Respectful Insolence

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(Note: In the photo above, the guy in the sunglasses behind Jim Carrey is our old friend Dr. Jay Gordon, Santa Monica antivaccinationist-sympathetic pediatrician to the beautiful people. He’s the one with his tongue sticking out.)

It’s worse than I thought.

In seeing the first bits of video last night from the “Green Our Vaccines” rally led by celebrity useful idiots Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. I had been thinking of trying to be “nicer” to them, given that their fans who have shown up here seem to think I have been very, very mean to her and that I lack compassion. I also realize that it can’t be easy to be the mother of an autistic child, even one who by all accounts is not severely affected, and that she truly believes that she is doing what is best for her son in pursuing all manner of autism quackery to “heal” him and blaming (in part) vaccines for his condition. However, Jenny routinely squanders whatever empathy I and other science-based physicians might want to have for her by saying outrageously ignorant things with depressing regularity and by having the ignorant arrogance to think that studying at the University of Google and hanging out with antivaccinationist cranks make her somehow qualified to shout down real doctors and scientists when it is obvious that she doesn’t have clue one about science or medicine. She can wave the “mother talisman” in front of her all she wants, but it won’t (nor should it) protect her from criticism when, based on pseudoscience and emotion, she goes as far to organize a march on Washington to “protest” vaccine policy. That’s why in looking at any videos that came from the rally I just had to start with Jenny. However, in doing so I got a bonus video of Jim Carrey giving a speech as well. As I watched Jim Carrey speak, contrary to some of the credulous, star-struck coverage of this march, I realized three things:

  1. In his understanding of science, Carrey is a very good comedian.
  2. In Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy has definitely found her soulmate and intellectual equal.
  3. I had never realized that Dumb & Dumber was a biographical documentary about Jim Carrey, but seeing his speech makes such a conclusion almost inescapable.


Follow along with me for a moment, and you’ll see why. The CNN video (which is clearly edited) can be found here, and an amateur video taken at a bit of a distance can be found below:

In the CNN video, the first thing we see is Jim Carrey asking the CDC, “How stupid do you think we are?” I can’t speak for the rest of the crowd or anyone else there, but if the rest of Carrey’s speech is any reliable indication of his level of knowledge and intelligence, my answer would definitely be in his specific case: “You’re pretty freakin’ stupid, Jim.” I have no way of knowing if Carrey had crank tendencies before he ever met Jenny McCarthy. Guessing from the level of paranoia in his speech, I’d guess there was a pre-existing affinity for conspiracy theories coupled with little or now knowledge of how science works. After all, it’s pretty hard to go from completely rational to this level of dumb in a mere year or so. Whatever the case, it’s clear that since he fell in love with McCarthy and formed a relationship with her son Evan Carrey’s definitely gone completely over to the dark side and become a full-fledged antivaccinationist himself. Since Jim also mentioned one of his more famous movies, Dumb & Dumber, the utter vacuousness and ignorance embodied in his remarks led me to wonder one more time whether that movie was non-fiction and Carrey was not acting. Indeed, his statement that “nobody is that stupid” was immediately and dramatically belied by what came out of his mouth during the rest of his speech. For instance, note how his statement that he is “not against all vaccines” and that “vaccines can do a lot of good” was immediately followed by this gem:

…but many of us believe that in the last few decades corporate influence has turned the vaccine program into more of a profit engine than a means of prevention. It’s time to make the people who make them, the people who insist that we take them, know once and for all that it’s too many, too soon.

Yes, I know, it’s just standard antivaccinationist big pharma conspiracy-mongering. Par for the course, and it’s not the lowest that he sank. This is:

If on the way to a burning building a fire engine ran people over, we wouldn’t stop using fire engines. We would just ask them to slow down a bit. Well it’s time to tell the CDC and the AAP that it’s time to slow the fire engine down. People are getting hurt on the way to the fire.

Ack! The stupid doesn’t just burn here. It’s far beyond that. The stupid is so concentrated that it’s on the verge of forming a black hole that will suck every trace of intelligence left on the planet into its maw and leave only ignoramuses like Jim Carrey standing, untouched and staring vacantly into the void. On the other hand, maybe Jim’s analogy could be hidden genius. Indeed, I’m still undecided whether this is the worst analogy ever or the best, albeit if it’s the best it’s the best in an unintentional way. On the one hand, consider this: A fire engine is going to save people’s lives and put out fires; if it hits someone on the way to its destination it would by definition be hitting someone who was not its intended target. For that analogy to hold with vaccines, the shots would somehow have to be killing or injuring kids who never got them. They’re not. They’re not even, as far as science can tell, causing autism. So Carrey’s analogy is quite specious. On the other hand, the analogy is unintentionally spot on. After all, if we “slow down” fire engines, it would take them longer to get to fires. Some people who might have been saved if the fire engine arrived faster would then be likely to die because the firefighters and rescue teams arrive too late. If we slowed down the vaccination schedule, as Carrey suggests, that would leave more children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases for a longer period of time, meaning that more children would certainly become ill and more might well die.

Lots to think about. Well, not really.

As hard as it is to believe, though, Jim Carrey then actually “topped” himself:

It’s time to tell them that we want real independent studies done on the effects of these vaccines. We are fed up with them trying to tell us that legitimate scientific research, court settlements that have been awarded for vaccine damage, and the overwhelming anecdotal evidence of thousands and thousands of parents and doctors do not constitute real science and don’t warrant their attention. I believe that history will prove that the moms and dads were right about autism. The sea of evidence and testimony can no longer be ignored, and those who refuse to acknowledge it now will take their place with the many learned men of the past who insisted that the earth was flat.

Perhaps “Professor” Carrey could point me to the “legitimate” scientific research that supports his view. After all, if the anecdotes are so compelling that the medical science concluding that vaccines do not cause autism should be relegated to the flat earth crowd, it should be child’s play, shouldn’t it? Perhaps “Professor” Carrey could point me to the “legitimate” scientific research that supports his view that there are too many vaccines given and that they are harmful. (Hint: The Generation Rescue telephone poll does not count. Nor does any “study” by Mark and David Geier. Nor does the recent Wakefield and Hewitson “monkey” study. Just sayin’.) Perhaps “Professor” Carrey can analyze the multiple large epidemiological studies that have failed to find a link between vaccines and autism and point out to me what makes them fatally flawed to the point that their conclusions are highly suspect and explain why he finds anecdotes more plausible than hard data.

Perhaps, but I won’t hold my breath waiting.

When I think of accusations against me of being “insensitive” or “lacking compassion” for holding nothing back when criticizing antivaccinationist nonsense, I’ll think of what Carrey said next:

And I certainly wouldn’t trust the drug companies to regulate themselves. God knows they’re far too busy fighting the terrible scourge of restless leg syndrome–also known as “lazy ass” disease.

You’ll note that if you compare the CNN video with the YouTube video it becomes immediately apparent that CNN edited out that last part about “lazy ass” disease. Nice going, CNN! Way to protect a celebrity from himself! In any case, I must point out that here we have a so-called autism advocate contemptuously mocking a whole group of people who suffer from a real syndrome that can cause real distress and is associated with real pathology.

Dumb and dumber, indeed. Why does Jim Carrey hate people with restless leg syndrome so? Does he think they don’t deserve effective medications to help them?

Enter Jenny McCarthy. I don’t want to spend a lot of time deconstructing her speech because it totally lives up (or down) to the level you would expect of her based on our past discussions of her ignorance of science. Here’s a sample:

Pediatricians, you know, take an oath, by the way, when they graduate from medical school. They really do. They take an oath to do no harm. Well harm has been done. If you take a look at the history of medicine, this lie has been told before. Do you remember when smoking was actually good for our health? Do you remember when autism was blamed on lazy mothers? We were known as refrigerator mothers, cold and uncaring to our children. Well take a look around. I believe science was wrong yet again.

Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is: It’s the bogus “science was wrong before” gambit, beloved of cranks of all stripes, be they quacks or cranks. Naturally, the implication of the “science has been wrong before” gambit is that her “science” is correct and the present scientific consensus is wrong. In other words, it’s also an implied Galileo gambit. Although Jenny’s right about the now discredited “refrigerator mother” hypothesis for the pathogenesis of autism and I can’t blame mothers for being royally ticked off at being blamed for their children’s autism in that way in the past, McCarthy is so incredibly, extravagantly, outrageously wrong in comparing the prior lack of concern about cigarette smoking to the science showing no correlation between vaccines and autism. Would it be imprudent of me to point out that the epidemiological science that demonstrated a bulletproof link between smoking and lung cancer and that smoking was associated with a number of diseases is the same sort of epidemiological science that has, despite trying in multiple large studies, failed to find a link between vaccines and autism?

Heck, “imprudent” is my middle name when it comes to blogging, so much so that I’m thinking of renaming the blog “Respectful Imprudent Insolence” and will live up to that name by quoting Jenny one more time:

People need to know that there has never been any safety testing on combinations of vaccines and yet doctors were giving eight shots at once.

This is, not surprisingly, another antivaccination canard. All new vaccines are tested in clinical trials against the background of the current vaccine schedule. In other words, if it’s a new vaccine not currently recommended, in clinical trials it’s merely added to the current schedule. If the vaccine is for the same disease as a currently used vaccine, then the trial looks at the new vaccine versus the old vaccine, all other vaccines in the schedule remaining the same. The reason we don’t do serial “one-at-a-time” trials is simple, but nonetheless antivaccinationists never seem able to grasp the concept: It would be extremely unethical to withhold protective vaccines from children in order to test them against no vaccines because it would leave the no vaccine group of children vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. Of course, many antivaccinationists, at least the ones with some knowledge of how clinical trials work, know this. The reason antivaccinationists make this claim is in order to imply that every possible combination of vaccines need to be tested individually and that, if this isn’t done, there “has never been any safety testing of combinations of vaccines.” What utter twaddle! In reality, this is yet another thinly-disguised attempt to move the goalposts. More savvy antivaccinationists know that the kind of testing they demand is unethical, prohibitively expensive, and impractical, but demanding it allows them to claim (falsely) that there is no science supporting the safety of the current vaccine schedule and provide a complaint that sounds as though it has merit to those without a background in medicine and clinical trials. It’s every much a technique to move the goalposts as the “Green Our Vaccines” slogan is.

For all the negativity that I’ve been expressing of late, thanks to Jen & Jim’s antivaccination-fest in our nation’s capital this week (don’t worry, I don’t plan on doing this forever and can’t wait to take a break from blogging about antivaccinationists), all may not be lost. It turns out that Jim & Jen are so much the real life Dumb & Dumber, at least when it comes to vaccines and autism, that even those suspicious of vaccines may be starting to realize just how toxically ignorant they are:

I caught Jenny and Jim on the Good Morning America show this morning and listened for about half of the segment. I was struck at the statements they made and how clearly they did not understand the science behind vaccines, autism, and the Hanna Poling (sp?) case, which of course, came up. I called my sister and said with surprise, “you know, they’re not very smart, are they? You can tell, that they just don’t get the hard science, or they have chosen not to look at it.” She said, “Of course they don’t. Most people don’t get that stuff.” Unfortunately, she’s right.

The difference, of course, is that most people have the humility to realize that they “don’t get” this stuff. Jenny, with her University of Google “degree,” doesn’t. Whatever struggles she may have had to undergo as the mother of an autistic child do not give her a free pass when she not only spouts scientifically ignorant misinformation about vaccines and autism but never missing a chance to use her celebrity and that of her boyfriend to try to dazzle credulous reporters and persuade other parents of autistic children that she knows what she’s talking about. She should not get a pass when she glamorizes quackery, which could persuade confused parents desperate to do anything they can for their children to follow her lead in subjecting their children to dubious and unproven “therapies” to “heal” their child’s autism based on the mistaken belief that they are somehow “vaccine injured.”

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THE “GREEN OUR VACCINES” COLLECTION:

  1. The Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey rally to “Green Our Vaccines”: Anti-vaccine, not “pro-safe vaccine”!
  2. An Open Letter to Congress on Immunization
  3. “Green Our Vaccines”: Further skeptical reading
  4. “Green Our Vaccines”: Serendipity and schadenfreude as antivaccinationists go to war
  5. “Green Our Vaccines”: Best comment EVAH! Or: How to preserve biological diversity through not vaccinating
  6. “Green Our Vaccines”: Celebrity antivaccinationist ignoramuses on parade. Or: I didn’t know that Dumb & Dumber was a documentary
  7. “Green Our Vaccines”: “Pro-safe vaccine” or anti-vaccine? You be the judge!
  8. “Green Our Vaccines”: “Pro-safe vaccine” or anti-vaccine? You be the judge! (Part 2)
  9. “Green Our Vaccines”: The fallacy of the perfect solution

Comments

  1. #1 Man Called True
    June 5, 2008

    Now I feel bad for having liked The Truman Show. Thanks a lot, Jim…

  2. #2 CanadianChick
    June 5, 2008

    my brain hurts after reading that…the amount of stupid is painful…really, truly painful

  3. #3 Swiftsure
    June 5, 2008

    The frightening thing is that celebrities influence millions of people – advertisers caught on to this fact a long time ago. One shudders to think about how many children are going to suffer because of this dim-wittery.

  4. #4 DLC
    June 5, 2008

    Right. Like I said last time, I can only hope this ends soon, before we wind up injecting distilled water into people and hoping for the best.

  5. #5 bones
    June 5, 2008

    WTF?!?

    They’re wearing “Green Our Vaccines” T-shirts while chanting the ever popular mantra “Too many to soon!” Well…which is it?

    …and does Jim realize, in his ever idiotic analogy that the more the fire engine slows down the more damage to building.

  6. #6 BB
    June 5, 2008

    Which guy in the sunglasses? I want to recognize that face of stupidity.

  7. #7 thordora
    June 5, 2008

    “University of Google “degree,”

    snort.

  8. #8 Sigmund
    June 5, 2008

    It is, of course their right to make such statements but I find it irresponsible that they are so rarely challenged in the media when they are shown making such dangerous and untrue claims.
    http://tinyurl.com/5obb3e

  9. #9 John Best
    June 5, 2008

    Orac,
    “Perhaps “Professor” Carrey could point me to the “legitimate” scientific research that supports his view”
    I turned a vegetable (my son) into an educable person using the mainstream medicine technique of chelation. I invited all of you geniuses to come and meet him and see videos of what he was like before chelation. None of you have accepted my invitation to look at the evidence.

