Respectful Insolence

Well, here’s a rare bit of good news in the endless tedium that has become the U.S. election. It appears that Barack Obama has ticked off the antivaccine contingent. I know, I know, I said I would try to lay off this topic for a few days, but this is just too amusing. Apparently, he’s gone a long way towards redeeming himself for his previous gaffe when it came to vaccines and autism, and the antivaccine zealots over at Age of Autism are all in a tizzy over it:

Last Friday evening, September 5, 2008, I had the opportunity to ask Senator Barack Obama about childhood vaccine safety/choice. His response, “I am not for selective vaccination, I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.”

He went onto say in so many words that he is for more science and the funding of more science if it’s needed. (His science response is fuzzy, as his first response stunned me for a second). I previously gave his staffer a folder of information on vaccines. The Senator promised me that he would take a look at it.

In response, the whole crew at AoA has gone into full mental jacket paranoia, to the point that they’re launching attack after attack against Obama. First out of the box is that reliable purveyor of antivaccinationist nonsense who’s always a sure thing to bring home the burning stupid, Kim Stagliano. She may deserve our empathy for the difficulties she faces as the parent of autistic children, but being a parent of special needs children does not, nor should it, inoculate her against a dose of not-so-Respectful Insolence™ when she writes something as dumb as what follows. She’s in a veritable frenzy, too, so much so that she threatens to outdo the ever-excitable Kent Heckenlively for sheer illogic and silliness. Check it out, as she delivers one of the most amazing false equivalencies I’ve ever seen based–as a bonus–on a false dilemma:

When I write or talk about vaccines and autism, I often get the same response from people: “Do you want Polio back?” My instinct is to slap them. Such a stupid question. Even from a Presidential candidate. No one wants Polio back. Nor should we have to trade one crippler for another.

See what I mean by false dilemma? Ms. Stagliano equates autism with polio, and, because she thinks vaccines cause autism, she really believes that the choice is between polio if we don’t vaccinate and autism if we do. Never mind the inconvenient science showing that, whatever the price of vaccinating, it is not autism. Meanwhile we know that polio can return if vaccination rates fall. This fervent belief that vaccines cause autism leads Ms. Stagliano to depths of idiocy rarely plumbed even on AoA:

But that question leads me to wonder, “What if autism were contagious?”

Would the response to the 1 in 150 (or lower!) rate of diagnosis change from, “Oh my, what a shame. We’d better learn how to diagnose it earlier and take care of these poor souls.” to “We’d better figure out the cause and come up with treatments immediately!” Would we go into attack mode as we did for AIDS, which in 30 years has seen great improvement in prevention and treatment? And would our political leaders turn the microscope onto our vaccination program, instead of frightening us with the prospect of forced vaccination and offering pat answers like, “I don’t want deadly diseases like Polio back”?

Senator Obama, if you think the photos of the old Polio wards are frightening, take a day off and go visit a classroom for children on the severe end of the autism spectrum. You’ll see children who are ambulatory and yet cannot care for their most basic needs. They will require a lifetime of care. Can you tell me that these children are not as disabled as those who contracted Polio? Come meet my girls; Mia, Gianna and Bella. They are every bit as beautiful as your Malia and Sasha – and yet they are part of an at risk population that you have yet to acknowledge. You need to read up on Miss Hannah Poling and Dr. Bernadine Healy and even the CDC, which has stated that the vaccination schedule is flexible. Flexible means selective, sir.

How about it, Senator Obama. What if autism were contagious? Would you have a greater depth of understanding of the vaccine issue then? You claim to be a Pro-Choice candidate. Does Pro-Choice end at birth? You know, voters have a choice too.

The stupid, I fear it will burn me to a crisp. It’s neuron-apoptosing in its intelligence-devouring intensity, and my brain still hurts from reading the passage above. (Sadly, once having seen it, I can’t unsee it, wish as I might.) Ms. Stagliano’s “reasoning” (such as it is) depends upon the assumption that vaccines cause autism (the best science available shows that they do not) and that most autism is of the stereotypical, nonverbal, profound variety, with the attitude that autistic children are somehow damaged beyond redemption. Indeed, perhaps that’s why the idea of their being the victims of an infectious disease (another toxin!) fits in with that concept and has such appeal as a metaphor among the AoA crowdr. Moreover, her whole bit about wondering how people would react if autism were an infectious disease and likening it to AIDS is one enormous non sequitur. It has little to do with the comparison that follows.

All I can say is that, if Barack Obama can say something that drives the AoA crowd to such heights of ridiculousness, that’s all right with me, especially since it is based on science and sound clinical research. I just wonder who his medical advisors are; clearly they’ve educated him about his past missteps with regard to the messages of antivaccine fearmongering with which the AoA and Generation Rescue crew have been bombarding the Presidential candidates. Not that it matters to the AoA crowd, who think that the reason Obama has pulled back from pandering to the antivaccine conspiracy theorists is because, obviously, he must be in the pocket of big pharma. Another observation that derives naturally from Ms. Stagliano’s “insight” is that, if stupid were contagious, she would be typhoid Mary and need to be quarantined.

Or perhaps I should say Typhoid Kim–and typhoid Dan, too. I wouldn’t want to leave him out, given that he’s the one pulling the Pharma Shill Gambit on Obama while launching bitter and nasty attacks on Kathleen Seidel based on her being featured in Paul Offit’s new book in a screed that Kevin Leitch has gleefully torn apart for your amusement. Because, you know, it absolutely, positively has to be the mercury in vaccines, and if it isn’t the mercury it must be the “toxins” they imagine to be in vaccines, and if it isn’t the “toxins” it must be the vaccines themselves. Anyone who doesn’t toe that line, as Obama apparently has not, must be in the pocket of big pharma. That’s really the way these people think, and unfortunately their attack is spreading.

I really do fear that stupid is even more contagious than polio.

Comments

  1. #1 Joseph
    September 9, 2008

    I liked Obama even before this. As an autistic man who is the parent of an autistic boy, I sure hope Obama wins. His science advisers are apparently much better informed than McCain’s. Either that, or Obama is more intellectually in tune with what’s going on.

    Add to that the fact that Sarah Palin is a global warming denialist, and the choice is clear.

  2. #2 Will the nightmare never end
    September 9, 2008

    “Another observation that derives naturally from Ms. Stagliano’s “insight” is that, if stupid were contagious, she would be typhoid Mary and need to be quarantined.

    Or perhaps I should say Typhoid Kim–and typhoid Dan, too.”

    Exactly.

    Stagliano’s husband has had some contact with heavy metals. He works for Polder which seems to be the company that is marketing or selling the 9/11 commemorative twenty dollar bill. The address for the “mint” that is selling the thing is the same as the one for the Polder company (which sells housewares). http://www.nationalcollectorsmint.com/category.jsp?path=-1&id=1699

    This is a comment from a couple of blogs on the subject of the 9/11 twenty

    “Here are the scumbags behind this scam:

    Polder, Inc.
    8 Slater Street
    Port Chester, NY 10573

    Calvin Scott CEO
    Dennis Sluder Whse. Mgr.
    Kerry Cooper VP/Sls. & Mktg.
    —Mark Stagliano— Natl. Sls. Mgr.
    Pam Campana Controller
    Vinny Picone

    http://www.911twenty.com/

    Mark Stagliano is Kim’s husband and he works for Polder which shares office space with National Collector’s Mint. So using Dan O’s insight, that surely must mean that Stagliano is the mastermind of the exploitative 9/11 twenty.

