operate alongside NATO allies and partners in Europe.

The first phase of Combined Resolve III will include gunnery training at the Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area. The exercise will then move to the Hohenfels Training Area for a combat maneuver training before returning to Grafenwoehr of the culminating multinational, live-fire exercise that will blend virtual, simulated and maneuver forces to replicate a complex combat environment.

There’s more to the article. It mentions “the Army’s European Activity Set, a group of combat equipment and vehicles.” An activity set sounds like something you’d buy for your kid. Is it all just a dangerous game to the powers that be? The website has info on other training exercises they’ve been holding in Europe.

Does all this “play” in Europe perhaps shed light on Jade Helm? Maybe it’s the U.S.’s turn to host such exercises.

I’ve heard that one of the goals of Jade Helm is to win the hearts and minds of U.S. citizens. That’s a military tactic you can read about at Wikipedia:

Winning hearts and minds is a concept occasionally expressed in the resolution of war, insurgency, and other conflicts, in which one side seeks to prevail not by the use of superior force, but by making emotional or intellectual appeals to sway supporters of the other side.

The use of the term “hearts and minds” to reference a method of bringing a subjugated population on side, was first used during the Malayan Emergency by the British…

To be subjugated is to be conquered. “Winning hearts and minds” is a PSYOP. It is “a form of indirect aggression.” It’s a way to win a war.

Is this what it looks like? These photos are from the U.S. military’s recent romp through Poland:

Poland 06Poland 05 Poland 04 Poland 03 Poland 02 Poland 01

They also passed through Lithuania:

Lithuania

Is this part of what we can expect from Jade Helm? Will U.S. citizens be so happy to see tanks in their towns, or will the military have to hire actors to pose with the troops? Is that what they did in these photos? Will they perhaps scare us into feeling glad they’re here, like these European countries are allegedly being scared by a Russian threat?

Here’s another Wikipedia article worth reading: Psychological Operations (United States). Be informed so you can recognize what they’re doing. Then tell others. Troops in the streets are not there to be friendly, no matter how it appears. Their presence is an act of aggression. It’s an act of war.

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What’s happened to Vladimir Putin?

There’s some interesting information in this article at All News Pipeline:

There Is Something Very Strange About The Vladimir Putin Death Hoax Story

In part, it reports that first there was a Facebook page announcing Putin’s March 10th death and then, two days later, the website of his protege Medvedev announced the same. In addition, it seems a Russian attache left his post in Britain over the alleged rumor. Maybe it’s a hacker’s hoax; however, there’s a lot of strangeness surrounding this story.

A Reuters’ report stated Putin had fallen ill and thus had to cancel a visit to Kazakhstan but that page was retracted and no longer exists, although a Canadian version does and the All News Pipeline article has the transcript. There’s also this:

2015_Putin ill

Since the weekend, mainstream media are reporting all sorts of alleged Putin sightings; however, at least some of the evidence appears to consist of old videos and photos. From an update at All News Pipeline:

ABC News’ Good Morning America talks about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reappearance after a 10-11 day absence from the world scene, overlayed with footage proving he has made a live public appearance……. strange part of that is part of that footage is from March 2014.

Some are saying that while he was away, Putin put 40,000 troops on full alert for “snap-readiness exercises.” Did he have to drop out of sight to do that?

Here’s an NPR article that is as strange as the rumors. It includes this bit of information:

Reuters reminds us that Putin’s disappearance from public view “began a week after an opposition leader was gunned down outside the Kremlin walls.”

One of the rumors is that Putin was killed in retaliation for the murder of the opposition leader.

In addition, there’s a Russian report that his chief bodyguard has been killed. And, in the following video, Professor Doom1 claims that reports coming out of Israel and other places state there’s a coup taking place in Russia:

In a follow-up video, Professor Doom1 shows photos of unusual activity taking place at the Kremlin. Here are a couple of still shots:

2015_trucks near Kremlin 2015_trucks near Kremlin 2

One of the theories is that Putin was in hiding because he had plastic surgery. Wouldn’t that be a good cover story if they were going to use a lookalike for awhile? When I watched a video of his alleged recent meeting with Kyrgyzstan’s president, Putin’s expression and mannerisms strangely lacked his usual bravado. Here are a couple of photos from that meeting:

2015_Putin post 03

2015_Putin post 02

Perhaps recent fatherhood has mellowed him? Putin’s girlfriend recently giving birth is another rumor that Russian officials say is not true.

