I'm an Anti-Braker

Guys, I wanted to let you know about a personal decision I recently made. I don’t really feel like discussing it, but I want to put my position out there. Please be respectful. This is a really long post, but please read the whole thing.

I’m taking the brakes off my car. This isn’t a rash decision, so please listen up.

A few weeks ago I saw a car accident - two people went through an intersection at the same time. Both slammed on their brakes at the same time and collided. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.

But then it occurred to me - if they had just gone through the intersection, they wouldn’t have collided. The brakes CAUSED the accident!

So, I decided to do my own research and what I found was *staggering*: Hundreds of people every year are seriously injured by unnecessary braking. One time, I was driving in the snow and I just lightly tapped my brakes and it caused my car to COMPLETELY LOSE CONTROL. My brakes could have very easily gotten me killed. Even more astoundingly is how often brake pads will warp and distort rotors, causing bumpy rides and squeaky wheels.

And you know what? I also found that decades ago brakes weren’t even used! People would control their vehicle’s speed with downshifting and engine braking. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but back when engine braking was used there were almost no automotive fatalities. There were NEVER brake caused car accidents.

After doing some more digging, I found a nefarious plot - Mechanics: The very people who we trust to work on and care for our cars - get PAID to install and change brakes! You might THINK they care about our safety, or our cars - but they’re just in it for the $49.99 brake pad installations.

So I talked to my Mechanic about taking the brakes off my car and I was disgusted by how poorly he treated me. He accused me of being ignorant, when I was the one that looked up how much rotational torque brakes can put on your rotors. He didn’t even know how much torque a rotor can take before being warped!!! He said “rotors are designed to be compressed, that it isn’t actually a problem” just completely dismissing me.

Then he had the NERVE to say that my personal choice had consequences, that I would affect everyone around me. Well I’ve had it with him, I’m looking for a new mechanic. The problem is that so many mechanics are bought and paid by the automotive industry that ALL of them are insistent about my car having brakes. Most of them won’t even look at my car for other reasons, saying that a brakeless car could cause damage to their shop and other cars. What a bunch of bullshit, they just don’t like those who believe in alternative braking techniques.

Now of course big government is getting involved, saying that I *MUST* have brakes. That this isn’t just about me, and that I could hurt people. What happened to personal freedom? What happened to liberty?

So all I’m saying is, do your research. Don’t just listen to the NTSB and big automotive. I made a personal decision for my family, we just said no to brakes. We’ll be using natural remedies like Gravity, and putting our feet on the ground to stop. After all, if that was good enough for me when I was on my bike as a kid, it’s good enough for my children in my car.

Please keep the comments respectful!

Legal Disclaimer: I am not a mechanic and should not be considered a valid source of information for automotive inquiries.

Spanish Translation provided with many thanks by Martin Romanuk:

Let’s get one thing straight. There is no debate over the efficacy or safety of the measles vaccine. It works and it is safe. Asking whether the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe is like asking whether ambulances are safe. Sure, very occasionally things go wrong. Vaccines cause 1 serious allergic reaction per million. But, with these odds, refusing a vaccine is like a seriously injured patient refusing to travel in an ambulance because they occasionally crash.
TNQD Jumps on her Soapbox and Tackles Vaccine Myths

As some of you lovely followers might know, I have a passion for public health and infectious disease medicine, so I just can’t resist commenting on this latest CBS news article regarding the growing outbreak of measles in Orange County, California. People who refuse to vaccinate themselves and their children against diseases that are nearly 100% preventable drive me absolutely bonkers.

What’s worse is that many of them espouse their completely unfounded and flat-out wrong pseudo-scientific beliefs all over the internet and television (Jenny McCarthy, you completely moronic, uncredentialed enemy of public health, I’m looking at you) scare countless other parents into not vaccinating their children. Kids shouldn’t have to die or suffer severe neurological disabilities for the rest of their lives simply because their parents were either A) Too ignorant to vaccinate them or B) In complete denial of all scientific evidence. 

All right, let’s set the record straight once and for all regarding the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. 

Much of the “debate”—if you could even call it that—is centered around the Andrew Wakefield MMR study that claimed to have found a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. It all began when fraudmeister numero uno and celebrities-turned-medical-experts-overnight published this book and received an absurd amount of media coverage:

At this point in time, his supporters are essentially composed of a cult of conspiracy theorists combined with helpless parents grasping at straws because they need an explanation for why their kid has a developmental or neurological disorder. I understand their desperation and need for an explanation, but their misdirected anger and vendetta against vaccines is literally killing innocent, young children who have no choice but to trust these anti-vaccine parents with their well-being. It is a completely avoidable tragedy. 


He was caught falsifying or altering all 12 of his study’s patient records. Also as a side note, it is extremely difficult to achieve statistically significant results from such a small sample size, so even if there was even a modicum of truth—WHICH THERE WAS NOT—his data would not have been significant enough to make any sort of definitive statement about the MMR vaccine’s alleged link to autism. 

So now that Wakefield is out of the way, it’s time to discuss why MMR vaccines were targeted as a potential cause of autism in the first place. You see, there’s this little thing called correlation and it is NOT THE SAME THING AS CAUSATION. One of the best examples anyone has ever used to explain this to me goes like this (thank you Dr. Hunt and my virology class). 