  3. #3 notmercury
    September 9, 2008

    HPV. Good enough for Kimmy, good enough for the Kiddies.

  4. #4 TheAsMan
    September 9, 2008

    Hi

    What about the fact we are “losing” the ware on a prenatal test. And In fact in danger of losing generations of autistic people. Wiping out a whole spectrum of people deemed defective despite the accomplishments of many of us. Isn’t tht more important the vaccine debate??? I think that the whole vaccine debate is diverting the attention of the neurodiversity community from the more important and pressing issue of pre natal testing and genocide.

  5. #5 Sean Walker
    September 9, 2008

    Do you think those folks would understand “neuron-apoptosing”! Although it gave me a great laugh.

    It’s horribly unfortunate what’s going on in a presumably educated country…

  6. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 9, 2008

    full mental jacket paranoia

    that there is a keeper.

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    September 9, 2008

    My favorite line so far:

    One infant I met can’t process sugar.

    Wow. I mean, WOW — that’s retina-burning stupid indeed.

  8. #8 Shygetz
    September 9, 2008

    What about the fact we are “losing” the ware on a prenatal test. And In fact in danger of losing generations of autistic people. Wiping out a whole spectrum of people deemed defective despite the accomplishments of many of us. Isn’t tht more important the vaccine debate??? I think that the whole vaccine debate is diverting the attention of the neurodiversity community from the more important and pressing issue of pre natal testing and genocide.

    A) You are far from a consensus that a fetus = a person, so “genocide” would not be an accepted use of the term.

    B) I wasn’t aware that there was a reliable prenatal test for autism. Am I just well behind the times?

    C) I don’t know of anyone advocating the abortion of all fetuses at risk of ASDs.

    D) The number of people who will be crippled and/or die of preventable diseases if vaccination drops off is orders of magnitude higher than the number of fetuses that would be aborted if prenatal testing for ASDs were a reality (not to mention the fact that one group is undeniably “people” while the personhood of fetuses is hotly contested)

    So no, I think you have the issue and the distraction exactly reversed.

  9. #9 lambic
    September 9, 2008

    A small piece of good news from Canada. We took our son (he’s 3) to a pre-school open house last week. While we were there we asked a teacher what they did if a child wasn’t vaccinated. She looked at us like we were crazy and said “That’s never happened”. I guess it’s just the home-schoolers who don’t vaccinate.

  10. #10 kristina
    September 9, 2008

    A vaccine to protect us from the stupid seems more needed than ever.

  11. #11 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2008

    That is a good one, DC Sessions. So the kid can’t process sugar. Wouldn’t that mean the kid is actually *dead*? The demonizing of sugar has always half-amused and half-depressed me. It’s only somewhat less absurd than the DHMO thing.

    My favorite bit so far:

    Senator Obama, if you think the photos of the old Polio wards are frightening, take a day off and go visit a classroom for children on the severe end of the autism spectrum. You’ll see children who are ambulatory and yet cannot care for their most basic needs. They will require a lifetime of care. Can you tell me that these children are not as disabled as those who contracted Polio

    Yes, the autistic children are less disabled than those in the old polio wards. They’re *ambulatory* for cryin’ in the beer. Did she even realize what was going on in the polio wards, with all of those iron lungs? Did she think that the patients someday got better and were released?

  12. #12 Becca
    September 9, 2008

    I vote for “neuron-necrotizing” to replace “neuron-apoptosing”. I’m sure there are cases of non-pathological neuron-apoptosis.

    Seriously, how loony can you get? Obama said he wanted more research ! It’s not like he’s just hand-wringing or saying “wow, sucks to be you”. Autism is a poorly understood medical problem that has a huge impact on a large number of lives… why would more research be a bad thing?!

    Heck, for all we know there is an infectious component to autism (I’m thinking like a prion that increases the rate of the disease by some major factor, but is not associated with all cases… it’d be damnably hard to find).

    Anyway, @Shygetz- if you come from an infectious disease background, then of course you are going to see “the issue” as vaccines and “the distraction” as autism. If you don’t personally care about infectious disease or autism, and you run the numbers, you probably care more about infectious disesase. But if you come from a family with an autistic person, I don’t think it is a problem to think autism is “this issue” and vaccines are “the distraction”.
    The problem is, if autism is your first priority, then even if vaccines played a role in the etiology of autism, it still seems to me that more research to find treatments for those that already have the disease would be a Good Thing.

  13. #13 Orodriguez
    September 9, 2008

    COULD I POSSIBLY LOVE OBAMA MORE?!

  14. #14 notmercury
    September 9, 2008

    Calli Arcale: That is a good one, DC Sessions. So the kid can’t process sugar. Wouldn’t that mean the kid is actually *dead*?

    The only way to treat a kid like that is to feed him loads of processed sugar.

  15. #15 Prometheus
    September 9, 2008

    “No one wants Polio back. Nor should we have to trade one crippler for another.”

    False dilemma – since it hasn’t been shown that vaccines (polio or otherwise) cause autism, there is no “trade”.

    Because they have been led to fear something that has never been shown to happen (vaccines causing autism), people are willing to risk something that has been shown to happen (deaths and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases) – over and over and over, here and in other parts of the world.

    The stupid – it burns hotter than quark plasma!

    Prometheus

  16. #16 D. C. Sessions
    September 9, 2008

    Calli:

    Did she even realize what was going on in the polio wards, with all of those iron lungs? Did she think that the patients someday got better and were released?

    Actually, a lot of them did. Polio-induced paralysis usually peaks followed by at least partial recovery. The extreme cases of respiratory paralysis mostly regained the ability to breathe on their own. Not all, unfortunately — see recent news about the death of a woman who spent more then five decades in one.

    Personal aside: how does one pronounce “Arcale.” Silly, I know, but even if I never meet you I hate to mispronounces people’s names.

  17. #17 hypothetizing
    September 9, 2008

    JB Handley went to high school in Japan. His probably autistic father was working for the CIA there. Minimata is in Japan. So it’s obvious that mercury caused Handley’s personality dysfunction and his kid’s autism, too. No need to blame the flu vaccines. Handley’s wife is from Oregon. It’s a known fact that there is mercury everywhere in Oregon, just like there’s mercury everywhere else. These little animals are scrambling. They’ve already thrown Lenny Schafer overboard, maybe Kim Stinkliano will be next.

  18. #18 RJ
    September 9, 2008

    Folks, you have got read Dan Olmsted’s piece on Kathleen Seidel (link at the end of Orac’s piece). Talk about HILARIOUS! i seriously have no idea how anyone could take this guy seriously after reading that. Not to mention the poor grammar, the logic, or lack there of, is amazing.

  19. #19 Orac
    September 9, 2008

    Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic. “Best” line:

    Laugh me off if you want, but I have spent a lot of time looking for plausible links between parents’ occupations and autism in their children, and I know them when I see them.

    Yep. Dan don’t need no steekin’ epidemiology or pointy-headed elitist scientists with their boring insistence on the scientific method and carefully controlled epidemiology! That’s for wimps. No, Dan “knows” real correlations when he sees ‘em!

    And I am laughing Dan off when I read it!

  20. #20 D. C. Sessions
    September 9, 2008

    Seriously, how loony can you get? Obama said he wanted more research ! It’s not like he’s just hand-wringing or saying “wow, sucks to be you”. Autism is a poorly understood medical problem that has a huge impact on a large number of lives… why would more research be a bad thing?!