    I can’t educate you simpletons if you won’t do your homework.

  10. #10 Roger the Shrubber
    June 5, 2008

    Jim Carrey, comic genius, science moron.

    Don’t feel sorry for him. I don’t think there is any such thing as adult-onset scientific literacy.

    All the years class-clowning has paid off for him, in fame and fortune, but in the real world he’s as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  11. #11 Dianne
    June 5, 2008

    but many of us believe that in the last few decades corporate influence has turned the vaccine program into more of a profit engine than a means of prevention.

    The irony is that big pharma hates vaccines. It is extremely difficult to get a pharma house to sponsor a vaccine. They just don’t make enough money off of them: consider an “expensive” vaccine like the HPV vaccine. IIRC, the HPV vaccine costs $300X3. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Not to a pharma company. People who don’t take the vaccine might end up with cervical cancer, which is treated with cisplatinum, at a cost of $1000+ per dose x 10 or more. Not counting treatment of recurrences and metastatic disease. Much more profitable.

    If I were into conspiracy theories*, I might suspect “big pharma” of funding these idiots so that they won’t get pressured to research vaccines any more and can go back to more profitable routes of research like making drugs that ameliorate symptoms or even cure diseases but don’t prevent them. Prevention is so unprofitable.

    *Which I am insofar as I enjoy inventing them, but am not in that I never believe my own conspiracy theories.

  12. #12 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    my brain hurts after reading that…the amount of stupid is painful…really, truly painful.

    Try watching the video. It’s infinitely more painful.

    The things I subject myself to for my readers…

  13. #13 AndyD
    June 5, 2008

    Firstly, is there a gravy train here? Is Jen rewarded, financially, for her regular appearances such that rallies like this would serve to keep her on the chat-show trail?

    Secondly, if anecdotal evidence is to be allowed, as they suggest, then clearly the millions upon millions of fully vaccinated children who do not suffer autism are a statistic that overwhelms the relative handful of alternative anecdotes.

    Clearly, the numbers of children not suffering autism is undeniable proof that nothing, not vaccines or ANYTHING else at all, causes autism. My kids have been exposed to all of life’s usual modern-day chemicals – injected, inhaled, absorbed – and my kids don’t have autism, therefore, anecdotally, autism doesn’t exist. Millions of kids can’t be wrong. (But my kids, and millions of others, haven’t been mothered by Jenny McCarthy so maybe there’s something to the “refrigerator mother” theory after all, anecdotally speaking).

  14. #14 JC
    June 5, 2008

    Businesses (including “Big Pharma”) have a legal duty to maximise profit for their shareholders. Fair enough, this is somewhat concerning, but constructing a vast international conspiracy just isn’t a viable long term business model.

  15. #15 Lucas McCarty
    June 5, 2008

    Mr Best, you’ve already been told that ancedote isn’t evidence. So how would seeing your son prove anything?

    Plus by all accounts you are a crazy redneck that would probably shoot one of us for walking on your land if we turned up.

  16. #16 Dianne
    June 5, 2008

    so maybe there’s something to the “refrigerator mother” theory after all,

    I know you were just making a passing snide remark, but re the “refrigerator mother” theory: If autism is genetic, and the evidence suggests that at least a large percentage of it is, then it is likely that the parents of autistic children may display some “autistic” traits, but without the full disease. Some may have overt Asperger’s syndrome or PDD. Autistic people tend to not like to be touched much: may find it uncomfortable or even painful due to sensory dysintegration. So parents of autistic children may tend to be less touchy-feely than average. People might have observed this and mistaken correlation for causation, hence the “refrigerator mother” theory. Ironically, a fairly distant, not particularly contact oriented mother may be better for an autistic child than one who demands physical affection that the child finds uncomfortable. So attempts to warm the “refrigerator mothers” may be entirely the wrong thing to do for an autistic child. The distant appearing mothers and spacey appearing offspring might be reasonably good fits for each other.

    Of course, I’m just BSing here and no one should take this theory too seriously…

  17. #17 Sharon
    June 5, 2008

    According to Jim, my autistic son’s very existence, is so unnatural and wrong, that it serves as a “warning from the universe”!

    How can he justify making such irrational, nonsensical and bigoted judgements about people.

    Jim’s green all right. I still like the movie “Eternal Sunshine…” but he’s an ass.

  18. #18 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    In retrospect, now that you point it out, I should have mentioned that quote too. It’s a doozy as far as insensitivity and idiocy go. The post was getting too long, though, and it was getting late.

  19. #19 Paul
    June 5, 2008

    Does anyone know how many people turned up? A friend tells me it was less than 2,000 and that the organizers are claiming 10,000 (even UK anti-vivisectionists don’t over-inflate that much!).

    If so it hardly looks like a promising start for their campaign, especially considering Jim Carrey’s attendance would be expected to attract quite a few star struck fans.

  20. #20 John Best
    June 5, 2008

    Lucas,
    It’s not an anecdote if you see it with your own eyes, is it? I wouldn’t shoot you but I would offer you some ALA because I don’t think going through life with mercury induced brain damage is a good idea.

  21. #21 James P.
    June 5, 2008

    I was on the Metro with some of the marchers that day. I managed to get a look at the back of one of those “green our vaccine” shirts. Mercury was listed as an ingredient in vaccines, of course, and I forget all the others, except for one:

    “aborted human fetuses”

    Man, I had NO IDEA big pharma was getting mothers to abort just so they could produce their money making vaccines, those greedy bastards! (I saw it on a t-shirt, it must be true!)

  22. #22 eta c
    June 5, 2008

    For all of the smoke and noise there was very little notice of this in the local media. As yesterday, the Washington Post made no mention of the rally in today’s paper (as far as I could tell.) Maybe they’re in the pay of pharmacutical companies to suppress the unrest. :)

    Now for a real rally there’s Saturday’s Komen Race for the Cure. A great opportunity to go for a morning stroll with 70,000 of your closest friends.

  23. #23 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    After all, it’s pretty hard to go from completely rational to this level of dumb in a mere year or so.

    Well, great boobs have been known to accomplish that.

    [ducks]

  24. #24 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    Lucas,
    It’s not an anecdote if you see it with your own eyes, is it? I wouldn’t shoot you but I would offer you some ALA because I don’t think going through life with mercury induced brain damage is a good idea

    Man that’s an incredibly stupid comment. To your deluded and dishonest mind no. But to use it as evidence to support the validity of something, it is still an anecdote and still not evidence.

  25. #25 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    John, my friend, you are slipping. Your trolling used to last quite a bit longer than it did on the previous thread.

    Although I have to admit, this one reaches new heights of blithering, painful, embarrassing idiocy:

    It’s not an anecdote if you see it with your own eyes, is it?

    “an·ec·dote Audio Help /ˈænɪkˌdoʊt/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[an-ik-doht] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    -noun a short account of a particular incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature, often biographical.

    [Origin: 1670-80; < NL anecdota or F anecdotes < LGk, Gk anékdota things unpublished (referring esp. to Procopius' unpublished memoirs of Justinian and Theodora), neut. pl. of anékdotos, equiv. to an- an-1 + ékdotos given out, verbal adj. of ekdidónai to give out, publish (ek- ec- + didónai to give)]

    –Synonyms story, yarn, reminiscence.”

    Poe! Poe! Poe!

  26. #26 It's the Hippocratic oath, not Hypocritic oath, dumbass
    June 5, 2008

    “The stupid is so concentrated that it’s on the verge of forming a black hole that will suck every trace of intellect left on the planet and only leave ignoramuses like”…you mean you and this site, dimwits? Your lack of understanding and arrogant drivel is doing exactly what to help our children? Don’t bother answering, because in your mind, you are a doctor, and therefore equal to God. It’s ok, though. The truth will come out, and you will be paraded in front of the rest of the world to show them just what a fraud and moron you are Orac. It’s useless arguing with you, because you are never wrong (in your mind, anyway). But, go on believing everything you’re told by the government. Go on believing that the medical industry has never lied about anything.

  27. #27 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    The truth will come out, and you will be paraded in front of the rest of the world to show them just what a fraud and moron you are Orac.

    Yes, we’re ALL waiting for the truth of the harm of vaccines to “come out”.

    Still waiting….

  28. #28 Joe Camel
    June 5, 2008

    Well harm has been done. If you take a look at the history of medicine, this lie has been told before. Do you remember when smoking was actually good for our health?

    What a strange statement from a woman who was a smoker not that long ago. Of course, she smoked knowing it was harmful.

  29. #29 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    The truth will come out, and you will be paraded in front of the rest of the world to show them just what a fraud and moron you are Orac.

    If someone from the “vaccines-cause-autism” side can ever produce compelling scientific evidence to support their case, I will consider it and if the evidence is compelling enough, change my mind and admit that my previous conclusions were mistaken.

    Are you aware of any such compelling evidence? Whether you believe me or not, I’ll tell you that I have looked for it and failed to find it. I have also routinely looked at the “best” evidence that is routinely used to bolster the alleged vaccine-autism link. None of it is even mildly compelling, while the vast majority of other evidence often presented to support such a link is risibly bad science.

    I do like the really obvious straw man, though, about my supposedly believing everything I’m told by the government and that the medical industry has never lied about anything. It takes a truly–shall we say?–vivid imagination to construe my position in such a manner.

  30. #30 It's the Hippocratic oath, not Hypocritic oath, dumbass
    June 5, 2008

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, it’s nice to see someone who is so true to his name. Keep that up and let us know how it goes.

    And Orac, I know you’ll never change your mind because you perceive yourself as perfect and never wrong.

  31. #31 Steve
    June 5, 2008

    How many times can Orac or anyone else say that given sufficient evidence they would change their mind on the supposed vaccine/autism link. That’s the essence of beings skeptical instead of a dupe. And no, anecdotal evidence doesn’t count, no matter how “overwhelming” it may be.

  32. #32 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Jeebus Tapdancing Cripes… Orac, please tell me that you sock-puppet these freaks for cheap entertainment. No sentient being can hammer out this much concentrated stupid without snark.

    I’ll bite, though. I’m in that kind of mood.

    …you mean you and this site, dimwits?

    Where are we dumb?

    Your lack of understanding

    What do we not understand?

    and arrogant drivel

    Where are we arrogant?

    is doing exactly what to help our children?

    Where do we say that we are doing so, and for that matter, where does it say we should? And after you figure that one out, yes, exposing lunacy that harms children is in fact helping children.

    But you already knew that.

    Don’t bother answering,

    Let me guess, asking insane questions that you do not want an answer to is a regular hobby for you.

    because in your mind, you are a doctor

    No, I think Orac is a doctor in the mind of the licensing board as well. (Yes, this is a cheap shot facilitated by pathetic grammar, but hey…)

    and therefore equal to God.

    Interesting. I do not seem to recall Orac or anyone else on this blog making such a claim. Actually, the closest such judgmental God-complex would belong to… you.

    It’s ok, though.

    Phew. I don’t know WHAT I’d do if it wasn’t okay with you.

    The truth will come out,

    What truth? Or is it one of those that you hold to be self-evident?

    and you will be paraded in front of the rest of the world to show them just what a fraud and moron you are Orac.

    Holy tapdancing bitterness Batman.

    It’s useless arguing with you,

    That must be why you are doing it.

    because you are never wrong

    Yes he is. Everyone’s wrong. All the time. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar. Orac has never claimed anything of the kind. Evidence or retract, liar.

    (in your mind, anyway).

    Holy tapdancing projection, Batman.

    But, go on believing everything you’re told by the government.

    Yes, because that’s what scientists do. They go in on every other weekend for a mild brain-washing refresher, with big exercises every now and then. It’s kind of like the Army Reserves, really, without the whole being-sent-to-Iraq aspect.

    Go on believing that the medical industry has never lied about anything.

    Holy tapdancing strawman, Batman.

    Please tell me this clown is a sock-puppet and that I’ve been fooled.

    Please.

  33. #33 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    It’s not an anecdote if you see it with your own eyes, is it?

    John, I knew you were scientifically illiterate, but… wow, just wow.

  34. #34 Rev. BigDumbCHimp
    June 5, 2008

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, it’s nice to see someone who is so true to his name. Keep that up and let us know how it goes.

    So far, it’s going well. I don’t fall for the vacuous claims that you seem to. I see you chose to attack my screen name and not my comment (how many times have I seen that? Seems maybe I chose that name for specifically that reason..).

    Let me know when you get out of the playground and have some evidence.

  35. #35 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    And Orac, I know you’ll never change your mind because you perceive yourself as perfect and never wrong.

    The projection, it burns.

    Seriously, get help. Now.

  36. #36 It's the Hippocratic oath, not Hypocritic oath, fuckwit!
    June 5, 2008

    “The projection, it burns.

    Seriously, get help. Now.”

    And Orac’s brainwashed masses speak.

  37. #37 Jesse
    June 5, 2008

    StuV, that was a thing of beauty.

    The icing was, of course, the childish retort that answered none of your clearly asked questions but only insulted you. I don’t know if that poster is Common Sue but I think in his/her present form s/he would make an excellent addition to the cast of the Simpsons; along with “Pimply faced Teen”, “Crazy Cat Lady”, and of course…. “Comic Store Guy” (AKA, Jeffery McCallister).

  38. #38 It's the Hippocratic oath, not Hypocritic oath, fuckwit!
    June 5, 2008

    “The projection, it burns”

    It’s quite humorous that you people are so unoriginal that you have to borrow content from Orac’s limited repartoir.

  39. #39 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    And Orac’s brainwashed masses speak

    Oh, you caught me. I am a mass. A Mass Of One. Hey, at least my brain is spic and span.

    Maybe you should put more energy into reading comprehension than in coming up with a new 7-letter epithet for your name.

    Fuckwit.

  40. #40 Kev
    June 5, 2008

    “And Orac’s brainwashed masses speak.”

    And Team McCarrey’s brainwashed masses speak.

    See? Anyone can do that. Maybe you could get Jim’s scriptwriters to write you something better. Some cutting analogy with a fire truck maybe…?

  41. #41 Mark
    June 5, 2008

    The more I listen to the arguments for “green” or no vaccines, the more they sound like a new religion. And, like city hall, you can’t shake the faith of the truly committed zealots.

    As far as I know, no religion has ever yielded to a logical argument.

    Keep up the good fight against the forces of ignorance.

  42. #42 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    It’s quite humorous that you people are so unoriginal that you have to borrow content from Orac’s limited repartoir.