There’s so much more to this story about Putin’s brief disappearance. The alleged rumors and the alleged facts supporting them have not yet stopped. Is it all a silly hoax? Probably not. As the old saying goes, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Could it be a sort of “shell game” to keep the world’s attention away from what’s really happening, whatever that might be?

For additional strangeness, add to the Putin stories the rumors that Iran’s Ayatollah is dead. And to that add reports that Iran has amassed 10,000 troops six miles from Israel’s northern border. Is it just more of the shell game?

Cops kill someone every 8 hours

From the Free Thought Project:

As of February 15, only a month and a half into 2015, there has been at least 136 individuals killed by police in the United States since the first of the year.

As the author suggests, let these facts sink in.

The article cites examples of countries without murderous cops, such as Canada (14 killed by cops in 2014), England (1 killed in 2014, none in 2013), and Germany (zero killed by cops 2013-2014). The first thing that comes to mind is that the countries listed have strict gun control laws. Are the powers that be allowing, or perhaps encouraging, cops to kill U.S. citizens in a final push to disarm us?

And gun-grabbers, don’t try to tell the rest of us that the cops will stop killing citizens if the populace were disarmed. Do you really believe they would? Will handing over our guns inspire local police forces to melt down their assault weapons and tanks? And what about criminals, who will still have guns? Where do you get the moral authority to take away my means of self defense?

Back to the article:

So far this year all cop killers have been other cops. This year the police seem to be far more likely to die as a result of police brutality than at the hand of a violent suspect.

Just last week an officer responding to a domestic disturbance at a North Texas residence, shot and killed off-duty sheriff’s deputy Larry Hostetter, 41, shortly after midnight.

At the end of January, we also reported on a Yonkers police officer who shot a suicidal officer from another precinct, claiming he feared for his safety.

You don’t hear any of this on mainstream news. Here’s more of what they don’t tell us:

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the pro-police site that tracks every officer death, not a single police officer has been killed by a suspect so far this year.

Line of Duty Deaths: 14

How did the 14 die?

Automobile accident: 5
Heart attack: 4
Struck by vehicle: 2
Vehicle pursuit: 1
9/11 related illness: 1
Gunfire (Accidental): 1

Here’s more:

In fact, being a police officer isn’t even close to being in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in this country.  According to the 2013 report by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on work-related fatal injuries, “Police and sheriff’s patrol deputies” ranked as the 41st most dangerous occupation.

Also, according to an FBI report, Americans are less violent than ever; its the police who have been increasingly violent.

Free Thought Project’s conclusion:

As Liberation News pointed out, a vast majority of those killed by the police in 2015 have again been young African Americans and Latinos. The two youngest were both 17-years-old, Kristiana Coignard of Texas and Jessica Hernandez of Colorado. The oldest was 87-year-old Lewis Becker from rural upstate New York.

Officers who cannot bring 17-year-old girls or 87-year-old men into custody safely have absolutely no business “protecting and serving” anyone.  A person who cannot control a situation with a 90 pound high school girl or an elderly gentleman, and “fear for their life” so severely that they need to pull a trigger, is not a hero, they’re a coward.

These are just excerpts from the article, which can be found at Free Thought Project. It includes more info and some good links.

Gandhi’s advice on conscientious objection to vaccination

Mahatma Gandhi wrote A Guide to Health, which contains what appear to be folk remedies. Before anyone completely dismisses folk medicine in favor of Western medicine, consider the facts that the Rockefellers funded the development of Western medicine; the elite prefer homeopathy; and, in China, Chinese medicine, with its mystical yin yang and five elements, is practiced alongside Western medicine. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t use it. Western medicine is good for cutting things out and providing antibiotics, but beyond that does it really do more good than harm? Anyway, I’m not endorsing Gandhi’s remedies, although keeping an open mind to ways of viewing sickness and ways of healing, other than those of barbarous Western medicine, might be a good idea.