    Of course it’s a Bad Thing. At best it’s wasted (they already know the cause) and at worst it’s an excuse to avoid doing what they know is necessary (stop all vaccination, get government funding for services, including “detox” and other woo.)

  21. #21 Regan
    September 9, 2008

    lambic said,
    I guess it’s just the home-schoolers who don’t vaccinate.
    —————–
    [said in not seriously offended voice]
    Please! As a home-schooler, albeit maybe an exception on this issue, I object. Our youngest daughter may not go to public school, but we recognize that our entire family circulates in the public sphere–we are up to date on our vaccinations.

  22. #22 Becca
    September 9, 2008

    @D.C. Sessions-
    You most likely have analyzed it correctly. *sigh* The stupid it does burn.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    September 9, 2008

    D.C. Sessions

    Actually, a lot of them did. Polio-induced paralysis usually peaks followed by at least partial recovery. The extreme cases of respiratory paralysis mostly regained the ability to breathe on their own. Not all, unfortunately — see recent news about the death of a woman who spent more then five decades in one.

    Personal aside: how does one pronounce “Arcale.” Silly, I know, but even if I never meet you I hate to mispronounces people’s names.

    I did not know that! I’d heard of so many cases of people living in an iron lung all their lives that I thought that all of the cases were like that. I stand corrected. Thank you! Still, I don’t think ASD remotely compares to a bad case of polio, so even if their false premise were true, it still wouldn’t make sense to stop vaccinating.

    “Arcale” is pronounced “ahr-cael”. I’m not certain of the correct empahsis, though I usually emphasize the first syllable. It’s not my given name; it’s actually from Doctor Who. The Arcalian Chapter is one of the great Time Lord chapters. Arcale was somewhat less prestigious than Prydon, to which the Doctor once belonged. I don’t recall “Arcale” being spoken on the series, but “Arcalian”, mentioned once in “The Deadly Assassin”, had the emphasis on the second syllable.

  24. #24 D. C. Sessions
    September 9, 2008

    No, Dan “knows” real correlations when he sees ‘em!

    You know, Orac, that this ties in very nicely with the fact that the Amish have no autistic children. No mercury, and as he points out mercury is necessary for autism.

  25. #25 Miss
    September 9, 2008

    Would the response to the 1 in 150 (or lower!) rate of diagnosis change from, “Oh my, what a shame. We’d better learn how to diagnose it earlier and take care of these poor souls.” to “We’d better figure out the cause and come up with treatments immediately!”

    I thought we WERE trying to figure out the cause (genetics or whatever else). Knowing the cause could very well lead to treatments, or prevention.

  26. #26 E
    September 9, 2008

    You know, I made my first political contribution ever (to Obama) upon hearing Palin’s speech and being drenched in her disgusting ignorance.
    This just may merit him a second.
    VOTE SCIENCE.

  27. #27 E
    September 9, 2008

    (On a side note, hearing about ScienceBlogs’ million comment contest gave me pause for a moment… what if Dawn or another troll wins it? They’re certainly here often enough… shudder. Not that I think it’d be a bad thing to expose them to real science, mind you – just that I don’t think they’d really get much out of it)

  28. #28 D. C. Sessions
    September 9, 2008

    Is anyone interested in a pool on how long it takes for Dawn and the gang to show up?

  29. #29 E
    September 9, 2008

    I give it 2 hours. Unless they’re too busy on the other threads…

  30. #30 Rogue Epidemiologist
    September 9, 2008

    I bet they’re already watching, waiting to spring. I bet they’re gonna wait for the thread to really get rolling before jumping in and bringing the party to a screeching halt.

  31. #31 SLC
    September 9, 2008

    Anybody who thinks that polio is some kind of non-serious disease should watch the movie, Sunrise at Campobello. I’m quite sure that, were he alive today, President Roosevelt would be front and center advocating polio vaccine from his bully pulpit.

  32. #32 wfjag
    September 9, 2008

    “Add to that the fact that Sarah Palin is a global warming denialist”

    Sorry, Joseph, but, untrue. See debunked rumor #66 at Palin Rumors (backup), at http://sarahpalinrumors.blogspot.com/

    “66. No, she’s not a “global warming denier”, and when the crush dies down remind me to explain why the very phrasing “global warming denier” is anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and a clear sign of a desire to impose your beliefs by coercion. But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused, the existence of the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and the Alaska Climate Change Strategy work demonstrate that she’s considering the problem and has brought together people more expert than she to advise her.” (links within article omitted).

    Prof. Lindzen at MIT also questions whether human activity has any appreciable effect on “climate change.” See, e.g., “Climate of Fear” by Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D., Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT, http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220&mod=RSS_Opinion_Journal&ojrss=frontpage
    and, “Don’t Believe the Hype” by Prof. Lindzen
    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008597

    Prof. Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. Prof. Lindzen is far from alone in being skeptical about AGW among climate scientists. That a Governor is also skeptical of AGW only means that she also has qualified experts who share the same point of view.

    You get to choose who you vote for, for whatever reasons you choose. However, false allegations aren’t persuasive to others and shouldn’t be repeated.

  33. #33 E
    September 9, 2008

    WFJAG – I could make up a blog at blogspot, too, and “debunk” things – that doesn’t make them any more accurate. Citing someone’s personal and homegrown blog as a source isn’t the best defense of your position. Newspaper articles with direct quotations from the candidate would perhaps be better. And regardless, I don’t think you can argue that she’s environmentally friendly…

  34. #34 Orac
    September 9, 2008

    I bet they’re already watching, waiting to spring. I bet they’re gonna wait for the thread to really get rolling before jumping in and bringing the party to a screeching halt.

    Naah. They’re planning on dredging up yet another “outing” of me and doing another rant about how very, very mean, nasty, and unprofessional they think I am for daring to criticize the saintly Kim or for correctly calling something stupid she said…well, stupid.

  35. #35 natural cynic
    September 9, 2008

    AFAIK Palin hasn’t been asked about vaccination, but it’s not hard to guess where she stands. Josh Rosenau’s blog has the results of a questionnaire sent to candidates of governor where Palin opts for maximum parental control over educational matters. I would assume that she would have the same views about vaccination.

  36. #36 Skwee
    September 9, 2008

    I’m too afraid to get my hopes up.

  37. #37 SLC
    September 9, 2008

    Re wfjag

    The overwhelming preponderance of informed scientific opinion is that global warming is occurring and that it is, at least in part, man made. Prof. Lindzen is in a small minority of dissenters.

    There is probably no controversial scientific theory that doesn’t have its dissenters. Consider Prof. Peter Duesberg on the subject of the relationship between HIV and AIDS. Another example is the dissent of the late Prof. Thomas Gold on the subject of the big bang. So I am not impressed that Prof. Lindzen is a dissenter.

  38. #38 howzbayou
    September 9, 2008

    “Is anyone interested in a pool on how long it takes for Dawn and the gang to show up?”

    Love you, man, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  39. #39 zel
    September 9, 2008

    Dawn might lay low for a while. She asked for jenny mccarthy’s contact information on a yahoo group because Dawn’s wanting to write a book about her experiences with vaccines.

  40. #40 theasman.
    September 9, 2008

    Shygetz,

    A) most autistics agree with me. And you misstate the issue. If you abort fetuses that are autistic then it is genocide because there will be no autistics.

