Respectful Insolence

Remember the truly despicable and disgusting post by Age of Autism, in which its enemies were portrayed in a crudely Photoshopped picture as preparing to eat a dead baby for their Thanksgiving feast? It was an image that I likened to the blood libel against the Jews, as did Rene at EpiRen in a much more detailed post.

It’s gone now. If you go to the link, earlier this evening you’d get a message “Nothing to see, move along now.” Now, if you go to the link, it’s a blank page. Fortunately, for now at least, the it’s stlll cached in Google, and I, of course, have saved web archives, a screen shot, and the photo, and I intend to keep them in order to show anyone who won’t believe how utterly without compunction the crew at AoA are. The despicable anti-vaccine clods at Age of Autism can try to cover up evidence of how low they routinely go in sliming their perceived enemies, but the Internet doesn’t so easily give up the traces of their misdeeds.

Nor will it allow J.B. Handley to forget his own words, foolishly posted on my blog on December 1, 2009 3:27 PM EST:

I’m exceptionally proud of the blog AoA has become. To characterize it, however, as an initiative of Generation Rescue is simply untrue. In point of fact, AoA is far bigger than Generation Rescue, and has dozens of contributors who have nothing at all to do with GR. For what it’s worth, neither I nor anyone at GR plays an editorial role in AoA.

One of the many reasons AoA poses such a threat to people like you is that it represents the views of a large and growing community, a view that challenges the status quo, and a view that many more Americans each day are growing to share – partly due to the tireless efforts of AoA. It’s also a view that, given your past inaccurate proclamations, you certainly pray is untrue: that the prevalence of autism is growing, that the environment is playing a heavy role, and that vaccines appear to be the #1 culprit.

The photo in question that you feign exasperation for is a comedic style known as “satire” that also deals in metaphors. It may have gone over your head, I found it hilarious, if only I had been clever enough to think of it myself.

If J.B. is so proud of AoA, I wonder why he either ordered the offending post taken down or allowed it to be taken down. I don’t buy for one minute his claim that he has no “editorial” role at AoA. Maybe he doesn’t officially, but AoA clearly appears to function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Generation Rescue, basically its propaganda arm. I highly doubt that anything could be published on AoA that offends J.B. or goes against the party line that vaccines cause autism.

Maybe J.B. isn’t so proud of AoA after all. Good. A sense of shame is the first step towards redemption. Sadly, I doubt that J.B. has any shame. He and his crew at AoA probably felt that the PR hit they took from their childish idiocy far outweighed the value of shocking and rallying the troops that leaving the picture up would have done.

Comments

  1. #1 Corina Becker
    December 4, 2009

    Dictionary.com for Satire:

    “noun
    1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
    2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.
    3. a literary genre comprising such compositions.”

    Excuse me while I snort at J.B.’s style of satire. It’s a weakly veiled allusion that the people in the picture are, not only baby killers, but cannibals as well, thus feeding off the deaths of children apparently killed by vaccines.

    If you want to try for a more deeper metaphor, which I’ve seen been tried in the comments of the now removed post, it’s a stab at A Modest Proposal, and a BAD one at that. Actually, given that the full title is “A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick”, yeah, really bad stab at it.

    A note to the anti-vax crowd: take a couple entry-level university courses in English. However, if not, at least WIKI it instead of relying on Google U.; Wiki at least has the full transcript of it available to read.

  2. #2 Kevin
    December 4, 2009

    I can’t say I feel your outrage about a satirical, offensive photoshopped image. JB Handley should be ashamed about being an intellectually lazy and dishonest jerk, and for the harm that his baseless movement has caused the public in the many ways that you’ve already enumerated. He’s a vile personality, but this is child’s play compared to what else he’s guilty of.

  3. #3 bob
    December 4, 2009

    Let’s recap. They *will* respond and react to criticism that they used an image of a dead baby in poor taste. But, they *won’t* respond or react to criticism that they are providing dangerous misinformation that leads to ACTUAL dead babies?

    These people have little to no grip on reality. I was going to say that they’ve lost all perspective, but that’s just not a strong enough descriptor.