    Show me where Orac said “the projection, it burns”.

    Evidence or retract.

    By the way, it really helps your credibility if you start using big, fancy words that you run them through a spell-checker first.

    Repartoir indeed. Fuckwit.

  43. #43 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    And Orac’s brainwashed masses speak.

    Wow. I have brainwashed masses? Who knew? Maybe I can get them to bring me some pizza for lunch.

  44. #44 Rev. BigDumbCHimp
    June 5, 2008

    Hey dumb dumb,
    Support this “truth” you speak of. Show us the research that convinces you.

  45. #45 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Maybe I can get them to bring me some pizza for lunch.

    Depends… will there be Kool-Aid?

  46. #46 IBY
    June 5, 2008

    Yikes! There are too much stupid in 10 minutes! Apparently parents know what is correct in a given subject better than scientists.

  47. #47 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    “If someone from the “vaccines-cause-autism” side can ever produce compelling scientific evidence to support their case, I will consider it and if the evidence is compelling enough, change my mind and admit that my previous conclusions were mistaken.”

    Orac, I have, yet you do not acknowledge it. An immunodeficienct child, who suffered encephalitis and pituitary damage from a live virus vaccine she should not have had, a child who did not create antibodies to the vaccines, a child that displayed symptoms of autism after this event. Enough symptoms of autism to receive the dx of “classic autism” and be told this child would never talk, and would need to be institutionalized.

    If you would like, I could email her records for your review, along with my correspondence with a MPH in the CDC’s vaccine safety group who guided me in determining causation.

    Aside from this, how can ANY of you actually have the time for jobs that require your “PhD” education (if in fact others than Orac do)? For being such brainiacs, one would think you would put your intelligence to better use than arguing all day on the internet.

    Lord knows the world needs some smart people doing good things with their time.

    I am simply a work at home mom, with an autistic immunodeficienct child, and I don’t have 1/10 the time as many of you to spend on this drivel…

    Orac, how do you find the time to perform actual cancer research and treat patients? No offense by this, I am simply very curious. Do you have some “time management fairy”?

  48. #48 Liz Ditz
    June 5, 2008

    Orac, why are you just picking on J&J?

    From a “Green Our Vaccines” marcher:

    Dr. Boyd Haley ripped a new a$$hole for the media saying, “You are a huge part of the problem!”

    RFK Jr. introduced us to the idea that Dr. Paul Offit is the “biggest BIOSTITUTE of them all.” He also laid into the press, telling them they needed to READ THE SCIENCE instead of relying on CDC issued statements to quote to us all. Oh yeah, he fired us up, with a capital “U”!

    Propaganda does work, it seems.

  49. #49 Brian X
    June 5, 2008

    I know you’ll never change your mind because you perceive yourself as perfect and never wrong.

    You know, there’s really only two kinds of people who use that line. The first is the extremely insecure; the second are intellectual bullies.

    Which one are you, Long Chiasmic User Name? Or are you both? Because there’s certainly a lot of overlap between those two categories.

  50. #50 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    Monica… The evidence Orac refers to is not evidence showing that vaccine injury exists. I think it’s pretty well recognized that vaccine injury exists. I don’t think we even need you to prove that vaccine injury sometimes manifests as ASD. Encephalopathy could theoretically manifest as ASD.

    Because, you see, when people claim that vaccines cause autism, they don’t mean that a few children every year might have encephalopathy with features of ASD resulting from vaccination. If this were all they claimed, the discussion would be a completely different discussion.

    What they mean is that the relatively large population of autistic people would essentially not be here if not for vaccines. And don’t pretend this isn’t being said all the time. This is the extraordinary claim that needs extraordinary supporting evidence. Needless to say, the science does not support this.

  51. #51 Jesse
    June 5, 2008

    Oops. It’s Thursday, so I thought that meant Taco Bell, not pizza.

    please forgive my transgression, great lord and master Orac! I promise never to fail you if you continue to tell me what to do, say, and think!

  52. #52 Bronze Dog
    June 5, 2008

    Wow. Hypocritic Oath is really a pile of burning stupid. My brain needs lotion.

    So, Hypocritic, are you just going to blindly parrot every brand of conspiracy theorist out there? Every comment you’ve made sounds like a copy-paste job of every booster for alien abduction, Atlantis, JFK conspiracies, 9/11 twoofers, and so on and so on and so on.

    So, are you going to talk about evidence, or are you just going to continue trying to frustrate us with your sheer blandness, groupthink, propagandistic ad hominems, and special pleading?

    Separate yourself from the herd, man. Give us something to talk about other than stock responses to stock woo?

  53. #53 The Hypocrisy! It burns!
    June 5, 2008

    “Show me where Orac said “the projection, it burns”.

    Evidence or retract.”

    The stupid, it burns!

    Wait, did Orac spew that from his drooling maw? Why yes, yes, I think he did.

    Get some new material, shithead.

  54. #54 ctenotrish
    June 5, 2008

    Ugghh. I suspected it would be just about that bad, which is why I just couldn’t watch GMA yesterday. I appreciate voices of reason, and while you don’t verbally deliver, you certainly do deliver reason with your writing. Thanks, Orac.

    PS – I dread the reappearance of preventable diseases. It isn’t like we aren’t already terribly busy – and my lab is just one of many. Damn these fools . . . .

  55. #55 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    Show us the “truth” or continue to be branded a flapping set of gums.

  56. #56 dusonfnp
    June 5, 2008

    Monica and John Best are back, sniffing the wasabi again. They must need the exercise.

    A couple of questions:

    Monica, since your daughter has primary immune deficiency, would not any viral exposure have done the same thing to her?
    And since any further vaccination is contraindicated for her, and I assume you don’t want to keep her in a bubble, is it not to her benefit that other people around her are vaccinated?

    Orac, emotional argument will always win with these people, because if you try to answer it rationally and logically, you are obviously a cold-hearted a$$hole.

    But as a pediatric nurse, I’ll answer it with the picture of a blue baby coughing out her life with pertussis she got from her unvaccinated brother and his playmates from Jim&Jen school. Or the baby survives but with lifelong disabilities from anoxia. Tasty picture, isn’t it?

  57. #57 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    Joseph, yet this is the case of many autistic children.

    First and foremost, please understand that autism, like cerebral palsy, can be a result of many factors. With this said, not all autism has the same “cause”.

    What if the occurence of vaccine injury is actually much higher than we now believe?

    I am convinced that it is, as the day we sought medical treatment for my daughter, as she was seizing and covered in erythema multiforme just days after a series of live virus vaccines, I was told by a physician in a walk in clinic that it could be an ear infection (until he scraped her ears clean and took a better look) and 2 hours later came back and dx’d it as “viral, unknown origin”. From there, we went to an ER, and waited 5 hours in the lobby. The fever broke, so we went home before seeing a doctor.

    That is a mistake I will FOREVER have to live with.

    The only follow up with her pcp was a phone call. After that, was a series of hearing exams and referealls to a developmental ped which took months.

    It was not until we received the dx of autism from the dev ped that we were referred to a genetic doctor, who noticed the abrupt growth chane. Then an MRI was ordered, which revealed the pituitary damage. Then endocrinology, immunology, infectious disease, etc.

    It took nearly 2 yrs to determine encephalitis, immunodeficiency, and vaccine injury.

    It makes me wonder how many children have had encephalitis (mind you, MANY autistic children had an ER visit with 3 weeks of live virus vaccines), that was not accurately diagnosed as it was occuring.

    What I think, is more than a “few” children have encephalitis with features of ASD resulting from vaccination.

    The question is, how many?

    The ones in my group (that have children who required an ER visit soon after vaccination) who have sought guidance from immunology have come back with similar panels to my daughter.

    Simply put, many of the vaccines didn’t “take”. I don’t know what that tells you, but it tells me that we need to closely study the kids with regressive autism who had an ER visit with 30 days of vaccination. Did these children create antibodies to their vaccines? If not, why?

    That is all I want. Study the kids, not the numbers.

  58. #58 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2008

    I dread the reappearance of preventable diseases. It isn’t like we aren’t already terribly busy – and my lab is just one of many. Damn these fools .

    In my more bitter moments, I think that maybe that’s going to be either inevitable or necessary. Back off on all of the mandates for school entry etc. Let day-care centers differentiate themselves on the basis of whether or not they require compliance with the ACIP schedule or not, let private schools differentiate themselves likewise.

    Let those who can’t or won’t reason, or those who have better things to do, leave their children vulnerable. Let Darwin loose.

    It will take years for the “ladder fuel” to build up to critical levels, but once it does the headlines may be enough to buy several generations of time. Who knows? Maybe in that time we may actually see measles, mumps, and rubella (which IIRC have no non-human reservoir hosts) become extinct.

    I take what comfort I may in the thought that my own children and (should I be so blessed) grandchildren have the sense to keep current. It ain’t quite as good as living where the pathogens aren’t circulating but then it’s an imperfect Universe.

  59. #59 Interrobang
    June 5, 2008

    Boy, I guess my instincts were right on the money when they told me that Jim Carrey was dumber than the metaphorical bag of hammers without the hammers. Also, is Jenny McCarthy even real? How much plastic surgery do you reckon she’s had? I don’t suppose someone could gaslight her into thinking there are toxic compounds in the stuff they’ve done to her face, could they?

    Rev. BDC, you have a typo in your URL, by the way.

  60. #60 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    dusonfnp,

    I am in no way in favor of eliminating vaccination.

    But facts are facts, and this happened to my child. I would hate to see this happen to another child. I would be elated if the CDC started studying WHY ASD kids hit a big regression, or in medical terms- “manifestation of symptoms” after an adverse reaction to vaccination.

    What I want is more research, instead of Orac and others simply stating- “your a anti-vaxxing loon”.

    Trust me, I am on your side. What frightens me the most, is that so much word has spread regarding this, that mommies are outright refusing vaccination.

    I am terrified of epidemics, especially with my daughter unprotected.

    But who’s fault will that be? Will it be Jenny McCarthy’s fault?

    No, it will be the CDC’s fault, Merck’s fault, the FDA’s fault. Why? for dismissing us as quacks, and not doing adequate studies.

    Don’t blame Jenny, blame Gerberding. The CDC wants to dismiss actual cases of vaccine induced manifestation of ASD, and that in itself, is a grave mistake to the future of our nation.

  61. #61 Jesse
    June 5, 2008

    Monica:
    What I want is more research,

    What specific research do you want? Do you think that tremendous amounts of time, labor, and money aren’t presently being devoted to many aspects of vaccine safety?

    Or do you just want ‘research’ that already backs up your biases?

  62. #62 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    What if the occurence of vaccine injury is actually much higher than we now believe?

    What if it’s actually much lower? We could speculate all day long on these matters.

    That is a mistake I will FOREVER have to live with.

    Do I sense considerable guilt?

    That is all I want. Study the kids, not the numbers.

    There’s a huge difference in the evidence quality of single-case studies and group studies, even retrospective ones. Of course, no one is saying that case reports shouldn’t be done. But a lot of times it turns out that parental claims don’t match reality (e.g. the Cedillo case). I would suggest that the reason there aren’t too many case reports is that such convincing events are not so common.

    People sometimes claim that “thousands and thousands” of children have had similar experiences of apparent vaccine injury. Well, there are no indications this is actually true.

  63. #63 Steve
    June 5, 2008

    Aside from this, how can ANY of you actually have the time for jobs that require your “PhD” education (if in fact others than Orac do)? For being such brainiacs, one would think you would put your intelligence to better use than arguing all day on the internet.

    Ahhh, the anti-intellectualism rears its ugly head. We should have seen it coming.

  64. #64 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    dusonfnp, I forgot to answer this question-

    “since your daughter has primary immune deficiency, would not any viral exposure have done the same thing to her?”

    Chances are, it would. Before vaccination a much larger number of children suffered encephalitis, MIBE and even SSPE from Measles. Many suffered encephalitis from Chicken Pox. Usually, it is individuals with an improper immune response. That is why my daughter must rely on herd immunity. Guess she is a “freeloader”.

    But, had I known that a child was contagious with any of those viruses, especially during the critical years of brain development (until age 3), chances are, we would have steered clear, as we still will. I also never would intentionally expose my infant into a room full of people contagious with measles, mumps, ruebella, and varicella, which is essentially what the MMR + Varivax, or ProQuad does.

    Also, it would have made a tremendous difference had I known before the reaction that my daughter has Primary Immunodeficiency.

    These viruses are dangerous to the brain, especially a developing brain.

    This is the very reason we MUST retain herd immunity, to protect those like my daughter.

    I don’t know exactly what should be done, and I am continually ridiculed for this here (as I am just a mom, without a PhD), but I do know SOMETHING needs to be done.

    That is mainly why I comment here. These cases like my daughter MAY be very rare, or MAY be more common than we think. The door is not closed, and we need more research. My only hope is that you PhD types may have the sense to figure out that research needs be done, and stop slamming us parents who are looking for answers.

  65. #65 Manduca
    June 5, 2008

    The whole refrigerator-mothers-cause-autism idea is exactly backwards. Autistic children cause refrigerator mothers.

    Many autistic children simply cannot be cuddled, and their parents learn to back off from physical affection. We even mock-threatened our infant with “be good, or we’ll hold you like a baby!” because the rock-a-bye position was guaranteed to get her to squirm and fuss. (Yes, her autistic tendencies were evident long before she was vaccinated.)

  66. #66 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    Joseph

    “Of course, no one is saying that case reports shouldn’t be done. ”

    Exactly my point. To date, we have epidemiological studies.

    Why not open a study for all children with an ASD dx who required medical attention within 30 days of vaccination?

    Check their immune profiles. Check their mitochondria profiles. We may actually find something.

    If such a study has occured, please point it out to me, I would love to see it. My fear is that my daughter is not unique.

    As for guilt. Yes, I share most of the guilt. My 1st child was at the dr each time he sneezed. This one, I was over all that, I was not as pro-active as I should have been.

    Perhaps, if the correct testing had been done the day of the reaction, she could have been treated with an anti-viral. Who knows where my daughter may be today.

    My own health, I had signs of Primary Immunodeficiency for 12 yrs before this event, and just kept following my doctors advice, which was TONS of prescription medication and dozens of hospitalizations. I trusted this doctor. Sad to say he has now lost his medical license- http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2006/2/2/142245.html

    It got so bad at his clinic, I finally went to the police, and helped the FBI raid him. Buit that, is another story in itself.