    B) they are workingon it. duh!

    http://ventura33.com/neurodiversity/index.shtml
    http://www.ventura33.com/clock/
    http://www.ventura33.com/perspective/

    c) see above

    d)again bad logic. if you kill an autistic before being born tht autistic wont b

  41. #41 Joseph
    September 9, 2008

    But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused

    @wfjag: That is a global warming denialist; or an anthropogenic global warming denialist, if you prefer. It’s not only true that there’s overwhelming scientific consensus on the question of whether recent warming is human-caused. AGW is actually provable in a way that is convincing and easy enough for anyone to reproduce using publicly available data. You just need to use a simple statistical technique called detrended cross-correlation analysis (not very well known) which is essentially what I argue in this post.

  42. #42 Phil
    September 9, 2008

    Go Obama! Age of Autism …bite me.

  43. #43 Alan Kellogg
    September 10, 2008

    E

    I really shouldn’t expect you to read up on all the evidence showing that the platypus is a real animal.

    I’ve seen that list, and he does provide evidence to back up what he says. Primary sources and stuff like that.

    BTW, you want item #66 found here

    Now, I’m not going to say working with a couple of government agencies means you can’t be something. But, Alaska does provide more evidence of climate change than places not so sensitive to the phenomenon. When you work with bacteria it’s hard to deny evolution when you deal with hundreds of generations a day.

  44. #44 Alan Kellogg
    September 10, 2008

    Getting back to the original topic …

    GOOD ON YA, BARRY!

    I like people who support good science. Not, necessarily, enough to vote for ‘em, but I’ll back him in any tussle with the mercury militia.

  45. #45 Der Bruno Stroszek
    September 10, 2008

    You know, this actually confirms something I’ve long suspected about Obama; if he holds a position that is wrong and someone more qualified in that area points this out to him, he will acknowledge this and update his views accordingly. I wondered if I was just persuading myself that this was the case out of sheer, desperate optimism, but there you go, this would seem to seal it.

    And this is the candidate who’s being spun as arrogant and messianistic?

  46. #46 MartinM
    September 10, 2008

    But in the mean time, while I do believe that she has expressed some skepticism that warming is wholly human-caused

    Compare to Palin’s answer to the question ‘What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?’

    A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.

    Source.

  47. #47 daedalus2u
    September 10, 2008

    When Sarah Palin says she is not sure if it is man made, what she means is that it is God’s will, and so even if it results from the actions of millions of people working independently, they are all working in concert according to God’s Plan, so the consequence is due to God.

    That is why she thinks it is God’s will to build a certain type of natural gas pipeline. God is causing global warming, and she wants to do God’s will by accelerating it. That will bring on the Apocalypse and the Rapture that much sooner.

  48. #48 wolfwalker
    September 10, 2008

    It appears that Barack Obama has ticked off the antivaccine contingent. I

    How ’bout that, the Snob got something right for once. Never let it be said that when the facts are _all_ on one side, he can’t see that and go with it. He only gets in trouble when the facts are not all on one side, and you have to make a judgement call. Then, his decision is usually wrong.

    I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to either candidate’s attitude toward science, because I can’t see that it matters much. Politicians in general are clueless about science. In any issue where science is relevant — creationism, AGW, vaccination, fluoridation — politicians listen to their advisors and special-interest groups. And then they decide what to do according to what’s politically expedient, not what’s scientifically accurate. When scientific accuracy and political expediency match, that’s fine. When they don’t, it isn’t. But politics always wins.

    As for the global-warming thing …

    The best evidence FOR global warming: the numerous small changes and problems visible in Nature which all seem to have something to do with a generally warming climate and/or increasing atmospheric CO2. Things like shifting fish populations, changing ocean pH, etc.

    The best evidence AGAINST global warming: the ongoing project by Andrew Watts and his allies which demonstrates that a lot of the climate data collected by man-made sensor networks over the last thirty-odd years ain’t worth a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys.

    The available data is confusing and often contradictory. So taking any action based on the assumption that catastrophic AGW is happening strikes me as foolish at best. Taking the actions demanded by the Left is more than foolish, it’s outright stupid. How can anyone with any knowledge of history or current events think that any government can take effective action against AGW?

  49. #49 jayh
    September 10, 2008

    “That is why she thinks it is God’s will to build a certain type of natural gas pipeline. God is causing global warming, and she wants to do God’s will by accelerating it. That will bring on the Apocalypse and the Rapture that much sooner. ”

    There is no dignity in assigning bizarre reasons (based on your assumptions) for people’s beliefs and then ridiculing those reasons. It is quite possible that her reasons had a lot to do with economic considerations, which can be legitimate.

  50. #50 Bryan
    September 10, 2008

    Autism is not contagious. I’m starting to think that stupidity is…

  51. #51 Orac
    September 10, 2008

    The available data is confusing and often contradictory. So taking any action based on the assumption that catastrophic AGW is happening strikes me as foolish at best. Taking the actions demanded by the Left is more than foolish, it’s outright stupid. How can anyone with any knowledge of history or current events think that any government can take effective action against AGW?

    How to talk to a climate skeptic.

    As for Surfacestations.org, I’m unimpressed. There appears to be a whole lot of cherry picking going on there.

  52. #52 D. C. Sessions
    September 10, 2008

    Autism is not contagious. I’m starting to think that stupidity is…

    Maybe not, but it does create its own microenvironment where it can thrive. Think intellectual biofilms, where otherwise vulnerable memes are protected from rational criticism.

  53. #53 Nomen Nescio
    September 10, 2008

    So the kid can’t process sugar. Wouldn’t that mean the kid is actually *dead*?

    i would’ve guessed type-1 diabetic, myself. but then, i’m no expert…

  54. #54 Joseph
    September 10, 2008

    The best evidence AGAINST global warming: the ongoing project by Andrew Watts and his allies which demonstrates that a lot of the climate data collected by man-made sensor networks over the last thirty-odd years ain’t worth a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys.

    Andrew Watts is not that good a data analyst, and his site appears to be frequented by conspiracists. See, for example, the recent incident involving a correction of the Mauna Loa data, as explained by Tamino.

    Of course there can be errors and noise in climate data. That’s why it’s a good idea to use statistical techniques. Take data on the number of named storms in the Atlantic, for example. It’s easy to see, graphically, that prior to about 1900, this data is probably unreliable. This was confirmed by a recent NOAA study of historical ship tracks. They’ve gotten better at counting storms over time. A lot of people, however, seem to conclude from this that there has not been a real increase in the number of named storms due to global warming. Nonsense. You can detrend the data and make comparisons that take into account non-stationarity of the time series.

  55. #55 daedalus2u
    September 10, 2008

    jayh, Sarah Palin was the one who said it was God’s will to build a natural gas pipeline of a certain type and to drill and exploit natural resources ASAP.

    She also thinks that the war in Iraq is God’s Will.

    She does think that the Apocalypse and the return of Jesus is coming soon, “during MY lifetime” as she says.

    http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2008/09/saradise-lost-chapter-sixten-palins.html

    Sarah Palin likes to think of herself as a modern-day Esther. The Esther of the Bible who was chosen to be queen in a beauty contest. The same Esther who tricked the king of Persia into letting the Jews have one more day of killing after they won a war (they had already killed 500 of their enemies) to kill a few more of their enemies and they killed 75,000 including women and children.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wiener/sarah-palin-and-the-jews_b_124885.html

    If she does think that those are God’s Will, what will be her idea of God’s Will if she becomes president and has control of the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world? Will she think it is God’s will to kill the enemies of Israel the way that Esther did? To clear the way for Jesus to return? “During [her] lifetime”.

    She believes in the power of prayer. No doubt she will pray to find out what is God’s Will. If God tells her to launch a thousand nuclear warheads would she do it?