  4. #4 DLC
    December 4, 2009

    Handley has made up his mind and nothing short of nuclear fusion will change it. And, as a True Believer™ (or at least someone who wants people to think he is) Handley cannot abide anyone who even questions The Truth™. No doubt he would have us believe he is saving us from Orwellian Nightmareland, but the truth is, J.B. applies much more of The Ministry of Truth’s tactics than anyone who opposes him.

  5. #5 Katharine
    December 4, 2009

    Can someone with better photoshop skills photoshop a picture of a zombie trifecta – Pat Robertson, JB Handley, and, oh, maybe a global warming denialist?

  6. #6 Adam_Y
    December 4, 2009

    @Corina
    The problem with trying to claim satire is the fact that there are numerous posts that actually claim that we are committing genocide.

  7. #7 James Sweet
    December 4, 2009

    I was going to point out the same thing as Corina at #1: Any way you try to stretch it, the image was NOT satire. Even if I ignore the tastlessness of it for a moment and try to put myself in the shoes of a rabid anti-vaxer trying to defend the picture, it is just not satire.

    What is it satirizing? Do the people photoshopped into the picture have a yearly Thanksgiving gathering where they vaccinate a bunch of children? If so, then Handley could rightly claim satire. Or even if they got together for regular dinners to discuss vaccination strategies. Then you might ALMOST claim satire.

    But the question that leaps to mind is, “What, exactly, is being satirized?” It just doesn’t add up.

    Kevin at #2 there has a point, that getting all worked up over a poorly-photoshopped shock image is probably misdirecting our effort. Even though Kevin wrongly refers to it as satirical. Pointless and stupid? Maybe. Satirical? No. It’s not satire.

  8. #8 Rene
    December 4, 2009

    I had a chat with someone over at the Anti-Defamation League two days ago, and they were going to look into this because, although it didn’t portray any known Jew eating a baby, it was still blood libel on its face. That is, it portrayed a group of people with something in common cannibalizing a baby. Perhaps the ADL contacted AoA? Let’s hope so. It feels like a minor victory.

  9. #9 Robert Grumbine
    December 4, 2009

    Katherine@5: Pat Robertson is a global warming denialist himself, so you don’t need a third.

    Question here: Is there much overlap between the anti-vax crowd and global warming denialists? There definitely is from young earth creationists to climate denial, most yec are also denialists (eyeball statistics).

  10. #10 a-non
    December 4, 2009

    I think the fact that a number of regular readers of AoA condemned the post is the reason it got taken down. They clearly realized the controversy was dividing their own base. And we all know that differences of opinion are frowned upon in the anti-vax community.

  11. #11 Liz
    December 4, 2009

    “a view that many more Americans each day are growing to share – partly due to the tireless efforts of AoA.”

    I’d go a step further and say “almost entirely due to the tireless efforts of the AoA,” (And their lackeys) because there is nothing else in the natural world that perpetuates these claims.

    If the AoA didn’t exist, Autism rates would be exactly the same. They don’t do any good for the disorder itself. The only thing they are changing are the minds of the uneducated (and, scarily, the minds of some educated.)

    I had an argument with my Aunt over Thanksgiving. She started with “You’re NOT going to get the H1N1 vaccine for your kids, are you?” Then, when I went on a diatribe of my anger at anti-vaxxers, she said “Oh they’re the minority. It’s just a small group. Oprah doesn’t really influence people because everyone vaccinates their kids. I vaccinated mine.” And in the same breath, went on to say things like, “my kids spiked horrible fevers each time!” and “You don’t believe they should vaccinate according to weight??? It’s common sense!” and “They’re all in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies!”

    So WTF side are you on, Auntie? She doesn’t even know!

    Thanks, AoA, for your tireless efforts to scramble everyone’s brains! And for your attempts at bringing about the end of days with fear, stupidity and disease.

  12. #12 Joseph
    December 4, 2009

    Question here: Is there much overlap between the anti-vax crowd and global warming denialists?

    Not to my knowledge, in any significant way. I would probably know by now.

  13. #13 meatbrain
    December 4, 2009

    The Firefox extension Resurrect Pages can be useful in cases of this sort.