    Perhaps if I had been more adamant about my own doctor properly testing me and referring me, rather than just treating me, I would have known that I have PID, and my children may, too.

    I have learned, you must be your own healthcare advocate. Sad to say I learned the hard way. I only wish that I could have trusted doctors to do what is in our best interest.

  67. #67 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    I don’t know what that tells you, but it tells me that we need to closely study the kids with regressive autism who had an ER visit with 30 days of vaccination. Did these children create antibodies to their vaccines? If not, why?

    Asked and answered.

    I warned you, you despicable troll. That is strike three.

  68. #68 Bronze Dog
    June 5, 2008

    That is all I want. Study the kids, not the numbers.

    That has GOT to be one of the most subtly stupid bit of woo claptrap I’ve seen in a while. That’s a LOT to cram between the lines.

    Just what do you think the “numbers” are? They are the kids, quantified as much as we can. We’re advocating the safest route that gives them the best chance. About the only thing I can gather from you, Monica, is that you’re claiming the need of your one outweighs the need of civilization in general.

    As for research, well, we’re doing it. The vaccine-autism link is about as dead as a hypothesis can get, so we’re trying to focus on productive lines of study. Antivaxxers are trying to drag the scientifically minded back onto it using TV advertisement logic.

  69. #69 TheNerd
    June 5, 2008

    “Too many Too dumb”? What a poor choice of t-shirt slogan!

    I have one little question: why don’t scientists organize a rally FOR vaccines? They could wear shirts that say “Plague Prevention” or something. At least we’d be hearing from some REAL experts.

  70. #70 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    you despicable troll? warned me of what?

    such kind words to a parent who is facing what you thankfully, and hopefully will never face. Do you enjoy making me cry you asshole? Just reliving this all hurts.

    This sort of study CAN and SHOULD be done, but it has not.

    comments like that cut to the core. I don’t slam you. I come trying to reason, looking for answers and get called names. very nice.

    well f-u StuV. I don’t have the time, nor the energy, nor the emotion for assholes like you.

  71. #71 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    “Too many Too dumb”? What a poor choice of t-shirt slogan!

    Sadly, I’m not so hot at Photoshop and therefore can’t take credit for that bit of whimsy, but I did eagerly appropriate the photo…

    You did know it was a Photoshop job, didn’t you? ;-)

  72. #72 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    I come trying to reason, looking for answers and get called names.

    No, you do not. You keep raising the same questions after they have been answered about four times (twice by me). You read those answers, quote from them, and then ask the same question as if nothing ever happened.

    If your feelings are hurt by being called on your disingenuous behavior, I’m sorry… but perhaps you should examine your cognitive dissonance rather than playing the victim.

  73. #73 Laura
    June 5, 2008

    isn’t it possible that Jim Carrey is just whipped? (Not ingnorant.) Men have said dumber things in the name of…

  74. #74 BAllanJ
    June 5, 2008

    Actually, if there is an epidemic of measles or polio, (or whatever the vaccines prevent) it WILL be partly Jim and Jen’s fault. Not the CDC’s. BTW…does this “green our vaccines” group accept donations? Cause if they do, they have a bank account that can be grabbed by anyone whose kids get a preventable disease. Maybe we could print up some cards to hand out to those parents.

    As a Canadian, I’m embarrassed by Carry’s position, but I think it’s more something Jen did to him. I am thinking that maybe you should have to show a completed vaccination card to get into Canada from the USA soon.

  75. #75 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    “Show me where Orac said “the projection, it burns”.

    Evidence or retract.”

    The stupid, it burns!

    Wait, did Orac spew that from his drooling maw? Why yes, yes, I think he did.

    Are you serious? Really? Hmm. In other news, “drooling maw” has been used 16,300 times on the Internet.

    Get some new material, shithead.

    Okay, fess up. You can not possibly be real or serious. Who’s yanking my chain here?

  76. #76 BAllanJ
    June 5, 2008

    Actually, if there is an epidemic of measles or polio, (or whatever the vaccines prevent) it WILL be partly Jim and Jen’s fault. Not the CDC’s. BTW…does this “green our vaccines” group accept donations? Cause if they do, they have a bank account that can be grabbed by anyone whose kids get a preventable disease. Maybe we could print up some cards to hand out to those parents.

    As a Canadian, I’m embarrassed by Carry’s position, but I think it’s more something Jen did to him. I am thinking that maybe you should have to show a completed vaccination card to get into Canada from the USA soon.

  77. #77 Rampant Hypocrisy
    June 5, 2008

    “The Stupid, It Burns!”

    Used 557,000 doing an internet search. And 500,000 of them were on this useless site alone.

    StuV? Are you suddenly growing paranoid? Looks like we have another conspiracy nut here!

  78. #78 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    StuV-

    exactly where IS the study that shows the immunologic, and mitochondrial profiles of ASD children who have vistied the ER within 30 days of vaccination?

    That is all I am asking, and no, you have not shown any study of that nature, only listed home many asd/ vaccine studies are found through pubmed.

    Perhaps I have missed the post where you linked it, if so, forgive me, I have my hands full today as school is over my daughter keeps stealing cheese from our fridge, and has tried to escape the house 4 times already today. In the midst off all this, I am trying to do research for a client. So yes, I may have missed it.

    as for cognitive dissonance, you may not see it through your venemous attacks, but I do listen to what posters (and even orac) have to say. It helps me to shape my “belief system” if you will.

    I, unlike many who post here, and not above eating crow.

    If that were not true, you would see me spouting off that aborted fetal tissue caused my daughter’s autism.

    I will tell you this StuV, humans, as a whole, or much more apt to retain information from people who do not attack them.

  79. #79 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    Why not open a study for all children with an ASD dx who required medical attention within 30 days of vaccination?

    Check their immune profiles. Check their mitochondria profiles. We may actually find something.

    They would have to be compared to some other group, such as a group of ASD kids who did not require medical attention within 30 days of vaccination.

    I imagine that’s doable, but here’s the thing. Resources are limited. Everyone and their brother says they have an idea for a study. I have many myself.

    There also needs to be some plausible rationale for carrying out a study like that.

  80. #80 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2008

    This sort of study CAN and SHOULD be done, but it has not.

    So how much have you raised to fund it?

    Note that I’m giving you credit for not being a case of the Little Red Hen syndrome.

  81. #81 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    Hey dummy,

    Provide the evidence of this “truth” you spoke of.

  82. #82 vhurtig
    June 5, 2008

    As a mathemetician I get a kick out of the “we need to test every possible combination” canard. It seems that these people have never dealt with the fundamental counting principal or any type of basic probability. There are 11 vaccines listed on the CDC website immunization schedule. Which means there are 2^11 (2048) possible different combinations in any one round of vaccinations. Follow that with boosters at later stages and it literally becomes impossible to “test all the possibilites” in any reasonable time-frame. This is either pure ignorance or deliberate propoganda intended to sway the weak-minded.

  83. #83 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    oh, and about you calling me “the victim”. Perhaps myself and my daughter are victims of a dysfunctional healthcare system.

    But I won’t sit back holding a pity party. That is why I meet with my senator, congressmen, and other elected individuals to
    a- promote the education and awareness of PID
    b- promote autistic legislation
    c- promote tougher penalties on fraudulent doctors who are convicted of overprescribing CII narcotics, and ensure that we establish a database of CII narcotics prescriptions, to prevent doctor shopping, and pill pushers.

  84. #84 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    “The Stupid, It Burns!”

    Used 557,000 doing an internet search. And 500,000 of them were on this useless site alone.

    …and that would mean something if that is what I said.

    But it is not.

    But you already knew that.

    “The projection, it burns” returns exactly 0 hits on Google.

    By the way, when are you going to settle on a name?

  85. #85 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    They would have to be compared to some other group, such as a group of ASD kids who did not require medical attention within 30 days of vaccination.

    Scratch that. A limitation of such a study is that one group is clearly prone to requiring more medical attention than the other, so a difference in results is expected. The vaccination timing is irrelevant then. It should be possible to control for, but right there it’s clear that it’s a non-trivial study. If you give it to someone like the Geiers or Wakefield, they’ll have no controls as usual, and they’ll just be wasting everyone’s time.

  86. #86 ozzy
    June 5, 2008

    “WHY ASD kids hit a big regression, or in medical terms- “manifestation of symptoms” after an adverse reaction to vaccination.”

    That is just not true and there are no data to back it up. The vast majority of ASD kids do not “hit a big regression.” New research is beginning to diagnose ASD earlier and earlier. In fact it’s another piece of evidence against vaccines causing autism. Regressive autism is not very common among ASD kids.

    Monica, I feel bad about your child. It must be tough. I am thankful that my child has not had to go through what your daughter has. However, as you correctly stated any virus/bacteria could have caused your child’s encephalopathy. The only way you could have totally prevented your daughter’s encephalopathy would be to have raised her in a bubble because with some viruses a person is contagious prior to the appearance of symptoms. Unfortunately, your daughter’s condition is a contraindication for vaccination. But this condition is rare and as we have discussed early, a screening test involving bone marrow biopsies is cost-prohibitive and unethical due to the risks far outweighing the benefits of detecting a bunch of 80 different conditions all with different genetic causes. As cold as this sounds, life’s just not fair.

  87. #87 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    D. C. Sessions,

    I only wish I had the time to secure such funding. Lord knows I have asked Autism Speaks to park their jets for a few weeks, and stop hosting so many award galas after their walks so they could do it.

    Damn, the $20k my group raised for them 2 yrs ago could have started it! bUt I think that went to purchasing us all nice plaques, duffle bags, polo shirts, mugs and a grand dinner after the walk (to which I did not attend).

    Just because I don’t have the time, nor the funding doesn’t mean it should not be done.

  88. #88 ozzy
    June 5, 2008

    “Well harm has been done. If you take a look at the history of medicine, this lie has been told before. Do you remember when smoking was actually good for our health?”

    Joe Camel replied “What a strange statement from a woman who was a smoker not that long ago. Of course, she smoked knowing it was harmful.”

    Even better, she smoked when she was PREGNANT. Of course, she was too busy puking on camera and doing playboy shoots to think that her smoking could harm her baby. And now she wants us to take her seriously?

  89. #89 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    ozzy, testing for PID does not require a bone marrow biopsy. I never did get to respond to you yesterday regarding all children be tested as much as my daughter has.

    They would not have to.

    The amount of testing my child has had to endure is msotly related to the vaccine injury, and her PID. She has had a skeletal series, MRI, NUMEROUS blood tests, colonoscopy, eeg, etc. It seems as though once a month or 2 she must have MORE blood drawn.

    Testing for most PIDs would require a simple blood test or two.

  90. #90 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Monica, since you seem sincere, I’ll try to get the point across again.

    exactly where IS the study that shows the immunologic, and mitochondrial profiles of ASD children who have vistied the ER within 30 days of vaccination?

    As you have said yourself, such a study would be a long, torturous process for the children. Not very ethical at all. But fine, let’s do such a study. Let’s say that 99.99% of these children have PID.

    Then what? You advocate that we then test newborns for PID, correct? That we do bone marrow biopsies, liver biopsies, draw a quart of blood, put them in a plastic tent for about a year while the geneticists do the workup (because we can’t vaccinate them until we are sure, and until we do the child is vulnerable, wouldn’t you agree?), et cetera. To every newborn. This seems reasonable to you?

    That is why I meet with my senator, congressmen, and other elected individuals to

    a- promote the education and awareness of PID

    Which will do… what? How would this have helped your child?

    b- promote autistic legislation

    Whoa, whoa, hold the phone. What kind of legislation?

    c- promote tougher penalties on fraudulent doctors who are convicted of overprescribing CII narcotics, and ensure that we establish a database of CII narcotics prescriptions, to prevent doctor shopping, and pill pushers.

    Which I applaud you for, but what in the blue blazes does that have a single damned thing to do with what we are talking about?

  91. #91 NHMom
    June 5, 2008

    John Best is an asshole. You can step your foot on our redneck land any time!

    John Best is feeling very guilty because he did not get his kid into early intervention and did not do any ABA therapies with him. And, had always wondered if had done the right thing. John best is a very angry sociopath with a frightening personality disorder and I fear for his son’s life.

    I believe autism is genetic and I am a parent of 2 children on the spectrum. Proud parent. I do not waste my time and energy with this hate that John Best will carry to the grave. He needs to be locked up.

    I also believe greening our vaccines and I also think too much too soon is not healthy for our kids.

    We don’t know why our kids have autism. It is what it is and do your best to cope and accept it. Do your best get them on their way to independence without doing any harm to them. They need to be respected. Most of all, they need to be listened to.

    John Best does no justice for the autism community. It’s either his way or not way and we don’t see a support in that.

    Autism is here and it’s here to stay! GET OVER IT ALREADY!

  92. #92 ozzy
    June 5, 2008

    Primary immune disorders are hard to diagnose without having an idea of infection history. You need to remember that these diseases are very rare (1 in 5-10,000). Unless you are doing genetic screening a simple blood test would have too high a false positive rate that would result in too many children going through unnecessary and risky testing.

  93. #93 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    “WHY ASD kids hit a big regression, or in medical terms- “manifestation of symptoms” after an adverse reaction to vaccination.”
    That is just not true and there are no data to back it up.”

    There is data to back it up, if the right studies are done. I can provide you medical records of 6 kids in my group that have the same experience.

    We could get a control group of children who require ER visits after vaccination, yet do not develop ASD. We need to find the difference in the kids who regress, versus the ones that don’t.

    “New research is beginning to diagnose ASD earlier and earlier. In fact it’s another piece of evidence against vaccines causing autism. Regressive autism is not very common among ASD kids.”

    Yes, signs of autism ARE evident younger and younger. But not all children with these “signs” will go on to develop autism. Some may simply go on to have Asperger’s, and some will be completely NT.

    You do know what a “manifestation of symptoms” is, correct?

    Suppose a child was born with Asperger’s, a completely genetic condition, and also had a poor imune response.

    Encephalitis could very well cause a “worsening” or “manifestation” of ASD symptoms.

  94. #94 monica
    June 5, 2008

    ozzy, one in every 1,200 Americans are diagnosed with a form of PID, hardly that rare, just not much awareness of the disorder.

    one in every 400 blood donations are discarded because they have the most common form of PID.