    I would like someone to ask her that question and for her to answer that question straight-up.

  56. #56 Calli Arcale
    September 10, 2008

    i would’ve guessed type-1 diabetic, myself. but then, i’m no expert…

    I was (perhaps incorrectly) taking “unable to process sugar” to mean “unable to metabolize glucose” which, since glucose is essential to life, would mean the kid would be dead. ;-) Diabetics can metabolize sugar. The problem is that their bodies do not maintain an appropriate blood sugar level.

  57. #57 Calli Arcale
    September 10, 2008

    (Argh; hit “post” too quickly.) The bad blood sugar levels are due to the lack of insulin (type I) or inability to respond to it properly (type II) which means the cells don’t absorb the sugar properly from the bloodstream. Lower insulin levels also mean less glucose gets gets stored in the liver, also raising blood sugar levels.

  58. #58 wfjag
    September 10, 2008

    Dear Joseph & E:

    You may vote for anyone (or against anyone) for any reason you choose. That is your right.

    What you do not have a right to do is make accusations without support. Here, the accusations is that Gov. Palin is a AGW “denialist” (Yes, Joseph, I note your later, slight change in terminology).

    Note: If you’d said “Obama is a Muslim”, I’d made exactly the same challenge — Prove It.

    You’ve both failed. E, instead of being dismissive of the Palin Rumors site, you should have checked the links in #66 on that site. One is to http://gov.state.ak.us/archive-32531.html “Governor Forms Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet”:

    “September 14, 2007, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today signed Administrative Order 238 establishing a sub-cabinet to prepare a climate change strategy.

    ‘Many scientists note that Alaska’s climate is changing,’ Governor Palin said. “We are already seeing the effects. Coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice and record forest fires affect our communities and our infrastructure. Some scientists tell us to expect more changes in the future. We must begin to prepare for those changes now.’”

    You may learn something in reading the rest of the article.

    The second link will lead you to a site listing Alaska’s recent actions in the area, including http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/docs/ghg_ei_rpt.pdf “Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Summary Report of
    Improvements to the Alaska Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory” (Jan. 2008).

    So, perhaps you should inform yourself before you close your mind. That is what a skeptic tries to do.

    You have also both fallen into 2 common traps as to the issue of AGW: (a) use of the term “denial” & (b) arguing that there is a “consensus”.

    The term “denial” as to AGW was deliberately chosen by those trying to popularize AGW by trying to associate skeptics with Holocaust Denialists. E’s reference to Prof. Peter Duesberg is the same type of argument.

    As to the “consensus” argument — it is unscientific because science does not progress based on consensus. Consensus is a political argument.

    Moreover, “consensus” is a false argument, since there is no consensus. Prof. Lindzen is not in a “small” minority. Pielke, Sr. and Jr., both question CO2 as the driving agent. http://www.climatescience.org.nz provides articles by many AGW Skeptics. Thousands of scientists have also signed the Portland Petition.

    You may disagree with the SGW Skeptics, but don’t argue that science is proven by a majority vote. However, that is exactly what the “consensus” argument amounts to.

    Joseph: RE: Your “detrended cross-correlation analysis”. It is quite interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I’ll study it further. However, I think there’s a fundamental flaw in it. You assume that the computer models on which the AGW assertions are made are predictive. They are not. The models were supposed to be used to analyze interactions between different aspects of what is called “the climate.” They were not intended to be used as predictive models. http://www.stats.org has a pretty good article on this. The models have repeatedly failed to provide accurate predictions, or even provide accurate results when using historic data.

    Also, your article fails to adequately explain why CO2 levels are the correct input to compare against temperature change trends. I note that since about 1840, about when the first reasonably accurate measures of the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field became available, to present, the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field has decreased about 10%. I could plug those numbers into your analysis in substitution for CO2, and get almost exactly the same result.

    The problem with your analysis is that it is not clear why CO2, strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, or something else — including possibly something no one was thought of yet — should be used in the analysis. Thus, while I find your analysis interesting and worth studying further, it is far from being conclusive.

  59. #59 llewelly
    September 10, 2008

    I know, I know, I said I would try to lay off this topic for a few days …

    This is probably one of your more important posts on this topic. Obama’s pro-vaccines position must be supported – those who appreciate it should write him supportive letters. He’s doubtless getting many attacking letters.

  60. #60 Joseph
    September 10, 2008

    What you do not have a right to do is make accusations without support. Here, the accusations is that Gov. Palin is a AGW “denialist” (Yes, Joseph, I note your later, slight change in terminology).

    There’s a quote from Gov. Palin that clearly indicates she is (or was) an AGW denialist, posted by MartinM above. Is the quote in dispute?

    For a discussion of what “denialism” is and its characteristics, see this page.

    GW denialists come in all shapes and sizes. Some deny that there’s any warming at all. It’s all due to measurement bias, the urban heat island effect, etc. Some accept there’s climate change, but claim it’s not human-caused (that’s Palin). Some accept there’s human-caused climate change, but don’t think it will be catastrophic. Some say climate change is occurring, is human-caused, and could be catastrophic, except there are hypothetical negative feedbacks coming our way that will stop it.

    There are even those who doubt that atmospheric CO2 trends have to do with human-produced emissions of CO2. Really.

    However, I think there’s a fundamental flaw in it. You assume that the computer models on which the AGW assertions are made are predictive. They are not. The models were supposed to be used to analyze interactions between different aspects of what is called “the climate.” They were not intended to be used as predictive models. http://www.stats.org has a pretty good article on this. The models have repeatedly failed to provide accurate predictions, or even provide accurate results when using historic data.

    I do not. What I’ve analyzed is raw historical data, and determined that there’s an association between anthropogenic CO2 emission and temperature fluctuations with a lag of 10 years in the expected direction at 99.99999…% confidence; after controlling for potentially coincidental trends.

    Once I knew this, though, I decided to learn a bit more about the theory of climate forcings, climate sensitivity, and so forth, and toyed with some models of my own, that only consider CO2. The last hindcast resulting from that is in this post. I posted the spreadsheet of an earlier hindcast. Same principle. It’s very simple. I think those 150-year hindcasts are fairly impressive, considering that I only use data on CO2 concentrations to produce them (no methane or aerosols, etc.)

    Of course there’s some margin of error in those models, but it’s possible to make some reasonable predictions. For example, by the early 2020s, there’s no question the global temperature anomaly will average at around 1C, almost regardless of what we do.

    After doing these models, I also understand the 10-year lag, which was a mystery to me when I first wrote the original analysis. If you model a hypothetical sine wave of CO2 concentrations, that’s approximately the resulting temperature fluctuation lag.

    Either way, I guess the point is that models are useful once you have a theoretical foundation that is sound. Models cannot be used as proof all on their own.

  61. #61 wolfwalker
    September 10, 2008

    Joseph wrote: “Andrew Watts is not that good a data analyst, and his site appears to be frequented by conspiracists.”

    No argument from me on these points. HOWEVER, it also appears to me that regardless of Watts’ skill at analyzing data, his ability to collect simple data such as the placement of weather sensor stations is reliable. He has successfully demonstrated that a large percentage of weather sensor stations are badly placed and/or badly maintained, resulting in data that isn’t an accurate record of natural climate conditions. Thus, any models based on that data won’t be accurate either. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    “Of course there can be errors and noise in climate data. That’s why it’s a good idea to use statistical techniques.”