  14. #14 superdave
    December 4, 2009

    This issue has finally convinced me once and for all that the AoA without reason and not worth paying attention to, at least directly.

  15. #15 Calli Arcale
    December 4, 2009

    There is some overlap between antivaxxers and AGW doubters, partly because of crank magnetism, but mostly because there is a rightwing continegent of antivaxxers. However, there is also a leftwing contingent of antivaxxers, and AoA tends to represent that side more than the other. “Green our Vaccines” is a meme that resonantes well with environmentalists, after all. To that subgroup, it’s about toxins, and living naturally, whatever that really means.

    It’s unwise to make too many generalizations about antivaxxers, because it’s actually a pretty cosmopolitan group (with the exception that they are more likely to be well educated than the general population is).

  16. #16 Page
    December 4, 2009

    TQM at Gotham Skeptic discusses why the image is neither satire, nor comedy.

    This image was a terrific example of self-sabotage by AoA, and thanks to observant critics like Orac, they became aware of the ramifications of such an image… a week later. Not very far-seeing are they?

  17. #17 LovleAnjel
    December 4, 2009

    “So WTF side are you on, Auntie? She doesn’t even know!”

    She wanted you to know that she doesn’t consider herself one of the loons. As if the crazy wasn’t a vital part of the anti-vax movement.

  18. #18 Tara M
    December 4, 2009

    Delurking to share that a Canadian comedian known for his political satire, Rick Mercer, has a great line about satire: “If you’re going to do satire, three of the most important rules are you have to tell the truth, you can’t be a bully and don’t be an a–hole”.

  19. #19 Vindaloo
    December 4, 2009

    Imagine if Handley had said this instead: “It appears that Autism is not mercury poisoning and there’s no reason for experimentalist parents to get their jollies out of dabbling in haphazard pharmacology, if only I had been clever enough to think of it myself.”

    Bottom line: Handley is intellectually challenged and he makes up for it with bravado and a wallet.

  20. #20 L. Harper
    December 4, 2009

    You really do have a thing for Handley, don’t you? If you are so right and he is so wrong – why do you even bother?

    You call the anti-vax community liars, stupid, all sorts of other names. What makes you right and them wrong in this whole name calling game? I am not defending them but it makes the average person question BOTH sides when all either side does is CRY the other side is wrong. You claim research shows you are right but if you really get into the MEAT of the studies that “exonerate” vaccines there isn’t rock solid proof in them. Something that always bothers me is you and the rest all claim “let’s not waste any more money researching vaccines.” Yet we waste MILLIONS researching genetics and it hasn’t given us any answers either. Yet no one is screaming on every national TV show that “Genes = No link to Autism, question has been asked and answered.”

  21. #21 Todd W.
    December 4, 2009

    @L. Harper

    Please take a visit to antiantivax.flurf.net or over to Science-Based Medicine and click on the Topic-Based Reference tab at the top. You’ll find a lot of the myths promulgated by JB Handley and his like, along with explanations as to why they are wrong, including links to support the explanations.

    If you still think that there are specific questions that have not been answered regarding vaccines to your satisfaction, come back here and pose your question.

  22. #22 Scott
    December 4, 2009

    You claim research shows you are right but if you really get into the MEAT of the studies that “exonerate” vaccines there isn’t rock solid proof in them.

    First, “rock solid” proof is in almost all cases impossible to obtain. It’s quite firm, though.

    Second, you neglect to mention the crucially important other side – there is NO evidence implicating vaccines! Other than that produced by fraud and/or incompetence, anyway (Wakefield and the Geiers, for instance, are difficult to distinguish between the two). As such, the balance of the evidence is overwhelmingly against any link to vaccines.

    Something that always bothers me is you and the rest all claim “let’s not waste any more money researching vaccines.”

    Please indicate who has said this. Many people have argued that we shouldn’t waste any more money researching a purported link between vaccines and autism, but that’s a much more precise thing. And, given how overwhelmingly the evidence points against such a link, a fully justified argument. Would you argue for spending money on researching the connection between autism and vampire bites? There’s just about as much cause to do that.

