Once again, another death has been reported in the news from the easily preventable disease pertussis (whooping cough). Although this statement may be inaccurate, in that it may not be completely preventable but is definitely controllable to stop the death of infants. Anti-vaccine promoters are not the only problem here, although this problem has lead me to write this blog in regards to their silliness.
Laziness and lack of advertising is the main reason for this massive increase in pertussis over the past few years. Many adults do not realise that they need to receive a booster shot if they are going to be around young people. I am guessing some people may know this but are too lazy to get the booster shot or are scared of injections. I think knowing that you are protecting the health and lives of young people will help people overcome these and any other reason for failing to receive this vaccination.
I can see no other reason why you should not receive this vaccine. There are no claims made by anti-vaccine groups that are in any way rational or should be accepted by anyone. These groups will often claim that there are dangerous side effects to these vaccines, many are made up. The chance of having a severe adverse effect is around 1 in a million. The chance of a child dying or receiving a disability from this disease is much much MUCH higher. There is NO chance that your child will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder due to ANY vaccine.
I would discuss extensively about the stupidity of the belief of vaccines causing Autism, but I feel the arguments have been thoroughly examined and completely proven to be false. To ignore evidence and make claims of conspiracy is complete nonsense.
You often hear of the “big pharma” conspiracy from these people. There are major problems with this argument. One of the easiest ways to dispute this is to ask why these corporations would do everything to prevent diseases that reduce the use of other drugs they produce. They are reducing sickness with vaccines meaning they are shrinking their business.
The funniest thing about the “big pharma” argument is that these anti-vaccine propagators tend to be advocates for homeopathy. The professional standards director of Boots has stated that he has seen “no evidence to suggest [that homeopathy is] efficacious.” These drugs are only sold because of demand and therefore profit. This is much closer to a conspiracy than anything else relating to these corporations. They are selling a product under the pretence that it works even though they know it is no better than a placebo (it does not work).
I really do hope that people will go out and have these booster shots and vaccinate their children. Please ignore the stupidity of anti-vaccination idiots, otherwise research the opposing arguments to theirs. Look at the evidence and use reason to come to your conclusion. I am certain that you will come to the same conclusion as I have.
Recently in the news there were reports about a meta-analysis study performed in Australia. This study looked at more than 80 previous studies dealing with cannabis use and psychosis. Their findings have shown that there is a link between cannabis use and an early onset of psychosis in a person predisposed to psychosis.
The main problem with this, that you don’t really see mentioned, is they also found for users of “unspecified substances” the age of onset was 2 years younger than for non-users. For alcohol only users they found no difference against non-users. To me, this makes the finding seem tenuous and not really worthy of the news headlines “Cannabis Use Linked to Earlier Onset of Psychotic Disorders” or “Cannabis use ‘accelerates’ mental illness.” I do love poorly worded and sensationalistic headlines.
This kind of study brings out the ignorance in people. I have been reading comments on news websites as well as on Facebook dealing with this study. This has made me want to respond in detail about the reality of cannabis use and whether we should be decriminalising as well as legalising it.
If you think critically about the subject of cannabis and its legalisation it is easy to come to the conclusion that it should be legal. First of all there are many great economic reasons for legalising cannabis.
If the government were to legalise cannabis they would then start taxing it. In the case of “alcopops” they tax quite heavily, they could possibly do this with cannabis. This will be a gigantic boost to the coffers of government.
They would also be reducing crime as the financing for a majority of organised crime is from the sale of cannabis. By reducing crime they will be reducing the amount of prisoners held in our jails. This is very true as a lot of people in jail are there for cannabis related charges. This kind of saving on top of taxation is not a small amount of money.
Along with reduction in people being incarcerated, it will also reduce policing. With a massive minimalisation of the drug war comes a saving in Police man hours.
The income the government receives from tax and saves from reduced policing could be put to incredibly good use. If the majority of this money were put towards education we would see a reduction in drug use. There is a correlation between education/intelligence and drug use. Persons who are better educated tend to be less inclined to indulge in drugs.
It would be fantastic to know that more money is being spent on education because of a reduction in spending on incarceration.
Along with legalisation we may be looking at a reduction in use. For starters we have the previous argument of education and a correlated reduction. Then we have further ideas based on education. As people have become more educated on the damaging effects of tobacco we have seen a massive reduction in use. We can use the same kinds of campaigns to help reduce the use of cannabis as has been used with campaigns against cigarettes.
If cannabis were to be sold in stores there will be heavy regulations over packaging/advertising. I expect to see similar kinds of warnings found on cigarettes from the onset of cannabis sale.
There will also be age restrictions in place and massive fines for businesses that do not follow these restrictions. This will hopefully reduce the amount of young people consuming cannabis.
If it were the case that young people are still consuming it at the same rate as previously, we should hopefully see a massive reduction in use of other drugs. If people are able to purchase cannabis without having to go to drug dealers they will be less likely to be pushed or motivated to use other drugs.
This is why cannabis has gained the ridiculous title of “the gateway drug.” The only reason it is a gateway to other illicit drugs is because of the people you have to purchase it from currently. If you are not purchasing it from these kinds of people you will not be confronted with other illicit drugs.