    Absolutely. However, the problem with statistical analysis is that it is, in essence, a data filter. It filters out bad or irrelevant data points and leaves behind only those data points that fit a pattern. However, if the original data contains too much noise, statistical analysis can’t help. And if the original data is systematically distorted by outside factors (such as bad sensor placement), then statistical analysis may very well exaggerate that distortion and produce an entirely wrong conclusion.

  62. #62 Joseph
    September 10, 2008

    However, if the original data contains too much noise, statistical analysis can’t help. And if the original data is systematically distorted by outside factors (such as bad sensor placement), then statistical analysis may very well exaggerate that distortion and produce an entirely wrong conclusion.

    If in fact there’s so much noise in the data as to render it useless, then you really couldn’t do anything with it. It would be like working with random data. It would be impossible to come up with graphs like these. What I’m saying is that there’s good reason to think that a huge amount of useful information is in the various data sets. Besides, the people who produce these data sets really seem to know what they are doing. They understand the various potential problems and apply corrections when needed.

    I doubt the individual station problems uncovered by Watts or Climate Audit amount to much in the grand scheme of things. It’s like trying to prove the forest doesn’t exist by scrutinizing a tree here, a tree there.

  63. #63 RJ
    September 10, 2008

    Anyone ever see this website/”journal” before?

    Everyday, it seems, I stumble on some more wacked out $hit on the internet.

    http://www.medicalveritas.com/

  64. #64 notmercury
    September 10, 2008

    RJ:

    Anyone ever see this website/”journal” before?

    Hey! That’s a well respected peer reviewed journal. I think Dawn (yes, that Dawn) said she will have something published there in the next several months. ’nuff said.

  65. #65 E
    September 10, 2008

    Hmmm. Let’s see. So according to wfjag, sarahpalinrumors.blogspot.com is a reliable debunking source for global warming. But the thing is, when I look at the site and see strings of “debunkings” with no evidence whatsoever, like #28-35 for some examples, the entire site comes off as a homegrown opinion-based site. My personal favorite: #44, “Bristol and Levi been engaged a good while according to Levi’s mother”. Not exactly a ringing proof. So you can’t exactloy castigate me for that.

  66. #66 Kathleen Seidel
    September 10, 2008

    Medical Veritas is antivaccinationist Dr. Gary Goldman’s journal. Several months ago, Dr. Goldman and Dr. Paul King published the article, Key realities about vaccines, sub-acute mercury poisoning, and autism-like symptoms. In it, they lifted verbatim from a blog post I had published several months before a list of seventeen VICP cases where compensation was awarded to autistic children with seizure disorders. Goldman and King cited only the URL of the source of that Vast Tract of Text (it takes up almost half a page) but failed to cite me as its author. Since then, fellow traveler Julie Deardorff of the Chicago Tribune has been doling out details of these cases one by one on her own blog, and suggesting that she discovered them all.

    Anything to create the impression of a cover-up, when in fact all of the decisions were published shortly after being issued by the Court of Federal Claims, in the Federal Claims Reporter.

  67. #67 Dangerous Bacon
    September 10, 2008

    The author of several articles on medicalveritas.com is Mohammed Al-Bayati. From his website:

    “As an expert pathologist and toxicologist, Dr. Mohammed A. Al-Bayati has evalutated (sic) the published literature on the worldwide AIDS epidemic and has found scientific evidence supporting what some physicians and holistic health professionals have befieved for years that HIV does not cause AlDS. In his recently published book, Get All the Facts: HIV Does Not Cause AIDS, Dr. Al-Bayati describes the multifactorial causes of AIDS in the world…”

    Al-Bayati seems to blame most HIV cases on corticosteroids. He is a loon, and the fact that his “work” is heavily featured on the medicalveritas website suggests that they define “veritas” as “batshit crazy”.

  68. #68 AutisticLiving.com
    September 10, 2008

    Kim is just oh so stupid, yet you choose to not only comment on her article, but do it in such a grandiose fashion that your post exceeds hers in word count exponentially. That’s a lot of work for something so “stupid”.

    Seriously, nobody likes an angry douchebag. Cheer up sparky, you’re right about one thing. The “stupid” is quite contagious. I hereby quarantine this entire site.

    -AL

  69. #69 Dawn
    September 10, 2008

    Obama is a wacko. First of all in the schools – if you want condom distribution, discussion about what type of flavor of rubbers to buy, and where your child can go have a “secret abortion” without parental consent he is the guy to be president!!

    Secondly, if you care at all about this secretive “Public Allies” group that he founded and their whole wacky scheme -he is the guy to be president!

    If you care about the vaccine program and forced vaccination for all citizens – immune compromised and all – he is the guy to be president!

    Oh, if you like his artwork that he has a fancy for. It is fascist. If you like the church that he has belonged to for over 20 years, it is racist. If you like this blatent communistic unamerican type of being to be president, then please, by all means vote for the crazy SOB. All the power to you.

  70. #70 snerd
    September 10, 2008

    Hey Dawn, did you notice that you were factually wrong about fluoridation in nations other than the US yet? You may have missed it due to be too busy typing, typing, typing endless screeds of nutty right-wing religious gibberish to actually, you know, read something.

    ” … as a point of fact, water supplies in NSW, Australia have been fluoridated since at least 1957:

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/fopwsa1957400/

    Obligatory Jack T Ripper: PRECIOUS VITAL BODILY FLUIDS

  71. #71 Dawn
    September 10, 2008

    Actually snerd, if I was wrong so be it, I apologize. However, I received the information from a well-traveled journalist. In fact, another journalist (well known and unnamed)told me that reporters are “not allowed” to speak badly about the “Vaccine Program”. If they do, it will not only cost them their job, but could result in a lawsuit against the agency. How about them apples?

  72. #72 Dawn
    September 10, 2008

    By the way, if you “think” that Obama gives a crap about your kids, you have another thing coming. He doesn’t even care about his own kids’ future. Why should he care about yours? His past voting record, past political actions, and present actions tell the whole story. Investigate him before you vote for him. Yes, it gave me the “whillies” that John McCain shook hands with nutcase Bush, but Obama makes me want to vomit.

    How many days did he spend in Congress before “deciding” to become a president”? It was less than 200 days!! Are you people voting for him just plain nuts?

  73. #73 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn said “However, I received the information from a well-traveled journalist.”

    Were those real travels to real places, or places just in his/her own mind?

    Dawn continued “If they do, it will not only cost them their job, but could result in a lawsuit against the agency. How about them apples?”

    If that is true, why is Julie Deardorff still working for the Chicago Tribune? Why is Steve Wilson still employed at station WXYZ in Detroit? And why is Sharyl Attkisson still working for CBS?

    Do you even know how to check if any of your outrageous statements have any connection to reality? We found out that the fluoridation statement was false by a simple google search, and you have actually commented on one of postings on this blog about the silly anti-vaccine writings of the (still employed) journalists mentioned above. Did you forget this:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/sharyl_attkisson_of_cbs_and_generation_r.php#comment-1040691

    Or do you only know what your handlers the the Yahoo groups (like NoGreenVaccine) tell you? Is your mind so closed that you cannot even absorb information that may counter your gurus and handlers collective idiocy? Just a reminder: watch out for the homeopath Sheri Nakken, she has trouble with basic arithmetic.

  74. #74 snerd
    September 11, 2008

    Shorter Dawn: “You may have won this time, snerd, but I’ll be back and COMPLETE NON SEQUITAR”

  75. #75 Dawn
    September 11, 2008

    Actually HCN don’t twist my words you manipulative jerk. It does not stop these journalists from talking about Gardasil – which they rightfully can. It doesn’t stop them from creating their own personal blogs too. They just CANNOT talk about the VACCINE PROGRAM.. period. No wonder why the “powers that be” want to create censorship on the internet. I would too if my profits were at stake (I am not that evil though).