  95. #95 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2008

    There are 11 vaccines listed on the CDC website immunization schedule. Which means there are 2^11 (2048) possible different combinations in any one round of vaccinations. Follow that with boosters at later stages and it literally becomes impossible to “test all the possibilites” in any reasonable time-frame.


    So just because you don’t want to bother or don’t want to spend the money, the children are suffering! The Children are infinitely more important than your time or money, and until you can PROVE that they are safe ALL VACCINES should be banned. Don’t give us excuses, give us PROOF that all combinations, not only of vaccines but of vaccines, genetic combinations, herbal medicines, astrological signs, etc. are safe!

    Until then, NO MORE VACCINES!!!!!
    THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!

  96. #96 ozzy
    June 5, 2008

    1. Asperger’s is autism. It is included in the autism DSM and is included in the “autism epidemic” incidence/prevalence data. So these kids are growing up autistic as their earlier behavior predicts.

    2. What kind of group are you talking about? A PID support group? If so, that would be expected and would be a totally biased sample. There is not doubt that giving vaccines to individuals with PID might develop encephalopathy and regress neurologically just as they might following an infection. Plus, how would you document that they have regressed? Parental assessment – way too biased.

    Where is the evidence that regressive autism is common?

  97. #97 Elaine
    June 5, 2008

    Maybe I’m dumberer than Mr. Carrey, but I just don’t get his fire truck analogy. If the fire truck slows down, the people in the burning building could die. OK. People die from measles, etc. But if the fire truck goes fast, people will get run over by it…and get autism? Even if this happened, people don’t die from autism.

    I think the pro-vaccination side needs some celebrities to speak up for it.

    I just hope we don’t end up with some nasty epidemics and dead kids because of these loonies.

  98. #98 John Best
    June 5, 2008

    NHMOM,
    I’ve been talking to politicians here in NH about helping us to cure autism. Hopefully, and soon, it won’t just be the literate among us who are capable of doing that. With the help of concerned politicians, we’ll even be able to help the children of simpletons like you.

  99. #99 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    StuV, suppose we do find that 99% of the children with ASD who visit the ER after vaccination have PID?

    That is a question I don’t have an answer for. Screening would be a nice idea prior to vaccination. Perhaps we need to put more effort into screening for PIDs.

    And, as I have mentioned before (probably not here, though) that the OPV was changed to the IPV for this very reason.

    Why can’t we move in that direction with our current live virus vaccines if we insist on giving them during a critical period of brain development?

    What I do as for advocacy, doesn’t just help my child. I don’t have that “it’s all about me” attitude which is so prevalent today. I want to help others, as well.

    As for legislation, one bill to reduce/ eliminate the over-use and abuse of restraint and seclusion in our public schools. Another to promote http://www.projectlifesaver.org throughout my state, and another to make insurance coverage of ABA, speech and occupational therapies mandatory in Florida.

    While it is mostly irrelevant, I feel it is imortant to point out that I refuse to sit and cry “woe is me” which you seem to feel that I do.

  100. #100 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    I can provide you medical records of 6 kids in my group that have the same experience.

    I alluded to this earlier. What “group” would that be? Wouldn’t this group be a bit of an echo chamber?

    We could get a control group of children who require ER visits after vaccination, yet do not develop ASD. We need to find the difference in the kids who regress, versus the ones that don’t.

    I’m sure the parents of the children in the control group that die from complications due to the invasive testing will thank you.

  101. #101 You guys are f-ing morons.
    June 5, 2008

    “”The Stupid, It Burns!”

    Used 557,000 doing an internet search. And 500,000 of them were on this useless site alone.

    …and that would mean something if that is what I said.

    But it is not.”

    But it sure is a huge stretch to go from that to your inane drivel, wasn’t it? Let’s just change one word! My goodness, what and idiot!!

  102. #102 Monica
    June 5, 2008

    yes Ozzy, Asperger’s IS autism. But what seperates my son with Asperger’s (who does NOT have immunodeficiency, or any adverse vaccine reactions) from his non verbal sister who regressed after vaccination?

    They both developed exactly the same before the reaction.

    What makes one severely autistic, yet another simply Asperger’s?

    Don’t you ever wonder what element changed the one to become severe?

    I must go for now, behind on my work, but may be back later- hopefully not to find any further attacks, but maybe some answers, or thought provoking questions….

  103. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    So us this “truth” you are so convinced by and stop playing footsie.

  104. #104 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    By the way, judge for yourself:

    Pro-safe vaccine or anti-vaccine?

    Oh, and “Craig,” “jayh,” “You guys are f-ing morons,” or whoever you are, you’re now starting to become tiresome. (Ain’t IP address logging wonderful?)

  105. #105 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2008

    “WHY ASD kids hit a big regression, or in medical terms- “manifestation of symptoms” after an adverse reaction to vaccination.”
    That is just not true and there are no data to back it up.”

    There is data to back it up, if the right studies are done.

    Now my head hurts.

    Monica, please read the above carefully. Then read it again. You just agreed that the data are not there and countered with your own speculation that the data would appear under certain conditions.

    Citing the predictions of your hypothesis in place of experimental verification. There really should be a nice short name for that, because it happens a lot.

  106. #106 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 5, 2008

    so should be show….

  107. #107 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    Even better, she smoked when she was PREGNANT.

    According to several case-control studies, smoking during pregnancy is a risk factor of febrile and afebrile seizures in children, albeit not a major risk factor. It is a risk factor for psychiatric symptoms in adolescence. And more specifically, it seems to be an autism risk factor, but not a huge factor.

  108. #108 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    My goodness, what and idiot!!

    Friendly tip: when calling someone an idiot, check your spelling.

    Yet another reason to suspect you’re a parody. Well, one thing is for certain: you are a joke. The only question is whether the joke is intentional.

  109. #109 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    Suppose a child was born with Asperger’s, a completely genetic condition, and also had a poor imune response

    There’s no evidence that Asperger’s is more heritable than classic autism. Interestingly, classic autism is probably more heritable than ADHD (based on twin studies, with all the limitations those types of studies have of course).

    So it’s not true that what you perceive as more severe translates into “less genetic”, if that’s what you mean.

  110. #110 You guys are still idiots
    June 5, 2008

    “Oh, and “Craig,” “jayh,” “You guys are f-ing morons,” or whoever you are, you’re now starting to become tiresome. (Ain’t IP address logging wonderful?)”

    Oh, and Orac, considering that the company I work for is a multinational corporation on a single domain, it could be anyone on my intranet making these posts, so you are probably getting the IP address from the Domain Controller or the Proxy server. I’m sure there are more than a few people in this company with 10,000+ employees who finds you and most of the people here to be idiots.

    Ain’t DNS wonderful?

  111. #111 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    But you’re not anyone else, are you?

    I would find it hard to believe that two people with exactly the same trolling style would descend upon my comments section at the same time from the same company.

    Your style gave you away and led me to go to look at my logs because you seemed familiar; the IP address was just icing on the cake.

  112. #112 tonyl
    June 5, 2008

    I was on the Metro with some of the marchers that day. I managed to get a look at the back of one of those “green our vaccine” shirts. Mercury was listed as an ingredient in vaccines, of course, and I forget all the others, except for one:

    “aborted human fetuses”

    Man, I had NO IDEA big pharma was getting mothers to abort just so they could produce their money making vaccines, those greedy bastards! (I saw it on a t-shirt, it must be true!)

    I looked this up a few weeks ago after reading about a court case involving some vaccine require by the military; So I can tell you where this comes from. Some vaccines, like the one for rubella, are cultured using human cells. These generally come from a cell line created using cells (possibly stem cells, I don’t remember) taken from a single aborted fetus/embryo many many years ago.

    However, those cells never actually make it into the vaccine itself.

  113. #113 jimfocus
    June 5, 2008

    I thought the main suspect was the presence of the mercury preservative in vaccines and the fairly new practice of
    “vaccine cocktails” that increase the mercury toxity level with multiple shots at the same time–it’s worth investigating. I’m a behavioral psych and the autism epidemic is real and there is a cause or causes behind it.

  114. #114 Daryl McCullough
    June 5, 2008

    It’s clear to me that autism is not caused by vaccines. The larger issue, though, is the breakdown in the web of trust that makes informed opinion possible.

    Let me explain what I mean. Take almost any scientific issue: global warming, superconductivity, the age of the Earth, the Big Bang, the cause of AIDS etc. I have what I consider to be a pretty good understanding of these topics for a layman. However, none of my understanding is due to any fundamental research on my part. I don’t do any experiments in my garage. My understanding is derivative, in the sense that it comes from reading articles that others have written on the topics. But how do I know whether those articles are to be believed?

    Ultimately, each person develops his own “web of trust”. There are certain people, organizations, agencies that we respect, and we give credence to what they have to say. But when seeds of doubt arise, how does an ordinary layman allay that doubt? A scientist familiar with the research can possibly look at the results and determine whether it was good work, but can the layman?

    You can point to X number of studies that reached the same conclusion, but how does the layman know whether those studies were really independent?

    This is the real problem: for most people there is a huge gap between what they are asked to believe and what they are capable of personally verifying. Scientists complain about laymen putting stock into anecdotal evidence, but the fact is that anecdotal evidence is (in many cases, anyway), personally verifiable. In contrast, the rigorous scientific study may be more convincing to someone who has the expertise to evaluate it, but it is something that the average layman can only take on faith. That works out fine if they layman has trust in the institutions, but if that trust is lacking, what should he do?

  115. #115 ozzy
    June 5, 2008

    Jim:

    Mercury is no longer in childhood vaccines in anything higher than trace amounts (except for flu).

    “The autism epidemic is real” Really? Being a behavioral psych please tell me the changes that were made to the DSM in 1994 in regards to autism diagnoses. Did the autism spectrum exist prior to 1994?

  116. #116 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    I’m a behavioral psych and the autism epidemic is real and there is a cause or causes behind it.

    What is the basis for saying that the autism epidemic is real?

  117. #117 not so fast
    June 5, 2008

    Look, let’s all try to be reasonable. The problem is that either side is extreme. My dad is a retired AMA doc–pro-vaccine–who, when I had my first child, saw the vaccine schedule and flipped out. It is just common sense, he said, not to overwhelm little kid’s systems all at once. He remembers, that in his day, as vaccine schedules increased, so did the increase in children who were never quite the same. The problem is the increase in the number of vaccines on the schedule, and the rate of delivery. It’s just too much. None is too little.

    I agree with jimfocus that this is a real problem, and the vaccine connection can’t be dismissed. The immune system is complex.

    Another little mentioned problem is that when the rate of immunization rose in the USA, so did the rate of chronic illnesses like asthma.

    Vaccines are wonderful. But they’re not perfect.

  118. #118 Beowulff
    June 5, 2008

    Monica, why are you defending Jenny McCarty?

    To me it sounds like your child may indeed have suffered from a rare but quite real complication of vaccines. It may therefore seem to you that McCarthy is doing a good job for getting attention for vaccine injured children. However, she is protesting against what are basically urban legends about vaccines, which have been shown to be false many times already, and this can be potentially very harmful.

    Think about this: If they will be successful in convincing enough people that there are “toxins” in vaccines, what do you expect will happen? I personally would be afraid of the following likely results:

    1. More people will be scared into not vaccinating their children, breaking herd immunity, putting your child at even greater risk.

    2. More research will be called for, and money will go into repeating already discredited science, or into unnecessarily developing new vaccines with some scary sounding chemicals removed. This will be sucking money away from doing real research, for instance into vaccine complication prevention, or into developing new tests for various forms of PID.

    3. The ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect: once it is clear for all the world to see that all McCarthy and her people have to offer is ignorance and pseudoscience, who is going to listen to the people who actually do have a legitimate case that warrants more research? You already think you’re treated like a quack? Well, that’s at least in part Jenny McCarthy’s fault.

    I do hope some day the technology will be there to have a cheap, safe, and reliable way to pre-screen for all kinds of PID and other complication factors, and doctors would be glad to use them when that day comes. However, Jenny McCarthy is delaying that day, not getting it here sooner.

  119. #119 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    This is the real problem: for most people there is a huge gap between what they are asked to believe and what they are capable of personally verifying. Scientists complain about laymen putting stock into anecdotal evidence, but the fact is that anecdotal evidence is (in many cases, anyway), personally verifiable. In contrast, the rigorous scientific study may be more convincing to someone who has the expertise to evaluate it, but it is something that the average layman can only take on faith. That works out fine if they layman has trust in the institutions, but if that trust is lacking, what should he do?

    I agree that’s a real problem. But there are so many resources available to people these days, that things are a bit better. There are blogs like this one, for example, where you can get a feel of the state of the debate. You can also see first hand what the arguments from both sides look like.

    When it comes to autism, in particular, there are public databases you can check personally. This is not the kind of thing that would generally be recommended by most scientists, I suppose, but for those who don’t have an inclination to trust published scientific research, I think it’s better than nothing. For any person who still thinks thimerosal might have been an autism risk factor, for example, I’d recommend checking California DDS quarterly client characteristic reports, the 3-5 autism caseload specifically. Put it in a graph (easy to do with Excel), and see if there’s any fluctuation that might have been caused by thimerosal removal. Of course, true denialists will be unconvinced by such things, but that’s not who needs to be reached anyway.

  120. #120 HCN
    June 5, 2008

    tonyl said “Some vaccines, like the one for rubella, are cultured using human cells. These generally come from a cell line created using cells (possibly stem cells, I don’t remember) taken from a single aborted fetus/embryo many many years ago.

    However, those cells never actually make it into the vaccine itself.”

    In the late 1950s and early 1960s there was an epidemic of rubella. Many pregnant women who had rubella did abort their fetuses (some were already not viable, a co-worker’s wife had to have an induced labor after her rubella infected baby died in utero). Anyway, the cell line is from on fetus. More information on the issues (and they were brought up at that time too) read:
    http://www.amazon.com/Vaccinated-Defeat-Worlds-Deadliest-Diseases/dp/B0013L4DNU/

  121. #121 DBH
    June 5, 2008

    Thimerosol has been removed from vaccines, even though there is no evidence it causes a problem, even with multiple injections. There have been extensive studies on this.

  122. #122 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Look, let’s all try to be reasonable.

    Uh-oh, uninformed concern-trolling with anecdotes on top in 3, 2, 1…

    The problem is that either side is extreme.

    No. One side is preventing diseases, the other side is making shit up.

    My dad is a retired AMA doc–pro-vaccine–who, when I had my first child, saw the vaccine schedule and flipped out.