    Yet we waste MILLIONS researching genetics and it hasn’t given us any answers either. Yet no one is screaming on every national TV show that “Genes = No link to Autism, question has been asked and answered.”

    If you look into it a bit more, you’ll see that the reality is (again) rather more nuanced. The genetic research has shown that autism is extremely strongly genetic (twin studies, etc.). What it has not as yet done is identified the specific genes involved.

    Research on the genetics of autism is currently in a state similar to a coroner who has examined a corpse and determined that he was killed by a gunshot, but hasn’t yet ascertained the caliber of the bullet.

    Essentially, we know in general that autism is genetic, we just don’t know specifically the genes involved. That’s a long way from “hasn’t given us any answers” – it’s given us some very critical answers, just not all of them yet.

  23. #23 Joseph
    December 4, 2009

    You claim research shows you are right but if you really get into the MEAT of the studies that “exonerate” vaccines there isn’t rock solid proof in them.

    This suggests we’re not familiar with the details and limitations of the studies. Well, a lot of us are. However, I’ve never seen a critique by the likes of AoA that clearly explains how the results can be negative if the association is actually positive. (Good critiques should do this, in my view.) They mostly focus on known limitations, a lot of times those already addressed by the authors, which don’t really invalidate anything.

  24. #24 a-non
    December 4, 2009

    The over-under on the number of replies before L.Harper is revealed to be a frothing, hard-core anti-vaxer?

    I go with eleven, but that might be generous.

  25. #25 rob
    December 4, 2009

    from handley’s quote:

    “…poses such a threat to people like you is that it represents the views of a large and growing community, a view that challenges the status quo, and a view that many more Americans each day are growing to share…”

    ummm…what’s wrong with preferring the status quo of preventing disease with vaccines?

    do these “many more Americans” *really* prefer:

    Diphtheria
    Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis B
    Human Papillomavirus
    Influenza
    Measles
    Meningococcal
    Mumps
    Pertussis (whooping cough)
    Pneumococcal disease
    Polio
    Rabies
    Rotavirus (severe diarrhea)
    Rubella (German measles)
    Tetanus (lockjaw)
    Shingles
    Varicella (chickenpox)
    Yellow fever
    etc
    etc
    etc

  26. #26 Squiggles
    December 4, 2009

    The over-under on the number of replies before L.Harper is revealed to be a frothing, hard-core anti-vaxer?

    It was over in the first post, as far as I can tell. L. Harper makes the allusions that s/he is an “average person” trying to evaluate the claims of boths sides and promptly spouts off some obvious anti-vax nonsense:
    *”exonerate” in scare quotes
    *a claim to have evaluated the “MEAT” of multiple studies with no indication that the author is capable of doing so or identifying what “rock solid proof” would be necessary and feasibly accomplished
    *bizarre nonsense that genetics research has been a waste of money with nothing learned

    …note also that there was no evidence prestented in favor of a vaccine-autism link, nor was there a question asked to clarify any scientific confusion, only self-righteous complaints about whiny meanies being mean.

  27. #27 Phoenix Woman
    December 4, 2009

    RE: Climate-change denialists —

    In news that will surprise absolutely no one who’s been paying attention, the groups pushing the “ClimateGate” fauxgate are tied extensively to Exxon-Mobil:

    The story details the nexus between the NIPCC, the Heartland Institute (recipient of $676,500 from Exxon-Mobil over the last 10 years), the Cato Institute ($125,000 from Exxon-Mobil in the last decade) and multiple other right-wing front groups.

    In addition, one of the key pieces in the hacked ClimateGate emails refers to a study reported in scientific journals that was revealed to be underwritten by the American Petroleum Institute, yet another Exxon-Mobil front group…

  28. #28 Michael Simpson
    December 4, 2009

    Even though all types of science denialists use the same pseudoscientific methodology (appeals to authority, strawman arguments, anecdotal claims, blah blah blah), they all seem to say they’re not like the others. I once had an anti-vaccine person get offended when I said that they probably used homeopathy to cure their children of polio, to which she replied that homeopathy wasn’t real medicine. I think my brain just blew up.