A chapter from Gandhi’s book is available at Vaccination Information Network. I found the following paragraph apropos, considering the current assault on those opposed to forced inoculations:

Those who are conscientious objectors to vaccination should, of course, have the courage to face all penalties or persecutions to which they may be subjected by law, and stand alone, if need be, against the whole world, in defence of their conviction. Those who object to it merely on the grounds of health should acquire a complete mastery of the subject, and should be able to convince others of the correctness of their views, and convert them into adopting those views in practice. But those who have neither definite views on the subject nor courage enough to stand up for their convictions should no doubt obey the laws of the state, and shape their conduct in deference to the opinions and practices of the world around them.

Gandhi on vaccines

Measles hysteria 2015

From CNN, Measles cases in California soar:

Last Wednesday, the number was 59. Nine days later, there are 91 cases of measles in California.

There are over 38 million people living in California. As of now, there are 91 confirmed case of measles and 58 of those people were allegedly infected at Disneyland, which is in southern California. Check out this scary, or not, map:

map of CA

All that gray area is where no measles cases have been reported.

From a January 21st report by the California Department of Health:

The California measles patients reside in 11 local health jurisdictions…Patients range in age from seven months to 70 years. Vaccination status is documented for 34 of the 59 cases. Of these 34, 28 were unvaccinated, one had received one dose and five had received two or more doses of MMR vaccine.

From the CDC:

From January 1 to January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

A LARGE outbreak, they say. Is it? There are over 311 million people living in the United States. 102 of them have contracted measles. 91 of the 102 live in California. If my math is correct, that leaves 11 people with measles in 13 states other than California. Did a couple of them report their illnesses in two different states? Anyway, there are 48 states in the Continental United States. That means 34 states have no reported cases of measles.

A bit of a side note from the CNN article:

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, which means it is no longer native to the United States but continues to be brought in by international travelers.

Now for the hysteria. From US News:

“This outbreak is occurring because a critical number of people are choosing not to vaccinate their children,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and an attending physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Division of Infectious Diseases.

“Parents are not scared of the disease” because they’ve never seen it, Offit said. “And, to a lesser extent, they have these unfounded concerns about vaccines. But the big reason is they don’t fear the disease.”

…The most common side effects of the MMR vaccine are a fever and occasionally a mild rash. Some children may experience seizures from the fever, but experts say these seizures have no long-term negative effects.

No, seizures aren’t a bit scary. How common are such seizures? From the CDC:

Of the children identified as having seizures following the 7 to 10-day vaccination period, about 90% were found to be febrile seizures.

The rate of seizures in this timeframe was 85 per 1000 person-years in the MMRV vaccine group compared to 42 per 1000 in the MMR and varicella vaccine group. This risk was about 2 times higher in children who received the combination shot (MMRV) versus the single shots (MMR and varicella).

What in the world is a person-year? From medilexicon:

The product of the number of years times the number of members of a population who have been affected by a certain condition (years of treatment with a given drug).

That didn’t help.

Here’s another side note: the term “person-year” is also used in accounting. It’s a unit of measurement based on an ideal amount of work done by one person in a year consisting of a standard number of person-days.

What’s a febrile seizure? From the NIH:

Febrile seizures are convulsions brought on by a fever in infants or small children. During a febrile seizure, a child often loses consciousness and shakes, moving limbs on both sides of the body. Less commonly, the child becomes rigid or has twitches in only a portion of the body, such as an arm or a leg, or on the right or the left side only. Most febrile seizures last a minute or two, although some can be as brief as a few seconds while others last for more than 15 minutes.

That’s not scary. But measles – we must fear measles.