Clearly we know today that polio and ice cream have absolutely nothing in common, except that their “popularity” is higher during the summer months. People eat ice cream to cool down, but they also take to public swimming pools and lakes, streams, etc. that are likely to be teeming with particulate feces that carry the polio virus in order to cool down as well. 

The same thing is happening with autism and the MMR vaccine. It’s simply temporal correlation. Developmentally, children begin showing apparent signs of autism right around the time they are supposed to receive their MMR vaccine. Statistically speaking, you’re bound to have a few kids in the Venn diagram that overlap between the categories of “Received MMR vaccine” and “Developed autism.” This is coincidence, not causation. 

Finally, the media coverage and science writing for this farcical “debate” has been abysmal and sensationalized. In this article, the journalist claims that “philosophical” differences are to blame for the MMR rise according to the CDC and that the “debate,” is still ongoing. This language is overly politically correct and soft in my opinion; it is blatantly pandering to a wider demographic for the sole sake of ratings, so let me be clear: there is about as much “debate” over MMR causing autism as there is about breaking mirrors causing seven years’ bad luck. Among respectable and ethical scientists and doctors, there is NO debate. They’ve done the studies and find nothing but temporal correlation, which DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION.

And don’t even get me started on herd immunity (although if you’d like to know more about how the anti-vacciners are contributing to the deaths of those who are unable to be vaccinated due to immunological and other health disorders, you can find a nice explanation here). 

And just for shits and giggles, I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment.

Even if we arbitrarily accept that vaccines are in fact, the true causal agent of some rare and severe health events that typically occur after immunization with the MMR vaccine, the numbers say statistically you’re much better off getting immunized. I repeat, you are less likely to die or be maimed by the MMR vaccine than you are to die and or be maimed by the measles virus, which is one of the most contagious diseases in all of human history.

Risk of a child suffering severe disease and dying from measles: “Measles can also result in serious complications including ear infections, pneumonia, and brain swelling — or encephalitis, which occurs in about one out of every 1,000 cases and may lead to death

Risk of a child suffering severe disease and dying from MMR vaccine: “Central nervous system (CNS) conditions, including encephalitis and encephalopathy, have been reported with a frequency of less than one per million doses administered. The incidence of encephalitis or encephalopathy after measles vaccination of healthy children is lower than the observed incidence of encephalitis of unknown etiology. This finding suggests that the reported severe neurologic disorders temporally associated with measles vaccination were not caused by the vaccine.”

1 in 1000 vs. < 1 in 1 million…I think I’ll take my chances with the vaccines, should I decide to have kids someday.

In Western cultures, we’re accustomed to framing every public issue as two-sided. People who refuse to acknowledge that there’s legitimacy to the other side are “unfair.” I think this viewpoint is really muddling the vaccine safety conversation. When the media presents scientists on one side, and Natural News on the other, it’s creating a false equivalency. The anti-vaxxers have no credible scientific evidence supporting their position, but placing them opposite a scientist makes it seem like there are two legitimate sides to this debate. There aren’t. The simple fact is that there’s overwhelming scientific consensus that the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism.
—  Jennifer Raff, The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google, available here at Violent Metaphors. The whole article is well worth reading, and she even cites her sources.
Measles is NOT just a "fever and rash":

-if you are unvaccinated and exposed to measles, there is a 90% chance you will contract the virus

-1 out of 10 children with measles will suffer permanent hearing loss

-1 out of 20 children with measles will get pneumonia, which is the most common cause of death in young children with measles

-1 out of 1,000 children with measles will suffer encephalitis (brain swelling) which can cause convulsions, seizures and mental retardation

-Measles killed 145,000 people worldwide just last year

Measles is not a joke, and the MMR vaccine has been proven to be one of the safest and most effective out there. These are FACTS, it is not an opinion or a belief. It is vital to our health and our neighbor’s health that we get our children vaccinated.

Good job, Jenny McCarthy

The most recent research shows that autistic children are already born with the chemical brain markers that causes it to manifest when they’re toddlers. Yet people still cling to the outdated, debunked, discredited “scientific” paper of a man who was stripped of his medical licence, and thrown out of the profession in disgrace for faking his research. Unbelievable. If it wasn’t so tragic, it’d be laughable.

Jenny McCarthy (the queen of anti-vaxxers) led a one-woman campaign with a legion of fawning followers and gullible idiots who fell for her propaganda. And, even when the lies, half-truths, and misinformation resulted in the return of measles in the USA, FIFTEEN years after it was eradicated, she didn’t even have the good grace to apologize. Well, I hope she’s proud of what’s she achieved. Good job, Jenny, good f**ckin’ job.

In Western cultures, we’re accustomed to framing every public issue as two-sided. People who refuse to acknowledge that there’s legitimacy to the other side are “unfair.” I think this viewpoint is really muddling the vaccine safety conversation. When the media presents scientists on one side, and Natural News on the other, it’s creating a false equivalency. The anti-vaxxers have no credible scientific evidence supporting their position, but placing them opposite a scientist makes it seem like there are two legitimate sides to this debate. There aren’t.

A well-written summary of the overwhelming scientific evidence against the anti-vaccination movement, including a particularly cringe-worthy video clip of kids suffering from whooping cough.

(And what a terrific article title, too!)


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