    Not to be too off topic, but how much is someone willing to bet that “Climategate” will eventually be used by the anti-vaccine crowd to dismiss all scientists and their publications? I won’t be shocked if it’s already been done.

  29. #29 ababa
    December 4, 2009

    One thing that makes me wonder, what is JB’s end game for all of this? What would he consider victory? If he is simply trying to fix autism, why does he attack other vaccines such as the HPV one? Why is he against all of them? Surely some meet his lofty “Green our vaccines” standards. And what exactly would a vaccine have to do to meet the “green” standard. Can he document this standard so scientisits have soemthing to aim for?

    Does he want them all tossed and start back at the beginning? If so, what’s he going to do as some of these diseases like polio come roaring back? He exists in relative comfort from the fact that the vast majority of Americans are completely vaccinated – so a few not vaccinating doesn’t cause much impact in disease levels. Would he define a win as completely stopping vaccination until we can develop completely “green” vaccines with no side effects, EVER? How much would his viewpoint be tolerated by Larry King and Oprah if polio or measles became a serious issue again if we stop vaccination completely?

    If I were him I wouldn’t want to be part of a “growing” community. The more he convinces the less people he has to hide behind. The more people are willing to give him the time of day. If polio/measles comes back anti-vaxers are going to realize their effectiveness is their own worst enemy.

  30. #30 ababa
    December 4, 2009

    Not to be too off topic, but how much is someone willing to bet that “Climategate” will eventually be used by the anti-vaccine crowd to dismiss all scientists and their publications? I won’t be shocked if it’s already been done.

    It is Michael. I saw a big time Conspiracy Theory nut post about it recently, completely oblivious to the fact that it flew in the face of her “ultra-natural” worldview. She apparently hadn’t put two and two together to realize that she was actually encouraging people to fire up the coal plants and buy Suburbans again, while we slash rainforests and drill, baby, drill. The lure of a good conspiracy was far more important to her than supporting her opinions.

    It shouldn’t matter to anyone other than Senator Inhofe that just because a few people that behave badly in support of a viewpoint does not invalidate a viewpoint.

  31. #31 Scott
    December 4, 2009

    One thing that makes me wonder, what is JB’s end game for all of this? What would he consider victory?

    I kind of suspect he hasn’t thought it through that far. After all, if he were going to be logical and organized about the question, he’d presumably have started by looking at the facts.

    The constant shifting of the goalposts, in particular, makes me believe this. If he’d thought through an “end game” for thimerosal-causes-autism, then we’d necessarily be done with it by now.

    If I were to guess his answer to the question (and I am) I’d speculate that it would be along the lines of “eliminating autism” as the end goal, while ducking the consequent diseases question entirely.

  32. #32 Joseph
    December 4, 2009

    Clearly, JB’s strategy is to buy as much advertisement as is necessary to convince the public. Then, he hopes this will trickle to scientists in a position of authority. At that point he’ll believe he’s won, not because reality reflects his views, but because public opinion would be with him.

    You’ll notice most of GR’s budget goes to advertising rather than research.

  33. #33 ababa
    December 4, 2009

    But is curing autism even really his goal? If it was he wouldn’t be scatter-shotting vaccines in general. He would focus on the ones that seem related. Even mentioning Gardasil betrays his purpose.

    And really, what is he doing trying to help with autism. GR doesn’t donate to autism research. They don’t donate to helping care for autistic kids. They don’t lobby for improving insurance coverage for autism. They don’t attempt to help educate the public on the condition beyond telling how bad it is and how it turns people into a hollow shell that should be pitied. They don’t give ANY notice to any autism developments that don’t explicitly involve vaccines. Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines. That makes them an anti-vax organization that can even be honest about their true purpose.

  34. #34 Prometheus
    December 4, 2009

    L. Harper complains:

    Yet we waste MILLIONS researching genetics and it hasn’t given us any answers either. Yet no one is screaming on every national TV show that “Genes = No link to Autism, question has been asked and answered.”

    Uh, that would be because there have been links made between a number of genes and autism. The fact is that over twenty genes have been identified as being linked to autism by much, much, MUCH better data than has ever been found linking vaccines and autism (i.e. none).