    Wow. I’m convinced now.

    It is just common sense, he said, not to overwhelm little kid’s systems all at once.

    Much better to spread things out and leave the child susceptible to horrible diseases, right?

    He remembers, that in his day, as vaccine schedules increased, so did the increase in children who were never quite the same.

    Really? Any research on that, or are you pulling this out of your (or your dad’s) behind?

    The problem is the increase in the number of vaccines on the schedule, and the rate of delivery.

    Really? Any research on that, or is this coming from the same place?

    It’s just too much.

    Says who?

    None is too little.

    So what’s the middle ground? Hey, let’s try 57.4%. That should be just right. Have you decided on which preventable diseases you’re okay with children having?

    and the vaccine connection can’t be dismissed.

    Connection with what, exactly? Autism? No proof for that, sorry.

    The immune system is complex.

    Sure is. Preventing debilitating diseases in children no longer is.

    Another little mentioned problem is that when the rate of immunization rose in the USA, so did the rate of chronic illnesses like asthma.

    Yes, and nothing else happened during that same time of course. Please look up post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Vaccines are wonderful. But they’re not perfect.

    Holy strawman, Batman! Who said so?

  123. #123 tde
    June 5, 2008

    Does ORAC or receive funding from pharmaceutical companies?

  124. #124 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Does ORAC or receive funding from pharmaceutical companies?

    Of course! No honest person could ever defend vaccines.

    I believe my check is in the mail.

  125. #125 Landru
    June 5, 2008

    Yes, tde, Orac and this blog and all of us are solely funded by a secret consortium of all of the pharmaceutical companies. In fact, I’m going to light a big fat cigar and pour myself some 22-year-old single malt while I laugh at all the babies that Orac and all of his minions, including me, have hopelessly screwed up with our efforts to inject them with high-profit-margin vaccines while passing on the exceedingly low-profit-margin pharmaceutical treatments we could be peddling for the diseases that vaccines prevent.

    Ahhhh. Damn, that’s some fine whiskey. Could one of y’all go out and stack some bodies, please?

  126. #126 Landru
    June 5, 2008

    And curse your slightly speedier trigger finger, Stu. Curse it, I say.

  127. #127 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    Does ORAC or receive funding from pharmaceutical companies?

    No.

    Nice try at the Pharma Shill Gambit, though. You were just a bit too blatant about it, though. I’m sure with practice you’ll get better.

  128. #128 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    Another little mentioned problem is that when the rate of immunization rose in the USA, so did the rate of chronic illnesses like asthma.

    Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. It might, but most often it doesn’t, thanks to confounding factors. Indeed, I note that in the same period of time that the prevalence of autism and chronic diseases like asthma was increasing, home computer use increased 100-fold, as did Internet usage. Ergo, home computers and the Internet cause autism and asthma.

    Really, epidemiology is all about trying to sort out confounders to see if it’s plausible to conclude causation from correlation, and it’s been in multiple studies looking at whether there is any convincing correlation between vaccines and autism (no correlation found) as well as for vaccines and asthma (no convincing correlation found, although if I wanted to be contrarian, I could show you a couple of studies that show a negative correlation between vaccination and asthma in which asthma prevalence was lower in vaccinated children).

    As for your physician who thought it was just “common sense,” who cares? Lots of family physicians, particularly decades ago, practiced what I like to call “dogma-based,” “tradition-based,” or “authority-based” (rather than evidence-based) medicine. They weren’t scientists. (Alas, most practicing doctors today are still woefully lacking in a solid grounding in the scientific method.) They just did what they were taught to do in medical school and residency and were slow to adopt new treatments or accept new findings because “we’ve always done it this way.” In any case, science trumps common sense when figuring out medical questions.

  129. #129 not so fast
    June 5, 2008

    Stuv,

    Soon there will be an anger vaccine.

    In the meantime, you will have trouble convincing the anti-vaccine camp with your vitriol. It just hardens both sides.

    I’m not anti-vaccine, but I think this is clearly not a safe place to discuss this.

    I wish you luck.

  130. #130 Seth
    June 5, 2008

    As someone with no scientific background, but a training in philosophy, I agree that celebrities are almost universally idiots when advocating for a cause, and this is no exception.

    I do have one query though — and maybe it has been disproven — but nothing stated herein seems to refute it…

    If studies only test individual vaccines against the then current regimen given to children, doesn’t this leave out the possibility that an overall accumulation of vaccines is harmful, whereas a single additional vaccine is not, or at least is not statistically different enough to show up in studies? In philosophy, this is is a familiar paradox, but it seems it might also be applicable to this issue.

    If the marginal effect of adding a single vaccine is minimal, then a study evaluating its safety would find no statistically significant harm from adding the vaccine to an alrady existing regimen. Thus, the addition of any given vaccine would not be deemed unsafe. However if adding five vaccines would cause a statistically relevant harm, then this would neverless go unnoticed by studies that only evaluated the effect of adding a single vaccine.

    By analogy, consider studies on the effects fo alcohol. If all that was studied was the marginal effect of a single sip of beer, then no one would conclude that excessive beer consumption was unsafe. One would have to compare the effects of several sips of beer with the prior baseline to reach the conclusion that there was a noticeable effect from consuming beer.

    Other than historical comparisons which obviously cannot take into account several variables, has anyone conducted a study comparing children who receive a full compliment of vaccines to those who receive considerably fewer? Is ti ethically possible to do so? Is there something in the nature of vaccines that makes my beer analogy entirely flawed?

  131. #131 PalMD
    June 5, 2008

    Another little mentioned problem is that when the rate of immunization rose in the USA, so did the rate of chronic illnesses like asthma.

    This correlation does exist, as does a correlation between more exposure to, well, basically dirt, and asthma/allergies. It’s hypothesized that exposure to antigens early on helps the immune system “learn”. However, the benefit from vaccines far outweighs any purported effect that allowing diseases might have on allergies.

  132. #132 Consumatopia
    June 5, 2008

    Daryl McCullough’s comment is really important.

    Sure, Joseph is right that lay people who are really dedicated can weigh the evidence and behavior of the different factions and see which is more believable. At the very least, the dedicated lay person could confirm that if there were a vaccine conspiracy, the number of conspirators would be impossibly vast, with utterly inexplicable motives, whereas the rise of anti-vaccine movements isn’t very hard to explain at all.

    But just as a general rule, it’s a bad idea to respond to people who don’t trust you by calling them stupid. Especially when there are legitimate issues of conflict of interest in the medical research community, though I don’t think vaccines are one of them.

  133. #133 Orac is a Quack!
    June 5, 2008

    Isn’t Orac here the same dullard who claimed that the mercury in dental amalgams was safe?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN0439217520080605?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews&sp=true

    I wonder what else he has been wrong about.

  134. #134 K.T.
    June 5, 2008

    Monica,

    You seem to be pretty active on Orac’s comments so I’m hoping you can explain your 1:1200 diagnosis of PID to me. According to the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s first national survey (which I’ve seen you use before), they managed to confirm 25,000 cases of PID. They used that to extrapolate 50,000 national cases. If you divide that into the current US population (300 mil, says the CIA factbook), you get 1 in 6,000 Americans, and I’m going with an unproven extrapolation. Furthermore a quick reading of their report suggests that while many cases are serious, like your child’s, most are much more minor and amount to a child with a few extra colds a year. Encephalitis like you describe is possible but not the norm.

    Compare that to Fragile X syndrome, which is one of the leading causes of mental retardation. I think you’ll agree that it’s a step more demanding than dealing with an autistic child. The estimated incidence for the US is 1 in 3600 males, which means it’s roughly twice as common.

    But we don’t test for Fragile X at birth, even though it always leads to mental retardation in males (ironically, it can cause autism-spectrum symptoms in females, where it’s 1:6000-8000)–while what happened to your child was unfortunate but not the usual outcome.

    It’s interesting to consider.

  135. #135 bob dobalina
    June 5, 2008

    Most of these comments are about jim and whats her face.
    The issue at hand should be the focus.

    Look at the kids in the 50′s that had the contaminated “polio” vaccines.

    This is one of the few that the CDC will tell us the truth about.

  136. #136 bob dobalina
    June 5, 2008

    Most of these comments are about jim and whats her face.
    The issue at hand should be the focus.

    Look at the kids in the 50′s that had the contaminated “polio” vaccines.

    This is one of the few that the CDC will tell us the truth about.

    The reason people think the CDC sucks, is because they understand that the drug companies can shut them up with money.

  137. #137 Pendulum
    June 5, 2008

    As a passive observer, the most sociologically interesting observation to come out of this thread is not the irrationality of the pseudoscience propounded by the McCarthyites, but the sheer derision that the “scientists” have for their inquisitors.

    The “scientists” are so venomous, self-righteous, and rage filled, that they’re unable to even converse civilly with well-intentioned opponents who harbor delusions. Ironic and sad, since scientists are those the rest of us need most to help diffuse quackery, but they’re so monumentally counterproductive.

    I’ve observed, anecdotally, that scientists have tremendous difficulty forming successful social relationships. This thread shows me why!

  138. #138 Orac is a Quack
    June 5, 2008

    Wasn’t Orac the dullard who claimed that mercury amalgams were perfectly safe? Looks like science prevailed on that one…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN0439217520080605?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews&sp=true

    I wonder what else he was wrong on…

  139. #139 CanadianChick
    June 5, 2008

    StuV – if I wasn’t already married, I’d ask you to marry me…

    (oh, so there, Pendulum…)

  140. #140 D. C. Sessions
    June 5, 2008

    Wasn’t Orac the dullard who claimed that mercury amalgams were perfectly safe? Looks like science prevailed on that one…

    If your definition of “science prevailed” is a settlement in a lawsuit, then we have a golden opportunity to fix a lot of problems. Personally, I have some plans that would work out a lot better if a court would overturn the First Law of Thermodynamics for me.

  141. #141 Landru
    June 5, 2008

    As a passive observer, the most sociologically interesting observation to come out of this thread…

    That’s nice. Now, having taken a ridiculously small sample, go sample other recent threads on this topic, wherein proponents of actual science are accused of a lack of compassion, being shills for big pharma, and namecalling (mostly by namecalling, selfish shills for quackery). Then please consider chickens and eggs, concern troll.

  142. #142 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    But just as a general rule, it’s a bad idea to respond to people who don’t
    trust you by calling them stupid. Especially when there are legitimate
    issues of conflict of interest in the medical research community, though I
    don’t think vaccines are one of them.

    To a point, I agree. You won’t see me going off like that if someone who honestly thinks vaccines cause autism but has the humility to know that he or she isn’t an expert spews misinformation.

    However, there comes a point, a point that Jenny McCarthy, J.B. Handley, and the hard-core antivaccinationists who organized this march have long ago passed, where being “nice” doesn’t work and is instead perceived as being someone who can just be crapped on with no response in kind. Worse, once cranks pass that point, being “nice” can contribute to an impression that they might actually be on the same planet, scientifically speaking, as the consensus. That’s when ridicule becomes a legitimate weapon. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them…” The entire “Green Our Vaccines” campaign is neither distinct nor intelligible.

  143. #143 Bronze Dog
    June 5, 2008

    As a passive observer, I’ve come to question how anti-vaxxers can function in society.

    “I didn’t drop my pen! It was your fault! The evil corporations paid you to drop it! I don’t care if my clumsiness is a more parsimonious explanation, I’m infallible because I, as a pen owner, say so!”

  144. #144 Wes
    June 5, 2008

    As a passive observer, the most sociologically interesting observation to come out of this thread is not the irrationality of the pseudoscience propounded by the McCarthyites, but the sheer derision that the “scientists” have for their inquisitors.

    The “scientists” are so venomous, self-righteous, and rage filled, that they’re unable to even converse civilly with well-intentioned opponents who harbor delusions. Ironic and sad, since scientists are those the rest of us need most to help diffuse quackery, but they’re so monumentally counterproductive.

    This type of passive-aggressive scholarship irks me. Anti-vaxers call their enemies baby-killers, pharma-shills, and child-poisoners, and when scientists get angry in response to being called killers, people like you crawl out of the woodwork and with a false-cause fallacy, claiming that it’s scientists’ anger that causes anti-science. How would you respond to such abuse?

    “Well-intentioned” indeed. Hell, in this very thread a guy calling himself “It’s the Hippocratic oath, not the hipocritic oath, dumbass” has been supporting the anti-vax cause. You need to work on your observation skills.

    I’ve observed, anecdotally, that scientists have tremendous difficulty forming successful social relationships. This thread shows me why!

    Posted by: Pendulum | June 5, 2008 7:32 PM

    Autistic people are especially attracted to the sciences, and you’re very likely to bump into autistic people if you interact with scientists. I’ll leave you to put two and two together.

  145. #145 John Best
    June 6, 2008

    Orac,
    “Jefferson said: “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. ”
    Good quote, fits right in with you saying chelation is the proper treatment for mercury poisoning but won’t do anything for autism….in the face of already cured kids.
    Your ridicule sure makes you look ridiculous!

  146. #146 Monica
    June 6, 2008

    K.T., my daughter’s PID is not severe. In fact, she doesn’t get as sick as most kids. But she does have an abnormal immune response.

    She didn’t create antibodies to most of her vaccines, and had a severe adverse reaction to the live virus ones.

    I DID finally find the document which shows the occurance, and it IS one in every 1,200 Americans diagnosed with a PID.

    Please, if anyone here is a researcher, or practicing physician, please learn about Primary Immunodeficiency.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/b5r702t2820mk6l8/fulltext.pdf

    Orac- people with PID are MUCH more likely to suffer from luekemia, and lymphoma(sp?). (it is late, and my spelling is off)

    Interesting, many women in the side of the family that PIDs run have breast cancer (early, too), and 2 have died of multiple myeloma.

  147. #147 The fake Mrs. Orac
    June 6, 2008

    Oh, Honey…Do you have to be so nasty to these people? I told you that if you attack them like that, people will think that you are heartless.

    Oh, wait, my darling…but you are. But I love you just the way you are.

    Kiss kiss!

  148. #148 Shinyk
    June 6, 2008

    What’s most baffling about Carey’s “anti-corporate” conspiracy-mongering is that he’s unifying the actions of two mortal enemies. Vaccines are mandatory due to the actions of “public-health advocates,” who seem to skew quasi-socialist. The free-marketeers with designs on increasing the profitability of businesses, including pharmaceuticals, hate “public-health advocates” (and vice-versa), which is why you never see trans-fat bans or motorcycle helmet laws in so-called “red” states.

