Things That Make Me Pound My Head on the Table….

Is there some way to test newborns for cognitive dissonance tendencies? And to keep those who test positive from running for public office?

Recent (but hardly the only) case on point: Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning against allowing the child refugees who have been coming across the southern border into the United States, because they might be carrying deadly diseases.

“Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote. “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.”

And why do I say this is an example of cognitive dissonance? Because Rep. Gingrey is one of America’s anti-vaccine nuts.

Gingrey has long-standing ties to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a far-right medical group that opposes all mandatory vaccines. The organization touts access to Gingrey as one of its membership perks. (The AAPS has, incidentally, taken the lead in pushing the idea that migrant children are disease carriers.) In 2007, he wrote an amendment that would allow parents to block their children from receiving HPV vaccines, which are designed to combat cervical cancer.

Ironically, children from Guatemala are far more likely to be vaccinated against a variety of diseases than kids in Texas, because vaccines are provided free of charge by Guatemala’s  universal health care system, and in Texas, the rate of parents who “opt out” of vaccinations citing “reasons of conscience” has increased every year since 2003.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been no reported cases of measles in Guatemala or Honduras since 1990, whereas anti-vaccination efforts in the United States have led to multiple outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Oh, but facts are such inconvenient things….especially when you’re trying to make points with a rabid and ignorant base at the expense of frightened refugee children.

Not to mention consistency with your own preposterous positions.


  1. The irony is that Rep. Gingrey and others like him enjoy the benefits of the advances in science and medicine even while espousing their opposition to them. And, almost unbelievably, someone votes for him.

  2. Sheila; I don’t believe you or anyone else was supposed to remember Rep. Gingrey’s earlier affiliations or comments on this issue…or any others for that matter. This is the mind-set of many members of the GOP today regarding their convoluted views on all issues.

    There is a lack of knowledge about childhood diseases, always has been; for many years it was just an accepted fact that our children would contract measles, mumps and chicken pox. We didn’t hesitate providing DPT shots for our babies long before the vaccines for other diseases became available. No one told us, unless we were faced with the condition in one of our children, that these “childhood diseases” could lead to encephalitis…and in rare cases, death. My son David was 11 months old when he contracted chicken pox from his older siblings; he suddenly went into severe fever convulsions which are terrifying. My husband called our doctor at home (this was normal medical care at that time) who relayed instructions to me to bring down the fever. After a second round of fever convulsions things seemed to be stabilized with David when he suddenly went into a catatonic state; eyes rolled back in his head, spine arched, body rigid and he was unresponsive. My husband got back on the phone; doctor said he didn’t tell us this was a possibility with fever convulsions and all I could do was hold him and keep him warm till he reponded. Said it would be frightening for him to wake up in the hospital surrounded by strangers and they could only do what I was doing at home. My doctor explained to me the following day that David suffered from chicken pox encephalitis. Three days later David was hospitalized and in an oxygen tent with pneumonia in both lungs. All of this resulting for the simple childhood disease of chicken pox. I was a good mother; taking care of my children through many illnesses and between February and May of that year all four of them had chicken pox, measles and mumps. It is common knowledge that mumps in boys can cause sterilization later in life.

    The vaccines for childhood diseases was not available till after my children were grown and had children of their own; had they been available, I would have protected them. There is no medical protection or treatment without the possibility, however slight, of side-effects. The parents who chose, for whatever reason, to forego innoculations are taking the chance of endangering their own child and all children they come in contact with. The current problems with these diseases reappearing are due to American parents who believe Gingrey and his ilk that inocculations are dangerous and the diseases are not. This is the first I have read that the problem is being caused by illegal immigrant children coming across our borders. Is Gingrey one of those who suggested land mines along our border to resolve the immigration problem? There are so many obtuse and ridiculous accusations and solutions from the GOP that I ignore them as much as possible. On this one, I had to speak out.

  3. Truly a head-banger! Ye gods! Who ARE these people? Don’t answer that!

    Just remember my little button with the prize statement: Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups.

    The likes of Gingery (sounds too much like the name of another Georgia wingnut) and Jenny McCarthy (anti-vaccine, yet pro e-cigarettes) may do us all in!

  4. Rep. Phil Gingrey should be nominated for the General Jack Ripper Award. General Ripper in the movie Dr. Strangelove was convinced that Fluoridation was a Communist Plot.

  5. Your net and/or network for ‘catching’ these insanities never ceases to amaze me.

  6. Gingery is using NRA-style fear mongering when he says there are reports of immigrants carrying Ebola virus. As Jon Stewart pointed out last night, Ebola has been found only in Africa.

  7. I remember from 1973 the controversy around letting Rupert Murdoch buy into US media. He ultimately solved the problem by becoming a US citizen.

    The worry about his activity here has come true. Through Fox News and his other activities he has brought about what I call mass media enculturation, in the direction of recreating the oligarchy of our founders.

    Combining forces, read wealth, with the Kochs, Grover Norquist, Sheldon Anderson, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and others he has recreated the Ministry of Information, from 1984, to create useful ignorance. Useful to the end of creating an America strictly for the rich.

    Whether or not they eventually succeed in this endeavor depends completely on their penetration into the electorate.

    Will they achieve a useful enough majority of the folks they’ve herded into the culture most useful to their goal, unlimited personal wealth, to succeed in recreating America in their image?

    Obviously they made progress in putting some puppets in government. Enough to have actually shut down government.

    Can they be sent packing? We shall see.

  8. We got satellite tv recently and with our basic package can view Fox Spews for kicks. Good grief. No wonder this country is so messed up. Have you given any time to Hannity or O’Really lately? It’s amazing to me that there has not been an all out war started in this country. Well, some would say there is one and I can point right to where it starts. Sheeesh.

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