Back to the US News article:

Serious complications from measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis, which can lead to long-term deafness or brain damage. An estimated one in 5,000 cases will result in death, according to Offit.

“One in 5,000 cases will result in death.” So far, this year there are 102 reported cases. Check out this drugs.com list of potential side effects from a measles vaccine. Side effects include pneumonia, encephalitis, deafness and brain damage.

A final quote from the US News article:

“If a child died of measles in southern California, I think people would start vaccinating,” Offit said. “I think it will take more suffering and more hospitalizations and more deaths to not see these outbreaks. We’re compelled by fear, and we don’t fear this disease enough.”

From an AP science writer, posted by Fox News in Phoenix:

A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland has brought criticism down on the small but vocal movement among parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children…

At Huntington Beach High School in Orange County, two dozen unvaccinated students were ordered home until the three-week incubation period is up.

More than 30 babies in Northern California’s Alameda County have been placed in home isolation after possible exposure.

“I’m terribly upset that someone has made a choice that not only affects their child but other people’s children,” said Jennifer Simon, whose 6-month-old daughter, Livia, was isolated after it was learned she may have been exposed to measles during a visit to the doctor’s office.

As others have mentioned, if the vaccine works so well, why would those who take it be afraid of exposure?

If fear mongering doesn’t work, try bullying.

From CBS news, “Doctor fed up with measles outbreak takes controversial stance”:

“I can’t protect every kid in the United States, but I can protect the ones I care for,” said Dr. Goodman. “It’s a very hard line to take, but at some point I had to draw the line in the sand and say you know what, I got to protect my kids, that’s my job as a pediatrician.”

“Those babies could die,” said Dr. Goodman. “I have to weigh the risk of a kid in my office getting measles and potentially dying versus the rights of those parents to not immunize when I thought most of them were making that choice based on bad information.”

“That’s why I took the stance, believe your doctor, listen to your doctor, not the Internet, or go somewhere else,” Dr. Goodman said.

Again, if the vaccine is so great, how will Dr. Goodman’s vaccinated babies get sick?

From Fortune, “Why you should care about the measles outbreak–even if you’re vaccinated”:

A measles outbreak spreading across the country has sickened 86 people in 14 states, raising fears of an epidemic. But what’s different this time is the high number of adults falling ill –including some who have been vaccinated…

Even with the safest and most effective vaccines, there’s still a “long tail,” meaning that a certain number of people won’t build up the needed antibodies to protect them from the measles.

So everyone has to be vaccinated in order to protect the allegedly few people that aren’t protected after getting the vaccine. It’s called “herd immunity.”

The hysteria and bullying happens every year. These are from 2014. Time Magazine:

The New Measles Outbreak: Blame the Anti-Vaxxers

You have to be spoiled to play cute with disease—spoiled or, well, stupid.

Fox News:

Deaths from measles outbreak may be ‘inevitable’ as cases surge in US

Authorities say 129 cases in 13 states were reported by mid-April, the bulk of them in California and New York City. Most were triggered by travelers who caught the virus abroad and spread it in the United States among unvaccinated people…

The U.S. numbers remain relatively tiny, but officials are worried to see case counts growing.

HuffPo:

Big Measles Outbreaks Linked To Troubling Trend

The so-called troubling trend was opting out of vaccinations for religious reasons:

A recent measles outbreak at a religious preschool in Vancouver with a vaccination rate of nearly zero points to a troubling trend. Large outbreaks in the past year are closely tied to pockets of unvaccinated individuals within insular religious communities, some of which have been critical of the measles vaccine, rather than to statewide vaccination rates.

Again, that BIG measles outbreak was less than 150 reported cases.

It goes on and on. Every year it’s the same thing. However, you have to wonder why we’re told to fear measles but not the deadly Ebola virus with its vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding out the ears and eyes.

This post is not intended to influence anyone to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. It’s easy to search online and find the type of propaganda quoted in this post. It’s difficult to find information that seems trustworthy. Do your own research and then decide. However, remember that healthcare professionals can get caught up in propaganda-driven hysteria as easily as the rest of us.