Monthly Archives: July 2010

Somebody Think of the Children!

I find it bizarre that the pro-filter mob have adopted the “Somebody Think of the Children” stance because in my opinion it should be the exact opposite. While I have no kids myself and would never want any in the first place. I do believe in protecting the rights and freedoms of the future generations. It seems appropriate to me that anyone who wants to protect children should be opposed to censorship in every way shape and form and be focused on upholding human rights, not suppressing them.

Surely any reasonable parent would want their child to grow up in a democratic society that upholds the freedom of speech and rejects totalitarian idealism that would see even the most fundamental human rights removed. We live in one of the greatest countries in the world and the freedoms we all take for granted only exist because of our modern democracy that allows the free exchange of ideas and information. The internet has played a primary role in enhancing our lives in recent decades not only because it gives us access to information but also because it allows us to contribute in return. The rise of the web 2.0 phenomena means that now everyone can contribute to the global conversation we call “The Internet” and only the most callous individuals would seek to silence it for there own ends.

Meryl Dorey and the AVN in the spotlight.

The Australian Vaccination Network is receiving plenty of negative publicity ever since the Health Care Complaints Commission issued this public warning.

by the Health Care Complaints Commission under section 94A of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993

The Health Care Complaints Commission has investigated two complaints about the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), a non-profit organisation registered in New South Wales that provides information about vaccination. The complaints alleged that the AVN provides incorrect and misleading information about vaccination. 

The Commission’s investigation of the complaints focussed on the material presented by the AVN on its website

The Commission’s investigation established that the AVN website:


  • provides information that is solely anti-vaccination
  • contains information that is incorrect and misleading
  • quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous.

On this basis, the Commission recommended to the AVN that it should include a statement in a prominent position on its website to the following effect:


  • The AVN’s purpose is to provide information against vaccination, in order to balance what it believes is the substantial amount of pro-vaccination information available elsewhere.
  • The information provided by the AVN should not be read as medical advice.
  • The decision about whether or not to vaccinate should be made in consultation with a health care provider.

The Commission recognises that it is important for there to be debate on the issue of vaccination. However, the AVN provides information that is inaccurate and misleading.

The AVN’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the Commission may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate, and therefore poses a risk to public health and safety.

Health Care Complains Commission; NSW

Since this warning was issued the news has been rapidly spreading across the main stream media. I looks like everyone wants a piece of the AVN. These are the known news articles so far.

Anti-vaccination website poses public health risk – New Scientist

Warning issued about AVN – Northern Rivers News

Warning order for anti-vaccine website – Sydney Morning Herald

Anti-vaccination campaigners slapped with safety warning – ABC News

Vaccination network to be audited – Northern Rivers News

Vaccine fear campaign investigated – Sydney Morning Herald

Anti-vaccination group declared unsafe –

AVN website to carry warning – Pharmacy News

Anti-vaccination group accused of harassing parents – ABC Lateline

Vaccination group needles opponents – ABC News

Vaccine campaign plea: parents who lost baby Dana stonewalled by government – Sydney Morning Herald

Still no warning on whooping cough – Sydney Morning Herald

Public warning against anti-vaccination website – Medical Observer

HCCC warns public on anti-vaccine group – IBTHealth

Steve Lieberman interviews Ken McLeod – 2UE


This list doesn’t even count the dozens of independent blogs covering this issue; they can be found here. Since the HCCC issued it’s warning it looks like the AVN’s reputation is sinking quickly. I look forward to seeing how much more negative publicity the AVN can generate for it’s self.

British Pound more secular than United States Greenback

I just got back from England and while visiting a pub in London I noticed something interesting on the £10 note. We’re all familiar with the words “In God We Trust” that is printed on United States bank notes. Well it looks like the British have once again out done the Americans by placing Charles Darwin on the £10 note.

Compare this with the United States $10 Greenback.

Throwing the Switch

I have been to countless museums all over the world, but I have never once seen an interactive exhibit with a warning sign that says “This exhibit may be traumatic for young children or sensitive persons.” until I visited Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in London. When a museum exhibit comes with a content warning you know it’s going to be good.

Who would have thought pulling the lever on a museum attraction could be so fun? There where a few visitors who appeared unnerved by this exhibit, but they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Stepping out…

I’m stepping out of the country for 3 weeks to go to Europe, and on the way over I will be stopping at Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It turns out that blasphemy is a crime in the UAE so I hope they don’t put my name into Google and find this site; even more so “The Muhammad Picture Gallery” not that I think they would really care much about a foreign site in the unlikely event that passengers were screened in this fashion.

Unfortunately this means I may not get the opportunity to update this blog for the month of July and my Twitter stream is also likely to be fairly silent as I am not sure what Internet access; if any will be available to me while I am away. But at least my 18hrs and 25mins of flights over there will give me an opportunity to catch up on some reading. I have Carl Sagans demon haunted world with me for the flight to London.