    It is most likely that there are a couple of genes that have been definitively shown to cause autism (see also: Fragile X, Rett Syndrome) and several genes that are strongly associated with autism.

    That’s why nobody has gotten on national TV and said “Genes don’t cause autism” – because it’s not true.

    Prometheus

  35. #35 Ramel
    December 4, 2009

    One thing that makes me wonder, what is JB’s end game for all of this? What would he consider victory?

    Who said he’s in it for the win? I’m convinced that most conspiracy nuts are just feeding some kind of hero fantasy in which they fight the good fight against impossible odds, if he ever won what would he do with his life?

  36. #36 Denice Walter
    December 4, 2009

    @ Ramel:Exactly. I follow the ramblings of woo’s elite:it’s “hero fantasy” all the way! Portraying themselves as “lone crusaders”, battling a corrupt, entrenched “system”(some might even call it a “matrix”), revealing the “Truth”, shouting *Ecrasez l’infame!*(no, wait, they would *never* speak French),shouting, “Down with Big Pharma!” They unmask the evil-doers,uncovering internecine plots and an imbroglio of deception, complete with “secret meetings and memos”,created by the “powers that be”.At first ridiculed, they struggle on: gradually, the more *perceptive*,*sensitive*, “down-to-earth”,”spiritual”, “honest” people *catch on*.They become leaders of a new populist movement,revered and emulated by their followers,yet remaining humble and pure,”simple folk” despite their newly acquired great fame and power.(Plus, some of them make real bucks selling stuff).

  37. #37 MOI
    December 4, 2009

    This post has inspired creative and amusing responses.

    I want to see the brilliant satire but the cached link isn’t working. Anyone want to help me out?

    Is it a pic of an actual dead baby? If so than they tried making a joke from someone’s dead child. That’s unconscionable.

  38. #38 Chris
    December 4, 2009

    MOI, the blog comment a EpiRen, which Orac links to in the first paragraph, has included a copy of the image.

  39. #39 MOI
    December 6, 2009

    Thank you Chris! I was imagining something quite grotesque. Although in poor taste, I find it much more amusing than offensive. It just shows that the folks of AoA have nothing but hyperbole to throw around. Pathetic.

  40. #40 Prometheus
    December 6, 2009

    Denice Walter (#36) suggests that the anti-vax loons might (if they were more educated, perhaps) cry “Ecrasez l’infame!” ["Crush the infamous one!"].

    Might our response be “J’accuse!“?

    Just asking.

    Prometheus

  41. #41 Don Cox
    December 6, 2009

    “It’s unwise to make too many generalizations about antivaxxers”

    The one I would make is that they are terrified of needles.

  42. #42 Denice Walter
    December 6, 2009

    @ Prometheus: *Certainement!*( However, I just threw in V.’s phrase to conjure up the truely ridiculous image of woo-meisters- or the anti-vaxxers- spouting French as they call for a “revolution”, a new “enlightenment” to overthrow the the “superstitious” practices of “orthodox” medicine and the “religion” of the vaccinationists..The words in “”quotes are things I’ve actually heard from the likes of Adams, Null, et al.)

  43. #43 Dave Shepherd
    December 6, 2009

    Hey Orac

    I mentioned AoA in a conversation with the pediatrician and speechie about autism quackery and they both rolled their eyes. After dealing with a wide and not very pleasant variety of parental responses, I think they appreciated not having to knock superstitions on the head.

    Nothing to add to this post, just wanted to say thanks for the blog. Son #1 is ASD and Son#2 was just diagnosed, thankfully this was the first site I stumbled on when I started Google U Autism 101. It’s hard enough to raise two autistic boys without getting suckered by liars, dreamers potions and incantations that make the parents feel better but do fuck all for the kid who really needs the help.

  44. #44 Autismnostrum
    December 7, 2009

    “It’s hard enough to raise two autistic boys without getting suckered by liars, dreamers potions and incantations that make the parents feel better but do fuck all for the kid who really needs the help.”

    Hear, hear, Dave.

