The Lost Coast Blues

A Talk Show for Writers, Readers & Fans of the Written Word

Elizabeth Blessing

Elizabeth Blessing
September 28
Writer, caregiver, Internet Talk Show Host
I produce and host a new Internet radio talk show, "The Lost Coast Blues." The show is for writers, readers and enthusiasts of the written word. Each week I interview and showcase writers from a variety of genres -- fiction, nonfiction, memoir and a whole lot more. I invite writers at all levels of accomplishment (from beginners to already published to those who write just for the sheer joy of it) to read their works and share their writing experiences. Interested in being on "The Lost Coast Blues" or want to listen to a recent broadcast? Send me a PM and be sure to check us out on I'd love to hear from you!


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NOVEMBER 8, 2012 11:20AM

On Feminism and Vaccination

Rate: 3 Flag

On my next "Lost Coast Blues" show, I interview writer and anthropologist, Terrie Torgersen Peterson, who writes on Open Salon as "Anthropologist Underground." She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming. She has done archeological field work in the following locations: Haluzta in Israel, the San Juan River cliff dwellings in the American Southwest and in Wyoming's Big Horn Canyon.

Terrie says she enjoys exploring in her writing "the intersection of science and culture and my own life as ethnography." On the show she'll discuss her recent experiences with what she describes as "the anti-vaccine subculture." As a mother of two children, she joined a parent group and found herself thrown in the middle of a serious dust-up that involved parents who were proponents of vaccine rejection. It was this controversy that spurred her to find her writing voice as she began to write posts for Open Salon and that helped her crystallize her thoughts on the subject.

Terrie says: "In thinking more about the anti-vaccine subculture, I was reminded that I think it also speaks to issues of feminism. I think one reason some parents reject vaccines for their children has to do with the low-status position of stay-home parents (moms in particular) in larger society which breeds a culture of intensely competitive parenting where vaccine rejection becomes a powerful marker of status. It's a climate which allows non-medically trained laypeople to self-ascribe social status greater than medical doctors and scientific researchers."

On the show, Terrie will also discuss some of the common arguments against vaccinating and how parents can sift through scientific literature to find reliable information on which to base their health care decisions. She'll read excerpts from her essays and we'll open up the phone lines so that our listeners can ask her questions and join the conversation.

 "Lost Coast Blues" show details:

Lost Coast Blues is an Internet radio talk show for writers, readers and enthusiasts of the written word. We interview and showcase writers who write everything from fiction, poetry, nonfiction, memoir, plays, humor and a whole lot more. We invite writers at all levels of accomplishment (from beginners to already published to those who write just for the sheer joy of it) to read their works and share their writing experiences. We open up the phone lines to our listeners to ask questions, give support and offer critiques. 

Date/Time: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 11 AM to Noon PACIFIC TIME

Author Interview: Terrie Torgersen Peterson, Writer and Anthropologist

Listen to live stream at:

Call in to participate: 805/309-5910, at prompt enter conference ID: 948315#


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What's your opinion on childhood vaccines? To vaccinate or not is a topic of concern for a lot of parents these days. Terrie has done her research and is ready to discuss her theories on what influences some parents to choose not to vaccinate their children. Call in this Saturday and join the discussion when we open up the phone lines!
I am all for them unless it can be shown that it would be harmful in specific cases.

I think it depends on the source of the vaccine, its purity, and what it is made from. I personally can no longer tolerate even flu simple vaccines, as I am currently allergic to so many different substances.

I think there are children who should be vaccinated differently than others, one vaccine at a time, rather than several all at once. A challenged immune system is no laughing matter, and sometimes these things have a tendency to cause problems to the health of the young. It pays to know the patient's history, as well as any allergies which they may have to live with.

It's time we reassessed every issue surrounding the vaccine program and gave ear to the concerns of many parents whose kids may be sensitive to gluten, dairy, eggs, etc. Surely, vaccines may be developed which can cause young immune systems less distress while allowing parets and school systems to breathe a little easier knowing each major contagion won't run rampant.

To take a blanket stand against all childhood vaccinations is asking to go back to an era when millions of children died of infectious diseases. I can (barely) agree that there are special cases due to allergies, etc. that could be exempted. I have attended meetings in a community with the highest opt-out rate in the state, where self-educated moms stood up and railed against compulsory pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination, and stuck around to see the largest epidemic of the disease a couple of years later in which four children died. Ideology has no place where the health of other parents' children is at stake.
Clarification of 2 points: ... the epidemic I cited was a national one, and the fatalities were national, not in the particular community, thank God. But they occurred after a wave of anti-vaccination sentiment was cresting. ... and, the objective of vaccination is not only to confer individual protection, but to reduce or eliminate the disease in the entire population, as has been done with smallpox and (almost) polio. Unless there is a very high vaccine coverage rate (I forget, but it must be in the high 90%) there will not be effective "herd immunity". That is the main reason that public health officials try to reduce opting-out.
Jonathan, Poor Woman, ordinaryjoe: Thanks for your comments.

As Poor Woman mentioned, some scientists are looking at the effect of multiple vaccines given to infants over a short period of time and how this vaccine schedule might contribute to autoimmune and neurological diseases in children. The idea seems to be that the concentrated number of vaccines given during the first two years when the brain and immune system are developing could be a trigger factor to the development of neurological conditions and disease. Donald W. Miller, MD, proposes a "user friendly vaccination schedule" in his essay of the same title:

Miller says the U.S. government has paid "$1.5 billion in its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to families of children who have been injured or killed by vaccines." The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services runs the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which can be found at:

Obviously, parents have a lot to think about and information to review when making decisions regarding their children's health. I appreciate Terrie's perspective as she is a mom having to navigate these rough waters trying to find good information and make informed decisions. I'm looking forward to the show on Saturday when we can explore this in more detail!