    To suggest that vaccines are a joint hoax by these two groups is like suggesting that the US and the USSR had a joint venture to build luxury hotels in the Cayman Islands in 1960.

  149. #149 The Good Doctor
    June 6, 2008

    “I’ve got a theory…it must be bunnies!!”

    Actually, no, although that quote may actually be a theory proposed by some of the anti-vax (er, sorry “shamrock green vax”) folks…

    Actually, two:

    1) As far as how Jenny McCarthy got into this. Think about it. She’s a former model, TV/movie actress with limited success, achieved a great deal of success with her pregnancy/parenting books. I do feel some empathy for what she has gone through with her son’s seizures, ASD diagnosis and her attempts to try to make him “better”. However, I think somewhere along the way she realized that becoming a spokesperson for the vaccines=autism movement has brought her a lot more media coverage than she ever could have had without pursuing this career direction over the past few years…more book sales, Oprah, Larry King, etc. So rather than being a forgotten-about model/actress/writer, she gets lots of attention and stays close to the media spotlight. It is unfortunate that she seems to have veered so far away from the initial focus on actually managing her son’s ASD as to say inane things like “anecdotes are science” and “I would never give my child or any possible future children any vaccines” (or things along those lines).

    Anyway. There’s also the pet theory I had after seeing and reading McCarthy retell her son’s history, and seeing a(nother) lunatic mom on the Today show with the AAP president. This mom spoke about how her twins’ development was perfect and they were completely normal because they had 24/7 care by a nanny (!). Not to generalize about parents who use nannies, but when you say something like that and then claim that everything fell apart the moment they had vaccines made me wonder. Moms like her and McCarthy may not have been really thoroughly completely involved in every moment of their children’s development or even noticed that what seemed like normal development was not (speech development actually being echolalia, dancing/jumping being stereotyped behaviors). Then these kids get a serious febrile illness requiring in-depth medical attention sometime after a set of vaccines (maybe a simple febrile seizure, roseola, any of the number of viruses or other infections children get in those first 2 years of life), and the parents notice something actually is off, or a clinician mentions something about the child’s behavior or development. Then the descent into the anti-vax anti-establishment conspiracy begins and intensifies when they find other like-minded folks who encourage the wackery.

    Like I said, it may be my own crazy and completely unfounded hypothesis and I’m expecting to get flak from outraged parents. But I might be right. Or it’s the aliens. Or the bunnies.

    2) But wait, there’s more! I’m *relatively* new to the “controversy” but I wonder if somebody with more experience in the interwebs/blogosphere can confirm that JB Handley and John Best are actually 2 separate individuals. I was just thinkin’ (I know, it’s a dangerous and harmful habit and I promise to stop in 50 or more years!) on skimming some of John Best’s hate-filled comments and then JB Handley’s full-frontal assault on Orac in another dark corner of the web. J(ohn) B(est) Handley? Or are there actually 2 delusional individuals filled with that much hate and rage?

    Smell ya all later!

  150. #150 LRM
    June 6, 2008

    Wes Said:

    Anti-vaxers call their enemies baby-killers, pharma-shills, and child-poisoners, and when scientists get angry in response to being called killers, people like you crawl out of the woodwork and with a false-cause fallacy, claiming that it’s scientists’ anger that causes anti-science. How would you respond to such abuse?

    “Well-intentioned” indeed. Hell, in this very thread a guy calling himself “It’s the Hippocratic oath, not the hipocritic oath, dumbass” has been supporting the anti-vax cause. You need to work on your observation skills.

    On the other hand, in this very thread we also have a woman whose child suffered an acute adverse reaction to vaccines. She does not endorse banning or reducing vaccinations, stresses the importance of herd immunity, and says nothing about “greening”. She is civil, sincere, and appears open to reason despite her difficult circumstances. She asks why scientists haven’t done a particular study and gets several snide, dismissive answers telling her that studies of a different class have been carried out. After repeating her question, she gets called a “despicable troll” for her efforts by one the “science advocates” on this blog. And, conveniently, no else on the pro-science side seems to notice. So, yes – a neutral observer might be more than a little put off by such behavior, and for good reason.

    FWIW, Monica did get responses as to why the study she wants to see is not really feasible – but the only reasonable ones appear in the thread after the insults. And the responses – which essentially amount to the sad truth that such a study likely won’t yield any meaningful results – are not very satisfying to many (perhaps most) people in her position. So perhaps derision and insults aren’t the best reaction to her insistence, even if it were unwarranted. Lack of empathy? Not us!

    I agree that the John Bests and J.B. Handleys of the world deserve all the ridicule and scorn we can muster. Let us save it for them, and avoiding heaping it on just anyone who might express doubt about the perfection of vaccines or dare question the best medical practices of the day.

  151. #151 John Best
    June 6, 2008

    LRM,
    Thanks for urging your fellow nitwits to ridicule me. Do you have any idea how moronic that makes you look?
    Yup, ridicule people who are trying to cure disabled kids. People outside this stupid debate see that and think you’re sane. I think you should ridicule the guy who repairs Big Brown’s hoof too. What a scumbag he is for helping that horse and giving him a shot at the Triple Crown! What nerve!!! He should have followed Neuronitwit philosophy and asked the other horses to slow down if Big Brown’s hoof kept him from winning the race.

  152. #152 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 6, 2008

    Oh, and Orac, considering that the company I work for is a multinational corporation on a single domain, it could be anyone on my intranet making these posts, so you are probably getting the IP address from the Domain Controller or the Proxy server. I’m sure there are more than a few people in this company with 10,000+ employees who finds you and most of the people here to be idiots.

    Ain’t DNS wonderful?

    Not only are you a dummy about vaccines, you seem to be a moron about teh intarwebs.

    1. He wouldn’t be getting the IP from your domain controller he would be getting it because it is the(or one of the) public IP addresses your company leases from your service provider or purchased and is tied to your company’s public domain name (www.amoronworkshere.tv) via DNS. Your domain controller, while it can act as the DHCP server (a server that among other things, assigns dynamic IP addresses and registers static ip addresses) for your private network, more than likely has zero to do with your public IP address. Your public IP address is not assigned from your company. It is typically a static IP (or IPs) that is managed by your service provider(s) from one of the blocks of IP addresses it owns. Since you say your company is a multinational it probably gets it connections and IPs from one of the big names who owns and manages part of the backbone. A domain controller at it’s most basic is a store for accounts and their rights and permissions and manages requests for authentication from those accounts. It doesn’t have anything to do with IPs. A DHCP server can and often does run on the same hardware but that does not make them the same thing.

    2. Your proxy server (among other tasks) does mask all of your companies private IP addresses so that it appears that they are all coming from another IP address, typically your companies public IP address. This however doesn’t mean you knew what you were talking about because you said “Domain Controller or Proxy server” demonstrating that you have no grasp on the different functionality of each server. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

    3. Yes DNS is wonderful but has little to do what you are suggesting. DNS translates Domain names into IP addresses and visa versa. I’m curious what you think that DNS did when you said it was wonderful. It seems you think it has something to do with masking your private IP address from teh intartubes. It does not. All it does is translate more easily human readable words and letters (www.amoronworkshere.tv) into a string of numbers that networks use to route packets from its origination to its destination. Or in other words, IP addresses. So no matter what your Domain name is minus some DNS cache poisoning (that you obviously wouldn’t have a clue how to do and have pretty much said isn’t the case by your terrible little tirade I have quoted above) Orac would still see your IP address in the logs. DNS has nothing to do with what you are suggesting here

    the company I work for is a multinational corporation on a single domain, it could be anyone on my intranet making these posts

    DNS could however allow Orac to find out the URL of who you work for using a reverse DNS search on the IP you left in the logs among other things. What you could have said was “NAT (network address translation) is wonderful!” and that would have made a lot more sense to the point you so clumsily were trying to make. But you didn’t.

  153. #153 Goatboy
    June 6, 2008

    If you actually take his beliefs seriously then Jim Carrey should rank as one of the worst people in the world.

    He claims that there exists a universal consciousness from which you can request things, just like Santa. He knows this is true because he asked to be rich and now he is.

    So forget for a moment about the cretinous woo-woo aspect and just think about what kind of mind believes in that and then asks for money.

  154. #154 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 6, 2008

    I should have guessed Carey is one of “the Secret” horde. What a maroon.

  155. #155 Bronze Dog
    June 6, 2008

    Jim Carrey’s a greedy Secretard?

    This keeps up, I’ll have to ask my brother to burn his copy of Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

  156. #156 StuV
    June 6, 2008

    StuV – if I wasn’t already married, I’d ask you to marry me…

    I think my wife might have a problem with that, but if I convince her, there’s this compound in Texas I heard about…

    By the way, to the numberous drive-by concern trolls: stow it.

  157. #157 Joseph
    June 6, 2008

    We need to find the difference in the kids who regress, versus the ones that don’t.

    Autism researchers look into this matter all the time, so far without much success. Don’t assume people have not been trying to find answers just because answers have not been found.

    BTW, among the things not found to be associated with regressive autism is the MMR vaccine (Richler et al. 2006; Taylor et al. 2002).

  158. #158 Wes
    June 6, 2008

    I agree that the John Bests and J.B. Handleys of the world deserve all the ridicule and scorn we can muster. Let us save it for them, and avoiding heaping it on just anyone who might express doubt about the perfection of vaccines or dare question the best medical practices of the day.

    Posted by: LRM | June 6, 2008 4:54 AM

    I agree. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m defending needlessly insulting comments. I try to take the same attitude with creationists, distinguishing between the lying leadership and the mostly ignorant but honest followers. But everyone now and then slips up and says something they shouldn’t, or attacks someone who doesn’t deserve it. When that happens, the best thing to do is to apologize and explain why one is upset. Save the insults for those who deserve them.

    What I was complaining about was Pendulum, who comes into these conversations with comments like: “I’m completely on your side and just trying to help, but I’ve decided to help by looking down my nose at you and making flippant generalizations. My purely objective sociological analysis finds that your problems stem from the fact that you’re a douchefuck and people hate you. If you’d transform yourself into Mr. Friendly Pants and be extremely deferent and cheerful towards the people calling you a ‘child-killer’, this would solve your problems.” These types of bullshit comments contribute nothing to the discussion and only serve to stroke the ego of the people who make them.

  159. #159 John Best
    June 6, 2008

    Joseph,
    We know the answer. If you poison fetuses before they’re born, it screws up their brain before the parents ever get to see the kid act normal. That way, they don’t regress and naive parents believe it’s genetic. The drug companies have learned that this is the best method of causing autism, avoiding lawsuits and increasing profits. That’s why the flu shot was added for pregnant women after some thimerosal was removed from infant’s vaccines. A Win-Win for Pharma and a Lose-Lose for the great unwashed.

  160. #160 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 6, 2008

    “I’m completely on your side and just trying to help, but I’ve decided to help by looking down my nose at you and making flippant generalizations. My purely objective sociological analysis finds that your problems stem from the fact that you’re a douchefuck and people hate you. If you’d transform yourself into Mr. Friendly Pants and be extremely deferent and cheerful towards the people calling you a ‘child-killer’, this would solve your problems.

    whoa, that was an unexpected coffee->nose incident.

  161. #161 James Goneaux
    June 6, 2008

    You asked about Carrey’s pre-disposition towards crankness:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481369/

    apparently, he’s been obsessed with the number 23 for quite sometime…

  162. #162 K.T.
    June 6, 2008

    Monica,

    Thanks for the source and for specifying that your daughter had a milder form that I had guessed from your earlier comments. The article lays out its methodology much more clearly than the one I had sourced.

    However, I notice that the researchers assessed PID prevalence by asking for IgA deficiency, among other conditions. 26% of respondents who said they had non-acquired PID said they had been diagnosed with IgA deficiency.

    IgA deficiency is relatively common but a very minor condition. It, as I mentioned in my earlier comment to you, causes a slight predisposition to pneumonia and late-onset autoimmune disease. The only time it’s taken seriously is during blood transfusions, where it can cause a more severe reaction. It’s not known for causing a severe reaction to vaccines.

    So while 1:1200 is in fact a greater number than the 1:6000 I thought, it is not the prevalence of patients with PID who would have a severe reaction to vaccinations and shouldn’t be quoted as such. As I pointed out earlier, we don’t test for diseases such as Fragile X that occur more frequently and cause more damage. As others have pointed out, testing for all such tragic causes would be both extremely expensive and likely to cause unnecessary trauma to the child, because there is no place to draw the line.

    For example, we test for PKU even though it is less common because 1) it is a simple blood test, 2) it causes mental retardation in an otherwise healthy infant and 3) diet restriction must start immediately to prevent the retardation.

    While children with severe forms of PID might have a reaction to a vaccine, not all will. An autistic-spectrum child is still a functional child who can become a functional adult, except in extreme cases. Compare that to a fragile X male or someone with undiagnosed PKU, both of which lead to severe mental retardation. So blood testing would not prove which PID children were likely to end up in a severely autistic state.

    In the meantime, the childhood vaccinations that would be delayed are equally likely to prevent serious damage or death (as compared to a child who may become that way from vaccination combined with PID): for example, the WHO says mortality is 1-5% in measles cases and encephalitis occurs in 1:1000 cases.

    Sadly, all health care rations at some point. As an individual, you can ask for testing for any disease you can think of for your baby, but you have to pay for it. While you can argue that a family history resembling PID (or Fragile X, or [name disease here]) deserves testing, I suspect that it’s already recommended in this case. If not, it ought to be.

    Because of all this, broad population testing for PID will likely only ever come about if the cost of testing and the amount of blood needed drops well below what we can do now. Pushing back vaccines ultimately causes more harm. Again, I’m sorry that your child had such a reaction, but I don’t think it could or would have been prevented, unless you were “lucky” enough to know you had a family history of PID.

  163. #163 jh
    June 6, 2008

    John Best “I turned a vegetable (my son) into an educable person using the mainstream medicine technique of chelation.”

    No, John YOU did NOT turn your son into an educable person. He developed that way on his own (and would probably be healthier without chelation). That’s why anecdotes are so meaningless, because people DO get better (or worse) and a single incident means nothing. Because you found a quarter the day before you got the flu does not mean that the quarter caused your flu.