    I wish we had answers to hold up and say, “Here – do this! It works!” but we don’t. Hell, some of the “evidence based” treatments aren’t all that evidence based. ABA, I’m looking at you.

  45. #45 Michael Levin
    December 9, 2009

    I have not seen the picture in question, yet my spontanious reaction was to think of the rumors, that were consciously spread during the Middle Ages in Europe, concerning Jews “killing Christian children” and Jews, “feasting on the dead bodies of Christian babies”. It might well be that it was out of this “tradition” that Swift wrote A Modest Proposal.

  46. #46 Jeannine Olson
    December 10, 2009

    Say what you will about JB and A of A — he’s not an editor and Age of Autism has been heroic in their work. 8 shots for you who were born in ’68, over 30 for your baby today. Why is that and are there consequences — are our babies’ immune systems prepared for that much ‘positive’ toxin? The government makes billions on vaccines. We must lift every stone — the autism epidemic demands it. You may not like his style but JB speaks for thousands of parents who, in some cases, brought children home after receiving shots and were forced to get to know a new baby who was very ill. Go from babbling and walking to no eye contact, no words, physically sick, no movement, screaming and you’ll be asking hard questions too — about potential causes, vaccines, environmental toxins, the AMA, the CDC, our government’s inaction — and the “thank God it’s not my kid” mentality in this nation. Over 1 million cases of autism — this is NOT DNA, this is something toxic we are exposing our children to. I’m surprised you are offended by the photo — so much for free speech — take that energy and help our children. Call Obama or your Congressional representative — it’s clear they care less about autism and it’s impact on an entire generation and more about big pharma dollars. Keep doin’ your thing JB and A of A — We need you.

  47. #47 Travis
    December 10, 2009

    So many “facts” so little time.

    I am quite curious where the government is making money off of vaccines, don’t they have to buy them from drug manufacturers? Seems like it would cost them money.

    Then there is the “autism epidemic” line. Please do a little bit of reading, there is a little search box on this page. The existence of this epidemic has been dealt with before.

    Free speech gambit? I have not heard this one very much. Who is stopping them from saying anything or using the photo? Complaining that it is in bad taste, incorrect, or pathetic is not the same thing as denying them the right of speech. Grow up, people can be critical of them. Free speech also means people can tell you that what say while exercising your right to free speech is stupid, wrongheaded, or anything really.

    Jeannine, maybe you should actually read this blog for a little bit, look at the archives. You will see you have written nothing new, nothing that has not been seen before and dealt with in the past. Your post is every bit as ignorant (of the facts, of what has been written on this blog and others before about all of your points) and arrogant as the basic creationist troll over at PZ’s blog.

  48. #48 Todd W.
    December 10, 2009

    @Jeannine Olson

    To add to what Travis stated, I also recommend you pay a visit to antiantivax.flurf.net and Science-Based Medicine. If you go to SBM, click on the Topic-Based Reference tab at the top right, then follow the link to Vaccines and Autism.

  49. #49 Scott
    December 10, 2009

    Age of Autism has been heroic in their work.

    If you define “heroic” as “posing a grave threat to cause millions of deaths for no good reason”, I suppose.

    8 shots for you who were born in ’68, over 30 for your baby today. Why is that

    Because we can protect against far more dangerous diseases than we could 40 years ago.

    and are there consequences

    Absolutely; many babies’ lives are saved, many others are saved from lifelong disability, and HUGE numbers are spared great suffering.

    are our babies’ immune systems prepared for that much ‘positive’ toxin?

    Given that the entire vaccine schedule challenges the immune system orders of magnitude less than, say, a single skinned knee, absolutely their immune systems are prepared for vaccination. And please define and justify the use of the term “positive toxin”, particularly keeping in mind the fact that the dose makes the poison.

    The government makes billions on vaccines.

    Evidence, please.

    We must lift every stone — the autism epidemic demands it.

    First, there is no autism epidemic.

    Second, this particular stone has not only been lifted, it has been subjected to the most detailed analysis of any stone in history.

    Third, Handley and AoA are completely AGAINST lifting any other stones at all.

    You may not like his style but JB speaks for thousands of parents who, in some cases, brought children home after receiving shots and were forced to get to know a new baby who was very ill.