Once there is a standardised industry for cannabis there will be control over the quality of the drug. This will mean that you will know what you are purchasing. You will know there is no chance it has been laced with anything. You will possibly be able to purchase it on strength and growing style e.g. hydroponic versus natural versus organic (need to include the organic crazies).
Along with the growing style we would see healthier ways of consuming. I could see many people moving away from smoking it if there were easier to attain options of consumption.
In the long run I would hope this would see a reduction in the stigma held against cannabis. With this will come many benefits. Use of it in medication will be furthered. Use of hemp in all kinds of materials e.g. fabric and paper. Also the increase in hemp oil production, which has many uses.
On the subject of medication, there is already huge amounts of evidence of the efficacy of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol positively in the treatment of many different health problems. One very notable use is against cancer and multiple sclerosis. A drug by the name of Sativex that has now been approved in many countries is used to help reduce negative effects of many conditions including MS, AIDs, and cancer.
There are many more reasons why the legalisation of cannabis is a great idea but I will finish here. I hope I can change the minds of some towards this idea.
I am pretty certain I annoy a lot of people with things I post and things I mention, especially on Facebook. I thought I would write a blog to explain why I do this and maybe if people come across this and feel like reading it they might not be so annoyed with me.
I will start with atheism. I know a lot of people I know are atheists or agnostic by them not having any real concern about needing a religion. I would like to explain why I feel the need to shove complaints about religions at them. I feel that religion in general and some religions specifically are exceptionally harmful to the progress of Homo Sapiens.
In the past religions have consistantly attacked the progress of science. If evidence and facts disagreed with their religious beliefs they fought back with hatred. This is still occurring today, especially in countries like the U.S.A*. A large majority of Americans disbelieve the fact of evolution. There has also been a long fight with the religious over embryonic stem cell research. The list goes on.
A lot of these beliefs are also being pushed into schools. This is happening here in Australia at the moment. Religious groups are becoming extremely upset with the ethics classes being implemented in schools in the eastern states. I am not 100% sure of this but I think that some religious schools still attempt to teach creationism in science classes.
These are just a few small reasons that I argue for the seperation of church and state. Religion should be a personal choice at all times. It should also not be pushed onto children. I find it evil that a parent would tell their children that they will experience eternal pain if they don’t behave in accordance with their beliefs
Although religion tends to be one of the main things I disagree with it is possibly not as bad as the acceptance of alternative medicine. First we will look at Homeopathy; a ridiculous idea for a “medicine”. The idea of Homeopathy is similar to the idea of how Vaccinations work. The difference is that the active ingredient is diluted with water so much that there is in most cases only water left. When you are taking Homeopathic medicine you are taking water and sugar pills that have gone through a ridiculous process. If you understand this you will understand that Homeopathic “medicine” is nothing but a placebo.
Chiropractic is another very distasteful idea. This one is probably worse than Homeopathy in that it has caused major injuries to people (as long as you ignore people not giving children proper medication over Homeopathic “medication”). Many Chiropractors will have in the past advertised that they can cure colic in babies, treat asthma or even deafness, although I think this has been banned in Australia. This is the definition of Chiropractic “Practice of healing based on the theory that illness stems from misalignment of the spinal cord. The treatments often involve spinal manipulation.”
There may be some benefit from receiving Chiropractic for your back. There is very little evidence for this. There is evidence of people receiving severe injuries from having Chiropractic. There is no evidence for any of the other claims of Chiropractic.
If you are having back problems, go see a Physiotherapist. They have real qualifications and use evidence based medicine.
I will finish here only mentioning these 2 as examples of the silliness that is alternative medicine. You just need to remember that when an alternative medicine is found to work it becomes medicine. If you see “alternative medicine” you need to avoid it and stop promoting these ideas.
The last thing I am often shoving in peoples faces is the stupidity of the paranormal. I especially hate “psychics” e.g. John Edward, Alison Dubois. These people are con artists that use peoples fears and sadness as a way to take money from them. No one can speak to the dead. No one has ever been able to prove this ability in a controlled experiment. To believe this nonsense takes a massive leap of faith.
Alongside this is Astrology. This is by far one of the easiest to debunk. Do you really believe that around half a BILLION people are having the exact same day as you? Stop with the nonsense.
I will stop here even though there are many other irrational beliefs that I enjoy exposing. I will leave you with my reasoning for the entirety of this.
I really wish that one day we will no longer have these irrational beliefs. I think this will help us progress our understanding of the universe and help continue the existence of Homo Sapiens. Homo Sapiens are so amazing for our understanding and I want it to continue. If we can get past all the stupidity and educate everyone I believe our current world will become a more peaceful place. I believe it will help us move closer to having equality with people all over the planet. I hope we can increase our technology to move to new planets. I hope that one day Homo Sapiens or the species we evolve to in the future will be able to continue procreating eternally. The one thing I do wish that I know can never happen is that my consciousness could return to existence many times into the future. I would love to see how life has changed in 1000 years but I am happy to live just my life and help people live into the distant future.
If this doesn’t help you be less annoyed at me when I post something that goes against your beliefs, please don’t hesitate to debate your point of view with me.
*Although there are much bigger problems with the Islamic religion and majority Islamic countries I will concentrate on Christianity.