    If you are plagued by disease HCN like in most families, you can attribute it to you ancestor’s actions, your parents’ and your own. Bottom line is that vaccines cause cell damage and it is inherited. So, with that said, can anyone honestly say that NOBODY in their family is VACCINATED? I think we had the audience silent for once. There is NO WAY to prove that vaccines cause damage – if the cell lines were already damaged. Now, we could if the friggin’ WHO wasn’t out there vaccinating everyone and their brother. We just need to find some 3rd world country to study (unvaccinated) and compare them to the Amish for further clarification and then compare them to the U.S. and all of their nightmare problems.

    Do you know what the butt of the teacher’s jokes is these days? Our children! They think that they are very stupid. There is a reason – brain damage.

  76. #76 snerd
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn, are you on the sauce again? You’re heading into season 3 X-Files territory here.

  77. #77 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn said “It doesn’t stop them from creating their own personal blogs too. They just CANNOT talk about the VACCINE PROGRAM.. period.”

    Which personal blogs? Let us look at which Orac posting you commented on, okay… here is the report:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/25/cbsnews_investigates/main4296175.shtml

    So is that a personal blog?

    Oh, well… Dawn continued “Do you know what the butt of the teacher’s jokes is these days? Our children! They think that they are very stupid. There is a reason – brain damage.”

    Actually, I have never noticed that with my children, even my son with the severe learning issues due to neonatal seizures (those are seizures that occurred as a newborn, before any vaccines, which was 20 years ago, before the HepB vaccine). Actually, my children are doing quite well. My younger son scored 1900 out of 2400 on the SAT, he carries a 3.6 GPA even with a course load that included AP Calculus AB, AP European History and AP American History. This year he is taking AP Calculus BC, AP American Government and AP Latin (plus he works as a lifeguard at the local pool where he also teaches swimming… parents have told me that he is a very good teacher). My daughter has been on winning reading teams for library contests, and she even read Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” for an 8th grade book report. Last year many of her classmates wore T-shirts screen printed with her design, and the class book of mystery short stories had her artwork on the cover. All three have decided on their own to not drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.

    If there are jokes being made about your children, you have my deepest sympathy. You may want to remedy the situation by having an open mind and expanding your education. Even the very rural county that I lived in during my last year of high school had a community college. You should look for learning opportunities at your local community college. Perhaps by starting with a basic math class, and then take an introductory biology class (that might show you why your comment on cancer and Ph-balance was very silly).

    Good luck.

  78. #78 Dawn
    September 11, 2008

    HCN: Neonatal seizures….are you really that STUPID? I just gave everyone a lot of info and you are still complaining about this? HEllo?? It is INHERITED? WHY?? Duh. Chemicals, viruses, infections, VACCINES, etc.

    I do know that every elementary school, middle school, high school, and university has “dumbed down” the curriculum over the years. So, you have the vaxed kids to thank for that. We have just become more “stupid”. Don’t believe me? Read your child’s text book and be there for test day!! DuHHHHH>>>

  79. #79 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Honey, my only complaint is your lack of reading comprehension.

    Actually when I see you say “We have just become more “stupid”. Don’t believe me? Read your child’s text book and be there for test day!! DuHHHHH>>>”

    You do know that local school districts have final say in the choosing of curriculum and spending, right? The national policies are actually very limited. So whoever is elected president will not really change your local school district. Also each state has different funding systems, along with different standards for their school systems. When was the last time you even looked at your local school system?

    And if you are dissatisfied with your local school district, you can always homeschool. If your state has rules prohibiting homeschooling, you can always move to another state with more lax rules. Though, in your case, I would suggest you leave educating your children to others.

    Do you understand what a score of 1900 out of 2400 on an SAT score means? Wait, I just pulled down the score sheet so I do not have to go by memory. In critical reading it is 660 out of 800 (91%tile), in math it is 680 out of 800 (91%tile), in writing it is 630 out of 800 (87%tile)… or 1970 out of 2400. (wait, do you know what percentile, %tile, means?) I am pretty confident my kid is going to be okay.

    I do not think I am the one who has to worry about being “stupid”. I have an open mind, I’ve been known to change my mind when I read the actual real evidence. And I can usually understand it.

    You, on the other hand, are sitting in front of a monitor in the middle of the night trying to slay imaginary dragons.

  80. #80 Orac
    September 11, 2008

    Seriously, nobody likes an angry douchebag. Cheer up sparky, you’re right about one thing. The “stupid” is quite contagious. I hereby quarantine this entire site.

    As long as you’re outside the quarantine, so that I don’t have to deal with your concern trolling.

  81. #81 D. C. Sessions
    September 11, 2008

    Who picked the time closes to 22:52?

  82. #82 D. C. Sessions
    September 11, 2008

    I do know that every elementary school, middle school, high school, and university has “dumbed down” the curriculum over the years.

    Well, as the saying goes “… it’s what you do know that just ain’t so.”

    Comparing my University physics curriculum from 1970 to that of my sons in 2002, Dawn, well … Let’s just say that you’re still working on getting the first one right.

  83. #83 ozzy
    September 11, 2008

    “I do know that every elementary school, middle school, high school, and university has “dumbed down” the curriculum over the years”

    Dawn, you are not making a very good example of the superiority of education in the “golden days.”

  84. #84 Natalie
    September 11, 2008

    if you want condom distribution

    Minors cannot be legally prevented from access to birth control or condoms, per the US Supreme Court. I imagine you have no idea how the government actually works, so I’ll spell it out for you: no president can prevent minors from getting condoms.

    where your child can go have a “secret abortion” without parental consent

    That’s state law, no federal. No presidential influence or oversight.

    this secretive “Public Allies” group that he founded and their whole wacky scheme

    Cite, please?

    forced vaccination for all citizens – immune compromised and all

    You’ve been correctly on that approximately a dozen times already. At this point you’re not even being stupid, you’re just a liar. Personally, if I was Orac I’d have killfiled you by now.

  85. #85 notmercury
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn said

    “We have just become more “stupid”. Don’t believe me?” and “DuHHHHH”

    wee bleev ya Daun.

  86. #86 Craig Willoughby
    September 11, 2008

    HCN,

    Did they recently change the SAT criteria? Back when I was in High School (way back in the stone ages), it was 800 for Math and 800 for English, so 1600 was the top score.

  87. #87 Militant Agnostic
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn – do you really believe that acquired characteristics such as the “cell damage” you rant about is hereditary. That is Lysenkoism. Lysenkoism replaced real genetics in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin with disasterous results for Soviet agriculture. In case you don’t know, Joseph Stalin was a communist.

  88. #88 Dawn
    September 11, 2008

    Yes, Craig they did change the SATs. The questions have become easier over time. The SATs have been “dumbed down” repeatedly since the 1970′s.

  89. #89 Natalie
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn, you’re an idiot.

    Craig, the SAT was overhauled a few years ago. They added an 800 point writing portion, so the score is now out of 2400 instead of 1600. I believe they also changed the verbal portion to focus more on critical thinking and less on rote memorization, but I’m not sure.

  90. #90 Dawn
    September 11, 2008

    Natalie – forced vaccination is also mentioned in the Homeland Security Documents (“their” pandemic plan). It will be up to each state whether or not you are quarantined, jailed, fined or both. Each state has their own plan in place. Your children will be taken away and vaccinated regardless because you will have no parental rights if you refuse the vaccine.