    You imply a causality that does not exist; autism is sometimes diagnosed in proximity to vaccination by simple concidence.

    Go from babbling and walking to no eye contact, no words, physically sick, no movement, screaming and you’ll be asking hard questions too — about potential causes, vaccines, environmental toxins, the AMA, the CDC, our government’s inaction — and the “thank God it’s not my kid” mentality in this nation.

    This particular question has been asked and answered, however. So why do you refuse to ask any others?

    Over 1 million cases of autism — this is NOT DNA, this is something toxic we are exposing our children to.

    Evidence, please.

    I’m surprised you are offended by the photo — so much for free speech — take that energy and help our children.

    Orac IS helping children by opposing Handley and AoA’s attempts to kill them with infectious disease!

    Call Obama or your Congressional representative — it’s clear they care less about autism and it’s impact on an entire generation and more about big pharma dollars. Keep doin’ your thing JB and A of A — We need you.

    I agree in part; if enough people pressure the government to do so, maybe we can actually get these idiots locked up for reckless endangerment as they should be.

  50. #50 Chris
    December 10, 2009

    Jeannine, go here and watch these videos:
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=3762

    Then tell us exactly how preventing those diseases is a bad thing. Really, please… do tell us.

    There is one young man who needs several medications a day to live, all which could have been prevented if he had not gotten a certain disease. Several of the children spent days in the hospital with those diseases.

    How does preventing illness give more money to the pharmaceutical companies?

    Do you really want us to go back to the vaccine schedule of 1968? Really? Truly? Remember, smallpox was still on the schedule.

    The following is based off of information from the CDC Pink Book. All numbers are from the USA. A reminder: there was a measles vaccine in 1968, the MMR was licensed in the USA in 1971.

    In 1968 there was no mumps vaccine on the schedule, there were over 152000 cases of mumps with 25 resulting deaths (and since mumps causes deafness at least one out of 10000 cases, several kids became deaf).

    Before there was a vaccine for Hib, there were estimated 20000 cases. Of those 15% TO 30% suffered permanent neurological damage (up to 6000 per year), and another 2% to 5% died (up to 1000 deaths per year).

    Before there was a varicella vaccine, there were a bit over 100 deaths per year from chicken pox — and everyone who has had it has the chance of getting shingles.

    Before the HepB vaccine there were 26000 new cases per year were reported (since there are often no symptoms it is estimated that the number is several times more than that), several among children from no known source. It is not just a sexually transmitted disease. After children started to be vaccinated the number of new cases reported is now closer to 5000. The biggest drop is in children, who are more likely to suffer chronic liver disease due to the disease.

    Then there is still the other diseases I have not even started to cover. The statistics are used in the videos. Do try to watch them. Then come back and tell us which ones are superfluous.

  51. #51 Chris
    December 10, 2009

    Another option than reading the actual CDC information (it is lots of reading, they really do want to give you all of the information), there is this Science Based Medicine posting by an infectious disease doctor (remember the world needs more Mark Crislip):
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=186

    Here is a sample without formatting because blockquoting does not work well here (And really, so we want to go back to the numbers before the vaccine? Please, tell us how that would be so much better for us!):

    Rotavirus

    The Disease: a viral diarrhea that kills children.

    World Wide disease: “Each year, rotavirus causes approximately 111 million episodes of gastroenteritis requiring only home care, 25 million clinic visits, 2 million hospitalizations, and 352,000–592,000 deaths (4)”, primarily in those less than age 5.

    US disease: 70,000 cases a year, maybe 100 deaths.

    Pneumococcus

    The Disease: sepsis and meningitis.

    World Wide disease: An estimated 700,000 to one million children die of pneumococcal disease every year (14).

    US disease: before the vaccine, 700 cases of meningitis, 13,000 bacteremias and 200 deaths.

    Meningococcus

    The Disease: sepsis and meningitis.

    World Wide disease: outbreaks in Africa have 250 000 cases and 25 000 deaths (17).

    US disease: 2,500 people are infected and 300 die in the US (18).

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    December 11, 2009

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