    I know someone who was considered autistic when young, classic symptoms of head banging, incomprehensible verbalizations, non communication, obsession over tiny details etc. He was never treated with woo or quack cures, but he outgrew most of that. He has a decent job, started his own side business supporting local entertainers, and he recently married.

    Yes, he is not typical. The point is, individual cases are so varied that they mean nothing whatsoever about the big picture.

  164. #164 Joseph
    June 6, 2008

    The drug companies have learned that this is the best method of causing autism, avoiding lawsuits and increasing profits.

    Oh really? Tell us more John. How are the Illuminati involved in all this?

  165. #165 Jesse
    June 6, 2008

    John Best: If you truly ‘cured’ your son through ALA chelation, please provide us a precise mechanism by which this works, including the positive and negative controls you used to prove not only that your chelation worked but that it was the chelation and nothing else that cured your son.

    Please note also, Youtube videos do not count. Please cite the appropriate medical and scientific literature the gives the background on your method and measurements. If you want to be treated like a pioneering scientist (or whatever it is your delusion leads you to think you are) we shall hold you to the standards of such and demand the same rigor of such.

    Until you do this, please STFU and stop claiming you cured your son.

  166. #166 John Best
    June 6, 2008

    Joseph,
    A primary goal of the Illuminati is population reduction. Autistic kids won’t reproduce. Goal met!

    Others,
    I used a with doctor and that didn’t help, tried exorcism but that didn’t help, sent him to school and got no improvement, tried doctors and they couldn’t even fix his constipation. After all that, I tried chelation and he started getting better.

    You can think what you want. People who want to help kids can decipher the answer.

  167. #167 Monica
    June 7, 2008

    At what point, though, is “collateral damage” ok? What number of affected children is acceptable for maintaining herd immunity? Or more simply, at what number of vaccine injured children do we do something?

    You may think 8-10 vaccine injured children a yr would be acceptable, especially when faced with eradicating a disease as destructive as polio. But in 2000, the CDC didn’t seem to think so.

    John Salamone, and other parents in IPAV, Informed Parents Against Vaccine Associated Paralytic Polio, whos’ children contracted polio from the OPV, were instrumental in the CDC’s adoption of the all IPV schedule.

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+people+vs.+VAPP:+parents+can+make+a+difference.-a021053335

    And all the OPV caused was 8-10 injuries a year (that are documented, anyway). John Salamone claimed it took 2 years for his son to receive the diagnosis of VAPP.

    Now I do understand we are much further from eradicating measles, and chickenpox than we were from polio eradication in 2000. So a killed virus measles or varicella vaccine may not be as effective. But perhaps we could use killed viruses before age 3 (keeping in mind critical brain development), then live virus boosters after age 3?

    Much needs to change with our adverse reporting system as well. In compiling my daughter’s records for her compensation claim, I discovered the VAERS report her pediatrician filled out. I cried so hard that I had to laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of the entire situation.

    The report claimed my daughter received the MMR and Varicella vaccines at 5 months of age, and was diagnosed as autistic at 6 months of age.

    How can VAERS even be a useful tool for surveillance, when the data doctors file is so completely inaccurate?

    I say it is time for a change.

  168. #168 Rachel Purcell
    June 7, 2008

    Monica, it is unfortunate that you get into such tussles on such a repeated basis and end up emerging bloodied but unbowed before declaring “it is time for a change”. I wonder if the difficulties would be done away with if you introduced your agenda upfront instead of what seems to be a pattern of posting a question about MMR or such and attempting to get a blog author or commenter to say something that you then smack down with your daughter’s history?

    Forgive me if you have adopted this more direct approach I suggest before, but the gradual reveal approach seems to be the one that you adopt on more skeptical blogs while coming right out and stating your position/agenda on places like Hidden Recovery or Age of Autism – in the latter of which you exhort Dan Olmsted “Keep up the good work, and continue exposing the truth!”. Maybe you meant that in a collegial and corinthian spirit but you probably know that Orac has written some fine and detailed criticisms of Olmsted’s work.

    Is the homeopathic doctor still working with your daughter to good effect? And, from that same thread, you seem to have placed a lot of (unjustified) faith in Wakefield’s work.

    The only studies discrediting Wakefield’s theory I have read have been epidemiologic, and I hope you are intelligent enough to know that we can manipulate numbers in these studies. Also know that epidemiologic studies once disputed the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer…
    For many years, the medical community relied on Sir Ronald Fisher’s epidemiologic studies (such as Frombonne’s studies of autism), and not clinical research (such as Wakefield’s, or Bradstreet’s studies on autism) in stating that smoking did not cause lung cancer…
    I can assure this is a topic I have spent thousands of hours researching, much more than you have, I am certain.
    I can also assure you that you are very wrong in stating “there is no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.”

    Stephen posted some useful references that highlight that not everybody has your confidence that Bradstreet’s work CSF work represents a “clinical scientific study that proves there is a link between the measles and autism”. And, as was covered at the Autism Omnibus hearings last year, Bradstreet’s analyses, the ones the purport to identify measles virus in CSF, they were done at the O’Leary lab, the one that was the subject of Bustin’s devastating critique.

    So, I hope that Orac’s account of the testimony from Prof Bustin and Nick Chadwick at last year’s Autism Omnibus hearings put your mind at rest about there being more than ‘just’ epidemiology to discredit Wakefield. Particularly Bustin’s work in uncovering the lamentable state of the lab and the worthlessness of the reported findings.

    And, it is good to see that you have not resorted to quoting Whale.to as a useful or credible source here, unlike previous occasions. Does this mean that you have changed your mind about the reliability of Wakefield, Bradstreet etc. whose work you were praising only last year?

    I take it that you have changed your mind about the value of Wakefield, Bradstreet and others of that ilk and scientific competence? In the light of the revelations at the Autism Omnibus hearings and the more recent research, I take it that you no longer place much store in the value/quality of Thrower’s report that you have cited on several occasions?

  169. #169 Monica
    June 7, 2008

    why yes, Rachel, it does mean that I am learning more, and have changed my mind about a few things. That is what happens when people educate themselves.

    I actually think Wakefield was onto something, and had he actually done the research correctly, he could be a very reliable source.

    See, my daughter’s GI doctor had performed an endoscopy, and wanted to test for measles dna in a biopsy. When he explained to me that he consulted a prominent DAN about how to test, he was told that the sample had to go to a lab in the UK.

    It was then that I realized something was off. Surely most labs can do a PCR for measles dna right here in Florida!

    Not that I am against DAN. While I have not chelated my daughter, we have consulted a DAN who was very useful in referring us to the correct specialists, and tests. He was the first who suggested immunodeficiency. He also prescribed LDN, which after discussing options with the immunologist, we chose LDN (a cream) over weekly IVIG, which would be very invasive to a toddler.

    Fwiw, while my daughter never had responded to any of the 5 doses of Prevnar she received, after 2 months of LDN, a shot was administered, and she created a perfect response. In addiction to her health improving, her cognition greatly improved as well.

    What I am extremely concerned with, is the number of individuals claiming to be DAN “certified” yet are not MDs.

    It seems there are more dieticians, ARNPs, and chiropractors that claim to be DAN, and it is a very scary thought. Many parents do not know the difference.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a PhD, or any letters after my name, and have had to educate myself a great deal concerning what has happened to my daughter and others.

    For those here who think I don’t bother to listen to “the other side”, perhaps the difference in my postings from a year ago until now may prove that I do listen to a thing or two.

    For example, through this site, and others that counter the argument, I have learned that JPands is not reliable. I have also learned the importance of “peer review”. I have also learned that 95% of what is found on whaleto is garbage. (well, that I discovered on my own- not hard to see) I started noodling around one day and read some very interesting stuff about cell towers and tinfoil hats, and decided not to rely on whaleto any longer.

    So, yes, while many of you criticize me for not understanding, and slam me for not citing “credible” sources, know that I have no acronym behind my name, but one, mom.

    The only higher education I have received was an 18 month Early Childhood Development Associate equivalency degree, as I taught preschool for 8 yrs. What I DID learn in those 18 months has not only helped me to understand just how critical brain development IS during the first 36 months of life, but also helped me to understand when something was going drastically wrong with my daughter’s development.

    What irks me, is I have had sincere questions which rarely get answered between all the insults.

    I am just lucky enough to have a child with immunodeficiency who had a severe adverse reaction to live virus vaccines. And it seems I have to fight a 3 day battle for anyone with acronyms behind their name to understand and stop insulting me before we can have a civilized discussion.

    Because trust me, I have MANY questions, which I would love to get answered…

  170. #170 Skeptical
    June 10, 2008

    Goatboy wrote re: Jim Carrey: “He claims that there exists a universal consciousness from which you can request things, just like Santa. He knows this is true because he asked to be rich and now he is.”

    Now he must have some kind of cognitive dissonance over this because if the universal consciousness liked him enough to make him rich, why didn’t it like him enough to make him good-looking, too? And how about intelligent? Or did the universal consciousness tell him, that he could only pick one thing, good looks or money or intelligence? And why did his first marriage end in divorce and how did he get stuck with a dangerous moron, liar and foul skank like Jenny McCarthy? I would think this was evidence that the universal consciousness was setting him up for disaster. Maybe he’ll be one of those movie stars who dies penniless in a gutter. It’s the same prankster universal consciousness that made jb handley look like a toad.

  171. #171 Skeptigirl
    June 10, 2008

    This lack of understanding of the scientific process is causing great harm to our society, from people who believe the scientific community is suppressing theories which contradict evolution theory to people who believe the scientific community is entirely in bed with Big Pharma.

    It isn’t a simple knowledge deficit. There is a fundamental perception error being made by the followers of this and other junk science. In order to believe that someone or some group actually could suppress scientific knowledge to the extent one would have to to cover up or control all research in vaccines or other non-evidence based medicine or evolution theory one has to first believe a complete underlying falsehood, that the scientific community is monolithic.

    Before we can address the knowledge deficit, we in the scientific community need to address this underlying false premise.

  172. #172 Grimalkin
    June 12, 2008

    Speaking of complete ignorance: I don’t really know much about vaccines or autism myself. She mentions that mothers have taken their children to get vaccines and their kids came home unable to speak. While I’m sure vaccines didn’t cause it, what would account for that happening? Does autism have a delayed onset or something?

  173. #173 Kate
    June 13, 2008

    Well, lookee here! It’s Mr. Best! Remember me, Mr. Best? Remember the time you said you’d cure my nephew of autism if I had been nicer to you?

    …You didn’t learn anything from that thread, did you, Mr. Best? You’re here, on another blog, parroting the same tired BS. You still refuse to even *try* to understand what “anecdotal” means, you still shill for a potentially dangerous and totally ineffective “therapy”, and you STILL try to push the idea that those with autism are doomed, less than human and a burden that needs to be “fixed”.

    You sicken me.

  174. #174 wfjag
    June 13, 2008

    “actually think Wakefield was onto something, and had he actually done the research correctly, he could be a very reliable source.”

    Monica: It is heartening to see you say that you are trying to learn. Wakefield, however, may have been the worst form of sell-out, or he was completely incompetent on how to do the research.

    His “research” was funded by attorneys in the US and UK for the purpose of creating “evidence” to support class-action suits against pharmaceutical manufacturers. “Research” generated for the purposes of litigation is highly suspect.

    A place to start investigating Wakefield is “Authors retract MMR-autism finding after newspaper investigation nails research” by Brian Deer, at http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-retraction.htm which contains links to other articles, and you can find later articles. A statement in the article should cause you great pause before accepting anything Wakefield alleges:

    “On Wednesday March 3 2004 – ten days after a four month investigation by Brian Deer was published in The Sunday Times of London – ten of the 13 authors of the February 1998 Lancet paper which had triggered the worldwide MMR scare formally withdrew their claim of having found a possible MMR-autism link. The paper’s first author, Andrew Wakefield, was not among them.”

    When co-authors repudiate their work, which was published in one of the world’s premere medical journals, it doesn’t take much to figure out that there was something seriously wrong with the article.

    Following on about Wakefield, you will find that his work was the subject of intense litigation in the UK about a year ago. Some of the evidence showed that Wakefield’s lab, in the room next to the one in which the specimens taken from the children were analyzed, was next to the area in which he kept a strain of measles virus not found in the wild or in the MMR vaccine. DNA testing of the measles virus supposedly from the children’s specimens was found to be neither wild measles virus nor the measles virus used in the MMR vaccine. Rather, it was the measles strain kept in his lab — in short, even if you assume that Wakefield was not deliberately trying to dummy his results, his finding of measles virus in the children’s specimens was due to contamination of the specimens in his own lab.

    Last I checked, there was an ethics investigation proceeding against Wakefield in the UK. I don’t know the outcome, since it really doesn’t matter whether to me whether he was being dishonest or incompetent as to his lab work. His “research” is worthless. And, his results have never been replicated — although quite a few tried, since the Lancet article (and litigation it spawned) generated a lot of interest for a few years.

  175. #175 daedalus2u
    June 13, 2008

    There was testimony under oath by the man who did the PCR work that every positive test he found he sequenced and found to be a false positive. He informed Wakefield that every result was a false positive before Wakefield reported finding measles virus using a technique many orders of magnitude less sensitive than PCR.

  176. #176 wfjag
    June 13, 2008

    Thanks Daedalus. Since Monica identifies herself as a parent trying to educate herself on the issues, I tried to explain the testimony in lay terms (and so with less precision than you do).

    I lost the links I had to the testimony — which was quite extensive (and as I recall, even more damning of Wakefield than your summary). Do you have them?

  177. #177 Sven Karl Aidge
    July 27, 2008

    I think I probably agree with you about the science of vaccines, but unfortunately, instead of discussing that you yielded all of your time above outrageously ranting about people you seem to say are unworthy of your, or any of our time, even though that is all you are saying. I suggest consulting the science of psychology and the western philosophical rhetorical tradition of argumentation and debate that stipulates ad hominem critique to be illogical and instead STICK TO WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY… GIVE US YOUR SCIENTIFIC WISDOM AND YOU WILL BE THE FOCUS INSTEAD OF YOUR FOES.

  178. #178 Orac
    July 27, 2008

    I have written about the science of vaccines. Extensively. I even did some of that in this post when I refuted some of the lies flowing from the lips of Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy. If you didn’t like the style or that I get a bit cranky when I see celebrity idiots using their celebrity to spread lies that could endanger public health, well, this isn’t the blog for you.

    In other words, I ain’t changing.