  91. #91 Natalie
    September 11, 2008

    - forced vaccination is also mentioned in the Homeland Security Documents (“their” pandemic plan). It will be up to each state whether or not you are quarantined, jailed, fined or both.

    That’s not a citation, Dawn, it’s just more paranoid rambling. I asked you for a citation.

  92. #92 Dawn
    September 11, 2008

    Actually Natalie research it yourself in the 233 pages of text.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/nspi_implementation.pdf

    Then find out what your own state’s plan is.

  93. #93 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Craig asked “Did they recently change the SAT criteria?”

    Yes, like Natalie said, they have added an essay section. It is not just multiple choice.

  94. #94 Gray Falcon
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn, give us something more specific about that 233-page document. Even a page number would be nice. We’re not doing your work for you.

    We’re not people who believe someone just because they hold strong personal convictions. Go to any mental hospital, and you’ll find that strong personal convictions aren’t that hard to come by.

  95. #95 Natalie
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn, a 233 pg PDF is also not a citation. What page of that document supports your assertion that the government is going to forcibly vaccinate everyone, without any exceptions?

    Where is your citation to support this document being tied to Obama at all, considering that it has been published by the Homeland Security Department under the Bush White House?

  96. #96 Sharpie
    September 11, 2008

    Natalie, don’t bother. Dawn’s a paranoid liar, the PDF she linked to talks about plans to ensure that a vaccine against a viral pandemic can be produced and distributed fast enough, among other emergency responses.

    The most detail it goes into regarding getting people vaccinated is that public awareness of vaccination programs should be kept high and that employers should encourage their staff to get their yearly influenza shots.

    If there’s a page saying that people who refuse to vaccinate will be quarantined, fined, jailed and have their children taken away, Dawn’s welcome to give me a page reference – I may have missed it. But a ctrl-f for “vacci*” turned up nothing like what she talked about.

    Dawn, you are a liar.

  97. #97 Andrew
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn,

    Google for “Flynn effect” – it’s about how IQ scores have been increasing for decades.

  98. #98 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Andrew said “Google for “Flynn effect””

    You expect the woman who could not be bothered to double check her silly claim that only the USA fluoridates their water supply to find out about the Flynn effect? She even claimed that journalists were not allowed to speak out against vaccines, yet she commented on a thread on this blog about journalist who does that for CBS news.

    She does not do any research. She only parrots back the stuff she is hand fed on anti-vaccine Yahoo groups, like the one mentioned here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/06/green_our_vaccines_antivaccinationist.php

  99. #99 ozzy
    September 11, 2008

    Dawn, I agree with Natalie about there not being a reference to forced vaccinations. What page was that on?

  100. #100 Natalie
    September 11, 2008

    The most detail it goes into regarding getting people vaccinated is that public awareness of vaccination programs should be kept high and that employers should encourage their staff to get their yearly influenza shots.

    Thanks for the info, Sharpie. I have some free time at work to bop around the internet, but not enough time to read a large national security/public health type report.

  101. #101 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Sharpie said “Natalie, don’t bother. Dawn’s a paranoid liar, the PDF she linked to talks about plans to ensure that a vaccine against a viral pandemic can be produced and distributed fast enough, among other emergency responses.”

    I don’t think she is liar in her own mind. She has never looked at the document. She is just parroting the stuff she has been told to say. She has no clue what the document says.

  102. #102 anonymous antivaccinationist
    September 11, 2008

    While I told myself I wouldn’t post anymore, I thought I might try to understand this “forced vaccination” topic late in the thread.

    Dawn,

    I think I know where you are coming from – but the language is a little amibiguous. I think a better example might be the states that have adopted the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, which has more specific language regarding the use of quarantines etc… it’s worth noting that not all states have adopted it also.

    You are always entitled to due process, and there are steps involved before any property can be surrendered. If you refuse to be vaccinated, well yes, you can be quarantined – and I can understand the reasoning behind such a measure, whether I agree with it or not. I think this all has more to do with the legal system than it does the health care system, JMO though.

    AA

  103. #103 HCN
    September 11, 2008

    Remember Dawn even cut and pasted a passage that had a section that was quoted to her before, pretty much showing she had not read the document:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/09/yet_another_really_bad_day_for_antivacci_1.php#comment-1095333

  104. #104 Joseph
    September 11, 2008

    I do know that every elementary school, middle school, high school, and university has “dumbed down” the curriculum over the years. So, you have the vaxed kids to thank for that. We have just become more “stupid”. Don’t believe me? Read your child’s text book and be there for test day!! DuHHHHH

    So the Flynn Effect is just a myth, right Dawn? Of course, we should simply accept Dawn’s ad-hoc observations about reality and ignore scientific findings.

  105. #105 Prometheus
    September 11, 2008

    “I do know that every elementary school, middle school, high school, and university has “dumbed down” the curriculum over the years. So, you have the vaxed kids to thank for that. We have just become more “stupid”. Don’t believe me? Read your child’s text book and be there for test day!! DuHHHHH [emphasis added]

    Well, in our school district (which is not nationally known for its excellence), “pre-algebra” is offered in 6th grade – in my school days (Late Cretaceous), it wasn’t offered until the 7th grade.

    As far as university curriculum, we in the biology department are teaching freshmen and sophomores material that used to be taught at the graduate level. I suspect the same is true in other departments in the sciences.

    The strange thing is that despite all this data we have showing that students are doing harder work at younger ages, we have people like Dawn who would lead to believe that our society is getting dumber.

    Or, at least, less teachable.

    Prometheus

  106. #106 notmercury
    September 11, 2008

    Looks like JB Handley’s company, Swander Pace, gave $3000 to Obama’s Campaign. I would have thought he’d be more of a McCain guy.

  107. #107 Enough
    September 12, 2008

    How do you feel then about NJ?? They are mandating flu vaccines for all children in day care and pre-school (6 mos. to 5 yrs.). The flu is quite different from polio. Do you feel that parents have the right to challenge that vax since it is not a deadly disease and we have done just fine without that mandate for a long time?

    That vax should be optional. The man who approved the bill “retired” from his position in the state just 3 days after signing the bill. Guess where he went to work? Merck….vaccine division. HHmmmmmmmmm……..sounds like big pharma making the choices parents should be making again.

  108. #108 ebohlman
    September 12, 2008

    Prometheus: Part of the widespread belief in “dumbing down” is simply political propaganda on the part of those opposed to public education. But I suspect there are several reasons people fall for it:

    1) Our kids’ textbooks are going to look a lot easier than we remember ours being, simply because we’ve learned the subject now but hadn’t yet done so back then. It’s sort of like almost every high-school student’s perception that each class of incoming freshmen is shorter than the rest.

    2) There’s always a fair amount of ability-grouping going on, but not explicitly advertised, at the elementary-school level. If you remember most of your classmates being, say, better readers than most of today’s kids, it might well be true, but your classmates were also better readers than most of yesterday’s kids and that’s why you were all assigned to the same classroom.

    3) National decline in intelligence has always been claimed by the eugenics movement, whose influence hasn’t disappeared. Some “dumbing down” claims really just mean “back in my day there weren’t all these minority kids” (yes there were, you just didn’t see them because of greater segregation).

    4) Just the general nostalgic tendency to assume that everything’s gone downhill since we were little. Part of that is selective memory, and part of it is loss of childhood illusions.

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