Wingnut Terribly Offended By Being Told He’s Wrong

Michael Minkoff, whose blog Last Resistance claims to be “liberalism’s worst nightmare,” is very unhappy with CFI’s Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign. But it turns out his real difficulty is with being told he’s wrong, which he mistakenly thinks makes the person telling him that closed-minded and “totalitarian.”

According to the website campaign “Keep Health Care Safe and Secular” started by the Center for Inquiry, there are three main areas where faith and quackery attack good health care: reproductive health, vaccines, and alternative medicine.

Presumably, the Center for Inquiry is all about choice and freedom of inquiry, so it’s odd that they should start a campaign that attempts to end choices and extinguish inquiry. For instance, their pro-vaccination campaign seems hellbent on forcing people to get vaccinated.

Yep. And there’s a good reason for that. When people don’t get vaccinated, they put other people’s health at risk. We’re seeing that all over the place with diseases that are easily eradicated by vaccines, like measles and whooping cough, making a comeback.

Their reproductive health campaign seeks to force taxpayers to pay for other people’s abortions and birth control.


So? Taxpayers are forced to pay for lots of things they don’t support, like invading countries that are no threat to us. I don’t know why this one issue should be treated any differently.

And their alternative medicine campaign seeks to snuff out any medical practices that fall outside the “conventional medicine” umbrella.

Nope. We just don’t think companies should be allowed to commit fraud, preying on the desperate to sell them “medicines” that don’t actually help them. If they can show that it works, they can sell it. If they can’t show that it works, they can’t sell it. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

I fail to see how this campaign has anything to do with inquiry. The Center for Inquiry has already decided the issue for all of us. They’ve done the inquiring and the research, and we just need to fall in line.

I’m so sick of this pompous attitude. There is a reason why people don’t listen to pro-vaccination campaigns, pro-abortion rants, and diatribes against alternative medicine. Because they are just as manipulative, arm-twisting, intractable, and unreasonable as they say their opponents are. If anything, inquiry requires an open mind…

For all their espousals of open-mindedness, the Center for Inquiry has a vision for the world that is unbendingly totalitarian and as narrow as the edge of a scalpel.

Well sorry, but if you think vaccinations don’t work and cause all kinds of horrible things, you’re just wrong. And all this talk of us not being open-minded is just nonsense. What could be more open-minded than saying that if you can show that your product works, you can sell it? If you can actually show that vaccines don’t work and have terrible side effects, then by all means that should influence public policy. That is open inquiry. But you can’t show those things and all the whining about how unfair it is to tell you that you’re wrong won’t change that.

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  • namowal

    The authorities seem hell bent on me stopping the car when the light turns red too. Where’s my freedom to roll into cross traffic and pedestrians? 😉

  • Modusoperandi

    “Liberty is giving someone else pertussis.” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

  • dingojack

    “There is a reason why people don’t listen to pro-vaccination campaigns, pro-abortion rants, and diatribes against alternative medicine.”

    Ummm… because they’re close-minded?


  • tsig

    We need a constitutional amendment on the right to bear germs.

  • garnetstar

    Would Minkoff complain if people who had Ebola or smallpox were “forced” to be quarantined in hospital isolation wards?

    I’m sure he’d be fine with people who have these illnesses living next door treating themselves homeopathically or with color breathing. And he’d let them sit for his kids and use his bathroom, too.

  • abb3w

    Reality and evidence are crueler and more absolute tyrants than any human dictator.

  • Mobius

    This guy needs to listen to Tim Minchin’s “Storm”.

    What do they call alternative medicine that has been proved to work?


  • caseloweraz

    His home page doesn’t validate as HTML5. Of course, he has an excuse — his site was “Est. July 4, 1776 A.D.”

  • Sastra

    There is a reason why people don’t listen to pro-vaccination campaigns, pro-abortion rants, and diatribes against alternative medicine. Because they are just as manipulative, arm-twisting, intractable, and unreasonable as they say their opponents are.

    Heh — I noticed a subtle variation here on the usual “both sides are extremists” complaint. Instead of the skeptics being “just as manipulative, arm-twisting, intractable, and unreasonable” as their opponents are, they are only as manipulative etc. “as they say their opponents are.” The anti-vaxx, anti-abortion, anti-science-based-medicine side is obviously on the side of the angels.

    I’ve been told by alties that in order to have an “open mind” I must always think and say “Neither I nor anyone else can ever know if something doesn’t work and therefore there’s no problem if someone says they know it worked for them.” How convenient. Especially when that means that their definition of “open mind” precludes a capacity such as “learning from mistakes.”

    In the Land of the Perpetually Open Mind, there are no mistakes. There’s only what’s right for someone else, but maybe not right for you. Apparently though this peaceful and accepting mindset doesn’t apply to the things which they really don’t like. Those get to be ‘wrong.’

  • smrnda

    The reason anti-vaxxers don’t listen to pro-vaccination arguments is that they believe any sort of government mandate to do anything is intrinsically wrong, damn the consequences or evidence. The only way you can retain that sort of belief is isolating yourself from facts, and doing that means you probably were never too concerned with facts in the first place. When anti-vaxx people pretend to be anti-authority, they’re just anti-authority that isn’t them.

    On any notion of objecting to funding someone else’s choice through health insurance, we all to this to an exactly equal degree. If someone doesn’t like funding contraception and thinks that’s a legitimate gripe, I think I have a better case complaining about people who do things that are actually known to cause increased health care costs. I do not drink soda or other sugary beverages. Their consumption is a lifestyle choice I think is a bad idea, yet I don’t really want to open the can of worms of everybody objecting to this and that, since it would collapse the whole notion of insurance – we have to accept we’ll fund things we don’t like. I think certain activities are too risky, but I don’t want that kind of scrutiny directed at me either.

  • Ichthyic

    inquiry requires an open mind…

    that guy hasn’t got a clue what an open mind is.

    he should watch this basic primer.

  • dan4

    “…like invading countries that are no threat to us.”

    A bit of an analogy fail, since it presupposes that people will automatically agree with you that the countries we invade are “no threat to us.”

  • dingojack

    “Taxpayers are forced to pay for lots of things they don’t support, like invading countries that are no threat to us.”

    Reproduced in full in order to assist in correcting Dan’s reading comprehension difficulties.


  • dan4

    13: Uh, no, my comment @12 would only be considered an example of a “reading comprehension difficulty” if Ed had written “Taxpayers are forced to pay for lots of things they don’t support, like invading countries they believe are no threat to us.” The “they believe” qualifier eliminates the aforementioned (in my comment @12) presupposition from what Ed actually DID write.

  • dingojack

    What part of: “… they don’t support…” are you having difficulty with, specifically?


  • dan4

    @15: Oh, for pete’s sake, that’s not the part of Ed’s sentence I have problems with. The very fact that I did NOT include it in my excerpt from said sentence in my initial comment@12 should clue you in to that fact.

  • Al Dente

    Dan4 is quotemining Ed and then whining when dingojack corrects the quotemine. How open minded is that?

  • Michael Heath


    Give it up; you clearly misconstrued what Ed wrote then attacked your strawman. Better to concede your reading comprehension fail then dig the hole deeper; the latter demonstrating a failure in character.

  • Jordan Genso


    The reason you are wrong in your comment @12 is because it has nothing to do with whether other people “agree with [Ed] that the countries we invade are ‘no threat to us.'”

    All Ed has to do is state that he doesn’t believe country ‘X’ was a threat to us, and that he doesn’t support invading them. If we still invade, then his tax dollars are going towards something he doesn’t support.

    Keep in mind Ed quoted their complaint about taxpayers paying for something they dislike (abortion and birth control), with no regard as to whether other people agree with their opinion about those things.

    The analogy is consistent. Ed’s example doesn’t “presuppose that people automatically will agree with [him]” any more than the statement he quoted.

  • dan4

    @17: I excerpted part of a sentence that I had a problem with (I didn’t excerpt the WHOLE sentence, since I didn’t have a problem with the first half of it).

    @19: The analogy is NOT consistent. Minkoff was simply stating an incontrovertible fact (that the CFI was seeking to force taxpayers to pay for birth control and abortion). My point @12 is that Mr. Brayton’s analogy is flawed, since the notion that the countries we invade “are no threat to us” is not an equivalent incontrovertible fact. Again, it would have been a more “apples and apples” analogy if he had written something “Taxpayers are forced to pay for lots of things they don’t support, like invading countries they don’t believe are a threat to us.”

  • Pingback: Quoth Michael Minkoff, let’s not keep healthcare safe and secular! [Respectful Insolence] | Gaia Gazette()

  • Doug Little


    So you believe that the countries the US invaded were a threat to the US?